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Leadership Battle Over Watchdog Agency; Retired Marine Joins Senate Race; Trump Picks Another NFL Fight; Trump Feuds with Black America; Hughley New Show. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 28, 2017 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:30:00] RICHARD CORDRAY, FORMER DIRECTOR, CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU: Well, I think you do the things you do as part of carrying out your mission as an agency. And our mission is to protect consumers. That's what I've been working on for the last six years. And it's an important mission.

If that frustrates the president, you know, the president, like everyone else, has to deal with the law, has to be bound by the law. We don't know exactly what the outcome of this is going to be until a judge decides it because it is a serious legal question.

But I'll say this, Chris, that's where it should be decided is in the courts through the respectful process of ordinarily court resolution. It shouldn't be decided by tweets and insults and name calling. There are parts of Washington that like to deal with issues that way. That's not my way of dealing with issues. I try to deal with issues on the merits and make sure that the law is followed. And that's what I tried to do here.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: So let's discuss the merits. The criticism from the White House, specifically in the person of Mick Mulvaney is that this agency stinks. That it has run roughshod over its mandate. That it is intentionally tying the hands and the credit markets and it is actually putting consumers at a disadvantage.

CORDRAY: Yes, now that's one view. A different view is that this agency got back $12 billion to people who had been cheated or mistreated by banks and large financial companies. That's 30 million Americans. This agency gave people a voice. When you have a complaint or a problem that's maybe costing you $20, $50, you know at the -- you're pretty sure it's wrong but there's not much you can do about it. They started bringing those complaints to us. We got over $1,300,000 of them over the last several years. People got problems fixed. People got a way to be able to get their issues addressed. That's all important.

As to whether it devastated the banks, that's what the president said in his weekend tweet, the banks made record profits last year, $71 billion. They're on track through three quarters of this year to make even better -- bigger profits this year. The banks are doing just fine.

The question is, is somebody going to be looking over their shoulder to make sure they do things the right way, that they serve their customers within the bounds of the law. That they don't cut corners or take a little advantage here and there and you do it across a million customers, it's real money. That's part of what's at issue with this agency.

CUOMO: The president says regulation hurts business and that that's part of his mandate is to get rid of regulations. What do you want the audience to know about your concerns about what happens if the CFPB is weakened?

CORDRAY: So this is part of what I argued to the president in my resignation letter. In consumer protection, you can say it hurts business, that is it makes them comply with the law, which is actually what we want them to do, but it helps consumers. Consumers drive two- thirds of the economic activity in our economy. It makes up two-thirds of consumer demand. If consumers are strong, if consumers are protected, if they can trust the marketplace and feel confident that they're not being cheated here and there, then consumers can drive this economy forward.

And that's exactly what they're doing right now. We have mortgage and housing up double digits the last two years leading the economic recovery. We have auto sales that have been at all-time highs for the last couple of years. When the consumer is strong, the American economy will be strong, so consumer protection actually serves economic growth and economic progress.

And I'll say another thing that's at issue in this court case here. The person that I appointed to be the acting director of the agency, the deputy director, now acting director, Leandra English, is a career professional. She has served with distinction in the Office of Management and Budget, where Mick Mulvaney is from, the Office of Personnel Management, CFPB, the Treasury Department. She is -- she is just a career professional who concentrates on operations. She's the perfect person to see the agency through an interim period like this.

Ultimately, the president will have the opportunity to nominate someone and seek to get them confirmed by the Senate. That will be a public process. They'll air out their views. And I believe it will be someone whose views cannot be so extreme that they cannot be confirmed by the Senate.

CUOMO: And that process could take time, that's why interim may mean a little bit longer than people anticipate in this situation.

Mr. Cordray, thank you for making your case here on NEW DAY.

CORDRAY: (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: Appreciate it.

CORDRAY: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Chris. Now to Alabama. A new contender is entering the Alabama Senate race two weeks before Election Day. Why does he think he can beat Roy Moore? He's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:37:44] CAMEROTA: Alabama's hotly contested Senate election is two weeks from today, and Roy Moore is digging in against multiple accusations of sexual assault. Now a new name is jumping into the race. A man who spent 31 years in the Marine Corps and once served as a top aide to President Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Retired Marine Colonel Lee Busby joins us now.

Good morning, colonel.

COL. LEE BUSBY (RET.) (I), LAUNCHING ALABAMA SENATE WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN: Good morning, Alisyn. How are you?

CAMEROTA: I'm well.

So why are you undertaking this, I think it's fair to say, long shot effort?

BUSBY: Yes, I've handicapped it as a long shot, but doable. I simply was not happy with my choices. And had I thought that was simply a personal issue, I couldn't wouldn't have gone to this extreme. But the more people I talked to, the more convinced I became that that feeling is widespread here in Alabama. There -- I think there's a huge swath of people in Alabama who don't feel like they're represented by the two candidates that are out there now.

CAMEROTA: How much did the accusations against Roy Moore of sexual assault and misconduct play into your decision?

BUSBY: Not at all. Not interested in it. Wasn't going to vote for him before that. My decision to run was not driven by that. That's something for him and the people he's involved with to work out. And, as a voter, I just didn't feel like I needed to get involved with it and cast a vote for it.

CAMEROTA: But do you believe his denials?

BUSBY: I have no idea. I have walked past the television once and heard a snippet of one of the ladies who has accused him. I saw a piece of a press conference. I have no idea. Not interested. No plans to get involved in that.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, just to -- just to bring you up to speed, there are eight women, four of whom claim sexual assault, four claim that he pursued them when they were teenagers, one of whom was 14 years old, under the age of consent, one of whom says that he assaulted her against her will. She thought that he was going to rape her. Do you believe the women?

BUSBY: Again, I haven't heard them all. I have no idea. There's no way that I could know and I'm not interested in it. That's an issue for him to sort out with the women who are involved. And as an Alabama voter, I just want to steer clear of it and bring the people something they can vote for to represent them.

[08:40:18] CAMEROTA: Look, I hear you. It's unpleasant. I get it. But how can you steer clear of it? I mean this has become the issue of this race, whether or not he was going to --

BUSBY: It's not -- it's not the issue for me, though. And it -- it wasn't. The issue for me is -- and I think the people who will vote for me, is that I don't -- I don't feel that either Roy Moore on the right or Doug Jones on the left represent the views of this huge swath of centrist Alabama voters. Now, grant you, that's Alabama centrist. That's probably different than California centrist or New York centrist. But I think there's a huge swath of people in the middle that don't feel like they're being addressed by the far ends of things and they focused too much of it and left the middle unaddressed.

CAMEROTA: So even before the accusations, you didn't like Roy Moore. What was your problem with him before all of this?

BUSBY: Well, I don't know him personally and never met him personally. I thought some of the things coming out of that campaign sound -- struck me as self-righteous. And I just wanted to steer clear of that.

CAMEROTA: OK, so you -- you've got two weeks. What's your plan? How are you going to get the word out? Are we going to see campaign ads?

BUSBY: Well, I thought about first setting my hair on fire and running around in circles, but I don't have time for that.

CAMEROTA: That would work.

BUSBY: My original plan, which went out the window yesterday morning, as plans tend to do, was to spend the first three or four days building a social media push and that from there the national, state and local medias would get involved. Instead, when the sun broke yesterday, it was game on.

And so we are at the media stage now. And we'll turn, when this calms down, and are -- while it's going on, to converting that media exposure to write-in votes. We've got a lot of people we've got to reach. We've got people that I think we're going to bring back into vote that had previously just decided not to vote. And then we've got to do the difficult task of educating your voter to write l-e-e b-u-s- b-y at the bottom of the ballot. And they're not used to that.

CAMEROTA: All right. Well, Colonel Lee Busby, you've begun the process and we'll be -- we'll be watching. Very interesting to see what happens two weeks from today. Thanks so much for being here.

BUSBY: Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: Chris.

CUOMO: All right, the president called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas again. It's a slur and it's the latest example of the president disrespecting minorities. Coming up, comedian D.L. Hughley is going to join us to talk about what he sees as the president's tone deafness.

CAMEROTA: OK, so today is Giving Tuesday and we want to show you how you can help our 2017 top ten CNN Heroes continue their important work. So here is CNN's Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: I'm Anderson Cooper.

Each of this year's top ten CNN heroes proves that one person really can make a difference. And again this year we're making it easy for you to support their great work.

Just go to cnnheroes.com and click "donate" beneath any 2017 top ten CNN hero to make a direct contribution to that hero's fundraiser on CrowdRise. You'll receive an e-mail confirming your donation, which is tax deductible in the United States.

No matter the amount, you can make a big difference in helping our heroes continue their life-changing work.

CNN is proud to offer you this simple way to support each cause and celebrate all these everyday people changing the world.

You can donate from your laptop, your tablet or your phone. Just go to cnnheroes.com. Your donation in any amount will help them help others.

Thanks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:46:41] CAMEROTA: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

Number one, President Trump heads back to Capitol Hill today to rally Senate Republicans on their tax plan. A critical vote today in the Senate Budget Committee could advance or stall this bill.

CUOMO: President Trump will also meet today with top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders over the government funding deadline. Both chambers have less than two weeks to pass a spending bill in order to avoid a shutdown.

CAMEROTA: President Trump under fire for calling Senator Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas at a White House ceremony honoring Native American war heroes. Senator Warren tells CNN she really could not believe the comment at that ceremony.

CUOMO: A federal judge is reviewing a lawsuit challenging President Trump's pick of who is in charge at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Leandra English was tapped to take over by the outgoing director. President Trump's pick is Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. And they are sparring over that parking spot.

CAMEROTA: Myanmar's civilian leader insisting that she is addressing longstanding issues that led to violence in her country after a private meeting this morning with Pope Francis. The pope refraining from saying the word "Rohingya" out of concern it will anger the Myanmar people.

CUOMO: All right, so for more on the "Five Things to Know," you can go to cnn.com/newday and you'll get the latest.

CAMEROTA: President Trump raising eyebrows over his Pocahontas name calling. Actor and comedian D.L. Hughley is next with his thoughts.

CUOMO: Nice hat.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:51:14] CUOMO: President Trump continuing his feud with the NFL this morning. He tweeted not too long ago, at least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our country, our flag and our national anthem. Weak and out of control.

We think he got that number 24 a little out of context from another morning show that he was watching, but that's not what really matters, is it?

So the question becomes, why the president is so preoccupied with black athletes specifically and their perceived disrespect when so much else is going on in the world.

So, let's discuss with actor, comedian and producer, D.L. Hughley.

Good to see you, as always.

D.L. HUGHLEY, ACTOR, COMEDIAN, PRODUCER: How you doing? Good to see you too, man. Good to see you.

CUOMO: So, answer some questions for us. It seems that the comedian has become the sage (ph) in the common era.

HUGHLEY: Right. Right.

CUOMO: When you hear him go at the NFL, do you hear, respect the country no matter who you are or do you hear something specific to the African-American athletes?

HUGHLEY: Well, I think -- well, it's not just African-American. It is gay. It is Muslims. It is Latins. So he clearly is a racist. And to pretend like he's not -- yesterday he was giving a -- he was honoring Native Americans in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who was called "sharp knife." He killed tons of Indians. So he can't pretend. It wasn't just a slur. It was that he did it in front of somebody who murdered -- the Trail of Tears was based on the guy that was behind him hanging in the portrait. So -- CUOMO: The constant defense is, that's not what he means.

HUGHLEY: That's what --

CUOMO: The Andrew Jackson thing, he had no idea about his history. It wasn't well thought (ph).

HUGHLEY: Then he's too dumb to be president. If he has no idea of history, he's too dumb to be president.

But I -- but more than anything else, Donald Trump is more -- listen, we've had more presidents who were racist than who weren't. Donald Trump is not new. Donald Trump is retro. And I think he appeals to a lot of people.

You can say, we can go back and forth, but ultimately a large percentage of Americans, 80 some percent of Republicans support him. A large percentage of evangelicals support him. If the American population were tired of what he were doing and didn't like what he were doing, it wouldn't happen. Like --

CUOMO: Yes, you -- you make this point all lot. And it's one of the reasons I was excited to have you on the show. You don't want to spend too much time attacking what you think is obvious about the president. You say people need to look at themselves about why they support it.

HUGHLEY: And, listen, he -- he decries what Colin Kaepernick's peaceful protest of America, right, his peaceful protest, but he wants statues to Robert E. Lee, who led a violent protest of America. Robert E. Lee killed more Americans than Hitler and you want a statue to him but you want to denigrate Colin Kaepernick.

CUOMO: Do you think it's about black people? Do you think that's why he's doing it? Or do you think he thinks these things work for him politically?

HUGHLEY: Well, I think that -- well, I can't really decide why he does these things. I know that he's had a problem with black people for a long time or people of color for a long time. So this is a -- you know, just like when the Muslim thing happens, he wants to ban Muslims.

Let me tell you something, white guys with three names are more different -- are more dangerous to Americans than dudes with Muslim things. I'm more scared of Lee Harvey Oswald than a dude. So it's -- it's amazing. And it plays to them.

Like even now we're talking about -- he now, whether Roy Moore Jr. is -- is being accused of a pedophile, but he says that that's better than a Democrat. That's better than a Democrat. So, to me, all to get his tax cuts done. Isn't that the idea of supporting someone, regardless of what kind of hell they've (INAUDIBLE) on our children, isn't that the very idea of the evil -- you know, the love of money being the root of all evil. So we get tax cuts if we let this pedophile -- that's crazy. It's crazy. But the American people tolerate it. CUOMO: And what does that tell you? Do you believe that the country is

in more trouble than some of us want to suggests? I mean because you've got, look, (INAUDIBLE) statement against interest. I often say I believe what unites this country is more than what divides it. I know it's politically saleable. I know it works well. It's working well for the president on one level right now. But, ultimately, that's not what this country is about. You think I have it wrong and that -- that is what the country's about?

[08:55:16] HUGHLEY: Well, it -- it cannot be -- this could not exist if the American population were tired of it. I think Barack Obama held a mirror up to American and Donald Trump smashed it. I think that he is -- let me tell you something, Donald Trump is uncouth. He's not bright. He is inarticulate. He's an embarrassment. He is the black dude everybody thought Barack Obama would be. And if it were any -- if Barack Obama were acting just like him, he'd already be impeached. And so the idea is, we are willing to tolerate this in what -- for -- like, he's bad for the brand. Like he's messing up the blue book value of America

CUOMO: So what do you think is the correction? What do you think is the solution? What is --

HUGHLEY: I -- the 25th Amendment is the -- the American population has --

CUOMO: That's a political vote. You would need Republicans to vote against their own political interest as they see it at this current time.

HUGHLEY: Right. Right. Right. Right. So --

CUOMO: So very unlikely.

HUGHLEY: So but you could -- but the -- as last time I checked, now I missed -- I got a GED, but the -- the -- whether they are Republican or Democrat, they still serve the people.

CUOMO: True.

HUGHLEY: And if the people were tired enough of it, they would make something happen. I think that people aren't as uncomfortable with racism and incompetent as they pretend to be.

CUOMO: You are not making me feel any better this morning (ph).

HUGHLEY: No, that ain't -- that's not my gig.

CUOMO: I know. But it is with the new show.

HUGHLEY: That's not my gig.

CUOMO: I'm going to segue to it.

HUGHLEY: Sure.

CUOMO: The new BET show.

HUGHLEY: Sure.

CUOMO: "The Comedy Get Down."

HUGHLEY: Right.

CUOMO: We have a clip. Let's play it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUGHLEY: You remember the Brazilian chick that thought you was Denzel and I went along with it so you could get some ass? You remember that? I had to play Carlton from "Fresh Prince." My hips don't' move like that. That's what brothers do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You going to go there, really?

HUGHLEY: I'm going to have to go there, man. You know my hips ain't been the same since, doing that dumb ass dance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's low, man.

HUGHLEY: It is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's real low.

HUGHLEY: And I feel terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Real low.

HUGHLEY: And I don't want to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Nobody says they feel terrible while not meaning it better than you do in this.

HUGHLEY: (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: So this is the first scripted series about the behind the scenes world of big-time comedy.

HUGHLEY: Right. Right. So it's a -- it's myself, George Lopez, Ced the Entertainer and Charlie Murphy, you know, the late Charlie Murphy, and Eddie Griffin. And we're on tour together. George brought us all together, went on tour together, like it's a black guy and a Mexican guy. Usually when you see black dudes and Mexicans, it's at a prison riot, but this time --

CUOMO: How close do you stay on script or are people going to get treated to you guys doing what you want to do?

HUGHLEY: They're kind of all based on something that -- you know, they're based on like actual incidents, but we've kind of, you know, extrapolated the comedy out of them. But I tell you what, it's the -- at a time like this, it's nice to be onstage with guys who you -- who you generally respect and who have a knack for being able to cut through the treacle and tell a comedic truth that I think is missing these days.

CUOMO: Did you just say cut through the treacle?

HUGHLEY: Yes, absolutely. Yes. Absolutely.

CUOMO: Oh, oh, oh, that's a -- that's a big word.

HUGHLEY: You don't pay for this fur coat not knowing some words.

CUOMO: That's a big word. The biggest word I usually use is, hey (ph). Treacle, that's top shelf.

D.L. Hughley, the best for the holidays.

HUGHLEY: Thank you, man. Good to see you, man.

CUOMO: God bless the family, all right.

HUGHLEY: Likewise. Always. Always.

CUOMO: CNN "NEWSROOM" with John Berman picks up after this break. He knows what treacle means.