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Presidential Candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) Live On New Day; Anthony Scaramucci Weighs In On Why Some Call President Trump "The Chosen One"; Alabama Sheriff Shot To Death, Deputy's Son Arrested. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired November 26, 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]

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I know, again, that Barack Obama was way behind in African-American voters -- Hillary Clinton, at this point -- before he showed he could win in New Hampshire.

Now, the people at the top of the polls I know are attracting a lot of the attention right now, but I really believe there's going to be a shift in African-American voters after Iowa -- after people see who really is viable.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That is interesting. And look, Iowa doesn't have a lot of African-American voters --

BOOKER: No.

BERMAN: -- nor does New Hampshire.

BOOKER: No.

BERMAN: It isn't until you get past that.

BOOKER: Yes. But even with my family, I hear it. People are like, you know, we're so afraid. We want to beat Donald Trump.

And I think that it's a comfort with people like Joe Biden thinking that hey, here's a guy that's vice president. But I really do believe that their support is soft.

Most voters have not made up their mind. Let's see in about 60-70 days when the actual voting starts. This always has shifted dramatically -- who's in the lead, who's not -- and we believe it has what it takes on the ground to win.

BERMAN: To be clear, you're talking about your family -- they're backing you, I would imagine.

BOOKER: They definitely are backing me. But when I have a huge -- even in Iowa, people will notice I have a large Iowa family as well. My grandmother was born and raised there. So it's a really good survey of the -- sort of the diversity of African-Americans. BERMAN: I want to ask about issues.

When you want voters -- when voters take a look at you and they say Sen. Cory Booker, what do you want them to say is the issue that they associate with you? I want Cory Booker to win because --

BOOKER: Yes. Look, I've been the person going to the toughest corners of our country and fighting for justice for all.

We are a team that has delivered criminal justice reform, brought in jobs and opportunity in one of the most difficult places -- Newark, New Jersey. It was declining for years. When it comes to equality and justice, that is what we've been fighting for, for a long time.

And, frankly, I talked about it with Elizabeth Warren on that debate stage. You know, people in communities like mine want equal shots at opportunity as well.

So we have a campaign that's been talking about those issues from the beginning as an authentic record, getting things done on those issues, and I'm just really excited about the chance to lead on that.

BERMAN: You know, it's interesting. John Bel Edwards, the governor of Louisiana, and the governor-elect in Kentucky, Andy Beshear -- they wrote an op-ed today in "The Washington Post" where they say what the Democratic candidates need to do is to go to every corner of every state and campaign for voters who voted for Trump.

It's an argument you hear, but these guys actually did it and won in these elections. What do you make of that?

BOOKER: I think it's 100 percent true. If I'm the nominee, I'm not giving up an inch of ground. People are going to see me fighting in South Carolina, fighting in Texas.

I do not believe in this blue state-red state. I think that we are a nation, especially if you want to beat Mitch McConnell as well, that we have to have a leader that can excite the full breadth of the Democratic Party in all areas and make a case that we are the party that is not going to just beat Republicans but unite Americans.

And that's why I want to make sure that we have a general election candidate that can do that. We have to be able to pull out the full breadth of our base -- African-American voters, essential; moderate voters, Independent voters.

So that's why I'm excited to be the nominee that actually can reach out to the full breadth of our party in all 50 states and begin what I think could be a new movement in American, not just about one office and wanting to get rid of Donald Trump. That's the floor -- I want the ceiling, which is a new movement in America that puts us in a position where we can get big things done again.

BERMAN: Sen. Cory Booker, I know you have one more trip to Iowa before Thanksgiving. We hope you have a nice holiday.

BOOKER: Thank you so much. You, as well.

BERMAN: Thank you -- Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, John.

Why are more Republicans claiming that President Trump is, quote, "the chosen one?" Someone who might not feel that way is Anthony Scaramucci. He's here with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:37:39]

CAMEROTA: President Trump's supporters are beginning to use some interesting language about him. It's biblical.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK PERRY, SECRETARY OF ENERGY: Mr. President, I know there are people that say, you know, you said you were the chosen one. And I said you were.

NIKKI HALEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I think that God sometimes places people for lessons and sometimes places people for change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Anthony Scaramucci. He was President Trump's White House communications director for 11 days. Why do I have to put the 11 days in there?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, I was obviously the chosen one for 11 days, you know, and I learned my lesson.

CAMEROTA: Anthony --

SCARAMUCCI: Sorry -- yes.

CAMEROTA: -- you know your way around the bible.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes.

CAMEROTA: What is that? What is Rick Perry -- what are Rick Perry and Nikki Haley doing when they're using that language?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, those are -- those are -- well, those are signals. I mean, they've decided -- particularly, Gov. Haley has decided that she wants to take over -- pass the baton to her of the president's base. And so she --

CAMEROTA: Ah.

SCARAMUCCI: -- recognizes that there's a social conservatism to the president's base and she's -- CAMEROTA: It's a signal to the base. So just so I'm clear --

SCARAMUCCI: Signal, yes.

CAMEROTA: -- when they use that language --

SCARAMUCCI: Combo -- it's combo. They're signaling to the president that they're ultra-loyal to him because remember, you've got to go 13 for 12 with the president. You can't go seven for eight because then he'll start tweeting about you all kinds of nonsense. So they need to signal to him that they're 100 percent or 130 percent loyal to him.

But they're also signaling to the base that of the baton is going to get passed and they want to be the carrier of that baton.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean --

SCARAMUCCI: I don't think that's possible, by the way, because it's a personality cult and so once he leaves office I think a lot of that base fractures and goes away.

CAMEROTA: The Trump effect doesn't work on people other than Trump, you're saying?

SCARAMUCCI: I don't -- I don't think so, no.

CAMEROTA: But what's interesting is that we don't see President Trump go to church as much as we have with, I think, all past --

SCARAMUCCI: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- presidents in recent memory.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So why does that kind of language work on him?

SCARAMUCCI: So, listen, I'm a Roman Catholic so -- but, you know, I don't -- I can't really speak for the evangelical community. But I think in general, the evangelicals view the president as a sinner and they view him as somebody that is out seeking redemption through the presidency -- see that.

And so, this litany of sins that the president has had, they are willing to ignore. If you're going to be political and cynical, you'll say well, they're willing to ignore that because he's prosecuting some of their ideas as it relates to social conservatism.

[07:40:00]

So, that's the combination of things.

CAMEROTA: I understand that --

SCARAMUCCI: I mean, it's a little revolting, though -- I mean, if you want me to be totally candid. CAMEROTA: What's revolting about it?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, because I think there's a disingenuousness to what politicians are saying about the president. I mean, down deep, they're objective, they're smart people.

Both Gov. Perry and Gov. Haley, in the past, have said things about the president that I think are probably more congruent with reality than what they're saying today, and so it's a little bit disingenuous.

CAMEROTA: We're going to get to that in a second. But what I think is also interesting is what President Trump has said about Rick Perry in the past, because he has said some unkind things.

Here's one example in the not-so-distant past. This is in 2015. President Trump tweeted, "Gov. Perry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an I.Q. test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate."

Has Rick Perry forgotten about that?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I mean, look -- I mean, I would say politics is politics, right, so everybody's fighting in politics, particularly they're all trying to become the president. And so, unfortunately, that is a loss elimination game -- it's not a team sport. And so once the thing is over then you have to coagulate around the leader, if you will, and so I get all of that.

But I think that the lack of objectivity and lack of really looking at the clinical wrongdoing of the president, OK -- so last week -- I don't know, I watched that. I saw objective criminality coming from the office of the president.

CAMEROTA: In the hearings?

SCARAMUCCI: In the hearings, OK. And so, now, if we want to ignore that or pretend it didn't happen --

John Kennedy was trying to do that and then obviously, he was overwhelmed with negativity so he had to come on Chris' show last night and take all of that back, OK?

But, I mean, at some point, I do predict that that fever will break. I think that the -- you know, there's more information that's about to unfold.

I feel bad about the Mayor Giuliani situation because of a longstanding relationship with him. I like him a great deal. I don't -- I don't want to see him --

CAMEROTA: Yes, but do you -- I mean -- I mean, just since you're going down that road.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Are you comfortable that he had so many Ukraine -- reportedly had so many Ukraine dealings and was making money from through fraud guarantees?

SCARAMUCCI: I don't -- I -- look, it doesn't -- it doesn't -- you know, and to quote him, OK, when he was a prosecutor, if it -- if it -- if it -- when you open up the window and you hear clippity-clop outside, it's a horse; it's not a zebra. So obviously, there's some bad stuff that's gone on.

And so, look, I pray for him and I pray for his family. I'm not -- I'm not going to come on the show and ever rail about the mayor because he's been a close personal friend.

But here's what I don't like about the whole thing. We're no longer taking an objective standard to what's going on.

I've said flattering things about the president. He's said unflattering things about me. I said unflattering things about him in 2015 when I was working for Jeb.

But I'm now looking at the thing objectively. You're saying OK, the guy has done really bad criminal things and so now what are we going to do as a society? Are we going to allow him to stay in office as a result of that? And so, that's the personality call.

CAMEROTA: That's what I want to get to, right there.

SCARAMUCCI: OK.

CAMEROTA: What is it -- because you know all these folks.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes.

CAMEROTA: What is it about President Trump that inspires the --

SCARAMUCCI: They're scared of him.

CAMEROTA: So, the loyalty --

SCARAMUCCI: It's intimidation.

CAMEROTA: -- the loyalty and referring to him as the chosen one --

SCARAMUCCI: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- and things like that is just fear-based?

SCARAMUCCI: Yes.

CAMEROTA: That's it. There's nothing --

SCARAMUCCI: No -- no, no, it's politically motivated. I mean, it's a little bit of cynicism there. It's politically motivated. It's --

CAMEROTA: But hold on a second. There's a lot of -- there's a lot of politicians that don't inspire this kind of fealty and this kind of loyalty that people don't refer to as the chosen one. There's something different about President Trump. SCARAMUCCI: He's using -- he's using an anvil and a hammer with his Twitter feed and none of those people want to get caught in that crossfire. Particularly if they think they have political ambitions, they don't want to be caught in that slamming that the president is capable of doing.

You know, he has an intimidating, bullying style. Now, if you're a fellow New Yorker, you could care less, OK? You know, I know how to play with bullies and I know how to fight bullies, OK? But most of these people are cowards.

Remember what John Kennedy said about his three books. The thinnest book was "Profiles in Courage" because when he went into the Senate he couldn't find a lot of people that had a lot of courage. Very few people in senatorial history broke from party ranks to do the right thing for the American people.

CAMEROTA: I want to pivot and talk about Stephen Miller, someone obviously who is in the White House and who has the president's ear, particularly on issues of immigration and race.

So some of Stephen Miller's -- many of Stephen Miller's e-mails with some far-right Web sites, et cetera, have been released and let me just read to you what "The Washington Post" says about these.

"These e-mails illuminate Miller's fixation on crimes carried out by immigrants and people of color, as well as his eagerness to push narratives sourced from fringe white supremacist and conspiracy theory peddling Web sites such as VDARE and Infowars.

Miller touted storylines that echoed the far-right vision of white genocide -- the extremist belief that immigration from other parts of the world poses an immediate and existential threat to the racial integrity of European or Caucasian people, a belief that has motivated the shooters behind some far-right terrorist attacks in recent years."

In the past, I think that you've said that you don't believe that Stephen Miller is a white supremacist. Have you reconsidered that?

[07:45:00]

SCARAMUCCI: So, I worked -- look, I worked -- I -- OK, so I worked with him and I said I don't believe that he's a white supremacist, and I still believe that. But when you see information like that, I think there's something perniciously wrong with the culture inside the White House.

So, example, somebody should be saying to him if they were actually running and managing the process inside the White House, you'd say OK, if they answer for that. You have to explain --

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, how else do you explain that? If he's not a white --

SCARAMUCCI: You have to -- you have to -- well, he --

CAMEROTA: If he's not a white supremacist --

SCARAMUCCI: He has to -- he has to --

CAMEROTA: -- how else do you explain his extremist belief that allows him to send --

SCARAMUCCI: OK.

CAMEROTA: -- e-mails like this and go to these Web sites?

SCARAMUCCI: OK, so here's the problem, Alisyn, now -- because information goes into the marketplace. And, you know, "The Washington Post," I think, is a very credible organization, so let's accept everything is true --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: -- that they've just written. Then he has to answer for that.

You know, he -- you know, I don't know what's inside Stephen Miller's mind. My impression of him when I worked for him was no, I didn't think he was a white supremacist.

But when you're seeing information like that, if I was inside the White House with him I would go over to him and say hey, Stephen, this is a really negative article. It's going to hurt the president, it's hurting you. You should go out and address it.

And if you are a white supremacist, you've got to leave. And if you're not a white supremacist, you have to explain what's going on here.

So that's a pernicious problem with the culture inside the White House.

CAMEROTA: But do you think that somebody who peddles in this ideology and sends out propaganda like this, do you think that that --

SCARAMUCCI: It's bad. It's very -- it's very --

CAMEROTA: -- makes somebody a white supremacist?

SCARAMUCCI: It's very, very bad, OK. You know, listen -- you know, again, I'm not trying to parse words because I don't know what's inside his mind, OK? I don't -- I don't -- I don't what in his mind.

CAMEROTA: No -- you'll never know what's inside his mind nor will we. You'll know his actions.

SCARAMUCCI: I don't like it. Let me put it to you this way.

CAMEROTA: And so, these actions tell you what?

SCARAMUCCI: If he was working for me -- let me put it to you this way. If he was working for me, OK, he would either have to apologize for all of that and retract all of it or he would be fired -- period, the end.

And so -- and so, whether he's a white supremacist or not, it's more important about the leader. It's what does the leader stand for and what is the culture inside the White House.

And so my point is forget about Stephen Miller because I think he's a minor player.

CAMEROTA: Do you --

SCARAMUCCI: It's President Trump --

CAMEROTA: -- because it sounds like he has President Trump's ear?

SCARAMUCCI: I do, I do. No, I think -- I think -- I think what you guys -- I --

CAMEROTA: And by the way, if this culture exists in the White House, what does it say about President Trump?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, that's my point. It says that President Trump doesn't know how to manage, he doesn't know how to lead, and he's running a pernicious culture inside the White House. And so those are all very negative things.

But if you think the president is listening to Stephen Miller then you haven't been paying attention for the last four years. The president listens to nobody. He takes nobody's counsel.

And the fear for the United States and for the world is he is going to be sitting there for four years with his Twitter account open --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: -- listening to absolutely nobody and getting nuttier and nuttier over the next four or five years.

So, it's a --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: It's a President Trump issue for me more than it is a Stephen Miller issue.

CAMEROTA: Got it.

SCARAMUCCI: But if Stephen Miller didn't answer for that stuff, I would be firing the guy.

CAMEROTA: Anthony Scaramucci --

SCARAMUCCI: Hey, good --

CAMEROTA: -- thank you.

SCARAMUCCI: Happy Thanksgiving. CAMEROTA: You, too.

SCARAMUCCI: That's how we're ending the thing?

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's how we end.

SCARAMUCCI: Happy Thanksgiving.

CAMEROTA: Great to see you.

SCARAMUCCI: OK, God bless.

CAMEROTA: John --

BERMAN: Do you want like a curtain call or something? You want -- you want to another (INAUDIBLE)?

SCARAMUCCI: I don't know. I mean, yes, a high-five. I mean, it's Thanksgiving.

BERMAN: You say goodbye -- happy Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

SCARAMUCCI: I need to go for a high-five or something -- I don't know.

BERMAN: All right.

So, just what you don't want to hear the week of Thanksgiving. A potentially historic storm will dump snow and rain across the U.S. We have a live report from a city getting hit hard, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:53:36]

BERMAN: So, millions of Americans will be giving thanks just to make it to their holiday destinations this week because of brutal weather conditions. Denver getting hit this morning by this winter storm that could dump a foot of snow or more over the next few days.

Chaos on the roads, hundreds of flights have been canceled already. Oh, look at that. You hate to see those pictures.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov live in a snowy Denver with the latest -- Lucy.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John -- good morning.

This feels a lot like Christmas -- even though we're just two days away from Thanksgiving -- and that's not necessarily a good thing, especially if you are traveling.

Here in Colorado, we are in the midst of one of the worst snowstorms in recent memory. In Denver, you can see we've already got several inches of snow. They're expecting nearly a foot of snow here in the metro area and we are just getting started. This storm is going to pummel the area late into Tuesday afternoon. Eighteen to 24 inches of snow expected up north in Fort Collins and the Mountain Foothills. And this storm is, again, one of the worst.

Now, the National Weather Service has warned folks to try to stay home. Some parts of Colorado will be completely impassable. We have seen schools closed, major roads closed. Already, 200 miles of I-80 closed up in Wyoming. Here in Denver, all of that is adding up to a travel nightmare as folks try to get to their various destinations for the Thanksgiving holiday.

[07:55:00]

Denver airport -- nearly 500 flights canceled so far. A lot of the major airlines are offering free waivers so folks could change their plans -- their travel plans free of charge.

This snowstorm expected to die down by the evening but that's, of course, going to have ripple effects across the country as folks try to get home, John.

BERMAN: You still have some time to get home but running out fast.

Lucy Kafanov, thanks so much.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers now with the snowy forecast -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, already 14 inches of snow in Boulder overnight from this storm, and they already had 32 inches for the season. They're almost up to 50 inches. And it is going to be snowing all day long there very, very heavily. Visibilities are down.

Watches and warnings are posted from Michigan all the way back into the desert southwest.

Here is, though, the radar simulation of what we're going to see today. By 6:00, the storm does move away from Denver, although we'll have severe weather on the east side of the storm. That may delay you -- Memphis, St. Louis, maybe even into Atlanta with some low clouds.

And then we move farther to the east. Now, recognize the eastern half of the U.S. here is a rain event.

It's the Midwest snow that will start to snarl those airplanes. And if you can't get 500 airplanes into Denver, they're supposed to go someplace else. And then maybe you're supposed to be on that plane that didn't get to where it was supposed to be. So there will be a ripple effect all the way through the day today.

Very heavy rainfall in Nashville. The heaviest snow is Omaha, North Platte, and north of Chicago. Now, it will be a slow day tomorrow as well, all of this still trickling downhill with more rain coming into the northeast.

And on Thursday we're all looking for these balloons. The helium can't fly if the wind gusts are 34 or above, and the forecast is for 34. So, one way or the other, we're going to get them to fly or they're not. But it's going to be a difficult day to hold them all down, one way or the other, if they do fly, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: That's right, and it sounds like it's going to be a last- minute decision.

Chad, thank you very much.

Now to this horrible story. A beloved Alabama sheriff shot to death at a gas station by the 18-year-old son of a deputy from a neighboring county. This was reportedly over loud music and police say the slain sheriff's son witnessed it all.

CNN's Martin Savidge joins us now with the details. Just horrible, Martin.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It is -- morning, Alisyn -- and it's horrible on so many levels. As you point out here, the victim, the witness, and then on top of that the suspect here.

Details are few from authorities but here's what we know.

It's 8:15 p.m. in the small town of Hayneville in southern Alabama. There's a crowd of people and there's a pickup truck playing loud music at a gas station-convenient store.

And according to the "Montgomery Advertiser," that's when Sheriff "Big John" Williams steps up and attempts to talk to someone in the pickup truck about lowering the volume when he is fatally shot. The suspect takes off, a manhunt resumes.

And then out of the darkness, four hours later, William Chase Johnson, 18 years of age, the son of a deputy from a neighboring county, turns himself in to the authorities there. They recover from him a handgun. He's been charged with murder and he's denied bond.

Meanwhile, there is just a hole in the heart of the community. Here's just one law enforcement officer reacting to the news of the sheriff's death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. STEVE JARRETT, ALABAMA LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY: He was just a great guy. He worked 24/7 and he was always willing to help. The citizens here loved him. It just couldn't have happened to a nicer person or a better law enforcement officer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: As his name implies, Sheriff "Big John" Williams was a towering presence physically, but also just in the community itself.

And I should point out that he is the sixth Alabama law enforcement officer to lose his life this year. He is the fifth to die from gunfire and that is an alarming increase over previous years, John.

His funeral is expected to be next Monday.

BERMAN: It is alarming. What a shame, Martin. Thanks so much for that story.

SAVIDGE: Yes.

BERMAN: And thank you to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" with Max Foster is next.

For our U.S. viewers, the courts weigh in with major implications for impeachment. NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A federal judge is ruling that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify under congressional subpoena.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president's claim of absolute immunity is absolute absurdity.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House is saying essentially that this decision contradicts longstanding precedent.

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: The Supreme Court said the House will not get President Trump's financial documents, at least for now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their obsession with impeachment is going to cost them their majority next fall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can't be held up for months at a time to frivolous appeals. We've got to move forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, November 26th, 8:00 in the east.

And two critical court cases involving President Trump to tell you about.

First, a federal judge rejecting the administration's claim that top presidential advisers can ignore congressional requests.

END