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Trump Predicts GOP Tax Plan Will Be Passed by Christmas; Trump Wants to End Diversity Visa Program; Trump: Terror Suspect Should Get Death Penalty; Remembering Soldiers in South Korea Amidst Rising Tensions. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 2, 2017 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But this is the final element, tax cuts and tax reform.

And it's an honor to work with my fellow Republicans. I think we'll actually have some Democrat support. I think it's going to be very, very hard for them not to support it. There was a certain newspaper that wrote today that your competition was out there trying to say it's for the rich, it's for the rich, which of course they say routinely. It turned out they weren't telling the truth. And the paper actually called them on it, which was shocking to me, shocking.

(LAUGHTER)

But they were called out and said they are not telling the truth. Because this is a middle-income tax reduction. And it's a very big one. It will be the biggest tax reduction in the history of our country.

Thank you very much, everybody. Appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, are you concerned that your comments on the New York case --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, guys.

TRUMP: Thanks very much. Thank you, everybody. Thanks.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So you can feel the confidence and excitement really exuded by the United States talking about this big tax plan that the Republicans have been promising. Unveiled today. You read the screen he's hoping this thing will be passed by Christmas. We'll talk taxes in just a little bit.

But let's rewind for a minute back to his point and some of the headlines he was making on this diversity visa program this is how the New York terror suspect came back to the U.S. from Uzbekistan and became a naturalized citizen.

So we have panel, Peter Beinart and Samantha Vinograd and Ed Martin, patient enough to stay here with me.

So let's just go back to some back to some of what he said.

Sam, to you, the president said referring to the program he wants to end, he said the people in that lottery are not that country's finest. Congress must end chain migration. Ultimately, we want a system that's merit based.

So the way that the White House sort of characterized this is like you get to come in the country and you get to come in the country, tan that there isn't much vetting. But set the record straight. What's the deal with this system?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: This is both inaccurate and a rabbit hole. Inaccurate because every immigrant that comes in the United States regardless of the visa, they have to meet security and eligibility requirements. It's not as if an immigrant on a visa says I want to come in the United States. There is vetting and screening. It is a rabbit hole because in this particular case on occasions right now is the suspect was radicalized once he got to the United States.

BALDWIN: Correct.

VINOGRAD: So this is not an immigration issue. This is a digital warfare issue. And I'm very concerned that by focusing on immigration, the president and his team are paying less attention to countering the spread of extremist content online.

BALDWIN: What do you think, Peter?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, the president wants to cut immigration in half. He thinks too much immigrants in the United States. You can have that argument but what he does is cherry picks whatever incidents he can find. It's costing us jobs. Its burdening services now it's terrorism. Because of the general proposition that he wants fewer immigrants. Now, most economists believe that the United States needs at least as many immigrants, partly because we have an aging population and need people to pay for programs like Social Security and Medicare. He wants to have the immigration debate, that's fine. But what he keeps on doing is dressing it up as terrorism debate. But it's not. He simply wants fewer immigrants in the U.S.

BALDWIN: As a supporter of the president, how do you feel?

ED MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Almost like we are having two different conversations. A guy immigrant here killed eight people the other day. We have a history here in America of immigrants who get radicalized wherever they are coming from or however they get radicalized and killing Americans. So you are right, it was about immigration. This president is using whatever he can, whether jobs numbers or regulations or terrorism, to say, hey, we want our country to be made up of people who want to be part of it based on some criteria. And the vetting, to your point the vetting is bad.

BALDWIN: But he was radicalized in his point in the U.S.

MARTIN: There aren't a lot of Irish kids radicalized that are working in bars New York City.

BEINART: So we know what it's about. It's about Muslims. The reality is immigrants ae less likely to commit crimes, violent crimes, than native-born Americans. And most people who commit terrorist acts in the United States they are white national terrorists, so maybe we should try to deal with those people.

MARTIN: I don't think we've had a white nationalist attack eight people in the west side of --

BEINART: In Portland earlier this year.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: I'm happy to debate white terrorism, white supremacist. But let's say this. Why are we letting people in from places where they he ends up doing this to us? Why --

(CROSSTALK)

[14:35:00] BALDWIN: Hang on. Let me jump in.

Why can't then the president take that same approach to when we had 500 people who were injured in that shooting in Las Vegas and 58 people killed. All these questions came into the White House, what are you going to do about it? He was saying, well, yes, his wires were crossed, I'm paraphrasing the president speaking about that shooter who murdered all these people. And we are not quite ready to go there on a fix. Why can't he take that approach to that?

MARTIN: I don't know. I think we can ask him.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: I'm asking you.

MARTIN: He's a citizen here, right, whatever the shooter in Las Vegas, the violence that he did. If your point is gun control, that's a debate we can have.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: My point is to fix the 58 people aren't murdered.

MARTIN: Mental health I'm all for that and stop that. But the guy drove over eight people, he was here from a country where we have history and president's job is to say we are going to stop that. And if Congress wants to pass it, you can run to the next candidate. Hillary wanted more open borders. Run the next candidate for president. This guy ran on this.

VINOGRAD: Can I just correct the record again. Uzbekistan has been -- it is a Muslim-majority country, but a strong security partner of the United States. We had a base where we launched counter into there. Not all Muslim-majority countries are going to export immigrants to the United States more prone to radicalization.

MARTIN: Well, to Peters point, some of the Islam there are Muslims that do this. And the president ran on saying, he didn't say i'm going to vet, he said extreme vetting. Meaning the current vetting wasn't right. So whatever it is that send people here, we have a list.

BEINART: But I think Brooke's point is, if you want to do extreme vetting to make Americans safer, given that they'll be far more likely to be do that, why don't we do extreme vetting very dangerous weapons? If you want to have that attitude against America

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: -- why only does it come to Muslims Donald Trump has that perspective?

MARTIN: The answer is he ran as someone who thought the Second Amendment to protected people. He ran that. So he's living up to his promises when he ran --

BEINART: It's wrong.

MARTIN: But you can have that debate.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: But you are changing the subject from the guy who ran over people the other day.

BEINART: No, I'm not. I'm saying this is a smoke screen. It's not about security. What it's about is an administration --

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: No, an administration that has deep hostility to Muslims.

MARTIN: No.

BEINART: He wants fewer Muslims in the United States and wants them to have fewer rights.

MARTIN: It's about a country that has a tradition of welcoming people for reasons of merit and fitting in. And when they don't fit in, they should be sent back.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Stick to your point. The U.S. welcoming people for reasons of merit. With regard to this diversity visa program, he was brought in based upon merit. This wasn't some random lottery. He was allowed to come in through some vetting process in 2010 from Uzbekistan. He's in Ohio, Tampa, New Jersey, where because of social media and reading all this ISIS propaganda and following instructions to a "T" how to run people over, gets a truck and runs over eight people and kills them because of what he's learning in America on a computer.

MARTIN: But my retort would be that system is broken. Whatever the merit is, I would say stop all immigration right now. I don't believe that we need immigrants to come to drive Uber cars. I don't think we that. I think we have lots of people who can drive Uber cars like this guy did. So I would say from countries -- in fact, from most places in the world --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: I don't think we should stop all immigration right now.

MARTIN: Well, I think we should stop having people drive over eight people and kill them. So willing to take a chance on that side of less immigration, a lot less.

BEINART: Look, there will be large immigration. But let's remember immigrants are less likely to commit crimes and violent crimes than the native-born American. So if you want to find an argument for fewer immigrants saying it's going to make America safer is not a good argument.

MARTIN: You agree a citizen has protections different than a visitor, isn't that true.

BEINART: Yes.

MARTIN: So there we are. We are saying they have protections. But if you are coming to live here --

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: Some immigrants contribute to the United States. Some do what this guy did. But in general, immigrants are less likely to be out committing violence side.

MARTIN: I'm not willing to take getting more people killed because you want to take more people --

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: And create jobs and serve in our military and do all kinds --

MARTIN: I think you are right. But too many people are dying.

[14:39:58] BALDWIN: Let's take the conversation back to where we started before we listened to the president on the death penalty. So he's calling for the death penalty in a couple of tweets from last night and this morning for this New York terror suspect. We had the conversation I heard from you. I didn't hear from you.

Correct me, but for the most part, terror suspects going through court systems in this country, it's pretty swift. So the president referred to the justice system as a joke. What do you think of that? VINOGRAD: Brooke, I like to talk about policy not politics. In this

case this is a national security policy issue. When the president of the United States is under cutting our criminal justice system publicly, he's playing right into extremist hands and making people like Vladimir Putin very happy. Any time that he's spending tweeting about our criminal justice system, he's not spending working on counterterrorism operations which gives extremists more room to grow.

We've also learned recently that the Russian government launched a massive misinformation campaign in the run up to the last election that was geared towards polarizing the American voters. Under cutting our criminal justice system in tweets is doing Putin's job for him.

BALDWIN: You were shaking your head. Why?

MARTIN: Well, look, you are misunderstanding. The president of the United States is the head of the federal prosecutors' office. You may wish there was an independent counsel to prosecute cases. He gets to be the one. Just like if you are U.S. attorney, southern district of New York, you can stand up and say, as to so and so, I want this penalty. That's what you get to do. You may wish it wasn't a tweet. But I'll tell you, across the word, the terrorists look up and say, oh, no, we have a guy saying we'll get the death penalty if we do this stuff. And I think that's a great deterrence. And I hear from voters, people are excited for a president that's not politically correct and say maybe this guy is requesting an ISIS flag, maybe he was radicalized or maybe his mother didn't treat him well, whatever.

BALDWIN: I hear you on the political correct point. But listen, I think we all would agree we want this man to rot. But in order to have that happy, he needs to properly go through the U.S. justice system. It may help the defendant's case based upon what the president says.

MARTIN: Jones is pretty a good writer on this.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: She said it may complicate the jury pick. But I haven't heard a lawyer say it's going to impact. Lots of prosecutors say, I want that guy who raped 17 people to rot in prison. And you are allowed to do that. Now when you go into court, you'll have to be careful. But I'm more excited about when a president who is fear less in saying if you do this stuff in America, we are coming for you, and not just to have a discussion of due process.

BEINART: The problem is the president is undermining the rule of law. When he says the justice system is a joke, it reminds me of his attack on Judge Curial last summer where he said this judge because he was Mexican American couldn't try the case basically. What makes us different than groups like ISIS and Vladimir Putin is the rule of law. Is that we have an independent judiciary. Now does it have problems? Sure. Proposals more effective, that's fine. But to attack the criminal justice system when it's actually the envy of the world in the sense it gives us rule of law and makes our democracy special.

BALDWIN: Constitution.

BEINART: It seems to be a very disturbing thing for the president to do.

BALDWIN: OK. We'll leave it.

Peter, Ed and Sam, I appreciate the hardy discussion. Want to hear all perspectives on this show. Thank you all so much.

Coming up next here, investigators are trying to piece together what they are learning about this New York terror suspect, revealing why he was so devoted to ISIS and why he wanted to display the terror group's flag in his New York hospital room.

Also just in, former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and former advisor, Rick Gates, appearing in federal court right now to fight their house arrest. They are facing charges for conspiracy against the United States. And what the judge is planning to do, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:48:23] BALDWIN: This is now the day before President Trump's 12- day trip to Asia. South Korea spy agency is warning the U.S. that Pyongyang is carrying out more nuclear tests.

But it is important to remember the sacrifices of American servicemembers in times like these. I traveled to Korea a week before last because I wanted to speak directly with these brave men and women who would potentially be on the front lines. Why did they sign up to serve? Do they feel the increased tensions? And what is it like for their families, including young children, that live close to North Korea?

It is my honor to introduce you to Lieutenant Aaron Bright, his wife, Sharon, and their three daughters.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LT. AARON BRIGHT, STATIONED IN SOUTH KOREA: We are in Camp Casey. We call this one our house. We call the one in Yong Song (ph) my home.

BALDWIN: Because it's where your family is?

BRIGHT: Yes, in a "words matter" kind of way. Here in Casey, I'm in what's called area one. They have South Korea divided into areas based on how far you are away from North Korea. This is as close you can get. Then area two encompasses Seoul. And they live in Yong Song (ph), which is the base in the center of Seoul.

BALDWIN: When did he have the conversation with you, honey, moving to Seoul?

SHARON BRIGHT, WIFE OF LT. AARON BRIGHT: We knew that we were finding out soon. So knew he was going to get a command. We were happy about that. He called and OK we know. It was one of those we are going to ease into it kind of thing. So he told me South Korea. And I was like wow.

[14:50:12] BRIGHT: Training exercise, it's all rocket pods, and each one has a total of six rockets in or one big missile that would take up the whole thing.

BALDWIN: How much of your day is consumed by thinking about North Korea?

BRIGHT: Quite a bit of it. Just trying to think one step ahead. A step ahead of the enemy.

BALDWIN: Do you worry?

BRIGHT: In terms of worry, I don't worry about myself or my unit because it's ready. It's trained. We can do our job. That part doesn't worry me. The only part that worries me is --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Your family.

BRIGHT: Sure, and getting them out in a timely manner.

SHARON BRIGHT: We know as a family of four, you know, I would know that his job would take him one way and I would be responsible for me and the girls and the dog.

BALDWIN: What is the plan if you were to get that call?

SHARON BRIGHT: We would have a meeting point with the rest of post and have our things that we've been kind of encouraged to have. Whatever you want to take with you. And then you go through a process of they would fly you here. They would take you here. They would take you there. And then eventually you would be safe and maybe back home.

BALDWIN: How would you describe a typical day in South Korea?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: It's pretty normal.

BALDWIN: Pretty normal?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Yes, I go to school. We all go to school for seven hours. Come back, do homework. On the weekends you can go out. Little karaoke things I do with my friends and Korean barbecue dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Normally, we have sleepovers with your friends.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: There is a park and we go there a lot.

BALDWIN: What's it like when you are waiting for your dad to come home on a Friday?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: It's kind of like, is he home yet, is he home yet?

BRIGHT: It was the ticker-tape parade that wore on both of us? SHARON BRIGHT: Look, I need some normalcy, I personally asked on a

Friday night, let's keep it light on Friday. It gives us a minute to connect again to ease back in to being around each other. And then on saturday mornings, we try to have our moment because then, on Sunday mornings, I feel that's the girls' moments with pancakes. I stay out of that. I usually don't even partake in the pancakes. It's all them and daddy.

BRIGHT: They are delicious though.

SHARON BRIGHT: Then we see what we have. A lot of times, it's just we want simplicity.

BALDWIN: We cover so much of the heated-up rhetoric, right, between Washington and Pyongyang. Can you feel that day-to-day over here?

BRIGHT: A little. The South Korean people are very, you know, it's just another day. They have seen worse. And it's infectious to us. We know what to do if it does happen.

BALDWIN: What is it?

BRIGHT: Full on war. And we know my soldiers know, we know exactly what to do.

BALDWIN: If and when that call came in to you, and you are ready to roll, what does the call look like between you and your wife?

BRIGHT: I don't want to think about it. I guess it's a phone call. See you later. Get out.

BALDWIN: Is it tough for you to think about?

BRIGHT: Yes, it is. That part is hard.

BALDWIN: Why?

BRIGHT: Because I'm -- I don't know, I'm the protector.

BALDWIN: It's your job to protect your family?

BRIGHT: Right. And I can't. They have to go. I have to protect these guys. It's hard to think about that part is hard.

BALDWIN: What does your dad mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: He means a lot. He's a great father. I'm glad he's around with us. He's amazing person to have in our lives. He works and makes sure that we are safe, and we are good.

BALDWIN: Tell me about your mom.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: She helps a lot. She has to put up with so much. Like taking care of us during the week when daddy is not here.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Since we move so much, family is the thing that keeps constant. Like we always have mom and dad. We always have each other.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[14:55:55] BALDWIN: That is why we are grateful to people like Lt. Bright.

Thank you.

Tomorrow, we take you to the DMZ.

More on this busy Thursday. Explosive allegations within the Democratic Party. Was the Democratic nominating process rigged against Bernie Sanders? The former head of the DNC Donna Brazile is telling what she describes as the shocking truth about the Clinton campaign and what they were doing behind the scenes.

And moments from now, we will hear from President Trump in the Rose Garden announcing his choice on who will lead the Federal Reserve. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: We continue on. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Breaking development in the Russia investigation right now. A judge will not rule today on the House arrest conditions for both Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Manafort is the president's former campaign chief. Gates also worked for the campaign. The judge says their attorneys hadn't filed the proper motions for her to make a decision. The two men were just indicted Monday for conspiracy and money laundering. Each faces millions of dollars in bail as well. Documents reveal federal investigators are worried about them being a flight risk after discovering three passports --