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VP Pence Speaks To CNN Aboard USS Ronald Reagan; Trump Pushes 'Buy American, Hire American' Policy; WSJ: Fox News Prepared To Cut Ties With Bill O'Reilly. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired April 19, 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] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- launch cruise missiles into Syria to the very airbase that launched that horrific chemical attack against men, women, and little children was the right decision and the American people know it and it's been heralded across the world community. Now, there are some that would like to see a greater American involvement in the Syrian conflict but the president's made it clear. We had a -- we had a response to that horrific attack that was -- that was measured, it was focused, and the president's going to continue to be focused on Syria where he said he would during the campaign, and that is on hunting down and destroying ISIS.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I want to turn -- look back home at some things happenings domestically in the U.S. The president said that the administration is going to have a big win soon on health care. I know that you have been working it, even though you're thousands of miles away, to try to take health care reform -- Obamacare repeal -- over the finish line. How's it going?

PENCE: Well, President Trump made it clear that the first priority of this Congress should be to repeal and replace Obamacare. And while it was clear that a little more than a month ago Congress wasn't quite ready to do it we've never relented in our commitment to keep that promise to the American people. Look, Obamacare has failed. We were told that people could keep their doctor if they wanted to, or told that the cost of health insurance would go down, and we've seen every promise of Obamacare broken and --

BASH: So are you going to keep your promise to repeal?

PENCE: -- the president is determined to complete that promise. And I'm very confident that in the days ahead we're going to see the Congress come together and we're going to take that important first step to repeal and replace Obamacare with the kind of health care reform that President Trump has envisioned.

BASH: So getting the votes is imminent?

PENCE: I think -- we'll see, but I will tell you we -- we're very encouraged at the discussions that are taking place among members of Congress and the president remains personally and directly engaged in these discussions. But make no mistake about it, this administration is in the promise-keeping business and we're going to continue to work with this Congress until we keep the promise of repealing Obamacare and replacing it with the kind of health care system the American people deserve.

BASH: Yesterday was tax day. Are you going to buck the example of your boss and release your own taxes?

PENCE: Well, during the course of the campaign we released our taxes.

BASH: And you'll continue to do that as vice president?

PENCE: As I told you, it was a pretty short read. We're a family of pretty modest income. I expect we'll continue that tradition and the president will make his own decision about how to handle that issue. But the really good news on taxes is that as we move forward in this Congress, President Trump is committed to reducing taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms.

BASH: We are almost at the 100-day mark -- 100 days very soon of the Trump administration. Obviously, you've got some big accomplishments. Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court, rolling back some Obama regulations, but are you frustrated that you haven't been able to do more, like the big promise that you've been making for election after election to repeal Obamacare and others?

PENCE: I couldn't be more proud to be a part of an administration that hit the ground running on day one. And as we approach that 100- day mark, the American people are going to be able to look back and see in the presidency of Donald Trump a determination and to put into practice all the things that he campaigned on.

I mean, rolling back an avalanche of regulations that have been not only waging war on American energy but, really, on American jobs. Keeping his promise to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court in the tradition of the late and great Justice Antonin Scalia. Driving forward to repeal and replace Obamacare. And putting together a team and a cabinet that I think has inspired and given confidence to people around the country and, frankly, around the world. I think at the 100-day marker I think the American people are going to conclude what I've concluded, and that is that President Donald Trump is off to a great start, but the best is yet to come.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right. So, Dana, let us ask you for a second. You've spent a lot of time with the V.P. over the last few days. What do you make not so much of the political but the personal Pence and Trump? How closely do they seem coordinated? What'd you get out of that?

[07:35:00] BASH: Well, obviously, personally, they couldn't be more different and we've known that since day one of their partnership -- their political partnership. And, you know, just spending time with Mike Pence up close and personal, it's really a reminder of how different they are. But they do seem to talk pretty regularly. I mean, some of the

speeches that the vice president gave, he came out and gave the kind of standard fare for a V.P. -- I bring you the greetings of the President of the United States -- but at other times it was -- it was abundantly clear that they had talked. Even he had told us that they talked on the phone before he came out to an event or, of course, as we were on Air Force Two headed to the Korean Peninsula when North Korea launched its failed missile test.

So they do have, I think, a pretty constant communication. I don't know that it's anything like Obama and Biden. That was probably the closest in modern history, but closer than you would think given how different the two men clearly are.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Dana, great reporting. Thanks so much for sharing your sit-down with us. Really interesting.

BASH: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: So, President Trump is pushing a 'Buy American, Hire American' pledge but will his executive order that he just signed helped the economy? There is a downside to it. We'll discuss that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In just a few moments I will be signing a 'Buy American and Hire American' executive order. We are sending a powerful signal to the world. We're going to defend our workers, protect our jobs, and finally, put America first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[07:40:00] CUOMO: All right, you see it right there. President Trump signing and executive order directing federal agencies to follow his slogan 'Buy American, Hire American' but will the policy actually help the economy? Let's discuss with CNN senior economics analyst Stephen Moore. He is a distinguished visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a former senior economic adviser for the Trump campaign. Also joining us, Anthony Chan, the chief economist and managing director at Chase.

To be clear about it, the first part of this 'Buy American, Hire American' is to have agencies spend a period evaluating how to do it. It doesn't force anybody to do anything. It's somewhat short of that. But, Mr. Chan, sounds great to the American voter, the working man and woman. Great -- putting us first. What is the economic impact of something like this that we've seen over time?

ANTHONY CHAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHASE: Well Chris, you're right, it does sound great and everybody would love for U.S. companies and the U.S. government to buy American each time. But one of the things that's certainly concerned me is that when you do something like this it raises the possibility that other countries around the world will also start to say that maybe they should buy their own local product. Keep in mind that more than 10 million jobs in the United States are supported by U.S. exports and if other countries start to take that strategy then it can certainly hurt U.S. jobs.

Another factor is that it's not clear that we have enough supply to really be able to meet the demand that the government has. In that case, the prices will start to rise and the government will actually end up paying higher, not lower, prices, and that would be another major concern out there. And then, the quality. If there's another product around the world that's a little bit better and we decide to buy an American product, then, of course, we're going to have some quality issues. These are problems that I think that cannot be ignored.

CUOMO: All right. And I see, Stephen -- I see you shaking your head but, you know, a lot of the write-ups and reactions I saw to this, it came down to cost, you know. Oh, but construction is already expensive and this is going to raise it X percent or Y percent and that's going to hurt the infrastructure plan. Is this a situation where President Trump is saying I don't care about construction companies getting it at the cheapest cost, I want to put Americans first?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST, DISTINGUISHED VISITING FELLOW, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, that's a good question and, by the way, I buy American. I don't know about you guys but, you know, if I see two products that are about the same price I do look for the American label, and I'd rather employ somebody in Michigan or Iowa or California or New York rather than somebody in Mexico City or China. And look, I think that's every individual's prerogative in deciding, you know, if they want to buy American, but I sure do.

And I would say when it comes to the government, I'd make a couple of points. One is -- look, what Trump is talking about is a few contracts come in and they're about equal in terms of the price that is being charged, you know, on balance, choose the American contractor. Now, this idea that while the other countries are going to retaliate, a lot of these other countries already do that. They buy their domestic products and maybe we should have an orientation towards doing that, too.

But I understand the argument and I'm very -- I think it's a very valid argument that if you start buying American and it's much more expensive than, say, buying something from a European country or from one of the Asian countries, that's going to make the deficit higher, right? We're running a trillion dollar a year deficit so, you know, it's going to make these contracts more expensive. And I think -- so there's -- I think there has to be a balance here.

CUOMO: So, Stephen, what about the hypocrisy issue when you look at Trump's own businesses? They don't score as highly as they could --

MOORE: Yes.

CUOMO: -- when it comes to hiring American, buying American. We know that this year -- if we want to put up the numbers -- just in terms of looking for foreign workers at places that aren't necessarily skill- specific, this year there's been a notable reduction -- 78 visas requested. But he's had over 1,000 over them since 2001. Is there a hypocrisy note here and what should the president do about that?

MOORE: Well, I really can't speak for the president's, you know, personal business practices. But, you know, on the immigration I think that if a company needs workers to do a project and the people want to come to this country and work, I don't have a big problem with that unless they're undercutting Americans. But look, as I said earlier, I just -- I don't know about -- look, do you ever look for the America label when you go out and buy things? I mean --

CUOMO: Yes, I do, but I have the blessing of not being that price- sensitive, you know.

MOORE: Yes.

CUOMO: There are people who look at it --

MOORE: Sure.

CUOMO: -- and say the American one is more expensive or, you know --

MOORE: Right.

CUOMO: -- the quality's not there, to Mr. Chan's point. It's not as simple as --

MOORE: Well, look --

CUOMO: -- it's an equal choice.

MOORE: I get that. I get that. I'm a free trade guy. I get the argument about why it is oftentimes beneficial to buy things that are made in other countries. I'm simply saying -- I think Trump is saying this, too. Look, if you've got, you know, two things that are roughly about the same price --

CUOMO: Right.

MOORE: -- why not -- why not build the thing that's -- buy the thing that's made in Ohio.

CUOMO: I hear you. I hear you. But, Mr. Chan, your point is that it's not always apples to apples and that's what you have to deal with, with a policy like this --

MOORE: It's not only --

CUOMO: -- and that's the difference when it's sounding good and it being good.

[07:45:00] CHAN: I don't think anybody would argue as an American that if there are two products and they're the same price, same quality, would you choose the American product? Nobody would argue about that. The problem that I have is that once we start going down this road it opens the possibility for even greater discrimination. We love it when Americans buy American products, but 95 percent of all the consumers in this world, guess what, they live outside of the United States. If we start to send a very strong message that we're going to discriminate against products around the world and when our products go outside of the United States we're going to face the same discrimination.

Now, I know Stephen is saying that they're already discriminating. Well, guess what, they're going to discriminate even more. The S&P 500 -- let's look at our stock market. Fifty percent of the revenues of the S&P 500 come from overseas. Can you imagine if our U.S. companies in the S&P 500 are going to face increased discrimination? Fifty percent of their revenues are at risk. That's not a small matter.

MOORE: Yes, but you've got to -- one thing you have to take into account, though, is that look, if the government buys a -- you know, a service from an American company it is going to mean more jobs for Americans. Those Americans are going to pay taxes. They're not going to have to go on unemployment and things like that so there are kind of costs associated with not buying American for the government, as well.

Look, I'm not arguing -- I think we're in general agreement here that if something's of higher quality and much lower cost in China or Mexico then, of course, the government should get the best deal it can. But I think it should take into account -- and this is what Trump is saying -- the interests of American workers as well.

CUOMO: Gentlemen, I love the dialogue that kind of has to marry the economic realities --

MOORE: Right.

CUOMO: -- with the political pressures, as well. You do it very well for us here on NEW DAY. Thank you, Stephen. Thank you, Mr. Chan. Appreciate both of you being on.

MOORE: Thank you.

CUOMO: So, Alisyn, to you.

CAMEROTA: OK. Bill O'Reilly, Chris, is under fire at Fox News. Is it possible that he will no longer be on Fox News after the sexual harassment claims against him? One paper's headline is raising a lot of eyebrows this morning. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:51:00] CAMEROTA: "The Wall Street Journal" has a bombshell headline about the biggest star at Fox News. It reads, "Fox Is Preparing to Cut Ties With Bill O'Reilly." That paper, interestingly, is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News. And the network, of course, has seen dozens of companies pull their ads from O'Reilly's show as the sexual harassment claims against O'Reilly pile up. A source tells CNN that O'Reilly's fate will be announced by the end of the week.

And joining us now with his latest reporting is CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter. We also have CNN senior reporter for media and politics, Dylan Byers. Brian, it's shocking how fast things have happened at Fox News ever since Roger Ailes went down under sexual harassment claims, as well. What is your latest reporting on what is going to happen to Bill O'Reilly?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT, HOST, CNN "RELIABLE SOURCES": There's a board meeting tomorrow -- Rupert Murdoch and his sons meeting with the board of directors. At that point, O'Reilly's fate will be discussed and probably by the end of the week, as you're saying, we will know whether he's coming back or not.

Essentially, every source we have, the one thing everybody has in common is that don't believe O'Reilly will come back to the show. Anything's possible and I don't think we should rule out anything because Fox is a company full of surprises, but O'Reilly is clearly on the way out. Even the Murdoch-owned "Wall Street Journal" says Fox is talking about exiting.

CUOMO: And Dylan, the flipside on the timing part is that the criticism is that there's been a culture in place there for a very long time and that these cases against O'Reilly have been coming out consistently for a long time. Is that demonstrably true? What do we know about the critical mass of allegations against Bill O'Reilly?

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Well, these allegations, like you said, they've been coming out for some time. I mean, not just some time. These allegations go back longer than a decade. And I think it's important to reiterate that Fox News and its parent company 21st Century Fox were aware of many allegations because they were involved in some of the settlements and paid some of the settlement money to some of O'Reilly's accusers. Of course, as "The New York Times" reported earlier this month, that was $13 million in settlements to five women who accused O'Reilly of either sexual harassment or verbal abuse.

Look, the question for Fox News or really for the Murdochs, who sit at the top of 21st Century Fox, was what kind of company do we want to be and how legitimate are these accusations against O'Reilly? I think what happened in the course of the last two and one-half weeks is that there was so much public pressure, there was so much public outcry, there was obviously that flight of advertisers.

And, meanwhile, you know, Rupert Murdoch, slowly but surely is handing this company over to his sons who have a sort of more 21st century understanding of corporate responsibility and of what a workplace environment should be. I think they recognize as much as Roger Ailes, the former chief executive, could not -- no longer sit at the top of Fox News because of the sexual harassment allegations against him, Bill O'Reilly can no longer sit in the 8:00 p.m. hour on their network.

CAMEROTA: I don't know, Brian. At one time this would have been unthinkable and when I say one time, I mean like Monday. I mean, this is -- you know, this is his big -- their biggest star. He's the golden goose. He makes so much money and he also is the face of sort of what Fox News has stood for. He's wildly popular but I guess -- you tell me if this is wrong -- that they've learned -- the Murdochs -- that if Roger Ailes can leave the company and Fox News doesn't skip a beat, if Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly can exit and they don't skip a beat, and in fact, ratings go up, I guess everyone's dispensable.

STELTER: That no one's invincible, right. O'Reilly's the centerpiece and in some ways is a cable news pioneer. I mean, some of the -- some of the tricks of the trade were started by O'Reilly 20 years ago. That kind of brash, some would say arrogant style that he has --

CAMEROTA: Politically incorrect or --

STELTER: -- it's been parodied by everybody, you know -- Colbert. Everybody knows Bill O'Reilly, sort of. He is Fox and Fox is O'Reilly, but you're absolutely right. There is a sense inside the network that is bigger than any single person, especially now more than ever. Glenn Beck left in the early 2000's -- 2010 -- 2000 teens. They replaced him with a panel show. The ratings were fine. Megyn Kelly left in January and Tucker Carlson took over. The ratings have held up very well. So even Bill O'Reilly is replaceable -- that's the sense inside Fox -- but he is a profit engine and I don't think anyone at Fox would expect they're going to be able to bring someone in and do just as well.

[07:55:20] And by the way, what's the president going to think? President Trump said a couple of weeks ago he supports O'Reilly and he doesn't think O'Reilly did anything wrong. We know Trump loves to turn on Fox News at night and watch before bed. I actually wonder if we're going to hear from the president on this. There's a lot of different elements in this, political, cultural, but most importantly, financial.

CUOMO: And then you get to O'Reilly's defense, Dylan. His lawyer put out a statement saying that this is, you know, a very profound conspiracy of the far-left to bring him down.

BYERS: Yes, and that's not terribly dissimilar from the defense that was put out by Roger Ailes. It's, effectively, one that's saying OK, fine, I'll go but I don't acknowledge any wrongdoing. And in the case of O'Reilly being on on-air personality rather than a, you know, off- camera executive, he has an enormous following. He could take some of that following with him. He will continue to write books and sell books and, you know, he will do just fine financially, much as Roger Ailes did.

You know, I would just point out the loss of O'Reilly could be more consequential for Fox News than the loss of Ailes, and the reason I say that, again, is because he is an on-camera personality. Because he is the most-watched personality on cable news and Fox News doesn't have a bench. They don't have an O'Reilly-in-waiting. They put Tucker Carlson in Megyn Kelly's place. She did very -- or he did very well in the ratings. But the question is, who do you bring in for O'Reilly? CUOMO: But, Brian's point is that you don't need a bench because if the brand is that big -- and I take your point that Bill O'Reilly is more of a commodity than Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren combined, and that's not disrespectful to them -- he's just a big deal. But if your brand's that big, Dylan, do you need a bench? If could put in Tucker Carlson for Megyn Kelly and you get basically the same numbers isn't that a nod towards you could put anybody in there?

BYERS: You know, it suggests, but again, like you said, Bill O'Reilly is his own brand and so the question is, is the Fox News brand as big as Bill O'Reilly? Look, a lot of those viewers, they're not going to have anywhere else to turn. They like that sort of hyperpartisan, at times combative programming. They're likely to stay with Fox News. Can they match his numbers, though? That's the question and, therefore, can the new host provide the same advertising revenue for Fox News that Bill O'Reilly did. That's the question.

CAMEROTA: Your prediction -- if he leaves then does Tucker Carlson move to 8:00 p.m.?

STELTER: I think maybe "THE FIVE" at 8:00 or Bolling or Dana Perino. It might help to have some woman in primetime where now the network only has white guys in primetime. By the way, if he does leave at the end of the week and he does not come back from vacation it's going to be significant for women and for women's groups in this country. That even the conservative cable news channel in this country did not stand by a man who had been accused of serial sexual harassment.

CUOMO: And Fox better hope that they don't get caught making this decision on the basis of its bottom line versus what's the right thing to do for corporate culture --

STELTER: Interesting.

CUOMO: -- because then they wind up getting --

CAMEROTA: And, you know, look, they didn't stand by him once it became public.

STELTER: But it had been known inside the network --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

STELTER: -- for a long time.

CAMEROTA: This has been going on for a long time. All right, we'll see what happens this week, Brian. Thank you, Dylan. Thank you very much.

CUOMO: All right. We're following a lot of news including the latest on the breaking news about former Patriots player and convicted murdered Aaron Hernandez. He has killed himself in prison. Let's get to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON OSSOFF (D), GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: This is already a victory for the ages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really does shake the Republican Party into a fearful place about what Donald Trump means for their electoral process.

KAREN HANDEL (R), GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Keeping this seat in the hands of a Republican is far bigger than any one individual.

OSSOFF: We will be ready to fight on and win in June, so bring it on.

CAMEROTA: Confusion over the whereabouts of the USS Carl Vinson.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States' presence in the Asia-Pacific is strong, and under President Trump's leadership it will be stronger still.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patriots former tight end Aaron Hernandez committedsuicide behind bars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.

CUOMO: The victims in the story of Aaron Hernandez are the family of Odin Lloyd and Odin Lloyd, himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CUOMO: Good morning, welcome to your new day. It's Wednesday, April 19th, 8:00 in the East.

Up first, Republicans getting a wake-up call in deep red Georgia. This upstart Democratic, Jon Ossoff, he almost got 50 percent of the vote. He got 48 percent. So close to winning the House seat outright, vacated by Health Secretary Tom Price. Just short of the threshold so now there's going to be a runoff. But, boy, what a difference from what has usually happened in that district.

CAMEROTA: OK, so that means that Ossoff will compete in this runoff election in June against the distant second-place finisher, the Republican Karen Handel. Karen Handel will join us live in just minutes with her explanation of what happened there. President Trump claiming, though, victory after this high-profile race. He called it a win for himself.