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Russia Vows Retaliation; Former Obama Official on Russian Trolls; Carter on Bolton Decision; Holiday Weather Forecast; Sports Headlines; Trump Facing Legal Challenges. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 27, 2018 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This is a very different take on what we're trying to protect against in our elections.

President Trump's re-election campaign endorsed the idea in an e-mail to supporters last week. It comes amid concerns that citizenship questions deter undocumented people from participating in the census. Now, you can say, well, if you're not here right you shouldn't be counted. Well, it talks about what the point of the census is. If it's to know about how many are here, then you need to know everybody. And that population is routinely undercounted.

All right, President Trump expelling dozens of Russian diplomats. Is that the kind of strong message people have been calling for after this poisoning of a double agent in the U.K.? We're going to dig deeper with General Michael Hayden, next.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, we sit down with a group of young students, including two who survived the Parkland massacre, about their thoughts today on guns and how to prevent school shootings.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went in there with high capacity magazines, a semi-automatic weapon and killed 17 of my classmates in six minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and Sheriff -- I understand --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't tell me that a handgun could have stopped that.


CAMEROTA: More of our lively conversation, ahead.


[06:35:14] CAMEROTA: Nearly two dozen countries uniting to retaliate against Russia after that nerve agent attack in the U.K. against a former Russian spy. President Trump ordering the largest ever expulsion of Russian officials in U.S. history.

Joining us now to talk about this and more, we have CNN national security analyst Michael Hayden. He was the former director of the CIA and the NSA.

Director Hayden, thank you so much for being here.


CAMEROTA: What do you make of President Trump's move to expel these 60 diplomats and what do you think this mean?

HAYDEN: So, it felt familiar. It felt a bit like old times. Now look at what just happened. We were tough on Russia. We acted in concert with our allies globally. The United States took a leadership role. Very un-Trumpian. And so I'm -- I'm very happy to see it.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I understand, but I wonder why President Trump did this uncharacteristic thing.

HAYDEN: You know, I don't know that this was something that the president demanded, that he pulled out of the bureaucracy, that he had a meeting and said give me options, and I like the tough ones. I don't think so. I think this actually came from the bureaucracy, came from the national security establishment and it came from our allies who did want to act in concert. And I think the decision the president made here was not to pull it, but to not get in the way of it.

CAMEROTA: So what happens next? What does Russia do now?

HAYDEN: Oh, they retaliate. They retaliate in kind. And you heard David Sanger earlier on today talk about, you know, we may have exhausted what it is we can do down this lane in terms of putting pressure on the Russians. And we need to jump over here into another lane to treat what I would call the unexplained wealth of an awful lot of Russian oligarchs who prefer to put their wealth, their kids and their best homes in the west, rather than in Russia.

CAMEROTA: There's a development in the Russian meddling investigation. And that is, that CNN's Drew Griffin, who does investigations for us, talked to a former Obama official. This is Brett Breun. He's the former White House director for global engagement. And he is saying for the first time that in 2014, after he watched what Russia did in the Ukraine election, he tried to sound the alarm to the Obama administration. He tried to say, why do we think it's going to be contained to Ukraine? We need to look at this. Listen to what he's telling Drew.


BRETT BREUN, WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT 2013-2015: And I was sitting at the White House telling the State Department, for the love of God, keep this up. This is not the moment for us to stand down.

Not only did I feel like I knew enough at that moment, I was sitting in the situation room saying, this is something that is going to march across western Europe and something that's going to march over to our shores and we need to be ready.


CAMEROTA: Director, we often talk about how President Trump hasn't done enough according to the intelligence committee to stop whatever Russia is going to do next. Do you think that President Obama dropped the ball on this?

HAYDEN: I agree that he did not do enough, that he was slow to respond. Actually, I think the intelligence folks would tell you they were slow to emphasize this to him. Number one, it was an evolving plot line. And, you know, listening to that, Alisyn, it reminded me a bit of pre-9/11. I know there are serious differences here. But in terms of the intelligence analysis, pre-9/11, we knew al Qaeda was coming after us, but we thought they were coming after us in terms of U.S. interests overseas, not in the homeland. It takes this great leap now to believe that the Russians have done in Crimea. The information bubble they had done over their own population. The information bubble they had done in what they call the near abroad, the Russian-speaking population in the old Soviet Union --


HAYDEN: That they would actually export that, take that big step function, and do it in North America, and they did.

CAMEROTA: I mean, and to your point, there were people trying to sound the alarm.

Speaking of sounding the alarm, former President Carter --


CAMEROTA: Has given an interview to "USA Today" in which he seems to be trying to sound the alarm about John Bolton, the president's new pick for national security adviser. Let me play this for you.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I think John Bolton is a disaster for our country. Maybe one of the worst mistakes that President Trump has made since he's been in office is the employment of John Bolton, who has been advocating a war with North Korea for a long time and even promoting an attack on Iran and who was one of the leading figures and orchestrating the decision to invade Iraq. So he's a war- like figure and I'm just afraid that his influence on President Trump will be deleterious to our country.


CAMEROTA: Do you agree with President Carter that John Bolton is a disaster?

HAYDEN: So a lot of people like me would share the president's concerns, if not quite his vocabulary. So John is very talented. He's very knowledgeable. He's very smart. He's a good bureaucratic infighter. [06:40:13] Now other here on the negative side, all right, is he's a

bureaucratic infighter. No one would ever accuse John Bolton of building consensus in terms of preparing for a particular action. He's probably going to be the most unilateralist national security adviser we've ever had. He is far more comfortable with military action than many people who have occupied that position in the past. And then what scares me the most is that I think John's instincts are very similar to the president's instincts, and, therefore, he won't be a balancing effect on the president. He will be reinforcing.

CAMEROTA: Do you think he's dangerous?

HAYDEN: You know, I wouldn't say dangerous. I mean, we just had what I would call the federal bureaucracy do something with regard to the Russians that we would not have expected from the president. And so you've got this big body of professionals, who only want the best interest of America inside the national security establishment. What I suspect is, we're going to see a lot of sparks fly between the national security adviser and the government.

CAMEROTA: Michael Hayden, always great to get your perspective. Thank you very much for being here.

HAYDEN: Thank you.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You know, people will tell you that in sports you really shouldn't talk trash. You should keep it above board, keep it about the game. Nope. Listen to the 100-year-old grandmother of Michigan alum Jaylon Rose. She's got a message for Loyola's Sister Jean. This you cannot miss. It's in the "Bleacher Report," next.


[06:45:47] CUOMO: All right, here's what they say, it's finally going to start feeling like spring for millions that have been hit by back- to-back to back nor'easters.


CUOMO: Warmer temperatures through the holiday weekend. Now, information is only as good as its source. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has your forecast. He's got big plans for this weekend. So he's got every reason to get it right. Don't judge him by that tie alone.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I -- thank you. Who's they, by the way? It's me. I'm saying this. I am going to Texas on Sunday to go fishing. So I need good weather. Never invite a weatherman fishing because it will rain. And I believe it will.

Here's the rainfall right now. It is all over the map.

This weather is brought to you by Purina, your pet, our passion. We are going to see severe weather today across all of Oklahoma, Texas, into Arkansas. That's the big story. But it's the warm weather that will come with this rainfall that will kind of help just a little bit.

Here's your four-day forecast. We are going to be well up, almost at 80 degrees in D.C. by Saturday.

Here's your forecast, though. The big map. Heavy, heavy rainfall all across the Midwest for today, moving to the northeast for Thursday into Friday, moving away on Saturday. Great weather for Easter egg rolls or whatever you want to do out there and even for Sunday thinks look pretty good. Showers but not temperatures below normal. We should almost be 70 degrees in New York City for the rest of the weekend.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

MYERS: Alisyn, it's coming. Punxsutawney Phil is back in his hole now.

CAMEROTA: Good. Stay there.

CUOMO: Your Easter egg placement or whatever rituals that you have --

CAMEROTA: Yes, yes, yes, that.

CUOMO: It should be inclement weather.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I'm so excited. Seventy sounds delicious.

Meanwhile, a big part of the 76ers feature back on the court after a few rough months. He got some brotherly love.

Coy Wire has more for us in the "Bleacher Report."

Hi, Coy.


Markelle Fultz was the number one overall draft pick in the NBA. He's just 19 years old. He was injured in just his fourth game of the season. It hasn't stopped the roll of Philly, though. They are, after a six-year drought, the Sixers clinched a playoff spot even without their young star. Mom was in the house. It was a good night. Fans were pumped, too, when Markelle stepped out on the floor to take on the Nuggets. And he's been out since October. So think about that. He gets out there, ten points. Not bad. But late in the game, when Markelle was back on the bench, the fans, they wanted some more.




WIRE: Asked about that chant after the game, Markelle, the young rook said, he thought maybe Philadelphia's Super Bowl winning quarterback Nick Foles was at the game and that's who they were cheering. Come on, rook, they're cheering for you, man. Welcome back.

Now, this is the story of the day. One hundred-year-old granny of a former Michigan star had just trash talked Loyola-Chicago's 98-year- old team chaplain Sister Jean. Jalen Rose's grandmother, Mary Belle Hicks, started a war of words with Sister Jean ahead of the Wolverine's final four matchup with the Ramblers on Saturday. Listen to this.


MARY BELLE HICKS, 100-YEAR-OLD WOLVERINE FAN: Sister Jean, it's been a good ride. But it's over Saturday. Go Blue! 100.


WIRE: Keep it 100.

Chris Cuomo, I want to cheer -- I want to see you go toe to toe with these grandmas. They'll puts you in your place.

CUOMO: No way. They have rekindled a lost love for me with the tournament and the basketball. It's great.

And, by the way, don't think I don't notice that you're copying the Rock's look from the (INAUDIBLE) series.

WIRE: Hey, give it about five more years.

CUOMO: All right? The freaky (ph) suit, no tie, the perfectly domed head. I know what you're doing. I know and I see you in the gym. Don't think it's going unnoticed.


WIRE: I'll take it.

CUOMO: I'll trash talk you. I'm not going against those good old ladies.

WIRE: And, be careful, about five more years, that hair is running from your face --

CUOMO: I love this. This is stitched in. They gave me a 15-year guarantee. Pure ferret (ph).

CAMEROTA: Oh, my God.

WIRE: Muscles in his head. Muscles everywhere.

CUOMO: All right, the Stormy Daniels case isn't going away. And one of the -- there are two reasons. One, it's incredibly popular, as evidenced on "60 Minutes." People care about this.

The second one is these legal challenges. OK, even if you don't care about the personal perfidy aspect of this, there's exposure to this president. Jeffrey Toobin agrees.

[06:50:09] CAMEROTA: Does he?

CUOMO: And we'll break down the reasons why, next.

He didn't like the personal --


CUOMO: President Trump is facing legal challenges from several women accusing him of affairs and indiscretions. Could he be deposed in any of these cases?

Here to help break down the implications and potential exposure, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Am I correct, counselor, that even if you say, look, I don't care about what happened in the private lives, I want to focus on policy, you have to have concern because of the potential exposure?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Paula Jones. You just have to remember Bill Clinton's situation with Paula Jones. It wasn't that he lost the lawsuit that Paula Jones sued him for sexual harassment. It's that while he was president, he had to give a deposition, where he made false statements, which led to his impeachment. So it's the process of being sued as much as the possible result of being sued that can jeopardize a presidency.

[06:55:10] CUOMO: And that legal defense was used by the White House. Same as Clinton, failed again. That will be relevant in our second example.

TOOBIN: Right.

CUOMO: But let's start with Stormy Daniels.


CUOMO: OK. So, this is what's going on litigation wise. What jumps out to you as potentially giving exposure that's real?

TOOBIN: Well, the defamation lawsuit filed yesterday, which is in federal court in Los Angeles, it raises the possibility of both Michael Cohen and President Trump having to give depositions. There's also the issue of the $130,000 that was paid to Stormy Daniels. Was it an illegal campaign contribution by Michael Cohen? And, of course, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has asked about Michael Cohen.

Now, Michael Cohen is also involved in the Russia side of this story. He was one of the negotiators about a possible Trump Tower in Moscow. But the fact that he is caught up in that investigation also raises the possibility that there could be problems there.

CUOMO: And, obviously, the big phrase is perjury trap because you get the president in a deposition, he doesn't give the truth about this, there's a problem. But that said, what do you think the chances that any of this happens? The $130,000 payment, that would be -- the FEC would have to bring that action, not Stormy Daniels. And, defamation, do you think she's got a case? TOOBIN: Well, I think she has a case that might get to a -- that might

get to discovery. I mean I think the key question in all of these lawsuits is not the ultimate result. It's, can it get to the point where the president would be deposed.

CUOMO: All right, next example, all right. Now, this is where the defense of the White House. The White House said, no, we've got to stop this case until the presidency is over and then this can go forward. The judge said no. Nobody's above the law. Have to deal with it now. Same thing that happened in Clinton. So what does Zervos have as potential exposure?

TOOBIN: Well, her claim is that -- she claims sexual harassment. She did not claim a consensual sexual relationship with the president. She said that the president harassed her. The president called all these women liars and she said that was defamation.

The judge in New York said, this case can proceed. So here you have, I don't think the president's liability is likely to be very great in a final result, but this case does appear to be heading towards a deposition, and that is perilous for the president because he could be asked not just about Summer Zervos but about other women as well.

CUOMO: What does it need -- what do you need in general for this defamation case to be successful? Is calling someone a liar enough to be defamatory?

TOOBIN: Well, that's a tough question. I mean certainly if you say an individual is a liar, that's a -- that can be defamation. If you say a group of people is a liar, that's where I think the president might be on more solid ground.

CUOMO: Karen McDougal, now this is a little different. She's not going after the president specifically because of what he said about her or what he did. She's going after the people who gave her the money. But there is a little bit of exposure for the president. How so?

TOOBIN: Potentially, although this one is, I think, the weakest of the cases because, you know, her lawyer keeps saying she's suing to, you know, not being silent anymore. She doesn't want to be silent. But she hasn't been silent. She gave a long interview to Anderson Cooper.

So I think the question here would be, did AMI, which is the parent company of "The National Enquirer," what was its relationship with the president, were there any other payments made to other women.


TOOBIN: That's an issue that would come up in this case.

CUOMO: And that's the -- I agree with you that on the face, litigation, I would go even farther. I would be surprised if any of these get to that state of process where the president is exposed. I don't think these cases make it that way or they're disposed of earlier by president's counsel. However, if you have to deal with the reporting on these cases, if you can show a pattern that the president is a private citizen, used bully tactics to keep women quiet, and that's where this guy, Pecker, who's the head of AMI, might become relevant. And, again, I don't see the case for it yet, but that could have legs.

TOOBIN: You know, there are -- I mean just step back and recognize, there are three pending lawsuits against the president of the United States for various kinds of sexual misbehavior. Needless to say, we have never been in a situation like this before. Litigation is, by definition, not something you can control as a party. It's perilous.

CUOMO: That's true. Just because somebody wants to sue you doesn't mean they'll be successful.

TOOBIN: To be sure.

CUOMO: Well, we'll see what happens.

Jeffrey Toobin, you always make us smarter.

TOOBIN: All right.

CUOMO: Thank you very much.

And thanks to you, our international viewers, for watching. For you, CNN "TALK" is next. But for our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues. We've got a lot of news. What do you say? Let's get after it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sixty Russian diplomats have one week to pack their bags and get out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot stand when the sovereignty of our allies is threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My suspicion is that this is something that the president didn't demand, which he decided not to oppose.