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Political Turmoil in UK After Shocking Election; Trump Lawyer to File Comey Complaint for Leaking; Bill Cosby's Accuser to Take the Stand; Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired June 9, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:33:25] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, a political shocker in the UK. British Prime Minister Theresa May calls a special election to shore up her own power, and instead it causes her own Conservative Party to lose its majority.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and this happened even though at one point she was ahead by 20 points in the polls.
Joining us now live from London, where this is still going on, still developing, CNN international correspondent Phil Black and CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.
Phil, first to you. Just give us the lay of the land. Where are we right now? What happened and what's happening?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So where we are right now, John, Poppy, is Theresa May is desperately trying to prove that her authority, her political dominance here is in no way diminished, but of course it is.
As you touched on, to understand just how terrible this result has been for Theresa May, you have to realize that she didn't need to call this election. This was her choice, her gamble, an attempt to increase her majority in parliament. Instead, it's gone the other way. She no longer has a majority at all.
Her response to this has been to simply not comment publicly on just what this means, to in no way acknowledge that she made a mistake. Hasn't done that so far. To in no way even maintain the possibility that the electorate is punishing her because they don't like her leadership style or her policies on really important issues like Brexit.
So earlier this afternoon she stood her -- stood at here in Downing Street and insisted that she is the best person who is still best placed to, in her word, provide the certainty that this country needs going forward. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The government I'll lead will put fairness and opportunity at the heart of everything we do so that we will fulfill the promise of Brexit together and over the next five years build a country in which no one and no community is left behind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:35:15] BLACK: So that's Theresa May desperately trying to prove that she is still not only in command of the country, but also, crucially, her party as well. There are some big questions there to be answered moving forward. And of course, her personal image and the degree of respect and authority that she carries in Europe will obviously be crucial in the coming days as Britain finally begins the formal negotiations to exit the European Union.
HARLOW: And she was going to be leading that. We'll see what happens, if she is able to hang on to the confidence of her people.
Christiane Amanpour, to you for the analysis. Why did this happen, when she was ahead by 20 points at one point not that long ago in the polls? Was this largely the terror attack? What was it? And also, what does it mean then going forward for Brexit?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, imagine this, Poppy and John. Just imagine that you have for the second time in under one year, two major votes called that did not need to be called. First, last year we had David Cameron calling a referendum on the future of this country in the world that many people said he didn't need to do and was just basically pandering to the far right of his party, and he lost that gamble, and Britain is out of the EU one way or the other.
Then you have his successor, who wasn't elected, who beat out other competitors because they ran for the hills, the Brexiteers, who came in and decided to be the competent pair of hands to take this country through these most consequential negotiations on Brexit. She did not need to call an election. She had a 17-seat majority in this building behind me, and she decided to gamble that, for whatever reason -- historians will figure it out later -- and she lost.
Now she is having to align herself with a party that's in Northern Ireland that most people believe is fairly obscure and will extract as much leverage as it possibly can with 10 seats and not necessarily in the same vain that Britain might want to be going forward. We don't know. We don't knoq what kind of leverage they'll have over this government. But the other obviously huge issue is that the Europeans are not giving any slack. These negotiations and prime minister has said it today, will start within 10 days.
Now I have been talking to Europeans and to others who are around this potential negotiation for Brexit, and they all say the Europeans right now are lined up with their front bench, their back bench, their different sectors of negotiating teams. They know exactly where they're going. We have been told that this is not the case for the British negotiating team, even before this election when Prime Minister May thought she was going to win. They still don't have the negotiating ducks in order or in a row.
And this is something that's going to be very, very difficult. This was a Brexit election that not one word about the future of Britain outside the EU was explained, was delineated, and nobody quite knows what it means to be out of the EU. So far, we've had the German Foreign minister saying, you know, the British people are not to be toyed with, this election shows that they have spoken, and we hope it means that the British people do not want to get out of the EU in the manner that's been suggested so far.
So right now everything's at stake. It couldn't be a more difficult, dicey moment with so much at stake and so much unknown.
BERMAN: In other words, nothing is clear this morning.
All right, Christiane Amanpour, our thanks so much. Appreciate it.
AMANPOUR: That's right.
HARLOW: And as she said, two elections called in the last year that did not need to be called with stunning results. We'll have more on that, of course, throughout the day.
In just a little bit, also, you will hear directly from President Trump. He will take reporter questions, we hope, we think, for the first time in three weeks. Cue the James Comey question.
[10:43:17] BERMAN: What a big day. President Trump will likely be asked about James Comey's testimony when he takes questions from reporters for the first time in three weeks, in just a few hours.
HARLOW: I would add that likely turns into a certainly.
BERMAN: You know, you never --
HARLOW: One would hope.
BERMAN: He gets to choose who he calls on.
HARLOW: That is true.
BERMAN: It's not impossible that he calls on people who will ask about, you know, the flowers in the Rose Garden.
HARLOW: They might.
BERMAN: They might.
HARLOW: You should find out right here at 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time. This comes as the White House is already on offense this morning. CNN has learned that the president's personal attorney is going to file a complaint against former FBI director James Comey with the Justice Department inspector general and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Let's talk about more of it with CNN political commentators Maria Cardona and Jeffrey Lord. Assuming the president is not asked about the roses in Rose Garden,
Jeffrey, to you, his tweet this morning -- a split up on the screen -- just to remind people of his tweet this morning, "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication. And wow. Comey is a leaker." If he's talking about Comey's total false statements and lies, he's accusing him of felony perjury. Does he have to clear up to the American people exactly what he means?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I'm not a lawyer, so frankly I don't know what the right thing to say is on that. I simply --
HARLOW: Jeffrey, no, I'm simply asking you, if he is saying that the former FBI director committed a felony, should he tell the American people why he's saying that?
LORD: Sure, sure, absolutely. And look, the president is going to be forthcoming, as he always is. You know, this -- the president's birthday is June 14th, and I think he probably is considering this an early birthday present here. He's tweeted out that he felt vindicated. I mean, James Comey revealed himself yesterday to be a walking one-man swamp. I mean, this is exactly what's wrong with the city.
[10:45:03] I mean, he was manipulative. He leaked. I mean, he's the director of the FBI, for heaven sakes. And I mean, his behavior is just beyond belief.
BERMAN: Former director when he gave that memo.
LORD: Now, yes, but still --
BERMAN: OK, Jeffrey --
LORD: No, no, I'm just saying -- from doing it before?
BERMAN: Are you accusing him of doing it before?
LORD: I have no idea, but clearly, this was not a first-time event for him. He knew exactly what he was doing.
BERMAN: Maria, do you want to --
LORD: He wanted to get a story to "The New York Times," and he did it.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, this is just so laughable, John and Poppy, because Jeff knows, and frankly, Trump and probably everyone in the administration knows that yesterday was a debacle for all of them.
The fact that Trump is touting that he was vindicated is ridiculous. I think he needs to stop drinking some covfefe because the fact of the matter is, is that yesterday I think initiated what is most likely going to be an investigation of obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller. That's exactly what Comey had said. And what is so ironic is that everything that led to Comey's testimony yesterday were events that were inappropriate, unethical, perhaps illegal, by the president of the United States asking Comey, directing him, as Comey said, to back off of an investigation when he wasn't under investigation at the time, and perhaps -- well, not perhaps, actually, Comey kind of said this, that led to Comey not just writing the memos --
HARLOW: All right, but, Maria --
CARDONA: -- but sharing them with the American people and now perhaps he is under investigation for obstruction of justice, as he should be.
HARLOW: Maria, you know that president -- that Director Comey demurred when he was asked whether or not he thinks, you know, this is obstruction of justice on multiple occasions, but I will say, this is a he said-he said scenario in which, actually, the American people don't have an overwhelming amount of trust in either of the men when it comes to the Russia investigation.
So it's about, Jeffrey Lord, who the American people are going to trust more here. Now when you do look at the new "Washington Post"/ABC poll, it says 72 percent of people, when you look at the numbers in terms of how much they trust the president on Russia. We have them here. 72 percent of them say they don't have an overwhelming amount of trust in the president on Russia. But still it is he said-he said.
LORD: Well, yes. And the one thing we know for sure is the president was not being investigated, per Director Comey. And Senator Rubio had a very interesting point. Isn't that amazing that of the things that leaked, that was not one of them? I find that very, very curious.
BERMAN: You know, but we did have, Maria Cardona, we had Lee Zeldin, an early supporter of President Trump, by the way, on the show last hour. Lee Zeldin said two things that were interesting. Number one, he sees no reason why the White House can't give a clear answer as to whether or not there are tapes. I don't understand why we can't get a clear answer to that either. But the second thing is we asked him outright, you know, do you -- are you comfortable saying the president did not lie? And his answer was sort of, about what? And then he went on to say he wants to see more of the facts here.
CARDONA: Yes. I saw that, John, when it happened in real time, and it was a little jaw-dropping. If you had one of your supporters who has to ask about which lie are you talking about do I think the president lied when he lied, that is astounding to me. And I think it points to exactly what you were just talking about -- yes, this is he said-he said. And by the way, I am not a big Jim Comey fan, as you all know, because I do think he acted outside of the realm of policies of the Department of Justice during the Hillary Clinton investigation, but when you put Jim Comey's credibility versus Donald Trump's credibility, Jim Comey will win every day of the week and twice on Sunday. You have a poll that is out, not just the one that you just talked
about, Poppy, but a Quinnipiac poll that has Donald Trump at 34 percent approval rating.
BERMAN: All right.
CARDONA: And 60 percent of Americans believe he did something either illegal or unethical when it comes to this issue.
BERMAN: I think it is notable and I think both of you hold your views very genuinely and sincerely here, which does show a split.
BERMAN: In terms of how people perceive this event yesterday. Maria Cardona, Jeffrey Lord, thanks so much for being with us.
CARDONA: Thanks so much.
LORD: Thanks, John.
BERMAN: For the first time, jurors in the Bill Cosby sexual offense trial hear Cosby's version of events. So what can they expect to hear in court today?
[10:53:26] BERMAN: All right, prosecutors could wrap up their case against Bill Cosby as early as today.
HARLOW: And for the first time, jurors will hear how Cosby explains what happened.
Our correspondent Jean Casarez has been in court, and she has the latest.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Poppy, we are still in the middle of the commonwealth's case in this criminal trial against Bill Cosby, and this has really come to a pinnacle point of credibility.
The jury saw Andrea Constand. She took the stand, she testified. She was quiet. She was thoughtful. She was very authentic in her answers. Cross-examination brought out inconsistencies.
Now Bill Cosby has said publicly in a radio interview that he will not be testifying, but the jury is now in the middle of actually hearing Bill Cosby's words. His police statement in 2005, verbatim, the jury heard it, and now they're on to his 2005 deposition in the civil case.
Andrea Constand and Bill Cosby say much of the same things, of when they got together, of when she went to his home, of when they were alone together, of the fire that was burning, of the cognac that she was drinking. But then they diverge at a very important point. She says that whenever he made an advance, she stopped it, she walked away, she left his home. Cosby, quite the opposite, goes into explicit detail of sexually what
he says that they did together, and that at all times Andrea Constand consented, except one time he says he tried to touch her, she said no, and he stopped. He backed away.
[10:55:05] Constand had said that Bill Cosby gave her three pills, blue pills. Cosby says that also, saying it was Benadryl. And most importantly, he says she was never dizzy, woozy, unable to stand or enable to consent. He also says in his deposition that he never knew Andrea Constand to be untruthful -- Poppy, John.
HARLOW: Jean Casarez, thank you.
And a reminder to join Jean for the CNN special report, "THE CASE AGAINST BILL COSBY," it airs tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
BERMAN: All right, the president set to speak soon in the Rose Garden, this after the testimony from former FBI chief James Comey. What will the president say when he faces the press? Will he tell us whether or not there are White House tapes?
Stay with CNN for our special live coverage.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Just moments from now President Trump will be speaking live as he and fired --