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Peter Navarro on Economic Downturn; Pressure Cookers in New York Subway; Joe Lieberman on Israeli Ban; Suspicious Packages at Two Locations in New York City. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired August 16, 2019 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY: It's a good thing. So we're talking, we're having negotiations, we're moving along. These are significant structural issues that have to be addressed.

But in the meantime, we have a very strong economy, we have a bullish stock market and let me give you the scenario to get to 30,000 on the Dow.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, quickly. Very quickly.

NAVARRO: Federal Reserve cuts rates by 50 basis points in September and another 25 by the end of the year. We pass the USMCA, which means that Nancy Pelosi needs to put it on the House floor.


NAVARRO: The European Central Bank is going to stimulate Europe, so they'll buy more of our exports. And we move forward, as we've been doing on the Trump economic plan, which is tax cuts, deregulation, unleashing our energy sector --


NAVARRO: And, most importantly, fair, reliable -- and balanced trade.


I just -- I mean I don't know that the Fed is onboard with the 50 basis cuts or that China is onboard with your vision --

NAVARRO: Well --

CAMEROTA: But, nevertheless -- but, Mr. Navarro --

NAVARRO: James Bullard (ph) was on TV yesterday --

CAMEROTA: I heard him.

NAVARRO: And he was just before I was on that network and he --

CAMEROTA: I heard him, but it doesn't mean that China -- NAVARRO: He signaled very clearly -- he signaled very clearly that

they are going to raise rates and be very aggressive about having the backs of the American economy.


NAVARRO: Mr. Navarro --

CAMEROTA: So let's not do the gloom and doom. It's all good.

CAMEROTA: Got it. You have -- thank -- it's all good. I appreciate you coming on and sharing with us your rosy perspective on all of this. We really appreciate having you on NEW DAY.

NAVARRO: Clear-eyed. Clear-eyed.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Mr. Navarro.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we do have breaking news we're watching very closely here in New York. A major subway station was evacuated after pressure cookers were found. We have a very important update for you, next.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: All right, the breaking news just getting in now. A first look at pressure cookers that prompted the evacuation of one of the most important transit stations in New York City this morning. The NYPD bomb squad has determined that the packages -- those pressure cookers you just saw that were found at the Fulton Street Subway Station are not rigged to be explosive. Just a few blocks, by the way, from the World Trade Center and Ground Zero there.

[08:35:07] You're looking at live pictures now of law enforcement dealing with the aftermath there. There's the bomb squad unit. You can see I think someone getting undressed from the gear.

CAMEROTA: I think they're getting dressed.

BERMAN: You think they're getting dressed into the bomb squad gear right now. Well, that tells you they're not fully done yet.

We're trying to figure out what's going on down there, if they're still putting on the equipment.

Let's go to CNN's Brynn Gingras, who joins us with the breaking details.

Brynn, tell us what you know.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they are, John. They are putting on their equipment because typically when the bomb squad goes to a scene like this, what they initially will do is send in a unit to x-ray the devices, and that's how we know now that from that initial response with the x-ray that these devices don't look like to be -- these pressure cookers rather don't look like to be devices. Typically in an x-ray they would see wires, they would see some sort of alteration to the pressure cooker to make it some sort of bomb, right? So that's why you're seeing the bomb squad now getting dressed because now they can actually go in and get their own eyes on it. So that's where we are right now in the investigation.

But you've seen those pictures, right? And I want to give some context to the viewers here.

This is a scene, first of all, that's been happening for about an hour and 15 minutes or so in lower Manhattan at the Fulton Street Subway Station. Those two pressure cookers you can see placed by stairwells. Well, that Fulton Street station is important because, here's the thing, that is a block away from the World Trade Center.

That is also a very busy subway station that has multiple subway lines going through it. It has, not far, just a short walk away underground, is the pass station which brings trains in from New Jersey. So there is a reason those pressure cookers were likely placed in those two positions. And that's what investigators are needing to look into now. So that's the next step.

And what they will likely do here is start pulling video, trying to see who, multiple people, one person, might have left those pressure cookers purposefully in those positions.

A second reason, of course, this is rush hour. So that's another reason why it speaks to, you know, some ill intent by someone or maybe possibly several people.

So that's part of the investigation right now. That's what the bomb squad is doing. But there are also investigators there on the scene trying to get more answers as to who might be behind this.

And then separate from that, guys, it's important to remember who knows if there are others, right? We have two in a very busy section of New York City, during rush hour. So now they need to start keeping their eyes open trying to listen to any calls that might come in if there are others in the city. So this certainly is something that's alarming to the NYPD. And while the response is massive down there, it's -- the investigation is far from over guys.

CAMEROTA: That's such a great point, Brynn, because sometimes they think it might be a dry run.


CAMEROTA: You know, they plant a dummy -- a dummy pressure cooker that doesn't have any wires or way to explode to see what -- how the police respond. I mean I know the police think about these things for the future, but I'm so glad you brought up the cameras. I mean we always hear about how New York is sort of lined with cameras. They should be able to, God willing, crack this code pretty quickly. In that area there should be a lot of cameras.

GINGRAS: I mean I wouldn't be surprised if they already have a good idea. I mean that's how fast this operation usually happens with the NYPD.

But, listen, we're just speculating at this point. But like you said, Alisyn, that could be a dry run or it could be, hey, these are dummy, bring all your resources to this area. Oh, here's a live one in a different part of the city. These are all questions that investigators are asking themselves right now and looking into. So that's why this scene is massive with the bomb squad, with the emergency services unit. There are probably likely federal agents there on the ground as well just helping out. But you -- right now good news is that this device -- these pressure cookers don't look to be devices but this investigation not over, guys.

BERMAN: We are keeping our eye on this throughout the morning. As you can see, while those pressure cookers don't appear to be explosive, they're taking it very seriously.


BERMAN: The bomb squad getting into the gear to go check them out more closely.

CAMEROTA: Brynn, thank you.

BERMAN: Brynn Gingras, thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, Israel has reversed course this morning after blocking two congresswomen from traveling to Israel. So we will talk with former Democratic VP nominee, Joe Lieberman, about all of that that, next.


[08:43:11] BERMAN: New this morning, Israel has announced that it will now allow Democratic Congressman Rashida Tlaib to visit her family in the West Bank on humanitarian grounds. Now, this is a partial reversal. It comes after Israel blocked Tlaib and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from entering after intense pressure from President Trump.

Joining us now is former Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman.

Senator, thank you very much for being with us.

JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Good to be with you, John. Thank you.

BERMAN: So, Congresswoman Tlaib will be allowed to go on humanitarian grounds. But Israel barred her and Congresswoman Omar initially. You think that was a mistake, why?

LIEBERMAN: Yes, I think it was a serious mistake because it's contrary to the -- to the values of the state of Israel, the values to the United States of America, which have been the underlying foundation of our relationship.

We believe in free speech. If I disagree with you, as I disagree with a lot that these two congresswomen have said, I'm not going to put you out of the country, I'm not going to allow -- to urge a foreign country not to accept you. I'm going to -- I'm going to have a good argument with you. I'm going to have a debate with you.

Incidentally, anybody who's been to Israel, particularly to their parliament and Knesset, knows there's intense debate there, constant insults back and forth. So this gives exactly the wrong impression of Israel for the wrong reason. And it shows that sometimes not only your allies and friends could ask you to do things that you just should say no to.

BERMAN: I think there are two issues here. This -- the decision that Israel made --


BERMAN: Which I think you just addressed right there, and then the decision for President Trump himself to pressure an ally to do this.

And I want to read you the way "The New York Times" wrote this this morning. "The Times" writes, by enlisting a foreign power to take action against two American citizens, let alone elected members of Congress, Mr. Trump crossed a line that other presidents have not, in effect exporting his partisan battles beyond the country's borders.

[08:45:08] Why is this a line that other president haven't crossed?

LIEBERMAN: Well, because it's not right for us to do. We stand for human rights. So at the best of our time in our foreign policy, we have supported freedom fighters and dissidents in foreign countries that are totalitarian.

Israel is a great democracy. It's the most free country in the Middle East. And we're a great democracy. So the president of the United States, we know how he feels about these two congresswomen, but that's a fight that should happen here in the United States, not by pressuring our ally, Israel, to keep these two congresswomen out.

Incidentally, they're duly elected members of Congress. I can disagree --


LIEBERMAN: With them, as I do, but really it's disrespect for the Congress and the American political system for our ally to keep two members of Congress out of Israel. And then, if we had any doubt about this, unfortunately, when Israel did change its position and keep the two congresswomen out, President Trump tweeted that -- congratulations. And then he said the congresswomen, Omar and Tlaib, are becoming the face of the Democratic Party. So that broke another taboo, particularly in U.S.-Israel relations.

This is a bipartisan issue and the fact is that the majority of the American people of every political persuasion support a strong U.S.- Israel relationship. But this kind of behavior by both leaders, I would with respect, jeopardizes that tradition of non-partisanship in American support of Israel.

And, honestly, I hope that Israel will reverse the whole decision and let Congresswomen Omar in as well. That's -- that's a sign of strength, confidence and democracy.

BERMAN: It's interesting to me because you don't agree with the members. You don't agree with Tlaib and Omar, but you don't have to agree with them --


BERMAN: In order to say they should be able to go. And you don't have to agree with them to be able to say the president of the United States shouldn't necessarily be getting involved here.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, that's absolutely right. I don't agree. I guess it was Voltar (ph) who once said classically to someone, I totally disagree with your policies, but I would defend to the death your right to say what you've said. And that's been the American way unless for some reason somebody's compromising the security of our country. But speech almost always does not do that.

So this -- this is a loss all around. I'm afraid it's really most threatening to Israel's standing in the United States. This decision probably helps the boycott of Israel movement more than the two congresswomen ever could themselves.

BERMAN: It's also interesting given that Netanyahu has an election -- a re-election bid coming up again in September. I wonder, do you think this makes him look stronger or weaker that he's buckling to pressure from the president of the United States?

LIEBERMAN: You know, as I said earlier, there's a tremendous range of opinions in Israeli politics. So it's hard to say how -- what effect this will have. But the voters will determine soon.

Incidentally, the other thing to say is that the Israeli Knesset, the parliament, has 120 members. The last time I looked, about 20 of them were Israeli Arabs, most of whom are Muslims. And they don't agree with most of Netanyahu's policies, but they were duly elected members of the Knesset, so they're treated with respect. Every Israeli Arab citizen has the right to vote in Israel, as every, obviously, Israeli Jewish citizen does. And this policy of keeping these two elected members of the U.S. Congress out because of their point of view undercuts all that strength that has made Israel different.

BERMAN: Senator Joseph Lieberman, thank you for being with us this morning. I do appreciate it.

LIEBERMAN: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: Again, interesting view because you are sometimes a fan, not so much a critic of some of the president's foreign policy here. LIEBERMAN: Correct.

BERMAN: This time, a fierce critic I would say.

LIEBERMAN: I'm not -- I'm not a fan of this one.

BERMAN: All right.

We do have breaking news. The senator and I were just talking about this. I want you all to know more packages, suspicious packages, have been found around New York City. There were two pressure cookers found in a subway station. We're going to get to the bottom of this. We will bring you all the developments right after this.


[08:53:33] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: We do have breaking news just into CNN.

Another suspicious package has been found on the street in New York City. You can see it right there next to the trash can. That is a rice cooker. An unattended rice cooker. It's found in Chelsea, the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Why is that important? Well, two other rice cookers were found in a subway station, the Fulton Street Subway Station. That prompted an evacuation earlier this morning. You can see pictures of those right there.

The NYPD bomb squad has determined that those packages were not explosive. Still, to see two unattended rice cooks in a crowded subway station then another in a very busy, crowded neighborhood in New York makes you think something is up, someone may be leaving them there intentionally. The question is why.

CNN's Brynn Gingras joins us now live with the breaking details.

This new rice cooker found after the two others, Brynn. What do you know?

GINGRAS: Yes, this is certainly alarming, John.

And now resources -- some resources at least are going to have to relocate to this area in Chelsea, 16th Street and 7th Avenue in New York City, to do what they just did at Fulton Street, which is first x-ray that particular rice cooker and see if it has any sort of, you know, altering to make it into some sort of explosive device.

But, yes, it's important to point out, the Fulton Street rice cookers were deemed safe. However, there are still units there who are getting their hands on them to get more information as to why they were left there and what they are do -- what's inside, what does it look like.

[08:55:15] This is super alarming, especially the one in Chelsea. Let's remember, just four years ago, almost four years ago, in September 2016, when we actually did have a bombing in that Chelsea area, really only blocks away from someone who did leave a pressure cooker and then was -- later a manhunt and then later arrested.

But, yes, this is at the height of rush hour, right? We have people coming into New York City for Friday. And in two very alarming areas. The Fulton Street one is a very busy subway station here in New York with several subway lines going into it. We have pass trains from New Jersey going into that subway station. It's just a block away from the World Trade Center. And then this one here in Chelsea.

So now investigators quickly, quickly, I imagine, are looking into video at this point to try to see who is doing this --

BERMAN: Well --

GINGRAS: And trying to determine why, what's the intent here.

BERMAN: And I have to believe, Brynn, since they have now found three --


BERMAN: They also have to be scouring the city for the possibility of more.

GINGRAS: Absolutely. That is a big question. That was a question when they were at Fulton Street because of the positioning they were they were left in the subway station, again, at that time and at that location, made it seem, you know, with ill intent that someone did this. So that was the initial thing was to just figure out, are there more, and then immediately this is what we see now here in Chelsea.

BERMAN: All right, again, the breaking news, two rice cookers on the right found in the Fulton Street Subway Station, one more, you could see it right there on the left, found in the Chelsea neighborhood. Looking around New York City for more.

The ones in the subway station at least do not look like they've been modified to be explosives --

GINGRAS: OK. Thanks.

BERMAN: But there is serious concern this morning. We're going to dig some more. Take a quick break. We'll be right back with much more of the breaking news on this. Stay with CNN's special live coverage.