Return to Transcripts main page

ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Backlash Growing Over Trump's National Security Picks; Trump to Pay $25 Million in Trump University Settlement; Trump Taps Hardliners for National Security Team; Trump Considering Bitter Rival for Secretary of State. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 18, 2016 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[19:00:11] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next. Breaking news. Trump settles the Trump University fraud case for $25 million. Is the man who says he never settles finally backing down? Plus, hard- liners. Donald Trump announces his national security team. One of them says Islam is a cancer. Are they the right men for the job? And Ivanka sitting in on a meeting between her father and the Japanese Prime Minister. Why didn't team Trump want you to see it?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett, OUTFRONT on this Friday.

The breaking news, Donald Trump settles. The President-elect agreeing to pay $25 million to settle three lawsuits against Trump University, the now defunct for-profit business school that Trump created in 2005. Former students say they were fooled by the program. The teachers weren't handpicked by Trump as advertised. The deal will keep Trump from having to testify in a trial that was set to begin in just a few weeks. And those students are going to get half their money back. Pretty stunning.

This comes as Trump announces three key members of his national security team tonight. Retired Lieutenant General Mike Flynn for national security advisor, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, and the Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo for the Director of the CIA.

Their selection is seen as a signal that Trump intends to follow through on some of his more hot button campaign issues specifically regarding the war on terror and immigration. The selection of the three facing major criticism as Trump's motorcade arriving at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. This is just moments ago, what you're looking at right now. It was a 50-mile drive from Trump Tower. Trump is expected to spend the weekend there with some crucial meetings.

Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT at Trump Tower where Trump began that journey tonight. And, Phil, the breaking news on Trump University, what is the Trump campaign saying about this tonight? He denied, he denied, he denied, and now people who went to Trump University are going to get a lot of money.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Denied and said repeatedly he never settles any lawsuits. And specifically in March, he said he wouldn't settle this lawsuit. Well, he has. He settled a handful of lawsuits. The campaign itself, Erin, not talking about this, but the Trump Organization did put out a statement. And as you noted, they have made repeatedly clear, Donald Trump did not admit any wrong doing but what he did do is agree to pay $25 million.

What the Trump Organization is pointing to is the fact that they thought they could actually still win this case, but they needed to clear the decks for the President-elect. And that is an important moment, a crucial thing to do. And we say why today. Donald Trump shifting the focus away from anything that was going on before his presidency, now looking to his future administration. Today, the focus on national security.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (Ret), FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: Lock her up. Lock her up.

MATTINGLY (voice over): Loyalists, hard liners, now the core of President-elect Trump's national security team. The choices revealing the next administration's security posture, one defined not by a pragmatic move to the middle but instead by a move deeply into conservative orthodoxy.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: I told Donald Trump this isn't a campaign. This is a movement.

MATTINGLY (voice over): Jeff Sessions, a crucial voice inside Trump's team and his first Senate endorsement, now in line to be the next Attorney General.

FLYNN: We need to bring back big time leadership and that's Donald Trump.

MATTINGLY (voice over): Michael Flynn, Trump's closest campaign military advisor and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, is national security adviser. And Congressman Mike Pompeo, a former Army officer, member of the House Intelligence Committee and harsh critic of Hillary Clinton, now in line to be CIA Director. The picks provoking a chorus of cheers from top Capitol Hill Republicans.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Jeff Sessions will bring back integrity to the United States Department of Justice.

MATTINGLY (voice over): And near universal caution or outright concern from Democrats.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: It's really getting more and more disturbing and clear that Donald Trump is not trying to bring the country together with the moves he's making right out of the gate.

MATTINGLY (voice over): For Trump, an unquestionable ramp up of the pace of his transition, the so-called landing team of advisors and transition team staff arriving at the Justice, Defense, and State Departments today. And the quickened pace expected to continue in the days ahead.

While Trump heads out of New York City to his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, the meetings with top candidates will follow. 2012 nominee and harsh Trump critic Mitt Romney, potential Education Secretary pick Michelle Rhee, and potential secretary of defense pick James Mattis, all scheduled for Saturday sit downs with the President- elect. Some question whether Trump's sit downs are simply head fakes to soothe critics who say he is not reaching out. Trump's team says this is the new reality.

SEAN SPICER, CHIEF STRATEGIST AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE (through phone): The President-elect wants the best and the brightest. He's going to meet with people who supported him, people who didn't support, Republicans, Democrats, Independents. But most of all, these conversations start off as just that, a conversation to discuss people's ideas and thoughts and get their opinions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[19:05:13] MATTINGLY: And, Erin, an interesting element here. I was e-mailing back and forth with a couple of Republican advisers, trying to get a sense of what they thought about the picks today, and one made a really good point. If you're surprised by any of these three picks, you weren't paying attention over the course of the last 18 months. This is exactly the type of national security team Donald Trump campaigned on.

However, it'd be interesting to watch this weekend. As you noted, he left Trump Tower a couple of hours ago and headed to Bedminster. We've all been playing attention to this big meeting with Mitt Romney.

But a couple of other elements to watch, Michelle Rhee, as I noted in the piece, James Mattis and also Betsy DeVos. Three individuals who definitely would go mainstream Republican, could be in the mix for both Defense Secretary or Education Secretary. Those are names to keep a very close eye on, as I'm told, as the days go by ahead. Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Phil Mattingly, thank you very much. And Donald Trump, in a tweet tonight, talking about men and women in his cabinet, responding to criticism, of course, that it's been men so far. But you saw his meeting with some women this weekend.

Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT now. And, Jim, Democrats are coming out strongly against the picks that we got today, particularly General Michael Flynn, who actually worked for President Obama.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He says that he was pushed out because he spoke truth to power about Islam, terrorism. But I've spoken to officials, lawmakers, who were involved at the time when he was forced out. They tell a very different story. They say that his management style antagonized officials, people from both parties, and that is why he was forced out.

And I have to tell you, Erin, I've spoken to commanders, officials, intelligence officials, lawmakers. They uniformly praise him as a military commander. They credit him with help turning around the fight against Al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is since then as the manager, as an official, as well as the opinions he has expressed since leaving the military that truly concern them.

BURNETT: And the opinions he has expressed are really crucial here. One of the key controversies surrounding him is his comments on Muslims, as you indicated, including a tweet from earlier this year, actually in February. He tweeted, "Fear of Muslims is rational." That was in all caps. "Please forward this to others. The truth fears no questions." And it included a link to a video that was extremely controversial, accusing Islam of enslaving people. Does he stand by this?

SCIUTTO: He does. He's doubled and he's tripled down. He has tweeted other offensive things and he's made speeches. He has declared that Islam is not a faith. It's a political ideology. He dismissed the entire religion, which is beyond controversial. It's offensive.

And I don't hear that, certainly, not just from Muslims. I hear it from Democrats and Republicans. I hear it from military commanders who spent much time in the Middle East and worked alongside. Keep in mind many of our allies are Muslims. A sitting member of Congress who was just on our air. Many of our police officers. So this is a truly offensive position, and it is something that he has not backed down from.

BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you.

In OUTFRONT tonight, the former Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, Michael Chertoff. Secretary, thank you so much for your time tonight.

And you're a long time Republican. You've had a contentious history with Hillary Clinton, but you came to terms with that. You voted for her. You said you were worried about Trump's temperament. And at one point, you actually called him hysterical. He's now going to be President of the United States. Has your opinion of him changed at all in the past week and a half since he won?

MICHAEL CHERTOFF, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, Erin, first let me say, I have to take my hat off to him because he demonstrated an ability to read the mood of the American public that confounded all the data crunchers. And I think you have to give him some credit for that.

I also have to say, obviously, I reacted to Donald Trump on the campaign trail. But since the election, I think he's demonstrated a more measured and more inclusive approach. It's still early and, obviously, he hasn't even started in office yet. But at least I'm encouraged that what we're hearing seems to be sober, disciplined, and appropriate.

BURNETT: And, obviously, that's significant. And I know you say you'll see but that's what you have seen so far. Obviously, one of the only ways we have to judge him right now are the choices, the picks that he's makings for these crucial positions.

And, you know, we just had this report on General Flynn who, of course, as you know, has come under fire for some of the things he said, particularly about Muslims. And I just want to read again one tweet from General Flynn this year that got a lot of criticism. He said, "Fear of Muslims is," in all caps, "rational. Please forward this to others. The truth fears no questions." And then he included a link to a video claiming Islamophobia was rational and that Islam wanted 80 percent of humanity enslaved or exterminated. Does that give you any pause?

CHERTOFF: Well, obviously, any statement that someone makes, you have to consider. But I'm very reluctant to regard tweets as a real measure of what a person thinks. I don't think a 140 characters is how you express a complicated set of thoughts.

[19:10:02] I think in this case, look, the vast majority of Muslims are innocent people. They only want to do the right thing. There is an ideology of radical Islamism, however, which has generated terrorism, and we have to be honest and confront that. And that was the approach we took when I was in office with the Bush administration.

So the key will be, as the rubber actually hits the road, will there be a considered good judgment approach to this issue, or are we going to get a lot of rhetoric? And I think that's something Americans are rightly concerned about. But, again, we're going to have to wait and see how it plays out.

BURNETT: And you point, though, to the crucial distinction between radical Islam, which is a problem, right? The President of France will talk about how, you know, he's at war with radical Islam and the religion of hundreds of millions, more than a billion people. You know, Flynn didn't just tweet about it. He also talked about it in his speech this summer. And I wanted to play just a little clip of that for you to get your thoughts. Here is he.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FLYNN: Islam is a political ideology. It is a political ideology. It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion. It's like cancer, and I've gone through cancer in my own life. And so it's like cancer. And it's like a malignant cancer, though, in this case. It has metastasized.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: That speech was from August of this year, Secretary. Given that he said these things, does he, does Donald Trump, have a responsibility to the Muslim community to say, we're going to govern differently, or we actually believe those things?

CHERTOFF: Well, I do think, as President, Donald Trump is going to have to address the Muslim community. And, look, a major part of what we need to do, in order to fight back on the ideology of terror, is to enlist the community in helping us. And, in fact, we've seen over time that most Muslims want to be helpful. They're losing their own sons and daughters to these terrorists.

BURNETT: Yes.

CHERTOFF: I was in Iraq and Afghanistan. I swore in permanent residents who came from the region who were fighting for the United States. So I hope the President will take the opportunity early on to make it clear that the vast majority of Muslims who are American citizens are loyal to America, and we ought to work together to root out those people who are trying to pervert their religion and pursue their own political and ideological ends.

BURNETT: And I want to ask you about one other person here, Jeff Sessions, of course, the Senator now picked for Attorney General. You've known him for a long time, overlapped in many points in your professional life.

As you know, he is being criticized by a lot of people, including Chuck Schumer, for comments he made in the past using the "N" word, joking about the KKK. You know him. What's your view on who he is now?

CHERTOFF: Well, again, you know, there are all kinds of allegations about comments 30 years ago which I have no knowledge about. I can tell you, in dealing with him, particularly when he was a Senator, I didn't always agree with him, but I found Senator Sessions to be knowledgeable, smart, willing to engage, and willing to listen.

And people I know, who actually were closer to him, are really willing to vouch for him as being someone who is not carrying any kind of racial animus. Now, they'll get an opportunity to question him about his views when he gets into his confirmation hearing. And I think rather than picking over allegations that are 30 years old, they ought to ask him, forthrightly, what are his views on the critical civil rights issues that we face today?

BURNETT: All right. Secretary Chertoff, thank you so much for your time tonight.

CHERTOFF: Good to be on.

BURNETT: All right. And, now, I want to bring in David Gergen, who served as an adviser to four presidents including Reagan and Clinton. David, you heard Secretary Chertoff there. He thinks that Donald Trump needs to address the Muslim issue directly, but he does think he's been more sober and disciplined in the past week and a half. What is your take on these choices today, specifically General Flynn?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I have great respect for Michael Chertoff. I do respectfully disagree with him about the direction in which Mr. Trump has gone. I think, yes, we want to be fair minded and open minded about this. We want to give him a chance as Hillary Clinton argued some time ago.

But having said that, I think we can begin to make judgments about what direction he's taking. And every single one of his appointments, with the exception of his new Chief of Staff, has been on the other edges of conservatism. These have been people who are considered pretty extreme in their views.

And I can just tell you that I can't imagine the -- well, I can't imagine George W. Bush actually appointing these people. I cannot imagine, certainly, his father. And Ronald Reagan nominated Mr. Sessions for federal judgeship, and he was turned down by the Judiciary Committee controlled by Republicans because of his views.

Now, I think, in all of these cases, there are things that they've said -- Senator Sessions, maybe 30 years ago, he disagrees with what's being charged of him. But I think the only fair way to do this is consider his whole record. Let's look at what's happened over the last 30 years. Give it scrutiny.

[19:15:10] But I think what we do know is that Donald Trump is selecting people who have extreme views. They really want to focus on going after ISIS. And in their view, that means going after -- maybe having a registry for Muslims, doing other things. They want to go after the people who are here that's unauthorized or undocumented folks who are here. And Donald Trump wants to get at least 2 to 3 million of them out of this country because he said they, you know, have committed crimes.

BURNETT: Right.

GERGEN: All the other serious studies of this say the numbers are much, much smaller than that. So we are heading down a road right now which validates and will please the people who voted for him, many of the people who voted for him. But I will tell you, it's got a lot of other people -- they were fearful after the election. Now, they feel that their fears are validated. This is exactly what they were worried about.

BURNETT: All right. Well, next, will one man possibly change that? Mitt Romney talking about Trump -- going to meet with him tomorrow, but here he is on Trump during the campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: Trickle down racism, trickle down bigotry, trickle down misogyny. All of these things are extraordinarily dangerous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Could they possibly work together now? Plus, more on the breaking news at this hour, Trump settling the Trump University fraud suit. Apparently, everybody who went to Trump University is going to get at least half their money back. Pretty stunning for a guy who said he didn't do anything wrong.

And keeping Trump safe in Trump Tower, among the challenges for the Secret Service, the all glass building on a crowded city street in midtown Manhattan.

And tonight, anti-Trump protests growing in Cleveland. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: We are just hours from a highly anticipated meeting. This meeting is between the President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney. The men were bitter enemies. That's an understatement. It's an understatement. They hated each other during the campaign.

[19:20:13] But now, in a stunning reversal, they are actually going to sit down and the conversation could include the possibility of Romney having the pinnacle job in the Trump administration, the Secretary of State title. Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMNEY: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Every way, every day, throughout the election, Mitt Romney showed contempt for Donald Trump and the presidential candidate returned the favor.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The last election should have been won except Romney choked like a dog. He choked. He went, I can't breathe.

FOREMAN (voice-over): At the convention to crown the new GOP nominee, the former pick was conspicuously absent, having repeatedly damned Trump's statements about Mexicans, Muslims, and women.

ROMNEY: Trickle down racism, trickle down bigotry, trickle down misogyny. All of these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The candidate always hit back, tweeting, "Mitt Romney had his chance to beat a failed president. Now he calls me racist." And Romney always pressed on.

ROMNEY: This is not a matter of just policy. It's more a matter of character and integrity.

FOREMAN (voice-over): However, policy is part of it, especially foreign policy.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Cold War has been over for 20 years.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Critics ridiculed Romney in 2012 for his worries about Russia. But now, even after Russia's land grab in Ukraine and accusations of Moscow hacking American computers --

ROMNEY: Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin. At the same time, he's called George W. Bush a liar. That is a twisted example of evil trumping good.

FOREMAN (voice-over): On immigration --

TRUMP: Build a wall. Build a wall.

FOREMAN (voice-over): -- the candidate talked of building a wall, Romney talked of opening doors.

ROMNEY: Hey, guys, my party is pro-legal immigration. Massively.

FOREMAN (voice-over): And on remaking international trade deals, Romney said Trump's plans would lose jobs and spur a new recession.

ROMNEY: But you say, wait, wait, wait. Isn't he a huge business success? Doesn't he know what he's talking about? No, he isn't. And no, he doesn't.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Trump clearly heard Romney's complaints and had it.

ROMNEY: I backed him. You can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees. He would have dropped to his knees.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Apparently, so had Romney.

ROMNEY (through phone): These things are personal. These -- I mean, I love this country. And seeing this is breaking my heart.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOREMAN: In short, these men have disagreed on so much, it is impossible to imagine what they're going come to terms on now. After all, it is hard to let bitter arguments be water under the bridge already, and it's even harder if you find out the bridge was burned long ago. Erin.

BURNETT: As that piece seems to indicate. Thank you very much, Tom Foreman. And pretty amazing when you see all that put together.

OUTFRONT now, the former public policy director for Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, Lanhee Chen; Editor-in-Chief of "The Daily Beast," John Avlon; Former Reagan White House political director, Jeffrey Lord; and the executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, Basil Smikle.

So, Basil, let me start with you. That was a pretty stunning piece, just to put it all together. People may remember one or two of those things, but this was constant and it was virulent. They are now meeting together. Mitt Romney is now having his name floated, people are floating it, as a possible Secretary of State. Is Romney guilty of flip-flopping here? Could he even consider that when he clearly meant what he said?

BASIL SMIKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE: It is more than a flip-flop. I just think about the "Walking Dead" and Negan and Rick Carl going at each other through a walking dead fest. But that said --

(LAUGHTER) SMIKLE: But that said, you know, it was actually at this set when I was watching the interview with Mitt Romney and he talked about trickle down racism, trickle down misogyny. It is not enough to forgive the 47 percent comment, but I was like, OK, Mitt, I'll give you a little leeway in trying to push Donald Trump back.

For him to potentially turn around, make a complete 180 and capitulate to a Donald Trump, to me, is absolutely stunning. From Donald Trump's point of view, I think, you know, this is what he wants. He has no compunction about taking somebody like a Chris Christie who is incredibly loyal, pushing him to the side, and then saying to one of his strongest rivals, look, you need to come to me and heel to some extent.

BURNETT: Yes.

SMIKLE: And to me that is stunning.

BURNETT: Get down on your knees, as he said. He would have begged on his knees.

SMIKLE: Right. He did do that.

BURNETT: But, Lanhee, it is very serious because, as you point out, knowing Mitt Romney so well, this was not speech writer who wrote these things. This was Mitt Romney.

LANHEE CHEN, FORMER PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR FOR MITT ROMNEY: Yes.

BURNETT: He meant every word that he said.

CHEN: Yes. I mean, the concerns are genuine. There's no question about it.

BURNETT: Yes.

[19:25:02] CHEN: And those concerns remain, but the election is over now, right? We are in a different phase of the year. And the reality is this, Donald Trump has invited Mitt Romney for a meeting because he's trying to figure out a way to govern. And Mitt Romney is a patriot and so Mitt Romney's going to do what he can to help Donald Trump succeed. This is not a secret to anybody.

Remember, after the election, there was Mitt Romney tweeting, in a favorable way, toward Donald Trump. And there was phone call --

BURNETT: Yes. He was one of the first. He was very gracious.

CHEN: To congratulate him.

BURNETT: Yes. Right.

CHEN: And Governor Romney is one of the most, if not the most gracious person I've met. So it doesn't surprise me at all that this is about helping the President-elect govern. It is not about forgetting about all the issues that there were during the campaign because there were issues. And there are policy differences, don't get me wrong, but this is about governing. And I think that's why this meeting is on.

BURNETT: Is this inconsistent, though? I mean, there's something -- I mean, this is the tough thing, right? There's patriotism if you're Mitt Romney, and then there's a deeply devout religious man who has convictions about another man. Can he go work for him? Can he go execute his foreign policy, especially when we see the people who were named today to lead that foreign policy?

JOHN AVLON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, that is the key question. You know, for Mitt Romney -- for Donald Trump, it makes a ton of sense, if you want to unite the Party, if you want to try to unite the nation.

BURNETT: Yes.

AVLON: One of the things about the appointments today is, he is -- and this isn't a reflection of a non-ideological, pragmatic guy. This is someone playing to the base with three out of the four nominations to date. Bringing on board Mitt Romney would help that. But to that extent, Trump might need Romney more than Romney needs Trump.

And Romney may rationalize it by saying, you know what, this is a chance to serve my country and represent my country to the world. The problem is, inevitably, he'll have to represent Donald Trump's policies.

BURNETT: Yes.

SMIKLE: Right.

AVLON: That gap will ultimately become untenable.

BURNETT: You believe, for Mitt Romney.

CHEN: That's true.

BURNETT: Now, there's also this issue of loyalty. You heard Donald Trump talk about Mitt Romney having no loyalty.

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR FOR RONALD REAGAN: Right.

BURNETT: All right. There is nothing more important to Donald Trump than loyalty. Here he is just a couple of times on the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There's never been the loyalty that we have.

I have the most loyal people.

This guy is so loyal.

And been very, very loyal.

He's been loyal to Trump from Day One.

And she's so loyal and so amazing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Do you believe he really can bring himself to pick Mitt Romney for Secretary of State?

LORD: I think that he will do what he thinks he needs to do to build a good team, but the loyalty is obviously important. I would say not just for Donald Trump but for any President of the United States. I mean, President Obama certainly --

BURNETT: Like, referring to Reagan, he picked people who were very nasty to him, who would -- right? I mean --

LORD: Right. And, right, he did but they were loyal. Vice President Bush was his opponent, but he was very, very loyal to President Reagan throughout the entire eight years there.

BURNETT: Right.

LORD: So, I mean, but that is key when you are operating in the White House. I mean, it's important to remember that one person got elected President. It wasn't Mitt Romney. It's not some member of the White House staff. It's not anybody else. It's Donald Trump.

So either you are there to support his view of the world -- and it doesn't mean that you can't, you know, have differences and all that sort of thing -- but if you can't do that, don't do the job.

CHEN: Right.

SMIKLE: Well, yes. I mean, look, if you took it -- look, Hillary Clinton ran a bitter campaign against Barack Obama --

LORD: Exactly.

SMIKLE: -- but she didn't call him a misogynist.

(LAUGHTER)

BURNETT: It's not even close. By the way, I looked up the words. It's not even remotely close. Their --

AVLON: Right.

SMIKLE: She didn't call him a misogynist so there's a --

AVLON: No.

BURNETT: Their rhetoric.

AVLON: Yes, I know. SMIKLE: Yes. So there's a possibility to work together after this.

AVLON: We all like team of rivals, but for someone who talks such a big game about loyalty, that does seem to be missing. I mean, you know, Chris Christie sacrificed his reputation in some respects to be the first governor, first competitor, to back Donald Trump. And he seems to have been unceremoniously purged from the campaign.

And, you know, certainly, I think no surrogate, as Trump said on election night, did more than Rudy Giuliani, and they seem to be shopping around --

BURNETT: Who you used to work for several years --

AVLON: Yes.

LORD: Absolutely. Yes.

AVLON: Yes. And look, you know, I mean, who knows how that will ultimately turn out? But if you are going to talk a big game about loyalty, stand up for the people who have been loyal to you and follow through.

CHEN: This is going to require, I think, both -- if it's going to go anywhere, it is going to require both gentlemen to do things that they have not done before. It's going to require both gentlemen to set some things aside, I think.

For Trump, it is clearly going to have to be that he's going to have to overlook the loyalty issue in this particular case because he believes country has to come first.

BURNETT: Right.

CHEN: And for Governor Romney, country has to come first over all of these other concerns that were out there from campaign.

LORD: And in --

SMIKLE: In particular --

BURNETT: All right. Oh, I got to leave it there.

SMIKLE: OK.

BURNETT: Next, Trump Tower, one of the biggest draws in New York -- you know, it always used to get a lot of tourists, but it's a whole new game now. I've been there on the streets. Can the Secret Service keep Trump safe in his own home?

And Trump's controversial national security picks racing real fear tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RASHAD ROBINSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COLOR OF CHANGE: Senator Sessions overseeing the Justice Department should send chills down the backs of anyone of good faith in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:33:21] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news: protesters to the streets in Cleveland tonight. The backlash building over Trump and some of the people he's tapped to lead his administration. They include Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn for national security adviser, two men who have made controversial comments about minorities in the past and that is causing concern among many who voted for Hillary Clinton who tonight now leads the popular vote, get this, by 1.1 million votes.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SALAM AL-MARAYATI, DIRECTOR, MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL: The assistant attorney general for national security --

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The wait is over for these Muslim activists who say they now see the real President Trump. His appointments sounding alarms from D.C. to Los Angeles.

AL-MARAYATI: Whether you are talking about wide spread surveillance or deportations or denationalization.

LAH (on camera): This becomes more real.

AL-MARAYATI: Yes. Absolutely, we have to accept their rhetoric. We can't wait until the policies are rolled out. These people represent that mentality.

LAH (voice-over): Al-Marayati is talking about Trump's national security appointments. Muslims most concerned about retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn --

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET), TRUMP APPOINTEE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Radical Islamists and failed tyrants.

LAH: -- offered the role of national security advisor.

He said this over the summer.

FLYNN: Islam is a political ideology. It is a political ideology. It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion.

LAH: For African Americans, their main concern, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions nominated for attorney general.

RESHAD ROBINSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COLOR OF CHANGE: Senator Sessions overseeing the Justice Department should send chills down the backs of anyone of good faith in this country.

[19:35:04] LAH: Look at history, says Robinson. In 1986 during Senate judiciary hearings as Sessions sought a federal judge position, testimony included accusations that he joked about the KKK and called the NAACP un-American.

JEFF SESSIONS: I am not a racist. I am not insensitive to blacks.

LAH: Sessions was denied that federal judgeship. The NAACP released a statement calling his appointment as the head of the U.S. Justice Department deeply troubling, and that "by every means available, the NAACP will continue to stand against a regressive and intolerant views that Senator Sessions espouses."

AL-MARAYATI: It is the time for religious --

LAH: Al-Marayati says minority groups are furiously reaching out to each other, building a coalition, preparing for the worst in Donald Trump.

AL-MARAYATI: He is one person and he cannot rule by the iron fist. This democracy will be upheld. We believe in our democracy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: So, what does he mean about trying to create that opposition on the grassroots level? It means trying to form a coalition between all minority groups, to create a large coalition, a large opposition to Donald Trump, and politically, in Washington trying to use their influence to advocate for their positions in Washington itself. So, a two-pronged approach. He says that what certainly minority groups have learned in recent history, Erin, is that the worst mistake is to be quiet and invisible -- Erin.

BURNETT: Kyung, thank you very much.

OUTFRONT now, conservative radio host Ben Ferguson and Angela Rye, the former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus.

We talked a bit about General Flynn earlier in the show. So, I want to focus a little bit more here on Jeff sessions. Senator Sessions, attorney general.

Ben, as attorney general, he will be able to shape policy in this country for minorities, for immigration, as you heard. Many very concerned.

Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez today issued a statement denouncing Sessions. And here, let me just read it in part for you, Ben, "He ran for the Senate because he was deemed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as too racist to serve as a federal judge. He's the kind of person who will set back law enforcement, civil rights, the courts, and increase America's mass incarceration industry and erase 50 years of progress."

You heard others in Kyung's piece who are concerned. Why are they all wrong?

BEN FERGUSON, RADIO HOST, "THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW": Well, one, you look at his record of what he's done recently. He's been a vocal person who said that we should look at changing crack cocaine laws because it disproportionately affects minorities. He also voted in favor of Eric Holder and said he didn't see any reason to hold up his nomination.

So, he's a very fair person who doesn't play politics on that issue. And when he was in state of Alabama there, he did many things there to make sure that minorities were well-represented when he had a chance to do it. He also supported the Medal of Honor going to Rosa Parks.

So, if you are a the racist you are not doing all of these things that some people are trying to back quotes from 30-plus years ago. People can change. And if you look at the record of Jeff Sessions, I think it is a record that you can look at and seeing his time in the Senate, he's done an awful lot for minorities and it went against some of his Republican colleagues at the time, including Eric Holder for goodness sakes.

BURNETT: He makes a strong case.

ANGELA RYE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: And I would just beg to disagree. I think the real issue that we have here now is what he just said last year and what he said the year prior and the number of measures that he's introduced.

FERGUSON: What did he say?

RYE: Ben, I'm actually talking now. I'm going to finish my point.

FERGUSON: I'm curious what he said.

RYE: Ben, I'm going to finish my point, thank you. It is interesting to note he's introduced measures that would call for if a person has been an illegal immigrant and they came into this country, if they were deported, if they come back, he wants them to serve five years in prison. Of course that helps the mass incarceration industry just like the quote that we just saw from Luis Gutierrez. I'm sorry that I -- you know, there are a number of people who have done horribly racist things in their past and they can --

FERGUSON: That's not racism. That's law enforcement.

RYE: I'm not finished, Ben.

FERGUSON: Well, we can have a discussion.

RYE: Let me finish my point because I did not interrupt you. I'm not going to ask you again. Thank you.

So, the Rosa Parks Medal of Honor Award is fantastic. But here's the reality, there is a group called the Marion three. In 1984, Jeff Sessions used his authority to do what we call voter intimidation of these three people, one of them was a lead organizer in the Selma march to help to insure and preserve voting rights in this country for black people. These people singlehandedly insured that more than 80 percent of African-Americans were registered in Alabama, 44 percent of Alabama's residents at the time at Jeff Session's tenure as the U.S. attorney there were 44 percent African Americans. He did a lot to shut the doors on those people and suppress their votes. That is a record worth that is reviewing.

BURNETT: Go ahead, Ben.

FERGUSON: Let's deal with one of the things you just said a moment ago where you said Jeff Sessions was in favor if an illegal immigrant is sent out of the country --

(CROSSTALK)

[19:40:03] RYE: -- introduced a bill.

FERGUSON: Right, and he can't -- I just said he's in favor of it, what I'm actually saying.

RYE: He's introduced a bill.

FERGUSON: I'm proud of that. He's proud of that. I'm not disputing that. I'm glad he did it because his point was when you come back into this country and you have already been kicked out of this country illegally once, that is not racism. I know you love playing the racism card. That is law and order is what that is.

RYE: I'm not playing the racism --

FERGUSON: Sure you are. It's not racist to say that if you're criminal, and you leave the country, and you come back in, you should spend time in jail.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: And that's why Jeff Sessions has been picked as the attorney general because he's not afraid to make tough decisions on illegal immigrants who obviously do not respect the laws of the United States of America. If you want to advocate for law-breaking, that's your prerogative. But Jeff Sessions saying we --

RYE: I'm sure you know that is not what I'm doing.

FERGUSON: -- we need a very -- that's exactly what you are advocating for. You are saying those people should come back and not get in trouble for breaking the law --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: -- serving five years in fail.

FERGUSON: Obviously, five years would be a deterrent to people coming back in illegally. And I think that is what Jeff Sessions was saying.

RYE: And do you know what else it does, Ben? It ensures that CAA who's stock rose right after --

(CROSSTALK) BURNETT: A publicly traded prison company. Yes, go ahead.

RYE: Exactly, a private prison. Their stock went up a day after Donald Trump won the election. So, Jeff Sessions would also be helping their business and I'm sure you know there is a clear connection there.

BURNETT: I want to ask you, Ben, because it is Jeff Sessions, also comments like this. Steve Bannon who's going to be the chief strategist, senior counselor for Donald Trump in the White House. Just spoke to the "Hollywood Reporter", OK, and he said of his role and what those who dislike are saying.

He said, "Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Dart Vader. Satan. That's power. It also helps us when they get it wrong, when they are blind to who we are and what we are doing."

And obviously the "they" I would presume is liberals, anyone who disagrees with him. Darkness, Darth Vader. Satan. You can chuckle, Ben. But is this the kind of rhetoric that he should be using as a time when minorities are concerned?

FERGUSON: I think his point is the rhetoric that's being used against him has gotten to the point of being ridiculous and others. We're how many days after the election? A week and two day, week and three days and people are painting this picture of the evil scary group of people that Donald Trump is putting there after he just won the White House.

So, I think he's mocking these people and saying, basically, look at what we're actually doing, not the fearmongering that's going on by many of the left that are trying to turn us into Satan, into Darth Vader, the same way they did with Dick Cheney.

When I saw those comments, I'll be honest -- I actually thought it was pretty funny because his point is actually pretty accurate. The media and many have been overreacting to this administration. First, they said it was in despair and disaster in transition of which is not the case at all. They are ahead of schedule compared to what Barack Obama did. And people need to calm down.

And he's right. It only helps them focus on their agenda and moving forward when people go to this extreme measure to label individuals as some extreme person in a week.

RYE: I think the important thing to note here is that the transition was in trouble. The transition was a disaster just like his campaign.

FERGUSON: It wasn't.

BURNETT: We had reported there was turmoil within.

RYE: Exactly, and it's common knowledge at this point. I think the thing that you have to remember is Donald Trump is now supposed to be the next commander in chief. A commander-in-chief has a responsibility to calm restless people, to assuage people of their fears, to ensure that people understand that they have a place here and that's actually not what they're doing. They're instead digging in --

(CROSSTALK)

RYE: Ben, I did not cut you off.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: But you can't have it both ways.

RYE: No, but what I'm telling you is what he's done instead is he's appointed people that are the worst possible representatives of ensuring a united country. They are divisive. They have demonstrated through bills introduced, through rhetoric at Breitbart. This is --

FERGUSON: This goes exactly to the point that Steve Bannon is making.

BURNETT: Final word, Ben.

FERGUSON: You cannot have it both ways.

RYE: I'm not asking for both ways.

FERGUSON: You can't come out and saying that Donald Trump needs to be talking to you and having this kumbaya movement and then criticize him for not putting together a government. Donald Trump has come out and he's picking the people he thinks are the best for these positions. And I think that majority of the people that voted for him are going to like law and order --

(CROSSTALK)

RYE: But not the majority of the country.

FERGUSON: I disagree.

BURNETT: And the context is she is ahead about more than a million votes in popular vote now. Even though he obviously won the Electoral College.

FERGUSON: Well, he won.

BURNETT: Thanks to vote.

And next, breaking news, Trump settling the fraud case against Trump University $25 million. If he didn't do anything wrong, why are students at a minimum getting half their money back?

And Ivanka Trump sitting in on her father's meeting with the Japanese prime minister. Should she also be running the family business then?

And Trump security guaranteed while he is in Trump Tower. Is it possible? Even New York's mayor admits it won't be easy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[19:45:00] MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY: But it is an unprecedented challenge. We have never had a situation where a president of the United States would be here on such a regular basis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: New tonight, an unprecedented plan in place to protect Donald Trump while he's at home in one of the busiest parts of New York, midtown Manhattan. The Secret Service working with the NYPD. They now have 24-hour coverage with snipers and radiation gear around Trump Tower.

Making matters even more challenging tonight, hundreds of thousands of tourists. In fact, there's going to be millions -- nearly 10 million of them will descend on Fifth Avenue for the holiday season.

Deborah Feyerick is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I realize this is a whole different life for me now.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a man used to going when he wants where he wants, the president-elect's impromptu visit to a Manhattan restaurant drew noticeable attention as his motorcade left his Manhattan residence.

Trump Tower is a gleaming 58-story luxury high rise in the heart of midtown. But for Secret Service agents, it's also a logistical and tactical nightmare.

Among the top three concerns --

BILL GAGE, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Checklist is going to be the height. The second is probably all the glass. And then there's the streets around it, the threat from the vehicle-borne explosive device.

[19:50:04] FEYERICK: There's also the threat from the air. The FAA has established a temporary no fly zone four times the height of Trump Tower and expanding two nautical miles along one of the busiest flight corridors on the East Coast.

The outside of the building is now tightly guarded, to prevent what happened this summer when a climber using giant suction cups scaled the all-glass exterior.

And everything inside Trump Tower will have to be secured, from the air vents, to the elevators, even floors surrounding both the president elect's penthouse apartment and his office on the 26th floor.

GAGE: The standard general rule when you're doing a security advance is one floor below and one floor above, but that all -- it doesn't always work.

FEYERICK: Screening now a way of life with anyone going in or out buildings, 58 stories of the resident and commercial tenants all screened, including packages, mail and deliveries.

DE BLASIO: The extent you can avoid the immediate area around Trump Tower, that will make your own life easier and everyone else's life easier.

FEYERICK: The building will be protected by heavily armed NYPD officers and the Secret Service 24 hours a day. Counter-surveillance and assault teams will be in place whenever the president-elect is inside. And there will be a team in charge of securing and maintaining an area for top secret conversations.

DAVID BEACH, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, NY FIELD OFFICE: We have a long-standing partnership and very successful record here in New York City in protecting venues and people. So, we're very comfortable with our plan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: And the U.S. Secret Service is certainly going to need the help of NYPD, Erin. I don't know if you can see but behind me there is a critical response team and they have got dogs, K9s, heavily armed officers. They are here and the president elect isn't. He's actually in New Jersey, but from where I standing, I counted at least 50 officers and now large trucks are not going to be able to pass by Trump Tower.

So, you've got a very heavy police presence. The Secret Service sources telling me they are already stretched. There's a shortage of agents and I'm also told that in fact they're more going to be needed because of extra protection for Donald Trump's wife and his children -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

And next, the breaking news Trump agreeing to a multimillion dollar settlement in the Trump University fraud cases. Why the man who says he never settles a lawsuit settled so big this time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:56:25] BURNETT: Breaking news: President-elect Trump has agreed to settle three lawsuits over Trump University. The cost: a whopping $25 million, which is tonight's big number.

Students claim they were misled about what they would learn that Trump himself would pick the instructors. For example, they said he did not do that. Thousands of students will get at least 50 percent of their money back, up to 100 percent possible for some. Trump doesn't admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

OUTFRONT now, our legal analyst, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, Paul Callan.

OK. I understand this has to get resolved from his perspective. So, that rush could lead you to a non-ideal settlement from his perspective? PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely.

BURNETT: But nonetheless, if people are getting at least half their money back, maybe even a 100 percent, you know, Mitt Romney famously said Trump University degree was worthless, as worthless as Donald Trump's word. Is this in some way admitting guilt by virtue of the size of the settlement?

CALLAN: It's an enormous settlement for the alleged victims here and also for Attorney General Snyderman here in New York who was escoriated by Trump for having brought the suit.

BURNETT: Oh, yes.

CALLAN: And now there are 6,000 victims. And I went over numbers. If you divide the 6,000 victims into the $25 million, it looks like pretty much everybody is getting their money back, which means it is the entire gross revenue of Trump University.

Now, that is like suing GM in a class action suit because of some fraud and you get all of the company, all right? That is a big victory for the victims.

BURNETT: Right, it is stunning. And again I know he did have to settle it. I know he doesn't technically admit to wrongdoing. But when you look at this as the lawyer, do you ever settle like this unless you know you are going to get killed in court?

CALLAN: Well, no, you don't. Except, I will say this, in class action litigation, if the case goes forward, if you don't get it dismissed before its jury time, most of them do settle, because there are so many -- 6,000 claimants in the case. And God knows if the jury said let's give $50,000 to each of the 6,000, let's do the math and you will see how big these verdicts are. So, he was compelled to do it.

But also, if he's going to be forced to testify in a lawsuit during his presidency about claims he defrauded students, so, very embarrassing politically and there are political reasons to settle this as well as legal.

BURNETT: So, I wanted to show you a picture but I can't, OK? And reason I can't show the picture I want everybody to know is because Donald Trump has this meeting with the prime minister of Japan yesterday Shinzo Abe. His daughter was there, Ivanka Trump.

Donald Trump did not let the press in, which is protocol. That is what you do. You let the press in. They take pictures. You don't get too choose what people are going to see and release it. That is why we're not going to show the picture they put out there.

But there is a picture of her being in the room. So, I'm not going to ask you about the issue with the press, which I think is a serious one. This issue is about Ivanka Trump. She's in his first meeting with a world leader when he says she's not going to have anything to do with government and is going to be running his business, which would obviously stand to benefit from any international deals he does in any way.

How is this not conflict of interest at this point?

CALLAN: Well, when you talk about a conflict of interest, though, there is a moral conflict or an ethnical conflict of interest to talk about, and a it clearly arises to that level.

But legal conflict of interest? No. There's no law that says he can't have his daughter in all of the meetings at the White House if he wants.

BURNETT: Even if she is running the Trump Organization.

CALLAN: Absolutely, because there's no law that even requires him to be independent of the Trump Organization. He could continue to run it if he wanted to, it's all about political optics and we've never had a president whose a businessman like this before.

BURNETT: Unbelievable. It is unbelievable. We'll see what they will choose to do.

Thank you very much, Paul Callan, and thanks to all of you. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.