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Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg in Dead Heat in Iowa Poll; ISIS Fighters Apologize; Trump Defends Mexico Deal; Stanley Cup Final To Game Seven. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 10, 2019 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Key things in this poll is that Bernie Sanders does not live in the second place slot all by himself, as we've seen in a lot of these other national polls. There is -- they are all bunched up right there and I think that, you know, Warren and Sanders and Buttigieg clearly are splitting some of this non-Biden vote. And I think the test is now, can one of these sort of consolidate that support to really give Biden a run for his money?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: If we can put that poll back up again too because there's something else which hasn't received a lot of attention.

And, Alex, I know you've looked at this. There are 18 candidates at 2 percent or lower. That's staggering. And it does have an impact on the rest of the race as well.

ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It really does. When you look at the three candidates who David is pointing out are essentially splitting the second place slot right now, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, they're each separated from each other by about a point. About a quarter of the total vote is either undecided or going to candidates who are absolutely nowhere in this race, who have 2 percent of -- 2 percent support or less. So that means that as we get closer and closer to voters actually having to go out and caucus or cast their -- their virtual caucus ballots online, we're going to see whether, you know, does that 1 percent hat's currently parked with Andrew Yang, or Michael Bennet, or Jay Inslee stay sort of committed to the very end, or do you start to see people saying, no, it's important to me that I actually have a role in deciding who our nominee is going to be, I'm going to sort out among these second place candidates.

If I'm Joe Biden, and I am eight points ahead of -- just eight points now ahead of the nominal second place candidate there is 24 percent of the vote that's currently essentially wasted, that makes me very nervous.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Let's just play for people how the front- runners in Iowa were framing whether this is a moment for moderation. And lots of people heard them referring, not in name, to Joe Biden here. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're not going to win by playing it safe or promising a return to normal. We are where we are because normal broke.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are people who are ready for big, structural change in this country.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I understand there are some well-intentioned Democrats and candidates who believe that the best way forward is a middle ground strategy that antagonizes no one, that stands up to nobody, and that changes nothing. In my view, that approach is not just bad public policy, but it is a failed political strategy.


CAMEROTA: Is that how they see Joe Biden, challenging no one, standing for nothing?

MJ LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, each of these candidates over the weekend had literally five minutes to make their case to Iowa voters. And in those five minutes, you can't really get into a lot. And I think for some of these candidates, the calculation was clearly to go after, even if it was not by name, Joe Biden because he has been the clear front-runner for so long.

I think what we're seeing happen right now is the -- is the field shake out in the way that we had expected it to. Because Biden's name recognition has been so high, we always expected that he would probably have less room to grow than anybody else. And at this point in the race, we are seeing people in Iowa and elsewhere learn a little bit more about these other candidates and the other options that they have that is not Joe Biden and deciding whether to get behind them instead.

I think if there is one other warning sign to point to from the new CNN poll for Joe Biden, it is the enthusiasm number. And I think we have that. And that is backed up by not just polling, but also the many voters that myself and my colleagues have been speaking to in Iowa and elsewhere that when you talk to voters and you try to get a sense of whether people who are currently supporting Joe Biden are doing so with enthusiasm or sort of because of inertia, because they feel like he is someone they know and they feel like they can -- he can defeat Donald Trump, a lot of people still fall in that category.

BERMAN: They haven't really seen him yet. They haven't seen a lot of him yet in Iowa. They will this week. He'll be out there Tuesday, the same day as President Trump, which is framing you know that Joe Biden likes there.

David Chalian, there is something interesting about what we heard from those three other candidates, though. They're talking about Joe Biden's politics and his moderation and I think they're making an electability argument with that, which seems slightly different than we've heard before because that goes to what Joe Biden thinks his strength is. CHALIAN: Exactly. That is what Joe Biden is selling, you know, trying

to keep his eyes on Donald Trump, trying to show that he is the one most equipped to defeat Donald Trump. And we know, you know, I was talking to a ton of Iowa Democrat this weekend and that -- that notion of really just wanting someone to defeat the president is very much top of mind for voters. And Joe Biden is trying to tap into that. But Bernie Sanders was making no bones about it. He doesn't think that trying to, you know, be in the middle or try and be a centrist in some way, appeal to both sides is the way to win enough support to defeat Donald Trump. Now, that is something that will get tested throughout this primary, John.

[06:35:08] But I will just note also, I was at Cedar Rapids at that event yesterday. It's not just Joe Biden that didn't appear because he had a family obligation. There was no campaign presence whatsoever. Not a single Biden sign. Not a Biden table. They -- they just opted out. So -- so nobody from Biden world was even sort of out there talking to this gathering of Iowa Democrats this weekend.

BURNS: He's just got to get out there. The -- when you talk to Democrats, you know, folks were out in Iowa this weekend. When you talk to Democrats sort of around the country, state leaders. leaders in Washington, the big concern with Biden right now, it's almost less about ideological moderation and more just, does he want the ball, right? Does -- is he going to get out there and really fight for this because voters may not parse you really carefully. You know, is he a click or two to the center of, you know, Pete Buttigieg on this issue or that. But if you are running as the electable candidate, if you're running as the guy who can beat Donald Trump, you've got to look like you want to take on Donald Trump. You've got to look like you want it every day.

CAMEROTA: Well, he'll have that opportunity on Tuesday --

BURNS: He sure will.

CAMEROTA: In that parity -- that pairing that I think we're told he likes. Thank you all very much.

Now to this. They could face the death penalty for joining ISIS. Now former British terrorists speak to CNN offering an unprecedented apology about why they did it.


[06:40:25] CAMEROTA: Now to a rare TV interview. Two members of ISIS talking about their mistakes. These are members of the British ISIS cell known as "The Beetles." They're apologizing and confessing.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Their bravado, gone, broken and begging to learn their fate. This is what's become of the widely reviled British ISIS fighters known as "The Beetles" in captivity in Syria.

EL SHAFEE ELSHEIKH, CAPTURED ISIS MEMBER: I consider my role in this whole scenario, this whole episode as one of my mistakes. I would like to apologize.

WALSH (on camera): Who would you like to apologize to?

ELSHEIKH: Everybody involved, everybody who was affected, directly or indirectly.

WALSH (voice over): They're accused of torture in ISIS' network of prison cells, which they deny. But now they do offer a rare confession. They tried to arrange ransoms for some of ISIS' European hostages.

ALEXANDA KOTEY, CAPTURED ISIS MEMBER: I was a fighter, extracting from them e-mail addresses for communication. It was a proof of life question, something that they -- only they would be able to answer.

WALSH (on camera): Why did you agree to that role?

KOTEY: It just so happens that way.

ELSHEIKH: The same as what Alexanda just explained. Initially just liaising between the foreign prisoners and the people dealing with their negotiation process.

WALSH: With their families to try and extract a ransom?


WALSH (voice over): Kotey admits to helping Barmud (ph) from Syria to get a firearm for an ISIS assassination plot that failed in London in 2016.

KOTEY: I was responsible for his acquisition of a firearm. As far as the details of any plot or what he then went on to do, I had no involvement in that.

WALSH: The grins they had when I met them a year ago in person are long gone.

KOTEY: Yes, I might miss like a fish and chips.

WALSH: Now, ISIS' so-called caliphate has been defeated, they are two of thousands of ISIS prisoners held in northern Syria who don't know what will happen to them. The U.K. doesn't want them back, so they will stay here or face the death penalty in Iraq or more likely in the United States.

WALSH (on camera): But I don't understand why you're doing this now. Are you trying to avoid being sent to the United States?

ELSHEIKH: If anything, I think that confession will maybe hastened our extradition or rendition to the United States. I don't think this is something that would prevent me from going to the United States at all. I don't see how that could be possible. I don't know where -- where this goes from here on. I just know that I want this period, this portion, to just be over. That's -- I know -- I know this is what needs to be done. The truth has to come out.

WALSH (voice over): ISIS slowly executed foreign hostages gruesomely, yet the pair insists they had no role in these murders or torture. Several former hostages have, however, said they were tortured by British-accented men matching their appearance. The fate of a dozen French prisoners, some seen here in these old ISIS propaganda videos, has been swiftly decided in the past weeks, sent from northern Syria to Iraq. There, an Iraqi judge has sentenced them to death by hanging, often half or only ten minutes deliberation and representation by lawyers, many who have not met before the trial.

Responding to claims U.S. forces arranged the transfer, a coalition spokesman said U.S. forces have taken custody of a small number of ISIS fighters from the Syrian democratic forces for transfer to the government of Iraq, but provided no details.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to eat McDonalds.

American ISIS suspects, like Samantha L. Hassani (ph), have been sent back to the U.S. for trial. But to those left behind, their fate unclear or possibly with an Iraqi hangman serve as a deterrent or a sign some nations don't want to finish the task of bringing them to justice.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


BERMAN: Our thanks to Nick Paton Walsh for that inside look there.

Big threats, big talks and, according to the president, a big deal on immigration. But after shaking the markets and terrifying investors, did he really get anything that wasn't already out there? Michael Smerconish weighs in next.


[06:48:53] BERMAN: President Trump is playing furious defense this morning, insisting his immigration deal with Mexico is real and has substance. But "The New York Times" reports that parts of it were really hammered out months ago. I want you to look at some of the headlines this morning on what the president is hailing as a victory.

Joining us now, Michael Smerconish, host of CNN'S "SMERCONISH."

Michael, which is it? I mean if some of these things were agreed to months ago, did the president nearly -- need to nearly bring the markets to the brinks of -- of a major meltdown to get this deal?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I think it was both a victory and a defeat. I think it's entirely dependent upon who's looking at the transaction. The president and his supporters say, see what, art of the deal. They buckled. I got what I needed. And the contrarian view is that he started this skirmish and it was only appropriate that he put it out.

Here's what I think the real answer is. The real answer will be known in probably 60 or 90 days when we find out whether the migrant crisis has been stemmed because, after all, that's what this was really about. There's an interesting editorial in "The Wall Street Journal" today that talks about the use of tariffs for nontrade policy and how that probably was a new precedent set by the president. By the way, "The Journal" doesn't think a good precedent. But he was willing to do that for the migrant crisis. This is not like the China situation. Will it yield the intended result? We don't know yet.

[06:50:21] CAMEROTA: Michael, I find it hard to believe that this was all a mirage, as some in the media are calling it, because the foreign minister of Mexico did scramble to Washington, D.C., along with his team. They did sit down for 11 hours of negotiation on Thursday and Friday. I mean are we to believe that they too were in on this rouse of performance art? I mean it just doesn't -- that doesn't make sense.

SMERCONISH: I think this was a -- right, I think yours is a good observation. And also, Alisyn, the deal wasn't done until this occurred, right? So even if "The Times" is accurate, and they probably are, in saying that a number of these things were committed to by the administration, nothing -- and by the Mexican government, nothing yet was final. So, look, how about this analysis? If today we woke up and the tariffs were being imposed, I think most would be saying his negotiation tactic failed. So the reverse needs to be true.

BERMAN: Yes. But I have to tell you, and I was working Friday night, all the coverage leading up to the point was, will the president get what he really wanted, which was this safe, third country agreement, which would be that you're required to declare asylum in the -- in the country you go to first. He didn't get that. That would have been a fundamental change in immigration policy and asylum policy.

CAMEROTA: But there were three prongs. And I think that one of the prongs --


CAMEROTA: Is that more people will have to declare asylum -- wait -- no, wait, hold on -- hold on --


CAMEROTA: Hold on. They'll wait in Mexico while they've declared it in the U.S. So that one they did get.

BERMAN: They are raising the numbers of people in the remain in Mexico policy, which hasn't even really been fully implemented yet and the courts haven't weighed in on. But the biggest fundamental change to the immigration system would have been (INAUDIBLE) third country --

CAMEROTA: I see what you're saying. If they would have had to have applied for asylum to Mexico. They wanted asylum in Mexico.

BERMAN: In Mexico, or -- or if you're in El Salvador or Honduras, in Guatemala. And the president didn't get that. And that was a big thing. And that -- I mean I think that's a miss, Michael, if that is what the goal was.

SMERCONISH: Well, I think we really don't know because all the details are not yet public, have not yet been hammered out. My understanding is that there will be a longer waiting period in Mexico before those folks can seek asylum in the United States.

The asylum issue still needs to be dealt with by the Congress. The president can't get that done alone. And I think that he's correct when he says that he needs some help in that regard.

CAMEROTA: I mean, by the way, what the contrarians are saying is that it was former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that put -- that planted the seeds of this, that had these kind of secret meetings that are -- agreed to all of this stuff prior to what we just saw last week.

But even if that's the case, Michael, that's still his administration. I mean she's no longer there, but that was still under President Trump's administration. So he should still get credit for that.

But I think that your larger point is, who knows if this is going to work? I mean all of the other things that he has tried in terms of emergency declarations, in terms of separating children from their parents only serve to spike the numbers. So we still have to wait those 60 days to see if this does anything.

SMERCONISH: Correct. And, look, we have a crisis on the border. I think we have a crisis. The data suggests we have a crisis on the border. And, hopefully, this is going to stem it.

BERMAN: Yes, we will see. I could not agree more. We have to wait and see if these changes are made, if the 6,000 troops in the southern border make a difference.

Michael Smerconish, great to have you on this morning. Thanks so much.

SMERCONISH: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: Be sure to watch "SMERCONISH" Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

BERMAN: All right, in all the concern about David Ortiz last night, there was a bright light for Boston sports fans, going to a game seven in the Stanley Cup finals. "Bleacher Report" is next.


[06:58:06] BERMAN: Boston's 127-day championship drought may soon be over. We're going to have a game seven and there's nothing better than a game seven of the Stanley Cup finals.

Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Hey, Coy.


If the Bruins pull this off, they would give Boston their 13th pro- sports title in 18 years. The Blues, though, they could have ended this series last night in St. Louis in front of their fans who have never seen their team win it all. But Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask had other plans. Watch this incredible save. It just sums up not only his night, but really his entire post season. A behind the back save. The Bruins would score four goals in the third period alone winning 5-1. That means the first Stanley Cup final game seven since 2011 will be played in Boston on Wednesday. The champs that year, the Boston Bruins.

Warriors star Kevin Durant is back practicing for the first time in a month. He's been out of the line-up since hurting his calf in the conference finals against the Rockets. But for tonight's game five of the NBA finals, he is listed as questionable. The game is in Toronto with the Raptors holding a 3-1 series lead. If they pull off this win, they'd be NBA champions for the very first time. At midnight last night, the general manager of the Raptors showed up at Jurassic Park outside of their arena there in Toronto where fans have been gathering all night just to show his love and support. Toronto could be in for a heck of a party.

BERMAN: They've been the better team, there's no question about it. As of right now, unless we see something different, they may get a championship up there, Coy.

Thank you very much.

WIRE: Yes (ph).

CAMEROTA: And thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, David Ortiz of the Red Sox shot in the Caribbean. We have the details. NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The crane is falling over. Oh, my God!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My walls started to shake. The entire courtyard just turned completely white and gray from debris.

[07:00:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A crane close to our building is not protected from wind. How could that be possible? Something is not right in this equation.