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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Interview With New York Congressman Peter King; Trump Delivers Address in Indiana. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired December 1, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump is getting the band back together.
THE LEAD starts right now.
Donald Trump taking a victory lap at a factory that he helped save, before launching his thank you tour. Will he be playing the hit like build a wall and lock her up, or will his supporters hear a new tune from the now president-elect?
No fuel. Total failure. New chilling audio from the final moments before a plane crash nearly wiped out a beloved soccer team.
Plus, descending into hell, a U.N. official pleading for action in Aleppo, before the city becomes an even bigger graveyard, as tens of thousands starve or die from Russian and Syrian bombs.
Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jim Sciutto, in again today for Jake Tapper.
And our politics lead, president-elect Donald Trump sounding triumphant in Indiana just a few minutes ago, Trump stopping in Indianapolis and touring the Carrier plant there, the one that announced this week it had struck a deal with the incoming administration to save jobs that were about to be shipped off to Mexico.
The president-elect says this is proof that his administration is already giving voice to the forgotten workers in the Rust Belt. He also said that manufacturing jobs won't move overseas, at least not anymore, not without repercussions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. Not going to happen. It's not going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is outside of Trump Tower in New York.
So, Sunlen, Trump also going to be in Ohio later tonight, another stop at a thank you rally. What has the transition team told you about tonight's event?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, transition officials say that this is something that Trump himself really wanted to do, that he has really been nearly holed up here in Trump Tower for the last three weeks since he won the election holding meetings and interviews to fill out his Cabinet.
So he really wanted to return and get out and get before his supporters, something we will see a lot from him in the coming weeks.
SERFATY (voice-over): Tonight, president-elect Donald Trump is taking his show back on the road.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Is there anyplace more fun to be than a Trump rally?
SERFATY: Returning to a stage he revels in for the first time since being elected. Trump is holding a campaign-style rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, tonight, the first of many thank you events the president-elect plans to hold across the country in the coming weeks.
TRUMP: I love these rowdy crowds. Isn't it great? There's spirit. There's spirit. I said Carrier will never leave.
SERFATY: Trump's victory lap today also bringing him to Indianapolis to deliver on a campaign promise.
TRUMP: They're going to say, Mr. President, Carrier has decided to stay in Indiana. Thank you, sir.
SERFATY: Celebrating a deal he reached with the air conditioning company Carrier to save nearly 1,000 jobs from being shipped to Mexico.
TRUMP: Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. Not going to happen.
SERFATY: Sources familiar with the deal tell CNN Carrier will receive $7 million in financial incentives over the next 10 years from Indiana to keep those jobs in the state, the deal getting mixed reaction on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Paul Ryan welcoming the news.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, I'm pretty happy that we're keeping jobs in America. Aren't you?
SERFATY: But Vermont Bernie Sanders sounding the alarms, saying Carrier -- quote -- "took Trump hostage and won," setting up a bad precedent for the new administration by signaling -- quote -- "to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives."
Meantime, the suspense continues to build as Trump works to fill out his administration, still hanging in the balance, the most high- profile job of the Cabinet posts, secretary of state. MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These discussions I
have had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging.
SERFATY: Trump loyalist Newt Gingrich ripping finalist Mitt Romney for his public vying for the job.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You have never, ever in your career seen a serious adult who is wealthy, independent, has been a presidential nominee suck up at the rate that Mitt Romney is sucking up.
SERFATY: Meantime, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren returning to her attack dog role, slamming Trump's nominee for treasury secretary, former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: What Donald Trump is doing is he's literally handing the keys to the Treasury over to a Wall Street banker who helped cause the crash.
SERFATY: And transition officials tell us not to expect any Cabinet- level appointments for the rest of the week.
Trump will be back here at Trump Tower tomorrow here in New York, where he has a slew of meetings lined up, including with North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp. This is an intriguing meeting, Jim, a red state Democrat who is possibly in contention for energy secretary -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Also be big implications for Senate control. Sunlen Serfaty, thanks very much.
We learned today some details behind the story of the 1,000 jobs, the 1069 jobs, to be exact, at a Carrier plant in Indiana that Donald Trump saved. Namely, there was a price ultimately paid by Indiana taxpayers, specifically $7 million in financial incentives paid to Carrier over 10 years. These are mostly tax breaks, but also money for job training, which works out to just over $6,500 in taxpayer money for each job.
So we decided to do a little bit of a quick mathematical exercise that might over simplify the issue, but bigger picture, the U.S. has lost an estimated five million manufacturing jobs since 2000. If you look at that and you paid a similar rate per job in incentives, that would work out to just under $33 billion, that's billion with a B, over 10 years in tax breaks to manufacturers, again, working at that same rate we saw in Indiana.
So, joining me now, Republican Congressman from New York. He is Peter King. He also sits on the House Intelligence Committee.
Representative King, thanks very much for taking the time.
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Thank you, Jim.
SCIUTTO: So, looking at this deal with this Carrier plant in Indianapolis, no question good news for those workers keeping those jobs here in America.
But you look at that tax plan there, $7 billion over -- $7 million, rather, over 10 years, is that a template do you think going forward for bringing manufacturers, manufacturing jobs back here to the U.S.?
KING: I think, first of all, it's a great step forward. And what Donald Trump is doing is he's sending a signal.
He's sending a signal that there is a new sheriff in town, he's going to do it his way, and it's going to work. And it's sending a signal to corporations. It's sending a signal to the American people that he is going to do things different from other presidents, maybe like a Teddy Roosevelt or Andrew Jackson. He is going to get it done.
SCIUTTO: I want to read to you what Senator Bernie Sanders said this morning about the Carrier deal.
He said the following: "United Technologies, which owns Carrier, took Trump hostage and won, and that should send a shockwave of fear through all workers across the country. He has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives."
He goes on to say, "Even corporations that weren't thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be reevaluating their stance this morning."
Does the senator have a point there? If they see that Carrier got these $7 million in tax breaks for 1,000 jobs, that they could go to the Trump administration and say, hey, what are you going to do for me?
KING: No, this is the ultimate in Bernie begrudgery.
The fact is, Donald Trump is saving the jobs. Bernie Sanders ran all over the country chasing Hillary Clinton around talking about how we have to save jobs for American workers. Donald Trump has done it.
Listen, this is the first day. He is the president of the United States -- president-elect. He's not even the president yet. And already he's out there saving jobs, showing it can be done. And as much as anything, yes, it's important for those 1,000 people.
It's also a great symbol that Donald Trump is serious. Donald Trump is going to find a way to get it done. And when you make a deal, you make a deal. It will be made one way or the other. And this is a signal, this is a symbol, it's a metaphor, but it shows that Donald Trump is different. He's a unique person. And he will get it done.
So, I wish Bernie Sanders, it would have been nice of him to say, hey, the president got off to -- the president-elect got off to a good start. I will support him when I can. But, instead, this is like the blind Bernie begrudgery.
So, listen, I sort of regret the fact that Bernie Sanders couldn't have been more magnanimous.
SCIUTTO: But president-elect Trump, you said he ran as a different kind of candidate, and he certainly did. And he talked about draining the swamp here in Washington. He criticized Hillary Clinton for having given those speeches to Goldman Sachs, other banks, et cetera.
But now we look that he's tapped a Wall Street tycoon, as we know, as his treasury secretary, a billionaire to run Congress, drawing from what he called that swamp. Would it be fair for some of his working and middle-class supporters to feel they were sold a false bill of goods?
KING: No, because these people he's hired are going to be working for him.
They are going to carry out his policies. What is important is if the is done, are they going to carry out the policies that Donald Trump enunciated? And that we will see. I'm confident that they will.
Donald Trump is not going to be bringing in people for the fun of it. He's very serious. He wants to make sure that he carries out his campaign promises. So I don't begrudge somebody because they made a lot of money and they're going into government.
SCIUTTO: But, to be fair, it was Donald Trump who criticized that very kind of person during the campaign and said he was going to in effect banish them from government, bringing in a different kind of, a whole different way of doing things here in Washington. So, does he rectify that with these early appointments?
KING: Well, he's got a different way of doing it.
Listen, he's one of the richest people around. And he got elected. So he was obviously not saying it's because you're rich that you're bad. It's because there has been certain type of lobbyists, certain type of people brought in and paying big money out to people who leave politics and go out and make money.
What he's talking about here is bringing in people who share his values, share his beliefs. And if they don't do it, they will be gone. he's going to make them do what he asked to be done, just like when FDR brought in Joe Kennedy to be the first head of the SEC. You bring in people who know how it gets done, but they're taking orders from the top.
SCIUTTO: Well, to be clear, making money, I'm not saying making money is a bad thing, but it was Donald Trump who took particular aim at bankers.
But, moving on...
KING: They won't conduct themselves that way in this administration.
And, again, if they do, then Donald Trump will have to answer for it or they will have to answer for it, and they will be fired in the boardroom.
SCIUTTO: All right, that's a good standard to hold them to.
Congressman King, thanks very much for taking the time today.
KING: Jim, thank you.
SCIUTTO: Bernie Sanders says United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier air conditioning, held Trump, as we said earlier, hostage and won. Is he right?
SCIUTTO: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
And staying with politics now, lots to discuss with our political panel.
[16:15:02] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
Staying with politics now, lots to discuss with our political panel, Margaret Talev, she's the White House correspondent from Bloomberg, and Bill Kristol, he's the editor of the conservative publication, "The Weekly Standard".
Thanks to both of you for being here.
So, Margaret, we have this thank you tour, it's already begun. We have another stop tonight in Ohio. Do you expect to hear a similar tone and message to that we heard from Trump during the campaign even similar chants, "lock her up", et cetera, or to you expect a toning down?
MARGARET TALEV, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG: Well, I actually would be really surprised to hear lock her up, but I think this is a Trump victory tour. And it's not just the way Trump has presented himself today at the Carrier plant. It is what Jason Miller and his communications have been doing, have been ramping up all week as we've seen. Like cabinet full of winners, he's picking winners.
This is his chance to say two things, to say thank you to the people who voted for him both Democrats in places that Hillary Clinton thought were going to vote for her, and Republicans, right? And to show that he's in command, he's making decisions, he's making things happen. That's a lot of what we're going to be seeing.
SCIUTTO: Bill, is he going to be open to criticism for -- you got a lot to do. Put together an administration, for going around and kind of soaking up the adulation in a thank you tour, going back to his greatest hits in effect?
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I mean, I guess, of course. People can criticize him and he'll say, look, I'm busy appointments right and left and draining the swamp here in Washington and so forth. And he's delivering these jobs apparently by bludgeoning, or appearing to bludgeon Carrier not to move its plant. I'm not sure that's a great precedent for having presidents to deal with every private business in America. You know, it has all kinds of worrisome, I'd say, implications.
KRISTOL: But short term, they're very happy in Indianapolis. Meanwhile back here in Washington in the swamp, I have to say, if he's draining the swamp, the alligators are doing pretty well, right? What does this cabinet consist of?
So far, one senator, two congressmen, three billionaires, you know?
KRISTOL: It's not only the most outsider cabinet we've ever seen. It's one of the most insider you've ever seen. It's on the whole a lot of the appointments are pretty good. But, I don't know.
So, maybe, this is in a way a model though for the question going forward: can Trump sustain this? Can he govern in a fairly, traditional, it looks like, and responsible way? Look at these appointments, right? Senators, congressmen, et cetera, a few billionaires. Few billionaires, that's not quite so traditional, but that's Trump's world. And then, meanwhile, go out and give speeches in Middle America where it's, I'm fighting for you, I'm taking on those powerful guys.
TALEV: Well, fulfilling that populist demand. That's really the --
SCIUTTO: That's true. In a way, it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't, right? Because if he was hiring or selecting people who were true outsiders, not known here, then of course, you'd say, oh my guys, you would hear here in Washington from the chattering classes we're so nervous, they're unfamiliar, what are they going to do, we have no idea what their Treasury Department or their Defense Department was going to look like.
TALEV: Well, and you would see the markets react which I think is the one thing we can say that Trump is trying to avoid right now. He likes the fact that the markets have responded positively so far to these changes. That is a big sign of confidence for New York, for Wall Street and for the insiders who's trying to reach. But again, it is the threading of that needle which is how do you keep a populist message going when the things that you're actually doing are not any of those things that you were intimating or even saying that you would do.
SCIUTTO: And when did his supporters see that and start to ask, have I been sold a false bill of goods? I want to quote, she's obviously not a supporter of Donald Trump, but what Elizabeth Warren told Anderson Cooper, my colleague, last night about Trump's choice for treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The American people are furious over what Wall Street has done. They don't want somebody who's going to come in here and say, hey, let's help Wall Street. And what Donald Trump is doing is he's literally handing the keys to the treasury over to a Wall Street banker who helped cause the crash.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Warren called Mnuchin the Forrest Gump, in fact, of the 2008 crash. But fair criticism there? And how do -- more specifically, how do his supporters react to that?
KRISTOL: I think his supporters were thrilled that he just saved 1,000 jobs in Middle America. They'd be thrilled if he renegotiates a couple trade deals, even if he doesn't fundamentally changed them.
There are plenty of things that he can do to keep them happy. And they're going to say, fine, look, Trump himself is an extremely rich guy, an insider who gave money to Democrats, played the system, as he himself says. And they'll do a little bit of this.
You have to know the system to really fix it, you know? And I think Mnuchin is the most vulnerable of his appointments, in terms of confirmation, incidentally, just from reading, I don't know, I have no inside knowledge . Just reading about him, you can imagine Democrats really picking a fight and some Republicans being nervous defending him. But, fine, Trump will say maybe Mnuchin won't make it, he will appoint someone else to be secretary of the treasury.
TALEV: I think there's three people who are actually furious, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, right? Right now, right now.
SCIUTTO: At least for now.
When you look at this and certainly there have been a lot of cagey appointments at this point. Several of the names being considered for other posts, Defense Department, et cetera, you know, fairly popular across party, which is interesting.
[16:20:02] But you are seeing within the Trump camp really open fighting, you know, public fighting over particularly the State Department choice. I want to lay what Newt Gingrich had to say about the possibility of Mitt Romney for secretary of state.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: You have never ever in your career seen a serious adult who is wealthy, independent, has been a presidential nominee, suck up at the rate that Mitt Romney is sucking up. I mean, I am confident that he thinks now that Donald Trump is one of his closest friends, that they have so many things in common that they both are such wise brilliant people.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
TAPPER: We should note that Newt Gingrich was considered early on a possibility for secretary of state, so perhaps there's a bit of personal interest there. But have you, Bill, you've been around long time, have you ever seen anything so public? And, of course, there are comments from Kellyanne Conway in a tweet earlier in the week.
KRISTOL: I mean, I've known Newt since I came to Washington 30 years ago and I've always gotten along well with him. But, really, it's really deplorable if I can use that term -- maybe I shouldn't use that term what he's doing.
SCIUTTO: Let's be fair, there are other members of the circle that are publicly criticizing --
KRISTOL: Gingrich thinks -- he thinks Romney defeated him. Romney did defeat him for presidential nomination in 2012 and he's never forgiven Romney I suppose.
Romney I think has behaved actually with considerable dignity. He has not apologized. He has not said he was wrong about what he said. He said, what I -- myself as a never Trumper think that the Trump administration is off to a pretty promising start and I think Romney thinks he can help the country as secretary of state, he should take it. He has not been campaigning for the job at all.
So, the criticism is unfair. But, yes, there were many splits in Trump world, it sounds like. But, look, Trump used to like that, and it is, you know, we're talking about -- one way of thinking about it, you know, threading the needle.
KRISTOL: And the other way of doing it is, you know, you can keep a couple balls in the air at once, keep the populist ball in the air, keep the insider ball in the air, keep the establishment ball in the air, keep the conservative ball in the air, keep the bipartisan ball in the air. Jim Mattis, if he's appointed to defense, a wonderful, he'll be held by people from both parties.
SCIUTTO: No question.
KRISTOL: Jeff Sessions, that will be a partisan vote for confirmation. Everyone has got something.
SCIUTTO: But, Margaret, it does also expose real disagreement inside the circle.
TALEV: Yes. I think tactically, this is actually a smart -- well, I don't know if it's smart. I think it's an interesting and possibly smart route. Strategically, I think you're like planting a lot of seeds of destruction later. You foment a lot of stuff when you do this.
But when you parade everyone through in front of Trump Tower or a restaurant, and you make it like again, of "The Apprentice", the upside is, especially when you're doing it for everyone, you know right away how everyone feels about everyone. If Mitt Romney can withstand the onslaught of all of this now, and it's done with, and Trump decides that's the way he wants to go, it's done, and he's also put Mitt Romney in his place and reminded him exactly how vulnerable he is.
So, you can see tactically kind of the thinking behind that move. But I think in the long term, there are so many bad feelings and kind of seeds of power games that get planted here that if any of these nominees actually gets confirmed and lasts more than a year or so, history began before the presidency even started.
SCIUTTO: I mean, we saw people are now talking again about the team of rivals, you know, referencing Lincoln's cabinets. Of course they talked the same about Obama's cabinet. They have some attempts there. The Republican for instance, ambassador to China, et cetera. But very quickly, overtime, that was a pretty tight knit group there, not many rivals by the end of his administration.
KRISTOL: Look, at the end of the day, this is -- it's early, just (INAUDIBLE). Governing matters, right? Governing is what is going to matter most. And so, at the end of the day, Margaret is absolutely right. You can juggle these balls there at some point, but at some point, you have to decide what is our policy towards Russia, towards Syria, you know, et cetera, towards the economy. Am I going to renegotiate the trade deals a little or am I going to change the world trading system? So, those will be decisions he will have to make.
But I think for now, short term, he's doing a pretty good job of juggling.
SCIUTTO: We'll see.
Bill Kristol, Margaret Talev, thanks so much for joining us today.
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[16:28:39] SCIUTTO: We have now a transition of power alert. Just in to CNN, a source with knowledge of the transition tells us that President-elect Trump is tapping another general for his administration.
I want to get right to CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
Barbara, a source just telling CNN that retired Marine General James Mattis will be the president-elect's nominee to lead the Defense Department. This was expected. He was the leading candidate, wasn't he?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: He seemed to have emerged as a leading candidate indeed over the last several days after meeting with Mr. Trump in New Jersey. Trump indicating that he was very favorable towards Jim Mattis. Jim Mattis is a general very well- known in the Pentagon and throughout the military. In fact, as many people know, his nickname is Mad Dog Mattis.
A marine general, highly decorated, more than 30 years of service, served in many billets, many jobs, in combat zones, served as the head of the U.S. Central Command overseeing military operations in the Middle East up until 2013 when he retired. Now, that 2013 date is vital, because the law requires that an active duty military person be retired for seven years before they can become secretary of defense.
So, the Trump administration will have to have legislation submitted to Congress for a waiver for Jim Mattis. And, in fact, we know very quietly Congress itself was beginning to look at what that legislation might have to look like.