-- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' on November 20, 2016 and it will be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Tremendous talent, people that, as I say, we will make America great again.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Already facing fears, questions about his intended nominees.
What do his presidential picks reveal about his first 100 days?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- America in transition -- how will the Democratic Party define its path forward?
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC HOST: Let's look where we are.
Is this a mandate for Donald Trump?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're one-on-one with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
A new president about to take control.
What can we expect on day one?
From ABC News, it's THIS WEEK.
Here now, co-anchor Martha Raddatz.
MARTHA RADDATZ, HOST: Good morning. Welcome to THIS WEEK.
Like a well crafted reality show, the Trump transition is shifting scene, from the hustle and bustle of the big city, to the country estate of the president-elect, where this weekend, Donald Trump played the gracious host to a parade of cabinet prospects.
This is not your usual transition. Years past, all the work was done behind closed doors, the interviews private, off camera.
There's General James Mattis, the Marine Corps legend being considered for secretary of Defense, making quite an impression.
TRUMP: A good thing, a brilliant, wonderful man, what a career and we're going to see what happens. But he is the real deal.
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RADDATZ: But before we get too swept away by act two, we need to press pause, rewind, because this week, we learned a lot about the next president.
The bottom line -- the man who was no stranger to controversy throughout the campaign will continue to court it. Three moves this week in particular, enraging some liberals, cheered by Trump's base. We'll dig into that with Trump's new chief of staff, Reince Priebus, former CIA Director General Hayden and our own Pierre Thomas in a moment.
But first, what we learned this week.
TRUMP: You will be so proud of your president. You will be so proud.
RADDATZ (voice-over): First lesson -- to the victory goes the spoils. And for those who passed Trump's loyalty test, the rewards are huge.
TRUMP: Yes, come up.
Get over here, Jeff.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Donald, welcome to my hometown, Mobile, Alabama.
RADDATZ: Sessions stuck with Trump throughout the campaign, through the highs and lows, even after that "Access Hollywood" tape.
SESSIONS: He were you...
SESSIONS: You're exaggerating a little bit and I don't know that he said he did that against their will. That's what I'm saying.
Trump's other picks so far, loyalists who share his world view. Reince Priebus gets chief of staff, Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist in the White House, Mike Flynn, national security adviser, and Congressman Mike Pompeo gets the CIA.
A second lesson for Trump -- it's family first.
RADDATZ: While we don't yet know if they will have formal roles in the White House, Trump's family appears to be wielding enormous influence in the transition. Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, are the power couple to watch. Here he is strolling the White House grounds with Obama's chief of staff.
And Ivanka, right there this week for Trump's first meeting with a head of state.
A third lesson of the week, Trump will be Trump, so get used to it. We saw that Friday night in New York at the Broadway show, "Hamilton," where there were some boos for Vice President-Elect Pence and an unusual direct appeal from the cast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us.
RADDATZ: So the president-elect, who made this promise during the campaign...
TRUMP: I'm going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored.
RADDATZ: -- couldn't help firing back with a Tweet storm. "The theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of "Hamilton" was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize."
And the fourth lesson, the election didn't settle the argument. In fact, we could be at the beginning of a long political and cultural war. Trump's headline picks already taking heat. Flynn's under fire for calling Islam a cancer and his Tweet that "fear of Muslims is rational." Bannon already defending himself against charges of anti-Semitism and racism. And Sessions, who 30 years ago was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee for a federal judgeship...
SESSIONS: I am not a racist. I am not insensitive to blacks. I've supported civil rights activity in my state.
RADDATZ: -- denying those charges to this day.
The next Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, told me Sessions will get some hard questions.
SCHUMER: These are troubling things and the only fair thing to do is ask a lot of questions, very thorough questions, and then make an opinion.
RADDATZ: And let's dig deeper on that controversial pick for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions.
And for that, we're joined by our senior justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas -- good morning, Pierre.
Let me ask you right away, how intense do you expect this confirmation process to be?
PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Extremely. The bottom lines have been drawn. We saw a level of intensity Friday that we haven't seen for quite some time. You had the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus saying that Senator Sessions' civil rights record was appalling. Leaders from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus with equally harsh rhetoric.
Supporters of Sessions are saying that he's a good man. He's got a long, outstanding record, they say, a person of high character. Senator Cruz calling him a man who would protect "The Constitution" and also the rule of law.
But the drama, however intense it may be, will be short-lived, in the sense that the Republicans do control the Senate and he will get confirmed.
RADDATZ: Well, but the harshest allegations are that Sessions is, as we said, racially insensitive. Some critics say racist. But he really has passionately denied that.
But he was rejected for an appointment as a federal court justice back in 1986.
THOMAS: Exactly. A lot of these allegations of racism -- nothing really charged, allegations, by the way, stem from that particular confirmation process which he, again, was rejected in.
A black colleague said that Sessions called him, quote, "boy" and that ought to be careful about what he said to, quote, "white folks."
He passionately denied that. If you look back at that hearing, it was dripping -- anger was dripping from his lips as he described his disgust with being termed that particular way. And people who support him point out the fact that he has prosecuted members of the KKK and that he has supported efforts to honor Rosa Parks, civil rights icon, Rosa Parks.
RADDATZ: So -- so let's assume, as you said, that he is confirmed.
What will we likely see at the Justice Department?
What kind of changes?
THOMAS: I think you will see some pretty dramatic change quickly.
Number one, on inison -- the issue of immigration, he will be among those, I think, cheerleading Trump to overturn all the executive actions that President Obama took in terms of immigration. On transgender issues, the Justice Department has been very supportive of transgender children being able to go to public bathrooms with the sex that they identify with. That's likely to change.
And on the issue of race and policing, will he be as full-throated in support of African-American communities that often feel that they are overlooked and neglected and sometimes treated unfairly by the police remains to be seen.
RADDATZ: And -- and just quickly, Pierre, what about a possibly and more investigations into Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation?
THOMAS: Well, he has been very critical of the FBI's investigation of the Hillary emails and he has suggested that the Clinton Foundation needs far more investigation. So stay tuned.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks very much for joining us, Pierre.
The president-elect also has big plans for the economy. And he's already claiming at least one victory this week with the auto industry. But he also had to settle a major lawsuits against Trump University for $25 million.
For more on that and his other legal challenges, let's bring in our chief business and economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis -- good morning, Rebecca.
You know, Trump Tweeted that he settled the Trump University case to focus on his presidency.
Do you think that's the reason?
And there are more cases out there with Trump's name on them, so what does he do?
REBECCA JARVIS, ABC NEWS CHIEF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT: Martha, I talked to a number of legal experts about this. And there was little up side in letting this Trump University case go to trial. The New York attorney general had called it a fraud from beginning to end. Donald Trump and his lawyers thought that they had a case here.
But when you get into the trials of cases like these, first off, it could have been a distraction, and second of all, they bring up private and business dealings that can frequently be embarrassing.
These are the kind of things that a president-elect would want to have out there or even want to deal with. He has more than dozen other cases, Donald Trump, where he is personally named and you will likely see those cases go the same direction.
RADDATZ: And you know Trump strategist Steve Bannon says he's pushing for a trillion-dollar infrastructure program.
What do we know about what they are envisioning?
And who would be the big economic winners there?
JARVIS: Well, we know the size of it, $1 trillion. It's something that Steve Bannon talked about this week. It is a major issue that Donald Trump campaigned on, this infrastructure plan.
One of the key questions is how it might be paid for. On the campaign trail Donald Trump talked about, for example, potentially borrowing money with interest rates as low as they are, But now the details seem to be more inclined towards tax cuts for private companies, tax credits for private companies, to do infrastructure programs.
For example, building out our roads, our bridges, our waterways. The issue becomes how these private companies might monetize that. For example, if you're a private company and you're building a bridge, you might want to put a toll on that bridge in order to monetize it. That will be a key question going forward.
It will also be a question about how many jobs get resolved as a result of it because of what types of projects we actually see happen.
RADDATZ: And quickly, more on jobs. Was Ford his first big win with the company, saying they will not move some of their production to Mexico?
Or was his claim of victory a little misleading?
JARVIS: Jobs weren't at risk here, Martha. In fact, the MKC, the car in question that was supposed to be moved from the plant in Kentucky to Mexico, was not going to cost any jobs. They were moving it to make more room for the Ford Escape, a very popular car here in the United States.
The MKC will now stay in Louisville, Kentucky. It will not move to Mexico to that pre-existing plant. That's a win in terms of keeping a car here in the United States but the issue was always going to be jobs neutral -- Martha.
RADDATZ: Thanks very much, Rebecca.
And now let's bring in the president-elect's new chief of staff, Reince Priebus. You see him there at Bedminster yesterday, joining in those transition meetings. And Mr. Priebus joins us now.
Let's start with the meetings that President-Elect Trump had this weekend.
What can you tell us about the meeting specifically with Mitt Romney, how likely is it he could be the next secretary of state?
REINCE PRIEBUS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, first of all, this all started back on that Wednesday morning, when President-Elect Trump said to all Americans, no matter who you are, your race, your gender, your background, look, I want to lead all of you.
I want to make all of you proud of the work that we're doing. And he wants to be a president for all people. So he's bringing America together. That's part of what happened yesterday with Governor Romney coming in, bringing people in that were once rivals, saying let's lead together, let's talk about the future of our country.
They did talk about opportunities for Governor Romney to potentially be involved. But it was also a coming-together moment, to say I need to lead everyone, I need you on board.
And I will tell you, it was a very, very good, cordial, personable, gracious meeting and it was nothing but positive.
RADDATZ: Well, so how likely is it that he could be Secretary of State? Is that a possibility?
PRIEBUS: Well, I think anything is possible, but we’re talking to a lot of people, Martha and certain Governor Romney is a talented person and it’s possible. But we’re also talking to a lot of others and you see the list today, folks coming in -- obviously Rudy Giuliani’s come in. We’ve talked to Nikki Haley. General Kelley is coming in today and many others for all of these positions. And so --
RADDATZ: So Giuliani’s still a possibility for Secretary of State?
PRIEBUS: Sure, of course. But I think what Americans really need to see though is a president-elect that’s working 15 hours a day in meetings alone bringing in the most talented people in America to get the advice, the counsel, the conversation. That’s what I think people should take from these meetings and I think he ought to be commended for the work he’s done in bringing our country together.
RADDATZ: Let’s talk about retired general Jim Mattis. He is a Marine Corps legend. I can tell you right now that troops do love him and Mr. Trump seems very impressed him. What’s the likelihood he could be Secretary of Defense?
PRIEBUS: Well, I think it’s a very real possibility, but obviously we’ve got more work to do, Martha. He is a hero of our country; he’s a hero for everyone in America. I think he’s a figure that can also bring America together, someone you can point to, no matter who you are and say this is a man that every American would respect. And someone certainly more than capable of leading the Department of Defense at a time when we need to get serious about ISIS and our security around the globe, whether it be China, North Korea, Syria, Libya. You know as well as, Martha, you’re an expert at these things -- we need leadership and certainly General Mattis is a leader. And I know that President-Elect Trump loves leaders like General Mattis.
RADDATZ: And let’s -- let’s talk about another retired general and that would be Mike Flynn, who he has chosen as National Security Advisor. He is highly admired for his work as an intelligence officer, but he has a history of controversial views about Islam. He said in an interview in July and at a conference in August that Islam is not a real religion, but a political ideology masked behind a religion.
Is he in line with how President-Elect Trump views Islam?
PRIEBUS: Well, I think so. I mean, look, phrasing can always be done differently but clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic. And we know them. We’ve seen it. But it certainly isn’t a blanket for all people of that faith, but Mike Flynn is one of the most highly respected intelligence officers in America. Certainly no one can deny that. He is someone that has been at Donald Trump’s side, President-Elect Trump’s side, for now a very long time. It’s someone who the President-Elect respects and trusts and he’s an unbelievably gifted, smart person that will lead that post with honor and dignity.
RADDATZ: Let’s talk about immigration. Will President-Elect Trump suspend all immigration from regions compromised by care, as he said and what countries does that include? Does it include Middle East allies like Saudi Arabia? Does it include Turkey, Pakistan, France?
PRIEBUS: Well, I think what he said is -- and, you know, we’ll -- obviously that policy will be spelled out more clearly once his team gets put in place and once he confers with the leadership at the State Department and the Secretary of Defense. But clearly this is something that has already articulated, both in the House and the Senate and by President-Elect Trump, which is we will pursue policies to temporarily suspend immigration from areas that harbor and train terrorists until better vetting is put together.
So -- now where that is, what countries those are, what areas we’re talking about it, that’s something that will be more clearly articulated at a later time, but that vision hasn’t changed.
RADDATZ: But it’s possibility France?
PRIEBUS: Well, Martha, look, like I said, we’re not going to get into all the details of where these hot spots are at, but that policy will be more closely articulated once the team gets put in place.
But just so you understand, this is not some sort of out of left field policy. This is something that has been sitting many different times in the House and the Senate that either couldn’t get passed or the president wouldn’t support.
RADDATZ: Let’s -- let’s move to Mike Pompeo. Candidate Trump said he wanted to bring back waterboarding and worse and his pick for CIA director, Pompeo, has been a proponent of that as well. So will he ask his Republican-controlled Congress to pass a new law to get rid of the current law which bans waterboarding?
PRIEBUS: Well, I think we have to take a deep breath here and just realize what people are seeing happening in this new administration, which is the best and the brightest of all Americans coming together, even some rivals like Ted Cruz -- obviously we talked about Mitt Romney. The best and the brightest.
Mike Pompeo was number one in his class at West Point, at the top of his class at Harvard Law School, editor of the Harvard Law Review. Highly respected, praised from all angles. These folks, these smart people, along with President-Elect Trump, will formulate that strategy, Martha. They will confer with generals in the field and they will do everything they can to protect and secure our country here and abroad, every single day that they wake up in the morning.
RADDATZ: OK, let’s move to another one of Trump’s picks, Senator Jeff Sessions. As we said, Senator Sessions has been accused in the past of making racially-disparaging comments. Now his nomination is opposed by -- let me read this list -- the NAACP, the Congressional Black, Hispanic and Asian-Pacific American Caucuses, immigrants rights groups like the American Immigration Council.
Does all that opposition from minority groups give you any pause?
PRIEBUS: This is something that happened that 30 years ago. Look, you have to look at this man’s life. He’s an unbelievably honest, dignified man who started his career working against George Wallace. Who then spent 15 years in the Department of Justice as a U.S. attorney for 12, AG for two, filing desegregation lawsuits all over Alabama. He is someone who voted for the Civil Rights Act. He voted for Eric Holder. He worked his heart out to give Rosa Park a congressional medal.
This is a man who has spent his entire life fighting for equality, freedom and opportunity. It’s an honor to have Senator Jeff Sessions accept such a post. He's an incredible man. And even the people 30 years ago that voted against him said they regretted it, and that he was a great man, an egalitarian, and this is something that I think is very political, very unfair. And I would hate to be judged -- and I think you would and everyone out there to be judged over a phrasing of one single thing that I've said.
Look, he's a good man. He will be confirmed and he deserves it.
One final question on Senator Sessions, he's questioned the investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server and said Clinton violated the law with the Clinton Foundation and Lieutenant General Flynn led chants of lock her up but the Republican National Convention.
Is their selection an indication that Trump will order an investigation of Hillary Clinton?
PRIEBUS: No. Their suggestions for nomination is an indication of Donald Trump's willingness to do everything he can to follow through on his campaign promises, but also protect our country here and abroad.
I think it should be a great sign for all Americans that he's leading by bringing people together to make our country great again.
RADDATZ: Thanks very much for joining us Mr. Priebus and congratulations to you.
PRIEBUS: Thank you.
RADDATZ: Coming up, much more on Donald Trump's White House team as the president-elect receives more big name guests today. The powerhouse roundtable is standing by. Plus, President Trump will face a flurry of foreign policy challenges. How will his new national security team handle them? I'll talk to the former director of the CIA next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. SECRETARY OF STATE: I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the election. I am, too, more than I can ever express.
But as I said last week our campaign was never about one person or even one election, it was about the country we love and about building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Hillary Clinton making her first public appearance since her concession speech after a loss that disappointed her supporters and is now exacerbated by her lead in the popular vote overnight climbing to more than 1.5 million votes.
Trump, who once called the electoral college a disaster for democracy, now firing back at his critics and defending his win, tweeting if the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in New York, Florida, and California and won even bigger and more easily.
But criticism of the electoral college continues from Senator Barbara Boxer who introduced legislation to abolish it to Lady Gaga asking her fans to sign a petition calling on members of the electoral college to change their vote.
There are now over 4 million signatures.
That's wishful thinking. So, Democrats are already planning their next steps in a Republican controlled government but how will the opposition take shape? I asked the senate minority leader later.
TRUMP: Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster -- no vision, no purpose, no direction, no strategy.
RADDATZ: Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to upend U.S. foreign policy, a secret policy to defeat ISIS, a renewed relationship with Russia, a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and questioning the need for NATO.
TRUMP: We're going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests.
RADDATZ: And now he's building a team to make that happen. His most important pick so far: national security adviser Michael Flynn.
MICHAEL FLYNN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER APPOINTEE: It's going really well, and it's a great transition.
RADDATZ: A retired lieutenant general, Flynn is the former head of the defense intelligence agency who helped root out terrorist networks during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He's known for ringing early alarm bells about the growing threat of ISIS and for his controversial views on Islam.
Trump also named a new CIA chief, Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas. First in his class at West Point, Pompeo was elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave and now serves on the House intelligence committee.
He's been a fierce critic of the Obama administration, especially on Benghazi, the Iran deal and its efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo.
RADDATZ: And let's dive into what all that means for your security and America's foreign policy. Joining us is the former director of the CIA and head of the NSA, General Michael Hayden.
Welcome General Hayden.
GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, FMR. DIRECTOR, CIA: Good morning.
RADDATZ: Before Trump's win you called his potential presidency dangerous. Joining about 50 top Republican National Security Officials and expressing your opposition.
Now that he's won, you say it's time to give the president-elect a chance. So, let's go to those national security picks.
He has tapped Congressman Mike Pompeo to be the next CIA director. You were CIA director. Does he have enough experience for the job?
HAYDEN: I think so. I was actually heartened by that pick. I actually am aware that the broader intelligence community was heartened by that pick.
I mean he's got as much experience going into that job as Leon Panetta did, and I think Leon did a wonderful job and he's highly regarded at the agency. The people who know him from the House intelligence committee have always said he was serious. He studied the issues. He was worth talking to.
Now I get that political patina with regard to Benghazi and e-mail servers and so on. But even when that was going on, they had a lot of time for him to discuss serious issues.
RADDATZ: President-Elect Trump has been critical of the intelligence agency, doubting whether Russia was behind the hack.
How will that go over with career intelligence people?
You said they're looking forward to Mike Pompeo.
HAYDEN: Yes. That doesn't go over well. They actually said, why are we doing this if you're not going to pay attention to it?
And it's not so much that the president disagreed, based on president-elect disagreed based on facts. He just dismissed it.
Again, Congressman Pompeo has been viewed as a serious guy, as someone who does look for data, who does look for facts.
RADDATZ: One of the things -- let me go to this. Congressman Pompeo defended CIA's detention and interrogation techniques in the aftermath of 9/11.
He said, quote, "These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots. The programs being used were within the law, within the Constitution."
President-Elect Trump has gone even further, saying harsh interrogation tactics like waterboarding should be used again.
You were there --
RADDATZ: -- during that period.
Should that be brought back?
HAYDEN: Well, number one, what the congressman said is correct, this was done within the law, done by people who did it reluctantly, not out of enthusiasm and it produced good intelligence for America.
Bringing it back is a separate question.
And here's where I would begin --
RADDATZ: Which some people would argue with you on.
HAYES: -- well, let -- no, and it's very important. Let's begin with actually detaining people under the laws of armed conflict. We don't do that, outside of Iraq and Syria. Unless we're going to put somebody into an Article 3 court -- in other words, we're going to accuse them of something -- we don't hold them as an enemy combatant for their intelligence values.
So the first step, I would say, is let's start to do that and let's question them. And then if the current lawfully authorized techniques are insufficient, let's have a conversation about them at that time.
RADDATZ: OK. Let's move to retired lieutenant general Mike Flynn.
RADDATZ: Praised for his intelligence gathering --
RADDATZ: -- no question about that -- and his techniques. ]
But is he qualified to be national security adviser?
You know how important that job is. You have the president's ear all the time.
HAYDEN: Yes, a very important job. And you're absolutely right. Mike has been very, very successful.
But by and large he's been successful at the tactical operational level. This is a strategic global job. And so I think he'll be stretched a bit by this.
Mike's got great ideas. But unless you're hiring a Kissinger or a Brzezinski or a Scowcroft in that job, what you really want is a process guy in the job, the one who tees up issues, makes sure all elements of the government have a voice. So that's going to extend Mike as well.
RADDATZ: I want to go -- one point is we're seeing all these generals, we're seeing General Mattis. This is a -- Donald Trump said he was smarter than the generals.
Why all these generals?
HAYDEN: Well, maybe there are some generals out there who actually know stuff.
RADDATZ: OK. Let me tick through some foreign policy questions here.
Iran: Trump hates the nuclear deal.
Can they tear it up?
HAYDEN: I don't think they can tear up the deal as what -- we talk about the deal, that's what's happening in the next 10 years.
Let me tell you what I think they ought to do, all right?
The current administration is holding American policy writ large towards Iran hostage to the deal. We don't push back on Iran in a whole bunch of other places.
So my first step, if you're asking me for recommendations, is stop doing that. Push back on the Iranians in Iraq. Push back on them in Syria. Push back on them in the Gulf.
Now then, if the Iranians want to walk away from the deal, fine.
The second thing, Martha, is not the deal for the next 10 years; it's the broader behavior and it's what happens after 10 years because all those provisions start to bleed off. I think that's the conversation we need to have.
RADDATZ: And very quickly, if you can, and I hate to do this so quickly, ISIS: can they really do anything different?
We seem to be making progress.
HAYDEN: We are. And I think we have been late and light, under-resourced, over-regulated. But we're actually in a pretty good place now. We're actually going to squeeze them. They're going to end existence as the Islamic State. Now we got to deal with the movement.
RADDATZ: Yes, yes, what comes next, always the big question. Thanks so much for joining us, General Hayden.
HAYDEN: Thank you.
RADDATZ: As Trump's agenda takes shape, how will the Democrats respond, standing firmly against him or finding common ground?
I put that question to the new leader of the opposition, Senator Chuck Schumer, and to our powerhouse roundtable -- next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eric, how was dinner?
ERIC TRUMP, DONALD'S SON: Good to see the family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ (voice-over): Eric Trump returning to Trump Tower the morning after the president-elect ditched the press for a family dinner.
Like many Americans, Donald Trump is a proud family man. Together with our partners at SSRS we ask what folks are most thankful for this year.
And the top response by a landslide was family, followed by life and health as well as Trump, God and Jesus.
Trump is likely to be a big topic of conversation this Thanksgiving with 45 percent saying they plan to talk politics with friends and family, even though 38 percent said the idea of discussing politics at Thanksgiving stresses them out. We're back with the powerhouse roundtable after this. They do not get stressed out talking at this table. Be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a few problems. The Democrats are already pushing back on our legal immigration act because they say finding 11 million illegal immigrants is going to be hard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Impossible, probably.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then they say it's going to be even harder to deport them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So maybe let's not do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't do it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, scrap it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scrap it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scrap, scrap.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, you know, maybe -- maybe we'll just talk about that later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: "Saturday Night Live" poking some fun at Donald Trump and provoking a new Tweet from Trump this morning, "I watched parts of "Saturday Night Live" last night. It is a totally one-sided biased show. Nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?"
Trump may not like it, but they raise a valid question -- will he follow through on those campaign promises or will he chart an independent course and work with Congressional Democrats?
I put that question to the Senate minority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, when we sat down this week.
We started our conversation about the Democrats' huge loss on election night.
SCHUMER: Once you lose an election like that, you look it straight in the eye -- you don't flinch, you don't blink, and you try to examine what you did wrong.
We did not have a strong, bold economic message. We sort of nibbled around the edges. And not just a message, but a platform. And that's what we need. And that's what I aim to do as leader.
We're going to have a very, very strong and bold economic platform and message.
RADDATZ: What's the message?
SCHUMER: We shouldn't just do a little thing about college, we should make college affordable for everybody and make sure that everyone gets out of college debt-free. We have to -- we shouldn't just say we'll change the trade laws a little bit, we need dramatic change in the trade laws. We should close all of these loopholes, (INAUDIBLE) and other things.
Now many of these issues actually, Donald Trump supported in the campaign. We're going to challenge him to work with us on those issues and not work -- go against them and break his promise to the blue collar people, because the Republican leadership or the Republican establishment doesn't like them.
RADDATZ: The Republicans now have both chambers of Congress, the presidency, the majority of statehouses and the majority of governors.
SCHUMER: Yes, I don't...
RADDATZ: Isn't that not a -- isn't that a mandate?
SCHUMER: Look, as you know, Democrats got a majority of the popular vote, Hillary did, so it's not a mandate. And when he's opposed to our values, we're going to go after him tooth and nail.
For instance, we're not going to let him repeal Dodd-Frank or the -- the -- the rules we put in place to limit Wall Street. They're going to regret the day they tried to repeal the ACA.
So when we oppose Trump on values or if his presidency takes a dark, divisive turn, we're going to do it tooth and nail.
RADDATZ: Trump rode this populist wave with anger against elites and big banks.
RADDATZ: And I know you take pride in your middle class neighborhood, but some look at you as representing Wall Street. You've raised a lot of money from Wall Street over the years.
Are you really the right leader at this time?
SCHUMER: I believe I am. And the day after Harry Reid said he wasn't running, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders supported me. So did the more conservative members of our caucus. And I take they believe that I will -- I am going to focus like a laser on the middle class and those trying to get there.
RADDATZ: I want to know what your relationship is with Mr. Trump. I'm sure you know him.
SCHUMER: Well, I do.
RADDATZ: You're both -- you're both New Yorkers. He gave more than $8,000 to your campaign.
SCHUMER: Yes. Yes. Look, I know him. We were at meetings together. But I don't know him very well. I know more about him from his presidential campaign, which I found disappointing in a whole lot of ways.
My hope is with Donald Trump is what President Obama said, that the presidency is a sobering -- I think those were President Obama's words -- experience and he will rise to the occasion.
But if he doesn't, you know, he's going to find the Democrats holding his feet to the fire.
RADDATZ: Schumer says they'll hold his feet to the fire, but Donald Trump is already reaching out to him, Tweeting just this morning, "I have always had a good relationship with Chuck Schumer. He is far smarter than Harry Reid and has the ability to get things done. Good news."
Let's take all this and the rest of the week's news to our Powerhouse Roundtable, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, ABC News contributor and senior ESPN writer, LZ Granderson, Bloomberg national political reporter, Jennifer Jacobs, and the host of NPR's "Morning Edition," Steve Inskeep.
Welcome to you all.
And I want to ask you all what do these early appointments say to you about a Trump administration, Matthew?
MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they say to me that he is not going to exercise leadership humbly in this. He's going to be -- stick to what he campaigned on. It looks like almost every single one of his appointments weren't about reaching across a diverse America, that he might not have gotten voted for him, and as Chuck Schumer said, a plurality of the country voted for Hillary Clinton. He doesn't seem to care about that in this.
I take, in the end, we're going to have to judge Donald Trump on the actions he takes. I think most Americans are open to his leadership. It's not surprising that has put these people in place, because they basically follow where he is. But we're going to have to judge on the actions post-January 20th.
RADDATZ: And LZ, Trump met with one of his harshest critics, Mitt Romney.
What -- what does that tell you?
And what does it tell you about Mitt Romney?
What -- why would he go there if he doesn't get a cabinet seat?
LZ GRANDERSON, ESPN & CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I was joking with Matthew, I thought Chris Christie won the award for the big butt kisser in terms of dealing with Donald Trump and here comes Mitt Romney. It's like how do you hold a huge press conference, go out and find someone like Evan McMullin to run against him in Utah and then, a week later, you're kissing the ring, which is exactly what it looked like from an optics perspective.
So I think it says a lot more about Mitt Romney who he isn't, more so than who Donald Trump is.
RADDATZ: And -- and why do you think he'd do it?
Why does -- why would any...
GRANDERSON: -- why does anyone think...
DOWD: I think Mitt Romney...
GRANDERSON: -- office like that?
DOWD: I think Mitt Romney cares about the country and he cares about the presidency. I would be very -- so I wasn't surprised that he went. I would be shocked if he took a position in the Trump administration.
RADDATZ: OK, Steve, a top editor who worked with Steve Bannon, Trump's pick for his chief strategist and a very controversial figure, told you this week that his former colleague has no prejudices.
Will Bannon's association with the so-called alt-right be a negative here?
STEVE INSKEEP, NPR: It's -- it's there and it's real and it's part of the conversation. There was a convention of alt-right people, white supremacists, whatever you want to label them, in Washington this very week. That is part of the conversation. And you're correct that people who know Bannon, who've spent time with Bannon, say that he doesn't seem to be an overt racist, but he's also someone who, in interviews, has talked about embracing the dark side of how there is power in the dark side of the argument.
And this is a guy who wants to break a lot of china. And...
RADDATZ: And what is that -- you're talking about "The Hollywood Reporter" interview, which was pretty fascinating in saying Darth Vader, Cheney, Satan...
INSKEEP: These are the comparisons he made, yes.
RADDATZ: So who is Steve Bannon?
INSKEEP: I don't know the man personally and I'm going to have to wait and find out. I don't think that a lot of people did know Steve Bannon or had known his persona. And this gets back to something that Matt, you pointed out. I'm not sure that even though there was so much attention paid to Donald Trump during the campaign that there was really attention paid to what he would do when he would govern.
And when I interviewed across the country a lot of voters, including people who voted for Trump, there were people who would look at different statements that he made and say, ah, I don't know if I support that, but I don't think he's really going to do it anyway. I don't think he really means that.
INSKEEP: We're finding out that he actually did mean a lot of what he said.
RADDATZ: And Jennifer, there's been a lot of talk, of course, about Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, very powerful, very influential with his father-in-law.
Do you see him joining the administration and what kind of difference does that make?
Does Donald Trump really need him there?
JENNIFER JACOBS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: I think it's inevitable. I think that Donald Trump leans on his son-in-law so much that it's just -- it would be, you know, impossible for him to not, you know, be advising him and -- and asking him for his opinions.
But with Steve Bannon, he is Donald Trump's chief idea guy. So that's really the guy to watch. He's the one who's going to be whispering in Trump's ear. I mean he's just a fascinating guy.
He was enlisted in the Navy, a Navy sailor. He graduated from Harvard Business. He went on to make millions at Goldman Sachs and in investment banking. This is a guy who makes a -- a Cafe Americano every single morning with five shots of espresso in it. He is often up until midnight.
INSKEEP: Not that there's anything wrong with that much caffeine...
JACOBS: Not that's there's anything...
INSKEEP: I'll just mention (INAUDIBLE).
RADDATZ: The man who gets up at 2:00 every morning.
JACOBS: I know his allies think that the left is underestimating him, that the left spends a lot of -- is spending a lot of time right now casting him as this evil character, as -- as someone who's racist.
And who knows whether he is or not?
But meanwhile, he's plotting behind the scenes, you know, to bring jobs?
He's all about bringing capital to the American cities and this big infrastructure plan. So I know that -- I think he almost appreciates that the left underestimates him.
RADDATZ: And that's really what I want to ask you about that I asked General Hayden about, too. He's looking at a lot of people who have been in uniform. All these generals. You've got Mike Flynn. You've got Jim Mattis. You've got -- he's -- Bannon has experience in the military. Pompeo was at West Point.
What is -- why all the people in the military?
DOWD: Well, one, I think he likes to surround himself with people that enhances his stature, right. It goes totally against obviously what he said during the primaries which was the generals don't know anything. I know so much better. OK, oh by the way, the general is in the room now.
I think that -- and I want to touch on something really pointed in this is you said it earlier in the show. I think this is not the settling of a battle, but it's actually the enhancing of a battle that's going to exist in America regardless who Donald Trump puts in. You saw on election day the country have a split decision on where they wanted to go, whether they wanted to be a transformative country or a reformative country. Donald Trump represented going backwards. All his appointments represented a time, let's go back to a previous time.
We had an election day of one candidate get the popular vote, one candidate get the electoral college. We had candidates on election day who weren't able to appeal to either side. One was a urban candidate, one was a rural, small town candidate.
We had both political parties on election day who are unpopular. We had both candidates who were disliked and distrusted on election day and now we're set I think for this immense battle of where we are as a country that I don't think is going to be settled in the next two or next four years. I think we have a generational battle ahead of what country we are.
RADDATZ: And LZ, on that note, 100 days, what do you think he gets done in the first 100 days? There's a fascinating piece by Dan Balz in The Washington Post this post this morning talking about Trump who will be the first truly independent president. What does that mean? And what does that mean for him the first 100 days?
GRANDERSON: Well, I mean it's funny to try to characterize him as a conservative, because we all know he's been in the public eye now for more than 30 years. He's not a true conservative, he's not a Democrat, he will be independent, he will be making things up as he goes along and he'll leaning on people to kind of help him fill in the blanks once he's made these things and these statements.
The first 100 days he's definitely going to attack the Affordable Care Act, right. That's what the congress definitely wants to do. And he's probably going to go at it. The question is will he be able to manipulate doing so in a way that doesn't disenfranchise so many more millions of Americans? What are they, 30 million American now are on the Affordable Care Act?
And there are other laws that conservatives do like such as you can keep your kid on until they're 25, pre-existing conditions, these are a lot of nuanced things about the Affordable Care Act he's got to figure out how to handle while he takes care of that.
And the other thing, of course, is immigration. I don't know if the wall is going to go up in the first 100 days, but maybe some design plans.
RADDATZ: Jennifer, I want you to put your old hat on at the Des Moines register. You were there 12 years. And look at what we're talking about, what the country is talking about, what Donald Trump is talking about right now.
And view it from those rural areas or from the heartland. Do they look at the press and see we're whining about him not having a press pool. They look at these appointments how?
JACOB: I think what they're going to want is they're going to want Trump to stick with his campaign promises. They're going to be looking for him to be this revolutionary who goes in and smashes Washington and replaces it with something. They're going to be looking for him to build the wall.
I do know that the transition team does have a plan written up for building a wall using fees and not involving the Mexican government. Whether Trump actually reads that and does something with it who knows but it's there.
You know, they want him to be a law and order candidate. They want him to build a strong military. I mean, I just know that those Iowa Republicans who voted for him will be watching for him to follow through on these campaign promises.
DOWD: The question becomes, though, do their lives economically change? Does a 55-year-old person in Dubuque, Iowa, a guy or a gal, a 55-year-old person, does their life economically fundamentally change? And that's a real question whether Donald Trump can actually do something about.
RADDATZ: That's something they will all be tracking no matter where they are in the country.
And, Steve, I want some comments about the Hamilton scolding. What did you make of that?
INSKEEP: You know, let me back away from the firestorm that was ignited when Hamilton -- when Mike Pence goes to Hamilton. He's booed a little bit, he gets this statement from the cast and then Trump tweets about it. Everybody is taking advantage of that in different ways.
But on a basic level, it's just fine that the vice president-elect, my home state governor, went to Hamilton, saw that very diverse cast, saw that very well reviewed program that's based on American history and it's fine that they let him know what they thought, and fine they let him know what their concerns are.
And it is a reminder of what Matthew pointed out and what Schumer pointed out, Trump won the election but lost the popular vote. There's more than a million and a half more people who voted for Clinton than for Trump and the challenge for this administration is whether they can governor the entire country and get the confidence of the entire country or battle with half the country.
RADDATZ: OK, I'm putting up my pen and it's very appropriate because this is what our friend Gwen Ifill used to do when she was about out of time. We'll be right back with a tribute to our friend and colleague, Gwen Ifill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GWEN IFILL, JOURNALIST: And listening to me, you would think that I have become cynical about it all, after all the years I've spent in Washington, but I am not, skeptical perhaps, that's an occupational hazard. But I am not cynical. You see, cynics think that they know all the answers already, and then they stop listening. Skeptics always have more questions to ask, but we are willing to be persuaded to the honesty of an alternate point of view even if we don't share it.
Is it possible to be skeptical and optimistic and ambitious, open, excited to possibility, and willing to change the world as well? I think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: That's our friend from PBS, Gwen Ifill, who we lost this week to cancer at age 61. She was the moderator of Washington Week, the anchor of PBS NewsHour and a favorite here on our round table. So, to honor her distinguished career we wanted to pay tribute today with some thoughts from each of you -- Steve.
INSKEEP: Here's something I think most people did not realize. Gwen moderated a presidential debate early this year in February, and almost nobody except the people closest to her new that she was already suffering with a disease that would kill her and she did that debate anyway and nobody watching on television knew the difference.
She was tough. She had integrity and I'll miss her.
JACOBS: I saw her last about a month and a half ago. She had asked me to be on her Washington Week show the day that the Access Hollywood tapes had come out and she had a lot to say about that. But in the green room, I mean, she was just so vibrant. And what was really on her mind that day, she had a friend who was visiting from Rome and I know she appreciated having her there.
But what was on her mind was the opening of the National African-American History Museum. She was so excited about that. And she had just been invited to some event with Michelle Obama at the White House and to be there with the first black first lady was something also.
RADDATZ: And the First Lady was at her memorial service yesterday.
DOWD: I've been on the same side as her as with the media and opposite side of her when she was preparing for a debate that she moderated with Dick Cheney. She was an unbelievable journalist. Lots of integrity. But I recall they call Gandhi -- Mahatma. Gwen Ifill is Mahatma, she is a great soul.
RADDATZ: LZ, very quickly.
GRANDERSON: She was a great mentor for me. And I just have to quickly share this story. I ran into her in Cleveland during the RNC. She's there, not many minorities, eating a bowl of chicken wings. I go over to her. And I go, girl, what are you doing eating all these chicken wings around these white people. And we had a good laugh. And she said I couldn't help it they were so good.
And she just reminded me to always bring your true authentic self no matter what the environment is.
RADDATZ: And that smile.
And my own final thought on Gwen, she had a moral clarity, intellectual rigor, and a passion for the profession of journalism, not punditry, not opinion, but fair, tough reporting.
We'll be right back.
RADDATZ: That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT". Have a great day and a very, very happy Thanksgiving.