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Trump Falsely Claims Media isn't Reporting Terror Attacks; Mother and Daughter Reunite After Travel Ban; Trump Stock Rally Curbed?; VP Pence's Evolving Role in the Trump White House; Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired February 7, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:32:21] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So during a speech to military officials, President Trump falsely alleged that the media under reports terror attacks. If you need evidence of the contrary here is some.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Here we are in Paris as part of CNN's continuing coverage.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: More attacks were not only planned but were apparently, quote, "ready to go."
CUOMO: We're in San Bernardino, California. There is a lot of new information.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news in the plane crash that took the lives of 224 men, women, and children.
CAMEROTA: A second man is suspected of taking part in that Metro State bombing.
CUOMO: Terror has struck France again.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: We stand here along the promenade here in Nice where 84 people were killed.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a nation reeling from terror attacks over the last year and a half.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK. So why is the president doing this? What is behind this claim? Let's discuss it with Matt Lewis, CNN political commentator and senior columnist of the "Daily Beast," and Abby Phillip, CNN political analyst and reporter for the "Washington Post."
Great to see both of you.
Matt, it is false. It is patently false. It's offensively false for a lot of the victims.
CUOMO: It's a lot of false.
CAMEROTA: I mean -- it's a trifecta of falsehoods because we've sat down with the victims of these attacks who poured their heart out to CNN to talk about the effects of these terror attacks. So -- OK, so it's false. So then you have to go to the question of, why does the administration wants us to talk more about terror?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think clearly the media, and I'll just take CNN out of it, the media in general covers terrorism arguably more than is deserving and statistically speaking, I mean.
LEWIS: More people probably die in swimming pools. Right?
CAMEROTA: They do.
LEWIS: We don't do a lot of profiles on that. Maybe we should. So I think it's obviously false. However, I would say that -- if you're an average American, the sort of the working class, middle American guy out there, I think what happens is you watch the news, you get worked into a tizzy, almost hysterical about watching the coverage of terrorism, then a couple of days or week or so goes by and the media settles into -- almost discordant. All of a sudden now the media wants to let foreigners in without -- you know, so they don't -- it's basically arguing that they have constitutional rights, they're not even American citizens that come here.
So I think that there is a disconnect between the coverage that the media does, the breathless coverage of terrorism acts and then the commentary that follows. And I think that may be part of what Donald Trump is -- the game he's playing here.
CUOMO: I think there's an even clearer example and not by what the president said but what he and his people who put together this list of several dozen events didn't say.
[07:35:02] Abby, now they'll say that their count stops on December 16th, but I can't -- I cannot believe that what happened in Canada last week was ignored by the White House if not because of the demographics of who did the killing and who were the victims. You had a white guy, some people tried to say he was Moroccan early on. He was a white guy, a Canadian national, killed Muslims.
Now is that killing at a mosque being ignored as representative of any of these cases of what the agenda is here?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's definitely telling that among that list not only was the Ottawa attack not included but also several attacks all over the Middle East that have killed, you know, hundreds and thousands of Muslims, some of the most deadly attacks in the last recent years were omitted from the list. And I think it's telling that the narrowness of the scope for the White House is attacks that effect Westerners and not even so many Americans because if you look at the list, a large portion of them did not happen in the United States.
Mostly because there have not actually been that many deadly attacks in the U.S. in recent years. But the tactic here is fear. It is about raising the specter of things unknown, of attacks that you don't even know happened even though the reality is that the media covers those attacks, I covered some of those attacks, you covered some of those attacks. We know that they happened and the American people are told when they happened.
PHILLIP: There is cover-up but fear is the objective here.
CAMEROTA: Abby is on to something, Matt, because these attacks, the 78 that they decided to include -- it's a bizarre list.
CAMEROTA: They include some in Bangladesh, they include some in Chad that had no casualties. Now in the press we have to make priorities every day about what we are going to cover. We have -- there's a lot of news out there. So a zero casualty attack in Chad, is that going to replace something that we're talking about here? No, it's not. So that's what we do. We use our judgment every day. And so again, it does feel, because they're bringing this compilation together, that the end result is fear.
LEWIS: Yes. Yes. I think that's certainly true. So be critical of the media and of Trump. I think in terms of the media, there's long been this notion way before cable needs that if it bleeds, it leads. Right? And so if anything, I think we're biased, the media, newspapers, whatever. We're biased toward controversy and action and a lot of times it's horrible things that happen get a lot of coverage. If something doesn't happen, if it's not -- if there are not fatalities, it won't get as much coverage. That's just how the media works.
I do think that the media sometimes stokes fear just like Donald Trump does. Now the question is, is that appropriate? I would say that on one hand fear -- if you're a leader, you want people to be afraid of things that might actually happen. You need the American public to give you the political capital to do the things to anticipate future attacks and to be prudent. On the other hand, you don't want a country that is -- where everybody's running around afraid of something that, again, statistically you're probably more likely to have --
CAMEROTA: As Chris knows is that you're more likely to have all sorts of --
LEWIS: Right. A meteor or something.
CAMEROTA: Peculiar things happen things to you.
CUOMO: Look, people aren't afraid of a white guy coming into your neighborhood and blowing it up. OK. In America right now, you can poll it, you don't need to. That's not the fear. The fear is Muslims. The president played on it in his election. It plays to political advantage. That's what this is about. That's why they can't show any threat assessment that justifies the ban. The ban is justified by the fear, not the facts.
CAMEROTA: Abby, Matt, thank you very much. Great to get your perspectives.
CUOMO: All right. So, look, this has been a dominant part of our American conversations. It's about the law and it's about the larger understandings of who we are. This battle over the president's travel ban. Now how is it playing out in real time? Loved ones of families affected by these countries that are now in the ban, patients in need of medical care to see doctors here in the U.S. It is real. Real families are going through it. We have one next.
[07:42:46] CUOMO: OK. Behind President Trump's travel ban are real people. You know, this isn't just about politics, this is about who can come in, who can't, what happens to families, students. One case led to a very emotional reunion at JFK airport in New York. You're seeing it right now. All right. That is Farimeh Kashkooli. She was there to get her 11-year-old daughter Alma to the United States. Alma has a congenital disorder, was scheduled last week for several life- saving medical procedures including an eye surgery that could help keep her from going blind. She couldn't leave Tehran in Iran. Unable to board because of the executive order.
All right. Farimeh Kashkooli joins us now for an exclusive interview. She's got her attorneys that stepped in to try to help in this. There are teams like this being all over this country right now. We got Richard Mancino and Shaimaa Hussein. All I want to do is get the names right.
Mancino, you Italian? Any time. Now this had a good ending for you, Farimeh. You got your daughter here. But how scary was this for you as a law student? Farimeh is a law student at Fordham University School of Law here in New York. You're on a student visa from Iran. When you found out that your daughter could not come, what did that mean?
FARIMEH KASHKOOLI, MOTHER OF ALMA KASHKOOLI: Actually I cannot describe my feelings. I had a terrible feeling like frustration and helpless. Then I was in a physical and emotional pain for like -- almost for a few days and I was trying to figure it out, what is going on, and how that could be happen because that poor child, she needs to be here for some medical procedure, very necessary and vital medical procedure. And I couldn't imagine that she cannot come in. So after struggling with the situation I decided to reveal my story with the school. And I just told the story to my adviser in international LLM student, and then they became so sad and upset about the situation that I cannot get my child in for the very necessary medical procedure.
[07:45:08] CUOMO: And it seemed curious from a legal perspective as well. Words spread. The Fordham Law community reached out.
KASHKOOLI: Yes. Yes.
CUOMO: You wound up getting Mancino and other partners at Willkie Farr and when they came to you and you heard about this situation, what about it legally bothered you?
RICHARD MANCINO, ATTORNEY, WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER: Well, what legally bothered me was that this executive order was preventing this young girl who was in desperate need of surgery from coming into the United States on a valid visa. So we understood that we were in a race against the clock. We had to devise a plan to get Alma into the United States while we had a window of opportunity, while the stay of the executive order was still in place. So working with Shaimaa and other associates at Willkie, we devised -- they devised a plan which I dubbed "Operation Alma" to go and get Alma and bring her here.
CUOMO: Because you had a legit visa. It was about whether or not it would be honored. So you then got this very unique experience as an attorney where you got to live out part of the controversy that you were trying to lawyer your way through. What was it like for you? Because you went there, right?
SHAIMAA HUSSEIN, ATTORNEY FOR FARIMEH KASHKOOLI: That's right. That's right.
CUOMO: And you wound up actually escorting the child from her father in Iran through Turkey and then back to here. Why?
HUSSEIN: Well, for us the concern was we knew that the briefing on the government's appeal of the stay of the order was going to be done by 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, and so our largest concern was that we had at the latest until 6:00 p.m. Monday to get this child in. And so if we waited any longer, we didn't know what the world was going to look like if we waited even a minute longer. And so that's why it's important for us to get out there, and get Alma back here in time while we still had the law on our side.
CUOMO: Now you understand the conversation in the country.
CUOMO: People are afraid. Muslim extremists want to kill us and now the president says we're going to keep them out and keep people safe. What do you say to people who are afraid?
KASHKOOLI: I mean, as I told you, when I revealed this story I believed and I had a strong faith this country is a special place if you just ask for help, people, they will respond to you. That's why I decided to just share my concern with the university and I got a tremendous support and help through them. From Fordham University and of course the Willkie Farr law firm. Then I feel so confident. Then I said there will be a solution, of course, for this case. And somehow she will come, yes.
CUOMO: For this case?
KASHKOOLI: Yes. Yes.
CUOMO: But now you have -- we don't know what's going to happen with the law. We'll see the Ninth Circuit this evening, what they say. Your visa, do you have concerns that what if this affects me? What if I'm not able to continue my education?
KASHKOOLI: Yes, of course. Of course. I was planning to continue for JD program in Fordham. And I really have a passion for this program and I already put my life in this line to come for education at the meantime to pursue my child's medical needs here. So right now there is a lot of concern. It's not just me. Many people like me, maybe they don't have access to the -- you know, to this platform to express their feeling, but I know every single person, every civilian, they have some main concern that -- I mean, everyone has challenges in life.
Maybe mine is highlighted because of the -- you know, these wonderful people, they support me, they help me, and they try to just have Alma here. So I believe many people like the students, like h1 holders, everybody who considers generally just no ban to come to this country, they have their own concern and they already put their life in this field. So I think we need to -- just attention to this. It's very important.
CUOMO: Well, we're going to stay on your story. We know you have a competent legal team. You are very lucky in that regard. We'll see what the courts say. We'll come back to you and figure out what the implications are because, as you said, there are a lot of Farimehs out there.
KASHKOOLI: Yes. Yes.
CUOMO: And a lot of Almas out there. That's why we'll stay on it. And thank you for helping us tell the story. Appreciate it.
HUSSEIN: Thank you for having us.
CUOMO: All right, Alisyn, to you.
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. Vice President Mike Pence is already making his mark from defending the president to interpreting his tweets, to preparing to make history on Capitol Hill today. How Pence compares to other VPs, next.
[07:53:51] CUOMO: Time for CNN Money Now. Chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, is in our money center. What's going on? CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
Well, the Trump rally on Wall Street has peaked, that's according to Goldman Sachs. The bank's chief credit strategist sees signs of cooling sentiment, among them a recent study showing that people are concerned about where the economy is headed. Well, then also says retail investors' preference for stocks over bonds after the election has almost fully reversed and Goldman says Trump's trade and immigration crackdowns could be disruptive for financial markets and the real economy.
Now President Trump of course has filled some of his top spots with former Goldman Sachs employees, including his Treasury secretary nominee and his chief strategist.
You know, President Trump campaigned to represent the working class, but Chris and Alisyn, Wall Street has found a friend in Trump's Washington. In fact, Goldman Sachs, one of the best performing stocks so far this year.
CAMEROTA: Interesting how that has worked out, Christine.
ROMANS: Interesting. Yes.
CAMEROTA: Indeed it is. Thank you very much.
So Vice President Mike Pence could make history today if he has to cast a tie-breaking vote to confirm secretary of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos. This as the vice president's role continues to evolve in the Trump White House.
Here to discuss is Julian Zelizer. He is a presidential historian and professor at Princeton University.
[07:55:04] Professor, great to have you here.
JULIAN ZELIZER, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN AND PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me.
CAMEROTA: How do you see Mike Pence as vice president? Is he Joe Biden or Dick Cheney?
ZELIZER: He's going to be a little of both. In addition to this vote that he's about to cash, he's a very important connecter to both the conservative movement and to congressional Republicans. I imagine he's going to be like Dick Cheney, a big legislative person, trying to form and help shape legislation in the White House, and finally he's going to be a bit of a cleanup person, he's going to be sent out to try to clean up some of the more controversial statements that the president makes as we saw this week with Russia.
CUOMO: Well, his mark in the books to this point will be obviously that he's one of our vice presidents. And he's the 46th, right? And have been -- because we had some laugh. And he's going to be in the books if he has to cast this tie-breaking vote. How big a deal in history is this vote? ZELIZER: It's a big deal. We haven't had a vice president do this.
We had George H.W. Bush did this on a federal judge in 1986, but this is a big process. He is inserting himself on a key and very controversial nomination which the Democrats oppose, and here he is, delivering to conservatives, a conservative appointee, and I think this will be important. I think more important than those other roles. I think we're looking, does he have some of that Dick Cheney role in him? Do we see him form a policy? And is he a little like Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter who is very important in reaching out to the Congress and making sure they are on board with a little bit of a maverick president.
CAMEROTA: Well, it's interesting. You say that one of his roles is clean up, but some of that clean up has been a little confusing. Case in point, Ukraine. So we hear President Trump say one thing and then that same day, maybe hours later or the next day, we hear Vice President Mike Pence say something different. Let me give everyone an example on Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Within 24 hours with you on the phone with the Russian leader, the pro-Russian forces stepped up the violence in Ukraine.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.
O'REILLY: Did you take that as an insult?
TRUMP: No, I didn't. Because we don't really know exactly what that is.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Russia has been violating the cease- fire in Ukraine. Are they on notice as well?
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are watching and very troubled by the increased hostilities over the past week in eastern Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So where does that leave us? If the vice president feel so strongly about something and the president doesn't.
ZELIZER: Well, you want to listen to the president. You want to listen to the president and his National Security adviser. Russia is obviously one of the key points of contention with congressional Republicans. Obviously Vice President Pence here is trying to reach out to them and saying you do have a voice in the Oval Office that isn't simply going to be sympathetic to Putin but rather still adversarial. But look, you have to follow decision making. You have to see what the president writes in executive orders, what kind of legislation is coming out, where are the sanctions more than kind of this back and forth that we see.
CUOMO: Historical perspective on what line the VP has to tow in order to do this job that you're talking about the right way. There was a little George Genius on display right there. He said Russia violated the cease-fire. Now that was a proposition that the president wasn't willing to accept in his interview, and we don't know that Russia is behind it, we don't know anyone who's been -- I've been there, it is not an open question to people on the ground. OK. The vice president accepts the notion that it's Russia motivating the hostilities on the separatists' side there.
What does the rule book tell you about how to do this job well that the vice president is undertaking?
ZELIZER: It's very difficult. You can't just be someone who's out there making statements and contradicting the president. Pence has to figure out the insiders game, meaning in the Oval Office, how does he jockey with Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, and all those advisers to make sure that that perspective actually has influence, and he has to work on the hill. That's his base. He has congressional Republicans who disagree with the president on this issue and he has to capitalize on that if he's going to influence President Trump who doesn't really seem to be on the same page in this issue.
CAMEROTA: Julian Zelizer, thanks so much. We always appreciate your perspective.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have to defend our nation, and we will do that, believe me.
BOB FERGUSON, WASHINGTON STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: The executive order is unlawful and unconstitutional.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has nothing to do with religion. It's about national security.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We are one vote away. That's all we need.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: The left, they sound like a bunch of crybabies.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: Now is the time to put country before party.
TRUMP: The very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Protests will get blown out of the water and yet attack or a foiled attack doesn't necessarily get the same coverage.
CAMEROTA: This is madness and it's offensive. Even if there's a parallel universe there is still reality. ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn --