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Republics Divided Over Embattled GOP Nominee Roy Moore; Lawmakers Work To Reconcile House And Senate Tax Bill; Kellyanne Conway Defends Trump's Moore Endorsement. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired December 06, 2017 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Right.

KENNEDY: It's up the people of Alabama right now.

Now, some of my colleagues have. They've weighed in on both sides. That's their business. I have enough trouble paddling my own canoe.

CUOMO: It'd be one thing if the president had said look, I've looked at the accusations and you have that woman who was 14 at the time. You have the woman who was a teenager at the time who says that Moore assaulted her at her place of work -- or behind it. I've looked at it and I don't buy them, so I'm with Roy Moore.

But that's not what he's saying. What he's saying is I need somebody who backs my agenda.

But isn't that saying that these troubling questions don't matter as much as having someone who agrees with him?

KENNEDY: Well, what I want is somebody who backs America.

Now, who did what to whom, I don't know. If this gets this far to an ethics investigation I would like to hear Mr. Moore under oath, cross- examined. I'd like to talk to the witnesses.

I don't know any of these people -- or the alleged victims. I don't know any of these people. I'm not going to judge -- I'm not going to judge --

CUOMO: But it seems to be sending a message that's there's no floor --

KENNEDY: -- judge their credibility.

CUOMO: It seems to be a message that there's no floor. That if it were 50 women, if it were 70 women or, you know, maybe in Alabama -- you know, maybe it would be a different cultural dynamic if it weren't eight women or eight men who came forward and said when I was a boy this happened. Maybe that would spark an outrage that doesn't seek for proof the same way that these accusations do.

But what's -- what is the moral floor for what the GOP will find intolerable on the face of accusations in high numbers and say this is too much for us? KENNEDY: Well, the moral floor, to me, starts with the truth.

Now, if Mr. Moore had said OK, I've heard the allegations and yes, I did it, but too bad. The statute of limitations has run and I'm not going to apologize for it.

CUOMO: That would be different?

KENNEDY: That would be different. That's not what we have.

CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: He denies it.

CUOMO: Understood.

KENNEDY: And he is entitled to due process. So are his alleged victims.

CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: And I can promise you if Mr. Moore is elected that due process would be afforded to both sides because somebody's going to file an ethics complaint.

CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: You can take that to the bank.

CUOMO: Well, we'll see what happens with that. But it has created an interesting question of leadership in that campaign and how people responded to it.

Let me ask you one other thing while I have you.


CUOMO: Taxes.


CUOMO: It looks like you guys are going to get it done. Is that still the speculation?

KENNEDY: Yes. We've had the votes for about 10 days. There's some rough edges on the bill that have to be sanded down in conference.

CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: I would like to do something to help upper-middle-income taxpayers in states that pay high state and local taxes.

CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: I'm talking about folks making, you know, a couple hundred thousand a year in a high tax state like New York or California. CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: Don't know if we'll be able to achieve it. We've got to stay within the $1.5 trillion guardrail.

But I think it's a solid bill. I know everybody doesn't agree but --

CUOMO: Twenty-nine percent of the American people say --

KENNEDY: I know.

CUOMO: --they like --

KENNEDY: I saw that.

CUOMO: -- the bill. And it's why they don't like it. I mean, some of this, OK, is going to be partisan division.

But when you take this bill, as a law, home to your state in Louisiana just looking through the demographics of your state, it's going to be a tough sell for a lot of people down there. You don't have that upper, you know -- you don't have that New York state population --


CUOMO: -- of one percenters.

You've got middle-class people who are in their fifties who may see a spike in their premiums because the mandate's going away. They're going to see these tax cuts that may be there in the beginning fade away in a way it doesn't happen for the rich folks.

How do you sell that?

KENNEDY: Well, number one, you know, most Americans, they don't follow politics every day. They're too busy getting up every day and going to work.

Number two, I think people are going to feel a lot better about this bill when their take-home pay goes up.

I disagree with you that the tax breaks are going to go away for the middle-class. That's true of the House bill but it's not true of the Senate bill.

CUOMO: That's how it was scored by the CBO and the Joint Tax Committee.

KENNEDY: I understand, and I'll be -- we can debate that the Joint Tax Committee proposed -- and I have great respect for the Joint Tax Committee, but this stuff is more art than science. They're not clairvoyant.

Again, I have great respect for them but you know what I've discovered in the last 10 years? For every economist, there's an equal and opposite economist. And oftentimes, with respect to things like the recession of '08 or the Affordable Care Act or the tax bill, both sides are often wrong.

CUOMO: Right, but you have a political reality where you're going to have a hard time finding in history where tax cuts have wound up boosting wages for people in that bracket over time.

KENNEDY: Here's what I think will happen, Chris.

CUOMO: Yes, sir.

KENNEDY: I think that once people understand what's in the bill they're going to like it. Once their take-home pay goes up they're going to like it. Once they see how this bill is going to stimulate growth they're going to like it.

[07:35:09] Once they see foreign direct investment go up 50 percent in America -- a lot of companies in other -- in other countries want to do business here. We've got a great court system, our people are smart.

CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: They don't invest here. You know why? Because they've got to pay a 35 percent corporate tax or a 43 percent pass-through tax, so they'll go to Ireland.

I mean, even President Macron, in France, is trying to lower France's corporate income tax. I never thought I'd see the day, and there's a reason for that.

CUOMO: Well, we will see what the impacts are but the predictions are going to make it a tough sell.

Senator Kennedy --

KENNEDY: Experts are often wrong.

CUOMO: True. Always appreciate your candor and your appearances here on NEW DAY, sir. The best to you.

KENNEDY: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Alisyn --

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, now to Russia.

Donald Trump, Jr. will answer questions today before the House Intel Committee, but it will be behind closed doors.

One Democratic senator wants Don, Jr. to testify in public. Senator Richard Blumenthal joins us next.


[07:40:06] CUOMO: The White House is defending President Trump's endorsement of controversial Senate candidate Roy Moore. Is the White House putting Moore's vote ahead of allegations of child molestation and the larger questions of morality?

Joining us now with her take on that and other news items, counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway. Always a pleasure to see you.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: It's my pleasure, Christopher. How are you?

CUOMO: Better than I deserve.

Let me ask you about this spin out of the White House that the president needs somebody who agrees with him and that he will endorse Roy Moore because that matters more than the accusations.

CONWAY: Oh, come on, that spin.

CUOMO: Isn't that --

CONWAY: Excuse, that spin. You're not here to give your opinion. Here are the facts.

When the president endorsed Luther Strange, Luther Strange shot up in the polls tremendously by double digits.

When the president endorsed Roy Moore -- when he started to talk about Doug Jones, the opponent here which you still don't want to talk about but the president does, Roy Moore took a lead in the polls again.

Why is that? Because the president, himself, came out and said he doesn't want a liberal in the Senate. He doesn't want a liberal Democrat in the Senate. He wants a reliable vote for taxes, for life --

CUOMO: You'd rather have an accused child molester --

CONWAY: -- for borders, for crime, for --

CUOMO: -- than a Democrat?

CONWAY: This president also said something else that you don't seem to ever want to reflect, which is the president said Roy Moore has denied those allegations and the president said you have to take that into account, too.

You know, yesterday at a panel discussion here -- an interview here in Washington, D.C., right after I was interviewed, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was asked by "Politico" so do you think Al Franken should resign? Oh, I'm not ready to say that yet, she said. I'm just really troubled by this. I'm not ready --

CUOMO: You see an analogy between the allegations against Franken --

CONWAY: Excuse me --

CUOMO: -- and Moore?

CONWAY: No. What I see is hypocrisy everywhere I turn. Everywhere I turn, I see hypocrisy.

CUOMO: But how is it hypocrisy when the allegations are so different? You're talking about two different women who claim sexual assault.

CONWAY: No, excuse me. Al Franken has -- Sen. Franken has already apologized, so he's admitted guilt. And his Senate colleague -- he's already in the United States Senate.

CUOMO: That seems to be a mistake these days, is owning your responsibility. If you just deny it --

CONWAY: No, no. You've tried to --

CUOMO: -- it seems like you can become a senator.

CONWAY: No, that's -- well, first of all, that's up to the people of each state to decide. Minnesota will decide --

CUOMO: If it is, then why endorse him?

CONWAY: -- and --

CUOMO: If you want to leave it up to the voters of Alabama, then stay out of it. You don't vote in Alabama.

CONWAY: Oh, OK, and does that mean that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi don't want Doug Jones to win?

The president has been so explicitly clear on this so let me repeat it again for everyone who wants this to be as it's not and everyone who's really disappointed that they couldn't tilt this race the other way by having people living in Alabama instead of covering what's going on in the rest of the country.

Do you know everything that's going on in this country? The historic tax cuts for individuals and businesses, but we have people planted in Alabama on one single Senate race.

You're telling the President of the United States not to get involved in a race and the media --

CUOMO: No, I'm not. I'm --

CONWAY: -- have people, including CNN -- you've had people living there, Chris, for weeks.

CUOMO: -- saying that if he says it's up to the Alabama voters, then don't endorse.

CONWAY: You people have reporters living in Alabama but somehow, the president shouldn't get involved.

The president has said he wants a vote. He's also said he doesn't want a liberal Democrat in the Senate. Nobody was even talking about Doug Jones until the president started talking about him. And the president's endorsed him -- CUOMO: That's because there are these titanic allegations against Roy Moore. That's why your logic --

CONWAY: And the president has said --

CUOMO: -- doesn't work here. The White House said the allegations are troubling --

CONWAY: That's right.

CUOMO: -- but not as troubling as losing that seat, apparently. So you'd rather take a gamble that maybe these are true, these allegations --

CONWAY: No, Chris, not rather.

CUOMO: -- but we get our vote. That's better than having a Democrat in there.

CONWAY: No, that's not right. Do you think Al Franken should resign because he's apologized? Do you think John Conyers should resign? Do you think all these people should lose their jobs immediately in the media, in politics, in industry?

CUOMO: Conyers did resign.

CONWAY: Yes, exactly.

CUOMO: I don't know what Franken's going to do.

CONWAY: Yes, Al Franken -- right, but should he? The question is should he or are you putting -- are you putting party before morality? Are you putting --

You think Al Franken is a reliable --

CUOMO: No, I'm a journalist. I'm not in the business of saying what could happen. I'm in the business of testing what you say should happen.

CONWAY: Fine. So let me tell you -- let me tell you the hypocrisy that we see at every turn.

Al Franken sits in the United States Senate right now. He has admitted this and you -- he had a Senate colleague yesterday in front of a glowing audience who won't hold her to a --

CUOMO: Who admitted what?

CONWAY: -- ask the question -- excuse me, Al Franken is reliable --

CUOMO: That he took a stupid photo?

CONWAY: Christopher, excuse me.

CUOMO: That's what he admits. He doesn't admit it that he sexually assault somebody.

CONWAY: Hey, Chris, did you think he was groping? I did -- no?

CUOMO: I thought it was a stupid photo. I thought it was in poor taste and he needed to own it --

CONWAY: And then you --

CUOMO: -- and he did.

CONWAY: Oh, OK. Of course, you did. But you see that with your own two eyes and that's your judgment.

So here is the thing about Sen. Franken.

CUOMO: These are accusations of sexual assault.

CONWAY: Senator --

CUOMO: If you flipped the names in this race and Doug Jones --


CUOMO: -- had these accusations on him, you would talk about nothing else.

CONWAY: Doug Jones? You never even talked about Doug Jones. There's another candidate in this race?

CUOMO: If he had these accusations on him, Kellyanne, you'd have his name tattooed on your hand and you'd keep holding it up with the names of the women on the other hand.

CONWAY: Yes, so --

CUOMO: Every day you would do it.

CONWAY: So, the president -- the only endorsement that matters in this race is President Trump's and when he came out questioning the ideology and the vote of Doug Jones, he'll be a reliable for tax hikes. He'll be a reliable vote against border security. He'll be a reliable against national security and keeping ISIS, and he'll be a reliable vote against the Second Amendment, against life, every --

[07:45:02] He's out of step for Alabama voters according to the president. The president has said this. You have to reflect that.

And here's something else that's very important.

CUOMO: But it seems like that you have no standard of morality. That it's all political pragmatism.

CONWAY: Oh, Chris, you're going to say that to me? Really? You're really going to say that to me?

CUOMO: No, not you. I'm saying the president's position. No, I know you and I love you. I'm talking about President Trump.

If anything, you benefit from bias on my behalf because I've known you for 20 years. That's why I actually listen to some of this stuff that doesn't make sense.

CONWAY: Well, hold on. There's something else --

CUOMO: The president seems to have no moral standard at play then.

CONWAY: Oh, I will not let you say that. The president --

CUOMO: It's all political pragmatism.

CONWAY: The president has tremendous moral standards. He has said -- the White House has said that the allegations are troubling. The White House -- the president, himself, has also said --

CUOMO: But they're troubling but not

CONWAY: Excuse me.

CUOMO: -- troubling enough to do anything about them.

CONWAY: OK, but wait. Did we just hear you -- did you just tell the world that Sen. Franken took a stupid photo and exercised poor judgment, but that you're not troubled by that? Is that because he's a reliable vote for higher taxes, he's a reliable vote for no border security, he's a reliable vote for --

CUOMO: Yes, I'd love higher taxes, Kellyanne.

CONWAY: No, but he is.

CUOMO: I'm that one person in America who wants their taxes to go up. That's silly. It's a silly premise.

CONWAY: Well, then why aren't you fairly covering -- why aren't you fairly covering --

CUOMO: I'm saying you're comparing what Al Franken did to Roy Moore --

CONWAY: No, no. I'm comparing hypocrisy.

CUOMO: -- to try to help litigate the accusations against Moore --


CUOMO: -- and it's obvious.

CONWAY: No, this is -- let me just review one last time so everybody's got it.

CUOMO: Sure. Do better this time.

CONWAY: The president has said the following. The president has said the following.


CONWAY: The allegations are troubling. Roy Moore has denied them. The president said -- the president said they're 40 years old.

The president said --

CUOMO: So what? Who cares how old they are?

CONWAY: Excuse me. I'm saying -- I'm reflecting to everybody so they have facts first --

CUOMO: All right, go ahead.

CONWAY: -- because we're talking apples and not bananas.

CUOMO: That's right. Don't be a banana.

CONWAY: The president -- that's right.

CUOMO: Give me some more apples.

CONWAY: I see a lot of bananas.

So, the president has said the allegations are troubling. They're also 40 years old. Nobody came forward before. The guy's been on the ballot many times.

Doug Jones is a liberal Democrat, the president has said, and he doesn't want a liberal Democrat representing Alabama in the United States Senate.

Just like Kirsten Gillibrand and other senators -- Democratic senators who are saying well, I'm not sure yet about the state. They want a reliable Democrat to have that Senate seat in Minnesota. But you don't call them out on that.

And I do want to tell you something else about Alabama. Last night -- or about Gov. Romney because I've been watching all morning on your -- on your broadcast.

Last night, the president spoke with Gov. Romney and the president says he's got a great relationship with Gov. Romney. They spoke just last night, late in the night after the congressional ball here at the White House and they had a wonderful conversation, according to President Trump.

They discussed, among other things, what President Trump did the day before in Utah with the national monuments, and talking about historic tax cuts and the like. So I wanted to let you know that.

CUOMO: So it's not true that the --

CONWAY: What's not true?

CUOMO: -- president -- so it's not true that the president doesn't want Romney to take Orrin Hatch's seat?

CONWAY: I didn't see Gov. Romney file papers to run for Orrin Hatch's seat. Senator Hatch may run for reelection and the president --

CUOMO: Right.

CONWAY: The president, as he did with incumbent Republican Sen. Luther Strange, he supports -- he was supporting an incumbent Republican senator who has been a reliable vote for their shared agenda.

CUOMO: Right. So if Orrin Hatch steps away --

CONWAY: And getting back to Alabama --

CUOMO: -- would he support Mitt Romney?

CONWAY: I don't know. You're asking hypotheticals. They have a good relationship. Well --

CUOMO: Well, you just said they have a great relationship. Why wouldn't I assume that the answer should be yes?

CONWAY: Yes, well, you -- listen, Gov. Romney may want to be in public service in many different roles. And I just wanted to make sure that you know the truth coming from the White House. The President of the United States and Gov. Romney spoke, I don't know, 10 hours ago.


CONWAY: Just in 12 hours ago and people should know that because otherwise, there's speculation and consternation and hand-wringing about who speaks for the president and who he speaks to.

CUOMO: Well --

CONWAY: The only endorsement that matters in Alabama is the president's because he came forward for Luther Strange in the primary and Strange shot up in the polls.

He came forward -- again, the president is against Doug Jones. Does not want a liberal Democrat to represent Alabama --

CUOMO: Right.

CONWAY: -- is leaving it to the Alabama voters and has said that he wants Roy Moore in the United States Senate.

CUOMO: And you feel good with that? You feel good with Roy Moore as a reflection of your party?

CONWAY: My feelings don't matter.

CUOMO: Oh yes, they do.

CONWAY: And you know what? No, I said -- here's what I feel good about.

CUOMO: You are counselor to the President of the United States.

CONWAY: Yes. Well, anytime I -- anytime I express a feeling --

CUOMO: Roy Moore is a guy who talks about gay marriage as if it were beastiality.

CONWAY: Anytime I express a feeling about a candidate, people who want to make themselves relevant get air time and Twitter time, so I won't go there. They're going to have to find something --

CUOMO: Well, you've got to be careful about the Hatch Act. You know, you --

CONWAY: They're going to have to find something relevant and important to do today to make themselves feel better.

But, Chris, let me -- let me tell you --

CUOMO: You have to be careful about observing the rules of ethics there but, you know --

CONWAY: Let me tell you what I -- let me tell you what I feel good about. Let me tell you what I feel good about.


CONWAY: That Donald Trump's the President of the United States. That Mike Pence is the Vice President of the United States.

I feel great for all those forgotten men and forgotten women who are going to get a tax cut for Christmas, and for New Year's, and for the holidays. I feel great.

CUOMO: All those rich people who are going that tax cut.

CONWAY: I feel great -- oh, come on. Oh, come in. People in New York are complaining they're not getting their taxes cut so which is it?

CUOMO: The rich people are complaining because they're not getting enough of a tax cut.

CONWAY: You said earlier --

CUOMO: That's right.

CONWAY: -- in this interview that you don't know quote, "a single person in American who wants their taxes to go up." That's something --

CUOMO: I don't. That's why leadership is hard. That's why leadership is hard --

CONWAY: Yes -- no, that's why this president -- that's why this -- CUOMO: -- because sometimes you have to make hard choices instead of rewarding the haves all the times.

CONWAY: Excuse me. That's why this president -- the haves -- give me a break. That's why this president is cutting taxes. Lots of people and promises. That's --

[07:50:02] CUOMO: Not for the middle-class the way he is for the upper-class.

CONWAY: That is not true and you know it.

CUOMO: It's true on every objective scoring.

CONWAY: That's a flat-out lie. That's a flat-out lie that middle- class taxes aren't going down.

CUOMO: Well, it's not even close to a lie. It doesn't meet any of the criteria of a lie.

CONWAY: That's just not true.

CUOMO: It's not meant to deceive. It's based on fact --

CONWAY: OK. Chris --

CUOMO: -- and it's a straight tell on what an objective analysis reveals.

CONWAY: Are you going to look -- are you going to tell the middle- class right now that none of them are getting a tax cut over this package?

CUOMO: No, I'm saying they're not getting as good a treatment as the upper tier, and this was sold as advantaging them.

CONWAY: No. You know what's been horrible treatment? Their taxes have been steadily going up. They've been paying for out-of-control spending. They've been paying higher taxes.

And you know what? We know people all across this country -- we hear from them every --

CUOMO: And you want to get rid of the AMT and the estate tax but you want a tax tuition and loans.

CONWAY: No. Here's what we want to get rid of.

CUOMO: Who's that helping?

CONWAY: Here's what we got rid of in this -- here's what we got rid of in this tax plan, if I may speak a full sentence here, please.

Here's what we got rid of in this tax plan. All the special interest stops. All the credits, and deductions, and exemptions that benefit the wealthy and the well-connected, which the tax code does already. The tax code --

CUOMO: Getting rid of the AMT and you're getting rid of the estate tax.

CONWAY: The tax code is longer than the Bible and not quite as inspirational. It needs to be simplified --

CUOMO: Is this thing working?

CONWAY: You spent six million --

CUOMO: You got rid of the AMT and you got --

CONWAY: You spent six million hours --

CUOMO: -- rid of the estate tax.

CONWAY: You know, this is the Cable --

CUOMO: What does that help?

CONWAY: Excuse me. You work for the Cable News Network, CNN. It's not the CON, C-O-N, Cable Opinion Network.

If you just let me state what's in the package.

CUOMO: I'm telling you what is in the bill.

CONWAY: No, this is what's in the bill.

CUOMO: You attack me personally all the time.

CONWAY: Expanding --

CUOMO: It hurts my feelings but it doesn't change where I'm coming from.

CONWAY: I'm not attacking you. I'm not attacking you. I'm merely saying if you would let me tell America what's in the tax package then we can have a conversation about it.

CUOMO: You do, and then I have to check it against what you're not telling --


CUOMO: -- America.

CONWAY: You just told people in short order -- which is really great -- I hope that goes viral -- that you don't know a single person in this country who wants their taxes to go up. Then you deny --

CUOMO: Who wants -- who wants a tax hike?

CONWAY: -- that the middle-class won't benefit from this package, which is a lie. The middle-class will benefit.

CUOMO: I did not say that. I said the middle-class won't benefit the way the upper-class will, and the bill was sold to them as advantaging them. That's what the president said. It's going to be for you, middle-class.

CONWAY: And the middle-class will benefit and the corporate tax rate will go from the highest in the developed world at 35 percent to 20 percent -- below 27 percent.

CUOMO: And it is a gamble --

CONWAY: No, it's not a gamble.

CUOMO: -- that will enure to the benefit of workers.

CONWAY: No, no, no. Look at all the --

CUOMO: That is not a given.

CONWAY: Hey, Chris. You know what? Had the stock market crashed under Donald Trump's presidency, had the unemployment rate gone higher, had consumer confidence gone lower --

CUOMO: You know, Donald Trump used to say don't look at the stock market as a measure of Main Street.

CONWAY: -- that would be all you talked about. You'd have those fancy graphics.

But here are the facts. When he got elected last November, the stock market was at 18,000. It's over 24,000.

CUOMO: Stock market's done great. Stock market's done great.

CONWAY: Yes, it is, and that's called -- that's called causation, not coincidence.

All the consumer confidence numbers, the manufacturing confidence numbers, the small business formation numbers --

CUOMO: Because a lot of them are banking on getting big tax cuts that will help their bottom line.

CONWAY: Are you telling the 9.1 million female small business owners in this country, and I was once for 22 years --

CUOMO: Now you want to fight for women?

CONWAY: Are you telling them -- no, are you --

CUOMO: You're endorsing Roy Moore but now you want to hold women up on a pedestal.

CONWAY: Hey, Chris, I fight for women every day here. That's why I'm here. But I fight for the forgotten men and the forgotten women. I fight for the people I grew up around who live paycheck-to-paycheck

who are white-knuckled at the end of each month to pay their rent and their mortgage, their tuition or their student loan voucher. They struggle to pay for groceries -- to fill up the grocery cart and gas tank. I'm here for them.

CUOMO: And then you're helping them with their student loan?

CONWAY: I'm not here for the -- I'm not here for the ubiquitous anchors making millions of dollars. I'm here for the forgotten woman. And let me tell, we hear from them --

CUOMO: And they need the help.

CONWAY: -- every single day.

CUOMO: And you promised them help and this bill does not deliver them --

CONWAY: Yes, it does, and you know it does. Look at the -- pull up --

CUOMO: -- to a better place to this disadvantage of the upper-class, which is what the promise was.

CONWAY: Pull up the information from the Tax Foundation. State-by- state --

CUOMO: Go ahead.

CONWAY: I would commend -- no, go ahead. See what you're getting in Wisconsin. Nearly 20,000 new jobs projected, over $2,000 --

CUOMO: Projected -- projected.

CONWAY: -- for each household.

CUOMO: This is a trickle-down theory that we don't know if it will come to roost.

But I've got to ask you about something else that we --

CONWAY: Trickle-down theory, right.

CUOMO: -- skipped on. I've got two more things I've got to get from you. One is easy, one is hard.

The easy one is the president spoke to Romney. That assumes that there is a good relationship.

Why did he have his pit bull, Bannon, down there in Alabama taking the guts out of Mitt Romney yesterday, accusing him of not serving his country, accusing him of hiding behind his faith? Saying things about Romney that are equally true about Trump and his kids.

Why would the president let Bannon do that? Why wouldn't he condemn that if he wants to have a good relationship with Romney?

CONWAY: Well, first of all, you said many things in there that just aren't true. Sending him down there to speak for the president, that's not true.

Steve Bannon has been for -- with Roy Moore for a while now. He's down there supporting the campaign he supports with --

CUOMO: What about what he said?

CONWAY: Excuse me -- with the operation that he -- that he currently runs.

I am telling you that this president spoke to Gov. Romney last night --

CUOMO: Did he apologize for what Bannon said?

CONWAY: -- after that rally.

I won't tell you contents of the full conversation. I don't even know that that was raised. I'm not even sure the president was aware of that because we had a three-hour -- the president and the first lady stood in line for three hours taking pictures with members of Congress and their spouses, the cabinet, and the --

CUOMO: Do you call out Steve Bannon for saying that about Mitt Romney --

CONWAY: Chris, can I speak?

CUOMO: -- saying he hides behind his faith?

CONWAY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa -- excuse me, excuse me.

And they were here at the congressional ball. We had a wonderful bipartisan event. I personally was very happy --

CUOMO: Wait, I'm glad you had a good party but what happened with that comment about Romney?

CONWAY: No, no, no. You're not listening.

They spoke about a number of different things. This is a former presidential candidate and governor. This is the current president.


CONWAY: If they can work on issues together of common interest, that's great.

[07:55:00] And that -- and that's -- so, the president -- the only endorsement that's mattered in the Alabama race -- the one that's mattered the most in both the -- in this race is the president's because after he came out against Doug Jones and none of you seem to want to say those nine letters, Doug Jones, that God forbid people find out who he is and who he would be in the Senate, so the president had to go out and do it for you. Thank you, Mr. President, for --

CUOMO: It doesn't make any sense. This isn't about hiding Doug Jones.

CONWAY: No, no, no, no. Excuse me.

CUOMO: This is about taking a position --

CONWAY: No, no, excuse me. People don't --

CUOMO: -- on what's been said about Roy Moore --

CONWAY: Excuse me. People are not going to -- no, it's not.

CUOMO: -- which aren't just these accusations.

He wouldn't let the Ten Commandments --

CONWAY: No, that's what you think. You don't have these conversations --

CUOMO: -- be taken out. He puts -- he puts his faith before the secular laws of a society that is a secular society.

CONWAY: And tell me about Doug Jones. Give some equal time here. Give some facts second here, Chris, hashtag --

CUOMO: Doug Jones checked the boxes as a Democrat. He's going to be a tough sell in Alabama. That's always true.

CONWAY: That's not true.

CUOMO: He does not have these kind of accusations against him. He's not a man who said that his idea of his religion is more important than what the Supreme Court says if he's going to be an administrator of the laws as the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.

CONWAY: Right. So --

CUOMO: And that's OK because he's going to agree with the president, so the president's willing to swallow all that to get somebody --

CONWAY: No, no. The president has been very --

CUOMO: -- who wants to vote along his way.

CONWAY: -- clear on this. The president has been very clear on this and you know that the Democrats are protecting their own who are already in office, in large part, because they want reliable, liberal Democratic wisdom. I know what that's gotten them, by the way.

CUOMO: Yes. The president was supposed to be different. He said he was going to be better.

CONWAY: What that's gotten them is an entrenched minority.

CUOMO: That he wouldn't play the same.

CONWAY: Democrats have ways that an entire year -- literally, they wasted all of 2017 --

CUOMO: They're boxed out.

CONWAY: -- talking about 2016 and talking about 2020.

I look at the people who ran against Donald Trump --

CUOMO: They're boxed out. They don't have the numbers.

CONWAY: -- and I laugh out loud. What could they do in 2017?

CUOMO: They don't have the influence. They put up amendments on things, they all get shot down. We know how the power dynamic works.

CONWAY: No, no, no, no, no -- excuse me. The Republicans passed historic tax cuts. They're in conference now and people will get --

CUOMO: Historic in what way is what we're going to have to find out.

CONWAY: It also repeals the Obamacare mandate, it opens --

CUOMO: I know, and who's that -- how's that going to help the little guy?

CONWAY: You know how it's going to help the little guy. We are feeling the little guy every day and I have to say I'm starting to feel insulted on their behalf. They come here to visit us. I sat in the Oval Office yesterday --

CUOMO: Because they need help.

CONWAY: -- with the president and four families. It was an open press event.

CUOMO: That they want better. Because they want to be able to trust and believe in their government.

CONWAY: Did CNN follow-up with any of those families yesterday who visited with the President of the United States and told him on camera --

CUOMO: I know he has his fans.

CONWAY: -- how happy they are about -- well, they -- are they wrong? Are they misinformed, Chris?

CUOMO: I know he has his fans. No, they have hope, they have faith. They want things to get better.

CONWAY: They have faith, now.

CUOMO: You can't fault them for that, but let's see what you give them. I've got to ask you about something else.

CONWAY: Yes, do they have faith in this president to do things -- go ahead. Hurry, I have a meeting.

CUOMO: You know that this is a controversial move, moving the embassy to Jerusalem. From the White House perspective, how does this increase the chances of peace?

CONWAY: Donald Trump, as president, is doing something that several presidents have promised in the past. Let's review the facts here.

President Bill Clinton promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem. President George W. Bush promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

In 1995, by a vote of 93 to five, the United States Senate agreed with that and said in four years they would do that. Instead, President Clinton did the six-month waivers. President George W. Bush did something similar.

It takes --

CUOMO: What reason did they offer?

CONWAY: Excuse me. It takes President Donald Trump's --

CUOMO: What reason did they offer for not doing it?

CONWAY: -- leadership to make good on a promise that -- they cited several different things. But this president has met --

CUOMO: National security concerns.

CONWAY: Excuse me, you said --

CUOMO: Nobody has an embassy in Jerusalem.

CONWAY: Chris, this president -- the geopolitical reality is that the administrative state of Israel does exist in Jerusalem. That is -- that is where the --

CUOMO: Why does nobody else have an embassy there? Why are European leaders and people in the Middle East saying this is a dangerous thing to do?

CONWAY: Because --

CUOMO: Even the Pope said leave it the way it is.

CONWAY: So, Chris, this is what the American president said about the American embassy, OK? That's what we're going to talk about here.

This president's leadership spells the difference between past presidents and between -- I love the Pope -- between --

CUOMO: You don't like that the Pope's against it, Kellyanne. It's tough for us Catholics when the Pope comes out against it so close to Christmas.

CONWAY: Well --

CUOMO: Go ahead.

CONWAY: OK, great, but let me do a full sentence here, not just a semicolon, please.

This president -- the difference --

CUOMO: Please. The way you speak is up to you. You'll get the time.

CONWAY: The difference -- the difference between President Trump and past presidents, because they've all promised the same thing with respect to moving the capital -- excuse me, the embassy to Jerusalem, is that this president actually will do it.

He has consulted with his national security and foreign policy team. He has consulted with his -- with the major players and he has -- look, remember when this president took his first foreign trip? He went right into the seat of the major religions. He started out in Saudi Arabia, then he went to Israel. He was at the Vatican.

This is somebody who from the beginning told the world that he is open to talking to different leaders and respecting all different religion. He has talked to Mr. Abbas, he has talked to Mr. Netanyahu. He has talked to many different leaders across the world.

But he has, most importantly, talked to his national security and foreign policy team and is doing something that even Leader Schumer has agreed with. The United States Senate has voted with over 90 votes to do this. Were they lying? Was it just a formality?

CUOMO: Looks like it --

CONWAY: This is what people don't understand about Washington.

CUOMO: -- because each president in succession from both parties have not done it. They've always taken the waiver because it would be seen as a destabilizing move and they put the practicality above the politics.