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Trump Meets With Mitt Romney Amid Transition; Source: Retired General A Top Candidate For Defense Secy.; Critics Slam Trump Picks Over Lack Of Diversity; Will Trump Target China After Taking The Oath?; Asia-Pacific Leaders Concerned about Trump; Democrats Criticize Trump's National Security Picks; Trump Criticized for Cabinet Lack of Diversity; Carrier Workers Sound Off on Trump. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired November 19, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Top of the hour, 5:00 pm Eastern. You are live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. And we begin with Donald Trump meeting behind closed doors today with the people who could fill his cabinet and other top level positions at The White House. One man he met with is retired general who could possibly be a top candidate for defense secretary.
Much more on that meeting in just a moment. First, though, the meeting Trump had earlier today that raised a lot of eyebrows. He shook hands and met face to face with Mitt Romney for an hour and 20 minutes. Romney, of course, leading republican who launched a blistering attack on Trump throughout the campaign.
To say the two have had a rocky relationship is putting it mildly. Here is a little bit of the barbs that they traded during the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, (R) 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mitt was a disaster as a candidate.
ROMNEY: He's playing the members of the American public for suckers.
TRUMP: Romney let us all down. He was a very poor campaigner.
ROMNEY: He gets a free ride to The White House and all we get is a lousy hat.
TRUMP: Romney choked like a dog. He choked. He went --
ROMNEY: His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.
TRUMP: I have a lot of friends. No, I have a lot of friends. By the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: What remains to be seen is whether the two can actually get
past all of that and actually come together. Our Phil Mattingly is live for us tonight in Bedminster, New Jersey. It's not just the personal barbs, I mean, they are on opposite pages when it comes to big policy issues, namely Russia, free trade, et cetera. What do we know about what came of the meeting?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, on both economic and foreign policy, they don't seem to be in line at all. And that's what makes kind of the idea of Mitt Romney serving in a President-elect Trump's administration raise some eyebrows and seen a little bit head scratching. But it's worth noting that this meeting today was one that as you played the sound, we never expected to happen and yet it did anyway.
Trump transition officials making very clear they are considering in President-elect Donald Trump, he's considering Mitt Romney for a possible position inside the administration. Now, the question has been, what would that position potentially be? We know Mitt Romney has been interested in the past in potentially serving as secretary of state, we know Donald Trump needs a secretary of state.
When Mitt Romney emerged from the meeting, Poppy, this is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: We had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance. We discussed those areas and exchanged our views on those topics. Very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had. And appreciate the chance to speak with the president-elect and look forward to the coming administration and the things and that --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor --
ROMNEY: -- that he will be doing. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Poppy, the key point being that they only focused on foreign policy during that hour and 20 minute meeting not talking about domestic or economic affairs at all. Kind of some hunch being dropped there. But again, the big question I think we don't have an answer to right now is, as you pointed out, they are very divergent on several key issues.
Even on the foreign policy side of things, can they figure out a way to work through those, to work together in the administration? We don't have answer with that yet. But as I said, we do know Mitt Romney is under consideration for a potential position. We'll have to wait and see if that actually comes to be. HARLOW: Yes. That would be fascinating if that does come to fruition. Phil, before I let you go I know you have some breaking news on another really key meeting that the president-elect had today, potentially with someone who could serve as defense secretary?
MATTINGLY: Yes. I think we've all been paying attention to Mitt Romney meeting obviously. But there are a number of meetings today happening here in Bedminster that could be with potential cabinet picks. And one that I'm told to keep a very close eye on, Donald Trump just had an hour and five-minute meeting with retired Marine General James Mattis.
Now, James Mattis obviously very well-known in the military and foreign policy community, served 44 years in the marines, was known for his service in Iraq, in Afghanistan, as the commander of central command based down in Tampa, Florida. Pretty much done everything you could do on the military side of things.
What I'm told from a source familiar with the transition operation is to keep a very close eye on General James Mattis. There's a reason this meeting was as long as it was, the longest of the day other than the meeting with Mitt Romney. He is somebody that is very intriguing to President-elect Trump. He is somebody that President-elect Trump is very interested in having in his administration.
And that may very well be a cabinet position, likely secretary of defense. Now, one kind of minor issue to keep in mind here, he would actually need a waiver to serve as secretary of defense because he hasn't been retired from the military long enough. But I'm told they don't feel like that's a big problem. He has a lot of allies on the Capitol Hill who would have to give him that waiver so that would help clear that process up.
But Poppy, just one thing to keep in mind, as we all focus on that very interesting Mitt Romney meeting, keep an eye on James Mattis, I'm told.
HARLOW: Yes, certainly will. Phil Mattingly, thank you. Reporting for us in Bedminster. Let's talk about all of this with my panel. Joining me Lanhee Chen, a CNN Political Analyst and a former public policy adviser and director with Mitt Romney. Also with us Gary Locke, former ambassador to China under President Obama, he's also a former secretary of commerce, and governor of Washington. Thank you for being with me.
GARY LOCKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: My pleasure, Poppy.
HARLOW: Lanhee, let me -- let me begin with you. You know Mitt Romney inside and out. You know the mind of the man. Take us into the mind of the man. I think he can probably get past the personal barbs because that's politics. Can he get on the same policy page as Donald Trump?
LANHEE CHEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, remember, Poppy, the biggest thing that we've got to know about Mitt Romney is he's a patriot and he always has been. And I think in this particular situation, look, it was a tough campaign, no one can dispute that fact. But immediately after the election, he issued congratulations to Mr. Trump. They spoke by phone.
It's his desire now to help Mr. Trump govern as he becomes president- elect and to do it effectively. On the policy side of things, you know, obviously there are some differences certainly in tone, perhaps in substance with respect to Russia. But fundamentally, I think things people need to realize is that Governor Romney's foreign policy perspective is based on the idea of placing American interests first.
And that is something that he believes is in contrast to the last eight years and something which is -- I guess, roughly consistent one would say with Mr. Trump.
HARLOW: Yes. It -- it's a very -- it's a very good point. You just wonder if they can get on the same page, particularly when it comes to this situation in Syria and Russia's role and all of that. But ambassador, let me get your take because you were part of President Obama's cabinet as secretary of commerce.
Walk me through on what the selection process was like and how it compares to what we've seen just in the past, you know, 10 odd days or so with Donald Trump and his transition team?
LOCKE: I think one thing to keep in mind is that there will be a lot of names that will be under consideration by President-elect Trump and his team. And there are a lot of moving pieces, a lot of different interest groups that you have to contend with. You want geographical balance, you want gender balance, you also want to make sure that you have a mix of different viewpoints within the prospect of cabinet.
But in the end, you've got to have people that very much agree with the objectives of the president-elect, who will serve him faithfully. And who get along with each other and have that camaraderie because that's what is really critical for an effective cabinet. You cannot have people that do not like each other, that do not get along with each other that are not willing to work with each other or who might have their own personal agendas.
HARLOW: But you make a great point on diversity because as we know you served under President Obama, he nominated several republicans as secretary of commerce, you served alongside republicans Ray LaHood, Robert Gates, also Michael Donnelly to name a few. Talk about the difficulties of that, but also the benefits of having that diversity of ideology.
LOCKE: Well, this is a president who's going to serve the entire country and you want the president to succeed because if a president succeeds, America succeeds. And so you need people of different political views, different backgrounds to really bring fresh perspectives and new ways of thinking to The White House and to the president himself or had Hillary Clinton been elected to herself.
You want that diversity of viewpoint and experiences. And because we have political parties in Washington, D.C., you got to really try to be bipartisan as well. HARLOW: So here's the thing, the optics. So we know three big names,
Lanhee Chen. We know Senator Jeff Sessions, we know Representative Pompeo for head of CIA and we also know General Flynn for national security adviser. Those are three men, three white men. The other two names getting talked about a lot right now are Mitt Romney and then General Mattis, two more white men. Is there a problem with that?
CHEN: Look, I think at the end of the day, what the president-elect wants to do is he wants to pick the best people for these jobs. Now, obviously, if he can have a cabinet or a senior team that's reflective of America more broadly, that's great. But I think really what they're focused on --
HARLOW: (INAUDIBLE) you say it's great, it's not imperative?
CHEN: Well, no. I think they're focused on picking the best people for the job. I -- you know, again, maybe there's a difference in philosophy between the parties here, but fundamentally I think what this president-elect and his team be focused on is on selecting people who can do the job well and faithfully and serve the people of the United States well as well, regardless of whatever their personal background, or political party or others might be.
HARLOW: Ambassador Locke, what's your response to that? Do you think diversity is nice to have or do you think it's an imperative?
LOCKE: Well, because we are a diverse America, there are highly capable, highly qualified preeminent people of all different backgrounds throughout America. And it's not very hard to find people that fit the profile of America and still have high quality, the very, very best people in these positions. So they're not mutually exclusive.
HARLOW: Lanhee? They're not mutually exclusive you say?
CHEN: Well, no, they're not mutually exclusive. I mean, I think obviously as I said it would be a nice thing to have. But at this point really the focus is how do you assemble an administration that's going to be ready to govern on day one, that's going to be ready to look at the top issues and do that.
HARLOW: Isn't it -- just -- isn't it more -- isn't it more than that? Because so numerous studies have been done that show at least in businesses, if you have diverse -- diversity in the border and if you have diversity in the corner offices, businesses perform better. And the same thing would hold through for government if a government is not reflective of its people, can't there be consequences to that?
CHEN: Well, if we have this debate in the university setting, as well where I -- you know, where I teach, I'm a part of the university setting. And obviously the question is, is diversity the highest value? And some institutions will choose that and that's based -- you know, somewhat on institutional heritage but also on the leadership of that institution.
Whereas another situations, diversity maybe an important value but not the paramount value. And so, I think we just have to take a look and see what is the goal of the administration that the president-elect is putting together. And the goal of that administration in my mind at least and I can't speak for them, but my goal if I were part of that effort would be to say, "Look, we want to put together the best team possible."
If it looks like America, that is a bonus as I said earlier, but ultimately the goal should be putting together first and foremost a group that can govern and govern effectively.
HARLOW: Right. You guys are going to stay with me. I've got to get a break in here, but Lanhee Chen stay with me. Ambassador Locke, thank you very much. We're going to talk about China, obviously one of President-elect Donald Trump's favorite targets during the campaign. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: China, which has been ripping us off, the greatest abuser in the history of this country. China has been ripping us and I have many friends in China. They agree with me a 100 percent. They can't imagine, they can't even believe that they can get away with what's happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: So what happens then to the U.S.-China relationship when Donald Trump is the president? Will he keep the pressure on as he sits in the Oval Office or could that rhetoric soften a little bit? And critics haven't been happy with Donald Trump's picks so far for his White House team, as we just talked about, the lack of diversity.
We'll talk about both sides of the coin after the break. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.
HARLOW: All right, right now the annual meeting of economic powers that ring the Pacific Ocean is taking place. It is called the APEC summit. This is President Obama's last one and he is ending his time in office. The next one presumably, of course, will be attended by Donald Trump leading the American contention.
Several world leaders are already voicing their concerns about the promises made by Trump during the election. Here to talk about all of these, our Andrew Stevens joins me live tonight from Hong Kong. Former Washington State Governor and U.S. secretary of commerce and U.S. ambassador to China under President Obama, Gary Locke is with us.
And CNN Political Commentator Lanhee Chen. Guys, thank you for being here very much. And let's talk about to the big picture here when it comes to especially U.S. and China relations going forward, of course, that bilateral meeting today between President Xi of China and President Obama. President Obama, Lanhee has said we have more to fear from a weakened threatened China than we do for making successful rising China.
That is his world view? What do you think Donald Trump is when it comes to China? Is it in line with that?
CHEN: Well, I think, you know, based on what we saw on the campaign trail, one would believe that Donald Trump would engage China much more aggressively particularly with respect to our relationship with them when it comes to trade. Now that's not necessarily a good thing in terms of the way it's been phrased. But we have to say because -- we have to see kind of if that approach during the campaign translates over to a -- to an approach in government.
HARLOW: I mean, he said he would slap a 45 percent --
CHEN: Exactly, yes.
HARLOW: A 45 percent tariff on goods imported from China.
CHEN: Right. So it's one thing to say, you know, we want to approach them and seek a more constructive relationship when it comes to trade. The other thing by the way, opposition to TPP I think only strengthens China and I think that will be a challenge for us.
HARLOW: So -- this is important, and Andrew Stevens, I'd love you to weigh in on this, the Trans-Pacific Partnership this trade deal that is now really dead in the water with President-elect Trump, is actually something that sort of kept China's power in check, right? They weren't part of it, they kept their power in terms of the world economy in check.
So they didn't like it and Trump doesn't like it. And now it's not going to happen. So that is an interesting position where Donald Trump and President Xi would be on the same page, Andrew.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. It's no coincidence, Poppy, that President Xi has gone to APEC with hundreds of businessmen and he is touting his vision of trade, which is a regional comprehensive economic partnership, which is 16 countries, a lot of the Asian countries. And also, this much broader free trade area of the Asia Pacific region.
So he's touting (INAUDIBLE) TPP many people would say was designed specifically to China in check. And as Obama would say, that it allowed the U.S. to write the trade rules of the 21st century. So without that, the fear is that it will be China writing those rules, which means that environmental and labor standards could suffer.
And President Xi is pushing very hard to get his vision, which is this regional comprehensive economic partnership into operations. So that's why he's down there in Peru pushing that hard.
HARLOW: Ambassador Locke, with the perspective that you have serving as ambassador to China under President Obama, what do you think the chances are that a trade war break out if ended Donald Trump try to slap this 45 percent tariff on goods imported from China. I mean, he's called the world trade organization under former President Bill Clinton the worst trade deal in history, he's also labeled China a currency manipulator.
I mean, if all of these things he actually acts on as president, what happens?
LOCKE: Well, we all have to be very concerned if he follows through with his promise to impose a 45 percent tariff, which is basically a 45 percent tax on all goods coming from China. I mean, raising the prices of Chinese goods that you buy at the department store, the hardware store, clothes, equipment, et cetera, et cetera, raising those prices 45 percent will see -- will see a similar response by the Chinese.
I mean, they'll go ahead and slap a 45 percent tariff on all goods coming from America. And that's going to -- you know, those Chinese consumers, those Chinese --
HARLOW: So that's the (INAUDIBLE)
LOCKE: -- companies don't have to buy -- they don't have to buy Boeing airplanes. They don't have to buy MRI machines from the United States. They don't have to buy all the corn and the wheat and the soybeans that we grow and export to China. Here's an interesting statistic. China is America's number one export destination for all that we grow on our farms or process off of our farms.
So China doesn't have to buy soybeans from America and they can buy from Latin America. So millions of jobs would be at stake in America if we enter into a trade war. And quite frankly, nobody wins in a trade war, neither Chinese people, workers, employees, companies or American companies and their employees.
HARLOW: Andrew Stevens, to you. The mindset of President Xi, I think a lot of people expected something different than we've seen thus far the way it was. The cover story of "The Atlantic" this month is obviously about China and it talks about a regressing China and it talks about a political crackdown that is much different than many expected with President Xi.
How do you expect Donald Trump to work with President Xi, given his mindset?
STEVENS: Well, you talk to a lot of people in China, it's just coming to go (INAUDIBLE) about -- it's a -- it's a lose-lose if there is tariffs slapped on by a Trump administration on Chinese exports. And china would, indeed, likely retaliate, because we have seen it before when in the early days, the Obama administration, when tariffs are slapped on Chinese tires, China responded with tariffs on American chicken meat.
So there's a feeling that Donald Trump is a businessman first and he will understand that President Trump has to be a lot different to campaigning Trump. Working with President Xi that, you know, they're both strong men, you're right, there is -- has been a crackdown in China, President Xi is the most powerful Chinese leader since going back to Deng Xiaoping.
So Xi is also very focused on -- there's a lot of internal issues and people sort -- tend to forget that the internal dynamics in China are all consuming in so many ways for the leadership. The economic transition, there is growth now, the slowest in 25 years, there is this continued anti-corruption crackdown.
So there's a lot keeping the minds of China busy at home at the moment. And, you know, they will deal with Donald Trump as it comes up. We don't know what his China team is going to look like. So it's very difficult for the Chinese of this day to be formulating any plan until they see what his team looks like to get an -- sort of an idea of what direction they're going to go in.
But at the moment, they -- the feeling is, Poppy, that pragmatism will win out as far as Donald Trump is concerned when dealing with China. As the Chinese say the economies are still intertwine there too because economies in the world there is too much at stake to really -- to push hard the other direction.
HARLOW: All right, gentlemen, stay with me. I got to get a quick break. And much more of this ahead. You are live in the CNN Newsroom. We will be right back.
HARLOW: Right now, President Obama and President Xi of China are meeting at the APEC summit in Lima, Peru. We will have remarks from both leaders shortly. This is the end of President Obama's final overseas trip. And you can bet that a big topic of discussion is what the partnership between China and the United States will look like when Donald Trump is the president.
Back with me, former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke. CNN Political Commentator Lanhee Chen and CNN's Andrew Stevens who joins us in Hong Kong. What is, ambassador, the single most critical issue between the United States and China right now?
LOCKE: Well, obviously we have so many different facets of our relationship. Trade is very, very important because millions of jobs on both sides depend on two-way trade. As I said earlier, China is our number one export destination for all that we grow on and process from our farms and we sell so many manufactured goods, from airplanes to diesel engines to MRI machines to tractors and heavy equipment.
And a lot of jobs in America, good-paying jobs in America depend on that trade. We also have issues in terms of cyber security. Their theft of our intellectual property. Also the tensions in the -- in the various oceans with Japan in the North China Sea and also with the Philippines and other countries in the south China Sea.
And some of the military base building that China is engaged in. And of course, climate change. And I'm sure that the president wants China to continue to commit to aggressive actions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, especially in light of perhaps pulling back by the United States under President-elect Trump. HARLOW: And Lanhee, to you, because you were the public policy
director for Mitt Romney, you know him so well. He is being discussed as potentially as a secretary of state pick. When you look at how China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea and the East China Sea and the island building program there, how would Mitt Romney delicately dance, you know, to figure that out while staying trade partners with China and addressing all the other major relationships between the two nations that the ambassador just laid out?
CHEN: Well, this is clearly one of the America's, if not, most complex, certainly, one of the most complex relationships that we have geopolitically. You know, I think if you look back to Governor Romney's 2010 book "No Apology," which really is a articulation of his world view, he talks about these sort of competing systems of government.
He talks about the American system of democracy competing with the Russians, the Chinese and the jihadists to a certain degree, trying to contrast those different forms of government. So obviously he approaches this from a very much a lens that looks at China realistically and says these are people, yes, we need to be engaged with them economically, yes, clearly there are interest at play.
But also we have to realize that the systems of government, the way that we approach the world may, in fact, be very different. And that should inform the basis of our relationship. I think the ambassador very well laid out all of the different challenges we face. I think certainly the tensions in the South China Sea are something that maybe we don't hear about as much here in the United States but are critical to the military future of our country but also to the future of the region more generally.
HARLOW: And Andrew Stevens, to you, President Xi of China speaking just moments ago after this meeting with President Obama, called this a quote "hinge moment." A hinge moment for China-U.S. relation. What do you make of that?
[17:30:00] STEVENS: Yeah, I think it is very much a hinge moment. Coming to the South China and East China Sea, this is a very, very big issue. President Obama's strategy about the pivot towards Asia, about building up military forces in Australia, engaging more closely with allies in this part of the world, and also the TPP was a critical part of that, which was the economic part. And America cementing its place economically through trade with the East China Sea.
This is a region which sees something like 40 percent of the world's trade travel through. And what we've seen in the last two or three weeks is the president of the Philippines really making quite a strong tilt towards China. And the Malaysians are now going to China, as well. So, China is really --
HARLOW: He said President Obama can go to hell. His words, "President Obama can go to hell." STEVENS: And worse. The Filipino is such a strong treaty ally with
the U.S. Duterte, the Philippine president, is taking the Philippines much more into China's embrace, certainly it seems like it. And with the TPP dead -- and for all intents and purposes, it is - it does strengthen China's hand.
So, as far as a hinge moment goes, economically, what China wants is to control economically this region. And it's -- the task is being made easy by the TPP being scrapped. China moving into that vacuum, if you like.
HARLOW: Andrew Stevens, live from Hong Kong, thank you so much.
Lanhee Chen, Ambassador Locke, important discussion. I appreciate it.
HARLOW: Coming up, so far, President-elect Trump's picks for his top jobs in his administration have two things in common, they are all men, and they are all white. Now critics are asking, where is the diversity? What will the cabinet eventually look like? Will it reflect our nation? We'll talk about it, next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[17:35:09] HARLOW: Donald Trump campaigned on a demand for government reform. His calls for draining the swamp in Washington fired up his supporters. As President-elect Trump makes nominations and appointments for key positions in administration, some critics are calling foul, saying they want to see more diversity.
Our Victor Blackwell reports how others are raising questions about some of the nominee's backgrounds.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: When it comes to Washington, D.C., it is time to drain the damn swamp!
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a rally crowd favorite in the last days of the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump's promise to get rid of Washington insiders. But as he staffs his White House, many of the president-elect's picks are part of the so-called political establishment. And so far, they're also all white men. And some of the choices are receiving major resistance.
JAMIAH LEMIEUX, VICE PRESIDENT, INTERACTIVE ONE: This is someone who has a history of bigotry, who has, since he has been elected, chosen some of the most dangerous people possible to staff his White House with.
BLACKWELL: The most recent pick, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. If confirmed, Sessions will serve as attorney general. In 1986, the U.S. attorney's nomination to a federal judgeship was defeated over claims he made racially charged remarks about blacks and referred to a white judge as a race traitor.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, TRUMP U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am not a racist. I am not insensitive to blacks. I supported civil rights activity in my state. I have done my job with integrity, equality, and fairness for all.
BLACKWELL: The former prosecutor has opposed immigration reform as well as bipartisan proposals to cut mandatory minimum prison sentences.
Sessions has been accused of calling civil rights groups un-American and Communist inspired, criticizing the Voting Rights Act and its impact on southern states. He once said he was fine with the KKK until he found out they smoked pot. Sessions later dismissed that remark as a joke.
Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo has been tapped to be the next CIA director. He will need Senate confirmation.
Elected to Congress in 2010, Pompeo was a Tea Party favorite and one of the lead Republicans investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack. He was a sharp critic of Hillary Clinton's leadership as secretary of state.
The third-term congressman has been accused of being anti-Muslim. During his run for Congress in 2010, he personally apologized after his campaign tweeted a link to a blog that referred to his Indian- American rival as a turban topper and President Obama as an evil Muslim Communist usurper. Pompeo called the posting a mistake.
For his top advisor on national security, President-elect Trump as turned to retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. He is an outspoken critic of President Obama and was forced out of the Pentagon's top intelligence job in 2014 for his combative style.
Flynn has tweeted a series of statements calling fear of Muslims "rational." And in August, he compared Islam to cancer.
LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN, TRUMP'S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Islam is a political ideology. It is a political ideology. It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion. I don't see a lot of people screaming "Jesus Christ" with hatchets or machetes rifles shooting up clubs or hatcheting -- you know, literally, axing families on a train. So, it's like a cancer. And it's like a malignant cancer in this case. And it has metastasized.
BLACKWELL: Then there's Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist. He spent seven years in the U.S. Navy, was an investment banker for Goldman Sachs, and was once a Hollywood investor.
Most recently, he's made it his mission to take down the Republican Party establishment. STEVE BANNON, TRUMP'S CHIEF STRAGTEGIST & SENIOR COUNCIL (voice-over):
What we need to do is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) slap the Republican Party and get those guys leaving, too. And if we have to, we'll take it over.
BLACKWELL: Bannon is the former chairman of conservative website, "Breitbart News." The site has a history of inflammatory headlines like "Meltdown continues: Wave of fake hate crimes sweeps social media and anti-democracy crybabies march by thousands nationwide." Another reads "Bill Kristol, Republican spoiler, renegade Jew." And then this, "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy."
And finally, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, will be the president-elect's chief of staff. While he's a mainstream pick that many congressional Republicans find encouraging, one prominent Tea Party leader fears Priebus will make it more difficult, not less, for President Trump to achieve the change that people voted for.
[17:39:53] HARLOW: Victor Blackwell reporting. Victor, thank you so much for that.
Coming up next, we'll ask a former Trump campaign adviser and a former congressman about the lack of diversity in these first picks, and whether or not he thinks President-elect Trump will have a diverse team in the end.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
HARLOW: President-elect Donald Trump's first administration picks all have one thing in common, so far, all five are white men. To be clear, he still has many cabinet positions to fill.
Let's talk this over with former Georgia Congressman and a former senior adviser to Donald Trump's campaign, Jack Kingston.
Congressman, thank you for being with me.
JACK KINGSTON, (R), FORMER CONGRESSMAN & FORMER DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Thank you, Poppy.
HARLOW: As you know, Donald Trump made on the platform "Make America great again," those four key words throughout his campaign. What do you think his picks so far tell us about when he last thought America was great?
KINGSTON: I think what he's doing is he's picking the people who are very loyal to him, the people that he's familiar with. But he's not stopping here. And he's not going to go on any time frame his critics want him to do.
HARLOW: But do they reflect -- he says "make America great again, we were once great, now we're not, we're going to be great again." What do these picks tell you about mindset at what period in time he believes America was the greatest?
KINGSTON: I don't think his goal is to statement on that, and I don't think it would -- I think if he was making a sentence, he would be on the first or second word. He's going to have a cabinet that when it's all over with will reflect America. I know, for example, Marsha Blackburn, from Tennessee, is very active in it. Pam Bondi, from Florida, is. Mary Fallin has campaigned with him. Cynthia Lummis (ph), did. He has a --
HARLOW: They're also white.
[17:45:14] KINGSTON: Well, I would -- Ashley Bell and Bruce Lavell, two of my close friends from Georgia, are both African-American men. And I believe Ashley Bell has already maybe gotten a job or come close to getting a job. You know, not cabinet level, but he is hiring the people who were the closest to him.
But the other thing I want to point out is that the people who he has picked are people who are wanting change in Washington. Some may have experience, but that doesn't mean that they're part of the establishment. When Jeff Sessions got on board, no one in Washington, D.C., thought Donald trump had a chance. And that's not conventional establishment thinking. So, he's going to -- I mean --
HARLOW: He is a 20-year sitting Senator.
KINGSTON: But let's -- General Flynn is a registered Democrat. He interviewed today Michelle Rhee, for example. She's a Democrat, and doesn't agree with him on all the issues, Common Core being one of them.
HARLOW: Very quickly, on that point, before I let you go, do you think that diversity in these key positions is a nice to have or a necessity?
KINGSTON: I think it's going to be both. He's going to find talented people. I can say this, Poppy. When I --
HARLOW: Is it, Congressman, a nice to have racial diversity in terms of sex and diversity in terms of perspective, is that a nice to have or is it a necessity?
KINGSTON: I think perspective is going to be paramount, but I think it's also necessity to show America that you're in tune.
HARLOW: OK. KINGSTON: And I think that's what you're going to get. You're going to get talented people of all walks of life.
HARLOW: Congressman, I'm out of time. Thanks for being with me.
KINGSTON: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: Coming up, President-elect Trump made a lot of promises on the campaign trail. Chief among them, bring jobs back to the United States. Now that he won, do workers, especially those blue-collar workers in America's Rustbelt, believe he will bring their jobs back?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You expect him to live by what he said on the campaign trail?
CHUCK JONES, LOCAL UNION LEADER: My expectation is for him to live up to what he promised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:46:05] HARLOW: Donald Trump's campaign promise to protect American jobs will soon be put to the test. And among those who will be watching closely, workers in Indiana. That is because during the campaign, Trump repeatedly called out the company Carrier by name, a company moving one of its major Indiana plants to Mexico.
Martin Savidge went to Indianapolis where some workers think, despite Trump's victory, it is too late for them.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, there's no questions that Donald Trump was very successful winning what are called crossover workers, blue collar workers, by talking about jobs, bringing them back or keeping them here in America. Well, now those campaign promises are going to be put to the test right here.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Ronald Harden and Eric Cottonhan will never forget the day it happened.
ERIC COTTONHAN, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: We were devastated.
RONALD HARDEN, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: Been with the company 16 years in my life. Starting all over from scratch.
SAVIDGE: Last February, Carrier shocked employees at this Indiana plant saying that in order to stay competitive, it had made a decision.
UNIDENTIFIED CARRIER CEO: -- to move production from our facility in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico.
SAVIDGE: 1400 jobs would soon be gone.
But the loss quickly became Donald Trump's game.
TRUMP: Carrier Air Conditioner says they are leaving the United States, 1400 people, because they are going to build in Mexico.
SAVIDGE: Trump said it wouldn't happen if he was president. Part of an effort to tap into blue collar anger.
(on camera): He mentioned Carrier by name. It wasn't just once.
COTTONHAN: He mentioned it. We knew that was something that America -- it was happening right now.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): It worked. Trump won thanks in large part to working class votes.
At Sully's Bar and Grill across the street from the plant, some are hoping for Trump to keep his promise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. Exactly. He made a lot of promises to a lot of people.
SAVIDGE: That's because things here have only gotten worse.
(on camera): We are less than a mile from Carrier. This is Rexcorn (ph) They make bearings here. Just last month, they announced they are moving this facile toy Mexico, taking away over 300 jobs.
(voice-over): Local union leader, Chuck Jones, says, even though he didn't vote for Trump, he's hopeful the new president, Trump, will come through.
(on camera): You expect him to live by what he said on the campaign?
JONES: My expectation is to live up to what he promised.
SAVIDGE: They voted for Donald Trump believing it could save their job?
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Mike Fugate is one of them. The lifelong Democrat voted for Trump. His answers surprise me.
(on camera): Do you believe he can stop that place from closing?
MIKE FUGATE, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: I don't believe he's going to stop that one. Maybe in the future. Nobody knows what's in the future.
SAVIDGE: Why not that one?
FUGATE: Corporate greed, plain and simple.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Paul Role also voted for Trump and he have hope, sort of.
PAUL ROLE, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: I try to be optimistic, but the same time.
SAVIDGE (on camera): What does that mean?
ROE: Save at least some of the jobs. I don't think -- if they sent just half the jobs, they could make more money, which is all they are after.
SAVIDGE: Carrier has not issue a statement regarding the election of Donald trump. They have put out a statement concerning the shutdown of their plant. They say it wasn't a decision that they made easily. They also say to try to ease the transition for their workers, they're spreading the shutdown over three years and offering severance and retraining programs -- Poppy?
[17:54:47] HARLOW: Martin Savidge, thank you very much for that report. Pretty eye opening.
We'll take a quick break. We're back in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN: Here, in Buenos Aires, it's summer in the city. And in a decision that will please absolutely no one down here, we are filming in the dead heat of summer -
BOURDAIN: -- when nobody is in town, and it's got a sad, mournful, empty totally awesome quality --
-- that, of course, I really like.
BOURDAIN: This is when you should come here in my view.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: You can tune in to "Parts Unknown: Buenos Aires" tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. eastern, only right here on CNN.
I'm Poppy Harlow, in New York. Thank you for being with me tonight.
Now take a look at live pictures out of Bedminster, New Jersey, where President-elect Donald Trump is holding meetings for his transition and talking of possible cabinet picks. We'll have much more on that. Look at him coming out live there. Another one of his meetings. His team says these are non-stop meetings all weekend long trying to fill a lot of key position. Much more live on all of his at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.