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U.S. Allies Blast New Tariffs Ahead Of G7 Summit; Tax Cut Could Send Critical Trust Fund For Coal Miners Further Into Debt; Warriors Take 2-0 Lead Over Cavaliers In NBA Finals; Parkland Seniors Honor Slain Classmates At Graduation. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 4, 2018 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:32:29] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: The idea that the Canadian steel that's in military vehicles in the United States, the Canadian aluminum that makes your fighter jets is somehow now a threat? The idea that we are a national security threat to the United States is, quite frankly, insulting and unacceptable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: That was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing frustration.

The White House plans to impose new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum for quote "national security" reasons. New tariffs on Mexico and the E.U. went into effect on Friday, as well.

So what will these tariffs mean for American jobs?

Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Debbie Dingell of Michigan. Congresswoman, great to see you.

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (R-MI), MEMBER, ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE: Good morning, Alisyn. Great to be talking with you.

CAMEROTA: You're coming to us from the heart of car country, from the heart of steel country. So, are these new tariffs good or bad for the people in your district?

DINGELL: You know, it's complicated and it's not as simple as anybody wants it to be.

You know, I told you and many other people for two years that I thought that President Trump could become president because of trade.

My -- I have a steel plant, McLouth Steel, that's been sitting empty on the shores of my district for 25 years. I have shuddered auto plants that have cost us jobs. We've lost five million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2016 in this country.

The problem right now is we've got a chaotic -- we do need to do something and I've said this for years that we've got to level the playing -- the trade playing field for all countries. We've got to do something about currency.

CAMEROTA: And doesn't this do it?

DINGELL: No, not necessarily. We've got to -- it went on with chaotic -- it's -- nobody know for sure.

You know, people were asking me on Friday what I thought and I said I don't even know what's really going to happen, and I haven't seen it unless it really goes into effect at midnight.

You know, I've often -- I'm worried about NAFTA negotiations. I -- NAFTA has cost us a million jobs, 198,000 just in Michigan alone.

But, Canada is a different country than Mexico.

I created a heart attack when I said to people would it be the worst thing in the world if we went back to bilateral negotiations. We keep seeing jobs ship to Mexico. Canada -- there's some issues but Canada's been a good trading partner and Canada is an important ally.

The real target in steel and aluminum is China, which is helping to subsidize the cost of what's being shipped in here.

[07:35:05] CAMEROTA: Yes.

DINGELL: They're new plating (ph) their currency.

We just -- we are -- we've got to do something.

CAMEROTA: But look --

DINGELL: Doing nothing is not OK.

CAMEROTA: OK, so let's talk about that because it does seem the president is trying to do something, but let's talk about this.

Why isn't he being tougher on China or is he, in your mind?

DINGELL: Well, I still -- I'm trying to get an exact copy of what he's doing. I think that we need to target China more and make sure that we are not hurting ourselves. I've been trying to -- I've spent the whole weekend studying this.

You know, you've got an "L.A. Times" article that says consumers won't pay more. You've got other articles. I don't want to see consumers see increased costs but I do want to keep jobs in this country. We need a level playing field.

So how do you thread that needle that you don't hurt the auto companies but you make it fair for them in other countries? I mean, look at the Japan car market.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but what's the answer to that -- I mean, if it's not in tariffs? Maybe these tariffs on Mexico and the E.U. and China is doing that.

Do you think that it could the people in your district?

DINGELL: I think Mexico could.

And by the way, why aren't we doing something about currency manipulation which probably is the number one issue right now? Why aren't we targeting subsidization in other countries of steel that's being brought into this country?

It's not easy. This is a very complicated subject. But we have paid a price in this country for bad trade deals and we need to do something about them.

CAMEROTA: Well, what about what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the idea that steel coming in from Canada is a national security risk is insulting?

DINGELL: Well, you know, we have a $2 billion trade surplus with Canada on steel.

I -- you know, I said I would work with the president and I really did mean that. I wish he would be much more methodical. I wish we weren't doing this by Twitter. I wish I could understand what he's doing.

But, you know, there are -- just to give you another factoid, it's not simple. That's what everybody needs to understand. None of this is simple and we've got to be careful.

CAMEROTA: Well, I appreciate that. For sure, but have you reached out to the White House? Has the president reached out to you?

I mean, again, you are instrumental in this. This is your district. Can you work with the president on this?

DINGELL: I have said -- I've said from day one that we needed to do something and that I -- if it would help the working men and women of my district I would do something.

You know, when people say how is this a national security issue, do you know that we have military ships and planes that we can't replace the parts by -- with American-made parts? If we get into a war we can't make some of those parts. We need to depend on China or Japan. That is a national security issue and I am going to support that.

I just don't -- you know, sound bites don't work on some of these. These are complicated issues but I'm not running away from them. I will work with the White House because trade is a serious issue. We need a level playing field.

CAMEROTA: Understood and you've said that before on our air. But do you think that this is a -- I mean, I guess what I'm trying to get at is could this possibly help the people in your district? Do you think these tariffs are a step in the right direction or could there be some unintended consequence here?

DINGELL: I think there could be unintended consequences and I don't think the president wants to cost jobs in my district either. And I think we all have to work very carefully to make sure we're addressing the right problem and don't have unintended consequences.

CAMEROTA: All right. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, thank you very much. Please keep us posted as to what the --

DINGELL: Oh, I will.

CAMEROTA: -- (INAUDIBLE) in your district is. We will have you back to talk about all of this -- John.

DINGELL: Thank you, Alisyn.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Alisyn.

So they were big Trump supporters but now some coal miners dealing with black lung disease are concerned they could lose critical health benefits. The tax cut that could cost them -- that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:42:35] CAMEROTA: OK. A massive tax cut set to go into effect at the end of the year and it could cause a critical trust fund that helps coal miners with black lung to fall further into debt. It could cause those coal miners to lose some of the critical care they need.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen broke the story. She joins us live with more.

This sounds like another unintended consequence, Elizabeth. What did you learn?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely, it is an unintended consequence, Alisyn.

These miners are so sick that they've had to quit their jobs. Their lungs -- they have black lung disease.

Now they're waiting to see what's going to happen with this fund. Will it fall even further into debt?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COHEN (voice-over): Kenny Fleming loved mining here in the hills of Kentucky --

KENNY FLEMING, FORMER COAL MINER, BLACK LUNG DISEASE PATIENT: I worked here for 16 years.

COHEN -- so it's no surprise that he voted for Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to put our coal miners back to work. They have not been treated well but they're going to be treated well now.

COHEN: But Fleming is worried that Trump might not live up to his campaign promises. These are images of Fleming's lungs.

COHEN (on camera): So this cloudiness is what we refer to as black lung disease.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct. We're diagnosing more and more cases.

COHEN (voice-over): It's an old disease that's making a comeback. Doctors recently identified the largest cluster ever found -- 416 advanced cases. Miners' lungs turn black and stiff with coal dust. It's incurable and deadly.

But at least Fleming doesn't have to worry about medical bills. His health care has been paid for by a federal tax on coal mining companies.

But in the future, he might not be covered. The tax that's been helping him -- it gets cut in half at the end of this year and President Trump's proposed budget does nothing to stop that cut from happening.

According to a new government report obtained by CNN, if that tax cut goes through, the fund for the miners could go $15 billion into debt by 2050.

Congressman Bobby Scott represents coal miners in Virginia.

REP. BOBBY SCOTT (D), VIRGINIA: The problem with letting the debt explode is that once it becomes clearly unsustainable there will be pressure to cut benefits.

COHEN (on camera): So if these benefits go away, how do you think this community is going to feel?

FLEMING: Betrayed.

COHEN (voice-over): The Trump administration says that if the tax on coal companies isn't enough the government can just borrow money from the taxpayers.

A Labor Department spokesman telling CNN "Miners who are entitled to federal black lung benefits will continue to receive those benefits."

[07:45:00] But, Scott says borrowing money from taxpayers isn't the solution. He's fighting to keep coal companies paying the current tax.

SCOTT: The last option -- the last thing we ought to consider is letting the tax expire and letting the problem get worse.

COHEN: Kenny Fleming just wants to make sure that coal miners aren't abandoned.

COHEN (on camera): If you could talk to President Trump right now what would you say to him? FLEMING: Please help us. Supposedly, he was for the forgotten man and woman and if this isn't addressed then that's a bunch of people that are forgotten.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COHEN: We'll be watching over the next seven months. Will that tax on coal mining companies get cut and if it does get cut, will coal miners with black lung disease get the health care that they need -- John.

BERMAN: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much. We just want him to help us -- fascinating. Thanks, Elizabeth.

So, the Golden State Warriors halfway to their third NBA title in four years.

Lindsay Czarniak has more in the "Bleacher Report."

LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, guys.

You know, you knew it was going to be tough to top the drama of game one with that lead swapping, the tempers flaring, and of course, the gaffe by Cleveland's J.R. Smith where he chose not to shoot the ball but instead let time wind down, accidentally forcing overtime.

None of that drama but it did have a spark and that was because of Steph Curry. Steph Curry made it so exciting in the fourth quarter, it was truly hard to turn away.

He had a finals record of nine three-pointers, leading all scorers with 33 points. Golden State winning big 122 to 103. The Warriors now have a 2-0 lead in the past three finals.

That did not bode well for the Cavaliers because teams with a 2-0 series lead in the finals win 88 percent of the time. However, it was the 2016 Cavaliers who were the last team to overcome that deficit in the finals.

Now, as for what Steph Curry did and his display of greatness, he said it just happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPH CURRY, GUARD, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: I never woke up and I was like all right, let's go get nine threes and get the record. It's more so just about playing the game the right way and having good intentions out there on the court, and good things happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CZARNIAK: Politely understated.

Meantime, LeBron James -- he's sort of becoming the Serena Williams of the NBA, guys. Very unique fashion choices. And so, for the second- straight game he rocked the shorts with his suit. But this time he's got like the red Cavs socks, the white shoes.

Very cool. You guys like it, yes? All right.

CAMEROTA: I think he would look good in anything, really.

CZARNIAK: I kind of agree. You know, they say imitation also is the best form of flattery. So, Draymond Green thought the same thing so he decided that he wanted to try it and -- although he does say that he started this trend at some point.

CAMEROTA: That's good too but he doesn't have his socks.

CZARNIAK: Right? So, like he wore a vest. When you look at it, I agree with you, Alisyn. I think LeBron, you know --

BERMAN: It's hard to pull off, I'll be honest with you, and I've tried a lot of different things. It's hard to pull off.

CZARNIAK: Have you tried that?

BERMAN: No.

CAMEROTA: He's tried culottes --

BERMAN: No.

CAMEROTA: -- which did not work well.

BERMAN: I've got such small ankles. It's really hard. It really -- it's true. You can't do it.

CAMEROTA: You don't have cankles? Are you sure?

BERMAN: If I looked like LeBron James --

CZARNIAK: He's got very defined calves.

BERMAN: -- I'll be better off.

CAMEROTA: I also just like the accessory of a toddler --

CZARNIAK: Right.

CAMEROTA: -- that he's walking in with. I think that's also a great look.

CZARNIAK: It just adds to it.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

CZARNIAK: Exactly. Just credit that.

BERMAN: All right, Lindsay, thanks so much.

CZARNIAK: You got it.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. All right.

So there was a little laughter if you can believe it, amid all of the tears and heartache as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students -- well, they graduated. The seniors graduated and they had to honor their -- the four students among those who were killed in the shooting.

So the class president is going to join us with how she gave this emotional speech, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:52:39] CAMEROTA: The seniors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School celebrated their graduation this weekend without four of their classmates who are among the 17 killed in the massacre on Valentine's Day. Many students decorated their caps to honor their murdered friends and they continue to push to stop the gun violence.

In an emotional moment, Joaquin Oliver's mother held up his diploma, wearing a shirt that said "This Should Be My Son."

Joining us now is the senior class president of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Julia Cordover. Julia, thank you so much for being here with us.

I mean, very few of us can imagine what it would be like to try to celebrate, and mourn, and grieve all at the same time.

What was it like for you yesterday when you had to watch the friends and family members of your friends receive those diplomas, instead of those seniors?

JULIA CORDOVER, GRADUATE, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL, PARKLAND, FLORIDA: It was quite emotional to see that just -- people in my community just -- those are like my friends. I grew up with these people and to see their family receive that diploma instead of them was heartbreaking to all of us.

Students couldn't hold in their tears. The amount of emotion filling the room was tremendous.

CAMEROTA: You know, so many graduation speeches from the senior class president, which you are, are about seizing the day, and optimism, and this being the first day of the rest of your life, and I'm wondering what you said to your classmates in your speech.

CORDOVER: So, I started off saying that sometimes you take on a job for a role where unexpected or rough situations occur. And from there, I left students with the impression that life is full of holding on and letting go and sometimes adversity does face. And when these situations or circumstances come thrown at us we have to stay strong and just keep moving forward and creating an impact.

And it was -- it was the perfect timing to say we have already been the present generation. We are encouraging students to vote all across our school, all across the nation. So I left the impression that let's be the generation that cares, that votes, that sees a problem and fixes it.

[07:55:04] CAMEROTA: And that was your message. So you had a call to action for your fellow classmates.

What is next for you, Julia?

CORDOVER: So our next step is to just encourage students to vote and for me, going to college and bringing that experience and my story with me to encourage other students to do the same and to register to vote and to increase that voter turnout on all college campuses.

CAMEROTA: As you know all too well, there was a school safety officer that day of the massacre. His name was Scott Peterson, as you know.

He didn't fight back. He didn't fight the gunman. He didn't take down the gunman.

There are reports that he was outside and that he didn't know where the shooting was coming from. There were reports that he took cover, himself.

He's just given an interview to "The Washington Post" in which he says this. "It's haunting. I've cut that day up a thousand ways with a million different what-if scenarios, but the bottom is I was there to protect and I lost 17."

What do you -- what's your response to his remarks?

CORDOVER: There's no words. It's anger and sorrow and it's too late for any words to come out of his mouth.

I believe now we need to focus on the present and just to do stuff that will prevent something like this tragedy -- something that has impacted our community so greatly. And to not look -- to not look back on that but to just make sure that nothing like this will ever happen again.

CAMEROTA: On a lighter note, there was a surprise guest at your graduation -- it was Jimmy Fallon. And there were no media cameras allowed inside but there were lots of cell phone cameras and they did capture this funny bit of advice that he gave you all. So let's listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, NBC "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON," SURPRISE GUEST SPEAKER AT MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: Today, you are graduating from high school. You should feel incredibly proud of yourselves but that doesn't mean you should rest on your laurels or your yannys.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: He was making a joke about do you hear Laurel or do you hear Yanny.

What was it like for him to show up?

CORDOVER: It was a bit of comic relief after such a -- such a -- just such a sorrowful remembrance of our fallen Eagles. So it was kind of a way to bring in the same old community that we are. It was super exciting for all the students to see that smile across their face when they saw that Jimmy Fallon arrived at our graduation.

His speech was very motivating. He mentioned how we are the generation of the present, how we already are changing the world, and how in previous graduation commencement speeches he usually mentions how you guys will change the world. You will do this, you will do that. But he was saying how we already are and to keep doing what we're doing.

CAMEROTA: And look, you all became the face of fighting gun violence. And so, how do you assess if you've made progress or what still has to be done?

CORDOVER: Right. So, a lot of things aren't necessarily shown on media but we know that passing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Act and just other things that have been prevented you can see through the media.

You can see we've already been able to speak to a lot of representatives, a lot of legislators, and we already know that we're making change. And we know that change won't necessarily happen overnight but within time, we hope to create even more of a change in this country.

CAMEROTA: And we do know that Florida -- the state legislature did take action. Even when nationally not as many things have happened, Florida did after the massacre there, take action.

Julia Cordover, thank you very much. Best of luck to you and your classmates. Obviously, we will speak to you again soon.

CORDOVER: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Pardoning himself would just be unthinkable. It would lead to an immediate impeachment.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If it were a Democratic president, and these facts were present, most people I know in Washington believe impeachment hearings would have begun already.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is above an investigation. He can fire anyone. He could shoot the FBI director.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like we have a king in the office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This sounds like a dictator. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president was not involved in the drafting of the statement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said the president had nothing to do with that statement and it turns out that's completely untrue.

JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you.

CAMEROTA: Senator Jeff Merkley denied entry to an immigration detention facility in Texas.

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: Instead of protecting children, we're going to proceed to inflict harm on them as a strategy of deterring people from seeking to come to the U.S.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: And we will be interviewing Sen. Merkley about that very thing where he was denied access and entry and what happened there.

BERMAN: A sitting U.S. senator.

CAMEROTA: That's right. OK, so stick around for that.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, June fourth, 8:00 in the east.

Today marks President Trump's 500th day in office.