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Administration Defends Wiretapping Claims; Interview with Sen. Dick Durbin; Comey on Trump's Tweets; DHS on Undocumented Children; Obamacare Replacement Plan; Beckham's Goals to Save Children; Senate Hearings for Deputy AG; Officer Saves Newborn. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 7, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:31:31] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The White House is calling on lawmakers to investigate President Trump's allegations that President Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower. Earlier on NEW DAY, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Republican Jason Chaffetz, had this response.


REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: I've learned long enough that you don't pre-suppose the outcome. You -- when you look around the corner, sometimes you -- you find something you didn't expect to find. So I think it's a legitimate question. The president is emphatic about it. We're going to look at it and figure -- try to figure it out.


CAMEROTA: OK, so that's what Republicans say. What will Democrats do? Joining us now is Democratic senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin. He's a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Good morning, senator.


CAMEROTA: What do you want to see happen with President Trump's accusations of President Obama wiretapping him?

DURBIN: Donald Trump is destroying the credibility of the office of president 140 characters at a time. This charge that he has made about some wiretapping before the election without a scintilla of evidence, no evidence whatsoever, has been refuted not only by the former president, but also by the former director of national intelligence and the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. That Federal Bureau of Investigation has called on President Trump's own Department of Justice to disown publically the statements made by the president, and yet the Republicans in Congress still want to take this seriously. Why? So they can avoid a serious investigation, an independent, transparent investigation of the Russian involvement in the last election.

CAMEROTA: What do Democrats do?

DURBIN: Well, of course we're going to continue to press forward. We pressed for the recusal of Jeff Sessions from this matter. That has virtually happened. We'll confirm that today in our hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We want the appointment of a special prosecutor so we have an independent person who will look at the involvement at the Russians in our last election. And, personally, I favor the measure of calling for an independent commission that goes even further and more publicly brings to light what happened in this last election.

CAMEROTA: About Jeff Sessions' recusal, today Congress will be taking up the issue of the man who would now oversee any sort of Russia investigation at the Department of Justice. So this would be the number two guy who, of course, rises to sort of the overseer because of Jeff Sessions stepping aside. So this is Rod Rosenstein. I hope I have that right. So what do you want to hear from him today?

DURBIN: Well, of course this is not a routine hearing by any means. His position as deputy attorney general would put him smack dab in the lead in determining whether or not the Russians were involved in the campaign, the last campaign. We're going to ask him point blank whether he thinks a special prosecutor is necessary. Understand, this is not an ordinary change of power in an administration. We are dealing now with deep constitutional issues and issues of historic moment.

CAMEROTA: So, yes. And so you want to ask -- I mean basically that's a litmus test? You will ask him directly, will you appoint a special prosecutor, and you will support him if he does and not support him if he says no?

DURBIN: I'm going to give him a chance to explain his position. I respect him. We've met personally. He has been a person who is first appointed by the Republicans and then held office as U.S. attorney under the Democratic president. So he comes to this position with credibility. I want to hear him out. I want to hear his explanation. A lot has happened since a week ago when we last met.

[08:35:04] CAMEROTA: So it's been reported that Director Comey was incredulous by the accusations leveled by President Trump at President Obama. Should Director Comey come out and publicly say something about this?

DURBIN: He's done virtually that by asking the Department of Justice to report publicly that there was no wiretap as alleged by President Donald Trump. I think he has gone as far as he can go at this point. And the fact that members of Congress, Republican leaders in Congress, still take these baseless allegations by the president seriously, to the point where they wish to investigate him on the chance that he might be right, tells you how far they'll go to avoid a real investigation of the Russian involvement in this last election.

CAMEROTA: Senator, I want to ask you about Donald Trump's immigration plans. His secretary for DHS, John Kelly, came out and basically suggested a plan for deterrence, to stop families from trying -- even attempting to cross the border illegally. Let me play for you what he said.


JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We have tremendous experience in dealing with unaccompanied minors. We turn them over to HHS and they do a very, very good job of either putting them in kind of foster care or linking them up with parents or family members in the United States.

Yes, I am considering in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network, I am considering exactly that. They will be well cared for as we deal with their parents.


CAMEROTA: Basically, senator, what he was saying was, he is considering separating families, separating minors from their parents. What's your response?

DURBIN: Well, understand what would lead a family to send an unaccompanied child on a dangerous, life-threatening journey to the border of the United States. Think about the conditions and the country's where they live in that would lead to that desperate decision. I've seen these kids, some of them as young as five and six years old. We want to make certain that the United States treats them humanely and fairly, that we give them a chance to have a safe life from this point forward. I hope that the general will keep in that mind, whatever his policies will be.

CAMEROTA: Last, your reaction to the Republican replacement plan for Obamacare?

DURBIN: Well, of course, as you start looking at it more carefully and closely, we realize that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance. Many who will have health insurance will not have a policy that is as protective today as we have under the Affordable Care Act. And, of course, understand, the Republicans, always the guardians of the national treasury, have issued this report without any score, without any determination of its impact on our budget deficit by the Congressional Budget Office.

CAMEROTA: All right, Senator Dick Durbin, thank you very much for hitting all the news of the day and giving us your responses. Nice to see you.

DURBIN: Thank you as well.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, President Trump weighing in on Russia and the GOP Obamacare replacement plan. What is he saying? We have it in "The Bottom Line." Come right back.


[08:42:03] CUOMO: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

Number one, President Trump doubling down on the unsubstantiated claim that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign. FBI Director James Comey said to be incredulous over the allegation.

CAMEROTA: House Republicans finally revealing their Obamacare replacement plan after vowing to make health care more affordable and accessible. Critics already pouncing, say it will likely leave millions of people uninsured.

CUOMO: The White House telling Planned Parenthood it can keep getting federal funding if it stops providing abortions. Planned Parenthood rejecting the proposal, saying the money it gets goes towards women's health services, not abortion services.

CAMEROTA: The U.S. is sending a high-altitude anti-missile defense system to South Korea following the latest provocation from North Korea. President Trump calling the leaders of South Korea and Japan on Monday, reaffirming the U.S. commitment to their security.

CUOMO: And meet the littlest queen bee. Oklahoma five-year-old Edith Fuller is the youngest contestant ever to earn a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

CUOMO: She took the top spot in her regional competition. Her winning word, "jnana."

CAMEROTA: So I use "jnana" often in sentences. Do you know what "jnana" means?

CUOMO: You have never heard the word other than if you had food in your mouth and were trying to say something else.

CAMEROTA: No, it means knowledge in Indian philosophy, as I can tell you and so can Edith, five year old Edith.

CUOMO: She Googled it and she did not need to define it, she only needed to spell it.

CAMEROTA: You've got a lot of jnana.

CUOMO: I've got some jnana.

CAMEROTA: For more on the "Five Things to Know," go to for the latest.

CUOMO: All right, Democrats are threatening to block the nomination of the deputy attorney general. Why? Well, that's part of "The Bottom Line."

CAMEROTA: But first, David Beckham is revered, of course, as one of the world's greatest soccer players. He's now using that acclaim to make an impact for children facing danger.

CUOMO: What do you think of his jnana.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While sports is one of David Beckham's passions, he's also committed to helping children around the world as a UNICEF ambassador.

DAVID BECKHAM, UN GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: With my involvement in UNICEF, it's always been about shining a light on certain situations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beckham and UNICEF started the Seven Fund, for seven global issues affecting kids' safety and well-being, like water sanitation, aid, malnutrition and violence.

BECKHAM: A child dies every five minutes around the world. How is that even possible in this age?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beckham has traveled to several countries to meet children and raise awareness.

BECKHAM: I want to be on the ground. I want to see the changes that are being made. I want to see what really needs serious focus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Seven Fund helps children in every region of the world.

BECKHAM: It's a really powerful campaign. It makes you realize the work that needs to be done. That's when you really get these people sitting up and taking notice.



[08:48:41] CUOMO: All right, President Trump back on Twitter, weighing in on Russia and the Republican's wonderful new health care bill. That's his word.

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN's senior political analyst, Mark Preston.

The president was very aggressive about health care, not just during the campaign, when everybody promises everything, but he had been asked, do you think you'll be able to keep people covered? He said, oh, yes, yes, very important. It is almost impossible to read this initial proposal and see it as covering everybody. It is almost certainly going to reduce the coverage numbers. What's the plus/minus?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the plus for Republicans are is that they ran on the fact that they were going to repeal and replace. The minus is the fact is that it's not going to be as inclusive as you said. I mean they talk about access to health care and not necessarily coverage of health care. And the fact of the matter is, even though they released it yesterday and they seem to be moving forward on it, they don't have support within their own Republican conference right now for it, let alone Democrats. CAMEROTA: Well, we just had Congressman -- Republican Congressman

Jason Chaffetz on who likes this replacement plan and he explained, yes, they're going to have access, and it might mean that low income people are going to just have to make better choices is what he basically said. So listen to this.


REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: We're getting rid of the individual mandate. We're getting rid of those things that people said that they don't want. And you know what, Americans have choices and they've got to make a choice. And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.


[08:50:15] PRESTON: Wow. You know, listen, the way that it's structured, (INAUDIBLE) even said that the tax credits that they're talking about, it's somewhere between $2,000 and $14,000 a year for low to middle income people could even help them because they may not even make enough money, quite frankly, where those tax credits would help them.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, I guess, are we at that point where you have -- you'll have to make a choice between having a cell phone and having health care? I mean is that what the Republicans are saying that they're comfortable with?

PRESTON: I think I'll be kind enough to Jason Chaffetz and say that he probably inartfully (ph) said what he said. But the fact of the matter is, if you're going to use that kind of language, that's going to be very hard from them to sell the health care plan, let alone go into the next midterm election.

CUOMO: I want to hear the president say that. He campaigned talking exactly to that group of people.


CUOMO: Ad saying, you're doing too much with too little.


CUOMO: Your wages haven't gone up. People haven't been giving you the right jobs. I'm going to change that. And he just had one of the advocates of his plan go on and say, your problems are on you. Put the iPad down and pay for something. That is not only an inaccurate representation of what is true for a majority of this country --


CUOMO: But it's got to be seen as nothing short of insulting, although it lets you know where their heads are in terms of who they're trying to please. PRESTON: Right. And add to the mix, too, again, that they don't even

have full Republican support. You have Rand Paul stalking the halls of Congress saying, I want to see the House bill. He's calling it Obamacare light. You had the conservatives over in the House of Representatives saying that they can't support the bill. So just imagine, they can't even get it out of the starting gate or it looks like they won't be able to get it out of the starting gate, let alone get it to completion right now.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about another top story today, the president's accusations of wiretapping that the former president, President Obama, has wiretapped Trump Tower and him (ph) -- Jason Chaffetz, again, on earlier, said, yes, we're going to launch an investigation to look into that. That's where we are. So how do you think that's going to go?

PRESTON: Well, a couple of things. One is -- and, you know, I've been saying this since the president tweeted Saturday morning at 6:30 that he had been wiretapped by the former president, that it's irresponsible what he did. The fact of the matter is, if there was any real validity to it, would we really see the president of the United States being the one to announce it on a Saturday morning via Twitter? It just doesn't seem to add up. And, you know, for Jason Chaffetz to say he's going to investigate it, sure, it's the Oversight responsibility. They should go and investigate it.

CUOMO: Why? Why? This is not like all of these other farfetched things that we've seen to date come out of Trump, whether it's the 5 million voters, or the 9/11 celebrations, or even the birtherism. He can find out the answer to this question --

PRESTON: Himself.

CUOMO: In a phone call.


CUOMO: There's no need to add to the agenda because it becomes a distraction within the committees.

PRESTON: Well -- well -- right. So let me just add to the investigation. It would probably take all about a few hours, quite frankly, Chris, for Jason Chaffetz to figure out if this really happened at all. But to you point as well, Donald Trump could find out right away. It would take one telephone call. But everything we've heard from previous intelligence officials in high-ranking spots, they said it never happened.

CAMEROTA: So, very quickly, that leads us to what's going to happen today. Jeff Sessions, as you know, has recused himself from any investigations into the ties between Trump's campaign and Russia. So now the number two person would oversee those investigations. The hearing for him is today.


CAMEROTA: How's that going to go?

PRESTON: There's going to be fireworks from the Democratic side. And in the bottom line on this one, is that it's going to be a proxy war between the Democrats and the Trump administration in what would normally be a hearing that most people probably wouldn't even pay attention to.

CUOMO: You think the bar is going to be, tell us right now that you'll appoint an independent prosecutor?

PRESTON: I'm sure you'll hear that from -- from several senators.

CAMEROTA: We did just hear from Dick Durbin.

Thank you very much for "The Bottom Line," Mark.

PRESTON: Thanks.

CAMEROTA: Great to see you.

CUOMO: "Good Stuff" next.



[08:57:47] CUOMO: Terrible, but it has a good ending.

CAMEROTA: OK, if you say so (ph).

CUOMO: Just the worse nightmare if you're in the baby game or you ever have been. A Georgia mom wakes up, finds her one-month-old son blue in the face.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

CUOMO: Not taking a breath, OK. Chikel (ph) Davis immediately calls 911. Officer Joe Dwyer (ph) is nearby, says I'll take the call.


CHIKEL DAVIS, MOTHER: We really thought it was over, honestly. It was real scary.

OFFICER JOE DWYER: I just kept on saying that in my head over and over as I was doing the compressions, just fight, fight, fight.


CUOMO: He walks right in, puts the training to work, baby CPR. Little Amir (ph) obviously starts breathing. You see him there, right? Chikel says everyone in the room broke down crying tears of joy.


DAVIS: It was like a -- almost like a guardian angel God sent to us that day.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

CUOMO: Imagine that.

CAMEROTA: Thank gosh for that officer.

CUOMO: And just another day on the job. Answers a calls, saves a baby.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. OK, I'm glad that did have a good ending. Thank you for keeping your promise.

President Trump is tweeting again, and comedians are taking notice. Queue the late-night laughs.


STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": I don't know if you were paying attention, but Donald Trump seemed pretty steady. He gave the big boy speech in front of Congress, long pants and everything. It was very impressive. I was afraid he had sold the timeshare in crazytown. Well, he's back.

JAMES CORDEN, "THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN": One of Trump's tweets read "terrible, just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism." There's no way Trump knows what McCarthyism is. He definitely means this McCarthy.

CONAN O'BRIEN, "CONAN": Trump said it was particularly upsetting because he's a private man who likes to keep his thoughts to himself.

CORDEN: Now, these are damning allegations with enormous significance if true. So, of course, the nation immediately responded by saying, hey, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), you spelled tap wrong.

COLBERT: And just like that, the White House had to reset their sign back to zero.


[09:00:02] CAMEROTA: All right, there you go. We --

CUOMO: Corden, unusual appearance in our late night laughs.

CAMEROTA: That's right. That's right. He must feel very honored.

Time now for "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman.

Good morning, guys.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, you guys.