Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Arrives in Florida for Thanksgiving Vacation; Sources: Romney Seriously Considering Secretary of State Job; Trump on Neo- Nazis: "It's Not a Group I Want to Energize"; Trump's Rust Belt Promises; Trump on His Supporters: "They're The Forgotten"; NY Times: Trump Defiant on Possible Conflicts on Interest. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 22, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:01] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. John Berman here in for Anderson.
Breaking news and big headlines tonight, Donald Trump is in Florida. He arrived about two hours ago for Thanksgiving at Mar-A-Lago, but not before making a ton of news back here in New York.
He sat down with the editors, the publisher and top media and political writers at the "New York Times." He said a mouthful about everything from putting Hillary Clinton in prison, no longer a priority, to conflicts of interest that there are no conflicts of interest when you are president, to peace in the Middle East. The president-elect says that his son-in-law might be able to make it happen and he was apparently serious.
We begin though with breaking news. More evidence that the seemingly unlikely prospect of Trump rival Mitt Romney becoming secretary of state could be growing a lot more likely.
CNN's Sara Murray has the last word or late word and joins us now from Trump Tower.
Sara, what can you tell us about the Romney team and whether Mitt Romney is seriously considering this position?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, John, the suspense continues about how this will all shake out and the final decision. But we are told that Mitt Romney is seriously considering the possibility of being secretary of state, that he's talking it over with his family members. There has been contact between Romney's world and Trump's world, which is an indication this is a serious discussion. Not just something that was done from a photo op.
Now, to the best of our knowledge right now and our sources are telling us that no offers had been officially made and I think part of that is, you know, you're seeing both sides kind of play it cautious. Mitt Romney doesn't want to say he's going to accept unless the offer is on the table. Donald Trump doesn't want to make the offer unless it is clear Mitt Romney is going to accept. So, you might see this little game of cat and mouse playing out for a
little bit longer. But I am told by sources that Mitt Romney is a leading candidate. He's not the only candidate in the mix though. Rudy Giuliani is still under consideration for this post. So still a few days of suspense ahead, I think, John.
BERMAN: So, Sara, I mean, these men exchanged incredibly harsh words during the campaign. Does that mean that's bygones, and that's all away?
MURRAY: Not just incredibly harsh words. They have incredibly different views of the world. Remember, Mitt Romney is the guy who was criticized for calling Russia America's number one geopolitical foe when he was running for president in 2012. Whereas Donald Trump has spoken about Putin in much more favorable terms.
So, I think that's another issue that we're seeing sort of trying to be ironed out, is their differences in world view. But I do think the Romney team wants to send signal that they are willing to consider people who are past critics if they think they're best for the job.
BERMAN: Sara Murray, it is fascinating, a lot of discussions will be had over some Thanksgiving tables for the Trump family and the Romney family.
Now, Donald Trump's session with the "New York Times", all the news to print on that.
CNN political analyst and "New York Times" presidential campaign correspondent Maggie Haberman. She was in the room. She was tweeting all about it.
Maggie joins us by phone right now.
Maggie, first of all, what was the atmosphere like inside that room? Especially given the fact that Mitt Romney had -- not Mitt Romney. Donald Trump sort of canceled the meeting on Twitter and then decided to uncancel the meeting. And the fact that he actually went to the "New York Times" and said the usual, which is have everyone come to him in Trump Tower.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, NEW YORK TIMES PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): John, thanks, among other things for taking me by phone.
It was a cordial meeting. Look, he started out defensively. His arms were crossed were tightly as he delivered the pretty calm in tone diatribe against our coverage. That he thought that all of the papers, that we have been the most unfair, that it was very tough. That we were the toughest, you know?
And then said -- and this is what surprised me, that he believed that having a good relationship with us would make governing easier for him in terms of what he would like to do, and it went forward from there. And after that, loosened up, he was very engaged. He was as he is often is in these meetings very charming. Look, the "New York Times" is still his hometown paper and it has a
different place for him and sort of always has throughout the campaign. But we covered an enormous amount of ground --
BERMAN: You sure did.
HABERMAN: -- about where his head is right now.
BERMAN: You covered a lot of ground, made a lot of news during this. You were live-tweeting during this meeting.
I'm just curious what you think was the biggest piece of news to come out of it was?
HABERMAN: Sure. I mean, I think two things. I think that him sort of retreating from some of the most extreme positions he had taken. And again the retreating, I'm still not quite clear where he is on some of them. But on climate change, he allowed for the possibility.
He said he thinks there is some connectivity, was his words, between humans and climate change. That is very different from what he had said. You know, he had this tweet many, many years -- not that many but a number of years ago about how climate change was kind of a hoax. And he again suggested that he was open to the Paris accord. He was a little more muted on that.
He also basically said, you know, yes, I'm -- I'm still at my business.
[20:05:05] I'm still doing things, and declared that it's not possible for the president to have a conflict of interest, just because anything could be a conflict of interest. It's a pretty breathtaking statement. He's said and he's correct that we've never had a situation with an incoming president with as sprawling a set of entanglements he has.
It doesn't mean that the real estate holdings are vast, or that the empire is vast, as I have some critics talked about it on Twitter. But it does mean there are a lot of different complications.
You know, he used during the campaign the phrase "blind trust", it's a thing when he put in blind trust and my children will run, that is -- those two things are mutually exclusive. A blind trust is not run by your children. And he dropped the blind trust today. He didn't say it at all.
He made it clear he's phasing out as you said of overseeing most of the business.
BERMAN: Maggie, it is interesting though he's willing to give on issues of climate change, for instance, at least open the door on that, but not willing door at all or give at all on the issue of potentially conflicts of interest. He seems pretty dug in.
HABERMAN: Yes. I mean, he is -- he was not hearing any of it. And as ironic, as I was listening to Sara speaking just now and I have very similar reporting about where Romney stands in all of this.
You know, the main objection within the Trump campaign and there are two camps -- there's a, you know, a Rudy camp and a Mitt camp, Mitt Romney camp. The objection to Rudy is about vetting over business conflicts of interests and ties. So it is kind of ironic, as we are exploring what's goes on with Trump and him basically, you know, it sort of doesn't better, I can't be healed to that.
He also said it when I asked him about whether he would -- what role he saw for his son-in-law Jared Kushner in the administration which, you know, he has said he wants him to do something. And he basically said I'm probably not going to do something like that because I don't want to open Jared up to criticism, but then went on to suggest know, there still wouldn't be a problem with it.
And when I pointed out there are anti-nepotism laws, he sort of brushed right past them.
BERMAN: Maggie, he also suggested that his son-in-law Jared Kushner might be good at reaching peace in the Middle East, which is something obviously that administration after administration and expert after expert has been successful in. But he thinks his son-in-law would be successful in that?
HABERMAN: But he thinks he would be successful in that. I mean, Trump's talked about that pretty consistently in the campaign. He's frequently said he thinks the people have given up on the concept too easily. And he would like to revive it.
But I've not heard him talk with Jared Kushner in conjunction with it before. It makes a certain sense for Trump's sensibility as Jared among other things helps craft Trump speech before the group AIPAC earlier this year and has been sort of the one of his advisors on issues related to Israel. But it is certainly not an issue that Kushner has, you know, decades of diplomatic experience.
BERMAN: But just to be clear, he was serious about his son in law playing the role --
HABERMAN: He was completely serious. It was not -- no, he was completely serious.
BERMAN: All right. Let me see if I can quickly go through a couple of other issues that came up, and again, these all made news in their own way. Let's go through them quickly.
You asked him, all the paper, everyone there asked him about the alt- right and these racist groups that met over the weekend. This one racist group, neo-Nazi group, white supremacist group that met over the weekend.
And you tweeted Trump on alt-right support, "This is not a group I want to energize and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why."
So, this was Trump finally after days directly addressing this and denouncing it, yes?
HABERMAN: Sure. Except I don't know what it means in the sense that he said that if he had learned that Steve Bannon was connected to, quote/unquote, "alt-right" and this was his phrasing then I wouldn't have even had him work here. Bannon said in July that Breitbart is a platform for the alt-right.
So, you know, Trump said, like, you know, I want to know if stuff comes up. Bring to it my attention. So it is true that he's disavowed it. I don't think it's going to satisfy his critics who were hoping that he will say it more forcefully just given what is a rise in hate crimes around the country and a rise in anti-Semitic attack.
BERMAN: So, one of the big stories today even before Donald Trump, the president-elect, spoke to you, the transition team had opened up the possibility that Donald Trump in his administration would not seek to investigate or press charges against Hillary Clinton. What did he have to say about that?
HABERMAN: He was very -- I began actually with that question at the session, and asked him to clarify. He was talking about the e-mails and the Clinton Foundation. He was talking about both in terms of backing away from an investigation. He made clear that he recognized there is a limit to, you know, what power there is in the White House. And, in fact, the president is supposed to have nothing do with this in terms of the Department of Justice. It is supposed to be independent, which was always a criticism of the FBI investigation into Clinton, was, you know, his and other's argument was it has been politicized.
[20:10:01] He said that he thinks that she has suffered enough. That she's been through -- I'm paraphrasing. That she's been through too much, this was a brutal campaign and then said that the Clinton Foundation some say has done good work -- which is a little bit different than, you know, it's a scam line we heard from him and Rudy Giuliani for most of the final weeks of the campaign.
BERMAN: It's more like the Donald Trump who through his foundation actually donated to the Clinton Foundation years ago.
BERMAN: But that was before he ran for president against her.
Maggie Haberman, this was a fascinating, fascinating discussion you all had with him. Thanks so much for coming on and sharing your insight from that meeting. Appreciate it.
HABERMAN: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
All right. Joining us now, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, former New York City Council speaker and Clinton supporter, Christine Quinn, Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, and New York 1 political anchor Errol Louis. Also with us, Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord and conservative Trump critic Ana Navarro. Guys, there was a lot to discuss about this. I almost don't know
where to start.
But let's start with the business side of this. Maggie was talking about, Christine, the fact that Donald Trump really won't budge on the idea that there might be conflicts of interest between how he's behaving during this transition period and his own personal business interests.
What do you make of his answers there?
CHRISTINE QUINN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I find it bizarre that if you are the president of the United States, you can have no conflicts. It is like a mega papal blessing he gave himself that he's absolved from all of this. It makes no sense.
I mean, when you serve in government, you have to be meticulously careful in disclosing -- I mean, I know this from my time in government, disclosing all of your outside interests, recusing yourself from any business that has anything to do with it. I mean, this is a city level but we would have counsel members recuse from votes on school funding for schools where their children went. That is how specific it gets in government.
Nonetheless, what multinational, international, foreign interests he might have and we're hearing reports if they are true of him meeting with leaders from Great Britain pushing against a wind farm because it might block the view of his golf course. That is like neon bright light conflict of interest if it is true.
BERMAN: There were people in that conversation who said it was true. Donald Trump was asked about that at the meeting today with the "New York Times" and he actually said, I don't remember whether it came up or not, but he certainly didn't deny it.
Jeffrey Lord, student of history. We're excited to have your here for this tonight.
When President-elect Trump says the law is totally on my side. The president can't have a conflict of interest. That sort of sounds like when Richard Nixon famously told David Frost, when the president does it, that means it's not illegal. So how are these two things different, Jeffrey?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all presidents have always had conflicts of interest. The most -- perhaps the most famous example in the last 50 or 60 years was the Kennedys owning the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. When President Kennedy took office, they not only did not sell the Merchandise Mart, they made the head of the Merchandise Mart, Sargent Shriver, the director of the Peace Corps. Nobody said a peep about it.
Lyndon Johnson with his radio station in Texas. I mean, on and on and on you can go. I mean, it's just -- the only difference here really is scale. I mean, admittedly, that is what draws all of this attention to it. QUINN: I may not have been born, so I want to be -- clear on the
Kennedy situation, so I don't think I could have said a peep or on the Johnson thing being very young. No offense, Jeffrey.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But also most of the time, and Jeffrey is right there have been presidents in the past that have had a lot of businesses, that have been very rich. Guess what, most of them put their assets in a blind trust.
QUINN: A real blind trust.
CARDONA: A real blind trust.
Clearly, what Donald Trump is saying, he's parroting what I think has been told to him what the Founding Fathers have put in the Constitution that they aren't -- the president is exempt from a lot of the rules that the rest of officials are -- have to go with, because he is the president. He or she is the president. And they can't just easily recuse themselves from something that could be of national security.
But that does not reassure people who have no clue what in his taxes, who have no clue how deep and dangerous his business ties around the globe are that he could owe money to. Russian banks, German banks and then be influenced by it.
BERMAN: All right, guys. We're going talk more about this. We're going to talk about apparently giving Hillary Clinton, he wants a free pass. We're also going to talk about the statements about the alt- right or this racist group that met over the weekend.
A lot more to discuss, coming up. Stay with us.
[20:17:42] BERMAN: We're back talking about the treasure trove of headlines that Donald Trump, the president-elect, made today at the "New York Times" including this, which Maggie Haberman tweeted out. She goes, "I asked the President-elect Trump what role he sees for Kushner," meaning Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son in law. "Trump indicates formal role unlikely. But he could be a player on Middle East peace."
In a word, wow. Errol Louis, I want to bring you into this discussion right now.
Mideast peace is a big project that has been attempted by many people. Many diplomats, many people with years and years of experience here. And Donald Trump is suggesting his 35-year-old son-in-law with no government experience might be able to somehow help forge it.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: By all accounts, he's a capable young man. As a special envoy, he would certainly have the president's ear. So I wouldn't rule it out automatically.
If he's got connections and he's got an ability to -- look we've all been through this since the time I was a kid and I remember the 1973 war. It's been really the same five or six issues, right? Status of the Jerusalem, refugee status, land swaps for peace, 1967 borders. It really hasn't changed.
How you get from here to there though is the question. And I don't know if you need to have a wall full of degrees or, you know, years of experience or know all of the different players to know that it is a Gordian knot. If there is something that Jared Kushner can bring to the table apparently because of the anti-nepotism laws, there is not a lot he can do with government. But that particular job me, he might be eligible.
BERMAN: He may be really smart and he may be really capable. Apparently, he did a very good job helping run the Trump campaign. But there is an area where George Shultz, you know, tried and failed. This is an area where Colin Powell tried and failed. This is an area where every secretary of state, every president has tried and to some degree failed.
And I'm just not sure that expectations should be set high on someone with no experience.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But I think that kind of makes the point. Look, we have had statesmen come in with all the degrees that Errol mentioned, come in and tried this and they failed at it. And I think Errol makes a good point that perhaps trying something else, you never know what could be achieved.
And I want to echo something that my good friend Jeff Lord of the last hour.
[20:20:03] You had a peanut farmer from Georgia come in and forge peace between Egypt and Israel.
BERMAN: Well, he had been governor of Georgia. He had also been elected president at that point. He also had a full cabinet and staff that helped him worked at it. To compare Jimmy Carter and Jared Kushner, I don't know. Like I said, he may be the smartest --
MCENANY: Kushner is a bright guy. He's an astute individual. He's an executive of a company. And I think, why not try it? He's someone who cares deeply about his Jewish faith? He is someone who understands one side of the argument and might be able to bring light and peace and understanding between the two camps.
BERMAN: Ana Navarro, do you want to jump in here?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think so many have tried and failed, that if they want to throw out Jared Kushner out there, he brings the complete support and ear and confidence of the president of the United States, his father-in-law, that's a plus for him. If he wants to try and fails, OK, so he's one more on the long list of people who tried and failed. If he's able to make some progress, the best for it.
I will -- I do want to go back though to the previous subject which was a conflict of interest. We talked about the legality of it. What we haven't talked about is the political cost to it. It's been only two weeks since Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States and there's already been a steady drip, drip, drip of stories about political interest. Ivanka Trump sitting in with the prime minister of Japan. Reportedly, Donald Trump asking the president of Argentina to help him with regulations on a building there. You know, the wind farms in England, that, you know, one after the other.
And Republicans are going to be in Congress are going to be in a very difficult position. They've honed in on the conflict of interest issue on Hillary Clinton for years now. It is going to be a lot of egg on a lot of people's faces in Congress if they don't exact the same kind of scrutiny and toughness on Donald Trump.
So, legality or not, I can tell you it is not going to pass political muster and people are going to be bothered and Donald Trump himself made such an issue of conflict of interest, of crooked Hillary. So, we're going to have what now? Instead of crooked Hillary? We're going to have Don the con trying to make profit out of presidency?
I'm not sure the American people will stand for that. And I'm not sure the U.S. Congress, including the Republicans in there can do so either.
BERMAN: Kayleigh, do you want to respond to this? Is this draining the swamp, all of a sudden, working on your family's business at the same time as the nation's business?
MCENANY: No, as Kellyanne Conway said, every day he sits down with his accountants and his lawyers to assure him that everything he's doing is right. We heard Reince Priebus say our White House counsel is going strenuously to make sure his business efforts are not flowing into his official government work. He's insuring and taking the appropriate precautions that he never gets to a position like Hillary Clinton was, where you have 30 percent of U.S. uranium being sold to Russia after Bill Clinton is given a lucrative speaking deal.
BERMAN: But, Kayleigh, Kellyanne Conway also called this his day job. Said his day job well-being the presidency. Does that mean he's also going to have a night job which is helping run Trump Inc.?
MCENANY: No, he's passing that along to his children. He said that already. They are taking over the business. His interest is one, sole, unified interest, which is the interest of the people of the United States, who put him there. That is his interest. Not his business --
BERMAN: Quick word.
CARDONA: The problem is, is that he has said he's going to pass on his business to his children. Guess who has been in all of the meetings with him thus far. We only have gone through two weeks of the beginning. He has done nothing to reassure the American people that he's going to take care of these conflicts of interest. Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton had won and Chelsea Clinton was in
any of the meetings she was having during his transition? There would be hearings. There would be FOX News specials. There would be calls for independent prosecutors.
Not just the conflict of interest is jaw dropping. The hypocrisy is just unbelievable.
BERMAN: All right, guys. We have a lot more to talk about. We still haven't even got on the Hillary Clinton yet and the idea that Donald Trump doesn't want to go after her. We still haven't gotten to the issue of the alt-right, these racist groups that met over the weekend. What Trump had to say about that with "The New York Times", what Trump had to say about Steve Bannon and how his hiring has stoked enthusiasm with white supremacist groups. That's next.
[20:28:10] BERMAN: For the first time, Donald Trump spoke today about the neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups that have been bolstered by his victory. A spokesman issued a statement yesterday saying in general terms, the president-elect is against racism, but critics were calling on him to speak out himself, or at least tweet about it with the same intensity he has tweeted against "Hamilton" and "Saturday Night Live."
In his meeting with "The New York Times" today, the president-elect was asked several times about the white supremacists who have been celebrating his win. According to "The Times", he said, quote, "It's not a group I want to energize. And if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why."
One way to look into it is to see what happened over the weekend at a neo-Nazi meeting in Washington.
Sara Ganim reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hail Trump. Hail our people. Hail victory.
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This rally happened just down the street from the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German, Lugenpresse.
GANIM: Celebrating Donald Trump's victory, the rhetoric, an unmistakable marriage of neo-Nazi hate and Donald Trump's campaign slogan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For us as Europeans, it is only normal again when we are great again. GANIM: At the podium is Richard Spencer, the founder of a movement
that calls itself the alt-right, but their message is white supremacism, anti-Semitism, anti-immigration, neo-Nazi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America was until this past generation a white country, designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation. It is our inheritance. And it belongs to us.
GANIM: The crowd gathered this past weekend for the annual conference for Spencer's think tank, the National Policy Institute. Many in the crowd cheering on Spencer's speech with a Nazi salute.
The video is so alarming, the National Holocaust Museum in Washington wrote a letter in response, warning that, "The Holocaust did not begin with killing. It began with words."
[20:30:02] Comparing Spencer's words to Hitler's.
But what used to be a small, obscure extremist group operating on the internet now feels emboldened by Trump's campaign rhetoric according to Oren Segal.
OREN SEGAL, DIRECTOR OF ADL CENTER OF EXTREMISM: They identify with Trump for whatever reason and they view him as a champion for their cause.
GANIM: And the hiring of the Steve Bannon as chief strategist in the Trump White House has only intensified the criticism. While Bannon once reportedly bragged his website breitbart.com was, quote, "The platform for Alt-Right". He later told the "Wall Street Journal" that he has zero tolerance for those anti-Semitic tones.
Though Trump said today, "If I thought Bannon was a racist or Alt- Right or any of the things, the terms we could use, I wouldn't even think about hiring him."
Sara Ganim CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Well thanks to Sara. Back now with the panel.
Jeffrey Lord, I want to start with you. Do you think the president elect went far enough today disavowing this Neo-Nazi group that spoke just a few blocks from the White House? Or do you think he should hold a news conference? Do you think he should look at the camera and say, I look ...
LORD: They are not worth the attention. They are Nazis. They're socialists, right. They're Nazi is being the National Socialist Workers Party or whatever it was called. Now, don't give them the time of day.
I mean one of the things I've been talking about identity politics for years as being racist and this is exactly why. Is it everybody gave a pass to other groups, you know, talking about their racial identity and this was the be all and end all. And now suddenly up pop a group of white people. This is exactly what happens.
BERMAN: But Jeff.
LORD: This is a really disgusting thing.
BERMAN: Sorry, sorry. What did the left do here? They didn't hold the meeting at the Reagan, you know, center over the weekend? Isn't it?
LORD: The left -- whether it's Black Lives Matter or La Raza and you can go back and back and back. Groups -- groups that identify themselves by race provoked this group to identify by race. This is America ...
QUINN: But here's a problem with your argument Jeff.
BERMAN: Go ahead Christine.
QUINN: They are not identifying by race. This isn't a meeting of, you know, the German club or something like that at a high school. This is a group of individuals, Jeffrey who stood in a room using Adolf Hitler's language of people who saluted him and said it with using Trump's name. The president-elect of the United States. He has an obligation to denounce it. Not say if they are energized. Jesus Christ how could you be more energized than that.
Jeffrey stop saying my name because I'm not stopping talking. And, you know what ...
QUINN: ... I have a right to identify as part of the LGBT community and they don't have a right to say I should be killed because I'm a member of that community.
LORD: You have ...
QUINN: Insight anyone by being who I am. And being proud of it.
BERMAN: Jeffrey, go ahead.
LORD: Hillary Clinton was endorsed by the communist party. I'm still waiting for her to denounce that.
QUINN: Hillary Clinton is not the president elect of the United States ...
BERMAN: Ana Navarro -- Ana Navarro jumping here. Ana, go ahead.
NAVARRO: Look. Here is the problem with Jeffrey's argument about identity politics and attacking identity politics. He supported a candidate who is now president-elect that has spent the last 18 months using identity politics as a wedge issue. Do you think when he calls Mexicans rapists and criminals that is not identity politics? Do you think when he goes after Muslims and says we're going to put them in the registry, that's not identity politics? I don't know what the hell you call it, but in my book that's identity politics.
And what Donald Trump has to do is take responsibility, he has unleashed the cracken, that's why it is not a coincide that after he got elected hate crimes spiked up. It is not a coincide that the KKK celebrated his victory and wanted a parade in North Carolina or that David Duke celebrated his victory, it is not a coincide ...
LORD: Oh and Ana.
NAVARRO: ... that these white supremacist were holding the hand ...
NAVARRO: ... of a Nazi salute, saying, "Hail Trump. It is not a coincide if he wants to put the cracken back in its cage, he needs to take leadership, he needs to take ownership, he needs to know, he has a responsibility in this and he needs to go out and try to unify the country.
Stop fighting with Broadway. Stop fighting with the "New York Times." Fight the division in the country. Fight the white supremacists. Stand up and be a unifier for God sakes.
MCENANY: Ana that's what he's done and this is what those who don't like Trump choose to ignore. He started out his presidency pretty much the first words out of his mouth were I want to be a president for all races and religions. Bryan Lanza put out a statement last night denouncing all races on behalf of the administration now that continually done.
[20:35:00] Today he told the "New York Times", I don't want any of this. Stop it. He looked in the camera in "60 Minutes" and said cut it out. He's done this four times. He were up to you Ana ...
MCENANY: Let me finish. He were up to you Ana or the leftist, he would spend every day of his presidency standing on top of the Trump Tower with a mega phone saying I'm not a racist. But he's not going do that. He's done it four times already, he's going to work for the American people and he's not going baited into these traps that you were trying to lay and the lefts are trying to work.
BERMAN: Ana, Ana, go ahead.
NAVARRO: Let me tell you something that probably doesn't happen to you. I get stopped by children who are afraid of going to school. I get stopped by Muslims who are afraid of going out in the street and having the scarves torn off their heads. I don't care what you ...
NAVARRO: If he doesn't want to accept (ph) the process of the United States, that's perfect. If he wants to unite the country he use should use the bully pulpit he has. Now, as president of the United States ...
MCENANY: And Ana.
NAVARRO: ... he is responsible for unleashing the cracken.
MCENANY: I hope ...
NAVARRO: ... he is responsible for legitimizing and empowering.
NAVARRO: It is not a coincide they are celebrating his victory.
NAVARRO: Ana, I hope you are responsible when you answer those children and you say to them do not fear Donald Trump has said the first thing out of his words in his presidency, I want to be a president for all races and religion. He's denounce ...
NAVARRO: When you're getting -- when you are standing in front of a U.S. citizen, kid who's afraid his parents are going to get deported. When you're standing in front of a eight-year-old girl who's afraid that her U.S. citizen Hispanic parents are going to discriminated and deported, do not lecture me on responsibility. Do not lecture me on responsibility.
BERMAN: Maria. Maria Cardona.
NAVARRO: Quell those fears.
CARDONA: So here's a things. To honest point. And to your point Kayleigh. We can't tell those children not to be afraid, because Donald Trump has said himself he is going to take away the Dream Act. He's going make 1.5 million kids who have been here through no fault of their own, he's going to make them subject to deportation. So if we say that to this kids, it would be a down like lie.
MCENANY: So President Obama ...
CARDONA: But hang on ...
(CROSSTALK) CARDONA: So to the point that Donald Trump said, oh I don't know why they are energized and I need to look into that. Guess what, they're energize, because for five years he was the person to push birtherism, the make our president of the United States something other than American because he was African-American.
BERMAN: All right guys. Guys, guys, guys, what we're going to do. This is a big conversation obviously a lot of passion here. We have a lot more to discuss. We're going the take a quick break. We're right back.
[20:41:36] BERMAN: All right, so things got a little heated before the break. They have cooled off now. Back now with our panel.
Errol Louis, I want to start with you, because the discussion was about this Neo-Nazi white supremacist meeting over the weekend which the Trump team, you know, did directly announce until today when Donald Trump asked about at the "New York Times" disavowed and also said if these groups are being energized he wants to find out why.
Jeffrey Lord was saying this is identity politics, the fact that the left is calling on, Trump didn't announce it. Ana Navarro said the speaks to the fact there are people who feel threatened by the incoming Trump presidency. My question to you. The fact that it did take Donald Trump these days to comment on it directly. Does the passion that we saw here before.
Is the risk by not addressing it more directly that you will raise all of these questions that have been raised by people who are concerned?
LOUIS: Well, look -- I think it's a very positive thing that he said. If they're being energize by something I've said or done, I want to find out why. Now the little frustrating to hear that, because I don't know how many editorials and other statements were made on the debate stage and everywhere saying, you are waking up a disgusting vicious group of people who have no place in American politics. We want them to stay under the rock that they're currently under. They themselves have said we like what we're hearing from Trump. And he made a series of I think deals with the devil, directly or indirectly he and his team to sort of sort of give a wink and nod to some of these people. And now it's much worse than perhaps he ever realized.
And I don't just mean that disgusting video of those scum in Washington, but, you know, the marching in the street, the people who are in a state of panic who are not interested in giving him a chance, who don't think that this can be normalized. Who think that something bravely broken in our democracy has to be addressed every single day and that's why they are marching in the streets.
BERMAN: Jeffrey Lord, if you're still with us. I what tonight bring you in. you know ...
BERMAN: ... what you said about this group, very quickly was much more in passion than the Trump transition team did initially or Donald Trump did initially. And just by saying it, doesn't it put the matter to bed?
LORD: I mean he's done this over and over and over again.
BERMAN: Well I don't know Jeffrey. Because when David Duke what he did is obfuscated on it and didn't answer the question until later and this was sort of like that where he let it slide and then answered it directly.
LORD: John, he called David Duke a racist and said he didn't want any part of it in 2000 years ago. I mean when is the last time that President Obama denounced one of these groups in the last 24 hours or anybody else, I'm not thinking on President Obama. I'm just saying is that we keep picking over this over and over again. He wants no part of them. He's, you know, disavowed them. He wants nothing do with them. They're racist. They're Nazis. The end.
QUINN: John can I ...
LORD: Don't give it the attention. 200 people in the hotel room are racist. Big deal. Stay away from them.
QUINN: With all due respect, it's not actually at this moment in time about what Donald Trump wants. We are seeing meetings -- that this meeting happened. We have video of it.
QUINN: We are seeing documented hate crimes and hate graffiti and hate language ...
LORD: People are beating up Trump supporters all over the country ...
QUINN: Jeffrey, please, please, please. We are seeing people -- and they shouldn't. But we are seeing hate crimes statistically documented by law enforcement go up. And I believe, and I've always believed that elected official, nonetheless the president elect of the United States, have a bully pulpit that when they use it, it cannot only embrace survivors of hate crimes, it can send a message that will drive them down.
[20:45:15] I know that from when I ran on Crime Victims Assistance agency. I know that from the work I've done. And let me tell you, people are fearful and hurting. And a message bigger and louder to Donald Trump. He does -- you know, where he would say I denounce all hate crimes and support the victims and this is not going to happen in my America. I've seen mayors do it, New York. I've seen governors do it. It can literally change people's behavior and save lives.
We have a read problem right now. It's not about identity politics. It's about hate and violence and harassment. And I really, really urge the president-elect to not make it about himself but about helping Americans who are being targeted. People I know.
BERMAN: Jeffrey ...
QUINN: Who've gotten that kind of hate in the mail where they live, with their children.
LORD: The president of the United States, President Obama was abroad just the other day and was asked to denounce the people t protesters that were in the streets causing violence in Portland and elsewhere and he declined to do it and said he didn't want to silence them. I didn't hear anybody speaking up to criticize him on this.
QUINN: We're talking -- let's stop pivoting.
LORD: No, no.
QUINN: This is about Donald Trump's responsibility.
LORD: One ...
QUINN: No, no, no. He is the president elect.
BERMAN: And Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey. Jeffrey. This group that met over the weekend in Washington D.C. questioned whether Jews were people.
LORD: They're racist.
BERMAN: I understand. But you are drawing an equivalence to them and the protesters on the street and whatever they broke and whatever violence they did is abhorrent but it is not questioning whether Jews are people. And they're -- so there really is no equivalent there.
LORD: John, John the whole parcel what to save ...
QUINN: No its not. No it is not Jeffrey.
LORD: It is the DNA of violence.
CARDONA: Jeffrey, if you want -- if you love to compare things with President Obama. So let's compare something with President Obama. In 2008 if you recall the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy. A good friend of President Obama's. He said some horrible things and what did President Obama do? He didn't pretend that Jeremiah Wright didn't say them. He didn't take a week a must ...
CARDONA: Let my finish! Let me finish. Let me finish. Let my finish.
BERMAN: Quickly. CARDONA: He gave a speech that showed the kind of leader with the kind of backbone that you need to lead president of the United States -- as president of United States that will actually bring people together. Donald Trump has an opportunity here. He needs to step up to the plate to do exactly that.
BERMAN: All right guys, what we're going to do is we're taking a quick break. Up ahead we're going to talk about this. We're going to talk about what Americans many of whom supported Donald Trump and many of these key state, what they are making of this discussion. I'm going to speak to J.D. Vance, author of the "Hillbilly Elegy". His memoir about growing up in foreign (ph) higher town.
[20:51:42] BERMAN: Maggie Haberman, who we heard from earlier live, tweeted the meeting that she and others in the "New York Times" had today with president-elect Trump, "This is one of her tweets, these people are really angry. Trump said the people who supported him in formerly Democratic states, they're the forgotten man and woman."
It's an expression Trump has used before, forgotten man and woman, white voters many without a college degree overwhelmingly did vote for him, helping him to clinch key rust states. So now that he's won, what do these voters now expect?
Joining me now is J.D. Vance, former marine, Yale Law School graduate and author of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis". It's his story of growing up in a small town in rural Ohio.
You know, J.D., I don't know you if you had a chance to listen to the discussion we've been having here over the last several minutes. It had to do with this group that met over the weekend in Washington, D.C., this white supremacist Neo-Nazi group that had awful things to say and that of Trump -- Trump a few days to directly denounce it. This is a small group of a few hundred people. This is not the people that you write about in these rust belt states, many of whom or most of who voted for Donald Trump.
What do you think they make right now, these Trump voters? These forgotten Trump voters, what would they make of this discussion we were having, about this group that met and Trump's response to it? J.D., you hear me OK? I don't think J.D. Vance is hearing me.
I want to bring back in our panel right now. Joining me again is Kayleigh McEnany, Donald Trump supporter, Christine Quinn, Maria Cardona are here.
Kayleigh, I'll put the question to you. You know, it's interesting there's a fiery debate here inside the New York studio about what's happening in Washington, D.C. there's a whole country out there, many of whom voted for Donald Trump and many who didn't. And these voters in these states that we were just talking about right now, they know this discussion is going on, they must know this discussion is going on. What do you think they're making of it?
MCENANY: You're referring to the hate conference in Washington, D.C., right?
MCENANY: I think most voters are watching and they know Donald Trump is not a racist, they know no one he's appointed to his cabinet is a racist. They understand that the left is desperately trying to paint him as so. They understand that his campaign and his presidency and his cabinet has no affiliation with the group of 200 racist we saw gather in that D.C. hotel.
What they are concerned about is how they're going to get food on the table for Thanksgiving, how they're going to ensure they have a job come next January, how they're going to afford Obamacare premiums. That is what they're concerned about, because they know that this is a narrative being sewed by the left and it's a false narrative.
BERMAN: J.D. Vance, are you with us now?
J.D. VANCE, AUTHOR "HILLBILLY ELEGY": I'm with you.
BERMAN: Fantastic. A technical marvel. You just heard Kayleigh McEnany here again, I hope you heard our discussion before about this hate group that met ...
VANCE: I did.
BERMAN: ... over the weekend in Washington. Again, I'm curious, the overwhelming number of Trump voters clearly not associated with this group in any way, but what they make of the discussion about this group and Donald Trump's response to it?
VANCE: Well, so many of the voters I know who voted for Donald Trump didn't love the rhetoric. Some of the rhetoric implored by the campaign in the first place. So I know a lot of Trump voters are probably saying to themselves right now, that's a really good move. It's right for him to condemn these folks. And so a lot of folks might be thinking he's flip-flopping, even, but I really don't think that and I think a lot of the voters I know were just excited that he's talking about these very deplorable people in the way that he is.
[20:55:08] BERMAN: And so there's no risk to him for speaking out against it, because some people say, oh, if he speaks out against it, he shines a light on it. You know, he could do it sooner if he wanted to and offend his voters, correct?
VANCE: Yeah, I think that's definitely true. And it's an interesting question about why he didn't speak out sooner. It may just be that the campaign didn't feel like they were important enough. So, you know, I won't psychoanalyze him ...
VANCE: ... personally, but I definitely think that a lot of folks I know who supported him are celebrating the fact that he's talking about the Alt-Right in this way. BERMAN: So there was a lot of news made today in Donald Trump's meeting with the "New York Times," covered a lot of subjects. One of the areas that came up the most was this idea of potential conflicts of interest of interest between the Trump business and the business of the country. And Donald Trump essentially said today, you know, there are no conflicts of interest. I'm going to keep on, you know, my family is going to keep on working here. I'm not going to necessarily put this in a blind trust, and it is what it is. There's no governing law here.
Does this coincide with the "drain the swamp" rhetoric the "I'm going to change the way Washington is run" notion that was so attractive to so many of these voters?
VANCE: Well, it's probably a little too early to say, you know? It definitely is true that the optics aren't perfect right now, but I think a lot of folks are taking a very patient wait-and-see approach. They don't necessarily think that things are going to get better immediately. They recognize that a lot of the folks that are going to staff his administration are maybe coming from prior administrations and so forth.
So I really do think that most people will give him some time, will actually wait and see whether once he's president, these conflicts of interest really reflect his administration. But until then, my sense is that it's not really going to hurt him.
BERMAN: So was it that they voted for him, you know, in spite of the business, and the connections there, or because of it? I mean, that is a question that a lot of people are asking.
VANCE: Well, maybe not either. I think that a lot of folks recognize that he's a successful businessman and they liked him because of that. But really what drew most people to him is this really fundamental recognition that politics as usual wasn't working. It was a rejection, of course. Both of the Republican elite's, back in the Republican primary, but also the Democratic elite's, obviously, in the general election.
So, I don't think that his business dealings are really influenced his voters one way or the other. I do think that it could cause some problems for him, if once he's president, it's clearly that he's allowing his business interests who affect his decisions. But until then, until he's making those decisions as president, I think folks are going to pretty long leash.
BERMAN: You know, it's interesting, right. He ran against in some way the influence of money, right. He wanted to drain the swamp. He wanted to get campaign contributions and the like out of Washington. He bragged that he was self-financing during the campaign, even at times when he wasn't and that was very popular to voters at the rallies, that I went to.
BERMAN: Nevertheless, I mean, you know, way money is still involved in politics, maybe his politics, his governing is making money is still part of what his family and in some ways he will be doing.
VANCE: Well, absolutely. If that ends up being the way that he runs his administration, it will certainly affect him. I mean I folks are definitely sensitive to the idea that money influences politics, and it influences politics in a way that's against their interests. But at the end of the day, if once he's president, that doesn't influence the way that he governs, if he gives folks some things on the economic side that really make them feel like they were justified in supporting him.
I don't think it's going to affect him. I really do think this run-up to the election, or sorry, this run-up to the inauguration the transition team and so forth, people are sort of taking a wait-and-see approach. I think that's the approach that most voters are taking. Of course, if he takes the wrong approach when he's president, I don't think that people are going to continue to give him that long leash.
BERMAN: You know, I thought of you when the video was released yesterday, he really says the video saying what he's going to do the first days office, and kept on emphasizing jobs, jobs, jobs. Keeps on going back to that word. His team keeps on going back to that word wherever he can. And I have to believe that's incredibly attractive to a lot of people.
VANCE: Oh, absolutely, it is. That's definitely, I think why most folks who voted for him ended up voting for him, that certainly a big part of the reason that a lot of rust belt white working class voters switched from Obama in 2008 to Trump in 2016. And that's what he's going to be ultimately judge on. I don't think that folks expect things to turn on dime. I don't think Trump is going to be penalized in mid-2017 if all the jobs haven't come back.
But if these trend lines don't move in the right direction. If this opioid crisis continues to get bad, if the jobs crisis continues to influence and affect these areas where Trump's voters are living, and especially in acute way, then they're going to punish him for it, just as they did, Obama frankly and the Democrats in 2014, just as they did Republicans and Bush in 2008. It's definitely ...
VANCE: ... there's a recognition that things aren't going especially well, so Trump has some time, but I don't think he has unlimited time.
BERMAN: J.D. Vance, great to have you with us. Really appreciate it.
[21:00:00] Up next, another hour of "360." The president-elect heads to his Florida home after telling the "New York Times" that the president, quote, "Can't have a conflict of interest and he could run his business and the country perfectly at the same time". More about that meeting in the president-elects plan, that's next.