Return to Transcripts main page


British Prime Minister Avoids Trump; Bullock Ends Campaign; Democrats Face Possibility of No Clear Frontrunner; Texans beat the Patriots; Supreme Court Hears Gun Rights Case. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired December 2, 2019 - 06:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: In a few hours, President Trump and the first lady head to London for a summit marking NATO's 70th anniversary. But there are reports that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants President Trump to stay away days before the U.K.'s general elections.

CNN's Max Foster is live in London with a preview.

So what's this about, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, isn't it, because normally a host leader would automatically request and be granted a bilateral with a visiting U.S. president, but not the case this time, and I think the reality here is that we're in the middle of a general election campaign. Donald Trump is a divisive figure. Boris Johnson has a lead in the polls and they don't want to risk that in any way by associating with Donald Trump, who may embarrass Boris Johnson.

Officially, though, Downing Street really just saying this is about the election. We don't want to take advantage of visiting leaders. So that's why we're not having this bilateral.

The White House, though, open to the opportunity of a bilateral, we're told. They're much more focused, though, on many of the issues that will be coming up at NATO. This is meant to be a celebration of 70 years of this great alliance. But, actually, lots of splits forming. So Donald Trump and the U.S. very big on the China angle, Chinese influence around the world, particularly in the 5G networks around how the organization is funded.

Meanwhile, Macron of France really pushing this idea that Turkey shouldn't have invaded Syria as a NATO member. Also President Macron very keen on rethinking the whole idea of NATO as well. So there are going to be lots of splits appearing, Alisyn. I also think the other element that will probably come up on the agenda is ISIS off the back of this terror attack in London last week.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that, Max, because, of course, this is right in the aftermath of the terror attack at London Bridge. And so what is Prime Minister Johnson -- how's he dealing with all that?

FOSTER: Well, both he and Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn have suspend campaigning this morning. There is a vigil honoring two -- the two main victims, Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones. So there they are at that vigil. That was just a few minutes ago.

They were stabbed to death by Usman Khan. He had been jailed in 2012 for his role in the plot to attack the London Stock Exchange, but his release after eight years, after serving only half of his time, we've now got this review of sentencing. It's become a political issue.

Just listen to Boris Johnson yesterday.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think it's ridiculous, I think it's repulsive, that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years. And that's why we are going to change the law.


FOSTER: Now, the prime minister claims that is Usman hadn't been released early, this crime wouldn't have happened. But that actually hasn't gone down very well with some of the victims' families. A statement from Jack Merritt's family writing, we know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary.

So this -- these comments over the weekend from Boris Johnson actually coming back to bite him to some extent.

CAMEROTA: All right, Max, thank you very much for the update from there.

We also have some breaking 2020 news. Another Democratic candidate has just dropped out of the race. We'll tell you who it is, next.



CAMEROTA: Breaking news.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock says he is ending his campaign for president. He is telling supporters he does not think he'll be able to break through to the top tier of the race.

Bullock's departure brings the crowded field of Democratic candidates to just 16.

Joining us now, we have CNN political contributor Aisha Moodie-Mills, she's a Democratic strategist, and CNN contributor Frank Bruni, he's a "New York Times" columnist. So, Frank, I spent some time in August following the governor around.

I went out to Montana. I reported on him. And here's what the race loses today. A governor -- OK, so they used to win the presidency. So a governor with executive experience, obviously. And from a red state.


CAMEROTA: Donald Trump won Montana, I think, by 20 points. And Steve Bullock had this bridge building philosophy where he was able to be a Democrat in a ruby red state. And so that didn't work this time.

BRUNI: That was not a sexy enough pitch in this particular moment in time with this many candidates in the field.


A couple of other things. He got into the race really late. And we've seen that that's been tough for a lot of people. He's also someone -- you said you spent some time with him. I've spent some time with him -- extremely charging one on one, but that doesn't translate to an arena. I think in this race, at this moment in time, you want to captivate a crowd more than you want to have a good conversation with journalists one-on-one. And so Bullock had the sort of reverse ratio of what works best.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: So, Aisha, you look at this race now and Axios making the point today that if -- if the polls hold where they are in those early voting states, you could have different winners in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina.

What does that mean for the race going forward and does that mean there's an opportunity for an outsider like a Bloomberg to take advantage of that and jump in?

AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I don't know that there's an opportunity for a Bloomberg.

So, here's the thing, you still have to get 15 percent of the vote in every state in order to amass delegates, right? So if the first four states break up the delegates among the four different people, still very, very, very, very, very small number of delegates you're talking about.

When you get into Super Tuesday though, now you're talking about hundreds and hundreds that are available. And I think that what's going to happen is that you're going to see three -- maybe three or four people stay at that top probably through June. I think this is going all the way to June. You need about 1,800 to like really win this thing. And I think that the delegate count is going to be among the three -- the top three and four. The people who are polling at least 15 percent in those states. I don't think that someone who's at 3 percent, like a Bloomberg, is going to suddenly show up on Super Tuesday and like come in and take anything, frankly, because the way the rules work, you have to have significantly higher than 3 percent to even get on -- to even get on board. CAMEROTA: See, for the past year I've been like, you know what, it's

so far away. I -- the race is so far away. We're just really getting out ahead of ourselves. Now it's like next month.


CAMEROTA: Suddenly the calendar has caught up. And the fact that it's still so divided, the pie is split up this much, and we're starting next month.

BRUNI: Well, this is a uniquely fascinating race because we have not gotten clarity as the months go by, we've gotten increasing confusion. And I don't think anyone can safely say here's my bet for who gets the nomination. Everyone's really kind of, you know, flummoxed and confused. And that's why Bloomberg thinks he has a chance. It is a high -- it's a long odds, high risk strategy but I think he's going to blanket the California airwaves, expensive media markets. He's going to blanket those airwaves with ads. He's going to bet that many of the people below the top four are going to be out by Super Tuesday. He's going to see what happens.

SCIUTTO: With respect -- and I know there's a lot of confusion and you have different leaders in those the early states. One consistency in the national polling is Joe Biden at the top. And, for instance, let's look at the latest vote -- and, again, this is -- these are national numbers. We don't want to over or under emphasize them. Biden, 28 percent, Sanders, 17 percent, Warren down to 14 percent. This after an initial bump following the most recent debates there. And lead among African-American voters very strong for Joe Biden.

Do you think that his durability is underestimated, you know, by us? Sort of the cocktail party set, saying there's no real frontrunner?

MOODIE-MILLS: Well, certainly Joe Biden, I predict, is going to do really well in South Carolina. I think that his African-American support has been pretty consistent, which is disappointing to me because I don't know why a Kamala Harris, for example, isn't polling better among African-Americans.

But here's something to remember, though, historically about the way these primaries work, is that the person who is polling at number one is infrequently the person who actually takes Iowa, who takes New Hampshire. And so it remains to be seen. And I think that once we go into Iowa, I don't think that Joe Biden wins Iowa. I don't think that Joe Biden wins New Hampshire. And so that will be an interesting kind of tossup to see what happens.

SCIUTTO: It's a great point. There is some -- just in research here, 2004, Kerry was sixth going -- in December polling going into Iowa, wins Iowa. Of course, Kerry ended up being the nominee in 2004. Jimmy Carter was 10th in December polling going into -- of course, Jimmy Carter, in '76 ended up being the nominee. So you have a lot of precedent there.

CAMEROTA: Why don't you think Kamala Harris is polling better with African-Americans? SCIUTTO: I don't know. I mean I don't know. I'm sure that her campaign thinks about this all the time.

What's interesting, though, is that, I'll say this, is that there has been a real concerted effort to defame Kamala Harris, to really go after her and attack her in the media, through Twitter. This is -- this is not just simply, oh, we're talking about --

CAMEROTA: But by whom? Don't you -- I mean are you talking about the person on her campaign?

MOODIE-MILLS: I think that it is -- it is -- it is clear and obvious that there have been more, quote/unquote, hit pieces written about Kamala Harris than anybody in this race, frankly, and, to some degree, unfairly as the African-American woman in the race. If you look at say -- let's use Beto O'Rourke as a comparison, who for all intents and purposes had a campaign that flop, that had real big expectations. Not the same level of critique and attacking about like how his campaign played out.

And so I think that for whatever reason -- and some of this is media bias, some of it is gender bias -- for whatever reason there has been so much interest in picking Kamala Harris apart that I think has done her harm.

BRUNI: I disagree that she's been picked apart that much more than other candidates. But I think she was never given her moment.

Remember she -- when she came out and unannounced, she had a crowd like no one else had had. There were moments when she was doing well in the polls. I never saw her on magazine covers like you saw Beto O'Rourke on "Vanity Fair."


So I don't know about the negative attention, but she never got the same positive attention.

However, her campaign, I think, has imploded. I think that's on her and her people. She was all over the map in the beginning. The portrait that was -- that she created for voters was of a very indecisive person who couldn't figure out whether she was a progressive competing with Bernie and Elizabeth, or whether she was a moderate competing with Biden. And I think that's ultimately why her campaign has failed.

SCIUTTO: There was even a moment after her launch that Trump singled her out as someone who's formidable. Things changed quickly.

Frank, Aisha, thanks much to both of you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, guys.

MOODIE-MILLS: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: The Supreme Court will hear its first major gun rights case in nearly a decade today. We'll break down a potentially landmark case coming up.


CAMEROTA: All right, I really hope John Berman's not awake to watch this one. The Patriots were under the weather all week and they're not feeling much better this morning after losing to the Texans.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Let's hope John doesn't know anything about this, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, if he watched last night, Alisyn, I'm sure he's not a happy camper this morning.

And the Patriots, you know, they had so many players who were sick this past week, they took two planes to Houston. They had a sick plane and a well plane. You know, kind of like a kids' doctor's office.

Deshaun Watson and the Texans not making Tom Brady and the Patriots feel any better last night. Watson throwing three touchdowns in this one. This right here, a 35 yarder to Kenny Stills. The Texans quarterback also catching a touchdown on a trick play in the fourth quarter. Houston holds off a late rally to beat the Patriots for just their second time in their history, 28-22 was the final.

Now to a possible Super Bowl preview.


The Ravens hosting the 49ers and Lamar Jackson continuing to strengthen his MVP case and continue to make defenders look silly. Look at that move right there. Jackson, another hundred yards rushing in this one. He put his kicker, Justin Tucker, in position for the game-winning field goal. And he nailed it. Ravens win 20-17. They're now the one seed in the AFC after that loss by the Patriots.

All right, in the NBA, the pelicans hosting the Thunder, but the main event of the night turned out to be the baby race at half-time. Baby number six looks like she has it in the bag but stops at the finish line and turns back. Bold move. Baby five then makes her move with some interesting crawling, but baby six comes up and distracts her, Alisyn. After three and a half minutes of just awesome, baby five would eventually cross that finish line for the win.

CAMEROTA: Very tricky, that distraction move that the baby did. I saw that. I know that one. That's really good.

Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: Oh, it's fun. All right.

CAMEROTA: All right, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, today, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the first gun rights case in nearly a decade. Handgun owners are challenging a New York law that limits the transportation of guns. That law has since, we should note, been amended, but the case is moving forward regardless with some gun rights advocates framing it as a test of the Second Amendment.

Joining me now, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

So, first of all, the circumstance of this. New York has amended this law, kind of take it out of this legal pipeline here.

Will the Supreme Court likely declare it moot or take it up?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that will certainly be a big part of the argument. I mean certainly -- one of the -- one of the arguments that New York City is making to the justice is, don't deal with this. The law's off the books. It's not an issue. But I think it's indicative of how much conservatives want to get the Second Amendment back in front of the justices that even though this case -- this specific regulation is off the books, they're still pushing this case. And now with Anthony Kennedy off the court, Brett Kavanaugh on, they feel like they have five votes to really expand the Second Amendment.

SCIUTTO: They see an opportunity.

So folks who don't follow this closely, but you had the Heller case. This goes back to 2008.

TOOBIN: Right.

SCIUTTO: Expanded the Second Amendment beyond a well-regulated militia. The point being really establishing for the first time an individual's constitutional right to have a gun.

TOOBIN: Correct. And the 2008 was a -- was an epic case because of that. But all the -- all that case said was you have a constitutional right to possess a handgun in your home. And the justices have not really gone back to that. They haven't said, do you have a constitutional right to possess a handgun outside your home?


TOOBIN: Do you have a constitutional right to possess something larger than a handgun? All of those issues are things that the National Rifle Association and their allies want the Supreme Court to say.

SCIUTTO: Right. You know, conservatives, gun rights advocates will say, in the wake of that decision that the Heller -- Heller ruling had been watered down because some lower court decisions have allowed gun regulations to (INAUDIBLE).

What's really key here, this is what strikes me, and I think folks at home might want to pay attention to this, is that the Supreme Court could rule in such a way here that makes really any attempt at local regulation of weapons, even at the state level, impossible. Is that right?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. And this is again an example of how polarized the country is because you have gun rights advocates saying that any sort of gun regulation is unconstitutional.

SCIUTTO: Even I --

TOOBIN: Larger or bump stocks.

SCIUTTO: Hundred magazines -- you know, hundred round magazines.

TOOBIN: Right.

SCIUTTO: And -- yes.

TOOBIN: And you have a tremendous feeling in the country among many people that in the wake of mass shootings, in the wake of Parkland, in the wake of Sandy Hook --

SCIUTTO: I've been to these communities (INAUDIBLE).

TOOBIN: That -- that we need more gun regulation, not less. And what the Supreme Court may do is say those -- those -- that legislation is simply off the table. Could mean that --that --

SCIUTTO: I mean -- I mean this would be remarkable. I mean based on what you know and you're a student of the court like no one --


SCIUTTO: The makeup of the court today, do you see that as likely that they rule?

TOOBIN: Well --

SCIUTTO: And would the consequence really be that a state that says, you know, we've just had an Orlando, we've just had an El Paso, Dayton, we'd like to outlaw, you know --

TOOBIN: Bump stocks --

SCIUTTO: Bump stocks, for instance, or high capacity magazines that a court decision could make that impossible? Is that --

TOOBIN: Absolutely. Absolutely. It could.

Now, the court tends not to leap all the way --


TOOBIN: To, you know, a broad conclusion in a single case. But you could see a decision in this case, which basically says, we are going to strictly look at all --


TOOBIN: All -- any sort of gun regulation and basically invalidate them. And so this case will be a very important clue of where the court is going. SCIUTTO: Is it possible -- is the opposite possible that a John

Roberts court could say, no, wait a second here, these regulations are perfectly reasonable. We went too far in 2008.


TOOBIN: John Roberts is the person who will answer that question personally because I don't think there's any doubt that four justices will say this gun regulation is perfectly appropriate.

SCIUTTO: The four conservative --

TOOBIN: The four more liberal -- no, no, the four more liberal will say --

SCIUTTO: I'm sorry, yes.

TOOBIN: This is -- this is appropriate. And the four more conservative, Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, will say, this is impermissible. As with so much, I think this case will be decided by John Roberts.

John Roberts voted with the majority in Heller in 2008. So he is a Second Amendment supporter. The question is, how far does he want to go with it?

SCIUTTO: Finally, and before we go, even could background checks, expanded background checks be blocked by a decision like this?

TOOBIN: Well, I don't think this case itself will make background checks impossible. But I think if the Second Amendment continues to grow, if they start, you know, expanding the meaning, background checks could definitely be unconstitutional. And that's -- it's just -- it's such a perfect issue about the polarization of the country. You have the gun -- the gun lobby moving in one direction, much of the rest of the country moving in the other.

SCIUTTO: Well, and to be fair, the polls are massively different sides because the public polling shows that a large majority of people do support measures like this, right? So you've got a very powerful but small poll.

TOOBIN: And -- but you have an even more powerful United States Supreme Court, who honest to goodness don't follow the polls.


TOOBIN: I mean they -- those justices do what they think is right. They do what fits their ideological profile. And that may be to make gun control, gun regulation, increasingly impossible.

SCIUTTO: Jeffrey Toobin, that's a case -- it's an important case.

TOOBIN: We'll know more tomorrow. All right.

CAMEROTA: OK, gentlemen, we have some breaking news. China is retaliating this morning after President Trump signed laws

backing the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. China's foreign minister announcing that it is suspending U.S. military warships from entering Hong Kong and sanctioning American NGOs observing and reporting on the social unrest. The new U.S. law could lead to sanctions against Chinese officials for cracking down on protesters.

SCIUTTO: We also have breaking news in Mexico. Authorities there arresting several people in connection with the murder of nine American Mormons last month. Just a horrific crime. Officials say that three mothers and six children were slain if the ambush attack. "The Washington Post" reporting the Marines, National Guard, and other Mexican security forces launched a joint operation early Sunday. The president of Mexico scheduled to meet with family members of the victims today.

CAMEROTA: They just need to figure out what happened there.

Meanwhile, Hollywood is mourning the death of actress Shelley Morrison. Her career spanned 50 years, but she was best known for her role as Rosario, the no nonsense maid on the hit sitcom "Will and Grace."


SHELLEY MORRISON: I'm free from that evil witch. I hope you rot and I hope it hurts.


CAMEROTA: Morrison died Sunday from heart failure in Los Angeles. She was, believe it or not, 83 years old.

SCIUTTO: A great character.

CAMEROTA: OK, that was a great character.


CAMEROTA: We are entering a critical week in the impeachment inquiry.

NEW DAY has it all covered right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rain, snow, and powerful winds as millions of people return home after the Thanksgiving holiday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty slick. The rain's making it more slippery out there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have advisories and warnings from the western U.S., all the way towards the northeast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Winter is officially here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The White House would not be taking this opportunity to have representation at Wednesday's hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be to the president's advantage to have his attorneys there, but I can also understand how he is upset at the illegitimate process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This week we will begin the very critical process of hearing from constitutional experts to lay out the ground for impeachment of the president.


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

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. John is off. Jim Sciutto joins me.

Great to have you here.

SCIUTTO: Nice to be here with you, as always.

CAMEROTA: OK, we begin with a messy finish to the holiday weekend. A nasty winter storm causing havoc across the Northeast U.S. this morning, bringing heavy snow, freezing rain, and destructive winds. There are thousands of flight delays and cancelations and driving conditions are quite dangerous.

The West Coast is also coping with snow. Flooding and power outages. Fifty million Americans from Maine to California are under winter storm alerts this morning.

SCIUTTO: This week, the first public impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee will proceed on Wednesday without President Trump's lawyers. They have decided not to participate. According to "The Washington Post," four constitutional scholars, three chosen by Democrats, one by Republicans, are expected to testify about the standards for impeachment.


Today, members of the House Intelligence Committee will review their impeachment report. This ahead of a key vote