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TSA Considers Eliminating Screening at Smaller Airports; Obama Puts Out Midterm Endorsement; Undocumented Mother Forced to Cheat Death to Receive Health Care; Ivanka Breaks with Dad over Media & Immigration. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired August 2, 2018 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Rene, this would be a huge change in the post 9/11 world. What is this all about?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: It would be. I can tell you, the reaction has been swift. Lawmakers want to know the same thing. What's this all about? I got a copy of a letter from Senator Markey, who is preparing to send a detailed letter to the TSA, asking a number of questions about this potential proposal. That letter going out shortly. There are lawmakers on Capitol Hill vowing to prevent this from becoming a reality. Industry insiders are saying this is a terrible idea. Flight attendants are calling this a huge national security mistake.

What do we know? A document that CNN obtained is recent, from June and July. They show TSA is considering allowing thousands of passengers to board commercial airplanes at small and some medium- sized airports without being screened. They estimate the move would save $115 million. They could use that to bolster security at larger airports. The proposal doesn't say which airports would be impacted. We do know that it would be more than 150 airports. For perspective, TSA currently screens at 440 airports.

BOLDUAN: Rene, the trend though has always been towards more screening. I mean, 311 and more restrictions on what you can use and how. Why is TSA now OK with the idea of less?

MARSH: Right. That is the key question. A lot of people are wondering why now. From everything we have seen within the documents, it's clear that there's certainly a consideration about cost savings. The issue of cost savings and the $115 million that would be saved annually is something that we saw in the proposal as part of the reasoning here. That is one factor. Of course, many are wondering, is that cost savings, at the end of the day, worth the potential risk.

BOLDUAN: What's TSA saying? You've clearly taken the question to them.

MARSH: Yes. We took this question to him. We asked them about the decision-making process. We do know that they have told us that this is not a new issue, which we have reported. This idea was floated back in 2011. However, it gained no traction. TSA telling us that, right now, this is just in the discussion phase. Again, no decision has been made. They are not denying that this is under consideration. BOLDUAN: Rene, great reporting. Thanks for bringing it to us.

Appreciate it.

MARSH: Sure.

BOLDUAN: Up next, former President Obama puts out his first big list of candidates that he is endorsing in the midterms. How much impact will he have? Will he be hitting the campaign trail later this fall? So many questions. Let's get some answers.


[11:37:32] BOLDUAN: How much weight does a presidential endorsement bring? How about a former presidential endorsement? We may soon find out. Barack Obama rolling out his first list of 2018 midterm endorsements, 81 Democratic candidates in races across the country who have his support. In sending out this first wave, as it was described, Obama wrote this, "I'm proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates, leaders as diverse, patriotic and big-hearted as the America they are running to represent."

One notable absence from the list so far? The rising liberal star who shocked the Democratic political world, Democratic Congressional candidate in New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat the long- time New York Congressman, a member of the Democratic House leadership, Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary there. Was this an Obama snub? Was the impact of this, the big endorsement list?

Joining me right now, Julianna Smoot. She was deputy campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign.

Great to see you, Julianna. Thanks for coming in.

JULIANNA SMOOT, FORMER DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR BARACK OBAMA: Oh, my gosh, thanks for having me, Kate. It's great to be here.

BOLDUAN: I appreciate it.

Does that surprise you, about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn't make the list?

SMOOT: Not really. President Obama has a wide range of support from around the country and he is sporting a number of candidates. You will see the diversity on that list. We have so many wonderful candidates running around the country on the Democratic side. Alexandria's win was amazing. Frankly, she's in a great place. She will most likely win the general. I don't want her to yell at me for saying that. But I think with a presidential endorsement, this elevates other folks around the country who are running great races but need to break through and be a little more noticed maybe.

BOLDUAN: When it comes to the fall, we heard President Trump say that he is going to go out there -- he is thinking about going out there six or seven days a week, stumping for candidates closer to November. Do you think Obama going out there stumping six or seven days a week for Democrats would be a good a counterweight?

SMOOT: It will help in certain districts. The same with President Trump.


SMOOT: He won't be able to go every place and campaign.


SMOOT: I think it will depend on their staff figuring out where they can go to help. But, sure, I think there are a lot of candidates who would be -- welcome President Obama with open arms.

[11:39:56] BOLDUAN: In looking at the statement he put out with the endorsements that struck me that I have seen previously -- people know it -- President Obama doesn't mention Trump. He never mentions him by name. You can tell clearly when he is talking about him in his speeches. He never says his name. Why not, do you think?

SMOOT: Well, I think, you know, yes, Trump is our president right now. I think there's so much more at stake in these elections and coming forward. We have redistricting in so many of the states. I know that's an issue that's near and dear to President Obama's heart. He is looking at candidates that will be able to help affect that change. I think that's really important for the future of our country. It's not only about the presidential. And we do have to focus. It's not about Trump. It's about the folks running for -- in the great races in so many of the states around the country.

BOLDUAN: Let's jump ahead. Forget 2018. Let's talk about 2020 for a second.

SMOOT: No, please, do not forget 2018, people.

BOLDUAN: Not what I meant. Let's do it anyway.

No, a lot of contenders, Democratic, are in New Orleans right now for the conference. You told Michael at the "Washington Post," a really article that struck out to me. Let me read you. I know you know your quote, but for our viewers. "I would say you have to have a path to raising at least $15 million or $20 million in the first quarter, which would end in March of 2019. I think there may be four or five who will be able to do that."

Why is that, Julianna?

SMOOT: I mean, the good thing is we have so many great possible candidates, I think, for our 2020 election. There are so many primaries leading up to who our final -- on the Democratic side, who our final candidate would be. Frankly, the ability to be able to raise money is an important one. The Republicans are going to have all kinds of money to try to keep Trump in office.

I will say that having money early on, I think it's important to have a plan, a road map. I will put out a pitch for my finance staff. They are great fundraisers. They're professional staff. They can help first-time candidates at the national stage to map out a plan and be viable and get going, and not lose before they even get into the race, if you will. That is raising big-dollar donors, big donors, direct mail and online contributions from small donors, for sure.

BOLDUAN: Who do you think can pull that off? Who are the four or five?

SMOOT: Well, you never can tell. I think a lot are already doing such great work. Kamala Harris and --


BOLDUAN: Give me some names.

SMOOT: Well, Kamala Harris is --


BOLDUAN: That's one. I would think it would have to be Biden and Sanders, because of their stature.

SMOOT: Exactly. They have obviously the name I.D. And Vice President Biden has a lot of large-dollar donors that he has connections with. Senator Sanders did a great job in doing -- I will say, just last night though, Act Blue surpassed $1 billion in online contribution. Act Blue is a platform through which you give money to candidates, causes, Democratic candidates and causes, raised over $1 billion this cycle as of last night, that's 781, compared to 781 last cycle. There's an enthusiasm with small-dollar donors and online contributors that it does leave the field wide open for being able to tell a story through online fundraising.

BOLDUAN: Other than Kamala Harris, who do you think can meet that mark?

SMOOT: I think Elizabeth Warren is doing a good job raising the money online. I think there are a lot of Senators who have thought about running. Then you have Howard Schultz, in Washington State, who probably has a lot of connections and can raise the money. I don't if he would self-fund, write his own check. There are a number of really talented, great people who can do this and be viable. It's a matter of doing the plan. Figuring out your plan and working the plan.

BOLDUAN: In a huge field at this point.

SMOOT: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Julianna, thank you for coming in. Let's see what happens in 2018 --

SMOOT: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: -- and see what it means.

Great to see you. Thank you so much. SMOOT: Exactly, 2018 first.

Thank you.

[11:44:07] BOLDUAN: Cart before the horse. That's what I do all the time.

Coming up for us, every week, this woman must nearly die before she can receive treatment for a chronic illness that she faces. Why is that? Sanjay Gupta is here to explain. That's next.


BOLDUAN: Think about this. Having to wait until you are about to die before you can get medical treatment that you need. It seems impossible. But that's the reality for some undocumented immigrants in the U.S. illegally but in need of life-saving care. What do you do?

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is joining me now with this.

Sanjay, you have been following one woman's battle with this.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I have. I think it provides real insight into what happens in certain parts of our medical system, what happens with immigration, and what happens when these two things collide. I will tell you, as you watch this, Kate, a lot of what you are about to see surprised me. I hadn't seen how the system actually evolved. Take a look.


GUPTA (voice-over): In order to really understand what's going on here, you need to suspend disbelief. Lucia is dying. Her lungs drowning in fluid. Here electrolytes are fluctuating wildly. Her heart is precariously close to shutting down. This 51-year-old mother and undocumented immigrant has end-stage renal disease, full-on kidney failure.

[11:49:55] DR. LILIA CERVANTES, DENVER HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER: The function of the kidneys is to filter blood. When both kidneys stop working, people on average will live anywhere from 10 to 14 days. So to continue living, you need some process to filter blood, which is a dialysis machine.

GUPTA: For most people, that treats the problem. But here's the thing. Lucia is allowed treatment only when she essentially arrives at death's door. The Emergency Medical Treatment Act of 1986 says hospitals in the United States must care for anyone with a medical emergency, regardless of their citizenship or ability to pay. But they're not obligated to prevent that emergency from happening in the first place.

(on camera): What is happening inside the body? CERVANTES: For these patients, because they only come in once a week

instead of the three times per week, excess fluid stays in their body and goes into their lungs, into their legs. Separate from that, the toxins build up. One of the most important toxins being potassium, which at high levels, can make the heart stop.

GUPTA (voice-over): This is no way to live. About as close to death as you can get. What's more, research shows that treating patients with emergency dialysis versus standard dialysis is nearly four times more expensive because these patients, like Lucia, are so much sicker when they come in for treatment.

(on camera): They're literally pushing themselves to the brink of death.

CERVANTES: They are.

GUPTA: To get this treatment. Am I overstating that?

CERVANTES: No, not at all.

GUPTA (voice-over): There's no question it works.

(on camera): Lucie.

(voice-over): Just look at Lucia now. After dialysis removed 10 liters of fluid from her body.

(on camera): How are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Right now, I feel good.


GUPTA (voice-over): Still, Lucia is always worried. Mostly about her family, especially her son, Alex. He watches his mother steadily decline every single week. This is their life.

(on camera): How hard has this been on your family?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): It's been really hard. It's been really hard for my family. The worst is for my son. He worries about me.

GUPTA (voice-over): Because just a few days from now, like clockwork, Lucia will once again go to the precipice of death just so that she can live.


GUPTA: Kate, I'll tell you again, even among my medical colleagues, sharing with them this story, there's not a lot about this that makes sense, medically, morally, financially. Why have a system that operates like this? I'll tell you as well, she is not eligible for a kidney transplant. That's not going to be covered. But she can donate other organs at the time of her death. That's what this law sort of allows for her to do as well.

BOLDUAN: In stark relief, just showing how two systems, immigration and what's going on in the medical community, the systems are broken, Sanjay.

Thank you for bringing this story.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Really appreciate it. Wow.

Coming up, we know what her father and her boss thinks, but what is Ivanka Trump's view on the media? And what she's saying was a low point of her time at the White House so far. The answer to this may surprise you. That's next.


[11:56:57] BOLDUAN: If President Trump is consistent on one thing, it is his view on the media. Just days ago, the president repeating his, "the press is the enemy of the people line," which he repeats at every turn, which makes this answer from his daughter and special assistant, Ivanka, all the more surprising.

This is just this morning, Ivanka Trump speaking to Mike Allen, of Axios.


MIKE ALLEN, CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE EDITOR, AXIOS: Do you think that we're the enemy of the people?



ALLEN: Do you think the media is the enemy of the people?

TRUMP: No, I do not.


ALLEN: That's not a view that's shared in your family?

TRUMP: Are you looking for me to elaborate? Is that

ALLEN: Sure.

TRUMP: No, I do not feel the media is the enemy of the people.


BOLDUAN: Joining me right now, CNN's Kate Bennett.

Directly contradicting her father there, Kate. I was also wondering how is Ivanka Trump surprised she was going to get that question. KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I mean, just the general

surprise. You can hear the laughter from the audience as she tries to understand what the question even is, as though this huge issue with the First Amendment and the president isn't top of mind or isn't something she's aware of. Certainly, it's a huge break from her dad and his feelings about the media. Certainly, her response was somewhat unusual, in terms of surprise and shock.

BOLDUAN: Yes, absolutely. Of course, everyone wonders, is this a discussion she's having with maybe her father.

BENNETT: Yes, and clearly, this is something that they must have talked about, one would expect. She's a senior adviser to her father, not just a daughter. They talk on all sorts of issues.

Kate, another way that she broke from her dad today in this interesting interview this morning was a topic that again has affected the entire country that everyone is talking about. That's family separation, the zero-tolerance policy at the border that the Trump administration, of which she is a senior member of, has enforced.

I want to take a listen to her again talking to Mike Allen this morning about the immigration issue and another vast divide from the president of the United States.


ALLEN: The kids at the border issue. What is your view of that?

IVANKA: Yes, that was a low point for me as well. I feel very strongly about that. And I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children.


BENNETT: You know, she talks about this and her feelings about it. We haven't really heard the president discuss his feelings that much. But certainly it was interesting to hear from Ivanka on how deeply it seems to have affected her, this family separation.

BOLDUAN: It does, and the break is notable, but it is all the more fascinating she -- you do wonder what the conversations are within the White House when it comes to her boss and father.

Regardless, it's great to see you. Thank you so much, Kate. Wanted to make sure we got that in today.

Thank you, all, so much for joining me.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with Nia Malika Henderson today starts right now.

[12:00:11] NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Kate.

Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Nia Malika Henderson --