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President Trump's First Interview; Trump's Pivot on Executive Action; Remembering Mary Tyler Moore; Serena, Venus Set Up Dream Aussie Open Final. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired January 26, 2017 - 05:00   ET



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico which I --

DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: So, they will pay us back?

TRUMP: Yes, absolutely, 100 percent.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump with his first interview since being sworn into office. He talks immigration, the Mexican border wall, and new misinformation on voter fraud.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Executive switcheroo. The president with new executive action coming today, just not the ones we thought. This after a new backlash from Mexico over the action taken on the border wall.

BERMAN: And remembering Mary Tyler Moore. The legendary actress has passed away at the age of 80. We have new tributes and a look back at some of the most iconic moments.

ROMANS: You know, she changed -- really helped changed how women are portrayed on television.

BERMAN: Sure. She was an entertainment business mogul as well on top of everything. So, she lived it and portrayed it all at the same time.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Thursday, January 26, it is 5:00 a.m. in East.

And this morning, President Trump is shuffling the rollout for executive action, a day after signing an executive order on the border wall.

[05:00:04] We had expected Mr. Trump to take further action on immigration and refugees. Instead, he'll shift to trade, laying the ground work for new

bilateral deals now that he has withdrawn from Trans Pacific Partnership and China moving quickly to fill the gap. As we wait action on refugees, President Trump has fired his first shot signing in the immigration battling, signing an executive order aimed at starting construction on the border wall within a matter of months.

In his first interview since taking office, he defends the move to ABC News, proclaiming the U.S. won't end up paying for it.


TRUMP: We will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico which I --

MUIR: So, they will pay us back?

TRUMP: Yes, absolutely, 100 percent.

MUIR: So, the American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first.

TRUMP: All of this will be reimbursed in a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. I campaigned on the wall and it's very important. But that wall will cost us nothing.


BERMAN: Well, but it will cost the U.S. taxpayers something first. U.S. has to pay for it first and Mexico says it will not pay for it. So, not settled just yet.

Today, the president takes his first trip outside the capital as president.

CNN's Jim Acosta has the latest on that.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, President Trump is traveling to Philadelphia later today to attend a GOP retreat. He has plenty to discuss with his fellow Republicans after signing executive orders to build a wall on the border with Mexico and crackdown on illegal immigration. Here's what the president had to say about that.

TRUMP: We are in the middle of the crisis on our southern border. The unprecedented surge of illegal migrants from Central America is harming both Mexico and the United States. And I believe the steps we will take starting right now will improve the safety in both of our countries. It's going to be very good for Mexico. A nation without borders is not a nation.

ACOSTA: President Trump was scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto next week. In a video message to Mexicans, Pena Nieto did scrap the trip, but he did emphasize once again that Mexico is not paying for that wall -- John and Christine.


ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Jim.

Now, regardless of whether Mexico pays for it, building the border wall will be expensive. We're talking about 1,300 miles and possibly 40-feet high. That would require 19 million tons of concrete. President Trump has cited a $10 billion estimate.

Where did that number come from? That was given to him during the campaign by the National Precast Concrete Association. That group tells us they care confident in that figure.

But there are quite a few variables here. Building the wall in isolated areas is more expensive. The terrain itself could be rugged, even mountainous in some spots.

The U.S. government would need to build roads just to reach the border area. Other estimates suggest there are enough uncertainties to drive the costs up to $15 billion. Some estimates as high as $25 billion. That's according to Bernstein Research, a firm that tracks costs. You can see the range there.

None of these estimates include the cost of requiring the land, where the wall will be built. That could also be -- we are talking about ranchers along the border. If you're building a border wall, in many cases, you might have to move into U.S. territory to build the border wall so you are not infringing on the sovereignty of Mexico. Which means you're actually giving up American territory, almost, right? You know, you're basically, you are losing square miles.

BERMAN: There are Americans who live on the other side of part of where that wall could be.

ROMANS: Also, early as today, the president could sign executive action ordering the Justice Department to launch an investigation into voter fraud. This week, President Trump has repeatedly pushed the false claim that 3 million to 5 million illegal votes were cast in the election, which is why he says he lost the popular vote.

Overnight, the president said an investigation might help prove his claim.


TRUMP: If you look at the voter registration, you look at the dead people that are registered to vote who vote, you look at the people who are registered in two states, you look at all of these different things that are happening with registration, you take a look at those registration -- you're going to find it and we're going to do an investigation on it.

MUIR: Three million to 5 million illegal votes?

TRUMP: Well, we're going to find, but it could very well be that much.


ROMANS: A senior official tells CNN the president wants to discuss the voter fraud issue with Republican lawmakers before launching a probe.

BERMAN: All right. Let's bring in CNN political reporter Eugene Scott. He will help break this all down.

And just in case you missed what we just played, I want to play you that sound byte again where President Trump is talking about these allegations that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally of which there is no evidence and in fact, there's evidence quite to the contrary. I want to play that sound, with a little sound where he talks about this election. Listen, Eugene.


TRUMP: If you look at the voter registration, you look at the dead people that are registered to vote who vote, you look at the people who are registered in two states, you look at all of these different things that are happening with registration, you take a look at those registration -- you're going to find it and we're going to do an investigation on it.

MUIR: But 3 million to 5 million illegal votes?

TRUMP: Well, we're going to find, but it could very well be that much.

[05:00:05] Of those votes cast, none of them come to me. None of them come to me. They would all be for the other side. None come to me. But when you look at the people registered, dead, illegal, in two states, in some case, three states. We have a lot to look into.


BERMAN: You know, so David Muir of ABC, Eugene, kept on pressing President Trump on these allegations of voter fraud. So often when David would press, the president would go back to the fact that I could have won the popular vote if I wanted to. It seems one of the things driving this obsession about voter fraud is he did not win the popular vote.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, President Trump has been very frustrated and disappointed about the fact that most Americans who went to the polls did not go for him. What's been an increasing problem for many people on both sides of the party is that the president has not provided any proof or any examples of where he is getting this information from.

The coordinator of the study that Sean Spicer referenced that Donald Trump supposedly is quoting was on Wolf Blitzer earlier this week and made it very clear that what the president is promoting is a misrepresentation of the study regarding voter fraud in the United States. ROMANS: Yes, it is fascinating how that continues to dominate the

news cycle. And as long as he brings up the probe and he wants to investigate it, he will continue to be asked about it. It will still be dominating and reminding everyone that he lost the popular vote. That is something that bothers him.

Let's talk about refugees and the president's very strict position on ending the flow or halting the flow of refugees while he revamps or overhauls, you know, the screening process here. This is another campaign promise. This president for the past two or three days has really been doing everything that he promised. I mean, his pen is on fire here.

Listen to him talking to David Muir about the refugee situation.


MUIR: Are you at all concerned it's going to cause more anger among Muslims around the world?

TRUMP: There is plenty of anger right now. How can you have more?

MUIR: You don't think it will exacerbate the problem?

TRUMP: David, I know you are a sophisticated guy. The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. You think this will cause more anger? The world is an angry place.


ROMANS: Eugene Scott, I know you are a sophisticated guy. So, let me put it to you this way, when we talk to some terrorism experts over the past few years, they said the United States is in a unique position. It doesn't really have the same kind of terror problem that so many other countries do. You know, U.K. and France and Belgium.

And the issue here is lone wolf, self radicalized. A few case, you've got the Boston marathon bombers, those are refugees. They did not come here as -- they were radicalized here --

BERMAN: Also by the way, the countries that they came from, not on the list of countries that the president is vetting right now.

ROMANS: Absolutely, the San Bernardino couple. That is another case where the wife was using immigration system to get here. Does the U.S. have the big problem that the president seems to think it does?

SCOTT: Not according to his critics. There is frustration that not only would this move not fix the problem, it would, in fact, cause more anger. Something that Donald Trump does not think is possible. One thing I saw fascinating is that one of the demographics who got behind Donald Trump most, white evangelicals, more than 80 percent of them, one of the communities that has been the most involved in refugee resettlement.

And so, to see their response to this has been fascinating for two reasons. One, the president promised he would do this. It is not a surprise to many people. And two, there were many people who got on the Trump train because they thought a lot of these promises were just talk. But to your point, he proven that he is a man of action.

Now, whether or not he will move Congress and other agencies is not yet clear. As of now, he is certainly trying to.

BERMAN: He certainly is trying. He has signed a number of actions and issued a number of directives to push the country along the path he promised as president. But Congress does have to weigh in on several of these fronts, including on the border wall. Right now, maybe a little money that the president could use to start building it. If he wants to spend $20 billion on a wall, he will need congressional approval.

Republicans meeting right now and the House Speaker Paul Ryan will work on a supplemental appropriation. But this will put pressure on Republicans in Congress.

SCOTT: It will put pressure on Republicans in Congress, in part because the overwhelming majority of the Republican voters are not supportive of the wall.

[05:10:00] As we discussed, I covered politics in Arizona, and was recently in communication with many people close to the border and they think the wall could bring about more problems that solutions, nor do they think it's foolproof and will actually answer the questions that Donald Trump and his supporters have. Obviously, most importantly, there is constant push back against Mexican lawmakers and officials about whether or not they would pay for the wall as Donald Trump has promised.

ROMANS: All right. Eugene Scott, nice to see you this morning, bright and early. Thank you. We'll talk to you again in a few minutes. Thanks.

SCOTT: Yes, see you soon.

BERMAN: All right. A legendary actress is gone. Mary Tyler Moore passed away. We're going to have more on her life and legacy.


ROMANS: Really sad news to report this morning. A legendary actress, tireless advocate and role model for a generation of women. Mary Tyler Moore died Wednesday at the age of 80. Friends and co-stars offering tributes to a woman who's most memorable role changed how women are depicted on television.

[05:15:03] CNN's Jeanne Moos has more.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mary Tyler Moore's smile has been turned off at the age of 80, not before she made it.


MOOS: Her famous hat throw even immortalized in a statue.


MOOS: Her first acting break was as an elf, pushing appliances. But her career really got hot --

ANNOUNCER: "The Dick Van Dyke Show" --

MOOS: In 1961 with her first starring role.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to show you off. How about it, Laurie? Will you give me that pleasure?


MOOS: In her own show, she played a single TV woman in a newsroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got spunk.

MOORE: Well --


MOOS: The show had enough spunk to last seven seasons.

Mary also went after serious roles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you chase these roles or --


MOOS: She was nominated for an Academy Award for "Ordinary People". In her not so ordinary life, she was married three times, went through diabetes and a benign brain tumor, lost her only son when he accidentally shot himself.

She was a vegetarian and for years an alcoholic.

MOORE: I just made up my mind to stop.

MOOS: And checked into the Betty Ford clinic.

Watch her expression when Larry King described her as --

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN HOST: Television's comedy goddess.

MOOS: She said this quote from Dorothy Parker was her motto.

MOORE: What other people think of me is none of my business.

MOOS: If you now think of her as sadness, recall Mary cracking up at the funeral of chuckles the clown. Remember how that ended?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead, my dear. Laugh for chuckles.

MOOS: Mary Tyler Moore fans may need some tissues, or at least a group hug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we all need some Kleenex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's some on Mary's desk.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: Look at the people in that photo there, all such big stars. She was leader. She brought them all together. She was a producers of that show. MTM Entertainment, along with that husband, Grant Tinker. What a visionary, what an icon over so many generations.

Among the tributes, we heard from Ed Asner. He wrote, Mary Tyler Moore, my heart goes out to you and your family. I know that I love you and believe in your strength."

He added, "A great lady I love. I will miss her. I will never be able to repay her for the blessings that she gave me."

And Dick Van Dyke, of course, her co-start on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," he wrote, "There are no words. She was the best. We always said we would change each other's lives for the better."

And he shared this video of their performance.



BERMAN: All right. Eighteen minutes after the hour.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says handing the Patriots the Lombardi trophy, if, maybe he means when, they win the Super Bowl, it won't be awkward. Really?

Andy Scholes with more on this morning's "Bleacher Report", next.


[05:25:48] BERMAN: This is amazing. I can't believe I'm saying this in 2017. It's going to be an all Williams final at the Australian Open. Serena and Venus set to face off for the ninth time in the grand slam finals.


Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hey, good morning, guys.

You know, the Williams sisters, one of them will be the Australian Open champ. It's actually the first time the two have squared off in the grand slam finals since Wimbledon in 2009. That was also the last time Venus made it to a grand slam final.

This is gong to be incredible, 28th meeting between the two sisters. Serena has the better of Venus, winning 16 of those. One more final win and Serena is going to pass Steffi Graf for the most grand slam titles in the open era, and Serena says she's excited to be facing her sister in Saturday's final.


SERENA WILLIAMS, FACES SISTER VENUS IN AUSSIE FINAL: She is my toughest opponent. No one has beaten me as much as Venus has. So, you know, she has a pretty good record against me. We have a good record against each other. So, you know, I just feel like no matter what happens, we won.


SCHOLES: The big story line in the NFL over the past two years was, of course, deflate-gate. Patriots versus the NFL, Tom Brady versus Roger Goodell. Well, many have wondered what it would like if the Patriots win and Goodell has to hand Brady the trophy.

Well, speaking with (INAUDIBLE), Goodell actually said it wouldn't be offered at all.


ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: Not for a second. I'm going to be thrilled. Tom Brady is one of the all-time greats. He has been for several years. He is on the precipice of at least potentially winning his fifth Super Bowl ring. He is an extraordinary player and great performer and sure hall of famer. So, it would be an honor.


SCHOLES: The pro bowl is tinkering with ways to make the week more interesting for fans for years. They might finally be on to something, as part of a skills competition, which is making its returns tonight. Players compete in the drone drop. A drone with a football is going to go up about 200 yards in the air and receivers try to catch it when the drone drops it.

Guys, I don't think they should stop there. They should do more fun things for the fans. Like maybe a dunk booth with Roger Goodell.

[05:25:02] I'm sure quarterbacks will line up for a while to do that. Maybe a hot dog eating contest. That would fun to watch the linemen go ahead and do that as well.

I mean, the possibilities are really endless if you think about it.

BERMAN: You know, the funny thing is that the drone is better than half the quarterbacks in the NFL right now.

SCHOLES: Very true.

BERMAN: All right, Andy. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. President Trump not backing down from his vow that Mexico will pay for the wall. You can imagine there is some disagreement from across the border. That's next.



TRUMP: We will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico which I --

MUIR: So, they will pay us back?

TRUMP: Yes, absolutely, 100 percent.


ROMANS: President Trump gives his first White House interview being since sworn in, tackling a number of topics, immigration, voter fraud and torture. We'll tell you what he said.

BERMAN: All right. Executive order, misdirection, yes, the president will sign something today. No, it's not what we thought. This after he signed an order on the border wall that he says Mexico will pay for.