Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

Trump Vents Anger; Trump Wins New Hampshire Primary; New Hampshire Exit Polls; Loose Bolts on Boeing Max; Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 24, 2024 - 06:30   ET



JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST AND ANCHOR: From the voters but independents and moderates are principled. They're not partisan (INAUDIBLE). They try to put country over party. And Donald Trump's got a fundamental problem. Biden's got some challenges as well, no question, but Donald Trump's brand is chaos, anger, division and buy into my lie.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Can we just listen to some of that?

AVLON: Yes, please.

HARLOW: To your point from last night. Here it is.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I said, wow, she's doing -- like a speech like she won. She didn't win. She lost.

But let's not have somebody take a victory when she had a very bad night. She had a very bad night.

I'm up and I'm watching and I said, she's taking a victory lap. And we - we beat her so badly, she was -- but Ron beat her also. You know, Ron came in second and he left. She came in third and she's still hanging around.

You can't let people get away with bullshit, OK? You can't. You just can't do that. And when I watched her in the fancy dress, that probably wasn't so fancy, come up, I said, what's she doing, we won.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think his -- like he's at all self- aware?


MATTINGLY: About the irony of everything he was just saying there?

AVLON: That is a chef's kiss of a mash-up, right? I mean, no, every accusation is a confession for someone like Donald Trump. But that was particularly amazing. First of all, accusing her of saying she won an election when she didn't. Which, of course, Donald Trump personifies that lie that has divided the American people. But then the really - the really great moment is, you can't let people get away with bullshit in life.


AVLON: When that's what he's been peddling at unprecedented levels.

CARTER: The thing that's so interesting is, you can play that same clip for a supporter and for a hater. And you play it for a supporter -- and I - and I did this, and I heard from them saying, he tells it like it is. He's such a straight shooter. This is just -- I love his authenticity.

AVLON: And -

CARTER: And then you - and then you have somebody like John listening to it and he's like, oh, my God, right?

AVLON: Well, no, but - but I think it's really important - that's such an important point. I take it - you know, his supporters think he's an authentic liar, and that's a complicated thing to unpack, but it's important to say, but it's a - but it's important to say this, that two feelings are not equivalent when shown up - when compared to facts. Our north star is facts. It's the truth, as best we can attain it. And so it's fine for people to have different feelings, but the facts say one side is actually right in saying that's unself-aware, self, you know, nonsense because he denies election results and peddles bullshit. The other is based on partisan feelings and tribalism. The two things are not equivalent, and we need to do a better job of calling that out.

MATTINGLY: John Avlon, Lee Carter, thanks, guys.

AVLON: Thanks.

CARTER: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Let's head back out live to Kasie Hunt in Amhurst, New Hampshire.

Kasie, what are you hearing?


Sources tell CNN Donald Trump spent the night seething because Nikki Haley is not dropping out despite losing the primary by double digits. Up next, the message that Republican voters are sending by handing Trump another win. We'll talk all about it.


[06:36:40] HUNT: Welcome back. I'm Kasie Hunt, live in Amhurst, New Hampshire, at MaryAnn's Diner.

Donald Trump has made history with a decisive primary win here last night.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can go up and I can say to everybody, oh, thank you for the victory. It's wonderful. It's wonderful. Or I can go up and say, who the hell was the imposter that went up on the stage before and, like, claimed a victory? She did very poorly, actually. She had to win. The governor said, she's going to win, she's going to win, she's going to win. Then she - she failed badly.


HUNT: Not a classic victory speech.

This time around, his margin of victory was smaller than it was last week in Iowa, but in the modern era, no non-incumbent has won both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary without going on to win his party's nomination.

All right, joining us now, politics correspondent at "The New York Times," Michael Gold, and senior political correspondent at "The Wall Street Journal," Molly Ball.

Thank you both for being here.

It's - you guys were both with Trump last night, is that right?



HUNT: All right. So, we saw there just the tone of his speech, right? Like, aggressively going after Nikki Haley as an imposter.

I just want to contrast that with what we heard out of Iowa, which is, I think, where, you know, his top advisers, Susie Wiles, Chris LaCivita want him to be. This was Trump in Iowa last week.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to congratulate Ron and Nikki for having a - a good - a good time together. We're all having a good time together. And I think they both actually did very well.


HUNT: Molly, where did that guy go? I mean why can't he - I mean he could have just ignored Nikki Haley and said, hey, look, it's just - it's me, and left it at that.

BALL: And - and I'm sure that's the advice he got. And, honestly, I think that it would look a lot better for him this morning if he had been able to go out there and say, this is a big win for me and I don't care what she says. But as Trump himself said, he doesn't have much of a poker face. He's not capable of really containing his emotions when that's what he's feeling. And he's very annoyed that, you know, she said she - she came in a close second. He believes she came in last. And he would like her to get out of this race and she's not there yet.

HUNT: Michael, I mean, is there something particular - I mean we know Trump is often more aggressive in criticizing women than men candidates, but, I mean, what is it about - you know, and you were there, and you've been covering his campaign, what was is about what happened last night with Nikki Haley that made him so angry?

GOLD: I think that he followed the expectations that he felt her campaign was setting, which is that she was going to win in New Hampshire, and she needed a win in New Hampshire, or she needed to come closer than she did. I think we're looking at an 11-point gap between the two of them.

I think he had the understanding that a lot of people, a lot of analysts had, which is that if she didn't come within ten points of him, there was no reason for her to stay in the race. And when she got on that stage and basically said, yes, I finished where I wanted to finish, we're going to keep going. It wasn't the best showing I could have had, but we still have a race here, I think that set him off. You saw on Truth Social, he called her delusional. He said she said she had to win. She didn't win. And he mentioned it in the speech.

HUNT: Right. And the dress, I think, it was not a very high-end dress according to Donald - I mean --

GOLD: He did say that, yes.

BALL: Do we know who the designer was? I -- can we fact this claim about whether or not the dress was "fancy"?

HUNT: Should call Kate back into the studio to be here and find that out.

BALL: Yes, exactly.

HUNT: So, Molly, big picture here. You have a great piece in "The Wall Street Journal" this morning that I really commend to everyone.


And you write about kind of how -- what Trump's Republican Party is now. And you write, "once Republican presidents from Reagan to George W. Bush pushed amnesty for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, Trump promised to immediately launch the largest deportation program in history." And, "once, Republicans venerated free markets, Trump touted the tariffs he imposed, as well as government subsidies for farmers and fishermen."

I almost felt like you were writing the final obituary for the party of Reagan. Is that what Trump is doing right now?

BALL: Well, this is probably the 150th obituary I've written for the party of Reagan over the past eight years, and I may well have occasion to write another one. But, look, this was -- I think if you step back a little bit, Trump's basic political analysis here is correct. It's -- and he's saying, number one, that there's not a clear path forward for Nikki Haley. That you can't win if you don't win. And she has yet to actually win. And so a close second, you know, that and three bucks will get you on the subway.

But, second of all, you know, if you actually listen to the policy content of his speeches, he is making a case that the Republican Party has changed. That it's time to throw out, you know, what he calls the rhinos and globalists and put in this America-first agenda. He has changed the orientation of the Republican Party.

I spoke to Marjorie Taylor Greene yesterday. She's saying the same thing. She's saying this primary is a referendum on the direction of the Republican primary and - of the party -

HUNT: Yes.

BALL: And Republican voters are sending a clear signal that what they want is what Trump represents and not the old party of Ronald Reagan.

HUNT: Well, and we certainly saw that from actual registered Republicans, even though, you know, independents could vote in New Hampshire. I mean I think those points, honestly, I mean they're not wrong.

Michael, the one thing that people that are still holding out hope that I talk to that Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee, and I mean Republicans who think he's going to lose a general election in particular, I mean they do raise the prospect of, what happens if he does get convicted? Where do those voters go?

When you talk to Trump campaign officials, how are they thinking about handling that? I mean are we just seeing -- we're going to see Donald Trump try to tear down the credibility of the justice system? And how do they think they get past that?

GOLD: Well, he's already been doing that. I mean he's been going after judges. He's been going after the Justice Department. So, I think there's a sense in which he's already kind of undermining the prosecutions against him.

Obviously, he spent some time in court in a civil case. He's been attacking the judge there. I don't think they're that worried about it, to be honest. I think the sense I have gotten is that they feel like there's so much loyalty in the party that even if he's tied up in court while he's also having to campaign, he's got enough surrogates, he can get --

HUNT: But what about independents in a general election?

GOLD: Yes, I'm not sure what their plan is to address that. I mean it's very clear when we talk to people. Independent voters really don't like the chaos that they feel follows Trump around. I asked some of the surrogates who were out with him what the - what the buzz was about that? And their sense essentially was that people will dislike Joe Biden so much they'll be willing to ignore Trump's personality.

Tim Scott basically said to me the other night, well, look, I think we have to look at what's going on with Biden. And when people are faced with a choice between Biden and Trump, they don't like the Biden chaos that's happening, they're going to go to Trump's policies. And I think if they can stick to a policy message, they feel they'll win over these independents.

HUNT: Yes, I mean, it sort of really incapsulates the knockdown, drag out, negative campaign that we're facing where both sides are basically going to argue, well, the other guy is so bad that you've got to vote for me.

Molly Ball, Michael Gold, thank you both very much for being here early with us at MaryAnn's.

Poppy. Phil.

MATTINGLY: Thanks, Kasie.

Well, consumer confidence on the rise. How the White House hopes to convert threatened to votes for Joe Biden in November. That's next.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The economy is brutal right now. We're getting killed with groceries, fuel bills. Everything is just like -- it's just unbelievable.


MATTINGLY: The exit polling in New Hampshire echoing some of the trends we've seen nationally on how voters are feeling as it relates to the economy. The economy ranked as the number one issue among those who participated in last night's GOP primary. And the vast majority of them, 75 percent, ranked it as not good or poor.

Now, Trump is winning those voters by a very wide margin. And it reflects the mood nationally. A recent ABC News/IPSOS poll shows that 56 percent of Americans disapprove of President Biden's handling of the economy. It's why the Biden campaign has been paying such close attention to any indicators that may hint at a change in the mood in the months to come.

Joining us now is Catherine Rampell, CNN economics and political commentator, "Washington Post" opinion columnist.

Catherine, you've got a fascinating column because for months and months and months the question has been, where's the disconnect between the top-line numbers and how people are feeling. By conventional metrics, how's the economy doing?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS COMMENTATOR: Well, there's the difference between how it looks and how it feels.


RAMPELL: So, yes, how does it look? Honestly, pretty damn fantastic. So, unemployment, 3.7 percent. It's been under 4 percent for two years now. That's very, very low. Inflation, still evaluated, but way down from where it had been. It peaked around 9 percent year over year. Lots of metrics show that it's come down. And GDP, this is the most recent annual rate from the last - from the third quarter of last year, very strong. So, on paper, looks quite good.

Now, we come to, how do people feel about it, and they are grumpy. So, this is a measure of consumer sentiment, consumer confidence, essentially. And you can see that like as of late 2022, early 2023, we were about as weak as we were during the great recession. Now, as a reminder, the great recession had unemployment around 9 percent, 10 percent. So, people were just as grouchy then as they have been, you know, in the biggest financial crisis in recent history.

But then you look at what's happened recently. So, recently, you have a steady incline impact in the last couple of months.



RAMPELL: We've had among the biggest increases in consumer sentiment in, you know, decades. And so things seem to be looking better. Not just by this metric.

You ask people, are we in a recession, right? This is one of these standard questions.


RAMPELL: And you can see, that share has been steadily coming down. Now, fewer than half of Americans, still a high share, but fewer than half say we're in recession. So, things are looking better.

MATTINGLY: Can I ask -- I try to ignore everything from the University of Michigan, just because of where I'm from, but the consumer sentiment number last month, stunning. It was a 13-point bump. Why? Why is that changing?

RAMPELL: OK. So, there's a lot of controversy about this, but I think a few things to highlight. One is we've had some really strong bright spots in the economy. Gas prices have gone down quite a bit, about 80 cents in the last few months. Stock markets, record highs. Beyond that, you know, inflation has come down. In terms of price levels, prices are still higher than they were, but they've kind of settled. So, you know, a gallon of milk is now a little over $4 a gallon, and it's kind of staying there.


RAMPELL: People are acclimating to it. So, that's changed.

But I think, in general, people are feeling a little bit more comfortable with the fact that their wages are exceeding inflation.

MATTINGLY: The piece that you write -- it's a fascinating piece, it's a really great piece, but it also draws an analog to 2012, right? Why 2024 could be like 2012. Explain that.

RAMPELL: OK. So 2012, you may remember, a year ahead of the election, a lot of people were pretty down on Obama's chances of winning re- election -


RAMPELL: Because the economy was doing so poorly. You had these horrible headlines from around a year out, and that was tightly linked to the fact that economic confidence was weak. As the economy recovered and as perceptions about the economy recovered, Biden -- excuse me, Obama's chances also recovered, and he won pretty handedly.

MATTINGLY: The -- you have a great point in the piece that it may not be some massive boon to Biden, but at least it won't be an albatross. Is that what it -- politically they should be looking for right now, kind of a wash?

RAMPELL: Yes. I think it's not going to be like a weight on his -


RAMPELL: On his campaign, but I don't -- excuse me, I think it's not going to be like a huge winning issue, but I don't think it's going to be a weight. And to be clear, like, there are differences, obviously, between 2012 and 2024. You know, Trump is running. He has a much more loyal base than Mitt Romney.


RAMPELL: And, you know, not every sector is doing great. In fact, manufacturing, the centerpiece of Biden's economic campaign has been pretty weak, has been in contraction for about the past year.


RAMPELL: So, not everything's great.

MATTINGLY: It's an interesting point. We're going to have to see how it plays out. Biden, I think, is showing up at a UAW event today. They are not saying why. Waiting for an endorsement? I want to tease that one. Catherine Rampell, it was a great post. Read it in "The Washington

Post." Thanks so much.

RAMPELL: Thank you.


HARLOW: So ahead, the CEO of Alaska Airline says they found loose bolts on many -- that's right, many of their Boeing Max planes. We'll hear from the head of the FAA about Boeing's quality concerns overall.



HARLOW: New this morning, a Boeing 757 jet loses a wheel just before takeoff. The FAA and Delta Airlines reporting that one of the flights lost a wheel under the nose of the aircraft. This is moments before takeoff in Atlanta. This is a recording of the communications between the tower and the plane Saturday.


DAL1783: Delta 982, this is the aircraft looking at you. You - one of your nose tires just came off. It just rolled off the runway behind you.

DAL983: Delta 982, tower, it sounds like we've got a problem.


HARLOW: Officials confirmed one tire on that Boeing 757 separated. It rolled down an embankment. The plane was taken off the taxiway. And this, of course, comes amid intense scrutiny for Boeing after a door plug blew off a Boeing Alaska Airlines flight earlier this month. That plane, a Boeing 737 Max 9.

MATTINGLY: Well, overnight, the CEO of Alaska Airlines spoke with NBC about what they're still discovering on those Boeing Max planes, which have been grounded temporarily after that door plug issue and will stay that way until inspections are completed.


BEN MINICUCCI, CEO, ALASKA AIRLINES: We found, you know, some - some loose bolts on many of our Max 9s. So those --


MINICUCCI: Yes. So those are things that are going to be rectified through the inspection process.

Boeing is better than this. And Flight 1282 should never have happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MATTINGLY: CNN's aviation correspondent Pete Muntean joins us now from Washington.

Pete, what did you make about what you just heard related to the loose bolts? You interviewed the FAA chief. Are they seeing something similar there?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, the plot thickening all the time here, Phil, and the comments from Alaska's CEO really further confirmation of possible quality control issues at Boeing when it comes to building the 737 Max 9. The head of the FAA just told me that quality control is where his investigation is now focused. Remember, the FAA grounded the Max 9 in the U.S. as it figures out exactly how airlines should inspect their planes for problems.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker told me in this one-on-one interview that the Max 9 door plug is a good design, but only when it is properly executed. That's the big caveat. The bolts that hold the door plug in place are key. There are four of them. And if they're not installed, the door can shimmy out of its retaining grooves and shoot off with explosive force, like we saw back on January 5th on Alaska 1282.

Here is the sound bite from the FAA administrator saying quality control is now that agency's focus.


MIKE WHITAKER, FAA ADMINISTRATOR: We know this particular design has been in many other aircraft that are not the Max, that have millions of hours of operation. So, there's a fair amount of comfort around the design and everything that we are seeing is confirming that. So, it really takes us to production, manufacturing, maintenance, those types of issues, and ensuring that the pieces are where they need to be and all the bolts are in place.


MUNTEAN: The FAA now has inspectors on site at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington. The goal, increase the scrutiny on where production problems might be occurring.


The FAA also now has a sampling of data from about a quarter of the Max 9s in the U.S., and it's looking at measurements to issue ungrounding orders for those planes.