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Trump Fails to Mention Russian Meddling; Trump Say He'll Release Memo; CIA Director Met with Russian Spies; Trump Honors Officer. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired January 31, 2018 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:32:15] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Stormy Daniels in the news. She, of course, the porn star linked to President Trump. She was casting doubt on a denial of an affair with the president. What? I'll tell you what it means. She's on with Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel asked Daniels about a statement that was released in her name. The statement denies an affair with the president. She played coy saying it didn't look like her signature. Supposedly there are a couple of experts that say it is her signature. But she added she did not know where it came from. Buzzfeed news says her lawyer later confirmed that Daniels did sign the statement. She was just having fun on Kimmel, he says. As for a nondisclosure agreement that Stormy allegedly signed, she had is this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": I know you either do or don't have a nondisclosure agreement, which, if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement -- do you have a nondisclosure agreement?
STORMY DANIELS: Do I?
KIMMEL: You can't say whether you have a nondisclosure agreement. But if you didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, you most certainly could say, I don't have a nondisclosure agreement, yes?
DANIELS: You're so smart, Jimmy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: First, Stormy Daniels impersonation of do I?
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Do I?
CUOMO: Yours is better.
"The Wall Street Journal" reported that President Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 election to keep quiet about the alleged affair. What I don't get is why people keep interviewing her because if she has the NDA, which she clearly does, she's not going to say anything.
CAMEROTA: Because it's a channel stopper. You're clicking channels and you say, ooh, what's this, before you realize that she's actually not going to say anything.
CUOMO: There's the answer.
CAMEROTA: All right, another headline.
Hillary Clinton says she regrets her decision not to fire senior aide Burns Strider, who was accused of sexual harassment during her 2008 presidential campaign. Clinton explaining in a lengthy FaceBook post why she thought a less severe punishment was appropriate, saying, quote, I did this because I did not think firing him was the best solution to the problem. He needed to be punished. His behavior -- change his behavior and understand why his actions were wrong. The young woman needed to be able to thrive and feel safe. I thought both could happen without him losing his job. I believe the punishment was severe and the message was unambiguous.
Clinton admits she would not make the same decision today, but believes in second chances, she says, and also that the formal -- former female staffer read every word of her statement and gave the OK to use it.
CUOMO: They say he didn't go to treatment. He wound up getting a second job with a Clinton organization and he did it again.
CAMEROTA: Right. That's just --
CUOMO: So that's why she had to come out at some point. Is FaceBook the best way? You guys will debate that all day long.
[06:34:52] All right, the president's State of the Union Address lasted a near record one hour and 20 minutes. Only Bill Clinton beat him twice. But he did not find time to discuss Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Obviously intentional. Implications, next.
CAMEROTA: President Trump receiving some criticism for something he did not say in his State of the Union Address. The president mentioned Russia only once in the hour and 20 minutes speech, but not their election meddling.
Joining us now to talk about all of it is Senior Ben Cardin of Maryland. He's the senior Democratic on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator, thanks for being here so early.
SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: Alisyn, it's good to be with you. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: What did you hear last night in the speech?
CARDIN: Well, I didn't hear much about Russia. In fact, I really heard nothing about them.
CAMEROTA: Did you expect to hear about Russia meddling? I mean why would that have been in the State of the Union?
CARDIN: Because Russia is a major security threat to the United States of America. It's very likely that they'll be involved in our 2018 elections. We saw over the last weekend that they were involved with the Czech elections. You go election after election, Mr. Putin is meddling in other countries, in their democratic system, and the president of the United States, talking about the state of the union, needs to talk about Russia.
CAMEROTA: What would you have wanted him to say?
CARDIN: Well, first, we were disappointed the day before where he did not impose any new sanctions against --
CAMEROTA: Let's stop there. He -- so you all passed sanctions six months ago and the president has refused to implement them. Why?
CARDIN: Well, one could make -- you can speculate, but it's clear that Mr. Trump believes that he has a good relationship with Mr. Putin. He says that when Mr. Putin says he didn't interfere in our elections, that the president believes him. So it is somewhat surreal that he is allowing Mr. Putin to do these types of activities without taking action against him.
CAMEROTA: I mean the State Department, siding obviously with the president, has said that they think, you know, Russia has gotten the message. Russia has gotten the message. No new sanctions necessary. That your legislations spoke loud and clear.
CARDIN: Well, that's absolutely false. Our intelligence community tells us that Mr. Putin is still very, very active in the United States. We see that in the interference in our social media, trying to get news at a higher level. We see that in activities, as already mentioned, in some of the European countries. With see that in Syria. You can go over -- more and more cases where Russia and Mr. Putin is doing things that are against our interests. So, no, Russia has not gotten the message.
[06:40:21] CAMEROTA: Is the U.S. prepared today for the midterms to defend itself against any kind of future Russian meddling?
CARDIN: No. With the president of the United States not taking the leadership the way our reelection system works, the way it is so open, you need to be sophisticated in your defense. We saw that if you are -- in Germany and France, they took actions. It was effective. Their leaders recognize the risk and took action. President Trump has not.
CAMEROTA: So what should President Trump be doing? What action did they take that we're not taking?
CARDIN: Well, there are -- well, several things. First, you need to work with social media companies so we have complete disclosure with foreign insists getting involved in paid advertisements or recognizing that there's ways that they elevate news that's fake.
CAMEROTA: Yes, FaceBook's on that. I mean FaceBook would say that they're tackling that.
CARDIN: But not from the president. We've had our own discussions. But there's no policy in this country to try to protect our free election system. There's been no efforts made to deal with Russia's cyber activities. One of the sanctions that we passed was new sanctions on Russia for their cyberattacks. They haven't imposed any of those sanctions.
CAMEROTA: This House Republican memo, the Devin Nunes crafted memo about whether or not there were surveillance abuses at FISA, are you prepared for this to come out? Do you want to see what's in there?
CARDIN: Well, this, to me, is very, very sad and dangerous. We're talking about defending the rule of law, defending the independence of the Department of Justice. You would think that Congress would stand up to the -- for the independence of the Department of Justice.
There used to be a time that Democrats and Republicans joined together to protect the FBI, the Department of Justice, but it looks like that the Republicans are prepared to compromise our rule of law system in order to protect the president.
CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about what happened in the recent meeting with the CIA director, Mike Pompeo. He met with his Russian counterparts. They came to the U.S., including, it's possible because -- but though Director Pompeo won't confirm, the top Russian spy. What are we to make of this?
CARDIN: Well, first of all, we found out about it through a Russian tweet, as I understand it. So it was the Russian authorities who let us know that he was here, sort of bragging that here we have sanctions against one of their individuals and that person's here in the United States. So we're not even enforcing our existing sanctions against individuals who are not permitted to be in the United States.
CAMEROTA: Have you shared your thoughts with Director Pompeo?
CARDIN: I have not seen him since the -- this came to light. I assure you that Congress -- I will be doing oversight to find out why current sanctions are not being enforced the way they should be and also to understand that we're going to watch -- the president I think said, or secretary of state said, this is day one of imposing sanctions that were -- that were still open for imposing sanctions. We need to have congressional oversight, including why this individual was here in the United States.
CAMEROTA: Senator Ben Cardin, thanks so much.
CARDIN: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Great to talk to you this morning. Thanks for coming in.
CARDIN: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Chris. CUOMO: All right, a night to remember for Police Officer Ryan Holets and his wife Rebecca, they were special guests of the president of the United States and first lady at the State of the Union. CNN was with them. And they were there for a beautiful reason. Their story, next.
[06:47:40] CUOMO: There's a lot of darkness in the State of the Union speech last night, but not all of it was dark. There were some beautiful moments. And one of them really stands out, truly powerful for all the right reasons.
President Trump honor Police Officer Ryan Holets and his wife who adopted a baby from a heroin-addicted homeless mom that he came across in the line of duty. We're going to talk to Officer Holets live in a moment. It is great to have him here.
But first, the man who brought this story to you in the first place, CNN's Ed Lavandera joins us now with it.
And I've got to tell you, sometimes we do a service and you checked that box for American with this story.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean it's -- as amazing as the night was for the Holets family. To think that just a couple of months ago we were interviewing them and getting to know them. Never in our wildest imagination did we think that it was going to end the way it did last night.
The day was absolutely amazing and stunning for them as they spent the day at the White House and then it culminated with the Holets family there center stage at the State of the Union.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States.
LAVANDERA (voice over): Even as a young kid, Ryan Holets found watching the State of the Union Address on TV mesmerizing. But a front row seat to the rich pageantry, seated next to the first lady, was never even a remote fantasy.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca.
LAVANDERA: And the standing ovation from the entire chamber, forget it. It all had to be a far-fetched fairy tale. But it wasn't.
LAVANDERA (on camera): To get a standing ovation at the State of the Union speech, what is that like?
RYAN HOLETS, POLICE OFFICER WHO ADOPTED OPIOID ADDICT'S BABY: That was pretty amazing. That -- it was just incredible.
LAVANDERA: Has it sunk in yet?
HOLETS: No, of course not.
It looks like you guys are getting ready to shoot up over here.
LAVANDERA (voice over): The president recounted the story CNN first shared last month, captured by Ryan Holets's body cam.
TRUMP: Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin.
HOLETS: Why are you going to be doing that stuff? It's going to ruin your baby. You're going to kill your baby.
TRUMP: In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him. You will do it because you can. Then he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.
[06:50:07] LAVANDERA: Baby Hope, cradled by Rebecca Holets throughout the speech, won't remember this night, but her family will talk about the thunderous applause she inspired for years to come.
TRUMP: Ryan and Rebecca, you embody the goodness of our nation. Thank you.
LAVANDERA: The Holets family spent the afternoon before the speech visiting the White House. A short visit with the president and vice president.
LAVANDERA (on camera): You told me you felt a responsibility to kind of carry the right message. And did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish?
HOLETS: Yes, I believe so.
LAVANDERA: In what way?
HOLETS: I have been saying over and over that people are valuable. And that, I think, came across.
LAVANDERA (voice over): Baby Hope toured the grand rooms of the White House and iconic grounds outside. And there was a selfie with the other guests of the first family in the motorcade from the White House to Capitol Hill. And the magical night ended with Ryan Holets simply thinking about baby Hope's future.
HOLETS: To me, the most important thing is the fact that she has a family who loves her and she's going to grow up in an entirely different environment that she -- that she could have. And that's the most important. This will all fade away.
LAVANDERA: And Ryan's first sign that everything had faded away, as we drove him over here to the studio this morning, we stopped at every red light. You know, the motorcade time is over. You know.
CUOMO: Although he is a cop. So somebody's going to run lights and get away with it.
LAVANDERA: He had smooth sailing to the Capitol last night. This morning, we hit every red light on the way here.
CAMEROTA: Don't you have a siren you can put on, officer?
Up next, we have that hero, Police Officer Ryan Holets. He's going to join us live exclusively on NEW DAY.
There he is. Where's your siren, officer? Where is it?
[06:55:10] CUOMO: We've got a great reminder for you this morning that the heart still beats, people are still good, and virtue does exist. Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan Holets and his wife honored by President Trump at the State of the Union. He is the police officer who adopted a baby from a homeless mother addicted to heroin. He joins us now exclusively.
Ryan, truly a pleasure. Thank you for being with us.
RYAN HOLETS, POLICE OFFICER WHO ADOPTED ADDICT'S BABY: Well, thanks for having me.
CUOMO: So, baby Hope is home. She got a little bit of the sniffles. Even though you have 125 kids already -- no, you have five kids and now you have Hope. She's a little sick, so that's where mom and baby are this morning.
HOLETS: Yes, she's taking care of Hope.
CUOMO: How are you doing after this magical night where you were called the embodiment of the goodness of America.
HOLETS: Well, that's just a stunning statement, I think. Rebecca and I really just feel like we're normal, quiet people. And this whole -- everything that's happened has been very surreal. And we're still kind of trying to process what's happened, because never in a million years if you had asked me would I have told you at some point in my life I would be where I was last night.
CAMEROTA: But you're not normal people, actually. I mean you came upon, in your work as a police officer, you came upon this homeless couple. The woman was expecting a child. And they were shooting up heroin. And so how did you get from that point of encountering them to you and your wife deciding, we're going to adopt this baby?
HOLETS: Well, I like to tell people that I went up to Tom and Crystal with the intent of doing my normal routine of investigating, probably taking somebody to jail. And when I saw that Crystal was pregnant and began to converse with her, her humanity shone through her addiction. And the love for her child shone through and affected me in ways difficult to describe. And because I feel like God led us to that point for whatever reason, we had already prepared ourselves for the possibility of adopting and fostering. And so when that moment came out, there was no hesitation. We were ready.
CUOMO: You're just 29 years old. It's amazing.
HOLETS: Yes, I'm 27.
CUOMO: Twenty-seven. Twenty-seven years old.
CAMEROTA: He's 27. Stop aging him.
CUOMO: I can't go any lower than 29. I don't recognize any age younger than that. It makes me feel too bad about myself.
Twenty-seven years old. You already have five kids. What a beautiful demonstration of what you and your wife are. It's a kind of look for me through what you are not. You are not out here pounding your religious on people. You know, you, obviously, have a very strong faith.
HOLETS: Yes, sir.
CUOMO: But that's not your message. Your message through your own actions and through your words is, this was the right thing to do. People matter. And to hear it from anybody and a police officer and someone so young, that's the beauty of the message. You're not here to be a politician. You're not here to push religion on anybody. You're just an example of how you live your life.
HOLETS: I try to do my best. I feel that anybody can say anything. But it's what you do that matters. And so I could have, for example, on that day have told Crystal about all sorts of resources that are available. I could point her in all these directions. But if I didn't actually reach out and help her, who else is going to do it, really?
CAMEROTA: So let's bring the viewers up to speed. So that couple, Crystal and her partner, who you encountered that day, they have now been in rehab. And I know it was no easy feat getting them there because CNN featured those moments of trying to get them into rehab and all of their second thoughts and all of the struggle that they have. But they've been clean, as far as you know, for 40 days?
HOLETS: Approximately 40 days. So I was talking -- and I lose track of time with everything that's going on but I --
CAMEROTA: You have a new baby.
CUOMO: You've got five kids.
HOLETS: So I was recently talking to Crystal on the phone and she had mentioned that they're exciting because their 40-day mark is coming up.
CUOMO: Right. HOLETS: So I don't know if it's past quite yet or if we're just about there. But 40 days sober. I mean that's incredible. And it's some -- a hope that I always had. I always had faith that we would get to this point. But that is one of the things I was so incredibly grateful to Ed in the story is that it went to such a large platform that somebody actually stepped forward to help them.
CAMEROTA: I know. That is incredible.
And just, very quickly, do you know what their relationship will be with Hope, the baby, in the future?
HOLETS: You're talking about Tom and Crystal?
HOLETS: At this point, as they are in recovery, we're sending them pictures. We're giving them updates. We -- we want them to be able to continue to see her and be in her life. She -- I think she's going to know how much they loved her and that's never going to be in question.
[07:00:02] CUOMO: Their road is very long. Let's talk about this reality.