Return to Transcripts main page
Donald Trump Jr. Reveals He met with Source Connected to Kremlin During Presidential Campaign; Interview with White House Counsel Kelly Conway. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired July 10, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we think should happen shouldn't happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We might as well just mail our ballot boxes to Moscow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota. This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, July 10th, 8:00 in the east.
Up first, President Trump's son Don Jr. changing his story about the meeting last June with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer who supposedly had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The Kremlin says it is not aware of this meeting. But why would they want help from the Russians?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: As for President Trump, he is backtracking himself on his push for a cyber-security unit with Russia after facing huge bipartisan criticism for proposing working with Russia on cyber- security. We have White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, joining us now.
It is good to have you this morning.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you, Chris.
CUOMO: So what do you make of this switch, apparently, from the President of the United States?
First, he said a day ago that he's considering discussing -- he was discussing with Russia working together on cyber security, guarding elections. Everybody attacks it. Then he tweets this morning, no, no, no. It was just an idea. I know it can't happen.
CONWAY: Well, what else did he say in the tweet?
He talked about how -- what did happen, a cease-fire in part of Syria. A very big development out of that two-plus hour meeting with President Putin. That's a tangible. That's relevant. That will affect people's lives. Look, they had a broad conversation. CNN spent a full week plus doing
nothing but having these screaming headlines saying President Trump is not expected to raise Russian interference with President Putin. He made it top of the agenda. It was first on the list. He pressed him early and often.
Did he press him or ask did he him whether he did it?
But that's not good enough.
Did CNN say he wasn't going to mention it at all or didn't they?
Oh, they did. We have these great montage of chyrons. People say stuff that isn't true.
CUOMO: Hold on a second. I stand by my reporting on it. The day before the meeting, the president was very squishy on Russian interference. He said OK, it was Russia but it was other people. Nobody knows for sure. That was his last public statement about it before he went into a meeting.
And then a meeting in which he didn't allow a notetaker to be in it. So we don't have any readout from it. We hear he confronted them about it. He said we know you did it. Then we hear he asked him about it. Which is it?
Did he say I know you did it, stop?
Or did he say did you do it, Mr. Putin?
Which is it?
CONWAY: Chris, let's back up. So you're saying -- you used the word squishy which, itself, is unusual to describe the president's state of mind. So somehow that makes people on CNN insist that the president is never going to raise this with Putin. Why are they still in there --
CUOMO: It's not about CNN. It's about what the president said, Kellyanne.
CONWAY: No. It's about people stating things that they want America to think are facts.
Aren't you the least bit reluctant, if not embarrassed that you now talk about Russia more than you talk about America?
CONWAY: Doesn't this bother anybody there?
CUOMO: You have Donald Jr. went from saying I never met with anybody from Russia.
CONWAY: I think America matters. CUOMO: I never met with anybody having to do with Russia. Now he's saying he met with someone to get oppo research on Hillary Clinton who was connected to the Kremlin?
CUOMO: These questions matter.
CUOMO: These are Don Jr.'s words. Not mine.
CONWAY: And Don Jr. has said.
CUOMO: It's about what was said and what matters.
CONWAY: It's about all of the above. So let's break it down bit by bit.
Don Jr. has very explicitly stated he didn't even know the name of the person with whom he was meeting. He agreed to the meeting based on a contact from the Miss Universe pageant.
They get into the meeting and it quickly turns into a pretext for Russian adoption, according to his statements, that the comments this woman is making about any type of information on Hillary Clinton were vague. They were meaningless.
Others exited the meeting very quickly. The meeting itself was very brief. There was no information given. There was no action taken. There was no follow-up. Let me respectfully say as well as I can, I don't think anybody had to look very far to find damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
CUOMO: That's beside the point.
CONWAY: She provided it -- no, no, it's not beside the point.
CUOMO: He brought in Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with him. So it's not just let's have lunch. He brought two very important people with him It was a credibility issue as to whether or not he knew he was meeting with.
I don't know what should be more troubling to you, that he would take a meeting, not knowing who it was but it was important enough to bring Jared or Manafort or that Donald Jr. would knowingly meet with someone with Kremlin connections on the basis of getting oppo research about Hillary Clinton.
There are huge legal and ethical implications to that decision, as you know.
CONWAY: You keep saying no. I'm not going to agree with you. [08:05:00] First of all, you keep on saying opposition research the
way you guys constantly vomit words like collusion and Russian interference and affecting the election, all of which you have no evidence. We cannot convert wishful thinking into hard evidence -- if you and I were in court right now --
CUOMO: Don Jr. said that she had information about the DNC and Russians and funding Hillary.
What do you call it?
CONWAY: Chris, you were just -- OK. Listen. You were just able to speak two minutes uninterrupted and I frankly think it was more punditry than reporting. So I would like to respond.
CONWAY: First of all, if we were in court, your side would not even survive a motion to dismiss, a motion for summary judgment because you've got nothing. On this one, Don Jr. has very clearly said he was told that there would be some kind of information helpful to the campaign. It quickly became very apparent there was not.
Let me say something about who goes into these meetings in the Trump campaign. We were a very small operation. I was not involved in June. I was involved in July. And I became the campaign manager in August. It's very typical to have principals in the meeting.
We had a fraction of the staff and a fraction of the money that they had over there in Clinton Inc. in Brooklyn. So it's very typical that people like that would be -- you're trying to have your viewers think, oh, my god, because these three principals were in there, it was imbued with some type of seriousness that just simply is not true.
This was standard operating procedure for the campaign. Let's focus on what did not happen in that meeting. No information provided that was meaningful. No action taken. Nothing.
CUOMO: Let's focus on what did happen. The woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. That's from Donald Jr.'s statement. That's why he went to the meeting.
CONWAY: Right. And apparently she didn't.
CUOMO: That is a problem, though, taking that meeting, because it goes to one of the questions of this investigation, which is was Russia trying to get to your campaign for purposes of affecting the election?
And this is Don Jr.'s own statement about it, a statement which has changed now twice about what this meeting was.
That doesn't raise legitimate concerns?
CONWAY: Chris, you keep on saying Russia. What did this woman say?
Why was she there?
CUOMO: This is the word that Trump Jr. used, Russia.
CONWAY: Excuse me?
CUOMO: He used the word Russia.
CONWAY: In what context?
CUOMO: She had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton.
These are his words.
CONWAY: And then he went on to say --
CUOMO: This is why he took the meeting.
CONWAY: -- and he went on to say what?
You have to give the whole statement, to be fair to him and your viewers. Let's stop chopping it up and try to go viral with the nonsense.
CUOMO: Put the statement up. You're the one who is parsing.
CONWAY: Put the whole statement up.
CUOMO: Our faces are nice. Put the statement up.
"After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia" -- his word -- " were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton.
"Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided --
CONWAY: There you go.
CUOMO: -- "or even offered. It quickly became clear she had no meaningful information."
Two points. One, even if you accept everything he says as true and there's a credibility issue because he has changed his story twice.
CONWAY: No, it's not. I do.
CUOMO: He changed his story twice. You talked about being in a court of law, not good when you change your story. There are actually big exceptions to the law for credibility when you change your story like this. Second of all, even if it is all true, whether or not it was good
information, Kellyanne, doesn't mean that it was a smart move to take a meeting with a Russian-connected person who was going to give you negative information about your opponent. That could create huge legal issues. You know that.
CONWAY: I admire your moxie, sitting there with the CNN chryon right near you talking about credibility issues.
CUOMO: Listen, I could not be more proud to have that CNN chryon next to me.
CONWAY: I could not be more proud here representing the White House.
CUOMO: And I'm glad you are. I want you here because of that. It's not supposed to be an argument.
I'm saying this question started with why did the president change his position about working with Russia?
You spun it over to this. That was my original question.
CONWAY: Wait. The president?
What do you mean the president changed his story?
The president had nothing to do with this meeting.
CUOMO: No, I understand that. I'm saying I asked you originally --
CONWAY: You wanted to produce something because you're invested in months now as a network in something that simply doesn't exist.
CUOMO: No, that's an assumption by you. It's an unfair premise.
CONWAY: No, Chris. That's not true. Here is the unfair premise, that we are talking about this again, yet again. That you talk about Russia more than you talk about America. That the big bombshell of the day is Jim Comey having classified information, conversations with the President of the United States.
CUOMO: How do you know that?
CONWAY: In his memorandum.
[08:10:00] CUOMO: How do you know that?
CONWAY: Oh, because I read -- because he has got a credibility issue because I read the article on "The Hill."
CUOMO: You read "The Hill' article that has officials familiar with the documents. So unnamed sources are OK for you on Comey but not OK for you anywhere else, huh?
CONWAY: I didn't say that.
CUOMO: You've said it many times, my friend.
CONWAY: You're putting words in my mouth.
CUOMO: Unnamed sources is the code word for you guys on fake news but it's OK on Comey.
CONWAY: I've actually never uttered those two words either. But anyway, the fact is that that is a bombshell people that should know about that.
CUOMO: Oh, so that report is a bombshell based on unnamed sources.
CONWAY: You just want to interrupt me today.
CUOMO: No, no.
CONWAY: As your grandmother would tell me --
CUOMO: No, my mother would tell me. She's a fan of yours.
CONWAY: I love her back. But listen, this is very simple. That's a bombshell by Jim Comey because the whole country watched him testify. It was supposed to be some big Super Bowl-like event. We learned him say I felt as a private citizen I should release this information.
Oh, but I also gave it to my friend so he would leak it to the media with the expectation it would trigger special counsel.
What was in that information?
Apparently it contained classified information.
CUOMO: Right. I just think it's humorous that --
CONWAY: -- having nine conversations with the president.
CUOMO: Look, if it's true --
CONWAY: This doesn't concern you at all?
CONWAY: That the FBI director is doing what Hillary Clinton did the year before?
CUOMO: It all concerns me.
CONWAY: Just being so willy-nilly with classified, confidential information?
CUOMO: It all concerns me. But I just have to smile at the suggestion from the same White House that calls unnamed sources not a legitimate basis for journalism, now you're leaning on it so heavily because it suits you. But what I'm saying, it all matters to me. It all matters to me. That's why we ask the questions.
But the president saying that he wanted to work with Russia on cyber security and then saying, no, he doesn't want to, it was just a discussion. That is a concern. That's why he got so much criticism for it. That's what I asked you about originally.
CONWAY: Because you don't want to talk about the Syria cease-fire, you don't want to talk about the fact that these two countries, Russia and United States, may be able to come together on other issues vexing our world, like containing or defeating or putting in retreat to ISIS, for example.
CUOMO: I think both matter.
CUOMO: If there's a real cease-fire in Syria, it matters. This, working with Russia on cyber security, matters. Don Jr. changing his story about meeting with Russians when he said he never did -- he said it openly and publicly. Called the suggestion fake news.
Then he says he did meet. Then he says it was to get bad information about Hillary Clinton. This all matters and sheds light on an investigation that you say doesn't matter. But it proves that it does matter.
CONWAY: What light does it shed?
Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Because you and I are lawyers who never practiced law, which is why we're happy people.
CUOMO: I practiced law for several years but continue.
CONWAY: What light has been shed on this investigation because of all of this?
And Don Jr. --
CUOMO: I thought you asked me a question.
CONWAY: -- sent out an entire statement. I want everybody to read the entire statement because it's important. You keep cherry-picking. But what light --
CUOMO: Make sure they pick the right ones because he's changed it twice. So they have to get all of them.
CONWAY: Tell me what you learned.
CUOMO: I learned --
CONWAY: Tell me what you learned. CUOMO: -- that it's not true that he never met with anybody with Russian connections. I learned that it's not true that he didn't take a meeting that mattered to investigators.
CONWAY: And you learned that it was vague, ambiguous, completely meaningless
CUOMO: The fruit of the meeting is irrelevant to taking the meeting.
CONWAY: -- about Russian adoption.
CUOMO: But none of that is relevant.
CONWAY: He added to the account of what happened in a meaningless meeting and three of your colleagues were fired because they changed their story.
CUOMO: Don't you want to know?
CONWAY: They went with a story that was thinly sourced.
CUOMO: Well, now it's thinly sourced. We're backed to thinly source.
CONWAY: No, no, no --
CUOMO: Five sources of advisers close to the president and the words of Don Jr. himself. "The New York Times" has five sources close to the White House. These are your people who are talking about this. This is Don Jr. who is talking about this.
CONWAY: Do you think that there was -- do you think that anything that you're talking about changed a single vote anywhere?
CUOMO: I don't know why your head has to go there. I want to know if Russia --
CONWAY: My head has to go there because you've been talking about it for months.
CUOMO: Because you don't care if Russia was trying to get inside your campaign to affect the election?
CONWAY: You don't know what I care about.
CUOMO: I just did. That was a question. There was a question mark at the end of it.
CONWAY: I care.
CUOMO: You don't care if Russia was trying to get inside your campaign to affect the election? CONWAY: I do care. But here's what also I care about. I care about the fact that you seem to forget the Russian connections we do know about. We know Bill Clinton, not Don Jr., gave a speech in Russia for half a million dollars. We know that Hillary Clinton had one of the nine votes that allowed 20 percent of the U.S. uranium rights to go there.
CUOMO: And those were all pursued and looked at.
[08:15:00] CONWAY: We know that in the summer of 2016 that people who knew about possible Russian interference in the election weren't at the Trump campaign. They were in the Obama White House. None other than President Obama, John Brennan. They were informed about this.
What did they do?
CUOMO: Well, they did the same thing that the President of the United States now did. They wound up doing the same thing that the current president did. They went to Putin, Obama went to Putin and said stop it. And we guess -- one of the versions of what happened at the Putin-Trump meeting is that he said I know you did it. Stop it.
That's what Nikki Haley says. They've done the same thing to this point.
CONWAY: Hey, Chris, don't you think that's a huge improvement, though, over Hillary Clinton having that G.I. Joe-looking toy, plastic toy, Russia reset button and handing it over as secretary of state?
Didn't you feel the least bit embarrassed?
CUOMO: I don't even know what that means.
CONWAY: -- about Russia all the time.
CUOMO: I literally don't get it.
I don't get --
CONWAY: -- trying to find how these two countries can work together is a very positive development.
CUOMO: On cyber security?
You think working with Russia on cyber security of our election is a good idea?
CONWAY: No. Here is what I -- no. Here is what I think.
CUOMO: You just said that.
CONWAY: I think these men meeting for two hours and 15 minutes on any broad range of issues -- go read what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who's doing an amazing job, said about that meeting. He sat in that meeting. He gave a full briefing afterwards. You can read the entire transcript of that meeting. I have. I've internalized it. Read that. Let your viewers read it.
CUOMO: It would have been nice to have an objective observer in there. It would have been nice to have an objective observer taking notes in there like traditionally you do have.
CONWAY: Who would that have been?
Who would that have been, your colleague who, instead of covering a beautiful speech in Poland called it fake news --
CUOMO: What are you talking about?
CONWAY: -- and then had to retract that?
CUOMO: What are you talking about?
We covered this speech. We covered the speech. We gave it full voice. We gave it all different types of perspective. I don't understand why you believe that bashing CNN is going to help.
CONWAY: I'm not bashing CNN.
CUOMO: Oh, please. That's all you guys do is bash CNN. I don't understand it. I mean, thank you for the ratings.
But otherwise why do it?
CONWAY: I'm on CNN right now. You want to --
CUOMO: And I appreciate that. It's not easy to get you here.
CONWAY: The media want to talk about you and I want to talk about Americans.
Do you know why I'm in the White House?
I'm there to help the millions of Americans who couldn't keep their doctor, who couldn't keep their health care plan, who are struggling with opioid addiction, military spouses who are underemployed and unemployed.
I'm there to watch people like Ivanka Trump, my colleague in the White House, lead the way for this country to invest $50 million for the World Bank to start a women's entrepreneurship investment fund.
You didn't mention that in the last segment. You just tried to shiv her a little bit because she sat briefly at a table where her father, the President of the United States -- CUOMO: Which was a very unusual thing to do, by the way. It's very
CONWAY: -- it's something that President Abe -- no, it's not -- and Angela Merkel --
CUOMO: To have your daughter sit in for you, representing the United States at the G20?
CONWAY: She's there as a senior adviser. You should be very proud she's representing the United States everywhere she goes because she, as I just said, but you won't cover, helped get the World Bank to commit this women's entrepreneurship initiative. That's going to help women.
I was a female entrepreneur for decades. It's not easy but it's worthwhile. But you don't want to cover that.
CUOMO: It's just not true. That's a false premise. It's not true.
CUOMO: We do not avoid positive stories about the president. You want the fact that we're covering the Russian investigation to mean we don't cover other things. It's not true.
We spent two segments today talking to Mo Brooks, Republican from Alabama, about what's going on health care, what need to happen. And then, only then did we talk about the Russian stuff.
So it's just not fair, not true and I don't believe it could be helpful to the president. But I believe that you are. And having you on the show is helpful to our audience and I appreciate it very much.
CONWAY: Oh, we appreciate the platform, Chris.
But, look, I think CNN -- I'm not here to bash CNN --
CUOMO: Then don't.
CONWAY: -- as a matter, of course, so be fair to me. Hold on. Hold on. But take responsibility and recognize that, as a 24/7 cable station, I have great faith that you can cover all of the above instead of covering the same thing every five seconds, hour after hour.
Why can't you connect veterans with the information they deserve?
Why aren't you telling the veterans of the country because of this president and Secretary Shulkin of the V.A., they now have a 24/7 hotline at the White House they can call?
They're now seen as the same seamless patient through the DOD and the V.A. so that they don't have to go through all this nonsense red tape of decades that treats them as two different patients.
Why don't you tell them about the V.A. Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act?
Why don't you tell them about the Veterans Choice Act, that if you can't access quality, timely care as a veteran in this country through the V.A., which most can, you can go access it through private care now?
[08:20:02] The president said when he was a candidate something that should animate everybody, including you, which is if we don't take care of our veterans who are we as a nation?
CUOMO: That's absolutely true.
CONWAY: Why don't you tell people what we're doing on health care, on jobs, 800,000 jobs created since this man took office.
CUOMO: We talk about health care. We talk about the jobs. We had the Veterans Secretary on NEW DAY. Thank you for watching the show.
CONWAY: -- 220,000 jobs created in June.
CUOMO: We talked about it when the jobs report came out.
CONWAY: -- cover all the above.
CUOMO: We do, though. We had the V.A. secretary.
CONWAY: Have you seen these polls that say that --
CONWAY: -- that the country want the media to move on from Russia and cover things that actually -- ?
CUOMO: Kellyanne, look --
CONWAY: Can you look the people in the eye that you grew up with in Astoria and I grew up with in South Jersey, the welders, the carpenters, the hairdressers, can you tell them right now that you're telling them everything President Trump is doing for them, $100 million committed to the apprenticeship program?
CUOMO: My conscience is clean. My mission is clear. What I do is I cover what I think matters to people. I test power and I take the consequences every damn day. And that's not going to change.
CUOMO: Thank you for helping us do that this morning.
CONWAY: As do I so we're the same way. Very quickly, so if we were in court right now --
CUOMO: I'm only trying to wrap you because your guys are saying you have to go, by the way, just so you know.
CONWAY: Hold on. Hold on. CUOMO: Go ahead.
CONWAY: Hold on. If we were in court right now and you somehow survived the motion for summary judgment, motion to dismiss --
CUOMO: It's a different standard but go ahead.
CONWAY: What exactly would be your first piece of evidence?
Who is your first witness to the jury or judge in the case you're trying to make day in and day out?
Because I still don't see the evidence.
CUOMO: First of all, you shouldn't see the evidence because let's liken it to a grand jury investigation that's going on. We should wait for it to finish and see what they can bring out about it. That's what we should be doing.
CONWAY: You're not waiting for anything.
CUOMO: Look, we take the information as we get it. We can't know the full scope of the investigation. See, and that's the point. This is the last point I'm going to make. Your people are saying you have to go.
This is my point. The reason the Don Jr. story matters is because you guys have been beating down the notion that an investigation into whether or not Russia was trying to find its way into the campaign, to affect this election, is a nonstarter. It's not worth looking at. It's ridiculous.
But now we know it isn't, because Don Jr., at best reckoning to him and to his cause, just got potentially set up by a potential Russian operative to have a meeting. So it isn't an illegitimate question.
CONWAY: Wrong. Incorrect.
CUOMO: By his own reckoning, that's what it is. He says that he took the meeting with someone who promised information about --
CONWAY: She was vague, meaningless.
CUOMO: he was promised, not the delivery on the promise. It's the solicitation that's the issue legally, ethically and common-sense wise. She said this is what I have for you and that's why he said he took the meeting. That's why they're investigating.
CONWAY: But Chris, she had nothing.
CUOMO: Doesn't matter what she had. It's what she promised.
CONWAY: -- known who Hillary Clinton is and studied her, including the last couple of months of the campaign, when I was campaign manager.
You know where I went to find damaging, negative information about Hillary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton. It was like -- she was like a walking loop of negative information.
CUOMO: Look, maybe so. But still he says he took a meeting with somebody who said she had bad information about the DNC and Hillary. He still took the meeting. He says he took the meeting on that basis.
What it led to, whether he needed it, whether he could have won anyway, whether Hillary has plenty of other sources of bad information, all irrelevant.
CONWAY: You know he won because he won. You know, she was a terrible --
CUOMO: I have no problem with screaming and saying the legitimacy of the president. Donald Trump is the legitimate President of the United States.
CONWAY: Oh, and you know he also --
CUOMO: You bring it up. Not me.
CONWAY: He also won in part because of that meeting that did have consequence, the meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton.
CUOMO: That meeting mattered also. But you can't pick what you like and what you don't like. Unnamed sources that are good, unnamed sources that are bad. I'm just saying it all matters. It all has to be tested. And that's what we do. And you are a big part of helping us do it.
CONWAY: You can't take a meeting that lasted 20 minutes, that is reported to have lasted 20 minute that produced no information, it was, we're told mainly about Russian adoption, and spin that into some kind of tale and some type of evidentiary trail.
CUOMO: I don't see how that's at all what I'm doing. Don Jr. changed his story. Don Jr. says he met with her because she had bad information on Clinton. He said it.
CONWAY: -- Donald Trump or Mike Pence. This is why --
CUOMO: He said it.
CONWAY: Look, he learned nothing from that meeting.
CUOMO: Doesn't matter what he learned. It matters why he took the meeting.
CONWAY: Yes, it does.
CUOMO: Nope. CONWAY: Yes, it does. It matters completely.
CUOMO: Does not matter for purposes of the investigation.
CUOMO: They're looking into whether or not Russia was trying to get inside the election. He admits he took the meeting because someone was offering him that kind of information. It matters, period. It just does.
CONWAY: And when Americans think of Russia today they're thinking of the conversation between the two presidents, not the lack of collusion that no one there or anyone else has proven.
[08:25:06] CUOMO: Maybe so. It doesn't mean the questions don't matter. It doesn't mean the questions don't matter. I know you're pressed for time. You're welcome back on the show whenever you want.
CONWAY: It doesn't mean you also can't cover --
CUOMO: I cover it all.
CONWAY: -- and the fact that he's had confidential information. I want you to tell Americans about health care because millions of people don't have it.
CUOMO: We do. We do health care every day. Every day. We're waiting on the CBO score.
CONWAY: -- infrastructure.
CUOMO: You tell me.
Where is it?
Where is your infrastructure plan, where is your tax policy plan?
As soon as they come out, we'll discuss them.
CONWAY: You're kidding, right?
OK. We'll be back for that because the president already has this huge infrastructure initiative.
What about the $100 million going to the apprenticeship program so that people who don't go to college can support themselves with a skills certificate and a high school diploma or a community college?
CUOMO: It matters.
CONWAY: Why isn't this important?
CUOMO: Who is saying it isn't important?
No one is saying it isn't important. CONWAY: It's not as important as Russia. Listen, here is where you and I are different. You want to talk about Russia. I want to talk about America.
CUOMO: Yes, I know, I know but there are also reasons why you don't want to talk about Russia and I do. It is my responsibility to cover things that matter to the American people, not just the things that are positive for the president. My job is not to curry favor.
CONWAY: What matters to the American people?
What does CNN's polling say about what Americans care about?
Do they care about jobs and the economy?
CUOMO: Americans care about themselves and their families, as they should. But often there are things going on in their lives and things that affect their lives that matter as well. And, very often, they're not aware of them.
CONWAY: Like a 20-minute meeting that produced no information?
I'm thinking somebody waiting in a jobs line right this second is wondering if he or she is going to get a job and health care and benefits.
CONWAY: Not what was produced in a 20-minute meeting last year.
CUOMO: Doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Just because somebody needs a job and there's so many who do, just because people are worried about their kids and their education and the nature of character and leadership in their country, all of these things matter.
They all matter. The president spends as much time tweeting about this stuff as he does anything else.
I'll show you his thread right now. Guess what? It's not filled with ideas for new jobs. All right? He's on this stuff as well.
CONWAY: That's not true. That is not true.
CUOMO: You know. He drives the conversation.
CONWAY: Every time he has -- every time is he producing something like the apprenticeship investment, every time he went to the Department of Transportation very recently with Secretary Chao --
CUOMO: Here's his thread right now, slamming de Blasio, Comey leaked. Quoting Hannity.
"If Chelsea Clinton were asked to close the seat..."
"When I left the conference room, here is why Ivanka sat down."
"Congress should do health care" -- there's one.
Comey, classified information, all caps based on unnamed sources. I thought you weren't allowed to do that but it's OK. More "FOX & Friends," more "FOX & Friends," and then goes into James Woods and the rest of his friends.
Where is jobs, where is health care?
Where is taxes?
Where is his infrastructure?
CONWAY: Do you know where the jobs are?
Do you know where the jobs are?
CONWAY: Almost everywhere, 800,000 created. The stock market loves this president.
CUOMO: And we reported it.
Economy is humming.
CUOMO: And we reported it.
CONWAY: Small business confidence.
Well, I'll do it right now, small business confidence, home voters --
CUOMO: But I'm just saying you're saying we don't care about these things. I just echoed the president's own tweet thread to you. Don't make it sound like we're hiding his priorities. He cares about these things also. He's invited on this show all the time to make his case to the American people.
Yes, they're official statements from the President of the United States.
CONWAY: Name three things he talked about at the Department of Transportation?
CUOMO: I don't know but he doesn't talk about them and you guys don't come on to talk about them.
CONWAY: Yes, he did he.
OK, I'll talk about it right now.
CUOMO: Your people say you have to go, by the way. So you make sure that the White House press office doesn't yell at me. CONWAY: I'm not going to let this go. I'm not going to let this go.
CUOMO: That's fine. You can have all the time you want. Go ahead.
CONWAY: Stop being so sensitive.
CUOMO: Well, I've got people in my ear yelling at me that you have to go.
CONWAY: But the president --
CUOMO: That's the two faces of reality we get. You're saying I want to talk to you. I got people in my ear yelling she has got to go.
So go ahead. Say what you want to say.
CONWAY: OK, great. So I want to talk to America for a moment.
CONWAY: This president and Secretary Chao at the department of transportation very recently did a couple of amazing things to lessen this permitting process.
We have these projects that take eight years of the permitting process and they want to bring it down two to three years, that's going to save billions of dollars and spur jobs. We have an air traffic system that was built when we had 100,000 passengers annually. We now have close to 1 billion.
Can we not get any Democrats to say, hey, that's a good idea, to enhance our safety and security and reduce our hassle on the tarmac and in airports?
I traveled this country with Secretary Price and Governor Christie.
I was just in Tennessee last Thursday again on the opioid crisis. This is the scourge of our times. This is -- no state has been spared. No demographic group untouched.
You want to come along sometime and report on it?
[08:30:00] You want to go listen to the people?
CUOMO: We have a documentary coming out this fall about the opioid crisis --
CUOMO: -- Manchester, New Hampshire, where the president was, the firefighters there still hoping for help that was promised during the campaign.