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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Presidential Candidate Unveils Major Policy Plan; President Trump Is Accused Of Rape. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired June 24, 2019 - 07:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For it, with new taxes on Wall Street.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Hillary Clinton was a great candidate. She was ruthless and vicious; I would actually rather run against Biden. He's sleepy.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Eight years of damage will be almost impossible to get back. I hope to be your nominee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president will announce additional sanctions.

TRUMP: We can't have nuclear weapons. If you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise, you can live in a shattered economy for a long time to come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a situation where there needs to be negotiation, but it has to be a cost to run.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is New Day. With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning and welcome to your New Day. Breaking overnight, Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled a major policy plan that would continue to wipe out the student loan debt of every single American. The price tag for forgiving all these loans would be $1.6 trillion.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Senator Sanders recently poll numbers show him in a dead heat for second, with Elizabeth Warren, so this rollout comes on a pivotal week for the Democratic race with the first primary debates this week.

Also, President Trump has been accused of rape. The woman who has come forward with her accusations will be here. But first, CNN's Ryan Nobles is live in Washington with all of the breaking details on Bernie's plan. Ryan.

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RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, this plan will not be cheap. A price tag of $1.6 trillion paid for with a tax on Wall Street speculation and this idea of taking on radical action to deal with student loan debt crisis is nothing new for Bernie Sanders, but this is the first time he's put a tangible plan on paper.

Today he's going to submit legislation that would implement a plan that would cancel every single penny of student loan debt for every American and there would be no eligibility requirements or income standards. Basically, if you have student debt, this plan would cancel it all.

And this is how the tax would work. A .05 percent tax on stock trades, a .01 percent fee on bonds and a .005 percent fee on derivatives. Sanders believes that would rake in as much as $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years. He's of course, not the first candidate to unveil a college debt forgiveness plan. Elizabeth Warren has as well, but Sanders goes a step further in two respects.

First, this plan is already a piece of senate legislation, with a companion bill ready to be introduced in the House and second, Warren's plan has caps on the amount of debt that would be canceled and eligibility would be determined by income level.

Now in a statement to CNN, Sanders says in part, "In 2008 the American people bailed out Wall Street. Now it's Wall Street's turn to help the middle class and the working class of this country," of course, this big policy move by Sanders comes at the start of a crucial week during the Democratic Primary and as the race seems pretty unsettled -- Joe Biden maintaining a clear lead, but the second tier of candidates can all make a case if they have a shot, and that includes South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Now the mayor's been forced off the campaign trail because of an officer-involved shooting in his hometown. Buttigieg has faced serious questions about the relationship between the police department and the African American community in South Bend. Those concerns led to passionate complaints by members of the community during a Town Hall, that an emotional Buttgieg attempted to address.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get the racists off the streets. It's disrespectful that I wake up every day scared. It's disrespectful that I have three boys that I have to teach today what to do!

PETE BUTTGIEG (D), MAYOR OF SOUTH BEND, IN., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know if it's smart or not. I don't know if it's strategic or not. But -- it's my city. And I have a relationship with everybody in the city -- who looks to the city to keep them safe. I'm sick of these things being talked about in political terms, in theoretical terms. Like it's a show. Sometimes. It's people's lives.

NOBLES: Of course, this all sets the stage for the first round of debates that happens later this week and the big question -- will those debates lead to someone in this field breaking away from the pack. John and Alisyn.

(END VIDEO TAPE) CAMEROTA: Ryan, thank you very much for all of that. Let's bring in Kaitlan Collins, CNN White House Correspondent. Joe Lockhart, former Clinton White House Press Secretary and Susan Glasser, CNN Global Affairs Analyst and Staff Writer at The New Yorker. Happy Monday, everybody. Great to see you guys. Joe, I want to start with you, about Bernie Sanders plan to relieve college debt with a big price tag.

This is great. You can promise, I mean, candidates promise lots of things and obviously, then when they get in office, the devil is in the details and it's much harder. So yes, this will appeal to his younger voters; he has a very solid base of them. But I just don't know how much stock to put in it.

JOE LOCKHART, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think, you know, it is like a campaign season, so you're going to see a lot of promises; promises that will be modified or tossed over the side (LAUGHS) once somebody wins. That's the nature of campaigns. [07:05:00]

I think it's interesting with Sanders' proposal; I think it does indicate how much Elizabeth Warren is having an impact on this race. This idea that "I have a plan" has really forced Bernie Sanders' hands and I think others to jump in.

The reality is, the plan as written has zero chance of getting through a Congress that is controlled, at least in the Senate, but Republicans. And you know, again, the reality for Democrats is very often they come into office after Republicans have been in it and have to deal with the deficit.

So I think you're going to see tax increases, if the Democrats win, on corporations, undo the Trump tax cut, but I don't think you'll see anything in terms of like total wiping out of student debt in this country. But again, I think it goes back to Warren, kind of setting the parameters for the debate here and that's good for her.

BERMAN: Yeah, let's put up on the screen once again what Bernie Sanders, Senator Sanders is proposing here -- wiping out $1.6 trillion of student debt; that's all of it. He's talking about covering 45 million people; no eligibility limits, which means, you know, if you're upper middle class, or the child of someone who's upper middle class and you have student debt, your debt would be erased also -- and he's talking about a .05 percent tax on stock trades, .01 percent fee on bonds.

And Susan Glasser, you know, look, this doesn't address the people who have already paid their student debt; that's one thing. There will be a generational divide here. But I do get what he's trying to do and just because it won't necessarily enacted overall, that's what happens in campaigns, you propose things and this does seem to show that Bernie Sanders is acutely aware of who he's running against in this primary.

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, that's right. I guess the question is also, how much is he thinking about the general election at this point, and in that sense he's playing right into the Republican's emerging narrative of, you know, the Democrats as having moved so far to the Left, that they're unacceptable to the American people -- this is absolutely, you know, an example of what this sort of Socialism narrative that President Trump has sought to create from the very beginning of this year, you would imagine that you know, on the debate stage this week -- remember that Elizabeth Warren will not be there, interestingly, right next to Bernie Sanders.

I think Joe is absolutely right, that she's sort of set the tone in that, you know, everybody needs to be a policy wonk now. But it's going to be Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders standing next to each other on the stage on Thursday night. So I think that's an interesting dynamic to watch.

I'm curious how much Joe Biden is actually going to -- is he going to directly come out and critique the sort of Socialism narrative of some of his rival candidates? Is he going to stay aware from it? Is he going to try to remain above the fray? And so in that sense, we haven't really heard from Biden yet, what his response is to this large number of very ambitious but also aspirational plans from some of his rivals.

CAMEROTA: Kaitlan, I want to talk about what else happened this weekend, and that was Pete, Mayor Pete Buttigieg went back to South Bend, Indiana -- so he was off the campaign trail to deal with this -- all the heightened tensions in his hometown, because of this police shooting.

And there was a very outraged Town Hall and he was at the helm, sitting at a table listening to the residents there and stylistically, because I was listening on the radio, it sounded to me like what happens is when he's confronted, he gets more subdued and the audience got more elevated and it was just a sort of slightly off tone, because he got kind of quieter as they got louder. But let me just play a moment for everybody of that issue.

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BUTTIGIEG: This is my city. And I have a relationship with everybody in the city -- who looks to the city to keep them safe. And when somebody --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get the racists off the streets. It's disrespectful that I wake up every day scared. I am raising a seven- year-old grandson that when he sees the police, he is afraid. That is not what's supposed to happen in America, in Indiana in 2019.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people who are in the audience when you have these public forums are the same black people. But they're not invited to the table.

BUTTIGIEG: So I want people to know that the seat at the table is waiting for you. And I would welcome more input from you on how I could do a better job at making people feel that they're actually welcome, when invited to that table.

AUDIENCE: (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Kaitlan, what's the feeling on what the upshot of that Town Hall was?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I watched that yesterday and it was incredibly intense at moments and there were no easy questions for Pete Buttigieg throughout that entire thing, dealing with a very understandably emotional audience and Pete Buttigieg has been this candidate that we've seen that of course, is not nationally known before his rise in this race, and the question that had been facing him before this happened was whether or not he could appeal to black voters --

And that was something that Pete Buttigieg himself had acknowledged that he had issues with when his audiences, where you would see him, they were mostly white and that

was something that his campaign said that they were working on [07:10:00] and now this trouble has become

incredibly serious and it's been thrust into the national spotlight, with Pete Buttigieg having to miss these other events, to go home, to deal with what his actual day job is and to deal with these issues and to listen to the community and talk about this.

And so I think this is going to be a pretty big aspect for Pete Buttigieg in this race and of course, with these debates coming up, there are going to be tough questions for him about how to handle this and essentially his leadership is being tested.

(CROSSTALK)

And for someone who doesn't have a track record, essentially, with the country, someone who's not nationally well known by most voters, this is going to be a very big test for him.

BERMAN: And I think that last point is really interesting here, because one of the questions about Pete Buttigieg all along, even with the rise has been, well, wait a second. Your day job has been to be mayor of not even the largest city in Indiana. So Joe, if you've got problems with the job that some people don't think is big enough anyway, is that going to be hard for him to answer for this week at the debates?

LOCKHART: Well, listen. I think he did the right thing in going home and you know, while South Carolina and Iowa and New Hampshire, the places that everybody else was -- he does have this job and it's, it would have been much worse for him if he had just ignored the problems.

Listen, it's a challenge and in every challenge there's an opportunity. If he can demonstrate over the next couple of weeks that his leadership makes a difference in his community, that's a plus. If this spirals out of control, that that's a problem for him. But you know, I think the most important thing was getting home and

being there because you know, ignoring the problem would have created, you know, a much bigger optical problem, or issue for him.

CAMEROTA: Susan, let's move on to what happened over the weekend with the president. President Trump was accused of rape. And this is different than what we've heard all throughout the campaign; there were 15, at least, women who came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct, sexual assault.

But this is a bonafied rape, and E. Jean Carroll is a well known advice columnist and she came forward with her story; I'll just read a portion of what she's written. This happened in a dressing room of a high-end department store. She ran into Donald Trump, about 1996 and he brought her into the dressing room. This is what happens. "The moment the dressing room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked, I shove him back and start laughing again.'

She thought this was all playful at first. "He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights." She goes on in unambiguous terms, Susan, to describe a rape.

And you know, okay, so the president has denied it; let me read that statement. He says, "I've never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book -- that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section. No pictures? No surveillance? No video? No reports? No sales attendants around? I would like to thank Bergdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident because it never happened."

So to be clear, there is a picture of them having met and Bergdorf Goodman says they would never have kept the security cameras since 1996. But -- do you think that this changes the feeling about the president's history with these sexual assault claims?

GLASSER: Well you know, I'm struck, as I'm sure you are, that in an interesting way, this has gotten less attention than you might expect, to have a credible person, a well known author, putting her name to this, appearing on the cover of a major magazine, as she's doing today, being able to come out with two friends who are supporting the account that she gave them at the time, contemporaneously.

And so in many ways, it strikes me that this has not been as big of a story so far as you would imagine and the question is -- are we looking at a situation where there's simply been so many allegations of the president's supposed aggressive behavior toward women, history of sexual attacks, that we are not able to process new allegations anymore -- and that is certainly one of the concerns that I have.

I would urge people to read this account directly, as I did when it came out on Friday. It is powerful. This is a named account and again, I feel that it's important, nonetheless, that people should read this account and decide for themselves what they think about it. But the power of any individual (ph) allegating into President Trump, whether it relates to his business, whether it relates to his conduct while in office, whether it relates to a decades' long pattern of behavior towards women -- there's so many allegations, I think that it's been very hard, both to cover them and also as individuals, as citizens, to process this information.

BERMAN: Kaitlan, Alisyn read the statement from the president in reaction to this. But I do wonder -- what happens inside the White House or the Trump political operation with each new accusation. Does it cause waves?

COLLINS: Well, there's a lot of -- of pause, essentially, when something like this happens, because you have to remember [07:1500] -- this is not only a White House, but also the Trump campaign, that had to deal with a slew of sexual assault allegations made against the president, over a dozen, in fact, against them -- that the White House is at time has struggled to address; typically they try to ignore them.

So that's what was kind of surprising for White House reporters to get this lengthy statement from the White House; parts of it seemed like it was, sounded like it was dictated from the president himself, denying this forcefully, saying of course, what many people have pointed out -- that there was no photo of the two of them or that they had never met, when in fact, in the story accompanying her allegation, there is a photo of the two of them with the president sitting next to one of his ex-wives.

But what was interesting is when the president -- excuse me -- when the president was leaving the White House on Saturday to go to Camp David, he was responding to this accusation, denying it -- but he invoked his Supreme Court Justice, his nominee, of course, Brett Kavanaugh, who faced a trial of his own going into his Supreme Court hearing, where he was also accused of sexual misconduct and the president was essentially using his name to defend himself against this accusation and that gives you kind of an indication of how they are going to push back against this.

BERMAN: All right. Joe, Kaitlan, Susan, thank you very much. And you'll be talking.

CAMEROTA: E. Jean Carroll will be here momentarily, to tell her story to us firsthand.

BERMAN: All right. President Trump has called off immigration raids and he's calling on lawmakers to take action on immigration. What (INAUDIBLE) get done? As reports of children -- in filthy detention centers emerge, we're going to ask a former acting head of ICE.

CAMEROTA: And in our next hour, which one of the 2020 candidates poses the biggest threat to President Trump. We take the Pulse of the People -- ahead.

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ANNOUNCER: This is CNN. The most trusted name in news.

BERMAN: New this morning, Former Vice President Joe Biden is taking aim at the president over the crisis at the border. Biden writes in the Miami Herald, "Last week gave us more evidence that Donald Trump's morally bankrupt reelection strategy relies on vilifying immigrants to score political points while implementing policies that ensure asylum seekers and refugees keep arriving at our border."

Joining us now is John Sandweg. He's a Former Acting Director of ICE under President Obama and is now a partner Frontier Solutions, an immigration law firm. John, thank you very much for being with us. I want to get your reaction to what's happened over the last two weeks.

The president, first of all, announced that ICE was going to engage in raids. He said they would begin rounding up millions of undocumented immigrants. And then the president canceled or delayed those raids with a public announcement over the weekend. What's the real world implication of that, if you are an ICE agent, who might be involved in some of this?

JOHN SANDWEG, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, ICE: Yeah, it was a bizarre episode to be sure. First of all, I've never seen a president announce an operation before the operation is actually conducted. I've been involved in hundreds of these operations and one of the cardinal rules is you don't discuss them in advance because A, you jeopardize the safety of your officers and B, you tell the individuals you're going out to arrest, that you're coming -- thus they obviously aren't there when you get there.

So what does it do to ICE itself? Unfortunately it's another kick in the morale of the agency. We're turning the agency into a political football, rather than it being a professional law enforcement organization and I've served with, you know, these men and women at ICE and in my experience, there are tons of very good professionals there who want to make this country safer. Instead, they're being vilified now as the individuals who are going out to target children and then, you know, only for that to be pulled back at the last second.

BERMAN: Do you think it's an effective strategy to do some of these raids? This would deal with not the border, but interior of the nation -- do you think it would be good for ICE to be engaged in any of this?

SANDWEG: Well you know, ICE is engaged in these types of operations on a daily basis. Typically, however, the targeting, in terms of who you're going out to arrest is focused on convicted criminals -- or individuals who pose some threat to public safety.

This would be a big shift in that they'd be looking at families. Listen, I think that there is a very small role to play, in terms of some of this work, if you have a population where an individual presented an asylum claim, had a good opportunity to do so -- and lost the hearing. I think that if it is done in that way, with very carefully planned logistics to ensure that if children are at all detained, one, that families --

(CROSSTALK)

-- are never separated, or split apart. And two, that the children are detained in the very safe conditions and in an orderly manner. I have grave concerns that the way this operation was discussed, planned and everything we're hearing about it, that none of those pre- conditions were being met.

BERMAN: You brought up separations. Which I want to play some sound to you, from over the weekend, of the president, president telling Chuck Todd that family separations, which were a Trump administration policy, that it was all actually begun when you were there, working in the Obama administration. Let's listen to this.

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TRUMP: President Obama built, they call them "jail cells" -- they were --

(CROSSTALK)

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Let's talk about what's happening now.

(CROSSTALK)

Your administration --

(CROSSTALK)

You're not doing the recreation, not even schooling these kids anymore. You've gotten rid of all that stuff.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: We're doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. The Democrats aren't even approving giving us money.

I'm the one that changed the plan. I inherited separation and I changed the plan and I brought people together. Now, when I did that I said, watch what happens. More people are going to come up. Because when you put the parents together with the children, when you don't separate, and that's exactly what happened. But I hated to have the separation policy.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

BERMAN: Again, it was his separation policy. Just set the record straight there on what he just said.

SANDWEG: It's categorically false. The Obama administration, one of the top priorities was family unity. We did everything we could to eliminate the separation of families and even paroled parents back into the United States so they could be reunited with their children.

It's true, the Obama administration, you know, built up large family detention centers, as essential American crisis came forward.

(CROSSTALK)

But the idea there was -- to build safe facilities where the children and the parents could be housed together. But this idea that the Obama administration separated families is just categorically false.

BERMAN: And we've seen the documentation now, the Trump Family Separation Policy was meant to be a deterrent. I want to cover one other issue here. Because Jake Tapper has a fascinating interview with the Vice President, Mike Pence, over the weekend and they were discussing these reports and we've heard from administration lawyers argue that these families and kids detained at the border don't necessarily need toothbrushes or toothpaste, or blankets. And there have been reports from people who have seen them, that the conditions are deplorable. So Jake addressed this with the vice president, [07:25:00] or tried to. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: No American should approve of this mass influx of people coming across our border. It is overwhelming our system --

(CROSSTALK)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: But how about how we are treating this children?

PENCE: Look. As I said to you, I was at the detention center, in Nogales just a few short months ago. It is a heartbreaking scene. These are people who are being exploited by human traffickers -- who charge them $5000 (LAUGHS) a person to entice them to take their vulnerable children --

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Now these kids are in our custody.

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: And take the long and dangerous journey north. But so Congress has to act.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

BERMAN: The question is -- can the administration fix this problem? Do they want to? Is there any deterrent value in withholding from these children their basic needs?

SANDWEG: No. No. It's appalling. Listen. Deterrents itself has proven ineffective. You have to understand, we have to look at what these people are fleeing from. Incredible violence, lack of basic security, incredible poverty. And as long as the United States offers that stability, we're going to continue to see a flow to come north.

So this has been (INAUDIBLE) a comprehensive solution -- this administration has doubled and tripled down on deterrents and it's failed. We see the numbers continue to escalate. But of course, listen. The idea that somehow we don't have to provide basic healthcare to children, you know, toothbrushes or blankets, when they're in our custody is appalling and you know, I think the vice president ultimately conceded that point and hopefully, you know, they're not going to take the position that DOJ was taking in court --

(CROSSTALK)

-- that those are not required, those basic essentials.

BERMAN: John Sandweg, thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate it. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: All right, John. She says President Trump attacked her in a dressing room of a department store in the mid 1990s. Why is she coming forward now? E. Jean Carroll joins us to tell us her story next.

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