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CNN NEWSROOM

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) Says She Won't Visit West Bank After Israel Allows Visit On Humanitarian Grounds; Family Of Man Killed By Police Calls For Independent Probe; NYPD Shows Video Of Suspect Who Left Suspicious Rice Cookers; Trump Says, No Choice But To Vote For Me Over Economy; Poll Shows Biden Top Choice For Democratic Nominee, Warren Second; Trump Says, We Have To Start Building Mental Institutions Again. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired August 16, 2019 - 10:00   ET

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


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POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: All right. Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow. Jim Sciutto has the day off.

And this morning, Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib says she is, quote, being silenced and treated like a criminal, so she has decided not to take that planned trip to Israel. This comes just hours after she did receive permission to visit her grandmother there only on humanitarian grounds. This is after Israel had banned her from going.

The catch though is that she had promised not to discuss a boycott of Israel while she was there. She says her grandmother this morning would rather she not visit under those conditions. And, again, this is after Israel denied permission for her and her fellow congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, to visit Israel, both of who support the boycott of that country.

Our Correspondent, Oren Liebermann. joins me this morning from Jerusalem with more.

So, I mean, Israel under the 2017 law, is allowed to do this. They can bar people who support the boycott from coming in the country and they chose to do that with the encouragement of President Trump.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump certainly instigated and supported Israel's decision saying, it would be showing great weakness if it allowed these two congresswomen to enter.

And that pretty much forced the hand of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has never publicly disagreed with Trump and wasn't going to start now, even if this is certainly the most high profile use of that 2017 law. That decision made to bar the two Muslim congresswomen from entering.

But there was an opening and it was an opening and it was an opening that Congresswoman Tlaib initially took that she would be allowed to enter or at least make a request if it was on humanitarian grounds to visit her family. That was granted by Israel's interior minister who has the final say earlier this afternoon, and then we just got a statement and the decision from Congresswoman Tlaib, she would not be coming because of Israel's restrictions.

And I'll read you a part of the statement we just got. It says, I've therefore decided not to travel to Palestine and Israel at this time. Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart, silencing me with this treatment to make me feel less than is not what she wants from me. It would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice.

A very powerful statement there from Tlaib, and, one, that her family here supported her in. We spoke with her uncle a short time ago today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GHASSAN TLAIB, REP. RASHIDA TLAIB'S UNCLE: We are against the conditional visit of Rashida to Palestine. Rashida has the right to visit Palestine as a Palestinian regardless of being a congresswoman, as any citizen with a U.S. passport has the right to come and visit their family without any conditions or pressure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LIEBERMANN: We already know that there was a political fight going on between Trump and these two congresswomen, Tlaib and Omar. And now, it's seems that's extended a little bit to Israel. Israel's interior minister, who, again, had the final say on whether to be allowed in, Tweeted shortly after Tlaib's statement and said, well, it seems that her hatred of Israel overpowers her love for her grandmother. So a stinging criticism there and this fight is just as bitter as it has been in the last 48 hours or so. Poppy.

HARLOW: Okay. We'll see where this goes from here. Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, thank you very much.

Let's talk about this more with Ambassador Martin Indyk, former Ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration. Thanks to have you, Sir. Thanks for joining me this morning.

MARTIN INDYK, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: Thanks very much for having me.

HARLOW: Okay. Let's begin with -- I know You've worked with Netanyahu before, so we'll get to the political side of all of this in a moment. But let's just begin with AIPAC, which is generally quite in line with the Trump administration on all things Israel policy. What they're saying this morning, and that is that they oppose this move. They oppose the Trump administration supporting Israel on blocking these congresswomen to talk about this. What's your read?

INDYK: So AIPAC stands for the U.S.-Israel relationship. That's where they live. And bipartisan support for that relationship is critically important. That's why the principle that the Israeli Ambassador of the United States, Ron Dermer, originally espoused that Prime Minister Netanyahu supported, that any congressman or woman should have the ability to come to Israel and visit Israel regardless of their views was the right principle.

And that unfortunately has been broken now as a result of President Trump's use of weaponizing, essentially weaponizing Israel in his campaign to paint the Democratic Party as against Israel. Netanyahu's use of Trump in his efforts to get re-elected and, as a result, the whole issue has become a political partisan issue and that is bad for Israel, bad for the United States and bad for the relationship.

[10:05:06]

But let's talk about that. What are the long-term implications of that, right? If you say this is bad for Israel, it's bad for the U.S., it's bad for the relationship, I mean, we saw when Benjamin Netanyahu came over and addressed the session of Congress during the Obama administration, which was very controversial, trying to spike the nuclear deal and nuclear agreement with Iran. We see the president's support now of Israel on this decision. It's very clear how close Netanyahu and President Trump are.

And Benjamin Netanyahu, whom you have worked with, is a month away from a really critical election here.

INDYK: Yes. So you're right, the longer term trend is in the direction of turning Israel into a partisan issue. And it did start with Netanyahu, who made a bet on the Republican Party and their evangelical base as more reliable, his view, of long-term than the Democrats.

And as a consequence of his breaking the principle of bipartisan support for Israel, you've had this kind of development. Now, he is depending on Trump for his re-election bid. Trump intervened the last time around, six months ago, in the last election very heavily on Netanyahu's side.

Netanyahu is in trouble at the moment and I believe he's leaning on Trump again. He'll be looking to Trump to do something, perhaps invite him for a visit to Washington before the September 17th election.

And so as a consequence, when Trump Tweets, he bows, and that is, I think, shows you just how far the relationship has deteriorated.

HARLOW: Given the statements that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has made about Israel in the past and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, given the BDS movement, and given Israel's right not to allow them in, do you think it would have been mutually beneficial for both this country and Israel to have had them make the trip and to have had them have conversations there that they will not have? Do you think that that would be beneficial to all parties?

INDYK: Well, let me, first of all, make clear that I think that Congresswoman Tlaib and Omar's positions on Israel are wrong-headed and fundamentally counterproductive to what they say they're interested in, which is promoting the Palestinian cause. Boycotting Israel can only have a negative impact.

Now, as you say, Israel has a law which prevents the entry of people who promote the boycott. But that is not, I think, the issue that we need to focus on here. We are democratically elected representatives of the American people and Israel has a close and strong relationship with the U.S. Congress dating back to its origins.

And the Congress has been extremely supportive of Israel on a bipartisan basis and very generous, and the principle that any Congressmen, regardless of their views, should be welcomed in Israel as the principle that should have been upheld here and I think it's a terrible mistake that Trump used this opportunity to weaponize the Israel issue and Netanyahu, unfortunately, gave in to him.

HARLOW: Ambassador Martin Indyk, I appreciate you taking the time right before the weekend. Thank you for joining me.

INDYK: Thanks very much, Poppy.

HARLOW: Of course.

All right, now to this, the family of a 19-year-old man killed by police in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that family is calling for an independent investigation into his death. We have newly released body cam video and it shows that young man, De'Von Bailey, being shot in the back as he ran away from police. The officers were responding to a report of an armed robbery.

And before we play this video for you, I want to warn you, it is very difficult to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we had a report of two people similar descriptions possibly having a gun, all right. So don't reach for your waist. We're going to just check and make sure that you don't have a weapon, all right?

Heads up, heads up, heads up.

Get your hands up. Get your hands up. Get your hands up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: I should note the officers did find a gun on him. Our Scott McLean joins me this morning from Denver. And I know his funeral is today. What is his family saying?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy. Obviously, they'll be focused on burying their 19-year-old son, De'Von Bailey. And as you said, they want to see an independent investigation.

[10:10:00] What De'Von's father has made clear though is he does not want anyone to make this into a race issue. He thinks that the issue is with the justice system in how something like this could happen.

De'Von's mother yesterday was asked what she would say to the officers involved. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DELISHA SEARCY, MOTHER OF DE'VON BAILEY: How could you just shoot him like an animal on the street? How could you? How dare you take my son away from me? You didn't even give him an opportunity. You deprived him of justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLEAN: So, initially, the local sheriff's office that investigated said this case was pretty cut and dry. A suspect reached for a gun and they were shot by police, simple. It was not so simple though when a local newspaper uncovered surveillance video that showed De'Von Bailey running away from police.

The body camera footage, it's obviously added some clarity. The controversy though has not gotten away. I want to play that video in slow motion for you again.

At the moment the police approached Bailey to search him, he takes off. There's only about three seconds between the time he starts running and when the first shots are fired. And in that time police yell, hands up three separate times. Now, when the Colorado Springs Police Department released this video, they went to lengths to illustrate the fact that Bailey's hands were not up. They weren't even at his side, where you might expect them to be if you're trying to run as fast as you can. Instead they were down by his waist band.

Now, his lawyer says, look, he was just trying to hold his shorts up. Police obviously believe that he had a gun, the one they eventually found. The question here is is the shooting justified, did the police think that there was an eminent threat to themselves or someone else. That is a question for the District Attorney's Office, which will take three or four months to decide on whether charges will be filed or whether this shooting was justified. Poppy.

HARLOW: Scott McLean, thank you very much for that reporting. We appreciate it.

We're also following breaking news this morning, a very scary scene for thousands of commuters this morning right here in New York City. Police evacuated one of the city's busiest transit hubs after sources say at least two rice cookers were found inside. Police say they were devices that were inside the Fulton Street Subway Complex, that's all the way on the tip of lower Manhattan.

The bomb squad has since deemed them safe, not explosives. The New York City Police Department said they do have video of a suspect. Watch this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEPUTY COMISSIONER JOHN MILLER, NYPD INTELLIGENCE AND COUNTERTERRORISM: So we reviewed the video at the scene. We do see a male white between 20s and 30s with dark hair and a shopping cart. He places the pressure cooker on the upper level and then on the lower level.

So there's a person of interest. Obviously, we would like to speak to this person. I would stop very short of calling him a suspect, because, right now, we just -- because of the time, rush hour, the place, a subway station, the items, rice cookers that could be mistaken for pressure cookers, it certainly is the kind of thing that we would want to know why is he placing them there and what is the purpose of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Okay. A source also tells us that a third rice cooker similar to what was discovered at Fulton Street, that was found near a garbage can just about two miles north near another subway station there. We'll continue to monitor the situation this morning, update you as soon as we learn more.

Still to come, President Trump says voters who like their 401(k)s have no choice but to vote for him. How does he explain that? Plus, new polling shows voters don't necessarily feel the same way.

And the U.K. defies the U.S. and releases an Iranian oil tanker. We'll take you live inside of Iran. We'll take you Tehran with the latest.

And a man who lost his wife in the El Paso massacre has invited everyone to her funeral. The response has been overwhelming.

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HARLOW: All right. Welcome back. Today marks the end of -- well, at 4:00, the end of a wild week on Wall Street amid worries over the trade war, possible recession. Now, the president claims the economy leaves voters no choice but to support him. Listen to what the president said last night in New Hampshire at his rally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: You have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401(k)s down the tubes, everything is going to be down the tubes. So whether you love me or hate me, you've got to vote for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Is that really how voters feel? New Fox News polling shows the president is actually trailing right now the top four Democrats who are polling highest if you put them at head-to-head matchups. That's Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Joe Biden is leading the president in the head-to-head matchup, this is a national poll, by 12 points.

Trump also trails, as I said, those other three frontrunners in the Democratic Party.

Joining me now is Ayesha Rascoe, White House Reporter for NPR, and Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today. Good morning, ladies, thanks for joining me.

[10:20:00]

AYESHA RASCOE, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, NPR: Good morning.

HARLOW: Ayesha, let me begin with you. You heard something last night that you read as an admission from the president on this front.

RASCOE: Yes, when he said, you know, you can hate me, but you still have to vote for me, that's kind of rare for President Trump to acknowledge that he's not necessarily super popular with a lot of voters and that his approval ratings aren't that high. But he's saying regardless of how you feel about me personally, you may not like me but you need to vote for me.

And that's some of what his campaign will say when you speak to them or speak to supporters of his campaign privately. They'll say that, look, even in the last election, among those who hated Hillary Clinton and hated Trump, Trump was able to win those voters. And so they're hoping that even in this election that among those that really dislike Trump, that they'll make them dislike the Democrat more so Trump can still win those voters.

HARLOW: So, Susan, let's talk about this Fox polling a little bit more because it's not great for the president in those head-to-head matchups, but it's really early, okay? But let's look inside the numbers at the Democratic Party, okay?

Let's pull it up, guys. Bernie Sanders has lost 13 points in terms of his work (ph). Look at March 2019, 23 percent for Sanders. Right now in the same polling, he is at 10 percent. Elizabeth Warren has picked up significantly in this polling.

What's your reporting? What do you attribute that to?

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, USA TODAY: Well, Elizabeth Warren had two good debates that's helped her and she's also had a very effective and disciplined campaign message. She is the woman with a plan whatever the problem is you're concerned about in the country. She has a pretty specific plan that she is very comfortable talking about the details of and that has served her well. She has a potentially very good position too when you look at the early contest.

She could do well in Iowa. There's a sense that she's doing better in Iowa. She's got a very strong operation there. And she is a natural New Hampshire candidate. And so that sets her up in a way that could give her some momentum going into South Carolina where she's got such a natural candidate.

And her strength against Bernie Sanders in this Fox News national poll is interesting because our assumption is that these two candidates are appealing to the same sorts of very progressive voters and that only one of them is going to be a finalist at the end.

HARLOW: Right. And so what's interesting, Ayesha, is that they have been reticent is an understatement to criticize one other, right, or distinctly differentiate from one another policy-wise on the debate stage. Does that change come the September debate?

RASCOE: That's a big question. Because so far, they have not gone after each other and what it was in these last debates was kind of the moderates going after them and then both defending their plans for healthcare and their plans to change the way the economy in the U.S. works. And so there is a question of whether they will start to attack one another and to try to carve out their own space.

There is a long way to go and they may decide that they don't want to kind of get down and dirty and maybe that they won't benefit from that. But there is going to be one nominee. So at some point it's going to kind of have to happen.

HARLOW: Susan, talking about the president and gun policy, I don't want to take the light too far off of what a lot of Americans are holding their breath for, and that is a serious debate and action on gun legislation when the Congress returns from recess in September. Listen to what the president said about that at his rally last night in New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I do want people to remember the words mental illness. These people are mentally ill. And nobody talks about that. But these are mentally ill people and people have to start thinking about it. I think we have to start building institutions again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Okay. So he is pushing for more mental institutions again, but he's also talked about background checks and red flag laws. We didn't hear as much about that from him last night. What do you think people should expect in a few weeks when the Congress comes back?

PAGE: Well, the president's comments last night were disappointing to those who hope there is some prospect of passing the background checks bill that the House has passed and has not been taken up in the Senate. Because Republicans who oppose tougher gun laws tend to revert to talking about mental illness. It's not that mental illness is not an important part of the whole issue of gun violence in the country.

But Democrats and some other independents also see -- and, in fact, on a bipartisan basis, Americans on a bipartisan basis see a need also for tougher gun laws. So the fact that the president was talking about the need to build more mental institutions, which is a separate issue rather than trying to talk about trying to reach some kind of consensus on background checks, I think, could signal a rougher road ahead. You're going to really need presidential leadership if this is going to get done any time in the next year.

[10:25:03]

HARLOW: Okay. Ladies, thank you both very much. People are holding their breath, so let's see what Congress does when it actually does return. Have a nice weekend.

RASCOE: You too.

HARLOW: New this morning, Senator Elizabeth Warren talking about those plans, two more plans coming from her aimed at helping Native American communities across the country. Will it also help her fight the critics, including the president who have attacked her about her claims about her family's lineage? We'll discuss that next.

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