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Trump Complains About G-7 Trip Ahead of North Korea Summit; GOP Leaders Break with Trump on 'Spy' Claim; Giuliani: Stormy Daniels Has No Value Because She Sells Her Body; I.G. Report Expected to Fault Comey, Lynch for Clinton Investigation. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired June 7, 2018 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR: The United States and Canada will remain firm friends, whatever short-term disagreements may occur.
[07:00:08] CHRYSTIA FREELAND, CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Seriously? Do you really believe that your NATO allies represent a national security threat to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Donald Trump is saying, I want to use the tariffs as leverage to get to fair trade.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't know what the FBI could have done other than run out a lead. Russia was the target and not the campaign.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Chairman Gowdy's initial assessment is accurate.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Stormy Daniels filing a new lawsuit alleging her old attorney colluded with Michael Cohen.
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: I don't respect a porn star. Explain to me how she could be damaged. She has no reputation.
MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY FOR STORMY DANIELS: Mr. Giuliani is an absolute pig.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
CAMEROTA: OK. We have a lot to talk about this morning. Somehow, the news spigot was turned on last night. And we have --
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we got soaked in it.
CAMEROTA: Yes. We are. We are drenched in news.
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. The G summit is tomorrow. And it could be --
BERMAN: And the G-7 summit.
CAMEROTA: The G-7 summit, actually, is tomorrow. And it could be awkward. "The Washington Post" reports the president is not looking forward to this meeting of world leaders. The president is reportedly grumbling about having to travel to Canada, because he thinks that this is a distraction from next week's historic meeting with Kim Jong- un, and also because, CNN has exclusively learned, the president had this very testy phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over tariffs, where President Trump falsely blamed Canada for burning down the White House during the War of 1812.
BERMAN: This as CNN also has learned the president is preparing to pardon dozens of people. The president has commuted the life sentence for Alice Marie Johnson, who was sentenced in 1996 on charges related to cocaine possession and money laundering. That happened after Kim Kardashian West pleaded with the president for her release.
Joining us now, Maggie Haberman, CNN political analyst, White House correspondent for "The New York Times."
Maggie, the president has this G-7 summit in Quebec before going to Singapore to meet with Kim Jong-un. And you just get the sense from our reporting, also from the "Washington Post" and others, that he wishes he didn't have to bother with it right now. His head is in Singapore with Kim Jong-un, and this G-7 thing is just a pain.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Our reporting has similar details as well. He's not the first president who doesn't want to do this. And he's not the first president who doesn't want to do a multi-stop foreign trip. But is unusually disinterested in traveling as a president.
And yes, he is laser-focused on North Korea. That is where his attention is. But let's be honest. He's going to go to the G-7, and he's very likely going to get beaten you up right now because of what is going on in terms of his push for tariffs.
This is not a surprise. He tends to like to avoid uncomfortable situations. This one is likely to be uncomfortable. So it's not remotely surprising that he doesn't want to do this. It will again be interesting to see what he says to people at this summit behind closed doors, which is usually where he is a little more open than what he says in public.
BERMAN: I just want you to expand a little bit on he likes to avoid uncomfortable situations, Maggie. Because I think people who don't know him as closely as you do have this impression that he's the guy from "The Apprentice." He goes, like, to fire people.
BERMAN: He wants the big confrontations. He likes to talk tough. But the fact is, from what you've seen over the years, is when push comes to shove, when faced with people who are angry at him, it's a different story.
HABERMAN: Right. Or faced with people who he has to fire who work for him. and I've been saying it on this show for at least two years. He does not like interpersonal conflict. He likes to talk tough. He likes to talk with bravado. He really likes to do it when somebody cannot answer him back.
That is not going to be the case at this summit. He is going to get an earful. He is going to hear things he doesn't want to hear. And he is going to hear things on intricate policy that he might not be either in the mood for or completely briefed and prepared for answers in these kinds of exchanges. This is just not what he wants to be doing.
CAMEROTA: Yes, but I mean, Maggie, there is the larger point, the way I see it, is that he's shifting, possibly, long-time American alliances about his personal preferences.
CAMEROTA: So he -- it's not just that he would rather focus on the summit with Kim Jong-un. That's -- that's laudable. Of course he need to focus on that.
But this is that he doesn't particularly like Justin Trudeau or Theresa May or Angela Merkel. And he doesn't feel like investing time in them, in these age-old American alliances.
HABERMAN: Right. We do know there have been a lot of concerns that the post-World War II global order is certainly fraying and possibly unraveling.
I will say, though, that yes, I agree. These are not necessarily relationships that he wants to maintain in the way that they have been. These are not alliances that he has been tending to. He is still going to the summit, so let's see what happens.
BERMAN: He has a meeting today with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who I believe has already landed. And they will be talking later today, Maggie.
[07:05:06] What do you think the big questions are? I suppose this is always two-fold. What do you think the president wants to say out loud today when he faces reporters? And what do you think the burning questions are?
HABERMAN: I mean, I think the burning questions are going to be how much help for the president -- and this is what he has told people privately. How much help that he can get in terms of forcing what could be -- and this has been very fungible. He's been changing his mind on what this is. What could look like a victory for him out of this summit?
Or what he has been laying the groundwork for, for the last week, multiple summits, potentially. I think that privately, he is going to push for that. Publicly, he's going to, I suspect, say what he often says publicly, which is "We had a great meeting. We're working very hard. We all hope
something is possible. We really need Japan and China."
And I think that's what you're going to hear.
CAMEROTA: OK. Next topic. Maggie, what do you make of Republicans, including top Republicans, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, now coming out and publicly saying that they see no evidence or they don't believe the president's claim that there was a, quote, "spy" in his campaign, and that the FBI did exactly what they believe they are tasked with doing.
Here is -- let me just play it for you, because it is so notable that he took this opportunity. Here is Speaker Paul Ryan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Do you agree with Trey Gowdy?
RYAN: Normally, I don't want 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. We still have some unanswered questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: He wasn't alone, Maggie. I mean, Senate Intel Chief Richard Burr. There are more. What's going on?
HABERMAN: I think what's going on is you have a number of Republicans who are, at least privately, uncomfortable with how Donald Trump and his allies are hammering law enforcement and the FBI and making specious claims that there is no evidence of, as you heard Paul Ryan say.
However, it's really important to know two things. One is the people who are saying it are primarily people who are leaving.
BERMAN: Tom Ryan [SIC] -- Tom Rooney, Paul Ryan, Trey Gowdy.
HABERMAN: These are people who are not going to be around next year. So, you know retirement sets you free, apparently. But retirement only sets you free to a point.
Rooney was much more specific in being critical of the president. Gowdy and Ryan were not saying, "This has to stop; this is a problem. This cannot continue. This is undermining our institutions." They just said he -- "He's inaccurate. I disagree with him."
I think this is going to be likelier a pattern that we have seen over and over again in the last year, which is some Republicans in Congress stick their head up, say something, and then sort of disappear again. I do not think this is the opening of a new front. But we will see.
BERMAN: And also, Paul Ryan saying he agrees with Trey Gowdy yesterday when he could have agreed with Trey Gowdy last week. I don't quite understand what changed and made it so pertinent for Paul Ryan to come forward.
HABERMAN: Well, I think --
BERMAN: Or Richard Burr, or Tom Rooney on the same thing.
HABERMAN: What changed was that you've seen a number of the president's allies, including Devin Nunes, including others, hammering Gowdy, who as you might remember, was a conservative poster boy for the hearings that he did on Benghazi and Hillary Clinton. And so I think that that is why he felt the need to speak up and say sort of the most mildest of statements about this. I don't think that this portends some -- some new dawn.
CAMEROTA: Sarah Sanders was on "CUOMO PRIME TIME" last night. Chris asked her many times how she could justify to the White House press corps and all Americans having said that the president didn't dictate that note about the Trump Tower meeting with Russians and now saying that she can no longer comment on it. When her -- it was false. What she said was false. So why did she tell us something false? That's a fair question. Here's her response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are purposely walling ourselves off and allowing the outside counsel to do their job. And we're doing ours.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But you did initially answer it, right?
SANDERS: I did. And, again I refer you --
CUOMO: Do you regret that?
SANDERS: No, I don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: What are we to take away from this?
HABERMAN: That Sarah Sanders believes she's playing to an audience of one, which is the president. And that her concerns about the fact that the public, who pay her salary and pay for the salaries of everybody in the West Wing, might have issues with the accuracy and honesty and truthfulness of what is being said from the podium are a secondary concern.
Look, every White House press secretary has a hard job. Every relationship between a White House press secretary and the press corps is adversarial. That is nothing new. This is -- this is -- and I think that what has happened is that this White House in particular hears these criticisms as personal attacks, as opposed to people being concerned about the information and the quality of it that is being given. I think that -- I think that Sarah Sanders has -- you know, I think
it's pretty well-established that people don't think that these briefings are certainly useful at this point, No. 1.
And No. 2, that they actually provide accurate information. That doesn't mean the briefings should end. The briefings should never end, because it's really important to be able to ask questions of White House officials.
[07:10:07] But she said it. She should own it. And instead, she is deflecting and saying, "It's the press's fault for how they are toward me."
[07:10:00] BERMAN: Maggie, if we can, I want to get your take on Rudy Giuliani, who was in Israel yesterday talking about a number of things. One of them was Stormy Daniels, questioning her credibility, I guess, for what she looks like. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: Excuse me. When you look at Stormy Daniels -- I know Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's respect her.
GIULIANI: Look at his -- look at his three wives, right? Beautiful women, classy women. Women of great substance. Stormy Daniels? So I think she --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to respect on this stage every women.
GIULIANI: Yes, I respect porn stars. Don't you respect porn stars? Or do you think that porn stars desecrate women? Do you think that porn stars don't respect women? And therefore sell their bodies?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Rudy Giuliani, an authority on desecrating and respecting women right there. Some pretty glaring comments, Maggie.
HABERMAN: Yes. I think that you were seeing an amalgamation of things that Rudy Giuliani thinks, that what he was just talking about, about porn stars. Remember what Rudy Giuliani did as mayor of New York City was try to eliminate a lot of sex shops in New York City. That was a big thing of his. That's -- that's not a surprising thing that he said.
The rest of what he's saying, which is he's not saying it's how she looks; he's saying it's the business that she's in. And that's the problem. And Donald Trump could do so much better, which is the second half of that statement.
That's straight from the mouth of Donald Trump. That is a statement that you have to realize at a certain point what Rudy Giuliani is saying is what his client believes and think and is the purest, most distilled form. That having been said, for a president who has had serious issues with women voters, that's not going to help.
CAMEROTA: All right. Maggie Haberman, great to talk to you. Thank you.
HABERMAN: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: OK. So sources tell CNN the Justice Department's inspector general has concluded that former FBI director James Comey failed to follow longstanding protocols during his handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. The I.G.'s upcoming report is also expected to come down hard on former attorney general Loretta Lynch.
CNN's Laura Jarrett is live in Washington with more on this. What have we learned about this I.G. report, Laura?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Alisyn.
This highly-anticipated report is still not out yet. But sources tell us it will not bring any punches, bringing the hammer down on Comey, specifically zeroing in on that controversial move in July of 2016 to get out ahead of the Justice Department without, announcing that he was recommending no charges against Clinton while also calling her extremely careless.
And they're also looking at that decision to tell lawmakers just days before the November election that he was reopening the Clinton e-mail probe.
Now, in the past Comey has said he's prepared for whatever the inspector general finds. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: The inspector general is inspecting me, looking at my conduct in the course of the e-mail investigation, which I know this sounds like a crazy thing to say, I encourage. I want that inspection, because I want my -- I want my story told, because some of it's classified. But also, if I did something wrong, I want to hear that. I don't think I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JARRETT: For months, conservative media outlets have been hyping this report on the assumption that it will be harsh.
But Comey isn't the only one under scrutiny. Sources tell us former attorney general Loretta Lynch will also face criticism. Recall that she came under fire for that meeting with President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Arizona in the midst of the Clinton e-mail probe.
And former deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, isn't out of the woods yet either. He's expected to face blame for the FBI's delay in reviewing those additional e-mails believed to be relevant to the investigation. They were found on Anthony Weiner's laptop in the final days of the campaign -- John.
BERMAN: All right. Laura Jarrett, thank you very much for that.
Some Republican leaders, they want to limit the president's power on trade. But is it more than just talk? We're going to ask about that. We're also going to ask about the new details in this I.G. report that we're just learning now with a key Republican congressman. That's next.
[07:18:22] BERMAN: CNN has just learned new details about the not- yet-released Justice Department's inspector general report on the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. The report is expected to fault former director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among other things.
Joining us now, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
Congressman, thanks so much for being with us.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: You bet, John.
BERMAN: Our understanding of the report, and this is just some of the details we're getting right now, is it will be critical of how James Comey handled that first public announcement where he spoke in front of a microphone, where he revealed the details of the investigation into the e-mail probe. Be critical of that and also critical of the decision to write a letter to Congress in the days just before election day. Your reaction?
KINZINGER: Yes. I haven't seen the report either. So I don't know many more details than what you're reporting. It will be interesting to see.
If that's the case, look, we need full accounting of what was done, if anything was done was improper. I'm not one of these guys that wants to go back and constantly point fingers when people make mistakes or do wrong things. If there is punishment that's due for that, punish. If it's not, if it's just pointed it out, let's point it out. Let's all learn from it.
And then as a nation, when it comes to all these kinds of things, let's put it behind us when the time's appropriate and move forward.
So I'll be interested to read the report. I think there needs to be a full accounting of what was done correctly or incorrectly, so we can learn as a country, figure out how to fix it, and move forward as a better nation.
BERMAN: That's an incredibly rational way to look at it and out of place in today's dialogue, Congressman. So I don't know where that comes from. Because you know when this report comes out -- and you're already hearing it -- the president's allies are going to say, "This just shows Comey was a crook. This just shows that he was doing it wrong all along."
[07:20:04] Although what we know from the report so far is that what he seems to have done probably helped Donald Trump, right? If he should not have come forward in the days before the election with that letter saying they were looking at e-mails again, that was helpful to then-candidate Donald Trump.
KINZINGER: Yes. You know, I don't know what the report's going to say on that.
But you know, from my perspective, my job as a government official is to make sure that the federal government is doing things on behalf of 100 percent of Americans. Even though you may not have voted for this administration or you may not have voted for the last administration. If something was done incorrectly and if there's punishment that should come with that, there should be punishment. If it's just acknowledging it and saying, "Hey, in the future don't do this," then let's move forward with that.
Now, there are going to be a lot of people that kind of look back and point fingers and everything. And that's the natural political process out here. For me, though, I'm just curious on how do we make our nation and our government do better in the future?
BERMAN: Well, as I said, you're being rational. I'm sure you will suffer for it in one way or another.
KINZINGER: It is rare out here.
BERMAN: Let me ask you about trade. The president on his way to the G-7 summit tomorrow in Quebec. And he's going to get an earful.
BERMAN: From U.S. allies, right, America's closest friends, among others, who are very upset about the trade war that the president has now chosen to enter with some of them.
Senator Bob Corker, Republican senator from Tennessee, is proposing a law. He wants a bill that will limit the president's powers to do what he is doing.
Does the president need to be checked right now?
KINZINGER: So I'm really concerned with what's happening. I think it's one thing to take on Chinese steel. It's another thing to take on our allies, whether it's Mexico, Canada, the E.U. It's something I really fully understand why we're engaging at that level.
I've got a lot of farmers in my district. They're struggling right now. The ag economy is struggling, and they're going to be on the front lines of retaliation. We've already seen it in those put out.
So I think if -- I'd be open -- I'm not going to lead it, because I don't know enough about this detail to write the bill. But I will be interested in what Corker is writing. If there is an equivalent version in the House. I know the speaker said yesterday that if the president won't sign it, he won't bring it up. So ultimately, we'd need two-thirds to be able to override a veto. That would be a very tough road to get to.
BERMAN: Tough road, but take a stand. Right?
BERMAN: You say you're concerned about it.
KINZINGER: I am.
BERMAN: You have the power to try to do something about it.
KINZINGER: And that's the thing. I think, as Congress, we have to engage. We have to assert our right with the economy, especially when it comes to things like trade.
The president should have the authority, when it comes to national defense issues, to be able to do things around Congress as he does. Where I get concerned, though, is looking at Canada and Mexico and Europe and calling them a natural security threat because they're not.
Now, our steel industry does need to grow; it does need to strengthen. That's a very important thing. But getting Canadian steel in a time of war is not something I'm very threatened by.
BERMAN: But again, you say you're concerned, but concerned enough to call them up? Concerned enough --
BERMAN: -- to tell the speaker, "Hey, I don't care if this bill won't pass. We need to get on the record on it."
KINZINGER: Yes, let's see -- I want to say let's see what the bill is. This is all kind of breaking yesterday. And this is a big deal if we, in fact, do it.
But I've said from the very beginning that Congress needs to assert itself in this. Because again, I represent 700,000 people, many of which are in the agricultural community. I have a responsibility in my district to say we have to do everything we can to strengthen this. And if you guys, you know, in Marseilles, Illinois, are going to be on the front line of retaliation, I need to be really concerned about that.
BERMAN: Let me ask you quickly about Paul Ryan, Richard Burr saying that they agree with Trey Gowdy that the FBI did not do anything wrong in using a confidential informant to contact some members of the Trump campaign.
And Tom Rooney, a Republican --
KINZINGER: Yes, good friend.
BERMAN: -- good friend of yours, you're saying right now, says, "What's the point of saying that a spy in the campaign when there was none? You know what I'm saying? It's like let's create this thing to tweet about knowing that it's not true. Maybe it's just to create more chaos, but it doesn't really help the case."
Do you agree with Tom Rooney?
KINZINGER: Look, see, these three have been briefed beyond me. I don't know the details of what happened in the campaign, because I'm not on the committee. I trust Tom. I trust the speaker. And I trust Trey. And so if they say, "Look, this was proper," I know these are guys that love America, love the FBI; they love their country, and they want justice done on all levels. So I believe them; I trust them on this.
And so, you know, in my mind, I don't think any time the president attacks the FBI it really is doing him or the country or the institution any good.
BERMAN: You believe Tom Rooney in this case, and just to be clear, not the president?
KINZINGER: I believe in Tom Rooney. You know look, I -- as I've said, when the president does things like tweets against the FBI, I'm never happy about that. At the same time, he's done some good jobs in some other areas.
So I haven't been briefed on the full thing, but when Tom, Trey and the speaker say things, I tend to listen.
BERMAN: Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, thanks so much for being with us. I do appreciate it.
KINZINGER: You bet. Any time. See you.
CAMEROTA: OK. Stormy Daniels filing a lawsuit against Michael Cohen and her former attorney. How she says those two collided against her to benefit Donald Trump. All the details next.
[07:28:55] CAMEROTA: Stormy Daniels has filed a new lawsuit against her former attorney, Keith Davidson, and President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen. She claims that they colluded to manipulate her and to benefit Donald Trump.
Joining me now is Dan Abrams. He's the founder of the must-read website Mediaite, as well as an ABC News legal analyst. And he's also the author of the new book, "Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency."
DAN ABRAMS, AUTHOR, "LINCOLN'S LAST TRIAL": Hi, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Great to have you here.
ABRAMS: Great to be here. CAMEROTA: Can't wait to talk about your book, but first we have to talk about some legal matters.
CAMEROTA: OK. So Stormy Daniels is sue -- how unusual is it for someone to sue their former attorney and for their new attorney to sue the former attorney for, I guess, I don't know, dereliction of duty?
ABRAMS: You know, people do sue their former attorneys. The problem is this particular case seems like a bit of a dud. Really, what Avenatti is saying is her former attorney and Michael Cohen were in cahoots together. And that he wasn't representing her interests and that together they were working against her.
CAMEROTA: And let me just read some texts that seem to prove that point, or at least raise some suspicion about that point.
CAMEROTA: OK, so here's some texts that are between Keith Davidson, her former attorney, and Michael Cohen, who is the president's attorney. Here it is. This is about Stormy Daniels.