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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Governor Goes on Profanity-Laced Tirade; Trump Reverses on His Immigration Reversal; Man Crashes Truck Into Plane At Omaha Airport; Vast Majority With Zika Don't Have Symptoms; FDA: All U.S. Blood Donations Should Be Zika Tested; Fed Chair Signals It May Be Time To Raise Interest Rates; Report: Uber Bleeds More Than $1 Billion In Six Months. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired August 26, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:32:03] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
He apologized sort of. The governor of Maine says he is sorry for some of the language in a voice mail during which he sweared up and down and sideways at a Democratic state lawmaker, but he's definitely not saying sorry for telling local reporters that he would, I swear I'm not making this up, challenge that lawmaker to a duel.
And LePage says that he will be the Aaron Burr to the lawmaker's Alexander Hamilton. We all know how that ended.
But the governor did say it was just a metaphor.
CNN's Phil Mattingly is following this particularly strange story.
So, Phil, I'm just curious how did this begin?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, now, your usual back and forth.
Look, this actually has roots back to some of Governor LePage's comments in January. He was talking about the opioid crisis, a crisis that has really ravaged a lot of northeastern states, Maine among them. He was talking about what was the source of the drugs that had been coming into the state, and he mentioned a couple of names and said, in half of them, they impregnate a while girl before they leave.
Those comments obviously brought a lot of outcry from civil rights groups, from Democratic lawmakers and said they were racists. Now, LePage has consistently defended those comments that racism has nothing to do with it and he doubled down on them at a town hall on Wednesday, where he said, when he looks at the arrests related to heroin, 90 percent of them are either black or Hispanic.
Now, these statistics aren't back up by anything public. So, naturally, that also brought outcry, including from one state Democratic lawmaker. He said he believed that they were racially charged comments. Now, that was conveyed to Governor LePage as Governor LePage was racist. Well, LePage had this response and I warn you, this includes graphic language. We have bleeped some of them out, but it might be offensive to some. Take a listen to this voice mail.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Mr. Gattine, this is Governor Paul Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sucker.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: And, Jim, believe it or not, the voicemail actually goes on and includes more language just like that. But he didn't back off. In a meeting shortly thereafter with reporters, he actually went further saying, he wanted to challenge the lawmaker to a duel, saying he wishes it was 1825. "We would have a duel, that's how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee. I would not be Hamilton, as in Alexander Hamilton, I would point it right between his eyes."
So, clearly escalating, not trying to ratchet it back. Now, he did -- his office did release a lengthy statement today apologizing somewhat. Now, he explained his action, saying he called Gattine and left that message, the state lawmaker, left that message, because he thought the lawmaker used the worst word I could think of, and his response was to do the same. Now, he said, I apologize to the people of Maine, but I make no apology for trying to end the drug epidemic that is ravaging our state."
And, Jim, he included that he continues to plan to block every single thing that that state lawmaker tries to do going forward. Interesting day.
SCIUTTO: Phil Mattingly, thanks very much.
I want to bring our political panel back.
Folks, a lot of discuss here. If I can, I want to start on immigration and, Matt Schlapp, I just want to ask you, because you've been listening to Donald Trump's varying comments on his immigration position just over the last 24 hours. So, just straight up, does Donald Trump, would Donald Trump as president, deport illegal, undocumented workers here in the U.S. or not?
MATT SCHLAPP, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: Yes.
SCIUTTO: He would deport them?
SCHLAPP: Yes, I think what he is saying, which is rather consistent, is that if you're in this country illegally, you have to leave this country if you're ever to get into a position where you can have some type of legal status.
And there's this question about, you know, how many of them are there? People say 11 million. I'll be honest with you. We don't really know how many people are there illegally. It's a huge project. We have never seen anything like it and he realizes it is a huge task.
But he's going to hold to this process if he's elected president. It's a right thing to do to make people follow the law. But it's also the right thing, too, to make sure that we have the type of immigration program that feeds our economic needs and I think it is important that immigration be part of that.
SCIUTTO: OK. All right. Amanda Carpenter, Matt Schlapp says he's been consistent. Did you hear consistency in the last 24 to 48 hours?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I do think that Donald Trump is all over the map. And it really does come down to the question of what he believes is amnesty and what kind of deportations he's going to do.
Listen, deportations are a fact of life. All presidents do it, it matters what magnitude, what scale they do it on and how it's targeted. That is where Donald Trump gets into trouble. That's where he hasn't been able to explain the mechanism for how he will create this out, and that's why people have so many questions.
SCIUTTO: Hakeem, curious of your thoughts.
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY), HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, I think he has been all over the map in terms of this issue, which is very complex issue. But it boils down to three potential approaches. We can either engage in mass deportation, that's impractical. He seems to have suggested at different points of time during this campaign, I'm not sure quite where he's right now. You have the status quo, which is unacceptable and untenable.
Or you can move forward with comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system, make sure that people pay back taxes, pay a fine, learn English, get to the back of the line, but have a robust, hard, difficult, yet fair path toward citizenship. That's Hillary Clinton's position. I think that's the responsible position. And, by the way, there is bipartisan support for that in the Congress.
SCIUTTO: I just wonder if he's trying to have it both ways. Signal to folks who aren't comfortable with deportation that, hey, I'm -- this might be negotiable, while then coming back and saying to the folks who are actually for it, that -- well, you know, I'm not moving from the position.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I see it as him listening to the voters. You know, what was interesting to me in the Hannity town hall, he said, voters come to me and they say to me, I feel like this part of your policy is too harsh.
So, now, when he talks about it, he talks first about deporting the criminal, illegal aliens, which by the way the president isn't doing. We've seen 19,700 criminal illegal immigrants he let out under just one year of this presidency, 200 murder convictions, 800 sexual assaults, it's not happening under this, that's Donald Trump's priority. Hillary Clinton supports the Obama administration. I guess the policy of letting criminals out once you get into office.
So, Donald Trump is merely saying, these are my priorities. I'm listening to voters. They don't like this part of my policy, but I'm sticking to exactly what Matt said, people have to leave this country in order to come back here legally.
SCIUTTO: Margaret, I want to just cause -- as our time goes, there is another topic that is an issue today, and that is the new campaign manager for Donald Trump, who has revelations and CNN has found in its reporting that he was charged with domestic violence, a misdemeanor. This is back in the 1990s.
First of all, that issue, but also tied to other campaign appointments that he has had. Roger Ailes, an informal advisor after his issues with FOX News. Lewandowski's encounters with Michelle Fields. Going after Republican women is important for him to win this election. How does that work?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I mean, this actually ties into what I was going to say about immigration as well, because actually, Jim, it's all connected. Donald Trump can't win 65 percent of white voters and not win 30 percent of minorities, OK?
To get that 65 percent of white voters, he needs women voters. He needs female Republican voters and independently leaning women. This is bad optics to say the least, if news stories that they're going to have to defend and come up with. You already have all of the left- wing activist fringe attacking him, the National Organization for Marriage. So, there is going to have to be some kind of, maybe changing so some public positions on women issues.
But this is also true for immigration. I mean, why is he going back? He is not listening to voters. He is looking at math finally and realizing that a Republican candidate can simply not win if you don't have large shares of the Hispanic population and other minority population in this country. That is just the path to 270.
SCIUTTO: Matt Schlapp, your response?
SCHLAPP: Yes, I agree with Margaret. I want the Republican party of every group across America. I think it is important to listen to people.
[16:40:00] But I think what the other side to this as well is that there's a certain fairness here. There's a lot of people who are waiting to become Americans citizens, and it's not fair for someone to hopscotch the line because they broke the law.
And George W. Bush offered something very similarly. He simply said, you have to go back to your country. You have to show proficiency in English, that you're not a habitual criminal, that you won't be on welfare, and yet to fill out the paper work, and then eventually, you can come back.
I think it is the right place to be. You have some -- that is a Republican considered more moderate immigration. You have Donald Trump who's a little more of a hard liner in some kind of similar zone. I think there is a path here, but you've got to follow the law.
SCIUTTO: And I do want to note that the charges against his campaign manager were later dropped.
SCHLAPP: They were.
SCIUTTO: Thanks to all of you on all these issues.
Kayleigh, Congressman, Margaret, Amanda, Matt and Maria, thank you.
Airports are supposed today be some of the secured pieces of property in the country. So, how did a man climb an eight-foot barbed wire fence steal a truck and then rammed at into an occupied passenger plane? That's next.
Plus, new concerns that people could be carrying the Zika virus and not even know. One case here in the United States is the first of its kind in the world.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Our National Lead now, a frightening airport security breach. A man scaled a perimeter fence, stole a pick truck, and drove that truck into the nose of an occupied Southwest plane. All this on the runway of Omaha's International Airport just last night. Eighteen passengers on board that flight bound for Denver.
CNN aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh, has been digging into this story and joins me now. So Rene, how did this happen?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, a man that police say was high on meth breached a secure area at the Omaha Nebraska International Airport. He was able to get over an 8-foot fence and make it all the way to a passenger plane with people on board. Police eventually would catch up to him, but only after flight crew and at least one passenger were injured.
MARSH (voice-over): A man on the run from police scaled the eight- foot barbed wire fence surrounding the international airport in Omaha, Nebraska making it on to what supposed to be one of the secured parts of the airport, the airfield.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Apparently somebody jumped in a truck on the runway out there. Do you have any visual on that?
MARSH: Omaha police say the intruder, 35-year-old, Delero Coons (ph) hopped into an unlocked airline truck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He went under two jet ways and then struck the nose gear of a 737 Southwest flight.
MARSH: The Boeing 737 bound for Denver was parked at the gate. Crew members were on the plane and passengers were boarding. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is very frightening and serious. That is something that that particular airport and all of us across this county think have to look at as to how do we make sure that we hardened our target even more than what we have over the last number of years post 9/11.
MARSH: The airline says some of the flight crew and at least one customer suffered minor injuries. From 2009 to 2015, there were around 2,500 security breaches every year involving the airport perimeter and airport access points.
In 2014, a 15-year-old boy climbs a perimeter fence at San Jose's Moneta International Airport and successfully stowed away in the wheel well of a plane flying to Hawaii.
And in 2013, 49-year-old Robert Bump (ph) climbed over an 8-foot fence and onto the runway at the international airport in Phoenix.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All they have to do is get it right one time. But we also have to be mindful of the fact that nothing is a 100 percent anything.
MARSH: Another case in Newark, New Jersey in 2013, a man jumped the airport fence, made his way across two run ways, and at JFK Airport, a man on a jet ski in the bay adjacent to the airport climbed on to the tarmac and on to the run way.
In this most recent case, though, airport officials say they're still evaluating the incident to determine what sort of security changes maybe necessarily. But as for the suspect, he is still in the hospital at this hour at last check, but he will be charged -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Question, of course, is could terrorists take advantage of those deficiencies. Rene Marsh, thanks very much.
Turning now to our Health Lead, two major developments in the spread of the Zika virus. There are new concerns about how the virus maybe spread here in the United States.
That after a woman contracted the virus from a man who didn't even know he had it because he had no symptoms. Moments ago, I spoke with CNN chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta. I asked him what does this new case tell us about Zika?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think in some ways this was anticipated. This idea that someone who had no symptoms whatsoever it seems like from the Zika virus was still able to carry the virus in their system, in their body and then transmit the virus through sex.
That's what has happened. So here are the important facts I think, Jim, is that the vast majority of people first of all who do get a Zika infection don't have symptoms or they have very mild symptoms, 80 percent of people won't have any symptoms or mild symptoms.
But you still have the virus in your system and you could still be someone who transmits that virus to somebody else. So it's someone who is asymptomatic, without symptoms, who has now transmitted the virus, that has happened and it is the first time in the world that's been documented is happening in the very manner -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: So another concern, of course, blood donations, the FDA now recommending Zika screening for all blood donations in the U.S. and its territories. It's almost on the scale of what happens with HIV.
[16:50:09]GUPTA: Yes, you know, so this is one of those things we were hearing about in Florida. We are hearing about in Puerto Rico. Florida as you know was of concern because Zika was being locally transmitted.
And what that means is that mosquitos were actually biting somebody who had the Zika virus, taking the Zika virus and then biting somebody else. That's local transmission. That's what we've been looking for, for some time, and obviously they've seen that in Florida.
But what has happened again, Jim, to your point is they are saying now we're not going to just screen blood in Florida or Puerto Rico, we think the situation has gotten to the point where we should screen blood throughout the whole country.
We know Zika exists in every state now in the country, but most of those Zika infections have come from other places. But the question arises, look, if one of those people who may not have even has symptoms donates blood, shouldn't the blood be screened for Zika, and the answer now coming back is yes. Zika is here and we need to screen for it.
SCIUTTO: So we know that the women that are pregnant, maybe pregnant, they travel to these areas, it's recommended they be tested, but now that we know there is sexual transmission even if there are no symptoms, what is the CDC, what are doctors recommending for the partners of women who travelled to affected areas?
GUPTA: Yes, very good questions. So you know, look, I kind of went through this recently myself. I was down in Rio and Salvador, Brazil, an area where Zika does spread locally, and then I come home.
Basically what the recommendation is if you're -- if you have no symptoms, whatsoever you still have to practice safe section for a period of time, several weeks.
If you do have symptoms, regardless of what the test shows, you have to practice safe sex for up to six months. So they are making a big distinction here.
They are saying, look, if you have been in an area where Zika is spreading, locally, you have to work under the presumption that you may have it and the best way to protect your partner is to practice safe sex for a certain amount of time depending on whether or not you have symptoms. I'll tell you, Jim, in my case, they say don't even bother getting tested. It doesn't even matter whether the test comes back positive. We're still going to recommend this protocol and that's the same advice that is being given to millions of people frankly around the world -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Key advice, no question. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much.
GUPTA: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Uber may be the most valuable privately held company in the world, but that does not mean that it's making money. That's right after this.
SCIUTTO: Welcome back to THE LEAD. The cost of money, that's the latest instalment in our series, "America's Debt & The Economy." Today, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellin said job growth and consumer spending may signal that it is time for an interest rate hike.
Yellin did not mention a specific timeframe for the increase, but experts say it is unlikely to come before the election in November. The Federal Reserve reduced interest rates to near zero in December, 2008.
That is after the economy had that steep recession. Low interest rates make it easier for businesses to borrow money and hire workers, but are also a key reason behind the stock market's strong rally over the past years fueling concerns it must be said about another bubble.
Turning now to our Money Lead, at least at some point this weekend you may find yourself ordering an Uber. I know that I will. The ride sharing service is more popular than ever, but it may surprise you that the most valuable privately held company is not very profitable.
In fact, Uber is hemorrhaging cash more than $1.2 billion in losses just this year according to "Bloomberg News." CNN Money correspondent, Alison Kosik, joining me now from the New York Stock Exchange.
Alison, how do you explain, they're all over the place, how are they not making money?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Well, one thing to keep in mind, Jim, is that Uber is a private company. It doesn't have to open its books, but it did have an eye opening conference call recently. "Bloomberg News" is reporting that Uber's head of finance told investors Uber lost $520 million in the first quarter, $750 million in the second quarter. That equals over a billion dollars. Why these massive losses? Apparently the subsidies that Uber was paying its drivers in China were a huge money pit. Uber was trying to compete with its big Chinese rival called Didi, and to do that it wind up paying its Chinese drivers massive bonuses.
Now before that Uber is in trouble, other companies bled money as well while they grow their businesses. You look at Amazon because over the years that it's been around, Amazon lost a ton of money.
But in the fast few quarters it's made a profit, but there was one year where Amazon lost over a billion dollars. Uber is also spending a lot of money to fight competition here in the U.S., its biggest competitor now is Lyft. That's another ride share service and the two companies are currently duking it out for market shares -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: In a word, are we going to have any trouble getting Uber rides in the next couple of weeks?
KOSIK: I don't think so. I don't think get the feeling Uber is going anywhere anytime soon. Uber over the years has gotten a big cash infusion from investors. The value of the company is estimated at $68 billion. Also it's investing in driverless cars at the moment -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Alison Kosik, thanks very much.
That is it for THE LEAD today. I'm Jim Sciutto. Jake will be back for "STATE OF THE UNION" this Sunday and he will have an exclusive interview with Republican vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence. Make sure you watch Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and noon Eastern Time.
I now turn you over to Brianna Keiler, who is filling in again for Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news, Klan value, Democratic running mate, Tim Kaine --