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New CNN Poll: Warren Surges In Iowa, Narrowly Leading Biden; CNN Reality Check: Trump's Whistleblower Woes Are Worse Than He Thinks; Prince Harry, Meghan Markle And Archie In South Africa. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 23, 2019 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:30:00]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY DEUVALL, WALL, MISSISSIPPI: -- we follow our own customs. And to me, it looks like they don't want to become Americans.

NANCY REUSCHER, PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA: You know, Gary, your family were illegal immigrants. The American Indians, this was their country.

DEUVALL: Yes.

REUSCHER: All of us came here and we didn't learn their language, we didn't learn their customs. We said you take ours and you take it now. So we're all children of illegal immigrants. I don't know how we can be so choosy about the new ones.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That got to be a little heated in there.

CHANEL MCNAIR, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA: It definitely did, but we've all respected one another and got to hear each other's opinions. And I never thought I would be able to relate to someone that was a Republican and I have, more than once.

LAH (on camera): More than once.

MCNAIR: Right.

REUSCHER: I think it's been interesting to talk to Trump supporters because I don't meet many.

DEUVALL: You're seeing all of these people from all of these other walks of life. Exactly how my views have changed on it, I'm not so hardcore.

LAH (on camera): And what is your advice about political discourse in this country?

DEUVALL: You need to listen, not yell and not scream. We need to talk. LAH (voice-over): At the end --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this is how your voice will be heard.

LAH (voice-over): -- a closing poll to see if there's been any movement on the issues. But already visible --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like, it's opened my mind to see that I need to listen to other people's views.

LAH (voice-over): -- it's the recognition that there is unexpected power --

REUSCHER: I've really enjoyed you being here.

LAH (voice-over): -- in bridging the divide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have enjoyed this beyond measure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: And the poll results, the researchers say, will be published on October second. They don't know if it's going to show any movement. They suspect that it will.

And, John and Alisyn, just from what we saw -- I mean, you saw those people hugging. They left that room as friends despite being on the opposite ends of the political spectrum -- John, Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Kyung, I love this exercise. I love this exercise. I mean, we have this exercise often when we have our voter panels here on NEW DAY. There are people from the ideological spectrum and they, too, take pictures afterwards, hug, understand each other.

I mean, I think that we're so geographically siloed right now in this country that what -- just what you found. They don't often have a chance to talk and listen to each other and meet, and it's just a great revealing exercise when they do.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I think it's listening with your ears rather than listening with your mouth, which is something -- yes, a lot.

CAMEROTA: With your mouth, which we've seen here sometimes.

BERMAN: All right, Kyung, thank you very much.

CAMEROTA: All right. A new CNN-Des Moines register poll shows Elizabeth Warren surging in Iowa, narrowly leading former vice president Joe Biden.

BERMAN: And her support, you can see right there, has more than doubled since March.

I want to bring in Mark McKinnon, former senior adviser to the George W. Bush and John McCain campaigns and now, a CNN political commentator. And, Aisha Moodie-Mills, Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor.

If we could put that back up on the screen -- those numbers again -- what you see are trend lines, Aisha. You see Elizabeth Warren gaining ground, going from nine to 22, and you see Joe Biden marginally losing from 27 to 20.

Based on what you're hearing and feeling among Democratic voters in Iowa, that feel about right?

AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely.

And so, here's the thing. What we're seeing is hard work paying off. Elizabeth Warren has had a plan for everything. She's had a plan for Iowa since day one before she even launched her campaign.

She hired some of the best and brightest talent in the country but certainly, in the state. She hired Emily Parcell, who pretty much ran Obama's 2008 delegate operation, which is why he ended up beating Hillary Clinton and then catapulting to become president.

She also hired -- as you guys remember, the big race that happened there with Finkenauer, who was -- Abby was 29 years old and beat a Republican. She hired her campaign manager.

And so, Elizabeth Warren probably has the most sophisticated political operation on the ground and has since before she even announced her campaign.

So what we're seeing is not some fluke and all of a sudden she's getting a little bit of press and people are excited. We are seeing her be very diligent to actually execute on her plan, and that's why she's doing so well in Iowa.

CAMEROTA: What do you see in these numbers, Mark?

MARK MCKINNON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO GEORGE W. BUSH AND JOHN MCCAIN CAMPAIGNS: Well, I see what we see in the history of the Democratic primary, which is if you look at Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama. You want to be the new thing, not the old thing, right? And so there's all this heat in the Democratic Party for more diversity for women, for a well-organized campaign with ideas -- new ideas, not the old ideas.

And if you're -- if you're a progressive candidate -- and Iowa caucuses are very progressive -- and you have this sort of buffet of ideas that are progressive -- and there's not a lot of distinction between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren -- why wouldn't you go with Elizabeth Warren? I mean, you kind of have the angry old white guy -- you know, get off my lawn -- or the nice professor saying may I mow your lawn?

BERMAN: And look -- and also, Iowa lines up perfectly for Elizabeth Warren, too, in that it's not particularly racially diverse --

MCKINNON: That's right. BERMAN: -- and Joe Biden does much better among African American voters, correct?

MOODIE-MILLS: Sure, and she also has a Midwest sensibility, right? She's from Oklahoma. And I think that when she gets on the ground and she speaks to people they really connect with her warmth and with her energy.

[07:35:02]

And you can't underscore the fact that people are enthusiastic about her and want to hear what she has to say probably because she's a little bit fresh and new and has these big interesting ideas. But people are lining up to hear her. Whether or not they're the ones in the polls who are already with her, they want to know what she's talking about. And that's going to matter, too, as we see her have that uptick.

And it's worth noting that when you look at those numbers, Elizabeth Warren is the only person in this race who has consistently been on an incline. Everyone else is either staying still or nosediving.

MCKINNON: On the other hand, it's -- we have four or five months to go. The history also is that it breaks really light in Iowa. Only 20 percent of the people have made up their minds, so --

BERMAN: She's staring at me because she keeps on saying oh, the election is not for 100 years.

CAMEROTA: I say it's early days. He's like, no it's not, it's around the corner.

MOODIE-MILLS: It's basically --

MCKINNON: You know what? Bill Clinton had not even announced yet in '92.

MOODIE-MILLS: Let's just remember Barack Obama --

BERMAN: In Iowa -- he was never going to win Iowa. He was never going to win New Hampshire. So it was a different time line there.

You'd rather be winning than losing -- I don't care. It's better to be winning than losing.

CAMEROTA: Any day -- early days.

MOODIE-MILLS: I'm telling you, it's all about the ground game in those caucuses.

CAMEROTA: But what about the people who do not have the groundswell right now? And I'm thinking of Cory Booker who has said that he's in some financial dire straits.

BERMAN: Well, the Cory Booker think is beyond just that -- it's really interesting. And his campaign came out over the weekend and said we're going to drop -- we're going to drop out --

MCKINNON: Yes, it's kind of unprecedented.

BERMAN: -- unless we lose (sic) the money.

Let me just read the statement here. This is p. 305.

"We got in this race to win it and if we cannot raise the $1.7 million to scale up our operation, then we don't believe that we are going to be in a position to compete for the nomination."

Now, they say they've raised a fair amount. I understand this could be an effective fundraising ploy, but I don't think you want the whiff of being dead in the water there.

MOODIE-MILLS: Of desperation?

BERMAN: Yes, exactly.

MCKINNON: Yes.

MOODIE-MILLS: Yes.

MCKINNON: Yes, it is.

I mean, the thing that we know about politics today is that the reason that we have so many candidates is that you can do more with less. Because of technology, because of the Internet, because of social media you can do more with less, but you can't do more with nothing. I mean, you've to pay your campaign staff.

And so that's kind of where Corey Booker is at right now. And, you know, it's an existential threat and that is a good way to raise money, but you have kind of put a lantern on it.

MOODIE-MILLS: Or (INAUDIBLE) on that tractor (ph).

Well, and to be fair, I think that there is a significant kind of fundraising -- I won't call it a ploy but there's an urgency of really sharing with the donors.

What they're saying -- and Addisu said this. He said look, we've got enough money to pay people and we can kind of keep this thing going.

But to be competitive, to execute our strategy -- and they need to -- they need to place in Iowa, to be real here. In order to place in Iowa, like, they're going to have to spend two more million dollars, and that's what they're going for. Can they ramp up with this? I don't think they're saying they're going to turn the lights out tomorrow.

BERMAN: But this was the opposite of what McCain did in 2008 when he was forced to downscale and almost drop out because he didn't have the money. He said I'm going to fight no matter what.

MCKINNON: Yes. BERMAN: Cory Booker is doing the opposite of that saying, if it doesn't work out I'm bailing in a month there.

MOODIE-MILLS: Well, because he's already got a job, so --

BERMAN: Can I ask, Mark -- on your show, "The Circus," you had a really interesting quote from Joe Walsh, who is running in the Republican primary -- or trying to -- any state that will have it -- against President Trump. And he went out of his way to say that he thinks Elizabeth Warren can win. I want to play this sound.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE WALSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Twenty twenty is a referendum on Trump. Nothing else matters. Elizabeth Warren, free college, tariffs -- none of that crap matters.

It's going to be a bloodbath in 2020 with this guy at the top of our ticket. I don't think it matters if it's Bernie or Elizabeth Warren or whoever it is. I think she'd destroy Trump.

Again, I'm a contrarian on this, John. I think the resistance to Trump is so profound --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

WALSH: -- I think that Independents and Democrats are gun shy because nobody saw this goof -- this moron winning in 2016.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: He's really unplugged.

BERMAN: But what does he get out of that? What does Joe Walsh, a Republican, get out of and Elizabeth Warren electability argument?

MCKINNON: Well, he's saying that any Democrat will beat Trump, so you need another Republican nominee.

And the fact is that's why Warren is doing well as well because Biden's basic argument was I'm the only one who can win. Well, increasingly, polls show that not just Biden wins, but Warren wins, that Bernie wins, that Buttigieg wins, that Harris wins. That almost any nominee currently would beat President Trump.

So that's the argument that Joe was making.

MOODIE-MILLS: Yes. I take issue with this conversation about electability because it always devolves into this idea that in order to beat the crazy white guy you've got to have another crazy white guy. And I think that that is a false narrative and I think it's ridiculous.

To me, what electability is going to mean for the Democrats is enthusiasm on the ground with the base. So what we saw is that 2016 went awry in part because Hillary Clinton didn't get the energy and the turnout that she should have gotten, partly from African Americans but just in general -- lost young people, too. And then, of course, there were the people who went over the Trump.

I think that the Dem nominee is going to have to rile people up, get us jazzed up and excited. I think it's going to be the person with the big bold ideas who is looking towards the future, whoever that might be. I do not think it's going to be more of the past that does that to animate the base in a way that folks really turn out to get rid of Donald Trump.

CAMEROTA: All right. Are you saying Joe Biden's a crazy white guy?

MOODIE-MILLS: I don't know if -- I'm not saying that Joe Biden's crazy at all, but I do think that there's a real clear sense of we go forward or we go backward. We don't get excited about going backward.

[07:40:00]

CAMEROTA: Aisha, Mark, thank you very much. Great to have this conversation with you guys in studio.

MOODIE-MILLS: Thank you.

MCKINNON: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. This morning, thousands of travelers are stranded worldwide because one of the world's most prominent touring companies went bust overnight. What's going to happen to all these people? How are they going to get home, next?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right.

The president, this morning, is admitting that he talked to the leader of Ukraine about Joe Biden, his political opponent, but says hey, it's no big deal. It turns out there's more historical context for this than you might think.

John Avlon here with a reality check -- John.

CAMEROTA: Hi, John.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Kind of a big deal, guys.

So look, perspective is the thing we have least of in our politics, so let's put this latest Trump scandal in perspective before the weight of Washington normalization, once again, defines deviancy down.

[07:45:00]

So, on July 25th, President Trump called the new Ukrainian president and pressed him not once, but up to eight times, according to "The Wall Street Journal," to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden's son.

Now, keep in mind this was one day after the Mueller hearings on Capitol Hill, which ended a nearly two-year investigation to whether Trump's campaign coordinated with a foreign power.

The very next day, President Trump is accused of being at it again. This time, from the Oval Office, potentially using taxpayer dollars as leverage because it turns out that a quarter of a billion dollars in military aid to Ukraine was being put on hold at the time.

Now, in August, a whistleblower lodged a complaint. It was investigated by the inspector general, a Trump appointee, who found the allegations both credible and an urgent concern.

Now, at this point, the Director of National intelligence is required by law to share those findings with Congress, but the acting DNI refused after consulting with Trump's Justice Department. Now, this is believed to be the first time that a DNI has refused to share an urgent whistleblower complaint from Congress.

Now, the White House, of course, initially denied everything. Then, President Trump admitted the call had included a request to investigate Biden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The conversation I had was largely congratulatory. Was largely the fact that we don't want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son, creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AVLON: The president calls the conversation pitch-perfect -- did nothing wrong, which raises a few obvious remedies. First, just release the inspector general's report. If nothing's wrong then there's nothing to hide. Second, release the transcript.

In the absence of that, this is going to field Democrats' calls for impeachment. After all, the second article of impeachment against Richard Nixon was abuse of power related to domestic agencies being used to investigate political opponents.

And the withholding of Ukrainian military aid, which was finally released after the whistleblower complaint, could be considered attempted bribery, which is an impeachable offense in the Constitution.

Now, as CNN legal analyst Stephen Vladeck explained, "It also suggests that foreign governments can curry favor with the president by digging up dirt on his political opponents."

And just to be clear, it is illegal for any person to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.

But the former head of the U.S. Government Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, told me this.

"It's a mistake to look through this at the narrow lens of criminal statutes. This is bigger than that. We can't let the president solicit a foreign attack on the very thing that makes us a republic, our election.

Every member of Congress should join in demanding the transcript of his call with Ukraine and the whistleblower complaint. They need that evidence to determine if he was looking for help with the election.

If so, his presidency must end. If not, only transparency will resolve suspicions of grave wrongdoing."

Look, the sheer tonnage of Trump controversies leads to normalization, but trying to solicit dirt from a foreign power on a political rival would be deeply troubling abuse of power and one that Republicans would definitely condemn if a Democratic president did it.

And that's your reality check.

BERMAN: You know, John, that is such an important distinction and I'm so glad you made it here, which is that legality isn't necessarily the only standard here that matters.

AVLON: Exactly right, and impeachment, itself, is a political process. But there are also things like ethics -- quaint things we tend to forget about sometimes.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for the historical reminder. Great to see you.

All right. Meanwhile, a well-known travel company goes belly up overnight leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded around the world.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us. How did this happen?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": It's so remarkable. Six hundred thousand travelers around the world trying to figure out how to get home this morning after the world's oldest tour operator, Thomas Cook, shut down last night.

Now, the collapse of the iconic company forcing the largest peacetime repatriation effort in U.K. history. Think of that.

The government now flying 150,000 stranded Brits home. The U.K.'s Civil Aviation Authority says it will cost about $750 million to get everybody home.

The collapse comes after a very rough year for Thomas Cook. Shares down more than 96 percent on Brexit uncertainty and intense competition in the tourism sector.

Meantime, new developments in the U.S.-China trade war. A Chinese trade delegation in the U.S. for preliminary talks abruptly canceled its trip to Montana and Nebraska to meet with farmers. That sudden change dampening recent hopes for a breakthrough in negotiations.

Both sides have made concessions recently. On Friday, the U.S. exempted hundreds more Chinese goods from tariffs. Things like dog leashes, pool vacuum cleaners, electric skateboards, Christmas lights, and drinking straws -- they will no longer be hit with tariffs.

Now, despite this trade war, stocks are performing really well this year and they're really very close to record highs. That makes them vulnerable to any setbacks, you guys, on the trade front, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Christine. Thank you very much for explaining all of that.

All right, a big debut for the newest royal, Prince Archie. Please contain yourself, John Berman. I'm about to show you Harry, Meghan, and Archie.

[07:50:00]

BERMAN: They're there.

CAMEROTA: They're in Africa. We'll show you the pictures when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and their 5-year-old son (sic) Archie have arrived in South Africa as they begin their first official overseas trip as a family. Their 10-day trip is expected to be poignant for Prince Harry as he honors his mother's legacy.

[07:55:03]

CNN's Max Foster got this great assignment. He is live in Cape Town with more. So tell us what the family is doing and what they're seeing.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM WITH MAX FOSTER": Well, they've just arrived, Alisyn. Not your normal formal official welcome that you expect from royals that come straight to this township, which is known as the murder capital of South African. More than 200 murders reported to the local police station every year, would you believe.

Here they are at a project very much with the duchess, really. She's all about female empowerment and this is where young girls will come to be taught about empowerment training, also self-defense. So this is a real message, really, that the duchess is taking this part of the tour extremely seriously. This is her message.

And then after this, they're going to go on to an area called District Six where during the Apartheid era, tens of thousands of people were forced to be moved from their homes. And it's interesting when you speak to people here, obviously, the biggest celebrity couple in the world, there some interest there. But also, some particular interest in the duchess' backstory and how that plays into the debate around racism here in South Africa.

After this part of their visit, Harry will be going off to other parts of Africa -- to Angola, to Botswana, and to Malawi, picking up on issues that his mother cared deeply about -- land mines and HIV-AIDS -- trying to keep their legacy alive.

So they're going to be hurtling around the region. There's going to be lots to see.

Of course, lots of people holding out for pictures of young Archie. He will be carrying out his first official engagement, would you believe, after just a few months of life, here in South Africa at some point. And it's very important that we get John those pictures as soon as we receive them. I know he's very excited about them.

CAMEROTA: Well, he is really on the edge of his seat, I can tell you right now, Max.

But, I mean, look, let's face it. A lot of people want to see baby Archie -- Prince Archie. You know, it's wonderful to see, obviously, all the South African vivid colors and the dancing but people are just as interested in seeing the picture of him. So will we see video of him?

FOSTER: Well, what they're saying is there will be an engagement where he will turn up. That's the plan. But he's a young baby. You can't predict what young babies are like, so they're not telling us where or when or even if.

But we've already seen some pictures actually taken by local photographers at the airport. So these pictures tend to slip through so we'll wait to see. Yes, it's an exciting moment because the couple are a really big deal -- but with Archie, even bigger because you've seen so little of him.

CAMEROTA: So true.

And so, tell us more about why this is so important to Harry and how it honors his mother's legacy.

FOSTER: Well, Harry's got a very deep connection with Africa. He's been coming here for years. They actually got engaged here in Africa.

The duchess hasn't been here before but race often plays into that issue, which is why so many eyes are focused on her.

But for Harry, he is -- you know, one of the reasons he carries out a lot of his charity work is to keep his mother's legacy alive. So literally, in Angola, he's going to be retracing his mother's footsteps as she walked through that land mine in those iconic images.

And also, in Botswana, the HIV-AIDS awareness issue. So we're going to get a real sense, really, of how ahead of her time she was but also about the progress since she died. And, Angola is actually -- the visit was in 1997, which is when she died. So it's going to be very poignant for Harry, I think, as he goes back there. CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

All right, Max. Bring us all of the developments as soon as you get them. John is clamoring for those.

BERMAN: This is so unfair. I think this is a terrific trip. I give the duke and duchess --

CAMEROTA: Oh, you've come around.

BERMAN: -- huge props for this.

CAMEROTA: Yes, it is great. But, I mean, are you clamoring to see a picture of the baby like I am?

BERMAN: I would like -- I would love to see a picture of the baby. That doesn't get to the issue of why the United Kingdom has a king and queen and has all this stuff --

CAMEROTA: Here we go. It doesn't take much to --

BERMAN: -- and whether we should still be celebrating it.

CAMEROTA: -- light this fuse.

BERMAN: But I love this trip by the duke and duchess.

CAMEROTA: Very nice.

Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, stay tuned for "CNN NEWSROOM."

For our U.S. viewers, the calls for impeachment are growing with this whistleblower scandal. A top House Democrat joins us live. NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We had a great conversation. We don't want our people creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump did a terrible thing. Focus on the violation of the Constitution this president has engaged in.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): There's enough smoke here. Somebody other than me needs to look at it.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: And the Emmy goes to "GAME OF THRONES."

MARISA TOMEI, ACTRESS: "FLEABAG."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jarrell Jarow. PETER DINKLAGE, ACTOR, "GAME OF THRONES": I count myself so fortunate to be a member of a community that is nothing but all about tolerance and diversity.

BILLY PORTER, ACTOR, "POSE": We, as artists, are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

BERMAN: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, September 23rd. It's 8:00 in the East.

President Trump admits it. He admits it. He admits he brought up unfounded corruption allegations against Joe Biden during a phone call with the president of Ukraine over the summer.

The question now is what -

END