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Trump on Puerto Rican Aid; Trump Expected to Decertify Iran; Food as Fuel Talks Organics; Trump Claims Market Gains Offset Debt; Baseball Headlines; Boy Scouts to Allow Girls. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired October 12, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Not reckless right now.

REP. SCOTT PERRY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: It's (INAUDIBLE) sensitive and reckless --

CUOMO: Insensitive.

PERRY: Those -- that's insensitive and reckless, those are inflammatory terms used by you but they don't depict the real situation. The president is sensitive and it isn't --

CUOMO: You just said, they can't stay there forever. How's that sensitive?

PERRY: Because it's true. What -- forever? Forever, Chris? Really, you're going to -- you're going to equate that to not --

CUOMO: No, but I don't know why you talk about ending your commitment when you are in the middle of crisis. That's what I'm asking you. That's what goes to sensitivity.

PERRY: Because -- because it --

CUOMO: Truth is not the only measure of sensitivity, right? You could tell me I've got a big nose. It's true, but it's not sensitive, right?

PERRY: I never said you had a big nose. I never had to say that.

CUOMO: Why, it would have been true if he said it.

PERRY: I have -- I think I have a big nose, so I would never say that to you.

But I think -- but I think it's hyperbolic to use that terminology when the U.S. is doing absolutely everything it can and more, and you're saying that we're insensitive because we don't -- because we're recognizing there's a greater circumstance here.

CUOMO: It's not we. It's not -- it's not an us and them situation.

Here's what I'm saying, because I have to believe, given what your history is, which I am well researched on, you know how to address people in need and you know that the crisis is real in Puerto Rico.

PERRY: Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

CUOMO: All right. So I don't want people to have a different estimation of that because you're coming off a little bit like, you know, you want to fight this state of the need. I don't think you want to do that.

PERRY: No, I don't.

CUOMO: Nobody is saying that the U.S. is not there in earnest and they're not trying very hard, the men and women on the ground. I saw it with my own eyes.

PERRY: Right.

CUOMO: What I'm saying is, whatever we're doing, it's not enough. And the idea of what will make you happy, Cuomo, is a misplaced question.


CUOMO: This is about addressing what's real on the ground there.

PERRY: OK, so --

CUOMO: And we're nowhere near where we need to be. So the idea, the inference that it's going to end at some point just doesn't seem like the right discussion to have.

PERRY: Maybe it doesn't seem like it to you, but I would then again say, what is enough? What is the right amount to satisfy whoever says that we're not doing enough when we're doing a huge amount?

CUOMO: It's got to be a heck of a lot better than what they have there right now, right? You wouldn't see what's going on there right now as acceptable, right?

PERRY: It's not good and it's -- and it's regrettable and it's sad for those people. But there's only physically humanly possible so much that any nation can do in the wake of devastation. There's only so much you can do so fast when your ports are destroyed and when things have to be airlifted in and we can only get so many people on the ground and moving around on the ground so quickly when your infrastructure is destroyed, not only your electricity network but your road networks and your water and sewer networks.

CUOMO: The challenges are great. Never suggested otherwise.

PERRY: Yes, the challenges --

CUOMO: We lived through them ourselves. We've got people on the ground dealing with them every day.


CUOMO: I'm just saying, we need to do more and we have to be there for a long time. It's just the reality if you care about the nature of the human life on the ground. PERRY: That is true. But is a long time forever, sir?

CUOMO: All I'm saying is, you don't talk about ending a commitment when you're in the middle of it. That's all I'm saying. I don't want to beleaguer the point.

PERRY: No -- no one's talking about ending the commitment yet.

CUOMO: You just said, they can't be there forever. That's what triggered this part of the conversation.

PERRY: Right. Right. Right.

CUOMO: Because it seems to be another reflection of the president's desire to mitigate the crisis that's on the ground there. And I don't think you can. I've never seen one as bad that involves Americans as I have seen in Puerto Rico. And while I may not be the person that's unloading and loading the boxes all the time, I've seen a hell of a lot of despair, congressman.

PERRY: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: I've got good judgment on that. It's bad there in unprecedented fashion.

PERRY: Fair enough. I lived through it myself, a victim of flood on numerous occasions, had to clean it up. And I will tell you, nobody came to help us. We handled it ourselves and our family.

CUOMO: And I'm just saying, congressman, we've got to keep doing everything we can --

PERRY: And I agree with you.

CUOMO: Because God forbid it takes a turn there and there's massive, you know, real loss on that island. You don't want to have it come down to the conversation of, did we do enough? You want to do everything you can. I'm not saying -- I'm not questioning the intention, I'm questioning the reality.

PERRY: (INAUDIBLE) and I agree and I think we are.

CUOMO: All right.


CUOMO: Congressman Scott Perry, Republican from Pennsylvania, you are always welcome on this show to talk about what matters.

PERRY: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

CUOMO: All right.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Chris, thank you very much. Joining us now is CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger, he is a national security correspondent for "The New York Times," to talk about everything with national security.

Great to have you here in studio.


CAMEROTA: Let's just start where Chris just left off. Do you think that the president's response to Puerto Rico versus Florida or Texas has been more punitive somehow for the people who are suffering there?

SANGER: Well, the first thing --

CAMEROTA: Or sounded more punitive?

SANGER: If certainly sounded if not more punitive, than certainly more limited, right?

Secondly, you know when a president wants go drive an agenda, because they're out there discussing it every day. President Bush, when Katrina happened, very slow response. But when he recovered, he was out discussing every day what you need to go do. And that's what drives the federal bureaucracy.

And if the president isn't out there, or when he is, is -- he's out there with tweets saying what a fabulous job I've done, that's a different message.

CAMEROTA: Or, I mean, how Puerto Rico has caused this some this themselves. I mean what he's been saying is, they had a big economic mess, true --

[08:35:03] SANGER: Yes.

And therefore we're not going to be on the hook for all of that is what he's suggesting. You know, they are going to have to take care of some of this because we -- you heard him. I mean, we can't be there forever. Our first responders are going to have to leave at some point.

SANGER: That's right. And there's a time and a place to discuss Puerto Rico's big economic problems. Some of which were self-inflicted. But I'm not sure you do that while people's power is off.

CAMEROTA: Let's move on to Iran. The president is going to give a speech about Iran tomorrow and sources tell us that he is going to decertify the Iran deal. What does that mean?

SANGER: Well, what it means is that the president is going to say to Congress, I can no longer tell you that Iran is in compliance with this agreement, even while his aides say that they are in technical compliance. That is to say, they're doing everything they promised the International Atomic Energy Agency they would do. So they're off to a second argument, and one that's a bit confusing,

not only to us, but to the allies, which is, they're not complying with the spirit of the agreement. You might say, what -- what do you mean by the spirit of the agreement? Well, this was supposed to improve relations between the United States and Iran. It was supposed to limit Iran's support of terrorism and so forth.

I covered this deal day by day for two and a half years. The deal was also about keeping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon while you were dealing with everything else.


SANGER: And so now they've been on the phone to Theresa May, the French, to others, saying, by decertifying, we're not actually leaving the deal, we're just telling Congress we don't believe Iran is in compliance.

CAMEROTA: And then what does Congress do?

SANGER: Congress then has 60 days, on an accelerated basis, to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran. If it re-imposes sanctions, we will have violated the deal. The United States will have violated the terms of the -- within the four corners of the deal. The Europeans have already made clear, both publically and certainly very vociferously and privately to me and others that if the U.S. leaves this agreement, they're not leaving as well. So the U.S. would be the only one saying that Iran is not in compliance.

CAMEROTA: But then if the -- if the U.S. leaves and the Europeans stay, does Iran still have to comply?

SANGER: Iran would have to make a decision. They would probably still have to comply. But I think the Iranians have calculated at this point, Alisyn, much better to have it looks like the United States is violating the deal than that they are. Not only that, all during the negotiations, what were the Iranians trying to do? They were trying to separate the United States from the European allies who wanted to have trade. If, in fact, the Europeans stay in the deal and the United States decides to leave 60 days from now or further on, the U.S. will have done what the Iranians were trying to accomplish for years on end.

CAMEROTA: But this is the part that's confusing. If the U.S. leaves and Iran says, well, the U.S. violated the agreement that we had so it's null and void, then they go back immediately to building weapons and creating their stockpile?

SANGER: Well, they may decide to do that. Less likely that they would. Because I think they would see the opportunity to continue selling their oil to Europe, to, you know -- if they actually began creating weapons again or weapons-grade material, I think they probably would push the Europeans back to the U.S. If they stayed within the deal, they're going to continue to do their trade and the president would have to make the decision of whether to sanction European banks for dealing with Iran. I don't think he's going to do that. CAMEROTA: It's complicated, and I'm glad that you have been reading in

on it so the rest of us get the benefit of your two and a half years of reporting and wisdom.

David, it's great to have you here.

SANGER: Great to be here.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much.

Let's get to -- oh, let's get to both of us.

CUOMO: Hey, I'm right here.


CUOMO: How you doing?

CAMEROTA: All right, welcome back.

CUOMO: Conversation. You're looking well.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

CUOMO: President Trump claims that the stock market gains during his time in office are offsetting the national debt. That is not true. You want proof. We have it, next.

CAMEROTA: But first, eating fresh fruit can break the bank if you have to go organic or want to. In today's "Food as Fuel," nutritionist Lisa Drayer shows us which organics are best to buy.

CUOMO: Favorite fruit.

CAMEROTA: Blueberries.


LISA DRAYER, CNN NUTRITIONIST: Different kinds of fruit contain differing amounts of pesticide residue, even after being washed. The environmental working group put out its dirty dozen list of the most contaminated produce.

Strawberries top the 2017 rankings, followed by nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries and grapes.

Now, if this list is tricky to remember, just thick thin when it comes to skin, as pesticides easily penetrate thin-skinned fruit. And if you do buy organic, just remember, it may not be higher in vitamins or minerals than the conventionally grown version.



[08:44:14] CUOMO: What's real and what's fake, right? That's what we talk about all the time when it comes to the news. Well, the president gave us some new grist for the mill. Seconds into his latest interview last night, he gave an answer that appeared to tie stock market gains to a reduction in the national debt. Listen for yourself.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The country -- we took it over at, oh, $20 trillion. As you know, the last eight years, they borrowed more than it did in the whole history of our country. So they borrowed more than $10 trillion, right? And yet we picked up $5.2 trillion just in the stock market, possibly picked up the whole thing in terms of the first nine months, in terms of value. So you could say in one sense we're really increasing values and maybe in a sense we are reducing debt.


CUOMO: Do equity values correspond to reductions in national debt?

[08:45:02] Let's bring in CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

Sounds like that is not true.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: No. No, that's just not the way it works. That is not how capitalism works. That's not how our country works. That's not how our national debt works. And that's not how our stock market works.

Look, a stock market rally does not reduce the national debt. The national debt is $20 trillion. The president is right. The national debt did soar over the last eight years of the Obama administration. That is correct, too.

But the stock market rally -- and I can show you the rally since he was elected president, that stock market rally doesn't reduce the national debt. The national debt is the money Congress already spent. That money is spent. To cut the national debt, you have to cut spending or raise taxes. Does President Trump want to raise taxes? No, he wants to cut taxes. So you have a president here who seems to be talking about two very different things, conflating two different things that don't go together. This is not how it works.

CUOMO: So do you think that he is referring to the underlying values of treasuries? And I know this may sound a little bit too in the weeds for people, but that's how we produce our debt, right, is that they're going to float more bonds, more treasuries. Do you think he's saying that because the market went up, the value in those treasuries went up? I mean would -- could that --

ROMANS: We -- we have asked the White House for some clarification on what this actually means and they told us they're getting back to us. So they're trying to figure out, I think, what -- what is the chain of logic here.

I think what the president is doing is he's taking a $5.2 trillion in value in the stock market, and he's weighing that right against $20 trillion in debt and he's trying to show that his -- what he thinks is his success in the stock market has a broader meaning and a bigger -- a bigger impact. But that's just not how it works. In fact, if you get tax cuts, that's not tax reform but corporate tax relief in tax cuts that's not paid for, you're going to add to the debt.

CUOMO: Add to the debt.

ROMANS: You're going to add to the debt.

CUOMO: And that's why he's going to have problems with parts of his own party --

ROMANS: That's right.

CUOMO: With these new details of this bill. But one thing's for sure, if he wants to help the working class, he sure is talking about the stock market a lot, and so few of them are invested in it. It's interesting.

ROMANS: About half invested in the stock market, you're right.

CUOMO: You know.

All right, Christine Romans, thank you for helping us understand what is true and what is not.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let's talk a little sports. The New York Yankees battle back from the brink of elimination to advance in the playoffs. Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Hi, Coy.


This "Bleacher Report" presented by the new 2018 Ford F-150.

The Yankees were down 2-0 in this series against the defending American League champion Indians. Someone's going to need to step up. Well, how about Didi Gregorius. He's from the Netherlands. He speaks five different languages. This is a guy who paints when the team is on road trips. Well, he also hits home runs too. A solo shot in the first inning. And this is a guy who was one of 13 in this series come into this game. But he hits another home run in the third inning. That scored two runs.

Start spreading the news. Didi has some fight in him. So do the Yankees. A 5-2 win. Next up, the Astros in Houston tomorrow.

Nationals facing eliminations against the defending champion Chicago Cubs in Chicago. Ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg, taking the mound after being sick all week. His manager said he wasn't going to play in this game. Well, he dug deep. He rallied and pitched seven scoreless innings, tying a team playoff record with 12 strikeouts.

Meantime, his teammates rallied, too. How about Michael Taylor hitting this grand slam. That's the first ever for Washington in playoff action. Good stuff. They're move -- tying up this series with a 5-zip win. Now, game five winner takes all series tonight at 8:08 Eastern. That's on our sister channel, TBS.

Alisyn, who wants it?

CAMEROTA: OK, there you go. I will may not be watching it. It's too late for me. (INAUDIBLE).

Coy, thank you very much.

WIRE: You're welcome.

CAMEROTA: So the Boy Scouts making a big announcement and a historic decision to welcome girls. What does this mean for the Boy Scouts? What does it mean for the Girl Scouts? The Boy Scouts chief executive joins us, next.


[08:53:11] CAMEROTA: Big changes coming to the Boy Scouts. They're going to admit girls and eventually even allow them to earn Eagle Scout status.

Joining me now is Mike Surbaugh. He's the chief scout executive for Boy Scouts are America.

Mr. Surbaugh, thanks so much for being here.

This announcement caused a little confusion yesterday. You heard people saying, how can girls be Boy Scouts?

MIKE SURBAUGH, CHIEF SCOUT EXECUTIVE, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA: Well, good morning. And it's great to be with you.

You know, scouting has served girls for over 40 years in a variety of programs. Traditionally, cub scouting and boy scouting has been boys only, but we found a tremendous demand from parents to offer the program also to their daughters. And we provided a way that we can have boys and girls together in activities, but still maintain some of the single gender aspects of the program that's been very powerful in our history.

CAMEROTA: Well, Donald Trump, Jr., was one of the people who was confused yesterday. He tweeted, strange, I thought that's what the Girl Scouts was for?

So what will this give girls that Girl Scouts couldn't?

SURBAUGH: Well, you know, that's a very common reaction and it's very understandable. The Girl Scouts program, it's a great program, but it's quite different than the Boy Scouts. You know, in fact, we had a sister organization called, as you may remember, Camp Fire Girls, for about 65 years. And that partnership enabled us to serve the whole family. When their program went a different direction, we were left without a partner and it became different for our families to participate and do things together in the same place.

CAMEROTA: But why isn't it the Girl Scouts? I mean I -- just help me understand, what will the Boy Scouts give girls? Is it more outdoorsy stuff? What -- what is it that the Girl Scouts aren't doing?

SURBAUGH: Well, I think you're seeing parents that are always looking for more options. Girls are different as boys are different. There's tremendous programs out there that provide services in a co-ed environment, like 4-H and Camp Fire, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club. There's also single gender organizations that focus in that way.

[08:55:11] What our parents have said is that their daughters, girls, we know are interested in the types of programs that we offer in Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting.

CAMEROTA: One person who does not like this one bit is the president of the Girl Scouts of the USA. When you were just considering this about two months ago, she issued sort of a strongly-worded message. Let me read it to people. I formerly request that your organization stay focused on serving the 90 percent of American boys not currently participating in the Boy Scouts and not considering expanding to recruit girls.

It sounds like she's saying that you're sort of poaching girls?

SURBAUGH: Well, what we know is that many parents don't have enough options to get their children involved in things that build character and give leadership confidencies. And that's what we think we do best. We certainly have had a long discussion with our membership -- this has gone on for several years, and as our discussions went to our families, we saw overwhelmingly they were looking to have a program that was available to their daughters, as well as their sons. Additionally, parents that are not involved in scouting or any youth serving organization said this type of format was highly attractive to them.

CAMEROTA: OK. Well, Mike Surbaugh, thanks so much for explaining it to us. We'll see how it works with girls in the Boy Scouts.

SURBAUGH: Well, thank you.

CAMEROTA: A pleasure.

SURBAUGH: We're excited. Appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: OK. Talk to you soon.

CNN "Newsroom" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman will pick up that after this very quick break. We'll see you tomorrow.


[09:00:06] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Top of the hour. We begin with breaking news.

An American woman, her Canadian husband, and their three children have been freed after five years in Taliban