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Donald Trump to Take Victory Lap Today; 7 Dead in Raging Tennessee Wildfires; No Charges Against Officer in Keith Lamont Scott Killing. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired December 1, 2016 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A victory lap for Donald Trump.

[05:58:32] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a great first win without us even taking the job.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You have never seen serious adults suck up at the rate that Mitt Romney is sucking up.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump promised that he was not going to have a government that is going to work for Wall Street.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Preside-elect announcing he will leave his business completely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His children talking about deals. He's talking about government. That's a problem.

ANDREW MURRAY, CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBERG DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Officer Vinson acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Scott.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No peace!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is it OK to shoot first and ask questions later?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Thursday, December 1, 6 a.m. in the East. Chris is off this morning. John Berman joins me.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's good to be here.

CAMEROTA: It's going to be a good show.

BERMAN: It's going to be the best show ever.

CAMEROTA: OK, I look forward to that.

Up first, President-elect Donald Trump set for a victory lap. He will travel to Indiana to tout a deal to keep more jobs in America. He will deliver on that campaign promise, he says. He will then kick off a thank you tour holding a campaign-style rally tonight in Ohio to celebrate his historic win.

BERMAN: All this as Trump is narrowing the field for key cabinet positions. The Trump administration still has thousands of political appointments to make before he is sworn in, and the inauguration now just 50 days away.

We have this all covered for you. Let's begin with CNN's Jessica Schneider, live outside Trump Tower in New York with this morning's drama -- Jessica.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, John.

You know, today it is a return to those rallies that propelled Donald Trump to an election win. He'll start his day off here at Trump Tower before then making his way to Indiana as well as Ohio to thank those voters who handed him a victory.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): President-elect Donald Trump heading back into campaign mode, embarking on a thank-you tour in swing states that won him the White House.

Trump will hold a rally in Cincinnati tonight, after taking a victory lap in Indiana, celebrating a deal with Carrier to keep at least 1,000 manufacturing jobs from moving to Mexico. Carrier offering limited details on terms of the deal, receiving unspecified incentives from the state, run by Trump's V.P., Mike Pence.

This as Trump's cabinet continues to take shape, the search for secretary of state narrowed down to these four candidates. Close Trump adviser Newt Gingrich hammering Mitt Romney after his high- profile dinner with Trump Tuesday night.

GINGRICH: You have never, ever in your career seen a serious adult who's wealthy, independent, has been a presidential nominee suck up at the rate that Mitt Romney is sucking up. SCHNEIDER: Trump also facing blistering criticism from the left over

his newly-appointed economic team. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren slamming Trump's pick for treasury secretary, former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin, who headed a firm that made big money off the 2008 housing crisis.

WARREN: He promised when he was running for president that he would break the connection between Wall Street and this Congress. And then what does he do? He turns around and picks a guy who had actually been one of the people who helped do all of those lousy mortgages.

SCHNEIDER: The president-elect's team defending the pick.

JASON MILLER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TRUMP TRANSITION: It's take someone like Steve, who understands how the system works, how we can go and make it more fair, how can we go and help American workers to get in there and actually change it.

SCHNEIDER: Capitol Hill also reacting to Trump's announcement, with no details as of yet, that he will separate himself from his billion- dollar empire.

SEN. JAMES RISCH (R), IDAHO: You've got to be very, very careful on conflicts of interest. Sooner or later this had to happen, and I suspect he's probably not very happy about it; but it's just one of the things that had to be done.

SCHNEIDER: The Office of Government Ethics sending out an unusual series of tweets applauding Trump's pledge and encouraging the president-elect to divest his assets, a commitment that Trump has not yet made.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: And Donald Trump will leave New York around 10 a.m. this morning to make his way to Indiana. And while his transition team told us not to expect any more personnel or cabinet announcements this week, a short list is now emerging for director of national intelligence. That list includes the current Indiana senator, Dan Coats, as well as former homeland security advisor Fran Townsend and Admiral Mike Rogers.

And in addition, Sarah Palin's name is now being mentioned as a possibility for secretary of veterans' affairs. She has said, according to sources, that she has told Donald Trump she wants to work for him, whether it's in the private or public sector -- Alisyn or John.

CAMEROTA: OK, lots of interesting announcements to follow today and beyond. Jessica, thank you very much.

Let's discuss all this with our panel. We want to bring in CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, Errol Louis; CNN political analyst and national political reporter for Real Clear Politics, Rebecca Berg; and CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston. Great to see all of you. Let's talk about Mr. Trump's visit to Carrier, to the air-conditioning

plant today. He had promised that he would save jobs. He delivered on that, at least to the tune of 1,000 jobs.

What is unclear is whether he used the carrot or the stick. It sounds like he used the carrot to try to get Carrier to stay here in Indiana, but we don't know what those unspecified incentives were. What could they have been, Errol?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They could very well be carrots provided by the taxpayers of Indiana, who -- Governor...

CAMEROTA: Subsidies.

LOUIS: Governor Mike Pence might have done what governors have done for many years now, even as the country has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs, which is try and buy them back. Try and give them incentives to slow the pace, to change the pace.

Let's keep in mind, this is 1,000 jobs that were saved, but 1,000 are also going. It was my understanding of the math; 2,000 were going to leave and 1,000 are going to stay. There's a question about the sustainability of that. And, again, who's actually paying for this?

BERMAN: Here's the thing, is that the argument against it is you can't call every air-conditioning plant or manufacturing plant in the country to save those jobs, but you can call some; and he called this one. And it's 1,000 people who may not have had jobs in a few months who still will have jobs. And it's something that he can say, along with Mike Pence, because by the way, Mike Pence may be the guy who actually delivered real things. But they can say they delivered even before they're sworn in.

REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. So even if it's not necessarily at this point addressing the underlying economic problems here, it's a huge symbolic coup for Donald Trump.

I mean, Carrier was part of his stump speech on the campaign trail. And to be able to go out there to Indiana and, you know, speak directly to these workers and say, "I am the reason your jobs are still here." I mean, there's no way that that is a bad thing for Donald Trump.

[06:05:14] And the fact that he was able to do this before he is even sworn in as president, it gets his administration off on the right foot.

CAMEROTA: It is a huge feather in his cap, and certainly everybody at Carrier is delighted. But remember what conservatives said about President Obama when he was supporting Solyndra, electric car company. And that is that the free market doesn't pick winners and losers. And so, if it turns out that there were subsidies on the backs of the taxpayers, then what happens?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, it does open a Pandora's box, right? Because in many ways, free-market conservatives will say you are picking winners and losers. Are you going to do this with every company going forward? And if you are a company in some state, are you going to say, "You know what? We're going to pack up and go to Mexico. Let's see what we can get out of this," you know, to try to get something back.

But this is really one of those really difficult issues, because we are talking about 1,000 jobs that are probably affecting, I mean, who knows? Maybe 3,000 people, 2,000 people. You're talking about families, existing businesses, you know, in the area. It is a very difficult situation for us to talk in political terms because these are real people's lives.

The question, too, is, you know, is it the carrot or the stick. Well, apparently, it is the carrot, but it very well could be the stick. He's $5.6 billion worth of business with United Technologies, which owns Carrier, with defense contracting here in the U.S. We don't know yet if there was a threat or an implicit threat or something that was said that we're going to stop giving you defense contracts.

BERMAN: The question is how much more can he do this for how long and with companies, but it is something that he has today to point to.

Also, tonight, he's going to Cincinnati for this big political rally. And I think the big basketball arena there, and he's going to thank his supporters. Ohio is one of the blue states or one of the states that had voted for President Obama twice, that voted for him.

It's interesting. Once elections are over, Errol, political rallies feel different. I wonder what tonight will feel like.

LOUIS: That is an interesting question. There was a point in the early days of the Obama administration where there was this supposition that he'd be doing rallies every month.

BERMAN: That's exactly what I'm remembering.

LOUIS: That was the kind of wave that he rode in on. And he put a stop to that right away, I think in part because he's kind of busy, you know, in the Oval Office. There's a lot of work to be done. We'll see if this is going to work for Donald Trump.

I suspect that this one in particular might be just a way of getting him out of Trump Tower. I mean, he's really been sort of holed up for the last couple of weeks, just to get him out and get him back in contact with his base, pay off some debts, politically speaking, to a lot of the base that did support him and get his confidence back up as he goes into this next phase of the transition.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about what we know for the cabinet. And the one that is still outstanding, secretary of state, continues to intrigue everyone, because there seems to be, I mean, at least in the media, this contest between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Now it's possible that...

BERMAN: He's literally creating this contest. There are people who are saying there are four folks left. I mean, they've created the contest.

CAMEROTA: Yes, sort of, but I mean, if Bob Corker gets it, then that was a head fake.

BERMAN: Well, then they faked us out of the contest.

BERG: It's really the weirdest season ever of "The Bachelor." Right? It's -- and they talk about this like it is a reality show. They refer to these candidate as the four finalists for the position.

I mean, Donald Trump knows how to keep us interested in the process. And I think that's one of, actually, his great talent as a politician. Usually, this is boring. It's secretary of state, who cares? But Donald Trump makes it this exciting process, keeps us sort of hanging onto his every development and every thought. But it is...

CAMEROTA: It's working.

BERG: Still quite a competition between these.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BERG: And again, we refer to it as a competition. It's like a reality show.

CAMEROTA: Because the suspense is interesting, to see how this is all going to play out, the public dance, the pas de deux, between all of these.

BERMAN: I like that.

PRESTON: I mean, the strangeness of Mitt Romney and going out to dinner with Donald Trump in a very public restaurant and having a very important discussion about, basically, the future of the free world, in and itself is a little bizarre. You know? But, you know, you add to the fact that Rudy Giuliani. I think David Petraeus is very much in the mix of the secretary of state spot.

CAMEROTA: Also intriguing.

BERMAN: Everyone calls it a reality show. It could be "The Biggest Loser," because you know, Romney or Giuliani, someone is going to end up with his public shaming the likes we have never seen before.

BERG: Right. And the confirmation process, if it's someone like Petraeus, could be very difficult.

CAMEROTA: All right, guys. Stick around. We have many more questions.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi has survived the leadership challenge. She was re-elected as the top Democrat in the House. So what does the party have to do now to recover from this bruising election? We discuss that, as well as President Obama's legacy, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:13:38] CAMEROTA: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi winning the election to hold onto her position as the head of the Democratic Caucus. So what is the path forward for the Democratic Party?

Let's bring back our panel. We have Errol Louis, Rebecca Berg and Mark Preston.

So she got twice as many votes, Errol, as Tim Ryan did. He was the face of sort of where he thinks the Democratic Party should go, get back in touch with the working-class people. He's from Youngstown, Ohio. He was -- he didn't win?

LOUIS: As always, very good vote counter. Nancy Pelosi said she'd win with two-thirds. She won with two-thirds.

CAMEROTA: She won with two-thirds. So what will she do differently now?

LOUIS: Well, she's already given some indications of that. She's brought some younger people into the leadership, including someone like Joe Crowley, a New York Congressman who had actually not been all that friendly to her in the past.

So she's sort of broadened the team. She's, I think, acknowledged that she and her other top leaders, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn, who are all in their 70s, mid to late 70s, that they've got to sort of make some room for them. And I think they're going to have to just try like the dickens to make a much better showing in the midterms. You know, they've lost four straight elections. They lost 60-plus seats since their high-water mark.

If she in opposition can do what really sort of brought her to the leadership in the first place, which is really wage an unrelenting war and find good candidates and fund them and get them out and get a solid message. If she can do that in the next 24 months, she can probably have a bright future.

[06:15:04] BERMAN: That is her biggest strength. She is perhaps the best vote counter in Washington. Maybe the only good vote counter left in Washington. She's a very good caucus leader, but she is the personification, in some ways, of why the Democrats lost. She's a San Francisco liberal. She's a coastal liberal...

CAMEROTA: Elite.

BERMAN: Elite, seen as out of touch with the middle of the country. So when you talk about the future of the Democratic Party, Mark Preston, where is it? What is it?

PRESTON: And I think this is the great untold story, because you know, obviously, our focus has been, you know, 1,000 percent on Donald Trump and how he's going to govern the country. But the fact is the Democratic Party is in total shatters right now. And it isn't just Nancy Pelosi. It's also the United States Senate, Democrats there, and it's also state houses across the country. We're going to see...

BERMAN: Run by New York liberal. You have Chuck Schumer.

PRESTON: Interesting, though, because of his ties to Wall Street and will he moderate in some places, and we'll see what happens. But we're going to see leaders or perceive leaders of the Democratic Party meet later this week to try to see who's going to be the head of the Democratic National Committee, which has been a position that hasn't really existed the last eight years, because Barack Obama has been president.

But that's going to be a very big job, as well. And the Democratic Party, I mean, to your point, is aging out at this point. At this point, they need some fresh, young leaders in there to come in with new ideas.

CAMEROTA: Rebecca, let's talk about President Obama's legacy or at least as he sees it. He gave an interview to "Rolling Stone" the day after the stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton. He must have still been reeling, but he didn't let that on, because he never really lets that on. And one of the things that has gotten a lot of attention for why he blamed, what he said was the cause of the defeat. I'll read it to you. He said part of it is FOX News. Is in every bar and restaurant and big chunks of the country.

But part of it is also Democrats not working at the grassroots level. This has gotten a lot of criticism from his critics who are, like, "Buy a mirror. Some of this was a reaction to you and your policies, not just Hilary Clinton's failed campaign."

BERG: Exactly. So I think one of the problems that Democrats are going to have to tackle moving forward, is are they trying to speak to these people who, for the last four years, FOX News has been speaking to.

So, working-class Americans, middle America, does the Democratic Party have a message that appeals to them? And so, I think even a lot of Democrats would say that President Obama oftentimes didn't make the argument the way he needed to make it. FOX News took advantage of that, certainly, for entertainment ratings purposes. And also for news purposes.

But Democrats are going to have to find a messaging solution in the short term, because obviously, they're not in control of policy any more. They need to learn how to speak to these people who FOX News is speaking to, because those are Americans, too.

BERMAN: Messaging, is it? Because that's saying, you know, it was what they were told, not what they feel. I mean, the president there is sort of saying that they voted against their interests. Maybe they voted for their interests. He seems to discount that possibility, and he also talks about the grassroots, Errol. You know, you're the leading Democrat for eight years. Don't you bear some responsibility for the crisis (ph)?

LOUIS: Yes, you're a former community organizer, as well. Right? So whatever happened to Obama for America and the thing that was supposed to sort of build up this core of grassroots organizers across the country.

His political legacy, frankly, it's going to -- it's a tough loss in this election. You know, 100,000 people across three states made the difference. If Hillary Clinton had won, we'd be having a completely different conversation about his legacy. But it didn't go his way. So he's going to have to suck this up.

And then, as we look at the numbers across the various state houses, across Congress, you start to see that. He has not had, politically speaking, a great, successful legacy that he's going to be able to point to. Very tough loss.

CAMEROTA: And if they dismantle Obamacare, there goes that.

PRESTON: I would say "if." I mean, they are going to dismantle Obamacare. The question is, what are they going to replace it with? And here's the problem for Republicans: overreach, the idea of a mandate. There's no such things as mandates any more. I mean, we saw that with George W. Bush in 2004. He thought he had a mandate, not the case. And I think that, if they overreach, they're in trouble.

BERMAN: He got No Child Left Behind. He got a giant tax cut without a mandate.

PRESTON: Privatization of Social Security didn't happen.

BERMAN: I know, but he got a lot done. He got a lot done even though, you know, there was a recount and he lost the popular vote. Anyway, we'll talk about that later.

PRESTON: Later on.

CAMEROTA: Later. Panel, thank you.

BERMAN: Thanks, guys.

A dire scene unfolding in Tennessee's Smokey Mountains. The death toll continues to rise and raging wildfires. We're going to have a live report from the fires, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:23:24] CAMEROTA: We are following some breaking news right now. Overnight, a police officer was killed in the line of duty. He was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Tacoma, Washington. Police are not releasing the 45-year-old officer's name, but they say he was a 17-year veteran of the force.

Authorities are locking down the neighborhood and surrounding the home where they believe the suspect is still barricaded. Police report gunshots coming from the home. They say officers have not opened fire.

BERMAN: The raging wildfires in eastern Tennessee have now claimed seven lives. Several families still looking for loved ones who are missing. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed. CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray is live for us in Pigeon Gorge with the latest.

Jennifer, good morning.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, John.

It is still just heart-wrenching across this area as firefighters continue to battle those blazes in the mountains, of course. No wind this morning, so they should be able to make some headway overnight into the early hours.

We are going to find out today if FEMA is going to be coming in and offering assistance, and the families should also hear today when they will be able to return to see if they even have a home left in these areas.

We've got some sad news, as well. A body was identified as Alice Hagler, 70 years old. We know that she has two sons. One of her sons was living with her and made contact with her as the fires were getting close and then lost contact and never heard from her again.

Her other son and daughter-in-law came in from Savannah. They were actually supposed to go to Disney World the following day with her two grandsons. And of course, our condolences are with the family. And the family also wants everyone to know how great of a grandmother she was, and she loved her grandsons more than anything.

[06:25:13] So guys, this is just continuing to be a horrible story here across eastern Tennessee. But hopefully, families will be able to -- to learn some more today.

BERMAN: Seven families dealing with that tragedy and heartbreak. Jennifer Gray, thanks so much.

And I should say, coming up in our 8 a.m. hour, we're going to speak to the family of Alice Hagler, who Jennifer was just saying died in these fires. We're going to talk about what they've gone through in the last day.

CAMEROTA: So sad.

To another story now. Protesters are demanding answers in Charlotte over the district attorney's decision not to charge the police officer who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott.

CNN's Nick Valencia is live in Charlotte with more. What's the latest, Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.

This is a decision that the Scott family dreaded but one that they anticipated. Here in Charlotte, the protests continued last night. They're still processing this decision, the Scott family, that is, and they've stopped short of saying that they're going to file a civil lawsuit but did say that they're going to keep all avenues open to seek justice for Keith Lamont Scott.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose streets?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose streets?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our streets.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Protesters taking to the streets of Charlotte, some clashing with police during demonstrations that remained mostly peaceful. Authorities confirming that four arrests were made. The protests in response to a district attorney's decision not to charge Officer Brentley Vinson in the September shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott.

MURRAY: It is a justified shooting based on the totally of the circumstances.

VALENCIA: The D.A. confirming that Scott did have a loaded weapon in his hand.

MURRAY: Mr. Scott's gun, a Colt .380 semiautomatic was recovered at the scene. It had one round in the chamber. The safety was off, and the gun was cocked.

VALENCIA: This contradicts what Scott's family says happened, that he was holding a book inside the car, a claim now proven untrue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He doesn't have a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, chief, don't you do it!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you shoot him?

VALENCIA: Scott's wife also heard on video, telling officers that her husband has a traumatic brain injury. After police confronted him while searching for another person wanted on an outstanding warrant.

MURRAY: When the officers come, he draws the gun. He doesn't keep it in his holster. He doesn't put it on the floor. He draws the gun. He's told numerous times to drop the gun. He then gets out and doesn't turn to run away from officers. He turns towards them.

VALENCIA: Scott's family attorney reacting to the D.A.'s decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still have real questions about the decisions that were made that day in terms of how they confronted Keith.

VALENCIA: The shooting and this video of Keith's daughter that went viral shortly after his death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police just shot my daddy four times for being black.

VALENCIA: Set off several days of violent protests that destroyed several downtown businesses. A stark contrast to last night. Protesters peacefully demanding answers. Police on the streets meeting and talking with those marching, hoping to build trust in the community.

The D.A. went to great lengths to detail that Scott was armed at the time of the shooting, highlighting some surveillance video that showed Scott wearing an ankle holster just minutes before that fatal shooting. The -- it is not distinctive, however, according to the family attorney, whether or not it was in his hand; and to the family that matters -- John.

BERMAN: Nick Valencia for us in Charlotte, thanks so much.

That's one of the key questions. Was the Charlotte D.A.'s decision to not charge that officer justified? We are going to take a deeper look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)