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Report: GOP Senators Defend Their Health Care No Votes; Trump to Take 17 Day Vacation at His Gold Club; Spicer Says No To "Dancing with the Stars". Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 4, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R), MAINE: Lisa and I were talking with John McCain on the senate floor and he pointed to both of us, and he said, you two are right on this issue.

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI, (R), ALASKA: And to have the conversation that we had after the vote, we had one of those conversations that you'll think of years down the road where he said, people might not appreciate what has happened right now as being a positive. Maybe our colleagues are not going to be viewing this as a positive right now. But the time will prove that having a pause, having a time-out for us to do better is going to be good for the country.

DANA BASH, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And Brooke, another reason I wanted to talk to the two of them is just good old fag-fashioned girl power because they understand that they're two of five Republican women in the senate, and one issue that they really were passionate about, and are passionate about, was about the fact that in the Republican bill, it would have prevented people who are Medicaid recipients from going to planned parenthood. And for Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, who says that so many women, the vast majority of women get their care, the regular care, from planned parenthood and same goes for Maine, that was one of many nonstarters.

But an important one. And I actually asked Senator Collins, I said, I know this is hard to even imagine, but if you were a man, do you think that would have been as important of an issue? And she basically said, you know, like I get it because I am a woman and it really does show you how the different perspectives now that there are 21 women in the senate, really do change policy, regardless of party.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: To quote your series, series, #badasswomenofWashington.

Dana, thank you.

Let's check out live pictures here. Air Force One. We saw Ivanka and her child board the plane. We're watching and waiting as the president is about to be, in a little bit of time, I don't think he's quite left the White House yet, up, up and away to his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, for 17 days of vacation. But hang on a second. Isn't this the same president that slammed Obama for taking breaks? We'll look at what's on his agenda coming up.

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: Any moment now, President Trump will leave the White House for his first real vacation since taking office. Everyone deserves a break, of course, including the commander in chief. But the fact is, President Trump has in the past been a massive vacation shamer. Back in 2012, he tweeted a quote from his own book. "don't take vacations. What's the point? If you're not enjoying your work, you're in the wrong job." President Trump sent that while president Obama was on a four-day trip to Asia and on the campaign trail, president Trump consistently slammed president Obama for playing so much golf.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was reported today Obama played 250 rounds of golf. Everything's executive order because he doesn't have enough time because he's playing so much golf. Obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there. I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf. He played more golf last year than tiger woods. This guy plays more golf than people on the PGA tour. If I were in the White House, I don't think I'd ever seen turn berry again. I'm not going to be playing much golf, believe me. If I win this, I'm not going to be playing much golf.


BALDWIN: President Trump will be spending 17 days at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Traditionally, the president gives a solo press conference before summer vacation, tie up policy loose ends and whatnot, answer questions before going off the grid. But as far as we know, president Trump doesn't have any scheduled plans to face the press. Let's go to Ryan Nobles. Ryan, the White House says this is a working vacation. What's on the itinerary?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Reporter: well, nothing publicly, Brooke. As you said, they do expect this to be a working vacation, which means the president's going to stay in touch with members of congress and his cabinet and he does have a couple of high- level officials traveling with him. His chief of staff, John Kelly, will be on this trip as will his top advisers, Ivanka Trump, his daughter, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, but we don't expect any visits from any foreign leaders. That sometimes happens during presidential summer vacations to their homes. There's nothing like that on the I tin are itinerary right now so we're not exactly sure what he's going to be working on, but his staff and aides promise us that he will indeed be busy on the people's business.

BALDWIN: He hits the 200-day mark on Monday. And in those 200 days, Ryan, he has held one press conference, and today, I mean, I'm assuming he's not going to. We haven't heard any word, correct?

NOBLES: No, we've heard definitively that he's not going to hold a press conference today so that's not happening.

[15:40:00] BALDWIN: OK. And then as he's leaving, there is quite a bit still on the table as far as, you know, the succession of tweets the other day on the transgender ban in the military and then the employment status, right, the time line on these immigration policies. What else?

NOBLES: Brooke, if we think that the front end of this administration has been busy, just wait until we get to September. There are so many issues that are outstanding. You mentioned a couple of big ones, but keep this in mind, they're talking about tackling tax reform when they come back. That could be a monster issue. They still haven't dealt with the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. They haven't been able to pull that off. But we also have some time sensitive issues. The debt ceiling will be needed to be raised by sometime in mid-September. They're only going to have 12 working days in the congress when both sides will be there to tackle that. We also need to talk about the end of the fiscal year.

That's coming up, a continuing resolution on funding the government is still in the offing. And that also doesn't even address some of the other issues like immigration reform and some of these other big- ticket items that the president promised that when both sides will be there to tackle that. We also need to talk about the end of the fiscal year. September could be a very busy month and a month where they are going to need to deal with these very specific issues, not just talk about them.

BALDWIN: Quickly on a much more superficial level, what's happening with the west wing while they're away?

NOBLES: This is going to be a major renovation to the White House. And this is something that president Trump didn't plan. It was actually something that was put in place during the Obama administration back in 2012. But I had to write down the list, Brooke, because it is lengthy, all the things that are going to be done there. They're going to deal with a ceiling leak, there are HVAC repairs in the offing, both the south portico and both lawns are being renovated, general upgrades in terms of painting the hallways and already seeing some of this taking place right now. They were moving some of the furniture out of the building this week. Some of the pictures that are traditionally on the walls in the west wing have been taken down. So, they are taking advantage of the fact that the president and his family won't be there in the office, and also, it's also worth pointing out that much of the press won't be there as well. They'll be with him in Bedminster, so this is going to be a big upgrade time for the White House.

BALDWIN: All right. No press conference today. We'll see what is released publicly for the next 17 days. Ryan Nobles, thank you very much.

Coming up next, I know, don't be too disappointed. He has officially turned down "Dancing with the Stars," but former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer does have big, big plans for his future. Details on the deal he just signed.


BALDWIN: It is official. Former press secretary Sean Spicer will not be on the next "dancing with the stars." I know. I know. But he may be soon sharing his story. Spicer tells CNN he signed a contract with TV attorney Bob Barnett who is famous for representing politicians who are involved in TV or book deals. First, he will have to pack up his office. Spicer has been spotted at multiple White House events. He is still getting a paycheck and maybe a little nostalgic if you follow him on Instagram, posting a picture of Marine one on the White House lawn, writing, this will never get old. And we can't help but be a little nostalgic for SNL's short-lived comedy gold mine.


MELISSA MCCARTHY, COMEDIAN: All right. First of all, I just like to announce that I'm calm now. And I will remain calm as long as you sons of -- I'm not going to do that. Because that's the Old Spicey. And this is the New Spicey.


BALDWIN: Oh, pour some out for Melissa McCarthy. CNN political analyst Tara Palmeri wrote a piece in Politico. I know. I know. About Sean Spicer's next steps. So, what has he been up to? I understand he still has that big fancy press office and I'm sure Sarah Huckabee Sanders is eyeing that mighty closely.

TARA PALMERI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. I spoke to some aides this morning who said it's just awkward that he's staying for three more weeks. She's not even in her office and they feel like they're kind of in this deadlock where they can't really move forward. You know, Spicer is living his best life right now. He's not really engaging with the press in the same way that he used to. He's attending tax reform meetings, talking about how to roll that out. He's just, like, popping in and out of ceremonies, like the swearing in of the new chief of staff, General Kelly. He went to a medal of honor ceremony for a Vietnam veteran. And he's taking his family on tours of White House and just kind of hanging out. But it's for three weeks.

And you know, I spoke with an -- a former office -- sorry, government of affairs ethics officer and he said that there needs to be a recusal notice filed by Spicer to the White House counsel about his interest in seeking other employment, especially with media companies. At the end of the day, he can grant access to the media. He can give exclusives. He can give information that can actually help the media companies business model. So that would be a conflict of interest, and he therefore needs to be recused from dealing with the media. So, people may wonder, what's the point in him coming to work for the next three weeks when his job is to deal with the media.

I reached out to Spicer and to Sarah Huckabee Sanders and asked them if Spicer has, in fact, filed this notice since he did start taking meetings over a week ago and they did not respond to me for comment so it's unclear if he has actually gone forward and asked to be recused from his day-to-day duties.

BALDWIN: And obviously the big question is, what the heck does he do next. I have a feeling we'll see him pop up somewhere.

[15:50:00] Let me ask you, Tara, about the, you know, six major administration members have, you know, resigned or been fired since February. You see them on the screen. Noticeably absent from this picture is a woman. You know, you think of the women at the White House, Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks, Omarosa Manigault, Ivanka Trump, and I read a piece by your colleague who noticed this and wrote about this. Why do you think it is the women who have survived so far?

PALMERI: Well, the women have been survivors for sure, but they figured out how to not be the co-stars in the Donald Trump show. And that is an issue that, you know, Steve Bannon has run into when he was on the cover of "Time" magazine, and his weight in the White House definitely dropped and he lost influence. The women have definitely been able to manage staying in the spotlight while not staying in the spotlight. Hope Hicks is, you know, the gatekeeper to the president, and you don't really see her much in the media, in the press.


PALMERI: She really keeps a low profile. Dina Powell as well. Sarah Sanders, Trump really likes her the way she is handling the press but who knows how long that will last?

Although she never really had an affection for Sean Spicer, so I think she's started on better footing. Kellyanne Conway sometimes knows she needs to take a step away from the press and take a lower profile. In this White House to survive you have to sort of play behind the scenes and I think the women have been able to handle that. You don't see Omarosa on television doing interviews. Men have been too preoccupied with their image like Reince Priebus, they had the entire press shop basically defending him all the time. For Trump it is about him, anyone who doesn't get that they aren't going to last long.

BALDWIN: Sure, it's about laying low. I'm sure some would argue they're not the biggest, biggest jobs in the White House, but at the same time we'll be watching the women in the White House. Tara Palmeri, thank you so much.

I want to just take a quick moment to honor this week's CNN hero. Fourteen years of age she was living alone on the streets and now she has a stable life and is dedicated to giving vulnerable youth in Israel a safe haven and a family.


MARIUMA BEN YOSEF, FOUNDER, SHANTI HOUSE: To be homeless, at a young age, it's very lonely. When you don't have your family, you'll always have a black hole. I know exactly what they're going through. I want children to breathe, I want them to feel alive, I want them to feel secure. I want them to feel like they can be hugged and they will not be in danger. We can see it in a different way and win life.


BALDWIN: How awesome is that? I want to encourage you to read her story, other stories. Nominate someone amazing you know. Go to Be right back. [15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Marine One has landed at Andrews. Just beyond is the shot of Air Force One. We're waiting to see the president of the United States on this Friday afternoon. We know congress has left town on August recess and now it is the president's turn here. He is headed momentarily to -- here we go. The president of the United States. And the salute. He is headed to Air Force One and then he will be in his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey where he will be for the next 17 days.

First big, big vacation as commander in chief. We don't entirely know what his itinerary is. They haven't really released anything to the public and also noteworthy and absent today, no press conference. Traditionally before presidents will head out of town for a chunk at a time, they will address the media since there are a multiple number of issues on his plate in Washington. That did not happen. Away he goes. The president off to Bedminster, New Jersey. Now this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to be a part of your life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is wat you do it? Show up at my apartment?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What am I supposed to do you won't answer my calls, you change your number. I'm not going to be ignored, Dan.


BALDWIN: The iconic portrayal of a woman scorned. Remember that,1987 movie, "Fatal Attraction"? Two years later, and what many say was a case of life imitating art, the movie helped shape the obsession a real-life murder suspect

accused of killing her lover's wife.

Carolyn Warmus has been sitting in jail for 25 years for that murder. She never admitted guilt. She just sat down to an exclusive interview with CNN's Kyra Phillips.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: February 2, 1990, more than a year after the brutal killing of Betty Jeanne Solomon, Carolyn Warmus was charged with her murder.

[16:00:00] CAROLYN WARMUS, CONVICTED MURDERER: I didn't find out until the newspaper called me.

PHILLIPS: That's when you found out you were a suspect?

WARMUS: Yes. I didn't know what they were talking about. I couldn't imagine, what could have I done? And they said, for the murder of Betty Jeanne Solomon. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been the subject of front page magazine

stories, tabloid headlines for month. The long-awaited "Fatal Attraction" trial opened up in Westchester County.

WARMUS: I would say the state of mind was Carolyn was guilty almost instantly. It was an implicit case of a woman having an affair with a married man.

PHILLIPS: A tabloid sensation chased by dozens of reporters, described as a murderous homewrecker. Warmus tried to camouflage herself with sunglasses, scarves, even blankets. Why did you want to protect your identity?

WARMUS: I said I'm a schoolteacher and I want to go back and be a schoolteacher. And I said, if I keep letting them take photos of me -- I'm never going to be able to teach again. It's going to be tough enough as it is with this case.


BALDWIN: Don't miss Keira's exclusive interview in tonight's special report, "Fatal Attraction or Fatal Mistake?: The Carolyn Warmus Story," right here on CNN.