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Interview with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Voters on Why They Support Trump. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 18, 2016 - 06:30   ET



[06:30:57] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The White House threatening to veto a bipartisan bill just passed in the Senate letting families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia's government. The bill would keep the Saudis from claiming immunity in American courts, but the Obama administration has concerns it would also expose the U.S. to lawsuits from abroad. Saudi Arabia has long claimed it played no role in the attacks.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: For the first time ever an openly gay chief of a U.S. military branch, Eric Fanning, unanimously confirmed by the Senate as secretary of the army. Fanning been chief of staff to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. He's also held top posts in the air force and the navy.

CAMEROTA: Alleged state-sponsored doping by dozens of top Russian athletes, now a federal criminal case here in the U.S. The Justice Department investigating Russian government officials, athletes and coaches who may have benefited from the doping scam. Prosecutors now pursuing conspiracy and fraud charges.

CUOMO: Deep divisions in the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders and his supporters triggering fears of a convention revolt. How does the party come together? DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, live, next on NEW DAY.


[06:36:08] CUOMO: We have a narrative switch alert for you. For months, what have we been talking about? In-fighting within the Republican Party, right? They have a big field, they have all of the different camps. And now, that's starting to wane, well, kind of.

But what's certainly getting more energy is what's happening with Democrats. You are looking at Democrats in Nevada. This is what happened there during their state convention this weekend? Now, the feud between the Sanders campaign and party officials is heating up, with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz saying Sanders is adding fuel to the fire.

Joining us now, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Congressman, it's always good to have you on NEW DAY.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), DNC CHAIR: Thank you. Good to be with you.

CUOMO: What is the state of play within your party?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, the state of the play within the party is really the same as it has been. We are at the narrow end of the funnel of our Democratic primary, and we have a number of primaries to go, and that primary will continue to play out. We are preparing for the general election.

And at the end, when we have one candidate and a presumptive nominee, I'm confident we'll be able to unify, because there is a dramatically stark contrast between either one of our candidates, both of whom have focused on how to help people build on the success we've had under President Obama and reach the middle class, and Donald Trump who is saying he'd drag us backwards, take us back to the same policies that crashed the economy, has no foreign policy experience, and is the most misogynistic and bigoted candidate that is also the most unpopular presidential candidate in history. A pretty stark contrast.

CUOMO: All right. True, but you have some stark contrast growing within your own party as well. Let me ask you, after what happened in Nevada and Sanders' response to it about what's going on that's wrong with the system in his opinion, have you spoken to him?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Senator Reid has spoken to him. I have not spoken to him, because I think --

CUOMO: Is that a mistake?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No, it's not a mistake, because we don't need to pile on. A conversation was had. And that would, I thought, was appropriate.

What we need to make sure that happens going forward, everyone involved. You know, Democratic leaders are working hard to make sure that we can prepare for the general election, that we can get through our primary nominating contests, and it's incumbent upon everyone involved in that process to make sure that when there is a concern over the process that however legitimate you think your concern is, that you respond to that concern with civility and with in -- an orderly way --

CUOMO: The Sanders camp --

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Excuse me. And in no way is it ever acceptable to condone or even to ignore violence and intimidation against officials with whom you're frustrated.

CUOMO: The Sanders campaign says, and also said here on NEW DAY, they don't obviously condone any type of violence or threatening behavior that that was wrong. They say the senator himself said the same thing. And that they don't understand why you said that his response was unacceptable.

They say what's unacceptable is having Harry Reid call them and they say basically tell them to settle down, it was an intimidating tactic. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, when -- with all due respect, when there is

a "but" in between condemnation of violence generally, and after the word "but", you go on to seemingly justify the reason that the violence and intimidation has occurred, then that fall short of making sure that going forward, this kind of conduct doesn't occur in the future.

CUOMO: How they responded to the problem is condemned. That's there was a problem is not condemned. That's the Sanders' point.

They're saying that there was a problem in Nevada, that that wasn't run the right way. Yes, it was only about two delegates, but that the system wasn't at open as it should have been. It was seemed exacting in extreme against the Sanders people.

[06:40:02] And their reaction was wrong also, but there was also a problem to begin with?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No. I was not on the ground. So I am speaking from having spoken to our Democratic Party officials. We have a process set up that is eminently fair and it is not responsible every time a fair process that follows rules we've had in place for many years, the same rules that resulted in Barack Obama's nomination and frankly we had a credentials committee that establishes those rules at the Nevada Democratic Party that was evenly split between Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters.

But regardless, Chris, it is critical that we as candidates, we as Democratic Party leaders, everyone involved, needs to make sure that we can take all of the steps that we need to, to ensure that the process is not only run smoothly, but that the response from the supporters of both candidates is appropriate and civil. No one should be subjected to death threats.

Roberta Lange, chair of the Nevada Democratic Party has been essentially stalked by phone, has had to endure unacceptable feedback through violence and intimidation. And as the leader of the national party, as the chair of the Democratic National Committee, it's my responsibility to make sure that candidates and everyone involved understands that the appropriate way to respond to frustration over process is to do so civilly.

CUOMO: Nobody's going to argue with that. It's got to be kept to the arguments and not actions.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And prevent it happening again in the future. We can get through this primary, we're going to get through this primary and I'm still confident, 100 percent confident that at the end of it, Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton, whichever one is our presumptive nominee will have a conversation, sit down, work things through.

We're in the process of moving towards developing our platform process, and we have two candidates that essentially agree on the goals that they have slightly different approaches how to achieve those goals, and they are dramatically in contrast with the Republicans who under Donald Trump would turn this country upside- down.

CUOMO: Well, judging by last night, you still got a ways to go. So, good luck getting there.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That's OK. We'll get there. Thank you.

CUOMO: Always appreciate having you on NEW DAY. Thanks for being here to make the case.


CUOMO: Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Millions of Americans are getting a big boost in overtime pay. The details of how this will impact you, that's next.

CUOMO: So what do those who support Donald Trump have to say on what's going on in the state of their race right now? Why they believe Trump is the man for the White House, ahead. Nod those heads in ascent! There they go.


[06:46:43] CUOMO: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley expected to sign a bill banning abortions after 19 weeks in her state. The measure passed by the state legislature Tuesday does allow exceptions. Among them if the mother's life is in danger or if a doctor determines the fetus cannot survive outside the womb. But it would be illegal to abort a fetus with a severe disability if that fetus is able to live.

CAMEROTA: All right. Listen up commuters in New York and Connecticut. You can expect a rough morning if you ride commuter north. The commuter trail is running on a limited Saturday service because of this massive four-alarm fire that erupted below some tracks in East Harlem. Railroad personnel worked through the night to determine the extent of this damp and make temporary repairs. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

CUOMO: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers draw first blood in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs routing the Raptors of Toronto 115-84, the biggest postseason win in franchise history.

Meantime, the NBA's worst team, that would be the Philadelphia 76ers coming up a winner in last night's draft lottery. They had the most balls and now, they get the first pick. That will be in June at the NBA draft.

Start planning your night accordingly, Camerota.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I have it written down in my calendar already.

It's time for CNN "Money" now. Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is in our Money Center.

Hi, Christine.


The Labor Department is expanding overtime pay for millions of salaried workers. Under new rules employees with a salary up to $44,043 a year, it's about 913 bucks a week. They can now get overtime. That's roughly double the turn the threshold.

Right now, just 7 percent of salaried workers are automatically eligible for overtime. Under these new rules, that rises to 35 percent. Back in 1975, six in 10 salaried workers earned overtime. Part of the Obama administration push to raise wages, the new rules prevent bosses from skirting overtime, for example, by giving low salary workers some managerial duties to make them exempt from overtime pay.

These rules, Chris, are going to affect December 31st.

CUOMO: Thank you very much for that. That will cheer up many people's mornings.

So, a panel of Donald Trump's supporters are ready to make the case. Why all the controversy surrounding Trump right now meaningless to them? Their answers, next.


[06:53:17] CAMEROTA: All right. Welcome back to NEW DAY.

This morning, we are joined by a panel of Donald Trump supporters. Some of these folks supported him right from the beginning. Some have jumped on the Trump train only recently. Why do they think that those in Congress not ready to support the presumptive GOP nominee should get onboard.

Let's ask them. Hi, panel. Thanks so much for being here.

Marko, I want to start with you. You had previously supported Marco Rubio. So, how have you found your way to now support Donald Trump?

MARKO KEPI, SUPPORTS DONALD TRUMP: Well, I supported Marco Rubio in the beginning because I felt we shared a similar story. His family left communist Cuba to come to the United States. My family left communism in Albania into the United States for political asylum. And I also felt he could be the new leader of the Republican Party, bringing minorities and the youth.

And I never really was sure that Donald Trump was going to run for real, you know? I knew he played with it in the past, and I thought it was maybe one of those. So, once I saw he was actually serious about it, I jumped right onboard.

CAMEROTA: Marko, one more thing. I had read in the notes your family came here illegally, by what we call illegally.

So, what do you -- and then you became citizens after that process. What do you think of what Donald Trump has said about immigrants and building a wall, things like that? KEPI: Well, I'm 100 percent for the wall, because I live in Staten

Island. We have the highest drug incarceration per capita and people are dying every day. I know by building that wall, we're going to at least lower the amount of drugs coming into this country.

But as far as illegal immigrants, I don't think any of the candidates have the right approach when it comes to immigration. They're always talking about just giving over a freebie or deporting all of them, and seem to forget that there are a lot of immigrants here that maybe came like me illegal, filed the paperwork and they've completely been ignored.

[06:55:04] They've been here for over 20 years, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars on immigration fees and yet, you know, they're just being put on the side, completely ignored. A lot have kids born and raised here. They have opened businesses.

CAMEROTA: Of course. Everyone has a personal story.

KEPI: I can tell you, just one little story, one of my mom's cousins, she came here illegally, she filed her paperwork, she has three kids, went through college. She was able to open three restaurants in Michigan. End of the day, the judge decided to deport them. So, what happened when she was deported? All the businesses were shut down.

We need to take care of these immigrants first committing to our economy, paying their taxes and creating jobs. Those are the people that --

CAMEROTA: OK. That's what Donald Trump says.

CUOMO: I know. You're going to have to be careful which way this goes with the politics of it. The wall may be more metaphor than reality. More drugs come under the ground in this country than they do above ground in any way, but you're making interesting points.

Show of hands. Who cares about the taxes? Should Donald Trump put his taxes out? Yes, yes?

Joe, no?

Chalaire, Why? Transparency.

CAMEROTA: The public can see them?

CHALAIRE MILLER, SUPPORT DONALD TRUMP: No. Here's the deal. Like, the people who are so concerned with his taxes, the media, they're not going to vote for him anyway. So, there's no up side to him putting out his taxes.

CUOMO: You don't think anybody undecided. He's going to get into a general election, presumably against Hillary Clinton and there could be as much as 40 percent of the electorate making up their mind up. You don't think transparency?

MILLER: You think they care about his taxes? I care about my taxes. CUOMO: I want to know if they can trust what you say. And this is

one way.

But, Joe, your point?

JOE KOVAC, REPUBLICAN FROM STATEN ISLAND: Well, talking about transparency, what I feel should happen too is that Hillary Clinton should release the transcripts of speeches from the banks, because I believe she's saying one thing to Wall Street to collect money and to fund her campaign.

CUOMO: Is that important to you than the taxes?

KOVAC: I think that's equally as important. If you want to be transparent, you can't pick and choose when you want to be transparent.

CUOMO: Why isn't it more important, the speeches? Because the taxes show, what? How charitable he was, how much money made last year in income. That's about it.

The speeches go to policy concerns you're talking about.

KOVAC: The speeches are much more important than the taxes, because his taxes are just his.

CUOMO: I thought I flipped you like that, Joe. Just one -- bam.

CAMEROTA: Wow. You're like a wizard.

CUOMO: Just right.

CAMEROTA: Exactly.

KOVAC: I don't know.

CAMEROTA: Rachel, ask you. You also previously supported Marco Rubio. So what was your process to now wholeheartedly support Donald Trump?

RACHEL JONES, SUPPORTS DONALD TRUMP: I mean, you have to be all-in. The past eight years, we complained about Obama. This is our foot in the door. That's what you got to do.

CAMEROTA: Because he's the presumptive nominee.

JONES: He is the presumptive nominee and I'm sure he'll get it right now. As we can see he's on that train.


CUOMO: Maricelly, I saw you this morning, you looked like you'd never make it to this point sitting upright in the chair but said I'm going to rally, because this matters. What is it fueling your passion that this election really matters and really got to be Trump? MARICELLY VELEZ DELGADO, SUPPORTS DONALD TRUMP: It's got to be Trump,

Chris. It's a new day and we need a new president. I love -- I love Trump. He stands for change, and -- right now, we have to protect the Constitution. He's a Second Amendment guy.

I'm a pistol permit, you know, holder in my county. That's a right men fought, and for people to want to rewrite the Constitution, you know, it's unacceptable.

CUOMO: Are you sure that he will be on the second amendment the way you want him to be?



DELGADO: Because he's an America and he has said --

CUOMO: Everyone running is an American at this point as far as we know.

DELGADO: Because he wants to protect the Constitution, Chris.

CUOMO: They all say that. I'm just saying what is it about him that resonates with you more than the other two? You -- do you know, why do you think you know what he's going to do?

DELGADO: You can feel it. You know, when he speaks, he speaks his mind. He speaks his heart and he wants change. Chris, he is speaking to the American people right now that have had it with the establishment. He wants a change.

CAMEROTA: Pax, what's your biggest issue you're going on when you support Trump?

PAX HART, SUPPORTS DONALD TRUMP: I'll give you a really quick story. I started out in the IT industry in finance. Entry level, didn't know anything. I got additional training, I worked really hard, climbed up the ladder and now, I'm a software engineer in the finance industry.

The last position I had a team of 16 people. I was the only U.S. citizen. This is because they're bringing in, the company I worked for, was bringing in H-1B visa holders, they can pay 25 percent less than American workers.

CAMEROTA: So, you would have only had a staff of only U.S. citizens?

HART: No, no. I'm saying that pathway for me to get to where I am now has been shut down, because all the entry positions are filled by foreign workers because businesses can save money.

Donald Trump is -- this is specifically what he's talked about in his old tiff with Mark Zuckerberg. So, you know, Hillary and Bernie, they can promise all the free college that they want, but we need somebody with real world business experience who understands the nuts and bolts of how those people are going to have jobs, you know, once they got out of college.