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CNN NEWSROOM

GOP In the Dark on Trump's Health Care Plan; Schumer: Tom Price Legislation, Stock A Crime; Trump Taking Credit for Jobs Returning to U.S.; Obama's Move Out of White House, Head to Palm Springs; Trump Supporter Was Confident Trump Would Win Election; Search for MH370 Suspended. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired January 17, 2017 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30::00] MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Donald Trump is expected to be there as well as Trump transition, administration officials. And expect more effort to try to get behind a cohesive plan because, right now, there are a lot of folks on Capitol Hill operating in the dark as to what Donald Trump wants.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: We'll continue that conversation.

And also under the file of Obamacare, let's talk about the story you broke. Tom Price, who is also up for secretary of HHS, Health and Human Services, for the Trump administration, there are some questions about his stock, soon after, the company said stock he proposed legislation in Congress.

RAJU: That's right. The company, a device maker, Mr. Price purchased stock last year. Less than a week later, he offered legislation designed to delay a federal Medicare rule that affected medical device companies that made knee and hip implants, and that's exactly what they make. Since the story broke, the Price team is saying the broker did this, he wasn't aware of it. But he maintained that stock and kept that stock while he served in the House. And now he promises to divest the stock if he does become head of the Health and Human Services Department.

I spoke with Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, trying to stop Price's nomination. And he thinks this raises some major, major issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D-NY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I think there's a very good chance he will not be confirmed. I would urge that this is not a partisan issue. I would urge our Republican friends, who also talk about cleaning the swamp, this is exhibit A.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: Schumer suggesting Republicans would vote with Democrats against Price but we don't have any indication, Brooke, that that will happen. We'll see what happens in his Wednesday confirmation hearing, the first of two on Capitol Hill.

BALDWIN: Thank you, Manu Raju.

Three days until Donald Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States and he is taking credit for all the new jobs coming back into the U.S., tweeting, "With all the new jobs I'm bringing back into the U.S., I believe people are seeing big stuff." Trump's tweets followed the morning announcement from General Motors plans to invest $1 billion in U.S. factories, retain or create about 7000 jobs and move 450 jobs from Mexico back to the U.S. Walmart, announcing it will add 10,000 jobs this year. And Trump tweeting, "Thank you to General Motors and Walmart for starting the big jobs push into the U.S."

So, with me now, former Wall Street executive and business expert, Alexis Glick.

ALEXIS GLICK, BUSINESS EXPERT & FORMER WALL STREET EXECUTIVE: Nice to see you. Hi.

Great to see you.

BALDWIN: It's awesome news for the economy and the auto news, but were some of the jobs already on the docket to be created the U.S. or is some of this creatively timed?

GLICK: Perfect question. The reality is many of these were in the pipeline and were discussed quite some time but you do have to give Trump and the administration a lot of credit for the fact that they have been having this dialogue with CEOs around the country of what do we need to do to give you the visibility and incentive to keep jobs in the United States? So, it's a dialogue between protectionism, protecting jobs from going overseas, and to their great credit they're starting to give CEOs what they need and what they are thinking about ere sing -- every single day is visibility, around taxes, legislation to keep my factories in the United States and they have spent an awful a lot of time over the past couple of months and I think we're starting to see the dividends pay off.

BALDWIN: If you take the reverse logic, saying I get the credit for these jobs would he get the credit for Mercedes and BMW, who had been producing in the U.S. and going to Mexico, does it work both ways?

GLICK: Yes, I harkened President Obama when he was president-elect and I remember he did a very similar thing. He brought together all the CEOs and leaders across to country to talk about jobs and one thing I can say in hindsight that President-elect Trump needs to think about is you cannot slate from the White House and the rhetoric right now is really important particularly when we're talking about things like tea tariffs, even if you're giving them visibility around taxes, you have to be careful that the rhetoric doesn't turn around. I think today it is quite remarkable and should spend a lot of time talking about the president of China just appeared at the -- today. No leader of China has shown up to what is considered probably the most powerful convening of global leaders in the world and what he essentially said is no one wants to create enemies through a trade war. No one wants to put up these barriers. And what we have to be careful of is there's currency risks not only trade risks but global risks so the fact that the president of China stood up there today and actually quoted Charles Dickens of "for the people and by the people."

[14:36:02] BALDWIN: So fascinating.

GLICK: I would say what is China trying to do, they are not the holder of our largest currency anymore.

BALDWIN: We have heard this guy talk about China a lot.

GLICK: We do. We have to be careful that our rhetoric doesn't pull us away from the important leadership that we have had around the world. The last thing I say, too, Brooke, is let's not diminish the importance of job training. Walmart along with the retail federation yesterday announced a huge job training program in the United States to really make sure we're addressing the skills gap and retail the one of the largest industries in the United States to employ people but the important thing here is that if you look at college-educated workers today versus high school age workers, we have the widest gap in the history of the country, college kids are getting paid 56percent more than high school kids so we have to be looking at what is our job training philosophy how are we making sure we have the skills necessary for this future work force to continue to create jobs here in the United States?

BALDWIN: Glad you mentioned it, and focus on Walmart in the training piece of it all.

Alexis, thank you very much.

GLICK: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Next, moving vans spotted outside of the White House. What is the first thing the first family plans to do after the inauguration? Somewhere warmer perhaps? That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:41:58] BALDWIN: Three days from now, for the very first time in eight years, the Obamas will have a new home outside the White House. Moving vans already parked in front of the first family's Washington, D.C., home. And while movers are busy unpacking, CNN has learned the family will be resting in a balmy Palm Springs.

CNN's White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, has more on the plans to get out of dodge.

Tell us more about this trip.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Brooke, for a while the president has been saying one of the first things he wants to leaves office is he's going to take his wife on a well-deserved vacation. And the whole family is going. Although you would assume the girls have to be back in school the following week. So, who knows, maybe the president and first lady or, at that point, the former president and first lady, will spend more time out there.

We will hear from Obama tomorrow. He'll have his last press conferences. But we heard from him today as well, for his press secretary of two years, Josh Earnest's last briefing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- for 10 years almost and I've watched him grow and I've watched him advance and I've watched him marry and I've watched him be a father and I've watched him manage younger people coming up behind him, and he's never disappointed. He is not only a great press secretary but more importantly he's a really, really good man and I'm really, really proud of him.

So, Josh, congratulations.

JOSH EARNEST, OUTGOING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Thank you.

KOSINSKI: Something else we're waiting to hear from President Obama, what will be his decisions on pardons, clemency, more commutations for those with long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses, and possibly more prison transfers from Guantanamo Bay. The White House says he's still working on these things, among others. So, we could see some major decisions within the next three days -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Lots of news.

Michelle Kosinski, thank you very much.

Up next, we'll talk to a Trump supporter who booked a hotel room back in July. Why she was so confident Mr. Trump would win.

[14:45:32] Also, the number of Democrats who will not be attending the inauguration, the number continues to grow, nearly 50 lawmakers and counting. And the top Democrat's warning about more joining that crowd.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: There may not be some long lists of celebrities or A-list of performers for the Trump inauguration but the president-elect supporters, the voters, say they will be out in full force, including my next guest. She is Leslie Baum Rossi, a Trump supporter who booked her hotel room for the inauguration back in July, she was so confident her guy would win.

Leslie, it's so nice to have you on.

LESLIE BAUM ROSSI, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Thank you. Great to be here.

BALDWIN: Not a lot of high-profile celebrities, big bands. You have 50 or so Democratic Congressmen and women pulling out. You say so what. Tell me why?

BAUM ROSSI: I was part of the grassroots movement. I created my own way in reaching out to voters here in Pennsylvania and a house that looked like an American flag and put a Donald Trump statue in the yard. This is my guest list just in one month. We give out constitutions, talked to voters, many were first-time Democrats voting for Republican. I would hear why government was affecting them. I had thousands of people by the end. It was absolutely amazing so always I felt confident Mr. Trump was going to win despite what the polls said because I was in touch with the American voters.

[14:50:17] BALDWIN: There's nothing wrong with a good old statue, but where did this enthusiasm come from?

BAUM ROSSI: I was given them by Congressman Murphy and I have pretty good seats. I'm pretty excited about that.

With the home, I hung a sign, many people were angry about it. They were writing letters to the editor that my sign was causing pain and suffering, so the more people did to me I did more, I stood on route 30 and got attention to voters, and I painted the house and we were trying to get delegates in the primaries so people in Pennsylvania new their vote for delegate mattered more than the election, we really needed to select the correct delegate so I did the House for that reason and it attracted voters from all over the -- sorry visitors from all over the world but American visitors from all the states were coming to see me and talk politics it was absolutely fantastic.

BALDWIN: Listen, I really admire your enthusiasm, and I hear you have been down shopping, everything we have been talking about Trump, whether it's NATO, China, Russia or even Meryl Streep, is there anything that concerns you about him?

BAUM ROSSI: Not at all. I'm so proud that he stepped up and ran for the American people. I think he's our voice for what we are all thinking and we are excited and proud to have him be our president.

BALDWIN: Leslie, safe travels in Washington. Perhaps, I'll bump into you.

BAUM ROSSI: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much for your time.

Leslie Baum Rossi, attending the Trump inauguration.

Coming up, after three years of the search for the flight MH370, it's now officially over with no new discoveries. How the families are reacting. Might a private search pick up from here?

Also, the widow of the Orlando shooter who killed 49 people in the nightclub is now accused of helping her husband. Coming up, we'll talk to a survivor of the shooting, get his reaction to the arrest, and the phone call from the FBI.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:57:00] BALDWIN: "Nothing short of irresponsible," that is what the decision to end the underwater search for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370. You remember the whole story, it disappeared back on March 8th, 2014. 239 people were on board. The missing plane remains one of modern aviation's biggest mysteries.

Let me bring in CNN contributor, David Gallo, who also co-led the search to find the missing Air France 447.

David, we talked many times three years ago. Here we are, they're ending the search. Do you think this is at all premature?

DAVID GALLO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I do, Brooke. My emotions have been all over the place because it reminds me of the first year looking for Air France 2447 and emotions were high about whether to stop then, and they'll be haunted from here on forward about whether the plane is in that spot or not so we'll see what happens from here on in, but it's just the wrong thing to do.

BALDWIN: You talk about emotions, I'm trying to put myself in the shoes of these family members. But how do you take the news that after three years they're just up and stopping?

GALLO: It's horrible. And I've talked to family members, every single day, sometimes hours, they relive the tragedy and by pulling up the expedition by its roots really ends all that and I just don't understand because in the early days there was all this rhetoric that we'll stop at nothing until the plane is found. Well here is their chance to put an end to this search at least complete that one last area and then decide to stop for a while.

BALDWIN: What about this idea, David, in your experience, would there be someone out there some billionaire who wants to help who could pony up the money to continue a private search, is that a possibility ever?

GALLO: It's a possibility. There are more than a handful of billionaires that have ships and equipment similar to what we used to find Air France 447 and they could do it but when you think about Asia, China, Boeing, these are fairly large entities and you wonder why they're not feeling more responsibility about getting involved but I hope if there's something out there they come forward, now is the time to do it.

BALDWIN: Help to find it. Three years now.

David Gallo, thank you so much.

All right. Top of the hour. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.