Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Delays "Major News Conference" on Business Empire; Sources: Trump Called Romney, Told He Won't Be Secy. of State; Bipartisan Group Calls for Probe of Russian Role in Election; RNC Spokesman Casts Doubt on Russian Hacking Intel; Ivanka Trump's Business in China; Town Rejects White Supremacist Leader; Fake News Writer Speaks. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired December 12, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:46] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Top in the hour, breaking news times two. The country will now have to wait longer to learn how President-elect Donald Trump plans to eliminate potential conflicts of interest between running his business and doing the people's business. However, we will not have to wait much longer to learn who Mr. Trump wants as his next Secretary of State. CNN's Phil Mattingly joins us now with the details.
So, what are we learning tomorrow, an announcement on Secretary of State?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's exactly right. That's what the President-elect tweeted out tonight. And according to advisers, he likely pick hasn't changed over the course over the last couple of days. It will most likely be Rex Tillerson. He's the CEO of Exxon. He's somebody that the Trump operation, the President-elect himself, has repeatedly touted for his ability to run the company, for his relationships around the globe.
And while he doesn't have any government experience up to this point, it's those relationships that Trump believes will bring the most to the Secretary of State position.
Now, it's no question, Anderson, over the course of the last couple of days, there's been severe backlash on Capitol Hill, not just from Democrats, but from Republicans because of Rex Tillerson's ties to Russia. His company has done a lot of business with Russia. Tillerson himself has a business relationship with Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
There's been some question as to whether Tillerson could actually, not only get confirmed by the U.S. Senate, but actually get through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There are no answers to those questions yet, but as it currently stands, the President-elect has not been dissuaded. Rex Tillerson is still his top pick and if things continue to go along that path, he will be the selection tomorrow, according to advisers. But always worth noting, the very important caveat here, Anderson, the President-elect decides, and until he's made that decision final, he can obviously change his mind.
COOPER: And so, what's behind the delay of the announcement on Trump's business?
MATTINGLY: Yeah. Look, I think this is one of the more interesting developments of the night. Obviously, the Cabinet picks have been something we've all been focused on for a very long period of time. But if you want to talk about conflicts of interest, you're going to talk about the types of things that will plague a Trump administration, not just the first couple of months, not just the first hundred days, but over the course of the first year if not longer, how the President-elect handles his business, it's certainly one of them. We've seen it repeatedly over the course of the five or six weeks since he's elected. He himself was the one who came out and said he was planning to have a large announcement, really kind of laying out the details of how he would separate himself from his business. The details of that are extremely important. Would he be selling his stake in his business? Would he be divesting his business?
Now, all sources I've talked to had said the answer to that is no. But the structure, how they legally wanted to set this to go forward, not only to move the President-elect from the operational duties, but also to hand it down to his children, that is simply not finalized. The reality here, this is extremely complex. We haven't seen a president-elect with business holdings like this in the past. And the second reality, the President-elect is very wary of giving up control of his company. There are people internally in the Trump operation that wish he would go further, up to this point, he has not been willing to do so. And for those multiple reasons, at least for now, the decision or any details on this has been pushed to January, at the earliest.
COOPER: We also, today, saw a lot of candidates for jobs going through Trump Tower.
MATTINGLY: Yeah, that's exactly right. Obviously, we've all been focused on the Secretary of State pick, and for good reason. There have been moments where it seems like "The Bachelor," some type of reality television competition. But if you look kind of down the line at Cabinet selections, the Trump operation has actually been moving very quickly to fill up the Trump team. And that includes today.
We saw today, Rick Perry, the former Texas governor, obviously former presidential candidate, sources say, he's a potential pick for Energy secretary. We saw Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest ranking woman in the U.S. House of Republican. She's a top candidate for Secretary of the Interior. And we also saw Carly Fiorina, and that's particularly interesting because of the back and forth, of particularly nasty back and forth, between Fiorina and the President- elect during the campaign. She met with the President-elect today, effusively praised him after that meeting. And sources say she's in the running for the top two or three to be National Intelligence Director.
So, keep an eye on all of those picks, obviously Secretary of State definitely coming tomorrow morning, according to the President-elect. But further Trump operations or further Trump Cabinet officials should be named in the coming days, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Phil Mattingly, appreciate the reporting.
More now on the growing controversy over the man emerging as Donald Trump's leading candidate to be Secretary of State, especially among Senate Republicans, who will be called on to confirm him. He's a big name, obviously, in the oil business, a big friend of Vladimir Putin, or at least, they've had a business relationship. More now from CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[21:05:01] RICK TILLERSON, CEO, EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION: We are the largest American oil company. We are very global.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rex Tillerson, a career oil man, on track to become the nation's chief diplomat.
TILLERSON: As someone who has spent his entire career in the energy industry ...
SERFATY: Tillerson, a 64-year-old conservative Texan, has no government or foreign policy experience. He has only held one job in his adult life, working for the last 40 years at Exxon, first hired as a civil engineer out of college, working his way up the corporate ladder through the international division, and then rising to CEO in 2006.
TILLERSON: The belief in the promise of international engagement and in the potential for global approaches to meeting this nation's challenges.
SERFATY: At the helm of Exxon Mobil, Tillerson operated at a high level internationally, negotiating on behalf of Exxon's interests with deep relationship in the Gulf and Middle East, Asia, and Russia.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's much more than a business executive. I mean, he's a world-class player.
SERFATY: Tillerson having deep ties, especially to Russia and Vladimir Putin, and receiving the order of friendship in 2012, a high honor bestowed to him personally from Putin.
TRUMP: To me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players and he knows them well. He does massive deals in Russia.
SERFATY: But that's seen as an asset to President-elect Trump is a problem for some on Capitol Hill.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I have, obviously, concerns of reports of his relationship with Vladimir Putin, who is a thug and a murderer. SERFATY: Marco Rubio tweeting, "Being a friend of Vladimir is not an attribute I am hoping for from a Secretary of State."
Meantime, Tillerson's views on climate change in opposition to the president he is about to serve.
TRUMP: We will cancel this deal so that our companies can compete.
SERFATY: Tillerson supported the Paris Climate Change Agreement reached earlier this year, and has declared climate change a problem, at odds with Trump.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Where are you on the environment?
TRUMP: I'm still open-minded. Nobody really knows.
SERFATY: While Exxon spent years denying that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change under Tillerson's time, the company softened its stance.
TILLERSON: While there are a range of possible outcomes, the risk posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions could prove to be significant.
SERFATY: Outside of his work, Tillerson, a father of four, has deep lineage in the Boy Scouts of America. An eagle scout himself, he served as national president in 2010, and had a big role in moving the organization forward and allowing the acceptance of gay scouts.
Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, of course the question is what to make of all of this and the rest of the day's news, including Donald Trump's pushback in getting daily intelligence briefings. Joining us is Fareed Zakaria, host of "GPS" weekends here on CNN.
Given that Rex Tillerson has a prior relationship with Vladimir Putin, do you have concerns that he wouldn't be willing to stand up to Russia as Secretary of State?
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, FARRED ZAKARIA GPS: I think that's the crucial concern. It's important to point out about Tillerson. He's -- at one level, an extremely competent choice. This is a guy who runs one of the largest companies in the world, and energy companies, oil companies generally have to deal with the politics of other countries in a way that most other companies don't.
COPPER: Right. So even though he has no government experience, the fact that he has been a CEO of a major global company like that, he's traveled all around.
ZAKARIA: He's traveled -- Exxon has its own intelligence unit. They do their own forecasting. You know, he has been, in effect, in exactly the same situations that Secretaries of State often are, meeting with foreign governments. But this is a guy who has worked for Exxon since 1975 his whole life. And often what a company does for itself is actually in contradiction with the interests of the United States. And the worry would be that, especially with somebody like Putin, with whom he has a long-standing prior relationship, would he do what was, you know, what has been good for him in terms of his world of Exxon? Would he be able to put that aside and do what was right for the United States?
COOPER: Much of Donald Trump's world view is transactional. It's about trade deals, it's about, well, this deal isn't good, it's about rethinking the NATO relationships and the parameters, and that would seem to lend itself to a former CEO type, I mean, who is looking at things as transactions.
ZAKARIA: Exactly. And again, this is a very competent CEO who, you know, one has to say, again, has all the information, all the knowledge, all the background. But take the deal -- the transaction with Russia. What we are trying to do, what the United States has been trying to do for 30 years in Eastern Europe, for 75 years in Europe, is provide basic stability and security.
If you make a deal with Russia and it makes the poles insecure, it makes, you know, all of Eastern Europe insecure it, it creates a new security dynamic in Europe. That's very bad thing.
Now, you know, as a pure transaction with Putin, may be it works. But for the United States, it lets down -- you know, it lets all these countries down and it creates a more unsafe environment in Europe.
[21:10:03] COOPER: Donald Trump, we've learned, is not receiving daily intelligence briefings. He doesn't want them. Here's what he said about that this Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If something should change from this point, immediately call me. I'm available on one minute's notice. I don't have to be told -- you know, I'm, like, a smart person. I don't have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years, could be eight years, but, eight years. I don't need that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Does that make sense to you? I mean, because, clearly, he watches the news every single day, so he clearly is interested in information coming in. The idea of not receiving -- I mean, what is he missing by not getting this every day?
ZAKARIA: I think it's a mistake. But I do think that, you know, what he -- somebody needs to remind him, he's the boss. If he doesn't like the kind of intelligence briefing he's getting, he can change it. I've read, you know, many of these are declassified. And it's right that there is a lot of times, it's, you know, this is what happened, it's incremental information.
But there are two reasons you do that. One, as president, you often have to make decisions during crises on a moments notice. And so to have that background information, it's almost like an insurance policy. You're getting the background information, because every now and then, you're going to have to make a decision with very little notice, with very little new information, and so that backdrop of information is helpful. But the second point, as I said, he can change it. The CIA works for him.
COOPER: There's also been questions about what Donald Trump's policy to China is, concerns by China that a Trump administration is moving away from the One China Policy. What do you think -- what would be the ramifications if, in fact, that was -- the U.S. was moving away from that or China beliefs the U.S. was moving away from that?
ZAKARIA: Well, I think that so far, the One China Policy has produced something really extraordinary. It has allowed Taiwan to exist as a free country in everything but the name, "country." You wouldn't want to mess with it unless you had a pretty clear idea what it was you were achieving. And as I have said, I think having more leverage with China is a good idea. And I think that, you know, if Donald Trump has an idea that I'm going to use this Taiwan card, because here's what I want from China. One, two, three, maybe that's -- you know, let's watch it. But it's been an extraordinarily stable arrangement, which has allowed Taiwan to prosper.
Remember, Taiwan benefits from this as much as anybody else, because the Chinese could invade Taiwan. And then you have a whole different security situation, because we are duty-bound, treaty-bound, to defend Taiwan, even though we wouldn't really be able to. China would be able to -- so, you know, it will be -- it's a very awkward situation. We are promising to defend an entity that it would be extremely difficult, short of nuclear weapons, for the United States to defend. So you don't want to -- you don't want to call that bluff, unless you've really understand what you're doing.
COOPER: All right, Fareed, thanks very much.
Just ahead in this hour, more on what, if true, would be an act of cyberwarfare. Was the Kremlin behind the hacking of the Democrats with the intention of tipping the election? And later, when it comes to the Trump family business, it's not just alleged conflicts of interest, there are real questions about why Ivanka Trump's company does so much business with the country her father spends so much time slamming, China.
[21:16:13] COOPER: Well, we talked about it at the top of the hour, now there's more breaking news. Just got a late word on tomorrow's Secretary of State announcement and a phone call tonight that Donald Trump made to Mitt Romney. Let's get right back to CNN Phil Mattingly at Trump Tower.
What are you learning?
MATTINGLY: Well, Anderson, according to sources, Mitt Romney received a phone call from the President-elect tonight informing him that he would not be getting the position of Secretary of State. Now, the point of his phone call was to express the President-elect's appreciation for the 2012 nominee going through the process, for being willing to go through the process. And also to express the hope that the President-elect would be able to continue to receive the counsel and advice from Mitt Romney going forward.
And it's also important to note that according to sources, Mitt Romney was indeed in the mix, in the group of finalists until the very end. Now, all of this again continues to what we reported at the top of the show, Anderson, that the pick will eventually be tomorrow, Rex Tillerson, the Exxon CEO. But obviously, a lot of question, a lot of focus on Mitt Romney's willingness to even be a part of this. The President-elect's willingness to bring Mitt Romney into head of the circus, if you will, to bring him into the number of candidates, because of how kind of diametrically opposed to one another they were during the campaign. That is now officially over. That call was made tonight.
Again, all signs pointing to Rex Tillerson, the Exxon CEO will be the selection for the President-elect, for that Secretary of State position. President-elect stressing that Mitt Romney's involvement in this entire process was appreciated and he was, in fact, a finalist until the very end, according to sources. Anderson?
COOPER: Thanks, Phil.
Now, the hacking story, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling for congressional investigations into allegations the Russian government is behind computer hacking that the CIA believes was intended to influence the election favored Donald Trump. That -- and Donald Trump's continue his statement until we've got later of the weekend that he just doesn't buy it. More on all of it from our Justice correspondent Pamela Brown who joins us now.
So, what are you hearing from U.S. intelligence officials?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've learn, Anderson, that intelligence officials within the CIA now are growing increasingly confident that Russia was actually trying to help Donald Trump win the election by undermining Hillary Clinton. You know that there was that October letter with the several intelligence agencies saying that Russia was trying to sew chaos in the election.
So, this is a shift in the assessment. And we've learned from our sources that people within the intelligence community were actually close to assessing that Russia was trying to help Donald Trump. And then new intelligence came to light that has led them now to believe and brief Congress that in fact they do believe Russia did try to help Donald Trump.
We should point out that it's not a consensus view that the FBI is more conservative in its assessment. It has not gone as far as the CIA. And no conclusions have been drown by any agency thus far, Anderson.
COOPER: So even though there's no smoking gun tying the government of Russia to the theft of the DNC and Clinton campaign e-mails, you have some more information about what U.S. investigators have actually found?
BROWN: Absolutely. So, we've learned from our sources that hackers actually got into e-mails and obtained documents from GOP operatives, from organizations. They obtained RNC documents from a third party vendor. However, most of those documents were not leaked, like you had on the Democratic side, from the Clinton Chairman John Podesta, and from the DNC. So, that was one reason why officials thought that Russia might be trying to help Donald Trump.
And then also, they found that Russia was bankrolling, essentially, people connected to the Russian government were bankrolling these trolling operations that spread fake news about Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump. And also, investigators have uncovered a digital footprint in these hacks from people connected to the Russian government.
But Anderson, it's important to point out, even if Russia did try to help Donald Trump, we may never know, as one official told me today, whether or not Russia influenced the outcome of the election.
[21:20:00] COOPER: All right, Pamela Brown. Pam, thanks.
From alleged spying to what critics are calling spinning about spying, this is weekend, CNN's Michael Smerconish had Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee's chief strategist and spokesman on the program. Here's what happened when he asked him about all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, SMERCONISH: I need to ask you an additional question.
SEAN SPICER, RNC CHIEF STRATEGIST AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: No, but wait ...
SMERCONISH: Speak to the point that ...
SPICER: That's not true. Michael ...
SMERCONISH: I want you to address this. I'm also concerned -- come on. I'm being fair to you but I've got to get a word in every once in a while.
I'm also troubled by the idea that my President-elect, he's going to be all of our president, is already throwing under bus the intelligence community with whom he's going to have to work on life and death matters. Wasn't that a troubling thing to do at 9:34 last night in that very ...
SPICER: No. No. Michael, "The New York Times" in their story said that they based their conclusion on the fact that the RNC was hacked, OK? If the RNC was not hacked, then that casts doubt on their conclusions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Michael Smerconish joins us tonight along with CNN's senior political analyst, David Gergen.
Michael, the fact that Donald Trump is pushing back so hard on this hacking story, how surprising do you think that is? I mean, one might say, what President-elect wouldn't want to look into a foreign state like Russia if they were trying to influence our election process. The flip side of that is you can understand why they might be believing, you know, politics is behind some of this.
SMERCONISH: Well, it frustrates me, because I would think in a circumstance like this, patriotism would Trump partisanship and polarization, and yet it's not. I paid attention to your interview earlier tonight with Kellyanne Conway and it reminded me of what I heard from Sean Spicer over the weekend. You asked about a congressional investigation into this subject. Now that we know Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are both supportive of that. And her attitude was one of her words were literally.
Well, if they want to look into it, that's fine. I don't think that's enough. I mean, this is sacred stuff we're talking about here. This is not typical R's and D's, liberals and conservatives fighting it out. This is the prospect of a hostile foreign actor having put their thumb on the scale of an American election. And I think that it's appalling, frankly, that President Trump doesn't condemn that idea before making his other points. That ought to be number one on the list.
COOPER: David, I mean, what the transition team is saying, well he wouldn't stand in a way of any kind of investigation.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's a warm embrace, isn't it? I can understand, Anderson, why a lot of his supporters think this was a late hit.
COOPER: Right. What they're saying is, look, at first it was blaming Comey, then it was, you know, the al-right, this is just the latest by disgruntled Democrats.
GERGEN: Exactly. And from disgruntled people and agency we're not sure we trust anyway and this is part of the swamp, and why should we believe all of this? But I think Michael's point is fundamentally right. Michael's making this point. That is the integrity of our elections or the hallmark of who we are as a democracy. And we've never had a foreign power meddle in our elections in the way that's being alleged here.
And so, I would think that Donald Trump would not only want to do that as the new incoming president, but also, if he's confident about that, the investigations will help to clear the cloud around his incoming administration. That's in his personal interests.
COOPER: Michael, I want to play some of what Donald Trump said on "Fox News Sunday". Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Do you think that the CIA is trying to overturn the results of the election somehow to weaken you in office?
TRUMP: Well, if you look at the story and you take a look at what they said, there's great confusion. Nobody really knows.
And hacking is very interesting. Once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act, you're not going to catch them. They have no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Michael, I mean, does Trump have a point? There's circumstantial evidence so far, a lot of this so far is just coming from leaks.
SMERCONISH: I don't know if he has a point. I mean, he seems to be saying there's nothing to see here, so everybody should just move along and go about their business. I would rather hear from him that this is a very serious allegation and we need to get to the bottom of it.
And, Anderson, I don't put this in the category of criticism of the alt-right or Jim Comey and whether he should have written letter "a" or letter "b". I really perceive this as being in a category all of its own. And I would be horrified to think that the CIA would have sent leaders over to the Senate to brief on in a Russian hack, simply with a partisan idea.
We're all in trouble, if it's that bad, that they had this partisan notion that they wanted to bring down Donald Trump. I'd hate to think that's what's going on. So let's bring it all out into the open and get to the bottom of it. Because guess what? In two years, what we're going to be talking about, a midterm election.
COOPER: And I mean, you know, the transition did put out the statement of kind of blasting the -- or reminding people about intelligence community failures in the run up to, you know, the war in Iraq, about WMD's in Iraq.
GERGEN: Anderson, I've been working around the intelligence community now for a long time over a number of administrations. And yes, the CIA does get things wrong. They also get a lot of things right with Bin Laden. Wouldn't have him, had killed him without the CIA. But I want to tell you, this is a $70 billion a year operation.
[21:25:16] We have a lot of people who put their lives on the line to get information that can be sent to the president of the United States. The first job of the president, the responsibility of the president, is to keep us out of war. And those briefings are an essential part of being prepared by a president, in preparation by a president to make the tough calls. You have to school yourself in this. You cannot wing this kind of stuff. And from my point of view, it's irresponsible, it's just irresponsible ...
COOPER: Not to be getting daily briefings.
GERGEN: ... not to be taking the daily briefings. Not to be reading, but to teach himself and get into this. And because what happens, as you know, with any story that's developing, you need to watch it over time. And then you can sort of predict where it's going to go.
GERGEN: And if you don't pay attention until the last minute ...
GERGEN: ... you're likely to make a very, very ...
COOPER: I mean, even in the world of, you know, T.V. news anchoring, unless every day you are following this stuff, and, you know, reading it constantly all day long, when breaking news actually happens and teleprompter goes down and you're on for eight hours talking about a subject, if you haven't spent months reading it up, you're not going to be able to do it. You can't even talk about it. Let alone make decisions, which the president obviously a far more important job than someone like me.
GERGEN: And this is a person who's interested with the most secretly information. He knows more than anybody else in the country about what truly is going on in a lot of these countries. So if he intentionally said, "I don't want to know," then he doesn't follow this bouncing ball. And that's what the job is.
You know, so, from my point of view, this whole question about the hacking and so forth is part of a broader picture that a lot of us are starting to feel unhinged. What kind of world are we living in when the president of the United States, you know, the Russians are hacking him, we know that and everybody -- that's a given. But he seems to be trying to undercut our democracy. They're trying to undercut democracies in Europe. Most people would see this as an informal warfare.
GERGEN: And he's the president of the United States who has to make a decision what to do about it.
COOPER: David Gergen, Michael Smerconish, thanks gentleman, appreciate it.
Coming up, Donald Trump has talked about -- a lot about China during the election, bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States. Now a CNN investigation finds that his daughter Ivanka's brand continues to do a lot of business in China. Does her brand do any manufacturing in the United States or plan to? Drew Griffin tonight investigates, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Again, the breaking news tonight, President-elect Donald Trump was supposed to have a press conference this week to talk about dealing with potential conflicts with his businesses. But now, the transition team says that is not going to happen until January.
[21:30:05] You heard Kellyanne Conway tell me tonight that Mr. Trump's children will likely have a hand in running the business but we still do not know all the details. We do know his daughter Ivanka Trump is obviously businesswoman in her own right. But a new CNN investigation reveals that her business practices don't exactly square with some of her father's tough talk on trade and jobs. CNN's senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It turns out during that entire campaign when Donald Trump was criticizing ...
TRUMP: China's taking our jobs, our money.
China, which has been ripping us off.
We have a trade deficit with China, $500 billion a year.
GRIFFIN: Daughter, Ivanka Trump, was busy doing business with, yes, China. She sells shoes and handbags made in China. And even in the last three months, the final leg of the campaign, the Ivanka Trump brand was receiving shipment after shipment of merchandise, more than 60 in all, according to records analyzed by CNN.
TRUMP: We owe them. They took everything, $1.4 trillion. How do you do that? That's like a magic act.
GRIFFIN: Trade talk on the campaign trail intrigued Robert Lawrence, a professor of international trade and investment at Harvard. His interest piqued when early on, Donald Trump found out Nabisco was moving its Oreo cookie bakery to Mexico.
TRUMP: They're leaving Chicago, which means I'm never going eat another Oreo again. Nobody is -- I'm serious. Never.
GRIFFIN: Professor Lawrence asked one of his assistants to find out where the Trump family makes things, and settled on Ivanka Trump's extensive line of handbags, shoes, clothing, and accessories. Hundreds of products made in China and many other nations.
ROBERT LAWRENCE, PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: I think we found something on the order of 600 or 700 products and about half of those were made in China and the rest were imported.
GRIFFIN: Shipments as recently as November have been arriving from China. And in a CNN report earlier this year, we tracked Donald Trump's now-apparently defunct clothing line, manufacturers in China, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.
LAWRENCE: It is certainly at odds with what he claimed was immoral behavior on the part of companies, other companies, like Nabisco.
GRIFFIN: Which raises a possible conflict within the Trump family. Will Ivanka's products face an increased tariff if the soon-to-be president enacts a soon-to-be-launched trade war? Will Ivanka continue to make her shoes overseas, while her dad tries to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.?
CNN asked those questions to Ivanka Trump, this was the response from her brand's spokesperson. "We have consistently expressed that we share industry leaders' interest in bringing more manufacturing opportunities to the U.S. and are looking forward to being a part of the conversation."
Scott Nova, who studies the industry for the Worker Rights Consortium, says he doubts any garment jobs will ever come back to the U.S. no matter who is president. As he told us earlier this year discussing Donald Trump's clothing line, the industry survives on cheap labor, where in terms of paying workers, it is a worldwide race to the bottom.
SCOTT NOVA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORKER RIGHTS CONSORTIUM: There is a worldwide search for the countries with the lowest wages and the least regulation. I'm unaware of any way in which the Trump brand has taken a different approach than the one that is unfortunately standard in the industry.
GRIFFIN: Business as usual?
NOVA: As far as we're aware.
GRIFFIN: Find the cheapest labor for the clothes you're making. It's a business. So you can make the biggest profit.
NOVA: This is the nature of the global garment industry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Drew, so we know Ivanka Trump continues to manufacture her licensed products mostly in China. What about her father?
GRIFFIN: There's no evidence we can find that Donald Trump's clothing brand is manufacturing anything, Anderson, anywhere. That's not by choice. When he started his campaign, talking about Muslims and Mexicans, his clothing line was dropped by many retailers. His shirt contractor also told us they were phasing out Trump's clothing line and we haven't been able to find any evidence that the Donald J. Trump clothing line is manufacturing anything right now.
COOPER: And in Ivanka Trump's statement, her spokesperson says she's interested in, you know, sort of being part of the conversation about bringing some of these jobs back to the U.S., is that even a possibility from the ordinary American manufacturers, American apparel and others?
COOPER: There are, Anderson, but it's not likely you're going to see these jobs come back. Why? You can't hire workers for 30 cents an hour to sew shirts. That is the going rate in Bangladesh for instance or a $40, if you want to get expensive in Mexico. What could happen though again, no evidence from the industry at will is that some sort of automation is going to be developed, where efficient machines are going to make these shirts, make shoes, sew handbags. That would create some new jobs, but nowhere near the number of manufacturing jobs that were lost in the garment industry in the U.S. And then, of course, you're going to have to deal with taking away jobs from some very, very poor people in parts of the world where 30 cents an hour is a good job.
[21:35:02] COOPER: Drew Griffin. Drew, thanks.
Coming up, how the town where white supremacist leader, Richard Spencer, has been calling home is pushing back against his hateful ideas.
COOPER: White supremacist Richard Spencer is back on Twitter. He'd been suspended for about a month for making multiple accounts, but is now back as of this weekend. Spencer has been spreading his message of hatred in other ways in recent weeks, as speech at Texas A&M University last week and before that a speech in Washington celebrating Donald Trump's election. The supporters did a Hitler salute. Spencer may be embraced by anonymous people online by small groups of supporters where he speaks, but the story is different in the town he's been calling home. Gary Tuchman tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The weather is frigid in the small picturesque city of Whitefish, Montana. But even more chilling, to many here, are the actions of one of their residents.
RICHARD SPENCER, WHITE SUPREMACIST: Hail, Trump. Hail our people. Hail victory.
TUCHMAN: Richard Spencer, a white supremacist, and a leader in a so- called alt-right movement, has made Whitefish a home in recent years, which offends many here. John Muhlfeld is the mayor of Whitefish.
MAYOR JOHN MUHLFELD, WHITEFISH. MONTANA: We're a very open town. We welcome diversity and we certainly don't endorse the ideologies and philosophies that Richard Spencer endorses.
[21:39:59] TUCHMAN: Racism and bigotry tend to be the kinds of things that conflict with the person's moral compass. And overwhelmingly, that's the case here in Montana's Flathead Valley, particularly with Richard Spencer getting so much national attention. So a collective decision has been made here, to fight back.
Frank Sweeney is a Whitefish City Councilmember.
FRANK SWEENEY, WHITEFISH CITY COUNCILMEMBER: What he has done by associating himself and his ideas with us is he slandered us and we don't appreciate it. We are entitled to respond to something like this.
TUCHMAN: And responding now have, the mayor signing a proclamation declaring Whitefish won't tolerate racism and bigotry, not just from Spencer, but from others of a similar ilk who have made their homes here and in other parts of the region.
MUHLFELD: Now, signing this, this evening on the 5th of December 2016 as the mayor of the City of Whitefish. Thank you very much for coming this evening.
TUCHMAN: The proclamation comes after the passage of a city ordinance earlier this year, protecting gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Whitefish has an established human rights organization called Love Lives Here.
HILARY SHAW, MEMBER, LOVE LIVES HERE: Love lives here wants to shine a light on the activity of Richard Spencer.
TUCHMAN: That activity includes a speech Spencer made at Texas A&M University, in which protesters vastly outnumbered his followers, and where he called Donald Trump an alt-right hero.
RICHARD SPENCER: Whether it's nice to say that or not, we won and we got to define what America means. We got to define what this continent means, America, at the end of the day, belongs to white men.
RABBI FRANCINE ROSTON, MEMBER, LOVE LIVES HERE: He's not powerful, he's just spreading messages of hatred. And we have to keep calling that out and showing that that is not representative of this country. Certainly not representative of this community. Whitefish is way bigger than Richard Spencer.
TUCHMAN: Employees at Montana Coffee Traders in the middle of town say Spencer has been a customer in the past.
If Richard Spencer walked in here right now and he's been here before, would this business serve him?
BARB BRANT, MANAGER, MONTANA COFFEE TRADERS: Our employees are not required to serve him, but someone would serve him.
TUCHMAN: You wouldn't kick him out?
BRANT: We would not kick out, no.
TUCHMAN: For many of the people here who don't like Spencer, inclusiveness even includes not excluding him.
SPENCER: If you look at white people ...
TUCHMAN: But Spencer has said he is ready to leave Montana to spend more time near the nation's capital as he pushes his agenda. And indeed, the manager of this building in Whitefish where Spencer has done his work in office number 201 says Spencer moved out this past Friday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: Anderson, this is a very small city, so we talked with many people who have met Spencer, talked with Spencer, dealt with him, and been polite and cordial with him, but we did not meet anybody who will shed any tears if they never see him here again. Anderson?
COOPER: Coming up, I'll speak with a fake news writer, many of his reports have gone viral, including one during the election that people were being paid to protest at Donald Trump rallies. He says what he does is satire, many others call it irresponsible. We'll hear from him, next.
[21:45:47] COOPER: We've been reporting in the past few weeks about the real consequences of so-called fake news. There's the absurd Pizzagate conspiracy theory linking a Washington restaurant to a child sex ring and members of Democratic Party. It was baseless, it was ridiculous, it was debunked. That didn't stop a man from showing up at the pizza place with a gun. Then there's a conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, a grieving parents in the worst moments of their lives were crisis actors that no kids were killed there. It's so disrespectful a notion that it's hard to talk about or frankly even imagine. But people actually harassed the parents of victims of Sandy Hook.
Last week, a woman was indicted for making threats against one of those parents. Leo Pozner, the father of Noah Pozner who was killed at Sandy Hook. I spoke with Leo last week and he talked about the pain that he's had to relieve because of these outrageous lies. And these are just two examples of the horrifying consequences. Still, fake news is a growing cottage industry. In some cases, very lucrative for the people who create and distribute it.
If you're on Facebook, you probably saw a lot of fake news about the presidential election. Some of it may have come from my next guest, his name is Paul Horner. He's a fake news writer. One of his fake stories that got a lot of traction during election was about people supposedly getting paid to protest Donald Trump. I spoke with Paul Horner earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Explain why you do this. I mean you know you're putting, you know, fake news out there, you know, as fooling people into believing it's real. Why do it?
PAUL HORNER, FAKE NEWS WRITER: I've been doing it now about five or six years. What you guys call fake news, a headline might be fake, the first paragraph might be fake, and then the rest of the story is a lot of it is mostly political satire. It gets pretty ridiculous as the story goes on. Anyone that's read any of my articles, I have a lot of fans, a lot of people that like my stuff, that both they know, I mean, it's pretty obvious the stuff I write is very political satire. There's a lot of humor, a lot of comedy in it ... COOPER: Would you -- I mean satire, usually the reader knows its satire like with the onion, everybody knows the onion is satire. A lot of folks are actually fooled by your, you know, by your articles. And as you know, I mean you've talked about that, how they've been passed along as real by, you know, supporters of various candidates. I mean, isn't that part of the point ...
COOPER: ... that kind of make people -- I mean you're hoping to make people look stupid by passing them on, but you're also spreading false information.
HORNER: I do it -- I mean, I like trying to -- I do it to try to educate people. I see certain things wrong in society that I don't like ...
COOPER: How are you educating people?
HORNER: ... in different targets. In -- within my stories, I'll have links to all of the different facts that the purpose of the story. I'll pick a purpose to write about, and then within that story, I'll have links to everything to back up the different purpose behind the story.
COOPER: You are making money by having your stories passed around as much as possible? So there is an incentive -- I mean, this is not -- you're not doing this, you know, as a sort of sociological experiment or just, you know -- I mean, you're making money off the spread of misinformation. Does it concern you at all that people believe your stuff? That people believe what you're actually writing?
HORNER: I mean, you could -- I mean, there's sites out there, you could say CNN spreads misinformation. You could say Fox News spreads misinformation and make ad revenue. I ...
COOPER: How so? I mean do you think CNN intentionally is spreading false articles in order to -- you think they actually profit off trying to spread false information? Isn't there actually disincentive for T.V. networks to actually spread real information?
HORNER: I think they have agendas. I know with my articles, I'll definitely see something that I don't like and I'll write about it and I'll have a purpose and a certain reason why I'm writing it. And then within the story, I'll have facts to back it up with links that I include. And then also within the story I'll make sure to have just plenty satire and comedy.
[21:50:07] Anyone that's actually read one of stories from top to bottom, if they can't figured out that's a, what you guys are calling fake news, I mean, I ...
COOPER: But, you know, plenty of people do read it, and not get it. Plenty of people do read it and have passed along as real news.
HORNER: Yeah, I think -- yeah, well, at least the people with my articles, and I think those people haven't read the whole article.
COOPER: How much money do you actually make doing this?
HORNER: I don't like talking about money, but since with "The Washington Post", I told them that on a good month with Google ad sense I'll make $10,000.
COOPER: Ten thousand dollars in one month?
HORNER: And that's one of four -- that's one of four ad companies that I'll have on my site.
COOPER: Are you concerned at all about the proliferation of sites like yours? I mean you're saying its part satire but you're basically lumped in with a lot of other, you know, fakes news site out there, I mean, your articles traffic ...
HORNER: I'm definitely concerned about the other fake news that's out there like that Pizzagates. I've gone on record stating that I think 95 percent of the fake news that's out there on today is causing huge problems. It's what you've seen with Pizzagate.
COOPER: So, why take part of it? I guess, I still don't quite understand why you would take part of it?
HORNER: I enjoy writing. I love writing comedy. I do comedy -- I throw comedy shows. I do stand-up comedy. I love writing humor. I love writing comedy. I love writing -- I love writing political satire. I love writing politics. I like writing stuff that's I guess hoaxes. I like ...
COOPER: The difference you say between what you're doing and what all these other fake news sites are doing, you're simply saying yours are vaguely funny or satirical if you read deep down into the articles? That's the difference?
HORNER: Sure, I mean, if you read any of my stories, it's pretty obvious there's satire, the title might be the fake part, the first paragraph or two is usually fake, but then it just gets more and more ridiculous as the story goes on.
COOPER: What's the difference between you and an internet troll?
HORNER: I don't -- there's different types, I don't know what are you saying is an internet troll.
COOPER: I don't know. I'm not as familiar with the stuff as you are, but I mean you know a lot about the internet, do you view yourself in anyway like an internet troll sort of just spreading fake information, saying fake stuff? You're not trolling because you're clever?
HORNER: Internet trolls, it's not -- I don't think that's what I'm doing has nothing to do with an internet troll.
COOPER: OK. Paul, I appreciate your time. Thank you for being with us.
COOPER: Joining me now is CNN "Reliable Sources" host and senior media correspondent Brian Stelter.
What do you make of that? I mean, he says its satire?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Some people just want to watch the world burn, that was my impression from your interview.
You know, he's got website headlines like "Obama Signs Executive Order Banning the Pledge of Allegiance in Schools." Yes, if you read the very bottom of the story, he admit it was a joke. But thousand of people have shared that story on Facebook, gone really angry, called the president unpatriotic and treasonist, and spread it of like wild fire.
You know, with the right to free speech, which we all cherish, comes moral responsibility, and that's the bright line between us, real news organizations and these fake sites that spread lies.
COOPER: He says though its satire, that he is different than these other sites which are just spreading misinformation, which he himself says he's worried about and think should be taken down.
STELTER: Which I think is a really important insight here. You know, I've been thinking mostly about fake news, and it's been covered mostly in recent weeks as a financial phenomenon. Teenagers, young people, some in other countries just trying to make money off of these fake stories. The people then spread on Facebook and Twitter unknowingly.
He is describing a different incentive, a satire, a comedy incentive. I thought it to be highly cynical, however, just suggesting that you have to read every word very carefully and parse my language to know I'm joking, after all as you pointed your Trump campaign aids were fooled by these various stories.
COOPER: He's also -- I mean he's making -- it sounds like he's making a lot of money. I mean, he's obviously very clever, he could probably figured out some another way to make a living I would think.
STELTER: Ten thousand dollars a month just from one of these advertising networks. He's making more than a lot of young journalists. A lot of hardworking real journalists, writing real stories, that is the cracks to this issue. Fake news has kind of always been with us, right? There's been conspiracy theories and then crazy stories all around even before the internet. The difference now is that the Facebooks and Twitters of the world have empowered this so you can spread virally so quickly and to so many people.
I think the issue here is the financial incentives, both for these websites, to the ads and to the social networks. Because the more time you spend on Facebook, the more money Facebook makes. And if you're angry about a fake news story that you don't even know its fake, you're going to spend a lot of time on Facebook talking about it.
[21:55:07] COOPER: There's also so much information coming at people today, but I mean who has time to read the complete article every time these things pop up and you read the headlines and they kind of register, you read the first couple of graphs, and as he says, you know, those are just like a news article, not everybody has time to -- even in legitimate papers or news programs, to stay to the end of something.
STELTER: I've been tricked by these stories too. I think everybody has, one time another, been tricked by one of these stories that is set out to deceive people. Unless you read to end, unless you look for the context clues, these stories can be very tricky. And these writers like Paul Horner, they're getting more sophisticated, they're getting more creative about this, that's why this is fundamentally a news literacy problem.
Facebook can try to take action. Googles (ph) are just trying to take action. Certainly as news consumer though, the inputs is on us to be very skeptical of we're reading, especially when we don't know the source and we don't recognized trustworthy sites.
You know, I'm going to sounds like (inaudible) team here, Anderson, but it's actually big in the international news organizations that are really valuable right now because you actually know where they're coming from, actually know what they've stand for.
COOPER: Brian, appreciate it. Thanks very much. We'll be right back.
COOPER: And that does it for us. Thanks for watching. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
[22:00:03] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news tonight, Donald Trump says he'll announce his pick for Secretary of State tomorrow morning.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.