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EARLY START

Trump & Romney Dine In Manhattan; Carrier Strikes Deal With Trump; Trump Ready To Roll Out Economic Team; Deadly Tornado In Alabama. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 30, 2016 - 05:30   ET

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


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[05:31:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER GOV. OF MASSACHUSETTS: I've had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Mitt Romney's dinner date with Donald Trump. Afterward, a heaping plate of praise for the man he once called a fraud, and that was just a few months back.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The president-elect delivers on a campaign promise. Details on a deal to keep 1,000 Indiana factory jobs from moving to Mexico.

BERMAN: The Trump administration's economic team takes shape today. One pick from Wall Street, the other from Wall Street and Hollywood, and "Avatar". "I see you, Steve Mnuchin." A little "Avatar" quote there.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It's 31 minutes past the hour. Let's begin here with Donald Trump and his dinner with Mitt Romney. On the menu, diver scallops, caramelized cauliflower, and oh, the top job at the State Department. This was the scene last night at the Jean-Georges restaurant located inside Trump International Hotel in Manhattan, just across the street from where we sit right now.

The president-elect and the man who tried to derail his campaign joined at the table by -- you see him there -- chief of staff Reince Priebus. Afterward, Romney sounded humble and impressed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump. We had 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.

I was also very impressed by the remarks he made on his victory night. By the way, it's not easy winning. I know that myself. He did something I tried to do and was unsuccessful in accomplishing. He won the general election and he continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together, and his vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: There you go. Congratulating the winner, something Donald Trump really understands. CNN's Jim Acosta asked President-elect Trump if Romney will be his pick for secretary of state. Trump's answer, we're going to see what happens.

BERMAN: Indeed, we will. All right, this morning what could be a victory for Donald Trump even before he takes office and, really, a victory for some workers in Indiana as well. The president-elect and air conditioner manufacturer Carrier -- they reached a deal to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in the state of Indiana.

Now, during his campaign Trump blasted Carrier's plans to close two plants in Indiana and open a facility in Mexico, so on Twitter last night he said this. "I will be going to Indiana on Thursday to make a major announcement concerning Carrier A.C. staying in Indianapolis. Great deal for workers!"

Now, Vice President-elect Mike Pence who, by the way, is currently the governor of Indiana and holds a lot of sway here and can give some carrots in this deal, he's going to join him for that announcement.

ROMANS: You know, terms of that deal were not released but there are already some critics this morning. CNBC reports that Carrier received new inducements from the state of Indiana. Translation, money, either in the form of tax breaks or other incentives. Critics say taxpayers in the state could be on the hook.

Also unclear how many jobs we're talking about here. Carrier says close to 1,000 will be saved but 2,100 people who work at those two facilities in the area were told that those jobs were going away, so 1,000 out of 2,100.

What is clear, this was a negotiation. It is a big win for Donald Trump. He is making good on a promise to stop companies from shipping jobs overseas. You know, the other thing here -- the leverage here as well for Donald Trump and the administration is that Carrier's owned by another company called United Technologies, which has huge government contracts, you know.

So it's very easy here for the administration not even to say -- not even to have to say anything, but to -- you know, if you're Carrier -- if you're United Technologies, that there could be other places you could get hurt if you are not working with the administration.

BERMAN: Look, we want to see the details here, but the bottom line is that 1,000 workers who thought they might be losing their jobs, it doesn't look like they will right now. And a lot of the partisan lines here on this type of deal may be crossed pretty soon --

ROMANS: Yes. BERMAN: -- and Republicans will say corporate welfare and -- but now --

[05:35:00] ROMANS: We'll see. We'll see.

BERMAN: We'll see. The president-elect expected to roll out his economic team. A former Goldman Sachs banker and movie financier, his choice for Treasury secretary. And a billionaire known for resurrecting failing companies, the pick for Commerce. Let's get the latest from CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John and Christine. President-elect Donald Trump is now making some major steps to fill out his cabinet, making a slew of staffing decisions including four key cabinet posts. Transition sources confirm to CNN that Trump has chosen billionaire investor Wilbur Ross for Commerce secretary and former Goldman Sachs partner Steve Mnuchin for Treasury secretary. Those announcements are expected formally to come at some point today by team Trump.

The president-elect also announcing on Tuesday, former Labor secretary Elaine Chao to now lead the Transportation Department and GOP Congressman Tom Price as his pick for secretary of Health and Human Services.

But it is really this palace intrigue over who will be chosen as secretary of state which continues to take center stage. Trump hosting more of the contenders here in New York on Tuesday. He met with Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker, and having a more personal second sit-down with Mitt Romney last night. A big dinner meeting at the restaurant Jean-Georges at the Trump International Hotel here in New York City. A lot of deep divisions within Trump's top aides still over who would make the best pick for this job, the most high-profile cabinet position of them all -- John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: You know, it appears that Ross and Mnuchin were frontrunners all along here. These are the names we've been talking about for some time. Let me give you some background on these economic picks expected to be announced today.

Steve Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, then he went to Hollywood to produce movies. He's also Trump's campaign finance chairman. And I think we can expect him to be grilled during the confirmation hearings on his purchase of the failed mortgage lender, IndyMac. He bought that company for pennies on the dollar, paid millions in fines due to its spotty foreclosure practices, then sold it for a big profit.

Another person who finds value in what looks like it has no value. Trump is tapping fellow billionaire -- another one to run the Department of Commerce -- Wilbur Ross. He runs an investing firm that has made huge profits off of buying distressed companies and turning them around.

Both these guys are risk-takers. Both of them are contrarians. Wilbur Ross has deep roots in the steel and coal industries. He represented the bondholders in Trump's casino bankruptcies. He will succeed sitting Commerce secretary Penny Pritzker. She's also a billionaire. Trump's choice for Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, she is a billionaire, too.

BERMAN: We want to go live to Washington and bring in "CNN POLITICS" reporter Tal Kopan --

ROMANS: Hi, there.

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning.

BERMAN: -- to get a look at some of these picks, some of these meetings, and what's going on right now. Let's start with the big meeting last night, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump at Jean-Georges. Listen to a little bit more of what Mitt Romney said after that meeting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: The last few weeks he's been carrying out a transition effort and I have to tell you I've been impressed by what I've seen in the transition effort. The people he's selected as members of his cabinet are solid, effective, capable people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right, a lot of praise from Mitt Romney heaped on Donald Trump which is very different, Tal, than what we heard from Mitt Romney during the campaign.

KOPAN: Yes. Oh, what a difference an election makes, right? You know, Mitt Romney played his cards a certain way during the election. Clearly thought the outcome would be different on Election Day. And now, everyone in Washington is coming around to the fact that this is going to be a Donald Trump administration. And if you are a Republican in this country, this is your opportunity if you want a piece of the action.

And, you know, by all accounts, the two men supposedly got along well during their dinner. Sources tell Dana Bash that they really had a rapport. That's an incredibly important thing for a cabinet pick for any president and Donald Trump seems to be someone who really likes to surround himself with people that he gets along with. And, you know, he also is known to be someone who values loyalty. That's not something Mitt Romney has shown in the past but we're certainly hearing that message from him now.

And so, we'll see what happens going forward. This is a very odd sort of public dance we're seeing happen for secretary of state but it doesn't seem to be that Mitt Romney is an unserious proposal. It seems to be being weighed very seriously.

ROMANS: You know, for the money team, when I look at Steve Mnuchin and when I look at Wilbur Ross, I see two guys who are contrarians and risk-takers. People who -- you know, I've interviewed Wilbur Ross for years and he's someone who has never accepted conventional wisdom. He understands conventional wisdom and always knows how to find the profit or the opportunity outside of that.

For example, when the housing market was falling apart he was just sitting there waiting carefully and patiently to find the value in housing. This rejection of conventional wisdom, I think -- conventional wisdom was also that American companies are globalized.

[05:40:00] You can't -- the President of the United States can't tell a company to keep some jobs and they will, but oh, this president looks like maybe he has actually in this Carrier deal. How big of a deal do you think the Carrier new is, that they'll be announcing in Indianapolis?

KOPAN: Well, I mean, it's a big deal for Donald Trump's narrative, right, because he ran his whole campaign saying that he would create jobs or keep jobs for the American people. It was very anti-trade, anti-globalization. He repeatedly attacked Carrier on the campaign trail for wanting to move their plant.

But, you know, having worked in local news, these types of things happen quite a bit and there are always a lot of questions as to whether the company really ever intended to move, whether it was a threat designed to extract some concessions from --

ROMANS: Right.

KOPAN: -- the local government. Remember, Vice President-elect Mike Pence is still the governor of Indiana. There's a big question mark as to what his role was and which hat he was wearing in these negotiations. Typically, the President of the United States does not get involved in every company that may want to move out of the country and sort of personally negotiate these deals.

So on the one hand, this is a great thing for him to say look, I'm delivering on my campaign promises already. I'm starting to have an influence with companies. But the way this plays out over his administration and whether this deal ends up being good for Indiana and well-received -- I mean, he's going to have to deal --

BERMAN: Yes.

KOPAN: -- with the fallout and the analysis.

BERMAN: But we don't know -- we need to know the details.

ROMANS: Right, yes.

BERMAN: But I do think it's fair to say, also, it's a good deal for the 1,000 people --

KOPAN: Absolutely.

BERMAN: -- who aren't having their jobs taken away. ROMANS: There were 1,100 other workers thatwere unclear. What's

going to happen to the other 1,100 workers?

BERMAN: We still have to find out. We still have to find out. There's a lot to learn here, but good for Donald Trump and it may be good for some of those workers as well.

Steve Mnuchin is an interesting character who will be nominated for Treasury secretary. That announcement coming today. Mnuchin is a guy who worked at Goldman Sachs for a long, long time. You know, I seem to remember Donald Trump sort of running against Wall Street and finance, yet the man who's going to be running up his economic team is a man who knows a lot and has worked heavily in finance, Tal.

KOPAN: Yes, you do. In fact, he said that Goldman had total control over Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, and it was a talking point on his campaign trail. And lo and behold, here he is pulling from Wall Street for some of his economic team. I mean, the one thing that is certain is that is going to come up in Senate confirmation hearings.

Keep in mind you have some senators like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who are going to be chomping at the bit to try to get their hands on Steve Mnuchin during these confirmation hearings and use him as a proxy for all their qualms with Wall Street.

So this is not going to be a pleasant process for Steven Mnuchin because he does represent so much of what, not just the Democrats, but also Donald Trump ran against during the campaign. But, you know, as Christine said, he also represents someone who's been successful and that's been a huge part of Donald Trump's appeal. And, you know, there isn't a lot of pushback right now from the industry that Treasury would regulate, so that's also something that's going to benefit him.

ROMANS: So we have billionaires, generals, and power brokers who are in the inner circle of Donald Trump and it's all starting to take shape. Tal Kopan, thanks for being here. Nice to see you. Thanks for your insight this morning.

KOPAN: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. We are following some breaking news out of northern Alabama to tell you about. A tornado touched down there just a few hours ago. There are deaths, there are injuries. We've got a damage report, next.

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[05:47:28] BERMAN: We have breaking news out of Alabama this morning. A deadly tornado hit Jackson County. This happened just after midnight. We are told this morning that three people are dead there. There are multiple reports of injuries. That tornado was part of a series of strong storms that ripped through the northern part of that state overnight damaging or destroying homes and businesses, you can see there. Thirty-eight customers right now are still without power -- 3,500 customers are still without power across the state. ROMANS: Investigators in Colombia trying to determine whether a plane -- that plane that crashed into the mountains of Medellin simply ran out of fuel. At least 71 people died, including most members of a Brazilian soccer club that had chartered that flight from Bolivia. Six people survived, apparently because of the lack of fire damage in the wreckage. That's leading investigators to consider fuel starvation as a contributing factor.

BERMAN: A show of unity at Ohio State one day after the stabbing spree there on campus. The university sent out this picture. More than 1,000 people gathered last night to reflect on the attack that left 11 people injured. Authorities have confirmed that the suspect purchased knives on the morning of the rampage and was likely inspired to carry out the attacks by ISIS and the late Yumeni cleric Anwar al- Awlaki.

ROMANS: Decision day for Democrats in the House. Members are set to vote on their incoming leadership for the new Congress. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is challenging long-time Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Ryan says it's time for new blood and for fresh ideas. Pelosi, though, expected to retain her position as House Minority Leader.

BERMAN: We want to take a look at what's coming on "NEW DAY". Chris Cuomo joins us now. Good morning, sir.

ROMANS: Good morning.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Good morning, my friends. We're going to take a look -- a little bit of a look inside that race for power within the Democrats. What are they actually fighting about? What do each of these candidates really represent when you're looking at Pelosi and Murphy (sic)? We'll do that.

We're also going to look at the picks from the president-elect so far. You know, there's been a little bit of nitpicking. Like each one of his choices gets so micromanaged. But now, we really have a good six, seven group of people to take a look at. What is the diversity, who are they, what are their backgrounds, what do they mean going forward, what do you they about government? We have some good information for you about that.

Now, of course, everybody keeps talking about Mitt Romney because he had this dinner and all this intrigue. We're going to put that a little bit to the side because either president-elect is going to pick Romney or he isn't, so we're going to let that happen.

We're also going to take a deep dive on the president-elect's choice for the Health and Human Services secretary. Tom Price -- he has some very definite ideas and there is some intrigue surrounding him, John Berman and Christine Romans. If he has such good ideas for health care why could he not get any of his own GOP leadership to sign on to them before now?

[05:50:15] ROMANS: Yes, exactly, and I'm going to be on. I'll show you exactly what he says he wants to and what he wants to do. CUOMO: You are always a help. Always a help.

ROMANS: Thank you.

CUOMO: The guy next to you, mostly hair and teeth.

BERMAN: Good hair, though.

CUOMO: That's what people say. Good hair, indeed. Not real, but good.

BERMAN: Better to be good than real, as you well know.

CUOMO: True. That's what momma told me.

BERMAN: All right.

ROMANS: I've got some good. I've got some good for you. I've got good news if you're a homeowner, folks. Prices now higher than they were in 2006. That's right, the entire crash wiped out in housing in some markets. These gains are just gunning. These gains are gunning -- that's what I just said. I'm going to tell you the best places to live, next.

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[05:55:00] ROMANS: Green Party candidate Jill Stein has paid a $3.5 million fee to clear the way for a recount in Wisconsin beginning tomorrow. But a judge has rejected her demand that all Wisconsin counties do the recount by hand, ruling there is not enough evidence of fraud or abuse. Stein is also trying to initiate recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan and says she needs to raise another $2.4 million because of the excessive fee charged by Wisconsin election officials.

BERMAN: The president-elect plans to kick off a "thank you" tour tomorrow, starting with a rally in Cincinnati. The tour will focus on key battleground states that Trump flipped and helped send him to the White House. Vice President-elect Pence expected to join him in Ohio. We don't know exactly which other cities he will go to on this tour but, as I said, expected to focus on some of these blue states that have turned red.

Legendary director Martin Scorsese is getting the red carpet treatment at the Vatican. Scorsese -- I don't know if he met with or will meet privately with Pope Francis following a screening of his new film "Silence". The screening is for an audience of about 400 priests. The pontiff not expected to attend. The film was a long-time passion project for Scorsese about the prosecution of Jesuits in the 17th century in Japan. "Silence" has its world premiere at the Vatican Thursday. It opens in the U.S. on December 23rd.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. The stock market could reach for more record highs today. Dow future pointing higher. All three major averages higher on Tuesday. Nasdaq made an intraday record but couldn't hold on for the close. Stock markets in Europe higher. Shares in Asia closing with gains overnight.

Investors are watching oil prices. Crude is jumping this morning five percent. That's a big move in crude for a day. A senior Iranian source tells "CNN MONEY" a deal to cap production has been reached. The level is higher than previous discussions so we're really close to watching this OPEC meeting in Vienna, and that's why you've got prices moving right now.

Home prices -- I told you they have never been higher. The S&P/Case- Shiller home price index shows a 5.5 percent increase in home value over the past year. The average price in September, $184,800, beating the level reached at the height of the housing boom in July of 2006. The hottest metro housing market of the past year is Seattle. Prices there jumped 11 percent. Portland also up about 11 percent. Denver and Dallas posting big gains there.

Another sign of economic strength, GDP, now the strongest in two years. A second reading on growth in the third quarter shows 3.2 percent growth in Q3. That's up from an initial reading of 2.9 percent. The U.S. has not grown this fast since the third quarter of 2014. Why is it growing so nicely? Consumers spent more, companies made fatter profits, although companies aren't investing in buildings, which I thought was interesting in that number.

Reading on consumer confidence also rose -- that's a good sign -- along with record sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One interesting note on spending here. A new survey finds 68 percent of women say they are primarily responsible for their household's holiday shopping. Thirty percent of men think the women are responsible for the holiday shopping.

BERMAN: I don't know what that means, but I do know housing prices up --

ROMANS: I don't know what that means.

BERMAN: -- wages up, GDP up.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: Things look pretty good.

ROMANS: It is a tailwind, honestly, for Donald Trump who criticized the Obama economy. It is a tailwind for the president-elect that these things are going in his direction as he heads into the new year. All right, that's EARLY START for today. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Mitt Romney -- he ate with Donald Trump, so was a job offer on the menu? "NEW DAY" picks up right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I've been impressed by what I've seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to make a tremendous difference as our next president. DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: We'll see what happens.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: We say to our Republicans who want to privatize Medicare, go try it. Make our day.

REP. TOM PRICE (R), HHS SECRETARY NOMINEE: I believe that the president's health care law violates every single principle we hold dear.

ROMANS: Donald Trump and manufacturer Carrier striking a deal to keep 1,000 jobs in the state of Indiana.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: It's going to be a busy day. Stay tuned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The city on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had a difficult 24 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was flames everywhere. It was a firestorm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Sausage, still.

CUOMO: Now you'll see how it actually gets done. We're actually involved. Good morning, welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, November 30th, 6:00 in the East.

We now know who President-elect Donald Trump wants to run our economy. And then this headline. Talk about a great second date. What did Romney learn about Donald Trump at dinner?

CAMEROTA: Whatever it was it impressed him because Romney came out and said complimentary things about the president-elect. So last night they were at this dinner and this highstakes meeting comes amid speculation that, of course, Donald Trump is still considering Mitt Romney for secretary of state. So have these campaign enemies actually hashed out their differences? CNN has also learned who Trump will name to his top posts on his economic team.

And, the president-elect scored a big win. This morning he is touting a deal to save 1,000 manufacturing jobs at Carrier in Indiana. So we have all of this covered for you. Let's begin with CNN's Sara Murray. She's live in Washington. Good morning, Sara.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning.