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Trump Issues Threatenting Tweet Against Iran. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired July 23, 2018 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:34:10] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump warning Iran's president in an explosive all-caps tweet that came in overnight. Here is a part of it.
It says, "NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE."
Joining us now to talk about this and so much more, we have Democratic Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut. He is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, great to have you.
REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT), MEMBER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Good morning.
CAMEROTA: When Americans wake up to this tweet -- I mean, can you help them understand how alarmed they should feel? Are we on the brink of war with Iran or is this a distraction -- an intended distraction because of the Helsinki embarrassment, or is this a strategy -- the kind that we saw with North Korea?
How do you, in Congress, interpret this?
HIMES: Yes, it's a good question. Remember, it was 11:30 last night so actually, not just waking up but trying to sleep after seeing that tweet.
[07:35:01] Look, I think it's an overstatement to say that we're at the brink of war. I think that's -- I think that's probably not true.
What concerns me more is that if you look back at a bunch of President Trump's tweets before he was president, he criticized, several times, Barack Obama and said you just wait, he's going to start a war with Iran if he feels like he's on the political ropes -- and so, that's in his head. That's what worries me.
CAMEROTA: Just to prove a finer point -- put a finer point on that -- here they are. Here are those tweets.
This is from September of 2013. "I predict that President Obama will, at some point, attack Iran in order to save face."
This is November 2011. "In order to get elected, Barack Obama will start a war with Iran." So clearly, he understands this modus operandi. He's thinking of this modus operandi. This is in his head.
So where does that leave us with what he's doing today?
HIMES: Well, it's really concerning, particularly given the fact that, you know, I -- you sense in the country already it's been -- it's been a long time since 2008 when the country was really repulsed by the effects of the Iraq War.
We've seen American involvement in Middle Eastern wars before. The problem is it was 10 years ago -- nine, eight years ago -- so most people have forgotten what it is to open the newspaper every single day and to read four or five or six American names who were killed in a Middle Eastern war.
And if Iraq was tough, wait until you try Iran. Iran is a much more powerful country than Iraq ever was. Iran is already working to destabilize the region.
Anyway, my point being that we need to be very sensitive to the fact that this president, who doesn't have a very sophisticated sense of international relations, regards a war as a way to solve political problems and that's a scary thought.
CAMEROTA: And what does Congress do about that -- I'm just curious? What are the conversations that happen in the halls of Congress?
Do you start preparing? Do you start talking to the president and his staff about this? Do you ignore it?
I mean, what happens now?
HIMES: Well, I think -- I think two things can happen in the Congress.
The big thing is that Congress finally, after generations, needs to reassert its constitutional authority and duty to be the entity in the U.S. government that actually declares war. You know, this has been a problem under Democratic and Republican presidents, you know, and there are efforts. It's just that they don't seem to go anywhere.
Secondly -- look, I think we are approaching November. November is going to be very interesting.
I still think even though most Americans are starting to forget the horrors of the Iraq War that there is an ability to say hey, do we really want to go back to the brink? Do we really want to contemplate another Middle Eastern war? That could become an election issue.
CAMEROTA: OK, next topic. Because you're on the House Intel Committee, I know this is of particular importance to you, as so many Americans.
So, this FISA warrant has been released, OK, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act. This is unprecedented. Generally, these things are kept, you know, very behind the veil but now we see it.
And this is about Carter Page. It's what allowed the FBI and intel chiefs to get a FISA warrant on Carter Page.
So when we first look at it there's so many redactions, OK? At first, you think that it's just barely useful because I mean look at just a typical page of redactions there.
However, there are nuggets in there that are really interesting, so let me just read a portion of one.
"The application targets Carter Page. The FBI believes Page has been the subject of a targeted recruitment by the Russian Government -- [some things redacted] -- undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law. Page is a former foreign policy adviser to a candidate for U.S. president."
And so basically, it's just laying out for the American public to see what the predicate was -- why they were interested in Carter Page. And guess what, there's a lot there of why any FBI agent would ever be interested in Carter Page.
HIMES: Yes, that's right. And as usual, the truth of the matter is, which is there now for all to see, redactions notwithstanding, is the exact opposite of what the president tweeted this morning.
This is an investigation that got started because somebody who had been on the FBI's radar screen for a very long time -- for years -- Carter Page -- was involved with the presidential campaign and continued to have contact with people in Russia, including saying things like I'm an adviser to the Kremlin. This is Carter Page's words.
And so the notion that this thing got started, as the president is alleging, because of this sealed dossier is just plain wrong.
The notion that Devin Nunes and the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee tried to peddle that the judges weren't adequately informed, you can read the footnote in the -- in the FISA memorandum now. The judges were told that the Steele dossier -- which actually was not a big part of starting the investigation -- was, in fact, initiated by somebody who was looking to do the campaign and Donald Trump harm.
So all of these allegations, including the ones this morning from the president, are just flat-out wrong.
CAMEROTA: I mean, it wasn't just a footnote, it was a page.
HIMES: It was a page.
CAMEROTA: It was a full page of footnotes explaining who Christopher Steele was working for or what the motivation might have been for that.
And so -- you know, look, you work with Devin Nunes. I mean, we've talked about this before. I know that on a personal level you and he are cordial or even friends.
But now that this is in the public sphere, what do you say to Devin Nunes about what his conclusions were?
[07:40:03] HIMES: Well, the problem is -- and this has been true -- this has been true for a long time now. The problem is that we live in a world today where there are two alternative realities.
So most people -- certainly anybody with any sense of the law or the FISA court or of legal proceedings in general -- will look at the Nunes memo and say it's just completely wrong. We said that when -- in our Democratic response to it when it came out.
The problem is -- remember, Devin, and the president, and the people who support the president are speaking to the percentage of people that you were talking about 10 minutes ago -- a very small number of Americans who regardless of what the president does will support him.
And the point of all of this and flying in the face of the facts is that when Mueller does come out with something is to have discredited the Mueller investigation. To have a certain percentage of the Americans believe that it was a hoax.
Why? Because remember, the recourse against the president is a political recourse. It's impeachment.
Impeachment requires Republican members of Congress in the Senate to vote against the president and that's what this strategy is -- to stop that from happening.
CAMEROTA: So very quickly, what does all this mean for November? Do you think that voters are really focused on all of these sort of permutations of the Russia investigation and the FISA warrants and all that stuff? Do you think this has any traction in November for the midterms?
HIMES: You know, not a ton. Look, I -- foreign policy is traditionally not a main driver of the way people think about voting.
There are an awful lot of Americans out there, though, who do understand that when the president is lying, when the president is attacking the Department of Justice and law enforcement, as he does almost every single day, that what you're doing is you're weakening the foundations of our democracy.
When he's not calling out Vladimir Putin's attack on our democracy, you are weakening our country's political system.
CAMEROTA: In fact, he blames the United States. I mean, on the world stage, standing next to Vladimir Putin, he blamed the United States for stupidity and foolishness.
HIMES: Yes, he did.
What you will see though, Alisyn, is we're in primary season right now and Republicans can't afford to criticize -- you know, you'd like to believe that they might in the -- for the benefit of their nation. But those who do end up like my friend, Mark Sanford, and end up losing their primaries.
When we get through primary season, then all these Republicans in the Congress all of the sudden are facing a general electorate in November -- all of a sudden you're going to see some spines being grown and slightly a different language than you're hearing in primary season.
CAMEROTA: We'll check back with you for that prediction.
Congressman Jim Himes, thank you very much for being here.
HIMES: Thanks, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: John --
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Alisyn, thanks so much.
Investigators are going to pull up that sunken duck boat from the waters today. What are they looking for? We have new developments in a live report, next.
[07:46:49] BERMAN: Tiger Woods falls short at the British Open. He actually held the lead for a fleeting moment in the final round.
Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, John.
The whole sports world was in full freak-out mode for that one moment yesterday because for the first time since 2009, Tiger had the lead at the final round of a major.
All he had to do was hold on for nine holes but it all started falling apart on 11. Tiger's drive heading for the gallery.
And check this out, it hit a fan and the fan was actually filming the approach on his cell phone when the ball hit him, and you can see he dropped his phone. Tiger came over to him and gave him a ball and signed a glove for him. A pretty nice trade for getting hit with the ball.
Tiger double-bogeyed that hole then followed that with a bogey on 12 as well. He never recovered from that and ended up tied for sixth, which is his best finish in a major since 2013.
And afterwards, Tiger was upset at the missed opportunity but also happy because he got to share a special moment with his kids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, 14-TIME GOLF MAJOR CHAMPION: I'm a little ticked off at myself, for sure. I had a chance starting at that back nine to do something and I didn't do it. I told them I tried and I -- you know, I said hopefully, you're proud
of your pop for trying as hard as I did. It is pretty emotional because they gave me some pretty significant hugs there and squeezed, and I know that they know how much this championship means to me and how much it feels good to be back playing again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: And, Francesco Molinari ending up at the top of the leaderboard. He is the first-ever Italian to win a major championship.
And, Alisyn, I don't know what it is, it's just when Tiger is in contention on a Sunday again it just makes -- it makes the day just so much more special and exciting.
CAMEROTA: But, I mean, what was that member of the public doing there? Shouldn't -- I blame him. Shouldn't he --
BERMAN: The fan --
CAMEROTA: Yes. Shouldn't he --
BERMAN: -- who was actually watching golf?
CAMEROTA: Yes. Shouldn't that fan --
BERMAN: Why were they watching, Andy? Why were they watching?
CAMEROTA: No, hold on a second. Was that guy in the right place when the ball hit him?
BERMAN: It was Tiger who hit the fan.
CAMEROTA: But was the fan in the right place?
BERMAN: You're blaming the victim.
CAMEROTA: I am blaming the victim.
SCHOLES: He was standing on the ropes, Alisyn. He was in a perfectly fine spot.
CAMEROTA: Oh, OK. Our producer says Tiger's shot was not in the right place.
BERMAN: No, exactly. That's correct.
CAMEROTA: All right. Andy, thank you very much.
So, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh once said the Supreme Court ruling that forced President Nixon to turn over White House recordings near the end of the Watergate investigation might have been wrongly decided. Kavanaugh made the comment nearly two decades ago.
That interview and thousands of pages of documents related to Kavanaugh are now in the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
When reached for comment, the White House pointed to a more recent speech by Kavanaugh where he praised the 1974 opinion in U.S. versus Nixon, which set a precedent to limit claims of executive privilege.
I mean, doesn't the more recent one win?
BERMAN: Look, there aren't many people who say that Nixon was wrongly decided. It was unanimously decided. So if you say it at all, it's controversial.
There's a huge paper trail with Brett Kavanaugh which means that this will all be very drawn out and complicated. However, it's just not going to make much of a difference in the end, I don't think.
CAMEROTA: Oh, you're right. The numbers certainly are on his side. But it's fascinating to dig back into archives --
CAMEROTA: -- to look at all of this.
[07:50:00] BERMAN: All right. In about one hour, the Coast Guard will begin raising the duck boat that sank in Missouri last week killing 17 people. CNN has learned that none of the victims were wearing life jackets.
CNN's Kaylee Hartung live in Branson with the very latest -- Kaylee.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, survivors telling CNN that the crew told them where the life jackets were on board but said don't worry about them, you won't need them.
As you mentioned, that salvage operation led by the U.S. Coast Guard will begin in the next couple of hours. The boat sitting 80 feet deep in Table Rock Lake behind me. We're told that operation could take several hours. Once that boat is back on land, it will be under the care of the NTSB for inspection.
Already though, divers have recovered a recording device from on board that boat. The NTSB processing that material in its D.C. offices.
We're told it could take two weeks, though, before they're able to see or hear anything from it. That process of recovering sensitive material has to be done carefully.
Much of the information that the NTSB is working from now, though, comes from interviews with witnesses and survivors -- 14 survivors.
Among them, Tia Coleman. Tia lost nine of her family members on Thursday night, including her husband and three kids. Now she's trying to process the thought of returning home to Indianapolis without them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIA COLEMAN, SURVIVED DUCK BOAT SINKING AT TABLE ROCK LAKE, LOST NINE FAMILY MEMBERS: Going home, I already know it's going to be completely difficult. I don't know how I'm going to do it.
I'm a -- since I've had a home, it's always been filled with -- it's always been filled with little feet and laughter, and my husband. I don't know how I'm going to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: Tia says she's always loved the water Alisyn, but she says she will never get on another boat again.
CAMEROTA: Kaylee, it's unthinkable to imagine what life lies ahead for that woman when she goes home and her house is now empty after this tremendous loss. I mean, there's just -- there's no answer for her and it is so heartbreaking.
So obviously, we need to get real answers of what went wrong for everybody else who loves going out on the water.
So, Kaylee, thank you very much for that all of that reporting.
So, one of America's top CEOs is going to weigh in on President Trump's trade threats. We have a CNN exclusive interview for you, next.
[07:55:05] BERMAN: President Trump is escalating trade threats against key U.S. allies and one of the world's most powerful CEOs thinks that's bad policy.
Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans has her exclusive interview with JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Hi, guys.
ROMANS: You know, it's so interesting because I spoke to the head of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, at the bank's Entrepreneurs of Color Fund event in Chicago and he told me the president is right to target China on trade but he's not right about anything else.
JAMIE DIMON, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: The way to look at trade, the president has raised serious issues that are pretty accurate around China that need to be fixed.
We want NAFTA done. I think Mexico is wonderful neighbors. We want NAFTA done and to be torturing Mexico this way, in my opinion, is dead wrong and it should be fixed. We thought that what the president should do was work with Mexico, work with Canada, do TPP, work with our European allies and our Japanese allies, and go to China with a common front. Not against them but this is --
DIMON: -- the way the modern world should deal with trade or particularly around I.P., state-owned enterprises, and all these various issues.
You know, now we have kind of a little bit a trade war or trade skirmish -- however you want to define it -- with all our allies and China. So if somehow the president's team do a great job maybe we'll have a great outcome. But I would remind folks the president's team has already said there will be no retaliation.
DIMON: They've already been wrong. If you do another $200 billion of tariffs and this national security thing about cars, I think that you're getting pretty there close to having reversing some of the benefits that we've seen in the economy.
ROMANS: Trade advisers to the president in the White House tell me with great confidence that the economy is so strong and this is exactly the time for them to be addressing these issues with China and with Europe and bringing back steel jobs.
Do you buy that that it's so strong this is -- this--
DIMON: No, I don't buy that and I'd be a skeptic. I think it's an argument after the fact. I think you should do the right thing in trade whether the economy is strong or not.
ROMANS: He also said the president should be ticked off at his trade advisers. That they're going after trade on so many different fronts and not a united front against China with all of our -- all of our allies.
I also asked him about what some deride as corporate welfare, right? This $200 billion in stock buybacks. They've got this big tax cut and companies just went crazy rewarding their shareholders more than they rewarded workers and the public, and this is what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIMON: We need a competitive tax system for the future health of the economy of the United States of America. This is the most prosperous economy the world has ever seen. We need to make sure it's that way because it's good for our people.
A lot of companies came out and raised minimum wages, did some capital expenditures, but the fact is the benefit is cumulative over time. It's capital -- it's redeployed -- retained and redeployed. Dividends and stock buybacks are simply redeployment of capital to a better and higher use.
So you might get higher dividends and you might buy something with it. Someone else may reinvest it. It might go to venture capital, it might go to different things, but it needs to be reinvested if you can't use it yourself. So I -- this notion that somehow it's a bad thing is a bad idea.
And remember, our shareholders -- 100 million individuals -- through pensions plans -- they're also veterans, retirees, teachers, union folk --
DIMON: We work hard to benefit our shareholders and that's a huge mass of society. It's not like a few rich people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: The economy really strong, he says, getting stronger. Wages are going to go up. The real risk is a trade war and also, income inequality and the uneven nature of the economy.
We were in Chicago where they're putting $4.5 million into some West Side and South Side neighborhoods to get funding for small businesses. The economy's doing great but still, in some of these neighborhoods and inner cities, it's still real tough.
CAMEROTA: Right. I mean, but that's why when he says redeployment of capital. Is it to the lowest rung of workers?
ROMANS: Well, no, it's to shareholders, right?
CAMEROTA: Right, that's my point. So he's saying there's a trickle- down.
ROMANS: Right. So there have been some that have been deployed to, for example, raising wages and hiring new people and the like -- about $200 billion in corporate and share buybacks. We've never seen a number like that so it remains to be seen how that -- how that trickles down.
Jamie Dimon likes what's good for JPMorgan Chase. I think that is his guiding principle.
Christine Romans, great interview. Thanks so much for being with us.
BERMAN: We've got a lot of news developing overnight and into the morning, so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Iran is run by something that resembles the mafia.
RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: We've seen a lot of very bellicose words from Mr. Trump but, you know, this tweet really takes it to a new level.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's trying to change the subject away from his disastrous summit.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us in 2016. The president needs to say that.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: In the president's view, any sort of admission of Russian interference as admission of collusion.
JOHN KERRY (D), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: It sends a message that he doesn't know either what the facts are or he won't accept the facts.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We signed a wonderful paper saying they're going to denuclearize.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump is frustrated at the pace of talks (ph).
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Restart the military exercises as a stern warning to what happens if they play you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, July 23rd, 8:00 in the east.
And we do start with some breaking news for you because President Trump has issued that stern warning to the president of Iran.
This was a late-night tweet. You may have missed it if you've been sleeping. It was in all caps.
The president wrote, in part --