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Report: Clinton Camp Lays Big Blame on FBI for Loss; Hiker Encounters Hillary Clinton; Veterans Weigh in on Historic Election; President-Elect Trump Prepares to Lead Military; CNN Hero Offers Horse Therapy to Disabled Kids; VP Pence Now Leading the Transition Team. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 11, 2016 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: But what do you make of the Clinton campaign pointing the finger at the FBI director?

DEBBIE DINGELL, REPRESENTATIVE (D) MICHIGAN: You know, I haven't seen what their statement is because there have been Veterans Day events most of the day. That letter did not help. They are absolutely correct about that. This wasn't one factor. The fact is she won the popular vote. Michigan, it is razor thin as to who is ahead. It was a combination of a lot of factors. But the op-ed I wrote today talks about we as Americans and we as Democrats have to worry about working men and women and economic issues. Those issues are still a significant factor in how people vote when they go in the voting booth.

BALDWIN: But what about when you were sounding the alarm to the president of the United States himself saying that the party, that Democrats are not fully listening and appreciating the concerns among everyday working people back home for you? What did he tell you?

DINGELL: This is the point I have tried to make to everyone. President Obama saved the auto industry, he saved the economy, we would have collapsed but working men and women, the ones that I know don't want a lot, they want to make enough money so that they can live in a safe neighborhood, put food on the table, go to the doctor when they need to, afford their medicine, educate their kids and maybe give their kids hope for a better future than they have.

And for too many Americans that has become out of reach. And they don't translate saving the auto industry down to, "hey, I'm better off" because they don't feel better off. Their wages haven't stayed steady with what the cost of living is for them. Their health care has gone up, prescription drug prices have gone up, food prices have gone up.

They're scared and that's driving -- I don't care what race, creed, religion you are when you walk into the voting booth, it's impacting more working men and women than we realize when they actually vote.

BALDWIN: Do you feel like your concerns were ignored?

DINGELL: I'm not going to -- look, I have to tell you, the media laughed at me as much as anybody else did and I warned people before the Michigan primary. I didn't know that Hillary Clinton was going to lose, but I knew we had an issue that needed to have people pay attention to it. And it could be a serious problem and I always said to people that this election was competitive. So, I don't think a lot of people listened to it.

I think Donald Trump understood -- I don't even call it anger. I call it fear and anxiety. People have not recovered from 2008. They're scared something could happen to them again every single day.

BALDWIN: I know you wanted Hillary Clinton to win, I know you say, yes, part of the issue was the James Comey letter and even the Clinton campaign said the media was too hostile in focusing on her emails. But she admitted she made the mistake. Do you think that the Clinton campaign was arrogant?

DINGELL: No, I don't think they were arrogant. I don't want to be part of a -- shooting each other as we are looking at this. You talk about when you look at the things that have been said, the sexism, the racism we saw during this presidential election, that's outrageous, too. But people in the end had to decide what was it they were going to cast their vote for.

And people are disgusted, I can't tell you how many Republicans I know who are disgusted by some of the things that were said by President- elect Donald Trump during the election but in the end, they were scared. They cared about their job, they're tired of the status quo and they voted to shake it up and have someone who understood that they were scared and was going to care about them.

BALDWIN: Here is one piece that I can pass along to you. Apparently, President-elect Trump has done an interview with the "Wall Street Journal" and we know he ran on this day one in office if I win I'm going to repeal and replace Obamacare. So, apparently, he told the "Wall Street Journal" he is willing to keep parts of Obamacare. How do you respond to that?

BALDWIN: I'm going to tell you from day one I went into the Congress, which has only been two years, I said I don't think Republicans want to repeal it. I don't know any American that wants to go back to telling somebody that they can't have insurance because of pre- existing conditions or that an insurance company can cancel your insurance when you get cancer or that a 26-year-old can't stay on their parents' insurance, or that you'll remove lifetime caps or that a woman will be treated differently and pay higher premiums because of her gender.

I don't know any Republican that wanted to do that. It's been a lot of politics about saying we were going to repeal Affordable Care. We have to make sure every American has a right to affordable quality health care and I'm glad he's admitting there are certain things about this bill that are critical or this legislation that were critical, including the fact that 20 million people have health insurance that didn't have it before.

[15:35:00] BALDWIN: Congresswoman, what about your own party? You all have to go forward figuring out who the leader would be as far as who the chair of the DNC would be. Some names being tossed around, you have Howard Dean, Martin O'Malley, Ray Buckley and Keith Ellison. We know senator Sanders is really, really enthusiastic about Congressman Ellison. Who do you think would be the best leader?

DINGELL: Keith Ellison is my friend. I think he will bring the progressives into the party and is a very good man but as Democrats we have to take time to search our souls, understand what the dynamics were. I want to see what the whole road map is. I want to hear from my colleagues. One of the reasons did know this race was competitive is because I do listen to people. I have a good political gut and I want to be with people and let the political gut work before I endorse anybody.

BALDWIN: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, always a pleasure to have you on, appreciate your candor. Thank you so much.

DINGELL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Now let me bring in a fan and supporter of Hillary Clinton who just got a massive surprise one day after the former Secretary of State conceded this presidential race. She says she was heartbroken over Hillary Clinton's defeat, decided to go for a hike with her little girl and her dog and lo and behold, who does she run into on the hiking trail but Hillary Clinton and her husband the former President.

She even snapped a photo to prove it and the photo was taken by President Clinton. Margot with me on the phone, appreciate you taking a couple minutes out of your life to talk to me, Margot, thank you so much.


BALDWIN: So, a lot of people would have done the same in your own shoes, half the country is taking a big breath and is heartbroken, you go for a hike. Who saw whom first?

GERSTER: I think I saw her first. I'm not exactly sure. I was walking out and she was walking in. I think I saw her dogs first and I actually went to grab my dog, so she didn't run out ahead. And then as I got closer I sort of did that whole, like, oh, my god, look of shock and, yeah, it was unavoidable, I was walking out and she was coming in, so we were going to cross paths.

BALDWIN: Did you -- you voted for her, you proudly took your little girl to the voting booth. Did you throw your arms around her? Tell me about that.

GERSTER: I mean, no, I didn't literally jump into her arms, I think then the Secret Service might have been a little more nervous. No, you know, I think I said something along the lines of "oh my god". And I said to her what I had said after I watched her concession speech which is that all I wanted to do the entire time I watched that speech was reach my arms out, give you a hug and tell you that one of the proudest moments of my entire motherhood was taking my daughter to vote for you. So, I did, I actually 24 hours later literally got to say that to her face and it was wonderful.

BALDWIN: What did she say back?

GERSTER: She gave me a hug and I think she was very grateful.

BALDWIN: What else did she say? I'm going to pull this out of you, Margot, a lot of people are wondering how she's doing.

GERSTER: People probably think we had a deep conversation but you know she was on a nice peaceful hike with her husband. She was doing exactly what I was. I think she wanted to clear her head and just enjoy nature. So, we didn't really have this very deep political conversation. I was with my little girl who is the cutest thing in the universe and so obviously, she asked about my daughter and how old she was and her name and she asked about my dog and where I was from and it was very cordial, very polite conversation, just very sweet and comfortable.

BALDWIN: The photo itself, two women cheek to cheek, broad smiles, I don't know if that's her dog or your dog.

GERSTER: That was her dog.

BALDWIN: Now that you've, had a beat to appreciate this moment when you look at this photo, what do you think?

GERSTER: I think it's -- I mean not to use a cliche word but I think it's awesome. I was truly honestly really proud to vote for her. I have a hometown pride being from Chappaqua but it was more than that this is the first woman to be nominated in a major party, an incredibly qualified strong woman and she's somebody I admire and the fact that I was with my daughter, that's incredible.

She's too young to understand it but I get to talk to her about this one day and show her this and I can only hope that she's as proud and excited as I was.

[15:40:00] It was a really special moment and especially coming out of the day before. It was a very dark day for me personally and I think for a lot of people. And, you know, when I posted this picture the intent behind honestly to give people hope and maybe make them feel happy for a moment because that's how I felt.

I went hiking because I was sad and I just wanted to clear my head and there's really no better way to do that, in my opinion, than taking a nice hike with your kid. And to get to see her and tell her all of this was pretty amazing.

BALDWIN: Final question. You mentioned the word "hope". After your special moment and with this precious baby Phoebe, are you hopeful for this country?

GERSTER: Yes, I have to be. Because, look, things did not turn out the way that I expected or necessarily wanted but this is a wonderful country and I'm proud to be an American and, you know, did I vote for Donald Trump? No, but he is the President and I have to be hopeful that he will do as good a job as he can possibly do.

And that hopefully things don't fall apart, that's all I can do, I don't know enough about politics to make crazy judgment calls, all I know is that I'm -- I am hoping for the best and that's all I can do. I'm a mom of a beautiful little girl and I want her to grow up in a country that supports her and makes her feel like she can do anything.

BALDWIN: We all want that for everyone's little ones and for the rest of us, what a story you will get to tell her one day. Margot, thank you so much for hopping on the phone, appreciate it.

GERSTER: Of course, thank you.

BALDWIN: Back to breaking news, busy day at Trump tower, Manhattan. What we're learning about the Trump cabinet taking shape and who might be made chief of staff. Also, just in what Trump just said about compromising on parts of

Obamacare. Back in a moment.


[15:45:00] Back to our breaking news in Washington D.C. Trump towers is abuzz today, not just because we're getting news as far as who is now heading the transition into a Trump administration or perhaps who could be selected as chief of staff. We are also learning a bit more from this interview that president-elect Donald Trump just did with the "Wall Street Journal." You know as we've been covering his campaign for 18 or so months one of the main refrains from Mr. Trump has been on day one, if he's elected and sits in that building behind me, that he will repeal and replace Obamacare. And now it sounds like from the interview that may not be the case entirely. So, let's go to our chief political analyst Gloria Borger who is with me now. Gloria, this stunning stuff from this interview where he is saying perhaps he would consider leaving parts of any Obamacare.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, and these are the prohibitions that are politically popular and it doesn't surprise me, by the way, that the president mentioned this to him the other day. Because when Trump came out he said I heard about some great achievements from the president. And I think what he was doing was making the case as -- by the way, some Republicans have done -- that you need to keep the provisions on pre-existing conditions. So, that people, for example, who have cancer or some other serious illness, would be able to insurance. And that is a part of Obamacare. And then the other thing is to keep your adult children up to the age of 26 on your health care plan before they get themselves settled and get a job where they should have their own health care insurance.

These are two very popular provisions that would cause the Republicans some difficulty if they were repealed. So, what the president said to the "Wall Street Journal" according to this piece, is that either Obamacare will be amended, repealed or replaced. Well, amended was not part of the campaign platform. But I must say I don't find this surprising. Because of the political implications it would have for Republicans if you took away those provisions. BALDWIN: Yes, I think you're right, according to this interview, that

this all had to do with. This came from that meeting in the oval office from yesterday. Gloria Borger, I know we're going to hear more about this. We'll look f| you later, thank you so much.


BALDWIN: On this Veterans Day -- just want to move along -- on this Veterans Day many servicemen and women wondering what a Trump presidency will look like. We'll discuss with very special guests coming up.


BALDWIN: On this veteran's day, many service men and women are wondering what will a Trump presidency look like? Joining me, Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Executive Director Of IAVA, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Of America. And Ken Fisher, the Fisher House Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that constructs comfort homes for families of hospitalized military personnel and veterans. And he was the 2016 Civilian Leadership honoree at the IAVA gala last night. Fellas, I'm sorry I couldn't make it. I've been busy in Washington. But I appreciate all that you do for our amazing men and women in uniform.

Let me just begin with you, Paul. Because I'm sitting here in Washington. I'm thinking about the White House. I'm thinking about president-elect Trump. We know he thanked veterans late this morning in a tweet. Gave a lot of lip service over the course of the campaign about his concern for veterans. What indication do you have that he's sincere?

PAUL RIECKHOFF, FOUNDER & EXEC. DIRECTOR, IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICAN: Well, we'll find out in the next four years. The talking is easy. Veterans have had lip service from both parties for generations. But the hard work of actually getting things done has alluded more presidents. It's Veteran's Day, today is a time for unity, for patriotism. We hope it can help America heal after a divisive election. We think veterans can be an example. So, veterans have been a priority for his candidacy, now we to want see it be a priority for his presidency and America heroes like Kenny Fisher, who bring people together are a great example of what we can't accomplish if we put the politics aside and really focus on our veterans.

BALDWIN: Ken, tell me about Fisher House for folks who don't know.

KENNETH FISHER, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION: Fisher House offers a home away from home for families of sick or injured or wounded service men and women to stay in at no charge for as long as they need to, for as long as the hospital stay dictates. We have our other initiatives called "Hero Miles," hotels for heroes, just offshoot of the program and some scholarship programs as well.

BALDWIN: That's awesome. It's awesome. Paul, what is one of the first moves? I mean, in this next administration, you know all of the veteran's issues. This is your job. What is an indication that you could see for the next President to really fight for these folks you work with and for?

RIECKHOFF: Well, time, focus, and budget are going to be a reflection of the new president's priorities. I think he should come out of the gate immediately and focus on veterans. It's a popular issue. He ran on it. And I think he'll see a lot of bipartisan support. We've seen that in the past. And I think it's a great way to start. And to assemble a team of people from all different backgrounds that can be united and focused on us.

It's a great way for civilians to get involved. Kenny, we honored him last night because he's not a veteran. Because he's a civilian who stepped forward to support our veterans and honor our veterans. He's an example for the president, but all Americans. We'd love to see him start January off right at inauguration with our veteran's first.

BALDWIN: Ken, congratulations for being honored last night. Paul, thank you so much, my friend for joining me. I appreciate it.

Thank you, Brooke, for always having our back. We appreciate you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

FISHER: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: You got it. You got it. By the way, voting is now under way for the CNN hero of the year. And Harry Swimmer is one of our top ten finalists.


HARRY SWIMMER, FOUNDER, MITEY RIDERS: My hero is the equine assisted therapeutic riding program. We work with special needs children. And I'm a very lucky man to be able to do that. I met a little girl, non- verbal, deaf, wondered what she'd be like on a horse. So, I said to the grandmother, I said, how about if we bring her out to the farm and let me she what she'll do on a horse. I brought her out here and put her on a pony and she lit up like a candle.

[15:55:00] And I said, this is what I wanted to do. These children come to me with all kinds of disabilities, verbal and nonverbal. They gain so much from doing something that other children don't do. That they can do. When the children are on a horse, you can't tell that their disabled. They ride like everybody else. These children come to me every day with open arms and I love every one of them. And this is their farm as much as it is mine.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Harry, you're the best.

SWIMMER: And I love you too.


Gosh, that is a beautiful thing. Please check all the top ten heroes, their stories and vote for your favorite hero, go to

Coming up next here on CNN. Vice president-elect Mike Pence has now moved into the lead role for the Trump transition into the White House. We're learning this here as sources are telling CNN all signs point to RNC chair Reince Priebus as president-elect Trump's new Chief of Staff. That's what we're hearing. Details on what's happening behind closed doors today. We'll be right back.