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High-Pressure Week In Washington; Poll: Trump's Approval Rating Hits Historic Low; Macron And Le Pen Advance In French Election. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 24, 2017 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: We explain this election that could redefine France and the European Union for the future. And this is a massively impactful election --


BRIGGS: -- for everyone there.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour. Nice to be back.

BRIGGS: Good to have you back.

ROMANS: Good to be here with you here today.

BRIGGS: Great to have you.

ROMANS: Today, on a Monday morning, it's going to be a big week, folks. It's day 95. A big countdown clock faces lawmakers today as they return to Washington with only a few working days to strike a budget deal. The orders from President Trump are clear. Avoid a government shutdown when federal spending authority runs out at the end of the week. It is true that the message coming from some of the president's top aides is a little muddled -- more on that in a moment -- but senior White House and Republican officials say the president has made it clear the government will not shut down. The most likely scenario, they say, is a short-term Band-Aid deal to continue spending at current levels for a week or so until the deal can get reached.

BRIGGS: Much of this debate hinges on President Trump's promised border wall and how exactly to fund it. Just how far the president is prepared to go to get that funding depends on who you ask. And the wall is just one item on the president's jampacked agenda for this week ahead of this 100-day deadline. Yet, with everything the White House has cooking, one key policy is suddenly moved to the back burner -- that's health care -- with a vote not actually expected before the end of the week, despite another recent push by Republicans.

ROMANS: Let's look at the week ahead in Washington. "CNN POLITICS" reporter Eugene Scott comes back this morning. Good morning, happy Monday.


ROMANS: And this is a critical week for this --


ROMANS: -- presidency, especially when you're looking at the hundredth day coinciding with the government running out of money.

SCOTT: Sure.

ROMANS: The government's got to -- the government could shut down. What do you -- what do you -- game it out for me. What do you see happening?

SCOTT: So, I don't think the government's going to shut down right now, only because the Republicans really do need a win and I think they're going to work as hard as possible to prevent something like this that's happening -- something like this from happening. Granted, they don't, alone, control whether or not things shutdown.


SCOTT: There has to be some bipartisanship. There has to be some cooperation. But I think there's going to be quite a bit of big give or takeaways that there perhaps weren't when we were looking at the health care bill.

BRIGGS: Yes, bottom line, we're looking at a continued resolution.


BRIGGS: That's what's going to happen on Friday.

SCOTT: Right.

BRIGGS: Something defunded for a week they say.

SCOTT: Sure.

BRIGGS: But ultimately, you're going to need an agreement --


BRIGGS: -- on funding the government and it comes down to two issues. Funding the border wall and for Democrats, funding the exchanges to keep Obamacare afloat.

SCOTT: Sure.

BRIGGS: What gets in, what gets left out?

SCOTT: Well, I don't think that Republicans are going to convince the Democrats to get on board with the border wall. They're going to have a hard time getting any Republicans to get on board with the border wall. We've seen estimates from Democrats on the Senate side saying that it could cost as much as $67 billion to build. I don't think many people want to get that -- allocate funding for something like that.

BRIGGS: And health care?

SCOTT: When it comes to health care I don't think what President Obama (sic) is threatening to do, in terms of the subsidies, he's going to actually follow through on it because that could actually help -- hurt many of the people who supported him --


SCOTT: -- like insurers.

BRIGGS: It would be devastating.

SCOTT: Right. Insurers, Republicans, and Democrats do not want to see low-income Americans go without health care. And so --

BRIGGS: Well, and premiums would skyrocket --

SCOTT: They would.

BRIGGS: -- for a lot of Trump supporters.

SCOTT: They would. And I mean, I think we've seen that. That's part of the conversation we saw in the first round in terms of trying to get a new health care bill passed.

ROMANS: I want to go back to this border wall for a second because there's a -- there's a sound bite -- a comment from the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, yesterday on ABC's "THIS WEEK" where he talked about -- oh, well we don't have that one, sorry. He talked about how to pay for it and he talked about the fact that the Treasury has identified that there are these tax credits that go to Mexicans --

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: -- living in the United States.

BRIGGS: Improperly, yes.

ROMANS: That you could -- you could recoup that money that way --

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: -- which would not be Mexico paying for the border wall.

SCOTT: Sure.

ROMANS: That would be Mexican citizens. People working in the U.S. paying for the border wall. Have you heard much about this idea that -- where do we stand on this idea of who will pay for it and when?

SCOTT: Right. So when I -- when I read that there's some concern about the number of people in America who are from Mexico sending money back to relatives and friends --

ROMANS: Right.

SCOTT: -- in Mexico, and what Sessions has suggested is that money can somehow be, what, taxed, taken, blocked?

ROMANS: Right.

SCOTT: There's no clear plan what he had suggested in terms of how that can be recouped. And there, quite frankly, is some -- even some debate about how much of that money is actually going across the border. But we do know that it is happening.


BRIGGS: Yes, and he also seems to hint that we can somehow get that money through balancing the trade deficit. But let's move on to come polls this morning that are fascinating, especially when you look at the president's approval rating with historical context. He's at 42 percent right now, so look at that based on the presidents we've seen in recent history. Kennedy was at 78; Johnson, 77; Reagan, 73. It does not look good when you look at the historical context here, especially given where Obama was at this point. What do you learn from that given that 96 percent of Trump voters say they would still vote for him today?

[05:35:04] SCOTT: Yes, I think when I look at that one of the main arguments I think people would make pushing back on that is that we're just in some very partisan times right now. The reality is things have been partisan before. I mean, whether they've been partisan this much is up for debate but the reality is a lot of people really just do not support Donald Trump. Now, to your point, many people who voted for him really are still on the Trump train. Whether -- why, it's not quite clear. One, we do always say that he is doing exactly what he said he would do, but when you look at some of his wins over the first 100-day mark that's not as clear.

BRIGGS: But they have an emotional connection.


BRIGGS: It's hard to break --


BRIGGS: -- an emotional connection.


BRIGGS: It's not necessarily about policy, right?

ROMANS: That's true.


ROMANS: It isn't, but when you look at where we are today, you know -- you look at this first 100 days, all the things he said he'd have done, many of them are not done. And you look at where we're heading into the weekend. You're talking about a continuing resolution to keep the government going. This sounds like the same Washington swamp we've always had.

SCOTT: Yes, I mean we definitely have -- as I just said, things have been partisan before and I think it's very important to highlight the emotional connection piece. Like people got into huge family arguments and --

ROMANS: Oh my gosh, yes.

SCOTT: -- left churches and jobs over this election. I don't think we can expect many people to change their mind within 90-something days. I think there are people -- the American people, who already voted for Trump --


SCOTT: -- are willing to give him more time than the general public.

BRIGGS: As we part here, the president told the Associated Press that it was not his idea, but somebody, to put out the concept of a 100-day plan. Is he laying the groundwork for blaming --


BRIGGS: -- somebody? We will have a departure, we shall see. Eugene Scott --

SCOTT: We shall.

BRIGGS: -- we'll check back with you later in the week.

SCOTT: Great, awesome.

BRIGGS: Maybe we'll have just that.

SCOTT: Awesome.

BRIGGS: All right. He's been laying low for months now but today, the day Barack Obama makes his first public appearance since leaving office. The former president scheduled to speak with students at the University of Chicago as part of his mission to encourage and support the next generation of leaders.

ROMANS: Three hundred students from universities in the Chicago area were invited to attend. On Sunday, the former president met with young at-risk men in a job skills program. We're told he does not intend to comment on President Trump or his policies at today's appearance but the students have not been told what to ask him and they will be given the chance to ask --


ROMANS: -- some questions, so that should be fascinating. He returns to public life today.

BRIGGS: You've got to think Trump comes up.

ROMANS: I'm sure.

BRIGGS: We shall see.

ROMANS: All right. France's relationship with the U.S. and the E.U. could be in for a major shift. We're going to talk about this big presidential election with our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour -- she's next.


[05:41:42] BRIGGS: All right. Voters in France turning up their nose at the political establishment.


BRIGGS: The race for president now down to two candidates with wildly different visions for the country's future. CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour live with us from London this morning. It's great to have you --

ROMANS: Good morning.

BRIGGS: -- with such an impactful election regarding the future of France and the E.U. as a whole.


BRIGGS: Now Christiane, given how different these two candidates are what does it tell us about the political divide there?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it tells us a huge amount because there is, obviously, a political divide. Two basically anti-establishment candidates are now through to the second round. It just so happens that one of the anti- establishment candidates is coming from the center and that is really very, very important for Europe and for the future of E.U. relations, for the future of France, and for the future of the people there.

So, we had the very far-right extremist Marine Le Pen, who pretty much held the same kind of vote and polling numbers throughout the campaign and what you saw was this incredible surge by this untested and never before elected Emmanuel Macron, from the center -- neither left nor right -- coming up and saying no, this is our alternative vision. And now, this is going to be the battle going forward for the next couple of weeks until there is the second round Sunday, May 7th.

ROMANS: Christiane, you know, I cover the markets. We've been watching the global markets here and the French stock market is up some four percent, the euro is up, and here's why. Macron, the market participants say, is the best possible scenario for staying in Europe -- for France, the second-biggest economy in Europe -- saying in the European Union. For there still to be euro -- no return of the French franc. But, you know, the conventional wisdom and market wisdom has been upended quite a few times over the past year or two. What are people thinking about maybe a surge from Marine Le Pen over the next couple of weeks?

AMANPOUR: Well, let's break that down a little bit. You're absolutely right. The markets are pleased and they're reflecting it today, as you indicate. The choice was very, very clear about the economy -- and let's say all these popular revolts and populist nationalist revolts around the west are about the economy, are about markets, so to speak, and how they affect people's lives. It was considered an all -- even on the right-wing side, like the Republicans, the conservatives in France said -- that Marine Le Pen's policies -- ditching the euro, potentially ditching the E.U., bringing back the franc, heavily, heavily protectionist. Ditching what she calls wild and savage globalization.

Fillon, the Republican candidate, said that that would "bankrupt France." So people do not believe in Marine Le Pen's economic policies, at least those analysts. They do believe in Macron even though he's never been elected before.


AMANPOUR: He has been an economy minister. He's laid out fairly rational centrist reform plans for France's kind of sclerotic bureaucracy, its employment and labor laws and he wants to stay part of this very, very important trading bloc union called the E.U. So, yes, that has made business people feel better.

ROMANS: Thirty-nine years old. He's one of the few candidates --

BRIGGS: Amazing, right?

ROMANS: -- running who doesn't remember probably using a French franc, quite honestly, you know.

[05:45:02] BRIGGS: Yes, that's a great point. And, you know, we've got some really smart viewers here, Christiane, and one of them points out a huge difference here is there's no electoral college here which could play into how this plays out on May 7th. But also, what are the similarities between our election and how President Trump had that, some might say, anti-Islamist message and the chance of her surprising and shocking all the pollsters?

AMANPOUR: Well, let's just put it bluntly right now. The chance of her surprising and shocking the pollsters by winning on May 7th is very, very slim -- that's according to all the polls. And let's just face it, the polls were correct. The actual result of the first round was 100 percent correct. In fact, Macron got even one point more than her, than the polls suggested. They had him one point ahead leading up to this and they had her, you know, one point behind him, and that's pretty much what happened.

Now, what is expected is as per usual the French establishment candidates who lost have all asked their voters to vote for Macron and they've used words like do not vote to bankrupt your country, do not vote to allow extremism and the far-right to lead France. Do not vote to break up E.U. and France from the E.U. Do not vote for Islamophobia. Do not vote for fear. That is what all the other candidates are saying. It's true we have not heard yet from the very far --


AMANPOUR: -- the other extreme candidate who was from the far-left. We don't know what his voters are going to do and we don't know what he's going to tell them to do, if anything. And we never know the result of an election until it's actually done, but right now it is assumed -- although the fight is not done -- the election campaign is going to be very fierce now with two very, very strongly competing visions over these next two weeks and we're going to wait and see what happens.

But, you know, you mentioned President Trump. He did actually tweet after the shooting of the policeman on Thursday night --


BRIGGS: Right.

AMANPOUR: -- and he basically said, "Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election." Well, we're not sure that it had the effect that he predicted, hoped, wanted. We don't know what he was saying. But Macron, the centrist candidate who's campaigned on togetherness, on the unextremes or he hasn't campaigned on fear --


AMANPOUR: -- thanked people for coming out despite the divisiveness, despite the fear of terror and attacks, and despite what the extreme right had done. You know, tried to -- tried to use a lot of these attacks as a way to win. He thanked them for turning their back on that.

ROMANS: It's interesting. He has such an interesting story, Macron. Thirty-nine years old. You said he's been an economy minister, never elected to anything. And I have been sort of monitoring some of the Russian press of the state-run Russian media --



ROMANS: -- and they have been very critical, even spreading rumors and stuff about him. So it's interesting, the Russia angle in this election, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Well, this is hugely important.


AMANPOUR: As one of the leading candidates who did not make it through in the primaries but a very highly respected former foreign minister Alain Juppe, also a Republican -- in other words, a conservative -- he said that for the very first time ever Russia has staked its claim and has a favored candidate in our elections. And he meant Marine Le Pen because she has been to Moscow, she has been financed by a Russian bank.


AMANPOUR: She has said to me that she does not believe Russia invaded Crimea. That she does not believe Russia violated international law. That she does not believe sanctions should remain on Russia. She was very, very pro-Putin and very pro-Russia, and to that end there has been a lot of just out and out Russian sites like Sputnik --


AMANPOUR: -- like R.T. Like all of those, you know, sites that are out there --


AMANPOUR: -- that are funded and basically are --


AMANPOUR: -- you know, Russian propaganda. They have supported her and tried to dismiss Macron --


AMANPOUR: -- with all sort of rumors and allegations which he's had to come out and, you know, poo-poo. And it has been quite ugly, you know. Marine Le Pen has barely concealed her anti-Semitic roots. Her father was a Holocaust denier. He was convicted of hate crimes. And just two weeks ago she brought that whole issue up again by denying in an interview that the French state, under the Vichy government of World War II, had rounded up Jews in France in World War II for their deportation. She said no, we didn't do it. And these are -- you know, this caused an uproar as well.

ROMANS: Yet she is one of those candidates in the runoff so just a fascinating story. Christiane, we know you'll be following it for the next couple of weeks for us until we get that final result. Thank you.

BRIGGS: And we're far from done. Thank you, Christiane. All right, time for a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Chris Cuomo certainly talking about --

ROMANS: Good morning.

BRIGGS: -- the French elections and that 100-day deadline. Good morning, my friend.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": We certainly are going to look at what is going on around the world in terms of this wave of nationalism -- where is it taking root and how. But here at home, guys, it's going to be about this 100-day mark. The president has gone back and forth on its relevance, mostly out of convenience, but the history of it is important. We'll talk about it this morning. Why FDR introduced the 100-yard mark -- what it meant in terms of the urgency. How it was a call to a country in distress that was greatly and profoundly questioning the ability of its government.

[05:50:25] So, what will he get done in 100 days and it all comes down to this week. Is health care a reality? Is a shutdown the reality? We've got great voices and analysis for you in just -- I don't know, I don't have a watch on, but soon enough.

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: Nine and one-half minutes.

ROMANS: Lots of news.

CUOMO: Thank you, sir.

BRIGGS: We'll seeyou in a bit.

ROMANS: Eat your Wheaties. All right, we'll be there -- three hours. Chris Cuomo -- can't turn off the T.V.

Big gains ahead for the U.S. stock market but will it take a huge rally to match what's going on in France right now? Yes, a big rally in France. We'll get a check CNN Money Stream, next.


[05:55:07] ROMANS: The entire nation of Israel coming to a standstill this morning in remembrance of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. A two-minute siren wailed across the country. The ritual takes place every year, marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. Hours earlier, President Trump addressed the World Jewish Congress by video saying, "We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found." The president will speak at the National Holocaust Museum tomorrow.

BRIGGS: We've nowlearned the identity of the U.S. citizen detained in North Korea taken into custody at the Pyongyang airport as he tried to leave the country. This comes as North Korea threatens to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier "in a single strike." President Trump talking to the leaders of China and Japan last night about this situation. CNN's Paula Hancocks following these enormous developments. She joins us live from Seoul, South Korea. Paula, let's first start with that U.S. citizen detained. What are we learning?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, we know his name is Tony Kim. We know that he was a professor, we believe, but teaching at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Now, we've had a statement from that school. They have said that he was detained as he was trying to get on a plane to leave Pyongyang. They also say that they don't believe his teaching had any part of why he was detained. They don't, however, give us any indication as to why he was taken. What are the allegations against him, what's he accused of? We simply don't know because the North Korea regime, up until this point, has not officially said anything. The State Department, we understand, is looking into this closely, working with the Swedish Embassy. Washington doesn't have diplomatic ties with Pyongyang so it has to work with Sweden to try and get any information or any access. And they also say that he was trying to leave the country as he was detained.

Now, of course, this comes at the same time as Pyongyang is saying that it can use military force enough to destroy the USS Carl Vinson in one strike. This is the aircraft carrier which is right now doing military drills with two Japanese destroyers just off the Philippines in the western Pacific Ocean. Here in South Korea, the military says they, too, want to join in in military drills with the USS Carl Vinson. Very happy that they have this extra U.S. hardware here -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Tensions remain high on the Peninsula. Thank you so much, Paula.

ROMANS: All right, let's talk about money this Monday morning and get a check on CNN Money Stream. Futures jumping -- the Dow up about 190 points right now. Investors optimistic heading into a big week for the Trump administration. But you know what? A lot of this is coming from France, frankly, with the stock marketthereis surging more than four percent. Investors are encouraged by the election results there. There will be a runoff in a couple of weeks but at least one of the choices is a centrist. Take a look at Paris, London, and Tokyo -- closed higher.

The other big move coming in currency markets. The euro jumping against the dollar, now at the highest level since November. Marine Le Pen campaigned on a threat to dump the euro and pull France out of the European Union. She backs Brexit -- or a France exit from the European Union. On the other side, Emmanuel Macron favors working more closely with other E.U. members. He's also a free trade supporter and many folks saying the best possible scenario for Europe and for France.

BRIGGS: Yes, and imagine. So, if she wins she would like to pull them out of the E.U. You would have two of the top three economies in the E.U. --

ROMANS: Fascinating.

BRIGGS: --pulled out of that body. Enormously impactful election.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: And I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Health care's coming along well. The government is coming along really well. A lot of good things are happening.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: The Democrats do not support the wall. The wall is, in my view, immoral, expensive, unwise.

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We're going to get paid for it one way or the other.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: It's a political stunt, an obsession for the president that should not shut down our government.

REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Health care may happen next week, it may not. It's not something that has to happen in order to define our success.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: It's 100 days. He's never held public office. There is a big learning curve.

UNIDENTIED MALE: We're talking about historic accomplishments by this administration, but all anybody wants to talk about is health care.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: The last thing we can afford is to send a message to the world that the United States government is only partially functioning.


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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, April 24th, 6:00 here in New York.

President Trump begins a pivotal week with his 100th day now in sight. Congress is back to work with major deadlines looming. First, they have to pass a spending bill by Friday to keep the federal government open. The president wants to include a big down payment on his border wall.

CUOMO: At the top of the president's wish list for the week is a vote on health care in the House. The demand sent shockwaves through the Republican ranks. The disconnect between Congress and Trump comes as new polls show President Trump's approval hitting historic lows, but it depends how you measure it. We'll take you through the truth of the numbers. Day 95 starts with a critical week in the presidency. We have it all covered. Let's begin with CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House. Good morning, Joe.