Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Makes Good on Campaign Promise; Tacoma Police Officer Shot and Killed; Tennessee Wildfires: 7 Dead; Tiger Woods Returns to Golf Today. Aired 5-5:30a ET
Aired December 1, 2016 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A victory lap for Donald Trump. He is heading to the plant where he just saved 1,000 jobs. Now critics want to know how he pulled off the deal, and will he do it elsewhere?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN ANCHOR: A police officer killed in Washington state. The gunman barricaded in a house deep into the night. We are following the latest on the standoff which is still happening this morning.
ROMANS: The death toll and the damage rising in Tennessee. Thousands of evacuees waiting anxiously to find out if their homes are still standing.
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START, this very first day of December. I'm Christine Romans.
RIPLEY: Good to be with you, in the same time zone for a change.
ROMANS: Nice to see you.
RIPLEY: I'm Will Ripley, in for John Berman.
[05:00:00] It's Thursday, December 1st, 5:00 a.m. in the East.
And we begin this morning with Donald Trump. He is preparing to take a big victory lap today. The president-elect is heading to the Carrier plant in Indianapolis today along with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the outgoing governor of Indiana. Now, Pence and unknown incentives, and we don't know what those incentives were yet, but they were key here to convincing this company to keep about 1,000 jobs in the state instead of exporting them to Mexico.
You get remember that viral video outraged workers. Now this deal, a symbolic win for the president-elect.
We have the latest with CNN's senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Will and Christine, Donald Trump will be taking a victory lap of sorts later today when he tours a Carrier Air Conditioner factory in Indiana. This is the same factory he railed against throughout the campaign for shipping jobs to Mexico. Now after discussions with the president-elect and vice president-elect Mike Pence, who was the outgoing governor of Indiana, the company says it's keeping some of those jobs in the U.S.
New Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin says it's an example of Trump making good on a promise.
STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY NOMINEE: The Carrier deal, look, I think it's terrific. The president-elect and vice president-elect picked up the phone and called the CEO of United Technologies and told them we want to keep jobs here. I can't remember the last time a president did that.
ACOSTA: We should point out, the transition is not offering details on the Carrier deal. And later in the day, Trump is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser and rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, a state he carried decisively on Election Day. His staff is calling it part of his "thank you" tour to show his appreciating for being elected the next president -- Will and Christine.
ROMANS: All right. Jim, thanks for that.
When it comes to a deal like the one Trump brokered with Carrier, the devil is often in the details. The president-elect's transition team and Carrier -- and Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, is keeping a lid on the financial considerations to save all those jobs.
As CNN's Martin Savidge reports, Trump awaits a hero's welcome in Indianapolis and some questions.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Will. Good morning, Christine.
There are a lot of people looking forward to the visit of President- elect Donald Trump, most of them Carrier employees who want to express their thanks. But they also have a lot of questions. It's not that they're not grateful, they are. But remember, there are 1,400 jobs here. There are only 1,000 are being talked as being saved. That means several hundred people fear that it's their job that is still going to be lost. And until they hear details, they continue to have fears.
There are other concerns, such as, will they have to cut back on wages and just how long is Carrier willing to stay? They don't have answers.
There are other people who want to find out more about just what is the deal that got Carrier to change its mind? It has been suggested that Carrier got more incentives from the state of Indiana. But remember, back in February when Carrier said it was leaving, the state tried to keep the company here. And yet, was unsuccessful. So, it seems it has to be more than just state incentives. So, it's
been suggested perhaps for the president-elect said that he could bring about some kind of deal by reducing the corporate tax code or maybe reducing federal regulations. But there are still some, especially employees of Carrier who suggest that maybe United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, began to worry that because they do $5 billion worth of defense contracts every year, those contracts could be harmed if they moved carrier to Mexico -- Will and Christine.
ROMANS: So, Carrier staying at that facility for now.
But in a statement last night, the company emphasized its stance on trade. Quote, "This agreement in no way diminishes our belief of the benefits of free trade and that the forces of globalization will continue to require solutions for the long term competitiveness of the U.S. and of American workers moving forward," end quote.
This would be a major challenge for Donald Trump. How will he renegotiate trade deals and make good on his promise for better terms for U.S. companies and workers? That's unclear. But we now know it's a top priority for the incoming administration.
Trump's Commerce Secretary pick, Wilbur Ross, was on Erin last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: What is the first day you're going to do on day one? Is it NAFTA renegotiation? I mean, was it?
WILBUR ROSS, NOMINEE FOR COMMERCE SECRETARY: Well, we are working out the fine point details. But NAFTA is a logical starting point. That was a large part of his campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Let's go live to Washington and bring in Zach Wolf, managing editor of CNN politics.
I want to talk about the economic team in a moment. But let's start with this Carrier deal. Obviously, a win for Donald Trump. And, obviously, we need to see more of the details.
But when you have United Technologies, a big industrial military conglomerate, right, owns Carriers. United Technologies benefits from huge government contracts on the one hand, on the other hand, it is sending jobs overseas, because that's the way the globalization is working.
To be able to extract this kind of concession for them is really remarkable here.
ZACHARY WOLF, CNN POLITICS MANAGING EDITOR: It is. You know, we said this several times. We don't know all of the details here. Does it -- is it something that has to do with Carrier?
[05:05:0] Is it something that has to do with all those government contracts for United Technologies? There is a lot of leverage the government would presumably have.
ROMANS: It may be a promise from Donald Trump that, look, I'm going to fix corporate taxes. I'm going to lower your corporate taxes. I'm going to have a more business-friendly environment. Look, let's open the dialogue here. You give me this and I'm going to be -- I promise you that we're going to be on -- start off here on the right foot.
WOLF: Right. It is a president we see who is doing deals and who's getting down into the nitty-gritty apparently and going to a company and saying, let's do figure out how to do this one specific thing. We're not going to fix the larger problem, but I want to keep these specific workers here. How can we do that?
And, you know, that's the kind of thing we have not seen before.
RIPLEY: Do we know if Trump is talking to other companies?
ROMANS: I bet he is. I'm sure he is, right?
RIPLEY: Is this a sustainable economic strategy to go company to company and try to convince them if you're using leverage in terms of military contracts or the promise of less regulation to get them to keep jobs in the U.S. despite the economic disadvantage of keeping workers employ here?
WOLF: That works for the workers in the one Carrier plant. There was another plant just down the street there in Indiana that is not going to stay, that is, in fact, going to Mexico. So, you're right. I mean, there is a scale issue where one person can do deals with one company, but he can't do it for the whole economy.
ROMANS: The other company is owned by United Technologies. Other plants related that are moving to Mexico as well. That will be the trade policy. That is the Wilbur Ross commerce secretary trade fix and probably corporate tax reform that may incentivize companies from staying in the United States.
Let's talk about that economic team. You got Steve Mnuchin, who 17 years at Goldman Sachs, and then diversify his portfolio by becoming a financier in Hollywood in the financial crisis. He was one of the investors who picked up IndyMac, which was a failed mortgage lender.
Elizabeth Warren yesterday very strong in her criticism of Mnuchin and Donald Trump in this pick.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The American people are furious over what Wall Street has done. They don't want somebody who's going to come in here and say, hey, let's help Wall Street. And what Donald Trump is doing is he is literally handing the keys to the treasury over to a Wall Street banker who helped cause the crash. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: There's also been a lot of commentary about the number of people with Goldman Sachs ties who are close to the Donald Trump administration. He really bashed Goldman Sachs and bashed Wall Street when he was running.
What do you make of it?
WOLF: Well, he had borrowed, in fact, a lot of the rhetoric of Elizabeth Warren, of Bernie Sanders during the campaign. And that is what I think did a lot for him in those Rust Belt States. They are losing jobs, tapping into that anger, you know? So, on the one hand, you have him saving workers from this one company. Some of their jobs.
On the other hand, you have him going straight to Wall Street for his economic team. You know, will it matter who is negotiating NAFTA, if, in fact, they're negotiating NAFTA. I'm not completely sure that's going to be, you know, ultimately a compelling argument for Democrats if he is doing the things that people -- that this new base of his want him to do.
RIPLEY: The jury is still out, but the wealthiest cabinet it looks like in modern history, surrounding himself with billionaires. Will these be the people that will make America great again?
ROMANS: He wants winners, and he sees these people on his team. You know, you look at Steve Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, these are people who are very savvy investors. Wilbur Ross is a very, very smart guy, who has worked around the world in all kinds of different companies and deals. He knows how the system works. He knows how these trade deals work for companies and he has been critical of what he calls stupid and dumb trade deals in the past.
You know, Trump has surrounded himself with what he considers winners. And those winners happen to be billionaires who won in the economy too.
RIPLEY: The process continues. Many picks still to come.
ROMANS: All right. Zach, come back. Get a cup of coffee. Come back in about 20 minutes, we'll talk some more.
RIPLEY: Thanks, Zach.
ROMANS: Thanks, Zach.
RIPLEY: A North Carolina police officer will not face charges and that is leading to protests and arrests overnight on the streets of Charlotte. We are updating all of this unrest as EARLY START continues.
ROMANS: We are tracking breaking news out of Tacoma, Washington. A police officer shot and killed. The barricaded suspect surrounded.
The unidentified officer gunned down Wednesday afternoon after responding to a domestic dispute. He underwent surgery, and did not survive. Authorities have now the home surrounded. They're describing the scene as active. Gunshots have been heard inside. Again, this is all happening, all unfolding. We're going to bring you details as soon as we get them.
RIPLEY: We are also watching Charlotte, North Carolina, where tensions are rising. Four people were arrested overnight, protesting the D.A.'s decision not to charge Officer Brentley Vinson in the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott back in September. The victim's family this morning is vowing to keep fighting for justice. They have support on the streets.
We get more from CNN's Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Will and Christine, some pretty energetic protests on the streets of Charlotte, gathering to protest the D.A.'s decision not to file charges against Officer Brentley Vinson for the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September.
The crowds rate Wednesday night were not nearly as numerous as the ones in September, that numbered into thousands. They weren't nearly as many of those protesters out on Wednesday night. But they did walk a few blocks and the police were fairly aggressive toward them. The police really being strict in their rule to keep the protesters on the sidewalks and we did witness four arrests and some tussles with police as they really were aggressive and trying to keep the protesters on the sidewalks.
One police commander telling me they wanted to approach this strategically.
[05:15:00] Let them have their say, let them protest, but keep them from blocking traffic. The protesters, of course, out tonight to voice their displeasure with the D.A.'s decision not to file charges against Officer Vinson.
The D.A. Andrew Murray saying that all of the evidence that they had gathered in their investigation which lasted two months, led them to believe Officer Vinson, his shooting of Keith Lamont Scott was justified. That Officer Vinson felt threatened, that his life was in imminent danger, that Keith Lamont Scott ignored ten commands to drop his gun.
The Scott family claimed he did not have a gun. The D.A. says he did. There were claims and counterclaims all through this investigation. But the decision not to file charges against Officer Vinson made by the D.A. today. That is what led to the protests on Wednesday night.
The officer in question is on administrative duty. The police do tell us there is some internal investigation to make sure that policies were not violated in this case. The family of Keith Lamont Scott, it's unclear whether they're going to file a civil lawsuit or not, but they say they're still going to pursue justice for Mr. Scott -- Will and Christine.
ROMANS: All right. Thanks for that, Brian.
A moving tribute to the members of a Brazilian soccer club killed in a plane crash in Colombia. Thousands of people gathering at a stadium in Medellin, Colombia, Wednesday night. A marching band took the field, fans chanted at the stadium celebrating the victims' lives.
Investigators say the pilot of a chartered plane told air traffic controllers he ran out of fuel. They say he desperately pleaded for permission to land right before crashing.
RIPLEY: Hundreds of people in Tennessee still don't know if their homes had survived those wildfires. More than 50 people injured and seven deaths, 700 homes burned. That is the number they have so far.
Rain in the area is dampening the flames, but they are not entirely out. Those fires still burning and there are growing concerns about mudslides because of the charred earth. It's a real mess and a dangerous situation.
CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray is in Gatlinburg tracking it for us.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Will and Christine, people are waking up in the evacuation center not knowing if they can return to their homes, and once they get there, not knowing if there will be a home. There is a lot of despair and a lot of devastation around the shelter because people have so many questions and they have been in this waiting game not knowing what is left of their belongings.
Most people left with just the clothes on their backs. Of course, they are getting plenty of food here. They're getting items that they need. There is actually a medical clinic as well. But it has been a hard couple days for the people in this area.
Of course, there's no word on when they will return home, and a lot of that I due to the fact there are still wildfires burning if you can believe it, because we have had a lot of rain. So, you would not imagine the wildfires still burning. But they are, with the storms come very, very strong winds. We had cloud-to-ground lightning and that has counteracted a little bit of the benefit the rain has brought.
But the rain is helping contain the fires and it is helping the firefighters in the big picture. We talked to a crew that went in the areas that were burned they said the structures are not on fire, but you can feel the heat underneath your feet. The ground is smoldering. It gives you a sense of how dry and parched this area is.
Of course, the crews will be out. FEMA is expected to come to offer assistance. First responders and firefighters from all around coming to the Gatlinburg area to lend a hand.
So, hopefully, folks here will have answers in the coming hours and days -- guys.
ROMANS: All right. Jennifer, thank you for that.
In Wisconsin, a recount gets under way this morning. Green Party candidate Jill Stein wiring to election officials $3.5 million to pay for this recount. Each county is free to recount the votes the way they choose, anyway they choose. A judge rejected Stein's request for a hand count statewide.
Stein's also filed for a recount in Michigan. She's trying to get on started in Pennsylvania. A court date there is scheduled for Monday.
RIPLEY: The golf world is buzzing this morning. Tiger Woods ready to embark on his big comeback. He tees it up for the first time in 15 months later this morning. Andy Scholes has this morning's "Bleacher Report", up next.
[05:23:43] ROMANS: All right. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer having emergency surgery on his eye last night. He may not be able to coach tonight against the Cowboys.
RIPLEY: Andy Scholes has more on his comeback in this morning's "Bleacher Report.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, guys.
You know, we finally have a great game on Thursday night football. I got the 10-1 Cowboys versus the 6-5 Vikings. So, Minnesota may be without head coach Mike Zimmer with the third surgery in a month to repair a torn retina. The injury originally happened in the team's loss to the bears on Halloween. Zimmer's status for tonight is uncertain.
The Cowboys meanwhile, they could clinch a playoff spot. Dak Prescott and company, they won an NFL best, ten games in a row.
All right. There will be no strike in Major League Baseball. According to multiple reports, the union and the owners coming to an agreement on the new collective bargaining agreement. Now, the New Deal, it kicks in 2017, will reportedly have some changes. The all- star game will no longer determine who has home-field advantage in the World Series.
Smokeless tobacco will be banned for all new Major Leaguers. A regular season is going to extended four days by 2018 to give players more days off. This is reportedly the changes to the new CBA. All right. The world's 898th ranked golfer is back. Tiger Woods is
going to tee off this afternoon in his foundation's hero world challenge in the Bahamas.
[05:25:03] He had multiple back surgeries in the past year. This is the first time he played in a tournament since August 2015. Tiger played in the pro-Am yesterday. He carded two eagles in the process. Tiger turns 41 on December 30th.
All right. Finally, the NBA postponing the game between the Kings and Sixers last night due to condensation on the floor. Now, the Flyers hosted an NHL game Tuesday night had a game the other night. It was warm in Philly.
Check this out in pre-game warm ups. DeMarcus Cousins, he was trying to dry the floor out with mops. His efforts were wasted. This game was supposed to tip-off at 7:05. They did not cancel it until after 8:00. Needless to say, the fans not happy about the situation in Philly.
RIPLEY: That's one of those things you never think about. But, yes, they put the floor over the ice and condensation.
SCHOLES: The first it happens.
ROMANS: All right. Andy Scholes, nice to see you. Thank you.
SCHOLES: All right.
ROMANS: All right. Donald Trump about to embark on a victory lap. Heading to the carrier plant where he saved 1,000 jobs. A hero's welcome waits and the news about the deal. That's next on EARLY START.