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North Korea Warns of Tests; Flooding Threat Continues in Midwest; Trump Doesn't Break Twitter Rules; E. Jean Carroll is Interviewed about Considering Legal Action against Trump. Aired 6:30- 7a ET

Aired July 16, 2019 - 06:30   ET



[06:31:29] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we do have breaking news this morning. Important breaking news.

North Korean leaders are now warning that they are considering restarting nuclear and missile tests.

CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now with all the details.

What's going on here?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, this is coming from state run media, KCNA, quoting the foreign ministry, so it is from a significant source, saying that these drills, the U.S. and South Korean drills that are coming up next month, scaled down drills, I should mention, if they go ahead, then they don't believe that the working level talks between North Korea and the U.S. can go ahead. What they are suggesting is that they have been promised from the leadership level, i.e. President Trump, back in Singapore a year and a half ago that there was going to be no more military drills between the U.S. and South Korea, specifying as well that this was reconfirmed when Kim Jong-un met with President Trump at the DMZ just a couple of weeks ago. And so already we're seeing a speed bump in the potential talks going back on track.

Just to quote you part of what they said. With the U.S. unilaterally reneging on its commitments, we're gradually using our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S. as well.

Now, what North Korea has done here is they have equated the fact that they're not doing nuclear and ICBM tests with the promise from the U.S. that there would be no U.S./South Korean drills. We have not seen that connection made by the U.S., but it's certainly being made by the North Koreans. And also interesting that the drills that are coming up are very much scaled down. The scope is less. There is more computer simulation.

There has been a real effort on the side of the U.S. and the South Korea to make sure that these military drills are scaled down so that it doesn't affect the diplomatic side. So certainly it's interesting that North Korea, once again, is making this into an issue, suggesting that this is what could be derailing any potential talks.

Alisyn, back to you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: It will be very interesting to see how the U.S. responds to all of this.

Paula, thank you very much.

So the flood threat continues this morning as heavy rain moves through the Midwest. Meanwhile, the East Coast is bracing for a summer heat wave.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has our forecast.

It's already pretty hot here.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And it's going to get hotter. Yes, the rain is in arkansas today from the old remnants of what was Barry.

But this weather is going to be brought to you by Xyzal, all night, all day allergy relief. And I can feel it in my nose this morning. I may need some of that.

As the heat builds in, humidity is going to be here. And it's going to feel well over 100 degrees in many cities today. And that is going to be the case for the next few days.

The air temperature in the shade in D.C. tomorrow is going to be 97. You add in the heat index, that is 107 degrees, guys. The heat is on. It is summer time. So here it comes, getting ready.

BERMAN: The heat is on. I think I remember that one, vaguely.


BERMAN: All right, Chad Myers, thank you very much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: So, what does it take to trigger Twitter's new feature to limit hateful content? The company's president says that President Trump's racist tweet doesn't make the cut. The explanation, next.


[06:38:58] CAMEROTA: President Trump's racist tweets providing a test for Twitter's new stance to label and down rank tweets that break their rules on hateful conduct. The social network says the president's latest remarks do not meet that threshold. But how is that possible?

Joining us now is Donie O'Sullivan, CNN politics and technology reporter.

Here's what their written policy is, Donie. We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. Twitter goes on, we are committed to combatting abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance, particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized.

How does the president's tweet not fall into that category?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN POLITICS AND TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: I know, especially when you hear the mention the "trope" there. I mean if the phrase "go back to where you came from" can't be understood as a trope, I mean what is.

I think Twitter -- and many people, I think, would be uncomfortable with the idea that a platform could just take down the tweets of the leader of the free world. That is why just three weeks ago Twitter brought in a new policy whereby they said if a world leader like Trump is to break our rules, we will label it. We will say this -- we have -- he has broken our rules but we are leaving the tweet up because it is in the public interest and so people can hold him accountable. But even here we say the company is reluctant to do that.

[06:40:25] CAMEROTA: They're not labelling it.


BERMAN: They -- they -- OK, they didn't label it?


BERMAN: The bottom line here is that the notion of President Trump has created so many challenges for Twitter. It's just clear they don't know what to do it with him.

O'SULLIVAN: Absolutely. And, I mean, if you think about, in 2016, we saw the role social media played between the rise of Trump and also how Russia used it to interfere in the election.

With these policy decisions, when you think about Twitter leaving this up, FaceBook leaving up the Nancy Pelosi video, you can see how policy decisions made in Silicon Valley could have a real impact on the 2020 election. And there's no transparency around it.

I mean we ask -- we point to Twitter to their own policies and said, is this not a contradiction of your policies.

CAMEROTA: And what did they say?

O'SULLIVAN: They did not elaborate on it. They said it didn't break our rules, that's it, and they would not explain it. I mean there's -- they go to Congress, they say, we are being transparent, we are, you know, reforming, we are putting in place these new rules but then they'll give us no insight into the decision making process around that.


BERMAN: What are they being transparent on?


BERMAN: I mean what are they even claiming to be transparent about?

O'SULLIVAN: I mean I think they do a victory lap every time they say, we've implemented this new policy. Take a few weeks ago when they said, we're going to label these tweets in the public interest to say, you know, we -- we want to be transparent, that this is the reason why we are leaving a tweet up even if it violates our standards. So they announce that, pat themselves on the back and then they come back three weeks later, we have an incident like this, and they won't even explain how, when it clearly seems to contradict their policy, why they're not acting on it.

CAMEROTA: So isn't the bottom line, really, that Twitter is a sham?

O'SULLIVAN: I think Twitter is extremely sensitive towards the claims of perceived anti-conservative bias, which you see from Republicans pretty much every week. Senator Ted Cruz is even holding a hearing on that very issue today of perceived bias against conservatives.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, let -- but forget -- forget Democrat, forget Republican, forget liberal, forget conservative, weren't they going to label falsehoods? And this tweet is rife with inaccuracies. These women are U.S. citizens. They were -- the three of them were born here. So it's wrong. So were they going to also label things that were this much in the public interest that were inaccurate?

O'SULLIVAN: Well, that is, again, another massive challenge for them. That is something Twitter has been far behind FaceBook on. Facebook has been labeling false information, Twitter not so much. But, again, another challenge, and particularly as we see in the lead up to 2020.

BERMAN: Unwilling or unable to curate in any kind of way it does seem.

CAMEROTA: Donie, thank you very much for all of that.

O'SULLIVAN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, now to this. There's an update. You remember author E. Jean Carroll. Well, she is now considering legal action against President Trump for an alleged sexual assault in the 1990s. But are her options limited? We're going to ask E. Jean Carroll and a top lawyer straight ahead.


[06:47:02] BERMAN: While you were sleeping, the late night comics took on the president's racist statement. Watch this.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Here's the problem, it is insulting to these women to even have to defend them from these ridiculous, racist accusations. And that's the problem. Even touching on Trump's obvious racism gets it on you. Also a fair amount of bronzer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who wants to explain how America works to President Trump? Whacko (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: AOC was born in New York, which is a united state. Pressley's from Chicago, U.S. city by the lake. Tlaib is from Michigan, it's shaped just like a mitten. On a bus in California, you said grab 'em by the kitten. Omar's Minnesotan, the place with the mall. New Mexico's a U.S. state, don't try to build a wall. They're American, most born and bred, unlike the majority of women you have wed.


CAMEROTA: That's so clever.

BERMAN: I don't know where they found that cartoon. They had to go deep into the vault to find that one.

CAMEROTA: It is so good.

All right, meanwhile, there is a new book that's getting a lot of attention. It's called "American Carnage." And it reveals how Republican lawmakers learned to stop condemning and start embracing President Trump. The author, Tim Alberta, is going to be with us about how the president has taken over the GOP, ahead.


[06:52:34] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

E. JEAN CARROLL, ACCUSES PRESIDENT TRUMP OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING HER IN THE 1990s: The minute he -- he went like this, I proceeded into the dressing room. The minute he closed that door, I was banged up against the wall.

CAMEROTA: He slammed you against the wall?

CARROLL: Yes, I hit my hard really hard. Boom.

CAMEROTA: I mean --

CARROLL: He pulled down my tights. And it was a fight.

It was over very quickly. It was against my will 100 percent.


CAMEROTA: All right, that was author E. Jean Carroll on NEW DAY last month accusing President Trump of sexually assaulting her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. President Trump has denied this.

Now Carroll says she is looking into possible legal action against the president and wants to, quote, hire a really smart attorney to find a way to get around the statute of limitations. So joining us now is E. Jean Carroll, author of the new book, "What Do We Need Men For: A Modest Proposal."

E. Jean, welcome back.


CAMEROTA: So the last time that we had you on, it seemed as through you were still sort of processing how to speak out loud about what happened to you in that dressing room.

CARROLL: Exactly. And you had one of the very first interviews. And I -- it was hard. It's very hard to tell your story, in private, to a friend. Luckily, you helped me get through it.

CAMEROTA: Well, thanks for that. But, I mean, I think that everybody was so struck. That interview made a big impact on people because you're not alone, and lots of women have trouble explaining what happened to them, and finding the right words for it.

CARROLL: Impossible.

CAMEROTA: And so -- so what's happened since then in your thought process of why you now seem more ready to take some kind of action?

CARROLL: Well, I -- unfortunately, I was not an expert in accusing a president of sexual assault. I had to learn as I hit the ground. I had to start learning the day -- the morning I was here. The big learning thing was people attacked me for what I said here on your show.

CAMEROTA: Yes, sure, of course. That happens.

CARROLL: Whatever I did was wrong. I shouldn't have gone in the room. I shouldn't have used that word. That was the wrong word. I shouldn't, you know, come forward now. Why didn't I come forward before? So I had to quickly learn.

But, on the other hand, Alisyn, I was wrapped in this cocoon of love. And just -- it was overwhelming. So that part was good. So I started to learn very quickly.

CAMEROTA: That's really heartening to hear that other people reached out to you with support.

But, at the time, a month ago, you were very reluctant to label what happened in that dressing room as rape. And we understand that. But, legally speaking, what you described is legally a rape.

[06:55:14] And so I'm wondering, are you now, as you prepare to move forward somehow legally, are you prepared to level a rape charge against Donald Trump?

CARROLL: I am going to speak with some very smart people. I'm going to get their advice. And they will tell me how -- it -- what is the correct phrasing. I'll let them tell me. I'm done being -- standing on my own. It's impossible. One woman cannot come forward.

CAMEROTA: OK, we have one of those.

CARROLL: Thank you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: We have a very smart legal mind to tell us what this looks like moving forward.

So let's bring in Areva Martin, of course she is our CNN legal analyst.

So, Areva, from what you know about E. Jean's case, this happened like 25, 24 years ago. And as we know from Bergdorf Goodman, they no longer have any sort of security footage from video cameras of the dressing room from that time. So what do you think her chances are of bringing a case?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, what we do know, Alisyn, is that courts have already ruled that Donald Trump is not above the law and that he can be subjected to civil lawsuits that he must participate in the discovery process, which means answering questions under oath via depositions, as well as written questions.

However, New York doesn't have a specific statute of limitations for the kind of sexual assault that E. Jean has described, you know, so eloquently in the interview with you. The statute that is most likely to be applicable, or the statutes, are for one year and three year from the cause of action that would be the basis of a lawsuit. How --

CAMEROTA: Yes, but help us understand that, Areva. Sorry to understand. But there was a statute of limitations in place in 1995 or '96 when E. Jean says that this happened. So now that New York has done away with that, but isn't she still under that statute of limitations?

MARTIN: Yes, that was a criminal statute -- that was the criminal statue for rape in the state of New York was a five-year statute. In 2006, they did away with the statute. And now, in the state of New York, there is no statute of limitation for criminal prosecution for rape.

The statutes I was making reference to are civil statutes. And it's important to note that the mayor of New York has already said that if E. Jean files a criminal complaint, that he will ensure that police in the state of New York or in Manhattan investigate her criminal complaint.


MARTIN: Now weather a district attorney in New York will decide to file charges, criminal charges against the president, is a different issue.


MARTIN: But he has given her, you know, carte blanche to go forward and to file a complaint with police.

CAMEROTA: Well, two more important things for you to consider, Areva. She still has the dress from that day that she was wearing. She's never gotten it dry cleaned. Who knows what that means. She also, on her side, told two friends at the time that it happened. So, contemporaneously, she told two friends who would be willing to testify on her behalf.

So, but -- but the bottom line, do you think that she should move forward with this? Do you think that this would be a futile attempt or do you think that she actually has some case here?

MARTIN: Oh, I think she absolutely should move forward. I think whenever a woman has been subjected to any kind of sexual assault and rape as E. Jean has described, she absolutely should move forward, contact authorities and have them make the ultimate determination. It's not for E. Jean to determine what prosecutors in Manhattan will do with the evidence that she has. It's for her, as she is finding her voice and as so many victims have found their voices to go forward, tell their story to law enforcement and let law enforcement make the ultimate decision.

We don't know what a district attorney may do with the evidence that E. Jean has. We don't know what the outcome will be. We don't know how her story may encourage other women to come forward. And we do know that this president is not above the law. And when anyone has been subjected to the kind of assault that she has, they have an absolute right to have their claim heard --


MARTIN: To have it investigated and to see if this person can, in this case, Donald Trump, be held accountable for his actions.


E. Jean, how does that make you feel?

CARROLL: That -- heartening, thank you. That was heartening -- that was uplifting to hear that.

CAMEROTA: And so --

CARROLL: Hopeful. It's hopeful.

CAMEROTA: What's -- what's your plan?

CARROLL: I have to process what she just said because it's so hopeful and it's turning things in my mind to -- to a new, wonderful universe has just opened up. So I will let you know, Alisyn. But I'm going to move forward.

CAMEROTA: Well, please keep us posted. Let us know what you decide to do. And we really appreciate you sharing your personal story and all your candor here with us.

CARROLL: Thank you. Thank you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Great to see you.

OK, Republican leaders have chosen not to comment on President Trump's racist rhetoric, but today they may have to make a choice. NEW DAY continues right now.

[07:00:04] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): This is the agenda of white nationalists.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you hate our country, if you're not happy.