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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Supreme Court Overturns Texas Abortion Law; Brexit Fallout; Clinton, Warren Hit the Trail in Ohio; Trump Dials Back Rhetoric on Immigration. Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired June 27, 2016 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We have breaking news in our money lead today. We are just seconds away from the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. And U.S. stocks are taking another haircut today.

You see the Big Board right there. Those red numbers mean that your 401(k) are, shall we say, bleeding. All this financial freaking out fueled, of course, by the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union.

CNN money correspondent Alison Kosik is on the stock exchange floor.

Alison, Brexit, Britain exiting the E.U., it's already had a tough impact on markets worldwide, and now ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgrading the credit rating of the united Kingdom. Is this going to get even worse?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It very well could, because it certainly does not spell good news for the United Kingdom, because not only did Standard & Poor's lower the credit rating for the United Kingdom two notches to AA, which is negative.

It also put a negative outlook on the U.K., which means more downgrades could be possible.

[16:00:03]

So, what agencies essentially do is, they analyze, let's say, countries to see how able they are to repay loans. So, at this point, the ratings agency sees the United Kingdom as a risk, which means if the U.K. wants to borrow money, it is going to be more difficult and it is going to be more expensive.

And that's not good news, especially if the U.K. winds up finding itself in some sort of economic crisis where it needs to borrow money. This is in direct response to the vote. It was interesting to hear S&P saying this was a seminal event that caused it to downgrade the credit rating for the U.K.

So, you said it. Today was yet another freak-out because of the Brexit, with today's losses piling on to Friday's losses. We just heard the closing bell, which means in the past two sessions, the Dow has lost more than 800 points. A few more numbers for you to chew on, between today and Friday, $2 trillion of global wealth has evaporated. How about this number, if you invest? Openfolio says the average investor has lost 5 percent of their portfolio. And that's kind of easy to see in these two charts, the S&P 500, which your 401(k) most likely closely tracks.

The S&P 500 has erased all its gains for the year. Same with the Dow, erasing all of its gains for the year. We will see how tomorrow goes, but I'm hearing that we could see another couple days of this kind of sell-off -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Alison Kosik, thanks. You see on your screen the Dow down 260 points today.

That's on top of the more than 600 points on Friday. All of this uncertainty on Wall Street, of course, pales in comparison to the uncertainty on Downing Street right now. Every hour frankly, the U.K. looks less like a fully functioning government with resignation letters from lawmakers in the U.K. piling up and now some of the masterminds behind Brexit are acknowledging that some of the biggest promises made by the leave campaign are not frankly achievable.

CNN senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward is live with me here in Washington.

And, Clarissa, explain exactly what David Cameron, the British prime minister, did today, because people are saying he left the nation in a state of paralysis. What exactly did he do?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Prime Minister David Cameron is in an impossible situation. He staked his credibility on the fact that staying in the E.U. was essential. So now what he is saying is, I'm not going to be the person who is going to pull the trigger and start the process by which we would start to leave the E.U.

But, of course, that means three more months with no strong leadership, with no sense of the future, and, of course, as we know, the markets and indeed the populace of the United Kingdom, the uncertainty never plays well.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WARD (voice-over): Panic is sweeping the world's financial markets and the streets of London over fears that Great Britain's vote to leave the European Union will trigger other nations to do the same.

That could set off a wave of turmoil that some worry would be the beginning of the Group of 28 nations falling apart. Scotland is already threatening to break away from the U.K. over the Brexit vote because they want to stay in the E.U. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Brussels today to discuss damage control.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I think it is absolutely essential that we stay focused on how, in this transitional period, nobody loses their head. Nobody goes off half-cocked. People don't start ginning up scatter-brained or revengeful premises.

WARD: It is still unclear what a Brexit will look like. British politicians who campaigned for leaving the E.U. are already walking back a number of promises, most prominently a pledge the leave campaign plastered on a bright red bus, that exiting the E.U. would save Britain 350 million pounds a week, money that could be poured into the country's National Health Service.

But in an interview ITV's "Good Morning Britain," Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. anti-immigration UKIP party and one of the faces of the leave campaign, conceded that probably wouldn't happen.

QUESTION: The 350 million pounds a week we sent to the E.U. which we will no longer send to the E.U., can you guarantee that is going to go to the NHS?

NIGEL FARAGE, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: No, I can't. And I would have never made that claim.

WARD: The leave movement also promised that a Brexit would bring immigration numbers down. But on BBC's "Newsnight," one leave campaigner appeared to measure expectations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Completely at odds with what the public think they have voted for.

(CROSSTALK)

DANIEL HANNAN, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: I do not imagine that if we leave the E.U., that means zero immigration from the E.U. It means we will have some control over who comes in and what numbers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WARD: Well, what is becoming more and more clear here is that leave campaign never really had a plan for the day after.

And now what we're seeing, they are scrambling to come up with a plan that is somehow a little pragmatic, a little practical, trying to measure the economic realities and necessities with all the populist promises they made.

[16:05:05]

Essentially, now they are just, Jake, stalling for time, basically.

TAPPER: It seems like there's a real lack of leaders in that country on every side.

Let me bring in now Ed Luce. He is a columnist and, of course, a reporter, chief U.S. columnist and commentator for Britain's "Financial Times."

Ed, let me ask you, there is this talk now that maybe Brexit won't happen, that maybe there will be either another referendum or possibly because of what David Cameron is doing or not doing, as the case may be. Is that realistic? Might it not happen? EDWARD LUCE, "FINANCIAL TIMES": It is not completely inconceivable.

This is "Alice in Wonderland" territory in terms of British politics. It's utterly predictable.

There is a palpable sense of Bregrexit. A lot of voters...

TAPPER: Bregrexit, what is it?

LUCE: Bregrexit.

TAPPER: Bregrexit.

LUCE: A lot of voters thought they were just issuing a protest vote.

TAPPER: Yes.

LUCE: They thought the same way as the financial markets, that the result was a forgone conclusion, it would be remain, and woke up with buyer's remorse on Friday morning.

The more interesting and less common version of remorse is seller's remorse. Boris Johnson appears to be rowing back from some of the more outlandish claims he made in the campaign and trying to sound emollient and pro-European.

So, he is saying we can be part of the single market, but without the free movement of people, which is impossible. But he is trying to be, as he once said in a different context, pro-cake and pro-eating it.

(LAUGHTER)

LUCE: And that's his stance.

TAPPER: Clarissa, so British officials say there are 80,000 pages of E.U. agreements that the U.K. is now going to have to renegotiate. Does anyone even have any idea what the process of renegotiating 80,000 pages looks like?

WARD: No. And that is what is so spectacular about this whole thing.

You realize, as I just said before, there was no plan for the day after. Even though polls, right up until the last minute, were saying it was neck and neck, everybody, whether you voted to leave, whether you voted to remain, everybody woke up in Britain on Friday and said, oh, my goodness, what on earth do we do now?

And it's incredibly complicated. It all comes down to that central tension which you just said. Britain cannot remain economically and globally relevant if it loses access to the single market. But the whole promise was, we are going to stem the tide of immigration, and the two are fundamentally at odds.

TAPPER: Well, let's talk about some of the forces at work in the U.K. that caused the Brexit vote, because many of them are also very visible and very strong in the United States. You first mentioned immigration and the desire to get control of

borders and stop the perceived lack of any control on the immigration process. There is also concern about trade deals, concern about sovereignty, concern about national security and, overall, and I think this is true in the U.K. and in the United States, a feeling that the elites and lawmakers are completely out of touch with what the people in the country want.

Do you think that -- I mean, I know people think that we're making too much of this connection between Brexit and Donald Trump supporters. But do you see these same strains?

LUCE: I would say the Brexit supporters are Britain's equivalent of the Donald Trump supporters, plus the Bernie Sanders, and they combined to get a majority.

A lot of the xenophobic sentiment in there, there's no doubt about it, and the leave -- parts of the leave campaign trended to borderline racism in elements of the way they campaigned.

I think, though, there are also plenty of people who aren't racist and xenophobic who felt that Britain had -- that Europe has a massive democratic deficit, that this is an unaccountable Brussels elite setting the rules, microregulating from the tiniest product regulations, and that this would somehow magically lead to a deregulated, free and democratically sovereign Britain again.

The fact, though, is that if you rejoin the single market, but without being a member of the euro -- of the European Union, you are losing all sovereignty over shaping the decisions that govern the single European market. So, it would actually believe -- and if you believe the exit, the Brexit campaigners, it would actually be a loss of sovereignty if they carried out their wishes.

TAPPER: Interesting.

All right, Ed Luce and Clarissa Ward, thanks, both of you. Really appreciate it.

Today's national lead, the U.S. Supreme Court giving major victory to supporters of abortion rights -- why Justice Kennedy's vote once again was pivotal.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:13:16]

TAPPER: Welcome back.

Topping our national lead today, a stunning and momentous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court today, issuing a ruling on one of the most significant abortion cases of the last quarter-century. The nation's highest court today ruled 5-3 to strike down a Texas law that would regulate the state's abortion clinics, saying that that rules create a -- quote -- "undue burden own women."

The law had required Texas clinics to adhere to the same rules as hospitals and also mandated that doctors obtained admitting privileges at local hospitals. Supporters said the laws were needed to prevent the kind of butchery seen with Dr. Kermit Gosnell, but opponents said the law was merely an attempt to close clinics and cut off access to abortion.

Let's bring in CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown.

Pamela, what might be the impact of this ruling on other states trying to pass restrictions on abortion?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, what is interesting here, there are already similar laws on the books. And so this of course could put those laws in jeopardy and then deter several other states from passing similar laws, but once again today came down to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted with the liberal justices, delivering this victory to abortion rights activists.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN (voice-over): Abortion rights outside the highest court in the land erupted in cheers when the decision came down.

NANCY NORTHUP, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Today, women across America have had their constitutional rights vindicated.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BROWN: The court threw out a Texas law that required abortion clinics to upgrade their facilities to hospital-like standards and for clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Supporters of the law argued it raised the level of care for women. But the opposition said the law would have closed all but a handful of

clinics in Texas.

Justice Stephen Breyer in the majority opinion wrote, that Texas law, quote, "provides few if any health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitute an undue burden on their constitutional right to do so."

[16:15:14] Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a bitter, dissenting opinion, accusing the court of eroding the Constitution, saying, "The court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution."

The key in delivering this victory to abortion rights supporters, the perennial swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy.

ELIZABETH WYDRA, LEGAL ANALYST: It seems like he's swinging to the liberal side more frequently these days than he is to the conservative side. BROWN: Kennedy's decision to side with the liberals on the bench signals the court's majority and their favor could continue regardless of who becomes president and nominates a new justice to fill Antonin Scalia's empty seat.

WYDRA: It wouldn't have mattered if there is a President Trump nominee or if Justice Scalia was still on the bench. In that case, you would you have a 5-4 ruling instead of 5-3 ruling. But either way, you have Justice Kennedy joining the former liberal justices to provide majority supporting abortion rights in this case.

BROWN: Hearing the court's ruling President Obama tweeted, "Every woman has a constitutional right to make her own reproductive choices. I'm pleased to see the Supreme Court reaffirm that fact today."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today women lost.

BROWN: Meanwhile, anti-abortion activists are vowing to never give up.

MADDIE SCHUITE, ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVIST: They were really disappointed. The five justices let us down. We did face a loss but the pro-life generation is coming back stronger than ever.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbot says the court decision erode estate's law making authority. Another interesting note on Justice Kennedy's role in today's decision, he was one of the authors of the joint opinion in Planned Parenthood versus Casey in the 1992 case that reaffirmed Roe versus Wade. And, Jake, he has written an opinion in virtually every major abortion case since he's been on the bench in 1988.

He was a senior justice and a majority, but he handed the opinion over to Justice Breyer to write, which is interesting that he didn't have to explain himself why he was joining the majority for court watchers.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Interesting. Thank you so much, Pamela Brown.

Today, the justices also threw out a federal corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, in a unanimous vote. The justices said jury instructions were way too broad in defining official acts. While Governor McDonnell received lavish gifts such as shopping trips and a Rolex watch from Virginia businessmen, the prosecutors argued that in return McDonnell set up meetings and hosted events in violation of federal law. But McDonnell's attorney argued that the governor never influenced any decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts did call the case distasteful, but said McDonnell might have been convicted of something that's actually legal. The court left open the possibility of a retrial.

The politics lead now testing the waters. Hillary Clinton taking the stage with one of her newest weapons against Donald Trump, Senator Elizabeth Warren. Could this be the first appearances from this team?

And change of pace and policy for Trump, the adjustments to his campaign as this race shifts into high gear. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:22:45] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

Let's turn to our politics lead today.

Hillary Clinton teaming up with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and taking aim at Donald Trump fuelling further speculation of a possible all female Democratic ticket. The pair blasting the real estate mogul for his comments that the Brexit vote might send the pound down and boost attendance and the bottom line at his Scottish golf courses.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins me now live from Cincinnati where the Clinton/Warren rally took place.

Jeff, Warren's old Senate opponent, Scott Brown, whom she beat in that race, today he called Warren a hypocrite saying that he had dinged Clinton in her book for, quote, "selling out to credit card companies. I'm not sure how she can justify supporting the queen of Wall Street," unquote.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Jake, perhaps not surprisingly, there is little talk about disagreements between Warren and Clinton, particularly how close she is to Wall Street as Warren has been critical of in the past. Today was a day about unifying themselves against Donald Trump and above all, it was a test of chemistry here in Cincinnati.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY (voice-over): Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren at long last on the same stage and same tied. The endorsement was more than a year and coming, so they lingered today for nearly two minutes.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Whoa.

ZELENY: Soaking up the adoration from Democrats in Cincinnati.

WARREN: Thank you.

I'm here today because I'm with her. Yes, her.

(CHEERS)

ZELENY: And then she got down to business.

WARREN: She knows what it takes beat a thin-skinned bully who is driven by greed and hate.

ZELENY: For weeks, Warren has been needling Trump, which Clinton has enjoyed from afar. She beamed today at close range.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I must say I do just love to see how she gets under Donald Trump's thin skin.

ZELENY: And Trump just may have been watching, sending this tweet just before they took stage. "Crooked Hillary is wheeling out one of the least productive senators in the U.S. Senate, goofy Elizabeth Warren."

Warren came armed with a response.

WARREN: Donald Trump says he'll make America great again.

[16:25:02] It's right there. No. It's stamped in the front of his goofy hat. Want it see goofy? Look at him in that hat.

ZELENY: The Warren/Clinton show part pep rally, part audition, made clear the hatchet is buried between the two Democrats, at least publicly.

CLINTON: You just saw why she is considered so terrific, so formidable, because she tells it like it is.

ZELENY: On stage today, Warren said Clinton won't back down.

WARREN: She gets up and keeps right on fighting, for the people who need her most.

ZELENY: But she suggested in interviews and her 2004 book that Clinton caved on a bankruptcy bill in the Senate, writing, "It seems that Hillary Clinton could not afford such a principled position."

WARREN: She has taken money from the groups. And more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.

ZELENY: Those concerns went unspoken today with one hug after another. But if Clinton would tap Warren as her running mate, they would surely return. For now, they share a common objective -- stopping Trump.

CLINTON: Donald Trump proves everyday he is not in it for the American people. He is in it only for himself. And Elizabeth reminds us of that every chance she gets.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: Now, of course, Elizabeth Warren not the only person on this short list of potential running mates. Tim Kaine, the senator from Virginia, on there as well, as are others.

And, Jake, late today in Chicago, just a short time ago, Hillary Clinton addressed one of the bigger concerns about her candidacy, whether voters can actually trust her.

Take a listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: And it certainly is true, I've made mistakes. I don't know anyone who hasn't. So I understand people having questions. Now maybe we can persuade people to change their minds by marshaling facts and making arguments to rebut negative attacks. But that doesn't work for everyone. You can't just talk someone into trusting you. You've got to earn it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: Now Jake, this is one of the fully ways she has talked about this, the deepest way she talked about this. She is trying to get ahead of a couple of things. One, she still has that that FBI interview coming up as well as the Benghazi report that will come out at some point this summer -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thanks so much.

Turning now to Republicans. After a few rough weeks, Donald Trump finds himself trailing Hillary Clinton in a number of polls after returning from Scotland where he opened his new golf club and resort. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is once again looking to go on the offensive against the Democrat he will likely be facing this fall.

CNN correspondent Sunlen Serfaty joins me now here in studio.

Sunlen, it seems as though Elizabeth Warren may have got under Mr. Trump's skin a bit today, at least based on his constant -- you know, his tweets, his press releases, et cetera.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. She absolutely did. And she's been very successful in the past at provoking him and she certainly did bait him in again today. But this back and forth that emerged between them today does come at a very particular time for Donald Trump when he is trying to hit the reset button once again.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SERFATY (voice-over): Donald Trump taking steps to reposition himself for the general election, shifting his stance on a central piece of his campaign.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shut down of Muslims entering the United States.

SERFATY: Trump is now softening his position, no longer supporting a ban on all Muslims coming to the U.S. just those from terror states, as long as they are vetted strongly.

REPORTER: You said countries linked to Islamic terrorism would be blocked in terms of immigration.

TRUMP: Countries with great terrorism.

REPORTER: So would a Muslim coming from Scotland or Great Britain, have you tweaked your policy on that? So --

TRUMP: Wouldn't bother me.

SERFATY: Trump is also tweaking his campaign trail message, dialing down the frequency and fervor of his tough talk on immigration.

TRUMP: I'm putting the people on notice that a coming year from Syria, if I win, they are going back.

SERFATY: No longer featuring his call to deport undocumented immigrants in his stump speech.

TRUMP: We want people coming into our country but they have to come in legally.

SERFATY: But one area where Trump is not dialing things back, his criticism of political opponents. The presumptive GOP nominee today blasting Elizabeth Warren after the progressive fire brand attacked him during an appearance with Hillary Clinton.

WARREN: That's who Donald Trump is, the guy who wants it all for himself. And watch out, because he will crush you into the dirt to get whatever he wants.

SERFATY: Trump responding that Warren is a racist. Once again referring to Warren by his favorite nickname for the Massachusetts senator, Pocahontas, telling NBC News, quote, "She used the fact that she was Native American to advance her career. Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud."

Trump's attempt at making some recalibration coming just one week after the firing of his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.