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Donald Trump to Take Victory Lap Today; Nancy Pelosi Survives Leadership Challenge; Thousands Flee Aleppo as Humanitarian Crisis Worsens. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired December 1, 2016 - 07:00   ET

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys do fit the outsider bill.

[07:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got to be very, very careful with the conflicts of interest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nearly 200,000 civilians still trapped in the war zone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They made a decision a long time ago that they would rather die in dignity than leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can sense the panic here. They're fleeing what could be one of the worst fights yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They know how this movie ends.

(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. Chris is off this morning. John Berman joins me.

So far so good, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So far so good. I told you, this will be the best show ever.

CAMEROTA: You have not screwed it up yet.

OK. Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump set for a victory lap today. Mr. Trump will travel to Indiana to celebrate a deal to keep more than 1,000 jobs in the U.S. And tonight he kicks off a thank-you tour at a campaign-style rally in Ohio to mark his historic win.

BERMAN: All this as the president-elect is narrowing his field for key cabinet positions. The incoming Trump administration still has thousands of appointments to make before he is sworn in. Trump's inauguration now just a short 50 days away.

Let's begin this hour with CNN's Jessica Schneider. She is live outside Trump Tower in New York. Good morning, Jessica.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. You know, it seems that job interviews and meetings and cabinet picks are on the back burner today. As President-elect Trump, he's up for that victory lap. He'll leave Trump Tower around 10 a.m. this morning, head to Indianapolis and then tonight in Cincinnati, Ohio, he'll hold one of those rallies that propelled him to an election win.

(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.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: 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.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: 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 Trump's transition team telling us that we probably won't be hearing any more personnel picks or cabinet picks this week.

However, several names have emerged on a short list for director of national intelligence. They include senior Indiana Senator Dan Coats, as well as former homeland security adviser Fran Townsend, as well as Admiral -- Admiral Mike Rogers. And another name that has surfaced, Sarah Palin. She has actually been mentioned for possible secretary of veterans' affairs. Sources telling us that she has told President- elect Donald Trump she'd be happy to serve whether it's in the private or public sector -- John and Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Jessica, thank you very much for all of that.

Let's discuss it now with CNN political commentator Michael Smerconish, host of CNN's "SMERCONISH." And James Briggs, reporter for "The Indianapolis Star." He's been writing about those jobs saved at the Carrier plant.

Gentlemen, thanks so much for being here. James, I want to start with you because, you know, there are questions this morning. Everyone is excited, obviously, that the jobs, those 1,000 jobs have been saved for Indiana. But in terms of what the incentives were that Mike Pence and Donald Trump may have offered Carrier, what have you learned about that?

JAMES BRIGGS, REPORTER, "THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR": Yes, sources are telling us that this deal has a lot more to do with Carrier's parent company's relationship with the federal government than it does with incentives. UTC, the parent company, is a federal contractor. It does billions of dollars a year worth of business with the federal government. It also has exports that depend on the approval of the federal government.

[07:05:10] So, we're hearing that that played a much bigger role than any incentives did. The state incentives from Indiana we're hearing are fairly in line with what the state does for other companies. They're not going to blow anyone's mind when we finally hear the numbers today. This was much more about strong relationship with the incoming Trump administration.

BERMAN: Michael, if you have that kind of leverage, why not use it?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. I mean, John, I think it's great news. Let's give credit where credit is apparently due. I'm a little surprised at James's report. I'm not questioning it. I'm a little surprised, because, you know, right now Donald Trump is without portfolio. What really can he promise? Maybe some executive action, but he can't make commitments on behalf of the Congress, of the House and the Senate.

So I had anticipated that more would have come from Governor Pence. It will be very interesting to see the details when we know more about this.

BERMAN: I will say that it's not often that an air-conditioning company gets this kind of free, good press across the board for the number of days it's getting. So I think that could be a little bit of an incentive there.

CAMEROTA: But James, what about that? I mean, what role do you know that Governor Pence played, and why was Donald Trump able to make promises when he isn't yet in office?

BRIGGS: Well, a lot of people are pointing to the possible incentives that might be at play here. And certainly, there are state incentives. But at the same time, Carrier gave up incentives when it originally decided to move to Mexico nine months ago. Carrier paid back the city of Indianapolis $1.2 billion, and I think I would be shocked to find out that, if they got that much money in incentives this time around, the state typically does not offer that kind of incentive, because I think it's going to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So clearly, that was not the deciding factor in Carrier deciding to stay in Indianapolis.

BERMAN: James, just to be clear, I mean, this doesn't stop the hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs that have left Indiana since the year 2000. It doesn't stop the flow of economics, but, you know, it does give jobs to 1,000 people who would have lost them, correct?

BRIGGS: Yes, absolutely. There are hundreds of people who spent the last nine months thinking that they were going to lose their jobs, and now they're finding out they're going to keep them. You have to feel really good for those people.

Obviously, that doesn't speak to the broader manufacturing sector. There's still a lot of struggles there. And I don't think that targeting one factory at a time with economic incentives is a sustainable economic development strategy. But again, those hundreds of people are going to keep their jobs. You have to feel good for them.

CAMEROTA: Michael, what big question do you want to have answered when Donald Trump goes to Carrier today, and then does his victory tour later this evening?

SMERCONISH: At what cost? I mean, it all comes down to the money. What is the taxpayer burden for maintaining those thousand jobs?

And again, my glass is half full. I'm thrilled to hear that 1,000 people will continue to be employed, but what to extent is the government, meaning the taxpayers now going to be funding directly those salaries? That's the issue. BERMAN: We'll find out if this is a long-term strategy or something

he carries out past January 20 or not.

One thing we are going to see tonight, Michael, is a rally. You know, essentially a campaign rally in Cincinnati. Donald Trump starting to go to some of the states he flipped, some of the blue states like Ohio that voted for President Obama twice and then voted for him.

What do you think we're going to hear from him on that stage? You know, his campaign events, you know, were these blistering attacks on Hillary Clinton and the status quo. You can't really attack anymore when you now are the status quo.

SMERCONISH: But, you know, John, I think that much of what we've seen from President-elect Trump thus far is very similar to what we saw from candidate Trump. I mean, we've all given up awaiting the pivot. Right? The pivot never came. He is what he is.

And take a look at that Twitter feed. I think you're going to see it carried out on stage tonight. He thrives on the adulation that he gets from those enormous crowds. He hasn't had that kind of a reception since election day; and I'm sure he wants to go out and feel good about this achievement with regard to Carrier. Probably talk about some of the picks that he's made and the way in which his government is coming together. And continue, frankly, to rally the hardcore support that he has in half the country.

CAMEROTA: James, what about your reporting in Indiana? What are people looking for? Was this all about jobs? What are Indiana voters hoping for now from President-elect Trump?

BRIGGS: Yes. I think the Trump supporters that I've talked to in the last few weeks have really talked about an economic message. People that even though the economy has been steadily producing jobs under President Obama. People here say that they just have not seen the result of that. They say they haven't seen the kinds of jobs they're looking for, and they're looking for more from Donald Trump.

BERMAN: You know, Michael, since Alisyn is sitting here right beside me, it's awkward for me to heap praise on her this morning.

CAMEROTA: No, it's not.

BERMAN: But we just saw that fascinating interview that Alisyn did with New Hampshire voters, New Hampshire Trump supporters. What they think now of the transition and what they're expecting from Donald Trump.

What struck me is he has incredibly wide berth right now from these supporters, who are willing, not necessarily to hold him to his campaign promises, because they support him. I wonder what struck you from that interview.

SMERCONISH: In a word, that they were unflappable. That there was nothing that Alisyn could raise, nothing that she could present to them in terms of an issue for personality that now surrounds the president-elect that was going to cause them to second guess their support.

And frankly, that is the exact same way that those supporters were all throughout the course of the campaign. When Donald Trump said that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and fire a gun and shoot somebody and still get elected, I think he was probably right with regard to those folks.

The more troubling aspect for me was how they're so reliant on fake news and how everybody today with a laptop and an Internet connection regards themselves as a journalist.

And therefore, you can go out and you can find whatever news information you're looking for that reinforces the beliefs you already have.

The irony, John, is we've never had so much choice in society among media outlets. And yet people seem to be so limited in where they go for their news and information. It's almost Pavlovian in the way they want to go and be reinforced in views that they already hold.

CAMEROTA: I mean, look, as journalists, what we have to do, I mean, what we're tasked with is following the thread of a story, maybe a story that sounds outrageous or unbelievable, to the primary source. But as readers and as viewers, you don't have to do that.

So, when something crops up on your Facebook page sent to you, and it is a FOX Business news clip, you believe that. And that's what, as you heard, those supporters, those Trump supporters. They watched a report. They thought that President Obama had said something. It was later debunked, but they didn't follow those bread crumbs back to the original source. That's what we do as journalists. But as you know, that's not what's happening out there, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Not a day passes that I don't receive multiple e-mails, usually with a subject line that says, "You must read this." And those that begin that way usually cause me to go to Snopes.com and ferret out where the real truth lies. But I think that too many, maybe they're busy, just tend to real that initial headline and accept it as gospel and worse, share it with others.

CAMEROTA: Gentlemen, thank you for sharing your reporting with us. James, we really appreciate it and, Michael, always great to talk to you. Thank you.

BRIGGS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: So Nancy Pelosi dodged a challenge, and she's won another term to lead the Democrats in the House. How can she bring working- class voters back into the Democratic fold and steer her party past this bruising election? We'll talk to one of her colleagues, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:16:52] CAMEROTA: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has been re-elected as House Democratic leader after winning two-thirds of votes in her fight against Congressman Tim Ryan. So how will she lead the Democratic Party in a new direction?

Joining us now is Congressman Brendan Boyle. He's a Democrat from Pennsylvania who is on the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform.

Good morning, Congressman.

REP. BRENDAN BOYLE (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Good morning. Good to be with you.

CAMEROTA: You supported Nancy Pelosi's opponent, Tim Ryan. Why do you think he didn't get more votes?

BOYLE: Yes, well, that's actually not exactly -- not exactly correct. But I would say that...

CAMEROTA: Did you? I'm sorry. I'll let you correct it. Did you -- who did you support?

BOYLE: I voted for Nancy Pelosi. I think that the larger issue was some reforms that needed to take place in our caucus to make it more open and allow for more of an opportunity for some of us who are a little bit on the younger side of the spectrum to have a say in the direction. And I think that we're moving our way toward that.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BOYLE: But I also think that -- and I mentioned this a couple weeks ago, coming out of our first caucus post-election caucus. I think it would be a mistake to conflate or confuse any one leadership election with something that's a much broader problem going back about eight to ten years in our party.

CAMEROTA: And what...

BOYLE: And that is the tremendous challenge and decline that we've had among blue-collar voters and blue-collar Americans.

CAMEROTA: Right. And that was Tim Ryan's message...

BOYLE: Yes.

CAMEROTA: ... to America and to all of you. And I'm sorry for that erroneous note. I have a large bolded portion of my research packet here that says that you supported Tim Ryan. I'll be firing someone right after this.

BOYLE: No, please don't. Wait. I was elected to create jobs. Please don't fire anyone over -- over that.

CAMEROTA: Fair enough. OK. But -- but that was his message. I mean, so why do you believe that Nancy Pelosi, who as he pointed out, has lost seats for Democrats on her watch, why do you think that she is the voice of working-class voters moving forward?

BOYLE: I think that it would be a mistake to either look to one person to totally blame or look at one person as the complete solution. It's much more broad than that.

For example, a younger colleague and I, Mark Peasy (ph), we just formed something called the blue-collar caucus as a way to try to organize our party towards discussing and working on the specific anxiety issues of working-class Americans.

The sort of family that I come from and a neighborhood that I still live in today. The fact is -- and this is the case in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin. But throughout this country, even though the unemployment rate, the stated unemployment rate is pretty good, we've had a 20- to 30-year period of complete stagnation among middle-class Americans.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BOYLE: So, the idea that, frankly, both parties need to do a better job of paying attention to the hard-pressed working class in this country.

CAMEROTA: Yes. But I mean, voters basically said, in electing Donald Trump, that they don't believe your party will help them and has their back.

BOYLE: I tend to think that in this election they -- and look, I'm still amazed that Donald Trump was elected. I did not support him. And am very worried about some of the things he may bring about.

[07:20:15] However, Democrats should take note that he stole what had been our message on infrastructure, jobs and also trade. Making sure these trade deals are actually fair for American workers.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BOYLE: And look out for American workers first and Wall Street second. I think that's a message that our side needs to learn.

CAMEROTA: Well, about that, that's interesting you say that he stole your message. Let's zero in on infrastructure. Because that is what President Obama started with. Where, you know, he said that there was going to be a stimulus bill, and it was going to have all these shovel-ready projects; and you -- they were going to work on infrastructure.

Why is it that, when Donald Trump said it, it resonated more and there wasn't the opposition and fight as there was when Barack Obama said it?

BOYLE: Yes, it is pretty remarkable that someone on the conservative side of the aisle that thought it was absolutely awful and terrible when President Obama eight years ago proposed an infrastructure bill.

By the way, about half of that money ended up being for tax cuts and not infrastructure eight years ago. I wasn't here as a member but observing this.

Today, we have somewhere between 1 and $1.5 trillion worth of infrastructure needs that need to be met. Roads, bridges, transit but also water...

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BOYLE: ... and our electrical grid and gas lines in my city of Philadelphia that date back to the 1800s.

CAMEROTA: Right.

BOYLE: So the fact that we have, in Donald Trump, a Republican who's actually taking a more Democratic position; and there are Democrats on my side of the aisle, including myself, who may disagree with him and vote against Trump on a number of issues. But we have said we are willing to be bipartisan and work with him to vote on a real infrastructure bill that rebuilds America.

And if he can bring along some of these conservative Republicans who are saying how awful it was when Obama was doing it...

CAMEROTA: Right.

BOYLE: ... who will now support it just because it's a Republican president, then that's their own hypocrisy. But I'd rather have them ultimately voting for the right thing.

CAMEROTA: Congressman, I want to ask you because you're on the oversight committee, this letter that you took part in. Elijah Cummings is leading it. He sent it to Congressman Jason Chaffetz. And basically, you all are asking the chairman of the oversight committee to look into potential conflicts of interest of Donald Trump's.

Why do you think that Jason Chaffetz thus far has been reluctant to do that?

BOYLE: Well, it's incredible. Chairman Chaffetz, who I happen to like personally, and the Republican majority on the committee kept investigating and reinvestigating Hillary Clinton and were already gearing up for investigations assuming she'd be president-elect.

But now, when Donald Trump has enormous conflicts, especially those that involve entanglements between his private businesses and foreign governments, suddenly you hear a lot of quiet from the chairman and from those who are on oversight committee.

They need to do their job, regardless of party. I'm deeply concerned that -- one example, the GSA bans any person with the federal government from having a business stake in that lease on Pennsylvania Avenue for the Trump Hotel.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BOYLE: Trump is going to be the ultimate federal employee. He's going to be president of the United States. And yet he's still going to be owner of a hotel that now foreign governments feel that they need to send their people to in order to stay.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BOYLE: That's wrong. And this is a very serious issue.

Our Constitution, you know, back when we were a poor country at our founding. Our Founding Fathers were very concerned about this. That's why that clause is in the Constitution.

CAMEROTA: All right.

BOYLE: And it's still an issue today.

CAMEROTA: Well, we will see what Congressman Jason Chaffetz does with your letter and your plea to him to investigate some of this stuff.

Congressman Boyle, thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.

BOYLE: OK. Thank you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Let's get over to John.

BERMAN: All right. Thanks, Alisyn.

A grave humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Syria. A U.N. official says Aleppo is turning into one giant graveyard.

Up next, we're going to speak with CNN senior international correspondents, just terrific reporters who have been in the war- ravaged country. We're going to talk to them about what they have seen and what we all need to know and do.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:28:22] BERMAN: It's one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent memory, unfolding in Syria right now, and we're all seeing it happen.

Thousands of people are fleeing Aleppo as it gets worse by the day. There are no more functioning hospitals there, food there, very scarce.

Joining us with insight into what is happening there and also in Iraq right now in the battle against ISIS in Mosul, CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh, Clarissa Ward and Arwa Damon. They have all been everywhere, but they have all been inside Syria and Iraq, as well.

And we are honored and overjoyed to have you all here with us safely here in the studio this morning. So thanks for being here.

CAMEROTA: We're so happy to see you guys, and we're so awestruck by all of your reporting. You should see us back in the studio every morning when we go to you live, and you're in a war zone; you're on the front lines. And we are just truly inspired. I mean, and awestruck, as are the viewers, and we're so happy you guys are there. And we're so happy you're safe back here. BERMAN: The reason you're there is to report. You guys all do a

terrific job. So we want to know what you have seen there. And Arwa, you know, you have just been very recently in Mosul, I mean, caught, literally, battle to retake Mosul from ISIS right now. And we know that there have been territorial games against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria right now. So, what is the status of the battle?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here's the problem is that the status of the battle, bottom line, is that the Iraqi security forces, as is expected, are slowly, yes, making gains, are slowly gaining territory inside Mosul. That is significant.

But if we look at the bigger picture, to a certain degree, it's irrelevant, because the fight against ISIS is not about gaining territory. It's about fighting an ideology. It's about fighting those fundamental thoughts and beliefs that allow an entity like ISIS to emerge and thrive.

Briefly, just look at the history of ISIS only in Iraq. It started off as...