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Trump Asks Rep. Pompeo to be CIA Chief; Trump Set to Sit Down with Mitt Romney this Weekend; Rep. Hoyer: Flynn's Appointment Should



with Mitt Romney this Weekend; Rep. Hoyer: Flynn's Appointment Should

"Alarm" Americans; Trump Claims Credit for Keeping Ford Plant in

Kentucky; Some Carrier Plant Workers Say It's Too Late to Save Jobs.

Aired 12:30-1p ET>

[12:30:02] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: -- nomination to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. This was a difficult decision but ultimately the opportunity to lead the world's finest intelligence warriors who labor tirelessly to keep this nation and Kansas safe is a call to service I cannot ignore." CNN's Senior political reporter Manu Raju joins me now.

I just have to say I kind of chuckled when it says, this was a difficult decision. I'm thinking, this is a huge promotion. You were like, yes, right? That's what I would think but ...

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah indeed. You know -- he's an interesting guy. He was elected in 2010 in that Tea Party wave and he quickly gained the trust, Brianna, of House Republican leader, John Boehner, the House speaker at the time, appointed him to the House of Energy and Commerce Committee, the Intelligence Committee, two very influential posts. They typically go to more senior members but he got that. He was also added to the Benghazi Committee investigating the 2012 attack.

One thing though, it shows he is a lot more conservative than some of his members. And on the Benghazi Committee, he did not like the direction that the Republican-led committee was going with the findings that it came up with, and he actually issued a separate report along with Congressman Jim Jordan that really laid the blame on the Benghazi attacks on Hillary Clinton, on Barack Obama, and the rest of the Obama administration. Now, his views are much in line with Donald Trump on issues about immigration. He wants to expand domestic surveillance like Donald Trump has called on the campaign trail, but does not necessarily have that much of a personal relationship with Donald Trump. In fact he supported Marco Rubio in the primaries.

KEILAR: And even when he endorsed Donald Trump or said he would support him, it seemed kind of indirect from a spokesman. It seemed really lukewarm.

RAJU: Yeah and he wasn't on the stump campaigning for him or anything like that. So, unlike the Mike Flynn and the Jeff Sessions appointments which were Donald Trump loyalists, Pompeo not so much. But they did -- I am told by a source close to Pompeo, they did rely on him for national security advice. The Trump team did calling him the course of the campaign. Also Pompeo was a surrogate for Mike Pence during the vice presidential debates so they have some ties going there. But Donald Trump really seemed to have trusted his instincts here that he believed that Mike Pompeo given his knowledge on these national security issues, that his ties are very much in line with Donald Trump's own views of the world, perhaps best suited for this job.

KEILAR: Thank you so much. It's someone who's not really the household name or hasn't been as prominent as these other folks who have been put in position, so it's great to get the insight Manu. Thank you so much.

RAJU: Thanks for having me.

KEILAR: Now I want to bring in Mike Baker into this conversation. He's former CIA covert operations officer, he now runs his own intelligence firm. Sir, thank you so much for being with us and talking about this.


KEILAR: You heard -- when you heard about this announcement, what did you think? What was your initial reaction?

BAKER: Well, I think it's a good pick. I guess I should get that out first of all. I think it's a solid pick, he's got an interesting background, military, obviously great respect for the military, came out of West Point. He's got a business background. He's been successful in business and that may sound strange but that's also important. I mean, you're at the top level of the CIA and that essentially is a management experience there that I think will play out well.

He's obviously been on the intelligence committee. He's also served on the subcommittee for the CIA itself. And -- so there's a respect, there's an understanding for the institution. It's interesting and that it's a bit of a surprise that, you know, his name was not being floated around as some others were. So his name hadn't surfaced during the speculation obviously that's been rampant ever since the election for this position, but I do think it's a solid position.

KEILAR: And so a little bit of a surprise there, but solid as you say. What do you think Mike about the fact that you had Donald Trump expressing so many doubts about the intelligence community? I wonder, how's the intelligence community responding to this pick? And in light of Donald Trump at times talking about how he essentially wanted to clean the house, what does Pompeo's position in this job mean for that?

BAKER: Well, first of all I think, you know, intelligence community personnel, military personnel, they're very pragmatic. You know, early on in the election perhaps Donald Trump wasn't their preferred candidate but particularly in this world, in the world of Intel community and military, you know, what happens is, when the election takes place and you have a winner, it doesn't matter who that winner is. Now you march forward. Now you serve your country and, you know, that's just the mindset. And so people tend to -- they just get on with it.

The agency, the CIA is a very interesting and fascinating institution, I should be, you know, fully, you know, forward in saying I love the organization. One of the things that's very good about it is, unlike the feature films and beach books sometimes portray it, it's a very non-partisan. So it doesn't matter. The administration comes in, they deliver their tasking. The CIA much like FBI and others, they just march on and they do their job

[12:35:03] Now, Pompeo will come in and underneath him is the deputy. And the deputy tends to come in and be promoted from within the ranks. So you have somebody underneath Pompeo that will have extensive experience working. Perhaps in operations, perhaps in the intelligence side, you know, the intelligence director within the organization. And then you've got, you know, the various service line leaders and division leaders. And they're all well-steeped in the operational aspects. But the person at the top, the CIA director, you know, his job is to liaise primarily between that organization and his superiors. His superiors in this case, the DNI, that's going to be a very important pick coming forward and then obviously, you know, the White House.

KEILAR: All right. Mike Baker, we'll have you back because we're going to talk about all of those other positions coming up here in the future. Thank you so much for your insight there.

BAKER: Sure. Thank you.

KEILAR: President-elect Trump is meeting with people who supported him. He's also meeting with people who did not. That includes Mitt Romney. You might be surprised about that one. What we expect they'll discuss this weekend, plus more voices weighing in now as Donald Trump builds his top security aides. His team.


[12:40:36] KEILAR: The President-elect's national security team taking shape today. Three men all now confirmed as being offered and accepted positions in the new administration. The jobs of attorney general, CIA director, and national security adviser. Let gets now to our political commentators Bill Press who supported Hillary Clinton in this election and Mike Shields, former chief of staff of the Republican National Committee. You also supported Bernie Sanders though. Is that correct?


KEILAR: In the primary.

PRESS: And then Hillary.

KEILAR: All right, just wanted to point that out. I am fascinated by the fact that Donald Trump is -- that he has all of these meetings and he's going through this transition process, he's meeting with Mitt Romney who is so outspoken against him. Let's talk about that, let's listen to some of the back and forth that we saw between these gentlemen. Here's what -- here's what we heard.


MITT ROMNEY, (R) FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT-ELECT: Mitt was a disaster as a candidate.

ROMNEY: He's playing the members of the American public for suckers.

TRUMP: Romney let us all down. He was a very poor campaigner.

ROMNEY: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

TRUMP: Romney choked like dog. He choked. He went ...

ROMNEY: His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.

TRUMP: He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees.


KEILAR: Oh my goodness. I mean, you can mash up a lot of these things between Donald Trump and someone who is critical of him but that maybe some of the most scathing back and forth that I have seen. So with that -- in light of this and the fact that he's being rumored for secretary of state. I mean, what do you make of this?

PRESS: Well, first of all, I have to tell you. I cheered out loud for Mitt Romney's speech when he gave that speech about Donald Trump. And he never veered as some other people did. Once he became the nominee, Mitt Romney still stayed outside the pack. But I think this proves that in the end party Trump's truth, and Mitt Romney is getting together after all, Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States. Republicans are going to have the House and the Senate and the White House, Mitt Romney is ultimately a member of that team. And I think this is a very -- a hugely significant meeting. Even maybe more so than when Hillary and Barack Obama got together. And I'd have to say, if he is able to persuade Mitt Romney to join him as secretary of state, it would be a real coup for Donald Trump.

KEILAR: What do you think about that? Would Romney do that? What do you think even if I don't agree with this President I feel responsibility to do this? What do you think?

MIKE SHILEDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think Romney said he's interested and I think this actually he's not -- it's country trumping party. I think it's the President-elect putting the country first and he has said from the beginning he wants to bring people together from his election night speech to the press conference with President Obama to everything he's done since then, you've seen move after move where he is saying I want to bring the country together and -- I mean, to bring one of your staunchest opponents into your administration in one of the very trusted jobs and even have that conversation I think says a huge thing about what kind of man Donald Trump is and what kind of president he's going to be.

KEILAR: But what does that look like? Because I understand some people will make the comparison of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And yes they had their differences and campaigned on them for the Iraq War but I am just imagining Mitt Romney as secretary of state and I can see a moment where he is very much in disagreement fundamentally with Donald Trump.

SHIELDS: Well, in some ways though, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were bigger political opponents. I mean, Mitt Romney wasn't running against Donald Trump in the primary. He gave a speech and sort of said, I'm not going to support him when over. Whereas Hillary Clinton was someone who campaigned against him, there were factions in the party who were against each other. And so you could see where -- you put the rhetoric aside and you put the country first which is what it looks like they're both doing, at least even have this meeting. I think it's a good sign for the country and a good sign for his administration.

PRESS: But I'll just to say that neither Hillary nor Barack Obama said the things about each other that Donald Trump and Mitt Romney have said about each other. And during -- when Obama was the nominee, Hillary was supporting him and campaigning for the nominee. So I think it's a big huge difference. But again, I think if Trump is able to bring Mitt Romney aboard, or even meeting with him, is positive, it's -- for him, for Donald Trump. He wouldn't be my choice as secretary of state but I think it's good -- I have to point out though Mike, this is the exception so far to the rule in terms of reaching outside his loyal block of supporters with Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions and Mike Flynn the others. So, maybe this is a good trend, but it's the first one.

[12:45:03] KEILAR: Can we talk about Mike Flynn? And I think this is so important to discuss because this is someone who does not need to be confirmed. So there's not the full airing that we are going to see with a Jeff Sessions for instance. OK. So, I want listen -- or I want to take a look at what the House minority with Steny Hoyer said who's very much against this. He's not one of the more liberal Democrats certainly there on the hill but he said, "This should alarm all Americans. In particular, I have serious questions about General Flynn's competence and composure, his ongoing lobbying on behalf the Turkish government and his links to Russia." He also said that he fears -- he says, "We've learned many lessons since 9/11, one of which is not to provide our enemies with fodder to fuel anti-American hatred. I fear that appointing this individual to such a central position of importance to our national security will do just that."

David Petraeus warned against this back in the spring. He wrote an op-ed about this that if -- and Mike Flynn is someone who says that Islam is a political ideology not recognizing it as a religion and he seems to -- doesn't see a distinction between Islam and radical Islam. Is that something that could actually embolden say ISIS in its recruiting of -- let's say, people in the west even? SHIELDS: Well first of all, he's going to be a part of a team and so he's not the president. Donald Trump is going to be the president. It's going to be his policies. He's brought someone into his team to advise him on those policies. I think the second thing is, the bigger picture is, this is a sign that the president is serious about the war on terror and about going after ISIS. He's putting people in place to do exactly what he said he would do in the campaign which is win this war and be aggressive and change the policy and the failed policies of the last administration going after terrorism. So, we're now getting into a policy debate about watch list and all those sorts of things, that's for later. That's for once you get in the administration. What he's doing is sending signals now he's bringing in tough people that he believes in that are going to help him fight this war.

PRESS: I think this is a very troubling nomination. And I think it's significant that this is one role -- one job as you pointed out that does not need Senate confirmation. Because I'd have to say, Michael Flynn would not be confirmed or could not be confirmed by the Senate. Here's a lobbyist for the government of Turkey. This is a guy who went and took a fee -- accept a fee from Vladimir Putin to go to this big dinner in Moscow from ...

KEILAR: (Inaudible), a state-run Russian ...

PRESS: Right. From ...

KEILAR: ... broadcaster?

PRESS: Right, from ...

KEILAR: Sat next to Putin at the dinner.

PRESS: Right. And this is a guy that who is fired by his fellow generals as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. All kinds of tension with the Pentagon. And he's a hot head. Look, he's ...

SHIELDS: Not only he was fired.

PRESS: ... he's not another Condi Rice, he's not another Susan Rice. I think is that -- in that job which is the way it's developed, I think the most important member of the national security team, you need somebody who's a calmer, cooler influence. Not another hot head like Donald Trump, and he is a bigger hot head than Donald Trump.

KEILAR: I'm going to let -- leave it there gentlemen. I could go on for hours with you guys.

PRESS: Let's do it.

KEILAR: I will say there are differing -- certainly, no surprise, differing narratives coming from Flynn, coming from people who are opposed to Flynn about why he was fired. So, just putting that out there as well. Bill Press, thank you so much for being with us.

PRESS: Good to see you Brianna, thank you.

KEILAR: It is as well really appreciate it, Mike Shield. Thank you guys so much.

President-elect Trump has made a lot of promises during his campaign. One of them is keeping jobs in America. That promise really translated into votes. Now that he won, do manufacturing workers still believe Trump is going to save them? You may be surprised by the answer.


[12:52:24] KEILAR: Donald Trump is facing a storm of criticism after saying he stopped a Ford factory from moving from Kentucky to Mexico. He tweeted out, "Just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, chairman of Ford who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky not Mexico." Then, "I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me."

The problem of course is that Ford was never planning on moving this plant across the border just shifting the production of the Lincoln. And the company says, no American jobs will ever be in peril. During his campaign, Donald Trump also called out another company by name, Carrier, the company that makes air conditioners, a company that is moving its Indiana plant to Mexico. Martin Savage is in Indianapolis where some workers think despite the Trump victory, it's too late for them.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ronald Harden (?) and Eric Cottonham (?) will never forget the day it happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were absolutely devastated. I've been in the company 16 years of life and starting all over from scratch.

SAVIDGE: Last February, heating an air conditioning giant Carrier shocked employees at this Indiana plant saying that in order to stay competitive it had made a decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To move production from our facility in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico.

SAVIDGE: 1,400 jobs would soon be gone. But the loss quickly became Donald Trump's campaign game.

TRUMP: Carrier Air Conditioners says they're leaving the United States, 1,400 people because they're going to build in Mexico.

SAVIDGE: Trump said it wouldn't happen if he was president. Part of an effort to tap into blue collar anger and discontent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he mentioned Carrier by name. It wasn't just once, it was many times.

TRUMP: Carrier. Carrier. Carrier. Carrier. Anybody from Carrier? Carrier says they're leaving. Carrier Air Conditioners. You're tired of seeing Carrier leaves your state. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he knew that that was something that America was -- it was happening right now.

SAVIDGE: It worked. Trump won, thanks in large part to working-class votes. Now at Sully's Bar and Grill across the street from that Carrier plant, some are hoping for Trump to keep his promise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. Exactly. Because he made a lot of promises to a lot of people, so.

SAVIDGE: That's because things here have only gotten worse. We're less than a mile from Carrier and this is Rexnord, they make bearings. Just last month, the company announced that it's moving this facility to Mexico. Taking away over 300 jobs.

Local Union leader Chuck Jones says, even though he didn't vote for Trump, he is still hopeful when President Trump will come through.

[12:55:07] You expect him to live by what he says on the campaign?

CHUCK JONES, LABOR UNION LEADER: My expectations is, he's going to live up to what he promised.

SAVIDGE: They voted for Donald Trump believing it could save their jobs?

JONES: Correct.

SAVIDGE: Mike Fugate is one of them, a life-long Democrat, he voted for Trump but his answer surprised me. Do you believe that Donald Trump can stop that place from closing?

MIKE FUGATE, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: I don't believe he's going to stop that one. Maybe in the future. You know, nobody knows what the future is.

SAVIDGE: Why not that one? Why couldn't he stop that one?

FUGATE: Corporate greed. Plain and simple.

SAVIDGE: Paul Role also voted for Trump and he does have hope, sort of.

PAUL ROLE, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: I try to be optimistic, but realistic at the same time. So ...

SAVIDGE: What does that mean?

ROLE: ... I hope that he can save at least some of the jobs. Because I think they need -- if they sent just half the jobs, I could still make more money which is all they're after.

SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Indianapolis.


[12:56:06] KEILAR: Thank you so much for watching "Newsroom". "Wolf" starts right after a quick break.


(Byline: Brianna Keilar, Manu Raju, Bill Press, Mike Shields, Martin Savidge)

(Guest: Mike Baker)

(High: President-elect Donald Trump has picked Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo as head of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mitt Romney is set to meet with Trump over the weekend. Romney was considered Trump's vocal critic during the primaries and campaign. Retired General Michael Flynn accepted Trump's appointment of him as national security advisor. Representative Steny Hoyer said that Flynn's appointment should alarm Americans. President-elect Donald Trump claimed that he made Ford Motor Co. keep a factory in Kentucky instead of moving it to Mexico. As Carrier and Rexnord planned to move its plant to Mexico, some workers are hoping that Donald Trump will keep his promise to keep jobs in the United States though others say it's too late for him to save their jobs.)

(Spec: Politics; Mike Pompeo; CIA; Mitt Romney; Michael Flynn; Steny Hoyer; Donald Trump; Carrier; Rexnord; Ford Motor Co.; Jobs; Mexico)