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Giuliani: Mueller Should Be Suspended, Strzok Thrown in Jail; GOP Circulate Draft Immigration Bill as Trump Plans Shelter to House Children Separated from Parents; Source: Trump Approves Tariffs on $50B of Chinese Exports; New York A.G. Sues Trump Foundation Over 'Illegal Conduct'. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired June 15, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: I take this report very seriously.
RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER FOR DONALD TRUMP: Mueller should be suspended. Strzok should be in jail.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: This was the president's plan to take down the special counsel. President Trump swung in this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want kids to be separated from their parents.
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Obey the laws of the government. God has ordained the government for his purposes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're using the Bible to defend the indefensible, to separate children from their parents.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, June 15, 6 a.m. here in New York. Happy Friday.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Friday. It seems like 500 pages is a lot to read overnight.
CAMEROTA: Well, we've done it. And so we have all the highlights for you. Here's our starting line.
The Justice Department inspector general's report is out. It's already being used by President Trump's allies as ammunition against the special counsel's Russia investigation. The president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, says Robert Mueller should suspend his investigation today so that FBI officials in the report can be investigated.
But the report finds that former FBI director James Comey was not motivated by political bias in his handling of the Hillary Clinton e- mail investigation. Comey was, however, strongly criticized for his actions that were, quote, "extraordinary and insubordinate."
Comey is defending himself in a new op-ed, saying that while he disagrees with parts of the report, he respects it. He also says the report is important in its defense of the FBI's work.
BERMAN: But wait, there's more. The New York state attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the Donald Trump Foundation. It alleges the president and three of his children, Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka misused funds from the charitable foundation in a pattern of persistent illegal conduct.
The suit delivers documentation and specificity we have not seen before. The president says the suit is all the product of "sleazy New York Democrats." But wait. There's still more.
House Republican leaders are unveiling a draft immigration bill as new restrictions to legal immigration and asylum seekers would offer protection to young undocumented immigrants and change the Trump administration policy of separating parents and children at the border.
This comes as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is using the Bible to defend that practice. The "Washington Post" notes it is the same Bible passage once used to justify slavery.
We have this all covered for you. A lot's going on. Let's begin with CNN's Abby Phillip live at the White House -- Abby.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, John.
It seems very much like 2016 all over again, thanks to the inspector general report into the FBI's handling of the Clinton e-mail probe. Both sides seem to be taking some vindication from the report's findings, but it also appears to be a preview of the kind of partisan arguments we might get when Robert Mueller finishes his special counsel probe into the Russia investigation.
GIULIANI: Tomorrow, Mueller should be suspended, and honest people should be brought in. Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week.
PHILLIP (voice-over): President Trump's legal team seizing on the inspector general's report in an attempt to undermine both the special counsel probe and the credibility of former FBI director James Comey.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It reaffirms the president's suspicions about Comey's conduct and the political bias among some of the members of the FBI.
PHILLIP: The report offers a bruising rebuke of Comey, saying he was insubordinate in his handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation, and repeatedly departed from normal Justice Department protocol, including with this press conference announcing the end of the probe.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.
PHILLIP: Comey did not tell then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch before making this announcement. The inspector general also criticizing Comey for ignoring the objections of top Justice Department officials and sending this letter announcing the reopening of the investigation just days before the election.
JOHN PODESTA, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: Jim Comey violated practice and procedure. He applied a double standard with respect to the investigation of Hillary Clinton versus the investigation of Russian interference in the election, and its connection to the Trump campaign.
Comey, defending his actions, writing, "My team believed the damage of concealing the reopening of our investigation would have been catastrophic to the institution."
Nevertheless, the inspector general did not challenge the conclusion that Clinton should not have been prosecuted, and they found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations. Ironically, the inspector general report did find that Comey himself used a personal e-mail account to conduct official government business. Clinton responding with this stinging tweet quipping, "But my e-mails."
ROBBY MOOK, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Director Comey felt entitled to go in front of the country, unauthorized, and lecture Secretary Clinton about her use when it turns out he was doing the same thing.
PHILLIP: The report is particularly critical of two FBI officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged a number of texts, criticizing Mr. Trump, including this from August 2016.
Page texts, "Trump's never going to become president, right? Right?"
Strzok replies, "No. No, he's not. We'll stop it."
The inspector general says that while the text implies a willingness to take official action to impact Trump's electoral prospects, he found no evidence that bias impacted the Russia investigation.
The I.G. adding, "The conduct by these employees casts a cloud over the entire FBI investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI's reputation for neutral fact finding and political independence."
FBI Director Christopher Wray vowing to hold employees accountable but defending the bureau.
WRAY: Nothing in this report impugns the integrity of our work force as a whole or the FBI as an institution.
PHILLIP: And President Trump has no public events on his schedule today, the third day in a row since he's returned from Singapore that that's been the case. He also has been uncharacteristically quiet about this I.G. report, despite saying he was looking forward to it. But we will keep our phones close this morning, because that can always change -- John.
BERMAN: I expect we'll be hearing from him shortly, and we will tell you what he says when he does say it. Abby Phillip at the White House, thanks very much.
One of the key sections of the I.G.'s report deals with the FBI response to the emails discovered on former Congressman Anthony Weiner's laptop in September 2016. Why did it take so long to search through them? The reports finds that none of the reasons given for that delay are credible.
Our Laura Jarrett live in Washington with much more on this -- Laura.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, John.
Well, the inspector general is laser-focused on this month-long delay between the time emails potentially related to the Clinton investigation were first found on that laptop and when agents ultimately obtained a search warrant to review them.
And on that point, here's the key line in the report. Quote, "The FBI's neglect had potentially far-reaching consequences. Comey" -- the former FBI director -- "told the inspector general that had he known the laptop in the beginning of October and thought the e-mail review could have been completed before the election, it may have affected his decision to notify Congress."
We all remember just days before the election, something Clinton allies criticize harshly. Now, the report does not name blame on one person alone for this delay. It says investigators searched for evidence that the laptop was deliberately placed on the back burner to protect Clinton but could find no evidence on that point.
However, John, they are troubled by these text messages, especially from the top agent, Peter Strzok, one saying, "We'll stop Trump from being elected," as you have mentioned earlier this morning. And as the result of that, the inspector general wrote that he does not have confidence that Strzok was free from bias when he prioritized the Russia investigation instead of the Weiner laptop issue, John.
BERMAN: Yes, they sure jump out, understandable under trouble about that.
In the meantime, Laura, former deputy FBI director Andy McCabe was fired in March for being dishonest about his contacts with the media. What does the report say about him? JARRETT: Well, despite being attacked relentlessly by President Trump
over his donations to his wife's failed political campaign from a Clinton ally, Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia, the inspector general actually concluded that McCabe had no obligation to recuse from the Clinton investigation.
Now, the report does leave open many, many questions, including leaks from FBI employees to the media, saying that's still the subject of an ongoing investigation. And of course, the inspector general is separately reviewing Trump's unfounded theory that the FBI spied on his campaign, a subject for another report -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: All right, Laura. There is so much to dissect here, and we will get into that in the rest of the program. Thank you very much.
So amid growing outcry, House Republicans are circulating a draft immigration bill that would stop the separation of children from their parents at the border. The House measure also calls for $25 billion in border security funding, and that includes money for a border wall. It also ends the diversity visa lottery. It cuts to family-based visas and provides a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions used biblical passages to defend separating children from their parents.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is live again in McAllen, Texas, for us where he's been following all of these developments. What's the latest there, Ed?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, the Trump administration announcing that they have plans to create a temporary shelter to house the undocumented immigrant children and the influx that has been taken into custody since the zero-tolerance policy went into effect.
This structure will be put up in a remote area of West Texas, there near a port of -- a land port of entry. It is a temporary structure. It's been described to us by federal officials as a structure that will have soft sides, full heating and cooling equipment inside of that, which of course will be needed in these far remote parts of West Texas. Summertime temperatures will easily reach over 100 degrees at times. And these will have floors and doors.
So these are apparently structures that can be popped up rather quickly. And we suspect there are plans for more. So all of that is happening as this influx continues based on this zero-tolerance policy.
And the Trump administration, despite the outrage and the criticism that has really emerged this week of this program and this zero- tolerance plan. As you mentioned off the top here, Attorney General Jeff Sessions unapologetic, very critical of the criticism of this -- of this zero-tolerance policy, even invoking biblical dispatches to make his point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government, because God has ordained the government for his purposes.
Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent, fair application of law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak. It protects the lawful.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The separation of illegal alien families is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close. And these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade, and the president is simply enforcing them.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: -- a policy to take children away from their parents. Can you imagine the horror that these children much be going through?
SANDERS: It's a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.
LAVANDERA: That biblical reference there probably a response to criticism of the Trump administration coming from the Catholic Church leaders here in the United States as well as other religious leaders.
And John, one of the things that is really causing a lot of confusion here is that so far, it appears that this zero-tolerance policy not really being applied evenly. It gives the impression that everyone in the administration has said that everyone who crosses illegally will be prosecuted for illegal entry.
But we've talked to more than a dozen different undocumented immigrants who have been picked up after crossing the border. They have not been taken into federal court. They have not been separated from their children.
So there seems to be this confusion and arbitrary nature as to how all of this is going on. Because it's not exactly clear as to why some people end up in court and their families being separated and others have not -- John.
BERMAN: So not just separation but sometimes arbitrary separation. Ed Lavandera, down at the border. Ed, it's great we have you down there. You're doing important work.
A new legal headache for the president. The New York attorney general suing the Trump Foundation, claiming the charity was nothing more than a checkbook to benefit the Trump family. There is new evidence that we're seeing for the first time in this case. That's next.
[06:16:11] CAMEROTA: OK. Trade tensions are hitting a critical high between the U.S. and China. A source tells CNN President Trump will slap tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese exports today. China saying it is ready to respond immediately.
CNN's Christine Romans is here to explain the potential fallout. What does all of this mean.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. The president huddled with his trade team yesterday, and this is what they decided. We expect the list this morning. New tariffs, likely new tension between the world's two largest economies. Sources say the president gave the green light after meeting with those folks in the White House.
Tariffs mean that when U.S. companies -- when U.S. companies import something made in China, they have to pay the government the tariff on it. The U.S. Is targeting 1,300 items, like aerospace equipment, tech, manufacturing, medical supplies. Not on the list: popular retail items that would spark the biggest consumer backlash, should prices rise.
Now, the White House first unveiled this list in March. It's moving ahead, despite multiple rounds of trade talks with Beijing, and also despite the recent summit with North Korea. This is punishment for China stealing U.S. trade secrets. It also fulfills Trump's goal of trying to cut the trade deficit with China, big trade deficit.
China vows to respond in kind. What has it threatened to do in the past? Well, slap its own tariffs on things like soy beans, planes and cars. The U.S. also faces tariffs from the E.U., Canada and Mexico. That's a response to the president's metal tariffs on the grounds of national security grounds, of course, that our allies don't agree with -- guys.
CAMEROTA: OK. Sounds complicated. Thank you very much for breaking all of that down.
ROMANS: Actually very simple.
CAMEROTA: For you.
ROMANS: "You charge me, I'll charge you."
CAMEROTA: Thank you. You are boiling it down.
BERMAN: Look, it's important. This is the type of thing that could affect the economy in a big way. So say important economic people, like Christine Romans.
BERMAN: All right. Lost in the frenzy in the inspector general report. A significant new lawsuit that could have a serious impact on the president and his family.
The New York attorney general says the president and three of his children broke the law in the way they ran the Trump Foundation, that it was done for their personal and political benefit. The president says the suit is coming from a bunch of "sleazy Democrats."
CNN's Jean Casarez live with more.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the lawsuit accuses the Trump Foundation of engaging in a pattern of persistent, illegal conduct for over a decade.
Specifically, the petition says the Trumps and the foundation engaged in "extensive, unlawful political coordination with the Trump campaign; repeated and willful self-dealing transactions and failing to follow basic legal obligations for non-profits," noting that the board of directors hadn't met in nearly 20 years and Mr. Trump called all the shots.
The suit contends that the Trump Foundation used tax-deductible donations in at least five instances that benefited Trump or his businesses, including a $100,000 payment to settle claims that was made to a charity but against Mar-a-Lago resort, allegedly dictated in this note signed by the president. And a $10,000 payment at a charity auction to purchase a painting of himself that was later displayed at one of his golf clubs.
The lawsuit is seeking to dissolve the foundation and bar President Trump from serving on non-profits for 10 years. Prosecutors are also seeing $2.8 million in restitution, a portion of the amount raised at an Iowa fund-raiser at the end of January 2016.
You might remember this event. It was then-candidate Donald Trump decided not to participate in a Republican presidential debate, instead holding a benefit to raise money for veterans. That money was raised. It was given to veteran organizations.
But according to the lawsuit, $2.8 million in donations was first put into the foundation and then the campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, dictated where it was sent.
Now, on the other hand, the Trump Foundation is firing back, saying this is politics at its very worst, writing, "This is unconscionable, particularly because the Foundation previously announced its intention to dissolve more than a year ago. The prior New York attorney general, who was recently forced to resign from office in disgrace, made it his stated mission to use this matter to not only advance his own political goals, but also for his own political fundraising. The acting New York attorney general's recent statement that battling the White House is 'the most important work (she) have ever done' shows that such political attacks will continue unabated."
President Trump attacking the case on Twitter, insisting that he will not settle -- John, Alisyn.
BERMAN: All right. Fascinating to say the least. Very interesting. Look, David Fahrenthold of "The Washington Post," he had so much information about this, you know, two years ago. But now we're seeing evidence. We're seeing documents we have never seen before. Jean, thanks very much.
CAMEROTA: There's a lot more to come. Thank you, Jean.
OK. So a bipartisan celebration on the baseball diamond. Congressman Steve Scalise played in the annual congressional baseball game one year after being shot. Wait until you see what happened on the very first pitch of the game.
[06:25:20] CAMEROTA: It was an emotional moment at the congressional baseball game in Washington last night. Congressman Steve Scalise was at second base for the GOP one year to the day after he was shot at practice. The first pitch of the game hit directly to him.
BERMAN: That's unbelievable.
CAMEROTA: Scalise makes a clean play to first to record the out.
BERMAN: Four-three. You can score it 4-3 in your scorebook.
CAMEROTA: OK. I'm going to do that. Everything I know about baseball I learned from Meatloaf. OK?
Scalise was immediately mobbed. But the glory, John, was short-lived. The Democrats won, 21-5. OK, that's not what Mo Brooks was hoping for yesterday when he came on.
BERMAN: So many people around American have now visions in their head, naughty visions in their head, thanks to you.
CAMEROTA: Not naughty.
BERMAN: That was an unbelievable play, you know, for Steve Scalise.
CAMEROTA: That was wonderful.
BERMAN: It makes you think that there is something bigger at play.
CAMEROTA: Absolutely Everybody celebrated. It was a bipartisan moment of joy.
BERMAN: All right. Day one of the World Cup in the books, with the host nation kicking off the tournament in style with a really dull game. Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Top of the morning to you, John. It had been 16 years since Russia last tasted a World Cup victory. Yesterday they saw how sweet home cooking can be. The host nation, toasting Saudi Arabia 5 to zip.
President Vladimir Putin was there, rooting for his home-town team with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. This was trending No. 1 on Twitter this day, but not for the play, because people with color blindness couldn't tell who was who. Saudi Arabia wearing green, Russia in red meant this mostly affecting men. Color blindness, 1 in 12 of them, affecting them. That would be nearly 14 million people in the U.S. alone. Think about that.
Russia's five to zip win was the biggest by a host nation ever in the opening round of a World Cup, since 1934.
Now, the world's best struggling on the first round of the U.S. Open in Long Island. Tiger opened with a triple bogey, shooting a 7 on the first hole.
And also imagine trying to hit a golf ball in a wind tunnel. There were gusts of 32 miles per hour out there. Jordan Spieth, watch him on this one. The ball settles, but then he sees the wind starting to move, and he runs up to try to mark it. But no. The wind got him, blew it right back down the slope.
Tiger and Jordan both finishing with an 8 over 78. That's bad but not as bad as Scott Gregory's 92. Just four players finished under par, led by Dustin Johnson. That next round starting very soon.
So back to you guys. And you look good in pink today. I got the memo.
CAMEROTA: Very nice.
BERMAN: Color blindness, like all those 14 million men watching the World Cup.
Coy Wire, thanks very much.
CAMEROTA: Thanks, Coy.
So President Trump's allies jumping on this report about the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. James Comey's actions, of course, are still under scrutiny this morning. So we have reaction from two former FBI agents about what we learned in this I.G. report. That's next.