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Trump U.K. Visit Turns Now to Policy; Rep. Dan Kildee is Interviewed on Upcoming House Vote to Hold Barr, McGahn in Contempt. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired June 4, 2019 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Prime Minister May.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One message is political gridlock in both countries.
[07:00:04] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see rising disillusion on both sides of the Atlantic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's thrown himself into politics here. The general feeling is people will share his view about the way Brexit is being handled.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Joe Biden releasing a plan to fight climate change.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have got to make it clear, when the future of the planet is at stake, there is no middle ground.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Al Franken, should he have been pushed to resign?
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would not have applied that pressure at that time.
ALEX TREBEK, HOST, "JEOPARDY": What did you wager? Oh, gosh, 20,000. What a pay day, 46,801.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.
From pomp to politics, protests and policy. I added one. President Trump getting down to business on day two of his state visit to the U.K.
Right now the president and outgoing British prime minister, Theresa May, are meeting at 10 Downing Street. And they are trying to hammer out a trade deal that would take effect once Britain leaves the European Union.
BERMAN: So the split screen today, you can see there these anti-Trump protesters have taken to the streets of London, and there is the Trump baby balloon, soaring over Parliament Square.
The president and Theresa May, they will hold a joint news conference in our next hour. We will carry that live.
Also, CNN has just interviewed London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, who is in the middle of this escalating feud with President Trump. The president called him a stone-cold loser. How did he respond?
CNN's Clarissa Ward joins us now from London. She just spoke to Sadiq Khan. We'll get to that in just a moment. We want to also bring in CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip and CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.
Abby, why don't you lay the groundwork for us. They are behind closed doors, the president and prime minister, meeting as we speak. What does this day mean?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the president himself set the tone not long ago when he told reporters, essentially, that he had a great relationship with Theresa May. He accused people of misrepresenting it in the press. And he even joked that she ought to stick around so that they could finish some unfinished business.
And at the top of his list for this trip and for this meeting is going to be laying the groundwork for a trade deal between the U.K. and the United States after Brexit is done. And this is a top priority. It's one of the areas of agreement between the two sides, in which they both want to see this happen in some form. Although, of course, the devil is always in the details.
But it's also the other stuff that I think will be a subject of conversation and perhaps more thorny for both sides to work out. Will the president weigh in on Brexit?
He's already said publicly that he doesn't like the way this is going. He thinks Theresa May didn't listen to his advice when it came to executing a Brexit plan. Will he talk to her more about that behind the scenes? I think we're expecting that they will.
And there's also a sense that the United States wants the U.K. to do some things that they're a little bit more reluctant to, which is come to their side of things when it comes to Iran.
The Iran nuclear deal, the United States has already pulled out of that. The U.K. and Europe, they believe that Iran is still adhering to the tenets of this deal. And so they are not on the same page about that. But the U.S. still wants the U.K. to get on their side on that.
And then there's China. The issue with the Chinese telecom company Huawei. The U.S. wants Britain to hold back from using Huawei to develop their 5-G network.
These are all thornier issues. Some of them will take less time than others. But I think they're going to try to spend most of their time on areas of agreement, particularly on trade.
What happens after the meeting, also, I think, John, will be a key, key development this morning. A joint press conference between the two individuals, these often are unpredictable. And I think that's where we could see the most candid side of this relationship between Theresa May and President Trump.
CAMEROTA: Such a good point. Obviously, we will be waiting for that and bringing it live.
But Clarissa, I think what's so interesting today is that Theresa May and Donald Trump have very different world views. They just do. And so Theresa May represents the sort of multicultural, European Union melting-pot view of the future, and President Trump does not.
And he's there with Steven Miller, and he's there with John Bolton, who believe that Britain should go it alone. They believe in sort of preserving the culture of any country. That's what you hear about all the sort of contentious debate back here about immigration. And so it will just be interesting to hear how they come at it from both sides today.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think what you're going to hear precisely because there are so many areas of conflict; there are so many areas of difference. There are so many challenges in this historic special relationship.
[07:05:00] I think what you're going to hear from both sides and particularly from the outgoing prime minister, Theresa May, is a real effort to downplay those differences and to emphasize areas of commonality. They won't to show going forward there are things they can work together on.
I would expect to hear them talk a lot about security, about the recent battle against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Essentially, trying to create some momentum behind the relationship, with the hopes, as the U.K. looks forward to a post-Brexit world, it will need to be negotiating all sorts of bilateral trade deals not only with the U.S. but with others. And so it needs to show that it can be a pragmatic actor.
And it needs to make this relationship work despite, as you say, the glaringly obvious and fundamental different ideas when it comes to certain basic values and how it sees the world.
BERMAN: What a difference a day makes. If we can put the pictures up on the screen of the protests in London and Parliament Square. We have seen the famous Trump baby balloon.
And there's even another balloon of the president that they're showing in a different location. These are some of the protests now. We do want to warn you, in case there's a glimpse here, some of the
signs are not particularly gentle for morning television viewers. And this is what's greeting the president today.
Yesterday it was the ceremony with the royal family, exchange of gifts, music. You could review the troops.
You know, so Dana, you've been on trips like this. What's the impact for a president in a White House as they're dealing with this kind of reception during their meetings?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a good question. Look, I mean, I covered George W. Bush on many a trip, particularly as the Iraq War got more intense and more unpopular globally, where this was kid stuff for President Bush. And he was the kind of person who -- and, you know, like probably President Obama and several other of President Trump's predecessors who didn't shoulder shrug but could, you know, kind of put it in context.
Donald Trump is not that kind of president. I mean, he takes things very personally in a very, very big way. He's probably going to see this, and it is going to upset him in a way that it probably doesn't upset other presidents, particularly since it is coming off a day that he could have only dreamed of his whole life.
I mean, for any president to be feted the way he was by the queen of England is a big deal, but for him, who considers himself, you know, kind of a kinship, because his mother was Scottish. Never mind she is the most important, interesting, popular person in the world and that she rolled out the red carpet for him, literally, was huge for him. And to have that juxtaposed with what we're seeing today is -- is a big difference.
Now, I'm sure he's also looking at it and saying, "Oh, this is just a minority of the people, and people here love me. And they love Brexit, and they love everything I stand for."
CAMEROTA: Clarissa, you just sat down with one of the president's nemeses, if that's the right --
BERMAN: Nemesi (ph).
CAMEROTA: Nemesi (ph). And that is the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. So tell us what he told you.
WARD: Well, it was interesting, Alisyn. I mean, I started out by pressing him on the issue of why Mayor Sadiq Khan decided to write this editorial for "The Observer" in which he compared President Donald Trump to some of the worst fascist leaders of the 20th Century. I wanted to get a sense from him of whether he felt that was appropriate or potentially even counterproductive.
Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR SADIQ KHAN, LONDON: Even in my country and in America, dare I
say it, you've got people whose views I find abhorrent, whose views are the complete opposite of our values in this country, who you know, see Donald Trump as their champion.
I think it's wrong, for example, to defend white supremacists and neo- Nazis and, you know, those who are anti-Semites. I think it's wrong to amplify the tweets from racists in this country, as Donald Trump has done so. I think it's wrong, by the way, to separate children from their parents on a border. I think it's wrong to ban people from coming to your country because of the faith they belong to.
I think it is wrong to roll back the progress that's been made on the reproductive rights of women or LGBT plus rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WARD: I went on, also, to ask him about what his reaction was when he first read that tweet as President Trump landing here in the U.K., the beginning of a major three-day state visit. I asked him what his reaction was. Take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KHAN: You know, the sort of hate I'd expect from an 11-year-old, you know, but it's for him to decide how he behaves. It's not for me to respond in the like that I think is beneath me, to do childish tweets and name calling.
WARD: Were you surprised? Were you offended?
KHAN: Not offended in the slightest. People tell me, I think this president does surprise you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[07:10:05] WARD: And so there you have it, essentially. Mayor Sadiq Khan not backing away from any of his comments. He went on to also say that he thinks that President Donald Trump has become the poster boy for the rise of the far right. All around Europe, which he sees as a very real threat.
And he said that he believes it's his duty as a friend of America, as a staunch ally of America, to point out when one country's behavior is, in some way, hurtful to another country. So he is certainly not backing down from this feud, John and Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Doesn't sound like it. And it doesn't sound like they're going to have any unscheduled meetings today, those two.
BERMAN: No. And now you have this sitting out there. You have this interview. And Clarissa was the first, you know, American reporter to talk to Sadiq Khan, get him on the record on the president's comments.
And Abby, as this day progresses, the president will hold this joint news conference with Theresa May. And you can bet he will face questions about Sadiq Khan and what he said. That, you know, the language of an 11-year-old. And it's going to be a challenge to the president. Does he rise above it, or does he go back to the mud?
PHILLIP: Yes. And I wouldn't even be surprised if he brought it up himself.
Interestingly, yesterday when he landed in London, Jeremy Hunt, the foreign minister who met him at the airport, said the first thing that the president brought up to him was Sadiq Khan. The president brought it up unquestioned and really unprompted when he -- when he touched down in a private conversation with a foreign secretary.
And so I wouldn't be surprised if he brought it up himself in that press conference tomorrow. He clearly is itching for this fight. He wants to talk about this. And he doesn't -- he doesn't mind it.
But we should be -- we should be aware, and I think we should be clear that the president is not engaging with Sadiq Khan on substance here. He's not talking about policy. He's not defending, really, any of his views. He's just simply calling someone a stone-cold loser and saying that this individual is short. So I think it's a completely different kind of conversation. They're sort of talking past each other in a lot of ways.
And once he -- you know, if he does get on this topic in the press conference, it's just the sort of thing that really sends the president off, you know, the rails, really, at an event like this.
When everything ought to be going pretty normally, these sorts of side fights and disputes are a distraction from the main message. And they really take away from a couple of days of images that could be very helpful to him in which he looks like a statesman on the world stage.
CAMEROTA: Yes. And I mean, just not relevant, really, on any level, but Dana, so he's not a fan, OK, of Sadiq Khan. We get it. But he is a fan of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. He doesn't have any scheduled meetings, but he has some free time today.
And what would it mean if he were to sit down -- if an American president were to sit down with either of these guys?
BASH: Well, first of all, with Nigel Farage, it would be maybe not surprising, because he is an unabashed fan of Nigel Farage.
BERMAN: He was in Mississippi. Farage went to one of the Mississippi rallies during the campaign.
BASH: Exactly. Exactly. But it is -- it is far different when you are on their turf, and he is incredibly controversial. That is probably the understatement of the morning in Great Britain.
With Boris Johnson, it's even more dicey for a different reason, of course, because they are trying to figure out who their next prime minister is. The president, before going to Great Britain, said, "Well, I'm not going to endorse anyone," and then went onto have, like, three paragraphs about how great Boris Johnson is without using the e-word saying he would endorse him.
So he's putting his thumb on the scale without doing it explicitly. So we'll see if they actually have a meeting. That would be highly unusual. But the only thing about the Trump administration that is usual is that it's always highly unusual.
CAMEROTA: There you go. Very unpredictable sometimes. Thank you very much, ladies.
All right. House Democrats taking measured but important steps to fight stonewalling from the White House. A congressman from the critical state of Michigan joins us next.
[07:18:18] CAMEROTA: A dramatic step by House Democrats. The House will vote next week to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas.
Joining us now to talk about this and so much more, we have Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee. He serves on the Ways and Means Committee.
Good morning, Congressman.
REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): Good morning, Alisyn. Thanks for having me on.
CAMEROTA: Great to have you. Before we get those details, I just want to take the temperature of the Democratic caucus this morning. So I know you all had a big -- some of you, the top leadership had a meeting last night. So where are you with the whip count today on how many Democrats want to move forward with impeachment?
KILDEE: Well, I mean, this is not something we're whipping. I think people have to come to their own conclusions on this. But it's increasing. The number of members that are coming to the conclusion that the president is essentially leaving us no choice but to exercise our responsibility under the Constitution. That number is growing. And it's because the president is taking us there.
I think for a lot of members, we're ignoring the political implications of this. That's certainly the case for me. I swore an oath to the Constitution. I've read the Mueller report. I've seen what he's done to try to block our use of our constitutional tools to provide a check on the president.
I can't ignore my oath, and I can't ignore the fact this president is trampling all over the law. So if we go there, it's going to be because the president is behaving in a way that leave us no other choice.
CAMEROTA: It sounds like you have moved further into that camp than when we last spoke.
KILDEE: That's certainly the case. I -- I have been a very careful visitor to this whole conversation. Because I think it's something that we have to tread very lightly on. This is a very significant part of our oversight authority, but it's something we ought to be careful when we exercise it.
But I -- you know, I think about how I'm going to explain what I did in this moment 15 or 20 years from now to my grandchildren. And to think about the temporary electoral implications of this, I think, is an abdication of my responsibility.
[07:20:15] So unless the president significantly changes course, becomes more transparent, is willing to cooperate with us and allow us to provide just the bare essential oversight on this administration, I don't think he's leaving us with any choice.
And of course, we can't ignore the fact that, in the Mueller report, despite what Mr. Barr may have said, there are very serious instances where the president essentially directed people to break the law.
CAMEROTA: So --
KILDEE: And that's hard to turn away from.
CAMEROTA: So just to be clear. Are you now a yes in the begin impeachment process category?
KILDEE: I'm not at that -- I'm not at that point. I'm much closer to it in the sense that I do not see another path, unless somehow something changes rather dramatically, and I put that fully at the doorstep of the president.
CAMEROTA: Well, I'm not sure what could change dramatically to change your opinion.
KILDEE: Neither do I. Neither do I. But my point is this. We have to take great caution in exercising this responsibility. It's been used so rarely in the history of the country that we have to just take great care and make sure that, if we go down this path, it's because there is no other alternative. And we're getting close to that point.
CAMEROTA: Well, I know you all had this private meeting with Nancy Pelosi last night, and we had several sources have reported that she was critical of those pushing for impeachment. Can you tell us what she said?
KILDEE: No. I mean, these are -- these are private leadership meetings. But it's been fairly clear that this is something that she's very reluctant to go to.
But, you know, the position that I've heard her articulate and others is that members have to come to their own conclusions on this. Those conclusions may not align precisely with where she is, and I understand she has a uniquely difficult position that she's in.
But I can only speak for myself. And I think most members are coming to the conclusion on their own, based on their reading of the facts. And that's what's leading me to the place that I'm arriving at. This president is out of control. He clearly has taken steps that,
under normal circumstances, would be so far outside the bounds of reason that the outrage would be incredible. But he has, through this sort of death of 1,000 cuts over the last couple of years, slowly degraded our respect for the norms of our democracy that some of the things that he does, even though they're outrageous, are not read as being outrageous by many. And I think that's a really dangerous precedent for us allowed to sit.
CAMEROTA: Do Democrats have plans to get Robert Mueller to testify?
KILDEE: Well, I believe he should, and I've been pushing that we should insist that he testify. We know he doesn't want to. But I don't think that -- I don't think that relieves him of the obligation.
So yes, many of us are pressing that he should be subpoenaed to testify. And if that means he just keeps pointing to the report that he wrote, the ability for members of Congress to ask him specific questions and frame those questions in proper context, I think will work against what the president and Mr. Barr and so many of those Republican sycophants around him have tried to do, and that is to distort what is in that report. That report is a damning document of this presidency.
But if you listen to President Trump, it's a -- it's a Christmas card to him. It's a holiday card. It looks like it's a, you know, complete exoneration. It is nothing as they described it.
And I think that's one of the reasons that holding a hearing and making sure the American people understand precisely what's in that document. I don't know that we can get everybody to sit down and read it. But if we had hearings that could elucidate the key points in that, I think that would help make the case.
CAMEROTA: We're almost out of time. Can you tell us what you all decided with Bill Barr and Don McGahn? So you'll hold them in contempt, I understand, and then what?
KILDEE: I don't think that's the end of it. I do think Congress has an obligation to enforce its rules and its laws. And holding them in contempt is one way to do that.
But I don't think that gets them out of the position where they have to answer questions. And I think all of us, many, I should say, are interested in continuing to pursue testimony, particularly Mr. McGahn, who is a key player in all of this and has turned out to be one of the really key witnesses that could come forward and explain, in some context, what Mr. Mueller explained in his report. That's, I think, very important.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Dan Kildee, thanks so much for all of the information this morning. We appreciate having you on.
KILDEE: Thanks, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: John. BERMAN: All right. President Trump and the British prime minister,
Theresa May, are meeting behind closed doors at this moment. What are they discussing? Is a trade deal possible? How will the president be received during these protests in London? Christiane Amanpour joins us next.
[07:29:20] BERMAN: Happening now, President Trump and the British prime minister, Theresa May, are meeting at 10 Downing Street in London. The two leaders will hold a joint news conference in about an hour. We will bring that to you live as it happens.
You saw those pictures of the pageantry before. That was yesterday. This on your screen, live pictures of today. Wildly different. Protests on the streets. The president got near to at least one of them on his way to 10 Downing Street.
Joining us now, CNN chief international anchor, Christiane Amanpour.
Christiane, thanks so much for being with us. We spoke last night, and you looked at yesterday's events, the royal meetings, and said the day went remarkably well for the president. Today it's way more complicated, to put it bluntly. The president meeting with Theresa May, talking about very prickly issues of trade and international diplomacy.