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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Trump to Hold Meetings with Possible Appointees; Bannon Gave First Interview Since Election; Minorities Fear Hate Crimes After Trump Win; President Obama Travels to Peru; $25 Million Settlement Reached in Trump University Case; How Democrats Move On; Race for North Carolina; Governor Undecided Amid Fraud Allegations. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 19, 2016 - 07:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[07:00:23] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: At Trump University, we teach success.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President-elect agreeing to pay $25 million to settle three lawsuits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really is a great result.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those students are going to get half their money back.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn offered the role of National Security adviser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have confidence in General Flynn. He is considered to be a brilliant mind.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: He has called Islam itself, not radical versions of it, a threat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having the world lens that he should have, as a general, he should know better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, shaping up to be a busy day. I'm Alison Kosik in for Christi Paul who hopefully is sleeping late.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this morning. A busy day for President-elect Donald Trump. He is filling in his Cabinet after clearing away some legal trouble.

KOSIK: Donald Trump is agreeing to pay $25 million to settle three lawsuits against his now defunct for-profit business school, Trump University. So about 6,000 former students are part of this settlement and they're saying the course has promised to teach real estate investing techniques they could use to get rich. But instead those students accused the program of misleading them with deceptive claims. Now earlier this year, Trump struck a defiant tone against the case. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And I'll win the Trump University case. I can settle that case. I could have settled it. I just choose not to. In fact, when I ran, they said, why didn't you settle up that case? I don't want to settle that case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, settlement also means that the president-elect will not have to testify at a trial later this month. Here's how one of his lawyers described the deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL M. PETROCELLI, LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: We feel very confident in our position. But at the end, President-elect Donald Trump was prepared to set aside his personal interests and focus on the monumental task that he faces in bringing this country together and fighting for the important issues and all the people that he represents. He wants to spend his time and his energy, his focus, his talent, his ability for fighting for Americans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: This morning, Donald Trump and Mitt Romney, two men you wouldn't exactly call friends or confidants. They are actually set to meet face-to-face just a few hours from now in New Jersey.

BLACKWELL: Yes. President-elect Trump is slated to hold back-to-back meetings with perspective Cabinet appointees this weekend. Romney has told friends he wants to serve in government again and he's interested in the role of secretary of state. But a friendly chat today at Trump's golf club would be a far cry from the words between Trump and Romney this year. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OR MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.

TRUMP: Mitt was a disaster as a candidate.

ROMNEY: He's playing the members of the American public for suckers.

TRUMP: Romney let us all down. He was a very poor campaigner.

ROMNEY: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

TRUMP: Romney choked like a dog. He choked. He went -- ROMNEY: His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump

University.

TRUMP: He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, Governor Romney is at the top of the list of potentially appointee for secretary of state. But he's just one of eight who will be meeting with the president-elect today. Here they are on the screen. Trump will discuss a variety of possible positions with them, when they meet at his golf club. Again they are in Bedminster, New Jersey, and that's where we find our Jessica Schneider.

Jessica, good morning to you. And what more are you learning about these transition meetings today?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Victor, Mitt Romney, the biggest name on that list of people slated to meet with President-elect Donald Trump this afternoon. It is a highly anticipated face-to-face that will happen this afternoon the Trump National Golf Club in nearby Bedminster.

Of course as you heard, there's some rough words exchanged between the two men. Mitt Romney a harsh critic of Donald Trump. You'll remember it was back in March that Mitt Romney stood on a stage for 20 minutes and talked about Donald Trump not mincing words, calling him a phony and a fraud. Well, now there's word that Mitt Romney could be under consideration for the secretary of state slot.

Of course President-elect Trump announcing a trio of picks for his national security team over just the past few days. Donald Trump will have nonstop meetings today and tomorrow and on that list of people he'll meet with, they include people like Michelle Rhee, she was the former chancellor of D.C. schools. She could potentially be under consideration for education secretary.

[07:05:06] Also on the list, retired General James Mattis. He was the former head of Central Command. And also interestingly Donald Trump will be meeting with Todd Ricketts, the chairman of the World Series- winning Chicago Cubs. But of course the biggest name on the list, Mitt Romney, the question being could one of Donald Trump's fiercest critics soon become part of his team of rivals -- Victor and Alison.

BLACKWELL: All right, looking forward to the read-out from that meeting. Jessica Schneider there for us, nearby Bedminster. Thanks so much.

All right. Donald Trump already facing blowback from some -- because of his Cabinet picks. The choices so far, we've shown them to you. Many are calling on the president-elect to reconsider appointments, calling into question first the lack of diversity among his picks. And blasting ties with ex-Breitbart executive, I should say, Steve Bannon has with the alt-right movement. But Bannon is pushing in his first interview since the election, telling the "Hollywood Reporter," "Darkness is good. Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan. That's power. It only helps us when they get it wrong when they're blind to who we are and what we're doing."

Then his interview largely sidestepped the controversy surrounding him but he did push back on being called a white nationalist, saying this, "I'm not a white nationalist. I'm a nationalist, I'm an economic nationalist." Bannon also said he wanted to scrap the establishment Republican Party and start anew with Trump's movement."

KOSIK: All right. Let's talk more about this interview with Steve Bannon and discuss it with Errol Louis, he's a CNN political commentator and political anchor for Time Warner News. Good morning to you. As well as Eric Bradner, he's CNN's politics reporter.

Thanks for coming on so early in the morning. So let me start with you, Eric, what do you think about the tone of this interview and the statement that this interview is making, as Donald Trump moves forward with Bannon as his top adviser, Trump's top adviser, in Trump's newly formed hardlined national security team?

ERIC BRADNER, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, this explains why Steve Bannon likes to stay in the dark, right? Because, first of all, he's explaining he prefers to operate that way. And second, he's sort of citing his role models, Darth Vader, Satan and Dick Cheney, not exactly the folks that the American people see as, you know, idols. But it was a fascinating interview because Bannon is sort of making this argument that both Democrats and Republicans have been missing something for a long time and that not only can Donald Trump achieve some of his goals but if he does, it can turn into a new sort of permanent governing approach that sort of breaks both the Democratic and Republican establishments.

It's a really sort of aggressive view of this idea of populism and nationalism that Trump has tattled on the campaign trail. And I'm eager to see what exactly that means in terms of actually governing, once we see Trump picks for positions like U.S. trade representative, right? Like sort of positions that people don't really know but will have an impact on doing things like re-negotiating trade deals that Trump has really put at the forefront of this economic nationalist argument that Bannon is making here.

KOSIK: Errol, do you think that his interview is resonating with the core base supporters for Donald Trump, resonating in a way they hope, but at the same time, maybe, scaring a lot of other people?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. To the extent that they even hear about it, I think his base would be thrilled. I mean, this is a movement that lifted Donald Trump into the White House. It's based on, among other things, the kind of theories and sort of rough and scary talk that Bannon represents. So, yes, sure, they'll be thrilled about that. But the problem is, there does have to be a secretary of state and a trade representative and people staffing the embassies around the world. And they don't have the option of, you know, walking into the home country in, you know, Cairo or in Saudi Arabia, and engaging in that kind of loose and rough talk. It's a much more complicated world. There are real security and

economic interests that are at stake. And so I think we're on a collision course with reality. And it will be really interesting to see who decides to represent the United States at the United Nations, you know, at the State Department, the trade representatives and so on.

KOSIK: Eric, let's go ahead and talk about what's happening today in New Jersey. We've got Mitt Romney, a possibility for secretary of state. Just a couple of months ago, who can forget, Romney coming out not just in his press conference, but throughout the campaign, blasting Trump. I want you to hear some of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.

TRUMP: Mitt was a disaster as a candidate.

ROMNEY: He's playing the members of the American public for suckers.

TRUMP: Romney let us all down. He was a very poor campaigner.

ROMNEY: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

[07:10:02] TRUMP: Romney choked like a dog. He choked. He went --

ROMNEY: His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.

TRUMP: He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: OK, Eric, how in the world can these guys even sit down at a golf course and talk, let alone possibly having Mitt Romney join his team? You know, it just -- it boggles the mind.

BRADNER: Boy, this is the best example of a never-Trump Republican suddenly sort of being, if not on board with Trump, that at least sort of willing to play ball. Sort of try to get on the same team. Get on the same page a little bit.

Romney has -- we know Romney has sort of indicated privately that he's interested in getting back in government. He doesn't seem eager to remain retired. He, of course, considered running for president in 2016. And so we know he's sort of looking for ways to serve. And secretary of state is something he'd be interested in. But it's kind of hard to imagine that he and Donald Trump would actually end up agreeing to work so closely together.

With Romney, someone who just eviscerated Trump and never endorsed him. Never came around, unlike a lot of other Trump critics like Ted Cruz agreeing to serve as Trump's primary representative overseas. KOSIK: Errol, your quick reaction to this. You know, is this may be

a situation where possibly Trump wants to take on Mitt Romney and not necessarily have a yes -- have yes people all around him but a differing point of view on his team?

LOUIS: I think Trump for understandable reason wants to consolidate his control of the Republican Party. And I think he needs at least one prominent never-Trumper to be in a position of prominence. I don't know that Mitt Romney is the guy, but we'll find out, but I think we're going to see Donald Trump come up with somebody from the never-Trump movement and put them in a place of high authority to show that there's some degree of unity.

KOSIK: OK. We shall see. Eric Bradner, Errol Louis, thanks so much.

LOUIS: Thank you.

KOSIK: And Trump's election win has some minority communities worried and some say they've been victims of hate crimes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SOLONICA NICKI PANCHOLY, HIKER: I felt fear. I did feel fear inside.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Also, we'll go live to Peru, President Obama's final stop on final foreign trip as president.

KOSIK: Also, the cast of a popular Broadway show has a message for a VIP member of their audience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, PLAYS AARON BURR IN "HAMILTON": You know, we have a guest in the audience this evening. And Vice President-elect Pence, I see you walking out but I hope you will hear just a few moments. There's nothing to boo, ladies and gentlemen. There's nothing to boo here. We're all here sharing a story --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Find out what their message was. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:15:00] BLACKWELL: We've heard the reports of swastikas on churches and racial slurs and shouts of "build that wall." And they have some in minority communities across the country really afraid. The Southern Poverty Law Center says it is counting 701 cases of harassment or intimidation since Donald Trump won the election. And the U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch says there has been a 67 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslim Americans in 2015.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I know that many Americans are concerned by a spate of recent news reports about alleged hate crimes and harassment. Some of these incidents have happened in schools. Others have targeted houses of worship. And some have singled out individuals for attacks and intimidation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: All right. Let's bring in CNN's Polo Sandoval. Good morning to you. What are you hearing about this intimidation and about this harassment?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, guys. Good to be with you this morning. We have seen these images and actions of hate across the country. Even some Trump supporters themselves have been targeted here. Obviously some of disheartening statistics that we just heard, it has prompted response from not the nation's top cop, as we just heard, but also the president-elect as well.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PANCHOLY: I felt fear, I did feel fear inside.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Solonica Nicki Pancholy had experienced heightened prejudices after recent elections. Pancholy was hiking when someone confused her head scarf for a hijab. They smashed the windows of her car, stole her purse, and then left a threatening note on the windshield.

LYNCH: I know that many Americans are concerned by a spate of recent news reports about alleged hate crimes and harassment. Some of these incidents have happened in schools. Others have targeted houses of worship. And some have singled out individuals for attacks and intimidation.

SANDOVAL: Like attacks against this transgender woman in Denver.

AMBER TIMMONS, TRANSGENDER WOMAN: The first thought is shock. You just -- you can't believe it.

SANDOVAL: Amber Timmons was on her way to work when she noticed a swastika symbol and the words "Trump" and "Die" spray painted on her car. At Baylor University, a student pushed student Natasha Nkhama using racially offensive language and telling her to get off the sidewalk. When other students defended Nkhama, the guy replied, "I'm just trying to make America great again." Nkhama says --

NATASHA NKHAMA, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY STUDENT: Racism is not something that Donald Trump caused, but I feel like people feel like they have an open door to be that way now.

SANDOVAL: Days later, hundreds of students walked Nkhama to her class to support her and against racism.

COREY CATALDO, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Violence is never the answer, no matter what side it's on. SANDOVAL: Trump supporter Corey Cataldo wearing a "Make America Great

Again" hat says he was assaulted while riding the New York City subway.

CATALDO: Next thing I know I have hands around my neck. I'm being choked. And another gentleman comes over. He shoves me up against the wall.

SANDOVAL: The Southern Poverty Law Center has counted more than 700 cases of hateful harassment and intimidation since Election Day. When President-elect Trump was asked about the harassment on CBS's "60 Minutes," Trump had one request.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL: And of course, the hope now is that many people across the country get that message. Ultimately the FBI is investigating these cases right now, guys. But we are told that there are several of those positive stories that are still coming out including that one from Nkhama where people walked her to class, prompting a major response from the rest of the student body after her negative experience.

KOSIK: Those horrible experiences can bring unity as well.

SANDOVAL: The best of humanity as well.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but far too many horrible stories. We'll continue to watch those.

KOSIK: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: Polo, thank u so much.

KOSIK: Thanks very much.

BLACKWELL: All right. President Obama on his final stop of his final foreign trip as president. We're going to take you live to Peru, with a look at the questions he's expected to face from Pacific Rim leaders about his successor.

KOSIK: Plus, never say never. Donald Trump often bragged about never settling lawsuits. So why did he agree to multimillion-dollar settlement in the Trump University case?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:23:31] BLACKWELL: 23 minutes after the hour now. Donald Trump is talking to world leaders for the first time as president-elect.

KOSIK: And he's already unveiling what may be a more relaxed way of conducting diplomacy. He's taking calls at Trump Tower and not talking to the State Department before speaking with foreign leaders. It's also not easy to get to Trump. The Australian prime minister had to get his phone number from golfer Greg Norman.

BLACKWELL: At least good to have friends who have the numbers.

KOSIK: Friends in high places.

BLACKWELL: President Barack Obama now in Lima, Peru.

KOSIK: And that is the last stop of his final tour as president. He is set to meet with Pacific Rim leaders today and will likely face questions about his successor President-elect Donald Trump.

Joining us live from Peru, CNN international correspondent Shasta Darlington. Good morning.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alison. That's right. This summit certainly not shaping up to be what was expected even a couple of weeks ago. As you mentioned this is Obama's final stop, last international tour. It was also supposed to be his last opportunity to push for this regional trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have grouped the United States with 11 other countries, in Asia, in Latin America, representing nearly 60 percent of GDP and excluding China.

The opportunity for the United States to write the trade rules the way it wanted to. Of course with Trump's victory, the TPP is pretty much dead in the water. So instead what we're expecting is Chinese president Xi Jinping to be pushing for a Beijing-led trade agreement here.

[07:25:03] Of course China is already strong in Asia. It's already strong in Latin America. Already replacing the United States as the main trade partner for Brazil and for Chile. But there is plenty of room to grow, if what we -- if what comes to be is a more a isolationist United States, and so we expect to see China pushing for that despite a final bilateral between President Obama and President Xi here at the APEC summit.

KOSIK: And I'm sure President-elect Donald Trump, his name is being talked about quite a bit there. Shasta Darlington, thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Donald Trump is settling several lawsuits against his now defunct Trump University. He won't have to testify, but it's going to cost him millions, tens of millions. And with other lawsuits pending, could there be a political fights as well?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIXON: Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at "Hamilton in America" --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Plus to Mike Pence from "Hamilton," the Broadway musical has a message for the vice president-elect. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KOSIK: Mortgage rates ticked up this week. Have a look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back. Good to be with you this morning. I'm Victor Blackwell.

It is going to be a busy weekend for President-elect Donald Trump because today he's set to meet with a full roster of perspective Cabinet appointees, including Mitt Romney. The man who earlier this year called Trump a phony, a fraud, a con man. Well, the two are expected to discuss possible Cabinet positions, perhaps including bringing in Mitt Romney as secretary of state.

[07:30:07] Now President-elect Trump is also expected to meet with Michelle Rhee, Betsy DeVos, General James Mattis, Todd Ricketts, Bob Woodson, Andy (INAUDIBLE) and Lou Eisenberg today.

We'll detail who these people are a little later at the show.

KOSIK: Also this morning a surprise settlement by President-elect Donald Trump. He's agreeing to pay $25 million to settle three lawsuits against his now defunct for-profit business school known as Trump University. Now Trump did not acknowledge any liability in the settlement. About 6,000 former students are part of the settlement. They say the course has promised to teach real estate investing techniques they could use to get rich. But instead, so many of the students accused the program of misleading them with deceptive claims and high pressure sales tactics.

I want to delve in more about this settlement and talk with criminal defense attorney Page Pate, who joins me now live.

Thanks so much for coming in.

PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning.

KOSIK: So, you know, as soon as this news came out about this settlement, I thought, is this a win for Donald Trump? Everyone looked happy coming to the microphone.

PATE: Right. Well, that sometimes happens in a settlement. Actually, neither side is completely satisfied. I think the plaintiffs wanted more money, although $25 million is quite a bit. I think it will compensates the people that went to this so-called school and give them back about half of their tuition and also fees and fines in New York.

KOSIK: OK. So here's the thing. Donald Trump went on Twitter, he said over and over during the campaign, I will not settle. Listen to some of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I will win the Trump University case. I already am as far as I'm concerned. I will win the case in the end. I just didn't want to be forced to settle. This is a case I could have settled very easily. But I don't settle cases very easily when I'm right. I will win the Trump University case. I could settle the case now if I wanted to settle. I don't settle cases. We have a situation where we will win in court. And I'll win the Trump University case. I could settle that case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: And so once again, he tweeted in February saying, Trump University has a 98 percent approval rating. I could have settled but won't out of principle. But he did, didn't he?

PATE: Oh, absolutely. I mean, there's no other way to look at this other than it's a loss for Trump, as far as the amount of money, and even though there's no admission of liabilities, the fact that he settled I think will embolden plaintiffs in other lawsuits that are still pending against Trump to keep pushing, to try to get more money than they may otherwise have.

KOSIK: And although the statement came out that he doesn't claim liability for what happened, it still has that perception.

PATE: Oh, yes, he's cutting a check. And when you cut a check, that's basically an admission you've done something wrong. So there's no signature. There's no admission of legal liability. But when you pass over that check, it certainly sends a signal.

KOSIK: How precedent setting is this settlement meaning for other lawsuits involving the president-elect?

PATE: Well, these lawsuits were somewhat unique. I mean, they were alleging fraud, racketeering, very serious types civil claims. The other lawsuits I think mostly deal with failure to pay, some sexual harassment claims. So a little bit different. But the fact that he's paid this, and paid such a large amount I think will set a precedent for settling these other suits, maybe a little bit more than he wanted to.

KOSIK: Well, according to Donald Trump earlier in the campaign, he was talking about $40 million, so maybe the $25 million isn't necessarily such a huge amount. Then again, we don't know how much he actually has, he has not released his tax returns.

PATE: We don't. We don't. But if he's them about half of what they lost, I mean, that's 50 percent, and that's a good settlement from a plaintiff's standpoint as well.

KOSIK: He has talked about eventually reopening Trump University. What is -- you laughed.

PATE: I did.

KOSIK: But what is the likelihood of that? I wouldn't laugh, I would put anything passed Donald Trump.

PATE: Well, he may certainly try to do that but the settlement of the New York case is very important because in New York they had sued him because you can't call it a university when it's not a university. So if he does reopen it or try to start it again, he's going to have to get proper certification for an educational institution because he never had that.

KOSIK: But you don't see him doing something like that, reopening it while he's president? I mean, could his kids reopen it?

PATE: I suppose that's possible. But there are a lot of legal hoops that they'd have to jump through. Could they use the Trump name while he's in office for the new education institution? I don't know. Perhaps it's just more bluster. I really don't see that happening.

KOSIK: All right. Page Pate, thanks so much for your analysis of the settlement. Certainly this came as a surprise to many people but it was kind of down to the wire, too.

PATE: Absolutely. Last minute.

KOSIK: Yes. All right. Thanks very much.

PATE: Thank you.

KOSIK: Victor?

BLACKWELL: So the hot Broadway musical "Hamilton," they had a VIP in the audience last night. Vice President-elect Mike Pence was there. And the cast, well, they knew it. They addressed Pence directly during the curtain at all. The actor who plays Aaron Burr, he pulled out a note, delivered a short speech on behalf of the show's cast and creator. Listen to part of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIXON: Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at "Hamilton: An American Musical." We really do. We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir.

[07:35:05] But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, the vice president-elect was not in the room at the time. He was in the hallway. And we're told by his people that he heard the whole statement. Also the lead producer of "Hamilton" says President-elect Trump has not yet seen the show, but he would be welcome to come and see it.

Nancy Pelosi has led Democrats in the House for many years now. But some Democrats say it's time for change. It's now more than ever.

KOSIK: Plus, a waiting game is on in North Carolina, as a recount is on amid broad allegations to figure out whether Pat McCrory or Roy Cooper will be the next governor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Ted Cruz says for millions of people who voted for him Donald Trump's victory was revenge. That's what he told a gathering of conservative lawyers in Washington yesterday. Here's part of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Well, I think the election was an incredible vindication for the American people across this country, and especially those as you know, in rural America, and what elites on both coasts consider to be flyover country. This election could be well-understood as the revenge of flyover country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: The revenge of flyover country. Meanwhile on the Democratic side, the debate continues on the future of the party's leadership. Congressman Tim Ryan is challenging House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. He says 2016 is the latest in a series of defeats for Democrats and something needs to change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[07:40:08] REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: We have the lowest number in our caucus since 1929, and we've lost over 60 seats since 2010. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. And you keep -- you know, keep getting the same results. So time to move on, I think.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk about this. With us, Tom LoBianco, CNN Politics reporter, Symone Sanders, CNN political commentator and former press secretary for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.

Good morning to both of you.

TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning.

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: Tom, let me start with you and what we're hearing from Ted Cruz, this is revenge from flyover country. This from the man who criticized Trump for his New York values. Does he have a point here, or is Ted Cruz still trying to find his place at the front of this phenomenon?

LOBIANCO: Well, you know, If you look at the map from election night, certainly looks like, you know, the center of America in the south -- you know, basically everything but the coast went red. And that's really, you know, the strength of Trump there. It's ironic that it's a New York City billionaire is the one who pulled that off to be certain. But that's the -- you know, looking at the Democrats, that's -- part of the calculus here. That big blue wall, that rust belt, Ohio, Wisconsin. Places that used to be reliably Democratic are the ones that went with Trump. And that's part of this big Tim Ryan-Nancy Pelosi fight that's happening right now.

So yes, you know, Ted Cruz is speaking to the key dynamic right now. I mean, this is part of the soul searching that's going on inside the Democratic Party.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Symone, that big blue wall came tumbling down on election night. I want you to listen to what Tim Ryan, the congressman who is challenging Nancy Pelosi for minority leader, said and then we'll talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: Our caucus knows we need to go on another direction. And it's not just about us in the House of Representatives. There's no one at the DNC. The Obamas are leaving, the Clintons are gone, the Bidens are gone, Harry Reid is gone. 200 people in the House of Representatives are going to decide what direction we go in as Democrats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: So what does this look like? What are the policy prescriptions? Put some meat on this bone that so many people have been chewing on for 11 days now.

SANDERS: Definitely. Well, first I want to note that the congressman is right. We are going to have to go into a new direction. There are people leaving and going in and out. But 200 people in Congress are not going to decide the future of the Democratic Party. The people are. There are folks all across this country, Democratic party leadership, party chairs that will vote on the next chair. And that's really important.

Folks in Maine, folks in Nebraska. So we just have to be very careful about making it just about Washington. I think that there is an ideological battle going on in the party. You know, you've had folks say, you know, we lost white working class people. And the party hasn't really won white working class people since we moved to pass the Civil Rights Act. So we really believe in -- I've had lots of conversations with lots of Democrats on both ends of the spectrum, and we're going to have to find a middle ground.

Now what's going on in the Senate and Congress right now is you've got that struggle in both. A lot of people really do believe that we need to shift to cater to white working class voters and --

BLACKWELL: Let me jump in here, Symone. Is it policy driven or is it rhetorical? What needs to change specifically? SANDERS: I think it's policy -- I think it's policy and the rhetoric.

You know, during the general election, Democrats, we ran against Donald Trump. Secretary Clinton had all these really great policies but we -- they weren't front and center on the campaign. So everyday folks, all across the country, black, white, Native American, Asian American, Latino, Hispanic and otherwise need to hear what the party is going to do specifically for them. And I don't think folks have heard that in a really long time and how it connects to their everyday lives.

BLACKWELL: Tom, let me come back to you and this fight for leadership in the House. So we know that Nancy Pelosi pushed back the vote to November 30th. We heard from Tim Ryan who is a congressman who's challenging her. I read this morning from Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton who wrote for the "Post," let's put that up on the screen, he says, "It's time for those who live with the consequences of our policies for the next 50 years to have a hand in shaping them. It's time for the generation that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to replace the generation that sent us there. It is time for a new generation of leadership and for the Democratic Party it can't come soon enough."

How broad is this desire within the Democratic Party, at least in the House, to replace Nancy Pelosi and could she lose her minority status in just a couple of days?

LOBIANCO: You know, if you want to sort of visualize this, there's kind of two splits going on here. They're really, you know, emblematic in the House Democrats. You got a sort of vertical split between the generations which is what you're talking about there with Seth Moulton and Tim Ryan and a lot of other younger Democrats inside the House. A new generation of Democrats trying to push out some of the older leadership. Nancy Pelosi of course in particular.

[07:45:07] You've also got a little bit more split, kind of horizontal, all right, left-right, where you have Tim Ryan addressing kind of both of these issues. And to go back to Symone's point, which direction the party is going to head in here, what they're looking at is that, you know, Tim Ryan was saying, talking about getting back seats that were held by people like Bart Stuback, relatively conservative Democrats.

BLACKWELL: Right.

LOBIANCO: So it's not just, you know, in the Senate, they put Bernie Sanders of course into leadership. That was a big acknowledgement of the power of his movement. And on the left that you also have to address. But they're also trying to find a way to get back to the center, center-right. A lot of those seats that they used to hold in middle American -- you know, in so-called flyover country.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

LOBIANCO: And that, if you look at that span of things, that's a really hard bridge to cross right now. I mean, there's going to have to be a lot of work done inside the party and, you know, especially to the center-right, not even sure that you can do that. A lot of those seats were districted out. They're drawn out from maps.

SANDERS: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Yes, go ahead, quickly, Symone.

SANDERS: Victor, I just want to note that Donald Trump's populism was intrinsically tied to the racism within his campaign. And so there are tons of Democrats that are like, oh my god, we need to go out and get working class white people, and meanwhile working class black people and Latinos are -- and young people are the base of the party. So I just caution a whole lot of folks, be careful, because the base is what continues to turn out and keeps this party alive. Black women have kept the Democratic Party alive. And so there is this ideological battle. I chat about it every single day. And this is going to be something that we're going to continue to talk about.

BLACKWELL: Let me just -- let me just make sure I'm hearing you correctly. You're saying that much of the, I guess, white nationalist attraction that some had to Trump's message is the reason that he did well in those flyover states?

SANDERS: No.

BLACKWELL: Isn't that the --

SANDERS: I think --

BLACKWELL: What did you -- OK, so clear that up for me.

SANDERS: I -- no. I really believe --

BLACKWELL: I heard something different.

SANDERS: I think that there -- so there was a real populist element to Donald Trump's campaign. He talked about the economy, making it work for everyday people.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SANDERS: But he also talked about that Mexicans are stealing your jobs so we need to make America great again. And I really do believe that the racism that -- the racist elements of Donald Trump's campaign were tied to his populist message. And so we can't just say that we can't divorce the populism from the racism. We have to understand that they were intrinsically tied.

Donald Trump never divorced the two. Neither did his campaign. So there were people, there were voters that said, well, I'm going to vote for this team, I'm not voting for the racist things Donald Trump said, but I'm going to vote for these pieces.

BLACKWELL: All right.

SANDERS: And that's just not -- you cannot just divorce the two. It's not that easy.

BLACKWELL: All right. I just want to make sure that we were clear on that. Give you a few more seconds to create the distinction.

Symone Sanders, Tom LoBianco, thanks so much.

LOBIANCO: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: All right. Voters in North Carolina, they still don't know if Pat McCrory will remain as governor or if Roy Cooper will be the new governor there. We'll tell you why and how close this race is and where it heads. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:51:48] BLACKWELL: North Carolina voters are still waiting to find out who won the race for governor. You've got Republican Governor Pat McCrory, he's not conceding despite trailing challenger Roy Cooper by several thousand votes and there are these allegations of voter fraud.

KOSIK: CNN's national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Who becomes North Carolina's next governor just got a lot more complication. Republicans are now filing challenges not to just a dozen counties but now 50 counties, that is half the number of counties in this state. Governor McCrory saying that he knows of instances where ballots were cast by dead people, felons and those who voted twice. Democrats say he is just getting desperate.

TRUMP: I love this country.

MALVEAUX (voice-over): North Carolina delivered Donald Trump an easy victory over Hillary Clinton on election night. But left its Republican governor Pat McCrory in limbo.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R) NORTH CAROLINA: We're going to fight for every vote.

MALVEAUX: His Democratic opponent, state attorney general Roy Cooper, eked out nearly 5,000 more votes than McCrory, just one tenth of 1 percent ahead. The race was declared too close to call, but the Democrat Cooper announced himself as the winner.

ROY COOPER, NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Because of your hard work, we have won this race for governor of North Carolina.

MALVEAUX: Republican officials accused Democrats of engaging in voter fraud in dozens of counties.

DALLAS WOODHOUSE, EXEC. DIR., NORTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY: We have people who voted and registered on the same day and have not gone through the verification process.

MALVEAUX: Democrats say Republicans purged legitimate voters from the rolls and suppressed voter turnout. Just days before the election the NAACP accused three counties of illegal voter purges targeting African-Americans. And a federal judge agreed, ordering to restore names to voter rolls.

McCrory supporters expected his race to be an easy victory. After all, in 2012, he won by double digits. And this time around, Trump easily carried the so-called battleground state by nearly 180,000 votes.

MCCRORY: Thank you all very much.

MALVEAUX: But many including his supporters blame his potential defeat on HB2. A highly controversial bathroom bill which he supported. Requiring transgendered individuals to use the public bathroom which corresponds to their gender at birth.

RANDY HOLTS, OWNER, COOPER'S BBQ: HB2 did bring him down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: HB2 I think really had a negative impact on our state.

MALVEAUX: Forbes estimates the state has lost more than 600 million in business after a swift backlash from corporations and entertainers. Recently, the state lost hosting the NCAA championships, NBA All-Star game and concerts by Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and Nick Jonas.

MCCRORY: This is my priority at this point in time.

MALVEAUX: Thursday as Governor McCrory to go about the business of governing, addressing the state's raging wild fires, state Democratic official accused him of sabotage, saying, "Unfortunately as Cooper's lead grows stronger, the McCrory campaign is getting desperately desperate at attempting to undermine the results of the election." An election that has to be resolved before January 1st.

[07:55:12] (On camera): If the margin between the two candidates is less than 10,000 votes, the loser can call for a recount. It's also very likely there'll be delays because of all the Republican challenges to some of these counties. Very likely the state of who is governor in North Carolina won't be resolved until well after Thanksgiving.

Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Raleigh, North Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: All right. Suzanne, thanks for that. You know, I always love a good joke, but is it too soon to joke about the election? Well, if you're Jimmy Fallon absolutely not. A couple of late-night zingers coming up ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KOSIK: OK. In case you missed it, here is Jimmy Fallon's take on where things stand more than a week after the election. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Remember that Donald Trump is now planning a victory tour. He's going to visit all the places that helped him get elected. So I guess that means Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Russia.

A new poll that Donald Trump's favorability rating is up 8 points since being elected. And Hillary said, yes, I wouldn't trust the polls that much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Too soon? Too soon? Maybe. All right. Get ready for at least four years of those jokes.

KOSIK: That's OK. I'll take it.

BLACKWELL: All right.

KOSIK: All right. There's a lot more happening this morning.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: At Trump University we teach success.

ROMNEY: His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President-elect agreeing to pay $25 million to settle three lawsuits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really is a great result.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those students are going to get half their money back.