Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Rips Lewis For Questioning His Legitimacy; Eighteen House Dems to Skip Trump Inauguration; Thousands Mourn Fallen Orlando Officer at Funeral; Mexico and China Fire Back at Trump Threats; Jennifer Holliday Cancels Inauguration Performance; The Greatest Show on Earth Shutting Down in May. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired January 15, 2017 - 06:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We have been waiting for you here. It is Sunday. Good morning. I am Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Your NEW DAY starts right now. Democrats billing it as a day of action. Forty five rallies across the country, 45 expected to be a show of force against the Republican plan to repeal President Obama's signature health care law.

PAUL: In just a few hours in fact, Senators Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer are going to be in Michigan leading the call to save Obamacare. But will it matter as Republicans are poised to take full control of power in Washington?

BLACKWELL: Also, new this morning, the president-elect is adding to his Twitter attack on a civil rights icon. Donald Trump now saying that Democratic Congressman John Lewis should, quote, "Finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get."

PAUL: This is leading to more Democratic lawmakers, who are proclaiming they will boycott Trump's inauguration Friday. We're also getting new reaction from people living in Congressman Lewis' district that Trump called horrible and falling apart.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To tear down John Lewis is definitely detrimental to his cause and it's not going to play well with African-Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is the president. I got over from Obama winning in. Half of the world needs to get over it now that Trump is in.


PAUL: I want to bring in CNN politics reporter, Stephen Collinson. Stephen, what do you make of that comment there? He got over it when Obama got in, and people have to get over it now that Trump is in. We are conditioned obviously to expect the unexpected here, but did we ever see this happening, the attacking of a civil rights hero, John Lewis, and the back and forth between them?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Right, Christi. It would be difficult to find a politician who is more respected across partisan lines in Washington than John Lewis. Obviously someone who historically more represents the concept of political action, which is something that the president-elect attacked in his tweet.

Look, I think this clearly is motivated by Donald Trump feeling that he was unfairly attacked by John Lewis, who suggested that he was not a legitimate president. But it's something that threatens to detract I think from the inaugural week for Donald Trump.

Presidents have traditionally used the inaugural address as a time to foster national unity to ask people to come together to get over the wounds of a divisive campaign. Donald Trump clearly is a much different politician the way we are conditioned to expect.

He's an unconventional politician. This controversy I think is one that perhaps even he would like back because it makes it much more difficult for him to stand up there at inauguration day on Friday and ask Americans to come together in the spirit of national unity, and to get over the wounds of the election.

So Donald Trump is not a president and a politician who steps back from a controversy once he's in it, but even so this is something that really threatens to detract I think from the spirit of the inauguration week.

PAUL: Stephen, Doug Heye (ph), a Republican strategist said this in the "Washington Post." He said, "We listened to Democrats for the last two months of the campaign say that any suggestions that the elections weren't legitimate and the results wouldn't be accepted is dangerous and unpatriotic. Now those same people are trying to delegitimize Trump and say, he should not be elected president."

How is this claim of not recognizing legitimacy of election, how is it moving the country forward? And is there credence in what Doug Heye is saying?

COLLINSON: True and to be fair, you know, Donald Trump won the election. He won a majority of electoral votes and he's going to inaugurated president. So it's clearly something that he is very sensitive to. Any suggestion that he won the election fair and square, and you know, he has a point at the same time.

The question of legitimacy of a president is something that's been festering in American politics for many years. Probably the last president, who a majority of the people believed was (inaudible) president was perhaps George Bush.

Both sides during the Clinton presidency, the Bush presidency, and the Obama presidency were advanced arguments that the president at the time is not legitimate. It's a symbol of the increasing partisanship and polarization of American politics, which is clearly something that's very corrosive in the long term.

So this is a theme that has been festering in politics for a long time. Donald Trump is clearly very sensitive, not just in the attacks from Democrats but also, you know, the issue of the alleged Russian hacking of Democratic servers in the election.

So any suggestion that he is not a legitimate president, you know, these arguments that are taking place ahead of the inauguration, I think all are for a very difficult time and a very partisan time ahead.

[06:05:09]And it's something that is not going to go away anytime soon, however, Donald Trump tries to bring the country together in his inaugural address next Friday.

PAUL: Yes, we'll see. Stephen Collinson, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's continue the conversation with Oliver McGee, a former White House senior policy analyst and a former Trump adviser. Dr. McGee, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So let's start with your take on this exchange between Congressman Lewis and now what we have seen two responses through three tweets from the president-elect. What do you make of this exchange?

MCGEE: Well, one thing we have to be sure a tweet last for about 18 minutes and then it disappears in the mist so therefore we have to really take --

BLACKWELL: I don't understand that.

MCGEE: Well, a tweet basically lasts for 18 minutes.

BLACKWELL: How does a tweet last for 18 minutes?

MCGEE: By the technology. We have to move on.

BLACKWELL: I can go on Twitter right now and read the tweet. Tweets from Donald Trump that go back years are still there.

MCGEE: Yes, but what we have to look at is that John Lewis is essentially an activist, who was really acting at the time of rule of law, essentially he was creating rule of law. He's really like a Greek statesman who has really established, in that time, humane rule of law. Essentially for Donald Trump to be able to get in that type of conversation as Steve has said right before the inauguration in an 18-minute tweet is really distracting.

BLACKWELL: Are you talking about Snapchat or something? When we are looking at tweets, this is a running list of these comments that Donald Trump has made, anybody on Twitter has made that go back for years, and even if you delete it, it can still be recovered. But let's put the 18 minutes aside, do you agree with --

MCGEE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Do you agree with the sentiment and the characterization from the president-elect that Congressman Lewis is all talk, talk, talk, and no action?

MCGEE: Essentially what I am trying to say is that Congressman Lewis is basically viewed very, very favorably amongst blacks and whites left and right of the aisle, because he's a statesman. He's essentially establishing rule of law when he was doing his activism.

That's the wrong territory for the destruction (inaudible) of the week of inauguration, but more importantly we have to look at technology and how it is defining how we communicate across democracies markets and communication and technology.

And what we are going to see in the Trump administration is a brand- new change of how we do that, and how we do presidential politics.

BLACKWELL: OK, let's talk about technology and what we have heard from the president-elect since his election. We wanted to have a graphic illustration of this, but I will just read the list because it is quite impressive of the companies and actors and politicians and news agencies that the president-elect has attacked directly since the election.

John Lewis, Hillary Clinton, CNN, Buzzfeed, Meryl Streep, DNC, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Toyota, Chuck Schumer, NBC, President Obama, the United Nations, Bill Clinton, Vanity Fair, Green Party, Jill Stein, United Steel Workers, Chuck Jones, the president of the United Steel Workers, China, North Korea, "Saturday Night Live," Alec Baldwin, Rex Nort, Jeff Zeleny, Carrier, "New York Times," Harry Reid and the cast of the Broadway show, "Hamilton," is that appropriate for an incoming president because we know he will continue to tweet?

MCGEE: What you are seeing right now in President-elect Donald Trump is nothing new than what you have seen in the campaign that CNN has eloquently covered. I enjoyed your reading of that entire list, but basically what he's do something is changing how we do democracy markets communications for technology. He is constantly on the offense. This is a president that will stay on the offense.

BLACKWELL: I hear that. My question to you, sir, as an adviser, if you were advising the president-elect, would you advise him to continue in this fashion, going after individuals, companies, actors, and news outlets through Twitter. I am sure he has other things to do?

MCGEE: I am sure that most of the advisers for Donald Trump is telling Trump let Trump be Trump. Essentially that's what he has got him elected and that's what he is going to continue to do. I think what we are going to see is a very thoughtful and a very eloquent inaugural speech coming up on this Friday.

He's going to be talking about what he was doing with immigration policy and what he plans to do in markets and creating jobs. Right now, this election is really about enough, and he's going to talk about what we are doing about health care and how he is going to repeal and replace at the same time.

[06:10:08]He's going to be talking about how he is going to energize the technological innovation for this country because if we don't build technology we are not going to be able to build capital. But importantly we got to talk about education in this country --

BLACKWELL: It would --

MCGEE: -- what we're going to stem education and what we're doing inside the technology (inaudible).

BLACKWELL: We will look forward to that inaugural speech, but until then we have a few more days, and if Donald Trump continues with the pattern we will be adding to this list. Oliver McGee, thank you so much.

MCGEE: Thank you very much for having me this morning.

BLACKWELL: Sure -- Christi.

PAUL: Don't forget CNN is taking a look at Ivanka Trump's influence on fashion, business and now Washington in this next and see that special report "First Daughter,:Ivanka Trump." tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

BLACKWELL: All right, still to come, more House Democrats now banning together to boycott the president-elect's inauguration. We'll have more on that growing protest, ahead.

PAUL: A family torn apart by a kidnapping 18 years ago, guess what? They are finally back together. Their emotional meeting ahead.

BLACKWELL: Also the city of Biloxi, Mississippi, under fire for a social media post that did not acknowledge the observance of DR. Martin Luther King Day. City officials are now on the defense.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are being called racist. That is not the people of Biloxi. That is not the mayor of the city council of Biloxi. It's just unfortunate that we are now being painted with that brush.



BLACKWELL: There's a growing number of Democrats now making a push to abandon President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration with some bowing out after Mr. Trump lashed out at civil right hero and congressman, John Lewis, on Twitter yesterday. Now the number of Democrats who are not going -- these are House Democrats, up to 18 all planning to skip that swearing in. PAUL: Yes, that number includes California Congresswoman Barbara Lee who spoke with CNN's Poppy Harlow about why she cannot celebrate on that day.


REPRESENTATIVE BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA (via telephone): While I respect the peaceful transfer of power and the office of the presidency, I can't celebrate on inauguration day what has taken place in terms of the president's overall agenda and the divisiveness in his bigoted approach to governance.

For example, you know, I cannot celebrate attacking a Gold Star family, and I cannot celebrate the denigration of women, or wanted to build a wall with Mexico. I can't celebrate that notion that he would try to deport dreamers.

[06:15:03]And I can't celebrate the fact that he has put a person who has not been on the side of equal justice under the law such as Senator Sessions for our attorney general. I can't celebrate having a Steve Bannon in the White House, a white nationalist.

So there are many reasons why I can't celebrate on that day, and I just decided several days ago that it would be very hypocritical for me to be there celebrating this agenda that he has put forth.


PAUL: CNN's senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, with us now. Ron, we know that some House Democrats are breaking tradition and not going to the inauguration as we heard from Representative Barbara Lee. How much do you think this rift with John Lewis is attributing to what we are seeing now?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it could be a galvanizing event for Democrats who are ambivalent about whether to, you know -- or weighing their respect for the office and the tradition against their views of Donald Trump.

And what we are seeing, again, unprecedented, though, it is, is a continuation of really what we have seen since the election. I mean, there are a lot of people out there who voted for Donald Trump who were enthusiastic about him taking power, but it is also true that he is facing more resistance in public opinion than any newly elected president in the history of polling.

We have never seen anything like the protest that we had immediately after the election where you haven't seen anything like the large protest that's scheduled for the day after the inaugural, and most important if you look at the public opinion during the transition, his approval rating is much lower than we have ever seen.

It's highly likely it will be the first incoming president ever in the history of polling going back to 1952 who comes in with less than a majority saying they approve of his job performance. It's a reflection of how deep the divides are in the country after this election.

And you know, the list that you talked about in the last segment about all of the people he's attacked is kind of an indication of why those divides are probably unlikely to heal anytime soon.

PAUL: Let's talk about the divide continually here because more than 150 top Democratic donors are in Florida next week going to be discussing how to hold Trump's administration accountable and finding a strategy to elevate future Democratic wins. What is the Democratic strategy?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I mean, look, the fundamental challenge Democrats have is that they have a coalition that is deep but narrow. They have won the popular vote in six of the past seven elections, which is something that no party has ever done in the history of the American politics.

But they have done that by strong performances among three groups in particular, minority voters, millennial voters, and socially liberal college educated whites, and all of those voters tend to be concentrated both primarily along the coast and then especially in urban areas.

And they are struggling enormously outside of those urban areas particularly with more religiously devout blue collar and older whites, and that's what ultimately caught up to them in this election in the states that decided it of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

They simply were not competitive in enough places, and I think the fundamental choice Democrats face is do you double down on trying to squeeze more out of their coalition, the key groups of which they are growing as the shared electorate, or do you try to find a way to talk to more of those blue collar, non-urban white voters who have moved away from the party.

You can win the presidency just by squeezing out more from their own coalition. You can't win the Congress that way so in the long run ultimately they have to find a way I think to get back into the conversation with more of those blue collar and non-urban whites who used to be open to the party.

PAUL: Democrats also have to find a new DNC chairman, who do you think it should be?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, you know, I don't know, but I think it is -- I mean, it's not really our place to kind of say who it should be, but it does reflect this choice, right? I mean, ultimately do you want a choice that is fundamentally about energizing and mobilizing the existing coalition, which Hillary Clinton kind of failed on both ends.

She had the weakest performance among blue collar whites of any Democrats as Walton Mondale against Ronald Reagan in 1984, and even with all of that she probably would have won if she could have inspired Obama-like turnout among millenials and minorities and margins among those groups as well. So it's an important kind of symbolic choice, but the party chair is of limited long-term importance in setting the party's direction. That will be both in terms of their congressional leadership and the kind of fights they undertake and how they position themselves against Trump and ultimately, of course, the nominee the next time around.

PAUL: Yes, very good point. Ron Brownstein, always good to have your perspective. Thank you, sir.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

PAUL: Thousands of people back together to pay their respect to a fallen Orlando police officer. Their message to the man accused of killing her.

BLACKWELL: Plus, President-elect Trump at odds with China and Mexico, more political rhetoric for the first shots and a coming trade war.



BLACKWELL: This mother has waited 18 years for this moment. The woman kidnapped from a hospital hours before her birth finally introduced to her biological parents. Kamiyah Mobley met her family at the Walterboro, South Carolina police station yesterday.

And that's in the small same town where police say her alleged kidnapper raised Kamiyah as her own daughter. Kamiyah's biological father says that he never gave up hope and that one day she would be found.


CRAIG AIKEN, KAMIYAH MOBLEY'S BIOLOGICAL FATHER: Just for anybody that knows hope, keep hope alive, just keep praying, keep fighting, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does your meeting go?

AIKEN: It was beautiful and wonderful, and couldn't have went no better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did she has to say to you? What was the first thing she said to you?

AIKEN: She was glad to meet us.


BLACKWELL: Gloria Williams is accused of dressing as a nurse and abducting Kamiyah from a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida back in 1998, and new trips helped police track her down and DNA tests proved that Kamiyah's true identity was with another family.

PAUL: Meanwhile, more than a thousand tips, still no arrest. Orlando police searching for the man accused of killing one of their own. There's $100,000 reward for information to help find this man, Markeith Lloyd. Police say he shot Sergeant Debra Clayton outside a Walmart Monday. He is also suspected of killing his girlfriend last month.

In the meantime, Sergeant Clayton received one final honor at her funeral yesterday. She was promoted to lieutenant as her friends and family said goodbye to her. Here's CNN's Nick Valencia.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It has been a song in Orlando, punctuated Saturday by perhaps the saddest day of them all.

CHIEF JOHN MINA, ORLAND POLICE: Today we are mourning, but we're also here to honor the beautiful life of an extraordinary person, wife, mother, daughter, sister, police officer, leader.

VALENCIA: Master Sergeant Debra Clayton, a 17-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department laid to rest.

MINA: We've all struggled this past week to come up with the words to soften your loss, and there aren't any. Words cannot begin to express our heartache.

VALENCIA: More than 1,000 people attended her funeral at the First Baptist Church of Orlando. Officers from all around the country came too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was courageous.

[06:25:10]VALENCIA: Before the service began, two of her colleagues and friends reminded everyone of just how big of a void was left behind by her death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a sad and senseless death. She loved her job. She was a strong willed woman with a contagious smile. She's going to be missed but never forgotten.

SERGEANT TANESHA BRAUNSKILL, ORLANDO POLICE: She had a passion to make Orlando better, and she, like myself, grew up here in Orlando, and for her to be taken away by somebody in the community that she loved, somebody that was from the same area, is just hard.

VALENCIA: She was murdered by a man police say was already on the run for allegedly killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend in December in an exchange that lasted less than 30 seconds, police say fugitive Markeith Lloyd took the life of Sergeant Debra Clayton. At one point they say, he stood over her body and continued to fire even though she laid on the ground, defenseless.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we celebrate the life and the legacy of Master Sergeant Debra Clayton --

VALENCIA: Of the more that 700 officers in the city, Clayton was one of the most engaged in the Orlando community, an officer, yes, but also a community activist determined to bridge the gap between police and the public. Her friends and colleagues have only one message for the man suspected of killing her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Final message to Markeith Lloyd, if he could hear you guys and you could speak --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry. I don't have something nice to say right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You won't get away with this. We are -- I am confident in our department, and we will turn over every stone to find you. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all very sorry.

VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, Orlando, Florida.


BLACKWELL: All right, President-elect Trump kicks off the Martin Luther King holiday weekend with a controversy we've been discussing this morning, firing back a criticism from one of King's contemporaries, civil rights icon, John Lewis.

PAUL: Also less than a week until inauguration, there is another performer backing out now. Why Broadway star, Jennifer Holliday says she's not going.


PAUL: It is so good to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.

[06:30:08] BLACKWELL: I am Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

Democrats are planning 45 rallies across the country, the last stand, they say, against the GOP plan to repeal Obamacare.

PAUL: Leading the charge later this morning from Michigan Senators Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer.

BLACKWELL: Also new this morning, as Congressman John Lewis' supporters call for Donald Trump to apologize for slamming the civil rights icon, the president-elect doubles down on his Twitter attack. Mr. Trump saying the Democratic congressman should and this is another tweet, "Finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get."

PAUL: This is leading the more (ph) Democratic law makers saying the boycott comes inauguration Friday, you see them there. Local leaders in Lewis' district are rushing to defend the congressman and calling for action from the president-elect.


JOHN EAVES, CHAIRMAN, FULTON COUNTY COMMISSION: Congressman John Lewis is not just an icon here in Atlanta and Fulton County, he's a national icon, and he has put his life on the line for all of us. And so I certainly want to show my respect to him. I think this is a great opportunity for me as chairman of Fulton County thought for -- to extend an invitation. I think it's really clear that President Trump -- president-elect Trump does not know much about Atlanta and I really want to call him out on his promise to fix America's cities.


BLACKWELL: Now let's turn to foreign affairs now.

Mexico says that it will retaliate if Trump fires the first shot in a trade war. China says that warning the president-elect to not mess with the bedrock of their diplomatic relationship with the U.S. Is it political posturing here or is there an economic battle brewing?


BLACKWELL (voice-over): President-elect Trump made his reputation as a dealmaker, but China and Mexico have made it clear that not everything is up for negotiation.

First, China, in an interview with the "Wall Street Journal" Mr. Trump said -- quote -- "everything is under negotiation, including One China." One China is the policy that accepts that Taiwan and the mainland are part of the same China. Beijing insists it's not a bargaining chip. China's government released a statement saying, "There is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The one-China principle, which is the political foundation of the China-U.S. relations, is non-negotiable."

The president-elect clearly does not see it that way. Here he is speaking last month.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I fully understand the one-China policy, but I don't why we have to be bound by one-China policy unless we make a deal with China.

BLACKWELL: And Mexico casts as an adversary during Trump's campaign along with U.S. companies that have sent jobs across the border.

TRUMP: There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder, and if our politicians had what it takes they would have done this years ago.

BLACKWELL: Mr. Trump has said a tax on those companies' products could be as high as 35 percent. On Friday Mexico's economic minister responded to the threat forcefully saying his nation could be forced to retaliate and that a tariff will -- quote -- "have a wave of impacts that could take us into a global recession."

The anxiety over tariff is not limited to the Mexican government. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimate 6 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico. American businesses like Ford are also concerned.

MARK FIELDS, CEO, FORD MOTOR COMPANY: Tariffs in general -- you know, in general wouldn't be positive. I think the thing is making sure that, you know, as the president-elect gets into office and as the administration gets into office that we can have a fact-based discussion.

BLACKWELL: What that discussion looks like could well determine the fate of the economy, here at home and around the world.


BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk more about this with Ron Brownstein. He's a CNN senior political analyst and senior editor at the "Atlantic." Ron, good morning to you again.

BROWNSTEIN: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: I want to start with you with where I started at the top of the story, is this just political posturing or are we on the precipice of a trade war?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I don't know far -- we don't know how far it's going to go but I think it's more than political posturing. I think there's a -- there's a very clear indication that one, a tougher line on trade, a more protectionist view of trade has been perhaps the most consistent note from Donald Trump throughout his commentary on public affairs tracing back decades.

And, you know, it is very clear that he wants to both renegotiate our kind of trade relationship, for example, walking away from the Trans- Pacific Partnership that President Obama so laboriously negotiated as the centerpiece of his so called pivot for Asia. But also that he has been willing to call out and challenge individual companies on their investment decisions, investing in plants overseas in a way the that doubtedly, that if a Democrat was doing -- President Obama had done, you would have seen the Chamber of Commerce building like spontaneously combust on H Street in Washington, D.C.


So I think it is pretty clear that there is going to be a different direction on trade, how far it goes and what kind of pushback it gets...


BROWNSTEIN: ... that remains to be seen.

BLACKWELL: The president-elect says that currency manipulation is at the center of this that that's the reason that many companies are moving to or are manufacturing and have been in China. I want you to listen though to what he told our Jake Tapper back at the start of the campaign about why his ties were manufactured in China?

Let's watch.


TRUMP: Unfortunately you would see that it's very, very hard to have anything in apparel made in this country? Do you know how much is made outside of the country?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Most of it, but some of it --

TRUMP: And now Vietnam...


TRUMP: ... so many other places, the problem --

TAPPER: American Apparel makes stuff here --

TRUMP: And just so you understand -- I know you bring that up, but I put ties in my speeches.

TAPPER: It just seems interesting because you dinged Ford for manufacturing their cards in Mexico.

TRUMP: I know. No, no. I don't ding them I say, congratulations. I think it's a great deal but I wouldn't let you do it.


BLACKWELL: So there's an asterisk here in this conversation...


BLACKWELL: ... that Trump companies have been and potentially still are benefiting from this policy, and it derides American companies for exploiting exactly what his companies has exploited.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, you know, if we're -- if we're going to list all the ways in which Donald Trump's words and actions kind of collide with each other we pretty much consume the show.

This gets very complicated. There's no question that American companies have relocated production overseas in a way that has hurt manufacturing employment in the U.S. On the other hand, a lot of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. are dependent on what is viewed as a global supply chain, and one of the reasons we still can assemble cars in the U.S. competitively is because some of the parts of those cars are produced at lower cost in other countries particularly Mexico. (INAUDIBLE) talk about the integrated North American supply chain.

So simply imposing tariffs on imports from Mexico might make it tougher to assemble finished cars in the U.S. that now --you know, that now support jobs in places like Tennessee and Michigan, and other states where we have assembly plants. The global economy is an integrated -- you know, is an integrated beast at this point, integrated machine, and kind of pulling away at anyone point. The other point by the way -- you know, there are a lot of jobs in the U.S. that are dependent on exports as well, and, you know, closing markets could have a very kind of damaging effect in that respect on the other side of -- on the other side of the ledger.

BLACKWELL: We'll see how far he goes. And we have got a few days until we hear if it's mentioned in the inaugural address. BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Ron Brownstein, thank you so much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.


PAUL: Well, she has performed for four presidents, and she will not sing for Trump, though. Why Broadway star, Jennifer Holliday, is backing out of his inauguration.




JENNIFER HOLLIDAY, SINGER (singing): And I am telling you I'm not going. You're the best man --


PAUL: Broadway star, Jennifer Holliday is not going. She is a singer backing out of the performance in Donald Trump's inauguration this week. Her publicist said she decided not to perform after outcry from fans.

The CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter with us now. Brian, her publicist says the inaugural committee actually announced her performance before it was official. She said it was outcry from fans, what are you hearing?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. An article in "The Daily Beast" the other day describing how some in the gay community were heartbroken and troubled by her decision to participate. This article according to Holliday is what caused her to rethink the decision.

Here's part of what Holliday said in a letter on Saturday addressed to her fans about this. She said, "In light of the information pointed out to me via the "The Daily Beast" article my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT community and to state unequivocally that I will not perform for the welcome concert or for any of the inauguration festivities."

So that statement from Jennifer Holliday about this decision -- this welcome concert is going to be taking place on Thursday at the National Mall. There are some other performers listed but Jennifer Holliday is saying she will not be there.

PAUL: So speaking of the inauguration, we know that there are a lot of Democrats boycotting it.

I want to read a tweet from Donald Trump just a little while ago. He said, "Inauguration Day is turning out to be even bigger than expected. January 20th, Washington, D.C. Have fun."

What does he know that we don't know, Brian? I am assuming this is surprising.

STELTER: Maybe he was subtweeting Jennifer Holliday. Yes, I think, you know, he was saying that without referencing Holliday's decision, but clearly aware of her decision because it had been in the news so much on Saturday.

You know, it's going to be very interesting to see what kind of crowd size is in Washington on Friday. Of course, President Obama inaugurations had huge crowds. I was there for Bush's in 2000, big crowds then as well. There are some questions about how big the crowds will be for Trump's but what we do know for sure already is that we are not going to see the kind of a-list performers that were there for Obama's that's partly because Hollywood leans left, the entertainment industry leans left and some artists have said they will not show up.

This actually came up on SNL last night. Here is Alec Baldwin pretending to be Trump.


ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: Guys. I mean, who is excited for my inauguration day?


BALDWIN: Yes, thank you to those people over there who I definitely did not pay to do that. And we have got some of the biggest performers in the world lined up -- 3 Doors Down. Also from "America's Got Talent" we have got Jackie whats-her-face. Best of all, we have got the one Rockettes with the least money in her savings.


BALDWIN: We've also got some huge A-list actors coming like Angelina Jolie, Ryan Gosling and Jennifer Lawrence. They will all be at my inauguration courtesy of Madame Tussauds.



STELTER: All right. There you go from SNL. Alec Baldwin will not be there, but he did mention some of the performers who will be at that pre-inauguration concert 3 Doors Down being one of them. The actor Jon Voight also planning to make an appearance, and then Jackie Evancho will be performing during the actual ceremony on Friday.

PAUL: All right. Brian Stelter, we appreciate it as always.

STELTER: Thanks. PAUL: Thank you so much. And you can catch Brian remember on "RELIABLE SOURCES" it's today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, an immediate backlash on social media after the city of Biloxi, Mississippi, referred to the national holiday we all know as Martin Luther King Day as Great Americans Day. A Biloxi City official joins us next to set the record straight.

PAUL: Plus the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus still entertaining fans young and old for well over a century at this point.


News this morning that a lot of their fans did not see coming.


PAUL: Forty-eight minutes past the hour right now, and the City of Biloxi, Mississippi, at the center of this morning a social media firestorm after referring to Martin Luther King Day as -- quote -- "Great Americans Day." They did it in a Twitter post. We want to read what city officials posted on Twitter and Facebook, this has been since deleted but this is what they posted.

Quote -- "Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed on Monday in observance of Great Americans Day."

BLACKWELL: So that name was set in 1985, and according to the City of Biloxi's website the change was made in order to comply with the state and federal laws that called the holiday by a different name. Now the mayor of Biloxi is now calling a special meeting to formerly change the name.

Joining me now to talk about this the City of Biloxi Public Affairs Manager, Vincent Creel. Good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So first tell me, I went back and searched the city's Twitter account, this is where that statement we just read or posted, and in 2016 it wasn't referred to Great Americans Day. Why this -- the use of the phrase this year?

CREEL: What you saw last year was a reference to -- you saw a reference to the MLK Day parade.


CREEL: You saw a reference to the city's MLK Day parade as well as the city's MLK Day celebration, and in fact I thought it was very clever, MGM meet MLK, because we had a huge celebration in MGM park in downtown Biloxi...

BLACKWELL: Yes. CREEL: ... but what you saw on Twitter on Friday was a reference to the city's actual holiday that comes out of a city ordinance that was done 32 years ago, and that one line just exploded across the country, and it also caught our mayor and city council by surprise...


CREEL: ... and quite frankly a lot of people in our community.


The out lash, as you said, it was immediate.


CREEL: It's continuing, as a matter of fact. We --


BLACKWELL: Let me ask you -- before you move on here I want to get to the origin of this. Why is it Monday, Martin Luther King Day in Biloxi? I mean, I saw the MLK acknowledgement last year why isn't it acknowledged?

CREEL: Monday is MLK Day in Biloxi. Monday has been MLK Day Biloxi for a number of years. In fact I will tell you Biloxi has a celebration prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2004. We had between 5,000 and 7,000 people in Biloxi to see the African-American university marching bands that we had in town, three of them.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we have the video up -- we've got the video of a previous parade.

Let me ask you also this, from what I read of the state code here, Section 337, if anybody wants to go and read it, third Monday in January is Great Americans Day to celebrate the birthdays of Dr. King and Robert E. Lee. Why was it a good idea to celebrate the birthdays of a civil rights activist and a non-violent advocate, and a confederate general on the same day?

CREEL: Well, if you read these posts and tweets that I am seeing, who would have thought it was a good idea. What was done back in 1985 -- we're talking 32 years ago, was that the city leaders at the time were trying to reconcile apparently this holiday that was already in existence. I might also note that the name Great American -- Great Americans Day was something that was led by an African-American member of our Biloxi City Council.


CREEL: Now the thing I wanted to mention to you here today is that we are talking about what is happening in Biloxi today and we are talking about what is going to be happening in the future, and it's going to be a great day on Monday morning when our mayor and city council have a formal acknowledgment of something that we have been doing for a long time here in Biloxi. That's what has been so disheartening -- (CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: What will be -- what will be the change? Will this name change?

CREEL: The change is going to be MLK Day. It is going to be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We are going to have the exact name that you find on the federal registry.

BLACKWELL: All right.

CREEL: I think it's Martin Luther King's birthday is what the actual name is, but we are going to call it the same thing we have been calling it, and that is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


BLACKWELL: All right. Let me ask you once more. We are running out of time here but your (ph) state (ph) (INAUDIBLE) calling it. There was a tweet that called it Great Americans Day. In the characterization of great Americans --


BLACKWELL: I know you're saying it's limited to the tweet and it's because of the state law, I understand that. But in the characterization --


BLACKWELL: The city ordinance as well...

CREEL: Right, right.

BLACKWELL: ... but the precedent there was the state law. Let me get to the characterization of great Americans. Does the City of Biloxi consider Robert E. Lee to be a great American? I mean, his goal was to split up the country?

CREEL: My goal here today is to tell you that the City of Biloxi is going to be on Monday morning --


BLACKWELL: I got your goal. I got a question. Does the City of Biloxi consider General Robert E. Lee to be a great American considering that his goal was to separate America?

CREEL: My comment to you and the comment to the rest of the world is Biloxi, Mississippi, celebrates MLK Day and we are going to do that on Monday morning in a very formal way followed by a great community outpouring for a beautiful celebration that we have had every year.

BLACKWELL: All right.

CREEL: (INAUDIBLE). BLACKWELL: Thank you very much. Vincent Creel, good to have you this morning.

CREEL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Christi --

PAUL: Well, they called it the greatest show on earth for fans of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus it was the truth. Why circus lovers could use someone to cheer them up this morning?



BLACKWELL: All right. It's the record sixth straight time the New England Patriots are headed to the AFC championship game.

PAUL: Andy Scholes has more on this morning's bleacher report.

I had to go to bed. I heard my kids yelling with my husband so I don't even know what happened (INAUDIBLE).

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: You know, guys -- you know, Benjamin Franklin once said there are two things certain in life -- right -- death and taxes.

PAUL: Right.

SCHOLES: I would like to add that knowing the Patriots going to the AFC championship game at the third --

BLACKWELL: Benjamin Franklin (INAUDIBLE).

SCHOLES: Brady and Belichick they're going to be playing for -- in the game for a record six straight time now. Their game against the Texans last night was not a walk in the park. Brady shaky early on and actually (ph) threw two interceptions in the game, after throwing two all season long.

The Patriots were only up four at the half but thanks to the Texans' quarterback Brock Osweiler struggling to complete passes for more than five yards with Patriots with this (INAUDIBLE). But Dion Lewis the first player in playoff history to score a touchdown and a run, pass and kickoff return. Patriot wins 34-16. They're going to host either the Chiefs or Steelers next week.

Now the Atlanta Falcons also now just one win away in playing in the Super Bowl after beating the Seahawks. Now Seattle started the game hot. They went right down the field scoring their opening drive but from there it was all Falcons. Matt Ryan throwing touchdowns. Julio Jones and Tevin Coleman in the second quarter -- you can feel the win with another touchdown pass in the fourth to Mohamed Sanu.

Fans in Atlanta chanting MVP, MVP, after each Ryan touchdown. Falcons win 36-20. They are heading to the NFC championship for the first time since 2012. That game right there could in fact be the last game ever at the Georgia Dome. There's a cool moments from the Falcons locker room after the game. Owner Arthur Blank enjoying the win (INAUDIBLE) breaking off a couple of dance moves, as you see, the 74- year-old still got it.

Now the Falcons (INAUDIBLE) the winner from today's game between the Cowboys and the Packers. That one kicks off at 4:40 Eastern. The reminder (ph) of the game in Kansas City between the Chiefs and the Steelers has been moved to tonight because of the weather. It's going to kick off at 8:20 and there is still an ice storm warning for Kansas City until midnight, but they are hoping, guys, that they are going to be able to clear the roads so people can get to the stadium for the big game.

PAUL: All right. Andy, thank you.

SCHOLES: All right.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

PAUL: It's the end of the road, end of the road for one of the greatest shows on earth.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the world famous Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus, folding up that big top. The iconic road show define what a circus should be for generations of children, and have being on the road for, I guess, 150 years in one form or another.

PAUL: Yes. In the end, CEO Kenneth Feld said the circus was just simply too expensive to produce. Its fate was likely sealed last year when a retired popular elephant show, Feld said at that time it was inevitable.


KENNETH FELD, CEO, FELD ENTERTAINMENT: There is a saying, and it has been around for a long time, you can't fight city hall and we found that to be the case in this situation.


PAUL: Now the elephants by the way -- look at them here, living out their retirement at a conservation center in Florida.

BLACKWELL: Every year the elephants and their dance routines were a big draw for circus fans but they were (INAUDIBLE) by animal rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. And those activists criticized and picketed and sued the company over its treatment of the elephants.