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Anti-Trump Protests More Like Anti-Hate; Trump Considering Bannon for Chief of Staff; Senior ISIS Commander Killed in Coalition Airstrike; Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 11, 2016 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Have been dealing with several hundred agitators who've been setting fire to things and throwing things. Now to be clear, most of the protests overnight across the country were very, very peaceful.

Our Ana Cabrera was right in the middle of one in Portland -- sorry, in Denver.

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Alison, hundreds of protesters, if not thousands gathering in Denver, protesting against the election of Donald Trump. But they say this is not a march or a protest necessarily to hate Trump. In fact, it's a protest to reject hate, to reject bigotry, to reject racism, discrimination and oppression.

I want to talk with one of the protesters here, this is Lisa. Lisa, you came out here with your young daughter.

LISA, PROTESTER: That's right.

CABRERA: What's the message you want to send?

LISA: I want my young daughter to understand first and foremost that love is the most important thing. And that we don't discriminate people based on their color, based on where they come from, or based on who they love. And she's a woman and that's really important to me, as well. And I want her to know, even at three, that she has a voice. And she has a voice in our democracy. And that no matter what the electoral college says, we still have a voice and say in what goes on.

CABRERA: Thank you so much, Lisa, for talking to us.

We're hearing a lot of similar sentiments. There are people here of all races, of all ages, of all walks of life. And they say they want this to be a symbol of unity, the rejection of division, John and Alison.

BERMAN: All right. Thanks, Ana Cabrera in Denver.

We're going to keep our eye on these protests that are happening right now, particularly in Portland, Oregon, where some of these protests have turned violent. The police there calling them riots. Several hundred people and some arrests being made right now. Police using, you know, smoke grenades and the like to try to disperse the crowds. We just did lose our picture from there. We're going to keep our eye on it as best we can, though, and bring you information as it comes in.

In the meantime, we do have new information this morning about how Donald Trump is doing his transition planning. The president-elect will sit down in New York for his first meeting with his transition planning team. We are told one of his top priorities is filling about 8$00 administration jobs that require security clearance.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: And Donald Trump is strongly considering Steve Bannon for chief of staff. And that's causing some turmoil in the president-elect's inner circle. Sources are telling CNN the idea of Bannon running the White House is not sitting well with some top advisers. They do not think he's the best fit for the position. He's the executive of Breitbart News. Bannon joined the Trump campaign in August.

BERMAN: The other frontrunner for the chief of staff job said to be RNC chairman Reince Priebus who worked with Donald Trump very closely during the final months of the campaign. He talked to CNN's Jake Tapper about the job.


REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: It's really not an issue, I mean it really doesn't -- honestly, it just isn't. I mean, right now -- and basically most of us have had two hours of sleep in four days. I think people are taking a breath, getting some of the details figured out. There's just -- these transition teams, as you know, have been working for months, and months, and months. And so slowly but surely I think those details will come out.


BERMAN: What's not true is that it will be slowly or surely. This will happen very fast. Also not true the fact that it's not an issue. Very much an issue. Reince Priebus wants the job. Insiders tell us Priebus and Trump have already discussed the chief of staff possibility, but he quite politically and probably appropriately demurring right now on answering direct questions about it.

KOSIK: So President-elect Trump and his new administration, they plan to hit the ground running after meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump was asked to list his top three priorities on day one in the White House.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a lot of priorities. A lot of really great priorities. People will be very, very happy.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What are the top three?

TRUMP: We have a lot. We're going to look very strongly at immigration. We're going to look at the border, very important. We're going to look very strongly at health care. And we're looking at jobs. Big league jobs.


BERMAN: All right. All of this followed the meeting at the White House between the president-elect and the president. This is after all the nastiness and name calling during the campaign. Trump ended this 90-minute meeting with high praise for the president. Even calling him a good man.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Most of all I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.

TRUMP: I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel. He's -- he explained some of the difficulties, some of the high-flying assets, and some of the -- some of the really great things that have been achieved.

So, Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you and I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future. Thank you, sir.


[04:05:06] BERMAN: So hours after this, Donald Trump tweeted, "A fantastic day in D.C. Met with President Obama for first time. Really good meeting. Great chemistry. Melania liked Mrs. O a lot."

KOSIK: You know, I just have to say, watch those images yesterday. We say historic. But it really is incredible when you think about Donald Trump who probably hasn't been to the White House, who hasn't walked through the hallow halls of Congress. It was like I was watching sort of updated version of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." You know, that film from the '30s? I felt kind of like that. I mean, he doesn't know the mechanics of how Capitol Hill works. You know, he is really an outsider.

BERMAN: He sure is. It was also interesting seeing the president and his body language toward Donald Trump. The president doing everything he can publicly to make this a very, very smooth transition. He kept on referring to Donald Trump as president-elect. He is. And you can see President Obama being very deliberate in using that term conveying the message to the American people.

The first lady sat down with Melania Trump just a few doors down. Michelle Obama took Melania around the White House. Gave her a tour. And we're told they primarily discussed the challenges of raising children in the White House. Barron Trump will be the first White House son for a long, long, long time.

KOSIK: It's been girls. BERMAN: I mean, it's been since JFK Jr.

KOSIK: Right.

BERMAN: This is the first time since a boy has been raised in the White House.

KOSIK: And the fight for control of the Democratic Party has begun. In the wake of Hillary Clinton's stunning loss, former Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, he's announced a bid to run the DNC once again. Dean led the party from 2005 to 2009 after his insurgence and an ultimately unsuccessful run for the White House back in 2004.

BERMAN: Now the other name being floated right now particularly by Senator Bernie Sanders is Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. Ellison is one of only two Muslims in the House of Representatives. He is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Representative Ellis' office, they refused to comment right now. He said he will announce his intentions on Monday.

KOSIK: OK. Time for an EARLY START on your money. It's day two of the so-called Trump bounce. Wall Street continuing to give President- elect Donald Trump a warm welcome. The Dow is jumping 218 points, up 1.1 percent. That is an all-time high for the Dow. And the mood in part due to Trump's victory speech and Trump's raising hopes that will help the economy and scrap some of the more extreme campaign positions that we heard on the trail.

Plus the GOP retained control of Congress which will get things done. But not all sectors are rallying on the Trump win. Tech companies are taking hit. The candidate had criticized the sector on the campaign trail. Facebook, Apple, and Amazon all closing lower yesterday. But more gains are possible today. Dow futures are slightly higher today. European markets are mixed. And we saw shares in Asia closed mostly higher.

BERMAN: All right. So Steve Bannon of Breitbart or Reince Priebus of the Republican National Committee? Which one will run the White House for Trump? Right? We'll dig deeper next. Plus we're keeping our eye on protests, demonstrations, including one that has turned into something of a riot in Portland, Oregon. Stay with us.


[04:12:23] BERMAN: All right. Live pictures right now from Portland, Oregon. You can see there in the background those are police and a police line. The reason they're there is there has been -- well, what started as peaceful demonstrations, some 4,000 people on the streets of Portland upset about the results of the election, turned into what police are calling riots overnight. Several hundred people left causing some damage, lighting things on fire, breaking windows and cars and store front. We're told several arrests have been made. We just spoke to Sergeant Wilson from the Portland Police Department who told us that they were using measures like, you know, paint guns and pellet guns, none lethal methods, smoke grenades to try to disperse the crowd. KOSIK: It's certainly looking a lot calmer than it did just a short

time ago.


KOSIK: Yes. We were seeing a lot of destruction happening. You know, dragging garbage cans across, lighting fires, certainly not seeing that now.

BERMAN: Yes. 20 minutes ago that was the scene. So we're going to keep our eye on that. As we keep our eye on Portland, we're also going to talk about the future, the future Trump administration.

Donald Trump holds his first meeting with his transition team today. This amid the news that Steve Bannon of Breitbart who chaired Donald Trump's campaign at the end is being considered to be chief of staff. Really want to talk about that.

Joining us now from Washington CNN political commentator, Symone Sanders, who was a former Bernie Sanders press secretary, Paris Dennard who has been supportive of Donald Trump throughout the campaign, CNN political analyst Josh Rogin, columnist for the "Washington Post," and here with us, CNN Politics reporter, Eugene Scott.

Good morning to you one and all. Josh, I want you to remind our viewers who Steve Bannon is and why he is controversial.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, you know, you really couldn't have two more different candidates here. On the one hand, you have Reince Priebus, the head of the RNC who just spent a year and a half trying to keep the party together. And it wasn't easy and he had mixed results. And then you have Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart, an organization dedicated to destroying the Republican establishment. That's his stated public goal. OK. And that's been a lot of what's been going into the way that Trump ran his campaign.

So you can't really have a much more -- and he's been, you know, running a site that promotes racism and anti-Semitism and all that other stuff, by the way. So you can't really have more of a stark choice here. And the White House chief the staff position is the most powerful position. Some ways more powerful than Cabinet level secretaries. And if Trump chooses Steve Bannon, that will be a clear sign that -- forget about reaching out to Democrats. That he's not even going to have a honeymoon with the Republicans in the Congress. Steve Bannon is a man dedicated to burning it all down and if he is able to do that from the Oval Office, that will be quite something to watch.

[04:15:06] KOSIK: Paris Dennard, can you give us an idea of what is going on behind the scenes in the soon-to-be Trump administration as to how they're coming to this decision of who's going to be chief of staff?

PARIS DENNARD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely. Look, by law, both campaigns had funds set up from the federal government to help with the transition process because after 9/11 -- because what happens is you need to have time to put together the administration and get it going so that you don't have this gap of time where there's no leadership.

KOSIK: Paris, I'm talking about the decision between Bannon and possibly Reince Priebus. What's going through their minds and let's say choosing just between those two.

DENNARD: Right. And so to that point, they take this very seriously. Because by law that they have to do this. Now what Bannon is, he is an effective leader. He has effectively led his organization Breitbart. He has effectively done a great job as it relates to the last few months of the campaign getting Mr. Trump to President-elect Trump.

Reince Priebus, who's the chairman of the RNC, has been an effective leader this last year like previously stated in leading the RNC and getting Mr. Trump to be President-elect Trump. And so it's a very serious decision on who can help manage the White House, manage the messaging of the White House and the personnel of the White House.

And as Andy Card, my former chief of staff when I worked for President George W. Bush for four years, he said make sure the president eats well, sleeps well and gets the information that he needs at the right time. And so whether it's Bannon, whether it's Reince Priebus or somebody else on the list that we don't know, it's going to be somebody who's going to be an effective leader because Mr. Trump now President-elect Trump has the expertise and experience as being a business leader and finding the best talent to do what needs to be done to keep the ball moving forward and to advance his agenda.

BERMAN: So, Paris, you know, I know Andy Card. And Steve Bannon could not be humanly more different than Andy Card. I mean, but, you know, Andy Card was the epitome of a Washington and political insider who worked in many, many administrations.


BERMAN: Knew how Washington work. Knew how to get things done. Which is something that some people say that Donald Trump needs. Now other people will say he won the campaign by being an outsider and a bomb thrower.

DENNARD: Absolutely.

BERMAN: You know, and so that's Steve Bannon. But, Symone Sanders, Steve Bannon, also because of his association with Breitbart, also because of the ads that he pushed at the end of the campaign that's been many people with anti-Semitic themes there, that also sends a message that people right now looking for signs of healing. Signs of reaching across the divide. Steve Bannon isn't reaching across that divide, Symone.

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, and actually Steve Bannon has no interest in reaching across that divide. Look, I have friends that work at the Republican National Committee. People that came in post-Trump. People that came in after Trump had been elected as the Republican nominee. And they are definitely concerned. There were real tensions between the -- some of the campaign folks specifically the Bannon crew and people at the Republican National Committee. And clearly the folks at the Republican National Committee would want nothing more than Reince Priebus to jump in and serve.

But there are real tensions and real concerns I think across the board. I mean, when you look at the Democratic side, folks like myself, other people in the party, Democratic leadership, we are looking and watching and waiting to see what Donald Trump will do. There are many people that have called again for healing. Said to give Donald Trump a chance.

I need Donald Trump -- President-elect Trump to tell us, show us what exactly he's going to do and picking Steve Bannon is a clear signal, is the clearest sign we could have from him of what kind of White House -- administration he's going to run.

KOSIK: Eugene Scott, your quick thoughts on the possible choice of Steve Bannon as chief of staff?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, I mean, I think we have to remember that Donald Trump was elected by a broader group than we thought. We also -- we always thought he would just get mainly white working class voters but he got most white men and he got most white women. And many of these people are more centrist than Steve Bannon is so for him to go in the direction of Steve Bannon would please a part of his support base, but it won't please many people who are really truly hoping to work with people who are more left than people who backed Donald Trump.

LEMON: Also really the first --

DENNARD: Again, this is just rumor and speculation. That's the nature -- there is no guarantee. This is rumor and speculation.

BERMAN: It's more than rumor and speculation. I mean, you're right. He certainly hasn't made the hire and until he does, we don't know for sure. But it's more than rumors and speculation in the sense that these are sources from within the transition team telling us directly, making sure that we know that Steve Bannon is being considered there. This is something that they made a point of telling us and not just us, but other news organizations.

Guys, stick around. A lot more to discuss coming up.

KOSIK: And ahead on EARLY START, the fight for Mosul. A senior ISIS commander killed in combat by a coalition airstrike. We are live on the ground in Iraq as the fighting intensifies.



KOSIK: Welcome back. The fight to recapture Mosul from ISIS is intensifying. Iraqi military sources say a senior ISIS commander was killed in a coalition airstrike this week. The terrorist group now confirming his death.

CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is following developments for us. He is live in Irbil, Iraq. Good morning, Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and good morning, Alison. This could be significant loss for ISIS, although we've seen in the past how they replace these senior commanders. He was a commander for ISIS in the whole of north of Iraq.

[04:25:01] He was a full -- believes to be a former intelligence officer in the previous Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein's intelligence services. So somebody who knew his way around the battlefield and certainly a lot of military and intelligence experience.

That said, what we're seeing here in Mosul at the moment is ISIS on the eastern side of the city really resisting the government. The government forces haven't pushed any deeper into the city than they have about a week ago when they first went in. They are setting booby traps in houses, pushing people out of their houses and set booby traps there. Key intersections putting oil drums rigged to explode. And also shooting anyone they think is a spy and leaving them at intersections as an example for people not to sort of collude with the Iraqi government.

Again the battle in the east of Mosul in part bogging down to the south. Iraqi forces say in the past few weeks, they killed about 1200 ISIS members. Some ISIS leaders seem to fleeing the city. But leaving behind teenagers in their places, people very worried about these brainwashed ISIS teenagers with guns -- Alison.

KOSIK: All right. Our thanks to Nic Robertson with that update on that push toward Mosul.

BERMAN: All right. Some anti-Trump protests turned violent overnight and into the morning. Police in one U.S. city describing it as a riot. You're looking at pictures from just a few minutes ago on the streets there. And now President-elect Trump has responded to this on Twitter. Wait until you hear who he is blaming. Stay with us.