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European Leaders Signal Deepening Rift with U.S.; Pentagon to Test New Anti-Missile System; Texas Lawmakers Debate Turns Into Brawl; Bryce Harper Throws Helmet, Punches Against Hunter Strickland; Tiger Woods Caught in DUI; Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired May 30, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:01] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: She says there are more reasons than ever to, quote, "take our fate into our hands." And just moments ago, Italy's prime minister reiterated the same thing. The reporter saying, "Italy and the EU must take its own future into its hands." He went on to say, "We have fundamental objectives which we cannot renounce, such as the environment."
Joining us now Fareed Zakaria, host of "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" here on CNN.
The question becomes how permanent is this, how lasting is this, and how deep of a divide is it? I mean, Angela Merkel and President Trump traded barbs throughout the campaign, but they were personal. This seems fundamental based on policy and things like climate change.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Well, I think it could potentially be a very important shift. Seismic. We'll have to see. But it seems as though what the Europeans are saying is, look, we believe in the liberal international order, liberal meaning open, open free trade, rule-based, and the United States has created that order, brought us into it after World War II, has been the upholder, the guarantor, but this administration seems to essentially not only just walk away from that, be indifferent to it, but is actively hostile to us, to NATO, to the European Union, to many of those institutions.
We are going to continue to defend. We are going to continue to uphold it. And if we now need to become the lead players in upholding the liberal international order, we'll step up to the challenge.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Look, there's nothing wrong with being the leading player in your own story, however, it's the hostility with which they're saying which strikes me. The German Foreign minister today said, "The short sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union. The West has become smaller, at least it has become weaker."
It strikes me that the flood gates are open, Fareed. You have leader after leader, and then foreign minister after foreign minister who won't be saying it if they didn't have the approval of leaders now being directly critical of the United States. It seems that a line has been crossed here.
ZAKARIA: I think that there's no question all of them would much prefer to have the United States as the active leader of the West that it has been.
Look, it raises enormous complications for Europeans. The Germans are now taking this active role, as you mentioned. Well, Germany has traditionally not taken an aggressive geopolitical role in recent decades because it conjures up bad memories for the rest of Europe. And so the Germans have always preferred to follow the United States' lead, because once the Germans do that, it does raise the -- you know, the hackles of the polls and the French, who have been invaded by Germany two or three times over the last two or three centuries, so they have all preferred the glue that the United States provided. And so they look at the dissolving of this group and they're worried.
HARLOW: The dissolving of the glue. I mean, that's the best way to put it. Got to get your take on the meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Putin at Versailles yesterday. He stood up to Putin in so many ways, whether it was on Syria, on Ukraine, and then that in the wake of talking about how his handshake with Donald Trump, that awkward handshake, was not innocent. Did he prove to be stronger with Putin than the American president?
ZAKARIA: I think that it's fair to say that the position of leader of the Western world is currently vacant, and President Macron stepped in to fill it. The United States that has traditionally played that role is unwilling to or actively hostile to some of the institutions of the West. Germany has its own historical reasons for not being able to completely fill that role. It does conjure up bad memories for a lot of people in Europe.
France is the perfect country, and Macron is the perfect candidate because he's tough, he's aggressive, he's young. He didn't just criticize Putin on policy, he contradicted him on the issue of Russia's cyber war, which, you know, he's the first Western leader to directly confront Russia on what is in effect an act of war, an act of hostility.
BERMAN: Standing beside him. Do you have any sense of how Vladimir Putin responds to this? Does he respond better to the in-your-face kind of pressure he got from Emmanuel Macron, or the, you know, presentation that President Trump gave his ambassador and his foreign minister in Washington?
ZAKARIA: Everything we know about Putin is that he responds to pressure. That is, when you push, he stops, he retreats. If you look at how he has taken advantage of Europe, it has always been when he sensed weakness, he moves forward. I suspect that with Macron -- and you would see it in that conference room. You know, he was at a loss for words. He started to pretend that he had -- you know, he had actually never favored Macron's opponent, Marine Le Pen, which is not true. All of a sudden, Putin, who always seemed cool, calm, collected, seemed something at a loss for words.
HARLOW: Fareed, we're almost out of time, but before we let you go, you just gave a commencement address that made a lot of headlines. You said, look, in these universities, there is not the space being allowed for important conservative voices. [10:35:02] And we just want your take on the mayor of Portland,
Oregon, in the wake of that horrific train attack, is calling for two alt-right groups to cancel these demonstrations that they have planned for the next month, and that is, you know, some would argue on the other side the silencing of those voices.
How do you see it as you've been around the country speaking about this?
ZAKARIA: You know, each situation is specific, and I do think there's a difference between protests and things like that that are almost designed and could create kind of -- you know, create political and social unrest, and a conservative intellectual coming to a college campus which is meant to be dedicated to free and open inquiry. So I don't want to second guess the mayor of Portland. It might be the right call, it may be the wrong one. I haven't studied it carefully.
What I can say is the University of Portland or the University of Oregon, these places are meant to be centers of free expression and free inquiry. That's what universities are for. And for them to be silencing people or even, frankly, turning your back on people -- don't turn your back, look straight at them and argue back. I mean, if they're wrong, explain why.
HARLOW: Fareed Zakaria, thank you. Nice to have you here.
You can, of course, watch Fareed every Sunday, 10:00 a.m. Eastern right here.
All right. Today the Pentagon is testing a new antimissile system after North Korea launches its third missile test in as many weeks. Details on that from the Pentagon next.
[10:40:47] BERMAN: All right, a key U.S. military test today, an upgraded system to shoot down a ballistic missile. This comes after North Korea fired a new type of ballistic missile.
HARLOW: Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, joins us with the latest.
How significant is this, Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: This is big stuff, you guys. You know, the Pentagon will tell you it's not about North Korea, but who else is out there really working on an intercontinental ballistic missile with a stated intention of trying to attack the U.S.? That's the North Koreans.
So later today, it's a long planned test but still significant, the U.S. is going to try and test an upgraded system it's been working on. Sometime between 3:00 and 7:00 tonight, East Coast Time, there will be a missile that takes off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California. It will launch. It will fly very high, very fast. At the same time, thousands of miles away in the Pacific, a so-called target missile, something that might simulate a North Korean missile, will take off.
They will meet high, thousands of miles over the Pacific. And think of it as a bullet trying to hit a bullet over the ocean. The target missile flies, the U.S. interceptor flies, and the U.S. interceptor tries to knock that missile out of the sky. If it all works, it will be a significant step forward in reassuring the U.S. that it does have the capability to potentially shoot down a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile.
This whole thing has been in the works for years, but it's had a very spotty test record. So today is the first test of the upgraded, improved system, and the Pentagon right now is banking on the fact that it all works somewhere in the skies between 3:00 and 7:00 tonight East Coast Time.
BERMAN: They want to improve on the success rate, around 50 percent, if that the much, in the past.
Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thanks so much.
HARLOW: Chaos on the Texas House floor. Protesters, lawmakers in each other's faces. It got ugly. This really happened. You'll see it next.
[10:46:46] HARLOW: Political sparring in the Texas statehouse spiraled into actual sparring after a Republican representative said he called ICE on protesters rallying against a new ban on sanctuary cities.
BERMAN: Yes, not just pushing and shoving, either. Apparently, including threats of one lawmaker shooting another.
Ed Lavandera following this for us in Dallas. Ed, what happened here?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, grown men in suits turning the Texas House floor into a schoolyard shoving match. Essentially what happened yesterday was the last day of the legislative session here in Texas, where lawmakers meet every two years. The last day is supposed to be a ceremonial kind of quiet day, but there was a number of protesters who had shown up in the House gallery to sign -- to protest Senate Bill 4, which is the Anti- Sanctuary City Bill that was signed by the governor of Texas a few weeks ago.
Those protesters showed up, essentially shutting things down for a little while, and that's when Democratic lawmakers say that a Republican lawmaker came over to this group of Hispanic lawmakers and said F them, referring to the protesters, and that he had called ICE immigration officials to have them, quote, "all deported."
That did not go over well with the group of Hispanic lawmakers there on the House of the floor. That's when the shoving match ensued and that's when the threats got really serious. Listen to one of the Democratic lawmakers speaking with CNN this morning. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALFONSO "PONCHO" NEVAREZ (D), TEXAS STATE HOUSE: A scuffle broke out, I got in there, and I realized -- when I realized what it was about and what he was doing and saying, you know, I got in his face, I put my hands on the guy. And you know, I asked him, you know, these are things that shouldn't happen on the House floor. It's a break in decorum. We shouldn't be doing that. And so in that and another exchange, I said, you know, we need to take this outside because it's not going to get -- it shouldn't get resolved here in front of all these people.
I kind of walked away from the guy. And I didn't hear him, and some of my colleagues heard him say he was going to put a bullet in my brain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: A bullet in my brain, and those words came from Representative Matt Rinaldi, who is a Republican from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. He said in a statement that, Representative Ramon Romero, one of the other lawmakers there, "physically assaulted me and that other Democrats were held back by colleagues. During that exchange," Poncho, the man you just heard from, "told me that he would get me on my way to my car." He later approached me and reiterated that I had to leave at some point and he would get me. I made it clear that if he attempted to," in his words, "Get me, I would shoot him in self- defense."
So in response to that statement, Poncho Nevarez said that -- called Rinaldi a liar. So things incredibly heated yesterday on the last day of the legislative here -- legislature here in Texas -- John and Poppy.
HARLOW: It's pretty remarkable, lawmakers representing the American people, and it dissolves into this.
Ed Lavandera, thank you for the reporting.
It is important to note this is not the first time we've seen a political grudge match escalate. In just the last week, a soon-to-be congressman body slammed a reporter.
BERMAN: All right, joining us now is Larry Sabato, director for the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
You know, Larry, are we at a new place right now? You know, I was watching that video from the Texas floor last night, thinking, you know, gosh, are we going to see more of this? Is there a new coarseness in American politics?
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER OF POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: I think we are, John.
[10:50:02] Look, I'm not going to deny that American history is dotted with examples of legislators and congressmen getting into fights of one sort or another, but here's the difference. We're in the age of Donald Trump. What happened over the past two years? Donald Trump attacked and really brutalized many people, not just the press, John. Loads of individuals and groups, including using the issue of immigration to stir up the Republican base. As a consequence --
HARLOW: But not physically.
BERMAN: But not beat them up. But not physically. I don't think Donald Trump has ever been accused of physically beating anyone up.
SABATO: Well, no, I am not saying he did it himself, but in those rallies, you remember him doing nothing to stop some of the physical violence. And in fact urging it on. Let's not rewrite history here. The man got elected president. He was rewarded for these sorts of activities. Politicians pick up on that. A man who will do and say anything got rewarded with the presidency. I think that affects other elected officials. And you combine that with social media, the anonymity of social media. There's a mob mentality on social media and it spills over into real life and we're going to see a lot more of it, and not just on the issue of immigration.
HARLOW: So, Larry, to that point, do you think that the American electorate has become more immune to it? I mean, every headline -- you know, show-led, newspaper headlines were this Montana candidate, now congressman-elect, who body slammed a reporter and two days later no one's talking about it.
SABATO: Well, Americans haven't become more used to it. This is as partisan as everything else in this intensely polarized, partisan country. Republicans, it doesn't bother them, as we saw in Montana. How many people did you interview there?
HARLOW: I don't think, Larry, you can't -- you can't characterize an entire half of this country.
SABATO: First of all, it's not half of the country. You got Republicans, Democrats and independents. But Republicans support it because it's promoted by their side, by their president and by --
BERMAN: In Texas, though, I would --
SABATO: -- other people associated with the Republican Party.
BERMAN: I will say, in Texas, though, there were Democrats laying hands. We had a Democratic representative admitting he put his hands on another candidate. The other guy threatened to shoot him. I mean, it's a back and forth. There are Democrats involved, too, and the Democrat -- and the Democratic Party, Larry, and we're not doing kind of point-counterpoint here, but the chairman of the Democratic Party, Tom Perez, is now swearing regularly. And I know swearing isn't hitting.
HARLOW: Purposely, intentionally.
BERMAN: But he's purposefully using naughty words now to make his point, so Democrats see an advantage here, too, don't they?
SABATO: Well, look, you're pointing to one example and saying both parties were involved. That's absolutely correct. However, this is more of the false equivalency that you all have been correctly criticized for and other news media outlets have been correctly criticized for during the election. Things are not equal. You have to look at the breakdown of the population. And they support -- Republicans support this because their leaders support it. Democrats oppose it because their leaders oppose it.
SABATO: And because maybe they're the target sometimes. But let's not rewrite history.
BERMAN: Larry, we'll -- understood. Understood.
HARLOW: We've got to leave it there. I know a lot of Republicans -- no Republican I know would support this, but we take your point.
Larry Sabato, thank you.
SABATO: Poppy, you need to get around more. Maybe get around out of that studio a little bit more.
BERMAN: All right, a couple of minutes before the hour right now. Poppy does a lot of traveling. Appreciate your time, Larry.
Trouble for Tiger Woods, the golf legend arrested on suspicion of DUI. What he's saying about the incident that landed him in jail. That's next.
[10:57:51] BERMAN: Pretty ugly scene yesterday as one of baseball's biggest stars went out throwing punches after he got plunged.
Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Coy.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Good to see you, John and Poppy. This is video still trending on bleacherreport.com, bad blood between Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland. Strickland seemingly holding a grudge for three years after Harper hit two homers off of him in the playoffs, and then stared him down.
So yesterday was Strickland hits Harper with this 98-mile-per-hour fastball. Harper did more than just stare. He takes the helmet off, throws it at Strickland, then throws some blows. Some big punches landed by both players. The benches clearing in this one, players coming to rally for their teammates.
The Nationals end up winning this game 3 to zip, but both teams likely losing both players to hefty suspensions.
According to police, Tiger Woods was found asleep at the wheel with the car running before being arrested early Monday morning for driving under the influence. Police in Jupiter, Florida, say he was arrested at 3:00 a.m., some 10 miles from his home. They say he had to be woken up, his speech was slurred and mumbled. He did pass a breathalyzer test, and police say he was cooperative. He spent several hours in jail before being released without bail.
Woods apologized to family, friends and fans in a statement, saying, quote, "I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions. I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly," unquote.
Woods adding he expected more from himself and will do everything in his power to make sure it doesn't happen again. Woods is 41 years old. He is due to appear in court for the DUI on July 5th.
HARLOW: All right, Coy Wire, thank you for the reporting and the update. We appreciate it. We'll see you tomorrow.
Thank you all for joining us. I'm Poppy Harlow.
BERMAN: I'm John Berman. "AT THIS HOUR WITH KATE BOLDUAN" starts now.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, John. Thank you, Poppy. Hello, everyone, I am Kate Bolduan. New this morning, exclusive new reporting on Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.