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Trump Floats Delaying the Election; U.S. Reports Worst Quarter; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is Interviewed about the Election; NBA Season Restarts Tonight. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired July 30, 2020 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00]

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Which is good. 2020 will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history. By the way, he makes that on no factual basis, he makes that charge.

It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote.

That in a string of tweets, hundreds of them throughout his presidency is a remarkable thing for a sitting U.S. president to say and suggest, particularly as his public support is dropping and the economy is suffering.

CNN's Joe Johns joins me with more.

Now, Joe, I do want to inject a little bit of skepticism here because this is a president who often says outrageous things when he wants to distract attention. Of course this is a day when we learn that the economy contracted by a third in the second quarter.

Is this a serious suggestion from the president?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm sure people over here at the White House will point out that he just put question marks -- three question marks on the end of that tweet. But I don't think you can underestimate the seriousness of this because if you think about it in the big picture, this president is delegitimizing and undermining an election yet to be held, set for November, in which polls show he's in real trouble.

And so the question, of course, is, frankly, can the president do that? And if you look at the Constitution, the elections clause, it's pretty clear, it's up to the legislature, in other words the Congress of the United States, both houses of Congress, to determine the time, place and manner of federal elections. So both houses would have to agree, meaning the Democrats who control the House and the Republicans who control the Senate. And that, quite frankly, does not seem likely at all, even in the most severe emergency as it stands. So it doesn't seem likely and, nonetheless, I think we take it very seriously and examine what the president's talking about, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, the other -- the other point here is, if he can't do this legally, this is part of a broader message, is it not, undermining the results in advance --

JOHNS: Right.

SCIUTTO: If he were to lose. Is that a reasonable analysis of this?

JOHNS: That's exactly right. Right. And that whole tweet is about undermining the results before they happen, putting that prophylactic message out there that this is going to be a fraudulent election, which polls show he's in real trouble.

Nonetheless, it's pretty clear that mail-in voting works and the president, frankly, is just in real trouble and that's why you see this tweet.

SCIUTTO: Well, we'll see if sitting Republican lawmakers publically and resolutely reject it. They've been challenged before, often do not do so.

Joe Johns at the White House, thanks very much.

JOHNS: You bet.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Well, on top of all of that, just a devastating indicator of how painful this pandemic has been for the U.S. economy. We just learned this morning U.S. economic growth shrank 32.9 percent in the second quarter. That is by far the largest quarterly drop since recordkeeping began in 1947.

This as millions of unemployed Americans will lose their $600 a week additional aid tomorrow as Congress has failed yet again to reach a deal.

With me now, Margaret Anadu, head of urban investment at Goldman Sachs.

Margaret, it's so good to get to you. And we'll get to Goldman's report, specifically highlighting how devastating this has been for the black community because it's even worse. But just your reaction to this GDP number. We knew it was going to be bad, but the White House is still rosy. I mean you heard Larry Kudlow over the weekend, the national economic council head, saying, I still think there's going to be 20 percent growth in the third and fourth quarters and he said I don't think the economy's going south, I think it's going north. Is it?

MARGARET ANADU, HEAD OF URBAN INVESTMENT GROUP, GOLDMAN SACHS: Yes. Those numbers, there's no other way to describe it, they are alarming. And I really hope it's a wake-up for Congress. Individuals, families, businesses, communities are hurting right now. This pandemic is no one's fault. No one asked for this. And this needs to be a wake-up call for Congress that we need additional support now, not just the, you know, extension on the unemployment insurance, but more -- more support for small businesses. And this is -- this is not an issue for a month for now, or weeks from now, this is urgent.

HARLOW: I said earlier in the show, it's inexcusable that Congress has not come to a -- they had months to come to a deal. They knew that this additional aid was going to end tomorrow and now nothing is going to happen for it looks like at least a matter of weeks.

Moody's analysis, I'm sure you saw this yesterday --

ANADU: Yes.

HARLOW: Said that nearly a million jobs could be lost through the end of the year. Unemployment could tick up 0.6 percent with that loss of the $600 if it goes down to $200 a week. Is -- is Goldman's analysis similar?

ANADU: You know, it's -- it's -- it's similar and it's also -- it's also what we're hearing from our business owners, right, who employ half of the private workforce. And 84 percent of small businesses that we were able to be in touch with over the last few weeks said that they're going to run out of funding, and that's for their expenses, that's for their employees, by the end of next week.

HARLOW: Wow.

ANADU: So this is -- it's very consistent with what we're hearing.

[09:35:00]

HARLOW: So the analysis that you guys have done, along with Babson (ph) College, that you just mentioned, it's surveying 10,000 small businesses across the country. And what you found for black business owners is devastating. I want to point to this particular statistic as we pull some of them up on the screen.

Only 7 percent -- 7 percent of black small business owners say they are very confident they can maintain payroll without more federal assistance. And as you know, this is not just about the current situation they're in. This is about decades of, you know, systemic discrimination. This is about decades of unequal access to capital. What is your message to Congress right now about how specifically to target and aid those black-run businesses?

ANADU: Yes, so it's two -- it's two things. So, you know, you mentioned that this is not just about this moment. So the issues that black businesses are facing in terms of access to capital, it predates this pandemic. It is well understood, well known that black businesses are much less likely to have relationships with the large, you know, financial institutions and so what Congress needs to do is not just pass additional aid for small businesses, but they also need to think about how to support the institutions who are successful in serving black businesses. So through our work we've got a lot of success working with community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions, so the black banks, who have decades of experience and a mission in serving those black businesses, providing the technical assistance, getting them the capital they need.

And so if we want to save these businesses, we not only need to pass the additional small business assistance, but make sure that that assistance actually reaches those black businesses. And that's though these mission-driven intermediaries who have a mission of doing that work.

HARLOW: I think it's important for us not to get back to the economy as it was because that was not an equitable economy for most. It's important to take this crisis, learn from it and reimagine a much more just and equitable economy.

Final point, this is not getting a lot of attention but I think it should, and that is the SBA, the Small Business Association, reversed their original guidance on PPP that said that many formerly incarcerated people couldn't get it, right, so that it just further hampers their ability to dig out of the economic hole many are still in.

You're urging Congress to build on that. What does Congress need to do? Make the case.

ANADU: Yes, so the original limitation was that for business owners that were just as involved over the last ten years, they were not able to apply for PPP. And so what the change did, it shortened that ten years to one year. They need to get rid of it all together, right? For folks who have defied all odds and been able to have some criminal justice involvement, which we know that system is flawed, and still come out of and start a business and employ people, why should they not get assistance in this moment? There's zero reason that makes sense. And so Congress needs to go all the way and get rid of those limitations entirely.

HARLOW: Well, we know a lot of members of Congress watch, so hopefully they're listening to this.

Margaret, we appreciate you highlighting these issues. Thanks for being with me.

ANADU: Thanks for having me.

HARLOW: Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, the Kremlin alone inhaling President Trump's decision to withdraw thousands of U.S. forces from Germany. But that move drawing bipartisan criticism from members of Congress. Will they do anything about it? We'll discuss.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:42:40]

SCIUTTO: Well, in the midst of a deluge of headlines, this is one you need -- we all need to pay attention to. The president of the United States, three months from an election at which his re-election is in question, has floated the idea of delaying the presidential election, something that's never happened in this country's history. A short time ago he tweeted the suggestion saying that maybe we should wait, quote, until people can properly, securely and safely vote. This despite him having no authority to delay.

The question here, of course, is, is he delegitimizing the election? I'm joined now by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He

also serves on the Armed Services and Appropriations Committees.

Senator Manchin, thanks so much for taking the time this morning.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Thanks for having me, Jim. Good to be with you.

SCIUTTO: I want to get your reaction to the sitting president of the United States suggesting doing something this country has never done. Didn't do it during the Civil War, World War I or World War II, delaying a presidential election.

MANCHIN: It's never been done, Jim, and it never should be done. There's no reason for us, unless you're buying into a conspiracy theory, unless you're trying to set a scenario up in case the election doesn't go the way the president wants it to go or thinks it should go in his favor, setting it up for something is awry.

Well, let me tell you, there's an awful lot of Republican secretary of states, a lot of Republicans senators and Congress people who have been doing mail-in ballots for a long, long time and feel very secure in doing it. West Virginia's just starting it. We have a secretary of state who's a Republican and believes it can be done, and safely and secure. So this is not a justification why we should not have an election or delay an election. I'm not in favor of that at all.

SCIUTTO: I want to get into mail-in balloting in a moment, but I wonder here, this is a president who often suggests things that he can't do. He doesn't have the authority to do this.

MANCHIN: Right.

SCIUTTO: But is there still a danger here, in your view, in delegitimizing the election, particularly if he loses, as the polls now indicate is more likely than not.

MANCHIN: Well, Jim, if other public officials basically buy into it, whether you're a Democrat or a Republican trying to justify, there might be a reason to delay, then it starts giving pause to an awful lot of people who says, well, listen, if so and so said it, and that's my representative, I hope none of them buy into it.

This is a conspiracy movement right now, basically trying to set up a web. If something doesn't go right, there's a reason for it. There's not a reason for it. If people want a change, they'll vote for a change. We've been doing this type of voting for a long time, Jim.

[09:45:01]

No one's ever questioned it before. In fact, the president even does mail-in voting. So we're all in this scenario right now and it's a different time but basically it can be very secure and it's been done very successfully.

SCIUTTO: You're a sitting senator in the Democratic Party, in a red state though. You've often worked with Republicans.

MANCHIN: Sure.

SCIUTTO: You've voted with Republicans before.

MANCHIN: Absolutely.

SCIUTTO: Just doing that to remind our viewers of that. Respond to the president's repeated charge that mail-in voting will lead to the most fraudulent election in U.S. history. Is there any basis, factual basis for that?

MANCHIN: There's no factual basis that I have ever seen. I've been on Intel, I'm on Armed Services, so we get secured briefings. We have not seen that whatsoever. And to think that now all of a sudden this one election is going to happen, that is not the case whatsoever. So I am not -- and I don't -- and I've talked to my Republican counterparts yesterday who do not agree with the president on this theory of delaying at all, or believing that mail-in voting is basically going to cause this type of calamity, if you will. They're not in favor of it either. So I don't see it getting any traction whatsoever other than the president's tweets and the people that buy into this type of conspiracy.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Yes. And a lot do, sadly.

I want to move on to stimulus -

MANCHIN: Sure.

SCIUTTO: Because we saw this morning the U.S. economy contracted by depression era levels. One-third. It's just a remarkable number. And a lot of people -- and I know a lot of people in your state are suffering, a lot of people around the country. Where does stimulus stand? Where do the negotiations stand?

MANCHIN: Jim, let me tell you, it's a shame. For three months now we've had the first stimulus package (INAUDIBLE) -- the first two smaller packages went out and everyone basically worked together to get quick relief. And then when the big one came out of $2 trillion or more, then it started getting serious. They got bogged down and we had to get money for hospitals.

We're in truly a medical crisis which is turning into the economic crisis. You've got to get your hands around this medical crisis and get people confidence that they're not going to die if they contract it. We do have a vaccine or an antibody that will keep them well or heal them. We don't have that right now. So there's still a lot of consternation out there. So we're working through this.

But if you think it's going to rebound, it won't. So how do we give assistance? We have people that lost their job through no fault of their own. We have businesses that have closed, no fault of their own. They should be kept whole. They should be kept whole because it's not their fault. We haven't done that. If anything, then the $600 basically, in some states, such as rural states, it's more on top of what their unemployment would have been then when they worked. So there's an adjustment. I thought they should be kept home and get their full paycheck. So we have to go through that. We've got children that are homelessness.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

MANCHIN: Over 1.5 million children are homeless right now, Jim, and over 10,000 in West Virginia and growing.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

MANCHIN: Covid-19, put that on top of opioid addiction, put that on top of everything we have going in the schooling and nutrition for kids, we need help there.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Do --

MANCHIN: We've got hospitals, rural hospitals, this is the front line.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

MANCHIN: Twenty percent of America is covered by rural hospitals. There was nothing in this bill for rural hospitals. Maybe Mitch forgot about it.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

MANCHIN: Well, let me remind him again because we have a bipartisan piece of legislation to take care of that.

SCIUTTO: Has Mitch McConnell met with Democrats in recent weeks to discuss this?

MANCHIN: No. I'm not even sure Mitch McConnell's been meeting with Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic caucus. But, you know, it's a shame. It really is a shame. And we still have good -- good comradery, I do, with all of my Republican colleagues. I'm the most bipartisan member of Congress out of 535 that votes bipartisan more than anybody because I'm looking for what makes sense. If it makes sense, I'll vote for it. If it doesn't, it doesn't, and I can't vote for it.

But with that we reach out all the time.

SCIUTTO: Final question --

MANCHIN: We reach out to each other all the time and we can't figure out why there's not more dialogue going on.

SCIUTTO: Final question before I let you go --

MANCHIN: Sure.

SCIUTTO: Because I know West Virginia has a lot of serving members of the U.S. military --

MANCHIN: Yes.

SCIUTTO: A lot of veterans there.

MANCHIN: Yes.

SCIUTTO: The president confirmed yesterday that he has never raised U.S. intelligence that Russia paid bounties to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. And when asked about other intelligence not questioned, that Russia was arming the Taliban in 2018, the president equated that with things that Russia -- that U.S. has done to Russia in the past.

Is the president -- and, by the way, Secretary Pompeo asked this morning whether he raised this with Russia, would not say that he has either. Is the president -- is the Trump administration failing U.S. service members?

MANCHIN: Well, you take an oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution. To me, you defend and protect by basically protecting the people that are giving their life or willing to give their life for us. If we don't protect our military, then who are we? What type of a country do we have? For that not to be raised, and we've -- I've seen the intelligence. I've read it. And, my goodness, it is serious. For that not to be read and let Putin and every other leader of every nation know that if this is proven to be true, by all of the cross checking our 17 intelligence organizations, and I'll guarantee you, we will -- we will basically, you know, go after you with everything that we have.

It's just absolutely unimaginable to me that we won't defend the military personnel that we have and make Putin know, if you have done this, if we have proven this is done, I want you to know, we will retaliate the swiftest, harshest voice possible against Russia or any other country, the Taliban or whoever.

[09:50:13]

This cannot be tolerated, accepted and not to even be mentioned to him is unimaginable to me. Unimaginable.

SCIUTTO: Senator Joe Manchin, we appreciate you joining the broadcast this morning.

MANCHIN: Well, it's good to be with you, Jim. Be back soon.

SCIUTTO: And we'll be right back.

MANCHIN: OK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCIUTTO: Of course, among other things, the outbreak a big challenge for professional sports. And nearly four months after its season was suspended, the NBA will tip off again tonight inside the so-called Orlando bubble.

[09:55:06] HARLOW: That's right.

Coy Wire has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

And it seems so far for the WNBA like the bubble's working.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The NBA now ready to go as well.

Good to see you, Poppy and Jim.

So far the league's bubble experiment appears to be working. The player's union says there have been no positive tests in the last ten days.

Commissioner Adam Silver, though, tells Wolf Blitzer that he won't hesitate to shut it all down if there's an outbreak.

Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: If we have any significant spread whatsoever, we would certainly stop immediately and then we would investigate and determine whether we could move forward. I mean I'm watching, obviously, what's happening in baseball right now. They have a group of infections on one particular team. They have paused that team, and as far as I understand it, they intend to continue on with their season. I'm sure they're undergoing the same analysis we would and try to figure out where the spread is coming from and whether their protocols are working.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Two huge games tonight on TNT, complete with virtual fans on nearly two-story high video boards. Zion and the Pelicans tipping off against The Jazz, followed by LeBron and the Lakers taking on Kawhi and the Clippers.

Let's go to Major League Baseball reportedly having to create even more rules and protocols for players after a Covid-19 outbreak infected nearly half the Miami Marlins roster. According to multiple reports, another Marlins player tested positive yesterday, making 16 players, two coaches total.

ESPN reporting that the league sent a memo to teams yesterday outlining these new health and safety protocols. They're encouraging players to stay in their hotel during road trips other than to go to the game. They have to wear surgical masks instead of cloth masks during travel, and every time, Jim and Poppy, has to travel with a compliance officer to make sure players and staff are following orders and league protocols. These teams and leagues not playing in a bubble environment this season, Jim and Poppy. The most focus and disciplined team may be the team in the end who is able to compete for that title.

SCIUTTO: We'll be watching closely. Coy Wire, thanks very much. And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:00:00]