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Senate Dems To Trump: End Smear Campaign Of FBI; SpaceX Launches World's Most Powerful Rocket; Kelly: Some Dreamers "Too Lazy" To Sign Up For DACA. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired February 7, 2018 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:33:13] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI), MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME AND TERRORISM: Russian interference was real. They're coming back in 2018. We have this whole smear campaign discrediting honorable American institutions just to protect the president from the investigation. We have nothing being done legislatively to protect the 2018 elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. That was Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse leading a group of senators on the floor of the Senate last night who want President Trump to end what they call a smear campaign against the FBI and other things.
So how did that effort go?
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joins us now. Good morning, Senator.
WHITEHOUSE: How are you, Alisyn?
CAMEROTA: I'm well.
So listen, last night you did this. You were trying to get Republicans' attention and, I guess, the White House's attention. How did it go?
WHITEHOUSE: Well, I think we got a lot of people out there and I think we made the point that this episode of the Trump administration and a group of Republican supporters attacking our own institutions doesn't help anybody except for Vladimir Putin. In fact, it sort of follows his lead, as John McCain pointed out.
And I think it's also up to us to start pointing out that the Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate have done virtually nothing to listen to the warnings of Trump's own administration officials saying the Russians are coming at us again in the 2018 elections.
WHITEHOUSE: Here's some things you ought to be doing about it. Let's get to work.
Instead, we see the one thing that we've done which is the sanctions on Putin and his oligarchs which were passed by 98 to two in the Senate -- this was not a partisan vote -- being quashed over in the White House, sheltering Putin again.
So this is not a good situation in any of those dimensions and we've got to start moving beyond it, and we tried to bring some pressure on those points.
[07:35:00] CAMEROTA: I do want to get to those sanctions in a moment, but you say that you were trying to make a point. OK, I mean, I guess that's one goal but are you winning any Republicans over to your side?
WHITEHOUSE: You know, that remains to be seen. I think that we have, for instance, bipartisan support for a couple of bills that would protect the special counsel. That would be a very helpful step forward.
I hope that we can get Chairman Grassley to hold some hearings on some of the legislation that we want to look at. He did on the title bill, which has effects on the Putin regime's ability to meddle in American politics because it would clamp down on the use of shell corporations which are a known Russian corruption and political interference tool.
So there are things that are going but when you look at the 2018 elections rushing towards us, I don't sense the urgency. And we're trying to ramp up the urgency and make sure the Republicans know we see it as a priority.
CAMEROTA: OK, so back to those sanctions.
As you say, there was this bipartisan effort to impose them. They were supposed to be implemented. The White House decided not to. They missed that deadline for implementation.
WHITEHOUSE: So far.
CAMEROTA: Yes, so far. So, why? Why did they do that?
WHITEHOUSE: Well, that's a really good question and we'd love to have answers to it. The White House has not provided an explanation.
Clearly, this was an effort to provide a deterrent punch at the Putin administration and Russia by tangling with the thing he cares most about, which is himself and the oligarchs around him and the way they can use the West to hide their ill-gotten gains. That's where you really hurt the guy, and he deserves a punch after what he did in our 2016 elections.
So you've got the whole Senate, essentially, agreeing with that. It's inexplicable why the president would not go forward and pursue those sanctions.
CAMEROTA: You know, two days -- WHITEHOUSE: There is no answer.
CAMEROTA: Two days before the sanctions --
WHITEHOUSE: No good answer.
CAMEROTA: -- were supposed to be implemented, as you know, the CIA director Mike Pompeo met with two high-ranking senior Russian officials.
Do you think there was a connection?
WHITEHOUSE: I do not know. I think that in his role as CIA director, Mike Pompeo is going to be meeting regularly with senior Russian intelligence officials. He should.
As much as the Republicans -- the Russians need and deserve a punch in the nose for what they did in the 2016 elections -- and the sanction regime is the way to do that -- we are also trying to work with them in other areas and to have that continued dialogue. Intelligence professional to intelligence professional is not, in and of itself, a bad thing.
CAMEROTA: Do you want to see a military parade in Washington, D.C. for President Trump?
WHITEHOUSE: You know, I don't think it's a good look for us. I think a lot of the world remembers the Soviet May Day parades and they still see the North Korean military parades around Pyongyang.
I think a better look for us is a free, open and diverse democracy in which everybody gets their say.
CAMEROTA: Are you worried about the cost? I mean, have you gone that far in your thinking about this military parade because President Trump does seem quite interested in it, so much so that the reporting is that Sec. Mattis is starting to try to figure out how to do this?
Are you worried about the cost, given that there are --
WHITEHOUSE: We haven't seen a --
CAMEROTA: -- budget battles going on?
WHITEHOUSE: We haven't seen a budget proposal for it yet.
CAMEROTA: Would you agree to give millions of dollars to this?
WHITEHOUSE: Like I said, I don't think it's a good look for our country. I think, you know, when John Winthrop, what now, four centuries ago nearly, said that America should be as a city on a hill and with all the world's eyes upon it, I think when the world's eyes look at our city on the hill and they see an echo of Soviet May Day parades and North Korean military parades that's not the best image for us. I think a vibrant and lively democracy is the best image out to the world and I think that's what we represent to the world when we're at our best.
CAMEROTA: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, thanks so much for being here.
WHITEHOUSE: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Chris --
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: John Winthrop reference, strong.
SpaceX successfully launching the world's most powerful rocket -- talk about strong. The incredible moment that took place here on earth and what's going on right now in space.
CAMEROTA: They're driving a Tesla.
CUOMO: Somebody is --
CAMEROTA: Martians are.
CUOMO: -- and we will show you that person, next.
[07:43:13] CUOMO: Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. is poised to announce the toughest economic sanctions ever against North Korea. The vice president says the U.S. will continue to isolate the North until they abandon their nuclear program.
Pence, right now, is in Tokyo. He's meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Abe before heading to South Korea to lead the U.S. delegation at the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics.
CAMEROTA: Steve Wynn resigning as CEO of Wynn Resorts amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Wynn has denied the detailed accusations laid out in a "Wall Street Journal" investigation that cited dozens of sources. But in a statement, Wynn said he cannot continue to be effective as CEO while facing these allegations.
Wynn recently resigned from his position as finance chair of the RNC.
CUOMO: Have they given back the money that he raised for them? That's a key question and no answer yet.
SpaceX celebrating the successful launch of the world's most powerful rocket. The company's Falcon Heavy blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida -- no hitches. Then, for the first time ever, SpaceX guided two first-stage rocket boosters back to earth and they landed upright on the pad -- no small feat.
And that's not all. CEO Elon Musk put his own personal Roadster on top of the rocket as a test payload, complete with a dummy in a spacesuit at the wheel.
CAMEROTA: Won't he miss his car? I mean, why'd he do that?
CUOMO: Well, I think he can get another one.
CAMEROTA: You do?
CAMEROTA: The sign on the screen says "Don't Panic." The plan was to shoot the car into Mars' orbit. The rocket was so powerful it overshot that orbit, sending the car toward an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Inside the car, David Bowie's "Space Oddity" is playing on a loop.
[07:45:06] CAMEROTA: Fitting. So do we think that this will get Martians' attention? I do.
CAMEROTA: I do.
CAMEROTA: Some Martian is going to be driving around in that Tesla soon. Mark my words.
CUOMO: I mean, look, there is an odd arrogance to assume that we are the only ones out there anywhere.
CAMEROTA: I agree.
CUOMO: So who knows? Who knows what's up there?
Now, you know, when they use the same rocket -- this is the one they're going to use to send people to Mars. I mean, they've got to get it right because now that poor car is in some asteroid --
CAMEROTA: Floating around Jupiter. Yes, we don't want that.
CUOMO: But who signs up for that trip because it's going to be a very long trip?
CAMEROTA: How long?
CAMEROTA: I'm out.
CUOMO: No, you can't go. You've got kids.
CUOMO: But I wonder who goes because you may not come back, by the way?
CAMEROTA: Right. I'd recognize -- I'd recognize that.
CUOMO: This car is going toward an asteroid belt -- and he loved that car. CAMEROTA: I know. I'm not sure he should have sent that.
But anyway, it's time for "CNN Money Now." How -- it has been a very -- a rollercoaster ride, OK? It's been like shooting a Tesla --
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
CAMEROTA: -- into orbit for Christine Romans and we're less than two hours now from the opening bell.
ROMANS: That was like a welcomed respite yesterday to not watch the stock market and watch that instead, right, because anything could happen this morning, you guys -- anything.
Markets around the world are adjusting to a new reality. The era of low interest rates is over. U.S. stocks yesterday tanked, then roared back for a huge gain.
And then overnight, guys, the anxiety has returned. Some Asian markets fell. U.S. futures have turned lower. Dow futures tumbling more than 200 points at one point.
Europe a little bit higher. But again, everything in flux here.
Yesterday was remarkable. The Dow swinging over a trading range of 1,200 points, changing direction 29 times before closing up 567 points, or more than two percent. Both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also closed higher.
A few things going on there.
Rumblings in the bond market, concerns about wage inflation. Wage inflation is great for workers but bad for corporate profits, and if it picks up too quickly the Federal Reserve may need to raise interest rates faster than planned and that's bad for an almost 9-year-old bull market.
So, wild swings are back on Wall Street. Wall Street's fear gauge fell a bit -- that's good -- after surging 115 percent on Monday. That was bad.
But remember, stocks are not the economy. Even if stocks drop again today, and it looks like they will -- maybe even a few hundred points on the open -- conditions are still good. The economy's strong, the job market is robust, and corporate earnings, you guys, are rising -- Chris.
CUOMO: But as we know, that's a big game down there --
ROMANS: It sure is.
CUOMO: -- on Wall Street where your friends are. We know that they're gambling most of the time.
Christine Romans -- she hates it. She hates it when I say that.
CAMEROTA: I know. I know she does. I know that.
CUOMO: All right.
So, we've been talking a lot about the Dreamers but we haven't been spending as much time talking to them and that's about to change.
Look at what they've been called. Illegals, murderers, gangbangers. Now, lazy, sitting on their asses. That's what the White House chief of staff John Kelly said -- very controversial.
We're going to talk somebody who is a DACA recipient. How do they feel about this, next?
[07:52:21] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The difference between 690 (690,000) and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn't sign up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That's White House chief of staff John Kelly. He's now facing backlash over those controversial comments. Sources tell CNN that Democratic lawmakers confronted Kelly about them.
But what does all of this do to negotiating and how do Dreamers feel about it?
Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Greisa Martinez Rosas. She is a DACA recipient and the advocacy director for United We Dream, a group working to protect Dreamers.
Great to see both of you this morning.
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D-IL), MEMBER, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, AND CONGRESSIONAL HISPANIC CAUCUS: Thank you, Alisyn.
GREISA MARTINEZ ROSAS, DACA RECIPIENT, ADVOCACY DIRECTOR, UNITED WE DREAM NETWORK: Good morning.
CAMEROTA: Congressman, what did you think of John Kelly's comments?
GUTIERREZ: Well, you know, he's really demonstrated a lack of understanding of the complexity of the legislation and the public policy, so I've learned that about him. But I didn't think it came with a lack of love and of warmth and empathy.
CAMEROTA: You did not think it did?
GUTIERREZ: I didn't -- I didn't think so because many times what I have seen, Alisyn, that you can make up for the lack of understanding the public policy if you have love, right? If you don't have a lack of love, if you don't have a lack of empathy, if you don't have a lack of sympathy --
CAMEROTA: But does John Kelly have that love and empathy, or not?
GUTIERREZ: He doesn't. That's my point.
So I knew -- the last time I talked to him and we were talking about temporary protective status he said oh, Luis, we've just got to figure out who the dead ones are and weed them out. And I was like you know, Mr. Kelly -- I didn't say it but I thought it -- I said Mr. Kelly, you've got sign up every year.
And then he said, you know, we'll do criminal background checks. I said, they go through criminal background checks every year.
So he didn't have an understanding of the policy. I knew that, but I didn't think he had lack of love and he demonstrated that because his boss says that they're all criminals, basically. And now, he's saying that they're all lazy.
And so, God, it's really a sad situation because he was supposed to be the adult in the room. He's supposed to be that guiding, mitigating force, and he's not.
CAMEROTA: So, Greisa, what did you hear when he said that?
ROSAS: I heard a bully. Someone that is picking on people that are afraid, that are scared, that are younger than him and smaller than him, and using the White House as a bully pulpit -- and to hurt people.
And so, you know, I think he's -- one thing that he said was right, though, is the fact that we are afraid. We're afraid because there's a 10-year-old girl, Rosa Maria from Texas, that was pulled from her hospital bed and into a detention center just because she was undocumented.
[07:55:00] We are afraid because we have given the government our information, our address, the places where our moms and our dads live. And now, with this administration, we're afraid that they're going to come after us.
So, you know, it is -- he's a bully. And to him, I say, you know, stop. Bullies stop whenever you stand up to them.
And my message to Gen. Kelly right now is you made this crisis happen. You can fix it right now. Stop using bullying words and make sure that you get to work.
CAMEROTA: So, Greisa -- but just to be clear. For the million people that he was referring to that have not signed up for DACA, why haven't they?
ROSAS: Yes, I mean, I will say that United We Dream did a survey and I found out exactly why. The costs are too high and we don't want to put our families at risk of ICE agents coming to our home addresses.
CAMEROTA: So you're scared and the cost is what, $500 for the application?
ROSAS: Five hundred dollars every two years for young people that are just trying to make ends meet, and go to college, and go to -- and help their parents. And so, that is the statistics that we know and so anything outside of that is just people using bullying --
ROSAS: -- and frankly --
CAMEROTA: Because -- I mean, you're on the front lines of this. You deal with Dreamers every day.
Do you know any who are too lazy to get off their asses?
ROSAS: I know a lot that are like my little sister that just applied for DACA, and she saves all of her money and babysitting jobs to make sure that she was able to pay for it.
I know that young people all across the country have been like taking time away from home and here in Washington, D.C. to fight for the Dream Act and we're not going to stop until we get permanent protection.
GUTIERREZ: And this demonstrates, Alisyn, again, the chief of staff's lack of understanding of the policy. Remember, DACA's an executive order so it's constrained, right, and limited.
GUTIERREZ: That's what the lawyers did.
The Dream Act is very, very ample, right? It includes more people because of the ages and the qualifications.
GUTIERREZ: That's why we want to go to the Dream Act.
Again, Mr. Kelly says oh, they can't -- they didn't sign up. I'm offering you 1.8 million people under the Dream Act that I proposed to the Congress --
GUTIERREZ: -- of the United States. It's 2.1 million people.
So it's really about who qualifies and how you draft the legislation, how full is the legislation --
GUTIERREZ: -- and the ability for people to sign up.
CAMEROTA: Let --
GUTIERREZ: Again, he demonstrates a lack of understanding.
CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that legislation because, as you know, we're up against yet another government shutdown tomorrow night at midnight. And so, what the House plan is for the budget, a continuing resolution, and what the Senate plan is -- neither one address the Dreamers.
So where are you on that, Congressman?
GUTIERREZ: Look, here's where I'm at. There's a couple of words -- you know, it's like in Spanish, Democrats are always using the word tomorrow -- manana. They got that word down when it comes to our immigrant community.
But you know what? Republicans, nunca -- never, never. And between Democrats saying manana and the Republicans saying never, we just don't get to a place that's fair.
So they want to describe Greisa as some of this dark horde, menacing to America, and I wanted to come on this program to say I see a fellow American in her. I see a future congresswoman. And you know what, that scares the living daylights out of them but I think that's representative of the future of America.
CAMEROTA: Greisa, what do you want the president to know?
ROSAS: I want him to know that we're not backing down and I want the American public to know that immigrant young people are fighting for our democracy and we're fighting to make sure that each and every one of us is safe and we're not going to slow down.
We are not going to ensure that our families are put in danger for a protection that would only benefit us. And so, to the American public, we shall overcome this moment and that we are better than this.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Gutierrez, Greisa Martinez Rosas, thank you both very much.
GUTIERREZ: Thanks for having us.
ROSAS: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: All right. We're following a lot of news so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: We're making real progress on a spending deal.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't think we expect the budget deal to include specifics on immigration reform. SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We're back in the ballgame now.
KELLY: People who were too afraid to sign up, others too lazy to get off their asses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the level of political discord drawn in this country?
KELLY: This is a different memo. Where the first one was very clean, this one is a lot less clean.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There would be an enormous political price if he refuses to reveal the whole story.
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Despite concerns from his lawyers the president still wants to sit down with Robert Mueller.
JOE BIDEN (D), FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's just amazing the inaccurate things the president says.
CUOMO: It is in your heart, it's in your head. How do you not run for president?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your new day. It is Wednesday, February seventh, 8:00 in the east.
President Trump saying he welcomes another government shutdown if Democrats won't tighten immigration laws.
The tone is bad, the timing worse. Why? Well, right now, you have bipartisan negotiations going on, on Capitol Hill.