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Trump Advisors Wish He Would Stop Talking About Biden; House Votes to Enforce Barr, McGahn Subpoenas; Donald Trump Jr. to Testify Before Senate Panel; 2nd Suspect Arrested in David Ortiz Shooting; Ortiz Takes First Steps Since Being Shot. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired June 12, 2019 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Four years of Donald Trump will be viewed as an aberration in American history.
[05:59:24] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When a man has to mention my name 76 times in a speech, he's in trouble.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Trump has made this into a general election campaign. That's a great favor he's doing for Joe Biden.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Huge protests in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of demonstrators restricting access to the legislative council building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Riot police carried out a charge, using teargas they fired from shotguns. This is a dramatic situation that we've seen escalate in a very short period of time.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We will be talking about those protests. The use of teargas, et cetera, everything that's happening in Hong Kong.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. We have some pictures -- let's put them up -- of what's been going on in Hong Kong all morning. Thousands of people on the streets there, demanding that the Parliament there not pass these laws. We'll get into it much later, but you can see there's been teargas, water cannons, all kinds of arrests. And the demonstrations are going on this morning.
We will speak to our Ivan Watson, who is out there collecting information at this moment, to get an update from the streets.
CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, June 12, 6 a.m. here in New York. BERMAN: Yes, and we should note, if you're wondering why I'm soaked,
it's because I spilled water on myself coming into the studio, which was locked. The studio apparently was locked.
CAMEROTA: That was a message to you.
BERMAN: I think it might have been. It might have been.
CAMEROTA: You made it in somehow.
BERMAN: It's not important that I get in here by 6 a.m.
CAMEROTA: We were testing your tenacity.
CAMEROTA: And you won.
BERMAN: Or I failed, because I spilled the water all over myself.
In the meantime, Joe Biden is waking up in Iowa this morning, and Iowa is waking up to the fact that the whole thing has escalated in a hurry. The former vice president and current president Donald Trump hurling insults at each other in dueling stops in the state. The kids call them sick burns, though you might notice, these are not kids.
So why are they doing this, and who got the best of it so far? We'll have the best analysts in the business on shortly for their take.
A source does tell CNN's Dana Bash that Trump advisers are frustrated with how much the president talks about Biden. They're concerned that he is elevating the Democratic frontrunner. And it is notable and seemingly deliberate that, in the president's final speech overnight, he avoided any mention of Biden.
CAMEROTA: Mr. Trump and Biden are ignoring the other contenders in the crowded race and hoping that their match-up will be the ones that voters ultimately decide on.
Meanwhile, Biden's Democratic rivals are focusing on policy ahead of the upcoming first debate. Bernie Sanders will deliver a speech of Democratic socialism, and Beto O'Rourke will also unveil a new policy.
So we have it all covered for you. Let's begin with CNN's M.J. Lee on the Trump/Biden clash -- M.J.
M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, guys.
We are still eight months out from the Iowa caucuses, but yesterday felt like the general election already. President Trump and Joe Biden in the same state on the same day. The two men going after one another as though it were calendar year 2020.
LEE (voice-over): A day of insults and jabs in Iowa by President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
BIDEN: I believe that the president is literally an existential threat to America.
TRUMP: He makes his stance in Iowa once every two weeks, and then he mentions my name 74 times in one speech. I don't know. That reminds me of Crooked Hillary. She did the same thing.
LEE: The Democratic frontrunner mentioning Trump by name about three dozen times during several campaign stops in the battleground state.
BIDEN: A quote from Donald Trump: "I have absolute power." No, you don't, Donald Trump. Or "Only I can fix it." Fix yourself first, Donald Trump.
LEE: A source tells CNN that Trump's closest advisers are growing frustrated with how much the president talks about Biden.
BIDEN: He's really fascinated with me. I find it fascinating.
LEE: But after a day of relentless attacks, Trump concluding his visit with a marked change, not mentioning Biden once in his final speech. Instead, focusing his attention on the economy --
TRUMP: Jobs and wealth are now pouring back into our country. At the heart of our economic revival is the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history.
LEE: -- but lashing out at progressive Democrats.
TRUMP: The Democrat Party is really now the socialist party. Nothing is free. You're paying for it. Other people are paying for it. There's nothing free. They'll destroy this country. We'll be another Venezuela.
LEE: Biden staying on message, attacking Trump repeatedly on policy.
BIDEN: The tax cut he passed for multimillionaires and billionaires. Guess what? When I'm president, it's gone.
He saw how well trying to take away people's health care worked in 2018. And yet, they were trying like the devil to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.
LEE: Biden also hitting Trump on foreign policy.
BIDEN: Embracing dictators and thugs, from Putin to Kim Jong-un. Calling them "my friend," sending love letters while he's sticking his -- poking his finger in the eye of our allies. What's going on here?
LEE: Biden also explaining his reversal on abortion, now supporting federal funding for abortions.
BIDEN: That's what the vast majority of the American people have supported for a long, long time. But if, in fact, you have universal care, it's impossible. It's a constitutional right, and it can't be denied.
LEE: Now, Biden wraps up his tour of Iowa today with a campaign stop in Clinton before he heads to Chicago to raise money.
Now on a separate note, I did want to draw attention to a brand-new LGBTQ plan that just released from Beto O'Rourke. A couple of highlights from this proposal. As you can see here, undoing some of the Trump administration's policies, encouraging Congress to take action to ensure LGBT rights, and tasking the DOJ to investigate crimes against transgender Americans.
I should note we should also be seeing O'Rourke here in New York City later today. He'll be running in the 5K Pride Run to promote this new plan, guys.
BERMAN: All right. Thanks so much, M.J.
BERMAN: This morning Congress has given itself brand-new power in the Russia investigation. So does that mean key testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn is imminent?
Lauren Fox has the answer for us, live on Capitol Hill.
Good morning, Lauren.
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
That's right. Yesterday a momentous vote on the House floor with the House voting to move ahead and give the House Judiciary the power to enforce subpoenas against Don McGahn and to get grand jury materials related to the Mueller investigation.
This after the House Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department struck that deal on Monday allowing members of the Judiciary Committee to see key evidence related to the Mueller investigation.
But today, a separate vote in the House Oversight Committee with Elijah Cummings, the chairman of that committee moving forward with a resolution to hold the attorney general, William Barr, in contempt of Congress and Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over enough information related to their investigation into how a question about citizenship ended up on the U.S. census.
This all comes as Democratic leaders try to quell concerns in the caucus to move forward with an impeachment inquiry. They're trying to argue that these investigations that they have in committee are moving forward seamlessly. And when they're not, chairmen are able to go directly to court to enforce their subpoenas -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Lauren, thank you very much for that.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. is back on Capitol Hill today. He will be interviewed behind closed doors by the Senate Intelligence Committee after a contentious back and forth over his appearance. Jessica Schneider is live in Washington with more.
What do they want to ask him this time, Jessica?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, Donald Trump Jr. has gone before this committee in the past. But that was in 2017, and now the stakes are significantly higher because of discrepancies between his testimony from two years ago and what other witnesses have told the committee and the special counsel. So of course, that has upped the stakes.
Plus Trump Jr.'s allies have attacked the committee's Republican chair, Richard Burr, accusing him of helping Democrats by continuing the committee's investigation even after Robert Mueller wrapped up his probe.
Now, Byrd did issue a subpoena to compel Trump Jr.'s appearance. But the two eventually struck a deal, and that set up the president's eldest son for roughly two to four hours of testimony behind closed doors on what will be about a half dozen topics. It will include key questions about that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting where Trump Jr. arranged that meeting with a Russian lawyer on the promise that he would get dirt on Hillary Clinton. That dirt, of course, never materialized.
The committee will also ask Trump Jr. about the Trump Tower Moscow project. That's a project that the president's long-time fixer, Michael Cohen, lied about to Congress since talks about the project went on much longer than Cohen initially disclosed. And of course, Michael Cohen now serving a three-year federal sentence.
Now, the Mueller report found that Cohen talked to Donald Trump Jr. about possibly involvement in the project during the fall of 2015. But Trump Jr. has previously said that he talked about it and was only peripherally aware. So John, that will likely be a big focus of inquiry. Donald Trump Jr. going before the Senate Intelligence Committee for about two to four hours, all behind closed doors later today -- John.
BERMAN: Yes. Very interested to hear what he has to say coming out of that testimony.
So this morning, everyone is talking about this remarkable moment on Capitol Hill: Jon Stewart, he turned the place upside-down. The former late-night host and long-time advocate for 9/11 responders, he got angry. I mean, really angry.
CAMEROTA: And emotional.
BERMAN: He slammed members of Congress, at least the ones who showed up, over the lack of health care for first responders, and he noted that there were many empty seats in the hearing room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, FORMER LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: Behind me a filled room of 9/11 first responders. And in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.
Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one. Shameful. It's an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution. Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity: time. It's the one thing they're running out of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: What a moment. Some of the members there did note it was a hearing room room for a full committee, and it was just a subcommittee hearing. Hence, that explains some of the empty seats.
[06:10:11] Still, Stewart's point well taken. What he wants is action. He wants an extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which is running out of money.
CAMEROTA: yes. We'll get more about that later in the program.
Meanwhile, we do have this breaking news. Protests in Hong Kong turning violent. Police firing tear gas and using high-pressure water hoses to try to disperse massive crowds outside of the government headquarters.
Demonstrators forcing lawmakers to delay debate of that controversial extradition bill, which allows criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent for trial in mainland China. The violence is the biggest political protest there in years.
CNN's Ivan Watson is live in Hong Kong with the breaking details. What's the situation at this hour, Ivan?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: (AUDIO GAP)
CAMEROTA: Yes. We're obviously struggling with Ivan's technical difficulties there. But he's going to give us an update, because this is -- we're going to be following this all morning, what's happening there, the unfolding -- I mean, I don't want. It is violence.
BERMAN: It is violence. Violence against -- violence against the protesters. Again, no deaths yet, but -- but authorities have used teargas, water cannons. It's all going on right now and shows no signs, as far as we can tell, of abating. We'll try to get -- we'll trying to get Ivan back up out there from the protests and get an update from the streets themselves.
All right. Breaking overnight, a new arrest in the David Ortiz shooting, as Big Papi takes his first steps since the attack.
[06:16:25] CAMEROTA: Breaking overnight, "The Boston Globe" reports a second suspect has been arrested in the shooting of Red Sox legend David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. The shooting suspect charged with attempted murder.
CNN's Patrick Oppmann is live in Santo Domingo with all the breaking details. What have you learned, Patrick?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not clear if the second suspect that, according to "The Boston Globe," is now in police custody, is the shooter that police were looking for.
Yesterday police and prosecutors told us that they were casting a wider net in what apparently appears to be an organized hit against David Ortiz.
What they've laid out to us is that there was a driver of a motorcycle named Eddie Garcia and that he took a still unknown gunman to the bar, where Ortiz was partying with friends. A gunman got off, shot Ortiz in the back, fled on foot. And that Garcia, the driver of this motorcycle was grabbed by the crowd.
Garcia made his first appearance in court yesterday. He's so far the only person charged in this case. And we had the opportunity to talk to his lawyer, and his mother's lawyer says that Garcia may very well have been the driver but that he probably didn't know who he was transporting.
And get this. Garcia's mother tells us that he's actually a huge David Ortiz fan, that he followed Ortiz, like so many people have throughout his career, and that he sends his best wishes to Ortiz's family. He's just another big fan, like so many people are in the Dominican Republic.
Back to you, John.
BERMAN: All right. Patrick Oppmann for us in Santo Domingo. Of course, the big question, unanswered still, is why. In the meantime, we are learning this morning that Big Papi is taking his first steps since the shooting. He's recovering at Mass General in Boston after a second surgery to treat his gunshot wound.
CNN's Alexandra Field is live outside Mass General with the very latest.
Alexandra, what are you learning?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John.
We know that these were extensive injuries, but the good news being that he was able up to get out of bed, according to his spokesman, who said he did, in fact, take a couple of steps.
That said, Big Papi remains in the intensive care unit. We expect that he'll be there for at least some days. His wife put out a statement. We know that he has been surrounded not just by his doctors here, but of course, by his wife, by his children. His wife has thanked people for their support, thanked the Boston Red Sox for bringing him back to Boston, where he is now beginning to recover.
So much affection, so much outpouring of support coming to Big Papi in Boston from across the city. It is a very big sports day in Boston. Tonight, the Bruins take the ice for game seven of the Stanley Cup. I imagine we would see another tribute to David Ortiz at that game. Alisyn, I am sure that you will stay up tonight to watch it.
CAMEROTA: Absolutely, Alexandra. Thank you very much.
BERMAN: They have a banner captain before each Cup game, the Bruins do. They have someone out there who's sort of the symbolic captain of -- David Ortiz is in the hospital, so it's not him. But there's some speculation that it could be Tom Brady wearing a David Ortiz shirt.
CAMEROTA: Would your head explode, I mean, if something like that were to happen?
BERMAN: This is bigger than my fixation with Tom Brady.
CAMEROTA: How would you handle that?
BERMAN: This is how to honor David Ortiz and get the Bruins revved up. If any of them could dry off my tie right now, that would be a truly miraculous thing.
CAMEROTA: Let me know when that happens.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden has been on the big stage before, of course, but never as the frontrunner. How he's handling the spotlight.
[06:23:52] BERMAN: So the only thing we didn't hear is "I know you are, but what am I?"
President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden traded insults as they held dueling events in Iowa. We are told the president's aides believe he's spending too much time focused on Biden. And he did manage to hold back in an event overnight.
Want to bring in M.J. Lee. Also David Gregory is with us, CNN political analyst. And John Avlon, CNN senior political analyst.
David, we were all watching this yesterday, the back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. And it started in the morning, when Joe Biden released the speech excerpts. Twenty-four hours later, who won?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's important for Biden to show and for Democrats to show they can take on Trump. And I think that's what a lot of people are watching, actually, in this primary process, which is how do you deal with the crazy part of Trump, where he insults you and takes you on in the way he does?
And I think this was always a litmus test. And I think a lot of Democrats thought Hillary Clinton took him on straight on, didn't always do that successfully, and that Joe Biden, the pugilist, was going to do a little bit better.
I think in Biden's mind, it's he'll take on every sleight, and he'll offer his own sleights. And I think people are taking his measure on how he does that. And to the extent that -- that he gets Trump talking about him, that is a good day for Biden, because it makes Biden the guy. And in Trump's mind, Biden is the guy. And the other Democrats are saying, "What about us? Can we be the guy? Or the women?" You know?
CAMEROTA: Iowa is such an interesting case study, M.J. Because 32 counties in Iowa in 2016 flipped from having voted for Obama to voting for Trump? And so when Biden goes after Trump, I don't know if that strategically, if he's appealing to those voters who went for Trump. I mean, he's going after him so full-throttle that I just -- I can't tell yet if the people who are the swing voters like that or don't like that.
LEE: I think David is absolutely right. The calculation right now is that any time Biden can be in the headlines thanks to Trump, that is a good day for Biden. I think you're absolutely right that when the president is going after, singularly after one of the Democratic candidates, it sends the message to anyone who's tuning in this early in the campaign that this is a guy that we should be watching, because this seems to be the guy that the president is taking most seriously.
I will tell you, and I know we have talked about this a lot on the set. When we are out, talking to voters out in the country, the issue that still comes up the most, when you ask about Biden's qualifications and why someone might be remotely interested in Biden right now, is because they believe he's the one who can take on President Trump.
BERMAN: John, what do you make of the fact -- and I was surprised when President Trump did not mention Joe Biden by name in his final event last night. What do you make of that? Did his aides finally get to him?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The last person who speak to him apparently reinforced what his aides have been trying to tell him to do, which is stop building up Joe Biden.
Of course, you know, in that, you know, White House lawn remarks yesterday, I mean, he went out after him in this sort of 5th-grade way, as the president is wont to do, calling him a dummy, which -- or words that I have trouble saying. but they came from the president's mouth, so it must be OK.
Look, this is the face-off. It's clearly in the president's head. Biden wants to make it that way. I do think he's doing sort of a classic Democrat "fighting for you" strategy that is designed to appeal to a lot of those pivot county voters.
And the other -- the other Democratic candidates are going to feel a little bit left out. It will be interesting to see if they increase attacks on Biden to try to -- to try to level things out.
But I think Donald Trump knows, despite what he says, spoiler alert, those polls that came out last night are trouble for him. His internal polls that he told his campaign staff to deny are trouble for him. The president is not in a poll position. This far out of an election. He's got a good economy, but the poll numbers, the head to heads are rough.
GREGORY: But Alisyn, I think what you said, I think, is important, which is you think about the Iowa voters. You know, a lot of people -- I was talking to a businessman yesterday who said, "Well, you know, I like some of his policies, but I don't really like the whole package. But we really can't control the whole package."
There's a lot of people who have already rendered judgment on whether they think he's a bad guy, whether he's insulting, and all that kind of thing. So Biden has got to do more than say, "Hey, Trump, fix yourself first." Because you know, I don't know that that's going to resonate as much.
People -- even saying that he's an existential threat. He's going to get those -- those Trump critics who feel that way. But he's got to really say to farmers, to folks who like that health care, their health care, that you know, Trump is trying to take it away. That's going to be the test of where the -- where the sweet spot is to get those voters back who have flipped back and forth.
CAMEROTA: I think so, too. I think that actually, he has to validate them. I understand why you went for Trump. You liked this and this. We can do better.
GREGORY: but he's -- he's got to show the fight. You know, it's less important that you win on points, that Biden demonstrates, you know, he can take him on and will not be reduced to Jeb Bush. I hate to say that to Jeb Bush, who is highly qualified, but he was eviscerated by that low-energy thing. And Biden has got to show, "No, no, no, I can -- I can handle that."
BERMAN: To your point, Ana Navarro, who is a big Jeb Bush fan and friend, sat right where you're sitting last week and told us she's getting Jeb Bush acid reflux with Joe Biden. She feels Joe Biden needs to go out and prove himself.
David Axelrod was with us also and said, "Look, when you have a septuagenarian candidate, you've got to prove you're up to it." Age is a legitimate question.
GREGORY: The work is going to be -- you know, like John Berman running around the city this morning. Nobody can beat him.
BERMAN: They locked the door on me here, and I still got in. I spilled water on myself, but I still got in.
CAMEROTA: I'll have to try harder tomorrow.
BERMAN: That's right. I proved something to no one there.
So M.J., I want to play this moment. Because again, one of the things that Joe Biden hasn't done to date that much is interact with reporters, answer questions. He hasn't done an interview since he announced for president. Right? So now he's beginning to take some questions from the press. Yesterday he was pressed on his reversal, his flip-flop-flip, the triple Axelrod.
CAMEROTA: Triple Axelrod, as I like to call it.
BERMAN: On the Hyde amendment. Just watch this exchange. We have subtitles here, because we're looking at the back of his head. But I think you can hear what goes wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was more clear to you at the end of last week than it was at the beginning of last week?
BIDEN: Yes. Don't be a wise guy with me. The answer is yes, exactly right. I didn't consult with anybody but me in that decision. Because I was sitting on the way down, finalizing the plan. And what hit me was we're in a situation where you.