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Unemployment Rate Hits Lowest Level In 16 Years; North Korea, Russia Slam U.S. On Policies, Rhetoric; Man Featured On "The Hunt" Captured Days After Episode. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired August 4, 2017 - 09:30   ET



[09:31:12] POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: This morning unemployment is at a 16-year low. This also marks a big, big win for President Trump, over a million jobs added to the economy since he took office that was (inaudible) this year for the breakdown of the July jobs report. I will just note he called the numbers excellent this morning. In the past, before it was numbers under his presidency he called this report phony, so.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's becoming the cheerleader in chief of the stock market. And you know what, this jobs report is a federal in his cap this month. He wants 9,000 jobs added in July. So, you add in the totals from July and why is that being more than a million jobs added while Trump has been in office.

Now, if you look at that trend, though, it's not quite as much. It's not quite enough to reach the president promise of 25 million jobs created in 10 years. We need to see an average of 208,000 each month to get to that point.

Other takeaways, the unemployment rate falling to 4.3 percent is at a 16-year low. But there's something interesting going on in the labor market. We're seeing a ton of jobs opening. I'm talking more than 6 million but the employers are having a hard time filling them. And the sort of what's happening because of that is we're not seeing wages accelerate.

When you think you would when employers want to hire people, they usually raise wages. We're not seeing that. We're only seeing wage up 2.5 percent compared to last year. So that is the one sticking point of the jobs picture.

HARLOW: What the president's thoughts and perhaps most sort of all job creations is mining jobs, coal jobs talked that again last night obviously in West Virginia. That's some jobs being added, that's not the majority where these jobs are, right?

KOSIK: Right. So, what we saw in July was 16,000 manufacturing jobs. I'm not sure about the breakdown of where they are but those job increases of the 16,000 are more because of fundamentals. We're seeing a weaker dollar. And we're seeing more global demand.

HARLOW: But a lot of these are like health care, food. KOSIK: Right. And the food area, the bars and restaurant that those are lower -- those are, you know, that those are minimum wage jobs. Health care jobs are higher. A lot of that is because of Obamacare. There's job increases.

HAWLOR: That's interesting. So, see -- you know, what happens on that front. Alison Kosik, thank you. It's nice to have you here. We appreciate it.

Let's talk about all this now. Let's debate with two men who I don't think are on the same page in all of this. Austan Goolsbee, top Economic Advisor under President Obama, and Steven Moore, former Economic Advisor to President Trump's presidential campaign. Gentlemen, very nice to have you here.

Austan, to you, a million is a good number.

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FDEMOCRATIC ECONOMIST: Yes. Little more than a million is pretty solid number for this month. You know, I would observe that the seven months that President Trump has been there has added about 1.3 million jobs, almost exactly the same as the 1.4 million jobs they added the first seven months last year.

Over that period, you remember during the campaign, Donald Trump saying the economy was a disaster. The job market was a total phony. We've got repeated it almost exactly and he's taking credit.

It's OK. We've had 83 months, I think now, of job growth. It's a solid recovery. We'd like to see wages go up better. I'd like to see the sectors spread out from the lower wage sectors, and have more broad based job growth but it's pretty solid number I think.

HARLOW: So Steven Moore, here's the thing. If this new immigration plan announced by the White House this week were going to make it through. That's a top sell in Congress. But if it were, that's going to cut down the number of legal immigrants in this country. And, you know, if you just look at the numbers CNN Money said last year alone, 27 million foreign-born workers working in the United State. That's means a whole lot of productivity.

A lot of productivity you're going to cut if you don't bring them in. Lindsey Graham called this a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy by the president. Is she right?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Well, I'd say so far Trump's got the economy pretty right that we finally got that some of recovery that we've been waiting eight years for. This was a solid number.

[09:35:07] By the way, wages in July had a really nice bounce up. So, I'd like to see a continuation of that because I think right now the problem with the economy obviously is not jobs. There's plenty of jobs out there right now. It's producing the higher wage jobs.

On this issue of immigration, look, it is true that as we see more and more baby boomers baby boomers retiring, we're going to need more immigrants. They have to come in legally.

HARLOW: Right.

MOORE: They are parts of the Trump immigration plan I like and parts of it I don't like.

I like the shift. I wonder what Austan thinks about this. I like the shift towards a more skill-based, merit-based system so we can get the people contribute the most. But I don't like the idea of cutting illegal immigration numbers because frankly as this economy expands as it hopefully continuos to do, we will need more immigrant workers.

HARLOW: To fill those jobs and that, you know, fewer workers means less growth, means less productivity and those are numbers that this administration is not going to like.

Austan -- go ahead quickly.

GOOLSBEE: A lot of the labor force and the population growth in the United States of native-born people in here, look exactly like Western Europe and Japan which is the same. We're having low birth rates. We're having a demographic crisis. Almost all the labor force growth has come directly or indirectly from immigrants. If you cut that in half, you will have a negative impact on the growth rate --

HARLOW: All right. You guys agree on that. You guys -- hold on. I need you to weigh in on this, OK? Even though I would like to make the entire hour of us, that is not going to fly.

President Trump as you know promised for a long time this 4 percent economic growth, GDP growth consistent. And then, this week, he touts 2.6 percent calling that phenomenal. Just listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: It's time to establish a national goal of reaching 4 percent economic growth.

And 2.6 is a number that nobody thought they'd see for a long period of time. Remember I was saying we will hit 3 at some point in the not too distant future, and 2.6 is an unbelievable number.


HARLOW: Stephen Moore, just say under the Obama administration, 2.6 percent growth was hit more than a dozen times. Is this the president tempering expectation?

MOORE: I hope not. Because, look, I was one of those economists who work with Donald Trump and urged him to talk about 4 percent growth, I think we can get that if we get this tax cut done. I think that's really important.

One of the caution flags I raised about this, you know, war in stock market and the improving of economy is, I think there is a little bit of anticipation effect, Poppy, of this tax cut happening. And if that doesn't happen, I think you'll see a bit of a sell-off.

So Trump has to deliver on his economic program. A lot of that improvement we've seen I think in the economy in the last six month is this anticipation effect. That means you've got to fulfill those anticipations to get the economy to grow. But yes, we got the tax cut, Austan, I think we can get the 3 percent to 3.5 percent growth next year.

HARLOW: Austan, I think it's really interesting that for some reason the market is not at all looking. I mean, this market believes that tax reform is going to happen and probably happen in the next year. I wonder why you think all of the legislatives sort of attempts and failures thus far, the failure on repealing or replacing Obamacare, and sort of the chaos in Washington the most and White House is not affecting the market. They think tax reform is going to happen.

GOOLSBEE: Yes. You know, that's a bit of a puzzle and I think even the president's advocates view that as a puzzle. They only thing I would say is I feel a bit like my mom when I was a kid had a toy poodle, and my dad would always describe it as our dog as killer.

And here, Donald Trump is having almost the identical economy to what he inherited on the jobs front, almost exactly the same job growth as was last year. The stock market is up, it's true, but the stock market was up more under the last two presidents at the beginning than it has been under Trump.

I think it's been a fine. The economy's growing at kind of a fine modest pace, and that there seems to be this exuberance in the -- among businesses. I hope it continues but, you know, there been a lot -- as you say, there have been a lot of legislative hiccups and if they're going to be deterred by that I think they're going to be deterred relatively.

MOORE: Well, Austan, I would say to that is, look, there's just no question. There's been a ramp up since the election. I mean the economy in 2016 --

GOOLSBEE: In what?

MOORE: -- grew at 1.5 percent --

GOOLSBEE: The job growth is the same. GPD growth is the same.

MOORE: No. I mean ...

[09:40:00] HARLOW: I have 15 seconds. Final thoughts.

MOORE: OK. It's a lot higher as we've gone from 1.5 percent to 2.6 percent growth. That's a big, big difference. And you saw the boom right after the stock market with us, you know, right after the election. So, I do think there's a Trump effect here.

HARLOW: All right. But you would concede we did see some more growth 2.6 percent a lot of times under the Obama administration. We have to leave it there, gentlemen. Thank you. MOORE: OK.

HARLOW: Austan, Stephen Moore, we appreciate it.

Ahead for us, the Kremlin taking a page out of President Trump's book this morning slamming the Mueller probe into Russia as "absurd and groundless." We're going to tell you were else the Kremlin agrees with President Trump on this.


HARLOW: North Korea and Russia delivering a one-two punch to the Trump administration this morning, slamming the White House for its foreign policy and for its rhetoric. That's from North Korea, it calls the ban on American traveling to that country "vile". The ban goes into effect next month. You know what, State Department says, "Our concerns over serious risk of arrest and long-term detention."

[09:45:00] Also this morning, the Kremlin says it agrees with President Trump that relations within the U.S. and Russia are the dangerous low after the Russian foreign minister slammed remarks made by the Vice President as "Out of touch with reality."

Caught in the middle of all of this, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who comes face-to-face with top officials from both countries in just a few days at a security conference in the Philippines. Let's go to Moscow where we find Oren Liebermann:

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And even with (ph) Secretary of State Tillerson meeting with the foreign minister in the Philippines trying to repair relations that at this point, according to both statements from the U.S. and the Russians may very well be beyond repair. It was Tillerson himself who just a few days ago said, "Relations are the worst point they've been since the Cold War". That is worth noting that Tillerson talked to the Russian foreign minister on the phone yesterday to discuss the number of topics, chief of which was North Korea and that seems to be one the few points for the U.S. and the Russian's see eye to eye, trying to contain North Korea's threat to the Korean peninsula and beyond.

From there it's little harder to find spots with the U.S. and the Russians agree, except, of course, as you noted Poppy on their assessment of the Russia investigation. Putin and the Kremlin very much agreeing with President Trump, they're calling it absurd and groundless. So, that opinion hasn't changed as the Russians deny any involvement in all of this.

Going back to Tillerson, he said he'll do what he can as they talked about the relations and try to improve them. There haven't been any intonations of retaliations from Russia against the U.S. for the sanctions bill. But remember, Putin did say it's on the table and he has a number of other possibilities because of other areas such as space with the U.S. and Russians still get along. But Tillerson has a tall order ahead of him. If he wants to improve relations, it won't be easy and many here and it seems there in the U.S. say it's impossible at this point to improve relations in the short term. HARLOW: Oren Liebermann in Moscow, thank you for that.

A fugitive wanted for sexuality assaulting a minor caught after being profiled on "The Hunt" the episode that ended the man's five years on the lam.


[09:51:30] HARLOW: After a five year run, a fugitive wanted for sexually assaulting a minor is caught in Illinois after being profiled on "The Hunt". This is based after the Sunday episode, dozens tips were received two of which lead to this man capture.

His name Dino Curcio is seen here on the back of a police car. He's currently being held in jail pending extradition to Colorado. Now, "The Hunt" has a track record for this kind of (inaudible). The show launch nine cases have been resolved.

Our correspondent Scott McLean is in Denver with details. What do you know about this?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDNET: Hey, Poppy. Well, Dino Curcio has been on the run five years but the crimes he's accused of date back more than a decade. In 2005, he was living in Boulder, Colorado, working as a hockey coach when the 17-year-old daughter of one of his former girlfriends came to stay with him.

This girl, Elizabeth, came all the way from Sweden. She didn't know anybody in Boulder, let alone in this entire country. Here's how she also describe her first night staying with Curcio on a recent episode of "The Hunt".


ELIZABETH, RAPE VICTIM: In early December of 2005, my mom just came to me and said, surprise, I'm going to send you to the U.S. I was nervous about going to stay with a man my parent's age that still I never meet. When we arrived at his apartment, I was really shocked when I saw that there was no bed setup for me. He told me, you're going to sleep in my bed.


MCLEAN: Now, Curcio is not only accused of sexually assaulting a minor. But Elizabeth said that her on her 18th birthday, the pair drove to Las Vegas and she was forced to marry him. It wasn't until she was 23 years old. The pair were living in Iowa, that Elizabeth finally decided to make a run for it, literally running down the street to get away from him.

She hid in a gas station that's when she was able to get help from police and also a restraining order.

Now, Curcio, he didn't show up for a court date in 2012 and he's been on the run ever since. This episode of "The Hunt" aired Sunday has been span the show where the U.S. martial service got more than a dozen tips, two of them lead to Deer Park, Illinois, about 40 miles outside Chicago.

Curcio was arrested this week without incident. He'll face the judge in Illinois before ultimately being sent back here to Colorado, Poppy.

HARLOW: Do we know -- I mean, so this happens to her when she's 17 and she -- clearly something happened that she wasn't even able to make a run for it for five years.

MCLEAN: Yes. And keep in mind, when she came to the country, she didn't know hardly anybody. She didn't know anyone at all when she first got here, so she didn't have a support system.

Her father also took his own life in Sweden shortly after the first sexual assault took place. And her mother -- her relationship with her mother was quite strange. She describes being psychologically abused, physically threatened. Curcio even told her that he was her biological father.

Now, as you said, she was 23 when she got away from him. She is 28 now. She says looking back, she can see it and she was completely brainwashed. John Walsh, the host of the "Hunt" says this is a classic case of Stockholm syndrome, Poppy.

HARLOW: Heartbreaking. I think a lot of people watching happy to see him brought to justice. Thank you very much, Scott. President Trump is about to get a briefing from FEMA on hurricane season.

[09:54:50] This as he battles his own Russia storm.


HARLOW: Top of the hour, good morning everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow. We begin this hour with major new developments in the Russia investigation. Special Counsel Bob Mueller is standing the scope and potentially accelerating the piece of this. He is issuing grand jury subpoena so the focus on last summer's meeting between the president son, top campaign advisors and that Russian lawyer.

Now, the subpoenas seek documents and testimony from the people that were in that meeting. The probe now crossing the president's so called red line by pouring over his finances, investigators we've learn watching though if the president, his family or his associates of any financial ties to Russia. The president has scoffed the probe called it a "witch hunt" when he fired up a crowd in West Virginia last night saying, "Democrats made the whole thing up."

TRUMP: The Russia story is a total fabrication.