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112 Civilians Pulled from Airstrike Site in Mosul; Poll: Trump Approval Rating Hits New Low; Trump's America: Feeling Over Facts? Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 28, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:30:47] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The bodies of at least 112 civilians have been killed. Sorry --

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: No, it's true. Important and bears repeating.

You heard about this U.S.-led coalition airstrike in western Mosul. The problem is an obvious one. There are a lot of non-combatants killed. At the last count, it's well over 100 people.

Why did this happen?

CNN's Arwa Damon is live in Mosul where it happened.

What are you understanding about the whole situation now, Arwa?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, we're actually a few neighborhoods away from where that particular incident did take place, but this gives you a bit of an idea of the intensity of the battle that took place here, and that crater right there, it's massive, presumably caused by an airstrike, possibly by a suicide car bomb or a truck bomb.

But you have to remember that as the Iraqi security force, we're pushing through these neighborhoods. The civilian population didn't even have a chance to flee if it had chosen to do so, because ISIS based on what everything everyone is telling us would stop people from being able to leave. And as a result, families try to shelter oftentimes many in in one home, and it seems as if in at least one of these instances, these homes completely collapsed.

Now, we do have a statement that just came out from the U.N. human rights chief who says that in a span of five days from the 17th of February to the 22nd of March, at least 307 people were killed, another 273 wounded in this effort to take back western Mosul. That's just what we're aware of. At this stage you can hear the sounds of the battle in the distance. There have been all sorts of attack helicopters overhead.

The Iraqis are trying to modify their tactics to prevent more civilian casualties from taking place. But that, Alisyn, is just an ugly, ugly reality of this battlefield.

CUOMO: It's still obviously active. We hear the sound of gunfire in the background. Please stay safe. We'll check back with you later in the show.

CAMEROTA: Arwa, thank you for all of that reporting.

More news to tell you about because there's been another round of severe storms bearing down on the South. So, let's get to meteorologist Chad Myers for the forecast.

What are you seeing, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Alisyn, almost 100 reports of hail damage yesterday, only one tornado. But again, today the tornado threat is higher than yesterday. There's rain the Northeast, but this is not the system. We're worried about Texas. Amarillo, back to Oklahoma City, down to even Dallas.

This weather is brought to you by Purina, your pet our passion.

And we will see severe weather, I think, every day for the next seven days in a row. Pay attention to where it is on the map for today and then for tomorrow and even all the way through the weekend. We will see rain begin in Texas. But by afternoon, we get what's called super cells. Super cells from Oklahoma, all the way down to Texas, any of those could rotate, and any of those could have a tornado.

From Memphis and Little Rock, Arkansas, all the way down to Shreveport for tomorrow, a little farther to the east for Thursday, a little farther to the east for Friday, and another round Saturday and Sunday.

Chris, a severe weather event for sure. It's spring, and Mother Nature knows it.

CAMEROTA: OK. All right, Chad. Thank you for letting us know it.

MYERS: You're welcome.

CUOMO: All right. So how do we see the last 60 days as reflected in the polls on President Trump? The approval rating has sunk to a new low. What is motivating it? What could turn it around? Our panel tackles that next.


[06:38:10] CUOMO: All right. The president's approval rating is hitting a new low after the defeat on health care. Here's your latest Gallup daily tracking poll, very sensitive, goes up and down, but does give you a feel of patterns over time.

So, the president has a 36 percent approval rating, 57 percent disapproving of his performance.

How can the president turn these numbers around with the understanding that he is doing much better with Republicans than he is with Democrats?

Let's bring back David Drucker and Jackie Kucinich.

And he deserves the benefit of that qualification because you can look at it two ways, as a partisan president or as an overall president. Overall president, he is getting a beat-down. Partisan-wise, they're holding out hope. Fair assessment?

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it is a fair assessment. That's why you haven't yet seen Republicans abandon him on Capitol Hill. You look at 36 percent, and everybody should be heading for the exits, but for a lot of Republican voters in their districts and their states, he is still doing just fine with their voters.

And, you know, I have talked a lot of strategists out in the states, and they tell me that not everybody is as exorcised about a lot of the stories that are important and concerning, but they're more concerning to us than they are a lot of voters out there.

Look, I think the thing with Trump is this -- there has been a lot of buy-in or I'd say, built into the price of admission that he is just a little unusual, let's say, but he is going to have to bring deliverables so that Republican voters will stick with him, and they'll go, yeah, he tweets. Yeah, it's not always true. But, hey, look at his great tax reform bill or look at his great bill, oh, wait, we don't have a great health care bill.

That's why health care is so important, and that's why there's so much pressure on him to produce a tax reform bill, and it's really unclear that they can get it done.

CAMEROTA: Right, right, he needs a win, something in the win column.


CAMEROTA: Before we get to what that should be, let's look at for context his approval numbers, because it's not, you know, the lowest by any stretch. Well, actually --

CUOMO: It is.

CAMEROTA: It is by one point.


CAMEROTA: But I mean, in context, Clinton was 38 percent at his lowest.

[06:40:02] Sorry, Obama was 38 percent. Clinton was 37 percent. Gerald Ford was 37 percent. Trump is at 36. He's certainly the lowest we've seen at this point in his presidency.

So, today, you can already see President Trump tweeting out other things about jobs, doing these climate change executive order things to bring back jobs, he says.

So, what's the fastest way to a win?

KUCINICH: I mean, to put some -- put some points on the board? Kind of what Drucker said. That said, they have a problem with managing expectations in the White House. Talking about how tax reform is going to be the easiest. It's going to be so much easier than health care.

It's not. You talk to ten Republicans. You may get ten different ideas for tax reform at this point. At the beginning of this, they're not on the same page. So, perhaps they'll learn from health care maybe how to start doing this. He is talking about reaching out to Democrats to get bipartisan consensus to maybe make up for some of the Republicans he will eventually lose in that debate. They probably should have started doing that yesterday.

So, that will help him. That will help boost confidence because right now, with Republicans it's standing up, you are seeing it on Wall Street, you're seeing with business, they've lost a little bit of the confidence that they had in this administration.

CUOMO: Wall Street is now the longest line we've had since 2011.

KUCINICH: Exactly.

CUOMO: Not to deliver as David is saying, but the big problem seems to be credibility. If we're going to discuss what would turn this around, they've got to start telling the truth more and delivering on what they say more.

Let's take it from the mouth of the president himself. Big announcement by Ford today. His most recent tweet. Jobs, jobs, jobs. They're going to invest in three plants.

But when you look into that, it's true in a qualified way, but it wasn't at his urging. That's not something he's going to get a signature on.

The tweet before it, the Democrats are going to make a deal with me on health care, as Obamacare folds, not long.

That is a false premise, the idea that Obamacare is cratering -- it needs fixes, even the Democrats will tell you that, but it's a false premise and no Democrat says they're looking to make a deal with him.

The one before that, the Republican House Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory after so many bad years they were ready for a win. Sean Spicer, captain credibility, said it was a bad deal. So, the president chose to no deal over a bad deal.

If that's true, then how can this be true? That's their problem.

DRUCKER: Look, they're talking out of both sides of their mouth. The president wanted this deal. That's why he is angry at the Freedom Caucus for helping to sink it. And in some ways, he might be right about that. Look, I think if the president wants to have a lasting affect on the

country, he is going to have to pass legislation. His executive orders -- we can give him credit for jawboning Ford and other companies into keeping more jobs in the U.S. -- fine. If he really wants to change the country and have it stick, he needs legislation.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that. Why can't he do it with executive order? You mean in four or eight years, it goes away?

DRUCKER: Because the next president --

CAMEROTA: It's effective through the midterms.

DRUCKER: Yes, but look at -- yes. Fine. So, for two to four years, but look at all the executive orders that President Obama implemented. He is undoing. So --

CUOMO: They also want --

DRUCKER: Obamacare, wait, they can't get rid of because it's in law.

Look, they're never going to make a deal with Democrats because Democrats will not help Donald Trump govern. That bridge has been irreparably burned, and infrastructure spending, you're going to get Republicans to agree to a trillion dollar infrastructure plan when you just saw what happened with health care. Forget it.

CAMEROTA: Jackie, David, thank you very much for all of the insight. We just touched on this. President Trump and the truth, why facts don't seem to matter that much? Our media experts have some theories about what's going on, next.


[06:47:30] CAMEROTA: The Oakland Raiders are moving to Sin City.

Coy Wire has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hi, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alisyn. Good morning, Chris.

The 32 NFL owners have in their annual meetings in Phoenix yesterday. They overwhelmingly voted 31-1 in favor of the Raiders moving to Vegas. Vegas. The NFL whose commissioner just said in October that it remains very much opposed to gambling on sports plops one of its teams in the heart of the gambling capital of the world. League personnel, including players and coaches and refs aren't allowed to bet on games and aren't even allowed to enter a sports book during the season. Now, their team will be based there.

Fans in Oakland understandably upset. The city refused to use taxpayers' dollars to fund a new stadium for team owner Mark Davis while Vegas offered up $750 million in public funds. The Raiders are planning a $1.9 billion stadium to open in Vegas in 2020.

Until then the team will have to play in front of their fans in Oakland for at least next year and for at least those who remain fans.

Let's head to the NBA. Scary moment for the Cavs fans. Playing the Spurs, and LeBron James takes an elbow to the back of his neck. LeBron seems to have this growing pain. He starts writhing around on the floor for a few minutes before heading to the locker room.

LeBron did say he was fine after the game while talking with reporters, but the entire city of Cleveland holding their collective breath. Spurs blow out the Cavs 103-74.

Now, let's go back to everyone's favorite pain in the neck, Chris.

CUOMO: Ah, why you got to do that to me? Why do you have to do that to me, Coy? I was just going to compliment the buff of your head on this fine morning.

Good luck investigating up in Vegas. I know you are going to take it very deep up there about what this means for the Raiders.

CAMEROTA: He is a good reporter, that Coy.

CUOMO: Good looking to. Best looking bald man on the network.

One nation under FOX. Has that become the president's gauge for determining what is truth and what is fake news?

Our media experts are going to discuss the influence of the president on the media, and maybe even more so the media's influence on the president.



[06:53:18] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have tremendous energy. Tremendous. To a point where it's almost ridiculous when you think about it.

But we need somebody with great energy, with great passion, with great deal-making skills.

We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning.

I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not.

And we have to take care of the people that can't take care of themselves, and I will do that through a different system.


CAMEROTA: Well, President Trump campaigned on that winning feeling, and it worked, but facts and feelings are two very different things. And as we've seen, truth is a difficult thing to gauge with the Trump White House. Let's bring in our media experts, our truth tellers -- CNN media

analyst Bill Carter, and Bill Ferguson, CNN political commentator.

CUOMO: You have never been called that, Ben.


BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning. Not by you anyway, right?

CAMEROTA: Well, Ben, let's get to that. I am curious with conservative media, which you are representing this morning, what is your comfort level with the truth or lack thereof that comes out of the White House? Do you want to see them be more adherent to facts?

FERGUSON: Look, I think any time you can have the truth come out, it's vitally important. I don't think that anybody in the media should be a water boy for any perspective or to come out there knowingly or willingly putting out information that is incorrect and/or wrong.

I do think there is a separation, however, between that and emotion. I mean, some of the clips you just played of the president are absolutely no different than what President Barack Obama did when he was running on feelings and emotions of hope and change.

CAMEROTA: Well, sure, but, I mean, do you see -- in terms of what you just said about your premise, and that you think everybody should make a real disciplined effort to stick to the facts, is that what you see coming out of Sean Spicer at the press briefing when they talk about, you know, three million illegals voting, et cetera, et cetera?

[06:55:13] FERGUSON: Look, I've always said this. If you come out with a climb like this, and I have been critical of Sean on this issue before. If you are going to come out and say something, you have to actually back it up in facts. Otherwise, the long-term effects are negative towards you, the White House, and towards the president.

If you are going to come out with anything, you've got to back it up in facts. I think that's important for people to realize moving forward in this White House is when you have the approval numbers where they are this morning, there is one underlying issue here. There is some people that are starting to believe that this has gotten too far to the -- you know, this is my opinion instead of this is factual.

But let's also be clear. There have been many that have been much harder on this White House and have been pushing the fact that they cannot stand Donald Trump by attacking them every chance they get, and that's a double standard, because there was a lot of people that did not push near as hard as they're pushing every day on Donald Trump as they did on the president.

I mean, I just remember one issue. You had Susan Rice come out and say in Benghazi that you had a YouTube video that caused this attack. There was not near this kind of pushback, and that was a real international incident on the anniversary of 9/11. So, that's double standard.


CUOMO: -- months and months and months of coverage on that. You had multiple hearings. They were covered.

FERGUSON: The media was covering it instead of asking questions about it when the Republicans were investigating it.

CUOMO: But that is your perspective and it's a spin that motivates a partisan agenda.

In fair point, I joke with Ben because we are not an example of the hate parade that's going on in reporting versus partisan politics right now. You know, he and I can have an exchange, Alisyn, and he can have an exchange of facts. It doesn't become you're fake, you're a toxic partisan. That's the added element.

Ben says you didn't cover Obama the way you covered Trump. I would argue true, because you have never had a flood of statements --


CUOMO: -- and actions and inactions like you have dealt with during this compressed period with a president before. But it works for a partisan perspective on things, and there's been something added to the mix.

The facts are loose at best, three million illegal people. Didn't happen. Birtherism didn't happen. Wiretapping didn't happen.

But when you say it didn't happen, you are unfair. You are biased. You are fake.

That's the new twist that we're seeing with Trump. He can't be wrong. He can only be wronged.

CARTER: Right. He's always defensive about anything. He never admits he is wrong.

I mean, people can say I misspoke. I made a mistake and move on, but he doesn't move on. He just goes to the next one.

You know, the measure of what he did during the campaign was, like, 70 percent of what he said was false in PolitiFact.

CAMEROTA: From the fact checkers.

CARTER: Factual statements are not his strong suit. He doesn't care about them. He doesn't have a relationship with the truth. It's sort of casual.

And I think it's partly because he has always been able to do that as a performer. He is like a performer. He is not really -- now he is the president. He is not just speaking to Ben and the base. Everybody in the country

is affected by what he says, and it really matters whether it's the truth or not.

CAMEROTA: And, Ben, there's a larger issue, and I do think it has a ripple effect, and to me, one of the quintessential moments about are we going to go with facts or are we going to go with feelings was when Newt Gingrich sat down with us on NEW DAY and said this.


NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: The average American, I will bet you this morning, does not think crime is down, does not think they are safer.

CAMEROTA: But it is -- we are safer, and it is down.

GINGRICH: No, that's your view.

CAMEROTA: These are facts.


CAMEROTA: These are national FBI facts. Statistics.

GINGRICH: No, what I said is also a fact.

The current view is that liberals have a whole set of statistics which theoretically may be right, but it's not where human beings are. People are frightened. People feel that their government has abandoned them.

CAMEROTA: So, they feel it, but the facts don't support it.

GINGRICH: As a political candidate, I'll go with how people feel and let you go with the theoreticians.


CAMEROTA: Ben, politicians go with how people feel over facts.

FERGUSON: That is a great way to get elected and to connect with people and their feelings. A perfect example of just how powerful it is was an entire campaign slogan based on feelings. Hope and change.

CAMEROTA: Right. But now --

FERGUSON: That's how the president Barack Obama got elected. So --

CAMEROTA: Now in the White House -- why are they changing to facts over feelings?

FERGUSON: I think there are both in politics. I think it's unrealistic to imply that somehow politics aren't driven by the emotions of the public and their feelings. If you feel like the economy is not doing well, you're going to talk about the economy and how it needs to do better.

If you feel like the roads are not safe, you're going to come out as a politician and say, we need more infrastructure. If you legal like ISIS is a bigger threat to you than maybe a gun crime in Chicago, even though a gun crime in Chicago is much bigger threat to you than ISIS in Chicago, you are going to talk about the positions where.

CAMEROTA: Part of leadership is actually telling people what the facts are so you're not fear-mongering.

FERGUSON: Right. But let's also be clear, part of being a politician is listening to your constituents and listening to their fears and listening to their concerns.