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Trump Administration Ends Protected Status for Haitians; White House Says It Wants Roy Moore's Vote; Justice Dept. Sues to Bock At&T- Time Warner Deal. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired November 21, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Trump administration ending protected status for thousands of Haitians living in the U.S. after a catastrophic 2010 earthquake.
[05:59:23] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government announced those conditions in Haiti have improved enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no jobs in Haiti. I don't even know how they're going to survive.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO DONALD TRUMP: The conduct as described should disqualify anyone.
We want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want the vote, but they're going to pretend like they're not responsible for enacting any standards in their party.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president was happy to intervene. The father of one of the Americans released seemed to have a problem with it.
LAVAR BALL, FATHER OF LIANGELO BALL, RELEASED FROM CHINA: If you help, you shouldn't have to say anything! Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let's just stay in our lane.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: He called me "Chris-mo," by the way.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: "Chris-mo"? That's your name?
CUOMO: Yes, it bears no relation to my actual nickname.
CUOMO: But that's what LaVar Ball came up with.
CAMEROTA: Well, I can't wait to see portions of that interview. We will have that for everyone, coming up soon.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, November 21, 6 a.m. here in New York. Here's our starting line.
The Trump administration announces it will end a humanitarian program that allowed tens of thousands of Haitians to temporarily live and work in the U.S. after an earthquake devastated their country seven years ago. Homeland Security now giving those Haitian immigrants 18 months to leave this country or face deportation.
And a federal judge permanently blocking President Trump's executive order that cut funding to so-called sanctuary cities, those cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. The judge calls the president's move unconstitutional.
CUOMO: So the president has been very aggressive on some fronts but not so aggressive on others. The president continuing to duck reporters' questions about the sexual assault allegations against Alabama's Republican Senate nominee, Roy Moore.
Now, the president hasn't endorsed the embattled candidate, but the White House now says Mr. Trump wants people in the Senate who support his agenda, despite the egregious allegations against Moore.
And Charlie Rose becomes the latest high-profile figure to be accused of sexual misconduct. CBS News suspending the veteran broadcaster after eight women come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, groping and unwanted sexual advances.
We have it all covered for you. Let's begin with CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House.
Good morning, Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
It wasn't too long ago that the administration was zeroing in on people who came to this country, no fault of their own, as children. This time the target is people who came to the U.S., trying to escape the effects of a catastrophic earthquake. Now there is potential for tens of thousands of Haitians living in this country to either have to either leave and go back to Haiti or live in the shadows.
JOHNS (voice-over): The Trump administration ending a humanitarian program, allowing approximately 59,000 Haitians immigrants to temporarily live and work in the United States, giving them until July 2019 to leave the country or risk being deported.
Temporary protected status was given to Haitians in the U.S. in 2010 after a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed hundreds of thousands in the island nation. The Department of Homeland Security declaring those extraordinary, but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. However, Haiti remains the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
And a recent United Nations report estimates 55,000 Haitians are still struggling in the aftermath of the quake, with thousands still living in makeshift camps seven years later.
The head of the Democratic National Committee responding in a statement, writing, "Donald Trump's cruelty knows no bounds."
Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, insisting that Haiti is not prepared to take back nearly 60,000 people.
This announcement coming as a federal judge permanently blocks the Trump administration's executive order that would deny funding to so- called sanctuary cities. The judge ruling that the president cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress, rejecting the administration's argument that the order was merely an instruction to enforce existing law.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't want to defund anybody. If they're going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly, that would be a weapon.
JOHNS: This, as the White House seems to imply that they would prefer to have alleged child molester Roy Moore in the Senate rather than his Democratic opponent if it means getting tax reform passed.
CONWAY: Doug Jones is a doctrinaire liberal, which is why he's not saying anything and why the media are trying to boost him.
BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL'S "FOX & FRIENDS": So vote Roy Moore?
CONWAY: I'm telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax -- this tax bill through.
JOHNS: But just last week, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway sending a different message.
CONWAY: Whatever the facts end up being, the premises is, of course, the principle, the incontrovertible principle is that there's no Senate seat that's worth more than a child.
JOHNS: Press secretary Sarah Sanders refusing to take a stand on behalf of the White House.
SARAH SANDERS HUCKABEE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president believes this is a decision for the people of Alabama to make.
The people of Alabama should make the decision.
The decision that the people of Alabama need to make.
JOHNS: President Trump has not personally weighed in on the Roy Moore controversy in more than six days.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe Roy Moore's accusers, Mr. President?
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
JOHNS: Important to say Roy Moore has denied the allegations against him and has vowed to stay in the Alabama Senate race.
[06:05:05] Today, the president is expected to participate in the annual tradition of pardoning turkeys in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. That will be another opportunity, of course, for journalists to toss a question or two to the president about the controversies of the day -- Chris and Alisyn?
Joe, thank you very much.
Let's bring in CNN Politics reporter and editor at large Chris Cillizza and CNN political analyst Margaret Talev. So much to talk about.
Margaret, let me start with you. What's the thinking about this policy with these 59,000 Haitians who had fled their country after the earthquake, looking for safe haven? I mean, is it that -- is there a national security issue? Why now bring them up and send them home?
MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Al-mo -- I'm going to call you a name now, too. Since we're nicknaming this morning.
CUOMO: Did she just call you Elmo?
CAMEROTA: ... and adorable.
TALEV: The -- took, the thinking is sort of two-fold, I think, from this administration. And one is that a temporary program is supposed to be just that, temporary. And the other is that there are some concerns from some lawmakers that Haitians are taking jobs away from other -- from Americans.
There are some studies on the other side that show that these folks who are here under temporary status actually support the economy in other ways that would have implications for regional economy maybe in south Florida or what have you.
But the Trump administration has been signaling for a while that this was the direction in which they were leaning. But I think that when you see some of the reaction from South Florida Republicans like Diaz- Balart, like Ros-Lehtinen, who are saying Haiti is not ready yet for these people to return. And when you look at how many of these folks now have children who are U.S. born and so...
CAMEROTA: Thirty-thousand children have been born here since then.
TALEV: You also have a statistic that says something like a quarter of Haiti is living on $1.25 a day, so money you could find in your car, basically, under the seat.
So there are a lot of questions about whether Haiti is going to be demonstrably better when this fully kicks in. But this is consistent with what the Trump administration has been signaling for a while, what it intends to do with Haiti and with these temporary refugee programs.
CUOMO: But, Chris, at what cost? I mean, again, it's just another sledgehammer to the foundation of what we're supposed to be about in America. I mean, I don't know if you guys were there after the most recent earthquake, but you know, Anderson Cooper did beautiful coverage from there. I was there when I was at ABC News.
There is zero chance that that country is ready to support any kind of influx of people. It cannot handle what and who are there now. It is the closest analogy to Puerto Rico that we have in that part of the world right now. So, this can't be that it's time to start looking.
I know when John Kelly, when he extended it for six months, he said it's time for them to start thinking about going back and returning. And I know that the date is July 2019, so they're saying this isn't oppressive. But there are families here. There's an economic avenue that's been put into place where they return money. They repatriate money there to Haiti that's going to have to be replaced. How is this not just another blow of, "You're not one of us, get out"?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Well, it's a commitment to what Donald Trump campaigned on, Chris. You know, we need to look out for Americans first. You know, "Make America great again" was the slogan everybody knew. But "America first" was a slogan he also talked quite a bit about.
I think Margaret makes the point, this program in their view, was meant to be temporary, and it's going to be temporary. These people are not from here, and they need to go back to where they are from. That is, to your point, not sort of the melting pot of America that many people believe the country to be, but it is broadly consistent with what Donald Trump campaigned on and what he has governed on, which is we are looking out for Americans first. Everybody else second. Or probably Americans first, second and third and everybody else fourth.
CUOMO: The number isn't even that meaningful. What do you have overall under this program?
CILLIZZA: That's right.
CUOMO: Two hundred something thousand people?
CILLIZZA: It's a signal.
CAMEROTA: Is that right? Yes. TALEV: Two hundred thousand, yes.
CAMEROTA: Close to 60,000 with the...
CUOMO: Not in Haiti. I'm saying overall.
CAMEROTA: Overall, I think that you're right but also, I mean, Nicaraguans, they're going to send back 2,500. Twenty-five hundred. I mean, how does that make a dent in the life of "America first"? But it sure makes a dent in their lives.
CUOMO: And a place that has emerging crises, too. Nicaragua, it's not like the place has been rebuilt, you know. It's not like it's a utopia now.
CAMEROTA: Right. I mean...
CILLIZZA: Alisyn, just that -- I think that you're -- you're exactly right on sort of the raw number, but it's symbolic. All politicians play politics. It's why -- at least partly why they're in the game.
But you're -- it's because you can point to symbolism and say, "I said that we're going to look for America first, and now we're doing it." Now, of course, when you do something like that, there are real lives that are affected here by the symbolism.
[06:10:08] But it is a -- Donald Trump has been very consistent in his commitment to saying "We're putting America first. We have been too lax..."
CILLIZZA: "... with these sorts of policies in the past, and we're not going to do it."
CILLIZZA: So he goes to his base, he can say, "We had all these people in this country on these unending bases, and I put a stop to it."
TALEV: I think also from a foreign policy perspective, it does signal what the U.S. role in the hemisphere is going to be like; and it may -- it may -- send some legal signal about the broadness of Trump administration policies on immigration, not just in terms of how they apply to predominantly Muslim nations but to non-Muslim nations, as well.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, it just gets very complicated when you realize you have these 30,000 kids who are now American citizens.
TALEV: That's right.
CAMEROTA: So do you leave them behind, do you take them to a storm, earthquake-ravaged country? You separate them from their parents? It's just complicated.
Another thing that is complicated -- let's move on -- is apparently, the White House's feelings about Roy Moore. So Kellyanne Conway made the point last week that they draw the line at molestation of an adolescent in terms of whether or not they would need that person to be in the U.S. Senate.
Yesterday on "FOX & Friends" she said something quite different. Here is her evolution. Listen to this.
CUOMO: Or devolution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: The principle, the incontrovertible principle is that there's no Senate seat that's worth more than a child.
Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don't be fooled. He will be a vote against tax cuts.
KILMEADE: So vote Roy Moore?
CONWAY: I'm telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.
CUOMO: That's what counted as pressing in that interview, by the way. Brian pressed her by saying, "Vote Roy Moore?"
CAMEROTA: Good for Brian. I mean, listen, even -- that was "FOX & Friends," the friendliest platform, as you know, that the White House can go on. And even they looked like, "I'm sorry, what are you trying to say, Kellyanne Conway? So vote for Roy Moore? Is that what you're saying?"
And so what's happening, Margaret? How is -- what is their message on this?
TALEV: I think they are testing a message of walking right up as close to saying that as it can be said without saying it. And she didn't actually say it.
Kellyanne Conway, of course, as you know, kind of got her start, made her name doing polling and polling that often crossed partisan lines and was specific to polling on women's issues. You remember when Kellyanne Conway and Celinda Lake used to do bipartisan polling together and roll it out?
TALEV: So that's, you know, how -- how Kellyanne Conway is really grounded in American politics. And I think she does understand how volatile the exact messaging and tone of the White House's message is on this.
But this is now the position the balance of the White House is trying to strike. What we're all waiting to hear is how President Trump would actually address this if he kind of elicited a view in long form.
CAMEROTA: Wasn't that it? I mean, wasn't she telegraphing all of their view? Which is, "You know what? Hold your nose and vote for him, because we need taxes."
CUOMO: Well, she would say no, that what she's saying is they have to figure something else out in Alabama. The message from Kellyanne and the White House is not as stark as you can't vote for Doug Jones so you have to vote for Judge -- for Judge Moore.
But they have a problem here, Chris Cillizza, which is it's not a balancing. It's a hedge. OK? A balancing is where you compare equities, you compare values of the two candidates. That's not what they're doing. They want the seat. So, just as we see this alleged morality about who we are and America first, it is absent when it comes to Roy Moore. The president will take on LaVar Ball. He will not take on Roy Moore.
CUOMO: Because he wants the seat. They should vet Doug Jones. They should criticize Doug Jones. They should make the issues there. But to ignore what's going on with Roy Moore is as obvious as it is political.
CILLIZZA: Right. I mean, I think you -- in the open you played Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying the people of Alabama will decide, which I think is effectively, if Donald Trump was willing to say something, which candidly he should. But let's say he said something about the race, this is what -- that's what he should say.
"You know, I'm not going to let the -- I'm not going to get in front of the people of Alabama," which is not leadership, but that's a different thing.
I think what Kellyanne is doing -- I may disagree with you a little, Chris. I actually think that this is her sort of, you know, acknowledging the tribalism that rules our politics, which is the seat is more -- the party ideology is more important than what the party stands for. And you've seen people like Jeff Flake, John McCain, Mitch McConnell. You've seen lots of people come out and say essentially, "It's not worth us winning this one seat if this Roy Moore becomes a part and parcel of what the Republican Party stands for."
That is not what Kellyanne Conway is saying. She is saying it is more important to have the seat than anything else.
CAMEROTA: All right. Margaret, Chris, thank you very much.
[06:15:00] CUOMO: All right. Another interesting example of what the president is concerned about, the Department of Justice is suing to block AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner, of course, the parent of CNN. The question is: is the president's anger toward us motivating the move? CAMEROTA: And later, I sit down with six Trump voters to see if they
are troubled by the president's tone, his Twitter feuds, the Russia allegations. How they're feeling one year in, ahead.
CAMEROTA: So the Justice Department is suing to block AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner. That's, of course, the parent company of CNN. The U.S. government claims the deal violates anti- trust laws and would result in higher bills for American families. AT&T vowing to fight back.
CNN senior correspondent Brian Stelter joins us with more.
Brian, this is what was feared was going to happen, because President Trump doesn't like CNN and now, lo and behold, it's happening.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Right. Parent company is Time Warner. The theory here among AT&T and Time Warner executives, including our bosses here at CNN -- the parent company is Time Warner -- the theory is that maybe President Trump has somehow interfered, has meddled in the Justice Department, which we know -- we all know he has complaints about. That perhaps he's gotten involved, and now his administration officials are blocking this deal as some form of retaliation or punishment against this network's coverage of his presidency.
So that's a theory, and now it's going to be tested in court.
The official line in this 23-page lawsuit is that the deal, as proposed a year ago, would harm consumers. The idea here is that, if AT&T is able to own HBO, and CNN, and TNT, then it's going to be able to jack up prices for all of AT&T's rivals, like Verizon and Comcast. That's the argument in the lawsuit.
[06:20:18] Now, the counter argument from AT&T is that deals like this have been approved before, that this lawsuit breaks with decades of precedent, and that this seems fishy, that something else must be going on here. Thus, the theory about President Trump.
So now, Alisyn, this is before a judge. A judge will be assigned to the case today. This is going to take months to litigate, could go on for years. But at the very least it will go on for months. AT&T executives are said to be confident that they'll prevail in court. But then again, they were also confident that this deal would get approved by the government.
CUOMO: Let's talk about the legal issues and what the potential timing could be, because you could see a quicker resolution, then you might be right to suspect here. Let's bring in Jeffrey Toobin, CNN senior legal analyst. It's good to have you always.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, sir.
CUOMO: And just a little bit of suggestion of the state of play here.
CUOMO: The man that the Trump administration nominated at the DOJ, their man, has talked about this deal before. Here is what Mr. Delrahim has said.
Oh, we don't have it yet. When we have it, I'll give it to you. I promise.
CAMEROTA: It's good.
STELTER: I can tell you what he said. He said, "This isn't going to be a major anti-trust problem." That's what he said before he was in there.
CUOMO: Before he was in there. OK. Now we -- we know that the president himself has been against this. The lawsuit echoes what they are now saying. Well, this isn't a straight vertical merger. A vertical merger means that the companies are in the same supply chain. There's no real reason to see this as a combination effect that would create a monopoly.
TOOBIN: They're not -- AT&T and CNN are not competitors.
CUOMO: Right. But the DOJ says they're kind of that way. It's kind of a melding. They own Direct TV. It will increase different pricing for people. This merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy.
Is that a specious premise or do you think it has merit with the court?
TOOBIN: Well, it certainly is not a premise or an argument that the courts have accepted so far. I mean, certainly, the closest analogy to the AT&T-CNN merger was Comcast...
TOOBIN: ... merger of NBC Universal, which went through with relative ease during the Obama administration, which was even tougher on mergers than Republican administrations have tended to be.
So if this merger is stopped, it would seem that the courts would be taking a different view than they have historically. But under current law, it does seem like this is a merger that -- that should be approved.
CUOMO: Well, also, just as another suggestion, the DOJ has reached out to states' attorneys general to try to get them to join the suit, make this -- give it some substance. I think they're 0 for 18 at this point in terms of reaching out. Nobody has joined.
TOOBIN: Nobody has joined. I don't know -- I don't know how many they've asked.
CUOMO: That's the reported numbers that they've gone out. STELTER: And one of the state attorney general officials I spoke to said, "We were actually concerned that, maybe because this would be political, we don't want anything to do with it."
So that cloud of suspicion about the Trump administration is affecting those state-wide decisions. At the same time, there's not evidence for this Trump idea. There's only circumstantial sort of theory out there.
STELTER: Because of all the president's tweets.
TOOBIN: I would -- I would call it more than circumstantial evidence when you have candidate Trump saying on the -- on the stump...
CUOMO: You're saying direct evidence?
TOOBIN: That is direct evidence.
CAMEROTA: OK, let me -- let me submit Exhibit A of what you called direct evidence. Listen to some of these things.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: AT&T is buying Time Warner and, thus, CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration, because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.
And we'll look at breaking that deal up and other deals like that. This should never, ever have been approved in the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: His eyes were glued to the prompter on that, which means that maybe this is something...
CAMEROTA: They're his words.
CUOMO: ... someone said to him. I'm saying...
STELTER: I always thought it was a Steve Bannon idea, to be honest.
CUOMO: There you go.
STELTER: Bannon is against media consolidation. He would view a deal like this as a bad thing.
CAMEROTA: OK. Well, it's taken root. Now it's happening. He is challenging it. He is trying to block it going through.
TOOBIN: And, you know, now it's going to be before the courts.
And as Brian was saying earlier, this is guaranteed now to be at least months of delay. And you can't -- once you're in court, you never know how things are going to go. And you certainly don't know the timing. Because once you're in front of a federal judge, you can't tell a federal judge, "Hurry it along. Decide in two weeks." They decide when they're going to decide.
Plus, you're guaranteed an appeal to the D.C. circuit, which is one of the slower moving courts of appeals. And then the losing side in the D.C. circuit very -- may very well ask the Supreme Court to hear it. And then you're into at least a year from today of a resolution, which -- and, you know, you never know.
[06:25:07] Once you have a company in play like Time Warner is, once you have, you know, a deal that is not settled, other companies could come in and bid and, you know, the...
CAMEROTA: After a year?
TOOBIN: No. I mean while -- while it's before the courts, you could have another company come in and say, "We're making a higher offer, and let's forget all this and do a different deal."
CUOMO: Well, the first two results of the action seem somewhat clear which is, one, AT&T has said, "We're not going to do any major spin- off move," which means "I'm not going to get rid of the Turner part. I'm not going to get rid of the Direct TV part."
CUOMO: And, secondly, they've said, "We're going to fight." So they didn't scare AT&T out of the box just with the suit.
TOOBIN: They had a press conference, actually. It was weird to cover a press conference in our own building.
CAMEROTA: About our...
TOOBIN: About our company, yes. CAMEROTA: ... company.
TOOBIN: But there was a press conference here yesterday with the head of AT&T. And their lawyer, who they've hired, Dan Petrocelli, who was the lawyer for the Goldman family in the O.J. Simpson civil suit, because all roads lead to O.J., ultimately.
CAMEROTA: Certainly in your life, they do.
TOOBIN: That's right.
CAMEROTA: All right. Thank you both very much for explaining all of this.
More news to tell you about. Charlie Rose suspended by CBS and PBS, accused by at least eight women of making unwanted sexual advances in a new "Washington Post" report. So we will speak with one of the reporters who broke this story next.