Return to Transcripts main page


Partial Travel Ban Set to Begin Tonight; Military Option on Pyongyang Updated for Trump; Officials Struggle to Convince Trump of Russia Threat. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired June 29, 2017 - 09:00   ET


[09:00:00] CLARISSA WARD, CNN ANCHOR: I love that we get to end on a positive note like that, you know.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And that's why we do "The Good Stuff." Things can be ugly, especially in politics. There's a lot of hostility out there.

WARD: There sure is.

CUOMO: Sometimes we forget who we are at our best, and that's why those kids and that community and certainly, that one hero, they are the good stuff.

WARD: But time now for serious news at CNN NEWSROOM with Poppy Harlow and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Who's serious? No one.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Just John. Just John. Good morning, you guys. As Chris knows, it's my favorite part of "NEW DAY," "The Good Stuff."

We'll take it from here. Have a great day.

BERMAN: All right. Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.

HARLOW: And I'm Poppy Harlow. Just hours from now, part of President Trump's controversial travel ban takes effect across the country. This, after a pretty fierce fight and a Supreme Court ruling to uphold part of the ban, at least, for right now.

BERMAN: Yes. So the difference between being a grandson or a son, a mother-in-law or a son-in-law, could be the difference between in or out.

Also this morning, new tensions with North Korea. We are told U.S. defense officials are now preparing military options in case of a new North Korean missile test.

We are covering all of this. Let's begin with the travel ban now hours from taking effect. CNN's Dianne Gallagher has that. Dianne?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, Poppy, you know, this has been tied up in the courts for months. It has undergone revisions but, tonight, just portions of President Donald Trump's travel ban will finally go into effect.

So this, of course, after the Supreme Court ruled on Monday to uphold parts of that ban determining that people from six Muslim majority countries must prove they have a so-called bona fide relationship with a person or entity here in the United States. So that means that green cardholders, people who already have visas, or current employees or admitted students to the U.S., they're good.

But what exactly constitutes a bona fide personal relationship? Well, we obtained a State Department document that was sent to U.S. embassies and consulates last night.

It says that applicants must prove a relationship with a parent, a spouse, a child, a son or a daughter-in-law or a stepchild or a sibling who is already in the United States to be eligible. Extended family members do not count under these criteria, and that includes grandparents and even fiancees.

Now, if someone cannot prove that they qualify and they are traveling from one of those six listed countries, they'll be banned for 90 days. Refugees without a bona fide relationship are barred for 120 days.

Now, there are some who worry that this is all still a bit too murky. We likely will not see those chaotic airport scenes that the original travel ban produced back in January when people were being detained, children separated from their families, and there were large protests.

But the chaos, if you will, could be more on the legal front. Even Justice Clarence Thomas expressed reservations with clarity, noting that, well, we could likely be looking at further litigation on exactly what constitutes a bona fide relationship, at least until that case is finally resolved.

And, of course, John and Poppy, the Supreme Court has said that it will rule on the travel ban in October.

HARLOW: Dianne Gallagher, thank you for the reporting. Again, we're just hours away of that officially being implemented.

BERMAN: Right. This morning the President is preparing for a key meeting under the shadow of a new nuclear threat from North Korea. The new President of South Korea visits the White House for two days of crucial talks.

HARLOW: And this as CNN has learned that the Pentagon is preparing new options against the regime in North Korea, and they include military action.

Let's go straight to the Pentagon where we find our Barbara Starr. General McMaster, not mincing his words at all. Very clear with what the President wants from him.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Not mincing words, but also making the point, as Defense Secretary James Mattis does, that the administration really does hope diplomacy works, that China can pressure North Korea to give up its weapons program or at least roll it back. Nobody is looking for the disaster of what a war with North Korea would look like.

But nonetheless, the Pentagon actually has updated military options if it were to come to that, for the specific reason that there's growing concern North Korea has made so much progress in its ballistic missile and its weapons program that it is getting closer to the day it does have a weapon, will have a weapon, that could pose a threat to the United States.

And as you say, General McMaster, the national security adviser, laying this all out in public.


LT. GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The threat is much more immediate now. And so it's clear that we can't repeat the same approach, failed approach, of the past. The President has directed us to not do that and to prepare a range of options, including a military option, which nobody wants to take.

There's a recognition that there has to be more pressure on the regime, and I think what you'll see in coming days and weeks are efforts to do that.


[09:05:00] STARR: So what's different this time? I mean, we know, right, that the Pentagon, the U.S. military, always prepared to act anywhere around the world. We know there's always that notion of a military option against North Korea.

Well, defense officials are telling us the change now is that -- one of the changes is that North Korea is much better at disguising its weapons testing program, making it much more difficult for U.S. satellites, U.S. intelligence, to have a clear understanding of what they are up to. That is one of the biggest concerns -- John, Poppy.

HARLOW: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Thank you for that reporting.

This morning, new CNN reporting on frustrations simmering within the West Wing amid the advisers closest to the President.

BERMAN: Yes. Some sources tell CNN that administration intelligence officials are unsettled by the President's unwillingness to call out and punish Russia for its meddling in the U.S. elections.

CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash joins us now with this reporting. Good morning, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John and Poppy. Multiple senior administration officials say they're struggling to convince President Trump that Russia still poses a threat to the integrity of America's elections.

One official told our colleague, Sara Murray, there's no, quote, evidence -- no evidence -- to show Trump is actively engaging on the issue. The President still gets his daily briefing, and, of course, that does including updates on Russia.

But beyond that, an administration official says there's no paper trail, no schedules, readouts, briefing documents, nothing to indicate that the President s convening meetings or round tables on this subject like the way he really has on other threats, like threats against the U.S. power grid.

Now, on top of that, a congressional source tells me that, in a recent closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers actually expressed to lawmakers how frustrated he is that he can't convince the President to even accept U.S. intelligence that Russia meddled in the election.

HARLOW: And, Dana, he, and so many other intelligence officials, have called this a major threat. The President is quick to criticize the Obama administration's handling of it. Why so reluctant to address it themselves?

BASH: Well, here's what we're told the answer to that is. And that is that people, who have spoken to the President, say that he really struggles to separate the investigation into his campaign's possible collusion with Russia from the investigation into Russia's meddling in the election itself.

One source close to the President said, Trump sees everything regarding Russia as being organized as a challenge to him. And a Republican congressional source told me he can't admit anything that may taint his election. He is more hung up on how it affected the election outcome than what Russia actually did.

BERMAN: So, Dana, what's the White House saying about this reporting?

BASH: Well, Sean Spicer is insisting that the President is taking the threat seriously and says the White House is taking action. They're just doing it quietly.

I'll read a statement that Sean Spicer gave to CNN. He said, the United States continues to combat on a regular basis malicious cyber activity and will continue to do so without bragging or the media -- bragging to the media, rather, or defending itself against unfair media criticism.

He also pointed to the fact that Trump upheld the Obama administration sanctions against Russia. That is true. But there is still some real GOP concern about not punishing Russia more to prevent -- and also preventing interference in the future.

John McCain told me that wishes the White House, for example, would push the House of Representatives to pass a bill that the Senate approved overwhelmingly for additional sanctions against Russia. Instead, congressional sources say the White House is trying to water it down.

And there's something else that Congress is doing in a bipartisan way. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, have a bipartisan push to create a 9/11 kind of commission of cyber experts, which is, effectively, a way to try to work around frustration that the President isn't doing enough to think about how to prevent this in the future.

BERMAN: All right. Dana Bash, thanks so much.

BASH: Thank you.

BERMAN: Joining us now to talk about this, David Rohde, CNN global affairs analyst and online news director for "The New Yorker."

David, you know, on these Russian election hacks, I mean, obviously, the intelligence community very concerned, congressional officials very concerned. The Homeland Security Secretary yesterday said we have to protect this, or we're not a real democracy anymore. Then you have the President calling it a hoax.

So what lesson do you think the Russians are taking from this? What have they learned about their efforts?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, the signal is to keep going. I mean, it's just -- the President is deeply skeptical of NATO allies. Are spending enough on their defense things? He's deeply skeptical of the news media here, but, you know, Vladimir Putin continues to get a pass. And the stakes are really large.

There was a really great and long story in "Wired" magazine about how Russia has been carrying out this unprecedented amount of hacking in Ukraine. And it's sort of a testing ground for its ability to carry out similar hacks possibly in the U.S., on the financial system, the power grid.

I mean, this is the new reality. And, you know, the White House, so far, seems to be ignoring it.

HARLOW: And it's an issue of national security of the utmost importance --

ROHDE: Absolutely.

HARLOW: -- that his own Homeland Security Secretary reiterated over and over.

[09:10:04] You speak to a lot of folks in Congress, a lot of folks in the intelligence apparatus and security establishment. What are they saying? Are they concerned about the lack of action from the President?

ROHDE: I think they're -- yes, they are. A lot of people in the intelligence community were embarrassed at how the Russians were so successful in terms of hacking the election. Whether there was collusion or not with Trump, they undermined the credibility of the U.S. elections.

It's never happened before that the intelligence community was slow to realize the breadth of what was happening. So they are -- and there's also a deep, you know, suspicion of the Russians in the intelligence community.

They are our greatest adversary, and so they're desperate to take action and they're very frustrated that this is happening. And then, you know, Dana mentioned the sanctions in Congress, the Senate passes them overwhelmingly, but it's being slowed down now by the White House and the House.

BERMAN: So we have some breaking news just crossing here. The Kremlin now says that Vladimir Putin and the President will meet on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit next month.

There's no specific breakaway, you know, in a private room meeting that we know of right now, but it's a sideline, pull aside there. What's the significance of that and what do you think -- what's the message Vladimir Putin wants to send?

ROHDE: Well, he -- look, he should meet with him. It's not a surprise that Trump and Putin are going to meet. These are two very important countries.

It's, what does Trump say in private? You know, Obama had these private warnings about the hacking during the election. Is Trump going to talk tough to Putin?

It's a win-win for Trump. He can do that. You know, what will he say? It's this continued, you know, lack of suspicion of Putin and Russia that's so unusual.

HARLOW: So on that, I mean, you know, it was reported that President Obama said, cut it out, to Putin. Knowing what we know of this President so far in his dealings with Russia, is there any reason to believe that he would echo those comments from his predecessor?

ROHDE: So far, no. But politically, it's very easy for him.

HARLOW: Right.

ROHDE: If he would just be a little tougher on Russia, it undermines the whole democratic narrative of collusion. But he doesn't do that.

And it's like firing James Comey. It's sort of a self-inflicted wound that he won't be tough on Putin. You know, we'll see what he does. Maybe it will change with time.

BERMAN: And, look, every Russia expert I talked to, every person who knows Vladimir Putin or knows of him says what he actually responds to is strength, is toughness.

ROHDE: And Trump is tough. That's his thing. He's tough around the world, telling people we're not going to take it. America is not going to be laughed at anymore. But the one place, you know, we're going to be gentle with and wait and be patient is Moscow. Again, it doesn't help him politically.

HARLOW: We want to get your take on this political story that we can't stop talking about this morning, and this is that Secretary of State Tillerson apparently just went bananas.

I'm not sure that that's the word that they used to describe it, but he just blew up in a meeting at a staffer in front of Reince Priebus, in front of Jared Kushner, frustrated at the lack of the ability to staff the State Department and the ability to get things done. Surprising to you?

ROHDE: Yes, I mean, it's unusual to have this kind of blowup. He's a very seasoned executive.


ROHDE: To be fair, you know, past White Houses has sort of pushed back on Secretaries of State. You know, the Obama White House didn't want Sidney Blumenthal working through Hillary Clinton. But it's not a good sign that he's this frustrated.

Tillerson's been very isolated and then, publicly, there's been this deep division on some issues. The Saudi confronting Qatar, Tillerson took a much more moderate line. He was talking about, you know, de- escalating the conflict.

President Trump goes up in the Oval Office and praises Saudi Arabia for being tough on Qatar.

So I think this shows real differences on policy that go beyond this personnel issue, that Tillerson is very frustrated.

HARLOW: Also the difference of being a CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world where your word actually generally happens.

ROHDE: Right.

BERMAN: Being the boss and not the boss.

HARLOW: There you go. David Rohde, thank you very much.

ROHDE: Thank you.

HARLOW: Still to come for us, Senators scrambling to revamp their health care bill by tomorrow. The President promises, quote, a great surprise.

BERMAN: Plus a top adviser to the Pope accused of sex abuse. We have new information on the cardinal who is vowing to fight these charges and a frantic search in a community on edge after a graduate student goes missing in Illinois.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's a busy morning on Capitol Hill. New developments in the Senate where leaders are trying to piece together this new health care deal by tomorrow.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Tomorrow indeed. Right now all those people on your screen, those nine Republican senators, publicly opposed the bill. Today more one-on-one meetings expected as well as a GOP lunch with the hope hammering some sort of compromise out turning those nos into yeses.

M.J. Lee is on Capitol Hill. Why the rush, M.J. by tomorrow? They're not going to vote before the recess. Why the rush, get it done tomorrow?

M.J. LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, you know, this is going to be a big uphill climb for Mitch McConnell. He has set this new deadline of tomorrow to basically have a new bill that he can vote on and have the 50 yes votes that he has been fighting for this whole time.

But before I go any further I just want to quickly point out where is President Trump on all of this? He says, it's a surprise.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Health care is working along very well. You can have a big surprise with a great health care package. So -- now they're happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean by big surprise?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think you could have a big, big surprise. It's going to be great.


LEE: So unclear what that big surprise is. Maybe we'll find out tomorrow. But the fact is these negotiations have been happening in the Senate, in full force. We saw this yesterday.

A number of Senate Republicans who have serious concerns about the Senate health care bill walking into Mitch McConnell's office. These are members like Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, Shelley Moore Capito, and even just looking at the concerns between those three lawmakers, we get a sense of how varied these reservations are.

Everything from Medicaid to opioid funding to Planned Parenthood funding. So all of these issues are issues that Mitch McConnell will have to work through by tomorrow if he wants to meet that deadline.

And as you quickly point out that Mitch McConnell wasn't the only person that these lawmakers were meeting with. They were also meeting with CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

Now the lawmakers who went into that room tell us that she walked them through what this bill would do to Medicaid as well as the steps that CMS to take to help these states that these lawmakers come from.

That Seema Verma remember played a similar role over on the House side when House Republicans were deliberating over their own health care bill. I just want to stress before I go that this is very, very complicated. There is no single silver bullet.

And even Senate Republicans, plenty of them are saying that Mitch McConnell will have a pretty difficult time meeting this new deadline that he has set for himself of tomorrow -- Poppy and John.

BERMAN: All right. Yes. The clock is ticking. M.J. Lee, thanks so much.

Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio. Congressman, thanks so much for being with us. Look, the headline in the "New York Times" this morning was interesting.

You know, in the light of the difficulties that the Republicans are having in the Senate, the "New York Times" says prospects for bipartisanship build. They say maybe there's an avenue here where bipartisanship can work to get something done.

On the other hand, you call the Senate bill a travesty and betrayal to the American people. So is this something you think is worth negotiating on or such a travesty, your words, that all you should do is fight?

REPRESENTATIVE TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: Well, the current one is a travesty, but I love what Senator Schumer did yesterday saying, let's all go to the Blair house. Let's all sit down and figure how to do this.

I mean, actually, that's what's supposed to happen here in Washington, D.C. So I was excited that he said that, and I hope that the president will take him up on that. But we've got to figure out what the goals are here.

Our goal with the whole Affordable Care Act was to cover more people and we did, 20 million-plus. Bring premiums down, did that for a lot of people, not everybody, and protected people from the insurance industry.

The Republicans' goal clearly from the CBO score on both the House and the Senate version is throw people off of their health care, 22 million people and it's going to cost a 6-year-old in Ohio $4,000 more a year.

So you have to sit down and say, OK, what's the goal here? I think Senator Schumer's offer was a really good one and that's how we should be doing things.

HARLOW: So do you believe that Democrats led by Senator Schumer have been fully willing to come to the table, help in any way we can, knocking down the doors of your Republican counterparts? Because, you know, we just had a Republican senator on yesterday who pointed to a political report saying Senator Schumer was ordering, you know, fellow Democrat senators not to engage right now.

RYAN: Well, clearly the debate was happening internally within the Republican caucus. It was the same thing that happened in the House and I think that was happening in the Senate. And, you know, in the last week or so, your network, other

networks, were putting up on the screen the name of the Republican senators who weren't supporting the bill. It was, two, then three, then four, it was five.

So their debate was happening internally. I think it's appropriate for the opposition party to take a step back, and say, hey, you got to get your ducks in order before you come to us.

Now that things look like they've fallen apart, Senator Schumer appropriately, I think, offered to be a part of the solution here and Democrats need to try to be a part of the solution.

BERMAN: You know, it strikes me that you're praising the Democratic leader in the Senate, you are saying you love what Senator Schumer did here. Of course, you've been very critical of your own Democratic leadership in the House overall of Nancy Pelosi.

You want the entire House Democratic leadership to quit. So it struck me as interesting that you praised Chuck Schumer. Do you think he's a better leader for Democrats in the Senate than Nancy Pelosi is for Democrats in the House?

RYAN: Well, you know, I'm not going to get into the internal family squabbles. I think I've been pretty clear since November of exactly where I stand, what we need to do with leadership in the House.

There is no need for me to beat that dead horse. I was just making a point watching Senator Schumer operate here in the last 24 to 48 hours. I thought what he did was appropriate because that's what the American people want us to do.

Democrats and Republicans sit down and he made a very bold offer. Let's go to the Blair house with all of us and sit down and try to find where the common ground is. I'm highlighting that, not to in any way show some contrast with House leadership.

Clearly the debate now is happening in the Senate and I think what Senator Schumer did was really good and I'm proud of him and I think we need to continue to go down that road.

HARLOW: All right, so you said on this network, to our friend Don Lemon, that in some parts of the country you believed that Nancy Pelosi is more toxic than Donald Trump. Isn't that a risky play that could just fracture your party more?

RYAN: Well, it happens to be true, and, again, I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I would guarantee you, if you went down and did polling in some districts, in this country, that that's the result you would get.

And it's -- you know, it's not entirely surprising that a Democrat wouldn't be as popular, but I'm just making the point that, you know, I think we need to move on. But I've said that. I don't -- I don't really want to -- I keep getting into it because I'm not making any new points but the reality is we have to figure how to win elections.

I think, you know, people are relying on us. There's many people in the country that rely on the Democratic Party. Health care is a huge economic issue for so many families. They count on us and we have to be responsible and get ourselves in the positions of power.

This is not a fight just to have a fight. This is not -- you know, I am Irish and there is that old Irish saying, is this a private fight or can anyone get into it? You know, I'm not just here to have a scrap.

I'm here to say we need to be in power, because when you're in power, you can do things, and you can help the people that you represent, and I want us to be in that position.

HARLOW: Congressman Tim Ryan, we're out of time. Thanks for being here.

RYAN: Thanks for having me.

HARLOW: The health care bill, a tough sell as you're seeing for these Republican senators right now. Can they sell it when they go home over the July 4th recess? One new poll says only 12 percent of Americans support it. Can they get constituents onboard?

But first 15 version, more than a billion users, and $100 billion in revenue.

BERMAN: Yes. Happy birthday to the iPhone, it's turning ten. Soon it will grow a mustache and we'll really get into changes. CNN's chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, is here --


BERMAN: I know. That music is so loud.

ROMANS: I knew you when you were just a little chap. The iPhone is 10 years old. To mark the anniversary went at CNN "Money" and we talked to the people who designed it, the engineers. And frankly when you talk to the folks who had their hands on creating this thing, it almost didn't happen.


ANDY GRIGNON, FORMER SENIOR MANAGER, APPLE: When you make a new laptop, a new desktop, whatever, you start with a thing that works. You change the screen, maybe add a new little feature here and there, but that's it. You're done. IPhone was brand new, from the chip up. We had to write everything from scratch. We hit problems in every layer of every stack. It was a nightmare and we almost actually didn't ship a couple of times.


ROMANS: It was a nightmare, but a high margin nightmare and it's been a really important product for Apple, but really since the moment this was born, the iPhone, there have been competitors and I can tell you that the number one smartphone is the Android, of course, and right away competitors trying to get a bite of that Apple and they have.

Look at that smartphone market share. A career in maybe communications someday. Android 61 percent of the market. Remember the Blackberry? Ten years ago I was addicted to my Blackberry. Weren't you?

HARLOW: I do remember that.

BERMAN: You used a Blackberry in high school ten years ago.

ROMANS: Exactly. As for the market, guys, closely watching the banking stocks up in the pre-market. They had a very good day yesterday. They've sailed through their stress tests.

Regulations require the post-financial crisis regulations that the Trump administration wants to roll back require them to go through these stress tests. They did very, very well. They will be allowed to give money back to their shareholders to buy back stocks. Some of these stocks are at a record highs, very good profits.

HARLOW: Pretty good profits despite those regulations?

HARLOW: Yes. The banking industry is making a lot of money and lending more, despite the worries.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, thanks so much for being with us.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: We'll be right back.