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Army Corps to Explore New Route for Dakota Pipeline; Snow Storms Hitting Parts of The Nation; Trump Double Down on China Attacks After Taiwan Call; Bleacher Report; Reality of Fake News; SNL parodies Donald Trump's Tweeting

Aired December 5, 2016 - 06:30   ET



[06:36:36] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The army corps of engineers delivering a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the hundreds protesting that Dakota pipeline. The corps said it will look for an alternative route for the pipeline.

CNN's Sara Sidner is live near Cannon Ball, North Dakota with more. So does this mean it is over, Sara?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The celebrations are short lived here. There are upwards of 8,000 people inside this camp. We watched as the camp grew and grew and grew. We also watched as people celebrated. There were drums beating. There were people crying, people cheering, people chanting. Feeling like they were finally heard, especially the members of the Standing Rock Sioux and the Sioux nation who have been fight over this pipeline for months trying to stop it from going underneath the Missouri river saying it would poison their water and the water of millions of Americans that live down stream.

Yesterday they thought they had a victory but then energy transfer partners, the company that own to Dakota access pipeline came back with scathing response to the army corps of engineers telling them that they could no longer do that and had to reroute the pipeline saying this is a political ploy and talked about the administration saying they are going to continue along the path that they've given legal permission to do so. Alisyn, Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, I'll take it Sara. Thank you very much.

Some parts of the country are seeing accumulating snow right now and there's another round that could be on the way. So let's get to CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers. What are you seeing?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm seeing snow on the ground in Chicago that was six inches deep over the weekend. They're digging out mat (ph) a small commute this morning. Some snow getting into Worcester Ma this morning but rain in the big city is really from New York City down to South. Boston you will see some flurries. Some heavy rain across parts of Texas and Louisiana and more coming today could be some flooding down there. It spreads out a little bit today. So getting to some of those drought stricken area could be a tornado or two out there today, but not like we saw last week.

There's a next storm coming for yo again Chris and Alisyn, I believe it will be a rain event for New York City, not a snow event yet. But it does get much colder for the weekend. Alisyn, we need the big furry boots and the big coats for the weekend. Temperatures will down in the teens and 20s in the northeast.

CAMEROTA: You're lucky I'm not wearing my parka now. I'd like to get a jump on it, Chad.

MYERS: I hear you.

CAMEROTA: All right, thank so much.

[06:38:57] So we're only 46 days from Inauguration Day. But that's not stopping president-elect Trump from disrupting decades of diplomacy. His latest target, China. Is all this by accident?


CUOMO: All right, so, president-elect of the United States Donald Trump communicates with the new president of Taiwan. And it sends shockwaves in many diplomatic circles. Trump's recent calls with whether it's that president or the Philippines, Pakistan is upsetting decades of U.S. diplomacy protocol. Now is that necessarily a bad thing? Isn't that why you voted for Trump for him to shake it up?

Let's bring in a former adviser to several secretaries of state on both sides of the aisle. Aaron David Miller, he's also the author of "The End of Greatness. Why America can't have and doesn't want another great president." Provocative title, ADM. Always makes for a great read.

AARON DAVID MILLER, VP FOR NEW INITIATIVES, WOODROW WILSON INTL. CENTER: And Chris, it's really nice to be here with you this morning.

CUOMO: Always a pleasure. You make us better. So, let's game this out. The art of the deal is about pushing leverage when you have it, especially when starting a negotiation. Go strong. Knock them off balance a little bit and let's see where it goes from there. Could that be the explanation for what the president-elect is doing with Taiwan and China and, if so, what are the potential implications?

MILLER: I mean, you know, the process is so opaque, it's difficult to know. But let's take the politics out of this. I mean I work for Republican and Democrats. I have voted for Republicans and Democrats and the key here is not partisanship. The key is wanting America to be strong, to look good. And if that is in fact, the case, then a measure of planning and foresight and preparation is required in order to think these strategies through. And I think with respect to the phone call from Taipei to Washington, clearly this was not spontaneous. If "The Washington Post" reporting this morning is to be believed, then there were probably weeks of contexts back and forth between the Trump transition team and the government in Taipei. What the purpose of it is and what the implications are going to be. Is it to make good on the fact that the president-elect wants to demonstrate that he is unpredictable and tough? Is it to increase a certain amount of leverage with the Chinese, to demonstrate that American interest can't be taken for granted?

All of these things are floating around in an extremely volatile, combustible area of the world where at the moment we might not have the leverage, let alone the strategy to fundamentally want to alter almost 50 years of a One China policy. And I think ...

CUOMO: But what could happen, Aaron? You know, fill people in. Because from the outside if you don't know all the things that you know.

[06:40:02] So said oh look, you know, China is pushing us around. It's regulating its currency. It taxes what it wants to, which really isn't true. They get taxed when they import. So, from the outside, people say, good, push back on China. Show the U.S. is strong. What's the risk?

MILLER: Well, the question is, what does changing this policy? Particularly months before you have the power to actually do anything about it. How does changing this policy actually advance and protect American interest? I mean, One China has worked in large part because it has maintained a relationship with Chinese and, yeah, we have a lot of differences. We shouldn't be pushed around by Beijing.

But it's also an effort to guarantee American interests and to preserve the security of Taiwan a much smaller state, which is threatened by a much larger China. So, the policy has worked under half a dozen presidents. If you want to change it, fine. But think through carefully the consequences of doing so, and right now with TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership not going forward, strained relations with the Philippines. China's determination to protect its interest in the South China Sea.

How much leverage do we actually have if we encourage the Taiwanese to believe that we're interested in an independent Taiwan and to send signals to China on a core issue? On identity issue.


CUOMO: What could go wrong? What could go wrong? What could China do? China wrote back. We don't like this, shouldn't have done it, you know what I mean basically, right? In as many words, the China were expressing dislike and disapproval of what happened. What can they do that would make this an inefficient use of pushing back by the president-elect?

WILLIAM: Well, we have an enormous amount at stake with the Chinese. And would they threaten Taiwan with some sort of cross border invasion? In '95 when the president of Taiwan was invited to speak at Cornell, you had a mini crisis during the Clinton administration which the Chinese threatened ballistic missile technology. You had a significant crisis.

And so, the question is at the end of the day, how does this advance regardless of what the Chinese will do? How does this advance American interest? That's the core question that needs to be asked. And right now given the opaqueness of the process, I'm not sure a compelling case can be made. If there is a compelling case, make it and think through the implications and the complications of changing a half century of American policy.

CUOMO: And, of course, the president-elect likes to say, I like surprise when people ask him what the thinking is behind his plans. Let's see what he does on this one. Aaron David Miller, thank you very much. Look forward to continuing this discussion with you soon.

MILLER: Always a pleasure Chris. Thanks a lot.

CUOMO: The pleasure is mine. Alisyn?

[06:42:55] CAMEROTA: Chris, the field is set for the college football playoffs. Four teams vying for the national championship. We have much more in the Bleacher report, next.


CUOMO: The Seahawks cruise to a big win over the Panthers on Sunday night, boy. It does come with a price, though. Hines Ward has more in this morning's Bleacher report. One of the best in the game thinking about calling it a wrap.

HINES WARD, CNN SPORT CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I mean, who needs reality TV on a Sunday night when you have the NFL football. Lots of drama during last night's Panthers/Seahawks game. Now here's something you don't see very often a healthy Cam Newton benched.

Now, Cam had to fit out during the opening series because he didn't wear a tie on the team flight, Chris. Now, in comes Derek Anderson who got the start on the first play, he throws an interception. Now all-pro safety Earl Thomas from the Seahawks, he left the game after, breaking his leg. He's year is done. He later tweeted that he was thinking of retiring after the injury. Now despite his loss, Seattle did go on to win the game in a blowout, 40-7.

And the College Football Playoff selection committee has spoken and the final four matchups are all set. No-brainer though at number one you have Alabama, they're undefeated. The Crimson Tide blew out Florida to win their third straight SEC champion. They'll take on number four Washington in the peach bowl on New Year's Eve. Then you have the 2-3 matchup between the Clemson Tigers and last year's champion Ohio State in the fiesta bowl.

Now Ohio State's only loss was to big 10 champs the Penn State who were left out of the tournament. Now the winners of the semi finals they will play January 9th in Tampa for all the marbles. So, back to you guys, man. It should be exciting.

CUOMO: So Hines, I mean let's go back to what happened with Carolina there. You can debate whether or not the tie is the right thing, you know, make a move like that but is that what a receiver calls an interception when the ball goes off the receiver's hands and the defender catches it. You put that on the quarterback?

WARD: No, I can't on the court.

CUOMO: You put it on him Hines, I just heard you. You put it right on.

WARD: Well, I mean intersection is still goes up -- how do you not start Cam Newton though? You got to start Cam Newton. Come on.

CUOMO: Pay a price and get the momentum going and then you get a butt whooping. Take care, Hines Ward, thank you very much.

WARD: You said it Chris.

CUOMO: Absolutely. We're now living in this era where there is this expression called fake news. I don't think the phrase should exist but what do you do about the proliferation of B.S. that's online because it is starting to make people do really stupid things.

[06:44:23] Our media experts discuss the realities next.


CAMEROTA: A scary scene unfolded in Washington, D.C., when an armed man walks under to a pizzeria. The suspect told police he wanted to self-investigate a crazy conspiracy theory involving the Clinton campaign and the restaurant.

Here to discuss CNN's Senior Media correspondent and host the "Reliable Sources" Brian Stelter, and CNN Media Analyst Bill Carter. Gentlemen, great to have you here, this is ...


CAMEROTA: It's happening, OK? So, fake news and crazy conspiracy theories now we see the realtime, real-life consequences. Become in sense by them, they become upset and they show up with a gun at a pizzeria. I mean, I'll just read to you very real quickly what the owner of the pizzeria said "What happen today demonstrates that promoting false and reckless conspiracy theories come with consequences. I hope those involved in fanning these flames will take a moment contemplate what happened here today, and stop promoting these falsehoods right away.

Brian, what are we to do about the ubiquity of false news?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: And this is a fake story that ended up with a gunshot. You know thankfully this person discharged the weapon at the ground, apparently, not at anyone in particular. Thankfully no one was injured in this case. It's an isolated incident and I think we all feel in the back of our head or in our guts that this is going to keep happening, things like these are going to keep happening as we deal with this plague of fake news.

It's a supply and demand problem. Some people want to believe these malicious falsehoods online and I would also point out not all conspiracy theories are created equally. This is particular pernicious conspiracy theory. Over the top, impossible to believe and yet people who discuss ...

CUOMO: Well one, first of all you have to look at the actor, right? I mean every case you look at specifically. He's either mentally ill or really stupid. Either way, that's not somebody you're going to reach just with simple fact and truth.


CUOMO: So, then you get to just on mackerel what do we do about this? My first instinct is to not call fake news.

CARTER: Right, Chris.

[06:55:05] CUOMO: I do not believe that you give a label that legitimizes B.S.

CARTER: We've gone too far with the news in there. These things are preposterous fabrications.

STELTER: This is not new.

CUOMO: This has always happened.

CAMEROTA: But you think ...

CUOMO: It's easier now.

CARTER: ... about everything. We've been talking about this for generations.


CARTER: And they're not being by the right people.

CAMEROTA: Not only are they not being repudiated if they're being picked up and believe in proliferated by our leaders. You consider the source. Look at General Michael Flynn, OK.

STELTER: Precisely.

CUOMO: He said he got duped.

STELTER: He got duped, but his son is now continuing it.

CAMEROTA: Why our leaders being duped and being that gullible.


STELTER: A slightly different version of fake news beside before the election.


STELTER: Then last night his son was on Twitter very much promoting this crazy conspiracy theory.

CAMEROTA: Here it is. I'll read his sons. This is last night. "Until pizza gate is proven to be false, it will be a story. They left seem to forget Podesta e-mails and them many "coincidences" tied to it. So I guess he feel until we prove every day that Martians aren't landing, Martian are landing.

STELTER: I think you got it right. And that's a very scary place to be. This is about leadership.

CARTER: The false flag thing. That this guy wasn't actual -- believing this. There is some suggestion that this is a way that devaluate it by having this guy to do this, that you can't get anybody to believe this if they bought in.

CUOMO: So they have the gutter level of it and then you have the highest echelon of what this is really is about, which is do facts still matter? And of course, the answer has to be, yes. But when you have Mike Pence with our friend George and he says, look, the president-elect is entitled to his opinion, of course he is. But you can never been entitled to your own facts.

And if there is this consistent defense of what the president-elect says when we know it is demonstratively false.


CUOMO: That's a problem and that's why politicians frustratingly dance because they often don't want to get caught saying something that just completely untrue.

CARTER: Look at Paul Ryan's approach yesterday. When ask about, he says, who cares.

CAMEROTA: About the voting ...

CARTER: About the voting.

CAMEROTA: He was asked ...

CARTER: Who cares if that's not true or not?

CAMEROTA: ... on "60 minutes".

CUOMO: Well, he got to that point last.

CAMEROTA: Do you really think that there's voting fraud and millions of people and he said, you know what, I don't --

CUOMO: He said, I don't know. I can't speak to it. I don't have any reason to believe it. But I don't really care. CAMEROTA: Don't really care if millions of people perpetrated voter fraud.

CARTER: Going back to ...

CUOMO: He says I don't really care what Trump says on that level.


CAMEROTA: How can you not care?

STELTER: What was that gesture Alisyn that you made last week with that focus group, what was head?

CUOMO: Facepalm.

STELTER: I feel like I'm going to get a dent in my forehead.

CAMEROTA: I didn't even know facepalm.

STELTER: From all the times I'm going to it.

CUOMO: But there's a danger in that, as well. Not in what you did. That was a great piece, by the way. I watched it at home. But there is a danger in dismissing the motivation for wanting to believe that what you're being told is untrue. And we have Fareed on later today. He wrote a beautiful piece about the roots of populism. Somebody in this country believes that they have been forgotten. And there are millions and millions of that somebody.

And this plays into that. And I think it raises the bar of saying, look, I know you've been told this. This is what's true. This is what's true and you just keep going with that. It's when you don't hold truth to power. When we get fatigued by Trump putting out a lot of this stuff that you get in trouble.

CAMEROTA: OK, what's the answer? I mean, we haven't come up with that.

CUOMO: Stay the course. Fight the good fight.

CAMEROTA: Challenge, challenge, challenge.

CARTER: That's the answer. You can't let. If they're not going to repudiate it and says the media has to do it. They have to constantly puncture this otherwise there is many that does support it.

STELTER: Well, here's an example by the way, you know, pizza gate is a particularly over the top conspiracy theory involving a child sex predatoring (ph). I purposely kind of didn't read about it in October and November and purposely didn't educate myself, didn't want to know was crazy. So ludicrous I didn't need to know what it was.

CUOMO: No, you got to get into it.

STELTER: Turned out maybe I did. CUOMO: And you get into all of them.

STELTER: Maybe real news outlets have to be more forceful in puncturing this stuff early on. I don't know if it will make a difference in a case like this, but it maybe necessary to try.

CAMEROTA: In case we missed "Saturday Night live," should we play a little clip of it?

CUOMO: Please, because it's played into the national discourse.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kellyanne, I just retweeted the best tweet. I mean wow, what a great, smart tweet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, we're in a security briefing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know, but this could not wait. It was from a young man named Seth. He's 16. He's in high school and I really did retweet him, seriously. This is real.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He really did do this.


CAMEROTA: Donald Trump was not happy with that skit. He said just tried watching "SNL." unwatchable. Totally bias. Bias is funny because they're also not a not a news organization.

CARTER: Right.

CAMEROTA: Not funny and Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad.

CUOMO: And then Alec Baldwin tweeted back. I tell you what, put out your taxes.

STELTAR: Yeah. And I'll stop doing the in person.

CUOMO: And I'll stop.

CARTER: Look, I mean during this out.

CUOMO: This is good for "SNL's" business model, no question about it. But does the president-elect, bill, have to get a thicker skin? Do you think he knows what he is about to enter?

[07:04] CARTER: I think he needs a skin. He doesn't seem to even have a skin it's so thin. It's going to be -- if he thinks this is bad now. When he's on office it's going to be all over the place, every comedian, every ...