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EARLY START

Governor Haley Being Considered For Secretary of State; Clinton's Speech Encourages Supporters In Wake Of Defeat; Obama Visits Merkel. Aired 4-4:30a ET.

Aired November 17, 2016 - 4:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[04:00:12] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN "EARLY START" ANCHOR: A surprising new candidate, come to surface as a potential cabinet pick for Donald Trump. She used to be a big Trump critic.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN "EARLY START" ANCHOR: Foreign affairs today at Trump tower, for the first time, a world leader meets with the new President-elect in person.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the result of the election. I am too. More than I can ever express.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Hillary Clinton giving her first public speech since her concession address last week. Good morning and welcome to "Early Start." I'm George Howell.

ROMANS: Really nice to see this morning George. I'm Christine Romans. It is Thursday, November 17. It is 4:00 a.m. in the East.

A news this morning, word from a transition source that Donald Trump is considering South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley for Secretary of State despite their stormy history. Haley is said to meet with the President-elect today at Trump Tower. She spent most of the primary season slamming Trump and backing Marco Rubio that is until Trump won the Republican nomination. And Haley reluctantly said she would vote for him.

The transition team is putting some teeth into Trump's promise in to "drain the swamp." Announcing over night that any registered lobbyist would have un-register before they would be vetted or could be vetted for a senior job. This people would also be banned from lobbying for five years after leaving government service. For the very latest on all of this development to the transition, let's bring in CNN, Sara Murray.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, Christine and George.

Donald Trump spent Wednesday ensconced in Trump Tower taking visits from his top aides and also from his family members. But while all that was happening, some of his top staffers were pushing back on the notion that his transition was in disarray. They're particularly hitting back hard at the idea that Jared Kushner is shaking up some of the transition staffers and ousting others as way of getting revenge for the fact that Chris Christie put his father in jail.

In fact they're saying that Donald Trump was taking a look at some of the staffers in the transition. His top aides worry and saying these weren't necessarily the kinds of people they wanted running their government. That they wanted to get the lobbyist out and at others they felt simply weren't doing their job.

Now, they're insisting that things are calm that they're organized and that different agencies in Washington, D.C. will see landing teams to get the work of a Donald Trump administration started in the coming days. But not all of Donald Trump's visitors were necessarily admirers. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Liberal-Democrat stopped by with a warning.

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BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: I tried to express to him how much fear there is? How much fear there is, in communities all over the city? A whole range of people in the biggest city in the country who are fearful about this current dynamic and how we need to see things that will give people more assurance that all New Yorkers and all Americans will be respected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MURRAY: Yet another reminder that as Donald Trump's top staff is working around the clock to staff a government. Trump himself may have some more work to do to continue to unite the country. Back to you guys.

HOWELL: Sara Murray, thank you.

Later today, the Prime Minister of Japan will become the first world leader to meet with the President-elect. Shinzo Abe is eager. He says to build trust with Donald Trump hoping to safeguard the decade's old alliance between the two countries. Trump argued during the campaign that the U.S. should withdraw its military from both Japan and South Korea and that those two countries should obtain their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves from North Korea. Top aides say, they told Abe, members of the Transition Team had told them not to take Trump's remarks all literally.

ROMANS: A top Republican official claims President-elect Trump is committed to making sure his conflicts of interest are cleared up by the time he assumes office. Trump has talked about setting up a blind trust and turning over his business to his children. But critics say the President-elect is not addressing obvious conflicts. Something the RNC's Chief Strategist insists will be cleaned up. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, RNC CHIEF STRATEGIST: Everybody is well aware of Donald Trump's success and his holdings. This is part of why he was elected. I think people have looked at him as a successful business man. And I think they will going to have a great presidency that he will do whatever it takes to make sure that all of those conflicts of interest are resolved properly and legally. And that the assets are handed down the company run by the kids as he mentioned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Legal experts tell CNN that Trump transfers his assets to his children and put them in charge of his corporation. That does not meet the definition of a blind trust.

And, you know, George, this shows you just how complicated his business dealing are. I mean, you know you look at for example the new hotel, the new Trump Hotel in Washington D.C.

HOWELL: Yeah.

ROMANS: Just down the street from the White House. He would very clearly benefit from increased tourism, from his proximity to that. If foreign leaders decide to live there and it's hard to say that you could put those kinds of property into a blind trust. Also blind trust typically or something operated by a third party, a third party who's not related to you.

[04:05:10] HOWELL: Right because...

ROMANS: Really?

HOWELL: ... you know theoretically he would be speaking to his kids every other day.

ROMANS: Right.

HOWELL: So, you know, the idea of a blind trust not to have any discretion, any connection to, you know the decisions that are made.

ROMANS: And if his kids are going to run the -- the separate from being blind trust. If his kids are going to run the business, you know, then, are they also advising their dad on government policy? Because you know this is a very tight-knit group of people. They made decisions together all along the way. Would they suddenly just separate from their dad and not be part of his official making process? Hard to tell.

HOWELL: It is a touchy situation.

ROMANS: Sure is.

HOWELL: The Vice President-elect will be meeting with congressional leaders today on Capitol Hill. Mike Pence will be talking about top Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, as well as House and Senate Democratic Leaders.

Pence had lunch Wednesday with the out going predecessor Joe Biden. The Vice President joked though, that he'd make himself available to Pence as Senior Staff to help smooth the Transition.

ROMANS: New remarks overnight from Hillary Clinton. Her first public speech since she conceded to Donald Trump last week. Clinton spoke at the gala for the Children's Defense Fund, the organization where she started her legal career in the early 1970s. Clinton admitted it wasn't the easiest thing for her to come to the event, but she urged her supporters to stay strong in the face of the Trump Administration. CNN's Joe Johns is there, he has the very latest.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christine and George, Hillary Clinton going back to her roots with a speech before the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. The first speech she has given since her concession speech at the New Yorker Hotel after the crushing defeat by Donald Trump. She did not mention the President- elect by name. It was intended to be encouragement for her supporters to stay the course in public life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I know this isn't easy. I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was. The divisions laid bare by this election run deep. But please listen to me when I say this. America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Believe in our country. Fight for our values and never, ever give up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Secretary Clinton agreed to make this appearance before the election. The Children's Defense Fund happens to be the first group Bill Clinton spoke to after he was elected President. Christine and George.

ROMANS: All right. Joe Johns. Americans are quickly signing up for ObamaCare, quickly signing up for ObamaCare despite the President- elect's promise to get rid of it. One million people signed up for the health insurance through the federal exchange in the first 12 days of open enrollment. That's more than this time last year. And the pace picked up after Trump's victory, the 300,000 people flexing plans in the three days after the election.

The White House posted this video in YouTube yesterday. President Obama encouraging people to enroll even if Trump repeals or replaces the law of customers may not see changes until next year at the earliest. And Trump will likely keep the rules on pre-existing conditions and letting young adults stay on their parent's plans until they are 26. If you need insurance, log on and shop around even if you enrolled last year. There are changes for 2017. Don't ignore this open enrollment.

The current plan may not be the cheapest next year. But you do definitely have to check your options. And you know, the fines are going to start stepping up for people who built in the law are these subsidies to help people pay for the insurance, but also fines if you don't get the insurance. So this is still the law of the lands and that Donald Trump says repeal and replace, you know right away.

HOWELL: Right.

ROMANS: But we don't know yet what they would replace that with.

[04:08:43] HOWELL: We'll have to see, time will tell here. Speaking of the current President, President Obama is in Germany for a final meeting with his closest political ally Angela Merkel. The two leaders have forged the legacy over the last eight years, but with Donald Trump taking office what will become of it? A live report ahead from Berlin as "Early Start".

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HOWELL: Welcome back. President Obama is in Berlin this morning preparing to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an ally that he calls his closest international partner. The two leaders had faced many challenges together over the past eight years including the globals financial crisis and the issue of climate change. But with Donald Trump set to assume office, the legacy that they forged is now on the line. Let's go live to Berlin and CNN' Atika Shubert is standing by this morning. Atika, good morning.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George.

I mean in many ways, President Obama is here to hand over to Chancellor Merkel. She is many ways the anti-Trump. A strong woman leader and known for being very cautious but pragmatic. But most of all the stands defender of that sort of global list of view that she and President Obama have worked so hard on whether it's on climate change agreements, trade agreements or security.

And of course President-elect Donald Trump has now threatened a lot of those agreements saying that the U.S. should take a back seat at NATO that the trans-pacific partnership should be torn up and thrown out, and of course saying that climate change is a hoax.

So what they have a lot -- to discuss here is going to be a lot. How to deal with a very unpredictable incoming administration and how to sort of preserve the legacy that they built over the last 10 years and perhaps most importantly for Merkel, she now faces a very resurgent nationalist, isolationist, identity politics across the region, given a large boost by Trump's election. And she faces her own election next year as well, George.

HOWELL: And just speaking on that point, given that Angela Merkel will pursue a fourth term in the wake of Brexit and the wake of Trump's election. There is you say a great deal of uncertainty, I mean what are people saying when it comes to Miss Merkel?

SHUBERT: Well, it's not 100 percent sure she will run again.

A senior member of her party told CNN that she will, but, you know, until we hear it from Merkel herself.

[04:15:04] It's still speculation. But she is the strongest leader in Europe at this point to sort of keep that stability. The problem is, of course, is that we know there is a movement that sort of wants to buck the status quo. Not only these Germany face elections next year, France as well and the Netherlands. And they are all facing their fall-right Nationalist movement. So there is a lot of pressure on her to sort of keep the center holding and keep the European Union together.

HOWELL: Is that -- A Marine Lieutenant (ph) in France saying that the Trump election is actually giving her chances of boost. So we will have to see how this wave flees out across Europe. Atika Shubert, live in Berlin. Thank you for the reporting this morning.

ROMANS: All right. House Speaker Paul Ryan pressing the pause but not a controversial spending vote. Ryan reminding his Republican colleagues that country just completed what he calls the "drain the swamp election" saying the last thing he wants to see is billions of dollars of pet projects attached to various spending proposals, banning earmark says the fact that is often called has been a third rail in Congress for years. The measure is expected to be taken up, next in the spring.

HOWELL: Two very familiar faces will lead their parties in the Senate during the Trump administration. Republicans, re-electing Mitch McConnell as the Majority Leader, and Democrats, picking New York's Chuck Schumer as the Minority Leader. Schumer also appointing Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Conservative-Democratic Joe Manchin of West Virginia to the Ranks of Leadership to help with the post board of on the Democratic Party's disastrous election results last week.

ROMANS: Twenty one men and women, including Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks will receive the nation's highest civilian honor at the White House next week. Michael Jordan and Bill Gates also the head lighting the list of presidential Medal of Freedom award winners. The honor is for significant contributions to the nation interest of the U.S. or world peace. Among the other recipients actors Robert de Niro, Robert Redford, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, Legendary Baseball Broadcast Service Vin Scully and NBA great Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

HOWELL: So, this was a moment that nation watch in horror. Watch in real time when Philando Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop by a Minnesota police officer. All of this while his girlfriend, live streamed the whole ordeal seen on Facebook. And now that officer is facing criminal charges. Details ahead, next.

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[04:21:53] ROMANS: A Minnesota police officer now faces three criminal charges, including manslaughter and the shooting death of Philando Castile during a traffic stop back in July. A prosecutor says no reasonable officer would have used deadly force under those circumstances. The tragic incident unfolded live on the Internet in a video posted by Castile's girlfriend becoming a "Flash Points" and national debate over racial profiling and police use of force. We get more this morning from CNN's Rosa Flores.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, Christine, the criminal complaint revealing the final words that Philando Castile uttered that night. According to the complaint, they were "I wasn't reaching for it." Meaning, his gun. The officer, Officer Jeronimo Yanez faces three different counts, second degree manslaughter and the death of Philandro Castile and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. Now, according to those court records, Yanez, the officer stopped Castile because of a failed taillight and because he see the description of a robbery suspect.

Now according to that complaint, Castile told Yanez that he had a gun. After that, Yanez interrupted Castile twice and fired his weapon seven times. Now one of those gun shots at the armrest between Castile and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Another one of the shots punctured the driver's seat hitting the back seat next to that little girl. Now Castile's mother still grappling with the death of her son, but she says that she is pleased with the charges that have been filed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VALERIE CASTILE, MOTHER OF PHILANDRO CASTILE: I'm just glad that we have come to this chapter and this, a beginning to a different chapter. And we all hope and pray that the right thing is done in this issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FLORES: Officer Yanez is expected to turn himself in and he is expected to face a judge on Friday. George, Christine.

HOWELL: Rosa, thank you. The man suspected of carrying out bombings in New York City and in New Jersey will be arraigned in federal court later today. Ahmad Rahimi is accused of planting bombs here in Manhattan and in New Jersey back in September. The bomb that exploded in New York's Chelsea neighborhood injured 31 people. Rahimi was captured two days later following a shootout with police. The eight count indictment against him includes federal terrorism charges.

ROMANS: A bill proposed in the Georgia legislature could severely restrict the rights of Muslim women to wear burkas and veils in public. The measure would prohibit women from wearing the Muslim veils when posing for driver's license photos. It would also amend the state-wide anti-masking statute, a law that was originally aimed at the Ku Klux Klan.

HOWELL: Wildfires have charred more than 80,000 acres across six states in the southeast. And there is no immediate indent site. More than 30 fires are burning out of control in North and South Carolina and Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee.

[04:24:59] In Chattanooga alone, more than 200 people have been hospitalized with breathing and respiratory issues due to thick smoke in the air. The fires are being fed by high winds and exceptionally dry conditions. Teams across the country have joined the firefighting effort. ROMANS: All right, she was defeated in her bid for re-election as governor of South Carolina, but Nikki Haley may not be out of work for long. Could she be in this line for a top post in Donald Trump's White House? That's next on "Early Start".

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ROMANS: A one-time Trump critic could join the Trump administration. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley meets transition team today.

HOWELL: A world leader due at Trump tower in a matter of hours, the Japanese Prime Minister brings the president-elect a visit.

ROMANS: These two world leaders get to get their way this morning, its President Obama's farewell visit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

[04:30:00] HOWELL: Good morning. Welcome back to "Early Start". I'm George Howell.