Return to Transcripts main page
44 States Will Not Give Voter Info To Panel; Presidential Advisory Commission On Election Integrity; North Korea Claims It Has Developed Nuclear Capable Missile; Trump & Putin Set For First Meeting At G20; U.S. Weighs Options For Response To North Korea. Aired 7:30- 8a ET
Aired July 5, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: How many cases have you seen brought to a point of conviction that deal with voter fraud in your state?
JAY ASHCROFT (R), MISSOURI SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, you see -- see, right there --
CUOMO: In your state.
ASHCROFT: -- one of the problems we have is getting convictions.
CUOMO: I know, because you don't have good cases. That's what they say isn't true either, sir.
ASHCROFT: Well no, that's not true, either, sir.
CUOMO: You only have a handful of convictions --
ASHCROFT: Sir, do you mind if I answer your question?
CUOMO: -- because once you go all the way through the process they fall away. That's my --
ASHCROFT: Actually, they don't. I mean, the most recent case I would cite that goes directly against what you're saying is we had an individual that tried to vote two ballots. They put two ballots into the voting box.
They signed an affidavit that admitted they had done it, but then they got to the witness stand and said you know, I have these prior things -- problems. I have these difficulties in life. And the jurors said you know, we don't want to convict this person. They did it, we know they did it, we can prove it.
And then when you talk about in-person vote fraud or voter impersonation, if you will, we have the evidence. We have the signed poll book that doesn't match. We have the signed register.
CUOMO: Right, but it's just -- it's just a number of cases.
ASHCROFT: No. CUOMO: Obviously, you want to aspire to be better. Look, when the president made an issue in the White House, then came out and said -- or his campaign team at the time -- and said you know, a lot of people are registered in two different places. He had staffers who were registered in two different places.
You know, this is -- the concern is that are you just chasing after something to validate a myth or are you actually going to make the system better? We will see when the results of this commission come out, depending on the rates of participation.
And, Mr. Secretary of State, you are welcome back any time to validate the efforts. Appreciate that.
ASHCROFT: Thank you for having me, sir.
CUOMO: You're welcome.
ASHCROFT: You have a great day.
CUOMO: Alisyn --
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump will see allies and adversaries this week as he gets set to meet NATO again. We all remember last time some of the body language and messages that came out of there.
We have the former NATO supreme commander joining us next.
[07:35:45] CAMEROTA: So, in just a few minutes President Trump will leave Washington. You see there the live shot from -- of Air Force One.
He is heading to Warsaw, Poland and this is part of a European trip that includes the G20 summit where one development is sure to come up. North Korea just tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. How should President Trump handle this crisis?
Let's discuss it with former Brigadier General Anthony Tata. He's the best-selling author of "Besieged," as well as General Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme allied commander. Great to have both of you and all of your expertise here with us this morning.
General Tata, I'll start with you. What would you advise President Trump to do about North Korea?
BRIG. GEN. ANTHONY TATA (RET.), FORMER DEPUTY COMMANDING GENERAL, U.S. FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN, AUTHOR,"BESIEGED": Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, I think what President Trump needs to do is look at all of his flexible response options that he has. Right now, what you've got playing out on the world stage is President
Xi is meeting with Putin. Putin's going to meet with Trump. Putin and Xi want Trump to stop the military exercises formerly known as "Team Spirit," now known as "Foal Eagle" on the Korean Peninsula.
That's their end game, is to get the U.S. leadership out of that region so they can have more hegemony in that region. And so, their end game is to get rid of the U.S. military presence in South Korea, so this is political brinksmanship engagemanship (ph) at its highest. And to think that North Korea is not allied with Russia and China in some way on this, I think would be naive.
TATA: And also, we have to look at their linkage to Iran. And so, this is -- this is a big deal and I think Tillerson's got it right. A global threat deserves a global response.
CAMEROTA: Now, you know, General Clark, we remember during the campaign when then-candidate Donald Trump suggested in an interview with Fox that maybe Japan and South Korea would have to go it alone. Maybe they should even get their own nuclear weapons.
He seemed to sort of echo that again in a tweet just yesterday where he said you'd think that Japan and South Korea would be getting sick of this by now. Is that the answer, that they need to step up and do more?
GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, SENIOR FELLOW, UCLA BURKLE CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: I don't think the right response to this is to -- for Japan and South Korea to go nuclear. Could they go nuclear, certainly. Does it improve stability in the region, absolutely not. It puts more of a hairtrigger response into every political crisis that comes down the line in this -- in this area.
There are many other issues. There's the issue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, there's what China is doing in Hong Kong, there's the South China Sea. There are trade issues between the United States and China. So there are many different issues here. Japan has its own set of issues with China. So we need U.S. leadership here to be steadfast, reliable, and consistent.
First thing is, there is something called deterrence. Now, we've dealt with Soviet and now Russian ICBM's that can target the United States for more than half a century. We've dealt with Chinese capacities. So we haven't attacked these countries and we're going to have to think through this very carefully as a nation.
People around the world are looking for U.S. leadership. They're not looking for tweets, they're not looking for hyperactivity, and they're not looking for a war to be started --
CLARK: -- on the Korean Peninsula. CAMEROTA: So, General Tata, obviously, this brings in the allies and NATO allies, and the last time that President Trump was on a foreign trip you'll recall he sort of scolded some of the NATO allies by saying that they're not paying their fair share. Today, in this landscape, what do you think the reception from NATO allies will be to President Trump and what do you think his message to them will be?
TATA: I think, Alisyn, what you're really going to see is sort of a showdown between nationalism and multilateralism. What you're going to have -- the G20 is almost the sideshow to the Trump-Putin bilateral discussion, and what you've got there is really geopolitical gamesmanship playing out on T.V.
[07:40:10] You know, Merkel wants to talk about trade, she wants to talk about migration, she wants to talk about climate, and all of those things are important and need to be discussed. But right now, what I think the president really has on his mind is how to pull -- rein in North Korea, how to checkmate them in some way.
As General Clark was saying, there are a lot of issues that stem from this one issue right now and I think the president needs to stay the course and not get distracted by some other things and the protests, and so forth. I mean, there's a lot of things that could be protested there, you know, reference China and their human rights record and all that, but we won't see any of that. What we're going to see is some protests against Trump.
And what the president needs to do is stay focused on the real issue, which is North Korea, relationship with Russia, relationship with China, and yes, our relationship with the European Union to the degree that they carry their fair share.
CAMEROTA: What are you looking for, General Clark?
CLARK: Well, I hope that the president will be reliable and consistent and steadfast. That he'll affirm his Article Five commitment to NATO. That he will encourage the polls to stay with real democracy. I hope he'll appreciate the contributions our European allies and the other members of the G20 make to global stability. So I'd like to see him more multilateral than unilateral, and I'd like to see him stay focused on the real themes that are important here.
He's got a lot riding on the meeting with Putin because Putin's already come in and threatened that there'll be consequences if we don't give back the two Soviet buildings -- or Russian buildings that were taken away as a result of their interference in the election. President Trump has never said anything about Russianinterference in the election. He wants to avoid that issue.
Of course, there's tremendous political interest in this issue in the United States and among our allies abroad, so they want to see if, in this meeting, President Trump is going to stand up to Putin or whether he's going to -- he's going to be bowled over by Putin.
This is going to have enormous consequences for NATO. It's also going to have enormous consequences for Korea because if President Trump can't stand up to Putin, how's he going to be able to handle the complex of issues, as --
CLARK: -- Tony Tata said, of China, Russia. They're all engaged one way or another with North Korea. So you cannot isolate these issues on the international stage.
CLARK: They're all connected.
CAMEROTA: Just such an important week that we're watching.
General Clark, General Tata, thank you very much for being here.
TATA: Thank you, Alisyn.
CUOMO: All right, we're staying on top of breaking news this morning.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
An NYPD officer apparently targeted and killed on the beat. What we're learning about the fallen officer and the moments leading up to her death, next.
[07:47:05] CUOMO: Summer heat making a comeback. Increasing humidity and overall stormy conditions.
Let's bring in meteorologist Allison Chinchar for a look at the forecast. Allison, what do you see?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I see many of the things that you'd normally see in summer -- all the things you just mentioned. We're talking heat, we're talking humidity, and also the storms.
So this forecast brought to you by Xyzal, the allergy medicine for continuous, 24-hour allergy relief.
We do have some storms that are already out there. In fact, a pretty impressive line moving from Oklahoma, Texas, in towards the area towards Arkansas, and then a couple of scattered storms as well.
Now, that first system is going to gradually make its way towards the mid-Atlantic and the northeast, but right behind it we've got a second system that will be coming through. And those areas that are going to pick up on both, mainly the Ohio Valley into areas of the mid- Atlantic, that's where you're going to end up seeing the most rain. Some areas could be as much as four to six inches.
In addition to all of that moisture we're also talking a lot of heat. Ninety-one today in Atlanta, 83 in New York, 96 in Charleston. We're talking 91, Alisyn, in Houston. But again, it's summer. You just kind of have to deal with it with sunscreen and staying hydrated.
CAMEROTA: It is July. I never complain about it because winter always come back.
Allison, thank you very much.
So we are staying on top of this breaking news for you.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
New York City's police commissioner tweeting that an officer was, quote, "assassinated" in an unprovoked attack. Forty-eight-year-old Miosotis Familia, a 12-year veteran officer, was sitting in a marked vehicle when a gunman opened fire through a window, shooting her in the head.Two other officers confronted the suspect a block away. Police say the officers shot and killed the suspect after he pulled out a gun.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CUOMO: Passengers on two more airlines no longer have to pack laptops and tablets in their luggage when flying into the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security lifting the laptop ban on Emirates and Turkish Airlines based on what the companies are describing as their act of compliance with security measures. The ban, which rolled in March, still applies to six other airlines.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CAMEROTA: Well, when the cops show up it's usually a tell-tale sign the party's over, but that's not how things went down at this holiday block party in Asheville, North Carolina. The officers joined in the fun, taking the plunge on a giant slip-and-slide, uniforms and all.
Now, they were called for a noise complaint, OK, but they decided to ignore the noise complaint and just take a dip here on the slip-and- slide. And afterwards, they posed for pictures with the kids. They thanked everyone for a refreshing dip on a hot day.
CUOMO: That is an impressive slip-and-slide.
CAMEROTA: That is an epic one.
CUOMO: How did they deal with the problem getting the grit on there that can be such a day-ender? Second bag that they were in. They were in an actual second bag going down the slip-and-slide.
CAMEROTA: Is that right?
CUOMO: Yes. Why didn't I think of that?
CAMEROTA: I don't know but that's great.
CUOMO: I've got a ton of scars that I could have avoided.
CAMEROTA: Right, exactly, but that's the right answer. I mean, that's so wonderful.
CUOMO: Sure, and not everything is a police action.
All right. So, President Trump is tweeting again. What is he saying this time? It could affect the crisis in North Korea. We'll take you through it, next.
[07:53:41] CUOMO: President Trump is going to head to the G20 summit later this week. He's going to meet with China's leader just days after North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.
The president just tweeted on the subject. Here's what he said. "Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40 percent in the first quarter. So much for China working with us, but we had to give it a try."
Joining us now is Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York. Did the president, in a tweet, just say he's not going to try to work with China anymore? I mean, how do you feel about the president dealing with an issue like this over Twitter?
REP. LEE ZELDIN (R-NY), MEMBER, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Well, I think as it relates to China, we've looked at them as having the ability to be option A, B, C, D, and E as far as exercising leadership and dealing with the North Korea challenge. There -- we have many challenges as it relates to China so there's the carrot-and-stick approach ondiplomacy and economic pressure.
The president and the United States has many options on the table to deal with Chinese actors that are helping the North Korean economy as it relates to sanctions. I don't know if that's the direction we'll end up going but a new president comes in, they try to build a relationship and try to get China to work with us.
[07:55:00] ZELDIN: And if that doesn't happen we do have some other tools available to deal with some of these Chinese actors that can help ramp up the economic pressure on North Korea, so that might be next.
CUOMO: Well, that's a very nuanced answer you just gave there, Congressman, and it's nothing like what the president just said, which seems to be a pretty blanket statement that well, that's it, no more working with China. I mean, isn't this the risk of doing diplomacy by tweet?
ZELDIN: Yes, it's very difficult to do diplomacy by tweet. Hopefully, at the G20 the president has the opportunity to work his Chinese counterpart and discuss these particular issues and make some progress. But yes -- no, it's going to -- it's much better to do it in person at G20 as opposed to over Twitter. CUOMO: Right. Now look, why would I chase after you on this? You don't control what the president says, it's true. But you're a leader. You're a leader in the military. You're my congressman from my own district out on Long Island.
Isn't it time for you to get a consensus among your own party and the elected officials and have a discussion with the president about how he conducts state business, not how he feels personally about me or about CNN? He's got his First Amendment rights like everybody else. But when you tweet about China in this kind of rough way and seeing it come to a conclusion, now he's going to this G20 meeting.
He's done this on a number of topics. It's created a number of problems.Is it time for you guys to get together with the president and talk about how he conducts state business?
ZELDIN: I have spoken to the president as it relates to Twitter. We had a dinner at the White House about two and a half weeks ago where the topic came up then. Twitter does provide him with a very effective tool to -- any of us with a very effective tool to be able to communicate our message.
It becomes a little more complicated, I guess, when you're President of the United States. You're the leader of the free world and what you put into 140 characters or less, at times, can be taken in many different ways which can cause confusion that would require follow-up statements --
CUOMO: I mean, when has it worked well for him, Congressman? I mean, just look at the news cycles, you know? Look at his popularity ratings. Look what's gotten done in Washington. Look what's happened with health care.
Where -- what can you point to where you're like oh, see these tweets? These really helped him. These -- this one tweet, this was huge for him. Where has it helped?
ZELDIN: Well, I mean, some of his best tweets from that perspective would be the ones that we talk the least about. The ones that would be the least controversial where he is communicating with his base. He's communicating with the American public with regards to work on veterans, on the economy. Where he's drilling into the specific policy. When he talks about trade.
The issues that got him elected. The issues that, quite frankly, a lot of people who didn't vote for him also care about.
ZELDIN: But those are not the ones that we spend the most amount of time talking about.
CUOMO: They're also the minority of his tweets, right? They did a breakdown of what the subject matter is of his tweets. He does not spend the majority of his time talking about what the American people care about. We know about that. And look, this is a statement against interest. I love the tweets. I love the window into the head and the heart of the President of the United States. It's a level of access we've never had before and it gives me a legitimate line to test ideas because I know where they're coming from.
So let's move on to another issue that will matter. He hasn't tweeted about this yet but when he meets with the Russian president what do you want to be communicated about election interference by Russia? Should it come up? What should be said?
ZELDIN: It should come up. One of many important topics, it's an important one. We -- Russia has a long history of meddling in foreign elections and we should not only be reflecting back on 2016 -- and there's a larger cyber component that outside of the election process impacts the U.S. government, U.S. infrastructure, U.S. companies, individuals, privacy data.
But instead of -- you know, aside from just reflecting backwards to 2016, it's an important conversation because before you know it, it will be 2017, 2018, 2019 and you have future elections.
And while in 2016, you know, the Democrats might be the victims of Russian meddling, who knows if, you know, a few years down the road it's the -- the role -- everything's flipped? It's Republican e-mail accounts that get hacked into, Republican systems that get hacked into, and all of a sudden the Republicans are the victims.
So I think as Americans it's important for us to be united on this front, protecting the process. Not just looking backwards but looking forwards as well and to send that message to make sure it doesn't happen again.
CUOMO: Congressman Lee Zeldin, appreciate you being on NEW DAY, as always.
ZELDIN: Thank you. Bye, Chris.
CUOMO: We're following a lot of news, including the U.S. response to North Korea's latest missile launch. Let's get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Together, we are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials calculate this is likely an ICBM.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to know what the strategy is of how we're going to deal with this.