Return to Transcripts main page


Travel Ban Takes Effect Tonight; Trump's Health Care Message; Trump Kicks Off 2020 Reelection Campaign; Aide To Pope Faces Sex Charges; Venezuela Bars Attorney General From Leaving Country. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 29, 2017 - 05:30   ET



[05:31:27] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The president's travel ban takes effect tonight. New guidelines lay out who can and cannot enter the U.S. It turns out only certain family members will qualify.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: A top aide to the Pope will face sex assault charges. This morning, Cardinal George Pell denying all accusations before he heads home to face a judge.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Health care is working along very well. We could have a big surprise with a great health care package.


ROMANS: And, President Trump trying to rally the Republican troops on health care -- a big surprise. Can he get the Senate on the same page despite a big ideological divide?

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

BRIGGS: I'm skeptical about that big surprise, but I'm Dave Briggs and it's great to have you back --

ROMANS: Thanks.

BRIGGS: -- from vacation, my friend.

ROMANS: It's nice to be back.

BRIGGS: It is 32 minutes past the hour. Breaking overnight, new rules for implementing the Trump administration's revised travel ban that takes effect tonight, 8:00 Eastern time. That's the word from a senior administration official.

We're also getting specifics this morning on who will be allowed into the U.S. from these six Muslim-majority nations and who will be kept out.

ROMANS: All right, let's bring in our CNN justice reporter Laura Jarrett. She's been following this for us from the very beginning. You know, Laura, the Supreme Court had said those with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship can come to the United States. Now we know who that is and I think there's some surprises in this list.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Some surprises and, frankly, more questions, you know. Sources are telling us these new guidelines which were sent overseas to U.S. embassies and consulates late last night say that visa applicants from the six affected countries will be required to now prove that they have a parent, a spouse, a child, son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or sibling in the U.S.

But who gets left out here is pretty expansive and it includes everyone from fiances to grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended family members. And so, these new guidelines are really taking a pretty narrow slice of the pie.

And this also comes as Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced new security measures for U.S.-bound international flights yesterday, some visible, some not so visible, including increased security for passengers, enhanced screening of electronics, and more use of canines to find explosives.

BRIGGS: All right, Laura. The court also said anyone who accepted a job in the U.S. or someone coming to school here could also travel here as well. Does that hold?

JARRETT: That should hold because those are the categories that the court explicitly said you have to let these folks in, but they left a lot of wiggle room and you can now see how narrowly the government has interpreted it. I mean, grandparents and fiances, some would say are pretty close family members but, clearly, the Trump administration has found otherwise.

And you can imagine, this is exactly what Justice Clarence Thomas was thinking of when he said that those guidelines were going to lead to increased litigation.

ROMANS: And we know that there are lawyers who are offering their services for free at all these major airports tonight so we'll see how that all shakes out.


ROMANS: Laura Jarrett, thank you. Nice to see you this morning.

BRIGGS: Yes, the --

JARRETT: Thanks, guys.

BRIGGS: -- implementation here is everything so watch that tonight.

On the health care front, President Trump sounding an optimistic tone. Senate Republicans trying to thread an incredibly tight needle to satisfy both moderates and conservatives. And just a day after Senate leaders called off a vote for this week the president offered this thought. [05:35:05] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Health care is working along very well. We could have a big surprise with a great health care package, so now they're happy.

REPORTER: What do you mean by big surprise?

TRUMP: I said we could have a great, great surprise.


BRIGGS: So now we're happy, apparently.

ROMANS: Well, that's very reality show-esque, I've got to say. That was kind of an entertainment -- entertainer touch there.

Let's bring back politics reporter Tal Kopan, live this morning in Washington. I guess we should start with the president and promises. He promised a surprise.

BRIGGS: Teases, if you will.

ROMANS: Let's listen to some of the president's teases.


TRUMP: And we're going to be announcing something, I would say, over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal.

And I'm going to do infrastructure very quickly. We've got the plan largely completed and we'll be filing over the next two or three weeks, maybe sooner.

We're going to have some very pleasant surprises for you on NAFTA.

We're going to surprise you.

So she's going to have a little news conference over the next couple of weeks.

We're going to be having a news conference in about two weeks to let everybody know how well we're doing.

MEREDITH VIEIRA, FORMER CO-HOST, NBC TODAY: You have people now down there searching, I mean, in Hawaii?

TRUMP: Absolutely, and they cannot believe what they're finding.


ROMANS: Oh, yes, that was the whole birther thing. That was the whole birther thing.

So, Tal, should we hope for a surprise? What are your sources -- what is our reporting telling us about the prospect of getting something done here quickly? TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, I think predicting a surprise is fairly safe in this news environment because nothing has gone as expected so far. But, you know, what we understand is that the Senate Republican Conference is working very hard to try to come up with some sort of deal that they can all get behind.

You know, McConnell is sort of trading drafts back and forth and going, you know, to all the wings of his party. But, you know, keep in mind they want a deal by the end of this week. They're hopeful that that could be possible and then they could have that analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office next week and, potentially, vote when they come back.

But it's still not clear whether there is any deal that could get moderates and conservatives to agree. And keep in mind, Republicans can only lose two votes and still be able to pass this bill and already you have way more than that who have issues with this.

BRIGGS: And if they can't get a deal, suddenly hearing thoughts of a compromise -- a bipartisan health care compromise. Front page story in "The New York Times" talks about a meeting of a gang of eight, if you will, on health care. An editorial in "The Washington Post" says that's what the Senate should do. Is there any chance, Tal, of you seeing a bipartisan health care compromise being reached?

KOPAN: I mean, I never want to say there's no chance but, you know, there's talk of this and McConnell has brought it up as more of a warning than an opening. He's told his party if we don't do this we may have to work with Chuck Schumer, as if that is sort of the end of the world kind of scenario.

So they're not exactly coming to the table at the moment and looking to work together but, you know, if you can't get the votes within your own caucus there's only one other place you can get them. It's just unclear to me whether McConnell and, then on the House side, Paul Ryan really want to break that glass at this point in the administration.

ROMANS: We know --

BRIGGS: Because Democrats have said the starting point for that is not cutting Medicaid, of course, which is the fundamental basis of Obamacare. Long way to go to imagine that working.

ROMANS: And, you know, it's real interesting because even, you know, there's been multiple organizations that have done the story about -- for Kentucky, for example, Mitch McConnell's own state. You know, those Medicaid cuts, what that would do to some of these states. It's going to be hard for people to sell this back home.

Let's talk about another sales job. Last night, the 2020 election campaign for President Trump officially began. Actually, he filed his papers on Election Day. Last night was the first -- the first fundraiser, $35,000 a plate we're told. And --

BRIGGS: Ten million they're hoping to raise. ROMANS: -- we're told that, you know, he was entertainer in chief last night, really seemed to enjoy himself. Who's the audience? Is it Republicans, letting them know hey, I'm not going anywhere? Is it potential primary challengers? Is it the media?

KOPAN: I think it's all of the above and I think it's an opportunity for the president to appear in an environment in which he's comfortable and feels welcome which is, you know, precious few these days. That's why we also see him go out and do rallies. But, certainly, there's a show of strength element here.

You know, his approval ratings remain terribly low compared to presidents normally coming into office and the support isn't that great among Independents in the base. And so there's always been chatter about 2020 coming right around the corner and there's no reason the president wouldn't feel that.

BRIGGS: This is more than two years earlier than --

[05:40:00] ROMANS: Right.

BRIGGS: -- Bush or Obama had their first fundraiser and many on the left --

ROMANS: And they were open.


ROMANS: They were open to the press.

BRIGGS: And many on the left don't like the conflict that this was at a Trump property.

But those supporters are probably also happy to hear that the House is voting on a couple of immigration measures today. Tell us about that.

KOPAN: Yes, that's right. There are two bills coming up today that we expect.

One would raise the maximum penalties you can give to undocumented immigrants who are deported and come back multiple times, especially if they're criminals. Some of these penalties go up to, you know, 25 years in jail if you're deported and come back illegally. It seemed after Kate Steinle, who was murdered in San Francisco and the two-year anniversary of that is on Saturday.

And then the other bill really goes after sanctuary cities and requires them to do much more in terms of immigration enforcement. Stuff that they have said in the past they feel is unconstitutional, which is part of why they don't do it, and would allow the government to pull funding from them if they don't comply.

So we do expect these bills to likely pass the House today but it is unclear if there's really a path forward for them in the Senate. So it will be a shot in the arm to the president's immigration agenda, but unclear if it actually reaches his desk. ROMANS: All right, thanks for that.

BRIGGS: Interesting.

ROMANS: Tal Kopan this morning in Washington, bright and early for us. Thanks.

KOPAN: Thank you.

ROMANS: Forty-one minutes past the hour. You know, the president is resuming his fight with the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos. The president tweeting that the Amazon "Washington Post" is not paying Internet taxes and that it's fake news.

First off, "The Washington Post" is not owned by Amazon. It is owned by Jeff Bezos, personally. It's unclear what the president means by Internet taxes. If it's sales tax, that was true of Amazon in the past, not anymore.

For years, brick and mortar stores complained and blasted Amazon for not collecting sales tax. That's because states only tax retailers with a physical presence, giving online companies an advantage. But since then Amazon has opened physical stores and fulfillment centers. It now collects sales taxes from its customers in every state.

The president frequently attacked Bezos during the campaign claiming he used "The Washington Post" as a toy.


TRUMP: Amazon is getting away with murder, tax-wise. He's using "The Washington Post" for power so that the politicians in Washington don't tax Amazon like they should be taxed.



ROMANS: But relations, I don't know -- he's just too to the right there. They seemed to have warmed. He's sitting right there at the table with the president. The Amazon CEO has met with him several times, including with other tech execs this month.

BRIGGS: "Newsweek" tweeting Trump's Amazon "Washington Post" tweet the most non-existent Internet taxes is his most confusing since covfefe.

ROMANS: It was pretty confusing.

BRIGGS: But it was great fun. If you check out the hashtag #AmazonWashingtonPost --


BRIGGS: -- it's actually pretty entertaining.


OK. Ahead, one of the most senior members of the Catholic Church denying sex assault allegations. What Cardinal George Pell said before heading to face charges in Australia, next.


[05:47:15] BRIGGS: Cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to Pope Francis, is facing sexual assault charges this morning.


Speaking at the Vatican a short time ago, Pell proclaimed his innocence and promised to return home to Australia to clear his name.

CNN's Delia Gallagher is live in Rome with the latest. Good morning, Delia.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. This is a big story because not only is Cardinal Pell one of the highest- ranking officials in the Catholic Church, he was brought over by Pope Francis. He is the chief financial minister here at the Vatican and one of Pope Francis' closest advisers on reform at the Vatican.

These allegations -- Dave, we don't know the exact nature of these charges. The Victoria Police only have said that they are historical allegations and we know from reports in Australia media for some time now there have been allegations referring to the seventies and eighties when Cardinal Pell was a priest in Australia. And ever since those allegations first came out the Cardinal has always strenuously denied them, as he did this morning here at the Vatican.

The Vatican, as well, issued a statement this morning essentially supporting Cardinal Pell while, at the same time, expressing their respect for the Australian justice system which will now have to decide the merits of the case. But they reiterated the Cardinal's denial of any wrongdoing in this situation. They are banning him from any public liturgical events here at the Vatican and he has been given a leave of absence by Pope Francis to return to Australia to face the charges -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Delia Gallagher, live for us in Rome. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, 48 minutes past the hour this Thursday morning.


Wall Street is losing its appetite for Blue Apron and Amazon. Here's the reason. That's on CNN Money Stream, next.


[05:53:15] ROMANS: All right. A pretty bad situation in Venezuela getting a whole lot worse. The attorney general has had her assets frozen and is being barred from leaving the country by the Supreme Court. Luisa Ortega Diaz has criticized the Maduro government's crackdown on protesters.


BRIGGS: Authorities in Venezuela have now located that helicopter used in the attack on the country's Supreme Court. The pilot believed to be an officer in Venezuela's investigative police force still at large.

Journalist Stefano Pozzebon has covered the unrest in Venezuela. He joins us live from London this morning. Stefano, first, what is the attorney general accused of and can you give us a better sense of the utter chaos there that exists in Venezuela?

STEFANO POZZEBON, FREELANCE JOURNALIST: What the attorney general is accused is broughtly (sic) -- is mishandling of her power and they were why (ph) conducted her judiciary investigations. What's actually is happening is that the attorney general has broken ranks with the supporters of President Maduro and he's now sidelining with the widespread opposition that is protesting against this latest constitutional reform, Dave.

The attorney general, Luisa Ortega, used to be a staunch ally of President Maduro in the latest -- in the wave of unrest that took Venezuela in 2014. She was sidelining with the government while, now, she has taken a harsh critic and a harsh look at the practice of the security forces down in Caracas. So what's happening is a massive conflict of authority and these will develop until late July when President Maduro is called for election for a constitution reform to write a new draft of the national constitution in Caracas.

BRIGGS: All right. Stefano Pozzebon live for us in London.

[05:55:02] ROMANS: We cannot overstate the misery of the Venezuelan people. This is very --

BRIGGS: Yes, and that helicopter attack really crystallizes what is happening there.

ROMANS: I mean, it's just really a tough situation.

All right, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning.

Global stock markets, U.S. futures mostly higher today after Wall Street rebounded from Tuesday's losses. Big tech stocks boosting Nasdaq to its biggest rally since the election. The S&P 500 had its best day in two months. You can thank bank stocks. They rose sharply after the Fed gave American banks a clean bill of health.

Stocks fell Tuesday after the Senate delayed its vote on the health care bill. That prompted worries about the future of the president's economic agenda. So you still have that push-pull between what's happening with earnings and certain sectors, and those concerns about what happens next, both with health care reform and tax reform, and the like.

OK, the iPhone -- happy birthday. It turns 10 today. Apple has sold more than a billion phones since then. The iPhone had a rocky start. Several former Apple engineers open up to us about why the iPhone shouldn't have worked.


ANDY GRIGNON, FORMER SENIOR MANAGER, APPLE: When you make a new laptop, when you make 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.


ROMANS: Oh, I knew it when it was just a little baby, now a 10-year- old. It's a nice anniversary for the iPhone but it's no longer the most popular smartphone. Fun fact, that title belongs to Android.

BRIGGS: A shock.


ROMANS: All right. Wall Street is losing its appetite for Blue Apron. That's just as the new threat emerges from Amazon. The meal kit company Blue Apron is slashing its IPO price to 10 bucks a share. That values the company about a billion dollars less than it had hoped.

Competition in the meal kit industry is really tough and investors worry about Amazon's deal with Whole Foods. Whole Foods and Amazon already offer prepared meals. Combined, it would have the largest distribution network of any meal kit service.

BRIGGS: I still can't get past the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone.

ROMANS: Ten years old.

BRIGGS: Think of how our lives have changed because of this device.

ROMANS: I know. It works 24/7 now. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, June 29th, 6:00 here in New York. Alisyn is off. Clarissa Ward joining me. Good to have you, as always.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN ANCHOR: Good to be here. CUOMO: All right, let's begin. We do have breaking news on the starting line. President Trump's revised travel ban is going to take effect tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The administration announcing new criteria for visa applicants from six Muslim-majority nations and all refugees. They're going to require a close family or business tie to enter the United States.

So, the president sees a clear threat to that national security situation with those Muslim countries but he is apparently not convinced that Russian hacking is a continuing threat. Several senior administration officials expressing frustration with President Trump's refusal to take steps to punish the Kremlin for interfering in the U.S. election.

WARD: Meantime, sources tell CNN that the Pentagon has prepared military options on North Korea. They'll be presented to the president if Pyongyang conducts another nuclear or missile test.

And, of course, all eyes on Capitol Hill today as Republicans scramble to approve the Senate health care bill. But, President Trump is raising expectations, promising a big surprise.

We have it all covered, but let's start out with CNN's Laura Jarrett. She is live in Washington on the travel ban breaking news. Laura, what can you tell us?

JARRETT: Well, after months of winding its way through the courts, portions of President Trump's revised travel ban will finally go into effect later today. This, of course, after the Supreme Court ruled to uphold parts of the ban earlier this week, finding that people from six Muslim-majority nations must prove a so-called bona fide and close connection to a person or entity in the U.S. And this morning we're learning more about how exactly the government is defining these relationships.


JARRETT (voice-over): The Trump administration issuing new guidelines for visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries impacted by President Trump's travel ban.

A senioradministration official telling CNN that applicants must prove their relationship with a parent, spouse, child, son-in-law, daughter- in-law, or a sibling already in the U.S. to be eligible. Other extended family members, including grandparents, and even fiances, left off the list. Any applicant unable to demonstrate this close relationship, traveling from those six countries, will be banned for 90 days.

The State Department criteria was sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late Wednesday. Immigration advocates worry that we could see chaos again at airports, like these protests in January when the president's first travel ban went into effect.