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AT THIS HOUR

U.S. Adds 304,000 Jobs in January, Beating Expectations; Sen. Cory Booker Announces 2020 Presidential Run; Trump Labels Kamala Harris as Democratic Frontrunner for 2020; Sen. Sherrod Brown Plans Potential 2020 Presidential Run; U.S. Suspends Nuclear Arms Control Treaty with Russia; Trump Says Intel Chiefs Were "Totally Misquoted" When Publicly Contradicted Him. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired February 1, 2019 - 11:00   ET

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


[11:00:00] ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORT CORRESPONDENT: Then Gladys Knight singing the anthem. A minute, 49. I would take you over on that. And if you don't like those bets, the most popular every year is heads or tails.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: There you go.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And 33 years old. Goodness. That's young.

We will be watching.

Thank you, Andy.

HARLOW: Thanks.

SCIUTTO: Tell us you are out there. Enjoy it.

HARLOW: Yes, enjoy it.

To all of you, enjoy the big game Sunday night. We'll see you back here Monday morning. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCUITTO: I'm Jim Sciutto.

"AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.

We begin with a blockbuster jobs report out this morning: 304,000 jobs added last month. That beat expectations in a big way to say the least. It is also the 100th straight month of a hiring streak. This, despite the month-long government shutdown.

President Trump touting this moments ago, "Best January for the Dow in over 30 years. We have, by far, the strongest economy in the world."

Let's figure out what that economy looks like.

CNN Politics business correspondent, Cristina Alesci, is with us now.

Christina, walk us through the numbers. I'm really interested. CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's just one

month but it certainly will give Donald Trump a big data point to tout.

Let's look at the actual numbers. 304,000 jobs added in January. Let's put this into context. January tends to be a month that is a little noisy, meaning it could be revised down. If you look at the last three months, it still is an average of over 200,000 jobs, which is really strong.

Next screen we see the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate actually tipped down a little bit because more people reported being unemployed because of the government shutdown. And many economists I spoke to this morning actually said this is going to be temporary and those workers will come back online.

The next screen shows us just where the jobs were added. This is really interesting. And 74,000 in travel and hospitality. That means that people feel good. They are willing to spend money on recreational activities. That is a very interesting data point.

Health care continues to be strong at 42,000.

The next screen will show us just the long-term trend here. To your point, Kate, we have been adding a lot of jobs year over year. We have been over two million since really 2011. That is strong.

The big question going forward is, how long does this last, especially with the boost from the tax cuts kind of trailing off. That is what many economists are worried about going forward. But relatively strong. Certainly a victory for President Trump.

BOLDUAN: I mean, so many -- how long have we been asking that question. How long can it last?

ALESCI: Yes.

BOLDUAN: For quite a while now. We keep laughing.

Cristina, it's great to see you. Thank you so much.

ALESCI: Thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: This morning, another big 2020 annoucement. Democratic Senator Cory Booker, of New Jersey, threw his hat in the ring in an early morning video. He becomes the tenth Democrat to get into the race. Booker timing his reveal to mark the first day of Black History Month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D), NEW JERSEY: I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind. Where parents can put food on the table, where there are good paying jobs and good benefits. Together, we will channel our common pain back into our common purpose. Together, America, we will rise. I'm Cory Booker and I'm running for president of the United States of

America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: You got to love a snare drum.

CNN's Rebecca Buck is live near Cory Booker's home in Newark, New Jersey.

Rebecca, what else is Cory Booker saying this morning about this big announcement.

REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Kate, this has been a really interesting roll out for Cory Booker. It tells us so much about the campaign he is going to run and the candidate he wants to be.

It started with the video, as you saw, showing Cory Booker walking around Newark, New Jersey, the city we are in today, that launched his political career as mayor of Newark. After that video launch, he has been doing some very interesting interviews. He went on an African- American radio station. And he went on Univision and gave a Spanish- language interview. My producer, Daniel, who speaks Spanish, told me it was a broken Spanish response from Cory Booker. However, points for effort.

He has been spreading his message in these interviews of basically love, unity, bringing the country together.

I want to play you one clip from one of these interviews.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOOKER (voice-over): We are not going to win the race by showing the worst of who we are but by the best. I only know one way, as we were all taught by our best ancestors, that you can' can't drive out darkness with darkness. You have to bring the light. You can't drive out hate with hate. You have to bring the love. I think it is time for a more radical empathy for each other in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:05:05] BUCK: Some people might be wondering, how does a message of love break through in this political moment when Trump has risen to the presidency with harsh, divisive rhetoric. I asked Cory Booker about this in Iowa a few months ago before he annouced. He said he is not sure if it will be a winning political message, but it's the message he believes and so it will be the message of this campaign.

There's a couple other things that set him apart from this Democratic field. It is very crowded. One of the most diverse presidential fields in history. He is the youngest Senator running. In his video, he mentioned he is the only Senator that lives in the inner city and he is an unmarried vegan. So a lot of very unique qualities Cory Booker brings to the table -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: An unmarried vegan.

Great to see you, Rebecca. Thank you so much.

Joining me now CNN political director, David Challain, senior Washington correspondent, Jeff -- not from Iowa but he might as well be -- Zeleny.

It's great to see you guys.

I love that, an unmarried vegan.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That's hilarious.

BOLDUAN: Your nutritional status sets you apart.

OK, David, what does Cory Booker's announcement tell you about his campaign?

CHALIAN: It tells us the big-broad themes he wants to run on. This is what we are seeing from many Democrats getting in the race as they shape how they are going to present themselves in the Trump era. It's not so much to take on tweet by tweet but the big sort of restoration of a different way of conducting yourself and doing things with the notion of moving the country from common pain to common purpose, a sense of rising up. Those messages are clearly designed to contrast with the president.

The other thing that this roll out tells me is he is leaning in to his own identity. He is not shying away. This is the first day of Black History Month. He is making note of that, doing some African-American radio, holding -- putting out he video that has him walking the streets of Newark, doing his in his first video in his home city of Newark. This is all to embrace his identity. I think we saw similar with Kamala Harris. I find that a totally different approach than with Barack Obama when he launched his campaign 12 years ago, when he was making his own demographic history in presidential politics.

BOLDUAN: If you followed politics, we know, Jeff, that from his first race for city council he has been talked about as a possible presidential contender. There's no question. He has long been laying a groundwork. Hiring staff in key states. Many trips to Iowa and elsewhere. How does he set himself apart in the Democratic field now?

ZELENY: Kate, there's no question that Senator Booker has been talking about this for a long time. He lives a very public life of politics. By that, I mean he is very much embracing every new form of technology, Instagram, always live videoing. He is constantly bringing people into his life. So now he's setting a stage for a very public presidential run. We will see if he has what it takes to go the distance here in a very crowded, complicated presidential field.

Not only are they taking on a sitting incumbent president, but long before that, there's a very big experienced field here. He is going to have to rise to the next level to show that, on the substance level, he is as savvy as he is on the social media level.

We are also going to hear, for all the Newark we see today, we will hear Iowa geography. I'm not just saying that because I'm here on a chilly Friday morning in Iowa. When Seantor Booker comes to Iowa, as he did late last year, and he spoke to Iowan Democrats before, he reminds them that his grandmother was raised here in the town of Buxton, Iowa. It was a coal-mining town in southern Iowa that she was brought up. It was a desegregated town. He loves to talk about his Iowa roots here. He's not the only one here who finds a relative who was from Iowa right before the Iowa caucuses, but he does talk about that a lot.

I think what David mentioned was key about how different this is from Senator Obama, who entered this race some 12 years ago. He did not talk much about his African-American heritage. Because his upbringing was totally different. But it was that victory in Iowa that set the way for him to win in South Carolina. I think that method still holds. Talking to Iowa Democrats here, that is why this is such a key state for Cory Booker and Kamala Harris and so many others -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Before we move on, guys, I do note you are mentioning Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, there's the potential -- and, David, you noted this -- a potential of some seven U.S. Senators actually being in the same race. Kirsten Gillibrand putting out the tweet -- tweeting after the Booker announcement, "Congratulations to one of my closest friends. I'm cheering you on. Just not too hard."

It will be a fascinating dynamic to see how the very dear friends all play in this very crowded field moving forward.

[11:10:12] But let me talk to you, David, ask you about Donald Trump. He was asked about the Democratic field by the "New York Times." Let me read you part of what he said. Peter Baker asking him, who do you think is their toughest candidate. Trump says, he goes on to say, "I would say the best opening so far would be Kamala Harris. I would say, in terms of the opening act, I would say would be her."

At least right now, Trump is labelling her as the frontrunner. Why do you think he did that? There's the conventional answer of, I'm not paying attention to them right now. I'm running the country. It's an easy way to get out of it.

CHALIAN: Yes. I don't think Donald Trump was doing some jujitsu strategy. I think he is a visual consumer and I think he saw a well- attended announcement speech and a well-executed roll out of the Kamala Harris campaign, her first week on the trail. I think that kind of coverage, which was largely positive, it impresses the president. I think he clearly is responding to that. I don't think his impressions are all that different from many other observers at the moment of what a successful roll out looks like.

BOLDUAN: We've come full circle. It is still all about crowd size when it comes to President Trump.

Jeff, when talking about the 2020 field in that same interview, Trump brings up the economy, unemployment numbers, manufacturing jobs. That is where his mind was going.

You are following Senator Sherrod Brown in Iowa on a listening tour. And he is considering running. How does Sherrod Brown counter data, the jobs numbers out today, how does he counter that?

ZELENY: Kate is doing that directly. He is accusing the president of being what he calls being a phony populist. He's saying he has this message but it's not entirely directed at the working class. Senator Brown was using very specific stories here to talk about that G.M. plant specifically that is on the verge of shuttering this year. He said the president misled voters by saying this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D), OHIO: He promised them a year ago, said to the workers in Youngtown, don't move, don't sell your house. We're going to restore your factories. We will rip them down and build new ones. Well, we are still waiting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: It is through comments like that that Sherrod Brown is reminding voters that, yes, the economic big-picture numbers look good. No queston about it, it is a good jobs report. There are still so many people working two and three jobs, people looking for jobs. The manufacturing sector has not returned to most of the country as the president has talked about. He will be relitigating that. It is one of the reasons Senator Brown is looking into getting into the race here. He says there needs to be a candidate from the middle part of the country not necessarily just the east and west coast -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Amy Klobuchar says, I hear you, Sherrod Brown, I hear you.

Great to see you guys.

ZELENY: Indeed.

BOLDUAN: Great to see you guys.

Jeff --

(CROSSTALK)

ZELENY: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the Trump administration suspending a decades-old nuclear arms deal with Russia. Why now? What does it mean?

Plus, longtime Trump adviser, Roger Stone, set to face a judge again today as President Trump says he never talked to Stone about WikiLeaks. And he said this in a new interview.

And the Dow up triple digits right now after this morning's stellar jobs report. Here is a look at the big board. Look at that.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:18:43] BOLDUAN: It is official. The U.S. is suspending a landmark nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, a treaty that kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for decades. A treaty that has been a centerpiece of security at large in Europe since the Cold War. Now, no more.

Here is what the secretary of state said this morning in making this announcement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Russia has refused to take any steps to return real and verifiable compliance over these 60 days. The United States will therefore suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty effective February 2.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: CNN national security reporter, Kylie Atwood, is at the State Department for us.

Kylie, what did this treaty do and what does it mean that the U.S. is pulling out?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: This treaty prevented the U.S. and Russia from developing a certain type of missile. Now that the U.S. is pulling out of the treaty, both the U.S., Russia and China are going to continue developing this missile. And the fear, of course, is that creates an arms race, which was once prevented by the treaty.

A senior administration official was asked about an arms race launching today because of this U.S. decision, and essentially said, if there's an arm's race, it is Russia's fault, pointing a finger back again at Russia for the decision that the Trump administration has made today.

[11:20:05] But it is the Obama administration, past government officials that have said that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty, for years, dating back to 2013. This isn't a new development. What is new is the U.S. pulling out and what are going to be the repercussions of that.

The other thing to consider is China here. Secretary Pompeo did not mention China when he said the U.S. would be pulling out of the treaty today. But a senior administration official noted that China is unconstrained in this area of missile development. They have over 1,000 missiles. And the U.S. now can compete with them in this space.

That is a very, very scary reality for folks, who are saying, what is the U.S. going to be doing. What kind of pressures is it going to be under to compete with China and to compete with Russia? And what challenges does that mean for Europeans who are within missile- launching range of Russia and China?

BOLDUAN: Now raising more questions with this big move.

Kylie, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

Joining me now, Kelly Magsamen, a former senior Asia policy official at the Pentagon under President Obama, now with the Center for American Progress.

Kelly, it's good to see again.

With this announcement from Secretary Pompeo, he makes the point that Russia has been violating the agreement for years. What then is the risk that they run for pulling out if they haven't been complying?

KELLY MAGSAMEN, VICE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, INTERNATIONAL POLICY, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS & FORMER SENIOR ASIA POLICY OFFICIAL, PENTAGON: Yes. I think this is a pretty destabilizing move potentially. It's not just destabilizing in Europe but also in Asia, given the China angle.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

MAGSAMEN: It is like opening a Pandora's box and in that box is a bunch of potential nuclear missiles. So I think the big question for the Trump administration is what comes next. What are the plans for developing and fielding missiles in Europe and in Asia? What does that mean for our allies and partners? Some may not want to field those missiles in their countries. I think there are a lot of unanswered questions from the Trump administration.

BOLDUAN: That is key. What goes in its place? If the INF is done, what goes in its place? For you, from what you see and what you have heard, it's not clear to you?

MAGSAMEN: It's not clear to me what the plans are. There have been some discussion of potentially modifying conventional missiles that we have in our arsenal, for example, the Tomahawk missile and potentially fielding that missile in areas of Asia, including Guam. It's not very clear. I don't think the administration has articulated what the plans are to our allies either.

BOLDUAN: There also this remarkable thing that is playing out with regard to the country's national security. The country's national security and intelligence leaders testifying before the Senate on Tuesday. They publicly contradict some of the president's publicly stated positions on key issues like ISIS, like North Korea, like Iran. The next day, the president tweets them that they're naive, wrong, and suggests they go back to school. That was then Wednesday. Now the president says there's no contradiction and claims that the intel chiefs and here on the same page.

I want to play what the president said about this yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I didn't see the report from the intelligence. When you read it, it is a lot different than was covered in the news. He said they were totally misquoted and they were totally -- it was taken out of context. So what I do is I suggest that you call them. They said it was fake news.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: So there's a lot there that we should probably get through. You have been in the position of putting together these assessments. Do you see Gina Haspel and Dan Coats telling the president that the contradictions, which you can see publicly, because they were public, do you see them calling it fake news?

MAGSAMEN: Absolutely not. This actually really worries me that the president called them into the Oval Office, had a photo op where they said they basically agreed with him. Again, this is a pattern of the president politicizing our Intelligence Community, our military. This is a constant pattern from him. It really undermines our national security institutions. I just can't imagine that Dan Coats or Gina Haspel or intelligence professionals and political professionals would ever do that.

BOLDUAN: That's where we land today.

Great to see you, Kelly. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

MAGSAMEN: Thank you.

[11:24:35] BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, can a federal judge keep Roger Stone away from a camera? We may find out the answer to that today as Stone heads back to court. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: In just a couple of hours, longtime Trump adviser, Roger Stone, will be back in federal court facing seven charges, including lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering as part of the Russia investigation.

This, as the president declares, in a new interview, that he never talked to Stone or directed Stone to work with WikiLeaks on the stolen Democratic e-mails during the election.

Here is the president talking to the "New York Times."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you talk to him about WikiLeaks?

TRUMP: No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Because that seemed to be what --

TRUMP: No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You never had a conversation with him?

TRUMP: No. I didn't. I never did.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you ever tell him or other people to get in touch with them?

TRUMP: Never did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:30:06]