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CNN NEWSROOM

Interview with Representative Claudia Tenney; Dow Swings Wildly After Monday's Record Drop; Jeff Sessions Called for Fresh Start at the FBI; Elon Musk's Powerful Rocket Set to Lift Off. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired February 6, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00] REP. CLAUDIA TENNEY (R), FINANCE SERVICES COMMITTEE: -- by Chuck Schumer and many of the Democrats, not just supported, they voted for these things in the past, and you can just roll back on your old YouTube videos and find, you know, many examples of that and their voting records. So why are they suddenly now moving the football, like Lucy with the football in the old Peanuts cartoon?

I start to believe the president when he says they really don't care about solving this problem. We do. We want a predictable immigration system, we want to get it done, we're willing to make compromises. The fact that the president went from 690,000 so-called DACA recipients to extend that to 1.8 million I thought was a very generous offer. I thought it was really reasonable.

What Senator McCain offered is out of this world crazy. I don't -- I don't support it. We have an issue that we have to deal with, and I think the president has made clear that that's what we're willing to do and I think a lot of Republicans don't like what the president offered. I mean, my first blush at it at the State of the Union was, wow, this is really generous.

And I was just shocked. I had Democrats sitting behind me that sat on their hands, not seeing what the president was trying to do. And I think it's unfortunate that they don't at least look into the many proposals that are on the table, other than the McCain proposal.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I want to -- I want to pick up on something you just said because you brought up the State of the Union, which the president brought up yesterday when he was in Ohio. And here's what he had to say about some of your fellow lawmakers on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even on positive news, really positive news like that, they were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yes, I guess, why not? You know?

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: "Un-American, treasonous, don't love our country very much." Would you agree with that?

TENNEY: I would say it was un-American. And they don't love our country. I don't know if I'd go as far as treasonous, but, you know, the president is before a large audience and he likes to talk in colorful language. But I sat on the Democratic side and I was frankly appalled at the behavior of the Democrats. I was inundated with text messages and e-mails from Democrats all across my district saying how ashamed they were of the Democratic Party, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, telling Democrats to sit down.

The fact that they sat down when the president introduced a few couples where their children were killed by MS-13, a scourge that is hurting not only other parts of the country, but in New York state, the place where I call home, so, yes, I thought it was terrible that they didn't -- for very American ideas and why? Why not? Because they're just about resist. And what does resist mean? Obstruct. They're not interested in dialogue.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: So when you're --

TENNEY: They're not interested in working with us and trying to come up with solutions.

HILL: Let me just ask you, because on the other side in years past, there are always going to be times when the -- whoever the president is in power, the opposing party is not going to applaud everything that the commander-in-chief says in that State of the Union address for obvious reasons. We heard Joe Wilson yell out "you lie" and yet those moments were not called un-American and saying people don't love their country. Is that dangerous rhetoric?

TENNEY: Yes -- no, I --

HILL: People who go for elected office --

TENNEY: I think you're mischaracterizing that. You know what I did? I went back and looked at some of the State of the Union addresses with President Obama, which, by the way, as a Republican, I was upset about many of the things he said as a small business owner. You know, his blame and divide and conquer strategy against Americans, you know, I felt like that when I was watching the State of the Union, but I watch those and people were standing for things that were American values, the flag, God, all those things that the Democrats refuse to stand for with President Trump.

They didn't stand because it was President Trump. I saw many more Republicans en masse standing up in President Obama's State of the Union addresses and that's because when he mentioned something that was American and unity and something that we can all stand behind, freedom and those good things, he stood up for it.

And I just found it was -- I've never seen a State of the Union address quite like the one that we had last week.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: I'm going to have to leave it there because we are out of time.

TENNEY: Thank you so much.

HILL: We appreciate you taking some time with us this morning. Thank you.

TENNEY: Thank you.

HILL: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin just speaking out about the wild ride we have been watching on Wall Street. His comments next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:38:41] HILL: Looking there, down about 200 points as you can see on your screen on the Dow. It's been a little bit of back and forth between positive and negative territory after that record fall yesterday. The market is open for about an hour now. There was that short rebound earlier in the day.

With us now to discuss, Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR Incorporated, and Richard Quest, host, of course, of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."

We also just heard from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. I just want to play really quickly for you both what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: The stock market is up significantly over 30 percent since President Trump was elected. We're monitoring the stock markets, they're functioning very well. And we continue to believe in the long-term impact of the stock market.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Things are functioning very well. Is that all is well, Richard Quest?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Live by the Dow, die by the Dow. That's the saying that they have here in the market, which is a very good reason why presidents never usually comment other than to say they're watching it. And Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, fell into the trap unfortunately when he reminds everybody that it is up 30 percent. In other words, he's saying, don't worry about the losses of the last 48 hours or the last two or three days because you're still up overall. It's a very dangerous game when the market could be turning against you.

[10:40:03] What we are seeing, though, Erica, is a market that is extremely volatile. For instance, when I arrived here at the Stock Exchange just 40 minutes ago, it was up 170 points. Ten minutes later, it was down by a similar amount. Then it was down by 90 points. Now we're up 119. When you started this section of the program, you were up over 203.

This is going to be the tale going forward until this corrective force finally wears itself out. Volatility, Erica, is what we will now expect for the foreseeable.

HILL: So we're expecting that volatility. There is also plenty of talk this morning, Art, that a correction was needed. And this is not something that people should be overly concerned about because we had seen gains for such a long time.

ART HOGAN, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, B. RILEY FBR, INCORPORATED: Erica, that's right. Richard brings up a very good point. What we hadn't seen was volatility. So that lulled us to sleep. We're not used to seeing this kind of price action. But historically markets have a 5 percent to 10 percent drawdown on an annual basis.

We haven't seen them that in all of 2017. In fact we started at 20 percent gain to the S&P 500 pretty much out of the gates uninterrupted to the end of the year and we started January up about 7 percent. So that's not normal market action. What we're seeing now is certainly not normal volatility, but it's volatility that we have not seen for quite some time. And it is a normal part of the market pricing mechanism.

So, as Richard says, we'll find that a level at which this market gets them some support, but, you know, watching this up 200 kind of action is nerve wracking, but a normal part of the process.

HILL: Yes. Today in many ways not for the faint of heart. Also not for the average investors to be watching this -- that closely, Richard. A lot of this is -- we're also talking about, as we talk about this correction that we're seeing, we're talking about this positive job numbers from Friday, we're talking about a rise in wages. Those things are good for the economy.

QUEST: Yes, but you see what you're talking about, the two sides of the same coin. As the market -- look, as that job number gets better, the U.S. is de facto up full employment. We can discuss whether or not it's partial employment, underemployment, but in terms of full time jobs, the U.S. is just about almost there. And that's going to create wage pressures and that's what we saw on Friday.

Now the flip side of that same coin is a Federal Reserve under its new chairman who will adopt the same policies as Janet Yellen and that is a slow but steady, data dependent rise in interest rates.

Now the markets suddenly woke up to that on Friday. What I think -- and I was listening very carefully to what Art was saying. I listened to it very, very closely. What we're going to look for now is when the correction is over and that trading sideways before you get a future direction. So, I mean, in sort of market lingo, we've come down, now we've got to work out how far we're coming down and how long. So the last correction, for example, lasted several months, where the

market just goes backwards and forwards, up a bit, down a bit. It drops but it holds its nerve and then starts the ascendancy again. Now that's what we're going to be looking for. We're not there yet. We're still looking on the downside. But we're looking to see when that happens.

HILL: Well, we'll be watching that. We're going to have to leave it there, gentlemen. Appreciate you both joining us.

Art Hogan, Richard Quest, thank you.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he believes the FBI needs a fresh start. Hear what else he has to say about the bureau next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:47:40] HILL: Attorney General Jeff Sessions says there has been a, quote, "erosion of confidence in the FBI and the Department of Justice." Telling the "Washington Examiner," "I have believed it was important to have a fresh start at the FBI and actually it was in my letter to the president when I recommended Comey's removal. I used the words fresh start. And the FBI director is Chris Wray, a very talented, smart and capable leader."

Joining me now Asha Rangappa, CNN legal and national security analyst, and former special agent at the FBI.

When you hear those words from Jeff Session that a fresh start is needed, number one, do you agree and number two, what does that look like?

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it's interesting that he believes there's been an erosion of confidence since a lot of that erosion has been a result of a lot of the politics that have taken place surrounding the Mueller investigation instead of just letting it continue unimpeded.

I don't know what he means by a fresh start. Most FBI agents are civil servants, career civil servants. They are there because they felt a sense of mission and they have protections. You know, you can't just fire everybody in the FBI and then hire people anew. And they also have a lot of institutional expertise in their various areas. So it would be a very bad idea for us to do that.

I will note, though, Erica, one thing that caught my ear when you were reading that statement is him referencing his letter on why Comey needs to go, and I think there could also be a secondary motive of trying to affirm that there were good reasons to fire Comey and not illicit ones that Mueller might be looking into. Just a note there.

HILL: And an important note. In terms of the Mueller investigation, there is new reporting this morning of course from "The New York Times" that the president's attorneys want him to refuse an interview with Special Counsel Bob Mueller and this comes on the heels of CNN reporting from last week that the president's attorneys were arguing that the Mueller team hadn't met the high threshold it needed to have a face-to-face interview with the president. This could be pushing things closer to perhaps even a subpoena despite the fact the president has said he looks forward to sitting down with Robert Mueller.

How far do you think this gets pushed?

RANGAPPA: Well, this particular question of whether the special counsel could compel the president to testify in front of a grand jury hasn't yet been decided.

[10:45:08] So they could push it all the way to have it legally decided by a court. I think that it's an uphill battle for the president because the criminal process is given very high weight by the court. When there is information that someone can provide, even the president of the United States, they aren't immune from having to participate in that process.

What it does, though, Erica, is it buys them time. Listen, if I were the president's lawyers, I wouldn't let him get near Mueller -- within 20 feet of Mueller. You just don't want him to talk in an interview to agents, in front of a grand jury, because the likelihood of committing perjury is very high.

But this allows them to put it off and avoid some of the political downside of, say, having to take the Fifth Amendment which would be his other option and may not look good in the court of public opinion.

HILL: We talked so much over the last several days about the different memos. Obviously now the Democratic memo is in the hands of the president. He will have to decide whether to release that. "The New York Times," though, is also, as we're talking so much more about the FISA court and about requests, is requesting to see those documents.

These are documents that have never been revealed since, of course, this act was enacted in 1978 and you in your role also used to obtain FISA warrants. A, do you think that request by "The New York Times" would ever be granted and, B, what kind of information could then be out there?

RANGAPPA: I don't think that request should be granted. This is an ongoing investigation, Erica. And there are -- the whole point is that there are multiple sources and methods and investigative tools that have gone into providing the evidence for the underlying affidavit that would have led to a FISA order. So they would not have just relied on the Steele dossier.

Some of those are incredibly sensitive. They could be overseas resources who are in danger if they are outed. So this is needs to go through an internal review with, say, the Office of the Inspector General if there is a true concern that the FBI didn't follow its procedures, or didn't provide enough evidence.

All of that needs to be done in a secret classified setting with a report that comes out. This is not something that the public can really assess and it would be bad for our national security for all of that to be released at this point.

HILL: Asha, always appreciate your insight on these matters. Thank you.

RANGAPPA: Thank you.

HILL: The moment of truth nearly here for billionaire Elon Musk. His Falcon Heavy rocket is the world's most powerful rocket. It's set to lift off from Kennedy Space Center in a matter of hours and we're there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:57:24] HILL: In less than three hours, the most powerful rocket in the world is set to lift off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Falcon Heavy is billionaire SpaceX founder Elon Musk's baby. It is equipped with 27 engines, the power of 18 Boeing 747s, and when it lifts off, it will also be carrying Musk's own cherry red Tesla.

Rachel Crane got a chance to speak with Musk and she joins us now -- Rachel.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erica, this is a huge day for SpaceX and space exploration in general. Once that Falcon Heavy behind me has lift off, it will become the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. And people are flocking to Cape Canaveral and Coco Beach to see this historic flight.

I mean, the hotels are sold out, the parking lots are jammed, there are mile-long lines to get into Kennedy Space Center and we're still hours away from launch. Also, the Kennedy Visitors Center sold out viewing tickets to this launch, thousands of them, in just 24 hours.

Now I have the opportunity to speak with Elon Musk yesterday ahead of today's launch about the excitement surrounding this launch. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELON MUSK, FOUNDER, SPACEX: It's the biggest rocket in the world by far. It's like the first time something exciting has happened in rocket launch in a very long time, far from, you know, versus landing. Whether the rocket succeeds or fails, it's going to be exciting. People coming from around the world to see what will either be a great rocket launch or the best fireworks display they've ever seen.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CRANE: Erica, he went on to say that it is really a miracle that this rocket is able to hold itself together at all. It's basically three of their Falcon nine rockets held together. But, you know, firework displays are great, but everybody here on the ground at Kennedy Space Center and really around the world is rooting for a successful launch today.

HILL: And once that launch ideally is successful, what does it mean other than, you know, getting this very powerful rocket up there, what will it do?

CRANE: Well, it would be a huge accomplishment for SpaceX and really for space exploration because SpaceX is able to pull off this launch. They will do it for just a fraction of the cost what other heavy lift rockets cost per launch. It would just be $90 million.

Elon Musk says that they also can carry twice as much payload into space and go much further than the other heavy lift rockets on the market currently -- Erica.

HILL: Which could be fascinating to see where that takes us next.

Rachel Crane, appreciate it. Thank you.

Thanks to all of you for joining us. I'm Erica Hill. "AT THIS HOUR" starts right now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there. I'm Brianna Keilar in for Kate Bolduan. Buckle up for another white knuckle ride on Wall Street. Today, just 90 minutes after the Opening Bell, the Dow has bounced violently in and out of the red.