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Trump Signs Border Wall Order, Mexico Condemns Plan; Trump on Waterboarding: 'Absolutely, I Feel It Works'. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired January 26, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States of America gets back its borders.
[05:58:41] VICENTE FOX, FORMER MEXICAN PRESIDENT: Mexico will never pay for that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) wall.
TRUMP: We are going to get the bad ones out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Tuesday's meeting with Mexico's president in jeopardy?
TRUMP: You have people that are registered who are illegals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's not make it harder for people to vote.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I feel sorry for them. I even prayed for them. But then I prayed for the United States of America.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I'm alarmed by anybody that wants to go back to torture.
TRUMP: As far as I'm concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She certainly was the epitome of star quality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remembering the iconic Mary Tyler Moore.
(MUSIC: "MARY TYLER MOORE THEME")
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We lost a great one. We'll be talking about that this morning. But we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is your NEW DAY. It's Thursday, January 26, 6 a.m. here in the east.
Up first, President Trump's plan to build a wall along the Mexican border is shaking up a long-standing tie between Mexico and the United States, and it's probably not going to be an easy job, certainly not as easy as signing an order. In his first major interview as president, Mr. Trump vowed to begin
construction of the wall within months and insists, without details, that Mexico will pay for it.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Mexico's president slamming Mr. Trump's plan, saying they will not pay for a wall. Their planned face-to-face meeting next week at the White House could be in jeopardy.
President Trump also discusses his plan to investigate voter fraud, and he says that waterboarding, quote, "absolutely works." So we have much to discuss on day 7 of the Trump administration.
Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Sara Murray, live from Washington.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is already off to a tense start under the Trump administration. That's as the president moves forward with his plans to build a border wall. And he is raising alarm from members of both parties as he continues to insist that waterboarding works.
TRUMP: We will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico.
DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: Mexico will pay us back?
TRUMP: Yes. Absolutely. One hundred percent.
MURRAY (voice-over): President Trump reiterating his promise that Mexico will pay for the border wall, but offering few details. Hours after signing an executive order directing funds for building that wall.
TRUMP: All it is, is we'll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. That wall will cost us nothing.
MURRAY: His rhetoric is ramping up pressure on Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto. The Mexican leader facing calls at home to cancel next Tuesday's meeting with Trump.
Pena Nieto defiantly responding to the U.S. president in a video address to the nation, saying Mexico does not believe in walls and it won't pay for one. President Trump also continuing to peddle the false claim that voter fraud cost him the popular vote.
TRUMP: You have people that register who are dead, or who are illegals, who are in two states. There are millions of votes, in my opinion.
MURRAY: Vowing to launch a major investigation, Trump erroneously cited a Pew study where the author found no evidence of voter fraud. TRUMP: Then why did he write the report? The Pew report. Then he's
groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they want to write something that you want to hear but not necessarily millions of people want to hear, or have to hear.
MURRAY: But voting officials in both parties across the country say there's no truth to Trump's claims of widespread fraud. But there is evidence of outdated voter rules. In fact, two members of the president's own team, treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin, and the president's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, were each registered to vote in two states on election day.
"The Washington Post" reports that the president's daughter Tiffany was also registered in two states.
President Trump digging in on another controversial campaign promise: his pledge to bring back waterboarding.
TRUMP: I want to do everything within the bounds of what you're allowed to do legally. But do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works.
MURRAY: Ultimately saying he'll let his CIA director and defense secretary decide whether to reinstate it.
TRUMP: When they're chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? As far as I'm concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.
MURRAY: Trump's tough talk extending to Chicago, as well, where he says he'll send the feds to combat violence.
TRUMP: It is carnage. It's horrible carnage. This is -- Afghanistan is not like what's happening in Chicago. People are being shot left and right. Thousands of people over a period -- over a short period of time. I don't want to have thousands of people shot in a city where, essentially, I'm the president.
So all I'm saying is to the mayor, who came up to my office recently, I say you have to smarten up and you have to toughen up. Because you can't let that happen. That's the worst.
MURRAY: Now, Donald Trump has a very busy day ahead of him. We're expecting to head to the Republican retreat in Philadelphia later this afternoon. I'm sure his colleagues will have many questions about what is next on his agenda.
One thing we may also see is some kind of executive action moving this voter fraud investigation he has called for forward. We're also expecting him to take other executive actions on trade.
Back to you, Chris and Alisyn. CUOMO: All right, Sara. Thank you very much.
We now have the president of the United States on record, and those words matter, and we're going to go through different issues and his positions right now. CNN political analyst and "New York Times" deputy culture editor Patrick Healy; CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" reporter Abby Phillip; and senior congressional correspondent of "The Washington Examiner" and host of the "Examining Politics" host, David Drucker.
Let's play a piece of sound of the president talking about how he will pay for the wall. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUIR: The American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first?
TRUMP: All it is, is we'll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico.
MUIR: Mexico's president said in recent days that Mexico absolutely will not pay, adding that "It goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans." He says, "We're simply not paying."
TRUMP: I think he has to say that. He has to say that. But I'm just telling you, there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. And you have to understand, what I'm doing is good for the United States. It's also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Now, I'd like to play the part of the interview where he says how he's going to get them to pay for it. That part doesn't exist.
Let's discuss it right now. How do you get Mexico to pay for a wall if it doesn't want to do it volitionally? He says remittances. OK? How would that work, David Drucker?
DAVID DRUCKER, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": So Donald Trump talked about this during the campaign, and they talked about monitoring remittances that come from Mexican immigrants, legal and illegal, in the United States that are sent back to Mexico. And...
CUOMO: How would they know who's sending them?
DRUCKER: That's a very good question. When you walk into a Western Union or any other place where you're going to wire money, I think the question is, No. 1, do you want a government in a sense architecture, big brother police force monitoring small amounts of money that are being moved around? We already have laws about large amounts of money, guarding against money laundering and other financial crimes, but do we want this?
And then how does the person at the place where the remittance is going to be sent, how do they decide who to question? So if I walk in there, are they going to question me? And if they question everybody, then at least it's consistent.
And how -- and what form of identification are they going to ask for? In other words, are they going to say, "Show us your papers"? Which is something in the United States that, even when we've had issues like this, one of the reasons we've shied away from big, huge, Washington oversight solutions is it's always sort of gone against the character of our country to have government officials asking these kinds of questions.
It hearkens back to the old cold war films where you'd have the guy in the Russian accent at the border, asking one of our undercover spies, "Show me your papers."
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's very jarring to think of turning the Western Union into a branch of the IRS.
CUOMO: That would be illegal, by the way. Who says that the United States government is allowed to monitor all remittances and decide which can go through and which can't?
The president gets started with an idea he gets very taken with and how to communicate it. That's where he starts. He figures out policy details and what's legal and what's not later, Chris.
Part of his idea, though, too, is about NAFTA. And he's talking about a reimbursement. This idea, as he said, that it's going to be complicated. It might be a little complicated. He never talked about reimbursement or complications during the campaign. But I think the idea is that, if he's able to sort of open up NAFTA and renegotiate it and come away with what he can go to Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan and say, much better deal on NAFTA. We've got a new NAFTA. We're going to be getting all this money back from Mexico.
And hey, this is the, quote, unquote, "reimbursement" for the wall.
CAMEROTA: Abby, you're in Washington, D.C., as we speak. What are Republicans there inside the Beltway saying? I mean, you just wrote a piece saying about how they are now, a little late, starting to take him literally about all this stuff.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, on the wall, Republicans are in favor of the general idea of securing the border, but the reality is that the wall is not feasible. And I think many Republicans realize that, that there are parts -- you know, a Republican congressman, Will Hurd, whose district encompasses more border than any other congressman in this country basically said, it is not possible to build a physical wall along parts of this border because of the geography, because the terrain is not conducive to that, and also because that's not the challenge that people on the border are facing. They need different kinds of resources.
So, you know, if this debate goes from Donald Trump's desk to the halls of Congress, which it inevitably will, I think we're going to see a broader array of opinions about this. And you're going to see some resistance to this idea that, as David mentioned, the government essentially seizing the assets of people who live in this country, whether they are citizens or not.
That's -- that's a path that I think a lot of Republicans are not going to want to go down, because it opens up a Pandora's box, especially about this issue of executive power and how far Trump can go on his own.
CUOMO: Thirty billion dollars, maybe more, the estimates to build something, where right now you have more recent estimates of people leaving this country who are undocumented than coming in, and you have all these landowners along the way who have historically not wanted to cede their rights, which you'd have to build eminent domain, which means you'd have litigation out the wazoo for years and years. These are the facts.
CAMEROTA: ... that news word, "wazoo."
DRUCKER: And I -- and I actually think that's what threatens the wall the most. You know, politically the concept of the wall has a lot of bipartisan support. I think people want it to make sure the southern border is secure, and so I think it's a matter of how you do it. But that is what can threaten it the most, all of the potential legal action. I think eventually...
[06:10:08] CUOMO: They've also been given a false impression of how porous it is.
DRUCKER: Well, I think...
CUOMO: The numbers are exaggerated, the number of criminals who are in the country, and how many are thrown out, and how many people get deported have been mistreated as facts.
HEALY: People also don't look at the topography to Abby's point. They don't sort of understand just how much of the border is buildable.
CUOMO: Just had Ed Lavandera down there.
HEALY: I mean, it's unbuildable, but it goes to sort of ideas and kind of images that he's putting out there, you know, putting all -- hiring all these border security agents more, putting all of that money into it.
CUOMO: After he signed an executive order with a hiring freeze.
HEALY: You got at this earlier, Chris. The notion of sort of the executive orders is kind of the magic wand. I mean, so far he hasn't been talking -- he's going to Pennsylvania today, but talking to Congress about what they actually can pass. It's about -- all about what can we sign, what can we sign.
CAMEROTA: We need to move on, Abby, to voter fraud. The president is promising a major investigation into this. It turns out, I think, my interpretation, is that he is using the wrong words. He doesn't mean voter fraud. He means voter registration fraud. That's what he's talking about.
When he talks about millions of people that might be registered in two different places or some deceased people who might not have yet been purged from the polls, that's what he is talking about.
And by the way, if he wants to begin prosecuting, two of the people are on his staff, who are registered in two different states. Steve Bannon and Steve Mnuchin, it turns out, are part of the voter registration...
CUOMO: Which isn't a crime, by the way.
CAMEROTA: This is my point. But it's voter registration fraud, or do you interpret it in a different way, Abby?
PHILLIP: No, I think you're totally right. What's so fascinating about Trump's comments on this is that he concludes pretty definitively that, if you are registered in two places, maybe because you moved or maybe because your registration is out of date, and that means that you've definitely voted in two places. You've definitely voted in New York and New Jersey if you're registered in both those places.
And we know that that is not true. And he also concluded that there is no chance that any of these millions of people that he claims have voted illegally voted for him.
We also know that that is not true. There were only a handful of cases in which people were actually prosecuted for voter fraud in the 2016 election.
And several of those cases involved Trump supporters, involved people who attempted to vote twice for Donald Trump. So there is a real disconnect here between the facts and what President Trump is saying.
But what has really fascinated me, you know, talking to people who know Trump and his aides, this is something that he has wanted to talk about and wanted to do for a long time. He has wanted to go down this investigatory path.
And also, you know, a lot of Republicans see this as an opening to talk about voter I.D., to talk about some of these measures that they've been pushing at the state level, even if the underlying premise of 5 million illegal voters is untrue.
CUOMO: And I hope they do talk about voter I.D. So we can talk about these recent cases of voter suppression systemically and what's been going on, because that's a real issue.
You know, and you should read the Pew study, everyone out there watching the show right now, because the president wasn't tested on this in his interview with ABC. But he says, "Why did he write the study?"
Check for yourself. He wrote the study to show that you have registration issues, that you have this lack of continuum among states. He concludes in the study, there is no fraud on that basis.
HEALY: There's a big difference between proving voter fraud and getting at sort of what the rules are and how porous it can be.
CAMEROTA: Panel, thank you very much. Stick around. We have more questions.
President Trump vowing to fight fire with fire in the war on terror. Will he reopen the CIA's black-site prisons, and would he reinstate torture tactics? We discuss that next.
[06:17:54] CAMEROTA: President Trump says he believes torture works, and he insists that he has to fight fire with fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUIR: President Obama said the U.S. does not torture. Will you say that?
TRUMP: Well, I have a general who I have great respect for, General Mattis, who said -- I was a little surprised -- who said he's not a believer in torture. I have spoken to others in intelligence, and they are big believers in, as an example, waterboarding.
MUIR: You did tell me...
TRUMP: Because they say it does work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK. Let's bring back our panel. We have Patrick Healy and David Drucker. We also want to welcome CNN counterterrorism analyst and former counterterrorism official, Phil Mudd.
Phil, we must start with you. So we have heard from all sorts of CIA officials that, yes, you'll get information if you waterboard somebody and torture them. It won't be the right information. It will be erroneous. They'll say whatever they need to to make it stop. What do you think?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think that's incorrect. Look, whether you like it or not, people speak under duress. And let me be clear: if you're talking to the architect of 9/11, for example, are you telling me he's not going to lie if you don't put him under duress? Either way, you're going to get information that's erroneous. But even that information, I'm telling you, is valuable.
If I question you, Alisyn, and I know that you've been to 10 countries in the last two years as a terrorist and I say, "Where you been, Alisyn," and you list nine of them, that lie is a critical clue. Why did you skip the tenth?
CAMEROTA: OK. So you are -- you, if President Trump were to ask you, you would be in favor of bringing back waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques?
MUDD: Heck no. There's a different question here. First questions you have to ask is not only American values. The president's punted that one. He said, "I'll listen to my CIA and -- my CIA director and the secretary of defense."
That's the president's responsibility to answer that question. He reflects American values. So I don't know why he punted it. That's in his in box. If he choose -- if he wanted to go down that direction, I would say, hold on a second here. When you sit around the table in 2002, when we picked up our first detainee, Abu Zubaydah, we did not understand al Qaeda. We didn't understand their hierarchy. They had an anthrax program we didn't understand. They were communicating with Pakistani nuclear scientists. We didn't know what was in California, in Chicago, in Miami.
[06:20:11] Fast-forward to 2017. I think for Americans who didn't sit at that table to believe that we're in the same place with ISIS is erroneous. We understand this a lot better. I don't think we need to go down this route.
CAMEROTA: You don't think we need torture?
MUDD: No, I don't think so.
CUOMO: Hold on a second. Let's just try and stick to why. Right? What the basis is. He says intel guys tell him that waterboarding works, torture works...
MUDD: But torture is a violation of federal statute, by the way. So the president doesn't know what he's talking about when he says, "I'll listen to my people on torture." You cannot violate federal law as a president of the United States.
If you want to say, "I'm going to the Department of Justice and ask them, 'I'm going to prevent people from sleeping,'" -- what we call sleep deprivation, used a lot more than waterboarding -- "is that torture?" You have to ask the Department of Justice first. That's one reason this will never happen.
HEALY: One thing we've seen in history, certainly the last Bush administration, I mean, a president, a vice president, who were willing to go to the Department of Justice and basically say, this is what we want to do. How do we get there legally? How can we sort of make this argument?
And you can believe that President Trump, Jeff Sessions, it looks like the attorney general and others around him will be saying, "OK, we want this to be, at least, the policies of this administration. How can we get there?"
MUDD: The CIA is going to say, "I don't care." First question is go to the Congress oversight committees, Senate and House, and say, "Hey, guys, we've got an order from the president of the United States. You're our congressional oversight committee. You represent the will of the people and the Congress..." CUOMO: It's not as simple as him saying I want to fight fire with
MUDD: Let's say they all agree. You've got to go to the My peers, the generation that's still there, I think is going to say, "You've got to be kidding me."
HEALY: The issue, I think, where this comes up is it may not be the Justice Department or what the Constitution says stops them, it's going to be people like John McCain and Lindsey Graham in the Senate who have to decide how -- how blunt, how pointed are they going to be in taking on President Trump and calling him out for things? How...
DRUCKER: I think that part of the problem here is the president doesn't talk as artfully as politicians usually do about these matters. Right?
There has been a debate, at least in political circles, mostly on the right, about whether or not enhanced interrogation tactics or torture works or not, whether we should use it or not. And I think what the president is trying to say -- and I hate to try and sort of shrink the guy -- but I think what he's saying, in a sense, is what a lot of Americans think about the issue of terror. Which is if we think there's a terrorist threat, and we can't figure out where it's coming from and how imminent it is.
And is there a nuclear device or a dirty bomb or something like that, wouldn't we use any tactic we have available to us to try and find it? And I think what most Americans say is, well, of course, we would try and do anything we can.
But what the president talks about this without the nuances that Phil brings up very correctly, and I think it leaves a lot of us very confused. He can't do anything that would break the law.
If he wants Congress to change the law, he should send up a policy and see if he can get it changed, and I think that would make this whole thing a lot easier to understand.
The president tends to reflect the last person he spoke to. A couple of months ago he spoke to Secretary of Defense Mattis. Mattis said it's not a good idea. The president seemed to back off. Clearly, he's now talked to somebody else.
CUOMO: So another thing that he discussed with bringing back black sites, let's listen to the sound.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUIR: Let me ask you about a new report that you are poised to lift a ban on so-called CIA black sites, prisons around the world that have been used in the past. Is that true?
TRUMP: Well, I'll be talking about that in about two hours.
MUIR: Are you going to lift the ban? TRUMP: You're going to see in about two hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Well, all right, so he says he wants to lift the ban and put black sites in -- Phil.
MUDD: Ain't going to happen. First of all, I do think we understand clearly what he's doing. I ain't a politician, but I got this game.
I tell the American people, "I want to give you what I told you I would give you." That is a return to tough tactics. "But I defer to my team." The team comes in and says no, and the president tells voters, "Hey, I wanted this, but my guys said no." He has his cake and eats it, too.
If he chooses -- and I doubt he will -- to go down this route, he's got a couple problems. One we've just talked about, the legal problem. Who's going to say you can do this? Because the CIA is going to say what we saw in the past 10 years. I want a six-foot stack of paper on this. And everybody's fingerprints, secretary of state, secretary of defense, president, vice president, Congress, they better be on that.
Second, let's go to a few countries and ask them this. We've been approved to open black sites. After we exposed the people who did this before, what country would say yes? I can tell you what I'd say if I were in Europe, Africa, Asia. "Heck, no. You guys are going to dime us out when President Trump is voted out. We ain't doing it."
CAMEROTA: One more thing. About the, "Hey, the terrorists are chopping off people's heads. We need an even playing field. Don't tie our hands behind our backs." What about that "any means necessary" tactic that David was just saying? That we need -- if there's -- if we think there's a dirty bomb plot, we need any means necessary. What about that?
[06:25:04] MUDD: Hold on here. This is ludicrous. We do not set standards in the United States about how we treat a terrorist based on what a terrorist organization does to a hostage. If they behead, we behead?
I think the question here is, if we go back to a time -- and I hope we never do, obviously -- where we're as uncertain of a terror threat as we were in 2002, the politicians say return to this. And I think, still, they're going to say no.
CAMEROTA: Panel, thank you very much.
CUOMO: All right. We have more on Trump's interview with ABC, but first, we have sad news. She inspired an entire generation of women, melting us with the warmth of her smile, all while battling a devastating disease. Mary Tyler Moore has passed. Next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAMEROTA: The world is mourning the loss of beloved actress Mary Tyler Moore. She died Wednesday at 80 years old, and she's being remembered as a television pioneer and a role model for a generation of women.
CAMEROTA (voice-over): There are few people who the word "iconic" truly applies to. But Mary Tyler Moore was one of them.
Moore began her ascent to stardom as a dancer in the 1950s. But landed her big break as Laura Petrie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
MARY TYLER MOORE, ACTRESS: And now this is the effective part, where we turn and sell it.