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Trump Meets British Prime Minister; Trump Rift with Mexico; Trump to Speak with Putin; Trump to Move Forward on Voter Fraud Probe; U.S. Economy Slows; Menendez Brothers Case. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 27, 2017 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:30:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Arrangements work that he wants to actually get done.

So, for instance, he's meeting Prime Minister Theresa May today. He's got to prove that he can do a deal with somebody. So far the entire history of his very short presidency has been falling out with people, how to have an argument, how to disagree, how not to do a deal. Well, now he's actually got to start to prove that he can do a deal. And the British give him the easiest, by far, Chris, the easiest of all opportunities to do this because Theresa May coming to Washington wants a trade deal in the fullness (ph) of time (ph) and he also wants to prove that he is sort of more British than on the European side.

This is what Hollande said, President Hollande of France, just this morning. He talks about the challenges of dealing with the new administration. We must look at them with a European point of view and value.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And he was with Angela Merkel, Germany's prime minister, right?

QUEST: Right. Absolutely. Whereas - whereas Theresa May comes along saying -

CUOMO: Right.

QUEST: Hello, Mr. Trump. Special relationship.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.

QUEST: Nice to meet you. Let's start doing a deal.

HARLOW: She does. I mean, Christiane, they couldn't be more divergent in their assessment of the new administration thus far, what Richard just said about Hollande, and then Theresa May saying, "as dawn breaks on a new era of American renewal, a world of change, we can be bystanders or we can lead together."

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think this is an incredibly important moment for many of the reasons you all just stated. Theresa May is obviously seeing to have that deal from the United States to strengthen her hand going into Brexit. But also, if you saw in her speech yesterday, she did talk about how America must step up to the place for joint leadership of the world, pointing out that others, otherwise, would be ready to step into the vacuum if America steps back.

HARLOW: Right.

AMANPOUR: Notably Russia. Notably China. So there are differences on that.

And mentioning Merkel and Hollande, both of them gave a full-throated defense of globalization, of world trade packs, and the whole kind of underpinning of the U.S.-led post World War II era that is still vital, they say, to uphold some order in this world where there are increasing challenges and conflicts.

So I think that that's, you know, a really interesting point. And as Richard pointed out, you know, the debacle between President Trump and President Pena Nieto of Mexico was a very bad sign for a first week in office.

CUOMO: Or -

AMANPOUR: Pena Nieto's back was against the wall and he had to cancel this - this meeting. And the Mexicans are supporting him.

CUOMO: Or was this the proper and right move by a president who just got in on a tail wind of America's getting pushed around, America is weak. And he came in and said, I'm the boss. Mexico, you need me, not you.

AMANPOUR: Well -

CUOMO: And you over there, you've got trouble with me, too. And he's been - look at that, right in Richard's face. Look at that. That's how strong - that's how strong the point was.

So, Christiane, that's what he promised, that I'll be strong. I'm putting you first.

AMANPOUR: Well -

CUOMO: I'm going to push everybody around.

AMANPOUR: Well, look, you know, again, I think you will have to judge and history will judge and the future will judge whether you can make these public so-called business negotiations, which apparently, you know, supporters of President Trump are saying that's what it was, and whether that is worth, you know, dissing, is how it's being seen in Mexico, a major ally.

And it's actually quite important to get below the bluster and actually analyze the facts. Is the United States being taken advantage of? Does Mexico have a hand to play in terms of helping the United States with the drug traffic, with the stopping terrorists come in, with, as you all know, there is a net outflow of Mexicans back to Mexico. It is not the other way around for the last - you know, more than 12 to 24 months. HARLOW: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Mexico is currently helping keep Central American refugees and immigrants out of storming into the United States. And as you know, and Richard knows better than I do, that the interrelated supply chains and trade and all the rest of it benefit both sides. So, yes, there may be some, you know, renegotiations around the edges, but to force a neighboring president to have to, because of his own nationalism at home, cancel a visit to the U.S. is - I don't know, a lot of people around the world are looking and seeing what that's going to bode for the future.

HARLOW: Richard, to Russia and the phone call President Trump will have with President Vladimir Putin tomorrow. Despite his very high approval ratings, take them for what you will, in Russia, their economy, the people of Russia have been struggling for a long time because of the (INAUDIBLE) -

QUEST: It's a basket case, the economy.

HARLOW: Well, exactly. What do you expect from this phone call? And Josh Rogin just reported on this show this morning that he has senior aides to Trump telling him that there is a draft of an executive order to try to lift some of those sanctions on Russia?

QUEST: OK. So my enemy of my enemy is my friend and all those sort of old sayings are coming through thick and fast. What I expect is more of the same. The president has made it clear he wants a better relationship with Putin. It's in Putin's interest to have that relationship. But everybody I speak to says, it will eventually go sour. Whether it's this year, next year or two years down the road. But for the time being, this is going to be the new relationship to keep an eye on with a view to the sanctions being lifted sooner rather than later. And this puts Theresa May in an impossible situation.

[08:35:22] HARLOW: But what does the U.S. get from that, Richard?

QUEST: What does the U.S. get from it?

HARLOW: Yes.

QUEST: Well, very little in terms of keeping other allies on the side. Virtually nothing at all. It gets a new ally. And potentially a new partner for, say, for example, Syria or whatever. But it's highly unlikely.

AMANPOUR: No -

QUESTION: Highly unlikely.

AMANPOUR: No -

CUOMO: Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Yes, it's just not going to happen. I mean everybody who has advised President Trump, from the outgoing president, Obama, to the outgoing CIA, and to many, many others who have advised President Trump, and certainly the messages from allies in Europe is that the Russians are an adversarial and competitive force right now. And every issue that the two sides have tried to work on has simply played out in favor of the Russians.

Let's just take Syria. As you know, the United States, right now, is sitting outside any kind of, you know, deal to - to fix Syria, and that's not even working because the Russians can't do it.

CUOMO: Right.

AMANPOUR: And the post - the talks are being postponed. But he -

CUOMO: Christiane, I just want to ask -

AMANPOUR: And it's going to put him at odds with his European allies, like Theresa May, who very clearly yesterday in her speech warned about the rise of Russia.

CUOMO: I want to get a quick take from you. A buddy of mine in intel just saw that the president had tweeted about this guy we had on saying that he can prove 3 million people voted illegally, but he doesn't have the proof yet. He says not done with it. And the president seemed to take him at his word and said, you know, oh, can't wait to see it. You know we have to do better. Almost accepting his conclusion. And the intel guy said, wow, Putin must love hearing this.

QUEST: Yes.

CUOMO: Why does Putin care about the president of the United States and his confidence in his own voting system?

AMANPOUR: Well because anything that undermines the American democracy is a gift to those who are American enemies and adversaries.

QUEST: Yes.

AMANPOUR: It's as simple as that. And Putin has shown, with his words and the hacking apparently into America, and also with what he's doing in Europe and supporting, you know, parties that are disruptive in Europe against Angela Merkel, against the French, you know, establishment, and this and that, all these places which are having elections, that they're trying to disrupt the close relationship between allies and between a Europe that has stood up to it.

Can we just rewind the clock for one moment. The Obama administration tried to reset relations with Putin. What happened was things were going fairly swimmingly until President Putin invaded another country and annexed it, in violation of international law. That was Crimea. And then invaded and intervened in eastern Ukraine. This is why the relationship is not working right now. Not because, despite what everybody else may say, somehow, you know, the west was wrong. No, they chose this rout.

HARLOW: Christiane Amanpour, Richard Quest, no one better to have with us this morning. Chris, get your finger out of the shot. CUOMO: Nice. Nice. Nice. I'm sorry I put my hand in his face before.

HARLOW: Thank you both very much. We appreciate it.

CUOMO: The federal government just released new numbers on economic growth. We're going to have Christine Romans come here and let you know what the state of your economy is right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:42:17] HARLOW: How strong, or weak, is the U.S. economy? The federal government just out now with new numbers on economic growth for the year. Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans is with us.

What do they tell us?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: They - look, this is the broadest gauge of how healthy the American economy is. Everything we make, bake, send, receive, 1.9 percent for the fourth quarter, which is a slowdown from the third quarter. And for the year, this preliminary figure is for the year, about 1.6 percent. That's the slowest since 2011. So what it shows you is that the recovery looks like it stalled a bit last year in 2016.

So we've seen this before where you've got job growth, you've got stock market at record highs, you've got home prices rising, but overall the American economy not growing to its whole potential here. There's a lot of reasons for it. Some think it's structural. Some think it's productivity. This is what it looks like in terms of quarter by quarter.

HARLOW: A bit drop off (INAUDIBLE).

ROMANS: Yes. Well, when you look at the why - OK, so exports were down. The dollar's been strong. Imports were up. The dollar's been strong.

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: And you said personal consumption slowed a little bit at the end of the year.

Now, politically, these numbers, I think, fit right into the President Trump world view. He has promised that he can grow the economy 4 percent. He's even said 5 percent.

CUOMO: When's the last time we saw four or five?

HARLOW: The '90s, 4 percent. (INAUDIBLE).

ROMANS: Yes, it's been - it's been a while since we've seen four. Consistently seen four? I mean we've seen it a quarter here and there before, but annual growth, that's something - that was something we saw in the '90s. CUOMO: Does this prove that the working man and woman is getting

caught behind the people who see the stock market as the main indicator of economic strength?

ROMANS: Look, when we look at stock market records and an economy for the year growing at 1.6 percent, what that tells me is people who have money right now are making a lot of money.

CUOMO: It's a disconnect.

ROMANS: There's a very - there is a very big disconnect. But, overall, it's an economy moving forward, but it's not moving forward as robustly as you would think it would.

CUOMO: And for everybody.

ROMANS: It's not - for everybody. And economists argue over why, quite frankly. One of the big things we hear is the dollar. The dollar has been strengthening for a lot of different reasons, in part also because of Mr. Trump's policies the dollar has been strengthening and that -

CUOMO: And management is preference over labor.

ROMANS: Oh, you know, look -

CUOMO: So you have this growing disparity of what gets paid at the bottom and what gets paid at the top.

ROMANS: When you look at the stock market at 20,000 and people say, look, companies are making - this is a - that is a forecast that companies are going to make a lot of money. But are they going to hire people with that money they make or are they going to give it back to shareholders? That's what I'm waiting to see.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

Christine, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: Have a good weekend.

CUOMO: Need the information.

More than two decades it's been since the Menendez brothers were convicted of murdering their parents, Lyle and Eric. You remember? Well, guess what, they have never spoken out about it, until now, from behind bars. An inside look at a special report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:48:47] CUOMO: Do you remember - oh, Poppy, you're so young. This was before you were really news conscious.

HARLOW: Chris - Chris schooled me on this, this morning. CUOMO: The Menendez brothers. It dominated the headlines for such a long time because they killed their parents in cold blood in Beverly Hills at home. The parents allegedly watching TV. The boys walked in with Mossberg shotguns.

Now, HLN's new original series "How It Really Happened" with Hill Harper is taking a closer look at the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very rare that you get to hear from the mouth of someone who has committed a murder exactly how that murder went down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just burst through the doors and I started firing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They sat there very matter of factually and explained that they did it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I entered the room. I saw two people in the room and I just started firing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, oh my gosh, I mean how many people would do that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just fired until there was nothing left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was things shattering and the noise was phenomenal, just chaos.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: I mean to hear it out of their mouths, and the reasons that they gave for why wound up twisting the society up and had multiple trials. Hill Harper, the host of "How It Really Happened," joins us now.

It's great to have you. Good luck with the series. What do you make of this case?

[08:50:04] HILL HARPER, HOST, HLN'S "HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED": Hey, good morning, Poppy and Chris.

You know, it's amazing. Telling story, if you're an armchair detective, you know, having done a show like "CSI New York" for so many years, I met so many people who really love getting into the facts of major cases. And there's so many twists and turns and interesting elements to this story. It's a tragedy in so many ways. And it's - and the loss of life - and everything that happens. Even the connection to O.J., which is so interesting that people talk about. And so many things going on. And so we are very proud to work with the CNN production crew to put together the first of its kind for HLN, a show that details going into these crimes and really taking a new, fresh look. I mean CNN has 30 years of a treasure trove of interviews. And you can go in and actually start culling through them and coming up with a lot of new information that's very interesting.

HARLOW: Right. What - what - Hill, first of all, welcome - welcome to the family. Good to have you. What - what captivated -

HARPER: Thank you. It's great to be on.

HARLOW: What captivated you most personally as you researched and did the journalism behind this with your team?

HARPER: Well, I'll tell you. What's - what's amazing is, you know, this is a whole series and so we're telling stories, we're starting with this big two-hour premier tonight on the Menendez brothers. But then we go into, you know, many other stories. Not all murders. You know, some are just tragedies. You know one that touched me the most is - is the - what we did about Prince. And we go into how he tragically died. And, you know, I was a friend of Prince and he was just an amazing genius. And the sadness you go into, you know, why someone ends up taking pain killers, you know, to entertain us. Someone who did splits and danced and jumped off pianos in high heels. Obviously they did damage to their body, much like - much like an athlete, so they end up on pain killers and then that's ultimately what happens with their death.

And so to go into these - to go into what CNN has and all of the interviews and all the research - because you've got to remember, when these case were presented, particularly the old ones, there were theories behind them, so they only presented certain interviews. So what we did was we really opened up everything and said, hey, let's take a new fresh look at this. And, obviously, with new - with new technology, many of these cases can be looked at with different eyes -

HARLOW: Yes.

HARPER: With DNA evidence and all sorts of things. And that's kind of the "CSI" link there.

CUOMO: So Hill Harper is the beauty and I was the beast and came in to help him with his series to interview Lyle Menendez.

HARLOW: You did this interview with one of the brothers.

CUOMO: It's the first time that he's ever spoken.

HARLOW: From jail.

CUOMO: Yes. So it was over the phone with him in jail.

HARPER: I mean -

CUOMO: And it was the first time we ever heard him explain why he felt he needed to do what they did that day. And we gave him the questions, Hill, that fuels the skepticism of that case from all these years.

HARPER: Absolutely. And you did a great job. I mean, obviously, I'm not an investigative journalist with your credibility in any way, so I'm glad you handled that part of it. And - but here's the deal. What's so interesting about this, Chris, as you know, is that in - in California there's a new statute that allows individuals that - that claim to have been domestic abuse victims to petition for a new trial. It - and it's not automatically granted, but they can petition for a new trial. And so we may be seeing both Lyle and Eric Menendez petition for a new trial and maybe we're going to have a trial -

HARLOW: Wow.

HARPER: Trial number three of the Menendez brothers coming up.

HARLOW: Wow, that will be fascinating.

I've got to go. We've got to go, but are you a Minnesota man?

HARPER: No, I got stuck here. I was - I was going to be in the studio with you guys in person, but I -

HARLOW: You did not get stuck. You are in the best state - you are in the best state and the best city in the entire planet, my friend. I thought because your friend is Prince -

HARPER: No.

HARLOW: You know, maybe you were from Minnesota.

CUOMO: She's from Minnesota, Hill. Take the exit.

HARPER: Michigan is - Michigan is the best state.

CUOMO: Uh-oh.

HARLOW: You didn't -

HARPER: Michigan is the best state.

CUOMO: Take the exit, Hill.

HARPER: Come on, let's be honest.

HARLOW: Take the exit.

All right, thank you, my friend.

HARPER: The other "m." The other "m."

HARLOW: Thank you, my friend.

HARPER: OK.

HARLOW: We look forward to watching it tonight. "How It Happened" premieres tonight 8:00 p.m. with a three-hour event, the Menendez brothers, "Murder in Beverly Hills." And then -

CUOMO: All right, we're going to have the interview with Lyle Menendez, it's the first time you'll get to hear him talk about why he did what he did and how he answers the questions - HARLOW: Yes.

CUOMO: Of the scrutiny of his case. 10:00 p.m. Eastern, HLN. Enjoy it.

What do you say, a little "Good Stuff"?

HARLOW: A little "Good Stuff" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:58:03] CUOMO: All right, Harlow, time to restore your faith in humanity. And by you, I mean me. "The Good Stuff." Today is pay it forward Friday, literally. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want you to have a nice day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: That's Terry Lafaver (ph). The Pennsylvania man fell on hard times in the past, going through depression, even went broke. So, when he got back on his feet, he wanted to do something to help others in need. His idea, help them buy groceries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never know what the person is that you're getting for, what their life is like.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Terry usually tells the cashier in advance. The customer doesn't know who's footing the bill. But in the end, they always find out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's an angel. Yes. That's all it could be, an angel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: He tries to target the disabled, the elderly and help them out.

HARLOW: Well, he lived through it, right? When you live through it and you get the pain, you certainly (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: And he says it's not about even paying - he says it's paying it forward for him, but not for them.

HARLOW: Yes.

CUOMO: He doesn't expect them to help other people. They need the help.

HARLOW: My faith in humanity restored, Cuomo.

CUOMO: Good, then I've done my job.

HARLOW: Thank you.

CUOMO: Time for "Newsroom" with Carol Costello. She restores my faith in humanity every day.

HARLOW: Good morning, Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I try my best. It's a tough challenge, Poppy, but I try.

HARLOW: You're doing good. You're doing good.

COSTELLO: Soon he'll be a whole human being.

CUOMO: No, no.

HARLOW: Awe.

CUOMO: Let's not get too ahead of ourselves. A lot of work to do.

COSTELLO: Yes, you're right about that.

Hey, you guys have a great weekend.

CUOMO: All right.

HARLOW: Thank you.

COSTELLO: NEWSROOM starts now.

And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.

Donald Trump wraps up the first week of his presidency, and foreign policy is driving much of his agenda. The British prime minister, Theresa May, visits the White House for President Trump's first meeting with a world leader. Later, she'll take part in his first news conference as commander-in-chief. And tomorrow, the president holds his first phone call with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Trump says he is open to better relations with Russia.

[09:00:00] But tensions are rising with Mexico after its president canceled a White House meeting. Just moments ago Trump tweeting out, quote, "Mexico has taken advantage of the U.S. for long enough. Massive trade deficits and little help on the very weak border. Must change