Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Preps For High-Stakes Meeting With Putin; McConnell Opening The Door To Bipartisan Health Care Negotiation; Does Photo Finally Solve Amelia Earhart Mystery? How Will The World React To Trump At G20?Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired July 7, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:33:22] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump is going to sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin in just a couple of hours at the G20 summit.
When asked about Russian election interference yesterday the president said it could be Russia, it could be others, but no one really knows. Now that would, apparently, contradict what the intel agencies have been putting out.
The former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, had a very different thought on the reality. Here's his take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, there's absolutely no doubt about it and the high confidence levels, the multiple sources of information we had and its high fidelity still leave me very convinced of the veracity of that report. And as far as others doing this, well, that's news to me. We saw no evidence whatsoever that there was other -- there was anyone involved in this other than the Russians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Let's discuss with veteran Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. He served on both the House and Senate Intel Committees during his 20-year career on Capitol Hill. It's good to have you with us, sir.
SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR, GEORGIA: Thanks, Chris. Good to be with you.
CUOMO: So, from what you've understood, what you've read, what you've been told, was it the Russians that meddled during this election or was it them and somebody else?
CHAMBLISS: Well, clearly, it was the Russians. I'm not sure exactly what the president was talking about but I agree with General Clapper that we know the Russians attempted to -- at least attempted to interfere with the election. Now, the interesting thing, Chris, is that we keep talking about what the president ought to say to Putin. You know, there are a couple of other folks that ought to be in that room, too, not necessarily with him but talking to Putin about election interference, and that's the president of France, as well as Chancellor Merkel.
[07:35:05] They've got exactly the same scenario ongoing that we saw in our elections and Putin needs to be called out on this in a very publicway by all members of the G20 that have had him try to influence their elections.
CUOMO: Well, but it doesn't help them if the President of the United States is saying he's not sure about it. And look, you know, we've all speculated that why would the president do this? Why would he deny intel? He often will put his arms around intelligence when he likes what it is so it can't be that he really disbelieves the Intel Community like he suggested he did during the campaign.
And if it is this idea -- this nagging notion the president has that every time Russian interference comes up that somehow delegitimizes his win, which I don't know why anybody would make that argument. It'snot a constructive argument but this is where he is. He just said it yesterday on the world stage that he doesn't buy the idea that it was just Russia. How damaging is that to policy with Russia?
CHAMBLISS: Well, I think what would correct that particular position would be taking a hard stance with President Putin, himself. And like everybody else has said this morning, I think it's imperative that the election be a part of the equation.
Now, he's got a whole laundry list of folks that he needs to talk to the Russian president about, from elections, to Syria, to the interference with our aircraft flying or our ships sailing. I mean, there are any number of things that this president of Russia has done to really test the previous administration, as well as this administration.
But, without question, he needs to look Putin in the eye and say look, you know, I know what you did, I know what the facts are, and it's time for this to brought out into the open and you to put a stop to it.
CUOMO: But how do you think that conversation goes given the space that the American president has given Putin on this issue? Couldn't he easily say well, I don't have to tell you, Mr. President, but you guys have this wrong, you know? We weren't doing anything different than we've always done -- the same thing that you do and a lot of other different state actors do. This is a -- this is a non-event, you know. You don't have any proof that we did anything that's any different than what you do in our elections.
CHAMBLISS: And he very well may be right about that because let's face it, I mean, we're a world power, too, that conducts intelligent -- intelligence operations around the world, so what the Russians did is not something that just started. We've been monitoring their attempt to interfere with U.S. elections for years and years. But the president can be very direct and very clear and have proof, in
writing, before President Putin, if he so chooses, that here's what we know and there's no way you can deny this. And I -- frankly, I'm one of those who hopes he's very strong on that issue. However, it's not the only issue that he needs to throw up in Putin's face.
CUOMO: What are your top three?
CHAMBLISS: Well, I would say, certainly, Syria is at the top of that list.
CUOMO: And that's probably going to be on the top of Putin's list also, right? I mean, he's looking for some help in Syria, is he not?
CHAMBLISS: Yes. I mean, we let him let Putin back on the international stage when President Obama drew the red line and then failed to take action, and he allowed this guy who had kind of fallen off the stage back in the spotlight.
So yes, I think it's going to be at the top of Putin's list because Syria is a quagmire, both for the Russians as well as for us. So I don't think it's a matter of us needing help as much as he needs a way out over there, too, because there doesn't appear to be one right now. So sure, that's at the top of his list.
I think the other issue is -- in my mind is the elections, but there's another issue that's kind of collateral to the election issue that's just as important, and that's the issue of Russiansinterfering in the area of cybersecurity.
They are very professional it. They're very good at masking things that they do from time to time in the world of cybersecurity. We know what they do from time to time. So I think that's going to be another key issue that they're going to have to talk about.
CUOMO: It will be interesting to see how these come out and what kind of spin there is coming out of this meeting. High stakes, that's for sure.
Senator Saxby Chambliss, always a pleasure. Thank you for being on the show.
CHAMBLISS: Thanks, Chris. Good to be with you.
CUOMO: Poppy --
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. If you can believe it, a possible health care compromise? Maybe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Now, the GOP may actually be reaching across the aisle. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell making a comment, certainly catching the attention of a lot of folks. We'll talk about that next.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[07:43:25] HARLOW: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems maybe more open to working with Democrats on health care as his fellow Republicans struggle to come up with a compromise on a plan.
Senator McConnell saying if the GOP does not have the votes there will be no choice but to work across the aisle and draft more a more modest plan. McConnell had suggested that would be a last resort. Now he's saying no action on health care no longer an option.
CUOMO: Parents and those paying their way through college, listen up.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is facing a court challenge over her decision to delay an Obama-era rule to protect student borrowers. Now what this rule does is it clarifies the loan forgiveness process for students who've been defrauded or misled by their colleges. This happens more than you might think.
Now, the boss says the delay is just to improve the rule. That this lawsuit filed by 18 states and the District of Columbia accuses DeVos of siding with for-profit schools over students and families who are drowning in debt. We will stay on that story.
HARLOW: So, the governor of Maine is, once again, raising eyebrows by suggesting that he invents stories to mislead the media. In a radio interview, Governor LePage said he loves to sit in his office and make things up so reporters will write, quote, stupid stories.He also claims the sooner the print press goes away the better off society will be.
CUOMO: A newly-discovered photograph has people buzzing about an 80- year-old mystery, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. She vanished while trying to become the first female pilot to fly around the world, but the History Channel investigators say the photographic evidence they've found suggests that Earhart and her navigator survived their final flight after crash landing in the Pacific.
[07:45:13] CNN's Jeanne Moos has more.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whether you look low-key it --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a new clue.
MOOS: -- or hype it --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will blow the lid off the whole Amelia Earhart story.
MOOS: -- this 80-year-old mystery never gets old. Amelia-mania is back as the History Channel presents new evidence for an old theory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She may have been held prisoner by the Japanese -- MOOS: -- backed up by a photo that purports to show Amelia Earhart alive, sitting on a Pacific island jetty in 1937. And this may or may not be her navigator, Fred Noonan, according to a facial recognition expert.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hairline is the most distinctive characteristic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you kidding me? That's Fred Noonan.
MOOS: And is that ill-defined blob really the plane being towed by a Japanese ship? The theory is Earhart crashed-landed, was picked up by the Japanese, and imprisoned until her death.
Even Cher was intrigued. "OK, no more politics. How about finding Amelia Earhart?" And, singer Josh Groban confessed,"This has given me chills."
But the naysayers say nay. It could be anyone. No face to see, black and white and grainy. I want to, but I don't see it.
MOOS (on camera): As if the latest photo weren't already questionable enough, Internet posters couldn't resist embellishing it, photoshopping in a flying saucer, JFK's assassin, and Bigfoot. Even Chris Christie in a beach chair has landed on the jetty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world has wondered.
MOOS (voice-over): Did she crash into the ocean or was she a castaway? Short-wave radio operators say they picked up distress calls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I recognized that voice.
MOOS: One place we know you can find Earhart's plane is on iTunes. You can download this romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford and guest starring Amelia's actual plane. The 1936 movie came out the year before this Lockheed Electra disappeared. "Love on the Run," it's called. It seems we never run out of love for the mystery of where Earhart's plane ended up.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
HARLOW: So, what camp you in?
CUOMO: I don't -- I don't -- I don't see it.
HARLOW: You mean you couldn't see her face with her back turned?
CUOMO: Yes, I know, right? That's always a little unhelpful in the analysis but it would be great to know. Boy, people love a mystery.
HARLOW: I want to believe it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right. President Trump is back on the world stage so how will the global leaders at the G20 react to Trump's America First agenda? Let's get a great take from Fareed Zakaria, next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[07:51:25] HARLOW: President Trump, right now, meeting with foreign leaders at the G20 in Hamburg, Germany. That's the so-called family photo of all of them taken just a little bit ago. The president shaking hands with Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, right there, before this highly-anticipated meeting in just over an hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: The priorities of the G20 agenda include climate change, immigration, trade -- all topics where Donald Trump is at odds with most European leaders. How will his America First policy play on the world stage?
Who better to discuss than Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS." Good morning, nice to have you.
Angela Merkel just sent out the overarching theme, which is pretty interesting because it is "Shaping an interconnected world." That, in the face of America First. What do you see?
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN'S "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Well, Merkel's view which represents, really, the vast majority of the -- of the leaders present, is that globalization is a win-win. That it raises trade, it raises living standards, and as a result it's something we should all embrace.
Trump's view, very decidedly -- and this is really from the start of his public career 30 years ago -- has been that trade is a win-lose. That, you know, somebody is winning and somebody is losing. His view is that America has been losing.
And so, what's most interesting about what's happened in the last day or two is that the Europeans are taking -- you know, continue their view and, essentially, bypassing the United States. They've signed this huge trade deal --
ZAKARIA: -- with Japan -- it's 30 percent of the world economy. And the Japanese are clearly saying well, if the Americans won't do TPP -- won't do the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- we'll find other sources. So what happening is the rest of the world is really entering a kind of post-American world where they're trying to figure out what it would mean for them to prosper, thrive, and survive without the United States. This is the first major expansion of global trade since 1945 that the
United States has not been in the lead, shaping the agenda, setting the rules. And, of course, when you don't write the rules it means your interests are not being taken care of.
CUOMO: What's the Trump perspective on that? Isn't it that he'll be able to cut his own deals now and that that will be more to the advantage of the United States, so this is a good position to be in as opposed to being grouped, then, with everybody else in this Japan deal?
ZAKARIA: Right. Trump's view is we should do bilateral deals, one- on-one, so the problem is you don't get as much, you know. People are willing to -- take an example, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The reason Japan said -- the Trans-Pacific Partnership opened up the Japanese market, really, for the first time in 30 years.
Why did Japan make all those concessions? Yes, they wanted access to the U.S. market but they kind of had access. It's that it opened up a whole bunch of other markets. It's 40 percent of the world economy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, so a lot of countries are saying well, we'll make concessions if we can trade with this very large trading bloc.
ZAKARIA: And the U.S. is a large market. It's not, by the way, the largest in the world. The European Union is the largest in the world. So, you know, it's again just a reminder that we do live in an interconnected world and the United States is not, anymore, the central dominating force there. It's big, but the E.U. is big, China is big, and you all have to play with each other.
HARLOW: Your book looking more and prescient now, "The Post-American World," but even you concede that you never saw it accelerating as fast as it has.
ZAKARIA: I never thought I would see the United States abdicate -- you know, almost resign from its position as leader of the world. I assumed that these forces -- what I was really talking about was how great countries like China were growing in power and influence -- India, Brazil -- and that they wanted a larger say in the world, and the G20 is a perfect expression of that.
[07:55:05] HARLOW: Not a willing abdication?
ZAKARIA: No. What we're seeing here is others stepping up, but the U.S. stepping back.
CUOMO: But there's a method to the stepping back, right? I mean, and, you know, you have to give voice to that which is he believes he's going to get better deals on a one-on-one basis. That America winds up giving a lot, getting little back, and a lot of these other countries piggy-back on the U.S. market but their own markets aren't worth as much.
So by undoing it, yes, you're going to give collective opportunities, but it seems the president doesn't believe there's a lot of fruit there. That when many are involved there's not as much advantage as if we just cut individual deals. How much truth can there be to that?
ZAKARIA: Look, you know, theoretically, you can always make that case. But practically, you talk to any trade minister, anyone in the world, and say them what are the -- you know, who do the rules of world trade favor and they'll say who do think? The country that sets the agenda, writes the rules, is the -- you know, had for most of the last 70 years the largest market in the world, of course it was the United States. So, from everybody else's point of perspective the U.S. is the 800-pound gorilla that has always demanded concessions.
CUOMO: They all saw TPP the same way, though, Fareed.
HARLOW: Yes -- at the end, yes.
ZAKARIA: Well, here's the -- here's the reality about trade. It does -- it does hurt a certain segment of American workers and it hurts them -- you know, the thing about trade is it helps everybody a little so we all get a big tax cut, really, because we have cheaper costs for clothing, for food, for everything.
You know, call it the Walmart effect. Well, why does it happen? Because Walmart is sourcing its stuff from countries like China where it much cheaper. But the cost -- so that's the benefit. We all -- 340 million Americans get this tax cut.
But the costs of globalization are narrow. One steel town goes out of business and our politics responds much more to that kind of intense pain that one town or one community feels rather than the broadly shared benefits. Every time we walk into Walmart and we have a lower bill we don't say thank you World Trade Organization, thank you, China.
HARLOW: Yes, but it's important to note the pain is felt more acutely if you're someone in that steel town who's lost your entire livelihood than if we are paying a little bit more for our products --
HARLOW: -- so that's the argument the Trump administration is making.
Before you go, we have to get you on our(INAUDIBLE) because you have a new -- a new column this week in "The Washington Post," the headline provocative. "We think North Korea is crazy. What if we're wrong?" Make the case.
ZAKARIA: Well, people think North Korea's crazy, can't be negotiated with, can't be deterred. What I point out is what's their principal goal? Regime survival. They have gone from father, to son, to grandson keeping the regime intact for 70 years.
They've outlasted the Soviet Union. They've outlasted every -- you know, these Arab dictatorships that crumbled. They've outlasted the Orange Revolutions. How many -- how many regimes have gone father, to son, to grandson and stayed completely intact?
Why? Because they're very rational. They know how to deter. They know, you know -- for example, that even for South Korea the cost of the chaos of a war is much greater than tolerating North Korea's nuclear weapons. They know that for the Chinese the prospect of a unified Korea with American troops and a treaty relationship with America is much worse than a North Korea with nuclear weapons.
So they're playing this game much more shrewdly and much more rationally than we realize and as a result we've got to ask ourselves -- for example, they're doing all this to preserve themselves. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate insurance policy. The more you threaten them the more insurance they're going to buy. Maybe there's another path. Maybe we'll ask what is it that will make them more secure and are there ways that we can dothat.
It's somewhat similar to the Iranian situation where we kept saying these guys are mad, they'll never negotiate. Well, guess what? They may be -- they may be unusual but they all want one thing, regime survival, and they're very rational in how they want to achieve that.
HARLOW: And as Chris noted, we have Sen. Ed Markey on, who is saying to the Trump administration look, negotiate, negotiate, sit down with North Korea.
ZAKARIA: We should remember negotiating is not a concession. A concession is a concession.
HARLOW: There you go.
ZAKARIA: Talking is not a concession.
HARLOW: Fareed, thank you.
We're following a lot of news. In just moments we'll talk to lawmakers on both sides about President Trump's highly-anticipated meeting with Vladimir Putin. Let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump gearing up for his first high- stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
REP. TED LIEU (D-CA), FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: He needs to go in with a list of demands. Russia should be making concessions to the U.S., not the other way around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anything that makes Trump look at little weak makes Putin look stronger.
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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russia definitely did try to influence the campaign.
CLAPPER: There's absolutely no doubt about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Russian spies are ramping up their intelligence gathering efforts in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not surprised. The Russians feel as if the Cold War is back on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's safe to say now that President Trump is an enabler of Russia's interference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning, welcome to your new day. It is Friday, July 7th, 8:00 in the east. Alisyn is off, Poppy Harlow by my side.