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What is President Trump's Plan to Battle Opioids?; Trump Calls for Unity in State of the Union Address. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired January 31, 2018 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CUOMO: Let's talk about this reality. We were talking before we came back here live that you say 80 to 90 percent of your job on a daily basis somehow involves drugs and addiction, whether it's, you know, a crime of opportunity, or selling or whatever.
[07:00:27] It's a big issue now. And good -- you know, good point for the president is opioids are on the spectrum now. Heroin is on the spectrum. We need help. Money is getting thrown at politics, a lot of talk. What do you see every day in terms of where the need is and what still needs to be done by government?
RYAN HOLETS, POLICE OFFICER WHO ADOPTED ADDICT'S BABY: So one of the biggest issues that comes up when I talk to somebody who's addicted, there's many of them who tell me, "I would love to go to treatment. There's just nowhere for me to go."
And in our particular state, there's such a limited amount of resources available that the waiting lists are hundreds of people ahead of them. And so at that point, they're going to get discouraged and just stay on the street doing what they're doing.
And unfortunately, as a police officer, I -- I find them with drugs. I find them committing crime. They go to jail. A lot of them get right back out on the street, because they're not held. And so then they're right back doing drugs again. So it's just a cycle. We've had some success with drug courts rather than putting them in prison, trying to do rehab. And those are very limited because of funding.
CAMEROTA: Do you want to hear more from our officials, from the White House about what the plan is?
HOLETS: Yes. I think, at this point, as we're trying to get this plan together, I don't know what they're going to do, how they're going to do it. Because I think the limiting factor is -- it's going to be expensive.
HOLETS: Tom and Crystal's rehab and recovery, if you could see the numbers for how expensive just the two of them can be --
CUOMO: If it weren't for this benefactor who came in, who knows where they'd be right now.
HOLETS: There's no way I could afford it personally. I -- I had been thinking about setting up a GoFundMe to raise money for rehab, and then they came in and offered that, and it was fantastic. But that was one of the road blocks I was encountering. As much as I wanted to get them into rehab, I just didn't have anywhere that I could take them. It's very very expensive to do a legitimate good rehab and recovery center.
CAMEROTA: We need the resources. And you're living it. And you did more than any human being really could ever be expected to. And we're just -- you inspire us. So Officer Holets, thanks so much.
CUOMO: It's so blow-away. You're not here to sell drug policy. You're not a politician. You're just an example of what somebody does when their head and their heart are aligned to do the right thing.
HOLETS: Thank you. My -- like you said, my faith directs what I do, but I feel that action is the most important thing.
CUOMO: Many believe. Few act the way you did. The best and all blessings to you, your wife, your five kids. You've given us literally hope in two different ways.
CAMEROTA: Great to talk to you.
CUOMO: All right. Look, if that doesn't make you feel good about how you want to live your life, I don't know what will.
Thanks to you, our international viewers, for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" is next.
For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues. There is a ton of news. What do you say? Let's get after it.
CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. President Trump hailing the start of a new American moment in his first State of the Union address, calling on on a deeply divided country to unify and challenging Republicans and Democrats to work together for the American people.
The president also laid out the four pillars of his immigration plan, leaving both Democrats and Republicans a bit on edge, but for very different reasons.
CUOMO: Now, notably absent from the president's 80-minute address, maybe he third longest ever, was any mention of Russia's election interference or the ongoing investigation into possibly collusion with Trump's campaign. Not a big surprise. But it matters.
And this is going on as the president offers a major clue about whether he's going to reduce -- release a controversial and classified memo by Republicans that alleges surveillance abuses by the FBI. His own DOJ appointees did not want him to release it.
We have it all covered. Let's begin with CNN's Abby Phillip live at the White House -- Abby.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, good morning. President Trump tried to strike an optimistic tone this morning --
last night in his speech, a stark contrast to what we usually see him doing on social media where he is a lot more combative. But in that nearly 80-minute-long speech, that he was touting what he calls the dawn of a new American moment. It was far less policy and more tone last night.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people. This is really the key. These are the people we were elected to serve.
PHILLIP: President Trump striking a conciliatory tone, urging lawmakers to move past the deep divisions that have defined his first year in office.
TRUMP: This in fact, is our new American moment.
PHILLIP: Mr. Trump also utilizing the same polarizing language that has fomented the divide.
TRUMP: Americans are dreamers, too.
PHILLIP: Appearing to draw a line from DREAMers to the dangerous MS- 13 gang members that killed two teenage girls, their grieving parents guests in the audience.
TRUMP: For decades open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They've allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.
PHILLIP: Mr. Trump pledging to work with both parties to strike a deal on immigration. But his plan to restrict a program that allows immigrants to bring their family members to the U.S. provoking boos from Democrats.
TRUMP: Under our plan --
PHILLIP: President Trump devoting much of his speech to touting his economic successes and signature legislative achievement.
TRUMP: Just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.
PHILLIP: A claim a CNN reality check deems to be false.
Mr. Trump calling on Democrats to work with him on an ambitious list of agenda items, including infrastructure, trade, opioid addiction, prison reform and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, while boasting about rolling back a number of Obama-era policies, including the individual mandate and announcing plans to keep the controversial military prison in Guantanamo Bay open.
The president also revisiting another divisive issue he's been focused on this year, taking an apparent swipe at NFL players while honoring 12-year-old Preston Sharp for his compassion toward veterans.
TRUMP: Preston's reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us of why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.
PHILLIP: Sharp was one of a number of emotional stories the president highlighted during his speech, honoring guests like Otto Warmbier's parents, the American student who was held in prison in North Korea and died shortly after his release, along with a North Korean defector who lost his leg while fleeing the regime.
President Trump issuing a stark warning about the North Korean threat and calling on Congress to bolster U.S. defense.
TRUMP: North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.
PHILLIP: And calling on Congress to bolster U.S. defense.
TRUMP: As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.
PHILLIP: Mr. Trump made no mention of Russia's interference in the 2016 election but was overhead on camera with conservative Congressman Jeff Duncan, talking about releasing a classified GOP memo that alleges surveillance abuses by the FBI, a move Democrats say is meant to undermine the Russia probe.
REP. JEFF DUNCAN (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Let's release the memo.
TRUMP: Don't worry. A hundred percent.
TRUMP: After that big hint he dropped on the State of the Union floor last night, and with the State of the Union out of the way, he faces a big decision about what to do with that memo.
One of the other things that he is not going to be doing this week is taking his policies and his State of the Union message out on the road. The president is not expected to do what a lot of previous presidents have done to reinforce their messages by going out into the country. He'll remain, for the most part, close to Washington -- Alisyn and Chris.
CAMEROTA: OK, Abby, thank you very much for all of that. Let's bring in CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for the "New York Times," Maggie Haberman.
Maggie, great to see you. Let's just start there with what Abby was just reporting. Do you know why the president doesn't want to take this on the road and do the sort of typical road show to try to continue to have some wind in the sails from this speech?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, one of the many reasons that he actually doesn't like traveling that much, he has not been that eager to leave the White House, other than to go to Mar-a- Lago, one of his own properties, or to go golfing, there is some debate within the White House about how effective it is when he does these rallies. As you know, they are opportunities for him to sell and do well, but they're also opportunities for him to go off-script and to say things that undermine the message that the White House has worked on in the first place.
I think there is also a belief right now they're not sure how many people are going to actually want the president campaigning for them in key districts and states where there are tough races. Less is more for the president right now.
CUOMO: Maggie, help us understand what is going to be the next dramatic turn in this presidency, which revolves around the memo. Sarah Sanders said the Nunes memo, they have no plans to release it. Then last night, the president seemed to tell another lawmakers "100 percent" when asked to release it. What do you hear about the inclination and the timing? He could do nothing, just so people at home know. He has five days. He could do nothing. And then the Congress can act unilaterally. That's the way the process works. What are you hearing?
Haberman: Chris, it is important to remember White House aides were saying, and I heard the same as well from them right before the speech essentially is that the president had not yet reviewed this memo. They did not want him to see it, is my understanding from sources to distract him from the State of the Union. And yet, you heard him do the 100 percent with somebody who said release it.
Now it's possible that he is pleasing whatever audience he's in front of at that moment when he did it. It's also possible that he believes, which I have heard he does, that this memo, just based on what he learned from watching cable television, would help his cause. He believes what he understands its contents to be. And from other sources that he has heard about the information contained in it. There is an active debate about whether releasing this is a wise idea.
As we know, the FBI director went to go visit the -- and I think the deputy attorney general met with the chief of staff, John Kelly, on Monday asking him to please not release this memo. There are some in the White House think this is not a good idea. We will have a verdict, I believe, on this later today.
CUOMO: You had Rosenstein now go to the chief of staff, and you had Boyd, who was a Trump appointee in the DOJ. He also reached out to the White House, saying, "We haven't looked at this. This is not the way to do it."
CAMEROTA: It would be totally counter to the president's instincts and impulses. I mean, he wants this is information. It comports with what he's been saying from what we know about it.
So your reporting is they might give us an answer by later today. And would you be surprised if the president decided not to release it?
HABERMAN: To a degree. Only because we know he is itching to get it out there. If he decides not to release it, it is because he has listened to the counsel of certain people within his White House and he has listened to the counsel of the Justice Department, which has been pretty clear on this all along: "Please do not release this. There is classified information in here. We do not want this out."
We have seen before there are times when the president will heed his advisers' words. This could end up being one of them. But as always, we are watching some kind of a mental wrestling match going on.
CUOMO: I can't believe he's going to do anything without reading it. Because if there's anything he's going he's going to be sensitive to is being set up to fail. You know?
HABERMAN: I think that's -- I think that's true. I think that's true.
CUOMO: What do you hear about this reporting/speculation that Nunes had help from the White House? We know, by the way, that Nunes -- we don't know. The reporting is that he didn't read the confidential information, the classified folio that backs up his own memo, his conclusions. But what do you hear on that, that the White House helped?
HABERMAN: You saw that Nunes was asked this question, and he would not answer it yesterday, I believe. I think there is certainly reason to believe that somebody in the White House would be working with Nunes. We have seen that before, right? We saw that early in 2017, but I have no specific knowledge of it.
CAMEROTA: So Maggie, that last line -- let's talk about the speech. It was billed beforehand that it would be a unifying speech. It would be bipartisan in nature. Democrats --
HABERMAN: It was. He offered something for both sides, right? I mean, DACA for Democrats. But then he talked to his base about what he has said about immigration consistently for three years.
CAMEROTA: Well, there you go. I mean, that's the point. The Democrats would beg to differ, in terms of, you know, that it was unifying. And I'm just reading their body language, sitting on their hands.
CUOMO: We've never seen it any worse than last night. I've never seen Nancy Pelosi say stuff like that --
CUOMO: -- during a State of the Union.
HABERMAN: I agree. I mean, look it was -- I think that there were two goals that the president wanted to have with the speech last night. Three. One was to, essentially get through it without offering policy. One was to get through it with, at times, extremely optimistic, lofty rhetoric especially early on in the speech that we don't usually hear him do in noncanned, non-teleprompter speeches. And then to not offer any new policy. It was a really retrospective look at his first year in office. And so he did all of those things.
But at the end of the day, it is what we have seen with this president since the campaign. On the one hand, he offers very lofty rhetoric. On the other hand, he puts in what Democrats and he claims to be extends a hand to, he knows will see as a poisoned pill on the topic of immigration. That is what we saw.
CUOMO: All right. Are you with me on the -- ?
CAMEROTA: Oh, yes. Maggie, what's your jam?
CUOMO: Maggie. Maggie. Poor Maggie. She always -- like, she tries to keep it together and be serious. I'm always -- I'm always shaking her base. I think this is very professional. In terms of identifying a theme --
HABERMAN: -- definitely here, so it's different. I'm having trouble with it.
CUOMO: In terms of identifying a theme for last night, I was struck, Maggie, as I watched the entire speech, that the lyrics, the song itself by Demi Lovato --
[07:15:05] CAMEROTA: "Sorry, Not Sorry."
CUOMO: -- "Sorry, Not Sorry," seemed to be perfectly capturing what was going on last night. Here are some of the lyrics. You be the judge.
CAMEROTA: First, he's going to read them.
CUOMO: OK? "Baby I'm sorry -- "
(SINGING) "Not sorry."
CAMEROTA: Wow. Keep going.
CUOMO: "Being so bad got me feeling so good."
CUOMO: And then "Looking for revenge, feeling like a 10. The best I've ever been."
CAMEROTA: It doesn't rhyme.
CUOMO: "I know how bad it must hurt." I didn't write it. "I didn't know how bad -- I know how bad it must hurt to see me like this, but it gets worse."
CAMEROTA: Also doesn't rhyme.
CUOMO: "I know how bad it must hurt to see me like this, but it gets worse."
When I was watching him last night, he didn't even look at the prompter, Maggie -- all right, back to us. Back to us. He didn't even look at the prompter on the side of the stage where the Democrats were. And he seemed to be looking at them. And he would be partially conciliatory, "I'm sorry." And then look to the Republicans and say, "Not sorry."
And there was a little bit of revenge tour going on for him. He was painting what he called carnage the first time around. Yes, beautiful examples of people who had made it through horrible situations in the audience. Poignant. But --
CAMEROTA: Jump in any time, Maggie.
CUOMO: What do you think of this? I wanted to lay out the case fully before you shoot it down. Do you see this --
HABERMAN: I wanted to see where this is going.
CAMEROTA: So do we all.
CUOMO: Do you see this as thematically relevant?
HABERMAN: I do. But I think that you could -- to go with your metaphor, that you could set that tune to repeat. Right? I mean, you could have said that at any point over the last three years of the campaign and the presidency. I did think there were real human poignant moments in that speech, in terms of, in particular, the attendees who he singled out. You were interviewing one of them before.
But yes, he would then turn to his base and essentially say, "Look what I did for you."
I found him not looking at Democrats -- and I hear what you're saying -- to be less about sort of the sorry, not sorry. That the piece of it, he's so interpersonally conflict-averse that the way he generally feels of it when he's face-to-face with someone who he has an issue with, he tries to pretend they're not there as long as he can. And that's how I interpreted that.
But I like that song a lot. I'm taking my daughter to that concert. There you go.
CUOMO: Strong endorsement.
CAMEROTA: Very. Maggie can even run with your dramatic reading of Demi Lovato. Wow, she's that good.
HABERMAN: Very early in the morning.
CAMEROTA: Right. OK. In the next hour we'll talk about "Look What You Made Me Do."
CUOMO: Oh, that's nice. Taylor Swift.
CAMEROTA: Exactly. Maggie, thank you.
HABERMAN: Thanks, guys.
CUOMO: I know that.
CAMEROTA: In the Democratic response, Congressman Joe Kennedy III called the president a bully without ever saying his name. Does he believe Democrats and Republicans can work together in Washington? We ask him, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[07:21:39] REP. JOSEPH KENNEDY III (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We fight for both, because the greatest, strongest, richest nation in the world should not have to leave anyone behind. We choose a better deal for all who call our country home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That was Congressman Joe Kennedy sharply criticizing President Trump without ever saying his name in the Democratic response to the State of the Union, pitching a better deal for Americans.
So can Democrats work with Republicans to achieve their goals? And what is their message? Congressman Joe Kennedy joins us now.
Good morning, Congressman.
KENNEDY: Good morning. How are you?
CAMEROTA: I'm well. How are you? How was that experience last night?
KENNEDY: It was a lot of fun. I have a lot more caffeine and a lot less lip gloss on. So --
CAMEROTA: Hold on a second. So was it lip gloss? Is that what you're going with? Or was it Chapstick.
KENNEDY: It was -- it was, I would go with Chapstick. But so whatever it was, it was a little too much, apparently. I should have put it on the spotlight, and I didn't.
CAMEROTA: Hey, welcome to my world, Congressman.
KENNEDY: Hopefully, I won't make that mistake. I mean, I'm right there with you. Oops. CAMEROTA: And yes, I mean, HD is unforgiving. And so all of the chap this morning about if your lips were too moisturized or too glossy, I mean, this is life in the big leagues. You know?
CAMEROTA: But -- right? Well, about -- well, first of all, let's just talk about all the Democratic responses. What did you make of there being not one, not just yours but there being five Democratic responses?
KENNEDY: I think it's great. Look, I was obviously thrilled with the opportunity and honored by it. I think what our party needs at the moment is an awful lot of voices out there. We're a big-tent party. It's a broad, diverse country. Part of what -- those scenes that I tried to touch on last night. And to try to find ways to actually construct an overarching narrative that will unify not only our party but our country.
And so to have a number of folks that are out there, putting forth that message, look, it's still early in the electoral process. I expect that that will unify in the course as we get tighter to the -- those midterm elections. And then certainly as we go through the process towards 2020. I think part of that is -- we'll come together as we find a nominee. But in the meantime, I think -- I encourage it.
CAMEROTA: But it's not a unified message. I mean, it's actually Exhibit A of Democrats' division. You know, that your message couldn't just stand alone, that there were all these unofficial messages from Bernie Sanders and beyond that cropped up. And that makes it seem as though Democrats are actually not on the same page.
KENNEDY: I think that there's one -- I haven't seen all of those -- the responses yet. I think that there's themes that obviously connect those responses from many of my Democratic colleagues that I think you'll see highlighted over the course of the weeks and months ahead.
And again, I think, look, we're -- believe me, I feel this angst. I hear all the time what's our message and who are the leaders of the party, who is going to be your nominee in 2020, et cetera, et cetera. Look, I think what the most important thing that Democrats need to do -- and I think it's better for our country -- is you have a big broad debate.
You have people that are putting forth the narratives and seeing whether they resonate, and testing them out and seeing what we can do to build those constituencies and highlight those similarities and then bring people together. And so I do think it's an important part to the process as we go along, ramping up to these midterms, and I'm sure well after.
CAMEROTA: Let me play one more portion of your response last night, about bullies. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [07:25:13] KENNEDY: Bullies may land a punch. They may leave a mark,
but they have never, not once in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So was that about President Trump?
KENNEDY: Look, it's, I think, about anybody that seeks to scapegoat people they should be protecting. We all have dealt with bullies in the course of our lives. I think the lessons that we learned from the time of a little kid is that, when somebody is exhibiting that type of behavior, you stand up to the folks that they're trying to take it out on. You stand up for the folks they're scapegoating.
And I think -- the he remarks that I tried to highlight last night was that our country has always aspired to being that unifying force, that unifying -- that city on a hill, if you will, that example of what a society that is open and inclusive and fair looks like.
And I don't think we've seen those action out of this president. We've heard some very nice words last night about coming together and unifying the party -- unifying the country. Which look, there's not a single person out there that's against it.
What we have then seen over the course of this past year is a track record that does, literally, anything but. And I think the president and his administration has to own not just his words but his actions. And his words can be divisive enough.
CAMEROTA: Why didn't you use his name last night?
KENNEDY: This isn't just about one person. It isn't just about the president of the United States. This is also about who we are as a country, who we are as a nation, who we aspire to be. And about a message that I think Democrats need to be putting forward.
And so I think it gets back to the core of who we are and what we stand for. And so, while obviously, yes, the speech was a response to the president's State of the Union. It was, in effect, about the character in which he has been leading the country, it was also my hope, anyway, bigger than that.
CAMEROTA: Listen, you hear lots of pundits, I think, say you can't just be against the president. That's not going to be about form. That's not going to be something Americans can get their arms around. So can you define what the Democrats' overarching message is for voters?
KENNEDY: Yes, absolutely. And look, it is one where we stand -- we are stronger when we stand together. We are stronger when we fight for each other. That gets back to the core of what this country is about. It means that you have an economy that, yes, can and should boast about those record stock prices but recognizing that 50 percent of Americans don't own a single stock. Eighty percent of the stocks are controlled by about 10 percent of American families.
Using the stock market as a barometer for economic growth is not the right measure. It's helpful, but it's certainly not inclusive of many of the other folks and families that I was with last night. The students we were with at Diamond (ph), at vocational school. The stock market going up is helpful, but that's not necessarily going to guarantee them a way to a solid middle-class lifestyle. And that's the part that I think we need to continue to focus on.
Look, there are an awful lot of issues out there that are important to this country. They are important to 320 million Americans. It's a big broad tent nation. That's something to celebrate.
We also have to recognize that if you are struggling to keep a roof over your head, food on your plate, your kid in school and save for retirement, then nothing else really matters. And so we have to have a core economic message that is focused on not just those that are benefiting from the economic system at the moment but that those that aren't and there are some struggling to have access to it. And that's where our focus needs to be.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Joe Kennedy, thanks so much for recapping it all with us this morning. Great to talk to you.
KENNEDY: Alisyn, thank you. Appreciate it.
CAMEROTA: Coming up in our next hour, we have White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. She's going to join us live right here on NEW DAY with the thoughts inside the White House about the speech.
CUOMO: Up next, we go to a different Kennedy for another take on last night. There's no relation, obviously. Republican Senator John Kennedy joins us. What did he make of the speech, as a Republican from the south? And does he think the president should release a classified memo alleging FBI misconduct?