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Trump and Dems working on deal for Dreamers; Trump working on DACA plan, wall will come later; Trump in Florida to survey damage and meet victims. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired September 14, 2017 - 11:30   ET




REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: -- President Trump. We agreed to plan -- to a plan to work at an agreement to protect our nation's "DREAMERS" from deportation.

We insisted that the bipartisan DREAM Act, the one introduced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard would be the basis for the protection and that we would review border security measures that do not include building a wall.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, Kate, let me, kind of, explain where the real confusion comes in right now. Leader Pelosi making very clear, the DREAM Act for them is the baseline.

The DREAM Act includes a lengthy, but very real pathway to citizenship over a lengthy period of time. You played the sound from the president on the, on the Tarmac a short while ago.

Chuck Schumer, the democratic leader in the Senate, said on the Senate floor that the baseline was enshrining DACA protections into law. The DREAM Act and what DACA does are two very different things both on the pathway to citizenship and the scope of the programs all together.

So here's why I think the nuance and the details here are extremely important, because how this is all going to end up is still very much up in the air.

While the parameters are clearly agreed upon and I would note, Kate, reporting in the past couple days, it's been very clear this was going to be the deal. Republican leaders were in the, kind of, the preliminary talks.

But it was going to be border security for DACA protections. But the details of that, the specifics of that, are both extremely important for everybody involved.

But also, for the republican leaders who by the way weren't in the meeting and are going to need to sell this to some of their members, at least, in the House, at least the majority of the conference, to ever be able to get it on the floor.

So positive first steps forward, no shortage of confusion right now. And I think what the deal is actually going to look like is still very much up in the air, Kate?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I mean, first and foremost, who is negotiating with who? And I know there's a "whom" in there but I never get it right. Phil, stick around, though.

Let's continue the discussion because Phil does a great job of trying to unconfuse me but he confused me. So joining Phil and I, CNN Politics Editor at large Chris Cillizza, CNN Senior Political Analyst Mark Preston, and CNN Political Analyst and Senior Writer at "The Atlantic" Molly Ball.

Molly, here's one thing that is confounding me as Phil's laying it out very perfectly of what exactly is being said and not said. Why is any of this being said publicly until the principals actually know what they're negotiating about?

MOLLY BALL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the Democrat strategy has been that they've got to hold Trump to his word when they feel that he's promised them something.

Trump has a long history of saying things that he thinks people want to hear in a private meeting, and then saying something else in public. So I think the Democrats wanted to come out first and say this is what we agreed to.

And they have, in fact, there are a lot of details to work out. The president is not a particularly detail-oriented person, but the broad strokes of the deal that he confirmed on Twitter this morning, saying -- you know, defending the DREAMERS, saying they need to be allowed to stay in the country, that's a big deal.

That is a pretty firm statement of where the Administration wants this to head. And, you know, I think what Trump learned from the last deal he struck with the Democrats, is that Republicans may cry and squeal about stuff like this but they're going to rubber stamp what he wants to do because what their constituents want is for them to back up the president.

BOLDUAN: Yes, and I mean, and Mark, there was a question of the president said earlier this morning that he -- that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were on board. It was unclear if those conversations had actually occurred. But the president in Florida says he just spoke to Ryan, I mean, I assume just on the flight, and he's on board.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. In many ways, you know, this is a very significant step. It's going to be very messy as Phil said and it'll be interesting to see how it all ends up when, you know, when the dust settles on this.

But the fact is, is that President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party and what we've seen in the eight months since he's been in office is that Congressional Republicans have ceded all authority to him.

Meaning, he is the one who's setting the table, he is the one who's dictating the terms of the debate. So when he comes out and says that he is working with the Democrats on getting something done like this, in many ways, Republicans, the Mitch McConnells and Paul Ryans of the world, have to go along with the president.

Now, in the end, will this all be scuttled because Democrats are adamant about not funding the wall? Perhaps. But right now, we have seen a little bit progress move forward, certainly on an issue that is really at the forefront of congress right now because they do need to address it. Six months is not a very long time.

BOLDUAN: It sure isn't, especially when you're talking about getting anything done in congress. Chris, immigration hawks are not happy about this. Folks who backed the president and said one thing that they knew where he stood was on immigration and building the wall.

Well, maybe not so much anymore. I mean, Steve King is one of them, of course, says they -- he says that there could be a real cost to the president if he goes through, (00:05:00) if he goes through with this, no wall included. He spoke to "NEW DAY" this morning. Listen.

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA (via telephone): Something's going to have to get reversed here with this president's policy or it will just blow up his base.

I mean, this was a straight up promise all the way through his campaign. What it means is that the base will leave him. They won't be able to defend him anymore.

BOLDUAN: Chris, do you think that is the case? Because if the president has struck you -- is going back on campaign promises or revolve in campaign promises, we have not seen that to date?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & EDITOR AT LARGE: Yes. Remember it was one of the billion controversies Donald Trump caused in the 2016 Campaign was when he said at a rally, "I could go out in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and my base would still be with me."

And we all thought, "Oh, my gosh, holy cow. What?" It, sort of, proved out that way, Kate. There was nothing really that he said or did up to and including and we revisit it over the last --

BOLDUAN: Chris, this is the equivalent of going out in Fifth Avenue and shooting people?

CILLIZZA: No, but -- no, not at all. But my point is the -- that seems like an exaggeration but given his base's loyalty to him, particularly through the "access Hollywood" tapes that we've heard more about because Hillary Clinton is hawking her book of late, I'm not convinced Steve King is right.

Do I think that there is a chunk of people who Steve King among them, Ann Coulter among them, Breitbart, who will turn against Trump for a period of time, if he goes through with this, which to me with him it's we -- it's a day-by-day presidency.

So I don't know if he will, but if he goes through with it, yes, I think they will, but I do think there's a large group of people that like Trump's personality, his tone, his willingness to shake things up even if that means working with Democrats.

I just think those people have never left him since he announced in June 2015. I don't think, I don't think his base, as Steve King puts it, is going to walk away now.

BOLDUAN: One big question is, are there consequences amongst the -- his party on Capitol Hill who have control of congress? I mean, Phil, do you see a scenario where Paul Ryan would bring forward some -- any kind of measure on DACA or whatever we're going to call it, whenever it happens, that wouldn't get a majority of Republican support? If he real -- if it was so much of a democratic deal, would he really bring it forward?

MATTINGLY: Yes, I spoke to one Republican member, kind of, just on background though, a short while ago this morning and he said explicitly no chance, right? That they -- Paul Ryan, the speaker, has made very clear that he's working with this conference on this.

And I think -- look, Kate, if you take a step back, this is why what happened last night is problematic for leaders on one level. As I noted, there was always going to be a deal, leaders were very much in favor of working towards a solution on DACA.

They -- the speaker has made very clear that he never wanted to see all these individuals deported, he never wanted to see these protections taken away, but there's a process that they were going through.

It's a slow process, it's going to be a methodical process, where they got their conference comfortable with the protections or, kind of, the deal that was going to be in place with a heavy emphasis on how much border security they could get in a package.

Again, whether it was money or resources. What last night, kind of, did was undercut that. And now the focus is on the scope of the DACA protections or whether the DREAM Act is the baseline. Again, the speaker is very aware of where his conference is on this.

He's very aware of the complications, particularly on the far right of the conference. And so he's not going to do anything, at least, I'd be very surprised and I think in talking to members this morning they would also be very surprised, that would fly in the face of where they are.

This was always going to be a complicated and complex issue that some members of their conference were not going to be happy with at all. And all the Steve Kings as you note. I think the big question now is, how does the speaker, kind of, mold what the president and what Democrats think the president agreed to last night --

BOLDUAN: Honestly. MATTINGLY: -- into a deal that gets his conference to a place where a majority of -- will support. And Kate, he's going to speak in about 30 minutes and I think that's the big question right now.

BOLDUAN: I mean, and good luck, Speaker Ryan. I mean, Molly, earlier today, I mean, this all happened, if you are confused, everyone, it's OK, because different statements have come out just in the last three hours.

It was the wall will come later is explicitly what the president said when he was leaving the White House to go to Florida. He lands in Florida, Molly, I don't know what transpired on the plane, and then he says, "The wall is vital to me."

There has to be an understanding that the wall will be funded or basically nothing, then will be the opposition and obstructionist. I guess, there -- is there some way both of those things can be true?

BALL: Well, I guess one way to resolve it might be that the wall isn't part of this deal but the president still intends to push for it and still intends to push congress on it and so --

BOLDUAN: Down the road.

BALL: Down the road, yes. That seemed to be what he was saying -- that's also what the Democrats said, right? They said -- coming out of the meeting last night, they said, "We agreed to disagree on the wall and this deal is going to be separate from that."

I do think we should point out in this discussion, protecting the DREAMERS is a hugely popular thing to do. Majority of Republican voters support it, majority of Trump voters support it (00:10:00) in poll after poll. We're not talking about the whole issue of immigration, which, of course, is much more of a flashpoint and much more contentious --

BOLDUAN: Right, but that doesn't stop congress from mucking it up.

BALL: But if you're just talking about protecting the DREAMERS, this is something that Paul Ryan is in favor of, this is something the business community is in favor of, and this is something that is broadly popular and so, you know, yes, Breitbart is freaking out, Ann Coulter's freaking out, Laura Ingraham's freaking out.

But in terms of the actual where the American public is on this issue, it's very clearly in favor of something like DACA. So, you know, you can -- if you had put comprehensive immigration reform much less the DREAM Act on the floor in 2013 or 2014, it would have passed because you would've had most of the Democrats and most of the Republicans.

You are going to have people on the far left and the far right of both conferences opposed to some of the details. But this is something that most people want to do.

BOLDUAN: Listening to your constituents and the American people, an amazingly novel idea in 2017. And Mark, you get first and last next time. Great to see you, guys. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

BALL: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up, friends and family now speaking out after a tragedy in the aftermath of hurricane Irma. At least eight people are now confirmed to have died in sweltering nursing home in Hollywood, Florida.

A criminal investigation is now underway. We're about to get a live update from police there in Hollywood on what they know and what they are learning. This is critical. A tragedy plays out. We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: Of the many tragedies folks have seen since hurricane Irma, this may be the most tragic. Eight people confirmed dead in a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida. Possibly linked to the air conditioning going out in the aftermath of the storm.

Federal, state, and local authorities, they are now investigating. Moments ago police and other officials offered up some new details about what they're learning so far.

CNN'S Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, she's following this, she's in Hollywood. Elizabeth, what are the new details? What are we learning?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we've learned is that a search warrant has been issued for the facility behind me, for this nursing home, that has had these terrible tragedies, eight deaths.

We're also told that the search warrant has not been executed. In other words they've not actually used that search warrant to enter the facility as yet.

We've also learned that 145 patients in total were evacuated out of the facility, most of them, the vast majority of them went to the hospital down the street, Memorial Hospital, which is not associated with this facility.

And about 70 of those 145 have been transferred to skilled nursing facilities. In other words, other nursing homes. So some of these patients were OK enough to go back into a different nursing home, but most of them have had to stay in the nurse -- they have to have stay in the hospital. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Elizabeth, any further detail on what they think happened? You know, there really isn't. There are so many questions right now. They said they don't know what the temperature was inside.

And really, what they don't know is, what happened in the communication between the city, the emergency workers, and the facility. The facility was not quiet. They did call and say our air conditioning isn't working.

This is according to both the facility and the emergency services. But when emergency services asked, "Do you need help for your residents? Do they -- are they having medical problems?" the city says they were not told that the residents did have medical problems.

We haven't been able to get an answer on that from the facility. But, sort of, what happened, there was three days of contact going back and forth. Why did these eight people have to die?

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Exactly the question that no family should be asked -- having to ask right now. Elizabeth, thank you so much. Elizabeth Cohen is on the ground, we're staying close to the updates to come.

Coming up for us, so, did President Trump strike a deal with Democrats to protect DREAMERS? And what are Republicans are saying -- what are republicans saying about it today? We're going to be live with a top republican senator, coming up next.



BOLDUAN: The president congressional Democrats close to a deal to protect the hundreds of thousands of DREAMERS currently in the United States and currently in limbo. Maybe. What's in the deal? Anyone's guess.

That empty podium will see -- will help us out in just a few minutes. We're going to get an update from House Speaker Paul Ryan. He's set to speaker to reporters very, very soon.

Hopefully some more information there. Until then, let's bring in right now Republican Senator from Louisiana, Bill Cassidy. Senator, it's great to see you.

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R), L.A.: Thank you for having me.

BOLDUAN: So I will talk health care in a second. But first, this big news, do you have an understanding of what the president has agreed to when it comes to DACA recipients?

CASSIDY: I don't because the president's tweet seem to go counter to some other decisions that have been made, you know, the statements that have been made.

But clearly he's trying to link DACA with border security and maybe a wall, maybe not a wall. You always had a sense that was the pathway he was going to, but where he actually is right now, I'm not quite sure.

BOLDUAN: Roughly speaking, do you support a DACA deal that doesn't include wall funding, but does include some kind of border security element? CASSIDY: You know, in that, you have to unpack it. We need to have a secure border, period. We need -- and in some places a border should have been built yesterday.

The folks who are experts saying some places a wall may not be where you need -- the best way to control the border, but we need to have something more than what we have now. So I'd like to see exactly what is being offered for border security before making that decision.

BOLDUAN: Steve King this morning said that the president would be leaving his base behind if he didn't include funding for the wall. Do you think he would be?

CASSIDY: I think there are some folks in the base who are going to be extremely upset. But I will note that the fellow who's at the Center for Immigration Studies has urged a little bit more of a wait and see. Let's actually see what the president agreed to before we react. And that's probably the wiser policy to adopt right now.

BOLDUAN: Do you -- the president during the campaign, he was on the other side of this debate. Well, maybe not because I'm not quite sure, to be honest, exactly what the -- just as you are, Senator. But here's what he told NBC's Chuck Todd when he was asked if he would rescind DACA. This was in the campaign.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You'll rescind the DREAM Act executive order, DACA?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to have to -- we have to make a whole new set of standards and when people come in, they have to come in legally --

TODD: So you're going to split up families.

TRUMP: Chuck.

TODD: You're going to deport children.

TRUMP: Chuck. No, no. We're going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.

TODD: But you're going to keep them together out --

TRUMP: But they have to go. But they have to go.

TODD: What if they have no place to go?

TRUMP: We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country or we don't have a country.


BOLDUAN: "They have to go." (00:25:00) Well, that was then. So, do you see now, this negotiation is breaking a promise to voters? CASSIDY: The president during the campaign would sometimes shift what he said on a particular issue. And that, kind of, happens when presidents run for -- when candidates run for president and then achieve the presidency.

I think more of what he said over and over again, he wanted a wall and he wanted a secure border. And I think that is the preeminent issue. The issue of the DREAMERS, again, I won't attempt to speak for the president and I'll let the president's own words speak for them -- himself.

BOLDUAN: And since they contradict each other, we'll wait for the next round of it to hear exactly what the president thinks. Let me ask you about congressman -- senator, I'm so sorry.

Because you are running out of time right now to be able to come up with something that you can pass under the 50-vote rule. Have you gotten assurances from the White House that they support your plan with Senator Graham to fix health care?

CASSIDY: Yes, we have.

BOLDUAN: Sure assurance. So they are on board. So, what are the chances that you can get this done in 17 days by the end of the month?

CASSIDY: We need leadership. Clearly the president can be on board, but it'd be great if the president makes it even more high profile. When the president, the vice president begin calling governors and senators, that just begin to sharpen people's attention.

My colleagues in the Senate, some of them, obviously, a little bit fatigued with the ACA. But I'm still plugging. Others, Dean Heller, Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson still plugging, still fighting, still trying to make it happen.

BOLDUAN: But, Senator --

CASSIDY: We have a process issue. We have a process issue, we need to see the other scores.

BOLDUAN: Just like the comment -- definitely have a process issue, yes.

CASSIDY: And so we have to get that through as well. Hopefully both the White House and senate leadership will ask (INAUDIBLE) to hustle a little bit. It may make a difference.

BOLDUAN: Have you gotten assurances directly from the president or from the vice president?

CASSIDY: Well, the vice president and then through -- Senator Graham has spoken with the president and he assures me that the president is there but the vice president has also assures us that the president is there.

BOLDUAN: After the end of the month without us getting into the weeds for folks at home, you'll need the -- you'll need 60 votes to pass anything. You could -- the senate couldn't even get 50 on anything. Does your plan can become a pipe dream?

CASSIDY: Yes, I do. Well, it depends. It's not a pipe dream if you think about the folks who are, if you think about the folks who are paying $40,000 plus for an annual premium. A fellow back home, Moon Griffon, conservative talk show host, over $40,000 a year.

It will not be a pipe dream as long as we have folks unable to afford their premium. And if that is the case, it may not be done by the end of this month, but it will be done.

It's just the question of timing. We're trying to set up good policy whether it's done now or later, the good policy will still be there.

BOLDUAN: Good policy from your perspective maybe, but just on the basic fact if you need -- you'll need to get 60 votes. I mean, the conversation from a lot of people's perspectives has moved on from health care, Senator. You think you can get 60 votes on this now?

CASSIDY: So the Democrat -- there are states represented by Democrats to do far better under our proposal, then under the Affordable Care Act.

Virginia would make 7 -- would get $7 billion more under our proposal between 2021 and 2026 when you compare what they are getting currently from the CSR payments and the tax credits versus what they would get from us.

Similarly Florida does extremely well. And Missouri, Indiana, states represented by democratic senators, ideally they would vote for their constituents and not for the party line.

BOLDUAN: As we speak, we're looking at pictures of the president continues his tour of Florida. For our viewers, he was in Fort Meyers, he's in Naples. He's going to be meeting with first responders and those affected by the hurricane.

That also brings to mind, the president was, of course, talking about DACA today. With all of this in mind, Senator, would you like the president to be focusing more on health care and less on DACA?

CASSIDY: I think the president, as we all do, must multitask. And so I don't mind more than one issue being considered in parallel, but I do think health care, if you think about that so-called forgotten person that he referenced in his inauguration speech who at my state is paying over $40,000 a year, think about that.

Annually for a premium we cannot forget them, we must do something to help them. We think we have a bill that does.

BOLDUAN: Real quick, because the president just (INAUDIBLE) did speak about DACA when he landed in Fort Myers, I'm just reminded of this. He said that they need to have extreme border security or very, very powerful border security is how he said. Do you know what that looks like? CASSIDY: I don't know what it looks like, but I will say, speaking to experts, in some places it is a wall. And in other places it may be something different only because of the terrain. But whatever it is, we need to secure our border so that those who come here only come legally.

BOLDUAN: Not giving up on health care yet and need to see some details on any DACA deal. That is for sure. Senator Bill Cassidy, always great to have you, thank you so much.

CASSIDY: Thank you.


BOLDUAN: All right. Thank you so much for joining us at this house. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King as the president continues his travels in Florida starts right now.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Kate, and welcome to INSIDE POLITICS.