Return to Transcripts main page
Deadly Protests After South Korean President is Ousted; Congress's "Gang of Eight" Meets With FBI Director; Family of Missing Former FBI Agent Asks White House for Help. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired March 10, 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: All right.
[06:30:00] We have breaking news out of South Korea. Protesters have taken to the streets following a constitutional court's ruling that upholds the impeachment of the president there over a corruption scandal. This is the first time South Korea has gone through this. We know that at least two protesters have died.
CNN's Alexandra Field is in Seoul with the latest.
Alexandra, what's the latest?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, emotions certainly running high today. Tensions spilling over at one point. This is, of course, a historic day for Seoul but the implications of what happens next will be felt around the world.
There were moments of violence after that verdict was delivered to uphold the impeachment of the first female president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. Her supporters turned out by the thousands to protest that decision. You did see moments of violence erupting, but it gave way to peaceful demonstrations.
And what you are seeing out here tonight are more peaceful demonstrations, but this is a very different group. These are the people who paved the path to the president's impeachment after she became ensnared in a political corruption scandal.
It started with thousands of people turning out earlier this winter. Then they came out by the tens of thousands and the hundreds of thousands to call for her removal from office. They are here to celebrate that removal from office today.
Tonight, the former President Park Geun-hye remains in the blue house. She will at one point have to evacuate it, of course, the official residence. As a private citizen, she could now face charges given those allegations of corruption.
But the big question for the rest of the world is what happens next here in South Korea? Within the next 60 days, there will have to be a presidential election. And given the context of what is going on in this region, the stakes are high. The advancing nuclear threat and missile threat from North Korea means that all eyes will be on who the incoming president could be.
The front runner has been the democratic party, that would mark a shift from the conservative party and it could signal a new policy in terms of dealing with North Korea, something the U.S. will closely watch -- Alisyn.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Alexandra, thank you for all of that breaking news. We'll check back as it warrants.
We are following other breaking news now from the Catholic Church. Pope Francis signaling that he is opened to the idea of married men becoming priests. The new stance comes as the pope called the shortage of priests, quote, "an enormous problem," end quote. That was an interview with a German newspaper. The pope did not indicate own openness of men already priests to become married.
CUOMO: A very meaningful distinction, by the way, especially for members of the faithful.
Winter is returning to the Northeast. Snow is on its way.
Let's get the latest from meteorologist Chad Myers.
Chad, you told me there will be no more snow. I think I remember you saying that.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I didn't. I never said that.
CUOMO: Maybe it was in my head. Continue.
CAMEROTA: That groundhog that told Chris that.
CUOMO: I never confuse you.
MYERS: Well, short and fat.
CUOMO: No, no, no.
MYERS: Yes, yes, yes.
Anyway, snow into parts of Pennsylvania already, into Connecticut and Massachusetts. Not snowing yet in New York City. But it's a little bit moisture still coming down. It's going to be rain for a while. Then it will freeze and I don't know if that's better or not.
The next batch of snow comes down into parts of the Carolinas for Sunday into Monday. There goes the storm right now that we're seeing. It won't be lasting long. I mean, this will be over by noon, two to four inches of snow. There will be more, there will be eight inches of snow to the north of you, guys. I would say Morristown might see four to six inches of snow, but that's just because it's slightly colder right now.
The big story that I'm looking for is actually the next storm system that may come through on Tuesday. This is a storm that everyone's talking about, the potential nor'easter. There it is on Tuesday, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I think we are good. But by Tuesday afternoon, this is where the storm might be. And it could be making snow for the Northeast again.
So I didn't say that, Chris, and I won't say it yet, because there is another storm on the way, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Get out of here.
MYERS: I know.
CAMEROTA: All right. No, literally, we have to go. I mean it, get out of here.
All right. FBI Director Comey sharing information with Capitol Hill leaders. So, where does the investigation into Russia's role in the U.S. election stand? Where does it go from here? We discuss ahead on NEW DAY.
[06:38:01] CUOMO: The Senate Intelligence Committee could subpoena several Trump campaign aides to testify as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now, we are getting that from sources on that committee. This news comes out as FBI Director James Comey updates House and Senate leaders on the Hill.
What does it all mean? How does it intensify the investigation going forward?
Let's bring in Norman Eisen, CNN political commentator and a former White House ethics czar, now a fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Norm has a lawsuit on emoluments against President Trump. He's going to get his answer in April. That is not the topic of discussion today, counselor, just to put that idea in your head.
Tom Fuentes, CNN senior law enforcement analyst, former FBI assistant director.
Tom, let's start with you. What does Jim Comey owe these congressmen? We know he had an agreement with the Gang of Eight, these bipartisan lawmakers that have access to certain intelligence that others do not. But what does he owe this committee?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think, Chris, he will be very cautious when he talks to any committee on the Hill, especially if investigations are ongoing and sensitive, which in this case both are true. Normally, but what gets said to committee members even in a private setting is usually released publicly pretty quickly after the testimony. So, it's a concerned of how much detail he's going to different. And, of course, for people who want as much detail that incriminates President Trump and his staff, they end up being disappointed because there wasn't more said during the briefing to that effect.
CUOMO: Right. So, Norm, on one side, have you lawmakers like Adam Schiff who are
saying we can't do our job if we don't get from the FBI what they know. On the other side, you have the FBI saying you are politicians. You don't have jurisdiction over criminal matters. This is a criminal investigation we are doing, at least potentially one.
[06:40:00] And we're not going to give it to you.
Who's right there?
NORMAN EISEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Chris -- good morning, Alisyn. Good morning, Chris.
The congressional committees are right here. We live in a checks and balances system. Congress has an oversight responsibility. It's codified by law because of past intelligence community abuses. So, the -- those who are doing these investigations do need to share and the sharing is cabin.
That's why we have the so-called Gang of Eight, so that the information does not leak out as readily and I think that when you have a situation of this gravity, Congress has to play its role. They just as much as the executive branch.
CUOMO: Tom Fuentes, were you speaking up during that? Do have you something you want to respond to?
FUENTES: No, I was just going to say, you know, if you recall back shortly before the election when Director Comey reopened the Hillary Clinton e-mail case, he didn't announce that publicly. That was sent by a letter to the Gang of Eight. Of course within about ten minutes, it was on CNN.
So, you know, these committees are not as secure, they're not privy to sensitive ongoing information, they're just not.
CUOMO: The pushback on that is the FBI isn't as secure as it used to be, right? You never had a director doing what Jim Comey did, and he didn't do it just once, he did it twice, and, obviously, that may be guiding his behavior now and going forward, learning lessons from the past.
But, all right. So, let's get into the substance of it, Norm. The pushback right now is, boy, there is a lot of talk about if, if, if, if, if all these different things happen. There has been no proof of any collusion. We heard from, to Tom's point, from the investigative agencies, it has leaked that they haven't found proof of collusion.
So, at what point do you have to start providing proof to substantiate these questions?
EISEN: Well, the whole point of Director Comey briefing the Gang of Eight, of the upcoming hearings, which will start with the House Intelligence Committee hearings, is to explore whether the dots can be connected. Chris, we know we had a grey war attack, really, a declaration of grey
war by Russia attacking our democracy. We know the "New York Times" has reported that there are allegedly, that there are intercepts big I picking up communications between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
We know there is a pattern of Trump campaign officials having to change their stories, denying Russian contacts. The Russian deputy foreign minister immediately after the election said, yes, there were connections. Roger Stone advertised that the WikiLeaks were going to be coming out in advance of when they did and there are questions there.
EISEN: The point is, we need to explore all of this. It's a very serious matter. Our democracy was attacked in the elections. We should explore it.
CUOMO: And the president just inadvertently added to that by making this allegation of President Obama wiretapping him, so now, the investigative committees want to look at what was there.
Tom Fuentes, final point. Let's put up the list of different Trump administration members or campaign members who have been connected so far to these questionable contacts. I want to ask you, thus far, do you see this as being acts of commission, things they did, or act of omission to the point of starting with President Trump, not wanting to act knowledge Russian responsibility for the hacking, seeming to pick Julian Assange as a source over his own intelligence community, and then down the list of, from Manafort to Jared Kushner at first never disclosing that they had any contact with this ambassador.
You know, that would be seen as omission, not telling people, is that what this is about so far?
FUENTES: Chris, we don't have to rely on leak tropical storm investigative agencies or from the Hill. We had President Obama order an investigation into this very thing right after the election, back in November, said he wanted to have the results of that investigation before inauguration day in January and former Director of National Intelligence Clapper made the announcement before inauguration day that they had found nothing, they didn't find any evidence of collusion. Yes, there have been connection, people have called each other, that type of thing, but that's far different than colluding to try to throw the investigation as has been alleged in this case. But it was investigated.
We keep talking like there's never been an investigation or the matters that are still pending are the original matters, but with regard to that, that was asked and answered back in January.
CUOMO: All right. Leave it there.
Norm, we need to know more. That's what these committees are saying they're offering. Let's see what they come up with, and we'll take the analysis from there.
Norm Eisen, thank you very much. Tom Fuentes, as always -- Alisyn.
[06:45:01] CAMEROTA: So, Chris, this week marks ten years since American Bob Levinson disappeared in Iran. The former FBI's children are asking President Trump to bring their father home. We will talk to them about their urgent requests.
CAMEROTA: Just hours after their plane skidded off the runway, Michigan's men's basketball team had to hit the court in their conference tournament.
Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."
Wow, what happened?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Alisyn.
On Wednesday, while trying to get to D.C., Michigan's plane had to abort a takeoff, they skidded on the runway. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt. They postponed until yesterday and did not arrive at the arena until an hour-and-a-half before their game with Illinois. They also, get this, had to wear their practice uniforms because their game munis were stuck on that plane while authorities investigate what happened.
Now, despite all this, the Wolverines playing some inspiring basketball, easily defeating Illinois 75-55. The team says the whole ordeal has really brought them together.
[06:50:00] All right. This morning, coveted Patriots backup quarterback Jamie Garoppolo possibly breaking the news he has been traded. This pic was posted with a caption so grateful for my time in England. Peace out Boston.
Some are reporting this may be a hoax. But the picture remains on his official Instagram account. So, we'll have to wait and see how that developed this morning, Chris.
And, of course, Romo watch continues, Romo remains a member of the Dallas Cowboys. They did not release him as expected yesterday, but things are developing. He could end up on the Texans or the Broncos by the end of the day.
CUOMO: All right. You tweet me who you think is going to get him. Let's a little action going on that.
SCHOLES: All right.
CUOMO: Have a good weekend.
The family of former FBI agent Bob Levinson asking the White House for answers. They marked ten years since he vanished in Iran. We're going to ask his children what they want to hear from the new president, next.
CAMEROTA: Ten years ago, this week, Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent disappeared in Iran, making him the longest-held hostage in U.S. history and leaving his wife and seven children desperate to find him. President Obama has said that bringing Mr. Levinson home is a priority, but it never happened.
And now, the Trump administration is stating its commitment to finding him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Today is the ten-year anniversary of the disappearance of former FBI agent Robert Levinson from Kish Island, Iran. The Trump administration remains unwavering in our commitment to locate Mr. Levinson and bring him home.
[06:55:05] The Levinson family has suffered far too long and we will not rest until his case is resolved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Joining us now are two of Levinson's children, David Levinson and Stephanie Curry.
Thanks to both of you for being here.
Stephanie, let me start with you. What was it like to hear Sean Spicer talk about your dad from the podium yesterday?
STEPHANIE CURRY, FATHER MISSING IN IRAN: It was incredibly hopeful for us. It has been ten years since our father has been missing and two previous administrations have failed to get him home. And we are very confident that President Trump has the deal-making skills that are necessary in order to bring him home and to take a stronger stance with Iran and demand his release.
The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recently stated that our father has been deprived of liberty, due to an unjust arrest ten years ago on Kish Island, Iran, and that Iran is responsible for releasing him.
CURRY: And we truly hope that President Trump can help us get him home.
CAMEROTA: David, what gives you the confidence that Mr. Trump's negotiating skills will be better than anything the Obama administration could do?
DAVID LEVINSON, FATHER MISSING IN IRAN: President Trump has negotiating skills and the assertiveness as well to make this a priority. If he makes it a priority at any discussion and keeps it front and center of the conversation in any discussion with Iran, he can get the deal done.
We believe in what he has said on the campaign trail. He has said that he believes that Iran knows exactly where my father is. And that's what we believe as well. He's also pledged to get to the bottom of this case.
We know that if this is a priority for the administration, that his skills and his background negotiation can make this a reality for our family and bring my father home.
CAMEROTA: Stephanie, we know the president watches our program. What do you want to say directly to President Trump?
CURRY: I guess what I would like to say is we would love to meet with him. We would love to sit down and have him outline the steps that he will take in order to bring our father home. It's been entirely too long.
And President Trump has pledged to bring him home and not to leave any American patriot behind. And our father has been repeatedly left behind before. And again, I say two previous administrations have failed and he can do something that no one else has been able to do and bring him home.
So, we would just love to meet with him.
CAMEROTA: David, when is the last time that you we heard any communication from your father or about his whereabouts?
LEVINSON: Oh, in November of 2010, we received a hostage video speaking directly to us. In April 2011, we received photos of him in an orange jump suit. Since then, we have not we heard from him, but I would like to add that until that point up until 2010 and 2011, for three years, people have told us that my father was dead, that we should move on and that he was never going to come back.
I think in those videos and those photos, he showed his resilience and he showed his determination and a sheer will to get home. He has a lot to live for. He has grandchildren he's never met. He has a daughter in law who he's never met. He has sons in law he's never met.
And that he is -- he has everything to go back home to and we know that he is waiting, biding his time until our administration can make this a priority and bring him home.
CAMEROTA: And, Stephanie, we know this is a particularly crushing anniversary for all of you because not only is this the week that he's been gone ten years, but as I understand it today, it's his 69th birthday. And so, what are days like this? How does your family get through days like this?
CURRY: We are entirely just a very strong family. And we pick each other up. If one of us is down, there's another of us to have them help keep going. And on a day like this, I mean, my father has missed now ten birthdays, a whole decade has gone by. We are still incredibly hopeful, but it is hard on us, and we just rely on each other and know that he is waiting to come home to us, and that's what gets us through.
CAMEROTA: Stephanie, David, we are praying for you. And we also pray that you do get that meeting with President Trump and his administration and that something can happen on your father's case. Thanks so much for being here with us this morning.
LEVINSON: Thank you, Alisyn.
CURRY: Thank you for having us.
CAMEROTA: Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN "NEWSROOM" is next.
For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FBI Director James Comey meeting with the Gang of Eight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no way that we can discharge our responsibilities, if the FBI isn't willing to cooperate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: FBI investigators continue to examine whether there was a computer connection between the trump organization and a Russian bank.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: People are asking, was there collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?