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Trump to Americans: Come Together; Mattis Tapped for Pentagon; Angst Over Petraeus; Kerry to Address Carnage in Aleppo. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired December 2, 2016 - 04:30   ET




[04:30:24] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all of its forms. We denounce all of the hatred, and we forcefully reject the language of exclusion and separation.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN ANCHOR: President-elect Trump offering up a message of inclusion, calling on Americans to come together as he embarks on his whirlwind "thank you" tour.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Trump called him the real deal. Now, General James Mattis has been tapped to head up the Pentagon. His nomination facing a potential roadblock.

RIPLEY: Top Republicans antsy about one of the nominations for secretary of state. Why many would rather not see David Petraeus get the nod.

Welcome back to EARLY START and happy Friday to you. I'm Will Ripley, in for John Berman.

ROMANS: It's really nice to see you.

RIPLEY: Great to be with you.

ROMANS: Nice to be with you on a Friday.


ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the top of the hour.

It was just old times as Donald Trump, the president-elect, in vintage form on the first leg of his "thank you" tour, delivering an America- first message to thousands of supporters at a rally in Cincinnati last night, calling on the country to come together. The president-elect reveling in the moment after three weeks of meetings in the Trump Tower boardroom. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This is the moment. This is our chance. This is our window for action. This is the hour when the great deeds can be done and our highest hopes can come true. We're going to do it, folks. We're going to do it.


ROMANS: The Cincinnati rally looked and felt lot like the campaign events that propelled Trump to victory. The president-elect clearly in his element here.

We get more from senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Will, true to form, Donald Trump pulled no punches at this rally here in Cincinnati, doing the equivalent of an election touchdown dance. Trump railed against the news media and he vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare and build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border.

But the big news of the night came when Trump announced he's going to pick retired General James Mattis as his next defense secretary. Here's what he had to say at this rally in Cincinnati.

TRUMP: We are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defense.


They say he's the closest thing to General George Patton that we have, and it's about time. It's about time.

ACOSTA: Trump made that announcement despite the fact that his own transition spokesman Jason Miller announced that no decision had been made on defense secretary.

Trump has more stops on this so-called "thank you" tour planned for next week -- Will and Christine.


RIPLEY: And now that we know that retired General Jim Mattis is the nominee for defense secretary, he's going to need special clearance from Congress to assume the post. It's because of decades-old statute requires the civilian leader of the military be retired for at least seven years to qualify for the appointment. Mattis has also been retired for three years.

And now, this is meant to ensure civilian control of the military, to ensure that the president is the commander in chief, a Trump transition official tells CNN the president-elect does not expect a problem getting Congress to waive this requirement. It's not completely unprecedented. Congress did grant a similar exception once before in 1950 for General George C. Marshall.

ROMANS: Yes, the question is, is this a roadblock or just wrinkle? Just a wrinkle in the process?

RIPLEY: Right. Well, it seems like he's not going to have a hard time.

ROMANS: Yes. Well, we'll find out.

All right. Much like he did on the campaign trail, Trump made plenty of promises at that Ohio rally, vowing to improve the lives of working class Americans with a priority of dismantling the NAFTA trade agreement. The president-elect assuring his supporters, we're all going to be happy.


TRUMP: Now is the time to embrace the one thing that truly unites us. You know what that is? America, America. It's America.


Because when America's unified, nothing is beyond our reach, I mean that. You're going to see. You're going to see.

We're going to have a country that was never so great. You watch, in so many different ways.

You hear a lot of talk about how globalized world. But the relationships people value in this country are local -- family, city, state, country. They're local.

We'll compete in the world. We want to compete in the world. But we're going to compete in the world where it's a two-way road, not a one-way road. The advantages are going to come back to our country. And they haven't for many, many years.

[04:35:01] There is no global anthem, no global currency, no certificate of global citizenship. We pledge allegiance to one flag, and that flag is the American flag.



RIPLEY: You can see just how energized the president-elect was when he was surrounded by that crowd. You're going to see more appearances like this. The Trump "thank you" tour might be more accurately described at a victory lap.

The president-elect making a stop at that Carrier plant in Indianapolis where he just saved a thousand jobs.

As CNN's Martin Savidge tells us, Trump's visit left a lot of hard-to- please Hoosiers very impressed.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Will. Good morning, Christine.

There are still a lot of people in Indianapolis that are in a state of shock, a good shock, because they never really truly believed that Carrier could be prevented from taking hundreds of jobs down to Mexico as it said it was going to do back in February.

Yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, also the governor of Indiana, showed up and they were given almost a heroes welcome at the Carrier plant. It's a hand-select group of employees that took them on a tour of the facility, but it was all smiles. It was all handshakes.

And it was then during a speech that Trump made a revelation that really surprised a lot of people, implying that he never really thought he could save Carrier either. Here's his words.

TRUMP: I'll never forget about a week ago, I was watching the nightly news. They had a gentleman, worker, great guy, handsome guy. He said something to the effect, "No, we're not leaving, because Donald Trump promised us that we're not leaving." And I never thought I made that promise. And then they played my statement, and I said, "Carrier will never leave," but that was a euphemism. I was talking about Carrier like all other companies from here on in, because they made the decision a year and a half ago.

But he believed that that was, that I could understand it. I actually said, I didn't make it, I said I did make it, but I didn't mean it quite that way.

SAVIDGE: All told, it looks as though around 800 jobs have been saved at Carrier. Carrier also, according to Donald Trump, is going to invest about $16 million in facilities in the U.S. Indiana is giving Carrier about $7 million over ten years.

But, again, many people never thought they would see this day -- Will and Christie.


ROMANS: All right. It's certainly interesting to hear him talk about the euphemism that people took very literally.

OK. It is jobs day in America. And this month's report is big. It's a final hurdle for the Federal Reserve before its last meeting of the year in mid-December, December 14th. Solid job gains could solidify this all-but-certain rate hike.

Here is what we expect: 181,000 new jobs created in November. That would be higher than last month's tally of 161,000. The unemployment rate forecast to stay at 4.9 percent.

This is approaching what economists consider a full employment. Wage is expected to move down slightly, about 2.7 percent annual rate, all of that according to a survey of economists by CNN Money. Plus, this data will tell us more about the economy that Donald Trump inherits as president and the one President Obama is leaving behind.

One more jobs report left after today in Obama's presidency. Up to this point, 15 million new jobs have been created since he took office.

Something interesting, on the campaign trail, you heard Donald Trump talk a lot about this 90 million people who aren't in the labor market. Those are people who are studying, taking care of elderly relatives, taking care of children, disabled, there is this 94 million. But economists are saying that we need more workers to grow the economy.

RIPLEY: And these people might not want to go to work.

ROMANS: And those people in this group that just has not really been moving back into the labor market, that's going to be interesting to watch in the coming months.

RIPLEY: And this Trump promise of 4 percent annual economic growth, you can't do that without an influx of more workers.

ROMANS: That's right.

RIPLEY: And if you don't have the workforce, if you don't want people coming into the country, if you don't want skilled workers coming from other countries, where do you find that?

ROMANS: How are you going to get those workers? Is it immigration? Is it incentives to get those -- some of those 94 million people working? Is it training? Is it -- what are going to be the policies of an upcoming president to try to get more workers to grow? If you want to grow 4 percent, economists tell me, you're going to have to have more people working.

RIPLEY: Democrats, they are a bit nervous this morning about a meeting today between President-elect Trump and Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. There are reports that the red-state Democrat who's known for voting across party lines is being considered now for several key cabinet posts.

Democratic leaders are panicking here because if she joins the Trump administration, her seat in the Senate would likely be filled by a Republican.

Listen to our Manu Raju trying to pin Senator Heitkamp down.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Are you open to taking a position in the Trump administration?

SEN. HEIDI HEITKAMP (D), NORTH DAKOTA: Well, I think it's absolutely critical to have a conversation. I think it's good for my state, it's good for the work I do here to understand and share some priorities for the country and for the state of North Dakota and I look forward to that discussion.

[04:40:04] RAJU: There's some speculation it could be Ag or Interior. Have you had -- are you thinking about that?

HEITKAMP: I have no idea. Honestly, you know as much as I know.


RIPLEY: Have to watch this one closely. Democratic leaders have already met privately with Heitkamp. They are urging her not to accept a position with the Trump administration.

ROMANS: Republicans are growing increasingly edgy about the prospect of David Petraeus being nominated for secretary of state. One GOP senator telling CNN there's a high level of angst about the former CIA director because of his conviction for mishandling classified information. Top party operatives believe a Petraeus pick would spark a major confirmation fight in the first weeks of the Trump administration.

RIPLEY: Donald Trump has filed a legal motion to block a recount in Michigan. A 36-page document calls the attempt a farce. Trump's lawyers arguing the effort being launched by Green Party candidate Jill Stein sows doubts regarding the legitimacy of the presidential election, that's what they're saying. Also saying that it creates, quote, "constitutional chaos," while threatening to knock the Electoral College, quote, "off its hinges".

ROMANS: All right. Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman, in trouble again, $65,000 worth of trouble. We've got that next.


[04:45:23] ROMANS: More devastating news out of Tennessee. Three more bodies discovered, 11 people now confirmed dead with wildfires still burning in the eastern side of the state. Crews combing through debris in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, they're looking for any signs of life. Firefighters are facing days now of dry weather. No more rain in the forecast until Sunday morning at the earliest. Firefighters fear that dry conditions could restart fires that are not completely contained.

RIPLEY: French President Francois Hollande announcing he will not seek a second term in office. Hollande's popular rating had been sinking for months, recently as low as 4 percent. His main opponent is calling his presidency pathetic, overshadowed by a series of terror attacks. Hollande is the first incumbent president in France to not seek reelection in 58 years. And now, his socialist party must now find a replacement in time for elections in the spring.

ROMANS: A political scandal really consuming a key U.S. ally in Asia. South Korea's opposition parties agreeing to introduce a motion in parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye. They admit that they will need some members of Park's own party to join them in order to pass this measure. A vote is scheduled for next week, December 9th.

President Park is wrapped in a corruption scandal. She denies any wrongdoing but has indicated she may be willing to resign.

RIPLEY: And scandals just keep rolling in for disgraced former New York lawmaker Anthony Weiner. Hit with a $65,000 fine. The penalty comes after an audit by the campaign finance board found that Weiner improperly used his 2013 mayoral campaign funds. Auditors found he was using this campaign cash to pay for things like a personal cell phone and his dry-cleaning. So far, no comment from Weiner.

ROMANS: All right. Big news in the corporate suite this morning. The CEO of Starbucks is stepping down from his post. But he's not exactly walking away from the company. We're going to tell you about his new role when we get a check on CNN Money Stream. That's next.


[04:51:28] RIPLEY: The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria will be on the agenda today for Secretary of State John Kerry. He will be meeting with Russia's foreign minister as the fighting and the bloodshed in eastern Aleppo intensifies. Bombs falling on homes, hospitals and schools. Food and medicine all but gone and dozens of people dying every day.

The United Nations is calling the bombardment of civilians a, quote, "descent into hell" as thousands try to flee before the next round of air assault. But the question, where did they go?

CNN's Muhammad Lila is live in neighboring Istanbul, Turkey.

And, Muhammad, after so many years of the world talking about these atrocities in eastern Aleppo, is there any hope at all that this meeting will change things.

MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a very good question, Will. We know that are been diplomatic talks behind the scenes about establishing a humanitarian corridor, but of course this comes on the heels of the newest and latest numbers from the U.N.

They estimate that around 31,000 civilians have had to flee their homes because of the fighting in just the last week alone. Now, most of those civilians have had to escape into government-controlled areas or Kurdish-controlled areas. And, of course, the U.N. has been talking about the humanitarian crisis for quite time but they're using incredibly powerful language now.

Take a look at Jan Egeland. He's the special envoy to the United Nations on Syria. Take a look at his latest and some of his newest comments.


JAN EGELAND, SPECIAL ADVISOR TO THE U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA: The desperation has never been at this level. People are exhausted. They are malnourished. They are really without hope. And I feel strong sense of responsibility here. We tell these people who now besieged in their fifth year.


LILA: And, Will, speaking of people in the besieged city, look, you and I have both spoken to people who are trapped inside eastern Aleppo. We know how dire the situation is.

There's an aspect of this, a dark shadow that's hanging over the city that not too many people are paying attention to. And I know this sounds like a line from an American TV series, but winter is coming. You've got tens of thousands of people who have fled their homes, nowhere to live, some of them are living in factories that had been abandoned, factories that don't have food water, medicine, all those things.

And now, with winter on top of that, they're staying in buildings where there's a very real risk that they could freeze, because the buildings aren't winterized. That shows just how dire this situation is. And, you know, as the temperatures continue to drop in the region, that crisis is going to get much worse.

RIPLEY: Very true. And people can't grow the food and vegetables that they've been using to trade and survive, because it is now the winter season.

Muhammad, just a horrible situation and people in Aleppo really feeling abandoned by the world. We'll see what happens today. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. The sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg convicted of being communist spies and sentenced to death during the Cold War, their sons want President Obama to exonerate their mother. Michael and Robert Meeropol say in recent years, court documents and witnesses have cast doubt on their parents' crimes and what exactly if any role Ethel Rosenberg played. They were found guilty of conspiring to provide a ton of bomb secrets to the Soviet. They were executed by electric chair in 1953. Their sons have been advocating for clemency for over six decades.

RIPLEY: News on former astronaut Buzz Aldrin who is very active at age 86, but had to be evacuated from a vacation to the South Pole because doctors say he was dangerously ill. This morning, he's in a hospital in New Zealand. Aldrin apparently has fluid his lungs. Doctors say he wasn't responding well to antibiotics.

He was in the South Pole as part of a tour group, and it's a very physically-demanding trip. You have to acclimatize before you can actually hike to the South Pole.

[04:55:04] But it's an adventure vacation. And so, at age 86, this former astronaut trudging around, so he can walk around the whole earth in a few steps.

ROMANS: There you go.

RIPLEY: Hopefully he recovers and can go back.

ROMANS: Yes, best of luck to you, Buzz Aldrin. All right. A blast of cold air and snow in the forecast for parts of the Northeast this weekend. Let's bring in CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Will and Christine.

This is what you get when you have cold arctic blast of air overriding some of the relatively warm lake waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie. We have downwind lake enhanced snow showers in the forecast over the next 12 hours. Buffalo, Erie, Syracuse, perhaps even as far east as Burlington, Vermont, will stay dry and relatively clear across the major cities, including New York and Boston.

But look at the amount of snow we could expect. Anywhere between two and four inches for some of those downwind locations.

A broader look across the United States, we're expecting cold air to infiltrate much of the northern half of the country over the next 24 hours. That will be the theme going forward especially into next week, some of the coldest air this season on tap.

Here's a look at temperatures today, 43 in Cincinnati, 59 for Atlanta, the Big Apple, 49, the nation's capital, 53. We still have zero percent containment around the Gatlinburg area where the Chimney Top 2 Fire continues to burn and smolder. The good news is that we have a multi-day rain event in the forecast coming up over the next three to five days.

Back to you.


ROMANS: All right. That's your weather, how about some money?

CNN Money Stream right now, there's a gloom on Wall Street ahead of the November jobs report. The worry? Higher interest rates are coming. Strong enough economy, strong enough jobs market that higher rates, maybe aggressively higher rates are coming. Bond yields hitting a 18-month high overnight.

Plus, a referendum vote in Italy. A presidential election in Austria. They have investors in Europe on defense. Stock markets in Asia closing lower overnight.

The November jobs report will be released before the opening bell on Wall Street. Here's what we're looking for, 181,000 new jobs, an unemployment rate 4.9 percent, and maybe a little drop in wages, 2.7 percent wage growth.

If you haven't looked in a while, today's a good day to check your 401(k). Look at these gains for November. The Dow up more than 5 percent, that's nearly 1,000 points. All of those market predictions for a disaster after a Donald Trump victory were dead, dead wrong. Investors have been cheering his plan for lower taxes, less regulation

and more spending. A survey from Open Folio shows eight out of ten investors made money last month. The average gain, 1.4 percent, don't spend it all in one place. That would have been higher if not for the huge bond market rally at the end of it.

RIPLEY: And so many people were talking about the fact that their 401(k)s were going to plunge.

ROMANS: Well, it's because -- I'm going to tell you -- because they thought the big focus would be trade war. And global markets at least right now don't think Donald Trump will have a big trade war with China or Mexico.

Another big corporate story this morning, the outspoken CEO of Starbucks is stepping down, Howard Schultz. He's been at the helm since 2008. He was there, you know, back in 2000 as well. Current chief operating officer Kevin Johnson, a tech veteran, an industry veteran, will replace Schultz as CEO.

He's not going away completely. In April, he will become executive chairman. In that role, he will lead innovation and the design of Starbucks locations. He'll focus on Starbucks' premium offerings and the company's social initiatives.

Schultz has helped turned Starbucks into an iconic American company, but has also taken on various social issues like same-sex marriage, racial tensions, veterans causes. The stock is dropping in pre-market trading. It's down slightly this year.

The move came sort of a surprise to investors, but Schultz says he's been playing the transition for about a year now. He's going to focus on, you know, their college, they have a plan to help pay for their employees to go to college. He's going to be in charge of some of those initiatives.

RIPLEY: It's incredible when you travel around the world, there are two U.S. restaurants, businesses that you see in almost every city.


RIPLEY: One is McDonald's.


RIPLEY: The other in Starbucks. Even in Tokyo, on every corner almost, there's a Starbucks.

ROMANS: Really?

RIPLEY: Go figure.

ROMANS: All right.


EARLY START continues right now.



TRUMP: From now on, it's going to be America first. OK? America first.


RIPLEY: Donald Trump launching his "thank you" tour, vowing to lift up the working class and put country first.

ROMANS: The president-elect announcing his pick for secretary of state of defense. The retired general he selected will need some special clearance from Congress before assuming that post.

RIPLEY: High anxiety in the GOP over the prospect of David Petraeus being picked for secretary of state. Why top party operatives would rather take a pass on the former CIA director.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. Happy Friday to you. I'm Will Ripley, in for John Berman.

ROMANS: Happy Friday. Nice to see you here again today.

I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday, December 2nd, 5:00 a.m. in the East. Jobs day.

But, up first, Donald Trump in vintage form on the first leg of his "thank you" tour. The president-elect delivering an "America first" message to thousands of supporters at a rally in Cincinnati last night. He called on the country to come together. He seemed to be reveling in this moment after, you know, hunkering down for three weeks of meetings in Trump Tower.