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Wrong Film Initially Announced as Best Picture; Some Calling for Special Prosecutor to Investigate Possible Ties Between Trump Campaign and Russian Officials; Trump Budget Proposal To Focus On Spending Cuts; White House Takes Unprecedented Measures To Clamp Down On Leaks. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired February 27, 2017 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The staff remembers her as the woman carrying a giant teddy bear.


FIELD: Memorable indeed. South Korean intelligence sources are saying that the two women were recruited by members of North Korea's national security and foreign ministries. Of course North Korea has vehemently denied any role in the death of Kim John-nam. Malaysian officials have been lashing back, saying that North Korea has not cooperated in the investigation. And the rising diplomatic tensions between the two countries really all come to a head over the body of Jim Jong-nam.

Chris, that body is still in a morgue in a hospital right here in Kuala Lumpur. North Korea has demanded their citizens return. But Malaysians say they're holding on to that body until next of kin shows up to provide a DNA sample. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Wow. So this latest twist that the girls say they were duped, this story gets more and more bizarre. Alexandra, stay on it, and thank you.

We are following a lot of news this morning. Let's get right to it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think you're going to see something very, very special.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's going to be a surge in defense spending and cuts pretty much across the board.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The future ain't what it used to be at the EPA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As most of you know the Obamacare has had tremendous problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are Democrats going to work with Republicans?

TRUMP: We are fighting the fake news. It's fake, Phony, fake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to need to use the special prosecutors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The FBI has already said this story is BS.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's have the investigation and find out the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Academy Award for best picture --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a mistake. "Moonlight," you guys won best picture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was speechless. I've never seen that happen before.


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

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

Up first, an epic mistake brings the Academy Awards to a halt. The presenters were given the wrong envelope leading them to announce the wrong winner for best picture. Who did win? "Moonlight" took home the big prize.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Hollywood's biggest night included political statements. Celebrities taking on President Trump's travel band with their own message of inclusion. Tomorrow the president heads to Capitol Hill to make his first address to a joint session of Congress.

So we begin with CNN's Stephanie Elam. She is live in Los Angeles. She has not slept yet as a result of the Oscar snafu. Tell us what happens, Stephanie.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's one way to keep anyone up is just have a massive snafu right at the end of the show at the biggest award of the show for best picture. It was really stunning to see, the audience on their feet. And when you look at the fact that it was already big news that "Moonlight" won beating out "La La Land," which was the big favorite, that would have been big news in and of itself. But then this happened. And if you missed it, take a look.



ELAM: The Academy Awards are billed as Hollywood's biggest night. But this year's ceremony ended with what could be one of the biggest screw-ups in its history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, no. There's a mistake. "Moonlight," you guys won best picture.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a joke. I'm afraid they read the wrong thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a joke. "Moonlight" has won best picture. "Moonlight," best picture.


WARREN BEATTY, ACTOR: I wanted to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, "La La Land." This says "Moonlight," the best picture.


BARRY JENKINS, BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY, "MOONLIGHT": Clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true. But to hell the dreams, I'm done with it because this is true. We've been on the road with these guys for so long. And that was so gracious and generous of them. My love to "La La Land." My love to everybody.

ELAM: It was a "La La Land" producer who announced the gaffe.

JORDAN HOROWITZ, PRODUCER, "LA LA LAND": I'm a little bit in a daze. They just handed us an envelope and the awards and we just kind of started accepting, and everybody came up. And then there were some people with headsets that started coming out on the stage, and it was suddenly clear something wasn't right.

ELAM: The reactions backstage were equally as confusing.

EMMA STONE, BEST ACTRESS, "LA LA LAND": Is that the craziest Oscar moment of all time? Cool. Guys, we made history tonight.

JENKINS: I noticed the commotion that was happening, and I thought something strange had occurred. And then I'm sure everybody saw my face, but I was speechless.

ELAM: After the mistake when the biggest prize was corrected, "Moonlight" ended the night with three wins, best picture, adapted screenplay, and actor in a supporting role for Mahershala Ali, who is the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.

MAHERSHALA ALI, ACTOR: It's not about you. It's about these characters. You're a service to these stories and these characters, and I'm so blessed to have had an opportunity.

ELAM: A new record was set for the most black Oscar winners in a single year, with five taking home awards in four different categories.

[08:05:03] JIMMY KIMMEL, ACADEMY AWARDS HOST: It's important we take a second to appreciate what is happening here. We're at the Oscars, the Academy Awards, you're nominated, you got to come, your families are nominated. Some of you will get to come up here on this stage tonight and give a speech that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps during his 5:00 a.m. bowel movement tomorrow.


ELAM: While Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel took jabs at President Trump throughout the telecast, it was the best foreign language film by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi where politics took center stage. Farhadi boycotting the awards show in protest of President Trump's travel ban on seven majority Muslim countries. Iranian American astronaut Anousheh Ansari accepted on his behalf.

ANOUSHEH ANSAIR, ASTRONAUT/IRANIAN-AMERICAN BUSINESSWOMAN: Dividing the world into the us and our enemies category, creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression.


ELAM: So back to this whole thing about their being two cards. There are two sets of cars of who has won and there are two auditors, one on each side of the stage that when a presenter comes up, they're handed the card. The auditor on the other card is supposed to discard their card. Somehow that card ended up with Warren Beatty and Fay Dunaway. That is how that happened.

But as far as these two camps from "La La Land" and "Moonlight," they handled it just completely class act. Just to prove that point, Barry Jenkins from "Moonlight" tweeted "Jordan Horowitz, he's the one who announced they didn't win for "La La Land," wow, I'm slipping slowly into a reflection perspective. Much respect to that dude." And then Jordan Horowitz wrote back, "Thank you, Barry, congratulations and much love." Really quite well how they both handled a really tough moment for both movies. No movie wants to be in that position.

CAMEROTA: Oh, God, no. It's so awkward. But as Chris has pointed out, this is his favorite moment, when they were figuring it out, and they were going wait, there's been a mistake, and they were looking at the right card.

CUOMO: I said this is a window into the tension between producers and talent that exists in every industry. You know when I'm talking about, when the producer did this, Warren Beatty --

CAMEROTA: Here the card is like --

CUOMO: Give me that.


CUOMO: When he did that Warren Beatty. Warren Beatty was looking at his hands. Give me that.

CAMEROTA: He was like, look, it's done. I can see it on the card. He's like, let me just show everybody.

CUOMO: Give me that. You actors can't get anything right. CAMEROTA: That's amazing.

Obviously, this morning it harkens back to the awkward moment when the Miss Universe host Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner, as you'll recall. And a lot of people have already brought up Steve Harvey this morning. He just tweeted good morning everybody. Went to sleep early this morning. So what did I miss?"

CUOMO: Which is worse?

CAMEROTA: I think the Steve Harvey one was worse. There were just two women alone basically with their confusion. So the woman who thought she had won, that's humiliating personally. Steve Harvey got it wrong because he read the card wrong. So I think that was worse. What do you think is worse?

CUOMO: The Academy Awards are a much bigger deal, but in terms of personal mistake, Harvey, I'm surprised he came out at all.

CAMEROTA: That was gracious.

CUOMO: So the Trump administration could reveal an outline of its budget today. This is a big deal policy-wise and politically, and it certainly tees up the president's primetime address before Congress Tuesday night. Mr. Trump is expected to seek a big boost in military spending, steep cuts to several federal agencies, but not enough to offset the big tax cut he wants. And 38 days in the Trump presidency keeps rolling. CNN's senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns live at the White House with more. Will this be a showdown between the Tea Party and Trump?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It certainly has the potential to be. Look, Chris, we got an early peek at the White House's thinking on what's basically a budget blueprint. And we do know, as you just reported, that they're going to try to ramp up spending big time, also going to cut spending to a lot of other agencies, and they're going to try to maintain the status quo on entitlements.


JOHNS: President Trump expected to call for a substantial increase in military spending and massive cuts to several federal agencies in the first draft of his administration's budget proposal. The plan targeting agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, while aiming to protect Social Security and Medicare. Last night ahead of a meeting with the National Governors Association this morning --

TRUMP: I think you're going to see something very, very special.

JOHNS: Trump repeating criticisms and vowing to scrap Obamacare despite a lack of Republican unity around any plan.

TRUMP: It doesn't work. But we're going to have it fixed and we're going to repeal and replace. [08:10:03] JOHNS: Ahead of his first address to a joint session of

Congress Tuesday night, Trump trying to project an image of success.

TRUMP: It's been a lot of fun, but we've accomplished almost everything we've started out to accomplish.

JOHNS: This amid growing calls for an independent investigation into alleged communications between Trump campaign aides and Russians known to U.S. intelligence. Leaders on both sides of the aisle suggesting a Justice Department led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions can't be impartial.

REP. DARRELL ISSA, (R) CALIFORNIA: You cannot have somebody, a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee. You're going to need to use the special prosecutor's statute.

NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: The attorney general must recuse himself.

TOM PEREZ, DNC CHAIRMAN: The American people need to understand whether the Russians in cahoots with the Trump folks and others rigged the election.

JOHNS: President Trump attempting to quash the headlines, tweeting "Russia talk is fake news put out by the Dems and played up in the media in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks." The White House taking unprecedented measures to clamp down on leaks.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer checking the work and personal phones of aides last week to make sure they weren't using encrypted texting apps or corresponding privately with reporters, specifically asking his staff not to leak information about the meeting or the crackdown effort.


JOHNS: The president expected to spend a little more time with members of the National Governors Association, and then later this afternoon supposed to sit down here at the White House with top Republican congressional leaders in advance of his big speech tomorrow. Chris and Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: OK, Joe, thank you very much for all of that. Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana. He's on the House permanent select committee on intelligence. Good morning, congressman.


CAMEROTA: What do you want to see happen next with the investigation into the Trump team and Russian ties?

CARSON: I think both the Senate and House intelligence committees as well as both armed services committee and other committees of jurisdiction are doing a great job at asking the right questions and unearthing truths that are necessary to get to the bottom of this. I don't think it's out of the question to get a special prosecutor. In fact, the special prosecutor would even protect the president, dare I say. You want to make sure that partisanship or ulterior motives are not at play. But in fact, both committees do well in terms of partisanship. So this pushback on having a special prosecutor should not be one filled with anxiety. It should be one that's hopeful and reflective of our Democratic values.

CAMEROTA: Congressman, do you believe that the chairman of the House Intel Committee, Devin Nunes, and the Senate Intel Committee, Richard Burr, can adequately and these Russia ties when they were both sort of lobbied by the White House to speak out to reporters that they basically don't think there's anything there. How can they move forward independently when we know that they already are inclined to believe the White House?

CARSON: Well, the short answer is yes. I think both chairmen do a great job on both committees in terms of allowing Democrats to have a voice. It's probably -- both committees are probably two of the most bipartisan committees in both the House and the Senate, let me be very clear.

However, if we want to have our due diligence and we want to protect the president, if you will, I don't think a special prosecutor is out of the question. In fact, if he's concerned -- President Trump is concerned about Democrats undermining his efforts, if Democrats are concerned about Republicans protecting the president, then perhaps we should talk more about bringing a special prosecutor in to ensure that we have an independent and objective voice.

CAMEROTA: So is that what you're calling for?

CARSON: It's not out of the question for me. I think both committees are doing a fantastic job at this point. But if things get deeper and murkier, then absolutely.

CAMEROTA: What questions do you still have about these ties?

CARSON: I'm concerned about the conversations that General Flynn had with the Russian ambassador. I'm concerned about Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his interactions with the Russian government. I'm also concerned about Russian interference into the elections, what directives were coming out of the Kremlin. So I think that as we move forward we can unearth these answers from our agency heads of NSA, FBI, and also other sources that we're getting, anonymous sources and sources that are pretty pronounced, to see what's really at play. I think in order to protect our democracy the founding fathers were very visionary in establishing three separate branches of government.

CAMEROTA: When will you see the transcripts of the phone calls that exist between Mike Flynn and the Russian ambassador?

CARSON: Hopefully soon.

CAMEROTA: But no timeline on that? CARSON: Hopefully soon.


CAMEROTA: I want to ask about the sneak peek that Joe Johns just gave us of the budget proposals that we understand, at least the headlines of them, will be coming out of the White House. Here is what we understand the President will be calling for, a significant military spending increase, tax cuts, as we know. They're looking at, for at least the wealthy, but everybody as President Trump has suggested. No change to Social Security and Medicare and some cuts to some agencies such as the EPA. What will Democrats' reaction be to this?

CARSON: Well, a budget is a statement of values. If President Trump is proposing to increase our military spending, cut taxes for the wealthy, cut the budget for the EPA, we're seeing crazy climate shifts right now and weather shifts in the Midwest and on the east coast that concerns me.

If he's talking about maintaining Social Security, that's good. But it's not great because those folks who receive Social Security have yet to receive a cost of living adjustment.

And so Democrats like myself and others will be pushing President Trump to not fall into the rhetoric of imposing some European-style austerity measure that my Republican colleagues are pushing, but to make sure we're having the right investments in infrastructure.

We are making sure that we're putting Americans back to work. We are investing in our educational system and I think we should have a greater vision about some of these trade proposals and trade deals. I can't wait to hear what he has to say tomorrow about all these things.

CAMEROTA: But Congressman, do you understand how the math works? With a significant increase in military spending, as well as what you say -- and what the President has promised in terms of infrastructure, yet tax cuts. How does it work?

CARSON: Well, I'm not an economist, but I can say this. I think the American people see the United States of America as being overly weaponized, and our investment, our taxpayer dollars into the military industrial complex is arguably excessive.

That doesn't mean that we should not be ready in case of an attack or in case we need to bolster our presence globally, but it does speak to our values, as I said in the very beginning.

Using taxpayer dollars to invest heavily in our military apparatus is not necessarily smart. We're the mightiest nation in recorded history. Let's look at very wisely using a series of capital infusions across the country in states and cities where we can generate economic growth and put Americans back to work.

CAMEROTA: OK, Congressman Andre Carson, thank you very much for sharing all of the latest on Capitol Hill -- Chris. CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, speaking of the Trump administration, what are they doing about stopping those leaks that they say are the real problem? Sources say Press Secretary Sean Spicer went to great lengths to stop the drip. Will it work or will it get even worse as a result? "The Bottom Line" next.



CUOMO: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer cracking down on White House leaks by reviewing his own people. He took their cell phones at a staff meeting and looked to see what they were using and who they were talking to.

Let's get "The Bottom Line" from CNN political analyst, David Drucker. Look, we know that they're trying to cap the leaks, but a move like this, obviously it leaked, right? He asked for nothing to come out about this and it came out almost immediately. How big a risk was this for Spicer to kind of point the finger at his own people?

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, if it solves his problem from his point of view then maybe it was a risk worth taking.

CAMEROTA: But it hasn't since we now know about --

DRUCKER: Well, let's understand, first of all, you'll never stop leaks in Washington. If you want to keep a secret, move, leave town. In fairness to Sean, a couple of weeks ago, maybe three weeks or so, I texted him, I had a question. I've been texting him for years while he was at the Republican National Committee.

He said we can't communicate via text anymore, please e-mail me through official channels and I sent him through his White House e- mail a question. So he's trying to cut down on people talking out of school. Any press operation, any political elected official wants his staff to not talk out of school, not to leak.

But then the question is, when you're in the bunker in the White House and everything is war, and in the sense you want to be a family, how detrimental is it to his goal to start asking people for surprise phone checks because it's going to rub people the wrong way.

CAMEROTA: This is my point, the tactics -- OK. Surrender your phone right now and I'm going to look at it. That's not -- obviously --

DRUCKER: Take a hike.

CAMEROTA: Obviously that suggests that you don't have confidence in your people and it doesn't inspire confidence among the ranks.

DRUCKER: Right. Which is a different story, but I do think -- look, I think that the White House has to get used to the idea, and this is something that Trump didn't have to deal with in his businesses, that you can't get everybody to sign an NDA, non-disclosure agreement and everybody is going to shut up and tow the line. I mean, these are people that are in government service for all sorts of reasons including because they wanted to work properly including because they have their own personal agenda. So you're going to talk to reporters all the time at different levels, at least reporters you trust, to try to either set the record straight.

Sometimes you think you're helping. I've talked to people on background, they don't want their boss to know they're talking to me because they're trying to help their boss legitimately, and that's just the way this works. They can try anything they want. They're not going to cut down on leaks.

CUOMO: Look, the charge, as with many of these, is hollow. OK, the idea of, hey, we don't want leaks. There are always leaks. This White House is no exception. Hey, they don't have real sources. That's obviously b.s. and by the way, they love unnamed sources. Priebus is using himself. The president likes to use it himself --

DRUCKER: They talk on background all the time.

CUOMO: Right. So that's also hollow. Now we get to the big one, which is the media is the enemy of the American people, long history, that phrase, back to the French revolution, the Russians loved in. In fact, Khrushchev stopped using that because he thought it was such dangerous propaganda.

What irony that our president is using it today, however, when we look at that idea, President George W. Bush is being interviewed right now somewhere else. We won't tell you so you don't change the channel. He said something about going after the press and how dangerous it is. Take a listen.


FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. That we need an independent media to hold people like me to account.

[08:25:08]I mean, power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive. It's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.


CUOMO: Impact of the former president saying this.

DRUCKER: Look, there was nobody beat up more in my estimation than George W. Bush by the press. He had a shoe thrown at him during a press conference in Iraq.

CUOMO: That wasn't just by us, by the way. Just to keep people's conscience is clear.

DRUCKER: Look, I don't think it's going to have an impact on how the Trump administration runs, but I think that he's making a point better than we can make it because people don't trust us and people think we're biased in defending ourselves, which is, even though the press isn't always fair, even though sometimes we are biased, when we give people in power a hard time, it forces them to make their point more effectively and it makes it harder for them to misuse their power.

CAMEROTA: And that's our job, and thank you, President Bush. Thank you, President Bush for speaking up for what he thinks is one of the underpinnings of democracy. You know, absolute power corrupts is what basically he was saying. He was saying it is addictive.

That's what the journalists are supposed to be tasked with is holding their feet to the fire. It's just nice to hear it from a former president who, as you say, was on the receiving end of this.

DRUCKER: Yes. Look, I think the best thing we can do is do our job without complaining because the work product, if it's done properly, will speak for itself.

CUOMO: We always say, you want to call it fake, knock yourself out but prove it. So far this White House has made a lot of allegations but haven't backed it up, have they?


CAMEROTA: Thank you.

DRUCKER: You're welcome.

CAMEROTA: All right, another story that we are following, this transgender boy who is at the center of a national debate after winning a state wrestling title in the girls division. Was this fair? Why are Republicans getting in the middle of this transgender battle? We discuss all angles next.