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Trump Open To Path To Citizenship For Dreamers; Justice Department: "Reckless" To Release Nunes Memo Without Review; Two Teens Charged With Cyberstalking After Girl's Suicide; Trump: There's Been No Collusion With Russia. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired January 25, 2018 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:31:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump says that he is open to providing a pathway to citizenship for some Dreamers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want citizenship for Dreamers?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to -- we're going to morph into it. It's going to happen at some point in the future --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that mean? The future -- what does that mean?
TRUMP: -- over a period of -- over a period of 10 to 12 years. If somebody does a great job -- they've worked hard. It gives incentive to do a great job.
But they've worked hard, they've done terrifically, whether they have a little company, or whether they work, or whether -- whatever they're doing if they do a great job. I think it's a nice thing to have the incentive of, after a period of years, being able to become a citizen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: But, of course, there are conditions.
So joining us now to talk about this and so much more, we have Republican Congressman Leonard Lance of New Jersey. Congressman, thanks so much for being here.
REP. LEONARD LANCE (R-NJ), MEMBER, ETHICS COMMITTEE, TUESDAY GROUP, PROBLEM SOLVERS CAUCUS: Thank you for having me, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Were you surprised to hear President Trump say that he believes in a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers?
LANCE: I was not, and I think that we should be working on this issue in a bipartisan capacity, and I'm open to that.
CAMEROTA: How do you think the hardline -- more hardline Republicans in Congress will react, and I ask because Breitbart already has a headline calling the president "Amnesty Don?" And we know that the folks like Steve King, etcetera, just do not like this idea.
LANCE: There's obviously a debate in the Republican caucus on this. I favor addressing the Dreamers and also addressing border security, and I think that that can occur at the same time. And there will obviously be a compromise because for legislation to reach the president's desk, Alisyn, it has to pass both the House and the Senate, and this will be a matter of discussion.
But, the president has put forth a proposal yesterday in his press conference and I'm certainly willing to examine it.
CAMEROTA: Is that condition, $25 billion -- does the pathway to citizenship for Dreamers come with a price tag of $25 billion for the border wall and are you comfortable with that?
LANCE: I think that that's a high figure but that's a negotiating strategy and that will be part of the negotiations. I do favor greater border security because --
CAMEROTA: Including a wall?
LANCE: Including drones and perhaps more agents.
CAMEROTA: But what about a wall?
LANCE: I don't think there has to be a wall at all places, but perhaps in some places. I have been at the southern border and there's no need for a wall in southern Arizona because the terrain is so rugged.
CAMEROTA: So are you saying that you think you can get what you want and what many Republicans want, including the president, for less than $25 billion?
LANCE: I would imagine so, yes.
CAMEROTA: And what about the president's promise of a real brick and mortar wall? Will he move off that?
LANCE: I would imagine that's a negotiating strategy.
But we certainly need greater border security because when the last legislation was passed in the middle-1980s, the promise was made that there would be greater border security and that half really didn't occur. We don't want to go through this 20 years from now.
CAMEROTA: OK, let's move on and talk about other things that are percolating.
Is there a secret society in the FBI, as Sen. Ron Johnson and a couple of others have suggested?
LANCE: I do not know whether there's a secret society in the FBI.
I did read the memo and I think the memo should be made public. I understand, now, there's a Democratic memo, as well, and I would make that public and let the people of this country judge.
CAMEROTA: There's a lot of mysterious things so let's separate them, OK?
There is supposedly -- and according to Ron Johnson, he has seen these text messages between these two FBI agents who were disappointed by President Trump's victory -- they were not fans. And in one text message there was something on the day after he won about well, maybe we should save this for the secret society. Nobody knows if it was in jest.
Then, there's the mystery memo that you're referring to and this was crafted by Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Intel Committee. Nobody in the public knows what's in it. In fact, he won't give it to the Department of Justice. He won't give it to the Senate Intel Committee.
CAMEROTA: What's so mysterious in there? What's so damning?
LANCE: I'm not able to discuss what is in the memo because it is classified, but I would hope that it could be made public. And, Alisyn, if there is a Democratic memo, as I understand there is, that should be made public as well.
[07:35:10] CAMEROTA: You don't see anything in the memo that couldn't be made public?
LANCE: I don't want to comment on the substance of the memo.
CAMEROTA: We just heard from Jerry Nadler who's said that he also has seen the mystery memo. He says it is profoundly misleading.
LANCE: I think that's why the public should judge. And I read what I read and I'm certainly willing to read a Democratic memo if that's made available to me, as well.
CAMEROTA: Why isn't Devin Nunes releasing it the Department of Justice, or to the Senate Intel Committee, or to the public?
LANCE: I think that it should be released to the American people and I hope that that process can occur as soon as possible.
CAMEROTA: The Justice Department has called it reckless. Do you agree?
LANCE: I don't want to comment on the substance of the memo but in my opinion, it should be released to the American people and then -- and then experts from across the board can decide.
CAMEROTA: OK, but forget about the substance. I understand that you're hamstrung by the classified. You can't say anything -- I get it.
But in broad brushstrokes, do you think that talking -- like, in other words, some of your Republican colleagues are talking about this mystery memo and planting the seed that something ominous is afoot.
Is that reckless?
LANCE: I think that the American people should judge and I would urge that the memo be made public, and there's a process to do that. As I understand, it would have to take a vote of the Intelligence Committee and then a decision by President Trump.
CAMEROTA: All right, next topic.
I want to ask you about one of your former colleagues on the Ethics Committee. This is Congressman Patrick Meehan. He was on the Ethics Committee.
He then had to step down from it because of this inappropriate relationship that he had -- or I don't even know if relationship is the right word. He sexually harassed an underling on his staff and then paid her with office funds -- i.e., taxpayer money.
She had to leave her job. Why does he still have a job?
LANCE: I believe that this is a matter that will come before the Ethics Committee. I believe that the congressman has self-referred this to the Ethics Committee and therefore, the Ethics Committee will be examining it. And I, of course, will be a part of that because I am one of the members of the Ethics Committee.
There are five Republicans and five Democrats, and because Congressman Meehan has left the Ethics Committee, a new Republican will have to be appointed to the Ethics Committee.
I want to assure the public through your program, Alisyn, that the Ethics Committee works in a completely bipartisan capacity and we will examine this and all other matters that come before us.
CAMEROTA: What you've heard would be paying an underling, who you've sexually harassed, money with taxpayer funds. Would that be a violation of ethics?
LANCE: I'm not going to go into details but obviously, there are strict rules regarding these matters. And we work in a completely bipartisan capacity and we will get to the bottom of any matter that is referred to us.
CAMEROTA: How long will that take?
LANCE: It may take two or three months because there's a process involved and it involves due process for all concerned.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Leonard Lance, thank you very much for talking about all of this with us.
LANCE: Thank you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Chris -- CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, this is a really tough story. A 12-year-old girl commits suicide. Police found something on her cell phone that has them accusing two other children of cyberstalking. Details, next.
[07:42:07] CUOMO: Breaking news.
A manhunt underway at this hour after a sheriff's deputy is killed in the line of duty in Adams County, Colorado. A sheriff's spokeswoman says the fallen deputy was shot in the chest as he responded to a call about an assault.
One suspect is in custody; two others are on the run.
This is pretty severe. People who live in the area are being told to stay inside, stay away from doors and windows. This is an active and dangerous search.
CAMEROTA: The suicide of a 12-year-old Florida girl leading to two of her classmates being charged with cyberstalking.
CNN's Diane Gallagher is live in Panama City, Florida with more on this horrible story -- Diane.
DIANE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn, this is an especially tough story because those two 12-year-olds were classmates of Gabriella Green at Surfside Middle School.
Now, she was known as Gabbie to her family and friends, and Gabbie hanged herself in her home on January 10th.
As police were investigating that, they determined that two of her classmates -- two other 12-year-old seventh graders were participating in cyberstalking, essentially -- one girl and one boy.
They said that the girl was spreading rumors about Gabriella, basically saying that she had sexually transmitted diseases, saying that she was going to ruin her reputation.
Now, according to police, when Gabbie killed herself, this little girl deleted all of those messages on various social media apps and texts because she thought she might get into trouble.
The boy, though, may be even a little bit more disturbing because on the day that Gabbie hanged herself police say that in the moments before she reached out to him. Her parents tell me that she'd been friends with him before.
She told him she was having a bad day. They faced-timed. The boy tells police that she said I tried to hang myself. She showed him marks on her neck and he told her if you're going to do it, you should just do it.
Now, Alisyn, of course, it's important to note that police say this is not the only reason why they believe that Gabbie hanged herself. They think that there were other contributing factors here. But her family tells me that she'd been bullied for the better part of a year -- since the sixth grade when she came to this school.
A lot of other parents are asking the school district to do more about bullying in schools right now. But, Chris, you can understand a community that is very upset here with those two middle school students charged, related to their classmate's suicide.
CAMEROTA: Oh, God. Diane, thank you very much.
This is such a scary story. I mean, for both of us.
I have two 12-year-old girls and look, 12, it can be a cruel time, as we know -- seventh grade, but the school has to be on it, obviously. Social media is a scary -- is a scary place for adolescents and beyond.
CUOMO: Cyberbullying is real. I've covered it as a journalist for a very long time. It is more pernicious, more damaging than even physical bullying in a lot of cases.
And the problem is yes, schools have to do more. They often run away from bullying situations when they take place in the classroom. They're more limited with Internet policy.
[07:45:07] The first line of defense --
CUOMO: -- is the parent. You have to know what your kids are doing.
CUOMO: There is no expectation or right to privacy --
CUOMO: -- by a 12-year-old. Their social media should be yours.
I know it's a pain in the ass. I know it is tough to get their messages. I know --
CUOMO: -- but you have to do it because these kids --
CAMEROTA: Yes, I know. I agree.
CUOMO: -- are doing things and you don't know, and they can hurt one another.
CAMEROTA: I'm going right home and reading their texts --
CUOMO: I mean, I know.
CAMEROTA: -- and checking.
CUOMO: I know it's tough. I mean, your phone blows up. My wife has to deal with it all the time. I skirted that duty.
But you have to know -- you have to know what they're doing. You just do.
All right, we'll stay on that story. We'll figure out where it goes because it happens a lot.
It's time for "CNN Money Now."
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is walking back comments that he welcomes a weaker U.S. dollar, a move that sent the U.S. dollar to a three-year low.
Chief business correspondent Christine Romans in our Money Center with more.
Words matter, especially when they come from people with that kind of power.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": They really do and it's a huge break with tradition. In 25 years of American policy, it's unheard of for a U.S. Treasury secretary to go on the global stage and welcome a weak dollar.
Mnuchin, yesterday, said he's not concerned that the dollar fell 10 percent last year and a weaker dollar is, quote, "good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities."
Today, he's clarifying. He's not worried about the dollar in the short-term, citing trade advantages. A weak dollar means cheaper exports but it also makes imports more expensive. That hurts Americans' purchasing power.
At Davos, world leaders are raising alarms about protectionism from the U.S. Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French president Emmanuel Macron calling protectionism dangerous and backward, a thinly-veiled dig perhaps against President Trump.
Now, the president has abandoned the Paris Climate Accord, he bailed on TPP, and this week he announced tariffs on Chinese solar panels and South Korean washing machines.
The president's trade policies already taking effect. L.G. told retailers it is raising prices on washing machines in the U.S.
And, Alisyn, South Korea, just moments ago, appealed to the World Trade Organization to say the United States and those tariffs are illegal and wrong -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Wow. OK, Christine. Thank you very much for keeping us up to speed on all of that.
So, President Trump insists, again, there is no collusion -- was none between his campaign and Russia. So, how does he define collusion?
Our Maggie Haberman asked that question of the White House and she joins us with her answer, next.
[07:51:40] CUOMO: President Trump has said it again and again. It doesn't make it true but he keeps repeating it. There was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.
And, he says everybody says it -- everybody except those who are investigating it and the special counsel's investigation where we've hard nothing.
CNN contributor and "New York Times" columnist Maggie Haberman wanted to know what this word means to the president -- collusion -- so she asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to clarify.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Can you define what he means when he says collusion?
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think the accusation against the president is that he had help winning the election, and that's simply untrue.
The president won because he was the better candidate, because he worked harder, because he had a message that America actually cared about and believe in, and came out in a historic fashion and supported and voted for him. That's why he won.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right.
Maggie Haberman joins us now. You ain't a columnist, you're a reporter and I shouldn't have said that. I apologize.
HABERMAN: That's OK.
CUOMO: So, you were there, you asked, you got an answer.
HABERMAN: To a point.
CUOMO: What is the sense of that?
HABERMAN: I got an answer, to a point.
I mean, what Sarah Sanders said is, as you heard, he won without the help of anyone else and when people talk about Russia this is a quote- unquote "made up hoax" as she put it, to try to delegitimize his election. And we know that that is, indeed, how the president used this. I asked her, is he then saying that reports from the Intel Community that Russia engaged in e-mail hacking, that there was a spread of weaponizing information, that that's all not true. And she said no, he's addressed that. It just doesn't mean that he thinks it played a key role here.
And that's fine but, I mean -- and I asked it of the president, as well, last night when he did this impromptu gaggle with reporters and his answer was less clear. But it is the -- it is the thing he says over and over again.
And what I really took away from Sarah's answer yesterday is a narrowing, so that it's not anyone involved in my campaign, which she tried to walk back later. But she said, you know -- I asked specifically, who is he speaking for when he says that and she said essentially, he's speaking for himself. That anything he had knowledge of, anything that he might have done and that is a bit of an evolution.
CAMEROTA: I don't know, Maggie. I heard it. It -- something crystallized for me with that response that I hadn't heard it phrased that way.
Of course, we knew, instinctively, that he doesn't like it because it suggests that he didn't win fair and square. But when she said these words -- because the -- it's -- "I think the accusation against the president is that he had help winning the election, and that's simply not true."
CAMEROTA: That just crystallized it.
CUOMO: It's also not true, by the way. That is not what the investigation is about.
CAMEROTA: Of course, but that's how he hears it.
CAMEROTA: But the idea that then she went on to say it's a made-up hoax. Wow -- I mean, tell that to George Papadopoulos --
CAMEROTA: -- tell that to Robert Mueller. Like, that she would repeat it again after all this time.
HABERMAN: Whereas, I agree with you that I think her saying that he needed help winning because that is really all he cares about, right? I mean, I think the legal issue is weighing on him quite a bit.
But I do think that what he ultimately cares about is you all think that I didn't get there on my own. I did this on my own. None of you believed I could do it. I did it.
HABERMAN: Look what I did. Why won't you give me my due? And he actually said that to us last night -- to the reporters who were there for this gaggle -- because I pushed him again about collusion and he gave an answer that I couldn't really understand.
[07:55:05] But then he said, you know, none of you -- you all say that Hillary was a bad candidate. You never say I was a good candidate. It was a really startling statement.
CUOMO: And look, just because we now have a better understanding of why he says it, it doesn't make it --
CUOMO: -- any more --
CUOMO: -- useful or less destructive.
And it really does, sadly, remind me of my favorite movie, "THE PRINCESS BRIDE." He keeps on using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means.
He does not get --
CUOMO: -- what -- all of this is inconceivable if we weren't living it. But, collusion --
CUOMO: Right. We know collusion is not a crime. There's no crime of collusion.
CUOMO: But he seems to ignore the reality that he started this by telling us, Maggie, as you remember and maybe even reported, nobody did anything.
HABERMAN: Yes, yes, or people did do something.
CUOMO: Certainly, me was only his only little hedge and since then --
CUOMO: -- so many did so much.
HABERMAN: Yes. Look, we have had Michael Flynn take a plea deal. George Papadopoulos, who nobody even knew was doing this -- was in the process of doing this which, again, raises the question of what else does Mueller have? Only Mueller knows.
But it is worth considering that there is possibly a universe of information out there that we are not yet privy to.
CAMEROTA: OK. So, Maggie, you were in the room yesterday for -- when the president surprised everyone --
CAMEROTA: -- by coming into the chief of staff John Kelly's -- barging in or whatever -- entering.
HABERMAN: That's my hair -- the back of my head.
CAMEROTA: Yes. We see your ponytail. We spotted it immediately in the foreground there.
HABERMAN: Very attractive.
CAMEROTA: And --
CAMEROTA: But describe this scene, I mean, where the president just walked in unannounced.
HABERMAN: So, we were sitting there waiting for a briefing -- a background briefing on immigration, you know, that I think they would have liked to have kept as a background briefing. But this photo that you're looking at was distributed by the White House and it has John Kelly's name on the door, so you can see where we all were.
We were about four minutes into this briefing and suddenly, the president pops in. My understanding is that he found out that this was going on -- that there were a bunch of reporters assembled -- and he basically wanted to make a show of it.
Most people I spoke to in the White House took the fact that he did this as a shot at John Kelly. It was not an overt shot but remember, it was not that long ago that the president was angry that John Kelly was on Capitol Hill and telling "FOX NEWS" that the president had not been fully informed, in his view, of the wall. And the president talked again about the wall right there.
I think it was a show of I'm running things, you're not.
CAMEROTA: And so, John Kelly was surprised? The chief of staff was --
HABERMAN: Yes. I originally wondered if this was orchestrated --
CAMEROTA: Yes, sure. HABERMAN: -- and if it was sort of whoa, look at our surprise guest, but I don't think it was. I think the president found out about it, he showed up.
HABERMAN: He was not -- the president was not accompanied by anyone from his communications --
HABERMAN: -- department. Now, there were two people from the com shop who were already there but the president just showed up, essentially, with his -- with his body people --
HABERMAN: -- with his guards.
CUOMO: It's one of those things that winds up being everything's true. Kelly --
CUOMO: -- didn't know this, the staff didn't --
CUOMO: -- plan it, but this is what they're dealing with, with the president.
HABERMAN: Every day.
CUOMO: He heard about it, he saw it as an opportunity.
HABERMAN: That's right.
CUOMO: It's not like he opened the door and he said this is not the executive steam.
HABERMAN: Well, and --
CUOMO: He knew where he was going and he wanted to tell you guys some things.
CAMEROTA: What are all of you doing here?
HABERMAN: Thank you, Chris.
What ended up happening was he made two -- he said two things.
One was he talked about testifying -- or speaking to Mueller under oath. Now, realistically, as you know very well, Chris, when you talk to the FBI you are lying to investigators regardless of whether you're under oath or not if you tell a lie, so the oath question doesn't really matter.
But he went much further than his lawyers wanted him to. You had Ty Cobb, one of his lawyers -- or the White House lawyers -- walking this back furiously soon after.
You also had the president emphasize a path to citizenship as part of their immigration plan. And my understanding from somebody in the White House is that was, indeed, going to be -- or the possibility of it was going to be what they talked about in this framework on Monday.
But it was going to be described as of a piece with a wall and changing what the president has emphasized as chain migration, and making it just a nuclear family instead of parents, and funding for the wall was critical.
It's a -- it's a question of degrees and emphasis and the president leaned very hard into a path to citizenship, which is anathema to his base of supporters.
CAMEROTA: Yes. All right, Maggie, stick around if you would.
CAMEROTA: We have many more questions for you.
We're following a lot of news. Let's get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The president talking about this had to make his lawyers a bit nuts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't mean any of that. Just go ahead and follow his lawyer's advice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no way that Mueller will agree to anything but an in-person interview.
TRUMP: Oh, I would do it under oath.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first time he used the term fight back was today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he tells the truth he may walk into an obstruction case. If he lies it's a false statements case. What a terrible dilemma.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: No one should ever ask anyone else who they voted for. I hope Mr. McCabe didn't answer it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ask him that?
TRUMP: I don't think so. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not Republicans who created the theory of a secret society. It wasn't Republicans that deleted five months of text messages.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of my colleagues just ought to take a deep breath and step back from some of these conspiracy theories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your new day. It is Thursday, January 25th, 8:00 in the east.