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Trump Names Priebus Chief of Staff, Bannon Chief Strategist; Dozens of Protests Across the Country; Trump Has Conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping; Victory for Iraqi Forces in Battle Capturing Village of Nimrud. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 14, 2016 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:01] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A storm of criticism for president-elect Trump's new right hand man, a controversial figure who has a lot of people concerned.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Victor Blackwell.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, Monday, November 14th. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

We begin this morning with fierce push back against one of Donald Trump's first White House hires. The president-elect named Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus as chief-of-staff and Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon as chief strategist. It is the last appointment that has some critics in uproar, largely because of Bannon's other job as head of the website Breitbart News. All of this comes as we hear from Trump on a variety of topics including the protest against him. He did the first sit-down TV interview since Election Day.

The latest on the men who will be running the Trump White House, let's bring in CNN's Chris Frates for us this morning from Washington.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Christine and Victor. President-elect Donald Trump has named Reince Priebus as chief-of-staff and Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and senior advisor. Now, by naming Priebus as chief-of-staff, Trump puts the head of the Republican National Committee in one of the most powerful positions in Washington. Well, Priebus' insider creed is balanced out by Bannon's anti-establishment world view. In a statement about the duo, Trump said this quote, Bannon and Priebus will continue the effective leadership team they formed during the campaign, working as equal partners to transform the federal government, making it efficient, effective, and productive.

Now, Priebus is known inside the beltway and has good working relationships with Republicans on Capitol Hill. People like Senator Mitch McConnell who is the Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker Paul Ryan who has been a long time friend of Priebus. And those relationships and Priebus's knowledge of exactly how Washington works could be key in helping Trump pass his legislative agenda through Congress. Now, Bannon, who is the Trump campaign CEO, also ran Breitbart News. And that news site has been accused of catering racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic audiences. And Bannon has also been critical of the GOP establishment. Now, both men will advise the next president, president-elect Donald Trump. Victor and Christine, back to you.

BLACKWELL: Chris, thanks so much. Hate watchdog groups are slamming Donald Trump's choice of Breitbart's boss Steve Bannon as chief strategist and senior adviser. The Anti-Defamation League released this statement. Here is a part of it, it is a sad day when a man who presided over the premiere website alt-right group of white nationalists and anti-Semite and racist is slated to be a senior staff member in the people's house.

ROMANS: And this other (inaudible) center scolding the president- elect for the hiring in this tweet, Trump should rescind this hire. In his victory speech, Trump said he intended to be president for all Americans. Bannon should go.

BLACKWELL: And this from retiring senate minority leader Democrat Harry Reid escalating his attacks on the incoming president with a new statement. President-elect Trump's choice of Steve Bannon as his top aide suggests that white supremacists be represented at the highest levels in Trump's White House.

ROMANS: The fear of racist harassment following Trump's election appears to have become reality in some communities. One of several incidents reported across the country happen at a church in a Latino neighborhood, just outside Washington with graffiti reading Trump nation, whites only, discovers Sunday morning on a wall and on an advertising -- signed advertising Spanish language services. Washington's bishop Mariann Budde called on Donald Trump to speak out against the vandalism.

BLACKWELL: And Trump spoke about it, although briefly on Sunday in the first sit-down television interview since winning the election. On CBS' 60 Minutes, Trump was pressed to address the act of violence and harassment and vandalism that his supporters reportedly committed in his name.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: I would say don't do it, that's terrible because I'm going to bring this country together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're harassing Latinos, Muslims.

TRUMP: I am so saddened to hear that. And I say stop it. If it -- if it helps, I will say this. And I'll say it right to the cameras. Stop it.


ROMANS: And Donald Trump is slamming the demonstrations against him that have broken out across the country calling them (inaudible). Trump also saying that some people maybe afraid of him, but quote it's only because they don know me. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think in some cases, you have professional protesters and we had it, if you look at WikiLeaks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think those people down there...

TRUMP: Well, listen, I think some of them are professional. Don't be afraid. We are going to bring our country back. But certainly, don't be afraid. We just had an election. And sort of like you have to be given a little time. People are protesting. If Hillary had won and if my people went out and protested, everybody would say oh, that's a terrible thing. And it would have been a different attitude. There is a different attitude. You know, there is a double standard here.


[04:05:15] BLACKWELL: And there were dozens who protest across the country against president-elect Trump. Let's go to San Francisco where two demonstrations Sunday happened, one of them overnight blocking traffic on a busy market street. You see that here, protesters also taking to the streets to New York with the message of denouncing Trump's immigration rhetoric.

CNN's Brynn Gingras was right in the middle of it.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Victor, thousands of people poured in to New York City streets over this weekend protesting the president-elect Donald Trump. And on Sunday night, those clear protests to (inaudible) and that is against Donald Trump's anti- immigration reform. There are people here that are immigrants, people here who are scared for what this means for their family and loved ones. And we talked to many of those people about the message they intended to spread.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The main purpose is to tell Donald Trump that you just cannot just deport 12 million undocumented people, that they're here to stay, and that we stand in solidarity with them. It is just unprecedented. That kind of appeal to hatreds and bigotry, that still hasn't been denounced by the president-elect is just unprecedented and that has a lot of people angry.


GINGRAS: And that first woman you heard from is an immigration attorney. She says ever since the election on Tuesday, she has had a number of new clients coming in to her office, again scared for themselves, scared for their families. If anything, these people say what they want to hear from is the president-elect. Back to you, Victor and Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Brynn, thank you for this morning. In the 60 Minutes' interview, Trump seemed to back away from his pledge to deport all of the undocumented immigrants. And he stuck to the vow to build a wall along the Mexican border, although he seemed to allow that it may not be solid concrete the entire length.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you really going to build a wall?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are talking about a fence in the Republican Congress. Would you accept a fence?

TRUMP: For certain areas, I would.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the pledge to deport millions and millions of undocumented immigrants?

TRUMP: What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, we have a lot of these people, probably 2 million or 3 million. We are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate. After the border is secured and after everything gets (inaudible), we will make a determination on the people that you are talking about, who are terrific people. They are terrific people. We will make a determination then.


BLACKWELL: On the subject of the Clintons and appointing that special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton, you remember he made that promise during the third presidential debate, Trump seemed to back off that promise, too.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You called her crooked Hillary, said you wanted to get her in jail your people, in your audiences kept saying lock her up.

TRUMP: Yeah.


TRUMP: She did some bad things.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Special prosecutor?

TRUMP: I don't want to hurt them. I don't want to hurt them. They're good people. I don't want to hurt them. And I will give you a very, very good and definitive answer the next time we do 60 Minutes together.


BLACKWELL: This afternoon, President Obama will hold his first news conference since Donald Trump was elected to succeed him. Now, this comes just before the president embarks on his final foreign trip in office, looking to reassure anxious allies about the stability of U.S. foreign police despite Trump's stated intent to undo some of the top Obama initiatives. The president will travel to Greece, Germany and Peru.

ROMANS: All right. The Dow is set to open at a fresh record high after a string of big gains boosted by Donald Trump's victory. Check out the Dow over the past five days, it is up 770 points, a 5.3 percent. All the predictions of a big drop if Trump won the elections were wrong. Just about every prediction about Trump was wrong. And the stock market predictions were really wrong. Investors now focusing on his pro-business policies, they think tax cuts and deregulation infrastructure could happen. You could expect more gains today, Dow Futures are slightly higher again. The S&P 500 is just 1.1 percent away from its record, new record of a tone.

Stock markets in Europe are rising. Shares in Asia finishing mixed overnight. One big loser has been gold. Gold is down 8 percent over the past few days. The investors are dumping the metal in favor of stocks. They are dumping bonds in favor of stocks. This market reaction coupled with stronger economic growth, solid jobs data over the past month, likely gives the Federal Reserve the go ahead to raise the interest rates in December.

There's been a lot of action in global markets, not just stock markets, but bond markets, currency markets over the past few days. And I will tell you, pollsters, media pundits, even, you know, Washington and Wall Street insiders, they got it all wrong.

[04:10:10] BLACKWELL: Yeah. Let's talk about trade. Because you remember during the campaign, Donald Trump said that China is raping the U.S. You remember that? We'll tell you what he told China's president during their first call since the election. That's straight ahead.


BLACKWELL: It is 14 minutes after the hour now. President-elect Trump has a conversation with the Chinese president Xi Jinping. After months of tough talk about China on the campaign trail, the phone call proved to be the latest form for Trump to separate his campaign rhetoric from the likely policies of the administration.

CNN's Matt Rivers is live in Beijing with more on what was said and what will be left for these two men when they meet face-to-face. Matt.

[04:15:10] MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they will have plenty to talk about after they meet face-to-face because this initial phone call is really just an introductory phone call, in the same vein that you have seen the president-elect have lots of introductory phone calls with world leaders from across the globe. Both sides saying that they are agreeing to work with one another in the future, President Xi Jinping saying that it has proved that to cooperate is the only correct choice between China and the United States. And the president-elect Donald Trump releasing a statement saying that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward.

But as you mentioned, this phone call might have been a little bit awkward, given what you heard from Donald Trump on the campaign trail, at one point accusing China of raping the U.S. economically. That is the viewpoint, how that impacts this relationship moving forward between the United States and China, and how that negative rhetoric might make things harder in terms of diplomacy remains to be seen at this point. But there is certainly no shortage of issues, start with the fact that there is hundreds of billions of dollars in trade between both countries each year. You got issues on cyber security. North Korea certainly a mutual problem for both sides. And so, even though you heard a lot of negative rhetoric from Donald Trump throughout this campaign season, the fact remains that these two countries are going to have to work together moving forward because they rely so much on one another in so many areas. Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. We saw here like what we saw from Donald Trump when he travels to Mexico, and the Mexican president separating that fierce campaign rhetoric from the discussions with the world leader once they're face to face. Matt Rivers, thanks so much.

ROMANS: At least two deaths reported in New Zealand following a powerful earthquake and aftershocks. The first quake, a 7.8 magnitude just after midnight, it was followed hours later by a 6.2 magnitude aftershock that rattled the New Zealand's south island. The country's prime minister is surveying the damage from the air and described it as quote utter devastation. New Zealand lies on the Pacific Rim's seismically active ring of fire.

BLACKWELL: There's also no relief in sight for the crews battling the wildfires in the southeast with drought conditions forecasted to continue. Let's bring in meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for the latest. P.J.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Victor and Christine, good morning to you both. You know, it has been such a dry period here. In fact, no rainfalls for parts of the southeast since Hurricane Matthew made landfall back in early October. Now, you take the look of the drought monitor caused parts of the southeast show you extreme to exceptional drought, again going out 40 to 50 plus days for Birmingham, where no measurable rainfall has come down. So you would imagine a tinder box conditions across parts of the southeast and half a dozen large scale wildfires still burning across the region, very hazy for the last couple of weeks across this region. And we know the dry trend is expected to continue for much of this week as well. And notice there's a storm system locked in around portions of the Carolinas working its way into Virginia. The storm will eventually meander up the eastern seaboard, and we think sometime early Tuesday morning could bring in some rainfall towards the Metro cities, in particular New York City, going from 61 today down to 53. That brings in the clouds and the rains on Tuesday. And notice the struggle to get up above 60 degrees over the next week or so. So enjoy today's conditions, partly cloudy skies around 61. Guys.

ROMANS: All right. Pedram, thank you so much. A victory for Iraqi forces in the final push for Mosul. We are going to go live to Iraq next.


[04:23:01] ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START. In the battle for Mosul, a victory for Iraqi forces capturing the village of Nimrud, a sight of an ancient city overran by ISIS back in 2014. Last year, the ancient ruins were destroyed by the terrorists. It is 20 miles from Mosul. Military officials say fighting in the area continues.

CNN's Phil Black is following developments for us this morning. He is live in Irbil, Iraq. Phil, what's the latest on the ground?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, that ancient site, Nimrud, is about 3,000 years old, the capital of a former Syrian empire. And for long has been considered a hugely rich site in terms of its archeology and its historical importance. But of course, that was before ISIS. As you mentioned, we know that ISIS has demolished large areas of the site. To be honest, we really don't know what remains. And the organization considers the preservation of these archeological sites to be the celebration of false idols. But the site is also important in the ongoing context of a military operation that is taking place here. As you mentioned, 20 miles south of Mosul, what it shows is that there is still very tough fighting going on through the towns and villages and territory, which surround Mosul itself.

So even before you get to the city itself, Iraqi and Kurdish and other militias are still engaged in very tough fighting to clear ISIS from the surrounding areas, but the toughest fighting is certainly taking place in the eastern outskirts of Mosul. It is in those neighborhoods where Iraqi forces have entered Mosul. And it is only in that area and it is where they were being resisted very, very strongly. ISIS knew they were coming. So what they have been doing is constructing tunnels, car bombs, other improvised explosive device. They've got snipers. They are using mortar fire in these built-up areas. The streets are very narrow. ISIS knows the territory incredibly well. So it is a difficult fight. And so for that reason, the progress has been very slow. And all of this is taking place in an area that still has citizens living in it. So there is a huge humanitarian impact on this part as it continues. Christine.

[04:25:11] ROMANS: Of course. All right. Thank you so much, Phil. Thanks.

BLACKWELL: And a suspected killer of a central California police officer is in custody following a manhunt. The alleged shooter, David Machado, was captured driving a stolen car. Now, police say he carjacked someone after fatally shooting Officer Dennis Wallace. The Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy was shot twice in the head while investigating a report of the suspicious vehicle.

ROMANS: And in South Carolina, former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager's murder trial now entering the third week with defense mounting its case. Slager accused of fatally shooting Walter Scott, who was running away from the officer when he was shot last year. The defense claims Slager was provoked. They say Scott resisted being restrained by a stun gun, which led to a physical altercation. Slager faces 30 years to life in prison, if convicted.

BLACKWELL: President-elect Trump is talking about hate crimes and protests. The special prosecutor for Hillary Clinton and you remember the campaign rally chant build that wall. How much of it will now be a fence? You will hear from him next.