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Israeli P.M. Claims To Have Proof Of Secret Iranian Nuke Program; Michael Hayden On His New Book, "The Assault On Intelligence"; Former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards Talks About Its Future. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired May 1, 2018 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Moments ago, we spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and he wouldn't say what that proof is necessarily, and he wouldn't even say whether or not Israel has nuclear weapons.

Do they? Why keep that quiet? Is that OK?

Former CIA and NSA head Michael Hayden joins us with insight, next.


CUOMO: The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims Iranian officials were lying when they said they were not pursuing nuclear weapons and that he can prove it. That they have a trove of information that shows that Iran is currently keeping an atomic archive.

Now, there is pushback to this notion. The International Atomic Agency -- Energy Agency -- says that there is no evidence that Iran was trying to develop nuclear weapons after 2009. So the date matters because it becomes about what was known when the deal was made in 2015 and what may have happened since.

So, I pressed Mr. Netanyahu about Israel's nuclear capabilities if transparency is so important. Here's what he said.


CUOMO: A yes-no question for you. Does Israel have nuclear capabilities and nuclear weapons? Yes or no?

[07:35:07] BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: We've always said that we won't be the first to introduce it, so we haven't introduced it. And I'll tell you one thing --

CUOMO: But that's not an answer to the question. Do you have them or do you not?

NETANYAHU: -- any country. It's as good an answer as you're going to get.


CUOMO: Joining us now is CNN national security analyst, retired Gen. Michael Hayden. He's the former director of the CIA and the NSA.

He's also the author of a new book, OK? It's out today and really, you're going to be better if you read it. It tells you so much from his perspective of someone who understands intelligence, the culling thereof, and its application to our government about what's going on with us as a people right now, and within the halls of power. It's called "The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security In An Age of Lies."

It's good to see you, sir.


CUOMO: Help me out on the Iran side first.


CUOMO: Two points. The first one is, is this new?


CUOMO: Is Netanyahu -- no?

HAYDEN: No, it's not. I mean, we created a national intelligence estimate in 2007 that actually said that the Iranians had stopped the weaponization part of their program. Missiles still going on, centrifuges still spinning -- but the actual building of the weapon, that they had stopped it in 2003. And I'm fond of saying we based that not on absence of evidence but on evidence of absence.

Now, we went on to say some dual-use stuff, some research went on, all right? They were hedging their bets. They wanted to keep their options open.

But we went in and told President Bush and Vice President Cheney -- and that was a heavy lift -- they're still bad folks. They're still heading in a bad direction, but our intelligence estimate now is they've stopped this particular activity.

CUOMO: All right. So, my understanding is that when they did the deal in 2015, people went in with their eyes wide open.


CUOMO: These guys are up to no good. They want to be up to no good. That's why we need the deal.

But Bibi seems to be suggesting something else, which is that the information he just found proves that you guys didn't know everything that was going on and that there may still be more going on. The IAEA pushed back on that.

HAYDEN: Right.

CUOMO: The allies seemed to ho-hum it.

Well, what does that mean? Is he lying about this or does he just not know what was found before? I mean, they are known for their intelligence capabilities.

HAYDEN: Oh, they are and credit to the Israeli Intelligence Service for getting this trove of documents and digital records.

But I think all it does Chris is give more detail to the plotline that we all knew -- that we all agreed --

CUOMO: So you don't think anything's been happening that you guys didn't know about?

HAYDEN: To the best of my knowledge -- I'm out of government and not getting the briefings -- I think this is fundamentally old news.

And look, with all due respect to the prime minister -- you know, I realize he's not an intelligence source, all right, but we have certain labels, certain caveats we give to some sources -- and for some sources who actually report good information. We also have to point out so that you understand the motivation of the source.

We believed his remarks were designed to influence as well as to inform and I think that might apply to what the prime minister said yesterday.

CUOMO: Big theatrical show in English.

HAYDEN: In English.

CUOMO: The only person --

HAYDEN: A certain audience in mind, I think.

CUOMO: The only person who responded aggressively to the idea that this is new and must be acted upon is the President of the United States.

HAYDEN: Yes, and there was a little subplot last night in the White House where they actually put out a short press release where they said Iran "has" a robust --

CUOMO: Right.

HAYDEN: -- clandestine program.

CUOMO: And they changed it.

HAYDEN: People like me went whoa and they had to go back and change the verb. Iran "had" a program.

CUOMO: Right. Netanyahu ignored that when I asked him about that distinction --

HAYDEN: Yes. CUOMO: -- and how everybody else is sleeping on it.

Clearly, he has his own motivations for wanting Iran pushed down deeper in terms of their capabilities and he's got a good point. This is something that the Trump team keeps bringing up also.

In 2015, people said well, you're doing the nuclear thing but Iran's running all over the region. What about that?

And the decision at the time was we can only handle so much in this deal. Let's deal with the nukes, then we'll deal with everything else.

Netanyahu's point is everything else has gotten worse. It has to be now part of this deal or you have to forget the whole thing.

Fair point?

HAYDEN: Fair point in terms of the complaint, not so fair in terms of how to solve -- deal with the complaint.

So he's got the nuclear problem. It's parked for a while, all right?

American intelligence today -- President Trump's Intel folks say Iran's further away from a weapon with this. We know more about this than we would otherwise with this deal, all right? I fully understand all of this other stuff, right?

So how then do you then explain the president's blurting out -- what, four weeks ago -- we've got to leave Syria -- got to pull out? I mean, that's where you want to push back against the Iranians. Not over here in terms of this problem that you put in this place at least for a while.

CUOMO: Quickly, they never say whether or not they have nukes in Israel and in no way is the question suggestive of any kind of parody between Israel and Iran. We get that there's an existential threat against Israel.

But if you want them to come clean and disclosure and transparency of the rule of the day, why not acknowledge what everybody believes, which is that Israel has its own nuclear capabilities?

[07:40:04] HAYDEN: Israel's got its own policy reasons for the prime minister giving you the kind of answer that he gave. I am not going to be first to go out and try to confirm it. I will admit that the general international consensus is that they do.

And, you know, all those chemical weapons that Assad has been using and all that? That chemical weapons program was really extensive and our judgment was always that they had their own WMD because they believed that the Israelis had theirs.

CUOMO: This book surprised me. I -- look, I always expect you to give me an insight that I never imagined myself because of the depth of your experience, but you talk about us in here -- the American people and what's going on with us, and you explain it in a very interesting way.

You borrow a phrase from "The New York Times" columnist David Brooks.


CUOMO: Totalistic, the void left when other attachments -- what other attachments -- religion, ethnic, communal, even familial. That when that void happened in our society and in Israel that beliefs became so tied to partisan identification. And once you're tied to a partisan ideology, data is not useful in arguing a point.

Boy, that is where we are.

HAYDEN: It is, and I make the point -- I talk a lot about President Trump, all right, but I make the point that what's happened is fundamental to our own social dialogue, to our own political comedy. And we're not going to -- we're not going to solve this until we get our own act together.

Now, what President Trump did, I think, was identify it, OK, exploit it, and I think he worsens that by the style of government -- by the way he addresses different issues.

But, President Trump is far more effect than cause. And then -- and then you've got these two engines kind of chugging away. And now, you've got the Russians coming through the fence line identifying this and then manipulating these kinds of fractures in our society.

It's a -- it's a real witches brew.

CUOMO: So, one of the things that is very confusing in covering the president -- and help me understand this. Let's just take what happened with Netanyahu, OK?

The president has access to people like you, right, as some of the best intelligence work and workers in the world, right? He could know what's true better than any of us ever could.

And yet, Netanyahu gives this speech. The president goes out and says I was right, Bibi proved it. I'm 100 percent right about this.

But doesn't he have the benefit of everything you just told me and a hundred times better --


CUOMO: -- from his own people who could have said to him and probably did -- I think when Netanyahu said it -- we knew this already. This doesn't change our calculus.

HAYDEN: Right.

CUOMO: This was already baked into the mix.

HAYDEN: And now you've described the problem I try to describe in the book. The detachment from the organs of governments -- loyal Americans fairly good at what they do, trying to help the president be successful and the seeming detachment of that process from what the president says, very often, and occasionally does. And that is -- that is the core issue.

How do you -- how do you make the president -- how do you enable the president -- how do make the president willing to take advantage of all this that is going on, on his behalf?

CUOMO: Now, I won't give it away but there is hope in this book, as well, in terms of what you believe is as true as the problem itself which could be the key to the solution, but I'll let people read it for themselves.

Michael B. Hayden, "The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security In An Age of Lies."

HAYDEN: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you, always.

HAYDEN: Thank you.

CUOMO: Alisyn --


They're down a few starters and facing a team filled with stars, so could the Celtics hang with the Sixers? I'm going to learn what all that means in the "Bleacher Report," next.


[07:47:25] CUOMO: An old school rivalry is new again. The Celtics and the Sixers squaring off in round two of the playoffs. Game one going to Boston.

Andy Scholes, new daddy, has more in the "Bleacher Report." Good to see you, my friend.

What a series to see rekindled. You're too young to remember --


CUOMO: -- this one back in the day.

SCHOLES: I'm sure you saw some good Celtics --

CUOMO: Yes, I did.

SCHOLES: -- Sixers games though in your time Chris, right?

But, you know, right now, these two teams -- two of the most talented young teams in the NBA so this Celtics-Sixers rivalry looks like it's going to be back for a while.

And everyone, you know, keeps counting out those Celtics because of all their injuries. They're without stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. And another one of their young studs, Jaylen Brown, also not playing in game one of this series.

But, 24-year-old point guard Terry Rozier just continues to dominate these playoffs. He made seven threes in game one, leading Boston with 29 points. Rozier saying after the game that playing this well at the highest level really has been a dream come true for him.

The Celtics take game one 117-101. Game two of this series is going to be Thursday night.

All right. I want to introduce you to the newest member of the CNN sports team, Wrenn Annette Wire. Coy and his wife Claire welcoming their first daughter to the world Sunday night after 18 hours of labor. Wrenn weighing seven pounds, 11 ounces. Mom and baby Wrenn are doing great.

And guys, as you can see by some of these pictures we're showing you here, baby Wrenn already has more hair than dad but that was not hard to accomplish considering the dobe (ph) that Coy has. But big congrats to him and his wife for a beautiful daughter.

CAMEROTA: Seventeen hours of labor -- Coy looks exhausted.

CUOMO: I know. She looks great.

CAMEROTA: I know, but Coy is -- Coy needs to lay down after that.

CUOMO: A sympathetic pregnancy going on. What is good -- healthy babies. That's what it's all about.

Thank you very much, my friend.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: That is an adorable baby.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. OK.

So she just wrapped up her tenure at the helm of Planned Parenthood. Now, Cecile Richards tells us why she's stepping aside and what she's doing next, and what she thought about that joke at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, next.


[07:53:42] CAMEROTA: For the last 12 years, Cecile Richards battled to protect Planned Parenthood's federal and state funding. After a decade with the organization, Richards last day as president was yesterday.

So joining us now is Cecile Richards. She is the author of the new book, "Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead." So great to see you.


CAMEROTA: So how does it feel? This is your first day not as president of Planned Parenthood. What's it like and why did you leave now?

RICHARDS: Well, this a perfect way to start my first day so thanks for having me.

And, you know, I've been at the job for 12 years and we've grown. I think we're stronger than we've ever been and we -- obviously, this last year managed to beat back this administration's efforts to defund Planned Parenthood or block women from coming to us.

So I felt like it was time for me to step aside and -- but I will continue to be a big supporter and advocate for women and women's rights.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, when you say that you beat back this administration's plan to defund, is that over? I mean, are you breathing a sigh of relief or is this an overgoing battle?

RICHARDS: Oh, it's an ongoing battle and I think particularly, this administration has really had women and women's rights and women's health care sort of in their sights. But I feel like the organization is well-positioned.

And again, I'll continue to fight to make sure that every woman in this country has access to affordable health care that Planned Parenthood provides.

[07:55:01] CAMEROTA: In the book, you describe what you say was a surreal experience and meeting --


CAMEROTA: -- that you had right after President Trump won, with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner --


CAMEROTA: -- where you went to talk to them about what Planned Parenthood does. And tell us about what their response was and what that exchange was like.

RICHARDS: Well, Ivanka had reached out and wanted to talk about Planned Parenthood and, of course, I thought I'll go anywhere to talk to anyone about the important work we do.

But it turned out really that what was -- at least what Jared Kushner proposed was that if Planned Parenthood would discontinue providing access to safe and legal abortion in the country then he would talk to Paul Ryan about securing our funding.

And I said well, I'm not here to make a political deal and we're never going to trade away the rights of women in this country for money. But I really thought it was important they understood just how devastating it would be.

And, of course, federal funds don't go for abortion services so what they're talking about doing is actually preventing women from getting breast exams, all kinds of birth control services, and other well- women visits at Planned Parenthood, which just makes no sense at all.

CAMEROTA: So how do you describe where women's reproductive rights are today in terms of access to birth control, access to abortion? Is it -- is it going backwards or forwards?

RICHARDS: Well, I think we made enormous progress under the last administration. In fact, one of the most important, I think, campaigns that we led at Planned Parenthood was to get birth control covered for all women in this country.

It's amazing. Under Obamacare, now all insurance plans have to cover all kinds of birth control at no co-pay and we're actually now at the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy in the history of this country. So, I think we're making enormous progress.

Unfortunately, at the state level, more and more -- I think it depends on the legislature but they are taking political aim at women's health -- women's access to basic health care.

And one of the things that's really worrisome about this administration is they're now trying to rollback that birth control access, although my sense from women around the country is they're not going to let that happen.

CAMEROTA: As you know, this past weekend was the White House Correspondents' Dinner.


CAMEROTA: There was a comedian who caused a bit of controversy and she made one particularly controversial joke. It was about abortion. So let me play that for you.


MICHELLE WOLF, COMEDIAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS' DINNER: Mike Pence is also very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder which, first of all, don't knock it until you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you've got to get that baby out of there.

And yes, sure, you can groan all you want. I know a lot of you are very anti-abortion, you know, unless it's the one you got for your secret mistress.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: What do you think about that?

RICHARDS: Well, I mean, she's a comedian. That was her job.

This isn't a topic that I make jokes about because of course I see what women face in this country just to access this care and how much stigma and shame there already is in America. I think she was also making the point that a lot the folks -- male politicians in particular, who rail against access to safe and legal abortion do so until it's something that they actually find benefits themselves.

CAMEROTA: Your mom, of course, is legendary -- Ann Richards, former Texas governor. Is there politics in your future?

RICHARDS: I don't know what's next but I'm excited to explore everything. I know that I'll be very focused in this next few months on making sure that every woman in this country is registered to vote, is activated, and goes to the polls in November.

I think women are the most important political force in America right now and that's an exciting thing.

CAMEROTA: Do you have an interest in running for office at some point?

RICHARDS: Nothing that I've really looked at. But again, I've always felt like I was -- as my book says, I've been kind of an agitator, a troublemaker, a -- someone who helps, I think, get other people empowered and active, and that's what I'm looking forward to doing.

CAMEROTA: The book, again, is called "Make Trouble" by Cecile Richards. It's a great book -- great read. It's on the bestseller list.

Thanks so much for coming in and talking with us this morning.

RICHARDS: Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: We have a lot of news so let's get right to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These questions speak to the breadth of Mueller's interest. We are not yet near the end of this investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president's own words, actions, tweets will be front and center of this.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russian collusion -- give me a break.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our president doesn't have any right to say he cannot answer questions as he takes the Fifth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would never advise a client to testify in a case like this. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Telling the truth isn't always a perfect defense when the charges are perjury or obstruction of justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kelly has grown increasingly frustrated with President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, not the kind of relationship you'd want between the president and the person who is in charge of the staff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If John Kelly flatly denies that he called the president an idiot, I believe him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The train is fully off the rails.


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

CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Friday -- it's not Friday.

CUOMO: I know.


CUOMO: No, no, but I like the way you're thinking.

CAMEROTA: Me, too.

CUOMO: I like it.

CAMEROTA: It's actually Tuesday, May first. But I was excited for a second.

CUOMO: But if we've learned anything, just keep saying it.