Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

Trump's First State Of The Union Address; Trump: We Must Modernize And Rebuild Nuclear Arsenal; President Doesn't Mention Russian Meddling In Address. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired January 31, 2018 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:37] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The people dreamed this country, the people built this country, and it's the people who are making America great again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump with a mixing and divisive agenda, some might say, with calls for unity in his first State of the Union speech. He touted his accomplishments on the economy, in particular, and warned the nation about threats, foreign and domestic.

Thanks for getting an early start with us. I'm Dave Briggs.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour on this last day of January.

President Trump walked a fine line in first State of the Union speech last night. He held fast to the tough-talking populism he embodied in year one while making some effort to reach across the aisle.

The hour and 20-minute speech, the third-longest State of the Union ever.

The president touting the economy, defending his "America First" approach, and even taking a jab at NFL players for not standing during the National Anthem.

BRIGGS: The president pushed for his bipartisan immigration deal that includes a border wall and a path to citizenship for nearly two million DREAMers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: As President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, my constant concern is for America's children, America's struggling workers, and America's forgotten communities.

So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American dream because Americans are dreamers, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: There were emotional tributes. Among those honored, police officer Ryan Holets and his wife, who adopted a baby from a mother addicted to heroin.

Also, the parents of teenage girls killed by MS-13 gang members. And, the parents of Otto Warmbier, the college student imprisoned by North Korea who fell gravely ill, was released and returned to the U.S. just days before he died. An emotional moment there.

ROMANS: It really was.

The first lady Melania Trump broke from tradition, arriving alone at her husband's speech to loud applause. We're told the suit was Dior.

She has been out of the spotlight lately since news broke of a reported payoff to a porn star to keep an alleged affair quiet.

The president and the first lady returned to the White House together after that speech.

BRIGGS: Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts gave the Democratic response. He called out the president on the Russia probe, civil rights, school shootings, and Charlottesville, and added this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOE KENNEDY III (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Bullies may land a punch, they may leave a mark, but they have never, not once in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: A little something there.

ROMANS: I know. I think it's -- I think it's ChapStick, right? The Internet's trying to figure it out.

Let's bring in Chris Deaton, deputy online editor of "The Weekly Standard," live from Atlanta. So --

BRIGGS: Nothing there. You're getting it all clean, Chris.

ROMANS: How did the -- how did the president do?

I mean, our instant reaction was, I think 48 percent said it was very well-received. He did a good job. Somewhat positive, 22 percent. Negative, 29 percent.

How did you -- how do you rate it?

CHRIS DEATON, DEPUTY ONLINE EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Well, I don't want to be reductive but from a Republican, I thought it was fantastic. From a Democrat, I thought it was apocalyptic. From an Independent, he did a pretty job of hitting some of his core points, really messaging on what it was that made him president in the first place, guys.

This is what I found so interesting about the speech last night. We hear about these State of the Union addresses being these bit litanies of policy prescriptions -- 5,000 words long last night, this one was.

If we remember in year one of the Trump presidency, it was overrun by tax reform and health care reform, the latter a failed effort. In this speech last night you heard about immigration and the border security stuff -- a DACA compromise. You heard about prescription drugs, you heard about the opioid crisis, you heard about national security.

[05:35:00] And I think there's an old Robin Williams joke about retracting back to America's borders and the Statue of Liberty shaking her fist particularly hard and that should be the new foreign policy.

We heard all of that stuff in Trump's speech last night and I think that's the stuff that he really talked about in the campaign trail. So it's interesting to see how much he'll get to it in year two because that seems like the presidency he always wanted to have.

BRIGGS: You mention those 5,000 words. It's interesting by the numbers. Yahoo broke it down.

Obama's first used 7,000 words but was actually 14 minutes shorter than Trump's, which was an interesting dynamic in terms of delivery --

ROMANS: It's all about pacing.

BRIGGS: -- of the speech and the applause lines. Pacing was maybe not perfect.

But you bring up a good point, as well, when the three different reactions -- he's never going to reach the resistance. The base is with him no matter what. Who he needs are those people who don't care so much about the day drip, drip, drip, the tweets. They care about the economy, they care about some unity.

And here's what the president said about Americans and here was his most unifying overall message -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew, that no people on earth are so fearless or daring or determined as Americans.

If there is a mountain, we climb it. If there's a frontier, we cross it. If there's a challenge, we tame it. If there's an opportunity, we seize it.

So let's begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our union is strong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Many pointed the Nancy Pelosi reaction that we just missed there.

But in terms of a unifying message, how'd he do? And he also said the time for trivial fights is behind us. If, in fact, that is true in the days ahead, how important is that?

DEATON: Well, to tackle your first question, I think the ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley low, ain't no river wide enough messaging is always a good thing for a president to hit on in these sorts of speeches.

I mean, you're trying to captivate the country here and this idea of trying to bring opposing parties together, which is a hymn that we hear sung at every one of these speeches and a lot of presidents have a difficult time fulfilling it, but it's important to hit upon that.

The big question of whether or not he's able to hit on that in the coming year, a lot of that depends on his personal demeanor.

"Politico" had a fascinating story this morning about the alternative Trump presidency that was kind of imagined last night of the president being more dignified and sticking to policy prescriptions. And what would have happened if he didn't tweet his way into political oblivion like he has at so many moments in the past 12 months?

So we'll see if there's some sort of pivot -- we hear that word all the time -- in terms of his temperament. It's doubtful. I think we know who President Trump is.

But on the policy substance, it's going to be interesting to see how much of this he's able to get done because I think there might be a little more bipartisan buy-in when it comes to some of this infrastructure stuff and stuff that he talked about last night.

ROMANS: You know, it's interesting. There's been some reporting from some reporters who follow him very, very closely that the president feels like he's just hit his stride. That he looks at the economy, he looks at the tax cuts, in particular, and he sees that he's winning and he's doing a great job. And he really feels that way and is telling people that.

But when you look at a Republican president delivering this State of the Union, there were some really Republican things that weren't in there.

No talk about debt and deficit. No talk about, you know, fiscal restraint. I mean, it's almost as if they got their tax cuts and Paul Ryan, who is also a deficit hawk, you know -- they just love their tax cuts so much they're not talking about some of those other things. This is what "The Washington Post" says in an editorial this morning, Chris.

"Mr. Trump did not mention any of the nation's biggest, longer-term threats. The fiscal crisis, worsened by his tax bill, threatens future generations.

Economic inequality is high. The world continues to warm. Russia's meddling poses a threat to the U.S. elections.

Sadly, the morning after a very long speech, none of that is going to look any different."

What say you?

DEATON: Well, it's an interesting editorial because depending on the reader you can interpret that in multiple ways.

If you're a Democrat, you're reading some of the stuff about global warming and you're reading some of the stuff about the Russia investigation and saying here, here.

If you are a Republican who is particularly concerned about the past Republican message -- the economic conservative message -- fiscal restraint that has been championed by Paul Ryan and the like the last decade, that talk about no discussion of debts and entitlement spending is going to be -- resonate.

So, I definitely think that you can't get to everything in these sorts of speeches. But look, they're 5,000 words long -- again, something like this -- and there's a reason why some of that stuff is left out. I have a feeling it's not very high on the president's checklist.

ROMANS: I think that all the human moments really did well last night. I thought they wove those human stories --

BRIGGS: Yes, very, very good.

ROMANS: -- very, very nicely and I think that that was -- how that was put together -- those emotional moments really worked.

BRIGGS: But did any of this move the ball forward towards a bigger immigration deal? We shall see in the days ahead.

Chris Deaton, thank you, my friend. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

[05:40:00] DEATON: Thanks, guys.

ROMANS: President Trump also said the U.S. must -- U.S. must modernize and rebuilt its nuclear arsenal, pointing to North Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening. Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.

I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Ji Seong Ho, a North Korean defector, was a guest of honor. The president describing how a train ran over his limbs after he collapsed from hunger, as a child.

BRIGGS: Mr. Trump says Seong Ho traveled on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. He brought those crutches with him to Washington.

Now, Pyongyang is promising a new show of force.

Let's get the latest from CNN's Will Ripley, who is live for us in Seoul, South Korea. Will, what do we know?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know there were a lot of things in the president's State of the Union address that are likely going to get the North Korea regime very angry.

First of all, putting a defector front and center who has called for regime change. That will be very infuriating for Kim Jong Un.

Also, the fact that President Trump didn't talk a whole lot about diplomacy and left it pretty ambiguous whether the United States' maximum pressure strategy could also include a preemptive military strike.

The former candidate for U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Victor Cha, a former Bush administration official and former academic who is highly respected, put an op-ed in "The Washington Post" saying that he thinks he was dropped from consideration from that job after he told the Trump administration he disagrees that a military option is a viable one, saying tens if not hundreds of thousands of people could be killed -- 200,000-plus Americans here on the Korean Peninsula at any given time.

Cha saying that as North Korea is preparing for a massive military parade. I have two sources -- diplomatic sources -- telling me that up to 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles will be put on display in Kim Il-sung Square next week. Hundreds of missiles and rockets altogether.

And my source is not ruling out the possibility of a North Korean missile test in the very near future. All of it to send a very strong message to the Trump administration and on the eve of the Winter Games here in South Korea -- Dave.

BRIGGS: That can't make the IOC happy. Here we are, eight days from the Olympics. Will Ripley, thank you, my friend.

ROMANS: All right, $74 billion in value in one sector wiped away because of one vague press release that promises to disrupt health care prices. We've got that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:47] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The president did not mention Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, of course, but he did label the Kremlin as a rival on matters of national security.

Let's go live to Moscow and bring in CNN's Frederik Pleitgen.

Fred, there's new reaction this morning from Moscow to the president's speech. What is it?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you're absolutely right, Christine.

You know, one of the things that we asked the spokesman for the Kremlin for Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, is whether or not the fact that President Trump really didn't mention the alleged election meddling in the U.S. election in 2016 -- whether that meant that there could be a thaw between Moscow and Washington. And he said at this point in time he does not believe that there is the prospect for a thaw in bilateral relations in their current state.

And he even went one step further because the Russians are still quite angry about that list that was published by the Treasury just yesterday with the names of a lot of oligarchs on it. He says it shows that the U.S. is an unpredictable partner and he called that a hostile act. So certainly, still a lot of fire there in the rhetoric between Washington and Moscow.

And this also comes at the same time that we have found out that apparently there was a high-level delegation from the Russian intelligence services that visited the U.S. just last week, including the CIA. Now, one of the people at the Russians say it was part of that delegation was the head of their Foreign Intelligence Service, a man named Sergey Naryshkin, who is actually sanctioned in the U.S. since 2014.

So there certainly are a lot of people who want answers, not the least of which is the Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, who came out and said he wants to know exactly who was at that meeting and what was said, Christine.

ROMANS: Fascinating. All right, thanks so much for that. Fred Pleitgen for us in Moscow.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, President Trump's attorneys trying to keep him from testifying in front of Robert Mueller's team. They're now arguing the special counsel has failed to meet the high threshold required to interview a president, even though Mr. Trump has publicly stated he is looking forward to meeting with Mueller.

Mr. Trump's lawyers asking Mueller's team to demonstrate that only the president can give them the information they require.

ROMANS: "The Washington Post" now reporting top Justice officials met Monday with White House chief of staff John Kelly about the dangers of publicly releasing a Republican memo alleging abuses at the FBI.

FBI director Chris Wray and the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein attended. Rosenstein questioned the memo's accuracy and warned Kelly that releasing it could jeopardize classified information.

After the State of the Union, the president was heard having this exchange with Republican Congressman Jeff Duncan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JEFF DUNCAN (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Let's release the memo.

TRUMP: Don't worry -- 100 percent. Can you imagine?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Interesting.

CNN has learned the Democratic rebuttal memo from Congressman Adam Schiff takes aim at the Intel Committee chairman, Republican Devin Nunes. Schiff claims the Nunes memo is an attempt to provide cover for the White House in the Russia investigation.

ROMANS: All right.

President Trump has a goal for 2018.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of my top priorities for the year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So, lower drug prices are one way to fix what many call a broken health care system, but three titans of industry might just do it first. Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, and Warren Buffett teaming up to combat high health care costs.

[05:50:10] Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase -- their companies -- together will form a separate new company to provide better health care benefits for their U.S. workers.

Buffett calls rising costs a hungry tapeworm on the American economy.

Now, details are scarce. This was a brief press release, by the way, that managed to take $74 billion off the market cap of the health care sector. Just those three names disrupting health care. It really moved markets.

They said this in that press release. The company will be free from profit-making incentives and constraints. Given the resources of those three, they could disrupt health care for sure.

Health care stocks spooked. Shares of leading insurers and big drug stores -- drug companies -- tanked. The top insurer, UnitedHealthcare, fell four percent, helping drive the Dow down 360 points. It was the worst day for stocks since May.

You also have some rising bond yields. That's sort of lending to this idea that the era of low interest rates may, indeed, by over. But in two days, the Dow down 600 points. I guess that's painful --

BRIGGS: The worst two days since 2016.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: But that health care proposal --

ROMANS: Interesting, right?

BRIGGS: Apparently, we all have a lot of question about that.

ROMANS: All right.

Can peacocks fly? Not on United Airlines. The airline barred this beautiful bird from a recent flight. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:55:47] BRIGGS: All right.

Stephen Colbert going live after the president's State of the Union address instead of recording earlier, as is usually the case. His revelation?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": The night began with one huge surprise. Trump was able to lift a glass with one hand.

Then as far as -- at the beginning of the speech he listed some of the natural disasters we've endured this year.

TRUMP: We have endured floods and fires and storms.

COLBERT: And Stormy -- don't forget her. She was one of the most expensive disasters for you, personally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: As for Stormy Daniels, she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel last night. He asked her about a statement that was released in her name yesterday denying an affair with President Trump, but the signatures looked dramatically different and Stormy Daniels said she doesn't even know where it came from.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": I know you either do or don't have a nondisclosure agreement which if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement -- do you have nondisclosure agreement?

STORMY DANIELS, PORN STAR: Do I?

KIMMEL: You can't say whether you have a nondisclosure agreement. But, if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement you most certainly could say I don't have a nondisclosure agreement. Yes?

DANIELS: You're so smart, Jimmy.

KIMMEL: Thank you very much.

Is any of that true?

DANIELS: Define true.

KIMMEL: So, do you feel like you're a victim in any -- in any sense?

DANIELS: Lately, yes.

KIMMEL: Lately, you do.

DANIELS: Yes.

KIMMEL: A victim of whom?

DANIELS: The Internet.

KIMMEL: Of the Internet, yes.

DANIELS: Yes.

KIMMEL: You're reading things people are writing about you.

DANIELS: I'm trying not to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: She didn't say much but if you watch the entire interview you can't help but take away the impression that yes, all the reports in "The Wall Street Journal" are, in fact, true. That's at least the impression you get.

ROMANS: That's way more than 15 minutes of fame. Way more than 15 minutes. BRIGGS: And it ain't over yet.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning.

The calm on Wall Street has finally broken and apparently, stocks can go down. The Dow dropped 363 points, the worst day since May. Now down 600 points in the past two days.

The bond market has been selling off, raising fears that the era of low interest rates is over.

Checking stocks right now, global stocks right now are mixed. U.S. futures are up a little bit here so perhaps a bounce.

The U.S. government is investigating Apple for slowing down older iPhones. Apple admitted to limiting the performance of older models.

The Justice Department and the SEC are looking into possible violations of securities law. "Bloomberg" reports the investigation is still in the early stages.

DOJ and FCC representatives declined to comment.

All right, can peacocks fly? Not on United. The airline barred this emotional support peacock from a flight last weekend. "The Jet Set," the travel show, first reported this incident.

United said the bird did not meet guidelines to board the flight. Let me say that again. The bird did not meet guidelines to board the flight.

Recently, airlines have been tightening rules for emotional support animals. Delta now requires multiple forms and a doctor's note before taking a pet on board.

And, Delta tells us they've had -- let's see, opossums, snakes, pigs, spiders, all kinds of things. Two hundred fifty thousand support.

There are legitimate support animals for people with PTSD --

BRIGGS: And then there are --

ROMANS: -- and then there are --

BRIGGS: The peacock lady has got to be on late-night soon.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: We need to hear more about this.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" from Washington, D.C., next. They have Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Joe Kennedy.

Happy birthday, Christine Romans.

ROMANS: The state of my birthday is strong.

BRIGGS: See you tomorrow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There has never been a better time to start living the American dream.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, HOST, "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER": What you saw was President Trump with one hand reaching out his hand to Democrats and with the other hand holding up a fist.

TRUMP: My duty is to defend Americans. Americans are dreamers, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has offended his base deeply with his path to citizenship.

KENNEDY: To all the DREAMers, you are part of our story. We will fight for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did highlight what is his biggest asset, the strong economy.

TRUMP: We enacted the biggest tax cuts in American history.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have seen the worst of this epidemic. He didn't lay out any real plans to deal with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is very effective in using his guests.

TRUMP: You embody the goodness of our nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right.