Return to Transcripts main page


Democrats and GOP At An Impasse Over Rules For Senate Trial; Washington Post: Trump Searching For Next Secretary of State; 14-Year- Old Questioned In Barnard Student's Murder Released. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired December 27, 2019 - 07:30   ET



JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: -- still snowing for the Northern Plains and the Upper Midwest. Rain still falling for the south. And then as we get into the east, look at that. You can see a little bit of the wintry mix heading into the northeast as well.

So we're going to see a lot of snow, a lot of rain from this, John, and a lot of travel headaches for the weekend.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Jennifer. A wintry mix.

All right, breaking news. Legendary Broadway composer Jerry Herman has died.

Herman won two Tony Awards for best musical for Hello Dolly in 1964 and La Cage aux Folles in 1983, almost 20 years apart. He also wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Mame.

Herman's family said he died of pulmonary complications in Miami. Jerry Herman was 88 years old.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, now to politics.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has a long-established reputation as a masterful dealmaker in Washington, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's move to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate has presented him a surprise challenge.

Joining us now to talk about this and more, we have CNN political commentators, Republican -- former Republican congressman Charlie Dent and Scott Jennings. He's a contributing columnist for the "Los Angeles Times." Republicans, both, lest I suggest otherwise. Guys, great to have you here.

So, for political junkies watching this extreme standoff between Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, I think has been like -- you know, I don't know -- Jedi warfare of some kind -- Scott, who do you think is going to win this one?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES: Well look, I think the outcome is not in question. I think whenever Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment over to the Senate the president is going to be acquitted and that's going to be a feeling of great exoneration for the president.

So if you look at it in terms of winners and losers, the winner here will be the Republican President of the United States. And the losers, in my opinion, will be the Democrats, who have conducted this impeachment in a really partisan way.

And I think one message they are sending, Alisyn, by withholding these articles is that when they started this process it was critical, critical, critical -- a threat to the republic that we impeach a president -- that he be removed from office. And it was so critical that they then decided to sit on it indefinitely.

I think with these kinds of moves they proved to be more political and less concerned about their constitutional duties. That all plays right into the hands of McConnell and Trump.

CAMEROTA: Charlie, how do you see it?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I think Scott is right that Speaker Pelosi really doesn't have a whole lot of leverage here.

She's taken a hostage, the articles of impeachment. And, of course, you never take a hostage that you're not prepared to shoot. She's not going to shoot this hostage. She will have to release these articles at some point.

Now to be fair, I thought the House rushed the impeachment process. That they should have gone about and subpoenaed Mulvaney and others and then enforced those subpoenas. Now they're trying to get the Senate to do that work. Now that said, the Senate should have some witnesses, like Mulvaney, like Pompeo and Bolton, and perhaps the other Duffey -- Michael Duffey -- to come in and make their case.

But I just don't understand her logic. She -- the only thing Nancy Pelosi can do at this point is maybe delay the trial. But as Scott said, the outcome is now -- not in doubt.

CAMEROTA: Well, let me just challenge you guys in terms of you thinking that it was rushed and now why is being slowed down. New information comes out every single week.

I mean, first of all, they wanted those witnesses. Here's what they would say -- here's what the Democrats would say.

They wanted those witnesses -- the witnesses from John Bolton to Mick Mulvaney to the White House, who was fighting them. They didn't want to have to wait to go through a yearlong, some predicted, court process. OK, number one.

Number two, since then, all sorts of things have come out. We know that there was this FOAA request -- it was granted -- where we get to see these new, interesting e-mails.

Lev Parnas, who has been charged with interfering in a U.S. election and funneling Russian money, is talking.

And Scott, Rudy Giuliani was back in Ukraine attempting to do the very same things that all of this is about, and this is according to him. He wants to do the very same things. He wants to get dirt on President Trump's political rivals.

So what's the rush now?

JENNINGS: Well, you make a very powerful argument about why the House should have waited and done the work that the Constitution requires. The Constitution says the House has the sole authority to impeach and the Senate has the sole authority to try the impeachment. The sole authority to impeach, that's the fact-finding part of this whole process, yet the House went ahead and rushed it.

To your point, things are happening. And to your point, there's more information to be discovered. And what the House has done is shirk its constitutional duty and now it's trying to get the Senate to do the homework for them. If the House wanted to follow the Constitution and take this seriously they could have gone to court, as you pointed out.

They never even subpoenaed John Bolton, who they now want the Senate to go after.

There was a host of measures they could have taken but they rushed it because it's a political exercise for them instead of something that they think is critical to the future or the health of the republic, and I think more people are waking up to that.


I really think the Democrats would have benefitted themselves by waiting and doing their homework and not asking Mitch McConnell to do it for them.

CAMEROTA: I hear you. I mean, obviously, their argument -- and we've heard it many times from Adam Schiff -- is that there was urgency. They had to do it now. They had to impeach the president now because these things keep happening that they say are interfering in the 2020 presidential election.

Charlie, what are your thoughts on that?

DENT: Well look, the White House has clearly been stonewalling here, but I do think the House did rush.

Now having said that, the Senate should bring in some witnesses -- they should. This should be a real trial and they should hear from these folks because we've been talking mostly process here this morning but substantively -- look, there's a lot -- there's a lot to go after here.

I mean, the president misused his office. I think he clearly abused his office. And we should hear from Bolton and we should hear from all these other

-- these other characters who were direct primary witnesses --


DENT: -- and firsthand sources.

So I'm not sure that the -- you know, I guess both sides -- I mean, McConnell -- look, the House rushed and now I think the Senate -- McConnell would like to rush. And I think that's always been the problem here.

Both sides -- the House and Democrats -- you know, they had an arbitrary Christmas deadline for impeachment and now I think Sen. McConnell wants to rush this, too. I think they ought to slow it down a little bit so we can have what appears to be a fair -- a fair process and a fair trial.

CAMEROTA: We only have a few seconds left, Scott, but witnesses, yes or no?

JENNINGS: Well look, I think what McConnell prefers, if I have to look into a crystal ball, is that they do it the way they did Clinton. Have a 100 to nothing vote on rules --


JENNINGS: -- hear the presentations from both sides, and then the senators can decide if they need to hear from witnesses at that point. I think that's the --


JENNINGS: -- construct they used before and that's what he'd prefer this time.

CAMEROTA: I get it. But, I mean, if they're going to stick to that very same construct, then three witnesses. So there you go -- maybe that's what they should agree to.

Meanwhile, former congressman Charlie Dent, Scott Jennings, happy New Year. Thank you, guys, very much for being here -- John.

JENNINGS: Happy New Year.

AVLON: All right.

"The Washington Post" is reporting that President Trump is searching for his next Secretary of State. We've got the details, next.



AVLON: "The Washington Post" reports Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may be leaving his post to run for a Senate seat in Kansas in 2020. Now, the "Post" says Pompeo has not decided yet if he'll run for sure but President Trump is already thinking about possible replacements.

And joining us now is the man behind this reporting, "Washington Post" columnist and CNN political analyst Josh Rogin. Josh, great to have you here on NEW DAY.


AVLON: So, Pompeo has been back to Kansas four times this year, at least. He has hotly denied any interest in this. I guess the real question is does the president want to see him go?

ROGIN: Right. Well, if you're Mike Pompeo, your one goal is to run for president in 2024 and the thing you have to do, number one, to get there is to stay in the good graces of President Trump.

And, Pompeo's calculation has been that Trump wants him to stay. But as President Trump has said and as Mitch McConnell is pushing, if Kansas looks like it's going to get lost to the Democrats -- like if Secretary of State -- former Secretary of State Kris Kobach wins the primary and looks like he's going to lose the general, then both McConnell and Trump might push Pompeo into the race at the last minute.

And I think that's why you see Pompeo sending mixed signals, opening up a Twitter account with Kansas farmland in the background, meeting with donors, and doing all this stuff just to leave it open. But right now, it seems like he's leaning against the run, actually.

AVLON: Interesting, interesting.

All right, but -- you know, what -- who are the folks that Trump has been floating internally? You've got a couple of candidates you mention in your article.

ROGIN: Right. So, President Trump, just in case he runs or even if he makes it to a second term, has been sounding out lawmakers and officials about who might be good to come next.

And the name you hear most often is national security adviser Robert O'Brien, although he just became national security adviser in September. Everybody seems to like him. He's a polished, confident technocrat with good relationships and a lot of diplomatic experience.

The other guys is Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin, who is very close to the president and he's ride or die in this administration. He's been Treasury secretary for three years. But there's a lot of concern in national security circles that he's dovish on China and too Wall Street focused and doesn't really have any other foreign policy experience at all to speak of.

And then you've got Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany, who has got a very abrupt and aggressive diplomatic style, but that's like a selling point for Trump.

AVLON: Yes. ROGIN: And then you've got Steve Biegun, who is the Deputy Secretary of State who would be acting if Pompeo leaves. And depending on when he leaves, he might be acting for quite a long time.

AVLON: And who would have the easiest time passing in the Senate vote?

ROGIN: Clearly, O'Brien and Biegun have the best relationships. And, Mnuchin and Grenell barely got confirmed the last time and the Democrats would put up a big fight on them.

AVLON: All right, it's fascinating stuff. But you're hearing that actually, Pompeo may be leaning against that.

ROGIN: Well, that's right. As we get closer and closer to the deadline his prospects go down. And also, you have to think about it --

AVLON: And when is that deadline, Josh?

ROGIN: June one. And you have to think about it in the context of the impeachment, right --


ROGIN: -- again, if you want to run for president in 2024. By then, a lot of people are going to forget about the details of impeachment. But by June one, it's still going to be fresh in people's minds and Pompeo is trying to avoid answering a lot of questions --

AVLON: Right.

ROGIN: -- about that.

So you could argue it either way. I think that's why he hasn't made up his mind yet.

AVLON: Before we go, you've done a lot of extraordinary reporting on China. And today, China, Iran, and Russia begin four days of joint military exercises in the Gulf of Oman.

What's behind this drift of these three strategic opponents of the U.S. closer together over the Trump administration's tenure?

ROGIN: Yes, it's a -- it's a big deal.


ROGIN: It's no coincidence that these are the three leading authoritarian dictatorships that are internally repressive and externally aggressive, and see the United States and its free and democratic partners as their main enemies, OK. And this is the competition that's shaping up and, you know, they're increasingly seeing themselves as strategic allies against us.

[07:45:11] And again, that kind of calls into question about where is American foreign policy really headed? Is it headed in the Pompeo, Pence, O'Brien direction or should we go with the Mnuchin direction, which is like oh yes, China's probably fine and we just need to work it out and make some money?

And if you look at what the other side is doing it leads you to the inevitable conclusion that we should probably be bolstering our alliances and preparing for our competition so that our system and our values and our interests can eventually win out.

AVLON: Josh Rogin, thanks for joining us on NEW DAY.

ROGIN: Anytime.

CAMEROTA: All right, John.

New research suggests that exercise may help prevent cancer. We have all the details for you, next.



AVLON: Authorities have released a 14-year-old teen who was being questioned in connection with the murder of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors. But a source tells CNN charges against him and another teen who was released are still possible. A 13-year-old arrested the day after the attacks faces second-degree murder and other charges.

CNN's Alexandra Field is here with more.


Look, police investigators certainly working together to build a case, possibly against two 14-year-olds.

They had released a photo last week of a 14-year-old that they were looking for. They located him in the Bronx. They brought him into police custody for questioning and they released him.

Another 14-year-old who they also questioned was also released. As you point out, both could still be charged.

But for now, as it stands, just one 13-year-old charged in relation to the death of Tessa Majors. The NYPD is saying that 13-year-old has said that he went into the park with others, that there was the intention to rob somebody. That they targeted someone else but ultimately, turned their attention to Tessa Majors when she refused to give up her property.

An attorney representing the 13-year-old says that his client didn't know about any plans for a robbery.

As we all know, of course, Tessa Majors was a student at Barnard College -- just 18 years old when she was brutally killed over in Morningside Park, not far from the campus -- John, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: What a horrible, horrible --

FIELD: Right.

CAMEROTA: -- story, Alexandra. Thank you very much for that update.

So, new research reveals what could be the major benefits of exercise and intermittent fasting.

AVLON: Not your jam?

CAMEROTA: Not yet. I mean --

AVLON: But there's time.

CAMEROTA: Even when you say jam it makes me hungry in the morning.

CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now.

So, Jacqueline, let's start with exercise, right? So, of course, we all know it's good for your heart, your overall weight loss health, but what's the connection to avoiding cancer?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Well, we now have new evidence that it could be tied to a lower risk of cancer as well.

Just recently, in the "Journal of Clinical Oncology," new research shows that exercising regularly each week -- if you followed the recommended amount of exercise you can lower your risk of these seven cancers that you see right here on the screen.

TEXT: Breast, kidney, myeloma, liver, endometrial, colon, non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

HOWARD: This new research is really, really fascinating because it really takes a look at that association between following exercise recommendations and your cancer risk.

And what is recommended when it comes to exercise -- here in the U.S., health officials recommend to get at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate- intensity aerobic exercise. Or if you like more of a high-intensity workout, get at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity. And, of course, you can combine those two as well.

But that's what's recommended and if you follow those recommendations it could help lower your cancer risk.

AVLON: I'm hearing Oasis' "Live Forever" in the back of my head here.

Listen, with those guidelines, though, are there any differential between different kinds of exercise? Is this Cardio-Palooza, is this --

CAMEROTA: What exactly? I need to know exactly what I need to do.

AVLON: -- curls? Yes, what's the deal?

HOWARD: That's a great question. Again, if you just follow those recommendations, this study shows that there is a link between a lower risk.

But what is important to mention, outside of exercise -- and exercise is great -- but we also have other factors that can influence our cancer risk. Of course, there's genetics. If you have a family history of breast cancer, that's important not to ignore. And other factors like smoking. You know, smoking cigarettes can also influence your risk.

So, yes, exercise is great. And those recommendations, if you follow them, the study shows that it can help lower your risk. But don't ignore these other factors as well, and that's important to mention.

And this study just looks at the association between recommended exercise and your cancer risk. It would be great to see more research that really looks at if there's a direct relationship there. But overall, it's really promising. And hey, if you follow these recommendations it comes with great benefits.

CAMEROTA: What I like about it -- is 2 1/2 hours a week of moderate exercise, like walking, I can do that.

AVLON: Is that -- walking counts as moderate exercise?

HOWARD: Well, moderate -- you know, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can include swimming. And if you do enjoy walking make sure it's at a fast pace or jogging.

And then, high-intensity, of course, is more of those really -- get sweating, get moving. You can do sprint intervals and really kind of just really push yourself. That would be the 75-minute vigorous- intensity.

AVLON: Fear-implanted (ph).


CAMEROTA: Yes, John. OK --

HOWARD: -- 2 1/2 moderate; 75-minute, vigorous.

CAMEROTA: Now tell us about this intermittent fasting.


CAMEROTA: Just explain what the research has shown about the benefits of this and what we need to do.


HOWARD: This is a really growing body of research. And just recently a new study, this time in the "New England Journal of Medicine," really took a look at all of the research that's out there and broke down OK, what does this huge body of research tell us?

And what we found in this "New England Journal of Medicine" review paper that just recently came out, it shows that intermittent fasting can help improve certain health conditions. And we should have a list of those health conditions here. They include obesity, they include insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease.

And it's really interesting that as we take a look in the medical research at intermittent fasting, it has been associated with improving those specific conditions. That's what this new research has found.

AVLON: So this is all to the good, but I guess the question is how difficult is it? Let me give you a specific scenario. Does this mean someone can eat lunch and dinner and basically meet the criteria? And can we drink coffee at other times?

HOWARD: Good question.

Well, intermittent fasting can come in all types of forms. You can choose to fast one day and then have a non-fasting day. You can do a day-by-day regimen.

Some people enjoy a time restriction when it comes to intermittent fasting, so you can eat within a six-hour window and fast for 18 hours. Or you might prefer intermittent fasting based on calories. These are all different options that people can follow.

But what is most important, some people might be able to follow these regimens but others might not. If you have certain medical conditions. That's important to keep in mind.

Of course, if you're pregnant it's advised not to do this. Definitely wait. And then, if you have a history of eating disorders, definitely, it's advised not to.

So this -- you know, intermittent fasting, it can be great but it also comes with really, really important restrictions and it's definitely important to talk to your doctor about what might be best for you. So that's important to keep in mind as well.

CAMEROTA: All right. Jacqueline Howard, thank you very much for all of that.

You and I could try it, but not today.

AVLON: That's a New Year thing. That's a --

CAMEROTA: That's a tomorrow thing.

AVLON: That's a Jan plan.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Stop with the jam. You're making me hungry.

AVLON: The Jan plan -- January.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much.

All right, now to this. The death toll is rising from this typhoon that struck the Philippines on Christmas Eve. Twenty-eight people are now confirmed dead there. Thousands of people were displaced by this storm and they're still in temporary evacuation shelters.

This typhoon was the equivalent of a category one hurricane when it made landfall Tuesday with sustained winds of 93 miles per hour and gusts of 21 (sic) miles per hour.

AVLON: All right, but get this. A Michigan woman is enjoying holiday gifts from a very special Secret Santa. A woman named Shelby received an 81-pound package from billionaire Bill Gates through an annual gift exchange on Reddit Gifts.

And inside was an original manuscript of "The Great Gatsby" signed by Gates. It should probably be in a museum. "Harry Potter" and "TWIN PEAKS" memorabilia as well, and a toy for her cat.


SHELBY, RECEIVED GIFTS FROM SECRET SANTA BILL GATES: Well, I logged into my tracking page and I saw that the package weighed 81 pounds. We wheeled the big giant box back into the FedEx location, and everyone was really delighted to get a peek at what was inside.


AVLON: Shelby said the most personal gift from Gates was a donation to the American Heart Association in memory of her mother who died just 10 days before Shelby's wedding in April.

CAMEROTA: That sounds like a good gift all the way around.

AVLON: I mean, that sets the Secret Santa bar unfairly high --

CAMEROTA: I agree.

AVLON: -- it seems to me.


AVLON: I like you a lot, but 81 pounds plus original manuscripts, that's a tough one.

CAMEROTA: The crappy vase I'm trying to unload on someone really is not going to cut it anymore.

AVLON: No, not by comparison.

CAMEROTA: I'm trying to re-gift.

All right, thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" is next.

For our U.S. viewers, we need to tell you about these two breaking air emergencies. NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: All right, good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Friday, December 27th, 8:00 now in the east.

John Berman is off today. John Avlon is here.

And we are following these two breaking aviation emergencies.

The first is a plane crash. A passenger plane carrying 98 people has gone down in Kazakhstan just seconds after takeoff. At least 12 people are dead. We've not gotten an update on the numbers yet.

Authorities say that this Bek Air flight hit a concrete fence and then slammed into a two-story building when it went down.

Now, dozens of survivors are being treated in local hospitals, including at least eight children. And look at the aftermath there. It's amazing that there are survivors.

AVLON: Amazing.

Our other breaking story is taking place in Hawaii where the U.S. Coast Guard is frantically searching for seven people who were on a tourist helicopter that's gone missing in Kauai. So far, no sign of the helicopter or its passengers.

Let's begin with CNN's Nathan Hodge, live in Moscow, on the Kazakhstan plane crash.

NATHAN HODGE, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, John, it was a catastrophic situation that could have been far, far worse.