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Trump Hurls Insults As White House Wants To Focus On Lack Of Civility; Top House Democratic Suffers Stunning Upset As President Trump Extends Winning Streak; Protesters Call On D.A. To Charge Officer Who Shot Unarmed Teen. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired June 27, 2018 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: If you think that's what she did, did the president --
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, CHIEF STRATEGIST, GREAT AMERICA COMMITTEE PAC, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Not me.
BERMAN: Did the President of the United States --
LEWANDOWSKI: Let's play her clip. You have it. You've played it many times. Let's play it.
BERMAN: Did the president -- did the president threaten -- did the president threaten a government employee when he said, "Be careful, Max?"
LEWANDOWSKI: No. I think being careful is not a threat. But ask if she threatened government employees --
BERMAN: That sounds like --
LEWANDOWSKI: You have the --
BERMAN: That sounds like some mob boss. Well, you better be careful. Wouldn't want anything to happen to you.
LEWANDOWSKI: -- audiotape, you have the videotape.
BERMAN: Wouldn't want anything to happen to you.
Corey, let me ask you --
LEWANDOWSKI: He didn't say that.
BERMAN: Let me ask -- he said "be careful." It could be interpreted easily as that type of thing.
Let me ask you. Do you -- do you --
LEWANDOWSKI: Unlike what she said which was a clear indication.
BERMAN: We're talking about civility in this country and I think you and I can both agree that there's a lot of responsibility to go all over the place when it comes to being more civil in this country. And you've come up in this discussion over the last week as well.
Do you regret anything you have said on television? For instance, last week when you said womp, womp in that discussion about a child with Down's syndrome.
Do you --
LEWANDOWSKI: And, John -- look, I've answered this --
BERMAN: Do you -- do you wish you'd said that differently? No, but I'm asking you now. I'm asking you now. Do you --
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I've answered this and here's what I've said.
BERMAN: And you didn't say you were sorry about it when you were asked before. Do you regret that you said that?
LEWANDOWSKI: Here's what I said. John, here's what I said. That was not directed at a child who was not separated by her mother because of the government policies. That's not what it was and the notion that the individual who said that was inaccurate and it was never corrected.
The reason --
BERMAN: Do you wish you hadn't said it? Do you wish you hadn't said it? Do you wish you hadn't said it?
LEWANDOWSKI: John, John, John, would you like me to answer the question or do you want to have the interview by yourself?
BERMAN: You're here --
LEWANDOWSKI: I'm trying to talk and you keep talking over me.
BERMAN: Well, go -- Corey, go ahead. Do you wish you hadn't said that?
LEWANDOWSKI: OK, let me know how much time I have so I can answer your questions or if you want to keep talking over me we'll just stop. It's up to you.
BERMAN: Corey, do you regret answering that question?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, if you'd let me answer the question --
BERMAN: Go, go, go.
LEWANDOWSKI: Great. So, John, what I said was the incident that was discussed was not directed at any child or individual. It was directed at a left-wing activist who was trying to use a child as a political tool and he was inaccurate because he said that child was separated from her mother because of Trump policies.
But the truth was that 10-year-old that was separated at the border was separated because her mother was a member or a potential member of a child smuggling ring.
BERMAN: OK, Corey. I let --
LEWANDOWSKI: Let's get the facts straight.
BERMAN: I let you talk.
All I was asking -- whether or not you thought that womp, womp was the right response to that. I just wanted to know if you had any regrets about it now. Is the answer no?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, John. The answer is it wasn't directed at a child. My statement on that specifically was directed at a left-wing Democrat activist who is trying to use a child as a political tool --
LEWANDOWSKI: -- and I was appalled by that.
BERMAN: I was just trying to understand what womp, womp -- how that relates that specific thing and whether you had regrets.
You traveled with the president this weekend. Did he bring that up at all? Did he have any concerns that you said that?
LEWANDOWSKI: John, I don't -- like you, I don't discuss private conversations I may or may not have with elected officials.
BERMAN: Let me ask you about this judge, T.S. Ellis -- the judge from Virginia that the president himself has called a very special thing. That's what the president referred to as T.S. Ellis.
Ellis decided that the case against Paul Manafort can proceed in Virginia. This judge is someone who has been held up by conservatives and supporters of the president as someone who had been very fair he because he questioned the special counsel's case.
Now, the judge says go ahead, Robert Mueller. You can charge -- you can go ahead and charge Paul Manafort.
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, my reaction is not only is that one judge saying that but a second judge has said that, and I believe it's a judge in the District of Columbia. From what we've seen is Mr. Manafort and his legal team appealed the ruling to be incarcerated to the district court and the circuit court in Washington, D.C. and that case is now pending?
But as far as it stands, both federal judges have said that there are ample charges against Mr. Manafort that can continue.
BERMAN: And they will continue.
Corey Lewandowski, I do appreciate you coming on this morning. Always a pleasure to have you, sir. LEWANDOWSKI: Thank you.
BERMAN: All right.
So, a lot there. I mean, the issue of civility -- I'm not sure we moved the ball very far forward on that. There does seem to be two different interpretations about who it should apply to.
And I will say on immigration --
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: And when.
BERMAN: -- also -- and when -- and when on immigration, Corey, who does not work for the government, there is no explanation for why these children have not been reunited with their parents.
JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, but that was a master class in whataboutism.
AVLON: A master class actually elevates it too much. That was simply an insistence on civility for thee but not for me.
And when it came to immigration policy as well, a degree of deflection but no assumption of responsibility for solving the problem on the part of the president --
AVLON: -- or the government.
He's not a member of the government -- that's fair.
He is an adviser to the president, though. Has he advised the president to actually put forward or back a specific immigration plan to help solve this problem because the constant fixation on Maxine Waters and Sarah Sanders is designed to absolve himself and the president of any culpability for their incivility?
HILL: As we know from our friend Admiral Ackbar --
BERMAN: It's a trap.
HILL: It's a trap.
AVLON: It's a trap.
HILL: Hope you were with us yesterday for that one.
Moving forward, election results. What they mean for the future of the Democratic Party. Van Jones weighs in, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:38:44] BERMAN: A huge upset shaking up the Democratic Party this morning. Ten-term Congressman Joe Crowley of New York suffering a stunning defeat to political newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democratic socialist who supports Medicare for all and the abolition of ICE.
So what does this mean for the future of the Democratic Party?
We want to bring in CNN political commentator and host of "THE VAN JONES SHOW," Van Jones, who is in Baltimore because he was attending the rally for Ben Jealous who picked up the gubernatorial nomination in that state in Maryland. Also part of this night which saw progressives really do quite well, Van.
What does it all mean?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, HOST, "THE VAN JONES SHOW", FORMER SPECIAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thunder on the left. I'm telling you, there was a rebellion -- in 2016, there was a rebellion in both parties against the establishment. That rebellion took the form of the Republican Party, famously of Donald Trump.
But don't forget, Bernie Sanders got 47 percent of the vote in the Democratic Party against the Clinton machine -- 47 percent of the vote.
And that process of the progressives standing up and wanting a different kind of Democratic Party didn't stop on election night. In fact, it accelerated.
And so what you're seeing now is people who are not afraid of two things. On the one hand, they have in common with the right and the left saying there's too much -- there's too -- the people in D.C. are out of touch. The establishment isn't working for us.
[07:40:11] They're concerned about what's happening in the business community when people -- basic needs are not being taken care.
But they also are not afraid of this issue of America being a diverse place, an inclusive place. And there's a concern that the moderate wing of the party has been a little bit too soft-spoken sometimes on some of these issues. Maybe don't embrace the African-Americans the way that they should. Have taken Latino votes for granted. All of that is coming to an end.
What you're seeing now with Ben Jealous in Maryland and these other races is that at least within our own party those people who are passionate about economic opportunity and passionate about diversity are winning, and they're winning big.
And people who moderate and say oh well, the business community -- we like them a lot, we just want some small changes. You know, let's not talk about racial issues. Those are the candidates that are getting their heads handed to them.
HILL: Oh, sorry. Go ahead, John. AVLON: No, I -- just a question for you. I mean, you make a great point about a rising generation certainly more diverse, inspiring figures who fit their district. And, Ben Jealous' win in Maryland is certainly a harbinger.
But, the policies that Bernie Sanders backs are decidedly to the left. And for example, Barack Obama. This isn't just about the Clinton --
AVLON: -- establishment.
So to what extent is this about just a new generation and to what extent is it a decided ideological shift to the party significantly to the left of Barack Obama towards Bernie Sanders?
JONES: It is. And listen, you've got people sitting on a white-hot stove and people -- and hurt people holler. And what you're seeing is the polls are starting to move apart. The right is getting further to the right, the left moving further to the left, and everything is getting shaken up.
Why? Because for ordinary people -- people that -- you know, I'm proud that the unemployment rate is coming down but wages are not coming up. Meanwhile, gas prices are going up. Meanwhile, health care costs are going up.
And you've got people sitting on a white-hot stove and they don't feel the status quo, whether that status quo was ushered in by the Clintons, Obama, the Bushes, is serving their interests and so people are starting to rebel. You have a complete rebellion now in both political parties.
And it used to be more a left versus right. It's starting to be more of a top versus bottom, outside versus inside dynamic in both parties. Trump's been able to masterfully position himself as an outsider even though he's a movie -- a T.V. star and a billionaire, but that is the positioning.
And listen, when a Ben Jealous, who has never held public office -- obviously, the youngest president of the NAACP, quite well-known in the black community -- when he can come and knock off two or three establishment candidates in Maryland -- just knock them off out of nowhere -- supported by Bernie Sanders but also supported by lots of individual grassroots donors, there's a new model of -- and I think authenticity is more important than credibility.
The idea you've got to be credible, you had to run for dogcatcher, you have to run for this, you have to run for that. You have to pay your dues inside the party for 20 years before you get a chance to say something, those days are over.
If you are an authentic, passionate advocate for what you believe in you're going to get a big hearing. And if you're not -- if you've been mainly trying to figure out how to make the party like you, you are in trouble in the modern context. HILL: You bring up such an interesting point about the top versus bottom Van, when we look at this.
It was a remarkable read in some of the reporting about this upset, specifically here in New York this morning. How it had changed, understandably, all the jockeying within the Democratic Party about Speaker of the House, which is a further reminder of perhaps a lack of focus of what the top of the party should be talking about today.
How much do you think though these folks who are doing it in a different way -- who are coming up, in your words, as being more authentic, talking to their constituents on the level where they want to connect because they get it -- is there enough momentum there for them to really grab hold of the top of the party and say now you're going to listen to us?
JONES: Listen, if you didn't get the telegram, you didn't get e-mail, you didn't get the fax -- if the carrier pigeon didn't get to you and you're still sitting at the top of the Democratic Party thinking hey, everything's fine, I don't know what else has to happen. You need smoke signals? What -- look, there is something happening --
HILL: But do they need that support? Even just in terms of the machine, right, as you're moving into these elections, do you need that support?
JONES: No. I mean, that's part of the problem is that the tools that are available to a young woman in her late twenties with a -- who literally -- I mean, this is going to go down in the history books, this election, of the knocking off of one of our top Democrats --
JONES: -- by a young woman who just basically -- she had an authentic story.
Listen, she believes in this left-wing populist agenda. She -- nobody had to give her a talking point about it. She didn't have to figure out how to poll about it. She believes in this stuff. Now, you don't have to agree with her but she believes in it, and that went viral.
[07:45:03] Her campaign budget was a fraction, but it went viral. And ordinary people now, they actually look more suspiciously at the super-polished, super-slick campaign ads.
No, the establishment has less to offer and more to fear than ever.
BERMAN: The big-time smoke signal being seen in Washington and Albany -- all around the country this morning.
Van Jones, thanks so much.
HILL: Elected officials joining calls now for justice after the police shooting death of a Pittsburgh teen. We have more on this and we'll speak with a close family friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARMEN ASHLEY, AUNT OF ANTWON ROSE: This son, this man lost his life for nothing and I will not rest and neither will my family until we get justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: A family and a community calling for justice after a police officer shot and killed a Pittsburgh teen, Antwon Rose. Police say the officer opened fire when the 17-year-old ran from a car which had been connected to a shooting. Rose was hit three times. He was unarmed.
[07:50:10] The district attorney who is overseeing the case is expected to make a determination on charges against the officer today.
Joining us now, the mayor of nearby Duquesne, Pennsylvania, Nickole Nesby, who also grew up with Antwon's mother and has been a close family friend. You knew Antwon since birth. Thanks for taking some time for us today.
I know you last spoke with your dear friend, Antwon's mother, last night. How is the family holding up?
MAYOR NICKOLE NESBY, DUQUESNE, PENNSYLVANIA, FAMILY FRIEND OF ANTWON ROSE: The family is holding up the best that they can under the circumstances.
HILL: We just heard from Antwon's aunt there.
There have been calls for justice, there have been calls for charges. There have also been calls for the -- for the county -- sorry, the county district attorney to step down because there are concerns about bias in this case.
Is that a legitimate concern?
NESBY: I definitely do think that he should be removed.
HILL: Why do you think it?
NESBY: And I also believe that -- I believe that there are too many -- in these communities in Allegheny County they are too -- usually someone is friends of friends and I definitely think that there needs to be some type of outside intervention.
HILL: There have been calls for that intervention to come either from the state attorney general, from the Justice Department.
What do you think is appropriate here? NESBY: I think that the Justice Department should actually come in and review.
HILL: There's a lot of talk every time there's a shooting, especially when it involves an unarmed, young, black man.
Where is the conversation lacking that you're seeing, at this point?
NESBY: Well, I understand for communities such as the Mon Valley area -- again, most of the positions which are held are from some type of friendship or relationship.
For example, in East Pittsburgh, the chief of police is the mayor's daughter. Likewise, that was the same result within the administration prior to me taking over in the city of Duquesne.
HILL: This is what we also heard from Pennsylvania's State Rep. Ed Gainey. I just want to play a little bit of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. ED GAINEY (D), PENNSYLVANIA: The reality of the situation is if you're going to continue to extend the olive branch and say trust us, trust us, we're going to better, the only way the community can believe that is if you're willing to discipline one of your own.
And if you're not disciplining one of your own, particularly when a guy gets shot in the back three times -- if you're not willing to discipline one of your own then at the end of the day, how can we trust what you won't discipline?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: And as we mentioned, we have learned the decision on charges is expected later today.
When it comes to having that message though, of trust us, I know you've said that there also needs to be more outreach in the community to encourage members of the community -- young members of the community like an Antwon Rose to perhaps pursue a career in law enforcement so that there is not only a more broad representation among law enforcement but that, to your point, it's not all people who know one another.
NESBY: That is correct.
I know for the city of Duquesne, I had created an ordinance to do away with the residency requirement to hopefully increase the minority police officers in the area.
We had 33 applicants and 28 passed the test. Twenty-three came in for an interview. We only had two that were African-American males and two were females, but they scored at the bottom when ranking.
So again, we should encourage more people to actually participate in law enforcement. HILL: There's a poem that Antwon wrote just over two years ago when he was a sophomore called "I Am Not What You Think." We're going to put it up on the screen here.
"I am confused and afraid. I wonder what path I will take. I hear that there's only two ways out.
I see mothers bury their sons. I want my mom to never feel that pain.
I am confused and afraid."
A poem that would have been difficult, certainly, for a mother to see at the time. Those words have much more meaning obviously, today.
What does the family -- they want justice. What else do they want people to know about their son -- about Antwon Rose?
NESBY: Antwon was a beautiful young man. He played the saxophone, he tutored his friends in geometry, he skied, he snowboarded, he swam. He enjoyed life.
[07:55:00] I think that's most what the family would love everyone to remember about Antwon.
HILL: Nickole Nesby, we appreciate you taking the time for us today.
We'll continue to follow these developments. It is a tough story, to say the least, but one that brings up a lot of important conversations.
NESBY: Thank you.
BERMAN: Indeed, and we do feel for the people involved there.
BERMAN: All right.
A big political night. A stunning upset. One of the most powerful Democrats in Washington upset. What does this mean for the Democratic Party?
Big developments. We'll discuss, next.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BERMAN: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, June 27th, 8:00 in the east.
Alisyn is off. Erica Hill joins us. John Avlon here as well.
And what a night it was in the political world. The breaking news, a big, blaring message to the Democratic establishment.
One of the most powerful Democrats in the country upset in a New York City primary. New York Congressman Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, once seen as a possible House Speaker should the Democrats take over -- he was beaten and beaten badly in his district.
The upset winner, first-time candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, just 28 years old, supported by the Democratic Socialists of America. She ran to the far left in this race.