Return to Transcripts main page
Is Trump's Foreign Policy Moving Toward Obama's?; Soldier Shoots Machete-Wielding Attacker Near Louvre. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired February 3, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR, "THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP": -- adulation there because he could stage a pageant every week if he chose to.
CAMEROTA: All right. Michael, Ken, thank you very much. You both know his psychology as well as most. We appreciate all the perspective.
[07:00:13] CUOMO: Doctor, doctor, truth teller, expert.
CUOMO: Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" is coming right up. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues. We have news for you right now.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world is in trouble. We're going to straighten it out.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia.
TRUMP: Nothing is off the table. I haven't eased anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The administration taking a tougher stance on Israeli settlements.
MICHAEL FLYNN, TRUMP'S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Iran understood that they are on notice. It's not going unresponded to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It may be that sanctions are just one step.
TRUMP: It's time we're going to be a little tough, folks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're absolutely open to making that debate.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: They're not trying to make America great again.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), MAJORITY LEADER: We're going to keep our promise to repeal and replace this law.
PELOSI: They're trying to make America sick again.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CHRIS CUOMO, ANN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. The usually predictable or unpredictable, really, Trump administration setting a foreign policy agenda that closely mirrors President Obama's. The White House scolding Russia for its aggression in Ukraine, warning Israel about settlements in the West Bank.
CAMEROTA: It's always unpredictable, sometimes. Now Mr. Trump is threatening Iran with economic sanctions for its latest ballistic missile test. That's the same approach taken by the Obama administration.
We're entering day 15 of Mr. Trump's presidency. and CNN has every angle covered, starting with Jeff Zeleny, live at the White House -- Jeff.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
President Trump is still forming his foreign policy, and there is no question that there are key distinctions between his and President Obama's, but this morning there are also key similarities emerging, and President Trump is sounding different than candidate Trump.
ZELENY (voice-over): President Trump telling Israel not so fast with settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The White House releasing a statement, warning Israel that the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Those words sounding similar to the Obama administration's approach to the settlements.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.
ZELENY: And far different than the tone Mr. Trump took on the campaign trail.
TRUMP: Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East, has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity.
ZELENY: But the White House noting that President Trump has not taken an official position yet and will continue discussions when he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two weeks.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia.
ZELENY: And tough talk coming from U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, condemning Russia for a recent surge of violence in eastern Ukraine. HALEY: We do want to better our relations with Russia. However, the
dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions.
ZELENY: Haley's rhetoric far stronger than the president's posture so far on Russia. But Thursday's remarks coming as no surprise to the White House. Sources tell CNN they signed off on Haley's speech.
Meanwhile, today, the White House could announce additional tougher sanctions on Iran following Sunday's ballistic missile test. These sanctions expected to be similar to actions taken by former President Obama. Mr. Trump also not ruling out military action.
TRUMP: I haven't eased anything.
ZELENY: Foreign policy center stage on Rex Tillerson's first day as secretary of state.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Hi, I'm the new guy.
ZELENY: Speaking with foreign leaders from Israel, Germany and Mexico but also doing damage control after the president's tense phone call with Australia.
TRUMP: President Obama said that they were going to take probably well over a thousand illegal immigrants who were in prisons, and they were going to bring them and take them into this country, and I just said why.
ZELENY: Republican leaders alarmed by the president's tone toward a long-standing U.S. ally.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The relationship between the United States and Australia is of the most, greatest importance; and I am concerned about the effect of this difference.
ZELENY: And it seems as though the president might be sensitive to some of these comparisons this morning with his predecessor. He is tweeting a fire storm of things this morning just within the last half hour or so, including these about Iran.
He says, look, "Iran is playing with fire. They don't appreciate how kind President Obama was to them. Not me."
And of course Australia, he says, "Thank you to prime minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation the fake news media lied about. Very nice."
[07:05:10] That's a far different tone that he said just yesterday morning when he said these phone calls were a sign that foreign leaders needed tough talk. So something has gotten under the president's skin this morning. He's responding again on Twitter, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Jeff. Thank you for all of that.
Let's bring in now Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner. He's a member of the intelligence committee. Good morning, Senator.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: Good morning, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: So let me put up these developments and get your take on this. Here are the things that have happened in basically the past 24 hours. The Trump administration has said to Israel stop building the settlements. They're not helpful to peace. About Russia, there will be sanctions for Ukraine incursions, they will remain in place. And on Iran, they put Iran on notice, as well as adding some additional sanctions for the recent missile launch.
Is he taking a page from President Obama's foreign policy?
WARNER: Well, let's put it like this, Alisyn, as the report that just proceeded me came on, we don't know, because he ricochets from one policy to another that's really very irresponsible. Let's go through all three of them.
On Israel, he's also, he made those comments or his administration made the comments that earlier he gave basically a green light to the prime minister of Israel to go ahead and expand some of it.
On the question of Russia, on one level, you've got the U.N. ambassador calling Russia out yet yesterday. The Trump administration relaxed some of the sanctions that was on the Russian spy service, the FSB, which I think was a small, I think was a bad, bad move, because we're still investigating the Russian interventions and elections.
And obviously, people are very upset about Russian actions not only in Crimea but elsewhere. And on Iran, you've got the situation where I'm not sure what this -- he means by putting Iran on notice. Is this similar to the Obama red line in Syria? I don't know what that means. And none of us up here on the Hill had probably any kind of assessment from the administration of putting them on notice. What does that mean? Is there -- is there some action that they take that America is going to militarily, you know, bring against them?
This is dicey what he's doing, and I think he has to understand that words of a president or, for that matter, the tweets of a president actually carry a lot of weight.
CAMEROTA: You bring up that alleged Russian hacking into the election.
WARNER: There's nothing -- there's nothing alleged about this hacking.
CAMEROTA: Well, let's talk about that, Senator, because I know that you're spearheading an investigation into it. What have you found?
WARNER: Well, what -- there are three areas that we're looking into. First the Russian use of disinformation. As a matter of fact, we're close to 1,000 Russian hackers working out of a single factory as Internet trolls, placing fake news on -- and manipulating some of the algorithms, for example, that Google used. A few weeks back, if you typed in "ODNI" and "hacking," director of national intelligence and hacking, you'd have five or six Russian sites come up, Russian propaganda sites, No. 1.
No. 2, you clearly have, and I think every member of Congress received the briefing knows that Russians hacked into the DNC, hacked into John Podesta's e-mails. The fact that John's first e-mail was released publicly two hours after the so-called Bush Hollywood groping tape came out was more than just coincidence. It was a concentrated effort by the Russians to favor Trump against Clinton.
And the area that we're looking into, as well, there's a lot of smoke. And we don't know if there's going to be anything there is possible contact between Russian operations and Trump campaign or Trump organizations prior to the election. And that one is obviously explosive, if it's bears out to be true.
CAMEROTA: All right. Please keep us posted as your investigation builds. I also want to ask you about this woman, Gina Haskell (ph). She is a veteran CIA officer. She was -- Mr. Trump had chosen her to serve at the agency, the CIA's deputy director. She would have been the first female career CIA officer to serve as deputy director. You're alarmed by this choice. What's the problem?
WARNER: Well, we just want to make sure that she will give us on the committee the same assurances that Mike Pompeo gave me publicly and privately that he will -- that she will follow the law as regards to torture and extreme interrogation procedures.
CAMEROTA: And what makes you think she wouldn't?
WARNER: Well, I just -- I want to make sure and the committee wants to make sure. Other members have expressed similar concern, even more dramatically. Senator Wyden, I know has. We want to get her up in front of the committee and make sure that we get that assurance.
[07:10:03] CAMEROTA: But I mean, is it in part that she had overseen the black sites? The so-called black sites?
WARNER: Alisyn, I'm not going to be able to comment on anything that this individual did or may not have done. I just felt
CAMEROTA: But you had sent a letter, correct me, if I'm wrong, to Director Pompeo as well as to Secretary Mattis expressing your grave concerns about the policy in terms of enhanced interrogation and black sites.
WARNER: Absolutely. We want to make sure that the views of Secretary Mattis, in particular, who said torture doesn't work and that American law prohibits torture, because we have to follow the Army Field Manual. That that policy has not changed over, obviously. President Trump has said he would be willing to go back with those efforts and frankly, I think, hurt our war against terrorists more than it helped. Luckily, he said he's going to adhere to General Mattis. We just want to make sure all the senior members of the military and the intelligence community also share that view. And torture should not and will not be the policy of the American government.
CAMEROTA: And are you worried, Senator, that you will be misled somehow? I mean, that somehow Director Pompeo tells you one thing, and then Mr. Trump has a different influence on them?
WARNER: Well, listen, I'm always concerned, and this is part of my job in terms of oversight. But I -- I believe you've got to take somebody at their word until they prove otherwise. And so far with Mike Pompeo, I think we're building a strong relationship. I'll have an important role as vice chair of the Intelligence Committee in terms of oversight of the CIA.
We just want to make sure that all the top officials realize that America is not going back to the time when we were using torture as a means to try to extract information.
CAMEROTA: Senator Mark Warner, thank you very much for being on NEW DAY. Nice to talk to you.
WARNER: Thank you, Alisyn.
CUOMO: All right. We have an update for you on the breaking news out of Paris. A man wielding a knife, rushing soldiers near the Louvre Museum prompting one soldier to open fire. The suspect was seriously wounded, and a second suspect is now under arrest. The prime minister saying point blank this is a terrorist attack.
Let's take you straight to Paris. We have CNN's Melissa Bell with the very latest.
What do you make of reports about explosives being found in some backpacks and concerns about coordination?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for now, all the police have confirmed, Chris, is that those backpacks that the man -- the attacker that you just described, the one who was wounded, shot by the military after he lunged towards them, wounding one of them with his machete. That man, who is now in hospital, hasn't died from his injuries. He had been carrying backpacks.
Officially, police have said that those backpacks were empty, and no explosives were found. However, clearly, French authorities are really not mincing their words about this. They say this was a terrorist attack.
Already, a terrorist investigation has been opened to try and determine exactly what this man's motivations were. Now, that second man who is arrested has also been confirmed. The links that he may or may not have had with the attacker have yet to be established. Parisian authorities are being very cautious about that.
So what we know so far is that this was a terror attack, say Parisian authorities. An investigation is now underway. And authorities say that, by the end of the day, the Louvre Museum should be able to open once again, Chris.
CUOMO: All right, Melissa. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Top Republicans now softening their tone on repeal and replace. They added another "R," "repair." Is this about a change of heart? Is this about reality kicking in? We're going to speak with the Republican senator who's calling for an Obamacare fix, next.
[07:17:38] CUOMO: Repeal and replace. That's the mantra. That's what the big sell was for Trump to such a big part of the fly-over states. Well, now Republican efforts to get that done have stalled. Some lawmakers admit the Affordable Care Act may never completely disappear for good and bad reasons.
Joining us now, Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who wants an Obamacare fix.
Senator, always appreciate you being on NEW DAY to make the case.
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: Good morning, Chris.
CUOMO: Is this a simple question of reality? That yes, the ACA has problems, the ACA always had problems that needed to be addressed that weren't addressed, and has it come down to repair, not replace?
JOHNSON: Well, first of all, when I talk about repair, I'm talking about repairing all the damage done by Obamacare. Obamacare created this enormous mess, and I'm trying to fix that big mess. I don't think Obamacare is fixable, quite honestly.
And the other reality is we only have so much power to repeal to certain elements of Obamacare, through reconciliation, 51 votes. Taxes and subsidies, but so many of the market reforms, I would call them the market distortions that have caused premiums to skyrocket. And out-of-pocket maximums, deductibles skyrockets. Those, we're probably going to need 60 votes, and it doesn't sound like the Democrats are willing, really willing to bear responsibility of the mess they created.
So when I'm talking about repair, I'm talking about repairing the mess caused by Obamacare.
CUOMO: So when you say mess, let's just take one step about how much of that is just a talking point, because you've got tens of millions of people that are covered now that weren't covered and wouldn't have been covered.
JOHNSON: A lot through Medicaid.
CUOMO: Right. And if you gut that financing, you're going to have to figure out how to get those people care, right, because that was a solution.
JOHNSON: Chris, you know, it was interesting. Phil Graham wrote an interesting piece in "The Wall Street Journal." Just through normal economic growth, millions of Americans would have gotten additional healthcare coverage. So I think...
JOHNSON: ... the claim that Obamacare created so many more people with coverage, a growing economy would have done the same thing. Here's the thing.
CUOMO: I've got to -- I saw the Graham piece, Senator. He didn't say -- he didn't say it would have been even. He didn't say it would have been even.
JOHNSON: ... market, premiums have doubled and tripled in Wisconsin because of these market -- these distortions.
JOHNSON: These market reforms. Premium have doubled and tripled. That's the mess we're talking about. People can't even afford to buy coverage.
[06:20:04] CUOMO: I hear you, but I think that you're doing a little bit of "some" versus "all" here. I read the Graham piece. He's talking about market...
JOHNSON: It's a good piece.
CUOMO: But he's talking about economic inertia, you know, essentially, about what would have happened anyway. But those are temporary forces. And again, it wasn't an equivalency.
Second of all, yes there are premiums going up. There are good reasons and bad reasons for that. But they're not going up for everybody. You're talking about .05 percent of the population, about 1.7 million families. Way too many. Way too many. It has to be fixed.
But this notion that all of it is a mess, that nobody has got better care, that nobody has gotten better costs, you know that's not true. You have to be more realistic about the politics to get anything done.
JOHNSON: I didn't say that. I didn't say there wasn't some benefit.
CUOMO: Of course you did. You just said a huge mess.
JOHNSON: No, I said it's a big mess. But, obviously, when you spend tens of billions of dollars subsidizing care, you know, people are going to like that.
Here's part of the problem, because premiums have skyrocketed, as have out-of-pocket maximum deductibles. A lot of people being subsidized in terms of insurance by the American taxpayer can't even use the insurance, because the deductibles are so high. So on an individual basis, there's been a lot of harm done.
People like Gia Sell (ph), who is a mom working a part-time job had to quit her part-time job in Wisconsin, go to full time to pay for her $8,000 per year premium increase. That's the kind of...
CUOMO: Absolutely. A big mess that's been created here.
And Chris, we didn't have to remake the insurance markets. We didn't have to create this mess, cause premiums to skyrocket to take care of the uninsured. There was a lot simpler way of doing it. That's what we're trying to get back to.
So from what I've been saying for two years now is we need to repair the damage caused by Obamacare...
JOHNSON: And transition to a system that will actually work to fulfill those goals of restrained costs, better quality, better access. Obamacare didn't do that. The Affordable Care Act was not affordable. It didn't protect patients. It's been a big mess. We're trying to repair that damage. We're trying to mix that mess.
CUOMO: All right. And we'll see how much of it you keep as a reflection of what is actually working, despite the politics.
Let me ask you two other things quickly. One, do you think that there's been somewhat of a reset with foreign policy talk from the administration on Iran, on Russia, on even the settlements in Israel?
JOHNSON: I wouldn't call it a reset. Obviously, I think what I would call it is we are starting to address the will from a position of strength and resolve. And that's what's required. You achieve peace through strength, not peace through withdrawal, as President Obama implemented.
So it's first about becoming economically strong so we can stop hobbling our military, make our military strong, actually have a commitment to defeating ISIS and securing our border. This is a position of strength, and that's certainly what President Trump is conveying right now.
CUOMO: You were in Israel. You say there's a lesson about wall and border security that you learned there that we need to take back here.
JOHNSON: Israel was being, you know, had a real problem with illegal immigrants coming in from the southern border, about 16,000 in one year.
In two years, they constructed 143-mile fence, about $2.9 million per mile, and it cut that illegal immigration rate from about 16,000 to I think 18. Cut it by 99 percent.
Fencing walls work. And so we need to learn the lessons from Israel. They are under a constant state of threat. Threat of terrorism. They've dealt with it pretty effectively. We need to learn those lessons.
CUOMO: Do you think it was just the wall that they put up, or do you think it was all the attendant changes they made into screening and their opportunities that they provided for people who were coming across to try to limit the need to sneak in?
JOHNSON: Well, on the southern border it was the fence. Within the whole of Israel, they've done all kinds of things in terms of security, cyber security, at their airports, all kinds of different layered security measures. We need to do the same thing here.
But fencing and walls work, particularly when they're constructed in the right areas and in the right way.
CUOMO: And in conjunction with other policies.
Senator, I always appreciate you being in. You always make the case in beautiful fashion. Appreciate you being on.
JOHNSON: Have a great day.
CUOMO: You too.
CAMEROTA: Well, that recent raid in Yemen that claimed the life of a Navy SEAL, how did that come together? Was this from the Obama administration or the Trump administration? We get answers next.
[07:28:15] CAMEROTA: President Trump says, quote, "Nothing is off the table," end quote, when it comes to dealing with Iran. What does that mean?
Let's bring in CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier and CNN military analyst James "Spider" Marks. Great to see both of you this morning.
Spider, when you heard President Trump say that Iran was on notice, what did you think?
JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, that concerns me. Alisyn, thanks.
The deal is, is that there was a lot of criticism for the Obama administration, specifically when the president indicated that there was a red line of vis-a-vis Syria and their activities and the use of chemical weapons, et cetera. And that was back several years ago.
The problem is, is that putting someone on notice and creating a red line are the same thing. The question I have is what does "on notice" mean? Are we going to follow up? Do we know what the measures are? How do we walk through those measures and evaluate what they look like?
So I think we need to be very, very careful about what we say. What we should do is simply go about our business of ensuring our national security, making sure we have the right forces postured, which happens all the time. The United States does that magnificently. And then we declare our intentions as we're about to take them on. We don't need to put folks on notice
CUOMO: Too reasonable.
Kim Dozier, we just had Senator Johnson on, and he say's what's going on is leading through strength, as opposed to President Obama, Johnson said, who was weak and about withdrawal and that that's what's going on here, is that Trump is coming out strong; and then once we show our leverage, then everything kind of evens out.
KIM DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, we did try to ask senior administration officials after General Flynn made that statement, what do you mean? What sort of measures might you take?
They said something about maybe economic measures. We pressed: "Do you mean military measures?" They wouldn't elaborate.
Finally, I said, "Well, you said you didn't want to unnecessarily provoke Iran, but you've essentially just made a verbal threat --"