tv Meet the Press NBC November 21, 2016 2:00am-3:00am MST
thanks for joining us. this sunday, president-elect trump's administration begins to take shape. general mike flynn, senator jeff sessions, congressman mike pompeo. loyalists all as donald trump turns his campaign rhetoric into a governing reality. i'll talk to his i of staff reince priebus. also, do democrats in congress work with trump or fight him? >> on issues where our values are at stake, where the president goes in a divisive direction, we'll go against him with everything we've got. >> my interview with the new democratic senate leader chuck schumer and with senator bernie sanders. plus, those middle-class voters who went for obama and then trump. >> well, maybe it's the fact that i believe that hillary clinton was a criminal.
blue states red about what they expect now from the president. joining me are tom friedman, columnist for the "new york times." kathleen parker, columnist for the "washington post." neera tanden, president of the center for american progress. robert costa of the "washington post." welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." president-elect trump spent the weekend at his bedminster, new jersey, club, meeting with possible members of his administration including one time rival and critic mitt romney who is reportedly being considered for secretary of state, as well as michelle rhee, a democrat who ran the school system in washington, d.c. could be the next education secretary. but if mr. trump has made one thing clear with his choices for national security post it's that he's not yet tacking to the
for national security advisor general mike flynn who says militant islam poses an existential threat to the united states. attorney general jeff sessions of alabama, tireless opponent of illegal immigration and someone accused of making racially insensitive remarks that derailed a previous hearing for a federal judgeship in the '80s and for cia chief, representative mike pompeo of kansas, tough critic on hillary clinton for benghazi. the team represents security over civil liberties, loyalists over moderates. republican senators were largely supportive of the choices and democrats for the most part, particularly for jeff sessions, sharply opposed. joining me from donald trump's club in bedminster, president-elect trump's incoming white house chief of staff reince priebus. mr. priebus, congratulations on the new job. >> well, good morning, chuck.
with mitt romney. is it fair to conclude -- i've talked to a few people close to your campaign but we're talking to you and that is simply it's rudy giuliani or mitt romney for secretary of state. is that fair to conclude? >> look, i think if you see the entire picture here what americans should take from this is the fact that we have a president-elect trump that wants to bring all americans together. he started with that speech he gave on wednesday morning very graciously say nothing matter who you are, no background, i'll be here for you, make you proud of our country and what you saw with mitt romney people like ted cruz coming in is a continuation of this bridge building in this scene that all americans should take in that he wants to bring us all together. the meeting with mitt romney itself, though, i will tell you was a very good meeting. it was gracious and personable and it was very sincere and it was productive. so we don't know where it will lead right now, but i can tell
step and people should be proud of the way things are going here in president-elect trump's operation. >> would it surprise you if president-elect trump selected mitt romney for secretary of state? >> you know, look, i'm not sure who he's going to select but i do know -- >> but would that surprise you. >> rudy giuliani, general keene, general kelly, he's talked to mitt romney, obviously, and we'll see, chuck, where it goes but it's a good sign for all americans. >> i want to talk about, especially at the end on the phrase, he used it a lot, "drain the swamp." but there's a number of moves that have happened that call that into question, perhaps conflicts of interest, his daughter ivanka trump was seen pictured at the meeting with the japanese prime minister there are some businessmen from india who have deals with the president-elect's organization, trump organization, they had a meeting with the president-elect, took pictures
off of the trump name now that he's president in india. how are you organizing a divestment or a blind trust right now of donald trump and his businesses? >> we're not going to get into the details of that but that is being handled and there is nothing being discussed of any import. >> how do we know that. you didn't bring the press in. >> the meeting was cursory. and, look, all of these things -- all these rules are going to be followed, chuck. violation of any of these rules, i can assure you of that and as we move forward those matters will be more clearly spelled out and you'll be aware of it but the one person i can tell you that makes these decisions is donald trump. families historically have been involved with their fathers in administrations. and i can assure you what you're seeing donald trump do right now is bring the best and brightest together to make the best
americans no matter who you are. >> at the end of the day, how does he prove he's not used the presidency to profit. there have been reports that the trump hotel in washington, d.c., that ambassadors were encouraged to bring their visiting delegates and have them stay at the trump hotel in washington, d.c. is that true? >> no, it's not true at all, chuck, and i think what we have here is it's truly a unique situation international business person that has done incredibly well in life that is now going to work toward focusing 24/7 on being president of the united states and setting up a system, a legal system to shield himself from any and all conflict. that's what we're doing. that's what people are going to see and in the coming days and weeks the american people will see that. >> the "wall street journal" is recommending if following, "wall street journal," no member of the liberal media, at least
administration could be extensive, they write, "if mr. trump doesn't liquidate he will be accused of a pecuniary motive any time he takes a policy position." they essentially believe it's untenable for trump or his kids to have any control over the trump organization while he's president. does the president-elect share that view? >> look, we're looking at this right now, chuck, as well, and like i said before, we're going to make sure no matter what decisions are made that t there's a white house counsel's office that will be there, that will be issuing opinions and these matters will be dealt with accordingly and donald trump, our new president, is going to spend every hour, every minute of the day making america proud of where we're going and making america great again but also making the decisions that benefit everyone the most in this country so we're getting ahead of ourselves a little bit but i can assure you the work
together no matter their background, their political affiliation and all the rest. >> let me ask you about the appointment of general mike flynn to national security advisor, essentially there are two corner offices in the white house, you'll be in one, he's going to be in the other. in february, flynn posted a video listing bombings perpetrated by muslims with the comment "fear of muslims is rational." can you equivocally rule out a registry for >> um, look, i'm not going to rule out anything. but i wouldn't -- we're not going to have a registry based on a religion. but what i think what we're trying to do is say that there are some people, certainly not all people, chuck, there are some people that are radicalized and there are some people that have to be prevented from coming into this country and donald trump's position, president trump's position is consistent with bills in the house and
or an area around the world that harbors and trains terrorists we have to temporarily suspend that operation until a better vetting system is put in place. and when that happens, when a better vetting system is put in place, then those radical folks -- excuse me, they'll not be allowed in but then others will be allowed in but only until that is done. that's what general michael flynn believes and that's wha >> does president-elect trump agree with general flynn that fear of muslims is rational? >> he believes that no faith in and of itself should be judged as a whole but there are some people in countries abroad that need to be prevented from -- there are some people that need to be prevented from coming into this country so i think that's where 99% of americans are at. >> reince priebus, the next white house chief of staff, appreciate the time and thanks
on friday i traveled to michigan for a story on middle-class voters who picked donald trump over hillary clinton, we'll have that story for you later in the hour. but while i was there i took a break to interview the new senate democratic leader chuck schumer. he began by telling me that senate democrats would give a very thorough vetting to president-elect trump's choice for attorney general, senator jeff sessions. and that he had tough questions for mike flynn, though he doesn't need senate confirmation who, of course, is mr. trump's voice for national security advisor. but then here we're whether he thinks senate democrats should oppose president trump because it's good for the party or work with him when they can. >> well, my test is the specifics. we're not going to work with him for the sake of working with him. we're not going to oppose him just because he said something that trump sponsors but let me give you an example on both sides. surprisingly on certain issues
opinions. for instance, getting rid of the carried interest loophole. changing our trade laws dramatically. a large infrastructure bill. cleaning up the swamp in washington. these are things that democrats have always stood for and, frankly, republicans have always been against. so we're going to challenge president trump to work with us on those issues where we can. if he doesn't, he'll be breaking his promise to particularly the blue-collar particular issues. but on issues where our values are at stake, where the president goes in a divisive direction, where his campaign did before, we'll go against him with everything we've got. we're not going to repeal or help him repeal obamacare. we are not going to roll back dodd/frank, i think they should forget about that, we have 60 votes to block them. we're not going to help him build his wall. we have a comprehensive
security and had bipartisan support than he's ever called for. so we're not going to oppose him just because it's trump, but we're certainly going to stick to our values and oppose him wherever he opposes those. but i hope, chuck -- one final thing, i hope on the promises he's made to blue-collar america on trade, on carried interest, on infrastructure that he'll stick with them and work with us even if it means the republicans who opposed those things. >> you may have the longest relationship of any u.s. senator with donald trump. i know you frequently speak with him. i'm curious, how frequently have you spoken with him post-election? >> well, look, number one i didn't know that well. we'd see each other occasionally at events in new york but i didn't know him very well. >> you did a walk on on "the apprentice" so you must have been somewhat palish. >> well, they asked me to do it and i was surprised but i don't
for more about him in the campaign. i was troubled by a whole lot of things in the campaign. the only thing i can say to my colleagues is president obama met with him and said the presidency is a sobering experience so i hope that president trump will rise to the occasion and when he does we'll try to be supportive but when he doesn't we'll use everything we've got to oppose him. >> i'm interviewing you right now from the suburbs of tr what happened in macomb county, a place where there were obama/trump voters. why do you believe you lost -- the democratic party and hillary clinton lost these voters that voted obama in '08 and '12 and voted trump in '16, particularly in a place like michigan. >> when you lose an election like we did you can't flinch or look away from it. you have to look it directly in the eye and analyze what you did wrong. and the analysis will continue
the kind of strong, bold, and pointed economic message that appeal to these people and a message that talked about how rigged the system was in washington. what i hope to do as our democratic leader is craft policies and platform and message that are bold on economic issues, that are strong on economic issues, that don't just i believe in around the edges. and what that will do, i believe, is democrats in the senate, you've seen in our leadership this team this kind of message has gotten. bernie sanders and elizabeth warren on our team as well as joe manchin and mark warner but much more importantly, unite america. i don't think there should be a choice. you know, people say well, should we go after the obama coalition or the blue-collar workers? a bold, strong strong economic message will unite both of them, both groups.
oakland county, the factory worker, the college student in los angeles, the single mom trying to get above minimum wage in harlem. >> let me finally ask you about the supreme court obviously you were not pleased with how senate republicans handled the merrick garland nomination. i assumed barring some miracle for your side it is not going to be brought up during the lame duck. >> pray for that miracle. >> how -- are you comfortable filibustering any pick that a president trump makes and if that happened, do you fear the nuclear response by the republicans? >> well, first i hope that president trump picks a mainstream candidate. a mainstream candidate is somebody you may not agree with on every issue but basically believes in precedent and basically believes in following the law. >> what does that mean? can he nominate somebody, in
cruz? is he too conservative for you. >> i'm not going to get into specific candidates but we'd hope it would be mainstream. if it is mainstream, you have to remember the last four nominees -- two from president bush, two from president obama, got bipartisan support on the bench. if he doesn't nominate a mainstream candidate, we're going to go at him with everything we have, or her. go at the candidate with everything we've got because this is so, now, you know, senator mcconnell has said let's not use the filibuster. but they don't come with clean hands having delayed merrick garland for a whole year and further more i was the person when the rules were changed back a few years ago when leader reid changed the rules i said let's not do the supreme court, we
still do, because we should get bipartisan support so i hope both president trump and leader mcconnell will recognize those facts. >> senator chuck schumer, i have to leave it there. >> thank you. >> democrat from new york, new senate democratic leader, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. >> i did that interview on friday. as the interview was airing donald trump tweeted the following about chuck schumer this morning. "i have always had a good relationship with chuck schumer, he's far smarter than harry r. and has the ability to get things done. go relationship begins anew. when he come back, my trip to macomb county, michigan, home of the reagan democrats who voted first for president obama voted first for president obama and then for d welcome to the world 2116, you can fly across town in minutes or across the globe in under an hour. whole communities are living on mars and solar satellites provide earth with unlimited clean power.
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and it's empowering anyone to stop a job if something doesn't seem right. at bp, safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. let's dig in with the panel. kathleen parker and tom friedman. welcome to you all. robert, i want to start with you. romney, giuliani, how real is romney's secretary of state? you are quick with the trump scoops. what you got? >> my trump sources tell me romney is very much in the running for secretary of state. trump likes his look, he likes his background.
for trump, he knows his reputation not only at home but around the world. he wants to maybe have a different kind of face. >> there's no question that romney brings a different face because he is the epitome of goodness and would be, i think, a very smart move for trump to put him up front as the face to the rest of the world. as somebody joked, if you took an american flag and turned it into a human being, it would look like mitt romney. >> you have to have a good relationship though with the national security i bring this up, thomas, as somebody who covered plenty of white house and international affairs. mike flynn has been described -- this is by former colleagues, people that worked with him, they did it anonymously. you have covered general flynn back in the days of the first afghanistan surge. what do you know of him? >> i have seen general flynn in iraq, afghanistan, washington at
i don't know the general flynn who has been tweeting. i had many encounters with him or several in his job as one of the most intelligent intelligent officers we have had. he and stan mccrystal together created the killing machine that took down al qaeda in iraq. they did it in an amazing way, leveraging big data. they would take down a terrorist leader, take his computer and cell phone and pour it into a computer, find links and do one raid and anoth mike flynn is a serious, intelligent guy. >> qualified? >> the old mike flynn, definitely. i don't know the new mike flynn. >> yeah. i would say the new mike flynn is deeply worrying. that's who we have seen for the last year. someone who has attacked muslims as awe group, someone who has tweeted also from the alt right, basically things that seem racist on their face. and also, in a more disturbing
actually as a lobbyist been getting security briefings. he is a lobbyist for foreign entities, foreign companies that are linked to foreign governments and has been receiving briefings while he is doing that. i think in it the drain the swamp concern, there's something still there. >> one thing on flynn, we're talking about list world view and combative personality. but his association with trump, how close he is, it's revealing about this whole transition. he is there because he is loyal. he was one of the early people who would go up to the top of tru foreign aaffairs. flynn was in the running for vp because he was there early. >> what we should learn here? i'm talking about, a team of rivals or is is it going to be loyalists? >> national security, you have to have a secretary of state, a secretary of defense that are able to work together and are basically aligned on their priorities. >> they need to be aligned. >> they have to be basically
like an a -- that feels -- it doesn't work. giuliani and flynn to me is more an alignment. kathleen? >> gosh, well if you want -- if you want to present a fierce presence to the rest of the world, those two combined would certainly put fear in the hearts of our allies and enemies as well. the other thing about mitt romney -- i think really today we should change his name to mike romney, since that seems -- >> if you are a mike you have a better chance. >> remember in the second debate with obama, romney was the person who said in our greatest geopolitical foe is russia. he practically got laughed off the stage. this man is not -- he is no novice when it comes to foreign affairs. many of the other things he setd said have come to be true. >> i want to go back to the
this is something that could blow up? i thought it was interesting that reince priebus didn't dismiss. >> the question is, who is having this conversation with the president-elect in a confrontational way about his family, about his business? a lot of people around donald trump don't want to engage with him on that level on that topic. >> that's deeply concerning. the idea that a president would profit from the he said he would work for the people, not himself. when you look at the information we're getting about meetings with indian businessmen who want to do more business, the idea that the hotel he has is basically pushing foreign dignitaries to stay at his hotel, give the hotel money in order to curry favor with him. that is --
has been benefitted from the cell phone revolution. >> he responded. >> a friend of mine says, the cell phones, five years ago they were a portable x-ray machine. now they're a portable mri machine. they can see everywhere. they can tell the world what they see without an editor, a lawyer or filter. that can work for you and it can really work against you. >> i'm going to end this. this is why everybody will buy his book. >> note to public officials, don't tweet. >> i don't know. i think it's good. we're learning about who people are. let's pause the conversation here. when we come back, we will hear from some of those white blue collar voters who abandoned hillary clinton for donald trump. what do they expect from their new president? plus, quite a few of them were bernie sanders voters. i will talk to senator sanders i will talk to senator sanders about ho
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