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How Alabama Voters Feel About Roy Moore; Trump Teases "Major Statement" As Asia Trip Ends. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired November 14, 2017 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:30:01] CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & EDITOR-AT-LARGE: That's different than what we heard before. We had sexual misconduct, and now, sexual assault.
Between that, Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate, saying he should resign which -- or withdraw, which I'm not sure that affects Roy Moore. But to me, the most important one was Cory Gardner, who heads the Republican senatorial campaign committee, essentially the guy who runs the campaigns for Republicans. Most people don't know his name. But he came out and said if Roy Moore wins, we can't not seat him. The Senate doesn't have that power, but we should move to expel him.
Now, he would only be the 16th senator expelled, Roy Moore. He'd be the first one since 1862. That was someone who was expelled for siding with the confederacy in the civil war. So, this is not something that is used very often. But if you have a prominent Republican leader saying that, it's going to be hard to back off that, I think, even if Roy Moore wins which I think means that Roy Moore doesn't spend a whole lot of time as a senator even if he wins and is seated.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, because it's too late to take him off the ballot, right?
CILLIZZA: Yes, cannot be removed from the ballot.
CAMEROTA: Yes, he can't be removed from the ballot. We missed that. They missed that deadline. It's happening December 12th.
So -- and, furthermore, to bring in David Gregory, the voters so far that we have heard from, we have two radio show hosts coming up to give us the temperature of what's happening on the ground. Voters are also digging in, the way Roy Moore is. He could very, very well be elected.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, no question about it. But what Republicans are thinking about as well is what it means to the party in 2018, to have the party defined by Roy Moore in some way. Of course, there's a lot of establishment Republicans who didn't want him to be elected in the first place. This is a controversial figure going back to his display of the Ten Commandments and other issues and things that he said, by the way, about 9/11 and other things before these allegations came out. It would be interesting to see how and when and if President Trump
weighs in on that. Remember some of the back story here. Trump pushed to back Luther Strange, who loses. Bannon supports Moore.
How does this play out in the way that Trump wants to steer the party particularly toward 2018? Does he try to tip the scales in some way? What we heard out of the White House so far is if these allegations are true that he should step aside. So there may be some supporters dug in for Moore, but there's certainly a lot moving against him.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: If the allegations are true, Chris. That's a hedge.
CILLIZZA: Of course. That's a band-aid.
CUOMO: There's not a trial here. This happened a long time ago. Any statute of limitations was operative and has extended beyond. So, there's not going to be a trial. There will not be a fact-finding. So, that's a hedge.
However, the suggestion that the president should talk about this, it would make perfect sense even if we were dealing with a different president.
CUOMO: But isn't he fundamentally compromised on this, Chris Cillizza? Is he being set up that if he comes out and says Roy Moore should step aside, this is a wrong thing. I believe the women, people are going to jump on his head about the women who came out about him.
CILLIZZA: It's dicey, much dicier than it would be for a different president, yes.
I'm not sure that that prevents Donald Trump from doing it, because he -- you know, I mean, he does lots of stuff like that where you think ooh, this could be politically fraught. It makes it more difficult. I think it does make it harder for him to speak from a position of moral authority on that.
I would say, just to add to David's point about all these cross currents, remember, Donald Trump doesn't love Mitch McConnell but he needs him, right? He needs him on taxes. He needs him on tax reform and tax cuts. He needs the rank and file Republican senators for him on tax cuts. And you've now seen 20, I think, I lost count, I think by the time Donald Trump lands tomorrow in Washington, you're going to see a majority of the Republican Senate conference saying Roy Moore need to step aside.
He -- Donald Trump needs those folks. Does he need to say something? And to your point, Chris, does him saying anything either have any effect on Moore -- I'm not sure it does -- or boomerang on Donald Trump and, bring up all these things that, obviously, he had -- there were a number of women that came forward in the campaign. Now, that hasn't been that huge of an issue since he became president.
But it's still out there. Donald Trump had a similar reaction to Roy Moore, he said, all of these things are absolutely false.
CUOMO: White women without college educations, though I hate that demographic descriptive. That was a real demographic voter group for Donald Trump. They heard the allegations against him, they voted for him anyway, could we see the same thing in Alabama?
CAMEROTA: Look, things have changed since then. But how do voters in Alabama feel? Two Alabama radio hosts are going to will tell us what's happening on the ground there. That's next.
[06:37:53] CAMEROTA: So in Washington, a growing number of Republicans are speaking out against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. But how do voters in Alabama feel?
Joining us now, the two local morning radio talk shows from Talk 99.5, Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg, sorry. They have been laser focused on the Moore controversy we've been told.
Guys, great to have you both here this morning.
So, just, listen, you guys have your finger on the pulse of what's happening because voters call in to your show. So, Andrea, has anything changed since this fifth accuser has come forward?
ANDREA LINDENBERG, MORNING RADIO SHOW HOST, TALK 99.5 BIRMINGHAM: I think the folks who supported Roy Moore, his base, is so loyal, Alisyn. I get the feeling when we go on the air this morning, nothing will have changed for those folks. They believe Roy Moore is innocent, innocent until proven guilty. But they really are dug in.
And they have questioned every step of the way the women who have come forward. Why haven't we seen them? We've only read about them until yesterday. But even yesterday on our radio station, those supporters were calling in saying absolutely not, I'm standing with Roy Moore.
CAMEROTA: Matt, let's just take a listen to what the fifth accuser said when she did come forward and speak out publicly. Listen to this.
MATT MURPHY, MORNING RADIO SHOW HOST, TALK 99.5 BIRMINGHAM: Well, we always said --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEVERLY YOUNG NELSON, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: I was begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face. At some point, at some point, he gave up and he then looked at me and he told me, he said you're just a child. And he said, I am the district attorney of Etowah County, and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: OK, Matt, sorry to interrupt you. So, that was an emotional testimony she gave. Why wouldn't that move the needle?
MURPHY: Well, obviously I'm sorry to interrupt Ms. Nelson. I didn't hear her first there.
It changes everything in my mind, Alisyn, that we would have more accusers coming forward.
[06:40:01] We're hearing smatterings and rumors about the possibility of others coming forward in Gadsden. And it really becomes something different than he said/she said, when Ms. Nelson produces certain evidence and simple facts that can be corroborated by others in Gadsden from 40 years ago.
CAMEROTA: So, Andrea, tell us about that. I mean, when people call in and say, I don't believe these women, what's your response? I mean, what's the logic behind not believing women who seem to have all sorts of specific details and are coming forward at an emotional cost to themselves?
LINDENBERG: Right, Alisyn. And that's so true. The article was very detailed. I mean, it's coming from "the Washington Post." there's not as much trust in the state of Alabama when it comes to "The Washington Post" because they've endorsed the Democratic candidate. It's a liberal media outlet.
But to your question, what is it about seeing this woman yesterday and still saying, I don't believe the women's stories, I think there's concern. Roy Moore being a conservative, being a Christian, those who are dug in and support him loyally believe that Democrats and some establishment Republicans will do anything to keep him out of office. So, that's what they're thinking.
What I say, Alisyn, is I want to hear both sides of this. I want to hear what the women have to say. And yesterday, seeing and hearing this woman tell her story in her own words goes a long way for me to start putting pieces together and form my own opinion. I want everybody to listen to both sides and then form their judgment.
CAMEROTA: And do you feel now that everybody has enough evidence to have heard both sides?
MURPHY: Well, I certainly think that there's a contingent of Roy Moore supporters that have been with him, loyal to him for almost 20 years now since he got on the statewide scene. There's a contingent of supporters that are going to dig in and claim conspiracy. It's becoming increasingly hard to talk to those folks, because they choose not to look at any of this. They believe it's all part of a grander conspiracy.
But a significant portion of Alabama voters are taking a different look. I don't think that means they choose Doug Jones come December 12th but it makes them stay home.
CAMEROTA: Maybe they sit out. Yes. But, Andrea, now that you were saying, I mean, now that you've
heard this fifth woman and they read the accounts of the other four, do you feel you've heard both sides sufficiently?
LINDENBERG: I would like to hear a little more from Roy Moore. You know, Alisyn, this is what the struggle is for people in this state. We're the ones voting on this, right? I mean, Washington and everyone can weigh in. But we in the state of Alabama have to make this decision.
And I am closer to feeling I've heard what I need to hear and forming my opinion as a conservative voter in the state of Alabama. But, like we said, there are those who staunchly support him who will not change their minds.
CAMEROTA: Right. But it sounds like -- I mean, as a conservative voter yourself, it sounds like you have come around to -- is it fair to say -- believing the women?
LINDENBERG: I've never discounted the women. I have questioned timing. I've questioned motivation but I've not discounted their stories. And certainly yesterday, I was emotional listening to her.
CAMEROTA: Understood. Matt Murphy, Andrea Lindenberg, thank you very much. Great to get your take on this.
LINDENBERG: Thanks, Alisyn.
MURPHY: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. So, the president is heading home from Asia, actually, right now. He is playing up what he says is a great relationship with the Philippines president and he's ripping into Barack Obama for not having one. We'll tell you why the president believes this is impressive when NEW DAY continues.
[06:46:24] CUOMO: President Trump on the sell, teasing a major statement as he closed his marathon six-stop Asia trip. His advisers tell CNN he wants a primetime platform for this major statement.
CNN's Sara Murphy live from Manila in the Philippines. Sara, what's your take?
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, the president got a very warm welcome here in Asia, leaders literally rolled out the red carpet for him. There was plenty of pomp and circumstance.
And it's clear Trump wants to take some of these Asia headlines back to the U.S. with him. He does not want to be talking about the Russian investigation. He does not want to get bogged down in the controversy surrounding that Alabama Senate race. And so, instead, the president has said he will have a big announcement coming on trade. And aides are working to try to get a prime time address going during which President Trump wants to stitch together the various narratives surrounding national security and trade from his trip.
Now, there were a couple of other things the president addressed before he decided to leave. He wanted to take a swipe at the previous administration and president Obama's relationship with Duterte of the Philippines.
Listen to what Trump said just before he headed back to Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Philippines, we could not have been treated nicer. As you know, we were having a lot of problems with the Philippines, the relationship with the past administration was horrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now, the reason that the Philippines had a difficult relationship with President Obama's administration is because they were publicly talking about the issues of human rights. That's obviously not something that went over well with the president of the Philippines, Duterte, and highlights one of the key differences in the way that President Obama approached these trips and the way President Trump did. Trump made it clear he wanted to talk about trade and national security, something he wants to continue when he's back stateside.
Back to you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Sara, thank you very much for all of that reporting.
So, was the president's whirlwind tour of Asia a success? We get some expert analysis, next.
[06:51:23] CUOMO: All right. So, we know that the stakes of President Trump's Asia trip were very, very high, to shore up support and create a very entrenched coalition with North Korea on the table. He has trade war issues with China.
Was he successful?
Joining us now is the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the book, "A World in Disarray", Richard Haass.
Good to see you, sir.
RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Good morning.
CUOMO: The president agrees with you. The world is in disarray. And he had to go there and fix it.
How did he do? Was America in a better position today after this trip?
HAASS: Well we probably part ways is on his contributions to the disarray. And I think in lots of ways by raising questions about American reliability, by putting aside traditional American policies, whether support for allies or support for free trade, I actually think this president, in some ways, has contributed to the disarray on this trip.
On trade in particular, he took the United States out of the principle dynamic in the region. You've got all the countries in the region and then you've got the United States on the side going its own way. So, there, I think the trip continued to be a setback. What we don't know is whether on North Korea, behind the scenes, whether he made some progress.
And that simply -- you know, the facts aren't yet out.
CUOMO: So, the president is somewhere on a plane right now, and he's looking at the feed of CNN and he's shaking his head and he's angry at you, Richard Haass. He's going to say, didn't he see that they rolled out the red carpet for me? Doesn't he see how much respect they gave the United States here when they used to think that President Obama was weak? They think I am strong.
And I went to China. The president is very nice to me and I have a better relationship with him now. And I will make trade deals, TPP stunk. I will make deals with each of these countries that are better because I'm a great deal maker.
HAASS: It's good that the president went out there. Simply going to Asia for two weeks sent a message that Asia matters.
The fact that people rolled out the red carpet is not a particularly impressive thing. They always do for an American president. We shouldn't be persuaded or swayed by that.
That's just playing us. I think the president overpersonalizes foreign policy. Of course, he's treated with respect and all that. It doesn't matter.
Look, bilateral trade deals, let's get to the substance, though. Bilateral trade deals can't substitute for a regional platform.
CUOMO: Why? Tell us why.
HAASS: Listen, in a regional agreement, you can deal with issues that are larger. You can deal with government subsidies. You can deal with access to multiple markets. You have scale.
When you deal with bilateral things you can only deal with just that, individual countries, much smaller the steaks. You can't get consistency across the board. So, for an exporter, you don't get the advantages you would get of 10 or 15 countries signed up for something.
CUOMO: Is it true that TPP is still going forward and China has stepped into the place of the United States in that regional deal?
HAASS: Half and half. Yes, TPP is going forward without us. The 11 countries have their own trade agreement, but no, China is not part of it. China is putting up its own alternative --
CUOMO: Right. That was the benefit of it. So, you're saying that China is stepping in how?
HAASS: Well, China is setting up its own alternative trade deal. So, what would have been much better, had we gone ahead with TPP, that would have been the principle trading vehicle for the region, would have set much higher standards. China would have had to change the way it does business.
Right now, China has a much more closed market. It requires American and other firms to transfer technology as a price of doing business there. If we could have gotten them into TPP, they would have been something of a race to the top.
Instead now, our friends have to deal with China on their own. They can't compete. China is so much bigger, and it will be more of a race to the bottom, trade agreements on China's terms. This seems to me a big mistake.
CUOMO: Moral authority. The president met with two essential autocrat there, Putin and Duterte.
[06:55:00] Putin first. He doesn't talk to him in any big or direct way about what they did in the United States election.
He does say enough with the sanctions. They've been sanctioned so much already. We need to move forward. We need to do better. It's good to be friends with Russia versus enemies.
What do you make of that posturing?
HAASS: It's not good to be friends with Russia, per se. It's good to have Russia behave in ways that show greater respect for international rules and for our interests. I don't want them using force in Ukraine. I don't want them sitting on Crimea the way they are. I don't want them doing indiscriminate bombing in Syria. I don't want them meddling in our elections.
So, I don't care whether we have a, quote/unquote, good relationship with Russia. What I want to have is a Russia that stops behaving as an international spoiler.
CUOMO: Duterte, Trump says Obama had no relationship with him. It was terrible. Me, he respects me. But when he goes there, he does not take on the human rights the way that the Obama administration used to be want to much more muscular in that regard. What's the net plus/minus on that?
HAASS: Look, if I had been advising this president, I would have said, you go to Philippines for the meetings but not the bilateral meeting. I would not have met with this Philippine leader. We should not be on the same stage with him.
He is doing extrajudicial killings on a large scale. Quite honestly, he is a thug. He's not someone we should be working with. He is also extremely pro-China in some of his behaviors.
So, again, the purpose of American foreign policy is not to have friendly relations with other countries. It's to have them respect us, is to have them behave in ways that show respect for our values, which ought to also be their values, because they're universal, and for some of our interests, the things we care most about.
So, I don't care whether the president and Duterte get along. What worries me is Duterte is such an outlier. He's not a sort of person an American president ought to be cozying up to.
CUOMO: Grade on the trip?
HAASS: C. Give it that.
CUOMO: Richard Haass, thank you very much. Always a plus.
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing he may go after the Clintons, hours after the disclosure that Donald Trump Jr. corresponding with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. Coincidence? We'll discuss.