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Neil Gorsuch to be Sworn in Today; New York State Free Tuition; Hacker Sets of Emergency Sirens; Trump Syria Strategy. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 10, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:31:30] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

Number one, President Trump contemplating his next move in Syria. Top U.S. officials sending some conflicting signals about pursuing the removal of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. moving a Navy strike group toward the Korean peninsula amid escalating tensions with North Korea. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster calls their nuclear provocations unacceptable.

CAMEROTA: Forty-nine people killed in the Palm Sunday bombings at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt. ISIS claiming responsibility for the bombings and warning of more attacks.

CUOMO: Tight security in churches across Wisconsin. Police looking for 32-year-old Joseph Jakubowski, believed to be armed and dangerous. Investigators say he's the author of a manifesto that he sent to the president containing anti-religion sentiment.

CAMEROTA: A big night for Cubs nation. The World Series championships will raise their championship banner in their home opener tonight at Wrigley Field. The Cubs ended a 108-year drought beating the Indians in seven games back in the fall.

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

CAMEROTA: OK, meanwhile, Judge Neil Gorsuch is just minutes away from becoming a Supreme Court justice, making the high court whole again. The first of two swearing in ceremonies today.

CNN's Ariane de Vogue is live at the Supreme Court with more.

Good morning.


Well, it's been more than a year since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. And today Neil Gorsuch, he'll take two oaths. First he'll take the constitutional oath behind me at the Supreme Court. It will be behind closed doors and it's Chief Justice John Roberts who will administer it. Gorsuch's family will be there, and the justices and their spouses are invited to attend, and that will include Maureen Scalia.

And then they'll move down the street to the White House to take the judicial oath. That's really for judges and justices. But Gorsuch has invited Anthony Kennedy to administer that oath, and that's because Gorsuch is a former clerk of Kennedy's. So we have sort of a new precedent. It's the first time a former clerk will sit at the same time as his boss.

And then no rest for the weary. Next weekend, the end of this week, Gorsuch will start working, meeting his colleagues, and getting to work.

CUOMO: All right, thank you very much. Going to be a big day. The 101st justice is going to be installed.

All right, time for "CNN Money Now." New York is going to become the first state in the country to offer free college tuition to middle class students. Chief business correspondent Christine Romans in the Money Center.

Big deal, yes or no?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is a big deal. I mean this is potentially hundreds of thousands of kids. It's free tuition for middle class students. It covers full-time students at state schools and city universities New York locations. It's for families, the first year at least, making up to $100,000 a year. It covers tuition, which ranges from about $3,000 to $6,000 a year, depending on which New York school we're talking about.

Now, the plan does not include the cost of room and board. Really important to note, that is often more expensive than tuition, and that's one of the main criticism from those opposing the bill.

Now, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the idea back in January with Senator Bernie Sanders by his side, as you can see there, and state lawmakers built it into this year's budget, which was passed last Sunday night. Taxpayers will foot the bill, which costs about $163 million in the first year. While New York is the first to offer free tuition, other states you're not far behind you guys. Lawmakers in Rhode Island are considering a similar bill. Tennessee, Oregon, and the city of San Francisco have recently made tuition free at community colleges.


[08:35:05] CAMEROTA: That will be music to the ears of so many parents. Christine, thank you very much.

So it was this very frightening sound, and some Dallas residents still can't shake it. OK, imagine that going off in your town for almost two hours. This was triggered by an apparent hack. What does it mean about the emergency system? Was this a prank? Was this something far more sinister? We talk to the experts, next.


CAMEROTA: OK, that was the sound blaring through Dallas on Friday night. Every single one of Dallas's 156 emergency sirens went off. Authorities are trying to find out who was behind this.

Joining us now is Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst and author of "Security Mom," and CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA counterterrorism official, Philip Mudd.

Juliette, can you imagine - I mean can you imagine for 90 minutes that sound blaring in your hometown? People there thought - I mean that is the emergency system that alerts people to either severe weather, say like a tornado coming, or even a bombing or like a missile strike. People didn't know what to make of what was happening. So how did this happen?

[08:40:20] JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, no, they - it is absolutely scary. And here's the bigger issue is you worry a little bit that people will start to ignore sirens, which do come in handy, in particular, during climate events.

It looks like this was a - not sophisticated, but what would be called a direct hack. Someone clearly wanted to get into the system. My mind immediately goes to an insider threat. So they're probably looking at - did people - did someone get recently fired who had access to the codes? And are they now putting into position sort of cyber protection that do not create, in our world we call a single point of failure. In other words, you want to have redundancies in the system, a notification system, to ensure that this doesn't happen again.

It's not good it happened. We have vulnerable infrastructure. But we've got to learn like this because every city is going to be facing stuff like this.

CAMEROTA: So, go ahead, Phil.

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: No, just echoing on what Juliette says, I think there's a couple pieces of this and what she's talking about is awareness. The first piece is, when Americans talk about infrastructure, they think bridges, roads, dams. I think in the next year, as the Congress considers whether they - we should have an infrastructure build, one of the basic questions is going to be antiquated cyber protection, not just in the local instance of Dallas, but in my world of national security, you've got to know that countries, North Korea, Iran, et cetera, are looking at cyber vulnerabilities in the United States and saying, in the event of war, cyber will become an instrument of war. We've got to be aware of this.

CAMEROTA: So what we've heard from authorities so far in terms of how this happened is, they think that it was local, Juliette, to your point, not sort of - you know, this wasn't the Russians. This was something local happening. But do you, Juliette, see this as some sort of like high school prank or is there something more sinister at work, like this might have been a dry run? KAYYEM: It could have been a dry run. I was pretty surprised how

quickly the city came out and said we think it's local. That made me think, being - you know, knowing about how these investigations unfold, that they have some clue that it was an insider threat. If you also look at the tick-tock over that night, it seemed that they did have problems turning the entire system off, which suggests that someone was quite sophisticated in knowing the system.

And so the challenge now going forward, and just picking up on Phil's point, I was at the Department of Homeland Security. We give a lot of money to local and state jurisdictions for protection. And often you'll have the cops, and the firefighters, and the emergency managers at the table grabbing that money, and you won't have any of the cyber protection people. They're still sort of sidelined. It's still viewed as technical. But the intersection of cyber and critical infrastructure is direct, and so we need to invest more in how we protect these critical infrastructure facilities.

CAMEROTA: But, Phil, how should we see this? Is - was this an isolated incident for Dallas or does this suggest something bigger about the vulnerability of our power grid?

MUDD: I think what we'll find out in Dallas is that it's isolated. But you have to step back and look at the rapid expansion and attacks on cyber infrastructure in the United States. There was an attack by Iranians, for example, on a dam in 2013. And consider this as a wakeup call.

I mentioned the national security piece in terms of investment in cyber security. There's another piece that won't come as a surprise to you. And that is, as a former government official for 25 years, it's very difficult for the government to find people from Silicon Valley who want to work these problems. You can't pay the money. And when people join government, they find it's not very agile in developing cyber programs to attack this. So in addition to spending money, you're going to have to figure out a way to get some balance between Silicon Valley and Washington to bring a 25-year-old from Stanford into government.

CAMEROTA: Because, you know, Juliette, when we interview security experts, this is what keeps them up at night. This idea of the power grid somehow being vulnerable because then you just - I mean everything from traffic cameras to, you know, emergency systems to - I mean, I could go on and on and it would send a shiver down all of our spines. So what do you think is the answer here?

KAYYEM: So the answer has got to be to build systems that have both redundancies and that avoid a single point of failure. It's not wonky words. It's actually relatively easy to do. You ensure that a system, let's say an electrical grid, cannot be hacked by simple, like, sort of one simple hit. This is simplistic, I know, but I just want to make it clear to your viewers. You want to put up different defenses through the system so that one system administrator leaving work angry can't get into the system and break it down, let alone another country.

CAMEROTA: OK. Juliette, Phil, thank you very much.


[08:45:00] CUOMO: All right, big question, is there a White House strategy on Syria? Big part of "The Bottom Line, next.


CUOMO: The White House sending mixed messages about its top priority in Syria, or any priorities, after the missile strikes last week. So what's going on here? How do we play to advantage? What's the White House's real goal?

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN's senior political analyst and senior editor of "The Atlantic," Ron Brownstein.


CUOMO: Ron, you love the numbers.


CUOMO: And don't the most recent poll numbers justify what happened last week? He got over 50 percent of the American people saying they liked it. You have his approval, President Trump, popping into the low 40s, even amid - with independents getting caught up in that.


CUOMO: So it was a win. Forget strategy.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I think the polling actually reflects kind of what we have and don't have out of this. I mean we have clarity. We have more clarity about one point, that the Trump administration will act militarily to uphold in effect the civilizational red line against the use of chemical weapons. And that's a good thing. And the public responded by indicating that they supported this particular strike.

[08:50:06] What we don't have is a lot more clarity about their larger term objective in Syria. I mean their clearer inclination, as you know, Chris, during the campaign, the president said at points that he was willing to work with Assad and Russia to focus on ISIS. I think after this it's pretty clear that that idea of working with Assad is out the window, but the idea of focusing first on ISIS and then kind of leaving the question of Assad's future to later is what they hope to do.

Now, whether that's a viable strategy, as Marco Rubio argued yesterday it's not, is another question. But I think that is their inclination. There's just a lot of mixed messages about how exactly you get there.

CAMEROTA: But, Ron, hasn't it become clear, now that the dust has cleared and it's now Monday as opposed to Thursday night, isn't it clear that what they set out to do on Thursday with the bombing of that airfield, was it mission accomplished?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Right. I agree.

CAMEROTA: They sent a message about chemical weapons and that's it. There actually is no greater strategy than that because for all the reasons everybody's articulated -


CAMEROTA: It's very tough, it's too hard. So, chemical weapons is the line.


CAMEROTA: And beyond that, what are we looking for?

BROWNSTEIN: Right. No, I agree. No, I think - I agree. I think that the - the clarity was sending that clear message that they would respond when Assad crosses that red line in effect and uses chemical weapons. But the question - I mean even if their inclination is, Alisyn, is to focus on ISIS and essentially sublimate the question of what Assad's future is, which was the clear indication they were sending in the comments from Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley right before this happens, exactly how you do that is another issue. And, you know, you did get - you continue to get mixed messages on the question of whether, in fact, their ultimate goal is his removal. Certainly I think they have reaffirmed, as you said, that they are not here to remove him by force. That there is no next shoe dropping or broader campaign coming in that way.

But the extent to which you can kind of put aside that question, how much you can work with the regime, how much you can work with Russia against ISIS, I think all of that is much murkier after this attack.

CUOMO: Bottom line, Tillerson going to Russia, big deal or will it ultimately be a PR non-event?

BROWNSTEIN: I think it's - I think it's somewhere in the middle. I think it becomes clearer and clearer as the confrontations arise and the conflicts accumulate that it is very difficult for President Trump, even at the apex of the U.S. government, to execute what he talked about in the campaign, the - kind of the thaw with Russia. There are just too many areas of conflict and too many areas in which their behavior directly collides with our interests.

CAMEROTA: So what is Tillerson tapped with tomorrow? What - what are we hoping for out of this meeting?

BROWNSTEIN: I - I - you know, I think - I think we don't entirely know because I mean I think his tone and certainly Nikki Haley's tone at the U.N. has been very different than the president's himself. In many ways, the president has been an isolated voice in his own administration and kind of the vision of what is possible to achieve with Putin.

And I would say that, you know, when he talked during the campaign about a - you know, his own version of a reset with Russia, very top of the list of what he was hoping to get out of that was greater cooperation against ISIS in Syria, which is now something that seems, you know, much more difficult to imagine. So exactly why you are pursuing better, you know, kind of a rethink of relations if the principle goal that you were hoping to achieve out of it is now kind of in rubble, literally, you know, it's just unclear where that goes. I think it's going to be a relatively chilly meeting.

CAMEROTA: Ron Brownstein, thank you for "The Bottom Line." Nice to talk to you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

CUOMO: It's Monday. "Good Stuff," what do you say?

CAMEROTA: Let's do that.

CUOMO: Done. Next.


[08:57:23] CUOMO: All right, time for "The Good Stuff." Talk about one slam dunk of a birthday surprise. There's Jovan (ph) walking down the hall. All the students wishing him a happy tenth birthday. But this is where things get even more exciting.


SINGING: Happy birthday to you.


CUOMO: Harlem Globetrotters sipping Jovan "Happy Birthday." The young boy suffers from chronic seizures. He's overcome with joy. So what made this so special? His brother. He made it happen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This my brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very important because I know he had two brain surgeries like it has been pretty rough for us but, you know, we got through it. So I'm just glad he had (INAUDIBLE).


CUOMO: Nothing like the love of a brother on full display there.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. That's wonderful. Can you have the Harlem Globetrotters come to my birthday?

CUOMO: I can.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let's make that happen.

Meanwhile, if you missed "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, we have the highlights in late night laughs for you.


ALEC BALDWIN, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": I just had an amazing week, folks. I met with leaders from China, Egypt and Jordan. Gorsuch was confirmed. The media is saying nice things and no one is talking about Russia. Well, what a difference just 59 tomahawk missiles can make.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": I recently got laid off from a coal mining plant.

BALDWIN: I'm going to do everything I can to make sure you people work in coal for the rest of your lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All we want are good jobs. They don't have to be in coal.

BALDWIN: Sorry, hombre, it's all coal. In Trump's America, men work in two places, coal mines or Goldman Sacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to get rid of my health care? Like all of it?

BALDWIN: All of it, gone. After we're done, you'll never have to drive to see a doctor again. How's that sound?

You people stand by me no matter what. It's like you found a finger in your chili. But you still eat the chili because you told everyone how much you loved chili. It's tremendous.

I actually see a lot of myself in you, Bill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you for coming to my defense last week, even though no one asked you to. All right, you even went as far as saying, quote, "Bill O'Reilly did nothing wrong."

BALDWIN: That's correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's based upon?

BALDWIN: Hunch. Just a loose hunch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you're not familiar with the facts of the case?

BALDWIN: I mean I'm more familiar with this case than I am with, say, health care, but I didn't really look into it much, no. I was too busy being super presidential by bombing a bunch of (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


CAMEROTA: Oh, my God. I wish we had more time.

CUOMO: It was funny, but that skit with Bill O'Reilly was controversial. It was a really broad range of discussion. You should go online and check it out.

[09:00:05] CAMEROTA: OK, time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow. Good morning.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Do you know how many hours I was asleep before "Saturday Night Live" even went on?