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NEW DAY

Patriots Win First Overtime Game In Super Bowl History; Trump Under Fire For Defending Putin; NYT Records Show Trump Is Still Tied To Business Empire; Police Investigating Wave Of Anti-Semitic Vandalism. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired February 6, 2017 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:30:00] JAMES WHITE, SCORED WINNING TD IN SUPER BOWL LI: When I saw a little crease I -- then I saw a guy coming, but I mean, at that point in the game, I mean, you've just got to do whatever it takes to get the ball in the end zone. Like I said, you want to make a play for your team and, I mean, it's a really surreal moment. It still seems kind of fake to me but, I mean, I'm still really excited. I don't know when it's going to actually hit me but it was just a lot of fun, a great atmosphere. Patriot nation was real -- very alive out there and, man, I'm just still excited.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: James, what were you thinking when the point spread was 28-3, Falcons up?

WHITE: Well, I mean, the guys were still motivated. Tom kept us motivated. All our -- all our leaders kept us motivated. I mean, when we went into the locker room at halftime Coach Bilicheck pretty much said, I mean, the second half is a new game for us. We didn't play very well the first half. We knew we could play better. Just play complementary football in all three phases of the game and that's what we did in order to put ourselves in a position to win the football game.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Now, I know you think you got the best team. You won it, you proved it. Do you think that the Patriots are the best organization in history and that Tom Brady deserves to be called the best quarterback in NFL history?

WHITE: I mean, I think Coach Bilicheck is the greatest coach of all time. I think Tom's the greatest quarterback of all time. I mean -- I mean, I don't even know how you could compare them to anybody else. They won plenty of championships and the Super Bowl a countless amount of times and Coach Bilicheck puts in a great position to win each and every game. He's got to go out there and execute a game plan. And Tom's just a great player, an amazing person, an amazing teammate, a guy that a lot of kids could idolize. I mean, there's not much more you could say about those guys.

CUOMO: Who's got the jersey?

CAMEROTA: Do you have his jersey?

WHITE: I don't know.

CUOMO: Who's got the jersey, James?

CAMEROTA: Have you seen it?

WHITE: I wish I had it.

CUOMO: Your sweatshirt's looking a little puffy. I know you're a big guy. You got the jersey? It's going to fetch a lot of money.

WHITE: I mean, there's no way I could've gotten it and everybody was gone by the time I got to the locker room, so --

CUOMO: Likely story, likely story. A good alibi.

CAMEROTA: James, has Mr. -- has President Trump called you yet?

WHITE: No, he has not.

CAMEROTA: You might get a call.

WHITE: You never know.

CAMEROTA: OK, so here's the cover of "The Boston Globe" -- "Win for the Ages" and it has Tom Brady hoisting the trophy in just victory over his head, so that's got to feel good for you to see all this, this morning.

WHITE: It definitely feels good. Like I said, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm just glad to enjoy it with my teammates. We have a special group here and, I mean, it's just an amazing feeling.

CUOMO: You've got so much career left to go. Everybody says great things about your level of play and how you approach the game. Nobody will ever be able to take your record. That was the first overtime, you scored the touchdown that changed the game, and you will always be number one. I hope that means so much to you and your family. Thanks for joining us on NEW DAY this morning. You're always welcome here.

CAMEROTA: James White, thank you.

WHITE: Thank you, I appreciate it. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, that is a great story. Turning now to politics, mixed messages on Russia from the U.N. ambassador, Vice President Pence, and President Trump. So where does the U.S. stand on this? Joining us to discuss, CNN global affairs analyst, former deputy secretary of state and former deputy national security adviser, Tony Blinken. And, CNN political commentator Michael Smerconish, who hosts CNN'S "SMERCONISH." Gentlemen, great to have you here. Tony, what's the U.S. policy towards Russia?

TONY BLINKEN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: That's a great question, Alisyn. We've seen a major uptick in violence in Ukraine and it's been perpetrated by the separatists who are backed by Russia. I think Russia's testing the special relationship with the United States to see what it can get away with. A good reaction from our ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, as well as from Vice President Pence, and then undermined by what President Trump said to Bill O'Reilly just the other day on Fox.

CUOMO: Let's listen to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O'REILLY, HOST, FOX NEWS: Do you respect Putin?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do respect him, but --

O'REILLY: Do you? Why?

TRUMP: Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with him. He's a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along with Russia than not.

O'REILLY: Putin's a killer.

TRUMP: There are a lot of killers. We got a lot of killers. What, you think our country's so innocent? You think our country's so innocent?

O'REILLY: I don't know of any government leaders that are killers.

TRUMP: Well, take a look at what we've done, too. We've made a lot of mistakes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Do you agree with that assessment?

BLINKEN: It's really hard to. Look, we've made our share of mistakes but this moral equivalence that the president seems to be engaged in, pulling us down to Russia's level, is just fundamentally at odds with the facts. And I think Americans have to be asking themselves where does this come from? The idea that United States and Russia are on the same level when it comes to, for example, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of dissent. We're in opposite camps when it comes to those things.

[07:35:10] And, of course, we've seen the Russians try to undermine our election with the cyberattacks, and we see them trying to pick apart the liberal international order that the United States has helped to build over seven years. So I think it's very confusing to most Americans to hear the president talk this way.

CAMEROTA: Michael, what did you think when you heard President Trump say this?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think that these statements -- these contradictory statements have much to do with Russia. I think, instead, this is all about the president and a characteristic of his personality that we have seen throughout the course of the campaign and now two and one-half weeks into his presidency where he views retreat as weakness and he backs off nothing that he says.

I've been reflecting on the whole campaign ever since he descended on that escalator at Trump Tower and trying to think of any example of an instance where he backed off or took ownership of something that was a mistake, and the only thing I can think of is the "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD" tape. So, he put himself out there during the course of the campaign on a relationship that he hoped to build with Vladimir Putin, and even though he's now at odds with what his U.N. ambassador and his vice president are saying, there's something about him that will just not allow him to back off.

CUOMO: Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. He did back off his three million voter fraud claim last night. He waved it away. Said forget about that, forget about that, let's go on to registered voters.

CAMEROTA: But he still stuck to the idea that he believes --

CUOMO: That's right.

CAMEROTA: -- that level of people that --

CUOMO: He said that people agree with him, is what he said, which I think is a dubious claim. Tony, let me ask you something else. Is this true? We gave them, Iran, $1.7 billion in cash and we put the money up. Is that true? The president said last night that Iran got $1.7 billion from the U.S. and that that was U.S. money that was fronted to them.

BLINKEN: So you'll remember this, Chris. We had money that was owed to Iran from before the revolution. Arms that the Iranians bought that we never delivered and President Reagan agreed that this would all be, in effect, arbitrated. And the agreement we made -- the settlement that we reached with them under President Obama basically resolved this matter in a way very favorable to us -- far less money that would've been in play had we gone through with the entire arbitration. So, I think that's what --

CUOMO: Was it $1.7 billion?

BLINKEN: So I think the amount was roughly about that.

CUOMO: And it is our money that was put --

BLINKEN: Well, no. Actually, it's Iran's money in the sense that this goes back to weapons they bought before the revolution. That, for better or worse, was owed to them and President Reagan agreed at the time that we would arbitrate this.

CAMEROTA: Michael, I want to ask you about the travel ban because a lot's going to be happening on that today. You believe that if President Trump were able to find a way to abandon, now, his call for a travel ban to say well, the courts decided against it somehow, it would be a win for him. Explain that.

SMERCONISH: Well, I think that the travel ban was ill-conceived. I think it was clumsily rolled out. I think that it serves as recruitment fodder for ISIS, and for all of those reasons it's not in the United States' best interest. So, I believe he's been given a gift by the federal judiciary and that he should accept it. And he should say to his supporters I did what I said I was going to do and the court system was at odds with our proposal, and move on to something else. I don't think he's going to be successful in front of the Ninth Circuit of all circuits in the country.

But, Alisyn, to the point that I made earlier about Russia, I think it's a part and parcel of his personality that he just is incapable of accepting anything shy of full victory so he'll keep fighting even if it's a losing argument.

CUOMO: The president says it was only 109 people. That all this hand-wringing, this is all hysteria. That is only affected 109 people, there was no chaos. That Sec. Kelly said that it all went very smoothly. Do you accept that?

BLINKEN: Well, first of all, Chris, the president took a sledgehammer to the wrong problem. The fact of the matter is refugees coming in, the most vetted people possible. If you were a terrorist trying to get into this country the last thing you do is go through the refugee program. It takes about two years, on average, to come here as a refugee.

CUOMO: How much of this is about ISIS saying we're going to infiltrate those refugee programs? How much do you think that created political pressure to do something about the program?

BLINKEN: Well, look, as a factual matter, it's simply not true. To the extent we have a problem here, that it's mostly homegrown terrorists inspired by ISIS -- by Daesh -- and this is exactly, as Michael said, the wrong thing to do to get at that problem because this handed a huge propaganda tool to ISIS at the very moment it's on its heels. We have them on their heels in Iraq and Syria, taking away virtually all of their territory. This is like a lifeline to them in terms of recruiting new people at a time when their brand is actually heading downward.

CAMEROTA: Michael, we only have a few seconds left but, yet, in the latest CNN polling something like 90 percent of Republicans believe that President Trump is on the right track, you know. He's keeping his campaign promises so this, even if it's messy or clumsy, it seems to be working for him certainly with his base.

[07:40:17] SMERCONISH: Right. No doubt that it plays to the base but, you know, he's playing for bigger stakes now, right? There's a global community paying attention to this. I mean, we have 17,000 college students who are caught up in that category. I look at those folks as the greatest ambassadors we could have. Would you rather have the people of Iran getting their information about the United States from the supreme leader or from the 12,000-plus Iranian students who are educated here and then go back home.

CUOMO: Michael, appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: Tony, thank you.

BLINKEN: Good to be with you.

CUOMO: All right. So, there's a new report in "The New York Times" that says President Trump is still closely tied to his business empire. What does this mean in terms of his conflict? If there's no law in place is anything too much? We're going to speak to "The New York Times" reporter who wrote the story, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right. So, there's a new report in "The New York Times" that says public records show President Trump still has broad legal authority over his assets and he is the sole beneficiary of the trust involved. Joining us now is one of authors of the report, "New York Times" government and politics reporter Susanne Craig, along with executive editor of "Bloomberg View" and the author of "Trump Nation" Tim O'Brien.

Susanne, why talk about your reporting when I can talk to you? What did you find out?

[07:45:00] SUSANNE CRAIG, GOVERNMENT & POLITICS REPORTER, NY TIMES: Well, it was interesting. Initially, Donald Trump had a press conference in January and it was a little bit of a press conference of omission and we didn't know at the time a lot of things about it, including specifically who the trustees were, whether or not the trust was revocable.

And we found out through a Freedom of Informationrequest submitted by "ProPublica" not only who the trustees are -- there are two of them. One is his son, another is a close associate. We also learned that he can revoke the trust at any time. He can take the power back. And we also learned that he is the sole beneficiary of the trust.

CAMEROTA: So what does that mean, Susanne, that the press conference where he said that he was separating himself from it, he would no longer be involved? Now, what are we to believe?

CRAIG: Well, I think from the press conference -- and I -- he has stepped back. I think he talked about that. He stepped back from the day-to-day operations. What we learned, though, is he's still very much in control. He can revoke it and he is the beneficiary. We also know that he gets updates on the -- on the -- how the company's doing or not doing, so there's still a great deal of control he can exert over it.

CUOMO: The trust -- that's how a lot of these trusts work, though. They are what they call revocable where they're temporary and the beneficiary's usually the person who held it. One of the big questions you pointed at that press conference -- there are all these folders there, OK? We weren't allowed to see --

CRAIG: No.

CUOMO: -- what was in the folders. Nobody got to vet any of it. We have been monitoring over time -- that's why it was interesting that ProPublica FOIA request -- there's another one in to see if the right documents have been filed in the right states to show change of control of corporate entities and as of last week they weren't recorded yet.

TIM O'BRIEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, BLOOMBERG VIEW: Not only for Donald but for Ivanka Trump, as well. For all of -- all of these separations haven't been formalized yet, publicly.

CRAIG: But the "change of control" is also an interesting phrase because beneficially he still controls it and that's a really important issue.

CUOMO: When you say beneficially, because he is --

CRAIG: He benefits from the trust, yes.

CUOMO: He's getting the money.

CRAIG: He's ultimately, yes, the beneficiary.

CAMEROTA: So, I mean, in terms of conflicts of interest, which everyone is so concerned about, what does this mean? Where does this leave us?

O'BRIEN: It's all been window dressing so far. You know, he hasn't released his tax returns. We still don't know what kind of money might be flowing into his pocket. And then, he hasn't taken any of the strong steps you would expect a president to take to formally distance himself from his businesses and nor, has Ivanka, up to this point. We've seen no proof of that. And, essentially, what they're both saying is trust me, but I think what Sue's reporting and what "ProPublica" reporting has shown is actually there's very little reason to trust that they'll comply with the letter or the spirit of conflict of interest issues.

CUOMO: We also don't know if the president is actually under audit, too. That's been his --

CAMEROTA: Under audit.

CUOMO: Under audit. He's said he's under audit so he doesn't want to release these.

O'BRIEN: Well, the IRS has said that he could release them.

CUOMO: He could.

CRAIG: But they have now said that he's not going to release -- Kellyanne Conway said they're not releasing them.

CUOMO: Right. She then backed off that and said our original position stands. Once the audit's done we'll release it. But we don't even know if they're under audit and, clearly, he hasn't released the taxes.

CRAIG: But he could also release tax returns that aren't under audit.

CUOMO: Absolutely.

CRAIG: From 2008 --

CUOMO: From years ago.

CRAIG: -- on, I mean, he could. He's made --

CUOMO: Absolutely. He could do a lot of things. He's chosen not to do them. In your reporting, what are your next layer of questions now that you're looking at, based on what you were able to figure out so far?

CRAIG: Well, an interesting thing that's coming up that we're watching is the old post office lease. A lot of what was done with the trust was done in the FOIA that was -- that was received and the information the "ProPublica" got was directed specifically at the old post office, which is a hotel that he has in Washington. He has the lease the government owns it and the lease appears to state that an elected official, including the president, can't be on the lease.

So, there's -- what he's trying to do is distance himself from it because he wants to potentially avoid any conflict there or he's trying to address the conflict there and that's going to be a big bane of reporting going forward.

CAMEROTA: Tim, on a separate note, "The Washington Post" is also reporting that Eric Trump, son of Donald Trump, recently, last month, went to Uruguay for a Trump Organization promotional visit -- not government business, Trump Organization -- and it cost the taxpayers in Secret Service fees $100,000.

O'BRIEN: Right.

CAMEROTA: Is that OK?

OBRIEN: Well, yes, that's OK. I mean, the first family is entitled to receive security and protection. This has come up at Trump Tower. It's going to cost tens of millions of dollars to protect. But the federal government has always spent money to protect the well-being of the president and the president's family.

The weird little twist in all of this is that we're actually using taxpayer's money to protect Eric Trump on a business trip to help run a business that will also financially benefit the president. So, you have this very strange daisy chain of taxpayer money protecting the Trump family's business interests and a president who won't come clean about what his real financial interests are.

[07:50:00] CUOMO: It's a boggling question and it goes to what Michael Smerconish just pointed to about Donald Trump, our president's, personality that he doesn't back away from propositions. Once he says something he doubles down. Imagine, Sue, Tim, if he put out his taxes how much trouble he would've saved himself to this point. CRAIG: Maybe. Maybe it would've created more.

CUOMO: I say that but what -- I know he's concerned about that and you know this very well.

CRAIG: If he says nobody's interested, he should then release them. If there's no interest, why not release them?

CUOMO: There's so many things. At least the information would be out and he could deal with what's there and what isn't there.

CAMEROTA: Sue, Tim, thank you very much. Thanks for sharing your reporting --

CRAIG: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: -- with us. All right. Anti-Semitic crimes are on the rise in cities across the U.S. What is causing this wave of hate? The Anti-Defamation League speaks out, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: Several cities are investigating anti-Semitic vandalism at synagogues and in public places. In some New York subways, some riders took matters into their own hands. They used hand sanitizer to clean off the graffiti and erase the hateful messages. What's behind this rise in hate? Joining us now is Etzion Neuer. He is the community service and policy director for the Anti-Defamation League. Mr. Neuer, thank you very much for being here. Can you describe this spate of hate that you've seen? How bad is it?

ETZION NEUER, COMMUNITY SERVICE & POLICY DIRECTOR, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Well, it's bad. I mean, since the election we've seen a wave of anti-Semitic incident and actually bias that covers all groups and what we saw this weekend is reflective of some of that.

CAMEROTA: Meaning that this weekend in terms of vandalism or in terms of actual like phone calls -- calling in threats to synagogues.

NEUER: Well, the threats actually -- well, we can talk about the threats in a minute or so but, actually, just this weekend we saw swastikas in New York, we saw a synagogue targeted in Chicago, we saw a swastika in Houston, and that's deeply troubling. I mean, this anti-Semitism is not new, of course, but what we've seen since November has really alarmed us and caused us great concern for obvious reasons.

CAMEROTA: OK, and in terms of -- you're also getting uptick in bomb threats being called in to synagogues?

NEUER: Well, yes. In January, actually, there were three waves of bomb threats calls against Jewish community institutions -- JCC's -- across the United States and they came in three waves. Altogether, 65 separate incidents and 55 unique JCC's that were targeted, and the FBI is working on this. There are challenges to the investigation even though the FBI has terrific technology and terrific manpower to tackle this. The challenge has been that the technology is a set ahead.

CAMEROTA: Meaning the technology of the hate groups that are doing this --

NEUER: That's right.

CAMEROTA: What technology are they using that's a step ahead of the FBI?

NEUER: Yes. So, what they're using is technology which masks the caller and -- so you can't hear the -- distorts the voice, but also technology which spoofs the phone number so when the calls are received by the JCC's it looks as if the calls are coming from with inside the building.

CAMEROTA: That's horror movie stuff.

NEUER: Yes, it does sound exactly like what you'd see in a horror movie.

CAMEROTA: What's causing the uptick?

NEUER: Look, I want to be careful. We have to avoid sort of easy answers to any time you ask about the why -- like what's the cause of this -- and I think there's a lot of layers to this. And certainly, the part that we can't ignore is that the campaign, for some reason, released this ugly Pandora's box of bias that has targeted not just Jews, but all -- many minority groups and that's been of grave concern to us.

CAMEROTA: So it's your belief that somehow the rhetoric during this toxic campaign did heighten all of this?

NEUER: Yes, it is. We believe that and, initially -- I mean, I work in one of our New York offices and initially it was anecdotal. We knew that our phones were busier than they've ever been and then we saw the stats come in. NYPD reporting a steep increase in the spike of incidents after the election and it's of grave concern to us.

CAMEROTA: So what are you doing? What are you advising the Jewish community to do as a result?

NEUER: Well, when it comes to security issues, number one, the most important thing to do is to have a plan. And when you have that anxiety you have to channel that into better security practices. ADL, for many years, has worked with Jewish communities to develop those plans, to practice those plans, and to revisit those plans after incidents take place. There are tremendous resources. The FBI is one but there are community resources available to them, so that's the first thing to do.

And the second to do is to take charge of within our own strata of society. Work within our schools, work to strengthen hate crimes laws. Our schools have anti-bias education, anti-bullying education. People can work with them. And the district can ask what are we teaching our kids and to take control. And I think on a very personal level we can, as well, see how are we speaking to others, how do we speak to our children, and it can be very empowering.

The incident you referred to in New York City -- here are ordinary New Yorkers who went to coat their hand sanitizer who were shocked into silence when they walked into the subway car but decided we want to do something about it. And I think if there is a silver lining it is that this wave of hate has really caused people to stand up and say we want to do something about it.

CAMEROTA: That is a silver lining. Etzion Neuer, thank you very much for telling us all of this and please come back with an update. Thank you.

NEUER: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, we're following a lot of news. Let's get right to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers. All we did was vet those people very, very carefully.

CUOMO: President Trump's travel ban is now in legal limbo.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to challenge the judge's order.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The vetting order wasn't vetted.

TRUMP: I say it's better to get along with Russia than not.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Putin's a former KGB agent. He's a thug.

TRUMP: We got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country's so innocent?

SUPER BOWL ANNOUNCER: Patriots win the Super Bowl.

WHITE: It's really a surreal moment. I'm just still excited.

TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: We're bringing this sucker home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CUOMO: The biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, the first overtime, and I think confirmation that the Patriots are the best ever.

CAMEROTA: And why aren't you even mentioning Lady Gaga? That was spectacular --

CUOMO: She was good.

CAMEROTA: -- her halftime show.

CUOMO: She was good, the commercials were good --

CAMEROTA: So impressive.

CUOMO: -- but it was a football game.

CAMEROTA: We have a lot to talk about.

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your new day. It's Monday, February 6th, now 8:00 in the East.