Return to Transcripts main page


Fight Brewing with French President; Trump Shakes up Foreign Policy; Zakaria and Trump Agreements; January Jobs Report; Politics & the Super Bowl; Conway Cites Non-existent Massacre. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET

Aired February 3, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:30:24] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Another fight brewing between President Trump and one of America's key allies, French President Francois Hollande, telling its E.U. partners at a summit, quote, "it is unacceptable that there should be, through a number of statements, pressure by the U.S. president on what Europe should be or should no longer be. There is no future with Trump if it's not worked together."

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

This is not usual rhetoric from France when it comes to the United States. How much of this is bumping chests? How much of this could be something more?

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN'S "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Well, it's not usual rhetoric, but what Trump has been doing is highly unusual with regard to the European Union. The Europeans, let's remember, got together after World War II and decided in order to make sure there was never another European war like that, they were going to create an interdependent organization, the European Union. It eventually became that. It was first called the European Community. And the United States strongly supported this idea that France and Germany bind themselves together.

Trump, for the last six months, has been making anti-European Union statements. He's been talking about how he thinks the whole thing is - is corrupt, it will break up. He - you know, he starts predicting what countries are going to leave it. Obviously this is very troubling to the Europeans. And for the first time they're - they have a critic of the European Union in the White House. They're used to having the Russian president trying to undermine the European Union. But the idea that the president of the United States, the country that has supported the European Union since 1945, is criticizing them, that's highly unusual.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And it sounds like they don't know what to make of it. They don't know what to make of President Trump. So what - where do they go from here?

ZAKARIA: Well, join the club, don't you think? I mean I think part of it is that one doesn't know how much that's just a kind of expression of how Trump feels. You know the famous line about Trump now from that "Atlantic" journalist, do we take him literally or do we take him seriously? Is he really going to try to actively undermine the European Union or, you know, are you getting the sort of populous sentiment that he expresses about lots of different things.


CUOMO: So what are you to do when you analyze the impacts of this? This election was largely fueled for Trump on the, we're weak, I'm strong. He's got this guy Bannon in his ear who loves the idea of disruption. That seems to be the mandate thus far. It does not seem like he was doing anything in the first instance to bolster relationships. He was being disruptive. Now we see a second wave of moves. Nikki Haley at the U.N. What we're seeing with what "on notice" meant. How do you analyze this?

ZAKARIA: I think what's happened, and who knows, but it appears that professionals are now beginning to assert themselves. So you have Mattis at defense. A very competent guy. Tillerson at state. He's been a very competent CEO his whole life. And probably what happened with the Nikki Haley speech is that this was drafted or in large part drafted through the secretary of state and the State Department and reflected the continuity of American policy. So what Nikki Haley said was surprising only because it came from a Trump appointee. Otherwise it was entirely in keeping with what the U.S. policy has been on Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

The settlement issue, the White House's statement was again surprising only given Trump's, you know, lavish phrase of Israel and the criticism of Obama. Otherwise, what the White House said about Israeli settlements was what every white House has said about Israeli settlements for 40 years.

So perhaps what's happening here is the continuity of American policy is asserting itself through these professionals, which is a very good thing. And, frankly, one should give Trump credit for, you know, recognizing that you do need continuity. People expect the United States to have a consistent foreign policy.

CAMEROTA: And then there's this. Your op-ed in "The Washington Post" that is the headline, "sorry, President Trump, I agree with you." What have you done with Fareed Zakaria?

ZAKARIA: You know what, I was trying to grapple with was, there are parts of Trump's program that I agree with, infrastructure. I do think there's excessive regulation in some sectors. I think it's a very good idea to have tax reform. The tax code is too complicated and frankly corrupt.

But, you know, the part - part of the problem for us in the media is that Trump attacks us so much all the time. You know, we are the opposition party. We're third rate human beings. Bannon says you - you know, you guys shut up and listen.

[08:35:10] So I was trying to grapple with the fact that we have to be careful to not absorb and reflect that negativity. We can't mirror Trump's hostility to us. And we have to fairly evaluate his policies. When we agree with them, we say that. When we disagree with him, we say that. And not get caught up in this psycho (ph) drama that, frankly, may serve his political purposes, but it's not what our role is. Our role is to keep the government accountable and to keep the citizenry informed. Those are the two roles and that's why the Constitution explicitly protects this one industry and only this one industry.

CUOMO: Now, what would be helpful in that would be this administration focusing on what got it there. I am a little kind of confused about why, what you point out that you agree with - and you could add to that list, by the way, the way he's been folding in corporate perspective on regulation and tax especially. That's new. It's being done, at least in an overt way that could bear fruit. What aren't they focusing more on that instead of lighting these fires, which takes me back to, which is the loudest voice in Trump's head right now? It seems to be Bannon, who doesn't care about that stuff as much as he does this disruption.

ZAKARIA: Well, and even if you look at the attack on the media, what is the point here? Aren't you trying - every president, after getting elected, has usually tried to unify the country, has tried to say to the people who didn't vote for him, you know, I represent you as well. Trump has done the opposite. He's, you know, doubled down. And I think that possibly he's getting advice from Bannon. Possibly this is his own view that there is an anger and frustration and a desire for destruction out there and he has to reflect that. He has to mirror that. His job is not to make nice. His job is to keep Americans mad, riled up.

CUOMO: He also lost the counties that make the most money in this country and pay the most taxes.


CAMEROTA: Fareed, thank you. Great article for everybody to read about the points of agreement. Thank you very much.

So, the January jobs report is out. The first of the Trump administration. We're going to break down the numbers for you, next.


[08:41:06] CUOMO: Jobs, jobs, jobs. We just got the January report. What does it say? Christine Romans has the details.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: One word, guys, strong. This was a strong jobs report for the first month of the year, 227,000 net new jobs added. You can see, that's the strongest since the summer. It continues this pace of about 183,000 new jobs each month for the past three months if you average it out. The unemployment rate, 4.8 percent. You know, that's almost - less than half of what it was at the worst of the financial crisis. So you have the jobs rate - jobless rate coming down, now here at 4.8 percent.

The labor force participation rate, that's one of those numbers that you've often heard team Trump talk about. That's up just a little bit here. That means a few more people entering the labor market and looking for work and counted in the labor market now.

Here's where the job gains are, you guys, because this is pretty interesting, pretty broad based. Retail, a lot of job gain there. Construction, this has been strong all year. The housing market, business activity, building activity has been strong. And business, something called computer systems design. I'm telling, you, there's been a lot of job creation there for some time. So this is where those jobs have been created.

We also saw wages pop about 2.5 percent year over year wage gain. One of those reasons, you guys, is because 19 states in January raised their minimum wages and so you're seeing that filter through overall in the wage numbers.

The markets open pretty soon. Futures are higher, guys.

CAMEROTA: OK, Christine, thank you very much.

CUOMO: Appreciate it.

Time to now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

The Trump White House seeming the mirror the Obama administration in terms of foreign policy, threatening Iran with sanction, hitting Russia for its aggression in Ukraine, telling Israel West Bank settlements, quote, "won't help" promote the peace process.

CAMEROTA: Some top Republicans now softening their stance on Obamacare, saying the plan should be to repair it instead of trying to dismantle it.

CUOMO: A terror investigation underway in Paris after a man wielding a large knife rushed soldiers near the Louvre Museum, prompting one soldier to open fire. The suspect, we are told, seriously wounded. A second suspect under arrest.

CAMEROTA: The parents of - Snap, the parent company of SnapChat, is going public with an initial public offering of $3 billion. Snap says its 158 million daily users create nearly 2.5 billion snaps every day.

CUOMO: Camerota big on SnapChat.

More than 100 million Americans expected to watch Super Bowl LI. Thirty-second commercials, guess what they're going for.


CUOMO: Five million bananas. Tom Brady trying for an unprecedented fifth title. Lady Gaga planning to get political during her half-time show.

CAMEROTA: It will be fun to watch. And you know I love the nachos.

CUOMO: You want more - CAMEROTA: Yes.

CUOMO: Of the five things?


CUOMO: Where do you go?

CAMEROTA: You go to for the latest.

Will football and politics collide, as Chris just alluded to, at the Super Bowl on Sunday? We'll discuss that and we'll show you a very controversial commercial.


[08:47:36] CAMEROTA: OK, Super Bowl LV is on Sunday. Even I am excited. But will politics be center stage at this big game? Joining us now, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter, and CNN media analyst Bill Carter.

Bill, it does seem as though this is going to be a political Super Bowl. We have Lady Gaga doing the halftime show and then we have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and Donald Trump.

BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Tom Brady and the owner of the Falcons is anti-Trump. So you have - he's made statements about - against Trump. So you have this mooring factions even on the field. Even on the game that's supposedly every - all of America sort of comes together to watch, this is going to be an awful lot of divisiveness, including, apparently, even the ads.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Maybe that's the way it should be.

CUOMO: Got the Budweiser ad, right, that's what you're talking about?

STELTER: I mean this country's so divided. Is it no - is there any surprise that this game will be political?


STELTER: I know some people would like a break for a few hours, but I'm not sure that's possible any more.

CAMEROTA: OK, but their -

CUOMO: Well, I don't know. You know, football can transcend a lot of things. If this is a good game -


CUOMO: That's what people are going to be focused on.

CARTER: That - that will dominate if it's a good game.

CAMEROTA: But, you know, a lot of people tune in for the ads. I mean, let's face it, that's what we are watching.


CAMEROTA: And there has been an ad that was deemed so controversial by the Fox Network that part of it has been pulled. It was for this lumber company, 84 Lumber.

CARTER: 84 Lumber.

CAMEROTA: And we have a little portion of it. It's about a mother and her daughter, and they are undocumented, and they are going to be making it - attempting to make it to the border. And as we understand it, it is now going to end in a cliff-hanger because that's the part that Fox changed, as you see them trying to make it to the border.

CARTER: You know, originally there was a - they get to a wall, and that's the part that Fox said we're not going to put on. But it's still an ad about apparently undocumented - it seems to be from Mexico -

CUOMO: Right.

CARTER: Central America at least. And it - this is a dream to come to America. That's the essence of the ad.

CUOMO: What's the plus-minus on this? You know, just a quick statistical basis. And you can get these numbers for yourself in Fareed Zakaria's op-ed that he just put out. Hillary Clinton won the counties in this country that make the most money, drive the economy the most and pay the most in taxes. But that's not who decided this election. So if you do an ad like this to sell product ultimately, what's the plus minus?

STELTER: You are taking a risk and hoping the reward of all the promotional value, all the attention, all the controversy ultimately benefits you more than turning off a few folks or causing a small boycott or protest. We've seen a lot of attempts at boycott various outlets lately.

[08:50:05] CARTER: Starbucks.

STELTER: Rarely does it actually work, but it gets them attention. This Budweiser ad is another example.


STELTER: This Budweiser ad showing an immigrant story, the founder of Bud.

CARTER: Right.

STELTER: They say it has nothing to do with politics, but give me a break. They could have chosen to run a different ad. Instead they're choosing to run an ad about -

CARTER: But instead that causes controversy. In the past, it would just be a celebration of what American story that all of us have. My grandparents came from Europe, probably yours did, too, and that's what the ad is. Now it's controversial.

STELTER: Maybe the idea is, if you're starting to debate politics with your family, you're going to go to the fridge and grab another Bud.


CAMEROTA: During the halftime show, do we think that Lady Gaga is going to go rogue? She's been told not to talk, not to mention politics, but, you know, she does sometimes.

STELTER: Yes, there's some confusion about this. Certainly the producers would prefer for her to stick to the music, but I've got to imagine she's going to weigh in. She says she will say something.

CUOMO: They picked the wrong person if they wanted a patsy.

CARTER: Absolutely.

CUOMO: That's not who she is.

CARTER: No, and she - and they haven't - the NFL said they haven't told her not to mention Trump. I think they've said, you know, we want to have a - you know, an inclusive halftime. I think she'll be clever about it if she does something. I think she'll try to do something subtle, not overt.

CUOMO: All right, so -


CUOMO: A little bit of business here. Donald Trump tweets, it's fake that he had a tough call with the prime minister of Australia. It's demonstrably false. People in his own administration are telling a different story.


CUOMO: That's not true what he's putting out. Kellyanne Conway -

CARTER: Right.

CUOMO: Talks about the Bowling Green massacre. It never happened.

CARTER: No, there's no -

CUOMO: The Trump base picks it up, runs with it. The media ignored this, blah, blah, blah. It's fake. She just tweeted, she made a mistake.

CARTER: Right.

CUOMO: She meant the Bowling Green terrorists who were there who slipped through the system.

CARTER: Right.

CUOMO: They changed the vetting because of it. There was never a ban of Iraqi refugees. That part is still untrue. What do you make of this situation, Stelter?

STELTER: I look at this and I think she said on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, she said, the masterminds of the Bowling Green massacre. So if she said she means terrorists, the entire sentence was misconstrued. I think it's an open question whether she really did think there had been an attack in Bowling Green, Kentucky, or not. But there's a broader issue here -

CAMEROTA: And that the media would somehow suppress it for political reasons.

CARTER: Yes, that we wouldn't - wouldn't cover it.

CAMEROTA: I mean this is - this is the insanity of it. Of course she misspoke. I got that. She meant the terrorists. She - but she suggested -

CARTER: Right.

CAMEROTA: That we wouldn't cover -

CARTER: Cover it.

CAMEROTA: The news wouldn't cover -

CARTER: Cover a massacre.

CAMEROTA: A terrorist attack -

CARTER: Right. Exactly.

CAMEROTA: A massacre because of politics? I mean stop the madness.

STELTER: She was. She says we're fake news.

CAMEROTA: Stop it.

STELTER: Yes, I completely agree. This is - this is the problem with anecdotes versus data. She is seizing on one anecdote as opposed to the data which indicates refugees are a lot less likely to be committing acts of crimes in the United States compared to citizens. So she's seizing on an anecdote instead of data -


STELTER: Trying to sew fear. Andi think - I'm disappointed that Chris Matthews didn't catch it in the moment.

CARTER: Didn't catch it.

STELTER: Call it out. Live TV interviews with Kellyanne Conway are very hard. They - we've got to consider how - CARTER: They are because what she does is she fires up chaff. When there's incoming, she fires up chaff to try to, you know, misdirect the missiles coming at her. That's what this is. It's like, don't pay attention to the facts, I'm throwing this up to distract you.

CUOMO: I hope she sees something though in this and that they think about it messaging wise. A lot of that base is refusing to let go of the idea there was a massacre.

CARTER: Right.

CUOMO: You know, sometimes a lie or whatever you want to call it, a misstatement, gets a life of its own.


CAMEROTA: I don't know, I haven't seen that part, but I have seen them hold that up as an example that the vetting process doesn't work because these two Iraqi terror suspects got in.

CUOMO: They're - they're right. They're right, it didn't work.

CAMEROTA: And - right.

CARTER: And it was - and it was addressed. I mean they -

CAMEROTA: And it was in 2009.


CAMEROTA: The system was changed as a result of that when they figured out -

CARTER: Vetting -

CAMEROTA: That they didn't have their fingerprints that could have been on a database, they changed the system.

STELTER: Right. Exactly.

CAMEROTA: That's an important part of the story.

CARTER: The vetting got more extreme because of that.

STELTER: That's the difference between a headline and a story.


STELTER: The headline is sensational and disturbing. The story provides context, actually dissipates people's fears.

CUOMO: We still don't know what extreme vetting is. What will they do to make us safer other than the ban, which arguably does not.

CAMEROTA: Brian, Bill, thank you very much.

STELTER: Thanks.

CAMEROTA: Late night laughs, next.


[08:53:01] CAMEROTA: Somehow comedians keep finding material for late night laughs.


JIMMY FALLON, "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON": White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced that four reporters would receive Skype seats for press briefings rather than being there in person. Spicer said he picked the four reporters at random, then said CNN, BuzzFeed, "New York Times," and Telemundo. Just random, random names.

JIMMY KIMMEL, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Sources inside the White House said when Trump gets on a call with a foreign leader, the people around him, his aides, their faces are white with fear, or I should say whiter with fear.

FALLON: When Punxsutawney Phil came out and saw his shadow, which means Trump is going to start fights with six more countries.

KIMMEL: When he said he was going to get tough on foreign leaders, I didn't realize he meant Arnold Schwarzenegger.

TREVOR NOAH, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": For some countries, Trump is problem number one.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Fighting with friends.

MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX ANCHOR: President Trump escalating his fight with Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump threatened to use U.S. military force to halt Mexico's drug trade. He reportedly said he's ready to send U.S. troops to stop what he calls, quote, "bad hombres" down there.

NOAH: Hey, hey, look on the bright side, Trump's learning Spanish.

SETH MEYERS, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": President Trump spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning. Of course, ever since he was elected, every breakfast is a prayer breakfast.

STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": So I've always said the prayer breakfast is the most important prayer meal of the day. And Trump took a moment to show his tender side.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I hear most often as I travel the country are five words -

COLBERT: Please don't grab my (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


CUOMO: You know some things you do just never run away.

CAMEROTA: All right, well, we have to somehow shift from our laughter now to our sadness. It is a bittersweet day here. This is our final toss to Carol Costello because this is her last day at CNN. And we know that you'll still be part of the family, but we are sure going to miss you, Carol.

[09:00:05] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I've been crying all morning. I mean really I have. People have been so wonderful.

CUOMO: Will you miss me?

COSTELLO: Oh, my. I'll miss you the most. I have a picture of you that I'm taking -

CUOMO: Are you sure? Because you're usually --