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Trump Supporters Speak Out About Russia Probe; Storms Wreak Havoc in the Eastern U.S.; Tiger Woods: Alcohol Not Involved in DUI; German Leader Signals Deepening Rift with U.S. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 30, 2017 - 06:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What happened? Well, you had Republican Representative Matt Rinaldi, they say he triggered the chaos. And that's going to be disputed among partisans.

[06:30:01] But he called ICE agents to turn in protesters who are holding signs that read, I am legal and here to stay.

Rinaldi claims he was then assaulted by Democratic lawmakers. They denied it, claimed Rinaldi threatened to put a bullet in the head of another legislator.

ICE officials say Rinaldi never actually called them, but whatever. This obviously was a catalyst to spark simmering tension there. You know, you have a lot of Latinos in that room.


CUOMO: They took it as a personal slight. And this is what we're about right now.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Absolutely. You can see how overblown everything gets with all the heated rhetoric and something sparks it. We will follow that.

Meanwhile, is the Russia cloud eroding support among President Trump's diehard supporters?


CAMEROTA: Show of hands, how many people are concerned about the Russia investigation?


CAMEROTA: OK. We'll tell you more of what they said and how they are feeling four months into this administration.


CAMEROTA: It seems every day brings a new development into the investigation in Russia's meddling in the U.S. election.

[06:35:05] But how do President Trump's most ardent supporters feels about this?

Well, we assembled a group from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and California, to ask them about it in part two of our voter panel.


CAMEROTA: Show of hands. How many people are concerned about the Russia investigation?

Three of you are concerned about what you've seen thus far with the Russian investigation.

Brooke, why?

BROOKE DHONDT: It's just concerning. I mean, I understand keep your friends close but your enemies closer. But at the same point, if you're keeping your enemy closer, you're obviously communicating about things. I don't know how he's earning the trust and friendship with Russia?

CAMEROTA: You think he might be divulging too much?

DHONDT: He very well could be. I mean, we all see he always says what's on his mind. He'll say anything to get what he wants.

CAMEROTA: Roark, what's your concern about Russia?

ROARK TISHKO: Well, to say you're not concerned about an FBI investigation I feel is a little partisan. I understand he's not a politician. But as a businessman, you would have thought he would have had his affairs in order. Michael Flynn, you would have thought he'd have a little more discretion.

CAMEROTA: Do you fear that it could lead someplace troubling?

TISHKO: Well, if you look at what the CIA director said sometimes and especially with Michael Flynn, sometimes you can be led down a path to treason, as he put it, without intent. In that sense, I think we do have to see what the FBI recommends.

CAMEROTA: Judy, why aren't you concerned about the Russian investigation?

JUDY SNELL: I don't think there's enough evidence for me personally to be concerned.

CAMEROTA: So, contacts that the Trump campaign advisers had, that doesn't rise to the level of concern for you?

SNELL: It does not. So much media coming at us, it's hard to sometimes sort through it all. But when I try to clear the path, so to speak, and see where the dust settles, it's not concerning to me at this time.

JAIME HECHTMAN ULLOA: But that was Obama administration fault with Flynn because they are the ones who did all the investigation on him. CAMEROTA: They didn't name him to be national security adviser, he

took from the Russians and didn't disclose it.

ULLOA: But everything passed on to him was told that he was clear to go and that he would be completely investigated. Donald Trump didn't have the ability to investigate him like the Obama administration did.

CAMEROTA: Sally Yates attempted to alert the Trump administration that Michael Flynn hadn't divulged things, his ties to the Russians. Why did it take 18 days to fire him?

ULLOA: That I don't know. That's one of the things that gets me. Sometimes I think he should take action a little faster.

CAMEROTA: Does the Russian stuff give you pause?

ULLOA: It does. I would be not happy if it turned out he really was in collusion with Russia. If he's doing it to try to better the relationship to keep our country safe, that's really what I think he's doing.

CAMEROTA: People have taken issue with the fact he divulged classified information to the Russians in the Oval Office. That wasn't planned. He just decided to do that. That broke protocol.

DENNIS MCKIRAHAN: Well, there's a couple of things. Number one, I don't know what they are considering classified.

CAMEROTA: It's classified. It's considered classified.

MCKIRAHAN: He's not going to do something intentionally harmful.

CAMEROTA: But what if it is harmful even unintentional?

MCKIRAHAN: Well, every president made mistakes that could be detrimental to the party and nation. I believe that. We've got to let things fall where they may.

And when it becomes something that is proven, then we speak up. But what we have a tendency to do in America today is we want to judge everybody before there's something really sincerely evidently obviously wrong.

DAVID SYPNER: The classified information, it definitely worries me. And it takes away from his agenda, tax cuts, health reform, all the things that got people on his side. Now, as far as the case with Comey, I don't really think he did anything wrong. He may have broke presidential etiquette, which he has done time and time again.

CAMEROTA: All of you at some point seemed to like that President Trump was not a politician. That was refreshing.

TISHKO: And I think the question is, does that disqualify him as avowed president? I think that's what CNN and I think that's what other outlets are trying to disseminate.

CAMEROTA: That he wasn't --


TISHKO: That certain abnormalities and problems in the unrolling of his policy, they are trying to say that that absolutely invalidates the entire idea, spirit of the law.

CAMEROTA: Well, I never heard CNN say that. I never heard CNN --

TISHKO: Well, Yes, "Washington Post", "New York Times" --

CAMEROTA: -- saying he's disqualified of not having been a politician, but I do hear you saying that there are some downfalls, there are some pitfalls to some politicians because they don't know how to do it.

TISHKO: It is the first 120 days. But that being said, to say, to turn your head and to put your head in the sand, I think that is a mistake.

[06:40:02] ULLOA: He has to grow, President Trump, yes, absolutely. Yes, absolutely, right.

CAMEROTA: He has to grow and you're willing to give him the chance to do that.

ULLOA: Well, I mean, I think we have to give him the chance.

CAMEROTA: So, Dennis, you are the most faithful, in terms of your feelings towards President Trump of the crowd. So, what are you waiting to see?

MCKIRAHAN: I'm so proud of him, because he's going to clean the swamp. I promise you folks, give him time. He has a lot of heart for every one of us.

And he has a heart for CNN. Believe it or not, I know what he says, but he really wants to make America great again, so do we. We all do.

Not one person could take that office and accomplish near as much as he's done in four months. If he had done that in four months, wait until eight months, wait until two years, wait until four years and he'll be voted in again. I promise you.


CUOMO: What does he think the president has done in four months.

CAMEROTA: He likes the executive actions. He likes the stuff the president has been saying. He talked yesterday when you were off about how he likes, that he feels Christians have more of a voice now. He felt he had to be sort of silenced in the past.

So, he likes what President Trump stands for. But what you heard from all of them is it's too early really for them to have -- give him a final grade. You know, that they are willing to give him a longer chance.

CUOMO: He does have a blessing among his base of people really believing the president wants to do the right thing and giving him the benefit of every doubt. Every time I see one of these panels now, I want to sit with the people who are not for Trump.

CAMEROTA: Who are not for Trump?

CUOMO: They are the bigger part of the country. They are really upset right now. They are trying to organize.

CAMEROTA: We hear from them a lot.

CUOMO: But, you know, the Trump people say that's the media.

CAMEROTA: I know that.

CUOMO: But you have a base that's equally upset with the media about how they are covering Trump but for the exact opposite reasons with the Trump folks.

CAMEROTA: Well, it's hard to please everybody. But I do think we do hear a lot of voices who point out the things they think President Trump gets wrong every day. But I think that it's really helpful and instructive to check back in with people who still support him wholeheartedly and who were diehard supporters just to see how they feel.

You've heard one last thing. You heard Judy there say the influx of media -- the deluge of media every day is hard for us to sort through. I think a lot of people feel that way.

CUOMO: Especially if you see information and criticism as opposition, which is how the Trump base sees it. So, that's tough for them to process.

CAMEROTA: Coming up in just minutes, we will talk about the Russian investigation with former director of national intelligence, James Clapper. Stick around for that.

CUOMO: This is a man who does not struggle with having a lot of information coming at him at once.

Tiger Woods, new trouble for him on the personal front. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI. I'll tell you why this is an interesting story, Tiger's explanation of what landed him in jail. It is worth discussing in the "Bleacher Report", ahead.


[06:47:08] CAMEROTA: All right. Storms are wreaking havoc in the East. This is a look at suspected tornado damage in Sampson County, North Carolina. And more storms we understand are on the way.

So, let's get to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. He's tracking the latest forecast for us. Tell us what you see today, Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Alisyn, certainly, that could have been a tornado.

I was in Birmingham, Alabama, yesterday and the storms are going up so fast and they were heading that way.

This weather is brought to you by Purina, your pet, our passion.

Another day of potential severe weather but this time, it shifts up toward the Northeast, into New York, into Pennsylvania, Dubois and Williamsburg, and all the way up Williamsport, all the way up even into parts of Northeast New York. We will watch the storms as they move into the Northeast today.

Reeling across parts of the turnpike in Pennsylvania and on up into the Adirondacks and Catskills for most of the day. But as the nighttime comes in, we could even get storms all the way down to Philadelphia, D.C., and, yes, even you New York City. You could see some storms today.

Now, in between raindrops, temperatures are very nice, 60s and 70s. Normal weather all across Northeast and Southeast today -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you very much, Chad. Appreciate it.

Want to show you this. A very ugly scene as one of baseball's biggest stars threw punches after getting hit by a pitch.

Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report".

All the big question here, Coy, is what's going to happen to big bad Bryce Harper after this?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, some suspensions, fines likely, Chris. There was bad blood between national slugger Bryce Harper, Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland.

Strickland seemingly to hold a grudge for three years after Harper hit two home runs off him in the playoff. And so, yesterday, when Strickland hit him with 98 miles an hour fastball, it was royal rumble time. Throw in helmets, punches landed. These guys are 6'3", 6'4".

Both benches clearing. Players ejected. Both players likely going to see hefty fines and suspensions.

NBA finals start Thursday, but the Warriors will likely be without head coach Steve Kerr still feeling effects from back surgery. He'll travel to Cleveland. But he said as of now he's not going to be on the sidelines for his team.

Tiger Woods is apologizing following his arrest Monday after driving under the influence. Woods was arrested early Memorial Day near his home in Florida. He released this 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 expects more from himself and will do everything in his power to make sure it doesn't happen again. Police in Jupiter, Florida, say he was arrested 3:00 a.m. Monday. He spent several hours in jail before being released without bail. The 41-year-old Woods has been off the pro-tour, rehabbing from a fourth back surgery which he had that last month -- guys.

[06:50:02] CAMEROTA: Oh, boy, that mug shot is, you know, it looks like how the mighty have fallen. I mean -- and it's no longer enough, Coy, to say, well, alcohol wasn't involved. It's prescription drugs. I mean, that's a problem that's rampant across the country.

CUOMO: Yes, if that's true, you know, Tiger says there's no alcohol involved, if that's true, then it really is a window into a bigger problem. There are so many people who drive on medications and they don't understand the effects.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: They are saying it more and more in law enforcement. It will be interesting if Tiger Woods becomes the face of that.

CAMEROTA: So, if you think, a doctor prescribed it, it must be safer than alcohol. But there is exhibit A.

Meanwhile, Germany's Angela Merkel doubling down on her doubts Europe can rely on the U.S. under President Trump. Christiane Amanpour joins us with her take, next.


CUOMO: All right. So the strong alliance between U.S. and Europe is showing some signs of strain -- at least if you follow the talk -- because for a second day in a row, you have the German Chancellor Angela Merkel lashing out at President Trump or really lashing back, saying that the Europeans now have to take their destiny into their own hands, that she doesn't know what she can depend on from the United States and the president of the United States is responding on Twitter this morning.

[06:55:00] Here's his case: We have a passive trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay far less than they should on NATO and military. Very bad for U.S. This will change.

Here to discuss, CNN's chief international correspondent and host of "Amanpour", Christiane Amanpour.

How do you see the merits of this ongoing debate?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really an unfortunate situation, particularly if this is all going to be waged in the Twittersphere right now.

Angela Merkel gave what people did feel was quite a bold statement at a campaign rally in a beer hall over the weekend after coming away from the G7 and NATO summits with Donald Trump, where there were highly and well-publicized disputes between all the other G7 members and the United States, on climate, on trade, on NATO's Article 5 and on those kinds of things.

So, this was not unexpected to highlight those kinds of things. I think some of the words Angela Merkel used have been ignored. She said, you know, after these last few days, I feel we can no longer fully rely on the United States, and she added the U.K. At least to some extent, there were all these words. She then turned it back towards what she's long wanted to do, say we must as Europeans take our destiny more firmly into our own hands. So, that's sort of the big picture.

But I also spoke to the head of the foreign affairs committee in the Bundestag yesterday, who's a member of her party and an ally. He basically said, look, we've had 70 years of American leadership, successful leadership, multi-lateralism, and under this president who himself talks about America first more isolationist foreign policy, these are -- this is how we feel about it right now and that's what we're talking about. But they remain very committed to transatlantic alliance.

CAMEROTA: It's interesting, Christiane, because Germany's foreign minister went further than Angela Merkel did in terms of not mincing words. He talked about how he believes that President Trump is putting Europe at risk.

Let me read this full screen for everyone.

Anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk.

I mean, he is just not pulling any punches. He said a lot of things that sound directly directed at President Trump.

AMANPOUR: Well, look, he's also from a different party, a party that's competing and running in elections against Angela Merkel. He's part of the coalition.

But, yes, on the issue of climate, they had very difficult talks. And our officials who would be talking in Germany are very worried that the Trump administration this week will make a decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords. And they are saying it doesn't make any economic sense. It doesn't make any business sense both in the United States and around the world, business believes in alternative energy and carbon neutral future. It's good for business, say the U.S. business people and those around the world.

And if climate completely messes up, the environment in parts of the world, it will lead to more migration to the rich part of the world. So, that's a very black and white issue that can easily be digested by most people. So, on that issue, yes, the rest of the Western alliance is very, very worried.

And imagine this, today Angela Merkel doubled down saying it's right that we maintain strong transatlantic alliance, but that we voice our issues. She said it at a press conference with the prime minister of India whom she congratulated on sticking with the Paris climate accord. One of the biggest polluters and one of the -- you know, growing, emerging economies in the world.

So, India and China are emerging economies care about their own economies but are also sticking with the climate accords. So, it's a little bit of cognitive dissidents, if you like, if the U.S., you know, pulls out at this particular point.

CUOMO: Christiane, quickly, we know what the president of the United States is doing. He is assessing the deals. You know, that's why you see in his tweet. He doesn't mention environmental accords but he's saying that's not good for U.S. business. NATO, not a good deal for the U.S. because we give so much more than anybody else.

You've harped on this point of perception before and reality before. What does all of this mean for U.S. standing in Europe writ large?

AMANPOUR: Well, look, the Europeans after these last two days of summits, NATO and G7, have actually had the first opportunity as a group to meet Donald Trump and hear from him his America first, for want of a better, his own slogan foreign policy. So, they have heard him now talk about trade, about NATO, about the climate. And so, they have got it from the horse's mouth so to speak.

But if you look at American business, they have also written letters to this administration, saying do not pull out of the climate accords, because this is actually not bad for American business.