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Trump Threatens To Cut Off Trade With China; Powerful Hurricane Irma Poses Threat To Florida; Signs Of Tension Between Mueller And Capitol Hill Investigators; Dreamers Face Uncertain Future In America. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 5, 2017 - 07:30   ET



[07:31:30] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump trying to use trade as leverage.

As tensions with North Korea continue to escalate the president wrote this. "The United States is considering, in addition to all other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea."

In case you didn't know, that means China. The president didn't explicitly say it but it means China.

Will it work? I want to discuss with CNN political commentator and former White House communications director Jen Psaki. And, CNN senior economics analyst and former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign, Stephen Moore.

Stephen, to you. Cut off all trade with China if they don't step up. Is that an empty threat?


I think there's no question -- by the way, we cannot live with the option that you discussed on your earlier panel of just allowing North Korea to have a nuclear weapon. That is crazy talk. It is dangerous to the world.

You know, last night, John, I watched the Reagan documentary on CNN and it was amazing, you know, how Reagan was able to win the Cold War without firing a shot, and the reduction in nuclear arms was a great victory.

Here we are 30 years later, we're talking about letting a lunatic -- a tyrant who starves to death his own people to have a nuclear weapon. I mean, that is such a danger to the world.

But I would make the case -- look, there's only one way to stop it and that is China. China has facilitated and accommodated the North Korea nuclear program. They are the only country who can put a stop to it. And Trump should basically just say to the Chinese leaders, you bring it onto this or you're not a member of the civilized world and we can't trade with you.

BERMAN: You know, Jen Psaki, U.S. trade with China, $170 billion in exports, $480 billion in imports. Realistic at all?

JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: Well, look, I think a cardinal rule of diplomacy is don't make a threat you can't possibly deliver on because it will have dramatic consequences on your own country.

And if we -- it's not even viable to cut off trade with China. As you mentioned, we do a significant amount of trade with China. The U.S. is -- they're our biggest creditor in the world.

And in addition to that, it would have a dramatic impact on the cost of products for consumers. We import a large number of low-cost goods from China.

So this is an empty threat. That's how it's being perceived in the region. And people in the region are starting to question whether Trump actually has similar objectives of North Korea, which is to divide the United States from many of our important allies in the region, South Korea and Japan, as it relates to the North Korea threat.

BERMAN: We'll talk more about that in just a second.

MOORE: Well, let me just say one thing, John.

BERMAN: Go ahead, Stephen.

MOORE: Look, I am the -- I am the biggest proponent of free trade around. I mean, I'm a huge free trader. I understand, obviously, what John is talking about.

But this is a critical moment for the world. We have a crazy man who has a nuclear weapon that could -- that could destroy, you know, potentially, parts of Japan, parts of South Korea. We don't know how far - how far they could launch these missiles. It -- we can't -- this cannot stand and we should use --

Jen, I don't think this is an empty threat. I think Trump should be very hard-line with China and say if you want to be a member of the civilized world, you bring an end to the North Korea nuclear program. What's wrong with that position?

I mean, we --

PSAKI: I think, Stephen -- Stephen --

MOORE: China needs us a lot more than we need them in terms of trade.

PSAKI: Well, Stephen, first, I think we agree that this is probably the biggest threat that we're facing as a country.


PSAKI: That's something President Obama conveyed to President Trump. And regardless of party, you should agree on that.

MOORE: Right.

PSAKI: I think the issue here beyond the economics -- they're all tied to each other -- is that China has different objectives than the United States.

[07:35:04] MOORE: That's right.

PSAKI: China doesn't want to see a denuclearized -- they don't want to see a united --

MOORE: They don't, exactly.

PSAKI: -- a united country.

MOORE: Exactly.

PSAKI: So I think the question here, should we be launching threats via Twitter? Should we be sitting down, deciding and determining with China whether there's a diplomatic effort that can be -- is going to be undertaken here?

And that's something I think many people of both parties -- many people who are -- have been working on this issue for a long time would like to see.

BERMAN: I actually think you guys agree --

MOORE: Just -- you know, Jen --

BERMAN: Hang on, hang on, hang on just one second. Let me just get one little question in.

I think you guys actually both agree that China should be involved here and that China is perhaps crucial to fixing --

MOORE: Right.

BERMAN: -- this problem.

So Jen, how do you get China to do what you want it to do?

PSAKI: Well look, I think there have been secondary sanctions that have been undertaken. There's clearly more that can happen along those lines. The Secretary of Treasury has talked about that.

But ultimately, we're going to have to sit down at a table with them. President Trump, his diplomatic team is going to have to sit down at a table with China. They don't have the same objectives as we do as it relates to North Korea so we can't assume that making threats is going to make them change their behavior, and that's the point I was making.

BERMAN: And, Stephen, you were weighing in on our diplomatic and military discussion earlier about whether or not there needs to be acceptance that North Korea has nuclear weapons.

Do you dispute, at this point, that they clearly have the capability? They have the weapons and they know how to use them?

MOORE: No, that's the problem, right, John? I mean -- I mean, you're exactly right. They have these nuclear weapons.

We -- this cannot stand. The world cannot go on with nuclear -- with nuclear weapons in the hands of a madman. It has to be stopped.

And look, I think --

BERMAN: Stopped or removed? Stopped, as in no more testing --

MOORE: Both, both.

BERMAN: -- or somehow get them to give up what they already have?

MOORE: They have to give up what they already have and that -- and the way that happens is the one country that can stop this is China.

And, Jen really laid her finger on the problem. China wants North Korea to have a nuclear weapon. They have facilitated the program. It wouldn't exist if it weren't for China's cooperation in this.

So, I think we have a moral high ground in basically going to China and saying bring this to a stop. You want to be a member of the civilized world now, you want to be a, you know, world-class power, and yet you're facilitating the greatest threat on the planet. I just think it's outrageous.

And I'm a free trader but if I were Trump I'd just say the trade with China stops until you bring an end to this program. If they say no, then they're not a member of the civilized world. It's that simple.

BERMAN: Jen Psaki, any way to get North Korea to give up again what they already apparently have?

PSAKI: Well look, I think North Korea has not just capacity that's greater than what they had last year, but they also have increased their rhetoric.

So -- and yes, we could -- we don't know -- we don't have the intelligence to know exactly where all of their facilities are so that is a huge problem. It's similar to what our issue was with Iran. They also have the ability to create these weapons that they didn't have a couple of years ago.

So can they give it up? There's leverage we have. There's things they want like military exercises, our military presence in South Korea.

Should that be on the table? There are some people who think that should be considered.

BERMAN: All right. Jen Psaki, Stephen Moore, fascinating discussion. Thanks so much, guys.

PSAKI: Thank you.

MOORE: Thank you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, John, another big story that we're following.

Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Caribbean and Florida. Chad Myers has the latest forecast models for us, next.


[07:42:00] CAMEROTA: Hurricane Irma gaining strength, now a category four storm packing winds of 150 miles per hour. Irma is now bearing down on the Caribbean.

It's also posing a threat to millions in Florida. So, as you can see, people are already stocking up on water and supplies.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has the latest forecast. What are the models doing now, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Still taking it either north of Cuba or right over Cuba. Two different models, one the European, one the GFS -- the American model that we look at. It's all we can do is look at what the modeling actually can say to us.

What the hurricane hunter has said in the past -- about 10 minutes -- is that it found a wind gust above -- 7,000 feet high -- 186 miles per hour -- 186. Even though that's 7,000 feet that is still a wow kind of number.

There's the eye. It's perfectly symmetrical. This storm is still growing, likely to be a cat five, although that is not the forecast.

I believe -- you find 186 aloft you're probably going to have to upgrade it -- we'll see. I don't care, it doesn't matter. If it's 180, 150 or 157, there's no difference.

Anguilla, all the way toward Barbuda, all the way up even toward the British Virgin Islands in grave danger of an eyewall hit at 150 miles per hour. That devastates the island no matter what island it is.

And then, it moves up toward the Florida Keys as a cat four. It will interact with Cuba a little bit. That will take some of the guts out of the storm. That will get some dry air into it so it's not going to be 155.

The closer it is, the slower it gets -- maybe 120. The farther away it gets, 50-80 miles, then it still could be cat four as it approaches South Florida. Here's the American model and if you take out a little bit of something and you put a little bit of something else, we get something called the ensemble. This is all the -- the same model running with a couple of different ingredients, all of them very, very close to Florida.

One to the east -- or two, here, and one to the west here. We'll see what that looks like here. But obviously, as we compact them, very close to either Key West, Islamorada, and then straight up the Florida Peninsula.

Just tremendous damage if we get this storm this big over parts of Florida.

It's still five days away. You need to prepare now. It's not too late. Right now is the time to get ready.

CAMEROTA: OK, a very good warning for us, Chad. Thank you for showing us those models. They do look frightening. Thank you.

MEYERS: Yes. Thank you.

BERMAN: All those lines making landfall in the United States.

All right. Now we have a CNN exclusive.

Separate, intensifying Russia investigations exposing signs of tension between Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team and Capitol Hill investigators.

CNN's Evan Perez live in Washington with this eye-opening exclusive -- Evan.


With three investigations in Congress and one criminal probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it was probably predictable that there would be complications.

And one such tussle happened recently when lawyers working for the Mueller team asked the Senate Intelligence Committee for a transcript of the Senate staffs' interview with Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. Manafort's lawyers blocked that request.

[07:45:00] Mueller's office had claimed that they were given consent, prompting a brief fight over what exactly they were authorized to have.

Now, Manafort is a focus -- a top focus of Mueller's investigators who are looking into possible financial and tax crimes. Manafort, of course, denies any wrongdoing in this case.

Congressional sources, though, tell us that the practice of allowing key figures in the Russia investigations to testify behind closed doors is part of the issue here. If that testimony happens in public then Mueller's investigators can use those statements without going through lawyers.

Now, for their part, Congressional investigators are now looking to obtain a letter drafted by President Trump's aides to explain why he was firing former FBI Director James Comey. Mueller already has that letter. A spokesman for Mueller, by the way, declined to comment for this story.

BERMAN: And, Evan, the FBI raid on Paul Manafort's home -- that, too, has caused some kind of a legal battle here. What happened?

PEREZ: Well, we're told by sources that the FBI agents who conducted the raid actually carried away documents that Manafort's lawyers considered to be protected by attorney-client privilege. That prompted a very stern letter from WilmerHale, the law firm that was, at the time representing Manafort, and the documents got returned.

Now, this happens from time to time in FBI investigations and we're told that, you know, typically what you have is you have a team that's specifically designed to look at these types of documents. But you always have a concern here about whether investigators saw material that they were not entitled to see.

BERMAN: And also, Congress back today. We're expecting a very busy few months on these investigations. What do you expect to see?

PEREZ: Well yes, exactly. We know that the three committees in Congress are looking into this -- into this issue and now they have 20,000 documents, John, in their hands. And now, senators and members of Congress are returning back from their vacations and they're going to start going through all of those documents.

We know that one of the things that they're specifically concerned about is that proposal that emerged in the past few weeks involving the former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and whether or not the -- whether or not this led to anything more behind the scenes in the Trump campaign.

We know that all three committees want to know more about this. We expect that Cohen and others will be called to testify in the next coming -- in the coming weeks -- John.

BERMAN: Yes, that's on top of everything else Congress is trying to get done this fall.

Evan Perez in Washington for us. Thanks so much.

PEREZ: Thanks.

CAMEROTA: So, John, they are called Dreamers. They came to America as children but they could be forced to leave the U.S. if Congress cannot find a solution. So we will speak to two people facing that frightening reality, next.


[07:51:45] CAMEROTA: Nearly 800,000 Dreamers in America this morning do not know their fate. The Trump administration is expected to end the program that protects them from deportation within six months if Congress does not come up with a solution.

Joining us now are two Dreamers. Angelica Villalobos came to America at 11 years old. And, Angel Oaxaca-Rivas was just four when his family arrived in the U.S. We're happy to have both of you here today to tell us how you're feeling.

Angelica, let me start with you. When you heard the announcement from the White House that the DACA -- the Dreamer program was going to change and be over in the next six months, how did you feel?

ANGELICA VILLALOBOS, "DREAMER": I was upset and angry. I think it was a fight that we all worked really hard to get and to be in this situation it's really difficult.

CAMEROTA: And, Angelica, how would your life change? You are a mom of four children --


CAMEROTA: -- and so if you cannot stay in the U.S., what happens?

VILLALOBOS: Well, I'm -- my husband and I, we -- you know, we're a team. He's the one that supports the household. I take care of the kids.

If I were to be deported it definitely is going to put a burden on our family. I'm that one that, you know, volunteers in the school. I was very active in the community with my kids along and I think that if I wasn't going to be able to be here with them to be a little -- walk them through, it's going to be very, very breaking for them.

CAMEROTA: Angel, you've called the possibility of this terrifying. What do you mean?

ANGEL OAXACA-RIVAS, "DREAMER": Yes. I think it's terrifying that we can be so easily betrayed by the government asking us to give so much information that we had to give to be accepted into DACA and then to have it turned around on a very exceptional group of people.

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about that because when you heard the idea that there was going to be this DACA program and that Dreamers like you --


CAMEROTA: -- brought here at four years old were going to be protected, did you have second thoughts about giving your --


CAMEROTA: -- information to the government?

OAXACA-RIVAS: Yes. There was a very significant discussion that my parents had to have with me at that time. I was 17 at the time and that was kind of the first big conversation that I had to have with my parents about my legal residency here and my residency status.

And it was a risk. It was a risk that meant giving up exactly where I live. Where I was going to be working was going to be something that had to be turned over also and --

CAMEROTA: And, did you not know, Angel --

OAXACA-RIVAS: -- it would not be hard to find me.

CAMEROTA: -- your -- did you not know your status until you had that conversation with your parents?

OAXACA-RIVAS: I think the first time I actually figured out my status was when I was in elementary school -- I was going into middle school. I almost got a scholarship for some private schools and everything was good to go until I needed a social security number on file. And then that's when I figured out what being undocumented really meant. So I think I was about 12.

[07:55:12] CAMEROTA: Angelica, you had a moment with Speaker Paul Ryan in January where he, I think, tried to kind of assuage any of your anxiety that this fate would ever happen to you.

Let me play this for our viewers.


VILLALOBOS: It's clear that if DACA gets repealed my daughter will lose her mother and -- I'm sorry -- she will lose her mother. And I want you to know that DACA has helped me.

Do you think that I should be deported and many of the families in my situation --


VILLALOBOS: -- should?

RYAN: No. No way in hell could -- first of all, I can see that you love your daughter and you're a nice person who has a great future ahead of you, and I hope your future's here.


CAMEROTA: Angelica, I know that moment comforted you. So today, what do you want to tell Congress -- those lawmakers that are going to be deciding your future?

VILLALOBOS: I think that, you know, it only comforted me in part, and the reason is because after that interview -- after that moment when I spoke to Paul Ryan, he didn't do anything. And I think I was upset at that time because, you know, he said it on live T.V. and said that I should not get deported, but then Congress and him didn't do anything for the last eight months. We're sitting in a situation right now where it got to this way because they did not act. And I think that, unfortunately, I just really hope that it's not too late for us.

CAMEROTA: Angel, what do you want to say to Congress and the lawmakers who are going to try to figure out what the fate of all you 800,000 Dreamers are?

OAXACA-RIVAS: I think that it's important to think about the work that the DACA population has already put into demonstrating how successful and how good of a -- how good of citizens we are already in this country.

I think it's important to give us a little bit of credit for that going into processes because it's a very humanitarian problem, and that's how it should be thought of. Not necessarily just the numbers here and there, but look at us as the people that we are and what we've brought to this country so far.

CAMEROTA: Angelica, have you talked to your children about this?


CAMEROTA: And they know this is a possibility that you might be deported?


CAMEROTA: What did they say?

VILLALOBOS: They want to step in. I remember when I was telling my daughter that one of the things that worries me the most is losing the driver's license. I live in a state where a minor traffic violation can put you into deportation proceedings.


VILLALOBOS: And I know my daughter, you know, came up and said well, you know, I have a driving permit now. I can -- I can help you with that.

And, you know, it was -- it's very hard because you don't -- I want my kids to be kids. I want them to focus on what they should be focusing and not worrying about whether I'm going to come home or not.

CAMEROTA: We understand.

Thank you both for sharing your personal story. Obviously, we'll be watching very closely what happens over the next six months and we'll stay in touch. Thank you for being here.

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must put maximum pressure on North Korea to change its policy.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: North Korea basically has slapped everyone in the face in the international community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to find a way of using -- crushing economic sanctions and diplomacy to solve this problem.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

CAMEROTA: In just a matter of hours, President Trump is expected to end the protections for Dreamers.

RYAN: These kids don't know any other home. I think there's a humane way to fix this.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ), MEMBER, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: DACA kids should not be punished for the sins of their parents.

BERMAN: The Texans recover from Harvey and Florida braces for Hurricane Irma.

MYERS: It's already a category four at 150. Category five starts at 156.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're really looking at a major impact here.


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

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your new day. It is Tuesday, September fifth, 8:00 here in the east.

Chris is off; John Berman joins me.

It sounds like we have some breaking storms news, too --

BERMAN: Yes, we do.

CAMEROTA: -- for everyone.

So let's get to all of our breaking news.

We start with North Korea. North Korea may be moving an intercontinental ballistic missile for another launch this week. That's what a South Korean lawmaker tells CNN after being briefed by their intelligence service.

North Korea is also making new threats this morning saying they will quote "blow up the U.S. mainland and annihilate Americans."

BERMAN: South Korean warships conducting a second day of live-fire exercises at sea.

All eyes on the strained relations between President Trump and South Korea's leader.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley insists that Kim Jong Un is begging for war.

And then, Alisyn mentioned that we have breaking news on Hurricane --