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Interview with Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio; Russia's Election Meddling; Partial Trump Travel Ban To Take Effect Tonight; Interview with Colorado Senator Michael Bennet; Senate Health Care Bill's Impact On Opioid Crisis; Interview with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired June 29, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: The attorney general told him to call it a matter, not an investigation, when it, in fact, was an investigation. What did he call it? He called it a matter and if that's not misleading -- when he questioned the very -- when she told him that -- he questioned it, yet he went out and did it.
Then he misled the American people when he furthered this perception that the president was under investigation. Then he leaks the memo and he said under --
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But how do you -- how did he do that?
JORDAN: And he said under oath he leaked the memo to create momentum for a special counsel.
CUOMO: But he never told the American people that the president was under investigation. How did he do that? How did -- how did he intentionally allow people to believe the president was under investigation?
JORDAN: Because three times he had told the president he wasn't under investigation --
JORDAN: -- and that, yet, he won't clear that up and tell the American people that, in fact, was the -- was the case. He furthers that perception --
CUOMO: Why would he -- why would he --
JORDAN: -- then he leaks a memo when he gets fired to protect himself.
CUOMO: Wait. But, Congressman -- Congressman, hold on a second. Why would he go out and tell the American people that the president's not under investigation? Just because the president asked him to?
JORDAN: No, maybe because it was the truth, Chris. All I'm saying is why not just say he was under investigation?
CUOMO: But who was saying that the president was under investigation?
JORDAN: He wasn't truthful -- he wasn't truthful in either situation, he gets fired, and now it's like oh, because James Comey got fired because someone in the Justice Department is so critical, we've got to have this special counsel to get to the bottom of all this. Where was the special counsel in the IRS targeting investigation? There was a -- there was a resolution --
CUOMO: Republicans were in favor of this special counsel. Republicans praised Bob Mueller, who's a registered Republican, by the way. You seem to forget that fact. You know, there's a list in front of me of --
JORDAN: Where was the -- where was the special counsel in the IRS investigation?
CUOMO: -- all these big-shot Republicans saying Mueller is a great guy to have doing this? This is the right move.
JORDAN: Yes, you know -- you know what I said. I said look, I understand he's got a great reputation. I know the one encounter I had with Bob Mueller in committee, he couldn't answer one single question about the IRS investigation. We passed a resolution in Congress calling for a special counsel in the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department then said no.
Where was the special counsel when numerous members of Congress called for it in the Clinton investigation? Maybe if there had been a special counsel in the Clinton investigation they would have called it an investigation, not a matter. So I'm just saying where's the consistency here? That's what we point out in our op-ed.
And then, of course, who are the people that Bob Mueller has hired? All Democrats, all big contributors to presidential candidates who run on the Democrat side.
CUOMO: They're not -- they're not all Democrats. They're not all Democrats. You had three of the --
JORDAN: James Quarles, Jeannie -- Jeannie Rhee represented Clinton --
CUOMO: Three of the --
JORDAN: -- and the Clinton Foundation.
CUOMO: Listen, listen. I get your -- I get your opinion but here are the facts. Three of eight of the Mueller hires made contributions to Clinton, OK? Three of the eight. You had Rosenstein.
CUOMO: You had the DOJ. Both say that political contributions are not dispositive of bias. None of them ever worked for Clinton directly. Two who did represent Clinton's foundation or an aide never worked for her and they worked at a place which also represented key members of Trump's White House -- JORDAN: But, Chris --
CUOMO: -- including Manafort --
JORDAN: Chris --
CUOMO: -- Kushner and Ivanka Trump.So I get what you're trying to suggest --
JORDAN: Chris, where is the balance?
CUOMO: -- but the facts aren't there.
JORDAN: No, no, I'm not -- the facts are there.
CUOMO: They were all vetted --
JORDAN: James Quarles, Jeannie Rhee --
CUOMO: -- by the DOJ and they were seen to not have meaningful conflicts.
JORDAN: So we can't -- we can't find Independents.
CUOMO: Rosenstein said the same thing.
JORDAN: We can't find Republic -- no Republicans, no Independent people can go on this special counsel -- investigative team.
CUOMO: Who's saying that you don't have Independents or Republicans? You have a Republican running it.
JORDAN: The facts are saying that. Numerous -- every news story --
CUOMO: The special counsel is a Republican.
JORDAN: Every news story talks about James Quarles, Jeannie Rhee. All these folks who had strong and long connections with Democrat candidates for president. Long support for -- James Quarles goes back to Dukakis.
CUOMO: Three --
JORDAN: He supported every Democrat candidate from Dukakis to Clinton. So, again where's the balance here?
CUOMO: So Mueller, the Republican, had no problems with it. The DOJ had no problems with it. Rosenstein --
JORDAN: Well, we'll see.
CUOMO: -- who all you guys were celebrating, had no problems with it. But you're saying --
JORDAN: I wasn't --
CUOMO: -- it's phony.
JORDAN: I wasn't celebrating. Yes, I wasn't celebrating.
CUOMO: But maybe --
JORDAN: All I'm saying is look --
CUOMO: Maybe you're the exception, not the rule, within your own party. That's what I'm suggesting.
JORDAN: Maybe that's why we need to have hearings. That's why we've called for them to look at what James Comey did -- unprecedented, what he did. And the idea that the attorney general can tell the FBI director not to be square with the American people, I don't think -- I don't think the American people would appreciate that and that's not supposed to be how the --
CUOMO: But you're assuming an intentionality there. You're assuming an intentionality and maybe that would be something --
JORDAN: I'm not assuming anything, Chris.
CUOMO: You have to be.
JORDAN: She told him to call it a --
CUOMO: Right, but she --
JORDAN: She portrayed it a certain matter and in a certain way he did that.
CUOMO: And you're saying that she wanted him to call it that because she wanted to deceive the American people. That's not known. Maybe it should be asked about. Maybe it should be probed that --
JORDAN: Oh, Chris.
CUOMO: That's your fault.
JORDAN: Chris, come on.
CUOMO: That's your fault.
JORDAN: Come on. So what --
CUOMO: I have to know.
JORDAN: What other reason would there be?
CUOMO: I have to hear it from her. That's how it works.
CUOMO: That's why you would ask her the questions.
JORDAN: OK. CUOMO: I'm not saying that you shouldn't --
CUOMO: -- but I'm saying we'd have to hear her saying it and --
JORDAN: Yes, the same lady who met with Bill Clinton on the tarmac --
CUOMO: I got you.
JORDAN: -- tells the FBI director --
CUOMO: Listen --
JORDAN: -- not to call it an investigation --
CUOMO: And that's suspicious as well.
JORDAN: -- and there's no intent there.
CUOMO: I'm -- that's suspicious --
JORDAN: That's unbelievable.
CUOMO: -- as well. I'm just saying we're dealing with the here and now. With Russia, you're dealing with the back then. I'm not sure that there's equal relevance but that's your case to make. You make it well in the op-ed. People should read it, it's out there.
JORDAN: Thank you.
CUOMO: Jim Jordan, thank you very much for coming on the --
JORDAN: Sure, Chris.
CUOMO: -- show to make the case, as always.
JORDAN: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: Clarissa --
[07:35:00] (VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CLARISSA WARD, CNN ANCHOR: We are just hours away from President Trump's travel ban going into effect but are the new visa guidelines clear? We'll discuss. That's coming up next.
WARD: The White House travel ban goes into effect tonight at 8:00 p.m. The new criteria requires people from six Muslim-majority nations and all refugees to have close business or family ties with someone in the U.S. to apply for a visa.
Let's take a look at this list of the types of family relationships considered close under the guidelines. You can see it includes parents, spouses, children. Notably absent, though, grandparents, fiances.
Joining us now to discuss this all is the Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, who is opposed to the order. Senator, I want to chat about a few different topics with you but thank you for joining us.
Let's start out on this issue of the travel ban. Five months ago we saw an initial instatement of it -- chaotic scenes at airports. Do you have a sense now that it will be a little more seamless this time? That there's a little more clarity about the visa guidelines?
[07:40:05] SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D), COLORADO: No, but there's no clarity and there's unfortunately so little confidence in this administration that I don't expect that they're going to be able to implement their travel ban well. It's a terribly conceived plan to begin with. It's an absolute attack on American values and I don't think it's going to keep us safer. We'll see what the Supreme Court has to say about it in the fall.
WARD: And you mention that you don't think it will keep the country safer. What's your argument to be made there because President Trump has been emphatic, using his own logic, that there is a security component there?
BENNET: Well, I'm not sure -- I'm not sure what his own logic is but I will say that there are things that we can do to make sure that we're safer, like ensuring that people that have visas because they're citizens in the European Union but they're traveling to countries in the Middle East and traveling back -- we should be much more tight in our enforcement of those visas.
But what he's done instead is he's created what he described as a severe ban on refugees coming into this country and refugees have the tightest security of anybody who comes to the United States. The burden of proof, as it should be, is not on our country whether you're coming in here, it's on the refugee. It takes over two years for a refugee to just get the U.N. to clear them and then they -- then they have the opportunity maybe to come to the United State and someplace else.
So I think it's just misplaced. It's focused the attention in the wrong place. This was a talking point that he had during his presidential campaign and, unfortunately, he's now enacting it as president. This is one of the things that I thought he was talking about just to get elected. I never imagined that he'd actually do it.
WARD: Another thing he talked about a lot to get elected was health care. Do you think there is going to be a deal? He promised -- the president -- a big surprise. Any clues what that might be?
BENNET: I have no clue what the big surprise is. I did hear him tell the American people over and over again how terrible Obamacare was and how he was going to produce a plan with much better coverage at a much lower price. That, so far, turns out to have been an abject lie.
And when I look at it from the perspective of Colorado -- which is a state that's not a Democratic state, it's a state that's a third Republican, a third Independent, a third Democratic -- the plan that surfaced in the House and the Senate on health care is not a plan that the Republicans in Colorado support, much less our Democrats or Independents.
So are we going to get a deal? We would get a deal if we sat in Colorado with rational people and had a conversation. I'm not sure with the ideologues in Washington that it's going to be possible to get a deal.
WARD: And you mention your own state, Colorado, you know, and you've talked openly about the opioid crisis going on in your state. President Trump has also said the opioid crisis is a priority for his administration. What -- how do you reconcile what you're hearing from the president about his commitment to the opioid crisis and what you're seeing in the details of the bill as it stands?
BENNET: You know, when you look at the health care bill, both in the House and the Senate -- not the talking points but the actual bill. When you look at the budget that these guys have presented, and when you look at what they're doing with respect to opioids, I view this as an attack on rural Colorado and rural America, which is amazing because in many ways that's the part of the country that elected Donald Trump.
Over a quarter of the folks that seektreatment for addiction on opioids -- for opioids -- which is a massive crisis all across the country, are on Medicaid. And if you cut it by a quarter it means that a lot of people who now have at least some access to treatment -- nowhere near what we need in our state -- you're compromising that.
And the idea that you're going to throw a few billion dollars here and a few billions dollars there to get the support of Midwest senators, I think is just a cynical ploy and what we need to do is actually strengthen Medicaid so that we have treatment in -- treatment beds for people that need to recover from their addictions.
This is a terrible crisis that started with the over-prescription of pain medicine and now is an addiction in our country to black tar heroin. It's a serious, serious problem that is destroying lives and families all over the United States.
WARD: OK. Senator, thank you so much for joining us and for sharing your perspective with us.
BENNET: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CUOMO: All right, some weather news. Heat and humidity coming back for the holiday weekend. What will that mean? Well, it depends on where you are. Chad Myers has the 411, next.
[07:48:38] CUOMO: Heat and humidity returning for the holiday weekend. What does that mean for you? It depends on where you are. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has the forecast. What do you see, friend?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it has been nice. Hey, Chris, I have a question for you. Does 411 even work anymore?
CUOMO: Oh, sure.
MYERS: Oh, it does?
CUOMO: It's information. You're hit.
MYERS: It might be like three bucks a call or something. I don't know.
CUOMO: I didn't say it was cheap.
MYERS: Exactly. Anyway, storms now across parts of Kansas City, down to about almost St. Louis, but we did have tornadoes yesterday, 26 of them. We may have more today. They will be closer to Chicago, Moline, Quad Cities, down to St. Louis and then farther south for tomorrow, and even toward the Northeast. We may even have a storm anywhere from Ontario back to Buffalo, even toward Montreal.
There is the humidity. There is the rain for Saturday, right on time for the weekend because we had a beautiful week when we were working. Ninety-two tomorrow, 85 and 87 for Saturday and Sunday. Farther down to the south temperatures remain hot. The heat index is back. I haven't had to use the word heat index for a while, Clarissa.
WARD: All right, Chad. Thank you so much.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
WARD: Republicans are scrambling to make changes to their health care plan. Many senators want more funding to combat the nation's opioid crisis. Up next, we will talk to a governor of a hard-hit state about this troubling epidemic. That's next.
[07:51:32] WARD: President Trump resuming his fight with Amazon and it's founder Jeff Bezos, but his latest attack has left more than a few people kind of confused.
Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is in our Money Center to tell us why. Christine, help us understand this.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, Clarissa, this may be the most confusing tweet since covfefe. The president tweeting this. "#AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon, not paying Internet taxes, which they should, is fake news."
OK. Well, first off, "The Washington Post" is not owned by Amazon. It is owned by Jeff Bezos, personally. They're two separate companies. It's unclear what the president even means by Internet taxes. If he means sales tax on Internet purchases, you know, that was once true of Amazon but not anymore. That hasn't been true for some time, for years.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
Amazon fought collecting sales tax. States only tax retailers with a physical presence. That used to give online stores an advantage. But in recent years Amazon has opened physical stores and fulfillment centers. It collects those sales taxes. It does, in all of the states that require it to do so.
The president frequently attacked Bezos during the campaign, claiming he used "The Washington Post" as a toy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Amazon is getting away with murder, tax-wise. He's using "The Washington Post" for power so that the politicians in Washington don't tax Amazon like they should be taxed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
ROMANS: So that was about a year ago or so but relations seem to have warmed since the election. The Amazon CEO and the president -- you can see them there -- they have met several times. He's the second person on the right to the president there, Chris.
CUOMO: Well, on that day he was.
CUOMO: Christine, thank you very much. You've got to remember things are called fake often because the president doesn't like what they are about.
All right. So, GOP senators are scrambling to make changes to their health care bill. Why? Well, because there are a lot of people's lives hanging in the balance. This is no more true anywhere than in New Hampshire because they are dealing with a crisis of epic proportions there.
We have Governor Chris Sununu making his first appearance on CNN, but he is not making his first interview with me. I came up there to see you because you are the tip of the spear in fighting the opioid crisis in this country. You see it in a unique way there. You've come up with "Operation Granite Hammer," this adjunct operation
of getting treatment, dealing with the courts, dealing with policing. Tell us what you're seeing there and, Governor, thank you for being with us.
GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Well, thank you guys for having me this morning.
You're right, we are at ground zero when it -- we talk about the opioid crisis. In some ways it's unfortunate, but it's also forced us to be innovative in how we approach it whether you're looking at recovery, treatment services, how we go after interdiction on the enforcement side, revamping our prevention programs. We're really leading the way in terms of making sure that we're aggressive in our approach and providing the real best opportunities for folks facing this affliction.
CUOMO: How bad is the problem in New Hampshire? Make the case to American people that are watching this show about why they should care.
SUNUNU: Well, you know, it's not unique to New Hampshire. I mean, we are at the forefront of it, unfortunately, whether you're looking at our overdose rates -- the death rates that we've had here in recent years. It's something that we talk about a lot. You have to put resources to it. Youhave to have accountability, metrics, data, all those things that I think --
[07:55:05] In other states and other areas maybe they're a little bit behind but we've, again, been very aggressive in our approach and making sure that we're looking at outcome-based results and making sure that we're keeping people accountable based on what we want the results to be, not just adding numbers into a system.
So again, you know, putting the best and the brightest in the room together. Making sure that the non-profits have what they have. Making sure that we're having community-driven solutions. That's a big part for us. Our stay safe stations program, things like that. Our drug courts which have been very, very helpful and again, providing people treatment going through this affliction. We've been aggressive about, we've had some success, and we're not going to take our foot off the gas now.
CUOMO: What is your concern -- I mean, you're a Republican, but what is your concern about the bill that's on the table right now and what it would mean for folks up in New Hampshire?
SUNUNU: Well, I've expressed my concern a couple of days ago in a letter. The repercussions are pretty drastic for the state of New Hampshire, especially when you're looking at the resources that would come in. You're looking at, at least, a billion and a half dollars of cost to the state of New Hampshire over the next 10 years.
We are a no-income tax state. We have no sales tax, we have no income tax. We really control our costs at the local level. That downshifting of costs into a state like ours, it's unfair and, more importantly, it's not practical. There's really no practical way to implement the plan as is.
I have a lot of faith in the Senate to come together, revise the plan and, hopefully, put something forward that keeps states a little more on parody with one another and not be as financially impractical, if I will -- if I can -- on states like New Hampshire that are facing things like the opioid crisis where so many folks are getting services because of some of the Medicaid opportunity -- opportunities afford to them.
CUOMO: You have a number here of about 100,000 people found some form of service through the optionality and their access to Medicaid. You're going to lose some $20 million in federal funds in fiscal 2021 alone, according to your own reckoning of what this bill would mean if enacted as is. What would happen to those 100,000 people?
SUNUNU: The $20 million you're referring to really affects the expanded Medicaid program.
SUNUNU: You know, if I may, one thing people have to realize is this bill -- one of the problems we have with it, it's conflating -- reforming Obamacare, which has to happen. I mean, Obamacare has failed. I think those horses are out of the barn. The cost implications, the 40 percent increases we're going to see under health care change. Obamacare does not work. That has to be reformed and that's why what the Senate is doing is very commendable.
One of the challenges we have is it also is looking at traditional Medicaid entitlement reform which is, again, a viable conversation to have, but they're really putting the two -- the two together and that's compounding the problem, if you will, in trying to force what should be a long and lengthy and involved discussion into a very short timeframe.
SUNUNU: So one of our arguments is separate the two issues. Look at the -- if you're going to reform Obamacare, look at Obamacare reform for what it is and what it needs to do and take traditional Medicaid entitlement reform as a separate piece. But when you put those two together the cost implications are well over $20 million a year.
Like we said, on the best case scenario we're looking at one and a half billion dollars over 10 years. And if you just have CPI increased by a point or two, you're looking at another billion or two -- two dollars to a small state like New Hampshire. Again, it's just not practical and we have to make sure that we're on the forefront.
My job as governor is to advocate for the people in New Hampshire, advocate to make sure we have services, to make sure we're not cutting people off services or we're not pushed into a situation that drives us to taxes. That's something I'm never going to let happen as governor so it's my job to be on the forefront with the Senate in making sure they understand the implications to a small state like New Hampshire. CUOMO: There is a strong political pull to posting big numbers of cuts. It shows you're doing your job, it shows your savings. But in this instance it's going to mean things for lots of people's lives, especially when you factor in the extreme needs of dealing with opioid addiction.
Governor Sununu, you are a big part of our documentary that we're going about the opioid crisis in this country and your efforts up there to make it better. There's a lot to be learned. Thank you for sharing your perspective on the show this morning.
SUNUNU: Thank you, guys.
CUOMO: All right. There is a lot of news for you this morning. What do you say? Let's get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: President Trump's travel ban will go into effect immediately later tonight.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's a positive step forward.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States will continue to be a world leader. I think it's a mistake.
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: If there are no consequences, Russia will continue to try to meddle in our elections.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's in complete denial and that is a dereliction of duty.
JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY: We have to protect this or we're not a real democracy anymore.
GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: He will not accept a nuclear power in North Korea and a threat that can target the United States.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I think that by the president calling out Assad saved many innocent men, women, and children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your new day. It is Thursday, June 29th, 8:00 in the East. Alisyn is off. Clarissa Ward by my side. Good to have you.
WARD: Good to be here.
CUOMO: Up first, President Trump's revised travel ban.