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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 12, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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p of pg&e we've been able to save a tremendous amount of energy and a tremendous amount of money. we're able to take those savings and invest it right back into the classroom. together, we're building a better california. good evening. topping the hour, breaking news times two. the country will have to wait
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longer to learn how donald trump plans to eliminate potential conflicts of interest between running his business and doing the people's business. however, we will not have to wait much longer to learn who mr. trump wants as his next secretary of state. cnn's phil mattingly joins us now with the details. so, tomorrow, an announcement on secretary of state? >> reporter: yeah, that's exactly right. that's what the president-elect tweeted out tonight. and according to advisers, the likely pick hasn't changed over the course of the last couple of days. it will most likely be rex tillerson. he's the ceo of exxon. he's somebody that the trump operation, the president-elect himself, has repeatedly touted for his ability to run the company, for his relationships around the globe. and while he doesn't have any government experience up to this point, it's those relationships that trump believes will bring the most to the secretary of state position. now, it's no question, anderson, over the course of the last couple of days, there's been severe backlash on capitol hill, not just from democrats, but from republicans because of rex tillerson's ties to russia. his company has done a lot of business with russia. tillerson himself has a business
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relationship with russian president vladimir putin. there's been some question as to whether tillerson could actually, not only get confirmed by the u.s. senate, but actually get through the senate foreign relations committee. there are no answers to those questions yet, but at it currently stands, the president-elect has not been dissuaded. rex tillerson is still his top pick and if things continue to go along that path, he will be the selection tomorrow, according to advisers. but always worth noting, a very important caveat here, the president-elect decides, and until he's made that decision finally, he can obviously change his mind. >> and what's behind the delay on the announcement of trump's business? >> reporter: i think this is one of the more interesting developments of the night. the cabinet picks are something we've all been focused on for a very long period of time. but if you want to talk about conflicts of interest and the types of things that will plague a trump administration, not just the first couple of months or the first hundred days, but over the course of the first year or longer, how the president-elect handles his business, it's certainly one of them. we've seen it repeatedly over the course of the five or six weeks since he's elected. he himself was the one who came out and said he was planning to have a large announcement,
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really kind of laying out the details of how he would separate himself from his business. the details of that are extremely important. would he be selling his stake in his business? would he be divesting his business? all sources i've talked to said the answer to that is no. but the structure, how they legally wanted to set this to go forward, not only to move the president-elect from the operational duties, but also to hand it down to his children, that is simply not finalized. the reality here, this is extremely complex. we haven't seen a president-elect with business holdings like this in the past. and the second reality, the president-elect is very wary of giving up control of his company. there are people internally in the trump operation that wish he would go further. up to this point, he has not been willing to do so. and for those multiple reasons, at least for now, the decision or any details on this has been pushed to january, at the earliest. >> and we also, today, saw a lot of candidates for jobs going through trump tower. >> reporter: yeah, that's exactly right. obviously, we've all been focused on the secretary of state pick, and for good reason.
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there have been moments where it seems like "the bachelor," some type of reality television competition. but if you look down the line at cabinet selections, the trump operation has actually been moving very quickly to fill up the trump team. and that includes today. we saw today, rick perry, the former texas governor, presidential candidate, he's a potential pick for energy secretary. we saw cathy mcmorris rodgers, the highest ranking woman in the u.s. house of republican. she's a top candidate for secretary of the interior. and we also saw carly fiorina, and that's particularly interesting because of the back and forth, particularly nasty back and forth, between fiorina and the president-elect during the campaign. she met with the president-elect today, effusively praised him after the meeting, and sources say she's in the running, top two or three to be national intelligence director. keep an eye on all of those picks. secretary of state definitely coming tomorrow morning, according to the president-elect. but further trump operations or further trump cabinet officials should be named in the coming days. anderson. >> phil mattingly, appreciate the reporting. more now on the growing
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controversy as the man emerging as donald trump's leading candidate to be secretary of state, especially among senate republicans, who will be called on to confirm him. he's a big name in the oil business, a big friend of vladimir putin, or at least they've had a business relationship. more now from cnn's sunlen serfaty. >> we are the largest american oil company. we are very global. >> reporter: rex tillerson, a career oil man, on track to become the nation's chief diplomat. >> as someone who has spent his entire career in the energy industry. >> reporter: tillerson, a 64-year-old conservative texan, has no government or foreign policy experience. he has only held one job in his adult life, working for the last 40 years at exxon. first hired as a civil engineer out of college, working his way up the corporate ladder through the international division, and then rising to ceo in 2006. >> the belief in the promise of international engagement and in the potential for global approach is to meeting this nation's challenges. >> reporter: at the helm of exxonmobil, tillerson operated at a high level internationally, negotiating on behalf of exxon's
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interests with deep relationship in the gulf and middle east, asia, and russia. >> he's much more than a business executive. he's a world-class player. >> reporter: tillerson having deep ties, especially to russia, and vladimir putin, and receiving the order of friendship in 2012, a high honor bestowed to him personally from putin. >> to me, a great advantage is, he knows many of the players. and he knows them well. he does massive deals in russia. >> reporter: but that's seen as an asset to president-elect trump is a problem for some on capitol hill. >> i have, obviously, concerns of reports of his relationship with vladimir putin, who is a thug and a murderer. >> reporter: marco rubio tweeting, quote, being a friend of vladimir is not an attribute i am hoping for from a secretary of state. meantime, tillerson's views on climate change in opposition to the president he is about to serve. >> we will cancel this deal so that our companies can compete. >> tillerson supported the paris climate change agreement reached earlier this year, and has
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declared climate change a problem, at odds with trump. >> where are you on the environment? >> i'm still open minded. nobody really knows. >> reporter: while exxon spent years denying that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, under tillerson's time, the company softened its stance. >> while there are a range of possible outcomes, the risk posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions could prove to be significant. >> reporter: outside of his work, tillerson, a father of four, has deep lineage in the boy scouts of america. an eagle scout himself, he served as national president in 2010, and had a big role in moving the organization forward and allowing the acceptance of gay scouts. sunlen serfaty, cnn, washington. >> well, the first question is what to make of all of this and the rest of the day's news, including donald trump's pushback in getting daily intelligence briefings. joining us is fareed zakaria, host of "gps" weekends on cnn. given that rex tillerson has a prior relationship with vladimir putin, do you have concerns that he wouldn't be willing to stand up to russia as secretary of
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state? >> i think that's the crucial concern. it's important to point out about tillerson. he's -- at one level, an extremely competent choice. this is a guy who runs one of the largest companies in the world, and energy companies, oil companies generally have to deal with the politics of other countries in a way that most other companies don't. >> so even though he has no government experience, the fact that he has, a ceo of a major global company like that, he's traveled all around. >> he's traveled, exxon has its own intelligence unit. they do their own forecasting. he has been, in effect, in exactly the same situations that secretaries of state often are, meeting with foreign governments. but this is a guy who has worked for exxon since 1975. his whole life. and often what a company does for itself is actually in contradiction with the interests of the united states. and the worry would be that, especially with somebody like putin, with whom he has a long-standing prior relationship, would he do what was, you know, what has been
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good for him in terms of his world of exxon? would he be able to put that aside and do what was right for the united states? >> much of donald trump's world view is transactional. it's about trade deals, it's about, well, this deal isn't good, it's about rethinking the nato relationships and the parameters, and that would seem to lend itself to a former ceo type, who is looking at things as transactions. >> exactly. and this is a very competent ceo who, one has to say, again, has all the information, all the knowledge, all the background. but take the deal -- the transaction with russia. what we are trying to do, what the united states has been trying to do for 30 years in eastern europe, for 75 years in europe, is provide basic stability and security. if you make a deal with russia and it makes the poles insecure, it makes all of eastern europe insecure. it creates a new security dynamic in europe.
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that's a very bad thing. now, as a pure transaction with putin, may be it works. but for the united states, it lets down -- you know, it lets all these countries down and it creates a more unsafe environment in europe. >> donald trump, we've learned, is not receiving daily intelligence briefings. doesn't want them. here's what he said about that this sunday. >> if something should change from this point, immediately call me. i'm available on one minute's notice. i don't have to be told -- you know, i'm, like, a smart person. i don't have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years. could be eight years, but, eight years. i don't need that. >> does that make sense to you? because, clearly, he watches the news every single day, so he clearly is interested in information coming in. the idea of not receiving -- i mean, what is he missing by not getting this every day? >> i think it's a mistake. but i do think that, you know, what he -- somebody needs to remind him, he's the boss. if he doesn't like the kind of intelligence briefing he's
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getting, he can change it. i've read, you know, many of these are declassified. and it's right that a lot of times, it's, this is what happened, it's incremental information. but there are two reasons you do that. one, as president, you often have to make decisions during crises on a moment's notice. so to have that background information, it's almost like an insurance policy. you're getting the background information, because every now and then, you're going to have to make a decision with very little notice, with very little new information, and so that backdrop of information is helpful. but the second point, as i said, he can change it. the cia works for him. >> there's also been questions about what donald trump's policy to china is, concerns by china that a trump administration is moving away from the one china policy. what do you think -- what would be the ramifications if, in fact, that was -- the u.s. was moving away from that. or china believes the u.s. is
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moving away from that? >> so far, the one china policy has produced something really extraordinary. it has allowed taiwan to exist as a free country in everything but the name, "country." you wouldn't want to mess with it unless you had a pretty clear idea what it was you were achieving. and as i have said, i think having more leverage with china is a good idea. and i think that, you know, if donald trump has an idea, that i'm going to use this taiwan card, because here's what i want from china. one, two, three. maybe that's -- you know, let's watch it. but it's been an extraordinarily stable arrangement, which has allowed taiwan to prosper. remember, taiwan benefits from this as much as anybody else, because the chinese could invade taiwan. and then you have a whole different security situation, because we are duty-bound, treaty-bound, to defend taiwan, even though we wouldn't really be able to. china would be able to -- so, you know, it's a very awkward situation.
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we are promising to defend an entity that it would be extremely difficult, short of nuclear weapons, for the united states to defend. so you don't want to -- you don't want to call that bluff, unless you really understand what you're doing. >> fareed, thanks very much. >> a pleasure. just ahead in this hour, more on what, if true, would be an act of cyberwarfare. was the kremlin behind the hacking of the democrats with the intents of tipping the election. and later, when it comes to the trump family business, it's not just alleged conflicts of interest, there are real questions about why ivanka trump's business does so much business with the country her father spends so much time slamming, china. i've invested a lot in this game
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well, we talked about it at the top of the hour. now there's more breaking news. got a late word on tomorrow's secretary of state announcement and a phone call that donald made to mitt romney h. let's go to phil mattingly at trump tower. what are you learning? >> according to sources, mitt romney received a phone call from the president-elect tonight informing him that he would not be getting the position of secretary of state. now, the point of his phone call was to express the president-elect's appreciation for the 2012 nominee going through the process, for being willing to go through the process. and also to express the hope that the president-elect would be able to continue to receive the counsel and advice from mitt romney, going forward. and it's also important to note that according to sources, mitt romney was, indeed, in the mix, in the group of finalists, until the very end. all of this goes to what we reported at the top of the show, that the pick will eventually be rex tillerson, the exxon ceo. but obviously, a lot of question
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and a lot of focus on mitt romney's willingness to even be a part of this. the president-elect's willingness to even bring mitt romney into the circus, if you will. to bring him into the number of candidates, because of how kind of diametrically opposed to one another they were during the campaign. that is now officially over. that call was made tonight. all signs pointing to rex tillerson, the exxon ceo will be the selection for the president-elect, for that secretary of state position. president-elect stressing that mitt romney's involvement in this entire process was appreciated and he was, in fact, a finalist until the very end, according to sources. >> thanks, phil. now the hacking story. house speaker paul ryan and mitch mcconnell calling for congressional investigations into allegations that the russian government was behind hacking that the fbi believes was to affect the election. more from pamela brown who joins us now. what are you hearing from u.s. intelligence officials? >> reporter: we've learned, anderson, that intelligence officials within the cia now are
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growing increasingly confident that russia was actually right to help donald trump win the election by undermining hillary clinton. you know there was that october letter with the several intelligence agencies saying that russia was trying to sew chaos within the election. this is a shift in the assessment. and we've learned from our sources that people within the intelligence community were actually close to assessing that russia was trying to help donald trump. and then new intelligence came to light that has led them now to believe and brief congress that they do belief that russia did try to help donald trump. we should point out that it's not a consensus view. that the fbi is more conservative in its assessment. it has not gone as far as the cia. and no conclusions have been drawn by any agency thus far, anderson. >> so even though there's no smoking gun tieing the government of russia to the theft of the dnc and clinton campaign e-mails, you have some new information about what u.s. investigators have actually found?
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>> reporter: absolutely. we've learned from our sources that hackers actually got into e-mails and obtained documents from gop operatives, from organizations. they on contained rnc documents from a third party vender. however, most of those documents were not leaked, like you had on the democratic side, from the clinton chairman, john podesta, and from the dnc. that was one reason why officials thought that russia might be trying to help donald trump. and also, they found that russia was bankrolling, essentially, people connected to the russian government were bankrolling these trolling operations that spread fake news about hillary clinton and not donald trump. and also, investigators have uncovered a digital footprint in these hacks the, for people connected to the russian government. but anderson, it's important to point out, even if russia did try to help donald trump, we may never know, as one official told me today, whether or not russia influenced the outcome of the election. >> pam, thanks. from alleged spying to what critics are saying spinning about spying, michael smerconish had sean spicer on the program.
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here's what happened when he asked him about all of this. >> i need to ask you an additional question -- >> no, but -- >> i want to address this. i'm also concerned -- come on, i'm being fair to you but i've got to get a word in every once in a while. i'm also troubled by the idea that my president-elect -- he's going to be all of our president -- is already throwing turned bus the intelligence community with whom he's going to have to work on life-and-death matters. wasn't that a troubling thing to do at 9:34 last night in that -- >> no! >> -- in that very -- >> michael, "the new york times," in their story, said that they based their conclusion on the fact that the rnc was hacked, okay? if the rnc was not hacked, then that casts doubt on their conclusions. >> michael smerconish joins us tonight along with cnn's senior political analyst, david gergen. michael, the fact that donald trump is pushing back so hard on this hacking story, how surprising do you think that is?
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one might say, what president-elect wouldn't want to look into a foreign state, like russia, if they were trying to influence our election process. the flip side of that, you can understand why they might be believing politics is behind some of this. >> well, it frustrates me, because i would think in a circumstance like this, patriotism would trump partisanship and polarization, and yet it's not pip paid attention to your interview earlier tonight with kellyanne conway and it reminded me of what i heard from sean spicer over the weekend. you asked about a congressional investigation into this subject. now that we know mitch mcconnell and paul ryan are both supportive of that and her attitude was one of -- her words were literally, well, if they want to look into it, that's fine. i don't think that's enough pip mean, this is sacred stuff we're talking about here. this is not typical rs and ds, liberals and conservatives fighting it out. this is the prospect of a hostile foreign actor having put their thumb on the scale of an american election. and i think that it's appalling,
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frankly, that president trump doesn't condemn that idea before making his other points. that ought to be number one on the list. >> david, what the transition team saying, he wouldn't stand in the way of any kind of investigation. >> that's a warm embrace, isn't it? i can understand, anderson, he can understand why a lot of his supporters think this was a late hit. >> right, first they were blaming comey, then it was the alt-right. this is the latest by disgruntled democrats. >> from disgruntled people and an agency we're not sure we trust anyway and this is part of the swamp. why should we believe all of this? but i think michael's point is fundamentally right. and that is the integrity of our elections are a hallmark of who we are, as a democracy. and we've never had a foreign power meddle in our elections in the way that's being alleged here. and so, i would think that donald trump would not only want to do that as the new incoming president, but also, if he's
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confident about that, the investigations will help to clear the cloud around his incoming administration. that's in his personal interests. >> i want to someplace some of what donald trump said on fox news sunday. >> do you think the cia is trying to overturn the results or to somehow weaken you in office? >> if you take a look at the story and take a look at what they said, there's great confusion. nobody really knows. hacking is really interesting, once you hack, if you don't hack them in the act, you'll never know. they don't know if it's russia or china or somebody. it could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace. >> michael, does trump have a point? there's circumstantial evidence so far, a lot of this so far is just coming from leaks. >> i don't know if he has a point. he seems to be saying there's nothing to see here, so everybody should just move along and go about their business. i would rather hear from him that this is a very serious allegation and we need to get to
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the bottom of it. and anderson, i don't put this in the category of criticism of the alt-right or jim comey and whether he should have written letter "a" or letter "b." i really perceive this as being in a category all of its own. and i would be horrified to think that the cia would have sent leaders over to the senate to brief on a russian hack, simply with a partisan idea. we're all in trouble if it's that bad, that they had this partisan notion that they wanted to bring down donald trump. i would hate to think that's what's going on. so let's bring it all out into the open and get to the bottom of it. because guess what? in two years, what we're going to be talking about, a midterm election. >> and they did put out a statement, reminding people of intelligence community failures in the lead up to the war in iraq, about wmds in iraq. >> anderson, i've been working around the intelligence community now for a long time, under a number of administrations. the cia does get a lot of things wrong, and do get some things right, like bin laden.
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wouldn't have killed him without the cia. but i want to tell you, this is a $70 billion a year operation. we have a lot of people who put their lives on the line to get information that can be sent to the president of the united states. the first job of the president, the responsibility of the president, is to keep us out of war. and those briefings are an essential part of being prepared by a president -- in preparation by a president to make the tough calls. you have to school yourself in this. you cannot wing this kind of stuff. and from my point of view, it's irresponsible -- it's just irresponsible -- >> not to be getting daily briefings. >> not to be taking the daily briefings. not to be reading, but to teach himself and get into this. because what happens, as you know, with any story that's developing, you need to watch it over time. and then you can sort of predict where it's going to go. and if you don't pay attention until the last minute, you're likely to make a very, very -- >> even in the world of tv news
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anchoring, unless every day you are following this stuff, and, you know, reading it constantly all day long, when breaking news actually happens and teleprompter goes down and you're on for eight hours talking about a subject, if you haven't spent months reading it up, you're not going to be able to do it. you can't even talk about it. let alone make decisions, the president, a far more important job than someone like me. >> and he knows more than anybody else in the country about what truly is going on in a lot of these countries. if he intentionally says, "i don't want to know," he doesn't follow the bouncing ball. and that's what the job is. from my point of view, this whole question about the hacking and so forth is part of a broader picture that a lot of us are starting to feel unhinged. what kind of world are we living in when the president of the united states -- the russians are hacking him, we know that. that's a given. they seem to be trying to undercut our democracy. they're trying to undercut democracies in europe.
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most people would see this as an informal warfare. and he's the president of the united states who has to make a decision about what to do about it. >> thanks, gentleman, appreciate it. donald trump has talked a lot about china during the election, bringing back manufacturing jobs to the united states. now a cnn investigation finds that her daughter, ivanka's brand continues to do a lot of business in china. does her brand do any manufacturing in the united states or plan to? drew griffin investigates tonight, next. this is your daughter. and she just got this. ooh boy. but, you've got hum. so you can set this. and if she drives like this, you
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again breaking news tonight. president-elect donald trump was supposed to have a press conference this week to talk about dealing with potential conflicts with his businesses. now the transition team says that is not going to happen until january. you heard kellyanne conway tell me tonight that mr. trump's children will likely have a hand in running the business, but we still do not know all the details. we do know his daughter, ivanka trump, is obviously a businesswoman in her own right, but a new cnn investigation reveals that her business practices don't exactly square with some of her father's tough talk on trade and jobs. drew griffin tonight reports. >> reporter: it turns out during that entire campaign when donald trump was criticizing -- >> china's taking our jobs, our money. china, which has been ripping us off. we have a trade deficit with china, $500 billion a year.
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>> reporter: daughter, ivanka trump, was busy doing business, yes, china. she sells shoes and handbags made in china. and even in the last three months, the final leg of the campaign, the ivanka trump brand was receiving shipment after shipment of merchandise, more than 60 in all, according to records analyzed by cnn. >> we owe them, they took everything, $1.4 trillion. how do you do that? >> reporter: trade talk on the campaign trail intrigued robert lawrence, a professor of international trade and investment at harvard. his interest piqued when early on, donald trump found out nabisco was moving its oreo cookie bakery to mexico. >> they're leaving chicago. which means i'm never going to eat another oreo again. i'm serious! never! >> professor lawrence asked one of his assistants to find out where the trump family makes things. and settled on ivanka trump's
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extensive line of handbags, shoes, clothing, and accessories. hundreds of products made in china and many other nations. >> i think we found something on the order of 600 or 700 products and about half of those were made in china and the rest were imported. >> reporter: shipments as recently as november have been arriving from china. and in a cnn report earlier this year, we tracked donald trump's now-apparently defunct clothing line. manufacturers in china, indonesia, and bangladesh. >> it is certainly at odds with what he claimed was immoral behavior on the part of companies -- other companies, like nabisco. >> reporter: which raises a possible conflict within the trump family. will ivanka's products face an increased tariff if the soon-to-be president enacts a soon-to-be-launched trade war? will ivanka continue to make her shoes overseas, while her dad tries to bring manufacturing jobs back to the united states? cnn asked those questions to ivanka trump.
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this was the response from her brand's spokesperson. "we have consistently expressed that we share industry leader's interest in bringing more manufacturing opportunities to the u.s. and are looking forward to being a part of the conversation." scott nova, who studies the industry for the workers rights consortium, says he doubts any clothing jobs will ever come back to the united states no matter who is president. as he said earlier this year, the industry survives on cheap labor, where in terms of paying workers, it is a worldwide race to the bottom. >> there is a worldwide search for the countries with the lowest wages and the least regulation. i'm unaware of any way in which the trump brand has taken a different approach than the one that is unfortunately standard in the industry. >> business as usual? >> as far as we're aware. >> find the cheapest labor for the clothes you're making.
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it's a business. so you can make the biggest profit. >> this is the nature of the global garment industry. >> drew, so we know ivanka trump continues to manufacture her licensed products mostly in china. what about her father? >> there's no evidence we could find that donald trump's clothing brand is manufacturing anything, anderson, anywhere. that's not by choice. when he started his campaign, talking about muslims and mexicans, his clothing line was dropped by many retailers. his shirt contractor also told us they were phasing out trump's clothing line and we haven't been able to find any evidence that the donald j. trump clothing line is manufacturing anything right now. >> and in ivanka trump's statement, her spokesperson says she's interested in being in the conversation about bringing these jobs back to the u.s. is that even a possibility? there are american apparel manufacturers. >> it's not likely these jobs will come back. you can't hire workers for 30 cents an hour to sew shirts. that's the going rate in bangladesh. or $1.40, if you want to get expensive, in mexico. what could happen is that some
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sort of automation is going to be developed, so efficient machines can make these shirts and shoes, sew handbags. that would create some new jobs, but nowhere near the number of manufacturing jobs that were lost in the u.s. then, of course, you'll have to deal with taking away jobs from very, very poor people in parts of the world where 30 cents an hour is a good job. >> drew griffin, thanks. coming up, how the town where white supremacist leader richard spencer has been calling home is pushing back against his hateful ideas. he has a sharp wit, a winning smile,
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white supremacist richard spencer is back on twitter. he'd been suspended for about a month for making multiple accounts, but is now back as of this weekend. spencer has been spreading his message of hatred in other ways in recent weeks. a speech at texas a&m university last week. spencer may be embraced by anonymous people online, but the sorry is different in the town he's been calling home. gary tuchman tonight reports. >> reporter: the weather is frigid in the small picturesque city of whitefish, montana. but even more chilling, to many here, are the actions of one of their residents. >> hail, trump! hail our people. hail victory. >> reporter: richard spencer, a white supremacist, and a leader in a so-called alt-right movement, has made whitefish home in recent years, which offends many here. john mullfield is the mayor of whitefish. >> we're a very open town. we welcome diversity and certainly don't divorce the
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ideologies and philosophies that richard spencer endorses. >> reporter: racism and bigotry tend to be the kind of thing that conflict with a person's moral compass. and overwhelmingly, that's the case here in montana's flathead valley, particularly with richard spencer getting so much national attention. so a collective decision has been made here, to fight back. >> reporter: frank sweeney is a whitefish city council member. >> what he's done is associating himself and his ideas with us is slandered us and we don't appreciate it. and we're entitled to respond to something like this. >> reporter: and respond they have. the mayor signing a proclamation saying that whitefish won't tolerate racism and bigotry, not just from spencer, but from those of a similar ilk who have made their homes here and in the region. >> signing this on december 2016 as mayor of the city of whitefish. thank you very much for coming. >> reporter: the proclamation
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comes after the passage of a city ordinance earlier this year, protecting gay, bisexual, and transgender people. whitefish has an established human rights organization called love lives here. >> love lives here wants to shine a light on the activity of richard spencer. >> that activity includes a speech spencer made at texas a&m university, in which protesters vastly outnumbered his followers, and where he called donald trump an alt-right hero. >> whether it's nice to say that or not, we won. and we got to define what america means. we got to define what this continent means. america, at the end of the day, belongs to white men. >> he's not powerful. he's just spreading messages of hatred. and we have to keep calling that out and showing that that is not representative of this country. certainly not representative of this community. whitefish is way bigger than
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richard spencer. >> reporter: employees at montana coffee traders in the middle of town say spencer has been a customer in the past. >> if richard spencer walked in here right now and he's been here before, would this business serve him? >> our employees are not required to serve him, but someone would serve him. >> reporter: you wouldn't kick him out? >> we would not kick hill out, no. >> reporter: for many of the people here who don't like spencer, inclusiveness even means not excluding him. but spencer has said he is ready to spend montana to spend more time near the nation's capital as he pushes his agenda. and indeed, the manager of this building in whitefish where spencer has done his work in office number 201 says spencer moved out this past friday. anderson, this is a very small city, so we talked with many people who have met spencer, talked with spencer, dealt with him, and been polite and cordial with him, but we did not meet anybody who will shed any tears if they never see him here again.
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anderson? >> coming up, i'll speak with a fake news writer, many of his reports have gone viral, including one during the election that people were being paid to protest at donald trump rallies. he says what he does is satire. many others call it irresponsible. and when they save, you save. that's auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance, an allstate company. click or call. esurance does insurance a smarter way, which saves money. like bundling home and auto coverage, which reduces red tape, which saves money. and when they save, you save. that's home and auto insurance for the modern world. esurance, an allstate company. click or call. for millions of baby boomers there's a virus out there. a virus that's serious, like hiv, but it hasn't been talked about much.
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we've been reporting in the past few weeks about the real consequences of so-called fake news. there's an absurd pizzagate conspiracy theory, it was baseless, and ridiculous and debunked. that didn't stop a man from showing up at the pizza place with a gun. then there's a conspiracy theory that the sandy hook shooting was a hoax. that the parents were crisis actors and no kids were killed there. it's so disrespectful a notion that it's hard to talk about or even imagine. but people actually harassed the parents of victims of sandy hook. last week a woman was indicted for making threats against one of those parents. leo pozner, the father of noah pozner. i spoke to leo last week and he spoke about the pain he's had to relive because of these outrageous lives. still, fake news is a growing cottage industry. in some cases, very lucrative for the people who create and
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distribute it. if you're on facebook, you probably saw a lot of fake news about the presidential election. some of it may have come from any next guest. his name is paul horner, he's a fake news writer. one of his stories that got a lot of traction was about people supposedly getting paid to protest donald trump. i spoke with him today. explain why you do this. you know you're putting fake news out there, fooling people into believing it's real. why do it? >> um, i've been doing it now about five or six years. what you guys call fake news. the headline might be fake, the first paragraph might be fake, and then the rest of the story is a lot of it is mostly political satire. it gets pretty ridiculous, as the story goes on. anyone that's read any of my articles, i have a lot of fans, a lot of people that like my stuff, they know. i mean, it's pretty obvious the
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stuff i write is very political satire. there's a lot of humor, a lot of comedy in it. >> but satire, usually the reader knows it's satire. like with "the onion," everybody knows "the onion" is satire. a lot of folks are actually fooled by your, you know, by your articles. and as you know, you've talked about that, how they've been passed along as real by supporters of various candidates. isn't that part of the point, to kind of make people -- >> sure. >> you're hoping to make people look stupid by passing them on, but you're also spreading false information. >> um, i do it -- i mean, i like trying to -- i do it to try to educate people. i see certain things wrong in society that i don't like -- >> how are you educating people? >> -- in different targets -- uh, within my stories, i'll have links to all the different facts that the purpose of the story -- i'll pick a purpose to write about, and then within that story, i'll have links to everything to back up the different purpose behind the
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story. >> you are making money by having your stories passed around as much as possible? so there is an incentive -- i mean, this is not -- you're not doing this as a sort of sociological experiment or just, you know, i mean, you're making money off of the spread of misinformation. does it concern you at all that people believe your stuff? that people believe what you're actually writing? >> um, i mean, you could -- i mean, there's sites out there, you could say cnn spreads misinformation. you could say fox news spreads misinformation to make ad revenue. >> how so? do you think cnn intentionally is spreading false articles in order to -- you think they actually profit off of trying to spread false information? isn't there a disincentive for tv networks to actually spread real information? >> i think they have agendas.
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i know with my articles, i'll definitely see something that i don't like and i'll write about it and i'll have a purpose and a certain reason why i'm writing it. and then within the story, i'll have facts to back it up. that i include. and then also within the story i'll make sure to have plenty of satire and cam de. anyone that's read one of my stories from top to bottom, if they can't figure out that it's fake news. >> plenty of people do read it and have passed it along as real news. >> i think i -- yeah, well, at least the people with my articles, i think those people haven't read the whole article. >> how much money do you actually make doing this? >> i don't like talking about money, but since -- with the washington post, i told them
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that on a good month, with google ad sense i'll make $10,000. >> 10,000 a month? >> that's one of four ad companies i'll have on my site. >> are you concerned at all about the proliferation of sites like yours? i mean you are saying it's part satire. but you are basically lumped in with a lot of other fake news sites out there. your articles traffic like everyone else's. >> i'm concerned about the fake news that's out there. that fepizzagate -- i've gone on record stating i think 95% of the fake news that's out there on today is causing huge problems. it's like pizza gate. >> why take part in it? i still don't quite understand why you would take part in it. >> i enjoy writing, i enjoy writing comedy. i throw comedy shows.
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i do stand up comedy. i love writing humor, comedy. i love writing. i love writing political satire, i like writing politics. i like writing stuff that's hoaxes. >> the difference you say between what you're doing and what all these other fake news sites are doing, you're saying yours are vaguely funny or satirical if you read deep down into the articles? that's the difference? >> sure. i mean, if you have read any of my stories it's pretty obvious they are satire. the title might be the fake part. the first paragraph or two is usually fake. it gets more and more ridiculous as the story goes on. >> what's the difference between you and an internet troll? >> there's different types, i don't know, what are you saying is an internet troll? >> i don't know, i'm not as familiar with the stuff as you are, you know a lot about the
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internet, do you view yourself in anyway like an internet troll, sort of just spreading fake information, saying fake stuff? you are not trolling because you are clever? >> internet troll, i don't think that's -- what i'm doing has nothing to do with an internet troll. >> paul, i appreciate your time. thank you for being with us. >> sure thing. >> joining me now is brian stelter. what do you make of that? he says it's satire? >> some people just want to watch the world burn. he has website headlines like obama signs executive order banning the pledge of allegiance in schools. if you read to the bottom of the story he admits it was a joke. but thousands read that headline, got very angry, red is it amongst their friends and
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family, and it spread like wildfire. with the right to free speech comes a moral responsibility, and that's the bright line between us, real news organizations and these fake sites that spread lies. >> he says it's satire, he's different than these other sites which are spreading misinformation, which he himself is worried about and should be taken down. >> it's a really important insight higher. i've been thinking about fake news. it has been cuffed in recent weeks as a financial phenomenal. teenagers trying to make money off these fake stories 37 he's describing a different incentive. i thought it to be highly cynical, however, suggesting that you have to read every word carefully and parse my language to know i'm joking. after all as you pointed out, your trump campaign aides were fooled by these various stories. >> he sounds like he's making a lot of money. he's very clever, he could probably find another way to make money. >> he's making more than a lot of young journalists. a lot of hardworking real journalists.
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writing real stories. that's the crux of this issue, fake news has been with us, there's been conspiracy theorys, all before the internet. the facebooks and -- i think the issue here is the financial incentives, both for these websites, the ads and the social networks. the more time you spend on facebook. the more money facebook makes. if you are angry about a fake news story that you don't know is fake you are going to spend a lot of time on facebook talking about it. >> there is so much information coming at people today, who has time to read the complete article every time these things pop up, you read the headlines and they register, as he says, those are just like a news article. not everybody has time to -- even in legitimate papers or news programs to stay to the end of something. >> i have been tricked by these things, too.
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everyone has been tricked by one of these stories that sets out to deceive people. these stories can be tricky, these writers are getting more sophisticated, more creative about this. that's why this is a news literacy problem. facebook can try to take action, google says it's trying to take action. certainly a news consumers though, the impetus is on to be skeptical of what we are reading especially when we don't know the source. it's big international news organizations that are valuable right now, you know where they're coming from, what they stand for. >> brian, appreciate it, thanks very much. we'll be right back.
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and that does it for us, thanks for watching, cnn tonight with don lemon starts now. snds this is cnn breaking news. breaking news tonight, donald trump says he'll announce his pick for secretary of state tomorrow morning. this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. the rumored front-runner, the millionaire ceo of exxon mobil, rex tillerson. trump calling mitt romney tonight to tell him he is out more news on that in a moment. meanwhile, the president-elect who hasn't held thea news conference in five months still won't be holding the one he promised thursday on the topic of how he plans to deal with conflicts of interest in his businesses. and trump is in conflict with many in his own party on russian hacking of the election,