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Primaries Conclude in States Across U.S.; House Speaker Boehner Announces Possible Congressional Lawsuit Against Executive Branch; Terrorist Group Threatens to Capture Baghdad; Bill Clinton Defends Hillary; Uruguay's Luis Suarez Takes a Bite Out of Opponent; Team USA Has Arrived in Recife
Aired June 25, 2014 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: In Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford defeated T.W. Shannon in the Republican primary. That was the race to succeed retiring senator Tom Coburn.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: In Maryland CNN's projects Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown won the state's Democratic gubernatorial primary, and in Florida Republican businessman Curt Clawson, he won the special election to replace former Republican Congressman Trey Radel. The so-called "cocaine congressman," as you'll remember, he had to resign after his arrest earlier last year.
More now on the big primary in Mississippi. Let's get to chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash in Jackson, Mississippi. Dana, in Mississippi, that race probably the premium race, the highlight race that everyone was look at. What does it mean going forward? Chris McDaniel, he's suggesting that this fight isn't over yet for him. Is he going to succeed -- is he going to concede? What's the next step?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know. He hasn't yet, and when I talked right before going to bed about a few hours ago when I talked to one of his aides about that, and his response was "stay tuned."
But this is something, Kate, that Chris McDaniel was laying the groundwork for already in the days leading up to the runoff, knowing full well that Thad Cochran was actively courting non-Republican voters. Listen to what he told me on Monday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MCDANIEL, (R) MISSISSIPPI SENATE CANDIDATE: Do they want a party whose nominee has been selected by liberal Democrats, or do they want one that's been selected by Reagan conservatives? We are the conservative side of the equation. I think the primaries should be for Republicans.
BASH: You're saying it's wrong when it comes to the spirit of the law.
MCDANIEL: No. According to the law it's illegal. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Now he bases that on the fact that Democrats or people who vote in the Democratic primary can't then vote in the Republican runoff. So I suspect that they will be looking to see if there are any questions about that.
But other part of the law, Kate, is that if you vote in the Republican primary and intend to vote for the Democrat in the general election in the fall, that's not legal. However, it's completely not enforceable, and the federal judges have today that it's not enforceable so therein lies his problem, but it doesn't mean he's not going to at least try.
BOLDUAN: Very good point. That had Cochran, it appears he got an unusual assist as you've been talking about Democrats, many African- American voters, you even spoke to some, many turning out to vote for him. A lot of this in the primary election is what does this mean in the broader message? What does this victory -- what message does it send the Republican Party, do you think?
BASH: Well, a man by the name of Henry Barbour, the former governor's nephew, and also a Republican committeeman, he was the one in charge of the super PAC trying to get out those non-Republican votes. And in the days leading up to the runoff he was saying if we succeed here this could be a mold for the Republican Party nationally because they have to broaden the party or else they are not going to win back the White House. And so that certainly is going to be their goal.
Here's the big but. The big but, Kate, is that Thad Cochran, you know, this you've covered him, he is not your typical Republican. And the fact that he is a Republican in Mississippi and he was able to get, it appears, some traditionally Democratic and African-American votes is a testament to the fact that for three decades he has had a relationship with him. So in this case it really is personal. They understood him. They like him. They know him. They understood what he has done for Mississippi. So it's unclear if that's really transferrable to the broader Republican Party.
BOLDUAN: It's so interesting. You even heard in Chris McDaniel's speech at the very end, he almost criticized Thad Cochran for reaching across the aisle, for compromising. You can see two very different campaigns that they were running. Dana Bash in Mississippi for us. Thanks, Dana.
We're going to have much more on the primary results, of course, coming up on "INSIDE POLITICS" later in the hour.
CUOMO: So what do lawmakers do when they can't control an outcome through compromise? They sue. That's what they do. House Speaker John Boehner threatening to sue President Obama over executive actions. The argument is this. Republicans say the president is breaching his constitutional power by pushing initiatives without approval from congress. Let's turn to Michelle Kosinski who has more on this from the White House. Political tactic or do you think it's going to be a real litigation? MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This brings that
difficult relationship between the president and Congress to a new level. We've been hearing repeatedly from the administration we're not going to wait for Congress. We're going to use our pen. Don't have to wait for Congress. Well, now House Speaker John Boehner is saying Congress may not be able to pass much right now, but that doesn't mean you're going to be able to do it all yourself, looking into suing the president to prove it.
KOSINSKI: Everyone made nice for an event at the White House, the president joking that House Speaker Boehner is one of his favorite golfing buddies.
TIM FINCHEM, COMMISSIONER OF THE PGA TOUR: You got criticized a couple of times for playing the game of golf. I'll note that the list of people who criticize you did not include Speaker Boehner.
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's the only thing he doesn't criticize me about.
KOSINSKI: Yet as this was happening, the news was spreading that Boehner's consulting legal scholars about the Republican-controlled house possibly suing President Obama for acting alone.
OBAMA: America cannot stand still and neither will I.
I've initiated over 20 executive actions to try to tighten up some of the rules and the laws.
KOSINSKI: Those famous executive actions, dozens and dozens of them, tweaking regulations and making moves on some of the most controversial topics, things he knows Congress won't or can't touch -- gun control, climate change, minimum wage, gay marriage, power plants, health care, immigration.
OBAMA: Whenever I can act on my own, I'm going to. We are not just going to be waiting for legislation. That's what I'm going to do, with or without Congress.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president will announce new concrete actions that he will take using his pen.
OBAMA: I've got a pen and I've got a phone.
KOSINSKI: That pen outraging congress. Things like not consulting them on the deal for releasing Bowe Bergdahl and allowing hundreds of thousands of immigrant children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents to stay.
Other modern presidents have not used executive actions over more legally binding executive orders. Boehner spokesman says the president has a clear record of ignoring the American people's elected representatives and exceeding his constitutional authority, which has dangerous implications for both our system of government and our economy.
And while moves to limit the president's authority have not made it through the Democratic-controlled Senate, Boehner feels a lawsuit might just do it.
KOSINSKI: The White House hasn't responded to this specifically, but they have repeatedly slammed Congress for failing to act on issues that affect the American people. If this plan were deemed feasible and House leadership agrees to it, this would mean the legislative branch suing the executive branch for taking away some of its power and leaving it to the judicial branch to decide it all. Chris?
CUOMO: The irony, Michelle, is that when you look at the division of power between the executive and the legislative, nowhere has it been arguably more overstepped by the executive when it comes to declaring war, like during Iraq. But there Congress often cedes authority to the president. So it comes down to, does Congress only gets angry when it's convenient for them to get angry? We'll continues that debate.
And of course it leads right into our next story, Iraq and how we go there. And 90 American military advisers have now arrived on the ground to help push back ISIS. There are now as many as 10,000 Sunni extremists on the march in Iraq and Syria, gobbling up cities on their way to Baghdad. Could the capital be the next city to fall? That is what the major concern is.
Philip Mudd is a CNN counterterrorism analyst and a former CIA counterterrorism official. He joins us now. Mr. Mudd, always good to have you here. Not going to talk about constitutional extension of authority with you.
CUOMO: I'm going to talk about what's happening on the ground. First, let's start with what's seen as a threat which you may have a different take on. So ISIS moves through the north and western aspects of Iraq. It starts gobbling up small places. The Kurds come behind them and take Kirkuk most notably. People are saying the Kurds are moving through, it's a threat. But many on the ground there say this could be a good thing. Is it good or bad to have the Kurds asserting themselves?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: If you're looking for the continued integration of Iraq with its three major populations, that is Shia, Sunni, and Kurds, the Kurds are starting to create facts on the ground for separation. And the leadership of the Kurds has been very direct about this in the past few days.
Look, the bottom line is that the Kurds forever have wanted their own separate entity. They see chaos in Baghdad between Sunnis and Shia, and they say, hey, in the midst of chaos let's take advantage of this and not only harden the separation between Kurds and the rest of Iraq but take those Kirkuk oil fields, because if you're running an economy in northern Iraq, let me give you one good way to make some cash, and that is pump oil.
CUOMO: OK, so let me take the pro side and you can say what the threat side is this. I say if the Kurds come in and they get their land, one, they have a great historical argument that they should have had all along. They've been in that region as long as anybody has been anywhere in the stans. Two, they create a buffer for Turkey, Turkey very vulnerable to what's going on in Iraq. Three, they are a significant population of Iraq. They are a quarter of the population there, and they will actively fight Sunni insurgents. They have done well against ISIS and they have a very developed fighting force, and if they have their own land they would be more likely to be cooperative with the Iraqi sovereign in general. What's the other side?
MUDD: Well, let's look at a couple of facts here that might change over time and that might suggest that you're wrong. The first is the Kurdish populations, particularly in Turkey but also in Iran. The concern of the Iranian government, the Turkish government for years has been if you get more independence or autonomy for Iraqi Kurds, what happens if there's a movement for a greater Kurdistan? A lot of instability.
The second is let's say, and I think this is highly unlikely, Maliki ever says, hey, things are pretty tough. I'm going to try to put together a coalition government and I'm going to try to pull in Sunni tribes because if I get the Sunni tribes in maybe they will start to isolate ISIS. What happens when the Sunni tribes say, hey, excuse me. You gave a lot more autonomy to the Kurds, how about us? The Kurds are starting to say you can fight if you want down in southern Iraq and Anbar province, but we want out.
CUOMO: OK, so we'll have to see how the facts play out, but right now it's a situation that could play to advantage or not depending on the politics on the ground. So that gets us to the on-the-ground aspect. Now there are about 90 advisers on the U.S. side on the ground. We're told they are there to assess the capabilities of the Iraqis and what they can handle. Isn't that a little bit of a joke, Mr. Mudd? Don't you think they know the capabilities right now? This is the same force where often it was commented on whether or not they were wearing boots or barefoot during the meat of the war. Do you think there's really any question about how capable Iraqi forces are?
MUDD: Absolutely not. If I'm sitting in my old chair at the CIA the first question I have when those folks get into Baghdad, into the operations centers they are going to create across Iraq is, what is your assessment of the tactical capabilities of the Iraqi military today? I'm not talking about whether they have got great leadership. Clearly they do not. I'm talking about, for example, at this oil facility that's been fought over in the past few days, what are the Iraqis thinking? What are their tactics? What weapons are they bringing to bear? How are they thinking about attacking insurgents day to day? To me that's an interesting question, and the answer is unknown today. So the first question isn't assessing ISIS necessarily. It's assessing the partner and I think that's a critical open question.
CUOMO: Do you think it's an open question and do you think that the answer is going to be obvious and it's going to be the reason they have been running away and dropping arms and giving all these military assets that the U.S. gave them over to ISIS? The reason they can't hold the oil refinery against these guys is because they don't have what it takes. So the adviser part is easy. The big question is, what are you going to do about their incompetence?
MUDD: Let me take you into my old life for a sec. It may be obvious from a high level. Clearly we know that Maliki is being difficult, and he's going to be more difficult. He's signaled in the past day or two he's not that interested in what Secretary Kerry is saying. He represents Shia interests, not Iraqi interests.
But if you're a practitioner and the president of the United States says go into an operation center in, Baghdad I don't care if the scenario is ugly. I don't care if it looks like the partner is incompetent. The mission I was given by the elected representatives of the American people is figure out what your partners are trying to do at things like that oil facility and figure out how to help. And I don't care if it's ugly -- make it better. So I understand strategically this looks ugly. As a practitioner you throw out window and figure out how to execute what the president said.
CUOMO: At this point better chance we leave the situation there alone to play out among the main players or that the U.S. has to get more involved?
MUDD: What I would say, leave it pretty much as is, because if you intervene you start appearing to be the army, the military on the side of a sectarian dictator, that is Nouri al-Maliki, one major problem that we have to look at over time. Insurgent groups, if they get comfortable, start or terrorist groups that have adopted the Al Qaeda start to say our target isn't only Baghdad, it's potentially Boston. If we see a small -- even a small sliver of ISIS that starts to focus specifically on European or American targets, those advisers better have enough of an intelligence picture of Iraq to start telling the president and the Congress, if you tell us to act we can start hitting the sites where they are training kids to go into cities like London or Paris or New York.
CUOMO: Boy, Mr. Mudd, this sounds exactly what I heard in 2003. It's good to have you here. Hopefully we come to a different set of answers that we did that time. Good to have you, as always. Michaela?
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Chris, let's take a look at some of your headlines right now at 13 minutes past the hour. The IRS failed to follow the law by not reporting a hard drive crash that destroyed thousands of e-mails. That's according to the nation's top archivist testifying before Congress Tuesday. Also on the stand, a former IRS lawyer who now works at the White House, Jennifer O'Connor, was hammered by Republicans over the missing e-mails which were sought in connection with claims that the IRS targeted conservative groups.
A federal judge says the U.S. no-fly list violates the constitution. The secret list was established in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and it bans people suspected of links to terror from taking commercial flights. The judge said those people have no real way to contest their status and ordered the government to overhaul the system. This case was brought by 13 Muslim Americans who deny any connection to terror.
Bill Clinton insisting Hillary is not out of touch. The former president is defending his wife who has been criticized of late for comments about her personal wealth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: She's not out of touch and she advocated and worked as a senator for things that were good for ordinary people, and before that, all her life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
During the Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Bill said Hillary is committed to reducing poverty in America and can relate to average Americans. Hillary Clinton, of course, for her part, has not yet said if she will or will not run for president in 2016.
A follow-up now to a story that we brought to you on NEW DAY, a Pennsylvania pastor defrocked for officiating his son's same-sex wedding. He is being welcomed back into the fold. Frank Schaeffer will have his ordinaation restored and receive back pay dating back to December. That's when he was stripped of his duties after a United Methodist trial found him guilty of violating church law. Schaeffer refused to promise not to preside at future gay weddings. The 52- year-old has since joined a church in California.
I like when we're able to give a follow-up to a story. Because remember how he sat here and told us how conflicting it was because his own son --
BOLDUAN: Evolution within himself.
CUOMO: It's a good result because he's back doing what he loves, but it's going to be troubling because of the reason he got his job back is because he said I won't do it again.
PEREIRA: No, he refused to promise, that by the way.
CUOMO: Oh, he refused to promise that.
PEREIRA: Right, yes.
CUOMO: Oh, that's better.
BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, on Inside Politics we're going to go to Mississippi. How a longtime Republican senator got out the vote in black churches is one place for a primary win against a Tea Party challenger.
CUOMO: Plus, in the case of Suarez verse Chiellini, I submit not just the video but just one fact. He's known as The Cannibal. Why did officials overlook the fact that this man clearly took a bite out of crime during this World Cup match? We're going to get into the controversy and what it could mean for the matches going forward.
Look at this guy, Chiellini is like mi spalla, mi spalla.
CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. One of Uruguay's star players could be out of the World Cup for this -- what we're going to show you on video here. This is what he did. You judge. What does that look like to you? That's Luis Suarez leaning down and apparently biting an Italian player. Not the first time, at least third time, the man nicknamed The Cannibal has been in this kind of situation.
Let's bring in CNN's Lara Baldesarra from Brazil live in Brazil. Now you are completely not objective on this because I know you are all about the Italian side, so let's put that aside and explain to us how this isn't so painfully obvious, excuse the pun, that the ref didn't do anything about it then? And what do you think happens now?
LARA BALDESARRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty incredible considering that this -- this ref managed to see pretty much everything and a lot of things that I would say didn't exactly exist in the game, but this is the one incident that he didn't see and this is the incident that everybody is talking about.
Now, even though nobody saw this incident, it will still be reviewed by FIFA's disciplinary panel, which they are doing right now. Now, if Suarez is found guilty, that means an automatic two-match ban, a minimum, rather, two-match ban for Luis Suarez. And it can also bring a maximum of 24 matches. So if it is the minimum, that's a pretty big blow for Uruguay and their World Cup squad, especially if they continue to move forward. And of course, a two-year ban, that could be huge.
Now there isn't really that conclusive of evidence on the camera angles that we've seen, because you only see the back of Luis Suarez's head going into Chiellini's shoulder. It's not really like that incident that we saw Suarez when he bit the Chelsea players a couple seasons ago where you actually saw him go in and grab the player's arm and then bite the player's arm. We're not seeing that, so there will have to be a lot of evidence reviewed before we actually find out what this was and what FIFA is going to do about it.
CUOMO: Doesn't look that vague to me, Baldesarra; looks like a clean cut case of the chomps that he had out there.
But we'll let that one be. But let me ask you something else while I have you. You're down in Recife. That's where the big game is going to be between the U.S. and Germany. What's the latest? What do we know about how the U.S. side is doing?
BALDESARRA: Well, we know that they arrived last night pretty early in the evening. They had some dinner and then I assume they went to bed. Now, I will you, when they arrived, there was a lot of fanfare around. I didn't actually know that so many people show up outside of the hotel waving their American flags and cheering. I actually -- I was up, many floors up because I'm staying in the same hotel as them, and I could hear the screams. It sounded like little girl screams. I thought it was Justin Bieber arriving or something, but, no, everyone was there as they watched them get off the bus.
Now, today they're actually going to be heading out to the stadium, to Recife, which you can see right behind me. It's where they're going to be playing. We're going to be hearing from a couple of the players and Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of the match, and then we're going to get to see a little bit of open training and go from there. So actually tomorrow I'll have some interesting comments to bring you, I'm sure, because we are very interested in the whole German-USA connection for this game and what it's going to mean, Chris.
CUOMO: Well, seeing how you started a lot of the speculation about this collusion, you know, I was down there with you, Baldesarra, don't run away. Don't run away from it. It's good to know you're in the same hotel with the team. We expect some real good skinny information from you there because you're in the same place. I know you're working for us. Thanks for being with us. Enjoy it down there.
BOLDUAN: All right, let's take a check of the weather this morning. Turn to meteorologist Indra Petersons, taking a look at it all. What are we looking at, Indra?
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEREOLOGIST: A lot of rain. And everyone keeps asking how much rain? Because a huge chunk of the country today is looking for rain but it's not the question. It's about how fast, because take a look at Chicago yesterday. The (INAUDIBLE) was closed in both directions thanks to only about an inch of rain that all fell in the early evening hours, So that's key. So many of you still expecting rain today and that same system now making it way into the northeast.
So there you go. You can see the radar right now already pushing it in. As we go towards the evening hours, you'll start seeing that rain in towards New York City, Boston, even some light rain out towards D.C. It's in the overnight hours, that's when you'll see the heaviest rain. Tomorrow morning, yes, you still can see a scattered shower commute time on the back side of this, but eventually kicking out here. Still some light showers picking up in the afternoon tomorrow.
So kind of a quick system, but, again, it's about how fast will that rain fall and that's going to bring the concern over the next 24 or 48 hours.
Who is getting the most, 2 to 5 inches, Maine, maybe about several inches though even back towards New York City. Also towards D.C. maybe some light scattered showers out there, but a heavy thunderstorm can still be out there. That's the concern. And it's hot and muggy. I don't even have to tell you this. You know it feels ugly out there and it's not the story in the northeast. All the way in the southeast. Look at heavy rain they're talking about, again, right around the Gulf. Same story for them temperature-wise. Yes, same story too. We're still talking about 80s and 90s. It is hot, it is summer, it is staying hot. At least for the next week.
But hello, no weekend. No rain again. I planned it just for you guys.
PEREIRA: Thumbs up.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.
CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, Inside Politics. Republicans wanted to crush the Tea Party. Did they? Did they succeed? May not be so clear.
BOLDUAN: Also ahead, Lebron James, is he taking his talents somewhere else? He's already decided to opt out of his contract in Miami so what is next for the superstar? Break out your crystal ball.
PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's almost 30 minutes past the hour. Let's take a look at headlines.
We start with the situation in Iraq. Iraqi officials say that 57 civilians have been killed by air strikes carried out by Syrian warplanes in the Anbar province this morning. This as militant numbers in Iraq are growing as they continue to seize key cities across the country. U.S. officials estimate about 10,000 ISIS fighters are in Iraq and Syria; 90 more U.S. military advisers meanwhile have arrived in Iraq, joining 40 already on the ground, to assist Iraqi forces against these Sunni extremists.