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EARLY START

Long Road to the Oval Office for Donald Trump; Can Trump Deliver and Defeat ISIS?; Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 10, 2016 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The Trump presidency just 72 days until the inauguration. Donald Trump needs to fill 4,000 executive branch jobs. More than 1100 of them need Senate confirmation. Before he gets to that, this morning a picture that many Americans may never have imagined. Most Democrats may never have dreamed about it and President Obama, it's hard to know whether he even considered this possibility.

President Obama will meet President-elect Trump in the Oval Office. For the latest on this meeting and the transition, I want to bring in CNN's Sunlen Serfaty in Washington.

Good morning, Sunlen.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, John. Well, this is the first real meeting that President Obama and now President-elect Donald Trump will ever have and we all of course know their storied relationship from Donald Trump's major role in the birther movement to President Obama's real fiery rhetoric against Donald Trump on the campaign trail this last year.

That said, you know, White House officials openly admits that this is of course not going to be an easy meeting for President Obama, but they say he is very committed to making sure there is a successful transfer of power between the two administrations and this is something that President Obama talked about himself when he spoke yesterday in the Rose Garden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I'm looking forward to doing everything that I can to make sure that the next president is successful in that. I've said before, I think of this job as being a relay runner. You take the baton. You run your best race. And hopefully, by the time you hand it off you are a little further ahead. You've made a little progress and I can say that we've done that and I want to make sure that handoff is well-executed because ultimately we are all on the same team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: And Melania Trump will also be meeting in White House residence today with First Lady Michelle Obama. That will be a private meeting. And while Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence will be here in D.C. they have a slew of other meetings. Pence will be meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, both of them will also be sitting down with Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

Certainly a lot on the agenda, John and Christine, but I think the symbolism of a lot of these meetings, especially with President Obama so important that transition starts in earnest right now.

BERMAN: And we will be watching that body language very, very closely.

Sunlen Serfaty, in Washington, thanks so much.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So some of Donald Trump's earliest appointments will have to be the top White House and Cabinet jobs. Campaign sources telling CNN the jobs are likely to go to loyal Trump supporters who, quote, "took a lot of crap for backing Trump."

Some of the most frequently mentioned names, former House speaker Newt Gingrich being looked at for chief of staff or secretary of state. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani who was also being considered for chief the staff, attorney general, or maybe secretary of state or homeland security. Potentially CIA director. The transition chairman himself, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said to be under consideration for chief of staff or attorney general.

I heard a lot of people speculating yesterday about Reince Priebus, too.

BERMAN: Chief of staff possibly. Absolutely.

ROMANS: Where would he -- I mean, that was a huge embrace of those two when Donald Trump gave his speech at 3:00 a.m. which was only 24 hours ago.

BERMAN: And there's Michael Flynn. You know, former general.

ROMANS: That's right.

BERMAN: Look, at lot of the times, this is because they just don't know and they're considering a lot of people. A lot of this time, though, it's a way of saying thank you to someone even if you're not really considering them. You know, because if you say you're considering someone as secretary of state, that's quite a compliment. So it's thank you for your service, I'm considering you, I'm not going to choose you ultimately.

ROMANS: Like considering you as a co-anchor.

BERMAN: Exactly. Well --

ROMANS: But I'm just floating that idea.

BERMAN: Just float that out there.

ROMANS: Just a compliment.

BERMAN: All right. Two of Donald Trump's most outspoken critics, they are offering up an olive branch of sorts. Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They campaigned at the end hard for Hillary Clinton and they went after Donald Trump hard as well. So in a letter to the "Boston Globe," Senator Warren writes, "President- elect Trump promised to rebuild our economy for working people. And I offer to put aside our differences and work with him on that task. When he takes the oath of office as the leader of our democracy and the leader of all Americans it is my sincere hope that he will fulfill that role with respect and concern for every single person in the country no matter who they are, where they come from, what they believe or whom they love."

This is what Bernie Sanders wrote. He said, "To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him."

ROMANS: The Vice President Joe Biden in his first public comments following the Trump victory, he is seeking to reassure Jewish leaders about the U.S. commitment to Israel in a Trump administration.

Biden spoke to the World Jewish Congress Wednesday night and vowed American support will not waiver.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I stand here to tell you that I have no doubt, none whatsoever, that in the Trump administration there will be no diminution of support as a consequence of this transition. Even if it's a new administration we're inclined to reduce the commitment in which it is not.

[04:05:02] Congress would never let it happen. The American people would never let it happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Biden said he was responding to concerns from friends in the Jewish community who were anxious about the change in power following, you know, one of the most divisive campaigns in modern memory.

BERMAN: All right. There was another Senate flip overnight. Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, the sitting senator, lost her seat. She conceded to a Democratic challenger Maggie Hassan. This gives Democrats a second Senate seat formerly held by Republicans. The Republicans did easily keep control of both Houses of Congress.

Now, you know, some people are saying this shows Donald Trump didn't have coat tails. Actually it may show the opposite. Donald Trump had coat tails for people who supported him. Kelly Ayotte, not one of them.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: She actually split from Donald Trump. Joe Heck in Nevada, who lost the Senate race there, he split from Donald Trump. Mark Kirk in Illinois, who may have had plenty of other issues, but he too lost and had split from Donald Trump. And this is something that Kellyanne Conway, a Trump supporter, said all along.

ROMANS: That's right.

BERMAN: You said, you know what, you know, if you're not going to support us, you're going down. And it happened.

ROMANS: Well, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has declared victory in the race for governor. State election officials say not so fast. Officially that race remains too close to call. Cooper is some 5,000 votes ahead of incumbent Republican Pat McRory. Hundred percent of the precincts reporting but the race could now hand, John, tens of thousands of outstanding absentee, military and provisional ballots. CNN has still not made a projection in the North Carolina gubernatorial race.

BERMAN: All right. You want to see a visual representation of a transition? This is the campaign plane used by Hillary Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine, the decals being torn off. This is happening in Richmond, Virginia, overnight. We are told that the Secret Service detail drove Senator Kaine and his family home and then left.

ROMANS: It is always remarkable. how much time and energy people and their families spend running for office, and then when it's over, it's over. You know, if you lose. It's over.

BERMAN: You want to know something about Senator Kaine, also? This is the first time he has ever lost an election.

ROMANS: Really?

BERMAN: Senator Kaine has never run for office and not won before. So he personally has never felt this before.

ROMANS: All right. Let's talk about money. Wall Street gives an emphatic welcome to President-elect Donald Trump. An early freak-out in global markets and then a rally. The Dow jumping 256 points. It was flirting with record highs all session. Now just 46 points away from hitting an all-time high. It will not take much. Spitting distance, shouting distance to a record high. Nasdaq and S&P also had about a 1 percent gain yesterday.

So why the turnaround from a nearly 900-point drop in futures as Trump was winning the race? So global markets were freaking out when Trump was winning and then spent the whole day turning the move around. In fact it's because of his victory speech and then Clinton's concession speech. Trump raising hopes that he will help the economy and he will scrap some of his more extreme campaign positions. Plus with the GOP control of Congress, he could get some stuff done that the markets like.

The buying accelerated after Clinton's graceful concession and her emphasis on unity. More gains possible today. Dow futures are higher. Stock markets in Europe just opened an hour ago. Solid gains there. Shares in Asia rebounded overnight, following those rarely deep losses.

In general, what investors are saying if this is going to be a more traditional transition, which it appears to be, and you don't have real division in America, you've got GOP in control of the White House and Congress. You could have a rollback of regulations, which business like.

BERMAN: If he will roll back the regulations.

ROMANS: A tax reform, maybe lower corporate tax rate.

BERMAN: I think you will see tax cuts.

ROMANS: Cut and simplify personal income taxes. And you could have an infrastructure build which has really helped some of those stocks that popped yesterday. Repeal and replace Obamacare. That's sort of messing up a lot of -- there's making a lot of moves in the hospital stocks and the drug stocks. But, you know, there's a lot to talk about and a lot of think about.

BERMAN: Indeed. All right. Now that the election is over, the whole part of governing this giant country begins. How will Trump do that? Who will he hire to be part of his administration and what does this all mean? When EARLY START continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:13:17] BERMAN: All right. President-elect Donald Trump arrives at the White House this morning to meet with President Barack Obama. This happens about 11:00 a.m. during the broadcast known as "AT THIS HOUR" which I anchor so watch it. The pair will begin the transition of power and the process of bringing this country together. Really it has already begun with the speeches from Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, the speaker of the House.

Joining us now to discuss all of this, Ellis Henican, political analyst and best-selling author, Eugene Scott, CNN Politics reporter, and CNN political commentator, Symone Sanders, who was the former press secretary for the Bernie Sanders campaign.

So we've heard from President Obama already today during this broadcast. Donald Trump meets with Paul Ryan in Washington today as well. And I want to play a little bit of what Paul Ryan said yesterday because it relates to where we are this morning. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Many of our fellow citizens feel alienated and have lost faith in our core institutions. They don't feel heard and they don't feel represented by those in office, but Donald Trump heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard. He connected with -- he connected in ways with people no one else did.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: So there's truth in what Paul Ryan just said there, Ellis Henican. And I want to juxtapose what he just said about the people who voted for Donald Trump but what we saw on the streets overnight in cities across the country people protesting, upset over the results of the election feeling like they are unheard.

ELLIS HENICAN, POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a targeting question, right? I mean, he's clearly right. There's an awful lot of alienation out there. But depending on where your sympathies lie indicates who it is that you sympathize with. Right?

[04:15:01] So is it the white working class people whose jobs have gone off to China or is it the -- is the Dreamers who are here in America trying to make a life for themselves or African-Americans who still suffer tremendous unemployment? I mean, you can go down the list of 20 different categories. You tell me what you care about and I'll tell you who's on your list.

ROMANS: John, I listened to him yesterday and I was trying to figure out, you know, he -- he congratulated Donald Trump for this stunning -- pulling off this huge political feat, right? But Paul Ryan was not out there campaigning with him. And a lot of people kept wondering what's Paul -- you know, does Trump like Paul Ryan? Mike Pence had to be asked four times whether he supported Paul Ryan, you know, in the quest for the speakership. What did you hear when you heard Paul Ryan speaking?

BERMAN: I heard we won.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: I -- you know, I heard Republicans declaring victory and saying that, you know, it all worked.

And Eugene, it's interesting. Paul Ryan did not work for Donald Trump at the end there. But he did open the door or help keep that door open for Republicans across the country to come home.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: And without that, which really happened over the last three weeks of the campaign, whether it'd be because of James Comey, whether it'd be because of the Obamacare premiums, whether it'd be because Donald Trump stopped tweeting. But Republicans deciding that they were going to rally behind their candidate and now President-elect was the phenomenon that helped him win the election or one of them, and maybe one of the phenomenon that helps push him through the first 100 days of the presidency.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes. He invited many Republican voters to come home, but many of them are coming home to a mess. I think you showed them the exit polls that a significant percentage of people who voted for Donald Trump, about 34 percent did not approve of him or aren't excited about voting for him. So there's --

ROMANS: But they voted for him anyway. When I looked at those exit polls and I saw how he didn't have the temperament, they were scared or concerned about a Trump presidency, but they voted for him anyway. I mean, that's just remarkable to me.

SCOTT: They did. And many of them would tell you it's a vote against Hillary Clinton.

ROMANS: Yes.

SCOTT: At the end of the day, when you had a choice, you chose Trump. And the reality is there's a lot of conversation right now about division among the country as we see with these protests. But the fact is there is significant division within the Republican Party and whether or not they will be able to accomplish everything that Donald Trump has proposed remains to be seen. And quite frankly isn't likely. There are people who just aren't even on the same page right now.

HENICAN: And some of it is tribal. Let's be honest.

SCOTT: Very. Very much.

HENICAN: I mean, people come home. That's what they do, John. They come home.

BERMAN: That's what I do every day after work.

ROMANS: Symone, let me ask you. I really would like your -- you know, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, your old boss, you know, these are people who really shared some of the concerns of the Trump -- the populism of the Trump supporters. Where do they fit in to where we go from here? We heard their statements yesterday. You know, what role do they have in sort of appealing to this working American voter angst?

SYMONE SANDERS, FORMER BERNIE SANDERS PRESS SECRETARY, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, I would also say that they appealed to the populism of Democratic voters who also feel that. We talk a lot about the white working class, but there is a black working class in this country. Black folks, too, lost jobs when factories pulled out, when NAFTA, CAFTA, and permanent normal trade relations with China. I used to do trade work. So we studied this a whole lot.

So the role that people like Bernie Sanders, people like Elizabeth Warren have is to -- they are legislators. They still have to legislate. And that is where you saw these statements come out. You know, Senator Sanders takes his job as a legislator very seriously. There were times in the primary where we couldn't get him to come out to the campaign trail because he said I have to go to the Senate. So they -- we really have to get some work done as Democrats somewhere, somehow. And that's what you saw Senator Sanders and Elizabeth Warren doing.

Now, mind you, there are people, other progressives -- other progressives, activists that are, you know -- some of them are party officials, some of them are folks in the street, some of them are people like they voted but they don't like the outcome that are not ready to go where Senator Sanders and Senator Warren have gone. There are people that are still ready to, you know, shut stuff down, flip stuff over. And they are calling for this revolution. They don't want to work with Donald Trump, that are calling for obstructionism, the unprecedented obstructionism we saw from Republicans when President Obama was elected. So we still have to do some reckoning within our party as well.

ROMANS: All right, Symone Sanders, guys, everybody, stay with us. Really great conversation. So much to talk about.

You know, this was the cornerstone of Donald Trump's campaign. Vowing to wipe out ISIS fast. Now the terrorists are mocking -- they are mocking the president-elect with -- insisting that he's going to destroy America for them. Where does the fight against ISIS go from here? Really compelling report on that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:23:52] ROMANS: Defeating ISIS was one of the cornerstones of Donald Trump's campaign. He has promised repeatedly to wipe out the terrorists fast. But can he deliver? Some in ISIS are actually celebrating Trump's victory. They're referring to him as a donkey who will destroy America by itself. One ISIS sympathizer wrote, "9/11 was the beginning of the Renaissance. 11/9 will be the beginning of the fall."

CNN's Nic Robertson near the front lines of the war with ISIS. He joins us live from Irbil, Iraq. Good morning. There's just big push to retake Mosul and now, United States, 72 days until a new president takes over.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. And this new president, President-elect Trump, is going to inherit, if you will, a Mideast that's never been so chaotic for any other president coming to office. The Middle East for their part is inheriting a president who perhaps more than previous presidents, they have worries and questions about his -- Donald Trump's comments about Muslims has many here worrying what the relationship with this region will be. They hear that he will fight ISIS. They like that idea.

[04:25:02] You know you have the Iraqi prime minister here, the Kurdish president both congratulating Donald Trump on his election, and saying that they want him to, you know, double down on ISIS and fight terrorism but has also talked in this region about if you were handing the reins of tackling ISIS in neighboring Syria to Russia, and if you do that, that implies that you're giving support to President Bashar al-Assad, that you're giving support to the Iranians and United States, big allies here. They spend a lot of money in the United States like Saudi Arabia, buying billions of dollars of weapons and other Gulf states and Turkey as well would not look very kindly upon that. There is a brewing sectarian tension.

The relationships in this region are a deck of cards built on sand. You move any one of those cards you risk bringing the whole thing down. Yet at the same time as we see with Russia here right now, if you do nothing then your enemies can take advantage. So this is -- this is going to be a very troublesome region for Donald Trump to inherit to deal with -- Christine.

ROMANS: A deck of cards built on sand. A very, very apt metaphor. Thank you so much for that, Nic.

BERMAN: All right. Breaking overnight, the anti-Trump protests in a bunch of cities across the country. So how does the president-elect heal this division? Does he try? It's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)