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Israeli Government to Allow Representative Rashida Tlaib Into Country After Banning her and Representative Ilhan Omar; President Trump Speaks about U.S. Economy at Rally; President Trump Mocks Overweight Attendee at Rally; CNN: NYC Transit Hub Evacuated After Pressure Cookers Found; Trump's Trade Adviser on Possible Economic Downturn. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired August 16, 2019 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: That lucrative Defense Department contract before it's awarded potentially to Amazon, which, again, has made that $10 billion bid for it, guys. So to be continued, where this goes, who wins it. But there are a lot of implications here. And it's been a fascinating journey, and to think this company is only 25 years old.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And again, this is in your life in ways you don't know, which is why you have to watch tonight to learn.

HARLOW: But you will tonight.

BERMAN: That's exactly right.

HARLOW: At 9:00 eastern on CNN.

BERMAN: It's going to blow your mind. Do not miss it. Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you, guys, very much.


BERMAN: Thank you to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN Newsroom with Max Foster is next. For our U.S. viewers NEW DAY continues now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is supporting Netanyahu's decision to block Representatives Omar and Tlaib to go to Israel.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did speak to people over there.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I regard Trump's action as part of his racism and is an absolute outrage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are elected members of the U.S. legislative body being denied entry to U.S. ally soil. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're getting closer to the point where if we

don't get a comprehensive policy response the global economy will dip into recession.

TRUMP: The United States right now has the hottest economy anywhere in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are living in volatile and uncertain times economically. The glass looks half empty.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Friday, it's August 16th, it's 8:00 in the east. And we do begin with breaking news this Friday, a partial reversal of a reversal. So Israel is now planning to allow Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib to visit her family in the West Bank on humanitarian grounds.

This surprise move comes after the Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked Tlaib and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from entering after intense pressure from President Trump, something the "New York Times" points out is simply unprecedented in U.S. history. Netanyahu said he denied them entry because of their support of a movement to boycott Israel. Also this morning something you don't hear very often here, breaking news from Greenland, which just announced it is not for sale. So why is that an issue? We'll tell you in a moment.

CAMEROTA: Also new, President Trump issuing this warning about next year's election.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401ks, down the tubes, everything is going to be down the tubes. So whether you love me or hate me, you got to vote for me.



CAMEROTA: Well, his timing and message are curious because many financial analysts already see warning signs on his watch about the state of the U.S. economy and a possible recession. "The Washington Post's" headline today the president is rattled. All three major papers reporting that President Trump is concerned about a possible economic downturn and implications for him in 2020. So coming up in just minutes I will speak to President Trump's chief economic advisor Peter Navarro.

But first, let's bring in Kaitlan Collins, she's our CNN White House correspondent, Bianna Golodyrga, CNN contributor, and Catherine Rampell, "Washington Post" opinion columnist and CNN political commentator. OK, John, where are we starting? Did we decide that we're the Israel --

BERMAN: Israel. We're going to start with Israel first.

CAMEROTA: OK, Kaitlan, let's talk about this and what's happened, because the president wanted these two sitting U.S. lawmakers, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, to be blocked from going to Israel because he has claimed they have made anti-Semitic remarks. Some people believe they've made anti-Israel policy remarks. Either way, Israel complied and blocked them. And then this morning there was news that on humanitarian grounds because Rashida Tlaib's grandmother is 90-years- old, she will be able to go. Where does that leave the White House?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The question will be how does the president respond to that, because I don't think he's going to draw that distinction between it being a political visit or a visit to go see her family. That's the question here.

The timeline is pretty clear of what happened because just last month the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said, yes, they were going to allow them in. We were being told by Israeli officials that they didn't want to get involved in the president's political fights here, especially as he's tried to target these four congresswomen because he want them to essentially be his foil in 2020. But after the president very publicly urged them not to do so on his Twitter feed not to let them come in, he also later conceded that he had spoken with Israeli officials about this.

So that's the concern that you're seeing not only from critics but also even some of the president's allies here, is that he's setting a dangerous precedent here, because of course members of Congress travel all over the world, and the president is now using the power of his presidency to punish his political rivals.

BERMAN: And if you're still charting the shattered norms of this administration, "The New York Times" calls this unprecedented, for a U.S. president to take his domestic political disputes and pressure a foreign government to get involved with them, saying really no president in U.S. history has done it before. Bianna, you have AIPAC, the powerful, powerful pro-Israeli group in the United States, saying this is a bad move for Israel and the president. You have Marco Rubio saying this is bad move for Israel and the president.

[08:05:06] BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And the usual alignment of people saying this is bad move for Israel. Israel typically has very thick skin. Remember, it's got neighbors that for decades has been chanting death to Israel, and yet for some reason these two congresswomen are viewed as a threat internally to Israel. You're absolutely right. Just last month Ron Dermer said that these women would be allowed to come to Israel.

Last month, by the way, they still supported the BDS movement, the boycott, divest, and sanction movement, so why all of a sudden he has a reversal of opinion right now. Clearly this is from pressure from the president of the United States. It's being spun within Israel, giving Bibi Netanyahu extra pressure, because he's got an election coming up next month as well. Israel saying that the reason they're allowing her not only from a humanitarian standpoint but that she's somehow capitulated to some of their demands that she not participate in some of the demonstrations and boycotting, what have you, notwithstanding, this is a big headache for Israel, and one that is completely unnecessary, short-term victory for President Trump and Bibi Netanyahu, longer term complicates the bipartisan relationship Israel really does have in this country.

CAMEROTA: And Catherine, some pundits think that this is all a distraction anyway from what the news -- the nerve-racking news for financial analysts like yourself of this week of the big market drop, and then what happened with the inverted yield curve, and all of that because the economy, if the economy softens that's real political trouble for the president.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. The economy is the one and only issue in which Trump is above water, right. On every other issue Americans do not believe he's handling things well, including immigration, by the way, which is the thing he has been falling back on even as his advisers have been telling him you should tout the strong economy.

So now the obstacles to him running on the economy is not only his lack of self-discipline to talk about it, but that the economy may not be such a great talking point anymore. And the thing that I'm really worried about going forward is who he's going to scapegoat for all of this. He's already been scapegoating the Fed. Historically (ph) do not talk about the Fed at all to preserve their both real and perceived political independence.

Instead he's trying to blame them, he's trying to question their abilities, and he is compromising their political independence. And beyond that, they don't have a plan for what to do if things go wrong, and they could go wrong. We have this clown car of economic advisers, one who whom be on the show later, I guess.

CAMEROTA: I'm sure he'll appreciate that if he's listening right now.

RAMPELL: I've been open about what a crank other economists think he is. There are no economists on record who support his views on trade. But it's not just him. You have a guy who plays an economist on TV, you have a former Hollywood producer. This is not the dream team who will be handling a crisis if we face one.

And beyond that, there just aren't that many tools left to deal with a recession if, in fact, we face one, because we already spent $2 trillion on tax cuts when we didn't need them, so there's not a lot of fiscal space to do much. The Fed already has low rates, so they don't have a lot of tools left, even though they are the adults in the room. So I'm quite worried about what he's doing both to undermine our ability to deal with the crisis, and what he's doing to actually expedite that crisis through his trade wars.

GOLODRYGA: And "The Washington Post" has a piece out this morning, and an alarming headline that stood out to me is that some of the president's advisers, maybe one that you're going to be speaking with soon, they're sugarcoating some of the data that they're getting from the government agencies because they don't want to upset the president. So they may be giving him a rosier picture or suggesting that some of these headlines and statistics and data that's coming in are not accurate. That in and of itself is worrisome.

But the president clearly appears to be just a bit alarmed, if for no other reason then he's starting to cushion some of the data and picture going forward. He's suggesting, oh, the stock market may be falling now but just wait if I'm not reelected, it's going to fall even more. He started talking about the tariffs and saying that maybe consumers will start feeling the pain, but I still don't think they will. But he's at least offering the idea that people may start feeling the pain, and we haven't seen that.

RAMPELL: That same post story, by the way, mentioned that he's questioning whether the data are real, which are interesting because when the data was good, when the jobs numbers were good and all of that under Obama, they were fake. When Trump inherited the exact same good economic numbers, suddenly they were real again. And now that there are signs of trouble in manufacturing, et cetera, now they're fake again.

BERMAN: What's interesting to me, if you combine what you're both saying, there's no economic plan to deal with a possible downturn. I don't think there's a political plan to deal with a downturn. I think that's what we saw on the stage last night from the clip that we just played. The president was all over the place when talking about the economy. Well, it's going to go down, but you still need me, because it could go down worse. How do you see evidence that he knows what to do or they know how to handle it?

[08:10:00] COLLINS: And his messaging this week has also been all over the place, assuring people that the economy in the U.S. is the strongest and most powerful in the world as he tweeted yesterday. But then of course you're seeing what the president really thinks when he's backing off those China tariffs for some of those imports that he threatened, pushing that deadline a little bit later, even though the Chinese did not respond the way the White House was anticipating for them, even though Peter Navarro was assuring them that the Chinese were receptive to that, but they said no, we're going to take additional countermeasures if you move forward with these other tariffs.

The question of whether or not they have a plan is really dependent on the president here, because if he's assuming that these numbers are incorrect or that they're wrong and they're not planning for something. But of course, I think the president despite this rosy outlook his advisers sometimes paint for him, he does pay attention to the markets.

Those numbers aren't lying. He is seeing what's happening. And our reporting show he's actually been polling these financial executives in recent days, asking them what they think. So he is keenly aware of this and that his reelection depends on a strong economy. Whether or not they have a backup plan, if that's not something they can count on, is another question. CAMEROTA: Peter Navarro is going to come on and make that case

because he doesn't agree with the assessment that they have no plan, nor does he agree with the assessments that we're headed towards a recession. So he's going to come on and make their case for why they see things as so rosy.

GOLODRYGA: What clearly gets under the president's skin is the idea that he inherited any of this from President Obama. And so he was talking about this last night as well, suggesting that if that were the case, look at what the stock market, because he always goes to the stock market, not the overall economic numbers, but look at the stock market the day after I was elected, and for the most part the stock market went up because there was anticipation once there was going to be a President Trump that we would see the tax cuts that he'd been promising.

So that seems to get under his skin the way Russia gets under his skin in suggesting that Russia helped him win the election, suggesting that he inherited a good economy from President Obama.

RAMPELL: If you look at stock market returns, by the way, from the date that Obama took office to the comparable date today, whatever it is, three years or so, Obama's numbers are better. So, not that presidents control stock markets, but Trump seems to think so.

BERMAN: Kaitlan, Greenland put out a statement this morning saying we're not for sale. Why did they do that? Because "The Wall street Journal" was the first to report yesterday that President Trump has talked in the White House and asked adviser to look into the possibility of buying Greenland from Denmark. He's going to Denmark in a couple of weeks, first of all.

COLLINS: About two-and-a-half weeks.

BERMAN: Second of all, we should note that President Truman tried to buy Greenland in the 1940s for $100 million. That didn't go over well. But Greenland now saying it's not for sale.

COLLINS: This is one of those ideas that the president has brought up several times that people didn't take seriously. It's just a comment that the president made in passing, they thought. They told the president, sure, we'll check on that. The president has made it more and more often.

He's even directed some officials in the Counsel's office to look at this. Whether or not he'll actually go forward is another question, but of course, in this administration you can't really rule things like that out. But it does just give you an example of what the president has his mind on in meetings.

CAMEROTA: One more thing that we should bring up, unless you guys have an offer for Greenland.


CAMEROTA: -- is what happened last night at the rally. The president was, I guess, uncomfortable with someone who was overweight, and I guess disagreeing with him at the rally, and he made his feelings known. So we have a moment of that.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That guy's got a serious weight problem. Go home, start exercising. Get him out of here, please.

Our movement is built on love, and it is.



CAMEROTA: So, yes, I mean don't go to a Trump rally, I guess the message is if you're overweight. Is that what the message is, or don't quibble with the president?

BERMAN: Kaitlan, there's news about the person he was talking about, yes?

COLLINS: The Associated Press is reporting that it was actually not a protester. It was actually a supporter of the president's, and he misidentified who it was that was the protestor. Often at these rallies you'll see a few protesters in the corners.

Once they start, if they have a sign or anything like that, the crowd will start to chant "USA" until they're escorted out. The president will usually pause his remarks, watch it happen, make some snide remark about their mother being disappointed in them, or going back to their parents' basement. Last night he made fun of their weight, but the Associated Press is reporting that's actually a supporter of his, not a protester.

RAMPELL: Not that it would be appropriate to make fun of someone's weight if they don't agree with him politically.

COLLINS: The president has a long history of doing this. You'll remember when he had the reporter who actually had a condition, and the president was mocking him at it. And even though he later said he wasn't.

CAMEROTA: People's looks. We can go down the litany of things.

COLLINS: It's a history the president relies on when someone is a protester at his rallies, it's something he relies on, this tactic of making remarks like that.

RAMPELL: Perhaps it's out of love and he really --

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: All right, we do have some breaking news for you right now because New York City police department has just evacuated one of the largest transit stations in the city after police say that they found two pressure cookers there.

[08:15:05] BERMAN: CNN's Brynn Gingras now joins us live with all the breaking details.

Brynn, tell us what you know?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John and Alisyn, you can see those officers not going hectic right now which is good sign. We're learning it doesn't appear those two pressure cookers were suited up in anyway that would be some sort of bomb or some sort of device. So, it does seem there hysteria that was happening just a little while ago in downtown Manhattan is, you know, calming down just a little bit.

But what a scene. At 7:15 this morning, authorities got a call about devices, suspicious packages not only on the street but also on a subway platform and then the bomb squad immediately responded, the emergency services unit immediately responded. Of course, those are the highly trained units of the NYPD.

And they have since found according to our sources, these don't appear to be devices that are going to arise any sort of bomb or some sort of explosion. But here's the thing, what were they doing there? So, now, the question begins of was this is a hoax? Now that needs to be investigated.

Likely what will happen next they're going to start pulling video. Did someone purposely leave behind these two pressure cookers in very precarious spots during the height of rush hour here in Manhattan? So, that's going to be the next step for investigators. But that is a good sign that does not appear to be any sort of device.

And right now, again, we're just talking to our sources trying to learn more information. But, of course, you can imagine how heightened everybody's sort of senses are at this point with the incident we are just coming off of with El Paso and Dayton. So you can imagine the response to this area was massive.

Again those units responded but also they had to divert subways. They had to make sure people got off the subways, they were evacuated. So, a lot still happening in lower Manhattan. But, again, good news, it does not seem to be anything precarious, but as far as explosion, but definitely, it's raising some eyebrows about why those two pressure cookers were placed, where they were and who might have done it.

So, that investigation continues, John and Alisyn.

BERMAN: OK, Brynn, we let you get back to reporting there, Brynn Gingras.

Again, the headline here is two pressure cookers found through the Fulton Street subway complex in New York City and that complex has been evacuated, but one source telling CNN that those pressure cookers had not been modified apparently at first look to create any kind of explosive device.

Joining us now on the phone is CNN law enforcement James Gagliano. James, pressure cookers -- why do we care about pressure cookers? The

Boston marathon bombings. Why do we care about pressure cookers? There was one found in New York a few years after that that was of deep concern. These devices can be used to make explosives so when authorities find them unattended on subway platforms, what alarm bells does it raise?

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via telephone): Absolutely, John. And you pointed out two recent cases in the Northeast. In 2013, the Boston marathon bombing, and then in 2016, there was a pressure cooker bomb that was placed inside a storefront not far from where CNN was in September of 2016, also down at the Jersey Shore.

Authorities are going to handle this with an abundance of caution. You always assume it's a lethal device until you can walk it back and make a determination. If they can disrupt something like that on the scene, they'll do it. If they can't, they'll do what they did last year with the suspicious package sent to CNN.

They'll put it into a TCV, which is a big egg shaped device vehicle called a total containment vessel, and they'll remove it from the scene. If this was placed there as a hoax, they will certainly in Manhattan, in New York City be able to go back and look at security camera footage and walk this back and find out who placed it there, because the only thing that could make this a hoax is if there was no initiator attach to it, and no explosives or fragmentation put inside.

But was this purposeful? Was a message being sent here? Authorities got to unravel that. The NYPD has got some of the best bomb techs in the business, the right folks are on the scene, John.

BERMAN: Again, it's not impossible that pressure cookers would be left unattended on subway platforms, James, but it is highly, highly suspicious. So even if they haven't been altered to make them bombs which would entail I imagine some visible wiring, not to mention shrapnel involved, even if they haven't been wired, there have to be some serious questions because it's a very unusual thing to just appear out of nowhere on a subway.

GAGLIANO: John, 100 percent accurate.

And, look, by the narrow definition of terrorism, it's violence or the threat of same. So, was this an intimidation tactic? Did someone put it there to cause some type of mass hysteria, or to force authorities to show up on the scene?

[08:20:02] And what we're finding tactics wise is sometimes people will do this to distract the authorities, get them to one location and then cause something to happen somewhere else.

Now, we're lucky. The NYPD is 35,000 strong. They are one of the top-notch police departments in the country if not the world. You've also got the FBI that also responds to these type of things with their special agent bomb techs. We got the right folks on the scene. Whether or not it was a message being sent to intimidate or scare people or frighten people or whether or not these are legitimate devices they'll sort that out on the scene and like I said remove those. They will find all kinds of forensic evidence on those pressure cookers, whether it's latent fingerprints, hair and fiber, DNA, they'll track this down and I guarantee you there will be a suspect or people of interest or person of interest determined very shortly, John.

BERMAN: All right, James, please don't go far. We'll continue to monitor the situation throughout the morning and bring you updates as they come in.


President Trump is warning his supporters that the economy will tank if he is not re-elected. But the economy is already showing some signs of slowing and has prompted this week, fears of a potential recession.

So, joining us now is Peter Navarro. He's the assistant to the president and director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.

Mr. Navarro, we're so happy to have you here with us to walk us through the president's trade and economic policies and plans because it has been a bumpy, nerve-racking week for some people as you know watching the stock market and bond market. In fact, as you know, "The Wall Street Journal" editorial board seized on this and said, Mr. Trump's willy-nilly trade offensive could be a mistake that turns a slow down into the Navarro recession.

Your response?

PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY: Yesterday, Alisyn, on your show about this time you made three claims on the set. Basically that we didn't have a clear economic plan, that our trade plan was not coherent, and then somehow the strong and wise decision we'd made on the tariffs on China was problematic.

So let me walk through those real quickly. First of all, you have to understand the DNA of the Trump campaign to understand our economic plan. The president gets up every morning trying to grow the economy and create jobs for the American people. And dating back to the campaign which I was very much a part of, we pushed four points of the policy compass.

And basically tax cuts to stimulate investment and productivity here in America, deregulation to increase our global competitiveness, unleashing our coal, oil and natural gas resources again for competitive purposes but also to increase the purchasing power of consumers, and to have fair, balance and reciprocal trade.

This is what drives our economic policy. It's clear as a bell in results.


NAVARRO: If you simply look at the statistics, it's 6 million jobs created. Over half a million manufacturing jobs when the previous administration lost 200,000 jobs.

CAMEROTA: Let me just stop you -- I don't want you to filibuster with answering all of the three questions. Let's take it one at a time. OK?

NAVARRO: So, we have a clear economic plan. You may disagree with how the policies work, but tax cuts, deregulation, fair and reciprocal trade, unleashing our energy sector.

CAMEROTA: I think the question is about the tariffs and whether or not you acknowledge the tariffs have played some role in the uncertainty and volatility that we've seen this week.

NAVARRO: So let's go to the second claim which is not a coherent trade policy because the tariffs are very much a part of that. And again, the DNA of the campaign goes back to I think the best speech the president gave on the economy during the campaign, June 2016 outside of Pittsburgh, where he laid out seven basic promises on trade. And he's kept every single one of them.

The underlying principle of those seven promises is they have fair trade, they have other countries around the world stop stealing our stuff and stop treating this country as a piggy bank and draining over half a trillion dollars out of the economy.


NAVARRO: So what the president has done so far, look at those promises, day one at the Oval got out of the Trans Pacific Partnership.


NAVARRO: Renegotiated the 2012 Hillary Clinton deal, we've got NAFTA on the table.


NAVARRO: And, Alisyn, this is so important --


NAVARRO: -- in terms of moving this economy forward from a 2 percent to a 3 percent, we need to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement and then the last thing which is the China tariffs --


CAMEROTA: I want to just talk about where we are now. I think what you're doing is giving us a history, that's helpful.

NAVARRO: Well, but you accused us of not having a clear economic plan and I'm responding to that.


CAMEROTA: Well, but you're saying is that you have a plan during the campaign --

NAVARRO: We have one --


CAMEROTA: Hold on, Mr. Navarro. Let me get a question out.


CAMEROTA: You're telling us what the plan was during the campaign and you're executing on it.

[08:25:02] NAVARRO: Correct, and the results are --


CAMEROTA: I think the question was yesterday after this volatile week is what is your plan going forward if you see signs of a recession?

NAVARRO: So let's look at the China question. I think it's important for the integrity of journalism any time we talk about the China tariffs, we identify the seven acts of economic aggression that the president is trying to get China to stop doing which is the cyber intrusions into our business networks, the intellectual property theft to the tune of $700 billion a year, forced technology transfers, conditions of access to the market, dumping products into our market below cost and closing our factories.

It's the currency manipulation, massive subsidies of state owned enterprises. And last but hardly least, it's the made in China fentanyl and opioids that will kill 100 people by the end of this day and over 50,000 --

CAMEROTA: Right, but none of that seems to change. I mean, I know your seven and I appreciate those. China doesn't seem to have been --

NAVARRO: I'm pleased to repeat them on the air if you were. But here's --

CAMEROTA: Well, but no, Mr. Navarro, this is serious question.

NAVARRO: It is a serious question.

CAMEROTA: China hasn't blinked, OK? The tariffs have been in place for more than a year now, China doesn't seem to be backing down. So, of your seven pillars, those are laudable goals, but what progress has been made?

NAVARRO: So, the president has been consistent on two things. One he's always been willing to talk and negotiate with the Chinese side. But, two, when the Chinese side fails to honor their commitments or moves slowly, the president acts.

So, what we've had to do over time is from the Mar-a-Lago summit in 2017 --


NAVARRO: -- we've had to first initiate a 301 investigation like he promised to do in June of 2016. We had to then initiate tariffs on four different occasions --

CAMEROTA: But what's your end game?

NAVARRO: Ah, what's the end game?


CAMEROTA: I mean, the question is, I know you're initiating the tariffs but they -- nothing -- China hasn't backed down. It hasn't seemed to change their behavior.


CAMEROTA: And one last question and then you can answer. Do you acknowledge that the tariffs are hurting Americans, hurting farmers?

NAVARRO: To date, China has borne virtually the entire burden of the tariffs, and frankly we're surprised at how aggressively they've been willing to bear that burden. It comes in a couple of ways. Hang on, let me finish.

They slash their prices and they have devalued their currency by 12 percent. We put tariffs on 10 percent on $200 billion, they devalue their currency by 12 percent.

The other thing that China is really paying the piper for is seeing their supply chain and production facilities move swiftly out of China. And so, what the president is simply trying to -- you asked what the end game is.


NAVARRO: The end game is clear. To have China stop engaging in these acts of economic aggression that cost us over 70,000 factories and over 5 million manufacturing jobs --


CAMEROTA: But the problem is, Mr. Navarro, those things seem to be hurting farmers and other people in the crossfire. I mean --

NAVARRO: Well, the farmers -- look, the farmers -- we've been very aggressive about helping farmers. We have a program to make them whole. What we have is an economy -- I think the big question here is how our economy -- let me give you the very bullish scenario.

We believe the economy is rock solid here in America. We saw the European central bank announce today --

CAMEROTA: I know you do. But just one question, if you think it's so honky dory tell me about the inverted yield curve because that got so much attention. Were you comfortable when the yield curve inverted? Was that a good sign because so many people say historically that is predictor of a coming recession?

NAVARRO: So, I didn't write the book on inverted yield curve, but I've actually written several books about that within the context of the business cycle. We don't have a strict inversion of the yield curve. What we have is a flat curve, which is a much less of a sign of recession.

And the problem is the Federal Reserve policy. We're growing a little over 2 percent last quarter. We should have hit 3 percent. And the problem is the Federal Reserve raised rates too far and too fast. They suppress --


CAMEROTA: Yes. No, I know that you often blame the Fed --

NAVARRO: But, Alisyn, do you disagree with that analysis?

CAMEROTA: Do you or the president take any responsibility whatsoever with the tariffs for the uncertainty that the market has been feeling this week?

NAVARRO: So the first quarter GDP growth actually got us a full point of growth from the tariffs on China and the reduction of the trade deficit. The tariffs are working to bring China to the table. So far, consumers have not --

CAMEROTA: Are they? Because those talks haven't seemed to get anywhere.

NAVARRO: Again, let's -- look, the public right now as well as Capitol Hill in a rare bipartisan consensus is totally behind President Donald J. Trump in standing up to China on their cheating and that's a good thing.

So we're talking. We're having negotiations, we're moving along. These are significant structural issues that have to be addressed. But in the meantime, we have --