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Interviews and Transcripts

President-Elect Joe Biden Pledges To Unify Nation; Trump Has Not Reached Out To Biden;
by CNN
 Published on Monday November 9, 2020 - 2:10 AM
* US Presidential Election *
President-Elect Joe Biden Pledges To Unify Nation; Trump Has Not Reached Out To Biden;

President-Elect Joe Biden Pledges To Unify Nation; Trump Has Not Reached Out To Biden; Kamala Harris Makes History As First Woman Vice President In The U.S.; Interview With Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) On Nevada's Boost Of Biden's Electoral Votes To 279; Biden To Assume Presidency During Virus Emergency; International Leaders Congratulate Biden On Win; Concerns Of Violence From Small Minority Upset With Outcome; Harris Pays Tribute To Women In Historic Victory Speech. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired November 8, 2020 - 02:00 ET





JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn't see red states or blue states, only sees the United States.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it is a new day in America as a deeply divided nation elects its 46th president. Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. We're glad you're with us. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington. It's 2:00 am here. You're watching CNN's special live coverage of the U.S. presidential election.

2020 has left millions of Americans feeling at times helpless, with a deadly and expanding pandemic, a suffering economy and social justice issues still very much unsettled.

But Americans did settle a major issue of the year that is within their control, the issue of the presidency and who will lead the nation through difficult and unprecedented times ahead.

HARLOW: That's right. And now to the transition into the post-Donald Trump era. That begins now. President-Elect Joe Biden delivering his victory speech Saturday night in Delaware. He made a point to reach out to the more than 70 million people who did not vote for him. Listen to this.


BIDEN: For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I've lost a couple of times myself. But now let's give each other a chance.


BIDEN: It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And, to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans.


SCIUTTO: "They are Americans."

Unifying the nation is one of the many daunting tasks awaiting the president-elect. The president has yet to concede and Trumpism, as it's known, might be here long after Donald Trump leaves Washington. Biden spoke about the challenges ahead.


BIDEN: What is our mandate?

I believe it's this: America has called upon us to marshal the forces of decency, the forces of fairness, to marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time:

The battle to control the virus, the battle to build prosperity, the battle to secure your family's healthcare, the battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country and the battle to save our planet by getting climate under control.

The battle to restore decency, defend democracy and give everybody in this country a fair shot.


SCIUTTO: So those are the battles. Those are the challenges. Let's talk about victories for a moment here, because Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, has made history, it's true but simple, with a litany of firsts.

She is the first woman, the first woman of color, the first Black person and the first South Asian to be elected U.S. vice president.

HARLOW: And she said pointedly tonight, she may be the first but she will not be the last. Harris, of course, spoke also of her late mother, who emigrated from India. And she paid tribute to the women who helped make this historic moment possible.


KAMALA HARRIS (D), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: She believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible. And so I am thinking about her and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women, who, throughout our nation's history, have paved the way for this moment tonight. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Well, our Jason Carroll joins us live from Wilmington, Delaware, tonight, where the president-elect delivered his victory speech, as did the vice president-elect, Senator Kamala Harris making history.

Jason, thank you for staying up late for us. What a night.

What was it like being there?



CARROLL: There are many folks out here who support Joe Biden, who feel as though he gave, Poppy, basically the best speech of his life when he took the stage for the first time as president-elect, that when he took the stage, he really met the moment.

And many of these messages are messages that we've heard before: the message of unity, bringing the country together, wanting to unite, not seeing red states or blue states but the United States, recapturing the soul of the country.

These are some of the same messages that we've heard from Vice President Biden from the very start of his campaign. And they were messages that many felt were worth repeating because, the thought is, many folks out there may not have heard these messages before because they weren't listening to him, because they didn't support him.

But again, this is a man who says he wants to be the president for all Americans. It certainly was a message that resonated with folks that we spoke to out here, who came out here to hear the president-elect speak. They came from all over the country, many of them from Delaware.

Some of the common things that we heard from them over and over, Poppy, was they felt as though he gave them a sense of relief.

Another thing they said, this is a man who, they felt, can bring the country together. I spoke to a man from Cameroon, now a U.S. citizen. He said, for the past four years, he really felt as though he was living in the country as a villain. But now he finally felt as though, after seeing Kamala Harris take the stage with Joe Biden, that he felt as though his daughter could finally grow up and live in a country where she could be whatever that she wanted.

Going forward, Biden said that he is going to be doing everything he can to tackle the coronavirus; a couple of things on Monday. As you may know, he is going to be announcing that 12-person task force to deal with the pandemic.

In addition to that, his transition team has already been in place, working behind the scenes since Labor Day. They already have some names in terms of cabinet members to put forth. And Biden says his cabinet is going to look very much like the

country, that it's going to be diverse. But first things first, the work has got to get done. A lot of things, challenges looking ahead for them. But tonight, finally a chance for the Biden family to sit down and celebrate their moment -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Three tries and fulfilling the wish of his late son, Beau Biden. Jason Carroll, it must have been remarkable to be there, living history. Thank you for reporting tonight.

SCIUTTO: Well, here is a sad fact at this point. The current president has not reached out to the president-elect. He has not conceded. There is a lot of talk that he will refuse to concede, although sources are telling us that Jared Kushner has, at least, spoken to the president about the possibility of conceding. Ryan Nobles is at the White House with more.

And, Ryan, as you well know, beyond all that, first of all, it's a tradition; it's not a requirement of the law or the Constitution. The transition is going to happen. It's a tradition that he concedes or would concede.

The other thing happening here, he is attacking the fairness of the election without substantiation.

Do you hear of any change to that strategy going forward?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, beyond the fact that sources inside the White House telling our Kaitlan Collins that there is going to be somewhat of an attempt by Jared Kushner, who is the president's son-in-law and perhaps his closest and most trusted adviser, to reach out to the president and at least get him to entertain the idea of conceding, the only real message that we've gotten out of this White House and then beyond that, the Trump campaign apparatus in general, is that they've been very quiet.

They did put out a statement shortly after the networks, including CNN, officially projected the race with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris being the winner. It was a statement in the president's voice that was very defiant, saying that the president was not giving up the fight, that he intended to follow through on these lawsuits that he has filed in many of the battleground states as well as pursuing recounts in some of the states where the vote margin would allow for that.

Other than that, though, the rhetoric has really tamped down in a big way. You haven't heard the president use his Twitter feed very much at all in the hours following the vice president being named the president-elect.

He did not respond at all to the vice president's -- president-elect, I should say -- his speech last night.

So perhaps that might be some sort of a sign that President Trump is starting to recognize the reality of his situation. There are, in the universe of Republicans, some level of support for President Trump to continue to kind of dig in his heels right now. He did receive the support of some members of the U.S. Senate.


NOBLES: Some high-profile members of the House that suggest it would be OK for him to continue on down this track by pursuing these lawsuits. But the issue right now, Jim and Poppy, is there just isn't a ton of evidence to back up these claims.

And even in the areas where there is a scant amount of evidence, it's not nearly enough to change the ultimate outcome of this election. So we'll have to see how the next 24 to 48 hours plays out.

Jim, you're right. He doesn't have to concede. But it would certainly make this whole transition of power a whole lot easier. And it is generally how it is done in this country.

SCIUTTO: Let's state it right out. There is no evidence that this election was stolen here. It's remarkable that the president is claiming that and that sitting GOP lawmakers, some of whom were elected in this same election, are making that claim. But state that as well. That's a fact. We'll see if it changes going forward. Ryan Nobles at the White House, thanks very much.

NOBLES: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thanks, Ryan.

Well, Biden supporters have been taking to the streets of cities and towns across the United States following this election being called.

SCIUTTO: Check out some of the sights, some of the sounds of these celebrations that we've seen in many American cities.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): That's Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County, it was ballots there that helped deliver that state to Joe Biden.


HARLOW (voice-over): Well, that in Boston, an impromptu chorus of the classic Queen song, "We Are the Champions."

Scenes out of Miami today. You can see Biden-Harris supporters, also waving the Puerto Rican flag.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): In Austin, Texas, Biden supporters rallied at the Capitol building there across the street.

And we saw this in a number of cities, across the street from Trump supporters, police were on hand. The groups mostly kept their distance and most of these interactions, as we've observed at least, remained safe and calm.

Here is a car rally in Las Vegas, complete with lots of big American flags.

And as you can imagine, people also flooded the streets of the nation's Capitol here in Washington.


HARLOW: They certainly did. That's where we find our Vivian Salama in Washington, reporting right near the White House.


VIVIAN SALAMA, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Almost as soon as the race was called for now President-Elect Joe Biden, the crowd started flooding into Black Lives Matter Plaza, where I'm standing right now.

And across from the White House, which you can see behind me, H Street and the area in front of Lafayette Square, which, over the summer was scene of very intense clashes between police and protesters, now the scene of mass celebrations.

People were popping champagne bottles throughout the day and into the evening, cheering, singing and dancing. A lot of people brought their children, wanting to celebrate this moment, saying that it was a historic moment and the country really needed some change. So folks coming out here en masse.

The crowd started to change as we got late into the evening. You saw a lot of younger people coming out, a lot of those people who really propelled Joe Biden to victory, the younger voters. And they came out here singing and dancing. It got a little raucous, like a party.

But largely peaceful. We haven't seen any signs of anything other than peaceful protests. Police have been here, for the most part just trying to maintain the peace. But no incidents to report.

And they said that things have been largely calm into the late hours. And so people here just saying that it was time for change. They're ready for a new chapter in the country's history. And, you know, they're looking ahead at this point to a Joe Biden presidency.


HARLOW: Vivian Salama, thank you.

Here to discuss with us, our friend and CNN political analyst, and national politics reporter for "The Wall Street Journal," Sabrina Siddiqui.

Thanks for staying up late with us. What a night, what a morning. It's a new day in America. I'd actually like to begin if we could with Senator Kamala Harris, because everyone heard her speech tonight.

But what this means, on all the firsts that we listed, the first woman vice president, the first Black woman, I could go on and on, she talked about it tonight. And what struck me was when she talked about, in her words, the audacity of Joe Biden to select a Black woman, given how Black women helped push this ticket over the finish line.

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it was an absolutely historic moment. And you listed the many firsts. And when inaugurated in January, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be the highest ranking woman in the history of this country.


SIDDIQUI: And she really leaned into her biography as the daughter of immigrants, the biracial daughter of immigrants, and what it really meant to be standing up there on that stage.

And it was striking to see the images of those little girls, looking on in the crowd, the excitement on their face, waving their flags. And you know that there are many girls across this country who see themselves in Vice President-Elect Harris.

So I think she is going to play a very influential role in this incoming administration. She is also going to be partnering with someone who, himself, served two terms as vice president and has placed a great deal of emphasis on the importance of that job being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

But to your point, a truly historic moment. And for her to acknowledge Black women was really significant, given the role that they have played throughout elections in U.S. history but especially propelling this ticket to the White House.

SCIUTTO: Yes, the message, the deliberate message there, to what this means to women across the country watching, as she said, "See yourselves in a way that others may not."

Those words, I wrote them down when the vice president-elect said them, just notable.

I want to talk for a moment about the core of the message from the president-elect, Joe Biden tonight. Unity, which has been a consistent point, the soul of the nation, right, going back to his campaign.

But he made a deliberate effort to reach out to those who did not vote for him. I want to play that sound and just get your thoughts, Sabrina. Have a listen.


BIDEN: For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I've lost a couple times myself. But now let's give each other a chance.


SCIUTTO: You know, even the self-deprecation there, "I've lost a couple times myself."

Will that message -- will it make a difference?

Will folks listen to that, do you think?

SIDDIQUI: Well, look, that's going to be a real big challenge ahead. But as you point out, this has been a consistent theme of President- Elect Biden's candidacy where he not only declared it a battle for the soul of the nation but he didn't really campaign on any kind of sweeping structural reform.

It was really about a return to normalcy and the need for compromise. And a lot of that has been forward (ph) by his 36-year career in the U.S. Senate when compromise in another era had been rewarded over partisanship.

Now we live in a much more polarized nation. President Trump received as many as 7 million more votes than he did four years ago. He has not conceded. What is striking is, at the same time Biden was talking about the need for Democrats and Republicans to come together, to embrace people who voted for President Trump, Republicans in Congress, for the most part, have still not even acknowledged his victory, much less congratulated him.

And I think that's a sign of some of the challenges that he is going to face when he eventually does take the helm at the Oval Office.

But his transition team is moving ahead. They're going to roll out a Coronavirus Task Force in the coming days. They know that they face steep challenges. This is a country that has been mired by a pandemic, by an economic recession, racial unrest.

And I think that's the reason why a message that was really just about a return to stability took on more resonance with the American electorate this year.

HARLOW: For sure. The celebration tonight; the hard work begins in the morning. Sabrina, thank you very much for joining us.

SIDDIQUI: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Count all the votes -- that is the hallmark of American elections -- and to do so fairly.

HARLOW: Absolutely. We'll show you where the counting is still under way. But there is no denying this historic result, next.


KAMALA HARRIS (D), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We did it, we did it, Joe. You're going to be the next President of the United States.




[02:20:00] (MUSIC PLAYING)

CUOMO: Welcome back to CNN's live coverage of America's choice in the 2020 election. Joe Biden has now secured enough electoral votes to become the next president. That much is clear. It's established. But the counting of the votes is not yet finished.

HARLOW: That's right. Ballots are still being counted in a handful of states that are too close to call: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina.

SCIUTTO: The state of Nevada had been on that list. It is now, however, projected to be another win for Biden with its six electoral votes. Democrat Dina Titus, she represents Nevada in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congresswoman, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

REP. DINA TITUS (D-NV): Thank you for having me.

SCIUTTO: I want to ask you this, big picture. This is a moment for the country in a divided time.

What was your reaction to Joe Biden's message this evening as he spoke of his victory?

TITUS: I thought he said exactly what needed to be said and it was a continuation of the message he had throughout his campaign, that he was going to be a president for all Americans. He didn't believe in blue states or red states. He wanted to restore unity, bring people back together, talk about how making progress for the country, restoring our position internationally.

No bad words about the president, no criticism of Republicans. It was a good, positive message, which is what we used to hear from presidents.

SCIUTTO: Yes, particularly in this moment.

There is history, of course, being made. That is Senator Kamala Harris, now Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, first woman, first woman of color, first woman of South Asian descent. Your reaction, particularly as a congresswoman in this Congress.

TITUS: Well, I was very excited about it. As she said, it was an audacious choice. Not only is she so qualified but she is a good balance to him. I represent Las Vegas, a very international city, a lot of immigrants here.


TITUS: A lot of visitors here from around the world, it sends a very positive message that this administration looks like the face of America.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this, because the sad fact is, the president is claiming, without evidence, that the election was stolen. I want to give you a chance; Nevada had a relatively close election, although now the votes have been counted.

What's your response to the president and his allies claiming fraud here?

TITUS: Well, I think they know that's not going anywhere. He knew he couldn't win legitimately so he is trying to bring the election into question.

Here in Nevada, our legislature passed the law that set up our electoral process. They've sued us four times. All of them have been declared inconsequential and thrown out. We have a Republican secretary of state.

They're suing us again. It's not going anywhere. You have to have proof in the court for a lawsuit. There is no proof of any of these allegations.

SCIUTTO: The irony, particularly as some GOP lawmakers echo now the president's attack, is that they themselves were elected in this election -- or reelected. And yet they're claiming that the election was fraudulent in some way.

You work alongside Republicans, of course, in Congress. And I want to give you a chance here just to speak to them, to those who are now echoing an attack that does not have evidence, at least presented by those making the attack.

What do you say to them as they attack this U.S. institution?

TITUS: Well, it's been discouraging all along to see them stand up for a president who has told a lot of lies and not put policy forward that helps the American people. And now I guess this is kind of their last gasp.

But I'm hoping that, once the president is gone, they'll kind of come back to their senses. Joe Biden knows how to work across the aisle. We can find a lot of policies that aren't ideological, like infrastructure. Everybody needs roads. And let's figure out a way to work together and put aside some of that rhetoric.

SCIUTTO: Well, from your lips to God's ears, Congresswoman, thank you so much for joining us and staying up late to speak to us this evening.

TITUS: Well, thank you so much. Las Vegas is a 24-hour town. It's not a problem.

SCIUTTO: As those words came out of my mouth, I said, wait a second, it's Vegas here. What am I talking about late? But we do appreciate you taking the time.

TITUS: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Well, President Trump's response to Biden's victory has many concerned about the upcoming transition of power.

HARLOW: That's right.

What will it look like?

Will the president concede?

Joining us next, a presidential historian who will help us take a look at how this night might all be remembered when those history books are rewritten.





HARLOW: Well, welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. We're so glad you're with us tonight. It is a historic night. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

SCIUTTO: We are happy you're with us. There is so much to talk about and absorb. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington.

HARLOW: And welcome back to our live coverage of America's choice and the 2020 election.

While many Americans have been celebrating Joe Biden's election victory, Biden himself is very mindful that 70 million people in this country did not vote for him.

SCIUTTO: And he spoke to them directly, addressing Trump voters in his first speech as president-elect. Biden said he understood their disappointment. But he also reached out to them. He pledged to be a president for all Americans. He asked simply to be given a chance.

HARLOW: That's right. In his victory speech, the former vice president credited his broad coalition of supporters for the historic turnout, especially in the Black community. Listen to this.


BIDEN: Democrats, Republicans, independents, progressives, moderate, conservatives; young, old; urban, suburban, rural; gay, straight, transgender; white, Latino, Asian, Native American. I mean it.

Especially those moments and especially those moments where this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the African American community stood up again for me.


BIDEN: You've always had my back and I'll have yours.


SCIUTTO: Many ways propelled him to the nomination in the first place, too, with that key endorsement from James Clyburn. Let's get some perspectives now on Biden's win.

HARLOW: CNN presidential historian Tim Naftali joins us from New York. He is also formally the director of the Nixon Presidential Library.

It's great to have you. Very grateful you stayed up late for us. I would like to start on this point, that Joe Biden ran on being the candidate that could unify the nation. Interestingly, our exit polls showed that was the fifth most important thing to voters, was a president who could unify.

But it is critical to getting anything done and moving forward. You remind us that there are 70 million people who didn't vote for him, who voted for the president and, therefore, 70 million people, who very likely don't share his views, for example, on coronavirus and this pandemic going forward.

How on Earth do you bring that together?

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, this was not the -- Poppy, this was not the first time that our country has had an election in a national emergency. But this was the first time that we didn't have a consensus between the two major candidates on the nature of the crisis.

There were times when the two major candidates differed on how to get out of the crisis. But, as we all remember, President Trump does not share the -- he doesn't agree with or at least doesn't convey the idea that the coronavirus pandemic is a serious threat to public health.

So you have 70 million people who have voted for, at least 70 million, who have voted for President Trump, who may actually share his view of the coronavirus. Now one of the -- perhaps, without a doubt, actually, the first priority for the Biden administration will be to work on getting the virus under control.


NAFTALI: Because you cannot begin to help the U.S. economy if you can't and don't get the virus under control.

Well, how do you get 70 million people to join with you in an approach, a national approach to the virus, that brings down the number of cases?

You've got to be able to convince them of things that Donald Trump told them to disbelieve.

So I think that it is very important and, I think, wise of President- Elect Biden to be thinking of those 70 million people because we need them if we are going to get this virus under control.

So I think that's where -- before you begin talking about policy issues and Affordable Care Acts and climate change, which are very important, we've got to get this virus under control. So I think it made perfect sense for President-Elect Biden to choose the tone that he has chosen, not just for today's speech but for yesterday's speech.

SCIUTTO: Let's talk about what worked, right, because, leading in this election, there were concerns about foreign interference, perhaps even with the vote count. That didn't happen. I've spoken with folks in the national security infrastructure. They say it didn't happen.

There were concerns that people wouldn't come out to vote, that they'd be too scared, given the pandemic. But you had a whole host of measures taken to alleviate that. And many more people voted than ever before.

What hopeful message, beyond the politics of this, can Americans take for their own participation in the process here?

NAFTALI: I don't think you have to try very hard to see anything but good come out of the fact that Americans responded to the national emergency by increasing their participation in the election. I mean, it's astounding.

And in fact I'm moved to think about the special effort, not only that voters made but all of those people who worked at polls.

Think of those people who put on PPE to be sure that we had our -- the right to vote. We, as a nation, showed remarkable character. Despite the fact that we had a leader who didn't want us to take seriously the nature of the virus, Americans did.

Over 100 million Americans voted early or by absentee ballot. We've never come close to that before. The number was 58 million in 2016. And on the day of the vote, millions more voted.

And they voted in places that were made secure and safe for them. So I think that's a source of great hope. On that day and in the weeks prior to that day, America did what it could to make sure that the pandemic wasn't worsened by our expression of democracy.

If we could carry that seriousness forward and focus our energies on the virus itself, I think good things could come of it.

So I see a lot of good to have come out of our reaction to an election and a pandemic. And I see that that could be a source of bridge building for a future Biden administration.

HARLOW: Tim, it may have taken more than 240 years but there will now be a woman vice president in the White House.

NAFTALI: Oh, yes.

HARLOW: Not just a woman, a Black woman. Listen to this from now Vice President-Elect Harris.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS: Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women who, throughout our nation's history, have paved the way for this moment tonight.


HARLOW: She's the first but she reminded everyone she won't be the last. Speak to the historical importance, how the history books will remember this.

NAFTALI: Well, first of all, I just want to say, her words are far better than mine. One of the things she did in her speech was Vice President-Elect Harris reminded us that this is the 100th anniversary of American women getting the right to vote.

HARLOW: Right.

NAFTALI: Now I love anniversaries. Hey, I'm a historian. I'm always looking for an anniversary to talk about something cool from the past.

But we should be a little bit annoyed that it took 100 years for women to have -- for a woman to be at the top of our governmental pyramid. So it's a great moment.


NAFTALI: But, gosh, it took a long time.


NAFTALI: So, yes, savor the moment. But I, you know, I look at it as something that's a long time in coming. I think of -- I think of Shirley Chisholm and Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin, too, and, of course, Hillary Clinton.

So it took a while, didn't it?

But it's great.

And you know what's also wonderful about it?

It's the fact that, with each barrier that is broken, that's one more part of our society, in this case over 50 percent, who know that they can do it. And that's, again, another source of hopefulness. There is a lot of tension right now. There are a lot of reasons to be worried. But let's savor those hopeful elements of what's just happened.

SCIUTTO: Well, Joe Biden, he quoted Martin Luther King this evening, "The arc of history is long but bends towards justice."

And to your point, right, it's long but we hope it bends in the right direction. Tim Naftali, always good to have you on.

NAFTALI: Thanks, Jim.

Thanks, Poppy. HARLOW: Thank you, Tim.

All right. Well, the Trump White House brought major changes to America's national security policy.

SCIUTTO: Big ones, some that even members of both parties criticize. Coming up, we're going to speak with the former Homeland Security official about the challenges around the world and in this country facing President-Elect Biden.




SCIUTTO: Welcome back to CNN's live coverage of America's choice and the 2020 election.

Even though President Trump has not yet conceded the race, world leaders, they're ahead of him. They're recognizing and congratulating President-Elect Biden.

Among them, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu; of course, a close ally of President Trump's. He said that he and Joe Biden have had a long and warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years.


HARLOW: That's right. In a separate tweet, he is thanking the president, Trump, for, quote, "recognizing Jerusalem and the Golan, for standing up to Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the American-Israeli alliance to unprecedented heights."

That is a quote from Bibi Netanyahu.

SCIUTTO: British prime minister Boris Johnson, who's formed a close friendship with Mr. Trump, often received praise from him, says that he looks forward to working closely with both Joe Biden, the president-elect, and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris.

HARLOW: Also Germany's Angela Merkel is also offering her congratulations with a special mention of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris becoming America's first female vice president.

Mr. Trump and his supporters, though, are alleging voter fraud without any proof. Votes are still being counted in a few parts of a few states. The president is not conceding, despite the math just not being there for him.

SCIUTTO: Well, and ahead of the vote, there were concerns, of course, that countries such as Iran, Russia and China would interfere, not just in the political conversation, discourse, debate, but actually voting systems, vote counting.

I'm told by a senior defense official that, thankfully, that did not take place. Let's take a look at all the national security challenges facing this election and the country under the next president. We're joined by Juliette Kayyem.

Juliette, great to have you on and thank you, as I'm thanking all guests tonight, for staying up late or coming in early for us.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I got some sleep, thank you, finally, after a long week.

SCIUTTO: Nicely done. I want to -- listen, I want to focus on the positive to the best extent possible.

KAYYEM: I know.

SCIUTTO: Let's start with one positive development here. There were genuine concerns about foreign interference in this election and not just what did take place, which is tweeting about stuff, getting into people's heads, et cetera, the discourse, but affecting voting systems.

That appears not to have happened. Tell us the importance of that, how much of a victory that is.

KAYYEM: It was a good week, actually, across the board. Look, there is always going to be disinformation, fake news promoted by our enemies.

But really, the thing that really worried those of us monitoring this, was disruption, that actually our votes wouldn't count or there would be enough chaos that we would doubt our votes.

That didn't happen. In fact, there were a lot of dogs that didn't bark this week in terms of unrest and disruption and even disinformation. It would be good to settle this, to have the president concede simply because, in the vacuum, a lot of noise can happen. But, for people like me, it was a good week.

SCIUTTO: OK. Let's talk about the challenges domestically because -- and this is a sad fact but the president is claiming the election was stolen. And sitting GOP lawmakers, which I keep noting, were elected, many in this same election, echoing that.

We know there were groups in this country, people who believe that, sadly, and groups that might act on that.

What are the concerns of domestic unrest, violence inspired by that false claim that this election was stolen?

KAYYEM: So the longer it goes on, of course, you worry about not Trump supporters. I want to be clear here. Trump supporters are, most of them are not violent. But there are a few who believe the president, who will be radicalized by his words.

He's been doing this for four years. You and I have talked about it. He throws things out there, talks about war; they're stealing stuff and activates potential terrorism and violence. But it's been interesting the last couple of days. First of all, the world is moving on, as you and Poppy noted. All of

these leaders, everyone, the president is going to wake up to this, Republican leaders will. Let's give them a day or two

The second is, these rallies for Trump that people like me, I was monitoring for CNN, I kept cancelling myself. I was like nothing is going on. You don't need me on. Maybe there was 50 people, 100 people 150 people; you're not seeing them move to the streets that we worried about. Look, there is a lot of time ahead. It could happen.

But the sort of the -- as I said, the dogs that didn't bark are really good for security purposes. So I think there will be an easy transition. The president will be cranky. He'll be noisy.

But I don't think -- as of right now, I think that you're seeing what happens when someone is lawfully elected, which is, we have a capacity in the United States to just move on. And that's what's happening.

SCIUTTO: And I'm glad you highlighted that. That was a genuine concern, too. Again, it's relatively early here. We could see something. But to this point, we've seen the people.


SCIUTTO: And listen, you know, maybe we learn from them, right, accepting this outcome.

KAYYEM: Right.

SCIUTTO: Thank you for coming on.

KAYYEM: I'll see you guys later, 'bye.

HARLOW: Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris makes history in America in more ways than one.

SCIUTTO: Much of her victory speech was a tribute to one special group in particular. That's ahead.





SCIUTTO (voice-over): All right, so history: U.S. Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, there she is, made some history. She is the first woman to be elected to that role.


HARLOW: That's right. She is also only the fourth woman ever to appear even on a major political party's presidential ticket in the U.S. In her victory speech, she paid tribute to the women in her life. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: And to the woman most responsible for my presence here today, my mother, Shyamalan Gopalan Harris, who is always in our hearts. When she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn't quite imagine this moment.


HARRIS: But she believed so deeply in America where a moment like this is possible. And so I'm thinking about her and about the generations of women, Black women --


HARRIS: -- Asian, white, Latina, Native American women, who throughout our nation's history have paved the way for this moment tonight, women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all, including the Black women who are often, too often overlooked, but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.


HARRIS: All the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century, 100 years ago with the 19th Amendment, 55 years ago with the Voting Rights Act and, now in 2020, with a new generation of women in our country, who cast their ballots and continue the fight for their fundamental right to vote and be heard.


HARRIS: Tonight I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been. And I stand on their shoulders. And what a testament it is to Joe's character, that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country and select a woman as his vice president.


HARLOW: What a moment, what a night. It is a new day in America. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: "I stand on their shoulders," she said.

I'm Jim Sciutto. CNN's continuing coverage of the U.S. election continues right after a short break.