Return to Transcripts main page
Divisions over Dreamers; Super Bowl Matchup Set; Government Shutdown Impacts Flu Response; Blizzard Hitting Center of Country; Nunes Won't Share Memo; No Security Clearance for Kushner; Link Between Trump and Russia. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired January 22, 2018 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This after we get through this. They say that's not strong enough. We don't trust him. All right, now that leverage may be real on the inside, but how does it play on the outside to the voters?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, obviously, not well. I mean I think, you know, Republicans have an upper hand in saying, look, we're in charge. We want to keep the government open. And the Democrats are holding it hostage. You know, there's that quote from Schumer in the last shutdown saying you shouldn't do exactly what Democrats are doing. They'll argue it differently, but it plays into the majority's hand here.
But the DACA issue is strong enough. And it's not just the Democratic base where it's very strong, but it's the public overall. By the way, it's the president as well who wants to have the dreamers kept in the country. And so he looks as -- like someone who can't lead, who can't control his own staff, who doesn't know his own mind, who may not know the issues well enough, which then creates an opportunity for him to build on this meeting with Schumer and try to get something done.
I think these issues are close enough in terms of how the public view it that Democrats may be right to try to force this issue now to get the best deal they can rather than defer it.
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: In terms of --
GREGORY: And I do think Democrats, and John made reference to this earlier, you heard Luis Gutierrez, who is a congressman from the Chicago area, who said, look, if we have to pay money for this wall, which we don't believe in, maybe that's a price to pay to secure the dreamer's deal. You know, that may be the kind of opening that is need.
AVLON: But this poll, make no mistake, is a real caution for Democrats because it says what they're selling the majority of the American people aren't buying. And it seems to be pretty consistent. Even down the road with independents, that critical swing block seemed to be siding with Republicans here, to Chris' point. Most folks say do both, deal with the dreamers but don't shut down the government. And what I think folks in Washington miss too often is the main street
populism that motivates people. It's frustration with division and dysfunction in Washington. And this is the ultimate symbol of that. So Democrats are playing a dangerous game, particularly when they're open to accusations of hypocrisy. You play those clips from 2013 side by side. Republicans are making the points Democrats are doing today and Democrats are making the points Republicans did.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I mean Chuck Schumer's words to Jake Tapper, 2013, well, the Republicans are doing this. And here's the quote, unless I get my way, I'm going to shut down the government.
HARLOW: How is that any different?
CUOMO: And he actually used immigration as an example --
CUOMO: Of what the Democrats could hold it up on --
CUOMO: And said that that would be like madness.
HARLOW: But to -- David Gregory, to John's point, I mean, if you dig into these poll numbers from CNN even more, it's across the board. You've got 50 percent of young people who say avoid a shutdown over getting a DACA solution now. You've got 51 percent of racial and ethnic minorities. And you've got 49 percent of women.
And then you look at the president's approval rating. Yes, it's up but, but it's still 40 percent.
CUOMO: The lowest --
HARLOW: The lowest in modern history --
HARLOW: For this one-year point.
HARLOW: Is this a president, David Gregory, who's saying, well, I don't have a lot to lose, I guess?
GREGORY: Well, I mean, he -- first of all, the party's position has improved after the tax cut bill, after the tax reform bill. You're seeing that in that generic head to head in terms of who you want to control Congress. That's something that the Republicans look at, the White House looks at and says, yes, that's moving in our favor. This polling that indicates a priority for keeping the government open, moving in their favor. This argument they can use, there's the ugly arguments and there's the
other arguments which is, you know, putting the government, the military ahead of those who are illegally in the country is obviously taking root as well. But in the end I think you still have the opportunity for a deal here. The question is, how much stomach do Democrats have to absorb these bad poll numbers. How much faith do they have in Republicans to actually get to this issue of the dreamers if they -- if they surrender on this.
CUOMO: Messaging. Messaging. Why are you shutting down the government? What are the specific issues that the Republicans aren't giving? The Democrats have to make the case. So do the Republicans.
Gentlemen, thank you very much.
Now, we could not get anybody from the White House to come on this morning to make the pitch to you, to argue the points, to be tested.
HARLOW: But tonight --
CUOMO: Tonight we're getting lucky. We've got the man at the center of the shutdown, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Why is he at the center? Because he is the one who operationally has to execute the shutdown. He's going to be on at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. How does he make the case for what the White House is arguing for here?
HARLOW: And if you've ever seen Chris do an interview, he's not leaving until he answers the questions.
CUOMO: Well, he can leave whenever he wants.
HARLOW: We're not going to break until he answers the questions.
CUOMO: That's it.
HARLOW: All right, this is painful for me.
CUOMO: I know.
HARLOW: Super Bowl LII is set. A blowout in the city of brotherly love and a ferocious comeback in Foxboro. Highlights in the "Bleacher Report," next.
[06:38:57] CUOMO: Did you see Brady yesterday? I hate him. I hate the Patriots. But, I'll tell you, you can't find a quarterback who puts the ball on the money better than he does.
So we now know what Super Bowl LII is going to be. You're going to have the Patriots taking on the Eagles in Minneapolis. You know, I'm sitting next to Poppy, so I'm a little nervous talking about the Vikings.
HARLOW: You should be nervous.
CUOMO: But, you know what, here's one thing --
HARLOW: You should be very nervous.
CUOMO: You don't have the agony of thinking it was close, right, because they got whooped.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's true.
CUOMO: They were out at 13 (ph) yesterday.
SCHOLES: Yes, out at halftime. There was really no doubt.
All right, guy --
CUOMO: All right, Andy, tell us about captain comeback.
SCHOLES: Well, you know what, we were surprised at what the outcome of that game after that fourth quarter. I mean Tom Brady's done it so many times and he did it again yesterday against the Jaguars. And at 40 years old, he's leading the Patriots to the Super Bowl for an eighth time now.
Coming into the game, you know, all eyes were on Brady's throwing had that had to get all those stitches mid-week. But apparently nothing stops Tom Brady. He led the Pats on two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, finding Danny Amendola twice. And Amendola was making a great catch on that last one, getting both feet inbounds. The Patriots come back to win the game 24 to 20. Brady and Belichick now a win away from their sixth Super Bowl title together.
[06:40:03] The Eagles, meanwhile, continuing to embrace the underdog role. Fans all over the (INAUDIBLE) wearing dog masks to the game. The Vikings marched right down the field at the beginning of this game and scored a touchdown on their first drive. But from there it was all Eagles. Backup quarterback Nick Foles throwing three touchdowns in this one. Eagles scored 38 unanswered. They're going to head to their first Super Bowl since 2005 when they lost to the Patriots in that one. And, guys, they're going to, again, embracing that underdog role. The opening line for the Super Bowl has the Patriots as the six-point favorite.
HARLOW: It was so painful for me. Not only have I not slept because I stayed up watching that game, but I've now decided that they --
CUOMO: Hold on a second. You guys can't -- it's amazing how people don't know that Poppy is pregnant. But the Vikings kept you up, not the fact that you're seven minutes from having your second child?
HARLOW: I've decided the Vikings are waiting to go to the Super Bowl until this little boy is born --
HARLOW: So that I can take him because, you know, I'm due on the Super Bowl, so I couldn't go.
CUOMO: That's very nice.
HARLOW: So they were just waiting.
CUOMO: I respect that.
The Jets are waiting --
HARLOW: Oh, yes?
CUOMO: Until my wife gives birth to a unicorn.
HARLOW: The -- no, the Eagles were amazing last night.
CUOMO: Fair point.
HARLOW: Foles was amazing. An amazing game. Hats off. Still love you, Vikes.
All right, back to serious news.
HARLOW: The government shutdown raising a lot of questions about how it could impact the response to the already deadly flu season. You've got 30 children who have already died because of this. The effectiveness of this year's vaccine is fueling concerns.
Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now with more.
There are concerns about how many people are going to have access to this with the shutdown, right?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, there are some concerns, Poppy, but, actually, even during a government shutdown, some urgent response can be done. And the CDC has put out a press release saying that urgent response and immediate response will continue. So that, at least, is good to know.
But as you said, the flu is widespread. It's in 49 -- it's widespread in 49 states. Everything except Hawaii. More than 74,000 confirmed cases. At least 30 children dead.
Now, one of the problems is that the strain this year, H3N2, is particularly virulent. It's really good at infecting people. And once it gets into your body, it replicates very quickly. Symptoms are particularly severe, which is one of the reasons -- really the big reason why we're seeing this, this year.
But there are things you can do. Wash your hands frequently. I know we hear that all the time, but it really makes a difference. Also, get the flu vaccine if you haven't already. It's not too late and it will have some effect. Not 100 percent, but it will have some effect.
HARLOW: Good, important advice.
Elizabeth Cohen, my friend, thank you very much for that.
Meantime, over the weekend, you probably saw it playing out, dozens of women's marches in cities across the nation. Thousands upon thousands of people from the East Coast to the West Coast demonstrating, calling for true equality, urging people to vote in this year's midterm elections. You've got a lot more women on the ballot. A number of activists also gathered across Europe, including London and Rome.
CUOMO: Women also taking center stage at the 24th SEG Awards. Actress Kristen Bell breaking the glass ceiling. She is the first woman to host. Almost all presenters, women. The night's big winner, the film "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." That is the title. It won best cast and honors for stars Francis McDormand and Sam Rockwell. "This Is Us," "Big Little Lies," they were winners on the TV side.
HARLOW: All right, blizzard conditions hammering the center of the country. Rain and cold air moving east. Our meteorologist Chad Myers has more on the forecast.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Poppy.
Blizzard conditions from the sand hills of Nebraska through Kansas, right on up into Minneapolis, like they need more misery there. But salt for Minneapolis, I believe -- see what I did there, Poppy -- and some severe storms all the way down to Louisiana.
Now, the cold air will get to the northeast over the next 30 hours. Enjoy today, enjoy tomorrow morning. But New York City, by the time this front goes by, and this is about 6:00 tomorrow night, much, much colder air, 20 degrees colder air will be in the forecast for the northeast.
Now, not significant. We're not talking about numbers like we were two weeks ago where we were significantly below zero. We're talking about 20s and 30s.
CUOMO: All right, bud. Appreciate it, Chad. Thank you very much.
CUOMO: So, GOP lawmakers demanding a controversial memo about surveillance abuses to be released. The chairman of the House Intel Committee, who wrote the memo, Devin Nunes, is refusing to let the FBI see it. How is that practical? What does it mean politically? The former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, with what's going on, next.
[06:48:44] CUOMO: House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has been very controversial when it comes to the Russia investigation. Well, now, he's got the spotlight on him. He has this memo that he and his staff drafted that supposedly shows widespread surveillance abuses by the intelligence community. I'm sure that your social media feeds have been overwhelmed with this hype. Release the memo. Release the memo.
Well, what's in it? The bigger question is, why won't Devon Nunes release it to the FBI?
Joining us to discuss, CNN national security analyst and former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.
Jim, it's good to have you.
Let's start with the seminal question first, which is, what is the chance that this memo, in your opinion, can be accurate, that he has proof that you all, when you were in there before and after, that there were widespread abuses of surveillance to play to political gain for Democrats?
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Chris, it sounds a bit hyperbolic to me and it does conjures up memories of Chairman Nunez, you know, running around the White House compound and getting all kinds of secret information about alleged unmasking abuses. And, to my knowledge, there weren't any. So this is sort of the same thing and I do look -- I think there is a couple cautionary notes here.
[06:50:10] First, this was not bipartisan. And I do find it strange that if he found these profound irregularities in both the bureau, as well as the Department of Justice, that he would not have shared that revelation immediately with the Trump-appointed director of the FBI Director Wray, as well as Attorney General Sessions. So --
CUOMO: Is there any good reason for withholding it? I mean cause outwardly it looks like he doesn't trust the FBI, that he's sewing distention. Is there any good reason not to show it to the FBI?
CLAPPER: I can't think of one. I really can't. I mean it might detract from the theatrics here. And I think, you know, at least in the interest of fairness, it will allow the FBI to comment on it. And I do wonder, since it was written only by one side, the Republicans, it was not bipartisan, I do wonder, well, how accurate and objective is it?
CUOMO: And why wouldn't they be able to release it? How does the law work?
CLAPPER: Well, the -- if it's classified in its original form, then it's on the executive branch that can make classification determinations.
CUOMO: So the White House could release it if they want to?
CLAPPER: They could. That's right.
CUOMO: Well, why wouldn't they have already? I mean it's the -- one of the main themes of President Trump's existence is that the FBI and the whole justice and intelligence communities conspired against them.
CLAPPER: Well, I don't know. I can only speculate. Other than perhaps maybe the White House recognizes there's no there there or it's inaccurate. I can't speculate it.
It would seem to me, if there truly were wrongdoing here, widespread wrongdoing, that the White House would want that -- want that out too.
I think the bigger issue that bothers me about all of this is the amount of time devoted to attacking law enforcement, attacking the messengers, which is, to me, a distraction from the Russian interference and its implications. I wish Chairman Nunes would focus more on that.
CUOMO: Jared Kushner does not have security clearance yet. He has changed his disclosures when it comes to -- well, let's just say he's changed his disclosures, it goes to a range of issues, almost 40 times. How unusual, and can you think of another situation where somebody would still be in the position he's in if he didn't have a security clearance for this long?
CLAPPER: Well, I can't think of a situation like that. If it were normal people that -- they just -- they wouldn't have access to classified information.
CUOMO: Well, how can he do his job without it? I mean he's in charge with such, you know, significant and delicate matters like Middle East peace.
CUOMO: How can he do that without security clearance?
CLAPPER: Yes, he has a superman portfolio there with -- all the way from Mideast peace, to China, to reorganizing the government. And I don't think realistically he could perform in -- given the sensitivities of those portfolios, I don't know how he could do the job without full access to all the information that's potentially available to him.
CUOMO: This headline, what does it mean to you, 14 people are now getting the daily briefing provided the president. And there's a little bit of hype around that as well that you -- oh, this is what the cool kids do. They get the security briefing. Does it bother you? What are the considerations?
CLAPPER: Well, actually, that's not an unreasonable number. And that number will vary from time to time even within a single administration. So that's not out of sorts.
And to be truthful, access to the president's daily brief is kind of a status thing in this town. So I can understand people saying, gee, it would be cool to have access to it.
CUOMO: OK. You know, the headline was out there and I want to be fair in the assessment of these things.
So, Jim Clapper, couldn't have a better guest to discuss these headlines this morning. Thank you very much for being with us.
CLAPPER: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: All right. Poppy.
HARLOW: All right, two members of the House Intelligence Committee say a potential money laundering in real estate deals involving the Trump Organization has raised more than a few eyebrows. But when it comes to collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, the president has been very clear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians or Trump and Russians. No collusion. They all say there's no collusion. And there is no collusion. I can only say this, there was absolutely no collusion. There is no collusion. They have no collusion. And nobody has found any collusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[06:55:08] HARLOW: All right, you've heard the word over and over again. Despite the president's denials, though, the issue is at the center of a new book, "Conclusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win." The author, Luke Harding, is here. He's a foreign correspondent for "The Guardian." You use to run the Moscow bureau there. Has a lot of experience, needless to say, in operating within Russia.
What's fascinating to me in this book, there's a lot, but that you say, look, the Russians, the Russian government was looking at citizen Trump back in the 1970s and that 1987 was a pivotal year. That long ago?
LUKE HARDING, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, "THE GUARDIAN": Yes. I mean I think to understand this crazy story, you have to go back to the Cold War and the Soviet Union's communist times. And to Donald Trump, who's this upwardly mobile guy who goes on an all-expenses paid trip to red Moscow, wooed by the Soviet ambassador, doesn't come out with any hotel deals but then announces that he's interested in politics and a presidential run and he starts criticizing Ronald Reagan.
HARLOW: So they see him criticizing Reagan at a pivotal time with U.S.-Russia relations -- Soviet Union relations.
HARLOW: You see him then, you're saying, they saw him, Russia, at malleable?
HARDING: Well, we know from leaked KGB memos the kind of person they were looking for, someone who is vane, greedy, ambitious, perhaps corruptible. And really Donald Trump ticks every single box.
HARLOW: So, you have met -- it's important to note -- with Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier through Fusion GPS more than once. So two questions for you on him because it's become highly politically charged the debate around him, his intentions, when he knew, who was funding the dossier. Do you find him credible and what is the most significant thing you've learned from him that you can share?
HARDING: Yes, I found him very credible. He's someone who spent 30 years doing Russia, 22 years in British intelligence, he lived in the Soviet Union. He knows this beat. And also the sources behind the dossier are sources that he used in other areas for other reports, which were well received, read by the State Department and so on.
And I think he's slightly bewildered by the attack on him. He's someone who did this and shared this material with the FBI out of a sense of public duty. He is not a politician. He's not an activist. He's someone who wants the kind of truth. And I really think what's happened over the last year with Bob Mueller, with the investigation, with the indictments actually cease (ph) to vindicate Steele.
HARLOW: So you believe Glenn Simpson's testimony then when he says, look, Christopher Steele went to the FBI because he was concerned about national security, no other reason.
HARDING: Absolutely. And when he embarks are looking at Trump and Russia, that was the question before him, what is the relationship between these two, he didn't know who the client was. He just had the question.
HARLOW: Let's talk about the focus of money laundering. We've heard people like Representative Jackie Speier on Intelligence telling Chris last week, look, this is at the heart of all of it.
Deutsche Bank. You talk in the book a lot about the $300 million that then citizen Trump borrowed from Deutsche Bank, the only bank that would lend to him.
HARLOW: That still actually hasn't been repaid. But Republican -- you know, Democrats are saying, Republicans on these committees, subpoena the Deutsche Bank records. Subpoena the Deutsche Bank records. And there has been a sort of full-throated push back against doing that. How important is it to see those Deutsche Bank records?
HARDING: Well, I think it's really important because there are two things going on. There's Deutsche Bank lending money out of New York to Donald Trump. But there's also Deutsche Bank in Moscow in Russia laundering tens of billions of dollars for shadowy VIP clients. They were basically a big money laundering machine for Russian money. So the question is, do these two tracks converge in some way? Does some of that Russian money find its way to Trump?
HARLOW: Are getting a hold of those Deutsche Bank records the only way that lawmakers -- and, you know, Mueller's team can get a hold of those -- but is it the only way they will truly know -- be able to follow the full money path here? HARDING: No, because there's a track record of 30 years of Russian
money going to Trump property, into the Trump Organization. Donald Trump says he has no deals with Russia. But so much money has gone in the other direction. And untangling that is going to take a lot of time and a lot of effort.
HARLOW: We appreciate it. It's a fascinating read. The book "Collusion" still on the "Times" bestseller list. Congratulations. Thank you for being here.
And thank you to all our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN "Talk" is next. For our viewers in the U.S., stay right here, NEW DAY continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to get there. And if we don't tonight, I'm really worried.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. government shut down now for a third day.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: The shutdown was a political miscalculation of gargantuan proportions. It doesn't need to go any longer.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: It all really stems from the president, whose inability to clinch a deal has created the current (ph) shutdown.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: You can't blame Donald Trump for the Senate Democrats shutting down the government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the end of the day, the president has to step up and lead in this situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regardless of where the president is, let's pass legislation and then see what he does with it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems to me that we're trying to use our children as a political pawn.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Everybody wants to fund the military. Nobody wants our soldiers not to be paid. But when both sides do it, I think the American people see through it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[07:00:06] ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: All right. Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Alisyn is off.