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Trump to Pick Nikki Haley for U.N. Ambassador; Trump's New York Times Interview; Man Survives Being Hit by Car and Thrown into Icy River. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 23, 2016 - 08:30   ET

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


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[08:30:28] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The next big thing from the Trump transition team. Sources telling CNN he's going to pick South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be his ambassador to the United Nations. An official announcement expected later today.

Let's get "The Bottom Line" on all things Trump and politics with CNN political director David Chalian.

Brother Chalian, good to see you.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Good morning.

CUOMO: The impressive notion here is not that just it's a female governor that he's picking, but somebody who was a big critic of Donald Trump during the campaign. The negative is, he's picking someone to be U.N. ambassador with no former foreign experience.

CHALIAN: Right, but let's start on the positive side here. This is his first non-white male pick of an official pick that we've heard, so there's some diversifying of this candidate. But the larger point that I think you highlighted, Chris, that is important, this is somebody during the heat of the campaign he said is an embarrassment to the state that she leads, South Carolina. We know she was a vocal critic, and yet this is probably a really welcome sign, not just to members of the Republican establishment that weren't with Trump, but also to Democrats that were Clinton supporters, that Donald Trump is doing something different here that we didn't see much of during the campaign, which is being able to not be a counter puncher, as he liked to describe himself, not go after his critics, but actually welcome them in. That is a very welcome sign to a lot of skeptics about Donald Trump.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, and we saw that with Mitt Romney coming to -

CHALIAN: If that comes to fruition, yes.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, he came to meet him.

CHALIAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So that - people thought that that was also a sign of sort of mending fences. Where are we with Rudy versus Romney?

CHALIAN: Well, there are clearly different factions inside of Trump world. Some on the side of, Rudy has been a loyalist to you and this would be a good, strong, pick. And then there are the folks that say, Mitt Romney is a grown-up in a room. You need some of those. And this bold stroke of bringing in somebody - as we think Nikki Haley was critical. I mean Mitt Romney was at the edge, the leading edge of that effort to try to take down Donald Trump from inside the party. And so if he's able to extend his arm and bring him in to such a high profile position like secretary of state, I think it will earn him a ton of street cred with a broad swath of Americans.

CUOMO: Also confirm the notion that what Trump says he doesn't always believe and maybe he believes that about other people, as well. Which leads us to his on-the-record conversation with "The New York Times." A very different occasion than what we saw with the TV execs who seem to get the backhand from the president-elect. What did you make of the "Times" interview?

CHALIAN: You remember during the campaign we were all looking for that pivot from the nomination season to the general election? That "New York Times" interview seems to tell me we're getting that pivot now as he pivots from candidate to the weight of governing and the office. He just seems to be downplaying a lot of his harshest rhetoric. I think that's one thing that's pretty clear.

The other thing that I find fascinating in this interview is sort of the education of Donald Trump on display. For instance, he says he's surprised to learn from General Mattis that he was opposed to torture and doesn't think that that is the best method, or that he seemed somewhat surprised to learn that Republicans may not all be in favor of his big spending infrastructure proposal. It seems, if you read that interview with "The New York Times" that Donald Trump is learning a lot about his proposals from the people around him right now, now that his universe has widened.

CAMEROTA: And what does that mean, David? What does it mean if he didn't hear the debate years ago between Robert Muller of the FBI saying that waterboarding and torture actually does not illicit great confessions or results and that it was not effective, that debate that they were having with the CIA? What does it mean that he thought climate change was a hoax but now he thinks, hey, maybe there's something to it? So what does this mean for the next four years?

CHALIAN: Well, I think what it means, Alisyn, is that - and I don't think this will surprise anyone, that Donald Trump was not steeped in these policy discussions or debates. Obviously he's somebody who has always paid attention to the news. We know he likes to watch the shows. We know that he wakes up in the morning and reads the newspapers right away. It's not that he wasn't informed and he's clearly a very smart guy. But he didn't steep himself, he did not immerse himself in these policy debates of the last, let's say, this post-9/11 era on the issue of torture. And now he is surrounded by a wide universe of people who are talking to him about these issues in a way that frankly he clearly stated during the campaign he wasn't all that interested in. [08:35:09] He did not want to do a white paper campaign and put out

policy proposal after policy proposal. He was on an emotional ride with the American electorate during this campaign. And now he is starting to, it seems, if you read that "New York Times" interview, seems to start wrapping his brain around these issues.

CUOMO: I like that you described his campaign as a happening. I see it all proof of a very simple notion, the media cannot yield. This administration is going to demand constant fact checking and opposition because otherwise you don't know which way it's going to go from day to day. That's just the fact.

CAMEROTA: David, thank you.

CHALIAN: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: Have a great Thanksgiving.

CHALIAN: You, too.

CAMEROTA: All right, it's one of the busiest travel days of the year, as you know, but will wintry weather impact your travel plans? That's next.

CUOMO: First, for kids with disabilities, it can be really hard to find a sport or any kind of super physical activity that fits their unique needs. But one family in Sanford, Florida, has formed a nonprofit to help other families, like their own, break through those barriers. This is a great story. It's this week's "Impact Your World." Take a look.

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KATARINA ECKSTEIN-SCHOEMANN, HEAD INSTRUCTOR: Let's get warmed up. Everyone start bouncing.

Even though they have disabilities, it doesn't mean that they can't do what we can do. I'm Katarina Eckstein-Schoemann and I'm the head instructor at Breaking Barriers Martial Arts.

Breaking Barriers teaches children with all types of disabilities. So we have Down's syndrome, muscular dystrophy, autism, ADHD. It's just really fun to see them coming out of their shells and really being comfortable in who they are and knowing that being different is OK.

I have two younger brothers, David and Kenny, and they were both diagnosed with autism at a young age. It was really hard to find something for my brothers to be involved in. So it was really neat when we joined taekwondo. We were able to do it as a family. I felt like the environment was just so much more understanding.

DAVID ECKSTEIN-SCHOEMANN, KATRINA'S BROTHER: Most importantly, I think the heart of taekwondo is basically how to become like a better person.

K. ECKSTEIN-SCHOEMANN: I started this program. I had no idea it was going to be anything more than just a Saturday class that was going to be fun for kids to just come and play and learn martial arts. But it's made an impact on these kids.

D. ECKSTEIN-SCHOEMANN: It feels good to know that we're helping other families that are like us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I got white belt, I was thinking that I would never quit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has just blossomed through this program. I mean it's - as a parent, the most incredible feeling.

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[08:41:21] CAMEROTA: The Thanksgiving getaway is officially underway. Millions of people on the road and in the air. So will the weather wreck your plans? CNN's Ryan Young is live at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, one of the busiest places on earth.

What are you seeing, Ryan?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, that's the big question, how is the weather going to impact things? And so far so good. You look at the big board, everything's on time.

I want to say this. After our last live shot, one of the TSA workers actually came over here and said, look, the lines are not that bad. All the reinforcements are coming in. I honestly got to tell you, after being here last year, and you're looking at the lines now, what a big difference. I mean these lines are so short. And they're moving about five to ten minutes, getting people through. So that's been the good news. Everybody's been happy. They've been waving at the camera because they're not worried about missing their flight.

You're talking about 48.7 million people not only hitting the roads but getting in the air. They're going to be traveling to get ready for that Thanksgiving. This is going to be one of the busiest holiday travel periods ever and Wednesday is that big day. And so, once again, we talked about that weather that we thought was going to have an impact. So far it doesn't seem that way.

One of the great things about doing this right now is, everyone seems to be happy because of the fact the lines are not that long. They're continuing to wave at us, so, Chris, so far so good. We can start planning for what we're going to eat on Thanksgiving.

CUOMO: What's your - what's your go-to dish?