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Trump Claims He Won Popular Vote; Interview with Rep. Chris Collins; Trump Aide: Romney Went 'Out of His Way' to Hurt Trump; Cubans to Bid Farewell to Fidel Castro; Army Corps: No Plans to Remove Protestors by Force. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired November 28, 2016 - 07:00   ET

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


[07:00:05] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Also, we're waiting for word about more picks to Trump's cabinet. Will he pick another billionaire? We're going to have it all covered for you.

Let's begin with Sara Murray, live in Washington. Good morning, Sara.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.

Well, it really is an unprecedented move. Donald Trump, now the president-elect, having won in this campaign, getting ready to go to the White House, is publicly questioning the integrity of the U.S. election system without offering any evidence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIR/INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: 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."

KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR TRUMP ADVISER: 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY: Now, we're expecting to hear more later this morning from Wisconsin election officials about the status of that recount.

But as for Donald Trump's claims, I reached out to a number of people in a transition effort to ask whether they had any evidence to provide whatsoever to back up his tweets insisting that there was this widespread election fraud. So far they have not responded.

Back to you guys.

CUOMO: Sara, thank you very much.

Joining us now is Republican Congressman Chris Collins. He's also the co-chair of Trump's House Leadership Committee.

Good to see you. I hope Thanksgiving was good for you and the family, Congressman.

REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: It certainly was, and the Bills won yesterday, so it's a good Monday morning.

CUOMO: Only true New York team, the Bills. Only one that plays in New York.

COLLINS: That's correct.

CUOMO: All right. So let's put up these spreads in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Because even though there are recounts and some legitimate issues, maybe, for the recount, we're seeing McCrory down there in Carolina, still wanting to count his own votes. But these spreads -- 11,000, 27,000, 68,000 -- while they show very close races, we've never had a recount influence that kind of number.

Do you believe that is enough to not have a recount, just because it's unlikely? Or do you think we should still certify the results?

COLLINS: Well, we should, obviously, certify the results. But we don't need a recount to do that.

It is time to bring America back together, make America one again. And the irony here of Jill Stein and now Hillary Clinton joining in a recount push that really is going to drag on some of the hard feelings, some of the disbelief of the Clinton supporters that she actually lost.

It's time to put that behind, and let's move forward as one America. I think I do know President-elect Trump has been very magnanimous in reaching out. He has said the right things to try to heal the divisiveness in America. This recount is just going to drag that on for another week, another two weeks. It's not necessary. It's actually detrimental to what we want to do to heal this nation.

CUOMO: Is it detrimental for the president-elect to tweet that millions of people voted illegally when you and I know there is not a shred of evidence that that's even close to true?

COLLINS: Well, what we do know is there certainly were people who voted that shouldn't have. Here in New York, we don't have any voter I.D. Is it millions?

CUOMO: Congressman, we both know it. You know there has been exhaustive reporting and research on this. Yes, there's fraud in all things that man touches. Voting is no different in that regard.

COLLINS: That's correct.

[07:05:07] CUOMO: But the numbers are small. The amount of obvious provable cases, small. He's forwarding a conspiracy theory that whackos created. And you know that. The question is why? Why do this? He won. Nobody is saying it was rigged except him.

COLLINS: That's exactly right. He is the president-elect. It is time to move forward. I'd like to think we could strengthen some of the voter election I.D. laws.

But you're right. He's won the Electoral College vote. That is all that matters. In fact, I called out in May we were going to see a Trump tsunami. We did see that. You know, 306 Electoral College votes in winning Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania was more than anyone really had hoped for.

Yes, it's time to move on. And it's time to end the discussion of recounts and, again, hopefully we can strengthen voter I.D. Laws. But I couldn't agree more. Let's just move on. Let's get the cabinet selected and let's get the other 4,000 $ positions filled. That is just an enormous task ahead of us the next 60, 90 days.

CUOMO: Congressman, what's going on with Romney? Trump comes forward and says, "You know what? I could be the bigger man. I know what he said. But I liked when I met him. And, boy, he could be really qualified for secretary of state." Now, you've got Kellyanne, who's not in the business of contradicting

Mr. Trump, savaging Romney, Newt Gingrich savaging Romney. What's going on? Trump put his name out, and now they seem to be eating their own.

COLLINS: What do I know about Mitt Romney? I know that he is a self- serving egomaniac who puts himself first, who has a chip on his shoulder that thinks he should be president of the United States. I mean, there's no love lost between me and Mitt Romney. I called him a loser for the last six months, even though I supported him...

CUOMO: Why did President-elect Trump say, "I like this guy. I think he could be secretary of state"? You certainly didn't say that when he first came out with his name. What changed here?

COLLINS: Well, I'm going to leave it up to President-elect Trump to pick the people in his cabinet that he thinks can serve his administration. A healthy debate is a good thing. Disagreement is a good thing. Once you come to an agreement, though, you have to move on. My concern is that Mitt Romney is a bit of a lone wolf a might not take the advice or the direction of president-elect Trump. I mean, he is a lone wolf.

And so, from that perspective, would I choose him? No. But if President-elect Trump does, I'll certainly support that decision. It's up to the president-elect to surround himself with the people that he thinks can best serve his administration. But I have not seen in Mitt Romney the personality traits of someone who will take direction.

CUOMO: What do you make of the concern that the early choices -- and there's still many to be filled as you suggest -- got a lot of billionaires in there? Is that returning power to the people?

COLLINS: Oh, these are successful individuals. And you want to surround yourself with successful people. The dollar sign after their name, to me, is meaningless as long as they're there to put America first, to help Donald Trump make America great again. It's of no concern to me that these people are people of means who are going to turn their own personal lives upside down and work these 60-, 70-hour weeks. God bless them for that.

You should never hold it against someone that they are successful in a prior career and are bringing that success to serve the American public. I have no concerns whatsoever.

CUOMO: But you don't think it's different than the campaign where Trump was saying, "Look, I don't -- I don't need the money. I don't need the influence, so people can't buy and sell me. But money corrupts those in power, and that's why we have to get it out. I can do it. I know the system best."

Now, he's putting people in there who seem to be the kind of people he said needed to be out. I don't understand the inconsistency.

COLLINS: Well, no, no. In saying that power can corrupt, he's talking about the Clintons, who were dead broke 16 years ago and are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Somebody coming in that is a wealthy individual, someone like Penny Pritzker, who's secretary of commerce under Barack Obama, is not somebody that's going to do anything that's self-serving. They, in fact, have the means to take care of their family for generations to come.

So, I don't think there's any risk of someone that has already accumulated a certain amount of wealth somehow using influence to create more wealth. It's more the concern of people like the Clintons, who were dead broke, who did use their influence to become worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

CUOMO: The difference between new money and old money.

COLLINS: There you go.

[07:10:05] CUOMO: Congressman Collins, thank you very much for being on NEW DAY, as always.

COLLINS: OK. Always good to be with you, Chris. All righty.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Chris. Turning to Cuba now. Tens of thousands of people in Havana expected to bid farewell to Fidel Castro. The Cuban dictator's ashes will crisscross the island nation this week. This comes as the first commercial flights from the U.S. begin to Havana today.

CNN's Nic Robertson is live in Havana with more. So much change happening there, Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Slow change, subtle change. The beginning of its sort of public manifestation will be the gathering in Revolution Square to commemorate the passing of Fidel Castro. That is due to begin in about two hours' time. At that time, there will be, we're told, a 21-gun salute. The guns fired off here in Havana and at the other end of the country, in Santiago, 700 miles away, timed to go off at the same time.

What we're expecting for the rest of the week will be more commemorations, more memorials. The government has said that it is planning these sorts of things. Towns and villages across the country.

What we're not seeing here is passion so far poured out on the streets, neither -- neither in joy nor sorrow. The older generation perhaps here, still reticent to say what they truly feel. Younger people here have been telling us that they do hope that there's a better future for the country and perhaps the symbol of that is the arrival of this first -- first flight scheduled flight from -- direct from the United States. That's due to land here, really, in the next few minutes -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Nic, thank you very much. Keep us up to date on all that happens there.

We're going to take a break. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a situation that demands your attention. There had been a deadline given to the protesters there. The Army Corps of Engineers saying they were going to remove them by force but now saying they want a peaceful solution. Big key here is what will the protesters do? We've got two tribal leaders ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:15:54] CAMEROTA: So, there's a shift to tell you about in the showdown over the Dakota access oil pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers NOW says that they will now forcibly remove the protesters who are blocking the controversial project.

CNN's Paul Vercammen is live in Los Angeles with more. What have you learned, Paul?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, things are still heating up, though, on that front at the Standing Rock Reservation. Let's get right to it.

Here's what the Army Corps of Engineers first said. They're going to close federal property north of the Cannonball River to the public, this on December 5. So it seemed the showdown was looming. But now, they say the Army Corps of Engineers is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location that has no plans for forcible removal from the camp.

They also say that people would stay at their own risk, but that emergency fire, medical and law enforcement cannot adequately be there to protect them.

Now, you're looking at support for the tribe in Washington, D.C., yesterday. The tribe, of course, saying that they want this pipeline routed around the reservation. That they fear that their water will be contaminated and also that the pipeline route will destroy some sacred sites.

This a peaceful protest, unlike last week when there were violent clashes overnight. You may recall that the police were using makeshift water cannons, hoses attached to fire engines in sub- freezing temperatures, and that remains to be seen what this would mean. But the Army Corps says people could be cited.

Back to you now, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Paul, thank you very much for keeping us up to date.

Joined now by a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Chase Iron Eyes, and Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault. Gentlemen, thank you for joining me.

Let's start with where we are right now. The Army Corps of Engineers is saying that they don't want to do this forcibly, but they do want people out by December 5. They say they want a safer location. What does that mean to you, Chase?

CHASE IRON EYES, STANDING ROCK SIOUX TRIBE: It's reminiscent of past statements and proclamations coming from the United States. For instance, on December 3, 1875, we were declared hostile if we were not within the confines of our Indian reservation.

Fast forward 140 years, you have a government agency trying to declare us trespassers on our own treaty land and threatening to penalize us, criminally charge us and possibly forcibly round us up if we don't return to the reservation. So it's very eerie, and we're trying strong through all of this.

CUOMO: Dave Archambault, one of the issues that comes up here is that the pipeline was put through with no consult or approval from the tribe. Is that true? How did this happen?

DAVE ARCHAMBAULT, TRIBAL CHAIRMAN, STANDING ROCK SIOUX: Well, this pipeline was proposed, and we had the Dakota Access Pipeline, along with the state's public service commission, come to Standing Rock and meet with my tribal council. So every time I hear that the tribe didn't have a statement or a comment. I find that false, because we sat there with the company, and we told them don't put it here. And all the arguments that we had back then are the same arguments that we have today.

CUOMO: So, they did come to you, but you said you don't want it, and they did it anyway. All right. Thank you for clearing that up from your perspective.

Chase, what are you prepared to do? They're going to go ahead with the pipeline. They say they don't want to forcibly remove people. We both know what happens if the work can't commence and time continues to go by. The dynamic is going to change. What is your posture in terms of what your plans are?

IRON EYES: Well, it's definitely not a foregone conclusion that the pipeline is going to be built where it's currently routed. It was rerouted from a place north of the capital city of North Dakota of Bismarck, and it was moved to our northern boundaries, our 1889 boundaries. There are unsettled legal claims with the land in the area in question.

We have our head of state, Tribal chairman Dave Archambault II, who is on with me. We have treaty councils, who are on the ground and about 10,000 people, including 2,000 veterans, who are coming to join the peaceful, nonviolent and unarmed protests in Standing Rock to protect clean water. Not only that but the constitutional civil liberties and human rights and international rights of a nation-to-nation relationship between our tribal nation and the United States. And treaty groups who are on the ground and who are committed to these concepts of unarmed nonviolence. We expect a win. We are in for the long haul.

[07:20:35] Why do you not want the pipeline, Chase?

IRON EYES: We don't want the pipeline traversing through treaty territory. There's already been sacred sites destroyed.

We're talking about clean water. We're looking to reevaluate our economic system so that we can value the true source of all economic wealth, which is water, which is our natural resource. We say (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) or water is sacred, but it's also good business to protect your water resource. If they would have rerouted the pipeline or went with their original route north of Bismarck, we wouldn't even be in this fight right now.

CUOMO: Dave, I want people to see some of the video earlier of the water cannon. This was a big concern for safety. Not only does the water cannon hurt and possibly injure. But you had very low and often sub-zero temperatures there, and there was a lot of fear of hypothermia, people not being able to rewarm.

We made calls on it, and the official response was, "Hey, these aren't all protesters. There is a lot of rioting going out there. There's violence; there's criminal activity."

What is your statement with respect to how the protesters have been behaving and whether or not a water canon was warranted?

ARCHAMBAULT: I would say let's look at it from the beginning of this whole stance. And ask the state officials and the state law enforcement how often have they seen the water protectors using weapons? It's never happened. The stance that we have, the fight that we're in. On our side, we have never used a weapon. But what we witnessed was the law enforcement continuing to escalate the type of weapons that they're using.

And what they used, rubber bullets. And whoever is firing this projectile targets a human head. They'll claim that this is a nonlethal weapon. But they're trying to hurt somebody when you get a rubber bullet that hits somebody next to their eye, and now they're having eyesight problems, or they have concussion grenades exploding next to people and almost taking their arms off.

I think we did lose a -- a lady lost her arm. So the -- what they're calling us rioters. They should be the rioter. They're the ones who are bringing the aggression. They're the ones who are bringing the horse, and they're the ones who are using weapons. And that this continues to escalate, and that's what -- if they're so concerned about safety. If everybody is concerned about safety, what needs to happen is this easement.

The last thing that the company needs is an easement from the Corps of Engineers. What they need to do is cancel this easement. That's the safest thing to do. But by sending out a letter, saying you have until December 5. These public properties are closed. It just escalates and causes more concern for safety for everybody.

CUOMO: All right. Gentlemen, thank you very much for offering your perspective on NEW DAY this morning for you, Archambault. You and the sheriff have been going at this for eight months, trying to find a peaceful solution to this. Hasn't happened yet. We'll continue covering this on NEW DAY. We know it's an important story. Thank you, gentlemen.

So, what do you think about this? Maybe new to you but, yes, it's been going on for a long time there, and seems it's going to continue. You can tweet us, @NewDay. Post your comment on Facebook.com/NewDay -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right. House Democrats are locked in a leadership battle. Will the party stick with Nancy Pelosi? A lawmaker joins us next to weigh in on this week's big vote.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:27:33] CAMEROTA: So, Donald Trump is claiming that he won the popular vote, if you don't count the, quote, "millions of people who voted illegally." That was a tweet he sent out over the weekend, and that is false. There's not a shred of evidence that he has presented or anyone.

So, what are the Democrats' plans for how to tackle fake news and erroneous tweets over the next four years? Let's discuss this and so much more with New York Democratic congresswoman who sits on the committee of homeland security, Representative Kathleen Rice. Great to see you here.

REP. KATHLEEN RICE (D), NEW YORK: Great to be here.

CAMEROTA: So, are you all talking about that problem, that President- elect Trump tweets out things that have no evidence and are demonstrably false?

RICE: I think it's just more of the same. I mean, we saw a campaign for almost two years that involved just those kind of claims. So I think most Americans are waiting to see exactly what -- when he starts to -- when he is sworn in, what is actually going to be put into action, not just the words and the rhetoric.

CAMEROTA: And then what's your -- what's your plan? Do you ignore them? Do you refute them?

RICE: I think that we -- what we have to do is do what we've been doing all along, which is try to get people in the media, like yourself, to call him out when he is saying things that are not true.

But at the end of the day, the American people are going to want to see actual action. It's not going to be enough to tweet things out. It's not going to be enough to hold rallies. You have to actually present things like budgets and get people to compromise and work with you to get America, you know, back on track.

CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, as you know, there's also this recount effort under way, started by Jill Stein, who ran for president. And it has now been joined by what was Hillary Clinton's campaign to, again, count the votes in three battleground states that were extremely close, despite the fact that there's no evidence that any election officials can find of voter fraud there either. What do you think of that effort? RICE: It's not something that I would support. I think that we need

to move forward. I understand, you know, Jill Stein wants to start this, and the Clinton campaign wants to get on board. That's fine. But I think what this country needs is for us to move forward. There's no evidence that there was any fraud involved. We have to accept the results, whether you like them or not, and move forward.

CAMEROTA: OK. So let's talk about who is going to lead the Democrats moving forward. You have decided that you will support Congressman Tim Ryan over Nancy Pelosi. That election comes up. That race is this week. What does he have that she doesn't?

RICE: He's a new voice. We need new leadership.