Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

July Jobs Report Shows Slowing Job Growth; Daniel Pantaleo Disciplinary Action Considered in the Death of Eric Garner; Senate Democrats Objecting to John Ratcliffe's Nomination. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired August 2, 2019 - 10:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:33:09] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: All right, the July jobs report is out. It shows 164,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent.

Those numbers show that while the U.S. economy may not be as hot as it was last year, the job market is still strong. But can it keep this strong as the global economy slows and the president promises more tariffs on China starting September 1st? With me now, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's.

Good morning, Mark. Let me just get your read on these top-line numbers here, but not forgetting the revisions lower for, you know, some previous months. What does it tell you?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Right. Well, job growth's OK but as you point out, job growth is slowing. I mean, last year in 2018, we created 225,000 jobs on average every month.

After you abstract from the ups and downs in the data, it looks like we're creating about 140K, 140,000 jobs per month now. So that's a pretty big come-down. A hundred and forty K is still OK. That's enough to keep unemployment stable. But if it slows much further, then that's a problem.

HARLOW: OK. So we saw Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, point this week to tariffs and trade wars as part of the reason for the uncertainty, a big part of it. And the Fed revision lower on rates.

My question to you is, if we see these new tariffs on China implemented September 1st, so the president has just announced pretty much everything coming to this country from China is going to be taxed. China has no political incentive to give much on a trade deal now, right? They're not facing an upcoming --

ZANDI: Right.

HARLOW: -- 2020 election for Xi Jinping. So talk to me about what this actually means for me, for you and for, importantly, the soybean farmer in Minnesota.

ZANDI: Yes. No, this is a big deal. I mean, I think if the president actually follows through on these higher tariffs, that is the fodder for a recession. I mean, businesspeople are already very, very nervous about what's going on. They've pulled back on their investment spending.

[10:35:00] The next thing is, they'll start pulling back on their hiring. And once they do that, unemployment will rise and that will be a problem for you and I as workers, as consumers --

HARLOW: But --

ZANDI: -- and that will be a problem.

HARLOW: I mean, Mark, hearing you say the words, "fodder for a recession" from the chief economist at Moody's --

ZANDI: Yes.

HARLOW: -- I mean, that's going to scare a lot of people at home. What about the strong consumer spending numbers that just continue and continue. What about the wage growth above three percent? I mean, you really think that we are --

ZANDI: All good.

HARLOW: -- on the precipice of a recession if more tariffs are implemented?

ZANDI: Yes. I think odds are very high. I think this is -- I think the tariff war is doing a lot of damage to the economy. It hasn't shown up yet in terms of jobs. It's --

HARLOW: Yes.

ZANDI: -- you can see parts of the effects in manufacturing, transportation, distribution (ph). But, you know, so far at least, it hasn't happened. But I think this next round of tariffs, I think that's going to be too much for businesses to bear. They're going to pull back. And that's going to be a problem for us --

HARLOW: OK. I mean, we just saw a warning today from the U.S.-China Business Council. They say, "We don't think this is going to incentivize China to come back to the table." Big, you know heads of companies, like the head of Hasbro, you know, the big toy company, is saying this is going to be detrimental, et cetera. And create disproportionate harm.

My question to you is, so what are our viewers supposed to think when they hear the president say, "We needed to go tough on China." You know, "We are. This is what we're doing. This is good for the U.S. economy." Can you point to any example in modern history, Mark, where a trade war has benefited this country?

ZANDI: No. In fact, just the opposite. I mean, trade wars do damage. And they don't end up in places that -- you know, I don't think it's going to end up in a place where China is going to agree to anything that -- of substance. Now, you know, they may agree to some kind of face-saving arrangement,

just to get rid of this thing. And the president may do that because he has an election coming. But I don't think this is going to result in a substantive agreement with China.

I mean, look, the strategy we're dealing -- I think everyone can agree that China was a problem. That they weren't --

HARLOW: Yes.

ZANDI: -- playing fair and they were cheating. The strategy was the transpacific partnership. That was a free trade deal that included everyone in the Pacific Rim except China, because they didn't play fair and they couldn't --

HARLOW: Yes.

ZANDI: -- get into the deal until they played fair.

HARLOW: Well --

ZANDI: So we blew that up, and now we're here trying a trade war. And I'm very skeptical, that's going to work.

And as you point out, I don't see any reason why the Chinese are going to come to the table until after the election because why would they? I mean --

HARLOW: Yes.

ZANDI: -- they're just going to wait and see how that plays out.

HARLOW: Well, he doesn't have to, right? I mean, he has no political impetus to give a little bit here. I think everyone should -- it's wonky, but they should google, "Smoot-Hawley Act," right? And see what happened --

ZANDI: There you go.

HARLOW: -- after that.

ZANDI: Yes.

HARLOW: OK. History is a lesson.

ZANDI: Yes.

HARLOW: Mark Zandi, have a good weekend. Thanks so much -- Jim.

ZANDI: Thanks, Poppy.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: That's a great point, there, about the Chinese waiting out the election as well.

HARLOW: Yes. SCIUTTO: Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates want the New

York police officer at the center of Eric Garner's death to be fired. This morning, the New York Police Department will make their recommendation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:42:30] HARLOW: All right. At any moment, the NYPD's deputy commissioner of trials is expected to hand down her recommendation on whether or not the officer at the center of the death of Eric Garner can be fired.

SCIUTTO: Shimon Prokupecz, he's standing by, waiting for news.

Of course, there were no charges filed here. So this would be, really, the only remaining recourse.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: It is the only remaining recourse. And the recommendations here would either be that Pantaleo, the officer at the center of the Eric Garner case, gets terminated, that he gets fired, or a suspension or some other punishment. Or there could be no punishment at all.

This is a trial judge. It's a deputy commissioner at the NYPD who presided over an internal hearing, hearing all different sorts of evidence from the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which were acting as prosecutors here. And their argument was that Pantaleo had violated the procedures and protocols of the NYPD, and therefore he should be fired. And so we'll see.

Ultimately, I think what's important for viewers to know is that the decision rests with the NYPD commissioner. He can do whatever he wants. He can terminate the officer, he can suspend the officer. And that is ultimately what the outcome will -- that's where the outcome rests, with the police commissioner. And that could take, you know, anywhere from a month to 10 days.

It's expected that the NYPD commissioner's going to act pretty quickly in this case, and we'll see. Obviously, the family, calling for the firing of this officer. This is the first step, these recommendations from this trial judge.

What's happening is that these recommendations, they can't be made public by the NYPD. So what's happening is, the attorneys that are representing the officer and the attorneys from the Civilian Complaint Review Board, actually have to go down to police headquarters and pick up the recommendation, the decision from the trial judge. And then we will learn what the decision is, from the trial judge.

SCIUTTO: Shimon Prokupecz, we know you're going to be on top of it. Thank you.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Joining us now to discuss, Paul Callan, CNN legal analyst, also former New York City homicide prosecutor. Paul, if I could go big picture here for a moment. Because we're in

administrative penalty territory here, not legal or criminal territory. And this is part of a pattern.

Stephon Clark in California, no criminal charges filed. Both officers there, still waiting a decision on possible civil rights violations. Terence Crutcher, this is Tulsa, Oklahoma, officer acquitted of manslaughter. Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, no criminal charges, one officer dismissed, the other on a three-day suspension. Freddie Gray in Baltimore, all six officers charged in that arrest, they were back on duty in 2017.

[10:45:10] Why is it so difficult to charge these officers or to find them guilty in situations like this, where there is video.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think there are two reasons for it. I think, number one, that there is a bias in favor of the police. And I've seen it as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, even exercised by members of grand juries.

They feel that when a police officer goes out to protect the public, they don't go out intending to kill somebody. And they hesitate to bring criminal charges.

The second reason is that criminal charges require, ultimately, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is essentially the highest standard that exists under law. And it's hard to meet that standard.

On the other hand, this hearing that we're having now, which is an internal proceeding of the New York City Police Department, it's a lower standard. It's called by a preponderance of the evidence, which just means one side has a little bit more --

SCIUTTO: Right.

CALLAN: -- evidence than the other. So it's easier to prove it in a proceeding like this than a criminal proceeding.

HARLOW: I think Jim brings up -- and I'm so glad he did -- such an important point, Paul, that there is just this repetition. How many of these young almost -- you know, often black men, have to die at the hands of officers for there to be what feels like justice to these families?

So on that point, we heard Eric Garner's widow this morning on CNN. Here's what she said. "I don't know what the next step would be legally. I don't know what the next step would be civilly. I don't know there's going to be a next step."

If they do not feel they get justice from this decision from the New York City Police commissioner, is that the -- truly the end of the legal road for this family?

CALLAN: Well, this Garner case is symbolic of a tragedy, as you say, that we've seen all over the United States, and I think it's eroded confidence in the minority community, particularly the African- American community, about the fairness of police departments. But on the other hand, of course, the law is the law. And it gets applied strictly, and cops tend to get the benefit of the doubt.

Now, in terms of where she goes next, if they're not happy with this recommendation, they really don't have many options. Now, we should mention that they -- the family previously received $5.9 million in a civil case that was brought, and that the City of New York settled very quickly.

But in terms of Pantaleo going to jail, that's not going to happen. The grand jury has dismissed criminal charges. The Department of Justice would not proceed with criminal charges.

So, really, the prospect of him being punished in a way that I think the Garner family would like to see -- jail -- that's not going to happen. You're only going to look at something as little, maybe, as a loss of vacation time, if -- they could go that low in terms of the penalty. Or of course, they can fire Pantaleo. That's really the range of --

(CROSTALK)

HARLOW: OK. All right. Well, we're expecting that decision, that they can then -- defense, respond to. That should come today. Thank you very much, Paul Callan. We appreciate it.

SCIUTTO: Thanks.

HARLOW: Ahead for us, Democrats are gearing up for a confirmation fight. They vow the president's pick to lead the intelligence community will not get through their scrutiny.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:53:04] HARLOW: All right, welcome back. So this morning, Democrats are ratcheting up their calls to stop Congressman John Ratcliffe from being confirmed as the next director of National Intelligence, a very important position that oversees 17 intelligence agencies. And this comes amid questions about whether the Texas Republican exaggerated his resume as a federal prosecutor working on terrorism cases. Alex Marquardt is in Washington.

Alex, you have been digging so deeply into his statements, what's true, what's not and what is puffery at best. What can you tell us?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hi there, Poppy. Well, this is five days after the president named John Ratcliffe to be the next director of National Intelligence. And questions over his qualifications, skepticism over his resume, that has only grown in those five days.

And now, you essentially have Democrats in open revolt, slamming the choice, saying they will do whatever they can to try to block it. Republican senators, at best, are tepid. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, he says there are enormous red flags. Ron Wyden, another Democrat on the Intelligence Committee -- and keep

in mind, that's the first committee that Ratcliffe has to get through in order to be named DNI -- Wyden has said, "I will pull out all the stops to make sure someone like this" -- meaning Ratcliffe -- "I think will do so much damage to the credibility of the American intelligence community at a critical time for our country. I will do everything I can to stop this nomination."

Now, Poppy, Republicans are a little bit more quiet. The chairman of that committee, Richard Burr, he has said he will work aggressively to confirm the president's choice, but hasn't answered any other questions about Ratcliffe's resume.

And what's really causing concern is, when you go to his bio on his congressional page -- and I checked --

HARLOW: Yes.

MARQUARDT: -- it this morning -- there's a line that says he put terrorists in prison. That's pretty black and white. Now, we have searched the terrorism cases, when he was a prosecutor in East Texas, we have not found any evidence of that. His office has not been able to give us any evidence of that.

HARLOW: Right.

[10:55:05] MARQUARDT: So that is very troubling. And we know from his past statements, that Ratcliffe has routinely criticized the intelligence community, criticized them for their role in the investigation into possible relations between Russia and the Trump campaign. And now, this is a huge intelligence community that he wants to lead -- Poppy.

HARLOW: It's a huge one. I know you've got a lot of reporting on this. You keep digging. Please update us as you get it, Alex Marquardt. We appreciate that.

All right. So the United States, this morning, formally exiting a crucial missile treaty with Russia, one in place since the days of the Cold War. The question becomes, "Now what? Is a new nuclear arms race ahead?" We're on it. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:00:00]