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MTP Daily, Transcript 11/22/2016

Guests: Caroline Ryan, Ruth Marcus, Beth Fouhy, Raul Grijalva, Oren Segal, Dalia Mogahed, Max Boot

Show: MTP DAILY Date: November 22, 2016 Guest: Caroline Ryan, Ruth Marcus, Beth Fouhy, Raul Grijalva, Oren Segal, Dalia Mogahed, Max Boot

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Donald Trump is leaving New York without any new cabinet selections being made. But that would be quite a significant development.

Again, "The Wall Street Journal" reporting, at least from their sources on the inside, that Nikki Haley and Mitt Romney have emerged as the front- runners for those two positions. Obviously, that would be a significant widening of Donald Trump`s inner circle in these early days as his administration begins to take shape.

Mitt Romney delivered a speech at the height of the campaign in which he blasted Donald Trump in absolutely withering, excoriating terms. Donald Trump was certainly willing to return fire throughout the campaign.

They met over the weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey at Donald Trump`s golf course there. They had a lengthy meeting, again, behind closed doors. We don`t know exactly what was discussed. They did emerge together. They smiled and they shook hands in front of the cameras.

Mitt Romney then walked off. He said all the right things that you would expect somebody to say after a meeting like that. But, now, "The Wallstreet Journal" reporting several days later, Mitt Romney emerged as the front-runner for secretary of state in the forthcoming 1

Of course, Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina. We know she sat down and talked with Donald Trump in the South Carolina primary of course earlier this year when Donald Trump`s candidacy was, sort of, on the line in the Republican primaries. She endorsed Marco Rubio over Donald trump. She certainly had her differences as well.

But, again, "The Wallstreet Journal" also reporting she`s apparently the frontrunner to the U.N. ambassador.

That the latest. Again, that`s going to do it for this hour. I`m Steve Kornacki here in New York. MTP DAILY starts now.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC HOST: Yes, it`s Tuesday. We are learning more than ever about what we might see in a Trump presidency. And right now, flexibility seems to be the name of the game.

(voice-over): Tonight, as president-elect Donald Trump lays out the White House vision, why many of his campaign promises already seem to be in the rear view.

Plus, hope 2.0. How many Democrats are putting their hope in a new role for the vice president.

And why the stars are shining even brighter tonight at the White House.

This is MTP DAILY and it starts right now.

(on camera): And good evening, I`m Andrea Mitchell in New York in for Chuck Todd. Welcome to MTP DAILY.

This is not the Donald Trump from his campaign rallies. In a big interview at "The New York Times" this afternoon, Trump backed off pledges to investigate Hillary Clinton. He signals an openness to keep the U.S. climate change accords in Paris. And he condemns that the alt-right movement. But Trump also brushing aside questions about potential conflicts of interest at his business.

So, let`s dive in from lock her up to let her go. Trump telling "The Times," quote, "I don`t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don`t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways." Close quote. Trump also disavowing and condemning a conference of white nationalists, many of whom met this weekend in Washington, D.C.

Some of them filmed, giving a straight armed salute while praising 1Donald Trump`s victory. Trump slammed the outright group in saying, quote, "I don`t want to energize the group and I disavow the group."

But perhaps the biggest headline from Trump`s interview comes on the issue of climate change. During the campaign, Trump repeatedly said he would withdraw from the Paris climate accord and named a climate denier to head his energy and climate transition team.

But, on Tuesday, he told "The New York Times," I`m looking at it very closely. I have an open mind to it.

Trump`s interview with "The Times" comes after Trump outlined his top priorities for the first 100 days in a video produced by the transition1 team. Noticeably absent, any mention of building that wall or repealing Obamacare.

And all of this happening against a flurry of activity today at Trump Tower as the president-elect continues to inch closer to filling out his cabinet.

I`m joined now by the senior editor for politics at "The New York Times." Caroline Ryan who was in the times meeting with Donald Trump this afternoon.

Caroline, thank you very much for joining us. I know you`re joining us from -- by Skype. It`s a busy day at "The Times." First of all, we saw this tweet storm as the negotiations in public over whether or not he would come, I guess it was partly. "The Times" insisting that part of this would be on the record with reporters, not just an off-the-record meeting with the publisher.

CAROLINE RYAN, SENIOR EDITOR FOR POLITICS, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" (via Skype): It`s not very important to "The Times."

MITCHELL: It`s not very important to "The Times."

Once you got together -- we`re looking at Mark Landler`s piece and the other reporting that`s come out of it, and I know you`re all scrambling.

But, to me, first of all, we had earlier indicated to sources to "MORNING JOE," to Joe and Mika today, that he is not interested in prosecuting Hillary Clinton after all of those chants of lock her up and crooked Hillary.

Tell me how that evolved and how surprised you all were.

RYAN: That was an extraordinary moment and something that he talked about a lot during the meeting.

And it was really striking, not just the content of what he was saying but the tone. He kept talking about the campaign. How nasty and contentious it had been. How tough it had been on Hillary Clinton. And how he didn`t want to hurt the Clintons. He kept going back to that and saying that she had suffered.

And we pressed him because, as you say, this was an animated rallying cry at his -- at his rallies throughout the campaign to lock her up. And he said he didn`t think his supporters would be disappointed. That he wanted to bring the country together.

And kept talking about moving forward. And he sort of put the Clinton issue and the question of whether to investigate her into that basket of moving forward.

MITCHELL: Do you think he takes any responsibility for the nastiness and the name calling during the campaign?

RYAN: It was very interesting the way he talked about it. It was sort of -- he was sort of reflecting on history, the Lincoln Douglas debates, the history of politics in our country, and saying that he has read recently that both the primary and the general were among the nastiest.

But he sort of said it, like, matter of factly. It wasn`t as if he had just participated in that. It was an interesting kind of distancing conversational technique.

MITCHELL: And in other tea leaves that we`re all reading out of this interview, he had appointed somebody from a very conservative climate denying, Koch (ph) sponsored organization, policy institute for -- to lead the transition on energy and climate issues.

So, for him to say that he`s now open to the Paris accords which he has consistently denounced, is a very big signal internationally. It`s probably his most important first foreign policy signal.

RYAN: It`s a very big signal. And, as you know from watching him, it`s sometimes difficult to tell. He`s a very good reader of a room. So, it`s possible that his language was more modulated or moderate being in front of the "New York Times." Because Tom Friedman and others were pushing him on the Paris accords and what might happen.

But he kept stressing -- he kept using this phrase, I have an open mind. I`m going to listen. And that was quite different from the rhetoric that we heard during the campaign.

MITCHELL: Let me ask you about some of the white nationalists, the speakers, certainly Richard Spencer and some of the people in the audience who responded in, disturbing to say the least, ways where he was shouting out.

Some were described by "The Atlantic." We weren`t there. We can`t confirm that as saying, heil not hail. Heil is the German for hail and they -- also using that stiff-armed salute. Was -- he seemed to be indicating he wanted to separate himself from these groups.

RYAN: He wanted to separate himself. This is one of the first topics that we brought up. Our editor, executive editor, Dean Baquet, really pressed him. He said, look, you really energized a lot of people, but you really energized this element in our society. And Trump seemed to really take pains to kind of distance himself from those groups.

But, at the same time, he professed ignorance of some things that seemed a little curious, like the content of Breitbart and the -- and the reasons that the content and the appointment of people like Bannon might be offensive to certain groups.

So, as you know, he is very conversationally deft. And so, he did not want to be pinned down on actual comments that he had made or the event over the weekend which he suggested that he had just heard about. We pressed him again and again and he disavowed it and he did condemn it.

MITCHELL: And finally, on conflicts of interest. A lot of reporting by "The New York Times" and others but you`ve been leading the way, leading the charge on some of these things, the meetings with the Indian businessman, some of the other issues that he has raised.

Of course, the fact that his daughter and son-in-law were included in the meeting with the Japanese prime minister. How does he handle that?

RYAN: He said, basically, that he`s under no obligation, no legal obligation, to do anything that he could continue to conduct his business. But he suggested that he wanted to do something. He doesn`t know the structure to set up.

But he would not commit to anything where he would liquidate or wall off his business. And, at one point, he kept saying, look -- in a way, that was hard for us to imagine, given how important his business is to his identity. But he would say, look, I don`t care about my business. I care about the country. This is too big.

But, at the same time, he was not committing to doing anything that would create the distance that might make people more comfortable.

MITCHELL: Caroline, fascinating stuff. I know that you and your teams are reporting it out. And thank you very much for taking a break with us.

RYAN: Thank you, Andrea.

MITCHELL: And let`s bring in tonight`s panel. A lot to talk about. Beth Fouhy, a senior politics editor at NBC News and MSNBC. Elise Jordan is a MSNBC Contributor, a former adviser at the State Department and National Security Council. And Ruth Marcus is a deputy editorial page editor at "The Washington Post."

Ruth, I want to go to you first because you are an attorney. You`re a Harvard lawyer and you have covered ethics in Washington forever.

Don`t they have an ethic`s officer? Aren`t they recruiting people who might someday be White House council to explain the emoluments clause of the Constitution and the ways in which he cannot benefit in his business, financially, from meetings with foreign leaders?

RUTH MARCUS, DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Not just the emoluments clause. I mean, the emoluments clause covers the possibility of gifts from foreign leaders and how they would not be allowed.

But there`s a lot of ethical issues that go beyond the emoluments clause. And I`ll be -- I`m going to -- I`ll be really looking forward to hearing and reading the transcript of that meeting that I wish I had been in.

Because it was tweeted, at one point, that the president-elect said, if the president is in, it`s not a conflict of interest if the president does it or something like that. It was very -- I`m not getting the words exactly right so I apologize in advance for that. It was very reminiscent to me, maybe I`m misreading it, of when President Nixon said, if the president does it, it can`t be illegal.

He needs to be aware, not just of the Constitution, but of the history of presidents. Even though they are not technically covered by conflict of interest rules, being very cognizant and doing their absolute best to keep themselves above any question.

And I think by mixing up -- mixing up his kids in both the business and in government and governing and transition issues, he`s really running a very big risk. And I hope whoever he picks as White House counsel tells him that.

MITCHELL: And, in fact, the quote that you were looking for, I just found it, Ruth. And it is, the law is totally on my side. The president can`t have a conflict of interest.

MARCUS: Well, the president can, I guarantee it.

MITCHELL: Just ask some of our former presidents.

Elise Jordan, you`ve worked, I believe, with Condoleezza Rice with that -- in that State Department. And you`ve worked in the George W. Bush administration. What is your take on just the fact that he`s walking away from a lot of campaign promises that were very controversial? So, he`s going to anger some people in his base. He`s going to make some Republicans, some more moderate Republicans, some never Trumpers, very happy.

ELISE JORDAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, he made several statements that were promising. He disavowed torture. In his interview, he said that General Mattis had explained to him that torture usually doesn`t work. And so, that was a strong statement from Donald Trump who had been a pretty forthright advocate of torture throughout the duration of the campaign.

And then, specifically with this interview, I am most concerned, like Ruth, about the statement that a president can`t have a conflict of interest. That just really stood out to me that above everything, that is the most -- that is how he sees the world. That`s his world view. And that he does not believe that if he`s doing it, that he`ll be doing something wrong.


BETH FOUHY, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR, NBC NEWS: Yes. And yet, right from the beginning, he told us that he was going to put his children in charge of the business. So, there was at least that step to take. He recognized that he needed to take a step to separate himself away from cashing in on his presidency.

So, what he said today at "The Times" is alarming because he seems to be stepping back to say, well, you know what? Actually, there really isn`t a problem here. I`m just going to go ahead and do what I`m going to do.

But you know this, Andrea, I mean, this has been Trump right from the beginning as a campaigner. Nothing ever is, sort of, in the tradition of a -- of a candidate did he ever follow along with.

Now, as a president-elect, he`s doing the same thing. He`s, essentially, saying, yes, those things have all been in place before, but I`m different and I can do this differently.

MITCHELL: And what we`ve been hearing from Ivanka and others along the way was, you know, trust us. In the interviews when she was on "60 Minutes," I think it was the most recent interview, saying, you know, we will do this right. Trust us is not -- is not very reassuring to the American people and to ethics advocates.

First of all, putting your kids in charge of the business is not -- it`s not even not a blind trust. It`s not blind. And his assets are tangible assets. Trump Tower, you know what the value is, if you`re an experienced real estate guy, like Donald Trump, you know day to day just from looking at other data what the value is. So, there`s no such thing as a blind trust.

MARCUS: Andrea, I`m really struck that he seems to be less attuned to concerns about conflicts of interest now than he was during the campaign when he did tell us, yes, he understood it and he`d put the kids in charge.

And it`s also not just what he says, it`s what he`s done. These meetings with the Indian businessman, this comment about getting rid of those wind farms that are interfering with his property view. The selling of the Trump hotel to embassies here in town. Those are all serious things and we`re not that many days into this whole operation. He`s not even president yet.

MITCHELL: And, Elise, there was also a very strong defense of Steve Bannon. He certainly does not recognize how controversial Steve Bannon is.

JORDAN: Well, this has been how the Trump campaign has tried to -- or the Trump administration I`ll say, has been trying to spin the Bannon Breitbart nexus. They`ve been saying, well, there might be content on the site that is alt-right, but Bannon, himself, isn`t actually racist.

And, you know, I think that might be true. Bannon himself is not racist but he has provided a platform for speak that is subjectively racist. And so, that is something that the Trump campaign is going to have to reckon with and resolve, if they really are going to unify the country.

FOUHY: Well, but the fact that if he stepped out and did disavow the alt- right, these white nationalists who we saw doing those disturbing things that you just described in that video. He said that today to "The Times" and evidently not on camera but to those reporters. He could have said that a couple of days ago and, sort of, put that issue to rest.

Yesterday, they just put out a very, sort of, mild statement sort of pushing it away, from a spokesman. So, had Trump actually stepped before reporters, which he`s been avoiding all this time, disavowed that video, he could have gotten this behind him a few days ago.

MITCHELL: Beth, Elise, Ruth, hang in there. Stay with us. We`ll be back to have a lot more on Trump, the alt-right, coming up.

And, next, the highlights from President Obama`s final Medal of Freedom ceremony. It was extraordinary.

And as Democrats make the case for working class outreach as they look for a way forward from the wreckage from the election, could Joe Biden make a major role in winning back blue collar voters? I`ll talk to Congressman Raul Grijalva. Stay tuned. He`s coming up next.


MITCHELL: For the final time of passage today, President Obama hosting America`s best, from Bruce Springsteen to Bill and Melinda Gates.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, we celebrate extraordinary Americans who have lifted our spirits, strengthened our union, pushed us towards progress. I always love doing this event. But this is a particularly impressive class. Here`s how great Kareem Abdul- Jabbar was. 1967, he had spent a year dominating college basketball. The NCAA bans the dunk. They didn`t say it was about Kareem, but it was about Kareem.

Bruce Springsteen has been carrying the rest of us on his journey, asking us all what is the work for us to do in our short time here. I am the president. He is the boss.

Ellen DeGeneres has a way of making you laugh about something rather than at someone. Except when I danced on her show, she laughed at me.


MITCHELL: This was President Obama`s final presidential medals of freedom ceremony. He awarded 23 medals in all. That brings the total for his two terms to 114, more than any other president. Many of his selections over the years have reflected his eclectic legacy.

Tonight was really an amazing snapshot of American culture. Robert Redford, Cicely Tyson, Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres, Diana Ross, Lorne Michaels, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among them. All of them leading indelible marks on American life.

And more MTP DAILY coming up next.



REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: The question is, Andrea, is are we winning? And the answer to that question is no. If we don`t win the House back in two years, I`ll gladly step down. But leaders lead and winners win and we`ve got to start winning. And I`m trying to provide a little bit of leadership here and ask my colleagues to join me.


MITCHELL: And that was Congressman Tim Ryan, speaking with me earlier today about why he is challenging Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader? Nancy Pelosi has countered Tim Ryan`s challenge by proposing to expand the leadership post and making room for more junior lawmakers.

Congressman Ryan argues that the party needs to come up with a stronger economic message to win back the working-class swing voters, largely white voters who voted for Donald Trump. That is the thinking behind a new long- shot effort to draft vice president Joe Biden as the Democratic National Committee chair or at least the honorary chair.

Team Clinton deployed Joe Biden to reach those blue collar voters, but maybe a more concentrated effort could help win them back and get back the rust belt.

Joining me now is Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona. Congressman, thank you very much. What is your response to Congressman Ryan`s argument that those working class white voters largely in the rust belt needed a stronger economic message?

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: Well, they do. The country needs a stronger economic message. Those voters in the rust belt that voted for Trump that are traditional Democratic voters have to be brought back.

And -- but the message is it`s universal to American working folk, to the middle class and those wanting to be in the middle class who feel, themselves, that there`s a ceiling, there`s wage disparity, there`s uncertainty, there`s anxiety. And it`s palatable and Trump was able to exploit it.

I think Democrats have to understand that there has to be -- it`s not as simple as a message. There has to be some authentic response that we understand, that we feel and that we are going to fight for them. And regardless of how you program that, being more populist.

And, you know, Bernie Sanders did well with those voters in that rust belt. Bernie Sanders did well with working folks across the country during that primary. And he did it because he had a message about economic fairness. He had a message about who needs to pay their fair share of taxes in this country.

We need to do that and not be afraid of alienating a sector, whether Wallstreet or anything else. And so, yes, it`s about an economic message. It`s been about an economic message now for three election cycles in a row.

And the fact that Democrats where they have not come to full acceptance of that, I think is a -- it causes the problems that we have now. A fresh coat of paint on anything is not going to solve our problems. It is a commitment and a level of unity to move forward.

Biden is authentic. Biden would be a great help in offsetting some of Trump`s rhetoric and some of the policies that he`s thinking about. But, at the same time, I think it`s imperative that we provide new faces in leadership. It`s imperative that we have a message that goes beyond, you know, taking care of our own nest. And that`s just --

MITCHELL: Is Tim Ryan the answer, Congressman?

GRIJALVA: I don`t know. I don`t know. I don`t think -- you know, Tim and I went -- came into the House at the same time 14 years ago. And so, it`s not a question of tenure as much as it is a question of where you see this party going.

And so, as we go through this next period, it`s important. Leader Pelosi has been my minority leader and my speaker since I got there. And we`ve all supported her. And there is something to be said for having some institutional knowledge of how we go forward as well.

But it is about a different tone, a different tenor, a different feel. And that`s the connection we need to make with voters. Changing the message, applying different cosmetics to it is not going to -- is not going to get the Democrats the winning hand that they need going into the mid-term.

MITCHELL: I`m hearing you as someone who would support a challenge to Nancy Pelosi whether it`s Tim Ryan or someone else. You seem to feel that more change is needed.

GRIJALVA: Well, you know, I have always supported Nancy, you know, and I believe in her sincerely. Tim is a friend. It is a difficult situation for every member. We`re going to cross that crucible when we get there.

But, at this point, you know, regardless of who is the leader, and I believe Nancy will probably end up being the leader, the fact remains that we have come to the conclusion, collectively and individually as members of Congress and Democrat leadership across the country, that we have failed to connect on the fundamental issue of what is my future about for working people? And that`s where we need to be at our best.

MITCHELL: Thank you so much. Thank you, Congressman.

And still ahead, Donald Trump disavowing his supporters from the alt-right movement. Is that enough to tamp down the rhetoric? Stay tuned.


MITCHELL: More MTP Daily just ahead, but first, Aditi Roy has the CNBC Market Wrap on a blockbuster day.

ADITI ROY, CNBC REPORTER: Thanks so much, Andrea. Another winning day for stocks. The Dow climbed 67 points and closed above the 19,000 mark for the first time ever. The S&P rises four, finishing about 2200 for the first time. And the Nasdaq adds 17.

Existing home sales were brisk in October rising to their highest level in more than nine years. Sales were up 2 percent. Economists expected a decline. Toyota is recalling more than 700,000 of its Sienna minivans because the sliding door could malfunction and even open while in motion. That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.


MITCHELL: Welcome back to MTP Daily. President-elect Donald Trump said today he does not want to energize his supporters who are part of the alt- right movement. And if they are energized, he wants to look into it and find out why. Those comments came during that on-the-record meeting at The New York Times this afternoon.

It`s the first time that we have heard directly from Mr. Trump on the subject of some of his most controversial supporters since members of that group gathered in Washington over the weekend and listened to a white supremacist speech with many in the audience then cheering and saluting with stiffed arm Nazi-like salutes.

The groups` controversial leaders celebrated Trump`s election at that conference with words that echoed signature language from Nazi Germany.


RICHARD SPENCER, AMERICAN WHITE NATIONALIST, LEADER OF ALT-RIGHT MOVEMENT: We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace. We were not meant to beg for more moral validation from some of the despicable creatures to ever populate the planet. Because for us as Europeans, it is only normal again when we are great again. Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!



MITCHELL: A reporter from The Atlantic who was there said that he heard some members of RNC yelling heil, which the German for hail. But can`t independently confirm that. It`s hard to tell from the tape. Richard Spencer spoke and said that hail Trump was ironic exuberance meant to be cheeky.

The New York Times reporters say that when they asked repeatedly about this gathering today, Trump said, "boy, you are really into this issue." When they asked him specifically if he condemns the gathering, he said, "I condemn them, I disavow and I condemn." Does that go far enough or does Donald Trump have more to prove that he can be president for all Americans?

I`m joined now by Oren Segal, director of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation league. Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research for Social Policy and Understanding is going to join us in a moment. Oren, first to you, is that enough and does he bear responsibility from the growth of this movement, partly from some of the rhetoric in his rallies?

OREN SEGAL, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER ON EXTREMISM, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Well, his comments are very good start, you know. The thing about condemning the type of bigotry that we see is that it has to be consistent, it has to be loud, and it`s not something that just goes away one week.

Unfortunately, this group, this movement is going to be here. They feel emboldened by the last year and a half. And the reality is that they are not going away. And so it`s extra important for leadership across the country including in the highest office to continue to condemn them by name, but today is a good start.

MITCHELL: And when we look at the growth of this movement, you tracked other groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked it, this really unites Muslim-Americans, Jewish-Americans, African-Americans, all people of color. In feeling many of whom say, telling me and others, that they feel threatened by the rhetoric from the rallies and by the election.

SEGAL: So the core of the ideology is what we`ve seen for years. They are anti-Semitic, they are racist, they are anti-Muslim, they are anti- immigrant. The only thing different now is that they wear suits and ties. The packaging is different. They`re active online. But at the core, this is the same group of haters that we have seen for decades.

And so now, excuse me, what we are seeing is groups that are not only being witness to what is happening in D.C. but across the country we see hate crimes that are targeting Jews and Hispanics and African-Americans often with the type of language that refers back to the presidential campaign. So in some ways, yes, groups are organizing against this to push back.

MITCHELL: When we talk about all of this, what is the responsibility if any of Steve Bannon who is in one of the highest positions inside the White House? The president-elect defended him today. Does he bear some responsibility as the former editor of Breitbart since the Breitbart site helped validate a lot of these groups?

SEGAL: When you look at Bannon, it`s not who he is, but what he has done. And what he has done is create this empire online. Breitbart which has pedaled in the bigotry that is very much consistent with the messages that we are seeing the groups in D.C. espouse.

So it`s not easy to just say it`s any one person. But when you are providing a platform for extremists to feel that they have a voice and that now they have a champion in the highest office, that`s a concern.

MITCHELL: What is the responsibility of some of the companies like Facebook? What about Twitter? The social media is spreading this stuff like wildfire and the cyber bullying is becoming more and more prevalent.

SEGAL: Sure. I mean, one of the reasons why you have people show up at an event in D.C. like we saw this weekend is that they are getting emboldened by what they are able to do online. The past year and a half, we saw alt- right types who are harassing journalists with anti-Semitic comments, racism, etc.

They are definitely finding social media platforms and finding ways to exploit that. So social media companies themselves are encouraged and ADL is working with them to try to find solutions to mitigate the abuse of their services.

MITCHELL: What advice you have to parents because parents are concerned, children are concerned, feeling vulnerable? SEGAL: Indeed we see a lot of these hate crimes and hate incidents if you will happen around the county, in schools, in colleges, and in high schools. We tell parents that, you know, their kids were watching the election just like they were. They were monitoring the type of divisive rhetoric that was happening. And now we have to teach our kids that they too have a role in standing up for others who they see being stereotyped.

MITCHELL: Oren, thank you so much. Thanks for joining us.

SEGAL: Thanks for having me.

MITCHELL: We will have a lot more on the Trump transition coming up ahead on The Lid. Up next, the sticky situation surrounding the governor`s race in the Tar Heel State. Stay tuned.


MITCHELL: And welcome back. I`m joined by Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. Dalia, thanks so much for being with us. We have been talking about Donald Trump`s first comments pushing back against the white supremacist speech that was given in Washington, members of the audience cheering with the stiffed arm salute, threatening language and bullying online as well by an increasingly group of anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant groups and individuals. Do you think is it enough for Donald Trump now that he have told The New York Times that he disavows these groups?

DALIA MOGAHED, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL POLICY AND UNDERSTANDING: I think it`s an excellent first step to disavow these groups, but I think what might be even more important is to change his language, his policy platform, and the picks he has chosen for cabinet so he is not so attractive to these groups.

The real issue is that they endorsed him. They are celebrating him which means that his platform and his vision for the country is something that they share. And I think that`s the real problem. It`s not enough to disavow them. What really needs to happen now is to speak forcefully against the exclusion of minorities or the LGBT community or people who don`t share the majority`s faith.

MITCHELL: And what are you hearing from people who are members of your organization or constituents? What is the situation since the election? Has it become more severe?

MOGAHED: Yes. The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented more than 400 incidents of hate crimes or intimidation of people of color, people who share my faith or are really just minorities of other kinds. And so the issue isn`t simply, you know, the end of the election and everything is fine.

In fact, people are more scared than they have ever been. I think what`s really important to know here is that this is not just about minorities. This is really about America. This is about every American. We live in a time now where we need courageous leadership. We need people especially in the republican party to stand up and say this is not okay. We have to disavow any group who excludes any American from our national fabric.

MITCHELL: And Dalia, what are about schools and students, the children and also the adolescents and the college students? Is there any kind of outreach that you can accomplish or should be accomplished to better educate kids?

MOGAHED: I think the biggest victims of this divisive rhetoric are our children. We have seen a surge in bullying against Jews, against Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans and others. That`s when it really starts to hurt, when to start our children. Because they are watching the same television that we are. They are hearing the rhetoric. They are hearing the exclusion of huge portions of our population.

I think what is important is for educators which sometimes it`s them who is doing the bullying. For educators and administrators to make sure that the classroom is a safe place for every single American and to stipulate clearly guidelines around bullying and then to enforce consequences and to educate parents on what to do if their kid is targeted.

MITCHELL: Dalia Mogahed, thank you very much. Thanks for being with us. We`ll be right back.

MOGAHED: Thanks for having me.


MITCHELL: Welcome back to MTP Daily. President-elect Trump does not have an extensive background with the military or with foreign policy shall we say. So his picks at defense and state can tell us a lot about what we can expect from his administration in foreign affairs. Retired marine general James Madison`s name has picked up steam recently as a possible secretary of defense. In fact, likely.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this afternoon that he will likely be Trump`s choice. The journal is also reporting that Mitt Romney is the leading candidate for the state department and Nikki Haley is the lead candidate for U.N. ambassador. But there are still those inside Trump`s camp that support Rudy Giuliani to head the state department.

Joining me now is senior fellow at the Council in Foreign Relations Max Boot. Max, good to see you. What do we know so far when you look at Mike Flynn for national security adviser? The likelihood of General Mattis. The dispute is still unresolved into very, very different choices. What have we learned so far about which direction he might take? MAX BOOT, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL IN FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think we learned very little. I think what we have seen is that in terms of making a senior White House appointment as you might expect, he is rewarding the loyalists.

You are seeing all the key White House aides, Mike Flynn, Steve Bannon, and Reince Priebus are all people who are very close to him during the campaign, where that doesn`t seem to be the pattern in the cabinet which I think is encouraging.

I think certainly there is no shortage of people close to him who wanted those jobs. He seems to understand that he needs to look out a little bit more broadly and get people who have more independent standing and credibility.

I think if he chooses General Mattis who I have known for years or if he chooses Mitt Romney, I think those would be terrific choices that would reassure a lot of people about the direction of the Trump administration.

MITCHELL: It would be hard though to figure how Mike Flynn as we know him would work with a Mitt Romney at the state department. Would that be a case where Romney is the secretary of state, flying around the world, but the real power center is with the national security adviser, which is not on president we should say.

BOOT: That could well be the case. I don`t think anybody really knows how it is going to work out including I suspect president-elect Trump. I mean, I think there is the real potential for one foreign policy in the White House and another at the state department and in defense department which to some extent actually occurred already in the Obama administration.

Now, what generally happens in those situations is that whoever is in close proximity to the president ends to win the day. But, you know, just because this is going to be appointment now does not necessarily mean they`re going to be in power for the full term that President Trump is going to be in office. I don`t think anybody knows how this power struggle, if there is, indeed one, will play out.

MITCHELL: In fact, there`s one -- there`s some reporting from Hans Nichols of our NBC News team, that Rudy Giuliani is actually being discussed, if he doesn`t get the state department, for a DNI, for the director of national intelligence, which up until now, has been a career military intelligence or career foreign policy expert, a diplomat like John Negroponte, but certainly now General Clapper.

In a non-policy rule, an analytical role, would Rudy Giuliani fit there? BOOT: It`s kind of a head scratch because I would think that Giuliani would be a natural for the Department of Homeland Security. That`s more closely attuned to his background, where as you suggest, ODNI has been normally a job for a nonpartisan intelligence professional.

By the way, I think that Mike Pompeo, the appointment at the CIA is a very good appointment. I`ve met with Congressman Pompeo, and I think he is extremely thoughtful, well informed, has a deep knowledge of national security. I think he`s a great choice. And I would hope that whoever is appointed to ODNI would be a similar type of person.

MITCHELL: Max Booth, from the Council in Foreign Relations, thanks so much. Let`s bring back the panel, Beth, Elise and Ruth. To you, Elise, you`ve worked at the state department, what do you think of this choice of Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani, they are completely different people.

JORDAN: I think Governor Romney would be an excellent choice, and I think that he would really calm a lot of people`s fears about the Trump administration`s foreign policy. I do question, though, how well he and General Mike Flynn could work together. They hold such opposed world views. You know, General Mike Flynn had dined with Putin.

Mitt Romney said it was the world`s number one geopolitical threat. So that makes me think that this could be a Trump White House if that appointment happens where it is very operational and I see similar somewhat to Barack Obama, which the NSC has ballooned up to about 400 staffers, the largest that`s ever been in history.

And so I wonder if Trump would do anything to try to, you know, narrow the number and to pare it down and make it less of an operational entity and more of it`s original function, which is supposed to be to coordinate policy.

MITCHELL: And even when it is not as large as it was under Obama, under George W. Bush, it was so powerful that Colin Powell as his secretary of state, Beth, had a hard time against Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice at the White House. He just didn`t have the president`s ear.

FOUHY: And it seems like there`s the potential for lots of personality clashes as you describe. Mike Flynn, so very different from Mitt Romney. A Mike Flynn would ideologically would fit much better with Rudy Giuliani.

But then you have two incredibly strong personalities there. The president- elect Trump himself, a very strong, sort of volatile personality. So from an outsider perspective, that seems like a potential problem.

On the other hand, can a Romney work with Mike Flynn? He might sort of ameliorate a lot of people who are a little bit worried about where Trump is going with this administration, with the hiring of a Steve Bannon into a position of power there.

Mitt Romney, obviously, a much more moderate, very different world view, you know, would present himself to the world in a very, very diplomatic way. He seems to look the role. But again, it`s all about how people can work together and who`s going to influence the president-elect.

MITCHELL: Which is really hard to predict. Ruth Marcus, when we think about these teams, whether they are teams of rivals or teams of campaign loyalists, it`s just hard to imagine, as Beth was just saying, some of them working together this way.

But interesting that Josh Earnest confirmed today that President Obama has spoken several times since their meeting in the oval office, with the incoming president, with the president-elect.

And what he described to David Remnick in that exclusive interview, when he was on the road in Peru, in "The New Yorker," when he`s trying to appeal to his better angels. He really is trying to place a bet that once you get the office, once you are elected, that you might be different than the person who ran.

MARCUS: Sure. And there`s some evidence that the president`s approach might be a smart approach. If you look at what Trump had to say about General Mattis today, so during the campaign, Trump was very clear, it`s completely clear, torture works, we have to do more of it, not just water boarding, worse than water boarding.

He sat down with General Mattis and he heard what any general and anybody in the field would tell you, which is that torture doesn`t work and that you are much better off if you offer a cigarette and a cup of coffee. When he heard it from somebody that he trusted who he had a good relationship with, he was able to take it in and repeat it back.

And so, to the extent that he and President Obama can forge this unexpected relationship, given all that`s gone on between them, that could be very helpful, not just for president-elect Trump but for the country. MITCHELL: It seems to validate the whole notion of the president`s club, at least an early edition.

MARCUS: Yeah. Call Michael Duffy.

MITCHELL: Right. Thank you so much. Thank you, Beth Fouhy, Elise Jordan, and Ruth Marcus. More MTP Daily coming right after this. Stay with us.


MITCHELL: And welcome back. In case you missed sit, it`s been two weeks since election day, but there still is no official winner in North Carolina`s hard-fought gubernatorial race. And now the governor, the republican governor, wants a recount. Democratic challenger Roy Cooper is leading incumbent Governor Natt McCrory by more than 6,000 votes.

Cooper declared victory this morning after election day and is working on a transition effort, but Governor McCrory has yet to concede. And today, he filed for a formal recount once the county totals are in. And that`s not all, McCrory is mounting legal challenges in more than half of North Carolina`s counties. But McCrory may have another ace up his sleeve. He could send the election to the state legislature.

According to the North Carolina constitution, "a contested election can be determined by joint ballot of both houses of the general assembly." Republicans currently hold the majority in both houses, no surprise.

State law says an election decided by the legislature cannot be overturned by a state appellate court, but our friend, Rick Hasen, at the Election Law Blog says, a federal court could likely get involved if a partisan legislature, rather, overturned results of contested ballots with minimum evidence of impropriety.

We`ll be keeping a close eye on this in coming days, as will Chuck. That`s all for tonight. We`ll be back tomorrow with more MTP DAILY. "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT" starts right now.