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Trump Claims He Won Popular Vote; Cubans to Bid Farewell to Fidel Castro. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired November 28, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump claiming he actually won the popular vote.
[05:58:37] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), MASSACHUSETTS: The Green Party has the legal right to do it. We have recounts probably almost every election.
REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIR/INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: This is ridiculous. This is a fundraising, notoriety-driven fraud.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: He has the opportunity to pick someone that he believes will carry out his vision of American foreign policy.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: Governor Romney went so far out of his way to hurt Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope that the new administration will pressure the Castro regime.
Priebus: Action is something that will be required under a president Trump.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: It is my hope that we will see U.S. strength prompting real change and real freedom in Cuba.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Monday, November 28, 6 a.m. in the East.
Up first, president-elect Trump falsely claims that millions of people illegally voted in the election, and that's why he didn't win the popular vote. His 12 angry tweets fueling more concern about how this administration will function.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So that widely debunked conspiracy theory comes as the Clinton campaign joins a recount effort in Wisconsin and a top Trump very publicly undermines Mitt Romney as the potential pick for secretary of state.
We have all of this covered for you, so let's begin with Sara Murray. She is live in Washington. Good morning, Sara. SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, it really is an unprecedented move, Donald Trump using his platform to question the integrity of the American election system, an election which he won, without offering any evidence.
MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump is falsely claiming he only lost the popular vote because millions voted illegally for Hillary Clinton. Despite winning the election, Trump is reviving unfounded allegations of voter fraud, a sign he's unwilling to drop his penchant for conspiracy theories now that he's the president-elect.
Trump tweeting, "Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California. So why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias. Big problem."
Trump's tweet storm coming as Hillary Clinton's campaign joined recount efforts in Wisconsin, led by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. They plan to make similar pushes in Pennsylvania and Michigan after data security experts raised concerns over possible voting discrepancies.
PRIEBUS: This is a total and complete distraction and a fraud and something that they should drop. We will sit there and look through Scantron ballots. We will win again for the second time, and they will lose again for the second time.
MURRAY: Republicans quickly slamming Clinton, despite her campaign's statement that they're not challenging the results. Trump even quoting from her concession speech, where she urged Americans to move forward. Adding, "So much time and money will be spent. Same result, sad."
The Clinton campaign general counsel responding to Trump's tweets with a dose of irony, saying, "We are getting attacked for participating in a recount that we didn't ask for by a man who won election but thinks there was massive fraud."
CONWAY: I was asked a thousand times will -- will Donald Trump accept the election results? And now you've got the Democrats and Jill Stein saying they do not accept the election results? The idea that we are going to drag this out now, where the president-elect has been incredibly magnanimous to the Clintons and to the Obamas, is pretty incredible.
MURRAY: The Clinton campaign and the White House say they see no evidence voting systems were hacked, but Stein asserts the recount is necessary.
JILL STEIN, GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Our voting system should have that kind of assurance built into it so that there's automatic auditing taking place to make sure that we are not being hacked.
MURRAY: Now we are expecting to hear more this morning from Wisconsin election officials about the status of that recount.
As for Donald Trump's claims, I've reached out to many people on his campaign to ask if they have any evidence or really any basis to support his claim that millions of people voted illegally. So far, no response.
Back to you guys.
CAMEROTA: OK, Sara. Let us know when you get a response to that. Thank you very much.
Let's discuss all of this with CNN political analyst and national political reporter for "The New York Times" Alex Burns; and senior congressional correspondent for the "Washington Examiner," David Drucker. Great to see you guys.
ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.
CAMEROTA: As far as researchers can determine, this bogus information about the fact that there was -- there were 3 million illegal votes cast came from a guy who created a voter fraud reporting app. In other words, anybody can send in, can put on the app anything that they want; and this is him possibly pedaling his app to get more information -- I mean, to get more business.
So, what does it tell us about the president-elect? That he falls for a fake news story and then tweets it out?
BURNS: Yes. That's -- I don't know where to even start with that one. Yes. I mean, this is something that we saw. This is a pattern we saw over and over in the campaign, right, where Trump would go out there and make these statements that were sourced to questionable websites or conspiracy theories online. The radio host Alex Jones, a big conspiracy theorist. Trump would sort of cite information the percolated up on...
CUOMO: Alex Jones, an outlet that Donald Trump used, not only a man who believes that no one was killed at Sandy Hook but believes the government was behind 9/11. That's who we're just dealing with.
BURNS: That's exactly who we're dealing with. And I think what we've seen over the last 24 hour is, if you thought he was going to change once he was elected president, you're going to be disappointed. This is the guy who we saw during the campaign. It's the guy who we're seeing as he really prepares to start governing. And it really does alarm people in Washington, including leading members of Trump's own party who had felt like now is really the time to show the country that you can be responsible, that you can mature or grow or pivot or resurrect that term from the campaign; and it's just not happening.
CUOMO: So this ploy of the recount by Jill Stein bothers him enough that he's going to distract and undermine his own presidency with this kind of junk? DAVID DRUCKER, CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER":
Right. So the silly season continues, right? Because Jill Stein's recount effort is as silly as Donald Trump tweeting about it and attacking the popular vote.
I mean, look, first of all, he won. Right. He can look in the mirror and say, "I'm the president-elect. I won. It really doesn't matter what these people say." It bothers him.
But it's also silly of Jill Stein to pursue this recount effort. There's no indication that there was massive voter fraud. We know the reasons why Donald Trump won in the Rust Belt, in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. Hillary Clinton just didn't get it done there.
[06:05:05] And for Democrats -- any Democrat that's hanging their hat on the idea that somehow the voter fraud they swore didn't exist all of a sudden now there's something funny is -- it's not just hypocritical; it's silly. They should move on and focus on what they need to do for their own party for the next two to four years.
CAMEROTA: That's a little bit of a different issue, isn't it? I mean, basically, what Jill Stein and her folks are saying is that there seems to be a discrepancy between the paper ballots and the electronic voting machines. And that maybe if there was a 30,000- voter discrepancy, it would have shifted Wisconsin for Hillary Clinton. That will be resolved. They're starting the recount; that will be resolved.
But what do you think, David, about the larger issue, that Donald Trump won, fair and square, and yet, he's pedaling these false -- these fake news stories. Does it mean that he is so gullible that he believes them or he's trying to distract us from something else?
DRUCKER: Who knows what he's trying to do? Alex is right. This is the guy who campaigned. And there's a pretty good rule in politics that I follow. Most of the time I'm right. Occasionally, I'm wrong. What you see on the campaign trail is what you get in office. People do not change. And they especially -- I mean, you really don't change if you're my age. If you're age, you really don't change, because we're human beings, and it's human nature. And sometimes, politics gets down to just the essence of who we are as people.
Do I think it's helpful to him? No. Do I think his base cares? No. At the end of the day, he's going to be judged on his performance in office. Where could his tweets hurt him if he's doing this in office and people feel like they don't have a job and Washington is still all knotted up in gridlock? Then they might say, "Dude, what are you doing?"
CUOMO: So Alex, Kellyanne Conway put in an odd situation. One, she's saying, "Boy, you know, I got asked so many times if he'd accept the election," because he said he wouldn't. He said he'd let people know. And in fact, the reason that he couldn't say he'd accept the election is in case there were a need for recounts and things.
So, really, what's happening right now is exactly what Trump had suggested he would do if he lost. So that's weird for Kellyanne.
Then, secondly, does she not want Romney to be secretary of state and this is her way of doing this? Or, if we believe that she doesn't say things that her team doesn't want her to say, they kind of wanted us to think they might have Romney and now we're trying to kill Romney in front of everybody else. What is -- what is your take on why she's killing their own choice?
BURNS: I think one of the lessons that you learned covering the Trump campaign, and we all learned covering the Trump campaign, is that things usually are what they appear to be. That people like to, you know, rationalize that all this apparent chaos is actually a sly plan designed from within. Or Trump is out there tweeting about voter fraud to distract deliberately from his other story. Very rarely is there a larger architecture to the kind of decisions that are getting made.
So if it seems that Trump's team is at war with itself and that some members of that team are taking their very, very strongly held preferences public, possibly with a tacit acceptance of the boss, but not necessarily on his instructions. That's probably what we're dealing with.
So Kellyanne is somebody who, for a long time, has represented, really, the conservative, more conservative, more activist wing of the Republican Party. And I think that you could very, very easily imagine a scenario where Jeb Bush were elected president, and he was thinking about appointing Mitt Romney secretary of state, and Kellyanne was out on television saying this is a terrible idea and it's an insult to the party's base.
DRUCKER: However, if you want to believe that they want to rub Mitt Romney's nose in it. If you listen to Kellyanne Conway's comments about the speech that he gave in Utah and how he was wrong about Donald Trump's intellect and wrong about Donald Trump's integrity, and on and on, this is a great way to go on television and basically stick their, you know, finger in Mitt Romney's eye and say, "You lost. Ha, ha. And we're just going to keep reminding you of this until we get to our decision, and it's going to be somebody else. But thanks for playing."
CAMEROTA: Is there any accuracy to the theory that they -- what they really want is Mitt Romney to withdraw his name? So, rather than Donald Trump having to say, "I don't pick him," because they had this nice mono-a-mono -- that they want Mitt Romney to exit stage right.
BURNS: There are definitely people in the sort of extended Trump circle who think that that would be the most desirable outcome at this point. Right? And that by going public, you probably do help put some pressure on Romney. You did hear a decent number of mainstream Republicans yesterday saying, "This guy would be crazy to go into an administration under these conditions. He should walk away right away."
CUOMO: But wait a minute. That...
CAMEROTA: Go ahead, play it out. I like this parlor game.
CUOMO: I'm just saying that it brings us to an analysis of a conclusion that doesn't make sense based on the premise of how it began.
That would suggest that Romney just decided to run for secretary of state, and the administration has to find a way to get him out of the race. They raised his name. They brought him up.
[06:10:02] CUOMO: So is there any reason to believe that they brought up -- that the Trump people brought up Romney under pressure, you know, or some false pretense?
CAMEROTA: Or did they just not expect the blowback?
BURNS: I think -- no, I mean, look, I think when you have a process that is largely driven by Trump himself. You know, he met with Romney. Liked him a lot, liked him more than he expected to. Suddenly, the secretary of state thing started snowballing. And they started getting a lot of applause from Republicans in Washington and even some Democrats saying, "Yes, that's a really good idea." This thing took on a life of its own faster than I think people around Trump expected it to.
DRUCKER: And what you've seen with this hiring process is that, actually, Trump has talked to a wide range of Republicans and even a couple of Democrats. I think that some people made the assumption that he's only going to talk to people in his small inner circle of the sort of, you know, nationalist part of the Republican Party, the populist part. He's talked to a wide breadth of Republicans. It's good P.R. for him and his administration that makes Republicans that were skeptical of him feel good and come onboard.
So it's not really surprising that these are the people he's interviewed. And don't forget: look, Reince Priebus is a part of the establishment wing of the party. He's got a prominent position. So, I think that Trump is trying to at least diversify who he talks to.
At the end of the day, it's all about the decisions he makes. But it's not entirely shocking that somebody in Romney's position from that wing of the party would be considered.
CAMEROTA: Guys, stick around. We have many more questions.
CUOMO: All right. Another big headline for you this morning takes us to Cuba. Tens of thousands are expected to turn out in Havana over the next two days to bid farewell to Fidel Castro. The Cuban dictator's ashes will crisscross the island nation this week.
This coincides with the first commercial flights for the U.S. to Havana, which begin today.
We have CNN's Nic Robertson live in Havana with more. There's a national period of mourning. What is the tone towards the new reality down there, Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the tone here has been very new here for the weekend, Chris, neither outright sort of joyous emotion nor outright sorrow shown on the streets here. With the arrival of the commercial flight, the first commercial flight from the United States in over 50 years.
This morning about an hour and a half's time, it really presents what could be the future, improving relations with the United -- with the United States for this country.
At the same time, there's sort of, if you will, burying the past. But will it really be the past? That's the question on people's minds here.
A 21-gun salute will fire off in about three hours' time at the Revolution Square in Havana. There will be a public gathering, the first one that the government has organized here for people to gather to commemorate the passing of Fidel Castro.
It will be the same again on Tuesday. Tuesday evening there will be a service at the end of that. Then Wednesday the beginning of that 700- mile journey for Castro's ashes to the other end of the country to Santiago.
A single canon will fire from Tuesday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. So, there will be a reminder for everyone. Every hour this -- every hour of every day this week of Fidel's passing -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Nic. Thanks so much for all of that.
So how will U.S. relations with Cuba change now? What are Donald Trump's plans on that note? We'll discuss it all, next.
[06:17:11] CUOMO: What happens now? What happens between the U.S. and Cuba. It seems uncertain, at best. President-elect Donald Trump takes office in 53 days. Will the incoming president reverse diplomatic relations, move towards more of an isolationist principle once again, as many in his party would like.
Joining us, our -- we have senior international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson in Havana. We have CNN political reporter Sara Murray in Washington; and we have CNN correspondent Boris Sanchez in Miami.
Now, Boris, your family lived out a very common and tragic scenario for new Americans, coming as political exiles. In your case, your grandfather was a prisoner there. He wanted free elections, and he was lucky to escape with his life. Tell us what this means to you and people like your family down there now in Florida. But Cuba in their heart.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Chris. As you said, my grandfather fought to bring Democratic elections to Cuba many years ago in the Cuban revolution. Once that ended and Fidel took power and my grandfather, being a staunch anticommunist, began organizing against him, Castro didn't like that. My grandfather was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for essentially speaking his mind.
He considered himself lucky because he wasn't put, like many of his friends were, in front of firing squads. More than 1,000 Cubans were put in front of firing squads and executed without even going to trial.
So as you see people celebrating here on the street, many people that I spoke to said they weren't celebrating the death of a person. They were celebrating the death of a monster. This is something that my family, personally, had been waiting for, for generations. They were elated that Castro passed away.
And on another personal note, you know, my grandmother kept a Cuban flag under her bed, and as long as I've been alive, she said that the day that Fidel Castro passed away, she would bring it out into the street and wave it. Unfortunately, my grandmother is not with us anymore, but my mother and father came out here on Saturday night, and my mom was waving that flag. It was a very emotional moment for her, one that she hopes brings closure to a wound that is extremely deep and one that also, she hopes, signifies a new chapter for the people of Cuba and the relationship with human rights and political prisoners and the ability to express yourself freely, Chris.
CAMEROTA: Thank you for sharing that personal story. I mean, that just really brings it home to so many Americans to understand the conflicted relationship and all of the, obviously, scars, that so many families in Miami and elsewhere carry from Cuba. So Sara, what has the president-elect said about this new relationship and the embargo and relations?
MURRAY: Well, it will be interesting to see what he actually does. What he said on the campaign trail is that he would move to reverse some of the actions President Obama had taken to open up business and to begin to open up travel between the U.S. and Cuba.
[06:20:04] We saw a number of Donald Trump's advisors out over the weekend, responding to Fidel Castro's death. And essentially, saying they will look for Cuba and for the Cuban government to make some changes. They want to see more freedoms for the people of Cuba. They want to see the release of political prisoners. They want to see a -- you know, a healthier embrace of open markets.
But it's not clear whether Donald Trump is going to take office and actually follow through on his campaign promise, follow through on reversing some of the changes President Obama has already implemented. His advisers were a little bit shakier on whether he's going to fully go through with that as they were speaking over the weekend.
CUOMO: Nick, of course, there's still a Castro in power down there. The person who's expected to come after him is also a Castro acolyte. So it's not like this is technically a new day.
One of the questions is, will Trump as president deal with this as a Republican politician or as a businessman? There were stories about him sending consultants down there to look for opportunities. Is there an ambivalence down there about what to expect from the United States going forward?
ROBERTSON: Well, if -- if there is a part of the population that listened to what Fidel Castro had to say before he died, and that was particularly a reference to the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, was that the United States wasn't to be trusted. So there perhaps will be some in the population that -- perhaps all the people here that would maybe share those sentiments.
But the younger population here really does hope that things can change. And the fact that, you know, you have things like the Helms- Bird Act of 1996 that says there -- for there to be full restoration of relationship between the United States and Cuba, there should be free and fair elections in Cuba, Raul stepping down. Raul Castro stepping down in 2018 has said and there is a person seen as successor. But is another system envisaged now? Could there be some kind of elections? There's certainly been no hint of that so far.
And if you look at, perhaps, some of the picks that Donald Trump, president-elect, has made to his treasury transition team, there are people in there who have voiced the same thoughts that he had, that really, there was nothing in return for the improved ties and with Cuba.
And, therefore, you know, as treasury controls the trade and travel, then perhaps the early indications are that maybe Trump's campaign rhetoric in this case may hold.
But the concern is for that younger generation here. That they really see on this flight, this American Airlines flight arriving this morning in almost an hour's time, is a real symbol of what could come in the future. And there's better ties. There's certainly going to be a lot of young people here that are maybe not out on the streets saying it publicly but do feel it strongly, that there is an opportunity. And they don't want to see that lost, particularly to the politics of the United States.
CAMEROTA: Boris, what do Cuban Americans, your family and neighbors and friends want to see happen next?
SANCHEZ: Well, there's certainly a generational divide. A lot of the older Cubans that are more directly tied to some of those sad stories and some of the repression that they directly felt from Castro were not happy about the concessions that the United States got from Cuba in this rapprochement. They weren't happy to see that there weren't more political prisoners freed.
They, in a lot of ways, were disappointed. Many of my friends and family wanted the embargo to end. They simply felt that it wasn't effective, and it didn't achieve its stated purpose of ending Fidel Castro's regime.
But, though they were initially optimistic, they felt that, in a sense the United States got played. We have started to allow for investment in Cuba. We've started to ease relations. Obviously, people are now traveling there. But they feel that they haven't gotten enough in return in the sense of human rights and, again, the ability to express oneself freely.
CUOMO: It is still very much a closed society, as Boris and his family and so many in southern Florida know. Even if Raul Castro doesn't wear a uniform, they still believe he's a dictator.
Thank you very much to all of you for your commentaries this morning. We'll check back with you later in the show.
CAMEROTA: What's your take on what's going on with Cuba? You can tweet us, @NewDay or post your comment on Facebook.com/NewDay.
CUOMO: A young Muslim woman in the U.S. saying she lives in fear because of this election. The drastic decisions she and other women of her religion say they're making to protect themselves. Ahead.
[06:23:44] CAMEROTA: Time now for the five things to know for your new day.
Number one, President-elect Donald Trump falsely claiming that millions of people voted illegally, costing him the popular vote. Trump's conspiracy theory is refuted by voting experts.
CUOMO: Trump senior aide Kellyanne Conway intensifying attacks against Mitt Romney. Remember, her boss put Romney in play for secretary of state. Conway now saying Romney went out of his way to hurt Trump, adding supporters feel betrayed.
CAMEROTA: Tens of thousands expected to pay respects in Havana's Revolution Square to former dictator Fidel Castro. Castro died Friday setting off celebrations by exiles living in Miami. He was 90 years old.
CUOMO: The Army Corps of Engineers no longer planning to forcibly remove thousands of Dakota Pipeline protestors. Last week, authorities demanded demonstrators leave the Standing Rock camps by December 5.
CAMEROTA: Panda news. Bei-Bei, the panda cub, is recovering from life-saving surgery. Officials at the National Zoo in Washington say he had a half-eaten bamboo blocking his intestine. His recovery is said to be going well.
CUOMO: You've got to chew your food, my friend.
For more on the five things to know, go to NewDayCNN.com for the latest.
CAMEROTA: All right. A winter storm bringing fresh snow to the Rockies and rain for millions of Americans at the start of the work week. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has our forecast. What does it look like, Chad?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: For skiers, Alisyn, it's called powder out there in Colorado and out in Utah.