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Trump Orders Largest Ever Expulsion Of Russian Diplomats; Is North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un In China?; Teens On Gun Control And Their Future Vote; Suspicious Packages Sent To U.S. Military And Intel Installations. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired March 27, 2018 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:32:51] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Russia is blaming the U.S. for pressuring allies to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats around the world.
President Trump ordered the largest-ever expulsion of Russian diplomats from the U.S. -- 60 of them -- in response to Russia's nerve agent attack in the U.K. on a former Russian spy.
Joining us now to talk about this and more is Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland. Good morning, Senator.
SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD), MEMBER, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Alisyn, it's good to be with you. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: It's good to have you.
What's your response -- your reaction to what President Trump has done in expelling these diplomats?
CARDIN: Well, it was the right thing to do. It's in response to Russia's attack in the U.K. The U.S. has shown unity with our NATO allies to show that we will stand up against this type of attack by Mr. Putin.
What is disappointing is the president has yet to acknowledge the attack by Mr. Putin in the United States. Congress gave him authority to impose sanctions. He hasn't used that authority fully and he hasn't asked our European allies to join us in regards to the attack against America.
CAMEROTA: So how do you explain this -- I mean, since people say that this is the most aggressive act against Russian diplomats ever? He expelled 60, more than President Obama ever did.
So how do you explain that disconnect between not acknowledging what Russia -- what the Intelligence Community says Russia did during the election and this act?
CARDIN: I think the president was forced to move on this because of U.K. -- Prime Minister May being so strong about what Russia did in Great Britain. We also saw that there are many other countries in Europe that are going to join us in expelling Russian diplomats. So this is a sign of unity within the Transatlantic Partnership, which is good.
It was absolutely the right thing to do. The United States is critically important to show that we stand with Europe in our defense against Russia so it was the right move. It is a clear signal to Mr. Putin that they'll be consequences of his activities.
CAMEROTA: OK, next topic.
What do you know about this mystery train that has arrived in Beijing? Is Kim Jong Un of North Korea visiting China?
[07:35:10] CARDIN: We don't know for sure but it seems likely that he is in China today.
Clearly, Kim Jong Un is trying to shore up his relationship with China. It has been rough at times -- we know that. There's some problems between North Korea and China.
Clearly, Kim Jong Un recognizing that he's going to be negotiating with the United States and wants to get more friends in that region, so it would make sense for him to be in China.
CAMEROTA: And what do you think it means for President Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un that is scheduled for May?
CARDIN: Well, it could be good news Alisyn, quite frankly, for us to have a diplomatic off-ramp to this crisis. We need China's participation so it's not just the United States and North Korea. We need China engaged in these discussions.
I would hope that the United States is also talking to China to recognize that this is an opportunity for a diplomatic end to the North Korean crisis.
There is no good military option and I think there's great concern that we make sure that diplomacy can work. It requires preparation so perhaps North Korea is preparing those negotiations by talking to China. We should also be engaged in conversations with China.
CAMEROTA: OK, now to domestic policy. Let's talk about guns. I know that you marched this past weekend with students from Baltimore.
Can you tell us what's happening behind the scenes in Congress in terms of any policy to fight gun violence?
CARDIN: I was so proud of the students who organized the march on Washington and around the entire country. It was an incredible moment. I think we were all energized.
The students have been clear that they're not going away and they're not taking no for an answer. At a minimum, they want to see universal background checks and they want to see these military assault weapons off the street, and I agree completely with them.
By the way, they also don't want to arm our teachers in the schools. There's enough guns already in the schools. They've had an impact. We saw in the omnibus appropriation bill that passed we had two improvements to gun safety. No, they're not enough and the students will not accept that as American, I hope, will not accept it. But I think we're going to continue to hear from them.
Will there be action in this Congress? I certainly hope so. I certainly hope that the Republican leadership will bring these issues up for a vote on the floor of the House and the Senate.
I hope there's enough votes to pass it. If there's not, I'm sure there's going to be activity in this election to get members of Congress that will pass these common-sense gun safety legislation.
CAMEROTA: Senator Ben Cardin, thank you very much. Nice to talk to you about all of these issues -- Chris.
CARDIN: Thank you.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right.
Mysterious packages sent to military bases and the CIA. What we have learned about what was inside the packages. We have a live report from the Pentagon.
CAMEROTA: But first, we sit down with the next generation of voters to discuss gun policy. How they say these past few weeks will impact how they vote in the future.
[07:41:55] CAMEROTA: Hundreds of thousands of students took the streets this weekend in the March for Our Lives and they say their movement is just beginning. We wanted to know what comes next so we brought together a group of teenagers from Florida, Virginia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania to discuss gun violence and how important that issue is when they vote for the first time.
CAMEROTA: How many of you will be able to vote in the midterms -- show of hands? Two, OK. You'll be 18 by November.
OK, how many of you plan to vote in the 2020 election? OK. Has the gun issue changed how you think you will vote -- show of hands? It has, OK.
So, Kirsten, how's it changed for you?
KIRSTEN EVANS, 16, PENNSYLVANIA: I now look for that issue. It is important for me to feel safe in my school and whether or not they think it's important for me to feel safe in my school is how I will vote.
TANZIL PHILIP, 16, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: I think after this whole thing, we're going to be looking out for how they stand on the gun control issue and that's definitely going to change the way I vote.
CAMEROTA: You and Julia were at Parkland when this massacre happened so has that day changed your outlook on things?
PHILIP: Parkland's kind of wrapped in a nice little bubble and after that shooting the bubble popped. We don't feel safe anymore.
Even at the march on Saturday, I was looking up and the buildings were really tall and I was wondering could a shooter shoot down from there?
JULIA BISHOP, 18, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: It feels the same way for me. The one town and the one place that you felt you could never be harmed, that's when your life was at risk. You just think you want no other student to have to experience that ever again and in my mind, the only way to stop that is to take away the gun from the person.
PARKER DELMOE, 17, ARIZONA: There's a lot better ways to protect our schools and protect our public areas than just to take away all of the guns.
CAMEROTA: So, how many of you -- show of hands -- think that there should be more armed guards in schools to protect them?
BISHOP: I mean, like -- ok, partially. But I also think that to an extent, if you put all of these extra guards it's going to feel like a prison.
JACOB SCOTT, 17, FLORIDA: But how do you think you stop someone shooting people? If everyday citizens --
SCOTT: -- have the right to carry it could have been stopped altogether.
BISHOP: Even if someone is trained, just like Officer Peterson was at my school, there's no way that you could possibly simulate an event like this. There's no possible way --
DELMOE: Well, you can't.
BISHOP: -- to practice or do an active shooter drill. He went in there with high-capacity magazines, a semiautomatic weapon, and killed 17 of my classmates in six minutes.
SCOTT: Yes, and -- I understand.
BISHOP: Don't tell me that a handgun could have stopped that.
CAMEROTA: What about the argument that if there were more armed guards who were trained, that armed guards could deter and take out a school shooter?
ZYAHNA BRYANT, 17, VIRGINIA: I'm not saying we can't have school resource officers but they need comprehensive training. BISHOP: It's hard to explain how dangerous it feels when I walk into
my school. It doesn't matter that there are policemen there, there's no possible way to protect it. Why don't we just cut it off at the source and take away these semiautomatic weapons?
CAMEROTA: So let's talk about that. Let's go around for solutions and what you each would suggest for solutions.
BRYANT: First, a ban on assault rifles altogether, raising the age that you can apply to get a gun, more comprehensive background checks, and mental health screenings.
[07:45:04] PHILIP: And you start by banning these weapons of war, and no civilian should have them.
CAMEROTA: And what about the argument that you'll hear from people who say if you ban semiautomatic weapons then only the criminals will have them.
EVANS: Does that mean we shouldn't try? That we should hand them to them legally?
Like, we're not creating these red flag laws. We're having background checks that take on average from 30 to two minutes at the most. And if your background check gets flagged, after three days you can still get the gun if it's incomplete. That's ridiculous.
DELMOE: If somebody wanted to go shoot up a school it doesn't show up on the background check. I mean, if you look at the Las Vegas shooter he was perfectly legal to get a gun. Nobody knew that he was going --
BISHOP: Exactly and that's my issue. Why don't we cut it off at the source?
SCOTT: How will we defend ourselves if you take that right away, and that's what the left is trying to do?
PHILIP: We're human beings first, right? Our lives matter before political parties.
SCOTT: I agree.
BRYANT: You don't know that.
SCOTT: And I think -- well, I'm not attacking you guys personally. I'm attacking the ones that seem to be backing this whole movement.
BISHOP: This is a student-led movement and that's what it should be. We were the ones who had to hear those gunshots and we were the ones who stared down the barrel of a gun, and that's the end of it.
No other adult, politician -- no one funding money into this. People can donate the money and we can accept that and that's fine.
SCOTT: OK, OK. All of you right here are telling me right now none of them are funding this movement.
EVANS: They're donating money and they're encouraging gun control. They're standing for what they believe in as well.
CAMEROTA: What's your solution for gun violence?
SCOTT: My solution for gun violence is allowing people to have guns. The more people that are armed, the less shootings there will be.
Have you ever seen a gun show get shot up? No, you haven't seen that. Why? Because the guy's going to get shot.
The guns -- guns are the solution, not the problem.
CAMEROTA: What would you consider success because of the movement?
PHILIP: An assault weapons ban. Handguns are perfectly OK. That fits into the Second Amendment. We don't need people walking around with AR-15s.
SCOTT: Why are you telling everyone out there in America that you can't own a gun for your protection? You know, I'm in fear walking around the --
CAMEROTA: This a tough one because you guys hear what they're saying, right, which is that why are you curtailing the rights of responsible gun owners -- and it feels to them that they can't have an AR-15. Why do they have to be responsible for what that gunman at Parkland did?
BRYANT: It's not just one -- it's not just Parkland.
DELMOE: So let's have smarter gun control, let's not have harder gun control. That's harder.
CAMEROTA: And what would that look like?
DELMOE: Well, like I was saying earlier, we have these background checks that don't say on the screen I want to go and shoot and commit --
BISHOP: That will never happen.
CAMEROTA: Universal background checks-- let's just start there. You're comfortable with that -- universal background checks?
DELMOE: I don't think that that's enough. I think that we need to -- that we need to make those smarter. I think that we need to -- CAMEROTA: Ask more questions.
CAMEROTA: So you're willing to compromise on that.
Jacob, is there anything you're willing to compromise on in terms of guns?
SCOTT: The issue here is the politicians on the left are trying to take away the gun rights one-by-one. It will start with assault rifles and then it will continue until they take every arm in America away from the people.
CAMEROTA: OK, so you're -- so you're pretty dug in on your side. There's not -- you don't see a common ground? You're not going to be able --
SCOTT: I don't -- I don't think it's -- I don't -- I don't think it's good to compromise your rights.
CAMEROTA: Do you feel as though all the students and all of their momentum and all of the energy is a movement or a moment?
BRYANT: It's a moment for the people who only see this as an issue that's only for Parkland. It's only a moment for people who aren't affected and who don't see the results in their daily life manifested.
But for the students who -- the students of color who don't get the airtime on T.V. and who are disproportionately affected, this is their lives. So when it comes down to it they have to live with this every day so it's never going to be a moment.
EVANS: There were students before Parkland and there'll be students after Parkland fighting for this issue when they show up in November -- when they show up next November until this issue is solved.
CAMEROTA: So Chris, I mean, what's interesting and what I learned from being down there during the march is that for these hundreds of thousands of students who are activated right now, this has risen to the top of their list for what they will vote on, OK? So beyond -- above health care, above the economy. They say right now the gun issue is what they'll be looking to see where politicians stand when they vote.
CUOMO: We'll see --
CAMEROTA: Yes, you will.
CUOMO: -- because one, they don't vote. And two, I mean, they are -- they are --
CAMEROTA: Right, but they stay they're motivated now. You saw them all raise their hands. CUOMO: I'm saying, you know --
CAMEROTA: In general.
CUOMO: I've been following this a long time. We'll see. Everybody should be open to change. Every big change in this society has happened because of a populist movement --
[07:50:02] CAMEROTA: Yes.
CUOMO: -- of people deciding to take it.
And in terms of asking them what their solutions are that's not as relevant as their seeking out people who will solve it, right?
CUOMO: Because if you were to say to voters well, your vote's only worth as much as your solution and the viability, people vote for all kinds of crazy reasons. But if they actually vote --
CUOMO: -- that's what the NRA, that's what gun advocates have over them. They vote on this and they vote where it matters, right, because it's -- national election, maybe. You've got to look election by election and in places where --
CAMEROTA: Oh, for sure.
CUOMO: -- some of these views aren't popular. Will they galvanize there anyway?
CAMEROTA: I mean, some of these kids are from Florida, obviously, Arizona -- you know, places where guns are a big part of the conversation.
So tomorrow we will bring you part two of this conversation which takes a turn towards how race affects how they feel about guns. So tune in tomorrow on NEW DAY.
CUOMO: That was a big part of the march, too, of how they wanted to make it more than just about these kids and these white kids in these schools. Get the kids from Chicago in there.
But when you take the turn from mass shootings into the gun violence problem overall you get a lot of new issues injected into it and they're important ones to discuss, so we look forward to that.
Suspicious packages -- another story we're telling you about this morning. These packages were sent to military bases near Washington, D.C.
What do we know about this? What do the authorities say that these packages were about?
We have a live report from the Pentagon, next.
[07:55:25] CUOMO: All right.
So there were multiple suspicious packages sent to several military and intelligence installations in the Washington, D.C. area and they're now being examined at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. At least one package did contain explosive material.
CNN's Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon with more.
We're assuming that these were publicly known sites, right? That there was nothing that was confidential that was found out in terms of where to send these packages. But what do we know about the packages themselves?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Chris.
Right now, as you say, the FBI is examining all of them that were sent across the Washington, D.C. area yesterday. Facilities that are publicly known not so much with the general public but you certainly could find them on social media.
Let's just look at some of the sites here. The CIA outside Washington, D.C., Fort Belvoir, Fort McNair. A naval facility in southern Virginia called Dahlgren.
All of these very much well known to the U.S. military. Part of the national security infrastructure if you will here in the nation's capital region.
The one at Fort McNair perhaps most interesting. We do know that it included black powder and some kind of initiator device. Enough concern to evacuate the building there when they located it.
We are told that mail screening procedures of packages coming in got all of these packages. They were all rendered safe. Thankfully, no one was hurt in any of these instances as far as we've been told.
But clearly, the FBI concerned and looking for whoever may have sent these across Washington, D.C. -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Barbara. It's very good that these screening procedures seem to be working. Thank you very much for that report.
So the Office of Government Ethics has launched an inquiry targeting senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner. He, of course, is the president's son-in-law. The probe stems from meetings that Kushner had at the White House with executives whose companies later loaned the Kushner Companies more than $500 million.
The two companies have confirmed that they did make these loans to the Kushner family business but they deny there was a connection to Kushner's meetings with their executives.
CUOMO: The woman immortalized in civil rights history as the lead plaintiff in Brown versus the Board of Education has passed.
Linda Brown was just nine years old in 1951 when her father tried to enroll her in an all-white elementary school near their home in Topeka, Kansas. The school blocked the enrollment. The father sued.
Four similar cases were combined and went all the way to the Supreme Court. That was in 1954 when the high court ruled separate educational facilities are inherently unequal, overturning the previous rule of Plessy versus Ferguson of separate but equal. And that led to the desegregation of American schools.
Linda Brown was 75 years old but she will be remembered for a long, long time.
We're following a lot of news. What do you say? Time to get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJ SHAH, WHITE HOUSE PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The U.S. and our allies have made to clear to Russia that actions have consequences.
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: You hit them in their pocketbooks. Expelling 60 diplomats does not go far enough.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: This is multiple countries saying all of these actions have to stop.
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: We will not tolerate Russia's continued attacks to flout international law and undermine our values.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: This coordinated response is significant but the president's silence speaks volumes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Avenatti and Stormy Daniels have opened up a lot of political peril for the president.
SHAH: The only person who's been inconsistent is the one making the claims.
ALANA EVANS, PORN STAR, FRIEND OF STORMY DANIELS: I am tired of being called a liar and I know she is, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's certainly very uncharacteristic of the president to remain silent about something.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a president who has secrets. You have to believe there are more secrets to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, March 27th, now 8:00 in the east.
And guess what? The government of Russia is vowing to strike back after nearly two dozen countries expelled Russian diplomats around the world in retaliation for the nerve agent attack in the U.K. on a former spy.
The Kremlin blames President Trump for the mounting pressure coming from all these allies and ordering the largest-ever expulsion of Russian officials in U.S. history.
CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, the White House is disputing the porn star's claim that she was threatened to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. Now, Stormy Daniels is suing the president's personal lawyer for defamation.
This comes as a source tells CNN that President Trump is still talking to Rob Porter. He was the former White House aide who resigned amid allegations that he physically abused his two former wives.