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Trump: Election Meddling "Could Be Russia"; Bethanie Mattek- Sands Goes Down with Knee Injury; Interview with Maine's Democratic Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 7, 2017 - 06:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: [06:30:03] It will be Thursday, they did it, no control an infection. Scalise was shot last month at a Republican congressional baseball practice. We all remember that.

The hospital says Scalise tolerated this procedure well, but he's still in serious condition and he's endured multiple surgeries and he's going to face a lot more, because he's go got fractured bones and internal organ issues.

This is a complicated recovery. We will stay on it and we send the best to the whip and his family.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We certainly do.

Residents in the Northeast today face drenching rains, severe, gusty thunderstorms ending the week, though.

Let's get to our meteorologist Jennifer Gray for a look at the forecast.

What have you got?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Poppy, that's exactly right.

By the way, this weather is brought to you by Tempur-Pedic. Tempur- Pedic sleep is power.

And this is an area we're going to be watching. We could see some large hail, damaging winds. Can't rule out the possibility of an isolated tornado, but thunderstorms are going to extend all the way back in the plains, from the Northeast.

We actually have a couple of rounds of rain. We have one round coming through right now, but you look back towards Detroit, you see that second round of rain. That's going to be what's going to move through a little bit later this evening into tonight.

So, if we time it out, a bit wet this morning, early, and then another round late tonight or around the 10:00 or 11:00 hour, pushing through the Northeast -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Appreciate it, Jennifer. We'll keep an eye on it through you. President Trump, has he painted himself into a corner on the Russian

election hacking ahead of the big meeting with the Russian president? How, why? We'll discuss, when NEW DAY continues.



[06:30:42] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it could very well have been Russia, but I think it could well have been other countries. I think a lot of people interfere. I think it's been happening for a long time. It's been happening for many, many years.


HARLOW: President Trump directly contradicting his own intelligence agencies, while, I should note, he's on foreign soil. What impact is that going to have on the intel community overall?

Let's discuss with our CNN counterterrorism analyst, Phillip Mudd, and former State Department official, Shamila Chaudhary.

Nice to have you both here.

So, Philip, he welcomes embraces, even brags about some U.S. intelligence, but anything that could reflect negatively on him or his campaign or his presidency, he writes off the agencies, completely. Does that hurt the United States, big picture, in the eyes of the world?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think it hurts the United States in terms of the relationship with Russia. When he walks in the room, and I'm thinking not about what happened last year during the election, Poppy, but how we think about 2018 and more importantly, the presidential election in 2020. The message to Vladimir Putin, unless the president gets more aggressive is, do the same thing you did with the Americans last year and in the French election this year.

I think what's happened last year is over. The Congress is looking at it. We may have indictments if American citizens were involved in working with the Russians.

But the real question is whether the president sends a question that says you can't do this in 2020. The intelligence community will keep talking to him about what the Russians are doing. The intelligence on this that I've seen, it's been in the public forum because of leaks has been excellent, but the real story is whether the Russians get the message that says, don't do it again. And right now, that message clearly isn't out there.

CUOMO: Well, Shamila, it's all about deterrent effect, though, right? I mean, whether or not the president believes the proof 100 percent, of course, that's going to weaken your posture, if you're trying to sell somebody they did something wrong and that person knows that you don't really believe that something wrong happened, there's going to be a natural backlash? You don't need to be a world leader to understand that dynamic.

But once you get passed that, you know, either Russia is going to get something in return to stop this behavior or the United States will find a way to frustrate their efforts, or the game will continue as it has for many years. Aren't those the realities?

SHAMILA CHAUDHARY, SENIOR FELLOW, NEW AMERICA: Those are definitely the realities? And we have to take a step back and ask the question, why is Russia increasing its intelligence question on the United States?

And I think there's two reasons. One, they definitely see a lot of vulnerabilities coming out of the Trump administration. After the election, they have a lot more data to work with. They know through our own Russia investigations that Trump advisers are extremely vulnerable. They're loose with information. There have been incessant leaks of classified information.

And I were the Russians, I would be looking at all of that as a huge opportunity to expand operations in the United States, and Trump himself has publicly lashed out at his own intelligence community, and that presents another opportunity for the Russians to enhance their activities and surveillance on the Americans with full knowledge that there will be this imbalance in the bureaucratic infrastructure. Trump doesn't seem to want to invest more in intelligence. He's not reading his report. So, all of this means the Russians have hit the jackpot.

HARLOW: Shamila, because you worked at the State Department, let me get your take on this. Part of CNN's reporting on this stepped up efforts by Russian spies in the U.S. is that the State Department is still willing to give out a lot of these temporary visas, even to these suspected Russian intelligence officers. Now, it's complicated, right, because you need a reason behind not granting a visa.

What's your experience in the State Department say to that part of this?

CHAUDHARY: Well, actually, this reminds me a lot of my time of working on the U.S./Pakistan relationship and we face similar challenges and we basically had a spy war between Pakistani intelligence and the CIA. And we had very much the same issues where, you know, there were Pakistanis officials coming to the United States and American officials were going to Pakistan and both sides were suspicious that we were sending too many folks, unregulated.

And it wasn't just a diplomatic issue. There are serious sort of security issues. A lot of this has to do with the behind the scenes relationships between intelligence communities, and when they go wrong, the diplomatic community is often the one that has to bear the burden of, you know, showing face, a strong face in front of the world.

[06:40:09] And I think that's what has happened here. And that reflects the Obama administration's struggles with how to take strong action against the Russians. They wanted to -- they wanted to show that they would punish Russia for meddling in our elections, but there are just a lot of trade-offs. And pushing hard against Russian intelligence could have had serious effects on other policies, where the United States did need to negotiate with Russia, say, in Syria, and would have to use diplomatic force.

CUOMO: What's the bottom line on this review, Phil Mudd? How much of an impact does questioning the intelligence service actually have? You've said that those men and women are going to do their job, regardless.

MUDD: Yes, there's another story here, Chris. We used to, when I was at the CIA, we would refer to the president as the first customer. When you're in the intelligence business, you think you're serving a customer who has to make decisions for America.

But if you take a step below in Washington, the people in my world regard the other customer, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Mattis, CIA director, these people in the six months that the president have been in have gotten pretty good reputations. In my small world --


CUOMO: Uh-oh. Phil Mudd said too much. They cut him off.

HARLOW: What happened?

CUOMO: He was revealing state secrets and there he went. No.

HARLOW: He's back, like that.

CUOMO: Phil, what'd I tell you about playing with that button? You're important enough. Don't make yourself mysterious. Finish your point.

MUDD: I was saying, there's a variety of senior customers, and when the first customer cuts you off, people below him are viewing the layer below him, including the CIA director quite positively. Mike Pompeo, the new CIA director, has made a great impression on the agency. So, I think a lot of people like me saying those doing the work behind the president are doing good work, we'll serve them even if the president blows us off. I think that's what's going on.

CUOMO: Look, in a way, that's heartening. You like the tone set from the top. And hopefully they understand the obviously political motivations behind the president's resistance here. It is, as you laid out. It is, you know, it's not a coincidence if the information is good for him, he believes a source more than when it's bad for him.

But if the men and women, as you're suggesting, Phil, believe in Pompeo and Tillerson and those who are doing the work of diplomacy, they're still getting the information they need. America is still going to be strong.

MUDD: Yes.


CUOMO: Shamila, thank you very much for your perspective on all of this. We'll have you back soon.

All right. So, one of the most popular players on the tennis tour went down with an injury at Wimbledon. But I've got to tell you, this was not pretty and not just because of the injury, but because of how it was handled, OK? You're going to see something that I've never seen happen before at a major tournament when we come back.


[06:46:39] CUOMO: All right. What a bizarre story. Very important, though.

One of the most beloved players on the women's tennis tour goes down with a really ugly injury at Wimbledon, but it was what happened next that's really driving the interest.

Coy Wire has more on the outpouring of support and the delay -- the delay that we saw take place, Coy Wire. Never seen anything like that in a major tournament.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was odd, indeed, Chris. Good morning to you.

Known for her bright personality, dyeing her hair bright colors, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, as you mentioned, a beloved player within the tennis world at Wimbledon. She was looking for a four-straight grand slam double title. But it was in the singles competition that Mattek- Sands was running towards the net, her knee buckled, she collapsed to the court, she would be writhing in pain.

And Chris touched on it, some criticizing officials at Wimbledon that it took entirely too long for anyone to go to her help.


WIRE: You could feel the tension. Her doubles partner, Lucie Safarova appearing on the court in tears. An outpouring of the support on social media from her peers and fellow players with words like heartbroken, stay strong, we love you.

A terrifying scene there for any athlete, when you're playing at that level. And this is the Super Bowl of your support, if you will, your career flashes before your eyes.

All right. We're going to move on to the next story here. The first time folks are going to see Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor going face to face in a press conference. It's coming up. It's about to be here. UFC, the champion is looking to do something no one's ever really done before. Take on a boxer on a huge stage in Vegas later in august.

And the press conferences, the tickets go on sale later at 3:00 p.m. today. The people are saying the fight is going to be boring, but one thing these athletes, before their actual fighters, they are entertainers. So, they're going to be like peacocks spreading their feathers out there. Everyone's wondering when these two finally go toe to toe and face to face for the first time.

HARLOW: I'm wondering, it was the first thing I thought of this morning when I woke up. I have to tell you. Coy Wire, it was top of mind for me. Thank you.

WIRE: You're welcome.

HARLOW: We appreciate it, and, of course, we wish her all the best in terms of a recovery.

All right. A growing number of states refusing to give some information to the president's voter fraud commission. That includes Maine. Maine's secretary of state, though, is a member of this commission, still, though, said, no. The request for all of that information, he joins us next.


[06:52:56] CUOMO: All right. So, a U.S. federal district court is going to hear arguments today from a privacy rights group and they're fighting that the president's Commission on Election Integrity, that their request to collect certain voter information violates the law. You've had a lot of states refuse to supply some or all of the information. And that has put it somewhat at a standstill.

But there are big questions about the need for this commission.

Joining us is someone in a very unique position. We have Maine's Democratic Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. He is a member of the commission but he is also one of the secretaries of states that doesn't want to turn over all the information that's been requested.

It is good to have you with us this morning, sir.


CUOMO: So, this is somewhat of a fix. You find yourself in. Why would you be the member of a commission that you don't want to fully support?

DUNLAP: Well, first of all, let me just say that we have an awful lot to be proud of in the conduct of our elections in our country. It's not because of the work I do. It's because of the work our neighbors do, our local election clerks, city clerks, ballot clerks.

The work that they do is extraordinary, which kind of takes us to where we are right now. The questions that came from the president that led to the formation of this commission and they asked me to be a part of it.

One of the things that's been discussed is the accusation that millions of votes were cast illegally. Now, I've said right along that we probably wouldn't find an awful lot to back that claim up, but nonetheless, I believe that sunshine is the greatest disinfectant and I thought participation in this commission would help further that cause, that we should be talking about what makes elections work well, as well as some of the barriers that could be put before voters. That would discourage them for participating in the election process.

The request that came from the commission, for comprehensive voter informs, the central voter registration systems that are built under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, we had 503 different voter lists in Maine just ten years ago and now we have one electronic list.

CUOMO: Good.

DUNLAP: The commission requested that information, so that they could do cross-state registration checks, to see if people were registered in multiple jurisdictions.

[06:55:01] Which, by the way, is not against the law, it's just against the law to vote in more than one jurisdiction.

CUOMO: Right, we had members of the staff of the Trump administration that got caught up in that, being registered in two places, because they moved.

DUNLAP: That's right.

CUOMO: The question I have goes to this specific thing. This is where the problem I think people need to understand. Even if they got the information they're asking for in their commission, and by they, I guess I mean, because you're a member of the commission as well. You wouldn't be able to find out there were millions of illegal votes with that information. I read all of this analysis from some of the people who look at this kind of data for a living, and they say that you actually need a lot more information than you just have on the voter rolls, this whole Eric database and all of these different statistical problems that come up when you start analyzing the data.

Is that true? That even if you had all of this information that you guys were asking for, you wouldn't be able to uncover the kinds of problems that are being suggested?

DUNLAP: Well, I think -- we haven't even started meeting yet. So, as we meet and have those discussions, I think we should probably refine what it is we're looking for. It's like you say, it's like looking at everyone's driving records to see if there are any drunk drivers out there. It doesn't necessarily follow.

The problem we ran into was that the request that came from the commission said all the information being conveyed from the commission was going to be necessarily public information.

CUOMO: Right.

DUNLAP: Under Maine law, anyone who accesses the voter list, whether it's a candidate, campaign, party, et cetera, or someone doing research, has to keep that information confidential. So, we could not comply with the request, as it was stated before. CUOMO: Well, there's a big privacy issue, there. I mean, you can

make people really vulnerable to having their identity stolen, especially if you turned over Social Security numbers, which was requested in the letter. It did say subject to your own public information laws.

But this information would be vulnerable, if it were made public, would it not be?

DUNLAP: Well, the information in the voter files is actually very high-level. Ironically, I'm one of three secretaries of states that also administers motor vehicle law. So when we are administering the real ID act and having that debate, the information that the federal government is requiring to be put in the databases was very far more damaging including certified copies of your birth certificate, your passport, you know, all kinds of information, but people didn't bat an eye at that because it would impede their ability to travel if they didn't provide it.

The voter file information does have some similar information, but what would be provided under the law would be much higher level, your name, your address, the year of birth, not necessarily the date --

CUOMO: Right.

DUNLAP: -- no Social Security number would be provided.

CUOMO: So, the information you would be handing over wouldn't necessarily be that helpful in terms of achieve the stated goal. And then you have the secondary consideration, which really, what is the goal? We had Ken Blackwell on yesterday, and he said, you just change one vote in every precinct in Ohio and you have a different turnout in the Carter and Ford election.

Now, whether or not that kind of wild speculation creates a rationale for a commission is a question that needs to be asked. Do you believe that this commission is going to unearth large volumes of illegal voting when every study that's been done of a billion votes over more than a decade and all the prosecution research has been done shows we don't have that kind of problem?

DUNLAP: Well, we've had millions of votes cast in the time I've been secretary of state, in the state of Maine. And we've never prosecuted an allegation of voter fraud. We've investigated some things, like double voting, where it turned out somebody would request an absentee ballot and then forget about it, they get stuck in a pile of seed catalogs and show up in the polls. They're issued two ballots but only cast one.

Again, it gets to what is the overt act, what is the criminal act. And we don't see that.

I think people -- the thing to remember is that people are incredibly law-abiding. Ninety-eight percent of our laws are written for 2 percent of the people. So, I think you're going to see a lot of the same thing unfold as we ask these questions about the conduct of elections --

CUOMO: Will you also look into Russian hacking in this commission? Is that part of the purview?

DUNLAP: I think we should, I think we should, because I think anything that damages the integrity of the electoral process -- now, in Maine, everything's paper. We use paper ballots. So Russian hacking really can't reach to the level of an ink pen. But, you know, I know there are questions about that around the country. And having those discussions, I think, is valuable, especially in terms of how could it infiltrate the voter lists that we've been asked to look at, and a few other things.

But I think we also be careful about not inadvertently putting barriers before law-abiding citizens, and keeping them from exercising their constitutional right of democratic self-government.

CUOMO: That's right. Illegal votes aren't the big issue as well as voter suppression is. It will be interesting to see what path this commission takes.

Secretary of State, thank for being with us. We look forward to having you back.

DUNLAP: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. And thanks to you, our international viewers, for watching us here on NEW DAY. For you, "CNN TALK" is next.

For our U.S. viewers, President Trump and President Putin are going to go face to face today. What are the stakes? Let's get after it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Putin is showing he isn't planning to make things easy for Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he going to be commander in chief of the United States? Is he going to stand up to the top spy in Russia?