Trump Faces More GOP Resistance as He Tries to Reset; 50 GOP Officials: Trump Would Be 'Most Reckless' President; Lily King Beats



Officials: Trump Would Be 'Most Reckless' President; Lily King Beats

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[07:00:02] KEILAR: And now this morning a key Republican senator says she cannot vote for Trump either. A day after he and Hillary Clinton squared off over their economic policies. Let's begin our coverage now with CNN's Jason Carroll -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Brianna.

First to that open letter. The national security experts say that Trump lacks the basic knowledge about the U.S. laws and the Constitution and that he will weaken the country's moral authority.

Trump says he has the knowledge and the temperament to be president, but a number of people within his own party simply do not believe it.


CARROLL (voice-over): Another prominent Republican coming out this morning against Donald Trump. Maine Senator Susan Collins penning an op-ed in "The Washington Post," explaining why she cannot vote for her party's nominee: "I've become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize."

This as 50 Republican national security officials warning in an open letter that Trump is unqualified to be commander in chief. The experts, who served in Republican administrations from Nixon to George W. Bush, labeling Trump as "dangerous," "reckless" and "lacks the character, values and experience to be president."

MATTHEW WAXMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Our system has produced a candidate who is fundamentally unfit for office.

CARROLL: Trump firing back at those who signed the letter, calling them part of the failed Washington elite, who made the world such a dangerous place.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I want to jump start America, and it can be done. And it won't even be that hard.

CARROLL: The GOP nominee unveiling a new economic plan Monday, hoping to reset his campaign after hitting a rough patch since the convention.

TRUMP: She is the candidate of the past. Ours is the campaign of the future.

CARROLL: Trump is revising his tax plan now, calling for three tax brackets, with the highest rate being 33 percent for individuals, and capping the corporate tax rate at 15 percent. And in an effort to appeal to working-class voters, he hopes to make childcare expenses deductible.

TRUMP: At the center of my plan is trade enforcement with China.

CARROLL: Trump once again called for renegotiating trade deals like the Transpacific Partnership.

TRUMP: A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for TPP.

CARROLL: Wrongly claiming that Hillary Clinton supports it.

CLINTON: He wants to basically just repackage trickle-down economics.

CARROLL: Clinton slamming Trump's plan, saying there is little in there for the middle class.

CLINTON: Economists left, right, in the middle all say the same thing: that Trump's policies would throw us into a recession, the last thing we need.


CARROLL: And as for Trump's economic speech, he stayed on message despite being interrupted by protesters more than a dozen times.

His daughter Ivanka, who attended the speech yesterday in Detroit, coming to her father's defense. She told "The Detroit Free Press" that her father's critics are scared of a Trump presidency and that he is level-headed, and now is not the time to tell Trump to alter his approach after he has had so much success -- Chris.

CUOMO: Jason, Ivanka is right. There are people who are afraid of a Trump presidency. The question is for what reason and is it a good reason?

Let's discuss that aspect of the election right now. Fifty former national security officials signing this open letter, saying they're afraid of Donald Trump, that they believe he would be a reckless president.

One of them is Aaron Friedberg. He is the former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. He's also a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University.

Professor, we'll go with that title for today. Thank you for joining us. Let's have this out a little bit.

Donald Trump's perspective is this: Everything that's wrong in the world right now has Hillary Clinton's name on it, whether it's the aftermath of what happened with the Iraq invasion, the war against ISIS and its failures, the failed Russian reset, what we saw happen in Libya. Why would you do anything to suggest she is a better choice than Donald Trump?

AARON FRIEDBERG, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Well, just to note, the letter doesn't endorse Secretary Clinton. It's focused on criticisms of Mr. Trump. So one doesn't have to like or love Mrs. Clinton to be more strongly opposed to Mr. Trump.

He blames the signatories of the letter for all the problems in the world today, but most of these people haven't been in office for over eight years. Last time I checked, the Democrats had been in power for eight years. So his response doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

CUOMO: Well, obviously, what I'm saying is that, by implication. If you say Donald Trump can't be president, you're only leaving people with one real choice, you know, barring a Libertarian and any new candidates to enter.

[07:05:04] So let's get to why you believe this about Donald Trump. What do you believe are the main factors that cause you to believe he would be reckless?

FRIEDBERG: Well, there are a number of reasons that one might be opposed to Mr. Trump. He has no relevant experience in government or the military to be commander in chief. He has very little knowledge and seems to be uninterested in acquiring any about complex problems facing the country. His positions on a variety of issues I think are dangerous. He's called into question the solidity of our alliances. He's expressed fondness for dictators.

But -- and this is I think the main point of the letter -- he's also demonstrated a poor temperament. He's quick to anger. He takes all policy challenges as personal criticisms. He's impulsive. He's reckless. This is not the person you want as commander in chief.

CUOMO: He says he's tough and that he doesn't talk the same B.S. that all politicians have done in the past; and it's really resonated within your party. I mean, he beat a thick field of some 16 plus him. He got through it. And isn't that a sign of confidence from people that they like his persuasion? What's the difference between how you see it and how they see it?

FRIEDBERG: Well, a lot of people did vote for Mr. Trump. He didn't get, by any means, a majority of the votes. It was a very crowded field, and he was able to take advantage of that.

Frankly, I think a lot of people are frustrated with Washington, unhappy with politics as usual. And I think for many people, this is a protest vote, but it's a very dangerous one, and that's the point of the letter. If you're frustrated, you're angry, that's understandable. But don't put someone into power someone who could endanger our institutions and endanger the peace of the world.

CUOMO: Now you got out in front of what his reaction is a little bit at the beginning of the interview. He says, "You see this group of 50? They're part of the problem. These are the people who put us in the situation that we're in today." Why should people value the opinion of the 50 in this open letter?

FRIEDBERG: Well, again, I think his reaction to this is kind of typical of Trump, which is to lash out and attack people who disagree with him.

As I said, it doesn't make much sense, as he does in the letter, to hold responsible for all the problems of the world, people who were last in office a long time ago.

He also accuses people of being interested in maintaining power, being members of the elite and so on. If these people wanted to maintain access, they would be supporting the candidate of their party, and they've chosen not to do that, which is pretty dramatic.

But mostly this is not about the past and re-litigating debates of the past. It's about the future and who is or is not capable of exercising the powers of the office of the presidency. And I think all the people who signed that letter, they have different opinions on many issues. They may differ about the past or differ about current policy questions, but they're agreed in their judgment about Trump's character and temperament and feel that he would be a danger.

CUOMO: Will Hillary -- would Hillary Clinton be a better president than Donald Trump?

FRIEDBERG: In my opinion she would be. She's better qualified, has ample experience. She hasn't demonstrated the kind of erratic temperament that Mr. Trump has. That doesn't mean I'm necessarily going to vote for her. If I would, I would not do it very happily, because I have disagreements with her on many policy issues. I think she's not been honest about some issues, but the choice is, for me, fairly clear.

Mr. Trump is a danger to our institutions, I think; danger to the social stability of the country; and a danger to peace of the world. Mrs. Clinton is many things, but I don't believe she's any of those.

CUOMO: You don't think that what you see as deficiencies with Trump could be cured by the people he puts around him? I mean, that's a big selling point of his, is that he knows how to bring in the best people. Many of them might be outsiders from government, he says, but he could do it that way. You don't believe in his ability to build a team?

FRIEDBERG: I don't. In part because so many people across the board in the Republican Party, people who you would have expected to sign up with the party's candidate or who would be in line for high office if a Republican were to be elected, have said that they would not serve in a Trump administration. I think he's going to have great difficulty in staffing an administration, particularly in foreign policy and defense policy. Who is he going to get?

CUOMO: One last point to the people watching this right now and who are angry and frustrated, as you point out; and they say, "Anybody who rejects the status quo is good enough for me, because I don't like what's going on in the world, and Donald Trump recognizes that." What is your response to those people?

FRIEDBERG: I think, as I said, it's understandable why people are frustrated. It's important that they get out to vote. I think they have to exercise their democratic rights.

But you need to ask if the person that you're putting in that office is really the one you want getting the 3 a.m. call, having to make a decision about whether to use nuclear weapons, to use force, to put American men and women in harm's way. Is this person, with his hot temperament, really the one that you want making those decisions? I think many people who might be tempted by Trump when it comes right down to it in November are going to decide the answer to that question is no.

[07:10:11] CUOMO: Aaron Friedberg, appreciate your perspective. One of the 50 national experts to sign on to this open letter. Thank you, sir.

FRIEDBERG: Thank you very much.

CUOMO: There's one take on it. Coming up in the next hour, we're going to talk to new presidential challenger Evan McMullin. Who is he? Why is he jumping into the race? Get his answers ahead -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Well, Chris, there is a fiery showdown at the Rio games. U.S. swimmer Lilly King sets an Olympic record, clinching a gold medal while slamming her Russian rival on a doping scandal. This is a big day ahead for team USA in both swimming and gymnastics.

CNN sports anchor Coy Wire has it all covered live in Rio. This is an exciting day following another exciting day, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Absolutely, Brianna. You said it best. And I love all the trash talking we're getting. You have 14 medals up for grabs yesterday, and we're always going to keep you up to date on the medal count here on NEW DAY. Let's take a look at it.

USA still on top with 19. China in second with 13. And Japan and Russia tied for third with ten apiece. And you know there are always going to be question marks any time a Russian wins a medal after that state-sponsored doping scandal.

But the biggest story from yesterday had to be the USA in the pool. They straight dominated.


WIRE (voice-over): Lilly King making waves and striking gold. The 19-year-old setting an Olympic record in the 100-meter breast-stroke, beating her Russian nemesis, Yulia Efimova. King taunting her Russian rival, who served a 16-month suspension for doping, with this finger wag before their showdown, mocking her earlier gesture that she was No. 1.

King showing her who's on top now, and teammate Katie Meili taking home the bronze.

Also setting a new Olympic record, first-time Olympian Ryan Murphy, capturing the gold in the men's 100-meter backstroke in just under 52 seconds. Michael Phelps breezing through the semifinals in the 200- meter butterfly. Phelps looking to redeem himself after a shocking defeat in 2012 by a fraction of a second. Tonight's rematch four years in the making with South African swimmer Chad le Clos, who snagged the gold from Phelps. The tension between the two palpable in what appears to be Phelps' death stare.

World record holder Katie Ledecky aims for her second gold medal, competing in the 200-meter freestyle tonight. Team USA racking up silver from men's synchronized diving, while three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and partner April Ross remain undefeated in beach volleyball.

The men's basketball dominating the Olympic court once again, absolutely rolling over Venezuela.


WIRE: All right. Guys, the big disappointment of the night last night, men's gymnastics. I was in there in that arena. USA just coming up empty-handed, a little off their game. They finished fifth in the competition. Japan won.

America's sweethearts, USA women's gymnastics, they're going for gold tonight, led by phenom Simone Biles. Plus, you have Michael Phelps looking to add to the 19 Olympic golds he already has in the 200 meter butterfly and then Katie Ledecky going for her third medal of these games in the 200 meter free.

KEILAR: Speaking of Michael Phelps, that was -- his death stare that you mentioned was just crazy, wasn't it? Check this out.

CUOMO: Do you think he was mad dogging him, Coy? What do you think?

WIRE: You are seeing raw emotion and passion right here. I mean, this is the stuff memes are made of. The Internet went crazy with this. I mean, are we going to see Phelps as the next "Star Wars" character? Will it be Darth Michael next? I mean, this is outstanding.

CUOMO: That was his effort.

WIRE: Le Clos was going to explode.

CUOMO: Well, he was doing his whole, "Mama said knock you out" there. I don't know what he's listening to.

Coy, let me see your best game face. What do you got for me?

WIRE: You ready for this?

CUOMO: You kind of gave it when we first met.

WIRE: You ready?

CUOMO: yes.

WIRE: Turn your head, Brianna, this is nasty.

KEILAR: All right.

WIRE: That's good. You see how the eyes go crossed?

CUOMO: Hair on the back of my neck is all up.

KEILAR: Thanks, Coy.

CUOMO: I didn't know he could make something so pretty look so nasty.

KEILAR: Coming up in our next hour, we have got a great guest. We'll talk to the most decorated gymnast in Olympic history, Shannon Miller.

CUOMO: Man, I'm still shook up by Coy Wire.

So Trump gave his big speech, his economic plan. And now it's going to get its scrutiny. The Republican candidate laid out why he says you should vote for him if you want your life to be better. Hillary Clinton says this is trickle-down economics, part deux. A closer look next.


[07:19:01] KEILAR: Well, Donald Trump is hitting the reset button by getting down to business and laying out specifics of his economic plan. Can he jumpstart the U.S. economy as he is promising? I want to discuss now with CNN political commentator and former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. He is still receiving severance from the Trump campaign. And we have CNN political commentator and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, Angela Rye.

So I want to talk first about some of the things he announced very important. Among them, three tax brackets. I think we actually have a graphic that we can pull up to show some of the things. Three tax brackets instead of the several. The rates would be at 12 percent, 25 percent, 33 percent, 0 percent rate for the poorest. And then he's bringing down the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.

So, Corey, I want -- and also stopping new regulations, renegotiating with NAFTA. Of course, this trade position is something that has been a key part of his candidacy. Who is he trying to attract here, Corey?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think if you look at what he's doing is simplifying the tax rate. It's too complex right now. So what you're doing is trying to put more money into the economy by giving people the opportunity to have more money in their pockets. It's what we're talking about. So that's the middle class; it's the lower middle class.

[07:20:15] He talked about being able to deduct child care on an average cost. It's a very big expense, as you know. So day care, childcare for those parents that have to go both work. His plan outlines the opportunity to deduct those from your taxes, in a total of $12,000 childcare.

KEILAR: And this is something, clearly, that Angela, some mothers and certainly people who have children, families, their ears are going to perk up when they hear that. What did you think of his proposals?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. On the childcare piece I think that you have to be able to afford child care to actually receive the deduction.

Moreover, I thought, holistically speaking, this is a Mar-a-Lago members' economic plan. This is one that does not strike the chord of being the blue-collar billionaire, and it demonstrates just how out of touch I think Donald Trump is with everyday working Americans.

Donald Trump from the outset, I mean, he talked about being opposed to a minimum wage. Of course, we know that he flip-flopped on that and later said that he would raise it maybe to $10 an hour but nowhere near the president and Hillary Clinton and even Bernie Sanders, of course, has pushed and had pushed at every rally.

So I think that he is still out of step and demonstrates that he has some miles to walk when it comes to reaching everyday Americans.

KEILAR: We're hearing some economists back, Angela, up there on that, saying that this maybe isn't going to help the lower middle class. How specifically does it help people who don't make a ton of money, are lower middle class or even below the middle class?

LEWANDOWSKI: Here is the fundamental difference Republicans and Democrats when it comes to your money. It's your money, which means that the more money you have in your pockets, the lower tax rate you're paying, you can decide what to do with it. You can save it. You can stimulate the economy with it.

Look, Hillary Clinton's tax rate is 39.6 percent. It's the highest tax bracket that she wants to be charging, which means less money in individuals' pockets, less money to reinvest into the economy. And Donald Trump's plan, which is a big component of this, is lowering the corporate tax rate to make the United States more competitive with the rest of the world. If we don't do something to stimulate small- business growth, we're going to have a real problem, because our -- people have to remember, our government doesn't have jobs. Our government doesn't create jobs. Our government doesn't help fix the economy in that way. We need to incentivize small businesses, to take in that corporate tax bracket and bring it down much more into line with the rest of the corporate tax bracket is in the rest of the world. It's going to make this much more competitive.

RYE: So that's a big misnomer. I just want to offer some clarity on that. We actually just saw, in the last jobs report, that the president has 74 consecutive months now of private sector job growth, in addition to being a stimulator of private sector jobs, the government actually does create jobs, and it does actually employ several thousands of people.

So that's actually not true. I think it's important for us to offer clarity on that. The other thing that's important is Hillary Clinton, as you know, called his plan a re-visitation, basically, of trickle- down economics. His plan -- and just like his campaign theme, "Make America great again," is not reminiscent of where we're going in the future. There's nothing on peck. And it's a huge job creator and stimulator right now.

KEILAR: Let's talk about Hillary Clinton and some of the promises that she has made. Donald Trump has certainly taken aim at that. Here is what he said about Clinton when it comes to jobs.


TRUMP: Many promised jobs -- they were all promised. I remember so well. Vote for Hillary, she'll bring back your jobs. Many promised jobs never materialized and others migrated to other states. Data shows that upstate actually lost jobs, a lot of them, during Clinton's first term.


KEILAR: Bill Clinton has touted that his wife was really the de facto economic development officer when it came to upstate New York when she was senator. That is the time period that Donald Trump is talking about.

But actually, what we see looking back -- and you've seen this recent report from the post, job growth stagnated. Manufacturing jobs down 25 percent. How does she make a case that she is the jobs creator when you're looking at statistics like that, Angela.

RYE: Well, I think that we have to know basic civics, right? Hillary Clinton was one of the 100 senators, and so she can't be responsible for the entire New York economy.

KEILAR: But her husband essentially made her that by calling her the de facto big economic development officer.

RYE: We know, just like with Donald Trump on the -- on the stump, Bill Clinton is not always correct. Sometimes he gets a little ahead of himself. Sometimes he can shoot himself in the foot when it comes to being a surrogate for his wife. I don't think that that means that she should -- the whole New York economy should rest at their feet. There's a governor. There's a sitting president at the time, and I think that she did the best she could.

The other thing that we have to be honest about is the impact of 9/11. That impacted all of New York's economy.

[07:25:10] LEWANDOWSKI: Hillary Clinton campaigned on bringing 200,000 new jobs to the upstate of the New York area. The bottom line was the data indicates that that never happened. And if we are going to judge someone and give them a promotion in the job they had as a U.S. senator where they promised 200,000 jobs and delivered zero, what makes us have any indication that anything she's going to say is, as it relates to job creation in the private sector, is actually going to take place? Her record doesn't bear that out. It's very simple.

KEILAR: I want to ask you about Donald Trump's tax returns, because you now have a number of Republicans who are saying he needs to come out with these, including Sean Duffy, a GOP congressman. Why isn't he?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, look, he's been very clear about this. He has been under routine audit from the IRS.

KEILAR: Legally, that does not prohibit him from releasing them.

LEWANDOWSKI: But his attorneys have instructed him in tax returns, and Greta Van Susteren and many others have said, "If I was your legal counsel, I would not encourage you to release your taxes until that audit has been completed."

I don't know what you think you're going to learn from the IRS audit. The paperwork that he has filed with the Federal Elections Commission, which delineates his assets and his liabilities, is significantly greater in detail than any single year of the IRS returns.

KEILAR: It doesn't tell us what he paid in taxes.

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, what it tells us -- what it tells us, what his net value is, what his net worth is, the number of liabilities, the number of assets.

So look, what he said as a business executive, as someone who's creating jobs, he's going to pay the least amount of taxes as possible, because that's his obligation to his family, and to his business, and to his employees. And that's what the American businessman tries to do every day, so they can keep more money, so they can reinvest into the economy.

KEILAR: Why doesn't he tell us the number then? The tax bracket?

LEWANDOWSKI: What does it matter if he paid 20 percent or 40 percent?

KEILAR: If you're saying he's making a case -- making a case for his -- for what his priorities are to his family, to his businesses, why doesn't he make that case and release it?

LEWANDOWSKI: Because his, taxes he paid the least amount of taxes as humanly possible. And that's what a good businessman does so that he can create money for his business, which means he can employ more people, he can put more people through college so they can have more people working in the economy. That's a what a good business does. They don't try and give money to a failed Washington, D.C., who can't control their spending.

KEILAR: Corey and Angela, thank you so much for talking about this. Really appreciate it -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. So how about this latest development? The top 50 national security experts from the GOP slamming Donald Trump. So, what is the Clinton campaign going to do to convince people that she is the right choice, because just because they say Trump isn't the right choice doesn't mean they're endorsing her. We have a Hillary Clinton supporter next.


(Byline: Chris Cuomo; Brianna Keilar; Jason Carroll; Coy Wire; Corey Lewandowski; Angela Rye)

(Guest: Aaron Friedberg)

(High: As Donald Trump tries to reset his campaign with an economic policy speech, more GOP officials come out against him, including 50 former national security officials. Lilly King beats her Russian rival to win gold at the Olympics.)

(Spec: Donald Trump; Security; Economy; Olympic Games; Sports)