Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Shouting Match Between Trump Aides, Clinton Aides; Long Time Trump Supporters Weigh In On President-elect; CNN Film "Enlighten Us" Premiers Saturday At 8p.m. ET

Aired December 2, 2016 - 12:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[12:30:02] MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, there has been a lack of accountability on the part of the Democrats and the Clinton campaign and a really up and down up through the party, through the entire election. Hillary Clinton was a historically terrible candidate. Her unfavorable numbers are through the roof and yet her party was never able to actually acknowledge that house seats were lost, senate seats were lost, even after the election.

They don't want to acknowledge. You know what? We got this wrong. We didn't talk to the right voters, we didn't campaign in the right -- we didn't go to Wisconsin. There were voters -- we got 5 million fewer voters than Barack Obama did. There were Obama voters in places like Michigan that's switched to Trump, and yet a month after the election, their campaign people say, well, this is about racism and, you know, giving a platform for white supremacist. There is a complete outer tone deafness there and lack of accountability, and their party is going to have to really ask themselves some tough questions, clearly they're not ready to start doing that yet. They want to blame other people for it.

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Mike, what have you think that Hillary Clinton was just the worst thing since sliced bread and that's absolutely not true. Look we do have some issues. There were some real miscalculations in this election. Notably, hat people did not turn out Millennials, and talk directly to Millennials, Millennials across the spectrum, Millennials of color. They didn't make white working class voters connected with other working class voters. So there are black working class voters, Latino women, Asian- American, but the fact to the matter is white supremacy was given a platform in this election.

Thanks to the Trump campaign, the Alt-right, was elevated these (inaudible) elements that people rarely talked about or brought right into the mainstream, thanks in part to Steve Bannon and with his website, Breitbart. So I am proud of a Jennifer Palmieri said last night and I stand behind that part of what she said.

BRIANNA KEILA, CNN ANCHOR: May I challenge both of you on this? Because these two allegations are not mutually exclusive, and I wonder, for Republicans and certainly for those in Donald Trump's immediate orbit, When you win, there is this push against maybe wondering what you could've done better, because you won. And yet, isn't it also true that Donald Trump and those around him may not have disavowed this white nationalism, anti-semitic nebulous group of people who are supporting him and is it also true that maybe Hillary Clinton was not a strong candidate and that she didn't connect with voters?

SANDERS: I will be the first one to say that the electorate told you what they wanted during the primary. They said they wanted to talk about the issues. They care about the economy, but we also care about some of these social deficit things and we want to tell you our plans. I worked for the Sanders campaign, Bernie Sanders did that. He didn't -- clearly didn't do it enough to win the broad swath of the Democratic electorate in the primary, but he spoke directly to them. The Clinton campaign did not pick that up. They didn't talk directly to Millennials. They didn't have -- so there is a real miscalculations, yes on that part, but it is unequivocal that there was elements racism, of discrimination, of white supremacy and I would just like, Donald Trump, again, use the Twitter fingers. He has attacked everybody from the "New York Times" to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but we have yet to hear him talk about White Supremacist.

SHIELDS: Well, I know why Trump denounce this is, how many times can you denounce and he said it last night in his speech, there were over 60 million people ...

KEILAR: I mean, Mike, we're talking about during the election.

SHIELDS: But 60 million people voted for Donald Trump. Republicans up and down, local Republican activist going to victory centers, working through the RNC ground game are now tell you that the other side would rather paint all of these voters as if there were some sort of alt- right takeover of the party when that's ...

KEILAR: I don think. And look that's -- and I just want to be clear. I want to be clear. That is ...

SHIELDS: Celebrating Fidel Castro in the last couple of weeks that the Democrats Party ...

KEILAR: That is not the point, no.

SANDERS: Not at all.

KEILAR: I just want to be clear about -- that is not the point of what I am saying. I am not saying that all of Donald Trumps supporters should be ...

SHIELD: But when pulmonaries goes there. When her reaction to the entire election is, well, you know why we lost? You gave a platform for these groups. That's absurd. That is painting a broad brush to every Republican in the country, every Trump voter in the country and it really ruins think credibility in the argument.

KEILAE: I want to play something else. And you make a good point, because this is not just one reason why things went down the way -- this is a complex situation, which is why the election surprised everybody and resulted as it did. Listen to Kellyanne Conway and one of Hillary Clinton's chief strategists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOEL BENENSON, CHIEF STRATEGIST FOR CLINTON: Listen, you guys won. That's clear. You won the Electoral College, that's the currency. But let's also be honest. Don't act as if you have a popular mandate for your message. The fact to the mater is that more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. So let's put it in ...

KELYANNE CONWAY, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR TRUMP: And there was nothing that said the road to popular vote anywhere, hey, guys, we won. You don't have to respond. I man, seriously. Hold on, why is there no mandate? You've lost 60 congressional seats since President Obama got there. You got, there is more than a dozen senators, a dozen governors. 1000 state legislative seats

BENENSON: We're talking about this election Kellyanne.

CONWAY: No, no you still have no mandate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: I have to say when it comes to the depletion of the Democratic Party does Kellyanne Conway have a point?

[12:34:54] SANDERS: Look, the Democratic Party we have to build a bench. And so we need to focus on party building, we need to focus on reaching out, finding viable young robust candidates, and that necessarily hasn't been the case over the last eight years. So I'm not blaming Barack Obama, I'm not saying that our message isn't working. We need to build a bench.

KEILAR: Does Joel Benenson have a point? And if Donald Trump did not win the popular vote and he got a historically sort of low amount of support here?

SHIELDS: We don't have a popular vote election. Score gets run up in places like California. We have a target state election.

KEILAR: That's right. It's just he have a mandate. Does he have a mandate?

SHIELDS: Absolutely as a mandate and Barack Obama's lost over a 1,000 state legislative seats since he's been in office. And so when you look -- when you put all that together, there is a clear mending not just for Donald Trump but for Republicans in Washington right now.

SANDERS: I have to beg to differ.

KEILAR: All right, but I think you're both making good points and I think there's a lot of introspection that needs to happen own both sides, we'll see fi that does happen, Symone, Mike, thank you to both of you.

Next, supporters of President-elect Trump tell us, the conflicts of interest for some call concerning. They're not worried about it. They trust Trump, but there might be a woman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN "NEW DAY" CO-ANCHOR: You're willing to give me he's better for the doubt and if you find out ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That he violated that trust. Then we'll feel differently

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:40:22] KEILAR: During the course of the 2016 race CNN spoke with a lot of Donald Trump supporters, we wanted to hear why they felt so passionately about him. So we circle back with some of them following the election and CNN's Alisyn Camerota sat down with them to talking about the carrier deal before details about it were released. She also discussed a potential conflict of interest in the trump administration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: The headline today was that Mr. Trump has made it a company that was thinking of going to Mexico, able to stay here in the United States. Want to stay here in the United States.

SUSAN DELEMUS, (R) NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Carrier. You're referring to carrier.

CAMEROTA: Yes, yes, Carrier yes. Carrier air conditions are going to keep 1,000 of their jobs here in Indiana. Some will go to Mexico, but 1000 workers will stay here. That's a coup. We don't know that much about the deal. What they were offered in order to keep the jobs here. Do you want to know more about that?

PAUL DIBARTOLO, TRUMP SUPPORTER: You know, from the beginning, Donald Trump had said that he was going to make fantastic deals, and he was going to persuade companies to invest in America, and invest in the American people. OK? He's proven that early on.

CAMEROTA: So if they were given some sort of financial inducement to stay here, let's say they were subsidized somehow, would that bother you?

DIBARTOLO: No. It wouldn't bother me. The key right now and Trump's primary focus is putting the American people first. That's all he cares about. Trump in a lot of ways reminds me of a hero of mine, which is General Patton. OK? I think since World War II, there hasn't been a hero for America like Patton was, and I think Trump is the new hero for America.

CAMEROTA: But, John if there were some sort of subsidy given, we don't know what the deal is, but if there were, I thought that the free market didn't pick winners and losers. Remember that?

JOHN HIKEL, (R) FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Yeah, I remember that well, but I think a lot of businesses and things that we do in this country is subsidized from petroleum to many companies, government contracts.

CAMEROTA: So are you as conservatives OK with that? The subsidies?

DIBARTOLO: No subsidizing. I can almost guarantee you he wasn't subsidized, you know, this is a common company.

HIKEL: Drive through these towns and throughout the country and there are empty factories everywhere.

CAMEROTQA: Oh yeah.

HIKEL: That we should've -- somebody should have taken the initiate to save those companies and have them stay here instead of moving offshore.

CAMEROTA: Conflicts of interest. So Mr. Trump has something like 144 businesses, all around the world. Does anyone have any concern that that will complicate his dealings in the White House?

HIKEL: No.

DIBARTOLO: Not at all. He's got a, a family that, I mean, when you look at these folks, when you look at his kids talk about raised right, or he's going to release the business interests to them. OK, because they're totally capable. And so there's not going to be a conflict of interests because he's not going to be directly involved.

CAMEROTA: OK, but just -- help me understand this. Substitute the word Ivanka for Chelsea Clinton, and if Chelsea Clinton were going to be running the Clinton global initiative or the Clinton foundation, why would that have bothered you, if Hillary had won, why would that have been a conflict of interests?

DELEMUS: Because Chelsea is the product of government. She's the product of parents who have done nothing but make money off the people, and in government and in politics.

CAMEROTA: Well, they made money after he left the presidency. And he sold books and he gave speeches. Donald Trump has made money from selling ...

DELEMUS: They've never been involved in politics, they have nerve used the -- he's never had that political background.

CAMEROTA: Why is it that you're totally comfortable with Donald Trump's family being able to have these other business interests that we deal with in terms of U.S. policy, and that's OK, but it wouldn't be OK for Bill and Chelsea Clinton to have had that same deal?

HIKEL: I think because Mr. Trump has disclosed his so-called conflicts around the world.

CAMEROTA: How?

HIKEL: Well, by coming out and saying that he owns some of the best real estate and some of the best businesses in the world. CAMEROTA: But he didn't release his taxes. So you don't know exactly what the level of connection is to some of these places.

HIKEL: And what's the purpose of releasing his taxes anyway?

CAMEROTA: To see the conflicts in interest.

HIKEL: I don't agree with that. I don't think that shows up.

PAULA JOHNSON, (R) FORMER HAMPSHIRE STATE REPRESENTATIVE: He wasn't in politics. Next year I'd like to see his tax return when he is president. But, right now he's private. I'd like to see every member of congress show us every tax return and so they can prove that they're paying their taxes, because we know some of these hypocrites down in Washington don't pay taxes.

[12:45:00] CAMEROTA: OK.

DIBARTOLO: It comes down to trust. People trust Donald Trump. OK? Even if they don't admit to it, because, again, their party affiliation, they, behind closed doors, they rust him. They trust him as a businessman. He's had a solid career. People do not trust Hillary Clinton.

JOHNSON: No.

DIBARTOLO: Genuinely, know she's crooked Hillary, even the people that supported her.

HIKEL: And she violates that trust.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: Basically you're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and if you find out.

HIKEL: If he violated that trust, then we'll feel differently.

DIBARTOLO: Donald trump is not doing this to become rich like the Clintons and a lot of other corrupt politicians. He's doing this for the sole reason to make America great again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Coming up, it was a self-help retreat that went terribly wrong. Three people died in a sweat lodge ceremony led by self-help Guru, James Arthur Ray. Ray was a prison, but now he's out and he's talking about what happened on that day and why he wants to get back into self-help?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:49:55] KEILAR: A one-time self-help guru, a very successful one is trying to make a comeback, despite going to prison after some people died following his advice. James Arthur Ray shot to fame on talk shows teaching his philosophy of physical discomfort to overcome adversity. Convicted of negligent homicide, after three deaths in his sweat lodge retreat, Ray is now free and wants to get back in the game. A new and fascinating CNN film follows James Arthur Ray's rise and fall. It's called "Enlighten us" and it premiering on CNN this weekend. Here's a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was so, so, so intense. You couldn't breathe. In the fourth round I said, I had had enough and I crawled over and James is at the door. And he's like, Beverly, you know, you can do this. You can do this. You're stronger than this. You can get through this, you know, play for long.

JAMES ARTHUR RAY, FORMER GURU: As a good mentor that they paid me to be, I would say, come on now. Come on. You can do this. Can't you? Come on. You can, stick it out. You know, I would encourage them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like, yeah. OK, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What am I doing here? Why am I putting myself through this? What is the point of me, you know, sitting here with all these other people? And is it worth it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had to leave. But then I was sitting there blaming myself. Like, Holly. Is there something wrong with me that I wasn't able to, like, stick it out?

UNIDENTIFIED RAY: Yes, there were people having a hard time, but every year there were people having a hard time. You know? To me, it was no different than running a marathon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Glad to have the filmmaker behind "Enlighten us" with me here. Jenny Carchman. Jenny thanks so much for talking to us about this. That last thing that you hear that gentleman say, it was like running a marathon. Certainly we know and we also know there are risks with that as well, but there were certainly many risks with what happened here. And there's a lot of interest now in James Arthur Ray. Why does he think that people are going to follow him again?

JENNY CARCHMAN, FILMMAKER, "ENLIGHTEN US: THE RISE AND FALL OF JAMES ARTHUR RAY": It's a great question. I think that he thinks he has a lot to say after having been through this experience. And I -- I think if you ask him, he would probably tell you that.

KEILAR: OK. So he has a lot to say, but he's someone who -- was found responsible for three people who died at his retreat. Does he feel responsibility for that?

CARCHMAN: You know, I -- again, it was a question you would have to ask him. I think he says he's responsible. He uses those words that he's responsible, whether or not he actually feels responsible, I think he has to say for himself. But I think he's using that language.

KEILAR: OK. So what do we learn from him in the film about his perspective on what happened and how that relates to him going forward?

CARCHMAN: Sure. Well, in the film, you see him looking at this experience as something that's happened to him. And you hear him talk about this experience as something that he has had to overcome in his life. And what I found when I was filming him, and he's done several speaking engagements, w since we started filming with him is that that's what he is trying to communicate to his, to his audience is that, he's learned from this experience and he is trying to get on with his career because of it.

KEILAR: OK. So that strikes me, when you say that he talks about this as something that has happened to him. We know -- when you -- you mean, like, the deaths of these individuals? Or -- going to jail? Because when you say that, and if that's really how he is characterizing it, it seems to me that that could be by some people I'm assuming they look at that and feel that is something that could be pretty narcissistic, when we're talking about people three people who's lives have been lost and none of them are Ray's?

CARCHMAN: I think you're right. And I think the point of the film is to have audience members watch what he says and how he behaves and come to their own conclusions. I certainly made a film that's asking a lot of questions. Not necessarily answering them for you. The idea of the film is that you can watch James and you can hear what he has to say and come to that decision yourself.

He just talk about the experience of the sweat lodge and also the experience of going to prison as something that he's learned from. I mean, exactly what you said. So he is -- using those experiences in his -- in his talks in which you'll watch throughout the film as way to try to connect with his audience.

KEILAR: And I certainly do appreciate that this is something that you've sort of asked the questions and you're letting people judge for themselves. When he reflects back on what happened, does he -- the idea of the sweat lodge. Is that something that still factors into something that he thinks should be practiced as he moves forward?

[12:54:57] CARCHMAN: He has said on camera that he would not practice the sweat lodge moving forward. I, you know, I don't know what he will do, and I have to take him at his word, but has said that publicly.

KEILAR: Yeah. It's really fascinating, this film. Jenny Carchman, the filmmaker behind this. We really appreciate this. I'm finding this incredibly interesting just talking to you. So I'm not going to miss this wither. This is on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and we certainly appreciate you Jenny, sharing this with us. Thank you.

CARCHMAN: Thank you so much. Thanks.

KEILAR: And thank you so much for watching "Newsroom." "Wolf" starts, right after a quick break

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:59:52] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 p.m. here in Washington, 8:00 p.m. in Damascus, Syria, 9:00 p.m. in Mosul, Iraq, wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.

Up first, President-elect Donald Trump gets back to transition business after arousing campaign style rally. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made the first Stop on their thank you tour in Cincinnati, Ohio last night. Trump use the ...