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tv   Smerconish  CNN  November 19, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PST

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maybe even as secretary of state. but his picks so far pretty hard lined. for attorney general, not major giuliani, instead, trump named senator jeff sessions whose views on race and crime have been under fire. might he now be in a position to shape civil rights policy? and in what has to be a presidential first, trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle trump university lawsuits. plus, with so many potential conflicts of interest looming, no less than "the wall street journal" has said that trump should sell off all his business holdings. could his conflicts be the clinton foundation reducks? meanwhile, the president-elect has been shutting out the white house press core even during a meeting with the prime minister of japan. is the functioning of the white house press pool now in jeopardy? first, for the latest on that pow wow between governor romney and president-elect trump, joining me now cnn
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correspondent jessica schneider in bed minister new jersey. >> well, hey, michael, that tightly anticipated face to face will happen this afternoon just a few miles from here a private golf resort. the two men to say the least had a very contentious relationship. their war of words really reaching a crescendo back in march at the height of the primary season when mitt romney held that 20-minute press conference where he very plainly and flatly called donald trump a fraud and a phony. but one of the things that could be on the list when they meet today, secretary of state position. sources close to romney say that if mitt romney were to get back into government -- consider. however, a close friend has expressed healthy skepticism that mitt romney would join a trump administration if that position were offered. so the question as we move forward to the meeting today, is will this just be a mending of fences between these two men who have had contentious war of words battles or will, in fact,
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mitt romney consider joining that team of rivals? michael? >> thank you for that report. now, about the administration appointments he's already made -- last week i said that although i didn't vote for him, i recognize donald trump as my president and that i would evaluate him based on his actions, not on his words as a candidate. i said i hope he would govern as a deal maker, a pragmatist, maybe we would see a compromiser in chief in the white house. after all, on election night he said -- it's time to, quote, bind the wounds of division, unquote. well, after another week, the trump administration is taking shape and my glass is half empty. at the outset it looked like the president-elect was trying to appease the different, sometimes conflicting constituencies that had supported him. steve bannon, a media provok tor and critic of house speaker paul ryan was named senior adviser. but at the same time, ryan's wisconsin neighbor, the more
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establishment republican reince priebus was named white house chief of staff. balance is good. then came three more picks, lieutenant general mike flynn as national security adviser, senator jeff sessions as attorney general and congressman mike pompeo as head of the cia. flynn has said that islam is an ideology, not a religion. sessions inflammatory words about race as a prosecutor caused a republican senate to turn aside his judicial nomination on ahmad khan rahami's watch. pompeo has some impressive credentials but was one of hillary clinton's most strongest critics of benghazi. he looks to rolling back the nuclear agreement with iran. he also called for the death penalty for nsa whistle blower edward snowden. it's a hard line bunch and racially diverse these five are not. so in regards to this meeting with 2012 standard barer mitt romney, here is hoping he's not window dressing but an actual
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reach. if not across the aisle, at least towards the center. the cabinet and staff picks in combination with the president-elects twitter attack on quote professional protesters, his unwillingness to die vest himself and family from the businesses as even the wheat journal advises and keeping the american media at bay are all troublesome signs. come on, mr. president, surround yourself with more balance in both perspective and experience not to mention diversity. yes, you won. you're entitled to pick your team, but the selections you make now are going to have long-range implications and you are the president of all of us, not just the 47% who voted for you. joining me now, legendary legal expert alan dershowitz at the harvard law school professor and author of this book, electile dysfunction, a guide for unaroused voters, oh my. and former writer for president george w. bush ned ryan.
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ned, you get the first shot. respond to my words. am i mistaken when i say i'm looking for a president-elect to be more inclusionary? >> well, here is the deal, first of all, i think people are understanding that trump meant what he said when he was running for office. now he won and he's going to put people in places that he thinks are going to advance what he wants to see accomplished. i think you said something interesting, michael. you said i'm going to give trump a chance not from his words but from his action. for example, jeff sessions, i think people will be pleasantly surprised if they start to look at jeff sessions actions when he was a u.s. attorney and attorney general of alabama. he was pushing for desegregation of schools. his case against the son of the clansman that murdered a young blackman as attorney general eventually led to breaking of the back of the kkk in alabama. he was one of the only republicans to vote for eric holder as attorney general. i mean, he was an advocate for rosa parks. he voted for the 30-year extension of the civil rights
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act. so i think jeff sessions' actions actually i think people would be very encouraged. mike flynn, i think mike flynn again -- he is a registered democrat. he was appointed by obama in 2012 to head the defense intelligence agency and i think the thing that's great about mike flynn, he wakes up every morning going, how am i going to keep this country and future generations safe? i don't think anybody can disagree with that. >> but, ned, i have to say it and i want to show a piece of footage and allow professor dershowitz respond, i worry that retired general flynn will be a recruitment for isis. roll the tape so we can comment on this. >> islam is a political ideology. it's a political ideology. it hides behind this notion of it being a religion. i don't see a lot of people screaming jesus christ with hatchets or machetes or rifles shooting up clubs or hatcheting literally axing families on a
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train. so it's like cancer. and it's like a malignant cancer in this case. it has ma it's a sized. >> professor, i don't shy away from using the words radical islam. i regard those words as referring to a small but strident group who are acting in a perversion of the faith. this sound to me like the crew sads. what's your thought? >> i agree. i think it's a way overstatement to condemn every muslim in the world. what i'm afraid of is i see a global phenomenon and it's manifested right now in the america of right moving more right and the left moving more left and the vital center being eliminated. so in reaction to this anti-muslim statement, we're going to see the appointment of keith ellison as the head of the democratic national committee. keith ellison is a radical person of the left, strongly anti-israel, who had close connections in the past. if the democrats think that's
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the way to win elections, they are just making a terrible mistake. those of us -- i'm a center liberal, left center conservatives, we're the ones being squeezed out by the movement of the right to the alt-right, the movement of the left to the extreme radical left and i think we need to see a coalition building to move us more to the center, the vibrant center which is what america has always been about. >> professor, you have defended steve bannon against charges of anti-semitism. >> that's right. >> but you have not embraced hi status, his appointment as a senior adviser. explain. >> well, i don't like people to be falsely charged with anti-semitism. that's a nuclear weapon. i look at the evidence very closely and i came to the conclusion, as did the anti-defamation league that the charge of anti-semitism was absolutely false. that doesn't mean that i condone what he said about women, what he has said and allowed to be published about muslims.
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i don't think it's a good appointment nor do i think that the keith ellison is a good appointment. but i would also defend ellison against charges that he is anti-semitic. i heard those charges. i've seen no evidence of that. the interesting thing is that everybody who knows these people likes them. i heard from friends, bannon, they say he's a wonderful guy in person. keith ellison says he's a wonderful guy in person. so these are all politicians who are charming, very good to their constituents. everybody who knows them loves them but we have to judge them by their complete record. america is a forgiving country. keith ellison said things in the past and apologized for them, i'm prepared to forgive that. jeff sessions said things in the past but been a good senator and u.s. attorney, i'm prepared to forgive that. i think we have to look at the total picture, but my distress is the movement of the extreme right more right and the extreme left more left and we in the
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center being left out. >> michael, if i could -- >> ned, i don't concede his point that that represents a majority of the country because -- all my work here frankly is predicated on the belief that there's a whole swath that is the majority who are somewhere between those polar extremes. let me ask you a different question -- the sit-down with governor romney, window dressing or real prospect of reaching into a different part of the republican party? >> well, i think first of all there are a couple things going on. one a healing process. again, as you pointed out, a very acrimonious relationship through the elections. it's a time for them to be able to sit down and go, okay, we're both republican. we might have our disagreements but let's sit down. i honestly don't think, michael, if you were to say ned place a bet, you think romney gets a cabinet position, i don't think he will. >> i agree. >> we'll find out. the thing about trump that he's having a little bit of fun with is having people come in, quite frankly kiss the ring. we saw this happened with ted cruz about the attorney general and couple days later he
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announces jeff sessions. there are a couple positives things taking place. trump is having fun right now, but i really don't envision romney getting a place in the cabinet. we'll see what takes place. >> i have a different perspective on the secretary of state. what we're seeing generally is a marginalization of the state department. foreign policy today is not made in the state department. it's made in the white house. that's been true for several administrations. and i think the appointment of secretary of state -- if it's romney, i like him, he is a wonderful man, i would love to see his appointment in the cabinet, if he is appointed secretary of state, it would men greater marginalization -- giuliani is tough, he is smart, he is trump's guide, if giuliani got the state department, we would see an increase in the influence of the state department in government. this is much about the role of the state department vis-a-vis the national security apparatus
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in the white house as it is about particular personnel. >> michael, if i could -- >> go ahead. final thought. >> we're just starting to announce cabinet positions. i think people are going to be pleasantly surprised when they see some of the names being considered. i think you'll see a very diverse cabinet. again, this was just the first cabinet announcement. i think people need to be patient and see what happens over the next few weeks. >> ned, i have to say, i think he made a mistake. five white guys are the first thing that he announced after what was racially and ethnically -- it would have been smart politics to put a person of color out there first and he didn't do it. i don't understand. i'm out of time but i'm appreciative of alan dershowitz and ned ryan. thank you, gentlemen. tweet me your thoughts @smerconish and i will read some during the program. they're already coming in. a leopard does not change its spots. what did you expect? colin pinto, i'm trying to give the man the benefit of the doubt. coming up, alabama senator
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jeff sessions is donald trump's pick for attorney general a controversial one due to his track record and views on civil rights and immigration? is he the right choice? (announcer vo) when you have type 2 diabetes there's a moment of truth. and now with victoza® a better moment of proof. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill, which didn't get me to my goal. lowers my a1c better than the leading branded injectable. the one i used to take. (jim) victoza® lowers blood sugar in three ways. and while it isn't for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. non-insulin victoza® comes in a pen and is taken once a day. (announcer vo) victoza® is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2,
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alabama senator jeff sessions is president-elect trump's pick for attorney general. what might that mean for america? in 1986 sessions was a u.s. attorney from alabama and ronald reagan nominated him to a federal judgeship, four justice department lawyers testified that he made racist remarks. now he's been a senator for 20 years. one of its most conservative members, his selection is clearly designed to implement candidate trump's law and order promises. is he the right pick? joining me now civil rights attorney and vanderbilt university law professor carol swan. carol, i know you look favorably on this nomination. are you saying that his earlier statements back in the era when he was a u.s. attorney are now
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irrelevant in light of his 20-year record as a member of the senate? >> i think that you have to judge people by their records. and some of the allegations against him were here se. even if he did make racially insensitive jokes like many people have, we need to look at what people actually do. we all make mistakes. i have followed his record for many years. i respect him enormously. and i believe that he would bring back respect to the department of justice and that he is the right person at this time to help president-elect trump fulfill his campaign promises. and i think he will be fair to all americans. he again will bring respect to the department of justice that's been lost over the past eight years. >> has he conscientiously worked to dispel the shadows that cost him the judgeship?
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i lifted those words from the lead editorial in today's times, carol. they say he has done nothing to make amends for those earlier comments if in fact, he uttered them? >> what would you expect him to do? all i know is that the colleagues that know him intimately in congress, his senate colleagues, they respect him. i believe they will confirm him and that he is -- should be certainly given the opportunity to answer any questions that are posed to him. but i think he is well respected by his colleagues and that he will get bipartisan support. we need to look at his record. i don't think it's fair to always go back, you know, 30, 20, 30 years in someone's past to try to dredge up allegations. every republican nominee will be dismissed as a racist because all the democrats do is throw out epiat thats. so if you're white, you're racist if you're republican.
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>> let me go to areeva, to carol's point, i'm going to put something up on the screen, i was close to arlen specter who served with jeff sessions. and in his book "life among the cannibals" u.s. attorney jeff sessions was defeated at session's confirmation hearings four department of jus it is lawyers testified he made racist remarks. on june 5, 1986, the committee voted 10-8 against sessions nomination with mathias and me joining the democrats, that was the senate's first rejection of a reagan judicial nominee. it continues. sessions would win election to the senate in 1996, ultimately succeed me as senior republican on the judiciary committee and i have since publicly acknowledged that my opposition was a mistake writes senator specter. it begins one of my biggest regrets. he was not a bigot.
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we went on to enjoy a cordial relationship before and afterour parties split. i came to know the guy and i was wrong to oppose him as a judge. does that make a difference to you? >> it makes a difference to me, mike. and i agree with carol swain on this point, that people can change. and i don't think this nomination of jeff sessions has caused the concern in the civil rights community simply because of those statements, those racist comments he made in 1986. everyone knows about those statements. people are particularly concerned about him for just cause, but people are more concerned about what jeff sessions has done in the senate in the last 20 years. he has been the most strident opponent of every immigration law that has been presented to the u.s. senate. he has even opposed legal immigrants getting a pathway to citizenship. he opposed gay marriages and opposed criminal justice reform and he has been the biggest,
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biggest opposer to laws that protect the civil rights of americans in this country. and if president-elect trump, as he said in his acceptance speech when he won the president election, he said he was going to bring people together. he was going to be the president for the entire country. but to appoint as attorney general someone whose job is to protect the rights of all americans, someone with such a troubling past on race relations as jeff sessions that doesn't speak well for the president's statement about bringing us together. you have naacp, the aclu, the largest groups that support the rights of immigrants and the lgbt community all speaking out against jeff sessions nomination because they are concerned about his record, not just his statements in 1986, but his actual record as a senator. and that's what we should look at and that record is troubling. >> carol, go ahead and respond. >> i would say that they have a right to be concerned by the
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fact that senator sessions will support the rule of law. he has a record of being pro-family. when it comes to immigration, he has been strongly in support of the american worker and he opposes illegal immigration and he will look at some of the programs that we have the programs where we may be bringing in people that we really don need that are low-skilled workers. i think it's very important for president-elect trump if he's going to accomplish what he has promised to have a person that he trusts in the department of justice, we need a strong leader there. and i believe that strong leader is senator sessions. i believe he would be fair to all americans and he respects the constitution and the rule of law, so that means that he will be fair to immigrants. he would be fair to anyone that is in america, respecting our constitution, and our way of
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life. >> areeva, quick comment. this could have profound implications for our criminal justice department. you think of eric holder not being an active, or this dichotomy in marijuana laws between the feds and the states, jeff sessions is going to be the one to sort those sort of things out. it will have a profound impact on our prison oppilations. >> jeff sessions proposed a bipartisan bill, criminal justice reform bill that would have reduced sentencing -- federal sentences for those low level offenders. that's troubling. we know under prior republican administrations the civil rights department was for all practical purposes gutted. that's what the concern is here. eric holder, loretta lynch have been very adamant about addressing issues of police brutality and criminal justice reform. what happens to all that work under sessions is left to be seen. i think a democratic congressman
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from illinois put it best, if we are nostalgic about a time when blacks stayed quiet, gays were in the closet, were immigrants were invisible and where women stayed in the kitchen, then jeff sessions is your guy. >> aee ja martin -- >> we want to move forward in this country with respect to civil rights, there's real questions about jeff sessions. >> areeva martin, carol swan, i own joy having the two of you here. thank you so much. >> they will come back i'm sure. another of your tweets quickly can we put it up. smerconish, you speak as if there's something inherently wrong with trump's nominees merely because they are white. live and raw, it's saying it's a big diverse country with a lot of strife in the aftermath of this election. i'm sure -- i have to believe he is going to put people of color around him. i'm just surprised that the first five picks were white guys. that's all i was saying. still to come, clinton cash author peter swiezer attacked
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the clintons for their foundation's availability to foreign lead who are were precluded by law to participate in american elections. so what does he say about our new businessman president's possible conflicts of interest? i will ask him. and even though candidate trump often attacked the media many think the media helped his campaign, but now as president-elect, he is shutting out the white house press core even from meetings with heads of state. is presidential transparency in jeopardy? we'll talk about it. are you on medicare? do you have the coverage you need? open enrollment ends december 7th. don't put it off 'til later. now's the time to get on a path that could be right for you... with unitedhealthcare medicare solutions. call today to learn about the kinds of coverage we offer,
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♪ donald trump campaigned on his strength as a businessman, perhaps he was surprised on friday when "the wall street journal" editorial page said the president-elect should liquidate his stake in the family
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business. it said, quote, one reason 60 million voters elected donald trump is because he promised to change washington's culture of self dealing. and if he wants to succeed, he's going to have to make a sacrifice and lead by example. now, this is ironic given that except for those damn e-mails the issue that most dogged candidate hillary clinton was concern over the ethics of the clinton foundation. and whether foreign governments made donations in exchange for favorable treatment while she was secretary of state. trump's heading down what likely might be an even trickier path unless he heeds the journal's advice. joining me now the man who literally wrote the book on the clinton foundation, clinton cash, the untold story of how and why foreign governments and businesses helped make bill and hillary rich. peter swiezer is a breitbart news editor and head of the government accountability institute. peter, the premise of your book clinton cash was that the clintons were able to skirt the legal prohibition against
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foreign involvement in american elections. do you see a parallel set of circumstances between the trump organization and the clinton foundation that could head him into trouble? >> yes. there are some very pair louse waters here, michael. look, the bulk of the holdings that the trump organization has is in real estate. and particularly when you go overseas to places like azerbaijan, bahrain, russia, those large real estate deals they engage in are inherently political. you basically have government involvement. and the big concern here is that they are either going to seek the trump organization is going to seek favorable deals from these governmental entities knowing that donald trump is president or that foreign governments will offer sweetheart deals to the trumps in hoping to curry favor. there's a lot of work that needs to be done to create as best we can a wall to make sure that doesn't happen.
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>> in other words, the concern that you had with regard to the clinton foundation was that a foreign individual or a foreign power could curry favor with the foundation by writing a check or by hiring bill at an exorbitant fee to speak and ingratiate themselves and in this case you're saying, hey, you can do business with the trump organization and as long as the kids are running it, maybe your star rises. >> yes. i mean, look, imagine this scenario, the government of russia wants better relations or wants something favorable from the federal government in washington, d.c. and the russian government approaches the trump organization and says, we've got this prime piece of real estate in moscow. we would love to give it to you for fire sale prices so you can build a major project here. that's a huge problem. so, you know, the hope is that safeguards are being put in place, that the trump organization leadership is on guard for precisely this kind of scenario because i think based on history it's only a question
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of time when these kinds of offers are made. and if they take those offers, it's hugely problematic. it's not only a conflict of interest, it's the appearance of a conflict of interest and then you've got major problems around u.s. policy towards that country. >> and apart from the foreign prospect, let's just look domestically. to be fair to the president-elect, he says i'll be completely out of it and the kids will run the business. i don't know whether he meets the definition of blind trust the way that he envisions it, but you could also see domestic, political entities, maybe it's a yup on, big far ma, somebody with legislation they would like to see passed and now the convention, it's at dor rale or that washington hotel he just opened up at 1600 pennsylvania avenue and others will be writing new books and saying, was there a quid pro quo, is there a conflict here?
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>> exactly, michael. couple things, some people called for donald trump to die vest himself from the trump organization. i think that's a great idea. i don't know all the legalities of it. for him to sell his ownership stake in the companies would be very wise. second of all, the trump organization should announce publicly they don't have to do it legally but i think they should ethically announce they are not going to have any government contracts. they're not going to bid for contracts. they're not going to seek contracts with a general service administration or anybody else in the federal government. that at least offers some assurance that they're trying to create a bright line, but it's very, very difficult when you're talking about large real estate deals. these aren't stock trades where they trade in and out of stocks to divest yourself from real estate holdings is not an easy thing. it would send a great signal to the american people who are clambering for somebody to clean up washington, d.c. >> that's good advice. final question, what will you
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title the book? >> well, right now i am working on a project. it's a look at widespread corruption in washington, d.c. involving both political parties and we'll just have to see how things shake out. i am cautiously optimistic hopeful that trump, who comes to the white house saying he wants to drain the swamp and i think he's going to have an ambitious agenda in that regard will hopefully pay special attention to these kinds of ethical issues. >> thank you, peter. >> thank you, michael. so what should trump do to alleviate concerns? joining me now is richard painter. he was chief white house ethics lawyer for president george w. bush and is currently professor of corporate law at the university of minnesota. if president-elect donald trump were to call you and seek your counsel as to how to get his business affairs in order before he's inaugurated, what would you
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say to him? >> well, i would recommend taking a loft these holdings and putting them into companies that could go public through an initial public offering with a registration statement that takes a few months to prepare, but that could be done and then the shares could be sold for cash. and he would have a lot of cash there if he's worth what he says he is. and several billion dollars. and then that cash could be invested in mutual funds and/or in treasury securities or put in a blind trust and then invested by the trustee in investments that he wouldn't know about when he was president so he could focus on his job. >> but he's going to say to you -- he's going to say to you a couple of things, why should i be penalized now that i'm president, why shouldn't my kids be the beneficiaries of all my hard work and he probably also say that the value is tied to me and if i'm no longer associated it's going to be a greatly
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diminished product and i'm not going to be able to cash out. >> well, first, i think there are a lot of buildings that are worth a lot and the trump empire is worth quite a bit of money without his name attached to it. they could sell that through an initial offering. i think they would realize quite a bit of cash there, but he has chose on the run for president of the united states and he's won the election. and his job over the next four years is to be president of the united states, not to have his name be used to market buildings in various real estate projects all over the world. i think that creates way too many avenues for actual or perceived corruption and that's going to undermine his ability to be a good president. >> what about the kids? what about the children? how might there be ethical issues related to their continued involvement in the trump organization if say they provide counsel to their father? ivanka was president for the meeting with the japanese prime minister if she is
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simultaneously running the hotel division, is that problematic? >> well, the appearances can be problematic, but the ethics rules aren't violated unless the family member becomes a government employee. but if the family member becomes a government employee, that includes unpaid employee on an advisory board, they have to make sure they watch the conflicts of interest. the financial conflicts of interest rules even if they don't apply to the president do apply to government employees including part time government employees so the family members need to think very seriously about whether they want to cross that line and be government employees and if so they are going to have to watch their financial conflicts of interest very, very seriously. >> the trump university case apparently being settled for $25 million, which reminds me he's not protected against liability as president, which is one more reason to completely divest himself of all on going business
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activities, right? >> well, absolutely. the plaintiff's lawyers will be itching to file cases all over the country against trump, business enterprises, many plaintiff's lawyers are affiliated with the democratic party, they'll be cheered on by the president's political opponents and the jones versus clinton case has made it very clear that the president can be sued in his personal capacity while he is president. we could have deposition testimony and all that, but we've been through that with president clinton. this could be much worse. if he gets rid of the business empire and sells it, he's going to reduce the risk of frivolous litigation and serious litigation, both risks substantially while he's president. >> okay. an ipo, that's the advice from the man who schooled george w. bush on presidential ethics, richard painter, thank you so much. >> thank you very much.
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>> everybody against the trial lawyers until they need one. show me another tweet. smerconish, if you think he'll change, you should enroll in trump university. very funny. thank you, jeff. still to come, it's one thing if the president-elects wants to go out for a steak dinner and doesn't feel obligated to notify the media quite another if he doesn't invite them when he meets with another foreign head of state. we'll talk about that when we come back. keep the tweets coming at smerconish. is the media being complicit by saying there is real fear out there? disappointed is not fear. words matter. well, i keep saying conduct matters, but he's now named five people. i think that's conduct and it's worthy of some discussion. back in a second. i have asthma... of many pieces in my life. so when my asthma symptoms kept coming back on my long-term control medicine. i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine,
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until i talked to my doctor. she told me that humira helps people like me get uc under control and keep it under control when certain medications haven't worked well enough. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. raise your expectations. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, control is possible. after donald trump ditched the press core this week, the white house correspondents association felt compelled to issue a stern rebuke. quote, it is unacceptable for
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the next president of the united states to travel without a regular pool to record his mumplts and inform the public about his whereabouts. then trump met with shinzo abe and the white house press was not invited by japanese press was allow. what does this mean for the relationship moving forward? and how will the public be kept informed about the whereabouts and actions of the its elected leader? julie mason host press pool was a white house reporter for politico, the washington examiner and houston chronicle and was an elected board member of the white house correspondent's association. julie, is he making rookie mistakes or do you think there's something more sinister taking place? >> michael, i think it's both. he's shown demonstrated contempt for the role that the press plays in the government and in covering him and also he seems overwhelmed by this transition effort and has been overlooking some protocols that have been in place for decades, that are very important to the functioning of democracy. >> you know that some would say,
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hey, the guy wants to go eat a steak at the 21 club, give him a break. >> right, exactly. terrible things happen by surprise, michael. and the principle is more important than the event. you know, bush was just going to read to little kids in florida, kennedy was just on a speech tour in dallas. the press needs to be there. we don't need to be at the table when he is having a steak. usually we sit out in a pool van with no bathroom breaks for hours while the president plays golf or has dinner, but there's rules in place. if something happens the nation comes under attack, you need independent journalists there to be the conduit of information for america and the rest of the world that need to know -- everyone needs to know that someone is in charge. that things are happening as they should. >> how unusual this episode earlier this week with the japanese prime minister that the american media would not have been granted access and were put in the position of having to decide are we going to rely on the japanese media to cover
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this? >> it was japanese government photos that were released. that doesn't meet our standard. and michael, you notice a lot of news organizations aren't using the video, aren't using the photos that came out because that's not how we do it. >> including cnn. >> right. we need independent journalists eyes on the president-elect when he smeeting with world leaders. that's very, very important. >> okay, julie. fast forward to next spring. we all remember president obama doing his comedic routine at the expense of donald trump at the white house correspondent dinner. do you think donald trump is going to continue the tradition and come speak to the press core? >> you know, that's a big question. you raised a really interesting point. that dinner is so maligned is a fundraising for college scholarships, students who want to study journalism and can't afford it. i hope the president-elect will attend. there's no requirement for him to do so. it would be a nice gesture. he doesn't have to do it, but as he is doing things like meeting with mitt romney and showing that he's inclusive and showing
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that he's serious about all the facets of this job, i really hope he'll consider attending the dinner. >> well, i think that the primer for him was the al smith dinner. he told a very funny joke about melania when she cribbed from michelle obama's speech. that was funny. and then he deviate and he became really unsettled in front of a funny audience. it's going to be an interesting issue to see whether he is there at the big dinner. >> he really is not skilled at being self deprecating. being able to laugh at yourself, maybe that's something he'll learn in the interim. >> no doubt. julie mason, thank you. >> thank you, michael. still to come, mike pence went to hamilton last night and was surprised by a cast member's speech at him during the curtain call. and your best and worst tweets. let's see another. smerconish, who are you kidding? mitt romney has been invited to kiss the ring of donald trump, the ultimate big dog move.
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no offer coming. i don't know. mitt is a pretty smart guy. i don't know that mitt would allow himself to be used like that. time will tell. ♪ ♪ ♪ is it a force of nature? or a sales event? the season of audi sales event is here. audi will cover your first month's lease payment on select models during the season of audi sales event. (bing) when they thought they should westart saving for retirement.le then we asked some older people when they actually did start saving. this gap between when we should start saving and when we actually do is one of the reasons why too many of us aren't prepared for retirement. just start as early as you can. it's going to pay off in the future.
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this morning donald trump tweeted about "hamilton" because last night vice president-elect mike pence attended "hamilton" on broadway and got a surprise message from the cast during the curtain call. >> vice president-elect pence, we welcome you and truly appreciate you attending here. we, sir, we are the diverse america who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us. our families, children, our parents, or defend us and uphold ourin alienable rights. we truly hope this show has
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inspired you to uphold our american values and to work on behalf of all of us, all of us. >> you know, i've got to say, i'm with trump and pence on this. i mean can't the guy just have a night out and enjoy the theater? as my parents would say, time and a place, time and a plarce, time and a place. that reminds me when i spent a lot of money to sit in the front row of madison square garden and we were a mile or two from ground zero as the crow flies. i had to sit through a lecture delivered on habeas corpus rights for guantanamo prisoners. it was just so inappropriate. i think i ended up shouting back during the course of the performance. so let the guy have a night out. for crying out loud, he's got a lot on his plate for the next four or eight years. i'm not denying the message of what i just heard, i'm just deny
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get propriety of when and where and how it was delivered. i'm sorry, i just ate up all the time for twitter. tweet me @smerconish. i'll see you back here in two weeks because we're off for thanksgiving. have a great holiday. victoza lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill, which didn't get me to my goal. victoza® works with your body to lower blood sugar in three ways: in the stomach, the liver, and the pancreas. and while it isn't for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. non-insulin victoza® comes in a pen and is taken once a day. (announcer) victoza® is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2,
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good morning. i'm alison kosik in today for christi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell. this is "cnn newsroom." it is a busy weekend for president-elect donald trump. he is spending today hoping to fill crucial cabinet positions in his administration, but this morning it appears that trump's first concern was attacking the cast of the broadway musical "hamilton" on twitter. last night they had a message for vice president-elect mike pence who was in the audience. we'll talk about that in a moment. >> today trump is set to meet with a full roster of prospective