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Wall Street Whiplash As Markets Swing Wildly This Week; Six Philadelphia Officers Shot During Nearly Eight-Hour Standoff; Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) Back On The Campaign Trail. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired August 15, 2019 - 10:00   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: I'll see where this goes. Thank you, Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that may give you an indication of what Israel is going to decide.

HARLOW: I think you're right. Thanks, Oren.

All right, it is the top of the hour, 10:00 A.M. Eastern, 7:00 A.M. Pacific. Good morning, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow.

Wall Street whiplash rattling investors, fraying nerves in the White House. The president and his advisers are blaming the fed once again for this roller coaster week. Stocks back up today. You've got the Dow up 96 points right now after yesterday's 800-point slide, which came after a rise in stocks the day before.

Can strong news from Walmart this morning and a pledge cooperation from China hold back fears of a recession?

Let's go straight to the New York Stock Exchange. Our Business Anchor, Julia Chatterley joins me there this morning. Much different conversation we were having yesterday, Julia. But still the rise in the Dow this morning, slight as it is, does not negate the fact that we saw this inverted yield curve yesterday.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Absolutely not, Poppy. And I can tell you, the only thing I'm willing to promise you right now is volatility, quite frankly.

o your point, we've had strong numbers from retail giant here in the United States, Walmart. We've also had a broader reading of retail sales here in this United States, which also helped to shore up support. Remember, services, U.S. consumer spending, it's such a huge chunk of the U.S. economy right now. When you get these kind of numbers, it will shore up support for stock markets, but more broad that there's still a degree of nervousness, and that's a key point.

You also mentioned trade. We had and carrot and stick approach, I think, from Beijing overnight. They said, look, if the United States slaps more tariffs on us, we'll retaliate. But they also said they want the United States to meet them half way.

The only person who said they won't, of course, is Pete Navarro, of course, the Economic Adviser to President Trump, even in the last week. So I think the trade headlines right now are going to be remaining messy.

And to your point too, we did get the warning from the bond market. And I'd just make the point here, Poppy, that there are two big risks here. One is the trade war intentions. Two is that we have some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

There's a danger that we talk ourselves into a recession here, particularly as far as the U.S. consumer is concerned. And as far as I'm concerned, we are not seeing that weakness in the U.S. consumer spending data. So I think we have to take a step back and not panic here, Poppy. That's the message.

HARLOW: Okay. Thanks for calming our nerves, Julia Chatterley. We appreciate you. Thank you, my friend.

All right, let's talk politics. What does this all mean for the president? What would a recession mean for his chances of re- election? Our Senior Political Writer and Analyst, Harry Enten, is here.

You have a great piece on it this morning.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL AND ANALYST: Well, thank you. That's very kind of you.

HARLOW: I'm just, you know, promoting your stuff.

ENTEN: That's what your -- beautiful.

HARLOW: Is that only you're good for (INAUDIBLE)?

ENTEN: No. You're good for being kind and being a great anchor.

HARLOW: Thank you. But, really, your piece is great. Everyone should read it. And look at those polling numbers on What does it tell us? Can this president win again if we go into a recession?

ENTEN: I don't think so, because, look, the president's approval rating right now, I averaged the last three CNN polls, 44 percent among voters. The economy is what could drag him up, right, because, we also ask, do you approve of him in the economy. 53 percent said they did in those same polls. So the economy is the type of thing that could raise him.

If all of a sudden that you had a recession or fears of a recession, all of a sudden, his strongest point becomes a weakness and his approval ratings might actually fall into the high threes.

HARLOW: And a lot of the folks that do approve of the president, there is a big chunk in your -- I think it was 26 percent in your reporting that approve of him really solely because of the economy.

ENTEN: Yes. We asked what's the main reason you approve of Donald Trump, and those who said the main reason they approve him, 26 percent said it was the economy.

And then there was an additional, I believe, it's eight percent, who said it's jobs and unemployment, the fact that unemployment was so low. And you look at those that disapprove. You don't see the economy any reason why you disapprove of Trump, the economy isn't on there.

If all of a sudden you've changed that to a weakness, it could be so much a big trouble for him. And that's why right now the president wants to pump up the economy. He doesn't like the stock market volatility.

HARLOW: I mean, also there's only so -- there's only so many fingers you can point at the fed. I mean, every answer to any stock market slide from the president, every time, is the fed, by the way, which is run by the guy that he chose to replace Janet Yellen with, Jerome Powell.

ENTEN: Look, the buck eventually has to stop at the president's desk. You know, Harry Truman had something right there.

And, I mean, look, right now, if you ask in polling who do you think is responsible for the economy. Overwhelmingly, they say the president of the United States. That's helpful for him right now. But if all of a sudden the economy takes a turn to the south, then all of a sudden the blame is going to go back on him.

And at this point, if I were looking at these numbers, I would say the president is a slight underdog for re-election. But if all of a sudden the economy went south, he'd be a major underdog for re- election.

HARLOW: Okay. Harry Enten, thank you.

ENTEN: Shalom, be well, thank you.

HARLOW: Shalom. Thank you, my friend.

Let's talk more about this. Jackie Alemany is here, author of the Washington Post Power Up, and our Senior Political Analyst, David Gergen, former adviser to four presidents.


So, David, let me begin with you. You've been in the Oval Office. You've been looking at numbers like this when economies turn south on presidents that rely on them. Is Harry right here, this a major blinking, flashing red light for the president if this thing goes south?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. And the president can't have it both ways. You can't say whenever things look good, that's because of my strong leadership, but if things go bad it's because of the Federal Reserve. People aren't going to buy that very long.

As president, in fact, you have very little control, less control than you might think over the economic performance. But we always say if a president -- if there are good times, the president deserves some of the credit and it helps that president get re-elected. But in bad times, high inflation or whatever, presidents tend to lose.

So this president has a huge amount riding on the outcome of these elections, and that's why the lack of a strategy, Poppy, in terms of where he's trying to go, it would help a great deal in stabilizing the economy and stabilizing his position if we knew what his strategy was in the trade wars, if we knew what his strategy was going to be on getting NAFTA redone and all those kinds of things, that people -- the markets like certainty. And right now, what we see coming out of Washington is a great deal of uncertainty.

HARLOW: And we certainly do.

So, Jackie, look, we've got some really interesting Axios reporting this morning, Jonathan Swan being told by a source close to the president, quote, I'm worried, very worried about the latest economic data. A lot of us are concerned without the narrative on the economy, he can't win.

And a stark warning from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board this morning, that's usually one that applauds the president's moves on the economy. Quote, someone should tell Mr. Trump that incumbent presidents who preside over recessions within two years of an election rarely get a second term.

JACKIE ALEMANY, ANCHOR, THE WASHINGTON POST'S "POWER UP": That's exactly right. I mean, I think what this does for Trump is it does potentially wipe out the incumbent advantage that he has. There are also other historical factors that are currently working against the president that worked in his favor in 2016. Add all of those things together, and it's pretty ominous for the president going into 2020.

That being said, the former Chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, said that this inverted yield curve didn't necessarily -- she didn't necessarily interpret it as a sign that we're going into a recession, but the president's actions and his volatility, his trade war and his Tweeting is obviously not helpful. And as David rightly said, the lack of the strategy is hurting the markets.

That, in combination with the fact that the United States has not been working in tandem with global economies and has actually been working against them, something that in the past, in 2008, helped ameliorate the effects of the great recession is just -- it is troubling for the president.

And even anecdotally, we've seen so many voters say, yes, I'm not okay, with this president's rhetoric, I am turned off by it. But at the end of the day, he's bringing jobs back, the economy is strong and that's what I'm voting for. You take away that from voters and that substantially hurts President Trump.

HARLOW: It's a really important point. I mean, look at Germany's economy and the German points out this morning as well. China is paying and China going into a recession, if that happens, isn't beneficial to the U.S. economy in all of this either.

I'd like to turn the page to guns and gun violence in the wake of the tragedies in Dayton and in El Paso and the reporting we just had out of St. Louis and what we saw happen to those officers in Philadelphia last night. David Gergen, you just wrote about this. You just Tweeted, Philadelphia shows us the waves of gun violence continue unabated. In two years time we are losing more Americans to gun violence than died in Vietnam.

So the president says he's going to do something and Mitch McConnell says this is front and center. Should we believe them?

GERGEN: Not very much. The rhetoric is nice, but let's see the action, and so far we've seen very, very little action. The pattern we all know is a big shooting takes place, kids are killed, it spikes, the interest in the country spikes very high, everybody is very, very upset, we get promises from politicians, we get promises from the White House and then nothing really happens.

And until we deal with this in a serious way, we have more guns in this country than we have people. We have one of the most bloodthirsty nations on the earth. Until we deal with that and we continue losing people, we're going to raise a generation of kids who are scared to go outside, scared to go into their schools.

Is that some kind of legacy?

HARLOW: Right. Look, that's so well put, David.

Before we go, Jackie, let me just ask you about Steve King once again saying something that makes all of our jaws drop.


Listen to this member of Congress just yesterday.


PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: This is basically the Federal Reserve's problem, volatility. They are causing this because when Jay Powell --


HARLOW: I'm sorry, guys. Let me try that again. Do we have the sound bite from Steve King? Okay, we don't have it.

But what Steve King said, and I can walk through it for you, is that he said, Jackie, would we have anyone on this planet if there were no rape or incest? His comments before have meant that he's been stripped of committees, but now what? Will Republicans stand up, Jackie, and say enough is enough, like you shouldn't be serving in Congress?

ALEMANY: That is the question, and it's a great question. You would think that the last time around when he said that he didn't understand why white nationalism, white supremacy in the western civilization was so problematic in our current landscape, you would have thought the Republican Party would have called for him to resign.

I can't say that things are going to be any different. We'll just have to see. The election is around the corner. J.D. Scholten is challenging Steve King. He's going to have to win the primary there first. And we'll see what happens there.

HARLOW: OK. Thank you both very, very much, David Gergen, Jackie Alemany, nice to have you, as always.

GERGEN: Thanks, Poppy.

ALEMANY: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: And right now, the man suspected of shooting those six Philadelphia police officers yesterday, that man is in police custody. Video captured police taking the suspect. His name is Maurice Hill, out of a Philadelphia hospital earlier this morning. He surrendered just after midnight, nearly eight hours after the dramatic and violent standoff with police began.

Authorities were trying to serve a warrant, a narcotics warrant to his home. The situation quickly escalated when the shots rang out.


OPERATOR: Use caution, please, and respond.

OFFICER: Yes, right now (BLEEP) --

OPERATOR: Standby. Cars standby. Second assist, 3750, 150, shots fired, shots fired inside.

OFFICER: Couldn't (INAUDIBLE), shots still ringing off. Give SWAT ASAP. Long guns ASAP. I got officers shot. I got officers, radio. All right, so I need SWAT.


HARLOW: My colleague, Athena Jones, our National Correspondent, is live in Philadelphia this morning with more. Six officers shot doing their job, putting themselves on the line, as they do every single day. What more do we know about this?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Poppy. Well, as you said, police have identified the suspect as Maurice Hill. Police commissioner saying he has an extensive criminal history.

We know from talking to the D.A.'s office just in the last half hour, 45 minutes or so that the D.A. has not yet filed formal charges. So we will be watching for that, also watching for a press conference later today with authorities.

But we know, as you mentioned, this suspect spent nearly eight hours in the standoff with police. Six police officers injured, all treated and released, thank goodness, and the suspect, in the end, coming out of this alive.

And the police commissioner, Richard Ross, admitted earlier that he did not think that this suspect would be able to come out of this hours-long confrontation alive. But that is, in fact, what happened in the end. Poppy?

HARLOW: What else do we know about the attorney? The suspect's former attorney apparently played a key role in the negotiations. What are we hearing from him, and then also just if you could update us about the condition of all those officers?

JONES: Well, certainly. The police commissioner said that this attorney, Shaka Johnson, who was a former attorney representing Mr. Hill in the past, was e essential in helping bring this standoff to a peaceful end. We know that that attorney, Shaka Johnson, spoke with CNN's affiliate, KYW, about how he interacted with this client. This former client called him at about 8:30 P.M., about four hours into the standoff, called him in a panic while this lawyer was watching it all unfold on television.

Here's more of what he had to say to our affiliate.


SHAKA JOHNSON, SUSPECT'S FORMER ATTORNEY: I told him I'm not going to be on this television, man, and watch you on this T.V., on social media, and watch you go out in a blaze of glory, like I'm not going to be a part of that. So if you're not going to come out the house, I'm going to hang up this phone and I'm going to turn the T.V. off, because I'm not going to watch you get killed.


JONES: And so Johnson saying that his only goal was making sure Hill got out of the house alive. That's what happened, police using tear gas to help force him out. Those six officers have been released and they will be okay, according to the commissioner. Poppy.

HARLOW: Thank goodness. Athena, thank you very, very much.

Still to come, Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O'Rourke is back on the campaign trail after that pause following the El Paso shooting.


Now, he is calling for assault weapons to be taken off the streets altogether. We'll take you live to El Paso.

Plus, we're learning new details about Jeffrey Epstein's suicide inside of a Manhattan jail, including multiple broken bones in his neck. What does that indicate? That's ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


HARLOW: All right. So Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O'Rourke is back on the campaign trail this morning. He just wrapped up a speech in El Paso after the deadly mass shooting in his own home town. He stepped off the campaign trail for two weeks and returned home to grieve with his community. He is back now.

Our Correspondent, Leyla Santiago, is in El Paso. What do we know, Leyla?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, he just finished talking to a group of mostly supporters here in El Paso and he really, really had some strong words not only on what he wants to be sort of a stronger stance on gun reform, saying he wants to buyback weapons that are meant for war, assault weapons, but he also continued on with what he feels is needed in terms of universal background checks and red flag laws.

Now, this was an emotional time because, as you mentioned, 12 days he has been off the trail. He sort of took a pause after the shooting. I want you to listen to the strong words he used when not only talking about gun control, but also saying what is the direct problem of this, President Donald Trump.


FMR. REP. BET O'ROURKE (D-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm confident that if at this moment we do not wake up to this threat, then we as a country will die in our sleep. That would not be good enough for this country. We must take the fight directly to the source of this problem. That person who has caused this pain and placed this country in this moment of peril, and that is Donald Trump.


SANTIAGO: And that, Poppy, came after he sort of recounted what the last few weeks have been like, meeting survivors, meeting the family and loved ones of the victims. Here's when he was talking about one person in particular, Antonio.


O'ROURKE: He began to tell his wife's story and then the chaplain said everybody come around, this guy needs a hug right now. And then one after another, tens, dozens, hundreds of El Pasoans surrounded him and hugged him and put their hands on him. And he was crying and it was so powerful and cathartic for him, for us, for this community for anyone in this nation who is taking the time to watch what was happening.


SANTIAGO: Mow, that's something that's pretty common for O'Rourke to be telling the stories of those he meets on the campaign trail and here in El Paso.

Now, where you're going to see the change, he says he's no longer just going to do the traditional campaign and hitting those early voting states. He wants to go to where he feels people are most vulnerable, which kind of leads to where he's going next. He says he's going to Mississippi. Of course, that's been in the news because of immigration and the ICE raids, and then after that Arkansas.

One more thing we should note today, he did address the call from many people to get out of the presidential race and run for Senate here in Texas against Senator Cornyn. He said today that he has no intention of doing that, because, again, as you heard him say, that does not get to what he believes is the root of the problem, President Trump.

HARLOW: Okay. Leyla Santiago, great reporting, thank you so much.

Also that news overnight, six police officers wounded in that standoff in Philadelphia. Next, a Pennsylvania congresswoman will join me. We'll talk about a lot, including if she thinks the president can get Republicans to move on background checks.



HARLOW: Right now, the man suspected of shooting and wounding six Philadelphia police officers in a standoff yesterday is in custody this morning. He has been identified as Maurice Hill. All six officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They're out of the hospital already. That is good news for them.

Joining me now is Democratic Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania. You represent a district right outside of Philadelphia. I'm so, so sorry about this and I'm glad no one was killed, but they easily could have been.

So our thoughts are with everyone there, of course, this morning.

Let's talk about guns. Let's start there, because you ran on this as a central focus of your campaign, you defeated an NRA member, you flipped a red district to blue, you voted for the bipartisan Background Check Act. But should the American people expect that this will actually make it through the Senate this time when the numbers were more in favor of it back in 2013 after Sandy Hook and it didn't happen then?

REP. CHRISS HOULAHAN (D-PA): Yes, and thank you so much for having me. I actually taught chemistry at nearby Simon Gratz in Nicetown, and so this is really personal for me. I grieve for the community, I grieve for The families of the police officers and the police officers, six police officers wounded, seven hours worth of ammunition that this gentleman had, 70 kids in nearby daycare. This is a tragedy. We are beyond the inflection point of having to do something about this. And as you mentioned, the House has moved forward legislation that is awaiting the Senate's action. I also co-authored a letter to the Senate demanding that they take a vote on these particular legislative actions and also saying -- indicating that I and many others would be more than happy to go back to session.


There's a train every hour from Philadelphia.