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California Holds Jungle Election Primaries; Bill Clinton Speaks about Experiences with Monica Lewinsky Scandal; Fashion Designer Kate Spade Reportedly Commits Suicide; Source:Trump Thinks NFL Anthem Fight Will Help in Midterms. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired June 6, 2018 - 8:00   ET


[08:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president plans on making the NFL and patriotism an issue throughout the 2018 midterm campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's typical of him.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It looked like I was saying I didn't apologize, and I was mad at me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would've want him to say I'm never going to stop apologizing, and then be that great example.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are not going to see him campaigning at the level that we have seen in the previous election cycles.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota on John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, June 6th, 8:00 in the east.

Democrats have averted disaster in the most consequential primary of the season thus far. The votes are still being counted at this hour in California but the Democrats appear confident that they will have candidates in every competitive Congressional district as they try to recapture the House. California's so-called jungle primary has just the top two vote getters, regardless of their party, advancing to runoff in November.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It could take days to know exactly which Democrats will face-off against the Republican nominees in those districts, but this morning it is safe to say that Democrats are absolutely California dreaming. The dream is not dead for them. It was a necessary though not sufficient step that they took overnight.

Republicans are happy this morning a little bit too. They avoided a shutout in the state's governor's race. Businessman John Cox who did get the support by President Trump via Twitter, he came in second. He will challenge the Democratic lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom this fall.

Back with us now, CNN political analyst from "The New York Times" Maggie Haberman. Maggie, thanks again for being with us. The White House I think feels better about the midterm elections and Republicans feel better about the midterm elections than they did six weeks, a month ago to be sure, and the president is getting more involved in some of these races at least on Twitter, coming out in support of John Cox overnight. What are you hearing from them about this?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's exactly right. The White House is trying to get the president to adopt a do no harm strategy, and that's understandable because he can do a lot of harm when he decides to weigh in either on Twitter or with an impromptu statement that he hasn't really thought out. It can have a trickle effect they haven't really considered.

They are feeling better. Democrats, as you know, are also feeling better after last night because there are a couple of hurdles that they have to clear before we get to November, particularly in California which is a key component of their strategy to take back the House. And they are still hoping to do that.

The White House is looking at a couple of indicators that are making them feel better, but it's really hard to overlook the economy as a main driver. They do believe that the fact that the numbers are good, the fact that the president is presiding over a strong economy, is going to help him. They also believe that right track/wrong track numbers are actually better for him than they had been. They believe that he is on the margins having some effect on public views and beliefs about the Robert Mueller special counsel probe. And when you look at the data he clearly is. It's not a huge shift but it is a slight shift. All of that together is making them feel good. On the other hand, I talked to Democratic pollsters who tell me they still feel bullish. So we will see.

CAMEROTA: Maggie, CNN has some reporting in terms of how President Trump will decide which candidates to support. Here it is. One senior White House official said the political team is applying three broad questions to each incumbent Republican who seeks Trump's support -- whether the candidate backed Trump after the Indiana primary, whether the candidate got on board with Trump's candidacy after the GOP convention, and whether the candidate was supportive of Trump after he won the 2016 election, so a loyalty test.

HABERMAN: I think that there are some people who are looking at those questions. I don't think that that is overall the broad strategy. I think that that in part is being said to communicate to the president so that he feels better about where things are going. They are going to have to have him make choices to support certain people who might not have been his most ardent supporters, or might not have been openly critical for him but who did not play a key role for him. My understand is that they basically have six red states that are planning to safely send him to over and over and over through November. We wrote about this recently. That's really where this is going to go.

BERMAN: Maggie, some of your reporting overnight had to do with Kelly Sadler who now we have learned no longer works at the White House. Sadler of course was the press aide who made that comment about John McCain, made a comment about the fact that he is sick, said his opinion on certain things don't matter because he's dying any way.


BERMAN: Why doesn't she work at the White House anymore?

HABERMAN: And CNN broke that story about her not working in the White House anymore. She is not gone from the White House because of what she said about John McCain. She is gone from the White House because she was believed to be a leaker, which is a big preoccupation of the president's right now, right now and always. But he is very focused on trying to pare down the White House communication staff. They're trying to target people who they think of spreading things.

[08:05:03] She was in a really, really unpleasant and unproductive war essentially with Mercedes Schlapp, the communications adviser at the White House, who by the end they couldn't stand to be in the same room together is my understanding. And Meghan McCain's reaction to this, which was priceless on an ABC communication that was sent around to all staff about Sadler's departure, she wrote "Bye Felicia," which a lot of people had to look up in the urban dictionary but which was about as classy an insult that she could have come up with.

CAMEROTA: I want to talk to you about what Sarah Sanders is doing and claiming from the podium. So Sarah Sanders made false statements, as we know, to the press and therefore to the American public about whether or not it was President Trump who dictated that statement on Air Force One about -- and that was wrong, and we now know that was wrong from the president's lawyers. So obviously reporters wanted to ask Sarah Sanders about that, about why she got it wrong, not about what the president did, not about his legal troubles, not about Russia -- about why she got it wrong. Sheer here's that exchange yesterday.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Once again I'm not going to go into detail and go into a back and forth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So why can't you correct the record now?

SANDERS: Again, I'm not going to answer questions that deal specifically with conversations between the outside counsel and the special counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you not answer the question?

SANDERS: Again, I am not going to get into a back and forth with you on that and I refer you to the outside counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was your statement accurate or inaccurate?

SANDER: Again, I know you want to get me into a back and forth with you on this conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a back and forth. You said something. We just want to know if it was accurate or not. SANDERS: I now your goal is to engage me in a conversation about

matters dealing with outside counsel, and I'm not going to do that today.


CAMEROTA: So Maggie, where does that leave the Washington press corps if they can't believe what's coming from the podium?

HABERMAN: Well, I think we've known for a while that we can't believe what's coming from the podium. And as I said before, I think that what had been coming from the podium was more useless than anything else over the last several months if we're being honest.

This is very different. The "Times" first reported that the president had been involved in and oversaw the drafting of the Don Junior statement which was a statement to "New York Times" about a story about his meeting with the Russian lawyer who had been supposedly promising dirt about Hillary Clinton. We knew that that statement was not conveying a full impression of what this meeting actually was. Jay Sekulow was asked about our story a few days afterwards and Jay insisted the president had nothing to do with it. And I remember being surprised when I saw that because I knew our reporting was true.

It is very -- should be concerning, not just for the White House press corps, which I think it is very concerning for. It should be concerning for citizens when things are being said from the podium day after day after day that are not true. Every politician lies, every politician says things that aren't true. This is a different volume and order of magnitude. And I understand that Sarah Sanders is in a rough position frequently and I certainly understand that she was in a rough position on this, but to answer the question the first time and say this wasn't -- the reporting wasn't true about what the president did and then say I have to refer you to his lawyers, it's just not acceptable.

BERMAN: Yes, it's not owning. It's not owning your own words or taking responsibility for what you're doing.

HABERMAN: No, it's not. But this is what this White House does repeatedly. They never take responsibility. Over and over and over, and that starts at the top. It is all about shifting blame.

BERMAN: You know what, it's another good segue, in terms of not taking responsibility --

HABERMAN: Are you going to ask me again about where he was born?


BERMAN: Bill Clinton has been doing a book tour. He wrote a book with James Patterson, which actually isn't getting bad reviews. But he's being asked a lot of questions not about the book, namely about Monica Lewinsky. And the way he answered those questions to Craig Melvin, a lot of people thought his answers were insufficient, others say offensive, and he's trying to sort of digging himself out over the last few days. This is what he said to Stephen Colbert overnight.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They had to distill it. And it looked like I was saying I didn't apologize and I had no intention to, and I was mad at me.

Here's what I want to say. It wasn't my finest hour, but the important thing is, that was very painful thing that happened 20 years ago, and I apologized to my family, to Monica Lewinsky and her family, to the American people. I meant it then, I meant it now. I've had to live with the consequences every day since.


BERMAN: This is like the third bite at that apple just this week. Where does that leave, Maggie, the former president as a political commodity?

HABERMAN: I think there's a reason you are not seeing him particularly wanted as joining people on the campaign trail. His answer even there, it was all about himself. It was all about his own pain, and it was all about what a hard thing this was for him, and there's no question that impeachment was difficult for that family.

[08:10:00] But it's not like -- it's not like this all came out of nowhere. Monica Lewinsky's life was ruined. She was a very, very young woman. She has never been able to live the kind of life that most people would live. He addresses absolutely none of that, and it shows you as to why people don't really want him around. There is just a disconnect from where voters are right now and where the conversation about the Me Too movement is right now. And he answered it with, but I empowered women in my office, which does not excuse how you treated specific women.

BERMAN: Maggie Haberman, thank you so much for being with us, playing along. You're a terrific sport. I appreciate it.


HABERMAN: Thanks, guys.

BERMAN: Shock and sadness following the apparent suicide of fashion icon Kate Spade. Police say the 55-year-old hanged herself in her Manhattan apartment and a suicide note was found at the scene. Our Brynn Gingras live outside Kate Spade's home here in New York City with the very latest. Brynn?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. It was inside her Park Avenue apartment here behind me where Kate Spade apparently took her own life. Her housekeeper finding her body according to NYPD sources. Now, the circumstances surrounding what led to this tragic ending are still unclear. The investigation still ongoing, but this as the world remembers a fashion icon.


GINGRAS: The death of designer Kate Spade stunning the world, prompting an outpouring of support for the fashion trailblazer who's colorful hand bags defined not only a look but a lifestyle.

JOE ZEE, FASHION JOURNALIST: We lost an incredible vision. We lost an incredible human being. We lost an incredible woman who really paved the way for all of these other designers to be able to do what they do.

GINGRAS: Spade was found dead in her New York home after her housekeeper after hanging herself with a scarf. Sources say the 55- year-old left behind a suicide note that addressed both her 13-year- old daughter and her husband of 24 years, Andy Spade. The pair launched their namesake design company from their New York apartment in 1993 after meeting as students at Arizona State University.

SPADE: So Andy and I were out at a Mexican restaurant and he said what about handbags? And I said you just don't start a handbag company. And he said, why not? How hard could it be?

GINGRAS: Spade living the fashion magazine "Mademoiselle" where she was an accessories editor to enter the design world.

SPADE: I didn't grow up thinking I'm going to be a designer.

GINGRAS: Her brand initially focused on just six signature handbag shapes that were stylish but affordable.

ZEE: I think what Kate did with her collection was so unfounded back then. She created this idea of needing an it bag but an accessible price point.

GINGRAS: The company rapidly expanding in a multi-million dollars empire offering jewelry, shoes and clothing. By 1999 Neiman Marcus bought a majority share for more than $30 million, and in 2006 Kate and Andy Spade sold the remaining stake in the company, which was purchased most recently last year for $2.4 billion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there anything you know now that you wished you had known back then?

SPADE: Yes, to worry less. I wish I worried less.

GINGRAS: Actor David Spade honoring his sister-in-law in law with this post, noting "She was so sharp and quick on her feet. She could make me laugh so hard. It's a rough world out there, people. Try to hang on."


GINGRAS: And this is how she told "Glimmer" magazine back in 2002 how she wanted to be remembered, quote, "I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend and a heck of a lot of fun." Alisyn? CAMEROTA: Brynn, this is such a heartbreaking story and so many

people have put up national suicide prevention numbers. I will do that. I'll put that out on Facebook because obviously there's been a lot of interest virally in getting that number out there. Brynn, thank you very much.

So the White House accuses the Philadelphia Eagles of pulling a political stunt after the White House canceled the White House event. So we'll discuss with the former president of the NFL Players Association next.


[08:17:46] CAMEROTA: A source close to the White House tells CNN that President Trump plans to continue to bring up the NFL National Anthem debate through the midterm elections. This after the president uninvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to visit the White House.

Let's talk about this with the former president of the NFL Players Association, George Martin, who helped the New York Giants win Super Bowl XXI.

George, great to see you.

GEORGE MARTIN, FORMER DEFENSIVE END, NEW YORK GIANTS: Good morning, Alisyn. Good to see you again.

CAMEROTA: What do you think about all of this hullabaloo of -- some of the players didn't want to go, somehow I guess that hurt the president's feelings, then he uninvited them and where we are today?

MARTIN: Well, first of all, I think it's an enormous smoke screen but I have to say a shout-out to one of your colleagues, April Ryan for yesterday trying to get the narrative back on track as she confronted Sarah Huckabee Sanders in trying to get this back to where it originally was which was human rights violations.

And it's obvious that the White House is going to use this initiative as a political, which is the pot calling the kettle black, political issue throughout the upcoming years and that's very unfortunate. The fact that the Philadelphia Eagles got caught in the cross fire I think is just atrocious.

CAMEROTA: The White House says it's the players who are making this a political stunt, and the other players who are making it a political stunt.

MARTIN: I don't think players have that foresight or that fortitude nor do they have the freedom to make such a decision. Those decisions are made at the owner's level and it's something that would not be tolerated to allow the players to kind of hijack a situation like that. It was unfortunate because, as I said yesterday, me going to the White House after our Super Bowl victory was one of the highlights of my 14 year career and some of those individuals have earned the right to go and to be recognized for being the champions that they are the first time in their history and to be deprived of that is just -- it's outrageous.

CAMEROTA: But I want to ask you about that, because you make such a great point. Going to the White House is a wonderful experience. I've had the honor a few times because of my position. You had the honor in 1987 to do it.

It's a wonderful -- it's so much better than you can imagine and I encourage all Americans to get a tour of the White House.

[08:20:03] But isn't it -- isn't the White House bigger than any one person? Shouldn't all the Eagles have gone because it's the White House? It's the country's house, it's the people's house, why make a statement about how they feel about President Trump?

MARTIN: Well, I think you're absolutely right. If people understood the total grandeur of the White House there's no way you would ever want to refute that kind of offer, that experience. But I think that what is now happening is, that there's so much disdain toward the person we call the president of the United States, it's so unfortunate that those kinds of things that have become part of the equation and has muddled so many of the rich traditions we have here in this country. It's so unfortunate and I hate to see it as a proud American citizen.

CAMEROTA: When you went in 1987 did politics come up at your celebration?

MARTIN: Absolutely not. There were no politics involved. We stood there unified together with the Republican president and the vast majority of the players, my teammates were Democrats and it never came up. That was never a political overtone with regard to our visit to the White House.

It was a marvelous experience. I had that picture sitting on my desk to this day. It's something that I'm extremely proud of. My family looks at it and they think I'm somewhat of an alien because I'm the only one in my family that had that wonderful opportunity.

And it's unfortunate that that opportunity was deprived from some of those players who really wanted to go to that what I consider a coronation of their Super Bowl victory.

CAMEROTA: That's such a great point, because some of the Eagles still wanted to go including the quarterback. They were on board. They wanted to go before they were disinvited.

Somehow the president is trying to make this a culture war, I guess, about freedom of speech versus patriotism. Here's what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said about that yesterday at the White House.


REPORTER: Does the White House support the baker's right of free speech, why doesn't the White House support players' right to free speech? SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president

doesn't think that this is an issue simply of free speech. He thinks it's about respecting the men and women of our military. It's about respecting our national anthem and it's about standing out of pride for that.


CAMEROTA: George, how do you see it?

MARTIN: Well, I think it is -- it is a free speech situation. I think that we all have the inalienable right under the Constitution to have that free speech and it's not up to the president, nor 40, 50 or 60 percent of the Americans to say what rights that we have and can utilize and express. I think that's one of the things that has continue today divide this country and I'm very concerned as an citizen what is going to be a long-term implication of a president that continues to take away certain right that's we are entitled to.

CAMEROTA: Very quickly, do you think this will be a winning strategy for the president to keep this up through the midterms?

MARTIN: I would certainly hope not, Alisyn. But at this point, I'm dubious because it seems to be a very tainted and divisive issue that seems to be working in favor of the president in many circles.

CAMEROTA: George Martin, always great to talk to you. Thank you for getting up early for us.

MARTIN: My pleasure, Alisyn. Thank you.


BERMAN: All right. Thanks, Alisyn.

In fact, a source does tell CNN that the president plans to continue his battle with the NFL through the midterms.

Counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway, joins us next to talk more on that.

CAMEROTA: But first an NFL player's surprising second act after getting sidelined by an injury. Here's today's "Turning Points."


TA'U PAPU'A, OPERA SINGER: It's different than memorizing the football play.

I was 5 years old when we moved from Tonga to the U.S. I know that the only way for me to make it to college was through football. I went to Weber State University and that's where I played and I got drafted. I was with the Cleveland Browns for a year and then the franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Ravens.

My injury in the NFL that took me out of the sport was, I broke the arch of my foot. I had no idea what I was going to do. This small voice came in me and said, move to New York and go and sing.

I decided that I'm going to go into the restaurant business right across the street from the met. I wanted to meet opera singers to study them. I worked at the restaurant for three years and then moved on to Juilliard (ph). I've sung in Italy, Germany, Denmark.

The most satisfaction that I have is when I walk off that stage and I know that I have given my all.



[08:29:10] CAMEROTA: Time now for the five things to know for your NEW DAY.

Number one, Democrats averting disaster in the most consequential primaries of the season thus far. The votes are still being counted in California but the Dems are confident that they will have candidates in every competitive congressional district as they try to recapture the House.

BERMAN: Kelly Sadler, the White House press aide, who mocked John McCain, is out of a job. She drew widespread criticism last month for saying the opposition so Gina Haspel as CIA director did not matter because, quote, McCain was dying any way.

CAMEROTA: Hundreds of homes destroyed overnight on Hawaii's big island, oozing lava buried housing developments, mostly vacation homes. There have been 12,000 earthquakes near the Kilauea Summit since this eruption started.

BERMAN: Facebook provided access to user data to dozens of companies including a Chinese smartphone maker the U.S. intelligence agencies consider a security threat. The revelation raises new concerns about how Facebook protects user's privacy.