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Trump Adviser: Felons And Known Wrongdoers Should Be Deported Immediately; SPLC: More Than 400 Hate Crimes Reported Since Election; NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio Meets With Pres. Elect Trump; Trump's Son-In- Law Plays Crucial Transition Role. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired November 17, 2016 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] BILL DE BLASIO (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: What we are concerned about, there are some very petty crimes, nonviolent crimes, where I think this becomes a more complicated issue. Because what we do not want to do is be in the business of our police forces being effectively immigration enforcers. And talk to police chiefs around the country, they'll tell you this. Once people believe in the community that the police are there to effectively be immigration agents, the police lose their bond with a huge number of people in this country. Not just those who are undocumented, that's almost 12 million people, but all their family members and community members and then the police can't do their job of keeping us safe.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Got it. So you feel that you need these people. So, you do not feel strongly about deporting people for petty crimes that are nonviolent?
DE BLASIO: Exactly.
CAMEROTA: OK. And that is why New York and Chicago and other places -- one of the reasons -- are considered sanctuary cities.
DE BLASIO: Yes, and Alisyn, I think that term has been misused in many cases. The bottom line here is, we've got a lot of people in this country who are part of our communities. The vast majority undocumented immigrants and all immigrants are law abiding and going about their work. We see them all the time in workplaces, on the bus, on the subway. We don't know who is documented and undocumented, obviously.
We do not want to create a situation where there is a rift, where people fear to come forward to the authorities. For example, if someone witnesses a crime -- I talked to my police commissioner about this. If someone witnesses a crime and they happen to be undocumented, we want them coming to the police to tell us about it. We do not want a situation where they fear if they give information to the police, they will be deported.
CAMEROTA: OK. You make a compelling case. What happened when you made that case to Donald Trump?
DE BLASIO: Again, I won't characterize his position, but I will say there was a real back and forth. And it was again, a candid and open conversation. And part of what I'm appealing to here is I'm trying to help Donald Trump understand the voices of the people in his home city. He's a true New Yorker, I'll give him that. We have our differences, but he loves New York city.
I want him to understand 8.5 million people I represent, what their lives are like and what their fears are in this situation, and that he understands not -- like I say, he has to get out of the transition bubble at this point. I can only imagine all that he's dealing with. But remember the people in the city he comes from and what they're going through and think about that before he pronounces policies going forward.
CAMEROTA: Having had that conversation with him yesterday, do you still feel that he is dangerous and uniquely unqualified, as you said during the campaign, about him?
DE BLASIO: Nothing that I have said previously that I rescind, because again, the proof will be in the pudding. Here's a guy who said a lot of things that were very hurtful and very troubling. If he's going to govern differently, OK, show us that. But again, I will give him credit -- we had a real meeting. That's important. It's important to listen to critics. It's important to listen to people who don't think like you, and he did that, to his credit. But in the end, all we know is what he talked about in the campaign. He gave a vision. And I was very clear about why I thought it was a troubling vision and why for my 8.5 million constituents it does not work. Now he gets a chance to govern and to show us who he really is.
CAMEROTA: The Southern Poverty Law Center says that they have recorded at least 400 alleged hate crimes since Tuesday's election. Are you seeing an uptick in New York City?
DE BLASIO: Yes, we are. I don't think we have enough of a history yet to know the true effect. Is it true that some of the rhetoric that we heard in the election has emboldened people to come out with hate speech, in some cases acts of hate? Yes. I don't doubt that for a moment. And is it true that many, many people are fearful that they will be attacked now? It's so visceral, Alisyn. People in the LGBT community, people in the Muslim community, so many people are feeling, immigrants of all kinds, that they are going to be singled out and attacked. Latinos, obviously, because of what he said about Mexican- Americans. So many people feel that it's now going to be open season.
CAMEROTA: Right. So there is fear of it, which I get. But you don't know, necessarily, that -- there are isolated incidents at the moment.
DE BLASIO: Yes.
CAMEROTA: Now, of course, there are also Trump supporters who have been attacked in New York.
DE BLASIO: Look, and that's not acceptable either. But what we have to do is figure out how we're going to heal the wounds after this very, very tough election. Let's face it. This was an election like we've never seen before. There has to be a period of healing.
Now, the president elect has a chance to do that, first in word, ultimately in deed. And I think the selection of his team also becomes crucial here. Obviously, many people, myself included, have raised concerns of Mr. Bannon as an example of someone who adds to people's fears. And I think the president elect needs to think about a team that would actually be reassuring --
CAMEROTA: Did you tell him that?
DE BLASIO: Yes, of course.
CAMEROTA: And what do you do? Steve Bannon has already been chosen.
DE BLASIO: Look, a lot of things happen in transitions. I think when people look at someone associated with a website that has been divisive and extremist and obviously has talked about white nationalism, for example -- there's a chance for the president elect to rethink that person's role.
[07:35:00] But you said those words to him?
DE BLASIO: I said to him that I thought Mr. Bannon was sending a very wrong message and did not belong.
CAMEROTA: What did he say?
DE BLASIO: Again, I'm not going to characterize his position. But I do appreciate that there was a candid discussion.
CAMEROTA: And we appreciate you coming in, mayor. Thanks so much for being on NEW DAY. Nice to see you.
DE BLASIO: You're very welcome.
CAMEROTA: Let's get over to (ph) John.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A whole lot of candid there. The question is, what does it mean for American cities? What does it mean for governing in this country going forward? And does Donald Trump have a mandate? We'll discuss coming up.
BERMAN: New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio promised just moments ago on NEW DAY to keep New York City a sanctuary city, but president elect Donald Trump has promised stiff financial consequences for cities that do that. So can mayors realistically defy this order? I want to bring in our CNN political commentators. Ben Ferguson is a conservative commentator and host of "The Ben Ferguson Show" and Christine Quinn is former New York City Council speaker. She was supportive of Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign.
Let me just put up a map of these cities that have pledged to remain sanctuary cities, which essentially means they are not going to go after illegal or undocumented immigrants just because they are undocumented immigrants in the city. You can see right now some of these cities, and a lot of them are in states that voted for Hillary Clinton. So Christine Quinn, you spent a lot of time in city government.
What's the effect of all this? Cities essentially saying, President -- or what will be President Trump, we're just not going to do what you tell us to do.
CHRISTINE QUINN, FORMER NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: Well, first I want to make clear that this move of cities saying to the federal government -- and let's be clear on the dynamic here. It's cities saying, our employees, a city or a state, won't do the federal government's job.
[07:40:06] We're not going to, when people come to an emergency room, ask for their citizenship status. We are not going to turn people over to INS. We as cities have every right. And this has been held up in numerous federal courts and I've written legislation myself that dictates how our employees in New York will act and it's been held up. We're allowed to do this. It's not like we're disregarding the federal government. They can do their job, but we don't have to do it for them.
I also want to clear up misinformation that has been out there during the election and the transition. No city is saying a violent criminal should stay. And when we did something around this when I was speaker, we dictated in tremendous detail on the legislation what crimes would not be part of this. Who had to go. Terrorist watch lists, gang lists, violent felonies, and we picked out misdemeanors that we thought were of the violent nature. So this isn't, hello, come on in, criminals and move on in and screw up America. It's not that. But if Donald Trump comes in --
BEN FERGUSON, HOST, THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW: Talk to the victims. Let's hold on, let me jump in here.
QUINN: No, no. Let me finish.
FERGUSON: You've been talking for a long time.
QUINN: It's not really that long. It's morning television. It couldn't possibly be that long. Let me finish it. This is an effort --
FEGUSON: Let me jump in here.
QUINN: This is an effort to help keep families together. What Mr. Trump is proposing to do will literally -- and I've seen it before. And let's be clear. President Obama made this mistake, ripped families apart.
BERMAN: All right, Ben Ferguson, your turn.
QUINN: Yay. FERGUSON: First of all, you've got an issue here with those that are victims of people that commit crimes. And what she is describing here is basically unrealistic. You cannot have a sanctuary city and also enforce the law at the same time. You're choosing to defy and say to the federal government, we are not going to enforce the laws. For her to say that they don't ask people about their status and somehow that's compassionate, it's not compassionate to those that are victims of crimes of people that are in those sanctuary cities that have warrants out for their arrest when they don't do the basic background check when they catch somebody, or to see if they have warrants out when they catch somebody.
The bigger issue here is this. We have federal laws that say that you are not supposed to be in this country illegally, and if you come here illegally, then you are working and taking jobs away from American citizens. So these mayors that say, oh, I'm going to not do these things. I'm not going to turn over someone when we find out that they're here illegally, they deserve to get their federal funds taken away from their city.
If they want to pay for this, if these mayors want to actually have a city where they lose federal funding, then that's their choice and that's their decision. But when there are victims of individuals who are here illegally who commit heinous crimes and to not check them or turn them over to ICE, to the federal government, and defy federal laws, you don't get to do that as a mayor if you're a good mayor. If you're a rogue mayor, then do it. But most American citizens do not like rogue mayors that go against federal law.
BERMAN: The thing is -- I want to just turn this conversation a little bit if I can.
QUINN: But John, he's misstating what we do.
BERMAN: OK, go ahead.
QUINN: So I want to be clear. In New York City, if someone gets rushed into an emergency room and they're bleeding, I do think it's wrong to not fix them.
FERGUSON: That's not what I'm talking about. I agree with you.
QUINN: One! Two -- I let you go on and on and on. Two, we are not talking about violent criminals.
FERGUSON: How do you know if you don't check them?
QUINN: Hello. What we're talking --
FERGUSON: How do you know?
QUINN: Can you be quiet? We are going to have to do this for four years, so calm yourself down and get a little manners. Two -- right, exactly. Two, when people get arrested in New York in our legislation at Rikers, of course we check their records. They're in the prison system. Of course we do. And then, if they're a violent felon, on the terrorist watch list, gang list, a whole long list of crimes, we turn them over to ICE. But if the only reason they're there is say they jumped the turnstile and they're undocumented, we're not going to. So Mr. Ferguson may not fully understand all of the dynamics and I think this is a complicated issue that is getting boiled down to rhetoric and will hurt people.
BERMAN: Ben, when you're not dealing with violent criminals, so you're just dealing with the fact that they are undocumented immigrants, is that enough do you think for the federal government to withhold federal funds to these cities?
FERGUSON: The law says yes that it is. You can't just pick and choose which crimes you are going to enforce or which laws are broken, you're going to enforce. You have to have either enforcement of the law, or you have a lawless society with rogue mayors. If you talk to law enforcement --
BERMAN: All right. Ben, hang on. I actually want to -- hang on, now it's my turn.
QUINN: OK, good. Fair enough.
[07:44:54] BERMAN: I just want to get one last question in because this is one thing I'm keenly interested in, Ben. Ben, do you think that Donald Trump -- or how far do you think Donald Trump's mandate is right now on this issue or on any issue? The popular vote right now, Hillary Clinton is leading by a million votes. That number could go up as high as 2 million. How far should Donald Trump push in general, Ben?
FERGUSON: Well, look. When you win the presidency, in my opinion, you have a mandate. You won. You can argue -- losers always argue over the popular vote and saying, well he didn't get as many votes as we did. The fact is he's the president. Therefore he has a mandate. He has Congress and he has a Senate that are also with the Republican Party. So simply put, Donald Trump has a mandate here and the American people decide they want him to be president. I don't really care about what losers say about, oh, we got more votes in this place or that place. He has a clear mandate.
BERMAN: All right, Christine, it has to be really quick.
BERMAN: John -- I'm sorry, Mr. Ferguson, is wrong about the funding issue. There's clear court cases that say you cannot take away federal money not related to what is going on.
FERGUSON: Yes you can.
BERMAN: Hang, on, guys, we have to go.
QUINN: There are solid court cases. You could do it on drunk driving and streets. There is not money relevant to this. There's numerous court cases --
BERMAN: Let's hit the books, let's go to the library, let's check this out. We will continue this discussion very soon.
QUINN: Thank you.
BERMAN: Christine Quinn, Ben Ferguson, nice to introduce you two and I look forward to the next four years. Alisyn --
CAMEROTA: Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was a central figure of the campaign as well as now the transition, and it sounds like he will be for the new administration. So what do we know about Jared Kushner? That's next.
[07:50:27] BERMAN: He is a central figure in president elect Donald Trump's transition. Maybe the central figure. But what do we really know about Jared Kushner? The husband of Donald Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka, seems like he could possibly play a big role in the coming administration. CNN's Brian Todd has a closer look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us how the transition is going?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): At the center of what sources have called infighting and confusion in the Trump transition team is a 35-year-old with a rich and tortured bloodline and no government experience. Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, is said by sources to be rubbing Trump allies the wrong way with a hand in purging the transition team of people connected to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. One of those is former congressman Mike Rogers, who advised the transition team on national security. Now, Rogers is out.
MIKE ROGERS, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO TRUMP TRANSITION: I think they just weren't comfortable with those folks that had been brought on by Mr. Christie and wanted to go in a different direction. So they did.
TODD: Now the Trump team is pushing back hard on the reporting that Kushner's in the middle of a so-called knife fight inside the transition. Campaign officials telling CNN Kushner is well liked, an asset to the team. That he's helping to put the administration together. But ultimately, Donald Trump has the final say.
ROGERS: I think we're going to be OK. This is just the choppy waters, getting into the bay.
TODD: One source familiar with the transition tells CNN the idea that Kushner single handedly pushed all the Christie people out is overblown. But the source admits the fact that the Christie people are gone pleases Kushner. Back in 2004, Christie, then a U.S. attorney in New Jersey, prosecuted Kushner's father, Charles, a billionaire real estate developer.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S. ATTORNEY: -- federal criminal tax violations -- TODD: Charles Kushner was accused of illegal campaign contributions,
tax evasion, and other violations. It became a Shakespearean drama, with Charles Kushner's own relatives, including a sister, turning against him. In a sordid revenge plot, Charles Kushner hired a prostitute to lure his sister's husband into having sex in a motel room. The encounter was taped and Charles Kushner sent the tape to his sister. It didn't work. Charles Kushner pleaded guilty to multiple counts and was sentenced to two years in prison. Now, there's speculation that Trump, as president, might help out the elder Kushner.
GABRIEL SHERMAN, NATIONAL AFFAIRS EDITOR, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Perhaps he might pardon Jared Kushner's father Charles who has a felony record, and that prevents him from doing some sorts of business deals that he wants to be doing.
TODD (on camera): A Trump spokeswoman says that's never been discussed. One source close to the Trump transition team tells CNN Jared Kushner had nothing to do with pushing out Chris Christie's allies. Kushner himself did not comment for our story. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CAMEROTA: So what role will Jared Kushner play in Trump's administration? Let's discuss with entertainment writer for "The New York Observer", Dana Schwartz. "The New York Observer" is owned by Jared Kushner. Dana, nice to see you again.
DANA SCHWARTZ, ENTERTAINMENT WRITIER, THE NEW YORK OBSERVER: Hi. Thank you so much for having me.
CAMEROTA: So Jared Kushner is a pivotal player. He was during the campaign, he is during the transition, and he may be in the White House. He's basically your boss.
CAMEROTA: So from how he has run "The New York Observer", what do you think he brings to the table?
SCHWARTZ: It's interesting to sort of see what's happened to "The New York Observer" over the past few years. Definitely it's leaned more conservative than it has in the past. After the election it was announced that the paper edition of "The Observer" would be shutting down.
CAMEROTA: So the paper would be shutting down but it would still exist online. And was that just modernizing or was that because of some mismanagement? What reason was given?
SCHWARTZ: I think paper media, print media is suffering across the board. So I have to just imagine that it's moving forward.
CAMEROTA: But I mean, what do you know about Jared Kushner and just in terms of his style, which way he leans on issues? What's the buzz around the newsroom about him?
SCHWARTZ: The main concern or fact that interests me now is the fact that he's Jewish, and the appointment of Steve Bannon has sent up red flags across the country. Steve Bannon, who is the editor -- or the founder or "Breitbart News", which is a white nationalist leaning organization with explicit anti-Semitic ties, it's astounding to me that someone like Jared would be comfortable working with him on the team.
CAMEROTA: You know, we've tried to look into any sort of anti-Semitic statements or comments or actions by Steve Bannon and they're hard to find. There was one headline on "Breitbart" that called Bill Kristol, the famous conservative, renegade Jew. But beyond that, there have been people coming forward to say that Steve Bannon is not an anti- Semite. In fact that he has long defended Israel.
[07:55:01] Famed law professor Alan Dershowitz, who happens to be Jewish, of course, is defending Steve Bannon. He says he has a very good relationship with the Jewish community. The Zionist Organization of America put out a statement saying Bannon has fought anti-Semitism, stood up for Israel. So do you know something that these folks don't?
SCHWARTZ: Well, to correct a misconception, I think being pro-Israel and pro-Zionist isn't the same as not being anti-Semitic. I think nationalist people and organizations sort of have leaned in the sense that every race and nationality deserves their own place. So a pro- Zionist leaning doesn't necessarily mean someone's not anti-Semitic.
I have seen the people who come out of "Breitbart", the people who are its readers and who are made extreme by its rhetoric, those are the people who send me threats. Those are the people who tell me I don't belong in this country.
CAMEROTA: So you've personally felt the effect of some of the "Breitbart" stories?
SCHWARTZ: The self-identifying alt-right. The people who identify as alt-right by and large are racist but also vile.
CAMEROTA: You felt so strongly about some of this. After Donald Trump in July retweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton and what many perceived to be a Jewish star, you felt so strongly that you wrote an open letter to Jared Kushner. I'll just read a portion of it.
You said, your father-in-law's repeated accidental winks to the white supremacist community is perhaps a savvy political strategy if those neo-Nazis are considered a sizable voting bloc. I confess I haven't done my research on that front, but when you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, you're giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval.
Then, Jared Kushner responded. He wrote an editorial in "The New York Observer" on July 6 and I'll read a portion of it. In my opinion, accusations like racist, anti-Semite, are being thrown around with carelessness that risks rendering these words meaningless. I have personally seen my father-in-law embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds at his company and in his personal life.
Were you satisfied then with Jared Kushner's basically response to your open letter?
SCHWARTZ: I wasn't. I was hopeful that Mr. Kushner in his role in the administration would press Mr. Trump into a more tolerant and accepting position. But like you quoted the people who called Steve Bannon a friend of the Jews, but you could also just as easily have listened to the KKK or the American Nazi Party, who are calling Steve, saying Steve Bannon is our guy.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, and that's complicated, because he's not a part of those groups. They happen to support him. So is he responsible for the people that support him?
SCHWARTZ: I think that's sort of a tricky question. But actions speak louder than words, and when the KKK is holding a victory rally, you have to wonder why this candidate is an ally to the KKK and not their enemy. I would want a candidate that the KKK sees as an enemy.
CAMEROTA: Dana Schwartz, thanks so much for coming in with your personal story and connection. Nice to see you.
SCHWARTZ: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: All right. We're following a lot of news this morning, so let's get to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beginning of any transition like this has turmoil.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I know the president elect, he's very happy with how the transition is going.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No administration is ready on day one. We weren't ready on day one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jared is someone the president elect trusts very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said, oh, I almost unleashed my beautiful Twitter account against you, and I still may.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT ELECT: We are going to drain the swamp.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to have any lobbyists at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you bring in the outsider, in the end you get a better product.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America is worth it. Believe in our country. Fight for our values. And never, ever give up.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Thursday, November 17, 8:00 in the East.
Donald Trump's transition team taking steps to continue one of the most popular campaign promises and that is to drain the swamp in Washington. So anyone who has worked as a lobbyist before must show a quote termination of lobbying form while being vetted for a cabinet post. And, if you leave a government job, there will now be a five- year lobbying ban.
BERMAN: Lots going on, the Trump transition team has yet to officially contact some federal agencies including the Pentagon, and we are learning this morning of some surprising names, including one- time Trump skeptics, names of folks being considered for key cabinet posts. Let's go first to CNN's Sunlen Serfaty. She is outside Trump Tower here in New York City. Good morning.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. The Trump team really trying to rein in and reclaim the narrative around their transition, right now, not only of the infighting but of the original reports that the original transition team was stacked with D.C. insiders and lobbyists, taking the big move today announcing this lobbying ban, really trying to return to one of the core issues that really ignited Donald Trump as a candidate, his promise to clean up Washington.
SERFATY (voiceover): President elect Donald Trump's transition team now moving to uphold this campaign promise.
TRUMP: We are going to drain the swamp.