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Former Captive of Haqqani Network Gives Statement after Release; Puerto Rico Continues Recovery Efforts in Wake of Hurricane Maria; Large Wildfires Continue to Burn in Northern California; President Trump Signs Executive Order on Premium Subsidies under Obamacare; President Trump Decertifies Iran Nuclear Deal; Film Academy Meets Regarding Membership of Harvey Weinstein. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 14, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:34] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We always appreciate your company. Thank you for being with us. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. CNN Newsroom begins right now.
PAUL: So let's talk about the two failed attempts to pass a repeal and replace health care plan, so now President Trump is taking matters into his own hands, tweeting this morning that he's proud of his executive order that he says will greatly expand access and lower costs for health care.
BLACKWELL: Another key issue the president is kicking over to Congress, the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. He effectively put it on hold Friday, threatened to pull out altogether if Congress and U.S. allies don't get tougher on Tehran.
Also, held hostage by militants for years now and telling in a graphic account now that they are back in the U.S. and Canada, just days after his family was freed, this man is speaking out saying his kidnappers authorized the murder of his daughter and raped his wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSHUA BOYLE, HELD CAPTIVE BY TALIBAN AFFILIATED NETWORK: The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani Networks kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinarily villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And authorities revealing new video of what they call five minutes in hell. Look at this. There are walls of fire, including some smoke and ash, coming down on this car. These are the conditions first responders are braving as they search for survivors this morning. Watch as a sheriff's deputy desperately pulls a disabled woman to safety.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's disabled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, let me get her feet. Let me get her feet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her husband's right behind you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff wants to do a carry out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on, hold on. Hold up, hold up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And we will have more on the fires here as we get through the morning. But we do want to talk to you, as well, about the shocking new claim today by the family that was freed from militant captivity in Pakistan.
BLACKWELL: Joshua Boyle, his American wife, and their three children born in captivity arrived safe in Canada last night. But Boyle told reporters in Toronto his kidnappers authorized the killing of one of his children and also raped his wife.
PAUL: CNN international correspondent Paula Newton is live from Ottawa with more. Help us understand what else he was talking about there.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Christi. You could only imagine what this family has been through, and yet through a carefully prepared statement that he had handwritten, he read it out when he arrived at the airport, obviously exhausted, but taking over more than that was quite a bit of anger. He says his captors, and he alluded to this to his family beforehand, telling his family that his wife had been treated much worse than was indicated on some proof of life videos. He certainly detailed that his wife had been raped. We don't know more than that in terms of the incident. But I want you to listen to him in a very emotional statement as he arrived in Canada shortly after midnight. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOYLE: The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani networks kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter, Martyr Boyle, as retaliation for my repeated refusal to accept an offer from the criminal miscreants of the Haqqani network had made to me. And the subsequent -- and the stupidity and evil of the subsequent rape of my wife, not as a lone action by one guard, but assisted by the captain of the guard and supervised by the commandant Abu Hajjar of the Haqqani network.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Shocking abuse there. And key there is that he indicated Martyr Boyle. What does that mean? What I know from having spoken to the family before he landed was that they had alluded to the fact that there had been a forced abortion, one that the family was vehemently against. They say it was at least one infant daughter. We don't know more than that, and you have to realize here that the family had only had two phone conversations and has barely been with them more than a few hours right now, but this is a family that has a lot more to say in the coming days and weeks. Christi?
PAUL: And we know he is there at home with his family now? Do we have any idea what his plans are or what the family's plans are after this point?
[10:05:10] NEWTON: They are not -- they are trying to, as you can imagine, take it one day at a time, but I've spoken to the family. I've been in the family home. There are rooms prepared for the kids. They want the kids to start going to daycare and school. They have an infant daughter right now who's only two-months-old who obviously needs a lot of attention. They just want to take it one day at a time, but they are in the embrace of their family right now.
The problem here, though, Christi, is there's still a lot of questions, both from the U.S. government and Canadian government as to what they were doing there in the first place. And, obviously, as their memories are fresh, as difficult as this is going to be, they are going to want to know information about the people who were holding them, where they were. And, obviously, that will be very difficult interviews to come. And again, they'll want to get to those quite soon.
PAUL: They've already been through so much. Paula Newton, thank you so much.
All right, it is three weeks, it's been three weeks since hurricane Maria, and the devastation in Puerto Rico almost seems, some say, to be getting worse. It is desperate times for these people particularly in Dorado. You see there they are drinking from a federally designated hazardous waste site.
BLACKWELL: Forty-five people have died, and that number may continue to rise. Eight-six percent, 86 percent of the island still does not have power. More than 1.2 million people don't have safe drinking water, clean running water at all. Earlier we spoke with the president of the American Federation of Teachers and a nurse who's assisting there trying to treat people who have not yet seen FEMA, have had no help come to them. This was their account of what's happening there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLAMARA PADRO-MILANO, NURSE ASSISTING IN PUERTO RICO: What we're seeing is people in need. Basic needs of food, shelter, medicine, water. We carry that with us when we go and set up ambulatory clinics where we go to try and help people. We're going in large teams with a doctor, provider, our own pharmacy, and a lot of food and water wherever we go. People are dying here. They are suffering here. And that's not -- the true story is not being told. We see it every day.
RANDI WEINGARTEN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: People haven't seen anyone from FEMA yet. I'm not saying that FEMA isn't working hard. I saw lots of people yesterday, they are exhausted. But this needs a Marshall plan. That is what Representative Ryan should have said yesterday, just like we did a Marshall plan in Europe after World War II. This is our country. These are our citizens. We need a Marshall plan, and when you do that, we can regenerate, rebuild the economy here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Now, House Speaker Paul Ryan was in Puerto Rico yesterday and said the U.S. is committed to recovery efforts for, quote, "the long haul." Ed Lavandera has more.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Along a winding road high in the mountains south of San Juan, this stream of water is a lifeline, a pit stop now in the daily routine for thousands of people. Beverly Cancel and her husband pull up under the makeshift water spouts, PVC pipes dipped into the stream overhead to divert the water into massive tanks.
BEVERLY CANCEL, NARANJITO RESIDENT: Every day is a struggle. He wakes up at 4:00 in the morning and he comes here, he fills up, and he takes it to our neighbors.
LAVANDERA: The water isn't safe to drink, but people use it to take showers, wash clothes, and cleaning. And for some, like Adrianne Santiago, who have lost their job since the storm, delivering this water to residents is a way of making extra money. Santiago delivers the water to Nelson Vasquez, who lives several miles away. He keeps two large 55-gallon barrel drums in his garage next to a generator to power the basic necessities in his home. He says living in the storm's aftermath is like traveling back in time.
NELSON VASQUEZ, NARANJITO RESIDENT: Our great grandmothers used to carry cans of water on their hip from the lake to wash clothes.
LAVANDERA: The roadway into this neighborhood was washed away by the storm. There are about 40 families that live on the other side, essentially cut off from the rest of the town, so they are having to figure out ways to get in and out, and this is one of those makeshift ways, a path so that people can walk in and out of their own neighborhood.
And on the other side of the road collapse is where we found Elizabeth Diaz caring for her newborn baby boy. Diaz gave birth two days before hurricane Maria struck, and when she left the hospital she walked out into the ruins left by the storm. Her only focus now is caring for her baby, who was born prematurely. She can't -- her house where she normally lives is unlivable right now
because of the hurricane damage, so she's living here. No place for her to take a newborn baby.
[10:10:05] Here in the mountains of central Puerto Rico, many residents say they are settling into the reality that a normal day isn't even a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel yet. One man put it this way, we're prepared for a dark Christmas. There will be no holiday lights decorating the island this year.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Naranjito, Puerto Rico.
BLACKWELL: Thanks to Ed and the whole team that's working there in Puerto Rico.
President Trump says millions of people will get better, cheaper health care from his executive order, but even members of his own party are saying, quote, it's going to hurt everybody. The latest from the White House, that's coming up.
PAUL: Also, some of Hollywood's most powerful figures are meeting this morning to decide the fate of this man, Harvey Weinstein. The big question is, will he be kicked out of the Film Academy, and what exactly will that mean?
BLACKWELL: Plus, this video, look at this. Look at the screen. This is California this morning where police officers' body camera is showing the frantic moments of an officer trying to get people caught in these wildfires. You have to see this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here! Screw your shoe! Come on!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's disabled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me get her feet. Let me get her feet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:15:30] BLACKWELL: More now on these deadly wildfires in California. We're getting a look now at the huge flames firefighters are braving as they search for anyone still alive in this community specifically. The Sonoma County sheriff's office released body cam footage of what they call five minutes in hell.
PAUL: CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is standing by with details on what they are going to be facing today because it is not good. First, though, we want to get to Ryan Young. He is live from Santa Rosa, California. We know there are these homes that are destroyed. I'm concerned, too, about these hundreds of people that are missing. What can you tell us about what they are doing to try to get to them or find them?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first thing's first, I wanted to tell you the reason I'm holding this phone next to my head is because we had to run to a second location. The reason why we came to a second location from where we we've been standing all day so far is the fact that the sunrise is starting to happen, and if you look behind me, look at the scene right now. This is just amazing in terms of the fire they are dealing with here.
We've been talking about this fire all morning long in terms of we saw it in the hill line. It is starting to spread, and you can see that smoke that's now just pouring over this entire valley area. We've been concerned about this, as well. Extra evacuations have now been put in place in several different areas. In fact, we've been told people are getting on to the highways to try to avoid this fire.
The heavy winds we've had this morning so far have started to spread the fire that's in that hill line, and they are concerned about people who live in the nearby neighborhoods. When you talk about the people who are missing, we're talking about over 200 people are missing, and they are going to start searching for them, but they've already admitted this could be a recovery effort.
So we have been doing live shots in this neighborhood where we're actually standing in front of a house that is gone, but when we noticed over the ridge line the fire that we've been watching all day started to grow larger and larger and larger. So we wanted to show this to you guys, because it just sort of exemplifies the fact at any moment this can take a turn, especially with the heavy winds.
And we've seen the flashing lights because, let me tell you something, we've seen heavy equipment moving towards that area, even helicopters get a little close, drop some water, and keep moving. But you can still see the fires growing, the smoke is growing, and look at it pouring back in that direction over there. This is an amazing sight to see, but it's very dangerous in the sense of all the people who are down in that line of fire that we can see from here.
PAUL: Hey, Ryan, how are rescuers holding up? I mean, they have been battling this thing fiercely for days. I mean, I don't even know if they are getting breaks.
YOUNG: No. We talked to some firefighters yesterday who were very young, who were very excited about being there in terms of they wanted to help, and everyone has been thanking them. But they have been going four and five days straight. There are pictures of firefighters using rocks as pillows trying to get rest in between shifts, so you understand just how tired they are in terms of trying to deal with this fire.
PAUL: Kudos to them. Ryan Young, thank you so much for the update.
BLACKWELL: All right, Allison Chinchar, CNN meteorologist, we know, and I know from covering fires, you've covered them, too, for quite some time, that the advantages and the upper hand that some of these firefighters might have gained over the last several days, that could be completely wiped out today because the winds are whipping up, and the 30 percent, 40 percent containment they have can dwindle to zero in a matter of hours.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And that has to be so frustrating for the firefighters, Victor, who were able to make so much advancement in the containment in the last 48 hours, and that may be for nothing when you go later on into the day today.
We have the red flag warnings out, and notice we're not talking a small pocket here or there in Florida. This has spread huge across the entire state. In northern California, running from Redding to well south of San Francisco, some of the worst of it being around Napa, Sonoma, the wine country region. But also it extends down towards southern California, including Santa Barbara, even Los Angeles dealing with those strong winds that are mainly going to be this morning.
The one good thing is, by tonight those winds are expected to calm down. But until then, the fire risk exists. The orange indicates an elevated fire threat. The red indicating critical, so you have several pockets of that. We talked about the winds. Again, the forecast gusts for the morning and early afternoon are likely going to be 30, 40, even as high as 60 miles per hour.
[10:20:05] But we said the good news is by tonight a lot of these locations get down to less than five miles per hour. The key thing to note, it's not just the winds, but those winds are taking not only fires and spreading them, but it takes the ash, it takes the smoke, and that makes your air quality really poor as well. That's a concern for firefighters, not just the people that live there, but another concern, Victor and Christi, the temperatures unfortunately are actually going to rise about 10 to 15 degrees above average in the next three days. That will make it even more difficult for those firefighters, as well.
BLACKWELL: All right, Allison Chinchar, thank you so much for watching it for us.
PAUL: Well, the former White House chief of staff and special counsel investigators are coming face to face. What this means for the Russia investigation and which other current and former White House staff are next in line to get interviewed.
BLACKWELL: Plus, film producer Harvey Weinstein says we all make mistakes. And he's asking for a second chance, but will Hollywood give that to him? Should they?
[10:25:33] PAUL: Good morning to you, I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: So, this morning President Trump is touting executive order number 49. This is the one he signed on Thursday that allows people to band together to seek more affordable health insurance, and it's a move some consider an attempt to cripple the Affordable Care Act. When it comes to executive orders, at this milestone, the presidential pen just hasn't been as busy since the first year of the Lyndon Johnson administration.
BLACKWELL: Yes, more than 50 years ago. CNN's Boris Sanchez is live from the White House. Boris, so what is the president's take on this latest executive order?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Victor and Christi. Yes, after two failed attempts to pass a repeal and replacement of Obamacare in Congress, the president is apparently taking matters into his own hands, passing this executive order on Thursday and touting it this morning on Twitter. He writes, quote, "Very proud of my executive order, which will allow greatly expanded access and far lower costs for health care. Millions of people benefit."
As you said, Christi, this allows for these association health plans, people to band together to buy cheaper and less thorough plans. It also allows for more flexibility when buying short-term insurance. But simultaneously as the president signs this executive order, he's also cutting subsidies that help lower income Americans buy health insurance. And that puts a lot of pressure on the market because if fewer people are buying insurance, then companies raise prices, even potentially back out of certain markets altogether. Already you've had some 20 health care organizations saying that they are against this executive order, including the American Cancer Society. You also have the National Governors Association saying that they are against these cuts to subsidies.
And then on top of that you have Democrats, as well, the leaders in Congress, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, criticizing this executive order saying that it is spiteful and cruel. Keep in mind, the president is likely going to need Democrats to pass any kind of profound change to Obamacare after Republicans in the Senate failed to get even a simple majority to repeal and replace Obamacare, Victor and Christi.
PAUL: Very true. Former chief of staff Reince Priebus was interviewed yesterday by the special counsel's team. What are you hearing about that?
SANCHEZ: Yes, this is another step in the special counsel's investigation into the Trump administration's possibly collusion with Russia during the 2016 election. Others are set to be interviewed including former press secretary Sean Spicer, the current communications director Hope Hicks, and White House legal counsel Don McGahn.
What we've heard from sources, they've told CNN that this questioning has to do with the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, as well as the firing of James Comey. One source actually telling CNN that Robert Mueller is looking to get information on the president's meeting with some Russian officials shortly after former FBI director James Comey was fired in which he apparently bragged about the firing, saying that it takes pressure off the White House. So this is yet another sign the Russia investigation is moving forward.
PAUL: All right, Boris Sanchez, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right, President Trump is also attacking the Iran deal, another Obama administration achievement. Despite the advice of his secretary of state and his secretary of defense and other members of his cabinet and key U.S. allies, the president says Iran is no longer in compliance with the spirit of the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration. Now the fate of the agreement is unclear. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you expect to rip the Iran deal up?
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I may do that. I may do that. The deal is terrible. So what we've done is through the certification process, we'll have Congress take a look at it, and I may very well do that. But I like a two-step process much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right, joining me now, CNN's global affairs correspondent Elise Labott, CNN military and diplomatic analyst and former State Department spokesperson John Kirby, and CNN senior political analyst and senior editor of "The Atlantic" Ron Brownstein. Good morning to all.
And Admiral, I want to start with you. Former secretary of state John Kerry released a statement after the announcement from the president, saying that the decision would call into question whether the U.S. can keep its word. What's your take on that, the ramifications of the president's decision?
[10:30:12] ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Couldn't agree more with Secretary Kerry on that. One of the things that we have to keep in mind about this, there's a lot of things not to like about the president's decision, but one of them is it calls into question the United States' ability to abide by an agreement that we've signed up to.
And when you talk about what's going on in North Korea, if you're sitting in Pyongyang now and see what the president just did, how likely do you think you're going to want to be to have any kind of serious talks with the Chinese, the Russians, or the United States about any kind of talks here in terms of trying to maneuver away from their own nuclear weapons capabilities? Not to mention the message it sends to our own allies and partners about how trustworthy the United States can be in negotiations on the world stage.
So I completely agree with Secretary Kerry. This was a reckless thing that the president did, more a political stunt than anything else, but I do think it has real world ramifications.
BLACKWELL: Elise, let's talk about the reaction from some of those partners and allies. A joint statement from the leaders of the U.K., France, and Germany, and it read this way. "We encourage the U.S. administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPOA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement." You combine that with the withdrawal from the Paris accord, criticisms of NATO, criticisms of the U.N., and what's the impact on our allies, some of our oldest allies we're discussing?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now some of our oldest allies, including those that you mentioned in that statement, Victor, are right now lobbying the U.S. Congress. They've kind of said, talking to the administration is a waste of time and now they are looking to Congress to try and save the day, in effect, with this deal.
The long-term effects, I think, follow on what John said. If allies, if countries around the world do not feel that the U.S. is trustworthy, they are just going to disregard the United States as that world leader that everyone has come to expect. And that leaves a vacuum, and, you know, everybody from the U.N. secretary-general, to the head of NATO to others have said that leaves the vacuum for countries like Russia and China to come in. And that is not a place are the U.S. wants to be. That's not a place anyone wants to be. But if the United States is not seen as a reliable ally, you're going to see these kind of coalitions, if you will, coalesce without the United States.
BLACKWELL: Iran, ahead of the announcement the president said yesterday that he was keeping a campaign promise, right. But this is not building the wall on the southern border. This is not tax reform. This is not some of the other tent pole issues that the president promoted during the campaign. How much does this really matter to his supporters, the withdrawal potentially from the Iran deal?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, you know, building the wall has proven very problematic. Look, you know, I think we really have to underscore what John and Elise have both said. This is a move that has the potential, excuse me, to really isolate the U.S.., to further isolate the U.S. in the world and to further divide the American political system.
There's not a lot of sympathy for Iran anywhere in the American political system, not a lot of people think Iran is a good actor in the world, but there have not been -- there's not been any credible case that they are not abiding by the agreement, whether you look at kind of domestic voices like the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs or international voices, like the International Atomic Energy Administration.
And so you have the administration in this position where they are essentially alone. Where there's a no chance of -- seems to be no chance of persuading the other signatories to the agreement to reopen it. That seems to be a dead end, a nonstarter. And it is unclear that there is even in the Republican Party enough appetite for taking steps in Congress that would truly undermine the deal. Maybe providing some face saving for him around the edges of the deal and so forth, but they are moving alone on this course, and something we see in addition to all the issues you listed, NAFTA, TPP, a series of steps leading in the same place.
BLACKWELL: Let's get to Congress because what's your degree of confidence, admiral, that Congress will get in 60 days the 60 votes, this filibuster-proof majority they'll need to do something, anything?
IRBY: I don't think they will. I don't think they will. That's why I think this is, you know, Ron's exactly right. The president is not fulfilling -- Ron's right, this is not fulfilling a campaign process. This is a political stunt to appease to his base. He's kicking the responsibility over to Congress, and I think he and his cabinet all understand Congress is not going to get there. I just don't believe that's going to happen because I think even the critics of the deal in Congress recognize what Ron said very clearly, Iran is complying, that they are meeting their requirements under the deal.
Aside from his political base, Victor, the only people probably cheering right now about what the president did yesterday are the Mullahs and the hardliners in Tehran who also don't want the deal, who want it ripped up because they did want a race to a bomb.
[10:35:08] BLACKWELL: And not too long ago president, Rouhani, was critical of the Iran Revolutionary Guard, and now he's standing up for them about the announcement that came out from the U.S. government about sanctions against that group.
Elise, let me come back to you and the characterization, which I found to be jarring, from Senator Bob Corker about the president's public contradiction of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He reportedly told "The Washington Post" this, and we'll put it up. "You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice between war and not war." Corker said that on the phone on Friday.
The tweets, yes, you raise tension in the region and it's very irresponsible, but the first part, the castration of Tillerson, that's what Corker says that he's most exercised about. Combine that with the president questioning his I.Q., or saying that he's smarter than he is, or saying that he's not tough enough. What is the view there? What do you think about this characterization?
LABOTT: OK, well, I think you have to look at it in two ways. This is vintage President Trump, you know, you have the story by NBC come out last week and a little of this, you know, some of the things that he says about Rex Tillerson, about the I.Q., I think that's answering that, and you saw it with Jeff Sessions and others.
But when you talk about President Trump kind of tweeting, you know, against what his secretary of state is doing when Secretary of State Tillerson is out in Beijing talking about trying to get some backchannel diplomacy going together with North Korea, and you have the president tweet that's a waste of time, don't bother, there's only one way to talk to North Korea and that's insinuating that that's military action, that's really, as Senator Corker was saying, kind of hampers your secretary -- he's very, you know, emphatic language, saying castration, choice words, but, in effect, it is kind of hampering the secretary's ability.
The secretary has been working very hard with China, really trying to get, you know, a lot of Chinese cooperation which President Trump has said himself is critical. And so I think what Senator Corker was saying is, if you're going to completely undermine your secretary of state, you're not going to have a lot of leverage on the world stage. And, in effect, that is, you know, castrating the secretary of state.
BLACKWELL: Ron, let me squeeze in something else here with you. I want to get this before we go, and I just want to switch to health care just for this last question. Nevada Republican Governor Brian Sandoval called the president's decision to end these health care subsidies for the poor devastating, and let me put up what he told a local paper there in Nevada. "It's going to hurt people. It's going to hurt kids. It's going to hurt families. It's going to hurt individuals. It's going to hurt people with mental health issues. It's going to hurt veterans. It's going to hurt everybody." We've also heard criticisms from Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros- Lehtinen. Is this divestment going to hurt the president politically, though, because we've seen at least with that 35 percent to 37 percent, they all point back to Congress.
BROWNSTEIN: Yes, well, look, there is a bridge between what we've been talking about on Iran and the health care decision. Across the board we're seeing kind of an upsurge in choices by the president to, in effect, take policy hostages trying to increase leverage. He's threatening to end the Iranian deal, he's threatening to end NAFTA. He is ending, in fact, these payments and DACA, the same thing. He's threatening to end DACA by next spring. All of them designed to increase leverage on the other parties that he's negotiated with.
But in this case, I think, there's a miscalculation here, because Republicans recognize that if, in fact, this stands and these payments are eliminated and premiums rise by 20 percent as the Congressional Budget Office projects and a lot of people lose coverage, they are on the front line if there's tumult and turmoil in the health care markets next spring. So while he thinks he's increasing leverage on Democrats to give more what he wants on the repeal of Obamacare, he may be increasing pressure on Republicans to find a solution to this, very similar to what I think we're going to see with DACA, as well. Can he go ahead and deport large numbers of people?
BLACKWELL: Ron Brownstein, Admiral John Kirby, Elise Labbot, thanks for the conversation.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
PAUL: Employees are comparing it to the titanic, the future of the Weinstein company is up in the air after dozens of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against one of the creators, of course, Harvey Weinstein.
[10:43:33] PAUL: So Harvey Weinstein's fate in Hollywood is yet to be determined. In just a few hours the board of the Film Academy, the group behind the Oscars here, is holding an emergency meeting today, and they could vote to strip Weinstein's membership after more than a dozen women came forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault against the producer. One of those women, a former employee of the Weinstein company, talked to CNN about her accusations against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANA POWELL, ACCUSED HARVEY WEINSTEIN OF HARASSMENT: I came out seven years ago, not only did I come out and I was very lenient, because I was still nervous. It was -- it took courage even to say what I actually said at the time. I just wish I'd said something before. I could have perhaps stopped this. It was just too much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: All right, so let's talk to Kim Serafin about this, entertainment journalist, to discuss. Kim, good morning to you, first of all. I know there's the 54-member board in this meeting today. Here's what's interesting. Bill Cosby still is with the academy, Roman Polanski is still with the academy. What is the likelihood that Weinstein will not be?
KIM SERAFIN, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Yes, this is very interesting. As you mentioned, 54 members, and these are very prominent members of the industry, famous directors, actors, writers, P.R. professionals, you name it, these are the people in the industry. They are meeting today, and we're going to find out, will he have his membership revoked from the academy? We know that the BAFTA, the British version, the equivalent of the academy, they've already suspended his membership there. The Producers Guild is also meeting.
[10:45:10] But as you mentioned, Bill Cosby still a member. Roman Polanski still a member. Mel Gibson still a member even after everything he went through, and he did get that second chance. He was nominated for an Oscar last year. But there's a lot of different feelings, I think, this time around. There's a lot more people coming forward, a lot more people saying this is kind of a watershed moment in a way, that this is kind of something that is going to change the industry. So I think that might factor in whether they do revoke his membership.
PAUL: You've been in the industry for a long time reporting on it. Did you hear the rumblings of what people are saying was an open secret?
SERAFIN: You know, it depends who you ask. Yes, there were rumors, but were those rumors true? There was an actress that came forward and wrote something I believe in "The Hollywood Reporter" about how she was dogged by these rumors for 10 years of her career, and she said none of them were true. She even spoke to, I think, "The New York Times" reporter, saying none of this was true.
So there are always stories, obviously, about his temper. That was sort of well known. But, again, there are rumors about a lot of things here in Hollywood. I think that's why there's a lot of people worried right now. I think a lot of people were scared to come forward because this is such a common thing in a way that a lot of women accepted it. I think you're hearing that from some of these actresses, whether it's Gwyneth Paltrow or Angelina Jolie or Mira Sorvino, or so many of these well-known, Oscar winning actresses who are coming forward and saying, you know, I thought it was maybe just me, or I didn't want to push anything, or I didn't want to ruffle feathers, or I didn't want to hurt my career. I think a lot of people were concerned about their career.
PAUL: I want to read part of a statement from Weinstein. He says that he's trying to conquer his demons, but Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community, and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping if he makes enough progress he'll be given a second chance.
And then he's even on tape talking in the last thing, 24, 48 hours, somebody caught him on camera, and he said, look, everybody makes mistakes. Well, do the eight lawsuits he settled behind closed doors not count as eight chances to get this right at this point?
SERAFIN: I think that's exactly what a lot of people are saying, that one mistake, yes, two mistakes, yes. Three mistakes, it is Hollywood. We've seen so many people come back from the dead. You know, you've written people off, as I mentioned Mel Gibson. I don't think 10 years ago anyone would have thought he would have been nominated for an Oscar last year.
So I think Hollywood is definitely willing to give more second chances than any organization or entity out there, but I don't know at this time this will happen. I think there's a different mood here in Hollywood, and people are talking about this a lot, and more and more and more people are coming forward.
PAUL: And that's my question. Jeffrey Katzenberg wrote this in "The Hollywood Reporter" this week, an open letter to him. He's been friends with him for 30 years and said "You've done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years. I'm sickened by it, angry with you, incredibly disappointed in you. If possible, address those that you've wronged and just possibly find a path to heal and redeem yourself. I doubt this is what you want to hear from me and most likely you aren't interested in my advice, but this is the way I see it. I remain available. J.K." Are you getting the sense, Kim, that there are people in Hollywood that are still available to Weinstein if he turns things around, and can anybody like Katzenberg save him?
SERAFIN: You know, when you have someone as powerful as Jeffrey Katzenberg saying something like that, sure. But here's the thing, there are men and women coming forward, and we don't know where this is going to stop. And I think that's where people are kind of saying where does this even end? Every time you think we've heard from a lot of people, there's more and more people coming out. Plus now there are reports that both London and New York, the authorities there are opening investigations. There's also the future of the company, what will happen with the company, and nobody knows about that. There are already some projects being cancelled, so I think that's another thing. When you can make money off somebody, then you give them a second chance. If you can't make money, then is there a second chance in Hollywood? Usually not.
PAUL: That's sad. All right, Kim Serafin, thank you so much, we appreciate it. We'll be right back.
[10:53:58] BLACKWELL: The Chicago Cubs are on a mission to repeat as World Series champions. The team is led by manager Joe Maddon, whose leadership style may surprise you.
PAUL: CNN's sports correspondent Coy Wire spent time with him in today's difference maker, and this is presented by the new 2018 Ford F-150.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's in time! And the Chicago Cubs win the World series!
JOE MADDON, CHICAGO CUBS MANAGER: One thing I've always talked about last year throughout the whole run, I thought the one really desirable component of our group is that we were very authentic. Authenticity wins. I don't think authenticity, a true version of that, a real sincere version of that never goes away, never gets old, it never fails you. So that's our best way to hopefully repeat what we had done last year again.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You're a hippie at heart. That individuality, that free spiritedness, how does that help your team and build their team chemistry?
[10:55:00] MADDON: OK, I'm going to tell you like you're playing for us right now. I don't have any rules. I want them to make the right choices on their own. And I think the more freedom I give you professionally, the greater discipline and respect I'm going to get in return.
You be you, and you're on time and you play hard, I'll take whatever else happens after that. You're going to give me, and I know you're going to give me your best effort and the greatest amount of respect you have for a human in return, and that's all you can possibly ask for as a leader.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And you can see Joe Maddon and his Cubs in action tonight taking on the L.A. Dodgers in game one of the National League championship series on our sister network TBS.
BLACKWELL: Well, we know that there are millions and millions of Americans who have a deep passion for football.
PAUL: And this week's CNN hero is sharing that love of the game with kids. Meet Blake Rockwell.
BLAKE ROCKWELL, CNN HERO: When you have a child who is dealing with a life-threatening illness, their treatment protocol might be two, three years, and their tanks start to go dry.
You big O.U. fan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am.
Our game day experiences provide an opportunity for a family to get out as a family, just being there together. And days like this, they really motivate the kids to continue their fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: To see the full VIP all access experience that Blake gives to these kids, go to CNNHeroes.com right now.
And we hope you have some good memory-making today.
BLACKWELL: Fredricka Whitfield is up after the break.