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Trump Spreads Fake News While Blasting Media; Travel Ban to Take Effect Tonight; Sources: Officials Struggle to Convince Trump of Russia Threat. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired June 29, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CUOMO: And with that comes a credibility. He's got a whole team counting on him within his own party. He's got American people who are -- inherently invest credibility in that position, and yet the position is not invested within him any new disposition. That's what's so difficult here, is that we're not dealing with Mr. Trump anymore where people can laugh off what he says. You're dealing with the president of the United States. And when he says something's fake, people listen, even if the basis for his assessment is just not.
[07:00:34] And the presidency also requires the person think larger than his self-interest. But to think consciously about the national interests, it's supposed to elevate the better angels of our nature. And instead what we've got is too often a race to the bottom that is being amplified by an echo chamber, which is trying to itself -- you know, when you call critics fake news, let's think about that for a second -- when fake news is a real problem proliferating on the Internet via social media, we know -- right, right, all of a sudden what you're doing is a constantly Orwellian switch to try to muddy the meaning of language, muddy the definition of truth versus lies, fact versus fiction. When that's emanating from the Oval Office, that's something that's real sinister, and we've got to keep an eye on this as a country, as citizens.
CUOMO: The irony is -- final point to you, Brian.
KAREM: Bottom line is if you want to see who the real Donald Trump is, you saw it yesterday. He likes campaigning. He's already campaigning for his second term. When we always thought the best way to campaign for your second term was to actually do the job.
CUOMO: And the irony is, he wants respect more than anything else, and he's got it. He's president of the United States.
KAREM: ... use it.
CUOMO: That's why he can attack us personally if he wants. He's certainly done it in my case. He's never going to get it in return. He's the president. The respect is there. A lot of this is just a waste of his time.
Gentlemen, thank you very much for talking to us about this. And to all of you, our international viewers, thank you for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" is next. For our U.S. viewers, the revised travel ban, the court has spoken. It can go into effect in part. It will do so tonight. What does that mean? Let's get after it.
GEN. JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We must put in place new measures to make it harder for terrorists to succeed.
CUOMO: President Trump's revised travel ban is going to take effect tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're a country that open arms to refugees, and we're turning away from that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an election coming up in 18 months. We'll be back at this with a vengeance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this president won't acknowledge what happened in his own election, what hope do we have that he will speak out when they do this again.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: The more pressure we put on North Korea, the better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has directed us to prepare a range of options.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not quite sure what the White House's game here is, but I hope they know what they're doing.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Alisyn is off. Clarissa Ward joins me. Thank you very much. You brought news with you. We appreciate that here.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for having me.
CUOMO: It is very important news. President Trump's revised travel ban has been OKed by the Supreme Court. It can go into effect, and it will in part tonight. Eight p.m. Eastern is when it starts. What does that mean? What is it? Well, there are these new criteria for visa applicants from six Muslim majority nations and all refugees. There's a test. You have to show close family or business ties to the United States. We're not exactly sure what that will mean.
WARD: Meanwhile, sources tell CNN the Trump administration are frustrated -- officials within the Trump administration and struggling to convince President Trump of the threat that Russia poses to the United States. Why won't the president take action against Russian hacks? Well, we have it all covered.
Let's begin with CNN's Laura Jarrett. She is live in Washington with the breaking details on the travel ban -- Laura.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, after months of winding its way through the federal courts, portions of the president's revised travel ban will finally go into effect later tonight. 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 bona fide 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 senior administration 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 fiancees, 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, sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late Wednesday, also applies to all refugees currently awaiting approval for admission to the U.S. Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked. But 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.
This as the U.S. tightens aviation security for overseas airports with direct flights to the U.S.
KELLY: We cannot play international whack-a-mole with each new threat.
JARRETT: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announcing new measures that will include greater scrutiny of passengers, canines that detect explosives, and enhanced screening of electronic devices. The DHS choosing not to implement an all-out laptop ban but leaving the option on the table.
KELLY: Make no mistake. Our enemies are constantly working to find new methods for disguising explosives, recruiting insiders and hijacking aircraft.
JARRETT: Secretary Kelly warning that there will be consequences if airlines refuse to comply.
KELLY: Those who choose not to cooperate could be subject to other restrictions, including a ban on electronic devices on aircraft or even a suspension of their flights into the United States.
JARRETT: Secretary Kelly refused to detail all of the new requirements for security reasons, noting that the screening guidelines will be both seen and unseen and phased in over time. The travel ban guidelines, however, will go into effect later tonight -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right, Laura, appreciate it.
President Trump under scrutiny for how he's managing threats posed by other countries. Sources tell CNN the president's advisers are struggling to convince him of the threat that Russia poses because of its hacking capabilities. And there are also questions about why he hasn't taken a harder line against the Kremlin in that regard.
CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House with more, and this really gets us right to the heart of the matter about why the president is so resistant to the reality of Russia's interference.
JOHNS: Chris, that's true. Trump campaign fund-raiser last night in Washington, it paints a real picture. The leader of the free world, once again, five months into his term preparing to participate in American democracy at the highest level, while a threat to American democracy remains very present and very real.
Senior administration officials say they are struggling to convince President Trump to deal with the issue of Russian interference in the election.
JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump's top administration officials frustrated that the president has taken no public steps to punish Russia for its election interference as Trump chooses, instead, to fault his predecessor.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it.
JOHNS: Multiple senior administration officials telling CNN there is little evidence that the president is devoting his time or attention to the very real cyber threat, despite warnings from his own intelligence officials.
KELLY: This is the wave of the future. We have an election coming up in 18 months. We have to protect this, or -- or we're not a democracy -- a real democracy anymore if we don't watch out.
JOHNS: NSA Director Mike Rogers expressing concern in a recent closed-door briefing about his inability to convince the president to accept that Russia meddled in the election, according to a congressional source familiar with the meeting.
SEN. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: If this president won't acknowledge what happened in his own election, what hope do we have that he will speak out when they do this again?
JOHNS: Press secretary Sean Spicer insisting that the president is taking the Russian cyber threat seriously, saying, "The United States continues to combat on a regular basis malicious cyber activity and will continue to do so without bragging to the media or defending itself against unfair media criticism."
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley telling a congressional committee Wednesday, she has not discussed this pressing national security issue with the president or her Russian counterparts.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: What would you want me to say to them? I'm at the U.N. We're working on international issues.
REP. GARY CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: The Russians are at the United Nations. Have you received any instructions at all with respect to their meddling in our elections, like, "Don't talk about that," Ambassador Haley?
HALEY: It hasn't come up.
JOHNS: The president's muted interest in Russian hacks standing in stark contrast to the collusion investigation which has consumed his attention.
TRUMP: There's been no collusion, no obstruction.
SEN. RICHARD BURR (R-NC), CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: There have been public comments that suggest there has been no overwhelming evidence to suggestion there was collusion. It's not for me to judge before we begin, but I can only address it as milestones of what we know as of today.
[07:10:06] JOHNS: New this morning, we are hearing that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to meet next week in Germany at the G- 20 summit with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. There's still a question as to how substantive any meeting between President Trump and President Putin might be at that very same summit.
Back to you, Chris and Clarissa.
CUOMO: That will be interesting. And the Kremlin had said there's still time to schedule a meeting. So let's see what comes of it there.
Let's discuss this new travel ban that goes into effect and what is going to be done, vis-a-vis Russian interference, if anything, with CNN political analyst David Gregory; CNN legal analyst Laura Coates; and CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd.
We've got all the bases coming. Let's start with the law. The court said, at least in part, the executive has a legal right to do this, this being the ban, and it will go into effect in part.
But then they put out a very curious nondescript legal standard to put into effect: a bona fide relationship. I can't find it in case precedent as something that stands out as discernible. So this is going to come down to interpretation.
And it seems like grandparents, fiancees, and a lot of other people may be carved out, which means they can't get in here for at least 90 days. If they're refugees, they can't get in for 120 days. But the basis of the decision seems to be soft. And that smells like litigation and bureaucratic problems to me, Laura Coates. What is your legal reckoning?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I absolutely agree, Chris. In fact, at the Supreme Court, the dissenters didn't know this would actually be the case. This blurred distinction and blurred definition really does invite future litigation. But there may be a nuanced reason for that.
No. 1, the Supreme Court is not in the business of actually giving legislative advice. And the guidance they did give did give some examples of what would constitute a bona fide relationship.
However, the very issue people had back when this was initially tried to be implemented in January was the issue of due process, about getting fair notice, and having the opportunity to be heard and having it be consistency about the way it's applied and the way that those words are interpreted.
Right now, I do think you're going to have more than litigation of chaos and will have some chaos at the airports around the globe as individual bureaucrats try to interpret and figure out who meets that particular criteria, even though it seems to be clear-cut from the State Department. This is an invitation to litigation.
But remember, the Supreme Court knows that 90 days from now is still not October, Chris. And that issue may have been moot by the time it reached them. This virtually guarantees they will have a ripe controversy to try to litigate and try to rule on in October.
WARD: Phil Mudd, when you look at the proliferation of terrorist attacks that we have seen this summer alone, we've seen them in Manchester, in London, all of them being perpetrated by European nationals or in the case here in the U.S., that the Pulse attack, Pulse nightclub attack by an American national, explain the rationale for banning people from these six countries when it appears that the most compelling threat now is coming from within our own countries.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: There is no rationale. Because this is not a national security conversation. This is a political conversation. The president of the United States talked about a Muslim ban when he was campaigning. I assume he wants to get out there via his spokesman or himself and say, "Look, I took steps toward that."
If you look at this from a security optic, I'll tell you two things. No. 1, when you sit around the threat table as I did at the FBI, as you're saying, Clarissa, the threats you talk about and what we've mentioned for years, called home-growns. That is, American citizens who are radicalized by propaganda online, who in the past couple years have tried to go to Syria to fight with ISIS. It's not typically people coming from overseas.
The second issue, I'd say, on national security is numbers. The numbers of people you're talking about as the president's initial promise about a Muslim ban translates into this very narrow exercise until it's debated in the Supreme Court this fall. The numbers from these countries are minuscule.
If you want to talk about real national security, why aren't we talking about Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan? This is a political move; it's not a national security move.
CUOMO: It's interesting, though. You know how they play that, Phil? They'll say, well, the fact that Saudi Arabia is not on here, the fact that Indonesia is not on here, that proves it's not a Muslim ban, because those are mass populous Muslim countries. We would have put them on the we were trying to target Muslims.
MUDD: I see. Well, so we've only selected other countries who have Muslim majority refugees are largely or almost virtually all Muslims. I get it. That doesn't make sense, Chris, but that's fine.
CUOMO: Well, you know what, David? It has been saleable politically. And what I'm hearing from a lot of the president's guys is this is done. The court gave us the legitimacy we wanted. We can put it into effect. That's what we needed politically here. It's a done deal. We don't care how it comes out down the line. We're going to do what we need to do in these three months. What are you hearing about the raw politics of this play?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I don't think there's any question that this became a fight about presidential power and, specifically, this president's power to make good on a campaign pledge that was in search of a legal and a national security rationale.
And I agree with Phil. You know, to accept this as a vital, necessary step presupposes that there are not steps that are being taken by security officials for anybody coming into the United States who might have certain triggers that -- that raise flags about where you're coming from, traveling alone, fitting a certain profile. That's been in effect since 2001 as appropriate safeguards.
As a matter of presidential power, I expect the president ultimately to prevail in the Supreme Court, but the political piece is, this was a ground that he staked out and that he'll ultimately be vindicated if that's how it goes in the Supreme Court in October. The issue may be moot in terms of the temporary ban.
But look, there's a larger threat at work here. And that is homeland security officials that I've spoken to are incredibly worried about the obsession that they say big terror groups, splinter groups have with bringing down an airline and planting bombs on airplanes. This is a threat that any administration would take incredibly seriously and do all kinds of things to crack down in advance on any kind of threat like that. And I think that's -- that's the larger issue that's -- that's playing out here. WARD: And Phil, I just want to pivot for a second to another threat,
which is the threat of Russia. We heard yesterday from former U.S. ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, saying that he now believes this is the most serious threat to the United States of America. He went on. He had harsh words for President Obama, but particularly for President Trump who he said could be accused of dereliction of duty in his reluctance to kind of take on this issue of Russia.
Do you think that's a fair assessment? Do you concur with this idea that Russia is the No. 1 threat currently facing the United States?
MUDD: I do. I don't believe it's China. I don't believe it's terrorism for a couple of reasons. Let's look at facts.
One is the fact that Russia has unpredictably intervened in Europe and threatened some of our allies with whom we have treaty obligations. I think China is more predictable, and I think we have at least part of a handle on the threat of global terrorism, a handle we didn't have after 9/11, 16 years ago.
If you look at the way forward, I do believe there's a dereliction of duty. This isn't very complicated. The White House had the easiest talking point ever. The president comes into office. He turns over to his national security adviser in a couple days, and he says, "Convene the cabinet departments and figure out, A, how we send a message to the Russians to stop this; B, how we coordinate with the states on preventing this from interfering with the next elections; and C, how we coordinate with Silicon Valley on trying to keep fake news off the Internet." I don't see why this is so hard, except that the president seems to believe that, if he acknowledges this, he says somehow, it helped him get elected. This makes no sense to me.
One quick comment, the comedy -- the comedy of the president of the United States saying Obama did nothing when Obama announced sanctions on December 29, and the president and the secretary of state had the Russian foreign ministers in their offices this year and didn't raise the issue. Are you kidding me? That's comical.
GREGORY: I just want to add, I think that, look, reportedly the Obama administration put in effect a roadmap that this administration could follow and maybe is following in ways that we don't know about. So I want to leave that option open, that he's not -- that they're not going to share everything that might be being done.
But I agree with Phil. If you're the president, who is so obsessed and so insecure about his legitimacy, why not put some of that to rest by saying, "Look, we know they didn't have an impact on the election, but we have to protect the institution and our democracy" and make a big deal about it. He refuses to do so.
CUOMO: Well, we have a perfect marriage here. You guys are raising very interesting questions, and we have a great suggestion of an answer to all of them, coming up on this show. So while I thank you for your perspective, that answer -- in fact, there are five of them. The five investigations into Russia's election interference. This is what lies at the heart of our president's reluctance to acknowledge this situation. These all play in the mind of the president as bad for him.
So let's bring on Congressman Jim Jordan, the man on your screen. And he's saying, "You know what? The president is right to smell some stink in these investigations," and he thinks something should be done about it. What is it? He'll tell you next.
[07:23::56] CUOMO: Sources tell CNN President Trump's advisers are struggling to convince the president that Russia still poses a threat after meddling in the 2016 election. The White House says the president is taking action quietly. Do fellow Republicans think the president is doing enough here?
Let's discuss that with Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio. It's good to have you this morning, Congressman.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: Good to be with you, Chris.
CUOMO: So a few different things I want to -- I want to check with you. The first one is Syria is now becoming an urgent situation for this White House. They say, if you do something like this again, you're going to feel it.
Now, you know the last time that they bombed the airport, the White House, there was a suggestion whether or not there was legal authority for that. That looms even larger now.
Do you think that before the president were to take any unilateral military action, he should have to come before you guys in Congress and make the case to you and the American people and have you vote, because the legal authority, the authorization for use of military force is from 2001?
JORDAN: Right. And I do think it's time to have a new debate on the AUMF, authorization to use military force. I do think that makes sense.
[06:25:04] I agree with what the president did in the spring. He said if you do this, there's going to be consequences. There, in fact, were consequences. But anything more than that, it seems to me the Constitution is pretty clear, and we should have the debate in the United States Congress.
CUOMO: Do you have any indication of whether or not the White House and the president agree with you on that?
JORDAN: We have not talked about that matter in particular with the White House. We've been focused on health care and a number of other issues when we have our conversations with folks at the White House.
But my position is the same. I thought what he did was appropriate. It seems to me, if you're going to escalate and do something more, certainly if there's going to be entertainment of troops there, then that's a debate that has to happen in the Congress.
CUOMO: What happens if the president goes ahead and does a bombing campaign and doesn't come to you guys about it?
JORDAN: I think you'll hear people speak out about that, but that hasn't happened yet. I supported what he did before. The thing with this president, when he says something, he means it. I think the former president, it was red line and then that was crossed. And then there was a new red line, and that was crossed and you couldn't really -- I don't think the international community appreciated what former President Obama was saying, because he never backed it up. I think this president does. Like I said, the Constitution is pretty clear, and we're going to follow it.
CUOMO: All right. So that's that issue. Another issue here that we have is what's going on with Russian interference. The actual known and the continuing concern of Russia's desire to mess with our elections. Do you believe in the urgency of that situation, and do you think something should be done about it?
JORDAN: Of course. Of course. Everyone believes in the urgency of that. Everyone has said that. So of course, that's important. But I do think there needs to be some balance here when we think about what James Comey testified a few weeks ago. We did an op-ed on this, Chris, where we talked about where Mr. Comey misled the American people when he called the Clinton investigation a matter instead of an investigation, which it was. He did it willfully. He did it intentionally. He did it at the direction of the attorney general. Think about that.
The attorney general tells the FBI director to mislead the American people, and he did it. And we know this year he also misled the American people when he furthered the perception that President Trump was under investigation when, in fact, he wasn't and had been told three times by James Comey himself that he wasn't under investigation.
CUOMO: But where -- why do you read in...
JORDAN: We're calling for hearings -- we're calling for hearings on Mr. Comey and Mr. Lynch. And it's not just Republicans. Dianne Feinstein said we should look into this matter, as well. So we think that's important. Sure it's important what the Russians are trying to do in our election. We need to get to the bottom of that, but we need to make sure it's done in the right way.
CUOMO: All right. Let's discuss your op-ed, because it can read as just tit for tat. You're investigating our guys, so you want to investigate your guys. The obvious exigency of investigating Russian interference and, yes, these ancillary questions, somewhat involved and related questions, of any collusion are relevant, because it's a situation we're dealing with right now with Russian interference with a current administration.
Why would you see that as being equivalent to looking at what happened with non-presidential people before now?
JORDAN: All I'm saying is let's investigate the investigators, not just me, even Senator -- Democrat Senator Feinstein said we should look into it. Remember, after... CUOMO: She did not -- she did not suggest the urgency that you are. She didn't say we should put it on equal footing with everything we're doing about Russia.
JORDAN: You don't think it's -- you don't think it's important to understand why the Justice Department misled the American people and then why that same individual, when he was fired, decided he was going to leak a government memo through a friend to "The New York Times" with the stated goal -- he said this under oath -- with the stated objective to create momentum for a special counsel, and not just any special counsel, but his good friend, his mentor and his predecessor, Bob Mueller? You don't think that's important to get to the bottom of that?
CUOMO: Listen, I smell what you're cooking here, Congressman. We both know it's not up for me to decide what gets investigated or not. But there are a lot of fact assumptions in your argument that we should discuss. One...
JORDAN: ... what James Comey testified to.
CUOMO: Well, but you're implying intent in what he testified to. You say that he intentionally and willfully deceived the American people by calling it a matter instead of an investigation, and that he was told by the attorney general then to mislead the American people. He never said that, and there is no indication that that's what the attorney general...
JORDAN: Chris, did you listen to his testimony?
CUOMO: Every word.
JORDAN: Call it a matter, not an investigation. He said should we really do that. He said I don't think that's appropriate.
CUOMO: He said he didn't like that she asked him to do that.
JORDAN: Right, he might have said that, and he testified that he said that, but what did he do? He went out and misled the American people.
CUOMO: But he didn't -- but he didn't think he was misleading the American people because he got his hands around it -- this is just by his own testimony, own reckoning. I'm saying you're implying intent, that he did not reveal in his own testimony. He never said, "So I decided I will mislead the American people." He never said that. You're saying that's what he did it. And I'm saying you can say that. That's your opinion but not a fact.
JORDAN: I'm not saying that's why he did it. The attorney general told him to call it a matter, not an investigation when it, in fact, was an investigation. What did he call it? He called it a matter. And that's not misleading. When he questioned the very -- she told him to do that, he questioned it. Yet he went out and did it.