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Dow Drops at Open; Bolton to Meet with Putin; Deposition on Census Question Blocked; Kelly and Lewandowski had Physical Altercation; CDC Investigating Polio-like Illness. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired October 23, 2018 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00] CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Impending fiscal crisis in Italy. You have those two factors hanging over things. And then today -- that's the macro picture -- on the micro level you had a bellwether for the stock market, Caterpillar, an industrial machinery maker, come out and warn of rising input costs, rising material costs, in part related to steel and aluminum tariffs. So you have sort of a perfect storm of reasons why people will want to -- investors and strategists will either tell their clients to sell or pull the trigger and sell stocks today. Layer in on top of all of that this going theory that we've reached a peak in corporate earnings, which is really the bedrock of the market. So if companies aren't growing, that means that investors are likely not going to keep their risk in the market. They may move it to other assets. And that's what we're seeing play out here today, Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's why the market's a leading indicator looking ahead. And look at that right here, already down more than 400 points, just under 2 percent. We're going to continue to watch that. We have Cristina watching it from the floor there.

In other news, a high stakes showdown over nuclear weapons. President Trump's national security adviser going head to head with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. That happening just moments away.


SCIUTTO: There is some tough talk between the U.S. and the Kremlin. In about 30 minutes, National Security Adviser John Bolton will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin after President Trump suddenly announced plans this weekend to pull out of a decades old nuclear weapons treaty. This comes after Russia's defense minister told Bolton that the U.S. and Russia could solve a number of problems together.

CNN's senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is in Moscow.

Bolton and Putin, what are they expected to discuss?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, formally this meeting, Jim, is all about the U.S. national security adviser explaining to the Russian president why the Trump administration is taking this decision to pull out of the INF, the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty that limits medium range nuclear weapons in both the United States and Russia. The U.S. has, of course, put out its reasons why already it said that, first of all, it believes that Russia has violated that agreement by not just testing and deploying, but also deploying cruise missiles that fall into that category.

There's also a concern that's been expressed in Washington that China is not covered by this agreement and that while the United States and Russia are hampered from the developments of these weapons, China can go ahead and do whatever it wants in terms of developing those kinds of missiles, and indeed is doing so.

John Bolton here having a range of meetings with various Russian officials. As you said, in about 30 minutes he'll be meeting Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, when he will be explaining those details to the Russian president.

Earlier, Fred Pleitgen, our correspondent here, had a quick word with John Bolton as he was laying a wreath at the spot where a former Russian opposition figure was gunned down. Take a listen to what he had to say.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are the Russians been quite understanding for your reasoning when you explain it to them?

JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, I think their preference, as they've stated, is that we not withdraw. But I think we've given them reasons why we're going to do it and I think they understand our reasons quite clearly, some of which I think they fully appreciate from their own strategic perspective. I think the president could not have been clearer. Not just on Saturday, but yesterday, as to what his decision is.


[09:35:09] CHANCE: I mean, Jim, in fairness, the Russians have been pretty critical of the INF over the years as well. I mean it was back in 2007 that Putin gave a now infamous speech at the Munich security conference in which he criticized the INF because it was not international enough. It was just hampering the United States and Russia from developing intermediate weapons, but allowing other countries, particularly China, from doing so. And so I think, you know, even though the Russians are pretty disappointed they're going to be cut out of the security architecture in this way, I think there's an element amongst them that thinks, well, you know, maybe it's a good thing. Perhaps China can be covered in this kind of agreement in the future as well.


SCIUTTO: Matthew Chance there watching this for us. It's an important treaty. Europe certainly thinks it helps keep the peace.

Picture this, tense moments between two key advisers for President Trump happening just outside the Oval Office. We're going to have the details, next.


[09:40:05] SCIUTTO: In what the Justice Department is calling a win for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court blocked a deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. They said a deposition of a cabinet official is, quote, rarely, if ever, justified.

Joining me now with more is CNN Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue.

So what was -- this was about his reasoning for putting a question about citizenship in the census.

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Right. And the Supreme Court sat on this for several days, but last night they said that they would block the deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from going forward for now. And that is a partial win for the Trump administration, right, because they said that this was a rare and unjustified move.

But this all comes, right, from the decision last March to reinstate the citizenship question in the census. And the administration said it was going to do that. It hasn't been done since 1950. And it was immediately challenged by several states and the groups. They said it was unlawful. And as a part of their lawsuit what they wanted to do is sit down and interview or depose Ross.

SCIUTTO: To see why he did it. And they say it's unlawful, why, because it's going to scare people away from taking part in the census?

DE VOGUE: Right. They want to get at his rational. Why did you do it? Because he said publically it was done because the Department of Justice wanted to comply with the Voting Rights Act. But they say that the real reason was to scare non-voters from coming forward. And that's why they wanted to talk to him and hear about it.

But it wasn't a total loss for them because the court did say that other Department of Justice officials could be deposed, as well as some discovery. But this was a win for the Trump administration for now. They didn't want him deposed and the court blocked it.

SCIUTTO: Do we know if Kavanaugh's seat on the Supreme Court was a deciding vote on this in the president's favor?

DE VOGUE: See, we don't know, because this was an order. It was unsigned. And the only two justices who chose to come forward and write something were Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas. Both conservatives. And they said, look, they think that everything should have been blocked at this point.

But John Roberts, he's taking a very careful path here. He knows that this court is 5-4. And it looks like he took some days to make sure that there would be no sort of big decent here.

SCIUTTO: Did he intentionally hide what the vote was on this?

DE VOGUE: They don't intentionally hide it, but this is an opinion, right?


DE VOGUE: This was an emergency order that came forward.

SCIUTTO: So you don't have to.

DE VOGUE: So you don't have to come forward. But it's notable that the only two dissents, partial dissents, were those two justices. So that means we don't officially know, but it would have been taken five justices to block this deposition.

SCIUTTO: Right. And those dissents were because they wanted it to be more of a blanket blockage, not -- not --

DE VOGUE: Yes, further (ph).

SCIUTTO: They wanted to go further.




SCIUTTO: Ariane de Vogue, always intriguing events on the court.

CNN has learned White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski got into a heated argument in the West Wing, this back in February, with Kelly at one point grabbing Lewandowski by the collar.

Let's bring in Abby Phillip at the White House.

Abby, do we know what started the argument. And just to confirm here, it got physical.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It definitely got physical according to our sources. So this was first reported by "The New York Times" overnight. But the episode happened all the way back in February. There was a meeting in the Oval Office involving both men. This was at a time when the families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting were coming to the White House that day. But it doesn't appear that this issue had anything to do with that issue. It had more to do with these two men getting at each other's throats over a slew of other issues, over Corey Lewandowski's criticism of John Kelly on television, over Cory Lewandowski's long- standing dislike of John Kelly.

So the two men got into it after they left the Oval Office. And according to our sources who confirmed "The New York Times" report, John Kelly grabbed Cory Lewandowski by the lapel and tried to eject him from the White House. Now, these two men have had a long standing feud with each other. But

it also is not the first time, in recent weeks at least, that we're hearing about John Kelly's temper. Just last week he got into a shouting match with John Bolton, the national security adviser, over the border issue, over the migrants coming up from Central America to the southern border. And, in the past, John Kelly has reportedly gotten into it with Chinese officials during a presidential trip overseas.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you then, Abby --

PHILLIP: So not the first time here for either of them.


SCIUTTO: In light of that, call me suspicious, are these possibly intentional leaks to undermine John Kelly? There are folks who -- Trump allies who see Kelly as not sufficiently supportive of the president.

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean I think that this drama surrounding John Kelly is never really over, even though he said he would sign on for another two years. Signing on through 2020. There are clearly people inside the White House and outside of the White House who are leaking information that could be seen as damaging to him out into the public. It's part of an ongoing power struggle here constantly happening inside of this White House.


[09:45:14] PHILLIP: John Kelly is on the receiving end today, as he has been in recent weeks.

SCIUTTO: Let's see if there's a presidential promise to investigate the source of these leaks, as we've often heard before. Abby Phillip at the White House. Thanks very much.

A two-year-old girl left unable to use her left arm and relying on family now to get around. Coming up, the polio-like condition striking dozens of young children around the country and what the CDC is doing about it. We'll be right back.


[09:50:05] SCIUTTO: Welcome back.

Investigators are now looking into 155 confirmed and possible cases of a rare and mysterious condition similar to polio. The condition can cause muscle weakness, sudden paralysis even. More troubling, the average patient with a confirmed case of this condition, just four years old.

Joining me now, CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, the numbers are small here, we should make that clear, in a country of 300 million people, 155, but, listen, as a parent, you know, the specifics are very worrying here.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely, Jim. I mean this is a horrific disease. Even though it's not a very common one, it's still a horrific one. It's called acute flaccid myelitis. Perfectly healthy children paralyzed sometimes overnight. That's what happened to this girl in Atlanta.


COHEN (voice over): Abigail Palacios was a healthy, active two-year- old. Then suddenly paralyzed from the neck down, a ventilator breathing for her.

ERICA PALACIOS, ABIGAIL'S MOTHER: She had a double ear infection and a really high fever of 103. Then a few days went by and she woke up and her arm was completely paralyzed, randomly. And the night before, she was using it just a few hours before.

COHEN: The diagnosis, acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

PALACIOS: The first thing I said was, what is that?

COHEN: It's very similar to a disease from long ago, polio. Like polio, AFM is thought to be caused by a virus, but no one knows what virus and why it affects different children differently.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Push, push. Oh, such a good job! Can you get those stickers?

COHEN: For example, Abigail's siblings were sick at the same time she was, but they were never paralyzed. Across the country, the CDC reports 62 confirmed cases of AFM in 22 states and 93 possible cases. In an outbreak in 2014, there were 120 confirmed cases. In 2016, 149 cases.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a little bit to make it easier for you to balance, OK?

PALACIOS: It's really heart-breaking. No parent should ever have to experience that. And what makes it worse is not the tubes. It's not the treatments. What makes it worse is not knowing what caused it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Princess Snow White needs to be picked up.

COHEN: It's hard to know how Abigail will do in the future, if she'll ever be able to walk again on her own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good job baby girl.

COHEN: And notice that she still doesn't use her left arm and her right arm is weak.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reach for it. Thank you.

DR. LAURA JONES, CHILDREN'S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA: We don't know a lot about the long-term prognosis of AFM right now. That's something that we're still really learning about.


COHEN: Abigail's parents are grateful their child is making progress.


COHEN: Against this horrific and mysterious illness.


COHEN: Now, not all children have made the progress that Abigail has made. Some are still in wheelchairs, paralyzed below their neck, a ventilator breathing for them.


SCIUTTO: So as parents, what symptoms should they look for and be concerned about to look out for this? And just to be, you know, out of an abundance of caution if they see anything similar?

COHEN: Right. So as you said before, Jim, this is very rare. And we want to make that clear. The parents don't need to panic every time their child has a cold or a fever.

But what they should look for is unexplained weakness or unexplained paralysis, all of a sudden can't use an arm or a leg or a drooping of the face. Go and get medical attention quickly. And the parents have said to me that they actually have not had great experienced when they've gone to emergency rooms. Often they're actually -- pretty much always, for the parents I've talked to, they've been sent home and told that it was nothing. So parents may need to really advocate for their child and say, hey, I've heard about this new disease, can we consider it?

SCIUTTO: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks for keeping on top of it. We will continue to keep on top of this.

President Trump's big push to rally Republicans ahead of the midterms. Fact checkers say the president getting even looser with the truth. We're digging into it. We'll bring you the facts.


[09:58:42] SCIUTTO: Welcome back.

We are exactly today two weeks away from Election Day and we want to know what is driving you to the polls this year. We're asking voters of all ages, all political stripes, to share their reasons. It's a segment we call "Why I'm Voting." And here's what you told us today.


RASHEED ABOUZAHR, VOTER FROM MICHIGAN: Definitely the Constitution. Freedoms. Freedom to have our voice be heard, like the freedom of speech, freedom of the Second Amendment, to be able to protect ourselves.

KIM MOTEL, VOTER FROM IOWA: I think it's important that we cover people that are uninsured and that we go back to helping people with mental health problems by opening facilities that they have a place to go besides jail.

ROBERT QUINN, VOTER FROM NEW JERSEY: Democrats, they want to repeal the recent tax cuts. You know, Democrats, if they get elected, they're going to raise the minimum wage and they're going to put people like me out of a job. They're going to put small businesses out of a job. They're going to cause mass unemployment.

JACKIE ANDERSON, VOTER FROM IOWA: I'm a strong supporter of health care, also in collective bargaining. We just need to get everybody out there to vote. We need change.


SCIUTTO: You hear it there, a lot of difference.

We want to hear from you. If you can weigh in on the conversation, the easiest way to do it, tell us what issues are pushing you to the polls. Just post a video to Instagram using the hashtag #whyivotecnn.

[10:00:05] Good Tuesday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington.

This morning, Turkey's president calls journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death a pre-planned ferocious murder.