Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Takes Aim At Corporate America; Syrian Rebels Call For Five-Day Truce In Aleppo; Texas Elector Says He Won't Vote For Trump. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired December 7, 2016 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:30] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President-elect Donald Trump touts his skills as a dealmaker and even before setting foot into the Oval Office Mr. Trump is already trumpeting new deals he says will boost the U.S. economy.
So let's discuss with CNN global economic analyst and author of "Makers and Takers", Rana Foroohar. And CNNI business correspondent and host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS", Richard Quest. Great to see you guys. OK, so let's talk about some of these deals, you guys. Let's dive into it and you guys can tell me what these really mean.
Donald Trump tweeted yesterday about Boeing and they are making a new Air Force One -- or two new Air Force Ones. "Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!" And I just want to pull up, very quickly, Boeing's stock dropped moments after that.
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ANALYST: Ooh, look at that.
CAMEROTA: You see that dip right there.
CAMEROTA: That was at 9:37 a.m., minutes after he put out a tweet. Go ahead, go ahead.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is exactly what people and myself said would happen --
QUEST: -- if you start making policy on the hoof in such a fashion at 140 characters or less and that's exactly what happened. Look, I could sit here and formulate to my heart's content at the latest policy direction from the new president-elect, but all it would do is take me closure to a coronary. So, instead, we've got to actually look at are we being bamboozled by these announcements that we've got in the last 24 hours?
CAMEROTA: And what's the answer to that?
QUEST: I would say in terms of the SoftBank announcement, which you've been talking about this morning --
CAMEROTA: OK, so that's the Japanese --
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It's a Saudi and --
CAMEROTA: -- technology --
CUOMO: -- and Asian conglomerate hedge fund of $100 billion to invest around the world.
FOROOHAR: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
QUEST: Does it -- a smell test.
FOROOHAR: What he's going to do once -- well, I think that we're going to be seeing a lot of deals with Asia, with state-run economies because those economies are more used to working in societies in which government and private business are not separate. I mean, they kind of understand this whole one hand washes the other business and I think that that's kind of what you're seeing here.
CAMEROTA: But is it --
QUEST: Is it good?
FOROOHAR: No, I mean it's --
CAMEROTA: There's 50,000 jobs in there. Why would they create 50,000 U.S. jobs?
FOROOHAR: There is a legitimate -- let me just say there is a legitimate argument to be made for SoftBank or for anybody to invest in U.S. technology. It's our most competitive industry. The Japanese in particular, frankly, haven't had a category killer since the Walkman so, you know, they should be pouring money into U.S. tech -- that's separate.
What's concerning is let's see the facts, you know. Where is this money going? It's coming in a very political way. That's what's worrisome. Boeing, no -- another thing that's fascinating is Trump will often take a nugget of truth and embed it in something that's murkier. Boeing actually has a history of cost overruns. It has to be said. I mean, their 787 only recently made money. They had problems with all kinds of supply chain issues there so this is not --
CAMEROTA: So it's good that he's calling it out, right?
FOROOHAR: Right. I mean, it's not like this has never been -- it's a discussion.
QUEST: It's arguably the method by which it's being done.
FOROOHAR: Yes, that's it.
QUEST: There is a difference between dealmaking and governing.
CUOMO: But the method --
FOROOHAR: Yes, true enough.
CUOMO: But the method of the sell, OK, which Trump -- has led to his success on the corporate side, led to his success in the election, and just made him "TIME" person of the year.
CAMEROTA: It was just announced.
CUOMO: It was just announced --
CUOMO: And second on the list --
FOROOHAR: I didn't want to say anything.
CUOMO: -- was Hillary Clinton.
CAMEROTA: You came here with breaking news.
CUOMO: Foroohar, what did I tell you about swallowing leads on our set? So, there is the cover, person of the year, "TIME" magazine. It is hard to argue with the choice, Richard Quest.
FOROOHAR: The Great Andoh.
QUEST: It is absolutely -- it's impossible to argue with the choice. It's impossible to argue with what's he doing --
QUEST: -- and we shouldn't argue with it because he has been elected, which is why I come back to my point. We have to go with the smell test and on this SoftBank are we being bamboozled? Where's the money coming from, is it real money, will it be spent, how many jobs will be created? And we may not know the answer to that for another six months to a year but it is our job to actually remember that today SoftBank -- yesterday they announced this. Did it actually happen?
CUOMO: And also, they really didn't announce it. A lot of this came from Trump.
CUOMO: The details are very soft. But we do have cycles that are much more compressed than six months. The Carrier deal --
CUOMO: -- certainly a win. Any families that get to keep their jobs around the holidays, you've got to celebrate that unless it is a misdirection play. You have the head of the Carrier workers' union come out and say it ain't 1,100 jobs. They're lucky if it's 800. It's probably less than that because of how they were playing with the numbers. [07:35:05] FOROOHAR: Yes.
CUOMO: And what you said to companies, like Carrier, all across this country --
CUOMO: -- is that you will pay them to stay even if --
CUOMO: -- they're still sweating more jobs than they're going to keep.
FOROOHAR: It's that the whole idea of tax incentives to keep jobs in a particular state worries me because that's a race to the bottom, you know. It creates a competition in which states are going to be competing for more and more tax breaks. Now listen, there's also an argument to be made for U.S. manufacturing. I mean, U.S. workers are very productive. Costs are not as high as they have been in the past.
But Trump is not going to bring back U.S. manufacturing the way it was 20-30 years ago. I mean, for starters, you go in any factory -- and I grew up in Indiana. My dad worked in the manufacturing industry. You go in factories today, it's all robotic, you know. I mean, tech is taking a lot of jobs regardless of China, and that's really a bigger issue.
QUEST: And if you look at the Indiana case -- if you look at Carrier -- and you're right, it's almost impossible to criticize it when in the holiday times there's a thousand -- or however many families -- will have a good Christmas as a result of this. But you are left with saying the government has now moved into the position of picking winners and losers. And there's a very strong reason why historically they don't do it because it doesn't work and it creates anomalies and distortions in the economy.
CAMEROTA: Richard, Rana, thank you very much. Great to have you both.
CUOMO: All right. So there is a situation that you have to keep your eye on in Syria. The rebels there in Aleppo right now are calling for an immediate five-day truce. Why, because the humanitarian crisis is so grave -- there's such an emergent need for health care and first aid. We're going to take you to the front lines of that civil war next.
[07:40:10] CAMEROTA: Syrian rebels in Aleppo calling for an immediate five-day humanitarian ceasefire. They're hoping to evacuate civilians to safer areas. This comes as government forces have taken three-quarters of east Aleppo from the rebels. CNN senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen has the latest from the front lines inside Aleppo -- Fred. FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and it really looks as though the rebels are crumbling in eastern Aleppo, Alisyn. Just a couple of minutes ago I was in a neighborhood that was taken by the Syrian military just last night were rebels were treated and there were thousands of civilians fleeing from that area.
You know, I can barely describe what we actually saw there. It was people who were malnourished, people who were wounded, elderly people who were being carried out. A lot of babies, some of them as young as seven days old. So you can really feel the momentum that the Syrian government currently has on its side. That's something we also saw as we visited some of these areas in eastern Aleppo that were recently retaken by the regime. Here's what we saw.
PLEITGEN: This is Aleppo, 24/7. Shelling and airstrikes raining down mostly on rebel-held areas. Near the front line it's not just Syrian troops, Russians, and Iranians battling on the government's side. We meet these Syrian Palestinian fighters who show us what they claim was a former Jabhat al-Nusra field hospital they found when they advanced into this area.
SYRIAN PALESTINIAN FIGHTER (via translator): Every injured rebel would be taken here, he says. You see the medicine and blankets. This is one of their instruments they used.
PLEITGEN: Syrian pro-government forces have brought heavy weapons to the front line as they continue to push the opposition back. They showed us these homemade mortars and accused rebels of lacing them with chemicals the army says it discovered in this room close by.
This alleged weapons facility is inside what used to be an elementary school in this former rebel-held district and the Syrian Army says it found this place when it was sweeping the area as rebels were retreating.
The battles show no sign of letting up as Syrian forces continue to pound rebel-held districts, killing hundreds in the past days and leaving thousands of civilians trapped in that risk. In an interview with CNN, the Syrian general says government forces will not stop unless opposition fighters withdraw.
BRIG. GEN. FAWAZ MUSTAFA, SYRIAN ARMY: If he insisted to go on fighting and bombing our people in Aleppo and civilians or the army, we have to continue our mission to get the city back to its people.
PLEITGEN: And what that means is plain for everyone in Aleppo to see and to hear. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Aleppo.
CUOMO: All right. Fred, can you stay with us? Are you in a safe enough area to hold up for a few minutes and talk?
PLEITGEN: Sure. CUOMO: All right, Fred, good. We're also joined by CNN military analyst, Lt. Col. Rick Francona. He's the former U.S. military attache in Syria. Let's talk a little bit about the reality. You were getting some propaganda there, Fred, on the ground about what they say they found and that it's the rebels who are taking the city from the people. How do the people you met in Aleppo feel about who is on their side?
PLEITGEN: Well, you know, I think right now, Chris, most people here on the ground in Aleppo feel like no one's really on their side. We met a lot of people just now -- literally, just a couple of minutes ago -- who were fleeing some of these areas that were retaken by the Syrian Army where the rebels had fled. And there were a lot of people who said that they have had absolutely nothing to eat over the past couple of days -- maybe a little piece of bread. People who said that most of their belongings had been destroyed.
So right now these are people who very much are caught in between the front lines and feel that the international community has abandoned them and also, of course, feel that their government has failed them and that the rebels have failed them as well, Chris.
CUOMO: So there's no question that the rebels want a breather, Rick, because they're getting pounded in Aleppo right now. But the nature of the humanitarian crisis, it's been tough to get it to break through to the American audience. What are the long-term concerns of what happens to this population in Aleppo?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, of course, the city is going to fall, I think --
CUOMO: Fred, let me get Rick's take on it and I'll come right back to you. Go ahead, Rick.
FRANCONA: Well, I think the city's going to fall fairly quickly, everybody knows that. The question is what is the humanitarian crisis and can it be dealt with? So far, we haven't seen a whole lot of aid being poured in there by the Russians and the Syrians, although we see a lot of propaganda with that.
So I think the initial effect is going to be the humanitarian concern but the long-term effect is this is a real blow the rebels and we're going to see the Syrians and Russians emboldened and they're going to continue their march. They're just going to pivot from Aleppo and they're going to go southwest toward Idlib. And I think the handwriting is on the wall for the rebels. This is going to be a serious setback.
[07:45:04] CUOMO: All right. There's a follow-up in terms of U.S. policy going forward but in terms of the emergency on the ground, Fred, what are you seeing there in terms of the sustainability of daily life in Aleppo for the people there? I mean, how many do you think will be left in a month, whether they flee or they get caught up as a cost of this war? PLEITGEN: You know, the interesting thing, Chris, about this city -- about Aleppo -- is that it really is a city that's divided. In the western districts, the government-held areas, people are living fairly decently. People have enough food, people have heating for their homes. And I think it's really interesting that you just mentioned the cold here because I think it's something that we often underestimate is just how cold it gets here in the winter.
Now, in the rebel-held areas, in the destroyed areas, it's a very, very different picture. There's many people who are living in tents. There's many people who are living in ruins, in bombed-out houses and trying to make do somehow there. They don't have enough material to make fire. They don't have enough food, they don't have water, and there certainly isn't enough aid coming in either.
We have to mention that the U.N. and the Syrian Red Crescent are trying to bring in some aid. That's working to a certain extent. Syrian government is actually providing some, as well, and so are the Russians. But it certainly, by far, isn't enough to meet all the needs of the people who are here.
And then you get to those besieged areas where the rebels still hold territory and the situation there is absolutely catastrophic because there is no power, because there is no food. And the one thing that very few people talk about is medical supplies. Those aren't getting in. There's a lot of people with medical conditions. A lot of wounded people who are absolutely suffering, especially as it continues to get colder here in Aleppo as well, Chris.
CUOMO: And as we've seen in too many areas in that part of the world, Rick, when you have this kind of desperation and it is met by no love, no relief, no education and opportunity, extremism takes root. We just had an election that wound up being decided in large part on fear and that fear is going to be made manifest in staying out of situations like what we're seeing with this humanitarian crisis. What is your concern for that type of policy shift, Rick Francona?
FRANCONA: Well, I think there is going to be a policy shift, Chris, and I think Mr. Trump alluded to that in his talk today when he talked about not going into these areas, not trying to topple different regimes. And if you look at our current foreign policy in Syria it's bifurcated. We want the removal of the Bashar al-Assad and we want the defeat of ISIS.
Those two are almost diametrically opposed so there's going to have to be a policy shift and I think that shift is going to be we're going to focus on ISIS, even if that means talking to the Russians a little bit more and coordinating with them. That will be at the expense of the rebels.
So I think that the rebels are very concerned that they're going to be thrown under the bus and a Trump administration is probably going to force them to coordinate more not only with themselves butalso with groups like the al Qaeda affiliate in Jabhat al-Nusra, now called the Fateh al-Sham, but also maybe even ISIS. So it's really becoming more unsettled, not -- there's no real solution on the horizon and I think everybody's waiting to see what happens in January.
CUOMO: Boy, does this sound familiar where you go in there supposedly to help and then you abandon, and then you engender an entire generation of people that blame the U.S. for their despair. Rick Francona, thank you very much. Fred, thank you for the courage and the coverage. Appreciate it, brother. All right -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Back here at home, one member of the Electoral College says he will not vote for President-elect Trump. We talked to him about why, next.
[07:52:25] CAMEROTA: A Republican member of the Electoral College says he will not vote for President-elect Donald Trump when the votes are finally counted on December 19th.
Christopher Suprun writes in "The New York Times" quote, "Presidential electors have the legal right and constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On December 19, I will do it again.
Mr. Suprun joins us now. Nice to see you this morning.
CHRISTOPHER SUPRUN, ELECTORAL COLLEGE MEMBER FROM TEXAS: Hi, good morning.
CAMEROTA: Why won't you vote for Donald Trump?
SUPRUN: Well, I think that he fails three basic tests. One, it's not sure to me that it's -- he's able to defend the nation. There's clearly some ties in Russia that need to be examined. There were at least 50 national security experts that came out who were all Republicans during the campaign and said Mr. Trump would be dangerous if he were elected president.
Beyond that, he has not taken the opportunity since the election to unite the country in any way. In fact, members of his transition team have been retweeting fake news stories which endangered a pizza shop- going family --
SUPRUN: -- just a few days ago. And then, finally, we don't know what his financial conflicts of interest are. He's played fast and loose with the law on multiple occasions and I think this is another example. He's the first president since, I think, President Nixon to not release his taxes and that has to be a question for people when it comes to emoluments clause and presidents profiting off the office.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Look, I hear your reservations. We've covered many of these stories -- all of them, in fact, that you're talking about but Donald Trump won and this is our democratic system. He won fair and square.
SUPRUN: Well, let's back up. The election is -- I can tell was fair and square. Mr. Trump disputed that just a few days ago which is part of the reason why I came out when he and his vice president-elect came out as well to say that three million people had voted illegally. They have yet to ask for a recount to figure out where those illegal votes are or came from. But further, the election isn't over. The election happens on December 19th when presidential electors cast their ballots. That's when the election is complete.
CAMEROTA: Do you know of any other electors who are following suit? Have you talked to any of your fellow electors who plan to do what you want to do?
SUPRUN: I'm not sure of other electors, specifically, who are going to do what I'm doing. I do know I've been surprised by some of the positive news I've gotten back. Even last night, there was an elector -- she -- well, I don't want to give away who it is but he or she contacted me last night and said we're in complete disagreement. I'm definitely voting for Trump but I understand what you're doing and why, and if that's what your conscience is, good for you.
CAMEROTA: So, you had said there that you plan to vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich who had run, of course, for president. But John Kasich has basically put out a statement saying no, thank you. I'll read it to you. He says, "I am not a candidate for president and ask that electors not vote for me when they gather later this month. Our country had an election and Donald Trump won. The country is divided and there are certainly raw emotions on both sides stemming from the election. But this approach, as well-meaning as it is, will only serve to further divide our nation when unity is what we need."
Do you take his request to you to heart?
SUPRUN: Well, Gov. Kasich is certainly right on the last point that we do need unity, and maybe I made a mistake by even naming him. I'm looking for a candidate like John Kasich and I thought I'd put that in the op-ed. Someone with executive experience, someone with legislative experience who can unite the country. So, if John Kasich doesn't want --
CAMEROTA: But who will you vote for?
SUPRUN: -- that -- I'm in a deliberations phase.
CAMEROTA: I see. So your vote -- you were thinking about John Kasich but he says no, thank you, so now you're just going to vote for somebody. It doesn't have to be somebody who ran for president and you're thinking --
SUPRUN: Another Republican.
SUPRUN: Again, I'm looking for someone with broad-based legislative and executive experience. I mean, who can understand that the office of president can't attack the constitution, can't attack journalists because he doesn't like what they publish. Someone who understands he can't pick on companies because he doesn't like how they do business. There's a way we have conversations.
CAMEROTA: Yes. You were a firefighter on September 11th and you say that that experience has informed this decision. What do you mean?
SUPRUN: Well, that week -- that month of September there were people who came out from all across the community and across the nation, really, to their fire stations. I've heard stories from people in Wyoming, California, where neighbors said hey, we might have recognized who you were in the community, and came out together.
But it also was a time when the country was united as one. We started to put down some of the labels of I'm wearing a red jersey and you're wearing a blue, and we started to come together to try and solve the nation's problems.
CAMEROTA: And you think that this election blew all that up?
SUPRUN: Well, I won't say just this election. There's been division for several years. But it's certainly been accentuated when you speak from a podium and urge violence against a protester.
CAMEROTA: There are 538 electors, as you know, of course, and so if you're the sole holdout and if you're the lone voice -- I mean, you know, you've made your point but obviously it doesn't change anything.
SUPRUN: It would not. I would be an asterisk in history and I'm OK with that. But I also have to be OK with my vote on December 20th, as well. There are people out there I know -- to use the other side's example, a Hillary Clinton voter -- well, this gentleman wasn't actually a Hillary Clinton voter in California. He tweeted out that he wrote in Paris Hilton for president and then the next day he said oh, my God, the world's coming to an end. Well, I've got to put a name down on a piece of paper and I want to make sure that I'm comfortable with that name that I place and that I'm not just being lazy.
CAMEROTA: Understood. Chris Suprun, thanks so much for sharing your perspective on all of this with us.
CAMEROTA: Nice to talk to you.
SUPRUN: Thanks for having me this morning.
CAMEROTA: What's your take on this? You can tweet us @NewDay or you can post your comment on facebook.com/NewDay. We look forward to reading those. We're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: We build up our military not as an act of aggression, but as an act of prevention.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These terrorists can never directly destroy our way of life but we can do it for them if we lose track of who we are.
TRUMP: General Mattis is the living embodiment of the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis.
GEN. JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE: I'm grateful for the opportunity as long as the Congress gives me the waiver.
JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER": The son of the future national security adviser has been pushing a bunch of conspiracy theories.
MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: Mike Flynn, Jr. is no longer with the transition team.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time that we do business differently here in Washington, D.C.
TRUMP: It's going to be over $4 billion. I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning, welcome to your NEW DAY. Up first, President- elect Donald Trump says he will put America first, vowing to create jobs, cut taxes, and repeal Obamacare. Trump appearing with his Defense Secretary pick at a North Carolina rally. This morning, he says he's going to announce his choice for Secretary of State next week.
CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is touting his skills as dealmaker-in- chief, blasting another American company in order to try to save billions and taking credit for a $50 billion deal with a Japanese telecom giant.
We are now just 44 days before Inauguration Day so let's begin our coverage with CNN's Jessica Schneider. She's live outside of Trump Tower in New York. What's the latest, Jessica?