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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Terrorism A Possible Motive In Ohio State Campus Attack; Jill Stein Files Suit For Recount In Pennsylvania; Pence: Number Of Very Important Announcements Tomorrow; Source: Trump "Irritated" By Aide's Attacks on Romney; Dems Demand Investigation into Trump's Business Ties. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 28, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next. Breaking news, a vicious attack on a major college campus, the knife-wielding student of Somali descent. A Facebook page believed to be his with grievances about attacks on Muslims. Plus, Donald Trump charging serious voter fraud in key states. Why is he questioning the results of an election he won? And, Trump Tower is going up in Istanbul. Is Trump crossing the line? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, chaos on campus. Authorities are not ruling out terror tonight as we learn much more about the student who launched an attack on the campus of Ohio State University, ramming his car into a crowd of people then jumping out of the car with a butcher knife slashing several more.
At least nine were injured in the attacks, one remains in critical condition. Abdul Razak Ali Artan said to be between 18 and 20 years old. He, is identified as the attacker seen here just months ago when he graduated from community college. Artan was a student at Ohio State who lived in the area. He was a legal resident of Somali descent.
And in an article that appeared recently in the school newspaper, Artan said this, "I'm a Muslim. It's not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don't know what they're going to think, what's going to happen. But I don't blame them. It's the media that put that picture in their heads so they're just going to have it, and it's going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now."
Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT outside the attacker's home in Columbus, Ohio. And Pamela, you're learning his Facebook posts may indicate a possible motive? What are you hearing right now?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We're learning from law enforcement sources, Kate, that just before the attack, the suspect posted on his Facebook page grievances about attacks on Muslims. Tonight, investigators are trying to figure out the motive and determine whether this was an act of terrorism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Around 9:52 a.m. chaos erupts in the heart of the campus near buildings for the science and engineering programs. A car jumps a curb, plowing into pedestrians. Then, the suspect, identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, jumps out and continues to attack with a knife, slashing people.
CRAIG STONE, OHIO STATE POLICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF: He exits the vehicle and used a butcher knife to start cutting pedestrians. Our officer was on scene in less than a minute and he ended the situation less than a minute. He engaged the suspect and he eliminated the threat. The suspect is DOA.
BROWN: Artan was an Ohio State student of Somali descent and permanent resident of the United States. Officials say he came to the United States in June of 2014. His mother told a community member that he'd been complaining recently about grades at OSU. He was interviewed at the beginning of the school year by the student newspaper and spoke of being uncomfortable openly praying and projecting his Muslim faith on campus.
Law enforcement officials say that on Facebook he complained about attacks on Muslims. Investigators say it could be the motive but are continuing to investigate.
As Artan unleashed chaos on campus, a text message from the university went out to all students telling them to shelter in place. A tweet from the university's Emergency Management Department told them to run, hide, fight.
WYATT CROSHER, OHIO STATE STUDENT: We did hear like three or four things that would sound like gunshots and then we heard sirens come so we assumed they were gunshots.
BROWN: Students barricade their classroom doors in an effort to keep the attacker at bay. One class piled up chairs at the door as law enforcement arrived on scene to try and contain the situation as quickly as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And we have learned from officials that there is an elaborate camera system on campus, and so investigators were able to pore through those cameras and determine that the suspect was in his vehicle alone, but tonight, investigators are speaking to any friends and family trying to piece together the why. Kate?
BOLDUAN: A lot more to go through right now. Pamela Brown in Columbus, thank you so much.
I want to go now to CNN's Justice Producer Shimon Prokupecz. Shimon, you've been breaking a lot of news all throughout the day on this. We're learning much more about what the attacker told that student newspaper. What are you picking up? SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN JUSTICE PRODUCER: So, yeah, I mean, the student paper kind of gives authorities some sort of glimpse into his mind and what he was thinking. Aside from that, I can tell you that family that has spoken to authorities and to the community members have given some indication that he was having problems at school whether it was grades or whether he was having a hard time fitting in. But he did have some trouble fitting in.
[19:05:02] And in this article for the school newspaper he had complained that he couldn't really have -- he didn't have a place to pray. Let me read for you what he said. They quoted a short portion here. "I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media. I'm a Muslim, it's not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don't know what they're going to think, what's going to happen" is what he told the school paper.
So certainly this is -- given some idea of what was going on in his head, what he was struggling with for law enforcement. It's probably an important piece of the puzzle along with the Facebook and what the family has told authorities.
BOLDUAN: Yeah, and a lot more of that puzzle to fit together right now, we're getting somewhat of a glimpse of what was going on in his mind as you said.
Shimon, thank you so much.
"OutFront" with me now, Art Roderick, former assistant director of the U.S. Marshals Service, Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, and Joe Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant, and Michael Weiss is here as well, co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror." Thank you all so much for being here.
Michael, when you look at the information we have before us at the moment. Yes, there is much more always that we're going to learn especially as it just happened this morning. You have 18, 20 years old of Somali descent ...
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right.
BOLDUAN: ... in the U.S. as a legal resident. He used his car first, he had a knife. He got out to attack more people. You think all of this bears the hallmark of ISIS, why?
WEISS: Bears the hallmarks of ISIS. Abu Mohammad al-Adnani who was, until recently the spokesman of ISIS, he was just killed by the coalition. In 2014 essentially called upon Muslims in the west to do this. He said, "Look, not all of you are going to build sophisticated IEDs or go to these, you know, dual suicidal bombing, gun assault attacks. If you have a knife, take a knife, stab the infidel in the heart. If you find a rock, smash his head in with a rock. If you have a car, get in your car and drive over them." And we saw that to grisly effect in Nice several months ago. However, bearing the hallmarks of an ISIS-style attack does not necessarily mean this is an ISIS-style attack. Now, what we do see is an element of alienation and disaffection. He felt imperiled by his Muslim faith.
I've done a lot of profiles of ISIS, jihadist, particularly those coming from the west. It usually starts this way. There's a whole network in Lunel, France where unemployment is very high and Muslim population there says, "Look, as Muslims and people of Arab descent, we can't get jobs because all the white French guys get jobs." So, if that is not, you know, the only motivating factor ...
WEISS: ... I mean, lots of people feel, you know, disassociated from their society and they don't become jihadists. So it's still way too soon to tell.
Art, Michael mentioned the attack in Nice, France. I mean, this, when you look at this, this is not a sophisticated attack that we saw play out today, but it is have eerily similar qualities to that attack on Bastille Day in Nice, France. A car plowing through people in Nice, he had a gun and he was able to kill 84 people, a knife, in this circumstance. Do you draw comparisons here?
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I do, Kate. And I mean, it's also when you look at what happened in Nice, France, and you look at San Bernardino, you look at Orlando, and you look at the other shootings that we've had in the country that have been tied toward -- to terrorism, whether inspired, mainly inspired. I mean, there seems to be a lot of checks in the category that this seems to be heading in this particular direction. But there was a lot more planning involved in those other attacks.
So I think we're going to find a combination of disenfranchised youth having an issue at school, but also being a Muslim and listening possibly or inspired by ISIS in some manner to create this attack because if we look at the type of attack and the methods used and the weapons used, this falls right in line with what we've seen overseas and what a lot of these websites are putting out for inspired individuals to commit these types of acts.
BOLDUAN: Right, but, again, Joe, if you hear what -- a little bit of what's coming out, you know, the profile of this attacker, he was telling his family possibly he had trouble with his grades, he had trouble fitting in, he was scared on campus, he said in the article. That does not make a terrorist. I mean, that's not necessarily exactly -- that sounds like a lot of people who are having trouble fitting in college. I mean, when you want to find a motive, what are investigators combing through right now?
JOSEPH GIACALONE, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE SERGEANT: Well, it's basically two things they're going to be looking at, internet records, cellphone records. They're going to see if there's any, you know, communication overseas which, you know, we've seen in the past, there wasn't any. So, I mean, they'll be looking at what he's been watching on the internet, going to his Google searches and what have you to see what he's been looking at and see how this has affected him. And we've seen a number of attacks and there was another attack on a campus in 2006.
BOLDUAN: UNC, right?
GIACALONE: And the guy drove his jeep and ran over about 9 to 10 people. So this isn't the first time we've seen this here.
[19:10:01] BOLDUAN: Isn't the first time. And back then it had to do with atrocities against Muslims. I think that's the motivation at that night.
GIACALONE: Yes, and he made some statements right before doing it too, something similar to what this guy is doing. So, I think investigators are going to look at that case and see if there are similarities between the two.
BOLDUAN: What Joe brings up is an important point here, Juliette, I want to ask you. I mean, we unfortunately have seen horribly deadly attacks on college campuses in the past. No deaths here, fortunately against -- thankfully against the people who were attacked. Why are campuses, college campuses, why do they continue to be such easy targets? Are campuses doing anything to change this?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Oh, yes, absolutely. I mean, look, they're the ultimate soft target. You need the students to be able to be together in public spaces....
KAYYEM: ... move from classroom to classroom. These big universities like here or UCLA are wide open to pedestrian and vehicle traffic. So there's no way you're going to make a university or college hard and you wouldn't want it too, the students wouldn't want that, the professors wouldn't want that. So what -- so here's a good news aspect to this, right, because we have to remember this, their response looks like it was phenomenal, right? I mean, these text alerts, these communications, these, you know, telling the students and the kids what to do.
And so, while this is not a good news story, this was not a successful attack, whatever the motivation is and some combination of terror or something else. And I think as a society, we have to begin to look at those as sort of the silver lining out of these kind of random attacks that there's no security apparatus that's going to be able to stop every single one of these guys. So, there is a silver lining on a day that looks, you know, like a day we've seen all too often in the last years.
BOLDUAN: Excellent point. And also, of course, the quality of the training of the officer that was fortunately near the scene and could be there within seconds to neutralize this attacker, we learn that also today.
Guys, thank you so much for being here. "OutFront" for me next.
Breaking news, Jill Stein calling for a recount in Pennsylvania, as Donald Trump points to unfounded conspiracy theories of voter fraud. Plus, team Trump's very public feud over Mitt Romney. Why Donald Trump is said to be irritated by former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway? And why is Trump's name suddenly allowed to grace Trump Towers in Istanbul? Special report coming up on his conflicts of interest. Stay with us.
[19:15:36] BOLDUAN: Breaking news, Green Party candidate Jill Stein is suing to force a recount in Pennsylvania. That's on top of the recount that's about to get underway in Wisconsin. This, as President-elect Donald Trump starts an all-out war, Twitter war, that is, against the recount. He's turning the tables claiming that he's actually the victim of massive voter fraud even though no breaking news alert needed here he won the election friends. So where's his proof? Jeff Zeleny is "OutFront."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is showing signs tonight of being a sore winner. The President-elect is suggesting with zero evidence to back up his claims that he won the popular vote and he's a victim of widespread election fraud. In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, Trump wrote on Twitter, "I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." After repeatedly railing against the system on the campaign trail ...
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: It is a rigged system and be careful with the voting, be careful with everything. You watch everything, folks.
ZELENY: He's now throwing out blatant and baseless allegations on Twitter. "Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California. So why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias, big problem." Election officials in all three states say Trump's charges are flat-out wrong.
Trump transition officials have not offered any hard evidence to back up his staggering claims of fraud. Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote has climbed to over two million. Despite charging that millions of fraudulent votes were cast nationwide, Trump is actually crying foul over the recount getting underway in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission said today it would early three million ballots again at the request of Green Party candidate, Jill Stein. She's pledging to foot the tab in Wisconsin, even as she pushes for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump swept the three Rust Belt states, turning them red for the first time in more than two decades. A recount is highly unlikely to change the outcome.
MICHAEL HAAS, WISCONSIN ELECTIONS BOARD ADMINISTRATOR: This is certainly not Bush v. Gore.
ZELENY: Trump, who won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes called the Wisconsin recount a scam. Mark Thompson, leader of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission, blasted Trump for pedaling what he called a conspiracy theory.
MARK THOMPSON, WISCONSIN ELECTIONS BOARD CHAIRMAN: To say that it's not being fair or it's not -- that people are counting illegal votes, from my vantage point, is an insult to the people that run our elections.
ZELENY: The Clinton campaign says there is no evidence of wrongdoing, but still plans to observe the Wisconsin recount. Marc Elias, Clinton's top lawyer, responded on Twitter. "We are getting attacked for participating in a recount that we didn't ask for, by man who won the election, but thinks there was massive fraud."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: Now, Hillary Clinton has not yet commented on these allegations of fraud from Donald Trump, but her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, has. He's from Virginia, of course, one of the states Trump said had serious voter fraud. Tonight, Kaine called Trump's comments shameful and an insult to voters.
Now, as for that recount in Wisconsin, the state elections board said just a short time ago the cost would be $3.5 million, more than three times the original estimate. Jill Stein has until tomorrow evening to write that check. Aides say she will, and plans to go forward in Michigan and Pennsylvania as well. Kate?
BOLDUAN: But those will be expensive as well. Jeff, great to see you, thank you so much.
"OutFront" tonight, Jeffrey Lord, he was White House Political Director for President Reagan. Neera Tanden, is here as well, she's president of the Center for American Progress and she had served as the policy director for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. Mark Preston is here as well, he's our executive editor for politics. All, thank you so much.
Mark, what is Donald Trump doing here? He won the election, reminder?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Yes, the $64,000 question, you know, and a lot of Republicans here in town are wondering that as well. You know, there had been a little bit of a bumpy start, Kate, as we know to his transition or at least that's what the perception was in the media, and then you started to see some names that were rolling in that started to hearten some Republicans here, specifically James Mattis, potentially as the Defense secretary, Mitt Romney potentially as secretary of state. And then of course that has gotten a little bit bumpy in the last couple days.
But I'll tell you this, Kate, he is playing from a position of weakness right now, not a position of power. He's the leader of the free world. He's had all these world leaders to the past couple weeks calling him on the telephone to give him praise and to congratulate him on his win. He even had the Japanese Prime Minister alter his schedule and come to New York to see him. Then you see him tweeting about this.
[19:20:18] He has won. And right now, Kate, Republicans here in Washington and elsewhere are wondering what is Donald Trump doing?
BOLDUAN: Yeah, or is he just that easily provoked still? I mean, Jeff, there is no evidence to back up Trump's claims. We don't know exactly where he got this idea that millions voted illegally. The only place that is this is being pushed are fake news and conspiracy websites. I mean, are you OK as a supporter with the president-elect tweeting about something that is only being pushed on conspiracy websites where there is no evidence?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR : Kate, I would radically disagree with you. Now, I have no idea about the numbers, but in point of fact, John Fund who now writes for "National Review" online and has written a book about this subject a couple years back, and I'm quoting here, from John Fund, "In 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that up to 3 percent of the 30,000 people called for jury duty from voter-registration rolls over a two-year period ...
BOLDUAN: Jeff, you just said 2005. You can stop there.
LORD: ... in one of the 94 current U.S. district courts were non citizens."
Kate, non citizens are voting. Now, what is the number? I don't know.
BOLDUAN: Millions of ...
LORD: But it is fact that ...
BOLDUAN: Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, you just won ...
LORD: It is an established fact ...
BOLDUAN: ... you said 2005. We're not -- we are talking about the 2016 election. And regardless, yes, fraud happens, voter fraud happens, but millions of massive -- millions of people voting illegally, massive voter fraud? There is no evidence of that. We've already talked about this.
LORD: Kate, this is a cousin to the argument about criminal illegals in this country. Not one death in this country should occur from an illegal because they shouldn't be here. Not one vote should be cast by a non citizen because they shouldn't be voting, period. Got that far.
BOLDUAN: Jeffrey, he has won the election. It is over, my friend. You should relish in that fact.
LORD: I understand. Now, as to the president-elect, look, it's the 21st century, he's going to be tweeting. Get with the program, Kate. I mean, you know, Abraham Lincoln used the telegraph ...
BOLDUAN: I'm hip with it, my friend. I'm hip with it. Neera ...
LORD: Let's go, Kate. Come on, rock and roll.
NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS PRESIDENT: Can I just make a point here which is very simple, which is that if there was any illustration of voter fraud before this election, it was actually Donald Trump supporters voting twice. The only instances we had of actual voter fraud was a handful, not enough to change this election but a handful of Donald Trump supporters who said they were voting twice because Donald Trump said the voting was going to be rigged.
There is no evidence, absolutely none, despite Jeffrey Lord talking about 2005, there is absolutely no evidence that there was voter fraud. And the fact of the matter is that Donald Trump is acting every minute in everyday as if there is something to be worried about in Wisconsin. Hillary Clinton didn't asked for this recount. Jill Stein did. And she's participating in it. But the reality is that if you had concerns ...
LORD: Why should she participate?
TANDEN: ... about voter fraud in Wisconsin, if you had concerns about voter fraud in Wisconsin, Donald Trump has confirmed them because moment after moment, tweeting into midnight on Saturday night, and then talking about allegations of voter fraud ...
BOLDUAN: But Neera, Jeffrey Lord does raise one good point. I'm only giving you one good point in this discussion, Jeffrey Lord. I'm not talking about 2005 anymore.
TANDEN: In the myriad of falsehood. Let's figure out the ...
BOLDUAN: Hillary Clinton was the one who said when she conceded the election, we need to allow him the space to lead. She conceded the election. She was also went nuts on him when he even said that he might not ...
BOLDUAN: ... accept the outcome of this election. Is this not just slightly hypocritical that she's now participating in the recount?
TANDEN: I actually hope that everyone will see Marc Elias's statement which is to say that Hillary did not call for the recount. She wants to be represented in the recount to make sure it's accurate. And I hope Donald Trump and his lawyers will be represented as well.
TANDEN: And I think that would be a better outlet than lying. I'm sorry, it makes me sad to say this but the president-elect would lie about California, New Hampshire and Virginia ...
LORD: Kate, if I could say one thing here ...
BOLDUAN: OK. One thing ...
TANDEN: ... without any set of facts.
BOLDUAN: ... and we're done. One thing, go Jeffrey go.
LORD: OK. Kate, they are also asking here in Pennsylvania where the margin was 70,000 votes. I believe I'm correct to say that in the famous Bush-Gore situation, the recount in Florida got Al Gore 1,200 votes and he still didn't win. This isn't going to work.
TANDEN: If the vote is accurate, then don't fear the recount. If the vote is accurate ...
BOLDUAN: Neera, wait. We have to end it here. We have to end it here, Jeffrey. But here is the point. You said it's not going to change the outcome. Exactly, my friend. He won. Move on. Don't tweet things there is has no evidence.
[19:25:05] LORD: It's over. Kate you were ...
BOLDUAN: Mark Preston, you look great. I just want to say that. Thanks for coming and playing. All right, we ...
TANDEN: Thanks for having me on.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys. Talk to you in a bit.
"OutFront" next, Donald Trump is said to be irritated with top aide Kellyanne Conway. What's going on behind Trump Tower's closed doors? And speaking of Trump Tower, it's going up in the Philippines. The developer just in New York for a post-election meeting with Donald Trump. Is that OK? Special report is coming up.
BOLDUAN: And breaking news. Vice President-elect Mike Pence telling reporters just moments ago this, "There will be a number of very important announcements tomorrow." How that for a tease? It comes as President-elect Trump is said to be "irritated" by his former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway's criticism of Mitt Romney as a possible secretary of state, and that fight over Romney among Trump's closest advisers now spilling out in the most public way. Sunlen Serfaty is "OutFront."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The infighting within Donald Trump's transition team is now boiling over into a public feud.
[19:30:04] TRUMP: Thank you. SERFATY: A deep split emerging within the president-elect's inner circle over who should serve as secretary of state. The battle lines are drawn between those fighting for Mitt Romney, and those for Rudy Giuliani.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP: I'm all for party unity, but I'm not sure that we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position.
SERFATY: Top adviser Kellyanne Conway saying supporters of Trump will feel betrayed to award one of his most vocal critics such a prominent cabinet post.
CONWAY: He went so far out of his way to hurt Donald Trump. There was the never-Trump movement and then there was Mitt Romney.
SERFATY: Transition sources tell CNN Trump is irritated over Conway's public campaign against Romney, a charge Conway disputes. But now others within Trump's inner circle are going on the attack.
REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: What do I know about Mitt Romney? I know that he's self-serving, egomaniac who puts himself first, who has a chip on his shoulder, that thinks he should be president of the United States.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I think we would be enormously disappointed if he brought Mitt Romney in in any position of authority.
SERFATY: Trump's incoming chief of staff --
REINCE PRIEBUS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It isn't a matter of warfare --
SERFATY: -- downplaying the infighting but playing up a potential Romney pick.
PRIEBUS: There's a lot of opinions about this, and, yes, it is sort of a team of rivals concept, if he were to go toward the Governor Romney concept.
SERFATY: As this public jockeying between Romney and Giuliani loyalists continues, other options for the position are emerging. Trump bringing in former CIA director, retired four-star general, David Petraeus, to Trump Tower today.
DAVID PETRAEUS, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Very good conversation and we'll see where it goes from here.
SERFATY: Petraeus resigned in 2012 and pled guilty to mishandling classified information which Trump accused Hillary Clinton of doing via her private e-mail server.
Also under consideration, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker who will meet with Trump tomorrow.
TRUMP: Really good.
SERFATY: And Trump is now also calling in Mitt Romney for a second round of meetings since their first sit-down nine days ago.
JASON MILLER, TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM SPOKESMAN: With the case of Governor Romney, the two, quite frankly, hadn't spent that much time together. And so, this gives them a little more time to do so.
SERFATY: Romney quietly waiting in the wings in the time since, making no mention of the drama swirling around him. Tweeting only about his family. "No greater joy than making discoveries together with grandchildren."
SERFATY: And as all of this plays out, if you look at Donald Trump's schedule between today and tomorrow, he will be meeting with three of the people who are under top consideration for this very important job. So, certainly, a lot of focus right now on filling out this very important position.
Trump tweeting after a meeting with General Petraeus that he is very impressed with him and, of course, all eyes on that dinner that Trump will be having tomorrow night with Mitt Romney. Of course, Kate, the man at the center of so much of this infighting -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Yes, quite a dinner date tomorrow night. Sunlen, thank you so much.
OUTFRONT now, former senior adviser to Mitt Romney, Kevin Madden, CNN political commentator, Ben Ferguson, and former adviser to four presidents, including Reagan and Clinton, David Gergen.
All, thanks so much for being here.
So, Kevin --
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to be with you. Yes.
BOLDUAN: -- there seems to be a lot of anger out there toward your former boss. I mean, you have Kellyanne Conway, then you have Congressman Chris Collins calling Romney a self-serving egomaniac with a chip on his shoulder. It almost feels like there's a campaign of sorts right now going against Romney.
What do you say to all of this?
MADDEN: Well, I think Reince Priebus actually, I think he summed it up pretty well, that there's a diverse array of opinions about some of the decisions that are going on inside the process of putting together a cabinet. I think, you know, Kellyanne Conway, she's a very -- she's a very loyal staffer to President-elect Trump. She has very strong opinions, and I'm sure that she's offering the same opinions that she's offering publicly privately.
So, you know, I think ultimately this still comes down to a decision that the president-elect, himself, has to make and that those -- I think what's very different is that many of these opinions are being aired publicly, but this is not a conventional -- was not a conventional campaign and it was successful. It's not been a conventional transition and hopefully, it will still be successful as a result.
BOLDUAN: Just still so unusual that, yes, those things happen in private, but to hear it in public, unusual to say the least.
So, Ben, you think Kellyanne is right here, that if Trump picks Romney, that he's going to pay, he's going to lose supporters.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he's going to lose his core supporters. Remember, he said I'm going to drain the swamp. Picking Mitt Romney doesn't drain the swamp, in fact, it fills it up.
There are many people that say that Mitt Romney is the epitome of what they didn't want and that's why the voted for Donald Trump for president. And he's going to have a very hard time, if he chooses him getting people that those core supporters that waited in line to see him for five, six, seven hours, took a lot of heat advocating for him around their friends and on social media, if this is his major, big major pick and he picks an establishment guy like Mitt Romney whose biggest speech of his career over the last four years was a speech where he trashed the intelligence of Donald Trump and basically said he was an idiot and doesn't know anything and he's a fraud and a phony.
I just don't think you have to pick Mitt Romney in this situation. There's other people that are qualified. Why you need to pick him and make your base automatically question you, it would be a very bad decision, in my opinion.
BOLDUAN: David, let me get your take on this. I mean, you've seen a lot of these transitions play out over the years.
I mean, you have Ari Fleischer, actually, press secretary to George W. Bush, he tweeted out this story on us. I want to get your take. He said this on Twitter, "Something tells me Kellyanne Conway would not air anti-Romney point of view if Trump didn't want her to. He, Trump, he's stirring the pot to see who can take the heat."
Do you think that could be the case of what we're looking at right now?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I'm not sure if there's any better explanation, and I sort of like -- I'm sympathetic with what Ari is saying. Who can believe this otherwise?
Kellyanne Conway and these other people sandbagging Mitt Romney so publicly is astonishing. It's never happened in any other transition in memory.
And I -- here's the other thing. I'm not sure why Mitt Romney would want to take it under these circumstances. Knowing he's coming into an administration that has many people like Ben or Kellyanne or others who hate him, they're going to sabotage him from within.
FERGUSON: I don't hate him.
GERGEN: They're going to make it difficult for him to be secretary of state. He has the right qualifications, but, you know --
GERGEN: -- less than high regard.
BOLDUAN: Go ahead.
FERGUSON: Here's my thing --
GERGEN: You have less than high regard --
FERGUSON: I think Donald Trump's style here is so different than Mitt Romney's style, and people said they wanted something different. They did not want a career politician, and the reason why Mitt Romney will take this job offered to him is because it's a secretary of state, and he went out as a loser and now, he wants to come back and have a major important role to play here. I get why he's taking the meetings. I understand why he wants the job. I just don't think that he --
GERGEN: Let me say this. Hold one second.
FERGUSON: -- he's going to connect well with Donald Trump.
BOLDUAN: Go ahead, David.
GERGEN: Hold on one second. I've known more than one secretary of state in the last 20 years who's had a very unhappy relationship with the White House. And it is the worst possible job to have when the White House continually undercuts you as secretary of state. It is a miserable job under those circumstances.
And I can't imagine -- if Mitt Romney does not become secretary of state, it could well be because of these kind of attacks. I will tell you on the other hand, that what's encouraging to people who want -- who are looking for a mainstream candidate, if you guys don't want Mitt Romney, you got two other candidates now and David Petraeus, General Petraeus and Senator Corker --
GERGEN: -- who I think would be met with widespread respect.
BOLDUAN: Give me one more answer, Kevin. Does this -- you know Mitt Romney well, does this whole episode make it more or less likely Mitt Romney would take this job?
MADDEN: I think he'd take it out of a sense of duty.
BOLDUAN: It doesn't matter.
MADDEN: I think what David talked about, there are some very real challenges. I disagree with what Ben was saying, you know, Mitt Romney is not a career politician. But I think there are a number of other candidates in there that, to David's point, are very good.
I mean, David Petraeus, not a career politician. Bob Corker is not a career politician, somebody who's very well --
BOLDUAN: He's been a politician for a long time, though. We have to get into the definition of what a politician is, my friend.
FERGUSON: He's an establishment guy.
MADDEN: I think they're widely respected.
MADDEN: Establishment, non-establishment, but I think what people are going to be looking at is whether or not they're qualified for the job and whether they're willing to take it.
BOLDUAN: There you go. Maybe we'll get an announcement -- hold on, Ben, maybe we'll get an announcement tomorrow after the Mike Pence tease, more announcements tomorrow. I'll tease to that as well.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT next, Democrats want a congressional investigation into Trump's business ties. We have a special report coming up.
And more on the breaking news. The attack at Ohio State, was it Islamic terrorism? This as many Muslim women are facing the fear of retaliation.
[19:42:57] BOLDUAN: New tonight, Democrats are right now a fight on Trump's global business empire. Today, more than a dozen Democrats called on the chairman of the House Oversight Committee to investigate Trump's conflict of interest, which according to a CNN analysis could span more than 150 companies in 25 countries.
Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT.
TRUMP: I don't care about my business.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President-elect Trump brushing off questions about his business ventures around the world.
TRUMP: In theory, I could be president of the United States and run my business 100 percent, and sign checks. I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. SCHNEIDER: His business encompassing 150 companies in at least 25
countries around the world, and the projects will continue to pop up through Trump's presidency. In the works, Trump Tower at Century City in the Philippines, a $150 million tower licensing the Trump name. Developer Jose Antonio flew to New York following the election for a meeting with Trump and his children. And Antonio was just named by the president of the Philippines a special trade envoy to the U.S., further blurring the lines between business and government.
And then there's the Trump Towers project in Istanbul.
TRUMP: It's a tremendously successful job. It's called Trump Towers.
SCHNEIDER: Last June, Turkish President Erdogan demanded the Trump name be taken down after Trump called for a Muslim ban in the U.S., but in July, after then-candidate Trump defended Erdogan's right to crack down on dissidents after an attempted coup, all calls to eliminate the Trump name ceased. Trump admitted on Breitbart Radio on December 1st, 2015, the project could pose a problem.
TRUMP: I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul.
SCHNEIDER: And it was just one week after the election that Trump took time to meet with Indian business partners at Trump Tower, seen in this tweet that was later taken down.
The scrutiny over his continued business dealings is mounting. Democrats now demanding the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigate the intermingling of Mr. Trump's businesses and his responsibilities as president, calling his conflicts of interest around the world unprecedented.
[19:45:08] Even Republican Congressman Justin Amash tweeting this, "You rightly criticized Hillary for Clinton Foundation, if you have contracts with foreign governments, it's certainly a big deal, too. #draintheswamp."
But Trump isn't backing down, acknowledging that his rise to the White House makes his name a hotter brand than it was before. Ethics lawyers, though, warn if Trump doesn't go further to separate his presidency from his pet projects, there could be problems.
STEPHEN GILLERS, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: I think it jeopardizes the country, because the danger is that he'll make decisions that benefit him financially but are not the best decisions for the country.
SCHNEIDER: And Professor Gillers points out Trump is right in at least one respect. The conflict of interest laws that apply to members of Congress and cabinet members specifically exempt the president and vice president. That leaves some people pointing to the little known Emolument Clause in the Constitution, that bars public officials from accepting gifts or compensation from foreign governments except if Congress consents. So, with Republican majorities in both houses and a Justice Department
possibly led by Jeff Sessions, the Emoluments Clause is unlikely do be enforced -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Ah, the emoluments.
All right. Jessica, great to see you. Thank you so much.
OUTFRONT with me now, John Avlon, editor in chief of "The Daily Beast", who will use emoluments at least three times in the conversation.
JOHN AVLON, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes.
BOLDUAN: Jessica Schneider, she points out very well, this tangled web of business interests that Donald Trump has in multiple countries. She just highlighted three. There are so many more.
Can Donald Trump -- is there any sense that Donald Trump can untangle the web at this point? I mean, how dangerous is this that people think?
AVLON: This is a unprecedented thicket of conflict that at the very least creates a huge perception problem and at worst, something far, far worse. But as Jessica pointed out, it is actually not illegal for the president to do business even out of the Oval Office. It would be illegal for cabinet secretaries, other people in Washington, which is where you depend on the character of the person in the office.
The problem is, Donald Trump's not exactly in the habit of drawing a line between the personal and the profession. And he's a bit pretty glide about the fact that he could do but maybe he won't. The last president who talked that way was Richard Nixon, famously said if the president does it, it's not illegal.
Watch out, people, this is going to be a big political issue. But the potential for conflicts of other countries is massive.
BURNETT: But it was no secret during the campaign that he had all of these business interests. It didn't hurt him then. What can they do about it now? You've got Republicans in the House and Senate in control.
AVLON: I think the issue is, his base isn't going to be offended. As he famously said during the campaign, he can go out on 5th Avenue, and shoot someone and they'd still love him. But now, he's president of the whole country and he's got to deal with this. If he doesn't, it's going to snowball. If Republicans insist they're going to ignore it because he's president of their party, they're going to look like the hypocrites they are.
BURNETT: Not over by a long shot.
John, great to see you. Thank you. Emolument.
OUTFRONT next, we're going to have more on the breaking news. The knife attack at Ohio State University. Investigators are now looking at terror as a possible motive.
And a much lighter note that we always need, Jeanne Moos on reindeer now in the pizza delivery business.
[19:51:18] BOLDUAN: Breaking news in the attack at Ohio State University. Law enforcement officials are telling CNN that they believe the suspect's Facebook page included grievances about attacks on Muslims. The attack comes as fears have been rising in Muslim community since the election.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a crowd, you don't notice Marwa Abdelghani.
MARWA ABDELGHAHI, MUSLIM AMERICAN: I went from expecting to be the center of attention, to nobody looking at me whatsoever.
LAH (on camera): Did you feel relief?
ABDELGHANI: Yes. A huge sense of relief. I didn't feel like a target anymore.
LAH (voice-over): A visible target, a Muslim woman in head scarf. Since she was a senior in high school, Abdelghani wore the traditional scarf whenever she was in public, part of her Islamic faith, culture, and identity.
TRUMP: We have to stop the Muslims.
LAH: This presidential election, that changed.
ABDELGHANI: I was walking on the street and a driver drove by me and slowed down and rolled down his window and he just spit at me.
LAH (on camera): He spit at you?
It was getting closer and closer to November 8th. That's when I decided that I just was going to take it off for a while.
LAH (voice-over): Since the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked more than 700 hate incidents, but Muslim women say a year ago their sense of safety began to change after this picture of San Bernardino killer Tashfeen Malik went public.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After that, people started to see us differently.
LAH: Muslim women began taking self-defense classes driven by fear. Now, post-election, sharing tips on social media, and making a searing choice, their faith or personal safety.
ABDELGHANI: The headscarf has just become something that went from being a very spiritual element of a woman's life to being something where she had to be scared to wear it. I myself just didn't feel like I wanted to continue with that fear.
LAH: The only places where Abdelghani feels free to express that part of Islam is in the privacy of her apartment and her mosque.
To the incoming Trump administration, this young Muslim woman has this message.
ABDELGHANI: When you hold that kind of position and you think it is okay to make these racist, Islamophobic, sexist statements, there are people, unfortunately, as crazy as they are, who look up to you and they will follow you, and they will act out in response to what you're saying.
LAH (on camera): Do you think you will wear it again someday?
ABDELGHANI: Yes, I hope so. I don't -- I hope I can wear it one day again. I hope I can feel safe enough to do so.
LAH (voice-over): To practice one of the founding principles of America, freedom of religion.
LAH: Abdelghani says if there's anything she feels bad about, any regret she has, it's abandoning the women, the Muslim women who have decided to not just continue to wear the scarf for religious reasons but almost in an act of defiance, Kate. There is a movement saying that despite what is happening in America, they will continue to wear it and they're displaying that online.
But Abdelghani, Kate, she says simply personal safety is paramount to her.
BOLDUAN: Thanks for sharing her story. Thanks so much.
OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on how Santa is apparently branching out into fast food delivery.
[19:58:08] BOLDUAN: So, if you like your pizza delivered hot and intact, please don't call these guys.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who needs reindeer to deliver presents when they can deliver pizza?
Domino's in Japan says its training reindeer at a driving school to deliver pizza in one of Japan's coldest, snowiest regions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If a reindeer runs properly, it can go as fast as 80 kilometers per hour, especially fast on snow as though it's equipped with snowshoes.
MOOS: Yes, well, if reindeer ever deliver pizza at 50 miles an hour, Domino's should expect lawsuits.
UINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Grandma, watch out!
MOOS: The trainers seem to be having trouble reining in their pizza delivery reindeer which would be equipped with GPS devices so customers can check on their progress.
So how do you say publicity stunt in Japanese?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Publicity stunt. (SPEAKING JAPANESE)
MOOS: Domino's is no stranger to marketing ploys. Take the edible box Domino's U.K. dreamed up for April Fool's.
Just last month, Domino's in New Zealand demonstrated the pizza delivery drone. It flew to the appointed address and lowered a pizza. Company officials in New Zealand say that in the next couple of years, drones could make up 25 percent of deliveries.
And before the drone, Domino's in Australia presented --
ANNOUNCER: The big day arrived.
MOOS: -- the pizza delivery robot with a top speed of about 12 miles per hour. It can't take to the highway, but it can chat with customers and dodge obstacles.
From high tech to low tech -- is that tomato sauce making Rudolph's nose red?
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BOLDUAN: Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts right now.