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Trump Continues to Meet With Possible Cabinet Picks; Donald Trump's Businesses Pose A Conflict Of Interest; Donald Trump Continues To Tweet About "Hamilton;" U.S.-China Relations; Alec Baldwin Back As President-elect Trump. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 20, 2016 - 06:00   ET


[06:00:12] ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik in for Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. This morning President-elect Donald Trump is moving forward with another full schedule as he looks to fill up his administration. He says announcements could be coming today.

KOSIK: In just a few hours from now Trump and his transition team are going to be returning to meeting with potential high-level Cabinet appointees. So far he says the process is going well.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: Really efficiently. Very good. Tremendous talent. We're seeing tremendous talent for people that, as I say, will make America great again. These are really great people. These are really, really talented people.


KOSIK: Some notable names today, Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor who was recently removed from Trump's transition team. Also meeting with Trump today, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, and Robert Johnson, the founder of BET.

BLACKWELL: There's one meeting that caught the attention of the political world. You know what meeting, that with Mitt Romney yesterday.

KOSIK: They called each other almost every name in the book during the primary season. It was brutal. But now as Trump looks for a secretary of state, perhaps they're finding common ground.

CNN's Phil Mattingly has more.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Victor and Alison, look, there was one clear meeting that everybody wanted to know everything about here in Bedminster on Saturday. That was the meeting with Mitt Romney.

It wasn't so long that conman and choke artist, and all sorts of insults were flying back and forth on the campaign trail. Not anymore. For an hour and 20 minutes, Mitt Romney sat down with President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Michael Pence discussing primarily foreign policy. Of course raising the question, is there a potential position in a Trump administration for Mitt Romney?

Well, we haven't gotten any comment on that. But this is how Mitt Romney described their conversation.


MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OR MASSACHUSETTS: We had a far- reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance. We discussed those areas and exchanged our views on those topics. Very thorough and in depth discussion in the time we had. And appreciate the chance to speak with the president-elect and look forward to the coming administration.


MATTINGLY: Now it's important to know that Trump transition officials do confirm that Mitt Romney is in the running for something. People have been talking about the potential for a secretary of state slot. But again, we don't have any final answers on that.

There was another very interesting meeting that happened on Saturday here as Donald Trump continues to work towards filling out his Cabinet. That was with retired Marine General James Mattis. I'm told from a Trump transition official to give very close eye on General Mattis. That went for more than an hour. Longer than any other meeting but the Romney meeting and a very potential pick for Defense secretary.

Now James Mattis would need a waiver from Congress to actually get that position because he retired in 2013 but it's very likely as Republicans control Capitol Hill that would be in the offing if he was selected. Donald Trump himself saying that he is, quote, "the real deal." That they had a great meeting.

So, guys, don't just keep an eye on Mitt Romney. Keep eye on General James Mattis as well.

KOSIK: All right. Phil Mattingly, thank you.

I want to bring in CNN Politics reporter Stephen Collinson to talk more about this steady parade of people meeting with Trump this weekend.

Good morning to you. I want to begin with people that he is meeting with and start with a list. It includes Chris Kobach, he's the secretary of state for Kansas, Wilbur Ross who owns a private equity firm, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani is going to be there, Robert Johnson, who's the founder of BET. So in this sort of list -- laundry list of people, who stands out to you and where do you think they would fit in a Trump administration. STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Alison, I

think the name Chris Kobach is very intriguing. He was a Bush era Justice Department official who as an academic later he became a sort of intellectual fire power behind some of the more hard lined immigration measures that we've seen over the last few years in Arizona, for example. He's at the center of this debate about whether there would be a Muslim registry for Muslim immigrants coming to the United States. He warned during the campaign that sanctuary cities, places like Chicago and New York, would shield undocumented migrants, could lose some federal ground. So if he were dominated for a position, perhaps Homeland Security secretary.

I think you would see him as a lightning rod for the way the immigration debate develops during the Trump presidency. I don't think Democrats would necessarily be able to stop him but they would use him as a way to sort of get an early attack in against the Trump administration.

And then there's Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie. At one point it seemed that these two loyal tenants really during the campaign of Donald Trump were certainly going to get Cabinet posts.

[06:05:03] Rudy Giuliani, for example, appeared to want secretary of state, that appears less certain now so we're waiting to see just exactly where Giuliani and Chris Christie fit into the wider Trump orbit during the administration.

KOSIK: What about Robert Johnson?

COLLINSON: Yes, that's an interesting one. And I think it's symptomatic of the fact that Donald Trump doesn't necessarily sort of go down traditional routes. He was a very unconventional candidate. It looks like he's going to be a very unconventional president. He's going to take advice from places where you might not necessarily expect it. And I think, you know, having such sort of a prominent African-American sort of engage with him in this transition process is very interesting.

We've seen this procession in and out of Bedminster, the gulf resort, this weekend. We saw this procession of people out of -- in and out of Trump Tower. It's a very strange, unusual transition process. So the last two transition processes, the Obama and Bush transitions, were much more buttoned down. We didn't see this trail of people having their picture taken with the president-elect. So I think it reflects Donald Trump's style in many ways.

KOSIK: You know, I was reading this fascinating article in "The New York Times" about how Donald Trump is picking his Cabinet. In this report they say that Mr. Trump loves attention and the drama of a selection process. He sought to stoke it. A senior adviser describing the Romney meeting in part as Mr. Romney simply coming to pay his respects to the president-elect and kiss his ring.

Do you agree with this? And is this an indication maybe of how Trump could govern? COLLINSON: Yes, I think it is. You know, what we know about Donald

Trump is he's not the kind of candidate or president-elect and potentially president who sits there with a huge pile of briefing books, and works through them. He tends to get his information by interacting with people. He's a gregarious person.

I think one of the most difficult things that presidents experience when they go into the White House is they're in this bubble. It's very difficult to get different kinds of advice. So if President- elect Trump is talking to people like Mitt Romney who perhaps don't necessarily agree with him on many key things, that will be seen by a lot of people in Washington at least as a good sign is that he's not just going to get the sort of the -- sort of go into a circle of limited information that could sort of then chart the way he rules. So I think many people will see the fact that he's talking to lots of different people as a positive.

KOSIK: All right, Stephen Collinson, thanks for the insight on this selection process. Certainly very interesting.

And also today from chair of the RNC to White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus talks to Jake Tapper about his new role and what's ahead for the Trump administration on "STATE OF THE UNION." That's this morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on CNN.

And Donald Trump meeting with former primary rival Chris Christie after forcing him out of his transition team. But with his strange relationship with Trump's son-in-law and the bridgegate scandal still haunting him, what White House job is left for the embattled New Jersey governor?

Our panel is here to discuss what may be in store in this surprise meeting.

BLACKWELL: Well, one famed guitarist now demanding an apology from Broadway to Vice-president Mike Pence. We've got his message to the cast of "Hamilton."


ALEC BALDWIN, "SNL": Can I, guys, say something? I just want to thank you for all you've done. I wouldn't be president without you.


KOSIK: Oh, yes, the wig and all. He's back. Alec Baldwin returning to "SNL" as President-elect Trump.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. Trump, what are your feelings right now of how the process is going?

TRUMP: Really efficiently. Very good. Tremendous talent. We're seeing tremendous talent. People that, as I say, will make America great again. These are really great people. These are really, really talented people.


BLACKWELL: Well, President-elect Donald Trump is optimistic about building his new ministration, but today he has another round of interviews with a couple of surprising people for key Cabinet positions.

On the list, Chris Christie, the embattled New Jersey governor who just weeks ago was ousted from the transition team and reportedly was feuding with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. And when pressed about Christie's possible connection to deliberate ploy to snarl traffic to punish a political opponent in his state, he said this.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does Bridgegate disqualify Governor Chris Christie from being in your Cabinet, sir?

TRUMP: I like Chris a lot.


BLACKWELL: All right. This comes just a day after, quote, "a great meeting" with one of his harshest critics of the campaign, Mitt Romney.

Let's talk more about these meetings. Andre Bauer, former lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Donald Trump supporter with us, and Bill Press, CNN political commentator and was a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Good to have both of you this morning.



BLACKWELL: All right. So I want to start with this Romney-Trump meeting and, you know, there's the history, of course, of the criticisms back and forth during the election and they have seemed to put that behind them. But one issue that still separates them is Russia and Vladimir Putin.

I want you to listen to Mitt Romney during 2012 about Russia and Putin and then what Donald Trump said this cycle. Let's watch.


ROMNEY: First of all, Russia, I indicated, is a geopolitical foe. Not -- excuse me. It's a geopolitical foe and I said in the same paragraph, I said, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I'm not going to wear rose colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin. TRUMP: If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great

things about him. I've already said he is really very much of a leader. I mean, you can say, oh, isn't that a terrible thing? He called the man has very strong control over a country. Now it's a different system and I don't happen to like the system but certainly in that system he's been a leader.


BLACKWELL: So, Andre, if Mitt Romney is being considered potentially for secretary of state, how does he go out to the world and offer a full throated support for president's policy when Mitt Romney himself is very suspicious of Russia and Putin and we see a very different approach from the president-elect?

BAUER: Well, I think there's probably no one any more capable than Mitt Romney. He's a fine gentleman. He had a stellar record in the state of Massachusetts and clearly is a well-thought and well-spoken individual and the two of them will come together behind closed doors and come out with the best absolute approach to how we deal with what has been a foe for many years but hopefully we're able to extend an olive branch and at least have communication to try to move forward as two countries that are world leaders and have some problems that are unilateral that they need to solve.

[06:15:11] BLACKWELL: Bill, it seems like there's little overlap here on Russia and Putin.

PRESS: Well, I have to say, first of all, I have a high opinion of Mitt Romney, believe it or not. I didn't vote for him. I think he would be a huge asset to the Trump administration if he were offered that job, but I'm very skeptical, Victor. I think this is pure window dressing. So far we've seen that Donald Trump has just surrounded himself and given jobs to his loyal acolytes, you know, like Steve Bannon and Mike Flynn and Jeff Sessions and Mitt Romney is clearly an outsider, so I think he's -- this is not going to be any team of rivals we're going to see out of this administration. I think Mitt Romney was just there to -- as a Kumbaya moment and it's not going to go anywhere.

BLACKWELL: All right. So let's stay with you and this group of loyalists and Chris Christie certainly was one of them endorsing him immediately after he dropped out of the primary.

PRESS: Right.

BLACKWELL: He won't be AG. That's going to Jeff Sessions.

PRESS: Right.

BLACKWELL: He won't be chief of staff. That's going to Reince Priebus. Where does a Chris Christie go in a Trump Cabinet?

PRESS: Well, first of all, I feel sorry for Chris Christie. I don't know about you. I mean, he's been a loyal puppy dog for Donald Trump, right? He was the first of the rivals in the primary to stand behind him. We remember those awkward moments, when he was just standing there without saying anything. He certainly has put himself out for Donald Trump and now the son-in-law has dumped him over board because Chris Christie made a mistake, he feels, of putting his father in prison. Chris Christie is out in the cold. They're bringing him back today.

As for the job -- Victor, let me tell you this. It depends on whether or not Donald Trump has a sense of humor. If he has a sense of humor --

BLACKWELL: I know what you're about to say. I know what exactly --

PRESS: You know where I'm going. He will make him secretary of Transportation.

BLACKWELL: Secretary of Transportation. Yes.

PRESS: You've got it.


BLACKWELL: Andre, where does -- where does a Chris Christie go?

BAUER: My thought is secretary of Commerce or Health and Human Services. We know he's got the ability to lead. He is a trusted confidante. He's more than well prepared. But keep in mind, they have been friends for years and so Donald Trump is a guy that trusts his friends. He likes people that he has close -- that he has confidence in and we all know he has confidence in Chris Christie and so I hope that folks within the campaign won't stop the ability for him to surround himself with people that he can work with easily and doesn't have to go out and build this relationship.

BLACKWELL: All right. Andre, let me stay with you on Bob Johnson, founder of BET who will be meeting with the team today. And he wrote this letter to black America, this was after the election. Actually, just a couple of days ago. I'm going to read part of it. He writes to the Republican Party, "We say to you, even though you have ignored us or oftentimes actively conspired against our rights, we have no permanent enemies. To the Democratic Party, we say to you even though you have taken our vote for granted and often patronized us, we have no permanent friends."

He's quoting another representative who he was very fond of and knew, but let me understand from your perspective the importance of this meeting with Bob Johnson and if this is, as Phil said window dressing, or if there's a real role for him moving forward in the Trump administration.

BAUER: Well, I don't think it's just window dressing. If you look from the night of the election, you saw a magnanimous Donald Trump who has tried to reach out to -- if you look at the stock market, what it immediately did after Donald Trump gave a speech, you can see he's reaching out. He's becoming a -- basically he's rising to the occasion of president which even though I wasn't a big Obama fan, I think he did the exact same thing. You're going to see Donald Trump continue to elevate, continue to move

towards the businessman that he's been but the president he'll be to reach all folks, try to cross party lines, try to go to folks that have not historically been Republican supporters and say, look, let's work together. Where can we forge alliances? Where can we make America a better place to live, work and play?


BAUER: And I think this absolute fundamental part of taking that business perspective where you've had to be in the board room and you work with different folks that could have been not customarily a person that would have been your friend that you were always working with and he's reaching across that aisle and saying, look, let's come together, let's make something happen. So I am excited about what I see happening with Donald Trump and his leadership skills.

BLACKWELL: Bill, there are some critics, though, who say that this plays into the window dressing narrative that rhetorically Donald Trump might have been very magnanimous since election night but the choices of Bannon, of Sessions, of Flynn, these aren't by some communities seen as choices that are reaching out to a broader country, a broader electorate.

PRESS: Well, first of all, as somebody in the media, I've always had huge respect for Robert Johnson. I think he's a giant in our industry. And I think the fact that he would meet with the president- elect is very important for both of them.

[06:20:05] I don't see any job in the administration that he would either accept or be offered.

But back to your point, Victor, I think I hear what Andre is saying. I don't see that at all. What I see is a very closed group of hard liners that Donald Trump, despite this theory that we were going to see a kinder, gentler Donald Trump once he actually was elected president, it hasn't proven true. I mean, he's -- the people that have been most loyal, hard liners like him, those around him, you just mentioned the names. They're the only ones so far that have gotten jobs.

I think we've seen that Donald Trump is, in fact, more radical or as radical as we thought during the campaign.

BLACKWELL: Bill Press, Andre Bauer, thanks for being part of the conversation.

PRESS: All right, thank you, man.

BLACKWELL: All right.

BAUER: Meet your (INAUDIBLE) Sunday.

BLACKWELL: All right.

KOSIK: OK. Donald Trump says the cast of "Hamilton" owes Mike Pence an apology and at least one famous musician agrees. Guitarist and "Soprano" star Steven Van Zandt, he's going to be weighing in.

BLACKWELL: Plus, experts warned Trump's foreign business ties may violate the Constitution. We'll tell you which clause could be a big problem for him.


BLACKWELL: In Washington protests outside a white nationalist conference turned violent after members of the group, look at this, have clashed with the demonstrators there. One member of the white nationalist group was injured.

The conference was being hosted by the alt-right National Policy Institute.

KOSIK: Plus, in New York, vandals painted swastikas and "go Trump" on playground equipment at the Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn.

[06:25:02] The park is named after a member of the rap group, the Beastie Boys, who died of cancer in 2013. The graffiti was quickly painted over with images of hearts and flowers. And this morning there will be a rally at the park. The Beastie Boys tweeted fans to take stand against hate messages.

BLACKWELL: The musician Steven Van Zandt is calling for the creator of "Hamilton" to apologize to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The E Street Band guitarist says the cast made a mistake by giving a speech to Pence on Friday night. Now after their performance the actor asked Pence to, quote, "uphold our American values."


BRANDON DIXON, "HAMILTON" ACTOR: We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.


KOSIK: Van Zandt said that speech was inappropriate and a form of bullying. He tweeted this, "'Hamilton' made a mistake. Audiences shouldn't have to worry about being blindsided like that. Theaters should be sanctuary for art to speak." Van Zandt continues, "When artists perform the venue -- when artists perform, the venue becomes your home, the audience are your guests. It is nothing short of the same bullying tactic we rightly have criticized Trump for in the past. It's taking unfair advantage of someone who they -- who thought they were a protected guest in your home."

A lot of strong feelings with that situation.

BLACKWELL: Yes, a lot of these feelings coming from the president- elect himself who was tweeting about "Hamilton" yesterday. All right. Let's talk about this clause in the Constitution. Pretty

obscure. It may affect Trump's foreign businesses and his interests there even after he becomes president.

KOSIK: Plus, President Obama takes his last trip abroad as president and tries to reassure the world and world leaders about a Donald Trump presidency.


KOSIK: Mortgage rates picked up this week. Have a look.



ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back and good morning. I'm Alison Kosik sitting in for Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this morning.

KOSIK: Donald Trump is gearing up for a very busy day.

In just a few hours he has more meetings scheduled to pick out who will get a spot in his cabinet. On tap today New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani among others. Trump also told reporters there may be some announcements today.

BLACKWELL: Yesterday he met with Mitt Romney who you'll remember called him a phony and a fraud. Well, the transition team say -- quote -- "They had a substantive and in depth conversation about world affairs, national security and the future of America."

Mr. Trump is also saying that he is very interested in having retired General James Mattis serve in his administration.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Mr. Trump, what are your feelings right now of how the process is going?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Really efficiently. Very good. Tremendous talent. We're seeing tremendous talent. People that, as I say, we will make America great again. These are really great people. These are really, really talented people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Is General Mattis going to be Secretary of Defense?

TRUMP: Well, we think he's a great guy. I mean, he is some -- he is some great man.


KOSIK: OK. So Donald Trump is about two months away from becoming president, but it's still not clear what he plans to do with his businesses once he takes office.

BLACKWELL: So the question is what could be potential conflicts between his businesses and his administration. CNN Money correspondent Cristina Alesci takes a look for us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Place your left hand on the Bible and raise your right hand and repeat after me.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president has sworn to preserve, protect and defend the constitution.




ALESCI: The conflicts of interest between Donald Trump's businesses and his presidency could spark a constitutional crisis. How? President Trump could run afoul of an obscure section of the constitution, the Emoluments Clause.

RICHARD PAINTER, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER UNDER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: That's been in there ever since the founding of the country and could lead to a serious constitutional crisis if there were to be an accusation.

ALESCI: It bars government officials from accepting payments and gifts of any kind from any king, prince or foreign state.

TRUMP: I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?

ALESCI: What we do know is that Trump's business relationships span the globe. And foreign governments can play a big role in private companies in places like China, Dubai and Russia. And there are even questions state side.

According to "The New York Times" the Trump organization is partly on the hook for a $950 million mortgage, one of the lenders, The Bank of China, which the Chinese government controls.

TRUMP: You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower. I love China.

ALESCI: So could a mortgage be a gift under the Emoluments Clause?

PAINTER: A bank loan from for example The Bank of China, if that loan is to be renegotiated, the question is going to come up, is it an arm's length transition or is it not?

ALESCI: A lender, for example, could sweeten the deal by reducing the collateral or lowering the interest rate. NORMAN EISEN, SPECIAL COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ETHICS UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Imagine the following situation. You have a large foreign government that has a government-owned enterprise. That government decides that it's going to put an extra $100 million bonus in a contract, that would be a violation. Even if Mr. Trump didn't ask for it.

ALESCI: Trump's solution is to have his kids run his business.

MICHAEL COHEN, SPECIAL COUNSEL TO DONALD TRUMP: The children, Don, Ivanka, Eric, they're really intelligent, they're really qualified.

ALESCI: But ethics lawyers say that's not a fix.

PAINTER: Well, that won't solve the Emoluments (ph) Clause (ph) as well. The question is whether you're getting a gift from the foreign government or the foreign -- a government controlled company or not. You can't just say it's a gift to a blind trust by my son. I don't think that's going to fly at all.

ALESCI: It may, in fact, fly for now simply because Trump will be a Republican president with a GOP controlled Congress.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government.

ALESCI: But that might not always be the case.

PAINTER: The Democrats ever got control of the House or the Senate --

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: We will go toe to toe against the president-elect whenever our values or the progress we've made is under assault.

PAINTER: That could lead to a very serious situation and an attempt maybe at impeachment.

ALESCI: Christina Alesci CNN Money New York.


KOSIK: OK. Let's bring in CNN politics senior reporter Stephen Collinson. Good morning again.

You know, we want to talk more about this Emoluments Clause that is in the Constitution because there is no law per se that prevents a government official, in this case the president, from avoiding conflicts of interest. They just have to wanted to avoid those conflicts of interest.

So it's questionable whether Trump is going to step away and put that separation between his businesses and the presidency. So there's no law but there is this Emoluments Clause. Could the Emoluments Clause result in an impeachment at some point if Trump is found to do anything that is wrong?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well in theory it could. But I think this whole argument points to the real difficulty that the Trump campaign and the Trump presidency is going to have getting away from this issue and making it so it's not a constant distraction from the presidency.

There has been a lot of talk for example about the new Trump hotel in Washington D.C. in the old post office building on Pennsylvania Avenue just a few blocks from the White House. Just to sort of let you know what a strange occurrence this whole thing is. When Donald Trump is sworn in on January the 20th, his motorcade will pass that hotel with his name on it on the way back to the White House.

So there are all sorts of questions being raised about this. For example, if you're a foreign leader, why would you not if you wanted to carry favor with Donald Trump book and stay at his hotel when you visit Washington instead of the guest house at Blair House or a different hotel? The hotel is actually leased from the general services administration which looks after government facilities by the Trump organization.

Donald Trump would, therefore, in effect become his -- the tenant and the landlord because the general services administration will be part of the government which he heads. So you can see there's this real labyrinth of business relationships and webs that will interact with politics that will make it very, very difficult for the Trump operation to separate itself from the Trump presidency. And we don't really know exactly how Trump is going to deal with this so far.

KOSIK: Yes. He's kind of running out of time because to unwind some of these deals is going to take time. I think about an office building on Avenue of the Americas where Trump is carrying a $950 million loan. The Bank of China is one of the lenders.

He's got to start thinking about how to put that wall up between Trump business and Trump president, doesn't he? I mean, he is running out of time?

COLLINSON: That's right. And it's not clear how much work has been done on that aspect of the transition even as Trump, as you know, is starting to staff his administration.

Another key question is so if he were to hand his businesses to his children in what he calls a blind trust which many experts say would not be a true blind trust, how does that lend -- intersect with the children being his advisers? His most close advisers perhaps in the administration. So there are so many things we don't know. This is going to be a consistent theme through the transition and into the presidency.

KOSIK: Yes. Until he does something about it, it certainly will dog the Trump presidency for a long time if he doesn't separate the two. Steve Collinson, thanks so much.

BLACKWELL: All right. The president-elect is up and he's tweeting. Is he tweeting about his transition? No. Is he tweeting about the future of America and his plans? No. He's tweeting about "Hamilton" again.

KOSIK: He's not speaking --


BLACKWELL: "The cast and producers of "Hamilton" which I hear is highly overrated should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior."

This is the third tweet consecutive tweet from the president-elect of the United States on a weekend when he has more than a dozen interviews to fill his cabinet and cabinet level positions. And this is what he has tweeted about now three consecutive times.

We'll continue to talk about this but I want you to hear what the cast of "Hamilton" said. Here's part of it.


BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, ACTOR: We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.



BLACKWELL: All right. That from the actor playing Aaron Burr.

This is the tweet. "The cast and producers of "Hamilton" which I hear is highly overrated should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior."


We'll continue to talk about this tweet throughout the morning.

President Obama asking world leaders to give Donald Trump a chance but China is already warning about the dangerous effects of Trump presidency could have on the world economy.

KOSIK: Plus, you knew it had to happen. Just one last time.


ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: Big, beautiful boobs and buildings. Big, beautiful boobs and buildings. Big, beautiful boobs and buildings.


BALDWIN: Yes. What do you need, Kellyanne? MCKINNON: A time machine.


KOSIK: Alec Baldwin reviving his parody of Donald Trump this time as the president-elect.



TRUMP: I'll take jobs back from China. I'll take jobs back from Japan and every other country that's killing us. I'll bring the jobs back.


KOSIK: Bringing jobs back from China, just one of many ways Donald Trump said he would make America great again, but now China is warning Donald Trump that his actions could derail the global economy.

BLACKWELL: Now on the trail then candidate Trump promised to renegotiate trade deals in Asia and said he would put tariffs on Chinese goods so they would not be able to undercut Americans. That's a stark contrast to President Obama's view.

He has just been promising cooperation between the two countries that is meeting with Chinese counterpart in Peru. Let's go now to CNN correspondent Shasta Darlington live in Lima for us this morning. And the president trying to reassure countries around the world as they have so many questions about this incoming president-elect.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. We had President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in their final sit down together here in Lima where they call the relationship between these two countries the most consequential in the world.

We also heard from President Xi saying that he hopes for a smooth transition when president-elect Trump takes over the office. And that he hopes they can work together to focus on cooperation and manage their differences. That of course is not what we heard from Trump when he was on the campaign trail when he accused China of -- quote, unquote -- "raping the United States." Said that he would impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese goods if elected.

Now Obama, of course, took this opportunity to reassure the leaders from 21 APEC countries that there wouldn't be any wild swings in direction and he asked the world to reserve judgment. Take a listen.


OBAMA: My main message to you though and the message I delivered in Europe is don't just assume the worst, wait until the administration is in place. It's actually putting its policies together and then you can make your judgments.


BLACKWELL: All right. Shasta Darlington, we're hearing from the president as he goes on this final trip around the world, a lot of it reassuring those allies. Shasta, thanks so much.

KOSIK: Have you been watching "Saturday Night Live"? Alec Baldwin, oh, yes, he's quite the favorite.


MCKINNON: Mr. Trump.

BALDWIN: Yes, Kellyanne. What's the matter? Is there something on your shoulder?

MCKINNON: Yes. Olive dust.


KOSIK: Loving him in that role. Baldwin is back as Donald Trump, this time as a president-elect with a comic call take on the Trump transition.



KOSIK: "Saturday Night Live" and Alec Baldwin joining forces again to end what has been a comedic view of 2016 presidential race. Baldwin is back this week with his parody of Donald Trump no longer the candidate but now the president-elect.

Here's the actor's take on how the Trump transition is progressing.


MCKINNON: Mitt Romney is here.

BALDWIN: Really? OK. Send him in please.


JASON SUDEIKIS AS MITT ROMNEY: Hello. Mr. President-elect, thank you for taking the time to meet with me.

BALDWIN: Mitt Romney, so good of you to come.

SUDEIKIS: This isn't going to work, is it?

BALDWIN: I don't think so.


MCKINNON: Mike Pence is here. BALDWIN: Great. Perfect.


BALDWIN: Heard you went to see "Hamilton." How was that?

BENNETT: It was good. I got a free lecture.

BALDWIN: I heard they booed you.

BENNETT: Absolutely.

BALDWIN: I love you Mike. You're the reason I'm never going to get impeached.


KOSIK: Or maybe he is the reason. Maybe they do want him in there instead. But that's for another day.

Joining us now to talk about SNL is entertainment journalist Holland Reed. So what did you think? Did Baldwin nail it last night or was he as funny this time around as president-elect?

HOLLAND REID, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: You know, there was definitely something a little lackluster about the whole skit especially being a cold open. The audience response wasn't as, you know, robust as it usually is. And I think that has to do with now this is no longer just a joke but this is our president-elect.

And so Alec Baldwin I think actually nailed it. He's always so good as Trump, but I don't know if he was holding back or if it was just maybe his own opinions. He's an outspoken Hillary supporter. So maybe he was feeling some type of way about playing the now president.

KOSIK: But he got this job now to parody Donald Trump. He's in it. And, you know, I thought that was funny.

Kellyanne Conway showing kind of regrets, right?

REID: Absolutely. I mean, he's definitely in it. But Alec Baldwin and his wife have said that it will not be a regular thing moving forward. They have a child on the way and they are saying that time is the reason why he won't be a regular -- or we won't see him as often playing Trump down the road.

But, yes, Kate McKinnon was absolutely downplaying I guess the excitement that Conway was supposedly as far as being the reason why Trump is in office. She made it seem like, oh, god, I can't believe I did this. A little bit (ph) (INAUDIBLE) which I thought was an interesting take for SNL to have.

KOSIK: Do you think maybe the muted response from the audience is because SNL is maybe getting too politically involved in this? Shouldn't they maybe to take a step back and just kind of find the humor in all of this? REID: You know, I don't think -- SNL has never been a stranger to politics. They absolutely -- I think they're equal opportunists when it comes to making fun of politicians and any type of -- you know, whether it's a debate or whether it's an election.

I don't know if they took a stance. I didn't see it that way but I guess if you're far left or far right and your candidate is being made fun of, you definitely are going to feel a certain way about that. But SNL -- their job is to make people laugh. I don't think one way or another they went in last night thinking they were making a statement. I think they're just putting out there what a lot of people think and that I can't believe this happened.

KOSIK: Well; I'd say Alec Baldwin, keep coming on. I love you.

REID: Yes.

KOSIK: I love the wig. I say you'll spend time with your kids but we want to see you on SNL.

REID: Totally agree, Alison.

KOSIK: Holland Reid, thanks so much.

REID: Thank you.

KOSIK: Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. A pair of college football teams face challenges ahead of next week's showdown. Andy Scholes has more for us this morning -- Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Victor, with just one week of games remaining, the college football playoff picture didn't get any clearer yesterday. The number two team in the country pushed to the limit.



BLACKWELL: Ohio State and Michigan are on a collision course that comes to a head next weekend.

KOSIK: Andy Scholes has more on the epic college football showdown in this morning's bleacher report. Good morning.

SCHOLES: Hey, good morning, guys. You know what? I would not want to be on the playoff picture -- playoff committee this year. It's going to be so hard to pick four teams. This season especially. Someone is going to end up being mad.

Second ranked Ohio State and third rank Michigan, both in position to make it. But they of course play in the game next weekend. So one of them likely going to be eliminated.

In the meantime though, winter has arrived in college football. Snowy conditions for many of the games around the country yesterday. In East Lansing, Michigan State giving the Buckeyes all they could handle. The Spartans scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to one. And head coach Mark Dantonio makes the gutsy call, hey, we're going for the win, we're going for two. The pass intercepted by the Buckeyes. The Ohio State avoids a huge upset for the win, 17-16.

Now the snow coming down in Ann Arbor. Check this out. Cheerleaders having some fun near the end making some snow angels on the field. Now there's plenty to celebrate for Michigan in this one. They were able to rally to beat Indiana 20-10 to improve (ph) the 10 and 1 on this season. And that's going to setup a huge match-up with Ohio State next Saturday. Now this year's game is going to be in Columbus.

Finally, Florida (INAUDIBLE) playing the Hurricane Matthew makeup game. The team getting in a little scuffled during warm ups. You can see running back Leonard Fournette giving Florida (INAUDIBLE) a little shove there. Now he was originally going (INAUDIBLE) with injury but decided to suit up after all that pushing and shoving. But Fournette didn't really make a difference in this one. (INAUDIBLE) actually have leaving the game in the second half with an injury. It all came down to one play, fourth and goal from the 1 with three seconds left. The Gators stopped the Tigers. They win 16-10. Florida now going to play Alabama in the SEC championship game in two weeks in Atlanta.

I'll tell you what, guys, Alabama, they're undefeated. They're probably the only team that's a shoe in for the playoffs once they make that decision in a few weeks here. But it's going to be a wild final two weeks of college football. I'd tell you that.

BLACKWELL: And snow already.

SCHOLES: I know, right?


SCHOLES: ... November you see all that snow...


SCHOLES: ... I'm glad I live in the south.

KOSIK: It's supposed to be snowing.



BLACKWELL: When the New Yorker comes down to Atlanta, it's supposed to be snowing.


BLACKWELL: No, it's not.

(LAUGHTER) KOSIK: Thanks, Andy.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Andy.

KOSIK: And thanks for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: We have a lot more ahead in the next hour of your NEW DAY. It starts right now.

KOSIK: Good morning, I'm Alison Kosik sitting in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

And president-elect Donald Trump is moving forward with a full schedule as he looks to fill his administration.


He says announcements could be coming today.

KOSIK: In just a few hours Trump and his transition team will return to meeting with potential high level cabinet appointees. So far he says the process is going well.