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U.S. And South Korea "Condemn" North Korean Missile Launches; FBI Asks DOJ To Refute Trump's Wiretapping Claim; Trump Spokesperson Grilled Over Wiretap Claims; Trump Accuses Obama Of Wiretapping Offers No Evidence. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired March 6, 2017 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, the U.S. and South Korea strongly condemning the latest provocation from North Korea. North Korea is said to have launched four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. The Japanese calling the action extremely dangerous.
CNN's Will Ripley live at Tokyo with the breaking details. If true, this would be an obvious call for attention. How is it being reckoned with?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly a call for attention, Chris, given that North Korean officials have expressed their fury over the ongoing military exercises between the United States and South Korea, which are happening right now. We have seen North Korea launch missiles in the past.
Last year they launched ten missiles during those military exercises so really this could just be the beginning. But the Japanese prime minister here in Tokyo echoing the strong condemnation from the U.S. and South Korea calling this one of the greatest threats that Japan and elsewhere in the region have faced so far.
Because this missile travelled more than 600 miles from North Korea landing less than 20 miles from the shores of Japan and experts believe had it been aimed at a slightly different angle, it could have actually hit Japan putting Metro Tokyo and more than 20 million people within striking range as well as more than 50,000 U.S. troops who are stationed here.
We have seen these missiles become increasingly advanced. North Korea making rapid progress despite the global community's best efforts to stop Kim Jong-Un's regime.
This statement coming out overnight from the State Department saying, quote, "We remain prepared and will continue to take steps to increase our readiness to defend ourselves and our allies from attack" and the State Department saying they are prepared to use the full range of capabilities at their disposal against this growing threat.
But "The New York Times" reporting over the weekend cyber- attacks ordered three years ago by President Obama have not been effective. Heightened sanctions have not been effective and so the global community is really trying to figure out what they can do, Alisyn, to stop this.
North Korean officials just two weeks ago when I was in Pyongyang after the last missile test say they will move forward no matter what.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Will, it's so helpful to have all of your reporting on that. We will explore it further in the program, thank you.
Meanwhile, President Trump wants Congress to investigate his wiretap claims. Where is the evidence? Senator Chris Coons is here next.
CAMEROTA: President Trump accusing President Obama of wiretapping him but offering no evidence. Democrats saying Mr. Trump is trying to distract from his own Russia related issues. Joining us now is the Democratic senator from Delaware, Chris Coons. Good morning, Senator.
SENATOR CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: Good morning, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: As you and I sit here and speak, there is no definitive evidence that there was this FISA court order to wiretap the servers in Trump Tower or some of Team Trump, as a sitting senator on the Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee, can you pick up the phone this morning and call the FBI or the DOJ and say was there a FISA warrant?
COONS: Well, Alyson, I thought you were going to ask me whether I or a president can order a wiretap. Just to be clear, President Obama could not have ordered a wiretap. It has to be done through a federal judge with a warrant. It requires a court order under our Constitution.
CAMEROTA: Right. So that would have been highly illegal. It would have been shocking if President Obama had done something like that and there's no evidence. But there might be a FISA warrant, there might have been. There is reporting of unnamed sources claiming that there was. How we can get to the bottom of this?
COONS: Well, I'm encourage, Alisyn, that this week, the Senate Intelligence Committee is getting access to the raw intelligence that is directly relevant to this Russia investigation. I'll remind you that the big issue here that I think President Trump is trying to distract us from is whether or not there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the last presidential election.
And the larger issue that faces all of us is whether we're going to defend our democracy against Russian aggression. One of the reasons that I did a joint speech on the floor last week with Senator Rubio and I'm going to do one this week with Senator Cotton, two conservative Republicans, is that they also serve on the Intelligence Committee.
[06:40:08]All of us see in common a genuine threat to democracy in Western Europe and here in the United States from Russia. The Intelligence Committee can get to the bottom of whether there was or wasn't a FISA court warrant.
CAMEROTA: OK, so when you say that you're getting the raw intelligence this week --
COONS: The intelligence committee is.
CAMEROTA: OK, but you will not necessarily have access to it. What do you believe that raw intelligence is, transcripts of intercepted phone calls?
CAMEROTA: OK, so this week that will be coming out and you believe that this week the Intelligence Committee can find out definitively if there was a FISA warrant to tap some of the Trump servers?
COONS: Just to be clear, Alisyn, there is a significant body of data. They will begin the process of accessing it and I don't think anything is going to be made public. Nothing is going to come out publicly.
The Intelligence Committee has a very important, very sensitive job to do here. I am encouraged that they are not being stonewalled and prevented from getting access to the information so far.
Tomorrow we will have a hearing on the Senate Judiciary Committee of Rod Rosenstein who is the nominee to be the number two in the Justice Department given that Attorney General Sessions has now committed to recusing himself from an investigation related to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
That gentleman would be in charge of directing either the investigation internally or of ensuring that the FBI is not stonewalled --
CAMEROTA: So how do Democrats feel about that?
COONS: He is a career federal prosecutor with a strong educational background. I'm meeting with him today. We have a confirmation hearing tomorrow. I think you'll see that confirmation hearing significantly focused on the question of whether or not he is capable of being an independent law enforcement leader in the Department of Justice.
CAMEROTA: Senator, here's what I'm getting at, which is I know that you say none of the information will be made public. Well, let's remember that FBI Director James Comey when he felt that it was in the national interest to clarify what was happening with Hillary Clinton's e-mail server, he did make a public statement.
Do you want to see Director Comey come out today or this week and make a public statement about whether or not there was a FISA warrant to tap Donald Trump's computer servers and some of his campaign aides?
COONS: Well, my understanding of what's happened in the last few days, Alisyn, was that James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence has said definitively there was no wiretapping because there was no FISA warrant.
And that James Comey has been urging the Department of Justice to make a public statement. I need more detailed briefing on exactly what the FBI director has been saying.
But my hunch is that's what he is trying to get approval to do is to have the Department of Justice publicly say there was no warrant. There is no evidence.
Let's remember the record here, Alisyn. Donald Trump dedicated years of his life to running around our country claiming that President Obama wasn't born in the United States without a shred of evidence.
And immediately after his election claimed that millions of people voted illegally and demanded an investigation, which even in this investigation from a Republican Congress, they haven't taken him up on it because there's no evidence of that either.
CAMEROTA: Why doesn't Director Comey just come out and make the statement as he did about Hillary Clinton's e-mail server? Why does he need the Department of Justice to do it?
COONS: Typically the FBI doesn't ever comment on ongoing investigations and as you referenced his comments late in the campaign made him the subject of withering criticism from folks who believe that he was inappropriately interfering in the outcome of the presidential election by making such a bombshell allegations so close to the election.
CAMEROTA: OK, Senator Chris Coons, please come back when you know anything about any subject. We enjoyed having you on. Thank you, Senator.
COONS: Thank you, Alisyn.
CUOMO: All right, look, there's no question that this is great risk for the political mill for all of the inside talk about why and what is going on, but remember facts first, the president of the United States is a request away from knowing what the deal is with any wiretaps, but who is the president choosing to listen to? We have the answer and it is a doozey.
CUOMO: MSG Madison Square Garden went silent for the first half of yesterday's Knicks-Warriors game and the response from players and fans was deafening. Hines Ward has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Tell it.
HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, the Knicks they wanted to show case the game of basketball in its purest form against the Warriors. Now New York, well, they went old school. In the first half, they cut out all the music, the video, and the special effects in the arena.
All you could hear were the PA announcers, bouncing of the ball, and the squeaky shoes and the players on both teams, well, they didn't like it. Golden State's Draymond Green called the experience pathetic and disrespectful. Now when the music came back, the Warriors end up winning the game 112-105.
And the school known for dunk city is going back to the big dance check out Tucker from Florida Gulf Coast. He broke the shot clock. Now the Eagles beat North Florida for the Atlantic Sun Championship and they earned the automatic bid for the NCAA tournament.
Now already in you have Jacksonville State, Wichita State and three teams will punch their tickets tonight. Back to you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: All right, thanks so much, Hines, for all of that. So up next, where is the evidence, a look at where the president gets his information?
CUOMO: All right, so President Trump accusing his White House predecessor of wiretapping him. He presents no evidence even though he is the one man in the world who could find out the truth of his own accusation with literally a phone call. There's plenty of push back including the FBI director asking the Department of Justice to publicly refute the claim. So where is the president getting his information?
Let's discuss with CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter, and CNN media analyst, Bill Carter. Now let's just put this in very sharp focus. His spokesperson, Huckabee Sanders, was on with Martha Raddatz on ABC Hews. Here's the exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRINCIPAL DEPARTMENT PRESS SECRETARY: Let's look into this, if this happened, if this is accurate, this is the biggest over reach --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States is accusing the former president of wiretapping him.
SANDERS: I think that this is again something that -- if this happened, Martha --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If, if, if.
SANDERS: I agree.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is the president saying it did happen?
SANDERS: Look, I think he is going off information that he is saying that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential and if it is, this is the greatest overreach and greatest abuse of power that I think we have ever seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[06:55:08]CUOMO: All right, Martha Raddatz sitting in for George Stephanopoulos there. She is no joke. She also has a good point here. Brian Stelter, the president of the United States, if he had information, meaning from the FBI, DOJ, from the (inaudible) services, this wouldn't be an issue, OK.
He would have the proof, but that's not who Sanders was talking about was it in terms of he has gotten it from sources he choose to believe. That's the real story here, the origin story. Who is this based on? Not what our president is finding out from the people in power, but from whom?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is a storyline, popular and conservative media circles about Obama undermining Trump. Mark Levin on his radio show on Thursday really kick started this suggesting as a silent coup underway. Cherry picking news stories to make his point.
Then Rush Limbaugh picked it up on Friday. Breitbart picked it up on Friday. That Breitbart article circulated in the west wing and according to our own Jeff Zeleny, it infuriated President Trump.
CAMEROTA: But look at the sources, Bill, of where he gets his information. We have a graphic, info wars. They pedaled the pizzagate dangerous conspiracy theory. These are not reputable award winning solid sources.
BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: They're propaganda sources. They're not legitimate news sources or information sources. They have partisan points of view. They are propaganda. He is listening to propaganda and making a decision that is, you know, really reprehensible and reckless to take on the former president based on this kind of information. And he could, as you pointed out, he could find the truth and he didn't bother with that. He went only with this point of view.
CUOMO: It's not about the truth for the president.
STELTER: It's about telling a story. It's about telling a story to his supporters that they can hold on to. They can say what about Obama.
CUOMO: Forty five percent, that what about is a big deal now. STELTER: I spoke with Mark Levin over the weekend. He said the public record is damning for the Obama administration. We need to get to the bottom of this about the Obama administration. I think this is effective among Trump's loyalists.
You were saying they're propaganda. I would say good reporting can come from anywhere. But right now what's happening is the Levins, the Breitbarts, they're cherry picking convenient information and leaving out the inconvenient information. For example, the CNN and "New York Times" and other outlets haven't been able to confirm the existence of these FISA warrants.
CUOMO: That's all OK. People will consume what they want and they'll make their own judgments overtime, but this has changed the equation. Put up the list of the things that one time Citizen Trump, but now President Trump has tried to advance as true.
There was the birtherism stuff. It was b.s., but there was a little bit of a reason for there "there." There was weird paperwork and challenging circumstances. So that helped birth that conspiracy.
The Clinton deleted emails and then Wikileaks and large scale voter fraud, the 911 celebrations. There was a little bit of there "there" in each of these. There is voter fraud, illegal voting. This is the worst assertion because he can find out if this is true or not and yet he hasn't, which means he doesn't want to because we have no proof that this is true.
CARTER: He's also smearing the previous president of the United States and that's really outrageous. He said he wasn't a citizen. That was also a smear and he doesn't have evidence for it and it seems so irresponsible. He's now the president making these charges.
CUOMO: One phone call away, were there FISA warrants about me? He had his counsel go to the DOJ. He got kick back from the House Judiciary Committee. They wrote a tough letter saying we don't like that the counsel is digging around. They can't have it both ways. The president was able to send somebody and make a call and know the answer to this true or false?
STELTER: That is true. He has not done that or if he has, he hasn't heard the answer he likes. It's like being at home late at night. You hear a noise under the bed or see a scary shadow in the corner, do you assume there's a monster in the closet or under the bed?
Maybe if you're a child but check under the bed. Find out what is true and what is false. What we're seeing here is this assumption of the worst case scenario and let's remember this plays into Republican story line from the past eight years.
That the monster under the bed was President Obama and now with the new president there's a lot of chaos and controversy and they're going back to that monster under the bed.
CARTER: It might be a mirror under the bed. They might see themselves. CAMEROTA: This is poetic.
CAMEROTA: But will they see their own shadow?
STELTER: It's pretty cold.
CAMEROTA: Brian, Bill, thank you very much.
CUOMO: International viewers, thank you for watching NEW DAY. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" is next. For our U.S. viewers, what is true, let's get after it right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States did not --