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Questions Raised in Deadly Yemen Raid; President Trump Shakes Up U.S. Foreign Policy; Goodell Versus Patriots Fans in Super Bowl LI; Howard Stern Sounds Off Trump Personality; Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired February 3, 2017 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:30:00] RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY PRODUCER: Now that the Pentagon actually recommended this mission in December actually before Donald Trump was inaugurated. Now White House officials from the Obama administration have kind of pushed back a little bit on the notion that this operation was kind of green lit, that it was entirely teed up, so we're seeing a little bit of back and forth. Pentagon officials saying it was prepared, it was on the table for the White House during the Obama administration, and that Trump actually approved it three days before the operation after having a dinner with his close military advisers as well as political advisers.
So we're learning a little bit about the mechanics of how this all came together. Of course as you said, the White House as well as the Pentagon and the military are saying that the information gathered is yielding critical intelligence on Al Qaeda in Yemen but we're starting to see it become a little bit of a political football between the previous administration and the current one -- Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Ryan, appreciate it. Keep digging because listen, bad things happened on this mission and we need to know was this just circumstance of war or was this about planning? Ryan, appreciate it as always.
Up next, Trump diplomacy. The new commander-in-chief rattling allies and adversaries alike. How the president is reshaping global foreign policy next.
[06:35:07] CUOMO: All right. President Trump entered Washington pledging to shake things up. And he has stuck to his word for better or worse especially when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. Now there's been a lot of talk and I figure you want to see the actual details of what's going on. Some call that broccoli, I call it what you really need.
All right. Let's start with Mexico. OK. So he continues to do so now as commander-in-chief dealing with them. He took aim at NAFTA. OK. He said he wants to speed up the negotiation process. This after talking for months about a border wall that Trump says he can get the Mexican government for. That hasn't really worked out well. So he's moved on to NAFTA. That can have big implications as well because one of the reasons that we don't have as much immigration across the border right now is because of some of these trade deals that raise the economy in Mexico.
Australia. OK. Strange relationship. Now you all heard about the call. The White House said, you know, it was a typical call. It wasn't. A lot of people said that President Trump called the deal to take refugees from Australia dumb. He said it was his worst call. He hung up early. Strained relationships with one of the most important intel allies that we have. The Australians generally are fighting with Americans arm in arm all over the globe.
China. What's that about? Go away. Go away, I said. There. China, now what's going on with China? Well, there are reports that the president's chief strategist Steve Bannon predicted a war between the two super powers on his radio show last year. This on top of some of the inflammatory rhetoric that Trump has used about China manipulating currency and remember he said that maybe China was responsible for the hacks that our intel community said were Russian. OK.
Now, Syria, what do we know about them? Trump's immigration executive order right now. It's in Syria. Remember it's not temporary. It's not about 90 days or 120 days. It's indefinite so this sent shockwaves there in terms of what does this mean for those people who are struggling so much in that area.
Germany is another situation that we're seeing now about this ambivalence this toward NATO. This banging on Angela Merkel about taking refugees and maybe currency manipulation, which he'd also said China. Merkel, a key ally for the U.S. in that region, such as stabilizing force in Europe. OK.
Russia, now we know the deal. The backstory here. There seems to have been an intentional sheltering of Russia but now a flip. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley delivered the Trump administration's most hawkish words yet towards Russia. She said these sanctions are going to stay in place until you get out of the Crimean peninsula. We've never heard anything like that from Trump. Is that going to make a difference? Absolutely.
Israel. All right. The White House sounding a bit more like the Obama administration now. You're going to have to read the White House statement for yourself. Because it seems to say competing things. It says, "Settlements are not an impediment to the peace process but new ones may be a problem." All right. So what does that mean? What's the real message? It does seem to be a step away from where Friedman, the new ambassador for the U.S. that Trump picked, he's been very pro-settlement. You're going to have to figure that out for yourself.
Then you have the one last one quickly. Iran. OK. The White House is ramping up its rhetoric towards Iran. Remember on notice. But now it's expected to announce additional sanctions against Iranian entities as soon as today.
And, Alisyn, as we all remember, that was the big tool for the Obama administration.
CAMEROTA: Hey, Chris, for the record, I like broccoli. I just like it tossed with little garlic and maybe some with red pepper flakes. You hear me?
CUOMO: I respect that. I respect all kinds of spice.
CAMEROTA: I know you do. Thank you for all of that.
Let's talk more now about President Trump's foreign policy and how it's seen around the world. We want to bring in our stellar panel of international correspondents. Nick Paton Walsh has just spent time in Ukraine, he's covered that crisis. Clarissa Ward has been recently reporting in Moscow and CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago joins us in Mexico City.
It's great to have all of you. Nick, let me start with you. Let's talk about Ambassador Nikki Haley's strong words on Russia and how they'll deal with the occupation in Crimea. What's going on?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is basically the toughest line the Obama administration put out. It sets you back a kind of day one really of what they would expect Russia to do in terms of resetting its presence in Ukraine. Remember back in 2014 covert Little Green Men Russian forces took over that peninsula. It had historically in the past been part of Russia now but is again after Moscow held its referendum. Both the Western world wants it to go back to part with the Ukrainian mainland.
Those sanctions were the first real response the Obama administration put in. There had been potentially talk that Trump may relax that as time went by. We didn't hear these strong words from him. We heard it from Nikki Haley at the U.N. instead. That may be perhaps the White House resetting some sort of bottom line ahead of maybe further diplomatic interaction with the Kremlin later on down the line but it comes at a very delicate time in Ukraine. I say delicate, well, frankly very violent.
We saw simply last week how like the skyline there and some of the more volatile areas in the east not mentioned by Nikki Haley in reference to those sanctions.
[06:40:07] Separate sanctions were in place because of that. In the east there's daily exchange of artillery fire. It got particularly bad in the last few days. In fact in one 24-hour period monitors reported 2,500 explosions. That's pretty much a full on war there and the reports have been like from the Russian side of rockets hitting a civilian populated area.
So a very delicate moment there and now it seems the White House adopting perhaps through this statement we may see it moderate and President Trump in the days ahead the toughest position the Obama administration initially had.
CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. Those numbers are staggering, Nick. Thank you for that.
Clarissa, let's talk about Iran. President Trump said yesterday, quote, "nothing is off the table" when it comes to responding to Iran's missile testing. What is the latest? CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you
said it appears almost, Alisyn, that President Trump may have created his own red line ever since with the issue of Iran. We saw how President Obama also had a red line with the chemical weapon situation in Syria, we know how that ended. We don't know how this red line is going to end.
Essentially when you saw General Mike Flynn walk into the briefing room earlier this week, and that now said Iran had been put on notice for testing that ballistic missile. We then heard President Trump echoing General Flynn's comments at saying again Iran has been put on notice. The question becomes what does that mean Iran has been put on notice and what happens if Iran goes ahead and test another missile?
For the Iranian part, the reaction has been kind of what you would expect. A lot of bluster. Vowing to double down. Continue testing those missiles claiming that they are for defensive purposes only and I should emphasize, Alisyn, that the testing of this missile does not contravene the agreement of the Iran deal.
So now the question becomes, what happens next? Does Iran test another missile? And if so, has President Trump kind of painted himself into a corner by saying military options are not off the table, Iran has been placed on notice? We're seeing a lot of saber rattling or rationing up of the rhetoric. At the same time just to sort of play devil's advocate we have not heard either side say that they are going to make any decisive plans to dismantle the Iran deal -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Clarissa, thank you.
To Mexico now. Leyla, as you know President Trump has called NAFTA a disaster. What is the response in Mexico?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Mexico has for weeks -- for months now really tried to make a point of how connected these two countries are. They continue to drive home that point. In fact just yesterday the Foreign minister had a chance to speak to Rex Tillerson, secretary of State, and that's what he says came out of that phone conversation is the understanding that they need each other but when it comes to NAFTA both of the administrations seem to be maybe on a bit of a different time line.
You know, President Trump yesterday said he wants to speed up NAFTA negotiations -- renegotiations, rather, and the president here has begun a consultation period, so we're starting to see the Mexican government begin to craft what their strategy will be in these renegotiations and they're doing so by consulting with the private sector, the senators, the business leaders to try to figure out how this could be win-win. Already they have said e-commerce needs to be addressed as well as the energy sector.
CAMEROTA: Leyla, Clarissa, Nick, thank you very much for all of that international perspective -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right. So why would our president ask for prayers for Arnold's ratings at the National Prayer Breakfast? Why would he bring up inauguration crowd size at a somber memorial? Someone who is very famous and says he knows Trump very well offers an answer that may surprise you. Next.
[06:47:57] CUOMO: Patriots, Falcons, Super Bowl Sunday. Enough Said. But if you ask most Pats fans who their biggest foe is, it ain't the Falcons, it's Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the league.
Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." I laugh but it's true. They are angry.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Tom Brady, he's been dismissive and quiet when it comes to criticizing the commissioner since that deflategate suspension but New England fans, that's a whole different story. There's a lot of bad blood up in bean town and our Andy Scholes, he went to Radio Row here in Houston and talked to some of the Boston media legends who know the people of Boston and have a pulse on Pats nation. They told Andy, folks up there, now here's how they really feel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN SHAUGHNESSY, BOSTON GLOBE: I've really never seen anything like it. He is the all time target. Worse than any villain on a team. It's across the board that he's become the devil.
GERRY CALLAHAN, WEEI RADIO: Pure 100 percent hatred. It is not even -- it's not even much debate. Patriots fans there's a consensus. He's a bad man. He's not an honest man and he screwed Tom Brady and the Patriots.
SHAUGHNESSY: They love Tom Brady, they love their Patriots, and the notion back home is no one was doing anything and that's why they're so happy to be here because the feeling is they tried to punish the Patriots and you know what, it didn't work. Here they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: All right. If the Pats win many think Goodell having to handle the Lambardi trophy to Tom Brady will be must-see TV.
Speaking of must-see TV, kick off in Houston. A CNN "Bleacher Report" special airs Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on both CNN and CNN International. I and Hines Ward will be led by Patriots homer John Berman, CNN's best-looking and smartest male anchor ahead of Chris Cuomo.
WIRE: Alisyn, it's going to be good stuff.
CAMEROTA: I was about to say which one of those three does not belong.
Coy, thank you very much. We'll be looking forward to that.
WIRE: You're welcome.
CAMEROTA: All right. Shock jock, Howard Stern, he is a longtime friend of Donald Trump's.
[06:50:01] What Stern is now predicting about Trump's presidency.
CUOMO: All right. One of President Trump's longtime friends, Howard Stern, making some eye-opening comments about a man that he has known for years. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD STERN, RADIO HOST: I actually think this is something that is going to be very detrimental to his mental health, too, because he wants to be liked. He wants to be loved. He wants people to cheer for him. And all of this hatred and stuff directed toward him, it's not good for him. It's not good. And it's -- listen, there's a reason every president who leaves the office has grey hair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Is Stern right? Let's discuss with Michael D'Antonio, author of "The Truth About Trump" and a consequential -- what is it?
CUOMO: President. Sorry about that. That was a little script sabotage there.
CAMEROTA: He said prescient.
CUOMO: Also we got Tim O'Brien, executive editor of "Bloomberg View" and author of "Trumpnation: The Art of Being the Donald."
CAMEROTA: Because you are prescient.
CUOMO: Well, you know what? It works either way. It's good to have you both here. Let's first put up a little bit of evidence on behalf of plaintiff Stern here about it.
[06:55:04] Here's about what President Trump has felt compelled to talk about recently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would have won the popular vote if I was campaigning for the popular vote. It looked -- honestly it looked like a million and a half people. I looked over that sea of people and I said to myself, wow. There has never been a movement like this anywhere in the world. And I had been on their cover like 14 or 15 times. I think we had the all time record in the history of "TIME" magazine. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right. And then this morning while talking about Iran and attacking us a little bit this tweet comes out of nowhere from the president of the United States. "Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger did a really bad job as governor of California. Even worse on the 'Apprentice' but at least he tried hard."
Tim O'Brien, he was at the National Prayer Breakfast and he asked for prayers for Arnold's ratings.
TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, BLOOMBERG VIEW: The day after the election he tweeted about Arnold's rating.
CUOMO: Now so is it going to what Howard Stern is saying? That there is an unusual even for a politician profound need for respect and admiration that is fuelling these antics.
O'BRIEN: Absolutely yes, and it's been true his whole career. The funny thing about President Trump is that despite these various achievements he's had he remains wildly insecure and things that exist that can be sort of benchmarks for his popularity, crowd size at the inauguration, ratings on TV, he is focused on these things because he wants to show that he's loved and it's almost like a childlike need for approval.
CAMEROTA: But, Michael, I mean, what Howard Stern -- you know, sometimes we don't take Howard Stern as seriously as maybe we should. He has known Donald Trump for a long time. He is a truth teller, that Howard Stern, and he -- I mean, look, he speaks it like it is. He is a straight talker. He is and he has said that he is actually worried about President Trump's mental health because it affects him deeply if he's not beloved, and as president you're not beloved every day.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR, "THE CONSEQUENTIAL PRESIDENT": Well, that's true and he certainly didn't give much love to Barack Obama during his presidency. You know, one of the things that I think is fascinating is to note that Howard is a person who has been in a lot of therapy himself. I think he actually looks at human beings as human beings and Trump's antics make us forget that there's an actual person inside this character that he is playing and what that person is projecting is this really deep need for love and attention for admiration and what is strange is that there never seems to be enough.
He can be elected president of the United States, pursue the majority of the votes through the whole campaign, and then say, well, I didn't win the majority because I really wasn't going for that. It's almost a little pathetic. You'd think at some point living in the White House.
D'ANTONIO: Occupying the Oval Office, it would sink in that he's OK. He's made it.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, look, this is what Howard Stern is talking about. The bottomless well quality of this. And Howard Stern went on to say in fact some of the very people that he really wants adulation from he's now at odds with. So listen to this next Howard Stern byte.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STERN: I don't think it's going to be a healthy experience. I mean, all of these people who -- and by the way he's, you know, now on this anti-Hollywood kick. He loves Hollywood.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anti-press, anti-everything.
STERN: He -- yes. He -- first of all, he loves the press. He lives for it. He loves people in Hollywood. He only wants to hobnob with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Tim, he used to love Hollywood, he used to love the press, and now he's made them enemies. That doesn't feel good.
O'BRIEN: He will never stop loving celebrities and he will never stop loving the media because he's obsessed with stardom. He's obsessed with his own reputation. He's obsessed with how much attention he gets. That's been a truism for 55 years and it's not going to go away.
CUOMO: It's interesting. I'm enjoying listening to all this perspective. I don't have a good feel for psychology when it comes to people but I do think it's interesting. The man deserves respect. He's president of the United States. He won an election that nobody thought that he would win and yet he does seem to get a little bit in his own way, Michael, which I've never quite understood because this is a smart man who understands the sell as well as anybody. What do you make of that? His kind of seeming to get in his own way?
D'ANTONIO: Well, I think too often he is playing to celebrities, he is playing to the media. He is hoping to get the approval now of groups of people who are not going to approve of him. I keep wondering why he doesn't focus on these international relationships and envision himself visiting the Queen, envision himself on these foreign trips and getting the adulation there because he could stage a pageant almost every week if he chose to.
CAMEROTA: All right. Michael, Tim, thank you very much. You both know his psychology as well as most. We appreciate all the perspective.
CUOMO: Doctor, Doctor --