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Trump Continues Meetings with Possible Cabinet Members; Interview with Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland; Driver Charged in Deadly School Bus Crash. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 22, 2016 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: He is a neurosurgeon. He gives you insight and access into stories you would never get. I could never cover that the way Sanjay just did, and we're all better for it. What an amazing story, especially so close to Thanksgiving.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I'm sure that when Sanjay comes in next you won't make fun of him for his suit or any other things you normally make fun of him about because you now respect him so much.

CUOMO: I've always respected him. I don't like him personally.


CAMEROTA: I get it. I understand.

CUOMO: We're following a lot of news. What do you say? Let's get to it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump proved that he understood America.

NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am for whoever the president-elect picks.

TRUMP: Truly great and talented men and women will soon be a part of our government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senior advisor is a Nazi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump repeatedly denounced racism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Multiple children lost their lives today in this tragic incident.

CUOMO: A school bus drive was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is being investigated very, very strongly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been one of the worst days we've had in Hamilton County.


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

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone, welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, November 22nd, 8:00 in the east. President-elect Donald Trump outlining his plans for the first 100 days in an online video as speculation intensifies this morning about who will fill the remaining cabinet positions in his administration.

CUOMO: Meantime Brand new CNN/ORC poll gives us a snapshot into how Americans are feeling about Trump two weeks after the election. One word, divided. You have a narrow majority of Americans, 53 percent, believing Trump will do a good job as commander in chief.

CAMEROTA: Americans are also split on Trump's handling of the presidential transition so far -- 46 percent say they approve, 45 percent disapprove. Only about a third of Americans have a lot of confidence for Trump's picks in his top appointments.

CUOMO: Numbers are the same when it comes to confidence in Trump's ability to provide leadership. It's really contextually historically low compared to other modern day presidents before they took office. There's a lot of news about the transition and some crimes around this country. Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Jason Carroll at the new White House annex at Trump Tower in New York.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. Two weeks and still no press conference from Trump. In comparison president-elect Obama did his three days after the election. Even so, Trump did release that video that you mentioned outlining what he's going to do in his first 100 days in office. All of this as speculation continues to swirl over who's going to run his cabinet. Trump tweeting out just this morning that he's going to have what he called great meetings with people who could be running this country, he says, for the next eight years.


CARROLL: President-elect Donald Trump outlining what he intends to accomplish during his first 100 days in office, including a pledge to create jobs.

TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT-ELECT: On trade, I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Transpacific Partnership. I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high paying jobs.

CARROLL: And end corruption in Washington. TRUMP: As part of our plan to drain the swamp, we will impose a five

year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration and a lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

CARROLL: But in a two-and-a-half minute video Trump steering clear of some of his most controversial and biggest campaign promises, like building a wall on the Mexico border, repealing Obamacare, placing a ban on Muslims entering the United States, and no mention of deportations.

TRUMP: On immigration, I will direct the Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.

CARROLL: This as Trump continues to parade cabinet and senior staff hopefuls past cameras again. Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard slipping past cameras to meet with Trump. She's the second Democrat Trump has spoken with since the election. Gabbard is now under consideration for top jobs at the Defense Department, State Department, and United Nations according to a source. Trump also taking time to meet with executives and anchors from five television networks, including CNN, to address concerns about access.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: It is an off-the-record meeting. It was very cordial, very productive, congenial, but it was also very candid and very honest.

CARROLL: Meanwhile, Trump's team on the defensive. Civil rights groups urging the president-elect to denounce the alt-right after white nationals were captured on video cheering their president-elect in Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory.

[08:05:00] CARROLL: And capitalizing on Trump's "make America great again" slogan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For us as Europeans, it is only normal again when we are great again.

CARROLL: Racism and anti-Semitism on full display, audience members giving a Nazi salute.

Without denouncing the alt-right by name, Trump's transition team said in a statement, "President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American."


CARROLL: And that statement not satisfying Trump's critics who are unhappy and concerned about his choice of chief strategist Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon, as you know, Chris, and Alisyn, the founder of Breitbart, and Bannon made it very clear that Breitbart was, in part, a platform for the alt-right. And in a separate situation Trump, as you know, has had this very

tense relationship with the press. Part of the reason why he had the meeting with media executives and anchors. And he continues to tweet about problems that he's been having with the "New York Times." Three tweets so far this morning about an interview he was supposed to have with "The Times" and apparently not happening now. He says, quote, "I canceled today's meeting with failing "New York Times" when conditions of my meeting were changed," quote, "not nice." Then he had another two tweets also criticizing "The Times." It seems like his tweeting is not going to stop any time soon. Chris, Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Jason, thank you for all of that. Let's discuss it with our panel. We have Richard Quest, CNN-I business correspondent and host of "Quest Means Business," Jackie Kucinich, CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief for "The Daily Beast," and Matt Lewis, CNN political commentator and senior contributor to "The Daily Caller."

Let's start with what Donald Trump has announced that he wants to do in his first 100 days. Matt, we'll pull this up on the screen for everybody. He says he wants to withdraw from TPP, we knew that from the campaign, negotiate bilateral trade deals. In terms of energy, slash restrictions on domestic energy production. Regulation, he's going to cut two old regulations for every new one created. National security, he has a plan to protect infrastructure from cyber-attacks. Immigration, investigate abuses from the visa program. That's quite different than build a wall or deport 12 million people or even 2 million people. Ethics reforms, he says five-year ban on lobbying for top officials. That increases the time right now, and a lifetime ban for top officials lobbying on behalf of foreign governments. You don't hear, again, the wall, the deportation. Of course you don't hear anything about Obamacare. What do you make of the first 100 days?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think most of these things are things he can do on day one. The other stuff is day two, he gets around to the wall on day two. Most of these are things he could actually basically do via unilaterally on day one. I think most of them are very consistent with what he ran on. These are nationalist, populist policies that would benefit sort of the working class guys in Michigan or Ohio. That will make him happy.

CAMEROTA: But in terms of the wall and repealing Obamacare and the deportation force, you don't see this as he's pivoting away, you see that as a later date?

LEWIS: That's day two.

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He also needs Congress for those things. He actually needs Congress for the foreign lobbyist -- lobby for a foreign government because that doesn't really have any heft without Congress making it law. You can just -- they can still do it.

CUOMO: Brother Quest, I want your take on this agenda in general, but one of the things that you put out there I was reading about TPP, this was supposed to agglomerate that entire region, about 11 to 14 economies depending on how you look at it. And if the U.S. pulls out of this, there's speculation now that China will step in.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: China is already there. It's got the RECP, 16 nations. It was China's response to TPP. Now, you've already got the Japanese prime minister saying without the U.S., TPP cannot be renegotiated. Renegotiation is impossible. He described it as meaningless. So if the U.S. pulls out of TPP, it's dead, it's gone, it's over. China is in the perfect position for RCEP, the regional economic cooperation program or whatever, and that's got 16. Look, I was in Asia last week. I was in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. All areas, particularly obviously Singapore, Malaysia, where governments exerted huge political capital to get TPP through their own parliaments. They are furious.

CUOMO: How does this hurt the U.S., by the way, if China gets its RCEP?

QUEST: Geopolitically it creates a pivot, but not the pivot that President Obama wants. It creates a pivot to make the U.S. less relevant in that part of the world when it comes to trade. The U.S. with its $16 trillion economy is always going to be of crucial importance, but as you build regional alliances and increase trade, suddenly China is a much bigger player than it was as a result.

KUCINICH: In theory, this would have been the case if Hillary Clinton was the president too, because she did say she was not going to supported TPP.

[08:10:00] QUEST: She would have finagled something.

KUCINICH: I'm just saying, in theory if we're looking at campaign promises.

QUEST: It's not just TPP. The other line he said in this is he will forge bilateral relationships. That's a knee to the groin to whole multilateral world trade organization, these big trade deals. The Europeans can say goodbye to their deal. This is going to be Donald Trump individually picking off individual countries now and saying, we'll do a deal here, we'll do a deal there. This is what you get, this is what we get.

CAMEROTA: Richard, we want to ask you about a tweet that Donald Trump sent out last night. You're rubbing your head in advance of a migraine. This is about Nigel Farage.

QUEST: I'm not being rude. I've got the tweet.

CAMEROTA: We have got it. "Many people would like to see Nigel Farage represent Great Britain as their ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!" Your thoughts?

QUEST: Imagine the United Kingdom inviting Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and saying put them all in your cabinet, Mr. Trump. We want you to do that. That's the equivalent.

CUOMO: Isn't he speaking to the popular mandate that came out of the Brexit vote and that Farage is representative of as somewhat of an analogy to what he believes he pulled off in this election?

QUEST: I'm sure he is, but it's pure unadulterated mischief-making to send that sort of tweet out.

CUOMO: So -- and you see this as some type of window into what Trump's disposition will be abroad, that is medaling more than bridge building?

QUEST: I wouldn't say meddling, mischief-making.

CUOMO: What's the difference? Just because you pronounce it with that beautiful accent doesn't mean it resonates?


CUOMO: It didn't sound like that when the nuns used to accuse me of it.

QUEST: I think that's more information than we need.


QUEST: Look, at the end of the day he's going to build a relationship to Britain. Britain wants him more than he needs them. He then goes and says, your worst enemy is Nigel Farage, appoint him to Washington.

CAMEROTA: Nigel Farage has said how much he likes Donald Trump and how much he supports him and how much he considers this a victory, you know, on both their behalves. So this is Donald Trump being vintage Donald Trump. You support me, you put out a statement saying what a victor I am. I say I like you.

LEWIS: Yes. Look, it makes sense, because what happened with Donald Trump here in America I do think is part of an international movement. You see it in France with La Pen, you see it in Great Britain with the Brexit vote.

CUOMO: And his guy Bannon reportedly reached out to La Pen to try to work together.

LEWIS: I think they were ahead of the curve for better or worse in seeing that this is an international movement towards nationalism and populism. But look, it is incredibly inappropriate and presumptuous for our president to instruct a foreign government who they should set as an ambassador.

KUCINICH: Speaking of inappropriate, there's that "New York Times" piece today that says that Trump discussed wind farms with Nigel Farage. He happens to have a wind farm he doesn't like.

QUEST: Because of the noise when they're playing golf.

KUCINICH: At his resort in Scotland.

CAMEROTA: And so what's inappropriate? KUCINICH: Because that's something that he was encouraging them to

look at. Again, it benefits his business. We're reading about this in the foreign press, again, something that could potentially affect Donald Trump's businesses. It's mixing -- seemingly to mix diplomacy with his business interests.

QUEST: You've always sent the right ambassador. You always send an ambassador that gets on well. The U.S. once sent an ambassador to the court of St. James in London who loved farms where the queen had sent her horses for stud farm in Kentucky because you want to build a relationship, but you do it quietly. You do it diplomatically. You do not go and ask them, would you please send your greatest political rival to be your number one ambassador.

CUOMO: You do if, if your basic motivating factor is that you reward people who are nice to you. That is the only thing that explains Farage based on what you're laying out is that simple dynamic. It also is the only thing to my mind that explains his ignoring of the alt-right in this country. By alt-right, I mean neo-Nazis raising their hand in the czarist salute and having these meetings. It can only mean to me, Matt, that if you are nice to Trump, he will ignore you because he calls out everybody by name.

KUCINICH: Or reward you.

CUOMO: Or at least not do what -- which is denounce him by name. Otherwise, how do you explain these guys raising the Nazi signal? I mean, nothing unites America like their hate of hate. And he does not call them out by name, which he would do with Matt Lewis, Alisyn Camerota, "The New York Times." Specific, if you're nice to them then what you do is OK?

[08:15:01] LEWIS: Yes. And I think that's sort of been the M.O. for Donald Trump for a long time is loyalty. I think he should be very explicit in condemning the alt-right. I don't know that he needs to mention specific people's name, but he certainly does it to "The New York Times."

CUOMO: Just think about it. Obama got --

CAMEROTA: The conference this weekend.


CUOMO: Obama -- he went after Obama. You won't say radical Islamic terror. You won't say it. You won't say it. Now, he won't say these people's names who are holding up Nazi signals.

LEWIS: Well, it's going to be interesting, not to change the subject but the larger theme about rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies. He's about to make a pick for secretary of state. If he picks Mitt Romney, that sends a different message than if he picks Rudy Giuliani and that might actually tell us a lot about whether or not you're right about that sense that it's all about being nice to m.

QUEST: That depends on whether the secretary of state will have much power/influence in any administration or ultimately will it be controlled within the tight loyalists?

CAMEROTA: Panel, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, this news. Maryland Senator Ben Cardin voicing concerns over President-elect Donald Trump's future relations with Russia. What is he worried about? We'll ask him, next.



TRUMP: But if we could get along with Russia, wouldn't that be a good thing instead of a bad thing?


CUOMO: Russian President Vladimir Putin said President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed to him that he is, quote, "willing to normalize Russian/American relations." The idea has many U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle concerned.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin is one of them.

[08:20:02] Writing in an op-ed in "The Washington Post" this week, saying, quote, "I implore the Trump administration to see Russia for what it is, a global bully and adversary."

Senator Cardin joins us now.

You being confused with a man you've never been confused with before, John McCain. He's been saying the same thing, Senator Cardin, for a long time. What is wrong with Donald Trump's entreaties that we would be better off getting along with Russia?

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: Well, Chris, Russia's not our friend. They're not our partner. We ignore them at our own peril.

Ask the people of Ukraine whether they can trust Russia's statements now that Russia is occupying part of Ukraine. Ask the people of Moldova, or Georgia, where we've seen Russia's aggression take over part of the sovereignty of that country. Ask our allies in the Baltic how they feel about Russia's activities and whether they fear their own borders being compromised.

In the United States, may not have been attacked by a Mig but we were attacked by a mouse. Russia has attacked America through cyber. We've got to respond to that.

So, sure, we want to get along with all countries. But right now, Russia is an aggressor. It's a bully. If we start to say what they're doing is okay, we're going to find that their activities will be even more aggressive.

CUOMO: And Trump says, you are right, Senator Cardin. All of those conditions exist. They do because you Democrats are weak and you have been weak for eight years. Your Russian reset was a failure. They have run amuck.

We cannot just go against them. You tried it. It didn't work. I want to try to do it like a businessman. I want to work with them where we can, and by that, I will get some more input in what Russia does. It's a better way than your way.

What do you say?

CARDIN: Russia's a corrupt regime. You can't deal with them in a sense that we're going to get along. What they've already done, you've seen aggression against U.S. interests. They're determined to compromise democratic institutions. They're spending billions of dollars infiltrating using democratic institutions against itself.

We don't want to be converted by Russia. We want preserved democratic institutions and the international for leadership. If we start to make nice with Russia with their activities in Ukraine and their activities in Syria, preventing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, compromising their ability to go against ISIL, what we're doing is playing into Russia, playing into a greater Russia. And that is bad for democracy and bad for freedom around the world.

CUOMO: Two quick questions. First, what have you done about it?

I went to Ukraine for CNN. We covered the situation there. Everybody knew what they were doing. Everybody knew how the investigations of MH-17 was going to wind up.

The U.S. did nothing to stand against Russia there. When they annexed Crimea, the U.S. did nothing.

So, this sense of urgency all of sudden, right now from you seems to run in the face of the disposition of the U.S. administration for the past eight years, which has been to not check Russia in any real way.

CARDIN: Well, Chris, Democrats and Republicans need to work together in Congress. I was the leader in passing the Magnitsky Accountability Act where we have taken against Russians who were involved in the tragedy against Sergei Magnitsky. I am currently leading an effort for legislation in Congress and the next Congress that will provide additional tools where we can take action against Russia, prevent America businesses from helping to finance Russia's aggression, to sanction those individuals who are responsible for attacks against our own country in cyber.

There are activities that we can do in Congress to provide the leadership that we need, and I can assure you that there are going to be many of us, Democrats and Republicans, will be very active in regards to what we can do against Russia.

CUOMO: Last question. Reading your "Washington Post" piece, there seemed to be a little bit of a subtext that you're concerned about what Trump's motivations may be with his more friendly disposition towards Russia.

Do you really have any reason to believe that Trump is compromised when it comes to Russia because of political feelings, sympathies, business interests, anything?

CARDIN: The questions, I really don't know. As you know, he's never filed his tax returns. We do not know his business dealings in Russia. That's the reason why it's critically important that Donald Trump puts his assets in a blind trust or sells his assets. We don't know.

If he has business dealings in Russia, we don't know how that is used to try to influence U.S. policy decisions. That's why it's extremely important that the president does not have any potential conflicts in dealing with any country around the world.

CUOMO: Well, it does seem to be a primary role when you talk about constitutional congressional oversight of the executive.

[08:25:02] It'd be very interesting to see if you guys get together and ask him some questions about his conflicts.

Senator Cardin, I wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving. You're always welcome on NEW DAY to talk about what matters.

CARDIN: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: You be well.


CAMEROTA: Chris, there's deadly school bus crash in Tennessee that we continue to report on. How will federal officials decide what went wrong? And how to prevent it from happening to other children on their way to school. We will ask the former head of the NTSB, next.


CAMEROTA: We continue to follow that tragic news out of Tennessee. A school bus driver now charged with vehicular homicide after a crash that killed at least five elementary school children.

CNN's Martin Savidge has more from Chattanooga.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flipping on its side, careening into a tree, so fast, its frame crumbling on impact. This is the image of a horrific school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing at least five students and injuring 23.

STUDENT: He wasn't paying attention. He was going real fast.

SAVIDGE: The bus driver, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, arrested late Monday and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

CHIEF FRED FLETCHER, CHATTANOOGA POLICE DEPT.: Certainly, speed is being investigated very, very strongly as a factor in this crash.