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Trump Slams Harley-Davidson's Move Due to Tariffs; Interview with Rep. Warren Davidson (R), Ohio; Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Faith-Based Pregnancy Centers in California; Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired June 26, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Then move some of that production overseas. And he's mad about it, really mad about it this morning. We expect to hear more about the tariffs, Harley-Davidson and jobs when House Speaker Paul Ryan takes to the podium there any moment. We'll bring that to you live. In the meantime, let's go to the White House where Abby Phillip is.
I was trying to count, it's like five or six tweets about Harley- Davidson this morning.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The president is clearly agitated about this issue. And he had once said that trade wars are hard to win, but it's clear that companies like Harley-Davidson disagree. The company has announced that it's moving some of its production over to Europe in order to not have to pay a 30 percent European tariff that is a response to President Trump putting tariffs on European imports to the United States.
So this is a problem that Harley-Davidson is feeling on its bottom line, and President Trump has responded in four or five tweets in the last 24 hours, including this one, just this morning, saying that a Harley should never be built in another country and he also says that they surrendered, they quit, and he threatened them with new taxes, saying they will be taxed like never before.
Now this policy has been one that the president has been kind of alone on, in large part, a lot of his party really disagrees with the idea that the solution to the problem of other countries putting tariffs on American goods is for the United States to put its own tariffs up, and in a kind of colorful statement issued last night, Republican Senator Ben Sasse says this about President Trump's policy.
He says, "This will go over like a Vespa at Sturgis. The problem isn't that Harley is unpatriotic, it's that tariffs are stupid. They're tax increases on Americans, they don't work, and apparently we're going to see more of this." So he's predicting that other companies are going to make very similar choices like Harley-Davidson in order to avoid these retaliatory tariffs that other parts of the world are placing on American goods and products.
The president is really doubling down here, sending out multiple tweets. This is a company, Harley-Davidson, that was just at the White House a year ago, in a huge photo-op on the South Lawn with President Trump and their bikes, now it is clear, Poppy, that this relationship has soured. But it remains to be seen how much of this Republicans can take.
Paul Ryan, who we're going to hear from, this Harley-Davidson is in his state, and he is also not too happy about this policy -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Abby Phillip at the White House, thank you so much.
Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here.
And Christine, Ben Sasse with the one liner, Sturgis being the big biker rally in South Dakota. And he says Vespa wouldn't go over there.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And he's right.
HARLOW: He's a Republican. What do you think?
ROMANS: Absolutely. I may be looking forward to see what Paul Ryan has to say because, you know, targeting Harley-Davidson was pretty strategic on the European Union's part, right? Because it sends a message to Republican leadership that it is not easy to win a trade war as the president has said. It is difficult to win a trade war and certainly this is not something that Harley-Davidson is going to wait to see how it's going to work out because they have to make Harley- Davidsons.
Look, this is what the tariffs look like, 31 percent E.U. motorcycle tariffs. That's going to add $2200 per bike to export and so what the company is saying is they will ship some production from the U.S. to a place to be determined, so they could be closer to selling into that European market, the second largest market, and they can avoid those tariffs.
Now earlier this year we've heard from the company that they would be adding some production in Thailand.
ROMANS: A factory they're calling Plan B.
HARLOW: The president called them out for this morning.
ROMANS: Right. That Plan B was because the president pulled out of the TPP. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a trade deal that would have been very good for Harley-Davidson. It would have lowered barriers on Harley-Davidson bikes made in the U.S. to that really important and fast growing Asian market.
Look, growth in the U.S. has slowed. Baby boomers are not buying as many bikes as they used to, right. And there is a generational shift happening overall. So you're seeing a company that wants to be close to its big fast growing customers in Asia but also these tariffs, specifically tariffs on their bikes will be difficult for bikes made in the U.S. and sold there. Now the president said something interesting, he said, Harley must
know they won't be able to sell back into the U.S. without paying a big tax.
HARLOW: Right. Is that factual?
ROMANS: That's not what they want to do. They don't want to build these bikes someplace else and then send them here, right. They want to send to the markets that are growing very quickly, the European Union, and it wants to sell them there without a big 31 percent tariff.
HARLOW: So that's an empty threat.
ROMANS: That's an empty threat.
HARLOW: Thank you, Romans. Appreciate it very, very much.
Joining me now, Republican Congressman Warren Davidson from Ohio. He's a member of the House Freedom Caucus, also sits on the Financial Services Committee.
It's nice to have you. Thanks for being with me.
REP. WARREN DAVIDSON (R), OHIO: Thank you, Poppy.
HARLOW: What's your reaction to the president's threats to Harley- Davidson this morning?
DAVIDSON: I don't know. I don't know if he's a shareholder or a board director so I don't think he's going to take over the company.
HARLOW: Elaborate on that for me. Do you like what you're seeing? Ben Sasse certainly doesn't. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin --
DAVIDSON: I think it's pretty alarming. I mean --
HARLOW: -- certainly doesn't. It's alarming?
DAVIDSON: Yes, I think it's alarming. I mean, you know, Harley- Davidson has got to look out for the best interests of Harley-Davidson and their shareholders.
[10:05:05] I love riding my Harley. Lots of Americans do. I don't think that's going to change. I think they're going to keep making the bikes they sell in America in America and, you know, there is a lot of demand for their bike around the world and they have a huge opportunity to grow that market.
My hope is they can do it from the United States of America. Tax reform was a big step in that direction. But there are other factors.
DAVIDSON: And this plan isn't something that just spun off as tariffs. You couldn't spin this off that fast, and it may be a contributing factor, but I think they're not going to make something this permanent over a temporary tariff.
HARLOW: Well, who's to say it's temporary? I mean, Christine Romans just went through all the numbers here and how much it would cost them to keep the production here with the new E.U. tariffs that are a response to the president's tariffs. Republican Senator Ben Sasse says the problem isn't that Harley is unpatriotic, it is that tariffs are stupid. They're a tax increase on Americans, they don't work. Is Ben Sasse right? Did the president overshoot here? Did he miscalculate?
DAVIDSON: Well, I agree, look, before I came into Congress just two years ago I was in manufacturing. I spent the past 15 years on the receiving end of bad trade policy. So I think the president is exactly right to target bad trade practices. We have been on the receiving end of bad trade practices.
I do disagree with some of the tactics and frankly I feel like the president has been given bad advice by some of his advisers.
HARLOW: Like who?
DAVIDSON: I think Peter Navarro is steering him in a wrong direction. And you see that coming to a head in the administration right now between, you know, Secretary Mnuchin and Peter Navarro. And prior to that, that was a big part of what former director of National Economic Policy resigned, Gary Cohn.
HARLOW: You know, it is the key reason, right? I mean, I'm interested also in what role you think Congress has in this because you tweeted something interesting on June 10th. You talked about the power that's been given to the presidency in terms of tariffs. And so unilaterally making these decisions as we've seen from the Trump White House. And you said, quote, Congress should quit ducking their duty on this issue and many more.
To me that sounds like you agree with Republican Senator Bob Corker that Congress should pass legislation that would tie the president's hands on unilaterally being able to impose tariffs like this. Am I reading that right?
DAVIDSON: Well, similarly, I differ from Bob Corker because I don't really want to take actions that undermine the president's effectiveness in his ongoing trade negotiations. But over the years, frankly, since the 16th Amendment passed, which created the income tax, Congress has progressively ceded its authorities on tariffs. It's one of the enumerated powers Congress is given. A tariff is a tax.
And so if Congress has had that authority and has given nearly all that authority to the presidency. So President Trump is acting entirely within his authority, legal authority, and so once we get our deals right, we've made them more productive and effective, we've improved them, I really feel like it's important to pass this bill. The Global Trade Accountability Act which I got the lead bill in the House, and Mike Lee has got the lead bill in the Senate.
HARLOW: So Congress should have a say, bottom line, Congress should have a say on these tariffs?
DAVIDSON: And when you look at why, if you look at there is some grades of steel that are no longer made in the United States, for example, there is over 20,000 companies that have petitioned for exceptions to these tariffs because their components can't be made with U.S.-based steel and because there is no tariff on the components they make.
DAVIDSON: Like whether that's nails or welding wire, for example, they're losing total market share. I mean, they're losing half their business quickly. They need these exceptions approved. But there is only six people in Commerce working on that. So we're trying to work to make sure we get more people available. If we are going to go down this path, that we at least provide relief. We hope the steel production comes back, but right now we know there are American companies that are being harmed by the existing tariffs.
HARLOW: Yes. Yes, we just talked to the representative from one, Mid Continent Nail in Missouri that might shutter because of these tariffs.
Congressman, we're out of time because we have to get to breaking news out of the Supreme Court. But I appreciate you being here this morning.
As I said, we're following breaking news out of the Supreme Court. Joining me now, CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider.
Jessica, what can you tell us?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, in the first opinion of the day this morning, the Supreme Court has sided with faith-based pregnancy centers when it comes to a California law. This was a case that really pitted abortion rights activists against the issue of free speech.
Now the Supreme Court here has sided with these faith-based pregnancy centers in saying that this California law may in fact go too far, but the Supreme Court hasn't gone as far as striking down the law. So what exactly was the law that was at issue? Well, California had passed a law saying that all of these pro-life or faith-based pregnancy centers had to have notices up. They had to distribute information to any of the women who sought care, telling them that California itself provided some low cost abortion services as well as contraceptive services.
[10:10:08] And many of these pro-life or faith-based pregnancy groups that operated these centers had a serious concern with this law, saying that it was a violation of their free speech because they said that California was mandating them to tell patients something that they just did not endorse. Telling them to tell patients about the availability of abortion services as well as contraception services.
So right now the Supreme Court in the first opinion of today, we're waiting for potentially more, the Supreme Court has sided with those pro-life pregnancy centers and they have said that this law may in fact go too far, it may in fact violate free speech, but they've sent it back down to the lower courts to once again look at it and make the final opinion.
But, Poppy, this would be a win for those faith-based groups. In fact we have several of them outside the Supreme Court today. We have groups on both sides, rallying here, so this in fact, a win somewhat for these pro-life pregnancy centers that said that California law just went too far in telling them what to post in their centers -- Poppy.
HARLOW: OK. Jessica, thank you very much.
Let's go to Asha Rangappa, our legal analyst, on all of this. And Asha, when you think about sort of the limits on faith-based organizations, and also what they cannot be forced to do, I think of the Hobby Lobby decision a few years ago. Of course this is different, but what's your big takeaway here on what the court is saying?
ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Poppy, at the end of oral argument, it did look like this law was going to be in trouble. The court was concerned about three things. So first they were concerned that this law, which is called the Reproductive Freedom Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act, FACT ACT, which targeted crisis pregnancy centers. These are usually faith-based non-profits associated with Christian groups that are giving pregnancy counseling.
And so the court was concerned that this law, which provided a lot of exemptions for other health care providers, was kind of targeting this particular group. There was also concern that there could be other avenues for the state to pursue if they were worried that these facilities were providing misleading information, for example, there are anti-fraud laws.
And finally, they were concerned about the undue burden on speech, that certain things might trigger a mandate that these organizations have to give disclaimers or information about low cost abortions. So I think that, you know, we'll have to see what the opinion actually lays out, but there may be other avenues for the state to pursue but just not in this particular way.
HARLOW: All right. Asha, thank you very much. A key decision out of the high court. Again, we're awaiting more of them to come down, this being the final week that the justices will hand down these decisions.
Still to come for us, waiting for House Speaker Paul Ryan to take questions amid concerns over these trade tensions. Also, the House gets ready to take up immigration reform, but can any of these bills actually pass? We're on it.
Plus, pleas for civility coming from the White House. Sarah Sanders calling for it as the president hurls new insults ahead.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
[10:16:04] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. We're following major breaking news.
The United States Supreme Court has issued a ruling in the case of President Trump's travel ban, which restricts immigration from several majority Muslim countries. The court is deciding whether or not the third version of this travel ban is legal after allowing it to go into effect last December, pending appeal.
Let's go to Jessica Schneider, our justice correspondent, she's up at the Supreme Court.
Set the scene for us. We're about to get the decision.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's right, Wolf. Our team is reading through the opinion right now. But, of course, this was one of the most highly anticipated cases of this term. The justices heard this case in oral argument at the end of April, and now two months later, they have in fact issued a decision on this. So we're reading through this to determine exactly what the Supreme Court has ruled, but this is a reminder, this was the third version of this travel ban by the Trump administration. It has gone to the Supreme Court, we're reading through it and, Wolf, we'll get back to you to let you know exactly what the Supreme Court has ruled -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jessica.
Jeffrey Toobin, our chief legal analyst. Jeff, we're anticipating momentarily the decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Seven countries involved, this is the third version of this travel ban. The administration tried to make it more palatable.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Right. One of the very interesting parts of this whole dispute is whether the court will consider things that the president said when he was candidate Trump, not President Trump, because as many people may remember during the campaign, he called for a ban on all Muslims from immigrating into the country. That was one of the things the lower courts considered invalidating all three versions of the travel ban.
It has certainly become more constitutionally palatable each time it's been revised by the White House and the Justice Department. The first version had very explicit distinctions based on religion and built into the executive order. The later versions appeared to be much more neutral in their orientation and that has led many people to believe that the court might uphold it as opposed to the earlier versions, but we are pouring through it right now and we will come up with a summary of what the court did very shortly.
BLITZER: Yes, we will. John King, this -- actually, let's go back to Jessica. The decision has been announced. Go ahead, Jessica.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, Wolf. The Supreme Court has reversed the 9th Circuit. What that means is that the Supreme Court is upholding the president's travel ban. We're still reading through this very lengthy opinion, but we know that it was a 5-4 decision, it was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. It was also joined by the crucial swing vote in many of these cases, Justice Anthony Kennedy. But the bottom line here is that the Supreme Court has upheld the president's right to enact this travel ban.
Remember, this was a travel ban in its third iteration now. It bans travel for certain classes of people from several different countries, and this was a hotly contested issue within the administration, also hotly contested issue at oral arguments just two months ago. So the Supreme Court saying today, the president does have the authority under immigration laws in this country to enact this travel ban.
This was something that restricted travel from several countries, not all of them Muslim majority. They did, in fact, include North Korea as well as Venezuela. And the solicitor general, Noel Francisco, when he argued this case two months ago, he made that point. He said that the administration had done a worldwide vetting of countries throughout the world to see exactly how they handled travelers and visas, and they determined that these countries just didn't meet the standards.
[10:20:05] So in fact the Supreme Court has sided with the administration in this case. They have upheld the travel ban here under the terms of immigration law saying it is well within the president's authority. 2
So, Wolf, we're going to continue to read this opinion. But again a 5-4 decision written by the chief justice here, saying that the president can in fact enact this travel ban. This will be in effect now that the Supreme Court has ruled -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. We'll get back to you. You know, John King, a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. This is a big win for the president, even though it's the third iteration of the travel ban. Very different than the first iteration when he said on December 7th, 2015, as a candidate, Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country representatives -- country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. This third version is much different.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Much different and here's one quote from the 5-4 decision, the proclamation does not exceed any textual on the president's authority. And that was never really in dispute, if you're -- this is an important victory for the president. It's also an important victory for those who believe in presidential power, and the president's authority to declare an emergency in some cases.
It is also a stunning reminder as you go back to that language of what happens when things are handled inside the White House by a small team, not vetted with the lawyers. You get legal and political chaos, which is what we got from the travel ban when it was first implemented and what we're seeing now with this family separation issue on immigration, when the president brings in the lawyers, as they did for the third version, they're upheld by the Supreme Court.
When the president rushed the first version out with Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, it had language in it that allowed the lawyers to challenge it by going back to the campaign, by saying this is about Muslims, this is about religion, this is not about national security. It's about prejudice. That's why version one and version two went down. Version three was more clearly vetted and the Supreme Court today sides with the president.
BLITZER: And this third version, which the Supreme Court, Evan, now says is constitutional is very, very specific, some countries like North Korea and Syria entry as immigrants and non-immigrants is suspended. Other countries, Yemen and Libya, less restrictive.
Actually Jeffrey Toobin is reading the opinion for us right now. So this is a key moment for the administration because this third -- this third iteration clearly very different than what was originally put forward.
TOOBIN: Well, and if I could just turn to the opinion itself here, where Chief Justice Roberts really addresses the issue, which has been so much at the heart of this, whether the president's really bigoted words during the campaign affect the outcome of this case. And if I can just read a couple of sentences from the opinion here, I think you can see how the court dealt with that question.
He said, plaintiffs, that is the people challenging the executive order, argue that the president's words during the campaign strike at fundamental standards of respect and tolerance in violation of our constitutional tradition. But the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements, it is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a presidential directive neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility.
In doing so, we must consider not only the statements of a particular president, but also the authority of the presidency itself. In other words, what the Supreme Court is saying here is that, you know, president -- or candidate Trump may have said things that it is easy to denounce, but this order itself is within the core powers of the presidency. Not just Donald Trump's presidency, but all presidencies and that's really the core of the decision here is that presidents are allowed to regulate immigration and particularly which countries we have immigration relationships with, and, you know, visa requirements and such, and that -- and that's why the court concluded the president had the authority to issue this travel ban for the sixth time.
BLITZER: So basically the majority of, the 5-4 majority, Jeffrey, we're accepting the administration's argument that the president of the United States has broad authority to determine what is in the national security of the country.
TOOBIN: Correct. And they said when the executive order is so clearly within the president's power, we are not going to consider what he said during the campaign, discriminatory though that may have been.
BLITZER: You know, Evan, you've studied this very closely. And I was just explaining how this third version has very specific requirements for specific countries, different requirements for North Korea and Syria, Yemen and Libya, Somalia, Iran, Venezuela. For Venezuela, entry of certain Venezuelan government official and their immediate family members as non-immigrants on some business and tourist visas suspended. So it's very nuanced, this third version.
[10:25:11] EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. The third version is very, very nuanced. And if you remember, the first version of this travel ban really was so clumsily done that people who had green cards, people who were simply on business trips and, you know, came from these countries were suddenly in the middle of a flight, were having to figure out whether or not they would be allowed into this country. There were people who stayed away for weeks because they didn't know whether or not they were going to be able to come back in to see their families. So -- to rejoin their families.
So you can see how the evolution of this travel ban by the time we get to the third one is squarely according to the court within the powers of the president and, Wolf, there is a part of the opinion in which Justice Roberts says addressing the statements of the president made on Twitter, and during the campaign and he says, we must consider not only the statements of a particular president, but also the authority of the presidency itself.
And he mentions that throughout the nation's history, presidents have lived up to those lofty ideals in their words and sometimes not so much. And so essentially they put aside all of the things that the president has said, which some of the lower courts by the way said were very relevant because they showed the intent of the president, the intent of the administration.
Here Justice Roberts says not so much, what matters is the power of the presidency, the authority of the presidency, and the fact is that the law, the two relevant laws here really do give the president a lot of broad authority on whether or not to allow certain people into this country for national security reasons.
BLITZER: And the argument that was made before the court was the president's broad authority to protect national security versus an anti-Muslim bias which would be unconstitutional and in this third version, five of the seven countries are majority Muslim countries, but two, North Korea and Venezuela are not.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And that's why you have seen sort of the evolution of this to fit more squarely within presidential powers to fit more squarely in terms of being a coherent argument around national security. Right? These countries don't necessarily have the kind of vetting that other countries have, the visa system and figure out who is coming into the country. So that argument obviously the court felt like was a winning argument, and that fit squarely within the president's power.
It also goes to show how important Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the Supreme Court has been. It's something that obviously the president as a candidate ran on, that he would be able to appoint a Supreme Court justice, a lot of voters like that, and they voted for him as a result, and it goes to show I think the power of Mitch McConnell in basically rejecting Obama's power to put Merrick Garland on the court.
So it's a big day for the president, we'll see what he comes out. He's been tweeting a lot this morning about a separate issue. We'll see what he tweets about this. We'll also see how he conflates this decision with the ongoing conversation about immigration. It's a conversation he has tried to talk about in terms of a national security threat and we'll see what this means in terms of what he says.
BLITZER: Yes, 5-4 decision, John. Pretty much along the way everybody expected. There was some wonder would Justice Kennedy swing one way or the other way. He went with the majority, shows how significant these Supreme Court justices are.
KING: It does, and it's a victory for the president again. It's also a reminder of the sloppy some would say Keystone cops way, especially version one was handled. And remember it was a year ago, and also a reminder of how long this has taken, because of how amateur the initial version was, we 2are now in June of 2018, talking about a policy the president wanted to implement on day one, early in January 2017 when he came into office.
A year ago, the president tweeted this, "The Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down politically correct version they submitted to the Supreme Court."
So, remember, as the president was losing on his way up through the court he was venting. I assume today he is going to celebrate.
BLITZER: Yes. It's a win for him, there's no doubt about that. Even though it's a watered down version of what he originally wanted.
Jeff Zeleny is our senior White House correspondent. I suspect there is no official White House reaction yet, is there?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there is no official White House reaction, except the words of one senior administration official I just spoke to who used the word vindication to describe the Trump administration's view of this ruling. And, Wolf, I'm told the president was indeed watching, is watching television coverage of the Supreme Court ruling. He's in the residence of the White House this morning. I'm also told that members of the White House Counsel's Office were explaining the ruling, going over it with him, even as White House aides were working on a statement about this right now.
But there is one sentence in that ruling that speaks exactly to why the White House views this as vindication. And Wolf, that is this. "The president of the United States possesses extraordinary power to speak to his fellow citizens and on their behalf." Much of this commentary obviously has been about the president's own comments online, on social media, as John King was just saying there.