Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Slams Germany at NATO Start; Democrats Rally Against Kavanaugh; Trump's New Tariffs on Chinese Goods; Video of Rescued Thai Soccer Team; Trump Slams Allies. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET
Aired July 11, 2018 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: NATO summit as breakfast was served. Here's the president taking aim at Germany.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they are getting from 60 percent to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline. And you tell me if that's appropriate, because I think it's not. And I think it's a very bad thing for NATO. And I don't think it should have happened. And I think we have to talk to Germany about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Republican Senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley.
Senator Grassley, thanks so much for being here.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: Glad to be with you.
CAMEROTA: What do you think of that opener that President Trump delivered at breakfast?
GRASSLEY: It shouldn't surprise any of us. It's exactly the same statements he made during the campaign. Most of us don't expect a president to serve on the platform he ran on. This president is serving on that platform, trying to carry out his promises. And he made very clear a year ago that they ought to spend more. So they're spending more. He made very clear a year ago that he was going to keep it up until they got up to what was required under the NATO agreement. And they're working their way towards that. And so I think the NATO is stronger now than before President Trump became president. And that --
CAMEROTA: You do? And I just want to -- just, let me stop you for one second, senator, because in terms of his tone -- so I understand that you're saying that his goals are fully getting accomplished, but in terms of the tone, do you worry that it somehow affects the alliance? That somehow the alliance, after this, will be chillier than it was in the 70 years of work that's gone into building this alliance will be affected by his tone?
GRASSLEY: Well, if they're worried about the president's tone, then they can -- they can turn to the tone of the United States Senate, which last night overwhelmingly gave our support to NATO and the cooperation and recognizing the cooperation of our allies and stating that it was a very important unison that we have and we intend to stand by it.
CAMEROTA: Yes, but help us understand that contradiction, how the Senate is reinforcing -- feeling the need to reinforce the support for NATO, while President Trump is castigating it.
GRASSLEY: Well, I think that -- that it also tells you that we have a government that's not -- we -- what do you -- you know, checks and balances of government. We want to state for the Congress, one branch of our government. But it doesn't detract from what the president is trying to accomplish. And there's not a single member of the United States Senate who doesn't think that the president's right by getting NATO allies to spend what the law requires that they spend. That should be a foregone conclusion by any of us. If you want NATO to be strong, you've got to put up or shut up.
CAMEROTA: And it was a foregone conclusion in 2014 when they agreed to it.
GRASSLEY: Well --
CAMEROTA: So why is the president beating that drum at the beginning of the breakfast?
GRASSLEY: No. Well, if they -- if they -- if they agreed -- agreed to it, they've got to -- they've got to deliver. And the president was sworn in and they still weren't delivering. And now they're delivering because of his strong position.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, that's not what the secretary-general said. He said that -- that last year they paid the most historically -- the most they had in a generation, but that was because of the agreement they had agreed to two years earlier. Do you give President Trump all the credit for this?
GRASSLEY: I would give him credit for it because the previous presidents, even George W. Bush and Obama, one Republican, one Democrat, didn't push as hard as this president is pushing it. And I think with -- you know, normally, during that period of time, Russia was not in Crimea. Russia was not in the Ukraine. Russia was not threatening the Baltics. Look at what Russia has done since then. It puts additional evidence on the greater need for NATO and to deliver on it.
CAMEROTA: And would you have liked President Trump to bring up that point?
GRASSLEY: Well, I -- don't you think that he -- that it's evident. He doesn't have to bring it up.
CAMEROTA: I don't know about that, senator. I don't know where he stands with Russia. GRASSLEY: Well, I mean -- no, no, wait a minute, wait a minute, it is
evident that Russia is in Crimea. Russia is threatening the Baltics. Russia is in Ukraine.
GRASSLEY: That's -- you know that.
CAMEROTA: I do. I'm talking about President Trump's take on it. How is that evident to you?
GRASSLEY: What did you say about President Trump?
CAMEROTA: How is his position on Russia evident to you?
GRASSLEY: Well, what's evident to NATO, what Russia has done is the rationale behind, NATO's got to be stronger now than it did under the George W. Bush and the Obama administration.
CAMEROTA: Understood. And do you think that that is the tone and the message that President Trump is bringing, because some analysts believe that he is actually weakening NATO by taking an adversarial tack.
[08:35:01] GRASSLEY: I think that that is evidenced by the fact that they're spending more money. He's accomplishing it. And particularly pointing out that the previous chancellor of Germany was on the payroll of Russian gas companies. And so Russia is helping the -- or Germany is helping the Russian gas economy by buying gas from them. That's why he's over there saying, you shouldn't be buying gas, you ought to be buying it from us. And they can get it from us.
CAMEROTA: So you are comfortable with the message and tone that he started the NATO summit with?
GRASSLEY: I don't want to ever say that I'm comfortable with anything. I'm just observing it and giving you my reaction today. But with international affairs, our Constitution makes it pretty clear that the president of the United States is the spokesman for our country. And that's been true of 45 presidents, not just this one.
CAMEROTA: And -- but why don't you want to tell us whether you're comfortable with the tack?
GRASSLEY: I -- it does -- what difference does it make whether I'm comfortable or not? The president of the United States is doing what he said he ought to do and the people voted for him and he's trying to deliver on that. And wouldn't you want a president to deliver on what he promised? Or maybe he shouldn't have taken the position during the campaign.
CAMEROTA: All right, senator, let's talk about what's next for the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
GRASSLEY: Yes. CAMEROTA: As you know, Democrats are demanding to see documents, lots of documents, from his time, e-mails even, from his time during the Bush administration. Is that fair?
GRASSLEY: What would be fair for me starting out as chairman of the committee would be what documents have we required of other people being appointed to the Supreme Court. We will start out at that point. And beyond that point, I can't make any predictions or make any judgment or make any decisions, as you might want me to make, because I don't know what the global evidence is out there that people might want.
But I do know this from the stand -- you mentioned the Democrats might want this information. A lot of them have said that they're going to vote no for sure against this nominee. Well, how much more do you need to know to vote no?
CAMEROTA: Yes, some of them have said that they would vote no regardless of who it is because, as you can imagine, they are still quite miffed about the treatment they think Merrick Garland got and they want to return the favor. Do you understand why they're angry?
GRASSLEY: If this was a presidential election year, the answer is yes. And they know my position on that because I said if I'm chairman of the committee in a presidential election year and we have a vacancy, I'll do just like I did in 2016, which was like -- just exactly what Biden said that he would do in 1992 when George H.W. Bush was president. And he set this pattern for us.
CAMEROTA: But why doesn't a midterm matter? I mean isn't that also consequential.
GRASSLEY: The president's not up for election. And the president's the one that makes the appointment. Besides, don't forget, both Kagan was approved in August of 2010 and Breyer was approved in the summer -- in the election year -- midterm election year. So if you've got all these recent patterns, plus a lot before that have been proved -- approved during a midterm election, where would the Democrats think that they get enough evidence to stand on that we couldn't consider this nominee during a midterm election?
CAMEROTA: I want to ask you, before we let you go, about tariffs. The president has just announced new tariffs on China. Another round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion. What's the effect of the tariffs thus far on your state of Iowa?
GRASSLEY: Very, very detrimental. I'm very, very nervous about it.
First of all, I'm a free trader. Second, if the president can get us a better deal, like a level playing field, with countries that can import into the United States with hardly any tariffs and we've got to pay 25 percent in their state -- or their country and you can get a level playing field, who wouldn't want the president to accomplish it? But he's negotiating I think as a business person and if he takes his competitor to the brink and he doesn't go over the brink, we're going to get a better deal. But if he goes over the brink, it's catastrophic. And right now, on soybeans and corn in my state, it is catastrophic with the dramatic drops in prices we've had. It's the uncertainty of it that bothers people, not the fact that what the president's trying to accomplish.
CAMEROTA: But have you made those points clear to him that it's hurting your state?
GRASSLEY: Yes. Three times in the last -- at least the last three months several of us senators from agricultural states have been able to express this view to the president directly and over a period of 12 months to Mnuchin and to Ross and to Lighthizer and all the other people that are in trade issues for this president to carry out his policies. They've heard this from us for 12 months. They know it.
[08:40:07] CAMEROTA: Senator, last, when will the confirmation hearings begin for Brett Kavanaugh?
GRASSLEY: I can only give you a rough guesstimate.
GRASSLEY: If you look at the last two, I think, or three from the time they were nominated until the Senate voted on them was about 65 to 70 days. And so a hearing would come somewhere about two-thirds along that road.
CAMEROTA: So somewhere -- you're -- so somewhere around 40 days you think there will be a hearing?
GRASSLEY: I can't be very certain on that because, as you pointed out in one of your questions to me, this person has been on the bench for 12 years. He's got a lot of paperwork. He's got a lot of stuff to -- when he worked at the White House, I don't know how much of that we've got to go through. But I've got to keep an open mind so we have a thorough and constitutional approach to this to meet our responsibility. So I'm going to save a final judgment when you get down the road a few days or a few weeks before I can give you a firm answer on that.
CAMEROTA: Is your hope to have it done by August?
GRASSLEY: At least the hearing, or early September.
Senator Chuck Grassley, thank you very much for going over all these topics with us and being on NEW DAY.
GRASSLEY: Thank you very much.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we're getting some new pictures of those rescued Thai soccer players. The first time we've seen anything of them since they were rescued. We'll show you how they look, coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BERMAN: We are following breaking news. These are the first images of the Thai soccer team after rescuers pulled them from a cave. You're seeing these pictures from inside the hospital. The hospital sharing this video.
Take a good look at this. Doctors say all 12 boys who were rescued are now healthy. What a
welcome sight that is.
I want to bring in CNN international correspondent Matt Rivers, who is in Thailand, and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta as well.
Matt, first, give us an update.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is just remarkable to see that video, the first time we've seen these boys since their remarkable, improbable rescue. And they're in that quarantine that doctors say they're going to have to be in for seven days. Health officials gave a press conference update earlier today. They say the boys are in pretty good shape. One of them still has a lung infection but is responding well to treatment and their parents have come to the hospital today, throughout the day, for the closest thing they can get to a reunion. You can see in that video, they have to be on the other side of that glass wall. But, you know, you look at the boys in that video, they look to be in pretty good shape, John. Just absolutely a remarkable development and something that all of Thailand is celebrating right now.
BERMAN: You know, Sanjay, you're looking at this for the first time along with the rest of us right now. We see the kids in quarantine. They have the face masks on. This is obviously this clean setting. What do you see and what have you heard about their condition?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, as Matt was saying, they obviously look pretty good. You know, whenever you look at a hospital setting like this, you're trying to look to see if there's any machines or IVs or things that the boys -- medications the boys are receiving. They obviously look at -- they have these masks on, again, to protect them from other people because their immune systems may be a little weakened as a result of what they've been through. We know they're -- they've lost about four pounds on average, you know, as a result of being in the cave for two and a half weeks.
[08:45:26] So -- but they -- they look good. And we also hear that they're talking back and forth to each other quite a bit. One of the things that was mentioned was, they're looking for signs of depression or anxiety. It's still very early. This is something they're going to need to look for, for weeks and months. But right now they say that they're doing well. Psychologists, ophthalmologists, other specialists will be visiting the boys today as well.
BERMAN: And we've seen one or two of them sat up there. You know, we saw other waves right there. We see them moving their hands.
We had heard perhaps, Sanjay, that one or two were suffering from lung infections. Is that something that will play out over this seven day quarantine?
GUPTA: Well, typically you want to figure out what is causing the lung infection. And, John, common things are common first, meaning that, you know, is it a viral type phenomena picture or a bacterial. There are some -- more unusual pathogens that can cause infections if someone is in a cave for this long. They're going to check for all of that. Depending on what it is, it's going to require treatment. Probably IV antibiotics for a few days and then just oral antibiotics. So they keep saying seven days. That timetable, my guess is, especially, John, after looking at this video, that timetable might be accelerated.
BERMAN: Matt Rivers, I had a chance to speak with a couple of American Air Force personnel who were involved in the dive rescue before and they had told me, frankly, there were several moments of doubt that they would be able to pull it off. Over the last 24 hours we've heard from Thai officials who led this operation. What have we learned about just how monumental it was?
RIVERS: Well, we've actually seen video from inside the cave where you see them, John, dragging these boys, who look kind of out of it. Now, there's been some reports that CNN hasn't confirmed that the boys were sedated in some way. We haven't confirmed that. But they do look out of it while being brought out of the cave. But you see the video from inside this cave where they're dragging these boys over incredibly sharp rocks, there's water on the ground, they have to go up and down. The narrows -- the passageways are incredibly narrow. And what we didn't see was them actually in the underwater part of that cave. So the fact that it took as many hours it did -- as it did, by seeing that video, you can see how physically demanding this was and how at every step of the way, you know, you're one step away from falling, from the kids being hurt further.
The fact that they were brought out of this cave, the fact that it took so long to do, the fact that the conditions were so treacherous, which we can now see for ourselves based on some of the video we've seen, you know, we've been saying for days, John, how improbable this was, how dangerous it was. But when you see those images, at least for me, it really brought it home to say unbelievable that we are in this spot and kudos to the expertise and the hard work of the divers and the rescuers who risked their own lives. We can't say that enough. They risked their lives to go in there and get these kids out. They did a remarkable job. And the images that we've seen today just back that up.
BERMAN: All right, Matt Rivers for us. Sanjay as well.
Let's get one more look at that new video of those children, the Thai soccer team rescue. We see them now in the hospital. This is the first chance we've had to see them during their recovery. Thank goodness for this.
CAMEROTA: And, John, you can watch the video of the rescue in the water forever. I just want to know the back story. I want to know from every single person how they did it, how they decided, what the timing was? I mean when this story is told, will there be -- well, there will be 13 different stories to be told and we can't wait to hear all of those.
All right, meanwhile, we've heard a lot of different opinions this morning about what President Trump is doing in Brussels, putting NATO alliances to the test. So let's get "The Bottom Line," next.
[08:52:01] BERMAN: What a morning it has been. President Trump, he came out swinging, to say the least. At breakfast, part of the amuse bouche. Even before breakfast --
CAMEROTA: All bouche.
BERMAN: All bouche, not much amuse, if you are a member of NATO from Europe. The president really very critical of NATO defense spending. Very critical of Germany specifically.
We're joined this morning by CNN's David Chalian, our political director in Washington, with "The Bottom Line."
David, yes, the president has spoken like this before. Yes, the president promised this. But the tone with which he used is something that is rattling European leaders.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: No doubt about that, John. I think there are two ways that President Trump approaches this part of his job. One is through deal making, that's just a lens that he uses on most everything. And one is on domestic politics.
What is not part of his calculus, it seems to me, is any sort of -- the history of alliances or the traditions of American diplomacy, that is all out the window. Deal making and seeking leverage in that deal making and domestic politics. And in this sense, you know, smacking back our closest allies makes sense to him because he thinks, in terms of domestic politics, it plays quite well back at home, especially to his voters. But even more broadly than that probably to say, we're not getting our fair share. We need to get our fair share. That's an argument he made about many things on the campaign trail that resonated. And in terms of our alliances, he just thinks he's going to press them to the max and try to get -- use as much leverage as possible.
CAMEROTA: But, John, explain the schizophrenic policy of -- back here at home, the Senate, voting 97-2, to reinforce the support for NATO, while the president of United States criticizes NATO and doesn't seem to be that interested in building an alliance.
JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: You know, building alliances and American leadership abroad. Look, I mean this is actually something that Chuck Grassley spoke to
in your interview with him earlier this hour. He's saying, look, if the -- if the NATO allies are uncomfortable with Donald Trump's talk, they can take comfort from the Senate's vote last night. The problem is, those two things are in direct contradiction. The Senate is basically trying to buffer the -- what they expected to be the president's hawkish comments.
And the problem with the typical negotiation strategy, as David, you know, correctly points out, the president thinks of himself as a dealmaker. But typically you would do a carrot and a stick. You would say I'm getting tough, I'm being gritty (ph) for the American people, but this alliance is more important than ever before. That crucial next point never crosses Donald Trump's lips and, therefore, Senate Republicans are left scrambling to try to vote and rhetorically back up the obvious point that American leadership is indispensable because Russia is more aggressive and expansionist (ph).
BERMAN: Well, he's saving all his carrots for Vladimir Putin.
AVLON: You know --
BERMAN: I mean, honestly, maybe that's it. He goes to Helsinki and meets with Putin on Monday and you just have to contrast the language here. Yes, he was tough on NATO leaders for something that many American voters might agree with, but he hasn't reached out to NATO leaders in a way that many American voters might agree with also. And he hasn't been tough on Russia rhetorically for things that many Americans are concerned about. So there is a contrast there, David.
[08:55:08] CHALIAN: There's no doubt about it. And it's not just a contrast in what you're describing right now, but it's reputation of behavior. Go back to the G-7 just a month ago and he is, you know, using very harsh rhetoric against some of our closest allies and then is as closely and buddy buddy and the rhetoric is such a warm embrace of Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea. I understand he's trying to get something done there, but it just -- this is now a repetition of behavior from President Trump.
AVLON: Yes, but let's not write it off and normalize it by saying this is just Trump being Trump. The end that is being achieved is an undermining of U.S. led international institutions, which is squarely in Vladimir Putin's interests. And that's why it's real concern. It's not just the president being unplugged and going rogue.
CHALIAN: And upending the world order as we know it.
CHALIAN: And there's no doubt about that.
BERMAN: John, David, thank you very much for being with us this very busy morning.
CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow picks up after this very quick break with more news from CNN.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. Good morning, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
Confrontation on the world stage. Stunning, yes, but not surprising. President Trump kicking off the NATO summit this morning by scolding one of America's closest allies and demanding that our other allies pay up.
[09:00:04] Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have to bring it up because I think it's very unfair to our country, it's very unfair to our taxpayers.