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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Trump Jokes Movie Will "Never Be the Same" After His Cameo Cut from "Home Alone 2" in Canada; 12 Killed, Dozens Injured in Kazakhstan Plane Crash. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired December 27, 2019 - 16:30   ET

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


PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 2014, multiple scenes were edited out including then private citizen Donald Trump's 7-second cameo according to a statement from the CBC.

[16:30:09]

Justin Trudeau wasn't even prime minister in 2014 and doesn't control how the CBC would edit a movie, but President Trump didn't miss an opportunity to get in on the joke. From Mar-a-Lago from the holidays, he seems to make light of the missing cameo, tweeting: The movie will never be the same. Just kidding.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And CNN reached out to Trudeau's office about the president's claims and his spokesperson declined to comment. I guess no surprise there -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: No, not really.

Pam, thank you. Pamela Brown live at White House for us on that one.

What is remarkable, is hours after this the CBC confirmed that, as Pam laid out, the edits were made in 2014, one of several scenes cut to fit the two-hour air time, that is what the conversation was last night on Fox Business. Just take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're having this conversation but we're fulfilling a stereotype with this narrative because this was deleted five years ago, along with many, many other scenes prior to him being president. I think that's important, because we shouldn't be making this a big deal. They cut it out. Who cares?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christina, you got to admit, I mean, it would make sense in Canada. Look, a lot of Canadians have, as you know, a very unfavorable perception of Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But they did it back in 2014.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Don't let the facts get in the way there, huh?

I mean, Phil, as you look at that, what's remarkable is the Fox reporter on that panel and trying so hard to say, with can we just look at the facts and what happened here and not try to fit some crazy conspiracy narrative, and they're having none of it. It is remarkable. And yet it's not.

PHILIP BUMP, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: It's not. I would say two things. First, "Home Alone 2" is not a Christmas classic. The second thing I'm going to say that this is how it works. The way it works is Donald Trump powers his politics on aggrievement and any incident of aggrievement, however real, is seized upon by his base and his supporters including those at Fox News.

Fox News amplifies things that they see on social media, Fox News pushes it out there, other people see it, it spreads outward from there, it goes to the president and this is how it works. This is the cycle. This is why he's president of the United States, not because of "Home Alone 2" which again is not a Christmas classic, because this cycle exists and he's powered by it.

HILL: And what is remarkable about that too is that Donald Trump Jr., right, the president as we saw seemed to be having a little bit fun with it, but Donald Trump Jr. called it absolutely pathetic.

And part of a lengthy post on Instagram reads in part: Imagine being so triggered that you can't leave a Christmas movie alone without editing. This is what we're up against in 2020. This is the filter by which people receive their news. This is why it is not a fair fight. But this is also why we will win.

Jane, the hypocrisy is glaring. He's relying on a lie. A false story to cheer his base and as you know because you cover this, it works.

JANE COASTON, SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER, VOX: I mean, I don't know if it does. Though granted we're discussing it so it has proven effective. I do think it's interesting that apparently "Home Alone 2" is the source of news for people in Canada who can't vote in American elections and that is how Trump will win in 2020.

The math here doesn't quite work out. But it is interesting because it is very much -- you know, I think this particular story is evidence of how it's the end of the year and we don't have as much to talk about.

But I also think there is a sense of you could see that Trump kind of found this amusing, but people around him are well aware that this is actually something that many people took very seriously because it is not about "Home Alone 2." it is never about "Home Alone 2." It is the idea that people don't feel as if their viewpoints are being taken seriously. They think that they're being taken advantage of, and they think that their political beliefs are being treated unfairly.

And when you see that in some places and sometimes you see it in "Home Alone 2," which is a Christmas classic to be clear.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: That is a separate thing we have to set up for next year maybe because we don't have time.

But, Joan, what I think is remarkable is I actually do think it is a legitimate story that for us to discuss because of what it shows us. In just that this is a perfect example of something that is completely innocuous, it is "Home Alone 2" and you could debate whether it is a Christmas classic but it's still -- you know, it's a movie about Kevin McCallister. There's not a lot of controversy in it, but the fact that this was run with and promoted even hours after it was very clear what the real story was, it is an important discussion about where we're at in this country.

JOAN WALSH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.

HILL: And how people are getting their information and how there is a refusal to look at facts.

WALSH: Well, Philip is exactly right, this is what they do. They peddle the lies. They go out with the lies and we debunk the lies and they keep telling the lies that works with their base.

And it's just funny, because Donald Trump Jr. is such a little baby that he is whining about this. He wrote a book called "Trigger" that alleges that liberals are obsessed with slights like in, but he's the one on a holiday going nuts about it.

[16:35:03]

So, that's just ironic.

The funny thing to me about this and maybe other people knew this, but what I learned from this story is Trump demanded -- routinely demanded cameos from directors when if he let them use a Trump property. So, this isn't the only time he did it.

And I think that is a kind of early Trump corruption that should have told us more about it.

HILL: Also kind of smart, right, because you get paid for these cameos. So, hey, you know, why not? If you are going to be there and use the building, you might as well.

Unfortunately, we have to wrap it.

Brandon, I have time for one quick question for you. Christmas classic or not?

BRENDAN BUCK, FORMER TOP AIDE, HOUSE SPEAKERS PAUL RYAN AND JOHN BOEHNER: Absolutely. I actually watched it two weeks ago. And I was going to speak on that. Yes, it's great.

HILL: Very good. Now we have that settled.

WALSH: I'm with Philip. HILL: So we're two for two. Look at that. Evenly split. Thank you

all.

Tonight, join Jake Tapper for a special report, investigating the impact of President Trump's falsehoods. "ALL THE PRESIDENT'S LIES" airs at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Up next, multiple people are dead after a commercial jet crash. One survivor says it was like a movie -- screaming, shouting, people crying, all as the plane went down, just seconds after takeoff. Also, remarkable stories of survival. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:40:13]

HILL: In our world lead -- at least 12 people are dead after a plane crash in Kazakhstan. Aviation officials say the plane had close to 100 people on board, lost altitude and broke through a concrete fence and hit a two story building.

Now, remarkably, many survived. All flights from Bek Airlines have been extended and the president of Kazakhstan says all airlines and airports will be thoroughly checked.

CNN's Nathan Hodge joins us now.

So, Nathan, what do we know about the cause of the crash?

NATHAN HODGE, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Erica, today, the deputy prime minister of Kazakhstan said that investigators have come to some preliminary conclusions about the cause of the crash, saying that it was either pilot error or that it was a technical malfunction. Now that may seem rather broad but he also added that the tail of the plane hit the runway twice on takeoff.

Now, bear in mind, the aircraft was heading for the capital of Almaty -- from Almaty to the capital of Nur-Sultan, but only remained in the air for a few seconds before it hit the ground and careened into a concrete wall and hit the two-story building. Photos, of course, from the scene were quite shocking and first responders arrived finding the fuselage of the plane literally split apart.

But here is the rub. This plane did not catch on fire even though it was taking off with a full load of fuel and that is what saved many of the passengers. In fact, initial reports or initial reports of the dead in the accident were reduced to 12 and dozens were pulled from the wreckage by first responders. So, yes, aviation authorities have responded very quickly by shutting down and ceasing the operation of that carrier, Erica.

HILL: And thankfully, they were able to respond quickly.

What do we know about the victims, Nathan?

HODGE: Right. It's prompted an outpouring of grief in Kazakhstan, and like many countries people have gone online to mourn the people that were lost, the 12 individuals who were lost here.

For instance, we know that the pilot was one of the victims who didn't survive. Another was a journalist, a woman named Dana Kruglova. We saw a very touching message that was posted by her publication in Kazakhstan, a farewell message from her editor in chief praising her for her work and her journalistic ethic.

So, certainly, it is going to be a cause for mourning and cause for official mourning. Saturday will be a day of official mourning that was declared by the president -- Erica.

HILL: And we also mention -- I know there had been a suspension on Bek Air. Do we know when that could be lifted?

HODGE: Erica, we don't know at this stage. It is still quite early to tell, although investigators have said they would like to know more about the history of that particular aircraft. In addition to the measures that they've taken to halt the operations of the carrier that was operating it, Erica.

HILL: Nathan Hodge, live for us with those details -- Nathan, thank you.

The latest signs one of President Trump's cabinet member is hitting for the exit and who Mr. Trump is eyeing as a potential replacement.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:48:15]

HILL: Breaking news in our politics lead, a source confirming to CNN the White House is working on a list of potential candidates to replace Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if he decides to leave the administration.

Now, speculation has recently ramped up that Pompeo is considering a Senate run in Kansas.

I want to bring in CNN national security reporter Kylie Atwood.

So, Kylie, what more do we know about who is on this list?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, so there are some preliminary conversations happening at the White House right now about names of folks who could potentially take the place of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, if he does indeed decide to vacate his spot as America's top diplomat and run for the Senate seat in Kansas.

And three of the names that are on the list as it stands currently are Steve Biegun. He is the deputy to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department right now.

We also have Robert O'Brien. He is the current and new national security adviser to President Trump. And then there's Steve Mnuchin, secretary of the treasury. Now, the source who confirmed this to me also warned that this is a

preliminary list. This is an evolving and ongoing conversation at the White House. But the bottom line here is that, yes, the White House does indeed expect that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is going to leave and he is going to run for the Senate seat.

Now, that expectation comes on the heels of President Trump for the first time essentially a few weeks ago giving his stamp of approval to Secretary Pompeo, saying that, if he needed to leave, if he felt that this Kansas Senate seat was going to be won by the Democrats, lost by the Republicans, then it might be OK for him to run.

Let's listen to what he said there, Erica.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I thought there was a risk to losing that seat, I would say that I would sit down very seriously and talk to Mike and find out how he feels about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:50:08]

ATWOOD: And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been one of the biggest advocates for Pompeo to run for this seat. He has said that publicly.

And he's also had meetings at the Oval Office encouraging the White House that there may be a need for Pompeo to jump into the race.

HILL: All these conversations, one can imagine.

Kylie, Pompeo also recently created his own personal Twitter account, which is helping to fuel some of the -- some of the buzz.

ATWOOD: Yes, so this is a new personal Twitter account.

He still has his official account. And he uses that to talk about things that have to do with diplomacy, have to do with the State Department. But this personal Twitter account is showing a more soft and all-American side of Pompeo.

You can see some of these images that are coming up on the screen right now. He's doing things like washing the dishes at home with his family, playing cards. He's also going to the football games, the Army-Navy football game just a few weeks ago.

So this is a different version of Pompeo than we are used to seeing in his official Twitter account. And it was launched just in time for Christmas. So he's been putting up a lot of pictures of Christmas trees and the like -- Erica.

HILL: A lot of Christmas cheer there. Kylie, thank you.

I want to focus on this list now that we have from the White House, this list that we have that's being put together. Maybe we could put it back up on the screen.

On the short list -- it's evolving, as Kylie said. It is preliminary, but we know about Robert O'Brien, Steve Mnuchin. There was also some reporting yesterday that Steve Mnuchin was actually sort of angling to be on the list, Biegun as well.

When we look at that list, Brendan, what stands out to you?

BUCK: That it's not a very impressive list.

Two of those people have been in their position for less than six months. Steve Mnuchin had very questionable credentials to be treasury secretary. I don't think he has any credentials to be secretary of state, other than that he's treasury secretary.

So, hopefully, that list will expand, but it's going to be a different confirmation for anybody they choose. I imagine we're going to have to relitigate all of the Ukraine questions, not to mention all of the other sort of crises that are going on around the world.

It's not exactly a high-level list.

HILL: The other thing, actually, I will say, full disclosure, David Gergen pointed this out to me last night, it's all white men.

And, Joan, David Gergen said to me, you know who I think should be on that list? He said Nikki Haley.

WALSH: That's an interesting choice. I don't know.

I mean, all I can say is, we have known that Mike Pompeo was going to run for the Senate, because his only constituency in this job has been Donald Trump. The State Department is decimated. We saw in the -- whatever he was involved in, in Ukraine, we saw that he didn't stand up for his personnel, and the people there feel demoralized.

We have seen -- "The Washington Post" had a great story over the holiday about how the Ukraine division in particular has been decimated. So it's -- we have known this. And whoever gets the job is going to be a toady, because Donald Trump wants to pursue his own foreign policy. He doesn't want to someone who might stand up to him.

HILL: We can say, even though the filing deadline for Kansas may be June, obviously, a decision will need to be made soon.

Mitch McConnell wants to hang onto that seat. And there is a lot on the calendar come January, as we know.

Thank you all.

I do want to get to some other news that we are following at this hour, a tourist helicopter disappearing with seven people on board along the cliffs of Hawaii. We have an update on that desperate search for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:58:00]

HILL: The Coast Guard ramping up the search for a helicopter missing off the coast of Hawaii, one of the Hawaiian islands.

It took off for a tour on Thursday carrying seven people, including two minors. It has not been seen since. Coast Guard crews searching by air, boat, ATV. They are also battling a forecast of nearly 30 mile-an-hour winds and seven-foot waves.

CNN's Dan Simon joins me now.

So, Dan, we have just learned that the last known communication was about 40 minutes before the chopper was leaving from a tour. When was that exactly?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was at 4:40 in the afternoon, local time, Erica.

This was routine communication. The helicopter was simply giving its location. Did not issue a distress call. Everything seemed to be going according to plan.

Keep in mind, these tour operators basically fly every day. They're very popular with tourists, because you get to see a wide swathe of the area in a short period of time.

It does appear, Erica, that weather may have been in a factory here. A cold front came in right around the time that the helicopter went missing. This touring company has been in business for 30 years. They seem to have a very good reputation, family-owned and -operated.

At this point, nobody seems to know exactly where the wreckage might be -- Erica.

HILL: And that extensive search continues. Obviously, the Coast Guard is involved.

Who else has joined in that search, Dan?

SIMON: Well, a whole slew of agencies and personnel are involved, local agencies, of course, the Coast Guard. You have a lot of aircraft up above looking for the wreckage, as well as many boats on the ground.

We should point out that the helicopter was equipped with a tracking locator. But, unfortunately, no signal has been detected -- Erica.

HILL: All right, Dan Simon with the latest for us. We will continue to follow it. Thank you.

A programming note for you. Be sure to tune in this Sunday morning for "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER." Among Jake's guests, Republican Senator John Kennedy and Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy.

You can catch that at 9:00 a.m. and noon Eastern right here on CNN.

Our coverage continues right now.

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