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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump Warns Companies Not to Leave U.S.; Ivanka Trump Talks to Al Gore on Climate Change; Pizzeria in Fake News Mentioned by Flynn Jr Tweet Attracts Gunman; One Hold Out Juror in Ofc. Michael Slager Trial. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired December 5, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:02] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Days after striking a deal with the U.S. company to keep jobs in the United States, Donald Trump offering now, warning other companies don't move your jobs overseas. In a series of tweets, Donald Trump saying, "The U.S. will reduce taxes and regulation, but any company that's considering moving operations outside of the United States is going to be looking at a 35 percent tax when they bring their products back in."
Congressman Jim Himes, a Democrat, of Connecticut, joins me.
Congressman, thank you so much for joining me.
JIM HIMES, (D), CONNECTICUT: Good morning.
Donald Trump promises during the campaign, he tweeted about it over the weekend, you ship your jobs -- ship jobs overseas, your products will face a 35 percent tax coming in. That needs Congressional approval. If that comes your way, what's your reaction to it?
HIMES: Well, I saw those tweets and I just thought my god, this guy is making foreign policy on the fly, saying things about our economy that have real impact on the fly. Eventually he will sit down with Steve Mnuchin or some of his people who are actually trained in economics or international trade and they'll say you start slapping those tariffs on, you can't just do it on U.S. companies, have you to do it on massive quantities of imports that go into the supply chain of companies who are building cars in the United States, of local domestic manufacturers. No, it's a terrible idea. By the way, it would probably start a trade war with a variety of countries, something he said he's OK with. What he's talking about would be profoundly economically damaging.
The one piece that is sort of interesting is that I don't think you will see 35 percent tariffs. I don't actually think he will start a trade war with China, I hope. But in board rooms all around the country, I have to imagine board members are asking themselves, holy smokes, I could get lit up in a very big way, my moving of jobs abroad could become front-page news, so maybe in that sense, there's going to be a little bit of slowing of some of the exodus. BOLDUAN: That's an interesting take on it. You applaud the jobs
saved with the Carrier deal, of course, right?
HIMES: Of course, I do. There's hundreds of people there in Indiana who will have better Christmases and they might have otherwise.
But let's face it, how many companies is Donald Trump going to be able to talk to whose vice president-elect happens to be the governor of the state and capable of writing the $7 million or $8 million check that was written to Carrier?
Of course, you don't talk about it much but of course offshoring of jobs has been a big deal for American manufacturing but we hardly ever talk about the automation, the evolving technology that has devastated whole industries. Borders Books, gone. Eastman Kodak, gone. A lot of this is the advance of technology, the fact we are doing things, making hotel reservations and buying books in ways we never have before. There is nothing the president of the United States can do about that.
BOLDUAN: I want to get your take on some of the news this morning, Congressman. Ivanka Trump -- the transition announced that Ivanka Trump is meeting today with Al Gore to talk about climate issues. As a Democrat on Capitol Hill, when you hear that, what's your reaction?
HIMES: Well, I hear two good things there. One, one of the things I'm really concerned about, and we were alluding to this earlier, that Donald Trump is making policy on the fly on Twitter at 2:00 in the morning. That's no way for the president of the United States to act or even the president-elect of the United States to act. When I see his people reaching out to folks who are expert in fields -- and of course, Al Gore has devoted the last 30 years or so to the issues of climate change -- it actually makes me happy. Look, it suggests some outreach to people whose views may not be quite those views of everybody in the administration. That kind of outreach is really good. I hope we see similar outreach on the topic of foreign policy because he still seems to be freelancing that.
BOLDUAN: I do want to talk about foreign policy, the military specifically. You're renewing your push today I believe that the president be forced to seek congressional approval before taking military action, the AUMF as it is known. Why would the Trump administration, the Trump White House be any different in operating than how the Obama administration has operated to this point? Air strikes in Iraq and Syria, military person in both places, and without a new approval coming from Congress. We debated this for years in the past. What will be different about a Trump administration, right?
HIMES: Anybody who watches this stuff knows, of course, that Donald Trump is a very, very different man than Barack Obama in just about every way, shape or form. But the larger issue, this is not just a Trump issue. This is an issue of the last 50 or 60 years. Since World War II, Congress has never declared war. The Constitution is very clear that the decision to go to war, how to go to war, and when to end the war, should be in Congress' hands. The president, of course, is commander-in-chief. But since World War II, that authority has really migrated down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, and that's not a good thing. This is really about recapturing an authority that our founding fathers put in Congress' hands. Quite frankly, Congress has been complicit. Congress more often than not says, hey, we don't want to take ownership of this issue. That's what they have done with this last president. But it's time for that authority to migrate back to the Congress.
And, yes, look, Donald Trump, it's fair to say, perhaps a slightly less reflective person than Barack Obama. And don't get me wrong, I was not happy when Barack Obama unilaterally went into Libya without congressional approval. But we have a different sort of president right now. We don't want to wake up one morning and discover the 82nd Airborne has been deployed in some country none of us have ever heard of.
[11:35:15] BOLDUAN: Congressman, if you have the Obama administration still looking at the 2001 AUMF as a reason to operate the way they have operated, did they set a bad precedent for Donald Trump?
HIMES: They did set a bad precedent. I disagree with the president's argument that the war on ISIL -- which I totally support, we need to be at war with ISIL - is, in fact, authorized by the AUMF which gave authority for the president to fight al Qaeda. It's that kind of sloppiness we need to take out of the system. I completely disagree with President Obama's arguments on that front. If we are going to war, Congress should say exactly who, exactly for how long we would anticipate it to be, not give the president authority to say, oh, well, you gave me this authority and I think it also means this. We are talking about the lives of an awful lot of uniformed Americans and we're talking about activities that often cost tens, hundreds of billions of dollars. It is time for Congress to reassert its authority in that regard.
BOLDUAN: With both houses of Congress, with Republicans in the majority, we will see how many Republicans you get along with you in your effort you begin today.
Congressman, always great to have you. Thanks for coming in.
HIMES: Thanks, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the son of Donald Trump's new national security adviser with an alarming tweet regarding an online conspiracy theory. This is as even after, just after, the armed man was arrested for looking into fake news. That armed man went into that pizzeria in Washington, D.C. What's the fallout there? We'll have that in a second.
Also, this. It was something out of a horror film. Survivors of the Oakland warehouse fire speak out about the devastation as officials continue to search for answers. Ahead, we talk to the district attorney who just opened a criminal investigation into that fire.
We'll be right back.
[11:41:17] BOLDUAN: The gunman arrested in a Washington pizzeria says he was investigating an online conspiracy theory that's been spread by fake news reports, linking the restaurant to a fictitious child sex ring and the Clinton campaign.
Then there's this. Michael Flynn Jr, the son of Trump's incoming national security adviser, seemed to continue pushing the conspiracy theory even after this very scary incident at Comet Pizza. Michael Flynn Jr writing this on Twitter, "Until Pizza-gate proven to be false, it will remain a story. The left seems to forget Podesta e- mails and the many coincidences tied to it."
Joining me now, Patti Solis Doyle, CNN political commentator and former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton during her 2008 bid; Jim Garrity, a senior political correspondent for "National Review"; and Steve Cortes, a former campaign adviser for Donald Trump.
Guys, thank you for being here.
Patti, full disclosure, you live very near Comet Pizza. This is a personal thing for you. What do you make, what do you say about this, the kind of -- the police report said this is what this guy was self- investigating, looking into this conspiracy theory, then you have the scary incident and then you have what in your mind?
So, look, in full disclosure this is my neighborhood pizza place, three blocks from my House. We go there all the time. They have ping-pong in the back for the kids and foosball tables. On weekends, they let kids perform. In fact, my son was supposed to perform there yesterday afternoon because he's in a band, but his lead guitarist sprained his wrist so they had to cancel last minute. Therefore, but for the grace of god, we would have been there during this very terrifying event.
Look, the fake news is obviously a problem. What is a bigger problem, in my mind, is that our Republican leaders are giving it credence by peddling in it, retweeting it, promoting it? The fact that General Flynn who will be our next national security adviser is retweeting these stories. His son, even after the fact, even after this dangerous incident occurred, is retweeting it. You know, Rudy Giuliani is peddling conspiracy theories that Hillary Clinton has serious health issues. And even our president-elect is peddling conspiracy theories about whether our president was born in America. It is at minimum wildly irresponsible. Dangerous.
BOLDUAN: Jim, you wrote about this already today. You wrote -- I found what you wrote fascinating. I want you to talk about it. You have a very different take than Patty on this. What I read from your writing is you think people are making too much of it.
JIM GARRITY, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL REVIEW: OK --
BOLDUAN: I'm just going to read one line of it.
GARRITY: Sure. BOLDUAN: This is what -- the one line I picked up, "There's no broader lesson for actual news organizations. The only way you will ever stop nut jobs from trafficking in lunatic conspiracy theories is by shutting down the Internet."
GARRITY: Yeah. No defense for this guy. He's a nut job. Prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.
I was interacting with some people, some I respect a great deal, who were telling me, you know, this is all caused by the fake news. I'm sitting here thinking if Michael Flynn Jr, by no stretch of the imagination, should he be retweeting this. But is that what made this guy do this? Do we know what did it? Or is this guy. He seems like he's from the Yosemite School of Investigation. He showed up with a gun, was going to start shooting people. If he hadn't done it at this pizza place, he seems like the kind of conspiracy minded nut job who would have gone to Area 51 or gone hunting Bigfoot. This idea of, oh, ah ha, we can point the finger at fake news is an attempt to apply rationality to a guy whose decision making is irrational. I remember seeing this after the Columbine attacks, this is from violent video games. In Oklahoma City, is was caused by talk radio. The shooter in Tucson, the accusation that, oh, Sarah Palin's Facebook page had a bull's eye on it. It seems whenever there's a terrible shooting like this, there's this eagerness to say, yes, the perpetrator is bad but the real problem is this guy over there.
I get very nervous when you start extending it to let's start spreading the blame around instead of putting it on the guy with a g and started shooting.
[11:45:24] BOLDUAN: Steve, what do you make of what both Jim and Patti seem to agree on, that Michael Flynn Jr, he shouldn't be pushing this at all. Michael Flynn Jr, of course, is not the president's national security adviser. He's the son of the president's national security adviser. But he's becoming part of the story with the tweet that I read. There's also a tweet from November 2nd that a lot of people are pointing to from General Michael Flynn himself that said, "You decide, NYPD blows whistle on new Hillary e-mails, money laundering, sex crimes with children, et cetera, must read," and links to an article that is pushing conspiracy theories.
Look, I'm not saying that Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for one of his advisers' sons. That's a lot of steps getting there. But do you see a leadership role here for the president-elect now when there is a scary incident and you have these elements that are coming afterward?
STEVE CORTES, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: Well, look, I would say there's a leadership role on both sides for Democrats and Republicans. And our country, I think, is as divided, sadly, as it has ever been in my lifetime. I think a lot of that's because of slow economic growth. I think a lot of that's because of identity politics, quite frankly. We have to be very careful when somebody does something terrible. This guy did something almost terrible. He wanted to do something terrible, it sure seems like. And congratulations to the Washington P.D. for defusing this without anybody getting hurt. When somebody does something terrible in the streets, we have to be
careful about ascribing blame to a political leader. For instance, here in Chicago, a guy was viciously beaten on videotape and the assailants believed he had voted for Donald Trump. He was pulled out of his car, carjacked. Are we to immediately then ascribe blame to Hillary Clinton for that? I think that's incredibly unfair, even though they purported on video that that was the rationale for viciously beating an elderly man in the street. So, terrible things have happed on both sides.
I think we need calming words, by the way, from all leaders. And I believe President-elect Trump has been incredibly responsible since the election. He told anyone who wants to do something bigoted in his name to, quote, "Stop it." He said this forcefully on "60 Minutes," and he's focused, while the left wants to continue to rehash the campaign and continue to call us racist every time they have a microphone in front, focused quite in contravention on building the economy and security going forward in the new administration, in the new year.
BOLDUAN: We have got to go. Patti's shaking her head. I know Jim wants to jump in, but we got to go.
But one thing, we do know since Donald Trump has become president- elect, he has said something that there hasn't been evidence for, which is that there are millions and millions of illegal votes. So, there is still inconsistency with Donald Trump when it comes to -- when it comes to where he's getting his information and what he's putting out on his Twitter feed. It's not necessarily quite clear yet. I will be very interested and a lot of people would love to hear from the president-elect on this one, hear those calming words coming from him as you suggested.
Great to see you guys. Thank you so much.
Right now, a criminal investigation is under way in the deadly Oakland fire. The warehouse is known as the Ghost Ship. It had hazardous trash and debris inside. Only two exits. No evidence of sprinklers. Who will be held responsible? Who should be held responsible? Ahead, we will talk to the district attorney who just dispatched a team of investigators to the scene. A criminal investigation is now under way.
We'll be right back.
[11:52:41] BOLDUAN: Jurors in the Michael Slager trial are back right now in the room deliberating this morning. This, after one lone holdout kept the jury from reaching a verdict on Friday. They've already sent a note to the judge saying they are still undecided and asking about questions about the charges they can consider. On Friday, the judge sent them back to deliberate after they indicated they still couldn't come to a unanimous decision. Slager is charged with the murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott, which was caught on video. You see this disturbing video right here. This caught the nation's attention when this video was released. Scott was running away when then-Officer Slager opened fire, shooting Scott in the back.
Joining me now, CNN correspondent, Nick Valencia, following the trial closely.
Nick, where do things stand now?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, today, started with a series of questions being read out load by judge by those jurors, asking everything, from what is imminent danger to how to define self defense and if that applies different for an officer or an ordinary citizen.
This is the fourth day of deliberations. And on Friday, it seemed we were heading towards a mistrial with news of one lone juror telling the judge in a note, wrote in a note, saying he could not in good conscience convict this cop. Today, we learned it may be more one juror undecided. In fact, a majority of the jury is still undecided. And it was based on that fact that the defense attorney, Andy Savidge, defense attorney for Andy Slager, asked for a motion for a mistrial. It was denied by the judge.
Those jurors continue deliberating. More than 20 hours of deliberations so far.
Inside the courtroom, the mood was tense. I was sitting one row behind the family of Slager as well as Scott's family. They were sitting in the same row. Michael Slager's wife nervous, biting her nails throughout the morning. Scott's mother had her hands clasped in prayer for most of the time.
On the way into court this morning, I did speak to the attorneys for the family of Walter Scott who told me they hoped for a verdict today. And I think it's safe to say that they're not alone here in the city of Charleston -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Fascinating what you describe, Nick. Things were left Friday when the judge said they needed to deliberate longer and obviously had to stop over the weekend. Then they are -- where they started, then, again today. Any indication from the judge how long this could go?
[11:55:08] VALENCIA: Very different. In fact, the judge sent the jury back at least three times to continue their deliberations. It's something called the Allen Law, which he can only use once. He's used it multiple times. The conversation among journalists in the gallery, if this judge would do it again. This jury, though, it seems they are still undecided but not deadlocked. That's an important distinction for this judge, which is why he says that he was going to deny, and wants them to try to work it out. People in this community and throughout the nation want them to work it out at well -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: All eyes on that jury room.
Nick Valencia, thank you very much. Coming up next for us, Donald Trump once compared him to a child
predator, but today, the president-elect just nominated Ben Carson to his cabinet. Their complicated relationship and what position Ben Carson is likely to be taking on, next.
Plus, Ivanka Trump and Al Gore. Why those two are meeting today in a very surprising move.