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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Jr Faces House Committee; Trump To Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital; Chaos in GOP over Moore; California Wildfires; Time Person of the Year. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired December 6, 2017 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: You're OK with tax cuts for the richest?

LARRY PHILLIPS, KENTUCKY TRUMP VOTER: Yes, I am, for one, because usually whenever they get tax cuts, they will take that money that they're saving, they will invest it into something and everything trickles down.

HARLOW: And you're OK with corporate tax cuts?

PHILLIPS: Yes, I am.

HARLOW: Same idea?

PHILLIPS: Because that usually whenever they get corporate tax cuts, they invest it back. Well, I know you're going to disagree, but not always, but for the most of it.

HARLOW: I just look at history.

PHILLIPS: If they didn't get the breaks, they're not going to invest that money back.

HARLOW: You don't believe in trickle-down economics?

FRANK PITCHER, MICHIGAN TRUMP VOTER: No, I don't really believe that that works out real well.

HARLOW: Are you worried about this Republican tax plan that is largely a cut to corporate taxes?

PITCHER: If we don't have the cut and bring them back, because the taxes here are higher to operate in America than overseas, then you never get the opportunity to see whether or not that pans out.

DAVID COOMER, KENTUCKY TRUMP VOTER: If you want to stimulate the economy, you're not going to do it with trickle-down economics.

HARLOW: Corporate tax cuts?

COOMER: No, you're not. Reagan tried it. It don't work. A lot of them tried it. It don't' work. Put everybody back to work so you can buy stuff. That will stimulate the economy. HARLOW: If tax reform does not happen, does he get your vote in 2020?

SAL MOCERI, MICHIGAN TRUMP VOTER: No.

HARLOW: No.

MOCERI: Simple as that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:36:00] HARLOW: Welcome back. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

And in just minutes, Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, will testify before the House Intelligence Committee, though that testimony will be behind closed doors.

Also this morning, new questions about the vice president, Mike Pence, what he knew or didn't know about Flynn's lies to the FBI.

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger joins me now. He sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

It's nice to have you here.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Thanks.

HARLOW: What does it -- what does it signal to you that your colleagues in the House are calling the president's son, Don Jr., back in to answer more questions?

KINZINGER: I don't know what it signals. I don't talk to people on the Intel Committee about this because that's -- there's a reason it's behind closed doors. There's a reason it's protected. All I've said from the very beginning is, we need answers to what happened, you know? When it comes to justice in this country, nobody should be immune from it, nobody should be protected from justice. We need fair justice and answers. And, ultimately, when it -- whether it's this or whether it's, you know, any of these issues, people need to know the answers. And I think Robert Mueller's getting to it. I think the House committee and the Senate committee are going to get to it. We just have to have patience that they're going to do what they need to do.

HARLOW: Do you have any concerns, speaking of Bob Mueller, who is leading this Russia investigation, the president has been highly critical for some of the members of his team, legitimately so, for some of their -- what have now been revealed political persuasions.

But my question to you is, do you have any concern that the White House will move to get rid of Bob Mueller?

KINZINGER: No, and I don't have concerns that Bob Mueller's not going to come out with a fair assessment either. It's both ways.

Look, everybody has a political bias. No matter who you are, you have a political bias. When it comes to a -- whether you're serving in the military, whether you're in FBI, you need to keep that political bias under wraps, especially if you're dealing with a political issue. So it is absolutely inappropriate for somebody to show pro-Hillary or anti-Trump tendencies publically and then to be on that probe. I mean, put them on something else.

And -- so I do have concerns. But, you know, look, Bob Mueller moved to fire this person and I think he's committed to a fair and just outcome.

HARLOW: Let me ask you about the decision and the announcement coming from the president in just a few hours that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, eventually move to move the embassy, the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, making it the only country's embassy in Jerusalem.

The response from Palestinians has been this memo that's been widely circulated of three days of rage. We're seeing images already of American flags being burned in Gaza City.

KINZINGER: Right.

HARLOW: You support this move from the administration. Tell me what you think it does to benefit Americans.

KINZINGER: Look, we can't sit back and say, oh, my goodness, somebody's going to burn an American flag or somebody's going to have a day of rage because they disagree with this movement. We are Israel's closest ally and Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East. And that's just a fact. And I think -- and I --

HARLOW: But we have been -- we have been without declaring this before.

KINZINGER: Right.

HARLOW: We have been without the embassy moving before.

KINZINGER: That's right. And this is not -- since -- this has been the law since 1995. It's been waived by every president since. I think it's time to get it done.

I think we have to be cautious about it and I think there's going to be a long process to do this. But, at the same time, let's just get -- basically recognizing that we can put an embassy in Jerusalem is basically saying, we recognize Israel's right to exist, which up till now the Palestinians really haven't. And so if we're going to have a peace process --

HARLOW: Does it help Americans?

KINZINGER: I think so. Yes, I think. But I think even beyond --

HARLOW: Why? How?

KINZINGER: Because we have a stronger partnership with a country in the Middle East. Now, it's not like Israel's going to come here and defend us against an invasion, but having a strong ally where we've shown no daylight between us and Israel --

HARLOW: Yes.

KINZINGER: And I think this is part of it, is actually very beneficial to the Middle East, whether it's Middle East peace or whether it's peace in broader areas beyond just Israel and Palestinian areas.

HARLOW: All right. All right, others would argue our relationship with Israel has been and is under President Trump very, very strong. Netanyahu has been a huge supporters of President Trump.

But I want to move on to some other issues, and that is Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate race in less than a week.

KINZINGER: Right.

HARLOW: You have said very clearly that you think he should step aside.

KINZINGER: Yes.

HARLOW: He should not hold that seat. You have now Jeff Flake, Republican senator, giving money to his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. You've got, you know, more and more Republicans divided over this in your own party. You've got Romney saying a Moore win could hurt the party overall, could stain the GOP. Are you worried about what this division does to your party in the midterms?

[09:40:12] KINZINGER: Yep, and you'd be crazy not to be.

Look, I am -- I became a Republican when I was young because I believe in our vision for limited government, I believe in strong national defense, and I believe that we hold -- try to hold our elected officials to the highest values, really to the highest standard. And I think that's a good thing, right? If you want to have faith in your federal government, you need to believe that the federal government's out there working for you.

This Roy Moore thing to me is very disappointing for my party. I can't tell Alabama what to do. I don't live in Alabama. I'm from Illinois. But, you know, as a Republican, I look at that and say, I think these women's accusations are very credible. I've seen them talk about them. And it's very disappointing for me to see the party getting behind -- look, 52 Senate seats or 51 Senate seats, I mean really it's not going to have an appreciable difference. But to be a party that accepts some of the behavior of Roy Moore, I don't want to be that party. And so --

HARLOW: Oh --

KINZINGER: Look, I'm going to continue to take a stand on it. And if somebody wants to criticize me for it, that's fine. But at the end of my job in Congress, I want to be able to look in the mirror and say, I did everything I could with this moment I had. And this is part of that. HARLOW: On taxes.

KINZINGER: Yes.

HARLOW: You voted in favor of the House Republican tax plan. Right after that passed, a Quinnipiac poll shows only 29 percent of Americans support it. Only 29 percent of Americans support it.

KINZINGER: Yes.

HARLOW: Sixty-four percent, congressman, think it helps the wealthy more than it helps the middle class and poor folks. Are you worried about that?

KINZINGER: You're always worried about that, about the perception of it. But, look, we are arguing against -- we are -- we are in a battle, to an extent, a political battle against, you know, the same talking points we've heard for a long time, the 1 percent, the wealthiest, the richest, whatever.

I think when people actually see their tax liability come down -- in my district in Illinois, 70 percent of people file the standard deduction. That's doubled. As well as doubling the child tax credit. We'll see what ends up in the final package.

HARLOW: Uh-huh.

KINZINGER: They're going to see more money in their pockets. And, beyond that, to make our corporations, our businesses, who a lot of times people like to talk down, but they're the driver, the engine, the small business of putting people to work and driving up middle class wages --

HARLOW: Here's the problem, it's not just --

KINZINGER: They're going to -- they're going to be competitive.

HARLOW: Here's the problem, congressman, it's not just about talking points, about the top 1 percent. I mean this is analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center on the Senate bill, which I will say does have some differences from the House bill, but they analyzed the Senate bill and they say 7 percent of taxpayers will see higher taxes right away, 2019, half will pay more in 2027, and the top 0.1 percent gets an $182,000 tax cut by 2027. Those are the numbers. Those aren't talking points. Are you comfortable with all that? Could you vote for a version that does that?

KINZINGER: Well, look, when you talk about the 2027 number, this is what I dislike about the Senate rules, they have this gimmicky thing where they have to have them expire in 2027. I don't understand that. I don't know if that's going to end up in the final version. I'm not sure. But that's where those numbers come from who say, everybody's taxes are going to go up in 2027. It's because they have to have that sunset at that time.

HARLOW: Yes. KINZINGER: I don't like the rules. I don't like those games. Trust me, I don't. But the reality is --

HARLOW: But it doesn't change the facts?

KINZINGER: The reality is, is people are going to get to keep more of their money. And when I look at this and say, I want to bring the tax code into the 21st century, not from 1986, at a time when nobody even had a computer in their house, to now being competitive internationally again. That is -- America can do big things. And I'll tell you, other countries look at this and if we make our corporate tax code competitive again and our individual tax code competitive, they're going to be like, well, look, we have to -- America' back, basically. And I don't think you're going to see any more jobs leave this country because we have a lower corporate tax rate.

HARLOW: Congressman, thank you for joining us. We'll have you back.

KINZINGER: Any time. See ya. Thanks.

HARLOW: Appreciate it.

So let's go back to California. You have raging wildfires that are out of control this morning. We're going to take you there live ahead. You're seeing flames around the Getty Center right by the 405 freeway there. A live report ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:48:33] HARLOW: All right, back to our breaking news this morning. You're looking at images out of California. Live images that are stunning. A fast-moving wildfire in the heart of Los Angeles this morning.

What you're seeing is the flames burning right next to the 405 freeway and right next to the Getty Center in Brentwood. They have -- forest officials have closed part of the freeway, as you can see there.

Let's go straight to our Stephanie Elam. She's in Ventura County.

This has spread remarkably fast and remarkably close to these structures and neighbors.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And this is all for a fire that started around 5:00 in the morning, Poppy. That's how quickly this fire has developed there along the 405 right around Brentwood and Bel Air. And it is threatening homes. It is dangerous. It is moving quickly. And it's also impacting much of the area as it's a massive thoroughfare between -- that connects to parts of the Los Angeles area.

And this is the problem with these Santa Ana winds that we see here. It will change things on a dime, and that's what we're seeing. That's what we've been seeing here. The winds starting to pick up here again where I am in Ventura, which is about a couple hour north, an hour and a half north of where you're seeing that fire. This fire yesterday, it's burned some 50,000 acres so far and it is

still out of control. Mandatory evacuations are in place. And this is just one fire. There are several fires burning here in southern California, taxing the system. And the problem is, other fires keep sparking up like that one that you're looking at there by the Getty Center.

Poppy.

HARLOW: Stephanie, thank you for keeping an eye on it. We will bring everyone more as soon as we have it. We appreciate it.

[09:50:00] Up ahead for us, they broke their silence and now they've been named "Time's" person of the year.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Thousands of women stood up, spoke out, and said, me, too. Their battle cry against decades of sexual harassment landed them as "Time" magazine's "Person of the Year." The magazine's cover memorializing the silence breakers. The runner-up, President Trump, and a few others.

Our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter is here.

This is big.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It is. It's a year that started with the women's march and ends with this cover, with silence breakers. You know, it's been exactly two months since "The New York Times" landed that first Harvey Weinstein story. Only two months since that scandal erupted. And we've seen dozens of allegations against dozen of powerful men sense. We now see new attention in Washington as well.

[09:55:11] And what I love about this cover, we'll put it on the screen, you'll notice there's an arm that sticks out there in the corner of the cover. It's for the next woman who may come forward. Someone who wants to remain anonymous now, but may speak out next week.

If 2017 was about the silence being broken, 2018 has to be about systemic change. And to that point, I just put up a story on cnn.com about Mark Halperin accusers and Charlie Rose accusers coming together --

HARLOW: Yes, coming together.

STELTER: Forming a support group. Forming a coalition. They want to see change in television newsrooms. And we're seeing that in other power centers as well. So this was a pretty easy choice, I think, for "Time" magazine, recognizing this me too movement today.

HARLOW: Sheryl Sandberg, FaceBook COO, said in her FaceBook post this week, it is the power, stupid. You know how they used to say it's the economy, stupid. STELTER: Yes. Yes, exactly.

HARLOW: It is the power.

STELTER: IT's the power. Right.

HARLOW: All right, Brian Stelter, thank you very much.

STELTER: Thanks.

HARLOW: Ahead for us, Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, on Capitol Hill as we speak, facing questions from the House Intelligence Committee. We're on it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)