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Trump Hits Road Again for Victory Tour; 36 Dead in Oakland Warehouse Fire; Trump Allies Defend Voter Fraud Claims. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired December 6, 2016 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of news for you. Let's get right to it.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE-PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president-elect is assembling a government that's going to make America great again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ben Carson, and out-of-the-box pick.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will cancel the job killing restrictions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty-five percent tariffs would be profoundly economically damaging.

CUOMO: Millions of people did not vote illegally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In every congressional district in America, people do vote illegally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Out-and-out lies being promoted by the president- elect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have anything to say to the families that lost their loved ones?

DERICK IAN ALMENA, RAN ARTIST ENCLAVE AT GHOST SHIP WAREHOUSE: They're my friends, they're my family. They're my love; they're my future.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: This is the deadliest building fire in the U.S. on more than a decade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just tragedy.

ALMENA: Do I take blame or responsibility for this? I can't.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CUOMO: Some hard days ahead out there in Oakland as they make sense of that tragedy. Good morning. Welcome to you and your NEW DAY. President-elect

Donald Trump is taking his show back on the road. The thank-you tour is hitting three states this week, beginning with a rally tonight in North Carolina.

Meantime, there's anticipation building for Trump's final cabinet picks.

CAMEROTA: So critics are raising questions about Dr. Ben Carson's qualifications to be housing secretary. This as Mr. Trump's national security adviser, general Michael Flynn, and his son are under fire for peddling conspiracy theories.

We are just 45 days away from inauguration day, so let's begin with CNN's Jessica Schneider. She's live outside of Trump Tower in New York. What's the latest, Jessica?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, it will be down to business right here at Trump Tower before Donald Trump plays to those crowds at the second stop in his so-called thank-you tour. It will be at Fayetteville, North Carolina, tonight at 7 p.m.

You know, top adviser Kellyanne Conway telling us that it is exactly these rallies and playing to those crowds that gives the president- elect his oxygen.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Donald Trump continuing his victory lap by visiting three more states this week.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: That's what the president- elect loves most is oxygen, getting oxygen directly from the people.

SCHNEIDER: The president-elect heading to North Carolina today, and on Thursday, he'll travel to Iowa, Michigan on Friday. Trump's team says he'll formally announce another cabinet appointment tonight.


SCHNEIDER: Touting the credentials of his defense secretary pick, retired Marine General James Mattis. Trump also tapping Dr. Ben Carson to be housing secretary.

PENCE: We're excited to have Dr. Carson as our intended nominee.

SCHNEIDER: Trump describes Carson as brilliant, declaring he's, quote, "passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities." Some are calling Carson's qualifications into question.

Last month a key confidant of Carson's said running an agency isn't his strength. Democrats now arguing he's woefully unqualified.

Meanwhile, Trump national security aide General Michael Flynn coming under fire. Flynn's son continuing to push a baseless conspiracy theory that led a man to fire an assault weapon inside a Washington pizza shop. The White House weighing in.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We all hold a responsibility, regardless of whether or not we are planning to serve in a government position or if one of our family members is planning to serve in a government position, that we shouldn't be propagating false things that could inspire violence.

SCHNEIDER: The White House also responding to Trump's controversial phone call with Taiwan's president, stressing the U.S.'s commitment to the one-China policy.

EARNEST: Some of the progress that we have made in our relationship with China could be undermined by this issue flaring up.


SCHNEIDER: Several notable names will be here at Trump Tower today. They include Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. His name has now been thrown into the mix for a potential secretary of state pick.

Also, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bounder, as well as former secretary of state Harry Kissinger, just back in the U.S. from a visit to China, where he did meet with President Xi. But of course, still buzzing out here, that meeting between Al Gore and Donald Trump. It happened yesterday. The topic: climate change, something that Trump has previously called a hoax. Al Gore merely saying, without much more, that it was a lengthy and interesting discussion -- Chris.

CUOMO: Controversy there. It was supposed to be with Ivanka, which raised questions about whether or not the daughter was going to be involved with the government and all the conflicts. And then they made it a broader meeting. Jessica Schneider, thank you very much.

All right. Enough of politics. Let's get down to some policy and how your life will or will not change for the better under President Trump. Joining us right now is Anthony Scaramucci, a member of Donald Trump's presidential transition team.

Good to see you.


CUOMO: Good morning to you. Let's talk about, in a telescoped way, what the Carrier deal means for job savings policy. Give me why you think it's a good deal in the face of concerns that, while it was a good headline maker for you in the administration, it is a dangerous precedent going forward for basically paying off a company to stay.

[07:05:00] SCARAMUCCI: Well, you see, we don't really see it as paying off a company to stay. I think what we're going to try to do in the administration is by lowering taxes, Chris, and reducing some of the regulatory environment in the country, the cost of doing business in the United States will be a lot cheaper. Moreover, if we can make the trade deals a little bit more fair and so

that there's not the asymmetry that you're now seeing in the trade deals, where goods and services can flow freely into the United States, but our goods and services are embargoed elsewhere, that combination of things will mean, on a going forward basis, that CEOs and CFOs all over the country can look at the capital allocation models that they're using and say that it's better to deploy that capital in the United States.

So what I would say to your viewers is just remember that taxes are a price for services. And so we've got to get the quality and the services in line with the taxes. Our corporate tax rates, Chris, are the highest in the industrialized world.

CUOMO: Only the nominal -- only the notional rates. Right? Because the practical rate winds up being well under 20 percent. Because even though there's this notional rate of what they're going to pay, 30, 40 percent, nobody pays that. So there's a little bit of a deceptiveness.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, Chris, that -- let me push back a little bit on that.

CUOMO: Please.

SCARAMUCCI: That may be true -- that may be true for the most sophisticated companies that have the most sophisticated accountants, but the mom and pop businesses of the United States and the small LLCs, they do get hammered on these taxes.

So I think that we would both agree that simplifying the tax code, making it easier to understand for the average American, businesses large and small, is a good thing for the United States and will create more business growth and more activity.

CUOMO: Well, you know, that's an interesting concept for you guys. Are you willing to free up small businesses, the mom and pops as you call them, from their current tax status, which is they get taxed as individuals? You know, LLCs, as you and I know, and people at home need to learn about, is those are flow-through entities. They don't -- and most of them aren't big "C" corporations that deal with it that way. You know, for a long time, small businesses have wanted that.

Would a Trump administration create a tax bracket that gives protection to small businesses so they don't get taxed a ordinary individuals?

SCARAMUCCI: Yes. I mean, we're going to roll that proposal out. And what you'll see is there's cohesion between the corporate income tax and the personal income so tax so it will be very easy for people to understand. And we hope that, in certain areas it will be revenue neutral, particularly on the high end, as secretary treasury designee last week said, Steve Mnuchin.

CUOMO: All right. Now Anthony, we ran a little bit away from the Carrier deal, so let me just get you back there for one second. Then I want to ask you about a couple of the picks you guys are thinking of making.

That deal, again, it looked good. Saving families -- nobody should be arguing with that. It's that Carrier is still going to sweat a lot of jobs across the border. And in that we see the reality. You can't save enough American jobs by just giving tax inducements.

And what you've created is now the potential for the next Carrier, the companies who will come forward and say, "Well, I'm going to lose jobs. Where are my inducements? What are you going to do for me?" And that's why government usually stays out of the business of picking winners and losers.

So why -- the Carrier deal may have made sense politically, but what about from a policy standpoint?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen, what I would -- what I would say about that is that we want to blanket this. And so by reducing the cost of doing business across the United States through a combination of tax, regulation, even the repatriation of the -- of the treaties, you know, reconciling the treaties to create the repatriation of trillions of dollars that are held offshore, Chris, we can come up with an incentive plan to bring that capital back into the United States and incentivize those corporations to put it into human capital, training, manufacturing.

So there's no way that you can tell me that there isn't a cocktail of things that we can put together...

CUOMO: Right.

SCARAMUCCI: ... that could make the manufacturing profile for the United States more attractive and bring more Americans back to work. Now, the...

CUOMO: That's not what I'm saying, though, Anthony. I'm just talking about these people here at Carrier.

I get your basket, your cocktail argument. We'll look for what you go forward with, what the details are in the regulations, and then we'll be able to make more sense of it.

But on this, Sarah Palin, you know, called it crony capitalism. You've got McCarthy and Ryan lining up and saying, "We're not going to put a tariff on companies that send jobs across the border on their goods that come back." They're not seeing these moves that you're seeing as strength and projecting a good image as things that are viable for business.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think it's a little bit early. I think people are jumping the gun on that. Let's just focus specifically on the Carrier deal.

The $7 million paid out over ten years, Chris, it's working out to about $700, $800 per worker. If you think about all the positive externalities of those workers staying in Indiana, their state income tax, their lack of dependency from the government in terms of unemployment, the flow through to the shopping malls and the local businesses in the community, if you did a cost-benefit analysis on that, as I know it was done, you would see that it's a very positive deal, all in, for everybody. For example...

[07:10:08] CUOMO: Except that it -- except that it's a gift to a company...

SCARAMUCCI: Let me -- let me -- let me finish for a second.

CUOMO: ... that winds up giving a lot of other companies the chance to ask for the same thing.

SCARAMUCCI: Exactly right. And so if you do a case-by-case cost- benefit analysis, my guess is that you can come up with strategies from the government, working in partnership with private enterprise, to make these deals work for the American people.

But just let me finish this point. If you looked at the situation where you're losing those jobs, and all those people have to go on a form of governmental dependency, unemployment insurance, it wreaks havoc not only on the family and the self-esteem of the people that are at work, but it puts another burden on the taxpayers.

So you have to remember, in the United States we both agree on this. We want to have a social safety net to protect people, fall into it. And it's better for the government to work in partnership with American businesses to prevent that from happening, Chris.

CUOMO: And I'm just saying that short term it looks good. Nobody wants to see families out around the holiday. But Carrier is sweating more jobs than they're keeping, as you know. It doesn't come out very often. That's the truth. And now other companies may ask for the same.

But Anthony, I appreciate you coming on to lay out the policy. Let's keep doing it going forward.

SCARAMUCCI: OK. You got it. I think it's early. Let's see how the plans unfold.

CUOMO: He's not even in office yet. It's absolutely early. I'll talk to you soon. Be well -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK. A month after election day, North Carolinians finally know who their next governor will be. Incumbent Pat McCrory announcing in a video message that he is conceding the race to Attorney General Roy Cooper. McCrory's tenure was marred by defiantly standing by a controversial ban on transgender people using the bathroom of their choice. The bill cost the state millions as major events pulled their businesses to boycott.

CUOMO: All right. There's just a gruesome scene inside that Oakland warehouse. Now, the count is 36 people lost their lives. It's certainly the city's worst fire in more than a century. Firefighters are really having to go shovel by shovel to look for victims because of the intensity of the heat and now all the debris. CNN's Stephanie Elam is live there. The whole community has come

together in this state of anguish, waiting for more information.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is definitely the case, Chris. And what we can tell you is that, of the 36 people that lost their lives that we know of so far, 32 of them have been identified either positively or tentatively. They said they don't expect any more large numbers of people who lost their lives in this fire. They're working their way through there.

But what we also learned is people who lived inside there, went inside this unit, knew that it may have had some safety concerns. And we also know the man who was the leaseholder was often allowing these kind of parties thrown in the unit, even though the city says that they didn't have permits to throw parties inside this warehouse.

Our affiliate here in the Bay Area, KGO, caught up with him. This is what he had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have anything to say to families of the victims? I mean, people are obviously wondering if you have anything to say to them.

ALMENA: They're my children. They're my friends; they're my family; they're my loves; they're my future. What else do I have to say?

ELAM: And a lot of people here are preparing for the rain. The investigative officials saying that they're going to work through this slowly, methodically, despite the fact that the rain is coming -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Stephanie, I know that you've told us just what painstaking and emotional work that is. Thank you for the update. We'll check back with you.

Meanwhile, another story that we need to update you on. A Georgia dad convicted in the death of his son. He has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Justin Ross Harris, you'll remember, left his 22-month-old son Cooper in a hot car back in 2014 while he went to work for seven hours.

The defense argued the 35-year-old accidently left his son in the car, because his morning routine had changed. Harris plans to appeal the verdict.

CUOMO: President-elect Donald Trump claims that there were millions of illegal votes cast during the election. That's just not true. He says there are studies to prove it. Guess what? We have the people behind the studies that he's talking about, next.


[07:18:15] CAMEROTA: OK. An update now on election fraud and whether it existed. Lawyers for Donald Trump are contradicting Mr. Trump's own claims about voter fraud in a court filing. This was a challenge of theirs to the recount efforts of Jill Stein. Mr. Trump's lawyers wrote, quote, "All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake."

Of course, just last Monday, Mr. Trump claimed that millions of people voted illegally.

Joining us now with the truth is -- this is a debate to discuss -- Jesse Richman. He's an associate professor of political science at Old Dominion University. And his study is the one that is often cited as evidence of widespread illegal voting. And Michael Herron, he's a visiting scholar and visiting professor at Dartmouth College. He just published a study on the 2016 election. Gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. I can't imagine two better guests.

Professor Herron, let me start with you. So you and your colleagues did a fairly exhaustive study on the possibility of voter fraud in this presidential race. Let me pull up for everyone what you looked at. I'll read it.

You looked at the possibility of noncitizens casting votes, individuals casting votes in the names of dead people, fraud carried out by the election officials, and fraud associated with vote tabulating and electronic voting machines in particular. Professor, what did you find?

MICHAEL HERRON, DARTMOUTH UNIVERSITY: Sure. What we found -- and when I say we, by the way, my work was joined with David Cattrell (ph) and Sean Westwood, also at Dartmouth. We looked at these various sources that you just described. And we looked at the sort of fraud that was systematic and major across the United States. And we didn't find any evidence consistent with the sort of claims about voter fraud that we heard made during the presidential campaign.

CAMEROTA: OK. So -- and I should let people know that there's a four-second delay, because you are coming to us from overseas. So everybody please bear with us. But when you look at the claims of Mr. Trump and others, that 3 million illegal people voted, what are the real numbers from your study?

HERRON: That's a great question. We didn't look at that particular number, the 3 million number that you're citing. What we looked for was patterns in the Trump vote, in particular, patterns in differences between Trump's vote and Romney's vote from 2012. We looked for differences in those -- patterns in those differences that seemed consistent with sources of voter fraud, like you mentioned noncitizens. We didn't find any of those patterns.

That doesn't mean that there wasn't fraud now and then. Our research is designed to look at systematic fraud, to look at the very broad claims made about voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

So I can't give you an exact number, but I can tell you that if you think about the implications of those really strong claims, we just didn't find any evidence consistent with them.

CAMEROTA: OK. Thank you. It's very good to hear right from the source that you didn't find any evidence of that.

Professor Richman, I want to go to you, because it is your 2014 study that is often cited by people who believe there is widespread voter fraud. So can you share with us what you found and whether or not your conclusion was that millions of people could have voted illegally.

JESSE RICHMAN, OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY: So our study was looking at the 2008 election. We estimated a wide range of possible levels of noncitizen participation based on survey responses from individuals who asserted that they were noncitizens and either said they voted or cast validated votes. If one cherry picks from the top of that range, one can come up with estimates that are quite high.

However, my impression from subsequent work is that it's probably not at the top end of that range. Furthermore, if you extrapolate from our sort of center estimates, you do not get to the levels of fraud that were being -- that were asserted in some of those tweets.

CAMEROTA: So basically, what you found in your study is that there was a range of possibility of illegal votes somewhere between 30,000, you found, and a million. And you feel that people are taking the top number and extrapolating upward now with your data.

RICHMAN: Yes, I think the risk is that one takes one study based on a prior year and extrapolates too far from that.

I think our study is absolutely right in the basic finding, which is that some noncitizens do participate in U.S. elections. What the specific number is, that's something that we're still working in a variety of directions. And I welcome the study you were just talking about with Professor Herron. A variety of directions to try to identify where in that broad range, really, is this phenomenon.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, look...

RICHMAN: I think that's important work.

CAMEROTA: It is important work. It's very important work. And we want to get the word out there. But you know that there's been criticism of your study. And I'll just read a little bit of it and get you to respond.

"What the author has failed to consider is that measurement error was entirely responsible for their results. In fact, once my colleagues and I accounted for that error, we found that there were essentially zero noncitizens who voted in recent elections." That was a different political science -- scientist.

So what's your response to the people who say that they could not -- that your findings didn't wash once they tried to re-create that?

RICHMAN: Well, I appreciate that study. I've been sharing that study with other people as well as my response to it. I think that there is evidence of noncitizen participation in U.S. elections, even if you take their results very seriously, even if you assume that they're completely right about the level of measurement error. They were focused on the issue of noncitizens misreporting that they were citizens. You still have evidence even with that assumption of noncitizen participation.

CAMEROTA: OK. But just so we can make everybody understand at the end of this, the number is somewhere between zero and 30,000 people, but it is not in the millions. You both feel comfortable with that.

RICHMAN: I think the probability that it's in the millions is quite low. I think that's quite implausible. Certainly, I would be astounded if the number is high enough to account for anything close to the margin with which...


RICHMAN: ... Trump is currently down in the nationwide popular vote.

CAMEROTA: Professors, thank you very much. Nice to talk to both of you. Thanks for sharing your studies with us -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. So on the policy side, Donald Trump came out of the box hot with his Carrier deal. It's gotten a lot of criticism for basically bribing a company to stay. Well, now there a second part of that policy, which is what do you do to the companies that leave? He says a 35 percent tariff is the answer. Can he do this? And would it be a good thing? We have a longtime friend and businessman with his take.


CUOMO: All right. So we're seeing the first taste of discord in what happens when you're president. Within the own Republican ranks, Donald Trump is getting pushback. The idea of a 35 percent tariff on companies that ship jobs overseas may sound good to some of us but is not meeting with a lot of acceptance. We're going to talk about why.

It's meant to give companies an incentive to keep jobs here, right? Will it work? Will it ever get passed? Let's talk to a long-time friend of Donald Trump and the executive chairman of Colony Capital, Tom Barrack. He joins us now. He's also the chair of the presidential inaugural committee.

It's good to have you here.