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White House Sends Mixed Messages On Sanctions and Pardons; Intel Community On Trump-Russia; Death Toll Rises To Nine In Human Smuggling Case; Tensions Rising Between Israel And Palestinians; Jared Kushner Releases Statement Ahead Of Senate Meeting. Aired 5:30-6a ET
Aired July 24, 2017 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[05:30:22] JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, TRUMP LEGAL TEAM: Pardons have not been discussed and pardons are not on the table.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'm in the Oval Office with the president last week, we're talking about that. He says he brought that up.
DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The White House is kicking off another theme week today but, once again, a lack of clear answers on key questions has the Trump agenda stuck in neutral.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And what will Jared Kushner say when he talks behind closed doors today to staffers from the Senate Intel Committee?
Welcome back to EARLY START this Monday morning, everyone. I'm Christine Romans.
DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Dave Briggs. Thirty minutes past the hour.
Despite a major revamp of the White House communications team, there are communications issues coming from the White House. Mixed messages on two major issues. Sanctions against Russia and potential pardons in connection with the Russia investigation.
President Trump tweeting this on Saturday.
"While all agree the U.S. president has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is leaks against us. Fake news."
ROMANS: Asked about it Sunday, the president's personal attorney and the new White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci -- they had different takes on whether pardons are being discussed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEKULOW: The president has the authority to pardon but I want to be clear on this, George. We have not, and have continued to not have conversations with the President of the United States regarding pardons. Pardons have not been discussed and pardons are not on the table.
SCARAMUCCI: I'm in the Oval Office with the president last week, we're talking about that. He says he brought that up, he says, but he doesn't have to be pardoned. There's nobody around him that has to be pardoned. He was just making the statement about the power of pardon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: The issued bubbled up last week when "The Washington Post" reported the president was weighing whether he could pardon himself, his family, and close aides in the Russia matter.
BRIGGS: The House and Senate reaching a deal to hit Russia with new sanctions. The measure also gives Congress new veto power to block the administration from easing those sanctions. Signs do point to the White House supporting the deal but it still seems to depend on which White House spokesperson you ask.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Is President Trump going to sign the Russian sanctions bill?
SCARAMUCCI: We've got to ask President Trump that, you know. It's my second or third day on the job. My guess is that he's going to make that decision shortly.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place. And we support where the legislation is now and we'll continue working with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: A senior White House official tells CNN Congress made changes to the measure the administration supports. That includes new North Korea sanctions and provisions addressing business sector concerns. The measure could reach President Trump's desk before the end of the month.
BRIGGS: All right. Let's bring in "CNN POLITICS" reporter Eugene Scott with some context on all of this.
And before we get to the importance of these sanctions -- the signal it might send -- let's talk about the communications from the White House because in many Americans' mind it's Sean Spicer --
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Right.
BRIGGS: -- in their head. Melissa McCarthy with the super soaker -- whichever.
How will that communication -- how will the message be different now in this new Scaramucci era that we've started? SCOTT: Yes. Well, I think Scaramucci has far more media experience than Spicer in terms of being in front of the camera and being comfortable with how perhaps he's perceived in a way that I think will allow him to focus on the message in a way that Spicer didn't.
Spicer, I think, was very much distracted by the view of the public of him and rumors about the president's view of him. You heard him constantly call --
ROMANS: You're right.
SCOTT: -- Melissa McCarthy malicious.
I think Scaramucci is just used to battling back and forth in a way that will not be as much of a learning curve.
ROMANS: It's the New Yorkification of the White House. It really is --
ROMANS: -- because Jared and Ivanka are comfortable, we're told, with Scaramucci.
Scaramucci, he has this -- he's such a good salesman. I mean, he built -- in my world, you know, he built this fund of funds --
SCOTT: Yes, sure.
ROMANS: -- and this huge hedge fundconference out in Vegas that is, you know, a must-attend for the biggest, most important people in finance.But, Sean Spicer was a Washington insider.
So it will be so interesting for me to see how the New York --
ROMANS: -- the New York contingent changes things.
SCOTT: Yes, I think it will be very interesting also because I always would watch Scaramucci when he'd go on "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo and just see how this relationship with the media changes, right?
I mean, if there will be more communication, more openness. If they'll be some level of improvement.
We did see that these press conferences can come back, which are not really about the media as much as getting this message directly to the American people which is something the Trump administration says it values.
[05:35:09] ROMANS: So, welcome to the job, Anthony Scaramucci, by the way.
ROMANS: He's up watching cable news, I'm sure.
BRIGGS: He's purged his Twitter account of a lot of conflicting --
BRIGGS: -- stances on issues, but --
ROMANS: And he's been critical of the president in the past --
BRIGGS: No question.
ROMANS: -- because now he will reflect his message.
BRIGGS: They've talked about that.
So now, a central focus here is these Russia sanctions --
BRIGGS: -- and when it comes to Russian interference in the election Scaramucci told Jake Tapper on Sunday maybe they did do it, maybe they did not.
But what do Trump's own intel officials say? Here's what they say this past week in Aspen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, DIRECTOR, CIA: I am confident that the Russians meddled in this election, as is the entire Intelligence Community.
LESTER HOLT, ANCHOR, "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS": Tell us, is there any dissent within the Intelligence Community you oversee on the question of whether the Russians interfered with the American election?
DANIEL COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: There is no dissent and Ihave stated that publicly --
HOLT: Everyone's on board?
COATS: -- and I've stated it to the president.
MIKE ROGERS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY: No doubt at all and I stand behind the Intelligence Community assessment that we produced in January.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: OK. So the president not buying the assessment of his own intel officials, but what signal are Republicans sending -- 98 to two in the Senate and in the House, now reaching an agreement on these Russian sanctions -- and what will it say if the president vetoes this bill?
SCOTT: Well, the signal they're sending is that they're buying the intelligence. And I think what's really important for the American people to pay attention to, specifically Trump supporters, is that people who are knowledgeable about what happened believe this happens.
I know we often get pushback, you know, on Twitter and on CNN from Trump supporters saying that it's all rubbish --
SCOTT: -- but people who looked at the data, who looked at the information say that it's not.
And so, I think you need to figure out whose side are you going to take when reviewing this, and the overwhelming majority of Republicans, as you said, have decided that Russia's involved.
ROMANS: I'm going to back to the business world again and talk about how there is a contrarian streak that runs through very successful business people and Donald Trump, I think, has that contrarian streak.
ROMANS: When everyone says this is x, he says well it could be y, and that is the way he's been. We've seen him --
ROMANS: -- that way for many years. So that, I think, is at the core.
The question to me is whether Anthony Scaramucci maybe can convince him otherwise, you know. Convince him to maybe change the message and the messaging there.
Jared Kushner goes to the Senate today to the Intel Committee. He's not going to be speaking to senators, but to staffers and it's not a hearing.
ROMANS: It is an interview.
We're told that both Paul Manafort and Donald J. Trump and --
ROMANS: Junior and Jared Kushner are all eager to get all of this out there.
What can we expect? Anything today from this?
SCOTT: I don't know if they'll be anything groundbreaking. But I do think what will be really interesting is that lawmakers have been trying to get just some one-on-one time -- well, not one-on-one but Jared on all of them time for a while because there's been some concern about other issues related to him and Russia, including his relationship with a head of a bank in Russia --
SCOTT: -- as well as some concerns or reports about his desire to develop a communications channel directly to Putin.
And so, I think it could be a bit of a letdown like it has been in the past with some of these other investigations, but the reality is lawmakers are going to be working very hard to make sure they get as much information as possible.
BRIGGS: All right. So that happens today.
Also today, Democrats out with their new message.
SCOTT: A better deal.
BRIGGS: A better deal. They haven't had much of a message lately other than we are opposed to Trump policies.
Here's what Chuck Schumer told George Stephanopoulos about their vision moving forward, on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOUS, HOST, ABC "THIS WEEK": Why don't Americans know what the Democrats stand for and is that your fault?
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: Well, it is, in part, our fault when you lose an election with someone who has a 40 percent popularity you look in the mirror and say what did we do wrong.
And the number one thing that we did wrong is we didn't have -- we didn't tell people what we stood for. Even today, as your polls show, they know we're standing up to Trump -- they like that -- but they want to know what do you stand for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: All right. That poll that Chuck Schumer mentioned, 52 percent of the country say Democrats stand for one thing and that is opposing Trump policies.
They'll get, perhaps, a one-day bounce out of this Nancy Pelosi op-ed, what Chuck Schumer's going to say at this press conference.
But can they stick to that message of creating 10 million jobs in five years, of lowering prescription drugs prices, and some of the reforms they're discussing, including increasing wages for middle-income Americans?
ROMANS: And scrutiny on big media mergers. I know that that -- that was interesting.
SCOTT: That's right.
BRIGGS: That's one's interesting as well.
BRIGGS: But will that message stick or will they get right back to Russia and just opposing Trump?
SCOTT: Well, they certainly are hoping it will stick because, I mean, what we have seen is that the rift more progressives and moderates and the Democratic Party still hasn't completely healed and, I mean, perhaps to some degree we shouldn't expect it to have. It's only six months in.
[05:40:00] But the reality is they seem to be very aware that most Americans do not know what the Democratic Party stands for. And we were looking at some polls last week and quite a few people who were on the bubble about whether they were going to vote for Trump or Clinton repeatedly said Clinton just gave them arguments for why they shouldn't vote for Trump --
SCOTT: -- not why she should vote for Clinton.
And so what's interesting is, if you look at the deal they talk about economic wages, improving wages, lower costs, and job training. It's a lot of the populous message that we saw --
SCOTT: -- Trump deliver on the campaign. And so with, I think, about 24 House seats up for grabs they really are going for some of those people who are in Trump districts.
ROMANS: The anti-globalization message has always been like a lunch bucket Democratic message.
ROMANS: You know, the little guy gets screwed by these big trade deals --
ROMANS: -- and the like, and it was capital --
ROMANS: You know, it just flipped upside down.
ROMANS: Trump exploited it perfectly. BRIGGS: Yes. There's the message and the messenger. Who is the chief messenger --
BRIGGS: -- for Democrats?
Eugene Scott, thank you.
ROMANS: Eugene, nice to see you this morning.
SCOTT: Thank you, guys.
BRIGGS: Appreciate it.
ROMANS: All right. The tech industry is spending big in President Trump's Washington. Google, Apple, Amazon, Uber, they're spending record amounts on lobbying this year. That's according to new disclosures.
Google paid nearly $6 million from April to June. Wow, just one quarter, right? Amazon and Apple spent $3.2 million and $2.2 million, respectively. Uber spent $430,000 -- a relative newcomer there.
Silicon Valley clashes with the Trump administration on a lot of things like climate change, net neutrality, immigration, H-1B visas.
Last month, top tech CEO's met with the president to discuss these issues. But, you know, lobbying federal agencies in Congress is another way to influence decisions.
Another issue companies spent big on, corporate tax reform. The tech industry will benefit hugely -- bigly -- from Trump's tax plan, especially a proposed one-time tax holiday.
The industry currently has hundreds of billions of dollars in cash stashed overseas and, you know, it's sitting there. I mean a lot of money --
ROMANS: -- sitting there -- mega accounts -- because, you know, these companies don't want to pay the advertised tax rate to bring it back to the United States.
The question is, Mr. President, if they get that tax holiday, how do you make sure they spend the money on workers and factories and not just on enriching Wall Street investors? That's what I'd like to know.
BRIGGS: Tweet away, Mr. President. We eagerly await the answer in 140 characters. This is not easy to do.
ROMANS: Put some strings on that money.
BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, a man who asked for help from a Walmart employee ended up leading police to a deadly human smuggling operation. The tragic story from San Antonio, Texas ahead on EARLY START.
[05:46:40] BRIGGS: All right. Time to look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo joining us this morning. Happy "American Heroes" week, Mr. Cuomo.
ROMANS: Good morning, sunshine.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Oh, thank you. Good reference, important reference. I hope everybody hears it this morning.
We'll be hitting the White House news hard this morning. What is the new message when it comes to Russia investigations, when it comes to the agenda for you and your life?
We do know that Congress is set to pass a set of sanctions on Russia. This was largely bipartisan. The president had struggled with the optics on this.
Now it seems as though the White House will accept this. Smart remove -- you know how legislation works. It's going to go through both houses, it would come to his desk. The president could've rejected this sanctions bill but with bipartisan support there was a good chance that his veto would have been overwritten and then what?
So we're going to take a look at that new dynamic and also the big day with Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort talking to the Senate and then the House. There'll be a couple of days of questioning. What will that mean? What is anticipated?
We'll discuss all of it coming up on "NEW DAY."
ROMANS: Can't wait. All right, thank you so much --
BRIGGS: Sounds good, my friend. See you in a bit.
ROMANS: Chris Cuomo. Happy Monday.
Forty-eight minutes past the hour right now.
The death toll stands at nine after dozens of undocumented immigrants were discovered packed into the back of a tractor trailer in Texas. Authorities are calling it a case of human trafficking.
Immigration officials say more than 100 people may have been wedged into that 18-wheeler that was found parked in a San Antonio Walmart Sunday morning.
BRIGGS: The people were discovered after a man who was in the truck asked a Walmart employee for water. The employee brought water, then called police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHARLES HOOD, FIRE CHIEF, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Our paramedics and firefighters found that each one of them had heart rates over about 130 beats per minute which -- again, they were very hot to the touch.
So these people were in that trailer without any signs of any type of water so you're looking at a lot of heat stroke, a lot of dehydration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: The driver of the truck is due in court today and investigators want to know if he might be connected to a larger human smuggling operation.
ROMANS: Britain's Princes William and Harry opening up about their mother, Princess Diana. In a new documentary, they share stories they have never shared, revealing a little-known side of Diana as a mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY: One of her mottos to me was you can be as naughty as you want, just don't get caught. She was one of the naughtiest parents. She would come watch us play football and, you know, smuggle sweets into our socks.
And, I mean, like literally walking back from a football match and having like sort of five packets of Starbursts. And just the whole shirt was just bulging with sweets and then I'd start looking around, open the tuck box, throw it all in, lock it up.
PRINCE WILLIAM: She organized, when I came home from school, to have Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell waiting at the top of the stairs.
I was probably a 12- or 13-year-old boy who had posters of them on his wall. And I went bright red and didn't quite know what to say and sort of fumbled and I think I pretty much fell down the stairs on the way out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: So -- it's so honest and revealing and the documentary, "Diana, Our Mother" marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's tragic death. It airs tonight on HBO.
And, you know, one of the things that's just so heartbreaking is the boys talking about the last time they spoke to her on the phone. They were having -- they were at the -- at the castle and they were playing with their cousins and they didn't -- they didn't really spend a lot of time talking to her and how that haunts them -- the last phone call they had with her.
[05:50:10] This also, I think, really insightful in that, you know, Harry said that he regrets that he waited until he was 28 to get grief counseling for losing her.
BRIGGS: Is that right, 28? ROMANS: Yes, he waited until he was 28 and now he uses it sort of as something important about mental health and -- grief counseling and counseling with a professional. So I just -- it's revealing -- it's revealing.
BRIGGS: That looks like a great documentary --
ROMANS: I can't believe it's been 20 years.
BRIGGS: -- tonight on HBO. It should be great.
ROMANS: All right. Fifty minutes past the hour.
Heading to college this fall? We have some good news about your tuition bill. "CNN Money Stream," next.
BRIGGS: The U.N. Security Council set to convene an emergency meeting today as tensions between Israelis and Palestinians rise again.
Israel installing security cameras and metal detectors near one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem after two Israeli police officers were killed in an attack there. The cameras and metal detectors sparking anger among Palestinians.
[05:55:10] CNN's Ian Lee live with the latest in Jerusalem. Good morning, Ian.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave.
Really, this is about control over that holy site which Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary.
The Palestinians have complained about this saying that these latest security measures were taken unilaterally by Israel and encroaching on their sovereignty -- their control of part of that area.
And for the longest time the status quo has been that Jordan's Rock (ph), which is a religious endowment, would administer the site and Israel would administer the security of the site.
And so these new measures have angered a lot of people here. We've seen the clashes since over a week ago on a nightly basis and there has been this diplomatic effort to try to stop this, to try to calm things down.
The Americans, through Jared Kushner's meeting with the Israeli, the Jordanians, and the Palestinians, trying to come -- trying to come to some sort of resolution, as well as the U.N. Security Council. But without that resolution, without that agreement, this violence is likely to continue.
Also this morning we can confirm, Dave, that yesterday night an Israeli security officer was injured at the Israeli Embassy complex in Amman, Jordan when a Jordanian worker attacked him from behind. Lightly injured him but that attacker was killed with -- when the security officer returned fire. Also, the landlord of that complex was also injured and killed in that incident.
We don't know though, Dave, if the violence -- if the current crisis happening here in Jerusalem is any way related to what happened in Jordan -- Dave.
BRIGGS: OK. Just a complex situation there.
Ian Lee, live for us in Jerusalem. Thank you.
ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this Monday morning.
Global stock markets lower this morning after Wall Street finished the week down slightly. The Nasdaq snapped its longest winning streak since 2015 after reaching record after record.
This week will be the busiest earnings week of the current season. About 170 S&P 500 companies are set to report, including Google parent Alphabet, GM, Facebook, Amazon, and Exxon, and a couple of hundred others.
As trade with America's business partners comes under new scrutiny, "Made in Germany" is facing some tough questions this morning.
German automakers still struggle from "Dieselgate." That's the scandal over diesel emissions sparked by Volkswagen admitting to cheating on tests. Not only did it pay U.S. officials $2.8 billion but the company also reportedly says it worked with rivals on emissions systems.
And that's part of a larger accusation that Germany's top carmakers have been colluding together since the nineties -- a huge auto cartel. Automaker BMW denies the claims. Neither Volkswagen or Daimler have commented but the potential damage goes beyond billions in fines.
German automakers also employ, by the way, nearly 95,000 Americans. All those German stocks are falling this morning.
Some big news in college costs, folks. Tuition is growing at the slowest pace in decades, up only 1.9 percent last year. Anuncharacteristically small number, it's in line with inflation, something that never happens.
Tuition has risen at more than double the rate of inflation since 1990. It's up 400 percent over the past 30 years, fueling the surge in student debt. It turns out the slow tuition rise is because of supply and demand -- Econ 101. The number of colleges has tripled since 1990 but college enrollment is down more than four percent from the peak in 2010.
I never get to say something like college tuition is only up 1.9 percent.
BRIGGS: No. ROMANS: I never get to say that.
BRIGGS: There's still that student debt crisis --
ROMANS: There is --
BRIGGS: -- that looms over our economy.
ROMANS: -- still a student debt crisis. Of those who graduate with debt -- about two-thirds of the kids graduate with debt -- they got like 30 grand.
ROMANS: All right. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.
BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CUOMO: All right. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, July 24th, 6:00 here in New York.
And we do have breaking news.
Jared Kushner is going to break his silence today. The White House senior adviser and President Trump's son-in-law, of course, put out an 11-page statement for the public record ahead of that private meeting today with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So the statement's pretty extraordinary. In it, Kushner says he wants to set the record straight and he outlines his foreign contacts which have, of course, been amended several times on his security clearance forms. So how will he answer Congressional investigators today given this statement?
CNN has it all covered. Let's get right to justice correspondent Pamela Brown. She is live in Washington.
Pam, I know you've had a chance to look through this.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
CAMEROTA: What do you see in this statement?
BROWN: Well, Alisyn, this morning for the first time, President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is sharing his side of the story about Russian contacts and he said in this 11-page statement released ahead of his meeting today behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, that he had no additional meetings with any Russians.