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Trump's Trust in Merkel and Putin; Trump on One-China Policy; Ray Replaces Longtime Inauguration Announcer.. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired January 16, 2017 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Trump refuses to say who he trusts more, Putin or Merkel. Your reaction to that?

AARON DAVID MILLER, VP & DISTINGUISHED SCHOLAR, WILSON INTL. CENTER: You know, we've never had a president-elect quite like Mr. Trump. You've had presidents, George H.W. Bush, who knew foreign policy. You had other presidents, Bill Clinton, who didn't know much, at least when he became president, but didn't choose during a transition period to speak out and try to make or - and/or break existing U.S. policy. You have an unpredictable, unconventional president-elect. And I think the Europeans are putting the best face on it by arguing that Mr. Trump has said many things and will be looking to Mr. Trump once he's president to, you know, to validate what existing U.S. policy is.

Look, I think, in this case, it's impossible to know. Is this an effort on the part of the president-elect to be unpredictable, to keep allies and adversaries off balance? Is it a negotiating ploy? I mean only four or five of the 28 NATO members now pay their fair share of 2 percent of their GDP to the alliance. That's not necessarily the bottom line, Carol, on the relevance of NATO, but it is, in fact, true. And three former secretaries of defense have all criticized NATO members for not paying their fair share. So is this an effort to create a pay-for-service standard for allies? Is it an effort, as a sop (ph), to try to make Vladimir Putin more comfortable and to test the proposition that Mr. Trump can cooperate with Mr. Putin? We just don't know. And, you know what, in four days the ultimate pivot is coming when, in fact, Mr. Trump will bear the responsibility for existing and future U.S. foreign policy.

COSTELLO: Well, you know, there is an irony here because Germany fears Russia is planning to interfere in its upcoming election to defeat Angela Merkel. So what do you suppose Germans are thinking about that?

MILLER: Look, I think the European allies, whether or not they're prepared to say it, are highly concerned, agitated and worried. You have an alliance that is imperfect, but has worked remarkably well over the years. Article Five has only been invoked once, and that is in the wake of 9/11. And quite contrary to Mr. Trump's claims that NATO is not involved at all in counterterrorism, they've deployed troops to Afghanistan, there's a counterterrorism center in Tunisia, they're helping to train troops in Iraq, counterterrorism troops in Iraq and Jordan. So the allies, our allies, are very worried.

And we should be as well. If Mr. Trump wants to make America great again, and he harks back to a period when, in fact, America had an effective foreign policy. It did, in fact, have that effective foreign policy in large parts because of mechanisms and organizations like NATO. And yet Mr. Trump is questioning the viability and relevance of an organization that I would argue on balance has served American interests well. So, no, I think Europeans are trying to hope for the best, but clearly they're preparing for the worst.

COSTELLO: OK, well let's talk about China because Mr. Trump's comments about the One-China policy, you know, China thinks Taiwan is part of China. Taiwan thinks differently. But the United States accepting the One-China policy. Mr. Trump has said that's all negotiable. A Chinese newspaper called "The Global Times," which is controlled by the China state government, called Mr. Trump arrogant and amateur because he told "The Wall Street Journal" the One-China policy is negotiable. Here's an excerpt from that article. Quote, "we were simply angry initially, but now we can't help but laugh at this U.S. leader-in- waiting. Maybe American voters promoted him too quickly. His amateur remarks and overconfident manner are equally shocking." Your thoughts?

MILLER: You know, again, you have a president who I think is determined to try to rearrange America's traditional patterns of behavior with both Russia and China. With Russia he's using incentives, the possibility of removing sanctions in order to gain Vladimir Putin's cooperation against the Islamic State. And with China, he appears to be using sticks, questioning the One-China policy, accepting the phone call from President Tsai of Taiwan in an effort to get China to change its policy toward the South China Sea, as a currently manipulator and on trade.

The question is, will any of this work? And I suspect, if you go after the Chinese on issues that are fundamental importance to their national identity and their national security, like Taiwan. I think rather than get compliance, you're going to get a combative, testy China that will push back.

So, again, Carol, I - I mean I wish I could be authoritative on exactly what Mr. Trump is thinking and how, in fact, he's actually going to conduct foreign policy once he becomes president, but I think that's simply impossible. We've never quite seen a president-elect like this, questioning the assumptions on which there are fundamental principles of American policy for the last 50, 60 years. And I think at a minimum allies are incredibly nervous about U.S. commitments and adversaries, particularly Mr. Putin. You know, I mean, I don't think it's Christmas in the Kremlin, but I think Mr. Putin is awaiting anxiously the possibility of further trying to manipulate the United States and divide the United States from its NATO allies.

[09:35:55] COSTELLO: Got to leave it there. Aaron David Miller, thanks for your insight.

All right, I want to take you live to Miami to the MLK breakfast, that - it's actually a scholarship breakfast in Miami. John Lewis, the congressman, the civil rights icon, he is expected to speak at this event. It would be the first time that we've heard from the congressman since President-elect Trump tweeted out that Lewis was all talk and no action when it came to managing his district in the state of Georgia. Once Congressman Lewis begins speaking, of course, we'll bring that to you live.

Also still to come in the NEWSROOM, Trump has tapped a new voice for the inauguration parade. What he has to say about replacing long-time announcer Charlie Brotman, next.


COSTELLO: Donald Trump won the election doing things his way. And that's just what he's doing when he greets reporters for the first time after taking the oath of office. His team asked the long-time inaugural parade announcer Charlie Brotman to step aside for a new voice.

[09:40:08] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE RAY: Steve Ray in the afternoon with the hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s here on Rock 100.


COSTELLO: The D.C. based radio announcer and television actor was tapped by the Trump team this month. Steve Ray will replace Brotman, who's announced every single presidential inaugural parade for the past 67 years.

Steve Ray joins me now.

Good morning.

STEVE RAY, 2017 PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL ANNOUNCER: Good morning, Carol. Good to be on with you. Lots of friend here at CNN. And that's one of my favorite film clips of all time from the film "Geographically Desirable," where I played a disk jockey. I mean, you know, talk about typecasting, right?

COSTELLO: Awesome. Exactly.

Well, first of all, congratulations. And also, I understand you had a dress rehearsal in the past few days. What was that like?

RAY: Yesterday, we actually closed down Pennsylvania Avenue on a Sunday morning, all the way from the Capitol to the White House, and we had a great dress rehearsal. You know, the men and women of the joint task force, as well as the military district of Washington who were charged with doing all this did a tremendous job. So we're going to have a terrific parade that actually has, in addition to all those military units, high school, college, civic units like from up where you are now, the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Core.

COSTELLO: Awesome. So I understand the inaugural parade itself is expected to be much shorter this time around. Usually it lasts a couple of hours.

RAY: Indeed. The longest, of course, for both Kennedy and Mr. Obama's second was about three and a half, four hours. The shortest is about an hour. We should come in at about an hour and 20, hour and 30 tops. They're aiming for just a little bit over an hour because, as Mr. Trump said, he wants to get right to work.

COSTELLO: Will he walk down the parade route with his whole family?

RAY: I can't let that out only because of the nature of the security. When POTUS and (INAUDIBLE) POTUS actually leave the Secret Service motorcade to walk. But in rehearsal yesterday, just before we got to the president review stands, the stand-ins, the actors portraying Mr. And Mrs. Trump, actually did get out and walk in front of the old guard there.

COSTELLO: So what will be going through your mind when you - when you're announcing the actual event and you see the president-elect, the now president and his family, coming down the street either in a limo or outside of it?

RAY: Well, contrary to popular belief, I've been ten feet away from the president-elect on the tarmac. As you know, I drove in the Trump motorcade 18 times, including three times with Mr. Pence, but I've never met him. So I should have that honor once the parade is done. And I think really this is so uniquely American that we get to celebrate the transition of power, as opposed to, as you know, right after the Brexit vote, Mr. Cameron was out as PM on a Tuesday and Theresa May in on a Thursday, no time for this type of celebration. So, again, uniquely American, and this is truly an honor.

And let me say for those folks who may have some question about this, I absolutely adore and respect Charlie Brotman. He is an icon here in D.C. And there really isn't the type of friction that's being portrayed by some fringe outlets on this. So with great respect to Charlie, we thank him so much.

COSTELLO: Well, let me say this about Charlie Brotman because - because I interviewed Charlie Brotman last week and he -

RAY: I know. Terrific stuff.

COSTELLO: He sends his best wishes to you. But I would say he is upset at being ousted. And I'm just going to play for you what he told me last week.

RAY: Sure.

COSTELLO: Here's Charlie Brotman.


CHARLIE BROTMAN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL PARADE ANNOUNCER: Now I'm just assuming that Steve basically said thank you for allowing me to be a volunteer. I'm glad everything went well. And Trump saying, well, is there anything I can do for you? And perhaps he may have said, well, I'm announcer, I'd love to announce on your presidential inaugural parade.


COSTELLO: And also that the Trump team informed Mr. Brotman of his ouster via e-mail. They didn't even call. So -

RAY: True.

COSTELLO: I guess I'll ask you again in -

RAY: Can I clear this up so that - so that we know exactly how it happened?

COSTELLO: Yes, please, because -

RAY: Very simple. In having driven in the Trump motorcade 18 times, I had a lot of exposure to the senior staff. And they said they were going to streamline and modernize this presentation and saw, as often happens, that I had the background, the pipes to do this, and a lot of people are saying that I bought my way into the position. Well, I've shown this before, this $35 little souvenir Trump card. Well, honestly, if I can get the president's announcer's position for $35, you know -

COSTELLO: But, Steve, we know that - we know that the Trump team and Mr. Trump admire loyalty. And -

[09:45:01] RAY: They do. But, again, I've never met him.

COSTELLO: You clearly support - you clearly support Donald - but you clearly support his campaign. I mean you said you've driven in his motorcade 18 times.


COSTELLO: So isn't it possible -

RAY: Carol, can I ask you when -

COSTELLO: That the Trump team chose you because of your loyalty to Mr. Trump?

RAY: I will ask you this, Carol, because I know you've interviewed - he's been on CNN three times, Mr. Brotman has. No one's ever asked him who he voted for. This is an apolitical, non-partisan position.

COSTELLO: Oh - oh, I did. I did.

RAY: Did you ask him who he voted for? And how did he answer?

COSTELLO: He didn't answer. He said he's represented presidents for the past 67 years. So -

RAY: See. Exactly, because this is non-partisan.

COSTELLO: I mean it's pretty obvious that he's been - right, it's non- partisan. So I guess that's why I'm asking you this question.

RAY: I would say that if members of the senior staff saw some type of loyalty in someone who's been in this business 40 years and actually handled the PA duties at Nationals Park. I was the TV and radio voice of the team for the first seven seasons. If they saw that as a skill set, then more power to them and the inaugural committee for making that choice. It wasn't something that I went after dramatically. It was being in the right place at the right time in front of the right people. And, again, it really isn't a slight against Charlie, although I will agree with you that perhaps it could have been handled better. And on the phone with them I said, you've got to come up with some kind of honor. You can't just tell Charlie that's it. That's not the way to do this. And they agreed. And that's how it came to fruition that he is named announcer chairman emeritus, and rightfully so.

COSTELLO: So - and I don't - I don't want to diminish what you're doing because it is quite an honor and you're clearly excited about it and Charlie Brotman is excited for you. So have there been any plans, concrete plans, on how to honor Brotman during this, and are you part of that?

RAY: Yes, as a matter of fact, and I have the scripts that we got over the weekend for the parade. There was a segment in the script originally that called for us to have Charlie stand up, to acknowledge him and have the crowd stand up as well for those wonderful 60 years of service. And that was part of what I had talked to the presidential inauguration committee about. We've got to do something. You can't just let a man go after all this time. This isn't one of those factory workers, here is a gold watch and you're out the door deals. This is a man who is legendary. He's iconic. And with all the great love I have for him, I actually did, in several phone calls say, we've got to come up with something and at one point maybe I had suggested, let's have Charlie introduce the president, and then I'll handle the rest of the parade, much like he did on opening day in 2005 where he did the opening lineup for the Nationals and then the regular PA guy took over from there. So those variables certainly came into play and suggestions were made on how to do this the right way.

COSTELLO: Well, we'll all be listening. Steve Ray, congratulations, and thank you so much for being with me this morning.

RAY: Thank you, Carol. I appreciate the time.

COSTELLO: You're welcome.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, forget touchdowns. All you might need is a really good kicker to get closer to the Super Bowl. Coy Wire is next.


[09:51:34] COSTELLO: An amazing family reunited in South Carolina. Kamiyah Mobley reunited with her birth parents for the first time in 18 years. She was kidnapped from a Florida hospital back in 1998 by someone posing as a nurse. The motive is unclear, but police were able to track her down because of a trip and DNA tests. The Jacksonville sheriff said Mobley knew something was wrong when she started applying for jobs and realized some of her paperwork was fake.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHERIFF MIKE WILLIAMS, JACKSONVILLE SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Her Social Security card and her birth certificate were both, you know, fraudulent. And that began to raise questions, I'm sure. We're not - we're not sure in what detail she knew or how much she knew or how much she was told, but we believe there was, you know, a conversation at some point with some explanation about why her, you know, her birth documents were fraudulent.


COSTELLO: Mobley's birth father is grateful after the reunion and quite emotional.


CRAIG AIKEN, KAMIYAH MOBLEY'S FATHER: The first meeting was beautiful. It was wonderful. It couldn't have went no better.


COSTELLO: Gloria Williams, the woman Mobley knew as her mother until last week, is now facing a number of charges, including, of course, kidnapping.

Checking some other top stories now.

A stark contrast between the rich and poor. Eight men, eight, now control more wealth than the world's poorest 3.6 billion people. Just eight people. That's according to a new report by an antipoverty group. The richest men include Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg and Mark Zuckerberg. Collectively they are worth $426 billion.

A Turkish cargo plane has crashed in the village of Kyrgyzstan. It's not clear how many people were on board but more than 30 people were killed, mostly people living where the plane went down. The Boeing 747 was traveling from Hong Kong. At least 15 homes were destroyed.

It is the end of an era for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE), the one, the only, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus! The greatest show on earth!


COSTELLO: Now the greatest show on earth is calling it quits. The company says ticket sales declined when they took the elephants out of the act. The circus will perform 30 more shows with its final act in May.

Wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka has died. Here he is, the worldwide wrestling entertainment hall of famer doing his signature move, jumping off the ring's top rope, flattening his opponents. Wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announced his death. It's still unclear exactly how he died.

Aaron Rodgers is king of the long pass, king of the hail Mary, and he's just - well, he's just king. Mason Crosby is a prince, though. The Packers beat the Cowboys with a long pass and a last second field goal and the Steelers beat the Cheese by scoring nothing but field goals. The NFL final four team now set. Cory Wire here to talk about it.

Good morning.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Carol.

I only got three hours of sleep last night watching these games, but it was worth it, girl, it was worth it. Six field goals by Steeler's kicker Chris Boswell setting an NFL post-season record was enough to get Pittsburgh the win, but barely. In the final moments, Chiefs needed to go for two from the two to tie it and they did it. Alex Smith to Demetrius Harris for the score. But watch again. A holding penalty called on Eric Fisher trying to block James Harrison, means the two-point conversion is no good. The penalty forced the Chiefs to try for two again, this time from the 12 and, well, no. Pittsburgh wins 18-16. And the Chiefs fans and players upset. Captain Travis Kelce after the game saying that those officials should have never called the penalty on his teammate.

[09:55:32] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRAVIS KELCE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TIGHT END: You fight all year, you fight all game for - for it to end like that, with the ref literally taking it out of our hands, that hurts. It's ignorance. Ref number 51 shouldn't even be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again. He shouldn't even be able to work at (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Foot Locker.


WIRE: Packers Cowboys down to the wire. Cowboy's kicker Dan Bailey, from 52 yards out, ties the game at 31. That's good. This is not good, leaving 35 seconds on the clock for Aaron Rodgers. The king, as Carol says. It's third and 20, but it doesn't matter. Rogers on the move, a flick of the wrist, and look at this, Jared Cook with the incredible catch. That sets up a 51-yard attempt for Packers kicker Mason Crosby. He nailed the game winner. My goodness, the Packers are red-hot. Winners of eight straight. They advance to the NFC championship game where they'll try not to get iced out, as in Matty Ice, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. The Packers will play in Atlanta on Sunday. And that will be the last game ever played in the Georgia Dome. The nightcap will be the Steelers traveling to Foxborough, taking on the Patriots, making a sixth straight AFC title game appearance are the Patriots. Now the Pats, they beat Pittsburgh back in October, but Ben Roethlisberger missed that game. Pats are 16-3 at home in playoff games. With Tom Brady at the quarterback position, it's going to be a good one, Carol.

COSTELLO: Oh, it's going to be great. It was such a boring football season, but now these games, right?

WIRE: Exactly right.

COSTELLO: We needed that excitement back.

Cory Wire, thanks so much.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a break.