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Trump Has Spent More Than 20% of Term at His Golf Clubs; North Korea Releases Video of Missile Test; President Trump Set to Leave on Second Foreign Trip; 44 States Refuse to Give Certain Voter Info to Trump Commission. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired July 5, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KINGSTON: He is a multibillionaire. He's not in the presidency to make money. That's ridiculous, Norm. You know it would be illegal if he was violating the Emoluments Clause. He's exempt from a lot of the things that you're talking about.
[07:00:12] And all these would-be president, attorney generals, or district attorneys for the states, they would be suing him right and left if there was a case here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a minute.
KINGSTON: Well, some of them are, and it's silly and going to be thrown out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jack, that...
CAMEROTA: Hold on a second. This is actually a deeper conversation than I thought when we were just going to be talking about their golf game. So we'll have you guys back to talk about all of this and how it relates to the Emoluments Clause. Norm, Jack, thank you very much.
KINGSTON: We'll fight it out on the golf course, Norm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Jack.
CAMEROTA: That's great. Let's do that.
Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN NEWSROOM is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North Korea is a bad actor not going to respond just because the president does tough tweets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can never allow Kim Jong-un to have the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The North Korean dictatorship has no regard for the safety and security of its people or its neighbors.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. and the South Koreans try to send a visible message.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: There's not much you can do short of military action.
CAMEROTA: This is now a formal sit down, bilateral meeting between presidents Trump and Putin.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the Trump administration's strategy for countering all of this Russian aggression? They don't have one.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.
Up first, North Korea releasing new video that appears to show its first successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The U.S. and South Korea responding within hours, conducting joint military exercises, as the U.N. Security Council prepares for an emergency session requested by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
CUOMO: There is rising tension, no question about that, and the tension coincides. Let's put it in Trump's second international trip since taking office. The president is going to take off in a couple of hours. He's going to stop in Poland, and then he's going to go to the G-20 summit in Germany. There, he'll have his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We have every angle covered here at CNN.
Let's start at the Pentagon and get the very latest from Barbara Starr. What do you make of this situation?
STARR: Good morning, Chris.
Let's get right away to the newest video out of North Korea. This is the regime's video of the intercontinental ballistic missile it launched on the July 4th holiday. The U.S. looking at this now, frame by frame. Originally, the Pentagon thought it was a much shorter- range missile, had to go back and look at it all again and say yes, indeed, intercontinental ballistic missile.
This is exactly what the Trump administration said it would not allow North Korea to have. Well, it has it now. And this had led very quickly to a visible response from the Pentagon and South Korea. Another piece of video. This is an exercise that was conducted yesterday off South Korea's eastern coastline. The U.S. fired a missile called ATACMS. Why is this so important? Why this visible message with this weapon?
This is a weapon that can fire about 200 miles into North Korea. It can go after their air defenses, their communications, missile launchers, infantry, that sort of thing. It's on a mobile launcher. The North Koreans presumably could not easily track it. So you're seeing that message being sent back to North Korea.
But unanswered, what does the Trump administration do now to actually pull back on North Korea's program, to get them to give up their intercontinental ballistic missile and their development of a nuclear warhead? No answer to that question.
CAMEROTA: That, of course, is the burning question, Barbara. Thank you very much for all of that reporting.
North Korea's latest provocation, bring the new urgency to President Trump's trip to Europe. The president will depart within the hour for Poland, and from there he goes to the G-20 summit, where all eyes will be on his first face-to-face encounter with Russia's Vladimir Putin.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is live at the White House with the latest. What's happening there, Suzanne?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, it's going to be wheels up in about an hour or so and the first stop the president is going to be making is in Poland. A 15-hour stop before Germany for the G-20 summit, and that is where issues like immigration and trade, as well as climate change and U.S./Russian relations will be prominent, but also in light of North Korea's missile launch, this meeting and these meetings and this trip take on a new significance.
MALVEAUX (voice-over): President Trump departing on his second international tour, one day after the Pentagon confirmed that North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, one that analysts say could reach Alaska.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un taunting the United States, saying the launch was a Fourth of July present to the Trump administration. As the U.S. responds with both a military and diplomatic show of force, calling for an emergency session at the United Nations Security Council to be held today. Followed by a strongly worded statement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, stressing that global action is required to stop a global threat and declaring that the U.S. will enact stronger measures against the North Korean regime.
Tillerson's hardline stance in stark contrast to this terse 23-word statement, following Pyongyang's missile launch in April.
H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: The president has made clear to us that he will not accept a -- a nuclear power in North Korea.
MALVEAUX: North Korea's aggression, likely to dominate discussion during this weekend's G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, including his first official bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his second meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Putin and Xi joining diplomatic forces and releasing their own plan to defuse tensions with North Korea after a meeting in Moscow Tuesday. Calling for a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests while also urging the United States and South Korea to stop conducting joint military exercises and specifically condemning the deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in the region.
The White House tells CNN there is no official agenda for President Trump's meeting with Putin. Although pressure is mounting for Trump to directly address Russia's interference in the 2016 election, though officials say it's unlikely.
REP. ADAM SMITH (D), WASHINGTON: What is the Trump administration's strategy for countering all of this Russian aggression? They don't have one.
MALVEAUX: President Trump also set to meet with skeptical European leaders seeking reassurance about America's commitment to NATO, after President Trump chose not to affirm his support for the alliance in May.
TRUMP: Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying, and what they're supposed to be paying for their defense.
MALVEAUX: The president's unpopularity in the region already sparking protests, with thousands expected to converge on Hamburg during the summit.
MALVEAUX: Many Europeans are also quite upset with President Trump's decision for the U.S. to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. According to the Chinese government's press agency just yesterday, Russia and China pledged to jointly push implementation of that agreement -- Alisyn and Chris.
CAMEROTA: Suzanne, thank you very much.
Let's bring in our panel to discuss it all. We have CNN Politics reporter and editor at large Chris Cillizza; Bloomberg News White House reporter Shannon Pettypiece; and CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger.
David, I want to start with you. You have a piece in "The New York Times" this morning. What can Trump do about North Korea? What's the answer to that?
DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Alisyn, his options are not good, and he has discovered over the past six months, I think in a pretty abrupt, some might even say brutal way, that it's a lot easier to make ultimatums about what the North Koreans will not do than to actually stop them.
He's got sort of four major steps he could take. He could try the incremental increase in sanctions that Secretary Tillerson referred to in that statement last night, in which the United States admitted that this was, in fact, an ICBM. No one I know believes that's likely to work. The North Koreans
aren't especially sensitive to this. They're not going to give up their missile and nuclear programs, which they view key to their survival, in return for easing some sanctions, or at least that's the view of almost everybody who's been through this before from the Clinton through Bush administrations and into the Obama administration.
They could think about military options, including preemptive strikes, when they saw a missile launch preparing, but as Barbara pointed out from the Pentagon, they didn't even understand what this missile was as they -- as it was preparing for launch. They could, if they wanted to, try to do much heavier interception of all North Korean exports, intercept ships at sea and so forth, but that risks conflict.
And, of course, they could open negotiations, which President Trump at various moments during the campaign and again a few months ago, suggested he might go ahead and do, but that would essentially be acknowledging that North Korea's a nuclear power here to stay.
CUOMO: All right. Quick follow for you, David. General Brooks said the only thing that kept war from breaking out after this test was self-restraint. Common sense would dictate that that's always what stops war from breaking out, self-restraint. But this is an unusual statement, is it not?
[07:10:08] SANGER: It is. And it jumped out at me, too, Chris, and I'm glad you mentioned it, because we sometimes forget that the agreement that was reached at the end of the Korean War in 1953 was an armistice, not a peace treaty, which means that the two sides are still technically at war. We don't think about that each and every day. The North Koreans think about it intently.
And it tells you what a hair trigger all of this is on. So one of the big calculations that President Trump's going to have to make is whether or not to so increase the pressure that you could end up seeing Kim Jong-un lash out, because he believes it's our plot to unseat him as the leader of North Korea. That's his biggest fear, and that's why you've seen President Xi and President Putin, both of whom Mr. Trump will be seeing later this week, both make the case for a freeze on missile and nuclear activity in return for the U.S. pulling back on all military exercises on the Korean Peninsula.
Shannon, we can see how complicated this is in the spectrum of responses the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has had about North Korea. So yesterday, he released that long statement that you may have just seen in the piece, talking about how North Korea is a global threat.
Back in April, he tried a different tact, very different, in fact the opposite, where he put this out, this official statement. "North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment."
So, that didn't work. I mean, I understand trying that. That sounded good at the time, like we're not even going to entertain -- we're not even going to humor them, but that didn't work.
SHANNON PETTYPIECE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG NEWS: In the playbook of options is running thin. I think, though, that President Trump is probably instinctually going to want to move towards the talk and negotiation stage in the playbook. He's talked before about wanting to reopen talks with North Korea, wanting to talk directly with them under the right circumstances. They'll, you know, put that caveat around that.
But that's how he sees himself dealing with issues. If I can just get someone in the room and talk to them, we can just talk this out, work out some deal, the whole great Donald Trump deal maker thing. But that is how he views trying to resolve those conflicts, trying to talk them out directly, and I would not be surprised if his instinct is pushing him to that way, again, of course, because militaristically, there's not any good options, diplomatically there are not good options. We are kind of running out of the playbook here.
CUOMO: Well, also, you're seeing here play out, Chris Cillizza, his instincts, the president's instincts getting in his own way. This isn't figuring out development rights for a hotel in Manhattan where you can start off heavy and aggressive and berating, and the that's just your first position and you back off.
Words matter -- matter on the geopolitical scale in a different way. So he heads into the G-20, where he's got allies upset about what he said, and he's going to meet with Vladimir Putin, where his words have put him in a little bit of an odd capacity there with him, as well. So how important is this trip for the president, to use his words in a new way?
CHRIS CILLIZZA: I think it is important. I think any time a president, it's not unique to Donald Trump. Any time a president goes to a major foreign stage, it matters. I think it matters even more with Donald Trump, given his inexperience doing so, and given that the first trip was not all that well-received by Europe, which I know cheers Trump supporters but does matter geopolitically in ways beyond just sort of our traditional domestic politics.
You know, we're not even talking about the Trump tweets. You mentioned words mattering, Chris. We're not talking about the Trump tweets, which basically say doesn't this guy have anything better to do about Kim Jong-un, which is not exactly -- diplomacy by Twitter is probably at least defer to David Sanger on these things, but I'm not sure that that's sort of a historically effective precedent.
What we don't know with Donald Trump is whether or not he can sort of contain his natural sort of provocative instincts. I think Shannon's right. He is sort of a dealmaker, but he also has this piece to him that is a provocateur. He likes to say and do things that cause reaction and then sort of revel in the reaction. We've seen that in the last week between the tweets about Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough and the closed line tweet for lack of a better word about CNN.
Those have impact stateside, but it's not as impactful as, frankly, if you do it on the international stage. So I'm -- I think he is a man divided. He likes to provoke. He likes to be tough, right? The era of strategic patience is over. At the same time, there are no good options. There is no simple solution here, and words do matter. So there's a lot of Trump natural instincts sort of colliding with one another, and I don't know, candidly, what that produces.
CAMEROTA: Chris, David, Shannon, thank you all very much.
CUOMO: I like Cillizza's shorthand there. The clothesline tweet referring to the wrestling move that the president did.
CAMEROTA: I was wondering what the clothesline was.
CUOMO: The clothesline, how you used to hang out the clothes. He would run into my arm. That's the clothesline. Your legs go out.
CAMEROTA: Oh, yes, I know that. I've fallen for that.
CUOMO: And I'll tell you what. The president executed it well. But now we're seeing another wrestling move at play. We're seeing the body slam going on by 44 states. Forty-four states, Republicans and Democrats, have said no to the Trump fraud commission's request for voter information.
They have problems with the law. They have even bigger problems with the myth that's at play here. Missouri's secretary of state is saying, yes. He's saying the law commands it, and the reality commands it. He will make the case to you and be tested, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[07:20:22] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's not enough bourbon in Kentucky, nor enough wine in California to make this request possible. We have secretaries across the nation. Indeed no state is fully complying with the request, that I'm proud that Kentucky and California are leading the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: That's Kentucky's secretary of state saying there's not enough bourbon in Kentucky for her to go with this request made by President Trump's election integrity commission. This morning, 44 states are refusing to hand over certain voter information to the panel. The commission asked for information, including the names of voters, their dates of birth, party affiliation, and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.
Joining us now, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, is one of three secretaries who plan to comply with the request. Why comply, sir? And thank you for joining us.
JAY ASHCROFT, MISSOURI SECRETARY OF STATE: Good morning. Thank you for having me.
First and foremost, there was a lot of confusion about what has actually been asked for. If you read the actual request twice, they stipulate that they only want this public information that the states have. In Missouri, that's going to include things like name and where you vote and in which elections you have voted. It won't include how you voted. It won't include your Social Security number. It's just public information that we regularly give out to any individual that asks -- asks for it.
CUOMO: But they are asking for those last four Social Security digits, are they not?
ASHCROFT: Actually, no, sir, they're not. If you read the letter, what they say is they want public information that the states have about voters.
CUOMO: So you're not going to turn over the Social Security numbers in full?
ASHCROFT: No, sir. They didn't ask for it. In the letter, they asked for the public information that may include, and then they list several factors, because different states have different bits of information, which they make publicly available. And I, as other states, we are just going to release that publicly-available information that is routinely released to candidates, to news organizations, and anyone that actually makes that request. That's what the law says, and we'll follow the law.
CUOMO: All right. So you're going to follow the law. You're not going to give any information that the law does not allow for, and then you get to the policy concerns of why take part in this at all, when it seems to be a search for an answer to the president's claim that there were 3 million illegal votes, which you know and I know is a baseless claim?
ASHCROFT: Well, first of all, it seems to me this is an investigation as to whether or not vote fraud occurs and how prevalent it is. And we in the state of Missouri regularly see instances of pretty much every conceivable type of vote fraud you can imagine, from documented cases of voter impersonation to people trying to slip multiple ballots into the ballot box, voting multiple times; people voting where they're not registered.
We actually have a state legislator that was elected. It was proven. Two members of his family pled guilty in a court of law to illegally putting him over the top. He won by one vote, and now he serves in the legislature. So we know that vote fraud occurs. The problem is...
CUOMO: Right. You want -- you want it to be -- you want the integrity of the system to be as good as possible.
ASHCROFT: I think we all do.
CUOMO: This is usually controlled by the states. There's very little that the federal government could do, and as you know, when you've gone around the state making the case for your efforts, you really only have one case that you can cite. And that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to do better.
But it does mean that you shouldn't blow the problem out of proportion. And the president said there were 3 million illegal votes. There's absolutely zero proof of that. And why waste time and money with a commission to look at fraud when you don't have a major fraud issue?
ASHCROFT: Well, first of all, we have far more than just one instance. I'd be happy...
CUOMO: You had one case. When you get pushed, you fall back on one case.
ASHCROFT: No, sir. We haven't. I mean, we've had multiple cases just in the six months that I've been the secretary of state here. And I'd be happy to go through those with you. If you'd like to come to Missouri, we can show you instances that we've had. It is, unfortunately, an occurrence. I mean...
CUOMO: But I'm talking about with voter impersonation. What we're worried about with illegal votes is what? It's somebody saying that they're able to vote, impersonating somebody else and then voting. You have one case of that, true or false?
ASHCROFT: Actually, I think that we should be worried about any illegal votes.
CUOMO: We should. But in terms of the 3 million...
ASHCROFT: ... that a good election is where they win and their opponent loses. That's not true. A good election is where the voters of the state or the voters of the nation make the decision.
ASHCROFT: And that's all I want.
CUOMO: Right but that's all you wanted...
ASHCROFT: I want that voters make the decision, and that they know that their vote counts.
CUOMO: But if that's all you want, is to make sure that you have the most full participation in the fairest election, you wouldn't be doing this. You would be doing all you can to encourage all the ineligible -- all the eligible voters you have who don't vote to vote, but you're not doing that. If you really cared about voter I.D...
[07:00:09] ASHCROFT: I've been touring the state trying to get...
CUOMO: ... you would do it at a time outside an election cycle. Because when you do I.D. during an election cycle, as we both know, we've seen it go all the way to the Supreme Court now, with the North Carolina case, it has a chilling effect. You keep people home. You have people who don't have I.D.s.
So if you really care, why don't you try to get the eligible voters to come out and participate? Why don't you do voter I.D. outside the election cycle so it doesn't have a chilling effect? You're not doing those things. Why?
ASHCROFT: Well, actually, we're implementing voter I.D. right now before we get back in cycle for a U.S. Senate race and a statewide, state auditor race next year. And we've done it in such a way that we can tell you that, if you're a registered voter in the state of Missouri, under our voter I.D. law you will be allowed to vote.
In fact, the former Boone County clerk who was one of the lead plaintiffs in throwing out our photo I.D. loss -- photo I.D. law ten years ago, has now come to our side and has stood up and said this is a good law. It's implemented correctly and protects against fraud. It makes it harder to cheat, but it makes sure that every registered voter can vote. And that's what we should all want. We should all want to know that if you're a registered voter, you can vote; and your vote will count.
And as we've been going around the state, making sure that people are informed about that, we've also been trying to sign up more people to be part of the process. The more people we have from whatever background, whatever belief system, as long as we're all trying to find what's best for our state and our country, the more voices we have, the better off we're going to be.
CUOMO: So why do you think so many secretaries of state are refusing to do what you're doing, including Republicans? Let me put up a statement for you to respond to.
CUOMO: "They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from. Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state's right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes."
There you've got the secretary of state a Republican there. They don't want to do this, because they say this is our business. States do this, and we're not going to participate in this ruse of searching for a problem where there is none.
ASHCROFT: Well, first of all, we do know vote fraud occurs.
CUOMO: But it happens on a very small scale. There must be a list of priorities for you to take on as secretary of state that has much more impact on your state than voter fraud.
ASHCROFT: Well, I think I'm responsible to do a lot of things at once as secretary of state. I think the people appointed me or elected me to do that, and I'm going to do that.
But I also think that any time elections are changed, based on voter fraud, that's a problem. And we've had that occur in Missouri. It's been demonstrated.
But secondly, I think we can both agree that, whether or not there is vote fraud, what amount it occurs in, has been something where there are smart, good people on both sides of the disagreement. And I think that...
CUOMO: No, I don't accept that as a premise. This is not a 50/50 proposition where maybe it's 3 million; maybe it isn't. There are no numbers anywhere like that coming from anywhere that deserves respect, except the president's mouth. He owned this as an explanation for the popular vote results and other than that. We know the studies. You know them. They've been cited to you many times. You can't substantiate the allegation with anything other than the president's own words.
ASHCROFT: Actually, I can substantiate the allegations and the actual occurrence of vote fraud in Missouri. And the funny thing is that...
CUOMO: You have a paucity of cases. You have a paucity of cases.
ASHCROFT: The studies you cite, none of them include these vote fraud occurrences that happened in the state of Missouri, which right there points to a problem. But I think...
ASHCROFT: But it's your strongest reckoning, secretary of state. You have a handful of cases. You just -- you can't make this a problem of any specific dimension or scope. You don't have the cases. You don't have the proof. I'm not saying you don't have any cases. I'm not saying you don't have a problem. We all know every state has problems. There's almost zero chance that our votes are accurate.
But it's not a widespread problem. It's not something that you're dealing with on a major scale. Isn't that just the truth?
ASHCROFT: Well, I'm glad that you agreed that, yes, we do have vote fraud, and that none of the vote totals are completely accurate. That's an improvement. But what I would say is, if like you, you believe that vote fraud isn't a massive thing. It doesn't change elections. Shouldn't you want there to be an investigation by a bipartisan commission like this with full information, because if the data shows that, you can stand up and say I was right.
And I would think that Republicans would like to have a bipartisan investigation with all the information, why don't we do this well and put this to rest? Either we have a problem with it or we don't. Let's find out if we have a problem. Let's work to solve it. If we don't, let's move on to other problems.
CUOMO: There's just so ripe for being misleading and, obviously, the goal would be 100 percent accuracy, right? That's what I'm talking about. That's what you would be talking about as the ultimate goal. We're not there yet.
But look, let's just -- let's just deal with it as a problem on its face. How many cases have you seen brought to a point of conviction that deal with voter fraud? In your state? ASHCROFT: See? See, right there, one of the problems we have is
CUOMO: I know. Because you don't have good cases.