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CNN NEWSROOM

Tensions Over Wiretap Claims; WikiLeaks Claims CIA Hacks; World Celebrates International Women's Day. Aired 9:30-10a

Aired March 8, 2017 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): I've now gotten to know President Obama. I really like him. We have - I think, I can say at least for myself, I can't speak for him, but we have a really good chemistry together. I take his recommendations very seriously. And there are some people that I will be appointing and in one case have appointed where he thought very highly of that person.

It's a very strange phenomena. We get along. I don't know if he'll admit this, but he likes me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you know he likes you?

TRUMP: I like him because I can feel it (ph).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: He likes me. That is what Donald Trump, the president, said about the former president.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And I like him.

BERMAN: Yes. The question is, does that hold anymore?

Here to discuss, Dan Pfeiffer, CNN political commentator, former senior advisor to President Obama, and Jeffrey Lord, CNN political commentator, former Reagan White House political director.

Dan Pfeiffer, first to you. You are an Obama world insider. So, first and foremost, I want to know if you have any dirt on this. Is President Obama, the former president, really as livid as "The Washington Post" says about this? And, secondly, do you expect him ever to say something out loud about it?

DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I have not talked to the president since Donald Trump's tweets on Saturday morning, so I don't know his exact reaction to it. It would not - you know, any human being would probably be somewhat upset if, you know, the leader of the free world decided to misread a Breitbart article and accuse you of engaging in a felony. So that wouldn't - it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't think that was awesome. But I have not talked to him, so I don't know - I don't know whether that "Wall Street Journal" story is accurate or not. BERMAN: Do you think he'll speak out about it? Do you expect him to

say something, Dan?

PFEIFFER: I don't - no, I would not expect him to speak about it in the near future, but, you know, we'll see where this goes.

HARLOW: I can't believe you didn't talk to the president before you came on the show. Please - please come better prepared next time.

Let me go to someone always prepared with a Reaganism. Jeffrey Lord, to you. Look, presidential -

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I was tweeting with President Reagan right before the show.

HARLOW: That's so -

BERMAN: Nonstop, apparently.

HARLOW: That's great. Thank you for coming prepared.

Look, in all seriously, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley in this "Wall Street Journal" report calls this unprecedented. And he says, big picture, here's the issue. He says it creates a feeling of instability in the United States. So big picture across the board. Jeffrey, is he right? Does he have a point? And also to you, what would Reagan do?

LORD: Well, first of all, I would have to say, I disagree with my friend Doug Brinkley. Other presidents have not gotten along, Truman and Eisenhower, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

HARLOW: Different, right? They haven't - they haven't - they haven't said without any evidence that the other one tapped their phones or the like.

BERMAN: It's a felony.

LORD: Well, they - they didn't -

HARLOW: It's a felony.

BERMAN: This is a felony.

LORD: For whatever the reason, they didn't get along. That's - I mean that's the nut of it right there. So this is not unprecedented here.

So what would President Reagan do? President Regan was a pretty amiable guy. I man it took a while to get his Irish up, as he would call it. But when he did, he would be - he'd be pretty upset. But he got along fairly well with President Carter, his immediate predecessor, even going to far as to give a speech at the opening of the Carter Library. So I think President Reagan is a little different.

But President Trump has reason here. Story after story after story has been pointed out in "The Washington Post" here has been coming out trying to link Donald Trump, President Trump, with the Russians. And, I mean, he is - he's had - he's had it with the whole thing. So I don't blame him for being mad.

BERMAN: Well, that's different, though, than President Obama ordering a wiretap. The paper is reporting, you know, that there may be -

LORD: Well, but - but clearly - clearly -

BERMAN: Hang on, Jeffrey, that there may be links - there may be links -

LORD: Wait, wait, John -

BERMAN: No, because I'm going to get to Dan with - I know where you're going with this, so let me do it for you.

LORD: OK.

BERMAN: You know, the president's saying it is one thing. But, Dan, there are other people who say that there are Obama loyalists -

HARLOW: Yes.

BERMAN: Within the government - Jeffrey, you can nod if I'm headed down the right path here - Obama loyalists within the government who are leaking some of these things, who are out to get President Trump. We know the president feels that way. Chris Ruddy (ph), you know, from Newsmax (ph) has said as much.

HARLOW: Yes.

BERMAN: Is it a fair interpretation that there are people still within the government, whether it be the deep state, if you like that term or not, who are trying to get this information out about the current president?

PFEIFFER: Look, there are - there are no question there are - there are leaks. Every president has dealt with leaks. Trump - there are leaks coming from, you know, quote/unquote intelligence officials, you know, people in the government. Many of those people who worked there before President Obama ever got there. These are career intelligence professionals, if I understand some of the reporting. But Trump's problem is not the leaks that are coming from the CIA or DNI or FBI. The problem for Trump is the leaks are coming from inside his own house.

In "The Washington Post" over the weekend, they - they quote - or they cite 17 senior White House officials. There are barely 17 senior White House officials. So every member of Trump's team is leaking unfavorably about him, about why he did this, the fact that he was grumpy on Saturday morning, so he sent this tweet. He was mildly embarrassed about it, but swore he was right, demanded people to find - I mean these are alarming revelations, for instance, coming from his closest aides. That is what he should be more worried about.

[09:35:05] HARLOW: Jeffrey Lord, why expend the political capital right now to fight this one? I mean this is like - Spicer had to field so many questions about this yesterday, of course they're top questions, instead of making your case for Obamacare and winning your first big deal as president?

LORD: Well, I think what they're - I think what the president is concerned about, there is such a thing in the media world, as we all know, as the narrative. And when he's trying to get the narrative on fixing Obamacare or repeal and replace, whatever the subject might be, and the media is constantly putting out stories linking him to Russians with zero evidence, zero evidence, and then you get all these stories from, you know, people in previous administrations, and I think Dan, to some extent, is correct here, that there are career people here. But, you know, I worked in Washington a long time. There is sort of a town mindset, if you will, that's very liberally oriented. And whether - I mean they liked President Obama because they agreed with him. They didn't like President Bush. They don't like President Trump either, particularly so. So that's a problem that Republican presidents have to deal with. I mean they did this kind of thing to President Reagan on occasion.

HARLOW: So just to be clear - just to be clear, your answer to my question is - your answer to my question is, yes, it's worth the political capital right now, is that right?

LORD: Yes. Yes.

HARLOW: OK.

LORD: I mean you've got to stand up and fight. Don't let - don't' sit back and let this, you know, take hold. That's - a previous example, the Bush lie sort of theme that was pushed by the media. And the Bush White House just sat there and didn't do anything about it. It was a big mistake.

BERMAN: All right, guys, Dan Pfeiffer, Jeffrey Lord, always great to have you two with us. Thank you very, very much.

LORD: Thanks, guys.

BERMAN: Another big story this morning. If you read the headlines, you know, and you own an iPhone or like a wide screen TV, you might be a little bit on edge. WikiLeaks just dumped a trove of documents alleging that the CIA hacks smart phones and TVs around the world. This is from WikiLeaks. Now, do you remember how the president once referred to WikiLeaks?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: WikiLeaks. I love WikiLeaks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The question now is, does he still love them quite as much?

HARLOW: Also today, many women around the world marching for International Women's Day. Also, though, many of them taking the day off work, boycotting totally, calling this a day without women. We'll bring you much more on that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:41:45] BERMAN: All right, this morning, serious claims from WikiLeaks. The site alleges that the CIA can hack into people's smart phones, laptops, and TVs around the world.

HARLOW: Former CIA chief Leon Panetta not too happy about it. Listen to what he thinks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: What WikiLeaks is doing and continues to do is to leak the most sensitive information about how our intelligence operations conduct their business. So I would think that if the president is truly concerned about leaks, he would not support WikiLeaks, nor would he support any other kind of intelligence leaks that damage our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: All right, let's go to CNN Money investigative reporter Jose Pagliery. He's following all of these developments.

Of course, you know, the president talked a lot about WikiLeaks during the campaign -

JOSE PAGLIERY, CNN MONEY INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Sure.

HARLOW: Pointing out what they leaked. We haven't heard anything from him in the last 24 hours on this. Just give us a reality check on how big this is because, I mean, yes, the CIA can spy indeed. So why does this one matter? Why is this different?

PAGLIERY: Well, this is potentially huge because the way that WikiLeaks releases information is by claiming that these cyber weapons, these hacking tools, have actually left the CIA. They're no longer in the control of the CIA. They've been leaked. And so the idea here is that potentially the entire CIA's hacking arsenal is now outside of their control and potentially in the hands of cyber criminals who can steal the personal information or bank account numbers or money from people like you and me, or that it's reached the hands of foreign intelligence or authoritarian governments who can crack down on prodemocracy dissidents. And so the potential here is that these spy tools are in the wrong hands.

BERMAN: No one is alleging that the CIA is hacking into your cell phone -

HARLOW: No, or yours.

BERMAN: Or your cell phone, Jose, or into your, you know, into your widescreen TV. This is not like the, you know, the Snowden stuff earlier where there was some domestic spying allegations there. This is foreign intelligence gathering targeting other people, correct?

PAGLIERY: Correct. That is correct because - and WikiLeaks has not gotten into this yet. There are 9,000 documents they released yesterday. We've got to read through them. But so far as we can tell, it's not that the CIA is being accused of spying domestically. And that wouldn't really abide by their job, right? The CIA's job is to spy on foreign nations. And so the idea here, if the CIA is following the law, is that it has taken these hacking maneuvers and using them against foreign operatives.

BERMAN: Again, we have not heard from the president on this latest release from WikiLeaks. It will be interesting to see if he chooses to speak out this time.

HARLOW: At all.

BERMAN: All right, Jose, thanks so much.

Women worldwide, some of them going on strike, skipping work, skipping school, rallying, they say, for equality. Up next, we're going to see superstar designer Diane von Furstenberg. We're going to ask her what she thinks today is about and what she wants to see going forward.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:48:57] BERMAN: All right, today, women around the world, men too, celebrating International Women's Day. The mission is to rally for equality. Marches are happening in Australia, India, some other places as well. There are some demonstrations here at home kicking off in just a few hours. And it's not just marches. Also there are some who are doing something of a strike movement here, calling it a day without a woman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five million of us marched.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And made our voices heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it doesn't end there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In fact, we're just getting started.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I strike for my future children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I strike for the artists.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I strike for every woman who cannot strike.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The day without -

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Well, earlier today, the president expressed his support, tweeting, quote, "women are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy." Joining us is iconic fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. She's not

only a legend in the world of fashion, she is someone who has broken through many a glass ceiling in her own right. And each year her foundation recognizes inspirational women dedicated to leadership and community impact through the DVF Awards. You can vote for those starting today. Among this year's nominees, a pioneer of anti-human trafficking efforts and advocates of victims of family violence and sexual assault.

[09:50:12] Diane von Furstenberg, a woman who dresses me in many wrap dresses and John Berman in many wrap dresses -

BERMAN: All of us.

HARLOW: Thank you - thank you for being here.

I want to get to the awards in a moment, but I just - you know, as someone who was very vocal in the campaign and a supporter of Hillary Clinton, what's your reaction to the president tweeting, supporting women around the world? Do you think he's shown that? And what more do you want to see from him?

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, FASHION DESIGNER: Well, I am not going to get into - he's our president. I think it is - I mean to say that women are vital is, obviously, obvious, since we women give life. I think it is important. I felt like ever since I was a little girl that the women's movement got better or we had more and more rights. And lately I feel like certain things are being questioned. And therefore I think it is very important for all women to remember that they are women, and to fight for their rights, and to show their strength, because I've never met a woman who is not strong. But somehow, sometimes, we forget it.

BERMAN: What do you think is being questioned now? What is missing now that you detect a change?

VON FURSTENBERG: Well, I think there's a certain attitude with women, and so maybe a lack of respect. But I don't want to be a victim. This is not what it's about. I mean, Women's Day, Women's International Day is about celebrating women and celebrating the work that women do. And there are so many incredible women who do so many things for helping other women. And not only do they have the strength to survive difficult times, but then they have the leadership to inspire others.

HARLOW: So let's talk about some of those women. I mean this is the eighth year that you are hosting - your foundation is hosting the DVF Awards and these are a big deal. And I was reading through the names of the women that are being recognized for the extraordinary work that they do. You know, these aren't - these aren't movie stars or famous people. These are the people that do just remarkable work that changes the world for the better. Why is it so important right now to showcase them?

VON FURSTENBERG: It's always important to showcase them. And what I do - I mean the reason I have these awards is to really give exposure to these incredible women who may not be known but who do so much. And I think that it's inspiring - I mean, for me it is so humbling and inspiring to see the work of all these women. So I would welcome all of you to go on dvfaward.com and vote for, you know, one of these four incredible women. You know, one is about violence, domestic violence, and civic rights, and mentorship, and anti-trafficking. Those are issues that are incredibly important. And when you read about it, when you see about it, it can only move you. So please go on dvfaward.com and vote.

BERMAN: I think these women are inspiring to everyone, again, men and women. It's interesting, today is International Women's Day but some people here in the United States are also celebrating it in a different way. They're calling it a day without a woman day. And there are people calling for strikes, whether it be at schools or businesses.

HARLOW: Right.

BERMAN: It's a different way of looking at it, isn't it? What do you think of that way of looking at things?

VON FURSTENBERG: I think it's getting attention, right, trying to - it's getting attention on how important women are and how much we must respect women. So everybody does it in their own way. Even the Statue of Liberty went dark. She wanted attention to.

HARLOW: Yes, it's a good point.

Before you go, let me get your take on this. Some of your fellow designers have said they have - they're not willing to dress the first lady, one of the most recognizable women now in the world. You took a different stance. You said of course I would dress her. You respect the office. A first lady should be respected. What would you like to see from Melania Trump in the fight for women's equality?

VON FURSTENBERG: Oh, I don't know. That's not for me to say. I think that, you know, she's our first lady and therefore we should respect her. She happens to be a beautiful woman. I am sure - I hope that she will find her way to pass on the message. I know she was talking about bullying, which is a very important thing.

HARLOW: Yes.

VON FURSTENBERG: So, I mean, I - I - I - I - that's not for me to say. But whatever she does, we will watch it and we will approve.

[09:55:00] BERMAN: All right, Diane von Furstenberg, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate your time. Appreciate what you're doing on this day. Thanks so much.

HARLOW: And, again, you can go to dvfawards.com and vote for some of those pretty remarkable women right there. Our thanks to her.

All right, Obamacare, is this bill dead on arrival or is there still hope for the GOP'S first real chance to do what they said, repeal and replace it? Just moments from now, lawmakers break out the scalpels, I suppose you could say, and start cutting up this bill. This is where the sausage is made. Can the bill some are calling Obamacare lite, some Republicans are calling Obamacare lite, can it survive? We'll take you live to Capitol Hill, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: Good morning, everyone, I'm John Berman.

HARLOW: I'm Poppy Harlow. We start this hour with breaking news. We're just getting word of the president's strong reaction to President's Trump's most explosive claim.

[10:00:02] BERMAN: I think the former president's reaction.

HARLOW: Yes.

BERMAN: We're talking about President Obama's reaction to President Trump. You'll remember that President Trump accused the former president of personally authorizing wiretaps on Trump Tower. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has been