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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Sources: Russia Tried To Use Trump Advisers To Infiltrate Campaign; Trump Looks For Big Wins As Milestone Approaches; U.S. To Honor Refugee Deal Trump Called "Dumb"; Ninety One Active Fires Force Thousands To Flee Their Homes; Protesters Take To Streets In March For Science; GOP Leaders Attempting A New Obamacare Overhaul; Soundtracks: Music That Defined History. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired April 22, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators now believe Russia tried to use Trump advisors to infiltrate the campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not only through e-mail hacks and propaganda but also by trying to infiltrate the Trump orbit.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just think about what we can accomplish in the first 100 days of a Trump administration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of his success has been through executive orders. Real success is working with Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A witness spotted Cummings with his former student, Elizabeth Tonis (ph) deep in the woods of Northern California.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are gathering as much evidence as possible. This is a very, very small cabin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scientists and supporters are planning a huge march for science.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One hundred fifty thousand people expected to gather here on the mall and march to the capitol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to Saturday. So grateful to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning. We begin with new information on how Russia tried to influence the 2016 election. According to officials the FBI believes Russian operatives tried to recruit Trump advisors including Carter Page to influence the Trump campaign.
PAUL: CNN justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, has all of the details for us.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We've learned the FBI gathered intelligence last summer that suggests Russian operatives tried to use Trump advisors including Carter Page to infiltrate the Trump campaign according to multiple U.S. officials.
Now Carter Page's critical speech of U.S. policy against Russia in July of 2016 at a prominent Moscow university is one factor. It's part of what raised concerns in the bureau that he may have been compromised by Russian intelligence.
But this new information adds to this emerging picture of how the Russians tried to influence the 2016 U.S. election not only through e- mail hacks and propaganda, sometimes referred to as fake news but also by trying to infiltrate the Trump orbit.
The intelligence that was gathered led to that broader FBI investigation into the coordination of Trump's campaign associates and the Russians as FBI Director James Comey has referred to.
But the officials we've spoken with made clear they don't know whether Page was aware the Russians may have been using him because of the way Russian spy services operate. Page could have unknowingly talked with Russian agents.
Now he disputes the idea he has ever collected intelligence for the Russians saying that at times he actually helped the U.S. intelligence community.
He told CNN, quote, "My assumption throughout the last 26 years I've been going there is that any Russian person might share information with the Russian government as I have similarly done with the CIA, FBI and other government agencies in the past."
And it is important to note that within the Trump campaign Carter Page was viewed as someone who had little or no influence, but he was one of several Trump advisors whom U.S. and European intelligence detected in contact with Russian officials. The FBI investigation is still ongoing. Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.
BLACKWELL: All right, Pamela, thanks. Page told CNN earlier this month how he met the Russian operative, Victor (inaudible). That he denies he was actually giving him any valuable information. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARTER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR: I did not know that he was a spy when I first met him, although eventually it came out. He never made any indication that he was trying to recruit me. It was all just a casual conversation, exactly what I told my students at New York University.
And no offer was made and there was no negotiation what so over. I met at a conference at an Asian Society and at some point later within a month or so, I believe, several years ago, we had coffee once, had a slight conversation. I gave him a couple of my information from my lectures, some public research reports, and that was the end of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Jack Barsky, a former KGB spy is joining us now. So listening to what he was saying, Jack. Help us understand the tactics for recruitment and would he be unknowingly as it has been characterized aware that he was trying to be either recruited or that they were trying to gather information from him.
JACK BARSKY, FORMER KGB SPY: Well, let's start with what Carter Page was doing while he was in Moscow. He was working for Merrill Lynch, doing a lot of business with (inaudible), the Russian company that pretty much as a monopoly on oil and natural gas, a huge company.
And if there's any company that is under the control of the Russian government and Putin himself, that's it. Now, historically, those kind of enterprises were infiltrated by agents. Why would that have changed?
So, it is quite likely that Mr. Page also had contact with other agents while doing business and it is quite likely that they were giving reports back to their handlers.
[06:05:11]Whether they were direct employees or unofficial workers on behalf of the intelligence services. And it's quite likely that there's a dossier about Carter Page and a lot of folks who do business in Moscow with those companies.
So, that's how it works. Then we find out, how can we, you know, I'm now the, you know, the intelligence agent, how can we use that information. How can we -- you know, recruiting somebody is sort of like, would be the crown jewel.
You got to be really careful because you're most likely tick them off and not get anything out of this particular individual. So find a way to hook them and feed them information, work with them in some way, and apparently they did.
PAUL: It's almost like a grooming process? Would that be a right characterization?
BARSKY: Not as much grooming. It's like, you know, having an asset there who doesn't know that they are an asset. And you're playing also into greed, arrogance, and ego. If you're being built up by the Russian government as being an expert in one of the most influential in foreign policy in the United States that feels good, doesn't it?
BLACKWELL: This may get to my question here, why Carter Page? Because he was not in the upper echelon of foreign policy decisions for the Trump campaign or Trump transition, but they were trying to get someone who could influence the then Candidate Trump or now President Trump. Why go for Carter Page who at least by the reporting we have was not really on the inside.
BARSKY: You take what you can get. Obviously there were relationships there. There was an angle. You know, when I was operating in this country, they asked me to get in touch with all kinds of high level individuals. That wasn't possible. So Carter Page was most likely a very inviting target.
BLACKWELL: Is it possible even credible to think that he did not know that he was being used?
BARSKY: It is quite likely that he didn't know. There's one thing -- you know, there's a statement that he made that he was aware when you deal with Russian business people that they could be infiltrated by Secret Service. I think that's an after the fact statement.
In my opinion, Americans are rather naive when it comes to these types of issues. Case in point, how many times have you heard that people are hacked because they are subject to phishing operations?
We're quite naive as a country. There's a whole lot of this stuff going on and I think we need to be as a country, as a population we need become more aware of these things.
PAUL: So besides the e-mail hacks and the propaganda and trying to infiltrate that orbit as it's called, the Trump orbit, what else might they have done or how much do you think they truly may have influenced this election?
BARSKY: Well, you know, now you're asking me to step out of my sand box and I can't do that. I can't speculate.
BARSKY: The only thing I can tell you is they tried as much as they could. At this point, I believe there's no evidence that had they actually succeeded. As a matter of fact if, indeed, they were after having better relationships and having the sanctions lifted backfired which happens very often in an intelligence type operation. We can't control all the players and their egos involved and individual agendas involved. So what happened right now, we don't have good relations, right?
BLACKWELL: You know, much of what we're discussing is likelihood and plausibility of some of these ideas. Without the full information from the FBI, we don't know absolutely.
BARSKY: That's right.
BLACKWELL: But if they tried to infiltrate Carter Page, what's the likelihood that there are more or potentially more that they used to try to get him to the inside --
BARSKY: More attempt?
BLACKWELL: Or others.
BARSKY: Quite likely. Success, don't know. But, you know, that's why there's an investigation and I would hope that there are not any more leaks about this stuff. Let the FBI do their work.
BLACKWELL: OK, Jack Barsky, so good to have you in this morning.
PAUL: Always good to have you here, Jack. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Former Trump adviser, Carter Page, will be live with Smerconish this morning. His show starts at 9 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN. We'll get more on his response to CNN's new report.
PAUL: We are one week away from President Trump's first 100 days in office, long been a traditional presidential milestone. The White House is still looking to notch its first big legislative win in that time period.
BLACKWELL: You've heard the president say that he likes to be flexible, brags about being flexible. That now appears to apply to his contract with voters that he outlined as a candidate. Here's CNN White House correspondent, Athena Jones.
[06:10:11]ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the clock running out on his first 100 days, President Trump is now questioning the significance of the marker. Tweeting, "No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, and it has been a lot including Supreme Court, media will kill."
That sentiment a far cry the one he expressed in October when he embraced the standard and spelled out a long list of measures he hoped to achieve by the 100-day mark which arrives next Saturday.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I am asking the American people to dream big once again. What follows is my 100-day action plan to make America great again. It's a contract between Donald J. Trump and the American voter.
JONES: But the president's record of keeping his promises so far is mixed. He's followed through on his pledges to withdraw from the Transpacific Partnership, approved the Keystone XL pipeline and put a new justice on the Supreme Court, but he's backed off his pledge to label China a currency manipulator on day one, seen his travel ban blocked in the courts and perhaps the biggest blow --
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We had a great meeting and I think we are going to get a winner vote.
JONES: He failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. That effort went down in flames just weeks ago. A huge embarrassment for the White House and for Congressional Republicans who campaigned for years on rolling back Obamacare.
Outside of the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch much of what the president has accomplished has come in the form of executive action rather than legislation. The president has signed dozens of executive orders and presidential memoranda on issues ranging from a lobbying ban to lifting regulations. He touted his achievements earlier this month.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think we've had one of the most successful 13 weeks of the history of presidency.
JONES: And expressed confidence that a new Obamacare repeal bill being negotiated by House Republicans will pass soon although a vote by next week looks iffy. And the president teased some big news on tax reform next week.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We'll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform.
JONES: And health care isn't the most pressing issue for Congress, members must pass a funding bill by next Friday or face a government shutdown. A major sticking point on that front, money for the border wall, a top priority for the White House.
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think Congress will provide necessary funds and there will be ways to fund this wall and I believe we got to do it.
JONES: The problem it's a nonstarter for Democrats.
JONES: Now folks here at the White House are expecting confidence Congress will be able to avoid a shutdown, but the Budget Office has asked agencies to prepare for a possible lapse, which is standard procedure. And on the tax reform front, the White House is already trying to tamp down expectations a little bit on the timing.
The president talked about a big announcement upcoming on Wednesday, but a White House official said soon after it might not be Wednesday, it could be shortly thereafter -- Victor, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Athena Jones, thanks so much. So what's the report card and political road blocks as the president closes in on 100 days? Our panel weighs in. That's coming up next.
PAUL: Also the National Guard being deployed in Florida to help fight dozens of wildfires. Look at the pictures out of there this morning. Thousands of people are being forced to evacuate their homes.
BLACKWELL: It's one week now until 100 days for the first major report card for the president and there are plenty of political deadlines ahead. Congress is returning out only next week to a renewed push from the White House to replace Obamacare, but also have five days to keep the government from running out money on April 28th just ahead of day 100.
Let's bring in now Sara Westwood, a White House correspondent for the "Washington Examiner," and Michael Warren, online editor at the "Weekly Standard." Good morning to you.
Sara, let me start with you. If you could just detail for us the need or desperate want by this White House to get another win within the next week.
SARA WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": It's clear that the Trump administration wants this health care legislation to advance before the first 100-day mark, but they are holding down expectations that a vote is imminent because the last thing they need is another public collapse.
And so unless they are very confident that the 216 votes are there this time they are not going to push this to advance on Wednesday, which is when the earliest vote on health care would come.
Where they are focusing on securing more realistic victory is funding for the border wall, and the administration has already signaled that they are willing to make concessions on that front.
That they are willing to put on the table for Democrats continuing the subsidy payments to insurance providers that would keep Obamacare from unraveling in the near term if funding for the border wall can go forward. That's where they may be focusing on getting a more realistic victory.
BLACKWELL: Let's get back to the border wall in a moment. But Michael, to you, how real are these talks, the possibility of a deal in the next couple of days. A Republican congressman who tells CNN that the renewed health care talks are an attempt to create the illusion that things are moving because otherwise more people would know about it.
MICHAEL WARREN, ONLINE EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": I think those sources are probably correct. This is definitely a White House push, trying to get some more momentum, but people on Capitol Hill really aren't buying it because the votes aren't there.
This is going to be a long process and you're already starting to hear rhetorically from the president, a kind of recognition of that saying, you know, Obamacare took 17, 18 months to pass Congress and finally get signed into law.
So maybe the unraveling and replacement of that law was something more conservative, something Republicans would like is going to take just as long.
[06:20:02]And so this push suggest to me it's a little more of a PR stunt than a real push for a kind of legislation that can actually pass next week. They are going to have to sort of dig in here and not simply try to meet this arbitrary deadline.
BLACKWELL: Sara, let's talk about that border wall. Of course, that was one of the rallying cries for the president during the campaign. We know that the OMB director has said that this on the list of priorities.
Let's put it up on the screen what he told "The Washington Post" about the border wall funding. He said that, "We have our list of priorities. We want more money for defense. We want to build a border wall. We want more money for immigration as well." Sara, to you, is it plausible to believe that the Democrats will support a dime for the wall?
WESTWOOD: You know, Democrats have already indicated that this is a nonstarter. But the fact that the administration is putting these subsidy payments on the table could change their calculus. This is something Democrats thought they were going to lose.
And now the administration is signaling they are willing to keep paying those out. What's more likely is that the administration can secure wins for increased immigration enforcement, more border patrol officers, more resources for ICE and potentially some more defense spending.
Democrats have said they may be open to funding those priorities and the administration could credibly count that as a win even if they don't get funding specifically for construction of the wall.
BLACKWELL: Michael, to you. Are there indications that the government will be able to continue to function without a pause in funding if there will be a deal before midnight on the 28th?
WARREN: I'm pretty inclined to believe that's the case. Republicans in Congress probably don't agree on much, but they definitely don't want a government shutdown particularly when there's a president of their own party.
But that really, I think, demonstrates the problems that the Trump presidency has on Capitol Hill right now, which is the best they can count on for a victory is not shutting the government down.
They need a lot more momentum and a lot more sort of substantial victories on Capitol Hill that they are not able to get because this is a divided conference and the best they can do is say let's just keep funding it where it is. I think that spells problems down the road.
BLACKWELL: Quickly, Sara to you, with the budget funding that has to be secured by the 28th, and now this call for renewed push on health care, the president now is signaling that mid-week he's going to announce the parameters of a massive tax cut. Of all that has to be done, why is -- I mean, even with the hunt for a win in the first 100 days, why is this now the time to start talking about tax reform. The plate seems to be full already.
WESTWOOD: I think you nailed it when you said it's the first 100 days that's driving this. I think the administration recognizes that coverage is going to be brutal and the ability to say that at least a tax reform was rolled out. A tax reform plan that at least Republicans were able to say this is where our goal posts are on tax reform. Just lessen the impact of that first 100 days coverage because it's one more box that Trump can check to say he did.
BLACKWELL: All right, Sara Westwood, Michael Warren, thank you both.
PAUL: New this morning, Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. will honor a deal to take in more than a thousand refugees from Australia. This is an agreement that was brokered by President Obama right before the election.
It's the same deal President Trump slammed in a tweet back in February. He called it a dumb deal at the time. Here's what the vice president had to say, though, about it all during his visit to Australia today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me make it clear the United States intends to honor the agreement. Subject to the results of the vetting processes is that now apply to all refugees considered for admission to the United States of America.
President Trump has made it clear that we'll honor the agreement. It doesn't mean we admire the agreement. Frankly looking back on the last administration, the president has never been shy about expressing frustration with other international agreements.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: You may remember the president's frustration over the agreement led to reports of a contentious first call with the Australian prime minister. But the White House down played any tensions ahead of Pence's arrival saying the two allies would reaffirm their partnership on security, trade and immigration issues during that visit.
Coming up, scientists are taking a page from the Women's March playbook. Remember the millions of men and women who walked worldwide just after the inauguration. Well, this Earth Day, today, scientists hope to see the same size crowds. Why they say this is about so much more than climate change.
Also Florida firefighters battling 91, 91 different fires, 25,000 acres have already been burned. Yesterday alone 22 new fires started.
[06:25:10]Explaining what's going on we'll talk about that and what it will take to get these burns under control. CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar looking into that. Good morning.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning to you. On the southwest side of the state it's gotten so bad we're actually dealing with evacuations, 2,000 homes actually under mandatory evacuation, even thousands more under volunteer evacuation.
Again, we talk about 4,800 acres burned in just that particular area. We have 29 of those active fires that are at least 100 acres are larger so you are talking massive wildfires here.
Now we take a look at the forecast because unfortunately, don't have much good news. We do have the front coming through and while a couple of places have a chance for scattered showers, it's not going to be much and we are talking low chances, 30 percent at best for a lot of these places. That unfortunately is going to make their drought even worse. Here's a look at the latest drought monitor. You can see at least half of the state, at least the southern half is in either a severe or moderate state of drought.
Now again we take a look at Naples, the closest city to where some of those evacuations have taken place. We've got the rain chances slightly today into tomorrow, but after that we got absolutely nothing in terms of rain chances.
And the other thing to note at least the bright side is we're heading into rainy season coming up. More NEW DAY is coming up in just a bit.
[06:30:51] PAUL: It is so good to have your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. Right now, scientists and their supporters are embracing Earth Day by fighting for science and evidence-based policy.
PAUL: Yes. There's a march of science already underway in Australia. Take a look at it here, more than 500 cities across the world, in fact, are planning events today. The main event, though, in Washington, D.C., the kick-off just a few hours away at this point. The idea sprung from the success of the Women's March that we saw earlier this year.
BLACKWELL: Now, with the Trump administration's proposed cuts rather, protesters are worried about what will happen to research for climate change and other science funding. They're also not encouraged about statements like this, from the president's budget director.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, UNITED STATES OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR: I think the question as to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward. We're not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, as one protester told CNN, she's marching to show that "Science will not be silenced."
PAUL: CNN's Isa Soares is live at the Science March in London this morning. Isa, good to see you. What are you - what are you seeing, what are you hearing there?
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR: Very good morning to you, Christi. Yes, the march is preparing to get underway. It kicks off in about half an hour or so. I want to get my cameraman to give you a sense of the numbers. We are expecting roughly 10,000 people here today, and what we're seeing some of the placards, basically hinting exactly what you just said. It's science, not silence. Lots of placards I've seen today regarding President Trump and the fact that he continues according to some to deny climate change and as well the need for science and science-based thinking.
So today, they'll be marching from here outside Science Museum in London, Christi, all the way to the Houses of Parliament, trying to really show the world the importance of science to our daily lives, towards the economy, to our health, but also, ranks the top of the (INAUDIBLE) politics. And it's interesting, Christi, because as you all know scientists are quite a bit of a (INAUDIBLE) you know, they don't really get out and protest that much, and this is an opportunity for them to come out here and really speak their minds.
Interesting, too. The march we're expecting to see in D.C. is very much directed at President Trump. He - yes, we've seen a lot of that but a lot of concerns (INAUDIBLE) the car is moving. There's a lot of concerns, of course, of Brexit, U.K. is leaving the E.U., concerns of what that might do in terms of funding because the E.U. provides so much funding to science and scientific research. Why I've seen a lot of people, why scientists still, some of them have their white jackets but also lots and lots of families and children, too. Christi?
PAUL: Alrighty. Isa Soares, always good to see you. Thank you so much for the update.
BLACKWELL: With us now, someone who will be participating in today's events, Stephanie Stuckey. She's the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Atlanta.
PAUL: Also a member of the battery council for EarthShare Georgia. Stephanie, you chuckled when she said scientists don't usually basically take off their lab coats and get out and march. Why do you think this is such a moment for them?
STEPHANIE STUCKEY, FORMER DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE CITY OF ATLANTA: I think it's great to see not the usual suspects getting engaged in activism. And so, this is a great opportunity to get more people as part of the movement and taking real action and tackling the issues that we're facing with climate change.
BLACKWELL: OK. So, when we look at the Trump administration and some of the decisions that have been made, some of the budget cuts that have been announced, what do you see as the threat to environment, to science, if there's a singular message that you're getting from the administration?
STUCKEY: Well, I really think the cities are where the action is. And that's been the focus even before President Trump got elected. You're seeing more and more that cities are facing the brunt of the impacts of climate change. We're dealing with drought and flooding. We're dealing with food shortages, and cities very much can take concrete action to tackle what's happening with climate change. You saw that at the Paris Climate Talks. We had over 100 cities making very specific commitments to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by making buildings more energy- efficient by having urban agriculture, by having more electric vehicles in their fleet. So, that's really what we're focused on with the City of Atlanta and you're seeing that in cities globally with whom I interact on a daily basis. And so, we're just about solutions.
[06:35:20] PAUL: Because the president is rolling back some policies, some environmental policies, if you can sit down with him, what would you want him to know? What would you want to say to him?
STUCKEY: I want to focus on solutions and where there's common ground. And President Trump has said consistently campaigning and now as president that he supports infrastructure investment, he supports business-based solutions, and if you look at a lot of what we're doing at the city level, it's consistent with his messaging. We want to have more energy-efficient buildings; that's good for business. We want to save water; that's good for business. That makes sense on all levels. And so, we're really working on where we can find that common ground so we can move forward.
BLACKWELL: It's important to point out and you touched on it there that the infrastructure conversation is not divorced from the environment conversation. If you could flush that out just a bit.
STUCKEY: That's right. So, there's a lot of ways that you can build cities, design cities. Because cities have already become 50 percent of the world's population is clustered in urban cores and we're having more and more people flock to cities. So, we have to realize how are we going to plan and design our infrastructure to accommodate that growth?
So, there's a lot you can do such as green infrastructure, we're seeing that in Atlanta and cities throughout the world. Amsterdam, Rotterdam are real leaders on this. So, instead of building more sewer lines, we're building bioswales, we're building retention ponds that are good for the environment, that control flooding and they make cost-effective sense as well for cities. So, that's just one example.
PAUL: Real quickly, people are not sold - but not all people are sold on this. Science is supposed to be definitive. Why do you think it's so hard to get through to people who are skeptics that human activity is causing climate change or contributing to it?
STUCKEY: It's troubling to think that our world is warming, and I think sometimes people feel powerless in the face of that. And so, they don't want to accept that. And it's really an overwhelming concept. You know, the world is rapidly changing, and how do we deal with that? So, I respect people who have some skepticism but at the same time, the science is pretty clear, every single year recently has been the warmest year on record. Atlanta is no exception. We've had -- 2016 was our hottest year on record.
So, I'm just looking at facts. To me, it's not a belief. It's -- look at the cold hard facts that we are in a warming environment, and let's figure out how we can move forward, especially at the city level to address those issues.
BLACKWELL: All right.
PAUL: Stephanie, thank you so much. Good to have you here.
STUCKEY: Thanks for having me.
BLACKWELL: Thanks so much.
PAUL: We appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: A former Tennessee teacher is found in a cabin with a 15- year-old teen he's accused of kidnapping. Now, we're getting a look inside that last hideout.
[06:42:14] PAUL: We are getting now a look inside the Northern California cabin where Tad Cummins was captured along with the 15- year-old girl. The former teacher is accused of kidnapping. Cummins had been on the run with her for 39 days, was finally found 1900 miles away from her hometown in Tennessee. But take a look at this cabin. It's in a remote area, no cell phone service, no electricity. Cummins spent at least one night there introducing the teen as his 22-year-old wife to folks in that area. And now, he's facing federal and state charges. His victim is back with her family this morning.
Let's talk about what happens next. CNN legal analyst, criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson with us now. Joey, always good to have you with us. Thank you for being here.
First of all, let's talk about the fact that they found him, and when they found him, he said something to the extent of, "I'm glad this is over." How does what he says in those first few hours affect the case against him?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER: Good morning, Christi. You know, the reality is that notwithstanding what he said, I think, that -- because it's, you know, not so incriminating. "I'm glad this is all over." was it sorrowful, was it remorseful? I don't think it's going to matter very much. I think what the authorities are going to do is piece together the facts, and the facts are that he was a Tennessee teacher, she was a student. He's 50, she's 15. And he decided to leave with her from the state, crossing state lines, ending up in Northern California.
And so, I think that's where the case will be structured and built. It'll be based upon the distinction, not even the distinction in ages as much as the fact that she's 15 and he used his position and power and authority as a teacher to groom her, to look over her, and to potentially convince her to move with him to go to Northern California. So, that's where the main focus will be as opposed to his statement, Chris.
PAUL: The family attorney said essentially she's a little girl in every sense of the word. This was the abduction of an impressionable little child. Because there's no doubt there's going to be an emotional impact on her in this. How does what she says about this play into it, because there were many people who believed she went willingly. JACKSON: You know, interestingly enough, for federal purposes, it means nothing at all. And that is with regard to the federal charge of transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of sexual activity. If you're under 18, whether you want it as a 15-year-old to go or not go, it's irrelevant. The authorities don't care. And it carries a sentence of 10 years to life in jail. Now, for purposes of the prosecution in Tennessee, however, Christi, there is a law there that says if you're 12 years old, you can go willingly if you want and leaving your family.
[06:44:56] However, that can't be accomplished, that is you're leaving under either force, threat, or some other type of coercion. And so, we don't know the extent to which he may have convinced her. So, all it is now, is that even if she does say that, you know, "I loved him, I went willingly, he did nothing to me," the fact is, is that I think you can have psychiatrist to speak to the issue of the fact that he groomed her and really was overbearing with her. So even you may have been able to defeat that law in Tennessee, but it will be prosecuted federally and he faces a world of hurt there. And let's not also forget briefly that California may be lodging charges of its own with regard to kidnapping and with respect to another criminal possession of stolen property charge.
PAUL: OK. And that is my question to you when we're talking about state charges versus federal charges, the kidnapping charge, in this case, that's coming from the state of Tennessee that's key, is it not? Especially to what might happen on a federal level, are they connected?
JACKSON: You know, that -- what happens, Christi, is this, is that the federal government is autonomous, obviously, they do their thing with federal authority, and then, of course, the state authority, it's autonomous. So, also, they can have their prosecution and California can as well. So, I think what you see -- what you see and you did see, thankfully, is the coordination of state agencies, the coordination of federal agencies, but it's a significant charge because the kidnapping charge as I mentioned federally carries a life sentence, with regard to the state charge it's 30 years in Tennessee, and then you go to California and if he's charged there, you know, he could face life as well.
And so, I think there'll be a coordinated prosecution. We know, Christi, that he'll be arraigned on Monday that is brought before a federal magistrate in Sacramento. At that time, he'll get the charges read to him and he'll know specifically what he is facing as we know now, which is that terrible charge of transporting a minor for the purpose of sexual activity, a lifetime felony.
PAUL: Alrighty. Joey Jackson, your input is always appreciated by us here. Thank you.
JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Next, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price talks about what went wrong during the first attempt to overhaul Obamacare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PRICE, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: There are a lot of competing parts in the area of health care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Our Sanjay Gupta talks to Secretary Price about how to manage those competing parts to get a plan in place.
[06:51:30] BLACKWELL: The President and some republican lawmakers say that they are seeing progress in their second attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.
PAUL: David, other GOP House members say they don't know what's in the new health care plan. They don't know how it will get the votes to pass. Our Sanjay Gupta spoke with the man whose job it's going to be to implement whatever plan is put together and pass, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You've done so many things in your life. You're obviously a doctor, orthopedic surgeon, but also a legislator and now a cabinet secretary, only the third doctor to hold that position.
PRICE: I'm a third generation physician. So my dad and my granddad were doctors. I learned about the physician-patient relationship that we've talked about before. I think from my grandfather, I'll never forget that every house that he went to, it wasn't "Who are you? Why are you here? Why here?" It was a door flung open and they said "Dr. Price," and gave him a big hug. And to me, that's what the doctor- patient relationship was all about.
GUPTA: Dr. Dan Barrow is the Chairman of Neurosurgery in Emory University -- my boss. He's been in the operating room with Tom Price and known him for almost 40 years.
DAN BARROW, EMORY UNIVERSITY CHAIRMAN OF NEUROSURGERY: I think there are a couple of circumstances in life where you really see what people are like. One is when they don't think anybody is watching them. And the other is when you're under some kind of stress or duress.
GUPTA: Where did Tom Price sort of fit into all of that for you?
BARROW: I think he's one of the best that I dealt with.
GUPTA: But it does not get much more stressful than this.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.
GUPTA: Trump administration, having failed in its first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, seems determined -- TRUMP: The plan gets better.
GUPTA: -- to move a new health care bill forward in the next week. And Price is the man responsible for implementing it.
You're the Health Secretary now. So, what responsibility did you feel as Health Secretary?
PRICE: The responsibility I have is to ensure that the piece of legislation moving through Congress is as responsive to the patients of this land as possible. And that I do as much as I can do to educate the individuals who are -- who have the responsibility for voting on these plans.
GUPTA: Price went to med school at the University of Michigan. Met his wife, Betty, during his orthopedics residency at Emory and has one son, Robert. And decades ago, it was health care that inspired Price to make the jump from medicine to politics.
PRICE: If you allow the kinds of changes to occur -- that are beginning to occur right now, then there are many, many physicians that won't be practicing medicine at all.
GUPTA: At some point, you transition from (INAUDIBLE) to being a legislator. What prompted you to do that?
PRICE: Oh, there are lot of things, but now the least of which was I recognized at some point that there were a lot more people in this building and in Washington that were making decisions about what I can do for my patients in that building, and none of them had any medical experience. And it was a significant source of frustration.
GUPTA: Sam Zamarripa served as a state senator with Tom Price.
SAM ZAMARRIPA, FORMER GEORGIA STATE SENATOR: You know I think Tom is -- lives and breathes public policy. I think that when he goes to sleep at night, he's thinking about it. I think when he gets up in the morning, he's reading about it. This guy is a born legislator with a lot of skill.
GUPTA: When you look at the last few weeks with regard to this health care bill, AHCA, what went wrong?
PRICE: Well, I think that what happened is the compressed timeline for the sale of the bill, if you will, and the fact that there are a lot of competing parts in the area of health care. And so, what I believe is if you talk about this, the president has to be talking about the principles of health care, we want a system that's affordable for everybody, we want a system that's accessible for everybody of the highest quality, and provides choices for the American people, empowers patients, if you will.
[06:55:14] GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
BLACKWELL: All right, Sanjay. Thank you.
And after the September 11th terror attacks, music took on a whole new meaning.
PAUL: Yes. "SOUNDTRACKS: MUSIC THAT DEFINED HISTORY" airs Thursday night at 10:00 Eastern Time. Here's a look.
BILLY JOEL, SINGER: I'm in a New York state of mind.
DWAYNE JOHNSON, AMERICAN ACTOR AND SINGER: Music and the artist post- 9/11 are reflective of the many emotions we feel.
JOEL: We ain't going anywhere.
We played through an audience of police, firemen, emergency rescue workers, and they needed a boost.
Some folks like to get away
I put a fireman's helmet on the piano just to help me concentrate because if I didn't have that, I might have just lost it.
New York State of mind
It is, however, an anthem for New York City. I didn't think of that when I wrote it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The events that transpired defined the music and made it bigger than it was intended to be.
JOHNSON: The music will always remind us that it is possible.
RANDY JACKSON, MUSICIAN: Somebody has got to put this into words and emotions. That is what anthems are made of.
ANNOUNCER: "SOUNDTRACKS: SONGS THAT DEFINED HISTORY", Thursday at 10:00 on CNN.