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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Meets with Japan's Shinzo Abe; Sanders Calls for New Direction in the Democratic Party; Trump Campaign Responds to "Reuters" Report about Registry; Interview with Rick Scott; Clinton's Loss Hard on Women. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 17, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:07] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next. Breaking news. President-elect Trump and his first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader. And Mitt Romney for Secretary of State, could it happen? Plus a registry of immigrants from terror-linked countries. Should Muslims be afraid? One Trump supporter says there is precedent, World War II internment camps. He's my guest tonight. And some top Democrats sounding a lot like Trump tonight. Let's go out front.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett, OUTFRONT. Tonight, the breaking news, the new world order. Donald Trump meeting with the first foreign leader since he was elected President, coming face-to-face with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. After Trump's heated campaign rhetoric left the long-time U.S. ally nervous, now we're learning now that the Prime Minister of Japan says Trump will be a strong leader.
And now, the President-elect Trump will be meeting with Mitt Romney. A source telling CNN that Romney is interested in serving as Secretary of State. This is, frankly, a stunning development, given Romney's harsh criticism of Trump during the campaign. You're going to hear a lot more about that.
Romney isn't the only former adversary meeting with Trump. Also, at Trump Tower today, the South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
And moments ago, Chris Christie, who was abruptly purged from the Trump transition team, broke his silence dismissing the possibility of his serving in a Trump administration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Let me give you all an update, so as not to be concerned. I have every intention of serving out my full term as governor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: A lot of developments to get to tonight. Jim Acosta begins out front at Trump Tower tonight. And, Jim, surprising guests coming in and out of Trump Tower. It is like a second White House right now. JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It really is. It
is a Manhattan White House in waiting, you might say. And you're right, Donald Trump just wrapped up a very important meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who just wrapped up his own comments on that meeting just a short while ago here in mid-town Manhattan. They had a lot to talk about from trade to national security issues in Asia.
But keep in mind, Erin, as you also mentioned, Donald Trump has had a number of very interesting tantalizing encounters throughout the day today, encounters that suggests he knows he has some fence mending to do.
ACOSTA (voice-over): In all the comings and goings at Trump Tower, a signal is being sent that the President-elect just might be ready to put the scorched earth campaign behind him and perhaps engage in some healing.
In addition to his meetings with foreign policy heavy weights like Henry Kissinger, Donald Trump has been sitting down with some of his biggest rivals and toughest critics from the primaries -- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is under consideration for Secretary of State; Former Texas Governor Rick Perry that landed Energy; and Ted Cruz, a contender for Attorney General.
SEAN SPICER, CHIEF STRATEGIST AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Donald Trump, right now, isn't looking to figure out who supported him and who didn't. If you are the best person for that job, then he wants you as part of his team.
GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I taught my two little ones that you don't push people around.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Hayley fought hard against Trump, announcing she reluctantly supported him in the general election.
HALEY: The best person based on the policies and dealing with things like Obamacare still is Donald Trump. That doesn't mean it's an easy vote.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Trump was just as brutal, once tweeting the people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley. Perry attacked Trump too.
RICKY PERRY (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Trump once said of Perry, he should be forced to take an I.Q. test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate. Vice President-elect Mike Pence was on Capitol Hill reaching out to Democrats, meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi after flexing some of the GOP's new muscle in this selfie. MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Very humbling
to be back among my former colleagues. We're excited about moving the Trump agenda forward in the coming Congress, and I'm just so grateful.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But Pence and the transition are vowing to clean up Washington with new restrictions on lobbyists joining the administration.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Governor Chris Christie, folks, was unbelievable.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Part of the criticism of ousted transition chair Chris Christie is that he had too many lobbyists on board, leading Trump loyalists to question what happened to drain the swamp. On "60 Minutes," Trump himself seemed resigned to working with the lobbyists he blasted on the campaign trail.
LESLEY STAHL, CBS NEWS HOST: You don't like it but your own transition team is filled with lobbyists.
TRUMP: The only people you have down there.
ACOSTA: Now, coming up on Saturday, Donald Trump will be meeting with the former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, at Trump's golf club in course in Bedminster, New Jersey. That's a location, Erin, where Trump held debate prep over the summer before those debates with Hillary Clinton.
And as for the coming weeks, we should point out, after Thanksgiving, Trump aides are telling reporters that they're going to be planning a "Thank America" tour, as what they're calling it, where Trump will go out and thank Americans for supporting him in this campaign.
[19:05:00] I suspect he'll also be talking about bringing the country together --
ACOSTA: -- including those Americans who did not vote for him. They are not calling it a victory tour. They're calling it a "Thank America" tour. Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.
ACOSTA: You're welcome.
BURNETT: And Jeremy Diamond has been covering Trump from day one of the campaign. He's out front tonight, an exhausted man and it is just beginning. Jeremy, the meeting just ended, this crucial meeting, of course, between a first world leader here for the President-elect. This was a big moment for Trump.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Hi, Erin. It seems I've lost you on I.P. here, but hopefully you can still here. Prime Minister Abe just spoke here at the InterContinental Barclay in New York following his meeting with Donald Trump.
This is the first meeting that Donald Trump has had in person with a foreign head of state. And of course, this is significant because Donald Trump is ramping up his preparations to actually take over the duties of President of the United States. Just this week, he had his first presidential daily briefing which he has begun to receive now preparing him for the challenges ahead as President. And of course, while he met with Prime Minister Abe, this was his first in person meeting, he has been meeting or speaking over the phone, rather, with about 32 foreign heads of state.
Now, Prime Minister Abe declined to offer details on what exactly was discussed in this meeting. But what he did say was that it was a, quote, very candid discussion. And he said that he got the sense emerging from this meeting that he'll be able to establish a relationship of trust with Donald Trump as President of the United States, saying that that, of course, is the bedrock of any alliance between these two countries, a very important alliance.
And of course, all of these comes on the heels of Donald Trump during his campaign frequently criticizing Japan saying that they need to take on a bigger share of the burden for their defense costs. So, of course, a very candid meeting saying that perhaps they aired certain grievances or discussions. But, of course, Donald Trump's campaign has yet to comment exactly on what that meeting was about, but Prime Minister Abe is saying no details but certainly emerging with a good feeling of confidence and trust. Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jeremy. And, obviously, a significant, you know, source close to the Japanese Prime Minister telling me today that issue about how much they're going to pay is crucial. They feel like they already pay plenty, so we'll see. This is, of course, the beginning of a crucial relationship.
Out front now, Patrick Healey from "The New York Times," Jamie Gangel, our special correspondent, conservative commentator Kayleigh McEnany, and Democratic strategist Jonathan Tasini.
Jamie, let's just with Mitt Romney. And I'm sorry my jaw is on the ground, but I'm going to show everybody why in a moment. But would he really want a job in this administration? He has called Trump a phony, a con man, and a fraud, and those were few of the nicer things that he said about Donald Trump.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So when I got the call about this news today, I was shocked and spent, except this may be crazy or it may be one of the smartest things you have ever seen if it will work. Here is what I know. Mitt Romney has told friends for a long time that he would still like to go back into government and serve, and there was one job he wanted. And that was Secretary of State.
So clearly, he's having this meeting because he's at least willing to listen to what Donald Trump has to say despite all of those things that he said. And I've been told by a source that the people on the transition say there is, from their perspective, a serious possibility, quote, serious possibility, that he would be offered state. But, obviously, the meeting hasn't happened. And one person is going to decide this and that's --
BURNETT: And that is, of course, Donald Trump.
GANGEL: Yes, Donald Trump.
BURNETT: So, Kayleigh, not only did Mitt Romney say extremely negative things about Donald Trump, Trump then returned the favor. A lot of these actually happened in back to back days. Less anyone has forgotten, let me play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: Here is what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.
TRUMP: But he's a disloyal guy. See, he's an elitist.
ROMNEY: His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.
TRUMP: The guy's a stone cold loser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I'm sorry, stone cold. Not just a loser, Kayleigh, a stone cold loser. But Romney went in detail. I mean, this went on and on. He can't vote for Donald Trump, he said, because he supports policies of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and bigotry. That's a quote from Mitt Romney. Would Trump actually pick Mitt Romney?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think Donald Trump is going to pick the best person for the job. And look, they exchanged some rather caustic barbs, there is no denying that. But I think it's very commendable that the President-elect is bringing in people who were his adversaries at times, like Nikki Haley, like Mitt Romney.
Because what he realizes is, at the end of the day, it is not about who's personally offended by who said what. It is who is best for the American people, and Donald Trump wants the most qualified person. Regardless of political bruises that may come with it, he wants the best person for the job. And that's commendable.
BURNETT: And yet, loyalty matters to him, Patrick?
PATRICK HEALY, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Loyalty matters enormously. And let's not get ahead of ourselves, I think Donald Trump, right now, has two goals. One is, the Party was divided not so long ago.
HEALY: When you become President-elect, you can start uniting the Party with the big people, with people like Nikki Haley and Mitt Romney, people who did oppose you, Paul Ryan, during the general election. You can start bringing those people in.
[19:10:10] So he wants everybody, at least, to sort of be heading toward his side of the fence, coming on board.
HEALY: So make peace. The thing is Donald Trump also is having people in to see who he hits it off with now that he's President-elect and who he doesn't.
HEALY: That was part of the Nikki Haley thing --
BURNETT: A lot of this with him is a gut reaction to it, yes.
HEALY: A lot of this is a gut with him, but he also -- I remember talking to him at one point. During the campaign, he liked the team of rivals idea that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had. You can find plenty of clips from 2008 where Obama and Clinton said lots of tough things. Not quite as nasty --
BURNETT: Stone cold loser. OK, but --
HEALY: Not quite as nasty but that's Donald Trump. You know you'd get.
JONATHAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: So I never thought I would agree with Mitt Romney about anything, but Mitt Romney was right. Donald Trump is a phony. He is a con man. He is a fraud. He is xenophobic. He's a racist and a bigot. And it's one reason that the Mormon Church has roundly rejected him. There's one point at which, in Utah, he was running third in the polls. I mean, it got scrambled and then it --
HEALY: But Jonathan, somebody is going to be Secretary of State.
TASINI: So let me get to that.
HEALY: Do you want it to be Rudy Giuliani or do you want it to be Mitt Romney?
TASINI: That will --
HEALY: But who would you --
TASINI: So what I wanted to say was, I don't think we should normalize what really is happening, which is Donald Trump is not capable of conducting foreign policy. It goes to the top. This man, if you actually read the debates, you would see that he's not capable of stringing together three or four sentences in thinking of an idea.
Now, to the point, Rudy Giuliani is not qualified to be Secretary of State. Somebody --
HEALY: Somebody has got to be Secretary.
BURNETT: Well, it sounds like the argument you're making, that you would want Mitt Romney to be Secretary of State.
TASINI: No, no. I don't actually care who's Secretary of State because, actually, at the top, the buck stops there. And the problem is that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President. He's not qualified --
BURNETT: But he is President.
TASINI: I know.
HEALY: He is.
BURNETT: That he is, OK? He is.
TASINI: But I'm just saying, in terms of the policy, of thinking about somebody being able to conduct foreign policy, it is a scary thought for all America.
MCENANY: Millions and millions of Americans disagree with you, Jonathan.
MCENANY: And I really wish you'd adhere to the words of President Obama. Let's use this a moment to call for unity and come together and get things done.
TASINI: He's a bigot. He's a bigot and a racist.
MCENANY: No --
TASINI: And I'm not going to normalize him. I'm not going to --
MCENANY: That's the problem there (ph).
TASINI: And my goal is to do what Mitch McConnell did with Obama. My goal is to try to make Donald Trump a one-term President and to delegitimize him at every step.
MCENANY: And mischaracterize him at every step too.
GANGEL: Can I just add --
TASINI: He's a racist. Even with --
BURNETT: Go ahead. Final word here.
GANGEL: Barack Obama said Donald Trump not an ideologue, he's a pragmatist this past week.
MCENANY: Yes, he did.
GANGEL: If Donald Trump can come to terms with a Mitt Romney who can bring in a very professional staff and they can make this work, that's a pragmatic outcome.
BURNETT: All right. And I'll --
HEALY: That's a major test for Trump. That's a test for Trump.
BURNETT: And a major test. And of course, this meeting coming up. All of you are staying with me. Next the Democrats' new Trump strategy, if you can't beat him, join him?
Plus, should Muslims be afraid of an immigrant registry? My next guest says there is precedent with Japanese internment camps.
And we'll take you to the small town in Slavonia where Melania Trump grew up and where old friends remember her now with great pride.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Original leather seat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And she was here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:16:17] BURNETT: Breaking news. Democrats needs a new direction. That's what Bernie Sanders' message is to the Democratic Party. He claims the facts do not lie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: When you lose the White House to the least popular candidate in the history of America, when you lose the Senate, when you lose the House, and when two-thirds of governors in this country are Republicans, it is time for a new direction for the Democratic body.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Blunt. Well, some Democrats say that direction is actually moving towards the President-elect Donald Trump. Manu Raju is out front.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: The Democratic Party reeling after Donald Trump's stunning victory. Some Senators now warning their Party, it's time to cut deals with Trump.
RAJU (on camera): How do you think voters will react if your Party starts to fight Donald Trump tooth and nail on over almost every issue here?
SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA: I think that's a big mistake. I think it's a big mistake, and I don't think that's what we should be doing. Look, Donald Trump said things during the campaign that I wholeheartedly agree with. He also said some stuff that I didn't agree with.
RAJU (voice-over): Tester's one of five red states' Senate Democrats up for re-election. Another is West Virginia's Joe Manchin, who issued this stern rebuke to his Party's out going leader, Harry Reid.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRIGINIA: To me, as a Senator, and especially to me as a Democrat Senator, that was embarrassing, you know. That's like saying you have no respect at all for the people and the vote.
RAJU (voice-over): Manchin was referring to Reid's criticism that Trump's election has, quote, "emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America." Reid and other Democrats are alarmed at the rush by people in their Party to make Trump seem like main stream Republican. Progressives like Bernie Sanders warning of a fight ahead if Trump doesn't moderate.
SANDERS: We all know too much racism and sexism exists, but we should be proud of the progress we have made. Donald Trump, we are not going back.
RAJU (voice-over): In the House, Democrats are putting pressure on Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD (D), NORTH CAROLINA: We've got have a plan to regain control of the House of Representatives, at least by 2020. And she's got to help us construct a model to make that happen.
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D), ARIZONA: Anybody that's running for any position of leadership needs to come back and explain to us how we're going to be able to survive, one, the Trump year.
RAJU (voice-over): Pelosi now facing a challenge to her own leadership position from Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan.
REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and you keep, you know, getting the same results. So time to move on, I think.
RAJU: Now, Erin, it will be very difficult to stop Nancy Pelosi from being re-elected as House Democratic leader. She has a significant amount of support because of the millions of dollars that she has raised and the work she's done to elect Democrats. But one thing she can't ignore is the considerable angst that exists within her caucus about how to deal with Donald Trump. Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much. My panel is back with me. Jonathan, let me start with you. You heard Bernie Sanders. Democratic Senator Jon Tester, you heard, say to fight Trump tooth and nail would be a big mistake. I don't think that's what we should be doing, speaking about Democrats. Is he right? TASINI: Well, I think that separating two things reflecting what
Bernie said, which is if things like internment camps come up, the things around that divide people, racism, misogyny, the things that -- rolling back rights that women have had, gays and lesbians have had, we'll fight him tooth and nail.
On the other hand, Bernie Sanders and his campaign argued for a big infrastructure plan, a trillion dollars. Donald Trump has advocated for that in his campaign. So I think that there might be commonality there.
What will be really interesting would be what commonalities there might be on trade because, as you know, Donald Trump made a big teal about the disaster of NAFTA, which I agreed with.
[09:20:00] TASINI: The TPP is probably dead in the lame-duck session but will it come up again partly because Republicans in Congress will push it. Where will Trump stand on that? And on that view, if he opposes the TPP and other bad trade agreements, he would find, I'm sure, common cause with Democrats.
BURNETT: So on this issue of racism.
BURNETT: You know, Vice President Joe Biden is extremely harsh, Jamie, during the campaign about Donald Trump, right? As harsh as Mitt Romney. But last night, he said it is wrong for Democrats to accuse Trump supporters of being racist. OK? It is a powerful thing for him to say. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We lost because we have an awful lot of hardworking Americans who live in areas where they, in fact, were not paid much attention to. They're not racist. Barack Obama won these people before. It's not like they're racist. They voted for a Black man. But they didn't vote, this time, for the Democrat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's polarizing, Jamie, because there are a lot of Democrats who think that anyone who voted for Trump is a racist, or at the least is OK with people who are racist and therefore are racist themselves. OK? We've all heard this argument. There are a lot of people out there who think it. Joe Biden is telling those people to wake up.
GANGEL: I think that was so important, what he did, and it speaks to this really -- you know, we look at the map, and not only are we seeing different people -- you know, Hillary won this and Donald Trump won that, but there is a lack of understanding about what was behind so much of that. And the racism, when you go back and you look at the numbers, some
people have a very loud voice but they're a very small number of people. And I think, you know, Biden is saying that, President Obama is saying that, is critical over and over again. That is not to dismiss that a lot of people still feel unsettled or scared. My kids are in college. They have friends who are dreamers, who are worried about --
GANGEL: -- you know, their parents. So you have to balance these things out. You have to acknowledge the fear and those experiences, but you have to keep the racism realistic.
HEALY: But, I mean, it was a powerful statement and it reminded me just how quickly Hillary Clinton walked back that half of Trump's supporters were basket of --
BURNETT: Of deplorables.
HEALY: -- a basket of deplorables. She knew almost instantly after she got off the stage that she had stepped in it, but she still said it. It was still expressing something. And the reality is her campaign, they made a choice for wide swaths of Americans in Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin. They weren't going to talk to those people. And whether it was because --
HEALY: -- they thought, hmm, their intentions, we don't know, you know, they're people who aren't with us. And I think what Joe Biden was trying to do was say, if the Democratic Party is going to be, let's say, like a big tent party, we can't just be generalizing about, you know, Americans.
HEALY: What they can do is hold the Trump accountable --
MCENANY: I also think Democrats need to look to the Republican Party as a case study for what's happening on their own. I said, for a while, I think the Democratic Party is for --
BURNETT: Well, for the past year, we've been talking about a Republican Party that's split in half, doesn't know what's going to happen --
MCENANY: Sure, yes.
BURNETT: -- and how are they going to recover. Now, all of a sudden, they got to figure that out?
MCENANY: And I as a Trump --
BURNETT: So Bernie Sanders lays out a Democratic Party in complete chaos.
MCENANY: Well, and I think it is. And I, as a Trump supporter, recognize the same fault lines that were in my Party. That is to say, the voters feeling like their leaders do not represent them adequately, was happening all along in the Democratic Party. And that's why we saw Bernie Sanders almost win the nomination and these DNC leaks that came out that showed that the DNC was essentially stacked against Bernie Sanders. That just put more salt in those wounds.
And the Democratic Party has on its hands what the Republican Party had on its hands in the form of Donald Trump coming the next four to eight years, an outsider coming in to take over the Party.
TASINI: I think we can distinguish between two things. That Donald Trump, I believe, is a bigot and racist. I think the way he promoted birtherism and attacked Mexicans and all sorts of other things in the campaign, that --
BURNETT: But do you think anyone who voted for him is OK with that?
TASINI: No. That was my second point.
TASINI: No. And I agree with the Vice President. Many of those voters rejected the Democratic Party partly on economics. It's the reason that I did not support Hillary Clinton. I thought Bernie Sanders would have been a much better messenger, and he would have won that campaign and defeated Donald Trump.
HEALY: Let's be fair. Some Donald Trump supporters, you know, were saying we're going beyond what Donald Trump had said in terms of racist, sexist --
TASINI: There's no --
TASINI: No question.
HEALY: But the thing is, is that painting, you know, the President- elect's entire voter base, you know, with one broad brush is terrible politics.
TASINI: Yes, I agree.
HEALY: I mean, the thing for Democrats to figure out right now, Hillary Clinton was a unique candidate. She appealed to the donor class and the multi-millionaire class, and then she was also trying to appeal to --
BURNETT: Well, and the urban --
TASINI: Well, and to women.
HEALY: And then she was also trying to appeal to --
TASINI: And to women.
HEALY: African-Americans, women.
TASINI: In all fairness.
HEALY: But here is the thing. There is what Joe Biden is talking about, and maybe Bernie could have won them, maybe Joe Biden could have won them, you know, is a large pool of White middle class and working class Americans, you know, who she didn't -- she hadn't -- she could never figure out a way to broaden that message that did appeal to some African-Americans.
HEALY: And that did appeal to women.
BURNETT: All right.
[19:25:00] TASINI: And part of it was about turn out. You know, people didn't turn out, millenials and a lot of people --
BURNETT: Right, and we saw that with women as well.
TASINI: -- is because they weren't excited.
BURNETT: All right.
BURNETT: Thanks all. And next, a key Trump supporter says World War II internment camps could serve as a precedent for a registry of immigrants. He's my guest coming up. And Florida Governor Rick Scott just met with Donald Trump, walked across town, and he's out front. Coming up.
BURNETT: Breaking news. Questions tonight about Donald Trump's plans to handle immigration, specifically Muslim immigrants. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who is advising Trump told Reuters the Trump team is considering a registry for people from Muslim countries. Today, Kobach's telling CNN that Trump is not considering a Muslim registry but rather a new system to screen immigrants from so-called high risk areas.
Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown is out front. And, Pamela, I guess that this is the crucial question here because semantics can get in the way of the bottom line. Is there really a difference between a Muslim registry and a system to screen immigrants from high risk countries related to terrorism?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the man who says he is working on Trump's immigration plans, Kris Kobach, who you just mentioned, tells us, yes, there is a difference because it's based on geographic location, not religion.
[19:30:03] But, Erin, it's clear, a majority of the people in this NSEERS database implemented right after 9/11 was Muslim because it singled out people from majority Muslim countries, with the exception of the North Korea, that were considered to be high risk terrorist countries.
Now, those people were intensely scrutinized at the port of entry and tracked closely once they were in the U.S. such as having to check in with federal authorities about once a year on their whereabouts, kind of like entry on parole.
Now, Kobach tells us the model the Trump team is exploring is a similar system. He would not say which countries they believe fall into the high risk category but did say there were some majority Muslim countries not on their list. The Trump campaign released this statement in response to that "Reuters" report, saying, "President- elect Trump has not advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false."
But as we know Erin, candidate Trump did indeed advocate for a Muslim registry, saying that would be something he would implement. The statement saying President-elect Trump has not advocated for that -- Erin.
BURNETT: So, Pam, was the -- there was a system as you mentioned after 9/11, that went all the way through part of President Obama's tenure, and was then removed. And you are saying what they are looking at is something similar to that.
Was that system effective?
BROWN: Well, depending on who you talk to. I spoke to one official today who says the reality of it was it never proved to be useful. On the other hand, those who supported it say a system like that could have potentially stopped the 9/11 hijackers because they would have been more closely tracked once they were inside the U.S.
Now, the system NSEERS was ended in 2011 because of complaints it led to racial profiling. As it stands now, people from high-risk countries are still highly scrutinized before being allowed into the U.S. but they are not in this special database that tracks their movements and requires them to routinely check back in with federal authorities, like they did before.
Now, Kobach says a model similar to NSEERS is just one option on the table. Ultimately, though, Erin, the decision will be up to Donald Trump when he's officially in the White House.
BURNETT: All right. Pamela Brown, thank you very much.
OUTFRONT now, Keith Boykin, a White House aide under President Bill Clinton, and Carl Higbie, former Navy SEAL, spokesperson for the pro- Trump super PAC, Great America PAC.
Carl, let me start with you --
CARL HIGBIE, FORMER NAVY SEAL: First off, the PAC dissolved the day after the election. So --
BURNETT: Well, right. Now, he's elected. But that, you know, you are a Trump supporter --
HIGBIE: (INAUDIBLE) be Trump supporter.
BURNETT: All right. Let's talk first about this. Trump saying he never advocated for a system or registry that tracks individuals based on religion. Here is Trump, though, from last November when he was talking about specifically about a Muslim database. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHN HILLYARD, NBC NEWS: But that's something your White House would like to implement?
TRUMP: Oh, I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.
HILLYARD: How do you actually get them to register into database?
TRUMP: It would be just good management. What you have to do is good management procedures. And we can do that.
HILLYARD: Do you go to mosques and sign these people up?
TRUMP: Different places.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He certainly suggested a Muslim database.
HIGBIE: Right, and, you know, he e clarified his comments down the line. And, look, everybody stepped in it when they run for policy, but the fact of the matter is the mainstream media is missing here, is that Donald Trump is looking for the most appropriate and most effective way to keep Americans safe, and I don't think that is being illustrated by or echoed by any of the other mainstream media that's pushing on him to say, oh you are this, you are that.
He's trying to keep America safe. That's you do. That's me. That's, you know, kids everywhere.
KEITH BOYKIN, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, I mean, it's not necessarily effective. That's the problem. Not only does this run counter to our values but there is really not much values that such a Muslim registry or a specific Muslim like country register would actually effectively prevent terrorism in this country.
Remember, President just disbanded this program. We haven't had any major 9/11 terrorist attacks since President Obama has been in office. And I think that we have to really consider what this does is it becomes a recruiting tool for ISIS. It's almost like encouraging racial profiling of Muslim people, which it effect is doing and that actually helps to encourage terrorist who want to attack us, who look at us as an enemy of the Muslim world.
HIGBIE: So, how would you propose some sort of tracking for people coming to this country who are coming from countries or areas of questionable -- you know, obviously conflict? How would you propose doing that? I mean, because if we don't have some sort of tracking system for the people coming in. Look, he's not advocating to talk about people here in America under constitutional protection. He's talking about people coming into our country.
BURNETT: By the way, those are the people who when you look at Orlando, people who actually carried out some of these recent attacks. So, if you just look on a raw basis, that wouldn't have -- so, people coming in is would-be immigrants --
BOYKIN: We have people who are American citizens who are homegrown terrorists who are committing acts of terrorism and yet, we don't necessarily isolate people and identify them based on their religion. There is no way to guarantee that a person's ethnicity or nationality or religion indicates their likelihood to participate in terrorist activity.
And I think to do so, to go on those lines of profiling, whether it'd be by race or religion, is a damaging step for America to take. And it damages our credibility around the world.
[19:35:00] HIGBIE: Would you include 80-year-old Christian women in the potential terrorist ring? I mean, we have to be somewhat intelligent about this and narrow it down. But the fact is, look, there's 1.6 billion Muslims. Most of them are perfectly nice people. They just want to live --
BURNETT: When they say Muslim majority countries are on their list, I presume he's talking about Indonesia. Which has had its own issues, but that would give them cover to say oh it's not just Muslim majority issue, right, if you take them.
But, Carl, you know, one of the things that's an issue here is whether it's slippery slope. You start with a list and then a list can be used for other things.
HIGBIE: And no progress.
BURNETT: To FOX -- well, to FOX and the "New York Times", you said the Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during World War II could provide precedents for keeping registries.
HIGBIE: Did you actually see the tape, though?
BURNETT: You said you didn't support interment camps but that their existence could provide precedent for some sort of a registry of people. HIGBIE: Well, I'm curious -- did you see the tape though?
BOYKIN: We all saw it.
BURNETT: And I read you quote "The New York Times".
HIGBIE: At no point did I ever even mention -- it was actually Megyn Kelly, which I was actually talking about like immigration reform under Carter when he did the Iran thing, and then also under World War II with Japan and other many countries do. I wasn't even talking about camps. Megyn brought it up and I was shocked.
BURNETT: She brought it up, but you did say, further to the "New York Times" that it would be a precedent for a registry.
BOYKIN: It was precedent for -- exactly.
HIGBIE: So, here's thing. I don't actually advocate for any of this. I didn't bring it up. I was shocked when Megyn brought it up.
I clarified to "The New York Times" today, I said, look, you know what, this is something that is a huge black mark on our society, and we would never want to do it again. But you have to say that '63 Supreme Court decision upholding it was never overturned. Should we overturn it? We should take a look at it.
BOYKIN: Well, I mean, that's --
BURNETT: But what you're saying then, you are saying you don't support it but we should look at -- I mean, what are you saying there?
BOYKIN: He's backtracking, Erin. And, basically, apparently, there's (INAUDIBLE) when you got to Megyn Kelly's appearance last night, and now, you don't want to be seen as that person saying those things. But the reality is, it's out there and that decision that you talked about, the Korematsu decision in 1944, even Justice Antonin Scalia said it's one of the worst decisions ever made by the United States Supreme Court, along the lines of the Dred Scott decision about slavery in 19th century.
BOYKIN: We don't want to go back to that precedent. Just because there is an example in history --
BOYKIN: -- just because there's an example in history means that we have to go that direction. This is an example of the black people being enslaved. We don't have go back to that either.
BURNETT: So, can I just before we go here -- Donald Trump was asked about internment camps and asked to disavow them. To "Time Magazine", he said, "I would have to be there at the time to tell you to give you a proper answer. I certainly hate the concept of it, but I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer." OK, that's not a direct disavowal.
And then, asked about this issue of interment camps multiple times this summer, here's how it played out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMP: What I'm doing is no different than what FDR. FDR's solution for Germans, Italian, Japanese, you know, many years ago --
INTERVIEWER: So, you're for interment camps? You are praising FDR there. I take it you're praising the set up of internment camps for Japanese during World War II?
TRUMP: No, I'm not. No, I'm not.
If you look at Franklin Roosevelt, a respected president, what he was doing with Germans, Italians, and Japanese because he had to do it. Because, look, we are at war with radical Islam.
INTERVIEWER: You certainly aren't imposing internment camps?
TRUMP: No, I'm not all.
INTERVIEWER: You don't --
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: What is he proposing? He keeps bringing up FDR and what he did with Japanese, Germans. What is he saying? Is this not a slippery slope right in that direction?
HIGBIE: Well, every time you hear someone said internment camps, he said absolutely no. He said, no, no, no. But he needs to take a look at it.
You know, we banned immigration from certain places. We scrutinized it. We registered people coming in from certain places.
It is all in the best interest to protect America. And that's people like the media that went in frenzy today over that. Just understand -- do you want to be safe or not? Like, he's not trying to hurt anybody. He's just trying to keep Americans safe.
BOYKIN: You are making --
BURNETT: And, Keith, Barack Obama does a lot of this, though. Let's just be clear, right? In 2011, he was doing this list. That was through his first term. Even know, there are special vetting for people who come from --
BURNETT: -- Muslim countries. BOYKIN: And there's special vetting, and we should continue to have some sort of heightened vetting for people coming into the country. But the reality is the president has determined, the national security apparatus has determined this is not an effective strategy in terms of fighting terrorism.
And when Donald Trump talks about any type of registry, regardless whether it is religious specific, he has a history of saying offensive words about Muslims. So, it's going to be interpreted either in the United States or throughout the Muslim world, as an attack on the Muslim community, and that's not good for America. That will encourage terrorism and that's not a healthy solution.
HIGBIE: Having known Donald Trump, he's not anti-Muslim. He's anti --
BOYKIN: Tell that to the Muslim people of the world.
HIGBIE: All right. Muslim people of the world, Donald Trump is not in fear of the Muslim community. He's in fear of the radical faction of the Muslim community that has done harm to the Americans and abroad.
BURNETT: All right. We'll leave it there. Thank you both very much.
HIGBIE: Thank you.
BURNETT: Next, is the Trump transition split into warring camps? My next guest was just there with Donald Trump. You see him there, Governor Rick Scott of Florida. He's OUTFRONT next.
And the deep-seated fears that some people have of President-elect Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This country is my home and I feel like it is not. I feel like I'm not welcome here anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:43:40] BURNETT: Breaking news: a host of major Republicans meeting with President-elect Donald Trump as speculation swirls about his transition team and cabinet picks. Among those at Trump Tower today, the South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Florida Governor Rick Scott, as well as Senator Jeff Sessions.
Governor Scott is now OUTFRONT.
And, Governor, thanks. Very nice to see you in person.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Nice to see you. Exciting time, isn't it? BURNETT: For you, I know, it is something that you were an early
believer. Very early, back in January you actually prized Donald Trump for capturing the frustration of many Americans, as you put it. He's your friend. He's now taking over the White House, getting ready. You saw him today as president-elect.
Has it sunk in for you yet that this happened?
SCOTT: You know, it is pretty exciting now that I have somebody I can call. I know Mike Pence. I can call Mike. I know Reince Priebus.
It's totally different than last six years. I've been governor for almost six years. So, it's pretty exciting. I'm very optimistic that we're going to see big change.
I ran -- my race in 2010 was similar to Donald's. I was a businessman and outsider, and people elected me because they wanted change in our state. I think that's why Donald got elected. They want change nationally. So, I'm excited.
Now, somebody is going to help with jobs. If I have a problem with EPA or transportation, I can call somebody and get a solution.
[19:45:01] BURNETT: So, are you concerned at all that he's saying things like I'm going to keep parts of Obamacare. He's going back -- at least he seems so far, on some of his core campaign promises. Are those promises that you want do see him go back on?
SCOTT: Well, if you look at the two things he's talked about, those are things that are not the core part of Obamacare. Those are things added at the end to get some votes.
BURNETT: They're the expensive parts of the Obamacare.
SCOTT: Well, you know, the real expensive parts is exchange, you know?
But, you know, look, the preexisting condition -- everybody understands that. Allowing people to stay on their parent's policy, that makes some sense. That makes some sense.
But the cost is exchanges, the mandates, the taxes, that's the real thing that has to be changed. We've got to reduce cost. That's a problem with healthcare. It is all cost.
I was in the healthcare business and it costs too much. So, the way you do that is you get competition, allow people to buy insurance they want, selling across stateliness, things like that.
BURNETT: All right. So, you would support that. When you were with President-elect Donald Trump earlier today, you tweeted out a couple of pictures that you took together. One of them was a selfie. What was it like inside the meeting? How much time did you get? How is it operating up there right now?
Is it sort of one-person in? I know it is a big office. It's a very big office. Windows on both sides, some overlooking Central Park. Is it just you and him? And then how long?
SCOTT: I met with President-elect Trump and Reince Priebus and I was probably there for 40, 45 minutes. I've been there quite a bit. I've been there in the past. His office is not as big as you think.
But what's exciting today is he's focused on repealing Obamacare. He's focused on finding really good people to be in his cabinet.
BURNETT: And is he open to picking people who have said horrible things about him, whether it'd be a Mitt Romney or other people? Is he going to be open to people who are not, as he perceives them, loyal to him?
SCOTT: I'm not sure. But here is what you think about: Americans voted for change. This is going to be -- this is the Trump administration. They are going to get change.
I think whoever he picks is going to be what he believes in. And so, I think he's going to go out and try to find the best person/people. That's what he did in business. That was his success in business. He found good people. That's why he had success. I think he'll do the same with this.
BURNETT: And you obviously know a lot about healthcare, as you point out. It's where you came from. You were mentioned as a possible cabinet pick there for HHS. Is that even on the table for you? Or are you now getting ready to go for the Senate?
SCOTT: So, I've been clear. I've got781 days to go in this job as governor. I want to finish my job as governor. It is what I ran on. I got a lot of opportunities to continue to improve the states. We've added 1,222,000 jobs, with my good friend Rick Perry in Texas, adding jobs.
I want keep this going. I want improve education. I want to keep people safe. That's -- I want to finish this job.
BURNETT: All right.
SCOTT: I want to help him. I'll do anything I can to help but I'm going to finish this job.
BURNETT: So, other than taking a cabinet position? All right.
SCOTT: I'm going to help him. But not taking a cabinet position.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much. And I appreciate your time tonight.
And next, Melania Trump in the town where she grew up. We're going to take you there to the very Vespa that she apparently rode in the back off, and voters who are taking the election results deeply personally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As hard as it is to have these conversations now, it is important to -- I'm sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:51:58] BURNETT: Breaking news: anti-Trump protests for a ninth day. President Obama rejecting calls to rein them in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would not advise people who feel strongly or are concerned about some of the issues that have been raised during the course of campaign -- I wouldn't advise them to be silent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Clinton's loss has been hard for her supporters, especially some of the women.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
LEONORA PITTS, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Are you ready to get moving?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nothing in Leonora Pitts' routine in her liberal community in Los Angeles has changed in the week since the presidential election. Yet, everything has.
PITTS: As comforting as our bubble is that we live in, as hard as it is to have these conversations now, it's important to -- I'm sorry. It's important to start listening.
LAH (on camera): Why is this so personal for you?
PITTS: My children matter to me and minorities matter to me because they're my friends and they're my community. And I want to make sure they're OK. And they don't feel OK. They feel really scared.
LAH (voice-over): If 2016 was identity politics, women across social media feel theirs is under attack in Clinton's loss.
Video messages from Miley Cyrus.
MILEY CYRUS, SINGER: But please, please just treat people with love, and treat people with compassion and treat people with respect.
LAH: To ordinary voters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This country is my home. And I feel like I'm not welcome here anymore.
LAH: Emotion has spilled on to the streets of Los Angeles, mothers carrying signs and children, students walking out of classrooms at UCLA. These UCLA students supported Hillary Clinton.
(on camera): When you say you have fear in you, what do you mean?
HANNA ALMALASI, UCLA STUDENT: Well, I'm a woman. I'm black. I'm Muslim and those three factors -- basically being a black Muslim woman in America today is very scary and Trump being elected just further builds on to my fear.
ABBEY CHAPMAN, UCLA STUDENT: I think it scares about how people look at me as a woman. You know, how can I go forward knowing that people are okay with somebody coming out and bragging about sexual assault and then still voting for that person.
MELISSA MEISELS, UCLA STUDENT: I've had to wake up to the reality that a lot of America is not like what Los Angeles is like.
LAH (voice-over): More than a week on, West Coast women are still learning about their new national reality. It just doesn't look like any reality they believed they were living.
PITTS: There's this underlying fear that is permeating everything and it's really unsettling. It's really unsettling feeling.
LAH: So, that feeling is being driven by anxiety of the unknown. They see what Trump is doing, that it appears that he's walking back on some of his most extreme policies, but then these women say he appoints Steve Bannon which signals that President-elect Trump will probably be candidate Trump in their perspective.
[19:55:08] And, Erin, we also asked these women, do you want to know the other 50 percent, do you want to reach out to them, understand them? Leonora Pitts, the mother in that piece, said, yes, she has to, she wants to so she can bring them under the tent. But the college students said they're not quite so sure.
BURNETT: Perhaps something that comes with age. Thank you very much, Kyung.
And OUTFRONT next, from small town schoolgirl to the White House. We'll take you to Slovenia to trace Melania Trump's hometown roots.
BURNETT: Tonight, excitement and pride in the small hometown where Melania Trump grew up. What do residents in Slovenia think of America's first lady?
Phil Black is OUTFRONT.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sevnica lies in a beautiful green valley next to the Sava River in eastern Slovenia. MELANIA TRUMP, INCOMING FIRST LADY: I will stay true to myself.
BLACK: It's also the hometown of America's next first lady.
(on camera): You lived in that block and Melania lived where? Melania lived over here?
MIRJANA JELANCIC, SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: Yes, yes.
BLACK: Mirjana Jelancic and Melania Trump, or Melanija Knavs as she was then, were neighbors, childhood friends in the late 1970s who used to exchange notes across a line of wool strung between their homes.
Mirjana is now the principal of their old elementary school.
She tells me she remembers Melania as sophisticated, mature, well- spoken, a peacemaker between fighting children, and from an early age, someone who dreamed of leaving Slovenia to pursue a career as a fashion designer.
STANE JERKO, PHOTOGRAPHER: At first I saw her silhouette. She was very tall and slim.
BLACK: Professional photographer Stane Jerko saw Melania had potential in front of the camera. He approached teenage Melania on the streets of the capital Ljubljana in 1987 and asked her to model for him.
Jerko says she was a natural.
JERKO: The first time and the second time.
BLACK: Peter Butoln hung out with Melania as her modeling career was taking off. He says they dated. She denies it. They cruised Ljubljana on his blue Vespa, fashionable transport in what was then communist Yugoslavia.
PETER BUTOLN, MELANIA TRUMP'S ALLEGED EX-BOYFRIEND: Still the original color. The original -- also the original leather seat.
BLACK (on camera): Yes.
BUTOLN: Yes, and she was here.
BLACK (voice-over): Melania hasn't lived in Sevnica since she left elementary school. But the morning after Trump's victory, the American flag flew here next to the Slovenian and European flag. The town beaming with pride but also well aware of the bitter campaign, including what Donald Trump calls locker room talk and allegations of the sexual assault which he denied.
TRUMP: And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
PETRA SEDEJ, MELANIA TRUMP'S HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND: For every woman are not some easy words to hear from her husband. BLACK: Petra Sedej and Melania went to high school together. That's
Melania on the right.
(on camera): What do you think of the man she chose to be her husband?
SEDEJ: It's her choice. So --
BLACK: No opinion?
SEDEJ: No. No opinion. But it's her choice.
BLACK (voice-over): Melania's old friends won't publicly criticize her husband. But many are willing to give remarkably similar advice.
As Mirjana Jelancic says --
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
BLACK: "Donald Trump should listen to his wife more."
Phil Black, CNN, Sevnica, Slovenia.
BURNETT: Pretty incredible to see. Thanks for joining us.
Anderson is next.