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Trump Makes Plastic Straws Political Issue; Hong Kong Cancels Flights Again; Trump's Approval Rating Holds Steady; Friend of Dayton Killer Faces Charges. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 13, 2019 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] ANDREW GILLUM, CNN COMMENTATOR: Here. Clearly we're not going to get the -- the president is --

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Are you just -- are you calling me an elitist?

GILLUM: I'm not calling you a liberal elitist. I'm simply saying --

RYE: Oh, and then he added to it. (INAUDIBLE) on it. You added some (INAUDIBLE).


RYE: I'm calling Davis. I'm going to get Davis.

GILLUM: Can we talk about -- is it OK -- is it OK to talk about (INAUDIBLE) --


RYE: You guys got to watch Andrew (INAUDIBLE), that he's shady.

HILL: I think that he just gave you the opportunity I you would like to weigh in.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I -- I -- I mean this is -- this is going to blow up Twitter. I am not a --

RYE: But didn't -- isn't he -- he supports plastic straws.

SELLERS: I'm not a -- but I -- can I -- can I -- can I get this off my --

RYE: I think you're in alignment with the president. Go for it. I can't wait.

SELLERS: I am. I mean I want to say that I -- I think --

RYAN: I'm listening. Go ahead.

SELLERS: I mean I just don't -- I don't like paper straws. That's my preference. It has a hard --

RYE: Tweet him. Tweet him.

GILLUM: He doesn't -- he doesn't like the country whither.

RYAN: Let me say this. I want my --

SELLERS: I -- I recycle, just for everybody watching. I recycle.

RYE: Everybody get Bakari.

SELLERS: No, please, God, don't. But I -- I just -- I buy biodegradable plastic straws in your latte. That's what I'm going to start moving toward because paper straws are a problem.

RYAN: I'm a tree hugger. I'm a tree hugger.

Yes, they -- they kind of get soft. But, you know what, at the end of the day --

SELLERS: And they taste the flavor of your drink.

RYE: No.

SELLERS: They do.

RYAN: At the end of the day, we have -- we have holes in our ozone, OK.

SELLERS: It's true.

RYAN: At the end of the day we're seeing more severe storms.

SELLERS: It's snowing in -- it's snowing in (INAUDIBLE).

RYE: We also have holes in our democracy, which is why we're not getting the president credit for this.

RYAN: And what's happening in Antarctica, you know, the icecaps and -- are melting.

The bottom line is, you know, when we go to the beaches, you know, we -- I was just at the beach last week. My children were like, no, we cannot leave our plastic bottles on the beach because --

SELLERS: I agree with that.

RYE: Sure you should not do that.

RYAN: Yes, you know, we have got to take care of our planet. And I don't care if it's Democrat or Republican, I'm not going to use a plastic straw anymore. I use a paper straw or a metal straw.

SELLERS: I'm country, I -- I just sip it with the ice.

HILL: Or bamboo.

RYAN: Or bamboo. HILL: Bamboo is much better than the -- yes.

RYAN: Bamboo.

RYE: Oh.

SELLERS: Bamboo?

RYAN: Yes, bamboo. That's a very -- get it for your latte.

RYE: That's a very good --

HILL: I have one in my office.

GILLUM: I think -- I think we have sufficiently scraped the bottom of the straw issue.

RYE: Shade. I told you guys, watch Andrew --

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: As the senior elected official at the table, Mayor Gillum here --

GILLUM: You haven't even taken a position.

RYAN: If you run again, you'd better be careful on this.

RYE: I want to here.

GILLUM: I love the environment. That's it.

RYAN: Good. There you go.

GILLUM: Signing off.

RYE: Oh, you should have brought a red tie. Yes, that was a good moment to bring a red tie.

GILLUM: I mean the -- the -- first of all, if the president had any kind of comprehensive environmental solution here, that would be one thing. But we know that's not true. I mean the fact that his website -- and I'm surprised you know it, but I'm glad you know it because you're a member of the press, but --

RYE: The shade. He's shade.

GILLUM: No, that -- no, no, no, no, no, no.

RYAN: Where's the shade tree growing today?


RYAN: The shade tree is going right now.


GILLUM: He just -- he just said -- RYAN: Behind your head.

RYE: He likes -- doesn't the president like plastic straws?

BERMAN: He does.

RYAN: With his McDonald's.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) and it is --

GILLUM: He's going after them.

BERMAN: His -- no, his campaign is trying to raise money on keeping plastic straws.

RYE: They want to keep the plastic straws.

RYAN: Whatever.

RYE: That's why I don't know why John told us we have an opportunity to give him kudos. That is shady.

RYAN: Wait a minute, I got it wrong then because I don't even look at the website, so --

RYE: Well, this is where Bakari's a Republican.

BERMAN: Bakari says he likes plastic straws.

SELLERS: I just -- no, that's not what I said.

RYE: That is what you said.

SELLERS: Please -- please do not spin me.

BERMAN: Now you're backing off. Now you're backing off.

SELLERS: Please do not spin me.

BERMAN: Now you (INAUDIBLE) the Trump campaign is raising money off of it --

SELLERS: What I -- what I said was that paper -- paper was not my preference. However --

RYE: That's cute. We should run the tape back. That is not what you said.

SELLERS: Let's run the tape back. I am not a -- yes.

RYAN: I think this straw is the precise color of the president.


HILL: I feel like you're trying to have it both ways.

RYE: Bakari is. That sounds right. That sounds right.

RYAN: This straw is the precise color of the president's skin, so there you go.

RYE: Oh.

RYAN: They're going to use this straw --

RYE: It's too early for that type of shade.

RYAN: No, no, no, they're going to use this straw as an example of saving the planet -- well, not saving the planet, but saving his campaign.

BERMAN: We're going to get you on the record on this at some point.

SELLERS: I know. I promise.

BERMAN: All right, friends, thank you very much for that. It was almost all -- it was almost all enlightening until I brought up the straws.

RYE: I don't know what happened.

HILL: IT was a good try, though.


RYAN: I don't even read (INAUDIBLE) because I'm just like so over the conspiracy theories and I was like, I thought they were trying to say --

SELLERS: He's wrap -- he's wrapping up.

RYAN: Oh, I'm sorry --

BERMAN: That's a wrap.


BERMAN: Something -- some -- you know, on your TV show, this is something you'll need to know how to do here. So --

RYAN: Wait -- oh, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, what did you just say?

RYE: John is breaking news.

BERMAN: We're taking a quick break.

RYAN: What did he just say? Wait, wait, wait, did you --

BERMAN: We're taking a quick break here.

RYAN: Did you hear that?

BERMAN: We do have some breaking news.

HILL: We do. We do.


HILL: And on a serious note, breaking news out of Australia. A man, armed with a knife, going on a stabbing spree in Sydney. What's really remarkable here is how bystanders stopped the attack. That's next.


[06:38:04] HILL: Breaking news out of Australia where police say a man on a rampage stabbed two women, one of them fatally, in downtown Sydney. The 21-year-old suspect is seen on video running through the streets screaming with knife in hand. He was actually chased down by witnesses who were able to subdue him using a milk crate and a couple of chairs. Look at that.

BERMAN: Oh my goodness.

HILL: Holding him until police arrived. Police say it was not a terrorist incident. That he acted alone. They note the suspect has, in their words, mental health issues and was reportedly known to them.

BERMAN: Urgent, quick thinking on the streets there.

Also breaking overnight, this wild police shootout ended with one California Highway Patrol officer dead and two others injured. Riverside police say it started when an officer stopped a truck and decided to impound the vehicle. As the officer called for a tow truck and filled out paperwork, police say the suspect entered the truck, grabbed an assault rifle and began firing at the officer. You can see the weapon there on the side of the road after the shootout ended. The officer was able to call for back up. Eventually the suspect was killed in the shootout. California Governor Gavin Newsome identified the fallen officer as a 34-year-old who had been on the force for more than three years. A procession accompanied the fallen officer's body from the hospital as his fellow officers saluted the hearse as it drove by.

Our hearts go out to his family.

President Trump's approval has never been above 50 percent, but can he win 2020 voters based on his economic record? Harry Enten has "The Forecast," next.


[06:43:39] HILL: Breaking news.

Hong Kong's airport cancelling all departing flights again today. Officials say anti-government demonstrations are causing the disruption. Why are these protests still escalating ten weeks after they began? Andrew Stevens explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Unending protests defining the summer in Hong Kong as demonstrations continue for more than two months. For a fifth straight day, protesters are occupying the city's busy airport. In the past two days, thousands have jammed into the terminal. The protests Monday forced the eighth busiest airport in the world to shut down after demonstrators staged a massive sit in.

The conflict started back in June when more than a million people took to the streets to oppose legislation that would have allowed people of Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China. But the chaos has since evolved into a broader movement against Beijing's power and influence over Hong Kong.

Since then, aggressive clashes between protesters and police have become more frequent, breaking down doors to government buildings, stopping traffic and striking back against police. Now demonstrators are continue to fight for free and fair elections and a stronger independent democracy for Hong Kong.

JOSHUA WONG, PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: We hope to continue our fight and seek for allies around the world to support us. And we will not be threatened by Beijing.

[06:45:06] STEVENS: Just this weekend, the clashes turning violent with police firing tear gas at protesters inside this subway station. One woman suffering a severe eye injury and this video showing some plain clothes officers apprehended protesters. Chinese media responded to the turmoil with this slickly produced video showing military vehicles approaching Hong Kong sending a clear message to protesters it says are showing signs of terrorism.

Hong Kong's embattled chief executive says the unrest has, quote, pushed Hong Kong to the brink of no return.

CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: The chief executive's responsibility is to ensure that Hong Kong remains a safe and orderly and law-abiding city. That is my utmost responsibility.

That also requires my support for all the law enforcement agencies in accordance with their policies, their rules, their guidelines.

STEVENS: For months, both sides unable to calm the protests and many fear there is no end in sight.


STEVENS: And, John, as we stand here at the Hong Kong International Airport, you can probably hear the chants around me. There are still thousands of people here.

And one of the key things they're angry about still is the fact that Carrie Lam, who we saw there, said that this bill was dead but has not officially withdrawn it. So it's still on the books. Protesters want this thing completely gone. The government, under Carrie Lam, says, no, we're not going to do that. It's just one of the other -- one of the many demands that the government (ph) is refusing to take on board, hence we get this ongoing anger, these ongoing demonstrations with no end in sight, John.

BERMAN: Days and days of this chaos you're looking at behind Andrew right now.

Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong.

And please remember, this is one of the most important airports for commercial activity around the globe. It will be very interesting to see how China deals with this in the coming days.

Andrew, thank you very much for that report.

So, will this good economy be enough to push President Trump to reelection? Harry Enten crunches the numbers, next.


[06:50:53] BERMAN: President Trump's approval rating doesn't ever really seem to move. It's been very steady and it's never hit 50 percent, though. Can the economy boost him, therefore, to re-election?

One man has been crunching the numbers. Let's get "The Forecast" from CNN's senior politics writer and analyst, Harry Enten.


BERMAN: Well, one power, such powerful hands, you broke, completely shattered our screen. So you're sitting at the table with us today.

ENTEN: You know -- you know what, it's lovely to be sitting.


ENTEN: It's early in the morning anyway, so I prefer to be sitting.

So, you know, let's talk about the president's approval rating, right? In our CNN polls, you go back to January, February 2017, 44 percent. You go then to August of 2018, 44 percent. You look at -- over the last few months, April through June in our polls, 44 percent among registered voters. This has been very, very steady.

Now, of course the question is, how does he boost it? So take a look at his economic approval rating versus his overall approval rating among voters. And take a look here, on the economy, 53 percent of voters approve of the job that he's doing, just 44 percent overall. So you say to yourself, OK, this is the pathway. This 9 percent of registered voters who approve of Trump on the economy but disapprove over all, these are the voters that I want.

BERMAN: People who approve on the economy but disapprove overall. Who are they?

ENTEN: Yes, so this is the real problem here. So take a look at this. This is the partisan makeup of each of these groups. And among the voters who approve of him overall, 88 percent of them are Republicans. But take a look at those who approve of him on the economy but disapprove overall, only 22 percent of them are Republicans versus 66 percent who say they're either Democrat or leaning Democratic. That's not only more Democratic than the approval overall vote, it's the all voters who are just 48 percent Democratic. So this is a very Democratic group.

But let's also look at ideology, right, because this is a different way of looking at it. And what do we see here. We see that among that group, look, approval overall, 66 percent are conservative. But just 18 percent approve on the economy, disapprove overall, are conservative. This is a much more moderate group. Fifty-three percent of them are moderate. This is not a group that Trump has been gearing his campaign towards. He's been going red meat, red meat, red meat, but these voters are a lot more moderate.

HILL: And another group that's important to look at too is when we look at this based on race, because we know that impacts things.

ENTEN: Yes, take a look at this. I think this is so key. So, you know, Trump has been throwing all of this red meat towards the base. He's been making statements that have been racist.

Look at this. Approval overall, 79 percent are white. But take a look at approve on the economy, disapprove overall, just 60 percent are white. And look at the African-American subsection of that, 18 percent of those who approve on the economy, but disapprove overall, are black. That's not only considerably larger than the approval overall group which just 2 percent are black. That's actually larger than all voters, who are just 11 percent of African-Americans.

BERMAN: So if he's looking to reach voters he has not reach, who might be inclined to approve of him based on their feeling of the economy, you might think then, Harry, he would target black voters, yes?

ENTEN: That's -- that's exactly right, he would target black voters and he would stop with this racist statement nonsense that he's been saying because otherwise he's not going to reach these voters.

Just a few more things I would point out here.

On education, I would point out that these voters are better educated than those who approve overall of him. And, you know, he said, I lovely the poorly educated. He better start liking the well-educated too if he wants to reach some of these voters.

And one other thing I'll point out, take a look at the median age. I think this is so key. Look at this, approve overall, 52 years old. That's the median age on that group versus approve on the economy, disapprove overall. They're considerably younger than that group at just 44 years old. That also makes them younger than all voters overall.

And let me just point out one -- one last thing. You know, it's back- to-school time. Take a look at this. You know, Atlanta, down at our mothership, they began yesterday on August 12th. The New York City Public Schools begin a little bit less than a month from now. I should just point out, I didn't like school. Thank God I don't have to go back.

BERMAN: Did -- now you're telling us. Did you take math or are you just making all these numbers up?

ENTEN: No, no, no, I'm not making this up. I never make up numbers on the air with you.

HILL: I feel like he's hesitating on that answer.

ENTEN: No, I did not like school. Thank God I'm out. I get to be with you two instead on a weekday morning.

HILL: And we're glad you're here.

BERMAN: Harry Enten, thank you very much.

Stepping up, even when the technology wasn't working your way.

ENTEN: Well, you raised my game, both of you.

BERMAN: We appreciate you being here.

[06:54:54] All right, one week ago, lawmakers on both sides were calling for actions to fight gun violence after two mass shootings. Congress is in recess for a month. Is anything getting done after all that talk? Is anything getting done? We're going to speak to one lawmaker determined to keep the heat on Congress, coming up.


HILL: A friend of the Dayton killer is facing federal firearms charges. Authorities say he provided him -- say that the friend provided the shooter with a body armor and ammunition for the massacre.

CNN's Ryan Young joins us now live from Chicago with more of the details.

Ryan, good morning.


Look, there's an important note here. They don't believe he had any idea that his friend was going to try to do this shooting. That was Connor Betts who went and -- obviously did that shooting spree that killed nine people and injured 22 others. But what they do believe is that Ethan Kollie, 24, was trying to help him in terms of acquiring some of this to hide this equipment from his parents. There's this drum -- ammunition drum that shocked everyone when you see how large it is. It had a hundred rounds of ammunition, body armor and there was also a piece on top of the AR-15 that was included in all of this.

Now, he tells federal investigators that not only did he lie on a federal form, but he was hiding some of this stuff inside his apartment for Connor Betts. And when they arrived there, they realized he was doing hard drugs as well. So that's why he's facing 15 years in federal prison at this point.

Now, of course, as you think about the situation, that video was horrifying as Connor Betts moved down the street with his heavy- powered weapon, shooting all the people along that Dayton street until the cops were able to surround him and take him out.

Of course this investigation continues. And I should bring this up also, John. The fact that yesterday, when they were talking about this investigation, they said they'd been able to crack into the phone of Connor Betts because, as of right now, we do not have a motive in this case. And maybe because of getting inside his phone, they'll get some new details. But this charge has happened.

Let's not forget, the shooter not only shot a friend of his, but shot and killed his sister.


BERMAN: Right. It's been now nine days since that brutal attack. All right, Ryan Young, thank you for these new details. Thank you very much for that.

YOUNG: You're welcome.

BERMAN: New details in the investigation of Jeffrey Epstein's death.

[07:00:08] NEW DAY continues.