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Trump Has Running War with Media; Trump's Cabinet Takes Shape, Faces Resistance; More Than One Million Marched Against Trump in the U.S. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired January 22, 2017 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:16] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: 4:00 a.m. in the East Coast. It's early.


PAUL: And we're so glad that you are still awake to keep us company here. Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. Live for you this morning from Washington, the nation's capital, of course a beautiful look of it out there. A little bit foggy, but we're certainly here to wake you up. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you and welcome to NEW DAY. A very, very NEW DAY at 4:00 a.m.

PAUL: No doubt --


PAUL: No doubt about it. We want to talk, of course, about Donald Trump saying that he is really to get to work as president but he still doesn't have a Cabinet in place to work with. So far just two members have been confirmed. A historically low number for a first day in office.

BLACKWELL: All right. Here's the slate. Tomorrow up for approval, Rex Tillerson, secretary of State nominee, Congressman Mike Pompeo, nominee for CIA director. And President Trump stopped by Langley, CIA headquarters yesterday, to speak for the Intelligence Community, and his comments left ex-CIA director, John Brennan, quote, "deeply saddened and angered."


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's nobody that feels stronger about the Intelligence Community and the CIA than Donald Trump. There is nobody.


TRUMP: And the wall behind me is very, very special. I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) TRUMP: Right? And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the Intelligence Community. And I just want to let you know, the reason your number one stop, it is exactly the opposite. Exactly. And they understand that, too.


BLACKWELL: The president there to share his support and show his support for the CIA, but the president does not have the support of many of the people you're seeing on your screen on his first full day in office. More than one million people marched in Washington and in other cities across the country in solidarity for women's rights.

PAUL: Now we just heard Donald Trump there lashing out at the media again at the CIA head quarters. His press secretary Sean Spicer, he had a lot more to say about that.

BLACKWELL: Yes. CNN's senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta has details for us this morning.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump has gone right back to attacking the news media, this time as president of the United States. During a visit at the Central Intelligence Agency over in Virginia, Trump lashed out at the news media and accused reporters of falsely reporting the crowd size numbers at his inauguration. And then later in the day his new White House press secretary Sean Spicer did the exact same thing and maintained that Donald Trump's inauguration was the biggest of all time.

Here's what he had to say.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe. Even "The New York Times" printed a -- a photograph showing that -- a misrepresentation of the crowd in the original tweet in their paper which showed the full extent of this report, depth and crowd and intensity that existed. These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.


ACOSTA: Even though White House press secretary Sean Spicer was insisting President Trump's inauguration was the largest ever witnessed, he was making excuses as to why the numbers were not even bigger, saying that the U.S. Secret Service installed magnetometers around the National Mall preventing what he called hundreds of thousands of people from witnessing Trump's inauguration. But the U.S. Secret Service says that is just not the case.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PAUL: All right. Here to talk about Trump's attack on the media and so much more, it's about so much more than that. CNN Politics reporters, Eugene Scott and Tom LoBianco.

Thank you both for being here. We appreciate it. I wanted to ask you first and foremost, we're in the first 24, 48 hours of the presidency. Did anybody see that this would be the topic of conversation?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I think people who've been paying attention for a while know that the Trump team and the administration are really concerned with optics and how they are perceived. I think people were hoping that something far more significant would have been discussed at the CIA, such as Donald Trump's pledged to launch an investigation into, you know, Russia's interaction with the election.

PAUL: The cyber attacks?

SCOTT: Yes. The cyber attacks and the hacking and the possibility that this could go forward with more countries this year as the rest of the world goes about elections. But to see that he spent such significant time talking about disagreement with a group that wasn't even there as the primary focus was discouraging for some people.

[04:05:00] BLACKWELL: Yes. And you know, when you think about all of the promises that were made during the campaign, on day one, I am going to, the first full day despite what the administration says is going to be Monday was yesterday. The first full day. And none of what they said they were going to do on day one actually happened.

TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, I think we got to be ready for the unexpected with this one. This is going to be a wild ride. I mean, to think that the president of the United States, this is -- he's no longer the president-elect, no longer even the nominee, this is the man who is in the White House. All right, the most powerful man in the world, is concerned that we report the number that he wants to say showed up to his inauguration. There were a lot of people.

You know, this is funny. This is why the National Parks Service does not give out crowd estimates anymore because of the intense politics behind it. You have the White House press secretary Sean Spicer walk out there and blast the media, blast journalists, reporters for reporting what we saw. I mean, we have aerial photos of this.

BLACKWELL: His first news conference in the briefing room.


BLACKWELL: The first one there.

LOBIANCO: I mean, this is -- you know, there are no grand pronouncements of making America first, trade deals, you know, jobs programs.

BLACKWELL: Immigration. LOBIANCO: Immigration, anything that they talked about even. I mean,

this is -- I don't want to say petty, but it's certainly not sweeping and, you know, there's not a lot of vision behind it.

PAUL: But in case anybody missed it, let's listen to Sean Spicer here yesterday, a little bit more from him, as to what he said in that, as Victor pointed out, very first news conference essentially.


SPICER: Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way in one particular tweet to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. No one had numbers because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out.


PAUL: Eugene, look, he's a smart guy, we've talked to Sean Spicer. He knows what he's talking about. Do you get the sense that he did this for Donald Trump under some sort of orders? Do you think that he sounded quite combative there? Is that the Sean Spicer we know?

SCOTT: Well, we do know that Sean Spicer can be combative on his own. But we also know he does work for Donald Trump as of now. And Donald Trump is someone who would normally respond -- give us something like that on Twitter. And I think perhaps maybe he's trying to be a bit more presidential but he's leaving that type of work to other people.

BLACKWELL: But is Sean Spicer now the extension of Twitter?

PAUL: Right.


BLACKWELL: When typically we would have seen this in 140 characters, now he's got a press secretary he can send out, as he did yesterday, to give a statement and then walk off the stage?

SCOTT: I certainly think so. I was looking at the list of new hires I believe that came out Friday, and I noticed -- I don't know if this is completely true, but it seems like there's a broader digital team than there maybe was before. And so we might see a larger expansion of Twitter, people in this administration as a whole.

I think what is interesting regardless of the attendance of the inauguration, what we do know is that Donald Trump has the historically lowest approval ratings up his transition going into the White House of any president of the United States. It would be wise of the team to focus on how they can improve those numbers and get more Americans on the Trump train.

PAUL: OK. So let's talk about those numbers because it's not something we thought we would be talking about.

BLACKWELL: No. PAUL: Today, by any means.

BLACKWELL: And I think it's important to say --

PAUL: And here's the thing --

BLACKWELL: That this isn't specifically the numbers of the attendance really the most important element.

PAUL: Right.

SCOTT: Right.


BLACKWELL: This is what they focused on and many of the things they presented as facts are not true.

PAUL: Are not facts. So this is my question to you, Tom. What does this tell you about what is important to Donald Trump? That he goes to the CIA and the first thing he's talking about is the numbers of people who are there and how they have been misrepresented. That shows what his value is, does it not?

LOBIANCO: It's not presidential. I'm just going to go ahead and say that. It's not -- worrying about your image like that is not -- is more political. It's not the type of thing you expect to see from a chief executive, all right? And it's really stunning. It's incredibly stunning. I think part of, you know, what John Brennan was saying in blasting him with this comment was not just that, OK, there's this battle behind the scenes over the Russian hacking and, you know, whether Trump would acknowledge this or not.

But also that you stood in front of the wall of people who died in service and said that you were concerned about how many people showed up to your inauguration. And I think that was the -- he never said that anything like that it was lessening it per se, but that's kind of the concern. It's not a pronouncement of, you know, we are re- engaging ISIS with a new tactic. It's not an announcement of, you know, we have a new program on drones or anything like that. It was an announcement of how many people were there to see me, which is shocking.

BLACKWELL: And I wonder, if the intention there was to mend fences with the Intelligence Community. Why weren't there prepared remarks? I mean, his team knows him. Shouldn't they have sent him up with some prepared remarks instead of letting him speak extemporaneously and does he now need to go back and fix what a lot in the community were angered by as we saw from John Brennan?

[04:10:09] You two stay with us because we've got a lot to talk about.

PAUL: Yes. Eugene Scott and Tom LoBianco are going to stick around here but we're going to talk more about President Trump as he's facing one of the first big tests as commander-in-chief. Why a fight is brewing on Capitol Hill over some of his Cabinet picks? BLACKWELL: Also, celebrities, activists, politicians, they took to

the streets to protest Donald Trump one day after his inauguration. And we should say this gathering was about much more than just women's rights. There were people there for other causes. Why they wanted their voices heard, that's coming up next.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ACTRESS: I respect that you are our president- elect, and I want to be able to support you, but first I ask that you support me.

GLORIA STEINEM, FEMINIST, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: Do not try to divide us. If you force Muslims to register, we will all register as Muslims.



BLACKWELL: President Trump gears up for his first full week in office now. And first up on the agenda, getting lawmakers on Capitol Hill to sign off on his Cabinet nominees.


TRUMP: We have by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever.


PAUL: Now so far only two of Trump's picks have been confirmed, secretary of Defense, retired General James Mattis and retired General John Kelly for secretary of Homeland Security. And we know that others such as Betsy DeVos who has been tapped for Education secretary already facing some fierce resistance over concerns about her qualifications.

BLACKWELL: And Monday all eyes will be on Rex Tillerson, the president's pick for secretary of State. That's when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is will vote on his nomination. Now Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has expressed concerns about Tillerson's ties to Russia is still on the fence publicly. A vote with Democrats could potentially hold up Tillerson's nomination.

PAUL: Meanwhile, Congressman Mike Pompeo who's been tapped to lead the CIA is expected to be confirmed tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: All right, back with us, Eugene Scott and Tom LoBianco, with

[04:15:04] Eugene, I want to start with you. There is this question of timing and schedule. On the first day in 2009 President Obama had seven of his nominees confirmed. Only two for Donald Trump so far. Democrats will say Republicans are rushing him through, Republicans will say Democrats are dragging their feet. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle. What is the truth here? SCOTT: Certainly. Well, what the Democrats are also saying or at

least the watchdog group that monitors much of this is that many of the forms that the nominees are supposed to turn in and submit so that they can be vetted properly have not been vetted or came in very late. And so Democrats are asking a lot of questions that they would have answers to had these forms been in on time. But to be fair, even if that was true, because the watchdog group presents itself as nonpartisan, even though it's run by an Obama appointee, the reality is most of these people are people the American people don't know.


SCOTT: These aren't former lawmakers, so they really are basic how to get to know you questions. And many of these people come from the business world and are being asked questions that they aren't used to be asked and are offended sometimes and put off and shocked. And sometimes they just don't even know because they're so high up that they're not dealing with the weeds. So this is going to take a lot longer than maybe someone who was in a previous administration or has been vetted because they were an appointee or a lawmaker before.


PAUL: Tom Barrack said about the -- about this whole scenario, Tom, that these are business people who are successful and yes, they are in a different position so they are answering different questions that they are not particularly used to. And he said, people are complaining about them, but what do you want? Don't you want successful people to be in the Cabinet? Who do you think is most at risk or may take the longest time?

LOBIANCO: Well, Tillerson looks like he's in the most trouble right now of any of them. And you know, I don't want to give the indication at all that anyone will be shot down here because remember that Republicans still have a majority in the Senate. OK. So at the end of the day, they do have the votes to line this up. Although maybe not blocked filibuster, but they do have the votes for this, OK?

What's interesting, however, is you have three Republicans in particular who are still hold-outs on Tillerson. Foreign policy hawks, Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Marco Rubio. And we have this critical vote coming up tomorrow in foreign relations. I was talking with the Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee, who himself was considered for secretary of State at one point, and he was saying that maybe if they don't get the vote the way they wanted, if they can't get the votes in committee, he might still kick it out to the floor using a procedure, kicking out to the full Senate and try to get a final vote there. It's not looking like he's going to go down in flames, Tillerson, but it's going to be rocky. There's no doubt about it.

BLACKWELL: So he could survive even if Marco Rubio votes with the Democrats.

LOBIANCO: That's right. BLACKWELL: OK. Let's go through a couple of them. Let's start with

Betsy DeVos who is the nominee for the Department of Education. There was that round of questioning, a single round, which we heard a lot of protests from the Democrats on the committee, just five minutes per person, and that's even before the report from -- the ethics report came in. We now know that that ethics report has been submitted. And that the chairman, Senator Alexander, will now allow there to be another round potentially on the 31st. So we're expecting to hear a lot of questions about her finances.

SCOTT: Yes. And one of the reasons is because we have data now that shows that the majority of students in America's public schools are poor, are students from low-income families. And so the Democrats are going to want to use this time to show that they are the party that can win more of these working class voters back that they lost to Donald Trump. These are voters that they usually would have won. And so they are thinking that this is one of these areas that we can convince people that we are on their side.

A lot of this is for show, right? A lot of this is people are trying to figure out, what's the direction for the Democratic Party? And people are wanting to step and say, I know we're going to make this look like it's about this person, but it's actually about midterms and it's about 2020.

PAUL: All right. Eugene Scott, Tom LoBianco, stay with us. We still have more.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we do.

PAUL: Obviously ahead. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: This is what democracy looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: This is what democracy looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: This is what democracy looks like.


PAUL: Nobody could have predicted these numbers. The Women's March on Washington flooding the National Mall with pink in support of women's rights. And it wasn't just in D.C. Their message to President Trump just ahead.



[04:22:25] JANELLE MONAE, SINGER/ACTRESS: Women will be hidden no more. We will not remain hidden figures. We have names. We're a complete human beings. And they cannot police us. So get off our areolas.


PAUL: That will wake you up in the morning.

BLACKWELL: Good morning.

PAUL: Good morning. The Women's March on Washington. There were celebrities, there were activists, there were politicians gathering to send a message to incoming President Donald Trump on his first full day in office. Their message? This is what democracy looks like. They will not be ignored or have their rights eviscerated, they say.

BLACKWELL: This was not just coast to coast, this was around the world. Tens of thousands poured into the streets to galvanize support for not only just women's rights but equality rights in general. And the number of tens of thousands, that is really, really low considering the displays we saw in Washington, in New York and Chicago, towns like New Orleans, smaller cities across the country.

Let's go global, you've got London, Barcelona, Paris, Sydney, they have similar sister marches in solidarity.

PAUL: In one of the largest organized gatherings against President Trump or protesting him, the Women's March on Washington saw more than one million people in the streets in protest.

BLACKWELL: It has sparked what some could call the start of an enduring opposition. We'll see if that happens as we get further down the road.

CNN's Kyung Lah is in Washington with the latest.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, Victor, the heart of the protest here in Washington, D.C., what began as a simple Facebook post exploded into packed streets, marchers with a message telling the new president we will not be ignored.


AMERICA FERRERA, ACTRESS: The president is not America. We are America.

LAH (voice-over): A battle cry from a sea of pink on President Donald Trump's first full day as president.

(On camera): Why did you want to come here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We needed to come here on the turf of Donald Trump to let him know I am not going to stand for it. I'm going to make a difference myself.

LAH (voice-over): In the nation's capital, people from coast to coast descended. Hundreds of thousands of marchers filling almost every inch of the path on their way to the White House's backyard.

Similar scenes playing out across the country. In St. Louis, the marchers filled the streets towards the gateway arch. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Hello, women of


[04:25:01] LAH: In Boston, New York, Chicago, and around the world, and more than 600 marches. According to organizers, the crowds were exponentially larger than expected.

WARREN: We come here to stand shoulder-to-shoulder. To make clear we are here, we will not be silent. We will not play dead. We will fight for what we believe in.

LAH: Some protesters came driven by fear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm afraid of anybody who lacks the empathy to see their neighbor who's different than them and not treat them as equally American as anybody else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to sat to Trump, we are not afraid of him, that we are together.

LAH (on camera): Is today's march about Donald Trump?


LAH: What it's about?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today's march is about creating a brighter future despite who's in office.

LAH (voice-over): A sentiment shared by celebrities headlining the events.

FERRERA: If we commit to what aligns us, if we stand together, steadfast and determined, then we stand a chance at saving the soul of our country.

ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: We are here to be respected. We are here to be nasty. I am nasty, like Susan, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Amelia, Rosa, Gloria, Condoleezza, Sonya, Malala, Michelle, Hillary.

MADONNA, SINGER: Good did not win this election, but good will win in the end.

LAH: Marchers pledging to remain united as a loud opposition voice for the next four years.


LAH: An incredible showing, so what is next? We spoke with many of these marchers and they say that they are going to take this back to their communities and begin their grassroots opposition just as this was day one for President Trump, his first full day in office, it is day one of their opposition -- Christi, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Kyung, thanks so much. Donald Trump promising to roll back Obamacare. In fact it was his

very first executive order. But what will he replace it with in working with Congress? We'll explain and ask our experts, next.