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CEO Criticizes DOJ in Anti-Trust Case; Food As Fuel Talks Sushi; Trump Blasts Sanctuary Cities. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired April 19, 2018 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:33:13] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, dramatic testimony in the anti-trust trial of the century. The CEO of Time Warner blasting the Justice Department's case against its proposed merger with AT&T.
And as you should know by now, Time Warner owns CNN. That's called disclosure.
All right, let's bring in CNN politics, media and business reporter Hadas Gold, and CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter.
Now, Hadas, this was a big day. This is not hype. You had the big shots up there on the stand. So, how did it go?
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, he made the case for the merger with AT&T, said that they need this merger in order to be able to complete with the likes of Netflix, Facebook and Google, who are providing the content that we all watch and also the platforms that we watch it on. And, as a result, they're getting all of this data on all of us that's used for advertisers.
But I have to say, this was an interesting day in court because I've been checking in with a bunch of experts and including former Justice Department anti-trust officials on how this is going and they have told me that the government is in serious trouble. This is including a former anti-trust official in the Justice Department. The type of person who would literally be litigating this type of deal.
GOLD: And especially after yesterday, the cross-examination by the Justice Department lawyers, it seemed like they were grasping at straws. It wasn't quite clear what arguments they were making here.
And this was the big dog. This is the CEO of Time Warner. And for whatever reason, it didn't seem like they had a clear line of argument.
Now, clearly, it's hard to predict how these cases go because it's all up to the judge. But this was a big day and it didn't seem like the Justice Department did what they need to do.
CUOMO: Hey, Hadas, did the judge push back a lot during the cross?
GOLD: He actually, at one point, in both Bewkes' testimony and also another AT&T executive, John Stankey's testimony, trying to get the Justice Department lawyer to clarify his questions because they would be -- the witness would say, I don't quite understand what you're getting at here.
[08:35:02] GOLD: And Judge Leon said, I don't either. Rephrase the question. And that's never a good look.
CUOMO: Right. And that's also a good tell because, remember, this is a bench trial, which means, you know, the judge is also the jury in effect, right?
All right, so, Brian, from a policy consideration, we -- this keeps coming up, the idea of -- well, this is the future this way versus, no, no, no, this is the worst thing for the future is having these kinds of mergers. How does that break down, plus/minus?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's a sense in the business community that this is an inevitability. That these kinds of mergers are going to keep happening in the media business in order to keep pace with technology giants. And you heard Bewkes reference this on the stand yesterday, that Facebook and Google, that are getting bigger and bigger, and that the Time Warners and AT&Ts of the world need to be able to compete. It's always interesting to have the CEO make the argument that your company isn't actually that big after all, that it -- actually it needs -- it need to be bigger in order to challenge these tech giants. But that's what we're hearing.
And Bewkes is not the only media CEO saying this. We're seeing other deals being done. For example, Bob Iger, Rupert Murdoch, Disney and Fox getting together, all trying to have scale against the Googles and the Facebooks and the Microsofts and the Apples.
Look at Netflix this week. Record earnings once again. Gaining millions of subscribers. It's stock reaching a new high. Almost reaching Disney's market cap. So that is a -- that is a reality of the world right now, the tech giants are becoming bigger and bigger.
We're going to hear more of that, I think, from Randall Stephenson when he takes the stand. He's the AT&T CEO. He's up next after Stankey finishes his testimony.
I thought Stankey's testimony yesterday was also really interesting. He's the AT&T executive who will be in charge of these channels and assets if the deal goes through. He said, you know, I'm not looking to collude with Comcast, I'm not looking to hold back channels the way the government's claiming. I'm actually trying to compete for customers' time and attention. That's the media business model.
CUOMO: Right. And how did that work, Hadas, the idea of, this isn't about us getting together. This is about me having competitive advantage against these other people that you're suspecting could lead to possible collusion?
GOLD: Well, what happens is, Netflix, for example, when you're watching Netflix, they are getting data on you, not only on what you're watching, but also what else you're watching. And they can use that data for advertisers who can then say, OK, this person loves watching cooking shows, so I'm going to sell them a bunch of cooking appliance advertisement, and that works really well for advertisers.
Time Warner says, we don't have any of that data. We are a wholesaler. We sell to a distributor who then sells advertisements. And we don't get all that data, that information. But if we join with AT&T, we can get that information. They were pointing to the digital ad space, how Google has -- has so much. Google and Facebook have so much of the ad revenue across the world and how the television advertising revenue area has completely gone down. And that's where cable channels get a lot of their money from is advertisement. And if they don't catch up, this is what Bewkes was saying, then they're going to lose out in this race, honestly.
STELTER: Yes, to Hadas' point, you know, we don't ever really know what the judge is going to decide. No one can get in his mine. But it does seem, day by day, that the government is outmatched in this case. That the AT&T and Time Warner lawyers are putting on quite a strong case and now this continues with Stephenson later today.
CUOMO: And, just remember, meat on the bones of that speculation, this is an unusual pushback from the government in this type of merger.
Hadas, Brian, thank you very much.
STELTER: Thank you.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, President Trump stoking the immigration debate with a new attack on sanctuary cities and undocumented immigrants. Did his reference to, quote, breeding, cross a line? That's ahead.
[08:42:35] CAMEROTA: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."
CNN has spoken to roughly two dozen Republican lawmakers who say they are not ready to back President Trump in his re-election bid for 2020. Senators Ron Johnson and Bob Corker both telling us on NEW DAY it is too early to answer whether they will back the leader of their party in 2020.
CUOMO: President Trump says he's willing to walk away from upcoming talks with Kim Jong-un if they're not going to be fruitful. This as South Korea's president announces the North is dropping its demand for the U.S. to withdraw forces from South Korea in exchange for any scale down in nukes. CAMEROTA: CNN learning a long time legal adviser to President Trump
warned him that his attorney, Michael Cohen could flip. This attorney named Jay Goldberg says he told the president, quote, without exception, a person facing a prison term cooperates.
CUOMO: The FAA ordering an inspection of jet engine blades following the midair engine failure board a Southwest Airlines flight. Investigators say a blade snapped off the engine, sending shrapnel through the window of the plane, killing a passenger.
CAMEROTA: For the first time in the nearly six decades, Cuba will no longer be led by the Castros. The communist country's national assembling selecting Raul Castro's successor, Miguel Diaz-Canel, makes history today when he is sworn in.
CUOMO: You want more on the "Five Things to Know," you can go to cnn.com/newday and you will get the latest.
CAMEROTA: All right, outrage over a Trump tweet suggesting that sanctuary cities are immigrants breeding grounds. Did the president cross a line? We get "The Bottom Line," next.
CUOMO: But first, if you're watching what you eat, you don't have to give up sushi.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Go on. Tell me more.
CUOMO: Nutritionist Lisa Drayer explains. It all comes down to how your roll is prepared. How do you roll?
LISA DRAYER, CNN NUTRITIONIST: Sushi can be part of a healthy diet. That's as long as you stick to vegetables, omega rich sea foods, such as salmon and tuna, and small amounts of heart healthy avocado. I know it's tempting, but steer clear of anything fried, as well as creamy condiments, such as mayo and cream cheese. They're packed with unhealthy fat and extra calories.
For example, a shrimp tempura roll topped with spicy mayo can contain more than 500 calories and more than 20 grams of fat. That's double the calories and three times the fat of a California roll.
[08:45:02] And watch out for the sodium in plain soy sauce. Just one tablespoon contains about 900 milligrams, or about 40 percent of the daily recommended limit. So go for the low sodium version.
And if you can, ask for brown sushi rice instead of white. Sugar and salt are typically added to both, but the brown version is rich in whole grains and offers more fiber.
CUOMO: Words matter. And once again, President Trump is under fire for a tweet on immigration in so-called sanctuary cities. The president writing, there's a revolution going on in California. So many sanctuary areas want out of this ridiculous crime infested and breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the border, but the people of the state are not happy. Want security and safety now.
[08:550:10] Now, the facts of this, there's a lot of exaggeration, this hyperbole. That's Trump when he tweets. However, the phrase breeding concept has some outraged. Did the president cross a line?
Let get "The Bottom Line" with Charles Blow, CNN political commentator and op-ed columnist for "The New York Times."
What's the simple answer?
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, breed is a concept you normally apply to animals and some plants, right? And breeding is the reproduction of those animals and plants. And so whether or not what his intent is, who can ever know. The effect, though, is the dehumanizing of people, the authorizing of people and the animalizing of people. And once you take a human being and reduce the humanity in that person where your fellow citizens no longer see that person as fully human, it opens the gate for you to do all manner of things to those people. And that has -- that is a very historical concept, that is an ancient concept.
And we've seen that in recent history where during the crack epidemic, for instance, you know, we had this kind of crack science that labeled some people who were users and some people who were sellers as super predators. It kind of dehumanized to the point where you were allowed then to enact all sorts of draconian policies because all of a sudden they weren't human like you and I.
CUOMO: Once you define somebody as less than --
CUOMO: Then there's an expectation they will be treated as less than.
BLOW: Less than human. Not just less than --
CUOMO: Another human?
BLOW: Yes, as -- as another human, not just less than importance in society, your contributions to -- fully less than human. And that is a real thing. And maybe if it was someone else, you may be able to make an argument that maybe they slipped the tongue or whatever. But this particular person, this president, has a history of problematic racial language and actions. And, therefore, you can't -- you don't really give him the benefit of the doubt.
CUOMO: Do you think that this in all plays into why Manu Raju is reporting that with his two dozen Republican lawmakers in the House and in the Senate they won't say that they automatically back Trump if he runs for re-election? That is odd, as we know.
BLOW: It may -- it's very odd. And, you know, in particular for someone who already has a re-election committee, right? So it's not like he -- there's a question of whether he's going to run again.
But I think a lot of things play into it. This may -- his problem around race plays into it. I think his legal problems play into it. People really don't -- he doesn't know what the FBI has, the southern district of New York. That's a big deal. To have all of your communications with a confidant is a big problem if you are prone to have to -- if you are a president in need of a fixer, that's -- just saying that out loud is actually striking to me. The fact that we have a president who has a fixer is crazy.
BLOW: But the -- but if you -- if someone has all the communications you have with that person, it's a problem.
BLOW: So there's that. There is his kind of unpredictability. There is his kind of unpresidential nature. There's a lot that, I think, folds into the concept of people who have been following him and supporting him, just because they're afraid of the voters who support him.
CUOMO: Right. Now the next layer of why we care, because I understand the pushback of, oh, look, this is Trump. He doesn't think before he speaks. He says what works with him in the moment. And why that's all been excused in a president of the United States is a longer conversation than we have time for today, Charles.
However, why do we care? What just happened in Starbucks? What happened in the gym? What's been happening again with use of force cases around the country that aren't getting the same coverage because there seems to be some level of fatigue on it? People do get treated less than.
CUOMO: There is a standard where we need to shut Starbucks for a day to teach people, don't kick black people out --
CUOMO: Just because they're there.
CUOMO: But this is the way we should do it.
Now, that's the reality of the society. So how we talk about one another matters.
BLOW: Right. I think it matters tremendously that -- I'm just always struck by how quickly things escalate with certain people. And I'm inundated by videos of how other people, you know, they coax and try and they explain and let them explain and sometimes wrestle and fight with them and all sorts of things. But within two minutes, these guys are in handcuffs. I mean, I'm sorry, a 911 call has been placed. Two minutes. That's -- I mean that's -- no time to figure out what's happening, just what does it matter if they're sitting still, they're not causing a problem. What does it really matter --
CUOMO: Other patrons saying, wait a minute, I was doing the same thing.
CUOMO: There's nothing wrong.
CUOMO: I'm waiting for someone too.
And, by the way, we all know, Starbucks is often a loitering lounge. There are all kinds of people doing stuff in there that is not commerce related.
BLOW: Exactly. Exactly. And the thing is -- and one thing I would like to point out, though, is that -- I'm 47 years old. My whole life I've heard people say, you know, black people need to use their money to make their point. What I'm seeing in the last six months to a year is a real use of social media to do that.
[08:55:06] When H&M had a problem with that sweatshirt, black people mobilized and said, we're not doing this anymore. And H&M has a problem now and I don't know if it's completely related, but again with Heineken. Every -- people are not saying enough. And social media allows people to kick into action and say, we're not going to have it.
CUOMO: I agree with the point. The sad thing is, they've got too many different corporate entities to choose from these days in terms of what to boycott. We need more people showing the right example.
It's good to see you.
BLOW: Thank you.
CUOMO: Thank you for being here, Charles.
What do you say, it's Thursday, Friday-proximate. How about a little "Good Stuff" action, next.
CUOMO: "Good Stuff."
Talk about flipping the script. Listen to this one.
CAMEROTA: OK. CUOMO: All right. We're in Wisconsin. A good Samaritan jumps in to save the police, who were being assaulted by a suspect they were trying to arrest.
CAMEROTA: Come on!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kick was so powerful that it literally knocked Sergeant Walters (ph) out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: So, Gira (ph) is her name --
CUOMO: She sees this, rushes over to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're there for, you know, the person that you see in need, and that's what you do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[09:00:01] CUOMO: She grabs the suspect --
CAMEROTA: Wait a minute.
CUOMO: And slams them up against the wall.
CUOMO: And helps the officers up. The suspect's ultimately get arrested. The officers are OK.
As for Gira --