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NEW DAY

Trump Says He's Working with China to Save Tech Company; U.S. Breaks with Tradition, Set to Open Jerusalem Embassy; Palestinian Officials: At Least 16 Dead in Gaza Fence Protests; Source: White House Aide Promised McCain's Daughter a Public Apology. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired May 14, 2018 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS PLAYER: I've been down before in a postseason. But for me, there's no level of concern, no matter how bad I played tonight with seven turnovers. I'm just as confident going to a series, no matter if it was a zero-zero series or down 0-1.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[07:00:11] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remember it's a feel-out game. That's what he calls it. Any time, game one, you've got to get in. You feel it, see what happens, and take it from there. We should all be scared.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much. We don't have time. But you should go on and Google how he recapped the beginning of the game all from memory. It's impressive.

Thanks to you, our international viewers, for watching. For you, "CNN TALK" is next. But for our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: President Trump appearing to soften his stance against a Chinese phone company that violated U.S. sanctions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've caught it. We're going to work very openly to address their needs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Critics are not going to let this go. Because they are going to point to this as another example of the president talking tough but not following through.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (D), SOUTH CAROLINA; I just wish somebody from the White House would tell the country that was inappropriate.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm not going to comment on an internal staff meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are never going to make America great again when you trash the legacy of John McCain.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, President Trump, for your bold decision. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There hasn't been a U.S. president in such lock

step with Israel in decades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just a recipe for a very bloody day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

CUOMO: Good morning, and welcome to your NEW DAY. Alisyn is off. The one and only E. Hill joins me. Eric, always good to have you. Thanks.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Good to be with you.

CUOMO: All right. We're seeing a stunning reversal. President Trump telling his Commerce Department to step in and save a Chinese smart phone maker. The administration had banned U.S. firms from selling parts and services to ZTE -- that's the Chinese company involved -- because of violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Members of Congress have called that company's technology a major cyber security threat.

So what's going on now? Is the president putting these Chinese jobs ahead of national security like critics claim?

HILL: Meantime, in just hours, the U.S. will open its Israeli embassy in Jerusalem fulfilling President Trump's campaign promise. Protests, though, in Gaza involving thousands angry with that U.S. decision to move the embassy have already turned deadly this morning.

So will this move now add more instability to a region which is already on edge? We begin our coverage with CNN's Jeff Zeleny, who is live at the White House with our top story.

Jeff, good morning

JEFF ZELENY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Erica.

China, of course, has long been a favorite punching bag for the president, who has blamed the country for the loss of American jobs.

But some new language over the weekend. Some softening of that certainly was raising eyebrows. Now he's talking about saving China jobs. He'll be criticized this week, but the question is what's behind that reversal?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY (voice-over): In a surprising departure from his hardline rhetoric on trade, President Trump appearing to reconsider a punishment imposed on Chinese electronics giant ZTE, saying in a tweet he's working with China's president to give the country a way to get back in business fast. "Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done." Last week, ZTE announced that it was ending major operating activities after the Trump administration banned U.S. companies from selling parts or providing services to ZTE until 2025. ZTE was accused of violating U.S. sanctions on North Korea and Iran, then lying about the aftermath, a claim ZTE denied.

WILBUR ROSS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: I think it's very hard for anybody to rally to the support of somebody who's admitted multiple iterations of a crime.

ZELENY: The White House later clarifying in a statement that "President Trump expects Secretary Ross to exercise his independent judgment, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, to resolve the regulatory action involving ZTE based on its facts."

In February, the heads of U.S. intelligence warned Congress about the cyber security threat ZTE poses.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: Would you please use your hands if you would use products or services from Huawei or ZTE? None of you would. Raise your hand if you would recommend that private American citizens use Huawei or ZTE products or services. None of you, again, are raising your hand.

ZELENY: The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee citing these warnings in a tweet Sunday criticizing the president, charging that Mr. Trump "should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs."

The administration is currently involved in high-stakes trade talks with China. But the U.S. is also counting on trying to help in the historic summit with Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next month.

President Trump tweeting Sunday that "Past negotiations have been so one-sided in favor of China for so many years that it is hard for them to make a deal that benefits both countries. But be cool. It will all work out."

All of this playing out as the administration faces ongoing criticism for their silence over White House aide Kelly Sadler's morbid remark about Senator John McCain's opposition to the president's pick for CIA director, noting "he's dying anyway."

[07:05:12] SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (r), SOUTH CAROLINA: It's a pretty disgusting thing to say. If it was a joke, it was a terrible joke. I just wish somebody from the White House would tell the country that was inappropriate. That's not who we are.

ZELENY: A source tells CNN that Sadler told McCain's daughter in a phone call that she would publicly apologize for the remark, but she has yet to do so.

MEGHAN MCCAIN, DAUGHTER OF SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable, and then you could come to work the next day and still have a job. ZELENY: The White House focusing more on the leaking of the comment

than its substance, with aides telling CNN that press secretary Sarah Sanders berated the communications staff over the leak on Friday.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: So even as that non-apology hangs over the White House as a new week begins here, there is a second round of talks coming with the top economic adviser, coming here to talk about the looming trade crisis.

Now, all this is coming. Of course, the president's new language against China as he is hoping to have their help to be on the sidelines for that historic summit next month in Singapore with Kim Jong-un. So that is one of the things that explains this reversal over the weekend.

But look for Republicans on Capitol Hill, certainly, to have something to say about it, because it certainly is controversial here.

CUOMO: It is. It's certainly controversial. But will they say anything about it? Let's not just make that, you know, a foregone conclusion. These cats are really quiet about things we think they'll be speaking out about.

Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much.

Let's bring in CNN political analyst John Avlon and CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson.

Look, I mean, Tom Cotton was echoing a lot of people's thoughts that you've got to lock down on what the Chinese are doing. They abuse the intellectual property rights of the United States. There's a cyber threat here that's real. Let's stop it. Some say great.

Now he's reversing it. Is this just about creating the best conditions possible for the upcoming talks and to protect the U.S. industry from reverberated problems from Chinese industry?

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's the only way to rationalize it, because it's a contradiction of, basically, the core campaign promises he made: America first. American jobs first. This statement is Chinese jobs.

But you know, this -- he does have this high-stakes North Korean negotiation coming up. There are knock-down (ph) effects in even punishing Chinese companies, which is why free trade works and protectionism often has unintended consequences.

But the -- but the Trump administration deserves credit for getting tough on Chinese companies as it related to the cyber threat, as it related to the rise of a technological surveillance state. And this, too, this would have been a serious message if this company had been knocked out, because they violated sanctions against key companies.

CUOMO: If. But when you do this, what does this do? AVLON: They do the opposite. This is reviving a company that had

been delivered a knockout punch by the president of the United States.

HILL: It terms of reviving, it brings all of this up, right? We're playing that sound bite again. We're looking at all of these heads of intelligence agencies. Nobody will raise their hand to say, "Yes, absolutely, this is fine. I would recommend using this technology."

And the fact that, as John points out and as we heard, as well, from Jeff, the president is tweeting about Chinese jobs here, not about American jobs. How much -- while it may set the stage well for him in terms of an upcoming meeting, could it hurt him between now and then?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER: You know, you would imagine so. Because right. This was a president who on the campaign trail, not only in 2012, when he was sort of teasing Iran and I was covering him. He was talking about China is raping America and stealing American jobs. And came in the person who was going to be America first and put those Americans, particularly in the Midwest, first, and revive the industrial manufacturing base that those folks had relied on.

So here he is talking about Chinese jobs. I think he is learning the reality of this interconnectedness. I mean, he had banded (ph) in people who were anti-globalist. But my goodness. He's sounding very much like a globalist in this tweet talking about Chinese jobs.

The reality, though, of course, is that if this company shuts down, a lot of American jobs and American companies will be at risk. Companies like Intel, companies like Qualcomm (ph) that sold products to ZTE, sold microchips to ZTE.

CUOMO: Right.

HENDERSON: So he's learning, I think, about the connectedness.

I think the issue here is where is the leverage at this point? If he's already saying that they're going to save ZTE at this point, where do you go from here? Is it sort of disruption and then status quo at some point? Because that, in some ways, is what it sounds like.

CUOMO: Well, he's got to show a gain.

HENDERSON: Yes.

CUOMO: He's got to show a gain, and he gets a little bit of coverage here because of what you just brought up on the Qualcomm aspect of this. There are other -- Qualcomm sells chips to ZTE. So while you are choking off ZTE's supply, you're hurting your vendors, your companies who create that, those are American jobs, too. So -- assuming that Qualcomm isn't just based here. It's making the things here with American labor. Is that enough cover?

AVLON: I'm not sure it is, because he's not making that argument. You know, look, this is also a little bit of, "Please, hammer, don't hurt him." This is "Donald Trump's really tough, killed this company. Now he's going to come in and save him, and he's going to look good with Xi."

[07:10:11] This is not a well-thought-out strategy, though. It's certainly not being communicated to the workers in the Midwest, who thought he was going to look out for them first. But again, it's why protectionism has unintended consequences that often hurt American workers. This is not something you would typically expect a president to learn on the job. It's semi-self-evident.

HILL: And it also -- let me go back to this point for a moment, too. We can't ignore the headline that is Chinese jobs count more than security. That's there.

HENDERSON: I think that's right. I mean, we talked about those security officials not wanting to raise their hands, you know, saying they would advise ZTE products. This happened again last week with Gina Haspel. Marco Rubio asked her if she would trust any of those products. She said no. So this is an issue about national security.

Adam Schiff has tweeted about this, as well.

So it's very odd that the president is out there in this way with this tweet. It doesn't seem like a strategy that was -- he consulted anybody about --

CUOMO: Right.

HENDERSON: -- whether there was any real strategy here at this point.

CUOMO: Well, look, his basic pushback will be how much the stuff costs over here. At the end of the day, you know, the pocketbook considerations would probably fuel most people's perspective on it. Because if they're worried about the interconnectedness -- I love that word, Nia-Malika. Thank you very much. We're going to see that in a really big way down the road, John.

Because right now everybody should want peace on the peninsula in Korea. If they can make that happen, China is an integral part. But -- but -- their long-term interests on that peninsula are not the same as the United States. China has no reason to want a unified, democratic Korea. That's not in their plan. So we're going to see the road splitting in the wood at some point.

AVLON: Big time. They want a buffer state between the capitalism of South Korea, U.S.-backed troops, and you know, and their own border. That's why there has been this stalemate.

Look, can there be some kind of breakthrough? Let's hope so. But to your point, don't forget, you know, the president may be talking a good game against his good friend Xi. China's going to be essential to finding something here. But the interests are fundamentally different. So "be cool, all will be well" is not a strategy.

CUOMO: And there was a reason he was calling China a rapist just a few months ago. AVLON: Was there really a reason?

CUOMO: There was a reason. It worked well then. What will work well now?

Thank you very much. Appreciate it. Nice to see you on Monday.

All right. In less than two hours, senior U.S. and Israeli officials are going to attend the opening ceremony for the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. There are already some demonstrations going on along the Gaza-Israel border. Those were expected. This is controversial, moving from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

CNN's Elise Labott is live inside the embassy. And anybody who knows anything will tell you it is not controversial to say that Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel. But it's "What about East Jerusalem? What does this mean for peace? Which side is the U.S. on? What comes next?" These are big questions.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Big questions, Chris. But today, Israelis are celebrating. The mood is really jubilant, because this is a day that they've been waiting for, for years. Their closest ally, the U.S., recognized, as you said, what they consider their rightful capital of Israel, Jerusalem.

But just as Israelis are celebrating, it is a crushing blow for Palestinians who are coming out en masse to make their frustration felt.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today we finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel's capital.

LABOTT (voice-over): The Trump administration upending decades of established American policy, officially moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praising the move while kicking off a gala attended by Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, President Trump, for your bold decision. Thank you for making the alliance between Israel and the United States stronger than ever.

LABOTT: The Israeli people also celebrating the occasion. Pro-Trump signs a signal of President Trump's growing popularity in the country less than one week after the U.S. withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal.

The move expected to trigger widespread protests among Palestinians, who were infuriated when President Trump announced the decision in December.

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): With this step, the U.S. has chosen to lose its confidence as a mediator and to disqualify itself from playing a role in the peace process. We shall not accept any role for the United States in the peace process.

LABOTT: Israel nearly doubling its troops around Gaza and in the West Bank amid escalating tension in the region. The State Department also bolstering security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the Muslim world.

(CHANTING)

[07:15:02] LABOTT: Still, U.S. and Israeli officials insisting that moving the embassy will advance peace in the region.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will that make it harder or easier to get any sort of peace?

JOHN BOLTON, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think it will make it easier. I think recognizing reality always enhances the chances for peace.

LABOTT: The Trump administration has invited two controversial U.S. pastors to participate in today's ceremony, despite their inflammatory past comments.

JOHN HAGEE, EVANGELICAL PASTOR: Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter.

DR. ROBERT JEFFRESS, RADIO/TV HOST: Islam is wrong. It is a heresy from the pit of hell.

Mormonism is wrong. It is a heresy from the pit of hell.

LABOTT: Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon, condemning Robert Jeffers' participation, tweeting, "Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States embassy in Jerusalem."

Pastor Jeffers addressing the controversy ahead of the ceremony.

JEFFERS: Well, first of all, these were comments ripped out of context from years ago. Secondly, you know, historic Christianity for 2,000 years taught that salvation is the faith in Christ alone. And the fact that I and tens of millions of evangelical Christians still believe that is not bigoted, and it's not newsworthy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LABOTT: Now, clearly, this is a highly significant move. But for now, it's mostly a symbolic one. There's a sign that says, "U.S. embassy." But Ambassador David Friedman, while he'll spend some more time here, he is not expected to be here full time. His staff will not be here, and he will not live here. It will take more than a year to bring over whole staff and have classified communications. And then to design and construct an embassy compound, Erica, will take several more years.

But that's not dampening the mood here for Israelis. Nor is this improving the mood, the devastation that the Palestinians are feeling and showing not only in Gaza but throughout the Palestinian territories.

HILL: And that is true. Elise, thank you.

Speaking on what Elise just mentioned there, of course, we want to share this breaking news with you. The Palestinian ministry of health saying at least 16 people are dead as large-scale protests break out on the Gaza border amid the U.S. embassy's move to Jerusalem.

CNN's Ian Lee is live now in Gaza with more on these breaking details -- Ian.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me just show you kind of behind me what is going on right now. You can probably see this thick, black smoke. This has been occurring all day. The smoke is to obscure the sights of Israeli snipers.

But also, you have these crowds of people, thousands of people here at this camp. And this is just one of many camps up and down the border. We've also seen drones flying overhead, dropping tear gas. And what it sounds like gunfire shooting up at the drones from the camp. Also, we have kites, kites lit on fire. Then they are let go, and they fly across the border. And we see at least a number of fires that have been started from these fire kites.

It is really a chaotic day, and at least 16 people have been killed. Hundreds of people have been injured.

You know, and just a little while ago, Erica, we heard what sounded like tank fire south of our position here. We did see one of these tanks, one of the Israeli tanks moving down the border.

You know, the protesters say that their main goal is to try to cross over that fence. And Israel says that's just not going to happen. They say, first, they're going to warn people, then use nonlethal means like the tear gas we've been seeing all day. And then, if they keep pushing forward, that's when they'll use live ammunition.

And we've -- they're expecting the largest number of people ever at one of these protests, which just makes a mixture and a concoction for a very deadly day, Chris.

CUOMO: Well, listen, you know how to do the job. Keep yourself and the team safe. It's good to have people there to show what happens next. We'll check with you soon.

All right. Still no apology from the White House after an aide to President Trump mocked Senator John McCain's health. Are we going to hear one publicly? The obvious answer is no. But let's debate it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:23:16] CUOMO: The Trump administration following the president's lead on apologies, which is never give one. A source telling CNN White House aide Kelly Sadler told Meghan McCain she would publicly apologize, which would make sense in a situation like this. She said Senator John McCain's opposition of CIA nominee Gina Haspel didn't matter, because he's, quote, "dying anyway." It's an ugly thing to say. Ordinarily, somebody would come up, own it. You'd hear that echoed all the way through. And we would move on, hopefully, to be better.

Joining us now, the editor of "The Weekly Standard," Bill Kristol; and former George W. Bush political director Matt Schlapp. Good to see you both.

Help me. Help me, fellows. I really -- I don't get this one. I'll be honest. This was a layup, Bill. What was said was ugly. I'm not saying you have to fire the person, necessarily. But she would own it or he would own it, if it were a male staffer. The president would echo it: "We're going to be better than this." The White House would then -- you'd move on. Not here. Why?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Because Donald Trump doesn't want to. Never -- he never apologizes. He's said terrible things to people. He criticized John McCain and some -- for being captured, remember? No respect for John McCain's service while he was a POW; prefers soldiers who aren't captured.

I mean, that's Donald Trump. The fish rots from the head down People who work in the Trump White House, many of them -- not all of them, but many of them -- unfortunately have taken on Trump's manner. They're proud to be -- you know, this kind of chest-thumping vulgarity and demeaning of others. And it's unfortunate.

I mean, I'm really -- I'm just depressed by it. That this is the White House. This is the president of the United States and his staff behaving this way.

CUOMO: Matt, what's your take?

MATT SCHLAPP, FORMER POLITICAL DIRECTOR, GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I think we ought to get it right out on the table that Kelly Sadler immediately expressed regret for her remarks and called Meghan McCain and did apologize. She felt bad about what she had said.

[07:25:08] It's clearly unfortunate. John McCain has served the military, served his country. He's in the fight for his life. And it's obviously a mistake to do anything to distract him from this struggle. And I think it showed character on her part to immediately call and to apologize.

Now, it gets turn into this brouhaha. But I think it's important for everybody to know that she does regret what she did, and she did apologize.

CUOMO: Right. Meghan -- the source is that she said she was going to do so publicly not just to Meghan McCain.

SCHLAPP: Yes, but --

CUOMO: That didn't happen. It feeds into the perception that Trump doesn't want that, and that's why he hasn't said anything about it. SCHLAPP: No. This is our problem, right? Which is can you imagine,

Chris, if you went into a staff meeting and you were trying to determine what you were going to talk about that day, and everybody has ideas. And they bounce it armed. And the next thing you know, you're reading about it hours later in the press.

And this is the real problem with the Trump White House. And it's really -- it's a huge problem they have, which is it's a bit of a death match in there with certain staff. And they leak almost anything at almost any meeting they can get in. And it's a big threat to the agenda.

And look, even after they pulled together as a team and said, "Look, we can't be leaking like this," five people then immediately leaked it. And I think it's --

CUOMO: Look, I hear you about that.

KRISTOL: I'm glad. I'm glad they're leaking.

CUOMO: Right.

KRISTOL: Because you know what? We get a little window into what kinds of people are working in that White House.

CUOMO: Look, any reporter likes leaks, and I will stand on the theory that the only politicians who don't like leaks are the ones who are hurt by them.

I will say this, to Matt's point. I agree with his point. You know, I don't understand some things. Well, how political teams work around, No. 1, and what privacy they keep, I understand very well. But you inspire that loyalty, Bill. And if you're not getting it, you've got to look at yourself.

KRISTOL: Who appointed all those communications staffers? They used to blame the Obama holdovers for the leak. These are Trump appointees to very political jobs in communications. They can't run their own White House well enough to stop people leaking? If it's a viper's nest in there, they want to just poison each other, what does that say about the person at the top, Matt?

SCHLAPP: Well, there's two points.

KRISTOL: What does that say about the person at the top, Matt?

SCHLAPP: There's two points here. Bill, I know you're a critic of the president.

KRISTOL: Yes.

SCHLAPP: And I know that I'm obviously a supporter of the president. And obviously, in full disclosure, my wife works for the president.

CUOMO: Mercedes Schlapp, goes by Mercy. Honorable person.

SCHLAPP: She is.

CUOMO: As always, dealt with it straight. Said she backs Sadler, which is not heresy here. Kelly is -- we're not saying that she has to be gone. It's just about why the president didn't own this and why the White House didn't do what we would expect administrations to do in this case.

KRISTOL: And why she said it. You're being too nice, Chris.

SCHLAPP: Let me -- let me --

CUOMO: Go ahead.

SCHLAPP: Let me try here. Kelly is my friend. And I feel bad that she's going through this. She showed character to immediately call to apologize.

But she's also a little bit of a victim here. I don't blame anybody like you, Chris, for running with leaks out of the White House. It's your job. You're trying to give transparency to voters and to Americans.

The problem is none of us were in that room. And the people who leaked what she said are clearly people who have an animus against her. And that's the problem in this White House, is that when people have animus, they go public. And they've got to solve that problem.

We don't know what Kelly meant by that term. The fact is, is this, which is it was about the president's nominee to head the CIA. And it is true that, when you're counting heads in the Senate and people are doing it all over this town on all types of issues, you're trying to figure out who is going to be there on a given day? And it's a perfectly logical thing to say, "Hey, will there be a McCain replacement? Will there be McCain? Will he not be able to come to Washington?" She could have meant it very matter-of-factually. She could have meant it in a different way

CUOMO: She should come out and explain it.

KRISTOL: Why doesn't she come on the show and explain it? Why doesn't her boss come on the show and explain it?

SCHLAPP: Let me tell you why. I think the reason is this. For this White House to comment on statements that are made in confidential meetings, if they continue to comment on what was said or not said, or what was meant, they'll never get out of this box.

The fact is, is this: they shouldn't comment. They never should have said -- they never should have said anything about this comment from the -- from the press shop.

CUOMO: Come on.

SCHLAPP: And --

CUOMO: Of course they should have, Matt. SCHLAPP: No, they shouldn't have. Chris, would you?

CUOMO: All they had to do was come out and say, "We don't accept this kind of talk. John McCain doesn't deserve it."

KRISTOL: Matt's view --

CUOMO: The president could have tweeted it. It would have been over.

SCHLAPP: My view is different. My view is that a confidential meeting -- I've been at a lot of them. So has Bill, inside the White House. Once you start commenting about leaks out of those meetings, you will never be able to appropriately run your agenda. And you shouldn't comment on it.

CUOMO: All right.

KRISTOL: Matt's view, she deserves credit for calling Meghan McCain to apologize, but she shouldn't have told the rest of us that she feels badly about it, and that's not what she meant. Her boss shouldn't say that that kind of behavior isn't tolerated in the White House.

But her boss won't say it. The chief of staff won't say that, because Donald Trump doesn't want him to say that. The rot's -- the fish -- the fish rots from the head, and this is Donald Trump's White House. And people are behaving like Donald Trump.

CUOMO: Well, look, I mean, you wind up getting --

SCHLAPP: She apologized, Bill.

CUOMO: But she didn't do it publicly. And that's what was promised to McCain.

SCHLAPP: It's all public. It's all public now.

CUOMO: But look, it just -- it feeds a perception. I mean, that's the thing how this dovetails into what members of the clergy are going to be at the Jerusalem thing today. You wind up picking two people who said things that are really offensive to other Christians and non- Christians. And yet, they get picked to be the face of America's holy men at this Jerusalem embassy.