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Fact-Checking Trump's Lies And Falsehoods From Past 24 Hours; Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton Discusses Trump Accusing Pentagon Officials Of Waging War To Boost Defense Contractor Profits; Dow Falls For Second Straight Trading Day Over Economic Nerves. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired September 8, 2020 - 13:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The president lacks credibility on this issue and so do the relative few defending him against this story.


SARAH SANDERS HUCKABEE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That story couldn't be further from the truth. This is a president that loves our country and will do anything to fight to protect it.


KEILAR: Sarah Sanders' word means nothing. She has admitted she knowingly lied as press secretary. And we know the list of lies with her is long.

Just a few: wrongfully saying the FBI rank-and-file lost confidence in James Comey when it didn't. And tweeting out a doctored video saying President Trump didn't know about hush money payments to a porn star he allegedly had an affair with. All of these shown to be untrue.

But back to the president. He claims he was so upset about the cemetery trip being canceled that he called the first lady.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I called home. I spoke to my wife. I said, I hate this. I came here to go to that ceremony. And to the one that was the following day, which I did go to. I said I feel terribly. That was the end of it.


KEILAR: A lie. And it doesn't take Angela Lansbury to figure this out. The first lady was on the trip with President Trump. She wasn't back home where he could call her and lament the cemetery trip that didn't happen.

On the pandemic:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We have done a great job with COVID. We're done a great job with the China virus, a great job. Whether it's ventilators or whether it's vaccines, which you will be seeing very soon, or therapeutics, we have done a great job.


KEILAR: And 190,000 Americans have died in just six months and deaths are predicted to double by the first of the year.


TRUMP: You're going to have to take that off. You can take it off.


TRUMP: You're -- how many feet are you away?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I'll speak a lot louder.

TRUMP: If you don't take it off, you're very muffled. So if you would take it off, it would be a lot easier.


KEILAR: The sad irony is that the masks that President Trump doesn't seem to see the value in would mean fewer people with COVID, fewer American deaths, maybe better re-election odds for him.

Then on a vaccine:


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You have asserted repeatedly that a vaccine will be on the market by -- before the election.

TRUMP: I didn't say they will. I said by the end of the year.


TRUMP: No, but you are not quoting me accurately. I said the vaccines will be on the market before the end of the year.


KEILAR: Not quoting him accurately?

Seconds later, he said this.


TRUMP: What I said is by the end of the year. But I think it could be sooner than that. It could be during the month of October, actually. Could be before November.

We'll have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date. You know what date I'm talking about.


KEILAR: When asked about Black Lives Matter demonstrations, he talked about the federal crackdown on protesters who have destroyed monuments.


TRUMP: We have now over 1,000 people, federal, in jail. We are prosecuting many people.


KEILAR: Wrong. His own Justice Department reports that a total of 227 people have been federally charged in cities. And, of those, just five have been charged with destruction of federal property.


TRUMP: I signed the law putting people in jail if you knock down monuments three months ago.


KEILAR: False. Precisely because it's an executive order and not a law. And all it does is direct the attorney general to enforce already existing laws.

Then when asked about the 1619 Project, which is a "The New York Times" effort named for the year that enslaved people were first brought to the U.S. and how it's being used to teach students of America's history with racism:


TRUMP: I want everybody to know everything they can about our history. I'm not a believer in Cancel Culture, the good or the bad.


KEILAR: Wrong. His is the believer in chief of Cancel Culture. A list of some of the people, groups and things that he's called to be canceled over the years, from TV hosts, networks, newspapers, companies, whiskey, and the actress who played Grace, friend of Will.


TRUMP: They spent -- just Mueller spent alone spent, I guess, $48 million. But whatever it was, many, many, millions of dollars.


KEILAR: No. Why lie? It was according to video, $32 million, a third of the cost of President Trump's inauguration, which was partially taxpayer funded. Though the government is expected to recoup millions from his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, convicted in the probe.


TRUMP: Biden's plan for the China virus is to shut down the U.S. economy.


KEILAR: One of his most often repeated lies. Or I should say that was wrong. Biden said that he would be prepared to shut down if scientists recommended it.

It's worth noting a president can't single handedly shut down the economy.

That is why, when President Trump implemented his own national shutdown effort, those 15 days to slow the spread in march, he advised Americans to follow directions of state and local authorities, which they did, as they shut down schools and so much economic activity across the country.


Then the president talked trade.


TRUMP: We're looking at the World Trade Organization. They've become much better. I will say that. We never used to win anything at the World Trade. We'd lose every case and now, all of a sudden, we're winning a lot of cases.


KEILAR: That is wrong. The U.S. has won cases at the World Trade Organization for years.

This is according to the president's Council of Economic Advisers. They reported in February 2018 that the U.S. had won 86 percent of the cases that it has brought since 1995. The global average was 84 percent.

Speaking of trade:


TRUMP: There's been no country anywhere, at any time, that's ripped us off like China has.

You see they're building up a powerful military. And it is very lucky I've been building ours up or, otherwise, we'd be dwarfed right now by China.

China's been very bad. On top of which we had the China plague sent to us.


KEILAR: Experts will tell you China is a threat and it's getting larger as a threat. It should not be ignored. But there's a growing emphasis on China by the administration as it ignores Russia, which is currently attacking the U.S. elections.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: What is the most assertive, the most aggressive in this area?


BLITZER: Which one?

BARR: China.

BLITZER: China more than Russia right now?

BARR: Yes.

BLITZER: Why do you say that?

BARR: Because I have seen the intelligence. That's what I've concluded.

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The greatest threat to the United States of America from a foreign power emanates from the Chinese Communist Party. It's not, frankly, a close call.


KEILAR: On mail-in voting:


TRUMP: Take a look at the races where they've have sent ballots out. Take a look at Carolyn Maloney, whose race should be redone. Because she won that race totally won unfairly to her opponent. Her opponent did very well against her. That race should be re-run.


KEILAR: There's no evidence of fraud in that race. It did take weeks to tally mail-in ballots. Was it the poster child for a pandemic election? No.

But it clearly gave the president of an idea of what he might do if election results take time and they don't go his way.

Next, I'll be speaking live to a retired two-star general on the president accusing the nation's top military leaders of waging war to boost profits for companies.

Plus, families sue two nursing homes after the bodies of loved ones who died from coronavirus were allegedly found in a tool shed. And Trump supporters and counter-protesters clash in Oregon. See what

happened and why.



KEILAR: White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, trying to convince top military officials that President Trump did not actually accuse his own Pentagon officials of waging wars to boost the profits of defense contractors when he said this yesterday.


TRUMP: I'm not saying the military is in love with me. The soldiers are. The top people in the Pentagon probably aren't.

Because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy. But we're getting out of the endless wars.


KEILAR: So that was just yesterday. Again, at the White House.

Today, Mark Meadows says he talked to Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley and Secretary Mark Esper and other what he says trusted generals to reassure the president did not attack them when he publicly attacked them.

Meadows saying Trump's comments were directed at the Military/Industrial Complex.

I'm joined by Retired Major General, Paul Eaton. He served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army, including as a commanding general of operations to train Iraqi troops during Operation Iraq Freedom. He is now senior advisor to the progressive group, Vote Vets.

Sir, thank you so much for being with us.

RETIRED MAJ. GEN. PAUL EATON, SENIOR ADVISOR, VOTE VETS: Brianna, thank you very much for having me.

KEILAR: Help us sort this out because you have Mark Meadows saying this was about the Military/Industrial Complex, which the military is part of that. But he is saying it's not about the military.

So what's your reaction to the president attacking Pentagon officials?

EATON: We have all heard the attack that President Trump levied against our general officers. Four-star generals and admirals are the interface between the developers policy and those who will execute that policy.

It is simply absurd to imply that our general officers and admirals are involved in creating warfare or delaying peace, that they are absolutely focused on more material and to support the Military/Industrial Complex, the industrial component of it.

President Eisenhower's farewell speech, unfortunately was overshadowed by President Kennedy's incoming speech, where President Eisenhower warned us of the Military/Industrial Complex.

There's no greater supporter of that evil notion that we are trying to create profits for the military/industrial -- the industrial component than President Trump.


It is absurd that he tries to do to the most respected institution in the United States, the U.S. military, what he is actively doing with the FBI, separating the leaders from the troops.

This is just -- this is a terrible thing that he's doing right now.

KEILAR: So yes. Let me ask you about that.

First, we know sometimes there's tensions of politicians and those in the military. The politicians, civilians, determine if the country is going to war.

And a lot of times there's, I think, a tension as Americans grow weary of something and the military is in the middle of waging it. We see that tension play out.

But this idea of the brass, which is in charge of executing and having the strategy for carrying out those plans, and the rank and file, what do you make of that?

Especially as the president seemed especially visibly concerned by that report disparaging rank-and-file military members, calling war dead and injured "suckers" and "losers?"

EATON: You've seen a pattern of this president shirking his duties as the commander-in-chief.

Let me use a historical example that clearly defines and shows civilian leadership, that the civilians are in charge of the prosecution of warfare.

In the early days of World War II, the senior leadership, military leadership of Great Britain and the United States, wanted desperately to attack continental Europe.

And we have President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill basically say, no, we're going to North Africa. You are not prepared for warfare with the Bier Mach (ph).

And by doing so, our president and the prime minister of Great Britain saved countless allies' lives by taking charge and expressing and demonstrating the wisdom to lead in warfare.

KEILAR: General Eaton, I want to play something that you put on social media after we heard that "Atlantic" report about the president calling war dead and wounded "suckers" and "losers."

This was something widely shared and I want to share it with our viewers.


EATON: You're no patriot. Let me tell you about the patriot. My father was killed in Vietnam. He was shot down over a Ho Chi Minh Trail section just outside of Vietnam and Laos.

He delivered ordinance to cut the trail and supplies. And then he delivered close air support to Special Forces troops on the ground.

And his airplane blew up. He went down in 1969, 13 January 1969. This dog tag was recovered at the crash site.

My father was a patriot. Well educated. He was a wise man.


KEILAR: You're not a fan of the president's. But I think these comments in particular spurred you in a way that even other things haven't. Why is that?

EATON: Well, it was a personal comment to me and to my entire family. My entire family, my wife, my sons, my daughter have served in the United States Army. Two are still active duty. My father, my father- in-law career Air Force and career Marine.

His comments are provocative. And Vote Vets put out another ad where we have a World War II veteran, a man captured, a POW captured in the Philippines when we lost that fight.

He is very articulate in demonstrating that this president is unfit to serve as the commander-in-chief for our armed forces.

KEILAR: General Eaton, thank you so much for your service. And thank you for coming on to talk to us.

EATON: Brianna, my pleasure. Thank you very much.

KEILAR: It is a big ad campaign encouraging minorities to sign up for coronavirus vaccine trials. And it follows a warning by the drug maker, Moderna, that its trial may have to slow down because there aren't enough minority volunteers.


Also ahead, the markets that were once soaring appear to be souring. We'll explain what's behind the selloff.


KEILAR: It's another ugly day for stocks and the financial markets. Both the NASDAQ and the Dow down once again today after tumbling after the end of last week. Right now, the down more than 300 points. Just a few hours now before the closing bell.

Richard Quest, CNN's business editor-at-large, is with us.

Richard, it's always a pleasure having you. Not so much today.

Tell us what's behind this latest drop and should investors be worried about this trend going on?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: It is ugly, to be sure, Brianna, but it's not surprising. The Dow and the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 had a tremendous, unrealistic run-up in August as a result of a variety of technical factors.


Stocks like Tesla were up more than 80 percent. Guess what? It was too good to be true, and it was. The market is now pulling back. And doing so in a dramatic fashion because the underlying economics, Brianna, are not good.

That's really -- you know, we had this run-up in August that wasn't justified. You've now got a market that's falling back to reality.

If we look ahead, you're going to have large job losses when the CARES Act provisions come to an end in October. You still don't have a stimulus plan or a second or a third for those who are out of work.

I'm not suggesting economic doom and gloom. I'm saying economic reality. And that is what the market is looking at.

KEILAR: Richard, we appreciate the reality check.

Richard Quest, thank you.

Just in, Dr. Anthony Fauci contradicting the president's claims on a vaccine timetable.

Plus, a new study shows what happened to the extent of the spread when the nation shut down in the spring.


KEILAR: It is the top of the hour. I'm Brianna Keilar.


And we begin with new comments from the nation's top infectious expert. Moments ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci once again saying he does not expect a vaccine before Election Day. But he is encouraged by the milder flu season so far in the southern hemisphere.