Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Cabinet Picks Disagree With Him On Key Issues; Paris On High Alert During Holiday Season; Trending Stories of 2016; Carrie Fisher Dead at 60. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired December 28, 2016 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:55] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: President-elect Donald Trump's transition team is nearly done making key appointments for the White House staff and cabinet. But with Trump's many campaign promises, how important is it for the views and the ideologies of this incoming team to all be in lock step with their president?
Joining us now is "Wall Street Journal" reporter Damian Paletta. He has done some really interesting reporting on this issue. Look, this is the president-elect. He will be the president of all America, all of us, and it is typical that you -- I mean, you do see teams of rivals, right, whether it's from different parties or even whether it's President Obama tapping Clinton after the 2008 election to be Secretary of State. What you don't always see is so many cabinet picks that have been very public with different positions, Damian, than the president-elect so let's tick through some of them. Rex Tillerson, for example.
DAMIAN PALETTA, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Exactly. Rex Tillerson, you know, the much-publicized pick for Secretary of State, he -- the CEO of ExxonMobil -- and has been pretty public about his views that human behavior does have an impact on climate change. Now, he -- now he says the science is still complete on what that, you know, impact is.
But Donald Trump has kind of famously said that this whole climate change idea is a hoax created by the Chinese and that, you know, we need to focus more on creating jobs and less about, you know, that sort of -- those sort of solutions. So that's an issue -- that's one example where someone --
PALETTA: -- in his cabinet is going to have a different opinion.
HARLOW: One pick that has not gotten a lot of attention but the differences in policy and perspective between the two men is really critical to the American people, is Trump's pick for OMB director, Rep. Mick Mulvaney. This is a fiscal hawk. This is a guy who's been opposed to raising the debt ceiling coming into an administration where Trump wants to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure, he wants to lower taxes. Pretty much everyone agrees that's going to mean that the deficit is going to grow. I mean, whose ideology is going to win out on something like this?
PALETTA: I see this pick could either be brilliant or a disaster. I mean, Mick Mulvaney represents a wing of the Republican Party who is very opposed to raising the debt ceiling. He even voted against the Republican budgets in the House because they felt like it didn't cut spending enough.
Now, he's either going to be kind of at war immediately with Donald Trump's proposal, like you said, to cut taxes deeply and to increase all this infrastructure spending or he's going to help bring a lot of Republicans from the House towards the sort of Donald Trump viewpoint on fiscal spending. He could help, in other words, sell a lot of these votes to members of the House who otherwise would have been skeptical.
HARLOW: So one of the things that you point out in your reporting that is really important is that a lot of the decisions that are made at some of these levels don't need presidential approval, so they wouldn't necessarily go up to the president. So it's not just about like differing ideologies but then the president makes the call, it's about the president thinking one thing and then decisions being made below him that are not in lock step with that.
PALETTA: That's exactly right. And, you know, obviously we've seen President-elect Trump be involved in some of these negotiations on Boeing and Lockheed Martin, for example, but there's no way that can continue on every single issue, you know, going forward. He's going to have to delegate a lot of responsibility to his cabinet officers and that's going to mean a lot of discretion for people at the Pentagon, even people at the EPA and agencies like that to make decisions. And whether they're going to channel his viewpoint or their own viewpoint, that's going to be a big testament --
PALETTA: -- coming up.
HARLOW: And when you bring in the Scott -- you bring up Scott Pruitt who is going to run, you know, the EPA and this is a climate change denier. This is someone who's totally against these ethanol mandates. Something that, you know, when Trump was campaigning in Iowa he said I'm 100 percent behind these. You look at Wilbur Ross coming in as head of Commerce -- Commerce Secretary. Someone who's been wildly supportive of TPP and free trade. I mean, is Wilbur Ross really going to say free trade is bad?
PALETTA: Well, I think Donald Trump has proven to be very good at, you know, selling his viewpoint on how trade should change. And I think a lot of his new cabinet members like Wilbur Ross and Commerce are going to have an easier time kind of getting behind his proposal to sort of tariff these trade deals and have a new approach. But the test is going to be when -- you know, they have to put the pen to paper and come up with the specifics. Is it going to be easy for these people to kind of swallow these changes or are they going to kind of revert back to their old beliefs? [07:35:12] HARLOW: So one thing that we often see is that new administrations generally keep at least someone -- at least one, you know, sort of key position on from the prior administration. You've got Bob Gates at Defense. They oftentimes will keep someone from an opposing party. We haven't seen either of those yet from the president-elect. Do you think we will, and if who, because he did say that he has taken some advice from President Obama when it comes to some of these picks?
PALETTA: You know, I think he considered several. Obviously, he interviewed Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota. But, you know, there's very few spots left. It's just really Agriculture and Veterans Affairs and this director of National Intelligence job, so I think maybe the intention was there but it's almost hard for him to do it know.
HARLOW: Talk about the big picture of why that matters. Why it matters to have those not just opposing views, but opposing parties or keeping someone on from the past administration.
PALETTA: Sure. I mean, the criticism of it has been that it's just a token gesture and they get put into position, like Transportation, where they don't have a tremendous amount of input. But I think it does send a signal to the rest of the country that it's going to be an inclusive administration, even if it's just a symbolic gesture, that he wants to represent all Americans and all viewpoints.
Now, obviously, you know, I think we've seen that he's going to be speaking to a lot of people from different parties and he's had an openness to do that. The question is whether that's going to be reflected in his policies going forward or if he feels like, quite frankly, Democrats just won't come to the table and he needs to kind of forge ahead on his own.
HARLOW: Yes. Damian, thank you so much. Thanks for delaying your ski trip for us.
PALETTA: My pleasure.
HARLOW: We liked having you on this morning. Have fun.
PALETTA: Thanks so much.
HARLOW: Don --
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Poppy, thank you. Last weeks' deadly truck attack in Berlin renewing terror fears throughout Europe, so what's being done to keep European cities safe? We discuss next.
[07:40:20] LEMON: Paris is facing increased security as the holiday season nears its end just one year after the terror attacks in that city. It comes as new surveillance video shows the Berlin attacker's last hours alive in Italy. How has Europe's approach to security changed over the last year? So I want to bring in CNN international correspondent Melissa Bell and CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd. He is a former CIA counterterrorism official. Thank you both for joining us here on NEW DAY.
Melissa, I'm going to start with you because you have reported extensively on the increased security in Paris. You're reporting that it was higher even before the Berlin market attacks. Give us a sense of the feeling on the ground there.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The idea here in France, and I was at the French Interior Ministry yesterday, Don, is that it isn't a question of whether but rather, how and when France will next be attacked. And what they tell me is that the mistake would be to become complacent. There has been no major attack on French soil since July -- it will soon have been six months -- but that does not mean that another attack is not due. They say the threat has never been higher.
And what's changed is France's ability to prevent attacks. They point to the fact that 17 have been foiled in France this year alone. Now just behind me, over my shoulder, you can see there the Champs- Elysees. Now, down there already, the crowds are pretty impressive. There is a traditional Christmas market just like the one that was attacked in Berlin last week. But those crowds are nothing, Don, as to what we're going to see in just a few days' time on Saturday night when hundreds of thousands of people will be out here on the Champs- Elysees once again testing France's extra security measures.
We now have 91,000 policeman on the streets of France, helped by an extra 10,000 soldiers over the holiday period. Will that be enough should another terrorist decide to strike? That is the question that France lives with every time one of these big gatherings is planned.
LEMON: And Phil, that's really the question. I mean, we should remind the viewer that November marked the one-year anniversary of the coordinated attacks in Paris. Do you think that that is enough security?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: It can't be enough security, Don. Look at what we're talking about over the past year. We're talking about attacks against airports, open-air markets, as we saw in Germany, attacks in trains.
If you look at the variety of attacks we've seen and ISIS talking about more attacks on religious locations, including churches, I don't care how many police and security officials you put on the streets, they're playing a game of defense. You can't defend across Germany, France and other countries over the course of a year, two years, three years, enough to prevent an attack.
This goes back to the core question. How does the -- how do the Americans and others eventually work with the Syrians and the Russians to end the Civil War because as long as there is a security vacuum in Syria that ISIS can take advantage of, you'll see a ripple effect in Europe. You can't stop this stuff, Don.
LEMON: I want know Melissa, from you, what has changed in Paris since the attacks? We've had Brussels, we've had Nice and, of course, France. And then we know the attacker went through Germany, France, and then Italy. Paris extended its state of emergency again until July of next year. What has changed now?
BELL: Well, there is, of course, this heightened security but also this growing frustration, Don, from security services. You know, we've seen these unprecedented demonstrations on the part of police over the course of the last few weeks.
Men and women who were protesting, going out onto the streets, demonstrating in wildcat demonstrations not even organized by unions. Quite illegal going out armed, going out while they were on duty, and that really speaks to the level of their frustration and the fact that these forces have been stretched to a breaking point. And those demonstrations, I'm told by people within the police services, are likely to pick up again after the new year. Now that is as far as the deployment on the ground goes.
The other measure that you speak about, which is the state of emergency, has now been extended until next July. By then, Don, it will have been in place for 20 months. This is what is described as an extraordinary measure that has actually become quite ordinary and increasingly controversial because, of course, it means the suspension of basic civic rights but also because people wonder how effective it is.
To pick up on what was being said a moment by Phil, the nature of the terrorist attack has simply changed. And what we've seen is the last two major attacks on European soil have been against huge crowds of people with one man driving a truck into them. What a state of emergency can do to prevent that? What -- thousands -- tens of thousands of police men and women around the country can do to prevent that is one of the big questions facing European services at the moment.
LEMON: Yes, Phil, and it goes beyond Paris. You have talked about the human cost of extended surveillance. How long can a city like Paris handle this and other cities, as well?
[07:45:00] MUDD: I think it's misleading to suggest that this kind of surveillance can be extended over the course of an emergency that gets into two years. This is about deterrents, it's not about prevention. You put more people on the streets in hopes that a 20- year-old who's inexperienced walks up to a tourist location and gets nervous because he sees more security officials around. But over the long-term, you can't sustain this number of people on the ground.
There's two things security professionals are going to ask for that they're not getting in Europe. Number one is more resources so you don't have to do overtime every single day. And the second -- the bigger question is when the politicians get together and accept the reality that President Assad is winning in Syria and that there would have to be a very difficult conversation about closing down the Civil War in Syria so ISIS can't inspire more of these attacks. You can't sustain this kind of security step-up in Europe, Don.
LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, Melissa Bell and Philip Mudd -- Poppy.
MUDD: Thank you.
HARLOW: We are taking stock of the stories that lit up your social media feed this year. Up next, the top 10 trending stories from an unprecedented 2016.
[07:50:00] HARLOW: Twitter, anyone? Social media playing a big role -- a big, big role in the news this year. Which stood out the most? CNN's Brooke Baldwin has the top 10 trending stories of 2016.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Two thousand sixteen saw social media's role in the news grow in ways never seen before. Live videos, social outrage, viral protests, and elections all dominated the social conversation. Here are the top 10 trending stories of 2016.
Number ten, Pokemon GO. The nineties cartoon and Nintendo game made a massive return in 2016. The new smartphone version became a worldwide phenomenon being downloaded an estimated 500 million times. The nostalgia game builds a community of users blending the real world and game world.
Number nine, #RIPHarambe. In May, the internet broke out in outrage after the killing of Harambe, a 17-year-old silverback gorilla, at the Cincinnati Zoo. The gorilla was killed after a 3-year-old child slipped into its enclosure. An online petition seeking justice for Harambe received more than 100,000 signatures in less than 48 hours. The hashtag was used more than 270,000 times and 9.1 million people tweeted overall about the silverback gorilla's death. Tributes, online memes, and even a couple of off-color jokes continue to flood social media in Harambe's memory.
Number eight, #NODAPL. The fight to block the Dakota access pipeline from passing near Standing Rock, a Native American reservation in North Dakota. While the country was fixated on the election, protesters turned to social media, uploading videos, livestreaming, and using the hashtag NODAPL.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are now upwards of 10,000 people braving these frigid and difficult conditions to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux.
CANDACE PAYNE, FACEBOOK USER: So you want to see what I got? It's too great. I can't wait to show you.
BALDWIN: Number seven, Candace Payne, although you probably know her as "Chewbacca Mom".
PAYNE (wearing Chewbacca mask): That's not me making that noise. It's the mask. Here, listen.
BALDWIN: When Payne took to the newly-launched Facebook Live trying on a Chewbacca mask she has just bought, her live video went viral. It was viewed a whopping 164 million times. To date, it is the most- watched Facebook Live video ever.
Number six, Brexit. It was the biggest political upset of the year, at the time. Leading up to the vote, people took sides on social media. #STRONGERIN for those voting to remain in the European Union. And #VOTELEAVE for those hoping for Brexit.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In an unprecedented move Britain, as we know, has voted to leave the European Union and, so far, the reaction has been well, chaos.
BALDWIN: But leave prevailed 52 to 48 percent sending shockwaves through the United Kingdom, and Europe, and beyond.
Number five, Omran Daqneesh in Bana al-Abed. The children of Aleppo showing the world the horrors of the war in Syria on social media. The heartbreaking video of the 5-year-old bloodied and covered in dust, pulled from the rubble after surviving the airstrike that destroyed his family's home in Aleppo.
BANA ALABED, CHILD LIVING IN ALEPPO: I do stand with Aleppo.
BALDWIN: And Bana Alabed, the 7-year-old girl living in Aleppo. With her mother, using Twitter to share and document life in the war-torn city. She tweets, "My name is Bana. I'm 7 years old. I am talking to the world now live from East Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die."
Number four, Facebook Live stream, Diamond Reynolds.
DIAMOND REYNOLDS, LIVESTREAMED BOYFRIEND BEING SHOT BY POLICE: And the officer just shot him in his arm.
BALDWIN: After her fiance Philando Castile was shot during a Minnesota traffic stop, Diamond Reynolds took out her smartphone and livestreamed his dying moments. That Facebook live was viewed 5.7 million times before it was ultimately taken down.
Number three, #RIP. Two thousand sixteen was a shocking year of loss and the social media world mourned those who passed. The music world lost several legends including David Bowie and Prince. Boxing icon Muhammad Ali also passed away in 2016.
Number two, @realDonaldTrump. That was the most talked about handle on Twitter in all of 2016. Trump used Twitter to attack opponents, prop up those who support him, and negotiate deals. With more than 17 million followers and counting, Donald Trump's use of Twitter changed politics and brought us an election like we've never seen before.
[07:55:00] Which brings us to number one, #ELECTION2016. It was the most talked about story on all of social media. The hashtag used 7.8 million times. Clinton and Trump each had their own hashtags. #IMWITHHER was tweeted 15 million times. And the combination of #MAKEAMERICAGREATAGAIN and it's abbreviated form #MAGA were tweeted out a combined 37 million times. This post by Hillary Clinton after her loss was retweeted more than 638,000 times. "To all the little girls watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world."
But, Donald Trump's shocking win was the big show. Twitter says by the Trump declared victory some 75 million people were tweeting about the results.
HARLOW: Wow, what a year.
HARLOW: We want to show you something because many, many well-known names were lost this year. I mean, let's just pull them up for you guys. Wow, and Prince -- my hometown -- Prince.
LEMON: Yes, those are the big ones that we just lost. George Michael and, of course, Carrie Fisher that we've been talking about.
LEMON: Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Thicke. When you think about it, people have been, you know, on social media saying I just want 2016 to over with because it -- you know, in large part because it took so many of our icons.
HARLOW: And that's not everybody.
LEMON: That's not everybody.
HARLOW: That's just some.
LEMON: For me, I mean, I was just thinking about it when I was decorating my Christmas tree. I went to get a Christmas tree and there were purple lights. And I said, you know what, I'm going to put up -- this is from my Instagram -- I'm going to put up a Prince tree. And my Christmas tree here in New York City was an ode to Prince.
HARLOW: What was --
LEMON: A "Purple Rain" tree.
HARLOW: What was -- I'll put you on the spot here. What was your favorite moment for you of 2016, news or personal?
LEMON: Oh, my gosh. I don't know if there was a personal moment that was -- I thought it was -- covering the election, for me, and being so close to it and having interviewed Donald Trump.
HARLOW: You being in the debate. Your great question of Clinton in one of those debates.
LEMON: All of the surrogates, yes. And what was interesting to me is depending on which side you're on people thought that, you know, you were -- the Hillary Clinton folks didn't like my questions. Donald Trump folks didn't like my questions.
HARLOW: And I say, then, you're doing your job.
LEMON: They didn't like them, yes. But what was so interesting to me was having Donald Trump tweet about me. My mom immediately called me and said don't answer him. Take the high road.
HARLOW: Did you?
LEMON: No, I did not so thanks, mom.
HARLOW: It was quite a year. It was a great year.
LEMON: Yes, it was. It was a great year despite all the people we've lost.
HARLOW: Yes, all right.
LEMON: Interesting year.
HARLOW: A lot of news to get to, including these tributes pouring in for Carrie Fisher. Let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: The scare at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
LEMON: Donald Trump tapping a former Bush aide as a top counterterrorism adviser.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump taking new aim at President Obama on Twitter.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.
DAVID KEYES, SPOKESPERSON FOR ISRAELI PM BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: This is the administration that was behind the crafting of this Security Council resolution.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every single administration has said that the settlements are illegal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Netanyahu urged them to cancel this vote hours before Secretary of State Kerry's speech.
MARK TONER, DEPUTY STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: He feels it's his duty to lay out a way towards a peaceful two-state solution.
CARRIE FISHER, ACTRESS: I know who you are and from now on (INAUDIBLE)
HARLOW: Celebrities and fans around the world are paying tribute to Carrie Fisher. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The princess is gone. There'll be nobody like her ever again.
FISHER: May the force be with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
LEMON: Every day -- I mean, we just looked back over the year but every single day -- I mean, there's tons of news. Two thousand sixteen has been crazy.
HARLOW: Quite a year.
LEMON: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Don Lemon with Poppy Harlow. Obviously, Chris and Alisyn are not here today. And we want to talk about our favorite princess --
HARLOW: It's a big loss.
LEMON: -- right? Our galaxy is in mourning this morning. Celebrities and fans paying tribute to Carrie Fisher, the "Star Wars" actress whose pioneering role as Princess Leia catapulted her into stardom. She's died four days after a massive heart attack.
HARLOW: She is, of course, being remembered as the Hollywood royalty that she was. Her legacy, though, goes way beyond her beloved character. Fisher broke down barriers for many, many people suffering with mental illness. She was very candid about her personal struggles and this is how she will always be remembered.
So let's bring -- begin our coverage this morning with CNN's Paul Vercammen live in Los Angeles. Paul, what I loved about her is that, as our Nischelle Turner said, she was her full self and no one else.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Completely unvarnished, Poppy, and many people did, indeed, adore her for that, including Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself. And he was very quiet at first, gathered his thoughts, and on social media he put out quite a tribute to his co- star from "Star Wars" remembering about her and the laughter and so much that she gave to him.
And Hamill, as we said, had been quiet. At first, he said, you know, I have no words, I'm devastated. But among the things he said that he was grateful for her wisdom and he talked about her bratty self- indulgent self on screen. And then you can see what he said there.