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Pence Warns North Korea Not To Test Trump's Resolve; Trump Family Ties; Trump Family Hosts Its First Easter Egg Roll; Massive Manhunt For Murder Suspect. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired April 17, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] REP. SEAN DUFFY (R), WISCONSIN: -- nuclear weapons and its intercontinental potential ballistic missiles. All of those are a risk to our country. And his engagement is keeping America, I think, more safe than sitting back and saying we're going to take what the world brings us as opposed to no, no, we're going to actually engage and make sure I, as a president, keep America safe.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, 88 days in you have to be fair in terms of, you know, the short period of the relative presidency. The outcomes of keeping the promises is what he'll be measured on and that's where he's been light so far but, again, it's early.
One of the things he could do is set a different tone in terms of disclosure -- transparency. He has said he would and ever since the tax pledge it's gone sideways on him. Now you have protests about the taxes. He's saying look at who's paying for those protesters. The issues are real. Not wanting to give out the White House guest log, that's a real transparency issue. Why does President Trump fight these types of measures, Congressman?
DUFFY: Chris, you and I have disagreed on a number of things on your show over the past several months but this is one point that we agree on. I think transparency in government matters. I think President Trump, as I've stated months ago during the campaign, should disclose his tax records. The logs of who comes into the White House, I think that should be public knowledge. Why should we be afraid to disclose that information to the American people?
I think it casts a cloud over what's actually going on in the White House when we want some -- like, we want transparency. And I think the president, whether you paid a little in tax or a lot in tax, I think you're better off just laying out the tax record. I mean, I was -- I was clear whether it was Hillary Clinton's emails or with Donald Trump's taxes, transparency for the American people with the president is key. And listen, I think the president, in this regard, has fallen short.
CUOMO: Well, you certainly know more about Hillary Clinton's emails now than you do about Donald Trump's taxes. And it seems he agrees with you because back in 2012 he tweeted at President Obama, saying, hey, why are you wasting all this money fighting putting out the White House guest records? You should put them out --
DUFFY: Right. CUOMO: -- and he argued about transparency, but we'll see what he does with it. Congressman, thank you for joining us after Easter. Appreciate it. You got a final point you want to make?
DUFFY: Well, no. I was going to say, listen, I think that when you don't disclose those -- the tax records or the White House logs it distracts from the real mission of the economy, or keeping the border safe, or your engagement globally with ISIS in North Korea that keeps Americans safe. And I think these are all issues that matter to the American people but let's talk about that. Let's not talk about why you're hiding tax records or you're hiding those logs. I think -- I think it's a distraction from the real issues that matter to the American people.
CUOMO: Strong words. Congressman Duffy, appreciate you being on NEW DAY, as always.
DUFFY: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: Poppy --
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Chris, thank you. Is the White House truly a family affair? Who has the president's ear and how much influence does the Trump family really have? We're going to debate that next.
[07:36:45] CUOMO: All right. If you look at it since the beginning of when Donald Trump, the citizen, became candidate and now president, first it was Trump is a solo act --
CUOMO: -- nobody can talk to him. He does this own thing. He's very instinctive. Then it was Bannon is the man. Now it is blood is thicker than water so Jared Kushner is the inside track to the president's fate. Who has his ear, if anyone? Joining us now, CNN political commentator and host of CNN's "SMERCONISH", Michael Smerconish. And, the CEO and president of "NEWSMAX", Chris Ruddy.
Chris, you know the president well. You spend time with him. What is your sense of what his universe is in terms of who he looks to most for counsel?
CHRIS RUDDY, CEO & PRESIDENT, NEWSMAX MEDIA INC.: Well, he has a very large universe. I would say he's a feedback junkie. I mean, he's listen -- when I see him -- I saw him this weekend, he'll have 10 questions and ask me things. He's doing that with a lot of friends and associates. He's also using media channels to get information and absorb what people are thinking. It is a myth, Chris, to believe that a family member alone can influence or make a decision for him. He'll take into account what they're saying. They obviously have a lot of influencebecause they're -- just because of proximity. But at the end of the day, Donald Trump always makes the decision, himself. That's been my experience. HARLOW: So, Michael Smerconish, is this much ado about nothing? I mean, "SNL" had the -- you know, the skit this weekend. So many headlines are this is the fall of Bannon, the rise of Kushner, and the rise of Gary Cohn. Listen to Chris, it sounds like none of that's true.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, HOST, CNN "SMERCONISH": Well, I think what's unique to this White House, there are different spheres of influence around him. And to have competing views around the president, there's nothing new about that, but the objectives seem different, right?
I mean, you've got -- you've got the family tier, you've got the Bannon tier, you've also got the Priebus tier, and I don't know that they're all headed in the same direction. I think that the family members are unique in having his best interests at heart without being ideologically tethered. And I don't think that's a bad thing, I think that's potentially a good thing. Bannon seems to have a set of ideological objectives unto himself. Reince Priebus seems to be more of the establishment type. Whether they can all coexist still remains to be seen.
CUOMO: Hey, Chris, you know --
RUDDY: Well, I agree with Michael. I agree with your sentiment completely. I think you're totally on target. I think what we're seeing is the moderate wing represented by Jared Kushner, the son-in- law, is rising and will probably dominate now. And I'm not sure that, you know -- obviously, Steve Bannon is being criticized very heavily and I'm not sure they're going to have as much influence going into the congressional elections if that's true.
CUOMO: What does that mean, though, if that's true? I mean, that's how Trump got to the White House -- that base --
CUOMO: -- that Bannon knew, certainly better than anybody else who's around the president right now. That's why he wound up becoming so essential. How does he hold on to the people who got him there if he loses the man with the actual connection?
RUDDY: Well, the polling data shows the president has held that base pretty strongly. I mean, I'm seeing numbers like 90 percent of his base still supports him. Where I think he's showing a lot of weakness is on the Independents, and I think there's a feeling among people at the White House they have to moderate a little bit and be a little less controversial. But as Michael says, and as you said Chris, you really risk losing the base so I think the president has some wiggle room.
[07:40:10] I think the base is willing to give him a lot more slack than they might give another person in that -- in the Oval Office, but I think we're going to see -- it's all about results. Always remember this. With Donald Trump, it doesn't matter what you're saying or the Twitter or the various controversies that flutter around. It's all about will he bring jobs, will he get things done in Washington, will he clean the place up? If he does some of those things he'll easily win reelection.
HARLOW: It is interesting, Michael, looking, though, at 2020 and this -- what sounds like an admission, at least, what Chris is pointing to, or an acknowledgment by this team -- the Trump team -- that they know they have to win it differently than they did this time around and maybe it isn't with Bannon the man to win in 2020.
Where does Gary Cohn fit in all this because I find him to be a fascinating character, a former president of Goldman Sachs? A guy who, you know, has said in this meetings, according to "The Washington Post" I'm not a Republican, I'm not a Democrat, I just like to get things done. He, like the president, has given money to Republicans and to Democrats. What does the rise of Gary Cohn mean?
SMERCONISH: I think it represents pragmatism on the part of the president. There was so much said, Poppy, and we spent a lot of time on it here at NEW DAY last week about last Wednesday, in particular. Favorable comments about Janet Yellen --
SMERCONISH: -- NATO no longer obsolete, China not a currency manipulator, and people said, oh, look at the flip-flops of the president. It kind of reinforced to me where I thought he always was. I never bought into 2 Corinthians, if you remember that --
SMERCONISH: -- reference during the course of the primary. I always thought he was singing a particular tune to placate a base that he needed. And, frankly, this is the Donald Trump, the compromiser in chief, that I always thought he might be. Now again, it's still early, we're not even at day 100, but I think Gary Cohn is more a reflection of where the president's mind is on issues than even Steve Bannon.
CUOMO: Chris, a quick take. Do you foresee a reality where Bannon is not in the White House?
RUDDY: Oh, it's so hard for me to predict. Really, the president makes that decision but it's very possible he could be a -- anybody -- you know, the president has a very taut threshold with people if they're performing --
CUOMO: But only Bannon can hurt him on the outside.
HARLOW: Yes, if he --
CUOMO: Jared Kushner, I know he's his son-in-law.
RUDDY: Well --
CUOMO: I don't mean to disrespect the young man but he doesn't -- he's not a political player. He's never even been in anything at all, let alone something like this. Bannon, on the outside, is a dangerous man to President Trump.
RUDDY: Well, I would disagree with that. I haven't seen him being a problem for the president. In the past, the president has praised Bannon and --
RUDDY: -- Reince Priebus and Jared, so -- but look, you know, he keeps -- if he thinks that the results are not there, even Jared's going to be being watched. Everybody will have a performance mechanism. And I'm seeing, you know, the jobs issues right now has been number one but if you look at Gary Cohn, I think Gary is an establishment Wall Street guy and the president's going to judge him by his results.
HARLOW: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Nice to have you both. Coming up for us, it is called the Super Bowl of White House social events, at least that's the analogy.
HARLOW: We're talking about the annual Easter Egg Roll. It is today. How will it be different, as you look at these live pictures of the White House as they get ready for their Super Bowl? We're going to take you there live, next.
[07:47:45] CUOMO: A taste of summer for millions in the Northeast. Let's get to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. What do you see, my friend, more or less of the good stuff?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Less of what you had yesterday. Yesterday was an appetizer. Wow, 87 in New York. The high should have been 62, so that's where you were. It's cooler today -- 15 degrees cooler -- we'll go to 72 -- and cooler for the rest of the week. Back in the fifties, I think, for the rest of the week, but that's really kind of where we should be for this time of year.
Now, a couple of things going on today. Obviously, the Easter Egg Roll there at the White House will be a little bit wet, but not wet for the Boston Marathon, and the Boston Marathon, although warmer than normal, should be very, very pleasant. We'll have a high in Boston today somewhere around 70 to 72. Same story for New York. But notice, though, by New York City by Wednesday afternoon a high of only 51. So I hope you enjoyed yesterday in the park or at least maybe, Poppy -- maybe Chris evenwent fishing. I don't know. It was such a nice day yesterday in New York City. It was pretty amazing.
HARLOW: We grilled on our 2x2 balcony because that's as much outdoor space as you get in New York City. Thank you, Chad Myers. We appreciate it.
Well, the president and the first lady hosting their first White House Easter Egg Roll this morning. How's it going to be different than in the past? Our Kate Bennett is live on the south lawn of the White House with more. This is a big debut, especially for the first lady.
KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It really is, Poppy, and the gates just opened here about 15 minutes or so and kids are starting to come in. There's lots to do. The egg roll has already begun. The U.S. Marine Corps band has been playing. It's a lot of anticipation today as this egg roll gets underway. We've heard that the tickets were smaller in number this year. About 21,000 people expected as compared to last year -- it was about 35,000 people.
White House sources, though, tell us that today's focus is more about tradition. The first lady really studied Easter Egg Rolls of the past and there are things like letter-writing stations for the troops, and cake decorating, and egg dying, and sort of more standard form of entertainment here today. There are also a couple of things that reflect the interests of Barron Trump. There's a soccer station with members of D.C. United's team. There's also a Microsoft coding station with Minecraft. So there are a lot of different interests.
[07:50:00] We're expecting to see the president, himself, and the first lady and the rest of the Trump family is supposed to be here today, too, coming out later this morning. So it's an exciting day and a lot of anticipation for the first major event -- social event -- of the Trump administration. Back to you, Chris.
CUOMO: All right, looking forward to it. Give us the highlights when you can. Up next, the manhunt expanding for a suspect accused of murder. This guy posted a video of the killing on Facebook. Help find a murderer, next.
HARLOW: So, this morning, Cleveland police searching for a suspect accused of killing a man and then posting video of the murder on Facebook. The manhunt expanding now to multiple states after authorities pinged the suspect's cell phone in Erie, Pennsylvania. Officers are set to update us on the latest in the investigation in just about an hour, but they say no other incidents are connected to this suspect, at least not right now. Let's discuss with CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander, and CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes. Gentlemen, nice to have you both here.
Tom, let's just talk about this cell phone ping because this murder happened in and around Cleveland. About 100 miles away to the east you've got Erie, Pennsylvania. I mean, you would think that if someone is going to commit a heinous murder like this and post it on Facebook, why take their cell phone that can be tracked?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Good morning, Poppy. Well, you know, we try to analyze these things as rational people and we're dealing with someone who, obviously, is very, very disturbed and may not be thinking rationally along those lines. Now, it doesn't mean he's stupid but it just means that some of these points may not be --
[07:55:15] HARLOW: Yes. FUENTES: -- something he's thinking about. As far as the cell phone, yes, all of us -- as long as your cell phone is on, it's communicating to a cell phone tower or multiple powers and the authorities can use that to triangulate approximate location of where somebody would be -- definitely approximate to Erie, Pennsylvania. And, of course, it gives the authorities a little bit of a dilemma. Yes, they'd like to not let him know that they have an idea where he's at --
FUENTES: -- or the approximate area. On the other hand, he's killing people --
HARLOW: Well --
FUENTES: -- or killed at least one person completely at random. They need to warn the public in Erie, Pennsylvania, be alert.
HARLOW: And remember, you know, he said that he had killed some, you know, 15 other people. That, of course, has not been corroborated by the police. But this is also, Cedric, assuming that he still has his cell phone. That he didn't just throw it in the back of some flatbed truck.
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER DEKALB COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR: Well, assuming that he still has it. My guess is he probably does and that's probably his means of communication. He's able to recharge that phone right inside of his vehicle that he's traveling in. But I think with the technology that is out there, just to what Tom just alluded to, it becomes just a matter of time. But it is really a real urgency that this gentleman is located and brought to justice because his unpredictable behavior in and around his disturbed mind is just beyond belief and he's someone that's got to be taken off the street right away.
HARLOW: So Tom, how will the authorities be using that Facebook post right now in terms of aiding them in this investigation? I mean, frankly, it gives them a lot more evidence than they would typically have in a case like this, this early on.
FUENTES: Well, that's true, but I think they're not worried about the prosecution aspect at this point. They want him --
HARLOW: But in terms of finding him, right? What would they be looking for in the video?
FUENTES: Well, in terms of finding him, I don't know that the Facebook will be as critical, other than who are the other people in communication with him over the last weeks or months --
FUENTES: -- on Facebook. Who are his contacts, colleagues, coworkers, neighbors, all of that. But at this point, the technology is going to really kick in. First, we have these cell phone pings -- and don't forget, when you drive down the street and go through traffic cameras -- if he took the Ohio Turnpike he would have had his license and car read by a number of cameras en route to Erie, Pennsylvania if, in fact, it's him.
If he goes into a convenience grocery store to get a sandwich or something or coffee, they have cameras. So if someone alerts the authorities at one of these locations the police can go in and look at the video cameras and see if it looks like him, and see if they can -- you know, we saw that in the Boston Marathon -- actually on today, Patriot's Day -- where they were able to use the cameras at the gas station where the bombers went to -- at the convenience store where they went to. So all of that technology out there will, in time, be able to help the police really pinpoint him if, as we're assuming -- and it's a big if -- that he still has that phone --
FUENTES: -- and if he still has that car.
HARLOW: And Cedric, the police are calling on him to turn himself in. What compels someone like this to do that?
ALEXANDER: Well, if you mean in terms of the act in which he committed --
HARLOW: To turn themselves in.
ALEXANDER: To turn themselves in? Well, that's going to be yet to be seen. There's nothing at this point to suggest that he's even headed in that direction. He hasn't, as far as we know, has not reached out to any family and friends and suggested he wanted to turn himself in. Now, that could -- it could conclude that way or it could conclude more dramatically.
HARLOW: Gentlemen, thank you both very much. Again, we're going to get an update from the police in just about an hour. We'll bring that to you. We are getting a lot of news this morning coming in. Let's get right to it.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CUOMO: Good morning, welcome to your NEW DAY. Alisyn is off, Poppy Harlow joining me. Thank you, as always.
HARLOW: Good to be here.
CUOMO: And we are following breaking news from the Korean Peninsula. Vice President Mike Pence warning North Korea the era of strategic patience is over. Do not test the president's resolve. Look at Syria and Afghanistan for examples of what could happen.
HARLOW: The vice president making an unannounced visit to the DMZ after the North Korean regime displayed their missiles during a national celebration over the weekend. Military experts now analyzing images of that arsenal. What can be learned about North Korea's capabilities? It is day 88 of the Trump presidency. We have it all covered for you
like only CNN can. Let's begin with Dana Bash who is live in Seoul, South Korea. She has an exclusive interview with the vice president. Dana, what struck you most in speaking with Vice President Pence.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well first, obviously, the location. We were at the DMZ. It was the vice president's first time there.