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Warren Buffett Challenges Trump To Release Taxes; Zika Outbreak In Florida Grows To 15 Cases; Muslim-American Olympian To Make History In Rio; Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Takes On Donald Trump; Sources: Trump's Campaign Manager Growing Upset. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired August 3, 2016 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[07:31:00] WARREN BUFFETT, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: I'd like to make him an offer, an offer I hope he can't refuse. I would be delighted to meet him any place, anytime between now and election. I will bring my tax return, he could bring his tax return and just let people ask us questions about the items that are on there.
(CHEERS & APPLAUSE)
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JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Mega-billionaire Warren Buffett challenging billionaire Donald Trump to release his tax returns, something that Donald Trump, despite decades of tradition in presidential politics, has thus far refused to do.
Joining us now to discuss, "Vanity Fair" contributor Nicholas Shaxon and "Bloomberg View" executive editor Timothy O'Brien. Both men have written extensively about Trump's financial history.
Gentlemen, let us begin with a show of hands. Who among us thinks there is any chance that Donald Trump will accept Warren Buffett's invitation and release his tax returns before Election Day? Raise your hand if the answer is yes.
TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "BLOOMBERG VIEW": I'm sitting on mine.
BERMAN: Let the record show no one raised their hand. Nicholas, let me start with you. Why not? Why doesn't Donald Trump want his tax returns released? He says it's because an audit is being conducted. We know that that is, in and of itself, no legal reason why he can't do it.
NICHOLAS SHAXSON, CONTRIBUTOR, "VANITY FAIR": Well, he tweets a picture of himself and his tax returns. It's a stack of paper rising above his head. I think one reason is that there would just be a feast in there for journalists of all sorts of shenanigans and games.
Donald Trump is in real estate and there's pretty much -- among other things, there's pretty much no sector like real estate for tax shenanigans and deductions, and all sorts of squirrely loopholes and stuff, so I think he'd -- you know, there'd just be an endless amount of stuff for people to talk about that he'd be very embarrassed about.
BERMAN: There's all kinds of information that comes out of it, Timothy, right? We don't know someone's net worth from tax returns but you do learn their income. You do learn charitable giving.
O'BRIEN: That's right.
BERMAN: You do learn sources of income, and by that I mean which countries. Right now, everyone's wondering does he have any dealings with Russia. What do you think -- and we should have a disclaimer here. You were involved with litigation with Donald Trump. You have actually seen some of these returns. You can't tell us specifically what you saw but, generally speaking, what types of information might be most revealing for voters?
O'BRIEN: Just on the litigation, he sued me in 2006 for liable over a book I wrote, "Trump Nation". He lost that lawsuit. During the course of that litigation my lawyers deposed him about his taxes and we got his tax returns. And I think there's very practical things in those documents that Trump doesn't want to produce because they're going to undermine a whole series of claims or attacks he's made on the campaign trail over the last year.
Obviously, it won't get at his net worth but it will show his income and income is one pillar of how much money someone's actually making, obviously, and how robust their business is and I think -- I think he might have hesitations revealing that. He's repeatedly, on the campaign trail, described himself as a generous philanthropist, as a big backer of vets. There's very little public information available that shows that he's actually been a philanthropist. And in, certainly, New York, he's not known as a major philanthropist.
He's also spent a large portion of his time on the campaign trail criticizing American companies for operating overseas at the expense of the American worker. We know he sources a lot of his clothing overseas, he hires workers for his hotels and resorts from overseas. The tax returns would reveal some of that.
And I think at the end of the day one of the really crucial things is he's running for the highest office in the land. He's running to be one of the most powerful people in the world and the taxes would show what kind of financial interests or pressure would come to bear on him in the office. And that's the reason, historically, presidents have revealed and released their taxes.
[07:35:00] BERMAN: And there is cold hard facts on paper --
BERMAN: -- in tax returns.
O'BRIEN: That's right. BERMAN: You would learn very specific things about subjects that Donald Trump speaks and why hyperbolic generalities, Nicholas. You know, in the real estate business you were alluring (ph) to this. You know, it's a messy business, especially if you're involved at the scale that Donald Trump is. You make money, you lose money. Sometimes you write off things by design to reduce your tax burden.
SHAXSON: Yes. I mean, when I wrote this -- when I investigated this story I was looking, really, for two things. One is, does he use tax havens because Mitt Romney, in the previous campaign, had been quite badly damaged by revelations that he was -- he was using tax havens. And two, is he paying zero or pretty much zero in federal income taxes?
Now, he told me a very interesting response when I asked him if he used tax havens. He said I don't use them. That's because I can get everything I need in America. Now whether or not he uses tax havens is still a moot question and I didn't find very much. There are little bits and pieces there. And he does use Delaware which, for some people, is a bit of a tax haven, not least because it provides -- it can shroud your financial affairs in secrecy and you can also get some juice on state taxes.
But in terms of the zero tax thing he said I can get everything I need in America. Most of the evidence I've found suggested strongly that he has cut his federal income tax bill down to if not zero, close to zero. Again, as I said, because of all the feasts of loopholes and shenanigans that are available in the real estate sector, in particular. And those -- the deductions you can get can travel to other parts of your financial empire that aren't in real estate if you manage it correctly.
And I asked him if he was classified as being able to do this and he didn't really answer. But he did say that he still spent, even on the presidential campaign, a lot of the time active in real estate. So the evidence suggests that he pays very, very low taxes, indeed, and possibly pretty much nothing.
BERMAN: He says -- he, himself, says -- brags about the fact that he pays as little tax as possible. Timothy O'Brien, Nicholas Shaxson, thanks for much for joining with us -- joining us this morning to talk about Donald Trump's tax returns, which seems highly unlikely we will see --
BERMAN: -- before November 8th. What is your take on this? Please tweet us @NewDay or post your comment on facebook.com/NewDay -- Alisyn.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, John, another case of Zika virus in South Florida as the outbreak spreads beyond one neighborhood. So what can you do to protect yourself? Dr. Anthony Fauci here next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:41:10] BERMAN: South Florida on high alert this morning as the Zika virus outbreak grows to 15 cases. Officials are scrambling to contain the nation's first cluster of local infections. CNN's Dan Simon is live in in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood where this all is all taking place, with more. Good morning, Dan.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Well, this is the area that is most concerning. We were told that there was going to be an aerial spraying of insecticide this morning but that has been delayed because of some of the bad weather we saw in Miami. That should happen sometime tonight.
Nearly all of the 15 transmissions that have occurred have occurred in this neighborhood, so that's why there is a constant focus here in the Wynwood area. Again, we're talking about 15 transmissions. That's why the CDC is telling pregnant women to avoid this area and that if you live in this area or you work here that you should go to your OB/GYN and get tested.
In terms of the efforts of that insecticide it's not clear how effective it will be but authorities say they have to try something. Hopefully, that will occur, again, sometime tonight, John.
BERMAN: All right, Dan Simon for us -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: All right, John. We have a new CNN/ORC poll about the Zika virus so let's pull that up. It shows that 23 percent of Americans say they are at least somewhat worried about themselves or a family member becoming infected with Zika.
So joining us now is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Fauci, thanks so much for being here. So, --
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Good to be with you.
CAMEROTA: You know, given that the CDC has issued this unprecedented travel advisory to this one neighborhood in the Miami area, how concerned should Americans be about Zika?
FAUCI: Well, when you talk about Americans in general, the broad United States, as we've said many times, even though we prepare for the worst it's unlikely that we are going to have a broad, widely- disseminated outbreak of Zika in the Continental United States similar to what's happened in Brazil and what is happening Puerto Rico.
However, there are certain areas, particularly in this country, that have the right conditions to see the kind of thing that we are seeing in South Florida, and that is travel-related people. Namely, people who have been infected elsewhere, likely in South America or the Caribbean, who come to the United States or Americans who've traveled there and come back.
And when they are in the community and you have mosquitoes all over that are quite capable of transmitting, then you have the possibility of a local case, cases, or even a cluster of outbreak. So right now, focusing on that constrained area in South Florida, that's of concern and the reason why the CDC appropriately had a travel alert telling pregnant women to avoid that area because the main issue with Zika is to protect pregnant women.
Because beyond pregnant women, it is not generally a serious disease. But it can have, as we all know now, rather devastating consequences if a woman is infected during pregnancy, particularly --
CAMEROTA: But, let's talk --
FAUCI: Yes, particularly first trimester.
CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that, Dr. Fauci because I do think that there is some confusion. Obviously, it's most dangerous for pregnant women. However, if you are a woman of childbearing years and/or her partner -- if you're planning to have a child in, say, the next year, is it also of concern?
FAUCI: Right. Well, the answer is that the virus, when it infects an individual, man or woman, generally stays in the blood for approximately seven to, at the most, 10 days and is then cleared. There's a special circumstance with men because under certain circumstances men have sequestration of the semen -- of the virus in the semen for perhaps an extended period of time. We're still trying to find out how far out that goes. There's one case that was reported as 80 days.
[07:45:00] But focusing on your specific question about women, if women are in an area where there is infection and you do get infected, if you wait eight weeks following either getting out of the risk area or having been infected, generally it's safe.
So women ask us the question all the time. I want to get pregnant six months from now or a year or two from now. If I'm in this area or if I've gotten infected is it going to have a deleterious effect on my pregnancy ifI wanted to get pregnant a year from now? And the answer is there's no reason at all to believe that that's the case because we know that the virus gets cleared, literally within a week or 10 days, from the blood.
CAMEROTA: Well, Dr. Fauci, how confident are you that the Zika mosquitoes are contained in just that South Florida Miami neighborhood of Wynwood? Is it possible that people can live elsewhere in the country and also be infected?
FAUCI: Well, you're asking the question about -- there are two questions here. First, how confident am I that the mosquitoes are going to be contained and I'm not 100 percent confident at all because these are very resilient mosquitoes. They breed very, very robustly even under the most stringent conditions of standing water.
The health authorities in Florida are trying very hard to eliminate the mosquitoes by cleaning up the environment and by doing the kinds of insecticide and larvicide that you mentioned on the piece, but that is not always successful in eliminating these very resilient mosquitoes.
Regarding other parts of the country, there are mosquitoes that are capable of transmitting Zika in other parts of the country and that's the reason why one has to have good mosquito control wherever there's the possibility of this occurring.
CAMEROTA: So, today you're telling Americans to wear repellant and what else?
FAUCI: Right. Well, there are several things one can do, particularly for pregnant women but for everyone. When you're in an area where there are mosquito activity you protect yourself from mosquitoes by the following.
If you live in an area that you have some control over, get rid of standing water-- in pots, pans, tires, anything that has standing water -- to prevent them from breeding. To the extent possible, stay indoors with air conditioning. If you live in a place where you have windows and doors that have screens make sure that they are in good repair.
When you go outside wear clothing to cover as much of your body as possible. And on the exposed areas do not hesitate to use insect repellant, particularly insect repellant that contains 30 percent DEET. That's what one can do.
CAMEROTA: Dr. Fauci, thanks so much for the advice and the information.
FAUCI: Good to be with you.
CAMEROTA: -- John.
BERMAN: All right, a member of team USA about to make history at the Olympics in Rio. The Muslim-American fencer will be the first to compete while wearing a hijab. Who will it be? Plus, we will discuss who's going to be the American flag bearer in Rio. It's all going to -- we're going to talk about all that, next.
[07:51:45] BERMAN: The world is gathering in Rio for the 2016 Summer Games. We have just learned that record-breaking swimmer, Michael Phelps, will be the flag bearer for the United States in the opening ceremony on Friday as if he needs more honors at this point.
But before the competition begins one U.S. athlete is already making history. CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangle spoke with a fencer about to make history, Jamie.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: You didn't say her name.
BERMAN: I left that for you.
GANGEL: OK, so we spoke to Ibtihaj Muhammad and for any athlete -- look, it's a long road to the Olympics, but for her there have been special challenges. We talked to her about being a devout Muslim, we talked to her about Donald Trump, but we started by watching her fence. You don't want to be on the other side.
GANGEL: Under that star-spangled mask lies a fierce competitor who is lightning fast with a ferocious yelp.
IBTIJAH MUHAMMAD, U.S. OLYMPIC FENCER: I enjoy having to, you know, chase my opponent down the strip in order to score a point.
GANGEL: But 30-year-old Ibtihaj Muhammad is no ordinary member of Team USA. The Rio-bound saber fencer is making history, becoming the first American Muslim women to compete in the Olympics while wearing hijab.
MUHAMMAD: I wish that it wasn't the case. I wish that there had been tons of women before me who had achieved this.
GANGEL: Getting to this point hasn't been easy. Muhammad grew up in a big family in Maplewood, New Jersey and as a devout Muslim only allows her face and hands to show.
MUHAMMAD: My mom was always, you know, changing a uniform for me by adding long sleeves or adding long pants, where my teammates wore tank tops or shorts.
GANGEL: In most sports that made her look and feel different. Then one day while sitting at a stoplight with her mom she saw something that would change her life forever.
MUHAMMAD: They had on long pants, they had on long jackets, and they had these masks on. And I clearly remember my mom saying, you know, I have no idea what that is but when you get to high school I want you to try it out.
GANGEL: She did, with huge success.
MUHAMMAD: It was the first time in my athletic career that I could remember, you know, being seen solely for my skillset.
GANGEL: Muhammad went on to compete at Duke, a three-time All- American, and win gold as part of Team USA in the 2014 World Fencing Championships. But she couldn't change how people looked at her off the fencing strip. When you walk down the street, when you travel, when you go through TSA, what is your reality?
MUHAMMAD: Nightmare. I mean, TSA is a nightmare. I'm sure it's a nightmare for everyone. Always randomly selected for a special search, always.
GANGEL: Always randomly.
MUHAMMAD: Always randomly selected for like special screening and when you travel as much as I do, as an athlete, that can be frustrating. [07:55:00] GANGEL: The current political environment also frustrates Muhammad, driving her to do something most Olympic athletes usually avoid, talking politics. Specifically, she's taken on Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump --
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
GANGEL: -- starting with his call in December for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. tweeting, "Friends don't let friends like Trump." I say the words Donald Trump and you say?
MUHAMMAD: I don't know. What do you say? Where do you start?
GANGEL: Do you think he's dangerous?
MUHAMMAD: I think that his words are very dangerous. When these type of comments are made no one thinks about how they really affect people. I'm African-American. I don't have another home to go to. My family was born here, I was born here. We've, you know -- I've grown up in Jersey and all my family is from Jersey. It's like well, where do we go?
I'm hopeful, that in my efforts to represent our country well as an athlete, that they change the rhetoric around, you know, how people think and perceive the Muslim community.
GANGEL: That's one of the reasons she was invited to the Islamic Center of Baltimore this year for President Obama's visit.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I told her to bring home the gold.
GANGEL: And much to her surprise being different has now made her one of the celebrities of the U.S. Olympic team with a stream of profiles, photo shoots, and lucrative endorsements.
MUHAMMAD: I'm solely focusing on, you know, just preparation.
GANGEL: Train, train, train.
MUHAMMAD: Train, train, train, yes.
GANGEL: And hopefully, gold.
MUHAMMAD: I always say that if, you know, I'm blessed to win a medal this summer that it will icing on the cake.
BERMAN: Good luck to her. And, Jamie, Ibtihaj -- we heard her concerns about Donald Trump there. Has she weighed in or commented on the last five days? The controversy over Donald Trump and his feud with the Khan family? GANGEL: We reached out to her. She says she's training right now, she didn't want to get involved in it, but she really is worried about the rhetoric. She's -- when she walks down the street people yell at her, sometimes people follow her. She gets scared at times so it's a big concern for her. But she's trying to weigh being an athlete and speaking out at the biggest event of her life.
BERMAN: I think it's unusual to hear from Olympic athletes during the Olympics --
BERMAN: -- about politics, so that was interesting to hear. Jamie Gangel, thank you so much and best of luck to Ibtihaj in the Olympic Games which start, you know, tomorrow night.
BERMAN: All right, we're following a lot of news so let's get right to it.
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OBAMA: The Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president.
TRUMP: He's a terrible president. For him to be calling me out is almost an honor because he truly doesn't know what he's doing.
BERMAN: There's increasing frustration inside the Trump campaign.
TRUMP: We're running against a rigged system. I don't regret anything.
KHIZR KHAN, FATHER OF FALLEN MUSLIM-AMERICAN SOLDIER: I'm just so upset at this lack of empathy, lack of common sense.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have a son in the military. How do you tolerate his disrespect?
SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I have never been around someone more devoted to the Armed Forces of this country.
TRUMP: I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone, welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, August 3rd, 8:00 in the East. Chris is off this morning. John Berman joins me here in the studio. Great to have you, so --
BERMAN: Good to be here.
CAMEROTA: There's a lot to talk about because there's turmoil in the Donald Trump campaign, we're told. Sources telling CNN that top advisers, including Trump's campaign chairman, are growing increasingly frustrated by Trump's refusal to stop picking battles instead of staying on message.
BERMAN: Tensions really hitting a new peak after days of Trump publicly feuding with the father of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq. Now Trump is feuding with members of his own party, refusing to back big-time Republicans in their re-election primary fights. As this is happening, at least one prominent Republican joins a growing list of those saying they will vote for Hillary Clinton.
Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Manu Raju live in Washington this morning. Manu, take it away.
MANU RAJU, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning, John. Now, just two weeks ago Republicans left their nominating convention saying they were more united than ever. But since then Donald Trump has lurched from one controversy to another and prompted yet another round of tension and handwringing within his own party. So that unity that was projected in Cleveland was just papering over deep-seated divisions.
TRUMP: I don't regret anything. I said nice things about the son.
RAJU: Republican leaders and Donald Trump's own campaign staff frustrated with their candidate. Sources tell CNN even Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is upset with Trump. The tipping point, Trump openly challenging the parents of slain Muslim soldier, Capt. Humayun Khan.
KHAN: This person is not fit for the office he's seeking.
RAJU: Trump refusing to drop his fight with the Gold Star family.