tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 26, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST
the crash happened when the bus driver slammed in to it a tree. the driver johnthony walker has been charged with vehicle home side. next hour of the cnn newsroom starts right now. hello again and thank you so much for joining me. to some, a hero. to others, a tyrant. former cuban leader fidel castro is ted at the age of 90 and reactions are pouring in from around the world. what are the political implications ahead? president-elect donald trump releasing this statement last hour saying, quote, fidel castro's leg gi is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured too long. that from president-elect trump. and from president obama who has dedicated much of his second
term to normalizing relations between the two countries, he said this, quote, we know that this moment fills cubans in cuba and in the united states with powerful emotions. history will record and judge the enormous impact of the singular figure on the people and world around him, that coming from president obama. so those powerful emotions are on display in havana where castro supporters are in mourning. >> translator: the cuban people is feeling sad because of the loss of our commander and chief and we wish him wherever he is that he is blessed and us cubans love him. >> in miami, the heart of the cuban exiled community, celebrations broke out some saying his death will close a dark chapter of cuba's history. we want to talk about the political implications, but first we have a team of
reporters covering this story from havana, little havana. let's begin with chris moody who is in miami. what are folks saying? >> reporter: well, it is a day of celebration in little havana here in miami. this is the epicenter of the cuban exiled group that came over from cuba and we're in front of the versailles restaurant where many have gathered over the years talking about this day. the celebrations began here on the street very early this morning while it was still dark. i guess you could call it a street party with champagne bottles popping in the air. there are now parades heading back and forth and people making noises and waving their american and cuban flags. but cuban-american members of congress have now been weighing in. listen to elena ros-lehtinen, a
member of congress from here in the miami area. hear what she had to say about the death of fidel castro. >> now that his death is upon us, we must use this opportunity to refocus our efforts to help the people of cuba build freedom once again. president-elect trump has correctly stated that obama's overtures to the castro's are a gheem were one-sided and only benefiteded the cuban regime. i hope the new administration under the leadership of president trump seizes this this moment as an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the cuban people. >> reporter: so we see her and other members of congress like her wanting president-elect trump to put the pressure on the cuban government after president obama opened diplomatic channels between the two countries as well as eased travel restrict n restrictio restrictions. i think you will see a lot of
people traveling between here and cuba over the next few years. yet to be seen how president-elect trump will handle between the united states and cuba over his term. back to you. >> chris moody, thank you so much. president-elect trump issued a written statement on the death of former cuban leader fidel castro saying, quote, while cuba remain as totalitarian island, it is my hope today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long and toward a future in which the wonderful cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve. joining us live from palm beach, ryan noble. so ryan, beyond this written statement, which follows a fwootweet of a headline from donald trump, is there any information about his commitment toward u.s.-cuban relations or w45 he shat he sed his administration going forward? >> reporter: that's the big
question, how will donald trump react and negotiate with the cuban regime and does it change at all now that fidel castro is dead. we saw donald trump talk a lot about the deal that was struck with president obama in the castro regime to normalize relations between the come countries. and even though trump had a different tone when talking about the deal depending on the audience he was in front of, he was consistent in his criticism of the deal. that doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't an opportunity, but he doesn't think president obama did it the right way. listen to what he told an audience in miami back in september. >> all of the concessions that barack obama has granted the castro regime were done through executive order which means the next president can reverse them. and that i will do unless the castro regime meets our demands. not my demands, our demands.
you know what the demands are. those demands will include religious and political freedom for the cuban people, and the freeing of political prisoners. >> and the important point to draw out of that sound bite is that donald trump is reminding everyone that largely this deal is built on executive actions by president obama. there was no congressional approval needed. so just as easily as president obama implemented them, donald trump will have the power to pull them back. it won't be easy because some of the provisions have already gone into place and people are taking advantage of them, but donald trump has said that he wants a better deal. exactly how he accomplishes that, we won't know until he actually takes office. >> all right. ryan, thank you so much. appreciate that. meantime senator tom cotton has released a statement on castro's passing saying quote, fidel castro created hell on earth for the cuban people and he will now
become intimately familiar with what he wrought. earlier we heard from president obama. he released a statement on the death of fidel castro. suzanne malveaux is in washington with more of this. so suzanne, president obama of course wants that legacy of how he helped thaw relations between the u.s. and cuba to remain. but there also is expressed worry from that white house as to whether that will continue. >> reporter: that's right. there is a concern about it. and i have to say that the president's administration is measured in their response. you're not hearing some of the fiery language coming from members of congress. we're told the president is not going to speak about this on camera, but rather we twot this written statement from earlier today really talking about that history will be the judge of fidel castro. i will read a part of it, saying for nearly six decades, the relationship between the united states and cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. during mied presidency, we've
worked hard to put the past behind us pursuing a future which the relationship between our two countries defined not the by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends, bonds of family, culture, commerce and common humanity. and secretary of state john kerry putting out a very similar message trying to emphasize the positive, a sense of moving forward here because this is one of his signature national security foreign policy achievements. he certainly hopes that much of that already in place, that americans used to traveling, used to seeing family and friends, now used to getting mail, that potentially these are the kinds of things that a donald trump presidency is not going to want to actually tinker with. but there is no guarantee, much of this is through regulations to ease those restrictions. and executive orders. and so that is the reality of it here. it would really take an act of congress to lift the embargo that is still very much in place. but i have to say, quite a few people are slamming the
president already, very dissatisfied with his response. i want to read this, this is a tweet from marco rubio saying president obama issued a pathetic statement on death of fidel castro with no mention of thousands he killed and imprisoned. so this is not sitting very well with those who say, look, you have not acknowledged really the true pain that fidel castro caused to millions of cubans, but the administration today really trying to put a positive spin, an optimistic spin on this saying that they want to look forward and we know that he was dealing with raul castro, not the fidel castro, but nevertheless a castro family member in the years past. president trump will actually be dealing with raul castro for two years before another election. >> all right. suzanne malveaux, thank you so much from the white house. appreciate that. straight ahead, who might become the next secretary of state? while mitt romney is one contender, a california
just in, the clinton campaign saying today it will take part in an effort to push for recounts in several key states. the clinton camp will join forces with the green party candidate jill stein who has raised millions of dollars to have a recount in wisconsin. however, in a post from jill stein's campaign counsel so far the campaign has not uncovered any evidence of hacking of voting systems. stein wants a recount in pennsylvania, wisconsin and michigan where trump's combined margin of victory was just over 100,000 votes. meantime, president-elect donald trump announcing two more key picks for his administration on friday. he has tapped katie mcfarland as deputy national security adviser
and washington attorney donald mcgan as white house counsel. the announcements coming a they debate the choices for u.s. secretary of state. trump's campaign manager kellyanne conway tweeting this, receiving deluge of social media and private comments regarding mitt romney. some trump loyalists are warning against romney as secretary of state. i want to bring in tara seth mire and paris ginard to discuss this. paris, why would kellyanne conway tweet out something like this about someone under consideration for this u.s. secretary of state post? >> you know, i've said this before, one of the things that campaigns to and political operatives do is they test the waters. and so they put out names, they float names and they put things out there to get a reaction. and i believe what kellyanne conway did, former campaign
manager for the trump campaign for president good was just that, put out this statement, this tweet, showing that there are people, many people in the base who are concerned about the appointment of mitt romney as secretary of state because of- >> but doesn't that undermine the process? i mean that he's in the running. under consideration along with rudy giuliani and now dana roar bhaker. if mitt romney is positioning it over, doesn't that give him incentive to say forget about having me in the running? >> that might just be the point. kellyanne conway can tweet what she wants. she's not the head of the transition. she's not the chief of staff. she's the former campaign manager who is still advising mr. trump, the president-elect. and so it's important for us to have a full conversation about who are these people going to
come and serve. but it's the critically important to remember there are people who have been loyal to the president-elect, who put their capital on the line, who worked tirelessly to help him get elected and they want to be rewarded for that. and they are just as qualified if the not more than other candidates and it's important for her to put that out there so the american people can have an incredible conversation on who will serve. >> so what is at issue here, is it the issue of loyalty versus a nod or appealing to gop insiders and we're seeing it all play out in public view? >> well, yeah, there is a lot of dynamics going on here. we all remember mitt romney's scathing critique of donald trump. >> and vice versa. >> absolutely. it was probably the most visceral attack against donald trump during the campaign and donald trump came back and, you
know, he gave it right back to him. and he actually went around saying how he could have asked mitt romney to drop to his knees and he would it. he just excoriated mitt romney. it was very personal both ways. so to see these two come together and now all of a sudden that has gone away i think has some people questioning romney's loyalty obviously. i mean i like mitt romney. i think he's a good man. i think he would have made a greatrd. he will probably make a great secretary of state. but i'm not quite sure how he's able to serve at the pleasure of the president after the kind of criticism that he leveled against donald trump. >> then why would they even have a meeting? and so public. last weekend walking into that new jersey golf -- i mean if this was an issue of not wanting to be so public, i mean why would they not just have a phone conversation? almost sends a message, did it not, to see the two of them standing there? new jersey? >> i think for donald trump we have to remember he's an
entertainer first. and he understands appearances. and i think for him he wanted to show that -- it made him look magnanimous that he was willing to put aside those issues with mitt romney to vet the best person for the job perhaps. for mitt romney, i don't know, i understand he has a desire to serve and that bug never really goes away, but i just don't want to see him fwrogrovel. i know it's reported that donald trump wants a public apology from romney before he would offer him the job. but i think romney needs to be very cognizant of his own principles. either he believed what he said back in march or he didn't. >> another name being floated publicly now, dana rohbacker. why would he be a good contender for secretary of state? >> just to correct something tara said, i think first mr.
trump is a businessman and then an entertainer and now the president-elect. but to your point, when it comes down to the type of people that the president-elect is trying to assemble, congressmanro will hbacker is a fine candidate. you want somebody who has the experience but is not a washington insider. and it's true mr. trump lacks the political insight of being a d.c. person. so these advocates are qualified candidates and smart selections. >> and tara, you are the former communications director for him. what instincts to you see in rohbacker to be secretary of state? >> yeah, i was with dana for seven years. and he is a wonderful congressman and he really is a man of the people. he is certainly an outsider. he's always food on principal and what he believes, contrary to the popular sentiment. that has worked both for and against him, but never popular
to stand on principal sometime. dana has dedicated most of high school his life to foreign affairs. he got elected to congress in 1988 and he foughthighschool hi affairs. he got elected to congress in 1988 and he fought against the the russians in afghanistan. is he a preeminent expert on that part of the country. but he's also the fair of young tr father of young triplets and he loves his family, loves california.of young father of young triplets and he loves his family, loves california. knowing him, i don't know that he wants to go through the rigors of being secretary of state knowing that that would do to his family. but i'm sure he finds to be a great honor to even be considered for that position. >> you get on the phone with him and then come back. >> i want to call him. >> he makes good personnel decisions clearly when he hired tara. >> well, thank you, paris. >> that's right. meantime something else.
while donald trump is working with his transition team, trying to make selections, nominations, appointments, the green party candidate jill stein has managed to raise enough money to get recounts starting with wisconsin and now this news we're just able to bring to you this hour, you know, paris, that the clinton camp is joining forces to having this recount. wisconsin also on the horizon pennsylvania, numbers that was very close to call in terms of donald trump's victory. so there is no real evidence according to the counsel of jill stein that there was any hacking, but they do have the support to carry through with these recounts. what is your assessment of the attention on recounts taking place in the midst of donald trump trying to build a transition? >> it's ironic that the team, the people concerned about mr. trump not being accepting the results of the election are now
the very ones not accepting the results of the election. the election is over. secretary clinton has conceded. the american people are moving towards having the president-elect as the president of the united states. and it would be better suited by using this money to fund things that are more important than recounts. they could give this money to senate candidates or candidates that really need it if they really wanted to. but they want to make this about politics. move over, move on, the presidency is going to donald trump. >> so is this a pipe dream or is this a real potential threat here? >> no, i think paris is correct about this. it's not as though we're looking at a florida -- as close as florida was in 2000 or anything like that. it was a pretty overwhelming win leg to electorly for donald trump and now they're the ones not accepting the result. jill stein from what i understand, a lot of my friends on the left, she's not someone that a lot of them are looking to as being the next leader of
that movement per se. and so i just -- could be to raise the money to help pay back campaign debt for goodness sake. but i don't know what the clinton campaign is doing joining this . just makes them look like sore losers. >> okay. appreciate it. coming up, we'll take a look who may be the loudest voice in the president-elect's ear. steven bannon, trump's controversial choice for chief strategist. more coming up. this year at t-mobile, the holidays are on us!
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welcome back. president-elect donald trump one step closer to getting his administration in order. this week announcing two more picks. he has tapped katie mcfarland and national security adviser and donald mcgahn as white house counsel. trump also selecting k.t. mcfarland, a frequent critic to be his deputy security adviser. and donald mcgahn, former chairman for the federal election commission, to be white house counsel. also now more information on the man who famously said just days ago that, quote, darkness is good. steven bannon is the president-elect's controversial pick for chief strategist. here is brian todd with more.
>> reporter: he says darkness is good. he says dick cheney, darth vader, satan, that is power. steve bannon, the rumbled 62-year-old who once headed breitbart news now has the ear of the president-elect and many worry he will push the platform of the so-called alt-right. >> we have in our history has never had someone like steve with a platform that he has had at breitbart come into basically be the co-chief of staff running the white house and the agenda of the president. >> reporter: civil rights groups say the alt-right movement is just code for white supremacists and anti-nti-accept nights and sab say bannon has to go. on the accusation that he's at least loosely embraced white nationalism, bannon told the hollywood reporter, quote, i'm
not a white nationalist, i'm a nationalist. i'm an economic nationalist. >> bannon says he's anti-elite, anti-establish him ament and an economic populist because he believes that the system has hurt and hindered the little guy. has nothing to do with race, religion or anything else. >> reporter: bannon jumped on the trump train early on, telling trump last year he was a big admirer. >> i said look, people are leaning forward in these audiences when he was talking. of course we were mocked and ridicul ridiculed. >> reporter: now bannon is mocking the mainstream media who he blames for failing to recognize the frustration of americans left behind in the global economy. quote, it's just a circle of people talking to themselves who have no fing idea what is going on. if the "new york times" didn't exist, cnn and msnbc would be a test pattern. kurt bardela two quit breitbart is now critical of bannon. he sees that darkness is good
remark as chilling. >> i think that is very much how steve views the world. the worst emotions amongst us can be weaponize and i think what you saw in the trump campaign and what you will see going forward is tapping in to anger and fear and hate to try to move their agenda forward. and i think that is exactly who steve bannon is. >> thanks so much, brian todd. straight ahead, we'll hear from two generations of cuban americans, what they say about the communist leader now after being exiled decades ago go. >> he destroy our live, you know? most of our life has been here, not in my country. so in that sense, it has affected me a lot. because i missed all the good things about cuba.
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cuban americans filled the street, many celebrating the death of a p than they considered a tyrant. by now many people are still out there marking his passing. particularly on that little havana there in miami. ahead of castro's death, ed lavendera sat down with two generations of a cuban american family to get their take on a castro regime. >> reporter: it's dinnertime for this family. we asked them to sit down for a conversation about fidel castro and cuba, to capture how cuban american families have evolved more than 50 years after castro rose to power. when jorge came to the united states in 1960, he had hopes of rushing fidel castro's dictatorship. >> i was adamant at that time. now, you know, i guess everybody is tired. >> everybody is tired. >> everyone is tired because
nothing has been done. we lost a lot of opportunities. >> reporter: jorge and his wife have now lived in the united states longer than they ever lived in cuba. fidel castro is a figure that forever changed their lives. >> what can i tell you? like he said, fidel he said we don't need you and i don't think you will ever change. where fidel goes, regiment will be the same with different people. maybe i'm wrong. i wish i am. >> are you as angry today toward him that you were 40, 50 years ago? >> i mean, you know, life makes you change. like the way you think. when i came here, i was too young. but he destroy our lives, you know? most of my life has been here, not in my country. so in that sense, it has
affected me a lot. because i missed all the good things about cuba. >> reporter: but the american born children of cuban exiles view cuba differently. >> it's an abstract for me. it's a culture, a tradition, it's family, it's what you do. for them it's more raw. for me, i don't like castro, i would love to see a democracy there and i think most americans probably would. but what they feel is honestly going to be much greater. >> because we had the bay of pigs invasion where we both lost a lot of friends, you know, close friends. i remember clearly the october crisis of the missiles. >> reporter: the talk turned toward what could have been done differently in the last 50 years to bring political change cuba. it's not something the younger generation thinks of as much. time has softened cuban american support of the trade embargo.
but they are still adamant that castro's regime must go. >> the dinosaurs if you want to call it, the cronies that are in power right now, they don't want to let go and they should have let go a long time ago if they were true pay the i can't tere . >> did you think you would be this age and not going back to the country? >> i did not. >> i thought we would go sooner, but we're stuck here. >> i understood what you meant. not a bad place to be stuck. >> you're right. >> reporter: the day may soon come where they all visit the cuba together. at least that remains the hope. ed lavendera, cnn, miami. >> straight ahead, one of the biggest foreign policy challenges for the trump administration will be the war against isis and the crisis in iraq. our panel looks at the tough
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inherited from his predecessors. >> reporter: with operation shock and awe, america invaded iraq. iraqi army couldn't hold them back, but that didn't stop the regime from doing some wishful thinking. >> they will try to approach to enter baghdad, and i think this is where their graveyard will be. >> reporter: american troops took the city easily in weeks. saddam hussein was torn from power. in every way, that is something that perhaps president-elect donald trump regrets seeing. >> saddam hussein was a bad guy, right? he was a bad guy. really bad guy. but you know what he did well? he killed terrorists. he did that so good. >> reporter: two months after the iraq war began, this. >> the united states and our allies have prevailed. >> reporter: the war wasn't even close to over.
countless iraqis skilled in a merciless tail spin of violence. then seven years after mr. bush announced mission accomplished -- >> the american combat mission in iraq has ended. >> reporter: but again, the fighting didn't run to washington's time table. isis fed on iraq's smoldering ruins, something u.s. warplanes are trying to undo. >> i would bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. >> reporter: but while bombs kill terrorists, they don't kill their ideas. >> carpet bombing iraq and syria to try to get isis of course won't solve the problem. >> reporter: so fixing iraq isn't just about fighting. it's about strong ideas and ideals. and many here in the united states are questioning america's roam in providing them. >> you don't find thinking we can turn to the u.s. as being leader of the free world that will support human rights and the people against oppressive
governments. that has shifted. >> reporter: so for an american president who talks so much about putting america first, many iraqis are have to keep watching and waiting to see what a trump presidency means for them. becky anderanderson, cnn. >> let's bring in our panel. michael weiss and kimberly dozier. good to see both of you. so trump has said that he is going to give his generals 30 days to come up with a plan to fight isis for starters. so kim, will a challenge like that involve potentially troops on the ground inside iraq or syria? >> well, remember, we already do have troops on the ground in iraq and syria, a small special operations force of roughly 300 people plus their support inside syria right now. one of whom was just lost on thanksgiving day. and explosives ordinance
technician. but also a few thousand, a footprint of a few thousand inside iraq with the permission of the iraqi government. >> so more troops? >> but might one of the generals recommend a slightly larger number? i think you could see that, but inside iraq, they have to get the iraqi government's permission for that. and sell them on that idea. so far iraq has been reluctant to enlarge that u.s. footprint. >> so michael, you heard donald trump remind people that he would bomb the terrorists. is that the kind of difference his plan could potentially make? >> well, it if he's going to carpet bomb mosul, depend, as kim said, he needs permission from baghdad and i don't believe the iraqi government is prepared to see the complete leveling of one of its major cities. no, i hope that the generals who are going to advise him at least
have the wherewithal to tell him that you cannot destroy isis from the sky. we've been doing that for ten years. look at the battles of fallujah and mosul prior to this campaign. isis is good at digging tunnels. they're already preparing to return to that sort of desert border land area lawyerly in eastern syria and raqqah. bombing the hell out of them is not going to it. you need some kind of ground contingent. and the problem that i see with the trump administration, well there, are several problems, least of which is donald trump's lack of awareness, but is he appointing every official to his cabinet is cementally opposed to the islamic republic of iran and yet irani built militias were
just made an official part of the establishment. so they now have wholly owned subsidiaries of the revolutionary corps. is it donald trump realize this, is he going to rely on ground forces to destroy isis in iraq and what will he do this syria where he as opposed aligning russia and assad? so there are too many contradictions in trump's prescription for how to fix the middle east. >> so after a realization might be made based on how michael was laying things out, a 30 day plan, does that no longer even sound realistic? >> well, i think that generals have been mooiking plans. there are some on the shelf that they can show touchdown. i think what they will say is you have a lot more leeway oig with what you can do inside syria. and that if the trump administration wants to align with russia on this, they could
rely on russia to keep the iranian forces in check. look, u.s. forces are working alongside u.s. advisers are working alongside iranian advisers inside iraq right now. so it can be done. so back inside syria, if you've got the u.s. and russia and turkey all working together to defeat isis, you at least diminish one player on the board. the problem with that is in the aftermath al qaeda has been predicted to grow in strength if isis is weakened. and we don't seem to have a plan for that having more forces on the ground if syria be they russian american or turkish doesn't diminish the fact that these are in some cases local forces, they will be able to go underground and commit to a wrong term insurgency campaign that syria will be fighting for some time to come. >> so do you see this trump administration being able to
work with these neighboring countries, those who are committed thus far in this fight so that like kimberly was laying out iraq doesn't have to increase or come up with a new agreement that would allow more troops, more u.s. troops on iraqi soil? >> well, technically the iraqi armed forces and the shia militia groups have the manpower to retake the terrain. but it's the post-isis conditions you have to worry about. sunni arabs and sunni turkmen for instance, there is a town that we don't pay attention to which is even more kree shcruci mosul. if there are human rights atrocities and sunnis rise up and decide they want to go to war with baghdad, you are looking at something hike isis 2.0. it may not be the caliphate, but some other form. about and where i would disagree with kim, there is no syrian
arab army anymore. the iranians are running the show. they are running the ground forces. and you trust nobody better than the russian government's own military assessment. these are warlords and militias doing the heavy lifting. and these are the guys who will try to sack east allepo. so i don't think the russians can rein this iran without delegitimizing the ground campaign. >> we'll have to leave it there. thank you both so much for your input. we'll be right back. thank you. imagine if the things you bought every day earned you miles to get to the places you really want to go. with the united mileageplus explorer card, you'll get a free checked bag, 2 united club passes... priority boarding... and 30,000 bonus miles. everything you need for an unforgettable vacation.
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thank you so much for joining me. some call him a revolutionary, other as tyrant. former cuban leader fidel castro is dead at the age of 90. an reactions are pouring in from around the world. president-elect trump releasing this statement saying, quote, fidel castro's legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unmachblgabunmachbl unimaginable suffering, the denial of human rights. it's my hope that today marks a move away from the mohorrors endured for too long. and president obama saying this,
quote, we know that this moment fills cubans in cuba and in the united states with powerful emotions. history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him, end quote. so we'll talk about the politicalism implications of all of this in a moment, but first we have a team of reporters covering this story from havana, cuba to little havana in miami. let's begin in miami with ed lavendera. >> reporter: well, here in the middle of what is affectionately known as couldkai ocho, the fam versailles restaurant, this has been a gathering spot for exiles to debate the future politics of cuban/u.s.