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What Has President Trump Accomplished In 200 Days? Aired 6:30- 7a ET
Aired August 7, 2017 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: -- New York. What's your take on the relevance of this discussion and the language used by the secretary of state?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's interesting we're seeing these meetings take place so soon after this U.S. sanctions bill was put into effect and signed into law by President Trump.
I think the significance of that perhaps hasn't been truly recognized in the world of international affairs. Essentially it takes the personalities out of the relationship between Russia and the United States.
It's great that Tillerson and Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, get on. It's great there was chemistry between Trump and Putin when they met at the G20 Summit some weeks back in Germany.
But that doesn't matter more because the sanctions will be in place until Congress decides to lift them. That's going to recharacterize and change the nature of that relationship. Putin can't get the sanctions lifted now no matter how nicely he makes with President Trump.
CUOMO: What does that lead us to in terms of an understanding of the basis -- what is the relevance of these discussions now between Tillerson and Lavrov?
CHANCE: Well, they're still going to work with each other. They discussed North Korea and there were some agreement on North Korea. In fact, there was a discussed, according to the Foreign Ministry of Russia, the read out that I've got. They discussed the situation in Ukraine. They discussed the conflict in Syria.
So, they're still talking about all those sorts of issues where they've got joint interests. But the truth is, the incentive or one of the main incentives for Russia to do a deal with the United States now to get those sanctions lifted, that's not there.
They finally have understood if they didn't earlier, it's not always the president of a country that decides what happens. That's the case in Russia. It's not the case in the U.S. CUOMO: And you know, while it's being played as Tillerson talking tough to Lavrov saying serious mistrust because of the meddling is about the gentlist way of putting it.
CHANCE: I think that kind of phrase is going to get Putin shaking in his boots. You'll have to be a lot tougher than that if you really want, you know, up Putin to change the policy of Russia in all of those areas. You know, these kinds of words the Russians have gotten used to.
CUOMO: Matthew Chance, great to have you here in New York. Thank you so much.
CHANCE: Thank you.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump tweeting a list of accomplishments in his first 200 days in office. Has the president delivered on his campaign promises? We're going to break down the facts next.
CUOMO: Two hundred days of Trump. Last night, the president complained the fake news refuses to report the success of the first six months, Supreme Court, surging economy and jobs, border and military security, ISIS, and MS 13, et cetera.
So, let's take a little walk down those suggestions and test them. President Trump did get his pick on the Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. The economy, the Dow is in record territory. Unemployment at 4.3 percent with 1 million jobs created under President Trump.
But with six years and ten months of consecutive job growth, most of those years were under President Obama. So, this is a continuation more than it is a new trend since President Trump took office.
More recently, if dollar is at a 14-month low. Average wages are still stagnant. Remember, that's what matters most. That's what President Trump kept saying during the campaign. It's not about the unemployment rate. It's about wages and those are still under water.
Border arrests are down, about 14 percent, but the question becomes why? Is it intimidation by President Trump or is it surrounding economic externalities to that policy discussion, meaning that Mexico has an improving economy, means a lot of people don't need to come to the United States for opportunity.
Now, MS 13, the administration points to the arrest of 39 suspected MS-13 gang members in New York and there's certainly increased emphasis on them. ISIS, the State Department claims one-third of territory reclaimed from ISIS was taken in the past six months and credits Trump military policy.
The problem is with that, you talk to military experts. They'll tell you it's hard to prove that assumption. So, that's what the president celebrates, but what about his other big campaign promises?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare.
My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.
We will build a great wall along the southern border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Look, let's be honest, the big-ticket items haven't happened. You know the latest attempt at health care reform is dead in the water. The Iran nuclear deal is still in place. Many experts will say that's a good thing.
The wall, we just heard what happened in those transcripts with the president of the United States and the president of Mexico. He was calling it a political stunt at that point. Will it happen? We don't know, but it could be central to this upcoming debt ceiling fight.
All right. So, there's a take on the plus-minus for the first 200 days. Let's talk about President Trump's promises and what he has delivered on with CNN senior economics analyst, Stephen Moore.
He was the senior economic adviser to President Trump's campaign and is now a distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation. We have Bryan Lanza, a deputy communications director for the Trump campaign.
It's good to see you both. The president, if he's watching this morning, can't complain we have a stacked panel. It is all Trump folk here this morning. Let's start with the political optics, Bryan Lanza. What do you believe the president has a right to celebrate 200 days in?
BRYAN LANZA, FORMER DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I would say he has consumer confidence. I think if you look at the sort of culture that the president brings to Washington, he's brought a culture of business. He's brought a laser focus on jobs.
[06:40:02] That laser focus, whether it's deregulation, whether the stock market hitting 30 new highs in the first six months, that focus has been jobs. I think that's something the president can hang his hat on and say the voters voted for a president who wanted to focus on jobs, and they certainly have that.
CUOMO: And the pushback, Stephen, is the data is there. You can't argue with the numbers, but you can argue on the source. Most of these positive space data metrics are continuations.
While there may be, as Bryan suggests, a rhetorical emphasis on jobs, he hasn't made any hard actions that have changed the labor base or certainly the wage structure. STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: Well, there's a lot there. Let me start with this idea this is a continuation. Certainly, we've had an eight-year expansion. That's undeniable, Chris.
But you know, if you look at last year, 2016, the economy grew at 1.5 percent. A lot of people said we were headed towards a recession, that this recovery had run out of gas, the same thing with the bull market.
In fact, instead of the deceleration we had seen in 2016, the economy actually has gotten better. It ramped up into a higher gear. The same thing with the stock market. Look, there's no denying that the stock market rose 700 points the day after the election.
Investors and employers really like what Trump is doing. One other quick point, it is true, obviously the sore thumb that you mentioned, Chris, is they've gotten nowhere on Obamacare. That's a big embarrassment to the Republican Party. No question about it.
On the regulatory front, when I talk to businessmen and women who are running companies, they say just the easing of the regulations has really been a plus for their businesses and their hiring.
CUOMO: Bryan, the big-ticket items, what Stephen was referring to, making health care better, big tax reform, big infrastructure, big wall, not done. What level of criticism does that warrant?
LANZA: Yes. I think it's a wait-and-see. Let's have some perspective here. You have health care. We came up one vote short. The president and the Republicans came up one vote short. None of them are stopping. They're going to continue.
I think, you know, we both know having served in government myself a good number of years, it's a slow process. It's a sausage making factory and never a pretty process. Look when Obama passed Obamacare, he had to hand out gifts to several U.S. senators just to get the vote going forward.
We're six months into this. I'm very comfortable with the slow process, comfortable with the president putting good focus on it. Challenging Republicans to stay true to their campaign promises, and you know, we'll go from there.
I mean, it's a -- government inherently is a slow process. I wish it would have happened faster, but it's not. I also like the fact that he's still focused on it, still rallying the troops.
If you look at some of the other issues, you know, Stephen brought up the economy. Deregulation, the last six months of the Obama administration he passed $600 billion of regulatory burdens on new businesses.
President Trump has passed zero regulatory burdens on these businesses. Like I said, it's very much about a culture change here in Washington, D.C. that America is open for business again. MOORE: I think that's true, Chris --
CUOMO: Hold on. Let me recast it a second though because I want to attack the premise and you can give us the conclusion. The job is to test, my friend. If I just let you give your version of events, there's really no reason for the show. You guys have your own show now to do that.
Let's try to balance it out with a little fact and not just feelings. Stephen, the idea of what Bryan was just saying which is, you know, we're moving in the right direction, we're doing these things, but is that enough on these things, whether it's getting health care done.
He couldn't come up with enough goodies to get the Republicans to want to do the right thing by his perspective. So, how much of the lack of action on the big-ticket items must you blame on a lack of leadership to this point?
MOORE: Well, it's a good question. I was in Nashville this weekend at a political rally. I've got to tell you, the attitude in Washington, D.C. and New York and maybe Silicon Valley is Trump is a disaster, he's a failure. When you go out and talk to people in real America, they are excited by Trump --
CUOMO: They're people at a Trump rally, Stephen. Of course, they'll be pumped up. Look at the poll numbers, you can't find a group within your own party where he's growing.
MOORE: That's a fair point. Let me address your point about what Trump has to do. Look, the failure of Obamacare repeal -- by the way, I don't think that fight is over -- was a big, big setback. There's no question about that.
It only doubles down, Chris, in my opinion, what he has to do next which is the Republicans have to deliver, they must deliver on tax reduction and tax reform this fall. If they don't, then I'll be attacking the Republicans and the president because this is one of the central promises.
I always said he had to do three things this year, get Obamacare repealed, get a tax cut and build the wall. By the way, I think you're being excessively negative on the wall.
[06:50:09] The wall is being built right now, Chris, on the southern border. I've been down there. They're building that wall.
CUOMO: This comes down to semantics. I mean, I've also been down to the border. I know what's going on. I've been listening to Will Herd, and the idea that the wall the president promised is already under way --
MOORE: It is.
CUOMO: -- it's just not --
MOORE: It is. I was down there. CUOMO: They're doing construction, but they are not doing what he suggested that they would. The money hasn't been there. The impetus isn't there. Might it be, maybe. But I think at a minimum you have to say the jury is out on whether that promise is going to be delivered as argued.
MOORE: Look, Chris, it would be nice if we'd get a single Democrat to vote for the money for the wall. I mean, the Democrats basically have been opposed to appropriating virtually any money.
CUOMO: Fair point, but you got to pick your position, either the wall is under way or it's not because the Democrats are blocking it. You've learned the double speak very well, very quickly here on TV, Stephen Moore. I appreciate it you doing it, always value added --
MOORE: We're spending the money the Congress has allowed us to spend.
CUOMO: How you're doing it and how much of it is new construction versus pre-existing plans is a whole discussion we could have. Bryan Lanza, it's great to add you to the mix. Always welcome here on NEW DAY.
LANZA: Thanks, Chris. Have a great day.
CUOMO: All right. Brianna, over to you.
KEILAR: Chris, up next, Michael Smerconish will join us with his score card on President Trump's first 200 days in office. We'll be right back.
KEILAR: President Trump is marking 200 days in office today, so where does he stand on his promises to the American people?
Let's get some information to parse the facts here with Michael Smerconish, CNN political commentator and the host of CNN's "SMERCONISH" joining us now. So, separate us from the spin here, Michael, how would you evaluate the president's first 200 days?
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Brianna, I made a chart. I don't think the arguments are in dispute. You like that? By the way, in HD for the first time so check it out.
CUOMO: Very nice.
KEILAR: Very nice.
SMERCONISH: Says who, says who is what I wrote in my notes because I was thinking as I was listening to that conversation. Gone are the days when the entire country gathers around the television set on Thursday night and watches "Seinfeld." We don't all do the same things anymore. Technology has contributed to that stratification. We are all in our silos. If you're on the (inaudible) corridor, the guy is a disaster. If you're in a red state America, you know what, so far so good, with a couple of exceptions, Obamacare and the wall being chief among them.
And I don't think we are ever going to move from that. I think that if we fast forward three years and get to the next election and assuming he's running for re-election, people will be dug in then much the way that they are today. So, it depends on who you ask.
CUOMO: A little bit of a nod for Brianna Keilar for stealing her lines, Emmy nominated. Two interesting things we heard from Lanza and Stephen Moore. Two things that hit me, one is this idea about the wall.
They are spinning themselves into a frenzy about this wall. They are trying to justify it especially in light of what happened with that transcript with Pena Nieto where the president is basically suggesting what many would suggest the reality is, that was a political fight.
The other thing is, is this belief that less regulation must be better, that it frees the spirit of the economy, and that is such a debatable proposition. That's exactly how you find your way into a mess in 2006, '7 and '8 that almost crippled the economy for a generation to come.
SMERCONISH: Well, not only in economic sense, but also in a Flint, Michigan sense. Should there be some type of economic disaster where that less regulation did not protect people's safety, then I think it will become a huge impediment.
With regard to the wall, I fully expected that by now he would have pivoted. And that the president would have said, look at this, the numbers are way down. I don't need to literally erect a fence. It will be a virtual wall and we are going to redeploy some of the troops who have been overseas fighting those endless wars.
He hasn't gone there yet, but I expect that's probably where he will go because, Chris, that's something tangible. Either in the next election there will be been a wall begun and there would be a tangible result we can all see, feel, touch and appreciate or there won't be. There will be no spin that can retrieve that.
KEILAR: Let's see how Americans are appreciating Donald Trump. When you look overall according to Quinnipiac University, 33 percent approve right now. That's down from 40 percent in June. You can see the disapproval. He's way under water here.
But then take a look at what Republicans think, 76 percent approve, but that's down eight points from June. Michael, when you look at that, Chris and I were saying, that's like, as you said, Chris, how many people in your family like you, three-quarters --
CUOMO: I mean, it's good for me, but it's not good for a politician. You only have three out of four people in the family like you, usually they're at 90, 90-plus. SMERCONISH: Well, it's true, but I don't want to make the mistake that I made in the last cycle which is to look at those raw numbers and not factor in passion. He won the election because his voters were the most passionate, and in those electoral college-controlled states, he was able to get them to the polls far better than she was.
In the end, you need to measure not only the raw numbers, but how strong is their level of commitment. Thus far, I don't see that the level of commitment of his voters is all that diminished.
KEILAR: One percentage point on one side may not be equal to the percentage point on the other. We saw that.
CUOMO: It's true. Having voters that aren't going to leave you no matter what, changes the scale. Michael Smerconish, well done. Always a pleasure.
SMERCONISH: Good to see you guys.
CUOMO: He did steal the line.
KEILAR: He did.
[06:55:05] CUOMO: All right. So, Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back hard on this "New York Times" report that suggests he and many others are keeping options open in 2020 just in case the president doesn't run for a second term. We'll tell you what he's saying and why it may be just a smidge doth protest too much next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: President Trump crossing 200 days in office as the vice president strongly denies he's already eyeing a possible 2020 run.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Vice President Pence is a very loyal vice president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's believable that he would look to see if he could be more popular in 2020.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can assure you that we are going to do the right thing and follow the rule of law.
CONWAY: So far you've got conclusion and no collusion. Anybody who denies that is lying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not sure that I agree with the witch-hunt. We'll let the facts lead us to whether or not it was a hoax.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're prepared to do whatever it takes to defend ourselves and to defend our allies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These aren't going to change North Korea's mind.