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Severe Holiday Storm Slams the East Coast; Computer Server Crash Leads to Delays at JFK; Trump Rallies Vets in Washington; Sanders Defiantly Remains in Race; Johnson-Weld Selected for Libertarian Party Ticket. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired May 30, 2016 - 07:00   ET


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And then to understand their life story and who they've left behind just makes it so much more impactful and powerful for us on this Memorial Day. Thank you so much for sharing all of this.

[07:00:09] LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, thank you, Alisyn. But if you look at those faces, those are the faces of America. And thank you very much for having me this morning.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, General.

We're following a lot of news, including wild weather this Memorial Day. Let's get right to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You feel it as soon as you get in the water. Your feet almost get swept out from under you.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were crawling out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you can't see the road, you've got to stop.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Illegal immigrants are taken much better care by this country than our veterans. And we raised this tremendous amount of money, because we love the vets.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here in the California primary, we are going to see a huge turnout.

I want to go into the convention with more pledged delegates than Secretary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will work hard to unify the Democratic Party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gorilla has the child. And is dragging him around the pen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was being very aggressive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure he was stressed, because there were many people shouting and screaming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really wasn't going to let him get away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a sad day all the way around.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to a special Memorial Day edition of NEW DAY. You are about to look at live pictures of Arlington National Cemetery, where in just a few hours, President Obama will pay tribute to America's fallen soldiers, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns for the final time as president.

But we begin with the remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie, slamming the Carolina coast. Bonnie packing torrential rain, gusting winds and causing dangerous flooding and rip currents. Some roads so flooded they've had to be closed. The holiday spoiler becoming a hassle for air travel, as well. The headache compounded by a computer crash at JFK.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We also have a different type of storm system producing record-shattering rain and flooding in Central Texas, as well as parts of Kansas. At least six people lost their lives; two others still missing.

So where are these storms headed next? And is there relief in sight? Big questions. We have it covered for you.

Let's start with CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray, live in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

You're where the storm was. So what does that tell us about what it can bring to where it heads next?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. It's better, definitely, in the Southeast, but the storm is moving to the Northeast, so it is going to be a wet Memorial Day for many.

Of course, Bonnie stalled out over the Carolinas, causing flooding rains, but the Southeast was only the beginning.


GRAY (voice-over): This morning, rescue crews in parts of the South continuing to search for those it swept away by the deadly flash floods over the weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just hope it doesn't rise anymore.

GRAY: The rushing water enveloping cars and homes in Texas after severe thunder storms drop record-setting rain, rapidly generating dangerous flood waters. The city of Brenham, where at least two people were killed by the flood, inundated with more than 19 inches of record-shattering rainfall in 48 hours.

PHILLIP KRAUSS, FIREFIGHTER EMT: When you see flooded waterways, it doesn't take much water to cause injury.

GRAY: The floods in Southeast Texas killing at least six people. One of the victims, 21-year-old Darren Mitchell, posting this haunting picture of water halfway up his truck window. According to CNN affiliate KPRC, the caption, "All I wanted to do was go home."

The National Guardsman swept away not long after.

A few hours northwest of Houston, the search is still ongoing for a 10-year-old boy who slipped and fell into this swollen river.

In the East, Tropical Depression Bonnie, dampening holiday plans for millions in the Carolinas. The system stalling near Charleston with 30 mile-per-hour winds and up to four inches of rainfall. Along South Carolina's beaches, the storm creating surf and rip current conditions that could be life-threatening. Lifeguards already rescuing at least a dozen over the weekend.

JEFF OWENS, NORTH CAROLINA PARK RANGER: There's been a lot of rip currents. The undertow is pretty strong. So we're just keeping people at knee deep. There's no swimming allowed right now.


GRAY: So rip currents will be the main threat across much of the East Coast today as rain for millions in the Northeast on this Memorial Day -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Jennifer, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

So that's where it was. The question is, where is it headed next? Let's get to meteorologist Chad Everett Myers for a look at your Memorial Day forecast. What do you have, my friend?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Christopher Charles. That storm is not that far from where she is right now. It's just so weak that it doesn't even make wind right now. We're going to see some wind later on this afternoon as it comes on shore. But really, our reporter right there, Jennifer Gray is right there. The center of the circulation is only about 50 or 60 miles away from her.

[06:05:02] But it's just on land, and hurricanes or tropical storms or anything you want to call them -- typhoons, cyclones, alike -- they need to be over water to get bigger. So it's going to die.

Now, the rain isn't going to die. It's going to continue to rain and also continue to push that water and make rip currents along the Carolina coast, but eventually pull out to sea. Before it does that, it is going to make a wet couple of hours, at least, for the Northeast. New York City all the way down to Atlantic City and D.C. will all be

wet today because of the remnants, that push of what is just the tropical moisture of that tropical system. Now, not flooding rainfall. Probably an inch or two. But still, we are going to see some heavy, heavy rainfall.

Guys, back to you.

CAMEROTA: Chad, thank you very much.

Travel torture on tap today for millions of Americans who are flying. It's already one of the most heavily traveled days of the year, and even though a computer server crash at New York's JFK Airport was repaired overnight, the ripple effect is expected to make a bad situation even worse.

CNN aviation correspondent Rene Marsh is tracking the latest developments for us live from Washington. How does it look, Rene?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, good news for travelers, Alisyn. After significant delays at one of the nation's busiest airports, operations we are told, back to normal. That computer glitch that started problems in the British Airways terminal yesterday has been fixed.

Now, it's unclear at this point the cause of that computer crash, but at the height of all of this, there were massive lines as some 1,500 passengers had to be checked in manually.

Of course, this comes at the worst possible time, a busy travel weekend and a major hub. Air travel, as you know, is at a record high. About 230 million passengers are expected to fly over the next few weeks. So, of course, that was terrible timing.

But, again, the good news at this hour, the airports saying that they have been able to isolate and fix that computer glitch.

CUOMO: All right, Rene, thank you very much. Appreciate it. The question is when they will fix that, and we will stay on the story and give you the updates throughout the morning.

So Donald Trump is courting veterans at a Rolling Thunder biker rally in Washington over the weekend. And he did that by lashing out at a new target on Twitter, while facing a new challenge from the just announced Libertarian Party ticket.

So there's a lot going on in Trump world. For it, go to CNN's Sara Murray. What's the analysis?


Well, you're right. Donald Trump was here in Washington making his pitch to vets over this -- over the weekend. All of this, of course, comes as he's settling into his role as the presumptive Republican nominee. But between a Libertarian candidate and a hint that an independent may actually get in the race, Trump could be facing more challenges than he anticipated.


TRUMP: We're going to rebuild our military, and we're going to take care of our veterans.

MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump making the case to veterans at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally, a tribute to the armed forces.

TRUMP: Illegal immigrants are taken much care, really are taking much better care by this country than our veterans, and that's not going to happen.

MURRAY: Trump, insisting the undocumented immigrants he plans to deport are treated better than veterans, and after months of scrutiny, also promising to explain where the $6 million he says he raised for veterans' charities went.

TRUMP: We're announcing on Tuesday all of the groups that we put up this money, and we raised this tremendous amount of money, because we love the vets.

MURRAY: This as the presumptive nominee is battling new efforts to derail his presidential campaign.

"Weekly Standard" editor Bill Kristol teasing a possible independent opponent, in a continued effort to stop Trump, tweeting, "There be will an independent candidate, an impressive one with a strong team and a real chance."

Trump unleashing his anger in a series of tweets, calling Kristol a "dummy" and "an embarrassed loser," warning the Republican Party to unify behind him if it wants to win in November.

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: A third party run by any candidate is a complete disaster, and you're handing over the White House to the Democrats.

MURRAY: The Libertarian Party also locking down their ticket, selecting two former Republican governors, New Mexico's Gary Johnson and Massachusetts' Bill Weld, to challenge both parties' candidates, especially Trump.

GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Taking him on when he says that Mexicans are murderers and rapists, when -- I mean, it's incendiary. Call him out on what is really racist. It's just racist.

MURRAY: But for now, the Trump campaign is staying laser-focused on the Clintons.

PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF STRATEGIST: Trouble follows the Clintons everywhere. People are frustrated with all the drama around the Clinton family.

If they're going to be back in the political milieu, then their history is relevant to what the American people can expect.


MURRAY: Now that Rolling Thunder event is specifically designed to honor military members who are taken as prisoners of war or who are missing in action, and this is an area where Donald Trump set off controversy last year when he criticized Arizona Senator John McCain, who was a P.O.W., saying he was not a war hero because Trump said he likes people who weren't captured.

[07:10:03] Now, in spite of those comments, Trump still managed to get a pretty warm reception here in Washington.

Back to you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Sara, thanks so much for all of that background.

Let's talk more about this with Katrina Pierson. She's the national spokesperson for the Trump campaign.

Good morning, Katrina.


CAMEROTA: How concerned is Mr. Trump about the possibility of yet another third-party candidate? Not just the Libertarians jumping into this race?

PIERSON: Well, I think Mr. Trump was quite clear, talking about how this could actually hurt the party moving forward. But you know, I've just got to say, people like Bill Kristol, they still don't get it. Mr. Trump has broken the record in GOP primary turnout. So Bill Kristol is actually trying to form a ticket against the Republican Party itself.

But you know, with all the talk about a third-party run, they should be careful, because they just might get what they wish for.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, here's part of what is motivating them. The latest polls show that nearly half of Americans polled would be interested, would consider, they say, voting for a third party. This is the latest NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll. Forty-seven percent of Americans say, yes. "Would you consider a third-party candidate?"

And then I mean, I know what you mean about Mr. Trump sort of lashing back at Bill Kristol. Here was his tweet last night; this is from Donald Trump: "The Republican Party has to be smart and strong if it wants to win in November. Can't allow lightweights to set up a spoiler indie candidate."

Frankly, Katrina, it does sound like he's concerned about a third- party candidate getting in and spoiling it for him.

PIERSON: He does talk about a third-party candidate getting in the race and essentially handing over the presidency to Hillary Clinton. That's nothing new. Bill Kristol knows this.

So the intention really is very selfish for someone like Bill Kristol and the "never Trump" movement to even try something like this.

But for many people in this country, they are tired of the two-party system. So of course, they would support a third party.

At the same time, Donald Trump has been able to captivate many of those people, because he was a political outsider, working inside as a Republican to bring on new voters.

I mean, we're talking about losing a presidential election last cycle by 4 to 5 million votes. We've turned out that many in the primary process alone. There's going to be so many more this coming November, giving the people an opportunity to elect someone that's going to put their needs and interests first.

CAMEROTA: Katrina, let's talk about the Libertarian Party that now has their two candidates, who have Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, both popular former governors. And it sounds like Mr. Trump is already taking a swipe at one of them, Bill Weld. This is what the "New York Times" quotes a spokesperson as saying, "Mr." -- quoting Mr. Trump, "'I don't talk about his alcoholism,' Mr. Trump said, through a spokeswoman. 'So why would he talk about my foolishly perceived fascism? There is nobody less of a fascist than Donald Trump'."

So I see the point he's trying to make. He doesn't like being called a fascist, but is this how it's going to be? I mean, is he going to go after sort of people's perceived personal weaknesses?

PIERSON: Well, these are competitors, and these are people who have been out there criticizing him.

With regard to the Libertarian ticket, Libertarians vote for Libertarians. And a lot of times the protest vote goes to Libertarians. At the same time, as I've mentioned, there are millions new voters who are now entering the political process to support Mr. Trump. He's going to compete the whole way through. This is not something that Mr. Trump is going to take lightly, and he will fight. He will fight back, and he will fight back hard.

Because he is the only one that wants to get out there and push a pro- America agenda, pro-economy, and pro-jobs for the country in the best interests of the people in this country, not those abroad, not those special interests, and not the political class.

CAMEROTA: As you know, there have been questions about Trump University. And people, journalists and -- as well as people who went there, think that it has some dubious claims that have been made.

So "The Washington Post" has been looking to get its hands on documents that could see if Trump University overpromised its students. So now the judge connected to the case, Mr. Trump has been going after that judge in a sort of interesting way. Let me play for you what he said this weekend.


TRUMP: I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump. A hater. He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. The judge who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine. You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all of these jobs.


CAMEROTA: So Katrina, "We believe he's Mexican." What is that?

PIERSON: Well, I think there's two parts to this, Alisyn.

First, you know, Trump University were classes being taught to people. And it's like saying that, if you graduated from Harvard, and you don't have the same outcome in your profession as everyone else, then you should sue Harvard. And that's just simply absurd.

[07:15:03] CAMEROTA: Well, not exactly. I mean, a lot of...

PIERSON: ... systemically...


CAMEROTA: ... said that they were overpromised, that all sorts of things were overpromised: that Donald Trump was going to be playing more of an active role than he was; that there was more of a job -- a rate of job success than really was true. I mean, there are many things that people took issue with.

PIERSON: Right. That's my point. The outcomes. They wanted the equal outcome -- equal outcomes. And you just can't guarantee an outcome. And some of these people who are a part of this case have already given a glowing review of Trump University. So this will play out.

With regards to this judge, however, there was supposed to be a hearing last summer, and this judge postponed it for whatever reason.

But I think what's really interesting about this particular judge, as Mr. Trump refers to him as a Trump hater, is he even mentions on his judicial questionnaire that he was a La Raza Lawyers Association member. This is an organization that has been out there organizing these anti-Trump protestors with the Mexican flags. They are pushing it. These signs have been very apparent. And so Mr. Trump is just stating the obvious.

CAMEROTA: But this judge isn't Mexican. He was born here. He's American.

PIERSON: No. I'm not saying he's Mexican. What I'm saying is the reason...

CAMEROTA: But Mr. Trump is saying that he's Mexican.

PIERSON: ... he's pointing it out is because La Raza is tied to -- he says, "We believe." He says, "We believe."

CAMEROTA: But what's the point of that? Why is he going after an ethnicity? What's the point?

PIERSON: Well, it's because what we see outside of these rallies, these anti-Trump rallies, these criminal rallies, these criminal protestors who are out there defacing property and attacking police officers. They're doing so under the guise of an anti-Trump protest with their Mexican flags, and La Raza. And this Judge is connected to that.

CAMEROTA: OK, but you recognize that the judge, you're saying that Mr. Trump was wrong. That you recognize that the judge is not...

PIERSON: No, I don't know if he's Mexican or not. I don't know if he's Mexican or not. I don't know his heritage or his descent.

The point here is we keep talking about these -- these anti-Trump protests. And we need to identify who these people are and what they're doing, because this is not a pro-American group who is out there wanting to get their voices heard. They are out there pushing to destroy, propose anarchy, to stop an American president from running for office.

CAMEROTA: OK. For the record, he's American. But we hear you, Katrina. Thank you for being on NEW DAY. We appreciate it.

PIERSON: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Let's get to Chris.

CUOMO: Hillary Clinton is not a lock for the nomination. That's what Bernie Sanders is saying. He's also saying he can win in California, and at the convention.

And do you remember, "We're tired of hearing about your e-mails"? Listen to what he's saying now about that and about being Clinton's V.P. For all that, CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns live in Washington with more -- Joe.


Sanders said over the weekend that right now his focus is on winning the nomination, and after that, we'll have to see what happens.

As the race for the California primary continues, Sanders is still essentially tweaking his message on this Memorial Day weekend. On the one hand, repeating his mantra that he is firmly against a Donald Trump presidency. On the other hand, saying that, if Hillary Clinton wants party unity, she's going to have to work for it. Listen.


SANDERS: My job is to make sure that Trump does not become president, and I will do that. But it is -- if Secretary Clinton is the nominee, it is her job to reach out to millions of people and make the case as to why she is going to defend working families and the middle class, provide health care to all people, take on Wall Street, deal aggressively with climate change. That is the candidate's job to do.


JOHNS: Sanders tweaks his language also over the weekend just a bit in talking about Hillary Clinton's e-mail problem when she was secretary of state. He essentially said that that is the type of situation that the voters, as well as delegates to the Democratic National Convention, are going to have to take a good, hard look at.

Back to you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much for all of that.

Well, the new alternative to both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, will Libertarians play a role in the 2016 election? We will speak with one-half of the party's just nominated new ticket coming up.

And on this special Memorial Day edition of NEW DAY.


[07:23:22] CUOMO: Welcome back to a special Memorial Day edition of NEW DAY. Please, take some time today, if the rain allows, with all your celebrating, remember the solemn nature of this occasion. Remember all those who gave their freedoms so that we could have our own. And part of that freedom, of course, voting in open elections.

Now we have another party getting into the fray to be president. Libertarian Party members chose a pair of former Republican governors, Gary Johnson and William Weld, for their ticket after a pretty fiery weekend at their convention.

So could this be the year that a third-party candidate breaks through?

Let's discuss with the newly-minted Libertarian vice-presidential nominee, former Massachusetts governor, William Weld.

Congratulations, governor. It wasn't easy. Took a couple of ballots for you to get up at about 50 percent. The concerns seemed to be, well, Weld is a Republican, not a Libertarian. How did you get passed?

WILLIAM WELD, LIBERTARIAN VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, it was understandable, Chris. I'd only been a Libertarian member of the party for 14 days, and these people have been faithfully, you know, registering and getting on the ballot in all 50 states for years and years and years.

So you can see how they might have had some questions about the new guy on the block, and they did. I got to put 50.0 only on the second ballot.

CUOMO: Do you consider yourself a Libertarian more than a Republican, and if so, why? WELD: Well, I've always described myself as a Libertarian, from my

first day in office as governor back in the early '90s, and yes, I consider myself a Libertarian on political philosophy.

When I talked to the Republican National Convention, when I talked there in 1992, I said, "I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom." And that's really a concise statement of my political philosophy and of the political philosophy of the Libertarian Party.

[06:25:11] CUOMO: Let's put up some numbers. We had former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the top of the Libertarian ticket here. He said the frustration is a circular argument: "I can't get on the ballots for these polls. I couldn't get on there because I'm not at 15, but I can't get at 15 if I'm not in the poll." You know, so that there was a circulating problem.

But when you look at the numbers in the electorate, well, you have more than half of the voters saying that they would consider a third choice. The numbers, you know, at best, have Johnson at about somewhere at 18, if you take voters under 30 years of age, and somewhere at about 10 percent overall.

Do you think you have a realistic chance to make an impact in this election, if not win?

WELDON: Yes, no. We do. Gary Johnson is polling at 10 percent when his name is included in the polls just by himself, before I got in with him. And we do have a lot of experience. Two two-term governors, that's a lot of executive experience. So I think people will give us a look.

We seem to have some appeal to the millennials, who are right now Bernie Sanders' base, and I would think a bunch of Republicans might -- might view our brand of Republicanism as quite palatable.

The point is, we don't agree with either party. We don't agree with the socially conservative movement, conservative elements of the Republican Party platform, and we don't agree with the spending priorities -- namely spend, spend, spend -- of the Democratic Party. And that's a combination than characterizes a lot of people in this country. I don't know whether it's 40 percent or 50 percent, but it's a big number.

CUOMO: Johnson has been hammering Trump about saying bigoted things about Mexicans. He says he calls them rapists and murderers.

You said that what you see with Trump on immigration equates, in your mind, to Kristallnacht, the night when Nazis rampaged Jewish homes and businesses in Germany. Too extreme?

He's pushing back obviously. He's saying, "I never said that Mexicans are murderers and rapists. I said they're sending us their worst, murderers, rapists," you know, that that's what the Mexican government was doing. And then he sent out a tweet about you, where he said this: "I never

talk about William Weld and the supposed alcoholism. Why would he talk about my fascism? There's nobody less of a fascist than Donald Trump."

What do you make of that?

WELD: I don't know. I'm just going to let it ride. We are not going to be in the business of trading insults, as was done during the primary season on the Republican side. So I'm just going to let it go. And it doesn't matter what else happens. I've been in politics a long time. I checked my privacy at the door a long time ago and happy -- happy to do it.

CUOMO: But what do you think? Is that taking it the wrong way, though, comparing what Trump is doing with immigration to the Nazi movement? Pushing characterizations of what he thinks about Mexicans?

WELD: Well, no. I was -- I was asked, "Do you think" -- I was asked, "Do you think Mr. Trump is a Nazi or a fascist?" And I said, no. I said, however, if you are rounding up 11 million people because of their status as not having their papers in order and deporting them, that's very troubled -- troubling. And rounding up 11 million people doesn't strike me as the American way to do things.

Similarly, Mr. Trump wants to put up this huge wall along the Mexican border, and he's going to pay for it by seizing the money remittances that Mexicans in this country send back to their families, in Mexico. I almost can't believe it.

But, you know, just pausing for a minute on the wall. What was the most famous wall of the 20th Century? It was the Berlin Wall, which was a stain and a shame on the whole Soviet empire. And ultimately, Ronald Reagan stood in front of that wall and said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

And the Ronald Reagan of Mexico is going to be doing the same thing in a few years, saying, "Mr. Trump, tear down this wall." And Mr. Trump is going to have to do it, because he's on the wrong side of history.

CUOMO: Governor Weld, good luck in the race ahead. It's good to have you on NEW DAY. You're always welcome to talk about what matters. We extended the invitation, had Governor Johnson on before; looking forward to having him on again. All right?

WELD: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: So -- and of course, the invitation has been accepted. Who doesn't want to be on NEW DAY? So you'll have the head of the Libertarian ticket, Governor Gary Johnson. He'll be here tomorrow to make his case to you -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Chris, next we're going to get reaction to what you just heard from former Governor Weld and what the chances are for these other parties now throwing their hats in the ring. We'll also look at whether or not Hillary Clinton has a plan to take on Donald Trump. Stick around.