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NEW DAY

Federal Reserve Cuts Rates For First Time In Decade; Flint, Michigan Voters Watch Democratic Debate With Critical Eye; Father Of U.S. Teen Accused Of Murder Speaks Out. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 1, 2019 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00] TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: -- waiting to get to donors.

Maybe Jay Inslee -- he may be off the stage -- Kirsten Gillibrand. Andrew Yang seems like he is going to be in a good position.

But even some of the elected officials who are on the stage may end up not being on the stage in September, even as we see non-elected officials and newcomers be able to make that stage. So it could be a shrunken field and that may end up playing to a couple of the candidates' favor.

It would be very interesting to see, you know, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the same stage with Joe Biden. We saw them have a bit of an alliance going against the moderates on Tuesday night. Whether or not they are able to do that in September and whether or not Joe Biden has any support from some of the other moderates who might fall of the stage and he'll be on his own -- how he responds to that in September may be very interesting to watch.

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE GUARDIAN U.S.: And to that point, after the last debate, Joe Biden obviously really struggled to defend his record on civil rights when he was confronted by Kamala Harris and he took a hit. But he was able to actually come back and regain that sort of commanding lead that he has in the polls.

I think he was bruised and down, but not out last night. He did -- he was able to weather a lot of the attacks against him. But I don't think he's going to have that many more allowances as his record on everything from foreign to domestic policy continues to be under the spotlight.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, a lot more to discuss.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

BERMAN: Luckily, as you say, we have the time to do it this morning.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. In fact, let's extend the show.

BERMAN: So, stand by --

CAMEROTA: We might need five hours.

BERMAN: -- one and all.

I'm really curious to see as the candidates begin to wake up this morning how they characterize this moment and what the voters say going forward. We're going to hear from some voters in a little bit.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BERMAN: Other major news. The Federal Reserve did something it has not done in a decade and the stock market didn't like it one bit.

Christine Romans here with us to explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:36:43] BERMAN: All right, a really big economic development. The dust settling not just on the debate but on the Fed's big decision to cut interest rates. But in doing so, the Fed chair some -- the Fed chair said something that didn't make the president happy and now, the markets are reacting.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans here with that -- Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": You know, John, the first rate cut since the Great Recession. The Federal Reserve lowering borrowing costs for businesses and consumers.

Now, the U.S. economy is strong. This is an insurance against damage from the president's trade wars, low inflation, and slowing global growth.

Now, the president, for months, has demanded lower rates, right? He has insulted and rage-tweeted the Fed and the Fed chief. But, Jerome Powell said pressure from Trump did not factor into the Fed's decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: You never take into account political considerations. There's no place in our discussions for that.

We also don't conduct monetary policy in order to prove our independence. We conduct monetary policy in order to move as close as possible to our statutory goals, and that's what we're always going do. We're always going to use our tools that way. And then at the end, we'll -- you know, we'll live with the results.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: With a rate cut in hand, the president still criticized the Fed, tweeting, "The Fed chair had let us down," and saying, "the markets wanted more." And, you know, they did, John and Alisyn. Stocks fell because Powell hinted this rate cut was a one-off. It

wasn't the beginning of a trend of lower interest rates.

The Dow closed down 333 points. That's about 1.2 percent.

Let me give you some perspective. The Dow is up 20 percent this year. It's up 35 percent since the president took office -- one reason why the president wants to keep the stock market high. He's using it as his own personal popularity indicator.

The Fed chief made it clear that the Fed was watching closely the uncertainty wrought by the president's trade wars.

Alisyn, over the past 25 years, the Fed has only cut interests in four different periods, all of those times during recessions and tough economic times. The economy is still strong here.

CAMEROTA: Christine, you always give us great context to understand these fluctuations. Thank you very much.

So, the city of Flint, Michigan is still suffering after the water crisis. Did the candidates offer any answers for that? So, we're going to hear from Michigan voters, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:43:11] CAMEROTA: So, voters in nearby Flint, Michigan watched last night's debate with particular interest. That city is still reeling from the water contamination crisis of the last five years.

CNN's Miguel Marquez talked to voters there -- Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was a very tough crowd up here in Flint. These are folks that watch politicians with a very, very critical eye.

The senators, Booker and Harris, did very well. They scored well with the crowd. Vice President Biden is liked here but didn't do himself a lot of favors.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ (on camera): Who did you like in the debate tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I really enjoyed Joe Biden, but I also enjoyed Kamala Harris with her health care plan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Basically, I really didn't hear nothing that was too positive to me. I'm a very big Joe Biden supporter but right now, it's about Flint.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Has any candidate given you a sense that they can fix the problems of Flint and cities like it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who do you all think is going to the White House?

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The watch party, sponsored by Black Voters Matter, a group operating in 11 states focused on organizing and energizing the African American vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On night two, I think it was a lot of back-and- forth and bickering. I think it was a lot of pontificating.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): People here felt Vice President Biden's performance was better than the first debates but not good enough.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Vice President Biden was facing a very high hurdle coming into tonight. Did he clear it?

ERIC MAYS, CITY COUNCILMAN, FLINT, MICHIGAN: He held his own, he didn't totally clear it. He got caught up a couple of times.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Go to Joe 30330 and help me in this fight.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The vice president apparently confusing his Web site with his text message number didn't help him, even among those who like him.

CLIFF ALBRIGHT, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER: I think that he stumbled in some places -- like verbally stumbled as well like strategically stumbled. His last remark was kind of strange. I don't know what that Web site was that he gave.

[05:45:07] MARQUEZ (voice-over): Amber Hasan didn't vote in 2016, turned off by both Clinton and Trump. She may stay home again.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Joe Biden had a lot to prove tonight. Did he do it?

AMBER HASAN, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, FLINT, MICHIGAN: He proved to me that I won't vote for him.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Why?

HASAN: He seems entitled. He seems like he feels like because he was in the club before and because he was the vice president that he just automatically is going to be the Democratic candidate.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Here in Flint, still struggling with a contaminated water supply, health care tops the agenda for many.

CLAIRE MCCLINTON, FLINT VOTER: I'm especially encouraged but not clicking my heels that health care has become one of the top issues in this campaign.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now, the breakouts of the evening were Congresswoman Gabbard and Sen. Gillibrand. But the one that really made an impression in one little informal poll that they did at the end of the night was Andrew Yang. He spoke in ways that were simple and concise and it really connected with the audience last night -- John.

BERMAN: Miguel, we have Andrew Yang on with us in a little bit to talk about that debate. It's interesting -- Andrew Yang, last night; Marianne Williamson, the night before -- some of the folks who have not been seen as traditional politicians breaking through maybe because they just look different than the other people on the stage.

Our thanks to Miguel for actually talking to voters to get a sense of what they think.

Other news this morning.

The father of an American teenager accused of murdering an Italian police officer is speaking out. The latest on that investigation, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:50:59] BERMAN: This morning, the father of one of the American teenagers accused of stabbing an Italian police officer 11 times now says his son did not know his friend had a 7-inch knife. He says his son only found out after his arrest.

CNN's Melissa Bell live in Rome with the very latest here. It seems like the strategy of these two defendants may be differing at this point, Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, although to be fair, for the time being, we simply haven't heard that much from either them or their lawyers or their families.

Now, within the last few minutes here at this jail in central Rome, we saw the father of one of the two teens, Finnegan Elder -- the one who is accused, just to remind our viewers, by Italian prosecutors of having been the one to wield the knife -- of having been the one to murder that Italian police officer, Mario Cerciello Rega, that Italy's been mourning for much of the last week. He just arrived at this prison.

A little while earlier, we'd seen the lawyer of the other young man, Gabe Elder (sic) make his way out. We ran after him.

He's been very tight-lipped so far. All he would tell us was that his client was extremely tired and that they'd had a constructive meeting preparing his defense. Once again, a defense about which we have heard precious little for the time being.

We did, however, manage to get hold of Gabe Elder's (sic) father yesterday and this is what he told us after a meeting that he said had been extremely emotional with his son.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FABRIZIO NATALE, GABRIEL NATALE-HJORTH'S FATHER: We are deeply upset by his predicament, while at the same time fully convinced of his innocence. Gabriel never imagined (INAUDIBLE), and did not know his friend was armed. He only became aware of what actually happened after his arrest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BELL: The father of Gabe Natale there, speaking to us about his son. And as you said just a moment ago, he says that his son simply had no idea that his friend, Finnegan Elder, had a knife at all until well after he was arrested, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right, Melissa. Thank you very much for the update from Rome.

Meanwhile, back here in Detroit, did Joe Biden emerge from last night's debate as a stronger front-runner? We discuss the big debate and where things stand now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: We have a president who, as everybody's acknowledged --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:57:32] BERMAN: The late-night comics were live again after last night's debate. These are your "Late-Night Laughs."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Julian Castro had his own answer to Trump's slogan.

JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to make America better than it's ever been in the years to come.

COLBERT: Yes, forget MAGA. Julian Castro's going with MABTIEBITYTC.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": Joe Biden -- you know, he's 76 years old. So he tried to win over younger voters by using some of the hip slang from today.

BIDEN: This idea is a bunch of malarkey.

KIMMEL: Good luck freeing A$AP Rocky with language like that.

BIDEN: If you agree with me, go to Joe 30330.

SETH MEYERS, HOST, NBC "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": Is that the name of your homemade rocket ship? Did you just accidentally tell everyone your ATM PIN number? Is this some sort of weird clue?

It's like being in an escape room. What does it say under that lamp? Go to Joe 3033. We need the cluemaster -- cluemaster?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Yes, you knew while that was happening that that was going to be a thing. You absolutely knew.

Now, Alisyn's not talking because her mic is not working, so I can say anything I want and she can't actually respond to this.

CAMEROTA: It's your -- it's your moment. Enjoy this.

BERMAN: This is my moment in the sun.

Five of the candidates from last night's Democratic debate will join us live this morning here on set -- or at least me because my mic is working.

CAMEROTA: Look what I have.

BERMAN: NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are 10 years too late. We need to do everything we can to start moving the climate in the right direction.

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was if she ever smoked marijuana.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am proud of making the decisions -- not just give fancy speeches but actually doing the work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was uneven. She didn't seem to expect that she was going to get prosecuted on her prosecutorial record.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're dipping into Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, HOST, "THE VAN JONES SHOW": Cory Booker turned in a performance that reminded you of why he's a household name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was the happy warrior. There's something to be said for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, August first, 6:00 here in Detroit.

Joe Biden's front-runner status was put to the test at the CNN debate last night. The former vice president took a lot of heat from his rivals on the stage. I mean, just from jump -- just from the get-go he started taking heat.

BERMAN: From everyone.

[06:00:00]