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Former White House Aide Marc Short On President Trump's Style; Blueprints For 3-D Printer Plastic Guns Go Public Tomorrow; Former FEMA Human Resources Chief Accused Of Trading Sex For Jobs; Police: New Video Shows Houston Doctor's Alleged Killer. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 31, 2018 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] MARC SHORT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: -- came to Washington, D.C. to disrupt the way Washington works. I think that was one of the driving messages for many people because they were so frustrated with the -- with the way that Washington was just tangled up.

So yes, he's going to speak freely and candid to the American people.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Who do you think has his ear? Who do you think, really, he listens to?

SHORT: I think -- I think all those people I just said on national security. I think he --

CAMEROTA: How about on domestic?

SHORT: I think on domestic policy it probably will depend.

If it's a spending issue, he listens to Mick Mulvaney, OMB. If it's a trade issue, then Ambassador Lighthizer, Peter Navarro are in his ear on trade issues. On taxes, Sec. Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow.

So, it depends on the issue, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: How about John Kelly?

SHORT: John Kelly is chief of staff -- absolutely. I think that he has a trusted relationship with Gen. Kelly and Gen. Kelly has been a great influence in the White House, and particularly on immigration issues and Homeland Security issues. And, John Kelly is a trusted ally.

CAMEROTA: Because the reporting often suggests that John Kelly is not long for that position.

SHORT: Yes, I discount a lot of that. There's obviously a lot of reporting, I think more so in this White House, about palace intrigue -- who's up, who's down.

General Kelly, in my mind, is an American hero. It's hard to find any family that's sacrificed more than John Kelly. He has a good relationship with the president and --

CAMEROTA: How long do you think he'll be in his job?

SHORT: It's impossible for me to predict that, Alisyn. These jobs have a --

CAMEROTA: Beyond Labor Day?

SHORT: These jobs have a lot of turnaround. I don't think John Kelly is going anywhere.

CAMEROTA: Great to get all this information, Marc Short.

SHORT: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much for giving us an insider's take --

SHORT: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: -- on the White House and welcome to the CNN family.

SHORT: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: David --


Tomorrow, you will be able to download plans to use a 3-D printer to make your own untraceable gun. Coming up next, a CNN reality check on why it's happening.


[07:35:58] JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Tomorrow morning, the sun will be shining, the birds will be singing, and anyone will be able to legally download instructions to 3-D print their own fully-functional plastic gun, including the AR-15, a weapon of war.

What could possibly go wrong?

This invitation to chaos brought to you by the Trump administration. You heard that right.

In a nation with five percent of the world's population but more than a third of its mass shootings, the Trump administration is allowing anyone to print a gun without the hassle of background checks, registration or any of the usual preppings of law enforcement.

How did this happen? Glad you asked.

In 2013, self-described crypto-anarchist Cody Wilson came up with a 3- D printed gun he calls the Liberator. He posted the plans online and estimates that more than 100,000 people downloaded it before the Obama State Department made him take it down under regulations called ITAR.

Wilson then sued the government, alleging the move violated his free speech. It wasn't about the gun, he said, it was about his right to disseminate the plans.

Now, the lawsuit against the Obama administration languished for five years. Cody never even thought he would win.

But suddenly, this past June, the Trump administration settled the case. It even paid Wilson $40,000 in legal fees for his trouble. That's from you, the taxpayer.

And thanks to that, guns like these you can print at home are going back up online August first.

Now, supporters argue this doesn't mean much. People were always allowed to assemble their own guns for personal use and the cost of the 3-D printer is prohibitive anyway.

But make no mistake, the gun lobby is ecstatic. The NRA calls 3-D- printed guns symbolic of quote "freedom and innovation" and it worked overtime to kill an effort to add 3-D-printed guns to the Undetectable Firearms Act.

And don't forget that earlier this year after the Parkland school shooting, support for stricter gun laws hit a record 70 percent in a CNN poll. Even gun rights groups have said that the focus should be on restricting people with mental illness or certain types of criminal records from getting a gun.

This policy shift could erase all those efforts at finding common ground by providing the ultimate DIY loophole and insulting common sense in the process. You can expect more thoughts and prayers in return.

So starting tomorrow, thanks to the Trump administration, plans for a gun that anyone can print and virtually no one can detect will be wildly available and you can't un-ring that bill.

And that's your reality check.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh.

GREGORY: John, very interesting.

Let me ask you this. How are states responding to this because this is obviously an area where they are -- they are resisting as strongly as they can?

AVLON: Look, the states are not taking this news lightly and there are eight states, plus the District of Columbia, filing lawsuits to try to block this from occurring.

The problem is that the legislation has already been -- or the policy has already been changed. So they are -- the United States are behind the eight ball on this one and putting the genie back in the bottle is going to be tough, but they're trying.

CAMEROTA: John -- I mean, you've laid it out really well but I don't get it. I don't get it. I mean, this -- I don't understand who thinks this is a good idea and why this is happening.

AVLON: Who thinks it's a good idea?

CAMEROTA: It's the manufacturer. I get that.


CAMEROTA: But who -- I mean, how --

AVLON: This has not passed the common sense test in any way, shape or form. It is easy to anticipate all the problems that will occur.

Anyone can print it. No background checks, mental illness not a factor, virtually undetectable.

The problems that cascade from this policy shift are mammoth and it's not like he couldn't have seen it coming.

In fact, you remember a movie 25 years ago, "In the Line of Fire" -- a great Clint Eastwood movie. John Malkovich plays a rogue CIA assassin who tries to assassinate the president with a plastic gun he brings into a fundraiser.

So even before we had the technological capacity to bring this about, Hollywood was warning that this could be a real problem.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. John Avlon, thank you very much for that reality check.

And coming up, the father of a Parkland victim is going to react to this news about the 3-D guns being available, next.


[07:43:40] CAMEROTA: All right, listen up. This is a story you need to hear.

Beginning tomorrow, blueprints to make those 3-D guns that John Avlon just talked about will be available to anyone online. The plastic guns will be untraceable and in some cases, they will be able to avoid metal detectors.

Now, several state attorneys general are suing the Trump administration to block the blueprints from actually becoming public.

Joining us now is Fred Guttenberg. His 14-year-old daughter Jamie was killed in the Parkland school massacre back in February. Fred, nice to see you again.

Can --


CAMEROTA: Good morning.

Can you explain how this makes any sense?

GUTTENBERG: It doesn't. It's horrible on a lot of levels.

One week ago, I actually was in D.C. with some folks from the Newtown Action Alliance and nobody in D.C., on a legislative level, even knew about this.

CAMEROTA: How is that possible Fred? I just want to stop you right there because -- so, had meetings --


CAMEROTA: -- with lawmakers and you were breaking the news to them? They didn't know that this was about to happen tomorrow?

GUTTENBERG: Unfortunately, it appears this administration did a reversal of a policy that they did not need to do and they didn't communicate it.

[07:45:00] Now, those of us in the gun violence prevention movement had been putting out information about it over the past five or six weeks. But let's face it, media -- traditional media wasn't covering it and the legislators didn't know.

One party, last week while I was there, got sufficiently horrified; the other party did not.

CAMEROTA: OK. So I -- and I -- I mean, I've read that you've met -- you met with Democrats and they were stunned by your news.


Here is what this country needs to understand. This is the most important story in this country right now.

What this administration did -- and they did not need to do it -- is they actively rolled back the public safety of citizens in the greatest way ever in my lifetime.

The president's job is to defend the homeland from domestic and foreign threats

And in doing this -- now, when you'll fly on an airplane you're at risk. Somebody next to you could have a gun.

When you go into a government building to visit a legislator -- as I explained to the legislators, starting this week, somebody sitting across from them may have a gun.

If you go to a sporting event, somebody next to you may have a gun.

All of the talk of hardening schools that came out of what happened in Parkland and previously, it's not going to matter anymore. Someone can now walk in with a gun.

There was no need to do this and the problem is this was a purposeful decision by this administration.

CAMEROTA: Why? Why? What's the --

GUTTENBERG: A lot of people ask me why --

CAMEROTA: Yes. When you were on Capitol Hill, why -- what did you learn about why they would do this?

GUTTENBERG: Look on the Web site. The Web site of the company they did this agreement with specifically says their goal is not to defend the Second Amendment, it's to expand it.

If you look at it that way, this puts an end to the talk of what gun safety looks like because now if you're underage and you want a gun, you'll get it. If you can't pass a background check and you want a gun, you'll get it. If you're potentially at risk of a red-flag law and you want a gun, you'll get it.

What is shocking to me -- well, not shocking. The NRA and the gun manufacturers over the past month have been silent on this and I've tried to get them to state their opinion.


GUTTENBERG: And I think part of the --

CAMEROTA: Yes, I know. I just want to ask you about that because that seems like a good route to go down. That the gun manufacturers -- traditional gun manufacturers would not like this eating into their market. And so it seems as though you would be able to get their attention.

GUTTENBERG: The problem is there's nothing preventing them from becoming the largest manufacturers of these undetectable weapons.


So, Fred, what is the answer? I mean, you have been -- obviously, since the tragedy that happened in Parkland, you have been steeped in gun laws and what to do for cutting down gun violence.

What is the answer to stopping this from happening?

GUTTENBERG: Well, we, over the past week, have been reaching out to the states across this country.

The answer is right now, we need an injunction and we need it today. We must put a stop to this agreement. That's the first step. Then, it gives the legislators time to react and put a permanent stop.

But here's the problem. This company has already broken the terms of this agreement. They were supposed to wait until tonight at midnight.

They've been downloading these plans now since Friday, OK? So over 1,000 sets of blueprints have already been downloaded which means they've broken the terms of this agreement. And as far as I'm concerned, federal officials should be showing up to that building right now and shutting them down.

CAMEROTA: Are lawmakers doing anything, Fred, after your meeting with them and alerting them to this?

GUTTENBERG: Well, the House is out of session and the Senate is taking action. I mean, listen, they're getting the TSA involved.

But they're limited because of the time. There is no time right now to do anything between now and midnight. They are preparing to do something and they are preparing to pass legislation but we need a court to impose an injunction. This must be stopped.

And I will tell you if anybody had any doubt about where people stand on their public safety and how to vote this November, look at this issue. This should be the defining issue of this election.

This administration put us at risk and they didn't need to do so, and we must put a stop to this.

My daughter died. It was preventable. It didn't need to happen.

Why would we add to that risk for others and make it harder to put in place common-sense steps that already exist? Metal detectors are now going to be meaningless, OK?

It didn't need to be this way and we need to put a stop to this. So people need to show up and vote.

Hopefully, a judge will rule correctly today on an injunction.

And yes, our legislators -- I will tell you what our legislators need to go doing forward.

[07:50:01] CAMEROTA: Yes?

GUTTENBERG: They need to stop paying attention to the hourly Trump tweets and they need to pay attention to the real news that's affecting us Americans.

This did not need to get missed and it did --


GUTTENBERG: -- and I am really annoyed about it.


GUTTENBERG: But that includes the media as well. We all need to pay attention to these things. There's real things happening --


GUTTENBERG: -- that affect us. This is the most important story in this country right now. CAMEROTA: Fred, understood, and we really appreciate you coming on NEW DAY and sounding the alarm about this. We'll be following it closely all day.

Thank you very much for being here.

GUTTENBERG: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: David --

GUTTENBERG: Have a good day.

CAMEROTA: You, as well -- David.

GREGORY: Alisyn, shocking allegations facing the former head of human resources for FEMA. The internal investigation accusing him of trading sex for jobs.


GREGORY: The former head of human resources at FEMA is accused of trading sex for jobs. A summary of the agency's preliminary investigation finds Corey Coleman engaged in sexual relationships with female subordinates and demoted them if they rejected his advances.

CNN's Rene Marsh is live in Washington now with more on this -- Rene.


You know, these are very disturbing details and they are laid out in that executive summary of FEMA's international investigation which CNN reviewed.

[07:55:03] We're talking about a 6-month investigation. They interviewed 73 witnesses and had 98 statements.

And they found that Corey Coleman had sexual relationships with several female subordinates. It's unclear how many women Coleman slept with in exchange for jobs at FEMA but it could be several -- multiple -- the agency says.

The alleged behavior spanned several years. It's alleged he would hire women who he wanted to have sex with, not necessarily people who were qualified.

In one case, he allegedly used his authority as the head of H.R. to reassign a female employee so that she can work directly with him. He brought her on work travel and initiated a sexual relationship with her. After she refused further advances she told investigators that she was denied promotion.

Then another female subordinate was ordered to travel with him for work even though she had no official duties. He then allegedly engaged in sex with her there as well. He also let her telework from his home, and that's all according to FEMA. Now, witnesses accuse Coleman of intimidating the staff and creating just a toxic work environment. FEMA says that once their investigators approached Coleman for an interview, that is when he resigned.

Now, all of these details coming to light and FEMA's administrator calling the allegations just disturbing. He says that this sort of harassment will not be tolerated at the agency.

And as a result, he's actually ordered an independent party to analyze all other open complaints, counseling services for employees, and mandatory sexual harassment -- David.

GREGORY: Rene Marsh in Washington for us this morning. Thank you so much for all of that information.

Meantime, Houston police say this surveillance video captures the man they believe killed a prominent cardiologist shot three times while riding a bike in broad daylight. The killer is still on the loose.

CNN's Ed Lavandera joins us now with more on this murder mystery -- Ed.


Well, police are hoping that people looking at this video will help them begin to connect the dots and provide any kind of leads into this mystery of a prominent and beloved cardiologist in the Houston area.

This is Dr. Mark Hausknecht, who treated George -- President George H.W. Bush back in the nineties -- a prominent doctor there in the Houston area. He was shot and killed -- shot three times while biking to a hospital in Houston back on July 20th.

Now, the video that was just released comes from a residential neighborhood. Police say they believe that the gunman specifically targeted the doctor and they're hoping people looking at this video will be able to provide some sort of clues and leads as to who this suspect might be.

As you can see there, the suspect is wearing a bluish-grayish polo shirt, light-colored hat, and shorts, as well as an olive green backpack that police described as being fully packed.

And very chilling -- this attack occurred just outside or just near a construction zone area. And just to kind of put a point on all of this David, what really leads to the mystery on how just brazen this attack was, this area of Houston around this medical facility highly trafficked, very congested, very busy. All of this occurring in broad daylight, David.


Ed, thanks so much for all the latest. Hopefully, investigators will make progress here very quickly. Thanks, again.

We're following a lot of news at this hour. Let's get to it.


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I don't even know if that's a crime -- colluding about Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Collusion's not a crime? Federal elections violations is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something major would always go before Trump -- always.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a problem for Don, Jr. because he has testified that he did not tell his father about the meeting.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm ready to meet anytime they want to. I think it's an appropriate thing to do.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: He slams the Obama-Iran deal but he's adopting the Barack Obama position that he's willing to sit down with some of these folks without preconditions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's yet another example of chaotic foreign policy.

TRUMP: Twenty-five billion for a big, beautiful wall. It doesn't make any sense. I would be -- certainly would consider a shutdown if we don't get border security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Republicans won't allow it to happen because it will hurt them at the ballot box.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 31st, 8:00 in the east.

John is off. David Gregory joins me. Did anyone tell you this is a 3-hour show?

GREGORY: Yes, I know.

CAMEROTA: I know you're surprised.

GREGORY: I mean, this is a shocking revelation to me. I'm just -- I'm not John Berman. James Earl Jones said that and I realized no, that's not me. He gets some deserved time off.

CAMEROTA: But it's flying.


CAMEROTA: This morning is flying because there's so much news to deal with. For instance, special counsel Robert Mueller faces his first test in a federal courtroom in Virginia this morning. That's when President Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, will go on trial for tax evasion and bank fraud charges.