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Four Police Officers Shot in Different States; Donald Trump Continues Meetings with Possible Cabinet Nominees; Interview with Representative Marsha Blackburn; Interview with Rep. Keith Ellison. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 21, 2016 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I cannot speak highly enough of Nancy Pelosi. She's a remarkable leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got to move in another direction.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Monday, November 21st, 8:00 in the east. And we do begin with breaking news. There have been four police officers shot in a series of ambush-style attacks in several different states. The attacks coming just hours apart. Two officers were shot in Missouri, one in Florida, another in Texas. The officer there died.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A manhunt is intensifying in and around the San Antonio area to find the gunman who killed a veteran officer. CNN Polo Sandoval is live in San Antonio with all of the breaking details. What's the latest Polo?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Chris and Alisyn. As you mentioned that manhunt does continue to intensify as they try to track down the person or persons that could be behind this targeted attack. Meanwhile outside the San Antonio headquarters, this makeshift memorial continues to grow. Officers not just here in south Texas but really across the country on high alert this morning.


SANDOVAL: Four separate shootings targeting police officers across the country.

CHIEF WILLIAM MCMANUS, SAN ANTONIO POLICE CHIEF: Unfortunately, like Dallas, like Baton Rouge, it's happened here.

SANDOVAL: A massive manhunt in Texas for a man suspected of killing a San Antonio officer. Around 11:45 a.m. Detective Benjamin Marconi was shot and killed while sitting in his squad car. The 50-year-old officer was writing a ticket during a traffic stop when a man walked up to his driver's side window and opened fire. He shot Marconi in the head from outside the car. Police say the suspect then reached through the window and shot the 20-year veteran again. Police releasing this photo of a man who may be in connection with the

shooting, and this photo of a car they say fled the scene.

MCMANUS: Most families will be celebrating the holidays. SAPD will be burying one of its own.

SANDOVAL: Hours later in St. Louis a 46-year-old sergeant was waiting in traffic when the suspect, a man wanted in other violent crimes, pulled up to the driver's side of his patrol vehicle and opened fire. He shot the 20-year veteran twice in the face.

CHIEF SAMUEL DOTSON, ST. LOUIS POLICE: The officer says he saw the felt the muzzle flashes and felt the glass breaking in his window as the shots came through and struck him in the head.

SANDOVAL: The suspect apparently worried about being identified now dead after a shootout with officers overnight. No other officers were injured.

DOTSON: We were tracking him. We came to this neighborhood. We found him. He shot at police officers, again. Police officers returned fire.

SANDOVAL: Another officer shot in Missouri late Sunday night in a traffic stop in Gladstone. That's near Kansas City. And in Florida, a suspect already in custody after police say officer Jared Ciccone was shot while conducting a routine traffic stop in Sanibel. According to police, Ciccone was on the side of the road when a suspect drove by and started shooting. Ciccone was injured but has since been released from the hospital.


SANDOVAL: Investigators say that there is no direct link between any of these recent police shooting cases across the country, and then lastly offering some fairly sobering statistics here now directly from the National Law Enforcement Officers Fund. They now suggest that the number of officers killed in the line of duty this year has already exceed the figures that we saw during 2015. Chris, we have seen way too many of these kinds of memorials outside of police departments throughout the country and of course here in Texas as well.

CUOMO: No question about it. Lots of different causes for them. People are looking for solutions. Now this chain, our thanks to Polo Sandoval. The authorities don't believe these were coordinated attacks. But the timing is very suspicious and troubling. And we will stay on the story and get you new information as we get it, especially about that manhunt in Texas.

So on the political side, there are some new cabinet picks that we're being told that could be announced even today by president-elect Trump. Despite a packed schedule jammed with meetings and interviews, Trump still finding time to do what apparently he likes to do best, tweet, escalating feuds with the cast of "Hamilton" and with "Saturday Night Live." CNN's Jason Carroll live outside the new White House annex, Trump Tower, in New York City. Jason? JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, Kellyanne Conway says

what they have is a long short list of people that they're looking at and not to always put too much stalk in what you see and what you hear. Having said that, one of those scheduled to show up her later today at Trump Tower is former Texas governor Rick Perry, said to be considered to head up the department of energy, one of the departments he said back in 2011 he could eliminate, but now up for consideration.


CARROLL: President-elect Donald Trump interviewing potential cabinet picks, but has not yet made a decision on who will be secretary of state.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT-ELECT: We'll let you know soon.

[08:05:00] CARROLL: Meeting with one of his top adversaries, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney about possibly joining his administration.

MIKE PENCE, (R) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was not only a cordial meeting, but also it was a very substantive meeting. Governor Romney is under active and serious consideration to serve as secretary of state of the United States.

CARROLL: The two men frequently sparring during Trump's campaign.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT-ELECT: Romney choked like a dog. He choked.

CARROLL: A steady stream of possible cabinet picks in front of the cameras throughout the weekend, including loyalists like former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Trump repeatedly praising retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, the leading candidate for secretary of defense.

TRUMP: All I can say is he is the real deal.

CARROLL: Mattis, widely respected throughout the military, could be the first former ranking general to become defense secretary in nearly 70 years. Trump also considering billionaire investor Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary. Ross, the type of administration official Trump pledged to appoint throughout his campaign, a businessman with a history of resurrecting dying companies who has billions in the bank.

But in the middle of assembling his new team, Trump making his grievances to Twitter, this time criticizing the cast of the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" for this message delivered to vice president elect Mike Pence Friday night at the end of their performance.

BRANDON DIXON, ACTOR: 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.


CARROLL: In a series of tweets Trump says Mike Pence was harassed and that the cast was very "very rude." Trump insisting they should apologize for their, quote, "terrible behavior."

MIKE PENCE, (R) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wasn't offended by what was said. I'll leave to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it.

CARROLL: But Trump would not let it go.

TRUMP: They were very inappropriate.


CARROLL: So, Alisyn, you have a number of people vying for spots in a Trump administration and a chance to head to Washington, D.C. But two people who apparently will not be heading there, at least any time soon, Trump's wife Melania and her 10-year-old son Barron will be staying here in New York City so Barron can finish out school, the school year. They'll be staying here at Trump tower, or as Chris calls the White House annex. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: And that means you'll be standing there for four years to come. Thanks --


CAMEROTA: Thanks, Jason.

All right, so we are joined now by Republican congressman from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn. She is a member of Donald Trump's transition team. Good morning, congresswoman.


CAMEROTA: OK so we understand there will be some cabinet posts announced today. What can you tell us? Can you give us a little preview of what might be announced?

BLACKBURN: I'm going to let MR. Trump tell you when he's ready to tell you. But Alisyn, I have to tell you, the transition team is moving along beautifully. It is organized. There is progress being made. Some of the landing teams are already interfacing with those that are currently in the administration, and you have the landing teams at Justice, at DOD, at the CIA that are hard at work and ready to make this transition and to make it very smoothly.

CAMEROTA: How many announcements do you think we'll get today?

BLACKBURN: You know, I don't know. That is Mr. Trump's to do. T he's going to fold these announcements out. I think he is so right on track in doing the national security announcements first, and then moving to the economy and then moving to the other agencies. And, quite frankly, for someone like me, who has had a focus on reducing the size, the scope, and the cost of the federal government, I like the fact that he is bringing in individuals that are going to have fresh thoughts and fresh approaches as to how to right-size the federal government, to do more with less.

CAMEROTA: So secretary of state, are Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney still the top contenders?

BLACKBURN: They are certainly in the mix. You have heard Mr. Trump and vice president-elect Pence say that and make that statement. There may be others that are in that mix. And I think that Mr. Trump is doing the right thing in making certain that he and vice president- elect Pence are going to have a good working relationship with whomever takes the helm.

The secretary of state post is important not only for the representation that that individual makes, but think about all of the agencies that work under that program, the embassies around the globe. And so you want someone who is going to be able to look at both the outside and the inside of that structure and continue the relationship that we have with our allies, and hold our enemies accountable.

[08:10:09] CAMEROTA: So, congresswoman, I know that you're focused on finding the right person for the job. But were there no qualified women for attorney general, head of the CIA, national security adviser, chief of staff for the president, and chief strategist?

BLACKBURN: There are always qualified women that are going to be putting themselves forward for positions, and you're going to see a diverse cabinet, and working through these first spots that I think it's important to have the most qualified person. You know, Alisyn, you have to look at the fact that you look at the goals that you want to achieve in the next couple of years. Then you look at the skill sets --


BLACKBURN: -- that individuals bring to bear. And you match that up. And Mr. Trump is going to have women that are in those top levels of responsibility. He's going to have women that know how to work this process to get things done to achieve the goals and to deliver the product the American people want.

CAMEROTA: Who do you think will be the first woman to get a nod in the cabinet?

BLACKBURN: I am not sure who that first woman is going to be but I know that you're going to see one.

CAMEROTA: How about you? What position would you like in the White House staff?

BLACKBURN: Alisyn, you know, I've enjoyed working on the executive committee for the transition team. I also like being in representative government. I think that for me, I want to do everything I can do to reduce the size of the agencies like the EPA. That is something that could be folded into the department of energy. Look at what we're going to have the opportunity to do to reduce the size of Health and Human Services.


BLACKBURN: Look at what we're going to be able to do with the Department of Commerce to shift the focus so that you're focused on technology for rural America and solving this rural broadband crisis that we have in this country. So those problem solving I my forte, and reducing the size and scope, waste, fraud and abuse, fighting that.

CAMEROTA: So which slot would you want? Given that that's your forte, what would you like?

BLACKBURN: I'm not even going to go there with you because I like serving in the House and I'm going to be the one who say let me go deliver pink slips. Let me put a red line through some of these extra agencies that we don't need. It is time for us to innovate and to be entrepreneurial in how we deliver government services. We've grown so bureaucratic that the product does not get out to the constituents, and they're tired of that. And we saw that in this election. And you know, the left coast and the right coast, the elitism that exists there, and then you have this vast, fabulous, wonderful country that is saying we want these services. Now is the time to solve that problem.

So rather than have a title, let's be problem solvers. Let's get this job done and then have the American people say, you came to Washington, you cleaned house. You restructured government, and fantastic.

CAMEROTA: Congresswoman Blackburn, thank you very much. Come back when you have something to announce.

BLACKBURN: I will do so. Thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much. Let's head to Chris.

CUOMO: The current president, Barack Obama, is back in Washington from his last trip overseas. He's now facing a firestorm over his NSA director. Two senior officials telling the president the NSA director needs to be removed. Why? CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is live at the White House with more. What's the answer?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, the two top officials, first of all, the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter as well the director of national intelligence James Clapper, both of them over the weekend the news breaking that they about a month ago recommended to the president that Mike Rogers, head of the NSA, be fired. And sources are telling us the main reason here is that he has failed to involve a restructuring that involves the agency here to attack cyber threats, that there have been embarrassing breaches of security, that the morale is terrible, and that he not done his job properly.

Separately, Chris, is what has happened on Thursday. He is being considered by team Trump, a possible intelligence position for that administration, and he quietly went off to a secret meeting with Trump at Trump Tower in New York without telling his supervisors, and that raised some eyebrows.

But it should be noted, too, that supporters of Rogers say that this is all a political move here to make him damaged goods in case he is considered by a Trump administration. Now we have not heard from the NSA. We haven't heard from the Pentagon about this. But we did hear from the president who was asked over the weekend in Peru about this, and he said he called Rogers a terrific patriot. And so we'll just he to see how this all shakes out. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: OK, Suzanne, thank you. We just want to let everybody know that we mistakenly showed pictures of Mike Rogers there. Sorry for the mistake.

Meanwhile in Syria, first responders called the past six days the deadliest week the country has seen since the civil war first began five years ago.

Renewed airstrikes have killed more than 300 people and destroyed all hospitals in Eastern Aleppo. Food and medicine are in short supply. The United Nations has a new plan to help the Syrian people, but wants a blessing from all sides before it rolls out.

CUOMO: We have breaking news out of the Vatican this morning. Pope Francis granting all Catholic priests the right to forgive abortion. In a letter to priests, the pope writes that there's no question that abortion is considered a grave sin under Catholic law.

But as, quote, "There is no sin that God's mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart." The pope concludes every priest may provide support and comfort to facilitate reconciliation.

This is a big deal for Catholics because there is a culture within that faith of ostracizing people who do certain things. You used to not be able to receive communion when you got divorced. That's still on the books. So this pope has been trying to inch the individual pastor to make the rules for their own congregation.

CAMEROTA: Right, towards forgiveness. Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, an early favorite to become the next leader of the DNC. So why does he think he's the best choice? We're going to speak live with Congressman Ellison next.



CUOMO: The Democratic has long been known as the party for working- class voters. Not anymore. Not in this election for president. So what is the party going to do? Leadership begins at the top.

Our next guest has thrown his hat in the ring for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison joins us now. Congressman, always a pleasure to have you on the show. Let's do what we do on this show and test the case. Why you?

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, because we need to turn out the vote and I'm actually pretty good at it. In my state of Minnesota, my congressional district used to have the lowest turnout in any congressional district. Now it has the highest and we've been consistent on that.

I believe that by getting out the vote, in say Milwaukee, Detroit, Flint, and in the suburbs of Philadelphia, we could have changed this whole election. Turnout is the key.

We've seen actually Hillary Clinton got about 5 million fewer votes than Barack Obama and even Romney got more votes than Trump. The real problem for Democrats is we've got to help people believe and then we've got to deliver the message to them.

Believe what? That we are absolutely, unshakably on their side and we're going to fight for them every single minute.

CUOMO: All right. So let's look at what the optics will be of the resistance.


CUOMO: You have people who say, African-American guy, Muslim seat, this is all the Democrats are about. They are all about these fringe issues and pushing Muslims on us and pushing all these cultural and political correctness issues.


CUOMO: They don't care about people like me anymore if I'm white working-class. That's the party of the elites with their big ideas.

ELLISON: Well, you know, my district in Minnesota is about 75 percent white and most people don't have college degrees. And so I talk to white working-class voters every single day. In fact they elected me with 70 percent of the vote and I've been doing that now for six terms.

So I feel that, you know, that we've got to say, we've got to acknowledge that when plants are closing, when people are anxious, when you don't know whether you can retire, you've got $10,000, maybe, in the bank if you're 55 years old, people are really super nervous about that.

And you know what? They need somebody who cares and who's going to fight for them and talk to them and listen to them. We also in the Democratic Party got to strengthen the grass roots. Power should be concentrated in the field.

Not in D.C. We got to get people the data, the training, the personnel, that they need to really connect with people 365 days a year. That's what we really got to be doing.

CUOMO: You know in truth that doesn't get enough credit for why Trump won. The RNC put a lot of money into their field organization having people in precincts where they needed help. They didn't do that autopsy plan like they needed to out of 2012, but they tapped into something else, economic distress. One practical point that keeps coming up with you that it has to be a full-time job. Do you accept that the head of the DNC has to be a full-time job?

ELLISON: Well, I accept, yes, but that doesn't mean that I can't do that job. I believe -- I know I can do --

CUOMO: As congressman therefore would not be a full-time job. That would be two jobs.

ELLISON: Let me tell you I'm a very hard-working person. Let's focus on what went wrong in the election, turnout. The problem was turnout and so that's what we -- we've got to get somebody who is good at turnout. That's how you're going to win again.

CUOMO: All right, but turnout makes it sound like a process, right? And of course you do have --

ELLISON: It's substantive.

CUOMO: All right, so how do this happen? If it's so obvious now? I was raised by a Democrat, a real one, today, pop would be called like a communist by today's political standards. It was always about the working family. It was always -- that's what the Democrats were. It was blue collar Democrats, white collar Republicans.


CUOMO: Now it seems to have shifted. How did you guys get in this hole?

ELLISON: Well, you know I think that one thing's for sure, we've got to go and connect to the grassroots much, much more and we've got to message that way. We've got to make sure that labor is a key and fundamental partner of what we're doing.

CUOMO: You've got the unions.


CUOMO: But there seems to be a disconnect between people who feel that the unions are for them versus the unions are just part of the machine. Another thing they've got to pay into.

ELLISON: Yes, you know, I tell you this, too, you know, the Republicans, they -- all the mainstream Republicans got rejected remember. I mean, Trump did successfully promise jobs. He promised to drain the swamp.

He promised -- and he did attack these trade models which I absolutely think are a problem, and I've been opposing. But I -- but he's not going to deliver on those things and it won't take long for it to be clear. He's already gotten a bunch of lobbyists and big time bankers --

CUOMO: He's trying to get them out. Why aren't you giving him a chance?

ELLISON: Well, I am giving him a chance. He has selected Bannon. He's talking about -- he's not talking about reform. He's bringing lobbyists in already. He's talking about --

CUOMO: He said lobbyists got snuck in there by Christie and Manafort and they're getting -- they're taking them out.

ELLISON: Yes, you know but they're still there now and also you know, there's already headlines on how people -- big players in the financial services industry got oversized influence on his transition team right now.

[08:25:09]So my thing is, yes, we gave him a chance already and he put in Bannon, he put in Flynn, and he put in Jeff Sessions, and to me, he's already made it pretty clear where he's going with this thing.

CUOMO: They have a picture of Jeff Sessions celebrating a 50-year anniversary of civil rights that he is a different man than who he was 35, 40 years ago. Do you give him that allowance?

ELLISON: let me tell you, man, anybody who is rejected from a judgeship because of their record of racism, I just think you know you really got to be concerned about that. That's really a problem. And in this age when we're trying to bring Americans together, of all colors, working people of all colors, I think it's the wrong signal.

CUOMO: Or, it was in the '80S right, so it was a long time ago, or is this one of the things that the Democratic Party has to struggle with that if you're all about political correctness, and the optics of race, do you wind up risking stain in this cultural divide that you're in right now.

Where you're seen as the political correct elite crowd, and the working people who just want to get passed it, and I don't care what the guy says, I just care about what he does, who don't focus on that stuff as much?

ELLISON: But you know, Chris, it's not either/or. In my view it's about the whole working class not just one part of it. People want to get -- they want to get a decent pay. They want to retire. They want to give their kids a future. Everyone wants to do that.

The Democratic Party should never stop being that big tent that includes all Americans whoever they may be. We have always got to be those folks who absolutely are for the white working class, the black working class, the Latino working class, women, men.

We got to be those folks who are inclusive, but we've got to have$, an economic populist message that really helps address people's core anxiety. I mean, you know, I mean, when I graduated from law school, I had a $12,000 of debt.

Kids nowadays they pick it up in a semester. You know, when I -- the minimum wage $7.25 an hour. The tip minimum wage is $2.13. This is an outrage, man. We've got -- the Democratic Party should be leading the fight to change it.

CUOMO: And this isn't new for you. You're fighting this in your own politics and you were with Bernie Sanders. Keith Ellison, good luck to you going forward.

ELLISON: You bet.

CUOMO: All right, Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Well, there's been a spike in hate crimes since the election. How can those be stopped? Our all-star panel weighs in, next.