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Trump Holds Raucous Campaign-Like Rally; North Korea Conducts New Training; Disgraced Self-Help Guru Attempts Comeback; Aired 9:30- 10a ET

Aired December 2, 2016 - 09:30   ET



[09:32:33] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, I'm Carol Costello. Thanks so much for joining me.

The Opening Bell on Wall Street ringing just moments ago. Investors getting their first chance to weigh in on the strong November jobs report we just got. We'll keep an eye on how trading goes and I'll keep you posted.

Let's face it, millions of Americans were blindsided by Mr. Trump's win. Since then the president-elect has promised unity. But did his thank you rally in Ohio do much to help?

Mister Trump firing up his base, saying all the right things to those white working class voters who voted for him overwhelmingly. They are an underserved group and they now feel very empowered.

With me now to talk about this is JD Vance. He's the author of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir in Family and Culture in Crisis."

Thanks for being here this morning.


COSTELLO: You know, the working class feels vindicated by Trump's win. So are they likely to open their hearts to those who don't have the foggiest clue as to why they like Mr. Trump?


VANCE: Well, I think they are. And that vindication, of course, comes from the fact that nobody thought that he would win. Of course nobody thought that he would win, of course they listened to folks who were telling him Trump had no chance, Trump had no chance, but they still in their mandate, went out and voted for him, and he won. So yes, I think they feel vindicated but I also think they feel like it's time to bring the country together and most of the people that I talk to feel encouraged by Trump's more gracious rhetoric and hope that it continues.

COSTELLO: OK. So on that note -- on that comment about gracious rhetoric, can Trump unify the country without alienating the working class?

VANCE: Oh, I think he absolutely can. In fact, some of his more divisive rhetoric on the campaign trail, a lot of working class voters that I knew, a lot of folks in my own family who voted for Trump didn't like that rhetoric in the first place. They wished that he talked about these issues in a different way or frankly didn't talk about some of the more racially divisive issues at all. So I definitely think that he can reach across the racial and class divide in the country and really bring people together without alienating his core supporters. I actually think that his core supporters would appreciate that more than anything.

COSTELLO: So how can those working -- because I've heard the same thing that a lot of people who supported Trump said, oh, he didn't actually mean the things that he said. He's a showman, right? But for people who dislike Trump, his words really matter. So how can the two sides come to some sort of happy medium here because they're going to have to.

VANCE: Yes. Absolutely. I think that folks have to show some empathy towards each other. And that of course has to go in both directions.

[09:35:04] So the folks who feel vindicated by the fact that Trump won has to show some compassion to those who feel frankly afraid of the prospects of a Trump presidency. And so many of those who didn't think that Trump had a chance who were frankly a little bit critical of Trump's core bloc of voters I think have to show some empathy over why those folks voted for Trump in the first place.

So I really think that it ultimately boils down to people being willing to understand why there's so much frustration on both sides and ultimately show a little bit of compassion to those who are on the other side of some divide.

COSTELLO: So is this divide between the working class and other kinds of Americans, is it about race, education or money?

VANCE: It's probably about all three, and then it's about additional things on top of it. You know, my view of this is that to be a white working class voter, which of course distinguishes there are working class Americans of other races, too, but you know, white working class voters, they're living in certain geographic areas, they're facing unique social problems, the opioid crisis is of course top of mind for a lot of these voters, but of course they are also living in more segregated neighborhoods, they're living in lower income neighborhoods. So it's certainly the case that all of these things really matter and drive this divide that we see.

COSTELLO: JD Vance, thank you so much for insight. I do appreciate it.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, unsettling photos out of North Korea. The disturbing new military drills that have Kim Jong-un smiling.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [09:40:42] COSTELLO: When it comes to America's international security, one of the most complicated and dangerous challenges President-elect Trump will soon face is North Korea. This week former president George W. Bush issuing this warning, quote, "North Korea presents the greatest sustained humanitarian challenge of our time."

Bush's remarks come amid growing concerns as the leader there, Kim Jong-un, conducts new military drills.

CNN's Saima Mohsin is in South Korea with more.


SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The army must erase all enemy nest and wipe them all out. That's the fiery statement coming from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. In these pictures released by the state media, we see Kim Jong-un overseeing a military training. He's focusing on artillery battle training in this particular picture, and we can see him laughing and joking, surrounded by his troops and soldiers, and artillery lined across the coastline and firing rounds.

Now, according to KCNA, this is a practice run for a mission to target islands off the coast of South Korea, and even to use long-range missiles to target this city, where I am, Seoul. Now of course we can't independently verify when these pictures were taken, but certainly this is the first time we're seeing Kim Jong-un since the U.N. sanctions slapped on North Korea two days ago, and could this be a response to those sanctions? A defined response and the kind of rhetoric we've seen in the past?

Well, that may well be the case. Of course we have heard from the North Korean Foreign Ministry immediately after the sanctions came and were announced. The Foreign Ministry said that it categorically rejects the sanctions and the excess of authority from the U.N. that it imposes on North Korea's sovereignty, but this is the first time we're hearing from Kim Jong-un himself in that fiery statement to erase all enemies, and from state media showing pictures of this military drill.

Saima Mohsin, CNN, Seoul, South Korea.


COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, he was a self-help guru followed by thousands then James Ray went to prison after three people died in his care. Now as Ray tries to stage a comeback, family members of those who died say not so fast.

But first, in this week's edition of "Around the World," we travel to Johannesburg, South Africa to take a quick tour with a comedian, Tats Nkonzo. He shows us some of the city's most incredible sights.


TATS NKONZO, COMEDIAN: Downtown Johannesburg in South Africa, under a bridge, surrounded by the coolest art. The kind of city where you find treasure in the most unlikeliest of places and that is exactly why I love this place.

What would you say make the Johannesburg streets cool?

JO BUITENDACH, PAST EXPERIENCES GRAFFITI TOURS: Johannesburg has become a really big graffiti and that people are coming from all over the world to paint here. So we've got a lot of international artists. Plus our amazing local artists. And so the city is ending up looking like a huge canvass.

NKONZO: I am at the rooftop of Randlords, which for me has the best view of the city. This is our concrete jungle where dreams are made of. People love to come here for the sunsets, just to take it all in.

Another thing I love about Joburg is obviously the night life. We are heading into Kitchener's. We go to this bar once a week, it's comedy night.

And that is just a little snippet of what Joburg is all about. But hey, you can always come check it out for yourself. See you.




COSTELLO: He was followed by thousands, embraced by Oprah and even held a spot on the "New York Times" bestseller list. As a self-help guru, James Ray was known for pushing people past their limits.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the things James understood very well was that people grow, people transform in challenge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reach for the bar. Come on, you can do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So he would create these challenges. They were manufactured challenges but they became an opportunity for realizing that you could do something that you didn't think that you could do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They seemed to get more and more elevated in difficulty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look eye to eye. Connect eye to eye here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was bending re-bar so two friends would put a piece of re-bar between them, then you bend the re-bar using your throat.

[09:50:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Come on. Come on. Come on. Dig in. Dig, dig, dig. Yes, yes, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You would also walk across fire. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure to remember to wipe your feet. There's

a water bucket right on the end. Let's go. Yes.


COSTELLO: But in October of 2009, James Ray pushed too far. Three people died in a sweat lodge in Arizona and Ray went to prison. Now free, he's trying to make a comeback. And several family members of those who died and some former supporters are sounding the alarm.

Joining me now is Brandy Amstel, she was in that sweat lodge when those people died.

Brandy, welcome, and thank you for being here this morning.

BRANDY AMSTEL, FORMER CLIENT OF JAMES RAY: Yes. Thank you for letting me to be here.

COSTELLO: My goodness. You were once part of James Ray's inner circle, right? You were there that day when those people died in the sweat lodge. What was that like?

AMSTEL: Really indescribable. It was horrific and not anything that we expected to happen.

COSTELLO: So what was the point of that?

AMSTEL: The point was really to -- it was supposed to be a rebirthing exercise. But for me it was more about knowing myself more fully inside and being able to pull upon that to make better choices in my own life.

COSTELLO: How was being in a -- I don't even know how to describe it. Was it like a really hot sauna?

AMSTEL: I had never done a sauna prior to the sweat lodge, but it was extremely hot, excruciatingly hot. And it's -- was unbearable.

COSTELLO: And did you realize that it could be dangerous?

AMSTEL: No. Not really at all. I mean, it was an exercise that he had or an event that he had created through the years and many of my friends had taken it, thought it was the most amazing experience of their life. And so, no, I didn't think I was in harm's way and I had -- you know, as you saw in the clips, I have done a lot of work with him where he had pushed me past what I thought were my boundaries and I had experienced like a lot of freedom from that. And so, you know, this was just another one of those exercises where it may seem pretty crazy, it's scary, but the reality is it wasn't going to hurt me.

COSTELLO: Here's what Ray said about those who died that day.


JAMES ARTHUR RAY, SELF-HELP GURU: James Shore, Liz Neuman and Kirby Brown were heroes, they're not victims. They really believed in something. And to me that's heroic. And I hold that in high regard. I think it's disrespectful for them to be portrayed as victims because they really believed in what they were doing. And in life, as an entrepreneur, you've got to be willing to give everything you have.


COSTELLO: So a mother of one of the victims says her daughter was, quote, "cooked to death." So were they heroes or victims?

AMSTEL: You know, I really see that they were victims. I see we were all victims. It was no what we signed up for and we really had given our trust to this person, to this leader, and yes, I feel that calling them heroes is just deflecting from -- and not really taking responsibility for what did happen.

COSTELLO: So Mr. Ray wants to return to public life. He wants to like -- he wants to be in the public eye again. Is he dangerous, though?

AMSTEL: I personally believe he is dangerous. And the reason is because until he shifts as a leader and shifts who he's being as a leader and takes responsibility for what happened, for his part, I feel like he's really dangerous because he's a super charismatic leader and he has the power to influence people. And I think if people had all the information, they would make a very different choice.

COSTELLO: Brandy Amstel, thank you for sharing your story this morning. We appreciate it.

[09:55:01] The CNN Film "Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray" airs tomorrow night 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a break.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

COSTELLO: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. We do begin with breaking news on the economy. The jobless rate hitting its lowest mark in nine years. Nine years.

Christine Romans is here with the good news. Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: 4.6 percent for unemployment, Carol. I got to tell you, seven or eight years ago I would have dreamed to be able to report that kind of number. Honestly. Rewind the tape, it has been a long time coming but 4.6 percent unemployment going back to 2007. Look at that. To see that kind of number, fall of 2007 and the next lowest is 4.4 percent in the spring --