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House Votes To Condemn President Trump's Racist Remarks; Presidential Candidates Talk Health Care; Department Of Justice Will Not File Charges Against NYPD Cop Who Choked Eric Garner. Aired 5:30- 6a ET

Aired July 17, 2019 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:58] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president's racist tweets.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Midsummer madness on the House floor. A vote to condemn the president's racist remarks, but only four Republicans sign on.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So people who have private insurance would eventually have to give that up under your plan?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They would eventually be covered under Medicare for All.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're either Medicare for All, which means Obamacare's gone -- gone, period -- or you build on Obamacare.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Kamala Harris trying to clarify her health care position and Joe Biden not buying it. Twenty-twenty Democrats growing contentious.

DEAN: Breaking overnight, the passing of a legend. Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died.


PROTESTERS: Black lives, they matter here. Black lives, they matter here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: And anger boiling over. The Justice Department won't bring charges against the officer whose chokehold killed Eric Garner.

Welcome back to EARLY START on a Wednesday. I'm Dave Briggs.

DEAN: Hi, everyone. I'm Jessica Dean in for Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour.

A turbulent night on the divided House floor ending in a vote to condemn President Trump's racist remarks targeting four minority congresswomen.

Just four Republicans voting for that resolution, all from districts often targeted by Democrats. Justin Amash also voted for it weeks after leaving the Republican Party. The leadership and the vast majority of Republican lawmakers, though, still backing the president.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The president is not a racist.

REPORTER: Were the president's tweets that said "go back" racist? Yes or no?



DEAN: The president taking notes of the votes and the Republicans unified behind him.

The debate, itself, full of dramatic moments like this one from civil rights icon John Lewis.


REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA): I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it. And at the highest level of government there's no room for racism.


BRIGGS: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raising the stakes when she described the president's remarks on the House floor.


PELOSI: Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president's racist tweets. To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our --


PELOSI: -- oath of office to protect the American people. I urge a unanimous vote -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman -- the gentleman from Georgia.


PELOSI: -- and yield back the balance of my time.

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): I was just going to give the gentle speaker of the House if she would like to rephrase that comment.

PELOSI: I have cleared my remarks as a parliamentarian before I read them.

COLLINS: You can take it -- could I ask the words be taken down? I make a point of order that the gentlewoman's words are unparliamentary and request they be taken down.


BRIGGS: You heard Pelosi being interrupted there at the end. It is a violation of longstanding House rules to refer to the president as, quote, "having made a bigoted or racist statement."

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was presiding over the House and clearly had enough.


REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER, II (D-MO): We don't ever, ever want to pass up, it seems, an opportunity to escalate, and that's what this is. We want to just fight. I abandon the chair.


BRIGGS: President Trump insisting in a string of tweets Tuesday morning that he's not racist, later defending his attack on the so- called "Squad" of minority congresswomen to Gayle King.


REPORTER: Where should they go?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's up to them. Go wherever they want where they can stay. But they should love our country.


DEAN: The president's four progressive targets speaking out against him together.

[05:35:02] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GAYLE KING, ANCHOR, "CBS NEWS", "CBS THIS MORNING": Do you feel enough Republicans have spoken up against the president?

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Absolutely not. KING: What message does that send?

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): The normalization of it. The fact that it's against our core American values. That they're choosing him over country.


BRIGGS: Some of the president's allies, like former communications director Anthony Scaramucci, were strongly critical of the racist words.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS: The president calls himself a stable genius. Start sending out some more stable genius-fide (sic) tweets, you know. That tweet is instable, unstable -- however you want to reference it.

It's racist, it's obnoxious. It's obnoxious to Italian-Americans, it's obnoxious to a very large group of people and you should -- you should apologize.


BRIGGS: Congressman -- Democratic Congressman Al Green of Texas has not introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump, forcing the House to take up the measure later this week. Nancy Pelosi will likely find a way to put that in committee.

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris trying to clarify her health care plan during an exclusive interview with CNN's Kyung Lah. Critics say she's shifted her stance on private health insurance.

Under her Medicare for All plan, she says there would be very little role for private insurance because almost everything will be covered.


LAH: What happens to those 150 million Americans under President Harris?

HARRIS: Well, it's the same as the millions of Americans every day that transition into Medicare as seniors. It's seamless without any difference to their coverage in terms of access to health care.

It has to happen over a period of time. There's no question we would have to go from the current system into a Medicare for All system.

LAH: So people who have private insurance would eventually have to give that up under your plan?

HARRIS: They would eventually be covered under Medicare for All and they would still see their doctor, and that's what they want.

LAH: Joe Biden says that this is -- what you are suggesting -- an elimination of Obamacare. Is that accurate?

HARRIS: It's absolutely not.


DEAN: Biden reacted to her comments during a stop in Sioux City.


BIDEN: You're either Medicare for All, which means Obamacare is gone -- gone, period -- or you build on Obamacare like I'm doing and you provide a Medicare option. I don't know what her position -- maybe she's changed per position. I don't know.


DEAN: Senator Bernie Sanders takes on his rivals today, talking about Medicare for All. He's scheduled to speak at George Washington University.

Meantime, CNN's first New Hampshire poll of 2020 hopefuls shows Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren all there at the top within the poll's 5-point margin of error.

The poll also showing -- and this is key -- a lot of uncertainty, with 64 percent -- a very high number there -- still saying they are undecided.

BRIGGS: Yes, that's huge. We have got a long way to go.

DEAN: A long, long way to go.

We're going to bring in --

BRIGGS: Early innings.

DEAN: -- "Washington Post" congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian. She's a CNN political analyst. Good morning to you. Thanks for being with us.


BRIGGS: Morning.

DEAN: So we just heard Kamala Harris kind of explain where she stands on health care. And then we heard Joe Biden saying it's either Obamacare or its Medicare for All -- it can't be both. Harris saying that it's Medicare for All, but Obamacare doesn't -- is not eliminated.

Karoun, who is right there because how is it all correct?

DEMIRJIAN: Well, they're both viewing this from different ends of the spectrum. For Harris, she's saying look, I'm not getting rid of Obamacare. I'm kind of letting Obamacare evolve into Medicare for All until everybody who was covered under Obamacare is still covered under this different system.

And, Biden is saying well, that's an elimination of Obamacare, which sounds like a very scary thing to many Democrats. And he's saying that he wants to stop, basically, the Medicare option or the public option and not let the system completely shift towards being a Medicare for All, which looks more like a single-payer -- which looks more like the plans that the people on the more liberal side of the Democratic Party -- the more left-wing are also pushing.

And so you're going to have this debate. You will have a debate over substance -- that is for sure -- but you also have this debate that's more over the philosophy of how you approach health care. And whether to preserve the private insurance companies is kind of a paramount thing that must be done.

For Biden, it is. For Harris, she's saying well, we can do the same. And then the question becomes how you pay for it, of course, right?

DEAN: Right, right.

BRIGGS: Right.

DEMIRJIAN: But the idea of, you know, is it a bad thing to transition people off of private insurance to a Medicare for All option or public option so that everybody's there, if you can still stay covered? That's a philosophical debate that is happening in the Democratic Party as they discuss --


DEMIRJIAN: -- the particulars.

DEAN: Right.

BRIGGS: And look, this is the number one issue, according to all the polls, to the voters right now. One hundred eighty million people are covered by private health care insurance.

So what kind of a problem lies down the road perhaps in terms of coalescing around a candidate where you have such differing views on this central issue?

[05:40:00] DEMIRJIAN: Well, I mean, yes, this is -- this is a difficulty. Also, it just goes to the complexity of health coverage and that --


DEMIRJIAN: -- I don't think it's ever been anything that you could distill into a sound bite and sell well because there's so many competing sound bites that you could choose from, right? And this is why it's always been problematic to hash out what a health care plan is going to look like.

Remember also, whatever the president pitches is going to have to get through Congress to actually work and take effect.

And so, this is a debate that is important to have and it's taking place on the primary stage, but if it's the --


DEMIRJIAN: -- only thing that people make the decision on -- yes, it's going to be hard to get after that melee -- that fight to get everybody to rally around one person and whatever their health care plan is.

DEAN: Right.

BRIGGS: A bumpy road ahead.

DEAN: No question about that.

We also saw the exchanges between Nancy Pelosi, the members of the House on the floor last night -- the back-and-forth.

You're a congressional reporter. A lot of Americans watch that and kind of throw their hands up and say oh, what's going on there, you know.

BRIGGS: They don't like parliamentary rule --


DEAN: I mean, help us understand what that means. Put it into context for us. Is this commonplace? It's very rare for a House speaker to -- for them to say that she broke parliamentary law.

DEMIRJIAN: Right. I mean, look, there are these rules of decorum in the House, which is supposed to prevent maligning other members of Congress, the president, and things descending into a free-for-all where you're just calling each other names.

However, sometimes in an extenuating circumstance, the members say you know what, I'm going to bend or try to break these rules, as we say many people say yesterday. Many people were calling the tweets racist, calling the president racist.

And it was remarkable, in many ways, to see how the choice people were making about whether they did that on the floor, risking being told that their words had to be stricken from the record -- and that's what precipitated this vote about whether Nancy Pelosi's words -- we're going to ban her from the floor for the day -- or whether they chose to amend their speech.

I mean, you played the tape of John Lewis talking about how he knows racism when he sees it. I talked to him right before he entered the chamber --

DEAN: Yes.

DEMIRJIAN: -- and what he told me was the president is a racist. You cannot deny that.

And so, that shows you that he's shifted one consonant at the end of the word to comply --

DEAN: Yes.


DEMIRJIAN: -- to comply with what the rules of the House are, which tells you how kind of like how much of a tightrope this can be.

And yet, those are longstanding rules of the House, which they would have to make a concerted effort to change. It does not seem like they have Republicans on board to do that at all --

DEAN: Right.

DEMIRJIAN: -- given that only four Republicans and one Independent --

BRIGGS: Right.

DEAN: Right.

DEMIRJIAN: -- that affiliates Republican voted to condemn the president.

But this is the technical undercurrent, I suppose, of what was a very emotional moment yesterday that you saw playing out in extended form.

DEAN: Yes.

BRIGGS: Yes, and you've got to keep an eye on these three states that are so key -- in particular, Michigan -- when you have Fred Upton voting with Democrats and you have Justin Amash, the former Republican, also joining with Democrats.

Could this be an issue down the road for House Republicans? We shall see.

Karoun Demirjian, you will be covering that story as well. Thanks for being here.

DEAN: Thank you.

DEMIRJIAN: Thank you.

DEAN: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died at the age of 99. The soft-spoken Midwesterner suffered a stroke earlier this week and passed away Tuesday at a Fort Lauderdale hospital with his daughters by his side.

Stevens served as a naval intelligence officer in World War II and was nominated to the high court by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975. But, Stevens went on to become a leader of court's liberal wing, serving until 2010.

Just two months ago, our John Berman asked him about President Trump's relationship with the judiciary.


JOHN PAUL STEVENS, FORMER ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT: He's getting advice from people who are knowledgeable about judges and I hope he won't do too much damage.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Do you think he understands the role of the judiciary?


BERMAN: Why not?

STEVENS: Well, I think he often speaks about them as Obama judges and other kind of judges. But I think John Roberts was dead right when he said there are only one kinds of judges and they're all working for the federal government.


BRIGGS: No tweet from the president but there was a White House statement saying, quote, "Justice Stevens was known for his humility, legal acumen, and affection for his beloved Chicago Cubs. His work over the court of nearly 35 years on the Supreme Court will continue to shape the legal framework of our nation for years to come."

And, Chief Justice John Roberts said Stevens "...unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation."

DEAN: Seventy million people facing some very dangerous heat for the rest of the week.


DEAN: Yes, we're going to take a look at that when we come back.


[05:48:48] DEAN: The Justice Department will not bring federal charges against the New York City police officer accused of fatally choking Eric Garner.


PROTESTERS: Black lives, they matter here. Black lives, they matter here.


DEAN: Garner's final words, "I can't breathe" became a rallying cry in the Black Lives Matter movement. Attorney General William Barr made the decision not to bring the charges, siding with the Justice Department team from New York over the Civil Rights Division in Washington.

BRIGGS: Barr said prosecutors could not successfully prove the officer acted willfully. Garner's family disagrees.


EMERALD GARNER, ERIC GARNER'S DAUGHTER: Fire him. I watched them kill my father for five years by continuously playing the video -- in the courtroom playing the video. The fact that this man choked my father outside on the street -- choked him with no remorse.

GWEN CARR, ERIC GARNER'S MOTHER: Five years ago, my son said, "I can't breathe" 11 times. And today, we can't breathe.


BRIGGS: The NYPD has brought departmental charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Commissioner James O'Neill will make a final decision after he receives a report and a recommendation.

[05:50:00] DEAN: Police believe the killer of a beloved community activist in Baton Rouge was likely a tenant in one of her rental homes who was behind on his rent. Investigators say 38-year-old Ron Germaine Bell killed Sadie Roberts-Joseph but they have yet to establish a firm motive.

The police chief says phone calls poured in from the community and family members also helped with leads.


ANGELA MACHEN, SADIE ROBERTS-JOSEPH'S DAUGHTER: All my mother ever wanted was for this community to come together. It's ironic that that happened in death. What she wanted to happen in life came to fruition in death. However, we will see to it that her legacy continues.


DEAN: The Baton Rouge community came together Tuesday for a vigil at the African-American Museum that Roberts-Joseph curated and founded in 2001. They also prayed for the suspect, saying he and his family were struggling.

BRIGGS: All right, 5:50 Eastern time and a check on "CNN Business" this morning, your leading indicator.

Let's look at markets around the world. Asian and European stocks are lower after President Trump said the U.S. and China still have a long way to go on a trade deal.

On Wall Street, futures are barely moving. Stocks snapped their winning streaks Tuesday. The Dow closing down 24 points, your leading indicator this morning. Even though stocks lost some ground, stocks are resilient. The Dow is

up 2.3 percent this month, the S&P 500 up 1.3 percent, and the Nasdaq up 1.6 percent.

Markets could trade just below new highs until the Federal Reserve meets at the end of the month. Investors still expect the central bank to cut rates. The big question is how much that cut will be.

We'll be right back.


[05:56:23] DEAN: A 6-year-old Utah girl tragically killed when she was struck in the head with a golf ball hit by her father. Orem police say the girl, identified in reports as Aria Hill, was sitting in a parked golf cart to the left of her dad as he was teeing off at the Sleepy Ridge golf course. She was flown to a Salt Lake City hospital in critical condition and died Monday night.

BRIGGS: Prosecutors describe a medieval-style killing in Los Angeles. Twenty-two suspected MS-13 gang members indicted on federal murder and racketeering charges. The indictment cites seven cases in which members beat their victims with baseball bats or stabbed them to death with machetes.

In one of the murders, the defendants allegedly dismembered a rival gang member's body and cut out his heart.

Prosecutors say the suspects, some of them undocumented immigrants, mostly preyed on recent immigrants they considered rivals.

DEAN: Mother Nature bringing the heat. Half the country will see temperatures of 95 or higher over the next week.

Let's go to meteorologist Ivan Cabrera.


IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, guys, good morning.

The hottest temperatures of the summer and big heat dome setting up here with stretches of days that will seem like endless. By the time we get into the weekend, possibly seeing some relief. But until then, these heat indices continue.

One hundred five to 110 in parts of the central part of the U.S. And the 95 corridor, as well, will feel like about 105 to 110 because the humidity is going to make it feel that way, and this is going to continue.

And you get these heat waves, too, day in and day out. It's hard to keep cool. Overnight temperatures in some areas in the 80s, so that's going to be quite something here.

Well above average even for this time of year with temperatures approaching and reaching, I think, 100 degrees by Friday and Saturday for both D.C. and into New York.

I'll give you the extended forecast so you'll be able to see what happens here. A few scattered showers and thunderstorms. That's going to be nice on Thursday.

But then, we're right back in the climb, so that Saturday will be the hottest of the next several days, approaching 100 degrees. Mid-90s and then those mid-80s will feel fantastic. Back to average but we're going to have to wait until early next week -- guys.


DEAN: Ivan, thanks.

Drug smugglers have used just about anything to hide their contraband and now, you can add a poorly-fitted toupee to the list. The Spanish police found a man at the Barcelona airport last month with a pound of cocaine hidden under that hairpiece. He was charged after the package was found to contain 30,000 euros worth of cocaine.

BRIGGS: Just, wow.

She beat cancer and just couldn't contain her excitement.


DARLA JAYE, CANCER SURVIVOR: (Ringing cancer-free bell).


BRIGGS: Darla Jaye rang the cancer-free bell so hard she broke it. She just completed her radiation treatment for breast cancer at the Harris Health System in Houston. Keep ringing that bell, sister.

DEAN: Thanks for joining us. I'm Jessica Dean.

BRIGGS: And I'm Dave Briggs. Here's "NEW DAY".


TRUMP: They can go wherever they want or they can stay, but they should love our country.

PELOSI: These comments are disgraceful and disgusting, and these comments are racist.

MCCONNELL: The president is not a racist.

LEWIS: I know racism when I see it.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Four Republicans voted for that resolution. Senate Republicans did not want to go too far in criticizing this president.

HARRIS: He has taken the presidency to a new low. It is unbecoming of the President of the United States. LAH: Can he get lower?

HARRIS: I don't know, but he needs to go back where he came from and leave that office.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, July.