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Trump To Unveil His Tax Cut Plan Today; U.S. & South Korea Conduct Joint Military Drills; Iranian Ship Provokes U.S. Navy Destroyer In Persian Gulf;Ivanka Trump Defends Her White House Role: "Quite New To Me." Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired April 26, 2017 - 07:30   ET



[07:33:10] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Today is the day a lot of people have been waiting for. We're going to hear from the president about what his plan is to reduce your taxes. What is it going to be, who will it help, how will he pay for it? Let's get into it. We've got former economic adviser to President Obama, Jason Furman, and CNN senior economic analyst and former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign, Stephen Moore.

Cut the corporate rate. Make that corporate rate also extend to small businesses, many with pass-through entities. Help with what people can do in terms of their own individual deduction. Make the case for this tax cut.

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Well, we've got to grow the economy, it's really that simple. You know, we're not creating enough jobs. It's very clear from the election we just had issues number one and two were jobs and the economy. And we believe that this will be a very substantial stimulus that will cause employers to hire more workers. Not just hire more workers, but pay them more. And we think the centerpiece of that is getting a business tax cut.

I've said many times on your show it's by now common wisdom that the United States cannot go forward with the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Now, Jason, who worked for President Obama, knows this, that President Obama had proposed a corporate tax cut and couldn't get it done. I really want to see this president do it. If the businesses are doing better they can pay workers more and we can have more employment in this country.

CUOMO: Jason?

JASON FURMAN, FORMER ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Absolutely agree with Steve that we need more economic growth. This plan would actually hurt our economic growth. It would cost $7 trillion over the next decade. When you factor in the impact it would have on our economy, experts from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton who worked in the Bush administration said it would actually lower our economic growth over the next two decades because those deficits would end up hurting us, would leave our economy smaller --

[07:35:10] -- and oh, by the way, 51 percent of the benefits would go to the top one percent who make over $5 million a year. On average, you're going to get a tax cut of $1.4 million. This plan is not about growing our economy. This plan would shrink our economy and it would give a larger share of that shrinking economy to the very wealthy.

CUOMO: Stephen, the big part of that criticism comes down to how you pay for this tax cut. That's why supposedly, politically, you wanted to get health care done first with the Trump administration to have some savings to justify it. The idea that we'll grow our way out of any of the deficit that results from this, how do you justify that?

MOORE: Well, one, I refer all your viewers to a piece that I have in "The Wall Street Journal" this morning which really points out that we've been only growing at about 1.8 percent for the least 10 years and that the Congressional Budget Office is now saying they project we're only going to grow 1.8 percent for the next decade or two. You know, you can't get anywhere. I think Jason would agree with this. You're never going to make any progress in reducing that debt and deficit when you're only growing at less than two percent. If we can get that growth rate up to three, 3.5 or four percent you're going to see a big increase in tax revenue.

Now look, I'm not saying the tax cut is going to pay for itself. What I am saying is that if we don't get growth up we're never going to make progress on this and I'll give you one statistic. Every one percentage point increasing growth that we can get, we get $3 trillion less debt over a decade. So, Jason, I just don't agree with your numbers on this.

CUOMO: Well, hold on a second. I think you guys agree conceptually, right? If you can growth the economy then, of course, you will lift all votes --

MOORE: Right.

CUOMO: -- and you'll deal with our fiscal issues. The question is, Jason, do you agree that these types of tax cuts are the key to growing the economy more robustly than we see now?

FURMAN: We want to grow the economy. We should lower the corporate rate but we should pay for it, and we can't afford to lower it all the way to 15 percent because there's no way to pay for that. But we should also be investing in infrastructure, investing in scientific research, investing in education. All of those things were cut in the budget that President Trump already put forward, so he's actually cutting investments in our future, cutting investments in our economic growth.

And the sad thing about all of this is this won't pass, Steve. This won't do what you want it to do because this plan is actually to the right of where Speaker Ryan is. Just a month ago we were hearing that President Trump was going to reach out, work with Democrats, put forward something on taxes and infrastructure. That would have been really good for our economy and it would have had a shot at passing. This is coming into the right of the Congress. There's about as much chance that economic growth is going to pay for this that Mexico is going to pay for the wall. CUOMO: All right, no political cheap shots here. Stephen Moore, let me ask you this. There is a suggestion that the Goldman Sachs guys have won. The Wall Street guys that Trump has around him have won. That's why this is about helping corporations like his own and other past remedies and doesn't have the emphasis on the working man and woman that people expected. Fair criticism and, if not, what justifies this shift towards the big boys?

MOORE: So look, I don't think that's a fair criticism. For one thing, you know, I was there back in February and March when we actually hatched this program. I mean, there have been some changes to it but this is, essentially, what Donald Trump ran on before any of the Goldman Sachs people were involved. So, there's not been a major shift in what Donald Trump said from day one. I want to bring corporate taxes down, I want to simplify the tax code. That's what this does.

Look, I would simply say this on growth because we all agree we need to get more growth. And look, we tried it Jason's way, we tried it President Obama's way over the last 10 years. We had a massive increase in the debt. We doubled the national debt and we didn't get any growth. So it's time to, Jason, in my opinion, to try something new because, frankly, what happened under Barack Obama was a weakling recovery. People are still worried about their jobs and the future of this country. And, you know, frankly, for Obama people to say oh my gosh, we have to worry about the debt -- have to worry about $10 trillion of the debt just rings kind of hollow.

CUOMO: Well, they were coming out of an epic recession/depression and also --

MOORE: Well, that's true but we didn't get the growth.

CUOMO: Well, that -- look, certainly an argument to be made.

FURMAN: I mean, we had -- we had a record streak of job growth. The long streak of private sector job growth this country's ever had. Most of that increase to the debt --

CUOMO: Right.

FURMAN: -- was in the first couple of years as a result of that recession.

CUOMO: Right.

FURMAN: The deficit came down by two-thirds. I think we need -- you know, we definitely need to do more but, you know, Steve, we're growing faster than most any other advanced economy in the world.

CUOMO: But there's no question--

FURMAN: We're clearly doing something right here in the United States.

CUOMO: There's no question you've got lots of people -- MOORE: If you just go around the country there --

CUOMO: Right, that's right. That's the point to end on.

MOORE: If you go around the country and you ask them how the --

[07:40:00] CUOMO: You go around the country, Stephen --

MOORE: Look, it --

CUOMO: I know, it's true, but we've got to leave this discussion here.

MOORE: If the economy -- OK. If the economy were doing well, Hillary Clinton would be president today. It's that simple. People wanted a change in policy.

CUOMO: All right, let's leave that discussion here until we get more details on it. Jason, Stephen, thank you very much. A helpful conversation -- Alisyn.

MOORE: Thank you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Chris. So, the tensions with North Korea seem to be escalating by the day. How are U.S. troops and our allies responding? We get a live report from South Korea, next.


CUOMO: North Korea's threats growing more provocative, so the U.S. and South Korea are conducting joint military drills, even deploying key elements of a powerful missile defense system. CNN's Paula Hancocks witnessed those drills firsthand. She joins us live from Seoul -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, these drills by the U.S. and South Korea were massive. Now, they happen every year and the U.S. pains to tell us that they take months to plan so they're not actually reacting to anything that is happening right now on the Peninsula but it is a very clear message to North Korea to be able to see the might of the two allies.


HANCOCKS: Massive firepower destroys an imaginary enemy, a joint ground and aerial attack shown to the media so we can show the world the damage South Korea and the United States military could do. Now, the U.S. and South Korea insist they have -- they have no specific enemy in mind when they're carrying out these drills but it's simply not the way that North Korea sees it.Actions speak louder than words for Pyongyang. Washington says these drills are routine, annual, defensive. Pyongyang says they're provocative and hostile.

[07:45:15] North Korea holding its own massive military drills Tuesday to mark an important day, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its military, the Korea People's Army. Spring is often tense in Korea. Annual wargames by the U.S. and South Korea interpreted in the North as practicing for an invasion. But without training the U.S. military says it won't be ready to fight tonight, as their motto says.

KELSEY CASEY, U.S. MARINE CORPS: It's essential. The only way that we're ever going to be able to fight is to train like we fight.

HANCOCKS: The USS Michigan, the nuclear-powered submarine, docked at Busan port in South Korea Tuesday, described as both routine and a show of force within the U.S. military. The USS Carl Vinson heading back to the region and the U.S. missile defense system THAAD is arriving in pieces to be fully operational as soon as possible. An unmistakable build-up of U.S. military assets and no matter how routine this live fire drill may be, it's an image that won't be lost on North Korea.


HANCOCKS: So these joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea last for two months. They end at the end of this month but it's very unlikely that is when the tensions will end and the infuriated North Korea from these military drills will end when you consider just how much military hardware that it is from the United States in and around the Peninsula right now -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Paula, really dramatic video and pictures there. Thank you for bringing them to us.

Well, another provocative action by an Iranian ship in the Persian Gulf, this time causing a U.S. Navy destroyer to alter its course. Officials say the Iranian vessel came within 1,000 yards of the U.S. warship with its weapons systems manned. The American crew fired a flare but no warning shots.

CUOMO: All right, you ready? You have to see this. A research team is creating a device that mimics a pregnant mammal's womb, all right? They have made a womb. The medical journal "Nature Communications" reported a fetal lamb successfully grew in the device for 28 days.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

CUOMO: The ultimate goal is to test this on humans one day to help keep preemies healthy. They made a womb.

CAMEROTA: I'm getting that. It is a brave new world.

CUOMO: That's exactly what comes to mind. Can you believe someday they will grow us in bags like that?

CAMEROTA: You know, sometimes technology outpaces ethics and imagination, and that's what's happening.

CUOMO: It's a huge discussion, legally, ethically, about who we are as people. We always see it in movies. That ain't a movie.

CAMEROTA: OK. Meanwhile, back here, severe storms packing the threat of tornadoes moving across the country. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has our forecast. Hi, Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Alisyn, you bet. There is a chance of severe weather today all across Arkansas and the Ark-La-Tex. I'll get to that in a second. This weather is brought to you by Xyzal. For continuous 24-hour allergy relief try Xyzal. And this is going to be a day where we get the severe weather popping up across Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and even parts of Georgia later on tonight in the overnight hours. I believe, though, other than tornadoes the real threat today will be wind, and wind at 80 or 90 miles per hour can do just as much damage as a small tornado, so don't let your guard down here. This is a spring-type day.

Look at these storms lining up all the way from Paducah all the way down to Shreveport, and almost New Orleans by 7:00 tonight, raking across that part of the country. Now the warm side of the storm, Chris, for you, does warm up today. Not that warm yet, still in the sixties, but by Saturday and Sunday, for you, all the way to 82 degrees. Really nice across the Northeast for the weekend.

CUOMO: They're growing a lamb --

MYERS: I heard.

CUOMO: -- in a bag, Chad.

MYERS: Amazing, truly.

CUOMO: Come on.

MYERS: You know, as a scientific mind it just blows me away that we can do this.

CUOMO: And as a non-scientific mind, I am blown away equally so.

MYERS: True.

CUOMO: Chad, thank you very much.

MYERS: You got it.

CUOMO: So, Ivanka Trump. Now we all know that she has a big job within the White House, we just don't know what it is. What she told reporters, next.


[07:54:40] CAMEROTA: First daughter Ivanka Trump ended up being on the defensive about her role at the White House. She was in Berlin, Germany with Angela Merkel and she struggled to describe it. Listen to this.


IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well, as it is quite new to me. I am humbled to be here with so many formidable leaders to engage in dialogue to learn, to bring the advice, to bring the knowledge back to the United States -- back to both my father and the president.


CAMEROTA: She was also sort of booed or, at least, a little bit hissed at over her father's commitment to women's issues --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you hear the reaction from the audience?


CAMEROTA: -- as you can hear there. So, let's discuss it with our CNN political commentators. We have Ana Navarro and Kayleigh McEnany. Kayleigh, let me start with you. Good morning. Why can't Ivanka sort of spell out in a more definitive way what she's doing when she travels overseas?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it's pretty clear what she's doing. She's advising the president, just like President Obama had advisers. People who were close to him during his time campaigning came in in a senior advisory role. I mean, she advises on a myriad of issues. I don't think it's a clearly defined sector she's working in.

[07:55:00] And I think she gets a lot of criticism because look, people were critical of her role in, you know, advising on the Syria strikes. But I think what people don't realize or sometimes forget is that you have your experts, you have your specialists, you have H.R. McMasters and Gen. Kelly and Mattis, and your National Security Council and these are the experts. But then you have your sounding boards. You have your Steve Bannons, you have Ivanka, you have Jared, you have the people who surrounded you in the campaign and got you to where you are because they -- he relied on their wisdom, he relied on their judgment and that, essentially, is her role as compared to the role of a specialist like Gen. Mattis.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Kayleigh just did a better job --

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I was thinking the same thing.

CAMEROTA: -- of defining it than Ivanka has. And we understand that he needs a sounding board and that he trusts his daughter, and that's great he needs her around. But she -- I mean, it just -- it was just a moment where it gave people pause because she's representing the president when she's overseas and that, by definition, she's representing all of us. She's representing America.

NAVARRO: Look, I think this is a learning moment, certainly a lesson for her, that she needs to get a tight answer for that question. That question's going to keep coming up. It's like when somebody's running for president. You know that when they go on an interview they're going to get asked why are you running for president. There are certain 101 for dummy questions that you are going to get asked when you are in one of these positions and have such a platform. One of them is what do you do? Who are you? Why are you doing this? So, you know, I think she's learned her lesson from this that she needs to have a tight answer that can encompass a large portfolio certainly, but that can sound a lot more professional that what she's sounding like.

CAMEROTA: So -- but Ana, beyond the messaging problem -- and I'm sure she'll figure out her quick pat answer to that -- but are -- is it OK that she is going on international trips as a sounding board for her father? Are we comfortable with that role that she represents the United States?

NAVARRO: You know, this is a unique situation, right? We -- the first lady is not very visible. Obviously, we've got a president who is very used to working with his daughter by his side, who trusts her advice and likes having her. She also got invited proactively by Angela Merkel, so it's not like she inserted herself in there. So, you know, at that point she had two choices. Either say no to the, you know, German chancellor or attend. Now, I think that if she's going to attend she should've known and she should have been better prepared. Her staff should have done a better job in preparing her for tough questions like she got yesterday.

CAMEROTA: And so, one of the tough questions that she got -- or at least it was an awkward moment, Kayleigh -- is it came up about her father's attitudes, basically, towards women, so let me play it for you one more time how she tried to explain it.


TRUMP: He's been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive in a new reality of -- (booing).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You hear the reaction from the audience?


CAMEROTA: So, I mean, is it hard, Kayleigh, for her to make the argument that he has been a tremendous supporter of women?

MCENANY: Look, it's hard in the sense that she knows something that none of us know. She's seen Donald Trump as a father. She has seen President Trump as a businessman, as a CEO. None of us have had that experience. None of us know one-on-one how he operates, how he treats women in the workplace. She can vouch for that but, essentially, the argument has -- comes down to you take my word for it, I've seen it. It's a very hard case to make. It's one she did, I think, very well, particularly when you're being jeered at by the audience. They took the low road, in my opinion. She took the high road and I think she handled that very, very well. That's a tough situation when you have an entire audience or at least part of the audience --


MCENANY: -- really booing at you and I think she did a good job.

CAMEROTA: Yes. MCENANY: It's a hard case to make, you know --


MCENANY: -- but I think she did well.

CAMEROTA: I mean, this is also a tough case to make when we know the context and we know some of the other things --

NAVARRO: Well, it's not only --

CAMEROTA: -- that he has said about women including, for instance, "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD."

NAVARRO: I think one of the -- you know, one of the things about the 2016 campaign is that it got so much attention all over the world. I have no idea how they translated some of those words into German and some of the other languages. But all this -- you know, all the ridiculous things that we heard him say. The abusive, offensive things that we heard him say in English I'm sure were heard all over the world, particularly in Europe.

CAMEROTA: Right, but now it's up to Ivanka to have to defend it.

NAVARRO: Well, which is, you know, it's a -- it's a -- she's got no choice but to defend her father. What is she going to do, right? She is his daughter, first, and she is his staffer as well. That is her job but it's also her role as a daughter. But, you know, defending Donald Trump in front of a bunch of German women cannot be -- at least they don't, you know -- they did have tanks, but it cannot be an easy thing to do.

CAMEROTA: But do you think that she needs to come up with a better answer than he has been a tremendous supporter of women and families?

NAVARRO: Look, I think -- you know, I think the best thing to do is to acknowledge some of the things that we all heard --


NAVARRO: -- that we all saw.

CAMEROTA: You think his daughter should say something? How does that sound?

NAVARRO: You know -- how does that sound? Look, I know that during the campaign we heard and saw certain things that were very troublesome. They were very troublesome to me and his daughter, as well, but that is not the Donald Trump I know.