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Interview with Sen. Ed Markey; Chemical Attack Changes Trump's View; U.S. Response to Syria Attack; Letter on North Korea; Foods that Fight Stress; Trump Meets with China's President; Melania & Rania Team Up. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 6, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:31:45] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we have more on the breaking news that U.S. military and intelligence officials are telling CNN that radar picked up Syrian war planes dropping the chemical weapons that killed more than 80 people and injured hundreds more.

Joining us now is Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

Senator, thank you for joining us.

Even though it seemed obvious, it is important to have proof. We've seen this in the past. Are you confident that Bashar al Assad deserves the blame for what just happened?

SEN. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, if that information is accurate, then, yes, he does. Unless the Russians have any contrary evidence, then I think we should assume that Assad, in fact, orders, perpetrated this horrific act, this act that is absolutely causing the rest of the world, including Donald Trump, to come to realize that this man is a terrible person. He is someone who should not be able to run a country.

CUOMO: So now what? The president says he was moved by images. He says he feels differently now about Syria. He did not go so far as to Russia's involvement with Syria, but what should be done now?

MARKEY: Well, I think it's now time for Donald Trump to pivot on his attitudes towards Russia. I think that he has to now say to Russia that they have a responsibility, one, to ensure that there is a full enforcement of the agreement to remove all of the chemical weapons from the possession of Assad. Second, a complete implementation of the cease fire, which the Russians, the Iranians and the Turks negotiated. That has not been enforced. Third, to ensure that there is unfettered distribution of humanitarian aid within that country. And, fourth, that Russia, in partnership with Iran, forces Assad to the table so that we can find a diplomatic resolution of this civil war bringing all parties to the table so that once and for all we can deal with the -- with this conflict in a way that has the world agreeing that diplomacy is the only way to end it. CUOMO: So the president is being tested this week in unique fashion.

We have a human crisis that is for certain in Syria. We have an existential crisis with North Korea that has potential. They are obviously wanting to develop nuclear capabilities that they can use militarily. They keep testing. We know what that's about. You have a letter that you sent to the president that you believe instructs as to how to change that reality. Tell us about it.

MARKEY: Well, I don't think that it makes any sense for Donald Trump to continue his -- his saber rattling. The more that we engage in saber rattling is the more likely that Kim will continue to test nuclear weapons, to test ballistic missiles.

I think a better way to approach this problem is for Donald Trump to ask President Xi to impose much tougher economic sanctions against North Korea, to tighten the screws. But in return, the United States must do something that the Chinese want us to do, which is to engage in direct negotiations with Kim. That could be a win-win, that we have the Chinese fully involved, but at the same time we are negating with Kim towards the goal of ending this escalating nuclear threat that endangers not just the Korean peninsula, but the United States and the rest of the civilized world.

[08:35:41] CUOMO: What about the U.S. prior disposition to legitimizing Kim and giving equal footing to a despot?

MARKEY: Well, the only way we're going to end this, at the end of the day, is negotiating with Kim, unless we intend, as Donald Trump has left the impression, that he's willing to engage in a preventative war. But that would be very dangerous because that would lead almost inevitably to an escalation on the Korean peninsula that could have catastrophic consequences first for the South Koreans and then potentially for the United States and other parts of the world.

CUOMO: And what do you do in terms of the strategy to deal with the other parts of China's reluctance, which is not wanting to see military buildup by the United States or other allies around its border, interference with some $7 billion in trade with North Korea, the concerns that if there is any type of acceleration of change within North Korea, there may be a humanitarian crisis across the border into China. How do you deal with those?

MARKEY: Well, I think the only way we're going to deal with that entire, complex of issues is if we negotiate. If we just see an escalation, then, unfortunately, I think we're going to see an exacerbation of each one of those problems.

So this meeting today, again, gives President Trump a chance to do a pivot. Obviously there were reckless comments that were made by the president about the Chinese during the campaign and even after the campaign. So I think that this is a moment for the president to realize that both in the way in which he was coddling Russia, or recklessly attacking China, that he now gets a chance to reset both of those relationships in a way that can have a peaceful resolution of the key challenges which his administration is facing right now. CUOMO: Senator Ed Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts, strong

suggestion. Give Kim Jong-un a seat at the table. Let's see how it's received. Appreciate you making this news for us here on NEW DAY.

MARKEY: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Chris, a little girl power. First Lady Melania Trump and the queen of Jordan team up for a girl's only charter school. What happened when the first lady met the monarch? That's next.


[08:41:43] CAMEROTA: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

President Trump and China's president begin their two-day summit meeting today. Trade talks and North Korea's nuclear threat at the top of the agenda.

CUOMO: U.S. military and intelligence officials confirmed to CNN Syrian war planes carried out that chemical attack in Syria that killed more than 80 people. Officials say radar intelligence confirms the attack.

CAMEROTA: President Trump says former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice may have, quote, "committed a crime" by unmasking Trump associates who got swept up in surveillance. The president offering no evidence to back up his claim.

CUOMO: More airports may be added to the ban on laptops in carry-ons. The Homeland Security chief says the move is based on a, quote, "real threat." Right now ten airports in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa are affected.

CAMEROTA: An outbreak of severe storms rocking the southeast, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Fierce storms now moving east targeting mid-Atlantic states.

CUOMO: Would you like more on the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day"? Please go to for the latest.

CAMEROTA: OK, so President Trump is about to meet with China's president face to face. This, of course, after slamming that country's president -- well, just the country, on the campaign trail. So what exactly will happen today when they are face to face? "The Bottom Line" is next.

CUOMO: But first, resist reaching for sweets when you are overwhelmed. CNN health writer Jacqueline Howard shows us the best stress fighting food as fuel.


CUOMO: Vodka.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH WRITER: Turning to super foods when you're stressed may help you feel better. Dark, leafy greens, like kale and spinach, contain folates and B12. Those nutrients are associated with chemicals in your brain that help regulate emotions and pleasure. And if you crave carbs, try steel cut oatmeal. Research suggests quality carbs help your brain regulate serotonin, which stabilizes your mood. And a complex carb, like what's found in oatmeal, won't spike your blood sugar, which already might be high under stress. And if you can't deny your sweet tooth, pick fruits rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, like blueberries and strawberries. One study found Vitamin C may help lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels.



[08:48:12] CUOMO: President Trump comes face to face today with China's president. Remember, he slammed that country during the campaign.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing. It is the greatest theft in the history of the world.

The greater abuser in the history of this country.

They can't imagine, they can't even believe that they can get away with what's happening.

China is responsible for nearly half of our entire trade deficit. They break the rules in every way imaginable.


CUOMO: So we know how strong he was talking about China. How will he be when he is speaking to China?

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN political director David Chalian.

The political optics are he needs a win. How does this turn into a win for Trump?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: He definitely does need a win. I don't think there's going to be a huge win, a deliverable out of this two-day meeting. This is more a sort of get to know you. And imagine how awkward it is to sit in a room with somebody you called a rapist not that many months ago. Clearly he hasn't been using quit that rhetoric as recently. But -- but this is a chance for these two guys to size each other up. You just played all the sound on trade and the economic issues that are front and center in this summit, Chris, but, of course, North Korea, this week, showed how important that issue is and Donald Trump has stated time and again that he believes that's an issue that China needs to solve. So two major issues front and center as these two leaders get down to business.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, David, on the campaign trail, he sounded so angry about China and he used such heated rhetoric that you could imagine that it would be tense when they meet today because he said we've got to stop the abuse. I mean unless the president just does something completely different and back peddles and used some sort of charm offensive. So which one do you predict?

[08:50:10] CHALIAN: Well, I would imagine there's going to be a little bit of both, Alisyn. I mean we know that Donald Trump can certainly turn on the charm offensive. Tons of people who have been in meetings with him have described that side of him. But I don't -- I don't see him tossing out all the rhetoric from the campaign trail as simply, oh, campaign trail rhetoric. Remember, China has been a boogie man in American politics for both Democrats and Republicans for the better part of a decade, if not longer, where it really has been prominent in TV ads. That has been a way to sort of strike at that economic heartland, populist vote that Donald Trump was so successful at courting. And so I don't -- I don't see him just walking away from that. I do see him trying to press some points there. But there's no doubt he's going to try to charm this man as well. He certainly wants to do deals with China.

CUOMO: Let's stick with China because we have it coming in just a few hours. What's your bottom line on Ed Markey, the senator from Massachusetts, Democrat, his suggestion in a letter to the president he's saying, you want to solve North Korea, you have to do something the U.S. has not wanted to do, sit down with Kim Jong-un. Your take?

CHALIAN: You know, I think that a lot of North Korea experts that I've read and heard on our air talking, Chris, will tell you that that's not necessarily going to be the most productive avenue at this stage. There are some folks who believe that might be necessary. But I can't envision right now Donald Trump sitting down with the North Korean leader. I mean Rex Tillerson's provocative, non-statement statement the other day seemed to indicate that the U.S. is done talking about this and will not respond. So that doesn't seem like an opening to sit down and have a leader to leader meeting.

CAMEROTA: OK, about Syria, because this is important because the president's point of view has shifted. What action will he take?

CHALIAN: You know, it's unclear. I mean that was the takeaway from yesterday in the Rose Garden is that he said he has changed. He's certainly expressed the moral outrage at the images he was seeing. But there was no discussion of specifics of what action may be taken. So, you know, I think, Alisyn, you're asking the right question and the answer truly is, we don't know yet.

I will say this. It seems odd to me that Donald Trump has adopted an entirely new world view. I'm somewhat suspect of that. One consistent theme over the course of the campaign throughout these first 100 days has been America first, I'm not the president of the world, I'm the president of America. He's been really reluctant to get involved. So he says he's changed. But because of what he stated as policy, he -- the burden is now on him to show us what that means that he's changed.

CUOMO: And the biggest hurdle for him is if he wants to do something about Syria, he has to change on Russia. Is it worth it to him? We'll see.

Thank you, Mr. Chalian.

CHALIAN: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: "The Good Stuff," next.

CUOMO: How about that.

CAMEROTA: How about it?


[08:56:55] CUOMO: All right, so she put her life on the line for our country. Now one veteran is getting the gift of a lifetime. Please meet Kim Miraz (ph). She was left paralyzed from the waist down after a bad car accident six years ago. But thanks to the Topeka V.A., she can stand up again.


KIM MIRAZ: Not only can I now stand up, I can also be over cooking. I can play with my kids more. I can hug my dad.


CUOMO: That wheelchair. Kim says that she feels like a new person and for that she's beyond thankful.


MIRAZ: I finally get to look into somebody's eyes and be like, oh, my God, this is awesome. I feel like a women again.


CUOMO: Taking care of the troops once they get back home. Everybody says they support the troops, but do they deliver? That V.A. did.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, that's a life-changer.

All right, on a much lighter note, fashionistas unite. The first lady and the queen of Jordan visited Washington's first and only public charter school for girls. CNN's Jeanne Moos takes us inside the "Vouge" visit.

CUOMO: That's good.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You'd be overexcited, too, fidgeting, fixing your hair, bopping up and down if you were about to present flowers to a first lady and a queen.

It was the Melania and Rania show. The first lady and the queen of Jordan visiting an all-girls public charter school. They stopped by art class and science class. Kids dissected owl pellets, aka owl poop.

The former model and the queen, who made it into "Vanity Fair's" best dressed list hall of fame made an eye-catching pair, posing with their husbands, strolling the White House colonnade, sitting in front row seats for the joint press conference with the king of Jordan perched on a box for added height.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're both leaders on that, believe me. Believe me. And believe me.

MOOS: Believe me, these two even dress alike once in a while.

We've had brangelina. We've had bennifer.

MOOS (on camera): So when Melania Trump meets Queen Rania, why not melrania?

MOOS (voice-over): The queen has been in the public eye for almost two decades.

RANIA, QUEEN OF JORDAN: People are very mesmerized by the whole queen thing.

MOOS: But she told Oprah how terrifying it was at first.

RANIA: They look at me and they're listening to me, I'm like, are these people for real? They're taking me seriously? I'm only a kid. But, you know, you kind of grow into the role.

MOOS: Good advice for Melania, who's been taking her licks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House released First Lady Melania Trump's official portrait today, but since she is never at the White House, they had to get a little creative.

MOOS: The former model and the monarch seemed comfortable. The first lady even teased the queen --

MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY: You got very tall.

RANIA: No, I think it's my chair.

MOOS: Queen Rania opted to lower her thrown. But when you're busy looking at owl pellets through safety googles, even royalty doesn't leave you googly-eyed.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) [09:00:02] CAMEROTA: I know you feel more glamourous as do I right now.

CUOMO: Yes, I do.

CAMEROTA: Time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Prince and Princess, Alisyn and Christopher, thank you so very much.

We have a lot of news