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Trump Weighs Rivals; Lewis Statement on Women; Montenegro Responds to Trump's Comment; Zuckerberg Sparks Outrage Passengers Give Teacher Donation. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET

Aired July 19, 2018 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Bill becomes a law.


OK, meanwhile, President Trump reveals his dream opponent. Who does he say he would like to run against or is it wouldn't?

BERMAN: Oh, I see what you did there.



BERMAN: During an interview that aired on CBS just moments ago, President Trump spoke about his run for re-election in 2020 and the potential of going to battle with former Vice President Joe Biden.

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN's chief political correspondent Dana Bash.

Before we get "The Bottom Line" from you, Dana, let's go to the videotape.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask you about 2020.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you think your Democratic opponent will be? Joe Biden says he'll make a decision by January.

TRUMP: Well, I dream --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tough opponent?

TRUMP: I dream about Biden. That's a dream.

Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than 1 percent. And President Obama took him out of the garbage heap and everybody was shocked that he did. I'd love to have it be Biden. I'd get -- I think I'd like to have any

one of those people that we're talking about. You know, there's probably the group of seven or eight right now. I'd really like to -- I'd like to run against any one of them. But Biden never by himself could never do anything.


[08:35:10] BERMAN: All right, Dana Bash. First of all, I dream of ice cream, not Joe Biden. Secondly, Joe Biden ran twice, not three times. But, third of all, is this a Jedi mind trick or does President Trump really crave a run against Joe Biden?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think both, I really do, because, first and foremost, aside from the language of being in the trash heap and things like that, he's not wrong about Joe Biden's record as a candidate for president. It's not great. It really isn't. Having said that, that is ancient history and he did spend eight years as a vice president who had a lot of respect across party lines.

The danger, in my view, that Democrats are facing, and the crossroads that they're facing, is, are they going to make a mistake that the last candidate for president made on the Democratic side, which is run the last race, and that, in many cases, would be Joe Biden because one of the many strengths the Democrats believe Joe Biden has is that he's a scrappy kid from Scranton, right, and he can appeal to those working class Democrats that fled to Donald Trump because they felt that the Democratic Party was playing too much identity politics and that the Democratic Party didn't speak to them anymore.

Joe Biden can do that. He has a history of doing that. He can speak their language. But, again, that was the 2016 race. And the question is whether or not 2020 is going to be that or something completely different. And never mind Joe Biden's age and all the other, you know, strikes against him --


BASH: It's a big, open question.

CAMEROTA: But things have changed, as we know.

BASH: Yes.


CAMEROTA: Things have changed. And it's hard to know, John, when the president says he would like to run against Joe Biden, does it mean he wouldn't like to run against Joe Biden?

BERMAN: Why would you -- why would you ask such a question? Why would -- what could ever make you think that?

AVLON: It's -- can't we just accept something on the face of it or --

CAMEROTA: I'm just -- I'm just still a little confused. AVLON: No, look, I mean I think Dana's right. And one of the dangers of politics always is generals fighting the last war. But, you know, one of the things about Biden that hurt him in his primary runs is he was famously sort of loose lipped, lots of problem (ph). Not so much by comparison to the current occupant.

CAMEROTA: Not a problem now.

BASH: That is so true.

AVLON: Actually, you know, a feature not a bug. And I think it is relevant for Democrats to look and say, while there is strikingly no consensus among Democrats why they lost the election, it's clear they got a problem with white working class upper Midwest. And those are folks who Biden can talk to in a native way. So I think it's a bit of Jedi mind trick, Trump saying bring on all comers.

BASH: Yes. But, you know, you mentioned an important point there, which is, I don't think something that we talk enough about in politics, which is authenticity. And, you know, whether or not the president is acting like a person that is, you know, playing the role of Donald Trump or not, he certainly comes across as authentic because he says crazy stuff a lot and certainly in the campaign trail that actually made his supporters like him even more. We just described Joe Biden in a nutshell.


BASH: So you're exactly right, John.


BERMAN: And the surest way to get an answer of I don't know unearthed right now is to ask a Democrat who the next nominee is going to be. That's a guarantee.

AVLON: True.

CAMEROTA: But, speaking of authenticity, here's a particularly --

AVLON: That's one word for it.

BASH: Nice segue.

CAMEROTA: Here's a particular -- yes, you're welcome, America, for what you're about to hear. This is an unvarnished and it sounds like proud moment for Congressman Jason Lewis, a Republican of Minnesota. Our investigative team, the "K-File," has unearthed a portion of a radio show from 2012, March of 2012, where Congressman Jason Lewis of Minnesota poses a question that is really, I think, troubling him. He feels very hamstrung about the language that he thinks he can no longer use when referring to women. Here's this moment.


REP. JASON LEWIS (R), MINNESOTA: Well, the thing is, can we call anybody a slut? This is what begs the question. Take this woman out of it. Take Russia out of it for a moment. Does -- does a woman now have the right to behave -- and I know there's a double standard between the way men chase women and, you know, running around, you know -- I'm not going to get there, but you know what I'm talking about.


LEWIS: But it used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can't call her a slut?



AVLON: The injustice.

CAMEROTA: Yes, the injustice. I mean --

BASH: I mean these are the important questions of our time.



BASH: I mean they really are.

No, in all seriousness, this is an interesting case because this is a district that is one of the 20 plus, really more than that, that could determine whether Republicans keep control or lose control. He -- Jason Lewis is running against a female candidate. The Democrat is somebody who ran against him the last time and lost. And this particular gem wasn't out there on the campaign trail but others from his radio days were, which were equally if not more explosive and it didn't seem to make a difference. That was in 2016 when those explosive comments were being crowded out by the guy at the top of the ticket.

AVLON: That's it.

[08:40:15] BASH: It was also pre-Me Too. So the -- and also at a time where the Democratic base was not even close to being as energized as they are now. So this will be a very interesting test case as to whether the -- this kind of language in this election will be hurtful to somebody who is not Donald Trump, maybe has the same kind of, you know, entertainers background.

CAMEROTA: Piggish thoughts --

BASH: That too.

BERMAN: For instance, you could say --

AVLON: Words.


BASH: And whether or not -- and whether or not -- and whether or not it's going to make a difference. It's fascinating.

CAMEROTA: It is fascinating, you're right.

AVLON: Yes. I mean the phrase that jumped out at me was, we used to require modesty from women.


AVLON: I mean this is sort of, you know, this is sort of --

CAMEROTA: In what century is he talking about?

AVLON: Yes, I mean, you know, I thought freedom was standing up against burkas and sort of the, you know, the Taliban-esque views from folks in the Midwest. Minnesota is a state that Trump did very well in. Did not win. Traditionally center left. DFL. But I think if the energy of the Democratic base in that post-Me Too moment, that right wing talk radio pedigree is going to cause a lot of problems for this congressman because he sounds like a complete bozo.

BERMAN: Yes, the wish we could still say platform, we'll see if it has legs.

All right, Dana Bash, thanks for being with us very much.

BASH: Thank you.

BERMAN: So Mark Zuckerberg, this morning, is clarifying comments that he made about holocaust deniers. That sentence tells you a lot of the trouble he's in.

CAMEROTA: Oh, boy.


[08:45:41] CAMEROTA: OK, so Montenegro is now responding after President Trump cast doubt on whether the U.S. would defend that NATO ally.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX HOST: Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack? Why is that --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I understand what you're saying. I've asked the same question. You know, Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people.

CARLSON: Yes, I'm not against Montenegro. Or Albania.

TRUMP: Yes, right. No, by the way, they're very strong people. They're very aggressive people. They may get aggressive. And, congratulations, you're in World War III. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: How did all of that go over?

Well, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is live for us in Montenegro with more.

What is the reaction, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTENTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think Montenegro never really thought of itself as being kind of the epicenter of World War III, certainly not in the mind of the U.S. commander in chief. And there's some degree of them trying to laugh it off here, but also a deep concern because the kind of -- the throws of Russia, its distant neighbor, and it's desire to become part of the European Union and only joined NATO last year really struck at the heart of this country's identity.

At the moment, the coastline, patches of it are owned by rich Russians, and it's in the middle of tourist season, so it's far from aggression you can possibly imagine. Any sound I'm hearing is crickets in the bushes.

But Montenegro's government trying to strike a delicate balance here, have released their first statement after some kind of studied silence talking about their role for peace and stability in the region, about how, at this point, people value freedom and democracy most as enduring ideas. And, more importantly, how they think there's sort of a permanent nature of solidity in the relationship with the United States. A country that's had a very difficult path into NATO, though. Russia, as I say, who have a great influence here, sort of a slavish country where the orthodox church is very powerful to, were very upset at their desire to join NATO. And that occurred back in June of last year after a couple of bids, it seemed, by Russian intelligence to ferment coupes here. So Donald Trump's comments striking really at the heart of deep insecurities inside Montenegro.

Back to you.

BERMAN: Nick Paton Walsh in Montenegro. Lucky to have you there. Thanks so much, Nick.

Some other news for you now.

FaceBook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing backlash over a comment he made about holocaust deniers in an interview that was published Wednesday.

CNN's senior media reporter Oliver Darcy is here now.

Oliver, the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is having to clarify remarks he made about holocaust deniers, that very sentence tells you the kind of trouble he's in.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes, FaceBook's really having a hard time explaining how they're trying to fight misinformation on their platform. And this is the latest example in this like weeklong PR crisis where FaceBook's trying to explain why they don't remove offensive content while also trying to explain how they take fighting misinformation on the platform seriously.

So Mark Zuckerberg goes on Kara Swisher's podcast and she asks him in particular a question about, how are you allowing Info Wars, a website notorious for spreading conspiracy theories online, how are you allowing that website to have a page on FaceBook with nearly a million followers. And Zuckerberg gets into the thing where he says that he never wants to get into banning free speech. He doesn't want to ban speech outright. He'd rather restrict the distribution of that speech on FaceBook. And he says that the reason he doesn't want to ban speech is because he's not sure about the intent behind the speech. And to do this he brings up the holocaust. And let's listen to that audio.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: There's a set of people who deny that the holocaust happened, right?

KARA SWISHER: Yes, there's a lot.

ZUCKERBERG: I find that deeply offensive. But, at the end of the day, I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think that there are things that different people get wrong, either -- I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong, but I think that they --

SWISHER: In the case of the holocaust deniers, they might be, but, go ahead.

ZUCKERBERG: Some -- it's hard to impugn intent --


ZUCKERBERG: And to understand the intent.


DARCY: So Zuckerberg's saying it's difficult to understand the intent of why someone might post something untrue on FaceBook, even when it comes to holocaust deniers. That statement received a lot of controversy online, a lot of uproar. The Anti-Defamation League released a statement saying that holocaust denying has been a willful tactic used by anti-Semites for some time now.

And there's so much controversy that Zuckerberg actually ended up releasing a statement in which he backtracked sort of on his comments. He said, I personally find holocaust denial deeply offensive and I absolutely did not intend to defend the intent of people who deny that. Our goal with fake news is not to prevent anyone from saying something untrue, but to stop fake news and misinformation spreading across our services. If something is spreading and is rated false by fact checkers it would lose the vast majority of its description and news feed.

[08:50:23] BERMAN: Bottom line, are they going to remove the holocaust denial stuff or not? DARCY: They're saying they're not going to remove content that's

posted that is false. They'd rather restrict it. They'd rather downgrade it in news feeds so people don't see it in news feeds, but that the content is still available if someone wanted to go and search out that content themselves. It's causing a lot of controversy and I think FaceBook's going to need to really nail down their PR game if they're going to try to explain their -- their tactic on fighting miss information to a large audience because this certainly is not -- not working.

BERMAN: I'm not sure whether that answer is going to be satisfying.

Oliver Darcy, great to have you here with us on NEW DAY. Thanks so much.

DARCY: Thank you.

BERMAN: Big turn now to something that will make us feel good instead of that. "The Good Stuff" is next.


[08:54:54] CAMEROTA: OK, time now for "The Good Stuff," and it's a really good one. Listen to this story.

On a flight to Jacksonville, Florida, one passenger was making casual conversation with a fellow passenger and asked about the toughest part of her job as a teacher. Kimberly Bermudez is that teacher and she candidly told him about the financial struggles that many of her students face. The other passenger, and others who overheard that conversation, immediately pitched in, giving Kimberly more than $500 to help her students.

And joining us now is that teacher, Kimberly Bermudez, from Chicago's Carlos Fuentes Elementary. That's an Acero Charter School.

Kimberly, great to see you this morning.

So, tell us what it was that you said out loud that so inspired your fellow passengers who were listening.

KIMBERLY BERMUDEZ, 1ST GRADE TEACHER, FUENTES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Well, sorry, I'm new to all this. I am definitely known as the talker. And I was just talking about my passion. I'm telling them, I love my students. I'm so thankful that my school offers programs, such as free hot breakfast always, free lunch that we're willing to do anything because we're a community and I guess people were listening.

CAMEROTA: And why is it that so many of your students are financially struggling?

BERMUDEZ: Their parents really do their best and work the hardest that they can and will do anything for their child, but we do have a large population that are immigrants. We have students that came after Puerto Rico. We have -- after the natural disaster. We have students that have long time families from Chicago. But it's just people that are working really hard and that just want the best for their child and that's part of the reason they send them to our school.

CAMEROTA: So not only was your seatmate really inspired and impressed by what you do and offered to help, he asked for your e-mail and he said that he -- his company might be able to make some donations, but then something else started happening and there was kind of this chain reaction. What did the man behind you, who tapped you on the shoulder, what did he say and do?

BERMUDEZ: So he tapped me and I thought it was because he was worried about his baby kicking me or something and I had already told him not to worry about it and he said, I apologize for listening, and handed me a wad of cash. And I had no idea how much money was there. But I saw a $100 bill on top. My parents had taught me, don't count money in front of people. That's rude. So I would find out later it was $500. And he started this chain reaction.

The plane landed. The man across the aisle said, I don't have much, but I hope this helps. And then the man in front of me. And I'm just still beyond baffled.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. And the man who gave you $500 said, quote, do something amazing. And so what are you going to do with your sudden windfall of cash?

BERMUDEZ: Well, I really want to get books for both Spanish and English for my class and then I'm also hoping that this sparks something -- some good in people and that maybe my school could possibly get a playground or help with after school funding. But, for now, what I'm going to do is, I want Spanish and English books so parents can be a community and read to their children in their native language.

CAMEROTA: What did your school administrator say when you came back with cold hard cash in your pocket?

BERMUDEZ: I think Ms. Tanner (ph) was a little bit shocked and I kind of told her what happened and we had no idea. But she told me, I'm a talker. If this would happen to anyone, it wasn't -- she wasn't surprised that it was me. We're just so thankful.

CAMEROTA: And so what does this tell you, Kimberly? I mean what does this tell you? We're living, obviously, in a time when there's lots of tension and animosity. And so what does your experience on this plane tell you about people?

BERMUDEZ: There are amazing people and that children are the future. And I think when people hear about children struggling or people that really want to make a better life, it warms their heart. And so I will never look at a stranger again -- and this shows me there are kind people in this world. And even when things seem crazy, we truly do care about each other.

CAMEROTA: Well, it's a beautiful message. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. And we hope that your kids can get that playground. And we're so happy that they're going to be able to get their books. Thanks so much, Kimberly Bermudez, for sharing your story with us.

BERMUDEZ: Thank you for having me.

BERMAN: What a wonderful life-affirming moment.

CAMEROTA: People are good. People are still good.

BERMAN: You keep telling me that.


BERMAN: You keep telling me that and you show me these things to prove it.

CAMEROTA: I give examples. I know.

BERMAN: Show me more. Show me more and it will crack. It will crack.

CAMEROTA: Some day your heart will melt, John Berman.

BERMAN: Oh, that was so wonderful.

Time now for CNN "NEWSROOM" and more wonderfulness with Poppy Harlow.

[09:00:05] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Got to love that.

All right, good morning, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. I'm so glad you're with me this morning.

And it is a busy one. The post-Helsinki clarification campaign at the White House continues, but clarity this morning