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Trump Under Fire For Political Speech During CIA Visit; Interview with Rep. Will Hurd; CIA Director Nominee Faces Confirmation Vote Today; Massive Turnout Nationwide For Women's Marches. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired January 23, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:31:40] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: After weeks of ugliness with the Intelligence Community, President Trump paid a visit to the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia over the weekend, but the president's speech in front of the agency's memorial wall quickly turned very political. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military and probably almost everybody in this room voted for me. As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. I made a speech. I looked out -- the field was -- it looked like a million, a million and one-half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: The last statement by the president is proof of why you need the Intel Community because you need somebody to find out what the truth is in situations. John Brennan, the man who led the CIA, blasting the president, saying he should be ashamed of himself.
Joining us now is Texas Republican congressman and former undercover CIA officer, William Hurd. He serves on the Homeland Security Committee. Congressman, always good to have you on NEW DAY. What was your reaction to the speech?
REP. WILL HURD (R), TEXAS: Well, it wasn't Demosthenes, you know, the great -- the great Greek orator, but it was important that he was there, you know. Making this his first official trip is important. Telling them how much he loved them.
And guess what, there is a shared enemy in the press sometimes with folks in the Intelligence Community because, you know, here in Washington, D.C. everybody always likes to kick the CIA because the CIA doesn't kick back, and so, in the room, people were clapping. But it's important that this was an attempt to show the media and the rest of the world that there is no wedge between the president and the Intelligence Community. He went on to talk about how great Mike Pompeo was and was probably his most important pick. And this is important in context around all of the Russian hacking of the D triple C and the DNC, what the Intelligence Community called "Grizzly Steppe" because this was a Russian covert action campaign and what was -- why it's going to go down in history in Russia as the most successful covert action campaign is because of the wedge, whether real or perceived, that it created between the president, and the Intelligence Community, and the American public.
And so, this was -- this was -- I'm glad he went there first to show his commitment to these people and I'm ready for Mike Pompeo to get approved so that he can -- he can start helming such a great organization.
CUOMO: So you think the past is simply and quickly forgotten. The president comes, who had clearly disparaged the brothers and sisters in your former community at the CIA, there's no disputing that. He blamed it on the media, right, but you guys, if anybody, should be smart enough to know where this started and what it was about. And then he says it's not true, nobody backs you more than I do. That'll be good enough for the men and women in that room?
HURD: Well, I spent nine and one-half years as an undercover officer in the CIA. I served three presidents. And the president, whenever they come into office, has a very different relationship with the Intelligence Community as when they leave. I think his commitment to the national security apparatus is shown in selecting Mike Pompeo as director of the CIA. General Mattis is probably the most well- regarded person in Washington, D.C. And then, Sen. Coats as the director of National Intelligenceis a good selection as well, too.
[07:35:15] So these are going to be his people. He's going to trust these folks. And again, I think what we need in the Intelligence Community is we need a chief executive that's going to make a decision rather than wring their hands, and I don't think anybody -- I don't think anybody would say that President Trump is unambiguous.
CUOMO: Well said. That was very Demosthenes-like, yourself, right there. So, now let me have you just have your hat on as a congressman for a second. You put out your taxes?
HURD: I have.
CUOMO: Do you think the president should put out his taxes?
HURD: I think it would be a good move.
CUOMO: Do you think he will?
HURD: I don't have any indication either way on that but I think that would solve a lot of problems.
CUOMO: Because look at this lawsuit that's coming out now. These are not simple minds that are bringing this suit, right? There are lots of questions about whether there will be a sufficiency of this suit -- standing, rightness, mootness -- all those different issues that get caught up in lawsuits. But this fundamental question is driven by a lack of transparency -- I think everybody would agree on that -- and it seems that the president is content to not have people know. We don't even know if any of those folders that were on that table are real or have been actually executed, or will do what they say. Is this acceptable going forward?
HURD: Well, we've also got to realize this is Washington, D.C. and there's always political motives behind what people are doing and these lawyers that are bringing this suit. I haven't looked at the details. I haven't scrutinized President Trump's plan. I do believe he was putting his shares in a blind trust, which is --
HURD: -- contrary to what your previous guest had on. But this is something where there's going to be a lot of lawyers on both sides doing this. And I think being transparent is important, especially being the most important person in the world -- the most powerful person in the world.
CUOMO: Well, the most powerful person in the world -- doesn't that status demand a little bit more scrutiny of whether or not any of these things actually took place? I mean, don't you think that you should actually kind of know the answer to these questions because this man is the most powerful person in the world?
HURD: Yes, but I -- we've also got to realize that a lot of reviews have gone on. Other lawyers have seen this. You know, this is why we have a legal system because people can disagree on some of the law.
CUOMO: Have seen what, Congressman? Only his lawyers have seen this stuff. He's a private citizen -- not anymore --
HURD: Not anymore.
CUOMO: -- but he was a private -- there's no public company, there's no big filing recommendations he had to do. The stuff he gave to the FEC was volitional. He only put out what he wanted. Nobody has scrutinized anything as far as I know. Do you know differently?
HURD: I don't know differently and, again, I do believe in transparency and that always -- that always wins the day.
CUOMO: Congressman, you are always good to have on this show. You've got a lot of insight into what matters. You're welcome back anytime.
HURD: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: Be well -- Alisyn.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump's national security picks taking center stage. What can we expect with the president's new Defense secretary and CIA chief when they take the reins? We discuss that next.
[07:41:55] CAMEROTA: Congressman Mike Pompeo is expected to be confirmed this afternoon as CIA Director but many are still talking about the president's very political remarks in front of the CIA's memorial wall. Let's discuss it with CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr and CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd. He is a former CIA counterterrorism official so, Phil, I want to start with you. What did you think about what Mr. Trump did at the CIA?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERRORISM ANALYST: Nails on a chalkboard. That was a painful performance. You are standing in front of a wall that represents officers who died in the service, including a lot who lost their lives after 9/11, so they're known by the current CIA generation, including people like me.
Jennifer Matthews, a mom who died in Afghanistan in a suicide attack and you talk about how many more "Time" magazine covers you have than Tom Brady, your fight with the media, and how many people showed up at your speech on the Mall. That's it? That's -- the story should have been where we are as America in terms of things like the fight against ISIS and what the way forward is, and the man can't manage to check his ego at the door. It was painful to watch, Alisyn, just painful.
CUOMO: We just had Will Hurt on, you know him. He was in the CIA for a bunch of years.
MUDD: I saw that, yes.
CUOMO: He said he picked Mike Pompeo. That shows that he supports the brothers and sisters in intelligence. He told them that he supports them there, the past is the past, they're good going forward. You buy that?
MUDD: I'm halfway there. The past is the past depending on a) what Mr. Pompeo does -- he's respected among people Iknow, Democrats and Republicans -- and what the president chooses to do in the future. If he continues to tweet comments about the CIA that are denigrating and if the CIA isn't protected by Mr. Pompeo, that's going to be a problem.
I think CIA officers will see -- and President Trump said this during his speech -- I think CIA officers will believe the segment of it. They will see the appointment of a serious congressman as an indication of the president's intent toward the CIA, but he can't continue. That is, the president can't continue to mock the CIA and he can't continue to show up at CIA headquarters and talk about how many times he's been on "Time" magazine.
CAMEROTA: Barbara, Congressman Pompeo also said in his series of responses to lawmakers during this confirmation process that he would be willing to kind of revisit the interrogation tactics, such as waterboarding. How is that revelation, as well as what Mr. Trump did at the CIA, going over in the halls of the Pentagon where you work?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, tortured. Let's get that one out of the way first. Even President Trump has said that the new Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, has convinced him that torture may not be the best way to go. It is against the law. There is no indication that law is going to be changed. The U.S. military and the Intelligence Community in the ranks very much knowing that that law has been changed.
How all of this is going over -- you know, I think it's worth explaining. The CIA and the Pentagon -- the U.S. military -- certainly full of American citizens who voted for the candidate of their choice, but these are non-political organizations for very good reasons because any president should expect non-political advice from the CIA and non-political military options from the Pentagon. And so, taking politics out of it is going to be key.
[07:45:27] And I think what may be of concern in the Pentagon is could there be a potential repeat performance. Could the President of the United States come to the Pentagon, stand up here in front of television cameras and make a political speech because the bottom line is this. When you are a U.S. soldier in combat the only crowd size that matters is how many enemy troops are firing at you.
CUOMO: A fair point, Barbara, and, you know, there was no small irony in the fact that the same man, Trump and Koch (ph), attacked the Intel Community for exactly what he did yesterday, being political -- having been politicized. He then stood in front of them at Langley and talked about how he's sure most of them voted for him there.
Now, in the Pentagon there seems to be a little bit more of a sense of confidence thatI picked up from -- with former Secretary Ash Carter, that Gen. Mattis had more of an understanding of the people who are in those key junior rolesand was good with them at the Pentagon and that was more stable, where there are more questions on Phil's side of the fence at the CIA about who put out that dossier, who wanted that in there, are they against Trump? What do you make of that?
STARR: Well, you know, it starts with the fact that Sec. James Mattis -- today is his first full day on the job -- 40 years, you know, a United State Marine. He understands the U.S. military. Perhaps his -- you know, there's no question one of the most serious-minded people in Washington, but he is going to have to make his own transition. He's no longer in the field in command of troops, something he understands very well.
This new transition is going to be about giving his best military advice to the President of the United States. And this is going to be a challenge not for him, but to ensure that the White House is listening to him. You know, inevitability, crisis, North Korea, Iran, Russia. Just on one point, Secretary Mattis very concerned about Russia. He believes, he has said it, that Russia is trying to break the NATO alliance while the president says NATO is obsolete. It could be setting everything up for a lot of contentious National Security Council meetings.
CAMEROTA: Wow. Phil, we only have 15 seconds left. What are you keeping your eye on most closely with the relationship between President Trump and the Intel Community? MUDD: Within the first week or two does he say anything that forces his new CIA director to defend the agency. We've got to move on from the past month or two, that's it.
CAMEROTA: Phil, Barbara, thank you very much.
CUOMO: All right, so we saw a powerful display of resistance and solidarity not just in Washington, D.C., not just around this country, but around the world. So what will be the resonance of the massive women's marches? We have two of the organizers joining us with what they want next, next.
[07:52:15] CUOMO: Historic turnout by just about any metric you want to choose at women's marches across the country and around the world the day after Donald Trump's inauguration. They were trying to voice their support on equality of issues -- a big sample of issues -- but primarily, it was about women's rights being equal to all human rights. So where does the movement go from here?
Let's discuss. We've got Breanne Butler. She's a co-founder and national and global coordinator of the Women's Day March. We also have Jessica Rogers, one of the creators of the Women's March on Denver. It's good to have you both here. Congratulations on the perceived success --
JESSICA ROGERS, DENVER WOMEN'S MARCH ORGANIZER: Thank you.
CUOMO: -- of your efforts
BREANNE BUTLER, CO-FOUNDER, NATIONAL & GLOBAL COORDINATOR, WOMEN'S DAY MARCH: Thank you.
CUOMO: -- but, you know, we're in this funny time now on many different levels. One of them is measuring and numbers, you know. We're using photos to try to prove something as silly as how many people went to the inauguration. How big do you believe your delivery was and what does it mean to you?
BUTLER: Well, we still don't have like a final count of like how many people were actually there but our message was very effective. I mean, we went global. We were on all seven continents, including Antarctica, so --
CUOMO: What'd you have, the penguins out there?
BUTLER: Yes, it was like --
CUOMO: That's good. BUTLER: But, yes, I think that we made it very clear. And also, it's so uplifting just to see people banning together, all walks of life, religions, races, genders, ages. It was -- you were seeing grandmothers marching with their granddaughters, husbands marching with their wives, and it's just -- it's just incredible.
CAMEROTA: Jessica, Chris and I were there in Washington at the beginning of the march and we got to see all the disparate signs, some of them very creative, but is there a way to condense it down into what the overarching message was?
ROGERS: I believe the overarching message is that people around the world are really unifying against the idea of populism. We -- Ibelieve the message is that a diverse community makes us all better.
CAMEROTA: OK. I mean --
ROGERS: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: -- you know, it's not that -- I mean, I hear you. It's not that populism doesn't like diversity. It's that what the strain of populism, I think, that you're seeing now. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, Breanne, but that's what you bristle at.
BUTLER: Well, yes. I mean, the reality is we're really trying to make this as inclusive as possible, too, and our focus is making sure that we're securing the rights of the most marginalized communities. If we can secure the rights of -- if we can secure the rights of a black woman, then the black man's rights are secure, and we believe that.
[07:55:10] CUOMO: Now, it's interesting. One of the things -- this is going to be politicized, right, of course -- and you did have various agendas out there, there's no question. I mean, it was an umbrella event but you had lots of different people out there for lots of different reasons.
And, Jessica, one of the things that came in the aftermath was it was seen as, by definition, being anti-Trump. The White House then said, you know, these organizers, these groups, they never asked to meet with the incoming president. They never asked to include us in their efforts so if it's us versus them it's on the organizers, not on us. What do you say?
ROGERS: Wow, I don't even know how to respond to that. That's just such an aggressive statement. And I think at this point -- I mean, I could speak for myself. I would love to sit down and talk with the administration and see what their plans and points are on certain topics and issues. So, I mean, I'd gladly take that offer.
CAMEROTA: Well, look, they're doing outreach now, we've seen that. I mean, they're meeting today with a bipartisan group of lawmakers. They've met with police officers, they've met with Kanye West. So then -- and business leaders, et cetera, so maybe they would be open to that. Breanne, where do you go from here? BUTLER: Well, it's three words -- educate, organize, mobilize. We've been saying this the whole time. If we can educate people on how to get involved in their zip code and make a change where they live, then that's going to trickle down onto Pennsylvania Avenue. We really believe that. We're seeing voices that have been -- not been vocal, you know, for many, many years standing up and having a say. And we're the voice of America and we really believe that if we can break down these barriers that have been put up between these communities and help them lift up their voices, then we're going to create change.
CUOMO: So is there a defined next on the agenda, Jessica? Is this about when your next global or international or just domestic march is or is there another effort at play, as well?
ROGERS: There's other efforts at play. We, in Denver, have set up a meeting for next Saturday for about 200-250 people and we're really pulling from community organizers, a few elected officials, and specifically people that have started small groups on Facebook and within their own cities and counties. So we're trying to get members of these groups to come under one roof so we can talk about what we want to do next.
And we really feel, in Colorado, since we're a little island of blue in a sea of red, we really need to be very strong in what we do moving forward because we'll become the regional representative of a lot of the mountain states.
CAMEROTA: All right, ladies, please keep us posted on what all of your plans are. Breanne Butler, Jessica Rogers, thank you very much for being here.
CUOMO: It's very interesting. The marchers and the new president both say they want to do the same thing, which is return power to the people. Let's see how it will be coordinated going forward. What do you think? Tweet us @NewDay. You can tweet me at my name, Alisyn at her name. Post your comment on facebook.com/NewDay.
CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have a running war with the media.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was not the biggest attendance at an inauguration in U.S. presidential history.
CAMEROTA: The president gets hit with his first lawsuit claiming that his business conflicts violate the Constitution.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: I'm optimistic we'll get every member of the cabinet.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Beware of the teddy bear, President Trump. Putin will change his tone.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: We have never had a CIA director confirmed on the first day.
TRUMP: You will be getting a total star, a total gem.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: There are plenty of people -- you saw the march yesterday -- trying to delegitimize this president.
GLORIA STEINEM, AMERICAN FEMINIST: The Constitution does not begin with I, the president. It begins with we, the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, January 23rd, 8:00 here in New York.
Up first, President Trump begins his first full week in office with an ambitious political agenda. But the president and his top aides got off to a combative start, sparring with the press over the size of his inauguration crowds and trying to pass off false claims as "alternative facts."
CUOMO: So here is a fact, no qualifier. The president is going to face his first legal challenge. It's an ethics lawsuit claiming he violated the Constitution with his business conflicts the moment he took the oath of office. Remember what is driving this, transparency -- the quest for information. And why, because the president refuses to be transparent with his taxes and other business relationships. The question is, are we ever going to learn more or was that promise that after the audit we'll see the taxes -- was that just a sham?
We have it all covered. Let's begin with Athena Jones live at the White House with the latest. What do you know?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Well, the president has a jam-packed first Monday in office, kicking off with a breakfast and listening session with key business leaders.