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Iran Sanctions Go into Effect; Ohio's 12th District Race; Primary Races Across the Country; Williams Talks about Post-Partum Issues; James works on Documentary; Education Runs on Lies. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 7, 2018 - 06:30   ET



[06:32:06] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So developing overnight, U.S. sanctions against Iran went back into effect and President Trump, he is writing about it this morning. This as Iran's president has slammed the move as psychological warfare aimed to sew division among Iranians.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh live for us with the very latest.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, psychological warfare possibly entered into by Donald Trump. Very early this morning, at 5:31, when he tweeted, quote, the Iran sanctions have been officially cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will not be doing business with the United States. I'm asking for world peace, nothing less.

Well, pretty substantial goals there and global pacification. But the key thing there is suggesting that if you do business under these sanctions with Iran, then you can no longer do business in the United States. Now, that is essentially what this global pressure is about from Donald Trump and it is having a substantial effect on the psychology of Iran's economy, which is suffering from its local currency diminishing. The new sanctions it will be facing as of midnight tonight affect the automotive industry, precious metals, access to U.S. currency reserves, too.

And -- but most importantly here, there's a background of diplomatic chatter as well. Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has come forward and said that he could possibly negotiate with Donald Trump right now. Now, it does appear most statement that he'd like to see sanctions alleviated. He also makes -- I'm paraphrasing here -- a suggestion how you can't talk to somebody who has a knife in your arm or in your back.

It may be that Iran has seen how the North Korea and Russian one-on- one meetings Donald Trump had with their respective leaders went that the pretty more state (ph) of goals have bought a bit of time and agenda setting for the comparative opponents there and maybe Iran sees a window here, too. But whatever we're looking at, really there are hardliners in both countries that think talks are quite unlikely and a steady march now towards November deadline when oil and banking sector sanctions kick in and they will certainly have a much stronger impact on Iran, John.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I'll take it, Nick. Thank you very much for laying all of that out for us. It will be interesting to watch.

Also, we're watching what happens in five states today as voters go to the polls for these primaries. So we have the races that you need to keep an eye on, next.


[06:38:19] CAMEROTA: OK, so voters are heading to the polls in five states today. We have Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington and then Ohio. You have to keep an eye on the state's 12th congressional district there. They're holding a special election.

So here to discuss the primaries and the special election, we have CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly.

BERMAN: He's like been training his whole life for this in many ways.


BERMAN: Well, congressional correspondent and went to Ohio State. He's like perfectly suited for this Ohio 12 special election.

CAMEROTA: This is your moment, Phil Mattingly.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is my moment. This is it. I peek here and it's just all downhill.

BERMAN: Yes, that's right.

MATTINGLY: I either retire or quit. That's it.

CAMEROTA: That's great, but I peaked in high school, so you have -- so you've beat me to that.

But why are we so fascinated with the 12th district in Ohio?

MATTINGLY: Because this shouldn't be a seat that's in play for Democrats. Look, it's a seat that President Trump won by -- it's a district President Trump won by 11 points, Mitt Romney won by 10 points. It's rated by analyst to be a plus seven Republican district. And a Democrat hasn't held this seat in more than 30 years. In any other normal year, in any other normal time, Republicans cruise. I think Pat Tiberi, who held the seat, retired earlier this year, won his election in 2016 by 120 some odd thousands votes. Like, this shouldn't be close.

And I think that's the issue right now. One is the makeup of the district. If you look at kind of the areas where Democrats point to as why they should be in a good place in 2018 and it's well educated, suburban white voters. This is one of the -- it is the most educated district in all of Ohio. So they feel like there's places to play there. They have a good candidate who's not talking about President Trump actually. He's talking purely about issues. And they feel like they can seize on the momentum.

I will say one other thing that I think people may be missing here. When this is actually happening. This is happening in August. This is happening just a couple of week before high school football starts in Ohio, which means families are taking vacations. People aren't paying attention to this. And when that happens in a special election and there's enthusiasm gap towards the Democratic side, upsets can happen.

[06:40:09] BERMAN: It's a ridiculous time to hold an important election.


BERMAN: The first week of August.

What are the signs, Phil, that Republicans are nervous here?

MATTINGLY: You know, we've been talking about this off camera, the silence that you're hearing from Republican operatives right now, the fact that over the course of the last five, six, seven days you've heard people start questioning the candidate. Troy Balderson's not a bad candidate. Troy Balderson is an experienced politician. He's won races on the state level -- or in his district from Zanesville in the past. And he was a candidate the Republicans desperately wanted to win the primary earlier this year. And now they're questioning what exactly he's done and how it's going to work.

I think one of the key elements here, you talk about when this is happening and that it's a special election. This is not a Democrats trying to flip independents or Democrats trying to flip Trump voters. This is people trying to turn out their base. And there are a lot of questions why in a place where suburbs are so important, and suburbs have moved away from the president, that you have President Trump in town, on Saturday, having a big rally there. It's about turning out your base.

While this is a heavily suburban district, there are pockets of heavily rural counties. It's -- there -- that still very much support the president. If those people turn out in a district where it's two to one registration advantage for Republicans, Troy Balderson should be OK. But the reality is, based on what both you and I are hearing, what we're all hearing right now, Republicans are concerned for a reason. They're seeing the numbers. They know the timing of it and they recognize that this race, which shouldn't be close, is a problem right now.

CAMEROTA: OK, tell us what else we should be looking at. So there's Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington that have their primaries.

MATTINGLY: So the interesting -- there's going to be a lot to chew on tonight. In Michigan, obviously, you have Debbie Stabenow, the Democrat, is up for re-election, and she's expected to be kind of safe. But there's a Republican candidate that's running in the Republican Senate primary, John James, who's supported by President Trump. We'll see if President Trump's kind of undefeated streak of boosting candidates into wins --

CAMEROTA: And just stop there for one thing.


CAMEROTA: If he does have that -- the Trump factor is for real and it is effective.

BERMAN: In primaries.

CAMEROTA: In primaries. The candidate that he chooses win.

MATTINGLY: I think the last ten or 11 that he's come out and supported have ended up winning. And what's interesting is when I talk to D.C. Republicans, national Republicans who have met with John James, his background, he's a military veteran, they all say that amongst all the Senate candidates that they're talking to right now, he's one of the most impressive. Still not expected to win Michigan necessarily, but he could turn that into a good race. A race that President Trump won that state.

The other, obviously, you talk about endorsements is Kansas. Kris Kobach running for governor in Kansas. If you look at the last three to four months in headlines, his campaign should be middling in like the 5 percent or 10 percent range right now. President Trump endorsing him. Obviously, a close ally of President Trump. Kind of huge on voter ID laws, voter fraud, which doesn't necessarily exist based on (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: Well, he was the head of the commission --


CAMEROTA: That was then disbanded.


CAMEROTA: And yesterday revealed by one of the members to have been something of a hoax.

MATTINGLY: Right. These are the types of things that in an election you would think would be problematic in a race. But he gets the boost from President Trump. We talk about President Trump's success. This is obviously a plus 20 Republican state. You might see him come out of that primary and then we'll see what happens from there.

BERMAN: Well, this is an issue where the president endorsed someone the national party did not want him to endorse. They did not want to see -- they do not want to see Kris Kobach emerging as the Republican candidate there. They think it will give Democrats an opportunity to perhaps take that seat. MATTINGLY: And not just because of the resume. I think one of the

interesting elements of Kris Kobach, one, if you look at kind of an education funding issue that's kind of given Democrats a boost in that state. But also Sam Brownback, who stepped down as governor to take a position in the Trump administration, barely won his re-elect by four points, in large part because of a tax plan he pushed through that the Republican legislature repealed. Kris Kobach supports that tax plan. That's a tax plan that has like no support in the state right now. And he's pushing to re-implement it. And so I think Democrats feel like they have an opening there. Can they win something? No (ph).

I will tell you, also in Kansas, keep an eye in two close -- or two races, Kansas 2, where a Republican is going to come out. We'll see where they stand there. It's going to be a tough race, a congressional race, and Kansas 3. Whoever comes out to take on Kevin Yoder. Those are two races to keep an eye on as Democrats kind of look at those 23 potential seats to try and flip the House here in November.

BERMAN: Encyclopedia Brown, Phil Mattingly, thanks --

CAMEROTA: You've made us much smarter.

BERMAN: Thanks for being with us this morning.


BERMAN: Great to have you here. Here all week on "EARLY START," by the way, so wake up early to see Phil.

MATTINGLY: Very, very early.

CAMEROTA: Set your alarm for 4:00 a.m. if you're on the --

BERMAN: For 4:00? The show's half over by then if you set your alarm for 4:00. You've got to set it for about 2:00.


BERMAN: I know from experience.

CAMEROTA: Yes, you do.

All right, be sure to tune in tonight to CNN for complete election results starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

BERMAN: All right, so after his war of words with the president, LeBron James has a new project, looking at the role of athletes in the current political climate. Timing is everything. "Bleacher Report" has the details, next.


[06:49:00] BERMAN: Serena Williams opening up about her battle with post-partum emotions, saying she wants other new mothers to know that these feelings are completely normal. Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.


You know, last week Serena suffered the worst loss of her career. And she says, you know, it wasn't because she was hurt or anything, she's just been in a funk because she felt like she wasn't being a good mom. Now, Serena had her first daughter, Alexis Olympia, in September and dealt with a health scare related to blood clots. The 36-year-old posting a message to Instagram detailing how talking her post-partum issues through with her family and friends have really helped her realize her feelings are completely normal.

Now, Serena did pull out of a tournament this week siting personal reasons. And she added in her Instagram post, although I've been with her every day of her life, I'm not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing, whether stay at home or working. Finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes.

All right, LeBron James hasn't played a minute for the Lakers yet, but he's staying busy in Los Angeles. He's partnering with Showtime on a three-part docu series titled "Shut Up and Dribble." It will look at the changing role of athletes in the current political and cultural climate against the backdrop of the NBA. The series set to debut in October. And it gets its name from a Fox News host saying that LeBron and Kevin Durant should just shut up and dribble and not talk politics.

[06:50:23] And, Alisyn, clearly that's not what LeBron is doing. He'll going to continue to use his platform to try to do good in the community.

CAMEROTA: It sure seems like it.

And good for Serena Williams. I mean, you know, it's hard to talk about these taboo subjects. But any time you do, it helps so many people. So, good for her opening up about something that's really personal.

SCHOLES: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: Andy, thank you.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: OK, so our education system runs on lies. Those are the words from a former education secretary, Arne Duncan, and he's going to join us live to explain.


CAMEROTA: Education runs on lies. Those are the first words in a new book by Arne Duncan, the former education secretary under President Obama. So what does he mean by that? Let's find out. We are joined now by Arne Duncan, author of "How Schools Work: An

Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation's Longest Serving Secretaries of Education."

[06:55:07] Arne, great to see you.

ARNE DUNCAN, FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY: Good morning. Thanks so much for having me.

CAMEROTA: Here are the lies, as you lay them out. And you start your book with a bang and here are the lies that you say we all tell ourselves. We value education. We value teachers. We value kids. How are those lies?

DUNCAN: We say we value education. That's the platitude. None of us vote on education. We don't hold politics accountable for raising graduation rates, increasing access to high quality pre-k, making college more accessible, more affordable. And I just want to be clear, I don't blame the politicians. I blame us, as voters, across the political spectrum. Education should be the ultimate bipartisan issue.

We say we value teachers. We don't pay them as professionals. We don't train them as professionals. We don't have meaningful career ladders.

And probably the toughest one, and this is a hard one, is I really don't think we value our children, like other nations do. We don't invest in them early and we don't keep them safe. We've raised a generation of teens on mass shootings, on gun violence, and that's absolutely unacceptable. That doesn't happen in other places.

CAMEROTA: I saw you in Washington, D.C., for the march, the Never Again March after the Parkland school shooting. Columbine was in 1999. How have we not solved this problem yet?

DUNCAN: I think we value our guns more than we do our kids. And the Parkland kids have been extraordinary. They're providing amazing leadership.

We have kids from Chicago joining them. My family and I were at that march in Washington. And what I honestly believe is that young people are going to succeed where we as adults have failed. We have failed to keep them safe. We have failed to allow them to grow up free of fear and trauma. And like many movements, the civil rights movement, the protests against the Vietnam War, this battle is going to be won by young people's leadership.

CAMEROTA: Since you had her job previously, how do you think Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is doing?

DUNCAN: I think they're really struggling. There's no vision. There's no meaningful strategy. I think there are a couple goals we as a nation should unite behind, nation building goals, not Republican or Democrat or left and right. I think we should try and lead the world in access to high quality pre-k and get our babies off to a good start. We were very proud to get high school graduation rate to 84 percent. Their goal should be to get to 90 percent. We should try and lead the world in college completion. You don't hear any of that. You don't hear any of that coming from --

CAMEROTA: I mean you say there's no vision. I mean they talk about school choice. That's one of their goals.

DUNCAN: Yes, that's a small -- that's a small strategy. That's not a goal. Our goal should be, again, early access to early childhood education, high school graduation rates and even higher rates, lead the world in college completion. None of that conversation. And, honestly, I'm not sure President Trump wants to have the best educated work force in the world.

CAMEROTA: Why is that?

DUNCAN: I think it doesn't play to his authoritarian tendencies. You don't want highly educated people challenging you, thinking you. You're trying to call the press the enemy of the people, when you're trying to suppress trust in institutions, having thoughtful people who can think on themselves -- think by themselves, think critically, I'm not sure if that's in his self-interest.

CAMEROTA: Since you've opened the door to President Trump, let's talk about this spat that he's having with LeBron James as it relates to LeBron James, who's opened this school in Akron, Ohio, for at-risk kids.

It's a laudable goal. It provides food. It provides transportation. It provides bikes and helmets. Of course nothing is free. There will be a cost to taxpayers. This is a public school. I think that they estimate, in order to sustain this school, it will be something like $8 million to the taxpayers of Ohio. What do you think of that model?

DUNCAN: Well, first of all, LeBron James is maybe the best basketball planet -- basketball player on the planet. He's a better person than he is a basketball player. And I love people stepping up. I love public/private partnerships, having a great school academically, having the bikes, having the wrap around services, helping feed kids, having college scholarships on the back end, we should be encouraging everyone to do this. The fact that this is somehow threatening to President Trump, I think, speaks volumes.

CAMEROTA: But -- so you like the idea of somebody from the outside saying that the public school system is broken and that one person is going to make the difference here?

DUNCAN: No, it's not even saying the public system is broken. It's trying to create another great option. I was very lucky, going back 20 years ago, to help start a public/private school, Ariel Community Academy, on the south side of Chicago, where my family had always worked, where there weren't great public school options. And that school, 20 years later, is one of the highest performing elementary schools in the nation. Seeing LeBron, seeing other people step up and do similar things to what we did at Ariel Community Academy, we can't do enough of that. We should be all in. All of us should be all in. We have to educate our way to a better economy.

CAMEROTA: Arne Duncan, you have a new book out. I should have brought it over, but it's sitting over there on the table. I'm sure we have a graphic, there we go, "How Schools Work" by Arne Duncan. Pick it up. It has lots of provocative thoughts in there.

And now I've magically been handed it.

Thanks so much for being here. Great to see you.

DUNCAN: Thanks so much for having me. Appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For our CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewer, NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it was the showdown we're been waiting for. He strode (ph) into the courtroom. Manafort immediately started staring at him.

[07:00:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The admission of the stealing gives the defense a lot of ammunition. He's really up there fighting for his life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rick Gates recited a long list of alleged crimes, saying that he was doing this at Manafort's direction.