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Trump Says His Obamacare Replacement Nearly Ready; China Laughs At Trump; Trump Feuds With Civil Rights Icon John Lewis. Aired 5:30- 6a ET
Aired January 16, 2017 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[05:30:00] MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHORT: Developing overnight, Donald Trump calling out the head of the CIA, suggesting John Brennan was behind the leaks that caused a headache for the transition. What did John Brennan say that has Trump in another tussle with the Intelligence Community four days before taking the oath of office?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: China laughing at the president-elect. The state-run tabloid dismissing Donald Trump as amateur and arrogant as Trump speaks to European media about a wide range of issues he'll face in the White House.
MARQUEZ: And, Donald Trump trying to clarify his plans for healthcare coverage for all and lower drug prices. That's going to be all part of it, but he's also warning that Congress has to get the job done, and soon. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Miguel Marquez.
ROMANS: Hello, Miguel. Nice to see you. I'm Christine Romans.
MARQUEZ: It's nice to see you.
ROMANS: It's 30 minutes past the hour. Overnight, Donald Trump lashing out at the head of the CIA, John Brennan. Brennan criticized the president-elect in an interview with "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" suggesting Trump's desire for friendly relations with Russia could run smack into the reality of Moscow's real intentions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: I don't think he has a full -- an appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia's intentions and actions that they are undertaking in many parts of the world, and that's what the obligation and responsibility of the Intelligence Community is. I very much hope that our relationship with Russia improves in the coming administration but there is a fair amount of responsibility on Russia's part to change their behavior, change their actions.
I think he has to be mindful that he does not yet, I think, have a full appreciation and understanding of what the implications are of going down that road, as well as making sure he understands what Russia is doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: All right. So, Sunday night, Trump hit back quoting a "FOX NEWS" headline about the interview in a pair of, of course, tweets. "Outgoing CIA Chief John Brennan blasts President-elect Trump on Russia threat." Says he "does not fully understand." Trump responds, "Oh really, couldn't do much worse." Then Trump lists a few recent sore spots in the U.S. relationship with the Kremlin. "Just look at Syria" and the use of chemical weapons that crossed President Obama's red line. "Crimea, Ukraine, and the build-up of Russian nukes. Not good! Was this the leaker of fake news?"Was this the leaker of fake news?
MARQUEZ: The CIA director.
ROMANS: The CIA director. That last line aimed at Brennan refers to a dossier of unverified claims that Russia allegedly has compiled compromising information on Trump, and to Trump's belief that the Intelligence Community leaked that dossier to the media.
MARQUEZ: New word this morning on Donald Trump's own plan to dismantle Obamacare. In an interview with "The Washington Post" the president-elect said his proposal for an Obamacare replacement is just about ready for unveiling. He would not, however, reveal specifics but said, "We're going to have insurance for everybody, even those who can't afford it." That is in apparent contrast to Republicans leaders who say they're aiming for universal access, not necessarily universal coverage.
Trump promised his plan will be "much less expensive and better." Part of achieving that will be targeting pharmaceutical companies, forcing them to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid.
ROMANS: In that interview, Mr. Trump offered a combination pep talk and warning to lawmakers, saying that the Congress can't get cold feet because the people will not let that happen. And that was, in fact, the message carried by thousands of people at more than 40 rallies from Maine to California on Sunday. Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared at one of those rallies in Michigan where he spoke to CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Millions of people think it is insane to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a replacement. You just cannot throw 20 million people off of health insurance, raise the cost of prescription drugs for seniors, do away with very important patient protection provisions. You just can't do that unless you have another plan in its place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Now, some Republicans have also expressed concern about rushing to repeal Obamacare with a replacement plan on the table. Even so, the House voted Friday to take the first procedural step on the road to repeal.
MARQUEZ: And a Chinese state-run newspaper slamming Donald Trump as an amateur over his remarks on Taiwan. On Friday, Trump told "The Wall Street Journal" that America's One-China Policy, which officially recognizes Beijing's government but not Taiwan's -- he said it's negotiable. Overnight, the tabloid, called "Global Times," called it despicable for Trump to use the U.S. stance on Taiwan as a, what they called, bargaining chip in trade negotiations.
The state newspaper says, "We were simply angry initially, but now we can't help but laugh at this U.S. leader-in-waiting. Maybe American voters 'promoted' him too quickly. His amateur remarks and over- confident manner are equally shocking."
The editorial adds that a fight with Trump over One-China would only make Beijing speed up efforts to reunify with Taiwan. "We would strike back so hard until the entire Taiwan society realizes that Washington is hurting them."
[05:35:03] ROMANS: All right. Donald Trump has plans to cut a deal with Russia. The president-elect suggesting in a new interview he will offer Russian President Vladimir Putin an end to sanctions in exchange for a nuclear arms reduction agreement. Trump was quoted as saying, "A lot of people are going to benefit" from the deal he plans to offer and that's not the only headline to come out of Trump's interview with European media.
For the latest, let's bring in CNN's former CNN Moscow bureau chief Jill Dougherty. She's with us live this morning. Good morning, Jill. Let's talk a little bit about this and the Russia headline in particular. I mean, there are different sanctions. The United States has placed different sanctions on Russia for different reasons. Donald Trump sort of conflating the sanctions with nuclear disarmament. Talk to me about, in reality, how that works.
JILL DOUGHERTY, GLOBAL FELLOW, WOODROW WILSON CENTER, FORMER CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, in reality, it doesn't work. I mean, it's really apples and oranges. And already now we're getting a little bit of reaction here in Moscow to this idea. It's not a proposal, it's an idea, and it's falling flat. And the reason it's falling flat is because it ultimately really can't work the way he is describing it.
The spokesperson for President Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said "Sanctions are not on the Russian agenda. Let's wait until Mr. Trump is president." So in other words, he's sidestepping it entirely. And then you're also hearing this opinion that maybe Mr. Trump is over- valuing sanctions as a bargaining tool because you know, of course, nuclear weapons are an existential issue but sanctions are not.
Now, there were a lot of other things that Mr. Trump got into during this. One was the quite strong criticism of the U.S. ally Angela Merkel who, of course, is the chancellor of Germany, criticizing her for letting in all of those, as he put it, "illegals." Let's listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I have great respect for her and I felt she was a great, great leader. I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals in -- you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from. I'll see her and I'll meet her, and I respect her and I like her. But I think it was a mistake and people make mistakes, but I think that was a very big mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGHERTY: And then another issue that he got into was NATO, calling it once again "obsolete" because it apparently had not fought terrorism. Of course, there are about 1,000 members of NATO allies who died in Afghanistan, so that's another thing, but Russia greeted that, as you might expect, and said yes, we agree NATO is obsolete.
And then, finally, you have this issue of Twitter. Whether the president will stick to that -- the president-elect -- and he said yes, he will because he has millions of people who follow him on Twitter and other social media and it does give him a way of running around, let's say, to the -- doing an end-run around the media and making his case directly to the American people. And you might argue, too, the world -- Christine, Miguel.
ROMANS: All right, thank you so much for that. Jill Dougherty, this morning, for us in Moscow. Thanks, Jill. All right, Donald Trump says he's already convincing companies not to move jobs overseas. And while he still threatens to slap tariffs on companies that do, he tells the German publication "Bild" that it might not come to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When people hear that, whether it's Carrier or Ford or any of them, they say we're going to stay here or we're going to build in the United States. So they'll go and they'll build their car plant or they'll build their air conditioning plant, and they're going to sell their air conditioners but they're going to pay 35 percent tax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't mention --
TRUMP: And you know what, there's not going to be any tax because they're not going to leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: OK. There are two ways the incoming administration could try to stop companies from moving jobs overseas. The first is called a border adjustment tax. It would be part of a reform of the tax code. It would change the way companies are taxed for importing and exporting goods.
The second is a tariff. This is the 35 percent number you keep hearing so much from the president-elect. This is considered a much stiffer penalty. While it's not impossible to slap tariffs on specific companies, tariffs usually are for specific classes of goods like steel or cars or chicken, for example, and they only affect imports.
MARQUEZ: Or cars made of chicken.
ROMANS: Chicken cars. MARQUEZ: Yes, exactly.
ROMANS: There's not a big market for chicken cars. That's why you are not a digital reporter.
MARQUEZ: Now, a feud between President-elect Trump and a civil rights icon, John Lewis, escalating tensions in Washington over Martin Luther King weekend. It started when Congressman Lewis said on NBC's "MEET THE PRESS" that he won't attend Trump's inauguration, explaining it this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It's going to be hard. It's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president.
[05:40:00] CHUCK TODD, HOST, NBC "MEET THE PRESS": You do not consider him a legitimate president. Why's that?
LEWIS: I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected --
LEWIS: -- and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Now, Trump fired back at Lewis in a series of tweets. He wrote, "Congressman Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime-infested, rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk. No action or results. Sad."
The controversy has both sides digging in. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has more from Washington.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine, Miguel. Trump's war of words with Congressman Lewis, especially coming during the MLK weekend, is deeply troubling to many African-Americans. But Lewis is getting strong pushback from both the RNC head, soon-to-be chief of staff, Reince Priebus, as well as the Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Some Republicans are clearly trying to give Congressman Lewis his props regarding his stature in the civil rights movement, but at the same time they're coming to Trump's defense because they are vehemently opposed to any notion that Trump is not the legitimate winner of this controversial election despite Trump's own admission that Russia had a role in hacking it.
GOV. MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: Look, Donald Trump won this election fair and square, 30 out of 50 states, including Georgia. More counties than any Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan. And to hear John Lewis, a man that I served with and that I respect, to question the legitimacy of the election and to say that Donald Trump will not be a legitimate president was deeply disappointing to me.
MALVEAUX: This all comes on the day where Washington is preparing for the inaugural events. We've seen dress rehearsals, band practice taking place at the Capitol this week. Law enforcement officials, they are gearing up not only for the close to 800,000 expected in D.C. for the inauguration but, also, for the close to 100 protest groups that have formally announced they are coming as well -- Christine, Miguel.
ROMANS: All right. Suzanne Malveaux, thanks for that. So what is Congressman Lewis' camp saying about all of this? We know and we're going to tell you, with our political panel, when we come back.
[05:45:50] MARQUEZ: More and more, it looks as though the early days of the Trump administration will resemble an episode of "LET'S MAKE A DEAL" or "SURVIVOR" or some sort of game show. On Obamacare and drug companies, on One-China and Russian sanctions, and on and on, Donald Trump says he can get a deal -- the best deal for all Americans. We want to bring in our political reporter Eugene Scott and political economist Greg Valliere, chief strategist for Horizon Investments.
ROMANS: Good morning, guys.
MARQUEZ: Good morning. Good morning to you both of you. Happy MLK Day.
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes.
MARQUEZ: And that -- it is MLK Day, and there is a fight between Donald Trump and John Lewis. We want to go straight to you, Eugene, and talk about that. John Lewis is no shrinking violet. This is a guy who has seen a lot, done a lot. Was he looking to start a fight with Donald Trump?
SCOTT: Well, that's definitely what Donald Trump heard, but I think what John Lewis was trying to make clear is that Russia interfered with this election and influenced it with the goal of making Hillary Clinton lose, which they did, therefore bringing into question the legitimacy of the entire election. And when Donald Trump heard that, as he has heard many people say that, he responded very personally and attacked John Lewis.
John Lewis, as you know, is a civil rights icon who many people love and support and agree with politically, and so the pushback was significant.
ROMANS: And he insulted him and said what have you done? All you do is really talk, but that's not true. SCOTT: Well, that's not true at all. One of the most interesting points is that the Trump campaign put out this weekend that they were going to spend MLK Day visiting the Smithsonian African-American history and culture museum. In 1988, John Lewis was the congressman who introduced the bill to get that museum built.
MARQUEZ: Here's what Reince Priebus said about how Obama should step into all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think President Obama could step up. I think the administration can do a lot of good by telling folks that are on their side of the aisle look, we may have lost the election on the Democratic side but it's time to come together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: And what is Lewis' camp saying about all of this? I mean, are they -- are they going to engage in a back-and-forth all this week over this issue?
SCOTT: Lewis' team will not dignify the statements with a response, but what's been most interesting is the amount of Democratic lawmakers who have responded. We have about 20 Democratic lawmakers who will be boycotting Donald Trump's inauguration, not solely in defense of John Lewis but just out of concern about how this entire election took place.
ROMANS: So, Greg Valliere, a whole bunch of stuff happened this weekend in international headlines relating to Donald Trump. In one of them you have Donald Trump in a newspaper interview basically putting Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin on the same level, saying they begin with the same sort of stature in his eye, which is a complete change of American policy. And an on the -- from a newspaper in China, that editorial blasting Donald Trump as an amateur who is laughable. How dare he put the One-China Policy on the table?
When I look at sort of all of these positions, Greg, what I kind of see is a -- I guess an impatient CEO who wants to begin negotiations and get some deals done. Are you seeing a dealmaker here?
GREG VALLIERE, POLITICAL ECONOMIST, CHIEF STRATEGIST, HORIZON INVESTMENTS: Well, I'm seeing someone who -- you're absolutely right -- who is impatient. I think that's going to be a problem for Trump. He's not going to get healthcare done immediately. He's not going to transform trade immediately. He wants to see things move quickly in Western Europe. I think in Western Europe, people like Angela Merkel have to be worried that not only do they have to worry about Putin tweeting and surreptitiously working against them, they're going to have to worry about Trump as well.
MARQUEZ: Greg, I mean -- to that point, is this -- he is the President of the United States and he seems to be approaching everything as a negotiation. Is that going to -- how is that going to be met on the international stage? Is that something that's going --
ROMANS: That's what people voted for, though, you know. When we sort of show -- talk about this, his supporters say that's what we wanted. We want someone who doesn't play the game --
MARQUEZ: And in D.C. --
ROMANS: -- that has led us here.
MARQUEZ: -- and overseas, is that going to fly?
[05:50:00] VALLIERE: Well, as we said in the earlier segment, I really think a lot of this is about political capital. You've only got a certain amount and then it starts to wane and I think he has to worry about that on health reform, he has to worry about that on Europe. And, just real quickly, for my folks -- my clients in the financial world, they want to see something on Inauguration Day about pro-growth policies.
VALLIERE: They want to -- they want to hear about tax reform, how he's going to grow the economy. Last week, instead of talking about that, he was going after Meryl Streep and John Lewis. People want to hear about how he'll grow things.
ROMANS: Well, we heard from him this weekend. He took a -- took a swipe at "SNL" -- at NBC. "NBC NEWS" and NBC for "SNL" because of some of the skits this weekend. Let's look at one of those skits.
VALLIERE: All right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SASHEER ZAMATA, SNL CAST MEMBER: Yes, Mr. Trump, you and the Republicans want to repeal Obamacare, but why would you do that before coming up with a replacement plan?
ALEC BALDWIN, SNL GUEST CAST MEMBER: Because Obamacare is a disaster and I actually do have a replacement plan, OK? I just read about it this week. It's a terrific plan, just great. It's called the Affordable Care Act.
ZAMATA: That's the same thing as Obamacare and if you repeal it, 20 million people will lose their health insurance. I mean, people could die.
BALDWIN: Listen, sweetheart, I'm about to be president. We're all going to die. Next question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: So, Trump tweeted this. "@NBCNews is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!" Is he going to legislate, Greg Valliere, via Twitter?
VALLIERE: Well, he may try to make policy. You can't, in a Twitter, make foreign policy. You can't make healthcare policy. And again, I think this is something the markets, which were kind of funky last week --
ROMANS: They were.
VALLIERE: -- may be starting to worry about. They want to hear about how he's going to grow things and they just see more and more Twitters.
ROMANS: All right, and they worry a little bit about a trade war in China.
MARQUEZ: Oh, the tweeter.
ROMANS: And a trade war with China would be bad for everybody -- the tweeter.
ROMANS: All right, Greg.
VALLIERE: All right.
MARQUEZ: Thank you.
ROMANS: Thank you for getting up early for us on this holiday. You, too. Nice to see you, Eugene.
MARQUEZ: Thank you, Eugene.
ROMANS: All right, let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Someone who did not get up early for us, John Berman --
MARQUEZ: Lazy John Berman.
ROMANS: -- enjoying a delayed alarm clock, joins us now -- John.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Good morning, guys. You know, let me just take this opportunity to say what a great show EARLY START is. Each --
ROMANS: Oh, flattery will get you everywhere.
BERMAN: Each and every day, something's --
MARQUEZ: It's nothing -- it's nothing without you.
BERMAN: It's the flagship show of CNN so I think that just needs to be said here. I'm not saying that because I'm up here, I'm just saying it because it's true. All right. You've been talking about the new battles that President-elect Trump is engaging in just days before he takes office. We're going to speak to a Democratic member of Congress who will not attend the inauguration, so how does that help America? We're going to ask that question.
We're also going to speak to a key senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee. What does he think of the president-elect attacking the outgoing CIA director? How does that help America? Also, what is he hearing on the inside of the committee about alleged contacts between the then-Trump campaign and the Russians?
Then we have just an amazing story. An 18-year-old woman reunited with her birth parents after being kidnapped from the hospital as a newborn. How did officers crack the case? We're going to ask the sheriff behind that investigation, oh, in just a few minutes, guys.
ROMANS: That's an amazing case. All right. John Berman, nice to see you up bright and early. Thank you.
MARQUEZ: Don't break anything.
ROMANS: All right. The "Greatest Show on Earth" is no more. After more than 100 years in business, Ringling Brothers will close later this year. We're going to tell you what brought down the iconic circus when we get a check on CNN Money Stream, next.
[05:56:35] ROMANS: All right, here's your Monday morning check on CNN Money Stream. The U.S. stock market is closed for the Martin Luther King Day holiday. That might be a good thing. Right now, stock markets in Europe are dropping. Shares in Asia closing with losses overnight. Oil is down slightly. After a big rally to end last year, the three major averages, let's get a check of them. They are higher this year. The Dow is up about two-thirds of one percent. Look at the Nasdaq -- big winner, up 3.5 percent in just the first 10 trading days of 2017.
Some of the wealthiest people in the world are all heading to a small mountain town this week in the heart of Europe. The World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos, Switzerland. Sorry, you're not invited. It's a meeting of the biggest names in global finance. The goal is to come together to help strengthen the global economy and maybe make some money along the way, but some criticize it as a meeting for the ultra-rich.
Each year, Oxfam puts out its inequality report just ahead of the summit. This year, it's pushing this state. The eight richest men in the world own as much as wealth as the bottom 3.6 billion people. Just think about that for a minute. And these are household names -- Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg. They are worth, together, $426 billion.
The "Greatest Show on Earth" closing its doors. Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus will perform its last show in May. The CEO of its parent company says high operating costs, declining ticket sales are too much for the company to overcome. It's also citing the phasing out of the elephant act. The company decided to do that after years of criticism from animal rights groups. Ringling Brothers was founded back in 1884. Its current owner, Feld
Entertainment, bought that in 1967. Turns out the phasing out of the elephant acts just too much. I mean, think of all the different kinds of media now, today. You know, the way people are enjoying themselves.
MARQUEZ: Well, there's a lot of competition.
MARQUEZ: On Davos, it seemed to have not mattered for so many years because globalization was accepted. Now that Trump is around it makes it more --
ROMANS: Absolutely. You will be hearing about globalization. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.
MARQUEZ: I'm Miguel Marquez. "NEW DAY" starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENNAN: What I do find outrageous is equating an intelligence community with Nazi Germany.
MARQUEZ: Donald Trump suggesting the head of the CIA is behind the leaks.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're not going to be able to make good decisions without building some relationship with trust between yourself and that community.
ROMANS: China's state-run media laughing at the president-elect.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Everybody can have access to affordable health care.
MARQUEZ: Trump is promising insurance for everybody.
LEWIS: I don't see the president-elect as a legitimate president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A growing number of Democrats plan to skip Donald Trump's inauguration.
PENCE: I think it's a real disservice to our democracy. Donald Trump won a landslide election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
BERMAN: All right, everyone. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, January 16th, 6:00 in New York. I'm John Berman, joined by Poppy Harlow this morning. Chris and Alisyn are off today.
Up first, President-elect Donald Trump slamming outgoing CIA director John Brennan after the director said that the president-elect doesn't fully understand Russia and warned him to watch his tongue. Mr. Trump is now suggesting that Brennan may be behind the leak of that unsubstantiated dossier.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: This, as the backlash intensified -- intensifies in the feud between the president-elect and civil rights hero, Congressman John Lewis. Now, a growing list of Democratic lawmakers say they are not going. They are boycotting Trump's swearing in. The president-elect is also, this morning, vowing insurance for everybody in a new interview. That's his plan to replace Obamacare.