Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Calls On Congress To Probe Wiretapping; Lawmakers Call For Proof Of Wiretap Claims; Travel Ban To Be Released As Soon As Today. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired March 6, 2017 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: That's according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. The FBI is seeking this denial because Mr. Trump's claim implies the Bureau may have broken the law by obeying President Obama's order. So far, no comment from the Justice Department.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: President Trump now asking Congress to investigate the baseless wiretapping claim and getting a mixed response. House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes saying his committee will look into the matter as part of its broader probe of Russian campaign meddling. But other Republicans now pushing back against the president's wiretapping claim. And former National Intelligence chief James Clapper telling NBC that it simply did not happen.


JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president -- the president- elect at the time or as a candidate, or against his campaign.

CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, NBC "MEET THE PRESS": If the FBI, for instance, had a FISA court order of some sort for a surveillance would that be information you would know or not know?


TODD: You would be told this --

CLAPPER: I would know that.

TODD: -- if there was a FISA court order --


TODD: -- on something like this.

CLAPPER: Something like this, absolutely.


BRIGGS: More now from White House correspondent Athena Jones, covering the president in West Palm Beach, Florida.


ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Dave. The president spent the weekend here in Florida. It was his fourth trip to his Mar-a-Lago estate (video gap).


ROMANS:And that's what we call, in television news, a hiccup in our television production. We lost Athena Jones.

BRIGGS: John Oliver did it.

ROMANS: John Oliver somehow should have known. Athena Jones was in West Palm Beach for us this morning and she's been talking about all of this controversy. I want to go to Greg Valliere. He -- there he is -- he's in Washington for us. He's a political economist -- the chief strategist for Horizon Investments.

And Greg, this sounds like a president who has stepped on his own message. He could be talking about a revised travel warning, he could be talking about Obamacare this week, we could be talking about a legislative agenda, but we are talking about the President of the United States, with the most stunning accusation against --


ROMANS: -- his predecessor, I've ever seen.

VALLIERE: Yes, what a difference less than a week makes in politics. Last Tuesday, Wednesday, everyone was talking about his speech, which was very well delivered and well received. Now, that's a distant memory. It's all about who might leave the White House. It's all about unsubstantiated allegations. And you're right, Christine. The big angle, I think, or one of the big angles is that there's some big policy issues now. Healthcare coming up, tax reform, infrastructure, the budget, and all of these things are going to get obscured by these new allegations.

ROMANS: Greg, does he lose leadership capital because of this, do you think? I mean, he's going to have to really be a leader with Paul Ryan and others, and all of those. Does he lose political capital?

VALLIERE: That's a really good point. I've always thought political capital is the key factor in this town and once you start to lose it, it makes it harder to get stuff done. So here's the litmus test. Can Trump inject himself into this Obamacare replacement fight? It looks like Paul Ryan is losing votes among conservatives. I think the president has to get involved but you have to ask the question, after this weekend, does he have the clout to make a difference?

BRIGGS: Tough turn. Joining us to discuss, senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, the host of "RELIABLE SOURCES." Good morning to you, Brian.


BRIGGS: Three U.S. senators -- Marco Rubio, Susan Collins, Tom Cotton -- on the Intelligence Committee saying no evidence of the wiretapping, so where is the president getting his allegations?

STELTER: Rubio seemed confused about this when asked by Jake Tapper yesterday. This is, essentially, a conspiracy theory and there may be hints of truth or edges of truth to this --

ROMANS: And most conspiracy theories have one percent kernel somewhere that allows --


ROMANS: -- otherwise intelligent people to believe it.

STELTER: This stemmed, in part, from news reports from months ago that perhaps a few of Trump's associates were the targets of investigations involving their ties to Russia. Is it possible that there wereFISA orders to target those individuals in Trump's orbit? That was the reporting from last fall. It was all anonymously sourced, never confirmed by the CNN's or "The New York Times" or "The Washington Posts" of the world.

But from those reports months ago comes this theory from Mark Levin, the radio host on Thursday, saying there's a silent coup in the works. That these are police state tactics by Obama and his allies to undermine the new president. Rush Limbaugh picks up on it on Friday, "Breitbart" picks up on it on Friday. That article from "Breitbart" circulates in the West Wing and then, lo and behold, Saturday morning we get the president's tweetstorm.

ROMANS: You talking about those -- you know, it was Nancy Pelosi, the House leader, who said it's authoritarian to throw something out there and make it -- you know, she used the authoritarian claim against the president. I think no surprise.

STELTER: I would describe it as confusion -- sowing confusion --

ROMANS: Right.

STELTER: -- that benefits people in power --

ROMANS: You're right.

STELTER: -- whether they're Democrats or Republicans. When you're in power and people are confused you can benefit from that and, right now, Trump is muddying the waters, creating confusion there.

[05:35:05] BRIGGS: Undermining institutions.


BRIGGS: Kind of fits that Steve Bannon worldview.

ROMANS: We were -- David and I were looking at this E.J. Dionne piece in "The Washington Post" -- an opinion piece -- and this sort of, I think crystallizes what kind of the choices are here. "Trump has a problem either way. If he was not wiretapped, he invented a spectacularly false charge. And if a court ordered some sort of surveillance on him, on what grounds did it do so?"


ROMANS: "Every time the issue of the relationship between Trump's apparatus and Moscow comes up, he is moved to unleash unhinged counterattacks. This only underscores how urgent it is to get to the bottom of this story quickly." You know, Greg --


ROMANS: -- the markets and Republicans and mainstream Republicans, I think, have been very happy with Donald Trump so far, even knowing that he can tweet conspiracy theories and sometimes they don't know how he synthesizes his information. Does this move the needle in the other direction?

VALLIERE: Maybe not yet. And I would just say, Christine, for all of the viewers who are investors, the fundamentals are still pretty darn good. The economy's getting better, the labor market is healing, corporate earnings look good. You know, Janet Yellen's going to have to raise rates next week but I think that's well-factored into the market, so the markets still have good fundamentals. However, if this story drags on and on and on, the markets are going to worry that the Trump agenda is in trouble. That's not a good story.

BRIGGS: Now some have suggested, including Mike Mukasey, former Bush A.G., that there was some sort of wiretapping -- some sort of surveillance, Brian, done --

STELTER: Right, right.

BRIGGS: -- that maybe that came from the A.G., so there is some out there who feel that there was some source of wiretapping. But what are the public statements from the Obama -- from the Trump administration saying about this evidence? Sarah Huckabee Sanders out there, Kellyanne Conway as well.

STELTER: This reminds me a little bit of nursery school behavior. I know you are, but what am I? And what I mean by that is we're seeing President Trump and his aides throw back the same claims of the news against them. So, President Trump, on Twitter, would say Obama's like Nixon. This is like Watergate. When, in fact, that's been a claim made against the Trump administration.

We saw Sarah Huckabee Sanders say if this is true about Obama, it's the biggest scandal ever and an attack on democracy. Well, what have people been saying about Russia and attempts to interfere in the election? An attack on democracy. So they take the language that's being used against Trump, they try to apply it against Obama.

And, by the way, that's working in right-wing media. You look at some of the blogs this morning, you look at right-wing talk radio over the weekend, you are hearing people buy into this idea that this is all Obama's fault. That Obama's trying to undermine Trump. So, some of what Sarah Huckabee Sanders was saying on Sunday has permeated -- has been effective. And some of what Trump's messaging from his tweets, it's been effective.

ROMANS: Brian, how pissed off is the president? With the reporting -- we've seen a lot of reporting this weekend he's mad, not about this --

STELTER: I think that's crucial.

ROMANS: -- but about the --

BRIGGS: Sessions.

ROMANS: -- Sessions stuff.

STELTER: Chris Ruddy, one of his -- Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, one of Trump's friends, a member at Mar-a-Lago, spent time with him on Saturday and told me Trump is pissed. He says hasn't been this pissed in a long, long time. Says he is absolutely confident Obama was wiretapping him and it will be proven someday. You look in the morning papers -- the "Post," the "Times" --

ROMANS: Is that Trump absolutely believes he was tapped by Barack Obama?

STELTER: Absolutely believes it and that it will be proven right someday. There are numerous stories in the "Post", the "Times", "Politico" this morning citing anonymous sources describing incredible tensions inside the White House. Some pointing the finger at Reince Priebus, others pointing fingers in other directions.

ROMANS: Greg --

VALLIERE: And a fearless forecast, guys. By the end of March, somebody important will be gone. Whether it's Priebus, whether it's Spicer, I think there's going to be shakeup by the end of the month.

ROMANS: Fearless forecast from Greg Valliere.


ROMANS: He's often right with those fearless forecasts. One of his fearless forecasts was don't underestimate Donald Trump and --


ROMANS: -- that turned out to be very right.

BRIGGS: That turned out to be true.

ROMANS: All right. Greg Valliere, Brian Stelter, nice to see you guys this Monday morning.

STELTER: Thanks. ROMANS: Get back to work, guys. Will we finally see the new travel ban from the White House today? There are signs, yes. What it all means for immigration, live from Washington, next.


[05:43:05] BRIGGS: The White House possibly getting a chance to change the narrative today as aides prepare to announce President Trump's new travel ban. We've had false starts on this before, though, but we're told as early as today, it's coming. The order was delayed last week because, you remember -- in an effort to keep the focus on good press for Mr. Trump's address to Congress. My, how things have changed.

CNN's justice reporter Laura Jarrett has more from Washington. Good morning to you, Laura. What are you hearing? Is there an update on timing and how is this new version different from the first?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, we expect to see the new executive order rolled out as soon as today, Dave. And the main changes are that green card holders and those with existing visas will be excluded from the travel ban, so they will be able to travel as normal. But we've also heard that several top members of the president's cabinet wanted Iraq, specifically, removed from the list of banned countries, so that will be something to watch.

And finally, Dave, we expect to see the old executive order officially revoked despite the fact that we heard from the administration previously about keeping the old on some sort of dual track with the new one.

ROMANS: How might all of the delays we've seen, Laura, in the -- for the new executive order -- how might that undermine the government's initial rationale that this was imperative to national security?

JARRETT: Well, it's going to be really interesting to watch how this plays out in court because to the extent that the administration took over a month to rewrite this travel ban to comply with a court order, no judge is going to blame them for trying to get it right. But if, in fact, they delayed this rollout for some sort of political reason, then that could certainly come back to bite them the minute the government starts using words like emergency in court, again.

BRIGGS: So what about all the lawsuits regarding the first executive order? Where do they stand now?

JARRETT: Well, lawyers at the Justice Department had tried very hard during these intervening weeks to get the active cases put on hold while they were reworking this executive order, but several judges said no and those cases are barreling ahead. So the question now is what happens when the new executive order comes down? Do these lawsuits just start all over again --

[05:45:15] ROMANS: Right.

JARRETT: -- from scratch or do immigration lawyers try to argue that this ban is just like the old one? We'll just have to wait and see.

ROMANS: Oh, yes, keeping some lawyers in business. Thank you so much, Laura Jarrett. Nice to see you this morning.

JARRETT: Thanks.

BRIGGS: Should have some news on that later today. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks went old school for the first half of yesterday's game. Not everyone was a fan, though.

ROMANS: Hines Ward has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Hines.

BRIGGS: Hey, buddy.

HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, guys. Yes, the Knicks wanted to showcase the game of basketball in its purest form against the Warriors. Now, in the first half they cut out all the music, the videos, and the special effects in the arena. All you could hear were the P.A. announcers and the bouncing of the basketball and squeaking shoes. Now, the players and fans didn't find out about the experience until right before tip-off, and Golden States' Draymond Green -- well, he was not impressed at all.


DRAYMOND GREEN, WARRIORS FORWARD: It was pathetic. It was ridiculous. It changed the flow of the game, it changed everything. You get so used to playing a game a certain way and just completely change that, that's complete disrespect. You pass things in the world to make it better, you don't go back to what was bad. And so, it's like, computers can do anything for us. It's like going back to paper.


WARD: The Knicks were actually leading by one at the half but they turned the music back on in the second half and things went back to normal. The Warriors won the game 112-105.

And Dunk City is going back to the big dance. Check out Rayjon Tucker of Florida Gulf Coast. Now, this is one of the best dunks in college basketball. He dunked it so hard, guys, that he broke the shot clock. The Eagles beat North Florida for the Atlantic Sun championship and they earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Now, already in, Jacksonville State, Wichita State, and Winthrop, and there's three more teams that will punch their ticket tonight.

And finally, Scotland's Laura Muir won the 1,500 meters at the European Indoor Championship. Organizers, they were running behind so they tried to stop her from taking her victory lap, but check it out, though. She dukes him and runs and does it anyway. She runs around the little official. But this was her first gold medal at a major event, though there was no question she was going to be --

ROMANS: She was going to do that. WARD: Yes, she wasn't going to be denied.

BRIGGS: Come on.

WARD: Taking her flag right there and taking that -- the leap of honor right there.

ROMANS: And she is faster than any individual. No one could stop her.

BRIGGS: Elusive.

ROMANS: When you're the fastest, you are the fastest. All right. Nice to see you, Hines.

BRIGGS: Thanks, Hines.

WARD: No problem.

ROMANS: All right, time for a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo, he's a fast guy -- hi.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I like that her victory lap is faster than I've ever moved in my life. What a crazy world. We've got this lady deaking out the official running around, and then we have everything now, listening to you guys discuss this morning.

ROMANS: I know, right?

CUOMO: It is such a beguiling set of circumstances that we find ourselves in. It's like our national dialogue is being consumed with discussions about Russia and we keep getting into a cycle where we say hey, just the facts. Let's figure out what's going on. And then, the president is usually somewhere near the root cause of then another wave of speculation about what's going on with our government's relationships and Russia and how it's dealing with that confusion. And that's how we got into this wiretap situation.

We're going to talk this morning about why the FBI director would go out of his way to get involved in this situation and ask the Justice Department to refute the president's claim of wiretaps being used against him, maybe by President Obama. And why this discussion goes beyond James Clapper, the former head of the DNI -- the director of National Intelligence -- when he says, Christine, you know -- and Dave -- why -- well, I would know about this. Not one of these FISA warrants did not exist for this regard, how do we move past that in our reckoning of what the facts are in this story? It's, you know --

BRIGGS: Well, Chris, a lot of pushback on that by people that say he wasn't totally honest about domestic surveillance as well, so should we take his word on this one?

CUOMO: He may be lying, OK, right? I mean, that's always true. It's always true that what you hear from someone could be untrue, but you have to have the there, there about it, right? Otherwise, it becomes a very difficult analysis. But that's where we are, my friends, and we will take the ball from you --

ROMANS: I know.

CUOMO: -- in a little while.

ROMANS: And I'm telling you, the President of the United States accusing his predecessor of tapping him just, you know, history.

BRIGGS: Don't tweet when you're angry.

ROMANS: It's history, folks.

[05:50:00] BRIGGS: Right, Chris? Don't tweet whenyou're angry or --

CUOMO: Hey, but you know how it goes with our president, is he has a Teflon nature to what he is allowed to say --


CUOMO: -- and how he's judged by his base, which is unlike anything I've ever seen in politics before.

ROMANS: I know, I know. It's all stunning and historic.

BRIGGS: We'll talk about it for you.

ROMANS: All right, Chris Cuomo. We'll watch you --

CUOMO: See you, friends.

ROMANS: -- from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. this morning. Thanks. Another mess for Uber. How is the P.R. getting even worse for Uber and Travis? We get a check on CNN Money Stream, next.


BRIGGS: The United States strongly condemning the latest ballistic missile launch by North Korean. The State Department warning the U.S. will defend itself and its allies and is prepared to use the full range of capabilities at its disposal against what it calls a growing threat. The North Koreans test firing four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan last night, three of them landing within 200 miles of Japan's coast.

[05:55:15] Let's get the latest from CNN's Paula Hancocks, live from Seoul, South Korea. Good morning to you and, again, what is the distinction? How is this different than previous launches we've seen?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, we understand from a U.S. official that the initial reports suggested that these four were intermediate-range missiles. We have seen these being tested before, but the fact that four were tested in a row -- we know that they flew about 600 miles and also a height of about 160 miles, meaning the range is even further if it was flying straight. So simply, this is of great concern for those in the region. The South Koreans had a National Security Council meeting early on Monday. The acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, said that North Korea is acting in defiance of the international community, also saying that the consequences of a nuclear arms North Korean regime will be appalling beyond imagination.

Now, the timing of this is not that surprising. The U.S.-South Korean military drills that we see every year that both sides say are defensive in nature, they're routine -- they just started last week and every year, without fail, North Korea is angered by these drills. They see them as a practice to actually invade North Korea, which the U.S. and South Korea deny. But we often see these ballistic missile tests increasing this time of year and, certainly, it appears as though this year is going to be no different -- Dave.

BRIGGS: This on the heels of some interesting reporting from "The New York Times" that President Trump inherited a cyberwar against North Korea. Thanks for being with us Paula, appreciate it.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on money -- CNN Money Stream this Monday morning. It could be a rough start to the trading week. Futures lower at the moment. Investors grappling with one of the president's tweets are overshadowing his legislative agenda. They're coming to grips with a possible Fed right hike next week. Plus, there is a big jobs report on Friday and European stock markets are trading lower right now. Shares in Asia closing mostly higher overnight.

More trouble for Uber this morning. This time, accusations it is evading authorities with its technology. "The New York Times" reports a tool called "Greyball" uses data from the Uber app to circumvent officials. It basically uses a fake app to make them think they've ordered a car, then has drivers cancel their rides. The "Times" says it's been used in Boston, Paris, and Las Vegas, as well as in China and South Korea, and Uber's legal team cleared the practice, according to the "Times".

The report comes just days after a video of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was published by "Bloomberg". It's not very flattering. It shows a heated argument between an Uber driver and the billionaire over pay practices. Kalanick has since apologized and said he's got a lot of work to do on the leadership front. Then on Friday, Uber's head of growth and products resigned. Uber is also facing claims of sexual harassmentfollowing a blog post from a former engineer. So a lot going on there on the Uber front. I know, it's such a --

BRIGGS: One P.R. disaster after another --

ROMANS: I know.

BRIGGS: -- for that company.

ROMANS: Disrupting, disrupting, disrupting, and getting a lot of bad press in the meantime. But it's going to be really big week. I mean, this is going to be a week -- we have a Fed meeting next week, we have a jobs reports this week, and people want to see what is the Obamacare going to look like. What are -- what is, you know, the travel ban going to look like -- the new travel ban -- and what's it going to mean for business.

BRIGGS: We do expect that new travel plan sometime today. Perhaps that will turn the page from these allegations. Thanks for joining us on EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


JOSH EARNEST, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This may come as some surprise to the current occupant of the Oval Office, but the president does not have the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of an American citizen.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, HOST, "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER": President Trump's Twitter tirade accusing President Obama, without any evidence, of wiretapping Trump Tower.

HUCKABEE SANDERS: Information that he's saying led him to believe that this is a very real potential.

CLAPPER: There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect.

ROMANS: The FBI asked the Justice Department to refute the president' assertion.

SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: This is just a distraction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The newly-revised executive order could come as soon as today.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will, shortly, take new steps to keep those out who will do us harm.


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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're watching NEW DAY. It is Monday, March 6th, 6:00 here in New York.

And we begin with the FBI calling on the Justice Department to publicly deny President Trump's claim that President Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower. Mr. Trump offering no evidence to back that claim.

CUOMO: Democrats are pushing back hard on this. They actually wrote a letter accusing the White House counsel of meddling with the DOJ about these wiretap allegations. They called the president's notions a deflection from reports of his administration's ties to Russia. The White House is attempting to move forward, expected to announce the president's new travel ban executive order as early as today.

Forty-six days into Donald Trump's presidency. CNN has is all covered for you, starting with Joe Johns at the White House -- Joe.