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U.S. Stock Market Shaken After Recent Selloff; Reports Indicate Trump Administration Polling on Viability of Gun Control Legislation; Gunman in Philadelphia Who Shot Six Police Officers Surrenders; Rep. Steve King Under Fire for Rape & Incest Comments. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired August 15, 2019 - 08:00   ET

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


[08:00:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Your client's story.

DAN KAISER, ATTORNEY FOR EPSTEIN ACCUSER JENNIFER ARAOZ: That's not my client's story, but it's everyone's story to the extent that the participation of other rich and powerful people, Maxwell is one, the men who may have participated, helped maintain that ring that in turn helped maintain the conspiracy that in turn victimized girls like Jennifer.

CAMEROTA: Dan Kaiser, we appreciate all of the information. Thank you for telling us about this new lawsuit. We obviously are following this case very closely.

KAISER: Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: Any time.

CAMEROTA: Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN Newsroom with Max Foster is next. For our U.S. viewers, another day of wild swings on wall street. NEW DAY continue right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. Just 90 minutes away from the start of the trading day, and warning signs about the state of the U.S. economy are flashing red. Fears of a global recession, that's right, the "r" word, and a weakening American economy have rattled wall street. You'll see the markets are up this morning. They've been up as high as 150, down as low as 200. Now they're back up again, 140 points or so. But these concerns over the last few days, very, very real. China issuing a new threat to retaliate this morning in the ongoing trade war.

CAMEROTA: This all comes after the Dow plummeted more than 800 points yesterday. It was the worst day of the year. Stock futures are ticking up, as John says, slightly this morning after Walmart reported this better than expected earnings. But of course, we have no idea what's in store for the rest of the day. You can see the numbers bouncing around. So CNN's Cristina Alecsi is live for us on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with our top story. What are you feeling and seeing down there, Cristina?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Reporter: Well, Walmart giving investors some optimism that the consumer in the U.S., which has been the backbone of the economy is still strong. But make no mistake about it, yesterday investors sent a clear message to the Donald Trump, get your act together, because it does not look like the Chinese are caving. And this morning, as John alluded to, those fears were realized with the Chinese essentially saying that they would launch countermeasures because the U.S. violated the consensus that Trump and Xi reached at G-20, so hurt feelings on both sides.

Look, to a certain extent the selling yesterday told us that investors knew where this was heading, that Trump was losing leverage and that the Chinese were going to hit back because he blinked. And he didn't help himself yesterday by attacking the Fed in a series of tweets that just smacked of desperation according to the investors that I spoke to.

Listen, I can't tell you where we go from here in the trade war, and that is precisely why businesses large and small cannot plan going forward. That is causing real unease in this market, so we may get a little bit of a relief rally today, but long-term the sentiment here is sell, sell, sell because businesses can't plan with this huge question mark over them. In fact, Wall Street analysts came out today and said third quarter earnings, really the backbone of the stock market when it comes to corporates, projected to be lower.

So we have a real issue here. Investors like I said, we might see some positive momentum today. But long-term there's a real question mark over the economy. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Thank you so much for all of that, Cristina. We'll be watching.

BERMAN: Joining us now, CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman, a White House correspondent for "The New York Times." Maggie, if we can start just quickly on the economy, what's the White House view and also the Trump campaign view as they see these clear jitters in the markets, and they start to hear analysts use the "r" word, the possibility of a recession looming?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: As always, there's a difference between how the president sees it and how his advisers see it. So the president has repeatedly seen the stock market take a dive, and then rebound. And he has now I think come to believe that that's what's going to happen. Whether that's correct or not obviously remains to be seen. But that was how he was feeling yesterday according to a number of people.

The White House is a little more clear-eyed about what's going on and concerned about it and recognizes there are not a whole lot of tools left to try to course correct, and even if they were, this is not a White House that has a sort of clear plan for what it wants to do in terms of the economy and how it wants to handle things. Look, the president's actions and the White House policy, it's not the only thing contributing to what is taking place globally, but it is certainly clear there is no coherent, cohesive plan coming out of the White House in terms of trade, in terms of the economy, and you do see the effects of that just in terms of volatility.

CAMEROTA: Maggie, I'm so struck, and you know this as well as anyone, by the president using his favorite style, his only style I guess, in the White House, something that worked for him in building his own empire, which is will the ultimatum guy, be willing to walk away, be a risktaker. In some ways his style is the strategy, or has been his strategy, and it has worked for him in his own life.

[08:05:05] But of course, the U.S. economy is more complicated than the Trump Organization. So I see him doing this again, but other people, other players aren't responding as, say, other real estate people used to in New York. It's not working as well this time around.

HABERMAN: Even when it did work, right, it worked out personally for him. It didn't necessarily work well for his lenders, for instance, right, when he had bankruptcies. But, yes, he was running basically a mom and pop business, which was the Trump Organization. This was not some massively publicly traded company. This was his own real estate firm and then licensing business. He exists in these short increments of time where it doesn't matter what was said previously and what might happen in the future.

And to your point, global markets just don't work that way, and I think you're seeing some of the effects of it. But, again, because he exists in these short increments of time, if the stock market goes back up, he's going to say, see, nothing really that bad happened, and he's going to take it as validation, and therefore he will not look to change.

But look, I think the delay on the tariffs until December was the biggest acknowledgment from this White House that there is something problematic in how they had been approaching this.

BERMAN: It was a huge concession, a concession that perhaps China doesn't think in 10 minute increments. We know that.

HABERMAN: Right. Look, the president is used to trying to force other people down in these zero-sum negotiations, and China is just too powerful to do that with, and I think they're discovering that.

BERMAN: Maggie, you have an article about the efforts to stop gun violence in the country right now and where exactly the White House is. And there was a lot new in this story you wrote with Jonathan Martin and others this morning to me. One of them is that the Trump campaign is polling on this. They're polling on what the president should do on guns. They're asking his supporters. Number two, that Mitch McConnell is basically saying, Mr. President, if you want to go get Republicans on board, you've got to go get Republicans on board.

HABERMAN: And he's been saying that for a while. McConnell has said he will do what his caucus wants to do, but it's going to be up to the president to get them there. The president in turn has publicly come out and said McConnell is for this, and it's a bit more nuanced than that. And so I think that's where you're seeing the distinction.

The polling, yes, they're looking to see -- we're talking about markets, right. They're looking to see what the market of the president's base is going to support. CAMEROTA: But that's no mystery. The polling has been pretty clear

on where people are about expanding background checks.

HABERMAN: Yes and no. It depends on how you put it, right? And polling questions always depend on how you phrase this thing, and I think that they're going to see what will be supported. The president, I'm told by all people involved, is actually sincere and serious when he says he wants to get something done, but he was sincere and serious after Parkland and then he changed his mind amid pressure from the NRA. He has been privately saying that he thinks the NRA is, quote-unquote, going bankrupt because of their woes right now, and he's been warned by some of his advisers that it might seem that way to you right now that they're struggling. They're still going to be a powerful force heading into next year, and you're going to have to figure out how to calibrate this.

CAMEROTA: It just doesn't seem to me that it should be that hard. If the president really feels that he can do something about gun violence and the polls -- well, all the polls suggest that Americans want something done about gun violence, what are we waiting for?

HABERMAN: I think they are things to criticize him for, but I do think that waiting to see what they're going to be able to accomplish and waiting to see what they will be able to nudge senators toward is understandable. I think actually going about it, on the one hand we criticize them for not being thoughtful. But I think they are attempting to at least have something of a process here. I think that we have to wait and see how that happens.

But look, I think what was a warning sign about where this was going to go is that McConnell was not canceling the August recess, right. So everyone is talking about being concerned about this. I think in fairness to President Trump, lots of presidents have tried accomplishing something on gun control. It is fraught and it's hard to get a coalition together on it, and I think that they are looking not to lose.

These things involve two things. It's arm twisting of other Republicans, and it's a public selling job. Some in the White House don't think the president is going to need to do that public sell the same way, that times have changed enough that he won't have to. But he will have to do the arm twisting that he has not always proven that adept at on legislation, and we'll see where that goes.

BERMAN: And again, you also say right now with support for background checks more theoretical than practical, does he --

HABERMAN: Not support for background checks. Support for doing something, some kind of legislation right now at the White House, it's a theoretical discussion. They're discussing should we do red flag laws, should we do expanded background checks. Are there other options they can look at. These are the discussions they're having, and that's the parameters.

BERMAN: Cory Lewandowski, the president on Twitter this morning has been putting out polls to suggest Cory Lewandowski would be a viable Senate candidate in New Hampshire. There's been some reporting Lewandowski has been musing about it for some time. Is this for real? Does the president really want Cory Lewandowski to run for Senate in New Hampshire?

HABERMAN: I think what the president wants gets sort of misstated on these things a lot of the time. I think the president likes Cory Lewandowski a lot, and I think that if Cory Lewandowski decides to run, it's going to be an open question whether the president actually endorses him or whether he just says nice words about him. And frankly, as with many of these things with Donald Trump, we're not going to know it until we get to that moment. That moment might come tonight because the president is going to New Hampshire for a rally, and Cory Lewandowski is expected to ride in the motorcade with him and be there. But I don't think the president's aides are certain yet exactly what he'll say from the stage.

CAMEROTA: And other Republicans do not want Cory Lewandowski running for Senate.

HABERMAN: That is true. That is true.

CAMEROTA: Because he's a controversial and complicated candidate that it might not go well. But again, if he gets the president's endorsement, it might go well for him.

HABERMAN: He would still have a really hard time in the general election, but if he gets the president's endorsement, this is going to be a competitive primary. There is a candidate who had been recruited by Republicans but he's a first-time candidate. He has not been tested. These primaries actually tend to be helpful to candidates in terms of vetting them and getting them ready for the general election. Cory Lewandowski would face an uphill battle. I think that the president is going to have to decide whether having Cory Lewandowski on the ticket would help him or hurt him, and how the president views it is not necessarily how some of his political advisers view it.

CAMEROTA: Maggie, thank you very much for all of the insight and the reporting, great to have you.

Now to that dramatic and violent standoff in Philadelphia. A suspect is in custody this morning. He only surrendered after midnight, and of course he was -- police there in Philadelphia were just trying to serve a drug warrant when all this happened. Six officers were shot during this eight-hour standoff. CNN's Athena Jones has been following all this. She's live in Philadelphia with the latest. Oh, my gosh, those eight hours were so tense, Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Tense, dramatic, scary to watch and to listen to. But police will tell you serving a warrant is one of the most dangerous aspects of their job. And we saw that yesterday as a gunman targeted police officers for hours, and America watched the whole thing play out on live TV.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A tense standoff coming to an end in Philadelphia overnight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shots fired.

JONES: Six police officers were shot on Wednesday afternoon. It all started around 4:30 p.m. when officers tried to serve a drug warrant.

COMMISSIONER RICHARD ROSS, PHILADELPHIA POLICE: They had already entered the premises and got towards the rear and kitchen area when gunfire erupted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like a hundred shots.

JONES: The gunman targeting police officers as more of them arrived at the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Multiple gunshots. Shots still ringing out. Give my SWAT ASAP. Long gun ASAP.

ROSS: The shooter fired multiple rounds. Officers returned fire, many of whom who had to escape through windows and doors to get from a barrage of bullets.

JONES: Residents looking on as police swarmed the streets, some wearing tactical gear, trying to negotiate with the suspect. Watch police taking cover after bullets ricochet off a building nearby onto the sidewalk. You can see an officer help another from the ground, taking cover from the bullets behind a car. SWAT team and armored vehicles called in to help the area under siege while two other officers who were serving the warrant were trapped inside the home.

ROSS: SWAT was able to successfully extract the two police officers that were trapped upstairs as well as three prisoners.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got an officer shot in this location in the leg.

JONES: All of the officers who are shot were treated at local hospitals and released.

ROSS: They were struck throughout their body. One officer sustained a gunshot wound, a graze wound to his head. Thankfully that was all that was.

JONES: Authorities even have to evacuate children at two nearby dacare centers.

KENNY WILLIAMS, DAYCARE PARENT: We know six officers got shot. It could have been one of the kids. A stray bullet could have went in there. No telling what would have happened. It's a terrible situation.

JONES: Philadelphia's mayor expressing his frustration about gun violence.

MAYOR JIM KENNEY, (D) PHILADELPHIA: Our officers need help. They need help. They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people's hands. Our officers deserve to be protected and they don't deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: You can see the mayor is visibly upset in that press conference where he also said that once the situation is all resolved there will be questions about someone having, quote, all that weaponry and all that firepower.

And one more thing on the suspect. Police have identified him as Maurice Hill. The commissioner says he has an extensive criminal history. John?

BERMAN: Including with gun charges. Athena, thank you very much for being with us this morning.

Republican Congressman Steve King provoking huge backlash with comments about rape and incest, condemned once again by members of his own party. What does it mean in his district? A challenger in his race for Congress joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:19:05] BERMAN: New controversy swirling this morning around Republican Congressman Steve King. This is what he said when asked why he does not support exceptions to an abortion ban in cases of rape and incest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE KING (R-IA): What if we went back through all the familiar try trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that? Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that's taken place? And whatever happened to culture after society, I know I can't certify that, that I'm not a part of a product of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Joining us now is J.D. Scholten, the Democrat who recently launched a campaign to challenge Congressman King. Scholten lost to King by just about 3 percent in the mid-term elections.

J.D., thank you very much for being with us this morning.

What was your reaction when you heard that?

J.D. SCHOLTEN (D), RUNNING AGAINST REP. STEVE KING: Well, I mean, his words are just abhorrent and they don't reflect the values of this district. And it's just another of a long line of his controversial statements that ultimately hurt this district.

[08:20:08] And it's getting really tiresome. And that's why you saw the movement of change we were able to do by

getting out to people and moving the needle 24 opponents in the mid- terms, and we just ran out of time last time, and we're ready to -- we launched our campaign. It's been going great so far, and we're ready and expect to win this time.

BERMAN: You said it doesn't reflect the values of this district. Elaine Godfrey in "The Atlantic" went out to your district and wrote a story about your bid for re-election once again and she has a quote from Art Cullen, the editor of "The Storm Lake Times", which is small newspaper there, that says, we'd elect Attila the Hun if he was pro- life and had Republican behind his name.

So, when you say it doesn't reflect the sentiment of the district, are you sure?

SCHOLTEN: A hundred percent because -- I mean, he's still extreme on this issue. There are pro-life people in this district but at the same time, the majority of the people in this district believe in a legal abortion. And that's what we've seen by going out there talking to people. That's the same thing we've seen in our polling.

It's -- when you get out there to the people and really have that discussion with folks, this issue is -- there's a lot of -- this and many other issues there's common ground that we can all agree upon as Iowans. We don't believe in this extremism that King represents, and it's so divisive.

Our campaign goes out there and talks to Republicans, Democrats and independents, and ultimately, that's what we do. We don't write anybody off. And I actually had three women that worked on our campaign at some time, they were pro-life last time. And so, to say that King reflects our district, it just -- it's not true.

BERMAN: I guess another way of putting it is why is this offensive statement from Steve King different from any other offensive statement from Steve King? This is a man who questioned why white nationalist is offensive language. He said all cultures -- not all cultures contributed equally to society. He questioned what minorities had contributed to civilization.

So, if all of that wasn't enough to get him defeated last time around, why would this be?

SCHOLTEN: Well, there's commonality of violence in all of those in which we absolutely reject. But the issue is, if we're going to talk about reproduction of health, there's 30 OB/GYN units that have closed in the last 15 years since he's been in office for 17 years now. And especially in Iowa Falls, a town of 5,200 people, since the election, they lost their OB/GYN unit.

So, if you're trying to raise a young family and you're trying to do everything right, you have to go to Waterloo or Ames which is an hour each way to get the care that you need. And those are the things that reflect this district. When we have 55,000 farmers, we're the second most agriculture producing district in America. When we got 55,000 farmers, with their backs against the wall right now, it's so frustrating to have a congressman who talks about these controversies nonstop, but at the same time, our farmers need someone in Washington to be a leader. And he got stripped of all his committees and just shows there's a lack of leadership right there.

BERMAN: You talk a lot about what Steve King has to say. President Trump won your district by what? Thirty points. You won't talk about him quite as much on the campaign trail.

What's your view on the rhetoric he has used because a lot of people have been talking about that recently?

SCHOLTEN: Well, I don't talk about him because I'm not running against him. I'm running against Steve King and I'm running for this district. And we had a town hall in all 39 counties this time. In fact, we went to all 39 counties, at least three times, most five, six times. And at these town halls, I barely even mentioned King's name and I never mention Trump because -- because I'm fighting and this campaign's about what we're standing for and not just what we're against.

And I think that's one of the narratives that really people are drawn to, in not writing anybody off, going to people -- going to places that haven't seen anybody, including King for a long time. And they're very appreciative of that and we're going to continue to do that in this campaign.

BERMAN: You know, the Iowa state fair, you had a chance to vote for one of the Democrats running for president right now in that poll there. But you put in Bill Weld, the Republican primarying Donald Trump.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Are you not going to get behind the Democratic candidate here in the caucus?

SCHOLTEN: I will 100 percent get behind a Democratic candidate. I just did that because I didn't want it to be too much news if I put -- won. I think the bigger news out of that I was able to hit 80 miles an hour and I won a stuffed animal. So, we had a good time at the Iowa state fair.

BERMAN: Former Minor League Baseball player, J.D. Scholten, thank you for being with us this morning. I appreciate it.

Alisyn?

SCHOLTEN: Thank you.

[08:25:00] CAMEROTA: OK, John.

More political news. Stacey Abrams just announced she will not run for president. But that does not mean that she will not be on the ticket.

You know what I mean with those three negatives, John?

BERMAN: I get it.

CAMEROTA: (INAUDIBLE) making that up.

BERMAN: I get you.

CAMEROTA: She's going to explain after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: She narrowly lost the race to be Georgia's governor last year and now, Stacey Abrams is announcing she will not run for president. However, she's keeping her options open when it comes to vice president.

And Stacey Abrams joins us now. She is the founder and chair of the group Fair Fight. It's an initiative focused on fighting voter suppression.

Ms. Abrams, thanks so much for being with us.

STACEY ABRAMS (D), FORMER GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE: Thank you for having me.

CAMEROTA: I'll get to your initiative, Fair Fight, in a second, but just one last thing on deciding not to run for president. Just take us inside your mindset. Do you wake up one day and saying, nah, I don't feel like it, or what was your sort of process like of coming to that decision?

ABRAMS: I -- first of all, I appreciate those who were encouraging me to run. We ran the scenarios and there certainly is a pathway, but my responsibility is to run for office when I think I'm the person who can do the.

[08:30:00]