Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Report: Trump Meets MLK's Son Amid Clash with Lewis; Kerry Calls Trumps Comments "Inappropriate"; Widow Pulse Nightclub Shooter Arrested; Trump Slams NATO as "Obsolete"; Trump May Put Jared in Charge of Middle East Peace; "First Daughter" Airs on CNN 9pm ET. Aired 5:30-6p ET

Aired January 16, 2017 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] CHARLES MCKINNEY, PROFESSOR, AFRICANA STUDIES, RHODES COLLEGE: With our elections but the extent to which they tampered with our elections. So, again, you know, Lewis's comments -- 50 years ago, people thought john Lewis was crazy. 50 years later we saw that john Lewis was basically trying to get the constitution enforced. Right? He was trying to bring African Americans firmly into the mainstream of American life. This is a very similar dynamic. We are in a situation now where somebody needs to speak truth to power, make the statements and create the space so we can have legitimate actual dialogue and figure out how to move forward.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You mentioned birtherism. That was a punch in the gut for so many Americans. If you look at his Instagram he is essentially saying listen Mr. Trump, if you didn't accept my President why should I accept you. Flipping it around, the backlash that Steve Harvey received for trying to have a seat at the table, he met with Mr. Trump on Friday and the hate he has received from it sounds like his own community has been overwhelming for him. This is what he said on the radio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE HARVEY, COMEDIAN: I have an obligation to take a seat at the table when invited. You know, change can only happen when we sit at the table. If we sit at the table, then we can have a say-so on to what's to be eaten on the menu. On a personal note, a lot of y'all hurt me. You really did. I didn't expect the backlash to be so vicious. If I'm going to keep getting stabbed at, then at least while you stabbing me you should understand my intent for each taking the meeting in the first place. It ain't about me and my personal gains. It's only that I care about the inner cities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So, you know -- you know, if Steve Harvey would say if you wanted to have a seat at the table, Eugene, and then he gets backlash from his own community, you are damned if you do, damned if you don't.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I think Steve Harvey's commitment to solving issues in the inner city it is proven if you follow his talk show, if you follow his radio show. But I think a bigger concern of the criticism was that if Steve Harvey, people like Ben Carson, if people like Omarosa are truly invested in urban policy issues they would recognize there are people more equipped to deal with these issues. People were hoping they would get some experts and people who have experience in issues affecting black Americans to meet with Donald Trump.

BALDWIN: Let's keep having this important conversation to have especially as we move into the next chapter in our country's history. Thank you, gentlemen.

Coming up next, Secretary of State John Kerry sits down for an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. Hear why he called President-elect Trump's comments to foreign journalists in a word, inappropriate.

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: The widow of that Orlando nightclub shooter has been arrested today in San Francisco. Authorities had long suspected Noor Salman played a role in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Her husband was killed last June by a SWAT team after he opened fire in a popular gay nightclub called Pulse, killing 49 people. He had sworn allegiance to ISIS. Let's go to Pamela Brown. She is our CNN justice correspondent who has been working and got the scoop from the FBI. What was her involvement?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, FBI clearly believes she is complicit and have built this case with evidence proving this point according to the FBI. We're learning that the wife of the Pulse shooter Omar Mateen was arrested in California this morning on federal charges of aiding and abetting her husband's attempted material support the ISIS and obstruction of justice. Authorities I have spoken with say they believe she acted of her own free will and knowingly did something to obstruct the investigation. In part, investigators believe she didn't tell the truth in some of her interviews with the FBI.

And she had claimed she was coerced through her husband's abusive behavior but I'm told from authorities her story didn't stand up. Another source I spoke with says the evidence will show that we're going to find out tomorrow in the charging documents that she was come police hit and had to know her husband was going to do something bad. We previously reported that she went with her husband in the week leading up to the mass shouting to scout potential targets. She was with him when he bought the gun that was used in the attack. At the time, it was unclear how much she knew about her husband's intentions.

She claimed she didn't know about his specific plan and claimed she was innocent, didn't have anything to do with it. But we also reported Mateen went on a spending spree and bought his wife an expensive piece of jewelry before the attack and changed documents into her name. We have reached out to her attorney. We have not heard back. She will have her first court appearance tomorrow morning. We should also note that her arrest was first reported by the "New York Times."

BALDWIN: Pamela, thank you.

[15:40:00] President-elect Donald Trump slamming NATO, calling it, his word, obsolete. He had a joint interview over the weekend with the Times of London and the German publication Bild. This is what Mr. Trump said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one, it was obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago. Number two, the countries weren't paying what they are supposed to pay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: His comments. That was just a piece of it. You know, have rattled the alliance with top leaders across the world coming out criticizing that remark. But Russia siding with the President-elect, slamming NATO as confrontational. Let's go to Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Barbara, Trump's comments are in direct contradiction to his own nominee for defense secretary, General James Mattis. What was the global reaction to the President-elect's comments here?

BARBARA STARR, CNN, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are hearing right away from the Germans, Brooke. And remember Germany is one of the U.S. military's closest allies in the world. And the German foreign minister today said there was bewilderment and agitation about what the President said about NATO, that NATO as an alliance is obsolete. It does put Mr. Trump at direct contradiction with both his incoming secretary of state and with his incoming secretary of defense. Let's just go back and minute and listen to what James Mattis, the incoming defense secretary had to say about NATO at his confirmation hearing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES MATTIS, INCOMING DEFENSE SECRETARY: If we did not have NATO today we would need to created it. NATO is vital to our national interests, and it's vital to the security of the United States. It's vital to the protection of the freedoms of the democracies that we are allied with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: So, it's one thing here if you have a President-elect who says -- has already said that his cabinet secretary shouldn't worry about what he thinks. They should say what they think. You could maybe chalk some of this up to politics. But when it comes to military relations around the world this becomes very serious. Because if Mattis is out there talking to the NATO allies asking for NATO assistance fighting in Afghanistan, fighting ISIS, this is something Germany has participated in.

Trying to work with other countries on counter-terrorism against ISIS and there are these bad feelings they are not too sure what the U.S. stands for, what the U.S. priorities are, if there are confusing signals this is how you get miscalculation in national security and international security problems. And I think most analysts and most U.S. military commanders will tell you that's the big worry right now, mixed signals, and the allies may be uncertain about how committed the U.S. really is.

BALDWIN: Barbara, thank you.

To a CNN exclusive now. Secretary of State John Kerry ripping President-elect Trump over his comments on NATO. As Barbara was just discussing and in foreign policy in general. He gave his final interview to our Christiane Amanpour.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Secretary of State John Kerry came into our studios for a final exclusive farewell interview. And he spoke expansively about some of the issues that the Obama administration accomplished the Iran nuclear deal, the climate deal and many other things. He also of course reacted to the Trump interview which was done by a British and German newspaper. And he had strong words for Donald Trump as he put it weighing into other countries' politics, for instance for his comments on the EU and other countries may and should leave the EU. But, also calling Angela Merkel's policies on refugees catastrophic.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I thought frankly it was inappropriate for a President-elect of the United States to be stepping into the politics of other countries in a quite direct manner. And he'll have to speak to that. As of Friday, you know, he's responsible for that relationship.

AMANPOUR: Kerry also spoke at some length about the enormous help that the Obama administration had tried to give the Middle East peace process. Particularly how they had stood shoulder to shoulder despite outward appearances with the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu saying it had given one of the highest levels of aid to Israel and had tried over and over again to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians but that as yet the Israeli government, the Palestinian leadership have not been able to have a meeting of the minds on that issue.

BALDWIN: Christiane Amanpour, thank you, in London.

On the topic of Middle East peace, President-elect Trump said he may put his son in law Jared Kushner in charge of brokering a deal there. We will take a closer look at the role Kushner and his daughter Ivanka Trump will be playing in the administration.

Also, ahead, a cabinet appointee backing out of her role after a CNN investigation.

[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office in four days, he is renewing his claim that his son in law, apolitical novice, will broker a MIDDLE EAST peace deal. Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, is married to Trump's daughter, Ivanka and has no previous diplomatic experience. Yet Trump is quoted by the German publication Bild as saying, "do you know what? Jared is such a good guy he will conclude an Israel agreement that no one else can do. Has a natural talent, he is amazing. He is a natural talent." Gloria Borger has a new CNN special report "First Daughter, Ivanka Trump." Here's a peek.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: In Jared, Ivanka found a natural connection. They both grew up heirs to real estate empires. Run my powerful and controversial fathers. And both were executives in their family businesses.

[15:50:00] ERIC TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT'S SON: They really create a force to be reckoned with. They spend a lot of time thinking, strategizing, planning, they feed off of each other, their personalities truly feed off of each other.

BORGER: Ivanka and Jared married in 2009 at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. Ivanka converted to Judaism that Jared grew up with and observes.

DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT-ELECT'S SON: It was something that meant a lot for her. But I think it also shows how seriously she took, know, the relationship with Jared. And that was something that was, you know, obviously a very big deal.

BORGER: In March 2016 and in the middle of her father's Presidential campaign, Ivanka and Jared welcomed their third child, Theodore James. Brother to Arabella and Joseph.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is a wonderful mother, she is fierce and devoted, she is up with early every morning giving them breakfast and being with them. And then putting them to bed.

ERIC TRUMP: For myself as the father of five young kids, it is really difficult. It is really difficult workwise and even more difficult on a campaign where information -- every five minutes is an up and down cycle, right.

Honest, I think the conversion to Judaism was a big part of it. Observing the Sabbath, from Friday night to Saturday night, there are no phones, no computers. I think that was actually probably very helpful.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Wow. Gloria is with me now from Washington. Just talking about Ivanka. We know her husband will have a role in the west wing. But whether she has a title or not, her dad listens to her, does he not?

BORGER: Yeah. He wants her there. It doesn't matter. She may end up with an office in the west wing. She is now, as you know, working on all these child care issue, women empowerment issues. These are things she cares a great deal about. But I do think Ivanka and Jared, to a degree, but especially Ivanka, will really be a gut-check for her father. That's what the brothers say. And I believe that was the case during the campaign. We saw her and Jared -- we saw them get very involved in the choice of mike pence as vice President.

BALDWIN: Right.

BORGER: I think she'll also be his political antenna around town. She will not be tethered to the White House as much. I think they're going to be pretty social. Remember, she brought Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio over to Trump tower.

BALDWIN: Right. Right.

BORGER: If she did that, who knows what she can do inside the white house. So, I think she is going to serve that kind of a function as well. And above all, Brooke, she is loyal. And she protects him, and she will continue to do that, and that is what Donald Trump says he wants. It's loyal people around him. And who is more loyal than your family.

BALDWIN: What about just quickly, Ivanka the person. We heard about her brother talking about her conversion to Judaism and how that really had a mark on her and her family. Her parents' divorce I think was personal for her as well.

BORGER: Very. You know, and all their adult children talk about the divorce as something that was really seminal in their lives. She was a young girl of like 9 or 10. Her parents' divorce was very public. It was in the tabloids every day. She was followed by cameras, et cetera. Her brother, Don Jr., kind of protected her. But the three kids grew pretty close during that time because they were in the spotlight. And it was an unwanted spotlight. And they remain close to this day.

BALDWIN: We'll watch. Gloria, thank you so much. Your special report airs tonight at 9:00 on CNN, 8:00 eastern.

We have news just in to CNN I want to get to you. The last man to walk on the moon has died. He was the commander of Apollo 17 which landed on the moon on December 11th, 1972. He stepped out of the lunar module "Challenger" and became the 11th person to walk on the moon. After he left no human person ever returned. He was 82 years old.

Coming up next in one of his final acts as leader of the free world. President Obama welcoming the world series champions the Chicago Cubs. A peek at that coming up.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: This is always so fun to watch. From world series champs to White House guests. Today President Obama honored the Chicago Cubs, who, as you well know, ended a 108-year drought when they beat the Cleveland Indians in the world series. The President admitted, of course, he is a di- hard Chicago White Sox fan but said the first lady has been loyal to the Cubs all her life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She remembers coming home from school, and her dad would be watching a Cubs game. And the bond and the family, the meaning that the cubs had for her in terms of connecting with her father. And why it meant so much to her. And I almost choked up listening to it. And it spoke, I think, to how people feel about this organization and that it's been passed on generation after generation. And it's -- it is more than just sports. And that is not just true for Flotus. My longest serving aide, Anita, is a Cubs fan.

When they -- fan is not enough. When they won, the next day she said, this is the best day of my life. And I said, what about me winning the presidency? What about your wedding day?

She was like, no. This is the day. My chief speech writer Cody Keenan, Cubs fan.

In fact, there were a lot of sick days during the playoffs. One of my staff members was caught being interviewed at a bar outside of Wrigley, and we're watching him being interviewed. You remember?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[16:00:00] BALDWIN: Oh, busted! Thanks for being with me.