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CNN NEWSROOM

Dow Hits Milestone; Bipartisan Hearing on Obamacare; Lawsuit against Fox; Nebraska Trump Supporters; Interview with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired August 2, 2017 - 09:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)_

[09:30:08] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: That is the opening bell on Wall Street. Will the Dow hit a record 22,000 today? Yes, it will.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. I love that question.

HARLOW: So it's a good thing that we have Alison Kosik here to walk us through -- awe.

BERMAN: Awe.

HARLOW: Short lived.

BERMAN: So, thank you for joining us, Alison. No, no.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Awe. We'll wait. If you hold on, the day is still young, guys. You know, it's just gotten started. But, yes, we live and die by these numbers, don't we? So for the first time ever, we did see the Dow Jones Industrial average hit 22,000 for the first time ever.

How did it get there? Well, Apple shares helped power through.

HARLOW: Yes.

KOSIK: Apple shares having their own fun day today after having a banner earnings report yesterday. After the closing bell, reporting strong sales, reporting that going to have a whole new slew of iPhones out in September. So you're seeing Apple shares hitting their own highs. And when you see shares of Apple, which, by the way, are part of the Dow 30, when you see the Dow -- when you see those Apple shares move, they've got the power to move the Dow as a whole.

What else can you credit for seeing this 22,000 milestone? Strong earnings overall. It's not just the Dow that you're seeing do really well, especially year to date. The Nasdaq is up almost 18 percent for the year. The S&P 500, which is a lot bigger than the Dow, the S&P 500 is up over 10 percent for the year.

HARLOW: (INAUDIBLE).

KOSIK: But we do like these nice, round numbers. They help with confidence. They're more of a psychological milestone. Ah, look, over 22,000. See, the day's still young.

BERMAN: If you talked long enough, you knew it would get back over 22,000.

KOSIK: Exactly.

BERMAN: Look, the three of us, we will always have this month. We can say, we know where we were when the Dow cross the 22,000. It just happened right there. It is an important milestone.

Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

KOSIK: You got it.

BERMAN: All right this morning several Republican and Democratic lawmakers they actually agree on something having to do with health care.

HARLOW: Yes.

BERMAN: And that's stabilizing the health insurance market. The Senate announced a bipartisan health care hearing to work on Obamacare fixes. And all this is after the president launched a series of attacks on Republicans after the failed repeal and he has threatened to withhold these subsidies.

HARLOW: Cutting those subsidy payments would increase health care costs for millions of Americans and it could also leave a lot of Americans without any coverage.

Let's get reaction to all of this. Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois joins us.

Nice to have you here.

And let's just talk about this bipartisan effort. As you know, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander is calling for these hearings, these meetings, starting in September, to try to get something worked out between Republicans and Democrat to stabilize the market. You've got Tom Reed and Charlie Dent in the House doing the same. Are these efforts you can get behind? Are you encouraged and will you give a little if they give a little?

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, you know, I want to say that the test has to be, does this plan actually reduce the number of people who are covered by insurance, who have access to health care, or not? I think that's really the test.

You know, it's fine for Republicans and Democrats to get together and agree. And I have always, as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, been willing to sit down and work something out. But the litmus test for this is, are we going to see a CBO report that says that people are going to lose their insurance?

Let me -- let me say this. I think it is time for us to at least consider stopping all these contortions. I want you to think about the number of dollars that are now spent on health care by the federal government that would encourage us to move to a single fair system. You've got Medicare, Medicaid, the children's health insurance, the veteran's insurance. And why not?

BERMAN: So Bernie Sanders just put out --

HARLOW: Because it's expensive.

BERMAN: it's expensive. I mean Bernie Sanders put out a single payer health care plan when he was running for president. And his estimate, his own estimate, was, what, like, $1.3 trillion a year?

HARLOW: $1.38 trillion or $1.83 trillion.

BERMAN: It was a high end estimate, which suggests it could be as much as $2.8 trillion a year over 10 years. That's a lot of money.

SCHAKOWSKY: But do you understand how much -- how much we're -- do you not understand how much we're spending now on talking about subsidies? Not only for individuals, which I certainly agree with, but also for insurance companies, which we need to stabilize the market. And you add up all the money that the federal government is already spending in this richest country in the world, and surely the idea that we could provide health care to every American is an idea that I think deserves a --

HARLOW: We do, congressman -- congresswoman. We understand that. But I -- just look at California. I mean even Democrats in California had to concede that they didn't figure out the cost side of this and that's why it's not working and getting through, getting movement in California.

Bernie Sanders wanted to get it through in his own --

SCHAKOWSKY: We spend --

HARLOW: Hold on. In Vermont -- the example as well in Vermont. I mean isn't there a reason that this hasn't worked where it has been tried in America, is there?

SCHAKOWSKY: No, because it hasn't been tried at a national -- no, there isn't a reason because it hasn't been tried on a national level. And, you know, we spend more, way more, on health care than any other country in the world. And we actually have worse outcomes. Why? Because so many people are not insured.

[09:35:13] Look, at least we ought to consider a public option.

BERMAN: So can I ask --

SCHAKOWSKY: We ought to at least consider that.

BERMAN: So are you suggesting then, you're in favor of single payer, you're in favor of something completely different. Is that because in your mind Obamacare is not working? SCHAKOWSKY: No, I think that Obamacare, right now, is at a point where

when we fix it we could do a really fix. The real problem has been in the private -- in the individual insurance market. We could certainly do better.

But right now we're hearing such incredible instability that the insurance companies are announcing this month large increases in premiums. We could absolutely do better than we're doing right now. In the places where there are --

HARLOW: Look, a 16 percent increase in your own state. You're looking at a 16 percent increase in the state of Illinois for 2018. And, yes, part of that is due to the Trump administration uncertainty on whether they'll pay these subsidies. But as you know, front page of "The Wall Street Journal" this morning, it also notes part of that is because parts of Obamacare are broken. So it sounds to us like you're saying single payer would be better than Obamacare. Is that what you're saying?

SCHAKOWSKY: I actually think that we could do better with a single payer than even a fix to Obamacare.

HARLOW: OK.

SCHAKOWSKY: But at the very least, I think we could do -- for example, in places where there are counties with no health insurer or only one, we could offer a public option, and that would be a fairly elegant way to address the problem of no competition or no insurance company whatsoever.

BERMAN: Right.

HARLOW: Except doesn't that encourage -- we've got to go, but doesn't that encourage insurers to pull out of places they aren't making a lot of money because you're saying well then you just slide in. Then they know people will be covered if you just slide in a public option. Why does that encourage them to fix it and stay in places?

SCHAKOWSKY: They're already saying that. They're already saying that.

BERMAN: All right.

SCHAKOWSKY: And then they're saying, well, we aren't -- we aren't being paid enough in subsidies. I'm for helping in places where the insurance market is really difficult. But then we're going to pay more federal dollars in order to bolster the insurance companies.

BERMAN: It's an interesting discussion. Also interesting now, I think a lot of where the Democratic Party is positions itself on this. It is worth watching going forward.

Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, really, really great discussion. Appreciate your time.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you. I appreciate it. BERMAN: All right, a lawsuit accusing Fox News of creating a fake

story about the death of a DNC staffer holding meetings with the White House this morning. This morning we hear from the family of the DNC staffer who was murdered, and their need for answers.

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[09:41:49] HARLOW: Some explosive claims in a new lawsuit that accuses the White House, Fox News and a Republican donor of teaming up to push a false story about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.

BERMAN: So the lawsuit says that the White House was aware of the Fox News story before it was published, but Ed Butowsky, one of the defendants named in the lawsuit, tells CNN that is not true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED BUTOWSKY, CHAPWOOD CAPITAL INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT: They never talked to anybody at the White House. By the way, I've never talked to President Trump in my life. And President Trump, nor the White House, has anything to do with any of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right, this morning, the family the Seth Rich, a spokesperson, spoke with CNN. CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter, is here with the details.

And, Brian, I think the most important place to start is what we know to be true at this point.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's a lot of allegations in this lawsuit. Some of them maybe even seemed farfetched. But we know for sure is that Sean Spicer, who was the press secretary back in April, had a meeting with Butowsky, who you just saw there, and with Rod Wheeler. Rod Wheeler's the Fox News contributor who's now suing. He's saying that when Fox went on the air in April and May and went on the web site with this story in May, that actually they misquoted him and defamed him. But at the time Wheeler was promoting this conspiracy theory, pushing it on Fox's airwaves. What we didn't know at the time was that this wealthy GOP donor, Butowsky, was behind the scenes helping make it happen.

HARLOW: Just remind people what the conspiracy theory is.

STELTER: That Seth Rich was not the victim of an armed robbery gone bad. That he was somehow assassinated in a politically motivated attempt to cover up the DNC leak -- the hack of the DNC and the sending of e-mails to WikiLeaks.

The idea here for pro-Trump conspiracy theorists is that it wasn't Russia that was stealing the DNC e-mails, it was this guy from the DNC.

Now, this morning, the spokesman for Seth Rich's family responded. Here's what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRAD BAUMAN, SPOKESMAN FOR SETH RICH FAMILY: The truth is, is that all these folks want is to find the murderer or murderers that did this. They didn't ask to be in the middle of the media spotlight and they are perplexed by the fact that anybody would use the murder of their son, a wonderful mid-20-something-year-old kid who moved to Washington, D.C., in order to make a difference in this world and who was gunned down senselessly in the streets of Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: That's the family spokesman saying, they want this to go away.

HARLOW: Yes.

STELTER: They've been through enough. But their conspiracy --

BERMAN: Their son was murdered. I mean, let's be clear --

STELTER: That's the only really fact here. He really was killed. This conspiracy theory has exploited his death. We know it was talked about at the White House. There's a lot we don't know about the White House's involvement. And more reporting is to come on that.

BERMAN: All right, Brian Stelter, great to have you with us. Thank you very, very much.

STELTER: Thanks.

HARLOW: Strong support in the heartland of course helped President Trump get to the White House. So, six months in, how's he doing? We traveled to Nebraska.

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[09:48:59] BERMAN: All right, new signs this morning that congressional Republicans might be willing to split with the president on policy issues, not to mention his honesty. But what do his staunchest supporters think?

HARLOW: Right. Do those who supported him across the heartland especially think he is following through on that now famous promise to make America great again?

Our Alex Marquardt went to Nebraska to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a stiflingly hot and humid field of alfalfa that Bob Hilger is driving his tractor across. The 72-year-old farmer is the head of what has become a family affair, growing and bailing hay that will feed nearby cattle.

BOB HILGER, BUTLER COUNTY RESIDENT: This was the first pipeline. MARQUARDT: Hilger also rents out some of his land for a pump station

for the controversial Keystone Pipeline, which was revived by President Trump.

HILGER: I'm really impressed with all the things that he's accomplished. Energy security is one of his big things, and that's what this is all about.

MARQUARDT: Eastern Nebraska is deep in the heart of Trump country. Here in Butler County, the president beat Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly with almost 80 percent of the vote.

[09:50:06] David City, population 2,900. Locals here tell us that support for Trump has hardly waivered.

HILGER: I didn't think that he would meet with as much resistance from people who refuse to acknowledge that he's the president of the United States.

MARQUARDT (on camera): When you see the efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare collapse, as they have over the past few days, you don't blame President Trump for part of that?

HILGER: Oh, heavens no. He's being obstructed in every way that they possibly can.

MARQUARDT: But you feel that he has accomplished quite a bit.

HILGER: Oh, tremendous. Yes. He's laying the groundwork for the future for us, for the military, for our, you know, national security and for employing people. And that's awful important. People got to have jobs so they feel comfortable. And then when they know the military's strong, they feel safe. They just want to make sure they have a paycheck and that nobody is threatening their life. That's what most people are concerned about.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): No cracks in Hilger's support, even when asked about the president's tweeting of personal attacks and his controversial comments, like those about the French first lady's physical appearance.

HILGER: He's one of us. He talks to people like he wants them to talk to him. He talks to people like I like to talk to people.

MARQUARDT: The people of David City get together at this time of year at the county fair for rides, dancing and judging livestock. The fair's events were opened by local veterans let by a Vietnam vet Larry Sabata. He and wife Ann also have a son who served in Iraq. They blame distractions, including the Russia investigation, for lack of progress.

ANN SABATA, BUTLER COUNTY RESIDENT: If they just let him be a president, if the media would leave him alone, if the -- they come together, it would be OK. But he always has to side step something.

LARRY SABATA, BUTLER COUNTY RESIDENT: It's rough for him. He's got to get everybody together. He's got to get the Republicans back on board, as well as the Democrats and all this other small, dittly (ph) stuff, I'll call it, with Russia. The American people want to see results all ready.

MARQUARDT: The result that matters most to Larry and Ann Sabata, to Bob Hilger and so many more here is that Trump is in office and their voice was heard.

L. SABATA: They just laugh. They said, running for president? Are you kidding? Nobody took that guy serious. Well, they forgot about us deplorables (ph) here in the Midwest. They totally forgot about us.

MARQUARDT: Alex Marquardt, CNN, David City, Nebraska.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: Really interesting. Alex, thank you for that.

Do you have Instagram?

BERMAN: Indeed.

HARLOW: You do have Instagram. You should follow him. So do 700 million people around the world. The co-founder who started it all says it never would have happened -- existed except for one thing. Find out, next.

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[09:57:25] HARLOW: Seven hundred million people use Instagram around the world. That is a lot of people.

BERMAN: Confirmed.

HARLOW: By the way, that is confirmed. That is a lot of people. But the Brazilian-born founder says none of this would have been possible if it were not for one thing, his visa. It's a fascinating story. Our Laurie Segall sat down with him to find out more, and she's here.

Hey, Laurie.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECH CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Mike is a fascinating guy. And what he told me was, had he not been able to get his visa, he almost told his co-founder Kevin he couldn't come over. Do the company without me. He's the CTO. It wouldn't have been what it was without him. So he feels very strongly about this and a lot of other things.

Instagram is at a huge scale. People are spending 32 minutes a day on it under the age of 25. I asked Mike, what is the biggest challenge you guys are facing now with this grand scale? Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE KRIEGER, INSTAGRAM CO-FOUNDER: The top thing on my mind in terms of like big, challenging questions as we scale is, how do we maintain Instagram as a safe and positive space? Back in the early days, it was me and Kevin. If we spotted a negative comment or a negative account, we would go in and shut it down. That obviously doesn't scale to 700 million people. And over time just being able to evolve that to be truly machine-learning based.

And we actually use a combination of human input into that algorithm and then all the machine-learning back in. So we have human raiders who go through and look at a bunch of comments and say, hey, in this situation, this was actually a bullying comment. It's a very human judgment that I don't think machines can do yet. But at scale, you can kind of take all of those human judgments and try to do something that gets it right, at least most of the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEGALL: These questions like machine learning to try to curb harassment. These are all these very large issues that big tech companies are taking on. And it's been fascinating to watch Instagram prioritize this. They're looking at curbing harassment. They're looking at mental health of their users. So really kind of looking at the larger social responsibility now that we've seen some of the dark side of technology as well.

HARLOW: Well, and, FaceBook, which owns them, sort of rethinking their entire mission, right?

SEGALL: Yes.

HARLOW: Right, that plays into this?

SEGALL: Absolutely. I think, you know, I spoke to Mike about changing that -- Instagram's mission as well. It used to be all about connecting people to having different pictures. Now it's about strengthening relationships. You're hearing the world putting this humanity back in technology quite a bit from these big tech founders and I think there's a reason for that.

BERMAN: It's more than just selfies.

SEGALL: Yes.

BERMAN: Though a lot of it is still selfies.

SEGALL: A lot of it is still selfies.

BERMAN: Thank goodness.

HARLOW: I just don't -- I just don't sleep enough because I just sit there like endlessly scrolling.

SEGALL: I know. I know.

BERMAN: All right, Laurie Segall, thank you very, very much.

SEGALL: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, got a lot of news. Let's get to it.

All right, good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.

HARLOW: I'm Poppy Harlow.

This morning, President Trump finds his honesty under attack. Mexico's president publically challenging President Trump's claims about a so- called phone call saying, hey, there was no phone call. And he claims that President Trump's so-called facts are wrong.

[10:00:06] BERMAN: All right, the president of Mexico is essentially accusing the president of the United States of making things up. And this comes on the heels of the White House