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NEW DAY

Senator Elizabeth Warren Drops Out Of Race But Doesn't Endorse Yet; Israel's Opposition Leaders Uniting Against Benjamin Netanyahu; Growing Humanitarian Crisis in Syria's Idlib Province; Federal Judge Reggie Walton Slams Attorney General William Barr For Mueller Report Rollout; Alabama Executes Nathaniel Woods Despite Questions About Culpability. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 6, 2020 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:30:00]

REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MS): To be fair, don't forget Deval Patrick--

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST, NEW DAY: Oh it's a great point. Well, he never - you never in the same time.

MOULTON: That's true but there are always two but it wasn't always more than one.

BERMAN: Okay.

MOULTON: But look I'm not sort of a pundit. So I can't tell you what the sort of analysis of this race is. What I think is clear right now is the Democratic Party is coalescing around someone that they see as a unifying leader and that's why I endorsed Vice President Biden months ago.

Because I said this is the kind of leader we need to bring the party together to win which is going to be tough. I mean, we've got to make sure that every Democrat is out to vote and we attract some independents even some Republicans as well to defeat Trump.

But it also is important to have someone that Americans know can bring this country back together again once he's the next President. And that is Joe Biden.

BERMAN: You say you're not a pundit, but you are a politician and you are a young man. Did you ever think you would be sitting here in March of an election year and the two people left competing for the nomination would be white men in their late 70s? Given everything you've seen in your party this party that celebrates diversity, this party which saw a new majority based on the votes of women in the suburbs in 2018?

MOULTON: I'm pretty new to politics, but everything I see every single day in Washington is majority old white men. I mean, you go into Congress, you can't even tell them apart there's so many of them. So the reality is that this is - this has changed the politics that's taking some time. And Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, all these amazing

leaders brought something unique and distinct to this Presidential contest. I was certainly hoping that we would see younger more diverse voices and end up in the final mix.

But I will tell you that I've always had tremendous confidence in Joe Biden. He is that unifying leader that we need right now. So what if he's a little bit older? I know he can do the right thing for this country and I know that he can beat Trump.

BERMAN: You talked about the gender issue there Elizabeth Warren was asked about this yesterday when she in a press conference in Massachusetts. Listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): If you say, yes, there was sexism in this race. Everyone says whiner. And if you say no there was no sexism, about a bazillion welcome think what planet do you live on?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Thoughts?

MOULTON: She's right. She's right. And it's a huge disadvantage that women have and not just running for President but in politics and frankly in business. I mean, my wife is in business and she gets these types of accusations all the time.

So Elizabeth Warren is right. We need to move - look. There's not just sexism in politics. There's sexism in America and it is something that we have to deal with. There is racism in America today.

We are not yet the amazing country that we aspire to be, that our founders set out in the aspirations in our founding documents, in our constitution a country where truly everybody is created equal. So we've got some work to do.

BERMAN: Where is the most work that the Biden Campaign needs to focus on going forward? Bernie sanders is seen as having the support of younger voters also Hispanic voters. How do you bring these different parts of the party together?

MOULTON: Well, certainly something I'm going to be working on is bringing younger voters in to see the wisdom that Joe Biden brings this but also the fact that Joe Biden might be older himself but he has consistently supported new leaders in Congress.

I mean, he was someone he was one of the first person like he was the first politician to come up after my contentious primary in 2014 and hold a big rally for me in Massachusetts. That's where I got to know him personally, in fact. He's someone who believes in a new generation of leaders and will support us. He's done it in the past and I'm confident that he'll do it again.

BERMAN: It is just so interesting and ironic again though you bring up your own first race for Congress. That was a generational campaign, to an extent.

MOULTON: It was.

BERMAN: I mean you ran against an incumbent who had been there for years. And yet again we're at this place where the two people left are just of a generation that's not one generation beyond you but several.

MOULTON: Well, look I mean, I'm not going to disagree with you. We know what the facts are. But it's important that we do foster a new generation of leadership in our party. It's something that I've fought for since the day I was elected.

And I think that the Vice President gets this. And more young people need to understand it. I mean, look young people right now are supporting Bernie Sanders. It's not like he's a spring chicken here.

BERMAN: No, no he is older.

MOULTON: And I'll tell you Bernie Sanders has done a lot less than Vice President Biden to support new leaders in the party.

BERMAN: How so?

MOULTON: Well, who - I mean, what has he done?

BERMAN: Well, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

MOULTON: Well, he endorses her. Vice President Biden gets out and campaigns for us. He holds rallies. He does fund raisers. He puts in the hard work to make sure that new leaders can actually win.

BERMAN: Does he need to choose a younger and perhaps a woman as the running mate?

MOULTON: Well, I mean that's up to the Vice President.

BERMAN: If he is the nominee either of them.

MOULTON: That's up to the Vice President but it is--

BERMAN: Would you advise him--

MOUTON: Yes. I would advise him to select someone that's not an old white man.

BERMAN: All right. Congressman Seth Moulton, we appreciate you being with us today. Thanks very much.

MOULTON: It is great to be with you.

BERMAN: One day we'll both be old white men. We would regret for what we said,--

MOULTON: You're right at there.

BERMAN: --you know if things go well we'll both get there eventually. Thanks so much for being with us.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST, NEW DAY: Great to see you. Meanwhile, families in Syria are living in hell. They are under the constant threat of attack. They're taking shelter in schools, even a prison wherever they can.

[07:35:00]

CAMEROTA: We have a live report for you on this humanitarian crisis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: After the third General Election in less than a year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his party has emerged with the largest voting bloc. But it is still short of the majority needed to govern. Oren Liebermann is live in Jerusalem with more what is the latest today Oren?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, Israel seems no closer to breaking its political dead lock than it was before this election which means right now less than a week after the third election in 11 months, the highest probability may very well be a fourth election later this year and that may also change nothing.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory on election night. He emerged with final bit unofficial results as the biggest party his Likud with 36 and his right wing and religious bloc with 58. But in Israeli politics you need 61.

[17:40:00]

LIEBERMANN: And that difference of three seats is a very far distance in terms of Israeli politics. Netanyahu's claim of victory may well have come too early again. But his rival Benny Gantz doesn't appear to have a clear path to victory either to get to that number of 61.

There is a smaller party that is a king maker here that sat on the sidelines after the last election. The question, what will that smaller party do now? Gantz may try to form what's known here as a minority government supported by the Arab parties on the outside.

But that may well be impossible and it may require more political skill than he has shown to this point. All options now are on the table as we wait for everything here to move forward into coalition negotiations.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Netanyahu still claimed victory saying he has most of the Zionist votes and saying the joint list of Arab parties doesn't count in this equation. The joint list Leader fired back saying Netanyahu wouldn't recognize democracy if it filed three indictments against him and preventing him from performing a government three times, John. That is a harsh response.

BERMAN: It is a harsh response, but I have to say we've seen all these different stages of uncertainty. We're in a new one now. We're in this new stage and there's going to be a collision between I think the legal side and the legislative side and it's going to happen soon. Oren thanks so much for being with us this morning. I appreciate it.

New developments in the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria, Turkey and Russia have agreed to a cease-fire in Idlib Province. This is the final rebel strong hold in Syria. CNN's Arwa Damon who has been covering the story for us, she is live on the Turkey/Syria border with the very latest. Arwa, what can you tell us?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Well, there's not a lot of faith among the civilian population trapped in Idlib that the cease-fire is going to hold given that any number of cease-fires that were negotiated over the last two years have all collapsed entirely.

So the people there still continue to live on the edge of fear. The children's smiles belie the depth of their trauma. The school is one of the many sheltering. The blaring music temporarily drowning out. The sounds of explosions on the front line just a 15-minute drive away.

Even at their tender age, they know death can come in an instant. This child is trying to have fun keeping weight off her injured foot. I was eating an apple with my sister and then the rocket hit us, she remembers. I looked and I could only see dust and blood.

That strike happened a week ago at the school just next door where her family along with others was living. A rocket slammed into the schoolyard killing seven children and wounding many more. Her father shows us her bandaged foot grateful his daughter is still alive agonizing over how she is supposed to even protect his children.

I am used to the sounds of the planes hitting, she says. But since we got hit, I'm scared of it. They've been training the kids on what to do if they hear explosions or the bombings come close. So one is shelter in place and then the other though was to follow the arrows painted on the walls to go towards the bunker.

It's not a real bunker just a room underground that used to store the now dust-covered school books. The skies outside the town are painted with the streaks of fighter jets. In the early hours the next morning, a chicken farm being used as house that displaced was decimated crushing many of those who sheltered there in their sleep including children.

Hospitals are overwhelmed dealing not only with illnesses and disease, but the constant flow of the wounded. There is no sanctity here, least of all for civilian life. In the last month, Turkey has upped its military involvement battering regime positions.

This group of fighters close to the front is mostly made up of young men who were in high school when Syria's revolution turned into a war. The Turkish presence is preventing the regime from advancing on the ground 26-year-old Abu Saad says.

Our fight is about defending the population. My wife, my children but how to truly protect this population? It's not really in these fighters' control. It's in Turkey and Russia's hands they the main two powers bartering for Idlib's fate.

No matter what is negotiated, there have been too many promises, too many broken cease-fires, too many sham agreements. Pain haunts every street.

[07:45:00]

DAMON: His son died right here. That stone has blood on the wall. Mohamed was just 12. His older brother tells us they ran when they saw the plane but Mohamed didn't make it. I tried to pick him up, but I couldn't, Hussein remembers. Mohamed died in his arms.

Even celebrations are bittersweet. These women are shopping for dresses for their relative's wedding. But it won't be a lavish affair. It's not the sort of happiness where you invite everyone, the groom's sister tells us. It will be small with immediate family. There's just too much misery and fear that a big crowd will get bombed.

Since December around a million have been displaced cramming into any empty space they can find even this prison. The families here sleep with their clothes on not knowing when they might need to run out. Her father was killed fighting years ago.

He used to play a lot with us when he was alive, she remembers. As we leave, we come across what's known as the graveyard camp. For even the dead are displaced buried as close as possible to the border with Turkey in the hopes that at least they can rest in peace.

And Alisyn, people we've been talking to in Idlib ever since the cease-fire announcement came say they are very angry. What it has done is basically freed the front lines exactly where they are. And now they're just crammed into an even smaller space.

And again, they don't believe that it is going to hold. They're aware that their lives, their numbers are just this pile of bargaining chips in this bigger game that's playing out. And for them, what that means is that their existence continues to be a daily effort to try to figure out how they, their families, their children are going to cheat death.

CAMEROTA: Arwa, it is also gut wrenching, it is so - your reporting is so powerful. And I know that people at home are heartbroken back here. But they feel helpless. So just one more time, I want to let people know that you have begun a charity to help the children of Syria. It's inara.org I-N-A-R-A.org for people who are feeling helpless today.

Thank you very much for your reporting. We'll check back with you.

DAMON: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Back here in the U.S., last-minute appeals fail to stop the execution of a man who many people believed was innocent. Why did the state execute him when there were so many questions?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:50:00]

CAMEROTA: The State of Alabama executed Nathaniel Woods overnight. He was convicted of the 2004 murders of three Birmingham police officers. But since that time, serious questions about his guilt have come to light. CNN's Martin Savidge is live in Alabama with more. So ultimately, none of that worked. None of those last-minute appeals Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, it did not. It was about a half hour before the scheduled execution time that the U.S. Supreme Court intervened, issued a stay saying it wanted more time to review the case. During that time Woods' Attorneys filed another appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court and Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama weighed in saying she was not going to grant clemency.

There was some momentary celebration on the part of Wood's family when that stay was granted but then just about two hours later it was lifted by judge - or Justice Clarence Thomas and the execution went ahead. Woods had no final words.

His case was tied to one of the darkest days of the Birmingham Police Department when in 2004 three police officers were gunned down as they tried to serve a warrant on Woods inside of a home. Woods didn't fire a single shot. He didn't kill anybody. Another man inside the house, Kerry Spencer, opened fire on the officers with an assault rifle killing three and wounding a fourth.

And Spencer have maintained that it was a spontaneous thing. He acted alone. Woods had nothing to do with it. But regardless of that, Woods was put on trial. The state said that he was complicit that he helped actually lure the officers in that these two have co-conspired in some sort of plot to kill the officers. Woods had always denied that.

Last night after the execution, the family members of the Slain Police Officers spoke. They thanked the state for carrying out justice in their mind. And even 16 years later, their voices crack with emotion as they remember their loved ones and their faces tumbled into tears. It is still that strongly felt in this state. John?

BERMAN: All right, Martin Savidge, thank you very much for delivering on this story the last few days helping us understand all the emotions involved. Want to bring in Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

And Jeffrey this is hard for people to understand. They watched this develop. They saw this man who was executed who didn't pull the trigger. And who the person who did pull the trigger said he wasn't involved at all. So there are many people who say hey, wait a second, then why won't this be overturned?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: The jury believed that Woods was complicit, that Woods was a conspirator, and it is currently the law in the Supreme Court that you don't have to be the instrument of death. If you are conspiracy to commit murder you can get the death penalty as well.

The other thing that people don't realize, I think, is that the Supreme Court has never said it is unconstitutional to execute an innocent person. That is not the law. The law is, if there is a legal error in a case, if you have ineffective assistance of counsel if evidence is admitted in a wrong way that can overturn a conviction.

But you can't just say the jury got it wrong. In essence, Woods' argument was the jury got it wrong and the prosecution and obviously the jury thought otherwise.

[07:55:00]

BERMAN: As there was no technicality. There was nothing wrong with the evidence presented in the trial. It was just they didn't agree.

TOOBIN: That was the way the case wound up ending. There were many twists and turns over the 16 years but ultimately, it was simply a disagreement about Woods' culpability and all the courts that reviewed it, basically said, look, we're going to respect the decision of the jury.

BERMAN: Where is the death penalty in the country right now?

TOOBIN: Well, you know this is - it's really one of the lesser told stories. The death penalty is down dramatically, including even in Texas where it used to be sort of the headquarters of the death penalty. The death penalty has been declining since the early '90s when there was a big spike in crime in this country.

Ever since crime has gone down, the death penalty has followed with it. And death sentences are down. Executions are down. But they haven't disappeared. And they are concentrated now in a very few handful of cases.

More than 30 states have a death penalty on the books, but actual executions take place only in really a handful of--

BERMAN: It is actually interesting I should have asked the question executions as opposed to death penalty because they're on two completely different tracks at this point.

TOOBIN: That's true. There are a lot - look for example, California has hundreds of people on death row. No one has been executed there for years, nor will be.

BERMAN: We have you here and there's another big legal statement that was made yesterday that surprised me. I have to say, I was surprised because I can't quite figure out what's behind it. Judge Reggie Walton who was a federal Judge issued a ruling or a statement yesterday which really criticized the Attorney General William Barr for how he handled the Mueller case?

Let me just read part of this to you. He said the inconsistencies between Attorney General Barr's statements and the portions of the redacted version of the Mueller report that conflict with those statements caused the court to seriously question whether or Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller report in favor of President Trump. Now it's not surprising me that people hold this opinion. There are a lot of people who hold this opinion. But why is this federal judge saying it and what's the impact?

TOOBIN: Well, there is a case before him where people are trying to get access to the parts of the Mueller report that were blacked out. Remember, not that much, but they were definitely significant parts of the Mueller report that were blacked out by the Justice Department based on grand jury material, based on national security, classified information, and they are trying to get access to this.

What Judge Walton has said is I don't trust the Justice Department for these redactions that were made because bar behaved so abominably in releasing the report. So I want to see the whole thing unredacted just in my chambers and then I'll decide whether those redactions were made in good faith.

But the slam on Barr, I agree with you, was really extraordinary. Federal Judges don't really talk that way very often. I mean, he sounded like Rachel Maddow and--

BERMAN: He's a George W. Bush appointee.

TOOBIN: --Bush appointee and he was really exercised and - but if you compare the report to how Barr launched it back in March, a lot of people have that complaint.

BERMAN: And ultimately, the impact might be perhaps someday we'll see the whole Mueller report, the unredacted version?

TOOBIN: I think we'll see more of it. Some of it, I suspect the national security stuff will not be released, but a lot of it related to the Roger Stone investigation which was then pending. I assume that will now be released because the Stone trial is now over.

BERMAN: Jeffrey Toobin thanks so much for being with us.

TOOBIN: It's always good to be with you.

BERMAN: Thank you to our international viewers for watching. For you "CNN Newsroom" is next. For our U.S. viewers, we do have breaking news on the Coronavirus crisis. "New Day" continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: The air national guard air lifting Coronavirus test kits to a cruise ship off the coast of California.

MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: We don't have enough tests today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to need millions and millions of tests.

WARREN: I will not be running for President in 2020.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What she fought for in the campaign was far closer to what I am fighting for than what Joe Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you be making an endorsement?

WARREN: Well, it will take a little time to think a little more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has got a choice in alliance with her values or her alliance with the party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is "New Day" with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Good morning everyone. Welcome to your "New Da y" it is Friday, March 6th, 8:00 now in the east. We begin with the anxiety for thousands of passengers who are in limbo on that cruise ship off the Coast of California.

45 people on board have been tested for Coronavirus. They will learn their results today when they come in when the results come in. Until then, that ship will not be allowed to dock. And if they are positive.

END