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NEW DAY

Trump Fires Bolton, Third National Security Advisor; Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) is Interviewed about Bolton's Exit; Tornado Hits Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Purdue Pharma Opioid Settlement Talks Break Down; NFL Star Antonio Brown Accused of Rape by Ex-Trainer. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired September 11, 2019 - 07:00   ET

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Visit and his last-minute help in this race.

DAN BISHOP (R), NORTH CAROLINA REPRESENTATIVE-ELECT: Because you and the vice president committed and came down here. We've won this race.

[07:00:08]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans should be relieved. They should be worried. And they should understand that there was a serious underperformance here by the Republican candidate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was true that Bolton and Donald Trump disagreed on many substantive policy issues. A clash was inevitable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you two blindsided by what occurred today?

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm never surprised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the fourth national security adviser, the second secretary of state, third chief of staff. The lack of continuity certainly hurts.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY.

And breaking overnight, President Trump and his loyalists exhaling after Republicans eked out a razor-thin victory in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District.

Republican Dan Bishop won by just two percentage points over Democrat Dan McCready. Now, a win is a win and the Republicans, they will take it, believe me.

But the margin of victory should raise concerns considering that Donald Trump carried that district by double digits in 2016. Something else raising concerns for 2020, this new CNN poll finds that six in ten Americans do not believe that the president deserves to be re-elected.

And President Trump will need to find a new national security adviser after he dumped John Bolton. The two men have reportedly been feuding for months. And apparently, something had to give when they got into a bitter argument Monday night over the president's decision to invite the Taliban to Camp David.

CNN has learned at least ten candidates are being considered at this point to replace John Bolton.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to get reaction from a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a moment. But we want to begin with the special election in North Carolina.

Joining us now is CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash here with us on set, which is always fantastic.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's great to be here.

CAMEROTA: Great to have you.

BERMAN: Special elections. The one day where all political eyes are on one place. Had Republicans have lost, I think there would have been fireworks this morning.

BASH: Absolutely.

BERMAN: However, a narrow win and a narrow loss may not be terribly different in terms of the signals it sends. What do you see from this?

BASH: Well, listen. I mean, yesterday the House majority whip, the -- Steve Scalise was going around saying that, well, this is a swing district. That's the expectation game they were giving, which shows you how concerned they were.

Just to be clear, if that is a swing district, a district that has been held by a Republican since 1963, show me a safe district. I mean, give me a break. So of course they were worried. And they should have been.

Yes, a win is a win. But you're absolutely right. This is another red flashing warning sign about the suburbs, because this is largely suburban. Not entirely. Largely suburban. And -- and the people who live in the suburbs and what this means for President Trump going forward.

CAMEROTA: But if this is a referendum on President Trump as many people believe, does -- doesn't that say he will eke those out? All the things that people are concerned about, he will eke it out?

BASH: Yes, potentially, because the argument that his campaign makes, people I was talking to yesterday, is that he's not on the ballot. Yes, he went in and did a last-minute rally, and he raised those numbers in the more rural areas, where there are more the traditional voters, reminding them, hey, you've got to get out and vote. And that helped. If you look at the way the -- the voting came in,

that did help. He probably did put the Republican there over the line.

BERMAN: Democrats admit the same thing.

BASH: Democrats absolutely admit the same thing.

And -- and yes, it is true that when he is at the top of the ticket, it could change things. But also could change things the other way.

I mean, you have people in these districts now who have seen Donald Trump as president by that time for four years. And they might come out in a way that they didn't, especially in a place like North Carolina, where President Trump did win for lots of reasons.

But one of the reasons is because the notion of -- by a lot of Democrats of Hillary Clinton or independents of Hillary Clinton as president was like, no thanks.

BERMAN: He only won this state -- he only won North Carolina by 3.6 percent in 2016, while he won this district by 12 points.

So if this district is basically on a razor's edge, it may indicate that North Carolina in general might be a problem for him. Now, the flip side of that for Democrats, Dan, and I think this is interesting. And I know Democrats are looking at this this morning, because I have heard from some of them.

Dan McCready, the Democrat, actually increased his margins in suburban areas.

BASH: Exactly.

BERMAN: He did better in the suburbs in Mecklenburg County than he did in the first election in 2018. But he did worse in the rural areas. Democrats have shown no signs of being able to break through in those rural areas. What does that tell us going into 2020?

BASH: It tells us that the unbelievably huge war chest that the Trump campaign and the RNC have been building, while the Democrats fight among themselves, is going to be made to get -- is going to be used and already is starting to be used to get every single one of those rural voters out.

[07:05:10]

I mean, the president is the president because people came out to vote in places in the rural areas of North Carolina, Wisconsin and Michigan who hadn't voted in some time. And if they did vote, probably they voted for a Democrat before.

The machine that they're -- that they're building to identify those voters, get them out, is going to be enormous. The question is whether that is going to balance the suburbs, where you're having more and more voters go for the Democrat, let's say, in -- in you know, a special election. Probably even more so if the trend continues when you have Donald Trump and Democrat "X" on the ballot.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let's turn to John Bolton's departure. What part of this is supposed to surprise me?

BASH: None.

CAMEROTA: Got it.

BASH: Well, I'll tell you something that should surprise you. The fact that he lasted 18 months. I mean, seriously.

CAMEROTA: But they were never a match.

BASH: Never.

CAMEROTA: They had totally different world views.

BASH: Totally different world views. You know, and -- and this is something -- when he was picked to be national security adviser, people were thinking how's this going to work? Because he is a classic neocon. He kind of wrote the book on being a neocon.

But I'm told that it wasn't just that. Obviously, the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of policy was the Afghan summit and the differences that they had over the notion of bringing the Taliban to the United States, to a place like Camp David just days before 9/11, which John Bolton had a lot of company concerned that that was a bad idea.

Even some of the president's biggest supporters on Capitol Hill. But it was the way in which he did it. I was told by a source who talked to the president yesterday was that he -- that the president was convinced that it was Bolton who was leaking, that the president -- you know, negative things about the president and the idea of bringing the Taliban and other issues.

And that is, according to the source who talked to the president, you know, you could have policy differences. You could even have personality clashes. When he taught -- when it comes to talking to the press and saying bad things, that is disloyal, and that's a nonstarter.

BERMAN: I don't know if it surprises me, but what is notable is that Bolton is not going quietly. And singing, as it were, after the fact. I'm curious to see what the impact of that will be and if it will continue.

BASH: I think it will continue. This is man who has built an entire career and a reputation that he very, very much wants to hold onto. And the fact that the president again, not surprisingly, fired him by tweet. And --

BERMAN: Bolton says he didn't fire him, right? Bolton says he resigned.

BASH: He asked for his resignation, and he did it. I mean, you can call it anything you want.

CAMEROTA: Are we sure that's the order? The president asked for his resignation and Bolton complied, or that Bolton said he was going to quit?

BASH: We're not -- we're hearing different things from each man. OK? But the bottom line is the president didn't want him to be there anymore. Maybe John Bolton agreed, said, "I don't want to" -- he said, "I don't want to be here either." But it was not an amicable breakup.

BERMAN: No.

BASH: And -- and John Bolton has -- he has the -- he has the savvy. He knows reporters from his decades working in government, working for another news channel. And -- and the question is whether or not he is going to continue to say negative things about the president or he's -- I mean, I don't think he's going to go the Mattis route. And that's been pretty clear in the last 24 hours.

CAMEROTA: He's already not doing that. All right, Dana. Thank you very much. Great to see you guys in the studio.

All right. Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch. He's a member of the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees.

Congressman, great to have you here.

REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, are you concerned this morning? Or relieved this morning that John Bolton is out?

DEUTCH: Well, I'm concerned about the president's foreign policy. I'm concerned about the president's approach to national security.

I know we're spending a lot of time focused on -- on how this firing happened or whether it was a resignation. I know we're talking about these two personalities.

What I'm focused on is the fact that the president of the United States was prepared to bring the Taliban to Camp David just a few days before today, 9/11, when we commemorate the worst terrorist attack on American soil and nearly 3,000 people killed. That decision making.

The fact that the president of the United States again has decided that it's more important for him to work on behalf of Vladimir Putin to try to recruit him back into the G-7 countries than it is to continue to stand up to Putin after they invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea and after they attacked our elections.

And then finally look at North Korea, Alisyn. The president has taken a position that has now forced him to discount these weapons tests by the North Koreans. [07:10:08]

This is not just about these -- this national security adviser and one more person who went -- fell by the wayside of the administration. It's about a president whose foreign policy is confusing and reckless and leaves our allies around the world to wonder whether we're really the leader in the world any longer.

CAMEROTA: Well, John Bolton would agree with you on all of those things. I mean, John Bolton -- everything that you just ticked off, from North Korea to inviting the Taliban this week, he would have agreed with. And so what do you think will change in his absence?

DEUTCH: Well, it's not a question of coming in after the fact and figuring that out. The question is, will there ever be anyone, frankly, either inside this administration or my colleagues in the House, our colleagues across the Capitol and the Senate who are willing to stand up to this president and call him out for this confusing foreign policy and, especially as we approach these next elections, his failure to secure our democracy against attacks by Russia while standing up for Putin, while continuing to say that he believes Vladimir Putin when he says that Russia didn't interfere in our last election.

Those are the words that we need. We need some courage from people who are willing to stand up while they're in office, while they're in the White House. Not the analysis after the fact when another one of Trump's appointees winds up leaving.

CAMEROTA: Speaking of courage, let's talk about the gun violence epidemic. Because yesterday -- you're also on Judiciary -- and yesterday, in your committee, you took some action. So you approved a ban on high-capacity magazines, and you cosponsored a red flag bill.

Are those all, in your mind, exercises in futility, given that the Senate and Mitch McConnell won't vote on these things?

DEUTCH: No. No. To the contrary. We went years without doing anything. And then this grassroots movement that has been building, really, over the years, but the Sandy Hook families played an important role and, after the tragedy in my district, the courageous survivors and the families who lost loved ones have stood up and said, "We're not going to allow this to continue."

They helped deliver a gun safety majority to the House. That's why we passed a universal background checks bill that's supported by over 90 percent of the people and sent it to McConnell.

And that's why yesterday, we took meaningful action in committee, and we -- we passed a red flags law that gives law enforcement the ability to take guns away from dangerous people.

And we passed the bill that I introduced to Representative Gannon and Representative Titus that -- that says that high-capacity magazines should be illegal, that no one needs to fire off more than ten rounds.

Alisyn, in Parkland the shooter fired off 150 rounds in six minutes. There was a hundred round drum in El Paso. He had -- the shooter had 100-round drum.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

DEUTCH: And in 30 seconds killed nine people and injured 27. These high-capacity magazines we've seen in Columbine and Aurora and Sandy Hook. And Tucson and Fort Hood. They need to be illegal.

CAMEROTA: I understand. I mean, by the way, you're preaching to the choir with the American people. They're on your side also. So I guess what I'm saying is, but Mitch McConnell won't bring these to a vote in the Senate. So --

DEUTCH: It's a -- it's a good day to think about what the heroes of 9/11 did for us. And -- and the sacrifices that they made to rush into the towers, the first responders.

We're going to be thinking about them and all of the lives lost that day and the way the country came together and stood as one. That's something for us to think about as Mitch McConnell stands on the outside. He's not part of where America is on this issue.

And it's great that the American people believe this was the right thing to do, but it's the pressure that's going to increase on McConnell that's either going to force him to act or it's going to -- we're going to see the same thing in the Senate that we saw in the House, which is senators who refuse to stand up and stand up to the gun corporations and try to keep our community safe. That come the next election, they'll be looking at the Senate from the outside and will have a gun safety majority there, too.

CAMEROTA: Maybe. I mean, obviously, The Republicans held the Senate in the last election.

What Mitch McConnell says is that he's not going to bring something to a vote that the president isn't going to sign. And that he's waiting for leadership from the president.

And then as you know, there was this luncheon, GOP luncheon yesterday where the White House didn't present any policy proposals. And so, do you think that this White House and, of course, President Trump is going to take charge and -- and show some leadership on guns?

DEUTCH: Is there reason -- should we be confident about that, Alisyn? No, of course not. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to increase the pressure.

[07:15:03]

Look, when McConnell says -- when Senator McConnell says that he's waiting for the president, that's not a position that he ever took in the last administration. He has a job to do. There are three co- equal branches of government. He shouldn't hide behind the president. He shouldn't hide behind the companies.

He should actually stand up and do what the vast majority of American people are saying, which is action on legislation that we're now passing and sending to him.

All he needs to do is bring it up and have a vote. Look, the president -- we've talked about this a lot, Alisyn. And the president has gone back and forth.

I sat at that table with him when he pointed at my Republican colleagues and said, "We don't have background checks, because you are terrified of the NRA." That's what the president said.

Today especially is a day for him and Mitch McConnell to stop being terrified of the gun companies and just start standing up on behalf of the American people who are sick and tired of seeing people slaughtered all around them every day.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Ted Deutch, thank you for being here. Yes, we will continue to have this conversation, I'm afraid.

DEUTCH: Thanks, Alisyn. I appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: John.

BERMAN: All right. Breaking overnight, a tornado tore through Sioux Falls, South Dakota, knocking out power lines. You can see it ripped up trees in its path. This is new video as the storm roared through town. It blew the windows out of buildings including a hospital. We just learned that at least eight people were hurt by this.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers joins us with much more. Look at that storm on the horizon there -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Really was a massive -- just a bunch of storms altogether. There is Sioux Falls right there and just a line of weather coming through. Not all of them rotating. Not that classic hook that sometimes you look for in the plains but just a line of weather.

And I know a lot of people have these radar apps at home. And they look at them, and they think, "I can see what's going on here." This is just a wind event.

But if you look at something a little bit more closely, we're going to drill down on this, because I don't ever get a chance to do this. Here's that line of weather. It looks like nothing on your radar app.

But if you get closer and you look at the red and the green, they are next to each other. That is the red moving away. That's the green moving toward. That means this circulation is going around like crazy. That's how tornadoes come on the ground.

If you just look at this, you go, "Oh, I'm going to bed. Nothing there." You look at the doppler, all of a sudden you have a tornado on the ground -- guys.

CAMEROTA: Scary. All right, Chad, thank you very much.

So allegations of rape facing NFL star Antonio Brown. We have a response from the Patriots next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:22:00]

BERMAN: We have new reporting this morning on the Sackler family who owns Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of oxycontin, which has been at the center of opioid controversy around this country for years, there's been discussion that the family could give up ownership and pay billions of dollars of their own personal wealth to settle thousands of opioid lawsuits, but reports about those discussions may be premature.

CNN's Jean Casarez here to explain the surprise twist -- Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the first trial in the national prescription opiate litigation is set to begin in October. If the pharmaceutical manufacturer distributor wants to negotiate a settlement before trial, now is the time.

More than 2,000 states, counties, municipalities, and Native American governments have all come together, suing opioid companies, including pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma.

Purdue Pharma has confirmed to CNN that they have been involved in settlement talks, but now, in a letter provided to CNN by a person with knowledge of those ongoing negotiations, two state attorney generals involved in the talks with the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, are saying that the Sacklers cannot reach a deal, and negotiations have broken down.

According to the letter, the Sacklers have rejected two proposals, which included a payment of $4.5 billion to creditors and to the states. No counteroffers were given.

The attorneys general from Tennessee and North Carolina also write that they expect Purdue Pharma to file for bankruptcy protection imminently to preserve the value of the company.

A Purdue spokesperson reaffirmed to CNN that the company wants to settle and believes a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals.

Several manufacturers have already settled in this national litigation. It accuses drug manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, and practitioners of mishandling hundreds of millions of opioid doses over the 20 years. Of course, the first opioid case to go to trial in Oklahoma resulted in a verdict just last month. Johnson & Johnson is liable for the opioid crisis in the Sooner State and must pay at least $572 million. Interesting, before that trial began, Purdue Pharma negotiated a settlement of $270 million -- John, Alisyn.

BERMAN: All right. Important developments, Jean. And we are going to just stay on this. Thanks so much.

Breaking overnight, new controversy surrounding the New England Patriots. A former trainer for new Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has accused him of rape in a federal civil lawsuit filed in Florida. The allegations of rape and sexual assault come just one day -- one day after Brown was signed by the Patriots after being released by the Oakland Raiders.

CAMEROTA: Joining us now, CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan. She's a sports analyst for "USA Today."

Christine, here we are again. We've had these conversations before. This complaint from this woman against Antonio Brown is explicit. It's graphic. It sounds violent. But as far as we can tell, she didn't go to the police but she's filing this lawsuit now. What do the Patriots do today?

[07:25:12]

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Well, what the Patriots -- Alisyn, what does the NFL do? Obviously, this is very serious, and we should listen to women.

And if we've learned anything during the #MeToo era, that is it. And so what Britney Taylor is saying, it's important to listen to. The text messages are graphic. They're in the -- in the lawsuit, and they would seem to at least corroborate one of the three alleged incidents.

We don't know, obviously. There's a lot to find out. But with the National Football League five years almost to the day since the Ray Rice punch and that, of course, was domestic violence. That was something separate but, nonetheless, the issue of women and how women are treated.

The NFL is a mirror on our society. And I just don't see how the National Football League cannot get Antonio Brown out of the way, put him on the commissioner's exempt list. This has commissioner's exempt list, guys, written all over it.

Get him out of the way. What that means is he's paid, but he's not on the roster. It's up to Roger Goodell to do this. There's no indication yet he is going to do it.

But with the 100th anniversary of the National Football League, everyone focusing on the positives, especially how they treat women. Wow, can you imagine what it would look like, a visual if he is on the field this weekend against the Miami Dolphins? That, I think, is something the NFL just cannot stand to have happen.

BERMAN: And we don't know if he's going to show up to practice today. The Patriots do have practice today. Let me do two things, because You said, Christine, that it's important to give a voice to these accusers.

Let me read part of her statement here. She says, "As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision. I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the last year and places it on the person responsible for my rape. I will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies; however, at this time, I respectfully request the media please respect my privacy."

Now, as for Antonio Brown has denied it, and the Patriots put out this statement. And this is interesting. They said, "We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today by -- against Antonio Brown as well as the response by Antonio's representatives. We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstances does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We'll have no further comment while that investigation takes place."

So the league is investigating, Christine. Does that mean that it's over today? It's over this weekend? It could take all season. And what happens if the Patriots just wait this out?

BRENNAN: John, as you know, an investigation both of you know this is not going to be a day or two. This is -- and it's important, by the way, that she says she wants to cooperate. That is very helpful to the National Football League and, I think, is very helpful to getting to the bottom of this.

You know, the idea that the Patriots want to investigate -- or, you know, the league is going to investigate and look into this, this is also something that's a bombshell, basically. Let's just call it what it is. And it just happened overnight. This is 12 hours old, not even 12 hours old.

So I think everyone is trying to figure out what's happening. Again, I don't see any scenario. Well, there are scenarios where I could see where he's playing on Sunday.

And of course, you're innocent until proven guilty. Of course. I mean, that goes without saying. But this is not a court of law in this case. This is about the optics for the National Football League.

And the NFL has -- we've done these a zillion times. I've been on with you talking about the National Football League and how it relates to women, and of course, the fan base for women. Forty-five percent of the fan base is women in the NFL. That's hardly the issue when we're talking about alleged sexual assault and alleged rape.

But this is absolutely a nightmare, and this is going to require leadership. It's going to require Roger Goodell and the leaders of the National Football League and the Patriots to work together. But again, I'll just say. Picture the scene if he is on the field with these text messages and with this -- these very serious allegations, this lawsuit that should be taken seriously by, obviously, everyone, every fan, every Patriots fan, and anyone who cares about the National Football League or cares about women.

CAMEROTA: Sounds like a lot might develop between now and the weekend. Christine, thank you very much --

BRENNAN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: -- for this conversation.

BERMAN: I think watch the next few hours. I mean, watch the next few hours. Watch and see if he is at the Patriots practice. If he is, I think it means that they're just going to go forward. If he's not, then maybe he ends up on the exempt list, like Christine Brennan is saying.

CAMEROTA: OK. Meanwhile, a sixth person has now died from vaping- related lung disease. This is prompting another major medical group to warn people to stop using e-cigarettes immediately. Are children being put at a higher risk of danger than just with cigarettes? We have all of that next.

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[07:30:00]