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. Aired: 8:30-9a ET

Aired February 26, 2018 - 08:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, NEW DAY: A new CNN poll finds 70% of Americans support stricter gun laws after the Florida high school massacre, that's compared to 52% after the massacre in Las Vegas. An overwhelming majority also support a ban on semiautomatic rifles, but as we've seen, many times in the past public support for gun laws do not equate with action on Capitol Hill.

Joining us now is Republican Congressman Scott Taylor - he has an A rating from the NRA. It's good to see you, sir.

REP. SCOTT TAYLOR, R-VA: Good morning, Chris, great to be with you.

CUOMO: Seventy percent of the people say, "Do something," would that be enough to motivate action from you and your colleagues on Capitol Hill?

TAYLOR: Well, I think we should do something. I think that there - with all the politics, thing in there and I would with all the politics and you mentioned the NRA, I could care less. I'm just a staunch supporter of my Constitutional rights and the Second Amendment, but what I will tell you is, I think there is an equality of desire in the United States both on the left and the right to be able to prevent these things from happening.

I think you can do things and I think that there will be action that's done, but I'm interested in things actually have the ability to prevent some of these things and some of the things that we can control like school safety, like school security, like getting localities and states and the Federal government together listening to all sides and figuring out how we can protect our most precious resource, our children.

CUOMO: So when you're looking at what to do, right, because the reality is just hitting us all in the face, put the poll numbers to the side - the only metric that changes the evaluation of the United States from all of our allies and places around the world is our system of access to weapons and how many that we have, that's why we lead in gun deaths and mass shootings, so the question becomes what can you do?

School safety, it's on the table I understand that, but it's concerts, it stores, its open-air venues, it's movie theaters, so it's not just about securing schools and that all seems to have one commonality Congressman, which is who gets weapons and how.

TAYLOR: That's an excellent point, Chris, which is why I join with Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman, Gabbard after the shooting in Texas because we know that the military was under reporting thousands of folks that should not get guns and they were able to get them, so we joined together to make sure that doesn't happen. I think that you should do things to make sure the people who cannot get guns - in your earlier - one of your segments, they were discussing that all of these warning signs and that they were missed quite frankly with this guy down in Florida and the fact that he didn't do anything illegal necessarily, I think we should have a discussion to say, "Hey, listen a lot of these folks are showing a lot of signs on social media and other ways and what can we do to be able to thread a needle between civil liberties and make sure those folks don't have guns.

And perhaps, it should be discussed to say, "Listen, individual freedom, individual liberty - the folks that are there on the ground, should they have some kind of mechanism to be able to say - present evidence to a judge and say this guy or this girl have a big problem and here's the evidence, maybe there should be a temporary restraining order for them not to be able to purchase guns." So, I think we can do things ...

CUOMO: But there's been pushback from the organization and its supporters that gave you an A rating. We just saw when Trump said ...

TAYLOR: I know, but you guys - so I think, let me say something, Chris, I'm sorry to interrupt you.

CUOMO: No, go ahead, please.

TAYLOR: The NRA - I mean, there's plenty of folks who are in the - I'm not in the NRA, there are plenty of them that are in my district who are and there are tons of folks, you mentioned earlier in one of your segments that it might not be Democrats, you might have the support to be able to get something done because Americans, far greater than the NRA care about their Second Amendment rights.

And they don't want a knee-jerk reaction, sure emotionally, and we should do something, we should have a discussion - a discussion. I'm not concerned about the organization itself. I'm concerned about preventing death. I'm concerned about dealing with the issues that we can control that can actually do it.

CUOMO: I get it.

TAYLOR: Not a bogeyman because right now, the NRA is like the bogeyman right now, and the NRA, I mean, I'm not taking it up for them, I'm just saying, there are people that make the NRA ...

CUOMO: No, I understand, but that's an organization ...

TAYLOR: ... that care deeply about their Second Amendment rights.

CUOMO: As an organization, as you well know, Congressman, they put a ton of money into this issue and they motivate voters to come out and primary guys like you, if you don't do what they want, that's why the rating matters so much.

TAYLOR: Great point. Great point. But where do they get their money? Where do they get their money though?


CUOMO: Well, actually that's a pretty interesting question. People are looking into where they go. That's not all individual donors. There are a lot of corporate donors and institutional donors that need to be looked at as well, but let's not spend too much time on them, that's just one aspect of it.

TAYLOR: Okay, that's free speech.

CUOMO: That's fine, so I'm not saying it's illegal, but it may shape a little bit of where their priorities lie, but again, we'll leave them for another day. They are getting plenty of attention. Would you be in favor of background checks that cover all sales? Would you be in favor - you said you'd be in favor putting a mechanism in place to have it not be an adjudicated offense of mental illness, a finding of it, maybe there's a different standard, but how about covering all sales with background checks?


TAYLOR: So, what I am in favor of is a stronger background check, one that takes into account, like I said social media and other things potentially. I don't know exactly how that looks like, I don't have the exact answer, but I'm willing to listen to all sides to figure out how we make it stronger, to make sure that folks that should not get guns don't get them. I don't know how you do a check like you ...


CUOMO: What about all sales? All sales is a pretty simple way to put it.

TAYLOR: I was going to tell you - I was going to say, if you want to sell your gun your son or give it to his son, how do you actually enforce that? The reality is, as we know, right now, you can't ...


CUOMO: You have to do paperwork and say, "Here's who bought it. Here's who the guy is. Here's who is going to get it and have it processed," just like you could do at a gun show, private sales - all of that. If I sell a boat to you - to my son, there's paperwork, right? You've got to put through the paperwork, why not put through paperwork on any sale when it comes to a gun?

TAYLOR: I do not think that you are going be able to enforce that, as right now, we can't enforce all the laws. I don't think you can do it. Look, I have an issue with it. I haven't supported in the past, I am not supporting right now. That answers your question.

CUOMO: But it does frustrate the efforts it seems, that kind of resistance because the idea of whether or not you can enforce something, you find ways to enforce laws. Lots of laws are difficult to enforce, but you find a way.

TAYLOR: It frustrates your efforts to what you what you want to do and look, I'm completely respectful of your opinion, I am respectful of folks who want to do those things because they are ...


CUOMO: I mean, how is it an opinion if you care?


TAYLOR: We should have ...

CUOMO: How is just not objective, Congressman?

TAYLOR: It is an opinion, it's what your opinion is.

CUOMO: But why would you only have certain sales affected by background checks? I don't get why that's a good thing. You said, "Well, it's hard to enforce." That's not a standard of whether or not you put a law in place, you put the law in place and you figure out how to enforce it.

TAYLOR: I'm not supportive of universal background checks. I'm not supportive of it, Chris, so again ....

CUOMO: Because you can't enforce it or something else?

TAYLOR: Again, you are - and that's your - no, I'm not supportive of it.


TAYLOR: Because you disagree ...

CUOMO: No, no. I'm asking you why you don't. Forget about me. Why don't you allow ...

TAYLOR: Sure. I don't agree with universal background checks ...

CUOMO: I heard you.

TAYLOR: I don't agree with it, I haven't supported it. I'm not supporting it.

CUOMO: But why? Why?

TAYLOR: If you support it, that's fine.

CUOMO: I don't support anything, except you answering my question, my friend, and I love having you on this show because ...

TAYLOR: I just answered your question.

CUOMO: But why don't you support it? Why?

TAYLOR: I don't support universal background checks. I don't support you coming and me having to have a sale if I'm - paperwork and stuff like that if I am giving my gun to my son or something, I just don't agree with that.

CUOMO: What about gun show deals?

TAYLOR: ... registration. I don't agree with gun registration. I don't agree agree with it.

CUOMO: Okay, what about gun shows?

TAYLOR: Again, let me ...

CUOMO: That's not your son.

TAYLOR: What about gun shows? What about it? I was at one a couple of weeks ago.


CUOMO: Well, where you're in gun shows and it's private sellers and they're not gun shops who have different responsibilities on and why wouldn't they be ...


TAYLOR: Can you point - can you - Chris, can you point to any issues at a gun show that have resulted in any kind of problems? Can you?

CUOMO: There have been - if you're talking about can I link one to a school shooting ...

TAYLOR: Because that is a bogeyman issue, just like NRA ...


CUOMO: I don't think ...

TAYLOR: ... universal background checks, assault rifles - it's like these are your bogeyman. Let's talk about things that we can control, let's talk about things that will reduce gun death for people who do things illegally and don't impede on the rights of people who do things legally.

CUOMO: I totally get the idea that you don't want to just burden people who do things the right way in the name of trying to stop people who do things the wrong way, I get you, but you lost me on the gun show and look, it's the easy way to say, "Well, it's my opinion." That my opinion. I don't get the logic of it.

TAYLOR: That's okay that I lost you. We have a diversity of opinion.

CUOMO: I know, that's fine. I am just saying, I also have to ask the questions about understanding and testing the position. I don't understand how if you care about monitoring who gets weapons and access to them, you wouldn't cover all sales. It doesn't make sense to me.

TAYLOR: Again, Chris, you and I disagree and that's fine. We can have diversity of the opinion and rigorous debate and that's why we have elections for. There's no question about that.

CUOMO: All right, I appreciate you coming on, as always, you addressed the American people. You agree to be tested. Thank you for your that.

TAYLOR: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me.

CUOMO: Alisyn?

ALISYN, CAMEROTA, HOST, NEW DAY: Okay, so the President's former pilot is reportedly up for a big job, a position that could land him in Washington. Next.


CAMEROTA: Time now for the five things to know for your New Day. Florida Governor, Rick Scott ordering an investigation of the law enforcement response to the deadly Parkland School shooting. The embattled Broward County Sheriff rejecting call for his recognition and pledging to fully cooperate with the probe.

CUOMO: Classes will resume Wednesday at Stoneman Douglas High School, students and parents return to the campus Sunday for the first time since the shooting is part of what officials call a phased reopening of the school.

CAMEROTA: President Trump slamming a Democratic House Intelligence memo calling it, "a nothing." The document written by Congressman Adam Schiff undercuts the Republican claims of FBI surveillance misconduct.

CUOMO: A report from Axios reveals President Trumps personal pilot is on the administration's shortlist to head the FAA. It finds, the President is pushing for John Duncan to get the role.

CAMEROTA: North Korea now saying, it is open to talking with the United States. A senior North Korean official tells South Korea that the doors are open for a dialogue with the US. This follows new sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on North Korea.

CUOMO: So, you want more on the five things to know, of course you do, you go to and you'll get the latest.

CAMEROTA: So, President Trump's daughter asked a highly personal question, why her answer is already getting backlash online, we have the bottom line for you next ...


CUOMO: All right, the first daughter, Ivanka Trump sitting down for an interview during her trip to Korea. She spoke about US relations with North Korea, guns in schools, but there's one topic she would not discuss.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe your father's accusers?

IVANKA TRUMP, FIRST DAUGHTER: I think it's a pretty appropriate question to ask a daughter if she believes the accusers of her father when he is affirmatively stated that there is no truth to it. I don't think that's a question you would ask many other daughters. I believe my father, I know my father, so I think I have that right as a daughter to believe my father.


CUOMO: Let's get the bottom line with CNN political analyst David Gregory. Fair question. Good answer, your take?

DAVID GREGORY, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Yes, I think it's a fair question, although I think, you have to think about when you are going to do an interview like that, what do you expect the person to say and I think you could've ruled out the idea that somehow she was going to say, "You know what? I really do and I think this is just awful."

I mean, this is the President's daughter. She's also a senior adviser, so I thought she very elegantly told him to take a walk in that question. But yes, I mean I think it's a fair question. You've got the President who is accused of all kinds of sexual misconduct, who bragged about sexual assault in a campaign, who has threatened to sue all of these accusers to set the record straight, hasn't sued any of them and we're in the middle of a major national conversation about this kind of sexual misconduct. So, yes, I mean, I think fair to ask fair not to get an answer.


CAMEROTA: I guess, except that Ivanka does hold herself up I think, as a champion of women. She has talked about working moms rights. She does talk about families and so, I do think that it's sort of a relevant question for her to be asked. I know why it's so dicey. This is her dad. Obviously, that makes it complicated, but she's also tried to - I mean, why shouldn't she weigh in on the #MeToo Movement? Everybody else is talking about it?

GREGORY: Well, but she wasn't asked about the #MeToo Movement ...

CAMEROTA: But it's all part and parcel ...

GREGORY: She was asked about whether the accusers of her father, whether she believes them. He's denied it. This is his daughter, again, I mean I don't think - she can have it both, right? She can talk about all these other things and as his daughter, I think she is within her rights to say, I believe him ...

CUOMO: Yes, that's fine. It's just you don't put your kids in the administration. I mean, look, I grew up with this. I get the scrutiny. People beat me over the head with my brother on a regular basis. That's part of the game. It's what you sign up for.

CAMEROTA: But Chelsea Clinton wasn't part of the administration and she faced these questions, too. I mean ...


CUOMO: Well, that's (inaudible), I'm saying you have the right not to answer it as a child of course.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but I think that actually, David, she doesn't get to have it both ways. I think that you can't say that you don't believe these 18 or so ...

CUOMO: Which she did say, she said, "I believe my father. I know my father."

CAMEROTA: That's right.

CUOMO: He has affirmatively denied them. So, she's stating a position.

CAMEROTA: So, she's saying that she doesn't believe the women, but she's not saying it very clearly. I think that it's a tough needle to thread there to say ...

CUOMO: Right, but only because she's in the administration. If she weren't in the administration, but she wasn't outspoken about #MeToo. When you ask her about her family, she'd be like, "I'm not going to talk about my father."

CAMEROTA: Of course.

GREGORY: Right ...

CUOMO: That's why you don't put them in the administration.

GREGORY: But, I mean, it could be - it doesn't have to be somebody in the administration, Chris, right? I mean, she could have a prominent father who is not in the administration and could be somebody is outspoken on these issues and couldn't be - I mean, imagine a child of Harvey Weinstein being asked these questions and they could have the same answers, so the point is that, she does get away with it because she did get away it. I mean, I don't think anybody ...

CUOMO: Her problem is that she represents the United States of America, which goes out on these things, and you have a duty therefore to something bigger than yourself, bigger than your family and that's why it's a fatal conflict for her.

CAMEROTA: And it's relevant, I think to ask somebody - a top level woman, in the administration how she feels at this moment with the #MeToo moment, I think that's actually a fair question.

GREGORY: Yes, I mean, again, it's a fair question. I think all you have to do in that question as the interviewer is think about whether you want to make points of the question or whether you really want an answer. I think it was pretty clear you were never going to get an answer when the question was - the question could have been you, what do you think about the #MeToo Movement? Or what you think about women who are coming forward? Should they be believe? That was not what the question was.

CUOMO: That's right.

CAMEROTA: Good free advice there, David Gregory. Good TV pointer.

CUOMO: From a very good interviewer.

CAMEROTA: Yes, exactly. All right, David, thank you very much for the bottom line.

GREGORY: Thanks. You bet.

CAMEROTA: "CNN Newsroom" with John Berman will pick up after this very quick break. We'll see you tomorrow.