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Sanford Mulls 2020 Challenge to Trump; Sentencing for El Chapo; No Charges for Officer in Garner Case; Burn Survivor's Story of Hope; Capitol Hill unites in Criticism of Big Tech. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 17, 2019 - 08:30   ET



[08:33:07] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump's control of the Republican Party is on full display this week with many congressional Republicans defending his racist tweets. Why then would any Republican take the chance of running against the president in a primary? Well, let's find out from our next guest who's considering doing just that.

And joining us now is Mark Sanford. He's, of course, the former Republican governor and congressman from South Carolina.

Good morning, governor.


CAMEROTA: Why would you ever want to reengage with this blood sport, particularly at a time when so many of our fellow Republicans are so aligned with President Trump?

SANFORD: That's a good question. I struggling with that on any given morning here.

But I guess it boils down to this. I think we're walking our way towards the most predictable financial crisis in the history of our nation. If you look at our numbers in terms of debt and deficits, we're having zero conversation on that very front. I think the Republican Party, of which I've been a part for a long time, has abandoned its conversation even on the importance of financial reality. And so I'm just struck by if -- if nobody says something, we're going to wait until the next presidential election cycle to have this needed conversation on where we go next as a country, on debt spends and the deficits that are accruing.

CAMEROTA: Here are the numbers and they are jaw dropping, you are right. So in 2019, the deficit is projected to be $1 trillion. The national debt is projected to be $22.5 trillion.

I remember when John McCain used to say that Congress was, you know, spending like a drunken sailor on leave. But now you don't hear Republicans saying that.

What's happened to all the deficit hawks that were in the Republican Party?

[08:35:01] SANFORD: Well, to your earlier point, we're in a cultive personality right now. I mean Trump is very, very strong personality and nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a bad Trump tweet. But it's incumbent upon all of us to simply go out and say the truth, which is, we can't stay on the train that we're on.

You know, the billion dollar number -- excuse me, trillion dollar number that you just mentioned, you know, that's the tip of the iceberg. That presumes that we stay in this low interest environment that we're in right now. You know, if interest rates were to go up by just one point, it adds $160 billion of spending. And so you'll hear a lot of debate in Congress over $4 billion or $5 billion or $10 billion or $20 billion. $160 billion, that's more than we spend on uniform personnel in the military. All 2 million people, 1.2 million active duty and 800,000 reservists, with a 1 point rise in interest rates.

So there are a lot of groups out there saying, no, it's not going to, you know, looking at one. We could actually be look at $2 trillion deficits over the next couple years, which would be crippling to our economy, to the jobs that people need, and, frankly, to our currency, to a whole lot of things that are fundamental to people building a life.

CAMEROTA: But, governor, haven't you already tried running against President Trump in one form or another? I mean you are one of the only Republicans who would criticize openly President Trump, and you lost your congressional seat.

So why would this time be any different?

SANFORD: Well, that's why I've been quiet for the last six months. I mean, you know -- again, I was at the receiving end of one of those tough Trump tweets and a number of them. It didn't work out well for me in a congressional race. But this is a much bigger conversation. And, you know, I've had conversations with my son, I've had conversations with their friends, and their point is, you know, I don't know if this thing will materialize or not. I said I'll give 30 days to give it a look and see if people and energy and resources come my way. And, if so, I'll go. And if not, I won't.

But, you know, if we don't speak up, if we don't find ways of speaking up, we're going to be in a world of hurt. I mean, you know, it's telling to me that the -- you know, the former -- I guess Clinton chief of staff, Erskine Bowles, said we're walking away toward, again, the most predictable financial crisis in the history of man. It's telling to me that Admiral Mike Mullen, who was the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, you know, you know, when asked, what's the biggest threat to the American way of life, to our civilization, he answers not the Chinese or the Taliban but the American debt.

We have a profound math problem coming our way, and it's not our grandkids issue or our kids issue. This is coming in the next couple of years. We're now in the longest economic recovery in American history. These fault lines are going to show up soon. We do not have the chance to wait four years to have this debate.

CAMEROTA: On a personal note, are you worried that if you get into the race that President Trump will bring up your own marital infidelity at every turn and that that will take a personal toll?

SANFORD: Well, I'm sure he will and the Republican Party in South Carolina already has. And so, look, I mean I don't know how many ways I can express this, I am an imperfect person saved by God's grace, end of story. But the reality is that we're all imperfect and we all have things or chapters of a life we wish we could push rewind play on. And so if he wants to rehash that, he'll rehash that. But I know that if I'm to be really truthful with my four boys and to friends out there, it's incumbent upon one of us to say, let's raise the white flag and say, we've got to try a different approach with regard to debt, deficit and government spending. I am an imperfect messenger, no doubt about it. And that's part of why I've waited over the last year, since my primary loss last June. I hope that Kasich would go or the governor of Maryland would go or somebody would go, but nobody has. And, again, friends kept coming to me over the last couple of months saying, look, just give it a try for 30 months and see what happens. And so that's what I'm doing.

CAMEROTA: All right, former Governor Mark Sanford, thank you very much for explaining it all to us here on NEW DAY.

SANFORD: Yes, ma'am.


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: This is not the end. That's the message from Eric Garner's mother after the Justice Department decided not to pursue charges against the officer who used a chokehold on her son.


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


HILL: Details on the Justice Department's decision, next.


[08:43:42] HILL: In just minutes, Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman will be sentenced in Brooklyn. And there is a chance the public may hear from him.

CNN's Jason Carroll is live outside court this morning with more.

Jason, good morning.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And his wife Emma will be there to hear it. She just entered the courtroom just not too long ago. This looks like, Erica, this is finally going to be the final chapter in the notorious life of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. The judge is expected to sentence him to life when sentencing gets

underway this morning. As you know, he was found guilty on all ten federal charges, including running a criminal enterprise, which carries a mandatory life sentence. During his trial, jurors heard grisly testimony during the course of the trial about 26 murders and the torture of 26 people that he allegedly took part in. Prosecutors called him a, quote, ruthless and bloodthirsty leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The defense attorney -- one of his defense attorneys who spoke to CNN earlier this morning says that Guzman, who, as you know, did not testify during his trial, is expected to make a statement during his sentencing later this morning.


WILLIAM PURPURA, JOAQUIN "EL CHAPO" GUZMAN'S ATTORNEY: He has an absolute right of allocution, and I'd be shocked if he did not allocate, speak today, and I do accept that he will speak today. I think he's going to indicate that he was wrongfully brought here to the United States, that he was kept in horrific conditions for a long period of time, but also that he wanted to thank the guards at MCC for treating him in a humane manner and also the U.S. Marshals for treating him well during trial.


[08:45:22] CARROLL: I think you heard him mention MCC. That's the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. We're in Brooklyn now at federal court. But Guzman is expected, after sentencing, to be transported to the Super Max federal facility in Colorado. It is known as being one of the most secure federal facilities in the United States. And given the fact that Guzman or El Chapo, as he's notoriously known, escaped from prison in 2001 and again in 2015, federal officials wanted to make sure that he was located at the most secure federal facility here in the United States. Sentencing expected to get under way, Alisyn, at 9:15.

CAMEROTA: Yes, and we will see how secure it is.

Jason Carroll, thank you very much.

OK, so there are protests in Harlem after the Justice Department announced it will not bring federal charges against the New York City police officer who used that deadly choke hold on Eric Garner.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz joins us now with more.

So this was unexpected.


CAMEROTA: To them, I mean.

PROKUPECZ: To them it was and it took five years. When you think about, this is something that should not have taken five years. And the Department of Justice waited until the very last minute. Today would have been the day that the statute of limitations would have expired and they waited until the last minute.

And the reason for that is because different administrations, different U.S. attorneys were overseeing this case. We had a change of hands here. There was a lot of infighting between the folks at the Department of Justice and even the FBI. Folks at the FBI who didn't want to see charges be brought and then you had folks at the Department of Justice who did want to see charges brought. In the end, the attorney general, Bill Barr, making the decision not to bring charges.

And here's how the family reacted to all this yesterday.


EMERALD GARNER, ERIC GARNER'S DAUGHTER: Fire him. You all watched him kill my father. For five years they've continuously played the video. In the courtroom, playing the video. This kind of effect (ph) that this man choked my father outside on the streets, choked him with no remorse.

GWEN CARR, ERIC GARNER'S MOTHER: All the officers who was involved in my son's death that day need to be off the force. Five years ago, it was me, it was my family. Today or tomorrow, it could be your family.


PROKUPECZ: So the criminal investigation and all of this now over. The only thing that's left is for the NYPD to decide the officer's fate, whether or not he keeps his job, whether or not he gets fired. And that, Alisyn, is all up to the NYPD commissioner who will make the decision within the coming weeks.

CAMEROTA: Wow, thanks for explaining the outcome. It doesn't sound like it's over yet, obviously, for the neighborhood or the family.

OK, Erica.

HILL: Here's a look at what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 10:00 a.m. ET, Senate NASA hearing.

4:00 p.m. ET, Sanders Medicare for all speech.

7:00 p.m. ET, Trump North Carolina rally.


HILL: She was one of just two survivors of a plane crash that killed 107 people. Now she's finding hope after tragedy through music. Her story is today's "Turning Points."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KECHI OKWUCHI, SINGER: Music is something that has always been there for me, even before I opened my eyes after the accident.

The accident happened on December 10, 2005. I was 16 years old. And I was a senior in high school in Nigeria. There were 109 of us total, including the flight crew. About 15, 20 minutes to descending, I remember this loud scraping sound.

My next vivid memory is opening my eyes in the hospital bed in South Africa five weeks later. I had third degree burns over 65 percent of my body. I was one of two survivors.

OKWUCHI (singing): And you have every right.

OKWUCHI: Music was part of my healing journey. My voice somehow had gotten better, like it changed significantly.

I was just happy that I had this one good thing really that had come out of this horrible tragedy.

OKWUCHI (singing): When your legs don't work like they used to before.

OKWUCHI: "America's Got Talent" has been one of the most amazing things that ever happened to me in my life.

OKWUCHI (singing): I am not a stranger to the dark.

OKWUCHI: But I get to see places that I would never have if not for singing.

[08:49:57] Before the accident, I was very into my looks. Now that I look different, I could still see catchy (ph). And that was when I realized my scars do not define who I am. I'm definitely living proof there's life after trauma.



HILL: A rare display of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill as both Democrats and Republicans took turns at trashing big tech. FaceBook, Amazon, Google, Apple all taking heat over both their size and power.

[08:55:06] CNN's Brian Fung is live in Washington now with more.

So, Brian, what happened?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Well, you had a very sharp questioning of these tech executives yesterday on Capitol Hill where you had lawmakers asking sharp questions about things like FaceBook's power in the social media marketplace and whether or not it holds a monopoly there. You had lawmakers asking about Google and whether or not -- what it's doing to combat fake listings on Google Maps.

And then, finally, you know, another big topic here was Amazon's relationship to third party sellers on its platform and whether or not the company, you know, uses data from those third party sellers to then advantage its own products there.

You know, Chairman David Cicilline went after Amazon yesterday on this very topic. Let's take a look at what he said.


REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): You do collect enormous data about what products are popular, what's selling, where they're selling. You're saying you don't use that in any way to promote Amazon products?


CICILLINE: And I remind you, sir, you're under oath.

SUTTON: Yes, thank you for your question.

We -- we use data to serve our customers. And to clarify my question, we don't use individual seller data to directly compete with them.


FUNG: Now, notice how Nate Sutton said we don't use individual seller data, which still leaves open the question whether or not Amazon uses aggregate seller data.

Now, this, obviously, is leading into this morning an announcement by the European Union that it's taking a look, on formal anti-trust investigation, into this very subject.

CAMEROTA: I did feel that raised some more questions that need to be answered.

Brian, thank you very much for reporting on it for us.

OK, so the so-called squad is responding to President Trump's attacks.

"NEWSROOM" is next after this very quick break.