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Trump's Thanksgiving Message; Trump Nominates First Two Women to Cabinet; Trump Rethinks Campaign Pledges; Biographer on Trump's' Leadership Style; How to Survive Your Tense Thanksgiving Dinner; Tight Security Transforms Life at Trump Tower; About 50 Million Americans Hitting the Road, Skies; Sixth Death in Chattanooga School Bus Crash. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 23, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:01:02] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again. We're just about 24 hours from the precise moment when you fall asleep on the sofa. Thankfully, there's plenty happening tonight including new names for Donald Trump's cabinet, sharp new criticism for one big league front-runner, Mitt Romney, and a great look at how families divided by the election plan to cope at dinner tomorrow.

Let's begin this hour with CNN's Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Donald Trump settles in for the Thanksgiving weekend, the President-elect is making room at the table for some surprising cabinet picks. For starters, his choice were ambassador to the U.N., one of his toughest GOP critics Nikki Haley, saying in a statement, "The South Carolina governor and daughter of Indian immigrants is a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She'll be a great leader representing us on the world stage."

Explaining her decision to step down as governor, Haley said, "When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation's standing in the world, that is a calling important to heed."

GOV. NIKKI HALEY, TRUMP NOMINEE FOR U.N. AMBASSADOR: When a bully hits you, you hit that bully right back.

ACOSTA: Haley had a different calling in the primary. When she was backing Marco Rubio, she attacked Trump as a race-baiting bully.

HALEY: I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK, that is not part of our party, that's not who we want as president. We will not allow that in our country.

ACOSTA: Trump punched right back.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: She's very, very weak on illegal immigration. You can't have that.

ACOSTA: In addition to his election of Haley, Trump also tacked billionaire school choice advocate Betsy DeVos for Education secretary and appears to be closing in on announcing Ben Carson to lead Housing and Urban Development. The DeVos pick is already angering some conservatives who are outraged over her alliance with Jeb Bush's push for common core standardized testing in schools. But on her website, DeVos said she opposes common core, something Trump repeatedly vowed to end.

TRUMP: We're going to provide, you're going to like this, school choice and put an end to common core which is a disaster. We'll bring our education local.

ACOSTA: Trump's willingness to go outside his comfort zone may well be a sign he could turn to one of his biggest Republican adversaries to become a secretary of state, Mitt Romney.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.

ACOSTA: The potential move is enraging some of his core supporters.

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: There's only one way that I think Mitt Romney could even be considered for a post like that and that is that he goes to a microphone in a very public place and repudiates everything he said in that famous Salt Lake City speech.

NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I could think of 20 other people who would be more naturally compatible with the Trump vision of foreign policy.


ACOSTA: Jim Acosta, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: Before the President-elect left for Florida he recorded a Thanksgiving message and released it late today on social media like he did earlier this week. CNN's Jason Carroll is in Palm Beach, Florida, he joins us now from outside of Mar-a-Lago.

Jason, what more can you tell us about this video?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a couple of things. First of all, when you think about the campaign, as you know, a number of Donald Trump's critics felt as thought he ran a divisive campaign. Some saying he -- it was a racist campaign. Trump always denied that. But having said that, he's put out this Thanksgiving message calling for unity, saying it's time for the country to heal and come together. He said he knows that this is something that's going to take time. At one point, also quoting Abraham Lincoln saying, "One voice and one heart." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We've just finished a long and bruising political campaign. Emotions are raw and tensions just don't heal overnight. It doesn't go quickly, unfortunately. But we have before us the chance now to make history together, to bring real change to Washington, real safety to our cities and real prosperity to our communities including our inner cities so important to me and so important to our country. But to succeed, we must enlist the effort of our entire nation.


[21:05:11] CARROLL: So again, the message is one tonight of unity and coming together. Trump's critics are already saying though that, look, it's more about words. It's more about what this president- elect plans to do in terms of putting forth policies. That is what they're looking for.

BERMAN: Jason, you are in Florida at Mar-a-Lago or near Mar-a-Lago where the President-elect will spend Thanksgiving ...


BERMAN: ... with his family. Do we know about his plans to celebrate?

CARROLL: Oh, we know what he won't be doing. He won't be giving a press conference with the media. That's not going to be happening. But, look, this is something, the holiday that the Trump family has been looking forward to. It's going to be a down day from what we're hearing for the President-elect and his family. I know a number of people are still looking for more names, more announcements in terms of who's going to be making up his cabinet. We would not expect that to happen tomorrow, maybe Friday, but certainly tomorrow is going to be a down day for Trump and his family.

BERMAN: All right. Jason Carroll for us in Mar-a-Lago. Hope you get some down time. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Jason.

CARROLL: You bet. You too.

BERMAN: That eyebrow raise means, no, I'm not getting any down time.

Back now with the panel. Jeffrey Lord, I want to start with you here. Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, widely respected, seen as a rising star within the Republican Party, but not seen as someone with vast foreign policy experience, and she is going to the United Nations. Does that matter?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't really think it does. And I'm not saying this because of Nikki Haley. I mean, after all there are lots of Republicans and other Americans who feel that we elected a four-year United States senator with no serious foreign policy experience as president of the United States meaning then Senator Obama whose main experience had been as a state legislator in Illinois. I just think that, you know, one of the things we've gotten away from in this country, John, is the whole premise of the United States of America was that average citizens could govern the country, that we weren't monarchs, and we weren't going to have royalty, that you could come from private -- the private life, private sector and govern the country. And I think we've gotten away from that. We have a political class of sorts. And I think that we need to get back to the original intent of the country here so I say let's give her a try. If the President wants her, let's go with it.

BERMAN: Well, the counter argument to that, Jeffrey, and, Carlos, let's bring you in here, is that you appoint people the jobs and areas where they have expertise. You appoint people who have foreign policy experience to the foreign policy job. I'm not saying Jeffrey is right or wrong but there is a counter argument there and Ben Carson, who's rumored to be going to lead up HUD, his experience is in medicine, in surgery, you know, not in urban development per se. So, I mean, there is another side to what Jeffrey is saying.

CARLOS WATSON, EDITOR IN CHIEF, OZY.COM: Sure. Although, of course, you see a president who'd never been a politician before, you know, 16 other seasoned politicians and so of course comes to this with, call it a greater openness to people who don't have classic backgrounds and so in some ways you're not surprised. I think that Ben Carson one though does surprise me a little bit. Nikki Haley going from governor to U.N. ambassador understanding that there's a larger foreign policy nation security complex that will be around, they're probably driven by the Secretary of State. But Ben Carson, that seems a little weird. That's simply unexpected. You and I would both more readily expect this neurosurgeon to be tacked about for HHS or something like that.

But one thing I'll say about the Romney thing that no one else is talking about I find very interesting, remember the worst thing that can happen for a president who wants to be a two-term president is to be primary, right? And George H.W. Bush saw that, Jimmy Carter saw that. And so, could you be sideling a potential opponent by bringing them in? Certainly that's what the Obama team tried to do with Jon Huntsman. Remember that ...

BERSON: They gave him -- they appoint him, they sent him to Beijing cause (inaudible).

WATSON: So, sorry, right, so it wouldn't be craziest thing in the world. And certainly the Obama team in putting Hillary Clinton there was no only putting in place someone who they respected and someone who would be U.S. senator ...

LORD: John?

WATSON: ... and someone who would run but they also were thinking this is -- rather have her closer than have an opponent out there.

BERMAN: Jeffrey, go ahead.

LORD: John, one other thing here. The way Washington work is that a lot of times cabinet members who are stars in one fashion or another are selected for the top spot. In the second spot, in the less visible spot is selected somebody who's a real career professional, who has very good experience. I worked with Jack Kemp who was definitely a star. He cared passionately about urban policy. Underneath Jack Kemp, however, were serious pros in urban policy and at HUD, et cetera. That's a very common practice in Washington when building cabinets and giving jobs, is that the star, who gets the cabinet level job or the ambassadorship, et cetera, has right underneath them, a slew of career professionals who can help them govern so that they are the public face, they help decide the policy, but you got pros there that can help you.

BERMAN: Jack Kemp had done a lot of thinking and a lot of writing and a lot of work.

[21:10:01] LORD: Yes he have. Absolutely.

BERMAN: But before he ever took that office though which is different in this case ...

LORD: Right.

BERMAN: ... in either Nikki Haley or Ben Carson. Karine Jean-Pierre, I want to bring you in because in the area of expertise there is this article in "The Washington Post," little buzz paper tonight that says that Donald Trump is only taking two of the national security briefings, The daily intelligence briefings that he is entitled to now as the president-elect.

Mike Pence is doing it every day, Donald Trump apparently not doing it everyday. He's working hard obviously, he's putting together his team but he's not getting these briefings.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yeah, and I think it also plays into the stories that we've heard about Donald Trump talking to foreign leaders on nonsecure lines as well, which I think is -- you know, he has -- I think he didn't reach out if I remember correctly reading, it's like the State Department had heard from the transition team about how to -- what's the protocol in making that happen. So I think it plays into all of us. It is concerning, right, because he is going to be our president and needs to start realizing that there are certain protocols and certain ways of going about being president that you need to do which is taking national security.

BERMAN: It's his choice. I mean, it's his choice.

PIERRE: I think I understand that.

BERMAN: You don't take it often, but do you think he'd be a better served by choosing to get at much information now before he's in office?

KATON DAWSON, FORMER CHAIRMAN SC REPUBLICAN PARTY: It's my understanding that President-elect Trump to Mike Pence everyday. And he has said earlier that he was taking administration, Mike Pence was going to be very integral part of transition later. Mike Pence has gone to Washington, he's had those type briefings before. So, I can understand, Donald Trump is a delegator. He'll be a CEO who makes the decisions. So he's very different in what we've seen before and a little bit like Ronald Reagan on how he run his White House

He delegate authority, made decisions, put people in place and I think that he is talking to Mike Pence, so I don't have any concern that president-elect isn't reading the briefings everyday.

BERMAN: You sound like Mike Pence. This brings up an important subject. He appears to have an enormous amount of power ...

WATSON: He does.

BERMAN: ... right now and sway and influence Alice. I mean, Mike Pompeo, it was said to be very close to Mike Pence.


BERMAN: Nikki Haley, a lot of people note this thing today that you know, that Nikki Haley is very close to Mike Pence. They both served as governor. It really does seem like he's going to have an enormous role in this administration.

STEWART: Well, there's a big and important reason for that. Mike Pence has great relationships in Washington and outside of Washington and he's got a great demeanor with people and he was very instrumental behind the scenes during the primary process in bringing a lot of disgruntled Republicans who were holding their notes about Donald Trump with his skill and he's working with people. He was able to bring a lot of members of Congress together to support Donald Trump that didn't really want to do that and I think with him being head of the transition, he's also bringing people up for consideration that wouldn't normally want to sit down and have a conversation with Donald Trump, let alone be a part of his administration.

So Mike Pence I think is a great pick A for VP, but also to head the transition given his ability to bring people together. And we're being able -- we're able to see the best of the best up for this top positions and I think in large part because of him.

BERMAN: Fill up the big questions, what did Mike Pence thinking meet Romney?

Look, I mean and seriously, if one of the biggest moments of intrigue over these Thanksgiving holidays, what's going to happen with the Secretary of State, I mean, everyone is very, very curious about what's really going on here. I talked to as many Romney people as I possibly can and they say that he is considering it. And the Trump people say he is considering it.

PHILIP BUMP, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right, yeah. I mean, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Donald Trump were to say Mitt Romney, I'd like you to be my Secretary of State. I wouldn't surprise me -- it would surprise me if Mitt Romney hesitated that all. I mean, I think that it is a position for which to Mitt Romney has sort of been grooming himself for a long time. I think that while he disagrees with Donald Trump, I think he still also does feel all of the things he said about Donald Trump but he isn't necessarily fit for the office.

And I think that he would see it as sort of a public service to go in and provide that assistance in the fight for his staff.

BERMAN: But I think, if he still thinks that. If he still thinks that Katon, how can you take the job?

DAWSON: I think what you're seeing with Mike Pence, and this is where differs. It took along time for Mitt Romney to become a conservative. That was way he had problems in the 2008 primary. So why he had this 2020 ...

BERMAN: But -- OK guys ...

DAWSON: Yes, sir.

BERMAN: Is Donald Trump a conservative?



DAWSON: And I'm trying to connect the dots. Take a look at who we just put in. Mike Pompeo, moving to conservative. Nikki Haley moved to conservative. Why are the things if it they are doing right now is suring up that based on the Republican Party because you better have that base when you jump into the big fight.

Ronald Reagan had it and Donald Trump knows he's going to need it.

WATSON: And, you know, the only other part of the Shakespearean drama that no one is talking about yet is whether they're going to reach out to the Bush family, right, because it when you reach out and if you end up bring in and Mitt Romney, you said to everyone who was kind of never Trump who has establishment it Republican. We love you, it's OK to come -in. But the question is will you go as far as same to same to Jeb Bush, when you go as far same the same the President George W. Bush or H.W. can certainly, there was a little bit of ...

BERMAN: You're right.

WATSON: ... animosity in the minimum there.

LORD: You can bring back Billy Bush.

STEWART: Oh, gosh.

BERMAN: You're heard, you heard in here first, we're going to leave that one, where it is, Jeffrey Lord. But Carlos, thank you, well maybe Jeb Bush would ...


[21:15:03] BERMAN: All right guys stick around. Much more to talk about tonight including Donald Trump's positions on some very big issues versus Donald Trump's positions on some very big issues then and now. Next.


BERMAN: Last night on the program, presidential story and Douglas Brinkley cited Walt Whitman's, "Song of myself", through explain Donald Trump's talent for contradicting himself lately.

"I am large", the song goes. "I contain multitudes". Whitman grew up in Brooklyn, Trump in Queens. Whitman wrote, "Large", Trump says, "Huge".

CNN's Brynn Gingras reports.


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NEW YORK CITY-BASED NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Scheduling, canceling, and then rescheduling a meeting with the "New York Times" isn't the only thing President-elect Donald Trump has changed his mind about since being elected.

In its first sit down interview with the newspaper since winning the election, the flip-flops added up. Take his stands on prosecuting Hillary Clinton over her e-mail controversy.

TRUMP: She deleted the e-mails. She has to go to jail.

AUDIENCE: Lock her up! Lock her up!

TRUMP: If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.

GINGRAS: He's since softened telling "The Times", "I don't want to hurt the Clintons, I really don't. She went through a lot and suffered greatly." About Obamacare, Trump first said.

TRUMP: It's got to go. Obamacare has to be repealed and replaced.

[21:20:08] GINGRAS: He's changed his stands on that too. Some parts could say, "Coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions and children's staying on their parents plan until they're 26," as he said in this "60 Minutes" interview.

TRUMP: Adds cost, but it's very much something we're going to try and keep.

GINGRAS: As the President-elect fills his administration, and General James Mattis appears to be a front-runner for Secretary of Defense, despite the two having different opinions on the use of water boarding. But this is what Trump told "The Times" about a recent meeting with the generals.

TRUMP: I said, what do you think about water boarding? He said, I was surprised. He said, I've never found it to be useful. He said, I've always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with tortures."

GINGRAS: So, is Trump backing away from what he continuously told his supporters about using torture on terror suspects?

TRUMP: I love it. I love it. Biggest way. And I said, the only thing is we should make it much tougher than water boarding. And if you don't think it works, folks, you're wrong.

GINGRAS: And when it comes to climate change, the President-Elect once tweeted that global warming is an expensive hoax, now telling "The Times" he believes there's some connectivity between humans and climate change. Stressing, "Clean air is vitally important."


GINGRAS: And the list goes on and on as time passes, the President- elect even changing his mind about President Obama. At one point, he called him ignorant and now he likes him.

The notorious wall may become a fence and "The New York Times" ones quoted by Trump as being disgusting, now considered, "A world jewel." John?

BERMAN: Right. Brynn Gingras, thank you so much. All of this really cries out for someone who knows what makes Donald Trump tick or flips as the case may be.

Fortunately, there's Trump Biographer, Michael D'Antonio, author of "The Truth about Trump" who joins us tonight.

So, Michael, Donald Trump has seemed to reverse himself on many of the things he campaigned on. I supposed, most notably and famously right now this idea that he wanted to lock Hillary Clinton up.

Is this something this malleability, this willingness to change on a dime, is that something that is characteristic of Donald Trump?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR OF "THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP": You know, it really is characteristic of him. He is more flexible I think than ideologue would be. His general frame of reference is what's going to work, especially what's going to work for him.

And I imagine that he is looking forward and thinking, do I want to get bogged down and keeping some of these promises like to lock her up that are really not possible, you know, to pursue. Or, do I want to move forward and get the country going on my agenda?

And, you know, he's always been really good at changing direction and explaining why and people tend to forget his original positions.

BERMAN: Are there core convictions that you can point to?

D'ANTONIO: Well, I think if we look to his campaign where he was saying, "America First". And I think that if we're looking for something outside of his own success that would drive him, I do think there's an traditional America that he'd like to restore, one that may even just be in our fantasies of what the 1950's and early '60s were like. But if there's a core conviction, it's that. And I also think, and this may take some viewers by surprise, that he doesn't really like to see people suffer. So, when he said that people weren't going to be dying on the streets for lack of health care, he really meant it.

And even this comment about Hillary and Bill Clinton saying, they've been through a lot and he doesn't want to cause anymore pain, I actually think that's sincere. And so, this is pretty consistent with the Donald I know.

BERMAN: And again, this is someone you've covered and written about it for a long, long time, not always in flattering terms. So, to hear that from you is notable.

One of the things that we've seen during this transition is his continued closeness to his family. Ivanka Trump was in the meeting with the Japanese prime minister. Jared Kushner, he reportedly wants to have some kind of senior role, if possible, in the administration.

Donald Jr. his son we are just learning today attended a meeting with someone involved with the Syrian opposition in Paris.

His family has been involved at all levels of the campaign, now involved with the transition knowing him like you do, do you think he could do the presidency without his family playing a role?

D'ANTONIO: Well, I think he could do it. I think he'd be uncomfortable trying. And this is, you know, where I could put a knock on him. They tend to be rather tone deaf when it comes to the appearance of conflict.

He likes to go by the letter of the law, so if it's legal for him to do something, he's going to do it and feel justified it it's profitable.

[21:25:06] The problem is, everything a president says and does, everything a member of his family says and does will be parts and interpreted by the world and can have a big impact. So, he may attempt to keep his family in the process, but I think it's going to work against him when it comes to foreign powers and perceptions even here at home.

BERMAN: Michael D'Antonio, you know him well. So, thank you so much for your insight.

D'ANTONIO: Thanks John.

BERMAN: Just ahead, there will be empty seats around some Thanksgiving tables tomorrow. The election that was divisive more than half of Americans in a new CNN/ORC poll said they dread the thought of talking politics over turkey and stuffing.

In a moment how one family plans to keep the focus on giving thanks and avoid the elephant in the room.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: Thanksgiving is a time to sit down with family, eat too much and play nice for a few hours, even in the best of times, even in the most loving family that can be a tall order. And after one of the most divisive elections in history, it might seem impossible.

[21:30:03] In a new CNN/ORC poll 53 percent of Americans say they dread the thought of talking politics over Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Just 43 percent are eager to go there, and that seems high frankly. The anxiety is sparking everything from early onset in digestion of boycotts. Those who do playing on showing up. Ellen DeGeneres had an idea to help defuse the dangers at professional moderators.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer showed how would it work.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course he should build the wall. They're coming across by millions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's nowhere near.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary should be in Quebec.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we could just won the populism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody else would get away really to it.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Mrs. Douglas, Uncle Lou, if we could just please get back to the original question. Could someone please pass the salt?


BERMAN: Wolf is not available for every family, so most of you will be on your own tomorrow. Kelly Wallace reports on how one family plans to handle it.


KELLY WALLACE, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Will politics be discussed on Thanksgiving?

CAROLYN KREMINS, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Not the elephant in the room.

WALLACE: The elephant, the big elephant in the room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's a slippery slope.

WALLACE: A slippery slope, indeed, because for many families across the country Thanksgiving means supporters of Donald Trump, like Michael and Alex from New Rochelle, New York, and Hillary Clinton supporters like Robert and Carolyn from New York City will break bread together for the fir time since the election, and for many the battle wounds haven't healed.

How are you guys not going to talk about politics on Thanksgiving? I feel like it's going to come up before that cranberry (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just warming up. We're going to exhausted right now with you.

WALLACE: I don't know if you all have seen this skit, on "Saturday Night Live" skit from November of last year talking about a family feuding over thanksgiving and then they played Adele's song "Hello" didn't the minute they hear the song they start mouthing the words.

I think he must wait over and over again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never really like the song.

WALLACE: Well, you might start liking it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alcohol, Adele and football, I think we're set.


WALLACE: This family, the Holderss' family and they did this video bringing Trump and Clinton supporters together at Thanksgiving. Well, they said, there's other stuff you can talk about.


WALLACE: Football?

C. KREMINS: Brangelina is much better. I'm going to ...

WALLACE: Carolyn Kremins hosts thanksgiving every year. She said, she couldn't imagine this inviting her brother and her 17 year-old nephew just because they didn't see eye to eye during the campaign.

C. KREMINS: I think skipping Thanksgiving is as bad as skipping your right to vote.


ALEC KREMINS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: The most important thing is that together as a family we are one family, two American and three Republicans, Democrats, et cetera.

WALLACE: They may not all be pleased with the election results, but they're going to make the best of it, especially for Thanksgiving.

MICHAEL KREMINS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I'll give you lemons, you make lemonade.

WALLACE: Yeah. Yeah.

ROBERT ROSENTHAL, CLINTON SUPPORTER: We're going to be having some lemonade and we're going to be loaded up with some vodka because that's something we agree on.

M. KREMINS: Lemonade and vodka, you're right.

A. KREMINS: Make Thanksgiving great again.

ROSENTHAL: There you go.


BERMAN: I think the obvious way to handle a situation. Right now we're going to list that tell us of our panel. We are thankful for them every day.

Guys, let me juts ask you, it's been two weeks since the election, right? Have any of you gone more than 20 minutes without talking about the election in those two weeks?

STEWART: Everyone says, let's not talk politics. And I mean, it's like, how could you voted for Donald Trump? I mean, not just naturally. And of course that's when to happen as Thanksgiving dinner. I think, my advice is, no talk about red and blue, Republican and Democrat. Let's make the talk about red and white wine. And just to have plenty of wine, no talking about politics.

WATSON: You mix the alcohol and with lemonade ...

BERMAN: I know.

WATSON: ... and it was fist a cuffs, although the only good news we have good football on actually tomorrow John, I know you're not a Dallas Cowboys even the cowboys are doing well. That may distract people to do something.

BERMAN: Yeah, I have the best record in the NFL ...


LORD: John.

BERMAN: Go ahead Jeffrey.

LORD: My family is in from Long Island and upstate New York, they are watching. So, we're going to be talking Turkey.

BERMAN: That's right. Don't ask Jeffrey anything because if you do the answer he's just going to be don't like it anyway.


LORD: No limit on what my view was on any of this.

BERMAN: No, exactly. You've been very quiet about your views for the last 16 months Jeffrey. So if you're not welcome. Karine, you know, you have a different perspective obviously, you know, you were for Hillary Clinton in this election. Now, I mean, you probably want to avoid the conversation because you don't want to bring up the painful memories?

PIERRE: Yeah, I mean it's like I -- just my advice is just don't talk about it because maybe the Turkey might not be the only thing that's carved up tomorrow night. I would stay away from it. Yeah.

[21:35:00] It's a hard one. It's a hard one because politics is very personal.

BERMAN: So, my suggestion in this Phil, won't make you any happier is you should all invite someone from the media at your dinner. Can you even just lay in them, like both sides can agree that it's all the press' fault.

BUMP: Right.


LORD: All right John ...


LORD: ... you're invited, dinner's at 3:00.

BERMAN: Yeah, exactly.

BUMP: I would just say that. One thing that I will say is in that CNN poll -- I think I know with that 43 percent that are eager to talk about it are consistently in polling Donald Trump's core basis scores is 43 percent of the country, those are the people that want to talk about it. They want to go to their neighbors who weren't supporting Donald Trump, they're supporting (inaudible) and say, Hey, let's talk about Donald Trump winning the election.

BERMAN: And I currently look it out a Republican in general. I think have been come into terms about the last two weeks about what great fortune they now have.

BUMP: Sure.

BERMAN: And don't probably want to talk about that. I think we have a three here which is the president -- partnering is final two Thanksgiving turkeys today. I want to play you some of the worst jokes we've ever seen from the White House if we can.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Malia and Sasha by the way are thankful that this is my final presidential Turkey pardon. What I haven't told them yet is that we are going to do this every year from now on. No way I'm cutting this habit, called Turkey. Yes, we crammed.

This is the last time I'm doing this, so we're not leaving any room for leftovers. I want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys who weren't so lucky. Who didn't get to ride the gravy trained to freedom. Who met their fate with courage and sacrifice and proved that they weren't chicken. It's not that bad no, come on.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: I think two of the greatest things about the United States or won the peaceful transition of power which we're seeing right now. And two of the parting is a thanksgiving turkey which we saw that they too. So we're in the period of -- yeah, I think it's hilarious that the president consistently does this and things relish the moment.

PIERRE: He enjoys it. It's clear ...


WATSON: Father of two young kids, how could you know.


BERMAN: I see one thing that's going to make me very unpopular. I think it's unfortunate that the president's daughters didn't come to this final one and I know that they're teenagers and I -- and look, my kids and I and they don't think I'm funny and so, I'm sure they do not think it's funny anymore then they don't want to be there but ...

WATSON: They didn't separate your (inaudible) about John, remember it?

BERMAN: I don't think, I think it would be nice. I think that it would be nice one last time.

WATSON: You know, just stick it around D.C. so at least he's got that.

PIERRE: I think it's just big it's nice that he had his nephews there. I thought that was a nice few kind of, you know, a place ...


DAWSON: Now, what I saw is a president that says, you know, what boys, I'm on the way out. You know, it is being good, it is been a good run but I'm on the way out.

BERMAN: And their names were Tater and Tot. Tater and Tot.

Jeffrey Lord, can you tell us who the first president department the turkey was?

LORD: I believe it was Abraham Lincoln.

BERMAN: Yes, yes, you're right Jeffrey. Thank you. Thank you for getting that right.

WATSON: You know, the internet is going to make a lot of jokes about this. I'm going to make any of them but depending on what side of the political ally you're on. They're going to make a lot of jokes.

BERMAN: Well, what are the tankies ...

WATSON: With turkeys have been bargaining in good details. BERMAN: I will tell you this, the best joke on Twitter when someone who tweeted me that said, "Tater is going to be pardoned but Tot actually won the popular vote."

PIERRE: Oh wow.

STEWART: One thing notice on Thanksgiving. We got to an entire show and Jeffrey didn't say Ronald Reagan one time.

LORD: That's right.


STEWART: And he just said it.

BERMAN: Let me ask you one serious question. Because we were talking about a president and his popularity. It's up and, you know, was it 54 percent our last poll or maybe even higher in the last poll now and he continues to talk about it. But it just doesn't translate or didn't translate. So he lives as a popular president but he also list the Democratic Party and chances fail.

BUMP: Yeah, that's exactly. I mean, so in 2008, he won this historic election and he anticipated in 2010 he'd be able to translate that support into changing Congress. That is not what happened instead. We're decimated in 2010, 2012 he won, 2014 were decimated again.

Not only in Congress but at the state level and so yes, he is leading very popular. There are a lot of reasons for that. It clearly didn't help Hillary Clinton much, it didn't help them much, in Senate races as well and so it's a big question mark. And that's really what the, you know, the Democratic Party's hoping to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner. Yes Hillary Clinton won everything else, it's a mess but and now they've got nothing.

And you know, Barack Obama, he just -- he did never found a way to translate the personal likeability into electoral purposes.

BERMAN: And this is why they will all be watching football tomorrow, instead of talking politics. Guys, thank you all for being with us. Have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. I mean it.

STEWART: Happy Thanksgiving too.

WATSON: Happy Thanksgiving.

BERMAN: Life at Trump Tower post-election, the luxury high rises now surrounded by armed guards and layers the security. We're guessing the people who lived there probably not giving thanks for their new normal.


[21:43:36] BERMAN: Donald J. Trump will not take the Oval Office for 58 days. But for anyone who lives in Trump Tower, life has already changed bigly. November 8th marked the start of a new normal in the luxury high rise. Jean Casarez reports.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN RESPONDENT: Trump Tower has always been a high profile apartment and business complex. But now with armed guards 24/7, there can be no doubt, this is the home of the President-elect Donald Trump, the country's next first lady Melania and their son Barron.

Celebrities have called Trump Tower home like Bruce Willis, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cristiano Ronaldo, also a music superstar, Michael Jackson. About 15 years ago, a couple leasing the tower's penthouse got a personal call from Trump himself.

GIAMPIERO RISPO, PRESIDENT DOMUS ARBITER REALITY CORP: Donald called the wife of the tenant and said, do you mind if I first show your apartment to a dear friend of mine? She said, no, no a problem. That's fine. So, Michael Jackson arrives with his limousine in the separate entrance that the building has. My client said, he was the nicest man around.

CASAREZ: According to the website, Trump Tower has over 60 floors and 263 apartments. Giampiero Rispo has represented high profile clients at Trump Tower for over 15 years. He took us inside the building, 42 stories up to see what your average multimillion dollar apartment looks like.

[21:45:03] Heading inside, golden burgundy walls, marble floors and apartment doors without letters or numbers so you need to know where you're going. He says security at the building now is so intense some of his perspective buyers are turned off.

RISPO: They said they feel that's behind in a military camp. There are all kinds of forces from SWAT teams, police. It's not very pleasant to get to the building.

CASAREZ: People who live in Trump Tower actually have to go through this security right here and then even more security beyond to get to the residential entrance. That increased security began on election night and it's not set to end for a long, long time.

Residents are taking it one day at a time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most surprising thing is just how easy it's been. You know, the security is, it's clearly is substantial, but they just are all really good at their jobs.

CASAREZ: A logistical nightmare or not Trump Tower may be setting an example for what's to come.

RISPO: If President Trump, we run the country, the same way he runs the building, people be quite at this.

CASAREZ: Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: The holiday travel season in full swing with nearly 50 million Americans are taking to the roads and the sky to get their Thanksgiving destination this year. This is what Los Angeles looks like tonight. Well, it's never easy going there, this is particularly cool. Let's check back in with Rene Marsh at Reagan International Airport just outside of Washington D.C.

Rene, what's behind the record number of travelers we are seeing this year?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It really is when we talk about volume. I mean, there are 1 million more people traveling this Thanksgiving compared to last year. And, you know, the reason why we're seeing a crush of holiday travelers. Really two reasons, gas prices, they are the second cheapest that they've been in nearly a decade. And also flights, air fare, tickets are relatively cheap. And so the combination of the two is the reason why we're seeing such high volume as far as the roads and in the skies, as far as people traveling beyond 50 miles beyond their homes this holiday. John?

BERMAN: You see these pictures we're seeing outside of Los Angeles, just those lights, you know, backed up for miles and miles. Deadly. Rene, what's the TSA doing as soon to try to alleviate some of the long wait times that have plagued travelers in the past over the holiday weekend?

MARSH: Right, you remember earlier this year, I mean we had these very long security lines, where passengers were actually missing fights. TSA seems very confident that we will not see that sort of scenario play out again despite the volume of travelers, we're seeing this Thanksgiving. They say they've added nearly 1,400 TSA officers. They've turned officers who are part-time into full-time. They also are increasing their use of K9's. So when you're on a line that is using one of those K9's, do keep in mind, you can keep on those shoes, you can keep on the jackets, you can leave the liquids in the bag. These are all layers that TSA is implementing to make sure things are moving in an expedited manner.

TSA also has a command center. So they are monitoring the wait time at these security checkpoints throughout the nation. And they're re- allocating resources when it's necessary. They're shifting resources when necessary. Again though, if you ask me, the big test is going to be on Sunday because even though we saw a lot of people traveling today, Sunday we are going to see even more, John.

BERMAN: All right, so beware. Rene Marsh, thanks so much.

Coming up, a story that will be felt so deeply and sadly this holiday season. A sixth student, an 8-year-old boy has now died from injuries from the school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We're going to have the latest on the investigation, next.


[21:52:50] BERMAN: This is the worst kind of update and the worst kind of story to report. An eight-year-old boy died from these injuries tonight, two days after that horrifying school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee. That brings the death toll to six young lives. The bus driver has been charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving. Nick Valencia reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening and thanks for coming.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Federal investigators say 24-year- old Johnthony Walker was not on the designated route home when he flipped a school bus killing six children, the youngest just a kindergartner. Police have released only a few details about Walker but at a press conference earlier today they answered some of the many questions still outstanding.

AUSTIN GARRETT, CHATTANOOGA POLICE: We received toxicology reports back today from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that that shows no trace of alcohol or drugs in the driver's system. The driver's driving history did include a minor wreck in September of this year investigated by our agency. It's also part of the investigation.

VALENCIA: The bus, which Walker had been licensed to drive since April, was full. On-board, 37 children, the victims include Zyaira Mateen, who was on board with her two sisters. They survived. D'myunn Brown's mother says, she waited five hours before she found out her son had been killed in the crash. He likes to dance and loves Spider-Man. Eight-year-old Keyonte Wilson died late Wednesday. His brother says he was a tough little boy who's now in a better place. Nine-year-old Zoie Nash would have celebrated a birthday next month. Her little brother was also on board. He is expected to survive. In an obituary for nine-year-old Cor'Dayja Jones, the family writes, she passed away unexpectedly. A sixth child who died has not yet been named by the family.

Police have yet to interview the child survivors for fear of putting them through even more trauma. Physical evidence and eyewitness testimony have led police to believe Walker was driving too fast, well above the 30 mile per hour speed limit.

DAVID DUKE, CEO, DURHAM SCHOOL SERVICES: My responsibility now is to look for answers.

VALENCIA: In a YouTube video released today by the school bus company that employed Walker, the Executive in Charge made an emotional plea to the public "the company is one of the largest school bus providers in the country.

[21:55:03] DUKE: What I can do is promise that we're determined -- we're determined to find out what happened and that we will offer any support that we can to the families that are affected.

VALENCIA: The investigation goes on in Chattanooga it has does the morning. Some of the victims' families have turned to local community leader Bishop Kevin Adams for support. But in a time like this, he, too, says he's hurting. He was in the hospital as parents got the news their children had died. BISHOP KEVIN ADAMS, COMMUNITY LEADER: As the doctors were coming in and, you know, just announced that -- to a family that your child is deceased, you know. I saw mothers literally passing out, people all in the floor, the screams, I mean, I could still hear them.


VALENCIA: The Chattanooga Police Department has issued warrants to try to get their hands on those audio and video recorders on the bus. Unfortunately, the NTSB says they may have been heavily damaged during the accident. They also said something pretty interesting today.

They're looking into whether or not sleep deprivation could have played a role. Walker is said to have gotten an extra job recently and was working extra hours during the holiday. They're going to looking into that.

Meanwhile, here outside of Chattanooga Children's Hospital, five of those precious little kids remain hospitalized. There's no update on their condition. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, of course, John, and is going to be an extremely sad one for a number of people here in the city. John.

BERMAN: All right. Nick Valencia, thanks so much. We'll be right back.


[22:00:11] BERMAN: That does it for us, thanks so much for watching. Have a great Thanksgiving. The CNN Original Series, "THE SIXTIES", begins now.