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Soon: Trump to Speak at D-Day Ceremony in U.K.; Republican Revolt Brewing Over Trump's Mexico Tariffs; Former School Officer Charged with Neglect for Not Entering School; 3 Americans Found Dead in 5 Days in Dominican Republic Hotel; Evacuations Underway in St. Louis Amid Flood Fears. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired June 5, 2019 - 06:00   ET



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you're dealing on trade, everything's on the table. NHS or anything else.

[05:59:21] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump heading to commemorations for D-Day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The relationship is more important than the personalities leading these countries. That will be the theme of the proceedings.

TRUMP: It's more likely that the tariffs go on.

SEN. RAND PAUL: We shouldn't be allowing one person to make this decision. We actually may have enough to override a veto on this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody wants tariffs. The president uses them as leverage very well. As we move forward, we'll see some results.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, June 5, 6 a.m. here in New York. And at this hour, President Trump and leaders from 16 countries are at a British naval base in southern England to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

It's a shaky camera shot, but you can see them arriving. Obviously, the first lady looking beautiful in a white ensemble there. And they're getting into position for this very important day.

In just minutes, President Trump will speak at this ceremony, and we will bring that to you live, of course.

But while the president is embracing this time abroad, there is something very interesting happening here at home. A growing possibility of a rebellion among Republican lawmakers over the president's threat to impose tariffs on Mexico. All this connected to immigration.

CNN has learned that the White House and Justice Department officials have struggled to explain the legal rationale for the new tariffs during this private lunch with GOP senators, who have expressed grave concerns about this. President Trump, though, is warning Republicans not to intervene.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. So far, they're not listening. This would be the first full-on Republican revolt in Congress, with major political and policy implications. And the president has been tweeting about it all morning long, even leading up to these D-Day commemorations.

Also overnight, the president sat down for an extensive interview, where he more or less denied climate change, despite saying he discussed it with the Prince of Wales for more than an hour. And he also tried to clean up his comments on the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, explaining why he said she was nasty.


TRUMP: I wasn't referring to she's nasty. I said she's nasty about me, and essentially, I didn't know she was nasty about me. So I said, but you know what? She's doing a good job. I hope she enjoys her life.


BERMAN: All right. I want to begin with CNN's Max Foster, live in Portsmouth, England. The events today will be so meaningful, Max, and I think the world is watching.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's going to be very, very moving indeed. President Trump described it as the greatest battle in history, D-Day. He's here with 15 other world leaders today. And they'll be delivering some tributes on behalf of their countries but also some readings from those involved in the actual D-Day landings.

I think you'll see -- you can hear the music already playing out. It's going to be a great show. It's going to be a spectacular event. But very, very moving, as well.

We've heard this from the White House, that the presidents will read an excerpt from the prayer President Franklin Roosevelt delivered to nation by the radio on the evening of June the 6th, 1944, in which he spoke to the country for the first time about the Normandy operation. Of course, it was top-secret, very much led, of course, by an American general, this whole operation. And many of those who were involved and are still alive are here today and their families. So particularly moving.

We're also going to receive and hear readings from Justin Trudeau of Canada, Theresa May of the United Kingdom, and also, Emmanuel Macron of France. And at the end, the queen will give a speech and a reading on behalf of all of those heads of government, followed by a fly pass. They've also all signed a joint declaration, these world leaders,

committing the -- to the unimaginable horror never to relive that moment, never. And also to resolve international tensions peacefully going forward. So it's quite a broad letter they're signing, but a hugely symbolic moment. And hopefully, for many of the veterans here and for many of us, a reminder, actually, Alisyn, of what they went through on behalf of all of us.

CAMEROTA: That is exactly what today is, Max. And we know you'll be standing by for us to bring us through all the significance and the protocol of what we're seeing.

So back here at home, the possibility of a Republican rebellion. You heard me right. Republican senators aren't happy about the president's threat to impose tariffs on Mexico. And they're considering their next actions.

CNN's Lauren Fox is live on Capitol Hill with the latest. What's the plan, Lauren?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, that GOP lunch did not go well yesterday. Members and aides that I spoke with after the lunch basically said that the White House officials and justice officials in the room could not explain exactly how the president's tariffs would even be enacted, whether or not he would issue a new emergency declaration, whether he could amend the old one.

A lot of legal questions up in the air. And one aide, asked to describe how the meeting went, basically said it was a cluster and then used an expletive to describe it.


FOX (voice-over): A storm brewing at home within the president's own party, concerning his threat to impose tariffs against Mexico over border security.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): There is not much support in my conference for tariffs. That's for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you try to block those tariffs?

MCCONNELL: Well, what I'm telling you is we're hoping that doesn't happen.

FOX: President Trump quickly dismissing any possibility that GOP lawmakers would stand in his way.

TRUMP: No, I don't think they will do that. I think if they do, it's foolish. There's nothing more important than borders.

FOX: Starting next Monday, President Trump is vowing to enforce a 5 percent tariff on all goods imported from Mexico. And those levels could go as high as 25 percent by October.

[06:05:11] Trump says it's punishment for Mexico not doing enough to stop central American migrants from coming to the U.S.

TRUMP: Mexico shouldn't allow millions of people to try and enter our country. And they could stop it very quickly. And I think they will. And if they won't, we're going to put tariffs on.

FOX: For some Republican lawmakers, the tariffs are not justified.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): I think it's a mistake. I'm not saying we don't have a crisis on the border. We do, clearly. I'm not saying it won't work, at least short-term. My concern has to do with the long- term ramifications.

FOX: A person who attended a private meeting tells CNN multiple GOP senators expressed frustrations there, saying the White House is unable to explain how President Trump's tariffs would work. The senators pushing to hold off on moving forward until Mr. Trump briefs them personally.

The Democratic-controlled House is likely to shut down any new national emergency declaration from President Trump to justify the tariffs. So Republican senators will have to choose between voting against Trump or voting for tariffs they can't support.

PAUL: There may be enough numbers of people who think that we shouldn't be allowing one person to make this decision that we actually may have enough to override a veto on this.

FOX: But across the pond, President Trump seemingly keeping calm and carrying on.

TRUMP: We are going to see if we can do something. But I think it's more likely that the tariffs go on.


FOX: And the president, of course, there's all eyes on the meeting today between the vice president and the secretary of state, with Mexico officials. Republican lawmakers are really optimistic that they'll be able to strike a deal to put off or completely eliminate the need for these tariffs at all -- John.

BERMAN: Yes. One Republican aide told Jim Acosta the whole meeting yesterday was a cluster-F. Except he used a longer word there.

All right. Lauren Fox on Capitol Hill, thanks so much.

New this morning, the former school resource officer at Parkland, Florida, high school has been arrested and is now facing several charges, including child neglect, for not entering the school during the deadly massacre.

Our Nick Valencia joins us now live with more -- Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. It is a dramatic turn in the investigation of the Parkland shooting. The man whose job it was to protect the school, to keep the school safe, was taken into custody yesterday after more than 15-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Now, when every second counted, surveillance video showed, from the school shooting that day, Scot Peterson, the man that you're looking there at your screen, take cover for more than 45 minutes while students and teachers were gunned down during that shooting rampage.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Scot Peterson was widely criticized from everyone from President Trump to some of the parents of those victims. Now, some of those parents are speaking out, saying yesterday's arrest brings some form of accountability.


LORI ALHADEFF, DAUGHTER KILLED IN PARKLAND SHOOTING: He needs to go to jail. He needs to serve a lifetime in prison for not going in that day and taking down the threat and -- that led to the death of our loved ones.

FRED GUTTENBERG, DAUGHTER KILLED IN PARKLAND SHOOTING (via phone): He deserves to rot. He is -- he is responsible in large part for why my daughter is gone. And I have no sympathy for him. I'm glad he's been arrested.


VALENCIA: Peterson is facing 11 charges, including child neglect and negligence. His defense attorney is speaking out, calling the charges spurious and saying that they lack basis in fact and law.

He released this statement, in part, to the public, saying, quote, "The individuals who have made this charging decision have taken the easy way out and blamed Mr. Peterson for the inactions" -- or for the actions, I should say -- "on February 14, 2018, when there has only ever been one person to blame -- Nikolas Cruz."

If convicted, Peterson could face up to 97 years in prison. John and Alisyn, he is expected to make his first court appearance at 8:30 p.m. -- 8:30 a.m., I should say, Eastern later this morning.

CAMEROTA: What an interesting development in this case. Nick, thank you very much.

There is a mystery unfolding in the Dominican Republic. Three Americans found dead at the same hotel room -- in the same hotel room five days apart. CNN's Martin Savidge has the latest on this investigation.

What do they think happened, Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, this is a real mystery in paradise, as you point out. It all began on May 25 when 41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner and her

husband, they were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary. They go to the Dominican Republic. It is supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.

They check into the Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana, and then, she takes a drink out of the hotel mini bar. Just a short time later, according to a family spokesperson, things begin to spiral -- spiral desperately out of control.

She is in acute physical distress. She us suddenly in very severe pain. She is crying out for her husband, and then she collapses to the floor. And she dies sometime later after that.

[06:10:04] On the very same day, another American couple -- this one from Maryland, 63-year-old Nathaniel Holmes and 49-year-old Cynthia Anne Day, check into the very same resort in the same place in the Dominican Republic.

Five days later, when they don't check out of the room as they were scheduled to do, hotel staff are sent to investigate. They find both the couple dead in the room.

Now, an autopsy is conducted on Holmes and Day, and it was determined by the national police that they had both died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema. That's essentially water building up on the lungs. The mystery is how did they get that condition?

Well, immediately after the family of the -- Schaup-Werner heard this whole scenario of what happened to the couple, they called the State Department and said, "Wait a minute. What we thought was a freak incident now appears to be something far more sinister occurring at the very same hotel."

What is the result of all of this? Right now authorities are still investigating. CNN has reached out to the hotel and police. We haven't heard back, John.

BERMAN: All right. What a story. Martin Savidge for us, thank you so much.

Happening now, evacuations are underway near St. Louis as the Mississippi River swells to near record levels. CNN's Dan Simon is live in St. Louis with more. Dan, look at that behind you.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, John. With all these punishing rains, the Mississippi River continues to rise around the St. Louis area. This is a flooded-out roadway.

There are some 40 roads that have been closed throughout the state of Missouri, along with more than two dozen levee breaches. It has been a very long spring, and the effects could linger for some time, not just in Missouri but throughout the entire Midwest.


SIMON (voice-over): The Midwest bracing for another week of historic flooding.

GINO ANDOLINI, FORCED TO EVACUATE HOME: You're going to have two feet of water in your house. So that's an ultimatum in my book. You've got to go.

SIMON: In Missouri, rivers rising, homes and roadways flooded. Just north of St. Louis, almost breaking the record. In some areas reaching the second highest levels ever recorded.

GOV. MIKE PARSON (R-MO): Something has changed. We all know that these floods are happening more than what they have in the past. Now, it's been one of the wettest springs we've had here.

SIMON: Rivers in more than 60 locations across the U.S. reaching major flooding levels. Some areas along the Mississippi River nearly surpassing historic levels from 1993.

DARLA STATON, CARROLLTON, MISSOURI, BUSINESS OWNER: In '93 it was four feet high here. They're saying it could be higher. So we're trying to raise things up as much as we can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a horse right there.

SIMON: One Missouri family navigating treacherous waters to rescue stranded animals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get them to dry land is all I'm trying to do right now.

SIMON: In neighboring Arkansas, this trailer park devastated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've lost two trailers. And everybody's stressed. Just takes a toll on you.

SIMON: Longtime residents of the state shocked.

TODD PATTON, WOOSTER, ARKANSAS, RESIDENT: I grew up on this creek right out here. I've seen it out of its banks a thousand times. But you know, nothing ever like this.

You see this stuff all the time on TV, but you don't think it will ever happen to you.

SIMON: Communities in Illinois boating to and from homes, assisting neighbors. First floors of some homes completely under water.

GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL): There is a big effort here to fight this flood to make sure that we keep the people safe who live in this area. This is a flood fight that's not going to be over any time soon.

SIMON: Vice President Mike Pence in Oklahoma surveying the damage from flooding in that state, sympathizing with residents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're very lucky.



PENCE: I want you to know we're here for you.


SIMON: And some of the folks who have really been impacted by this are farmers who have been unable to plant their crops, because their fields have been saturated. And the bad news, there's more rain in the forecast. It's going to be a very busy day for folks up and down the river. People placing sandbags around their homes and businesses, trying to protect their property.

Alisyn, we'll send it back to you.

CAMEROTA: You're right, Dan. That is really bad news. Thank you very much.

Let's get to the forecast right now about more rain coming to the Midwest. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has been looking at the forecast. What do you see, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN AMS METEOROLOGIST: A lot of it. A lot more rain coming, already 57 gauges over major flood stage at this point this morning. And the water is still going up in places.

This weather is brought to you by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, packed with goodness.

So where does it rain today? Well, that answer is Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi. There are places in the next ten days that could get 20 inches of rain down there. It's raining there right now. It will rain all day.

A high risk of flooding down there across parts of eastern and southeastern Texas from the next couple of days' worth of weather. Across the southeast, it's been a drought. So they'll take the rain there. But some of these spots, especially these white spots there. That's 20 inches of rain just by Friday.

So this is going to be a big-time flood system in a place that's already flooded. This water has no place to go, John. So we have some severe weather today. Not expecting many tornadoes. Just maybe a little bit of wind damage out there. We'll watch that for you. But the southeast and the Texas coast, they are under the gun for the big weather today.

[06:15:01] BERMAN: All right. Wow, Chad. You know, when I was reading overnight, farm country out in the Midwest, they are in danger of missing the entire planting season.

MYERS: Correct.

BERMAN: Which could be devastating on tops of the trade issues they're having. CAMEROTA: That's not what they need.

BERMAN: No. All right, Chad. Thank you very much.

The president and world leaders in these beautiful ceremonies honoring D-Day. You're seeing the president there just a few moments ago, arriving in Portsmouth, England, for the ceremonies. The queen is there, also. We'll bring this to you live.

Also, the president faces a serious revolt in his own party. Do Republicans have the votes to block tariffs on Mexico? Some say yes. Stay with us.


[06:20:35] CAMEROTA: OK, leaders from 16 countries are gathered in southern England right now. Take a look at your screen. This is to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

In just minutes, President Trump will address the ceremony. Joining us now to talk about this and so much more, we have Max

Foster, CNN anchor and correspondent; Abby Phillip, CNN White House correspondent; and CNN political analyst David Gregory. Great to have all of you here on this momentous morning.

So Max, I mean, what a day, you know, seeing all of these 16 world leaders coming together. There's so much talk of unity and how to preserve peace and alliances. Obviously, that's something that the prime minister has been trying to drive home during the president's visit to the U.K.

So tell us what to expect this morning and what you're seeing.

FOSTER: Well, one of the messages coming from Downing Street is they want to -- they talk about this declaration they're going to get all of the leaders to sign, reminding the world of the horrors of D-Day and committing never to allow an event like that ever to happen again. So that's the big thing that the hosts want to get out of this.

It's going to be very, very moving, I think. In a moment, you're going to hear the national anthem. That will kick things off. That's when the queen arrives.

Then you'll hear a series of readings from world leaders, including the Canadian prime minister, the French president, also the British prime minister and, of course, President Trump.

And at the end, the queen will speak on behalf of all of them. And this is something that is incredibly close to her heart. Because of course, she served in the Second World War. It's very close to her. And she wants to remind the entire world of the sacrifice that many of those veterans committed on our behalf. Many of them are still alive, and this will be the last event, actually, that they'll be able to attend to mark D-Day.

BERMAN: The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. Those were the words, of course, written by Dwight D. Eisenhower the day of the invasion. That would be tomorrow, the 75th anniversary of that.

And we expect to hear from the queen and the president, I'm sure giving very meaningful speeches.

But Abby, it's been, really, a juxtaposition of themes overnight. Because in the 12 hours leading up to this really deeply meaningful ceremony, the president has been writing about Bette Midler, nicknames for Joe Biden, and engaged in this internecine battle with his own party from overseas. You know, Jake Tapper wrote overnight it's like jumping in the middle of a cold lake, trying to -- trying to jibe these two things.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, there's a sort of lack of focus that I think this really demonstrates about how President Trump often is, even when he is at an event like this.

It's been a couple of days that were pretty good for him. And I think days that are incredibly meaningful, not just to the United States but to the entire world.

But in between all of this, there is Twitter and there is social media. And the president is still using them to execute feuds with all kinds of different people. I mean, the Bette Midler tweet was so out of nowhere that I think it caught a lot of people by surprise.

But it just also highlights that, when he's engaged at moments like this, these are opportunities for him to remain focused and to -- to look presidential. But he undermines himself when he is left to his own devices overnight.

Those tweets were sent in the middle of the night here in the United States United Kingdom, not to mention in the middle of the night back in the United States.

So I think President Trump clearly did not get very much sleep last night. But he's here today and, for the time that he is sitting here, commemorating World War II, it's probably the only time that I think his advisers can expect that he's not really going to be involved in a lot of things that will be a huge distraction to this incredibly important event.

CAMEROTA: David Gregory, he also sat down with Piers Morgan for an interview. There are a couple of headlines, but the most important one is about climate change. The president is continuing to express skepticism and not understanding, I guess, the difference between weather and climate. So here are those comments.


TRUMP: He wants to make sure future generations have climate that is good climate, as opposed to a disaster. And I agree. I did mention a couple of things. I did say, well, the United States right now has among the cleanest climates there are, based on all statistics. PIERS MORGAN, JOURNALIST: Do you personally believe in climate


TRUMP: I believe that there is a change in weather, and I think it changes both ways. Don't forget: It used to be called global warming. That wasn't working. Then it was called climate change. Now it's actually called extreme weather.


[06:25:07] CAMEROTA: So David, your thoughts on where the -- how the president doesn't seem to have been moved much, been moved much by Prince Charles's passionate entreaty.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. They apparently met for much longer than they were scheduled to, so the president could listen to Prince Charles on the issue of climate change.

Look, the president just continues. He has now for years, whether it was Al Gore, or his children or others who were pleading the case, for what he can do as president of the United States to advance this and not set back effective responses to climate change.

He continues to be dug in, to disregard and ignore what is scientific consensus around what major countries like the United States should be doing in a leadership role to combat climate change around the globe.

The globe is not going to stand by and do nothing around the world. But without the United States, it becomes very difficult. So I think, you know, we're in a complete standstill here. The president doesn't appear to be showing much movement, despite consensus not only in the scientific community but among corporate leaders that there has to be a price on carbon. He's standing in the way. Don't see much change there.

BERMAN: And David, again, as we keep one eye on the ceremonies in Portsmouth, England, you're sitting in Washington, where there's something very unusual, to an extent, unprecedented going on. Which is that Republicans in the Senate are telling the president no. We think -- we think they may have the votes to say no to him on the tariffs that the president wants to place on Mexico.

Do you think that they will stand up to him, they take this to the end?

GREGORY: Well, I don't know. I mean, it's certainly pretty far where they've gone. We haven't seen this from Republicans.

And remember what they're saying. They're with him on the idea that there's a border crisis. So they're not running too far afield here.

But particularly those Republicans who were in states like Texas, if you think of senators Cornyn and Cruz, they're saying, no, this is a tax. You know, we talk about the tariff debate, that it becomes a tax on American consumers and it would have a heavy impact on those states. And so that's where Republicans are saying enough is enough here.

So I think that they have taken a stand on an area where they could stand up for being free traders, stand up for the economic impact without having to level a broadside against him on the broader policy against immigration and to fortify at the border. So they're kind of threading the needle here.

Pretty significant, though, because we haven't seen it. They're making it a tax debate, essentially, which is safer ground for them, and doing all of this while the president is overseas.

CAMEROTA: Abby, we're almost out of time, but I don't think we can underscore this enough. When so many pundits have been saying, what will be the moment that Republicans break from President Trump? And if it wasn't family separation at the border; and it wasn't Charlottesville and it wasn't --- we only have so much time to go on and on. This is the moment. This is the first time that we hear them, at least in print, I mean, from John Thune to, you know, Rob Portman --

BERMAN: Ted Cruz.

CAMEROTA: Ted Cruz. I mean, Rand Paul. So many people saying, "We're not going to go along with this."

PHILLIP: Yes. And we'll see if they follow through on that. But I think, Alisyn, the reason we're seeing this happen is because, for a long time, Republicans had been saying, "Fine. If we want to level the playing field with China, we'll use tariffs as a tool to do that."

But I think what is different about this is that it seems as if President Trump is starting to use tariffs as a tool, period, that he wants to change the Republican orthodoxy to be a pro-tariff party.

And I think a lot of Republicans are not on board with that. The idea of using tariffs to deal with a nontariff issue like immigration is perhaps a bridge too far. And I think that's why we're seeing this kind of blowback.

CAMEROTA: All right, everyone. Stand by for us. We have so much more to talk about in this very important program today.

Meanwhile, 2020 Democratic candidates are getting serious about policy. Senator Cory Booker just released a new plan to make housing more affordable. We'll give you details of those plans next.