Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY

North Korea Claims Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Launch; Interview with New York Rep. Gregory Meeks; Trump And Putin Will Meet Face-To-Face For First Time; Hot Dog Heaven; More Than 40 States Reject Voter Commission's Request. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 4, 2017 - 07:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:33:51] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this morning. North Korea claims it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach anywhere in the world. Experts are now trying to assess whether that is, in fact, true.

Let's discuss with Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks from New York. He's on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Thanks so much for coming in on this holiday. Great to see you.

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D), NEW YORK: Good to talk to you.

CAMEROTA: Do you believe that North Korea has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, as they claim?

MEEKS: Well, I'm sure that that conversation is being had. I heard that it was -- first, that it was not an intercontinental missile so we need the facts to come in. But whether it was or not it's a very serious situation.

CAMEROTA: How should the U.S. respond?

MEEKS: Well, I know that we can't respond by ourselves. I know that we must work with multilateral countries -- South Korea, Japan, and China. And yes, there's got to (audio gap) and we've got to work in a collaborative way in order to resolve this scenario.

CAMEROTA: It doesn't seem as though China is interested -- or I should say that any additional pressure is exerting -- is making China exert more pressure on North Korea.

[07:35:10] Here, let me read to you what President Trump tweeted about this very thing. "North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all."

I mean, he's sort of expressing there the same wishes that you have.

MEEKS: Yes, so what do we have to do? I mean, I think that China has indicated that they want to have some -- resume talks with North Korea. So has the new president of South Korea. Now, we can't do -- now, we tried the six-party talks before. It seems as though that did not work for various reasons.

The question is, is there something else that we can talk to China -- I think there's a lot of negotiation that would have to happen with China that China wants, and China does not want the United States to be the predominantly country in its backyard, so to speak. But it also wants to be an economic power so, therefore, I agree that there's got to be some pressure economically placed on China.

I don't think that what the president did with reference to selling weapons to Taiwan is the right way to go because then we're talking about a militarily threat against China. We're not going to go there. But --

CAMEROTA: The U.S. cannot do anything military in this regard?

MEEKS: It would be devastating -- devastating to the South Koreans and the Japanese.

CAMEROTA: So all of this looms on the eve of the G20 summit. It's going to be very interesting to see how President Trump does with all of these world leaders. He's going to have his first face-to-face meeting with President Putin of Russia. What do you want President Trump to say to him?

MEEKS: Well, I think that President Trump needs to confront him about Russia's involvement in our democratic process. He needs to make sure -- he needs to do what President Macron did in France, who stood up right in front of Mr. Putin and said -- and challenged him about their involvement in European elections. So there's got to be a confrontation in that regard.

And I also think that the president should also talk to him about human rights violations in Russia. There's some very real concerns. He cannot kowtow to him.

CAMEROTA: OK, it doesn't sound like either of those are going to happen. I mean, just from the intelligence that we've gotten out of the administration it doesn't sound like those are the top priorities. In fact, it sounds like President Trump is going to talk to Russia about their cooperation with Syria and fighting ISIS. That that's what they say is at the top of their list.

MEEKS: Yes, which is a problem which I think that, you know, tells me that -- gives me serious concerns because when you see that the president, even at the White House when he had the foreign -- the foreign minister there, you know, he did not let American reporters in. It was only reported by Russians. It seems to me that -- then they were joking and he gave away some top-secret information.

So, I have real concerns. That's why I have concerns about President Trump's presidency and his lack of seriousness that the whole world is looking at. When you --

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, you know, look, the White House would say that it is very serious fighting ISIS. We need help and that if you cloud that issue with the Russian meddling, which Vladimir Putin has denied and President Trump does not seem to always believe, then how are you going to get their help with fighting ISIS?

MEEKS: Well listen, you cannot allow someone who tried to interfere with our democracy to get away with it. Who is trying to separate us from our European allies to get away with it.

President Macron of France just got elected. He didn't back away or have fear of it. You can have those stern conversations on both matters. You don't allow one to prevent you from talking about the other, particularly when it's so important to our democracy.

CAMEROTA: As a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, what do you think is the U.S. standing? How would you describe what the U.S. standing in the world is right now?

MEEKS: Well, as indicated by the recent Pew poll, it has gone down all across the world, with the exception of Russia. Russia is the only government -- only area where the people have had an elevated sense of leadership from the United States.

Everywhere else in the world it has gone down and I talk to our closest allies. They have very serious concerns about the leadership of this administration and when they hear him tweeting about ridiculous things -- attacking reporters and attacking CNN in a violent way, those are concerns about can I really trust this guy.

And when you have an individual who says one thing on one day and something else on another day, and says he's the best guy that -- you know, the only one -- his best adviser is himself, they have real problems. So I think that -- and he's pulling out. Let me just say that. He's pulled out of the Paris agreement, he's pulled out of the Trans-Pacific --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

MEEKS: -- Trans-Pacific Partnership. So he's pulling out of multilateral deals and questions E.U. and questions NATO. They have real concerns about his leadership.

[07:40:03] CAMEROTA: Well, it will be very interesting to see what happens at the G20 summit.

Congressman, thanks so much for being here with us --

MEEKS: Good to be with you.

CAMEROTA: -- to preview all that -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you so much, Alisyn.

It's either hot dog heaven or an unforgettable stomachache, maybe both.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING) Get hungry because we're headed live to Coney Island for the annual hot dog eating contest. The records that could fall, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right. It's looking like a stormy Fourth of July for a large part of the country. Let's get to meteorologist Jennifer Gray for a look at the forecast -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, you're right. We are going to see some storms, especially in the south. By the way, this weather report is brought to you by Purina. Your pet. Our passion.

Look at these storms push through the Dallas Metroplex in the wee hours of the morning. Those are going to be heading on into Arkansas -- already seeing some of those. We also have another batch of rain that's in northern portions of Alabama, skirting the northern sections of Georgia. Actually, flood warnings in effect just outside of Huntsville.

This rain is going to continue throughout the day as it shifts to the east. We are going to see the risk of possible thunderstorms as we're already seeing now. And so, you can see as we get into the overnight hours we are going to see some scattered showers around the Little Rock area, so right around fireworks time we could see some rainfall there.

Could see up to four to five inches in some isolated locations, two to three inches across portions of Kentucky, Alisyn. So, unfortunately, we are going to see a bit of a wet Independence Day for some of the south.

CAMEROTA: That's too bad. All right, Jennifer, thank you very much for that.

[07:45:00] So, this is a Fourth of July tradition, Nathan's annual hot dog eating contest at New York's Coney Island. Today, nine-time champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut defends his title after taking down a record 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes last year. And you know what, John? Sometimes this doesn't end well. That's all I want to say.

BERMAN: For the hot dog or for the --

CAMEROTA: For any -- for anyone, OK?

So, CNN's Karin Caifa is live on the Boardwalk. What do we expect, Karin?

KARIN CAIFA, CNN REPORTER: Joey Chestnut, Alisyn, the favorite once again coming into the competition. You know, 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes is not even his personal best, that's just his July Fourth best. He's actually done 73 and a half hot dogs in a 10-minute span so that's why he's the nine-time champion here at the Nathan's contest and that's why he holds 43 different competitive eating titles ranging from apple pie to burritos. You know, last year he came into this competition with something to prove. In 2015, he lost to Matt Stonie, who will be one of his chief rivals here today, and just absolutely came in roaring back with those 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Now, I did a little bit of math. There's 280 calories in a Nathan's hot dog and bun, so multiply that times 70. He's taking in about 20,000 calories in 10 minutes. That's what most of us take in in 10 days. So in terms of what to say for Joey Chestnut and the others today, the mustard belt is what the champion gets out of this -- $10,000 in cash.

And we cannot forget about the ladies, as well, who will kick off the competition. Sonya Thomas, who was known as the black widow, she holds the record for the ladies. And last year's champion is Miki Sudo. She ate 38 and a half hot dogs in 10 minutes, which is actually 37 and a half more hot dogs than I ate here yesterday, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Good job. I'm glad you're keeping score. That's what we need to do today. I can't tell if I'm hungry or grossed out.

BERMAN: Do you think you're born with the ability to do this? Is this genetic or do you think this is a learned skill?

CAMEROTA: As a competitive eater myself --

BERMAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- I can tell you I feel it's genetic. Not everybody can eat a burrito the size of a baby, but I can.

BERMAN: You were doing the math about how many calories, you know. I think were math involved, their eating because perhaps they couldn't do the math. I think maybe that's the issue.

CAMEROTA: Perhaps, but our thanks to Karin there. She'll be watching and, as I said, sometimes you have to turn the camera away very, very fast --

BERMAN: You keep saying that. I don't know what it means.

CAMEROTA: I've been caught by this mistake before. You have to turn the camera away very fast because the human body is not really designed to eat 70 hot dogs so sometimes it doesn't end well. There you go.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

Meanwhile, defying the president and his election fraud commission. More than 40 states now say they will not turn over information on their voters. Why? Well, two secretaries of state with different opinions join us next.

BERMAN: Ask them about the hot dogs.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I will. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

[07:51:30] CAMEROTA: OK. So this morning, the list continues to grow. More than 40 states now are defying the Trump administration's request for private voter information. This is a CNN inquiry of all 50 states. This is where we're getting this number. The voter commission is asking for voters' full names, their dates of birth, party affiliation, and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, among other information.

So joining us now are two different secretaries of state -- New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver -- she's a Democrat. And, Colorado's Secretary of State Wayne Williams. He is a Republican. They have different opinions here. Thanks to both of you. Happy Independence Day.

WAYNE WILLIAMS (R), COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE: Good morning. Happy Independence Day.

MAGGIE TOULOUSE OLIVER (D), NEW MEXICO SECRETARY OF STATE: Happy Independence Day.

CAMEROTA: Secretary Oliver, let me start with you. Why do you not want to comply with the White House request?

OLIVER: Well, the truth, Alisyn, is I have a lot of questions about this.

First and foremost, my job as secretary of state of New Mexico is to protect the privacy and the integrity of the voter process here in New Mexico. So my main concern, number one, is to ensure that my voters' information is protected, but I have a lot of questions. It's not really clear what this data's going to be used for. It seems to maybe be a fishing expedition or a witch hunt of some kind and I'm very concerned about that.

CAMEROTA: OK. Secretary Williams, you have a different opinion. You are willing to comply with most it. Why?

WILLIAMS: Actually, I don't. I think you've mischaracterized the difference in the opinion between the good secretary and I.

CAMEROTA: Tell me.

WILLIAMS: Both of us have said that we will not provide information that is confidential under our respective state laws.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

WILLIAMS: Most states, including Colorado, provide that certain information is public. We will provide that information in Colorado as the law requires us to do and this would provide to both parties.

CAMEROTA: OK, that -- OK, I hear you. I'm glad you made that distinction but you're willing -- you haven't said no. You haven't said, you know, it would take all the bourbon in Kentucky for me to have to comply with this. I mean, you've said that you will release voter roll information that is public under state law, but which ones -- what will you withhold?

WILLIAMS: So, Colorado law is very clear as to what's withheld and what's not. Your name, your address, your party affiliation, your voting history in terms of whether you voted are things that are public information in Colorado. In Colorado, your Social Security number, your driver's license number, your specific date of birth are all confidential.

And so, that's the same information we provided to MoveOn.org in the last election as required by Colorado law. It's the same information that we'll provide to the presidential advisory commission.

CAMEROTA: OK, thank you for that clarification.

So, Secretary Oliver, how -- explain this to us. Will you do the same? I mean, there's confusion because some of the -- this election commission says this is all public information. All we're asking for is help in compiling it, but it sounds as though state-by-state that's not exactly true.

OLIVER: True. Every seat has a little bit of a different law or guideline concerning what they can do with their data, what is publicly available, and what's not. In New Mexico, we do and are allowed to provide certain aspects of our voter registration data but only for certain very limited reasons and under certain conditions. So, first and foremost, I'm not even sure whether this presidential election commission's request would fall under that.

But secondly, what I'm really concerned about is the ostensible creation of a national voter registration database to do, again, a fishing expedition. Assuming that this commission is going to try to look at this data to try to find, you know, what they call deficiencies or what have you in the integrity of our election process, we can assume that they're going to try to match the data across states.

[07:55:11] And if they're doing that without Social Security numbers and birthdates and other very specific information, what's going to happen is we're going to see a lot of false positives potentially. And again, that could create more questions than answers.

I'm not interested in participating in a witch hunt like that. I would be much more interested in, for example, seeing the commission pursue looking into the Russia situation where we know we had real interference and real problems in the 2016 general election.

CAMEROTA: Secretary Williams, do you think -- do you agree with the White House that there's been vast voter fraud in 2016?

WILLIAMS: You know, I know in Colorado we have very good processes in place and most attempts at voter fraud were prevented in Colorado. I think that all my fellow secretaries of state also work to ensure that it's prevented.

It's one of the good things about the letter from the commission is that it asks specifically how they can assist. And one of the points -- the second question they raised, for example, is on how can they assist with respect to cybersecurity.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

WILLIAMS: That's an important question to be asking.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

WILLIAMS: I'm glad they've asked that and I'm glad to have the opportunity to participate in how they can assist the states.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

WILLIAMS: One of the things that happened, for example --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

WILLIAMS: -- is localities were notified but the state -- secretaries of state were not notified about potential breaches.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, given that you think that there are good systems in place and that your state complied with those and that most states did, and all the secretaries of state that you know did, why do you think the White House has the impression that there was vast voter fraud in 2016, Secretary Williams?

WILLIAMS: I can't speak for -- I can't speak for why the White House believes a particular thing or not. What I can speak to is that in Colorado we have an open and transparent process. We'll participate, as we do with anybody that asks for the information, and we'll give only public information. We will not give private information.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, are you willing -- in other words, are you saying that the White House is wrong about their impression?

WILLIAMS: I do not believe that vote fraud occurred on the scale that's been described. I do believe that vote fraud occurs and it's important to take steps to prevent it. That's what I have been vigorously trying to do in Colorado -- what my colleagues across the country have done. We want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.

CAMEROTA: Here's what the president tweeted on November 27th after he won. He said, "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

Secretary Oliver, what's your response to that?

OLIVER: Well, I think it's pretty clear that that's a very -- a very unlikely scenario, right? And I think, you know, Secretary Williams and I both have histories as county election officials. We both know the reality that, as he said, voter fraud is extremely rare, it's extremely isolated. It does happen and we deal with those situations on a case-by-case basis.

But again, going back to this widespread data request that has come out of the presidential commission, providing this kind of large data dump and providing this information to compile this national voter registration database, it really isn't going to answer that question. And it's certainly not going to answer the question of whether voter fraud occurred on a very limited basis, again because we're not going to have enough information to draw that conclusion.

So again, you know, I think we're going down a path here where what's happening is actually even just raising the question of whether or not this data could or should be provided to a federal commission, it's actually causing fear and concern among voters. Folks have called my office to say I'm not sure I want to be registered to vote anymore if you're going to be providing my name to the White House.

And I think that is a bigger concern for me moving forward, is how do we make sure we protect folks' right to vote and their confidence in the system moving forward.

CAMEROTA: For sure. That's important to know that voters are feeling skittish about this information getting into the wrong hands somehow.

Secretaries of State, thank you very much for being with us on this Fourth of July. Great to talk to you.

WILLIAMS: Have a great Fourth.

OLIVER: OK.

CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news here including the latest on North Korea's missile test, so let's get right to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to North Korea, they have successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. administration, they want China to bring more pressure economically on North Korea.

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: What we have to do is prepare all options. The threat is much more immediate now.

LIU JIEYI, CHINA'S U.N. AMBASSADOR: If tension only goes up, the consequences would be disastrous.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The president prepares for the G20 summit and his first face-to-face encounter with Vladimir Putin.

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: We need to be very tough with Russia. This isn't just business as usual.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to a special Independence Day edition of NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 4th, 8:00 here in the east. Chris is off.