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tv   New Day  CNN  May 15, 2017 4:00am-5:01am PDT

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for u.s. viewers. the parents of the penn state student who died after a drinking writual. "new day" gets after it. come with us. >> the developments of the past week are bothersome. >> all i want is for comey to be honest. i hope he will. >> the tapes exist and not willingly provided, absolutely. i join in subpoenas. >> the president needs to back off. >> there is no collusion. we have nothing to do with russia sgrch russia. the best thing rosenstein can do is appoint a special prosecutor. >> we will continue to tighten. >> the nuclear ballistic missile. north korea says it can hit the mainland u.s. >> threat is bigger and more significant. it is getting urgent. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> good morning. welcome to "new day." up first is the nation's former
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intelligence chief says american democracy is under assault by president trump. this comes after the firing of fbi director james comey and that sent shock waves still finding their level in washington. >> lawmakers are calling on the president to turnover any taped conversations the president may have with james comey. president trump is also preparing for a major test this week. first foreign trip of his presidency. let's begin our coverage with cnn's joe johns live at the white house. good morning, joe. >> reporter: good morning, alisyn. with the firing of the fbi director as an example, the former head of national intelligence making an extraordinary assertion that the president of the united states himself is eroding the system of checks and balances at the core of american government. the fallout over president
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trump's firing of fbi director james comey isn't going away. >> i think in many ways our institutions are under assault both externally ands that's the big news here is russian interference in the election system. i think as well institutions are under assault internally. >> internally from the president? >> exactly. >> reporter: the national intelligence chief james clapper. >> the founding fathers and their genius created a system of three equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances. i feel as though that's under assault and eroding. >> reporter: clapper rejecting the president's repeated use of the senate testimony to dismiss the russia investigation. >> the bottom line is i don't know if there was collusion, political collusion, and i don't
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know of any evidence to it. i can't refute it. i can't confirm it. >> reporter: united nations ambassador nikki haley coming to the president's defense while aides avoided the sunday shows. >> the president is the ceo of the country. he can fire and hire whomever he wants. >> reporter: lawmakers condemning the president's action and demanding the explanation of the threatening tweet suggesting recordings may exist of the conversations with comey. the white house denies the tweet was a threat. >> it was inappropriate. i would advise not to tweet or comment. >> if there are such recordings, those recordings will be subpoenaed. >> we want to make sure the tapes are preserved. >> reporter: the top democrat on the intelligence committee asserting comey should have the opportunity to address the president's allegations in public. >> i think jim comey deserves the chance to layout to the american public his side of the facts because of how he was treated which was awful.
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>> reporter: the democrats now saying they will refuse to confirm a new fbi director until a special prosecutor is appointed. >> i thought that this would be a very popular thing that i did when i terminated comey because all of the democrats could not stand him. because i terminated him, they said ah, we get political points. we'll go against trump. >> reporter: trump saying an independent investigation is notes necessary. >> we have nothing to do with russia. >> reporter: this comes as the president scrambles to replace comey. a decision could tomorrow this week after eight were interviewed by attorney general jeff sessions and deputy over the weekend. lawmakers from both parties urging the president to look beyond washington when selecting a new director. >> i would strongly urge the administration to pick someone completely apolitical. >> the president has a chance to clean up the mess he created.
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>> reporter: busy week on tap for the president before he flies off on the first foreign trip ins office today. he will entertain a visit from the crown prince of the united arab emirates. tomorrow, an extremely important visit from turkish president erdogan. chris and alisyn. >> thank you. we have cnn hosts joining us michael smerconish and david gregory along with a.b. stoddard. great to have you here. david gregory, when you hear james clapper saying our institutions are under assault externally and internally, how significant is that statement? >> it is incredibly significant. this is someone at the entire intelligence community of the government which is meant to be independent. making a very serious indictment of the president for abusing his power by firing comey with a
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false pre-text and now demanding loyalty and recording him and threatening him over twitter. this is not how the system is supposed to work. this is not normal behavior. this is crisis that the public and government has to deal with. it exposes the heart of the usual yo issue. you have the president who feels the community is conspireing against him to deny him legitimate as i as president. it is ridiculous. it is leading to destructive behavior that has to be dealt with. whether anythings comes from the russia investigation, we know the election was hacked. you have the president thinking about the needs of the institution of the presidency and the dangers the country faces. >> a.b., all that can be true. none of this will find a home in any type of legal findings or major judicial action. this will come down to politics. are you sensing that the gop --
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remember they have the numbe numbers -- they are in leadership. will they do anything about any of this? >> right now, no. they are trying to wait this out. i think that is why statements from senator ben sasse yesterday talking about losing faith in institutions -- excuse me. >> it literally chokes you up. we -- >> it is more potent coming from james clapper. they will say who is he to talk about institutions and preserving the credibility of government. someone like senator ben sasse talking about this. once you see republicans stepping up more saying this is really about preserving the credibility of our checks and balances and tampered within a dangerous way, that will start moving people. in terms of the independent
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commissioner special prosecutor, i don't see that coming from republicans. this discussion with senator graham saying we cannot move forward until we pressure russia. this has to come on republicans not to rush to take some legal action or join with calls for prosecutors or impeachment, which i think democrats are overdoing. they need to start talking to the president and public about what this is doing to our democracy. what russia did and why it is important that the president never seems to talk about that and what this kind of back and forth about is appropriate. it would have been fine if i asked for loyalty. these are the kinds of lines that can't be crossed. republicans need to talk about that. >> michael smerconish, it was
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interesting. "60 minutes" did something. they found an old interview they had with james comey from 2014 where once again, sort of a test of loyalty was brought up. this time to president obama. and scott pelley asked aren't you supposed to follow the president's instructions? here is james comey at that time. >> wasn't it your responsibility to support the president? >> no. i took an oath to defend and support the constitution of the united states. >> this is something the president wanted to go forward with and you were standing in front of the president of the united states telling him he shouldn't do it and if he did, you would quit? >> i don't think i expressly threatened to quit at any point, but that was understood. >> that was 2004 under president bush. >> i thought it was 2014.
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>> he did the interview in 2014. he recounted the episode where the white house wanted surveillance. ashcroft was the ag. he was very ill. andy card went to get ashcroft to sign off. comey went racing off to the hospital. >> the point of all this, michael smerconish, is that james comey has long felt he doesn't want to take a loyalty test to any pledge loyalty to any president. we know james comey wants to speak to the senate intel committee in an open hearing. i assume the public can know what he will say. >> i think that would be a pretty stunning development if such a hearing were to take place and televised on cnn. the question i'm asking, alisyn, is this an issue finally moving the needle with republicans pertaining to the trump administration. as we all know it has been a
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tumultuous first four months. the base has largely stood with the president. you know the data. 96% said they would vote again for him. 97% in the gallop poll says they agree with the firing of comey. 58% of republicans. on the day-to-day basis, i answer phones. i hear from people across the country. most of whom in opposition of the firing of comey. not all. a number of republican trump supporters have thus far nevertheless standing with the president saying it is all about the leaks. i'm wondering if that is changing based on data today. >> if the democrats are waiting for a political kill shot, they will be waiting a while. they should think about what they can do to forward their agenda. to that point, david gregory, this talk about merrick garland.
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we know you know merrick garland. you don't know anything about his disposition on this. mcconnell's legislative aide called me and sapd iid i'm goodh this. he was not invited in on the first round of the parade of people they put out there. we don't have indication if he would do it. what is your take? >> not knowing how he feels about it, i think it is a brilliant idea. i would be shocked if judge garland would accept the job for a number of reasons. including he has lifetime tenure as the chief judge of the d.c. circuit court of appeals which is an important post. because of the environment in which trump has created. he knows whether the next fbi director doesn't show loyalty and if that person gets fired to. i think what smerconish is talking about here is the
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underlying question whether you have rank and file republicans on capitol hill or in public who feel like you know, i get trump. he is mad about the leaks. he has something there. we don't like the news media. you know, you can't behave this way. you can't ask the fbi director for loyalty test. once you start plugging in to the ways that he is abusing power as president and he is undermining our institutions, then over time you start to see things differently. >> so, a.b., is there a sense on capitol hill that republicans other than graham and mccain are getting ready or have any willingness to speak out more publicly against the president? >> no. they are in a wait-and-worry mode right now. i asked how long. it was one thing on thursday before we watched the lester
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holt interview where he admitted it was pretty much about russia and the next morning threatening james comey about tapes in the oval office. this is really hard stuff for republicans to defend. so what you saw in the last couple days if you speak with them privately is the panic is increased because they don't really believe they can move forward on health care or tax reform in this environment at the same time they need to get something done. the house is in play. there's only 24 seats separating them from minority. they are very much worried about what the polling will look like in two weeks after the events of thursday night and friday. they are panicked, but not wanting to speak out yet. they say it brings more trouble than it is worth. >> good to know. panel, thank you very much for all of the insight. it is a busy first week.
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workday for france's new president emmanuel macron after inauguration. today, macron will name the prime minister and visit angela merkel. at the swearing in, he is the youngest president at 39 years old. he vowed to bring back confidence to france. world health organization with the ebola outbreak in the republican of congo. three ebola elated deaths this weekend. doctors say the cases continue to rise and the scope of the outbreak is unknown. officials are not recommending any trade or travel restrictions. russian president vladimir putin putting on a surprise show in beijing. playing the piano while waiting for talks with the chinese president. here is a taste. russian state media reporting
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that putin played two popular soviet songs. he is in china for an economic forum which ends today. >> the grade? >> i was expecting something with more flourish. >> "chopsticks?" >> we felt it was "chopstic "chopsticks-like." the president reportedly outraged following the decision to axe james comey. what he is saying about his political opponents reactions and what it could mean for his future decisions. also coming up. >> this is not boys being boys. >> this is torture. >> those are the parents of the teenager who was killed in a hazing ritual at penn state. they are speaking out and their mess aage for the students who e now charged in their son's death. we'll bring you that.
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but we've got the get tdigital tools to help. now with xfinity's my account, you can figure things out easily, so you won't even have to call us. change your wifi password to something you can actually remember, instantly. add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to xfinity.com/myaccount president trump says he thought everybody would be happy when he fired james comey.
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days after the president took action, he says he is surprised by the backlash. take a listen. >> look, i thought that this would be a very popular thing i did when i terminated comey because all of the democrats could not stand him. but because i terminated him, they said ah, we get political points. we'll go against trump. >> because he terminated him because he was unhappy with the russia investigation. that sounds like a conflict of interest. let's discuss. we have jack kingston. a former adviser at the trump campaign and jennifer psaki. jack, before we get to the substance of the matter. i have a question. always good to have you. why are your brothers and sisters in gop leadership and rank and file, ducking coming out like it was the plague to talk about this on tv? >> you know, i can call some of
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them for you and we can get them out. >> please. >> we can get this done. >> free breakfast. >> good offer. >> what about the idea of leadership, jack? coming out and speaking out and calling it for what it is. if you like it, say you like it. if you didn't like it, say what you will do about it. >> i think it is good for members of the public and elected officials particularly to talk to the press. i encourage all of my brothers and sisters in the republican party to do it. i'm being serious. i will work with you off camera. we will look at a list and i'll make phone calls. i'll say get your tail out and talk about it. >> jack, you are the pebest. jen, you know it is an animal of legislation of calling for a special prosecutor. is that not enough or is it time to step up the positive aspects and come up with plans on policy and try to work with the other side? >> chris, i completely agree
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with you that the democrats can't just be the party of opposition and resistance. democrats have to be the party of standing for something and fighting for something. we lost the thread on that in the last election. we were no longer perceived as the people to get health care and help people get a job. at the same time, what we are dealing with is a question of character and leadership matters and truthfulness matters. people don't like it when leaders are living outside the law or above the law. that will matter. i agree. democrats have to have a forward looking agenda which is not just opposing trump. >> jen, how big a deal is this? the word crisis is used in the ma main or as a point of hyperbole? what do you think this is surrounding comey's dismissal? >> it is a self inflict the chr
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inflicted crisis. we know that. this is a significant decision that donald trump made. we will not see the consequences for some time. there will be a slow burn in many ways. the person overseeing the fbi is overseeing law enforcement and overseeing the russia investigation. that is not something that is a partisan issue. it is something that democrats and republicans all elected officials should want to get to the bottom of. you have been talking about this this morning. this is about creating chaos and confusion in the united states. the person in that role is significant. also firing somebody who is overseeing an investigation that your team is related to is significant as a crisis of confidence. >> chris, keep in mind that even mccabe, the deputy under cross-examination last week said it hasn't suffered one bit. he asked in a set of six
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different questions from different angles to make sure there wasn't anything that has changed. for people like james clapper, by the way, we remember 2013, he said to senator ron white that they were not spying on americans. they were not collecting surveillance data which was a lie. for him to go out and say this is a constitutional crisis. are absolu absolutely. the fbi is saying no. we are bigger than one person. the president has a right to fire somebody if he wants to. weeks ago and months ago. all of the democrats in town wanted to get rid of comey. now he is the greatest thing in the world. they were the ones with the fire comey hash tags all summer long. they have it both ways. they get rid of an enemy and now they get that and still get to complain about it. you know, america is bigger than the personality of the people who are in office.
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america and ours constitution is strong. president trump is not a politici politician. he will not act like a politician. he will not do things in the smooth way that washington sometimes has gotten used to. this is his right as president. i would say this, if he was guilty of something, he would not be doing this. if he was guilty, he would be all lawyered up and lawyers saying there are things you say and not say. that is not how he is acting. i would say democrats might want to look at it from that angle. if the president was hiding something, the last thing he would do is get rid of the fbi director. >> jen? >> i think president trump himself said that he fired him in large part because of his work on the russian investigation. we can take the president's own words in that regard. i think it is important to look back at the unclassified version of the russia report which included that russia is trying
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to create chaos and confusion. that is what they are doing in the united states. of course, there are incredible men and women in the fbi and have been for decades. it is hard to believe three fbi directors over a handful of months would not have an impact on the pace of the investigation. that is a valid concern. >> jack, let me ask you something here aside. the idea of the consequences of this. we have to see how it plays out in terms of picking of a nominee for the fbi. michael even at axios is going bigger. he said the president is so pissed off by the people surrounding him. there will be a massive shakeup. do you agree with that notion? >> i was in talking to people over the weekend. i don't think that is the case. i think the president with some of this is reorganizing his thoughts and the way washington works and so forth.
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i don't see a big house cleaning. i read some of the articles and don't see it. i think for the president to talk about is there a better way to get the message out beside the daily press briefing which has become antiquated. a 1960s model. far before we had text messages and everything else. twitter are tools of the day. for the president to rethink what is a better way to get the message out. also to be transparent. i was listening to an interview with scott mason. head of the washington press corps. he said we don't have a come pla complaint of access. not with this administration. >> jack and jen, thank you. quick programming note. tonight at 9:00. watch cnn. we have top democrat in the house nancy pelosi for a town hall on cnn. that means the people will drive the conversation.
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these questions about leadership will be real for pelosi. what should the democrats do other than sit and watch it burn. >> hosted by chris cuomo. i look forward to watching that. >> thank you. >> when i wake up. the parents of a teenager killed in a fraternity hazing ritual at penn state are breaking their silence. >> they killed him. they fed him lethal doze doses of alcohol and killed him and treated him like road kill. like a rag doll. >> tough waiting to hear from the parents and what they want to say to you. the answers next. i am benedict arnold, the infamous traitor. and i know a thing or two about trading.
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parents of a teenager killed in a fraternity hazing ritual at penn state are speaking out. as you can imagine, they have strong words for the students charged in his death. we have sarah ganim with more. >> reporter: the parents are determined to make change. their son was 19 years old.
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he wanted to be an engineer to make prosthetic limbs for soldiers and kids who needed them. if the parents knew then what they know about penn state fraternities, they would not allow their son to join one. >> he was a shy kid, but once he was comfortable with you, he had a big personality. he would brighten a room when he walked in. sometimes bigger than life. >> reporter: 19-year-old timothy piazza died in february. a grand jury finding he was put through a hazing ritual at his fraternity house called the began l gauntlet. prosecutors say the video shows him unable to stand. repeatedly falling. down 15 feet of stairs and then hitting his head on the stone floor on an iron railing and on a door before falling down the stairs again. authorities say fraternity
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members waited 12 hours before calling 911 and then tried to cover up what happened. >> when i walked into the room, it looked like he got hit by a car. it was bad. but i got to see him. i got to say good-bye. >> when you got to the hospital, he was still alive? >> yeah. >> were you able to talk to him them? >> i remember i think i held his hand and telling him we love him and whatnot. he was certainly not visibly with us. we did see a tear come to his eye and roll down his cheek. i'm not sure if i want to know if he heard us or not. if he heard us, then he knew he was dying. and he would think he let us down. >> the indictment is horrific for anyone to read. being his parents, reading that, when you read those details. >> they killed him.
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they fed him lethal doses of alcohol and killed him and treated him like road kill like a rag doll. they slapped him around. threw water on him. one kid punched his area that was clearly visible. >> they said the spleen was shattered. >> it was chilling as a parent. chilling. in my mind, it was murder. they let him suffer for 12 hours. they let him die a slow death. it's not any way anybody should be treated. there were people in that house that knew he was dying. when they knew that death was imminent the next morning, they waited 42 minutes to call for help while they told people to clean up. cover up the evidence. get rid of it. this wasn't boys being boys. this was criminal activity. >> what has been the response to you from penn state officials? what have they said to you?
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>> i had a dialogue with the president baron to some extent. otherwise, penn state has been sile silent. no one from penn state or the fraternity came to the wake or funeral. >> no one? none of the fraternity brothers? >> no one. >> no penn state officials? >> no penn state owe efficienciofficials? >> you expected a different response? >> i expect people to care. >> you feel they don't? >> i feel they are covering their butt. >> after timothy piazza died, penn state restricted alcohol to beer and wine and put the fraternity on suspension. >> first of all, the changes they put through, we told them they had to. i keep hearing from president baron. i can't do anything to the fraternities. they are on private properties. universities need to take a tougher stance.
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don't say it is private property. >> reporter: the president has called the incident income presenceable. the frat was supposed to be a dry fraternity. a result of a suspension eight years ago. >> this was an alcohol free hazing free fraternity with an adult athletic trainer in the house. years of parties documented on the tapes. nobody paid attention to anything. i blame all of them. >> you referenced tapes. there were security cameras in the house? >> yes. >> and an adult sleeping upstairs? >> was he sleeping? who knows. >> you called for him to be fired. >> several times. >> why is that? >> because he had to know that there were illegal parties going in that house for years that he lived there. he never said a word to anybody. he has a responsibility as adult
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and adviser as part of the university staff to speak up when he sees something going wrong. he didn't. he allowed a young man, my son, to die on his watch. that's why. >> it was no surprise they were having parties. you can't get rid of all of the parties and vomit and trash. >> reporter: that man, a chapter adviser has not been charged according to the indictment no one notified him. he made no comments. >> what do you want to see happen in the future? >> i think the first thing that has to happen is go through the trials and hopefully make a statement to the country that this can't happen. tim piazza is not just our son. he really represents every son and daughter of every family that is looking to go to college and potentially participate in greek life in the future. we need to make the changes for them. >> reporter: cnn has made requests for comment to penn state and the president and
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adviser and those charged and lawyers have all declined to be interviewed. they have not responded to cnn's request for comment on the piazza interview with cnn. >> i can't believe no one from penn state went to the funeral. >> beyond that, when tim piazza was sent to the hospital in the ambulance, no one went with him. the parents said no one told his parents or brother who had happened to him or where he was. the next morning when he did not show up at his apartment, it was his roommate who called his brother and said he did not come home. his brother had to think and call the hospital and found him there. no one called the parents. >> you have been down this road before in terms of seeing where legal and moral and ethical responsibility will fall with penn state university. sara is on the journalism team about the sandusky situation. where does that go on? we know it is going on with the kids in the courts. >> penn state has other
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allegations of hazing. two lawsuits of allegations of hazing. not to mention this is the biggest indictment on the fraternity and members over hazing. they have some questions to answer about how they handled this in the past. >> sara, thank you so much for the story. keep us up to date on what is happening. another major story. north korea says its latest missile test proofs the u.s. is in its range. the pentagon response next. i count on my dell small business advisor
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across the weekend is slowly making its exit. we are seeing a bit of rain in boston that will slowly clear throughout the day. it should start to see sunshine by the end of the day. the heat does build into the northeast. you get a little bit of taste of it which is nice. considering your temperatures are below average last week. look at this. d.c., 94 degrees. by wednesday, that is the second 90-degree day of the season. warm in the northeast by middle of the week. alisyn. thank you, jennifer. the u.s. is calling for international sanctions on north korea as the reinclusive country am s ps up the nuclear tests. it puts the u.s. in range for a strike. cnn's barbara starr is at the pentagon with more. what is the response, barbara? >> reporter: alisyn, the pentagon is watchful at this point. could north korea be the threat
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that brings the u.s. and russia together? that test over the weekend. the north korea missile landed 60 miles south of the far eastern russia city of vladavostok. a significant area for the russians. that is the home of the pacific fleet. russian air defense in the far east region on high alert. nobody thinks the north koreans were aiming to attack russia, but the missile is significant. it has flown higher and greater distance than previous tests of this missile. so this potentially in fact gives pyongyang valuable information in how to achieve longer distances. they are aiming at the intercontinental ballistic missile range. the missile that some day could attack the united states. that is the worry at the pentagon. now russia also very much looking at that threat from north korea.
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chris. >> some 60 miles off the outer coast there is where thes missile landed. barbara, thank you. president trump's tweet about possible tapes of conversations with fired fbi director raising high brow. why would he tape his c conversations? do we think that actually happened? would it be legal? answers ahead. for tech advice. with one phone call, i get products that suit my needs and i get back to business. ♪ ♪
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this is being called the world's biggest cyber attack, and not even over yet. chief business correspondent christine romans in the money center. what do we need to know? >> millions wake up and logon the infection is flslowing. it hit 200,000 users in 150 countries. there could be more today. new attacks reported in china, japan and korea. the virus locks users out of their computers, and then demands hundreds of dollars to regain control. global companies like fedex and nissan as well as hospitals in the uk, universities in china, german train networks have all been hit. the ransomware targets a flaw in microsoft windows that microsoft patched in march but the virus hit networks that had not updated their systems.
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microsoft urging customers to make sure software updates are current and microsoft said this attack is a wake-up call for governments because the tools used by the virus architects were stolen from the nsa. microsoft said this scenario with with weapons is a problem and this is as dang ruz asthe u.s. having some of its tomahawk miss size stolen if you compare it to conventional warfare. al. >> a stunning comparison. thank you for the update. president trump got the attention of lawmakers in both parties when he tweeted this "james comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press." many lawmakers calling for the president to turn over any tapes to congress. let's discuss, with samuel buehl yuk university and douglas brinkley, coauthor of "jfk: a vision for america." mr. buehl let me start with you.
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we know that d.c. is a one-party permission district, meaning only president trump would have had to have given his permission to himself in order to make a tape recording. you don't need two parties. so is this, if he had tapes, if if he were taping oval office conversations, is it legal? >> well, yes, it's legal in the district of columbia, if one party consents but not legal to use tapes to try to intimidate a witness. it wouldn't even be legal to pretend to have tapes in an effort to intimidate a witness and what we need at this point is an investigation to look into this and certainly one of the first things that any prosecutor would do in this situation is to subpoena any tapes to find out whether they exist. >> douglas, historically speaking, ever since fdr, i think with just the exception of eisenhower, presidents have taped their conversations. so what makes this any
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different? >> well, when we say tape their conversations, a lot of presidents would tape their telephone calls to world leaders, people on capitol hill, not all, but most of them did. this is different. this is donald trump, who is setting up really the head of the fbi and almost like a sting operation, if it's true, and incidentally i don't believe he taped him but if he did -- >> why don't you? let me stop you there, doug, since he's suggesting that he may have tapes, which he puts in quotation marks, why don't you believe him? >> because he suggests crazy things all the time on his tweets, that he simply is trying to get an upper hand over comey. if this does exist then it does need to be subpoenaed, he does have to cough it up. he has to quit jerking the american people around, but i think it will come back that we were just saying what if there were tapes. it's just a kind of trump
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reality tv game we're all falling into. that would be a very bizarre moment if as he got into the white house, he set up a taping system and he entrapped the head of the fbi over dinner to tape him to use as a kind of blackmail. i think that would be extraordinarily volcanic in washington if that's what happened. i have a feeling they're going to end up saying well, we really don't have a tape of that. we were just saying what if there was one. >> i mean again, samuel, correct me if i'm wrong he duntoesn't h to set up a taping system. we know about the cuban missile crisis because jfk taped some and nixon as well. this again you're saying that okay, maybe oval office conversations are taped and had been, but if he's hanging it over the head of someone, that's where the crime comes in. >> if douglas is right and he's
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lying about this, that in and itself becomes more incriminating with respect to obstruction of justice. >> yes. >> why would you make up that story, and attempt to intimidate the former fbi director from talking about the underlying issue here, which is why was he fired. if you didn't have the tapes, so a prosecutor would want to look at this hard without regard to whether the tapes actually exist. in some ways that's not the issue. the issue here the president's behavior, the purpose with which he's acting and whether that constitutes obstruction of justice. >> doug, how are we going to find out if these tapes exist? >> well, let me say with nixon, it was voice activated, meaning he had the whole white house all wired up. in this situation it's trump and comey having a meal. the assumption would be that the salt and pepper shakers aren't bugs, but that's sort of what trump is saying.
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when we keep saying the oval office, that's using the phone to tape meetings with world leaders. this was supposed to be a private dinner between the two of them. so it would have been, and it sends a chill down people in the white house's spine to think that donald trump may have potentially wired all these rooms like richard nixon did, not just the hot phone. >> interesting. so samuel, when -- >> how can you -- >> go ahead. >> i was going to say how can you govern if your senior officials, the ones with whom you are supposed to have the most confidential conversations like the director of the fbi, the head of the cia are walking into the white house every day thinking that the president might be taping them? >> well, look, up make a great point but we also know that there are people from the trump organization, i mean this is something that donald trump they say did a lot before he was president, that he did tape some of his office meetings, and that his staff at the trump organization did know that he
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might be taping them, that this is sort of in keeping with something that he liked to do. doug? >> well, it's possible, but then he's got to cough up the evidence now. some people are using the word constitutional crisis, at least a crisis in confidence in the presidency. this is a big one. this is a big -- trrp trdonald couple of tweets will cost him, one when he said barack obama wiretapped him, that was proven false and now we've got to see whether this is real or not, but that wasn't just a casual aside by donald trump. he has washington on fire over that particular tweet, because if there is a tape, he now needs to turn it over as evidence. i'm going to, i think where there is or isn't one you'll find a white house trying to claim now there really wasn't a transcript or a recording that they can share. >> samuel and douglas, thank you very much for all of the legal and historical context here. we're following a lot of news this morning including a
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discussion with one of the men set to lead the president's new voting fraud commission. what's happening with that investigation? let's get to it. >> i thought that this would be a very popular thing that i did, when i terminated comey. >> a built in system of checks and balances, that's under assault and is eroding. >> the president is the ceo of the country. can he hire and fire whoever he wants. >> a republican should be stepping up to the plate and joining us in asking for a special prosecutor. >> if there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over. >> that's not a threat. he's simply stated a fact. the tweet speaks for itself. >> we have a lot of choice. everybody wants the position. we're going to have somebody fantastic. >> i would strongly urge the administration to pick someone who is completely apolitical. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and

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