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Mexico Elects Populist Leftist Presidential Candidate; Trump Proposes Bill That Would Increase His Trade Powers; Trump Set to Announce Supreme Court Nominee Next Week; Collins Won't Support Nominee Hostile to Abortion Rights. Aired 6-6:29a ET
Aired July 2, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mexico will soon have its first leftist president in decades.
[05:59:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn't want to be the president who kowtows to President Trump.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to ask that question, but it is a group of mostly conservative judges.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would love President Trump to pick somebody to hold up precedent.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, July 2. How did that happen? It's 6 a.m. here in New York. John Avlon joins us this morning. Great to have you here. I'm back from a week off in vacation. Anything I missed?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Nothing. Nothing at all.
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Very quiet.
BERMAN: Nothing at all. Nothing to see here.
CAMEROTA: You'll catch me up through the show?
CAMEROTA: OK, fantastic. Here's our starting line.
We do have some breaking news. A major development. In Mexico, the country's leftist presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador -- I'll get that by the end of the show -- he's riding a populist wave to become the country's next leader. So how will Mexico's president- elect deal with President Trump? We have a lot on that.
Meanwhile, sources tell CNN the Trump administration has drafted a bill that would give President Trump sweeping power on trade. He could abandon key rules established by the World Trade Organization and raise U.S. tariffs at will. This as Canada retaliates against U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.
BERMAN: So it's intentionally controversial, unintentionally comedic. The president's friend, Anthony Scaramucci, wrote overnight, "WTO has its flaws, but the United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act, a.k.a. the U.S. FART Act, stinks."
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.
BERMAN: I knew you would like that.
Make no mistake. What we're seeing with that and the election results in Mexico, these are cracks in the international world order.
At the same time, the White House is narrowing its list of possible Supreme Court nominees. "The Washington Post" reports he wants someone Ivy League educated with a portfolio of academic writing that the president has no intention of reading.
And where are the children this morning? Across the country, hundreds of thousands of protestors rallies against the administration's immigration policies over the weekend, calling for an end to family separations. As far as we know, more than 2,000 children remain separated from their parents, separated by the U.S. government.
Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Leyla Santiago, live in Mexico City. Tremors around the world, Leyla, from the election results there.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Last night, thousands fills the Zocalo Plaza here to celebrate this new president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He's known as AMLO here. And his message really resonated with voters, when he said he is the man to tackle corruption, as well as violence here in Mexico. He's also said he's the man to take on Trump.
This is a man who actually wrote a book called "Oye Trump!" which means "Listen, Trump," in which he really sort of attacked President Trump's idea of a wall.
Now last night when he spoke of the United States, he specifically said he wants friendship and cooperation for development with the U.S., rooted in mutual respect.
President Trump also, as he often does, took to Twitter to congratulate the new president-elect and says that he looks forward to working with him in the future, but there are a few big issues here. One, immigration, that wall. And also cooperation on the border. The other big one will be NAFTA, that free trade agreement in which AMLO initially, AMLO said that he was very critical of the free trade agreement. But as time went on in that campaign, he sort of softened, saying he wants to keep that agreement and make sure that it's a good agreement for his country. Much like Trump has said.
You know, when I talk to analysts, they often compare the two. One told me that the new president-elect is Mexico's Trump. Another one said President Trump wants to put America first. AMLO wants to put Mexico first, so we'll have to see how the two sort of come together or work together in this new era of the U.S.-Mexico relationship.
BERMAN: Leyla Santiago for us in Mexico City. Leyla, thanks so much.
Here with us now, CNN global affairs analyst Max Boot and political analyst Brian Karem, as well.
Max, this was a landslide victory. This was a major shift to the left there, a major shift for populism in Mexico. Talk to me about the global significance, particularly to the United States.
BRIAN KAREM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I hope you're not looking at me first.
BERMAN: We're listening to Max.
CAMEROTA: We're trying to listen to Max. But he -- we're lip reading.
BERMAN: Max tells us it's a very, very big deal right now.
CAMEROTA: Max, say -- we want to know if we can hear you. Say something?
KAREM: I don't think we can hear Max.
BERMAN: All right. We're waiting on Max's audio here. Brian, why don't you jump in here.
KAREM: I'll try.
BERMAN: Talk to me about -- talk to me about AMLO, the new next president of Mexico, a man who hasn't laid out his policies to exact detail yet, but it is clear he's got the support of his people. And he is known as someone who won't take a lot of flak, particularly maybe from President Trump.
KAREM: He won't. "Oye Trump." So he's saying, "Listen up, Trump." So anyone who still harbors any illusion that Mexico is going to pay for a wall, the ship has sailed. Forget it. That's not going to happen.
AMLO was a former member of the PRI, which was a revolutionary party. He tried. This is his third attempt to win the presidency. I think he sued a couple of other times when he lost, claiming that it was a fraudulent election.
So he -- while they compare him to Trump because he's populist, he's also a lifelong politician. And he knows how to work the system a little bit better than -- than our president does, one might argue. And he's already said he's going to cut his value salary in half, got rid of the presidential airplanes, and lower the salaries for some of the higher-paid members of his government and raise salaries for some of the lower-paid members of his government.
[06:05:12] So his fight is against corruption, and that's been an ongoing problem since the '80s.
BERMAN: I think we've got Max's audio back here. Max, jump in here. We're talking to you about the global implications, particularly for the United States.
MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I think this is, you know, part of a global wave of populism. And, you know, AMLO, Lopez Obrador, has been compared by many to Donald Trump. But in some ways, he's actually more like Bernie Sanders, because he is a left-wing populist.
And of course, now we have a right-wing populist in the United States. We have a left-wing populist in Mexico. This is a volatile and combustible combination, because their agendas are not really compatible.
And this is kind of -- you know, Donald Trump, I think, really missed an opportunity here to conclude a North American Free Trade Agreement with Pena Nieto, the outgoing Mexican president, who was pro-business and pro-United States. Lopez Obrador is anti-business, anti-United States. This is going to make relations with our southern neighbor, our No. 3 trade partner, much more difficult.
And this leads to the greater risk of a larger meltdown in the international trade system, with, you know, Canada placing tariffs on the United States, the U.S. placing tariffs on Canada. And, you know, the prospects for renegotiating NAFTA going downhill. So I think this is a very dangerous moment that -- that kind of increases the momentum of this populist wave that Donald Trump is riding.
CAMEROTA: Go ahead, John.
AVLON: No question that, I mean, the populist wave continues. And the sheer disruption of Obrador winning an unprecedented landslide. And I think that's something that needs to be appreciated is extraordinary.
Here's somebody who's a leftist candidate, former mayor of Mexico City, so he does have governing experience. But also created a new party, and the PRI, which ran Mexico for most of the 20th Century, came in a distant third.
So this is not only another example of a populist, albeit from the left, winning south of the border but also the way that the two parties in most countries are being really disrupted in this populist wave that's partly a reaction to globalization, anger at income inequality. But the combination of Trump and Obrador is combustible, as Max Boot says. It's going to be fascinating to see how this plays out.
CAMEROTA: Right. And let's not forget just one thing, Brian. Let's not forget that Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by maligning Mexico and referring to people who came from Mexico as murderers and rapists.
And so Brian, I mean, it's hard to see how this first sit-down with these leaders goes.
KAREM: I don't think it will go well. And the question, though -- I think the question you have to look at, as far as Donald Trump goes, is this may actually be to his benefit to his base. Because he's not going to get anything that he wants out of -- out of a leftist.
And there is going to be a contentious relationship. And he already wants to build a wall. And he already has maligned most Hispanics as being members of MS-13 and hooligans that want to ravage a tense relationship.
So anything that Mexico does anti-Trump, he can use to play to his base and say, "Look, I was right. These guys are bad guys, or "bad hombres," as he likes to say. And move forward with his plan.
So I don't see a down side, really, for President Trump. He's been so volatile anyway. It's be very hard to make a deal. He did miss a deal with pro-business, pro-U.S. president, but I don't think that it matters to him so much.
So the volatility is going to be in the rhetoric, and then what we're going to see at the bottom end of it is, you know, if they don't reach some kind of agreement on migratory and migrant workers, you're going to see, you know, higher priced vegetables. You're going to see harder times economically on the border. That's the reality of the situation going forward.
BERMAN: So Max, the other major news overnight, Axios was the first to report that President Trump has been pushing this bill that would give him more powers in trade. We'll read it aloud to you one more time, the name of this proposed bill, the United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act.
Alisyn, what's that also known as?
CAMEROTA: It's also known as the U.S. FART Act.
AVLON: Yes, all right.
BERMAN: So --
CAMEROTA: You're welcome.
BERMAN: So Max -- Max, this would --
KAREM: Thanks, Mooch.
BERMAN: Max, this would give the president power to basically abrogate the WTO altogether, the World Trade Organization. This comes on the heels of suggesting to France they withdraw from the E.U. This comes on the heels of saying that NATO is a problem. This is the president -- and he's doing it before our very eyes -- trying to upend the world order, is it not?
BOOT: It is, John. And, I mean, I think the good news is that, you know, Congress probably will not admit this FART, as it's being called. I don't think Congress is actually going to support this -- this legislation.
But nevertheless, there is a lot that Trump is doing and can do to undermine our international alliances, our international trade system. Everything that the United States has relied on for peace and prosperity since the 1940s is really being called into question now. I mean, Donald Trump has huge animosity towards NATO. He has huge animosity --
BOOTH: -- towards NAFTA. I mean, he doesn't like our allies. But he wants to reach out to our enemies, which has not worked so well in the case of North Korea, which is cheating on the nuclear accord already.
[06:10:14] But now Trump has another chance to talk with Vladimir Putin. And so there's a lot of trepidation about what's going to happen at their summit in a few weeks' time. About whether Trump will make major concessions to Russia. And at the same time that, you know, there's an escalating trade war with Canada, which just placed $12 billion worth of tariffs on U.S. goods, with China, which is probably going to place about $34 billion worth of tariffs on U.S. goods later this week. I mean, this really feels like this giant unraveling.
BERMAN: Well, Max, it is a giant --
BOOT: Of the world that America has made. America is unmaking it now.
BERMAN: And as this is going, Max -- Max, how is the North Korea nuclear deal going, as all this is happening with the old-fashioned world order?
BOOT: Well, it's going disastrously. I mean, which really undermines Trump's conceit as being this master deal maker. I mean, it's pretty obvious that he got taken to the cleaner's. As "The Economist" headline had it, "Kim Jong Won." North Korea won at the summit, because they got unilateral concessions from the United States without giving anything in return, beyond these airy promises of denuclearization, which we now know they're not carrying out. They're actually expanding their nuclear and missile facilities. So this is, you know, hugely embarrassing.
And it underlines the fact that Donald Trump is very good at destroying international agreements. He's destroyed a lot of them, from the TPP and the Paris climate accord, to the Iranian nuclear accord. But he has not done a good job of negotiating new accords. Already NAFTA stalled. I think the prospects for NAFTA have just nose-dived with AMLO's election. And so, you know, he is a wrecker. He is a destroyer. He is -- he's undermining the U.S. world order, and he's not building anything in its place.
KAREM: And leaving legislative FARTs in the distance.
CAMEROTA: I really hope my 11-year-old son is watching this show. I don't say that every morning.
BERMAN: Because -- because he has deep concern about the World Trade Organization?
CAMEROTA: Yes. And --
BERMAN: International trade is a very big concern.
CAMEROTA: -- a penchant for those kinds of jokes --
CAMEROTA: -- that we'll be making.
All right, gentlemen, thank you very much for all that very sophisticated and highbrow talk.
Meanwhile, President Trump --
BERMAN: Let's talk about trade. The most interesting talk about world trade you'll ever hear.
AVLON: You'll get junior high interested. It's great.
CAMEROTA: Anthony Scaramucci has come up with quite the catch phrase. So we'll -- we'll talk more about that coming up.
Meanwhile, Trump plans to announce his pick for the Supreme Court in one week's time. The battle over who will replace Justice Anthony Kennedy is reviving the debate, of course, over abortion rights.
CNN's Abby Phillip is live at the White House.
What is the latest there, Abby?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Alisyn, and welcome back.
The president said that in one week, he is going to announce his Supreme Court pick at the White House before he leaves for Europe. And he said that he -- over the weekend, he would be interviewing some of those candidates from his sort list. But while he did speak to the top aide in charge of the search for the Supreme Court pick, it's not clear at all whether the president interviewed any of the candidates that he said he might be talking to this weekend. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
PHILLIP (voice-over): President Trump gearing up for a week likely to be dominated by his search for a Supreme Court justice, after spending the weekend speaking to key allies and advisors, including White House counsel Don McGahn about the crucial appointment. The president telling reporters he narrowed his list of 25 candidates to five main finalists, although he said he expects to interview six or seven people before announcing his selection next week.
TRUMP: We have to pick a great one. We have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years.
PHILLIP: "The Washington Post" report that President Trump has told advisors he's looking for a candidate who is "extraordinarily well- qualified" and "not weak."
LEONARD LEO, SUPREME COURT ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: It's about having judges on the court who are going to interpret the Constitution the way it's written.
PHILLIP: But the key issue for a number of Americans: whether the president's nominee would vote to overturn abortion rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you looking for somebody who would overturn Roe v. Wade?
TRUMP: Well, you know, it's a -- it's a great group of intellectual talent. But we really -- you know, they are generally conservative. I'm not going to ask them that question, by the way. That's not a question I'll be asking.
PHILLIP: President Trump downplaying the importance of the issue, despite repeatedly citing his opposition to abortion as a main deciding factor during the election.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: How important is that issue to you now when President Trump picks Supreme Court justices? Would that be a litmus test?
TRUMP: It is, it is.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade.
TRUMP: If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that's really what's going to be -- that's -- will happen.
PHILLIP: Key Republican Senator Susan Collins telling CNN that a nominee who would vote to overturn the landmark decision would not be acceptable.
COLLINS: I want a judge who will apply the facts of the law to the case with fidelity to the Constitution. Roe v. Wade is a constitutional right that is well-established. [06:15:10] PHILLIP: Collins and fellow Republican Senator Lisa
Murkowski are both being eyed as potential "no" votes, given their past support for a woman's right to have an abortion.
SEN. MARIA CANTWELL (D), WASHINGTON: My colleagues on both sides of the aisle know that this vote could be a key vote of their career. If they vote for somebody who's going to change precedent, it could be a career-ending move.
PHILLIP: Both women voted to confirm President Trump's first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch. The Senate only needs 50 votes to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, meaning that if all but one Republican vote along party lines, they will not need any Democratic support.
PHILLIP: Well, President Trump plans to meet with the Dutch prime minister here at the White House today. But as you have been discussing, the E.U. and the president's fidelity to the existing world order is going to be a big topic of discussion and focus here at the White House, John.
BERMAN: All right. Abby Phillip for us. Abby, thanks so much.
Susan Collins says abortion will be a key. She thinks Neil Gorsuch would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Is Susan Collins living in a fantasy world? That's next.
CAMEROTA: OK, President Trump plans to announce his Supreme Court pick one week from day. Now lawmakers need to determine how they will vote. So on Sunday, Republican Senator Susan Collins said she would not back a judge who shows hostility towards Roe v. Wade.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[06:20:07] COLLINS: I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade, because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK. Joining us now to talk about all of this is CNN political analyst Alex Burns and CNN Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic. Great to have both of you.
Alex, regardless of what the president says now, of course he's using Roe v. Wade as a litmus test. That's what he promised he was going to do, that we have it on tape. That's what he said at debates. That's what he said at interviews. Of course he's going to do that. Why is he now saying he's not going to?
ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, this is sort of the -- and, you know, forgive me as a political reporter for saying, this too cute by half legal ritual around Supreme Court nominations, where everyone involved tries to pretend that they're not about what they are very obviously directly about, right?
That the president doesn't need to sit down with a potential nominee and say, "How would you vote on the option to overturn Roe v. Wade" in order to be screening candidates that way. He's using a list of candidates assembled by the Federalist Society --
BURNS: -- and other conservative screeners, who -- I'd be very, very surprised if there was anybody on that list who, in their heart or hearts or in their legal writing, is strongly in favor of Roe. We know, basically, for a fact that that's not going to happen. So of course it's a litmus test.
The bigger question is what -- what someone like Susan Collins really means when she talks about using demonstrated hostility to Roe as a litmus test, demonstrated hostility is also a pretty high bar, in a manner of speaking. And it depends on just how closely she's going to scrutinize the behavior, the writing, the sort of implied preferences of these nominees to search for something that looks like hostility.
BERMAN: And Joan, just to put a fine point on this, this list of some 25 justices put together by Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society, that people are on this list because there is confidence within the conservative legal community that they will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, correct?
JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: Yes, they have confidence that -- that it would go that way.
Just so you know, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, they never asked about Roe v. Wade --
BISKUPIC: -- because you just -- first of all, it would be inappropriate for the president to say, "How are you going to rule on this?" But President Trump will interview, you know, three or four individuals who have been carefully screened, not just from the 25 but down to this very short list. And someone like White House counsel Don McGahn will feel very confident about the individuals that he passes on to the president. And there won't -- there won't need to be that kind of conversation at all.
Now, one thing I should say, though, is even though there's this presumption that the person would be against Roe v. Wade, I don't know if we can predict, for sure, that all of the people on the short list would actually vote in the end to overturn it, as opposed to really, really allow lots of regulations and curtailments of access, frankly.
CAMEROTA: So listen, John. This is a tough one, right, for Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.
BISKUPIC: It is. CAMEROTA: You know, how -- you will never know. You will never know until they're in the job what they're going to do, either around the margins or directly on Roe v. Wade.
AVLON: Well, certainly -- certainly history is littered with examples of presidents appointing judges who don't do what they thought they would do.
However, in this case what's different is we have a presidential appointment process outsourced to the Federalist Society, an explicitly ideological organization. So that's a different -- that's a different field, that farm team you're having folks come up through.
So for Murkowski and Collins, whose votes really are key, the question is whether they're going have an appropriate degree of skepticism. Or whether they're going to buy all the sort of pieties that, you know, occur during a typical nomination, and it's Lucy and the football, or as John Berman might say, Admiral Ackbar.
BERMAN: It's a trap. It's a trap.
And Joan, when Susan Collins goes on TV and says, "I do not think that Neil Gorsuch" --
BERMAN: "-- would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade," it's hard to figure out how she comes to that conclusion.
BISKUPIC: It is. And she referred to the regard that he spoke of for precedent. And I just want to remind everyone that just last week, five conservative justices, including Neil Gorsuch, voted to throw out completely a 1977 precedent in a labor union case.
AVLON: With Janus.
BISKUPIC: Yes. So you just -- you know, there's -- there's precedent, and then there's precedent they don't like.
CAMEROTA: And so, I mean, where's that leave -- they're going to have to make a decision, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, based on the available evidence they have, which is that a conservative justice could vote to hurt Roe v. Wade and, you know, chip away at it. So what's going to happen?
BURNS: Well, look, I think a great deal depends on who the president actually nominates, that he can put forward somebody who is very, very obviously hostile to Roe and put those two senators and, frankly, a whole bunch of Democratic senators from conservative, antiabortion states in a really, really tough position. And are you really going to oppose the president and his appointment of a Supreme Court justice a couple months before an election?
[06:25:17] Or the president could appoint somebody who's, you know, more of a John Roberts type of -- maybe a Neil Gorsuch type, who's basically a cipher on a lot of the issues, has not written directly on subjects like Roe, but because of the preponderance of evidence assembled over their legal career, gives the Federalist Society great deal of confidence.
CAMEROTA: Isn't that like -- isn't that one more likely? To take the less overt path?
BURNS: That would be the more conventional. That would be the safer approach. That would be the "Let's run up a big win in the middle of summer" approach.
If the president just wants to inflict pain on his political opposition, I don't know that going the sort of, you know, safer route is the way to do that. There is a path here that involves appointing somebody who is sort of as far right as you can go and still put the screws to Joe Manchin and Susan Collins. And I don't know -- I think it will say a lot about the president, which path he ultimately decides to take.
BERMAN: So Joan, the White House and people close to the president leaking the characteristics the president wants in a justice. Among other things, the president apparently suggesting behind the scenes he wants an Ivy League educated --
CAMEROTA: So you're still in.
BERMAN: -- jurist. I'm still in. I'm still in, a bunch of us still. But that's interesting, because some of the people on that list we know are not Ivy League educated. So I think that may just be a curve ball, trying to distract us.
Also suggesting he wants someone with a solid base of legal writing that he won't necessarily read.
CAMEROTA: You're out.
BERMAN: Right? Is mean, that's just strange.
BISKUPIC: You know, here -- here's what you should remember from the January rollout of 2017 when he did Neil Gorsuch. He did two things that really struck me.
First he walked out and said, "Are you surprised?" You know, almost like treating it like a game show. And the second thins was that he so emphasized Neil Gorsuch's pedigree. The fact that he had gone to Harvard, the fact that he was a Marshall Scholar who had studied at Oxford.
So he likes to say, "I picked the smartest. I picked the best somehow." So I actually think, John, that there's a chance that he wants to be able to use an Ivy League credential.
Now there are several people on the list who aren't Ivys, but you know, we've got a Stanford. We've got a Berkeley. We've got a couple of Notre Dames. He might be able to say that, you know, some people who don't have a Harvard or Yale, he can inflate it somehow.
BISKUPIC: But he does have a couple Harvards on the list that he could choose from.
BURNS: That is what populism likes, by the way.
BERMAN: One thing in my four years of Harvard, by the way. That is populism lives.
AVLON: And I think they're fairy representative.
BERMAN: Absolutely. Someone's got to give those guys a chance.
CAMEROTA: Listen, the majority of Americans want Roe v. Wade to be kept legal.
AVLON: Seventy percent.
CAMEROTA: OK? Seventy percent. So we'll talk more about that in the program.
Meanwhile, we also have to talk about this, the update on family separations. What's happening with all of these parents who are still searching for their kids? Does the government have any plan to reunite children with their parents who were separated at the border? We'll give you all of the developments.