Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

Pushback On The President's Trade Moves; Justice Department To Show Lawmakers Classified Materials On FBI Source; Guatemala Volcano Death Toll Rises; Arizona Officers Placed On Leave After Beating Incident. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 7, 2018 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:37] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump thinks the upcoming G7 is a waste of time and a distraction from the North Korea summit. Now, a testy phone call with Canada's leader has many asking if the president knows American history or simply made a bad joke.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, the Justice Department will allow top lawmakers to see more documents related to the confidential source during the campaign. A major concession from the DOJ, which said the life of the source could be on the line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MESA, ARIZONA POLICE OFFICER: Sit down, sit down, sit down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: And, police in Arizona facing hard questions after surveillance video captured the beating of a suspect. What his lawyer and police are saying now.

Welcome back to EARLY START on a Thursday. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Thirty-one minutes past the hour. A lot to get to this morning.

Let's start here with the president expressing serious reservations about going to Canada for the G7 leaders' summit tomorrow.

"The Washington Post" reports the president has vented privately about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trade tensions between the two spilled into public view after the president imposed big new tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the E.U.

According to "The Washington Post," the president believes the G7 is really a distraction from his upcoming summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

BRIGGS: CNN has learned exclusively Trump and Trudeau had a tense phone call two weeks ago over the new tariffs. Trudeau asked the president how he can justify the tariffs on national security grounds.

Trump quickly responds, quote, "Didn't you guys burn down the White House" -- a reference to the War of 1812. Of course, it was British, not Canadian, troops who set fire to the White House in 1814.

Asked if the comment was taken as a joke, one source on the call said, quote, "To the degree one can ever take what is said as a joke." But the source points out the impact of tariffs on Canada and workers in the U.S. won't be a laughing matter.

ROMANS: A senior administration official declined to comment on the 1812 anecdote but did try to justify the national security grounds for tariffs, arguing the steel and aluminum industries in the U.S. are so depressed they couldn't mount a world war-type mobilization.

New American jobs are being added in the immediate wake of the tariffs, a big win for this president. One Illinois company, U.S. Steel, adding hundreds of positions to restart now the second of two furnaces in Granite City, Illinois.

Defense Sec. James Mattis, who rarely delves into politics, weighed in on trade concerns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES MATTIS, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: So will the trade war have a -- have an impact -- effect on the security relationships? Right now, I don't see that and I think it's still premature to call it a trade war because as it starts maturing there's always give and take on these things.

Along the path going there, certainly it will be little rocky and a little bumpy at times. But so far, I do not anticipate any effect in the security arena.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: In Congress, Sen. Bob Corker tells CNN the president called him, telling him to back off his effort to curb the president's power on trade. Corker says he responded he has a duty to push ahead.

Maybe so, but majority leader Mitch McConnell tells SiriusXM in an interview to air this morning, the Senate does not need to rein in the president through legislation.

Of course, legislation, the president would not sign, so it would certainly be futile.

ROMANS: All right, let's bring back CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer.

And we just mentioned that Granite City plant in Illinois. Earlier this year because of the president's announcement on trade they said they were going to add 500 jobs and start a furnace -- a blast furnace. Then yesterday, we heard they're going to start the second blast furnace.

They'll be at full capacity -- another 300 jobs. That's 800 workers.

That is a win for this president and that's what he cares about. He's more -- he's more interested in that publicity win than wrecking a relationship with some of our biggest allies.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, HISTORIAN AND PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, AUTHOR, "THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW": Right. It might not be representative of the big picture, it might not really tell you what it's going to do to jobs, meaning the tariffs and the trade war, but it's a great example.

It's not only a win, it's something he can tweet about. It's something he can go to a rally and give a specific example to people. They're not interested in macroeconomics, they're interested in stories and that's what he realizes.

BRIGGS: From a trade war to the War of 1812 and the president's joke to Justin Trudeau that, quote, "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?"

[05:35:03] OK, not breaking news to say that the president is not extremely familiar with United States history, but --

ROMANS: We couldn't get ahold of Dolly Madison for comment, by the way.

BRIGGS: That is true.

You're a historian.

ZELIZER: Yes.

BRIGGS: You know you could teach a few things to the president about history.

But what's the impact of jokes like that and of the notion of this being a G6 plus one conference this weekend with our allies?

ZELIZER: It's just one more example, one more instance of why relations with our allies are strained. This comes after the allies are already very angry about the tariffs. And this shows a lack of knowledge, a lack of sensitivity about the countries who we have worked with for many decades to preserve some kind of international stability.

And so that's why something like this is more than a misstatement for many people. It's symbolic of the presidency.

ROMANS: Well, and the Canadians keep saying, too, like you talk about this national security threat. If you need a world war-type mobilization we're there with you.

ZELIZER: Right.

ROMANS: We would be supplying you with steel and aluminum. They don't understand this go it alone -- this America first, America alone.

ZELIZER: That's exactly right and I think they're very frustrated. They're watching the president go and try to make a deal right now with North Korea.

ROMANS: Yes.

ZELIZER: And so that's why this G7 summit is so fraught with tension.

BRIGGS: All right. I want to ask you about something that Joe Manchin --

ZELIZER: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- a West Virginia senator said, that raised a few eyebrows. And it's referencing 2020 and the notion of would he support President Trump or would he be open to the concept. Well, yes.

In fact, he told "Politico" -- Joe Manchin -- "I'm open to supporting the person who I think is best for my country and my state. If his policies are best I'll be right there." Right there supporting President Trump -- a Democratic senator.

Yes, he's up for reelection so he wants to assure the folks in West Virginia that he'll work with both sides.

What does it say about the state of Democratic Party though --

ZELIZER: It is --

BRIGGS: -- and their options right now --

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- if he's willing to say that?

ZELIZER: The Democrats should be listening carefully. This was unthinkable a year ago and if some Democrats are now suggesting they might support the president, they might stand by the president, it means that there's sign in the electorate, looking at 2020, that President Trump's standing is a lot stronger than some Democrats think.

And that's a big statement coming from him even though it's about his reelection.

BRIGGS: Sure. Still, one thing that will be out there for months if not years.

ZELIZER: Yes.

ROMANS: Let's talk a little bit about Paul Ryan -- the House speaker yesterday stepping out and agreeing with Trey Gowdy who had said that from what he had seen -- what he -- what he had seen that the DOJ had been appropriate with its confidential source around the campaign.

Listen to what the speaker said yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Normally, I don't like to comment on classified briefings.

Let me say it this way. I think chairman Gowdy's initial assessment is accurate. I think -- but we have some more digging to do. We're waiting for some more document requests. We have some more documents to review.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: A break there, I think, with top Republicans and the president on this idea of a spy placed inside the campaign.

ZELIZER: Yes, a tiny break. It comes after this story took on a life of its own. Spygate is a term that is out there and many Republicans are either not saying anything about it or now you have a handful who are saying there's no evidence to support it.

The damage is done though. He launched this tirade. He put the argument and the conspiracy theory out there and I'm not sure what effect this will have at this point.

BRIGGS: Well, conspiracy theories have been effective because they have an outlet that pushes them, whether it's Spygate or whether it's any of these notions the president has pushed recently.

And, Ralph Peters, who left "FOX NEWS" recently -- Col. Ralph Peters, a military analyst at "FOX NEWS" was on CNN last night talking about the effectiveness of some of this propaganda -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RALPH PETERS, FORMER MILITARY ANALYST, FOX NEWS: I am convinced that Vladimir Putin has a grip on President Trump. And, Anderson, when I -- when I first learned of the Steele dossier it just rang true to me because that's how the Russians do things.

And before he became a candidate for president, Donald Trump was the perfect target for Russian intelligence. Here's someone who has no self-control, a sense of sexual entitlement, and intermittent financial crises.

I mean, that's made to order for seduction by Russian intelligence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Now, just a little context. Ralph Peters primarily did just national intelligence, the military, protecting this country. He blasted President Obama for eight years -- I worked with him plenty -- so this is no liberal by any means.

What does it mean that he's saying that?

ZELIZER: Well, it shows that within the Fox network there's a realization about how some of the hosts are using the network to support the president rather than to cover the president or to analyze the president. And I've always thought that President Trump has two things that Richard Nixon never had. He has Twitter so he can reach his followers directly. And he has a conservative media universe that helps support his arguments, regardless of what the rest of the country is seeing, and that's a powerful tool for him.

[05:40:04] BRIGGS: What if Nixon had those things?

ZELIZER: Oh, I think the story would have been different.

ROMANS: Really?

ZELIZER: I mean, yes, I think this is a really important part of this presidency that when we look back on will help explain some of his political standing and some of his endurance, even in the hardest of times.

BRIGGS: And we've laid the groundwork for your next book.

Julian Zelizer --

ROMANS: Julian Zelizer --

BRIGGS: -- thank you for being here.

ROMANS: Thank you.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

BRIGGS: All right.

President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, further escalating efforts to discredit the Mueller investigation. At the Globe's Capital Market Conference in Tel Aviv, Giuliani misrepresented both the formation and the purpose of the Mueller team with this bold claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: A group of 13 highly-partisan Democrats that make up the Mueller team, excluding him, are trying very, very hard to frame him. They can't emotionally come to grips with the fact this whole thing of Russian collusion didn't happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Giuliani also said first lady Melania Trump doesn't believe Stormy Daniels' claim that she had an affair with the president, Mr. Trump. And he took personal shots at Daniels' credibility.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: Excuse me, but when you look at Stormy Daniels -- I know Donald Trump and look at his -- look at his three wives, right? Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance. Stormy Daniels? The business you are in entitles you to no degree of giving your

credibility any weight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Daniels' lawyer called Giuliani's comments disgusting and a disgrace.

BRIGGS: All right. The cost of your summer airfare about to go up. How much and why, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:45:56] BRIGGS: All right. "NEW DAY" is just about 15 minutes away. Alisyn Camerota joining us.

ROMANS: Hey, Ali.

BRIGGS: Alisyn, you'll have a top time topping the commander-of- cheese from yesterday's edition of "NEW DAY." And I'm impressed because John Berman did not even crack a smile when counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway dropped that doozy.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, John's very serious about cheese, OK, so he doesn't joke about that. And number two, how do I get to be commander-of-cheese, OK? Finally, something I'm qualified for.

Do you have that sound?

BRIGGS: I think we have it.

ROMANS: Play it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Just so we're clear -- and the problem with the President of the United States and the commander-of-cheese --

Just so we're clear -- and the problem with the President of the United States and the commander-of-cheese --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

CAMEROTA: That's awesome. That's some Gouda humor.

BRIGGS: That's some Gouda humor.

You know, and there's lots -- there's a t-shirt already for sale -- "Make America Grate Again" -- G-R-A-T-E. There are cheese t-shirts. You can already buy them.

You know, Kellyanne, I'm sure, can laugh about this, right?

CAMEROTA: Of course.

BRIGGS: Right?

CAMEROTA: Of course.

BRIGGS: I'm not certain about that.

CAMEROTA: Cheese is funny. Everybody loves cheese. That --

BRIGGS: Well, Mike Huckabee actually tweeted about it and had a little bit of fun with it. We'll see if the White House can do the same.

What else is coming up on the show?

CAMEROTA: Guess what? I don't have time --

BRIGGS: OK.

CAMEROTA: -- to tell you about the news because we are drinking from a fire hose --

ROMANS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- this morning. Honestly, there are like 30 leads that we have, not one. There are -- so much has happened since yesterday --

ROMANS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- in terms of foreign affairs, alliances being built and being broken. All sorts of things that Giuliani has said, and what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last night.

We somehow have squeezed it all into three hours for you, so we will touch on that entire fire hose.

ROMANS: Every day -- every news days is a week in this era, you know? Every day is a --

CAMEROTA: That's right.

ROMANS: -- week -- a week of news.

CAMEROTA: I agree. It's making me age.

ROMANS: Yes, like a fine, fine Camembert.

BRIGGS: Very well done, OK.

ROMANS: I don't know if it's Camembert. I was just -- I'm trying to keep it --

BRIGGS: I'm not sure either.

CAMEROTA: Let's go with it.

ROMANS: Try to keep that fun going. All right.

Let's get a check on "CNN Money" this morning.

Mick Mulvaney taking another swipe at his consumer watchdog bureau, firing all 25 members of the Consumer Advisory Board. The board is a group of outside advocates, academics, and industry execs. It helps the CFPB shape policy on things like fair lending and underserved communities.

But lately, some members have been critical of Mulvaney's leadership.

The board was told yesterday they're all being replaced. The CFPB insists nobody had been fired.

But, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren slams this move saying, "This is what happens when you put someone in charge of an agency they think shouldn't exist."

Mulvaney has long accused this agency of overreach. As a congressman, he tried to abolish it.

What trade war? Global stocks higher right now but a glitch delayed trading on the London Stock Exchange, so it opened an hour later.

Wall Street also closed higher, ignoring escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and the rest of the world. The Dow back above 25,000. The Nasdaq, three straight record highs in a row.

Speaking of trade, the U.S. trade deficit fell to a 7-month low in April, down 2.1 percent according to the Commerce Department. Imports fell; exports hit a record high, lifted by an increase in oil and soybeans.

Tesla's stock up 10 percent after CEO Elon Musk promised that Model 3 production is back on track. Wednesday was Tesla's best day in more than two years, though shares are still down nine percent from a year ago.

Tesla has consistently missed production deadlines for its first mass- market car. Musk admitted that Tesla has made a lot of mistakes but it's addressing them and will likely reach its production goal by the end of the month.

And this -- are you flying this summer? Rising fuel prices mean you'll probably pay more. Global oil prices up 12 percent this year, putting pressure on airline profits.

Carriers warn they'll likely hike ticket prices. We don't know by how much. It's kind of hard to predict that. But experts are guessing the airlines will boost base fares by about 10 bucks or they could add a fuel surcharge to the ticket price.

[05:50:04] Fierce competition between carriers during the summer season could limit price hikes.

BRIGGS: It's always tough when they raise that price because of fuel. But they never take it back down --

ROMANS: I know, I know. Isn't that funny?

BRIGGS: -- once the fuel prices go back down. All right.

Ahead, Samantha Bee back on the air for the first time since using vulgar language about Ivanka Trump. What the comedian says about her mistake and her broader message, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:55:01] BRIGGS: The State Department reports possible new cases of acoustic incidents in China, similar to the sonic attacks experienced by embassy workers in Cuba. Officials say a number of people have been sent back to the U.S. for further evaluation.

The screenings came after a U.S. government employee in China became ill after reporting abnormal sensations of sound and pressure that resulted in a mild brain injury.

ROMANS: Officials in Guatemala say the death toll in the eruption of the Fuego volcano now 99. People whose towns were buried in ash and soot looking for loved ones -- missing loved ones.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann is in Guatemala with the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, we are just down the road from one of the hardest-hit areas, a town that was basically wiped out. We were up there a little bit earlier and there were houses that were buried in ash.

Right now, rescue officials say it's just too dangerous to go up there. An explosion could take place at any point from this volcano.

We have seen some people coming down with their belongings they've been able to rescue from destroyed homes and even some of their pets.

Other people, though, say that they're very concerned that there's 200 people missing. They are concerned that their relatives are among them and that no word after 72 hours is causing them to lose hope -- Dave, Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: All right.

Several players on the Philadelphia Eagles addressing the canceled White House visit.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins, normally one of the more outspoken players, delivered a powerful message without saying a word.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALCOLM JENKINS, SAFETY, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: (Holding up a handwritten sign saying "You aren't listening.")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What aren't we listening to?

JENKINS: (Holding up more handwritten signs).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Instead, Jenkins held up handwritten signs that said people aren't listening, pointing to the treatment of minorities, the criminal justice system, and many more.

The White House cited crowd size and National Anthem issues in canceling the Eagles visit without addressing the racial issues underlying the controversy.

ROMANS: A police sergeant and three officers with the Mesa, Arizona police department are on administrative leave after this surveillance video showed them beating an unarmed man.

The police chief tells CNN affiliate KNXV Robert Johnson was with a friend who tried to enter an ex-girlfriend's apartment. She called 911 and the responding officers were told about a possible weapon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MESA, ARIZONA POLICE OFFICER: Sit down, sit down, sit your (expletive) down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: After four police found Johnson was unarmed. He's seen leaning against a wall before being surrounded by officers and punched multiple times.

Johnson's attorney says he lives in the building and was not trespassing.

The officers involved are now under internal investigation. The police chief says he is disappointed by the video. The local police union contends it does not include the full context of the encounter.

ROMANS: Samantha Bee back on the air Wednesday night for the first time since making a vulgar comment about Ivanka Trump. She addressed it right at the top of her show "FULL FRONTAL," apologizing again for crossing a line while also trying to deliver a broader message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMANTHA BEE, HOST, TBS "FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE": If you are worried about the death of civility, don't sweat it. I'm a comedian. People who hone their voices in basement bars while yelling back at drunk hecklers are definitely not paragons of civility.

I am -- I'm really sorry that I said that word. But you know what, civility is just nice words. Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Samantha Bee says she wants her show to be challenging and honest and she never intended her remarks to hurt anyone, quote, "except Ted Cruz."

BRIGGS: The Golden State Warriors one win away from their second- straight NBA title for the last four years. They beat LeBron James and the Cavaliers 110-102 to go up three games to none in the NBA Finals.

Kevin Durant led the way with 43 points for Golden State, including that dagger right there in the final minutes. That secured the victory.

Golden State can complete the sweep in game four Friday night in Cleveland.

Tonight, Washington, D.C. could be united on something. The Stanley Cup Final on the line and the Caps could win their first ever.

ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining. Tomorrow is Friday. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you Friday.

ROMANS: We have a whole Thursday to get through.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: These tariffs are totally unacceptable.

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, U.S. NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: There may be disagreements, much like a family quarrel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The G7 is now the G6 versus one because the other six are allied against the United States.

REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do and that has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

RYAN: I have seen no evidence to the contrary.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president feels strongly about this and I think he's got some real reasons to be concerned.

ALICE MARIE JOHNSON, PARDONED BY PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I want to thank President Donald John Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This president is prone to people giving him an emotional appeal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has been stymied by the limits on executive power. This is something where he can just say boom and it happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you.

CAMEROTA: Good morning.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY, Thursday, June seventh, 6:00 here in New York.