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Trump Defends Putin; Travel Ban Legal Showdown; Patriots Pull off Comeback Win; Kentucky Town Hopes for Jobs. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired February 6, 2017 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:31:56] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. I'm John Berman.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Poppy Harlow. So glad you're with us. Bottom of the hour.
A busy day for the president as he gets ready to visit U.S. Central Command in Tampa. He is also expected to address U.S. troops while he's at MacDill Air Force Base.
BERMAN: His visit is happening, of course, in the midst of the intensifying legal battle over his travel ban and new controversial comments defending Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
With us now, Republican Congressman Ted Yoho from Florida.
Congressman, thanks so much for being with us.
REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: Hey, appreciate you having me on, John and Poppy.
BERMAN: It's our debut show. You're our first member of Congress to be on. So I know this is a big moment for all of us right here.
HARLOW: So no talking points, congressman.
YOHO: None at all.
BERMAN: So, congressman, your website says this. Your website says, "part of being a true conservative is believing in American exceptionalism and the ideals of freedom and fairness."
BERMAN: "American exceptionalism. So when you hear the president say, we've got a lot of killers, the United States, you think our country's so innocent, you think our country's so innocent. How do those comments about the United States jive with your concept of American exceptionalism?
YOHO: Well, you know, America is exceptional because of the way we were founded on our ideals, our founding principles and our core values and the Constitution that holds that together. And over the course of the last 50 years -
BERMAN: Are we killers? Are we - are we killers?
YOHO: I mean, obviously, people have been killed that were unintended to be killed. So, you know, how - how far do you want to dice this down?
HARLOW: Well, I mean, isn't the - isn't the difference, congressman, that, for example, Russia purposefully bombed in Syria and killed civilians, whereas the United States has obviously - there are air strikes where civilians have been killed but not purposefully, as in the case of Russia -
YOHO: I agree there's a -
HARLOW: And as Marco Rubio, your Republican colleague said, you know, Democrats have not allegedly poisoned their Republican opponents and vis versa in the United States.
YOHO: I agree 100 percent with you on that comment. Absolutely. You know, but things have happened and we have to take the responsibility. It's like the hospital that got blown up that America did. You know, we did that and it was unintentional but still people died. So if you want to say, well, did people get killed by the United States government? Absolutely. But that's happened when we're in acts of war. If you go back to World War II, I think there was over 70,000 people that were killed that were innocent - or civilians in the bombing raids.
BERMAN: So this morning, congressman, there's some new polling out on the president's approval rating. CNN has it as 53 percent disapproval right now for President Trump. And he went on Twitter this morning to comment about this. He said, "any negative polls are fake news." So does that mean that anything that isn't going his way is just false?
YOHO: President Trump has a different personality and a different way people have to get used to. If you looked at the football game last night, you would have thought Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were going to do terrible. You - you can't judge a - wait, wait a minute. NO, wait a minute. You -
BERMAN: Except - except, congressman - except, congressman - except, congressman, the score was never false. I mean the Atlanta Falcons were really up by a lot.
YOHO: It wasn't. But the narrative - the narrative was, because people were signing off, saying, well, there's no way New England can come back. You're judging a moment in time and when a - you want to score him on this instead of looking back over four years and look back on how it came out. And that's what I would encourage people to do.
[09:35:13] HARLOW: So I don't -
YOHO: Don't take it out of context at a moment in time.
HARLOW: So here - YOHO: I mean look at the stock market. You can't - you can't tell if the stock market's up or down by looking at - from day to day, but over - you can see the trend, and that's what I encourage people to do.
HARLOW: Yes, but - but here's the - here's the difference, congressman, when the - when the - when the stock market hit 20,000, we on CNN and every news network reported that the stock market hit 20,000. When the people tell news networks that do this polling, this is how I think the president's doing.
HARLOW: And we say, here's what you the people think.
HARLOW: The president then says, that's not actually how you people think. That doesn't scare you?
YOHO: No, it doesn't, because as you said, as John just said, today. That's what they think today. But if you go back to free -
HARLOW: Right, but he's saying it's false.
HARLOW: He's saying there is no truth to what they, the people, are saying they think.
YOHO: Well -
HARLOW: And that's why I'm asking you, are you comfortable with that?
YOHO: Yes, I am, because if you go back to what the polls said, Hillary Clinton was going to win. If you go back to when Trump got elected, the stock market went up. And everybody says, it's the Trump effect. And then he said something and it dropped down. They said, oh, Trump's going to damage the economy. The people just need to put a pause on it -
HARLOW: So - so the big difference - let me just make a point that -
YOHO: And look at the - the trend.
HARLOW: So I hear you that all the pundits and all the polls were totally wrong in the election.
YOHO: A little bit.
HARLOW: The difference is, those polls were asking, who do you think will win? Who will you vote for? Not actually what you've done in this moment. And that's what makes this polling very different from the - the polling that was projecting what would happen in the election.
YOHO: Well, actually - actually the exit polls said that Mrs. Clinton was going to win, too. So, you know, you've got to look at how the poll was done. Was the poll skewed. And we know polls can be skewed. We've seen that throughout our history. And, again, I want to encourage people, don't look at a point in time. Look at the trend.
BERMAN: So, congressman, I want to ask you about the travel ban right now -
BERMAN: Which is being considered right now by the Ninth Circuit in California. President Trump said that the judge there who put a pause on it, if something happens, blame him and the court system. Do you think that's fair?
YOHO: Again, you're going to have to - people are going to have to get used to Mr. Trump's personality. The uniqueness, the way he delivers the message. I agree with the travel ban. I read the executive order and I stand 100 percent with that. How it's implemented, the whole purpose of this is to do an assessment of where we're at because we've had such a lax immigration policy and a refugee program.
When I sit and talk to Director Comey of the FBI or the CIA director and they tell us they can't vet these people coming in from countries that don't have the proper way to vet and background check, when I know countries like Venezuela is creating false passports, allowing people from Middle Eastern countries and ISIS members to come into our country, I think President Trump has the right to have an order to block people until we can vet them.
And this is a pause. This is not permanent. It's a pause. And he has metrics in there to re-evaluate it in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and 120 days so that we can make sure that the people that are coming into this country are people that are of good will and they're not going to - we're not going to have to worry about terrorism in this country.
HARLOW: So, congressman, you say that you think this travel ban is 100 percent correct. And the country is pretty evenly divided on this. What terror attack can you point to in the United States that was carried out by someone who was - who was banned from coming to this country through this ban, either a refugee or an immigrant from these seven nations?
YOHO: I can't point to one right now, but I can do this. The process that the FBI is using - if you look at the - the brothers in the Boston bombing, we got information from European intelligence sources, from Russian intelligence sources to watch these people. The FBI dropped the ball on that. If you look at the person from Alaska that -
HARLOW: So how did this -
YOHO: Let me finish here.
HARLOW: The question, though, congressman, is, how does this - how does this ban fix that? Because what it doesn't include, as you know, are the four nations where the 9/11 hijackers came from.
BERMAN: Or the nations where the Boston bombers came from.
HARLOW: Bombers came from.
YOHO: That's - OK, that's - let's go to that. There was 19 people that came over on the - or for the 9/11 attack. One of them was a student visa. Others came over on business and work visas. Maybe we should have done a better -
HARLOW: Yes, but they weren't from these countries.
YOHO: I - I agree with that. But since then, the agreements we have with Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Egypt, our agreements with them on security before people come over here, we have a good background on those since that time. What we don't want to do is let people fall through the track like - crack, like they have done in Belgium, in Paris, in Germany and in England. We don't want that to happen.
And, you know, do you want to wait until an incident happens and then say, why didn't we do this? Or do you want somebody that's proactive on national security, which is the number one task of our federal government is to provide for the common defense of our country.
[09:40:05] I would rather err on the side of caution. And then, yes, it's going to be a little bit inconvenient. But this isn't historical. This - this has happened in the past with other presidents. And I think President Trump - part of leadership is having to take tough decisions and make them and then go through it and listen to the critics, the armchair quarterbacks that want to have a poll come out on a day and chastise somebody for doing what's right. This - we all should pull together as security for our country. And that's neither a Republican or Democratic issue. That's an American issue that goes back our exceptionalism of this country.
HARLOW: Look, congressman - congressman, we have to leave it there. We all want a very safe America, but when you say a little bit inconvenient for people, I think that's understating what this has done to some American families. Look, our - some families that are trying to come into the country and some -
YOHO: Well, wait a minute. What about 9/11? Was that inconvenient to people when 3,000 people got murdered?
YOHO: I mean, wasn't that inconvenient? Do you want to repeat that? I don't think so.
HARLOW: And that's why we're asking you why those countries aren't included on this ban?
HARLOW: All right, congressman, we appreciate you coming on the program. Please, come back.
YOHO: Yes, ma'am. Appreciate you having me on. BERMAN: All right, still coming up for us, the New England Patriots
with their fifth Super Bowl win. Tom Brady with his fourth super Bowl MVP. I promise you, it never gets old, and we are waiting to hear from the quarterback.
HARLOW: A stunning comeback, to say the least, by the New England Patriots. John is just beyond.
BERMAN: I still don't believe the score. I still - I just don't believe it.
HARLOW: I don't believe the score.
It is the first overtime victory in Super Bowl history.
BERMAN: We are waiting right now to hear from Tom Brady. Frankly, to look at Tom Brady. Also from Patriots' coach Bill Belichick. They're going to speak any second live from Houston.
CNN's Coy Wire, former Atlanta Falcon, joins us right now live from Houston.
Coy, I know you were predicting an Atlanta Falcons blowout. Here's the thing, you were right -
BERMAN: Until all of a sudden you weren't.
[09:45:01] COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I know. I know, until all of a sudden I was not and the entire world - Falcons nation weeped. What an incredible comeback. The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, maybe sports history, John. And congrats to your Pats. No team had ever come back in a Super Bowl being down more than ten points. Well, the Falcons were ahead by 25 at one point.
This was the play of the game, though, that we have to show you in the second half that steam rolled momentum for the Pats, Julian Edelman with what some are calling the greatest catch in Super Bowl history. The Pats were down at this point 28-20 in the fourth. And this play propelled the Pats to a game tying touchdown and two-point conversion. But this is slow motion. I mean this is not easy, but he somehow hangs on this this thing. They sent this game into its first over - first ever overtime in Super Bowl history. And James White would take the toss and pummel his way in for the game winning score. An historic 34- 28 win over my former team, the Falcons.
But I was on that field after the game in the middle of the men who had fought through adversity. They felt like - they felt like the only people on their sides, in the wake of the "deflate-gate" scandal, people calling them the cheat-triots, were their fans and their families. I caught up with Edelman, who had that incredible catch, just moments after the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN EDELMAN, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER: I feel - I feel unbelievable, man. Just an unbelievable win for the team, for our area, for New England, for my family, for all of our families on the team. You know, you've got to believe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Got to believe he said is their mantra. And you also hear him talk about family. Well, one person who was especially emotional, record setting four-time Super Bowl MVP, five-time champion Tom Brady. You see him letting out emotion after the game as - and I caught up with Roger Goodell, owner Robert Kraft and Gronk on the field afterward to ask them about the greatest of all time, Tom Brady. But first, here is Tom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: Thank you to all our fans, everyone back in Boston, New England, we love you. You've been with us all year. We're bringing this sucker home!
ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: It's just the biggest stage and he always steps up on the biggest stage and plays unbelievable. And he did it again tonight, to bring that team back is just unbelievable.
ROBERT KRAFT, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS OWNER: I think what happened, the trauma in the first four games engaged fans even more because they know we weren't treated fairly. And, you know, now we had a chance to go through the year and I think results speak for themselves.
ROB GRONKOWSKI, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS TIGHT END: Brady's the best ever, and Belichick is, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Now, John, I know you're going to love this inside info. After the game, I asked the coach, who was in the locker room at half-time, when the Pats were down 21-3, I said, what happened? He said Belichick looked at every man in that locker room and said, 21 points will not be enough for the Falcons to beat us. All the guys locked in and they believed, man.
Congrats to you and the Patriots. What a wonderful day.
BERMAN: I'm glad they believed it. I'm not sure everyone else in the country did.
HARLOW: He didn't.
BERMAN: I'm not so sure I did.
Coy Wire, great to see you. Thanks so much. And, really, I'm sorry it didn't work out. Not that sorry. Great to see you, though.
HARLOW: Sorry, but not sorry. All right, still to come for us, switching gears, hope in the heart of
Trump country. We're going to take you deep inside of Kentucky, to Beattyville, one of the poorest, predominately white towns in the entire country. This is a town that is betting everything on the president.
[09:50:17] HARLOW: Now we want to bring you a story of hope in the heart of Trump country. We're going to take you to Beattyville, Kentucky, where President Trump won more than 80 percent of the vote. Why? Jobs. Many in this town have been without a job and without hope for decades. But for the first time in a long time, they see that changing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very hopeful that the jobs will come back because of Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess I'm most hopeful for opportunity and job growth within our area.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm hopeful that we will have jobs in Kentucky.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to keep our young people here, give them a future.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have fresh meat in the White House.
HARLOW (voice-over): It's hard to find more natural beauty than the rolling hills surrounding Beattyville, Kentucky.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just love this area.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's beautiful here.
HARLOW: To say folks here are proud of their town is an understatement. And they're no fan of the recent headlines about it.
HARLOW (on camera): This is Beattyville, Kentucky, one of the poorest, predominantly white towns in the country. More than half of the people here live in poverty and rely on food stamps. Less than a hundred miles from here is where President Lyndon Johnson declared the war on poverty just over 50 years ago.
LYNDON JOHNSON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (voice-over): This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.
HARLOW (voice-over): But for decades, people here have struggled, more and more as their factories have shuttered and their coal mines have closed. Now, though, there is a sense of hope that you can feel across this town, something many here have not felt for a long time.
CHUCK CAUDILL, GENERAL MANAGER, BEATTYVILLE ENTERPRISE NEWSPAPER: A lot of people are happy. I mean some even ecstatic that - that we now can say "President Trump."
HARLOW: President Trump won more than 80 percent of the vote here.
DONNA COOMER, MANAGER, VALERO GAS STATION: Everybody was excited. Someone told me this morning that in eastern Kentucky that the coal trucks are already out and about.
HARLOW: Donna Coomer has been running this gas station for a decade and knows just about everyone in town.
COOMER: Hello, Howard.
HARLOW (on camera): Do you feel hopeful after the election?
COOMER: Absolutely. He's already done more in a week than Obama did in eight years.
HARLOW: President Trump?
COOMER: For the American people.
HARLOW: I'm fascinated by what gives people so much hope. What do you think it is?
COOMER: The change. The fact that they want - he wants - I believe he wants to take care of us, the little people. And he understands us better. I think he's going to quit giving money to all these other countries and take care of America.
HARLOW (voice-over): But for Melissa Allen, hope is hard to find.
HARLOW (on camera): Do you make enough to get by?
MELISSA ALLEN, SINGLE MOTHER LIVING ON MINIMUM WAGE: Not without working seven days a week, no. I've lived here my entire life. I've lived in poverty my entire life. So there's really no hope.
HARLOW: You're young, Melissa.
ALLEN: I know.
ALLEN: Every week you've got to rob Peter to pay Paul. I had my electric shut off. I've had my water shut off.
HARLOW: Do you get a sense that people here are more hopeful now because of the new president?
ALLEN: It seems like people are. But it's kind of almost like wishing on lost hope because it's been this way for so long.
HARLOW (voice-over): Her livelihood crumbled when one of the town's biggest employers shuttered six years ago.
ALLEN: I worked at Lane (ph) Apparel. We had a sewing factory. HARLOW (on camera): It was a big factory.
ALLEN: Yes. As a matter of fact, I worked there for almost ten years.
HARLOW: Were you making a pretty good income there?
ALLEN: I done decent there. One of the only decent paying jobs left. And I was actually the highest paid employee on the sewing floor.
HARLOW: But when that factory shuttered?
ALLEN: I did too. I mean, honestly.
HARLOW (voice-over): Now taking care of her five-year-old son Hayden (ph) means two minimum wage jobs working up to 60 hours a week, and still relying on about $100 in food stamps each month.
ALLEN: I don't understand why minimum wage here can't be raised. I don't - I don't get that.
HARLOW: More than 43 million Americans are living at or below the poverty line. In Beattyville, the economic decline didn't come quickly. It's been a slow, painful drip of job losses for decades.
HARLOW (on camera): So what happened?
CAUDILL: Our industry went away. We were slow to realize that. We were the number one oil producing county east of the Mississippi at one time. Yes.
[09:55:06] HARLOW: Plenty of money here at one time.
CAUDILL: At one time we were the gem of eastern Kentucky. I don't blame either party. I blame a system that creates - that creates a situation where everybody says everything's wonderful and it's not.
HARLOW (voice-over): Chuck Caudill runs the local paper here.
HARLOW (on camera): The hope seems palpable.
CAUDILL: Well, it is, simply because the - back here, you know, for the last few generations, we've been getting lots of promises and there's been a lot of money thrown at the issues.
HARLOW: Help me understand why so much hope is being placed in President Trump.
CAUDILL: His bluntness, which is very disquieting to people is refreshing.
HARLOW: But bluntness may be refreshing. It doesn't always equal jobs.
CAUDILL: It does not always equal jobs, but he out and out said, I'm going to give you jobs. There's desperation back here.
HARLOW (voice-over): Susan Lutes isn't convinced, though, President Trump will bring Beattyville what it needs.
SUSAN LUTES, VOTED FOR HILLARY CLINTON: He makes a lot of promises. He says a lot of things that sound great to some people who - who may not have as much insight into it as - as they could have or they should have.
HARLOW: Her concern? Cutbacks in social programs here.
LUTES: Those are resources that we need more of. We don't need to lose what we have.
PATRICIA COLE, VOTED FOR HILLARY CLINTON: I don't think that Trump has a clue about the little man. You know, when you're born wealthy and everything's been handed to you, and you have everything that's - in your world that's gold-plated, come to our world. Come and see how we live.
HARLOW: Regardless of party, one constant you hear, something must be done so Beattyville doesn't lose the next generation.
STEVE MAYS, LEE COUNTY, KENTUCKY, JUDGE/EXECUTIVE: We're losing our young people. They're having to - they're having to leave after they graduate high school, graduate college. They're having to leave here. And we need good paying jobs to keep them here. They don't expect to make a million dollars or something. This is my American dream. This is my American dream, just to raise my family in a safe environment in a small town. And I think that's what a lot of people here want. There's not opportunity for my children here, no, and that's what I worry about.
MAYOR JOHN SMITH, BEATTYVILLE, KENTUCKY: When jobs leave, I said before, it's just difficult to bring them back in with the infrastructure we have, roads, Internet connections.
HARLOW (on camera): How much do you guys trust Donald Trump?
SMITH: Umm - yes, I don't know yet. I mean, really. You know, I have faith that he's going to work - he's going to work for the people. I have faith in that.
HARLOW (voice-over): Married 22 years and parents to three daughters, Harold and Leighandra Shouse share a modest home in the hills with seven dogs and a lot of love all around.
LEIGHANDRA SHOUSE, VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: We were the ones that kind of fell in the crack, you know. In our world, you don't pay your bills this week. You pay a bill. You learn to live humbly.
HARLOW: Leighandra's an artist. Harold is a mason. He drives two hours each way to and from work because the best paying job he could find close to home only paid $11 an hour.
HARLOW: Do you think most of America really understands - HAROLD SHOUSE, VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: No.
HARLOW: What - what you live through?
L. SHOUSE: I think most of America is where we are and that's why the election went the way it did.
HARLOW: Can Donald Trump help you?
H. SHOUSE: He can bring some jobs in here. Like the prison up here is shut down, you know.
HARLOW: Yes, it's a private prison.
H. SHOUSE: You know, they open it back up, you know, look at how many people they laid off - had to let go. There was a lot of jobs people lost right there.
HARLOW: What's Trump's promise to you? What can he do for you?
L. SHOUSE: Any change from what we've had. And, you know what, I understand that Obama has done great for some people. And I'll give him that. It didn't help us. It didn't help us at all.
HARLOW: Do you feel forgotten?
L. SHOUSE: Sure. Sure. I don't know why my kids have to work two jobs each. We don't want free college. We don't want everything free. We want to keep our sense of pride that we take care of ourselves.
HARLOW (voice-over): One day they'd like their American dream and their first vacation in a decade.
H. SHOUSE: Grand Canyon.
L. SHOUSE: Yes. He has said that since we've been married. We will go to the Grand Canyons one day.
HARLOW: The day we landed in Beattyville, the stock market hit a record high. But Dow 20,000 doesn't help many folks here.
[10:00:00] CAUDILL: For the majority of the people here, the stock market is something interesting to look at.
HARLOW: It's factories like this one where Melissa and hundreds more made a decent living, that President Trump has promised to resurrect. It's a promise