President Trump's possible deal with congressional Democrats on DACA and what Robert Mueller may be learning about Trump's business dealings, then, news from NIH on gene editing, regenerative medicine, and immunotherapy.
President-elect Donald Trump says he will nominate retired Marine Corps general James Mattis as his secretary of defense. Mattis will need a waiver from Congress in order to serve. During an election victory tour in Indiana, Trump praises the deal he struck with the Carrier corporation and warns companies who move operations overseas that they will face “consequences.” The FBI says the Ohio State attacker may have been inspired by al-Qaida. The U.S. economy added a 178,000 jobs last month. And the unemployment rate declines to the lowest level in nine years. Diane and a panel of journalists discuss the top domestic news stories of the week.
- Reid Wilson National correspondent, The Hill
- Lisa Desjardins Political director, PBS NewsHour
- Jeff Mason White House correspondent, Reuters
MS. DIANE REHMThanks for joining us. I'm Diane Rehm. President-elect Donald Trump strikes a deal with Carrier to keep half the 2,000 jobs here in the U.S. that would have been sent to Mexico. The unemployment rate drops to the lowest in nine years and North Carolina prosecutors say the police officer who killed Keith Lamont Scott will not face charges.
MS. DIANE REHMHere for the domestic hour of the Friday News Roundup, Reid Wilson of The Hill newspaper, Lisa Desjardins of the PBS NewsHour and Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters. And throughout the hour, we'll welcome your calls, questions, comments, 800-433-8850. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook or send us a tweet. And it's good to see all of you.
MR. JEFF MASONGood to be with you.
MS. LISA DESJARDINSGreat to be here.
MR. REID WILSONGood morning.
REHMAnd Lisa, we have a November jobs report, a very strong one.
DESJARDINSThat's right. The unemployment rate has now fallen to 4.6 percent. That's a very large drop within one month. It's down .3 percentage points and unemployment went up by almost 200,000 jobs. That's a good report. However, if you look deep down into the paragraphs of this report, we see really the longer term problem with this economy. Wages fell, payroll went down, just three cents on average, but that was decline after a good month in October.
DESJARDINSAnd, you know, for all this talk about jobs, we see the continued problem in this economy is really wages.
REHMHow important is that, Jeff?
MASONWell, it's important on several different levels. On a political level, it's a pretty nice way for President Obama to go out. Other than the bit about the wage growth, which is critical, going out at, you know, 4.6 percent unemployment, an 11-year record, it's -- it really justifies or will show that the president's record, as the White House continues to say, is solid on the economy. It is -- I mean, there are some questions about wage growth, as Lisa mentioned, and that was a big deal during the campaign, but all in all, politically, this is, at least for this White House, this is a solid day.
MASONThe one thing it is worth noting, though, is because of the strength of the economy and because of the unemployment rate and et cetera, it's likely that the Fed will probably raise interest rates. So that's something that we can look for probably later this month.
REHMSo that's coming next, Reid.
WILSONAnd the Fed meets December 13 and 14. They are concerned -- some members of the Fed have been concerned for a few months now about the rate of growth of the economy. An economy that grows too fast can lead to a worse down slope on the back end and so the Fed may act in the next few weeks to reduce rates. In fact, a lot of the analysts that I was reading this morning are pretty much convinced now that because of the strength of this jobs report, a rate hike is almost baked in.
WILSONAnd we see now, at least in the morning trading, that the Dow is down a little bit. Traders don't like it when the rates increase.
REHMAll right. Let's talk about the Trump team and the latest James Mattis for defense secretary. Tell us about him, Jeff.
MASONKnown as Mad Dog, President-elect Trump decided last night during his rally to say "secretly" just to the crowd...
REHMDon't tell anybody.
MASONKeep it amongst us, even though this is being broadcast on many networks that this is who my choice is for defense secretary. This is someone with a background on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a signal that a President Trump will move away from President Obama's sort of reliance on allies to check aggression by Russia in Europe, to check aggression by China in Asia. Also, choosing somebody who is very hawkish on Iran.
REHMWhich is what got him fired from the Obama administration.
DESJARDINSWhat stood out to me in looking into James Mattis yesterday was he came out and said something worth reading just in the last couple of months. He co-authored something called a blueprint for American security. And if you read that, some of the standout quotes from that is a "we must be capable of placing our security above other things we value, understanding that in the absence of security, all else is moot. We must be willing to work with imperfect allies."
DESJARDINSNow, at the same time, this is a man who calls for ethical military values, but he's saying something that Donald Trump has said before, which is we will work with imperfect allies and security above all else, sort of almost an ends justify the military strategy.
REHMReid, doesn't he also disagree with torture?
WILSONHe does and Mattis has an interesting history. We've mentioned the fact that he was relieved of his duties early because of his public opposition to the deal with Iran. He's a hard-liner on Iran itself. And yet, he is somebody who had been close to the sort of military establishment. Notable, I think, that Donald Trump spent part of the campaign talking about how much more he knew than the generals. Now, he has picked a general to run the Pentagon, retired, and a retired general to be his national security advisor.
WILSONAnd there is another general in the mix, former general -- retired general David Petraeus who is in the mix for secretary of state. It's important to note, too, that Mattis would require a waiver to become defense secretary.
WILSONCongress passed a law in 1947 that required essentially a cooling off period once you retire from the military. It was initially ten years. That was amended to seven years back in 2008. Mattis has not been retired for seven years. He retired in 2013. So before he is confirmed as secretary of defense, Congress will need to pass a separate waiver. Some folks have brought up opposition to such a waiver because of our tradition of civilian control of the military.
WILSONSenator Kirsten Gillibrand, who's a senior member of the Senate armed services committee, a Democrat from New York, tweeted last night that she would not favor a waiver for James Mattis.
REHMHow interesting. And to what extent are others going to oppose a waiver?
DESJARDINSHe certainly will have -- it seems he's going to have very strong support from Republicans in Congress and I think the question is what the Democratic leadership, especially newly incoming Democratic leader for the Senate, Chuck Schumer, how he handles this. Chuck Schumer's a man who has shown, over the last five years, that he's wanted to create an image of working across the aisle and someone who chooses his battles.
DESJARDINSWill he choose this battle? It's a big question.
REHMAll right. And onto his economic team. What about Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman trader turned hedge fund manager.
MASONTurned Hollywood financier. Yes. He's got a really interesting background, certainly somebody who has the confidence of President-elect Trump, which is important going into an administration. Got some criticism, though, because of that Goldman background, especially since Donald Trump, during the campaign, was critical of Goldman specifically and didn't seem, at least to some critics, that this is in line with his promise to drain the swamp.
MASONBut interesting, he came out on television pretty quickly after the announcement and made some promises. They want to reduce the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, down from 35. That would be a big change. He is advocating that the Trump administration will be able to have 3 to 4 percent GDP growth. That's pretty ambitious. And...
DESJARDINSSee his note to Jeb Bush on that.
MASONRight. And also some nitty-gritty things like he wants to make Freddie Mac or Fannie May and Freddie Mac the big housing lenders privatized, which would be a pretty big deal.
REHMSo talk about two others, health and human services.
WILSONSo the -- Trump's nominee to become the secretary of health and human services is Congressman Tom Price. He's an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia. He is also the author of the most prominent replacement option for the Affordable Care Act. He's, you know, Republicans talked about repealing and replacing it. They didn't offer much of a replacement. Tom Price actually wrote a 250-page bill that would've essentially moved a lot of the power away from the federal government and back to the states.
WILSONIt strikes me, Jeff mentioned this notion of draining the swamp and we've got Steven Mnuchin, who has deep ties on Wall Street, Tom Price, who's got deep ties on Capitol Hill, he's the chairman of the House budget committee, and his transportation secretary nominee Elaine Chao is a -- correct me if I'm wrong, the only secretary in George W. Bush's cabinet to serve the entire two terms under Bush.
REHMAnd the wife of...
WILSONAnd he wife of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
WILSONThis isn't so much...
MASONA Washington power couple there.
WILSONYeah. This isn't so much draining the swamp as it is, I think, I feel like shifting the power axis from Washington to New York. There's a lot more influence from Wall Street and banks showing itself in the early Trump administration.
REHMShouldn't we mention that Price is not only anti the Affordable Care Act, but also strongly anti-abortion.
DESJARDINSThat's correct. And I think that we're going to see that play out potentially in one of the first major policy decisions of this administration, which could be on contraception coverage. And we know -- we haven't yet heard from President-elect Trump or from his health and human services designee on this issue, but the rhetoric indicates that -- and he can change on day one this idea that contraception should be free.
REHMAll right. And while we're talking about the Trump transition, I do want to let you know I spoke with Jane Mayer of The New Yorker earlier this week about how the Koch brothers may be shaping the new administration. We'll have that conversation up on our website later today. Go to www.drshow.org and click on "blog." Short break. We'll be right back.
REHMAnd welcome back to the domestic hour of our Friday News Roundup, this week with Jeff Mason, White House correspondent for Reuters, Lisa Desjardins, political director for PBS NewsHour, and Reid Wilson, national correspondent for The Hill.
REHMOne thing I want to raise is an email from McLean, Va., who says, unemployment appears to drop but, be serious, it dropped because so many have left the workforce. Jeff.
MASONWell, and that is part of it. People dropping out of the labor force has been an issue for the last several years. And that was certainly part of it here. But that was offset by a really big increase in jobs, non-farm jobs that were added as well.
REHMAll right. Now let's talk about former governor and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who certainly has been talked about a great deal as a possible secretary of state. He's met how many times with President-elect Trump?
MASONWell, he dined with him this week. And he had met with him, I guess, the previous week in Florida...
MASON...in a -- both very high-profile meetings. And what was particularly interesting, when he went out for dinner this week in New York, is that Governor Romney came out and spoke to the press. And this was just a few days after Kellyanne Conway, one of President-elect Trump's top aides came out in television very critical of the potential choice because Romney was super critical of Trump during the campaign. He was really one of the leaders of the Never Trump movement. After this fancy dinner, he came out and spoke to the press and praised Trump in pretty remarkable terms.
MASONHe didn't apologize for having been against his candidacy, but he did say he was very optimistic about the message that Trump has been sending since his election and in his - the way that he has put together his new administration.
REHMWhat about press coverage and the contrast between what happened in New York and then what happened in Florida?
MASONSo the press coverage piece is near and dear to my heart as the president of the Correspondents' Association. And early in this transition period, President-elect Trump went out for dinner in New York with his family and did not bring a press pool with him. And he got a lot of criticism, including from us, for that. When he went out for dinner to -- the other night, to this French restaurant with Governor Romney, a press pool was in the motorcade. And the press pool was, in fact, even allowed to come into the restaurant and take some pictures and shout a couple questions. So that is progress. We'll see if we get all the way.
WILSONBut at the moment, the debate over who the next secretary of state is going to be is down to sort of four finalists -- Romney is among them, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, I mentioned David Petraeus earlier, and then Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker. And to me, this sort of feels like what Trump has done in the past, where he will take -- he sort of keeps his enemies closer. And he has, you know, Mitt Romney was unabashedly anti-Trump on the campaign trail, during the primaries. He didn't say much during the general election. But if he is not given this job, it's going to be the latest example of a Trump opponent who has been left twisting in the wind once again, given some measure of payback.
DESJARDINSI also think, don't underestimate in this decision how much Donald Trump thinks about stage craft. And I think, reflecting back on his decision for his vice presidential nominee, he chose someone who fit that role, what that role looks like. And I think this is why Mitt Romney has become such a main contender for him. He's someone who looks like a worldwide statesman. Now Rudy Giuliani, is he going to be the Chris Christie character in this -- someone who was loyal to Trump, with him, worked for him, but may not fit the image that Trump wants for this position. We'll see. But I -- that's on my mind, as far as how Donald Trump chooses this position.
MASONHe also, as he's making this choice, has to choose between several different important constituents. One is the constituency of his base and of the advisers and loyalists who were part of his campaign. The other is, you know, it's on some level the rest of the world. And if he sends a signal by choosing Romney that, look, I want to have somebody who has this background, who would be viewed as a statesman. And also I want to bring together parts of my party who were not necessarily supporters. That will be viewed as a very important signal. If he does the opposite, he will send the opposite signal.
REHMAll right. And let's talk about ethics for a minute.
REHMBecause I don't quite understand how the president-elect is going to manage his position in the White House while saying he's not going to have anything to do with management of his corporation, his companies. He's going to turn that all over to his children. Does that mean his children can't come to the White House? What does it mean?
WILSONIt certainly doesn't seem like it's a complete divestiture of interests. And the Trump organization is big enough that it's got tentacles in foreign company -- foreign countries. It has debts owed to banks in foreign countries. It is amazingly hard to understand how -- to contemplate how somebody like Donald Trump can divest himself from so many, or extricate himself from so many -- such a tangled web of businesses. I mean this is -- he has built a very successful organization that is international in scope. But that isn't conducive to running a government without influence from those businesses.
WILSONSo, I mean, he's going to speak with his children. He's going to talk with his friends, many of whom are involved in his own businesses. And already we've seen, you know, things like foreign diplomats being pitched on staying at rooms at the Trump Hotel in, you know, in the next few months here in Washington, D.C. So that tells me that this is going to be a story for the entirety of Donald Trump's tenure, how his business interests or his family's business interests will evolve with regards not only to the American economy, but to foreign economies as well.
MASONI think it's -- I mean, the way you phrased the question, that you don't understand how it's going to happen is sort of emblematic of the story. I don't think anybody really understands how it's going to happen. And he hasn't answered those questions. He did say that he would remove himself totally from the company. But that raised the questions of what that means. Is he going to divest? It doesn't sound like it. Is he going to remove himself from management? Probably. But how does that work?
MASONHe is -- he did say he would have a press conference on December 15 with his children in New York to address that. That may be the first press conference he's had since his election. So there will no doubt be questions on many other topics there, if the press is allowed to ask them. But that topic has not been clarified completely by the president-elect.
DESJARDINSAnd hovering over this, we still don't really know what his ties are to many nations overseas. We don't have his taxes still. We don't really know how he's been financed and what his relationships are with many other nations.
REHMWell, it's interesting. We had a discussion the other day with Scottie Nell Hughes, who is one of the Trump spokespersons. And she said, on this program, something very curious. She said that the left-wing press may regard facts in one way and the so-called right-wing press may regard those facts as not facts at all. She ended up saying, there are no facts. So how are we to interpret, as the Trump regime comes into power, what he says, how it's interpreted by the press.
DESJARDINSWell, I will venture an opinion on this discussion of facts. And I think that it's a dangerous discussion. I think that there are facts. And I think this is going to be the challenge for not just the media but every American citizen to really arm themselves in how they digest knowledge, you know, and to really use the muscles of their brain in a way we haven't had to before. There are facts. And we need to be very clear about what those are.
WILSONAnd there's a big difference between politicians, who will say -- who will offer up a false claim that Democrats and Republicans both do. And our role in the media to -- not only to fact-check those things but to stand strong on what is actually the truth. And there is truth. Let's take something like the jobs report that we were talking about earlier. The listener who wrote in and said that the U6 rate is still pretty high and people are dropping out of the workforce. That is a well-nuanced understanding of a complex situation around the jobs report. You know, that listener understands what's going on.
WILSONBut to say that millions of people voted illegally, without offering any evidence -- and there, frank -- there is no evidence, there is zero evidence of that -- that is something that the president-elect of the United States of America said. It is demonstrably untrue. And there is a big difference between interpreting nuanced information and simply telling things -- saying things that are not true. And it is -- it will be incumbent on us and on everybody in the nation for the next four or eight years to understand that this person has said things that are not true and continues to do so.
REHMBut there may be an awful lot of people out there who, hearing Donald Trump say there are millions of illegal voters out there who should not have had their votes counted, there are millions of people who believe that.
MASONYeah. Well that's true. And there are millions of people who believed a lot of things that both President-elect Trump said as a candidate and that came out in fake news stories during the campaign. And I think that there's certainly a responsibility, as Reid mentioned, for journalists to put in appropriate context. And I -- and that story about the voting, in particular, was -- I was struck by headlines in The New York Times and other media that reported on that tweet saying, President-elect Trump said this and didn't have any evidence for it. And that piece of context is pretty critical.
WILSONOne thing that surprises me about all this, the things that a President Bush said or a President Obama said, are so widely listened to. They're vetted by fact checkers within the White House. They're vetted by speech writers. There are moments when a speech writer will demand that a line be taken out of a speech because it's not, you know, 100 percent, crystal clear, accurate truth. That process does not exist with Donald Trump. And I really wonder, in the next four or eight years, how the sort of the norms that the White House has set up and how this amazingly powerful bully pulpit is going to be used by somebody who is not following the very careful procedures that other presidents have followed.
REHMDoes that make all of us -- newspapers, television programs, with perhaps the exception of Fox -- irrelevant? If you've got people who are saying, what you're saying doesn't matter to me because I heard Donald Trump say something else.
DESJARDINSNo, it doesn't. But I think what it does is it sort of elevates this challenge that the media has not quite yet risen to, which is how to cover this very different kind of politician.
REHMWhat would you do different, Lisa?
DESJARDINSYeah. I've had a lot of conversations in the last couple days with my colleagues trying to sort that out. And I think one thing we have to point out is that Donald Trump himself now has admitted, yesterday, that he speaks in euphemisms. When he says something that sounds literal -- millions of, you know, millions of voter fraud, millions of votes are fraudulent -- he's now saying, oh, I didn't mean that literally. That is a difficult problem. And we have to figure out how to get at that.
REHMAnd you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." We have a recount going on in Wisconsin, instigated by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She's petitioned for recounts in three battleground states -- Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. She's raised the $6 million to do it in Wisconsin and more. So is there any chance that there was actual hacking into these voter machines?
WILSONAlmost certainly not. Voting machines across the country are kept separate from the Internet. They're not physically connected to the Internet, so you would need to have a physical presence in the room where any of these machines are located to change the numbers. If you've been to a polling place, you know how many actual physical voting machines there are, so hacking into each of them is -- in a way that could, you know, change the outcome of an election -- is almost impossible.
WILSONThe margins in each of these states -- Donald Trump led by 70,000 votes in Pennsylvania, 22,000 in Wisconsin, 10,000 in Michigan. Jill Stein's margin -- Jill Stein got more votes than that margin in all three of those states. But, that being said, even the Clinton campaign's top lawyer, Marc Elias, says this recount is not going to change things. But it will go through and provide some kind of audit for the actual election results.
REHMIn the meantime, Hillary Clinton's margin of winning the popular vote continues to rise.
DESJARDINSThat's right. Over 2 million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump as of this point. On the recount, we do actually have the first day's results of the Michigan -- or, I'm sorry, the Wisconsin recount and very little change. In fact, but the biggest beneficiary was Jill Stein herself. She picked up 17 votes on day one. Trump lost two. So I think we're going to see, it's very minor changes from these recounts.
REHMYeah. A lot of money spent...
REHM...for very little. In the meantime, in North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory has trailed by a margin of some 10,000 votes. He still is refusing to concede.
MASONYeah. So that's a really interesting race to continue to watch as well.
DESJARDINSAnd he's claiming that the -- and he's claiming from his end, from the Republican end, that he thinks there were serious fraud, there was hacking problems. He's questioning the legitimacy of that election.
WILSONAnd this is going to lead to the next battleground in this -- in the war over voting rights and voting access. We've heard this now in North Carolina and New Hampshire, both states that have same-day voting registration.
WILSONRepublicans across the country are going to take a look at same-day voter registration, which is when you show up and register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day. I expect that to be a big legislative fight in state legislatures across the country. I did talk to a pretty senior North Carolina Republican yesterday who said he's pretty sure that Pat McCrory is within a few days of calling it quits.
REHMI wonder why he's holding on this long?
WILSONWell, it's tough to lose.
WILSONAnd when you're -- and by the way...
DESJARDINSAnd when it's that close.
WILSON...McCrory was losing by a -- polls showed him trailing by a wide margin. Then on election day, he came really close. His margin was only a few thousand votes. That margin has grown over the last couple of weeks. It's tough to accept losing.
REHMAll right. And House Democrats reelected Nancy Pelosi.
MASONNancy Pelosi did not lose. She won with 134 votes to 63. That 63 vote number is higher than the roughly 40 or so votes that voted against her when there was a challenge six years ago. But it did show that she still has the support of her caucus. And despite some question marks about whether having the same leader continue after such a big loss, she'll be the one.
REHMAll right. And short break here. We'll be opening the phones when we come back, taking your calls. Stay with us.
REHMAnd welcome back. Time to open the phones. First to Terry in Laurel, Maryland. You're on the air.
TERRYI wanted to call in about the Secretary of Defense nominee, General Mattis. The -- I've, I want to caution, I'm a former Marine and I want to caution the media, in particular, to slow down with their reporting on this candidate. He is well loved by Marines for many reasons. Both on the oorah and hard targeting set and also those that maybe are a little more thoughtful. He is not -- he doesn't really deserve the name Mad Dog. It's not something he prefers.
TERRYJust to give you an example, on the lead in to your program, NPR said, speculated, that he would lead to a greater fight against ISIS which would lead to more US casualties but also more civilian casualties. This displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of not only General Mattis but of Marine Corps strategy. And I think this candidate is not bipartisan. He's non-partisan. And if the press were to slow down and take a very careful look at him, they would find that, you know, you gotta peel back the layer of the stuff Marines tend to celebrate and take a look at what he's written and what he's said.
TERRYAnd you'll find that he is a great candidate for this role that could both reform the military to make it more suited to its modern tasks and keep the Trump administration dedicated to the drain the swamp mentality when it comes to government contracting.
REHMI appreciate your comments, Terry. Thanks for calling.
MASONYeah, it's interesting to hear that from a Marine. I would however say that the reporting about him going by Mad Dog is based on the fact that that's what Donald Trump said last night. So the President-elect is using that nickname and that's what's driving the use of that in the media.
DESJARDINSBut Terry has a good point. You know, the General, General Mattis, I've seen reporting that he also -- that he does not prefer that name, and it was a name that came up in a newspaper article after the second battle of Fallujah that was said the men refer to him that way. He also has other nicknames, but I think Terry's point is larger, which is this is a man who has some very deep thoughts about the military and has a lot of allegiance and loyalty from the Marine Corps and others. And it's a very interesting and strong choice. It's just this question of the waver that I think is ahead of him.
WILSONOne of things I read this morning said his other nickname, "The Warrior Monk," is because he apparently has read something like 10,000 military strategy books and he -- his comment was something like he prefers to read about mistakes rather than making them on the battlefield. Which sounds like a pretty good plan to me.
REHMAnd a contrast to Trump himself, who says he does not have time to read.
DESJARDINSThis does seem like a man who may have a plan to fight the Islamic State.
REHMAll right. To Brian in Evansville, Indiana. You're on the air.
BRIANHi, I just wanted to make a comment about something one of your panelists said earlier when talking about how can the press better cover Donald Trump? I would say stop taking his lead because he's very good at creating controversy and kind of gossip in the social media world. And I think everybody in this country would be a lot better served if the media would stick to the more investigative issues such as the crony capitalism and the relationships with Deutsche Bank.
BRIANAnd his business partners. We all would have been a lot better off hearing about that during the campaign as opposed to a few weeks after the election. And I don't feel like it was covered as much as his comments about race and gender, which, to be honest, most of white working class middle America aren't as affected by as they are by economic issues and...
REHMBrian, thanks for calling.
WILSONAnd Brian, thank you for the softball. I've wanted to go on this rant for a while here. When we talk about the media, we use one word for something that is very much not a monolith. What Jeff does at Reuters, what Lisa does at News Hour, what I do at The Hill, what Diane does on the show here, are -- they're all completely different elements of this broader effort to bring the news. There are some people who in, at the Hill newspaper, who will write about Donald Trump's tweets in the moment.
WILSONBecause that is actual news. There are other, others of us who will spend a day taking a broader look at, for example, I spent all day yesterday writing about this Carrier deal in Indiana. There are others of us who will take a week to write something much more in depth. The media is not just one thing. It's many different things, so there are a lot of us who have to cover a lot of different things. You know, it's more than just the media taking Trump's lead. There are a lot of other people in the newsroom too.
REHMLet's talk about that Carrier deal and how it came about, Reid.
WILSONSo, the deal will give Carrier seven million dollars to keep 800 jobs in -- at a furnace factory in Indianapolis and another 300 jobs in the headquarters and research division of the company that were slated to move elsewhere. Not to Mexico, but slated to move elsewhere within the country. The money comes from an existing program within Indiana called EDGE. It's the Economic Development -- I can't remember what the GE stands for, but it's Indiana EDGE.
WILSONA lot of states have a program like this and effectively, what the state does is it values a job and how much money the state will generate from that job's tax revenue, and then it shares some of that money back with the company. This is not uncommon. States across the country do it. The notable thing to me was actually how little the state had to give Carrier, only seven million dollars. Washington State just gave Boeing a tax break deal worth more than eight billion dollars. Nevada gave Tesla a tax deal worth more than one billion dollars to build a factory there.
WILSONSo, seven million dollars doesn't sound like very much. The broader question, though, and this is where I think we all need to ask what role President-elect Trump played in this is that Carrier's parent company is United Technologies. United Technologies has tens of billions of dollars in contracts with the federal government, specifically with the Pentagon. So, a seven million dollar savings in Indiana verses 65 million dollars, which is what they would have saved, had they moved those jobs to Mexico. That doesn't seem like a very on balance business decision.
WILSONWere there other threats or promises or discussions about United Technologies existing contracts with the federal government made in conjunction with this decision to keep Carrier in Indiana?
REHMGood question. Lisa?
DESJARDINSThere is so much to say about this. I think Reid hit a lot of it, but I think we also have to look at Donald Trump's words themselves. Again, him saying that he initially promised to keep those jobs and yesterday he said, well, I didn't mean that literally. But then I heard the replay of those words in a television news piece, and thought, oh, I'm going to get involved. So, that tells us something about Donald Trump. And sort of, and his words. We also know about Donald Trump the tactician and Donald Trump, sort of, the theatrical manager.
DESJARDINSThe question is how much did Donald Trump make this deal come to life or was it something already going on in Indiana? The last thing is there are other plants in Indiana. In fact, across the street from Donald Trump's event yesterday, were workers from another plant who are losing their job. And here's the trick, manufacturing in the United States, actually is on the rise in terms of how much business it's doing. But the number of jobs is going down, so -- and most of those manufacturing plants, Diane, 98 percent of them, are small.
DESJARDINSNot even as large as Carrier. So turning around manufacturing in this company, in this country, is the business of 300,000 different businesses. And Donald Trump can't possibly negotiate for each one.
REHMCannot, of course not.
MASONWell just to loop back the conversation to the caller's question about the media. There are, there are lots of questions about this deal. There are lots of questions about the transition. There are questions about the cabinet that the President-elect is putting together. Reporters need to be allowed a chance to ask the President-elect questions. And there hasn't been a press conference yet.
MASONThis press conference we talked about earlier, this coming on December 15th, will be about the company. But the press needs to have an opportunity to serve its role as a truth seeker, and part of that is being able to ask the principle, in this case, Donald Trump, questions about what he's doing.
REHMAll right. To Tim in Warren, Michigan. Hi there, you're on the air.
TIMFirstly, I want to say, before I get to my question, is I'm really going to miss you when you leave. Because I consider you to be a national treasure.
TIMAnyway, you guys were talking about...
REHMBy the way, by the way, I am going to be doing a weekly podcast.
REHMSo, you won't miss me altogether.
TIMOh, all right. Excellent.
TIMNow, here's my question/comment. Basically, you guys were talking about facts earlier, you and your panel. Basically, my thing is this. You're entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own set of facts. For example, on the climate change thing, the only debate there is on that is in the political arena. It is settled science. When someone says a comment that's blatantly false, folks in certain areas of the press need to call them on it. For example, if someone came right out and denied the Holocaust, nobody would accept that. And I will take my comments off air so that you can get to another caller.
REHMAll right. Thanks a lot.
DESJARDINSI think he raises a very fair point, and I thought Brian in Indiana, when he said stop taking Donald Trump's lead, I mean, I think that's something we have to every day recognize. And even in this Carrier story, you know, we need to look out what the details were of this deal. But we also need to provide more context. The overall narrative Donald Trump is giving the country is that manufacturing is dying. But that's not actually born out in the facts.
DESJARDINSSome facets of manufacturing are dying and it's bad for workers. But the manufacturing industry itself, the owners of that industry, they're doing well right now. So we need to really look at the context of what's happening in our economy, not just the easy headline.
WILSONReid, earlier this week, a student at Ohio State attacked 11 people on campus before being shot by police. What is the latest? Is there any indication he had a relationship or was influenced by Al Qaeda?
WILSONNo, and yes. So, Abdul Razak Artin was killed after attacking these students at Ohio State. Before he left his house that morning, he wrote on Facebook that he was angry at the treatment of Muslims in the United States. And there is some indication that he was influenced by the Anwar Al -- I can never pronounce it -- Awlaki. Sorry, I...
MASONThere you go.
WILSONI'm, I'm just terrible at pronouncing that name. Anyway, he -- there is indication that he was influenced by the terrorist who was killed in a drone strike a few years ago. There, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. There's no evidence that they had some kind of direct connection to this young 18-year-old student itself. And this is what American law enforcement fears most is the person who radicalizes himself or herself online by listening to the, you know, speeches on YouTube or any of the social networking channels that are available.
WILSONAnd then pops out of the woodwork with no warning signs whatsoever. And there are no indications that this person, who had transferred to Ohio State from a local community college, so he had had some success in American society, had then self-radicalized without warning any law enforcement figures, which is what worries people in the long run.
REHMAnd yet, another tweet from Trump saying ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country. Lisa.
DESJARDINSWe're going to watch very closely how Donald Trump handles immigration as is related to the war on terror. And he has had several different stand points on that over the last year going everything from an all-out ban to a possible registry to a country by country ban. And I think it's going to be one of the biggest early decisions of his administration that will forecast the atmosphere for the next four years.
REHMAnd you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." Lisa, let's talk about the 21st century Cures Act. What is it?
DESJARDINSOh, I'm so happy we're talking about this. This is one of the largest, least talked about actions in Washington in probably the last two years. Maybe the last four years. This is a very large medical innovations bill that is bipartisan. It passed through the House yesterday with barely any opposition. Republicans and Democrats came together. And, you know, from the Democratic side, this would infuse some five billion with a "B" dollars in funding for NIH.
DESJARDINSThat includes that cancer project from Joe Biden, the Cancer Moonshot. That's getting funding. Also Alzheimer's research, tremendous amount of cash going to NIH here. On the Republican and business side, this also changes some of how drugs are regulated and how quickly drugs can come to market. It speeds up how quickly some drugs can come to market, makes the testing process in some cases shorter. Now, that is something that has brought a great deal of opposition from people like Elizabeth Warren, who say this bill is a giveaway to drug companies.
DESJARDINSHowever, it does have tremendous support in Congress and the President is likely to sign it. So it's something to pay very close attention to.
REHMAnd one final subject, the Charlotte police officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in September is not going to face criminal charges. How did officials reach that decision?
MASONSo, the official said that he acted lawfully when he shot this gentleman, that there were at least 10 times audibly where police were heard asking him to drop his gun. And so that he -- it was justified what he did and that's how they got to that conclusion. But they were concerned about that because of the demonstrations that followed the shooting that turned violent in some cases. And there was concern that that might happen again because of this.
REHMAnd there was a gun?
MASONThere was a gun.
REHMThere was a gun.
DESJARDINSThey say that he bought a gun potentially to deal with another, kind of, farther removed member of his family. He was concerned about, it's not clear, but they say just a few days, I think a week and a half before the shooting, he had purchased the gun. That was part of the disconnect. His daughter had done that Facebook Live video in which she said he doesn't own a gun. That was part of the anger, saying this is a man that didn't own a gun. Police say he did and that he had it with him.
WILSONThis is an ongoing issue that is sort of the trust that Americans have in their institutions. We've actually seen an increase in the percentage of Americans who trust the police. The big problem, though, is that the number of white Americans who trust the police is growing while the number of African Americans who trust the police is plunging. And that disconnect is going to, is gonna play out for years, decades, a long time in this country.
REHMAnd just to underscore some of the difficulties we've been talking about in this hour of reaching the public with facts. David in Denton, Texas says, I teach History to college kids. People are not reading anymore. It's not the media's fault that they can't reach people. But somehow, we are all going to have to find a way to get people to read, to watch, to listen, to do all of that to educate themselves. And we've been talking the transition in this hour.
REHMI want to let you know I spoke earlier this week to Jane Mayer of the New Yorker about how the Koch Brothers may be shaping the new administration. We'll have that conversation up on our website later today. You can go to drshow.org and click on "blog." Reid Wilson, Lisa Desjardins, Jeff Mason, thank you all.
MASONThanks for having us, Diane.
WILSONYou are a national treasure, Diane.
REHMAw, you're (unintelligible) . Thank you.
MASONGreat to be here, as always.
DESJARDINSWhat a privilege. Congratulations.
REHMAnd thanks all for listening. I'm Diane Rehm.
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