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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump About To Rally Supporters In Wisconsin; Trump Names Rep. & Former Navy SEAL To Head Interior Dept.; Trump Picks Rick Perry To Head Energy Department; Rand Paul: "Open Mind" On Trump's Secy. Of State Pick; Trump Now Getting Intel Briefings 3 Times A Week; Kanye West Visits Donald Trump; Ceasefire in Aleppo, Reports of Women & Children Executed. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired December 13, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:02] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: "Erin Burnett OutFront" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, bracing for battle. Republicans claiming Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of State as Trump names Rick Perry to head a department he once famously forgot. Plus new details tonight about who is giving Donald Trump his daily intelligence briefings. Is he the reason Trump is so skeptical of the CIA? And death threat against the college professor whe she called Trump's election an active care in the classroom. Free speech or hate speech? Let's go "OutFront."
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. "OutFront" tonight, the breaking news, Donald Trump is about to speak live in Wisconsin tonight. He's taking his victory tour to a state that pretty much everybody predicted he would lose, appearing with Wisconsin own Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Now, Trump's plane is expected to walk off of that plane any moment right there as you can see on the tarmac there in Wisconsin. His rally is to be right outside Milwaukee and it comes as Trump is facing a battle even within his own party over his new cabinet picks just announce today.
The newest name just coming out before the show, Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke. He is for Secretary of the Interior. The former Navy SEAL frequently votes against environmentalist on issues ranging from coal extraction to oil and gas drilling. He was an early Trump supporter.
Trump also formally announcing his Secretary of State pick, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Tillerson selection facing fire storm of criticism from Democrats and at least four leading Republicans, all of whom could hold the key here to whether this nomination goes through, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and James Lankford.
McCain, slamming Tillerson today for accepting an Award of Friendship from Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) SENATOR: Frankly, I would never accept an award from Vladimir Putin because then you kind of give some credence and credibility to this butcher, this KGB agent, which is what he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Name for Secretary of Energy today, the former Texas Governor Rick Perry who, of course, you may remember, forgot the name of the department he is now been picked to run. He had plans to eliminate it.
Jim Acosta is "OutFront" at the Trump rally in Wisconsin. Now Jim, do you expect Trump to respond at all to the reaction to Rex Tillerson at that rally where you are tonight?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, I have talked to aides of Donald Trump who say, yes, the president-elect will be talking up the man he has selected for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
You know, Erin, aides to the president-elect, they're not looking back to this election that occurred on November the 8th, although later on tonight we're going to be seeing how Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on stage as Donald Trump affix voters on the state that ended up in his column on election night. Those aides to the president-elect, they're looking forward to what could be a very pivotal battle up on Capitol Hill over the selection of his Secretary of State.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Donald Trump is facing a gusher of questions over his pick of Exxon CEO, Rix Tillerson for Secretary of State. Trump aides are already crafting their defense of Tillerson, who's forged such a close relationship with Vladimir Putin cutting oil deals in Russia that he accepted a Friendship Award from the Russia leaders just three years ago.
SEAN SPICER, RNC COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR: I think if we want to get things done in Russia we need somebody who has a relationship not just with Putin, but from other world leaders.
ACOSTA: While Tillerson is being praise from GOP heavyweights like Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Bob Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Republican Senators, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Marco Rubio are all expressing doubts.
Rubio said in his statement, "While Rex Tillerson is a respected businessman, I have serious concerns about his nomination."
Fueling those worries, the U.S. intelligence communities recent findings that Russia was hacking into the Democratic Party to boost Trump chances. The Tillerson nomination could give Democrats an opening to probe further. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: I'm more concern and I'm just trying to figure out exactly what happened, how it happened. This is a fight for the soul of our democracy.
ACOSTA: Even as Trump's adviser see a case of sour grapes.
SPICER: In the same way that we agree that no one should interfere with our elections, we can equally agree that Donald Trump won resoundingly by the rules of the game that were established. He will be the next president.
ACOSTA: And Tillerson could cause other headaches, as an oil man who sounded the alarm over climate change, something Trump once called a hokes (ph).
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE: The risk caused by rising greenhouse gas emissions could prove to be significant. So it has been ExxonMobil's view for some time that it is prudent to take action while accommodating the uncertainty that remain.
ACOSTA: Trump has one other (inaudible) topping former Governor Rick Perry to become Secretary of Energy. Perry recently an energetic contestant on "Dancing with The Stars" once famously forgot he wanted to eliminate the Energy Department in a debate.
RICK PERRY, (R) FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: Let's see, I can't. The third one, I can't, sorry.
[19:05:05] ACOSTA: Trump says he's so busy filling out his cabinet that he's suppose running a news conference he scheduled for this week to explain how he'll hand over his vast business dealings to his children. Instead, the president-elect tweeted two of his children, Don and Eric plus executives will manage them. And that no new deals will be done while his in office.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT-ELECT: I don't want to do deals, because I want to focus on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And CNN has confirmed that Donald Trump has tapped Montana Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke to be his next Interior Secretary and there are other auditions at Trump Tower in Manhattan earlier today. We understand that Katrina Pierson, the former Campaign Spokesperson was there to pitch herself for Press Secretary, as well as other administration positions. Erin?
BURNETT: Audition, I guess is the right word given what we're seeing ...
ACOSTA: Yes it is.
BURNETT: ... in all the public discussion when you get your picture taking coming out on that elevator. Thank you so much to you, Jim.
As we're getting ready for Donald Trump, could Rex Tillerson's nomination to be Secretary of State be stopped in the Senate? I mean this is a big question, whether this is going to through or not. Manu Raju is "OutFront."
Manu, look, this is a crucial position, perhaps, the most crucial position, right that Donald Trump had to select. Do the Democrats have enough power to block Tillerson's nomination or not?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: By themselves they don't, Erin. They are 48 Democratic senators, however, if enough Republicans defect and vote no, they could block the nomination. And already all they need is three Republicans to defect on the floor of the Senate and then Rex Tillerson may not be the next Secretary of State, already four Republicans voicing some level of concern about Tillerson's ties to Russia.
Now on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that margin even narrower with the 10 Republicans to 9 Democrats, only one Republican needs to defect. And, already, Marco Rubio who sits on that committee says he has very serious concerns.
We're going to look after other wild cards on the committee including Rand Paul of Kentucky. What will he do, but the Democrats and the committee are so far united signaling that they're probably going to object and oppose his nomination.
BURNETT: All right, pretty amazing. And we're going to be talking about to Rand Paul in just a moment, Manu and see what he says to that question. But, you know, this also comes as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker who is, of course, also in the running to be Secretary of State now says he's going to go ahead, launch review into whether Russia meddled in the presidential election to help Donald Trump. So he didn't get the job and went straight -- it seems like to the other side, at least on a Russia issue.
RAJU: You know, he doesn't say that was his motivation. I had a chance to talk to him earlier today. He said that he wants -- he planned to launch this some time ago. This is going to be the third Senate committee to go after, to dig in to what happened in Russia and its involvement in the elections. And earlier today, he had a chance to talk to Jake Tapper about why he is deciding to do this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB CORKER, (R) FOREIGN RELATIONS CHAIRMAN: I think any time we have a country that is attempting to discredit our democracy. It's an important issue for us to pursue. That go -- that (inaudible) to his benefit that is what he's trying to achieve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Now, Corker's committee is going to move pretty quickly in January to try to confirm Tillerson assuming there is enough support try to get him did -- is done by January 20th by the time that Donald Trump takes office.
But, Erin, I can tell you, I asked Bob Corker about Tillerson and why we praised him, called him a great joy. He also didn't know much about his views about Russia so expect that, of course, to be a huge line of questioning during the confirmation proceedings.
BURNETT: Absolutely. Manu, thank you.
And "OutFront" now Republican Senator from Kentucky and former Presidential Candidate, Dr. Rand Paul. Senator, thank you for being with me tonight. You've said you're going to reserve judgment on Rex Tillerson's nomination for Secretary of State. What exactly do you need to find out about him?
SEN. RAND PAUL (R) KENTUCKY: You know I have an open mind. I want someone who agrees with what Donald Trump said he campaigned on and that was that regime change hasn't worked or made us safer, the Iraq war was a mistake and that really nation building is not something we should be in the business off. And I don't know about Tillerson, so we will ask those questions.
But I think those are important because if we don't learn from the mistakes of the Iraq war, we'll continue to repeat those same mistakes. I think Donald Trump gets that and I want his Secretary of State, too, also.
BURNETT: And you have been vocal in your criticism of that war. Obviously, ExxonMobil was able go in after that war, but Rex Tillerson is now going to be Secretary of State as an individual on a very different role.
We do know, through, the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pushed President-elect Trump on Tillerson, the former Vice President Dick Cheney praising Tillerson as a co-inspired choice. Does that give you any pause? These, of course, were two of the biggest defenders of the Iraq war now supporting Tillerson.
PAUL: You know, we'll have to wait and see. So I definitely will ask.
PAUL: The one person that is come up for undersecretary I know I'm opposed, too, which is John Bolton because he still - we called him an unrepentant supporter of the Iraq war. Tillerson, I'm agnostic. I don't know yet.
[19:10:03] And so I will ask those questions and I think for Donald Trump's sake he should want to pick someone who actually agrees with him and has the world view that says maybe our intervention have and always lead to more safety or security for the United States.
BURNETT: You have also been very critical of Vladimir Putin, Senator. You wrote the president, "Russia's President should be isolated for his actions." You wrote this in time. You continued to conclude with, "Let me be clear, if I were President, I wouldn't let Vladimir Putin get away with it."
Rex Tillerson as we all now know is very close to the Russian President. They did a major multi-billion dollar deal together. Putin gave Tillerson Russia's order of friendship. Marco Rubio came out and tweeted, "Being a friend of Vladimir is not an attribute. I am hoping more from the Secretary of State." John McCain came out and was even stronger than that. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: Anybody who is a friend of Vladimir Putin must disregard the fact that Vladimir Putin is a murderer, a thug, a KGB agent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Are they right? Is what they are saying fit with your point of view?
PAUL: Well, you know, I think that we maybe overstating the friendship aspect of this. He got some award called Friendship Award or whatever, but the thing is he's the CEO of a major international company and his job is to make deals.
And he's been -- I think he's made deals with 50 different countries. I don't think that means that he accepts Putin's world view or as a supporter of what Putin has done in his country to suppress the media or invade other countries.
I suspect that Donald Trump will negotiate from a position of strength in any diplomacy, but I do want a diplomat who talks. I want a diplomat who is open to negotiation. So really that's what I'm looking for. Not someone who is going to be easy on Russia, but someone who understands the carrot and the stick approach to diplomacy. And so I think that you have to be determined and I'm going to keep an open mind on it.
BURNETT: The -- you sit on the Foreign Relations Committee, of course, Senator. Today, your Chairman Bob Corker said he is going to review Russia's hacking of the elections. And as, you know, the president-elect says the CIA's conclusion that Russia hacked the election with the goal of helping him win is false. He has been categorical about that. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think it's ridiculous. I think it's just another excuse. I don't believe it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is Senator Corker right to launch the review? Or is the president-elect right that this is ridiculous?
PAUL: You know, I think that we need to be aware that countries that can do cyber attacks do and that the majority of nations that have this capability are doing it to each other as we speak, so we have defend our country and we have to be prepared for that. I do think, though, there are a certain amount of sour grapes in this and people is trying to make excuses for Hillary Clinton's loss. For example in Kentucky, 70 percent of Eastern Kentucky voted for Donald Trump, but I don't think it had anything to do with the Russians. It had to do with their disagreement with the regulatory war on coal that cost us 20,000 jobs. So I don't think the Russians influence the election. They might have hacked in to Hillary Clinton's e-mail ...
PAUL: ... but that kind of goes back to the point if she'd have had them on a government server maybe they couldn't hacked into her e- mail, so I don't know.
There's a lot of things to go around that need to be looked into and I'm all for looking into it for our own security sake, but I think we should get, you know, let the election be over and there's winners and losers and let that be and let's try to, you know, work on some things for the betterment of the country now.
BURNETT: Look, you sound very gracious about Donald Trump. You're open to Rex Tillerson. You're open to his view on the CIA, but, of course, Senator Paul, you and Donald Trump clashed aggressively during the campaign. Our viewers may have forgotten some of this, but I haven't and I want to play a little bit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: First of all, Rand Paul shouldn't even be on the stage. He's number 11. He's got 1 percent in the polls.
PAUL: He isn't a person for whom we should be showing respect. He's a person for whom we should be showing disdain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is Donald Trump, President-elect Donald Trump someone Senator Paul that you are going to be able to work with now?
PAUL: Well, campaigns are obviously rough and tumble and we had our moments, but, yes, I think I will be and, you know, I worked with President Obama. You know, I am who I am no matter whether it's a Republican president or a Democrat president.
I've also vowed that I'm not voting for a Republican budget no matter who's for it if it never leads to balance and that's going to happen on January 3rd when we come back here. So, I am someone who represents a conservative state, a conservative position, balance budgets, no more addition of debt and also someone who believes in some of the things that Donald Trump has talked about in foreign policy that we should have less intervention overseas.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Senator Paul. I appreciate your time tonight.
PAUL: Thanks Erin.
BURNETT: And "OutFront" next, the man giving Trump his daily intelligence briefings doesn't work for the CIA, he works for Trump. If he why Trump is slamming America's spies? Plus a college professor receiving death threats after calling Trump's election an act of terror. Was that free speech or hate speech? And could Kanye West be a headline performer at Trump's inauguration?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the President-elect of the United States. Nothing to say?
KANYE WEST, AMERICAN RAPPER: I just want to take a picture right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:17:59] BURNETT: Tonight, we're learning who is giving Donald Trump his intelligence briefing, his pick for National Security Adviser General Flynn is leading the charge. We're learning tonight, Trump is getting three presidential daily briefings a week that compares to President Obama's six. Now we know Flynn is personally involved, is he also the man behind Trump skepticism of the CIA? Barbara Starr is "OutFront."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The open warfare that has erupted between Donald Trump and the CIA has long been festering. But where did the bad feelings come from? Many say looks no further than Trump's National Security Adviser, Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.
LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET.), TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I am deadly certain that we cannot win this war unless we are free to call our enemies by name, radical Islamist and failed tyrants.
STARR: Flynn's convictions have only grown since he was forced out as director of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. For his part, Flynn has also expressed his views that the intelligence community is too political, especially the CIA in the fight against terrorism.
In 2010 while still serving as a Senior Officer, he published an article criticizing the state of U.S. intelligence operations in Afghanistan. Intelligence officials also say the DIA under Flynn wanted more access to documents on Osama bin Laden. Intelligence officials say everyone had full access.
CNN has learned that CIA was so furious at Flynn for publicly disclosing shortfalls, it complained to the Pentagon which had signed off on what Flynn wrote.
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: General Flynn looks at the CIA because it's a civilian agency. He looks at it with a great deal of suspicion.
STARR: Retired Colonel Cedric Leighton works for Flynn.
LEIGHTON: The way I look at this is that the CIA is not as actually not as political as General Flynn thinks it is that CIA is very much in tune with a lot of the developments around the world.
[19:20:10] STARR: For its part, many in the intelligence community are aghast at some of Flynn's outside the mainstream views that he has shared with Trump.
FLYNN: Islam is a political ideology. It is a political ideology. It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion. I don't see a lot of people screaming Jesus Christ with hatchets or machetes or rifles shooting up clubs or hatcheting, you know, literally axing families on a train.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: Now, General Flynn has also said that he knows that there are signs in Arabic on America's border with Mexico pointing the way for potential terrorists to enter the United States. Erin, that is a claim that has never been verified.
BURNETT: All right, Barbara Starr, thank you very much. And, you know, in fact, the other day we were talking to the head of the border control union who supported Flynn sentiments on that issue. He's worried about illegal immigration from the Muslim world to the southern border, but he said he absolutely seen no such signs at any point on that border.
John Avlon is with me now, Editor-In-Chief to "The Daily Beast," Jamie Gangel, our Special Correspondent, Salena Zito, "Washington Examiner" Staff Reporter, and "New York Post" Columnists, Philip Bump is also with us, "The Washington Post" Political Reporter.
Let me start with you, Philip. OK, so here's what we know. Donald Trump is getting briefings three times a week, but General Michael Flynn is getting them every day and then he intern is absorbing what he's heard and going and briefing Donald Trump. So a lot of what Donald Trump is hearing is going through the learns of General Michael Flynn.
PHILIP BUMP, POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Right.
BURNETT: That makes him incredibly influential.
BUMP: Yeah. I mean for this point of the pre-presidency, right?
BUMP: I mean, they obvious wants Donald Trump is actually in the White House and we have a lot of folks around him, people from the military support that will also be able to get his ear when they need to. Yes, for this period of time, Michael Flynn is the filter that Donald Trump is getting a lot of his intelligence information through and this is a lot of the stuff aiming (ph) that a lot of the stuff is going to be new to Donald Trump. This is not his background.
He's new to politics and so he's going to be getting some of this information for the first time through the lens of Michael Flynn. And Michael Flynn is not necessarily reliable lens. There are new reports that he is to be known for his Flynn facts, which is a sort of point of fancy related to what was actually going on. It's a little unusual.
BURNETT: Salena, someone I know who has briefed Michael Flynn himself several times in Syria and Iran in his prior job that one the comments was, "He oppose the things to say, but on the issue of briefing General Flynn has almost no idea what he's talking about on most geopolitical issues outside the narrow scope of the counter- terrorism."
SALENA ZITO, STAFF REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Right.
BURNETT: Everything comes through that one very narrow lens. Is that a good thing?
ZITO: Well, probably not. I mean, I think common sense will tell you it's not. You know, we're early in on this, as Philip mentioned as the administration grows and sort to starts to meld together and web together, Trump will likely broaden his point of view.
One of the things that I do know about Trump is that he is incredibly curious, but he is also very prone to changing his mind all the time. So he might take Flynn's -- Flynn right now has his trust and he might take Flynn's word for what it's worth at this moment. But I also think he's adaptable to learning new things from other people if he feels is though he's not getting exactly what -- if he's not getting broadest amount of information he should be getting.
BURNETT: What are you hearing?
JAMIE GANGEL CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So people I talked to roll their eyes when you talk about Flynn and they're very concerned. The other thing, let's all remember, Flynn was one of Donald Trump's first choices. So, you know, he listens to him, he cares ...
BURNETT: He trust -- he is very clear as a personal choice, yes.
GANGEL: That said, I'm told that what everyone is waiting for is when Donald Trump CIA director is there, and General Mattis, I'm told one of his conditions for taking the job was that he would have a direct line to Donald Trump and he will. And so, you know, as Philip said, this is going to change after January 20th.
JOHN AVLON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE DAILY BEAST": Look, General Mattis is a hugely respected figure across and probably the best ...
GANGEL: Who is the nominee for Department of Defense? AVLON: Exactly, right. The difference is proximity to power. The National Security adviser is in the White House every day with the president. And if you have a president who's liable to make statements or decisions based on whom he last spoke to, the National Security Adviser is far in the way the first among equals. And, look, General Flynn is a hugely accomplished counter-terrorism, you know, lead general.
BURNETT: Yeah, everyone ...
AVLON: Absolutely and hugely conversant and if he butted head with other intelligence agencies in that effort, that maybe a future not a bud. The problem is when he starts waiting into conspiracy theories or things that he doesn't have a firm grasp on an echoes (ph) directly believe are the free world that's a real problem. And if, you know, he surrounds himself with good people that may mitigate, but I wouldn't say that Mattis will be able to keep Flynn in check that I think we should ...
[19:25:01] BURNETT: And, you know, on this issue, General Flynn has more than once spoken about Islam and he does not distinguish and it is clear, he is chosen not to distinguish between radical Islam and broader Islam. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLYNN: We are facing another -ism,' just like we faced Nazism and fascism and imperialism and communism, this is Islamism. And it is a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet and it has to be excised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Could that kind of thinking get into Donald Trump's head? By the way, the Donald Trump who originally proposed an overriding ban on Muslims, which he sense backed down on?
ZITO: Well, no one has certainly dead in that conversation, right?
ZITO: You know, yes, it's possible that it could get in his head. But the one thing I have noticed about Trump and not only in covering him, but also in the people that surrounds him is he does -- he loves to get various points of view. He loves to get -- bounce different ideas off with someone.
So, you and him, you're both having conversation and you tell him something, you know, black is the new color for ties. And he says, "Oh, OK. I'll buy a tie." But then he goes and talks to the next person (inaudible), "You're not wearing a black tie, I'll be ridiculous." And so he'll absorb that. He has no problem changing his mind and that's the thing that is hopeful in this situation. BURNETT: Right, it could be a really good thing and a really bad thing, right? You want someone to change your mind, but not with whatever the last person in the room said it and much as, of course, the line (inaudible) to walk.
All right, thank you all. Next, the California professor forced into hiding, threaten with death after she's caught on video ranting against Donald Trump in the classroom. We have special report from the ground. And Donald Trump on his meeting today with Kanye West.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you guys discuss in your meeting today?
TRUMP: Just friends. Just friends and he's a good man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:30:26] BURNETT: Tonight, a college professor forced into hiding receiving death threats after she was caught on tape in her classroom ranting about President-elect Donald Trump. This recording was taken at a class at Orange Coast College.
And now, we're going to show it to you. Students coming out.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our nation is divided. We have been assaulted.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's professor Olga Cox secretly recorded, lecturing to her Orange Coast College students not on the day's lesson but Trump's election.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an act of terrorism. One of the most frightening things for me and most people in my life is that the people committing the assault are among us.
LAH: The professor's words spoken in her class on human sexuality and recorded shortly after the election is now fuel for conservatives, outnumbered on this liberal California campus.
JOSHN RECADE MARTINEZ: We obviously feel that at times we're ignored. Opinions don't really matter. They should not be bullied. They should not be facing, you know, ridicule.
LAH: The College's Republican Club posted the two-minute video from the anonymous student. Fury followed.
And threatening e-mails to professor Cox. "We'll put a bullet in your face. People like you will be the first ones slaughtered."
CROWD: We support free speech! We support democracy! LAH: Students supporting the teacher blame one person.
CATHY LOVE-DAVIS, FORMER STUDENT OF PROFESSOR COX: This all happened since Trump.
LAH: Trump has given young conservatives a powerful voice at typically left-leaning college campuses. Republican students at the famously liberal University of California-Berkeley, so outnumbered on this campus, Republicans think twice before speaking up.
(on camera): How many of you are reluctant to share your political believes on campus?
So, almost everybody.
(voice-over): The Berkeley Republican club's Trump cutout was eventually left in tatters by vandals. Post-election, they say they face open hostility and it is only getting worse.
But many Orange Coast College professors say disagreement is a part of learning.
ROB SCHNEIDERMAN, PRESIDENT, COAST FEDERATION OF EDUCATORS: The faculty at Orange Coast College do not believe that student such fragile beings that they need to be coddled or they need safe spaces where they don't hear the political views that they disagree with.
LAH (on camera): Why didn't the student just talk to the professor and have a exchange of ideas like the classroom should be?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're completely right. But when the teacher is going in there and not really allowing anybody to have that sort of dialogue, really trying to make it sure that they have a perception that every single person in that room is a liberal, do you really want to stand up in a roomful of your peers close to 200 students? You know, I personally wouldn't.
LAH: The union that represents professor Cox says she's so terrified by the death threats that she's moved out of her home and out of the state of California temporarily. This is finals week at the college. The administration says it does not have an answer on whether or not the professor will be returning to the campus next semester. The administration has also begun an investigation into this, speaking with the still unidentified student who recorded the video as well as the professor -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you.
And OUTFRONT now, Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, and Ben Ferguson, a conservative radio host.
Ben, let me start with you. The professor calls Trump's selection an act of terror.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. That's a mild part, right?
BURNETT: You just heard her say that in class. Free speech or would you go so far to say hate speech?
FERGUSON: Well, I would say one it is hate speech. But I also would not want to be a conservative on this campus. And if you want to know who's being targeted around the country, just look at all the conservatives that are being targeted.
You couldn't speak out in this class if you're a conservative student. You'd be afraid your grade is going to be affected. And if you voted for Donald Trump, she basically says that you are supporting state- sponsored terrorism, that you are supporting a terrorist.
Not only, she also goes on to say we're in a civil war in this country, because she didn't get her way. And this wasn't in a political science class. That has nothing do with her class at all. This is a rogue teacher intimidating students yet again on a college campus and saying that if you disagree with me, you are a terrorist. And that's pretty shocking. She shouldn't have her job anymore.
BURNETT: What do you say, Keith? This is a class on sexuality or something.
FERGUSON: Not on politics.
KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I'm just shocked at every thing that Ben said. The idea that this guy sitting next to me.
FERGUSON: Not shocked that she called Donald Trump winning an act of terrorism, that doesn't shock you, but what I said?
BOYKIN: I'm shocked you support a guy who's now president elect who went on television --
FERGUSON: That's not -- let's --
BOYKIN: -- and talked about Mexicans and accused them of being rapists, who accused Muslims of being terrorists.
[19:35:00] FERGUSON: Some Muslims are terrorists.
BOYKIN: Who bragged about women -- sexually assaulting women and talked about pussy grabbing and you are --
BOYKIN: And you are offended by a little known teacher in Orange -- let me finish. You are offended by a little known teacher in Orange County who you've never heard of before, but you are not outraged by the zillion things Donald Trump has said throughout the past year and a half. What hypocrisy.
(CROSSTALK) FERGUSON: It's not hypocrisy. OK, first off let me say this.
BURNETT: Go ahead, Ben.
FERGUSON: Liberals always claim they are, quote, tolerant. But you are completely intolerant to anyone else winning. You are completely intolerant to anyone else's viewpoint. And you're completely intolerant to any student who may actually support Donald Trump.
And then what do you say? You say they're racists, bigots, homophobes, xenophobes, terrorists, that you're ashamed to be an American. That's what this teacher said.
And if you have young kids in America in a college, you should be able to feel safe to actually say you vote forward Donald Trump without either failing a class or having a teacher say that you are a terrorist.
BOYKIN: I can't even wrap my head around all of the discombobulation that came out of your mouth there, because what really happens is it the conservatives are the primary ones who've been saying for decades that you don't deserve safe spaces. That college is supposed to be a place where you are challenged.
I teach at a college -- let me finish. Please let me finish. You are so worried about people having an opportunity to speak. Let me have an opportunity, because a lot of people of color don't have opportunities to speak.
BOYKIN: Will you let me finish? LGBT don't often have a chance to speak. And college is one of those places where they do have that place, and all we have one single teacher expressing her viewpoint.
BURNETT: The very specific question though. Should she have said that? This is a question on human sexuality? Whatever that means as a college class.
BOYKIN: It was shortly after the election she gave her opinion and she did it in a conciliatory -- if you listen to the entire video, which I encourage you will do, she did it in a very conciliatory faction.
BURNETT: OK, let me play the whole civil war part, because she said, let's talk about it. Here's the rest of what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROF. COX: We're really back to being a civil war, and I don't mean it in a fighting way but our nation is divided clearly as it was in Civil War times. And my hope is that we will get some good leadership to help us to overcome that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOYKIN: She said very clearly I don't mean it in a fighting way. She's talking about our nation being divided --
FERGUSON: -- non fighting way?
BOYKIN: Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were is? Was that --
BURNETT: Should this teacher have in the classroom come out with her own point of view?
BOYKIN: Yes, yes, yes.
BURNETT: It's one thing to hear your student to have their point of view, but to come out and say --
BOYKIN: I teach at Columbia. I speak my point of view sometimes. And I often speak other points of view, including the point of view of Donald Trump or conservatives because I'm not. But I think the classroom, especially the social science classroom, is a place for argument and disagreement. It's a place for debate.
FERGUSON: There was no debate here.
BOYKIN: Yes, it is a place to express the opinion of the professor as well. As long as everyone understands that the rules of the engagement have to be about respect --
BOYKIN: I went to Dartmouth in the eighties when conservatives were running the college. And I went there because it was a conservative campus. I liked the idea of having a debate with people who disagree with me. I liked having professor who disagree with me.
BOYKIN: -- for conservatives like Ben to sit here and complain about not having safe spaces when they are --
BURNETT: Ben, quick final word.
FERGUSON: First, this wasn't a debate with the teacher. This wasn't a safe place for this teacher. This was a teacher coming out and making it very clear that if you are a student and you vote forward Donald Trump that is an act of terrorism.
BOYKIN: That is not what she said. You have a safe place in the classroom. FERGUSON: Let me finish. It is not a safe place in the classroom if
you come out with your opening statement and you say that Donald Trump being elected is an act of terrorism. That is not a safe place. And for someone who says we don't have a place for African Americans and others to talk about, what do you think it does for conservatives --
BOYKIN: You are more concerned about that --
BOYKIN: -- than what a small town professor says at Orange County and you are more concerned about this one Latina lesbian professor, but you are about the president elect of the United States. That is disgusting hypocrisy.
BURNETT: All right. Let's leave it there. Thank you.
And next, Kanye West at Trump Tower, will he perform at the inauguration. I'll ask the man who's charged with putting it all together.
And Trump names there more men to cabinet positions. Is his administration too male and too white?
And on a much lighter note, an orangutan in Texas expecting a baby.
[19:40:02] Yes, you will see why this is in the show. Wait until you see what is on her registry. Jeanne Moos, of course, will have that tape.
BURNETT: Tonight, Kanye West revealing new details about his meeting with Donald Trump. West was a vocal supporter of Trump, tweeting, the two men discussed multiple cultural issues like bullying, supporting teachers and the violence in Chicago. One thing West would not comment on is whether he's been tapped to perform at Trump's inauguration.
Tom Barrack is the chairman of Donald Trump's inaugural residential committee. He's also, of course, a close friend of Donald Trump, has known him for more than 30 years.
So, there was -- you know, this meeting this morning of Kanye West and Donald Trump. Is Kanye West going to be part of the festivities that you are planning?
TOM BARRACK, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL COMMITTEE: No, no.
BURNETT: No? OK.
BARRACK: Kanye and Donald are good friends. Donald is a great admirer of Kanye, as we all are. But he's not performing at the inauguration. BURNETT: So you have been in charged of the planning. I know you've
been raising a lot of money, $75 million to finance all the things. You have four days planned. How is the planning going?
BARRACK: The planning is going great because I'm the best concierge and baggage claim person you can imagine. It's complicated, right? It's -- an inauguration is a tribute to the office. It is a tribute to democracy. It's a tribute to the only peaceful transfer of partisan politics that ever happen this is way in the world.
So, it starts on Tuesday and it ends basically on Saturday morning, with a cadre of very complicated events.
[19:45:06] But we're -- you know, we're hosting a couple of million people on site, in Washington.
BARRACK: A hundred fifty million people watching on TV during these events, and, you know, within that week 300 million or 400 million watching around the world. So, it's quite an event.
BURNETT: And you've been planning a lot of it. You've been also working with Mark Burnett, who knows Donald Trump very well. Obviously, producer of "The Apprentice", the creator.
What is Mark Burnett doing? We all know he knows how to produce a reality event, of which this is going to be one of the biggest ones, or the biggest one Donald Trump will ever be a part of.
BARRACK: Look, we have a great group of the Donald's visionary friends. Mark Burnett and Steve Wynn. And they bring a vision to silos of events and then produce them.
So, Mark has great chemistry with Donald. He knows him well. They did this for ten years.
BARRACK: So, he's taking one night. With Stephanie Winston Wilcox, who's one of the great event planners in the world, relentless, incredible woman. But the details are amazing, right? So, you -- the smallest dinner is 400 or 500 people. The largest dinner is 22,000.
BURNETT: Twenty-two thousand?
BARRACK: Yes. And we have three of them at one time.
So, being a party planner is very difficult. It is better than a cabinet job because it has a beginning, a middle, and an end, but to do it seamlessly and then to produce it for TV. So, it is different than just having a production as you know, than having TV.
And at the same time, everybody is working on the transition. The president's last choices have been awesome. And I think he's done it with considerate and thoughtful acumen. So, it's a lot going on at one time.
But this administration by December will have filled 80 percent of the most important jobs, which is far ahead of any other administration.
BURNETT: So, in terms of the numbers, they have filled a lot. I don't know if you just heard us. We were coming into the commercial. Trump -- well, today, obviously, announced two more picks. You got State and you got Interior. Both of them are white men.
So, now, you got all four of the most influential cabinet jobs, if you look at attorney general and state, defense and treasury, all white men. President Obama, there was a woman in there an African American. George W. Bush, Colin Powell was on the list.
Is this an issue for Trump? ?
BARRACK: Zero issue. Look, first of all, previous administrations had gigantic reservoirs of the qualified candidates with which to choose. So, if you look Hillary. Hillary could have chosen from a legion of President Obama's previous pick who were qualified, who were confirmable, who were interested and who were available and had some experience.
President-elect Trump started from scratch saying I'm going to find a reservoir of people who know how to use the system but are not of the system, and started from point zero. So, the idea was starting the main jobs with the most qualified people. Diversity obviously an issue across the fabric of the tapestry.
But at the beginning, getting those beginning jobs is getting the best qualified people. And it is happened. Steve Mnuchin is an unbelievable safe set of hands, and very, very smart dedicated loyalist at Treasury. Wilbur Ross at commerce. Rex Tillerson, I think a dream pick.
And all of this controversy around his relationship with Russia is -- you need experienced warriors, warriors who know where the hardware is, who know what the subtlety of a cultural sixth sense is, who know the issues of a historic basis have been, who are free of a bureaucracy.
So, you happen to pick in this man by chance an organization that's bigger than the State Department. State Department has a budget of $65 billion. ExxonMobil is $590 billion in assets, $65 billion in revenue, 50 countries around the world.
This man has negotiated, been a diplomat, run a business and has relationships with all of those people, which only to benefit. He's not setting policy. Congress is really setting policy.
BARRACK: So, it is a great opportunity.
And people who think, why is Russia the enemy? You need Russia to solve the Middle East crisis. You need them to respect the United States. But you need someone who understands how to green and harvest that respect.
So, I think you have to wait until the president has filled out his cabinet and then look at the menu of diversity and say was that proper --
BURNETT: So, quickly before we go, and John McCain seems very much against Rex Tillerson, says Vladimir Putin is a butcher, he's a murderer. He's a thug. Wrong?
BARRACK: I don't know. But it is irrelevant. You have to deal with him.
[19:50:01] Is that a statement of saying we're not going deal with him? Or you can go to war with Russia? I don't think that's a very knowledgeable or profound way to look at the world.
Donald Trump is a deal maker. He's going find places he can adjust honorably and make deals and I think he's done a great job.
BURNETT: All right. Tom Barrack, thank you very much.
And next, agony in Aleppo. Reports of women and children executed in their homes. Our special report coming next.
BURNETT: Breaking news: a delicate ceasefire in Aleppo tonight, as families caught in the cross-fire have been desperately trying to escape. U.N. citing accounts that forces loyal to the Syrian government and Bashar al Assad have shot and killed people in their homes, including women and children.
Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT on this breaking story tonight.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): In a fierce final push to retake eastern Aleppo, Syrian government forces sweeping former rebel-held areas. Their assault described this way by a U.N. spokesman.
JENS LAERKE, U.N. HUMANITARIAN OFFICE SPOKESMAN: In these hours, it looks like a complete melt down of humanity in Aleppo.
PLEITGEN: There are accusations of severe atrocities. The U.N. saying it has information that some 82 civilians, including women and children were executed by pro-government forces during their advance. Neither the Syrian government nor Russia have commented on the accusations.
After weeks of bombardment and house to house combat in which the pro- government forces took back most of the area the rebels held for years, an agreement to evacuate the remaining opposition fighters from the last small enclave they managed to hold. Russia's U.N. ambassador announcing the deal. VITALY CHURKIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. (through translator):
The Syrian government has established control over East Aleppo. So, now, the stages come for practical humanitarian initiatives.
PLEITGEN: After years of war, the once city of Aleppo now a post apocalyptic nightmare. Much of it reduced to rubble.
U.S. Ambassador the U.N., Samantha Power, laid full blame for the carnage on Syrian forces back by Russia and Iran.
SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Is there no act of barbarism against civilian, no act of barbarism against child that gets under your skin, that just creeps you out a little bit?
PLEITGEN: Many civilians trapped in the besieged areas clearly fearing pro-government forces, some posting farewell messages online.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Assad militias are maybe 200 meters away, no place now to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This may be my last video?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This might be the close to if not the last communication.
PLEITGEN: And this little girl, 7-year-old Bana Alabed who has emerged as one the voices of Aleppo.
BANA ALABED, 7-YEAR-OLD: Stand with Aleppo.
[19:55:00] Please stop the bombing.
PLEITGEN: And, Erin, it really is unclear how many of those civilians actually survived that final onslaught as it was going on throughout the better part of today, before finally that ceasefire and evacuation agreement was reached. And what's going on right now is that there are already buses lining up, waiting to take the first batch of people out of that last area there in Aleppo.
The latest we're hearing is apparently it's been delayed by a few hours. Right now, they say that in about three hours from now, they are going to bring out first and foremost those who are sick and those who are wounded, but there are many others still to come in this very pivotal moment in the ongoing civil war, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Fred, thank you.
And Jeanne Moos is next.
BURNETT: A Texas zoo will be holding a baby shower for a pregnant orangutan. They have created an unusual gift list. It is Christmas. Maybe you wouldn't want to help fulfill it. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Blankets and bowls and bubble bath that looks just like another baby gift registry at Target. But this registry is targeted at a couple of apes and their unborn baby.
Just type in the mom's first name, May.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her last name is orangutan.
MOOS: And up pop over 300 gifts, perfect for the orangutan parent, residing at Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas.
May's due date is the last week in January. What mom couldn't use a food processer or a baby monitor? What is an ape to do with CDs from Adele, Dolly Parton, and Simon and Garfunkel?
Who picked those?
LAURA KLUTTS, ZOOKEEPER: I did.
MOOS: Laura Klutts and another zookeeper went to Target and registered gifts for the public to buy the orangutans. The apes seemed to enjoy music. They like toys that keep them from getting bored. So, the keepers shoot bubbles at them. The orangutans tossed around hula hoops. There's even a full length mirror on the registry.
KLUTTS: So, they like to check out parts of her body she can't normally see. She'll turn around, she'll look at her back.
MOOS: Typical woman, if it's making or, you know, if her butt look big or what.
MOOS: Also on the registry, movies like "Tarzan".
The orangutans love watching movies. They plant themselves in front of the film and watch the whole thing.
But why so many air fresheners and what's with the Britney Spears fragrance. All of that is considered scent enrichment to spray not on the orangutans but on their things.
So, there is a chance that Britney Spears women's fantasy will end up their on sheets.
MOOS: So, imagine these hairy apes sitting around, listening to Adele, smelling like Britney conspiracy and relating to the ape taking care of baby Tarzan.
Jeanne Moos, CNN New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BURNETT: And thank you for joining us. Don't forget you can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere, on CNN Go.
We'll see you back here tomorrow night.
"AC360" starts right now.