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Global Markets Mixed after Syria Strikes; Jobs Report Released; Trump Launches Strike against Syria; U.S. Strikes Syria after Chemical Attack. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET
Aired April 7, 2017 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:33:14] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Global markets are closely watching the U.S. strikes in Syria and the new jobs report is just out. Chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us now at the Money Center with more.
How are - is the market responding?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's first look at what I think is a predictable reaction to what happened overnight. When you look at oil, oil jumped. At one point oil was up 2 percent in the very moment after the 59 tomahawk missiles were launched. Up 2 percent. That is not a surprise because people rushing to the safety of commodities, like oil, and also any kind of inking of geopolitical risk in that region always drives people into oil. Gold also up about 1 percent here. You saw a drive into gold on worries - worries about instability in the region. And you also saw people rushing into the safety of government bonds, U.S. government bonds. That pushes yields lower.
When I look at stocks, I don't see a big reaction or a big expectation yet in the stock market. This is all something that's happening in the bigger markets of the dollar and bonds and in gold. So I don't look for a big move there.
Now, also not moving things here, when you look at jobs. We just got the jobs report. This is the other big headline of the morning. Only 98,000 net new jobs created in March. That is a disappointment. And when I dig into these numbers, what we see are losses in retail jobs. We've been telling you about how the Amazons and the Walmart online of the world have really been eating up so much of the business of the traditional brick and mortar retailers. They are having a lot of layoffs, especially department stores. But you saw professional business services do better and you also saw mining jobs add.
Quickly, here is the unemployment rate It fell 4.5 percent.
So those are the two big stories here today, we had a jobs report, we also have the predictable market reaction to instability in the Middle East, you guys.
[08:35:03] CAMEROTA: All right, Christine, thank you so much for keeping an eye on all that.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's discuss the state of play of all that's going on right now. We've got Republican senator Cory Gardner of Colorado. He is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator, good to have you, as always.
SEN. CORY GARDNER (R), COLORADO: Thanks for having me.
CUOMO: Foreign relations very much in focus this morning. What is your take on the missile strike by the United States in Syria?
GARDNER: I think this was an appropriate response to the treacherous acts of the Assad regime. It - the chemical acts have to be dealt with by a global coalition. And that's what I think, and I hope, we will begin to see is the formulation of a well thought out plan as we're going to address the future of the Assad regime and peace for Syria and the protection of the Syrian people.
CUOMO: Senator, did you know that this was coming?
GARDNER: No, but I understand that there was the appropriate consultation with members of Congress. I'm looking forward to more in terms of classified information and a plan coming forward from the administration. This isn't something that the administration should continue unilaterally. This is something that we should hear from a global coalition. As they put forward a plan, we should lead. I think in this prove (ph) of the era of leading from behind, the - it appears to be over. But I hope we can see this emergence of a plan to put an end to the Assad regime to protect the people of Syria.
CUOMO: I hear you. I just want to talk about - I don't know if you were watching us with Senator Tim Kaine, but this is part of a pattern, right? And I do not think President Trump deserves any blame for taking this action, by the way, because Congress has traditionally now seed authority to presidents as somewhat of a practical abdication of your congressional duty to declare war. It is hard to argue that there is legal authority for what the president just did. You said he did the appropriate consultation. What is that in your mind?
GARDNER: Well, I think he did have the appropriate authority for this activity.
CUOMO: How so?
GARDNER: If you look at international law, if you look at the violation of international humanitarian law, if you look at the AUMF - 2001 AUMF, I believe he did have the authority to do this. Now, that's not to say that there shouldn't be consultation, that Congress should just sit back and watch more actions take place, if that's indeed what happens. I do think the administration has an obligation to come to Congress. If there is - if Senator Kaine and John McCain put forward an AUMF that's appropriate, that doesn't put limitations on the ability to actually achieve victory or achieve the end result that we desire to achieve, that's something Congress can look at. But I don't think there's a doubt about the authority the president used.
CUOMO: Well, let's discuss that because the 2001 AUMF is about terrorism. I don't know how you extend it to Assad. And in terms of international, legal authority, what -
GARDNER: Well, it would be that Syria - Syria is a state sponsor of terror.
CUOMO: Right, but if you look at the language - I mean that's your designation but - and I'm not questioning it. But I'm saying, if you look at the language of the AUMF, it has about specific threat to the homeland. That's what it was about and it became an extended justification of allowing presidents to go abroad supposedly in furtherance of national interests that have been encroaching over time past traditional constitutional limits. And internationally, what legal authority is there for allowing the United States to unilaterally enforce international law without U.N. approval?
GARDNER: Well, again, the United Nations - the United States is a part of the United Nations, the Security Council.
GARDNER: And the United Nations -
CUOMO: They didn't vote on this.
GARDNER: There's a number of resolutions, a number of conditions that the - that are in place - international law -
CUOMO: None that - none that would allow this action in Syria, and they wouldn't vote about it yesterday.
GARDNER: Yes. Well, Chris, I think you have to admit, even you would agree that this was a violation of international humanitarian law. Do you doubt that?
CUOMO: I think that you have the question of what it is and then you have the question of what you're allowed to do about it. I think you could very easily have international legal authority if the U.N. Security Council had voted. And I get that's politically dubious because you have Russia having a seat on the Security Council. But I don't think - it's easy to say that this is a humanitarian atrocity. You'd have to have no eyes and no heart to come to a separate conclusion. But who is allowed to do what matters -
CUOMO: Because over time you establish a line about what's OK. And right now I think it's unclear what a president of the United States is not allowed to do when it comes to military action. Can you answer that?
GARDNER: Well, if you look at the 2001 AUMF, it has the authority to address ISIS. Obviously the actions in Syria very much at the heart of our fight to eliminate and destroy ISIS. If you look at international humanitarian law that was clearly violated, whether it's United Nations efforts or other agreements around the globe, they clearly violated and crossed the line into the violation of international law.
We saw an appropriate, targeted, proportional response to an air base. We've seen the United Kingdom, we've seen France, we've seen Germany, we've seen nations in the Middle East express their approval for the strike last night. But this is one action.
Now, the next action has to be a well thought out plan that leads to our national security interest in the Middle East. And that is an end to the Assad regime. I believe we can put forward a plan with our global partners, our global coalition, to see that happen. We have to have peace for the people in Syria. That means a safe zone. A way for them to protect themselves from the treacherous acts of the Assad regime and that we have to make sure that we are bringing the fight to ISIS and that we destroy ISIS and the terrorists who threaten - and they very much threaten out of Syria our way of life. Our allies, whether it's increasing migrant flows around the world, the number of displaced persons that's reached its highest levels since World War II are very much a threat to the United States and our allies. That is in our interest.
[08:40:28] Now, we can't just sit idly by and sit and expect the White House to continue these actions without consultation. And I don't believe that's what the White House intends to do.
CUOMO: Well, it will be interesting because, again, the White House is only one part of the equation. If they come and present a plan, it will be interesting to see if Congress owns it, debates it, authorized a new AUMF or even decides to declare war because all of those are within your constitutional authority, not the executives.
What you said about refugees, do you think that the president's change of heart, that his sympathies for the long-standing humanitarian atrocities that are the reality in Syria should be necessarily extended to those refugees where the president and many members of your party have been very closed off to the possibility of having them in the United States? If you care about them there, should you care about the refugees as well?
GARDNER: Well, look, I don't speak for the White House. You'd have to ask them.
But what I can say that I think we've seen over the past couple of days is a realization by the president that the United States cannot lead from behind. That this day of leadership for the United States to bring a coalition of partner nations together to respond to the senseless, incredibly depraved act of using chemical weapons against its own people, that it has to stop. And so I think whether it's a refugee question for the White House or whether it's just the action that we're going to take against the Assad regime, it's important that we have that, that we hear that, we have that conversation.
You're right, Chris, we have seeded far too much authority. The executive - the legislative branch has seeded far too much authority to the legislative branch on any number of issues, from regulatory issue to military issues. And I do think that it's time for Congress to step up into this fight. But I don't question the ability or the resolve of this president when it comes to this proportional strike.
CUOMO: Senator Gardner, appreciate you being on the show to make the case, as always.
GARDNER: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right, be well.
CAMEROTA: Chris, we'll have much more of our breaking news coverage on the U.S. missile strike in Syria when NEW DAY returns.
[08:45:01] CAMEROTA: We do have breaking news. The U.S. hit Syria's - a Syrian air base with tomahawk missiles just about 12 hours ago. If you're just waking up, obviously this is a big departure from where President Trump and his secretary of state have been in terms of Russia and Bashar al Assad just this week. Can the president now convince Congress to authorize military force if he wants to do any more and how will this crisis shape the Trump presidency and the world?
We have an all-star panel here to discuss all of that. We have CNN chief international correspondent Christine Amanpour, editor at large for CNN Politics Chris Cillizza, and CNN military analysts John Kirby, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona.
Thank you all for being here.
Colonel Francona, let me start with you.
Militarily speaking, how do you see what's happened in the past 12 hours?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, was a limited strike. It was very concentrated, putting almost 60 tomahawks into a - what's a relatively small air base. I will send a strong message. I particularly like the choice of target. There are several air bases we could have struck. The president wanted to go after the one that was responsible for this chemical weapons strike. That's good.
But it has a second benefit. This is on the main highway between Damascus and Homs. It's very visible. It sends a real message, not only will the Syrian government know they've been struck, but a lot of the Syrian people will know they've been struck. And for some of them that will be a very good sign that the United States is finally taking action to rectify some of the wrongs of the Bashar al Assad regime.
CUOMO: So, Cillizza, where is your head on what happens next, assuming the president does go to Congress and say, look, I did what I thought was right. I think we need to do more. That's what the military experts are telling me. Now it's on you. What do you think Congress does with this?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Well, if past is prologue, they won't do much. But I'm not sure past is prologue. I mean, remember, Barack Obama goes in 2013 and tries to get authorization and they - never even brings it to a vote because he knows he can't win.
Let's see. I think if he does it relatively quickly with a plan - you've had a lot of people on this morning saying, this is a good first step, but what's the end game? Where does it end? I don't think he can just say, hey, I think we should do more of this. I think it has to be toward an end.
Obviously Republicans are in the majority in the Senate and the House, so that will help him with his numbers. But there is still - this is not an easy issue, right? There is a reason that there is smart people on both sides of it. So I think you're going to see an active debate if he goes to Congress. If health care is any indication, which you never know, but the - members go their own way on these things. The idea that they're just going to do whatever President Trump says or do, frankly, what any president says is not true. So this will be a real debate if he tries to go that route.
And, again, I think what we're seeing is, this was a limited, targeted strike. Does it go beyond this? What's the plan if it goes beyond this? How much is Trump willing to share with members of Congress? I think that determines its chances of success if he does go to Congress for authorization.
CAMEROTA: Christiane, internationally speaking, what's been the world's response to what happened 12 hours ago?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, geo- strategically (ph), it is being really digested around the world, as you can imagine. I think, first and foremost, you talk about Russia and Chinese response because those are the main obstructers to most of the western allies attempt to stop this war. The Russians have been strong and they've been angry, as you can imagine. But, crucially, the foreign minister has said that he doesn't think this will deal an irreversible blow to U.S./Russia relations. And as you know, Secretary of State Tillerson is due in Moscow next week and they expect that trip to continue.
China, which has also blocked a U.N. Security Council resolutions on condemning chemical weapons attacks many times has also said we are against, you know, any use of chemical weapons. We don't agree with, you know, intervention. But that's what it is. And actually it's crucial because it happened at a time when China's president is meeting with President Trump and they have North Korea to deal with going forward.
And the rest of the allies believe that this was the right thing to do. That finally the United States enforced the intolerable nature of the illegal use of weapons of mass destruction. And finally the red line on this issue was enforced. But nobody really believes that it's the beginning of a mass invasion or forcible removal of Assad from power. Still very much focused on ISIS.
CUOMO: John Kirby, how do you see this effecting U.S./Russia relations? There's been a lot of back and forth in just the last 24 hours before, during and after the actual strike. What do you think the difference is?
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Well, I think it's certainly not going to do anything to warm or improve relations with Russia on a bilateral basis certainly with respect to Syria, but I would suspect on other issues as well. Their statement is terse, it's angry, it's predictable. I think - so whatever honeymoon there may have been between the Trump administration and Putin is pretty well over with this strike.
[08:50:13] I do want to go back to something that Chris was talking about and the authorization to use military force. I'm not so sure that President Trump will go to Congress and ask for something new or something different. I mean when you listened to the statements last night, particularly from Secretary Tillerson, it was pretty clear that they view this as a one off, that they have no intention of doing something like this again.
CUOMO: Right, but there's no such thing as a legal one off. That's the problem, right? You don't get a freebee. You know, you have to have lawful authority for an act of any type of military intervention.
KIRBY: No question.
CUOMO: I don't know where that authority exists right now.
KIRBY: No question. I don't disagree with you at all on that, Chris, and I - and I - and agree that the AUMF doesn't cover this and that there should be a discussion with Congress. I totally agree with that.
I just don't know that's their intent. I think there's a - the sense I got last night was that they believe this was targeted, it was limited, it was discreet in terms of retaliating for a specific attack by the Assad regime. I don't know that they have an intention to necessarily have a long-term strategy.
I personally think that that's a mistake because I think now, whether they like it or not, they have kind of put their thumb on the scale in a civil war. We have not to date, until last night, taken the strike against the Assad regime. That's now changed. And it does introduce some unpredictable outcomes going forward. So I would hope they're thinking about potential repercussions forward and going to Congress and trying to develop a strategy in case they have to do military action again. I'm just not so sure that that's where their head space is right now.
CAMEROTA: We want to bring in now Fareed Zakaria. We are lucky to be joined by him, host of "Fareed Zakaria GPS."
Fareed, it's day 78 of the Trump presidency. What changed last night?
FAREED ZAKARIA, ANCHOR, CNN'S "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": I think Donald Trump became president of the United States. I think this was actually a big moment because candidate Trump had said that he would never get involved in the Syrian civil war. He told President Obama, you cannot do this without the authorization of Congress. He seemed unconcerned with global norms.
President Trump recognized that the president of the United States does have to act to enforce international laws, does have to have this broader moral and political purpose. President Trump realized, as every president has for many decades now, that presidents always believe they have inherent legal authority as commander in chief and they don't need to go to a pesky Congress every time they want military force. It's entirely true that candidate Trump felt differently. Candidate Obama felt differently than President Obama on these issues.
So I think that what is interesting is even the way in which he justified his actions, President Trump did, for the first time really as president he talked about international norms, international rules about America's role in enforcing justice in the world. It was the kind of rhetoric that we have come to expect from American presidents since Harry Truman, but it was the kind of rhetoric that President Trump had pointedly never used, either on the campaign trail, nor in his inaugural. So I think there has been an interesting morphing and a kind of education of Donald Trump.
CUOMO: Hey, Christiane, you know, look, the legal argument here about authority or not, it should be going on in our Congress. We'll see. They've ducked it to this point. But you have these ideas of moral agency and international expectations and how this motivates further action by allies. What are you hearing and thinking about in terms of that? What this missile strike, while tailored and discrete, might mean as a reverberation to all our allies.
AMANPOUR: Well, look, I think many of us who had been hoping that actually President Obama would enforce his red line, and there are many who didn't agree with that, we believed, and many people around the world believe based on what we've seen and military offenses that have been going on before, that this had to happen because otherwise it would continue. And, in fact, everybody was proved right. Everybody who said that that was a missed opportunity in 2013 were proved absolutely right. President Assad continued to use chemical weapons. Not always sarin, but chemical - chemicals like chlorine and others. Scores and scores and hundreds of people have been killed in the last four years in Syria by the use of chemical weapons. And now you have this mega use this past week of a nerve agent along apparently with some chlorine as well.
So it was absolutely vital, in fact, for the international community to put down its red line because this is not just an American line. This is a line under the Geneva Conventions and under international law that you cannot, in fact, use weapons of mass destruction with impunity. So if this strike by President Trump actually does deter, as the British defense secretary has said, as the Germans today, the Japanese, Israel, many, many governments have come out to support this, based on the very fact that the use of these illegal weapons under international law is forbidden, as we all know, and is not just happening in a vacuum.
[08:55:08] North Korea is presenting a very massive and growing threat and they're even a bigger threat because they have a potential nuclear weapon capability on the horizon that one day they believe will be able to target the United States. President Trump, President Xi are sitting right there. They're the two leaders with the biggest influence and that must be, you know, sort of the atmosphere for their talks today in Mar-a-Lago.
CAMEROTA: Go ahead, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Well, I think Christiane is exactly right. The North Korean problem is much more serious and one wonders how this reverberates. North Korea, of course, has actual nuclear weapons, is build - is developing intercontinental ballistic missiles. The hope is that they can put those nuclear bombs on there.
CAMEROTA: So are they paying attention today to the U.S. reaction to Syria?
ZAKARIA: Well, one would imagine they are paying attention to it. But I think part of what they will - they will also pay attention to is whether there is follow through. This is - the real dilemma that the Trump administration faces is, as a one off, this has been tactically very well thought through. The president's advisors provided a very discreet, manageable target, one which actually does very few civilian casualties, very little spill over. But by that same logic, it has - it will do almost nothing to alter the balance of power in Syria.
CUOMO: Except that it shows a statement of intentions on a political level, that if you want to see it this way, you could, which is -
ZAKARIA: Well, it shows them that -
CUOMO: Obama didn't take an action - no, you can argue all day why he didn't. But now something has been done so North Korea, China, Russia and others all see there's a chance the U.S. will do more than talk. Is that a good thing?
ZAKARIA: No, and that - that is a good thing, but it is the norm. The statement is about the use of chemical weapons. My point is the statement is not about getting rid of Assad because this doesn't really do much to change that and Assad will continue and will continue, frankly, to kill women and children, probably using barrel bombs and artillery shells rather than chemical weapons.
So the question becomes, do we now get more involved in the Syrian civil war? Because we have, as John Kirby said, we've put our thumb on the scale.
ZAKARIA: If you put your thumb on the scale as the United States of America, do you have to follow through? Do we need to win in the sense of making sure that the Assad regime is in some way toppled, ousted, ushered out? And if not, will we look six months from now, a year from now, will we look weaker and more impotent because this was - this was President Obama's great worry, that if you put your thumb on the scale and you don't win, what does that look like?
CAMEROTA: Colonel Francona, you are the perfect person to ask. You understand military strategy. What does happen next in terms of what Syria does, what the U.S. does, what Russia does?
FRANCONA: Well, right now the ball is actually in President Assad's court. We'll see what he does. But I think that we are - we are at a crossroads right now because, as the admiral said, this is the first time we've actually gone against the Syrian regime. Everything we've done in Syria up until now has been toward the defeat of ISIS. Are we now going to go back to the policy of demanding the removal of Bashar al Assad and the defeat of ISIS? That goes back to the Obama policy. Is that what we're going to do? If so, that represents a real shift in what this president said during the campaign and his first few days in office. And that will really dilute our military effort.
We tried to focus everything on ISIS. I think it's very important that we continue to do that. These one-off attacks, if that's what they're going to call it, I think are important, but I think we should focus on the real mission, and that's going after ISIS.
CUOMO: Chis Cillizza, a quick -
KIRBY: I think we also need to be mindful that -
CUOMO: Go ahead, John.
KIRBY: That - I'm sorry to interrupt, but I just want to follow up on Rick, because he's exactly right. I think we need to also be mindful of the expectations of others now as a result of this strike. For instance, you saw Turkey last night say - applaud this and then say, now is the time to start setting up no fly zones, which they've been arguing now for probably two years or more that they want. Our Sunni Arab allies, who have been desirous of getting more aggressive in terms of arming and equipping and supporting opposition groups on the ground may now feel like embolden to pursue those - those efforts a little bit more aggressively. And the opposition groups themselves, who have been frustrated by a U.S. reluctance to get involved in the civil war, may now see this as an opening to try to solicit more of that support. So I think there's expectation management here going forward that we all have to watch.
CAMEROTA: Panel, thank you very much for all of your expertise, your service. We appreciate you giving so much context on this very important morning.
CUOMO: All right, CNN's breaking coverage is going to continue right now on the "Newsroom." Stay with CNN.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.
[09:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Poppy Harlow. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world.
And we do begin this morning with breaking news. This morning, Russia and Syria firing off at the U.S. after President Trump's decision to unleash a wave of military air strikes against the