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Trump Says China is Ready to Resume Trade Talks; Trump Wants to Host G-7 at His Property In Miami. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired August 26, 2019 - 06:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[05:59:23] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, August 26, 6 a.m. here in New York. We have a lot going on this morning.

Breaking just moments ago, President Trump staked out a new position on the trade war with China. It's either his fourth or fifth in the last 72 hours, depending on how you count. And we're watching very closely to see if any White House staff walks it back. Because that happened just yesterday.

But for now, the president claims that China called overnight and wants to return to the negotiating table, and he sounded an optimistic tone about these talks. Now, this comes after huge upheavals in the world markets overnight. Responding to the president accelerating, then decelerating, then accelerating the trade war over the weekend.

As of now, U.S. markets are up after dropping more than 600 points on Friday, but that could change as we expect to see the president again very shortly as he meets with world leaders in France.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So as John said on Sunday, President Trump conceded that he's having second thoughts about imposing a new round of tariffs on China. Then hours later, White House aides had to try to explain that and walk back then message.

The Trump administration is also trying to deny that some G-7 allies are pushing back on the president's trade strategy.

This all comes as we are just learning that President Trump was a no show to the summit's session on the climate crisis. You can see his empty chair there. Meanwhile, President Trump just announced that he will possibly host next year's G-7 at his golf club in Miami.

BERMAN: Let that sink in for a moment. This is the Doral Golf Club, which the president owns there. And he's trying to justify it by saying it's close to the airport. That's why it needs to be at his own golf club in Miami.

CAMEROTA: I'm sure there's no other benefits.

BERMAN: There can't be any other place in all of America. CAMEROTA: No.

BERMAN: It's a small country. And not many airports.

CAMEROTA: CNN's Pamela Brown is live in France with all of the breaking news. Pamela, what have you learned?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, good morning to you.

An administration official telling me that other world leaders have been raising concern with President Trump about the China trade war behind closed doors amid these mixed signals coming from the White House after reversing course and saying the president only regretted not raising the tariffs even more on China.

President Trump says that now he believes a deal will be struck.


BROWN (voice-over): China wants to renew trade negotiations.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've gotten two calls, very, very good calls. Very productive calls. They mean business. They want to be able to make a deal.

BROWN: Trump initially appearing to soften his stance on trade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with China?

TRUMP: Sure, why not?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Second thoughts, yes?

TRUMP: Might as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have second thoughts about escalating the war with China?

TRUMP: I have second thoughts about everything.

BROWN: White House officials quickly swooping in to try to clean up the comments.

LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISOR: He didn't exactly hear the question. Actually, what he was intending to say is he always has second thoughts, and he actually had second thoughts about, possibly, a higher tariff response to China.

BROWN: Behind the scenes, American officials complaining the summit was orchestrated to isolate the United States. But aides to other leaders shrugging off the accusation claiming President Trump's go it alone views were of his own doing.

TRUMP: From the moment we got here, we've been treated beautifully. BROWN: The president downplaying criticism by his allies, even

announcing a new trade deal in principle with Japan. But his trade war with China is looming large over the summit. Newly-elected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushing back on Mr. Trump's trade strategy.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: On the trade war, what do you favor trade peace (ph), on the whole.

BROWN: But it was the French president's surprise invitation of Iran's foreign minister that sparked confusion. Macron initially broached the issue of Iran at a dinner with world leaders Saturday night and claims Sunday the nations had reached a joint communication and a course of action on Iran.

President Trump says he was not surprised by Tehran's top diplomat meeting with Macron.

TRUMP: I think it's too soon to meet. I didn't want to meet. We're not looking for regime change. You've seen how that works over the last 20 years. That hasn't been too good. And we're looking to make -- make Iran rich again.

BROWN: One administration official called Zarif's presence a, quote, "curve ball." And the president denied he had made any agreement regarding Iran.

Despite Trump's insistence the weekend was going smoothly, Johnson praising Macron's skilled diplomacy.

JOHNSON: He did very well last night. That was a difficult one. You did really well.


BROWN: You know, any moment now, we are expecting to see President Trump meeting with the Indian prime minister, and then there's going to be a lunch with G-7 leaders before President Trump heads back to Washington.

And it's worth underscoring, John, as I toss back to you that the president said next year the G-7 could be at his golf resort in Miami -- John.

BERMAN: Let me just put a button on that one more time, Pamela. The president just suggested that the G-7, all the world leaders with all the money it takes to put on one of these conferences, could be at one of his golf courses outside Miami. I'm hearing that right?

BROWN: You are hearing that correctly. He said it could be. We'll see if it happens.

BERMAN: All right. Pamela Brown in France for us. Pamela, thanks so much.

Joining me now, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Anthony joins us this morning from Switzerland.

First, Anthony, I want your take on that breaking news we heard just moments ago. The president musing that next year's G-7 will be at Doral, his golf course outside Miami. Does that surprise you?

[06:05:14] ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, I mean, it doesn't necessarily surprise me, but I think what -- and also what's gone on this past weekend doesn't really surprise me.

But, you know, listen. He's trying to bring that up. Again, that's the president's move, is to try to create hyper-normalization. So if he says it now and people get anesthetized to it, maybe it could happen a year from now. So -- so I understand that move.

But I mean, listen, the last three days have been an unmitigated disaster for the president. He -- he's more or less been isolated by the other leaders.

The French government brought in the Iranian foreign and finance ministers to discuss things out -- without even letting the president of the United States know.

And so again, his America first strategy is becoming America alone. There's speculation here on Wall Street that no calls took place with China last night.

BERMAN: Right.

SCARAMUCCI: Nobody can verify that. The Chinese government is not verifying it.

BERMAN: Let me take this into parts, if we can.

SCARAMUCCI: You tell me, John. You tell me what's going on.

BERMAN: Let's take this into parts, if we can, and we'll come back to Doral at the end.

First of all, how do you assess, Anthony -- I'm asking you as an investor who's in Zurich, one of the business centers on all of earth right now. How do you assess what has been going on the last three days?

The president went to the G-7 talking about accelerating the trade war. Then he stepped back and said he was having second thoughts. Then the White House said, no, he's not having second thoughts. And today, he backs off once again. So what's your assessment of that?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I mean, just the lack of predictability is due to the president's irrational emotional state right now. I've been saying for the last two weeks that he's -- he's melting down at the core. A couple of more weeks like this, I think it's an unmitigated situation. You've got to get Republican leaders to come in and say the truth now at some point. Just remember on Friday, he called President Xi the enemy of the

United States. And he also said that Jerome Powell was an enemy of the United States, and he was trying to determine on his Twitter feed which one was more of an enemy. Then he's saying something about President Xi being a wonderful leader today. We're talking you know, 70, 60 hours later, John.

So -- so it's complete irrationality. And the markets know this. And so the markets have lost patience. The overnight markets were terrible, down 500, 600 points in the futures. The president is interrupting the Egyptian bilateral to say that he had a call from the Chinese to restart the talks. That caused some short covering. And so the markets are up slightly right now. But then again, no market participant that I'm aware of can -- can confirm that that actually happened.

BERMAN: And just to be clear -- just to be clear, Anthony --

SCARAMUCCI: So the Chinese have not confirmed that.

BERMAN: Our people in China are trying to get comment from the Chinese themselves to verify whether or not that call happened. We haven't yet been able to verify it.

What do business leaders say, Anthony? You've been talking to them. You talk to them regularly. What did they say about the back and forth?

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, so --

BERMAN: It seems to be going in the president's own head here.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen. I've had a lot of conversations over the last three days, and I think, if Republican politicians are not ready to call this for what it is, I think Republican business leaders are. And I think there'll be a process after Labor Day where a very large group of Republican business leaders will come together and say, "Hey, listen, we don't stand for nativism. We don't stand for racism. We don't stand for splitting the United States away from the global community."

And obviously, business leaders around the world have issues with the tactics and strategy of the trade war.

All of us understand that there's been asymmetrical relationship with China. And all of us understand that there have been some grievances that are real. The Europeans have them. So do the United States business leaders.

Having said that, the way we're going about this in this sort of haphazard way is slowing down investment capital, John. And it's causing great consternation in the markets. And we both know that markets like a lot of certainty, and all the president is giving us lately is irrational unpredictability.

But it seems like, in addition to saying things like Doral, it seems like he feels more at home or more at ease acting full-blown crazy on the world stage. You know? I mean, some of this stuff used to be closeted. Now it's just, like, in full exposition.

So we're going to have to see what happens here. But I think business leaders will likely act first and make some declarative statements. Because they're going to want to move away from this sort of nonsense inside the administration and let people know that there is a Republican Party that is very different than the party that the president is suggesting.

BERMAN: Joe Walsh, former congressman, former Tea Party congressman, entered the presidential race this weekend. Joe Walsh has also said a lot of very controversial things. A lot of things that aren't true. He said President Obama was a Muslim. He has talked about race in ways that are inflammatory and people look at and say flat-out racist. He has apologized for a lot of that.

[06:10:18[ Do you support his candidacy this morning?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I don't support Joe's candidacy specifically, but I support it in general. I think we've got to get three or four, possibly five different candidates in there.

I think this is very similar to 1968, where Lyndon Johnson was breaking apart the fabric of the country. And so we have a president now that literally wants to rip up the social unity inside the United States. And so Joe's the first. We need a Eugene McCarthy figure in there, one that has great moral conscience. And we need a few other players. Obviously, Governor Weld is in there, as well.

And I predict three or four other people will come in. And once they contrast themselves to the president, you'll watch the president's poll numbers go down. And then it will be put -- he'll be put in an impossible situation, where he's at 36 percent now, according to the AP. If we can get him into the low 30s, high 20s, I think given his personality, he'll drop out.

BERMAN: Just very quickly --

SCARAMUCCI: And so that's -- that's the goal here.

BERMAN: I've got two more questions quickly I want to get to, Anthony.

No. 1, Mark Sanford, who may be running for president, says that if he doesn't get the nomination, if President Trump still is the nominee, he would vote for President Trump over a Democrat. Will you still vote for President Trump over a Democrat?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, you know, I said to you a couple weeks ago, I'm neutral, but I think it's very hard for people to look at what's going on right now two and a half weeks into a nuclear meltdown, a full- blown Trump-nobyl situation, to say that we could have him as the leader of the free world.

So you have to tell me who the choices are, but if I was a chairman of the board of a publicly-traded company and looked at this ridiculous behavior --

BERMAN: Right.

SCARAMUCCI: -- we would be moving very, very quickly for removal. And so to me, I don't see how you could vote for President Trump. But then again, you have to tell me what the choices are, John.

And so, you know, I don't know if Mark is going to be in the race or not. But he would be another person that would help round out this story.

BERMAN: So Anthony, my last question --

SCARAMUCCI: -- and make it a fait accompli that President Trump should no longer be president.

BERMAN: And I'm sorry for the delay here. I want to go back to Doral for one second here.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, there's a satellite feed starting.

BERMAN: It's not your fault. If this happens, if the G-7 is at Doral, this would be a huge advertising boon, not to mention revenue boon for the president's own golf course, his own company.

You've worked for him very briefly in the White House and with him very briefly. Is this how he operates? I mean, is he doing business to pad his own pocket here? Is he doing the government's own business to pad his own pocket. Do you look at it like that?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, first of all, remember I worked briefly in the White House, but I was on the campaign from April 2016. And I was on the executive transition committee.

The good news is on the president's Twitter account, I had nothing to do with his election. So at least I'll be absolved from historical purposes on that.

But yes. No, that's how he operates. I get all that. But I think, again, this blatancy in dropping it right now and hoping he can get it solidified over the coming year is a sign of the reality of the distortion field that he's living in.

So listen, this has been a very, very bad three weeks. Republican politicians are paralyzed right now, because they don't know directionally which way to go. And so all I'm suggesting to them as a fellow Republican, do the right thing. You realize the guy is emotionally unstable, completely irrational. And you now realize after the G-7 meetings that he's being occluded from his allies.

And so -- so this is going to be very, very dangerous for the United States, for the capital markets, and for everything that's going on right now in the global community. So I'm really calling on these elected leaders now to act the way we would in the private sector --

BERMAN: OK. SCARAMUCCI: -- and seek his removal.

BERMAN: Anthony Scaramucci joining us live from Zurich this morning. Anthony, thank you very much.

SCARAMUCCI: Good to be here, thanks.

BERMAN: And I will note that, in our next hour, Alisyn, you're going to be speaking with congressman -- former congressman Joe Walsh, who is now the newest presidential candidate.

CAMEROTA: He told us on Friday that he was strongly considering it. And now he has done it.

All right. Also coming up, our all-star panel is back to break down everything we heard over the weekend with the president and what Scaramucci just said. And the president is still at the G-7 and making news. We'll deal with all that.


CAMEROTA: OK. We do have some breaking news. President Trump says that China called U.S. trade officials overnight to say that they want to come back to the negotiating table. It's hard for us to confirm whether that is true or not. There's been a lot of differing accounts coming out of the G-7. But this comes as the president is increasingly isolated on the stage at the G-7 summit.

So joining us now to talk about all of this, we have April Ryan, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks; Angela Rye, CNN political commentator, the CEO of Impact Strategies and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus -- wowza; Andrew --

[06:20:03] ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm like, how long is this?

CAMEROTA: -- Gillum, CNN political commentator and the 2018 Democratic candidate for governor of Florida; and Bakari Sellers, CNN commentator, attorney and a former Democratic member of the South Carolina House. And we're out of time.

RYE: -- Kamala Harris.


CAMEROTA: We're out of time, guys.

BERMAN: He's endorsed Kamala Harris.

CAMEROTA: Thanks for being here.

SELLERS: You all got a new intern?

CAMEROTA: All right. I mean, I barely know -- I barely know where to begin. APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a lot this morning.


CAMEROTA: OK. So let me just get your -- your thoughts on what's been happening at the G-7 and all of the news that's coming out of there.

ANDREW GILLUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Just to start, I mean, the fact that you all here at CNN have to begin this conversation about the president and the supposed call from China, which we have yet to confirm with the Chinese, whether or not that took place, is in and of itself, a pretty miraculous thing.

Used -- it used to be the case that you could actually take the word of a president of the United States that if they heard from a foreign government, that a conversation took place, that there be some similarity about the readout from that.

But this president has taken private meetings with Russians. He's gone abroad and met privately with world leaders without other ears in the room. He comes out and says one thing. They come out and say another. And we don't know where it is. This is sheer confusion.

And mostly, I honestly feel that this is a sad moment in American history that the president of the United States can go abroad and still not have the confidence of the people of the country that he represents that he's actually going to tell the truth, that he will have credibility. And what is the outcome of all of that? This kind of confusion. This has been three days of God knows what.

BERMAN: And it's causing anxiety in the world markets.

GILLUM: Of course it is.

BERMAN: You heard Anthony Scaramucci, and say what you want about his politics, but he knows the investing community. And he's saying that business leaders around the world are looking at this, saying, "We don't know what's going on."

And even if the president is telling the truth about China calling and saying they want to get back to the table this morning, it still represents massive whiplash.

GILLUM: Of course it does.

RYE: You know, John, I don't know if you should have the IMDB page or Anthony Scaramucci, because you kept a straight face throughout that entire interview, did very well. We commended you on the break.

And yes, that is a ton of shade for Anthony Scaramucci. Because in this day and age, Donald Trump puts people on his transition team, in his administration. They become political experts, and they don't have a political resume to stand on.

The fact that we are talking about breaking news this morning that may or may not be breaking news, I'd like to figure out what the definition of breaking news is. Because is it breaking news if someone is lying? Like, I just have a ton of questions.

And mostly for Anthony Scaramucci, like, he stands to benefit a whole lot from saying now, after putting America through this tragic presidency, that, "Oh, this isn't the right thing to do. But also I can't tell you if or I'm not going to vote for Donald Trump." Like, I'm over the whole thing. We've -- I've been over Anthony Scaramucci since we talked about this last time.

RYAN: I know. But let me say this, to answer your question here. He has a lot to gain, but he says, you know -- I've been emailing with him since 3 a.m. this morning. And -- I know.

CAMEROTA: That's early.

RYAN: I know. I don't sleep. But anyway.

SELLERS: What you all emailing about?

RYAN: We were emailing about this. He actually said that, you know, he's basically about a pro-America campaign, but he does stand to gain something. He is trying -- is is trying to create a PAC against Donald Trump.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I suppose that --

RYAN: That's the bottom line.

CAMEROTA: This is the same -- but the same is true --

RYAN: No, but wait a minute --

CAMEROTA: -- of Joe Walsh. Hold on one second. Joe Walsh has come forward. You know, these guys are sort of marginalized, to tell you the truth. There's an 88 percent approval rate from Republicans. So if you look at their Twitter feeds, they get tons of hate.

RYE: Welcome to the club.

RYAN: Joe Walsh is Donald Trump. Joe Walsh is -- if you look at his Twitter feed.

CAMEROTA: Hold on a second. Coming out against him now, it's like it's a total win.

RYAN: But let me say --

GILLUM: But listen, in many ways it is. What some of these guys are trying to recover is their dignity. They're not acting just for this moment. They're also acting for the history. This presidency is wrong. They have enabled this presidency. Walsh, God knows. If you all just briefly scoured his Twitter feed.

RYE: Look at my clip with him on air.

CAMEROTA: We will.

GILLUM: You'd see what would happen.

SELLERS: But let me also -- we -- Andrew brought up a good point. Because as these individuals are trying to recover their, quote unquote, dignity, the United States of America has to go through a phase, whoever the next president of the United States is, to recover its global standing.

So what you've seen at the G-7 is devastating to our global standing. You have two G-7s going on right now. You have the one going on in the president's head, and you have the actual G-7 that's going on.

GILLUM: He's more like a G-1. I mean, he's pretty --

RYE: He's more like not a G. He's not a G.

RYAN: That was a good one. That was a good one, G-1.

RYE: Not a G.

GILLUM: That actually -- that actually is true, but when you look at -- when you look at the machinations of Macron behind his back, in bringing in the Iranian top diplomat to come in and negotiate and try to bring these countries together. And he -- you know, Donald Trump is completely surprised. He's running circles around the president of the United States diplomatically.

And even more telling for those of us -- And this, ironically, is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a -- this is a science and nonscience issue. This is a -- this is almost a generational issue, because there are a lot of young Republicans who also believe that climate change is an existential threat.

[06:25:07] BERMAN: Can we just have the picture right now? Let's just show the picture right now of this meeting.

GILLUM: I was teeing it -- I was teeing it up.

CAMEROTA: Well played. Well done. Sorry.

BERMAN: I think we have the empty chair right now. This was a meeting of the G-7 to talk about climate, and there is an empty chair there. President Trump is the one leader. I didn't mean to interrupt but --

GILLUM: No, no, no. But I mean, the Amazon is burning. It's literally burning right now. Climate change is an existential threat. And while we are talking about how wind turbines cause cancer. When we're talking about things that are science fiction, the president of the United States is not only destroying us on the global stage; but also you have to think about your children and what he is putting our children through by not taking this climate -- climate change seriously.

RYE: And also, yes, those because this fool is talking about nuking hurricanes.

GILLUM: Oh, yes.

CAMEROTA: That is another tidbit of news that we haven't gotten to.

RYE: No, but I'm saying, like --

CAMEROTA: His suggestion that --

SELLERS: He's joking, right? Like this is a joke?

CAMEROTA: Who knows?

RYE: No.

RYAN: Here are two things. I want to get back to China and Iran.

As soon as this president leaves G-7 and he gets on the plane, on Air Force One, he is going to have a Twitter storm against Macron with the issue of Iran. He is livid, they say. And then on China with this call.

This president has pretty much been backed into a corner. People at the White House are saying -- I'm getting text messages that they don't know. They didn't know anything about this call. They knew nothing about it. So they're trying to find out and vet all the information.

RYE: He didn't know about it either.

RYAN: But here's the thing with China. We have to be very careful. They're very strategic. A lot of those Chinese officials came to the United States and learned this country and learned through our systems and our education systems and went back. And now they know how to play the game.

SELLERS: No, what -- no, what --

RYAN: Hold on, wait a minute. They're very strategic. Now, what they're trying to do is they're saying, "Hey, well, we're going to give you some tariffs," and it's going to hit us where we hurt economically around the holidays. They know how to play this game. They know how to play this game.

SELLERS: Listen, they don't have to be chess players --

RYE: No.

SELLERS: -- to negotiate with Donald Trump. You can be --

RYE: You can play Goldfish.

SELLERS: I declare war. And Goldfish.

RYAN: Or some spades. A good spades game. SELLERS: It doesn't have to be sophisticated. But that is -- that is what all of us ought to be concerned about. Democrats, Republicans alike. I mean, this man can wake up, send out a tweet. Markets can crash. Futures can crash. And it shows up in our pensions. And it shows up in people's everyday lives.

CAMEROTA: One person who is alarmed is -- comes from an interesting source, Boris Johnson. So Boris Johnson said this at the G-7. Listen to this moment. Hold. Holding.


TRUMP: Our country is doing really well. We have horrible trade deals. And I'm straightening them out. The biggest one by far is China.

JOHNSON: I just want to say I congratulate the president on everything that the American economy is achieving. It's fantastic to see that.

But just to register the faint, sheep-like note of our view on the trade war. We're in favor of trade peace on the whole. And dialing it down if we can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in favor of trade peace with China?

JOHNSON: We think that, on the whole, the U.K. has profited massively in the last 200 years from free trade. And that's what we want to see.


CAMEROTA: Bakari, he said, "We favor dialing it down if we can." When the voice of reason comes from Boris Johnson --

SELLERS: Yes, I was just -- I was just thinking to myself how this unique strain of populism has been just transformed the entire globe. Not just here in the United States.

But can you -- I mean, leaders of the free world right now -- Boris Johnson and Donald Trump -- are having discussions, whereby Boris Johnson looks to be the more fiscally sound and responsible leader on the world stage. I mean, where are we?

So to the Republicans who are watching this morning, right? And I don't know why I'm on this new kick this morning. But you have to recall the days you may have disagreed with Barack Obama on substantive policies.

RYAN: That's right.

SELLERS: However, he never embarrassed us on the world stage.

RYAN: Exactly.

SELLERS: And when you look at Iran, just to tap on Iran, Iran today is closer -- closer to building a nuclear weapon than they were under the Iran deal when Barack Obama was president of the United States.

RYAN: Breach.

SELLERS: The results matter, and this president has failed.

BERMAN: All right, guys. Stand by. You're going to be back quite a bit over the next two and a half hours. We're going to get to some other news right now.

And we are expecting to hear from President Trump again any minute. Where will he be on the trade war with China when he next speaks? And again, we're trying to confirm that China called overnight, trying to resume trade talks.

And I also do want to note one thing. The U.S. and China were scheduled to speak next month anyway, so the idea that there's a new resumption in trade talks isn't exactly true.

CAMEROTA: Not even a month away. I mean, like a week away.

BERMAN: I forgot. September is, like, days from now, right?

CAMEROTA: Yes. I think it is.

BERMAN: OK. You're right about that. First, though, a surprise retirement in the NFL. "Bleacher Report" is next.