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Trump Signs Executive Order For Border Wall; Defector Tells CNN What He Knows About Kim Jong-un; Largest Annual Migration Begins; Trump Considers Temporary Ban On Refugees; Crowds Protest Trump's Immigration Plans; Mexican President Refuses To Pay For "Any" Wall; Trump Calls For Major Investigation Of Voter Fraud; DOW Jones Breaks 20,000 For The First Time; Trump's Impact on Stock Market Record Highs; Greenpeace's Message to America; N. Korea Official Ready To Fire ICBM At Any Time. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired January 26, 2017 - 1:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:01:01] ISHA SESAY, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, Donald Trump signs an executive order directing federal workers to start building his border wall, but Mexico says it is not paying for it.
Plus, CNN meet with a North Korean defector who used to be a diplomat; what he says about Kim Jong-un, thinking - he's thinking on nuclear weapons. And later, millions of people on the move, it's the largest Annual MAC Migration event and it is happening right now.
Hello, and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay. This is NEWSROOM L.A.
Well, backlash is growing to U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to crackdown on refugees and immigration. Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto, is facing growing pressure to cancel a trip to Washington to meet with Mr. Trump. He addressed his country, Wednesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I'm against the decision by the United States to extend the wall which for years has divided us, instead of uniting us. Mexico does not believe in walls. I've said time again, Mexico will not pay for any wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Meanwhile, crowds gathered in several U.S. cities to protest Mr. Trump's plan for temporary ban on all refugees coming to the U.S. The President also wants to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities that refuse to turn over undocumented migrants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Hundreds of American cities where this executive order could undermine public safety, create a rift and a disconnect between police departments and those they serve and take away funding from law enforcement. That's the potential magnitude of what we face here. MARTY WALSH, BOSTON MAYOR: If necessary we'll use city hall itself to
shelter and protect anyone who is targeted unjustly. Boston was here for me and my family and for as long as I am Mayor, I will never turn my back on those who's seeking a better life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, we get more now from CNN Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, Michelle Kosinski.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: President Trump takes the first step on one of his first campaign promises to build the wall.
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders, gets back its borders.
KOSINSKI: Now, with executive action he directs the Department of Homeland Security to start building it immediately, along the 1900- mile-long border with Mexico using existing federal money to get it started.
TRUMP: The Secretary of Homeland Security working with myself and my staff, will begin immediate construction of a border wall.
KOSINSKI: President Trump, tells ABC News he's also standing by his campaign pledge to make Mexico pay for it.
DAVID MUIR, ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT ANCHOR: Will American taxpayers pay for the wall?
TRUMP: Ultimately, it will come out of what's happening with Mexico. We'll going to be starting those negotiations relatively soon, and will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico.
MUIR: So, they'll pay us back?
TRUMP: Yes, absolutely. 100 percent.
MUIR: When does construction begin?
TRUMP: As soon as we can - as soon as we can physically do it. Where -
MUIR: In months?
TRUMP: I would say in months. Yes, I would say in months. Certainly, planning is starting immediately.
[01:04:32] KOSINSKI: It's not clear where the existing money would come from to pay for the wall, and Congress would still need to approve any new funding to build it. Trump himself has estimated cost around $10 billion. But today's move also means beefing up manpower on the border, 5,000
additional customs and border protection officers. And in a second executive action signed today, the President is increasing deportations of undocumented immigrants. Tripling resources for enforcement and withholding funding from so-called "Sanctuary Cities", when local municipalities refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities.
TRUMP: We are going to get the bad ones out, the criminals, and the drug-deals, and gangs, and gang members, and cartel leaders. The day is over when they can stay in our country and wreak havoc.
KOSINSKI: It all happened on the same day a high level Mexican delegation is here in Washington meeting with Trump's top advisers. It's the first official meeting with a foreign government, after the White House unveiled that America First Policy. And one day after the Mexican Foreign Minister railed against a border wall, and Mexico's potential price tag.
LUIS VIDEGARAY, MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We recognize that the United States has the right to build a wall even though we don't like it. But it is another thing to try to get a neighboring country to pay for the construction. We have said many times that, that is unacceptable.
KOSINSKI: There have been a couple of hints as to how the Trump administration could at least try to get Mexico, to pay for the wall. One is in the amount of aid that the U.S. sends Mexico each year; that could be reduced, or the Trump administration could try to prevent Mexicans living in the United States from sending remittances back home to Mexico. And that, is a significant amount of money.
Another is the thing that come out of these executive orders is look at the new priorities for enforcement, for deportations. Under the Obama administration it was really focused on people who've been convicted of felonies, or gang members, or people who've committed a string of crimes. When you look at the new priorities, it includes people who are charged with crimes or in some cases, haven't even been charged with crimes but are just suspected of being a threat. According to the new rules, they are still on the priority list for deportation. Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the State Department.
SESAY: Well, joining us here in L.A., Ron Brownstein, CNN Senior Political Analyst and Senior Editor for the Atlantic, round two.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAN ANALYST AND THE ATLANTIC SENIOR EDITOR: Good evening.
SESAY: Good evening. Ron, as we talk about the big beautiful wall that Donald Trump made a cornerstone of his campaign. You know, he's going to have it signed the executive order, looking for the money says he'll divert it. It's one thing to sign the order.
BROWNSTEIN: Correct. SESAY: Talk about getting to the point of actually building this wall.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, the first thing - you know, I was thinking today that Donald Trump is not only building a wall at the border, he's building walls within the U.S. I mean, it's an extraordinary divide and for the first week of the administration; just think of all that has happened. I mean, that very confrontational inaugural address followed immediately on Saturday, by the biggest immediate protest to a President - new President ever, one in 100 Americans by the best estimate were in the streets on Saturday.
Tonight, as he signed the orders kind of pop up protests in a number of cities, most prominently in New York. We are headed for a period of intense confrontation and conflict of the U.S., no question. Building a wall along the border. Yes, he can start with an executive order, he can redirect money from the department - Department of Homeland Security. But a wall could cost $15 billion, there is not $15 billion laying under the couch in the Secretary's office of the Department of Homeland Security. Ultimately, he will need Congress to approve this, and there is a lot of ambivalence even among Republicans and borders states, about really, whether this is the best expenditure of money.
SESAY: I think it's very interesting, that CBS poll shows that 59 percent of Americans oppose this wall. You have to wonder, does he still feel like he's campaigning?
SESAY: You know, has he kind of made the transition to understanding what --
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think, I think, I think, I think, I think it's revealing although his kind of conception of what he is doing. I mean, I think, you know, everything that has happened in the first week has spoken to his constituency. I mean, that the people, you know, he is dancing with the ones who've rung him, as they say in Texas. You know, on trade, on immigration he is talking to that alienated, non-urban, non-college white core of his vote that is in a kind of an insular mood.
His interview with The Times of London and in a German newspaper he said, "I could care less if the E.U. falls apart, and NATO is obsolete." This has been a very good week for Steve Bannon. And Steve Bannon themes is kind of populist nationalism retreating from the world. The problem he's got is that he is intensely polarizing the opposition measured not only by these unprecedented protests on Saturday. But the fact, that he started his presidency in a gallop- hole this week, as the first newly inaugurated President in the history of polling with an approval rating from less than half of the country.
45 percent in the very first poll said, they disapproved of him. You know what the highest was ever previous 65 years from the late President - SESAY: I do not.
BROWNSTEIN: 25 percent. So, we are talking about a very different situation from the beginning, in which, as I said, there are walls not only at the border but walls inside the U.S. That are going up quickly.
[01:09:46] SESAY: As we talk about drawing lines, the President doubling down on these unfounded claims that he lost the popular vote, because three to five million illegal ballots were cast. He was asked about that in an interview with ABC's David Muir, he doubled down take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUIR: What you have presented so far has been debunked. It's been called false. I called -
TRUMP: Take a look at the peer reports.
MUIR: I called the author of the two reports last night. And he told me that they found no evidence of voter fraud.
TRUMP: Really? Then why did they write the report?
MUIR: He said, no evidence of voter fraud.
TRUMP: Excuse me, then why did he right the report?
MUIR: So -
TRUMP: According to peer report. Then he's - then he's groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they want to rise something that you want to hear, but not necessarily millions of people want to hear or have to hear. MUIR: So, you've launched an investigation?
TRUMP: We're going to launch an investigation to find out. And then the next time - and I will say this, of those votes cast, none of them come to me. None of them come to me. They would all be for the other side. None of them come to me. But when you look at the people that are registered, dead, illegal, and two states, and some cases maybe three states. We have a lot to look into.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Before we dissect what the President said, I need you to listen to what the actual author of these few study had to say on CNN a short time ago. Take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BECKER, CENTER FOR ELECTION INVESTIGATION AND RESEARCH: There is absolutely no evidence of voter fraud even approaching that scale. Does voter fraud exist? Yes, it does in very small numbers. And the election officials around the country are working to investigate and prosecute those dozens of cases that might occur nationwide in an election like this. But three to five million illegal votes, that would have been discovered not just on election day but well before. Fraudulent registrations not matching the driver's license numbers, and so security number; flagged for I.D. under federal law; extra provisional ballots being cast. All of these things we would have seen and there is zero evidence of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Zero evidence.
BROWNSTEIN: Zero evidence. This is a real challenge for the American Political System. A President going out on national television, repeatedly saying things that for which there is no evidence. In fact, all the evidence points in the opposite direction. His own lawyers arguing against the recount after the elections. So, there was no evidence of voter fraud.
A couple of years ago, when the Republicans in the state of Pennsylvania imposed some of the tighter voter I.D. laws, and they were challenged in court. They said, they could not produce a single case of in-person voter fraud in the state of Pennsylvania; one of the largest in the U.S. There is obviously a psychological component of this. The President is acutely sensitive to any suggestion that his victory was in anyway illegitimate. The idea that he lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes to him, is clearly kind of a burr under the saddle.
So, part of this is responding to that but there's also a policy and political agenda to this. Where you have seen Republican states with Republican Governors, and Republican Legislators instituting a whole series of measures to make voter tougher - voting tougher. Tougher voter I.D. laws, tougher identification requirements, and an investigation of this sort could be the predicate for the Justice Department which has fought those efforts under the voting right acts turning to support those kinds of an issue.
SESAY: Is it just - because as you talk again about lines and the different fronts that are opening up. I mean, clearly, we have seen and heard from a number of Republicans saying, effectively, let this go there's no - nothing to support this. But he's also opening up another front with the congressional black caucus and other minority leaders in Congress.
BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely. I mean, you know, and the tweets about John Lewis. This is - we are headed for a level - you know, I sometimes joke, we are headed for the most social and political conflict since the '60s. The question is whether it's the 1960s or the 1860s, you know. And that is the real point about the opening week of the Trump administration, you compare this even to George W. Bush the last time a Republican succeeded a Democrat. George W. Bush, was not trying to append as much of kind of the -
SESAY: And alienate indirectly.
BROWNSTEIN: And right. He ran was - he as a compassionate conservative. He wanted to cut taxes but he had education reform plan where worked with Democrats. Donald Trump may have some opportunities and infrastructure, eventually, to work with Democrats. But right now, when you look at immigration, when you look at health care, when you look at many of his pronouncements on other issues, when you look at his kind of attitude toward America's role in the world.
He is forcing kind of the issue and heading toward confrontations on many, many fronts. And another one coming next week with the appointment of a conservative Supreme Court Justice to fill the seat that Obama was denied the opportunity to fill, and which is again, going to be a red flag in front of Democrats.
SESAY: Practically out of time, but I've got to say and ask you this. As he makes these bold moves and a flurry of executive orders, he is very aware of he's in front of optics.
SESAY: And the camera being there to capture it all. I assume that this is the sign of things to come or this is going to continue throughout this presidency?
[01:14:41] BROWNSTEIN: I think they have a clear idea what they're doing and who they're talking to. They are willing to pay some cost do that. He is speaking to his constituency, the voters who he said were forgotten; non-college primarily, non-urban white voters. He is talking to them. Steve Bannon asked themes are very prominent. You have kind of this Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Reince Priebus kind of government, kind of planning to pot all of this legislation. And you have Steve Bannon, kind of dominating the big themes in this populist nationalism that owes more to kind of those European Nationalist Parties. And what we introduced seem to be the Republican Party. The big question will be how long the Republicans in Congress kind of bite their lip and accept it?
[01:15:20] SESAY: Interesting times ahead. Ronald, it's a pleasure.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
SESAY: Thank you so much. All right, well Donald Trump has used his executive power, quite a bit over the past few days that include executive orders. Official documents that declare government policy. An executive order gives instructions to government agencies and departments on how to operate. Executive actions are broader and include proclamations, memorandums and proposals. Both carry legal weight but neither is as powerful as a law passed by Congress. One of the most infamous executive orders was issued in 1942. It established internment camps for Japanese-Americans and others during World War 2.
Well the DOW Jones Industrial Average is at a record highs 20,000 for the first time ever. It has been coming close for weeks now but it finally hit the big milestone on Wednesday. The other two, main U.S. had seen the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are also at record highs. The stock market has made big gains on the Trump election after many investors worried - they worried quite a bit, that he might actually cause a market crash. That has not happened. Let's see how the Asian markets are reacting. And they're reacting positively to the historic numbers in the U.S. as you see that the Nikkei is up over 1.81 percent by the biggest market in late trading. The Hang Seng isn't far behind as you see there 1.38 percent. And the ASX200 is also up as you there on your screens. And the Shanghai Composite is doing well also. So it's looking good on the Asian Markets, they did well. Let's bring Global Business Executive, Ryan Patel. He joins me now live. Ryan, good to have you with us. As we talk about the DOW surging and doing so well, hitting this benchmark 20,000, you know, it's being framed as historic. But why is it significant? This number? This benchmark?
RYAN PATEL, GLOBAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: Well listen, it definitely is historic. You know, I think, that they - for about eight, nine years ago, you wouldn't even think that we would be here today. For the next - for the next goal, to me, the 20,000 number is significant because of what has gone on in the last eight to nine years where, you know, unemployment raise has been lowered, last ten years. The wage, you know, the minimum wage has gone up, percentage wise. In addition to you know, I think what Obama's actually done underneath his agenda, the agendas definitely increased the likelihood of more spending as well.
SESAY: OK, so who takes the credit here? Because I've just heard you say a great deal about President Obama and effectively, you know I was going to ask you that.
SESAY: I mean, who's behind this?
PATEL: Listen. This 20,000 now - this 20,000 number is just a number, right? It's a large cap of 30 companies, right. This hasn't happened overnight. It's been going on laying brick by brick over the last eight to nine years. And I think, what you take from this numbers is that, you know, many fund managers, investors, portfolio managers, they are no, they want to see now this number to be 30,000 in six years, right. That is very plausible dude to do in about 33 percent. That's 5 percent a year. So, I would say it's not overnight. I can't attest that it happened over the last few weeks. But obviously, the economy has steadily grown from where we were in 2009 to where we are today definitely in a better place.
SESAY: There was so much fear in some quarters about a trump presidency and yet we've seen the market be quite resilient and in fact, you know, continue to move in the right direction. Are you surprised by what we're seeing?
PATEL: I'm actually kind of not. I mean, you think about the optimism that's going on. If you hear the administration talk about, you know, cutting taxes, bringing back money into the U.S. and really kind of cutting, you know -- making better infrastructure, it kinds of gives optimism to investors to say that companies are going to be more profitable here in the U.S. and there's going to be change and that there could be more cash flow going back into, you know, into the pockets of the workers here in the U.S.
SESAY: OK. But we're talking about the DOW surging past the 20,000 mark. You know, it was great stuff. It's historic as you just made the point but you also just made the point that it's a cap of 30 companies. So how reflective is it of the stock market of where the economy is at?
PATEL: It's not a direct indicator of what the economy is going to be. I think it doesn't take into account obviously of emerging markets and bonds, what we've seen overall. And not only that. I think the flip coin of this is the, you know, the trade policies, you know. How do we kind of take into what U.S. is doing and how does it affect into other markets like Asia, like Europe. You know, how can U.S. companies still stay competitive and still be able to grow its margins even with what we're doing in the U.S.? So that's kind of the wait and see to see what happens because you definitely need to still be able to grow in a global market. You don't want to be a de- globalization where companies are not being able - to be able to be loose out - loose out in a competition out there.
[01:20:14] SESAY: We shall see how long it lasts and certainly we'll keep getting you to come back and give us some perspective on it all. Ryan Patel, appreciate it.
PATEL: Thank you very much for having me.
SESAY: Thank you. Now, here's a message the White House probably didn't want to see flying high above it. The word resist in big, bold letters. Activists from Greenpeace are safely down now of the climbing a crane near Donald Trump's new home to protest his presidency. The organization released a statement saying it wants people resisting Trump's attacks on the environment and other issues that contribute to a better America.
Next on NEWSROOM L.A., a warning to the U.S. why a high level North Korean defector says it would be a mistake for President Trump to sit down with Kim Jong-un. Stay us with.
SESAY: Hello everyone. A North Korean diplomat says Kim Jong-un's control over his country is crumbling. The diplomat is now free of Kim's regime and can speak his mind without fear. He's now sending blunt warnings to Washington and Beijing. Our own Paula Hancocks, reports.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: A North Korean diplomat in London, praising his country and his leader. Thae Yong-ho says he knew then it was a lie. Only now, he has escaped from his former life at the North Korean Embassy in London, can he speak freely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THAE YONG-HO, FORMER NORTH KOREAN DIPLOMAT DEFECTOR: If you want to survive in North Korean system, you have to be a very, very good actor.
HANCOCKS: Thae's the most Senior Defector in almost 20 years. He says more high-ranking defections will follow as Kim Jong-un continues to execute and persecute the elite.
YONG-HO: If Kim Jong-un decides, you know, to kill someone, if he thinks that he is a threat or he scared him, I know, you know, he just, you know, want to get rid of him.
HANCOCKS: Thae wanted to save his wife and sons from what he called the slave system. And he wants to warn the world that Kim Jong-un intends to use 2017 to reach his nuclear and missile goals, exploiting changes of power in the U.S. and South Korea. Thae says that Kim Jong-un was as shocked as any other leader to see Donald Trump win the U.S. election but is determined to play it to his advantage.
YONG-HO: He wants to open a kind of, you know, the bargain. But one thing is quite sure for Kim Jong-un, that he will not go back to the process of denuclearization of North Korea. That is absolutely sure.
[01:25:01] HANCOCKS: There's nothing that Washington, anybody else could do, to convince Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons?
YONG-HO: He will never give up his nuclear development.
HANCOCKS: Thae says he fears a growing voice in the U.S. to push for a nuclear freeze rather than full denuclearization in order to secure a deal with North Korea.
YONG-HO: This kind of new compromise will only serve, you know, to justify North Korea as a kind of you know, nuclear state. And it is really a dangerous, you know, move. If America accept North Korea as a nuclear state.
HANCOCKS: The Obama Administration insisted it would never accept North Korea as a nuclear state. The Trump's Administration's North Korean Policy is unclear. As for President Trump suggesting he may meet Kim Jong-un, Thae says even the leader of North Korean allies - China and Russia, have distanced themselves from the young leader. Mr. Trump meeting with him would give him the legitimacy he desperately craves from the world. Thae has a blunt warning to China. Do not trust Kim Jong-un.
YONG-HO: Kim Jong-un may one day want to blackmail China as well, like what he is doing now against America And South Korea. Nobody can guarantee that. The final solution of North Korean nuclear issue would be the collapse of Kim Jong-un regime.
HANCOCKS: But will it collapse? Thae says a combination of continued sanctions and more outside information seeping in, it is possible.
YONG-HO: If North Korean people are educated and if they know that their life and system are slave system, they should -- if they stand up, you know, and overthrow the present regime, then their life will be, you know, improved.
HANCOCKS: Wishful thinking, maybe. But Thae says questions about Kim Jong-un's legitimacy are already being asked within North Korea. He said the world needs to pour the gasoline and let the North Korean people set fire to it. Thae is free, his immediate family is safe but Kim Jong-un has called him a human scum, a traitor, even a criminal. He assumes relatives still in North Korea may now be in prison camps or will be used against him. And he knows the past 50 years of his life have been a lie.
YONG-HO: I have to deny, you know, my past and it is really a sad and miserable, you know, moment.
HANCOCKS: Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
SESAY: North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un is ready to fire intercontinental ballistic missiles at any time, at any place. That's from the country's Deputy Director General for North American Affairs. Choe Kang spoke exclusively to NBC News. He says the nation's nuclear arsenal is for defense and he had this message for President Donald Trump. They are not worried about who is President but whoever is president should recognize that North Korea is a nuclear power and a military giant. "We hope the new president will recognize that position and will drop America's hostile policy towards our country. It will be well advised to secure a new way of thinking." We're going to take a quick break now. Britain's Prime Minister is heading to the U.S.
Coming up. What she's expected to tell a President Trump and Congressional Republicans.
[01:31:46] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.
The headlines this hour --
SESAY: British Prime Minister Theresa May is heading to the U.S. on Thursday. She'll address a Republican retreat in Philadelphia as she is expected to outline the importance of the U.S./U.K. relationship. Then she will travel to Washington to become the first foreign leader to meet Donald Trump as president.
For more on the prime minister's visit, our own Max Foster joins us now from London.
Max, good to have you with us.
As we look ahead to this trip, let me ask you about the meeting with President Trump. We all know that she's heading to the U.S. with the hopes of securing a trade deal to offset the Brexit withdrawal, if you will. What kind of deal is she likely to come back with, at least likely to get the nod for, given Trump has said he is all about America first? MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: This is what is interesting -
sorry, I'm hearing myself back. In terms of what she can get from Donald Trump, she wants a grown-up relationship. That is clear. She could have stepped back from that relationship. She has a controversial figure in the U.K. and in Europe. As you say, she has this huge cost coming up, which is Britain leaving the European Union and losing some trade ties potentially with Europe and needs to replace that. And the ultimate goal is getting one with the United States. She can't sign one while she is part of the European Union, but she can suggest there will be one and work behind the scenes. That's what she can get from this and it will be a boon for her. And is seen as a political coup that she got this meeting as the first foreign leader and have talks at the White House with him. But there are risks associated with that as well, though, because he is such a controversial figure.
SESAY: Certainly are risks. Max, we'll continue the conversation next hour.
Appreciate it. Thank you.
Donald Trump is notorious for being a bad loser and a bad, winner and playing loose with facts that don't fit his narrative.
Joe Johns has more on the U.S. president's history of not accepting defeat gracefully.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will totally accept the results of this great --
TRUMP: -- and historic presidential election --
TRUMP: -- if I win.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump repeated false claims, despite evidence to the contrary, from talking down American democracy --
TRUMP: I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest.
JOHNS: -- to questioning whether a faulty debate microphone was rigged to work against him --
TRUMP (voice-over): I don't know if you saw that in my room but my microphone was terrible. I think, I wonder was it set up that way on purpose.
JOHNS: -- to widespread voter fraud.
TRUMP (on camera): The only way we can lose -- I really mean this, Pennsylvania -- is if cheating goes on.
[01:35:12] JOHNS: And even before he was a candidate --
TRUMP: "The Apprentice" is a monster hit.
JOHNS: -- when his TV show "The Apprentice" slipped in the ratings, Trump proclaimed it as the number-one show on television.
TRUMP: Anybody here knows, because you're in the television business, "The Apprentice" is the number-one show on NBC and the ratings are through the roof.
JOHNS: Jim Dowd, the show's P.R. director, telling "Frontline" that Trump became kind of a monster when it came to the ratings.
TRUMP: He's been a very bad judge. He's been very unfair.
JOHNS (on camera): And when his real estate training program, Trump University, was sued, Trump complained the judge was treating him unfairly because of his Mexican heritage, even though the judge was born in Indiana.
TRUMP: I have been treated unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall, OK? I'm building a wall.
JOHNS (voice-over): And on his other businesses.
TRUMP: I've had some downs. But I've had friends that went out of business. You'll never see them again. I never went bankrupt.
JOHNS: While he never declared bankruptcy, his companies did, four times, in fact, most notably for his Atlantic City casinos.
TRUMP: I had the good sense -- and I've gotten a lot credit in the financial pages -- seven years ago, I left Atlantic City before it totally cratered, and I made a lot of money in Atlantic City and very proud of it.
JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
SESAY: Thankfully, psychologist, Dr. Judy Ho, joins me now to put this in perspective.
Good to have you with us.
It was a long campaign. And we spent a lot of time talking about the personality of Donald Trump. He has now become president and moved on to a different stage and we are getting a different insight into him and his psyche. What are we learning?
DR. JUDY HO, PSYCHOLOGIST: Now he is in power we are seeing he has the personality of somebody who really holds grudges. He really has memories of people who have wronged him and he seems to have more of an overreaction than we would expect. You expect to be criticized as a political candidate. It's part of the game. But a normal criticism does not slip by him and it's like very single criticism is a character assassination and now he has to go and make those people pay. I feel like he is spending time working on those types of things as opposed to the more important issues he should be discussing as president.
SESAY: Is this inability to let things go, what does that say to you? I mean -- what does that suggest, I mean, in terms of personality type and personality construction, if you will?
HO: Absolutely. Well there's been talk about him having narcissistic personality traits. No one has treated him or evaluated him but these are the patterns that we see that corroborate what we know from research findings. Someone that has narcissistic personality traits, their ego is everything and they do everything they can to defend that. And any assault to that ego, they will put their lives on the line for it. You can see this in his interviews, his writings, his Twitter feed. They are all about, this is what I need to do to promote myself and here are the things, potentially even lies, that I have to propagate to make sure that, you know, I am still going to be upheld in the highest esteem. And this is probably what bothers people the most.
SESAY: To pick up on his tendency to play fast and loose with the facts --
SESAY: -- you know, I wonder about that. Because to do that, when we can verify a lot of this information, does that come from a belief that because he's so powerful he can reconstruct reality? That he can, I don't know, set his own reality?
HO: Absolutely. I think he needs to feel he has some control over his reality. When it doesn't match what is going on out there, he tries to construct it himself. But amazingly, there is research that shows when you propagate a lie over and over and over again, our human minds accept it as fact the more that we hear it. In addition, when we hear a lie, we have to accept it as a truth to begin with, so we can process whether or not it's truth or false. So, he is working with things that we know scientifically is how our minds process lies. And it works in his favor. The more you inundate people with this message, the more they will believe it. Because the second step of verifying if it is true or not, we human minds can get distracted and give up and we accept it as a truth.
SESAY: So I'm clear, are you saying that he actually believes the things he's saying? It's not so much a case of him trying to force other people, he first and foremost, believes the facts which are not facts? [01:40:10] HO: I think there is a possibility that once you say a
lie enough that your mind makes it a truth because that's the only way you can make sense of it. And amazingly, when we look at brains and how we process memories, false memories get processed the same as real memories. In his mind, he may have reconstructed his reality already. Maybe he is trying to construct an image that may or may not be the truth, but he may actually start to believe some of the things and he doesn't think he is lying. That blurs that line of reality there.
SESAY: Also another element of things that makes it interesting is he wants to do all of this in full public view. The first couple of days in office, there have been cameras everywhere. He is well aware of the power of the image. It's important to him to be seen.
HO: That's right. Exactly.
SESAY: What does that say?
HO: He has lived in the limelight so long this is how he is used to defending himself. Before, it was just in business matters. Now he is the president of the free world and it is a whole other ballgame. But he is taking his learnings from business and pushing it all the way forward. And he is very comfortable in the spotlight. In fact, he wants to stay in the spotlight and he wants it to be a moment where he gets to construct who he is for America. So, whether or not people believe it or not, he is trying to go in that direction. And these first few days in office, he is trying to mold his image in the way he would like to be for the next four years.
SESAY: Dr. Judy Ho, I believe you will be back many more times.
HO: Lots to talk about.
SESAY: Lots to talk about. Appreciate it. Thank you.
HO: Thanks you much. Nice to see you.
SESAY: Nice to see you, too.
Quick break. Millions of people flooded the streets last weekend rally for political change and equality last weekend. So, what comes next? That's just ahead on NEWSROOM L.A.
[01:45:01] SESAY: President Donald Trump's election has further exposed a political divide in the United States, and sometimes it takes a mass movement, like this, to confront a problem so deeply rooted. Millions of people around the world participated in the women's march last week. It was the largest demonstration in American history and a bold plea to forge a new path for the years ahead.
But the march forward for equal rights didn't end there. Thousands of other activists and a number of celebrities rallied at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, this past weekend. Actress Aisha Tyler was there leading chants and educating others
about the power of peaceful assembly. She said this on Twitter, "Taking to the streets to voice your opinion in the company of like- minded individuals is the most American thing you can do."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Aisha joins us now to discuss how being vocal has the potential to produce political change.
AISHA TYLER, ACTRESS & ACTIVIST: Hi, there.
SESAY: Hi, there. So good to have you with us.
AISHA TYLER: Thrilled to be here.
SESAY: You were out there in Park City. Why? What drove you to take to the streets?
TYLER: Well, I think you said in the open. That was a monumental day. In as much we were looking at the photos of New York. The demonstrations happened in all 50 states and every continent. I think it was a powerful message and I wanted to be a part of it for my own reasons and also because my mother was a student organizers. I understand how powerful organized assembly the freedom of speech and assembly in this country, how powerful it could be. And I didn't want to miss it. I wanted to be a part of it.
SESAY: You and Connie Britton got the crowd to take a people's pledge or oath. Talk about that moment and why that was important to you.
TYLER: I think a lot of people in the aftermath of the election are feeling a lot of despair, and that oath was reminding people that they have power to change the state of affairs in this country. And that -- to energize them. I left that day feeling energized and optimistic. And you know that was about telling people, you, it's up to you and all of us to defend our American principles. It's not going to be done for us. And the political system that we have here is a representative of the people and it's the people's job to keep an eye on our elected representatives and hold them to the fundamental principles that we hold dear.
SESAY: A lot of people are asking the question, where does this energy -- you know, you talked about feeling energized and optimistic. Where does it go and what does it do next? Does this become a movement like the Tea Party or Occupy that had this galvanizing effect but didn't really achieve anything?
SESAY: What's your thought?
TYLER: That's a really good question. With Occupy and with the Tea Party, they did fizzle but I don't think we were in the state of political crisis we are in now. When I think about the history of the country, and what organized protests can do and how it translates into ongoing political energy organization -- every single great move forward for social freedoms in this country, personal freedoms, has resulted from assembly from nonviolent assembly.
TYLER: From the abolitionist movement to suffrage to Stonewall, every leap forward has come from people protesting and assembling and speaking out and then taking the energy and putting it into action. And the oath was not let's about, hey, let's not all commiserate about our disappointment. Let's talk about the fact that if people had given up during slavery or suffrage or gay rights, or gay rights, we wouldn't be here right now.
My mom drank out of a colored water fountain. Not my grandmother. It's one generation. We don't have an excuse. We have to keep fighting. That's the nature of who we are as a country. I think, you know, we had a big swing forward with the last president where we made progress on social justice issues. Typically, culture is a pendulum, and we have swung backward.
TYLER: That's how we feel about it. When you look at the protests the biggest protest in the history of the country, and probably the globe. The fact there was so much sympathetic protest in other countries shows you that the people who were marching this weekend are on the right side of history.
SESAY: As a creative, such as yourself, as an actor, what is the role of art and culture at a time like this where there is so much division and so much fear? How do you respond with your work? How should Hollywood and creatives respond?
[01:50:04] TYLER: I just want to say, for the record, I'm, first and foremost, an American. I'm not speaking out because I'm famous or work in Hollywood. People like to dismiss actors or creatives by saying who cares what you think, what do you know. I don't know any more than you. I'm just a passionate patriot. I pay taxes and care about the country. So, I'm hoping, as an artist, that I'm just able to reach people who may be a fan of mine on both sides of the aisle. I engage with people online all the time, not to tell them they're wrong, but just to try to bring people out of this kind of calcified separation that we've fallen into, which I think is incredibly destructive.
SESAY: And probably incredibly difficult in the months ahead to bridge.
TYLER: Yeah. We have two options. We can bury our heads in the sand or we can get out there and engage in dialogue and we fight for the principles we believe in, in this country. And that's my goal.
SESAY: Aisha, such a pleasure.
TYLER: What a joy.
SESAY: Thank you.
TYLER: Thanks for having me.
SESAY: Thank you.
SESAY: Great conversation.
Next on NEWSROOM L.A., China gets ready to celebrate its most important holiday and ring in the Year of the Rooster. Coming up, details on the millions of people on the move.
SESAY: Hello, everyone. The largest migration in the world is now underway as the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches. Millions are traveling to see their families and to celebrate the Year of the Rooster. For some, it's the only time they get enough leave from work to visit their loved ones.
David McKenzie is live with more from Beijing.
David, give us a sense of the staggering volume of people on the move here.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Isha, we're at the Beijing railway station. I have been on several new year's. And this one, you can see people streaming in behind me trying to get home in time for the Lunar New Year. They are cutting it close.
There's more than 100 million trips this week in just one day and more than a billion across Asia. People heading home for the New Year. It's the most important holiday here in China and across much of Asia. It's a way for people to go home and see their families. Many of the people here at the station are migrants, who will only go once a year to see their parents, sometimes their kids once a year. It's truly is one of the breathtaking parts of the Chinese experience -- Isha?
SESAY: I mean, a billion people across Asia, it's hard to fathom. Talk about some of the traditions in play at this time of year.
[01:55:05] MCKENZIE: Well traditions, food, family, relaxation, and sometimes a lot of drinking. I have spoken to people asking what they're taking, pastries, booze, food. And often snuck away in their bags are one of these, the red envelope that anyone in China will want to get during the New Year's period. Inside -- and it's got a rooster on the front -- there will be cash to give to your parents and grandparents. And, hopefully, the kids get some as well. Hopefully, I'll get a windfall this year as well -- Isha?
SESAY: Feel free to send my envelope, David. You can put it in the mail. I'm still waiting. MCKENZIE: It's on its way.
SESAY: OK. And just briefly, David, a lot of pressure this time of year for people?
MCKENZIE: A lot of pressure. You know, think of Thanksgiving in the U.S. or heading home for the holidays, you want to show your parents, your grandparents that you've kind of made it. And one issue is your love life. And here in China, there is a growing trend of people going online, renting a boyfriend or girlfriend or partner to take home and pretend like everything's going well. Maybe in this crowd, there are some of those fake boyfriends to impress the folks. I don't know. It seems a bit risky to me.
But all in all, this is a hugely important holiday and time for the Chinese to celebrate those deep family traditions and finally get some time off.
SESAY: A rented boyfriend or girlfriend sounds more than risky, David.
But appreciate it. Thank you. I'll keep an eye out for my envelope.
Thank you, David McKenzie.
You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. I'll be back with more news right after this.