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Trump Talks Stock Market; Major Winter Storm Hammers Midwest; Weinstein Hospitalized after Conviction; President Trump's Press Conference in New Delhi. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired February 25, 2020 - 06:30   ET

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


[06:30:00]

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: About realistically it's going to make things worse, though there's no reason for why it is the president thinks that.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, Romans, the exact quote here from the president is, if I don't win, you're going to see a crash like you've never seen before.

Now, this is a person who likes to speak in hyperbole.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right.

BERMAN: But there's a reason presidents don't say those things, both political and practical.

ROMANS: Well, there's a reason because protocol has been you say the U.S. economy is strong, the fundamentals of the economy is strong, you know, a strong U.S. dollar is in the best interest of the United States. This president has put the stock market as his own personal popularity poll and he says things that aren't true about what's going on in the economy and the stock market and he exaggerates.

We have every ever seen a president do that. And what world markets want to see is a steady hand, right? They want to know that there's transparency and they want to know that markets are not being influenced by hyperbole and by cheerleading from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

We've just never been in a situation like this and it undermines confidence, I think, in stocks and in the president when he is saying things about the stock market.

He's not a stock market expert, by the way.

BERMAN: Never has been.

ROMANS: He's not. He never has been. He has said in the past that he's a real estate guy. He doesn't even -- didn't even buy stocks. So he -- now for him to be forecasting the stock market for his own personal, political reasons is -- is just -- never has been done before.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: But he does, obviously, as John said, often speak in hyperbole, often he claims to be winning more than he is. Has that affected the stock market over the past three years?

ROMANS: That's so interesting because I think that there is a dose of optimism that comes with that, that he has put sort of a pro-business dose of optimism. And a lot of the psychology in the stock market and the economy is in confidence. So he does project confidence. And that is -- that is real.

One question I have, though, is, for example, he said just a few moments ago that this -- stock futures were up substantially. They're just not. They just aren't. They're up a little bit, maybe. They're wobbling around. I don't know where he's getting his information, if he's trying to project confidence so that that will be confident in the market. But, historically, presidents have just said, fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong, and that has been enough.

BERMAN: So, Abby -- Abby, we're waiting to hear from the president. He is delivering this news conference in India shortly.

One thing that is notable, this will not be a joint news conference with the Indian prime minister. Why not? Because the Indian prime minister doesn't do news conferences. Never has done news conferences. (INAUDIBLE) avoids questions from the press. So President Trump will take questions alone in India.

But, Abby, shifting gears now, we were talking about the markets, but one of the things that has the markets concerned is coronavirus. And this is really a two-fold concern. Number one, there's the medical concern about it spreading to the United States and Democrats are now saying that the president hasn't done enough to stop that. But then there's also the fear over fear, and that's what's affecting the economy worldwide to some extent. There is a reaction to the fear of the possibility of it spreading. And we are beginning to see the White House deal with some of this, at least politically.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean there's a sense in which here not all of this is within President Trump's control, but he would be -- he was, in fact, one of the first ones to -- during the Ebola crisis years ago, call on President Obama to do more. So there is this sort of reassuring sort of expectation from the president that the president of the United States has to project confidence in the American government's ability to respond if it is necessary here in the homeland.

But also, beyond that, to potentially lend a hand abroad to sort of tamp down some of this anxiety because markets are global. It is not just what happens on American soil, it's what's happening all over the globe.

What's troubling for President Trump is that he's tried to sort of, you know, downplay coronavirus fears, even in some ways kind of dismissing it, and people are looking at whether the Trump administration is actually, in fact, prepared for this.

There was a position at the National Security Council, senior director for global bio threats, that was eliminated last year by the Trump administration. That position was actually created to deal with this very sort of issue. It was created during the Ebola crisis, a crisis I covered in which the Obama administration felt like they had to not just deal with it in the United States, but actually mount a response overseas. So there's some real questions about whether this administration is prepared to coordinate that kind of response and get ahead of some of these concerns before it even becomes a real problem here in -- on U.S. soil.

BERMAN: All right, Abby, Romans, Kaitlan, stand by.

One thing I just also want to add about the president's statement that the markets will tank if he's not re-elected. He's not at a political event in India right now. This is a state visit to India where he is meeting with business leaders in India. That type of domestic, political, electoral, personal privilege statement is not the type of thing presidents do. You should not do that and campaign overseas like that. That's just --

CAMEROTA: I -- I mean, as Christine also points out, also he has no way of knowing. He's no oracle about that.

BERMAN: Yes, well --

[06:35:00]

ROMANS: Well, you ought to be able to trust and believe what the president says in case there really is a stock market crash or a crisis. And if you've been exaggerating and using hyperbole and using the stock market for your own political purposes, then if something really bad happens, how do you trust what you're hearing from the administration?

BERMAN: But also the president shouldn't be over there meeting with Indian business leaders telling them, without me, the world economy is going to tank. Just not the type of thing that should happen.

CAMEROTA: Now to this story, Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape and then was rushed to the hospital. We have all of the latest on this landmark verdict.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: A major winter storm hammering the Midwest with heavy snow and wind. Chicago and Detroit expected to be especially hard hit.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers with the forecast.

Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, yesterday it looked like Chicago would go right through the storm. Now it looks like south side. But, Detroit, you are in it to win it. Also now Toledo and Cleveland and even into Buffalo on the updated satellite picture here and radar.

[06:40:06]

We are going to see the event take a little bit farther to the south than we were over the past couple of forecasts. The snow already started almost around St. Louis, just north of there. That's the first part. But if you go just south of Chicago, into Detroit, into Toledo, and then eventually even into Cleveland, Erie and Buffalo, that's where this storm is headed.

Now, it's a four to six inch snowfall. Some may be eight inches, but that would be the exception, not the rule. So major is a big word for snowstorms this time of year, especially for Chicago and Detroit. I don't think maybe four is going to be all that big a deal. But if you get farther up into New England, that's where it's going to pick up speed. Look at this pink and orange and purple, up into parts of Ontario and Quebec could pick up to a foot of snow.

Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, good to know. Thank you very much, Chad.

So, disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein could spend many years behind bars. On Monday he was convicted of two felony sex crimes. Weinstein was taken to the hospital directly from court because of chest pains following that verdict. His conviction is being hailed as a milestone in the Me Too movement.

CNN's Jean Casarez has been covering this for weeks. She is live at the hospital where Weinstein is being treated.

What's the latest, Jean?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest is that he was on his way to Rikers Island, taken here because of heart palpitations, high blood pressure. They needed to be cautious, but he is in the custody of corrections.

His defense attorneys tell me they are disappointed. They wanted out and out acquittals. But the reality is, they did get an acquittal on the most serious charges. Nonetheless, Harvey Weinstein is a convicted sex offender.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CYRUS VANCE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF NEW YORK: This is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America, I believe, and this is a new day.

CASAREZ (voice over): Harvey Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, now a convicted rapist. The disgraced movie mogul was found guilty of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree involving one woman and rape in the third degree involving another.

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: It's no longer business as usual in the United States. This is the age of empowerment of women. And you cannot intimidate them anymore because women will not be silenced.

CASAREZ: The charges stem from allegations from two women, Miriam Haleyi alleged Weinstein forced oral sex on her in 2006, and Jessica Mann claimed Weinstein raped her in 2013. Both women testified at Weinstein's trial, along with a handful of other women, as the prosecutors attempted to establish a pattern of predatory sexual behavior.

VANCE: These are eight women who pulled our justice system into the 21st century by declaring that rape is rape and sexual assault is sexual assault, no matter what.

CASAREZ: Weinstein's bond was revoked pending sentencing and he was to be remanded to Rikers Island. But on the way there last night, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital due to chest pains and heart palpitations.

Weinstein is expected to be sentenced March 11th. He faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of more than two decades in prison.

The conviction of Harvey Weinstein is seen as a triumph for the Me Too movement and comes two years after two investigations into allegations against Weinstein were published by "The New York Times" and "The New Yorker."

TARANA BURKE, ACTIVIST AND FOUNDER, #METOO CAMPAIGN: It's hard to know how this is going to reverberate throughout history, but I think that it will definitely send a message that it's -- that this is a moment where survivors will be heard and will be seen and, in cases like this, will even be believed.

CASAREZ: The jury deliberated for 26 hours over five days and acquitted Weinstein of the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault and first degree rape. Weinstein's attorneys argue the justice system failed their client.

CASAREZ (on camera): Did Harvey Weinstein get a fair trial?

DONNA ROTUNNO, HARVEY WEINSTEIN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't know if Harvey Weinstein could get a fair trial.

DAMON M. CHERONIS, HARVEY WEINSTEIN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't know if he could get one anywhere. And it's not even the jurors fault, really, you know, when you come into a courtroom and you're inundated for the last two years about the Harvey Weinstein story and reports about him, it's very hard for jurors, I think, to keep that out of their mind.

CASAREZ (voice over): Weinstein's attorneys say they will appeal the verdict and feel this case could have further reaching consequences to our criminal justice system.

CASAREZ (on camera): For a lot of people, this was vindication of the Me Too movement. That this is now the -- Cyrus Vance, who is the district attorney in New York City, made a statement, this is a new era, this is a new dawn.

Your response to that?

ROTUNNO: You know, I saw -- I saw the statement and I -- I think that it's frightening to think about a new dawn in a criminal justice system that doesn't have changes, right? [06:45:02]

Our criminal justice system is steeped in our rights as citizens and our rights to due process and our rights to the presumption of innocence. And if this notion is that we should just start believing people just because they make claims, I think that challenges the criminal justice system as we know it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CASAREZ: And both sides now are preparing for sentencing. It will be in a very short time, about two weeks. At that sentencing hearing, there can be victim impact statements. There are victims because of these convictions. And the judge can either sentence him to 25 years plus four years or have a concurrent sentence. But for Harvey Weinstein at 67 years of age, that could be a life sentence.

Back to you.

CAMEROTA: The victim impact statements could certainly also be interesting because there are so many and during the course of this trial the victims even who weren't featured in the trial, even whose charges didn't stem from them, sort of locked arms and came together and showed solidarity during all of that.

BERMAN: It's a really important moment, not just societal, but also legal. And we're going to have a chance to talk about this much more in the broadcast.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

Meanwhile, we're standing by because President Trump is about to make a statement from India. We're told he'll be doing a press conference. It's always hard to know what to predict with these things. However, it is highly possible that he would talk about coronavirus, how his administration is trying to tackle this, as well as the stock market plunge and whatever else he feels like talking about.

So, we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:50:27]

BERMAN: We have breaking news.

Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak, is dead. He ruled Egypt for 30 years until he was ousted and jailed during the Arab Spring revolution in 2011. During his reign, an emergency law was passed that gave Egyptian authorities enormous powers to arrest and infringe on human rights. Mubarak was released from prison in 2017 after being acquitted of the most serious charges against him. He was 91 years old.

CAMEROTA: The search resumes this morning in Tennessee for two teenagers and a father who failed to return from a fishing tournament Saturday night. The search was suspended yesterday because of dangerous river conditions. Officials recovered a 20 foot boat that they believe is theirs. The 15-year-old boys were members of a high school fishing team and the man is the father of one of those students. A school district official says the boat was having trouble before the start of the competition but was able to launch.

BERMAN: New Orleans has banned tandem floats at today's Mardi Gras celebrations after a pair of deadly accidents. One man was killed during a parade on Saturday and a woman was struck and killed by a tandem float last Wednesday. A single tractor will now carry each float section instead of hitching several pieces together.

CAMEROTA: Katherine Johnson, the brilliant NASA mathematician who helped make it possible for Apollo 11 to land on the moon, has died. She was 101 years old. The story of Johnson's genius and her ability to overcome segregation at NASA was profiled in the 2016 hit movie "Hidden Figures." In 2015, President Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contributions to American space travel.

BERMAN: What a life.

So the most famous accidental tourist attraction in Texas is still standing, but likely not for long. Crews are working to finally topple the leaning tower of Dallas, the remains of an 11-story office tower that stood tall on an angle when an implosion failed to bring it down. Look at that. This time the demolition team is using an old fashioned crane and wrecking ball.

CAMEROTA: Go old school with these things.

BERMAN: The tower became a bit of a viral sensation. Fans posing next to it, as if it were the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Look at that.

CAMEROTA: We should take that live. I'm telling you, viewers love implosions and maybe also wrecking balls.

BERMAN: Absolutely.

There's one thing you've learned in your journalistic career --

CAMEROTA: I know -- I know implosions, OK?

Now to this.

There was this very emotional farewell to basketball legend Kobe Bryant. How his widow and his fellow players paid tribute in the arena that he made famous.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:55:52]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: This is President Trump in New Delhi after meeting with the Indian prime minister. He's going to take some questions.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A couple of really great days in India. Prime Minister Modi is a terrific man. He's a terrific leader. And we have a lot of things going in terms of product being purchased by India.

(PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PRESS CONFERENCE)

[06:59:58]

TRUMP: So, with that, I think what we'll do is take some questions and we'll go to a nice state dinner and then we go home.

Yes, John, go ahead.

QUESTION: Mr. President