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Trump Slams "Weak" U.S. Immigration Laws; Villanova Dominates Michigan For Second National Title In Three Years; Turkey, Russia And Iran Addressing The Future Of Syria; Teacher Walkouts Spreading; Teen Recovering After Being Pulled From Sewage Pipe. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 3, 2018 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats have really let them down. They've really let them down. They had this great opportunity. The Democrats have really let them down.

It's a shame. And now, people are taking advantage of DACA and that's a shame. It should have never happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn't you kill DACA, sir? Didn't you kill DACA?

TRUMP: Whose is this? Whose is this?


RENE MARSH, CNN ANCHOR: No response from the president there.

Let's bring in CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer, historian and professor at Princeton University. Julian, good morning.


MARSH: So, we are seeing the president return to the hardliner on immigration very similar to candidate Trump. But usually, the candidate slightly different than president but we're seeing it kind of the reverse here. He's reverting back to what we saw on the campaign trail.

What do you make of that?

ZELIZER: Well, he's never let go of this issue and his attacks on immigration, and his demands for tighter immigration policies, and his warnings that there's all kinds of chaos resulting from authorized immigrants in this country, it's one of the most consistent things he's talked about.

So I think in his heart of hearts he believes this and he likes to talk about it, and I think he knows his supporters love this issue. This is red meat for the base.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The other story that's dominating his Twitter feed, the president's and the papers, is his attack on Amazon. They are, in fact, side-by-side. It's strange to see him attack Democrats on DACA and then solely elsewhere focused on Amazon, who is dragging down the market, giving back a lot of the gains the president made in that first year.

Why do you think the president is solely focused on Amazon and what type of a problem does this present for conservatives?

ZELIZER: Well look, it's hard to see this as disconnected from politics. It's not as if he's just a pure antitrust person. And so I think many read this as a political attack.

A lot of this is about "The Washington Post" and Jeff Bezos and it's hard to see it outside that prism. And that's why you see the stock markets tumble. They're uncertain about where this president is going to go with it.

And many Republicans are quiet about actions which if a Democrat took they would be yelling and screaming about picking winners and losers in the economy.

BRIGGS: Yes, that is a strange turf for Republicans who attacked Barack Obama for picking winners and losers. And here, the president is propping up the coal industry, going after Amazon.


BRIGGS: That's just a few.

And, by the way, Gabe Sherman of "Vanity Fair" says this is entirely personal with Jeff Bezos -- entirely politically motivated -- Rene.

MARSH: And staying on the topic of the economy, I mean, it raises the questions when do Republicans jump in before the bleeding gets really bad? I mean, you know, one of the items that they really want to run on is the corporate tax cuts.

And then, you also -- and, of course, the economy. But if they don't have that -- if the economy erodes, if the stock market continues to tumble, what do they have to run on for 2018?

ZELIZER: Well, they would have a political disaster on their hands.

I think there's two things that prop up President Trump politically. One is strong partisanship leads Republicans to support a Republican president no matter what. And second is the strong economy allows them to keep saying whatever you think, economic times are good.

If that falls away I think you're going to have a lot of Republicans understanding there's going to be a wave in 2018 and 2020 can get ugly. So this is one area of tweets I don't think the president can really afford. And these stock market numbers are going to scare a lot of Republicans.

BRIGGS: You know, it's interesting, amid all that you're talking about and he took all these cable news personalities at Mar-a-Lago. We don't hear about meetings with Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and leaders in the House and the Senate about legislation, about an agenda moving forward.

But I want to talk about a piece you wrote for in which one thing you say that struck me. The normalization of presidential instability has been, in your words, stunning. There's so many stories -- drip, drip, drip. We're sipping from a firehose here.

What is the big narrative that's being missed amid all the chaos?

ZELIZER: I think the checks we assumed existed on presidents from doing all sorts of things and taking actions that could be dangerous don't really exist.

And what we're seeing if we step back is a series of -- rather, activities and tweets and political actions which can be very dangerous and can have big effects on the economy or overseas, and no one's saying no. No one's really stopping it and I think that's what we're learning during the Trump presidency.

BRIGGS: He's long had a flood the zone approach.


BRIGGS: I'm hearing from even Trump supporters who are saying I just -- I stopped listening. I start tuning it all out now and now watching and not reading, which is a bit disturbing.


MARSH: And, I mean -- and even with all the chaos with the members of his cabinet, do you feel like there's any one geopolitical issue that's really pressing that the president perhaps isn't leaning into as much as he could or should be because he's distracted with all this chaos at home?

[05:35:06] ZELIZER: Sure, two.

Nuclear disarmament, which is a big issue. They have a lot of nuclear weapons out there and we don't have a real strategy on what we're going to do.

And, cyberwarfare has become so connected with the investigation, with his own sense of political confidence that we're not actually talking about what is the country doing and what are we doing internationally to curb this real threat -- this nuclear threat, in some ways, of 2018. There's just not a lot of discussion about it.

And so I think these issues fall away in some of the chaos and the day-to-day fascination with whatever his latest tweet is.

BRIGGS: Well, let's just hope behind the scenes they are planning --


BRIGGS: -- for this meeting with Kim Jong Un in a couple of months here. That could be relatively pivotal.

Julian Zelizer, good to see you, sir.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

MARSH: All right.

And, President Trump is also targeting his own Justice Department, claiming it's dragging its feet handing over documents related to Republican-led congressional investigations.

The president tweeting, so sad the Justice Department -- in quotes -- "and the FBI are slow walking or even not giving the unredacted documents requested by Congress. An embarrassment to our country."

Well, the timing of the tweet a little odd considering FBI director Chris Wray recently promised around-the-clock shifts to speed up document production.

The congressional requests seek documents relating to the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server and possible FBI abuses of surveillance warrants targeting former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

BRIGGS: The wife of Andrew McCabe, the man fired as deputy director of the FBI, speaking out about President Trump's attacks on her family. Jill McCabe says the president's relentless taunts aimed at her husband, fired just days shy of his retirement, have been a nightmare. Many of those attacks centered on Jill McCabe's 2015 run for the State Senate in Virginia.

Now, in a "Washington Post" op-ed this morning she writes, "To have my personal reputation and integrity and those of my family attacked this way is beyond horrible. It feels awful every day. It keeps me up nights.

I made the decision to run for office because I was trying to help people. Instead, it turned into something that was used to attack our family, my husband's career, and the entire FBI."

The president claimed donations to Jill McCabe from Virginia's then- governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe were an example of Hillary Clinton trying to sway the FBI investigation into her e-mail server. Those donations came before Andrew McCabe had any oversight of the e-mail investigation.

MARSH: EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's job is in jeopardy. That, according to a senior White House official who tells CNN the president is angry over Pruitt's ethical questions. Another administration source there is nothing the president despises more than his own officials getting bad publicity.

Pruitt is under growing scrutiny after his decision to rent a room in a condo for below market value from the wife of a prominent Washington energy lobbyist. He's also faced criticism for travel expenses and bringing his security detail on personal trips. So far, no comment from the White House.

BRIGGS: All right. After a March full of upsets, a number one seed dominates in April. The Villanova Wildcats national champs for the second time in three years.

MARSH: Andy Scholes, who was at the game in San Antonio, joins us with this morning's "Bleacher Report." And I know you are struggling, friend.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I didn't get much sleep last night, guys, but hey, that's the price I pay for going to these cool sporting events like I do.

And I'll tell you what, Villanova sure does like the state of Texas. They won it all two years ago in Houston and now they're champions here in San Antonio last night. Just the fourth team in the past 40 years to win two titles in a 3-year span.

Now, Michigan was giving them all they could handle early on in this game and that was until Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench to have the game of this life. He averages about 13 points a game. He had 18 alone in the first half and he finished with 31 for the game. It was the most ever by a player off the bench and a championship game in history.

Villanova would roll on in the second half to win this one 79 to 62.

DiVincenzo the most outstanding player in the Final Four and I caught up with him on the floor during the celebration.


SCHOLES: Donte, how amazing is this moment right here?

DONTE DIVINCENZO, GUARD, VILLANOVA WILDCATS: Indescribable, honestly, because we've been through so much, this team. A lot of ups and downs this year and we've competed every single day in practice. And just sharing that -- we're going to share this for the rest of our life.

SCHOLES: Is this the moment you've dreamt of since you were a kid?

DIVINCENZO: Yes, since I -- since I was born, honestly. Yes, and the biggest thing for me is just sharing this with the guys.


[05:40:04] SCHOLES: And here are some of the pictures from Philadelphia last night as fans taking to the streets to celebrate their second title in three years there. And, of course, just the second title in a span of three months for the city of Philadelphia after the Eagles won the Super Bowl. They are kind of becoming the city of champions there in Philly.

And guys, I have to tell you, it was such an impressive run by Villanova. They won every single one of their games by double digits in the tournament, something that had not been done in 50 years. So hats off to the Wildcats and coach Jay Wright, now just one of three coaches in NCAA --


SCHOLES: -- that has multiple titles, joining Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams.

MARSH: And I'm curious. How long were fans out there? Like, how late were they out in the streets?

SCHOLES: They might still be there, Rene. I don't know.

MARSH: That's what I thought.

BRIGGS: You know, I'm just impressed --

SCHOLES: Take a live shot.

BRIGGS: You know, they grease those poles but somehow they still are able to climb them. Crisco and all that stuff they put on them not working.

Andy Scholes, we hope you get a nap.

MARSH: Crisco.

SCHOLES: It's like a challenge, you know?

BRIGGS: It is and Philly can conquer all challenges right now. Thanks, buddy.

MARSH: Thanks, Andy.

And a career decision from a Democratic congresswoman under fire for how she handled a staffer accused of abuse. Her story is next.


[05:45:30] MARSH: Connecticut Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says that she won't run for reelection in November. It follows reports it took her three months to dismiss her chief of staff after he allegedly harassed and threatened a former aide.

Last week, Esty told CNN she was not resigning. But on Monday, she reversed course announcing on Facebook that she was ending her time in Congress, adding quote, "Too many women have been harmed by harassment in the workplace and the terrible situation in my office, I could have and should have done better."

Esty also asked the House Ethics Committee to expedite its investigation into the matter.

BRIGGS: All right, 5:46 eastern time. Let's get a check on "CNN Money" this morning. Global stocks lower today after trade tensions and a presidential attack on Amazon rocked Wall Street. The Dow fell 458 points when China slapped tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods, while a sell- off in tech left the Nasdaq down nearly three percent.

Amazon shares fell five percent after President Trump, once again, accused them of not paying taxes and hurting the post office.

But, Amazon was not alone. Big tech -- Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google lost a collective $78 billion in market value yesterday. Previously, these so-called FANG stocks have driven the market to multiple record highs.

Intel shares nosedived six percent on news it may have to survive without Apple. "Bloomberg" reports Apple plans to start making its own processors for Mac. Apple began using Intel processors in 2006 and since then, Intel has come to rely on Apple's business.

Intel still makes most of its money from selling P.C. processors and Mac computers are a major part of that market.

Intel said the company does not comment on speculation. Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Spotify making its Wall Street debut today but its approach a bit unusual. The streaming music service is going around investment banks and it's taking itself public.

Spotify plans a direct listing, meaning it will shares directly to investors. That will save it hundreds of millions in fees but could mean a volatile start, and nobody knows what the price will be when the stock starts trading.

Spotify is the largest music streaming company with 159 million users worldwide.

MARSH: And a 13-year-old boy saved hours after falling into a city sewer system. More on his amazing rescue is straight ahead.


[05:52:29] BRIGGS: Russian President Vladimir Putin traveling to Turkey today. Topping the agenda with his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan, the situation in Syria. The meeting coming at time U.S. influence in the region is weakening and it seems Moscow is calling the shots.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen on the ground in Damascus for us this morning -- Fred.


Well, the U.S. certainly seems to be losing influence here, especially after President Trump announced a couple of days ago, surprisingly, that America would be pulling out of Syria soon, after defeating ISIS. Now, as you can imagine, a lot of those groups that were essentially America's ground forces in the fight against ISIS are pretty angry, especially the Kurdish forces. They say look, they thought America would stand by their side even after ISIS is defeated.

The big winners in all of this appear to be the Russians. Look at the situation here in Damascus where I am right now. The rebels have lost a lot of territory in their fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and it's essentially been the Russians who have negotiated the withdrawal of the rebels from a lot of their territories.

Now you also have Russian President Vladimir Putin going to Turkey today where the Turks, the Russians, and then also the Iranians in the next couple of days are going to be hacking out a plan that they hope will determine the future of Syria. And, once again, America is not at the table as many here in Syria wonder what America's long-term strategy is for this country -- Dave and Rene.

MARSH: Fred Pleitgen, thank you.

And, tens of thousands of teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma flooding state capitols and refusing to back down.

In Kentucky, their fuming over a pension reform bill and demanding lawmakers improve public school funding.

Here's CNN's Polo Sandoval.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Rene, teachers here in Kentucky have made it clear that this is much more about pay and more about pensions, but it's really about funding the upcoming academic year.

It's really this reform bill that was passed by legislators last week is what brought educators from across the state here to Frankfort, Kentucky. But what is keeping them here is their push for legislators to essentially not making any of these cuts for different components of education.

As you're about to hear from some of these teachers that is what brought them here and that is also the message that they want legislators to hear loud and clear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Teachers will have to get second jobs in order to make ends meet. My husband even has told me -- he said you may have to get a second job to afford insurance and that's sad.

[05:55:03] SANDOVAL: But something that's certainly helping here is that a majority of the school districts across the state were closed for spring break this week.

However, a small handful of districts, including some of the teachers that we just heard from, actually work at the locations where class is still in session. So that now begs the question what will happen come next week for the entire state as these teachers feel like they are certainly not getting much from lawmakers, then will they potentially stage a walkout?

In the meantime, the flipside of this -- many of these conservatives in both chambers here at the Capitol maintain that this -- these kinds of cuts are also -- this reform will be necessary in order to prolong the life of this pension plan -- Dave and Rene.


BRIGGS: Polo, thanks.

Sinclair Broadcasting group and the president defending a controversial Sinclair promo video. A montage by the Website "Deadspin" mocking the promo went viral this weekend.


Biased and false news has become all too common on social media.


BRIGGS: The promo written to sound like the opinion of the local anchors when, in fact, it's a mandate from management.

Sinclair pushing back against critics who call the promo pro-Trump propaganda, saying it's quote "well-researched journalist initiative."

President Trump jumping to Sinclair's defense with a predictable tweet. "It's so funny to watch fake news networks criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more fake NBC, which is a total joke."

We should note most of Sinclair's stations are CNN affiliates.

MARSH: Well, a 13-year-old boy who was stuck in a sewage pipe for at least 12 hours is recovering this morning. Authorities in Los Angeles say he was playing in Griffith Park when boards covering a pipe opening gave way and he plunged 25 feet underground.

CNN's Nick Watt has more.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Rene, a horrific story with thankfully, a happy ending.

Jesse Hernandez, a 13-year-old kid, was in Griffith Park here in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon. He was playing with some friends when he fell into the sewer system. He fell about 25 feet down into a pipe that they say is about four feet in diameter with maybe two feet of liquid flowing at 15 miles an hour.

Now, rescuers, about 100 people in all. We had police officers, fire department, park rangers search for him for over 12 hours. Eventually, in the early hours, a sanitation crew found him when they opened a manhole cover in between two highways -- two freeways here in Los Angeles.

He was apparently 11 feet down. He was lucid, he was talking. They dropped a hose down to him, pulled him out, and the first thing Jesse asked for was a cell phone so he could call his family who were obviously very, very worried.

Now, rescue workers said that they had hoped that they would get him but they knew that the window was closing.

Dave and Rene, back to you.


MARSH: Amazing story, amazing survival. Thanks, Nick.

And the Sacramento County sheriff is blaming professional protesters and instigators for the trouble at a protest vigil in which a deputy struck a woman with his patrol car and drove off.

Sheriff Scott Jones says dashcam video of the incident shows people repeatedly kicking and banging the deputy's SUV. He says the officer likely didn't know his car had been hit by one of the -- that his car hit one of the protesters.

Emotions have been boiling over after police shot and killed Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man.

The woman struck by the vehicle, 61-year-old Wanda Cleveland, was treated at the hospital for bruises. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

BRIGGS: All right, Rene.

Just a quick check of the president's Twitter feed. Nothing yet today. The question is, what does he tweet about today? Will he stick with Amazon and will he go back on immigration?

And interesting that he hasn't tweeted about the market since March 26th. He's been the cheerleader of the markets all along. Since March 26th closed they're down two-plus percent on the S&P and the Dow, so we shall see.

He'll also have to answer questions from an actual reporter today.

MARSH: That's right.

BRIGGS: That will happen, yes.

MARSH: It will be how much he answers and how much he does not.

BRIGGS: Yes, it will happen at 1:00 we think.

MARSH: All right. Well, thanks for joining us this morning. I'm Rene Marsh. BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.


ROD ROSENSTEIN, U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Bob Mueller understands and I understand the specific scope of the investigation.

BRIGGS: New evidence that the special counsel is investigating collusion allegations against the president's former campaign chairman.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ANCHOR AND CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "ABC NEWS": Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign, and Putin and his regime?


TRUMP: The Democrats have really let them down and now people are taking advantage of DACA.

MARSH: President Trump lashing out on Twitter criticizing U.S. immigration policy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This president is completely clueless when it comes to immigration laws, period.

BRIGGS: EPA chief Scott Pruitt under scrutiny amid ethics concerns.

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: I don't know how you survive this one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard to see how we have smooth management of the country when you've got all of these melodramas.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.