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Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) On Impeachment Inquiry And U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Syria; Black Woman Fatally Shot Inside Texas Home By White Police Officer; Fake Video Of Trump Shooting Media And Critics Played At His Resort. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired October 14, 2019 - 07:30   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Congress returns to Capitol Hill this week with Democrats intensifying their impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Joining us now is Democratic congressman Ted Deutch of Florida. He serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Judiciary Committee, both instrumental in what will be happening this week. Congressman, thanks so much for being here.

Let's talk about the first order of business --

REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): My pleasure.

CAMEROTA: -- or the next order of business this week in terms of the impeachment inquiry.

So, today, you will be hearing from Fiona Hill. She's the former top official on Russian affairs at the National Security Council. What do you want to get out of her?

DEUTCH: Well, thanks for having me.

There are -- there are a couple of things that are really important in the discussions with Fiona Hill.

First, as you point out, she was in charge of the Russia policy at the National Security Council. It's important to hear from her, first, about the impact of this decision to withhold critical security aid from Ukraine at a time when they were in the midst -- in the midst of this war with Russian proxies that had killed thousands of Ukrainians. What impact does withholding that aid have?

And second, who was involved in the decision-making to withhold that aid? There are lots of -- there's a lot of focus on how the decision was made, but what does she know about the efforts of Rudy Giuliani and the president working together with the E.U. ambassador outside of the normal channels to make that happen?

It violates our national security and puts our national security at risk. It's part of what is the betrayal of the president's oath of office and she can, I think, add some good insight to that.

CAMEROTA: OK, next question.

Ambassador Gordon Sondland -- he is an interesting person in all of this because obviously, his texts have been captured.

DEUTCH: Yes, he is.

CAMEROTA: And he also was supposed to show up. He had a scheduled appearance last week, I believe, to give a deposition but didn't because he was blocked by the State Department. He's not a career diplomat. He is and I believe -- I mean, he was and I believe still is a President Trump supporter.

So, first, are you confident that he will show up, actually, this week now that he's been subpoenaed?

DEUTCH: Well, I hope that he will but it's impossible to be confident when the administration -- when the president -- the President of the United States has gone out of his way to block any effort by Congress to get to the truth here. This ongoing effort to cover up the facts in this -- in this matter by the president and his team is startling. It puts him above the law and it's unacceptable.

So I don't know, but I hope he comes in. And I hope when he comes in he'll be able to answer questions about what it means when he said -- when he talked about the deliverable that the president wanted.

What it means when Ambassador Taylor, a very well-respected senior diplomat, said to him that he thought it was crazy to withhold security assistance to get political help. He went dark. He called the president, the president dictated an answer to him. Well, what else happened?

And put all of this together, he seems to be at the center of this effort with the president and Rudy Giuliani, outside of the normal channels at the White House, to withhold security assistance -- all, Alisyn, with the goal of the President of the United States using his office to enlist a foreign government's interference in the 2020 election. That's why we're in the midst of this impeachment inquiry.

And certainly, the American people deserve to hear from him directly on this and I hope that he comes in.

CAMEROTA: We'll see what -- we'll see if he does on Thursday and what he has to say.

Let's talk about what happened over the weekend in Syria. The president announced withdrawal of all U.S. troops from northern Syria.

As you know, there are now reports of atrocities being perpetrated against the Kurds, who have long been our ally against ISIS.

What do you make of this situation?

DEUTCH: Well, there are those reports and sadly, we expected to hear those reports. The president made a decision to betray our allies, the Kurds.

There is bipartisan -- there's been bipartisan condemnation in Congress and outside of Congress -- all across the country -- for failing to stand with our allies -- our allies who have fought so valiantly with us to defeat ISIS. And now, we put them at risk -- at risk of slaughter.

There are over 10,000 ISIS fighters who are at risk of going back on the battlefield, which puts Americans at risk, as well, and our allies in Europe.

And it gives a stronger hand not only to Erdogan, which is where the focus has been, but it puts Russia at the forefront of what happens in Syria again. It forces the Kurds to strike a deal with Assad, the butcher who has killed over 600,000 people. And, don't forget, the Iranians are sitting out here benefiting from this as well, which risks putting greater pressure on our allies, Israel, Jordan, and others in the region.

It was a terrible, dangerous, reckless decision by the President of the United States.

CAMEROTA: Well, obviously, the president feels differently. He said last week that he got elected on this. Is it important for him to fulfill that campaign promise?

DEUTCH: Got elected on what, taking action to take more than 10,000- 11,000 ISIS fighters and risk putting them back on the battlefield? No, that's not what the president was elected --

CAMEROTA: No. I mean, look -- obviously --

DEUTCH: -- to do.

CAMEROTA: Yes. But, of course, he means bringing U.S. troops home.

DEUTCH: I under -- I understand, but it can't be a normal course of business for the president to hold a phone call with an authoritarian leader and then hang up the call and do the bidding of that leader. And as a result, put Erdogan, and Putin, and the ayatollahs in a stronger position than they were in before that call took place. Now, I don't think there's anyone who wants that to happen.

And, Alisyn, all you need to do is look at the president's response when Congress talked about imposing sanctions on Turkey, which we're going to be moving forward on this week.

The president came and now seems to think that that's a good idea. He now supports moving forward to rebuke a policy that he put in place. That tells you that he knows this was a dreadful mistake.

CAMEROTA: Congressman, last, I'm just going to ask you because you represent a portion of Florida.

That's where this conference of President Trump's supporters was held over the past couple of days. And that's where this very vile and violent video was shown depicting a fake President Trump engaged in a mass shooting of members of the press and his political rivals inside a church. That's what this video depicted.

What do you think should happen today about this?

DEUTCH: Alisyn, I didn't know about that until I sat here and heard you talking about it, and I quickly took a look. My blood is boiling.

The President of the United States ought to come out today and explain -- he ought to condemn this.

The fact that at an event supporting him, an event to -- that was supposed to have been attended by Gov. DeSantis and the president's son -- that there was a video being shown, however -- in whatever way, in whatever form that depicted a mass shooting in a church with journalists and political opponents being gunned down by the President of the United States, it is -- it's not funny. It's outrageous, it's dangerous.

He ought to have the good sense to at least on this one occasion stand up and speak out against this and deplore it and condemn it. If he's got any sense of decency, the president will do that today. I don't think too many of us are hopeful that that will happen.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Ted Deutch, thank you very much for joining us on NEW DAY.

DEUTCH: Thanks, Alisyn.



A black woman in Texas shot and killed inside her own home by a white police officer just days after the Amber Guyger verdict. What her family is demanding today. That's up next.



AVLON: Growing outrage in a Texas community after a black woman was shot and killed by a white police officer inside her own home. The victim, 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson -- one of her family says she wants an independent investigation, as well there should be.

CNN's Omar Jimenez live in Fort Worth with the very latest -- Omar.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, a lot of pain in this community over how a simple call for a welfare check ended with 28- year-old Atatiana Jefferson shot and killed in the bedroom of her own home as her 8-year-old nephew looked on.

Last night there was a vigil outside of her home -- a vigil that quickly grew angry. The main theme, there were chants of no justice, no peace, all within a theme, I should say, of people here sick and tired of being sick and tired over stories like this one.

And also, along those lines, the mayor of Fort Worth actually showed up during these proceedings but was quickly escorted out by security after just a few minutes when the crowds began to realize that she was there.

This, of course, all stems from the killing of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson over the weekend.

A neighbor here was concerned because he saw the doors to her home open past 2:00 in the morning, so he called the police. A police spokesman says officers showed up and parked near but not in front of the house. Body camera footage they released show them working their way through the property in the dark, holding a flashlight.

But then, one of the officers hears a noise -- or potentially -- we're not sure what happened -- that makes him move towards the window, gun drawn, yelling put your hands in the air. And then a few seconds later -- I want to warn what comes next is disturbing.


POLICE OFFICER: Put your hands up. Show me your hands.



JIMINEZ: As for the neighbor who called police, he says -- he put it simply, saying they tell you if you see something, say something. Well, he said something and it ended in someone losing their life. Twenty-eight-year-old Atatiana Jefferson killed in the bedroom of her own home just seven minutes after that initial call came through -- John.

CAMEROTA: Just horrible. Omar, just horrible that this has happened again. Thank you very much for that reporting. We'll follow it, of course.


So, time now for "CNN Business Now."

President Trump announcing a very substantial first phase of a trade deal with China. The initial agreement coming ahead of Trump's planned meeting with China's president next month.

CNN's Cristina Alesci is here with the details. Tell us more, Cristina.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, this agreement falls short of any kind of comprehensive deal President Trump sold the American people when he started the trade war about two years ago, but it does ease the tensions between the two countries.

China got what it wanted, a delay of some tariff increases, and the U.S. got some relief for farmers because China agreed to buy more U.S. agricultural goods.

Of course, this preliminary pact does not address the thorniest issues around China's practice of stealing intellectual property and using unfair trade practices.

In short, this agreement is essentially a pause in escalation. It's not even done yet. President Trump said finalizing this stage of trade talks would take three to five weeks. Ideally, that would set the stage for Trump and China's Xi Jinping to meet at a conference of world leaders next month.


TRUMP: We are going to be in Chile together at the big summit. But we've come to a deal on intellectual property, financial services, a tremendous deal for the farmers. A purchase of from $40 billion to $50 billion worth of agricultural products.


ALESCI: Alisyn and John, I just want to point out one thing.

Tariffs scheduled for later this month still appear to be on the table. That's according to my sources and a prominent think tank. The U.S. plans to impose 15 percent tariffs on an estimated $160 billion worth of Chinese goods. That's on December 15th.

Trump, as you guys know, has been tough on China, but the fact that he decided to hit the pause button is significant. Why did Trump choose to do -- to deescalate now? Well, he does have a few other fights taking up his time.

Bottom line, Trump needed a win, especially with farmers who are important -- who are an important part of his political base.

CAMEROTA: OK, Christina. Thank you very much for all of that context -- really helpful.

So, there's this violent video and it was shown at a pro-Trump event. It depicts a fake President Trump engaged in a mass church shooting, killing members of the press and his political opponents.

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich joins us to talk about this and so much more, next.



CAMEROTA: "The New York Times" obtained a very disturbing, extremely violent video that was shown at a conference this weekend by a pro- Trump group. This all happened at President Trump's Miami golf resort. And it shows a fake President Trump engaged in a mass shooting in a church where he shoots journalists and some of his political opponents. So, let's get reaction to this and so much more from former Ohio governor and current CNN senior political commentator, John Kasich. Governor, great to have you here.

As --

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OHIO GOVERNOR (R), AUTHOR, "IT'S UP TO IS": There's no question and there's no answer. It's just -- it's sick and I don't know who would -- I mean, who would put something like that together -- you know, a mass shooting, a president stabbing somebody?

I mean, it just shows you that the tone and the drift in this country is just -- it's got to stop and it's really up to us to stop it.

CAMEROTA: And I know that you've written a book about that and we will get to it.


CAMEROTA: But as John Avlon pointed out this morning, what kind of upside-down world are we in --


CAMEROTA: -- where this is the president's supporters? There might have been a time where you would think oh, well, the president's critics who don't like his policy on gun violence would show him engaged in a mass shooting. These are his supporters now showing him.


CAMEROTA: This is somebody's fever dream --

KASICH: Yes, that's --

CAMEROTA: -- about what they want to have happen to journalists. It makes you actually sick.

KASICH: Well, you know, I first started cutting my teeth in politics with Ronald Reagan and I couldn't even imagine what Reagan -- well, it would never have happened back then.

Things have just been spiraling down and what you worry about here is just putting ideas in some people's heads.

AVLON: Sure.

KASICH: That's what you worry about.

I don't want to get carried away with it. It's -- I just hope it's going to be here and it's going to be gone because this is --

AVLON: Wouldn't you agree the president and the White House should condemn it clearly and quickly? KASICH: Yes, for sure, and I expect that they will. I mean, they have to. I know the campaign has and I just -- it's just unbelievable.

But think about who it is that's sitting in a room figuring out how to do this and then showing it to a bunch of people. The people should have demanded it be stopped right then. If I was there, I mean, I assume I would have gotten up and walked out. I would have said this is insane, you know.

CAMEROTA: Of course.

And here are the people who were there at -- this weekend at this pro- Trump event. This was Don, Jr.; the former White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders; governor of Florida --

KASICH: I don't think they were there. They didn't --


AVLON: They were at the conference. They did not necessarily --

KASICH: Well, I know. I mean, it's just --

CAMEROTA: And so, this was, as we've been told by Maggie Haberman, shown in a room where they were showing different Internet memes.


CAMEROTA: And the people who I've just read, thus far, have said that they didn't see it. Sarah Sanders has condemned violence --


CAMEROTA: -- against anyone.


CAMEROTA: But the organizers of this obviously bear responsibility. They set up the monitor, they put these memes in a room. They say they didn't know --



CAMEROTA: -- this was happening.


CAMEROTA: How is that, you know, plausible?

So, anyway, but you think that we'll hear from the White House?

KASICH: Well, I mean, it's -- this is just crazy.


KASICH: I mean, this is Alice in Wonderland. The world's flip -- as you said, it's flipping upside-down -- it's spiraling down.

And I don't want to blame -- well, you can't blame all these -- some sick mind --

AVLON: Sure.

KASICH: -- put this together and there's just not much more you can say other than it's just ridiculously horrible.

AVLON: But -- yes, and it -- but it's an issue of the culture, which is the topic of your book. Before we get there, though --


AVLON: -- I want to talk about the Republican Party under President Trump because, of course, your colleagues who are in the Senate -- fellow Republicans -- have been really reluctant to condemn Donald Trump about a whole host of moral issues.

But around the issue of Syria, there has been condemnation and it's been pretty clear. The President of the United States essentially pulling U.S. troops and our commitment to our Kurdish allies in Syria, and a slaughter going on now in real time.

Was this a mistake by the president, and should -- what should Republicans do?

KASICH: Was this a mistake? This was ridiculous. It was another thing.

But, you see, I see it even broader than that. I look at what he's done in North Korea. Where he seems to trust this murdered in North Korea who has --

AVLON: Sure.

KASICH: -- ordered the execution of his political enemies.

The fact that he did not work with our allies and just withdrew from the Iran treaty where we could have demanded things together as a group.

And now, this. To say to fill a campaign promise, I'm going to move our people.

And then, you know, we think about this -- it's in Syria. But everybody should put their feet in the shoes of somebody over there. A mom who is now trying to escape this and you see pictures of the daughter and then maybe a little older daughter carrying a little baby, trying to get out of the way.

This did not have to happen and this has been condemned all over the world. It was a terrible mistake. But he's -- he does this. Just wakes up one day and says this is what I'm going to do. He doesn't listen to anybody. And the ramifications of this is a lot of pain, suffering, and will ultimately involve death among people who should not be exposed to this at this point.

There are ways to get out of that place but this was absolutely the wrong way to go about it.

CAMEROTA: Very quickly, do you worry that he was listening to one person and that was Erdogan. It was after this phone call.

KASICH: I think he was listening to himself. I think he doesn't want advisers around. He just does his own thing. I know better.

AVLON: It just happens to benefit Erdogan and possibly, Putin, in this case.

You have a new book out.

KASICH: It's a handbook, John, for people --

AVLON: "It's Up to Us."

KASICH: -- that want to get their power back. That's what it is. It's a handbook for people who say I'm going to stop worrying about all these things happening in faraway places and I'm going to get my power back and drive change from the bottom up.

And it is replete with examples of people who have done remarkable things to change the world. To live a life a little bigger than themselves.

So, for somebody who says I don't know what to do, it's an anecdote to all the frustration and the sense of powerlessness and gives them -- it's a manual to say this is how you can begin to get your power back and make a change and live a life bigger than yourself, which is what we all want to do.

CAMEROTA: That's what I like.


CAMEROTA: It's an inspirational book, as well as a handbook.

Here's what you write in there. "When we suffer a setback we need to be able to dust ourselves off and put ourselves back in the mix because it is when we let ourselves be cast as victims that we begin to lose our way."

Do you think that there's too much of a victim mentality right now?

KASICH: I think there have been -- I think there are some people who have experienced very hard times who decided to vote for Donald Trump because they wanted to knock all the chess pieces off the board because I'm so frustrated and I've been -- I'm a victim. And that's not where any of us want to live. We want to -- want to be

resilient, we want to search for the new horizon. We want to see the sun coming up.

That's what we need to do in our country. That's what all of us need to do because God made you special, and when he makes you special you have special gifts and you've got to -- you've got to find them and you've got to use them.

AVLON: It's an empowering book at a time when people feel disempowered.

You've got one great line in here from an obituary writer. Who do you miss more when he goes on vacation, the Secretary of State or your garbage man?

KASICH: Yes, exactly.

AVLON: Ah, it's the little things that matter and there are no little people.

KASICH: Thank you.

AVLON: There is no them, there is only us.

KASICH: That's right.

AVLON: Thank you very much.

KASICH: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Governor. Great to talk to you. Again, it is called "It's Up to Us" by John Kasich.

OK, thanks so much to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM WITH MAX FOSTER" is next.

For our U.S. viewers, a big week begins on Capitol Hill as lawmakers ramp up the impeachment investigation. NEW DAY continues right now.


JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: A disturbing, meme video of a fake President Trump shooting, assaulting, and stabbing members of the media and his critics were shown at a pro-Trump conference last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A huge week on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, we're going to see the former ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, testify.

SEN. KEVIN CRAMER (R-ND): Donald Trump released the entire transcript of his supposed phone call, but there was no quid pro quo. The haters are going to hate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There clearly was a strong arm. The result is the president will be impeached. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CAMEROTA: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, October 14th, 8:00 now in the East.

John Berman is off this morning. John Avlon joins me.