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Police: OSU Attack Possibly Terrorism; President-Elect Falsely Claims Millions Voted Illegally; CA Secy. of State: Allegation of Voter Fraud "Absurd"; Voters on Wisconsin Recount; Pence: "Number of Very Important Announcements Tomorrow"; Trump Works to Save Carrier Jobs, Fulfill Promise; Eichenwald: Trump Hotel Execs Violated U.S. Embargo In 1998. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 28, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:01:01] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, a lot of politics to get to in this hour. We begin though with our breaking news, investigators are scrambling tonight to determine if an attack on the campus of Ohio State University was, in fact, a terror attack. In less than two minutes, 11 people were hurt, their attacker killed. The entire campus rattled to its core. Students were ordered to shelter in place. It would be hours before they learned what had happened and who was responsible.

As we do on "360" in situations like this, we try not to overuse the attacker's name, it was not give him the attention he might have crave or do we think it's important you know who he is and what else we're learning is authorities right now are continuing to look for clues. Pamela Brown tonight has the latest.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Around 9:52 a.m., chaos erupts in the heart of the campus near buildings for the science and engineering programs. A car jumps a curb, plowing into pedestrians, then the suspect, identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan jumps out and continues to attack with a knife, slashing people.

CRAIG STONE, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY POLICE: He exits the vehicle and used a butcher knife to start cutting pedestrians. Our officer was on-scene in less than a minute and he ended the situation less than a minute. He engaged the suspect and he eliminated the threat, the suspect is DOA.

BROWN: The attacker was an Ohio State Student of Somali descent and a permanent resident of the United States. Police are now searching his home and law enforcement officials say that on Facebook, he complained recently about attacks on Muslims. Investigators say it could be the motive, but they are continuing to investigate. His mother told a community member that he'd been complaining about grades at OSU. He was interviewed at the beginning of the school year by the student newspaper. And spoke of being uncomfortable openly praying and projecting his Muslim faith on campus.

KEVIN VASQUEZ, OHIO STATE STUDENT: It's very hectic here right now. There's like 40 cop cars. Everyone's very frantic and all SWAT teams are getting together and cops are still pulling up.

BROWN: A text message from the university went out to all students, telling them to shelter in place. A tweet from the university's emergency management department told them to run, hide, fight.

WYATT CROSHER, OHIO STATE STUDENT: We did hear like three or four things that would sound like gunshots, and then we heard silence, so we assumed they were gunshots.

BROWN: Students barricade their classroom doors in an effort to keep the attacker at bay. One class piled up chairs at the door as law enforcement arrives on scene to try and contain the situation as quickly as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have quite a few military men in our class, who actually are all standing by the doors, keeping us safe, so feeling pretty good about that.

BROWN: Police say in the end, there was no second suspect and no shots were ever fired by the attacker. Today, investigators are poring through the suspect's communications and belongings seeking motive, but the police said there was no question he meant to do harm.

STONE: The only thing that you can say based upon common knowledge is that this was done on purpose, to go over the curb and strike pedestrians and to get out and start striking them with a knife, that was on purpose.


COOPER: Pamela, what's the latest on the attacker's social media posts?

BROWN: What we have learned, Anderson, that the attacker posted on his Facebook page just before he launched that attack here in Columbus this morning. He went on an anti-American rant, aired grievances about Muslims being killed and in this post that we obtained, he talks about being sick and tired of seeing his fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured everywhere. He warned America to stop interfering with other countries. He talks about not letting people sleep unless America gives peace to the Muslims. And he goes on to say, Anderson, every single Muslim who disapproves of his action is a sleeper cell waiting for a signal. He says, I'm warning you, oh, America.

This is just part of what he put in this Facebook post just before he launched the attack. Investigators have been aware of this post for hours. They've been scrutinizing this, as one official I spoke with said this could help determine the motive. It looks early on in the investigation that this could be an act of terrorism. But they continue to look at all angles throughout the social media, talk to friends and family so early in this investigation. Anderson? [21:05:11] COOPER: All right, Pamela thanks very much. Now to politics and the false claim that President-elect Donald Trump has made on Twitter about millions of supposed illegal votes. Jeff Zeleny tonight reports


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is showing signs tonight of being a sore winner. The president-elect is suggesting with zero evidence to back up his claim that he won the popular vote. And he's a victim of widespread election fraud. In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, Trump wrote on Twitter, "I won the popular vote, if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." After repeatedly railing against the system on the campaign trail.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF UNITED STATES: It is a rigged system. And be careful with the voting. Be careful with everything. You watch everything, folks.

ZELENY: He's now throwing out blatant and baseless allegations on Twitter. "Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California. So why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias, big problem!"

Election officials in all three states say Trumps charges are flat out wrong. Trump transition officials have not offered any hard evidence to back up his staggering claims of fraud. Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote has climbed to over two million. Despite charging that millions of fraudulent votes were cast nationwide, Trump is actually crying foul over the recount getting underway in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said today it would start counting nearly three million ballots again at the request of Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She's pledging to put the tab in Wisconsin, even as she pushes for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump swept the three Rust Belt states, turning them red for the first time in more than two decades. A recount is highly unlikely to change the outcome.


ZELENY: Trump, who won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes, called the Wisconsin recount a scam. Mark Thompson, leader of Bipartisan Wisconsin Election Commission, blasted Trump for peddling what he called a conspiracy theory.

MARK THOMPSON, CHAIRMAN, WISCONSIN ELECTIONS BOARD: To say that it's not being fair or that people are counting illegal votes, from my advantage point, is an insult to the people that run our elections.

ZELENY: The Clinton campaign says there is no evidence of wrongdoing, but still plans to observe the Wisconsin recount. Mark Elias, Clinton's top lawyer, responded on Twitter. "We are getting attack for participating in a recount that we didn't ask for by the man who won the election, but thinks there was massive fraud."


ZELENY: Now, all this talk of fraud, but no evidence or facts to back it up. It may be a way to change the subject from something that Republicans close to Trump tell me is bothering him. He lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, more than two million votes so far. So he's raising suggestions of fraud to muddy the waters.

Now, Jill Stein is pledging to request a recount in Michigan before the Wednesday deadline. And in Pennsylvania, all this will be playing out as Trump builds his administration. The election may be over, but the chaos of campaign 2016 clearly is not. Anderson?

COOPER: All right Jeff Zeleny, Jeff thanks very much.

California's top election official is hitting back at Trump's claim. Alex Padilla tweeted this quote. "It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him. His unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd. His reckless tweets are inappropriate and unbecoming of a president-elect."

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us, Secretary Padilla. To your knowledge, is there any evidence whatsoever that point to any kind of significant voter fraud in California?

ALEX PADILLA, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE: Aabsolutely not, Anderson and I think that's a big part of the problem here. We've heard a lot of these accusations about potential rigging and hacking in several weeks leading up to the election. To be honest, my bigger concern was not just the security of our elections, but that it could have the effect of discouraging people from voting, if they thought that maybe their vote wouldn't count or maybe their vote would not be counted.

In California, I'm proud to say, California saw right through that. We had a record high registration going into November 8th. And the look like a historic high turned out as well.

COOPER: So why do you think Donald Trump singled California out, I mean along with Virginia and New Hampshire?

PADILLA: I think, you know, part to Chris had mentioned he certainly lost California, in a big way. That, imagine, doesn't feel good to him, but I will say look, I am a registered Democrat, part of that I take my day job seriously though. And everything and in the conduct of elections is done professionally and in a very transparent way. For the folks who have complained about the outcome of the results or, you know, the rumors about voter fraud, without any evidence, without any proof, we welcome them in to county election offices, up and down the state on election night to observe the counting of the ballot and since election night, to observe the processing of vote by mail ballots and provisional ballots. [21:09:59] COOPER: You know, some states like, I think, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, they do some sample testing after the election in a number of counties to see, you know, if the voted fact is what is was on election, does California do that? Do you look back at all?

PADILLA: Absolutely, we have several layers of security, actually. I mean we have the highest standards for certification of what systems can be used in the elections. We have criteria for Election Day itself. No machines that are used to mark ballots, cast ballots, count ballots, at any point, can be connected to the internet. So it's nearly impossible to systemically hack or rig the election.

And yes, after fact, we do require a percentage manual tally, just to make sure that the head count matches up with the machine count, both for the accuracy of the results and the integrity of the results. Election integrity is paramount, we take all accusations of voter fraud very seriously, and to me, that's what was most troublesome of the tweet yesterday. Significant allegations with no proof, no evidence, if you have it, team Trump, bring it.

COOPER: But, you know, I mean hacking is one thing, but sort of -- but old voter rolls, or, you know, people who are dead, still on the voter rolls or at the wrong address. I mean it seems like that is an issue around the country?

PADILLA: So two things. Number one, in California, we have just recently consolidated 58 independent voter registration databases, county by county, into one centralized statewide voter register database. So we're at the most accurate of our voter roll as we have been in a long, long time. But second, there's always this accusation or allegation of, well, something could happen, something could happen, somebody could vote erroneously but have you. That's very different that somebody actually doing it.

So, again if there's anybody that has proof or evidence of voter fraud, we'd love to investigate it, please come forward. But short of that, I think it's irresponsible and frankly dangerous for the president-elect to make these serious allegations via Twitter, no less.

COOPER: Secretary Alex Padilla, appreciate you joining us, thanks very much.

Coming up, what voters in Wisconsin think about the prospects of a recount in their state set to get underway later this week. And later candidate Donald Trump made keeping jobs moving jobs from Mexico a focal point of the campaign and the Twitter account, can President Trump deliver, we sent Martin Savidge to the Carrier air conditioning plant to find out what workers there are think.


CHUCK JONES, PRESIDENT, U.S. STEELWORKERS LOCAL 1999: Hey, you know, if you move these jobs to Monterey, Mexico, we're going to take a hard stand on you getting anymore military contracts.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDET: Do you think that would get their attention?

JONES: I would think it would get their attention, yet that your talking about this, with a billion -- you know, billions.


[21:16:10] COOPER: A recount is expected to start later this week in Wisconsin, one of three states. The Green Party candidate Jill Stein is focused on in an effort to take a closer look on presidential vote. Now, in a moment we'll hear from Stein.

But first Gary Tuchman spoke to voters in Wisconsin to find out what some of them think about this idea of a recount in Wisconsin.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Florence County, Wisconsin, in the northern tip of the state.

MICHAEL PIERCE, VOTED FOR TRUMP: I voted for Donald Trump.

TUCHMAN: 72 percent of voters here selected Trump, his number one county on Wisconsin. And then Menominee County not too far away.


TUCHMAN: 78 percent for Clinton, her number one county in Wisconsin. Two rural places, with very different viewpoints of the upcoming Wisconsin recount. Florence County, Trump, voter, Michael Pierce.

PIERCE: Hillary is -- she's a cry baby, everybody that didn't get their way is going to cry and whine about something.

TUCHMAN: Menominee County Clinton voter, Shawna Perez. So do you have a thought that Hillary Clinton could still win here in the state of Wisconsin?

PEREZ: There's always hope. And I hope so.

TUCHMAN: Menominee County's residents are mostly Native Americans, members of the Menominee Tribe. At the College of Menominee Nation, strong support of the recount combines with hard feelings about the elections.

GARY BOYD, VOTED FOR CLINTON: The Russians might have interfered with the electronic votes that were cast by the public -- American public.

TUCHMAN: And you think they would have done that in favor of Donald Trump?

BOYD: Yes, because Donald Trump is promoting support for the reinvigoration of the Soviet Empire. That's what I feel.

LISA PETERS, VOTED FOR CLINTON: If there was a mistake, they should find it.

TUCHMAN: Are you suspicious that there might have been a mistake?

PETERS: Well, why would there be a recount?

TUCHMAN: Back in Florence County, inside Barb's Cafe.

ROBERT ZADEK, VOTED FOR TRUMP: The only thing that's bothersome about it is the person asking for the recount only got 1 percent of the vote. Why would that individual be interested in getting a recount only if ...

TUCHMAN: What do you think the reason is?

ZADEK: The reason is that it was put up by Hillary and the Clinton people, the Clinton political people.

TUCHMAN: It financially or ...

ZADEK: Financially ...

TUCHMAN: ... Clinton's terms of a message?

ZADEK: Both. Financially.

TUCHMAN: Because there's no evidence they're paying for anything, Democrats.

ZADEK: Understand that. But we know money goes around.

TUCHMAN: And regarding Donald Trump tweeting the recount is a Green Party scam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary, she is a scam.

TUCHMAN: As the presidential campaign neared its conclusion, Donald Trump famously made frequent allegations that the election was rigged. Ironically, some Wisconsin voters we talked to who don't like Trump agree with him.

Except they have a different definition of who is the rigger.

ASHLEY PERIASS, VOTED FOR CLINTON: I really think Trump got a lot of votes that weren't supposed to be. I really think Hillary should have won.

TUCHMAN: What do you think happened that led to him getting votes that he should not have gotten?

PERIASS: Might have been rigged.

TUCHMAN: But in Florence County, most say no matter what happens with the recount, it's all moot.

BROOKE FELINER, VOTED FOR TRUMP: I believe that the election turned out the way it was supposed to and they'll find it out, so, they'll figure, it out.


COOPER: And Gary joins me now. Did anyone you interviewed believe that there was actually a chance the recount would change the result there in Wisconsin?

TUCHMAN: Anderson, in this Trump County, no one we talked to feels anything will change. In the Clinton County, people we talked to, many of them said they want a change, they wish it would change, but none of them categorically said they think it will change. Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Gary, thanks.

A short time ago I spoke with Dr. Jill Stein who's leading the recount effort and has raised more than $69 million towards the cause. Here's some of which she had to say.


COOPER: You're talking about potential hacking and obviously, there have been instances, and obviously, the DNC e-mails were hacked. There were, you know, were attempts to get into -- and efforts to get into those voter databases.

[21:20:03] But the FBI has been investigating that, and I assume, continues to investigate that. And even the Clinton campaign, their counsel says they've had lawyers and data analysts and programmers looking since the results and have not uncovered any actionable evidence.

JILL STEIN, FORMER GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's right. And what the people who watchdog the voting machine equipment, what they will be very quick to tell you is that this is something you cannot see, unless you actually count the ballots. There is otherwise no standard against which to measure it. So unless we actually looked, we will never know.


COOPER: With me now is CNN Senior Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. CNN political commentator and Democratic Strategist, Paul Begala, Wall Street Journal Senior Writer Monica Langley, CNN Political Commentator and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, CNN Political Analyst and Journalist, Carl Bernstein, and CNN Political Commentator and CEO of Impact Strategies, Angela Rye.

Jeff, I mean the record on recounts it doesn't make that much of a difference. I was looking back at the Green Party in 2004, I think it was, in Ohio, insisted on a recount, raised more than $100,000 to do it, and it seems to vote by, you know, George Bush got 300 less votes and still won the state.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: That's the almost entirely the rule. 300, 500 votes at the absolute outside. If you look at Donald Trump's margins in these States, they're narrow by political standards, but they are not within the range of a recount, barring some sort of systemic failure. And there's no evidence. COOPER: And by and large, I mean in the Ohio, I was looking the particular, back in 2004, it wasn't massive voter fraud, it was some bad, you know, badly trained polling workers, a malfunctioning machines in some cases, some ballots had been ruled as, I guess, not valid, and then we're ...

TOOBIN: Right. And even Florida in 2000, which was, of course, the most celebrated and notorious recount of all time, at the end of the day, there were a few hundred votes that switched in terms of -- after the 36 days of litigation. It is simply not within the realm of possibility to have 10,000, 20,000 votes change hands. It just doesn't have ...

COOPER: The "Politico" tonight is reporting that a lot of Democrats, a lot of Clinton supporters and sort of people with the campaign, you know, don't -- aren't all that thrilled by what Jill Stein is doing, and actually don't believe this is going to change anything. And in fact, it kind of gives another victory to president-elect Trump, when ...


PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: That's right, we have this bazaar situation where that Hillary got a lot more votes, Trump's going to be the president, legitimately. But Hillary got two million more votes than Trump, and yet, she is not questioning the legitimacy. Donald Trump, who won, is saying that it was rigged and there was fraud. I have never -- I've done this -- I don't know 34 years on four continents. I have never seen someone win in election and then claim it was rig.

COOPER: But Jeffrey is it true that could be Trump campaign, their legal counsel, put other things and we look -- we're going along with this to make sure everything is fair for both sides. Is that -- or is that just cover?

TOOBIN: Well, I mean, I think, you know, it's in -- it only makes sense for Donald Trump to participate in the recount and make sure his interests are protected. But I don't think he has anything to worry, but in frankly, it is pretty ...

COOPER: But the Clinton campaign saying ...

TOOBIN: Oh the Clinton campaign yes.

COOPER: ... they're just going along with this.

TOOBIN: ... and, you know, that's -- it's fully appropriate. I mean, frankly, it is pretty rich that Jill Stein, who did a significant amount to help Donald Trump get elected president, is now suddenly sort of taking Hillary Clinton's side. And I think Donald Trump does have a point, when he talks about how Jill Stein is fund raising making a heck of a lot more money than she ever made during the campaign ...

COOPER: And ... TOOBIN: ... off of this futile gesture ...

COOPER: All right and Carl I know what we played most of the interview in the first hour and I ask her about this, I mean, she's building it meaningless.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: She's a bad actor and indeed she might have cost Hillary Clinton the presidency.

COOPER: What do you mean a bad actor?

BERNSTEIN: Along with -- by a bad actor, I mean, there's a lot of hypocrisy going around, all around here. Trump's hypocrisy about these supposed three million votes. If they exist, he ought to embrace this recount. So, you know, let's find out and I'm not say that by at this point I think it's probably a good idea to put aside any notion that the Russians were able to do this. And let's have the recount. At the same time, Hillary Clinton campaigns hypocrisy on this in terms of joining it on grounds that, oh, yeah, we just want to be sure our technical interests are represented. They could do it from the sidelines.

I think there are some people that think that there's well, maybe we could still pull this out. I think there are some dreamers it's a little -- I think there are a lot of hypocrisy on everybody involved here.

COOPER: Angela, you are not happy?

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Are you looking at my face? Obviously, there's no poker face happening here. I think a couple of things one is, I don't think that Jill Stein is being a bad actor here. I think that she's tapping into some legitimate concerns and fears in this country. When you look at the number of millennials that either protested the election or participated by going to the polls, there are folks who feel like they've never really been represented. And so now, they see an election that Hillary Clinton won by the popular vote, but there's an -- this Electoral College thing that doesn't represent their interests.

[21:25:14] And so there are questions. The other thing they saw are two, I think, major factors in how people engaged in the political process ...

COOPER: But this Electoral College thing ...

RYE: Right.

COOPER: That is really a part of American government ...

RYE: ... and that's not me.

COOPER: ... no and I don't mean to ...

RYE: I'm putting on my millennial hat.

COOPER: But I don't want to pretend that it's all millennial, but it is part of the constitution.

RYE: I am not and please understand, I did take common law in law school, I'm not confused about that. But I do think that there is a legitimate concern that the Electoral College is a data concept. And it was something that should be ...

COOPER: But that has nothing to do with what Jill Stein is doing.

RYE: No, but in think, but what I'm trying to say, Anderson, is that it feeds into this narrative. Whether you're talking about FBI Director Comey's letter and then the second letter, you're talking about Russian hacks earlier before the DNC convention, there's a lot of doubt here.

COOPER: The amount ...

RYE: There's a lot of doubt here.

COOPER: But it is interesting in this election, how much we've talked about people's feelings. Like, well, you know, we did that on the Trump side, it was like, well, people feel like the economy is not working for them, or people feel this way. In this case, it's millennials feel that it was wrong. But facts are facts.

BERNSTEIN: Everybody's got a conspiracy, it looks like.

RYE: Yes, and I think Donald Trump has this ...

BEGALA: That is so quaint. What did you just say on and on? There are not ...

COOPER: There's no actual evidence of massive voter fraud.

BEGALA: He said he just won the election.

RYE: No, but Anderson, there is evidence of ...

COOPER: I know voters feel like maybe there was. If I feel hungry, it doesn't necessarily mean that I should eat right now.

RYE: But sometimes you should.

BERNSTEIN: I'm glad we've got that out of the way.

RYE: It's real, you know, in Jeffrey's term, it's rich, right? They were talking now that feelings don't matter. But Donald Trump was like held it for tapping into the feeling ...

CCOPER: I feel like I have big muscles, but I don't.

RYE: I get it but...

COOPER: ... I'm a pip squeak.

RYE: But I just -- I guess the point is if people don't feel like they're represented, because they haven't been represented. But because ...

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But we're commending the people, who have put feelings aside and done what sort a betterment as a country, and that's President Obama, who put out a statement when this all was going on saying, look, we believe the vote represents the voice of the American people. And he has acted like a gracious, really hero in all of this, the way he's accepted this and moved on and tried to welcome president-elect Obama in and guide him forward and help him and give him the presidential advice he has, based on his years of experience. So I think we should recognize those people who have recognized the facts and he done so graciously.

MONICA LANGLEY, SENIOR SPECIAL WRITER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: The interesting to me thing to me is that the whole notion that the system is rigged was not from the millennials. It came from the Trump voter.

RYE: And Bernie Sanders' voters.

LANGLEY: And from Donald Trump. And that is what he is ...

COOPER: She's the one that brought up millennials.

RYE: I thought that was a part of it.

COOPER: Millennials, do not e-mail me with this.

RYE: You are getting it, Anderson.

LANGLEY: This whole notion that the system is rigged, that it's unfair, came from Donald Trump. And he wrote it, in part to become the president. And now -- and now today, he is using it right back at Hillary and Stein to say, OK, you are going to take me on? Let's do this.

COOPER: But I think Paul made an interesting point about this just being a diversion from others. We'll talk about that. We've got a lot more to talk about with the panel, including breaking news on the Trump transition, as Mitt Romney prepares for a second meeting with president-elect Trump. Vice president-elect Mike Pence says there some important announcements coming tomorrow. I will talk to that ahead.


[21:32:15] COOPER: Welcome back. Our breaking news tonight in the Trump transition, Vice president-elect Mike Pence says there will be a number of important announcements tomorrow, one of the biggest job obviously still to be filled, Secretary of State, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani both contenders, both man with controversial for different reasons. President-elect Trump and Romney have a second meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

As we said, Donald Trump also met today with former CIA Director, army General David Petraeus. Back with the panel, Monica, you've been talking to a lot of folks. How long do you think this is going to play out? Where do you think it's headed? LANGLEY: I think they're clueless at the moment. And especially Donald Trump who is the decision maker. And I think that he is not sure which way he wants to go. I think, still, Rudy Giuliani is the leading candidate, because he is the one that has been the most loyal, who's worked the hardest. On the other hand, Donald Trump cares about appearances and is upset that Giuliani is not getting the rave reviews from outsiders that he was hoping. Romney looks the part of the Secretary of State, although Romney and he trust each other. I think there's still could be somebody that comes up at the last minute.

COOPER: But made of other folks Paul we've talked about, obviously, David Petraeus, who was there today Bob Corker.

BEGALA: The Senator who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee. There's any number of folks. But I'm curious as to this notion that the Secretary of State should be a reward for a job well done in a campaign. That's why we have an embassy in Bermuda OK, or the Bahamas or something. I mean it was a campaign hack and I'm for rewarding campaign hacks. But that's not the most important thing. Ronald Reagan chose his most bitter rival to be his running mate. A man who undermined Reaganeconomics, called it voodoo economics.

Barack Obama picked Hillary Clinton, who called him elitist and mocked him. I mean it wasn't the nastiest campaign we've ever had, but she said really tough things about Obama. This is the model. The job of the transition, I'll say it again is twofold, unite the country and staff your government. And the more he's reaching out, Clinton taught me this, Bill Clinton, Lincoln used to say, I destroy my enemies, I make them my friends. And that should be President-elect Trump's goal. It's wrong for me offer him advice.

COOPER: It is fascinating, so I'm just the degree to which this has been playing out in the public realm, and I assume intentionally.

RYE: Do you think Donald Trump would have it any other way? I also don't think that it's unheard of for a transition process to be this public once, nominees are made clear. It's now being reported that Tom Price is the leading front-runner for health and human services. So I think that it's the post ...

COOPER: But we haven't confirmed that yet, but yeah.

RYE: OK, well ...

COOPER: Yeah the name is (inaudible).

RYE: I think the most important thing is that people have the opportunity to chew on who his picks are, so we get a sense for what the Trump agenda will look like. For me, I can tell you that it continues to be frightening. I have not awakened from this nightmare since Election Day.

[21:35:00] TOOBIN: Can I just, it's just -- the point about the agenda, I think, is very interesting. Because, you know, there's a real split in the Republican Party right now, between the more isolationist wing that Trump has at times sort of, embraced and the sort of, neo-conservative wing that got us into the Iraq War. Rudy Giuliani is very much associated with that wing of the party.

Where Donald Trump comes out in this split is very important and frankly, very mysterious, at this point. Other than picking Giuliani, who would represent a clear embrace of the neo-conservative view, it's still unclear where these other candidates stand within that very significant split.

BERNSTEIN: Possible something else might be going on, as well, at the same time. The conflicts of interest that are so manifest in Trump's businesses, that any other is suppose it were Hillary Clinton or Richard Nixon, there would be a congressional investigation so fast of the incoming president that your head would spin. That what we are doing, partly here is by this rather circus-like and ingenious procession and show that we are seeing, Trump is postponing and keeping our attention off of his biggest problem. He does not want to lose his businesses and he is intent on hanging on to them. But there are a lot of people that believe that he can't be president of the United States and head of Trump Inc. That is the biggest question facing the incoming president. Serious Republicans are concerned about it.

MCENANY: I mean, I think he will handle conflict of interest appropriately. We've been assured by Reince Priebus there's going to be a White House counsel that are looking at things and ensuring that everything is going to ...

BERNSTEIN: That's a big assurance.

MCENANY: ... and closer and appropriate but more than conflicts of interest, I'm concerned with which candidate for Secretary of State recognizes the biggest geopolitical threat we face. On one hand you have Mitt Romney who says that's Russia, and the most excoriated by Obama for making that claim and then I look at Giuliani, and I don't support him as my leading contender. I'm not the president-elect, I support who he picks but I don't support him because of loyalty. But I support him because he's the one who looks terrorism in the eye and saw the city collapse under the really radical terrorism on 9/11 and watched this city rebuild. And I think he understands in a very visceral way but this is something that has to be dealt with. And that's why he's my leading content.

COOPER: All right. We're going to take a break. Just ahead seems there to meet a meeting in the Oval Office two days after the election, President Obama and President-elect Trump have been talking regularly on the phone. Who's calling whom and what are they talking about? Well tell you what we know, ahead.


[21:41:25] COOPER: There's more breaking news tonight. We've just got a word that Donald Trump has chosen a Health and Human Services Secretary. A source says it is Tom Price, a Georgia congressman whose lead the opposition to Obamacare. An announcement is expected tomorrow.

At this the list of improbable in election 2016 turned out President Obama and President-elect Trump have talked by phone more than once since their meeting in the oval office two days after the election. On Saturday, we're told they spoke for 45 minutes, White House spokesman Josh Earnest says, the two men has spoken, quote, "A handful of times."

Michelle Kosinski joins us now with the latest. So, a handful of time, do we have any idea how many conversations?



KOSINSKI: The press secretary really didn't want to go into any detail at all. First of all, he especially didn't want to talk about the content of those conversations, but he also wouldn't mention a number. He said he was being intentionally vague to protect the ability of Donald Trump, to consult confidentially with President Obama. This really intrigued the press corps, though. To hear that they had talked not just once or even twice, but a handful of times, so that leads us to believe it's likely more than two, but maybe likely fewer than 10. We don't know that exact number.

COOPER: And we clearly, from what you just said, we don't really know much about the conversations, I assume, neither side is really saying?

KOSINSKI: Yeah, I mean, reporters tried and tried to get any nugget they could out of the White House today, but they really stick by, you know, the principle of these conversations being confidential. But it's interesting that they've happen. First of all, you know, they have about 90 minute meeting in the Oval Office, much longer than either side expected it to be. And afterwards, they talked about that face to face meeting being excellent, and Donald Trump called President Obama a very good man. I mean, it was in this spirit of helpfulness.

And we know that Donald Trump side has said that the phone conversation, the last one on Saturday, that lasted 45 minutes, was good and that Donald Trump very much enjoys speaking to President Obama. On a slightly darker note, though, when Josh Earnest, the press secretary was asked today, well, you know, does this change anything about President Obama's assessment of Trump, given that it was only really days ago that he said Donald Trump was unfit to be president of the United States, he said the president's mind hasn't changed. But it does sound like both sides are willing to at least talk it out and be helpful.

Also, you know, Donald Trump's adviser, Kellyanne Conway, said that it came up in the context of Cuba, right after Fidel Castro died, and that announcement was made, that's when they had this phone call. So, we don't know that that's what precipitated it but we do know, at least, in that conversation, they talked about Cuba.

COOPER: Right. Michelle Kosinski, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

President-elect Trump is also talking with executives at the heating and air-conditioning company, Carrier. He talked about this on the campaign trail, his goal is to have fulfilled the campaign promise and for stop Carrier from moving 1,400 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Until the Thanksgiving the company posted this tweet, "Carriers has had discussions with the incoming administration, we look forward to working together and nothing to announce at this time."

That in response to the tweet pose about the President-elect, workers have mixed reaction to the effort. Martin Savidge tonight reports.


SAVIDGE: At Sully's Bar and Grill just across from the Carrier plant, chili is being served on the lunch menu with a heavy side of skepticism, about plans to keep the plant from moving to Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will believe it when I see it.

SAVIDGE: Carrier workers just off the morning shift say Trump's Thanksgiving Day tweet is the talk of the plant and beyond.

MARGARET WILKERSON, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: Who is that along in social media?

SAVIDGE: "Working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get carrier A.C. Company to stay in U.S.", Trump posted.

[21:45:00] But if negotiations have become serious, there's one group that expects to be hearing about them. United Steel Workers Local 1999, it represents close to 1,400 of the factory's workers.

Have you heard of any negotiations or discussions? Have you heard anything beyond the tweet?

JONES: No. We haven't heard from Carrier or the Trump people concerning that. Just a tweet only.

SAVIDGE: Local President Chuck Jones says, he was shocked by trump's tweet, and tells me if a deal can't be reached, he expects his members will be asked for concessions.

Would the union be flexible?

JONES: What our goal is and always has been to try to save 1,400 people's jobs.

SAVIDGE: When it comes to negotiating with Carrier, Jones knows a thing or two, and suggests that Trump hit the company right where it hurts, defense contracts.

In 2014 alone, Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, won $3.39 billion worth of government contracts, working on everything from fighter jets to missile defense systems.

JONES: If he's got a card to play, it would be something to the extent of, hey, you know, if you move these jobs to Monterey, Mexico, we're going to take a hard stand on you getting anymore military contracts.

SAVIDGE: You think that would get their attention?

JONES: I would think it would get their attention, yeah, because we're talking about this with a -- you know, billions.

SAVIDGE: But Carrier worker Edward Conway says, he's not getting his hopes up. When it comes to Carrier, he says that boat has already sailed.

EDWARD CONWAY, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: It's like a cruise or a big ship that makes a turn, you know. It's not going to be able to stop in the middle of the turn you know. So I can't see it happening.

SAVIDGE: It's not that both here are pessimist, it's that the news nine months ago that their jobs were leaving was so painful to so many, they're afraid to hope.

WILKERSON: You know, because you've got a lot of people, and I mean, this is going to change everybody. Not just me, not her, not, you know, everybody. Everybody's life is going to change. You know? So -- if he does it, kudos to him.


COOPER: So, Martin, I mean to talking to folks at the plant, does anyone really have hoped that the President-elect and Vice President Pence can save their jobs? It seems like there's a lot of skepticism?

SAVIDGE: There is a lot of skepticism. And that skepticism is based on the fact that that woman was alluding to. They can't really take the whipsaw back and forth because they've only just come to grips with the devastating news, they're going to lose their job. And now somebody comes along and says, hold on a second, maybe not. And the problem with that is, they can't take another round of disappointment, because many of them don't know where that next job is coming.

So, yes, there's a part of them that definitely pleads that he is going to pull this off. But there is a warning side to them that it says, I just can't give myself that kind of hope just yet.


SAVIDGE: They want to see more, Anderson.

COOPER: A lot at stake. Martin Savidge, thank you.

Up next, Donald Trump's in Cuba is the world marks the death of Fidel Castro, the President-elect is talking tough about the communist nation. But a journalist has raised questions about Donald Trump's past connections to Havana. We'll dig deeper into that in a moment.


[21:52:02] COOPER: As the world marks the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, today, President-elect Trump threatened to roll back U.S.-Cuba relations if Havana isn't willing to do more for the Cuban people.

On Saturday hours after Castro's death, Donald Trump sent out a statement I read in part quote, "Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castros's legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights."

"Newsweek" Senior Writer Kurt Eichenwald has looked into Trump's ties to Cuba -- or his business ties and raised some questions about his dealings there. Joins me now. Kurt, thanks for being with us, can you explain your reporting on this? You're saying that Trump executives back in 1998 secretly conducted business in Cuba which was illegal at the time.

KURT EICHENWALD, SENIOR WRITER, NEWSWEEK: Yeah. Trump was looking for ways to expand their business in an entity called Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts. And they spent $68,000 down in Cuba to try and scout out business. They were meeting with government officials. They were meeting with local businesses and financial advisers and it was all illegal.

COOPER: You said they spent $68,000, you mean to stay there or without money being paid to somebody or do you know?

EICHENWALD: Well, it's the problem with the invoice. The information I got was from an invoice from a consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment. And it does not break down how you spend $68,000 on a trip to Cuba. So, you know, and within that document, it shows that they were discussing ways they could disguise the expenditures in Cuba as part of a charitable effort, which it was not.

And so, you know, you're talking about something that requires subpoena power. I mean, somebody needs to find out, you know, is the president-elect a crook? I mean, at the end of the day, if he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for instance, if there was any money that went directly to any Cuban politicians, I know for a fact they met with them, then somebody needs to be digging into getting those records.

And what's a little disturbing is there are two sides to this, the other folks who have the records of Donald Trump's companies' illegal actions in Cuba is the Cuban government. And so, we now have a question of, well, what does the Cuban government have, you know, that could be coming into play in the course of these discussions going on now?

COOPER: The actual statute of limitations on this ran out a long time ago, right? So, I mean, legally, could anything happen at this point?

EICHENWALD: Well, there is one thing that doesn't have a statute of limitations or at least it's never been established, which is impeachment. If Donald Trump -- you know, I have been told by my sources that Trump knew about it, that Trump approved of it.

[21:55:06] We -- I know from sworn statements that the money was paid, we have the documentation. And if Donald Trump engaged in a felony in 1998, there is certainly nothing in the law and certainly nothing in the constitution that establishes a statute of limitation on having him removed from office for having committed a crime.

COOPER: Kellyanne Conway tweeted about this when your piece came out in September. She said, and I quote, "For those getting hard news from "The View", these officials tell me Trump, one, did no business in Cuba, two, respected embargo, three, was critical of Castro. So, are you saying she's -- I mean, you're saying she's flat out wrong at least on the (inaudible)?

EICHENWALD: I'm saying at the very best, she's misinformed. She later -- that was a response to her own statement where she said on "The View", as I understand that they spent money in Cuba but they didn't do any business there.

Which is not the law, they don't understand the law. It's not, did he build a building, it's did somebody spend a dime. And the ultimate hypocrisy here is that Trump launched his first presidential campaign a few months later.

And opened it in Florida speaking to Cuban American businessmen saying, nobody should spend any money in Cuba, any money that's spent goes directly to Fidel Castro's pockets. Well if he believes that, then, you know, in the end, he knowingly paid Fidel Castro money, if that's his belief.

COOPER: Kurt Eichenwald, I appreciate you being on tonight. Thanks very much Kurt. We'll be right back.

EICHENWALD: Thank you.