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Trump And Putin Had Undisclosed Talk At G20;Trump: I'm Not Going To Own Obamacare Failure; Loud Sound May Have Triggered Police Shooting; Outrage Over Saudi Arabia Arrest. Aired 5:30-6a ET
Aired July 19, 2017 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[05:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: -- for world leaders at the G20 in Germany.
The White House only going public after they were asked about this discussion. They're also acknowledging the only witness to this one- on-one chat was Russia's translator. The U.S. translator at the dinner only spoke Japanese.
There are plenty -- I should say there are plenty of witnesses. The whole room noticed that this was -- this was happening but it was not disclosed, this separate almost hour-long chat.
DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, certainly no record of what was discussed in the conversation which is raising big questions about what was in that topic -- why the meeting was never disclosed.
President Trump responding to coverage of the revelation with a fiery series of tweets, as you might imagine.
Our reporting begins with Sara Murray at the White House.
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Dave.
Another meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin coming to light yesterday. This one was after they held their formal bilateral meeting at the G20. Later, there was a dinner for world leaders and their spouses.
A senior White House official says that President Trump and President Putin spoke for nearly an hour at that meeting, and Trump is already chafing at the coverage.
He took to Twitter in a late-night tweetstorm, calling the coverage sick and saying, "The fake news is becoming more and more dishonest. Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister."
Very clear that even as other big priorities are playing out here in Washington, even as President Trump is struggling to move forward with his domestic agenda, the Russia cloud looms large over this White House. Back to you guys.
ROMANS: Thank you, Sara.
Now, the White House offering its perspective on the Putin dinner chat -- this tete-a-tete that we didn't know about. Officials acknowledge it lasted almost an hour even though the White House statement calls it brief. We're told it was 55 minutes long.
First lady Melania Trump was seated next to Putin at the dinner. The White House says near the dinner's end the President of the United States got up from his seat elsewhere, went over to his wife, and that's when he began speaking with Putin in full view of these other world leaders.
BRIGGS: The White House statement concludes, quote, "The insinuation that the White House has tried to hide a second meeting is false, malicious, and absurd.
It is not merely perfectly normal, it is a part of the president's duties to interact with world leaders.President Trump has demonstrated American leadership by representing our interests and values on the world stage."
Not a lot of shared interests and values, though --
BRIGGS: -- between the United States and Russia.
ROMANS: Joining us to discuss this is Zach Wolf, "CNN POLITICS DIGITAL" director. Good morning, Zach.
BRIGGS: Good morning.
ROMANS: You know, this came to light really because political science -- a guy who runs Eurasia Group, Ian Bremmer -- he --participants were telling him about it and then he was revealing it. And then, the White House -- you know, the White House admitted that this happened.
Here's Ian Bremmer describing sort of what he thought about all this on "CHARLIE ROSE."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, EURASIA GROUP: The first thing I thought of when I heard it was, you know, the fact that when Sessions was having these meetings with Kislyak that weren't meetings, right, because they were in broader meetings but they're pull-asides so you don't really need to talk about it but it turns out that's where they're conducting business, that's kind of what this sounds like.
Never in my life as a political scientist have I seen two countries -- major countries -- with a constellation of national interests that are as dissident while the two leaders seem to be doing everything possible to make nice-nice and be close to each other. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: He goes on to say that the other people in the room -- the other leaders in the room wereflummoxed, they were confused, and they were startled because here was the President of the United States going out of his way -- their interpretation -- to show how close he was with Vladimir Putin. Someone who is at odds with many of their policies.
ZACHARY WOLF, CNN POLITICS DIGITAL DIRECTOR: Yes, and you know, just kind of strange that him standing up and walking over to Putin and then talking for a while and not having the U.S. have a translator there -- all of these things.
I mean, it probably doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, it's just not the kind of thing you generally hear about.
And then, if you add to that all of the previously undisclosed meetings that President Trump -- or, you know, members of the Trump campaign, members of the Trump administration had with people like the Russian ambassador and all that, it's just another one of those things that makes you go hmm.
And it also shows you how the Russian scandal here starts to spill out into the -- into the broader U.S. diplomatic world. It's now sort of affecting, you know, his interactions on the world stage.
BRIGGS: Yes, and since the Don, Jr. meeting with the Russians was revealed, the big question is if there's nothing to hide -- if there's no crime, no collusion, why not be transparent? Why not reveal these things?
There was a gaggle on Air Force One after G20 with reporters off the record. Why not mention it? Why not say that there was this 55- minute meeting? It's just about transparency but there may be nothing to hide.
[05:35:00] So let's talk about health care because that certainly matters to the American people because now with the Senate Republican plan totally abandoned, a clean repeal might be the next strategy.
Here's how the president described the strategy from his perspective going forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let Obamacare fail. It will be a lot easier. And I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let Obamacare fail.
We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.
We'll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us and they're going to say how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up a new plan. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: Now, unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans' health care now is uncertain because of the uncertainty over health care, but the politics of this are where we have to start because of what he just said.
Does the strategy blame the Dems? Is that going to work for the president? Is that going to work for the Republican Party?
WOLF: I don't think, ultimately, it will simply because people have this law. Theyare interacting with the law of the land, which is Obamacare, and whether or not it rises or falls the president has accountability to that.
Whether he passed the law, whether he agrees with the law, if he can't undo the law in Congress, it's his job to be the president and make sure the people are, you know, able to live their lives. And part of living your life is presumably having access to health insurance, something that he said as a candidate that he wanted to -- wanted to see.
ROMANS: You know, you wonder where the leadership is going to come from on this because, you know, there are flaws in Obamacare right now.
ROMANS: There are some counties where there's only one choice. In Iowa, 94 out of the 99 counties only have one choice.
Some of the markets are working fine, some of them aren't. It's uneven but you've got to have some leadership to fix it because these are real world consequences for people.
What happens next? Politically, what happens next to fix this?
You've got a president saying blame the Democrats. Mitch McConnell's going to make them vote on it -- just a straight repeal --
ROMANS: -- just to make them get them on the record. What happens next?
WOLF: Well, I think there's a lot that the government still has to do to sort of keep the marketplace working. Does saying we're not going to own it mean that the Trump administration is simply going to stand back and let the -- let the marketplaces starve, essentially?
There's a lot of government going to people who have health insurance. This is not just -- it's not like the government isn't involved in health care and to have the sort of -- the top of the government say we're just not going to be involved in it --
ROMANS: Right. WOLF: --I'm not sure how that works. We're kind of in uncharted territory there.
ROMANS: Obamacare is still the law of the land. Right now it is the law of the land, Obamacare is, and you've got subsidies that are paid, you've got fines that go through the IRS. You know, it takes money out of your tax return to pay the fine --
ROMANS: -- if you don't have insurance, you know, so it is completed enmeshed in the federal government.
To say that we're going to step back -- and I don't see how that could be possible, actually.
WOLF: That's right.
You know, the one thing you wonder is Republicans have been trying to repeal Obamacare for seven years, so if they fail -- if they can admit defeat on that -- and I'm not sure that's going to happen but if they do, does that mean the fever sort of breaks and then they start to work with Democrats? And, conversely, do Democrats start to work with Republicans?
That's a real open question. I don't see exactly how that happens in the short-term.
BRIGGS: Right. You can't leave Democrats out of this conversation because it seems like their lone cause is opposing Trump policies. You've got to stand for something at some point.
They have to come to the table, too. It takes two to tango here. We'll see if they do, though.
Zach Wolf, thanks so much. We appreciate it.
WOLF: Thank you.
ROMANS: So, could Obamacare really fail? Experts don't think it will collapse nationwide next year.
It could begin to fail in certain areas, particularly in those rural counties where all insurers have left. That includes 25,000 people in Nevada, Ohio, and Indiana.
Another 2.7 million Americans could have just one option next year -- I just mentioned that. Right now, 94 out of the 99 counties in Iowa have only one insurer.
The problem is uncertainty. The quest to dismantle Obamacare has fueled this instability and insurers aren't sure if Congress is going to help here -- if they're going to fix it.
There are two ways Congress can help. Sharing the cost for lower- income Americans, continuing the cost-sharing subsidies, and enforcing the individual mandate. That one key to keeping younger, healthier people on the rolls here.
Both measures offset the cost for more expensive customers, lowering premiums. So far, lawmakers have not committed to either.
So, many insurers plan to hike rates next year. Forty-three percent of carriers will hike rates by 20 percent or more. However, those in more stable markets plan on smaller increases of less than 10 percent.
BRIGGS: All right. The problem that you point out there is the mandate, right? If the mandate is -- if you clean repeal and you only have sick people in exchanges, then these things will continue to collapse.
[05:40:05] ROMANS: And insurers will find ways -- if there's no mandate they will find ways to charge those sick people more, to charge older people more, to charge maybe women more because of the kind of health -- women in different stages of their life more, which is --
At some point, isn't insurance the thing that's meant to insure you against the unpredictable, right? It's just a --
BRIGGS: Yes. So forget the politics of a clean repeal. The humanity of it is the concern.
All right. New outrage after the arrest of a woman in Saudi Arabia. Her crime? Wearing this, what they call offensive clothing.
All this coming as Saudi Arabia struggles to balance its history and its future. We're live in the Middle East, ahead on EARLY START.
BRIGGS: All right, it's time for a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY."
[05:45:00] Yes, we are yawning this morning. Alisyn Camerota, we were with you I think about eight hours ago last night as we celebrate the upcoming release of your book, "Amanda Wakes Up."
ROMANS: "Amanda Wakes Up."
BRIGGS: We can't wait. We all wake up very, very early, though. It's good to see you.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Oh, my gosh, you guys. I loved having you there.
I can't believe the three of us were actually awake past 8:00 p.m. That has never happened, I don't think.
CAMEROTA: But thank you, guys, for helping at the book party and helping me celebrate. It comes out next Tuesday.
ROMANS: Oh, good.
BRIGGS: We're excited.
ROMANS: So keep all the details under wraps until Tuesday and then we'll have you come and do an interpretive reading.
BRIGGS: We're trying to book you on this show to talk about it if you can.
CAMEROTA: Well, look, I'm filling up, OK? The calendar's filling up so you've got to book me early.
CAMEROTA: But, funny you should talk about books because we are having the author of this new book on this morning. It's called "Devil's Bargain" and it is the most in-depth look yet at Steve Bannon, this somewhat mystery man who has so much influence on President Trump.
There's lots of juicy details in here about their relationship and about things that happened in the campaign. For instance, how the idea for the border wall began.
And whatever happened to Chris Christie? Apparently, there was an incident that is outlined in here of why Chris Christie is not in the cabinet.
ROMANS: The cell phone influence.
CAMEROTA: Yes, yes.
BRIGGS: The cell phone incident is very intriguing.
CAMEROTA: It is very interesting. So we're going to be talking all about that as well as what was behind the president's previously undisclosed second meeting with Vladimir Putin. So all that when Chris and I see you at the top of the hour.
BRIGGS: All right.
ROMANS: All right.
BRIGGS: See you in a bit. Thank you.
ROMANS: Forty-six minutes past the hour.
Iran now promising sanctions of its own against American interests after the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Tehran. Iran condemning the new sanctions as illegal, saying it fulfilled its obligations under the nuclear deal.
But the State Department says the U.S. remains deeply concerned about Iran's activities in the Middle East, including its support for U.S.- designated terror groups and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, humans' rights issues -- human rights issues, and the development of its ballistic missile program. A long list of complaints.
BRIGGS: Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake coming to the defense of his Democratic challenger after she became the target of online hate for being Muslim.
Democrat Deedra Abboud wrote a Facebook post about the founding fathers and the separation of church and state. Abboud and her words were met with harsh -- extremely harsh vitriol which we're not going to share here because of the hateful content.
But last night, Sen. Flake, the Republican incumbent, posted this on Twitter.
"Hang in there, Deedra. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across Arizona. You'll find them."
ROMANS: New details emerging in the death of a Minnesota woman shot and killed by police.
State investigators say two officers, Mohamed Noor and Matthew Harrity, responded to that 911 call placed by Justine Ruszczyk about a possible sexual assault. They responded by driving through an alley near her home with their squad car lights off.
Officer Harrity, who was driving the vehicle, says he was startled by a loud sound. Seconds later, Ruszczyk approached his window. That's when Harrity says his partner, Office Noor, fired at Ruszczyk from the passenger seat.
The officers got out of the patrol car. They provided medical attention until help arrived.
BRIGGS: Officer Noor is, so far, refusing to speak with investigators, one of many frustrations for Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETSY HODGES, MAYOR, MINNEAPOLIS, MN: We do have more information now, though it's frustrating to have some of the picture but not all of it.
We cannot compel Officer Noor to make a statement. We can't compel him by law but I wish that he would make that statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: It could be several months before state investigators are able to explain what happened. The city is fine-tuning its body camera policy and notes the cameras on both officers were not turned on in this case. The officers have been placed on administrative leave.
ROMANS: All right. Snapchat's rivalry with Instagram is heating up with the addition of a new feature. Which will come out on top? That's on "CNN Money," next.
[05:53:20] BRIGGS: Video of a woman wearing a miniskirt and a crop top in public in Saudi Arabia is sparking fierce worldwide debate. Police have now detained her. The incident drawing international attention as Saudi Arabia struggles to shake off rules from its past as it tries to move into the future.
CNN's Becky Anderson live in Abu Dhabi for us this morning. Good morning to you, Becky. What did this woman do wrong?
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, she's a young woman in a short skirt and crop top which would be normal enough, right, in most places around the world but not in Saudi Arabia and, specifically, not in a province of the kingdom that is the birthplace of the kingdom's ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Islamic thought.
Let's be clear. I mean, anyone who lives in Saudi or travels to Saudi would know that modesty laws dictate that women must be suitably covered in public -- long, loose robes, head scarves. Some actually cover their faces as well.
So when this video went viral, authorities tracked down the woman and took her in for questioning, later releasing a statement, Dave, that said that she herself admitted to visiting the site in question with a male guardian and that the viral videos were published by an account attributed to her without her knowledge.
Who she is, where she is from, whether she is Saudi or not, and what happens to her next is not clear. But social media, for which Saudis have a voracious appetite, it has to be said, is awash with this both with comments highly critical of her for flouting the rules and, on the flip side, a chorus of support.
Many are digging up the images of Melania and Ivanka Trump's recent trip to Riyadh during which they got rave reviews for their, quote, "style" despite both foregoing head scarves. Exceptions are, it seems, made for visitingdignitaries.
[05:55:14] The context of this is important. Saudi is going through a transformation in large part, so it seems some powers like that of its religious police rolled back.
All of this is led by its new powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He has a vision that's known as Vision 2030 and that sits out a new way forward for the country on everything from the economy to arts to culture.
But clearly videos, Dave, like this show the reaction to it at home underlying that divisions in Saudi between conservatives and more liberals, they can still run very, very deep.
BRIGGS: Yes. Still, an awful long way to go.
Becky, thank you so much.
ROMANS: All right, 55 minutes past the hour.
Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning.
Global stock markets are higher. U.S. tech stocks back on top and that's feeding some enthusiasm around the globe.
Netflix soaring more than 13 percent. The stock up 13 percent on strong subscriber growth, pushing the Nasdaq to a record high -- look at that.
The index has now recovered completely from its sell-off last month. The S&P 500 also hit a record high.
You know, the failure of the Senate's health bill briefly sent stocks lower. It caused investors to question the future of the entire Trump economic agenda. But overshadowing that, big corporate profits, they have been very good and they're giving stocks a boost here.
Remember, the stock market reflects corporate profits. How much money companies are making, not necessarily how working class Americans feel.
There are more earnings today. Morgan Stanley, Unilever, and American Express all report.
Snapchat has this big rivalry with Instagram and it's heating up. The company's adding a new feature to let you record consecutive videos. It's just the latest in a slew of updates to compete with Instagram.
So far, Instagram appears to be winning. Instagram Stories has 80 million more daily users than Snapchat -- wow. It's a food fight there.
BRIGGS: I'm trying to figure out -- yes. Instagram Stories, as we speak.
ROMANS: Very good.
BRIGGS: I need a little tutorial.
ROMANS: I've got a 12-year-old.
Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.
BRIGGS: And, I'm Dave Briggs. I do need a tutorial.
President Trump had a second discussion with Vladimir Putin at the G20 but why didn't the White House or the Kremlin mention it to anyone?
"NEW DAY" answers some of these questions, now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The White House says President Trump had a second undisclosed conversation with Vladimir Putin.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What the hell is Donald Trump's obsession with Vladimir Putin? Why won't he be straightforward about it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a little extreme for us to somehow make this into a conspiracy.
ROMANS: We're also learning the identity of the eighth person in Don, Jr.'s Trump Tower meeting.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: It's very disturbing that it's taken us this long for this kind of information to come out.
TRUMP: We'll just let Obamacare fail.
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: That's just heartless. We're talking about real people here.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I regret that the effort to repeal and immediately replace will not be successful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a real Mitch McConnell failure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, July 19th, 6:00 here in New York.
Here is our "Starting Line."
The White House downplaying reports that President Trump and Vladimir Putin had a second undisclosed meeting at the G20 summit that lasted about an hour. Given the intense scrutiny on their first meeting, why did they meet again without any American officials present?
CNN is learning new details about the eighth person in that meeting where Don Trump, Jr. and top campaign staffers were promised dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller clearing the way for the president's son and Paul Manafort to testify in public before Congress.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump says it's probably time to just let Obamacare fail after suffering a humiliating collapse of the Senate's health plan. The president is now inviting all 52 Republican senators over for lunch today at the White House to discuss what's next.
And for the first time, today, the president's Election Integrity Commission is going to meet as top Democrats sent a letter to the vice president demanding that the vice-chair of that panel step down.
We have it all covered for you. Let's begin with CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
President Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin was one of the most closely scrutinized events of his young presidency and now we know there was a second meeting. The White House confirming that second encounter after reports of it surfaced in the media.
JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump lashing out, calling coverage of his previously undisclosed second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin sick and alleging it's made been to look sinister.