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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Vows To Leave His Business "In Total"; Trump's New Cabinet Picks: Billionaires & Millionaires; Carrier: Trump Gave Us State "Incentives" To Save Jobs; Pakistani PM: Trump Praised My "Amazing Work" During Call; Charlotte Braces for Protests, No Charges in Police Shooting. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 30, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Jim Sciutto reporting for us. Jim thanks very much. That's it for me. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, Trump says he's quitting his business, this as he picks more billionaires to join his cabinets. His picks for Commerce Secretary "OutFront " tonight.
Plus, President-elect Trump speaks with the leader of the country where Osama bin Laden hid in plain sight for years. Why did he reportedly call the country and its people fantastic and amazing? And remembering a man who changed the way America and the world (inaudible). Let's go "OUTFRONT."
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. "OUTFRONT" tonight, cutting ties Donald Trump in a series of tweets today promising to leave behind his global business empire. This is in response to a growing call that he removed himself from conflicts of interest.
Trump announcing, "I am leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again. While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as president, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses."
But his post left a lot more questions than they answered. Still unknown, what does that mean? Does he surrender complete ownership? Does he sell the whole thing and just put the cash in a blind trust? Also today, Trump unveiling his economic team, nominated for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who is already promising big tax cuts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY NOMINEE: We're going to have a big middle income tax cut, that's another big part of this and simplifying taxes. Taxes are way too complicated and people spend way too much time worrying about ways to get them lower.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Also officially nominated today, Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary, an investor known for restructuring failed companies and the man who is the architect of Trump's trade plan. Todd Ricketts, also, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs nominated for Deputy Commerce Secretary. Wilbur Ross is my guest in just a couple of moments.
I want to begin though with Sunlen Serfaty, because Sunlen, Trump today -- this is could be a major piece of news, the biggest news we've had in quite some time if it means what he says it means. Trump separating himself from his business.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Erin. And there are still a lot of questions as you point out tonight. But this issue of potential conflicts of interest with his business is one that had already really been dogging his future in the White House.
So, Trump at least taking some steps showing that he intends to address this controversy in some small way taking to Twitter in a series of tweets announcing that he will take a step back and break himself off from his businesses. And notably this is a shift in his posture from only one week ago.
Also, this time last week he was sitting down with the "New York Times." He says, yes, he thinks he can be president and run his business 100 percent at the same time. But there are certainly is a lot of questions now. How this will work going forward? Will he be able to completely cut ties?
And, of course, the big question is what sort of role -- I mean, how this would work with his adult children whom he had previously said would be in-charge of his company going forward.
Now, those details are scarce tonight, but Trump promising many more details in the days and weeks to come including at a press conference he will hold here on December 15th and his adult children will be there as well. Erin?
BURNETT: All right, Sunlen, thank you. And one common theme among many of Trump's picks, wealth, massive wealth. Ryan Nobles is "OutFront."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He is on the verge of becoming the billionaire and chief and Donald is filling out his administration with candidates who are a lot like him, rich.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want people who have been successful. You want people who have done this.
NOBLES: Wilbur Ross, Trump's pick for Commerce Secretary is reportedly worth $2.5 billion. He's an investor who made his money specializing in bankruptcies. Ross is in avid art connoisseur with a collection worth of reported $150 million.
Also ahead to the Commerce Department, Todd Ricketts, the sign (ph) of the billionaire family that founded T.D. Ameritrade and part owner of the world's series champion Chicago Cubs. Trump's pick to run the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos married into a family that founded Amway. Her father in-law and family are worth an estimated 5.1 billion. On the campaign trail, Trump regularly hammered a corrupt connection between Wall Street and Washington.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: When you cast that ballot, just picture a Wall Street boardroom filled with the special interest who have been bleeding your country and your city in every place else and imagine to look on their faces when you tell them you're fired.
NOBLES: But several of his nominations come directly from Wall Streets. His pick for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin spent years at Goldman Sachs as did his father and brother. Mnuchin made millions after he and his partner sold the company OneWest for $3.4 billion at the height of the mortgage crises.
[19:05:07] And even Trump's picks that aren't thought of as captains of industry are wealthy. At transportation, Elaine Chao and her husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are estimated to be worth more than $20 million. Jeff Sessions, his pick for Attorney General is worth around 7 million based on estimates. And don't forget about Mitt Romney, a finalist for Secretary of State.
MITT ROMNEY, (R) 2012 PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The people he selected as members of his cabinet are solid, effective, capable people.
NOBLES: Romney's $250 net worth is modest compared to some Trump appointees. That was a target of criticism during the 2012 campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: And not all of Trump's picks for his administration are millionaires. At this point, the one person tapped for a post that requires senate approval that is not a millionaire is Congressman Mike Pompeo. He's picked to run the CIA. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ryan. And "OutFront" tonight, the President-elect Trump's pick for Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross. Thank you so much for being with me, Wilbur.
You know, Trump's campaign was propelled to great success by a populist economic message. And, you know, now we see you're one of at least three billionaires he's tapped. He himself of course, is a billionaire for this administration. Do you think that that's a contradiction in any way?
WILBUR ROSS, BILLIONAIRE INVESTOR & COMMERCE SECRETARY NOMINEE: No, not at all. I've gotten along quite well with the steelworkers union, with the united auto workers union, with the teamsters, with the IAAM, with the textile workers. The fact that you're successful doesn't mean that you can't relate to working people. If you ask Cleo Gerard (ph), they'll tell you, I saved 100,000 jobs in this country.
BURNETT: And you now are a key part of Trump's core selling (ph) part ... ROSS: Yeah.
BURNETT: ... appoint on trade, right? He's going to redo America's trade deals and that was a big part of his some speeches. What is the first thing you're going to do on day one? Is it NAFTA up for renegotiation? I mean, what is it?
ROSS: Well, we're working out the fine point details, but NAFTA is a logical starting point. That was a very large part of his campaign.
BURNETT: So NAFTA is logical. Now, what can be revived in the U.S. economy? Because when you talk about some of the jobs that you worked -- I mean, you worked with the steelworkers union and others. Coal, steel, those were industries that you restructured.
BURNETT: In the U.S. economy right now, are those the jobs to revive? Does the U.S. want coal jobs?
ROSS: Well, the coal's problem is not so much export and it's certainly isn't so much imports. Coals problems are the EPA and utilities and competition from natural gas. It terms of improving the exports, you know, a lot of products that we sell to countries that we have a trade deficit with, but which they also buy from other countries. So there is room to increase our market share of what we sell to those same parties.
BURNETT: And what industries are those? Is that steel ...
ROSS: Every kind of manufacturing.
BURNETT: Every kind of manufacturing.
ROSS: We are both an importer and an exporter of steel.
BURNETT: And so you think we can export more?
ROSS: I think we can find a lot of manufactured products that we can export more. But to get there, we have to get rid of -- some of the artificial barriers that companies put -- countries put.
ROSS: For example, China is the world's biggest exporter, but they're also the people with one of the highest tariffs on imports in the whole world. That seems a little bit oxymoronic.
BURNETT: And on that issue, Trump has threatened 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S. It's a threat, right? He said, "I'm going to threaten it because I don't want to ...
ROSS: No. Here is what he actually said. What he said was if it turns out that the Chinese currency is overvalued by as such as 45 percent and if they won't negotiate, then it may become necessary to threaten them with as much as 45 percent tariff. That's not willy- nilly slapping 45 percent tariff on everything.
BURNETT: Right. But it is hoping that they will believe that he would do it, right? They have to believe him. So you think that he really will and they're going to say, "Wait, here he is (inaudible)."
ROSS: No. What I'm saying is this. I've negotiated with him over the years and he does not a bluffer. So if he says he will do something in a negotiation, not -- I'm not talking about the campaign speech. In an actual negotiation if he says, "You don't this, I will do that." You bet your booty he will do it.
BURNETT: So he means it when it comes to China.
ROSS: I didn't say that he'll put 45 percent tariff on everything. What I said is if in a negotiation you get to a sticking point and it's this or that, he will not blink.
BURNETT: You and Donald Trump over the years both had times being Democrats?
BURNETT: You've known him for a long time.
ROSS: Yes, I have.
BURNETT: What do you think about him over the years? How has he changed? How will he govern?
[19:10:02] Will he be as critic say impulsive or will he be more considered?
ROSS: Well, I don't even agree with the characteristics -- the characterization of being impulsive.
ROSS: Look at the appointments that he's made. Look at the list he gave for Supreme Court, very few objections to that. Those were all serious, well-qualified jurors. Look at who he picked for a running mate, serious, well-qualified person. Look at the nominees that he's made so far -- leave me out of it, but the other nominee he's made for cabinet.
These are real people. These are successful people. Think about the implications of that. There's almost no one going into this administration who isn't making an economic sacrifice, big time to do so. Why are people doing that? Because we want to give back and help the country.
BURNETT: And you believe in him?
ROSS: I believe in him. You bet I do. I wouldn't be giving up my day job for any other reason except I believe in him. I believe in America and I believe it's going to work just fine. And we already have a partial report card. Look what the stock market has done. All the nay sayer on the left was saying, "Oh, going to be a terrible crash. Oh, there's going to be an immediate recession." I don't see it.
I see a bull market has happened. I see record-breaking prices and pretty soon, next year or so, you're going to see some real impact on the economy. They are simply wrong to knock it.
BURNETT: All right. Wilbur Ross, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
ROSS: Thank you.
BURNETT: And "OutFront" next, Donald Trump delivers on a campaign promise to keep jobs in Indiana. How big of a win for Trump? Plus, why has Trump gone from slamming Pakistan to reportedly calling it a fantastic place with fantastic people? And how did Trump and Romney go from bitter enemies to this. I don't know. It's such a very romantic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I had a wonderful evening with the President-elect Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:48] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump preparing to head to Indiana to celebrate his first deal as president-elect, announcing that he reached an agreement with Carrier. That's the air- conditioning company to keep about thousand jobs in its plant in Indianapolis.
And just moments ago Carrier speaking out saying, "The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration." Obviously, that could be a really big deal to determining whether this was a good deal or not a good deal, but, really, we don't have all the details that we need.
It does, though fulfill what was a major promised. You heard Trump saying all the stuff again and again and again. It was a big promised for him. Suzanne Malveaux is "OutFront."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President-elect Donald Trump taking credit for saving American manufacturing jobs from going to Mexico. A campaign promised he made to Carrier employees in Indianapolis.
TRUMP: But we're not going to let them just take our companies out, fire everybody. These are people with Carrier for many, many years. We're not going to let it happen. MALVEAUX: Trump and Carrier both tweeting overnight. They have reached a deal to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indi after the company's announcement back in February.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best way to stay competitive and protect the business for long-term is to move production from our facility in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico.
MALVEAUX: The parent company, United Technologies planned to shutter its Carrier plant in Indianapolis that employs 1,400 workers and a nearby plant in Huntington that employs 700, saving the company according to the workers union more than $65 million a year in labor costs. A move Carrier's union rep Chuck Jones says it would have destroyed many workers lives.
CHUCK JONES, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS LOCAL 1999 UNION: Yeah. I will give him 100 percent of the credit. I wasn't a Trump supporter. In fact, I hammered him pretty good and when I see him tomorrow I'm going to tell him, you know, "I hammered you pretty -- I hammered your ass pretty good, but I'm going to give you credit because what you said you were going to do, you fulfill that promise and I appreciate it."
MALVEAUX: Steve Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury Secretary telling reporters today, he thought the deal was a terrific opportunity.
MNUCHIN: The president-elect and the vice president picked up the phone and called the CEO of United Technologies and told them, "We want to keep jobs here." I can't remember the last time a president did that.
MALVEAUX: Team Trump also crediting Vice President-elect Mike Pence who is the current governor of Indiana for helping persuades Carrier to stay.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM: The governor was heavily involved there in terms of making sure there was a package of proposals to put together for Carrier to incentivize him to stay.
MALVEAUX: But what's not clear yet are those terms of the deal. On the campaign trail, Trump called for imposing a tariff on imported goods made outside the country.
TRUMP: When you sell your air-conditioners, you're going to pay 35 percent tax as those air-conditioners cross the border. And you know what's going to happen? They're not going to move.
MALVEAUX: Now employees at a neighboring plant, Rexnord are hoping Trump will step in and prevent their jobs from going to Mexico, too.
JOHN FELTNER, REXNORD MACHINIST: It's a real hardship. I've got three kids, two in college. You know, this isn't my first rodeo. This has happened to me before and it's tough to start over and do again, but that's what we do.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: And Trump and Pence will be here at the Carrier plant on the very floor where 10 months ago the owners made that announcement to their employees saying that their jobs were going to go to Mexico.
One worker captured that on his cell phone. He posted on YouTube. It went viral. Trump saw that viral video and he made it a critical pivotal point of his jobs campaign. Tomorrow, it's comes full circle. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Suzanne. And joining me now David Gergen, former adviser to four presidents, including Reagan and Clinton, Mark Preston, our Executive Political Editor, Jeffrey Lord, former Reagan White House Political Director and Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House Aide.
Keith, is this -- you give credit where credit is due? He made this promise on the campaign trail again and again and again and critics will say, "Well, it's only a thousand jobs." But that is a thousand individual lives that are now impacted by this. That's significant. Does he deserve credit?
KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE AIDE: Well, yes. He deserves credit for this. It's good short-term politics, but it's potentially bad long-term economic strategy.
[19:20:01] I remember when Barack Obama negotiated the auto bail out, everybody worried about the moral hazard and if reverse incentive have actually going in.
BURNETT: Right. The companies would think they get bail out if they did something wrong.
BOYKIN: Exactly. Encourages other companies to do the exact same thing and I think the same thing is true here with the Trump proposal. So I think, yes, he get some credit for it for today, but you can't continue do this as a regular policy to try to bring back jobs in the manufacturing sector. And even if you do, it would take decades to bring back the manufacturing jobs that have been lost since 2000.
BURNETT: This was actually -- as part of the conversation with Wilbur Ross, he was telling me, you can't expect Trump to keep doing this, making phone calls. It's done in a company by company basis.
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right.
BURNETT: Now on a practical level, I don't know how one does that, because that's a lot of phone calls and that's a lot of individual negotiations and it doesn't work like that, but that's what he did here.
LORD: He'll find a way. I mean one of the things that I think this signifies and David, I was thinking today when Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. When our president is decisive and right out of the box and in that case Reagan fired the traffic controllers who belonged to a union, that Pepco that endorsed him. He had no hesitation in doing it. He was very decisive. It won him a lot of benefits. As we later learned, it impressed the Soviet Union leadership.
So when you do something like this, you get a lot of energy in your presidency here and a lot of credit from your opposition, but it gives you sort of the win in your sales here to keep you going.
BURNETT: So does it matter, what we call the asterisks, right? They are saying there were significant incentives from the state of Indiana. Those may have been very bad for the taxpayers of Indiana. I don't know what they were, but they could have been. But the point is does it matter? Does it matter? He had the headline.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: He is the headline now. You know, couple of things. One, politically, it's a very big win for Donald Trump politically, because he said he's going to do something and he did.
BURNETT: And he did, yes.
PRESTON: And he did. Now, we don't know how many job actually -- I guess (inaudible) now it's a little more than a thousand. Yesterday, it was little less than a thousand, but they are still about a thousand jobs that are still unaccounted for right now.
There are two plants that Carrier was shutting down in Indianapolis and the next town over. The question is picking winners and losers, is that a good time -- is that a good long-term strategy? And that can be problematic down the road.
BURNETT: Well, that's exactly what Barack Obama was criticized for, right? If the market says you're a loser, he then -- you try ...
PRESTON: United Technologies owns Carrier. They have $5.6 million worth of business on the book. Did Donald Trump threaten to pull back defense contracts if they moved? We don't know.
BURNETT: And if he did so, would that be wrong? I mean, that's another thing.
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: It's not bad to have a club in a closet sometimes.
GERGEN: At least now after all the criticism we've -- in all the concern we have expressed. I think on this one, we should give -- I mean, this is a clear win. We should give him credit.
I think it's not only important that he saved a thousand jobs. There are thousand people out there whose families are going to sleep well as a result of this. They're going to have food on the table.
But it's also very important symbolically because it's the first move out of box. It's very decisive and it tends a very, very important message to working people in this country. I'm on your side. I'm on your side.
And as Jeffrey will tell you, that was one of the secrets of FDR. FDR didn't turn things around in his first term at office because it was too difficult. But, people felt he was on their side. They had a fried in the White House and it made an enormous difference in his governing.
BOYKIN: I'm not sure that I would be willing to give that much credit, because I do think in this situation, we don't know the details. We don't know. He could have give -- he and Mike Pence could have given away the house or the store, the state for all we know. And in the end, that's a horrible way to conduct policy.
GERGEN: Listen, you just went after President Obama. President Obama takes a lot of credit for stepping in and saving the automobile industry. He doesn't see that as bad policy with that person (ph). Actually, it made a huge difference to save those companies.
BOYKIN: I totally understand that. Republicans disagree with that.
GERGEN: There are always going to be side deals. Listen, we celebrate -- we continue to celebrate to this day the Cuban missile crisis and the way JFK handled that. There were side deals on that that made it possible. We found out about those later. They didn't matter. What's important is the president acted.
BURNETT: OK. So then here's -- the question is what's next? And I said it very seriously about a person being able to make all these phone calls. In this case, people might get a little bit of a chuckle because this is how specific and granular it can get. Here is Donald Trump on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: No more Oreos. I don't like Oreos, anymore. They are closing their big plant in Chicago. They are moving it to Mexico. I'll never eat another Oreo, again.
I'm not eating Oreos anymore, you know that. But, neither is Chris, you're not eating Oreos anymore. No more Oreos, for either of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. But in all seriousness, is that going to be the next thing he does, right? The plant is not closing in Chicago, but they did lose about 300 jobs. Is he going to bring those jobs back and keep the specific promises?
LORD: One other things right that happens here, Erin, it's my understanding that Apple is reconsidering some of their moves on this kind of thing and I don't know that he's ...
LORD: Right, right, right, right. But my point is I don't know that he's called Apple. [19:25:03] My point is, is it when you start doing this, other people are going to say, "I'm not sure I want a call from the president of the United States. I think I'd rather do this on my own."
BOYKIN: I think they do want to call from the president of United States, because they know they can negotiate to get a better deal that they can get, otherwise. This is encouraging blackmails, encouraging economic blackmail to the companies ...
BOYKIN: It's creating a perverse incentive for companies to do exactly. What they would want is going to have ...
GERGEN: If they can provide incentive for people to stay, that is a time-honored way of doing business.
GERGEN: ... for a long time by offering up some tax breaks. There's nothing unusual about this. It is done all the time.
BOYKIN: So what are the details? We don't know the details and that's the problem here. There's no transparency in this. We don't know whether he had to give away too much in order to make this happen.
PRESTON: I mean just to wrap it up, right? I mean, let's bring everyone to the table together. I mean, OK, thousand families now have jobs. Short-term political gain, no question for Donald Trump. Let's just see what the details are anyway. I mean, this is going to happen for the next four years.
BURNETT: We'll see if we do, because as we point out, it's a subsidiary of United Technologies, which is way to pick up a company for this to actually merit at least by law a formal disclosure.
"OutFront" next, details of a private call between Donald Trump and a major world leader. Why Trump reportedly giving praise, and I mean praise, like calling him exceptional on a country where Osama bin Laden hid in plain sight for years.
And the shooting death of a black man caught on tape. Officials say they will not charge the officer who kills him. We are live in Charlotte with the calls (inaudible) just tonight.
[19:30:34] BURNETT: Breaking news: Pakistan releasing a remarkable statement tonight, revealing details of a private conversation between Donald Trump and the prime minister. The phone call taking place just a couple of days ago.
And here is what they say happened to it. They put this out -- usually these things say, you know, they talked about working together on the future. That's not what it said here.
"President Trump and Prime Minister Sharif, you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are some of the most intelligent people and it continues."
Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT.
I mean, Jim, this is pretty incredible and when you read this, it certainly seems to be word for word what Trump said.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the thing. I mean, typically these call readouts are so boilerplate. They seem designed to reveal absolutely nothing. This one reads like a transcript and knowing the way Donald Trump speaks in public, it reads frankly like an accurate transcript.
Just another quote here, on being invited to visit Pakistan by the prime minister, Mr. Trump said he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. "Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people," said Mr. Donald Trump. This, of course, according to the Pakistani prime minister's office.
It would seem a bit, Erin, as well, based on his past statements that there might have been some overcompensation there diplomatically.
BURNETT: Overcompensation, hypocrisy, it would depend on how you look at it, because calling Pakistanis exceptional, fantastic and amazing is polar opposite of what Donald Trump has called that country before.
SCIUTTO: That's exactly right. Let's look at some of his tweets during the campaign. I mean, this gets into even some of the most critical language he used about any country really in the world.
Here is one, "Get it straight. Pakistan is not our friend. We've given them billions and billions of dollars and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect and much worse. Time to get tough."
He followed that up with another tweet mentioning specifically Osama bin Laden. He said, "When will Pakistan apologize to us for providing safe sanctuary to Osama bin Laden for six years. Some ally."
I mean, that's -- from an ally and Pakistan is certainly a difficult relationship but it has been an ally in the war on terror. Insulting language. And it's interesting, Erin, because you have to imagine there are going to be other calls like this to other allies as well, you think of NATO allies, allies in Asia that Donald Trump has been very critical of.
Ironically, he's been friendliest in his language to what many view here as an adversary and that is Russia. He's going to have a lot of phone calls like this to repair those kind of relationships.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Jim Sciutto.
My panel is back with me. Mark, let me start with you, because I think Jim and I were clear about how this seems. This certainly seems like this is Donald Trump.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: It certainly was a fantastic, exceptional and amazing conversation. No he's not denying it.
PRESTON: I mean, look, Donald Trump has flip flopped on many, many issues. To me it seems very plausible this conversation happened, that Donald Trump said all these innings and the Pakistanis are expecting him to come over and visit. I mean, that's --
BURNETT: That's not going to happen.
PRESTON: I didn't say it was. I said they expect it to happen.
BURNETT: What's your take on this, David? First of all, I will say, thank you to the Pakistanis because this is fascinating to see what actually happens on these kind of calls. We wish we could see more often. But it is incredible how different this is. How stark from what he had said before.
GERGEN: Diplomatic niceties often require especially on an introduction to be nicer than you might be otherwise.
GERGEN: So I think that's fine.
What surprised me is how vacuous it is. I -- the president, who I've known starting way back when, Nixon. You know, they use these calls to advance American interests and American policies, and to say, look, we have issues we really need to discuss. This is not the time or place, we need to get together, but I want to make sure you know how serious it is.
And what we know about this is that, Donald Trump has chosen not to use State Department briefing materials before he talks. I think after reading this transcript, I think a little more attention could be paid to those briefings.
LORD: No. I think amazing and fantastic.
Listen, listen, years ago, "The Washington Post" political cartoonist, a guy by the name of Herblock, used to draw Richard Nixon all the time as vice president with a 5:00 shadow.
[19:35:06] Nixon gets elected and he draws an empty basher's chair and says, to every president of the United States, a free shave.
Donald Trump is in essence giving a free shave here I suspect to everybody out there. And then --
BURNETT: Blank slate.
LORD: A blank slate. He'll move forward from there.
I mean, he's very much a realist. He is no fool. He will deal with the Pakistanis as the Pakistanis deal with him. I have not the slightest doubt about that.
BURNETT: Keith, though, when you see, when will Pakistan apologize for providing safe sanctuary to Osama bin Laden, and then he calls the leadership there fantastic and amazing. It is a different prime minister than at the time. But his statements blanket to the country.
Is that something that's concerning to Americans? You don't know. Which Trump is the Trump that will govern?
BOYKIN: Unfortunately, this has been the tendency we've seen far too often with Donald Trump and throughout the transition during the campaign. We don't know what he believes and where he'll come out on a particular issue. And often, it depends on who's the last person he spoke to. And because he had a conversation with Pakistan, now Pakistan is our friend. But if he has another conversation with India, India will be our friend.
Who knows where Donald Trump will come out and I think that is a terrible way to set foreign policy, because we don't have any way of communicating to our allies that there is some stability and principle and what we're doing.
LORD: And there is no evidence that he's going to bow to anybody, which, of course, is one of the criticisms.
BURNETT: Keep them on their toes. Some other prime minister is going to read that and say he said the same thing to me and he --
GERGEN: -- a tradition of intentional ambiguity. That is particularly true with regard to Taiwan and China. We've kept both of them in suspense about what we might actually do if there were warfare between them. But that's been intended and followed by a number of presidents.
I don't have a problem with ambiguity. I have a problem with having phone calls with important people and not saying anything, and building something. Building the case where you ultimately want to go.
BURNETT: You don't is a problem with fantastic, amazing and exceptional if applied across the board? GERGEN: Well, I have -- listen, I think we need to give him a bit of
a pass on whether, in fact, he tries to be diplomatic and nice on the first phone call.
GERGEN: But after that in the next minute of the conversation you would think they would move on to more substantive areas. Pakistan is a critically important player and very explosive in that part of the world and I think this was an opportunity missed.
PRESTON: You know, I think David really hit it on the head. There have been stories out now that Donald Trump has refused actually to get the briefings from the State Department in order to have the talking points to get on the call to make the poijnts and then to move on. And every world leaders is calling him right now.
BURNETT: And he's doing it on his own terms.
LORD: And is he listening to Vice President Pence and General Flynn? I mean, I'm sure he is. And I'm sure these are people very well plugged in here on these issues.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all.
And next, a prosecutor announcing no charges will be filed against an officer who shot and killed a black man in a North Carolina parking lot. Why was the officer cleared?
And Mitt Romney was all smiles after that candle lit dinner with Donald Trump and Reince Priebus. Why is the president elect leaving him hanging?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, we're going to see what happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:42:14] BURNETT: Breaking news: the city of Charlotte tonight bracing for protests after it was announced the officer who shot and killed a black man in September will not face charges. The officer was cleared in the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, because he was acting in self defense according to the district attorney.
Nick Valencia is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't shot him. Don't shoot him.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two months after Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, the district attorney declared the shooting justified. ANDREW MURRAY, MCKLENBURG COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It is my opinion
that Officer Vinson acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Scott.
VALENCIA: Speaking at a press conference this morning, the D.A. reinforcing what police have maintained since September shooting -- Scott was holding a gun when he was shot and killed.
MURRAY: Based on the dashcam video footage and Mrs. Scott's video, officers can be heard at last ten times commanding Mr. Scott to drop the gun. The video also shows that Mr. Scott did not comply with those commands.
VALENCIA: The decision not to charge Brentley Vinson was a difficult moment for Scott's wife. Rekia Scott holding back tears as the mention of her husband's name. Her attorneys vowing to press on in the pursuit of justice, stopping short of announcing a civil lawsuit.
JUSTIN BAMBURG, SCOTT FAMILY ATTORNEY: And at the end of the day, whether he had a firearm in his hand or not, that is not the key question in terms of determining whether or not Keith Scott should have lost his life. It's whether or not that officer should have pulled the trigger and extinguished his life based on everything as a whole that occurred during the those moments.
ANDREW FEDE, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER: Sad that these things can still happen in our country.
VALENCIA: Community organizer Andrew Fede was one of the first to call for resignation of the mayor, the police chief and now, the district attorney -- an activist among the many who have protested against the shooting.
FEDE: Because I know that this is going happen again. And I'm afraid it is going to happen to me or one of my friends. There is not a person of color in this city that feels safe right now.
VALENCIA: Here outside of the police department headquarters in Charlotte, a much larger crowd was expected. But the rain of the course of the last hour that swept through here has seemed to keep many people at home. Though, Erin, just in the last minutes, more people have trickled in. There's also some intense dialogue happening right now between one of the captains of the police force, he's sort of being surrounded by that crowd right now. By and large, however, it has remained peaceful.
Meanwhile, the Scott family says they will continue to pursue justice. They're still trying to process this decision. They say they will keep all avenues open to seek justice for Keith Lamont Scott -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you.
And OUTFRONT now, Danny Cevallos, criminal defense.
Danny, I want to play when this happen and protest erupted. [19:45:03] Part of the reason was what it was on tape from his widow. Let me just play?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POLICE OFFICER: Drop the gun! Drop the gun!
WIDOW: He doesn't have a gun. He has a TBI. He's not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.
POLICE OFFICER: Drop the gun!
POLICE OFFICER: Drop the gun!
WIDOW: Keith, don't do it.
POLICE OFFICER: Drop the gun!
WIDOW: Keith, get out the car. Keith, Keith, don't you do it. Don't you do it. Keith, Keith. Keith, don't you do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Did they do the right thing from what we had on tape? And obviously we had one perspective but just one perspective.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think the district attorney had a very reasoned and very well-supported argument for declining to prosecute. You look at the evidence and it really for me comes down to two very distinct issues.
First, did the police have reasonable suspicion to make initial contact with the deceased? And, secondly, at that moment that they fired the weapon, did they have a belief that they were about to be on the wrong end of the deadly force?
Those are the two issues here, and I think the evidence that the D.A. looked at was critically the fact that there was a firearm.
BURNETT: Right, there was a gun.
CEVALLOS: Yes, the video admittedly did not show a firearm in his hand. But the police officers can be heard on the video saying "drop the gun." Several of them said it. And I think the weight of the evidence -- that plus some witnesses who changed their story -- the weight of the evidence, ultimately was in favor of the police and they declined to prosecute. I think it was the right decision.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Danny, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT next, Mitt Romney called Trump a phony and a fraud. Trump said Romney choked like a dog and was a stone cold loser. Is this romantic candle lit dinner for real?
And then, Jeanne Moos --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): You deserve a break today at McDonald's
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Remembering the man who turned the humble hamburger into the delicious Big Mac.
[19:51:04] BURNETT: Tonight, a tale of two Mitt Romneys. Donald Trump's former foe showering praise on him after they had dinner, amid speculation that Trump could pick Romney for secretary of state.
But you know it was just so recently that Trump was a thorn in Trump's side, going so far as to accuse him of being a con man. Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I've had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump. We have another discussion about affairs throughout the world. And these discussions I've had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging. I've enjoyed them very, very much.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mitt Romney sounding very much like a man who enjoyed a night out on the town with an old friend. Except this is the same Mitt Romney who just months earlier ripped Donald Trump the candidate in no uncertain terms.
ROMNEY: Donald Trump is a phony a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.
FOREMAN: And the candidate returned the favorite.
TRUMP: The last election should have been won, except Romney choked like a dog. He choked. He went, I can't breathe.
FOREMAN: At the convention to crown the new GOP nominee, the former pick was conspicuously absent, having repeatedly damned Trump's statements about Mexicans, Muslims, and women.
ROMNEY: A trickle down racism, a trickle down bigotry, a trickle down misogyny, all of these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America.
FOREMAN: Trump always hit back, tweeting "Mitt Romney had his chance to be the failed president. Now, he calls me racist."
And Romney leaving no stone unturned tore into Trump's very core, Trump as deal maker and master businessman, charging his plans would lose jobs and spur a new recession. ROMNEY: You say, wait, wait. Isn't he a huge business success? Doesn't he know what he's talk about? No, he isn't. And no, he doesn't.
FOREMAN: Back to you, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: I backed him. You can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees. He would have dropped to his knees.
FOREMAN: So, has there been a reconciliation?
ROMNEY: President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future.
FOREMAN: Or is Trump merely toying with Romney.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Mr. President- elect, are we looking at the next secretary of state right here?
TRUMP: Well, we're going to see what happens.
FOREMAN: At least "Saturday Night Live" has cast their vote for how the Trump/Romney drama will play out and SNL doesn't see it ending well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't going to work, is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think so.
FOREMAN: The thing is it's possible Donald Trump already has what he needs out of this, which is the appearance of a unified Republican Party, the blessing of people who are more mainstream Republicans who have kept him at arms length, saying, well, if Mitt Romney can come sit at the table with him maybe I can too. It did produce, however, Erin, I think probably the most uncomfortable looking photograph of the entire election season.
BURNETT: Yes indeed. All right. Thank you very much. Wow, it is going to be amazing to see what happens with that decision.
All right. Next, Jeanne Moos on the man whose 50-year-old invention still sells in the millions every day.
[19:58:03] BURENTT: McDonald's sells 900 million Big Macs a year, all because of the idea of one man.
Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The creator of the Big Mac did not die from a Big Mac attack.
JIM DELLIGATTI, INVENTOR OF BIG MAC: Well, it is not really that unhealthy.
MOOS: Big Mac's maker.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Jim Delligatti.
MOOS: Lived to the age of 98. It was nearly fifty years ago that he first served his Big Mac at his McDonald's franchise near Pittsburgh. It was an instant success, went national, immortalized by the jingle
Where is the special sauce? There's the special sauce.
The original Big Mac sold for.
DELLIGATTI: Forty-nine cents at the time.
MOOS: Now, it's as much as five bucks and sold worldwide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do they call a Big Mac?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big Mac is Big Mac, and they say le Big Mac.
MOOS: You know they say that only one in five millennials has ever tasted a Big Mac.
McDonald's didn't lower its flag to half staff but did tweet "Jim, we thank and we'll forever remember you". Fans posted Big Mac photos. One suggested, "To honor his legacy, why not return the Big Mac to its former size. It's become so small, it's pathetic."
Not true, says McDonald's. It's been the same size since inception.
Another fan suggested, "If they cremate him, they should put him in a Big Mac box. I love Big Macs."
But even guy who invented it in 1967 jumbled the jiggle.
DELLIGATTI: Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, onions, pickles on a sesame seed bun.
INTERVIEWER: I always thought it was pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
DELLIGATTI: Could be, but I say on a toasted sesame seed bun.
MOOS: Jim Delligatti's family still owns and operates 21 McDonald's in Pennsylvania. For Jim's business, the Big Mac itself was --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our own secret sauce.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
DELLIGATI: Onions, pickles on a sesame seed bun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pickles, onions on a sesame bun.
MOOS: -- New York.
BURNETT: Makes your mouth water.
Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.