'This Week' Transcript: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez
A rush transcript for "This Week" on June 26, 2016.
— -- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' ON June 26, 2016 and it will be updated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Starting right now on ABC's THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, the shock heard around the world -- how will the turmoil in Europe affect the American economy and the election here at home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Let me tell you how it's going to play out. Trump is going to win.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But our surprising new poll revealing voters saying not so fast. Their deep worries about Trump's temperament, his bias, his qualifications. Our poll -- an earthquake in the presidential race and you'll see it here first.
And with big banks taking populist fire, we sit down with the sheriff of Wall Street.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: One thing he unites Donald Trump voters and Democrats is this real anger at Wall Street.
Are they right?
(END VIDEO TAPE)
From ABC News, it's THIS WEEK.
Here now, chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning.
As we come on the air, the world still absorbing that shock out of Britain. The vote to break away from Europe cost the prime minister his job, set Europe on edge and sent stock markets from Tokyo to Wall Street reeling, the worst single day drop in five years.
So many questions now about where it will lead.
The big one -- will that wave of populist anger crash America's shores come November?
Donald Trump is banking on it. In Scotland to promote his golf course, he offered up this analysis.
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TRUMP: I think people really see a big parallel. A lot of people are talking about that, and not only the United States, but other countries. People want to take their country back.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: There are parallels. Britain's industrial north a lot like America's Rust Belt. And Donald Trump is the GOP nominee today thanks to anger over immigration, economic stagnation and political elites that just don't get it -- the backlash that fueled Britain's vote.
But while that message may be on the march, Trump, the candidate, is stumbling. This morning, striking numbers from our bad news ABC News/"Washington Post" Poll, a dramatic shift in our head-to-head match-up. Hillary Clinton now at 51 percent, Donald Trump 39.
Just last month, Trump had a slight lead. Now he's trailing Clinton by 12 points, the biggest gap of the race so far.
Trump's support within his own party is falling, too, after his public feud with party leaders, failure to expand his campaign and that provocative response to the massacre in Orlando.
More from the poll.
Sixty-eight percent of Americans say his comment about the American judge who Trump called a Mexican was racist. Sixty-six percent says he's biased against women, minorities and Muslims. Fifty-six percent say that Trump does not stand for their beliefs.
And a stunning 64 percent say he's not qualified to be president, the highest number yet.
The Clinton campaign took aim with a new ad overnight.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every president is tested by world events. But Donald Trump thinks about how his golf resort can profit from them.
TRUMP: When the town goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a volatile world the last thing we need is a volatile president.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all the latest right there.
Let's get more right now from Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, author of the new book, also, "The Long Game," his political memoir.
Senator McConnell, thank you for joining us this morning.
You just heard the new poll numbers. Sixty-four percent of Americans say they don't think that Donald Trump is qualified to be president.
Do you believe he's qualified? And how do you convince all the voters who think he isn't?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Well, look, I -- I think there's no question that he's made a number of mistakes over the last few weeks. I think they're beginning to right the ship. It's a long time until November. And the burden, obviously, will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job.
And I think a good step in the right direction was the changes he made in the campaign. He's beginning to use a prepared script more often, which I think is absolutely appropriate for any candidate, whether you're a long-time politician like Hillary Clinton or whether you're new to the game like Donald Trump.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I didn't hear you say whether you thought he was qualified.
MCCONNELL: Look, I'll leave that to the American people to decide. You know, he won the Republican nomination fair and square. He got more votes than anybody else against a whole lot of well qualified candidates. And so our primary voters have made their decision as to who they want to be the nominee.
The American people will be able to make that decision in the fall.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say you're glad that he's working more from a prepared script.
What about the response he had in Scotland to that Brexit vote? You saw the Hillary campaign taking aim at that. Do you agree with how he handled that? And what's your reaction to the vote?
MCCONNELL: Well, I'll tell you who really had a bad week was President Obama, because his 2021 campaign manager ran the remain campaign in England. He suggested the president come over and get right in the middle of that. Obviously, that had little or no impact.
And I think what you saw in England, at least from what I read, is that people got tired of being dictated to by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
And, of course, we have a lot of that here in this country. A lot of the president's bureaucrats expanding regulations in a way that slow our economy and make it difficult for us to have growth, even though we didn't pass any legislation allowing them to do that.
And a good example of that kind of overreach, this very week, the Supreme Court rebuffed the president's immigration executive orders that he had previously said he didn't have the authority to issue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you think that was the right move for Britain?
MCCONNELL: Look, it's up to the British to make that decision. But you can read about the frustration of having ceded to the bureaucrats in Brussels so much authority. And I, you know, I -- you see the same thing here. You know, we've had a regulatory rampage over the last six years.
A lot of the people that the president has put on all these boards and commissions and in his government are pursuing policies that we haven't passed in Congress.
In fact, the Supreme Court just slapped him down on one of them this week. That's the way you get slow growth and when you have slow growth, you have fewer opportunities for our people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you worried at all about what that vote means for the special relationship between the United States and Britain?
MCCONNELL: No, I think that's a pretty solid relationship. You know, we've always been very close with the British. The only other bilateral relationship in the world that's anywhere near this close would be our relationship with Israel.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you -- I want to go back to the poll. One of the other things the poll shows is that only 77 percent of Republicans are now supporting Donald Trump. That's a number -- you can't win if the number is that low.
Your friend, George Will, the conservative columnist, just announced over the weekend that he's now no longer a Republican. He's left the party.
And one of our own senators, Mark Kirk, Republican from Illinois, is taking direct aim at Donald Trump.
Let's take a look at.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mark Kirk bucked his party to say Donald Trump is not fit to be commander-in-chief. Mark Kirk, courageous and independent.
SEN. MARK KIRK (R), ILLINOIS: I'm Mark Kirk and I approved this message.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: How can Mr. Trump win if the party is this divided and you've got your own senators making ads like that?
MCCONNELL: Well, Mark Kirk is an independent senator and that's why he got elected in Illinois and why he's going to be reelected this fall.
What I would reassure my friend George Will of is that the Republican Party is still going to be America's conservative party. America needs two parties. We have a liberal party and a conservative party.
If you look at the platform that will be written at our conservative, we are not changing the basic principles that Republicans believe in. Our nominee may not agree with every single one of the, but the Republican Party will remain America's conservative party.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Sir, are you saying things like, for example, you're not going to write the Muslim ban -- the ban on Muslim immigration into the platform?
You're not going to talk about mass deportations, as Mr. Trump has talked about?
He said he doesn't want to touch Social Security and Medicare.
Will you maintain the traditional Republican position on entitlement reform?
MCCONNELL: It's my expectation that the platform will be a traditional Republican platform, not all that different from the one we had four years ago.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So it won't be Mr. Trump's platform?
MCCONNELL: It will be the platform of the Republican Party and I don't expect it to differ that much from the platform we had four years ago.
STEPHANOPOULOS: In your book, you -- you also write, I think it's one page 177, that the three most important words in politics are "cash on hand." You've learned that lesson over the course of your career running for the Senate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You always had a lot of cash at hand, a lot more than the $1.2 million that Donald Trump showed this week.
The super PACs aligned with Hillary Clinton have about $120 million. The aligned with Donald Trump have about $2 million.
Can he win with that kind of a money deficit?
MCCONNELL: No, but I hope he won't have that kind of money deficit come fall. There's a lot of work to be done to turn the campaign in a different direction. And one of the obvious flaws at the moment is cash on hand. He needs to catch up and catch up fast.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is he going to need to write a check to his own campaign?
MCCONNELL: He needs to be able to compete financially. Where the money comes from, whether it comes out of his own pocket or from others, it doesn't really make all that much difference. But he's going to have to have way more than he has now in order to run the kind of campaign he needs to win.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, we saw some pretty extraordinary movements in the House and Senate this week on the issue of -- of gun control, still stalemate on -- on the legislation, even though you had that 25 hour sit-in in the House, a 15 hour talk-a-thon in the Senate. Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut.
And one of our own senators, Senator Collins from Maine, Senator Susan Collins, says -- has put a compromise bill on the floor where she says the who are on the no fly lists shouldn't be able to buy a gun.
Why did you vote to table that compromise, even though it has the support not only of Republicans and Democratic senators, but also many former retired military leaders?
MCCONNELL: Yes, let me tell you what we agree on. We agree that terrorists shouldn't have weapons. We agree that if you're on the lists, you should not be immediately able to purchase a firearm. We all agree on that.
The problem is, we have a difference of opinion about a permanent blocking of the ability to exercise a constitutional right. Whether people like it or not, there is a constitutional right in our country to own and possess a firearm. So, we had a disagreement as to the point.
What burden of proof would be required to permanently ban somebody? We're very close to reaching an agreement on this. I hope we can. But we had a lot of votes on it this week. I think this is an issue, obviously we'll be revisiting again in the future.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you think something will pass?
MCCONNELL: I'm sorry?
STEPHANOPOULOS: You think something will pass?
MCCONNELL: I don't know. But clearly, we have got to move on. We have other business to do this week with regard to the Zika, a MilCon bill, and the Puerto Rican bill that will prevent a bailout of Puerto Rico.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator McConnell, thanks for joining us this morning.
MCCONNELL: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we're joined by the Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. He's here today representing the Clinton campaign, not in his official capacity. Secretary Perez, thank you for joining us this morning.
You just heard Senator McConnell right there. He said, you know, basically Democrats ought to be wary of the fact that you've got this wave of populist anger that could hit here as well.
THOMAS PEREZ, SECRETARY OF LABOR: Well, George, let me answer you first question you asked Leader McConnell, is Donald Trump qualified to be president? The answer is no. He's a chaos candidate. The differences between Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump in terms of temperament, in terms of judgment, in terms of values, couldn't be more stark. And they're on display once against over the last two weeks, whether it's the Brexit aftermath, where he talks about how great his sprinkler systems are, or whether it's the aftermath of Orlando where he's once again dividing America, or in the aftermath of the Supreme Court cases where -- you know, Hillary Clinton is about we, Donald Trump is about me.
And, Hillary Clinton understands that there's angst here in the country. We made a lot of progress under this president. But we have got a lot of work to do. And her vision of America is a vision of we. We're stronger together. Donald Trump is all about me. And that's the fundamental different between the candidates.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you talk about that angst in the country. And, you know, the poll isn't all good news for Secretary Clinton even though it shows she has a pretty large lead right there. It shows that more than half of the voters are anxious about the idea that she can be president. And there's a number else I want to put up, because it shows that after either years people are looking for a different direction from President Obama. It shows 56 percent of the public who wants a president who will take the country in a new direction.
How is Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of state to President Obama, going to take the country in a new direction?
PEREZ: Well, I think it's important -- and again I'm here in my personal capacity, as you correctly point out, I think it's important -- and this campaign will do this -- to point out where we were, where we are, and where we need to go.
When this president took office, we were in the worst ditch of our lifetime, George. And under the president's leadership we have climbed out of that, 75 months in a row of private sector job growth to the tune of over 14 million jobs. We have a lot of unfinished business. There are still too many people who aren't feeling the wind that is at our back.
And so the key moving forward here is to build on that progress and build an America that indeed can work for everyone, and not simply a few at the top. And that's what Hillary Clinton is about, a message of inclusion and opportunity for everyone.
Breaking down barriers building bridges, not walls.
An infrastructure plan is not building a wall along the Mexican border. She has a true infrastructure plan to put people to work in good, middle class jobs and to build an America where everybody has an opportunity to realize the American dream, an America where we respect our religious diversity. We don't call names to judges and things of that nature. That's not who we are.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump also hitting hard on the issue of trade. Let's take a look.
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TRUMP: I have decided and visited cities and towns across America, all across America, and seen the devastation caused by the trade policies of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and it's total devastation.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: Coming out against NAFTA right there. And a lot of Democrats are saying that there -- there should not be a vote on the TPP, the TransPacific Partnership, which President Obama supports.
Will Hillary Clinton have to come out firmly against that? Should the vote be postponed?
PEREZ: Well, again, when I listen to Donald Trump talk about trade or anything else, he talks about slogans, she talks about solutions. You talk about Donald Trump and trade, and then you look at where he manufactures his clothing lines, they're not here in the United States of America.
You need candidates who know about solutions, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But is the solution no TPP or pushing through TPP?
PEREZ: Well, again, Secretary Clinton has been clear about her opposition to TPP. And what she's also been clear about is we need to make sure we bring back -- we reward businesses who are making jobs here at home, and we punish businesses who are taking jobs overseas. We make sure that we have tough enforcement and we build upon the enforcement regime of the Obama administration to go after Chinese companies dumping steel here in the United States. Those sorts of tough measures, along with investments in our human capital, that's how you get things done. It's not simply slogans, which is Donald Trump, it's solutions.
And she has a very, very detailed plan and she's not making false promises to people that you can't keep. She is talking about how you build a skilled work force to compete for the 21st Century economy, how you invest in clean energy and create great jobs for the 21st Century. This is what it's about. It's about substance, it's not about slogans.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of people talking about you as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton. We've got some headlines from your hometown paper The Buffalo News, "Buffalo-born Perez makes Clinton's VP short list." "Labor Secretary Perez delivers fiery anti-Trump speech in Richmond, the potential Clinton running mate rallies Democrats to the rising call for optimism." "Fiery Labor Secretary Tom Perez shows why he's high in Clinton's veepstakes." A lot of good headlines there.
Are you interested in the job?
PEREZ: You know what, I'm interested in making sure we continue -- and I have got 207 days until the weekend. How I can continue to work to build an economy that works for everyone. And I want to make sure that Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States, because we need Secretary Clinton's focus on we and making sure that we build an America where our values of inclusion and opportunity for everyone are the values that bring us together. And so that's why it's been a real privilege to work for this president who I think is one of the most consequential presidents in American history, and it's a real privilege in my personal capacity to help Secretary Clinton.
Because we have got unfinished business. And I want to make sure that the work of making sure this economy works for everyone is completed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That sounds like you're going to say yes if she asks. Secretary Perez, thanks very much.
PEREZ: Have a good day, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, more on that landmark Brexit vote. We break down what that decision from England's voters means for all of us here in the U.S., the British ambassador and top financial analysts.
And later, a big week at the Supreme Court and on the campaign trail. The roundtable takes that on.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States wants a strong United Kingdom as a partner. And the United Kingdom is at its best when it's helping to lead astrong Europe.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: That's President Obama back in April making a direct appeal to English voters to stay in the EU. But what will happen to America's special relationship now that they've decided to leave? The British ambassador is next.
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DAVID CAMERON, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF GREAT BRITAIN: The British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path. And, as such, I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction. But I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: That is British prime minister, David Cameron, announcing his resignation. Just hours after that earthshaking vote to leave Europe and just a fragment of the fallout: the pound collapsed, financial markets plunged all over the world.
Here in the U.S., more than $800 billion in losses. The big question now is about America's special relationship with the U.K. Terry Moran has the latest from London.
TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now comes the hard part. After voting to leave the European Union, Britain must now figure out how to do it, transforming its economy and laws, tearing up decades of treaties and regulations.
CAMERON: We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union.
MORAN (voice-over): It won't be easy. It's never been done before.
"The Mirror" summing it up, "So what the hell happens now?"
That could take years. And it won't formally begin until Parliament acts to officially trigger the process.
The Brits, including former London major, Boris Johnson, who led the campaign to leave the E.U. and who may be the next prime minister, they want to go slow to reassure the public and avoid disruption.
BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER MAYOR OF LONDON: In voting to leave the E.U., it is vital to stress that there is now no need for haste.
MORAN (voice-over): But European leaders, seeking to reduce uncertainty in the markets and to discourage other countries from following the U.K.'s example, want Britain out now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's important now that these negotiations which the United Kingdom start in good faith but as soon as possible.
MORAN (voice-over): And then there's Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to stay in the E.U. Scotland's first minister is looking for some kind of separate arrangement with Europe or she may call for a vote to seek independence and break up the U.K.
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: We will seek to enter into immediate discussion to explore all possible options to protect Scotland's place in the E.U.
MORAN (voice-over): One more thing.
CAMERON: I love country and I feel honored to have served it.
MORAN (voice-over): They need a new prime minister after David Cameron announced he'd be resigning.
The bottom line: Britain, America's closest ally, is in turmoil. Its influence in Europe and the world diminished, leaving the famed "special relationship" between the U.S. and the U.K. a bit less special -- Terry Moran, ABC News, London.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Terry for that.
Let's get more on it now from Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the United States.
Mr. Ambassador, thank you for joining us this morning. You just heard Terry Moran right there, saying the special relationship perhaps a little less special.
SIR KIM DARROCH, HER MAJESTY'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: George, one of the striking things for me since the vote came out on Friday morning is the number of American friends, from the president through Speaker Ryan, to lots of private messages, who have told us that the special relationship will endure and will be as strong as ever.
So, no, I think -- I think the special relationship --
STEPHANOPOULOS: But does Britain have enough --
DARROCH: -- will be in good shape.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- leverage in the -- in Europe?
Isn't -- is it still going to be the first call of the President of the United States?
DARROCH: Let's remember -- let's remember that Britain is still the world's fifth biggest economic power, the fourth biggest military power. We're in the G7, we're in the G20. We're on the U.N. Security Council. We're not going to disappear from the world stage. We will still be important players and America's closest ally.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There seems to be a bit of buyer's remorse in Great Britain over the weekend. More than 3 million people have now signed a petition, saying that they want a revote, a new referendum.
Do you think that's possible at all?
DARROCH: Yes, it's -- it was a very big decision. And 16 million people voted to remain. So it's understandable that there is -- there is -- what you call it, buyer's remorse. But the people are surprised by the outcome or disconcerted.
But the prime minister made it clear throughout that this was a once-in-a-generation vote. And the result was final. So the task for us now is to pull together and work out the new relationship with Europe.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So it is irrevocable? And you'll move --
DARROCH: It's irrevocable.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- and you'll move right away to file this Article 50, which is essentially a divorce petition, from the E.U.?
DARROCH: Well, it won't be -- it won't be quite that straightforward. The prime minister has, quite understandably, said that it needs to be for his successor to take that process forward.
The Conservative Party have to elect a new leader, who will then be prime minister, and that's going to take a little while. So the expectation is that we will have a new leader, a new prime minister by the end of September. And then the process can move on from there.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It appears you could also have a smaller Great Britain with these moves, perhaps for Scotland to declare independence?
DARROCH: Well, we had a vote on Scottish independence about two years ago. And there was a clear outcome to there, which was the majority of the people of Scotland wanted to stay in the United Kingdom.
And it was recognized at the time that was a once-in-a-generation event and that it was final. What we now need to do in deciding how we take forward this negotiation about our new relationship with Europe is to ensure that all the constituent parts of the United Kingdom are involved in that --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you sure Scotland believes it's final?
DARROCH: Well, in terms of the agreement at the time, it was clear. And all political parties agreed that this was a once-in-a-generation event and the outcome was final.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you served as Prime Minister Cameron's national security adviser for about four years. Obviously you and he worked very hard against this, didn't want it to come to pass.
How surprised are you?
And how worried are you for the future of Great Britain?
DARROCH: I -- you're right. I worked for David Cameron for four years as a national security adviser. Before that, when I was in Brussels, I used to host him when he came over for the European Councils.
I'm sad that he's resigning. He was, I thought, an excellent prime minister. But I understand why he's chosen to go in these circumstances.
Am I worried about the future?
Look, there's going to be a period of uncertainty while we work out this new relationship with Europe. But we are a strong country, a stable country. We will work it out in our usual pragmatic way. We will come through this and we will end up as important a player on the international scene as we have been.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Ambassador Darroch, thanks very much for your time this morning.
DARROCH: Thank you very much for the invitation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get more on this now from Gillian Tett, the U.S. managing editor of the "Financial Times;" John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg.
And I want to pick up with something the ambassador said right there, the idea that this vote is irrevocable.
I don't think your readers are going to be too happy about that, huh?
GILLIAN TETT, "FINANCIAL TIMES": Well, there are a lot of people in the U.K. right now who have tremendous sense of regret and there's a lot of protests going on. I mean, since the vote came out, we have had letters to the "Financial Times."
I'll read out one, "Call me a coward. Call it buyer's remorse. Call it whatever you will, but the truth is I regret my decision."
This is from someone who actually tried to retract their vote, had voted Leave. And the key point is this: a lot of people went into this ballot box making a protest vote. They were angry about everything.
And now they have woken up and realize the consequences, there is indeed a tremendous sense of remorse. And that has a lot of implications for populist votes and populist politicians more broadly.
STEPHANOPOULOS: (INAUDIBLE) that's one of the questions that a lot of people look at this and say, could there be a domino effect?
Other votes in Europe see basically Europe break apart.
JOHN MICKLETHWAIT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BLOOMBERG: We have already got votes happening. We've got Spain is going to -- got elections today. You have got the problems, you've got Italy has got a big vote in October. You've got the problems going forward and Marine Le Pen very much already making these noises.
The Netherlands, there's talks of having a referendum there. And so the European Union itself is under threat. There's no doubt about that. And that's why Merkel is trying to move so quickly.
And you're absolutely right. It's very clear. One half is saying, look, let's have a quickie divorce. Let's get this done as rapidly as possible. That's the European approach.
The British, having all those second thoughts that Gillian's just talked about, are saying, well, let's just try and take this gradually and not do too much.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But is it irrevocable?
TETT: Well, firstly, the message from David Cameron and the government right now is it is irrevocable. One of the problems is because there has now been this petition with 3 million signatures, it has to be discussed by parliament. The majority of the parliamentarians actually wanted to stay. And so if nothing else, what we know is that there are a lot of speed bumps, a lot of complicating factors in the coming months.
This is going to be chaotic for months to come. And frankly, that is terrifying in terms of the economic outlook. And it's not going to give businesses a kind of confidence they need to invest.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Although you wrote that the markets actually passed their first test, despite all those huge drops on Friday.
TELL: Amid all this crisis, the one thing that actually a little glimmer of cheer so far is that yes, we had dramatic moves in the markets on Friday, but the markets didn't breakdown. This isn't thus far a Lehman Brothers moment.
Now, obviously if Europe breaks up that could have a lot more systemic implications, but thus far, at least, the crisis has been relatively well-contained. And so another lesson we can take away is that central bankers and the regulators and the banks themselves. Have learned some lessons from the Lehman Brothers crisis
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump is hoping the past is prologue.
MICKLETHWALT: Donald Trump has already welcomed this as a great and wonderful thing. But I think already you're seeing, and you saw it earlier in your program, the Hillary side is start and say he is the person who is -- he is president chaos. And if there is chaos in Britain, that it might look less good.
I mean, what interesting, Gillian is absolutely right, the financial markets have just about coped with it. Sterling has plunged. Stocks not doing too badly. Already, though, in America, you're seeing the fed, you're seeing pressure on them now to say maybe we need to cut rates, rather than raise them. So, this is going to keep have ramifications for a very long time. And if the European Union begins to unravel in some way, that is the world's biggest trading bloc. And that's hard.
TELL: There are two important data points that everyone should notice. Firstly, before Thursday night, the betting markets put a higher probability of Donald Trump becoming president than the UK voting for Brexit. And that's very thought provoking.
Secondly, if you look at opinion polls across Europe, the EuroZone today, the European Union is actually more unpopular in France than it was in the UK before this vote. And so what some people in the market are going to talk about is not Brexit but Frexit. Maybe that's going to be the next big crisis.
MICKLETHWALT: We now live in an age where what's interesting is these that things are possible. We all thought maybe there was a 30 percent chance of Brexit, maybe a 30 percent chance of Donald Trump, maybe a 30 percent chance of Marine Le Pen. That is a completely new world.
And the thing about betting is eventually these things come up, you know, just by the law of averages.
TELL: And the other way I put it is that in 2008, we had financial Alice in Wonderland, where things we never expected to happen happened -- Lehman Brother's collapsed. Then we had economic Alice in Wonderland when central banks started cutting rates negatively. Now, we have political Alice in Wonderland. And it's entirely possible to have six impossible things before breakfast. And that's scary for anyone.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We are all learning that. Thank you both very much.
TELL: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, the roundtable is ready to take on the week's politics. And later, the federal prosecutors taking on Wall Street, taking down corrupt politicians.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: How did they get away with it for so long?
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REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: What is the tipping point? Are we blind? Can we see? How many more mothers, how many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something?
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STEPHANOPOULOS: Unprecedented moment on the House floor this week. John Lewis led Democrats in a 25-hour sit-in to demand action on new gun laws. It got lots of attention. But will it make any difference? We're going to talk about all that and more on our roundtable right after this.
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HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: One of the reasons this election is so important is because the Supreme Court hangs in the balance.
TRUMP: I'm going to have many appointments, it could be as many as five, it probably will be three, it could be four. One of the really big factors in this election. We are going to appoint Supreme Court justices who will be outstanding.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: The Supreme Court right at the heart of this presidential campaign. You saw that big decision on Thursday blocking President Obama's plans on immigration.
We're going to talk about that and how it affects the entire presidential race and a whole lot more with our roundtable, Greta van Susteren, anchor from Fox News, is here; along with Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, author of "The Black Presidency;" Republican strategist Alex Castellanos is working for the pro-Trump super PAC, Rebuilding America Now; and Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter has served President Obama in his campaigns and the White House.
Welcome to all of you.
And Greta, let me begin with this poll. We saw this new poll out this morning, 51-39 for Hillary Clinton.
That number that I asked Senator McConnell about, the one that really sticks out, 64 percent of Americans say they don't think Trump is qualified.
How does he turn that around?
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Well, I don't know how he turns it around, but the one thing is that that's a snapshot of right now and I am convinced that right now, we've got a lot of political theater. The numbers are horrible for Trump. They're not so great for Hillary Clinton.
I think this campaign will ultimately be decided this fall with the debates, when we see them side by side and the American people get a chance and those Independents and undecideds will make the big decision.
Now, this is great political theater. This is a lousy number for Donald Trump and I don't know how he's going to turn it around, but he says he can't. We'll have to wait and see.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The Clinton campaign doing everything that they can, new ads out just today. Their super PACs, as well, trying to bake this into -- end this race before those debates.
STEPHANIE CUTTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. Well, I think, you know, he's got about 18 weeks to go. Numbers like this are incredibly hard to turn around in 18 weeks. And we all know this. We've never seen numbers like this in a presidential race. Sixty-four percent unqualified?
I don't, in my years of doing this, I've never seen a number like that for a presidential campaign.
What makes it so powerful is that it's really not the advertising that's doing it, it's Trump that's doing it. It's his words, it's his actions.
He's pretty well known for a first time candidate. And I think that this is cemented in.
Maybe the convention could move those numbers a liter -- a little bit, but I think...
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's 64 percent unqualified is a number like we haven't seen before. On the one hand, Alex Castellanos, I do remember...
ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Right.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- I think back in 1988, Michael Dukakis had, what, a 17 point lead...
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- coming out of his convention and lost to George Bush.
CASTELLANOS: And the other number that jumps out at you in this survey is that 56 percent of the people want a change in direction, only 38 percent want to continue to go in the same direction. And when you look at how strongly they feel about it, 47 percent say strongly they want change, only 25 percent say they don't.
Elections often aren't about the candidates. The -- both of these candidates have huge unfavorables. So if you look at one for two weeks, you're voting for the other one. If you look at the other -- but then you look at the other one...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But that said...
CASTELLANOS: -- (INAUDIBLE) back. This is going to ping pong. Ultimately, it's going to be about change.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That does seem to be the challenge for Hillary Clinton, how can she be the change candidate?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Well, look, she can change from Donald Trump's commercial. The reality is those numbers are pretty tough and it only gets worse when he stands neck to neck or shoulder to shoulder with her on a stage where her rhetorical mastery and her mastery of the gears of policy exposes the holes in his -- in his understanding.
The negatives that Hillary Clinton possesses, I think, in sharp contradistinction to, A, the incompetence that is suggested by Donald Trump, and, B, the distrust people have with him having access to the -- to the nuclear codes, so to speak, really comes home.
And I think that that contrast will reinforce people's belief that Hillary Clinton certainly deserves to be in that office and whatever negatives may prevail will be hugely diminished.
VAN SUSTEREN: But I think you've really got to look at the dis -- the discontent in this country. We know that from Occupy Wall Street. We know that from the Sanders people. We know that from Tea Party. We know that from the Trump...
STEPHANOPOULOS: And now we know it from Great Britain, as well.
VAN SUSTEREN: And now we know it from Great Britain. And so I think, you know, the status quo really needs to be worried. And I think that hurts Secretary Hillary Clinton, because she is going to be pinned with status quo.
And if there's growing discontent, you know, I think that's a problem. In spited of these horrible numbers for Donald Trump, is that people are really fed up in this country...
VAN SUSTEREN: -- on both sides of the aisle...
DYSON: -- except the status quo that has now been voted out in Europe, the remorse is...
DYSON: -- the -- the buyer's remorse is pretty deep.
CUTTER: I think that not all change is good. And I think that your -- your poll shows that. When you're talking about someone who 66 percent of the American people think is biased, 68 percent think has said racist comments...
CUTTER: -- I think, yes, there is absolutely discontent in this country, and I think any campaign who doesn't pay attention to that...
VAN SUSTEREN: Which...
CUTTER: -- is conducting malpractice...
VAN SUSTEREN: -- which you...
CUTTER: -- Trump is not the vehicle for the change that they want.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which is why I think, though, it's so important, we're not going to see these two candidates side by side so that people who are really going to make this election, the Independents and the undecideds, when they see them up on the stage side by side, ask those pointed questions about whether it's racism, change, Muslims, immigration, women's health, right, anything, that's when those...
STEPHANOPOULOS: And they are starting to see a little bit of shift from -- we think, from -- from Donald Trump on both immigration and on this Muslim ban over the weekend.
But I want to ask you, Alex, you challenged Greta's premise, a little bit, that this, you know, nothing is going to happen until the debates. We've never seen a money gap like the money gap we have right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You, as I said, work for a pro-Trump super PAC. You guys have raised about $10 million overall, $120 million for pro-Clinton super PACs.
CASTELLANOS: So we've got them right where we want them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So I mean, is there a danger that this does get baked in before you even get to October?
CASTELLANOS: You know, the image of the candidates are baked in. And by the way, Hillary Clinton is nearly as unpopular, unfavorable, as Donald Trump is. They're both voting against each other's voters.
No, the reason is this country is a 70 percent wrong track number. Seventy percent of Americans in the NBC/"Wall Street Journal" survey thought this country is on the wrong track.
Hillary Clinton is continuity. This ultimately is not going to be about the candidates.
CASTELLANOS: It's going to be about the voters who are going to say more of the same is more dangerous. And, yes, not all change is good, but the certainty of Hillary Clinton is a 70 percent wrong track versus the uncertainty of Trump,
DYSON: But, see, I think what you're...
DYSON: -- what you're under...
DYSON: -- what you're underplaying here is the sense of panic that we saw was Brexit but that we also see in the same population of people that Donald Trump draws to himself.
So it can't be denied that he amplifies some of the worst instincts and some of the more irrational, if you will, tendencies in American politics.
And I think once in sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton, whatever negatives she may possess with the -- the greatness of her continuity is it's common sense, it's rationality, it is not off the cuff remarks and...
CUTTER: I agree with that.
CUTTER: But I think you've got to...
CASTELLANOS: -- response...
VAN SUSTEREN: There are an awful lot of Americans who don't agree with that. The votes...
VAN SUSTEREN: -- were actually pretty high. And so I...
VAN SUSTEREN: -- I think that the people who are -- the elites, as some may say, the status quo, or maybe even the so-called smarty-pants, have not exactly led this country in, you know, a lot of people -- we can't...
VAN SUSTEREN: -- we don't have...
CUTTER: -- a couple of...
CUTTER: -- a couple of facts here.
Number one, Hillary Clinton got the most votes in the Democratic Party of any of our modern nominees.
VAN SUSTEREN: No question about it.
No question about it.
CUTTER: Number two...
CUTTER: -- we just saw a 14 point swing in ABC's poll in one month, a 14 point swing.
CUTTER: Now, we know that not all polls are right and maybe there's a...
VAN SUSTEREN: Maybe it's only 10 points.
CUTTER: And maybe it's only 10 points.
VAN SUSTEREN: But that's a lot.
CUTTER: -- swing. So we can talk about Hillary Clinton's negative -- negatives. We can talk about people voting against the status quo. But that's actually not what's happening in this country.
I think people say that Hillary Clinton...
VAN SUSTEREN: But...
VAN SUSTEREN: -- the Democratic Party.
VAN SUSTEREN: -- look at Bernie Sanders...
CUTTER: -- the Democratic nominee.
VAN SUSTEREN: She won, but there's an awful lot of -- you can't deny the Sanders' momentum shows a lot of discontent, even within the Democratic Party.
CUTTER: I am not...
CUTTER: -- I am not denying the discontent.
DYSON: But he's...
DYSON: -- but...
CUTTER: -- but I am saying that the Democratic Party has come together...
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know...
VAN SUSTEREN: -- they -- they may not come out to vote.
CUTTER: If people say they don't...
DYSON: But at least...
DYSON: It abided (ph) a different viewpoint. Bernie Sanders pushed in a -- a progressive direction, Hillary Clinton. She not only absorbed that, she articulated that...
CUTTER: That's right.
DYSON: -- in terms of platform policies but also...
DYSON: -- speaking to the very...
VAN SUSTEREN: He still hasn't endorsed her.
DYSON: -- (INAUDIBLE) people...
VAN SUSTEREN: He still hasn't endorsed her.
VAN SUSTEREN: He still hasn't...
DYSON: But, but President Obama has and that's a far better endorsement...
STEPHANOPOULOS: A couple more numbers from the poll. Number one, that right now, Hillary Clinton getting about 90 percent of the Democratic votes compared to Trump's 77. And this was surprising to me, Alex. President Obama's numbers in this poll, 56 percent approval rating.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If that holds up, that kind of cuts against the wrong track numbers you were talking about.
CASTELLANOS: So much -- that's -- this is an effect you see in politics, which is nobody speaks ill of the nearly departed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's true.
CASTELLANOS: He's getting the gold watch. America is a noble country.
CASTELLANOS: Our first black president...
DYSON: -- I'm not sure that's...
CASTELLANOS: His real -- his real favorable/unfavorable is the wrong track number and the desire for change, which people are expressing in this survey, I love to see the Brexit reaction from the elite in Europe and here, which is oh, the little people have finally figured out how wrong they were and what a great job we're doing.
That's the Hillary Clinton campaign.
DYSON: But you know what, it -- it's...
CASTELLANOS: It's more of the same...
CASTELLANOS: That's why the people are in revolt...
DYSON: But -- but it's interesting...
CASTELLANOS: -- in Europe and here.
DYSON: But you -- interesting, you keep calling it the elite in -- and Greta, this is the Martin Luther King, Jr.. idea that all Americans deserve an equal crack at what it means to be a -- having -- having resources in your own home and in your state and in your country.
So this elitism is a red herring. The bottom line is Hillary Clinton stands for...
DYSON: -- the amplification of the best ideals that have motivated...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well...
DYSON: -- the American democratic experiment from the beginning.
DYSON: And Donald Trump trumps those...
DYSON: -- fashion.
CASTELLANOS: The Brexit vote is a vote for the idea of nationhood, right. In Europe...
DYSON: It's nationalism.
CASTELLANOS: -- you -- you've destroyed -- you've destroyed borders, right. You can travel anywhere. You've de -- immigration has destroyed borders. There are no economic borders now. Greece can spend money that Germany has to pay back.
The British looked at this and says, you know, we think being a nation is a good idea and that we ought to be one and...
DYSON: But nationalism is not the response...
CASTELLANOS: -- Donald Trump...
CASTELLANOS: Of course it is.
CASTELLANOS: The idea of...
DYSON: You know what?
DYSON: -- nationalism within America.
CASTELLANOS: There were nations...
DYSON: -- within America.
CASTELLANOS: -- before the EU, there will be nations after.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
CASTELLANOS: This is not a...
CASTELLANOS: -- a crisis. And when Donald Trump talks about building a wall, what people are hearing is we ought to have a real nation for all --
DYSON: But see, this is -- Donald Trump's nation doesn't represent all of us. When he keeps -- he wants to ban Muslims. He wants to keep immigrants out. He wants to build a wall.
And look, at his rallies, when black people are pushed around, he then says, I will pay for the legal fees of this. I'm telling you, Donald Trump amplifies the worst instincts. And his nationalism is really a white racist supremacist nationalism that reeks --
CASTELLANOS: -- consulting half of the American people who are supporting Donald Trump. I'm saying they're --
CASTELLANOS: You have to believe --
DYSON: No, that's not what I'm saying.
CASTELLANOS: -- you have to believe that his supporters are racist
DYSON: I'm saying he was slow to repudiate --
CASTELLANOS: -- and demeans us.
DYSON: No, no, no, he amplifies the worst tendencies of the American experiment.
I think the American people will reject him. I believe, I'm betting on the American people to reject that kind of vicious, narrow nationalism and racism.
CASTELLANOS: I think the American people want to open up this economy, they want to move forward. And the status quo has had its day.
DYSON: And beating up on immigrants and poor people is not the way to go.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're going to get the last word.
What is the number one thing that Donald Trump has to do at the convention to turn this around?
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't think it's the convention. I just go back to the debate. I think he has got to look presidential standing next to Secretary Hillary Clinton. And everyone's going to look back and ignore all the noise on both sides of the aisle, Republicans, Democrats. They're going to look at who's going to be -- who's going to do more for me?
Who's going to fix my roads, who's going to protect my children and give me an opportunity?
DYSON: I'm with her. My money's on her.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is the last word for today. Thank you all very much.
Up next, the New York prosecutor fighting corruption in finance and politics.
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PREET BHARARA, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR NEW YORK'S SOUTHERN DISTRICT: It is not easy to see police officers bring dishonor to an institution deserving of the greatest honor. It is a heartbreaking thing. But it is our duty to enforce the law because an officer who betrays his badge betrays every honorable officer as well as every member of the public.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: One of America's top prosecutors announcing the arrest of three top New York police officials this week. It's the latest target for Preet Bharara. His crusade against corruption, a fight that's defined his tenure as U.S. Attorney for New York's Southern District.
And from that perch he's taken on Wall Street but also faced critics, who insist that financial wrongdoing should have led to more criminal prosecutions. He pushed back hard on that when we met in his office.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One thing that unites Donald Trump voters and Democrats, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton voters, is real anger at Wall Street. They believe the system is rigged.
Are they right?
BHARARA: I think to an extent, people are right about the system being rigged. This office has been as aggressive as any other prosecutor's office in the center over the last number of years to try to make this system fair for everybody and make sure that everyone plays by the same rules.
I think people have a right to be given the track record of this office and other offices of exposing fraud to be worried about that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Quite a track record of insider trading. But as you know, Bernie Sanders especially has come out and said the failure to prosecute anyone for big financial fraud on Wall Street is an indictment of the whole criminal justice system.
How do you respond to that?
BHARARA: Number one, I'm not going to comment on what a politician says. Politicians have lots of reasons for saying --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Ben Bernanke said the same thing.
BHARARA: No office has been more aggressive than we have been. But you need evidence and facts. And you need the law to be on your side also.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It makes me think of that saying from Donald Rumsfeld, you go to war with the army you have.
Do you not have the laws you need right now?
BHARARA: I'm not going to make a complaint about the law. What I will say is, we can't do more than what the law allows.
STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): The prosecutor's reach extends well beyond Wall Street. Just last month, he won corruption convictions for two of New York State's top politicians.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How did they get away with it for so long?
BHARARA: That's a -- it's a great question. I prefer to focus on the fact that they're not getting away with it anymore. Look, it's hard to bring criminal cases unless you have the evidence, unless you can have insiders telling you about what was going on.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You've signaled that you're not done there yet. You said that Mayor de Blasio here in New York, Governor Cuomo should stay tuned.
BHARARA: Yes, I don't think I directed any stay-tuned message to those -- to individuals in particular. But what I have said is we have found that corruption is rife in a lot of institutions in New York and throughout New York. That's true in the legislature. It's also the case that there's corruption, we believe, in the executive branches as well. And we'll ferret it out wherever we find it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're in an election year. I'm not sure you can comment on this. But we've got all these legal cases playing themselves out in a presidential race as well.
You've got the Trump university lawsuits. You've got Hillary Clinton and her e-mails; your former colleague, James Comey, now head of the FBI, looking into it.
Talk about how a prosecutor thinks about bringing cases against public officials in a political year.
BHARARA: That's a good question. And prosecutors have to think very carefully about all the cases that they bring and how they investigate cases.
And we have brought, as you mentioned, I think more cases against public figures in New York than anyone else has done in a very long time. And you think very carefully about making sure that you're doing it in a sensitive way, that respects the process and also respects people's choices.
When you prosecute somebody, investigate somebody who has been chosen by the public to occupy an elected spot, you know, that means something. And we should not ever be substituting our judgment as to who should or should not be in the office unless they have clearly violated criminal statutes and are deserving of criminal prosecution.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is there a cutoff date before an election where you just can't do it?
BHARARA: I think it depends on the circumstances. I feel like everything else that prosecutors do, you want to use prudential rules of reason and common sense and fairness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BILLIONS")
"CHUCK RHOADES": The decisions we make, the actions we bring, have weight.
STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): The no-nonsense prosecutor blushes a bit when asked about his fictional counterpart played by Paul Giamatti on the Showtime series, "Billions."
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, as I walking up here, I was thinking I was going to see much more ornate offices because I've been watching "Billions" over the last --
BHARARA: That's highly fictionalized in a lot of different ways, in a lot of different ways.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Which part is the part that makes you scream at the television?
BHARARA: It's -- I don't think -- it's the part that I can talk about on a family show.
STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Bharara's real predecessors have set a high bar: Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York; Mary Jo White, head of the SEC; and James Comey now heads the FBI.
That all fuels speculation about Bharara's future.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you expect to go back to Washington someday?
BHARARA: I don't. No, I love New York. New York is great. This is my home.
BHARARA: That's really doubtful.
BHARARA: I'm not sure I could get out of there alive.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you have the job you want?
BHARARA: I do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We will see and we'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT." And I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."
Republican base sounds ready for Trump's promised 'retribution,' with some exceptions
- Feb 25, 8:07 AM
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