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Putin Retaliates Over Impending U.S. Sanctions;Ten Protesters Killed, Raising Death Toll In Venezuela to 125; Tropical Storm Watches Issued For Parts Of Florida; Why Trump Won. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 31, 2017 - 07:30   ET



[07:33:15] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. President Trump facing several foreign policy challenges. Russia's retaliations against new U.S. sanctions that are on the way and North Korea's latest ballistic missile test. So how will the Trump administration respond?

Joining us, former director of both the NSA and CIA, CNN national security analyst Gen. Michael Hayden. General, thank you so much for being with us.


BERMAN: You know, the situation with Russia right now -- with Vladimir Putin saying he will kick out 755 people who work for U.S. interests in the Embassy staff in Russia right now, how would you assess the current status of the U.S.-Russia relationship?

HAYDEN: Well, John, it's about as dark as it's been in several decades. I actually heard someone describe the Russian view of the American administration right now as the president being Gulliver, tied down by all the Lilliputians in Washington, like me -- the anti- Russian Lilliputians.

So it appears as if President Putin, at least for the time being, has cut his losses in terms of a hope of a dramatic change in the Russian- American relationship, although he didn't cut it completely, John.

I think it was quite interesting that he took this step after Congress had passed the additional sanctions but before the president signed them. So in other words, he's cutting out President Trump from this current action -- a little glimmer -- room to maneuver for him in the future.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So what does that mean? It means that he's not -- you think he's not holding President Trump responsible?

HAYDEN: Well, I think he's seeing that President Trump is unable to change the direction -- the overall direction of American-Russian relations and so as a matter of style with keeping options open, the timing -- doing it now, not waiting until the president has signed the sanctions, gives him a bit of an opening to play card perhaps sometime in the future, Alisyn.

[07:35:07] But I think -- I think we're in this pretty dark state for a very long time.

BERMAN: It's pretty interesting. That was a pretty interesting note right there that you think he's trying to give the president some space there.

The vice president, right now he's in the Baltics. And Vice President Mike Pence actually made the claim, and we'll play this for you, that it's the president's --

HAYDEN: Right.

BERMAN: -- tough talk, as he is characterizing it, that caused Congress to issue these sanctions.

Let's listen to the vice president.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the president's confirmed repeatedly that we believe Russia did meddle in U.S. elections. I think he's also said that it could have been others actors, as well.

But he's confirmed his belief and our intelligence that Russia was involved in meddling in the U.S. elections and it's part of what inspired the bipartisan action in the Congress to codify the sanctions that our administration has been implementing against Russia, and we'll continue to advance that.


BERMAN: Now, General, it may very well be that the vice president's right that the president did inspire Congress to pass these sanctions, but I'm not sure the inspiration is quite how he portrays it. It seems as if Congress is saying we're taking this out of your hands.

HAYDEN: Yes. Actually, you know you're winning in Washington, John, when you begin to say that it was your idea rather than other guy's, although there is one important aspect here that I think we should not ignore and that's the vice president's trip.

He's going to Estonia, Georgia, and Montenegro -- three countries, three friends of the United States who have all had one form of Russian intervention or another since 2007. That's actually a remarkable journey and I think, in itself, a pretty strong signal to the Russians that at least the vice president's office very much objects to their behavior.

BERMAN: Well look, the president went to Poland, too, before he met, you know, with the G20. So the president, you know, is clearly involved in sort of this geographic boxing in as well. It does seem deliberate.

CAMEROTA: General, let's talk about North Korea.

It just seems to get worse and worse. The news just seems to get worse and worse. There's never any glimmer that North Korea is listening, or going to change, or cowed at all by the international community.

Just this weekend, yet another ballistic missile test. What can the U.S. do?

HAYDEN: Alisyn, not much. Our options here are limited.

I think the Trump administration is now beginning to realize that there are some problems out there without real solutions. There are conditions to be managed and their predecessors didn't have to be weak or unintelligent for this problem to continue.

Look, I mean, let me lay out maybe three tracks that we could go down.

One is accepting the North Koreans as a nuclear power. That's not very good. The other is doing something kinetic that could very likely lead to very serious conflict on the Korean Peninsula. That's not good.

So where are you left, Alisyn? You're left where the last three administrations have been -- diplomacy, sanctions, and perhaps bucking up the defenses of ourselves and our friends in the region. That's where we are.

BERMAN: General, can I ask you a question?

Do you think Kim Jong Un and, to a lesser extent, Vladimir Putin and other leaders around the world are watching what's going on the in the United States? Sort of the chaos that has existed in the West Wing over the last week specifically, but longer in some cases and seeing that as something they can take advantage of?

HAYDEN: I think that might apply more to Putin than to Kim Jong Un. I think Putin sees things on a more global scale. He's actually a clever tactician, even though he might have some strategic weaknesses.

For Kim Jong Un, John, I think this is an inevitable logic for the survival of the North Korean regime.

So, Alisyn teed this up by saying they don't seem to pay attention, they don't seem to respond. No, they know what they have to do and I think this course is set. We can moderate it, we can slow it, perhaps we can even cap it, but these guys are going to be a nuclear power.

CAMEROTA: Well, here's what President Trump tweeted about this and I want to get your response.

He says, "I'm very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do nothing for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem." Your response to some of those theories?

HAYDEN: Yes, a couple of thoughts immediately come to mind, Alisyn.

Number one, there isn't enough chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago to convince President Xi to fundamentally change the Chinese approach to North Korea. That's baked into the Chinese definition of self- interest.

The other part of the tweet, though, I think is even more interesting, and that's the president beginning to link the Chinese-American commercial relationship --


HAYDEN: -- with Chinese behavior against North Korea. That's a -- that's a big step and we'll see if the president actually carries that out.

CAMEROTA: And would it be a good idea to carry that out and hurt China somehow on trade?

[07:40:04] HAYDEN: Well, I mean, that's the kind of decisions that the National Security Council usually tees up for the president. It's the kind of decision in which there are no easy answers. Do I gain her, but what do I give here?

The China-American relationship is rich and complex and careful decision-making if you want to put this in jeopardy in order to pressure the Chinese to do that, we'll have to see.

CAMEROTA: General Michael Hayden, always great to talk you. Thanks so much.

HAYDEN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: So, also overseas, deadly protests on the streets in Venezuela after the country's controversial election. What is happening this morning in Venezuela with the violence and where they're headed politically? We have a live report from Caracas, next.


CAMEROTA: Protests on the streets of Venezuela turning deadly after President Nicolas Maduro declares victory. The election outcome drawing sharp condemnation from leaders around the world.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is live in Caracas to give us all of the latest -- Leyla.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, Venezuela is waking up to what is uncertainty as we have seen days of frustration, desperation, all of this playing out on the streets from the opposition.

People telling me as they protest that they want a new government. They don't want a new assembly, they don't want a new constitution. They are frustrated and want change.

[07:45:04] I've been on the streets today -- or, excuse me, I've been on the streets this week and I have seen as people dig through trash to find any food.

I've talked to cancer patients who tell me they can't get basic pain relievers. The hospitals are filled with patients who can find the medical attention they need from doctors, but doctors who don't have the supplies to treat them.

So the opposition is saying look, the government may be saying this is a victory. They may be moving forward with a new assembly that could rewrite the constitution and could give the president more power, but the opposition is not backing down.

We expect opposition to take to the streets yet again in just a matter of hours, and we are waiting to see how the international pressure -- how what could be more violence on the street plays into the -- into Venezuela as it moves forward -- John.

BERMAN: All right. Leyla Santiago for us. Crucial moments in Venezuela, to be sure. Thank you so much for that.

All right. A tropical storm watch is issued for parts of Florida as a tropical depression forms in the Gulf and takes aim right at Florida.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers with the forecast. Chad, what's going on here?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It has just been upgraded to tropical storm Emily, John. The 8:00 update -- I know it's only 7:45 Eastern Time, but the 8:00 update says yes, now we have Emily. Tropical Storm Emily moving toward the western coast of Florida.

I'll get to that in a second. This weather is brought to you by Xyzal, the allergy medication for continuous 24-hour allergy relief.

The first one that's going to hit land in a long time, here it is. From Bradenton to Sarasota, all the way down to about oh, I'd say, the regional southwest airport down in the Fort Myers.

Heavy rain is the big story. I know it's a tropical storm but the winds are going to be 30. Right now, the winds are 10.

But the rain is going to be the big story. We could have eight to 10 inches of rainfall over that Florida peninsula in the next 24 hours.

Now, this is tomorrow morning, so it's gone. This thing is not going to linger around. It's not going to do a lot of damage. It really doesn't have much even organization right now but it will bring that rainfall there and move off the coast and move away from the rest of the country by tomorrow morning.

CAMEROTA: OK. Keep an eye on it for us, Chad. Thank you very much.

So, President Trump's victory shocked pundits and politicos and pollsters. It shook up Washington. But why did Donald Trump win?

Well, Fareed Zakaria has a theory. He tells us what he has learned ahead of his CNN special report tonight. Fareed's going to join us, next.


[07:51:35] CAMEROTA: So, President Trump's election win surprised much of the country and tonight there's a new CNN special hosted by Fareed Zakaria that explains -- explores why Trump won.

Let's take a look.


DONALD TRUMP (1980): The happiest people tend to be the people that are making a nice income, that really enjoy their life and their family life, and not the people of tremendous wealth that are constantly driven to achieve more and more success. You're expected to be a certain kind of a person and maybe you're not necessarily cut out to be that kind of a person.


TRUMP (then-presidential candidate): Get out.

ZAKARIA: -- become this Donald Trump?

TRUMP: I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you that.


CAMEROTA: And joining us now is Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS."

Fareed, great to see you.

Answer your own question. How did -- how did that sort of what we see there -- it looks like a more gentle, sort of romantic Donald Trump talking about how --

BERMAN: He's a lover, not a fighter.

CAMEROTA: -- love should prevail over ambition and work become the candidate Trump we saw there?

ZAKARIA: I think what you see in that part of the documentary is the sort of reinvention of Donald Trump. You begin to realize that the person he is now is a carefully honed persona that he created through trial and error -- you know, taking advantage of opportunities, and I think there are a few key moments in his life.

The first is he began to realize the power of celebrity and the -- and the value of celebrity. I mean, you know, "The Apprentice," for a while, not as maybe long as he says, was the number one show. There were 28 million people watching it.

I think that made him realize my God, this is powerful stuff. That's when he really gets out of the real estate business and goes into the branding business.

But then he also starts feeling the currents of America in very much an intuitive way -- I don't think he had any articulated sense -- and he began to feel a few things.

The anger -- the anger against politicians. Remember, he runs on the Reform Party -- he tries to run on the Reform Party ticket for a while and then he begins to see the toxic energy on the far right.

Remember, his first political moves are birtherism.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

ZAKARIA: -- and he knew that the election of a black president had stirred a kind of ugly racial animus among some people -- probably a small subset -- but he knew a way to get directly to them.

So all of it combined and it was a man who met his moment. At the point at which Donald Trump is elected is literally the low point in trust for politicians in Washington. It's a 50-year low and that's when Donald Trump, you know -- so he got his timing right, which all great performers need.

BERMAN: This is about the man right there and we saw that clip, a lover not a fighter moment, but then there's the moment. Talk to me about the moment, Fareed. The sort of socioeconomic hunger that existed -- or to an extent, still exists in the United States.

ZAKARIA: I think the part of it that I was impressed by in doing the research for this is we know about the economics. We know about the hollowed out factories and the -- and the coal mines. And what I was struck by was the other two factors. So that's if you want capitalism.

The other factor is culture. A real sense of cultural alienation that the older white, non-college educated Americans have the sense that their country is changing because of immigrants. Because maybe blacks are getting -- rising up to a kind of central place in society. Because of, you know, gays being afforded equal rights. Because of, frankly, a lot of working women.

You know, everybody is sort muscling in on the territory that if you think about it, the white working man had.

[07:55:08] And the final one is class -- social class. We don't talk about it a lot but the election of Donald Trump is really a kind of class rebellion against people like us. You know, educated professionals who live in cities who have, you know, cosmopolitan views about a lot of things.

And I think there's a whole part of America that is sick and tired of being told what to do by this, you know, over-educated, professional elite that Hillary Clinton, in many ways, perfectly --


ZAKARIA: -- represented, and that's why they're sticking with him.

CAMEROTA: Yes, and that's why when Democrats think oh, how long can this go on. Surely the chaos will mean that he would never be reelected. Those factors that you're talking about that got him elected haven't changed. They still exist in the foreseeable future to 2020.

ZAKARIA: I think that if you think about one of the -- those Trump voters, imagine what it would mean for them to say you know what, I was wrong about Donald Trump and "The New York Times" was right.

They're not going to do that. They're going -- you know, who's going to -- there's a lot of stickiness to his support.

BERMAN: But what shakes that, if anything, Fareed? Does it have to be a different view of what America has become to them or a sense that President Donald Trump has failed to deliver on the things that they were expecting him to deliver on?

ZAKARIA: It's a great question. I -- you know, the research shows that people don't vote so much on policy issues. I mean, there are -- there are studies that show at the end of an election you ask people what party stood for what policies and about more than a third get it wrong. They think the Democrats are for repealing the ACA and the Republicans are in favor.

You know, it's -- what they vote for is does this guy get me? Does this person know me? Is he the kind of person -- we have David Brooks on the program saying what they ask themselves is this party full of people who look like me? Who are like the people I hung out with in high school and that's almost like a tribal team loyalty.

So I don't think that -- I don't have a good answer for what will shake it. I think what could change it is if you found a Democratic -- now, if the Democrats are all sitting there worrying about what exact economic policy they should have and should they be more, you know, left wing --I think the key is can you connect, you know.

Bill Clinton had very, you know, kind of centrist policies but he connected. A white, working-class voter looked at him and said this guy gets me. And unfortunately, they didn't feel that way about Hillary Clinton.

CAMEROTA: So while we have you, so much happening obviously internationally between Russian and North Korea. What do you think six months in how President Trump -- I mean, just today because there seems to now be a different stance towardRussia, obviously, if he's signing the sanctions bill.

North Korea, once again this weekend, just launched another ballistic missile.

How do you think the Trump administration is doing with these international crises?

ZAKARIA: Well, to be fair, in some cases they have handled -- the policy response has been appropriate measured. You know, if think about this Russia one. If you look at the -- you know, the Syrian case.

The problem is I think that it is mostly because of delegation to a few good people, like Jim Mattis. There is no strategy at all. The White House is essentially in chaos or paralyzed.

In Russia, they've completely boxed themselves in. They can't follow any policy other than a hardline policy because if they try to do anything cooperative people are going to wonder why is -- why is Trump being so nice to Russia, and he has only himself to blame for that.

But my point is, in many of these areas because they did not have a strategy because the president still does not know the details. So on North Korea, you know, the idea that gratuitously insulting China by tweeting against it is going to get you anywhere is highly, highly unlikely.

So I feel like they have -- there hasn't been much damage done yet but the process feels very chaotic, very ad hoc, very improvisational. And we're lucky in that we have not still faced -- you know, one of the things about the Trump administration to remember is we have not faced a recession, we have not faced a serious international crisis.

So all the chaos and dysfunction you're seeing, that's just without having really encountered any external problem.

CAMEROTA: Thank goodness.

Fareed, thank you very much for all of that. Be sure to tune in tonight for Fareed's special report, "Why Trump Won," 10:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.

Thanks so much for previewing it with us.

We're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: General Kelly will do a good job. He will bring some order to the West Wing.

CAMEROTA: President Trump hits the reset button after one of the most chaotic weeks of his presidency.

TRUMP: I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode and then do it.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: It's incomprehensible we have a president who wants to sabotage health care in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the White House's view they can't move on in the Senate. GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: We don't make it as a country when we spend our time fighting all the time.

PENCE: Russia's destabilizing activities are unacceptable and the president will sign the sanctions to reinforce that.

BERMAN: Russia has ordered the U.S. to cut its diplomatic staff by more than half in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This retaliation is long, long overdue.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.