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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Calls Grow For Trump to Drop Steve Bannon; Trump Receives First Presidential Daily Brief; Trump Gets First Top Secret Intel Briefing; Sources: Trump Son-in-Law at Center of Transition "Infighting"; Trump Eyes Conservative Radio Host Amid Transition Turmoil. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 15, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. Transition turmoil. Trump's team rock by infighting and disarray. Who is bringing any order to the chaos.
Plus, President Obama overseas talking about Donald Trump, does he feel responsible for Trump's win and the man who is correctly predicted every president since 1984 including Donald Trump. Wait until you hear his new prediction for Trump's presidency, let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Trump Tower turmoil in fighting among members of President-Elect Donald Trump's transition team and a question tonight of who is calling the shots. Mike Rogers, the former head of the intelligence committee, a CNN contributor, he spent months putting a national security team together for Trump, part of the transition. He was on the show just a few days ago talking about their progress and then abruptly told he's out and Mike Pence replacing Chris Christie as head of the transition team.
Also unorthodox. Meanwhile, calls growing louder tonight for Trump to cut ties with Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News. Today the Senate's top Democrat Harry Reid tearing into Bannon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: By placing a champion of White Supremacists a step away from the Oval Office. What message is Trump send to the young girl that woke up Wednesday morning in Rhode Island, afraid to be a woman of color in America? It's not a message of healing. If Trump is serious about seeking unity, the first thing he should do is resend his appointment Steve Bannon. Resend him, don't do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Sara Murray begins our coverage OUTFRONT at Trump Tower in New York and a lot of fast moving developments tonight.
Sara, really sort of depends on the moment who is going to be in charge of what. That's what we're hearing, certainly a transition in turmoil this evening. SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. I
think what you're seeing is sort of a transition staff trying to regroup in addition to this change at the top from Chris Christie leading into Mike Pence. We've also seen some reshuffling, some outers when you look lower down with some of these agency levels which really means for some people the progress really gets stalled. I think that's why we saw Donald Trump and Mike Pence really huddling together for hours today in Trump Tower not only going over some of these cabinet picks but kind of trying to figure out what the way forward for this transition should be.
MURRAY (voice-over): Tonight, Donald Trump and his V.P. Mike Pence huddling at Trump Tower to bring some order to a transition team already facing signs of disarray. Sources involved in the transition telling CNN there are internal disagreements over some top level cabinet positions adding to the confusion, lingering questions about who is calling the shots as newly named chief strategist Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner all weigh in on the transition process.
As Trump received his first presidential daily brief today, a national security round up of threats and intelligence developments, he'll have one less experienced hand to turn to. Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman and CNN contributor Mike Rogers who served as the national security advisor on Trump's transition team was ousted on Monday. The ouster of Mike Rogers, the second major shakeup for the transition team after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was demoted on Friday.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I want to give a very special thanks to our former mayor, Rudy Giuliani who is unbelievable.
MURRAY: One area of contention, secretary of state. Sources say former New York mayor and close Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani is a leading candidate for the job but others are pushing for former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John would be a very good choice. Is there anybody better?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe me, I don't know.
MURRAY: Giuliani partly keeping his ambitions hit it. But his international business ties like doing business with Qatar and lobbying sit go, a U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil conglomerate could complicate his confirmation hearing. Meanwhile, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is also under consideration for a high profile position such as Secretary of Defense or Attorney General.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, first of all, I won't be Attorney General.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You won't be Attorney General? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won't have to decide that one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank God!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You made that clear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I can escape that one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I should ask Jeff Sessions that question, should I?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wouldn't be a bad idea. But I don't know who is going to be Attorney General.
MURRAY: He sat 13 years in the U.S. Army Reserves and was the first senator to endorse Trump for president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time in American's history, we need to make America great again.
MURRAY: Another named Pence is looking to add the consideration for Defense Secretary, Arkansas Senator and U.S. Army combat veteran Tom Cotton. Today, Trump is also turning his eye to who should serve as Treasury Secretary. Trump campaign finance chair and former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin, Texas Congressman Jeb Hensarling or perhaps JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Diamond.
[19:05:14] Now as Donald Trump begins his sketch out his White House, the visitors just keep coming to visit the President-Elect in his gilded tower. One of the latest ones who just left, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Remember the two of them have had a rocky relationship but ultimately led to Ted Cruz endorsing Donald Trump's bid for the presidency. We'll see how the two of them work together when Trump heads to Washington.
Back to you, Erin.
All right. Thank you very much, Sara. And Jim Sciutto OUTFRONT in Washington. Jim, take for the first time, the President-Elect Donald Trump received the presidential daily briefing, that is the exact same now, there is nothing cut out, same daily intelligence briefing that President Obama receives.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right, the most detailed and really the most secret. These briefings lift the veil on the entire capability the U.S. intelligence community getting into for instance what they call sources and methods, so information intelligence gain from covert operations intercepted communications. This is a degree of briefing they did not get when they were the nominees although they were getting intelligence briefings and I'll just give you an example, Erin. On Russia for instance, we know that the intelligence committee has said ion public they believe Russia is behind the election hacks, the hacks of the Democratic Party.
What you might see in a briefing like this would be, why they believe that to be the case, what digital fingerprints. What have they intercepted which may and keep in mind, this is Donald Trump who denied during the campaign that Russia was behind it or at least raise questions about it. You might then see in a briefing like this exactly why the U.S. intelligence community believes that to be the case. And this happens as Donald Trump had a phone call yesterday with the Russian president with both of them pledging to have a better relationship saying this is an important relationship to us.
SCIUTTO: But Erin, you and I know well that the road to foreign policy hell is paved with attempts to improve the U.S. Russia relationship. George W. Bush tried it, Obama tried it with the reset. It's a difficult thing to do.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, Kayleigh McEnany, supported Donald Trump. Keith Boykin who supported Clinton. Jamie Gangel, special correspondent and Mark Preston, our executive editor for Politics.
Mark, you just heard the CNN reporting, disarray, turmoil, end fighting. This is not going smoothly.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Certainly not going as smoothly as Donald Trump would like. You know, we talk about how the demotion of Chris Christie was a really major moment in the Donald Trump transition time and it was until today when we saw what happened to Mike Rogers a very well respected former member of Congress. Somebody who understands the intelligence community and quite frankly, somebody who I thought was going to go into the Trump administration. This is somebody who is very well respected. For him to be leaving at this time, Erin, I think is troubling.
BURNETT: It is troubling. And a lot of people had a lot of respect for him. Jamie, you know, I've been talking to people involved in the Treasury Secretary discussions. Twenty four hours ago, a flurry of activity it was almost done. The decision was made. But yet, Trump seems to change his mind. Depending on who he speaks to last and one of the possible choices among the top few we know for treasury, one of the top candidates telling me he believes it's too risky. That going in this early for the Trump cabinet may be too risky of a thing. This is part of the issue too.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, do they want to come in on day one? Do they want to see what happen a year from now, two years from now? The other thing that I've been told that's going on is, there are no surprise two Donald Trumps out there. One is the fighting Donald Trump. Who does he really want? Which of the loyalists is he willing to spend political capital on and then there is the let's make a deal, right? The art of the deal Donald Trump.
BURNETT: Right. GANGEL: Where is he going to be willing to compromise and I'm told two things. One is, you cannot overstate the relationship between Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner of this. They are working hand and glove. Jared is calling people, talking to people and the other thing is, they are getting and I think that's why we have reported this today that there's a pause going on and we're not expecting denouncements where they sort of sit back and think okay, who do we really fight for? Who can get confirmed?
GANGEL: And where do we want the overall cabinet to look like? So I think we've -- they -- we've had a little bit of a pause here while they are figuring it out and they are getting a lot of input from RNC and Congressional leaders saying, you know, you have to get these people through.
BURNETT: And when you see something like Mike Rogers which as Mark points out is very troubling to some, Kayleigh. Look, this could come down to one of the two appointments that Trump has made so far. Steve Bannon is getting a lot of push back and it is not just from Democrats, it's from a lot of Republicans, as well but Harry Reid came down to the Senate and spoke about it today. Let me just quickly play for you what he said about Steve Bannon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: If Trump is serious about seeking unity, the first thing he should do is resend his appointment Steve Bannon. Resend him. Don't do it. As long as a champion of racial division is a step away from the Oval Office, it will be impossible to take Trump's efforts to heal the nation seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:10:20] BURNETT: Is there any chance he listens to that? Obviously, he's not going to listen to Harry Reid. But as I said, this is not just coming from Harry Reid, there are people in Trump's inner circle who have some of these concerns about Steve Bannon.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, SUPPORTED DONALD TRUMP: I would think not. I mean, Donald trump got here by not listening to the other side of the aisle, by not listening to the advice of Hillary Clinton's campaign. He wouldn't be President-Elect today if he did. And I think what we just saw from Harry Reid is a perfect example of what David Goldman and PJ Media called the existential rage of the defeated and humiliated elites. Donald Trump beat the elites, he beat the establishment and now you will see the establishment kicking and screaming that he is elevated someone like Steve Bannon who is a populist, someone who saw the rise of the people against their government. He's elevated him to a top position but also made a nod to the more traditional Washingtonian Republicans by putting Reince Priebus there. It's a perfect balance between two forces. BURNETT: He says, of course, Steve Bannon running the controversial
Breitbart website which has been called misogynistic racist which of course is what, Harry Reid is referring to with the racial divide.
KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE AIDE: Yes, I don't think you can come into the White House and say, you want to build unity and start with Steve Bannon as a chief strategist for the president of the United States. I don't think you can talk about unity as Kayleigh was talking about this as a Democratic attack. There are Republicans who are concerned about Steve Bannon as well. There are people in Trump's inner circle that have problems with him and this whole idea of what's going on right now is chaos in the transition for Donald Trump.
I mean, you see that with the Jared Kushner announcement. Because we talked about this before, the anti-nativism (ph) law in 1967 prohibits him from taking the position and yet Trump today asked for a security clearance for Jared Kushner who's son-in-law to receive daily briefings, that's unheard of and unprecedented and we should not allow this but this is kind of what we're going to expect for the next four to eight years of did Donald Trump's administration.
PRESTON: Well, just a couple of things. On that security clearance, it was actually a request that was made by somebody on the transition team to ask how you go about it. So, it wasn't actually a specific request by Donald Trump himself on it. But it goes to show that in fact, that Jared Kushner is going to play a major role in the Trump administration.
PRESTON: I do think it is worth noting and Kayleigh brought this up about the yin and the yang, is that and I was speaking to somebody today very tight in the Trump campaign that Reince Priebus is really needed in that Oval Office with Donald Trump to try to balance out this Steve Bannon because at least Reince Priebus is respected by the Republican leaders on Capitol Hill and they can trust his words. So, it will be an interesting dynamic to see how Bannon and Priebus were able to balance each other out at the same time Jared Kushner trying to put his stamp on things.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all.
And next, President Obama on his last overseas trip flooded with questions about Trump's victory. Does he blame himself?
Plus, you say Ivanka Trump's favorite bracelet on "60 Minutes" or maybe you did. But if you didn't, see, you see it now, it can be yours for 10 grand. They told you they advertised that. Is that crossing a line?
And then this side by side image taking China by storm
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:16:34] BURNETT: Breaking news, President-Elect Trump getting the same presidential briefing today as President Obama outlining threats to the United States as Obama is traveling the world for his final international trip. But for the President, much of the focus is on the President-Elect.
Michelle Kosinski is OUTFRONT.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama in Athens where democracy was born. Here to talk about economic recovery but a usual, everyone wants to talk about Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened on November 8th in the United States?
KOSINSKI: Obama asked directly about the surprise ending to the American election. Did his policies in some way contribute to it, which he didn't really answer and did he see that wave coming?
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I still don't feel responsible for what the President elect says or does. Did I recognize that there was anger, frustration in the American population? Of course I did.
KOSINSKI: Reassuring allies is one of President's goals for his final foreign trip. Before he left he tried to convey some optimism but the questions he now faces force him to delve deep into what gave rise to one of the ugliest, most unpredictable election seasons in memory and he was critical.
OBAMA: You seen some of the rhetoric among Republican elected officials and activists and media. Some of it pretty troubling and not necessarily connected to facts, but being used effectively to mobilize people. And obviously, President-Elect Trump tact into that particular strain within the Republican Party and then was able to broaden that enough and get enough votes.
KOSINSKI: The President defending his own policies based on his popularity in the polls in a way that some might see as somewhat dismissive of what many voters were feeling as just wanting change without thinking of the consequences.
OBAMA: People seem to think I did a pretty good job. And so there is this mismatch, I think, between frustration and anger and perhaps the view of the American people was is that just need to shake things up.
KOSINSKI: Almost warning that there is a lesson to be learned.
OBAMA: We are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around us and of them.
(END VIDEOTAPE) KOSINSKI: This was not a particularly optimistic President Obama in that setting. This was him acknowledging the forces that have been at play but saying he did not see this coming and he called allowing those sentiments that lead to this election and outcome to divide America along certain lines dangerous -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Michelle, thank you very much live in Athens tonight.
And now Democratic strategists Maria Cardona joins us along with conservative commentator Ben Ferguson. Kayleigh and Keith are back with me. And Maria, let me start with you. President Obama spent this campaign telling the world that Donald Trump is not fit to be president and a lot of other words as well. Now he's spending his days reassuring world leaders overseas that things are going to be fine, that Donald Trump will lead and support NATO, sort of, being an ambassador on some sense as it feels like on Trump's behalf. How hard is this for him to do? Is it credible?
MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I'm sure it's incredibly hard Erin, specially knowing that, you know, what he really feels in the run up to this election. He left nothing on the table. He let everybody know what he thought. But I also think it's not difficult in that this is also his obligation as President of the United States until January 19th, 2017. And part of that obligation is to reassure our allies overseas that the Democratic process in the United States is the strongest in the world, that our Democratic institutions are solid and are durable and that they are stronger than just one person. I'm also sure that he will, that he has told these leaders what Trump has told him in terms of his commitment to NATO, which I think for these leaders was one of the most disconcerting things that they heard during this election cycle.
[19:21:04] BURNETT: So, Ben, President Obama was asked if he felt responsible for this at all. Now, look, in terms of raw days on the trail and fiery rhetoric, President Obama couldn't have done any more than he did to try to be Donald Trump. But yet, there are some who say he's to blame. He's a two-term president and by definition there is going to be a repudiation of that. When he was asked about it today, here is how he answered the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel any responsibility for the election of Donald Trump?
OBAMA: I think it's fair to say that I was surprised by the election results. And I've said so, I still don't feel responsible for what the President-Elect says or does but I do feel a responsibility as president of the United States to make sure that I facilitated good transition and I present to him, as well as the American people my best thinking, my best ideas about how you move the country forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What do you say? Ben, I mean, do you buy that? BEN FERGUSON, RADIO HOST, "THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW": Yes.
BURNETT: He didn't answer the question. Right? The question was, was he responsible at all?
FERGUSON: Of course not.
BURNETT: That he did not answer here.
FERGUSON: Yes, he's protecting legacy and I understand that and I respect that. But you also have to look at this and say, did Donald Trump come out of many of the policies and the things that I was refusing to admit there could have been issues that could have been fixed. A great example of that is ObamaCare. If the President would have been honest about ObamaCare and said, hey, it's not working as well as I want it to be working and I need to make changes now.
There is a very good chance that Donald Trump may not be the President of the United States of America but part of this was the arrogance of this White House. They barely dealt with Democratic leaders on The Hill when it came to issues much less to Republicans. And when you do that for eight years, the way that he did, this was absolutely a reprimand of his policies and of his legacies --
FERGUSON: So, whether he wants to admit it or not, he helped create Donald Trump.
BURNETT: He helped create Donald Trump.
CARDONA: That's not true.
BOYKIN: Can I make three points here quick first? Hillary Clinton won more votes than Donald Trump did. More than two million votes according to the latest projections, more than Donald Trump. That's not a repudiation of President Obama or Hillary Clinton. Secondly --
FERGUSON: Hillary lost. Swing states mattered. She lost.
BOYKIN: Let me finish Ben. Secondly, you have to remember that Barack Obama is still far more popular than Donald Trump. His approval rating is 58 percent in the latest Gallup poll. Donald Trump's numbers are in the tank still. And thirdly, Donald Trump --
FERGUSON: But surely --
BOYKIN: -- doesn't represent any issues. He represents white resentment. He doesn't represent any issues.
FERGUSON: Keep saying that and the American people are laughing at you because he won.
BOYKIN: And identify one specific policy position that Donald Trump believes in, then maybe you could make that argument. But there are no issues.
FERGUSON: This is what is amazing. You still don't understand what created Donald Trump.
Hold on, you still don't understand it.
This is the part that makes me laugh. Listen to this -- this is the part that makes me laugh. You still don't understand why Hillary Clinton lost which is shocking --
BOYKIN: Two million more votes --
FERGUSON: You do not have a moment of looking back into this. She's not the president. You should understand that. And the reason why Donald Trump won is because of people just like you who refuse to admit that there are actually educated voters that are smart that wanted new jobs, that were worried about National Security issues, that were worried about the rise of ISIS, that were worried about our jobs being deported to other countries and not having manufacturing here.
BURNETT: Let Kayleigh get in here.
FERGUSON: The swing states where Donald Trump won this thing. He won on those issues.
FERGUSON: And yet you still, you continue to insult those voters which is amazing to me.
MCENANY: And that's exactly right, Ben. They don't acknowledge that Donald Trump won on issues. But he did. The White working class turned out in droves because they have been failed by this president. And you know what, I just wished that the Democrats would take a cue from President Obama --
MCENANY: -- who has been absolutely gracious in all of this and said --
BOYKIN: No, you like President Obama. No, you like President Obama.
MCENANY: It is time to unite the country --
BOYKIN: Oh, come on!
MCENANY: Unless Democrats would take a cue from their own president instead of engaging in demonizing the other side --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER) BURNETT: You guys are talking about whether it's anger or not. And I know Kayleigh and Ben, you're saying anger didn't drive this but here is what President George W. Bush said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You got to understand anger and some people might have been angry when I was president.
But anger shouldn't drive policy. What needs to drive policy is what is best for the people who are angry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Sounds like --
BOYKIN: I think George Bush made more sense than Donald Trump today. Today Donald Trump was on Twitter saying that the Electoral College is a genius thing and four years ago when Mitt Romney was elected, he said it was a disaster.
BOYKIN: This guy has no consistency. Don't tell me he believes in policy, he believes in White resentment.
BURNETT: All right. We're going to take a pause. You all are staying with me. By the way, on this popular vote issue, I do just want everyone to know the tally that we have right now is this final result comes in, Hillary Clinton leads by 800,000 votes nationwide in the popular vote. Donald Trump of course, resoundingly winning the Electoral College.
OUTFRONT next, Ivanka Trump's company promoting the $10,000 bracelet she wore during her father's first post-election interview. Smart marketing or completely crossing the line.
And conservative Laura Ingraham, a single mother with three adopted kids who once dated liberal icon Keith Olbermann, I mean, if that isn't going to across the aisle, then what the heck is, could she be Trump's press secretary?
[19:30:24] BURNETT: Breaking news, multiple sources telling CNN that Donald Trump's son in law Jared Kushner is at the center of the fighting inside the Trump transition team. It comes as his wife, Ivanka Trump, also finds her company under fire. The company sent out an email promoting a bracelet Ivanka wore as she sat with her father during his post-election interview. The company later blaming the e-mail on, quote, a well-intentioned marketing employee. But this comes amid growing concern about conflicts of interest involving the Trump children.
Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bracelet Ivanka Trump wore during her father's post-election TV interview now a key selling point for her jewelry line and a clear cut example of the blurred lines presented by the president-elect's family.
A trio of power wielding advisors to the president-elect now attempting to navigate new potential conflicts of interest, Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka, invaluable campaign surrogates.
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: I can tell you there is no better person to have in your corner when you're facing tough decisions or tough opponents.
MATTINGLY: All members of the president-elect's transition team and, of course, all Donald Trump's children. Add in Jared Kushner, Ivanka's husband and one of Trump's closest advisers. Now, sources say Trump's transition team has asked about the possibility for all four to receive top security clearances, a moved pursued by transition officials in part as an over abundance of caution.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I know everybody is concerned about security, which is a slightly separate matter. But at the same time, I'm sure the Trump children will be there to support their father in informal capacities.
MATTINGLY: But one that under scores the fact that no set of presidential offspring have had more to say or more potential power in a new administration. Each with policy issues they profess deep interest in -- from land and water issues for Donald Jr. to Ivanka's continued focus on child care and education.
IVANKA TRUMP: I'm going to be a daughter, but I've said throughout the campaign that I'm very passionate about certain issues and that I want to fight for them.
MATTINGLY: Even as all three say they have no plans of joining their father in the White House.
ERIC TRUMP, SON OF DONALD TRUMP: We'll be in New York and we'll take care of business. I think we're going to have a lot of fun doing it and we're going to make him very proud.
MATTINGLY: And, Erin, the real issue here is the actual formulation of the business going forward.
Donald Trump said he wants to put all of his holdings into a blind trust, something presidents have done for generations. However, he still wants his children to run the Trump business. That in and of itself does not actually work, so the big question now is, how are the businesses going to be laid out going forward as the kids are actually running them while still giving counsel to their father?
I can tell you that there has been no solid answer either from Donald Trump or from his transition team up to this point. It's an unanswered question and one, Erin, that you can expect Democrats on Capitol Hill will be taking a close look at. I've already talked to several House Democratic aides who say, bear in mind, we'll be watching this going forward with keen interest -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Phil, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, our political commentators Ben Ferguson and Maria Cardona, our legal analyst and criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor also, Paul Callan joins me as well.
Ben, let me start with you, though. Ivanka Trump's company coming out with that e-mail, blaming a marketing employee for the bracelet incident. They didn't use the word sorry or apologize, but they did say it was well-intentioned marketing employee. Was this an apology?
FERGUSON: I think you're going to know one thing, it's not going to happen again and they got really on my opinion until January when he's sworn in to kind of figure this out. This is new territory that no one really had to deal with before and it's been -- I mean, we're a week from the Election Day. It's been technically less than a week since Donald Trump found out he was going to be the president-elect.
There are a lot of moving parts of Trump's family and his businesses and figuring out how they work together and how you separate things now with him moving in the White House is going to be part of it. I think they admitted this is something they will not do in the future.
To me, I don't think this is that big of a deal. If it happened after he was sworn in, it would be a much bigger deal to me. But right now, we're still in the transition time.
BURNETT: All right. So, that's a fair point.
Maria, though, as Ben says, it won't happen again but this isn't the first time it happened, right? It happened after the RNC speech in July when Ivanka Trump tweeted a link to Macy's said, quote, "Shop Ivanka's look from her RNC speech." So, it's pretty hard to say this was a random mistake when it happened before, and that time, they had to go back and backtrack and said, oh, we'll give the money to charity. So, they knew this wasn't the right thing to do.
CARDONA: Of course, they knew. To what everybody has been saying about these kids, they're not stupid.
[19:35:03] She knew exactly what she was doing.
And here is the reason why the apology is not enough, Erin. This just skims the surface of what could be a complete and total and dangerous and broad and in depth conflict of interest with all of the businesses that the Trump Organization has overseas with foreign business leaders, with foreign companies --
FERGUSON: Maria, I wish you were this compassionate about the Clinton Foundation.
CARDONA: I didn't interrupt you, Ben, so don't interrupt me. With foreign ventures, with foreign businesses and who knows what kinds of dealings they have, who knows what kind of debt Donald Trump has as he is taking the oath in the Oval Office where he'll have the ability to implement laws, regulations and benefit not just his business interest overseas but business interests that will line his own pockets.
And here is the big difference, Ben, with the Clinton Foundation --
FERGUSON: This is hysteria over a bracelet. Over a bracelet.
CARDONA: Ben, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton did not take a dime from the Clinton Foundation.
BURNETT: We're not going to litigate that. We're not talking about that tonight.
Paul, is it a problem the first instinct was to promote?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the election is over. And is it a problem from a public relation standpoint? Yeah, it's a problem. It looks bad.
From a legal standpoint, she actually did nothing illegal. There is no law in the United States against promoting a bracelet that your company sells. And, you know --
BURNETT: Even if the only way you're able to promote it or people cared is because your father is going to be the president.
CALLAN: It's not illegal at all. And as a matter of fact, when he was running for office, didn't he have a press conference at his new hotel in Washington?
BURNETT: He absolutely did. This is a whole another organization --
CALLAN: You know, with demonstrators in the streets across the United States, they have to remember one thing. He's not president yet. He's president-elect.
FERGUSON: Bingo. And, Erin --
CALLAN: No federal office. So, there is no illegality. Maybe it's a little bit of a public relations problem but no law has been broken.
FERGUSON: Remember, people care what she's wearing. The same way they cared what Jackie Kennedy was wearing and so for her to have a brand that's out there, yes, they shouldn't have put out a press release about it, but people are going to find this stuff.
And again, we're talking about a brace let seven days after the election. All I can say is, this is not on the radar of Donald Trump right now. He cares more about job creation and about Obamacare and all these other issues.
I think there is a little bit of an overreaction and hypocrisy from the left because they have no problems about Hillary.
BURNETT: Let's say she keeps the business and -- right? And that's her brand. She's built it up and she always wears dresses or clothes, and people buy them. So, her whole business becomes more wealthy and successful because she's the president's daughter. There is nothing wrong with that?
BURNETT: Is there anything --
CALLAN: Well, I think you can say, there might be an ethical issue. But in terms of U.S. law, she can't be appointed to work directly and collect a federal salary. That would a violation of the nepotism law.
But, frankly, you know, John Kennedy appointed his own brother as attorney general of the United States.
BURNETT: It caused the laws to change.
CALLAN: And those laws changed, but it's an example of how you like sometimes to surround yourself with people --
BURNETT: I have to leave it there. I promise.
CARDONA: The bracelet is representative of the huge conflict of interest of Trump's organizations and business ventures.
FERGUSON: The bracelet, you're stretching --
CARDONA: No, I'm not.
BURNETT: I don't think the bracelet was stretchable. I would cost a few thousand dollars more if it were.
All right. Next, radio host Laura Ingraham, a Trump loyalist who is not afraid of going to war with the media, she has no fear. Will she be running the press briefing room in Trump's White House?
And my next guest has correctly picked the last nine presidential winners, yes, including the one that just won. Wait until you hear what he's predicting for Trump's presidency itself.
[19:42:52] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight, one of the nation's leading conservative radio show hosts says she is, quote, "honored to be in the running for Donald Trump's press secretary job." Sources say Trump's transition team is seriously considering Laura Ingraham to be the face of the Trump administration. And the long-time Trump supporter said it's an offer she would seriously consider.
Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's been a Trump cheerleader from the start echoing Trump's call to deport illegal immigrants, repeating conspiracy theories about Clinton email cover-ups and continuously blasting media coverage for its bias and connection to what she believes are the establishment politicians on both sides of the aisle.
A day after Trump became president elect, a jubilant Laura Ingraham declared, "I told you so".
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Absolute smashing rebuke of the establishment.
GRIFFIN: Now, she's potentially poised to come part of a new establishment. The press secretary for President Trump, the person who will take the front line against the press that she has viewed with disdain. "Is the media's job to demoralize and mock Americans?" she once tweeted.
And at the Republican national convention, she chastised the media again.
INGRAHAM: You all know why in your heart Donald Trump won the Republican nomination. You know it. You know why he won it?
INGRAHAM: Because he dared to call out the phonies, the frauds and the corruption that has gone unexposed and uncovered for too long.
GRIFFIN: On the big issues, she was one of the first in conservative talk radio to agree with almost everything Trump has said, including that thing about Mexicans.
INGRAHAM: They have come here to murder and rape people. We know that. It doesn't mean everybody has, doesn't mean everyone who comes across the border is a nasty horrible person, but they have violated our laws.
GRIFFIN: And her media attacks have been the most poignant against Spanish language network's Univision and Telemundo.
INGRAHAM: These are networks that I think in many ways, and we've talked about this before, reviled the American experience.
[19:45:06] GRIFFIN: Michael Harrison is editor in chief of "Talkers Magazine". He's known Ingraham for years and says she may be a conservative, she may have conservative ideas, but Trump may want her for another skill -- handling a hostile press.
MICHAEL HARRISON, EDITOR, TALKERS MAGAZINE: I think that all administrations begin to view the press as hostile. That's part of the nature of the game, and if the press is doing its job, there should be a degree of tension in the White House briefing room.
GRIFFIN: What you may not know about the possible future press secretary is her much more unusual personal life. A life-long conservative once dated liberal journalist Keith Olbermann, was engaged to an anti-Obama filmmaker, and she's never married and instead, she has become a mom by adopting a girl from Guatemala and two boys from Russia. She survived breast cancer and, though, still opposed to gay marriage says her views on gay relationships changed dramatically, watching her gay brother courageously struggle through his partner's battle with AIDS.
She's syndicated on hundreds of radio stations, is an accomplished author.
Michael Harrison says if Trump convinces her to leave all that, it would be a huge deal.
HARRISON: She'll be making a heck of a deal. She's worth a lot more.
GRIFFIN: That's part of this question, Erin. Would she leave 300 radio stations to take a huge cut in pay to become press secretary? We'll see about that. The other possibilities, more traditional type candidates and very well-known to your audience, Sean Spicer with the Republican National Committee and Jason Miller with the Trump campaign -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Well, if it is her, there would be sparks. The sorts of press briefings in the American public would probably tune in to watch.
OUTFRONT next, the man whose correctly predicted every presidential election since 1984 and now, he has a new prediction for President Donald Trump. Allan Lichtman is OUTFRONT.
And Jeanne Moos on the president-elect that's gone viral in China.
[19:50:07] BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, the polls got it wrong but Allan Lichtman got it right. Dubbed the "prediction professor", Lichtman has correctly called every election since 1984, including this one. And tonight, he's going one step further with a bold prediction for Donald Trump's presidency itself.
Dr. Lichtman is OUTFRONT tonight.
I appreciate your time.
All right. A lot of people just want to know, I don't know, what sort of crystal ball you had.
You do have a system, 13 true or false statements, and you used that. You are religious about it, to judge whether the incumbent party will retain control of the White House. There were three of them that you thought really spell out a Trump victory. What were they?
ALLAN LICHTMAN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, first of all, the Democrats took a big pasting in the midterm elections of 2014. They didn't have a sitting president running, and my system goes term by term. In the second term, they didn't have a big domestic policy to run on and they didn't have a big foreign policy success, like the dispatch of bin Laden in the first term. Those are some key indicators.
BURNETT: All right. So, those things spell -- when you put it all together, you made this call, that Donald Trump was going to win. But then there were the polls, right? And we all know this now. State by state, nationally, they all showed Hillary Clinton would win.
Was there ever a moment you were worried? Or were you always confident that you were going to be right?
LICHTMAN: You know, when I first came up with my system, my mantra was forget the pundits, forget the polls. Forget the events of the campaign. Look at the deeper forces, performance by the party in power that drives elections.
By the way, polls are not predictions. They are snapshots. They are abused and misused as predictions and, moreover, the polls have this problem with the screening of likely voters.
You know, they say the error margin is 3 percent to 4 percent. That's nonsense. That's just sampling error. And that assumes everything else, including the screening, for likely voters is 100 percent right.
And all the compilers like Nate Silver -- Nate Silver is a clerk. He just compiles and those probabilities he comes up with are meaningless because they're no better than the inaccurate polls on which they're based.
BURNETT: So, you said you have a gut feeling about Donald Trump's presidency. You predicted he'd win it. Now you have another prediction, which is based on your instinct but nonetheless, obviously, you've been proven right before. So, what is it?
LICHTMAN: Based on my gut, my prediction is that there's a very good chance that Donald Trump could face impeachment. Why?
Two reasons. First of all, throughout his life, Donald Trump has played fast and loose with the law. He has run an illegal charity in New York state. He's made an illegal campaign contribution through that charity. He has used the charity to settle personal business debts. He faces a RICO lawsuit, a civil lawsuit.
BURNETT: Just to only be clear, I will say those are allegations that have been made. They've certainly not been proven in a court of law. But continue I just want to make that point.
LICHTMAN: I think it has been proven. He stopped raising money for his charity, that has been proven that he didn't register his charity in the state of New York.
And, of course, it's well-documented -- and it's not been refuted that he broke a Cuban embargo at the time that was a serious crime. Twelve women have come out and said that he has sexually assaulted them, when he gave a blueprint that that's exactly what he has done. One or more may sue him. Remember, it was a Paula Jones civil lawsuit that opened the door to the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
Second reason --
BURNETT: But quickly before we go, I want to ask you a question, though. On this impeachment, you know, some might say, Dr. Lichtman, he has a Republican House, he has a Republican Senate. Why would they impeach him?
LICHTMAN: My second reason is the Republicans are nervous about Donald Trump. He is a loose canon. Nobody knows what he really believes or really where he stands. He can't be controlled.
The Republicans would vastly prefer to have Mike Pence, an absolutely predictable down the pipe conservative Republican.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Dr. Lichtman, thank you very much. Congratulations on getting it right. You held your own and were proven right. So, thank you.
And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos with Trump's secret weapon to win over the Chinese.
[19:58:03] BURNETT: Why is China going crazy over Donald Trump?
Well, check this out, from Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What do a pheasant and kid speaking mandarin have to do with the perception of Donald Trump being China?
TRUMP: China. China. China.
ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: It's pronounce "Gina".
MOOS: While the Ginese seemed captivated by both Trump's grandchild and his lookalike. The crest of the golden pheasant residing in a Chinese zoo bears such a striking resemblance to the Donald's hair that the pheasant's photo went viral.
A bird lover in the U.S. actually made an attack ad featuring a golden pheasant.
AD NARRATOR: He has threatened to ban all big migration.
VOICE OVER: Huge flocks of birds migrate here every year. They bring bird flu, eat our worms.
MOOS: But enough with Trump's golden mane and the golden pheasant.
How we're going from pheasants to peasants.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
MOOS: Trump's grandchild reciting a Chinese poem called "Sympathy for the Peasants" has aroused sympathy for the president-elect in China.
On Weibo, China's version of Twitter, comments range from "Impressive. You go, girl." To, "The talent for marketing must be genetic, huh? She just melted countless Chinese people's hearts."
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
MOOS: Arabella's mom, Ivanka Trump, posted videos of her then-4-year- old then speaking mandarin months ago, but they've just now gone viral in China. Ivanka told "The South China Morning Post", "I have an incredible Chinese nanny who is teaching her."
In this video, Arabella portrays a white rabbit.
(SPEAKING FOREING LANGUAGE)
MOOS: A white rabbit, a golden pheasant.
AD NARRATOR: Is this who you want as the next president of the United States?
MOOS: Apparently so. He's now president-elect.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: I think he would get a kick out of that.
Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.