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Trump Speaks at "Thank You" Rally in North Carolina; Trump: We Will Construct a Great Border Wall; Trump: We're Going to Drain the Swamp of Corruption; Trump: We Will Respect Our Great American Flag Again; Gen. Mattis: "I'm Grateful for the Opportunity; Van Jones Hosts "The Messy Truth". Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 6, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:16] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening.

Donald Trump tonight in Fayetteville North Carolina, the second stop on his "Thank You" tour. He's been running out late. He's just stepped on stage and is just about to begin speaking.

Let's listen in.



So the weather was really bad. Really bad. And they said, you know, these are great people in North Carolina. They won't mind.

No, but they said, "They won't mind, sir, if you canceled and made it another time." And I said, "What?" And they said, "We have a big crowd but they won't mind just because the weather was so terrible." So, I said, "You got to be kidding."

So we've been driving for two hours. We landed at -- like a long ways. But there was no way that we weren't showing up tonight, that I can tell you. That I can tell you.


We couldn't land at your local airport. We landed at -- we landed a long ways away. I said, boy, let's put it this way t drive was about three times longer than the flight. But we made it. That is all that matters, right? We made it.

And I'm here today for one main reason, to thank you, the people of North Carolina, for being so incredible. We want to thank you.

You went out and pounded the pavement. You organized your fellow citizens and propelled to victory a grassroots movement the likes of which nobody -- nobody -- has ever seen before. And that is beyond our country.

And I want to give a special thank you to the incredible military families, service members and veterans of North Carolina.


And they were great. You saw what happened with the military. I got such numbers. Ooh, those numbers are good. I won't talk about it. We don't talk about numbers, we bring people together. But, boy, were those numbers good.

And our veterans, do we love our veterans? We love our veterans.


But your state's legacy of service is an inspiration to us all. North Carolina's produced many of the finest soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines the world has ever seen. So true.

Our men and women in uniform represent the absolute best of us. We must follow their example, working in unison towards a shared goal across every social, racial and economic line. They understand that to accomplish the mission we must all be pulling in the same direction. We have to get together.


They know that we must leave no man or woman behind. These patriots have shed their blood to defend our country, in distant fields of battle across the earth. Our debt to them is eternal and ever lasting. Amazing people. Amazing people.

And you know we have a very special person here today who we're going to introduce very shortly.

Boy, it's been such popular choice.

We salute their sacrifice and we salute the flag they fought to protect. We love our flag, right? We love our flag.


We love our flag. And we don't like it when we see people ripping up our flag and burning our flag. We don't like it.


We don't like it. And we'll see what we're going to do about that. OK?


We're going to see.

Tomorrow is the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. It's a milestone that marks the ultimate sacrifice of those who wear the great uniform.

[20:05:03] It's a reminder too of the valiant efforts of America's fighting men and women who have liberated millions from tyranny and oppression. Now, today, our brave men and women are the first in line defense --

defense -- against radical Islamic terrorism, words that some people don't like to say, an ideology of death that slaughters innocent men, women and children. We're going to protect our people. We're going to protect our country. Believe me.


In every generation, a new threat to freedom arises. And just as we defeated these threats, we faced generations in the past -- and you understand that. So too will we defeat the forces of terrorism. It's unseen in many cases but we're going to defeat that force. And we're going to defeat it strongly and quickly. Believe me.


We will prevail. We stand here today just miles from Fort Bragg, the home of heroes. It's a home of heroes.


Our Special Forces at Fort Bragg have been the tip of the spear in fighting terrorism. The motto of our Army Special Forces is to free the oppressed. And that is exactly what they have been doing and will continue to do.

At this very moment, soldiers from Fort Bragg are deployed in 90 countries around the world. Can you believe that? Ninety countries.

Based in Fort Bragg is the 82nd Airborne Division.


Also known as the All-American Division. We stand in awe of their achievements. We really do.

Not far from here since 45 percent of the entire United States Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune. I've been to Camp Lejeune. We love Camp Lejeune. Twelve thousand citizen soldiers fill the ranks of the North Carolina Army and Air National Guard.

The National Guard rushed to the scene to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew and so many other catastrophes. And we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to those recovering in its wake.

The military families in North Carolina are a national treasure. And it will be the duty of my administration to ensure that we protect those who protect us.


And I just want to tell you that we are going to be taking care of our veterans. And I'm right now -- I'm right now working -- these are great, great people. And they haven't been treated fairly. And I'm right now working on picking the people that are going to be helping our veterans and they are really outstanding. We have some of the great people, and a lot of the people making great

sacrifices to do this. But they are going to be unbelievable. You are going to see such a change. You are going to see such a change like you have never seen before. We're going to protect and help our veterans. Believe me.


That brings me to the second reason that I'm here. To discuss our action plan to make America great again, beginning with the rebuilding of our military. And we will -- we will -- you are going to see it. I'm so looking forward, probably next week.

You are going to see what we're going to do to take care of our vets. It is going to be announced. Lot of things are going to be announced. Stay tuned, folks.

Here are the priorities that will guide our military and veterans policy. All men and women in uniform will have the supplies, support, equipment, training, services, medical care and resources they need to get the job done incredibly well and perfectly. You watch. The best care in the world for our veterans, both at public and V.A. facilities, as well the right to see a private doctor when the lines are long.


I've been saying this for the last year and a half. You know people are waiting in line for seven day, eight day, nine days.

[20:10:02] Longer. He just said "longer." Longer than that.

And when that happens, you are going out to see a private doctor, a private hospital, a public hospital, somebody that can take care of you. And we're going to pick up the bill. And it is going to be not only is it going to be great for you and life-saving in many cases, it's going less expensive.

And I'm saying why didn't they do this in the past? Why didn't somebody do this? There's not going to be anymore waiting four great people in line for weeks to see a doctor.

And finally, a commitment to only engage the use of military forces when it's in the vital national security of the United States. We don't want to have a completed military because we're all over the place fighting in areas that just we shouldn't be fighting in. We're going to have such a strong, powerful military. It is not going to be depleted any longer.

I mentioned equipment previously. And I said equipment -- we're going to have the finest equipment in the world. It's going to be new. It's going to be modern. It's going to be clean. It's going to be the best. That's what we're going to have.

We're not going to be a depleted military anymore.


From now on, it is going to be America first, America first.


We will stop racing to topple foreign -- and you understand this -- foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with. Instead, our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying ISIS.


And we will.

Any nation that shares these are goals will be our partner in this mission. We won't forget it. We want to strengthen old friendships and seek out new friendships.

Rather than a rigid dogma, we're guided by the lessons of history and desire to promote stability -- stability all over -- and strength in our land. This destructive cycle of intervention and chaos must finally, folks, come to an end. Come to an end.

We've spent at last count $6 trillion in the Middle East. And our roads have potholes all over. Our highways are falling apart. Our bridges are falling. Our tunnels are no good. Our airports are horrible, like third world countries.

We've got to start spending on ourselves but we've got to be so strong militarily, like we've never ever been before. Remember that -- like we've never been before.


We seek harmony and goodwill among the nations of the world and we believe that respect for mutual sovereignty helps form the basis of trust and understanding. But we don't want people taking advantage of us anymore. We don't want countries taking advantage of us anymore. We don't want that. We don't want that.

We want to be the smart people. We don't want to be what we've been over the last long period of time.

We build up our military, not as an act of aggression, but as an act of prevention. We pursue and build up arms not in order to seek conflict but in order to avoid conflict. We want to be strong.

In short, we seek peace through strength.


That is why in my first budget report to Congress, I am going to ask for the elimination of the defense sequester. It's enough. Depletion, I call it depletion. Gets worse and worse every year. Not for our military. We will show the world that America is going to be strong again.

Stronger than ever before. We're going to be stronger militarily than ever before and, hopefully, we don't have to use our military. But we are going to be stronger than ever before and there's rarely been a time when we've needed the strength more than we have right now.


But in order to success with our defense policy, we must find the right person to lead our Defense Department. Is that right?


[20:15:10] This is why I'm proud to formally announce today my intention to nominate General James "Mad Dog" Mattis as the next secretary of defense for the United States of America.


Jim is a marine corps four-star general, the former commander of U.S. Central Command and NATO's supreme allied commander for transformation. This is going to be so great for us.

He led an assault battalion in Operation Desert Strong and you saw what happened. That was the way you were supposed to lead it. There was no games. "Mad Dog" plays no games, right?


He led the forces that went after the Taliban and commanded the first marine division in Iraq. He's one of the most effective generals that we've had in many, many decades. An extraordinary leader of our time who's committed his life to his love for our country.

General Mattis is the living embodiment of the marine corps motto, Semper Fidelis. Always faithful.

And the American people are fortunate that a man of this character and integrity will now be the civilian leader atop the Department of Defense. Under his leadership, right?


Under his leadership such an important position, we will rebuild our military and alliances, destroy terrorists, face our enemies head on and make America safe again.

It is now my honor and privilege to welcome to the stage your next secretary of defense, General "Mad Dog" Mattis. Thank you.


GEN. JAMES "MAD DOG" MATTIS (RET), SECRETARY OF DEFENSE NOMINEE: Thank you. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you, President-elect, for the confidence that you have shown in me. Thank you for the opportunity. I'm grateful for the opportunity to return to our troops, their families, the civilians at the Department of the Defense because I know how committed they are and devoted they are to the defense of our country, the defense of our Constitution.

And with our allies strengthened, with our countries strengthened, I look forward to being the civilian leader so long as the Congress gives me the waiver and the Senate votes to consent. Thank you very much.


TRUMP: What a great guy. He's going to be incredible. He'll get that waiver, right? He's gong to get that. Oh.

If he didn't get that waiver, there would be a lot of angry people. Such a popular choice.

I believe we're in the process of putting together one of the all-time great cabinets that has ever been assembled in our nation's history.


We have some great, great people going to be named over a the next couple of days, too.

But to accomplish our goals we must reject the failed approaches of the past. We must move past the tired, conventional thinking of Washington D.C.

As Abraham Lincoln say, as our cases new, so must we think anew and act anew. My plan begins with bold structural reform to create millions of good-paying jobs and even great paying jobs. You've been seeing what's been happening over the last couple of weeks. And we haven't gotten there yet. We haven't gotten there yet.

We were very proud of saving 1,100 jobs in Indiana: with the help of Mike Pence, vice president-elect, who's incredible. We're very proud of Mike Pence, by the way.

Whether it is producing steel, building cars or curing disease, we want the next generation of innovation and production to happen right here in America and right here in North Carolina.


[20:20:13] And don't forget when we started, even four weeks before, they said, well, we're going to have an awfully hard time winning Florida, an awfully hard time winning North Carolina. We're not going to win Pennsylvania. We're not going to win Michigan. We're not going to win Wisconsin.

We're not going to win -- we're not going win Iowa, and Ohio is going to be tough. So it started out. We won Ohio by more than eight points. We won Iowa by a massive number. Ten points.

Then, we went down and we won Florida. Remember that fantastic evening? We have breaking news. Donald Trump wins Florida.


Donald Trump wins North Carolina.


We won so many states. We won 30 states, 32 states. We won so much and we just kept winning.

And then we topped it off by winning Pennsylvania. Winning Michigan. Winning -- right? Winning Wisconsin. States that hadn't been won in 38 years. Lot of states and it was a fantastic evening and that is why we're here tonight because we want to thank you. We want to thank you especially.

First on taxes. We're going to undertake one of the great tax reforms and simplifications in American history. This includes lowering the tax rate on business from 35 percent all the way down to 15 percent.


And massive tax cuts, by the way, for middle class workers. Massive. The biggest. Biggest since Reagan. Actually bigger than Reagan.

On regulations, we're going to eliminate every single wasteful regulation that undermines the ability of our workers and our companies to compete. The regulation business is a disaster in our country. We're going to get rid of all of the unnecessary regulations.

On energy, we will cancel the job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy and pursue American energy independence. And we'll be able to do it.


Honoring the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, believe it or not, one off our great environmentalist, we'll also be able to preserve and protect our natural resources for the next generation, including protecting land and anglers and hunters and all of those who enjoy the outdoors like my sons Don and Eric. They enjoy the outdoors. They enjoy it. They love it.

On infrastructure, I will ask Congress to pass legislation that produces $1 trillion of new investments in America's crumbling infrastructure, including major projects in the inner cities.

We're going to take care of our inner cities. We're going to get the inner cities going again. Remember I use the expression, "What the hell do you have to lose?" I'm telling you, you are going to see.

And I want to thank -- we had -- we did so well, so much better with African American communities, with Hispanic communities than anybody ever anticipated. So much better, better than has taken place in years back, in years back. So, I want to thank the African-American communities. I want to thank

the Hispanic communities. And we're starting to work already. We're working already.

And the appointment today of Ben Carson has been very popular. Very well-received. Dr. Ben Carson. Good guy. Great guy.


We will have two simple rules when it comes to rebuilding this country. Buy American and hire American. All right? Buy American.

On trade, our trade deficit now nearly $800 billion a year. We have a deficit. Think of it, of almost $800 billion a year. You really say who's negotiating these deals? Is a chronic drag on the growth and destroyer of jobs and wealth in our country.

In the month of October alone our nation racked up more than $40 billion in trade deficit, $40 billion, including more than a $30 billion trade deficit with China alone.

[20:25:07] All right? Think we're doing a good job in negotiating? I don't think so.

How many business people do we have in this audience that could have been done a slightly better job of negotiating, right?

Yes, you can.

North Carolina's lost nearly half of its manufacturing jobs since NAFTA. America has lost 70,000 factories, think of it, 70,000 factories since joining the World Trade Organization. Think of it.

So, China joins the World Trade Organization and since that time we've lost so much, 70,000 factories. We're living through the greatest jobs theft in the history of the world. There's never been a jobs theft like what's happened in the country. And we stopped some of it, a little bit, because we just started, but we haven't really started because we're going to really until January 20th. But we're stopping it.

And one of the wealthiest men in the world, you saw it today, maybe. Did anybody see it? Masa, right? Masa, great guy of Japan. He's pledged that he's going to put $50 billion into the United States because of our victory. He wasn't investing in our country, $50 billion.


Fifty thousand jobs, 50,000 jobs he's going to be investing in. He's a great guy.

A Trump administration will renegotiate our terrible trade deals, stand up to foreign cheating, and defeat every last American -- and we will do this -- we will defeat the enemy on jobs, and we will defend American jobs. We're going to defend American jobs. And we have to look at it almost as a war, because that's what's

happened to us. That's what happened to our workers. These are great people.

And, boy, did they come out to vote? Remember you said they don't exist? They existed. They existed. Believe me. Millions and millions of people poured out to the voting booths and they voted, big league. That's why we had these kind of victories.

We had states where we would win by 35 point, 30 points, 40 points. Amazing. And if a company wants to fire their workers, leave our country, and then ship our products back into our country, there will be consequences, I'm sorry. There will be consequences. Big consequences.

On healthcare reform, every day the law known as Obamacare is destabilizing our healthcare, really destabilizing it, surging premiums and forcing providers out of the market. If we don't act, the damage will be irreversible. We're going to act.

That is why we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare. We have no choice. We have no choice. We have absolutely no choice.

So, we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare. And you are going to get healthcare at a much lower price, with a much lower deductible. The deductible, it is so high now, you can't -- you really can't -- from the most part, you can't use it.

But we are going to have great healthcare and a much lower price. On child care, I'm asking Congress to pass legislation to make safe and affordable child care accessible to all. And people like that.

That's something that Ivanka Trump -- did anybody ever hear of Ivanka Trump, right? Ivanka Trump has been fighting for, for a long time and I have and I agree with her.

On crime, the murder rate has experienced its largest increase in 45 years. We are going to support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.


And we are going to bring this terrible crime wave to an end, highest in 45 years the murder rate.

On immigration, we will be the administration that ended illegal immigration.


We will construct a great border wall, dismantle the criminal cartels, liberate our communities from the epidemic of gang violence and drugs. We will get rid of the drugs that are pouring into our country.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) We will ask Congress to reform our visa and immigration programs to

protect jobs and wages for American workers. And we will be appointing very shortly somebody to head up our program. And I will tell you, this person, like General Mattis, will do a phenomenal job, because we're going to stop people from coming into our country illegally. But we're going to have people come into our country. And they are going to come in by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands. But they are going to come in, they are going to come in legally. Right? But by the hundreds of thousands. We want people to come in. But they have to come this legally.

To protect our country from terrorism and extremism we will suspend immigration from regions where it cannot be safely processed. Right now thousands and thousands and thousands of people are pouring into our country. We have no idea who they are. Where they come from. Do they love us? And a lot of case they no they don't love us.

A Trump administration will always put the safety and security of the American people first. And remember that. Safety of the American people. Ethics reform will be a crucial part of our 100 day plan as well. We're going to drain the swamp of corruption in Washington D.C., we are going to. I will impose a five year ban on executive branch officials becoming lobbyists and a lifetime ban on officials becoming lobbyists for a foreign government.

We face many, many challenges but this is truly an exciting time to be alive in our country. And hopefully to be alive in many other locations. Because we are representative to a large extent of what's happening in the world. The world is looking to up us but they haven't been looking up to us much and they are going to start looking up again. We're going to be good for the world, not just for our country.

The script to what we're doing is not yet written. Remember this has been a great, great movement. The likes of which they have never seen before. The likes of which those folks back there that write the stories -- no. No. No. I'll tell you. And they're saying it. They have never seen anything like this before. It's one of the great political phenomena's of all time. And we're going to show them. We're going to do a great job. We're going to create a safe country. We're going to create a prosperous country. We're going to have jobs again, great jobs, not bad jobs. Real jobs. And it's going to be something special. And hopefully they are going to write the truth.

We do not know what the page tomorrow will read. But for the first time in a long time what we do know is that the pages will be authored by each and every one in this room and in our country, by you. They're going to be authored by you. Together we will raise incomes and create millions and millions of new jobs. That's going to happen. It's already happening. You see what happened today.

We will reestablish the rule of law and defend the constitution of the United States. And by the way, we will be appointing great, great Supreme Court justices. You'll see. We'll be starting very soon with one to replace Justice Scalia. Great man. We will protect the right of every American to live in safety and peace. We will restore and respect. And we will respect the people's rights. We will respect constitutional rights. And for all America we will respect our great American flag again. Believe me.

We will heal our divisions and unify our country. When Americans are unified there is nothing we cannot do. Nothing. No task is too great. No dream too large. No goal beyond our reach. My message tonight is more all Americans from all parties, all believes, all walks of life. It is a message for everyone. No matter your age, your income, your background. I'm asking you to join us in this great, great adventurous world that we're living in, we're going to make it less adventurous. We're going make it safer and better than it's ever been before.

[20:35:01] I'm asking you to dream big again, as Americans. I'm asking you to believe in yourself, to believe in your country and to believe in your future. Because we've got a great future. What I've seen more than anything else is how great the future of our country is going to be. And if we do that, then all together we will make America strong again. Stronger than ever before. We will make America rich again. Lot of people don't like the sound of that, but we need that to take care of our military, to take care of our veterans, to take care of all of the things that we have to. We're going to be a rich nation again. We're going to be a wealthy nation again.

We're going make America -- we're going to make America like it says in all of those caps those millions and millions of caps that have been sold all over this country. And all of those signs. We are going to make America great again. Greater than ever before.

Thank you, North Carolina. Thank you. We love you. God bless you everybody. We'll be back soon. Thank you, North Carolina. Thank you.

COOPER: You've been watching Donald Trump in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It is the second stop or it's being build as his "Thank You Tour". It started at least an hour and a half late, because of some weather problems. Donald Trump said at the top of his speech. It took him about 2 hours actually drive to this location.

Now coming up, at the top of the next hour in about 23 minutes from now, there's a CNN town hall hosted by Van Jones, exploring how voters feel about Mr. Trump and the elections, called "The Messy Truth" and it gets underway shortly.

Also going to be looking at what Democrats and Republicans do moving forward, but first let's check in with our Jeff Zeleny who is in Fayetteville, who has been listening to President-elect Trump.

Jeff, second night, similar speech to what we heard the first time and largely staying on prompter, but certainly a very receptive crowd in Fayetteville waiting for the president-elect.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: A receptive crows indeed Anderson. Of course North Carolina was in his victory column and these people waited several thousands people wait, several hours to hear him. But Anderson, I was struck by the discipline in President-elect Trump's voice. And he said something that struck me at the end of his speech. He said the script for what we're doing has not yet been written. And that is a very true statement that gives both delight and worry to some Republicans. And, you know, mostly worry to Democrats. But Republicans in particular Anderson, the ones I've talked to on Capitol Hill are really wondering where he is going to go here.

You know, just his first volley of proposals out of the gate indeed shows that he's going break some of the rules. He's going to break some of the old conventions in Washington. So he also talked here a lot about veterans.

Of course we're in the neighborhood, really the backyard of Fort Bragg and Donald Trump is going to have some big announcements on veterans policies coming next week. But he did not talk about Boeing at all. One thing he started the day by criticizing Boeing, saying he was going to defend the American taxpayer, perhaps at the expense of Boeing. No mention of that tonight at all Anderson.

But definitely a road forward of where he's going. And now he'll be doing these events in Iowa this week, in Louisiana, in Michigan and in Ohio as well. Doing these "Thank You Tours", but then he will get back to work and still fill out his cabinet. Secretary of State, the leading position, I'm told will not come this week but may come next week as he tries to get this all wrapped up by the Christmas holiday. Anderson.

COOPER: It's also interesting, Jeff, to see Donald Trump sharing the stage tonight with his selection for secretary of defense.

ZELENY: He did. He had retired General James Mattis on stage with him just briefly. And he said that, you know, he still needs to waiver from Congress. And what he means by that is the only a civilian can lead the Department of Defense. You have to be out of the military for seven years. General Mattis has only been out some three years. So he was very respectful in saying he needs Congress to give him the waiver.

Now Donald Trump little more brash. He said oh he'll get the waiver. Think what happens if he doesn't get the waiver. Now most people believe he will. But Senator John McCain told around Dana Bash today, he believes this will be a difficult road here and they will need Democratic votes on that. But General "Mad Dog" Mattis as Donald Trump called him was on stage with him briefly and more importantly he flew here with him and they had a conversation obviously about the way forward for the Pentagon. Anderson.

[20:40:11] COOPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny. Jeff thanks very much in North Carolina.

And tonight I want to bring in our panel. CNN political analyst and "USA Today" columnist Kirsten Powers. Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany. Democratic strategist Paul Begala. CNN political director David Chalian and CNN military analyst, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona.

Kirsten, you were watching this speech very carefully. Listening. What stood out to you?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well I think one of the biggest things is he seemed to stay on teleprompter, and we didn't see him what we thought the last rally which with him really spending a lot of time, kind of looking back and criticizing the media and sort of going off script a little bit. He -- it seemed like he, you know, was trying to lay out a little bit of his foreign policy vision. Perhaps in contrast to what President Obama did today talking about peace through strength which is obviously very Reaganesque.

You know, talked about how important it is to build -- to take care of the military, take care of our veterans a, fill up the military, and I think one thing he understands in having General Mattis there as well is that the military is really the only institution in our country today that has a positive approval rating anymore.

So I think is he probably recognizes it is good for him to be surrounded by military people and to also be talking in a positive way about the military.

COOPER: Kayleigh, to you.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think to me what stood out is that President-elect Trump has a very tall order of goods to deliver going forward. He hit just about everything from taxes to military to V.A. to foreign policy. And --

COOPER: Right, and said and military personnel, you know, won't be waiting for days for a doctor and they can go to a private doctor. It's going to be cheaper. I mean it is a laundry list of promises.

MCENANY: And these are hard things to deliver on. It's going to require work with Congress. But I think if you were someone who watched this election and you saw just the vitriol back and forth between Clinton and Trump, tonight was probably encouraging. Because you didn't see any of that. What you saw were something for everyone. You've hear business, you all have a 15 percent low corporate tax rate.

If you're, you know, someone waiting in line at the V.A., you're not going to have to do that any longer if he delivers. So I think it -- if you're someone who's nervous about President-elect Trump you watched tonight and you were encouraged.

COOPER: Paul, I mean, you know, during campaigns politicians make a lot of promises but Donald Trump is, you know, continuing to promise an awful lot.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And I find that interesting. Now, to be fair I set two standards for his transition, is to unite the country and staff his government. Actually this speech did both. This is the first major Trump speech I've ever seen he didn't have a villain. And good for him. It's not a time to divide Americans any longer and this nominee General Mattis is being very well received. He need 60 votes, everybody else when a 50 because of the waiver with Jeff reported on.

But being very well received, so good for him. I think Kayleigh raises a third priority in the transition, just manage expectations. Usually, we saw this at Barack Obama, saw it Bill Clinton, new presidents come in particularly if they are outsiders, running on change. And about this time is when they try to ease off on the afterburners, but whoa, whoa, whoa, this is going to take a long time. This is going to be difficult. He did not, I mean he'll still in overdrive.

But he's where he is because he is the salesman in chief. But I -- if I were a Trump advisor I would still worry that we are going to over promise and under deliver. And he really set the bar high, and believe me my Democrats are recording every minute of this on videotape and, you know, if everything he says doesn't come through, which going to --


COOPER: I always think back to the state of the union addresses, where presidents are considered the laundry list of pie in the sky ideas. There were some after that tonight but almost more of that.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, and I think it was a preview of that first speech, he's going to get, it's not a state of the union the first year, but that first address to join session in Congress in February or so. I think we got a little bit of the preview of how that's going.

You don't have to look for sub text. I mean he said it straight out when he caught himself saying starting to talk about poll numbers, is that we're not talking about the numbers now. We're bringing the country together. I mean clearly that was an instruction in his mind and an out loud reminder to himself of what the mission was here. I think he was totally focused on not trying to be divisive tonight.

COOPER: Colonel Francona, in terms of the selection of General Mattis, what -- you have written very favorably of this. And I know for years you've been saying that the United States needs sort of a wartime consiglieri I believe with the term you use.

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, heart getting back to the godfather. I think General Mattis is probably a middle of the road choice because he's got fans on both sides. I do believed that we need a stronger military bent in the secretary defense. If you look it who we've had in the past, they tend to be managers and administrators, but what we really need right now is a leader. And we need somebody with wartime experience because we're facing some real problems.

And if Mr. Trump is serious about revamping the military, re- strengthening the military, he's going to need somebody can oversee that while at the same time prosecuting the wars in the Middle East. And I know that, you know, Mr. Obama today was talking about not being involved in wars in the Middle East, but we still have an uphill fight here.

[20:44:58] ISIS is not defeated yet, Syria is a mess, and we've got other outbreaks throughout North Africa and the rest of the region that need to be address. And I think General Mattis with his experience and with his leadership abilities are -- it is the right fit for that. So there's going to be friction between Mr. Trump and General Mattis because they don't see eye to eye on a lot of things but I think General Mattis can bring the right counsel to bear to make the right decisions.

COOPER: Let's play some of what the general had to say tonight.


MATTIS: Thank you for the opportunity. I'm grateful for the opportunity. To return to our troops, their family, the civilians at the Department of Defense, because I know how committed they are and devoted they are to the defense of our country. The defense of our constitution. And with our allies strengthened with our country strengthened, I'll look forward to being the civilian leader so long as the Congress gives me the waiver and the Senate votes to consent. Thank you very much.


COOPER: Also wise not to try to, you know, kind of outtalk the president-elect when you are sharing a stage with him. The whole -- just for our viewers who are wondering the whole notion that somebody should be out of the military for seven years, that's basically goes to the whole notion of civilian oversight of the military.

BEGALA: Which is critical in our tradition. You know, when George Washington moved from being General Washington to President Washington he was never again called General. He wanted to make sure that he set the precedent for civilian control of the military. This has happened once before. General Marshall of the Marshall plan who was one of the leading generals in the second World War, less than seven years before he was put in as Pentagon chief. Congress gave him a waiver. I think that General Mattis and President -- when he will be President Trump will make a strong case for this come January. This is not where I would a advise Democrats to draw the line and fight.

COOPER: You would not advice Democrats to fight on that.

BEGALA: No, I would not. Where -- I think they are going to fight and might win is on Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, the congressman from Georgia has authored several bill to privatize Medicare, that's why the Democrats want to fight. They don't want to fight "Mad Dog" Mattis.


BEGALA: They again want to fight Tom Price to say it's Medicare.

MCENANY: Should be very careful though because we've heard indications with every pick oh this isn't the right person, you know, we've heard it with the Ben Carson, we've heard with Jeff Sessions. And your right to pick this battle and make this your rallying cry not allowing one of the most qualified people. I think for secretary of defense probably to ever be nominated in is just being a part of destruction. We saw a Republicans do that, it didn't workout to well, 8 years ago I wouldn't advise Democrats to go down that route.

COOPER: Yeah, the other question about tonight is with the sort of the laundry list of promises which and there is something for everybody in there is of course there is no detail about how are you going pay for it. That's not what this speech is about tonight, certainly that's not the kind of thing that would be brought up by any politician in this kind of speech, but it does sort of begs the question of, you know, infrastructure spending. Veterans, there's not going to be waits for seeing a doctor. I mean these are massive institutions.

CHALIAN: There are going to be price tags who -- hefty price tags assigned to a lot of what he's ticked through tonight. You're right, this is not the time for that. The scrutiny will comp on that, there is no doubt about it. But though listening to him throughout the campaign and in this transition period I don't sense president-elect Trump is all that concerned about deficit spending or growing the deficit. That hasn't been a rallying cry. So this is where we might see some tension between President-elect Trump and Paul Ryan and some more the fiscal House conservatives on the Republican side.

BEGALA: Well and not just fiscal rallying, but just actual reality. Van -- Van Jones has pointe out many times, that if you promise that your going to bring back coal and your going expand fracking, you can't do both. One of the reasons coal is dying is because fracking has produced natural gas at abundant levels and very low prices which has priced coal out of the competitor of market. So you can't keep both of those promises because of the real world. It gets in the way.

COOPER: We want to continue this conversation. We're going to take a quick break and at the top of the hour, the CNN Live town hall, "The Messy Truth" hosted by Van Jones. Stick around.


[20:53:03] COOPER: We're now just a few minutes away from a CNN Special Town Hall, we see the audience there talking to voters about, Donald Trump, the election, "The Messy Truth," hosted by Van Jones gets underway at top of the hour about 7 minutes from now. We're talking right now about Donald Trump's speech tonight in North Carolina, which some I'd say had a a bit of poetry, along with the usual prose. Let's listen.


TRUMP: The script to what we're doing is not yet written. Remember this has been a great, great movement. The likes of which they have never seen before. The likes of which those folks back there that write the stories -- no. No. No. I'll tell you. And they're saying it. They have never seen anything like this before. It's one of the great political phenomena's of all time. And we're going to show them. We're going to do a great job. We're going to create a safe country. We're going to create a prosperous country. We're going to have jobs again, great jobs, not bad jobs. Real jobs. And it's going to be something special. And hopefully they are going to write the truth.


COOPER: I think of T. Lawrence who said nothing is written. Back with the panel. Tonight Colonel Francona, what did you make of Donald Trump's comments tonight, certainly an entirely different sort of foreign doctrine than President Obama? And at one point, he talked about, you know, not -- I want to make sure I get this right, we shouldn't be fighting foreign regimes that we know nothing about and shouldn't be involved with.

FRANCONA: Yeah, I took that to be a direct reference to Syria, because as you know we've got this bifurcated foreign policy in Syria and we want to overthrow the -- to sure out last at regime and we also want to defeat ISIS. And the two things right now, given the situation on the ground in Syria are diametrically opposed. And I think we're going to be reckoning -- a new reckoning in Syria about what our foreign policy is going to be. And I fear that we may be backing off of the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad regime, and possibly getting in bed with the Russians and the Turks and everybody else to fight ISIS.

[20:55:04] So I think that hasn't been resolved yet, but I think that's where it's gone. And this is where General Mattis comes in, because I think most of the military people that were concerned about Donald Trump, believe Mattis to be the voice of reason. And for that reason, I think Paul Begala is right, he'll get through the Senate.

COOPER: Right, I mean that's the thing. Whoever he picks, you know, we have General Mattis, but whoever he picks more Secretary of State, Donald Trump is the president and is going to be setting the foreign policy agenda the Secretary of State will have to execute. But, you know, what president-elect says or what a candidate says is often different -- or even what they set out as president hoping to have be their foreign policy or their lack of involvement in the world, they often get sucked into things. We've seen this time and again.

POWERS: Yeah, well, I mean things, obviously, terrible things can happen like 9/11 happened and that completely changed George Bush's view of the world and his view of foreign policy, you know. But I think what Trump was doing here was actually sort of taking a bipartisan slap. I think he was talking about the Bush administration and the Obama administration. I don't think he was just talking about Syria. I think he was talking about we need to stop the cycle of intervention. That's Libya, that's Iraq, that's Afghanistan. I think he's saying basically, he's setting out a pretty isolationist --


POWERS: -- point of view.

COOPER: Well America first. POWERS: Yeah.

COOPER: I mean it goes back to that idea.

CHALIAN: He said all that intervention led to chaos for years, and that he wants to complete cut off that cycle of chaos.

COOPER: Well then the question though, I mean he's often referenced, you know, Egypt as well, and the whole Arab spring. The U.S. supported, you know, Mubarak for decades in Egypt, would a Trump administration support a strongman like Mubarak again? You know --

CHALIAN: During the campaigns, certainly indicated that he was in favor of some strong --


COOPER: With Sisi in Egypt now, he's -- yes --

BEGALA: President Obama likes to say that reality has a way of intruding and it does and it will for this new president. But what I heard kind of like Kirsten, is I'm sure Rick's right about Syria, because that's the coming decision he'll have to make, but I heard echoes of Iraq.


BEGALA: And he is still caught in this fight within his party, between the Trump view, which is Iraq was a disaster, and the John Bolton view, who's apparently still on the very long list for Secretary of State. But some of the people he's looking at to entrust our national foreign policy to were very hawkish, Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton, among them, very hawkish. Very much beat the drums to go to war in Iraq, something that Trump believes was a disaster.

MCENANY: And that may be one of the most interesting things to look for in a Trump administration. Because you have here exactly right the neo-conservative hawkish wing, and you very well might see people like Bolton working and serving in an administration, that is, I wouldn't say isolationist, but very and we're looking America first isn't going to be meddling, isn't going to be engaging in foreign policy adventurism, was opposed to drawing a line in Syria, but he said if he would have drawn it, he would have enforced it. And it's going to be fascinating to see people like perhaps Josh -- John Bolton subjecting his views to that and the president-elect, because I do think at the end of the day, the president-elect will be the one making the decision.

COOPER: It is though, it's so interesting, I mean, you know, what it's easy when you're running to talk about drawing a line, but when you're the president and, you know, images on the "Nightly News" of people in Sariago (ph) being shot in crosswalks or Somalia at the height of the famine, there is that poll, to name just two things that the U.S. ended up getting involved in.

POWERS: Right, well and when there's a crisis and you have to make a decision, like you've never had to make before, and you have people coming in who have a lot more experience than you do, and making arguments, to certain extent, that's what happened with the Iraq war. You did have neo-conservatives who came in and basically said, you know, this is what we need to do. We need to re-make the Middle East and there was, you know, there was a crisis. And the crisis had, you know, a decision had to be made.

So the question is, how sure is Donald Trump about what his world view is? How sure is he that he doesn't want --

BEGALA: Who's been more sure than Barack Obama? He came in absolutely certain he wanted to unwind these disastrous push wars. They gave him the Nobel Peace Prize before he even done anything and he has used drones and lethal force far more aggressively than George W. Bush ever has in the Middle East. It's been astonishing, how reality has in true on him as well.

MCENANY: And that's why you look at the people who surround the president and that's where I think you're going to see General Mattis, by every indicator, playing a huge role in this administration. It's very clear that "Mad Dog" Mattis has gained the trust of the president-elect and I suspect that he will have a very large voice along with General Flynn.

CHALIAN: That's why I think that Secretary of State appointment now gets all of that much more important, because you do the Mattis piece now, you have Flynn, who's quite controversial obviously as the National Security Advisor, and that third leg of this stool that is going to be around the president, to really help shape this, is so critical. And it just seems from the long list that he doesn't -- there's not a preferred course at the moment.

COOPER: We're going to be hearing more from Donald Trump, obviously, in the days ahead, as this, you know, what they're calling a "Thank You Tour. The next stop is Des Moines, that's on this Thursday, he's speaking at 8:00 p.m. We'll obviously bring that to you 8:00 p.m. eastern.

Thanks very much for watching. That does it for us.

[21:00:00] Time now for Van Jones and "The Messy Truth."