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President Trump Discusses Homicide Rate in Chicago; President Continues Claim of Widespread Voter Fraud; Interview with Rep. Bob Goodlatte; British Prime Minister to Meet with President Trump; Interview with Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired January 26, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:03] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR In his first major interview as president, Mr. Trump says he will begin construction on the wall in months and insists without any details that Mexico is going to pay for it.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Mexico's president slamming Mr. Trump's plan, saying they will not pay for a wall. The two have a planned meeting next week at the White House. President Trump also discussing his plan to investigate what he says is voter fraud, vast voter fraud, and he also says waterboarding, quote, "absolutely works," end quote.
So much to discuss on day seven on the Trump administration. Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Sara Murray live at the White House. Sara?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Tensions are already beginning to rise between the U.S. and Mexico as Donald Trump moves forward with his border wall. But that's not the only place he's breeding tension. We're also seeing cries of alarm from both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill as Donald Trump touts the values of torture.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So they'll pay us back?
TRUMP: Yes, absolutely, 100 percent.
MURRAY: President Trump reiterating his promise that Mexico will pay for the border wall, but offering few details. Hours after signing an executive order directing federal funds toward building the wall.
TRUMP: All it is is we'll be reimbursed at a later day 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 pedal the false claim that voter fraud cost him the popular vote.
TRUMP: You have people that are registered who are dead, 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 citing a Pew report 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. 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 rolls. 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 it 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 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 a war zone.
MURRAY: Now, Donald Trump has a very busy day ahead of him. He will be headed to Philadelphia to meet with Republicans who are going to be on a retreat there. That's an opportunity for his GOP allies to ask him about these voter fraud allegations. That's something where you can see executive action from the president today as he moves forward with that investigation. We are also expecting to see executive actions on trade. Back to you, Chris.
CUOMO: That's an interesting question, Sara. Will the members of his party take the president on on some of these wild claims?
Joining us, Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, he's the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. It's good to see you.
REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R), VIRGINIA: Good morning.
CUOMO: So Congressman, how do you think that the president will get you and your companions in Congress to put billions of dollars towards building a wall that is factually not the heart of the problem with immigration?
GOODLATTE: Well, it is certainly one part of the problem, and it's not just immigration. It's also all kinds of other problems with drug smuggling and other things coming in across that border.
[08:05:06] The Congress voted a decade ago, the Secure Fence Act, to build the wall. The question of exactly how you build it, whether you put a wall across the entire border, whether you have roads and use other technology to enforce parts of it, where it has been built, it has helped the situation. So building more wall is something that I think you're going to find very strong support for in the Congress.
CUOMO: Even though you now have negative flow into this country, you have more people leaving. Even though the process became --
GOODLATTE: But wait a minute. You have negative flow from Mexico. You have negative flow from a country whose economy has grown significantly in part because American jobs have been transferred to Mexico. But that has been replaced by huge numbers of people coming from Central America, and now all over the world coming to Mexico and then migrating into the United States across that border.
CUOMO: How do the overwhelming majority of undocumented people who wind up being in the U.S. illegally get to the United States?
GOODLATTE: Well, more than half of them got here by coming across that border. A substantial border came legally and simply overstayed their visas.
CUOMO: It's more than half. More than half come by plane, more than half overstay visas. Those are the facts. You have negative flow over the border. You have huge lawsuits and litigation that will create billions of dollars in expense between construction, litigation, and maintenance. Is that a good sell to the American people for a priority of their tax dollars?
GOODLATTE: Well, I think you have to address this both from -- the president issued two executive orders this week, right? One of them does crack down on that interior enforcement problem that you just cited, and the other addresses the border, and not just from the standpoint of building the wall. It also addresses it from the catch and release problem.
The Obama administration, I've been down to the border and stood there with border patrol officers who are really excited about now having the opportunity to actually enforce the law. People, they didn't try to evade them. They came right up to them and turned themselves in, knowing that they were going to be released by the last administration into the interior of the country, told to return for a hearing someday. Many of them never returned. So this is not just about a wall, but a wall is a component of solving this problem.
CUOMO: In the Bush administration about half the people who got taken out of the country got taken out because they committed crimes here. Now it's over 90 percent. What does that tell you about whether or not things have gotten better or worse in terms of dealing with the real threat, which are people who are here, undocumented, who then commit crimes? That's what everybody agrees on, you have to deal with them. You deal with them more now than ever.
GOODLATTE: I don't agree with that.
CUOMO: That's the numbers, 50 percent from 2009, 90-plus percent in this DHS report from last year.
GOODLATTE: I'll have to see those numbers.
CUOMO: I'm happy to send them to you.
GOODLATTE: The number I'm aware of is there are more than 300,000 criminal aliens that are on the streets in the United States because the Obama administration has not made it a priority to remove them and send them out of the country as they should.
CUOMO: But you do know -- how do you square that with the fact that the numbers of people who have been taken out for criminal activity have gone up, not down?
GOODLATTE: Well, you can send me that information and I'll be happy to take a look at it. But I am glad we have a president who is committed to making sure that criminal aliens and people who violate the law are sent out of the country and sent out as expeditiously as possible. I don't believe it has been a priority of the Obama administration, and I think the facts will back me up.
CUOMO: It will be interesting to see what is done and how it makes it better, because obviously the goal is something everybody shares. We want as few criminals in our midst as possible.
CUOMO: Another issue, were you aware that your state has rampant voter fraud that helped cost the president the popular vote in the last election?
GOODLATTE: Well, first of all, we have a long history of doing things with regards to votes. First of all, making sure that law abiding citizens have access to registration and voting, but also making sure that their vote counts properly. And we have a long history of voter fraud in this country. There's a congressional district in the state of Virginia where the joke was for many years that people want to be buried there so they can remain active in politics.
Just this election cycle, in my congressional district, an organization affiliated with the Democratic Party was registering dead people to vote. So this is something that does need to be examined. I'm glad the president wants to do that. I'm also glad with regard to this election, the popular vote in individual states was properly counted. We saw recounts requested by Democrats that confirmed that the vote was properly counted and that he won the election in the Electoral College.
CUOMO: Right. But his suggestion, the president, is that your state contributed to some three to five million illegals, as he calls them, voting against him costing him the popular vote. Do you agree with the president?
GOODLATTE: I don't know the facts. I think we should make sure the kind of investigation he's talking about, to review whether or not our voting practices are making sure the people are not lawfully entitled to vote are not voting and dead people are not being registered and then having other people show up and casting a vote on their behalf, those are things worth looking at. But it does not affect the outcome of this election because the popular vote is not the final determinative of who is elected president of the United States.
CUOMO: Understood. Congressman, good luck in Philadelphia. Please come back and talk to us after you get down there and let us know what you had as a meeting of the minds, what the consensus is for the party going forward.
GOODLATTE: Well, thank you. We're going to hear from the president, the vice president, and, for the first time, a foreign prime minister, the prime minister of the United Kingdom this afternoon. It's going to be an interesting day.
CUOMO: All right, please let us know. Be well.
GOODLATTE: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: I can build on that interesting day, Chris. British Prime Minister Theresa May will become the first world leader to meet with President Trump in Washington tomorrow. But before that big meeting, as you just heard, the prime minister will meet with Republican lawmakers at this retreat in Philadelphia. CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is live in Washington with more. What do we expect, Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: We can expect her to talk about the special relationship, how she wants to build on the fact that United States and Britain didn't just win wars together but actually helped build the world together. This is going to be at the core of her meeting when she talks with the Republican retreat and the core of what she'll also speak with President Trump about.
At stake here for her, hugely important visit, she's very pleased to be the first foreign leader coming. But she has got on her agenda, she wants support from President Trump to essentially back Britain as it tries to exit from the European Union. For President Trump, though, from Theresa May, he may not hear everything that he wants to hear. They don't see eye to eye on everything. This is what the prime minister said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm pleased that I am able to meet President Trump so early in his administration. That is a sign of the strength of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
I am not afraid to speak frankly to a president of the United States. I am able to do that because we have that special relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So what might she speak frankly about? Well, she is expected to talk about NATO, about the European Union, and also we can expect her to talk about Russia as well. Britain, she thinks that perhaps President Trump should slow down on his warming relations with Russia, not that it started. But she just wants to put in a cautionary word. Chris?
CUOMO: It will be very interesting to see what the tone and the message is after the meeting between the U.K. and U.S. leaders. Thank you very much, Nic.
President Trump compares Chicago to a warzone, saying what's happening there is worse than Afghanistan and threatens to send in feds over the city's epidemic of homicides. What does a congressman representing part of that city think of that idea? Next.
[08:17:14] CAMEROTA: President Trump compares Chicago's murder epidemic to a war zone. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is carnage. It's horrible carnage. This is -- Afghanistan is not like what's happening in Chicago. People are being short left and right, thousands of people over a period -- over a short period of time. This year, which has just started, is worst than last year which with is a catastrophe. They're not doing the job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: What does the president suggest to do? Let's discuss it with Democratic Congressman Louie Gutierrez. He is
the chair of the Immigration Task Force on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Congressman, good morning. Thank you for being here.
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Good morning, Alisyn. Good to be with you this morning.
CAMEROTA: You, too.
President Trump says he wants to help Chicago. Would you and Mayor Rahm Emanuel accept the president's help?
GUTIERREZ: First of all, let's state the fact, Chicago has a problem with its -- with violence, with gun violence. More murders in the city of Chicago than L.A. and New York combined. That's a real problem. But simply talking about it is not a solution. And I think that what president Trump has done is simply say look at the carnage, without offering a solution.
CAMEROTA: But I think he's saying he would send in the feds. If you asked for it, he would send in the feds.
GUTIERREZ: Yes, that's good. Very good, very good.
CAMEROTA: Would that help?
GUTIERREZ: Send in the feds.
Here is what we need? We need a president that doesn't tweet but says here are the funds to hire additional police officers so that we can combat crime on the street. Here are the funds so we can use more training of our police officers in the city of Chicago.
But wait a minute, here is the ATF agents -- he wants to put more people on the border, more border patrol agents. Where are the ATF? Where are the FBI agents? Where are the federal resources?
Here is the hypocrisy of it all. The fact is Donald Trump loves the NRA, and during his campaign, he embraced him and they embraced them. The city of Chicago had some of the most stringent gun control walls? How are they've eviscerated, Alisyn?
Because the NRA funded lawsuits against our gun control measures and then they say there's carnage in the city of Chicago. So, what I say is we want to control our own destiny. We need to control the gun violence on our street. It's a real epidemic, Alisyn.
GUTIERREZ: It's real.
What we need is a president that doesn't tweet but offers real solutions. Because then what you're doing is you're simply using the death and the murders of children and young people and Chicagoans for your own political gain.
[08:20:01] CAMEROTA: Congressman, let me put up some of the numbers, these are latest numbers available from the Chicago police and "The Chicago Tribune" which compiled these. The homicides are up 57 percent in 2016 over 2015, 754. Shooting victims are up 46 percent, 4,338 people shot in 2016.
But, Congressman, do I understand you correctly, in terms of what you think is at the root of that, you think it's that the NRA, because of their lawsuits, they were able to dismantle some of the gun laws and that's what's at the root of this problem?
GUTIERREZ: In part, yes. In part, yes, because what it does, Alisyn, it proliferates guns on our streets. So, now, every dispute, right, every problem is resolved at the end of a gun barrel. And so, the guns are not manufactured in the city of Chicago. They come from other states.
So, as you weaken the gun laws, you make it less effective for the Chicago police. There is that.
Do we need more police officers? Absolutely. I was there in 1993. I was elected to the Congress of the United States with Bill Clinton. What did we do? We put hundreds of thousands of police officers on the streets. We changed laws in order to be more effective in fighting crime and crime did go down, Alisyn.
There were more murders in the years before 1993 in Chicago, more murders in the years prior to 1993 than last year or this year. The fact is that they've risen again.
Is it completely the problem? I don't think so. I think we live a tale of two cities many times here in the city of Chicago. I, for example, Alisyn, don't fear my grandson going to play at the playground. I don't, because I know that in my neighborhood there isn't that kind of proliferation of gun violence in my neighborhood.
So, it's really about neighborhoods. So, I wish we could come to the city of Chicago and see the devastation. We need jobs, we need economic opportunity, but we also need to look at what is it and examine really -- why does a 16-year-old shoot another 16-year-old over a pair of gym shoes with a gun?
I think that that's not a problem you tweet about. It's a fundamental problem of how our society is changing and how violence is much more acceptable. It's one that we really need to challenge.
CAMEROTA: Congressman, I also want to ask you about Mr. Trump's plans for the border wall. Let me play for you how he says that Mexico will end up indirectly paying for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: 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.
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK. It sounds as if it will be done through remittances, meaning the money Mexicans are making near the U.S. that they send home to relatives, that those will somehow be used. What do you think of that plan?
GUTIERREZ: So, again, American citizens who send money back to their loved ones.
CAMEROTA: No, no. He's not saying American citizens. I think he's saying foreign workers, the Mexicans who come here and live here, that money they send back home.
GUTIERREZ: Sure. You know, Alisyn, this is much like -- I know more about ISIS than the generals and I'm going to defeat ISIS. But I have a secret plan, but I can't tell you what it is.
Then he said he had something better than Obamacare. Remember, it's going to be wonderful. It's going to be great, 100 percent better. He doesn't really have a plan. And now, he tells us don't worry about the wall, we're going to pay for it.
Alisyn, you know what I worry about, also? I didn't like NAFTA, I voted against NAFTA. I think we should review and revisit NAFTA so it really serves workers, workers in America, workers in Mexico and workers first.
Having said that, let's realize, Alisyn, that we could have such a crisis between Mexico and the United States. Five to six million American workers wake up every day and go to jobs because of trade with Mexico. Mexico purchases more goods produced in the United States that all of Europe combined, our second largest trading partner. I worry about those jobs and the effect.
You know, this great wall could be the second Great Wall of China. They have one in China, and if you build this wall, you will take Mexico and turn it towards China. And China is already in Asia, China is already in Africa and now they will have a foothold in America.
[08:25:08] Be careful.
And lastly, why is it that we only talk about a wall with Mexico when we know that today, today, as we speak today, more people will enter illegally -- will come legally to the United States and stay here and become undocumented in this country than cross that wall, but there is silence about those who come in Europe and those who come from other parts of the world.
Why this intensity about Mexico? Because not even a Mexican judge -- it wasn't a Mexican judge.
GUTIERREZ: It was a federal judge born in America of Mexican ancestry which he said couldn't hear his case, a case which in the end he paid tens of millions of dollars to settle.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Gutierrez, we hear your passion on all of these subjects. Thank you very much for joining us on NEW DAY.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Alisyn.
CUOMO: Take the oil from Iraq. That's what President Trump says. He says in the old days, the winner gets the spoils. Is the president suggesting he would break international law like the Geneva Convention? We get the bottom line from CNN international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.