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Interview with Steve Stivers; What Did Trump Achieve on Asia Trip?; Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 16, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:30:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A manhunt is under way after a Baltimore homicide detective was shot in the head. The 18-year veteran of the force was conducting a follow-up investigation when he approached a suspicious man who opened fire.

The unidentified detective remains in grave condition. He is in the ICU on life support, we're told, with his wife and two children by his side.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Officials in Tahoma County, California, say the gunman there who was a murderous rampage, killing his wife and five others, was ordered to give up his firearms earlier this year. Police admit there was a failure him. They should have arrested Kevin Neal for violating an order of protection for two neighbors. They told reporters they didn't know if Neal had surrendered the weapons. The guns recovered after this week's rampage were not registered to him.

CAMEROTA: Now to this story. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife in hot water for once again appearing out of touch. Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton were posing with new dollar bills featuring the secretary's signature. Social media users taking the wealthy couple to task. Some tweets compared them to Bond villains. The black glove and leather doesn't help. This one by Andy Richter, joked, "They were picking out wallpaper for a cognac swirling room."

Linton was widely criticized, you'll remember, earlier this year over this Instagram post which shows her stepping off a government plane and flaunting her designer labels and her wardrobe. The photo kicked off an investigation into Mnuchin's use of government planes and prompted many Marie Antoinette analogies.

CUOMO: How do you feel about this, fair or unfair?

CAMEROTA: I think it's a little tone deaf. I'm not sure she's learned the lesson after the posting of the labels of her designers, you know, she apologized, but I'm not sure it has sunk in exactly.

CUOMO: The glove too much, you think?

CAMEROTA: The outfit, mostly --

CUOMO: Is the glove hiding a handmade of gold? Because that would be very Bond-esque.

COOPER: The whole outfit is fascinating. And also the sheer delight with which one handles money here.

CUOMO: Also, though, let's give him his due. The man's name -- you know, it's like "Coming to America." The man has got his own money. I mean, he's got his own money and they show the prince's money is on the money. Remember "Coming to America", Eddie Murphy?


CUOMO: You know, the Treasury secretary's number, his name is going to be.

CAMEROTA: But it's not his money. It's taxpayer money.

CUOMO: I know. But his name's on it so it's a cool moment. I'll give him that.


CUOMO: How he handled t, obviously open to criticism.

CAMEROTA: We'd love to hear from you and by that I mean Chris on Twitter.


CUOMO: Yes, you've conveniently removed yourself from that equation.

CAMEROTA: You bet.

[06:35:01] CUOMO: All right. President Trump, no question he's ducking questions about Roy Moore. Why? We'll talk about that because more women have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations. So you have a double edged sword here. Why aren't we hearing from more elected leaders about the Alabama candidate? But at the same time what is the right solution in terms of democracy? Next.


CUOMO: President Trump not shy about weighing in on matters he cares about but he will not weigh in the embattled Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. He hasn't said anything about it. He's been asked about it. The sexual assault allegations aren't going away. And now we see several Republicans and the RNC withdrawing support for that candidate.

[06:40:08] The "Washington Post" reports two more women have come forward alleging inappropriate behavior by Moore. There are women who have come forward in addition to the ones you've heard about but there is vetting going on of their stories before you see them in media outlets.

So let's discuss all of this with National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, Representative Steve Stivers from Ohio. Good to see you, sir.


CUOMO: So earlier this month, you were at a fundraiser for Roy Moore with some other GOP politicians. What is your position about the allegations against this candidate?

STIVERS: Well, I've subsequently asked for my money back. That was before these allegations came forward. I do believe these women. And, you know, I think that Roy Moore should step aside.

CUOMO: So let's talk about that. As an elected leader, moral agency matters, you should have to have a position on this. I hear what you're saying your position is. What is the right thing to do? It's not your committee. But on the Senate side, the RNC, that funding stream, they're pulling money from him. It's their right to do that. But is it the right thing to do?

Is it right to force him to step aside to maybe even manipulate the election process here by pressuring the governor, who is a Republican and a woman, who says she will still be for Roy Moore, to move the election dating, move the timing to allow you guys to get somebody else in. Is that the right thing to do or should the people decide?

STIVERS: Well, I think the people should decide. That said, I do believe that Roy Moore should step aside. It's up to him at this point. I don't think he -- anybody can manipulate anybody into doing anything. But I hope he'll step aside.

CUOMO: And to his supporters who say it hasn't been proven yet. He hasn't had his day in court. What do you is say?

STIVERS: Well, you know, that is what his supporters were saying, that's for sure. But, you know, I still hope he will step aside. But it's up to him but I believe the women.

CUOMO: What happens if he doesn't step aside, the election happens and he wins?

STIVERS: That's up to the United States Senate. I'm not going to tell the United States Senate what to do in their chamber. Except I am going to tell them to start passing some bills.

CUOMO: All right. So you'll put that on them. And that is true. They have talked about wanting to move to expel him. If you were a senator, would you be in favor of that?

STIVERS: I'm not a senator. And that's really up to them. And I'm not going to put pressure on them how to run their chamber. The Senate gets to decide what they do in that regard. And I hope they'll stay focused on tax reform that we need for the American economy and the American people. We're going to pass our bill today in the House.

And I think it's going to get the economy moving. It's going to help a lot of people get better jobs. And it's going to put some money in the pockets of hard-working taxpayers. So I hope the Senate can focus on that and get that done.

CUOMO: I want to test that notion in one second but just one more step sideways. If he were running for Congress, as in the House of Representatives, and he won, what would your position be then about what should be done?

STIVERS: If he was in Congress, I would have a problem with that.

CUOMO: He would be in Congress either way, obviously, two Houses of Congress.


CUOMO: But if he were elected as a representative, what would you want done then?

STIVERS: I think it would be a problem and I would probably move to take some action. But, you know, it's -- I'm not going to put pressure on the Senate. They need to manage their own affairs in the United States Senate.

CUOMO: But pressure is what it's all about when we're dealing with political questions. Right.

So let's talk taxes. The criticism is pretty plain. This is called a middle class tax cut. That's what the president keeps selling it as, that it's really about them. But the tax savings, the tax benefits are not weighted to favor the middle class. The top tier, in your version, the Senate version has some different propositions in it at this point. But in the House version, the middle class doesn't do best. Why not?

STIVERS: The middle class does do best because our stuff on the corporate tax rate will grow our economy. We should stop arguing about how to divide the pie and start growing the pie. That's what making America competitive is all about. That's what the business tax cut is all about. It will result in private investment, which will result in more jobs, which will result in better wages. And the middle class will also get a little cash in their pocket through a tax cut.

This bill is about growing the economy. That's what this bill is about, Chris.

CUOMO: But isn't it more fair to say might, right? Because --

STIVERS: It's not -- it's not fair to say might.

CUOMO: You saw what just happened with those CEOs with one of the administration officials, when he says, well, look, we're going to give the corporations money back so they'll pay their workers more. That's not how it works. And we've never seen corporations holding the kind of cash that they are right now.

STIVERS: It's not how it works, Chris. I didn't say --

CUOMO: We don't know that they're going to raise wages and that this money will necessarily trickle down to the workers. You don't know that.

STIVERS: Chris, I --

CUOMO: And in the past we've seen it not happening.

STIVERS: Chris, I know it because I took an economics class. This is pretty simple. You grow the economy, it will put pressure on wages.

[06:45:02] It's not that we're giving them a tax cut and they're going to pay wages.


CUOMO: Scarcity of labor --

STIVERS: They're going to grow -- it's going to grow the economy.

CUOMO: -- puts pressure on --

STIVERS: And scarcity of labor is going to what -- is what's going to raise wages. So --

CUOMO: Scarcity of labor has nothing to do with tax cuts or how much money corporations have in their pockets.

STIVERS: Private investment drives the economy. It is -- it will drive economic growth and economic growth will put pressure on wages, absolutely.

CUOMO: But private investments is a choice.

STIVERS: No doubt about it.

CUOMO: It's not an automatic just from giving people like me a tax cut. It is a statement against self interest.


STIVERS: Chris, it's not about --

CUOMO: -- by your plan. But the middle class people don't get the same kind of cut I'm getting relative to my percentage of income. And the idea that if you give the wealthy more money somehow the middle class magically benefits has been proven as untrue as it is true.

STIVERS: Chris, that is true if you're just talking about individual rates. But what we've done is cut the corporate rate, make America competitive. America has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. We're going to bring jobs back and investment back to this country because America is going to be competitive again. Economic growth is now 3 percent as a result of what we've done to right size regulation in the first eight months of this year. Now -- CUOMO: Do you think all the growth in the economy right now is

because of what you guys have done in the last calendar year, not what preceded it?

STIVERS: I think it is what we've done and what we haven't done. There is finally not an attack on the American private sector and people are willing to invest. And I think that's part of it.

CUOMO: Just one last thing. Would you acknowledge that we've never seen America-based corporations holding the kind of cash they are right now and yet wages have stagnated?

STIVERS: Yes. Because the fact that they're holding cash is why wages are stagnating. We need them to invest it in immediate expensing and having a tax rate that's competitive with the rest of the world will force corporations to employ their cash. And I think they'll do it and grow jobs. And it absolutely will work. This is not a theory. We've seen this happen before.

CUOMO: We've also seen it not happen. But, Congressman, thank you for being on NEW DAY. Thank you for making the case to the American people.

STIVERS: Thank you.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: President Trump says there is a new found respect for the U.S. and for him following his Asia trip.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour gives us insight on the world view next.


[06:51:01] CAMEROTA: President Trump, just back from Asia, held a press conference touting his own accomplishments.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I spoke the truth about the evil crimes of the North Korean regime. I made clear that we will not allow this twisted dictatorship. I called on every nation. I visited soldiers at Camp Humphreys. I discussed with the United States and South Korean military leaders. I urged our NATO allies to do more to strengthen our crucial alliance.

NATO, believe me, is very happy with Donald Trump and what I did. I declared to the world. I urged that the nations of the world join in confronting rogue regimes. I have worked to advance American interests. That is exactly what I have done.


CAMEROTA: Joining us now, CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

Christiane, great to have you here. We always rely on you for the international perspective.


CAMEROTA: So there was President Trump talking about what he thinks he accomplished on the Asia trip. Maybe too soon to tell what he actually accomplished.

AMANPOUR: Look, the president, when he goes abroad, represents the United States and the most powerful country in the world. So all that was done was done for the president and for the United States. You know, the red carpet in China, the ceremonial, all of those things that happened were because that is the way the U.S. was viewed around the world. And that is, you know, very good. That's what people do.

But did he get the -- you know, he touted he was going to get so many bilateral trade agreements. He didn't. You know, was there a real sort of idea about how to confront North Korea? No. But very importantly the Chinese have sent an envoy for the first time in a while and we'll see what exactly comes out of that regarding North Korea.

And the other thing that's a little bit, you know, still unclear is how America is going to keep its dominant role in the Pacific Asian region because pulling back, in other words, pulling out of the TPP, doing all that kind of stuff, leaves the space open for China to assert its dominance, which it wants to now.

And I was actually struck by the president of the Philippines who announced that, yes, we want a good relationship with the United States but we also want our own relationship with China. So the leaders around there are seeing a potential American pullback and they are doing their own thing. And China is the one who is going to be, you know, taking advantage of -- if America doesn't keep its presence and its, you know, multilateral trade agreements.

CAMEROTA: President Trump has also said that he has dealt ISIS one crushing defeat after another. Has ISIS been significantly weakened since President Trump came to office?

AMANPOUR: OK. So here's the thing. ISIS was under assault ever since 2014 when President Obama gathered the alliance in NATO and all the other countries that could got in there and went after ISIS. It took a long time. President Trump correctly continued that policy and maybe amped it up a little bit. But it's the same kind of policy. It was let us defeat ISIS.

All these defeats in Mosul and Raqqa were set in motion before the Trump administration. But he pursued them. And this is really important because, yes, ISIS has been dealt mortal blows in Mosul and in Raqqa, which were its headquarters, and Raqqa, if you remember, was the so-called capital of the so-called caliphate.


AMANPOUR: Psychologically it is really important that that caliphate doesn't exist anymore. However, Ash Carter, the former Defense secretary, was saying this to me yesterday, unless you pursue and make up for the post-military defeat, in other words, you've got to have a political and an economic end to this. It's not just whack-a-mole and sit back and hope that they don't come back again.

And that's what's happened too often in the past. Way before this administration. The idea of how to neutralize the threat of terrorism is not just military, although the military plays a huge and significant role.

CAMEROTA: Of course. And it's not just geographical.

[06:55:02] Yes, there's been lots of geographical strikes. It's also ideological. As we know, that battle continues.

So in terms of how other world leaders see President Trump, let's not just take his word for it. Do you have a sense of whether or not other world leaders do respect President Trump or how they feel about the U.S. at the moment?

AMANPOUR: You know, I think it's really hard to personalize this. I mean, I prefer to look at it as, you know, the rest of the world engaged with the United States because that is what's important. I think in the eight months or more since the president has been elected and of course his inauguration was in January, people have started to take the measure of President Trump.

And there is sort of a Trump effect in foreign capitals when people decide how they are going to deal with the White House, with the State Department, with the Pentagon and with the United States as a whole. Many people say, many leaders say they don't necessarily pay attention to the tweets. They pay attention to the action. And that's -- you know, that's important when you're trying to conduct bilateral or multilateral affairs.

I think one of the things that's very, very important is the ongoing question. We have had Asia. It looks like with climate, trade and all the rest of it, the United States is pulling back. That's not good for the United States because China might jump into there, as I said. But the Russia thing of course. You've been reporting it for so long. And people are still sort of scratching their heads as to why President Trump still can't say anything tough against Vladimir Putin.

So, again, Ash Carter, the Defense secretary, who's also a physicist, and this relates to ISIS as well, said that on the battle field we are behind. The United States is behind in the cyber warfare. ISIS used it with social media to recruit and too groom.


AMANPOUR: The Russians are using it. And the Chinese are using it. There is a war going on. It's a cyber war right now. And unfortunately the United States is behind. So those skills need to be improved.

CAMEROTA: Christiane, thank you for the perspective. Always great to have you here in studio.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.


CUOMO: All right. We're seeing developments in the Roy Moore situation. Two more women have come forward. The embattled Senate candidate says he's not going anywhere. In fact, he's going on the offensive. The latest details next.