tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN August 19, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
a very good monday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto in new york. poppy harlow is off today. recession worries, trade war fears, a looming financial crisis? if you're looking for a recipe that helps get a u.s. president a second term, those are not the right ingredients and that explains the pushback by the trump administration over the weekend claiming that fears by a growing number of economists that a recession is on the horizon are overblown. >> i don't think we're having a
recession. we're doing tremendously well. our consumers are rich. i gave a tax cut and they're loaded up with money. >> tax cut was for corporations, not consumers. joining me now is cnn's boris sanchez at the white house. and boris, we get a window into trump's mind and fears based on his public comments, tweets, et cetera. is there a real concern in the white house about the economic data that they're seeing here? >> there may be privately, but white house officials are not sharing that publicly, jim. they're trying to tamp down worries that a recession may be looming. we just heard from kellyanne conway a short time ago on the lawn of the white house. they insinuated that the press was trying to attack the president, going after his strongest suit. whenever the president list his accomplishments, the economy is frequently at the top of that list. but amid concerns about the looming recession possibly going into an election year and amid this ongoing trade war with
china, the white house is trying to tamp down worries. we heard over the weekend from sources explaining to cnn that aides talked the president into waiting until after december by essentially telling him tariffs would hurt families near christmastime. two of the president's top advisers on the economy spoke on talk shows. here's what they said. >> in this case, the flat curve is actually the result of a very strong trump economy. what we see now is foreign capital coming to the vebest ga of the globe. it's going into our stock market. >> i sure don't see a recession. we had some blockbuster retail sales, consumer numbers toward the back end of last week, really blockbuster numbers. >> you just heard that optimism coming from larry kudlow, the director of the national economic council. sources here over the weekend told cnn that they expected
kudlow would soon be leaving the administration. he has served for two years already. president trump was asked about that and he said he had no idea whether kudlow was staying or going, jim. >> even conservative publications, the wall street jous journal had an article. joining me now jeff, first if we could begin on the president's focus on the economic issue here, his message for 2020 reelection is really built, is it not, on a strong economy here. so he would be worried if the numbers lead in a negative direction? >> oh, absolutely, jim. i think the fact that he had these people out on the sunday shows this weekend, the fact that he gave the robust defense that he did definitely suggests that even though they're saying, look, there's nothing to see
here, nothing to be worried about here that they're probably worried. because that is absolutely one of his strongest arguments for reelection. there are plenty of voters out there who may not like all of the tweets or some of the rhetoric that the president has done, but who do like what he's done largely with the economy. so if that gets pulled out and changes by november 2020, then that takes away something that a lot of people use to vote for president trump. >> brittany sheppard, it's interesting because you heard trump administration officials focus their fire on the fed here, blaming them for raising rates too quickly last year and applying more pressure for them to cut rates now. is that connected to the politics of this? they want the fed to avert the chance that that talking point for 2020 is taken away? >> we've seen this kind of deflexion before, jim. you know, the fed has definitely been a target of the president because we've seen that he doesn't want to be seen that
under his rule that the economy has been weaker. if you look at his approval ratings rights now, it's around the 41%, 42 percentile. if you look for his approval ratings in the economy, it's pretty strong, 53 and 54. so to divert the attention to the fed will be able to push kind of responsibility off him and his economic advisers who are privately telling him there's something in the water here, there might be a recession on the horizon. >> jeff and brittany, please stay with me. first another item on trump's agenda, at least he's talked about the possibility of gun control, particularly after three potential mass shootings were stopped by authorities over the last three days. they were arrested in ohio, connecticut and florida. officials say that all of them had expressed an interest in mass shootings or threatened to carry them out. polo, this is incredible, because in a short span of time
three people saw these warning signs, friends, acquaintances of these potential shooters, i imagine you might call them, and they came forward. it's remarkable. >> well, consider the example here in ohio. reardon, 20 years old, he basically had the fire power and he also had the sentiment that essentially would have been the perfect recipe for the nation's latest mass shooting. you were in el paso and you saw that those are the two main ingredients that were required to carry out that massacre. some back ground, reardon really had no qualms about sharing his racist sentiment publicly. police believe he's the one seen in an instagram video shooting a rifle, tagging the community center of youngstown, ohio. that also implies that the shooter in the video would be behind the actual attack. it was a resident in the small ohio village of new middletown that first flagged the video to police and that kicked off an
investigation. they searched his mother's home and found weapons, ammunition, a gas mask and they also arrested him, charging him with telecommunications harassment. the middletown police chief told cnn that their suspect is the same man that is seen in a national geographic documentary on the 2017 charlottesville nazi rally. >> i want a homeland for white people and i think every race should have a homeland for their own race. >> that short clip gives you some insight into his mind. the fbi has interviewed rathear. two other cases to tell you about. another in connecticut where another individual was arrested by authorities there. investigators say that he essentially was stockpiling various components and trying to build his own weapon. but according to investigators, somebody had red flagged some facebook posts where he was threatening. and then finally in florida where body camera was released
that shows a an arrest of a man in his 20s, now identified as twisten wix of daytona beach. he was threatening to open fire on large crowds. he texted his girlfriend saying i want to break a world record for longest kill ever. the sheriff's office saying that that ex girlfriend really was the hero here, jim, because the commonality in these cases, in florida, in connecticut and perhaps the most disturbing one here in ohio is that somebody saw something, they said something, police moved in and arrest these three individuals. >> look at the arsenal that reardon was able to collect there. it's remarkable you can get those kinds of weapons in that kind of quantity. >> you can see what he was thinking. >> and the long magazines. these are the kind that have played a prominent role in the shootings we have covered. great to have you on the story.
>> jeff mason, brittany sheppard, i want to play where the president is here. once again, you'll remember after parkland he came out in favor of some gun control measures, he berated a republican lawmaker for being afraid of the nra. let's compare the president's comments just after el paso and dayton and in weekend, and jeff, i want to get your reaction. have a listen. >> i'm looking to do background checks. i think background checks are important. i don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate, sick people. i'm all in favor of it. >> people don't realize we have very strong background checks right now. you go in to buy a gun and you have to sign up. there are a lot of background checks that have been approved over the years. so i'll have to see what it is. but congress is meeting. >> so that's ten days apart, jeff mason. can we declare the president's latest attempt at universal background checks, if we can
call it that, dead on arrival? i think we should probably wait and see what sort of legislation comes out of this process. but i think you can certainly declare it the beginnings of a reversal if it isn't already a complete reversal, and that is in line with what happened after parkland. you were right to flag that. at that time he said he would stand up to the nra and then pulled back. he said he was in favor of really intense background checks, as he did after these most recent mass shootings and then most recently in addition to that clip you just played, has been talking up a lot more about mental health. so we'll see. he does say that he has aides working on the issue, that members of congress and their staff are working on the issue, but it does look like he is moving away, again, from more aggressive action. >> the mental health focus and we already have a lot of background checks is basically an nra talking point. brittany, i'm curious where congress is on this. i was in el paso and dayton.
of course the question after mass shootings like this is will this time be different. you did have some differences. you had a republican governor of ohio propose measures. you had a republican lawmaker, mike turner, whose daughter was just feet away from the scene in dayton, come out for a ban on assault weapons. what is happening on the hill now? is there any critical mass to do something different this time? >> well, i think it's good to remind viewers that we are still in august recess and right now congress is slowly coming back to washington. there is some reporting in axios which i've talked to some people to confirm that if there's no gun legislation by the end of september, that it will not get passed before 2020. and i think it's important to look back after sandy hook in 2013 we saw the bill that was bipartisan and it failed. it only got five republican senators to support that bill. and you would think after sandy hook and all those children died, enough would be enough.
and like i said, jim, it's all the question which mass shooting will be the last. but if democrats don't want to firm up the bill they already have and republicans don't want to move by the end of september, i can't see anything going on heading into a general election. >> so jeff, that's where we are? there was a few minutes talk of bringing congress back from recess to do something, but is this going to be another case of just wait it out and, you know, kick the can down the road? >> based on history, i think that's probably the case, jim. but i think it is interesting to listen to the president when before he's had talks with the nra or before he's had people kind of talk him down, it does seem like his initial instinct here and in parkland was to go a little bit more aggressively and then he pulls back. it's hard to know what actually drives that. it's hard to know how he would react if another shooting were to occur. but based on history, both his and the congress's, it's
unfortunately likely that there won't be a whole lot done. >> politics 2020 might play a role in that decisionmaking. jeff mason, brittany sheppard, great to have you both o. still to come this hour, anti-government pro-democracy protests are flooding hong kong. the peacefulness by and large is really remarkable. chinese leaders have now launched a dramatic now propaganda video in response. [ crowd chanting ] >> look at the soldiers marching. plus senator elizabeth warren takes her progressive message to native americans, but could her past comments claiming native american ancestry come back to haunt her there? we're going to take you there. and today california's governor is expected to sign a bill limiting police use of deadly force. cnn asks him about it. we'll have his answer coming up.
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it's the 11th straight weekend of demonstrations. president trump meanwhile weighing in on the unrest, suggesting that kpt xi jinping should meet with the protesters, offering to meet with him himself to help reach a humanitarian solution. joining me now is michael pillsbury. it's an informal adviser to president trump. good to have you on the program this morning. >> thanks, jim. >> you've covered china for decades literally. you know the chinese communist party, you know its fear of popular unrest. how concerned are you that china looks at these protests as a direct threat to it's leadership and cracks down? >> i am concerned, jim. back in '89 the chinese intelligence service gave false reports to the chinese leadership that there were
foreign hostile forces in tiananmen and that the students wanted to kill the leadership. this same kind of false reporting could be happening now. we see this rhetoric in beijing that america is behind these demonstrations, the so-called black hand, revealing the name of one of our political officers in the consulate, who is interviewing people about what's going on. so the signs of danger are there. >> that's concerning and i saw those comments from china talking about u.s. influence there and that worried me as well. as you know, the president has been making some public comments of late on this. early on, his comments were kind of both sides, urging restraint on both sides. now he's tying it to the trade deal, which is interesting, saying it would be hard to do a trade deal with beijing if it were to crack down. is that the right thing for the u.s. president to do, make it somewhat of a bargaining chip in
trade negotiations? >> i support what the president is doing. he's got two challenges and has to face them simultaneously. on the one hand in the trade talks came so close back in the first week of may that really 150-page secret agreement i think would have driven the stock market up a couple thousand points and the president would be greatly appraised for it. and then it seems to have been pulled away for reasons that have to do with chinese nationalism, that the enforcement mechanism wasn't acceptable in china. the hong kong problem is very similar. the british deal that did include universal sufferage, no rule by the communist party in hong kong, that deal did not have an enforcement mechanism. so now rather than seeing boris johnson step up and saying you've got to enforce the agreement we made back in 1984, mr. xi. the british are silent. they're remarkable silent. it's their agreement. we have some say because we give
special trade privileges to hong kong as long as it has what's called the highest level of autonomy. but the president has to juggle these two things. i think his main goal, jim, is what he's said many times, he doesn't want china to surpass america, at least not on his watch. so he's got to get that trade deal. but obviously if there's a massive crackdown in hong kong with people killed, the media covering it, tin tiananmen all over again, there's going to be sanctions all around the world. it had be a huge hit to the chinese economic growth rate. >> let me ask you this, because of course there are domestic effects to the trade war as well. in the last hour i had the president of the american farmers union in minnesota. i asked him who is winning the trade war, and his answer definitively was u.s. farmers are losing. he said u.s. farmers are losing
big-time. what do you say to that, that there are domestic conseqences and no sign of a resolution? >> absolutely. that's why the president postponed some of the tariffs on the christmas products. >> that doesn't help farmers, though. >> no, i understand. farmers have christmas trees. but i think the main thing is the president has got a $16 billion program he wants to pay directly to farmers to ease the burden on this. >> but the farmers union president said that doesn't cover the losses he said they've lost markets they spent years to build. >> that's why the main thing is to get the deal and the deal was so close back to early may. you know the 150 pages are secret. the trump administration has been very successful at keeping the talks secret and the chinese reason for backing out has also been kept secret. so i think optimism is justified that if we get through the hong kong with an agreement, that they get some better approach to universal sufferage, no more calling them rioters and the
chinese come around on binding legal enforcement mechanisms, we're going to have a huge success. i believe there's too much pessimism that this deal cannot be done. i think it can be done. >> we'll watch the developments closely. michael, nice to speak to you this morning. >> thanks, jim. >> she has been widely criticized for her native american heritage claims, but now senator elizabeth warren is trying to flip that narrative. we're going to discuss. that's coming up. ancestrydna has new features and richer stories. ...and it's now on sale for just $59. it can lead you on an unexpected journey... ...to discover your heritage. get your dna kit (now) for just $59 at ancestry.com.
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this morning elizabeth warren joins several 2020 democrats in sioux city, iowa to speak at a native american presidential forum. just last week warren released policy plans aimed at helping native american communities. it comes after criticism of her claims of native american ancestry, including a dna test released by her campaign during the launch. joining me is m.j. lee. you've been covering this campaign for some time. in light of that controversial damaging start about her native american claims, now a focus on policy proposals. is that successfully overriding that initial issue in the view of native american communities? >> reporter: well, you know, jim, i think that's something we're going to get the answer to later today when she speaks.
no doubt, this is a big moment for elizabeth warren and her campaign. if you look at the last seven plus months of warren running, this is not a campaign that has had major blunders or missteps, but the issue of her family ancestry has been a major exception to that. when she put out her dna test results last fall, she drew a ton of criticism, a lot of backlash, including from tribal groups and she had to apologize saying that she didn't handle that well and she recognizes that she offended people by doing things that way. and now the campaign is telling us that they really would like to focus on policy. this is why you saw last week she put out a major policy proposal, including a draft legislation. she now is focusing on trying to aid native americans and their specific needs, and then the organizers that we have spoken to of this conference, they say that they also would like to largely stick to substance. if you look behind me on the stage over my left shoulder, you
can see that the conference is already under way. presidential candidate mary yan williamson is speaking and the way this is going to be handled is important, because there are multiple chairs on stage. this is not going to be just elizabeth warren taking the stage and giving a speech. she's actually going to have a dialogue and a q & a with tribal leaders. >> m.j. lee on the scene there, thanks very much. a major change for police in california coming. the bill that will limit when police officers can use deadly force. >> our plan will end the epa. >> what does it really mean for the water and air that we breathe? whose health is at stake? cnn special report, a toxic tale friday at 10:00.
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in a matter of hours, california's governor will sign a controversial bill that would set a new standard for when police can use deadly force. the measure was prompted by outrage over the 2018 fatal shooting of steph an clark. the police shot the unarmed black man in his grandparents' back yard when they mistook his cell phone for a weapon. now, california's new law would allow police officers to use deadly force but only when necessary. joining me the host of the van jones show, van jones. hem folks understand in laymen's terms what the actual change is here. >> this is a huge deal.
you think about all the videos you see of people being shoot unarmed, later on no police officer goes to jail, the lawsuit doesn't work. nothing happens. this is finally california saying, listen, only shoot somebody if you need to. it seems very technical, from reasonable to necessary. what's happening is police officers would shoot people and they would say i was afraid for my life. if it reasonable that you were afraid? yeah. and there's no consequence. so what california is saying officers, only kill someone if it's necessary, if you absolutely have to. that is a massive change in the law and it actually brings i think law enforcement in line with what most people think is already the law. you shouldn't kill somebody unless you have to. >> governor, i want to give you a chance to explain why you're signing this legislation why it's important to you. >> it's important because we can't accept the scat is quo. the idea that over 162 people in
2017 were killed in police shootings in the state of california is unacceptable. it's not good for law enforcement and it's certainly not good for individuals in the communities that have been disproportionately impacted. that's a substantially higher rate of excessive force than most states in this nation. and that's happening on our watch. we own that and we've got to fix it. >> changing the legal standard seems very technical, so you're going to go from reasonable force to necessary force in a deadly situation. why is that a big deal? >> it's profoundly significant. since 1872 we've been running by the same playbook. we have not updated our statute since, i guess, president grant was president of the united states. we had of course this tragic incident, just a stone's throw away from where we're sitting right here with stephen clark
that made us have a new resolve and a fresh set of eyes and to say, you know what, we're better than this. >> why was the stephen clark shooting so powerful? >> because it was so unnecessary from the perspective of a vast majority of objective observers because people felt we had enough. >> if there had been justice in that case, would that have allowed this bill to die a natural death? >> i got a lot of blow-back when i said that won't happen when i was a candidate for governor. i stand by that. it's a stubborn one. law enforcement wasn't appreciative of that. but i just can't sit by and watch another 100 human beings, another 150 human beings lose their lives. there are circumstances where it's completely justifiable and i deeply respect law enforcement. this is not about trying to just
roll one point of view over. but the fact is, i've been a mayor of a city in san francisco, i've seen this first hand. i've been to too many funerals. i know what happened in mario woods in san francisco that was caught on everybody's video recordings and tapes and smart phones. enough. we just have to do more and do better. >> talk to the police officers in california, you're going to sign a piece of paper that says that if they use deadly force, it has to be not a reasonable use, but necessary. >> yeah. >> shouldn't they be very worried tomorrow morning going to work that they're going to get in trouble in a tough situation? >> no, they should only be worried if they won't commensurate with this legislation support the training of those officers. >> what kind of training? what is the difference in a training environment when you're training an officer to use deadly force only when it's necessary as opposed to when it might be reasonable? what is the difference? >> we're about to explore that because we're going to spend tens of millions of dollars to
move through a process of going step by step through deescalation and focus on changing the culture of policing. but what's happened with all due respect in the past is that we have been forcing a lot of expectations on our officers without providing the support and resources to train those officers. the world of policing is radically changing, particularly in the state of california where you're dealing with issues of behavioral health and substance abuse, but we're not training programs to help those officers, particularly new officers, deal with those circumstances. >> so this passed through both houseness california with overwhelming support, but police unions oppose it. and you asked the governor directly are they supposed to be afraid when they go to work. how are they receiving this move? >> well, it's split. the police officers unions are very concerned that their officers are now going to be in impossible situations, kind of no-win situations.
but what's key is training officers now to deescalate is going to be key. usually you go up the ladder of force until you get compliance. there are situations where you can talk somebody down rather than shooting them down and officers are not trained to do that. there's going to be a big training component here that's going to make it work. all the protests, all of this has been going on for five, six years and this is the first break-through of changing the law to reflect this new reality. >> 50 million people in california. lots of consequences. van jones, thanks very much. >> thank you. this week the new york police officer accused of fatly choking eric garner, certainly relevant to the conversation we just had, could find out if he's going to keep his job. at visionworks, we guarantee you'll see great
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analyst joey jackson. commissioner o'neill has been sensitive to these cases. >> i hope he bases it, jim, on what he has to do and that's follow the legal standards. now, backing up, you have a seven-day administrative hearing where a judge evaluates all the facts and draws a conclusion. in drawing that conclusion, she found that this particular officer, upponte layio acted wi criminal recklessness and as a result of that, pending anything that would be dire to override that, i can't see the commissioner acting unilaterally to overdo it. she felt that ponte layio was untruthful and rendered her conclusions. i think the bigger question is why he isn't in jail and why he wasn't prosecuted by the state or feds. >> that's the question i want to get to, because in so many of these cases the police officers
are face administrative penalties. you now have the state of california passing a new law here which will raise the standard for using deadly force. does that help address things like this? >> listen, every state to be clear is a sovereign onto its own. so california does what california does, new york does what new york does. georgia does what they do. ultimately i think the whole premise is clear and that is that you have to deescalate a situation. to be clear in california what we're saying is do not use the lethal force unless it's necessary. the standard now is are you acting reasonably. would a reasonable officer in your position have done the same thing. by increasing that to necessary, what they're saying is tiek a time out and we get that they're acting in seconds and it can be chaotic. but use that judgment instead of shooting first and acting later. let's reevaluate and then act. >> so beyond that being an attempt to address the issue of
this kind of violence from a legal perspective, does it make it easier to prosecute police officers who violate that standard? >> it absolutely will, because you're saying we're not basing it on what a reasonable officer would do in your situation, we're basing it on whether it was necessary that you engage in that final act. i'll say this relating it back to eric garner. his dad's funeral was last friday. i attend had funeral and spoke with mrs. garner and in the front row, because she all support each other, were all the mothers who had lost sons and it was so sickening and sad to go down the list and say hello and speak to them when so many were unnecessary. if california's law protects the lives of innocent men or men who were acting who didn't deserve to die, then i think it's a step in the proper direction. >> one state, 40 million people there. a big one. joe jackson, always good to have your wisdom. >> the president is apparently not pleased with what he's seen
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president trump seems to be souring on his favorite television news channel or if you listen to him tell it, the fox news channel is souring on him. >> fox has changed and my worst polls have always been from fox. there's something going on at fox. i'll tell you right now. and i'm not happy with it. i think fox is making a big
mistake because i'm the one that calls the shots on that -- on the really big debates. i guess we're probably planning on three of them. i'm not happy with fox. >> that seemed to be a threat there to fox saying he won't let them have a debate. but the president not happy with this fox news poll that shows him losing in head-to-head matchups to the top four democratic candidates by pretty wide margins. joining me is oliver darcy. this is a pattern with his president, if you're not on his team, you're either disloyal or wrong or both. >> and he's done this to some extent before with fox. but he's making it very clear that he expects one hundred percent total devotion to him. any criticism he's going to slach musli slam. he's making it clear that he's not a fan of the more straight news division at fox, the anchors like sheppard fitting
and also the liberal commentators they've been recently hiring. >> so how is fox responding to this criticism? fox as a network, but also fox's, the colleagues of these people that the president is taking aim at? >> fox news has remained silent for a long time on trump's criticism of the network. i checked in with them last night and they didn't even reply to my emails. what's also interesting is the silence of some of the prime-time hosts t colleagues of the news division. i would expect that that he would maybe eventually, or at least i would hope that they would stand up for their colleagues. where is tucker carlson and sean hannity and laura ingram to tell the president our job is to give our opinion but it is our colleagues' job to report the news. and the fox polling provision has a good reputation in the industry.
it's consistently proven to be accurate. so you can lash out because you don't like the numbers but they are doing their jobs. the prime-time hosts have been basically silent and if you look at some of the things they've said, they've sometimes taken the side of the president over their colleagues and they've worked together with some of these people for decades. >> the president said i call the shots on this, speaking about the debates. was that an explicit threat to say if you don't cover me better you're not going to get a debate? >> it seems like it is. but fox is still the friendliest turf he has to go on. so i think at the end of the day he will end up on fox and he's trying to whipping the news division into shape and make it more difficult for these anchors to report anything slightly critical of the president, because they know if they do the president is going to get on the bully pulpit and he's going to lash out at the in network, which not help with fox's core audience. >> the president has targeted other networks before, as we
know. thanks so much. thanks to all of you for joining us today. i'm jim sciutto. "at the hour" with kate bolduan starts right now. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. thanks so much for joining me. this morning a full-court press from the white house, dismissing fears of a looming recession. the president touting a strong economy and arguing things have never been better. >> i don't think we're having a recession. we're doing tremendously well. our consumers are rich. i gave a tremendous tax cut and they're loaded up with money. >> and the president's commerce secretary says despite the roller coaster week on wall street that we saw, fears about one key indicator are overblown. >> eventually there will be a recession, but this inversion is not as reliable in my view as people think. >> and when all else fails,