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Market Plunge on Trade Threat; Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is Interviewed on Gun Legislation; Contempt Proceedings against Barr; Duchess Meghan Gives Birth to Boy; Michael Cohen Speaks Before Going to Jail. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired May 6, 2019 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: First to the markets here. It's been quite a run for weeks now and this would be quite a blip.
There's the opening bell.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, here we go. The opening bell.
And just like that, and the snap with one tweet from President Trump, he's literally changed the mood of the market. The market doing a 180 from what we've seen over the past few months where we've seen the Dow up so far this year 14 percent, the S&P 500 up 17 percent, the Nasdaq up 22 percent higher for the year. We've seen the S&P and the Nasdaq hit fresh record highs.
Well, all of that comes to an end with that tweet from President Trump. You see the Dow now Dow 254 points. As it goes lower, 260.
Listen, it's rattling the markets because we saw this run-up in the market because of the expectation, the consensus that there was going to be a deal, a trade deal made, between China and the U.S. So we saw investors pour into the market, buy stocks at higher valuations. Well, now that it looks like a deal may not get done, it means the landscape may change. It may mean that business could get more expensive with tariffs tacked on to products all across the board.
And that is why you're seeing investors really run for the exits today because there's so much uncertainty surrounding what was once one of the main factors that caused stocks to raise higher.
Jim and Poppy.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, you know, Romans, I think it's so interesting because these tariffs, if they get hiked up to 25 percent, which the president is threatening --
HARLOW: This hurts a lot of his base. I mean this really hurts farmers in the Midwest, et cetera. It seems sort of antithetical to the -- to the mission there, at least politically.
But just talk to us about why the market is looking at this and giving this more weight than the good GDP number and the great jobs number.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting. I mean the good GDP number and the good jobs number could be very well why the president is doing this now because the trade hawks around him have always said, the economy is strong. If we're really going to fix this imbalance with China, we've got to do it now when the U.S. economy can weather it.
ROMANS: And the president has said, you know, you don't see consumer inflation rising rapidly here, that we're absorbing these tariffs.
But, look, if you -- if you're importing furniture or smart watches or baby, you know, baby car seats or bicycle helmets, or all kinds of different -- 5,000 different categories of items, prices would go up as soon as Friday.
Now, doesn't it sound, though, like the president sounds a bit impatient? He had a deadline of March 1st. And he waived that deadline because such good progress was being made. And 10 rounds now of talks with the Chinese. It sounds to me like he is frustrated that there are core structural issues that the China haven't moved far enough on and he doesn't want to be blamed for taking a headline win for a weak deal, right? Just a weak deal for a headline win.
ROMANS: I think he's sensitive to that.
SCIUTTO: So, Christine, there had been two camps, my understanding, in the administration, hardliners, Lighthizer, Peter Navarro --
ROMANS: Yes. Yes.
SCIUTTO: Pushing for a harder deal and then others who they describe as accomodationalists, right, perhaps Steve Mnuchin and others, pushing for something a little bit softer.
Do we have a sense of who has the upper hand now in those two negotiations?
ROMANS: Well, it sounds like -- and I have been told several times when I've asked this question to folks around the president, he is the one driving China policy. It is him and him alone. And that he has been very strong on China for very many years and he thinks this is a core campaign promise that he has got to level the trading -- level the playing field with China.
You know, and what -- what he -- what he doesn't want -- people around him don't want is just a big soybean order, or undoing the damage that's been done by the past year. They really do want structural changes, promises about not steeling American intellectual property. You know, the U.S. economy is in a better position than China's,
though. So maybe President Trump thinks that he can put -- keep tariffs on for the rest of the year, and raise tariffs and that he has the upper hand here.
SCIUTTO: All right.
HARLOW: By the way, guys, it also stands in stark contrast to, you know, his vice presidential -- former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden saying last week China's not such a big worry, right?
HARLOW: And here he is saying, no, we've got to go hard, hard, hard.
All right, well --
SCIUTTO: And also, by the way --
SCIUTTO: We talk about this a lot, you and I pay the tariffs. China doesn't pay.
HARLOW: Right. Right.
SCIUTTO: It ends up in the prices of goods we buy. End of story.
ROMANS: And right now that $200 billion is 10 percent tariffs. When you go up to 25 percent, that starts to bite.
And, remember, the president's threatening to do everything. Shortly, he said, another $325 billion.
I would say, 1.5 percent, I know that looks really scary, guys. Put it in context. The S&P is up 17 percent this year. This is not a big hit here yet.
ROMANS: We want to see what the president say, what the Chinese negotiators say this week and see where this goes from here.
HARLOW: All right. We'll watch those numbers, guys.
Thank you so much, Alison Kosik at the exchange.
Christine Roman, thank you. [09:34:34] Up next, 2020 hopeful Senator Cory Booker will join us live, his new plan out this morning to combat gun violence and how he plans to stand out in the crowded Democratic field. That's next.
HARLOW: All right, welcome back.
So, this morning, New Jersey senator and 2020 candidate Cory Booker is unveiling his sweeping plan to combat gun violence in America. Some of the big takeaways, federal licenses for gun owners and a complete ban on assault weapons.
SCIUTTO: Joining us now is Democratic candidate for president, Senator Cory Booker.
Senator, we appreciate you taking the time this morning.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, thank you for having me on.
SCIUTTO: So let me start, if I can, and we respect the effort. Poppy and I have interviewed too many parents of children lost to gun violence on this program. And I know you've encountered many victims as well.
But I want to get to a practical question first, and that is -- that is how. Republicans control the Senate. As you know, many of your Democratic colleagues, they are reluctant to take on the NRA as well. How do you get measures like this past Congress, including an assault weapons ban, where many have failed before you?
BOOKER: Well, this asked question of how it's been asked before in our history of times of great moral crisis. Civil rights legislation failed time and time again. And a lot of people were asking how. And a lot of people were saying that activists were asking for too much and demanding too much.
[09:40:12] But we brought a fight in the civil rights movement like Congress had never seen and overwhelmed the racist rants of people like Strom Thurmond, who were trying to block that legislation.
This is a moment where we have a national crisis. In my short lifetime, more people have died due to gun violence in all the wars in American history, from the Revolutionary War to the present. The carnage in our communities, the fear that we see from neighborhoods like mine, where we just had a shooting two blocks from where I live this weekend --
HARLOW: Yes. Yes.
BOOKER: All the way to people in communities around this country. Enough is enough. And so I'm the guy who's helped dealt with this issue on a very personal level. People I've lived with in my buildings, people from my neighborhood, an assault rifle killing, Shahad Smith (ph), on my block last year. Enough is enough. We're going to bring a fight like the NRA and the gun lobby, and those people who don't stand with the majority of Republicans who believe we should be taking steps to end the carnage in America. I will not only lead this fight, but we will win this fight.
HARLOW: So, Senator Booker, one thing that really stood out to me this morning reading your proposal, which you've just unveiled today, is that you propose a mandatory interview for every person who would like to purchase a gun. Tell us a little bit more about that. Who would be doing the interview? Would that person be the ultimate decider on if an American can buy a gun? And what would they be looking for?
BOOKER: Well --
HARLOW: And, on top of that, would they get a second shot at an interview ever or does this person decide yes or no for the person's lifetime?
BOOKER: Well, let's not exaggerate what this is. It's actually really simple. We do it for passports. We do it for TSA pre-check. We make sure that the documentation people are putting before aligns with the truth. And so this is just basically licensing.
BOOKER: We do this for people who are driving cars. It's not --
HARLOW: But so I understand, the interview would be a more factual interview, you know, are they who they say they are, not an interview about their mental health or assessing their ability to have a gun and use it judiciously.
BOOKER: Yes, again, we -- this is not something new. We do it in many states. Connecticut did this and they dropped the gun violence in their state by over 40 percent, deaths by suicide by over 15 percent. There's nothing that is, in fact, not shown evidence based in this plan that would drive down gun violence and shift the terms of the debate, which have been shaped, not by legislators, shaped not by Americans. It's been shaped by the corporate gun lobby that has an insidious agenda to get more of these killing machines in the hands of people that are going to do harm.
SCIUTTO: Yes. Yes.
BOOKER: And our -- and our legislation has been shaped in dramatic ways. Most people don't know that consumer product safety literally had -- the one industry that's been exempted is the gun lobby. So we have different regulations for toy guns and no regulations for weapons on our streets that are killing so many people.
SCIUTTO: And people often forget the financial incentive.
I want to ask, if I can, where the party is in this big Democratic field for president, and you, yourself, because, as a senator, you started your time in the Senate as a relative moderate. You publicly defended private equity, for instance. But you've moved in a more progressive direction during those years, and as you've run for president, supporting marijuana legalization, for instance, but also now, during this race, Medicare for all, green new deal. And I just wonder, because when you look at the CNN polling, many, arguably most Democratic voters, are more moderate than that on the big issues. Is the party moving too far to the left and does that reduce your chances of beating Trump in 2020?
BOOKER: Well, I actually reject your analysis. Since the time I was a mayor, I'm a pragmatist. I had to fix things when I was the chief executive of New Jersey's largest city. And, in fact, if you look at tweets going back to 2009, my positions then are consistent with my positions now.
And, by the way, things like getting institutional capital into Newark to build our first new hotel, it created hundreds of jobs. Now we have four or five new hotels in Newark. These are the things that make a difference for the people that live in my community. I was the only person in the United States Senate that lives in a lower income, inner city, black and brown community. I don't have time for ideological purity that undermines progress for people right now.
And so my positions have been consistent about what are the kind of things that make a difference for families that are struggling.
SCIUTTO: Senator, to be fair, how do you achieve Medicare for all now? How do you pay for it? How do you achieve the green new deal now? How do you pay for it? I mean these are issues that sound great on social media, but how do you bring that to reality?
BOOKER: Well, you and I share the same frustration. If we reduce this campaign to sloganizing, then voters are going to be shortchanged. And that's why in my town halls, I have substantive conversations and I'm telling people know that we're not going to be able to flip a switch and get Medicare for all to fix this savagely broken system where we spend more money than any other country on the planet earth and get worse results than any other industrial nation. And so the way you do that is by beginning to take steps towards expanding access and lowering costs, by creating Medicare for all who want it or reducing the Medicare eligibility to 55, which would help us lower costs in the private insurance pools.
[09:45:21] And so if you actually listen to what I say beyond the initial value statement that everybody in America should have a right to health care, the pragmatic plan is very similar to how we turned around a city. When I told people, hey, we in Newark are going to double the production of affordable housing. The how was very hard. We had to think of creative ways. But if you go in Newark right now, we achieved our goals and turned around a city on many bigger issues.
My whole career has been about running towards problems people said were impossible to solve, but being very pragmatic and bringing together uncommon coalitions to produce uncommon results.
HARLOW: Can I --
BOOKER: The best evidence of that, as a United States senator, is people told me we couldn't pass comprehensive criminal justice reform with a Republican president. Well, I led that on the Democratic Senate side with Dick Durbin and got things accomplished by being pragmatic and working across the aisle to find common ground.
HARLOW: Senator Booker, before you go, just one final question on your gun proposal, since you've just released it this morning.
Your fellow -- your competitor in the 2020 race, Congressman Eric Swalwell, has also, like you, proposed an assault weapons ban. But he's proposing a buy-back programs where Americans who currently have those guns could sell them essentially to the government. But if they don't, within a certain period of time, they would be prosecuted, so subject to be thrown in jail perhaps. Are you supportive of the same measure?
BOOKER: Well, first of all, when I was mayor of the city of Newark, again, I have a record on dealing with gun violence. We -- we did a lot of gun buy-backs. And even other creative ideas that I think we should have when I'm president of the United States.
The critical thing is, I think most Americans agree that these weapons of war should not be on our streets. And, again, some --
HARLOW: But would you -- would you prosecute people? Do you support the government buying them back and, if not, potentially people could go to jail if they don't want to sell them back, yes or no?
BOOKER: Again, we should have a law that bans these weapons and we should have a reasonable period in which people can turn in these weapons. Right now we have a nation that allows, in streets and communities like mine, these weapons that should not exist.
SCIUTTO: Senator Cory Booker, good to have you on. We look forward to keeping up the conversation.
BOOKER: Yes, thank you very much.
HARLOW: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Be sure to watch Senator Booker's interview with David Axelrod. That's going to be this weekend on "Axe Files" Saturday night at 6:00 Eastern Time only on CNN.
And we have this breaking news just in to CNN.
We are learning that the House Judiciary Committee will hold the attorney general, Bill Barr, in contempt. That's a remarkable development. They're set to begin proceedings against him later this week.
HARLOW: Yes, that is a big deal.
Let's go straight to our senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju. He joins us on Capitol Hill.
What can you tell us?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the House Judiciary Committee just announced plans to have a vote on Wednesday to hold the attorney general of the United States, Bill Barr, in contempt after the Justice Department did not meet the demands laid out by a subpoena issued by that committee for the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence. That subpoena that asked for the information by last week, that didn't happen. There was a counteroffer proposed by Democrats. That counteroffer's demands, not offered.
Now, just moments ago, the Judiciary Committee said that on Wednesday there will be a vote to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress. Now, it says this in the -- in the report that they plan to vote on in committee, that William P. Barr, attorney general of the United States, shall be found to be in contempt of Congress for failure to comply with the congressional subpoena.
Now, in this report, they argue that the Democrats need this information, the underlying evidence as well as the un-redacted portions of the report to help with their investigation into the president, to help with any potential legislation that they need. They say it is imperative that the committee have access to all of the facts contained in the full Mueller report to be evidentiary and investigatory materials cited in the Mueller report and to other materials produced and collected by the special counsel. They say that this is necessary in order for their oversight, legislative or constitutionally warranted responses. Now, that last part, constitutionally warranted responses hints that that one thing that they could do in that committee, move forward with articles of impeachment. They're arguing in a sense that they need all this information to determine what they should do to deal with the president, the accusations of obstruction of justice, to determine whether or not they should go down that route of impeachment, which we know at the moment that Democratic leaders don't want to go.
But now they do plan to hold the attorney general in contempt. Something that could set up a court fight that could take some time. The Justice Department, so far, has said that this demand for the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence is not a legitimate request and they say it's overbroad. We'll wait for an official response in a matter of moments here, guys.
[09:50:05] HARLOW: OK. Don't go far, Manu. We know you have a lot ahead on this.
HARLOW: Thank you so much.
A little bit more breaking news for you this morning.
Some very happy news. It is a boy. The duke and duchess of Sussex have welcomed their first child.
SCIUTTO: The seventh in line to the throne. I believe I have that right. HARLOW: Yes.
SCIUTTO: Max Foster joins us now from Windsor.
Big news. Happy news.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, seven pounds. You know, it's a healthy weight. We're being told that it's healthy as well, this little boy. So good news.
Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother, was with her at the cottage at the time and a very happy moment. As you say, seventh in line to the throne. So very unlikely ever to be king.
And we're waiting to hear actually from Buckingham Palace whether or not this boy will be a prince. That's down to the queen to decide, actually, because it's not automatic at this level in the monarchy. But if she does grant the title of prince, then he'll be known as his royal highness, prince to be confirmed of Sussex. So we're waiting to hear on that.
But this is a very modern couple. They are allowed to do things their own way because they are relatively junior in the rankings here, would you believe, even though they're -- you know, they've been so integral to the royal family here. So they can choose a name of their own choice. They don't have to have something regal. I think very likely to go for an American name, considering how patriotic Meghan is and the fact that this baby will actually be a joint U.K./U.S. national, which is a moment in this thousand year history as well of the British monarchy, the first American prince, potentially, but certainly royal.
SCIUTTO: I think James is a good royal name. I think there was a King James. Just throwing that out there. No pressure.
HARLOW: That's great. That's true. It would be a good choice, James. Let's bet on that.
All right, so let's listen for a moment to the very proud new father, Prince Harry. Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY: To announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy early this morning. A very healthy boy. Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It's been the most amazing experience I could ever possibly imagine. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension. But we're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all of the love and support from everybody out there -- from everybody out there. It's been -- it's been amazing. So I just wanted to share this with everybody.
QUESTION: And, what about names? You still thinking about names?
PRINCE HARRY: Still thinking about names. It's -- yes, the baby is a little bit overdue, so we've had a little bit of time to think about it. But, yes, we're still -- that's -- that's the -- that's the next bit for us. I think we'll be seeing you guys in probably two days' time as planned as a family to be able to share it with you guys and so everyone can see the baby.
QUESTION: Well, you can't stop smiling. It must have been a very -- as is any birth is amazing, but for your own child, it must be --
PRINCE HARRY: I haven't been at many births. This is definitely my first birth. But it was amazing. Absolutely incredible. And as I said, I'm so incredibly proud of my wife, and as every father and parent would ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing. But this little thing is absolutely to die for. So I'm just over the moon.
Thank you very much, guys. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Over the moon.
HARLOW: Jim, as you and I know, nothing better than a healthy baby. Good for them.
SCIUTTO: That's right.
And, Max, do we know -- so was it a home birth? There was a lot of talk about this leading up to it with a midwife as opposed to in the hospital. Do we know?
FOSTER: Well, all the implication is from everything we've seen it was at Frogmore Cottage, which is where they live here. Their new home. I'm trying to confirm that, actually, because it was quite -- slightly unclear, but it does appear that that was the case.
Also, interesting to hear Harry at all speaking so immediately. That wasn't the plan. That was a very impromptu decision that he made, trying to get that balance of allowing, you know, media access, but also trying to have a private celebration, which is what he was very keen on.
Also pointing out that we will get the first pictures on Wednesday, which everyone is holding out for, of course. This was another compromise. He didn't want to sort of bring this baby out in front of the world media as previous royal babies have been. He didn't feel that was appropriate. And Meghan didn't feel that was appropriate either. They're going to have a very small pool. So one TV camera, one stills camera, and one print reporter will be invited into the castle, and they'll be able to capture the new family for the first time.
And then, of course, the world will be poring over whether or not this little boy takes after his father or his mother, as we always do.
HARLOW: Max Foster --
SCIUTTO: Max Foster --
HARLOW: Thank you very much.
You're looking now at live pictures. This is in New York City, in Manhattan. Michael Cohen, the president's former attorney and fixer, is walking out of his apartment, about to make a statement before he goes to jail. Let's listen to this live.
[09:55:00] MICHAEL COHEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER ATTORNEY: I hope that when I rejoin my family and friends that the country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice, and lies at the helm of our country. There still remains much to be told. And I look forward to the day that I can share the truth.
And thank you all very much.
HARLOW: That, Jim, that was a short but incredibly significant statement. We're going to keep you on these live pictures of Michael Cohen there. The president's attorney, you can't overstate the importance of this, the optics of this. The president's attorney, former fixer for years, Michael Cohen is heading to jail to serve his time. And he just said, when he comes out of jail, Jim, he hopes that the country will be different and there will not be, quote, lies at the helm of our country.
And, Jim, he said he has a lot more to say.
SCIUTTO: Listen, the president has tried to distance himself from Michael Cohen. It just doesn't stand up to the facts or the history. For more than a decade, Cohen intimately involved in his personal dealings, his business dealings, paying off women who the president had affairs with, lying about it. The president has lied about it. But then coming to court and speaking the truth, he says about it now, and also implicating the president in a crime. A crime of -- an election related crime, spending money to influence an election using campaign funds.
So a significant moment to see him go off to serve time.
SCIUTTO: And on issues that remain open in court, whether the president also committed a crime with those payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. Still an open question, still being pursued by the Southern District of New York.
So this story is not over, certainly for Michael Cohen, he's got to go to prison, but it's also not over for the president legally. That's a fact.
HARLOW: Yes. Yes. Again, these are live pictures. This is in the middle of midtown
Manhattan, East 59th Street there and Park Avenue. Michael Cohen in that black Escalade SUV is heading to prison. This is significant, of course. This is someone who, you know, would take a bullet for the president, Jim, and someone, you know, some thought he would not have turned the way that he did and said the things that he said.
HARLOW: But he is going to serve his time for the crimes that he committed. And I just think it's so fascinating that he said there's still -- there still remains much to be told. I mean he testified twice before Congress. You know, some of it in front of the American people.
SCIUTTO: Yes, well --
HARLOW: I wonder what else he has to say.
SCIUTTO: Don't discount the possibility of a book. That this is --
SCIUTTO: This is Washington, or this is the world of Washington. He's in New York.
SCIUTTO: But, listen, he will have other opportunities to speak. And it seems more details to share, he's claiming there. But in a way, in a veiled way, or not so veiled way, taking a shot at his former boss as well as he heads off to prison.
HARLOW: Oh, yes.
HARLOW: Absolutely. Saying he hopes there are no more, quote, lies at the helm of our country, all but pointing to the Oval Office.
OK, clearly a lot of breaking news this morning. We'll be right back with all of it. Stay with us.