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Trump Brags About His Leadership On Environment; Barr Sees Legal Way To Ask About Citizenship On Census; 'Coco' Gauff On Her Incredible Wimbledon Run. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired July 9, 2019 - 07:30   ET


[07:33:19] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In terms of presidential speeches, it was as close to slight of hand as it gets. President Trump just bragged about his environmental policies taking credit for the work of several past presidents along the way. John Avlon with a needed reality check. John.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hey, guys. So look, there are misstatements, there are lies, and then there's just bizarre world. And that's what happened to President Trump's speech on environmental leadership yesterday. Now, keep this in mind, the Trump administration has ordered the roll back of at least 83 environmental regulations. Now, try to square that record with this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: From day one, my administration has made it a top priority to ensure that America is among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.


AVLON: OK. That's just not true. The Trump administration's own EPA has released data showing the number of unhealthy air days are up 14 percent since 2016. And it's no wonder, given the Trump has loosen limits on toxic emissions and rolled back auto tailpipe emission standard, something that former Republican Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger simply called, stupid.

Now, while America concurrently boasts, the best access to clean drinking water in the world were actually tied in that category with nine other countries, we might not stay that way for long with Trump administration no longer preventing mining companies from dumping debris into local streams, and loosening ground water protections for some uranium mines.

Now, yesterday, we also heard President Trump trying to take credit for positive environmental trends that date back decades. OK, some point.


TRUMP: Last year, the agency completed more super fund to hazardous waste clean ups than any year of the previous administrations. (END VIDEO CLIP)

AVLON: OK. Here's the thing, cleaning up super fund sites take decades. So for example, Trump mentioning clean up around in a paper plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which began in 1998 under President Clinton and accelerated under President Obama.

[07:35:10] In contrast, the Trump administration has proposed budget cuts that would slash super fund clean up by 30 percent. Let that sink in. You can't celebrate gains while trying to cut the programs that made them possible at the same time. Unless you think the American people are too stupid to notice.

But the biggest speech that he spoke was giving a speech on environmental leadership while totally ignoring the climate crisis. In fact, the only mention of the word climate in the speech was to insult the Paris climate accords which of course Trump in later year abandoned.

But keep in mind, the national climate assessment released by his own administration warned that the average global temperature is much higher and rising more rapidly than anything modern civilization has experienced. And this warming trend can only be explained by human activities. And if on queue, last month was the hottest June in recorded history, according to the European Union's climate monitor.

Far from being a leader on the environment, President Trump has been a laggard. That's why the Bush-era EPA Chief Christine Todd Whitman said that, the Trump administration is using ideology to drive environmental policy instead of letting science drive it.

Ideology or industry because oil and gas lavish for cut literally laughing at how much access influence they have on this administration. It's hard to believe that just over a decade ago there was a bog bipartisan consensus on climate change and anti- pollution policies.

But Trump has dismantled that tradition in the time of maximal climate crisis. A time when 56 percent of all American say protecting the environment should be a top priority for the President and Congress. So don't believe the White House hype. The rhetoric and the reality just don't match, and that's your reality check.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: John, I'm so glad you dug into the speech there. This one cries out as you say for a reality check. And we just can't say it enough because the President says things that are demonstrably false in those speeches.

AVLON: It's just the opposite of the actions his administration has taken.

BERMAN: And all the reporting is said, it was the campaign that wanted him to go out there and speak on these issues because they wanted to inoculate him to an extent on some of the criticism there. John, thanks very much.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much.

All right, it's time for CNN BUSINESS. There's a significant risk that the U.S. government will not be able to meet its financial obligations by this fall. What does this mean? Chief Business Correspondent, Christine Romans has the answer. Hi Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, its evidence that the government is spending so much more money that it brings in. The debt ceiling deadline is fast approaching, a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center says, the U.S. government could default on its debt in early September.

Now, economists had initially forecast the so called X State would not occur until October or early November. Now, the U.S. reached its $22 trillion limit on borrowing already back in March.

Now, since then, the Treasury Department has been using what it calls extraordinary measures to pay the bills. But the treasury is taking in a lot less revenue from companies after that big tax cut in 2017, that has raised the risk of reaching default much soon every.

A default would risk the position of course of U.S. debt as the global safe haven investment. It could rattle financial markets. You guys, the calendar is a mine field as lawmakers head to the August recess, 20 days for the Senate, only a dozen or so working days for the House.

There is budget uncertainty. Lawmakers must work out a budget deal by the fall, another government shutdown or maybe deep spending cuts or failing to raise that debt limit. All of these are risks for the economy.

Economist said, the Bipartisan Policy Center warned if Congress does not raise that debt ceiling before recess, lawmakers would be placing a reckless risk on the full faith in credit of the United States, John.

BERMAN: Romans, I get the sense that the administration won't meet the President's eight-year deadline to get rid of the $22 million debt.

ROMANS: That campaign promise is not one on a white board trying to be crossed off in the White House, no.

BERMAN: All right, Christine Romans, thank you very much.

[07:38:48] So a star is born at Wimbledon. Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff made an incredible underdog run, upsetting her idol, Venus Williams along the way. She joins us live coming up.


CAMEROTA: Attorney General Bill Barr say, President Trump will continue trying to add that citizenship question to the census sometime this week, maybe as early as today. But didn't the Supreme Court already shoot down that argument? CNN's Jessica Schneider is live in Washington with the latest. So what's the plan, Jessica? JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. We learned that the President is now considering either an executive order or a presidential memorandum, directing this citizenship question be include on the census and the proclamation from the President could come as soon as this week.

The President has been pushing this despite the Supreme Court's ruling that the administration's initial rational was, as they put it, contrived. But the President of course believes this ongoing fight will only strengthen his support among conservatives. And the attorney general, Bill Barr says that he has been in constant discussions with the President and is confident there is a path to getting the citizenship question on the census.

But really that doesn't factor in the reality that the census has already gone to print without the question, and the legal fights are still going strong. Now, meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is saying that this is all part of an effort by the administration to shut out diverse voices across the country.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Injected himself into this. But this is about keeping, you know, make America, you know, this hat, make America white again. They want to make sure that people, certain people, are counted. It's really disgraceful. And it's not what our founders had in mind.


[07:45:09] SCHNEIDER: And Speaker Pelosi also warned that she could schedule a full House vote soon to hold Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Attorney General William Barr in criminal contempt for withholding documents related to census question.

Of course the House Oversight Committee has all ready voted along party lines to recommend that criminal contempt, so John, really this fight goes on. It's playing out in court as well as in Congress. John?

BERMAN: Indeed we have to see exactly what move the administration makes here, but almost certain to end up back in court and soon. Jessica Schneider, thank you very much.

Beijing now says it supports Hong Kong, the Hong Kong leader over the controversial extradition bill after she declared it dead, but pro democracy activist Joshua Wong calls Carrie Lam's declaration a ridiculous lie. He and other protesters still wanted an immediate full and formal withdrawal of the bill with guarantees that lawmakers will not restart debates and rush the bill through to a vote.

CAMEROTA: All right, listen to this, a purple heart was found in the donation box of a Tucson, Arizona Goodwill. And now, that thrift store is looking for the recipient's family. Goodwill says, the medal showed up in mid June, it is engraved with the name Nick D'Amelio Jr. D'Amelio was seaman second class who served in the U.S. Navy and went missing in action in World War II. He was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously. If you know anything about him or his family, reach out to the Goodwill industries in Tucson, Arizona.

BERMAN: We'll put this online also. I hope people pay attention to this. It would be wonderful to get this back in good hands.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. And it's so wonderful also to know how Goodwill does go through things pretty meticulously because I just drop off those bags and hope for the best, you know. And it's really nice to know how much care they're putting into this.

BERMAN: All right her Cinderella run at Wimbledon captured the hearts of fans around the world, 15-year-old tennis phenom, Coco Gauff joins us live next.


[07:50:53] BERMAN: Her incredible underdog run at Wimbledon is over. But it could be just the beginning for Coco Gauff. She is the youngest player ever to quality for Wimbledon. The 15-year-old phenom lit up the tennis world with her play and poise winning fans on both sides of the Atlantic from Michelle Obama to Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell, that was quite a broad range.

Joining us now is Coco Gauff. Coco, thank you very much for being with us this morning. Congratulations on all of it. I know that so much happened over the last week. But was there a best moment for you?

CORI 'COCO' GAUFF, 15-YEAR-OLD TENNIS PHENOM: Yes, definitely the best moment for me was winning the match against Venus. I mean, you always dream of something and when it actually happens you kind of don't believe it.

BERMAN: Were you surprised?

GAUFF: Yes, I was surprised that I even got to play here and definitely surprised when I won the match.

BERMAN: I want to play you some sound of what Venus' sister, Serena has said about you. Listen to this.


SERENA WILLIAMS, 23 TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: I think there's some 15-year-olds like me who wouldn't know what to do at Wimbledon and then you have a 15-year-old like Coco who knows what to do. I think she's definitely on a different level.


BERMAN: A different level. Serena Williams says you are at a different level. Well, how does that make you feel?

GAUFF: Oh, my goodness, that's really surprising and shocking. I mean when your idol says something any, even though that you exist that's pretty crazy. And see Serena so nice, I met her a couple time in both of the William sisters. They've been very sweet to me and my family.

BERMAN: What do you think she means different level?

GAUFF: Honestly, I don't know. I guess maybe she means when she was 15 we weren't quite the same. But honestly, I really don't know. But Serena is at the highest level. She's always at the top of her game. So from her saying that, I'm at a different level is really surreal.

BERMAN: Are you pulling for Serena to win at Wimbledon this time now that you're out?

GAUFF: Yes. Yes, of course. If it's not going to be me, definitely 100 percent want it to be her.

BERMAN: So what's it been like for you over the last week and a half, you went from someone who may not have been well-known outside the tennis world, now all of a sudden, a lot of people know who you are? What's that like?

GAUFF: Men, it's been really crazy. I mean, I'm getting recognized in restaurants and on the street. And I never thought this would happen. I mean, I kind of dreamed of always playing Wimbledon and all the grand slams but I never dreamed of people actually recognizing me and across the world, it's just been crazy how much support I've been getting.

BERMAN: I asked on Twitter if people would have any questions for you. And we've got a lot back. One of them was recognizing the fact you're just 15 years old and one of our viewers asked, what teenage thing do you miss the most or think you miss the most because you're spending so much time playing tennis?

GAUFF: Honestly, my whole life has been kind of crazy and surrounded by tennis. So I wouldn't say I miss too much. But when I'm on the road, I definitely miss my brothers the most. I mean, they -- I love them so much and they're always supporting me. And they have been playing their own sports. So, sometimes I wish they could come with me on -- to come with me to tournaments. But they're doing their own thing as well. So I kind of like to support them as much as possible in them as well.

BERMAN: So I have a couple of 12-year-olds, my co-anchors got some teenagers as well. Do you have any advice for our kids?

GAUFF: Honestly, the biggest piece of advice I have is just to always dream big and don't let anyone limit your dreams because the possibilities are endless. And if you want to do it -- if you can think it, then you can do it. If you can dream it, then you can do it. So honestly, just keep working hard and it won't come easy and I know it'll seem like impossible but if you keep working hard it'll definitely happen.

BERMAN: It's good advice although I will say this, I thought a lot about my second serve going in and it never does. [07:55:01] I want to read you some tweets --

GAUFF: Are you working hard?

BERMAN: Apparently not hard enough for me play. If you come to New York and play the U.S. Open maybe you can help me out because at 47 years, I get one out of three of them in. It's disheartening. Some people have been commenting about you on Twitter. Magic Johnson says congratulations to 15-year-old Coco Gauff for winning another match to advance in Wimbledon. Absolutely amazing. Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the United States wrote, Coco is terrific. Jaden Smith writes, shout out Coco Gauff, you're the one. What's that like?

GAUFF: Yes, it's been crazy. It's been crazy how much people have noticed me. I mean I never, ever in my wildest dreams would ever think that the former first lady would tweet me, there are Jaden, like Magic Johnson, Joel Embiid, like it, that I can't keep naming the celebrities I would be here all day so it's just crazy how much support I've gotten. And honestly, I hope I get to meet each and everyone of them one day.

BERMAN: Which one is your favorite, though? What's your favorite tweet?

GAUFF: Definitely -- well, my favorite person that tweeted me was Ms. Michelle Obama. And then the favorite tweet like what they said was when Joel Embiid said watching Coco Gauff was low key watching a game seven. I thought that was pretty funny.

BERMAN: That's pretty awesome. You are one part of a sports phenomenon happening around the world over the last few days. The other thing that's happened is the U.S. World Cup team just won in this group of women has fought for more than just success on the field. They're fighting for equal pay. Have you had a chance to see them play or listen to what they're saying?

GAUFF: Yes. Unfortunately, in their final game I didn't see the whole game because I was practicing the same time as them. But I saw the last couple of minutes and I was so happy for them. I mean, those ladies have really fought their way. And I hope that one day they can achieve equal pay. Because as I was playing tennis I think especially on the women side, we're very lucky or very deserving of equal pay. And we get to be paid the same as the men. And I believe that it should be like that for every sport not just tennis. So I hope that one day they can definitely achieve that and they absolutely deserve it.

BERMAN: And I think you'll be part of that fight going forward as well. Is there any part of your game or what part of your game do you think needs the most improving?

GAUFF: The part I think we need the most improvement, just my confidence, stepping in on the court especially in my forehand side. But other than that, I think all my game needs improvement because I still miss shots. Nobody is perfect so I'll always need to improve no matter how many tournaments I win. But definitely right now, I'm going to improve all my confidence in stepping in the court. I know how the ball feels from the different players I played.

BERMAN: I can't speak to your forehand but I think your confidence is pretty good right now and I think you're doing an awfully good job at all it. Let me just say, what are your goals for the U.S. Open? I know you hope to be here in New York for the U.S. Open. What's your goal there?

GAUFF: Yes. My goal obviously is just to win the tournament. Hopefully, I can -- now with my ranking, I can for sure get into qualifying. So maybe if I can build my ranking up, I can get into main draw but that for sure, excited to play U.S. Open. It'll be my first -- second main draw on grand slam and my first main draw in U.S. Open.

So, U.S. Open is kind of a special place to me because I've been going there watching the tournaments since I was 8 years old. So that is definitely would be a special moment for me when I get to play.

BERMAN: I think it will be a special moment for all Americans and tennis fans. You're going to have more than a few people watching you here in New York. Coco Gauff, congratulations on everything. Thank you so much for being with us and good luck.

GAUFF: Thank you. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: That was so terrific. I admire her so much. And I love her advice to our kids. Just dream big. Stop squashing their dreams, John.

BERMAN: I'm not trying -- I'm trying to make them believe they can do anything. If people like Coco Gauff make it possible. But I have to say just the poise and the confidence, not just to play tennis. I mean she's worked so hard at that, but also everything that comes with it. People all of a sudden start asking you a ton of questions and she has great thoughtful answers.

CAMEROTA: They also said that her tennis style shows her confidence. That she did things that other tennis players wouldn't have done at that moment.

BERMAN: It's not just about -- it's not a power game necessarily. It's the overall game. She knows how to play the game.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I'm really impressed. I'm so glad we've got to talk to her and her mama.

BERMAN: I think we're going to get a chance to see her again in the future.

CAMEROTA: I have a hunch.

BERMAN: All right, thank you to our international viewers for watching. For CNN Newsroom with Max Foster is next for our U.S. viewers, growing pressure on the White House over the labor secretary ties to Jeffrey Epstein and that sex trafficking case. NEW DAY continues right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Multi-millionaire financier, Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender pleading not guilty to two sex trafficking charges.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get a man who is now looking it's spending the rest of his natural life in jail.

[08:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The alleged behavior stops the conscience.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One thing you cannot say about Joe is that he's a racist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to have a problem with black voters.