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Trump, Xi Discuss North Korea Crisis; President Ends Protections For Dreamers; What Is Inside Clinton's Book? Flooded-Out Homeowners Return To Damaged Homes. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired September 6, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:32:31] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump set to speak with China's president in about 90 minutes. They'll be discussing North Korea's latest nuclear test as the threat from Kim Jong Un's regime grows.
Joining us now is Congressman Adam Schiff. He's a ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
You have some important allegations to discuss with respect to the Russia investigation, but let me get your take on this big news this morning. Where do you see the crisis point between the United States and North Korea?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, I think the best thing for the United States to do is not engage in Twitter diplomacy but to have a heart-to-heart with China about the need to really crack down on trade with North Korea.
I think it's the most profound leverage that can be applied, though we have to do that in a reasoned way with China. I don't think really talking about China, being embarrassed or engaging in bellicose statements about China, or distancing ourselves from our South Korean ally is really helpful right now.
We should be working to fashion an international coalition to strengthen the economic pressure on North Korea and have something to propose that this would lead to in terms of a diplomatic outcome.
I don't see a coherent strategy coming from the administration and given the stakes are so high, obviously, that's alarming for me and I think for many members of Congress in both parties.
CUOMO: Well, we know the president is speaking with President Xi of China this morning.
We also know that China has been reluctant, you know, for many years now to do more. There's a lot of money tied up with North Korea, there's a shared border with North Korea for China, so their recalcitrance seems pretty set in.
What do you think could be done to motivate them? SCHIFF: Well look, I think if we sat down with the Chinese at the highest levels and said we would like to work with you to get North Korea to freeze their program and ultimately roll it back, and here's what we propose.
We're going to have to increase the economic pressure, which means you need to cut down on the commerce that you're doing with North Korea.
We are going to have to expand our missile defense in the region, our naval presence in the region, secondary sanctions -- a lot of things we don't want to have to do if we can't get your full cooperation.
But if we can get your cooperation here's what we're prepared to do. Ultimately, we're prepared to sit down at the table and negotiate a resolution of this with North Korea.
But something has to be offered to the Chinese to induce them. We can't confront them in a way that forces them to resist us.
And we certainly shouldn't be driving wedges between ourselves and our South Korean allies, which the president is doing for quite inexplicable reasons.
[07:35:07] CUOMO: Do you think we're close to any type of military conflict with North Korea?
SCHIFF: I think the only way we'd be close to that is if there's a terrible miscalculation by North Korea. And the dangerous rhetoric from the president isn't helping matters when you have such an erratic hothead in Pyongyang.
So I would hope that we're nowhere near that but, you know, of course, there are many instances in history where people make terrible miscalculations and that leads them into conflict. Here, that would be absolutely calamitous.
So we ought to be doing everything we can to have a sober resolution of this as part of a coherent strategy and not, you know, each member of the administration sort of speaking for themselves. Nikki Haley saying one thing and Sec. Mattis another, and the president a third. That doesn't impress anyone and it doesn't get the job done.
CUOMO: All right. So let's turn to the Russia investigation. What have you seen going on that concerns you?
SCHIFF: Well, what concerns me is we've had a practice in the committee where we seek voluntary compliance from witnesses or agencies and only if they refuse do we issue a subpoena.
The majority has now departed from that twice, most recently during the recess. Without sending letters to the FBI or DOJ to request information, it decided it was going to on its own and unilaterally issue subpoenas and provoke a confrontation with the Department of Justice and FBI in a way that I don't think is constructive or helpful and quite unnecessary because the FBI and DOJ have been cooperating with us so, it concerns me. It also concerns me that subpoenas that we do need where we haven't
gotten cooperation, we haven't been able to get the majority to approve. And the best example is we sent two letters to the White House asking if they had anything memorandizing -- moralizing, that is -- conversations between the president and Comey. The White House gave us an incomplete answer.
Clearly, there are now and it's come to the public record. That, we should subpoena because the White House has been strong-arming us and those have not yet gone out.
CUOMO: But how would these efforts be undermining the investigation? Maybe it's too aggressive, you know -- maybe it's ruffling feathers. But how does that undermine the effect of it?
SCHIFF: Well, I they're designed to discredit Christopher Steele, but also to discredit the FBI and Department of Justice investigation of Russia's involvement and any connections between Russia --
CUOMO: How so?
SCHIFF: -- and the Trump campaign.
Well, because when you look at what they're requesting and why this is a priority, and why they're not seeking voluntary means but making a very public confrontation with the Department, I think it's an effort to put the Department of Justice and the FBI on trial for some reason rather than try to get to the facts. So, to find out --
CUOMO: So you think that there are members of the committee that are trying to create conflict with the FBI so they can say see, they don't want to talk to us about the dossier. They know it's all bunk.
SCHIFF: You know, Chris, I don't know because the resort to subpoenas is otherwise inexplicable.
Why not seek voluntary compliance? Why not write to the Department as we have with other witnesses? Why not seek to get their support without resorting to subpoenas or threats to haul the attorney general in before the committee?
It's a departure from the committee practice and, of course, you have to ask why.
It doesn't get us any further in terms of understanding what Russia did or what the role of Trump campaign people was, so it certainly seems to be inconsistent with the focus of the investigation, at a minimum.
CUOMO: All right. And, what do you make of the suggestion that there are conflicts between the Congressional investigation and the special prosecutor in this case -- Special Counsel Bob Mueller?
SCHIFF: Well, we have tried to coordinate with Bob Mueller's office and I think that it's important that we not take steps on our committee that would foreclose Mueller's ability to be able to prosecute individuals.
There is timing in terms of sequencing of witnesses that -- I think we ought to try to take into consideration the wants and needs of the special counsel. The subpoena does concern me if it goes to material that has been gathered by the special counsel and if it -- if it at least has the potential of disrupting his work.
So we are trying to coordinate but, again, this move does concern me if it would in any way impede what the special counsel is doing.
CUOMO: Congressman Adam Schiff, appreciate the perspective, as always.
SCHIFF: Thank you, Chris.
CUOMO: Alisyn --
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, Chris, now that the president has ended a program protecting the young, undocumented immigrants, what's next for Dreamers? We talk to two of them who have big plans about what they'll do next.
[07:43:17] CUOMO: All right. How we got here with DACA is probably the best indication of where we're going to wind up.
First, DACA is not new and Obama did not invent Dreamers. I know you hear he did. It isn't true.
The Dream Act, a Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors, started life in 2001 before 9/11. It was introduced by a Democrat and a Republican.
Deporting those brought here as minors illegally has always been considered repugnant by people of both parties. The problem is that's all they agree on.
From 2001 to 2007, the Dream Act was written into various immigration reform bills, all failed. Why? Fundamental conflict between exclusion, enforcing the law, removing illegal entrance. And inclusion, a moral responsibility to those who want to be here.
Proof of the moral struggle again in 2007 -- the bill reintroduced by itself tarred with the name amnesty, and that failed in a filibuster.
In 2009, the bill was revised to placate some of its critics. Reintroduced by 2010, failed again.
President Obama vowed to take the bill straight to the House. He did it and guess what, it passed. But, it then failed in the Senate.
Immigration and Dreamers became casualties of a culture war. Any accommodation was called amnesty.
By 2011, the bipartisan spirit that launched the bill was dead. In 2012, faced with the desperation of hundreds of thousands of young
people living in basically limbo, President Obama instructed his Homeland Security secretary to write the memo that would create DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, meaning they're still here illegally but they need to live a life here.
So he did a lot of what the Dream Act would do. It was always legally dubious but a moral position he deemed necessary.
[07:45:05] In 2014, the president attempted to expand DACA, swiftly sued by Texas and 25 other states. A district judge shut it down. The Supreme Court was split, leaving the injunction in place.
That brings us to today. Trump promising to end DACA in six months if Congress doesn't legalize it first. Then saying he might revisit it if they don't, which is pretty much how we got here. Congress failing to act and a president going alone.
Those, Alisyn, who fail to learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.
CAMEROTA: So, Chris, let's talk about the real people who are affected. Dreamers across the country are waking up this morning worried about their fate and whether they will be deported six months from now.
Joining us are two of those dreamers.
We have Ximena Magana. She came to the U.S. from Mexico City at 9 years old. She's now a student at the University of Houston. And, Daishi Tanaka, who came to the U.S. from Japan at 6 years old. He is a student at Harvard.
It's great to have both of you here with us today to explain how you're feeling and what you think the future holds for you.
So, Ximena, let me start with you. What did you think when you heard the attorney general make the announcement about dreamers and what do you think your fate is?
XIMENA MAGANA, DREAMER WHO CAME TO U.S. AT 9 YEARS OLD: Right. When I heard the announcements, at first I thought, you know, we've done so much work as an undocumented youth to fight for something that we've earned, right?
This is a fight that started from our parents. Our parents sacrificed so much to give us the opportunity for a better life.
And we get to this point where now we're being called illegal aliens when we need to be recognized as human beings.
So it was a struggle listening to those words but also it gives me more strength to continue.
CAMEROTA: Let me just give people a little bit more history of your background. You came when you were nine. You remember walking across a desert, as you described it, to get here. You remember you and your mom alone, then crossing a river. You say you had just a backpack with your teddy bear in it.
Your mom says that she came because she couldn't find work or support you in Mexico City so she came here to the U.S. and had two jobs -- worked around the clock trying to support you.
As I understand it, your dream is to join the U.S. Army.
CAMEROTA: So if you go back -- I mean, tell us about that and if you go back to Mexico what your life will be like.
MAGANA: Right. I was -- I did JROTC when I was in high school and my dream was to be a JAG officer and defend our troops as a lawyer. Sadly, that dream had to be shut down because of the broken immigration system that we currently have. It is not working for us.
I was unable to enlist into the Armed Forces, even after doing two years in the ROTC program at the University of Houston.
And going back to Mexico would mean that all the progress and all the growth that I've had in this country would be gone, right?
MAGANA: I've worked so hard and I've loved this country so much, and I've done so much for this community that everything would be gone overnight.
CAMEROTA: Daishi, you are a student, as we said, at Harvard, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're a good student.
DAISHI MIGUEL TANAKA, DREAMER WHO CAME TO U.S. AT 6 YEARS OLD: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: So what were you imagining your future would be and what did you think yesterday when you heard the announcement?
TANAKA: Right. So, you know, I came to the U.S. when I was six years old in 2004. My parents and I have been here for around 13 years until my parents self-deported back to Japan.
CAMEROTA: And why did they do that? Why did your parents do that recently?
TANAKA: Right. You know, the impending political sort of -- you know, Trump's election and their prospects for immigration reform was very much diminished. And so, they were too -- they're working six dollars an hour and they wanted a better future for themselves.
CAMEROTA: I mean, because your story is unusual. You came from Japan. I mean, we don't often hear undocumented immigrants from Japan.
So, I mean, just quickly, why did they come here to begin with?
TANAKA: Right. So, you know, I'm half Filipino, half Japanese. And in Japan, my mom and I, we faced a lot of racial discrimination and my parents believed that in the U.S. all children here are treated equals. And so, in 2004 we came here looking for a better future for me.
CAMEROTA: OK. So now what do you think your future holds?
TANAKA: Right. I intended to go to law school. I wanted to be an immigration attorney. I really wanted to contribute to this country that I call home.
But now, without the ability to work, without the ability to have this peace of mind, I am not sure if I can really, you know, pursue anything but just finding a way to survive -- finding a way to provide for myself for food, shelter, et cetera. And really, my prospects for my future are grim.
[07:50:10] CAMEROTA: Daishi, what do you want to say to the president and Congress who now hold your fate in their hands?
TANAKA: I just want to say that immigrant rights activism is what got DACA, activism continued during DACA, and that activism will be stronger than ever after DACA.
You know, everyone at home can say that the law is the law, but to Trump and everyone in Congress the law is not justice and it's time to act.
CAMEROTA: Well, Ximena, Daishi, we'll follow your stories. We really appreciate you sharing your personal stories with us and obviously, we'll see what happens over the next six months.
Thanks so much for being here with us.
MAGANA: Thank you.
TANAKA: Thank you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Chris --
CUOMO: All right. There is going to be political intrigue in the air. CNN has copy -- has a copy of Hillary Clinton's new book.
She talks about Russian meddling in the election. What she thinks President Obama should have done, next.
[07:55:10] CUOMO: Hillary Clinton's new book is called "What Happened" and it hits shelves next week, but CNN obtained a copy.
In the book, she blasts Bernie Sanders, criticizes her own choices on the trail, and discusses Russian meddling in the election. Let's pick that part up first.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny has a copy. He's been combing it overnight. Thank you, my friend, for doing the work.
What does she say in there?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
Well, she's taking ownership, to a degree, for her stunning loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign.
And like you said, CNN purchased a copy from a Florida bookstore late yesterday and we've been looking through it all evening and this morning.
Now, in it, she accepts blame and said she takes responsibility for a series of mistakes, including misjudging the moment and not recognizing the anger in the country.
In one passage she writes this. "Still, in terms of fighting the previous war" -- she says -- "I think it's fair to say that I didn't realize how quickly the ground was shifting under all of our feet. I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions while Trump was running a reality T.V. show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans' anger and resentment."
Now, she also has strong words for Russian President Vladimir Putin who U.S. Intelligence officials believe meddled in the election and helped elect President Trump. She writes about what she hoped one day would be a face-to-face confrontation with Putin after she became president.
She says this. "There is nothing I was looking forward to more than showing Putin that his efforts to influence our election and install a friendly puppet had failed. Our first face-to-face meeting would really have been something. I know he must be enjoying everything that's happened instead, but he hasn't had the last laugh yet."
She also writes about what makes her such a lightning rod, Alisyn. Part of it she says is because she's a woman and she's been on the scene for so long. She talks extensively about the FBI, her decision to do paid speeches, and her private e-mail server.
But in the end, she says I go back to over my own shortcomings and mistakes that were made. I take responsibility for all of them -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Jeff. Thanks so much for giving us a preview of that book to hit store shelves next week.
Meanwhile, a vote on the first round of disaster funding for Harvey is expected to hit the House floor today, but for many Texans returning to their homes the shock of what's left is overwhelming.
CNN's Miguel Marquez followed one couple home.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Floodwaters were rising when Steven and Katie Wooten left their home.
KATIE WOOTEN, RESIDENT: I don't know that I was expecting this. I don't know what I was expecting.
STEVEN WOOTEN, RESIDENT: I'm shocked, speechless.
MARQUEZ: Today, the smell overwhelming. Mold grows everywhere.
S. WOOTEN: Look at this.
MARQUEZ: The walls crumble like cheese. Everything in their home a complete loss.
S. WOOTEN: The water line is right here so we'll probably have to go six foot through the whole house.
MARQUEZ: Parents to Tyler, Dixie, and Talon, 15, 13, and 11. They didn't have the heart to bring them to see what's left.
K. WOOTEN: This is our son's weightlifting medal and that was what he was worried about.
S. WOOTEN: This is her volleyball pictures, her drill team dress, her basketball picture.
Last year was her first year to start playing volleyball and basketball. She made the team. She was so excited.
MARQUEZ: Overwhelmed by loss, Katie excuses herself.
K. WOOTEN: It makes me sad for our kids.
MARQUEZ (on camera): How will they take this?
K. WOOTEN: Our youngest has cried to come home and just to his bed.
MARQUEZ: This is Country Wood Estates near Sour Lake, Texas. It's the first time these people have gotten back into their homes. There are still about 1,000 or more homes that are inundated days after the rain has stopped falling.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Sheriff Mark Davis has worked in law enforcement 31 years.
SHERIFF MARK DAVIS, HARDIN COUNTY, TEXAS: It's by far the greatest disaster that we've seen here and the most damage, by far.
LISA BENNETT, RESIDENT: It's heart-wrenching. Everything is gone -- everything. Everything I had is gone. If you look out here everything -- there's nothing left.
MARQUEZ: Lisa Bennett left when the water was hip-deep. She couldn't save her favorite pet, a miniature donkey.
BENNETT: I found him deceased over there along the fence line. That's all I wanted was my donkey. It may sound crazy but animals are part of a lot of people's lives around here.
MARQUEZ: Bennett says she won't rebuild. The loss, too great.
The Wootens are here to stay.
Miguel Marquez, CNN, Hardin County, Texas.
CUOMO: All right. There are going to be hard stories coming out of Texas for some time. We have to cover them and we cannot forget the need.
We're following a lot of news. There is a new advisory on Hurricane Irma. Let's get after it.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CUOMO: Good morning.