tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN December 17, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
newsroom. i'm poppy harlow. at any moment, donald trump will speak at a rally in alabama, the final stop of his thank you tour. we'll take you there live. this comes at a time of heightened tension in the united states. let's begin with china. the pentagon is waiting for beijing to return a u.s. drone it seized in international waters off the coast of the philippines. china says the united states hyped the issue and promises to give the drone back. trump tweeted china steals u.s. navy research drone in international waters, rip it is out and takes to china in an unpoliu unprecedented a little. and then kremlin with this message, prove it or stop talking says the kremlin. trump for his part continues to it is miss the assessment of u.s. untintelligencuntil agains
is responsible for the campaign hacking. let's begin with ryan nobles in alabama, site of the rally which is about to begin. do we have any indication of what trump will say as it appear takens to china and russia? >> reporter: we really don't. and for the most part on these thank you tour speeches, the president-elect has stayed away from a lot of the dense policy battles that have played out around him. these are largely been just an opportunity for him to thank his supporters that have been with him from the very beginning. and there is no place better that demonstrates that than mobile, alabama. many of the speakers have talked about the rally that was held here where some 30,000 people came as to this very football stadium to get behind donald trump. and at that time people thought that it was out of the ordinary is for him to come to a state like alabama, of which a primary was still months away, no votes had been cast anywhere, and this was a state that was expected to be in republican hands.
but it demonstrated how much passionate support was building to donald trump and that's something that he built upon leading to the election victory. so i don't expect him to say too much about russia or too much about china. instead, talk about his election victory and then talk about what he will do as president. but i can tell you this crowd behind me is pretty excited to hear the president-elect speak here in the next few minutes. >> ryan nobles live in mobile. we'll go to the president-elect as soon as he begins speaking. meantime president obama vowing retaliation against russia for the election related hacking. the president suggesting without directly perhaps pointing the finger or pretty much saying russian president vladimir putin had to know about it. listen. >> not much happens in russia without vladimir putin.
this is a pretty hierarchical operation. last i checked, there is not a lot of debate and democratic deliberation particularly when it comes to policies directed at the united states. >> let's bring in our political panel, ryan lits is back. also back with us, becky woodruff. guys, as you well know, the president chooses his words very carefully. and he didn't directly say putin did it, but here you have the leader of the free world and nuclear power pointing his finger at the leaderer of another nuclear power and essentially saying how could he not have known. and he's promising, ryan, retaliation, but says that the american public might not know it's happening. with one month left in his presidency, is there anything that you think president obama can do to assure the american about public that, yes, we will do something and the man coming
after me, president-elect trump, will fall through on that against russia? >> well, a couple things. one, they really have been saying that putin knew since october. if you look at the october statement that the intelligence community put out, it also used that language about the highest levels of government. and josh earnest made it clear the other gay, white house press secretary, and obama in that clip all but saying it's putin. you don't run a foreign intelligence separation against the united states without poo tin knowing about it, right? this is not something -- some intelligence agents would casually do in russia. so we noe putin knew and dregtsed this. on the retaliation, it doesn't make sense to me if it's structu strictly a covert retaliation. one of the major reasons to retaliate is deter rans. if the other states see that the
united states does nothing, the lesson that they will learn is that they can also monkey around in our elections, steal secrets in fr political parties and release them with political objectives. and that is very dangerous. at the same time, as a lot of the obama folks have pointed out to reporters, you don't want -- it has to be expense scom ment . and the president and president-elect disagree about the fundamentals here.com comme. and the president and president-elect disagree about the fundamentals here.om commen. and the president and president-elect disagree about the fundamentals here.m commens. and the president and president-elect disagree about the fundamentals here. commensu. and the president and president-elect disagree about the fundamentals here. donald trump will go from being the beneficiary of the russian hacks to the target of these russian hacks once he's president. so i think we all have to hope that he takes this a little bit more seriously and that obama who does seem to have been developing a decent relationship with trump can sort of bring him along aphelp him understand
that, yes, partisans are using this to point out that trump's -- that there is an asterisks next to the election, but he needs to put that aside. >> bets city, the fact that we not heard the president-elect directly condemning russia for this, or putin at all, not on twitter, not in any of the remarks that he's made, and the fact that he has questioned u.s. intelligence agencies who by the way the director of the cia had to come out this week with an internal memo and say look, we're all on the same page pretty of the fbi, dnism and us, the cia. how much -- what should the american public read into that? because he was very quick to go after china today. >> i think probably one of the mink ma main things is that things will change dramatically. and the change in tone between
obama and trump isn't just in terms of trump refusing to condemn russian hacks. this past summer when trump had one of if not his last big major press conference, trump actually said if russia has hillary clinton's e-mails, i hope they will release them. he all but said that he supported having some sort of hack. that's extraordinary. >> he did say we should not have taken it literally when he said that, i guess it was in jest. so speaking of china in the context of all of this, ryan i mean he jumped on china because they took the u.s. naval drone. and here's what he tweeted. china steals united states navy drone, ripped it out of the water, takes it to china. what is interesting, he's tweeted nothing like this about russia or putin. why do you think it is that he is taking such a harder line on china than he is on russia? i mean it's completely opposite
tactics. >> he has said in the past that to the extent that he has a coherent foreign policy with respect to china and are your sha, trump has said in the past that one of the things he learned was that you never want russia and china to get too close, that historically that's been bad for the rest of the world when china and russia have a close partnership. i don't know if that is exactly what is driving this, but he clearly has expressed admiration for the way vladimir putin has run russia. and he has never had much of a kind word to say about china and has blamed china for a lot of what he sees as economic problems in the united states. even talking about currency manipulation and unfair trading practices. and he has people around him who obviously sort of maneuvered him into making a very out of the gate a very strong statement on taiwan by taking the phone call from the president.
and, you know, it's hard to say what happens with this underwater vessel is related to the tit for tat that has been going on between china and trump, but he seems to be okay with escalating the back and forth and i don't personally see much of a strategy behind it yet. >> i have to leave it there. ryan, betsy, nice to have you both. thanks so much. coming up, president-elect donald trump set to speak live this hour in alabama. the latest stop on his thank you tour before inauguration. it is the last time that he will be wrapping up the thank you tour. and also trump's business partners, some with checkered or even criminal past, one of them called notoriously corrupt. our investigation into that. and the u.n. secretary general says allepo is now a synonym for hell. just ahead, what is happening to the cease fire and the fate of the thousands still trapped,
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welcome back. president-elect donald trump brushing off the idea that untank link himself from his business interests is complicated. he tweeted this on thursday. the media tries so hard to make my move to the chowhite house s complex when actually it is not. in just 34 days, trump will take the oath of office and a new cnn
investigation reveals he already face as conflict of interest in three different ways. drew griffin reports. >> reporter: donald trump's companies spread across the globe, about 150 different limited liability corporations and companies that have had dealings in 25 countries according to a cnn analysis. but the focus is on ten countries. donald trump has licenses named for real estate deals and cut deals with international businessmen that have attracted controversy. some have been under criminal investigation, others have deep ties to their own governments. all of them could present a conflict for the president-elect. turkey, trump has licenses named at two towers owned by the media conglomerate founded by a billionaire indicted for an alleged fuel smuggling scheme. and in 2009, his company was slapped with a $2.5 billion fine for alleged unpaid taxes. that fine later reduced to $700
million through an appeal. his representatives believe he's been targeted because miss news outlets have been critical of turkey's government and push for freedom of the press. in a statement, he called the charges absurd. trump's partner on golf course developments in the united arab emirates was found guilty in egypt in the case involving allegations of government corruption. and he eventually settled out of court, but the canadian government confirmed that it froze his assets until 2014. that didn't seem to bother the president-elect. it goes on and on. in a country with a history of corruption and human rights abuses, the trump organization just confirmed to cnn that it's now terminated its deal for a trump branded hotel. in indonesia, he's partnering with a will deal with on day one. >> there is a danger because the foreign leaders, were foreign
business people will be considering it as dealing with president and the president's family. so they will be making decisions knowing that if they help the president's children will, they are helping the president and they may get something for it. >> reporter: a potential problem that concerns former ambassador and former can deputy national security adviser james jeffrey, especially since trump appears to be keeping his business intact and in the family. >> if you do not tdivest yoursef of all foreign or domestic holdings, you open yourself up obviously to these kind of questions. >> reporter: questions that will dog the trump administration everyone time a decision is made concerning any country, a trump tower, the trump project or trump golf course. it will be up to trump to prove he is putting america and not his interest first. and up to the rest of us to make sure. >> essentially a president can
do what he or she wants to do, can have the assets, can have the relationships and it's up to the american people, the media and congress in the end to pass judgment. >> drew griffin, thank you so much. this week donald trump postponed a scheduled news conference that he was set to have to talk about how he would be untieing himself from his businesses before he takes office. he did tweet that he will do it before he's inaugurated. back with me now, ryan lizza and kat katie. nice to have you both on. if we run through what we know so far, we know that he has said that his children specifically his two eldest sons will run his business. we also know that recently don jr. interviewed candidates for the secretary of interior. eric trump sat in on at least one meeting with mitt romney. ivanka trump sat in on that meeting with japanese prime
minister abe. and her husband jared kushner handled invitations with all the tech ceos. caylee, how is that a separation of his business and his presidency to be or do you think that it's different because it's the transition? >> i do think it's different because it's his transition. trump gave no indication during the campaign that he intended to distance himself from his children, they're now helping with the transition. that being said, there have been indications that the two sons will run the business, they will not sit in on any meetings starting january 20th, whereas ivanka and jared kushner will take a role in the administration and they will not have a role in the business. so i think that clear separation will happen when donald trump officially becomes -- >> wouldn't it be cleaner to just not have had the people that are going to republican un businesses at all involved in the decisions who will be in the
cab sunset. >> cabinet? >> you could argue that, but i think most of the americans are fine with them having some role, but not in the administration. >> i think that she makes an interesting point because, you know, the president-elect before has said people knew about all of my businesses and my hands in all these businesses and the american pooublic knew that and they elected pea a ed me anyway. do you feel the media makes a bigger deal than the american public believes it is? >> no, you can look at the polls when the question is asked accurately, the public wants a more cleaner separation. during the campaign remember he said that he would put everything in the a blind trust and frankly i don't think we in the media -- he hasn't done a press conference in a long time, so we haven't had the opportunity to ask about it, but it probably was not as big a
story as it should have been, perhaps partly because everyone thought hillary clinton was going to win. but his kids are official members of the transition. so this would be the equivalent if you just flip it around because sometimes you have to sort of look at it from the other angle, this is -- imagine if all of the top people who run the clinton foundation were now the top people running the transition for hillary clinton. there would very obviously be outrage about that because as everyone in washington know, it's not just about serving in goechl, it's about making the decisions about who gets placed in government. so arguably the transition period now and the staffing of the government is far, far more important for the trump kids when they go off and run this business than if they were joining the government in the first place. that's why transitions always attract lobbyists. >> it's an interesting point. don't you think that you and
other big supporters of the trk if this was the reverse would be up in arms if folks from the clinton foundation were leading the transition team? >> we would be up in arms and the reason is because of the press department thcedent that foundation gave us? go back to when she went through the process of nomination for the secretary of state. she was grilled about how her work would be separated from the state department. she assured us there would be a wall and that wall seems to have been broken down and we saw the revolving door of people getting access of people who donated for the foundation. so there was history there. we don't have take history here. donald trump should be afforded the same opportunity secretary of state clinton was afforded because the president is exempt from conflict of interest laws. >> which is a fascinating odd law that the president and vice
president can basically make money from their office. but no one else in government can. guys, thank you very much. wish i had more time. coming up, we'll turn to syria. anguish from the innocent in allepo. thousands of civilians caught in the middle as the evacuations stop and start amid a hail of gunfire. we're live on the syrian border with the new deal trying to get people out of allepo. oh, that's lovely... so graceful. the corkscrew spin, flawless... ...his signature move, the flying dutchman. poetry in motion. and there it is, the "baby bird". breathtaking. a sumo wrestler figure skating? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money heather saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
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humanitarian crisis is more dire by the hour. this week thousands of civil pians, families and children remain trapped freezing inside eastern allepo. they wait and they pray to be evacuated. the forces of assad are on the bripg of retaking allepo, this as john kerry causes the violence up conscionable and the u.n. called it a complete meltdown of humanity. yesterday president obama was asked if he in part feels responsible. >> there are places around the world where horrible things are happening and because of my office, because i'm president of the united states, i feel responsible. i ask myself every single day is there something i could do that would save lives and make a difference. and spare some child who doesn't deserve to suffer.
>> remember these faces? tease are t these are the faces of the victims. this 5-year-old bloodied after surviving an attack on his home. and this toddler who died as his family fled the violence. he washed up on the shore. and these are just two of the somehows of innocent children who have only known war for their entire existence. hundreds of thousands have been killed over the five year civil war in syria. muhammad lila is live in turkey. they are trying to evacuate people from eastern allepo, allepo clearly right on the brink of being overtaken by the assad regime. what is the status of the evacuations at this point? >> reporter: well, we talked to the international red cross office and they told us that the green bus that is people are being evacuated on, that are fueled and in allepo and ready
to go, but the red cross tells us thats evacuations are not yet taking praise, they also tell us that they don't have the security guarantees that they need to be on the ground and keep their staff safe both from the rebel fighters inside eastern part of allepo as well as the militias and assad military. so the conditions right now appear as though we know that there has been an agreement for the evacuations, but we don't know when the evacuations will take place of course when the red cross complaint be there because it's not safe enough, certainly not a good sign. >> and they have seen so many agreements just completely fall apart. you've spoken with some of the people who have been able to escape allepo. what are they telling you? >> reporter: well, they are sharing just horrific, horrific stories of what they had to go through. i spoke with a man who was lying on a rickety hospital bed, he was bandaged and his 6-year-old son was lying down next to him and he talked about how an air
strike had killed his entire family and the only family member he had left was his 6-year-old son. and it's tough to think about, but he had to tell his 6-year-old son that his mother was dead. one of the things that never came out in some of that footage that was aired is that that 6-year-old boy was crying so loud that you could hear him crying in the next room. and for us as reporters and journalists, of course we report on this, but it's a living nightmare for thousands of civilians in eastern allepo as well as in areas where the militants are firing more information mortar shems. and even once they're evacuated, syria is still a massive war zone, so they are being evacuated to a place where they might not be guaranteed anymore safety than they had in the place that they just left. >> it is unbelievable. muhammad lila, thank you so much. coming up, also big news this week when it comes to donald trump's pick for
it is hardly surprising that president-elect trump would go outside of the mainstream, but perhaps no pick has been more provocative than david friedman. the 57-year-old lawyer has no experience in diplomacy and best known for his controversial views on middle eastern politics. he supports moving the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. he also leveled scathing criticism of president obama's handling of the iran nuclear deal telling a news outlet that the blat tapt anti-semitism
emanating from our president is palpable and disturbing. aaron david miller joining me, so nice to have you. you've written extensively on this pick. if confirmed, he still has to go through the confirmation process, david friedman is clearly signaling plans to turn away decades of u.s. policy towards israel from both democratic and republican administrations. receipt tore vehicle one thing. implementation is another thing. what do you expect the actual implications on the ground to be? >> i must say, i've been a part of transitions from rs to rs, ds to rs and rs to ds and i've never seen a pick like this. much will depend on the policy parameters. if what is attributed to mr. freiedman in terms of arguing against a two state solution, settlement should be legalized,
west bank should be next, if those turn into american policy positions representing a fundamental break with both republicans and democrats over the last 20 years, then i think it will have an impact on the ground. >> this is a guy who was an adviser to donald trump on israel during the campaign. he has been tappeded by the president-elect. is there any reason why we should believe that those policies will not be the policies of the next president? >> usually american policy is not determined by an individual ambassador. in fact in the case of u.s. ambassadors to israel, presidents have a way of communicating messages to prime ministers to national security staff or through the state department and very often the annual bass tore is bypassed. i think the one concrete concern is the issue of the embassy. and i think in the transition statement issued announcing mr. friedman's appointment, he was quoted as saying it will be a real honor to represent the united states from the embassy
in jerusalem. that may well be initially the most concrete manifestation of a change in policy. the other matter, two state solution, donald trump wants to be a negotiator. he thinks that he can fix the problem. those are in many respects, that remains to be seen. and again, i think it's an ambassadorial appointment that represents a decision on the part of the trump administration to break decisively at least symbolically with previous administrations and to send a signal that the u.s./israeli relationship will improve in the wake of the eight years between n netanyahu and obama. >> when you look big picture for what it means for the united states and its allies in the middle east, how should we expect saudi arabia for example
to respond to this pick and if some of the rhetoric is actually something that the president-elect does support and does try to implement, how about saudi arabia and the other allies react? >> it's a paradox. israel's relations with egyptians, with saudis, with the emrat t emiratis are probably closer now. injecting the jerusalem issue into this as a time when mr. trump is trying to create an p anti-iran yap coalition and perhaps even pursue a regional approach to peace making is going to screw this up big time. and i suspect it's broader than just moving the embassy. the israeli/palestinian peace process is dead, but still resonates greatly among america's security partners and allies. and i think this appointment will both confuse and confound key arab states.
>> netanyahu has been more open to a two state solution than david friedman, correct? >> yes, this puts mr. friedman well to the right of mr. netanyahu. in fact on the issue of annexing the west bank, that is a position that actually contradicts current israeli government policy and puts the prime minister in a difficult position because before he could use the united states to restrain the right by basically saying we can't do this because the americans will become angry. right now it appears as if the right in israel has a green light to pursue any number of policies that i think will make mr. netanyahu very unhappy. >> aaron david miller, nice to have you on. thank you. >> thank you. coming up, the future first daughter -- before we get to that, guess what you're looking at? mobile, alabama, the final stop on the president-elect's thank you tour. there you see him. looks like he's walking out on to the stage, so let's stick with this for a minute. obviously this is significant. alabama is where he got a big
endorsement from senator jeff sessions, the first sitting u.s. senator to endorse then candidate trump. now his pick for the next attorney general of the united states. we've seen the president-elect making this thank you tour over the past few weeks, going to north carolina, going to pennsylvania, now in mobile, alabama. i think the big question now is will he directly address the issues with china right now and also with what president obama said pointing the finger at bu putin for directing the hack of the election. will he address those things or just stick to those things that he's said. let's listen in. >> thank you, thank you. thank you very much.
this is where it all began. people came out and it was like this, it was packed and incredible and people said something is going on there. that was the beginning, wasn't it? that was the beginning. and if you remember being even though you don't have to vote for me, maybe four years we'll take a look, right? but you know what, i said i'm coming back to see you in alabama. right? and this is our last rally, our last stop and i just want to
that can the people thank the people of alabama and i want to start by wishing you a very merry christmas. merry christmas. but i'm here today for one reason and that is to thank the incredible people that i recognize so many of you. i have so many friends from alabama. but to thank the people of alabama, we are really the people that love this country, we have so many people that love this country all over. i went to a little victory tour but really they were thank you tours in pennsylvania, all over. but this is alabama and if you don't mind, we're thanking the people of alabama and we're thanking the people of the south. because, boy, did we do well. boy, did we do well in the south. i added that on, the people of the south. because i said if i throughout,
i think i'm going to move to alabama or someplace in the south. because we didn't win liking e on okay here, we won record setting. so i just want to thank you.on okay here, we won record setting. so i just want to thank you. this is our last stop and i'll tell you what, there is no better place to celebrate than right here, okay? so thank you. you propelled to victory a grass routes movement the likes of which the world frankly has never seen before. and you know if i was saying something that was slightly off, these very dishonest people up here, they would be correcting me. right? they would be correcting us. and because of the weather by the way, the buses are still pouring in, so i think we shouldn't wait. do you agree? so they're coming in. and we're just going -- you'll explain to them as they walk in we're having a great time,
right? but the incredible patriots of this stadium today defied the pundits, defied the polster and special interests and delivered a historic win for the american worker and for the american people. totally. i want to thank so many great people, but having franklin graham who was so instrumental, we won so big with evangelical christians. where is franklin? he's around. he's right there. what a great -- there he is. look at him. he works so hard. thank you, franklin. anybody that has anything do with the great bill ry graham, love. and that son is great. so thank you. and billy is doing well.
i mean he's 98 years old, but he's doing well. i also want to give a very special thank you to the pen and women of the united states military. incredible. incredible. because not only it we win with evangelicals by massive numbers, not by like two points, but by many point, but we won with military and with law enforcement big league. so we are in your debt and we will never ever let you down. we will honor your service and sacrifice take begins with restoring respect for the american flag, right? the american flag. which has been taking abuse lately. i can only speak for myself, but i don't like it, okay? i don't like it. and we'll finally take care of
our great receiveterans. so amazing. so amazing the veterans. and we will be naming somebody she, very soon to head up the v.a. and we will get it taken care of, folks. it's time. it's time. people that come into the country illegally, people that come into the country and cause problems, they are taken care of better than our vets in many cases. yeah. time to take care of our vets. >> build that wall, build that wall! >> do not worry, we'll build the wall, okay? don't even think about it. we're also going to rebuild our
badly depleteded military. we have the greatest people on earth, our military is depleted. but we will be smart with how we spend our money. we're not going to spend $4.2 billion on air force one. is that okay? i mean, we all like beautiful aircraft, but boeing will do a much less expensive job than that. they ordered a new plane, they're in the process. and i said how are you doing. well, there are massive cost overruns. and i said no, there's not going to be cost overruns. so you will see it. and we got in sort of toward the end, but that's okay. we got in in time. we got it in time. but no $4.2 billion airplane. america will be a strong nation again. but we will also be a fair and just nation.
there is a very, very special guest, okay? and i want to bring that guest on stage in a moment. he is someone who cares deeply about justice, who believes all people are equal in the eyes of the law. he is a great, great man. he is an alabama native. he could have run for the rest of his life. nobody even wants to run against him. he spent 15 years as a federal prosecutor, served as the alabama state attorney general and represented you in the united states senate for 20 years, including 20 years on the judiciary committee. and people don't even know because we think of him as a senator. he was a great, great legendary prosecutor. a lot of people forgot that. he appeared right here 16 months
ago and put on a make america great again hat. he was the first senator to endorse me and really the first major endorsement that i had and he never endorsed a presidential candidate or very few candidates before, but he saw what i had to say and he saw the response from the people of alabama. he's someone i'm very proud to call a friend and a man i've chosen to be and by the way this is a great honor for the state of alabama, to be the next attorney general of the united states. alabama senator jeff sessions. come occupy, jeff. come on up, jeff. come on up. come on up, jeff. come on up.
>> thank you mr. president-elect. what a great honor it is to have you back in my hometown, mobile, alabam i do remember that event 16 months ago. how many of you were here on that day? it was an eye-opening event for the entire world and certainly the united states political establishment. i don't think there's any doubt that for your effort and your
campaign mobile played a historic role in that momentum that built. there's no doubt about it. that, i think is where people begin to see that this was more than a normal campaign but a movement, and i think the american people have spoken in so many ways in this election. thank you for the honor you've given me, the opportunity to perhaps have a different role in my life that would occur. i would give my honest and best effort every single day to make you proud, the american people proud, to serve people with equality and justice. but i want to tell you, this country needs hope. they believe that you have the ability to lead us in a new way. i think they are encouraged by the new and fresh cabinet you're
assembling, putting people in there that have the dedication. [ cheers and applause ] i want to say thank you to mayor simpson and his team and the city, to the county and all those who have helped make this possible now and last time. it's been a really great thing there. so, mr. president-elect, thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you, the opportunity to see you develop as a candidate, the opportunity to participate in a movement that i believe can help make america great again. god bless you. [ cheers and applause ]
he's an amazing man. [ crowd shouting trump, trump, trump ] jeff is an amazing man and working with him i know we will make these incredible strides that our country has to make in restoring safety and justin for all of our people. and, again, alabama, i know because i get so many letters from the people in alabama in every form of communication, including tweets. [ laughter ] they are so proud. they are so proud of him. and we're proud of him. so thank you. thank you, jeff. fantastic. so great. you know, jeff talked a little bit about the election and his endorsement and i think -- if you want, you want me to discuss
that evening one more time because this will be it. should i? yes or no? because i could give you a beautiful rhetorical flowing speech and we can all fall asleep together, right or we can discuss it and this is our last stop, as i said. and i'm really here because i promised you during that wild day that we had in august, long time ago, it seems like a long time ago. and just a lot of things came out of that day and opened up the eyes of the media. even the media that dislikes us all. it opened up -- no, but it opened up their eyes. and it began to a certain extent here, it began on june 16th. remember the escalator, coming down the escalator with mylania and i talked about crime, i talked about borders and i talked about trade. nothing much changed. we just got more severe and freeze warningly things got
worse. things got worse. and it made more and more of an impact. so when i announced we had a big primary. we had a total of 17 people. and i remember they did a report one time and it was interesting but they did a report and it was about three or four months into the campaign and they said trump has four months of experience doing this. and my opponent had 236 years. right. [ laughter ] all right. 236. in other words you add up 25 years and 30 years and 20 years and it's going to start -- i will stay out here. the hell with the suit, right? i didn't know it rained in alabama. but, you know, rain is good luck, right? rain is good luck. so -- and i never liked this suit anyway so we'll throw it
away. but, it was an amazing -- it was really an amazing thing. so we did that and we got into the general and we all know what happened in the primaries. they say they were the meanest primaries in the history of elections in this country. and they were mean. they were nasty. and i generally got good support, ben carson and chris christie and a lot of other people supported. but -- and a lot ultimately most of them came around. a few didn't. a few came around right after the election but that's not quite the same thing. but we started off and it was amazing because that evening we were set up incorrectly by the media. they all said that texas was in play. they said georgia was in play. they said utah was in play. and they weren't in play. and i never thought they were in play. he shouted liars. only in alabama can we do that.
liars. but what happened is we tend to believe the media. we believe walter cronkite years ago, right. this is not walter cronkite any more. this is not the great walter cronkite. we tend to believe them. yet i go out and have crowds like this. you should see the crowd we had in pence and ohio and iowa, always a massive crowd and even after the election, this is just a thank you from me to you and the folks. but to have crowds -- [ cheers and applause ] we had a crowd last night that the manager said was 30,000 people. and i read "the palm beach post" tomorrow the one that just came out and there was a line in the second paragraph, now it was one of the biggest crowds that i've seen. you couldn't even see the end of
it. it was a field. actually a field last night, orlando. incredible. and i read "the palm beach post" today. it said donald trump spoke in front of hundreds of people. right? very dishonest. very, very dishonest. but that's okay. hundreds of people is not 25 or 30,000 people, do we agree with that. but they know. they know what they are doing. they all know what they are doing but i guess it didn't work because we're here together,ing right, folks? [ cheers and applause ] but we've been hearing and i've been hearing texas and i go to texas that would have these massive crowds. we had one crowd in texas that filled up a stadium. the line was so long and those are the people that didn't get in. the line was like 30 blocks long. it went all the way back to a highway in houston. i said how are we losing texas or tied in texas nuclear program anyway. they said texas is in play.
and as soon as the polls opened they go breaking news. donald trump wins the state of texas, right? donald trump wins. this is like immediately. we win georgia. we won utah. and did you see my competition in utah in this guy came out of nowhere. i mean my wife said trust me he's not doing well. but they had him even with me and they had me maybe not winning utah and, by the way, as soon as the real polls came out we won it in a massive landslide and that guy -- i don't know what he was trying to prove. all we're going to do is lose the united states supreme court potentially. okay. so let's assume the race was closer because we won by a lot. it wasn't even close. but let's assume -- let's assume we needed utah which, frankly, we thought we needed. we really thought we needed utah. let's assume we didn't win utah.
what does he gain? you know what he gains? i won't say the name of a magazine guy who works so hard, so many of these people misread us for two years. they misread us and they are still misreading us and i love it. i love it. they are still misreading us. so we won that. but then ohio came in. and we were almost ten points up in ohio. we were ten points, more than ten points up in iowa and iowa you never win like that, the republicans certainly. and so we won them by big numbers. and then we came down to florida and florida was even. florida was even that whole night, the big, big beautiful state. i love florida. and it's even. and then all of a sudden we hadn't hit the panhandle. anybody live in the panhandle? [ cheers and applause ] i love the panhandle.
and, you know, you had to see the people. they were so devastated. the media. the anchors. so they have been saying for months and months that trump is going to get absolutely killed. i remember three weeks before the election, one of them, i won't say the name, he said how is trump going to lead the rest of his life because this is one of the most devastating defeats. he'll suffer so badly. [ laughter ] and his whole career, wch