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China Blames Taiwan For "Shenanigan" Trump Call; Juror: I Cannot Convict Ex-Cop In Killing; Trump Supporters Discuss Voter Fraud Suspicions; Dems Want Russian Hacking Intelligence Declassified; Educators Scrutinize Trump's Pick For Secretary Of Education Betsy Devos; Crushing Regime Offensive Continues In Aleppo; San Bernardino Mourns Mass Shooting Victims. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired December 3, 2016 - 06:00   ET




[06:00:23] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even before taking office the president-elect of the United States of America has in one phone call potentially changed more than three decades of U.S. diplomatic practice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump speaking by phone with the president of Taiwan, which is something no American president has done in nearly 40 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there was an expressway to cause a diplomatic up war with China, this would be the way to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President-elect Trump is fully briefed and fully knowledgeable about these issues on an ongoing basis because he's on the other end of the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some much larger than a breach of protocol. If the United States does not recognize Taiwan as a country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chinese will certainly see this as an infringement on what they see as their sovereignty.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to Saturday. We're always so grateful for your company. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Hey, I'm Martin Savidge. I'm so excited to be here. I'm in for Victor Blackwell. It's great to be with you. President-elect Donald Trump won on a platform where he promised to shake up (inaudible) in Washington. What do you know, it appears that he is doing just that before stepping into office.

PAUL: Yesterday, he chatted on the phone with the president of Taiwan. That exchange breaking with nearly 40 years of U.S. diplomatic relations with China. Now overnight, China is calling this, quote, "A shenanigan staged by Taiwan." Trump's transition team meanwhile says the president-elect

spoke with President (inaudible) of Taiwan, who offered her congratulations and then they went on to talk about the close political and economic security ties that exist between Taiwan and the U.S. that a quote from the transition team statement there.

SAVIDGE: But no president or president-elect, for that matter has spoken directly with the leader of Taiwan since 1979. Since then America has adhered to withhold its one China policy meaning that they considered Taiwan part of China.

PAUL: So I want to begin with more on China's reaction, the possible repercussions that could be involved here. CNN's Steven Jiang joins us live from Beijing. Steven, thank you so much for being with us. What is your first reaction when you hear about this call and the explanation behind it?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Christi, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry just issued a strongly worded statement saying the Beijing government has lodged a protest with what it calls the relevant side in the U.S. presumably meaning the Trump team.

The statement goes on to say, I quote here, "I must point out there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory. We urge the relevant side in the U.S. to adhere to the one China policy, abide by the pledges in the three joint China/U.S. communiques, and handle issues related to Taiwan carefully and properly to avoid causing unnecessary interference to the overall China-U.S. relationship."

Now, this is the ministry statement. Earlier on Saturday, the minister, the foreign minister himself made some remarks on this controversial phone call as well, and here's what he said, he said, "It was a shenanigan by the Taiwan side. It won't at all change the one China structure that the international community has agreed upon. I don't think it will change the one China policy that the U.S. administrations have adhered to over the years."

So, Christi, so far, the Chinese government seems to be giving the Trump team the benefit of the doubt by putting the blame on Taiwan for this very sharp reach of diplomatic practice. Now that's probably because China like many other people in the world is still trying to figure out the true meaning of this phone call.

Was it just blunder because the Trump's inexperience in foreign policy or was it something more significant signaling a major policy shift by the incoming White House? I think it's going to take them sometime to figure out.

That's why in the meantime, they're walking a very fine line by making their displeasure known without throwing the whole relationship into total chaos before Mr. Trump even takes office -- Christi.

PAUL: All right, Steven Jiang, we appreciate it so much. Thank you. SAVIDGE: All right, let's talk about this then with CNN Politics reporter, Eugene Scott, and reporter for "Talking Points Memo," Lauren Fox. Good morning to the two of you. Eugene, let me start with you, phone call, protocol blunder or is it something more than that? Is it really a big deal?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, I definitely think it's notable. I mean, this is something that we previously reported that is not common that hasn't happened in nearly 40 years, but what will happen from it remains to be seen. I think we saw people from Trump's team suggest that they would like to see warmer relationships with Taiwan during a Trump administration.

How they will go about that remains to be seen. They certainly believe that it's possible to do that without compromising the U.S.' relationship with China, specifically, Beijing. But the details regarding how that will happen haven't been made available.

[06:05:09]SAVIDGE: Lauren, Trump senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, was asked about this last night, the call that is, on "AC360." Listen to what she said.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: It's a matter of the executive committee. It's a matter of the president-elect, the vice president-elect, other advice to the transition making suggestions and we are happy to schedule the calls. It's a very orderly process to make sure that there's plenty of time for this phone calls and that there's proper briefing.

And so far they've just gone really well. He at least is having these private conversations giving a readout here and then about them. But not trying to make policy and not trying to make waves until he's actually the president in six and a half weeks.


SAVIDGE: So, Lauren, as you hear there, she says that this was, you know, private conversation, we are not making policy. What do you think?

LAUREN FOX, POLITICAL REPORTER, "TALKING POINTS MEMO": Well, I think that by having this phone call, you are in a way sort of realigning policy or at least sort of realigning the way things have been done for the past four decades. So, that may not have been the intention. I think it's very unclear what the intention was in this phone call.

Whether or not this was just a conversation. Whether this signals some kind of future warming with relations there. But whatever it was, it certainly has made the Chinese very concerned. We saw that statement from the Foreign Minister's Office.

And I think that's going to be something to watch for. I'm not sure if China is going to embrace U.S. and Taiwan's relationship warming over the next few years. SAVIDGE: Clearly --

FOX: They're definitely not, yes.

SAVIDGE: Eugene, Trump also tweeted -- actually, here's what he tweeted last night. He said, quote, "Interesting. How the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment, but I should not accept a congratulatory call?" He's got a point there.

I mean, if you would sell military weapons to Taiwan that effectively could be used against China to defend Taiwan and yet a phone call is considered much more of a breach of protocol. How is that?

SCOTT: Yes, the one China policy is kind of vague and unclear and open to interpretation for some developing countries, but what seemed to be consensus was that this type of phone call was not something that U.S. presidents or presidents-elect would be doing.

We do have relationships with Taiwan here in the U.S., but I think what's more important to many people who are in the economic side of advising saw a relationship with China and Donald Trump has campaigned on policy ideas that already put that at risk and this could further complicate the relationship with the country.

SAVIDGE: Lauren, last night, I believe it was the former U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill. He had some tough words about Trump and this call here.


AMBASSADOR CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE, EAST ASIA (via telephone): Eight years during the Reagan administration this never happened, four years during the Bush senior administration it's never happened. Eight years of Clinton, eight years of George W. Bush, and eight years of Obama. So this was a real break.

Obviously, it was an example of what is all too often happening now with incoming administration is the tendency to wing it. What I'm concerned about is that rather than acknowledge a mistake, they will double-down on it.


SAVIDGE: So, here's Trump, apparently, acting as Trump does. I mean, he came into the whole campaign pledge that he was going to shake things up. He was not going to follow the status quo. So what's wrong with Trump in the way of handling this? Again, it's a phone call.

FOX: Well, I think it's unclear at this moment, whether or not this was a blunder because he wasn't prepared. Whether he wasn't briefed correctly. Obviously, his campaign staff is saying that he's extensively briefed before these phone calls and they've all gone well or is this really signaling a change in direction? And I think if that is the case then that is a huge sign for

where U.S. relations with China might be headed. But if this was a blunder, I think it's something else entirely and I think we just don't really know at this moment which one of those it was. It might have been intentional. It may not have been. So I think there's still a lot of unanswered questions there.

SAVIDGE: And most especially China, it does not like those. Eugene Scott and Lauren Fox, thank you very much for joining us this morning.

PAUL: A near mistrial in a controversial murder trial. A jury deadlocked this morning in the case of a former South Carolina cop accused of gunning down a black man. Why at least one juror, we now have learned, is refusing a conviction?



PAUL: It's 12 minutes past the hour right now. Deliberations in the murder trial of a black man shot and killed by a former Charleston, South Carolina police officer will continue on Monday now because the jury just could not come to a unanimous decision yesterday.

SAVIDGE: There is one juror that has come forward and said he simply cannot vote in favor of a conviction. Telling the judge, quote, "I will not change my mind," unquote. Here's CNN's Boris Sanchez.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. An intense back and forth between a jury and judge in this case. It all started around 1 p.m., the jury requesting some testimony to review from the court then minutes later, telling the judge, it would be difficult if not impossible to come to a consensus.

At that point, the judge issued an Allen charge essentially telling them to go back into deliberation, telling them it was their duty to come up with an answer after five weeks of trial. They couldn't.

They came back after that with three separate notes for the judge. One of them from one juror saying that he could not in good conscience convict Michael Slager. But also saying that it would be difficult for him to look into the eyes of Walter Scott's family and tell them the man that killed their father and brother was innocent.

After that the judge sent them back one more time after they said that they could potentially get some clarification and potentially reach a consensus. They came back out and asked for the trial to be postponed until 9:00 a.m. Monday.

At that point, the judge conceded allowing them more time. Then we heard from Walter Scott's family and an attorney that had very emotional message for the public.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) L. CHRIS STEWART, SCOTT FAMILY ATTORNEY: What a day, long but important because you'll remember Walter Scott was murdered laying down with holes in his back, dying, unable to utter a word. But today, he did all of his speaking. All of this deliberation, all of the back and forth, never giving up by the jury, trying to find justice is Walter Scott speaking. His voice reminding us that we will get justice in this.


SANCHEZ: A very powerful message there. We get back to work at 9:00 a.m. on Monday. The jury has three options, potentially murder which carries 30 years to life, voluntary manslaughter, between 2 and 30 years and not guilty or we could see a mistrial and this whole thing have to start again in just a couple of weeks -- Martin and Christi.

PAUL: Can you imagine that family?

SAVIDGE: Boris Sanchez, thank you very much for that.

Still ahead, we'll check back with Donald Trump supporters. We spoke to them before the election and they talk about what they think tipped the popular vote away from Donald Trump.


SAVIDGE: You'll remember during the course of the presidential campaign, "NEW DAY" spoke with a group of Donald Trump supporters to learn more about why they felt so passionately about it.

PAUL: Well, this week, "NEW DAY" anchor, Alisyn Camerota, circled back with them the discussion on the popular vote number and alleged widespread voter fraud. Take a listen.


PAULA JOHNSON, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: They didn't even vote. Voting is a privilege in this country and you need to be legal not like California where 3 million illegals voted.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY CO-HOST: Let's talk about that.

JOHNSON: I'm glad I brought that up, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Me, too, Paula. So where are you getting your information?

JOHNSON: From the media. Some of it CNN, I believe.

CAMEROTA: CNN said that 3 million illegal people voted?

JOHNSON: It was coming all across the media. Of course, if CNN didn't do it, then they were being smart this time.

CAMEROTA: Do you think that 3 million illegal people voted?

JOHNSON: I believe in California there were illegals that voted. CAMEROTA: How many?

JOHNSON: I don't know. To tell you the truth, nobody really knows that number.

[06:20:00]CAMEROTA: But do you think three dozen or do you think 3 million?

JOHNSON: I think there was a good amount because the president told people that they could vote and this happened in national. We caught some people that they went into national and they said the president said I can vote. I'm here illegally.

CAMEROTA: Did you hear President Obama says that illegal people could vote?


CAMEROTA: Tell me, where?

SUSAN DELEMUS, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Google it. You can find it on Facebook.

CAMEROTA: All right, hold on, I don't want to waste any more time. Anyway, I see where it came from. Fox Business Network deceptively edited a clip of Barack Obama to argue that the president encouraged illegal immigrants to vote when in fact he has said nothing of this sort when you go back to the transcript.

You as you sit here today think that millions of illegal people voted in this country. You believe that there was widespread voting abuse?

JOHNSON: I think there was in some states.

CAMEROTA: Millions of people?

JOHNSON: California allows it.

CAMEROTA: You mean voter fraud, California allows?

JOHNSON: I believe there is voter fraud in this country.


CAMEROTA: A recent study examined tens of millions of votes over a decade. They failed to turn up any evidence of widespread voter fraud. They (inaudible) about 2,000 alleged fraud cases across several dates, which isn't statistically high enough to swing an election we want to point out. It's out there. The question is how widespread? How (inaudible).

SAVIDGE: The feeling is definitely out there. New information this morning on the hacking allegations during the election season. We'll tell you why Democrats want that new information declassified, next.



SAVIDGE: For the first time since destructive wildfires swept through Tennessee this week, some residents are getting a chance to return home, if that home is still there.

PAUL: For many, this is all that's left here. Take a look here. The wildfires around Gatlinburg obviously damaged or just destroyed hundreds of structures. At least 13 people have died. That number could rise as firefighters are still searching through all of that rubble.

SAVIDGE: Dozens of people are now living in shelters. Some victims who lost nearly everything are trying to find the positive amid so much destruction.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a new start. It may be something that everybody need and I was talking to one in church last night, I asked them, why, why did this happen? And her and I both pretty much at the same time said because it brought everybody together from all walks of life. We're all in the same situation I think.


PAUL: For more information on how you can help those people in the Tennessee wildfires, just head to And thank you for doing so.

I want to tell you this morning too about a student who is in custody after a University of Southern California professor was killed on campus. Police say the student attacked the professor with a knife yesterday.

SAVIDGE: The detectives say the suspect was arrested at the scene. The university's president says that the professor was targeted and there was not a general threat for the campus. A vigil is planned for that professor on Monday.

PAUL: And as we are just about half past 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. You're up early, but we're glad that you are. I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. Donald Trump is scheduled to have a quiet weekend at Trump Tower this weekend. No meetings. No events. The day after he set off alarm bells in Washington because he took a phone call from Taiwan's president.

That is the first known contact between a U.S. president, or president-elect, and a Taiwanese leader since the U.S. and China established diplomatic relations way back in 1979. That one move could undo four decades of U.S. protocol on Taiwan.

And it risks infuriating China over its one China policy which claims that Taiwan is part of China. Trump tweeted soon after, "Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars in military equipment, but I should not accept a congratulatory call?"

But China released this statement, quote, "We urge the relevant side in the U.S. to adhere to the one China policy abide by the pledges in the three joint China-U.S. communiques and handle issues related to Taiwan carefully and properly."

PAUL: Also this morning, new details on the asking during this election. Democrats are asking President Obama to declassify intelligence now after new information indicates Russia meddles in the U.S. election specifically to help Donald Trump win. CNN's chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, has details for us.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Christi, we are learning there is new information that Russia's election-related hacking is believed to have been intended to help steer the election to Donald Trump. Democrats now want President Obama to make this information public.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): Democratic senators are pressing the Obama administration to more forthrightly state based in part on new intelligence that Russia's meddling in the U.S. election was intended to help Donald Trump. Multiple sources tell CNN.

The Democratic pressure comes as multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN that the U.S. intelligence community is increasingly confident that Russian hacking was intended to steer the election toward Trump rather than to simply undermine the political process.

The sources, however, do not see the new information as significantly changing the intelligence agency's understanding of Russian motives since the Democratic Party was the principal party of the hacks.

Seven Democrats on the Senate's Intelligence Committee wrote President Obama yesterday insisting such intelligence should be, quote, "Declassified and released." The letter did not specify what the new information was. Senator Angus King signed the letter.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME), SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE: I think the story of Russia's involvement in this election is the biggest story of the decade frankly and I think it's going to only grow.

SCIUTTO: Congressman Adam Schiff who serves on the House Intelligence Committee also wants to see more information public, specific to Russia's involvement.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE: They largely accomplished their mission of stowing discord in the United States and maybe even tipping the balance in part in favor of Mr. Trump and against Secretary Clinton.

SCIUTTO: But Republican lawmakers downplay the letter telling CNN there was no new information to suggest the intelligence community has changed it overall assessment in any way.

[06:30:00] One month before the election, the Intelligence Community publicly declared they were, quote, "Confident the Russian government directed compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations." Noting document dumps from the websites and WikiLeaks, which targeted the Democratic Party. However, the Intelligence Community has not previously publicly indicated that Russia's intention was to help Donald Trump over his democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Just after the election, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told congress he expects Russian hacking to continue.

JAMES CLAPPER, UNITED STATES DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I don't anticipate a significant change in Russian behavior. Russians have a very active and aggressive capability to conduct information operations so-called "hybrid warfare".

SCIUTTO: In his annual address to parliament yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, dismissed the claims as myths.


SCIUTTO: Reached by CNN, a Trump ally said, quote, "This is nothing more than sour grapes from partisan democrats upset that Hillary Clinton lost. To be clear, however, democratic lawmakers telling CNN that their concerns are not about who won the election, the election is behind them, but about the integrity of the U.S. electoral process going forward." Christi?

PAUL: All right. Thank you so much, Jim, appreciate it. Ben Ferguson, CNN Political Commentator with us now, and A. Scott Bolden, former Chairman of the Washington D.C. Democratic Party. Thank you, gentlemen for being with us.



PAUL: Thank you. Good morning to you as well. You just heard Jim say that democrats are looking at this and saying, anything is going to change, the election is over, we know that. So, in that - in that regard, what would declassifying this information or these documents do, if anything? Even in when we look - when we look ahead at other forward-thinking elections, or for elections that are coming up, you know, obviously, in, say, the next two years even? A. Scott Bolden, I'm sorry -


PAUL: -- go ahead. BOLDEN: Yeah, I think it's important for the integrity of the elections. I also think that the voters, the American electorate needs to know, this conjecture about Russia and hacking and planning fake stories is really important, but what's really amazing is that both democrats and republicans are outraged about Russian meddling in this election regardless of the result and the outcome. That needs to be looked at, we need to know it, and then we need to learn from it, and put in stronger defences, so that foreign hacking into our election system simply cannot lie in going forward in the next couple of years.

PAUL: Ben, does this information shape how Donald Trump will relate to or exchange with - engage with Russia?

FERGUSON: Well, it can. But I also think a lot of this is just trying to kind of rewrite the history of this election that implies somehow that Donald Trump didn't really win it, that this was being influenced, that Russia wanted him to win, and that's part of the politics of this. Look, if Russia was trying to meddle in our elections, everyone should want to know about that, we should do everything we can to stop it. But I do think, that a lot of it has become political and the reality is, it doesn't affect that many Americans right now after the election, there's no indication that Russia had some sort of massive influence or even a minimal influence on our election, and I think it's time to kind of move on past this, accept President Donald Trump as the president, and let's get down to business and other issues that really matter to Americans.

PAUL: Scott, go ahead.

BOLDEN: Well, Christi, if I may, I'll take the politics out of it. I'll say that I accept Donald Trump as the President-elect of the United States of America. I'm still concerned about Russian meddling. They certainly weren't meddling to help the democrats, they were meddling to help the republican nominee Donald Trump, I got that part.

FERGUSON: Allegedly.


BOLDEN: But we ought to be concerned about it across the board. Take the politics out of it, we ought to all be -


BOLDEN: -- be working together.

PAUL: Ben?

FERGUSON: You just put the politics in it by saying that they tried to help elect Donald Trump. We don't know that, that's an accusation.

BOLDEN: Well, there weren't any stories -

(CROSSTALK) PAUL: What is the -- let me ask you this, gentlemen - let me ask you

this, gentlemen. Scott, what chance do you think there is that any of this will be declassified at the end of the day?

BOLDEN: Well, I can't - I can't say whether it will be declassified or not. I certainly support it to be declassified because the American people have a right to know that Russia was meddling into this election or not meddling into this election, or any other form of sorts. They have a right to know that -- be-informed voters, if you will. I don't think it's going to determine the outcome or change the outcome. I don't really think it can, but we have a right to know, because this is a serious foreign policy, international-relations issue, that democrats and republicans ought to come together on, and so far, the republicans want to make politics out of it, the democrats want to get to the bottom line.

FERGUSON: We definitely don't - we definitely don't make politics out of it.


PAUL: Ben, let's listen to some sound here from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.



[06:35:00] SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We also want to make sure that will sit as an (INAUDIBLE) inside the (INAUDIBLE). So, one year ago, November 2015, we proposed this consultations. Even before these accusations of hacking and so on, only now, they send us a proposal to come back to this idea. Fine, we are ready.


PAUL: Ben, your reaction?

FERGUSON: Yeah. Look, again, I think this is an issue of the majority of Americans that voted were not influenced by Russia. And this idea that Russia really cares about cybercrimes or anything like this, is pretty absurd, we know they're involved in it, we know they're involved in hacking. America should do everything they can to protect itself from hacking, but at the end of the day, it's time to move on and putting this information out there, it may actually help the Russians more than anybody because they'll know how we've changed our defenses to protect ourselves of what they were trying to do. Maybe, getting an information on our government, it's time to move on past this, it's -- the election is over.

PAUL: Let's do - let's move on here to the Taiwan issue that we're all watching this morning. Help us understand, help our viewers understand here, why does phone call between Donald Trump and Taiwan's president could be a diplomatic problem with regard to U.S.-China relations, Scott? BOLDEN: Well, let me just say this. It - well, the One China Policy is very broadly based, it is problematically, for the first time in 40 years at least that we know about, that an American President-elect has taken a call from Taiwan. We also know that Donald Trump has labeled China a "bad actor" and is going to go after them on number of trade issues. And so, it's problematic. But it's problematic for what -- how China responds to it. Not necessary him taking the congratulatory call. I also think he knows exactly what he was doing, and this is a trial balloon to see and to get a reaction, if you will, it's driven by his narcissistic mentality, he wants to be congratulated, but it was also a trial balloon, as well.

PAUL: Donald Trump is not the first person note to make a quote if some people are calling this a mistake regarding protocol with Taiwan here. Let's listen to George W. Bush.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have said that I will do what it takes to help Taiwan defend their self, and the Chinese must understand that. Secondly, I certainly hope Taiwan adheres to the One China Policy. And the Declaration of Independence is not the One China Policy, and we will work with Taiwan to make sure that that doesn't happen.


PAUL: So, obviously, some people took issue with that. I want to -- I want to read real quickly to you something that an official -- part of the official statement from the Foreign Ministry of China spokesman today, said, "I must point out that there is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory. The People's Republic of China, is the sole legal government that represents China, and that is an internationally recognized fact." Does that not - that statement not tell you, in some way, that this has affect -- that this phone call has affected China, and that perhaps, they are a bit on the defense, wanting to remind people of what one China is?


FERGUSON: Yeah, well, look, I think this -- I there's one thing here that we need to be clear about. There's so many people saying that this phone call was a massive "Oops. Sorry, it was a terrible decision." Barack Obama has sold weapons to Taiwan to defend itself against China if it was ever attacked. So did George Bush. So did, back in the day -- going all the way back to Jimmy Carter, so a phone call is not going to start a war, and some people may have imply that this is going to put national security at risk, it's not. We've been selling weapons to Taiwan, including Barack Obama, hundreds of millions of dollars of weapons. Second thing is this, Taiwan always has - they are - I should say China always has fake outrage, and their media and their leaders always overreact in public opinion on anything that they disagree with.

So, it's very normal to have these statements that are coming out from them. And the last thing is this, Donald Trump knows that there are currency-manipulation issues, trade issues, and he wants a better deal with China. And if you start talking to Taiwan, it gives you leverage that we have not had. China's been beating our tails when it comes to trade and currency manipulation and corruption and hacking. So, when you add all of those together, taking a phone call from Taiwan, I think was a very well-planned decision by them. I don't think this was an accident or oops. And it's been since 1978 since a president has talked with them. It was about time this phone call was made.

PAUL: All right. Ben Ferguson, Scott - A. Scott Bolden. I'm sorry, but I've run out of time, Scott. Thank you so much.


PAUL: I appreciate you both being here.

BOLDEN: Thank you.


SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, the Trump's pick for Secretary of Education is under fire. Why some say that billionaire Betsy DeVos would be a wrong move for school.


[06:40:00] PAUL: President-elect Donald Trump taking the weekend off to spend some time with his family. It is expected to - he's expected to get back to work, though, selecting the Cabinet for his new administration, come Monday morning.

SAVIDGE: I'm sure he's hot on the job. The President-elect has filled down already quite a few Cabinet posts. The latest being, of course, General James Mattis, as Secretary of Defense, but he still has several more positions to fill. So far, he's been criticized for lack of diversity in his picks, and for the number of millionaires and billionaires that he's appointed.

Many of his cabinet picks are being scrutinized including his pick for Education, Michigan Charter Schools advocate and billionaire Betsy DeVos.

PAUL: Educators of both sides of the aisle say, "DeVos's push for school choice and the free market for Charter Schools, just hasn't worked for kids in Michigan." Here's Sara Ganim.


SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President-elect Donald Trump has said he might want to get rid of the Department of Education altogether.


GANIM: And if he does, Betsy DeVos would be the right person to help make that happen, according to the head of her non-profit education advocacy group.

GARY NAEYEART, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GREAT LAKES EDUCATION PROJECT: She's not in this because she's looking for a condo for eight years in Washington, Mrs. DeVos and the President-elect both agree that we should be reducing the footprint of the Federal Government.

GANIM: Betsy DeVos, is a controversial figure here in Michigan. An advocate of school choice, she's often called an architect of Michigan's school system, and she has many critics.

TONYA ALLEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE SKILLMAN FOUNDATION: Well, when I hear her name and I think about education, I think about choice without quality.

GANIM: DeVos's husband is the heir to the Amway fortune. Her family has donated millions to political causes and even started its own lobbying group. Mostly, to promote her educational ideas, more school choice, less regulation and an unlimited number of for-profit charter schools.

ALLEN: I would be really concerned if Michigan was the roadmap for the country. I actually think that we should be looking at Michigan and saying, "This is what we should not do."

[06:44:59] GANIM: Nearly half of Charter Schools here are ranked in the bottom quarter of schools state-wide. According to the education trust Midwest, 20 percent were given a "D" or "F" grade. And there's no rule about where Charter Schools should be placed, so kids like 11- year-old Judith Shelton often end up going to schools far from home.

ARLYSSA HEARD, CHARTER SCHOOL PARENT: It's somebody else's neighbourhood that I'm traveling to while passing three to four other schools, and about six or seven closed schools to get to his school in the neighborhood that I don't live in.

GANIM: So, in your opinion, has Choice worked in Michigan?

HEARD: Choice has not worked. It's a joke, especially here in Detroit. What we don't have is quality choice in our neighborhoods.

GANIM: Even the popular Charter Schools founded by the DeVos family and touted as a proud example of their contribution to education ranked in the bottom third for performance in the state, according to the state Department of the Education.

What DeVos supporters say many places in Michigan have long struggled with education, and that the Charter School, has helped.

NAEYEART: I think that there's been an actual drummed-up, multi-year effort by the critics of Charters and Choice, mainly the Democratic Party and Teachers Unions to discredit Charters.

GANIM: He says decades of Betsy DeVos advocating for students will help her make changes at the national level.

NAEYERT: We're going to be doing things differently in the future than what we've been doing in the past. And then I would say to people, hold on to your seats.

GANIM: We tried to talk to Betsy DeVos ourselves -- we were not successful. I did talk to republicans here in the State of Michigan who support her, who say she cares a lot about children, and I told the democrats who say they are for Charter Schools here in Michigan, but people on both sides of the aisle said the current system, as it is now, a free market for schools - it's not working for children. Sara Ganim, CNN, Detroit.


PAUL: Sara, thank you. Well, as government forces move in to take more rebels territory from rebel forces in Aleppo, thousands of children are being forced to run.


[06:50:00] PAUL: Well, the Syrian government forces of Bashar al- Assad have retaken even more rebel-held territory in Aleppo now, they advanced overnight into yet another neighbourhood in the eastern part of that city.

SAVIDGE: And that means that the rebels have lost about 60 percent of that city territory they have held since 2012, and as government forces advanced, that means tens and thousands of civilians are fleeing. As many as 20,000 children have left the city in just recent days. Here's CNN's Fred Pleitgen.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Another day, more violence in Aleppo - the youngest suffering the most. This video from the Syrian Civil Defense showing rescuers saving a child after a suspected airstrike. The fighting claiming at least 45 lives on Wednesday alone, according to monitoring groups.

Over 30 thousand people, mostly children have been displaced since government forces launched a large-scale offensive making sweeping gains in the East of Aleppo, the U.N. says.

In Rome, efforts continue to try and broker some sort of truce and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the beseeched area. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry leading Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

JOHN KERRY, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: And so, hopefully, if humanitarian situation could be dealt with in Aleppo more effectively, and if indeed we could create a framework for the passage of people out of Aleppo, so that Aleppo itself might be able to be relieved from this agony, that could open up the space to perhaps be able to start some kind of conversation in Geneva.

PLEITGEN: Even as its air force pounds rebel positions, Russia says, it's still committed to a political solution in Syria.

LAVROV (through translator): There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, we supported this position within the framework of International Syria Support Group. Unfortunately, not all of its members were ready to support this kind of common position that there is no military solution, but I am sure it is absolutely clear anyway even without formal acceptance of this point-of-view.

PLEITGEN: In a desperate effort to fend of Syrian government troops, rebel factions in the beseeched areas of Aleppo have announced a new alliance named, "The Army of Aleppo". But their fight remains desperate in the face of an offensive that has already caused the opposition much of the territory it held in Aleppo for years. Fred Pleitgen, CNN Damascus.


PAUL: I know it's tough to watch. Please stay with us, we'll be right back.


[06:55:00] PAUL: Well, Friday yesterday was a day of tears, a day of remembrance in San Bernardino, California.

SAVIDGE: Crowds gathered to mark the first anniversary of the mass shooting of the Inland Regional Centre, 14 people were killed at a holiday party, shot dead by a married couple. The attackers were killed then in a shoot-out with police. Authorities said the couple was inspired by extremism and had ISIS sympathies. Here's what one survivor said at a memorial service honoring the victims.


JULIE SWANN-PAEZ, SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. And I think, and speak on behalf of all of my co-workers and their families, to extend my sincerest appreciation for the community, for everyone's support. Thank you.


SAVIDGE: That was the survivor of the San Bernardino mass shooting, speaking on the anniversary of the tragedy.

PAUL: Uh-hmm. And we are going to take you in to the political arena next.

SAVIDGE: The next hour of your NEW DAY begins right now, you prove me there.

PAUL: Sorry.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even before taking office the President-elect of the United States of America has in one phone call, potentially change more than three decades of U.S. diplomatic practice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump speaking by phone with the President of Taiwan, which is something no American President has done in nearly 40 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there was an express-way to cause a diplomatic uproar with China, this would be the way to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President-elect Trump is fully briefed-in, and fully knowledgeable about these issues in an on-going basis because he's on the other end of the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something much larger than the breach of protocol, as United States does not recognize Taiwan as a country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chinese will certainly see this as an infringement on what they see as their sovereignty.


PAUL: Alrighty, if you've just waken up, you've made it to Saturday, and I know that that feels good. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge, in for Victor Blackwell.

President-elect Donald Trump, won on a platform where he promised to shake-up the status quo on Washington. Now, it appears he's doing just what he said he would do before stepping in to office.

PAUL: It was yesterday, of course, chatting on the phone with the President of Taiwan.