Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

House Intel Panel Votes To Release Memo; Why Did McCabe Depart?; State Of The Union Tonight; White House: No New Russia Sanctions For Now. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired January 30, 2018 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[05:30:08] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: When you have a deeply flawed person in the Oval Office, that flaw can infect the whole of government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: A conservative campaign to blunt the Russia probe is picking up speed. The president can now release a classified GOP memo critics say could do lasting damage to the FBI.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Could the Clinton e-mail investigation have cost Andrew McCabe his job at the FBI? New details this morning on what the FBI director told colleagues after his deputy abruptly left.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL IRVING, SERGEANT AT ARMS, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: President Trump delivers his first State of the Union tonight. He's planning a message of unity. Can he keep that promise once he walks off the House floor? We shall see.

Thank you for getting an early start with us. I'm Dave Briggs.

Carl Bernstein, by the way, Christine, says it was the "Monday Night Slaughter" last night.

ROMANS: Oh.

BRIGGS: We'll talk more about that in just a bit.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour this Tuesday -- State of the Union Tuesday.

The clock is ticking for the president to decide whether to release a classified Republican memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI. The House Intelligence Committee voting along party lines to release that memo drafted by its chairman, Congressman Devin Nunes. The memo was delivered to the White House, starting a five-day period for the president to decide whether to release it.

BRIGGS: The release would bolster a Republican effort to undercut special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and escalate a battle with the Justice Department. The potential disclosure a serious concern to two former National Security officials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: It's just bad all the way around. This is a -- I think, a very negative development for lots of reasons. It represents, I think, an assault on our institutions and it's certainly bad for the FBI and the Department of Justice. And I shudder to think what the moral of those organizations is right now.

MICHAEL HAYDEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, FORMER DIRECTOR, CIA AND NSA: I actually didn't think it was going to happen because of the effects that Jim described. This crosses a threshold that I don't -- I don't think that we've crossed before.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Before the House Intel vote, FBI Director Chris Wray was allowed to review the memo and raise any concerns. One source telling CNN the president erupted last week when he learned of the Justice Department's efforts to stop the memo's release. A Justice official warns publishing it would be extraordinarily reckless.

For more, we turn to our Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Dave.

A sharply divided House Intelligence Committee voting along party lines to move forward with the release of a Republican staff memo that details allegations of FBI and Justice Department abuse over its Russia investigation, suggesting that warrants that were obtained during the campaign season over that Trump adviser Carter Page were improperly obtained -- the information given to the FISA judge who approved those warrants. The judge not given the full picture of exactly why the Justice Department was seeking this information.

Now, this is according to the allegations in this memo drafted by staff from the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, according to people who have reviewed this document.

Now that the committee has voted along party lines, the president will have to decide whether or not to object or approve its release. And we have been told by sources in the White House that we expect the president to approve its release, something that Democrats yesterday were saying could cause grave harm to national security. REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: The White House has made it abundantly clear that they want the memo published even though they haven't read it. That should tell you all you need to know about the president's priorities, even without reading it, even without hearing from the intelligence agencies or the FBI what damage it might do in terms of public release.

RAJU: Now, the Republican who is running the Russia investigation, Mike Conaway, pushed back on Schiff's assertions last night saying that, in fact, they are prepared to release the Democratic memo that was drafted by Adam Schiff that actually comes to different conclusions than the Nunes memo but they want to follow the same procedure that the Nunes memo followed that.

The full House can now get access to this classified memo in a classified setting, read it, and then later the committee can decide whether or not to allow for its public release.

But, Democrats wanted the Schiff memo and the Nunes memo released at the same time, and they also wanted the Justice Department and the FBI to brief the full House about the memo before agreeing to its release.

There are a lot of questions about the future of the Russia investigation and whether or not it can proceed amid this fury over these two competing memos and about an apparent new focus of this investigation, looking into the Justice Department and the FBI actions in 2016 -- Christine and Dave.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: Dueling memos -- that is the state of the union. Manu, thanks.

Among other things, the Nunes memo cites the role of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe overseeing aspects of the Russia investigation. Now, McCabe will watch the rest of this Russia probe unfold from the sidelines. McCabe has left the FBI ahead of his planned retirement in March.

[05:35:09] ROMANS: McCabe has been one of the president's favorite punching bags as he lashes out at the Russia investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says the president was not behind McCabe's departure, but she was asked if the months of pressure contributed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The only thing that the president has applied pressure to is to make sure we get this resolved so that you guys and everyone else can focus on the things that Americans actually care about, and that is making sure everybody gets the Russia fever out of their system once and for all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Former FBI director James Comey, McCabe's one-time boss, responded to the early departure with this tweet.

"Special agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last eight months when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you."

ROMANS: Overnight, we learned FBI Director Chris Wray hinted to FBI staff an upcoming government watchdog report on the Clinton e-mail investigation played a role in McCabe's departure. Other sources paint the move as entirely McCabe's call.

Let's bring in CNN political analyst Jackie Kucinich, Washington Bureau Chief for "The Daily Beast" and let's stay on this.

Good morning. How are you?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Morning.

ROMANS: Carl Bernstein, who knows a thing or two about --

BRIGGS: Scandal? Washington scandal?

ROMANS: Scandal -- listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think we may look back on tonight as the "Monday Night Slaughter" by an obstructive, irresponsible, partisan gang in the House of Representatives that has put the interest of their party and the President of the United States and his personal fortunes above the national interest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Wow, those are some strong words there. Has it come to that?

KUCINICH: I don't want to question Carl Bernstein, but it certainly is staggering what is unfolding here. Now, I haven't see the memo. I've just read some of the leaks about what could be in it.

But certainly, the fact that the president is again pitting himself against the FBI and the Department of Justice, both of which he oversees, and it looks like he's going to dismiss their concerns about this memo and release it anyway, really is -- and continues to erode the faith in these important institutions. It's more than noteworthy and it's pretty astonishing.

BRIGGS: There's another way this memo can get out there and that's the president can do nothing and sends it back to the House. The full House can vote to release it anyway so he can say I didn't do it.

But, it's interesting. We just heard Sarah Sanders there say we want to get back to what Americans actually care about. That they don't care about the Russia investigation --

ROMANS: Russia fever, she called it.

BRIGGS: -- which may, in fact, be true. And the president has said that this is very bad for the country.

But it will be interesting if, in fact, Jackie, they decide to release this memo. How will, then, Sarah Sanders say this is what Americans care about? The process behind obtaining a FISA warrant, which is what this memo is about --

KUCINICH: Right.

BRIGGS: -- on a guy that Americans don't even know who he is, Carter Page, and how would this be good for the country?

How will they make that argument?

KUCINICH: You know, it never -- it never fails to surprise me how the Trump administration decides to turn the argument into the opposite argument they were making the day before.

And maybe they're right that Americans aren't into the minutia of the day-to-day Russia scandal --

BRIGGS: Might be true.

KUCINICH: -- but however, they will care if they undermine Democratic institutions and they did interfere with the 2016 election, which is about what this is about.

It's the president that's made it all about himself every single time. Foundationally, this was about how Russia may have meddled in the 2016 election and we shouldn't forget that.

ROMANS: And the president's own CIA director says --

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: -- they still are.

BRIGGS: They never left.

ROMANS: They haven't gone away.

KUCINICH: Yes, completely.

ROMANS: They still are.

KUCINICH: I mean, the #releasethememo hashtag was being retweeted by Russian bots.

ROMANS: Yes, it's just -- it's almost comic except it's not.

KUCINICH: Yes, right.

ROMANS: It's not comic at all.

KUCINICH: Yes. This was a script you would have thought had jumped the shark three episodes ago.

ROMANS: Let's talk about the scripts, then, for tonight --

KUCINICH: Right.

ROMANS: -- for the State of the Union.

He'll talk about immigration. He will talk about the economy. I have doubt he will take credit for and talk -- he is the cheerleader in chief.

KUCINICH: Yes.

ROMANS: He loves to brag about these economic numbers. He's been here for a year and deserves to be able to say --

BRIGGS: Yes.

ROMANS: -- the economy under my watch -- under my watch has been doing well.

What are you expecting the tone -- we're hearing unifying?

KUCINICH: Yes. The White House is hoping it's unifying. It's hard to think that given the state of our politics at the moment that this is -- everyone's going to walk out high-fiving each other.

[05:40:00] However, yes, the president is going to try to bring everyone together with a speech particularly on the issue of the economy, his tax reform. I mean, he can talk all he wants about the economy but until America starts seeing it in their paychecks that's what's actually going to matter. And he is going to, I would assume, describe how he's made their take-home pay a lot more.

Christine, you mentioned Afghanistan in the last segment and that is something that the president is supposed to speak about.

However, I would recommend everyone read this piece in "The New York Times" by Helene Cooper. It really is a devastating laundry list of how many commanders in chief and their subordinates in the Department of Defense have said that this war is going to be over right around the corner and, you know, he's the third president to say that.

ROMANS: Let me just read the lead to that because the headline is "Attacks Belie U.S. Optimism in Afghan War."

"The Taliban are in retreat, the Afghan military is on the brink of assuming control of the country."

KUCINICH: Yes.

ROMANS: "The government in Kabul is one step away from being able to provide security." Three administrations have said that and it hasn't happened.

BRIGGS: How will that impact what he wants to say about national security tonight and ISIS being on the run?

KUCINICH: Again, I mean, right now it's rhetoric. He can say all he wants but again, as Christine read in that lead, two other presidents have said very similar things, particularly about Afghanistan and the United States is still there.

And they make another point in that piece that men and women who are heading over there were in diapers -- literally in diapers when this war began 17 years ago.

ROMANS: That is some context -- staggering. All right.

Jackie Kucinich, thanks so much. We know you'll be working hard tonight. Thank you.

KUCINICH: Yes, indeed. Thanks, guys.

BRIGGS: Enjoy.

ROMANS: Some of the tickets for tonight's State of the Union address were printed with a typo, inviting people to the State of the Uniom. It is unclear how many of the tickets have those typos.

The Sergeant -- the office of the Sergeant at Arms, which issues these, has reprinted all of them. Those that have not yet been picked up members have been swapped out. Tickets already distributed are in the process of being changed for the reprinted ones.

BRIGGS: It's a collector's item, though.

Senate Republicans failing to pass a bill that would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It came up short of the 60 votes needed to advance. The opposition was mostly from Democrats, although a few supported the measure. The bill passed in the House back in October.

It includes exceptions in cases of rape and incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk.

President Trump calling the vote disappointing.

ROMANS: The White House says there's no need for new sanctions against the Russians but in the dark of night the U.S. put more than 200 Russian political figures and oligarchs on notice. Why is Moscow concerned?

We're live in Moscow, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:41] BRIGGS: All right. After decades of protest and complaints, the Cleveland Indians will drop their controversial Chiefs Wahoo logo.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR: Hey, good morning, guys.

Yes, the Chief Wahoo logo has been used by the Indians for more than 70 years but this season will be the last one that it appears on the Indians' hats and jerseys that the players wear.

Now, critics have argued for years that the logo is offensive and racist. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, he says the image goes against the game's efforts to promote inclusion and diversity.

But get this, Ohwhoka (ph) won't disappear completely. The team will still sell merchandise featuring Chief Wahoo so that Major League Baseball and the Indians can keep ownership of the trademark.

All right. The Patriots arriving in Minneapolis yesterday ahead of Super Bowl LII.

Check out Bill Belichick. He was rocking a fedora as he got off the plane. Belichick says the hat belonged to his dad. And when asked why he chose to wear it he said, quote, "I just saw the hat this morning, and thought it's Minnesota, it's cold, so I put a hat on."

Now, last night was NFL opening night where the teams meet with the media. NFL Network -- they actually had a smile counter for Belichick to count how many times it actually happened. And the goal of many reporters last night was trying to find a way to make Belichick laugh, so they asked Tom Brady what would work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: I have no idea. Just say Navy, lacrosse, Lawrence Taylor, and Bon Jovi -- those four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tom Brady said that if I just mention the words lacrosse and Navy that you would smile. Do you want me to tickle you?

BILL BELICHICK, GENERAL MANAGER, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Yes -- no, we'll skip that, all right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not ticklish?

BELICHICK: This is an adult show.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Bill Belichick not ticklish.

All right. The new sports power couple of Zach and Julie Ertz were together at opening night. Zach, of course, a Pro Bowl tight end for the Eagles. Julie, the U.S. soccer female player of the year. And, Julie's video emotional when learning the Eagles were going to the Super Bowl right after her game went viral last week.

And now, she was having some fun last night interviewing her husband.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIE ERTZ, WIFE OF ZACH ERTZ, U.S. SOCCER FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: I have some questions. What's your favorite meal I make?

ZACH ERTZ, TIGHT END, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: My favorite meal that Julie makes -- she makes unbelievable tacos and that would be my answer. She doesn't make them all the time so I'm kind of upset about it, but when she does they're off the chain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: I'll tell you what, guys. Athletically, their kids have a lot to live up to --

BRIGGS: Yes.

SCHOLES: -- one day, right?

ROMANS: Totally.

BRIGGS: Yes.

You think Michael Irvin hijacked that interview?

SCHOLES: You know what, Julie was a little nervous. She even said it herself. She's used to getting the questions asked to her. When she had to ask the questions she was a little jittery.

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: All right. Thank you, Andy. Good stuff.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: Facebook's news may soon hit closer to home. Facebook promoting more local news. It's latest effort to prove it -- you know what, it can have a positive impact on society.

BRIGGS: Hmm, yes.

ROMANS: It's more than just looking up old boyfriends.

We've got more on "CNN Money Stream," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:54:22] BRIGGS: I love that stuff.

The Trump administration missing another deadline to impose sanctions on Russia. The administration taking a different approach.

Just before midnight Eastern time, the Treasury Department did release a Russian oligarch list. It names more than 200 politicians and businessmen, many with Kremlin ties. For now, the White House is only putting those on the list on notice.

Frederik Pleitgen live in Moscow with the reaction -- Fred.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, some pretty angry reactions here from Moscow.

We've heard from the spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, who incidentally is, himself, also on that list. He says that the list shows that all of the Russian government, in their mind, is an enemy of the American state, so some pretty angry words.

[05:55:05] There's other Russian politicians, Dave, who have come forward and said that this jeopardizes relations between the U.S. and Russia if those can get any worse than they already are.

And you're right, the list -- the list, pretty much the entire Russian government and then also a lot of oligarchs who apparently are close to the Putin government. All of them each worth over $1 billion.

Now all of this, of course, Dave, is in reaction to Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election. Well, the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency believes the Russians are still at it and want to try again in the upcoming elections.

Here's what Mike Pompeo had to say in an interview with Britain's BBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: The Russians have a long history of these information campaigns. That part of it's not new. The technology that enables it is now cheap and plentiful and the capability of transferring information around the world is much simpler than it was in World War II or decades ago.

This threat's not going to go away. The Russians have been at this a long time and I fully expect they'll continue to be at it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PLEITGEN: Some clear warnings there that we're hearing from the CIA.

And, you know, one of the things that President Trump has been saying essentially since he took office is he wants to improve relations with Moscow. But judging from what we've been seeing over the past days, weeks, and of course, especially on this day, it seems that's not really happening at this time, Dave.

BRIGGS: Indeed. All right, Frederik Pleitgen. Just about 2:00 p.m. there in Moscow. Thank you.

Today, we'll get the results of the state investigation into this month's false missile alert in Hawaii. The probe has now wrapped up weeks after the mishap that sent the island's population running for shelter. Officials say they will announce actions concerning personnel within the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Hawaiian officials have already said the employee responsible was disciplined and reassigned, but not fired.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning.

U.S. stocks fell from record highs. Wall Street saw its biggest decline so far this year. Stocks might fall again today.

If you look at futures right now, they are lower. Global stock markets are also down.

You can blame rising bond rates and Apple. Apple fell two percent on news weak sales forced it to cut production of its $1,000 iPhone X. Apple reports earnings later this week.

Wall Street's longest-serving CEO staying on a little longer. Jamie Dimon will lead JPMorgan for five more years, quieting speculation Dimon could leave Wall Street for Washington, perhaps. Dimon has been CEO for 12 years. He is credited with steering JPMorgan Chase through the financial crisis.

The bank is already working on finding a successor. Two of his deputies were promoted to the joint roles of president and chief operating officer, but Dimon will stay on for five more years.

With soaring stocks and a strong labor market, Americans are spending more. That also means they are saving less.

Household savings hit the lowest rate since 2005. That was during -- just remember -- the beginning of the housing boom. Debt is not to blame this time.

Low savings will leave Americans vulnerable, though, if the economy takes a downturn. The lowest savings rate since 2005.

Facebook's news may soon hit closer to home. It will promote more local news. This is the third big newsfeed change this month, including showing more content from your friends -- your actual friends -- and rating news sources so you can -- you can have, you know, faith in what you're reading.

This is Facebook's latest effort to prove, yes, it can have a positive effect on society. It faces lots of criticism for enabling fake news and foreign election meddling on its sites.

BRIGGS: A positive impact on society, indeed. That's what I think of when I think of Facebook.

ROMANS: Is that going to clean up your feed? I want to look at your feed. It's full of all kinds of garbage.

BRIGGS: It just so -- I was just -- I just was spinning through the hate and political nastiness. ROMANS: Political hate.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

"NEW DAY" from D.C. starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow -- early, at 3:00 -- 3:00 a.m. Eastern

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: They have crossed from dangerously dealing with intelligence to a cover-up.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R), FLORIDA: When you read the memo it's going to be pretty clear why Democrats did not want it to come into the public light.

SCHIFF: And we had votes today to politicize the intelligence process.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they're going to release that memo, then they have to release the Democratic memo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the House hasn't had a chance to look at that -- the minority report.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, "CUOMO PRIME TIME", CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": You have not seen the intelligence that it's based on?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH), MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: No, we're not permitted to see that.

CUOMO: But doesn't that concern you?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The latest turmoil in the Russia probe comes as the president is about to deliver his first State of the Union speech.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump has two scales (ph). He has Comey, he has McCabe.

SANDERS: None of this decision was made by that of the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To say they had no influence on the department and the deputy director is a little bit disingenuous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are watching NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, January 30th, 6:00 here in Washington, D.C. for our special coverage of tonight's speech.

So, here's our "Starting Line."

President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address this evening. He is expected to tout his tax cuts and the strength of the U.S. economy while calling for bipartisan action on immigration and infrastructure.

But, a political firestorm is also consuming the nation's capital.