Return to Transcripts main page


Shots Fired During a Traffic Stop in Oregon; Trump to Skip GOP Debate Tomorrow; Cruz's Wife: Ted 'Fighting for the American People.' Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired January 27, 2016 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An Oregon militia man shot dead after a traffic stop escalates into a shoot-out with the FBI.

[05:58:14] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a wonderful man. He has a wonderful family.

TRUMP: I said bye-bye, OK? Let them have their debate, and let's see how they do with their ratings.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would like to invite Donald right now to engage in a one-on-one debate with me any time between now and the Iowa caucuses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to tell the American people who Ted is. We can give the voters in this country to meet us directly, to meet Ted directly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you, Ted Cruz's wife of 15 years, want to say to Donald Trump?


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

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. it is Wednesday, January 27, 6 a.m. in the East. Mick is off. J.B. is here. Alisyn is here.

Donald Trump defying the rules again. This time in spectacular fashion. The Republican front-runner announcing he will skip tomorrow night's GOP debate, the last one before Monday's Iowa caucuses. Why? A feud with FOX News about debate moderator pundit Megyn Kelly. We have more on that in a moment, but we do have breaking news, as well.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We do. There's a deadly confrontation between the FBI, Oregon State Police and that militia group occupying that federal wildlife reserve. The group's spokesman was killed in a shootout with authorities. Several others, including the group's leader, Ammon Bundy, arrested.

CNN justice reporter Evan Perez joins us now with all the breaking details.

Evan, how did this go down?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, authorities say one man was killed and another was injured in the dramatic shootout between members of an Oregon protest group and the FBI and state police.

The confrontation took place during a traffic stop on a highway away from the federal wildlife refuge in Burns, Oregon. The FBI says that it arrested eight men in all, including Ammon Bundy, the leader of this group that took over the wildlife refuge nearly a month ago. The group said that they were protesting the federal government's handling of a dispute with ranchers in the area.

The man that was killed is LaVoy Finicum. He's an outspoken member of the group who had vowed not to be taken alive. The Bundys issued a statement, saying, quote, "LaVoy Finicum was shot and murdered in cold blood in Burns, Oregon, today by the FBI and state law enforcement. He had his hands up and was shot three times."

The FBI says that the traffic -- during the traffic stop, everyone cooperated with police except for Finicum and Bundy's brother Ryan, who was also injured in the confrontation -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Evan. Thanks so much. Back now to our other top story.

A political stunner. Donald Trump, he will boycott tomorrow night's Republican debate over a feud with FOX News with just five days until the Iowa caucuses. So is this political malpractice, political genius or is it Donald Trump?

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty live in Des Moines with the latest -- Sunlen.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is certainly the bombshell that escalated very quickly. The Trump campaign is holding firm, saying they are not bluffing. They say Donald Trump will not be showing up to tomorrow night's debate, and he will be holding his own event, a little counterprogramming instead. With five days left to drum up support ahead of the Iowa caucuses and just a day shy of the next GOP FOX debate.


SERFATY: Donald Trump going rogue, dumping FOX News.

TRUMP: Probably I won't be doing the debate. I'm going to have something else in Iowa. We'll do something where we raise money for the veterans and the wounded warriors.

SERFATY: Trump claiming unfair treatment from FOX News moderator Megyn Kelly.

TRUMP: Megyn Kelly is really biased against me. She knows that. I know that. Everybody knows that. Do you think she can be fair at a debate?

SERFATY: FOX News standing by Kelly while Trump walks.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Trump is not used to not controlling things. But the truth is he doesn't get to control the media.

SERFATY: So how will his power play fare with Iowans just before the first votes are cast? The RNC responding to Trump's move, telling CNN, quote, "Obviously, we would love all of the candidates to participate, but each campaign ultimately makes their own decision what's in their best interest."

But Ted Cruz, Trump's main opposition in the GOP race, says not so fast.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Apparently, Megyn Kelly is really, really scary. Donald is a fragile soul.

SERFATY: The Texas senator issuing this challenge to the front- runner.

CRUZ: If he's unwilling to stand on the debate stage with the other candidates, then I would like to invite Donald right now to engage in a one-on-one debate with me any time between now and the Iowa caucuses.

SERFATY: Trump putting the final nail in the coffin Tuesday night after FOX News released a tongue-in-cheek statement, poking fun at Trump's threats to back out, saying in part, quote, "We learned from a secret back channel that the ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president."

TRUMP: They can't toy with me like they toy with everybody else. So let them have their debate. And let's see how they do with the ratings.


CUOMO: All right. Now, forget his decision that he just made is dominating coverage and that, in and of itself, is a win. There is the prick of irony felt here, my friends, and here's why.

Back in 2011, Donald Trump was scheduled to moderate a Republican debate for Newsmax. Moderate. But when several candidates declined to participate in his debate, the millionaire, none too pleased, scolded the candidates while talking to Megyn Kelly. Listen.


KELLY: Let's touch on this debate that's coming up that you're going to moderate for Newsmax with Newsmax. So far only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have agreed.

TRUMP: We're not seeing a lot of courage here, are we? KELLY: Not so far.

TRUMP: Not lots of courage...

KELLY: Are you still going to do it?

TRUMP: ... Among these Republicans.


CUOMO: All right. Trump ended up bowing out of moderating that debate, disgusted.

CNN media correspondent, host of CNN's "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter; CNN national political reporter, Maeve Reston; senior contributor for "The Daily Caller," author of "Too Dumb to Fail," Matt Lewis.

All right. Start with Maeve. She's way out in the cold. What do you make of the plus/minus on this decision, Maeve?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really funny, because it did certainly allow Donald Trump to once again control the news cycle yesterday.

At the same time, giving Ted Cruz a clear opening to argue that Donald Trump is afraid of debating him, that he doesn't want to be on that stage in the final days.

And I have to tell you, though, walking through the crowd last night, that most Iowa voters here that I talked to did not care. And this is actually what they like about Donald Trump, is that he, you know, stands up to people and goes for what he wants, no matter what the consequences are.

I do think, though, that given the hazing that he's getting on FOX News over this decision, that certainly, this could end up looking like a mistake for him. But we'll see on Thursday night when he has dueling events and end up seeing what the ratings are for both of them.

[06:05:09] CAMEROTA: Yes, Matt, do you agree with the assessment that this is a win for Trump? This does not hurt him; this helps him?

MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, "THE DAILY CALLER": Until Donald Trump does something that goes wrong, that there's a backlash, I think we have to assume, give him the benefit of the doubt, this is not crazy but rather brilliant.

CAMEROTA: But I mean, not only because he is doing this, sort of playing a different game. Because Iowa voters don't care about a debate. He's going to be doing a wounded warrior event. Don't they care more about that?

LEWIS: Absolutely. And I think there's many things that you can rationalize why Trump is doing this. One, as Maeve has alluded to, this is him against the man, going

against the game is rigged. He's one of us. He's standing up to FOX News, which I know, the liberal bastion of liberals in the court.

The other thing, though, is I think in a way it's sort of like a prevent defense, right? Trump is doing well, and he's ahead, according to the latest polls, even in Iowa. Nothing good could come from a debate. When you're in a football game and you're winning, you want to slow things down, run out the clock and avoid a big play that you lose the game.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: And that's the FOX point of view here, that this is a cynical calculation by Trump. He's just using Megyn Kelly as an excuse. Again, he never wanted to be at this debate in the first place, and now he has no reason not to show up.

BERMAN: Brian, they're acting like an aggrieved party here. They put out a statement yesterday, which is not the high road, when you're Matt Lewis talking about the ayatollah and other things.

STELTER: They were mocking Trump.

BERMAN: They were mocking Trump. Do they now -- and you've been working your sources on this, do you sense any regrets over that?

STELTER: You know, there's two theories here. One theory is that these men are geniuses, that Roger Ailes and Donald Trump are geniuses. They're playing three-dimensional chess and that we barely know what's going on.

The other theory is they're just stumbling around in the dark like the rest of us. I think this might be one of those stumbling around moments. Not so much for Donald Trump but for FOX. That statement was not intended to provoke Trump to leave the debate stage.

CAMEROTA: Let's read the statement. Hold on, Maeve. Let me just read it, because this is the one you're talking about. FOX put out this statement. And this is -- God, this is such typical Roger Ailes playbook. I worked for him for many years. I recognize it.

He says we learned from a secret back channel that the ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president. A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings. OK?

So Maeve, they are just, you know, making hay of Donald Trump's strategy. And this is apparently what I -- apparently, what tipped the scales for him to say no debate.

RESTON: Right. So we have this pretty wild press conference, even by Donald Trump standards yesterday that we were at here in Iowa. And Donald Trump kept repeatedly saying there was a child writing press releases at FOX, continually returning to that topic, no matter what the question was. And the point that I was going to make was just that there were

so many other substantive topics that were discussed at that press conference on abortion, for example. There were a series of questions that Donald Trump said he didn't want to answer about the morning- after pill, for example. Things that could be really important to evangelicals here in Iowa before they vote.

But what are we talking about? We're talking about FOX and Trump. And that's the story that he wants us to be talking about this morning.

CUOMO: Sounds like a stumble to you, J.B.? I think not. This is clash of the alpha males, when you get Roger Ailes and Donald Trump.

How did Trump -- in my -- in my beta-male feelings about this, when he got a punch in the nose from that press release, it was a put- up-or-shut-up moment for Trump. Not a guy known to back away, whether that's right or wrong.

And again, what do you want when you get close and it's tight? I want people not to talk about you if we're in a close race. Who's talking about Ted Cruz right now? All of the decisions: Is it right, is it wrong? Is it Ailes? Is it this? But all of this distracts from what Maeve was just talking about.

STELTER: Now Cruz is center stage on Thursday night. Isn't that a win for Cruz? If we look back and Trump loses Iowa, will this be the huge mistake that he made?

CUOMO: A third less eyeballs, you know, is a guess, and he's not going to be able to say it directly to the guy he wants it to resonate with and on most, which is Trump.

STELTER: And once again, Trump is completely unpredictable. I sat here 24 hours ago and said, of course Trump's going to show up to the debate. These things aren't political rule. Maybe I think they're political rules. They're not. They're customs.

But Trump is showing...

LEWIS: Going back to what Maeve was speaking about, too, though. I really think Trump likes it when it's about process, not about the enthusiasm.

BERMAN: Matt, hasn't he won there? Because what do these other guys do now? I'm fascinated to think about what these other candidates will do on that stage without Donald Trump? They will spend the whole time, are you going to spend two hours beating up on a guy who's not there? Because that's not talking about issues the voters want. Do they beat up on each other? Then the focus turns from Trump. They're in a bind here.

CAMEROTA: Maeve, I want to talk about the overarching issue here of what I think it is, and it's journalism. OK? And Donald Trump can pretend that Megyn Kelly is biased. No. She asked him a fair question. She asked him a question that

voters wanted to hear. Here's what FOX News put out about that: "Capitulating to politicians' ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards, as do threats, including the one leveled by Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, toward Megyn Kelly. We can't give in to terrorizations (ph) towards any of our employees."

[06:10:21]That's a -- I don't know if that's a word, but it's effective. It may have been made up. But you still get the point, Maeve. And that is that this is what Donald Trump does. We've all been on the receiving end of it. When he likes her interview, he sends with him -- he sends a glowing e-mail. When he doesn't, he puts out a barbed tweet. This is what he does, Maeve.

RESTON: Yes. This -- this may end up being kind of a red line in that -- that kind of conduct from Donald Trump. Even in that press conference yesterday, he had a very long sort of tangled exchange back and forth with an NBC reporter berating the reporter over and over again, asking for an apology. We've seen him do that in other instances.

And FOX is saying, "Forget it. This is not happening. You know, we're not going to allow this to go on with our reporters."

And as more and more attention is played toward that, I think people will start paying more attention to sort of that bullying aspect of Trump's personality. And that is a huge issue for some voters who cannot stand him and want to see anyone else but him as the nominee.

STELTER: It is a chilling effect for journalism here. There's no doubt about that. That said, I want to underscore what that statement says about terrorism basically.

FOX News is basically saying the GOP front-runner's campaign manager is acting like a terrorist. This is something we haven't seen in presidential politics in the modern era. FOX News is the favored network of the Republican Party. And yet the GOP front-runner is at full-blown war with it. Like I said, there's no rules for this.

BERMAN: They made this what the candidates debate. I mean, FOX News has made itself part of this debate, not just moderating.

CAMEROTA: All right. Maeve, Matt, Brian, thank you guys very much.

CUOMO: All right. What will it mean? Here's what we know for sure. Just five days from the first votes being cast in this race. CNN will have coverage of the Iowa caucuses all day next Monday. And we're taking NEW DAY on the road to Des Moines for the big event.

BERMAN: All right. What about the other guy. Ted Cruz, he's hoping to capitalize on this whole thing. Donald Trump's decision to skip the debate, and he's making good on a promising to visit all 99 counties in Iowa. He's also got a wife who herself is a political operator. And now she's speaking to Dana Bash in an exclusive interview. What does she think about Trump's attacks on her husband's likability?


[06:16:47] BERMAN: Of course, Donald Trump tells FOX News, "Take your debate and shove it." The wife of Ted Cruz is speaking out. Cruz is now desperately trying to reclaim his lead in Iowa, launching a major anti-Trump ad blitz. And his wife, Heidi, is also doing her part, firing back against Trump's attacks.

CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, spoke exclusively with Heidi Cruz. She joins us now from Washington. Dana, a very interesting player in this campaign.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She really is, John. You know, this has been an interview for that reason and others. I've been trying to get a looking forward to for a long time.

One of the reasons is what we're hearing more from Ted Cruz's opponents, as he's climbed in the polls, that he rubs people the wrong way, especially his colleagues. So who better to ask about that and get to know better? And the person who knows him the best.


BASH: You've probably heard Donald Trump is really now going after your husband very hard on this likability issue. He calls Ted Cruz nasty, a whack job, someone who can't get along with people. What do you, Ted Cruz's wife of 15 years, want to say to Donald Trump about that.

HEIDI CRUZ, WIFE OF TED CRUZ: Well, I want to tell the American people who Ted is.

BASH: Who is that?

H. CRUZ: An incredibly thoughtful person, a person who never misses a birthday, who never misses Valentine's, who reads bedtime stories to his daughters.

BASH: Even from the Senate floor.

H. CRUZ: Even from the Senate floor. And more importantly, at home. A person who, when I'm really busy running around the house the other day to pack when he had a lot more on his plate, sat down and packed my suitcase for me.

BASH: So to say to the American people, so you know the way in -- especially where we are in the campaign, when you have someone like Donald Trump, who's successfully called, you know, Jeb Bush low energy. He's trying to make this Ted Cruz's label. How do you push back on that?

H. CRUZ: Well, we push back on it in many ways that it's easy to do because it's who we are. We don't need to go through the eyes of other humans. We can give the voters in this country the chance to meet us directly, to meet Ted directly.

BASH: Probably not going to come as a surprise to you that your husband is sort of actively disliked by a lot of his colleagues in the Senate, Republican colleagues in the Senate. But you chose to spend your life with him. Why are they wrong?

H. CRUZ: It's very clear. When you go out and campaign with Ted, you see why they're wrong. When you go to a rally, a town hall, a one-on-one, Ted is personable. He has a conversation with people. He describes the fundamental principles of the founding of this country. He answers people's questions. He listens to them. He takes their advice. He's patient.

And those that say they dislike him are the very ones the American people are trying to vote on.

BASH: You are very well known as somebody who's outgoing, and likable, and well-liked. Are there times when you say, "You know what, honey? Maybe, given the fact that this is the wrap on you, maybe we can try it this way or that way." Are there ever those moments?

H. CRUZ: You know, they're not, and here's why. It's because he's fighting for the American people. And they want him to be unwavering. He's unwavering for principle for them. We should be compromising moving forward not compromising moving backward. So I don't want him to give up any of the fights.

[06:20:00] BASH: When you hear these kinds of things said about your husband: that he's just not likable, that he's insufferable. I mean, you've heard them all. Is it a punch in the gut or in the heart?

H. CRUZ: You know why it's not? And I've been surprised that it's not. Because I am an emotional -- I have emotions.

BASH: It's good that it's not. You take your candidates on here and you're just plain old wife. Put that on.

H. CRUZ: Plain old wife hat and mother hat. I'm the emotional center of our home. And so I am surprised personally that it's not. But here's why. It doesn't bother him, which has been amazing. It just speaks to how unflappable and steady he is.

BASH: It may surprise some people that Ted Cruz, who went into the Senate, riding a wave of, like, anti-Washington sentiment, anti- Wall Street sentiment, that his wife, you are an executive at Goldman Sachs, the epitome of Wall Street. Do you see any contradiction there?

H. CRUZ: I don't, because Ted doesn't have an anti-Wall Street sentiment. He has an anti-government support of industry sentiment. He has an anti-industry relying on government for their wellbeing.

BASH: Ted Cruz certainly ran hard against the bailout, for example, which did help all of Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs. Do you see where they could be a "Really? His wife works for Goldman Sachs" kind of moment for people?

H. CRUZ: I think if people have that moment, they should look at what Ted is running against and what he's running on and what I do for a living. Ted and I are united in our principles. I run the private wealth business in the southwest from Houston. I'm on a full-time leave of absence. And the job that I have at that firm is, in many ways, in my view, the heart of helping people who have achieved the American dream. And Ted is running on reigniting the promise of America.

BASH: While we're talking about Goldman Sachs, what Donald Trump is saying is the fact that you got a loan from Goldman Sachs, that Ted Cruz is now beholden to this big Wall Street bank. He says, quote, "Goldman Sachs owns him."

H. CRUZ: I think the heart of your question is, is he bought and sold by the big banks?

BASH: It's not my question. What Donald Trump is suggesting, that is happening.

H. CRUZ: Yes. So there are a lot of false suggestions out there. Because I think some candidates are trying -- are trying to distract from how well Ted is doing in this election.

BASH: And that's what this is about? That's why Trump is saying that?

H. CRUZ: I think so, yes.

When you look at the track record, our financial history is public. We put it all out there. And we paid back those loans.

BASH: Donald Trump is saying the fact that your husband was born in Canada puts into question whether he's eligible to be president. Do you think it's hurt the campaign?

H. CRUZ: I don't think it's hurt the campaign. I know that this is not a legally disputed issue. And this has come up many times before, has been settled as to what is a natural-born citizen. Ted perfectly fits that definition. And so I think it's another example of distractions.

BASH: You and your husband and your girls started the campaign almost a year ago at Liberty University. And now Jerry Falwell Jr., who is kind of the heart and soul of that university at this point, since his father passed away, endorsed Donald Trump. Is that a punch in the gut?

H. CRUZ: We wanted to start our campaign there at Liberty University because of the values that that university historically has espoused. So there will be a lot of different endorsements.


BASH: ... God-fearing Christians, genuinely so and born and raised that way. And the fact that Jerry Falwell Jr. didn't turn to you and turned to somebody who is less overt in his -- in his religion.

H. CRUZ: If you look at the people who have endorsed Ted Cruz for president, there is no doubt who the evangelical community is supporting.


BERMAN: So Dana, you can tell in these answers that she has a political background. Heidi Cruz is not just a campaign surrogate. She is deeply involved in strategy and fundraising, all aspects of this campaign.

BASH: She really is, John, really involved more than any spouse of a presidential candidate I can remember, maybe since Hillary Clinton. But, you know, they met on the Bush campaign in 2000. So as you said, you nailed it. She clearly has political sensibilities.

And now she's in finance, as you just heard. She has worked for Goldman Sachs. She has a Harvard business degree. And used all that to help her husband and his aides structure the campaign the way it's run now.

She's also a primary fund-raiser for her husband. She dials for dollars relentlessly, asking donors for campaign crash. And I'll have a lot more on that, how she does it and how she's doing on that, in the 8 a.m. Eastern hour.

BERMAN: Yes. Really interesting to hear. I've not hear Heidi Cruz talk like that at such length. Thanks so much. We're going to have much more of Dana's exclusive interview with Heidi Cruz coming up in our 8 a.m. hour -- Alisyn.


A Swiss nun kidnapped for the second time by a militant Islamic group. This time it's al Qaeda in North Africa. What are the group's demands before releasing her? We'll be right back.


[06:28:50] CAMEROTA: We do have some breaking news. New information this morning on the whereabouts of a missing nun. An al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa claims to have kidnapped Beatrice Stockly.

CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is live in Beirut with the breaking details. What have you learned, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, there is, of course, one key fact about this. What has happened to her is the second time she has been kidnapped from that same area, the first time in 2012.

Now, this eight-minute video, released by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb for much of it narrated by a British-accented masked man. Ms. Stockly is shown, a Swiss missionary is shown in a facial veil there for much of the video.

Asked very simply for a prisoner exchange. They want a number of militants held by the Malian government. And demand also an international criminal court, leading Islamic militant from Mali to be swabbed for her.

And they also go on to say that she has driven many from the fold of Islam by seducing them with the crumbs of this worldly life. That's a reference, of course, to the Christian faith here. But Ms. Stockly returned to the region, despite Swiss government's advice. She should not, but it was dangerous.

Obviously, a well-known target too militants in that area. After the first kidnapping, she is now, after three weeks of their whereabouts, being known, clearly in the hands of AQIM, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.