Return to Transcripts main page


Holiday Travel Forecast; U.S. Follows Through on U.N. Vote Threat; Remembering Broadcaster Dick Enberg; Pence's Praise for the President. Aired 6:30-7:00a ET

Aired December 22, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:32:38] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, disaster narrowly averted again. Congress approving a short-term spending measure on Thursday to keep the government's lights on through January 19th, averting the latest shutdown threat. The bill extends funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program through March.

Separately, the House passed an $81 billion disaster aid bill, which includes hurricane recovery for Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida.

BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: A just released CNN poll finds nearly seven of every 10 Americans saying sexual harassment in the U.S. is a very serious problem. Six in 10 say elected officials facing credible allegations of sexual harassment should resign. And when turning to the White House, 63 percent of the respondents say Congress should investigate the sexual harassment allegations against President Trump. Thirty-six percent say it should not. It comes as the Senate reveals nearly $1.45 million of taxpayer money has been spent over the last two decades to cover claims against lawmakers and Senate offices. The complaints include discrimination based on sex, age, and disability, but there was no explicit mention of sexual harassment in those settlements.

CAMEROTA: And that polling -- those numbers are striking. The conversation has changed, as has public perception.

WEIR: The White House thinks that the election is exoneration. Sixty percent plus disagrees.

CAMEROTA: So interesting.

All right, meanwhile, there's a winter storm looming for holiday travelers. So let's get a check of the forecast heading into the Christmas weekend. Meteorologist Chad Myers joins us.

Hi, Chad.


Certainly into New England. This is going to be a snow and ice storm for New England. But great news if you're heading to Rutland (ph) or Killington (ph), a lot of snow there. This weather is brought to you by Jared, the galleria of jewelry.

And your time is running out. Here comes the snow across parts of upstate New York, into Vermont and New Hampshire. And this will be the story, I think, for the rest of the day. We'll see some light snow. One to two inches. The next big storm system gets here on Saturday.

So let's get right to it. Let's move and see what my producer made for us today. A beautiful snow globe just for the effect of the snow coming down. The problem is this pink area, that could be a foot of snow or more. So upstate, Burlington, all the way through, New Hampshire, Vermont, that's where the heavy snow will be.

Now, New York, you're going to be warning up to be all rain. In fact, almost 40 degrees there. Farther down to the south, we're going to see an awful lot of rain farther off to the west. You'd expect it. You'd expect the snow here, but you wouldn't expect temperatures at International Falls of 13 degrees below zero or so, and that will be the high of the day on Christmas Day.

[06:35:08] Here is your rainfall across the southeast. You can drive through rain. It's just harder to drive through the snow.


CAMEROTA: We love it, Chad.

WEIR: Well, we love it. We thought you were running out of air inside the snow globe there for a minute.

Thanks, Chad. Merry Christmas early to you.

Well, more on this humiliating vote at the U.N. for the Trump administration over the president's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital to Israel. And now Ambassador Haley is following through on her threat to take names. A look at the potential fallout, coming up.


[06:40:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N. And this vote will be remembered.


WEIR: That is Ambassador Nikki Haley in front of the U.N. following through on the threat to take names after the lopsided 128-9 vote condemning the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and promising to move the embassy there.

Haley has sent invitations after this to a reception only to the 64 countries that did not vote against the United States.

Joining me now, CNN military and diplomatic analyst John Kirby.

Good morning. Good to be with you, John. Merry Christmas early.


WEIR: So it's interesting that John Brennan, the former CIA director under President Obama, joined Twitter yesterday. You know, he's been somewhat critical of the Trump administration for the past year. But it wasn't until yesterday that he -- that he got on the president's favorite platform. His first tweet was remembering the Lockerbie bombing. A CIA member was killed in that terrorist attack.

But then his second tweet, the Trump administration threat to retaliate against nations that exercise sovereign right in U.N. to oppose U.S. position on Jerusalem is beyond outrageous. It shows that Donald Trump expects blind loyalty and subservience from everyone. Qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats.

Your thoughts, John.

KIRBY: Well, I think he makes a very strong point right at the top of that tweet about the sovereign rights. The United Nations is not a Trump country club and they don't owe fealty (ph) or loyalty to the United States on any given issue. It is a deliberative body to sovereign states that come together to try to solve difficult problems.

And when Nikki Haley talks about our sovereign choice of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, she's not wrong. That was a sovereign choice by the president of the United States and the United States in general, but those other nations too have sovereign rights and they have sovereign rights to state the opposite.

One of the things that really came out of yesterday that I think people need to remember is that, these other nations that voted against us weren't just voting against us. They weren't simply just trying to rebuke Donald Trump, although it was a rebuke. They were also restating for themselves, their governments and their peoples longstanding commitments that they have made as nation states to prior U.N. resolutions that determine that the final status of Jerusalem would be the outcome of negotiations between the parties. And that the two-state solution was still the thing to be desired.

And, of course, the United States is now, by doing this -- and, look, we all recognize Jerusalem, you know, even prior presidents have recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But by doing it the way that President Trump did, he has now prejudiced that effort. And that's the problem.

WEIR: Anybody who's ever been involved in a neighborhood dispute knows that a human dynamic, and if you want to keep the peace, there's -- there are actions that could incite just continued escalation of that conflict.

KIRBY: Right. WEIR: It's interesting too that the nine countries that did vote for the United States, along with Israel, obviously, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Togo.


WEIR: And then Nikki Kaley send out a friends only invitation for a reception which included these little countries and then countries like Canada and Australia, which abstained, just said, keep us out of this sort of thing. These little countries, do you think, John, they were cowed by the threat of the U.S. pulling aid? Was that the biggest carrot and the stick in that negotiation?

KIRBY: It could be, some of them. I mean they do benefit from U.S. aid and assistance. And some of these small countries, they need that kind of foreign aid and assistance very much.

WEIR: Right.

KIRBY: And I don't want to criticize them for their vote or why they did that.

I think, though, the screen that you just had up a few minutes ago is noteworthy. And that's one Americans should pay attention to, which is some of our best friends, some of our closest allies and partners, countries in which we absolutely do need cooperation going forward for a spate of operations and programs and policies around the world voted against us there, and I think that's significant.

WEIR: Well, let me add -- follow-up on that because, as you said, among them, the United Kingdom and Japan and France and Germany, Italy, our closest allies in Europe.

But for the Trump supporter, the folks who support the nation of Israel and agree with, you know, John Bolton's old assessment that you could take 10 floors off the U.N. building and no one would notice, and this is all just diplomats bickering, why does it ultimately matter?

KIRBY: It matters because we need to recognize that the -- this is a -- this is not a unique polar world anymore. That it is a multi-polar world. And the United States needs cooperation from allies, partners, and friendly nations to get things done around the world.

You know, one of the things, if you look at the president's national security strategy, he really focuses on homeland security. And good for him. I think that's a great priority to put up front.

One of the ways you secure ours homeland security is by helping to secure the population of people living elsewhere around the world. That's why foreign aid and assistance is so important. If you can make things more stable somewhere else, those problems won't migrate back here at home. And he's basically spitting in his own eye here with this threat to cut off aid and assistance and -- and to rebuke, publicly rebuke, through Nikki Haley's speech yesterday, some of these close allies and partners for whom we need -- they need our help and we need theirs.

[06:45:26] WEIR: Yes. Afghanistan, Pakistan voted against us. Do we really think we're going to no longer send them aid?

KIRBY: Exactly.

WEIR: It is crazy.

KIRBY: It is.

WEIR: Anyway, John Kirby, thanks so much. Appreciate it. Have a good weekend.

KIRBY: My pleasure. Thank you. You, too.

CAMEROTA: OK, if he covered it, you knew the event mattered. The sports world mourning the death of Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg. A look back on his legendary career, next.


CAMEROTA: So it's a sad day for the sports world. Legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg passing away at the age of 82.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Tell us about him, Andy.


You know you knew right away when you turned on a sporting event if Dick Enberg was calling it. He had such an iconic voice. And then when something big would happen, he'd give you his signature phrase.


DICK ENBERG, BROADCASTER: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Oh, my.


SCHOLES: Oh, my. We heard it so many times. Enberg was the longtime voice of UCLA basketball and the San Diego Padres. You know may remember him on the national stage where he called 28 Wimbledon's, 10 Super Bowls and eight NCAA basketball championship games working for NBC, CBS, and ESPN.

[06:50:10] Enberg receiving numerous awards over the years, including one from the baseball, basketball, and football Hall of Fames. He even got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Dick Enberg was 82 years old.

And, Bill, I still remember myself as just a, you know, a kid sitting on my couch watching the Houston Oilers on Sundays and Dick Enberg calling those games. He just had a voice, you know, that you'll never forget.

WEIR: He is -- he is on and should be on our play-by-play Mount Rushmore, you know?

SCHOLES: Absolutely.

WEIR: Just that -- that gentle spirit. He felt like, you know, your favorite uncle.

Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

WEIR: Rest in peace.

Vice President Mike Pence is anything but shy when it comes to praising the president. What is behind his gushing adoration? We have the reporter who just wrote about their relationships and offered some interesting take into his faith as it applies to politics, next.


[06:55:22] CAMEROTA: Vice President Mike Pence heading home from a secret trip to Afghanistan Thursday where he rallied troops and discussed how to end the 16-year conflict. The VP left Washington Wednesday after celebrating the tax vote victory and lavishing praise on President Trump.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Deeply humbled as your vice president to be able to be here. Because of your leadership, Mr. President, and because of the strong support of the leadership in the Congress of the United States, you're delivering on that middle class miracle.


CAMEROTA: Joining us now is staff writer for "The Atlantic," McKay Coppins, who has a recent piece on Mike Pence titled "God's Plan for Mike Pence."

Hi, McKay, thanks for being here.


CAMEROTA: OK, so when Mike Pence -- I mean that's just one of the examples of Mike Pence lavishing praise on the president. When he does that praiseapalooza (ph), what is he doing? What's behind that?

COPPINS: Well, there are a couple of things at work. On one level, Pence has always known that the way to Trump's heart is flattery, right? This was evident ever since the first time that they met each other as potential running mates over Fourth of July weekend last year. I write about it in the piece. They played golf and Pence just went out of his way to flatter Trump, to talk about how it would be the privilege of his lifetime to serve him, talked about how Trump was definitely going to win the election.

CAMEROTA: Oh, he --

COPPINS: And then after the game --

CAMEROTA: Yes, go ahead.

COPPINS: Actually made a point of talking -- well, he made a point of talking about how great Trump's golf game was and pointing out that Trump beat him like a drum. So he --


COPPINS: From the very beginning, he was showing that he knew how to -- how to win Trump over.

But there is also another aspect of this, which is, this is rooted in Pence's faith. And it was described to me this way. He believes in a concept, Pence does, called serving leadership, where he believes that when he joined Trump's ticket, the presidential ticket with Donald Trump, he was committing to be under Trump's authority. This is described to me by a couple of friends of Pence's. And that means that he is -- he is serving Trump, submitting to Trump's will. That he is serving God by serving Trump and, in that case -- in this case, with Donald Trump, that means, you know, flattering him, fawning over him, talking about how great he is because he knows that that's how he can be most effective.

CAMEROTA: But there's a bigger head scratcher here about Mike Pence's faith and serving Donald Trump. And this started in the campaign. And people couldn't get their arms around it. But you've spoken to scores of people who have. That is this man of devout faith, as Mike Pence is, that he could be so effusive and so supportive of this twice divorced public philanderer, conspicuous consumption New Yorker. I mean all the things that Mike Pence's faith would, you'd think, reject. And yet how has Mike Pence reconciled all of this to feel so effusive about the president?

COPPINS: Yes, that contradiction that you just kind of laid out was the thing I found most compelling about Mike Pence as I was working on this. He -- the thing that I think a lot of people don't realize about the vice president is that beneath the surface where he's, you know, very humble and kind of, aw, shucks, folksy, he is actually very ambitious and has been for a long time. I talked to people he knew in college, one of his former frat brothers who told me that he want -- they knew he wanted to be president back then. This is somebody who has a deep sense of personal ambition. Maybe is a little more calculating than a lot of people realize, but it's all tangled up in his faith because he believes that -- he doesn't just want to be president. He doesn't want power. He believes that it's God's will. That he was called into the realm of politics and that God has placed him by the right hand of Donald Trump. So he -- when you start to think about yourself and your career in those terms, it's easy to kind of compromise a lot of things and justify a lot of things because you think ultimately there's a bigger plan being made manifest. CAMEROTA: This's very interesting. Very quickly, Trump's perception of

Mike Pence was not always great. He wasn't his first choice for vice president, as we know. And according to your sources, Trump found Pence, quote, prudish, stiff and embarrassingly poor.

COPPINS: That's right. I mean, look, from the very beginning, Trump viewed Pence as somebody who would be a political asset possibly but not someone he was going to get along with, not somebody who he was going to hang out with.

[07:00:04] In fact, I have one story in the piece about when it was reported actually by CNN back in January of last -- of this year that Pence was going to be moving his family