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EARLY START

What's Next in The Russia Investigation; May's U.K. Election Gamble Backfires. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 9, 2017 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The road ahead for the Russia probe after former FBI Director James Comey directly contradicts President Trump's claims in sworn testimony. What will Comey's statements change?

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Pleasure to be here with you, Christine. I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Dave Briggs. We are 28 minutes past the hour.

And with James Comey's explosive testimony now in the history books, the big question becomes what happens next in the Russia investigation? How will it affect the Senate probe or the work of independent counsel Robert Mueller as he builds a possible obstruction of justice case? We're going to have more on that in just a moment.

ROMANS: But, first, Comey's testimony. The fired FBI director laying out his meetings with President Trump in stunning new detail, all under oath, describing with dramatic flair the president's demand for loyalty and his apparent desire to influence the Russia probe. Comey accused the president of lying multiple times, accusing the president of lying.

And Comey admitted he leaked material from the memos he says he kept to protect himself and the bureau. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMEY: He asked specifically of loyalty in the context of asking me to stay.

And as I said what was odd about that is we'd already talked twice about it by that point and he had said, I very much hope you'll stay. I hope you'll stay. Again, I could be wrong, but my common sense told me what's going on here is he's looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job. I created records after conversations and I think I did it after each of our nine conversations. I knew that there might come a day when I would need a record of what happened not just to defend myself but to defend the FBI.

[04:30:07] I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document.

And it's my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.

The administration then chose to defame me and more importantly, the FBI, by saying that the organization was in disarray. That it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.

And so, I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I very carefully chose the words. Look, I've seen the information about tapes, lordy, I hope there are tapes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: And this morning, we're hearing new information from Capitol Hill sources. They say that Comey revealed in a closed door session that there may have been a third meeting between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. A meeting he did not disclose.

With a look at what's next in the investigation, we go to CNN's Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Good morning, Christine and Boris.

The question is, where does this go from here? Democrats and top Democrat and the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee do plan to meet with Bob Mueller, the special counsel next week to discuss how to move forward on their investigation and see where it conflicts with the special counsel investigation. And one thing that the Senate Intelligence Committee wants are any taped communications, Comey's communication with President Trump.

I had a chance to talk with Mark Warner, the top Democrat, about that yesterday.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, it would be great if actually the president, or one of his many spokespeople would at least acknowledge whether they exist or not. I mean, I'm amazed that they have not even answered the press, whether there is an existence of a secret taping system in the White House. I mean, we have seen in past history that secret taping systems used by presidents don't end up in a very good position.

RAJU: Now, as you can see, did not rule out issuing a subpoena for those tapes, but the White House still not saying whether or not there are any tapes or that any device set up in the White House to tape communications between President Trump and anybody else. But that is a question investigators will continue to probe on Capitol Hill and the special counsel's office -- Boris and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Manu, thank you for that.

President Trump keeping an unusually low profile in the wake of Comey's testimony, but his lawyers and allies come out aggressively and they're all staying on message, claiming the president feels completely vindicated while attacking the credibility of the former FBI director.

Here's Trump's attorney, Marc Kasowitz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARC KASOWITZ, OUTSIDE COUNSEL TO PRES. DONALD TRUMP: The president never in form or substance directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that Mr. Comey, quote, let Flynn go. The president also never told Mr. Comey, quote, I need loyalty. I expect loyalty, closed quote. He never said it in form and he never said it in substance.

Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those serving the administration, and from before the president took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Attorney Kasowitz claims Comey's testimony proves the president did not collude with the Russians or attempt to obstruct that FBI investigation.

SANCHEZ: We also learned that after Comey's testimony that the investigation will continue. President Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, is expected to meet with staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee as early as this month. It's not clear when he might actually meet with committee members, but federal investigators are looking into his handling of the president's voter data operation during the campaign, and as well as his relationship with fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, and they're exploring if and how Kushner attempted to set up the backchannel to communicate with Russian President Vladimir Putin. ROMANS: So much to go over. Let's bring in the CNN political analyst

and Princeton history professor, Julian Zelizer, Michael Moore, the former U.S. attorney for the middle district of Georgia, and CNN political analyst, Josh Rogin, columnist for "The Washington Post".

Josh, let me start with you. I want to get your response to something that I think gets lost sometimes frankly when we talk about all of this.

[04:35:08] You know, who's more credible, what happened when, what color were the drapes in the room when this private meeting happened.

James Comey said the Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle and it was an attack on American democracy, not on Democrats or Republicans, and it's something that is the core for all of this, and I think it's sometimes gets forgotten.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, Christine, I agree with you 100 percent, and, you know, I think this is the big sort of missed story of yesterday, is that not only did James Comey say that the Russians definitely did this, which is something that almost everyone else has said, including most of the Trump administration senior cabinet officials, he said they're coming for America and they'll be back. He said that the Russians are engaged in a massive project to muddy up, dirty up American democracy and that this is a core mission of Vladimir Putin.

That's true. That's much more significant in my view than any meeting, you know, Jeff Sessions had on the sideline of the speech or even any sort of conversation that the president and the FBI director had about this or that. That is an existential challenge to our country that is being sort of neglected by what we can say is a politicization of this issue on both sides.

ROMANS: I wonder, you know, just quickly, Josh, the president was more concerned it seemed from that testimony, the president was more concerned about his reputation and not the actual interference.

ROGIN: That's exactly right. But I would also say that Democrats are more concerned with the issue of collusion than the issue of interference.

ROMANS: Yes.

ROGIN: So, both sides are politicizing this and it prevents us from having, you know, an all of government approach to responding to this attack on American democracy and American election systems.

And I was talking yesterday after the hearing to General Philip Breedlove, the former head of U.S. Forces in Europe, and he said that, you know, this is happening all over the world.

ROMANS: Yes.

ROGIN: And all countries in Europe are looking to America to lead an effort to push back against this, you know, determined and ongoing Russian aggression, and that effort is totally missing and he, again, like I said, blamed both sides, OK? We were here enmeshed here in Washington in the politics of this investigation and it prevents us from sort of seeing the forest for the trees, which is that the only real way to prevent this from happening again is to protect the integrity of our political system is for at some point for both sides to come together and say, OK, this is a threat to all of us and we're going to have to do something about it, and in order to do that we're going to have to first get on the same page and admit this happened and admit that's a problem, and then come up with a plan to push back.

SANCHEZ: You can make a case that Russian interference isn't the only thing that's being neglected.

Julian, it's actually infrastructure week believe it or not. Donald Trump Jr. was on FOX News yesterday saying now with this testimony behind us, the cloud is gone. We can focus on the agenda.

But the cloud is not gone. There's still an investigation ongoing.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. The investigation will only get bigger. I think James Comey's testimony only lent credibility to the charges and I would disagree slightly that this is the collusion part is just partisanship. I think they are connected.

If there was intervention in the election, which there was and there were connections to the winning administration, that's a pretty serious issue. So this investigation will continue. We're at a point, we're in June now, and we have zero major legislation from the administration that has united government, it's kind of stunning, and the policy problems with the nation are not being addressed.

And right now, Republicans have burdens. They control government. The Democrats do not. And so, as people keep score politically and evaluate what this president is doing, the Russia scandal is absolutely consuming this period in American political history.

SANCHEZ: Important to point out, there are multiple investigations.

ROMANS: Right.

SANCHEZ: It's just the one.

Michael, to you, what happens next, specifically when it comes to the Attorney General Jeff Sessions? Now, there's accusations that he had another undisclosed meeting with that Russian ambassador that everybody seems to forget meeting.

MICHAEL MOORE: Yes, I think they're probably going to come back and take a good look at the testimony of Sessions gave during his (INAUDIBLE) hearing and the statements he made. But think about the what's happening after -- in context to that. They got the Republicans saying that, well, we got (INAUDIBLE). Of course, it's the same guy who got the nuclear code.

They're saying that some of these meetings don't matter. They're arguing I think in some respects that it is a partisan witch hunt. [04:40:06] But in the same token, I don't think we ever can rule out

or address the possibility of interference in an election until we (INAUDIBLE) whether or not this administration has been colluding. We got the president of Russia talking to our news cycle. We've got the president of the United States that is so mistrusted by the director of the FBI that he has to take notes because he thinks he's going to come back and tell tales like he had about other things.

I mean, it's the same president who during the campaign said Ted Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy assassination and that Barack Obama was not born here. He just spews things out of his mouth. So, you know, I think that some of the statements that have been made, I think people closest to Trump, he may start to see this investigation, and then the fact that they need to cover for him and make excuses for him, it would be less than candid because of fear of what the political repercussions might be with particular party.

SANCHEZ: The nature of the person, one of the most scathing terms used yesterday by James Comey.

ROMANS: I think so too. Subtle and scathing at the same time.

SANCHEZ: Right.

ROMANS: All right. Everybody, thank you so much for being here this morning. Really nice to see you. Have a great weekend.

House lawmakers are erasing major banking rules from Dodd-Frank. The House passed the Financial Choice Act. It effectively guts the Obama era Wall Street reform law. Let me give you an example. It frees some financial institutions from limits on risk taking. It offers a new way to deal with failing banks and it weakens the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the CFPB.

That's a consumer watchdog agency created under Dodd-Frank. It's gone after parts that have never been regulated frankly. The new bill gives Congress control over that agency's budget and allows them to fire the agency's director.

Republicans criticize Dodd-Frank for causing what they say is anemic growth and strangling small business. Democrats say this bill is a step backward to the days before the financial crisis. The bill passed only with Republican support and now heads to the Senate where it's got the long hard work. It will probably not pass in its current form.

SANCHEZ: From the U.S. to overseas, Britain is in political turmoil. What a surprise election result means for Trump ally Theresa May and for Brexit, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:46:22] SANCHEZ: An earthquake in British politics as Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party loses majority control. May suffering a stunning election setback that defied all the polls. She is now also in jeopardy of losing her job. There are already calls for May to step down. Her conservative party hemorrhaging seats in Thursday's snap election.

So, what does this mean for Britain and for relations with the United States?

Let's go live to London and bring in chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

Christiane, this is yet another election in Britain with surprising unexpected results.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Honestly, Boris, who would have thought it? This country which is known for calm and collective and carrying on has done a political earthquake again after last year's referendum for Brexit and here the prime minister thought she was going to call a snap election. Get a bigger majority than she had to toughen their hand, to strengthen their position going into the most consequential negotiations that this country faced in generations, frankly since World War II, and it hasn't happened.

We have what we called here a hung parliament situation at the moment, in that august building behind me, and frankly we don't know who's going to be able to cobble together a government. Obviously, the prime minister who does have more votes than her opposition, but not a clear majority will get the first chance to try to get a coalition. But that will be as it stands right now with a small party in Northern Island, which has about ten seats.

But beyond that sort of minutia, what does it mean for Britain going forward? Well, it means the people have spoken. They actually spoke loudly and said they didn't like the austerity, the ten years or so of austerity that we've had in this country. It remains to be seen what they've actually said about Brexit.

Many of the young people didn't like the idea of leaving the E.U., particularly in a hard way that was being proposed by the hard right wing of the Tory Party, including by Prime Minister May, getting out of the biggest economic bloc in the continent, the E.U., and not having any idea of where they were going next. So, all of that in play right now.

But when it comes to relations with the United States, of course, this has been as everybody says a special relationship for centuries and it will no doubt continue to be so. Obviously, Theresa May is the leader who has met President Trump. She probably has more in common with him than Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, might have. But in general, in a normal situation, the relationship should continue as it always has -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Now, Christiane, I have to ask, few people have covered the intricacies of European politics the way that you have. In the past month, Britain has seen some very violent and bloody terror attacks. How could have those recent events weighed into this election?

AMANPOUR: Well, you know, that's a very good question. Normally, when you have this dreadful security situation, it favors the party considered strongest on security and generally here in Britain, that is being the conservatives. It didn't work in this case and God forbid that anybody played politics with these tragedies that we've had.

But what happened was that Theresa May who had been prime minister for a year, who had previously been home secretary, that's the government cabinet minister who deals with policing, who deals with internal security, who deals yes with immigration and other such things. She came under a huge amount of fire for presiding over deep austerity cuts, into the police force. That was something like 20,000 police on the street. The street beat, the police who we've seen, you know, the famous British bobbies, 20,000 of them were cut from the rolls over the last 7 years, and that caused a very deep anger amongst many, many people, and people are saying, you know, perhaps if that hasn't happened, we might have had a better street level intelligence gathering over the last several years.

Maybe it might have warded off some of these terrorist attacks. It's important to know that counterterrorism forces or resources were not cut. But, you know, this is a country that's gone through so much hardship over the last many years, whether it's austerity, whether it's the terror attacks, whether it's the fallout from the Brexit vote last year.

And now, we're waiting to see how the next government, whatever it might look like is able to shepherd this country forth in some very turbulent but critical and consequential times.

SANCHEZ: Turbulent and uncertain. Christiane Amanpour reporting from London, thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Despite the surprise U.K. election results Christiane was just telling you about and Comey's testimony, it looks like nothing can stop the bulls on Wall Street. We're going to get a check on how stocks are reacting on CNN "Money Stream".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:55:17] ROMANS: A not guilty plea from Reality Leigh Winner, the 25-year-old NSA contractor accused of leaking classified documents. The federal judge in Georgia denying bail for the former Air Force linguist. Winners accused of using a thumb drive to download and illegally transmit top secret information about Russian hacking efforts in the election. She faces a maximum of ten years in prison. Prosecutors -- they're not trying to link her to terrorism but they say she wrote in a notebook that she wanted to, quote, burn the White House down.

All right. The mild weather will give way to a big warm up, folks. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the weekend forecast for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Boris and Christine.

It's almost like mother nature but a blow torch on the mid-section of the U.S. because we have a lot of heat building in across this area and that's going to spread to the Midwest by this weekend. Heat is going to build through places like Chicago, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Detroit, temperatures soaring 5 to 15 degrees above normal and we even see some of that heat starting to move eastward as well, more on that in a second.

Look at the seven-day forecast for Chicago. Middle 90s by Sunday and Monday. Check and make sure they're ready for the summertime weather, and we talked about how it's going to heat up along the East Coast as well. You have to wait basically towards the first parts of next week, but you can see how the mercury and the thermometers going to climb through D.C. as well as the Big Apple.

You have a chance of severe weather today across North Dakota. Keep an eye to the sky, damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes are a possibility.

Here's a broader picture. We have sunshine dominating the south. We have a few scattered showers near Miami. A few thunderstorms for central Texas and light rain showers for the Pacific Northwest.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Thanks, Derek.

All right. That's your weather. Here's your money forecast for the weekend.

Despite the turmoil of the British election and Jim Comey's testimony, it looks like nothing can stop the bulls from running. Global markets and U.S. futures higher today after Wall Street finished higher yesterday. The Dow even hit a record during Comey's Senate appearance.

Why a record high? You know what, it didn't convince investors that it's really going to delay the things they care about, mainly tax reform. Wall Street is still willing to wait for it, and they're still betting it's going to happen. Tech is also having a break out here. The NASDAQ is at record highs, and more than a third of the games for the S&P 500 are from these five stocks. Two of those stocks, I let you guess which ones, are about $1,000 a share.

Another big question on Wall Street, will the Fed raise interest rates soon? And the answer, overwhelmingly, yes. In fact, a 96 percent chance it will happen at next week's Fed meeting. That will be the 4th hike since the financial crisis.

So, what will that mean for your wallet? Higher borrowing rates on things like auto loans, credit cards? Mortgages? Right now, mortgage rates are at historic lows, averaging less than 4 percent nationwide.

In fact, mortgage rates, Boris, the lowest they have been all year. If you're looking to buy a house, if you're looking to refinance, that's really important information right there. SANCHEZ: Now is the time to do it, right?

ROMANS: Now, it is.

SANCHEZ: Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Boris Sanchez.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. Have a great weekend, everyone.

"NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COMEY: The administration chose to defame me. Those were lies, plain and simple.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president is not liar. It's insulting that that question would be asked.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DNI: Jim Comey's testimony reinforced the comparison from the Watergate and what we confront now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We waited all day for some big shoe to drop and there just wasn't anything.

COMEY: There's no doubt I was fired because of the Russia investigation.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Refused to pledge loyalty to a president, and for that, he got fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president also never told Mr. Comey, I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: A cloud hanging over this administration has just gotten a lot darker.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Friday, June 9th, 5:00 here in New York.

There are two major stories shaking up the political world. Here is our starting line: the cloud of Russia looming larger over the White House and President Trump's credibility. James Comey told senators the president lied about why he fired him. Comey says the president wanted him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn.

President Trump's lawyer disputes that claim, says the president never demanded loyalty from Comey. Instead, Trump's team says Comey's testimony confirms the president wasn't personally being investigated and didn't obstruct anything.

CAMEROTA: OK. Meanwhile, everyone saw this hearing differently. Republicans defending President Trump, arguing that he is new to the job and they're pouncing on James Comey's concerns about President Obama's Attorney General Loretta Lynch and why she tried to downplay the Hillary Clinton email investigation.