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Controversy Around FBI Texts; Nunes FISA Memo; Pence Visits Western Wall; Trump Gets Tough on Trade; Vote to Fund Government; Survivors Confront Nassar. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 23, 2018 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Investigation because they don't like the political smell of it. There's a simple lesson here, and that is, if you enter the FBI, what are you supposed to do? If you're a Republican, you can't participate in the investigation of Hillary Clinton. If you voted for Hillary Clinton you can't participate in the investigation of Donald Trump? Every single person in this country who voted is biased. That is not a reason for -- for banning them from participating in an investigation. And, furthermore, it's not even clear to me that Andy McCabe's a Democrat. How do we know that? Because his wife ran for a Democratic ticket? It doesn't tell me much, Chris.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Phil, one more thing. I want to stick with you. Does it worry you that these text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, you know, they were --


CAMEROTA: They're gone. They're missing.

MUDD: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And the ones that we do have show an anti-Trump bias. Does it worry you that these six months of text messages are now -- now can't be found?

MUDD: Not really. I'm sure there's going to be a bunch of conspiracy theories around who say there's some voodoo conspiracy here involved in Democrats at the FBI or anti-Trump people at the FBI.

I tell you the dirty secret. When you work in large bureaucracies, and the FBI is something like 35,000 people, somebody did something stupid or there is a policy that said we eliminate text messages after a certain number of month. There's a technology glitch. I guarantee you that somebody wasn't sitting around there saying, let me see how I can eliminate thousands of messages and, whoa, lo and behold nobody will ever find out. If that happens, somebody ought to be fired, but I don't think we're going to find that out.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: And, Alisyn, let me also just raise one point.


TOOBIN: That whether those text messages show genuine political bias is an open question. I don't think that is -- that is resolved.

CAMEROTA: The ones that we've seen.

TOOBIN: Well, the ones --

CAMEROTA: But don't they say, like, you know, that Trump -- I mean we've heard them (INAUDIBLE) --

TOOBIN: If you -- if you put -- you've heard -- you've heard one slice of one text message, which, in context, does not -- does not portray a political bias. We are in --

CUOMO: Well, also, look, we are being naive also.

TOOBIN: Right.

CUOMO: The idea that these human beings don't have ongoing political feelings is nonsense.

CAMEROTA: Of course. That's --

TOOBIN: Right.

CAMEROTA: Of course.

CUOMO: The question is whether or not it influences their work. Hillary Clinton and her people made the same argument to my face about the e-mail investigation.

TOOBIN: Yes. Right.

CUOMO: They don't like me. They've never liked me. They don't like my husband. That's what they were saying. So, we've heard it before, Jeffrey.

TOOBIN: Yes, sir. But, you know, the -- what I think is interesting about this whole issue about the text messages, that it just shows how the House Republicans, who are pushing this issue, are more interested in investigating the investigation of Donald Trump.

CUOMO: Look at the memo. The hash tag releasethememo.

TOBIN: Well -- release --

CUOMO: I mean this -- this is such an odd situation. They say they have this memo that shows FISA abuses, how we surveille, how the government surveilles us in this country. But they're not releasing it and they could. There are at least two ways to release this memo that would be easy. One, President Trump, who probably has the most interest in undermining the intelligence agency of any president we've ever had, he could release it. He can classify and declassify almost on a whim. And you get constitutional protection as a members of Congress to say whatever you want on the floor in speech and debate. You get immunity. So they could read the memo. And they could enter all the confidential information into the congressional record.

TOOBIN: And, you know, we talk about this secret memo. It's not some memo they found. It's a memo they wrote.

CUOMO: Yes, they wrote it.

TOOBIN: They wrote it. So it's like keep -- I have to keep secret this secret memo. They wrote the memo.


TOOBIN: So the idea that they discovered something is pretty implausible to say the least.

CAMEROTA: And, Phil, very quickly. One group that's very interested in the memo being released are Russians. They have found that there are all sorts of Russian-linked accounts with the hash tag releasethememo. So we will explore that --

CUOMO: And the Schumer shutdown.

CAMEROTA: With lawmakers later.

Thank you, gentlemen, very much.

MUDD: Thank you.

CUOMO: Sad news. Legendary singer Neil Diamond announcing he's retiring from touring because he has a serious medical diagnosis. What is it? What does it mean? Details, next.


[06:37:45] CUOMO: All right, we are following breaking news. A tsunami warning has been expanded after a powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Alaska's coast. Nathanial Moore posted this video on Instagram as he evacuated from Kodiak, Alaska. Police are asking people to head to higher ground before waves crash ashore. A tsunami warning is in effect from British Columbia to the Aleutian Islands. And a tsunami watch is in effect for California.

CAMEROTA: OK, we'll keep people posted on that.

Meanwhile, a busy final day in Israel for Vice President Mike Pence. Moments ago the vice president arrived at Jerusalem's Western Wall. CNN's Oren Liebermann is live with more.

Hi, Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, Vice President Mike Pence just took a few steps right here behind me towards the Western Wall, walking with members of the American delegation, as well as the chief rabbi of the Western Wall.

Earlier today he was at Yad Vashem, the Israeli holocaust museum, and he met with Israel's president.

Here, he's given a short walk-around, an explanation of the wall itself. Get a look at a few Jewish artifacts. Then he'll have a moment at the wall for himself and he'll put a personal prayer in the wall.

It will look much like President Donald Trump's visit back here in May and yet it's so different because here Pence is the first leader to be in Jerusalem and speak of it as the capital of Israel. That's significant, not only for Israel's government, but also for the Trump administration and the voter base there.

As for the message here, Pence has stayed on message this morning and throughout his speeches in Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East, talking about security and countering Iran in statements that sound like they could have been written by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And Pence has focused on peace, telling the Israelis the Trump administration is still serious about a peace process. Chris, that's a message he shared with the Egyptians and the Jordanians as well as they try to get Trump's peace process back on the rails here.

CUOMO: All right, Oren, thank you very much. Appreciate the update.

It is time now for "CNN Money Now."

President Trump getting tough on America's trade partners, slapping tariffs on imports. What will that mean?

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans will tell us.

Tell us.


The Trump administration slapping a 30 percent tariff on solar panels and up to 50 percent on washing machines. The top trade official for the U.S. says the Trump administration will always defend American workers. The tariff hits South Korean washing machine makers, particularly LG and Samsung. U.S. based Whirlpool has accused both of selling washers below market value.

[06:40:06] And it also targets solar panels from China, the largest U.S. supplier. The Chinese commerce ministry blasted the move as aggravating the global trade environment. The tariff is a blow to China but could also risk some American jobs in the U.S. Most solar jobs involve installation, not manufacturing. So advocates say rising costs will make installation more expensive and could hurt some of those workers maybe with lost business.


CAMEROTA: OK, Christine, thank you very much for that update.

So, Neil Diamond announcing that he's retiring from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.


NEIL DIAMOND, (singing): Sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good.


CAMEROTA: Look at how happy everybody is in the audience there. Diamond releasing a statement apologizing to his fans who had purchased tickets to see him. He had been planning to travel to Australia and New Zealand as part of his 50th anniversary tour. Diamond says he will continue writing and recording. He turns 77 tomorrow.

I mean, look, you know, even if you're not a diehard Neil Diamond fan, you probably know almost all the words to many of his song.

CUOMO: Right. And just incredible longevity. Imagine touring all through his '70s, all over the country, all over the world. We wish him well. And we wait to hear what this diagnosis means for him going forward.

All right, so more than 100 people are giving impact statements at convicted predator Larry Nassar's sentencing for sexual abuse. This is an unusual move by the judge, but also a necessary one. Survivor stories for you that you need to hear, next.


[06:45:52] CUOMO: President Trump gloating on Twitter this morning after Congress voted to end the government shutdown, the first we've ever had with one party in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. CNN anchor Jake Tapper received an e-mail Trump's campaign sent to supporters with the headline "Democrats caved."

Joining us now is Democrat Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas. He voted yes on the spending deal.

Does that mean you caved, congressman?

REP. HENRY CUELLAR (D), TEXAS: No. I've been a big believer since the Republicans shut down the government in 2013. And, by the way, President Obama did not gloat. He took it as a professional and said, let's get back to work. And that's what we ought to do.

I've always believed that you don't shut down the government over any issue. The Republicans were wrong over trying to shut it down -- shut it down for health care in 2013 and I think, you know, this time it's the dreamers, which I'm very passionate about. What's going to be the next hot issue next year. So it's going to be one of those things that I've always said, terrorists don't shut down the federal government but Congress has a way of shutting down our government every time.

CUOMO: Well, if you care about the dreamers, what did the Democrats get in exchange for your votes yesterday that makes the dreamers better off?

CUELLAR: Well, first of all, I voted yes on Friday. So I've been voting consistently to --

CUOMO: Right, right, right. But you're in the House. We get it. But yesterday was about the Senate. So go with from there. CUELLAR: Well, let me -- let me finish. Let me finish.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

CUELLAR: So I voted yes on Friday. I voted again because I don't think we ought to shut down the government for any reason.

Now, my suggestion has always been since back in September, and I told this to Kevin McCarthy, was, what we ought to do, if we're going to do a CR, do a CR -- which I don't like CRs -- you take a vote before. You don't leave it open the way the Senate did it. You don't do that because there's no concrete agreement. And you've got to have both the Republican leaders and the Senate leaders agreeing to that, otherwise you're going to leave it open. That's not the way to negotiate. It's -- it was a path moving forward, but it's not the way I would have negotiated this one.

CUOMO: That's what Pelosi seemed to be doing -- saying yesterday. You think she would have made the same deal?

CUELLAR: Well, I think she would have done it. In fact, I was the one that suggested that what we ought to do is do it that way. I was at a leadership meeting and I've been saying this for a while, you get the CR and you take the vote before.

In fact, I told Kevin McCarthy this last week, and I told him back last year the same thing is, look, if you want to put the Goodlatte bill, put the Goodlatte bill, and then let's put a bipartisan bill, let's say the (INAUDIBLE) bill, and then let the queen of the hill or the king of the hill see where the will of the House goes. And basically what one of those Republicans -- it wasn't Kevin McCarthy, they said, no, your bill's going to pass because you'd probably get 30 Republicans on board. I said, well, that's the will of the House. What are you afraid of? Put both bills on the floor and see what passes. Otherwise, we're going to be paying these games and we're going to be back on September 8th doing another shutdown or threatening another shutdown. This is not the way to handle the business of the House.

CUOMO: So, what do you think's going to happen now? Do you think you're going to get an up-and-down vote on something for the dreamers? Do you think a pathway to citizenship is even possible?

CUELLAR: Well, again, in our bill, there is a pathway. And, again, all I want is -- I don't want the Republicans to be afraid of the will of the House. Put Goodlatte's bill, put our bill there, let's see what happens, and let the will of the House. But apparently they're afraid that their bill is not going to pass, our bill is going to pass with Republicans, and that's what they're afraid. So they're -- they're prohibiting. It's the same thing that Boehner did some years ago on immigration reform. He said he supported it. He won't put it for a vote. With all due respect to Speaker Ryan, he says he supports DACA, but he won't put it to a vote. Put it to the vote. If it fails, it fails. Which I don't think it's going to fail. It will pass and they're afraid to put it to a vote.

CUOMO: Right. CUELLAR: That's the bottom line.

CUOMO: But you don't have any leverage. See, that takes us back to the Senate situation. You're in the minority. The only leverage you had were these votes that the Republicans need in the Senate, even if they get all their people on board, because of the filibuster rule.

[06:50:08] So now that you showed as Democrats -- I know that you're in the House, but you're all in the same party, that's why I made the point I made earlier, what is your leverage to get the GOP to do anything that they don't want to do with the dreamers when the president, who was your bestial ally for a minute, just put out an ad basically saying they're all terrorists.

CUELLAR: Yes. Well, you know, the bottom line is, you're right, I mean, the president will say one thing. He will change. We know that he just changes. So let's go back to Congress where we can work this out.

Our leverage is still this. We've still got to pass the appropriation bill. The Dream Act is one issue. But we've still got to get the top line numbers. We've still got to get, how are we going to divide the money between defense and non-defense, equal, equal. We still need that appropriations because otherwise we're going to continue to stay with a CR, and we have to get those numbers. The numbers in the appropriations is what the top line numbers are that are important and that's the leverage.

CUOMO: Look, I mean, I hear that from a lot of people in the House. Maybe that's why, in the end, it was the Democratic conclusion to separate the two issues, DACA and the appropriations. Nancy Pelosi said the same thing, the minority leader, yesterday, that the budget concerns loom even larger than the DACA problem.

Henry Cuellar, thank you very much.

CUELLAR: Thank you.

CUOMO: I appreciate your perspective this morning.

CUELLAR: Thank you so much.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, now to this story. More than 100 girls and young women have testified in court at the sentencing hearing for disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar admitted to sexually abusing young girls in his care. We're going to hear from two survivors in a moment.

But first, let's get to CNN's Jean Casarez. She's live in Lansing, Michigan.

What's the latest there, Jean?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Alisyn, more and more young women keep coming forward into that court to tell their stories. And the reason so many can speak in court is not only because the victims, who this actual prosecution are allowed, parents are allowed, it's all because of the plea agreement and the plea agreement also says other act witnesses, those young women filing reports saying they, too, were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar.


EMMA ANN MILLER, VICTIM OF LARRY NASSAR: I have never wanted to hate someone in my life, but my hate towards you is uncontrollable. Larry Nassar, I hate you.

CASAREZ (voice over): A fifth day of emotional testimony filled with anger.

TAYLOR LIVINGSTON, VICTIM OF LARRY NASSAR: What you have done is despicable. What you have done, you can never erase. But I find more peace in knowing that one day you are going to die. And when you do, your pain will not subside.

CASAREZ: And tears.

KRISTA WAKEMAN, VICTIM OF LARRY NASSAR: I feel my own sense of guilt because I was 16 years old and I should have stopped this monster from hurting other girls.

CASAREZ: Dozens of survivors confronting disgraced former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar about the sexual abuse they suffered as children.

KAMERIN MOORE, VICTIM OF LARRY NASSAR: You molested a little girl who had just lost her father. Was I not suffering enough?

CASAREZ: But outrage was not just directed at Nassar. Many blaming the institutions that employed the doctor for not doing more to stop the abuse that went on for decades despite complaints.

CLASINA SYROVY, VICTIM OF LARRY NASSAR: They certainly didn't stand up for us. They stood up for you. They stood behind you. They safeguarded you when people spoke out.

CASAREZ: An attorney for the victims calling on Congress to investigate the US Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, and Michigan State University, where Nassar was employed since 1997.

Pressure now mounting on Michigan's president, Lou Anna Simon, to resign. Simon denies any wrongdoing saying she supports the survivors, but 15-year-old Emma Ann Miller says her family is still being billed by MSU for appointments when she was abused.

MILLER: This is a burden at 15 I shouldn't have to bear. But believe me, MSU, bear I will.

CASAREZ: The university has said she will not have to pay those bills.

On Monday, the chairman and two other top board members at USA Gymnastics stepping down. The Gymnastics Federation's president saying she hopes new leadership will help implement change.

AMANDA SMITH, VICTIM OF LARRY NASSAR: Whether we were abused one time or 100 times, it's never OK. I will not stop speaking until I am heard, until we are heard.



Joining us now are two athletes who plan to make statements about their experience with Dr. Larry Nassar. Kaylee Lorincz is a gymnast at Adrian College, and Sterling Riethman is a former intercollegiate diver.

Ladies, thank you so much for being here.

Sterling, let me start with you. I understand that you plan to make your victim impact statement tomorrow to the court. What do you plan to say directly to Larry Nassar?

[06:55:01] STERLING RIETHMAN, FORMER INTERCOLLEGIATE DIVER: Yes, that's correct. So I'll be speaking tomorrow. And, you know, the whole purpose of this is really to explain our story, to tell our truth, reclaim our voice and just make sure that the court and Larry and all of his enablers understand that we're not standing for this. We're putting an end to sexual assault, we're putting an end to the culture of abuse.

CAMEROTA: Kaylee, as I understand your story, you were first sexually abused by Larry Nassar on your 13th birthday. What do you plan to say to him and to the court?

KAYLEE LORINCZ, ADRIAN COLLEGE GYMNAST: You know, I would like the court and Larry and everybody to know how his actions have affected me since the time I was 13 and how this has affected my future. And going through this process of testifying in court and, you know, being questioned by his defense attorneys, I want everyone to know just how difficult it really can be.

CAMEROTA: And, Kaylee, can you just tell me more about that? How did it affect your future?

LORINCZ: I have a very hard time trusting anybody. And even myself at some times. You know, whether I know what's right and what's wrong. And I -- I do believe that I do know that but sometimes I do question myself. You know, I can't even go to the doctor by myself anymore because I'm afraid that another doctor will betray me just like Larry did because he made us think he was our friend and got us to trust him from the very beginning.

CAMEROTA: Sterling, this is such a great point. This was a man that you trusted your future to, you trusted your health to. He was considered a miracle worker by I know you and so many athletes because he could fix your bad back or your bad knees or your bad feet. How you do think it was possible that he was able to perpetrate this against so many girls? I mean the count is now up to at least 144. RIETHMAN: He was a master manipulator. He was -- he groomed us. He

groomed us to think that he was that saint, to think that he was that miracle worker. And we had no reason to question it. You know, he would give us gifts. And he would -- he would talk to us like he was our best friend. And he made -- he allowed us to trust him to make sure that we could get back to training, that we could get back to the sport that we loved. And we were brainwashed. We were manipulated and brainwashed. And it's grooming on a whole new level.

CAMEROTA: Kaylee, the chairman of USA Gymnastics and two other high- level board members resigned on Monday. Do you think they knew what was happening?

LORINCZ: You know, I think that there are certain people who knew. I don't think that there's any way that nobody knew what was going on.

CAMEROTA: Who do you think did know?

LORINCZ: And -- you know, it's hard to pinpoint exactly who I think knew for sure. But I think that there's no way that this just went completely unknowing. There's just no way that that can be possible.

CAMEROTA: Sterling, what do you think? Who do you think knew? And did you try to, over the years, tell anyone?

RIETHMAN: You know, I did not tell anyone. I, quite honestly, I did not know that this was sexual assault until that "Indy Star" (ph) report broke back in September of 2016. And -- but when you look at the facts and you look at the history and you hear the stories from these women and so many people that did tell someone, you know that there were multiple people at Michigan State who knew that this was happening. We have reason to believe that there were 14 people at Michigan State who knew that he was sexually abusing women and did nothing about it. And, you know, we knew that there were gymnasts that reported to USAG and they took weeks and months to investigate and they never communicated that. And they never protected their athletes and the young women that were involved in the sport.

So it really is -- it's a shame to see that so many people were putting their institution and their brand and their reputation ahead of our lives.

CAMEROTA: Well, obviously, they are forced to listen to your voices now. Best of luck tomorrow when you give these victim impact statements, and we'll be following your future.

Kaylee, Sterling, thank you both very much for being here.

RIETHMAN: Thank you.

LORINCZ: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN "NEWSROOM" is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Senators working together can result in positive action.

[07:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no way the Democrats caved. I think the Democrats got a better deal than people expected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're going to see is a couple weeks of wasted time.