tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN March 20, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
all right. top of the hour. good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow in new york. jim has the day off. repeatedly blasting a late war hero. this morning a senior senate republican is leading the outrage on the latest attacks over the late senator john mccain. >> i was never a fan of john mccain, and i never will be. >> this news follows a string of renewed attacks on twitter, and today the senior republican senator from georgia johnny isakson says he promises to make good on a whipping for anyone who talks about the war hero.
here's isaacson days after john mccain died. >> anyone who in in way tarnishes the reputation of john mccain deserves a whipping but most of the ones who would do the wrong thing about john mccain didn't have the guts to do the right thing when it was their turn. >> let me read you rwhat isakso said. quote, i just want to lay it on the line that the country deserves better, the mccain family deserves better. i don't the care if he's president of the united states. owns all the real estate in new york, or is building the greatest immigration system in the world. nothing is more important than the ented gri of country and those who fought and risk their lives for all of us. >> he is close with majority
leader mitch mcconnell. this is not someone who speaks out often when there's news of the day and something to react to. i want to read a little more from isakson's interview. quote, when the president is saying that he doesn't respect john mccain and he's never going to respect john mccain, and all these kids are out there listening to the president of the united states talk that way about the most decorated senator in history who is dead, it just sets the worst tone. he said nothing about his service will ever be changed or diminished. you all had mitt romney saying, quote, i can't understand why the president would once again disparage a man like john mccain. this is coming from johnny isakson who's the chairman of
the senate veterans committee. given just how senior he is in the party and the fact he doesn't react on a daily basis to the president's tweets. >> yeah. he clearly thinks this is worth saying and saying loud. lauren, thank you. another presidential feud running hot pits george conway, the conservative married to white house counselor kellyanne conway. he calls him a, quote, stone cold loser and husband from hello. he said he suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. these are two grown men. these are not 5-year-olds. >> that's absolutely rietds and what a window this is on some of the tensions that are percolating in the background here at the white house and elsewhere. george conway, as you know, a
top shelf conservative lawyer of his own right, married to kellyanne conway, who is a top adviser to the president of the united states. they have been engaged this back-and-forth twitter war after the president, of course, had his tweet storm over the weekend. george conway questioning the president's mental fitness. the president firing back. and in a very extraordinary way, actually getting inside the marriage of one of his subordinates here at the white house, which is extraordinary in and of itself. and then you add in the fact that the president has 59.2 million followers on twitter, it's a real window. george conway this morning responding to the president's tweet with three words punctuated by periods. you. are.
nuts. he responded in an interview with the "washington post." the audacity, incompetence is maddening. to watch the tweeting is just the way to get it out of the way so i can get it off my chest and move on with the day. frankly that's it. frankly, so i don't end up screaming at her, presumably talking about kellyanne conway. so the president has referred to george conway as mr. kellyanne conway and has suggested as well mr. conway very much wanted a job in this administration. conway seems to deny that suggesting that he withdrew himself from consideration for the job here, which i believe was the solicitor general's job. back to you. >> joe johns, thank you so much. we have that letter from the "washington post" obtained. it was in may of 2017 to the president. let me read it to you. dear mr. president. i'm profoundly grateful to you
and the attorney general for selecting me to serve as assistant attorney general for the civil didn't of justice. i've reluctantly concluded, however, for me and my family, this is not the right time to leave the private sector and take on a new role. kellyanne and i continue to support you and your administration. i look forward to doing whatever i can from outside of government. that was, you know, just about two years ago. so the president's top adviser, george conway's wife, kellyanne conway, sat down for a wide-ranging interview recently with dana bash. it's part of her badass interviews. she asked her about the back and forth between her and her husband and the president then. watch. >> now we have a president who's actually criticized his own attorney general. >> watch tv and twitter lately, and one of trump's most vicious critics is her own husband
george striking hard and deep with his latest attack on the president's mental state calling it narcissistic personality disorder. >> no, i don't share those concerns. i have four kids and i was getting them out of the house this morning before i got here, so i didn't talk to the president about substance. >> we spoke before the latest drama but well after her husband started going after her husband's boss which she says she didn't see coming. >> george was so excited, literally crying with joy in his mega hat, so in that way, he's changed. he's changed his opinion, i guess, on matters of the president. i haven't and donald trump hasn't. >> you mean mr. kellyanne con y conway. >> the day he was out on the south lawn and he called george mr. kellyanne conway struck me, sounded like he was sending a message. >> i thought it was him being
alan j. trump. it was clever. it's an unusual situation in politics, in washington, in politics, certainly for a husband to get his notoriety and power through his wife. it's usually the other way around. it's funny, people will say, george, you should come to harvard and speak side by side and do this and that, and i think, oh, okay, but then i'd have to give him my power. >> the president and top allies restrained before are stepping up to george conway's response on twitter and rallying around her personally, the mother of these four children. >> these children are 14, 10, 10, and 9. they're all old enough and have been able to embrace it as their home. it's a tough age. let's face it. it is a rare occasion where a family is moving for mom's job. >> all right. that interview says so much,
even the fact that it happened before the latest back-and-forth. jackie kucinich is with me and kirsten powers. good morning to you both. i'd like to start with what's so relevant and important this morning and that's what the senior republican senator of georgia, isakson is doing in standing up to the president. kirsten powers, the rebuke from this republican senator, it's really just him this publicly and this forcefully. we have mitt romney and a few others. i wonder if you think he'll be followed by a majority of other republicans in congress. >> i would be surprised if he is. i don't think that we've seen a lot of appetite in the republican party for going after donald trump, especially publicly criticizing him because
of the backlash that they suffer. we see what's happening with kellyanne conway's husband, george conway. i think he's intimidated them in to staying silent for the most part. >> jackie, politically does the president think that these attacks on john mccain actually help him, or does he not care. >> i don't know that there's a lot of forethought here when it comes to attacking john mccain. it's pretty clear the president doesn't like him, and he -- there's never been a resolution. the president couldn't really win in this situation. john mccain had the last word. so the president is known to hold grudges, and this just seems to be a continuation of that, that he just can't let go, the fact that mccain sachk the health care bill. obviously this goes on well before that happened, but i think the fact that john mccain got the better of him, the president can't let it go.
>> with just a thumbs-down. that's all it took. >> right. >> signal on that point, kirsten, for a moment. this is not the first time the president has attacked john mccain so publicly, so viciously while he was fighting for his life and now after. there's a new cnn poll out this morning that shows nearly eight in ten republicans who say the president is the one with the best shot of winning in 2020 in terms of all, you know, the other republicans who are running in terms of the president who has the best shot. i think 76% are in support of the president. i mean isn't that evidence that politically this doesn't hurt the president? >> well, it seems to not hurt him. i mean there's also in that poll, you know, 57% of republican voters are very excited about voting, and that's -- that says a lot about the support for the president, that they feel so -- so excited about
going out and re-electing him. so i think that, you know, you'd have to ask a republican to explain this because truly it's mystifying to me. there are some basic decency issues in the world and one of them is you don't attack people who have just died really for no reason. that's the other thing. what's the current problem that john mccain is causing from the grave, right? it's just -- there's not even a reason to be talking about it. it's just gratuitous, it's hurtful to his family, which is a family that has been dedicated to serving this country. like i said, i do have to ask a republican to explain this to me. >> the question, jackie, can be is the president sort of haunted by the shadow of john mccain and what he represents in terms of republican civility? >> yeah. again, i think this is just an old grudge that the president -- he can't get beyond john mccain. and, you know, your question to
kirsten, republicans i've spoken to that are outside of d.c., they'll say they don't like when the president does this sort of thing. they don't like when the president is uncivil. what they'll point to is the things he's been able to accomplish and the things that he represents in terms of, you know, their core beliefs. and his other stuff, yeah, it doesn't -- is it discouraging? yeah, it is, but i think they keep on going back. again, this is just who i've spoken to. >> can i say something about that. >> i'm just reporting what i learned. >> no, no, no. i agree. that's what i've heard. you hear that all the time. that's the same as hearing people say, yeah, i'm going to vote for him again, i really don't want to, he really upsets me with how indecent he is to other people, bigoted. but it doesn't explain the people being very excited voting
for him, right? >> i think this economy explains a lot of that. we'll see if the economy hangs on. before you go, guys, if the president used this platform to his 59 million twitter followers to repeatedly condemn white nationalists in the wake of what happened in new zealand, you know, jackie, wouldn't that be a thing? >> it would. it wouldn't necessarily be -- it's just not something the president does. that's just. he doesn't -- that's just not what he uses this platform for. i think what you'll hear from the white house is they have condemned it, but should the president use this for good and for trying to send a message that could potentially, you know, help heal and help move things forward, sure. that's just not where we are. >> thank you, both. jackie kucinich, kirsten powers, so nice to have you. coming up, really interesting numbers coming out
of the cnn poll. camela harris makes a huge jump, but bernie sanders and joe biden are still on top. there's already massive spending on facebook ads for the 2020 campaign, and we're not talking about democrats. the president's team outspending his rivals 2-1 when you combine all of his rivals in the democratic party. we'll take you inside the trump digital campaign and operation. plus, a new report says that the pilots of that doomed lion air flight had to scramble to read an operations manual as this plane plummeted down. terrifying details ahead. try fda-approved alli®. for every 5 lbs you lose, alli® can help you lose two to three more by preventing about 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed. for the only fda-approved otc weight loss aid, try alli®. the big drug companies don't see they see us as profits. we're paying the highest prescription drug prices in the world
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since december. camela harris is third after a huge jump from 4% in december. she now sits at 12%. beto o'rourke is another name in double digits at 11%. a lot to unpack. nobody does it better than our cnn political analyst. good morning, my friend. >> let's talk about aspirational through pragmatism. that's when you're talking about bernie sanders. when you ask the question about bernie sanders, is the democratic party better or worse. not a great morning for him. still aspirational. only 33% believe the democratic party will be better with him at the top of the ticket. that largely has to do with the fact he's very aspirational. he talks about policy measures that are very difficult to get past here in washington. however, he's also very influential.
if you go back to 2015, 2016, it was bernie sanders who took the debt caratic party as you know, poppy, moving it incredibly to the left, raising minimum wage and, of course, medicare for all. >> totally. when you look at the poll, what does it tell you that democratic voters are looking for most in a candidate. >> you feel hopeless. you feel helpless in many ways except for what you see in the house of representatives because the democrats have control of that chamber. what do you want to do? you want to defeat donald trump. look at these numbers here. that's the kind of trait they want to see in a democratic nominee. 56%. only 35% believe that they want somebody that is entirely in lockstep with their beliefs. again, this is going to be a very important question as we go forward, poppy, specifically with the field of upwards of 20 candidates all trying to vie for
the voters' attention and support of the voters. many have similar policy divisions. >> yes. >> the next step up, who's going to win. >> before we get to that, do you have any idea why senator camela harris had such a big jump from december to now, an eight-point jump? >> okay. it's a couple of things. one, i don't think that you can argue this. she has probably had the best campaign rollout we've seen of any president ial candidate we'e had. she jumps around the country very quick and she came into the presidential town hall on cnn. if people go back to the town hall, it was the first one cnn did. people who didn't know camela harris all of a sudden got to know camela harris. people got to paying attention to her. she's done a very good job on the campaign trail. >> she was asked tough questions about her role as a prosecutor,
her history, et cetera. so enthusiasm. voters fired up, but some more than others. >> right. a lot of talk on the democrtic side? but guess what. there's enthusiasm on the republican side. 57% of republicans are enthusiastic about their vote while only 46% of democrats are. again, we're very early now, poppy, in this race, but the fact of the matter is if democrats think that their enthusiasm is going to be enough to carry them to defeat president trump, then they're badly mistaken. if you look at these numbers now, republicans are still in lockstep behind president trump by and large, enough so right now he's in pretty good shape of having to fend off any kind of primary challenger at this point, and he still has support of just about every republican right now as he heads into 2020. >> yep. all right. mark preston, all well said. i know you're getting ready for the town hall tonight. thank you, my friend. >> thanks. robert mueller's team has said, quo, it's been too busy
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. all right. welcome back. robert mueller's team claims it is too busy this week to respond to a request for unsealed court documents to paul manafort's closed criminal case. he's now asking for a deadline extension to april 1st. at the same time the white house is not responding to house democrats' request for documents for its investigation into the president. house overchairman elijah cummings wrote a scathing op-ed in the "washington post" wednesday accusing him of stonewalling and obstruction. with me now chairman mike rogers. chairman rogers, it's nice to have you. >> poppy, great to see you. >> where do we go from here?
we know how elijah cummings feels about this. what happens -- if they miss th deadline, what happens next? >> the republicans tried to do this, and if you recall the attorney general at the time, eric holder, was actually held in content by congress for not giving certain bits of information, and so i think you'll see the same kind of timeline roll out. and what i think has happened here is the trump administration went to school on that whole event and realized they have lots of time here to play with, and that's why you're seeing this kind of slow go of this. >> this wasn't fast and furious, was it. >> yes. >> as i recall, they did turn over those documents. >> apparently there were documents that were turned over, is the best of my understanding, but it didn't get to the heart of what the oversight committee -- again, i wasn't on the oversight committee -- was looking for in that particular
case. eventually documents were exchanged. i just don't think they got what they were exactly looking for. i think the trump administration would be smart by kind of driveling things out to say, no, we're cooperating, it's just taking us a little while. this is this big game in washington, d.c., unfortunately, and you're going to see both sides dig in on this. >> turning to what we saw in this filing from mueller's team, they want a deadline extension to april 1st to turn over and release some information regarding the manafort cases that are now closed. they're saying why in their words, quote, the press of other work. yes, it's a busy week always for the mueller team, but this seems like a particularly busy one. how do you read it? >> two things. one, certainly this indicates to me they're trying to put the finishing touches. i think the mueller team understands they have to roll out some conclusion to their investigation, which triggers a whole bunch of other activities.
it's going to go from the special counsel to the a.g.'s office. that will take some time. second, the rosenstein thing, i found really interesting. i think the attorney general is saying, look, we're getting close, hang in until the end. we know that rosenstein wants to leave. this is foreshadowing this thing is coming to an end, they're putting the final touches on it. i'm sure the attorney general bar would love to have rosenstein as a part of the rollout of the report and the review. >> why? that's my question to you. the question is rosenstein wanted to leave mid this month. he could use a vacation. why do you think the attorney bar wants him there, specifically him so much, by their side? >> i think because he's been the overseer of this special counsel from its inception. if you recall, attorney general
sessions had no overof the investigation and was is up not supposed to have working knowledge of the investigation, so the only person in the a.g. shop of any seniority that has any credibility is rod rosenstein. i think what barr said is, listen, we're almost done, we're going to wrap this up, i know you want to leave, hang in there. there will be -- on both sides of this, if you're for trump, you're going to hate something, and if you're for trump, you're going to love something. he's supposed to say how i managed to get to this, including redactions. >> you're right. it's an interesting memo including what barr wrote a year about, his own admission about the scope and things that were such an issue in his confirmation hearing to have rod
rosenstein by his side. interesting. let me get to this really important opinion piece written in the "washington post" by turkish president erdogan. in the aftermath of the christchurch massacre, western societies must reject racism, islam phobia, which has been on the rise in recent years. he's calling on the west. is that proving to be a problem for the president on the world stage? >> you know, i think the president has quite a few problems on the world stage by his own making candidly. i do think he had the responsibility as president of the united states to speak out against what led to those attacks in new zealand, and any time it happens in the united states, you know.
conversely i would challenge mr. erdogan who i have met in my previous role as chairman of the intelligence community to step up. >> human rights abuses, jailing journalists. >> completely. they've got their own set of issues. i understand his perspective and i think he's right. i i'm always a little bit cautious as i think a little of that was self-serving for mr. erdogan. but the message is right. we all need to -- on anti-semitism, which i think mr. erdogan could pay attention to that as well growing across not only turkey, but europe as well. there needs to be strong condemnation as well as any rise of any ism around the world, white nationalism is certainly one particular issue, but there are others. we ought to stand together on all of this, and i think our leaders need to take pretty strong positions and make it known this is unacceptable behavior, and we won't -- you know, we're not going to put up
with this collectively as countries and global citizens. >> chairman rogers, always nice to have your perspective. thank you. >> thanks, poppy. we're learning new details from the cockpit flight recorder, all of this part of the larger investigation of the recent max-8 crash. we have details ahead. tion. more than half of employees across the country bring financial stress to work. if you're stressed out financially at home, you're going to be too worried to be able to do a good job. i want to be able to offer all of the benefits that keep them satisfied. it is the people that is really the only asset that you have. put your employees on a path to financial wellness with prudential. bring your challenges.
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important. it comes from the cockpit voice recorder, which has never been made public before. and, of course, this is part of the broader investigation on the recent crash. we're joined from paris with more details. obviously, paris, the bea, is where they're going through the black boxes from the ethiopia flight. what can you tell us? >> reporter: these new details really provide a chilly ininto what went on in those last few minutes of the cockpit, of that plane, the doomed lion air flight that crashed into the java sea at the end of october killing, just to remind you, 189 people on board. according to the reuters report, they're associating three people closely to that report. the voice box recorder, that cockpit recorder, which is still the subject of the ongoing investigation suggests they were frantically going through the handbook trying to correct.
bear in mind this is a system that's come under so much scrutiny. it pushed the nose of the plane downward. we now know in the last few minutes of the plane, according to the report, the pilots were desperately looking through a handbook trying to work out how to disable it. >> wow. hard to imagine that happening in realtime. before you go, melissa, there's also this concerning and important bloomberg report we're learning more about an off-duty pilot's actions on a sim already boeing max-8 flight the day before the lion air crash. >> reporter: that's right, poppy. this was the very plane that the following day was going to crash into the java sea that on the day before had been on a flight. what we're learning according to bloomberg reporting is there was a third pyre lot who wasn't meant to be inside the cockpit. he was hitching a ride from one side to the other, something that happens quite a lot. it was he who was able to tell
the pilots how to disable this system. clearly huge questions about how this system functioned, why some pilots were able to disable it, others struggled with it until their fatal crashes. this, of course, now the center of the investigation in paris as we try to concern what happened to the ethiopian airlines, once again the very same type of boeing that followed, we're told, a similar trajectory to the one that crashed in indonesia in october. poppy. >> thank you very much for the reporting live from paris this morning. still ahead, an exclusive look inside the president's re-election machine, why trump's campaign manager for social media, what he says could drive them to victory in 2020. >> we can kmum indicate with you where you can't turn away.
president trump heads to ohio later today. he's supposed to focus on jobs and manufacturing there. it is his tenth trip to ohio since he took office. today he's going to tour a tank building plant in lima, ohio. this comes as he continues to fight with general motors over the closure of major factory on the other side of the state. we'll keep an eye on that. meantime we're getting a rarend a exclusive look inside the president's re-election campaign that has been going since his inauguration day as he gears up for 2020. the president already seems to have a huge start when it comes to online advertising. check out these numbers from
axios. the reporting that they have the is the trump team has spent at least $3.5 million on facebook ads and another million dollars on google ads since last year. that's more than double his democratic rivals combined. our dana bash sat down with the manager. >> reporter: across the potomac river in this sleek office space trump campaign manager brad parscale is building an election campaign. >> this is as real, as traditional as donald trump gets operation versus 2016. >> yes. it's traditional but not traditional. there's traditional senses to it that we now have an operation in time to build that building that has proper desks in it, proper things. last night, not through the fault of people who run it, but it was fly by night sometimes because it was going so fast. this time we know.
we have the president of the united states, we have the incumbency, we know where we're going. >> reporter: the trump campaign never really ended. in a highly ununusual move the president filed for re-election the day he was inaugurated. a day later he hired brard parscale who worked with the trump organization but never in politics as the campaign digital director. >> maybe i would have never been here sitting in this chair in any other situation but i wake up every day believing i'm the right guy for this situation. >> reporter: in 2016 parscale along with trump's son-in-law jared kushner bought an unprecedent number of digital ads on platforms like facebook targeting the message. reince priebus started at the rnc and is still growing and is part of the 2020 plan. >> there are hundreds of millions of voter records, consumer data. when we put data into the machine and say this is what's
happening, it can spit out models and this is the message you should talk to them about. imagine it's a country before with no layer another piece of paper over it that tells you where everything is. >> how is it different now? >> you see a massive injection directly into your devices and the places where you can't turn away. >> what do you mean by that? >> text messaging. >> obama used that in 2018. >> yeah, but not to this scale. facebook he used also. the only difference is the scale we used it, the precision we used it. >> like stepping up technology, turning rally goers into volunteers. >> we had one election we won. now we're going to be 2 for 0. >> they are the army that wants to work for the president. we need to give them digital technology right on their phone
while they're waiting on the president. hey, here are some activities we'd like you to do . it's much more efficient two years out to try to find a possible donor. it's a considerable advantage. >> it is still a family affair. kushner has a leading role as do his son eric and his wife laura. >> how involved is the president? >> the president stayed involved. when i show him the things we're building, he's excited. he's the campaign manager, the communications director, the finance director. he is the master of the trump train and i'm the conductor on it. >> great piece, dana. she's got a busy day ahead. dana bash will host the town
hall tonight. ahead for us, rescue and aid workers scramble to save hundreds of people that are stranded right now on roofs, on bridges in these flood waters in mozambique days after a deadly cyclone. ♪ looking to lose weight this year? try fda-approved alli®. for every 5 lbs you lose, alli® can help you lose two to three more by preventing about 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed.
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hey now! [ ding ] you can even troubleshoot, learn new voice commands and much more. clean my daughter's room. [ ding ] oh, it won't do that. welp, someone should. just say "teach me more" into your voice remote and see how you can have an even better x1 experience. simple. easy. awesome. this morning destruction, devastation after a powerful and deadly cyclone swept across three countries in southeast africa. some survivors in mozambique are desperately clinging to rooftops, anywhere they can to stay above the water, even tree tops. officials say hundreds are dead, many more missing. the main roads have been cut
off, buildings completely submerged, hospitals inoperable. our correspondent made it into mozambique. i know you're not right there, but what else do we know in terms of the biggest concern and how these rescue efforts are going? >> reporter: poppy, imagine this is a full six days after this completely disastrous cyclone swept through the city. of course, people are being very very difficult to reach for more humanitarian organizations. at the moment, just to give you a flavor, this is this morning's headline basically saying mozambique is in mourning. we're hearing from the red cross that the river out there in the central region is completely submerged with water. they estimate 20,000 people were there and 10,000 are still, as you mentioned just now, clinging
onto rooftops and their roofs. don't forget, the cyclone did not only hit this southeast african country of mozambique. it swept on into zimbabwe and then on to malawi. there's a real confusion about what kind of fatalities we're looking at, because in that part of africa, the mountains basically split with the cyclone and they covered up people when they were asleep and many villages are beneath that rubble. we're also hearing at the moment six days after the cyclone hit we got a statement as well from the united states department saying it's also providing relief efforts in coordination with its partners and the embassies in each of these countries affected stand ready
to provide services to any u.s. citizens that have been affected. at the moment we're speaking to you from the capital but we're making plans to head out to the city. it's a historic city. it's just staggering to think that 90% of it has been destroyed. >> it is staggering. looking at these pictures, little children being rescued, people jumping out of trees into the hands of those aid workers. it's remarkable. good luck to you and your team in getting there. good luck and thank you. ♪ all right. it is the top of the hour. good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. jim sciutto has a well-deserved week off. this morning a senior republican senator set to make good on his promise to deliver a, quote, whipping to anyone who attacks
the late senator john mccain. this is all part of the growing outrage over the president's string of new attacks on the war hero. >> i was never a fan of john mccain and i never will be. >> in an exclusive interview today, the senator johnny isaacson says the country deserves better. i don't care if the president of the united states owns all the real estate in new york, nothing is more important than the integrity of the country and those who fought and risked their lives for all of us. the fact that it comes from senator isakson is really significant. >> absolutely. it's really an incredible statement from the chairman of the senate veterans committee. this is somebody who votes with republicans. he's close with mcconnell. he's someone who has worked very closely