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Michigan Voters Still Hopeful After Flipping State For Trump; All-Star Tribute for Everyday Heroes Airs Tonight. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired December 17, 2017 - 18:00   ET


[18:00:05] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Happy Sunday. We have breaking news first this hour.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

CABRERA: A major travel emergency happening right now at an airport, one of the world's busiest airports. It may affect people trying to fly anywhere in the country.

This is the trouble. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest on earth, is in the dark right now. No power. The electricity suddenly went off about five hours ago. It has not come back on and there is still no sign that the power will be restored any time soon. So that means since about 1:00 this afternoon Eastern Time, no planes have taken off in Atlanta. And the airport is full of people who were supposed to travel today from that airport.

Stay with CNN. We have a live report from Atlanta's pitch dark international airport in just a few moments.

But it's a very busy night of news. First, President Trump saying he has no intention to get rid of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you considering firing Robert Mueller?



CABRERA: So the president's insistence, however, comes as his own transition team launches new attacks against the special counsel. It accuses Robert Mueller of unlawfully obtaining thousands of transition e-mails. It claims the documents were private property even though they were on government servers and registered to dot-gov addresses.

Now the special counsel rarely makes public statements so this is significant that they are putting this out defending the investigation. A spokesman saying, quote, "When we have obtained e- mails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner's consent or appropriate criminal process." All of this comes as President Trump and Russian President Vladimir

Putin appear to be working on a closer relationship. Today the two talked over the phone for the second time in four days.

I want to get straight to the White House. CNN's Boris Sanchez is joining us.

Boris, first to these transition e-mails. What are the transition team and the White House saying about this?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Ana. Yes. The Trump transition team is making the case that Robert Mueller obtained these e-mails unlawfully. This winds down to a dispute between the General Services Administration and the Trump transition team over who actually owns these e-mails.

The General Services Administration provided e-mail services and support for the transition team during the transition, and as you mentioned, they used a dot-gov domain. So they're making the case that these e-mails are public record, they belong in the public domain, and so they didn't really have any issues legally handing them over to the special counsel and Robert Mueller.

Well, the executive director of the Trump transition team, Ken Nahigian, spoke to me this afternoon and he refutes that idea. He says that there was an agreement in place, an understanding between the transition team and the GSA that, though the GSA was providing the transition with e-mail support, the transition team owned those e- mails. It was their property, and, therefore, they had discretion over who they could or could not be shared with.

Nahigian went further and tried to create some space between the transition team and the White House in light of several comments from Democrats or, rather, from Republicans that this is a sign that Robert Mueller's investigation is tainted. Nahigian telling me that he does not speak to the White House, he doesn't have an official relationship with them.

We did hear from the president about this as he was returning from Camp David. Here's some of what the president said about how Robert Mueller obtained these e-mails.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, do you believe your transition team e-mails were improperly taken?

TRUMP: Not looking good. It's not looking good. It's quite sad to see that. My people were very upset about it. I can't imagine there's anything on them, frankly, because as we said, there is no collusion. There is no collusion whatsoever, but a lot of lawyers thought that was pretty sad.


SANCHEZ: So the president saying that it is quite sad the way that Robert Mueller obtained these e-mails. This all creates a stronger interest, it makes this meeting, that is supposed to take place potentially with those e-mails and the meeting that's supposed to take place potentially as early as this week between the Trump legal team and the special counsel -- Ana.

CABRERA: And Boris, what can you tell us about the phone call between Trump and Putin earlier today?

SANCHEZ: Yes. That took place earlier today, Ana. The two leaders speaking for the second time in just a few days. Apparently the Russian leader thanked President Trump for the United States' role in thwarting a terrorist attack that was being planned in St. Petersburg, on a cathedral there. Apparently the CIA had received a tip, it gathered information on an ISIS plot to blow up a cathedral there, potentially causing hundreds of casualties.

[18:05:03] And so that's what was discussed between President Trump and Vladimir Putin today. The White House put out a readout of this call saying that this is an example of the good that can come of cooperation between the two countries -- Ana.

CABRERA: Boris Sanchez, at the White House, thank you.

Here to offer some perspective on all of this, former senior adviser to the National Security adviser under President Obama, Samantha Vinograd, and former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin. He has worked closely with Robert Mueller at the Justice Department.

So, Samantha, I'll start with you. Is it normal to share intelligence with the Russians, and if so, is it typically so public?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We often share intelligence with different countries. We do so after we put it through a very specific process to make sure that it's releasable and that we share it in a way that doesn't compromise sources and methods.

Remember a few months ago, President Trump shared intelligence with the Russian foreign minister in the Oval Office that wasn't supposed to be shared? That hadn't gone through that process. It does look like this time, this was appropriately vetted and it was releasable.

It is interesting to note, however, that the CIA was probably sharing this information with Russian counterparts in the Russian intelligence services that were probably part of Russia's attack on the United States. So while they're working together on thwarting a terrorist attack, I imagine the CIA is deeply aware that the very people that they're speaking to has an ongoing interest in undermining the CIA and undermining the U.S. national security more broadly.

CABRERA: There is some irony at the very least.


CABRERA: In all of this. Michael, Sam just mentioned this phone call coming on the heels of that Oval Office meeting, which we all remember, the president got a lot of flak for when those pictures were revealed and they were said to have exchanged intelligence information.

I mean, given what has come of sharing intelligence information and highly classified information with Russia, does it help -- does it help the Trump team support their idea that sharing intel with other countries, including Russia, is a common practice, and so maybe that Oval Office meeting wasn't as big of a deal as some have made?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER FOREIGN PROSECUTOR: Well, as Samantha said, though, that wasn't the process that is followed when you share information. You don't just blurt out in the Oval Office that he's fired a nut job FBI director who now relieved pressure on him. That's not sharing as Samantha has outlined, sharing as we saw today is appropriate, and is in the best interests of both countries to this exchange.

CABRERA: Samantha, do you think Putin was really genuine in his thanks to the president, given this is a guy who has previously said that no, no way his country, his intelligence officers meddled in the U.S. election, and even if they did, the CIA, of all people, wouldn't be able to figure it out?

VINOGRAD: I think Putin probably was genuine because we know that, actually, like President Trump, he's deeply paranoid about internal threats so anything that he can do even with the Americans to thwart what he will probably call domestic terrorism under any scenario, he'll be genuine about.

I do think, though, it is ironic, to use your word from earlier, that we now have two leaders who are cherry picking what intelligence from the CIA they treat as credible. We know that President Putin has discounted the high confidence assessment from the director of National Intelligence that Russia meddled in the election.

We know that President Putin has a track record of not listening to U.S. intelligence on Syria and chemical weapons, for example, in the past. We know that President Trump has unfortunately denigrated the CIA. But now, on this particular thread, both leaders are choosing to treat the CIA analysis as credible. I hope that that forebodes more respect for the CIA's work going forward.

CABRERA: Michael, I want to ask you about these e-mails that were obtained by Mueller's team. Thousands of Trump transition team e- mails. Does it appear to you that he may have gotten his hands on these illegally?

ZELDIN: Well, it's impossible to know. What Mueller's office said was that they acquired them either by consent -- that they acquire e- mails either by consent or by process, which would be a subpoena or a summons. Assuming they did that, then there is no illegality to their acquisition and the complaints from the transition team that they own them and that they had a right to cull through them first really of limited, you know, sort of utility in the face of a criminal subpoena or consent.

CABRERA: Samantha, the president says he doesn't think there is anything in these e-mails. I know you have some experience working with the White House on national security. What could be in these e- mails?

VINOGRAD: Anything could be in these e-mails and unfortunately we've seen that members of the campaign and the transition team have used these e-mails to talk about subverting U.S. policy, for example, when it came speaking with the Russians about sanctions or about votes at the U.N. So I think that will be interesting to see whether there were any other attempts to go around U.S. policy as well as other engagements with foreign officials.

[18:10:08] We do know that the campaign and the transition team had a series of engagements that they either didn't report or misreported in some way.

CABRERA: And Michael, finally, President Trump, he told reporter today, we played the clip at the very top of the show, that he is not considering firing Mueller. His attorney said that as well this weekend as well as his Treasury secretary this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION." So can this idea that Mueller could be fired be put to rest now?

ZELDIN: Well, I think it has actually been put to rest as a legal matter. I think that Ty Cobb has convinced the president as has Lindsey Graham and other politicians that to do so would have calamitous consequences. But that's not to say that people who want to sort of interfere with the credibility of the Mueller investigation aren't going to continue to bang that drum and this letter that we saw today from the transition team, you know, has some good points about the presidential transition act and whether it should be clarified.

But then they go into this diatribe about Mueller and the credibility of this team and the lack of objectivity which makes the letter seemed that much more political. So I think we'll still see political attacks against Mueller, but I don't think Mueller is going to be fired any time soon.

CABRERA: All right. Michael Zeldin, Samantha Vinograd, thank you both.

We have more breaking news tonight. Senator John McCain, we've learned, will miss the final vote on his own party's tax reform bill. A vote expected in just days. He is returning home to Arizona after he spent several days hospitalized at the Walter Reed Medical Center. He has brain cancer, as you know. He's been recovering from some side effects of the chemotherapy treatment he's receiving.

President Trump also said today in those comments at the White House upon returning from Camp David that he had spoken with the senator's wife and he wished him well. Watch.


TRUMP: I did speak to Cindy McCain. And I wished her well, I wished John well. They've headed back, but I understand he'll come if we ever needed his vote, which hopefully we won't. but the word is that John will come back if we need his vote.


CABRERA: Now the senator's daughter, Megan McCain, tweeting, "Thank you to everyone for their kind words. My father is doing well and we are all looking forward to spending Christmas together in Arizona. Senator McCain is 81 years old.

Still ahead this hour, stuck in limbo. Thousands of passengers stranded at the world's busiest airport after a massive power outage. We'll take you live to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport next.

Plus, fallen tribute. They stood along the roads and overpasses. Fire truck ladders raised, flags at half staff, all to honor a fallen comrade. To Southern California ahead.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[18:17:00] CABRERA: Wildfires have taken a huge toll in Southern California. In the past two weeks, residents say the deadly fires have turned what was once a paradise into a warzone. And sadly, like any war, there is a human cost.

Cory Iverson died of burns and smoke inhalation while battling the Thomas Fire last week. Firefighters held a silent procession for their fallen comrade today. His procession traveled from Ventura to San Diego where Iverson worked as a firefighter. And another woman also died trying to flee from the flames of the Thomas Fire.

The Thomas Fire has become the third largest and the seventh most destructive wildfire in modern California history. So far it has burned almost 278,000 acres. More than 8,000 fire personnel are still battling the blaze at a current cost of $110 million. But the fire is only 40 percent contained.

It was another record week on Wall Street after the news that House and Senate reached a tentative tax deal, so will the trend continue?

Alison Kosik takes a look at the week on Wall Street -- Alison.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. It's the moment Wall Street has been waiting for. A vote is expected this week on the GOP tax cut bill. The goal is to have on President Trump's desk by Wednesday.

Stocks have been climbing in anticipation of this legislation, and the market could rally even higher this week if the president signed it into law. Investors are salivating over the cut in the federal corporate tax rate which falls to 21 percent under this bill down from the state of current rate of 35 percent.

The GOP argues lower corporate taxes will help everyday Americans. But there is no guarantee companies will add jobs or raise wages. And Wall Street is clearly betting companies will use their tax cut to buy back stock and beef up dividends. In New York, I'm Alison Kosik.


[18:23:29] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

CABRERA: It's our breaking news right now. A minor inconvenience for airline passengers is now a major nationwide travel emergency. The busiest airport in the United States, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International, is in the dark right now. No power. The electricity suddenly went out around 1:00 this afternoon Eastern Time, more than five hours ago.

Since then no planes have taken off. Planes that landed have not moved from the tarmac and thousands upon thousands of people are stuck inside the airport terminals with no word on what happens next.

I want to go live to Atlanta's normally busy international airport and now is joining us correspondent Kaylee Hartung who's on the phone with us.

Kaylee, I know you've been trying to figure out what is going on. Get down to the bottom of this. What are you hearing? What's the latest?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, just like thousands of others here at this airport, I am trying to understand what caused this power outage and what happens next, and we have no understanding of why the power went out at the Atlanta airport a little after 1:00. And there is no time given to me or any traveler in this airport as to when operations will be back up to speed here in Atlanta.

We've been told no flights will be taking off from this airport tonight. That means no flights can come in either. On ground stop here, and this airport is at a standstill. What you're seeing now in terms of movement of passengers are the people who are essentially evacuating themselves, saying they are not going to stick around a minute longer to wait for answers that they are not getting.

[18:25:01] What officials here are telling us is that their priority now is to get people out of the airport. They're not calling it a mandatory evacuation, but they would like very much for people not to stick around. There won't be lights inside this airport. They have now brought in, I should say, light towers like you would see at a construction site run by generators to light the outdoor areas where you would meet someone coming to pick you up or to light the area near the ticket counters where they're trying to communicate what they can to individuals to get them out of this airport.

But still so many questions and very few answers. Many frustrated travelers trying to find a place at this point just to lay their head down tonight.

CABRERA: Kaylee, we are looking at live pictures right now outside the airport where we are seeing a lot of people pouring out. I imagine they're trying to get rides out of there whether they're heading back home and turning around or trying to link up with perhaps somebody else on the ground if they're mid-transit somewhere else.

But what are you hearing from some of these passengers? What are they being told?

HARTUNG: We have heard stories across the spectrum of the experiences that they've had inside this airport today. I would say the moment of the greatest sense of urgency came from the D terminal a couple of hours ago when people started smelling smoke, seeing a little bit of it. One man described it to me as the smell of burnt rubber, another man said it smelled like an electrical fire of some sort.

Passengers were mandatorily evacuated out of that area. But then walking the length of this airport from this D terminal to the main course, usually, you know, a trip taken by the sky train which now, of course, isn't working with the power out. One group told me it took them about 30 minutes to make that walk in the dark with the lights flickering. Others telling me it took them closer to an hour.

But we would see passengers walking up to the stopped elevators out of breath after that walk. There was another woman who told me her plane was equipped with stairs that were brought down, passengers then walking across the ramp of the tarmac and into the airport. Another flight there, I was told they actually manually pushed the jet bridge -- I should say airport workers manually pushed a jet bridge to the airplane to deplane.

And that continues to be one of the priorities here at this airport, is to get the people who are still sitting on planes off of their planes onto solid ground and then hopefully out of this airport. But this process continues and it will for many for several hours as they find a place to end their day.

CABRERA: Oh my, Kaylee, of course, the big question still remains, how did this happen? And the fact that it did happen, they don't have like a backup generator or something I think is catching a lot of people by surprise.

Kaylee Hartung, keep us posted on anything new that you learned.

Jodi Green, in the meantime, and her husband are among those stuck on a plane right now. They've been there since they landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for hours, and they were supposed to catch a connecting flight to their home in Hartford, Connecticut. That was more than five hours ago. She's joining us on the phone right now.

Jodi, what's going through your mind?

JODI GREEN, STUCK ON PLANE FOR MORE THAN FIVE HOURS AT ATLANTA AIRPORT: The fact that I can't believe that I've actually been on a plane for six hours sitting in the airport in the terminal. I've seen it on the news before, people stuck on the plane on the runway, and I am now one of those people.


CABRERA: So what's happening where you are?

GREEN: I'm sorry?

CABRERA: Jodi, I can't imagine the situation. What is happening where you are?

GREEN: Well, we were -- finally after five or so hours, we were going through a gate, and then it seems that the gate workers had a shift change, and there were no workers to meet us at the gate, and then we just had another announcement that we were going to a different gate, but we're still at a standstill. Not at the airport yet, but listening to the report you just had, it appears there is no power in the airport, and I guess we're not going anywhere tonight, so I don't want where to wait once we get off the plane.

CABRERA: The fact you're still laughing is impressive, I have to say. Your attitude is wonderful. I would be frustrated if I were you. What have officials been telling you about what happened?

GREEN: Well, I've only been hearing murmurs from other passengers getting information off the Internet. The pilot did not know anything. He has not communicated about anything concrete that has happened. He did tell us about smoke in one of the terminals and that the fire trucks were going underneath the airport. But we've seen a few planes moving around, but it looks like the long line of planes that was on the tarmac either took off or went somewhere where I can't see. But it's been -- I just want to get home to my dog.


CABRERA: Yes, I'm sure. We are now getting word from United, Delta, Southwest and American that all flights tonight that were supposed to come and go from Atlanta have been canceled.

I hope that you make it home very quickly, Jodi Green. Thank you so much for joining us, and let's stay in touch. And, of course, if we can help in some way, let us know.

GREEN (via telephone): All right, thank you. Bye-bye.

CABRERA: All right, bye-bye.

Now, residents in Beattyville, Kentucky voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump a year ago because he gave them hope.

Up next, we'll go back to that town that once earned the unfortunate distinction of being the poorest White town in America to see how people are feeling about his presidency.

Don't miss this powerful piece of storytelling part two when you come back. Stay with us.


[18:35:10] CABRERA: President Trump could be days away from signing historic tax reform into law, signaling the first major victory of his presidency legislatively.

Now, when CNN returned to Michigan one year after his election to talk to the voters that helped Trump flip that state from blue to red, many told us they were banking on his tax reform promise.

So I want to bring in our colleague, Poppy Harlow.

Poppy, good to see you. Your first piece in Beattyville, Kentucky --


CABRERA: -- was so eye-opening. What did you hear from people in Michigan?

HARLOW: You know, so many -- Trump voters, we talked to all Trump voters in Michigan, but many of them had voted for President Obama previously. This was the first time they had voted for a Republican.

And despite the lack of legislative accomplishments, even if tax reform gets through, despite ObamaCare repeal, et cetera, they blame Congress, not the President.


HARLOW (voice-over): In a stunning election upset, President Trump did what no Republican candidate has done for decades. He flipped Michigan from blue to red, helping him cinch the 2016 election.

RICKY QUINN, SECURITY GUARD IN MICHIGAN: I think Trump has done a great job --



HARLOW (voice-over): These are the voters who helped President Trump flip Michigan. We met them here just days after President Trump took office. We came back nearly a year later to find out how they think he's done.

D. EDWARDS: It's a B.

R. EDWARDS: An A forever.

SAL MOCERI, UNION WORKER, FORD: A B-plus. A B for accomplishment.



HARLOW (on camera): An A?

DECKER: Yes. HARLOW (voice-over): Bill Decker owns Lily Ann Cabinets, a sprawling

factory in Adrian, Michigan, about an hour and a half drive southwest of Detroit. Decker is very happy with what he says the President has done for his business.

DECKER: We're growing 25 to 30 percent, so everything here as well.

HARLOW (on camera): So you're saying President Trump gets the bulk of the credit?

DECKER: Personally, I would say 99 percent. We doubled down.

HARLOW (voice-over): Doubled down despite major concerns about Trump's threat at the time of tariffs on Chinese goods. Decker imports all of these cabinets from China.

HARLOW (on camera): You're saying a big reason you can't make these cabinets here start to finish here is because of all the regulations.

DECKER: Yes, the regulations are -- well, both federal and state regulations.

HARLOW (on camera): So when the President talks about less regulation, less regulation, less regulation, you're sitting over here, saying, I want that, but you don't have that yet in your business?

DECKER: No, we don't, and I think it's going to take time.

HARLOW (on camera): You are concerned, is it fair to say, about the President's stance on immigration for your business?


HARLOW (on camera): Why?

DECKER: A third of the population in Adrian is of our Mexican and Hispanic workforce.

HARLOW (on camera): You mean fewer immigrants in this country, worse for your business?

DECKER: Worse, far worse.

HARLOW (voice-over): Decker, like everyone we met here, recognizes the President hasn't achieved many of his major legislative promises yet. No wall, no ObamaCare repeal or infrastructure plan yet, but most don't blame him.

HARLOW (on camera): Is there anything the President could do that would lose your support?

DECKER: As strange as this is going to sound, I don't think that's possible.

HARLOW (on camera): Since NAFTA was signed in the early '90s, Michigan alone has lost more than a quarter of its manufacturing jobs. And the promise you heard from the President so much on the campaign trail was that he would bring those back. So far, in the last year, though, manufacturing jobs in the state had barely budged.

HARLOW (voice-over): But across the country, a different story. More than 170,000 jobs had been added so far this year compared with the loss of 34,000 over the same period last year.

HARLOW (on camera): You called NAFTA a shakedown --

MOCERI: It was.

HARLOW (on camera): -- of America.

MOCERI: It was.

HARLOW (voice-over): But for Sal Moceri, a nearly lifelong autoworker at Ford and an immigrant from Sicily, some of the President's promises have come up short.

HARLOW (on camera): What grade would you give the President?

MOCERI: Well, right now, I would just give him a C.

HARLOW (on camera): What do you think the President could do to get a higher grade in your book?

MOCERI: Everybody is waiting on the taxes.

HARLOW (on camera): It is tax reform for you, number one, now?

MOCERI: Numero uno.

HARLOW (on camera): If tax reform does not happen, does he get your vote in 2020?

MOCERI: No. Simple as that.

HARLOW (voice-over): Trump is the first Republican presidential candidate Sal has voted for after casting his ballot twice for President Obama. Now, it's the division he's seeing that brings him to tears.

HARLOW (on camera): This is really personal for you. I mean, you bring up your kids.

MOCERI: I'm afraid, OK, that they're not going to have a pension. They're not -- they're going to be depending on the government for assistance, for medical, OK? You want your child to be dependent on that? No.

You want them to be free and have a future. It's called the human race, not the Republican or Dem. It's called H.R.

[18:40:03] R. EDWARDS: I think President Trump has done a very good job, considering the fact he's had very little or no cooperation from Congress.

D. EDWARDS: I think he's done well considering the level of pressure to literally have half of a country so against you.

HARLOW (on camera): But didn't President Obama face that same challenge?

D. EDWARDS: No, I don't -- I think you will -- you're going to always have those sections that were not going to support Obama no matter what, honestly.

HARLOW (on camera): Mitch McConnell said, you know, we're going to make him a one-term president.

D. EDWARDS: Well, Mitch needs to retire, so, but --


HARLOW (on camera): Not a Mitch McConnell fan?


D. EDWARDS: I think that he -- Mitch McConnell serves a different agenda. I don't think he serves an agenda that's for America.

HARLOW (on camera): Where is the wall?

R. EDWARDS: Well, the wall is going to come. We cannot blame Trump if the wall does not get built because you do have the globalists like Mitch McConnell and many others --


R. EDWARDS: -- and McCain and many others who do not like Trump and are willing to put our nation at risk, our sovereignty, and not have the wall just because they have a personal vendetta against Trump.

HARLOW (on camera): You really think that?

R. EDWARDS: Oh, I know it.

HARLOW (on camera): Despite the praise we're hearing for the President from these Michigan voters, there is almost universal disappointment about healthcare reform. Repealing and replacing ObamaCare was a signature promise of this President.

HARLOW (voice-over): Ricky Quinn says his healthcare costs are too high.

QUINN: About $600 a month. That's what they take out of my pension check.

HARLOW (on camera): For you and your wife?

QUINN: Yes, the healthcare is actually a lot more than that because we pay a ton of stuff out of pocket. HARLOW (voice-over): He has gone from making $40 an hour as an

autoworker just a few years ago to $14 an hour now working as a security guard. It's the best job he can find at this point, he says.

HARLOW (on camera): You were counting on the President to get healthcare reform through?

QUINN: Yes. I believed that it should've gotten through. Now, I know it's going to sound like I'm just a 100 percent Trump guy. That's not the case. I really don't think it's his fault.

HARLOW (on camera): He said that if he --

QUINN: It's an action --

HARLOW (on camera): -- they won --

QUINN: Right.

HARLOW (on camera): -- it will be so easy. And?

QUINN: I think he has tried as hard as he can, but when you've got people fighting you like that. I really don't feel like he felt it was going to be that hard to do. And I still think he's going to get it done.

HARLOW (on camera): So does the fix the healthcare mean throw out ObamaCare, or work to fix some parts of it?

QUINN: It depends. I think you pretty much have to throw almost all of it out. Some of the big things like pre-existing conditions need to stay. But as far as forcing people to buy insurance, I think that's very wrong.

HARLOW (voice-over): Peggy and Jim Stewart have been married for 12 years, but they don't share the same politics. Peggy voted for President Trump, Jim did not. Both had been hoping for higher wages.

STEWART: I still think he is staying with the agenda and the promises that he gave to us during the campaign, but the fight against him is just insurmountable. I've never seen any president be so disrespected and fought against as hard as he is.

HARLOW (voice-over): So what did Peggy and Jim get? So far, their salary hasn't increased. Their healthcare hasn't changed.

STEWART: They got a man with a spine. That's what I wanted. A man that's -- could think on his own two feet. That's what I like and that's what I'm -- that's what we're getting.

HARLOW (on camera): Do you not blame President Trump at all for not being able to get any major legislation passed yet?

STEWART: Well, I think his way of speaking to people could have a big difference on it, and his way of saying, well, you're going to do this, you're going to do that, this is it. HARLOW (on camera): He could do it better?

STEWART: Maybe a little bit more diplomatic in his conversations and his presentations.

HARLOW (voice-over): After voting for President Obama twice, Peggy saw hope in President Trump. But she doesn't want all that he is selling.

HARLOW (on camera): Do you want President Trump to repeal and replace ObamaCare?

STEWART: Maybe parts of it.

HARLOW (on camera): Not all of it?

STEWART: I do believe there should be universal medical.

HARLOW (on camera): You want universal healthcare?

STEWART: Healthcare.

HARLOW (on camera): That's a very liberal position.

STEWART: Well, there's other countries doing it. And successfully.

HARLOW (on camera): Is there anything the President could do to lose your vote?

STEWART: Have bona fide that he has allowed Russia to come in and interfere with the election so that he would win against Hillary. That would very well upset me. I'd feel really stupid after that.

HARLOW (voice-over): One thing just about all of these voters would like to see is the President break up with Twitter.

MOCERI: His -- please, stop tweeting. Please.

HARLOW (on camera): Do his tweets hurt him?

DECKER: I believe they do.

STEWART: And his tweeting about it. I'm like, why did you even answer that? Come on, Mr. President. I know your mind is busier than that. But he is himself and he's difficult. And I kind of like that he's different, but I wish he would just do not the playground stuff.

HARLOW (voice-over): They may not like those tweets, but they haven't cost the President the support of many of his voters here who feel like he is trying for them, if not succeeding for them yet.


CABRERA: Wow. I mean, you talked to so many people from different walks of life --


CABRERA: -- different backgrounds, even ethnicities.

[18:44:59] HARLOW: Totally.

CABRERA: And yet you heard a lot of the same thing. Did you talk to anybody who said, this President is not who I expected him to be as president?

HARLOW: Right. So I did in Kentucky, which you heard yesterday on your program, from David Kumer (ph). But here in Michigan, of all those people we interviewed a year ago, Ana, most of them people give the President a long runway.

Now, Sal Moceri, you heard from him, the Ford autoworker who gives the President a C, he is more hesitant but he said tax reform was his big thing. Well, this interview was a few weeks ago. It looks like he's going to get that tax reform.

They give the President a lot of leeway here, and they just don't like the establishment. They're not big Mitch McConnell fans, and they blame the lack of legislative accomplishment on Congress, which has a much lower approval rating than the President, than on the President himself.

CABRERA: And when you talked to them about Twitter, they don't like it. Did they --

HARLOW: They don't like it, sort of.

CABRERA: I mean, did they talk about any specific themes that they didn't like him tweeting about?

HARLOW: Well, I mean, you know, you heard from Peggy, the woman at the end, who told me -- I kind of like that he is himself and he's unique on Twitter, but he gets engaged in what she calls as playground back and forth.


HARLOW: And that's what she doesn't want to see the President doing. So I think they could do without the tweets, but they think this President is fighting for them more than many before.

CABRERA: And we heard Mitch McConnell is the -- not so popular.

HARLOW: Not so much. Not so much.


CABRERA: All right.

HARLOW: Ana, thank you.

CABRERA: Thank you, Poppy. Good to see you.


CABRERA: And the baby is coming soon.

HARLOW: Soon! Very soon.

CABRERA: So exciting.


CABRERA: All right. For many this time of year, it's all about giving back, and the 11th annual "CNN HEROES: ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" is going to salute 10 people who put others first all year long. The star-studded gala airs live tonight in a little over an hour at 8:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. Prepare to be inspired.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are everyday heroes. They inspire and change lives every day.

JENNIFER MADDOX, FOUNDER, FUTURE TIES: We want to make sure that they make better choices when it comes to violence.

LESLIE MORISSETTE, FOUNDER, GRAHAMTASTIC CONNECTION: When you lose your child, the love doesn't go away. It has to find a place. How lucky that I found a place to put that love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are truly what it means to be a hero.

STAN HAYS, FOUNDER, OPERATION BBQ RELIEF: It is people helping people the best way we know how.

ROSIE MASHALE, FOUNDER, BAPHUMELELE: When they see me, they always feel happy.

AMY WRIGHT, OWNER, BITTY AND BEAU'S COFFEE: Just give them a chance. They can do anything you ask them to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, CNN presents a very special live event.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, I'm Anderson Cooper.

KELLY RIPA, CNN HOST: And I'm Kelly Ripa.





[18:52:09] CABRERA: Welcome back. The holidays are all about giving back. And tonight, the 11th annual "CNN HEROES: ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" salutes 10 ordinary people giving back in extraordinary ways. In just hours, Anderson Cooper and special guest co-host Kelly Ripa

are presenting the star-studded event live from New York here on CNN, and our Polo Sandoval is on the red carpet.

We're seeing some famous people behind you there, Polo. What are you seeing and hearing?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- especially the famous Brooke Baldwin right there, hard at work right now, Ana.

I could tell you that this certainly is a star-studded event, but the real stars, the ones who everybody is here to celebrate, are those CNN heroes, those top 10 heroes. And then tonight, we find out who gets that prestigious title of CNN Hero of the Year.

Having been on the red carpet here for a couple of hours now, I've spoken to some of those heroes, including Rosie Mashale. I spoke to her a little while ago. This is her first time in New York City.

She told us a little bit about her effort that essentially takes in orphan children, many of whom lost their parents to AIDS, and basically takes them under her wing and helps them. We heard from her a little while ago. This is why they call her Mama Rosie.


MASHALE: Sometimes, when we're working in -- and the town super in where I'm working, you feel like you are isolated. You're doing your thing. You are alone.

But when meeting other heroes here, I can see that so many people all over the world are making a difference to the lives of the children.


SANDOVAL: Ah, yes, Rosie, one of many people who are those that -- where that title of hero, they don't need a cape.

But at the same time, we have heard from several of these important public figures that have, really, offered their time, lent their time, including -- some of those recognized public figures, including Diane Lane, who I happen to be standing with.


DIANE LANE, ACTRESS: Hello, Polo. Good to see you.

SANDOVAL: Thank you so much for taking time for not only us here but also for this project. What does this mean to you?

LANE: It warms my heart so much that it exists and that so many people write up and write in and say, look at my friend and the amazing work that they've done. And that there are so many people every year, it's just -- thank God, thank goodness. I'm so grateful.

And it's sort of like the holiday gift to the world to be reminded of the human spirit and how we don't take no for an answer when it's for something good. We must continue the furtherance of helping where we can, doing what you can where you are with what you got.

SANDOVAL: I have heard from other public figures on this red carpet, such as yourself, and it tells us many of them perhaps play heroes on television and movies in Hollywood. But then there's so many --

LANE: Yes. There's a lot of that going around.

SANDOVAL: There are so many real-life heroes around us in an everyday setting.

LANE: That's true. That's true. And it's good to be reminded that a hero doesn't imply that you have super abilities, but that as a mere mortal human, we can band together and create improvements in the world around us.

[18:55:05] And to see the stories of what motivated these people, the trials they went through themselves, and why they did what they are -- what they're here to be celebrated for tonight, I cry every time.

I'm at home and this -- tonight, I have mascara on, so it's going to be messy. But I'm the first one off, so then I'll take -- I'll be off camera after that and I can cry all I want.


SANDOVAL: Diane, thank you so much for taking the time --

LANE: Thank you.

SANDOVAL: -- and sharing your time with this effort.

LANE: Thank you.

SANDOVAL: Enjoy tonight.

LANE: I will.

SANDOVAL: Again, Ana, those are just one of many faces that are here, recognized faces. It is time to celebrate those heroes of today and also perhaps start thinking about some future heroes as well.

The rest of the people around the world can nominate people, everyday folks, that they feel are making a positive difference. And maybe they should be walking on this red carpet for next year.

CABRERA: No doubt about it, Polo Sandoval. Such a feel good time there. Thank you for that.

And "CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. Don't go away.