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CNN NEWSROOM

Pre-Existing Conditions Affected By House Bill; N.Y. Lawmakers Want To Force Trump To Release Taxes; Carter Page Rebukes Senate Intel Committee In Letter; Trump Transition Team Warned Flynn About Contacts; French Officials Ask Media Not To Report Hacked Contents; Russia Denies Involvement In Massive Hack Attack In France; Young, Middle Class Benefit In New Health Care Bill. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired May 6, 2017 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00]

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: -- actually start censoring and fining networks for this kind of speech that would be a serious concern but we're not there.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And Paul, quickly, why would that not be considered censoring if the FCC were to come down hard on Colbert or even encourage, you know, a firing? How do they escape that image?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I want to be clear, the FCC has fined broadcasters for obscenities with respect to broadcasting. Leading expletives have been fined. But this is a form of political speech and political criticism of the president and I don't think in the end the FCC will tamper with Colbert's right of free speech.

But that's an entirely different question from the questions based by CBS, and that is whether it's appropriate for him to be bringing his cable act to mainstream network television and using obscenities.

By the way, we have done this entire segment and we haven't used a single one of the words that he used because they're so repulsive and so offensive that we can't even say them on CNN. So I mean, that just shows you the level that he stooped to in that monologue.

WHITFIELD: All right, Paul Callan and Brian Stelter, we'll leave it there. Thanks so much, Gentlemen.

All right, next hour of the NEWSROOM starts right now.

All right, hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The Trump administration still unable to get from under the cloud of suspicion surrounding its ties to Russia.

"The Washington Post" first reported that members of Trump's transition team warned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, about his conversations with the Russian ambassador weeks before he was forced to resign. More on that in a moment. The revelations come as former Trump adviser, Carter Page, tells the Senate Intel Committee that if they want to know about his communications with the Russians, ask President Barack Obama. This after Page said just days ago that he was cooperating with the investigation.

And fresh off their vote to repeal Obamacare, many Republican lawmakers are back at home and meeting face to face with constituents, some expressing anger over the bill as it now heads to the U.S. Senate.

All right. We begin with the latest on the Russia investigation. Carter Page sending that stunning rebuke to the Senate Intel Committee. Ryan Nobles is following that story for us and joins us live now. So Ryan, Carter Page seemingly not so cooperative anymore.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Fredricka, this was after Carter Page has said repeatedly that he had nothing to hide, that he was an open book, and he was willing to tell his side of the story. And he remains a central figure in this investigation into just how big of a role Russia played in their attempts to intervene in the U.S. election and whether or not the Trump campaign was involved as well.

Page sending this letter to the Senate Intel Committee essentially saying that he's not going to cooperate. Listen to just an excerpt of what he had to say. He said, quote, "I suspect the physical reaction of the Clinton/Obama regime perpetrators will be more along the lines of severe vomiting when all the facts are eventually exposed regarding the steps taken by the U.S. government to influence the 2016 election."

Page went on to say, that he believes that President Obama had him under surveillance for quite some time and told the Senate Intel leaders that if they want to know about his communications that they should ask the former president.

Now it's not just Carter Page that the Senate Intel Committee is interested in hearing from and obtaining records from. They also want the records of former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and also Adviser Roger Stone.

And the Intel Committee Chairs, Richard Burr, who is a Republican from North Carolina and Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said that they are still interested in that inquiry, and Fred, if they have to, they will subpoena the records so they can get access to them.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll see what happens next. Thanks so much, Ryan Nobles. Appreciate that.

All right, meanwhile, we've learned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was warned by senior members of the Trump transition team that the Russian ambassador he was communicating with was likely being monitored by U.S. intelligence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ADAM ENTOUS, REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST": This is soon after the election, you know, there's what's referred to as landing teams, which are being set up for different government agencies by the Trump campaign. It's now the transition.

So you have the head of the landing team for the National Security Council, he basically learns that Flynn is planning to have a conversation with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, and he's concerned and wants to basically provide him with information.

He wants him to know that his conversation with Kislyak would probably be intercepted by, you know, the FBI here in the U.S., which is monitoring ambassadors like Kislyak and other ambassadors and overseas when Kislyak finishes his conversation with as U.S. official he'll often send a report to Moscow and the NSA might pick that up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[12:05:03]WHITFIELD: All right, let's talk more about this with CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist, Josh Rogin, and CNN national security analyst and retired CIA chief of Russia operations, Steve Hall. Good to see both of you.

All right, so Josh, you first, you know, what does this say about Trump's -- Trump team's insistence on keeping Michael Flynn on board, especially after learning there was information that raised a few eyebrows and suspicions?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, my take on this is that Michael Flynn as the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, knew who Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was, right? Memo or no memo he had a very clear understanding and he decided to meet with him anyway.

So it sort of shows you in this time during the transition, Michael Flynn wasn't too concerned about what this interaction might mean. He was going to be national security adviser. He didn't think he was doing anything wrong.

And the fact that he didn't bother even telling people about it shows that he probably didn't think much about it at all. So this is an example of Michael Flynn being very careless and really sort of, you know, not only just ignoring the warnings from transition officials but ignoring common sense about what these interactions would mean if they were disclosed.

It's not really evidence of any kind of conspiracy. The fact that he was warned doesn't really add to our knowledge about sort of the interactions themselves. It just sort of adds to the narrative Michael Flynn was about to be national security adviser and wasn't dotting the Is crossing the Ts and telling the vice president-elect what he was up to.

WHITFIELD: So Steve, is it carelessness, is it arrogance? I mean, the Trump administration officials or transition team officials requested classified documentation on Ambassador Kislyak and we're talking about the Trump administration transition team that has been so critical of the Obama administration for investigations and now come to find out that the transition team was actually relying or even requesting information that is connected to the Obama administration's investigation. This is weird.

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you know, there's a lot of stuff that's floating around out there and I think it is important to recall, I would agree with Josh, the fact that Flynn, as the incoming national security adviser, after the election, was going to meet with Kislyak, you know, is -- you could maybe get a protocol foul on that or perhaps not a good political optic there.

But he was going to be meeting with Kislyak, you know, at some point in the near future in any event. I don't think that's as big a deal as is what were Mike Flynn's actions before the election and that's what I think we really need to keep a laser-like focus on.

The possibility of contact collusion, cooperation between Flynn or other members of the Trump campaign prior to the election. The fact -- I mean, he was -- you know, Flynn is the director of the DIA, the senior most military intelligence officer.

I'm sure he had briefings on Kislyak in the report that he got I'm sure was filled in perhaps with information, but he as a professional intelligence officer would absolutely have known that Kislyak is, you know, one of the sets of eyes and ears that Vladimir Putin has in Washington. And he should have understood what meeting with him would mean both positive and negative.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and a lot of this information we're talking about is based on "Washington Post" reporting, your paper, Josh. So let's shift gears a little bit and talk about Carter Page because Carter Page's demeanor has changed.

At first he very willingly said, you know, I have nothing to hide and I'm willing to talk to anybody and now he sends this very terse, you know, letter to the Senate Intel and now Senate Intel is talking about subpoenas. So what is this cultivating right now, this kind of back and forth, change of demeanor, and even strategy?

ROGIN: Yes. Right. Well, first of all, let me say I've known Carter Page for a while, talked to him dozens of times. My take on him is this, you know, like mike Flynn, he's a guy who just is handling this in the worst possible way. OK.

You know, ever since he sort of came up in this investigation, he's been giving interviews and writing letters with a lot of crazy stuff in them claiming to be the victim of discrimination against white Catholic men.

You know, claiming that the Obama administration was out to get him, actually they did have a FISA warrant about him so that part might be partially true. But in the end, Carter Page is -- was a low-level member of the foreign policy team for a limited time.

So low level that when his controversy came out into the open they were confident enough that they -- that they could disavow him and denied he worked for them at all which was a lie, but the point here is that, you know, Carter Page, if there was some huge conspiracy between the kremlin and the Trump campaign, to interfere in the election.

There's really no firm evidence that there was, they wouldn't have entrusted this to Carter Page. He's not the center of the conspiracy, but his behavior is so suspicious --

WHITFIELD: His behavior and those interviews or meetings are being investigated.

[12:10:09]ROGIN: Totally. And a lot of this comes from the dossier and a lot of it, a lot of smoke, not a lot of fire. All I'm trying to add in terms of my analysis in based on my reporting, is that Carter Page was not a senior figure in the campaign. There really is no evidence. When he was in like Mike Flynn, he went to Moscow in the middle of the campaign which is like again, super suspicious --

WHITFIELD: But I wonder, Steve, does it matter what level you're at, how influential that he's in the orbit of the Trump, you know, campaign, then later transition, is that still the issue here? Does it matter which level his participation may have been?

HALL: Well, from an intelligence collection perspective, the Russian -- it's consistent with the Russian's modus operandi, they would cast a wide net looking at people inside of the Trump campaign and frankly, the other target that they might be interested in.

But they would be looking at guys like Page, Flynn, like the rest of them. At the end of the day they might sit back and survey their catch and say, OK, who do we have contact with and what role are they going to play.

And I would agree, I think it's probably, you know, if I were a Russian intelligence officer I would be looking at Page and say I'm not sure how this guy is going to pan out. There is many better options for us than Page who did play a pretty tangential role in all of this.

WHITFIELD: All right, Steve Hall and Josh Rogin, thanks so much. We'll leave it right there. Appreciate it.

All right, still ahead, hackers target one of the French presidential candidates' campaign ahead of tomorrow's election. Details. Plus Russia's response next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:15:51]

WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. On the eve of a crucial election in France, one presidential candidate's campaign says it has been hacked. Emmanuel Macron's campaign says the hack is meant to, quote, "undermine democracy like it happened in the U.S.," end quote. Russian officials also quickly to weigh in. A spokesman for the kremlin telling CNN, quote, "These like other similar accusations are based on nothing and are pure slander," end quote.

We have full coverage of this developing story. Melissa Bell is in Paris and Matthew Chance in Moscow. So Melissa, let me begin with you. What kind of information has been released that could potentially sway any voters?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the point, Fredricka, is that we're simply not going to know because we're now in this media blackout period that began at midnight last night and lasts until tomorrow morning when polls open an then the French, of course, will be voting in the knowledge that there is this series of leaks that Emmanuel Macron's team was leaked last night before that media blackout period began crucially just a few hours before.

But the contents of those e-mails will not get out and France's Electoral Commission, which has met has reminded people that there will be criminal action taken against them if they seek to pass on to share the contents of the e-mail.

What we know from Emmanuel Macron's team is that the leaks contain things that they believed were hacked from their e-mails and documents much like you saw with the Democrats in the run up to the American race.

But they warned also that there are also fake documents in there. So there is this big question mark in the minds of French people about precisely what's in there. Is the information simply embarrassing to the Macron campaign?

Because as in the case of the Clinton campaign it shows the ordinary running of private e-mails or is there potentially something more damaging in there and that is something that we simply will not know before France votes.

WHITFIELD: And Matthew, why has Russia been so compelled to react so quickly to the accusations?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, because the comparison that have been drawn with the allegations with what took place in the United States according to U.S. intelligence officials, where Russian hackers are accused of trying to interfere with the U.S. presidential race and the democratic system there, releasing e-mails in much the same way to try to damage Hillary Clinton when she was a candidate and to promote Donald Trump.

Those comparisons have been drawn almost immediately and so the kremlin has been asked about this and spoke to CNN about this and the kremlin spokesman that is, Dmitri Peskov saying these, like other similar accusations are based on nothing, and are pure slander.

That's exactly the kind of response at least that they've been giving over the past 12 months or so when it comes to all the allegations that have been coming out of the United States about the alleged Russian interference there.

To be clear, the Macron team have not pointed the finger of blame on this occasion towards the Russians but in the past, certainly when it comes to cyber-attacks against them they have said that Russians may have been responsible.

WHITFIELD: All right, Matthew Chance in Moscow and Melissa Bell in Paris, thank you so much to both of you. Appreciate it.

All right, let's take a look right now at some live pictures out of Caracas, Venezuela, where a humanitarian and human rights crisis continues to intensify. Violent protests have erupted right now you're seeing the peaceful version of it, as the nation's president has called for a new Venezuelan constitution.

And we are about to show you images, however, of yesterday's unrest. The images are graphic. It was violent. Some of you might just want to look away.

The images showing government riot vehicles driving into crowds of protesters killing or injuring numerous people. And in just the last hour, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley putting the president of Venezuela on notice.

Haley releasing a statement saying in part, "We are deeply concerned about the Maduro government's violent crackdown on protesters in Venezuela. President Maduro's disregard for the fundamental rights of his own people has heightened the political and economic crisis in the country," end quote.

[12:20:03]And, of course, we'll continue to monitor the situation and bring you updates as they merit. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: House Republicans and President Trump took a victory lap Thursday after the passage of a bill repealing and replacing Obamacare. If the bill were to become law in its present form, it would leave 24 million more people without insurance over the next decade. So, who would benefit? CNN's Tami Luhby explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAMI LUHBY, CNN MONEY SENIOR WRITER: The big winners are going to be the middle class. Obamacare was certainly not perfect. There are a lot of people right now who can't afford coverage under Obamacare. If you make more than $48,000 a year as a single person, you get no subsidies. You have to pay the entire premium and that premium is pretty pricey.

[12:25:02]Under the Republican plan one of the benefits of having an age-based tax credit is that more people in the middle class will be able to get some help to pay their premiums. Another group that will be helped by the Republican plan is younger Americans.

Under Obamacare insurers can't charge older people, those in their 50s and 60s, more than three times that of younger people. This ends up jacking up the premiums for younger people.

Under the Republican plan insurers will be able to charge older people five times the amount, so that will drop the premiums for younger people, but, of course, increase it for people in their 50s and 60s.

The losers are going to be lower income people because they're not going to get as generous subsidies to buy policies and also, because another subsidy, the cost-sharing subsidy which lowers their deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses is going away.

So lower income people will be faced with higher premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. It's going to be difficult for them to afford insurance and the older people are going to probably see their premiums go up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks to Tami Luhby on cnn.com. Meanwhile, Republican House members heading home for the break are hearing firsthand from their constituents on health care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are mandating people on Medicaid accept dying. You are making a mandate --

REPRESENTATIVE RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: No one wants anybody to die. That line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, that was Republican Congressman Raul Labrador getting an earful at a town hall Friday in Idaho. It's those type of exchanges that are prompting the Senate to craft its own version.

CNN White House correspondent, Athena Jones, is joining us from New Jersey where President Trump is spending the weekend at his golf club there. So Athena, what's next potentially for this bill? Is there a timeline at all?

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. Well, there is kind of a timeline. The timeline is weeks. We've heard Republican senators say this is likely to take several weeks. We know that the Senate, unlike the House, is going to wait for the score.

This all-important score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which will let the members know what kind of impact the office expects this bill, this latest version, to have on the American people more broadly like how many can be left without health insurance coverage and what impact it could have on the deficit.

That's important because the Senate is trying to use budget reconciliation rules, which are special rules, that would allow them to pass their version of this repeal and replace effort by just 51 votes, instead of 60 votes, 60 votes would be very difficult because they would need Democratic support.

Fifty one votes they could do it with just Republicans, but they need that CBO score to let them know the impact on the deficit in order to comply with these rules.

Bottom line, Fred, is that it's going to be a long process. The House passage was an important step, a necessary step, but now you come to the Senate and you have a lot of Republican senators saying they're going to rewrite this bill and start from scratch and one thing they have to wait for is the CBO score -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: And what other challenges then are facing some of those Republicans?

JONES: Well, this is interesting, because it's kind of the same set of challenges that we saw in the lower chamber. You have a division between more conservative Republicans and more moderate Republicans.

Conservatives wants to see this bill to repeal and replace obamacare, really repeal as much of that law as possible. They want to go further to undo it. You have some moderates both in the House and Senate, who are concerned about the changes that this law would bring to the health insurance system, concerned it could leave to many people behind not able to afford coverage.

One big issue is the idea of preexisting conditions. After comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, gave an emotional testimony about his newborn son born with a congenital heart defect who had to be operated on very early on.

Jimmy Kimmel made the case that no one should be worried about their child dying because you can't get affordable coverage. Take a listen to what Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, who was a physician said in the wake of the emotional testimony from Kimmel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: I asked does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test. Would a child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life. I wanted to pass the Jimmy Kimmel test.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: So now a new phrase is entering the mix, the Jimmy Kimmel test. Interesting to have this impact. But Jimmy Kimmel brought this issue home for a lot of people, we are talking about millions of Americans who are concerned that this law, which would allow states to opt out of making insurers or would allow states to allow insurers to charge people who have preexisting conditions a lot more money.

[12:30:02] AAnd so the question is about affordability and you have millions of Americans with conditions like heart defects or cancer or diabetes that could be affected.

WHITFIELD: Right. All right, Athena Jones, thank you so much, in New Jersey there.

All right, a number of groups including the American Medical Association, and the AARP, have slammed the House health care bill and many are concerned those with preexisting conditions will be left without coverage. And women would be hit the hardest. Here's Sunlen Serfaty.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much. Thank you.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Beyond the politics of the Washington beltway, the House passed bill has some serious implications for the 117 million Americans living with preexisting conditions, especially women. Critics charging the bill in its current form would hit women especially hard. For example, women who are pregnant have had a previous c-section, have irregular period, have breast cancer and endometriosis among others could all be slapped with a preexisting condition label. Opening up the door for insurers to potentially deem them uninsurable, deny them coverage or charge them higher premiums by pushing them into high risk pools where the policy may not be as affordable.

GRETCHEN BORCHELT, NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER: This health bill would be devastating for women. Women would be in the same situation where they're denied coverage because of situations that are unique to them and that's discrimination.

SERFATY (voice-over): The bill doesn't explicitly define what a preexisting condition is. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says a preexisting condition is a health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts. That puts the power in the hands of insurance companies to decide with nearly any illness or medical condition on the table able to be considered preexisting, including potentially domestic abuse or rape if the survivor was seeking mental health help.

SOFIE KARASEK, DIRECTOR OF EDUCATON, END RAPE ON CAMPUS: Frankly, the most concerning part about this is that it sends the message to survivors that, you know, you're going to be punished for this and effectively establishes a premium on experiencing rape or sexual assault.

SERFATY (voice-over): Forty-five states have previously passed laws that prohibit insurers from classifying domestic abuse and rape as preexisting conditions, but this has raised some alarm on Capitol Hill.

SEN. BOB CASEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Will you commit to maintaining the protections that ensure that victims of domestic violence will not be discriminated against when purchasing health insurance?

TOM PRICE, HHS SECRETARY: I think it's absolutely vital that victims -- that domestic violence and others, anybody, we need a system in place that ensures that individuals are either not priced out of the market --

SERFATY (voice-over): Set off social media with the #IAmAPreexistingCondition. The fine print of all of these comes down to what state a woman lives in. The new House passed bill gives states the options to opt out of an Obamacare provision which bans insurers from charging enrollees more based on their medical history. In states that decide to do so, insurers could charge higher premiums to those with preexisting conditions who let their coverage lapse. But without knowing how many states would actually seek that path and how all of this would actually work yet, means many people with preexisting conditions especially women, for now, are left in limbo.

(on camera): And also included in the House passed bill is a provision that blocks Planned Parenthood from getting Medicaid funding for one year and as this bill moves over to the Senate where likely there will be significant changes ahead. This could turn into a major sticking point for a very small, but very important group of Republicans. Sunlen Serfaty, CNN on Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: A group of 13 Republicans will be responsible for crafting the Senate's health care bill a group made up of all men, a GOP aide responded to concerns that no women were included, saying it's not about gender it's about getting the job done. The aide added the group will work with any member of any background to get a bill that will pass the U.S. Senate.

All right, tomorrow morning, on "State of the Union" Jake Tapper will talk about the future of health care in America with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Still ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'll release them when the audit is completed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: The President said he will make his tax returns public after the audit is complete. But Democratic senators in New York are tired of waiting. Their effort to get those returns released next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[12:38:57] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've always been a big girl. Most people in my family are big and it was never an issue. In 2008, I had a health scare. I started having pains in my chest. They were sharp, very, very intense. I didn't know if I was having a heart attack. It turned out that I wasn't but the doctors in the E.R. told me point blank that I needed to change my lifestyle or I wasn't going to live to see my son grow up.

I knew exactly what I had to do. I knew that it would involve running so that's what I did. Today I'll do one mile. Tomorrow I'll try to do one and a half miles and then 5ks led to 10ks and then half marathons. And in those first couple months, I lost 27 pounds. I do marathons, ultra marathons. The longest race I've ever run was 100k which is 62 miles.

I have a blog called fat girl running. I started it because I just wanted to share what I was experiencing as a runner in a big body. People say things to me like, you're a big girl. Are you sure you should be running? Because I wrote about those things. And it seemed to resonate with a lot people.

[12:40:08] I'm a teacher. That's my job. I'm also the head coach of the Varsity Cross Country team. I think most people who are my size in athletic pursuit, there is a joy in what we do and we love to spread that joy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Some Democratic lawmakers in President Trump's home State of New York are trying to pass a law that would force the President to reveal his returns for the last five years. CNN's Digital Correspondent Dan Lieberman has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: Well, I'm not really saying the tax returns because as you know they're under audit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't think the American public is concerned about that?

TRUMP: I don't think so. I won. I mean, I became president. No, I don't think they care at all.

DAN LIEBERMAN, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump may not think people care about his tax returns. But protests and polls show otherwise. Seventy-four percent of Americans believe Trump should release them. Now his home state of New York may give people what they're looking for. A new bill in the state legislature would make the President's state tax returns available to the public along with other elected officials.

DAVID BUCHWALD, NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN: It would have impact immediately, not in 2020.

LIEBERMAN (on camera): Donald Trump won't release his federal tax returns and Congress won't make him. But New York can act if Congress doesn't. So New York can release his New York state tax returns that doesn't depend on Donald Trump, that doesn't depend on Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell. It simply depends on the New York State Assembly.

(voice-over): University of Chicago Law Professor Daniel Hemel is credited with coming up with the idea encouraging lawmakers to focus in on Trump's state tax returns. Since seeing his federal returns hasn't happened. DANIEL HEMEL, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Presidential tax transparency is a norm that we all came to take for granted. And I think this demand comes from a genuine place. We pay taxes and we want to know our leaders are paying taxes too.

LIEBERMAN: Law makers in more than 20 states have introduced legislation that would require Trump to release his returns before he can run again in 2020. But those efforts, Hemel says, are unlikely to succeed.

HEMEL (voice-over): Where President Trump has allies who are veto players at the state level, these ballot access bills are less likely to become law.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): He says using the power of the state legislature to disclose Trump's state-level tax returns would be the fastest and easiest way to get answers.

HEMEL: He'll report his income from all sources, he'll report deductions he claims for charitable contributions. He'll tell us whether he has foreign bank accounts. And he'll tell us how much he ultimately pays New York State and New York City. We won't see how much he ultimately pays the federal government but we'll learn a lot.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): By demanding transparency, Hemel like so many Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we want?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER (in unison): Taxes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When do we want them?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER (in unison): Now.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): Wants to send the President a clear message.

HEMEL: We want to know when we file our tax returns that taxes aren't just for the little people. That the President is paying too.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Dan Lieberman, thank you so much.

Straight ahead, it seemed that we can't make it through a week without some reported incident involving an airline passenger and crew. So, what is going on and how are the airlines responding these days? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[12:47:58] NATHAN ROTHSTEIN, CO-FOUNDER OF PROJECT REPAT: We make it really easy and affordable to turn all your memorable t-shirts into t- shirt quilts. My name is Nathan Rothstein. ROSS LOHR, CO-FOUNDER OF PROJECT REPAT: And my name is Ross Lohr and I'm a co-founder of Project Repat. We were both at business school together. I ended up working with a fashion designer to try out different samples of things made out of t-shirts. But every time we tried to sell those, people would just say, I want an affordable t- shirt quilt.

ROTHSTEIN: And you can only hear something so many times before you realize, hey, may be this is the actual idea we should be working on.

We really thought about how you make a t-shirt quilt that is as affordable as possible and as efficient to make by not making the quilt the way your aunt or mother or grandmother would make it. We're the only ones who make 1,500 of these a week. We know that for every t-shirt quilt that we sell we're recycling at least 15 t-shirts and we're creating two hours of work in the U.S.

LOHR: We set up a wide base of people who loved our product and from there was able to snowball into 4 million in sales.

ROTHSTEIN: We are very much on a mission to recycle as many t-shirts and make a memorable product and put as many to work as possible.

LOHR: And I think what we're doing is helping Americans recycle but in a way that they don't have to even think about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Another airline dispute has caught on video and this time it's Delta Air Lines. That's apologizing. The airline forced a family including two young children off a flight after they boarded is the latest in a string of airline P.R. disasters. Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN SHEAR, DELTA AIR LINES PASSENGER: You need to do what's right. I bought the seat and you need to leave us alone.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brian Shear and his family are about to be removed from a Delta Air Lines Flight in Maui bound for Los Angeles. Why? Because the Shear had put their two- year-old son who was in a car seat in the seat next to them. Trouble is, that seat was booked under the name of the couple's older son who had taken an earlier flight.

SHEAR: I paid for the seat. I bought the seat.

KAYE (voice-over): Flight attendants told Shear to hold his toddler on his lap since they needed the seat next to him for another passenger on the oversold flight, then they told him FAA rules say the child, because of his age, had to sit in an adult's lap for safety reasons. He didn't buy that.

[12:50:12] SHEAR: What you're saying makes no sense. Because we flew out on a Delta plane and sat in a car seat. KAYE (voice-over): Despite they're arguing, the family was escorted off the flight. Delta later apologized refunded the family's travel and provided additional compensation.

An apology was in order after this incident too, this time from American Airlines. The woman in the video is sobbing because witnesses say a flight attendant had just violently taken her collapsible stroller away, nearly hitting her baby in the process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just give me back my stroller please.

KAYE (voice-over): And when a fellow passenger tried to step in on the woman's behalf.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, bud? Hey bud? You do that to me and I'll knock you flat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stay out of this. You stay out of this.

KAYE (voice-over): The woman and her baby were escorted off the plane. American swiftly issued a statement saying the video does not reflect our values. The woman was upgraded to first class for the rest of her trip and the flight attendant was later removed from duty. Just two weeks before that, a viral video from on board United Airlines, after this Chicago doctor was dragged off. He had refused to give up his seat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm not going. I am not going.

KAYE (voice-over): By the time it was over, Dr. David Dao was bloody. His lawyer says he suffered a concussion, a broken nose and lost two teeth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god. Look at what you did to him.

KAYE (voice-over): The airline later apologized and settled with him for an undisclosed amount. Other airline incidents are hardly as high profile. On this U.S. airways flight, a disabled Vietnam veteran was removed for not putting his golden retriever service dog on the floor for takeoff. Instead of in the seat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm legally in the right by ADA law. This is a service animal and you he can ride with me any place.

KAYE (voice-over): He and his dog were removed by an officer and rebooked for the next day. Cell phones appear to be a clear trigger for removal. This woman was talking on hers on a spirit airlines jet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave me alone. Stop i! Stop!

KAYE (voice-over): This passenger says spirit kicked her off a flight because of her cleavage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two or three times people came over and said they're still not covered up enough.

KAYE (voice-over): That case is likely headed for court. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead in the Newsroom, a fired police officer charged in the murder of an unarmed teen. The impact on the community. Plus, reaction to the President's latest executive order. Does his religious liberty order have any teeth? We'll discuss. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:57:02] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. We're just hours away from the most exciting two minutes in sports the Kentucky Derby. It is a draw the first Saturday of the month of May.

Coy Wire is at Churchill Downs all dapper and everything with the preview. Hey, Coy. Where's your hat? Where's your toper?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: The Kentucky Derby. Well, I have a hat somewhere but I think my producer took it because it is a pretty good one. The Kentucky Derby rich with traditions bringing back to 1875 and one of the greatest is the flashy passion especially the hats, the bigger the flashier the better. I saw one that looked like they could call aliens from outer space, some of them.

100,000 plus people here today, most of whom will be rocking a hat, some costing thousands of dollars. Mine was just 25 bucks that makes me feel like a million bucks. It's the run for the roses today. The Kentucky Derby's called that because of the 465 roses hand sewn into a garland that will be draped over the winning horse.

The Kroger Company has been the official florist of the Derby for the last 31 years and Carol Besler has been sewing the roses on the garland the entire time. She let us sew one on too.

Finally, don't forget about the mint juleps. I'm here with Woodford Reserve Global Ambassador, Tom Vernon with Woodford's $2,500 mint julep. But Tom, it's for a good cause.

TOM VERNON, WOODFORD RESERVE GLOBAL AMBASSADOR: It's for a great cause. It's going straight to the Kentucky Derby museum and I can actually just tell you we've sold out. So we've raised over $132,000. So --

WIRE: Outstanding.

VERNON: -- amazing. Happy Derby, thank you so much.

WIRE: Happy Derby too. Fred, it's a good day. It's Derby day here at Churchill Downs.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Well, cheers. Wait a minute, $2,500 a cup. Is it because of the cup? Tell me something about that cup. It can't be because of what's inside.

WIRE: Gold plated, silver plated, that's what it's all about. It's the keepsake and knowing that you gave money to a good cause.

WHITFIELD: Oh, that's pretty. OK. I get it now. Well cheers. I'll just use my imaginary $2,500 cup.

All right. Have fun out there. All right. The next hour of the Newsroom starts right now.

All right. Hello again everyone, and thank you so much for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right. Nearly six months after winning the election, President Trump and members of his team are still dogged by questions over Russia and the part that it may have played in winning the White House. After suggesting he would cooperate with the investigation, former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page is now telling a Senate Intel Committee, if they want to know about his conversations with the Russians, ask former President Barack Obama. It comes amid a story first reported by "The Washington Post" that members of Trump's transition team warned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn about his conversations with the Russian ambassador weeks before he was forced to resign.

Overseas, just hours before France heads to the polls, to choose its next president the leading candidate says his campaign has been hacked. The reaction to the allegation on the eve of this crucial election. And fresh off (ph), their vote to repeal Obamacare. Many Republican lawmakers are back at home and meeting face to face with constituents --