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Is Trump's Job-Saving Carrier Deal A Good One?;Trump Thanks Supporters & Reprises Campaign Rhetoric;Trump Picks Gen. Mattis For Defense Secretary;Trump Discusses Talks With Foreign Leaders. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired December 2, 2016 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:10] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Donald Trump visited the Carrier plant in Indiana yesterday to bask in the glow of their deal to keep 1,000 jobs in Indiana rather than moving them to Mexico. So what does this deal involve and what does it say about future deals?
Let's bring in the host of CNN's "SMERCONISH" and CNN political commentator Michael Smerconish. And the reporter for "The Indianapolis Star" who knows a lot about this deal, James Briggs. Gentlemen, thanks so much for being here.
JAMES BRIGGS, REPORTER, THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR: Good morning.
CAMEROTA: James --
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, HOST, CNN "SMERCONISH": Good to see you.
CAMEROTA -- we now know, after yesterday, that $7 million in tax incentives were given to Carrier. You've called this an extremely expensive campaign promise. What else have you learned about this?
BRIGGS: Yes, that's I think a little bit more than we were expecting to see in state incentives. It's not the most Indiana's ever spent but it's certainly very high. And then we've also heard still, though, that this had much more to do with Carrier and its parent company United Technologies' relationship with the federal government than it did with state incentives.
One thing you have to remember when thinking about this deal is Carrier estimated that it was going to save $65 million per year by moving to Mexico, so $7 million over 10 years from the state of Indiana wasn't necessarily a decisive factor in keeping that factory here in Indianapolis. But it --
CAMEROTA: So, something was a decisive factor, meaning possibly whatever threat they used, the federal government may be drying up some help for United Technologies.
BRIGGS: I wouldn't use the word threat but, certainly, sources have told us that United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, values its relationship with the federal government. It's a big federal contractor, it has a lot of exports. And it also is concerned about regulatory policy and tax policy and it wanted a say in the Trump administration on those issues, so I think it had a lot to do with those issues and that relationship with the Trump administration.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: You know, Michael Smerconish, I woke up this morning to "The Wall Street Journal" opinion piece. "The Wall Street Journal" which is no liberal rag -- you know, this is a conservative newspaper -- very critical about this deal. Do you think it's a good deal?
SMERCONISH: Well John, I think to the point of the "Journal" it's not exactly a free market solution, right? I mean this is a case of government having intervened to save 1,000 jobs and I'm elated for those 1,000 people who would otherwise have lost employment. But it's no strategy to save the economy because you can't give mouth-to-mouth one plant at a time and call that a strategy.
What it does do is perhaps provide some momentum and a context and a feeling as this administration is coming in that it will be all about promoting business and cutting deals. But you also have to wonder whether there are companies out there now that will seek to gain leverage over the federal government by threatening to move to Mexico unless they're given the quote-unquote "Carrier treatment".
BERMAN: Yes, it's a roadmap to $7 million for any company that, you know, wants to do it right there. But Donald Trump also had a threat, right? He also said that it's not going to happen. The companies will essentially be penalized for moving overseas. What do you make of that threat, Michael?
SMERCONISH: Well, in the end, they weren't penalized, they were given an enormous tax benefit, right? I mean, I thought the whole idea from the campaign was that somehow he would impose tax leverage on them instead of giving them the benefit. Again, my glass is half-full. I'm thrilled for the 1,000 jobs but I think the word I'm searching for is precedent. What kind of a precedent will we get beyond the good holiday feeling of saving 1,000 jobs? What kind of a precedent has just been established at Carrier?
CAMEROTA: So, James, you were tweeting during some of the president- elect's visit to Carrier. You wanted people to know, and you made the point, that Carrier is still laying off hundreds of people. This hasn't solved the whole problem. And you also wanted to make the point that Mr. Trump, once again, referred to the Carrier workers here as making "so many air conditioners" but, in fact, they make furnaces -- details.
BRIGGS: Yes, it seems somehow either no one has mentioned to Donald Trump that the plant in Indianapolis makes furnaces or he has just ignored that fact because he continues to call it an air conditioner maker, which Carrier is, but in Indianapolis they specifically make furnaces here. They've never made air conditioners here.
And I was walking out of the event yesterday and I heard one of the Carrier workers say he still keeps calling it air conditioners, oh well. They're happy to have their jobs but it is -- it is a joke among the workers there that Donald Trump keeps referring to what they do as making air conditioners. BERMAN: Well, Donald Trump also didn't remember that he'd promised to save their jobs. At least that's what he told the workers there yesterday when he visited.
Michael, there was another event last night where Donald Trump went to Cincinnati for his 'thank you' tour and he gave a very long speech, ad libbed some of it, and at one point he spoke about Hillary Clinton and there was the "lock her up" chant that went on.
[07:35:08] Alisyn was just talking to Anthony Scaramucci who works for the Trump transition team, who called this a performance and said sometimes when you get caught up in the performance you don't comment on every little thing. Do you think Donald Trump should have stepped in there and said something?
SMERCONISH: Yes. I wish that there had been a hand gesture from Donald Trump to quell that reaction instead of, as Alisyn pointed out, he sort of spun on his heels and then lifts his hand in a fist form to the folks behind the stage.
We've been wondering how will he govern, how will he function now that he's won? What you see is what you get. This is our president and I'm convinced watching that event last night that this is exactly the way that he will be in office. I would be very surprised if he didn't continue to have these mass rallies while he's President of the United States. I think he feeds off the audience and the adulation.
CAMEROTA: James Briggs, Michael Smerconish, thanks so much for being with us this morning.
BRIGGS: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: So, Mr. Trump made an important ad lib last night announcing retired Marine General James Mattis as his pick for secretary of defense, but there's already a snag. So we talk to a fellow general about "Mad Dog" Mattis next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: We are going to appoint "Mad Dog" Mattis as our secretary of defense, but we're not announcing it until Monday so don't tell anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[07:40:00] BERMAN: All right, he couldn't keep the secret. President-elect Donald Trump unexpectedly announced his choice for Defense Secretary at a rally in Ohio. So what do we know about General James Mattis -- "Mad Dog" Mattis, as we just heard there -- and what legal hurdles lie ahead?
Let's discuss with CNN military analyst, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling. General, thanks so much for being with us. Let me read you part of the U.S. code here. It's Title 10, Chapter 113. It says, "A person may not be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force."General Mattis is just a few years out so, obviously, there needs to be a waiver there, but why does this exist in the code? Why this law?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST, FORMER ARMY COMMANDING GENERAL, EUROPE AND SEVENTH ARMY: It has to do with our tradition of civilian control of the military, John, and that's an important concept. When you're taking orders from someone they should be in your chain of command but also give an informed approached, and that's the civilian control.
George Washington established that as part of his concept of how the military should be run. The excuse of pulling military commanders away from any civilian department is critically important. But, as you know, it's been overlooked in the part of Gen. George Marshall during World War II. After he was the chief of staff of the Army for the entire period of the war he became first, secretary of state, took another year off and then became secretary of defense. So there is precedent for this.
BERMAN: You know, there could end up being quite a few generals in the inner circle with Donald Trump here. Let's just throw up a picture. We already know that retired Gen. Mike Flynn will be National Security adviser. Now, James Mattis in the Pentagon. Possibly David Petraeus for the job. Possible John Kelly -- he's not even on this list. You could end up with four retired generals as part of the inner circle here. Are you comfortable with that?
HERTLING: I -- usually, I would not be, John, truthfully. But in this case I'd like to have as many informed and mature individuals around Mr. Trump as he can get possibly seated at the table because of his lack of understanding of foreign affairs and military affairs. So in this case, I think it's actually a very good thing. General Mattis brings certainly an informed and mature approach to not only defense matters but warfighting, and he knows the Pentagon.
When you throw any civilian official in as the secretary of defense who has not been to the Pentagon before, that is a staggering business. And unless you know the cultures and how things are done not only in warfighting but giving advice to the president, but also in how to run this multi-billion dollar business with personnel and acquisition, it really throttles folks for a very long time until they can get used to it.
And I've seen that several times in various secretaries of defense who thought they were being appointed to a very glamorous cabinet post and then found out how big the business they were actually running.
BERMAN: It is a huge bureaucracy. I know you have a great deal of respect for Gen. Mattis -- you know, called the warrior monk. I think you told me he's got 10,000 books in his private library and he's read all of them.
BERMAN: Obviously, a very, very smart guy and he also has interesting defined positions that in many cases differ from Donald Trump. A lot of press has been given to waterboarding. He says waterboarding is not effective -- he may have convinced Donald Trump of that -- but also on NATO. NATO is something that Gen. Mattis feels very strongly about and feels it is worth supporting, worth funding. And Donald Trump's position on it is less enthusiastic, to be sure.
HERTLING: Well, yes, and I happen to agree with everything Gen. Mattis says on NATO. But the thing you have to understand is everyone will make a big deal out of the fact that he was the Central Command commander and controlled the Middle East and commanded as a four-star. Right before that he was also the Joint Forces Command commander which was in Norfolk, Virginia.
Which as a dual hat, he also commanded something called Allied Command Transformation, which at the time during our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was trying to bring the various NATO and allied partners on board to a convinced warfighting approach where everyone fought the war in Iraq and Afghanistan the same way.
So he knows the 28 nations of NATO very well. He knows their militaries, he knows their governments, and he also knows the other allied partners. So he knows the strength of NATO and the alliance that it provides, and the amount of emphasis that it should be given in terms of future conflict, as well as future peacekeeping.
BERMAN: All right. Mark Hertling, retired general, thanks so much for being with us. Enjoyed your perspective on this discussion. Thanks a lot.
HERTLING: My pleasure, John. Thank you.
BERMAN: All right. President-elect Donald Trump working the phones talking to dozens of world leaders, so what do we know about these conversations? We're going to bring in a foreign policy expert to break it all down. That's next.
[07:48:36] BERMAN: One year ago today terrorists struck in San Bernardino. One police sergeant put his life on the line, coming within feet of the killers. CNN's Kyung Lah caught up with the officer who went beyond the call of duty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see officers with long guns here.
SGT. ANDY CAPPS, REDLANDS POLICE DEPARTMENT: I saw the muzzle flashes and I thought they -- you know, they're shooting at me.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Four hours after the terror attack in San Bernardino, Redlands Police Sgt. Andy Capps was the lead patrol car in the shootout with the attackers. Sergeant Capps had spent most of his day chasing down false leads until an undercover officer waved in Capp's marked car to pursue the black SUV.
CAPPS: I was able to get in behind them. I saw them putting on what I believed to ballistic -- or bulletproof vests. They started shooting. The back window of their vehicle just shattered.
LAH: Capps' SUV just feet away from ISIS sympathizers Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook.
CAPPS: I grabbed that rifle, I ran as fast as I could. I just kind of scrambled from the door to the back of the car.
LAH: Sergeant Capps crouched at the corner of his SUV as other officers ran up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got officers running here back eastbound, chasing now on foot.
LAH: Twenty-four years as a cop, Capps had never shot his weapon on the job before. No fear?
CAPPS: No fear.
LAH: Even as Farook got out of his SUV firing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a very, very graphic shootout here.
[07:50:00] CAPPS: During this fight,I heard off to my left somebody yell an officer's down, officer down.
LAH: San Bernardino police officer Nicholas Koahou took a bullet to the leg.
CAPPS: I've seen footage from the helicopters of those officers running up to my vehicle with bullets flying by them. Running up to get in and help -- unbelievable.
LAH: The two terrorists who had murdered 14 innocent people in San Bernardino died in the five-minute shootout. When it was over, Sgt. Capps realized no cop had died that day. Tell me about the texts you got on your phone.
CAPPS: This is hard to talk about. Well, that's when I realized how badly that could have ended for me and for my family. And then, you make that leap for all these other people and for their families.
LAH: Was the risk worth it -- your personal risk?
CAPPS: Without a doubt.
LAH: Would you do it again?
CAPPS: In a heartbeat but, hopefully, I won't have to.
LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Redlands, California.
CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh, what a hero. It's so great to hear that story.
Well, meanwhile, back to politics. Donald Trump's team says the president-elect has spoken to 44 foreign leaders since winning the election. Mr. Trump has not given the press much info about what was said in those calls but he did talk about it at a rally last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And over the last two weeks since our victory I've spoken to many foreign leaders and I will tell you, they have such respect for us. They all tell me how this was amazing. And, honestly, one of them told me I truly respect the United States again because of what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK, so let's discuss this with Aaron David Miller. He's former adviser to Democrat and Republican secretaries of state on the Middle East. Aaron, great to see you.
AARON DAVID MILLER, VP FOR NEW INITIATIVES, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS: A pleasure to be here, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Tell us about the protocol for these phone calls with foreign leaders. Is there a briefing book that a president-elect gets first? Are there things that you can say and can't say? How does it work?
MILLER: I mean, you know, in an idealized world -- let's call it a galaxy far, far away right now, you have a set of briefings, presumably by the State Department. You might have a set of talkers, maybe a brief bio with some personal information about the individual -- the he or she you were talking to. There would be a transcript of the conversation made, presumably, by the transition team or those around the president who have knowledge of foreign policy.
And maybe, in order to make sure these calls were screened and vetted so that you don't have an individual calling the president-elect -- I mean, Greg Norman, the professional golfer, apparently gave the prime minister of Australia Mr. Trump's cell phone number. So you'd have the State Department operation center and maybe the White House Sit Room screening these calls and putting them through.
So you'd have a structured process and you'd want to talk to allies first to -- and on day one or two, both Mr. Obama, during the transition, and Mr. Trump did talk to a number of key U.S. allies. So, yes, there would be a structured, coherent process. Now you don't have that. Is that fatal? I mean, is the Republic about to fall? Probably not. You know, the notion that you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression probably isn't true with respect to the presidency.
MILLER: This is a learning curve for sure and it's going to take some time. Final point, the key question is what happens? Forget a pivot. The key question is what happens between the key transition, which is January 19 to January 20. Can you run the railroad in an effective, coherent manner on foreign policy without structure, without expertise, and without surrounding yourself with the kinds of people that have that kind of knowledge? And I'm hoping for the benefit and future of the country that, in fact, the president-elect adopts these sorts of processes once he becomes president.
CAMEROTA: OK. So as you point out, it has not been a structured process so far and President-elect Trump has broken with some traditions, namely telling the press -- the U.S. press -- what has transpired during these phone calls, so we don't know much about it. However, we do have a little bit of information from the foreign governments that have put out transcripts or at least information about these phone calls.
Case in point, Pakistan. We are relying on what the Pakistan government has told us about Mr. Trump's first conversation with the prime minister of Pakistan. Here is what they say Mr. Trump told the prime minister of Pakistan. "You have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it." Any problem with that?
[07:55:14] MILLER: Well, I think it's significant. And the Pakistanis clearly broke protocol, too, by putting out this statement, but they put it out for a specific reason because it obviously paints Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan in a positive light. It suggests -- and there was more to the conversation -- that according to the Pakistani readout that the president-elect was prepared to facilitate or put himself at the disposal of the Pakistanis on any number of issues.
And that, of course -- you know, you're now wandering into a very complicated area. The Indians are watching to see what all of this means. The Pakistanis, with whom we've had a complicated relationship, do things that, on the one hand, are not in the interest of the United States. I mean, all of these things create an image and impression of credibility and seriousness. As I mentioned, all of this is still manageable. The real question is what happens on January 20th?
MILLER: And let me just make one additional point. Structure, and discipline, and curiosity are really, really, really important and just one quick story. In 1982, I'm a young analyst at the Department of State following Lebanon and the Palestinians. The phone rings. It's the White House Sit Room -- hold. So I'm holding and all of a sudden I hear the following.
"Aaron, this is Vice President George H.W. Bush on the phone. I read a memo that you wrote on Lebanon and I have a few questions. Do you have a few minutes?" And I'm thinking to myself do I have a few minutes? This is the Vice President of the United States. Bush 41 had a sense of curiosity. He knew what he didn't know and he was in a hurry to find out and that's the kind of attitude and mentality that we need. And I'm hoping -- I really am -- for the benefit of the country that that is what transpires after Inauguration Day.
CAMEROTA: Well, one of the curious things is that we do know a little bit how Mr. Trump felt before he was the president-elect and they come from, where else, his tweets. So, as President Obama was having this same conversation with the prime minister of Pakistan after his second win, here is what Mr. Trump tweeted out. This was January 17th, 2012.
"Get it straight. Pakistan is not our friend. We've given them billions and billions of dollars and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect and much worse. Time to get tough." Is any of -- are any of those things problems for the relationships moving forward or are those things now all sort of swept under the rug because now we start -- the time -- the clock starts ticking now?
MILLER: I mean, Mr. Trump's take on 2012 on Pakistan, I thought, was a pretty realistic read of some of the contradictions and anomalies in the relationship. So you go from that to what is clearly an idealized characterization of the U.S.-Pakistani relationship in the phone call. So again, it's a question of balanced discipline and getting this right.
The President-elect of the United States of America, the most consequential nation on earth, says things and does things and people listen to those things by omission, by commission. And that's why it's extremely important for -- particularly for a president to get this right, to be measured and balanced, and to be disciplined and to know what he doesn't know and to get in a hurry to find out. That's going to be critical and I suspect we're all going to find out.
CAMEROTA: Aaron David Miller, thanks for sharing your expertise with us.
MILLER: Thank you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There's no way that Donald Trump can break the blue wall, right? We didn't break it, we shattered that sucker.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: Thank you for doing your part to make Donald Trump the next president.
TRUMP: We are going to appoint "Mad Dog" Mattis as our Secretary of Defense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will require statutory change so that he could even be appointed to this position.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I'm pretty happy that we're keeping jobs in America, aren't you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're a little bit afraid that we're setting a dangerous precedent.
PENCE: Even before taking office our president-elect provided real leadership.
TRUMP: What are we going to do? We're going to make America great again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your new day. Chris is off this morning. John Berman joins me. And you're right, this hasn't been that bad.
BERMAN: No, I told you we were going to make it. We've almost made it.
CAMEROTA: Thank you very much for being here, John. Up first, President-elect Donald Trump looking and sounding a lot like candidate Donald Trump at his first rally since the election. He was delivering an "America First" message and bringing back from the fiery rhetoric used on the campaign trail.
BERMAN: And then there was this. He ad libbed his pick for Defense Secretary. Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, a highly --