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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Tweets: Carrier Union Boss "Has Done A Terrible Job". Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 7, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:05] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
We begin tonight with the president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump, tweeting just moments ago about a story that aired just moments ago on CNN, namely Erin Burnett's interview with the union leader at the center of the Carrier story.
Now, here is the tweet. "Chuck Jones, who was prez of United Steelworkers of 1999 has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country."
Martin Savidge joins me now from Indianapolis.
So, Martin, just explain what was going on here, because this man was on Erin Burnett's show and then a short time right afterward, Martin, Donald Trump is tweeting about him.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Right. Donald Trump obviously watches the media very carefully. One thing, he was grateful for the 800 jobs that Trump was able to save, but he felt he was misleading in the major announcement he did last week which was to say 1,100 jobs of 1,400 were saved.
Well, the real math, and we talked about this last week, Anderson, the real math doesn't add up like that way. It's 730 union jobs saved, total 800 saved. So, he was saying essentially it was bait and switch by the president-elect and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, saying that they were saving more jobs than they really were. And Carrier is still getting rewards in the form of tax breaks, even though hundreds of jobs are still going to go away.
COOPER: And I mean, what's particularly interesting about this is just that the president-elect of the United States clearly seems to be watching a lot of television news and responding almost in real-time or shortly after to things he is seeing or I guess in some cases things he's reading.
Martin, thanks very much. We're going to check in with you a little bit later.
Another tweet on a similar subject is another subject tonight. And there's a mystery. The question that flows from it and potentially a lot of jobs at stake. We're going to get to all of that in a second. But I just want to bring in our panel to just talk a little bit about
this latest incident of the president-elect tweeting out based on something he's just seen.
Kirsten Powers, I mean, again, we are yet again, we're in uncharted waters here. It is very rare you have a president-elect watching this amount of media coverage and responding in kind of real time.
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And also the substance of what he said. He said no wonder people are -- companies are fleeing the country. His criticism about why companies are fleeing the country actually is because of trade. And now he's sort of suggesting it's because of union people who aren't representing people properly. That's not never been his argument.
So, he's attacking this union representative because he angered him. And then saying something that I don't think even fits with the narrative of what he's been saying about companies leaving.
COOPER: Jeffrey Lord, I mean, as a Trump story, this is something on the one hand Trump supporters like, they like he has a direct channel to people and that he's counterpunching, that he's engaged.
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: There's two things going on. The United Steelworkers endorsed Hillary Clinton. So, you know, the union that this guy represents was anti-Trump. So, that's not a surprise.
But number two, I want to stick up for him on this issue of Twitter. I mean, I wrote a column a while ago, talking about Abraham Lincoln and the use of the telegraph, FDR in radio, JFK in live televised press conferences, which weren't done.
Twitter is the 21st century. Donald Trump is going to be a seriously 21st century president. This is one of the ways he's going to use to communicate. And to be perfectly candid, he's going to use it to get around us. So, you know, I mean, this is the inevitable technology. He's making great use of it. There's lots of precedent for it. And more power to him.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But not for punching down like that. JFK took on the steel industry. He took on U.S. Steel. He didn't take on a steel worker in Indianapolis named Chuck. That's punching down.
And this --
LORD: Powerful unions are not punching down, though.
BEGALA: Mr. Trump, President-elect Trump got elected with an awful lot of steel worker votes.
COOPER: Right. It might have been the leadership voting for Hillary Clinton.
LORD: Exactly right.
COOPER: But we're talking about the rank and file.
BEGALA: Absolutely. In fact, now, I have read stories where Chuck Jones themselves that he voted --
COOPER: And we should point out, the local union in this case did not endorse --
BEGALA: No, no, Mr. Jones has told the press, if memory served, that he personally voted for Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: And the local union in this case did not endorse any candidate.
COOPER: But the larger point is, if there is -- if you want to put a face on a Trump voter, it's Chuck Jones, salt of the earth.
LORD: Except he voted for Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: Chuck Jones is actually on the phone. We have him right now.
Mr. Jones, I appreciate you talking to us. First of all, what do you make of the fact that you appear on CNN a short time ago and then you have the president-elect of the United States tweeting against you quite quickly?
CHUCK JONES, CARRIER UNION BOSS (via telephone): You know, to be quite honest, what I did, I did an interview, and I called him out on some of the things that he misled the people on, as far as the actual numbers of jobs he claimed to save.
[20:05:07] And it was 800, it wasn't over 1,100. I give him praise and thanks for everything he did to save the 800 people's jobs. I really appreciate that.
He also during the conference with the Carrier people last Thursday got up and said he never made any commitments, any promises to Carrier people to keep our jobs here, which is a complete falsehood. He said it numerous times on the campaign -- on his campaign speeches. And he denied that.
And so, you know, I mention those two items, and evidently it rubbed him the wrong way. So, you know, things will go on.
COOPER: Yes, he says on the campaign trail, he was talking about Carrier as a symbol, not necessarily meaning Carrier. Clearly, you view it as he said Carrier, he meant Carrier, and that was it.
JONES: Yes, he said Carrier numerous times. He said numerous times, he said, he was president, he wasn't 50 percent sure, he wasn't 75 percent sure, he was 100 percent sure these jobs would not be going to Mexico. He came in and negotiated a deal, he kept 800 jobs here. Nobody is bringing up the fact that 550 are still moving to Monterrey,
Mexico. He did a wonderful job with the jobs that he saved. But don't make it sound like it's 1100 when 350 jobs will remain in this country all along, the research and development. That's what I called him out on.
COOPER: I want to put the tweet that he had just sent out about you back up on our screen, because I want to read it to viewers and have you respond. It says, "Chuck Jones who is president of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers, no wonder companies flee the country." To --
JONES: Yes, that's what we do as a labor union. We negotiate fairly living wages and benefits.
So, on the Carrier situation in its entirety, it was all about wages. We can't compete with $3 an hour workers. We've got a skilled workforce. The company has been profitable. But because of corporate greed and unfair trade, they want to move these jobs out of the country.
So, if he wants to blame me, so be it. I look at him, how many millions of dollars he spent on his hotels and casinos trying to keep labor unions out. You know, so, you know, I like my side of it, trying to work the best, make the people's lives as best as they can possibly be.
COOPER: I want to play what you had said or some of what you had said on Erin Burnett's show, which may be what Donald Trump was responding to. I just want to play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: They announced at that point in time the research and development jobs, about 350 of them, would remain here in Indianapolis. Then when Mr. Trump got involved, what the actual number of jobs saved is 730 bargaining unit jobs, the workers of the union members, and another 70 office supervisory, clerical workers, management.
And what they're doing, they're counting in 350-some-odd more that were never leaving this country at all. And I think he's did a lot of negotiations, and I have likewise, and if you're dealing with people's livelihoods, you sure ought to know what the numbers are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I'm wondering, when did you find out, you know, you had heard the number that Donald Trump had said. When did you find out kind of the details of this, and what did you think when you heard that?
JONES: We were hearing for three days that 1,100 jobs are going to remain in Indianapolis. Nobody tell us, not the company or the Trump people. So, we met with UTC and Carrier people Thursday of last week at noon. And at that point in time, they said, OK, this is what's going to happen, 730 bargaining unit jobs are going to stay here and 70 other jobs.
But what I'm calling Trump out on was the fact that he was counting in the 350 research and development jobs that Carrier announced in February were going to remain here in Indianapolis.
The only thing I was doing is calling him out. What happened on that, Anderson, was our people heard that earlier in the week, and so once again, they got their hopes up that something was going to be done. They was going to have a job, you know?
So, 1,100 and some-odd jobs would remain in Indianapolis. The mood was good.
Now, we have to tell them, he don't mention it on Thursday night, that 550 jobs are going to move to Monterrey, Mexico.
[20:10:01] They leave that alone. Him and Pence both. And then we have to tell our members on Friday because nobody was upfront with them, we're losing 550 members.
You know, that is what upset me, because you got people's hopes up -- 1,100 some-odd jobs are going to remain in Indianapolis, which was wrong and people got false hopes they were going to be able to provide for their families, which ended up not being true. And how many times can these people -- people go through this disappointment. They go through it once when they announced plant closure.
Now, all of a sudden, they get their hopes build up, and the president-elect 1,100 some-odd-jobs are going to remain in Indianapolis, to find out that wasn't the case.
And so, do I have issues with that? Most certainly. Dealing with people's livelihoods and what's more important to a person's livelihood, their health, their family and their jobs, and that got ripped away from them.
COOPER: Mr. Jones, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you so much for talking with us.
JONES: I appreciate it very much.
COOPER: I want to bring in now, Berkeley professor of public policy and former labor secretary, Robert Reich, who's book, "Saving Capitalism For the Many, Not the Few", is just out in paperback.
Mr. Secretary, what do you make of this latest example of Donald Trump responding to something he's read or seen on television?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, Donald Trump is doing this a lot, Anderson. He's using Twitter. He has these tweets going out against people who criticize him. Not only Chuck, the person you just talked to, Chuck Jones, but also Alec Baldwin when he satirized Mr. Trump on "Saturday Night Live", also individual journalists who criticized Donald Trump. Let me just say because Donald Trump is probably watching right now, let me just say with all due respect, Mr. Trump, you are president- elect of the United States. You are looking and acting as if you are mean and petty, thin-skinned and vindictive. Stop this.
This is not a Fireside chat. This is not what FDR did. This isn't lifting people up. This is penalizing people for speaking their minds.
What you did with Boeing the other day, minutes after the CEO of Boeing was quoted as saying that you, Mr. Trump, you, President-elect Trump were wrong on international trade, what did you do? You tweeted that Boeing should have an order canceled. You called it a $4 billion order. And that meant Boeing's own share prices plummeted.
So, in other words Mr. Trump, what you would like is for no one, not a CEO, nobody on television, no journalist, nobody to criticize you. You take offense at that. Well you are going to be president very shortly. You are going to have at your command not just Twitter, but also the CIA, the IRS, the FBI. If you have this kind of thin skinned vindictiveness attitude towards anyone who criticizes you, we are in very deep trouble. And sir, so are you.
COOPER: I want to -- Jeffrey Lord, to the notion that he is thin- skinned and this is vindictiveness to what Secretary Reich was saying. What do you say what?
LORD: Well, first of all, I think this is being vastly overblown. Anderson, I was just looking at the letter that Harry Truman, President Harry Truman wrote to his daughter's -- a critic of his daughter's singing. Enclosed the paragraph, "Someday I hope to meet you." This is the sitting president of the United States.
"Someday, I hope to meet you. When that happens, you will need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes and perhaps a supporter below."
I can only tell you, Donald Trump isn't even close to Harry Truman here. I think we're just getting overworked on this. What he's setting here is the principle. This is the 21st century. He's going to respond to his critics and good for him.
COOPER: Secretary Reich, what do you say to that? That this is just a modern form of communication and Donald Trump is, you know, bypassing the media and talking directly and this is just a sign of the times?
REICH: Well, this is the 21st century. And Twitter as a medium that communicates directly -- it's not Harry Truman. This is communicating directly to millions and millions of Americans and this is about specific personal criticism.
A lot of people read this kind of personal criticism and what are they going to do? They are going to feel critical of that person as well. This is kind of -- this is bullying. This is not using the bully pulpit. This is bullying. LORD: Come on.
REICH: Jeff, I mean, does Donald Trump seem thin-skinned to you? I mean, going after Alec Baldwin? I mean, he is about to be the most powerful man in the entire world.
LORD: Donald Trump, one of the problems, Karl Rove noted this years ago about his feeling that the Bush White House, the Bush 43 White House made a mistake when the critics were going after Bush on Iraq and Bush lied all of this kind of thing.
[20:15:01] And that they didn't answer it. So, they left the impression out there.
One of the things that I personally asked Donald Trump when I interviewed him two years ago was this was a criticism of Republican nominees. They don't fight back. Will you do that?
He assured me he absolutely would do it. And this is what we're seeing and good for him.
COOPER: Paul, what about that?
BEGALA: Mr. Trump, President-elect Trump did not answer back. Chuck Jones said he lied about the numbers. Apparently, Chuck Jones is right. Still a good thing saving 800 jobs but he lied saying 1,100 wrong.
Instead of saying he got the numbers wrong, which lots of people do, he attacked Chuck Jones personally. And it's not -- by the way, that letter from Harry Truman --
BEGALA: Bill Clinton owns it. It was hanging in the West Wing. And I was working at the White House. It's great. But it was a private letter to a guy who is tracking --
LORD: But it got out in the media.
BEGALA: He was trashing Truman's daughter.
OK, if somebody trashes --
LORD: But, Paul, let me just --
BEGALA: No. Professor Reich is correct.
COOPER: Let him finish.
LORD: I just want to say this.
BEGALA: It's abuse of power. LORD: I just want to say this. What we're not talking about here is
at any time during all of this Carrier event in the campaign, Hillary Clinton could have picked up the phone and done this. President Obama could have picked up the phone and do this.
Neither of them did this. Donald Trump did this.
BEGALA: What they didn't do is pick Twitter and trash a steel worker named Chuck in Indianapolis who's fighting for his job.
COOPER: Monica, you spent a lot of time with Donald Trump.
MONICA LANGLEY, SENIOR SPECIAL WRITER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes. OK. So, one, I think the Twitter phenomenon is here to stay and especially by Donald Trump, whether he's president in January or not. He's going to keep doing it. It is a huge tool for him.
And it shows how aggressive he's going to be and this is all about the economy and he's going to keep doing it. He used Twitter to his advantage just yesterday with the Japanese billionaire, the SoftBank chairman, who was in town.
What I understand when he was in the office with him he was thinking, well, I may invest $50 billion in the U.S., and apparently, the SoftBank chairman said, you know, if you tweeted it I might commit right now. And Donald Trump is like tweet it right now.
And somebody said, well, just go on down to the lobby. And so, Trump went down to the lobby and so he got this commitment for $50 billion, 50,000 jobs because of a tweet. Now, this Japanese billionaire is also kind of a showman like Donald Trump is in Japan. He has a robot that --
COOPER: There's also questions raised about whether or not there was a prior commitment --
BEGALA: He made the commitment back in August.
BEGALA: So, apparently, he just snowballed Trump. He just steam rolled him.
LANGLEY: It's all about discussing a tweet. But it's clear that the tweets that Donald Trump makes are going to be here. It's got to be aggressive and they are going to be punchy.
POWERS: There's nothing wrong with Twitter. I mean, the White House uses Twitter. It is just a question of what you are putting on Twitter.
And I do think Paul's right that -- and Secretary Reich is right. This is bullying. I mean, this is just a regular American citizen. This is not somebody who is necessarily on his level in terms of power.
But I do think -- I said this to someone walking off the set last night. And this has been said before. Last night, he was very presidential. He was very well-behaved. He stayed on the prompter.
And I said to somebody last night, tomorrow, he's going to do something. And that always happens, and this is it.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We're going to have more of this discussion and other incidents. We'll be right back.
[20:21:54] COOPER: We are back talking about Twitter and how the president-elect uses it. Not only that, this practice of Mr. Trump personalizing not just aspects of the economy. But now, some of the players, powerful and not so powerful, specifically this tweet about Carrier. "Chuck Jones," he said, just short time ago, "who was president of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee the country."
We just had Chuck Jones on the phone a short time ago, just at the top of the broadcast. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: To be quite honest what I did, I did a interview. And I called him out on some of the things that he misled the people on as far as the actual numbers of jobs that he claimed to save. And it was 800. It wasn't over 1,100.
I gave him praise and thanks for everything he did to save the 800 people's jobs. I really appreciate that.
He also during the conference with the Carrier people last Thursday, he got up and said he never made any commitments, any promises to Carrier people to keep jobs there, which was complete falsehood. He said it numerous times on the campaign -- on his campaign speeches. And he denied that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And back with the panel, including former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
Secretary Reich, I -- do you think -- I mean, do we know how this plays out over time? We've had presidents before who have kept enemies list. Donald Trump certainly has a long memory of people who slighted him, or people he feels have been unfair to him.
I guess one question is, how does this play out over -- you know, right now, it seems, even for those who like Donald Trump tweeting like this, it seems refreshing, it's new, it's different. Over time, does it just seem better and better, or does it not play so well to his supporters even? REICH: Anderson, I think overtime, it becomes more dangerous to
democracy, which depends on freedom of the speech and freedom of the press. If people feel are intimidated, if individual people that they cannot criticize the president of the United States because he will, using his Twitter account, or using whatever means he has directly communicate to millions of people personal criticisms of the people who criticized him, then there is going to be a massive intimidation -- a chilling effect on free speech and also on freedom of the press.
This is extremely serious. This is not merely talking about fireside chats or Harry Truman being angry at some critic of his daughters. This goes to the essential core of a democracy.
We're talking about the freedom of people to express their criticisms of the president of the United States, without fear of retribution, without fear that the president of the United States is going to single them out, condemn them and humiliate them in the light of millions of other people.
COOPER: It is pretty -- I'm trying to think of other cases where presidents of the United States have in such a public forum gone after private individuals.
[20:25:04] Not networks. Just, you know, individuals who --
LORD: I think the Obama White House, not only FOX News, but I think they went after Glenn Beck in the day who had a television program. I think they went to great lengths to savage him.
COOPER: I mean --
POWERS: I was very critical of that though. I think that was bad actually for the Obama administration to do that precisely because it comes with the power of the president. And you have the senior White House officials going out and doing this and it is chilling. I just don't think you should be singling out news organizations and attacking them and saying they're not legitimate, which is what they were doing.
So, I mean, I'm being consistent here I think that they shouldn't have been doing it and I don't think Trump --
BEGALA: Well, every president has complained about the press, and sometimes about individual reporters. That's not new.
What I can't think of -- and Jeffrey is a great student of history -- is a time a president-elect or a president has reached all the way into the heart of Middle America. And, frankly, the very profile of a Trump voter.
This is what is the most troubling thing about this, is that, in the main is Mr. Jones is able to come on your broadcast. In the main, he's not able to defend himself. He's not. And Donald Trump with one push of a button reaches 16 million people. Then, we all picked it up as we should and must, then it reaches a billion people.
LANGLEY: What's so interesting --
BEGALA: And poor Chuck Jones can't defend himself. And that is what's so chilling, is if he's going to do that to Chuck Jones, do you know how many CEOs are watching this saying, I'm never going to stick my head up, I don't want to criticize, after what happened to Boeing when Boeing criticizes trade policies. How many other politicians are going to say, oh, yes --
COOPER: And just for the record, Donald Trump said he didn't read that "Chicago Tribune" article in which the CEO of Boeing was quoted. He did come out very shortly after that article.
LANGLEY: What's really interesting is I watched the last couple of days, I went to so many rallies with Donald Trump. They were filled with union workers. They put him in office.
So, it is a really contradictory thing to see him attacking a union worker. And then you have the CEOs, you put Steve Schwartzman, the head of Blackstone, it's part of this big panel and he's got all these CEOs and I talked to his CEO today and said, I've got to get on one of these panels with him.
So, now, in the Trump world, they are going to pick up a manufacturing panel. They've got the tech CEOs coming in. The CEOs out there are doing a flip-flop to try to get involved with the Trump administration because they see the deal maker in chief coming on strong. So, here are the people who are on the sidelines that he attacked, now they wanted to be part of his administration.
COOPER: How much also is that want to be part and fear of not being part of it, fear of retaliation?
LANGLEY: That's it. They either want to be in his good graces. Or they think, well, he really is going to change the architecture of this country and lower corporate taxes, et cetera, and we want in.
POWERS: But another thing that's problematic at the way he's used Twitter if you look at attacking Boeing and what happens with their stock prices. You know, a long time ago, I worked in the office of the White House, the U.S. Trade Representatives Office that handled trade. And as a junior spokesperson, you were really schooled in you could never say anything that has not been cleared by 50 people. It has to be very -- every word has to be measured absolutely perfectly because it will move markets.
And he is the president of the United States tweeting about --
COOPER: Well, let's ask the former labor secretary is with us.
Secretary Reich, what about that? I mean, the power of the presidency to move markets with a few words here or there.
REICH: Well, the power of the presidency not only to move markets but also to unleash a hailstorm of criticism against individuals who have the nerve and audacity to speak their minds. I mean, we're talking about presidential power here in its rawest and most important form. It has to be used with a great deal of decorum, with a great deal of sensitivity.
And that's why this is so concerning, because here we have the president-elect of the United States. Not some candidate. The president-elect of the United States, who is tweeting to 12 million or 16 million followers criticisms of individual whose dare correct him, dare to speak out about what the president-elect of the United States is doing.
This is something new. We have not seen this before. And it does pose a huge potential danger. Not just to companies. Yes, there will be a chilling effect on individual CEOs, who will not want to speak out against president or President-elect Donald Trump for fear he's going say something that causes the stock prices to go down.
And yes, the president has got to be very careful what he says about a economy as a whole but what about reputations of individuals? What about keeping their jobs? What about what other people are so angry by what a president may say about a particular individual that they actually go out and seek some sort of revenge? This is raw power and it is very dangerous.
LORD: Secretary Reich, you said something very interesting here, that this has not been seen before. And I would just say to everybody, we're going to see a lot of this. This is going to be a very unconventional presidency by the likes of Washington, D.C. and established ways of doing things.
It's not just this. It is going to be a whole lot of things to come. It's going to be very, very different. He comes straight from the private sector. He's never been a governor, a senator. He's never in Washington as a business, you know, as an elected official. He is going to do things differently. Which is why I would suggest he was elected in the first place.
So I would respectfully suggest this is the tip of the iceberg and we're going to see a lot more of a whole lot of different things that he's going to do very differently.
BEGALA: But I don't think anybody voted for him, hoping he would beat up on Chuck the steel worker, because Chuck criticized him. I think that's different --
LORD: No, no --
BEGALA: But step on big reporters, big network like ours --
LORD: But Paul.
BEGALA: -- or whatever.
LORD: The American people aren't dumb. They realize this guy voted forward Hillary Clinton, as you yourself said. He's a political opponent.
BEGALA: No he's not. He's an American citizen. He's a voter.
LORD: Well -- but you can be an American citizen and be a political opponent?
BEGALA: Really, really? Come on Jeffrey, you are too decent to think it is OK for a billionaire president elect to pick on a working class --
LORD: All men are created equal. Declaration of independence.
BEGALA: Do you really think that is OK?
COOPER: Secretary Reich, go.
REICH: Let me just say something. Because it certainly is OK for a president of the United States to criticize a network, criticize an industry, criticize a large group of people. But it is qualitatively different for a president or a president elect of the United States to criticize an individual who is exercising his First Amendment rights to criticize that president elect. There is a huge power imbalance. And that power imbalance could create a situation, and we're maybe not that far away from it. If this continues. Anderson, you said what happens if this continues? If this continues and grows we could have a situation where people across the board are scared to speak out.
LORD: Oh my no.
REICH: They are intimidated because they don't want to be punished.
LORD: I don't think so. I don't think so. I mean if you're old enough. And I hate to say it. The gray hair attests to it, that I've seen people in the streets, my generation protesting Lyndon Johnson using all kinds of language that you can't use on television. They weren't scared and Lyndon Johnson was one of the most intimidating presidents of the United States around --
BEGALA: Did Lyndon Johnson attack you personally when you're doing it Jeffrey?
LORD: No, but he certainly went after the anti-work press, they called him nervous nallies (ph) as I recall --
REICH: There is a big difference between -- there is a big difference between going after a group of people, that's what I'm saying and going after an individual and using the power of the presidency or the president-elect of the United States to go after --
LORD: But this is --
REICH: -- that is the whole point.
LORD: This was not --
REICH: That is the intimidation. That is the danger here.
COOPER: One at a time. Sorry, go ahead, Jeff.
LORD: This is not just Chuck Jones some guy. I'm sure he's a perfectly decent sole. But he represents a steel workers union. He himself is a political opponent who admitted to that.
POWERS: But what did he do that was wrong?
LORD: But there was nothing, I just want to -- but, it is nothing that he said that --
POWERS: What he said was there are actually more jobs that need to be saved. I mean what was that he said that was so horrible that would -- that this reaction?
LORD: Because --
POWERS: Why wouldn't be reaction be oh, OK let's go look at these other jobs and see what we can do to save them?
LORD: I can only tell you, when a political opponent goes after you, you go after them back. I mean --
COOPER: Secretary Rice, I want you to respond. You're saying that's ridiculous.
REICH: That's ridiculous because we just had an election. And if you take as your definition of political opponent anybody who voted against Donald Trump there are tens of millions of people right now in the United States who would be defined as political opponents and under that definition it would be perfectly fine for the president to every day tweet about one of those political opponents and say something negative --
REICH: -- about one of those political opponents.
LORD: Well it's just --
REICH: -- that's an absurd argument.
LANGLEY: I don't -- OK, I don't think that Donald Trump cares whether the steel president, steel worker president voted for him or voted against him. I think he is upset that he's stepping on his show. And that he had a great coupe last week and he got a lot of plotted and now he's undercutting it. I really think that Donald Trump is a showman as well as the president elect. And he doesn't like that this guy is undercutting what was a really good show and presentation.
COOPER: It is interesting though, you know, it probably took Harry Truman a little bit of time to write that letter. It doesn't take a lot of time to send to tweet and Donald Trump --
LORD: 21st century.
COOPER: -- Donald Trump which for better or worst is writing in the moment clearly. And, you know, often times a wise person wants to, you know, think things through a little bit and let the moment pass and count to ten, breathe. And then --
LANGLEY: But he wants to set the record straight right away.
LORD: Right away.
LANGLEY: And put -- and get that credit --
BEGALA: But he didn't set the record straight. He made a mistake, it's not a huge mistake, he manage (ph), he did a good thing. He claimed he did a great thing. Chuck called him on it. No big deal actually.
LANGLEY: He just want to see thing any effort.
BEGALA: He wants to personally attack the guy who criticized him. That's what chilling. Nothing not that he wanted to set the record straight, maybe there's another way to count the number --
[20:35:06] COOPER: The answer -- reported the numbers --
COOPER: Days before, so, you know --
COOPER: -- it is not as if that had not been on the record. It was hit -- it was something about Chuck saying this and that it was a bait and switch or whatever the term is --
LORD: If I can just say --
BEGALA: He's got an awful lot of political enemies.
LORD: If I could just say in the media sense and, you know, I'm sure we're going to do have a lot of these in the next four years. But this is getting, is like the demonstrations down there in Texas for that nut job there that was the white supremacist. The media tends to overplay these things. Vastly overplay their worth in a situation like this. And I just don't think it is that big deal. The president of the United States, the new president of the United States tweets. Which is what everybody in America does around the world. It's a new technology, we're probably going to have some adjustments to make over this but he is setting a precedent that other presidents are going to use in their own fashion.
REICH: I hope not. I hope not. We have -- a president of the United States now through Twitter has access directly, unmediated access to 16 million people, 20 million people, and I hope this doesn't set a president for presidents of the United States using their power and direct access unmediated without any criticisms, our unmediated between that president and everybody else to single out individuals for criticism and blame. That is dangerous folks.
LORD: Right -- wait Mr. Secretary, with all due respect Franklin Roosevelt used the radio to get around Republican newspaper publishers of the day. It was directed --
REICH: He did not criticize individuals.
LORD: No, Mr. Secretary with all due respect --
REICH: Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, Senator Joe McCarthy and his communist witch hunts, he went after individuals. He was not president. He did had a lot of power and, you know, what happen to those individuals, those individual lost their jobs, they lost a lot of -- they were intimidated by Joe McCarthy and until finally one member of the press stood up to Joe McCarthy and said basically Joe McCarthy is a despot. He's a dictator. He's dangerous to the country. Are we going to have to wait for somebody to stand up to Donald Trump and say this?
LORD: Mr. Secretary, well I got a lot of respect for you, but I just think that is hysteria and I think that's typical of what's wrong.
REICH: You don't think that this is -- you don't think that what we are now witnessing is dangerous?
LORD: No. No. Are you kidding me? No. Look, Anderson Cooper, CNN, Fox News, everybody is going to be on Donald Trump's case for the next four years, eight years, whatever it turns out to be. As they are with every president of the United States.
REICH: And Donald Trump has spent a lot of his time condemning the media and condemning individual journalists.
LORD: And what? John F. Kennedy canceled the New York Carol Tribune. So what.
REICH: Condemning individual journalists? Condemning individual journalists, I'm sorry. That -- we're in a completely new zone here. A new era when you have a president --
LORD: It's new technology. It's the 21st century.
REICH: You have direct contact between a president and 16 million Americans --
LORD: And there is nothing wrong with that.
REICH: -- and criticizing individuals, average Americans? I'm sorry, there is something wrong with that. And if you don't see the danger in it, that in itself with all due respect is very dangerous.
COOPER: I want to bring in CNN's Martin Savidge who's at the Carrier plant. Martin, Jeff was talking about Chuck Jones being a political opponent of Donald Trump, you've been speaking with them, is that how he sees himself? SAVIDGE: No he doesn't. I mean I've talked to Chuck Jones quite a few times like fourth visit here in the last 10 days. Chuck Jones, will admit that he voted for Hillary Clinton. He will also say he voted holding his nose. He definitely did not like either choice. And I will point out that the local union did not make any political endorsement for the presidential campaigns. It's quite right to say that the International United Steel Workers didn't endorsed Hillary Clinton but the local union made no official endorsement.
And Chuck Jones again will say and he said it to me many times, he is grateful to Donald Trump. He is amazed that Donald Trump was able to pull off saving 800 jobs. His particular point was at that announcement the 1,100 figure that was used was inaccurate and as a result there were several hundred of his members who thought their jobs might be save, that in fact their jobs will not be. But 800 jobs regardless a remaining right here in Indianapolis something that a month ago no one would have believe.
COOPER: And it is interesting, Jeff, because Donald Trump, I mean I think it's a point that Paul already made but he's not responding to that particular factual, you know, to that fact or that allegation. He's --
LORD: Going after the credibility.
COOPER: He's angry at that. And so he is poking at what a perceived weakness or --
COOPER: -- whatever it may be. I mean that's -- it's a little different than saying, well, actually no, Mr. Jones, here's what happened. It's, you know, you're lousy and you're partly responsible for these jobs leaving.
[20:40:05] LORD: Well I mean I just think that this whole thing is getting vastly overblown here. And to -- I mean that the one -- again, Donald Trump is the only person who did this. I mean both the president -- sitting president of the United States and Hillary Clinton had the chance do this. And so this is the reaction. It's only 800 jobs when it could have been 300? I mean it would have been zero jobs.
COOPER: But that's not the only reaction, because Mr. Jones himself is saying he's very appreciative of these 800 jobs and nobody seems to be disputing that.
LANGLEY: If we can just switch for a second to Boeing, OK. So Boeing happened and Donald Trump says I didn't do it because what the CEO said. That may actually be true. It may not be true. Who knows but we know Donald Trump was always in construction. And we know Hillary Clinton made a big point of this during the campaign, that he tried to squeeze every penny out of every contractor.
Remember when she would say on the campaign trail, thank goodness my father the drapery contractor did not have him, because he would try -- did not have him as client so he try to squeeze him. So to me when he came out to say I want to get the price down on Boeing or cancel the contract, it's just like him to want to do it. I was with Donald Trump once when he was going through the old post office. He was seeing something on the trim that he didn't like it. He's like, well what's the price of this? How much did we pay? I could see his knock the cost down that we're going to pay this contractor.
So it is totally like him do this. I don't know if it is appropriate to do it on government procurement.
COOPER: Secretary Reich.
REICH: I'm sorry, it may be like him to do this. And that is precisely the problem we are dealing with right now. Because as a private citizen or even as a developer when he was doing all of his developments around the country, around the world Donald Trump was not president-elect of the United States. He was not -- he didn't have the power that he has right now. And it's not a matter of just correcting the record with regard to something that Chuck Jones has said. It is actually attacking him personally. It'is saying he is a lousy union leader.
It is like going after Alec Baldwin saying that Alec Baldwin is lousy, he's not funny. Rather than correcting the record. If there is some satirical issue that Donald Trump has with Alec Baldwin, or going after a journalist, who -- and instead of correcting the record what Donald Trump will do with tweets is a kind of character assassination. It's what he did on the campaign trail.
LANGLEY: Or attacking Boeing, which is one of the companies in the United States that contributes the most for our GDP of sending a lot of airplanes out of this country. So he does take it on but he says he's doing it for the U.S. first.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. The panel is going to stick around. Secretary Reich cannot, we appreciate you being with us, Mr. Secretary, thank you.
More to talk about ahead. Coming up next, breaking news and some other jobs, a new batch of top Trump picks including another former general, and the woman who brought General Mayhem into pro-wrestling ring, we'll explain that, next.
[20:45:19] COOPER: After talking about President-elect Trump in job in Carrier tonight, we got breaking news on some other jobs, Mr. Trump apparently adding a third general to his national security team, that's what a senior transition official tells us. He also -- excuse me -- excuse me, that are today a professional wrestling tycoon and an EPA chief who doesn't much like the EPA. Joining us now from Trump Tower is Jason Carroll.
So, let's talk first about the wrestling tycoon, who is she and what post is she going fill? JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRSPODENT: Well, you're talking about Linda McMahon and she now is been the person, the woman to head of the small business administration. This is someone who it's creative according to Donald Trump with helping to make the WWE what it is today, she's the wife of wrestling -- wrestling manager tycoon Vince McMahon, and, you know, Donald Trump has a history with the WWE back in 2007. There was a wrestling match called at least was called battle of the billionaires, and what you basically had Anderson is you had Vince McMahon representing a wrestling, you had Donald Trump who representing a wrestling we had both of the wrestlers, not the two men himself, but wrestlers in the ring that -- in the ring and basically they had imagine Trump's wrestler won that particular match.
So this is a man who was a history at the WWE. But in all seriousness he was very strongly that this is a woman who was very instrumental in helping to make the WWE what it is today, and he feels so she can do the same in terms of helping the 28 million who sells small business -- small business owners here in the United States.
COOPER: And when it comes to the EPA, tells us about the choice.
CARROLL: Yeah, you know, this is one that could end that being problematic, this is Scott Pruitt the attorney general of Oklahoma, this is the man who has been an odds with the EPA, he has litigated with the EPA, you know, over regulations and things of that matter. This is someone who in the past has taken some $126,000 from energy groups.
So, this is someone that also that critics are already speaking out against, Democrats obviously, environmental groups speaking out as well. But you go Kellyanne Conway speaking in its defense saying look, we're ready for the nay sayers. This is a man who knows about over regulation and they're ready for the critics.
COOPER: And lastly Trump's appointment to the Department of Homeland Security probably the least controversial pick so far.
CARROLL: Yeah, General John Kelly. And this is the man who is known for being plain spoken. Known for being blunt. For example speaking out about his opposition to Guantanamo Bay in terms of closing it. Wants to keep that open. This is someone who is respected among some men in the military world and also Anderson knows the horrors of war firsthand. He lost his son back in 2010 after his son stepped on a land mine, Anderson.
COOPER: Jason Carroll, thanks so much. We are back with the panel. Also joining us is CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
Dana, what do you know about the president-elect's choice to head the EPA and mainly about the reaction so far in Washington? Do you think there will be a tough fight on this?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Jason talked about the reaction coming in Democrats and environmental groups. I think that is a very tame way to put it. They are sending up blistering statements, one after another getting them in my inbox about this pick, about Scott Pruitt.
First -- for several reasons, first and foremost, because of the fact that he is not just somebody who has been a climate change denier, he is not just somebody who had said he wants to rip up the Paris accord. He's actually as attorney general of Oklahoma been involved in and helped lead lawsuits against the EPA, the very agency that he is nominated to head.
Now if you take a step back and listen to what Donald Trump said during the campaign this should not surprise anybody. This is what Democrats warned about and this is what Republicans promised. It was a big applause line in many Trump rallies. And I saw and heard it firsthand. But the reason why there is a bit of whiplash right now among Democrats is because it was like 24 hours ago that Al Gore, the personification of climate change was in Trump Tower talking to not just Ivanka Trump but the president-elect coming out saying that he thought that they had a really good conversation. Leonardo DiCaprio was apparently there. He is Mr. Climate change.
So I think that is why there is this reaction because Democrats and environmental groups got what they now see is sort of a flurry of false hope after those meetings and now it is back to the reality that he is appearing to deliver on his campaign promise to try to do away with not just the regulations under the Obama administration but maybe the EPA itself.
[20:50:00] COOPER: It is interesting also, I mean check the number of generals so far named to Donald Trump's inner circle, what do you make -- we make of the choices so far.
POWERS: Well, I mean I think the one thing we can say is it probably doesn't bode well for General Petraeus. Because I think if he was to add another general that maybe much. I suspect that he is attach to this general, because let's face it, these are pretty impressive people. These are people who have a lot of respect, you know, across the board, at least two of them, I should say. I think, you know, Mike Fflynn is a little more controversial.
But -- and I think that the military is a very respected institution in our society. Where every other institution is losing respect, the military is the one that still has an overwhelming approval rating among the country. And I think Trump understands that. So, you know, I think it's something that, you know, one more would probably be too many. But at this point, at least two of these picks are picks that I think a lot of people approve of.
COOPER: Monica, do you have a sense of where he is in just in terms of the timeline for Secretary of State?
LANGLEY: Well, I think he said that it's going to be next week. I think he still doesn't know. And I agree that Petraeus is out. He cannot put another general in there. At one point, he was considering Kelly even for Secretary of State. So, I don't know which way he is going to go. I think he's not 100 percent sure of whether it could be Romney or Giuliani or somebody completely new. And on the other hand, the pick today with the worldwide wrestling person is so interesting to me. If you want to go online, you can find some funny tapes of Donald Trump like getting smacked a little bit walking into the wrestling match do you know, so I mean he enjoyed the show of that as well.
BASH: But that --
BASH: Well, I was just going to say, but, you know, you talk about Linda McMahon and to sort of show the conflicted feelings of people on Capitol Hill who are going to have to confirm these cabinet picks, Senator Blumenthal from Connecticut, who defeated Linda McMahon --
BASH: -- obvious said in the hallways, that he's going to vote for her. So they're OK with that. OK with probably with the pick today of Terry Branstad that seating governor of Iowa, longest serving governor in history to be ambassador to China. A lot of applause bipartisan applause for that. And then at the same time you have kind of the sort of whiplash of this EPA appointment late tonight.
COOPER: But, Kelly a lot of support Dana, for General John Kelly.
BASH: Yes, it certainly seems that way. It does not seem as though there is going to be much pushback at all on that. And I do think that it is fascinating that he is a gold star father given the controversy that Donald Trump had with the gold star parent at the Democratic convention.
COOPER: All right, I want to thank everybody. Coming up next Fareed Zakaria on his conversation with President Obama, and the president's legacy in Fareed special on all that coming up in just a few minutes from now. We'll be right back.
COOPER: President-elect Trump says he values President Obama's views on things when he reaches out to him. In a an interview with the "Today Show", Donald Trump talked in pretty glowing terms about President Obama, the conversations they have been having?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF UNITED STATES: I really like him. We have I think I can say at least from myself, I can't speak for him but we have a really good chemistry together. We talk. He loves the country. He wants to do right by the country and for the country.
[20:55:07] And I will tell you, we obviously very much disagree on certain policies and certain things, but, you know, I really like him as a person. I've asked him what he thinks are the biggest problems of the country, what are some of the greatest assets going forward. And we have a very good dialogue and I must tell you, you know, I never met him before this and I never spoke to him before this. I really, I do like him. I love getting his ideas.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, earlier, I talked about some of this with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. Fareed's got a two-hour special report of the legacy of Barack Obama, that's going to air at the top of the hour about 4 minutes from now at 9:00 p.m. eastern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Donald Trump saying he has been consulting with President Obama about cabinet appointments and he values the president's suggestion. What does that tell you about the kind of leader Donald Trump is going to be?
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Let's hope it tells us that Trump is going to be the kind of leader who would consult with a wide variety of sources. So far, that hasn't been true. He has tended to have a very narrow circle of advisers, family really, a couple of advisers like Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway. Maybe he is broadening. Maybe there's an opportunity here and Obama I think recognizes that this is his one chance to have some kind of an impact in preserving his legacy.
COOPER: And so you think if perhaps President Obama's attempt to try to preserve his whatever parts of his legacy that he can to remain having some sort of relationship or influence on Donald Trump.
ZAKARIA: I think so, because I think what he probably understands is that, he is now -- that nobody knows what it feels like to be president. And so all Trump's advisors are not in the same position. Obama has a unique perspective that he can provide. And I think Obama is hoping that he can make him understand that perhaps the path to being president for the whole country, to having high approval ratings for example, is to preserve some of those elements of the Obama legacy that have really become part of the fabric of both American domestic policy and foreign policy, for example.
Upending the Iran deal would be very difficult, it would be very complicated. It's an international deal. The Iranians will get a green light to go nuclear. And nobody else is going to re-impose sanctions. So the Americans will be isolated.
Similarly on Obamacare, it might look easy to repeal, but what do you do with the 20 million people? What do you do with the fact that people now expect insurance companies to cover anyone who has a pre- existing condition which is to say cover sick people?
COOPER: Your documentary is two hours, it airs tonight starting at 9:00, "The Legacy of Barack Obama", and you interviewed the president for it. What do you think President Obama believes his greatest successes have been?
ZAKARIA: In his mind, there's no question I think that Obamacare is the single most important thing he's done. He thinks that -- he believes -- I think with some justification, seven presidents tried to do this. Theodore Roosevelt is the first to talk about universal health care and he actually got it done. He is as aware as anybody else of the limitations. He would argue a lot of them were forced on him, that will compromises he had to make.
ZAKARIA: But at the end of the day, he got it done. And he -- I think my guess is, the Trump question that you were asking is probably more than anything else about Obamacare.
COOPER: Keeping at least parts of it.
ZAKARIA: Keeping parts of it. And, you know, by the way he was very clever in the conversation by keeping those core elements of it, essentially keeping Obamacare. So he understands that. And I think that he very much wants to preserve that.
On the foreign policy side, I think he has shifted the way America thinks about foreign policy and again I think he thinks that will endure.
COOPER: It's very interesting some of the things he admitted to you in this interview that he didn't see the rise of ISIS, the Syrian civil war, the devastation of it and the impact it would have on Europe. And that taunts him he said.
ZAKARIA: Yeah, I asked him at one point, I said your policy on Syria seems to ambivalent. And he said, it's because I am ambivalent. You know, in the sense he saying how cannot be, you've this terrible tragedy, on the other hand he doesn't think there is way that American military action will solve it. So you would just be investing, you know, jumping into a quagmire.
And so, his very aware of that. I asked him, do you think that keeping America substantially out of the Syrian civil war, is actually an achievement? Is that an accomplishment. And he said, yes, we have a bunch of very lousy options. And of on that list of lousy options, unfortunately that is the one I have to pick.
COOPER: "The Legacy of Barack Obama". Fareed, thanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that does it for us. And thanks for watching.
The CNN Special Report, "The Legacy of Barack Obama," a two-hour special by Fareed Zakaria, it starts right now. See you tomorrow.