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CNN NEWSROOM

Stocks Wipe Out 2018 Gains with Latest Plunge; WAPO: Trump Hesitant to Visit War Zones Over Fears for His Life; Nine Killed Hours Apart in a High Profile Shootings in Four States; Doctors to NRA: Gun Policy is Absolutely in Our Lane. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 20, 2018 - 14:30   ET

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


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[14:34:00], BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Here's the breaking news on Wall Street where the financial markets have been on a roller coaster ride. The DOW sinking several times, more than just about 500 points right now, erasing all of the gains for the year.

CNN Business Anchor Julia Chatterley is with me now. And Julia, what's driving the drop?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: I think you said it. We've wiped out year-to-date gains for the DOW and for the S&P. So if you're an investor looking at the markets today, if you're even just an individual looking your 401-k you go now what? Nervousness, uncertainty.

There's lots of things out there but I think the big one is what we're seeing in the big tech names. These are the names, the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Apple that have contributed to the upside that we saw all year, and they've lost ground. In the case of Apple which I think the strongest and obviously the biggest weight in these markets, that's now down 24 percent from the high.

So again, people are looking at this and going, if we don't get leadership from the big tech names, where is it going to come from? And then if I take a top-level look at this trade, those tensions remain.

[14:35:04] The other big risk that I told you about is before the Federal Reserve. Does Jay Powell at the Federal Reserve continue to try and raise interest rates? That's just bedding the uncertainty here. So it's a whole host of things.

BALDWIN: Is there any silver lining?

CHATTERLY: There is. There's a lot of backings in the price, trade as I mentioned, Jay Powell, the whacking great hit of the tech stocks have taken. All we need is some good news here. The Federal Reserve acknowledges some of the weakness that we're seeing. A breakthrough on trade and I think these markets pop higher because there's a lot of (INAUDIBLE).

BALDWIN: Julia, thank you very much. Julia Chatterley.

Next, for the first time in his presidency, Trump is in talks to visit U.S. troops in a combat zone. What has reportedly kept him from going sooner? We'll discuss next.

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BALDWIN: For the first time in his presidency, President Trump is considering visiting troops in a theater of combat in a combat zone.

[14:40:01] The president has faced a lot of criticism for not doing so thus far. And in a new report today from the Washington Post they reveal why that may be. The Post reports that the president has concerns for his own safety and that he doesn't want to be linked to wars he considers to be failures. Visiting troops in war zones has been a tradition for plenty of past presidents especially on Thanksgiving.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's see if we've got anyone more senior here that can read the president's Thanksgiving speech. Is there anybody back there who's more senior than us?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So that was President George W. Bush back in 2003 making a surprise to see our troops in Iraq.

Daniel Drezner is with me now. He's a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School over at Tufts University and a non- residence senior fellow at Brookings Institution and the contributing editor at the Washington Post.

So Daniel, a pleasure to have you on. And obviously we read your piece in the Post and so I wanted just your reaction to the paper's reporting on the why, the fact that the president doesn't want to go because he fears for his life or he doesn't want to be associated with wars he considering to be a failure. Your response?

DANIEL DREZNER, INTERNATIONAL POLITICS PROFESSOR, THE FLETCHER SCHOOL AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY: Well, let's start with the second one which is the claim he wasn't to be associated with wars that are seen as failures. I don't really think that passes muster. Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 running against the Iraq War, saying he had opposed it for a long period of time. That didn't stop him from going to visit the troops in Iraq in Thanksgiving in 2009.

And the reason is there's a difference between the policy positions you might adopt about a particular conflict and then your function at sort of the commander-in-chief and/or the head of state where you're really trying to take on a more symbolic role. And that's why it meant a great deal when George W. Bush showed up at Thanksgiving in 2003 and why Obama shows up in 2009.

So, I don't think that excuse really passes muster. Do I think that Trump is worried for his own life? Yes. He's basically a pretty selfish guy. I mean, it kind of explains why he does and does not do things.

It's why he didn't go in Paris to the World War I memorial because it was raining and he was going to get wet. It wouldn't surprise me that Trump, you know, disdains any kind of discomfort or risk to his own life because that's basically the most important thing to him.

BALDWIN: When he may go, I mean, consider people he has around him. The likes of General Mattis, John Kelly who I imagine behind the scenes are saying, sir, we need to get you in a theater of combat. And I'm wondering, you know, you lay out all these reasons why you think he is really mishandling being head of state. Do you think that would right some of the wrongs that you lay out?

DREZNER: I do think that if he were to make this kind of trip and that it would be seen -- you know, that he wouldn't just stay there for a half hour, that he would actually, you know, potentially mingle with the troops, you know, get to know them. And I would assume that he's going to be reasonably popular with a fair number of the enlisted corps, troops in particular, that could potentially correct some of the issues.

And, you know, to be fair, Trump does recognize it's probably in his political self-interest to make this kind of move because he's getting an increasing amount of criticism across the political aisle on the fact that he hasn't done this yet despite the fact his two predecessors have.

BALDWIN: Moving off of that and onto what we led this entire show with the breaking news, this Trump statement of the president and his White House standing with Saudi Arabia and talking ultimately about maybe Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, maybe he was involved in his murder, maybe he wasn't, but, you know, at the end of the day, this is me paraphrasing, you know, the U.S. and this White House is sticking with Saudi Arabia.

What do you find most unsettling about the statement?

DREZNER: I think the thing I find most unsettling as someone who teaches international relations is the degree to which Donald Trump actually underestimates America's leverage in this current situation.

BALDWIN: What do you mean?

DREZNER: Trump has repeatedly for the past -- well, Trump has repeatedly when this is brought up, talked about the fact that the U.S. needs Saudi Arabia, that the U.S. need Saudi purchases of arm sales, that it need Saudi Arabia as a bulwark of stability in the Middle East.

And it's not that these things are necessarily completely wrong but it dramatically overlooks the fact that Saudi Arabia needs the United States a lot more than the United States needs Saudi Arabia. And for a president who seems to have no problem whatsoever threatening to sanction other allies, let's say in NATO or Japan, or South Korea, he seems remarkably wimpish let's say with respect to Saudi Arabia. It's worth asking why exactly does he seems so retiring when it comes to Saudi Arabia in contrast to the rest of America's allies.

BALDWIN: Why do you think?

DREZNER: He has no difficulty whatsoever --

BALDWIN: Why is he wimpish?

DREZNER: I think it's because in some ways he sees Saudi Arabia almost as a kindred state. It's one that's ruled by a family much like Trump likes to see himself in terms of the presidency.

[14:45:04] I don't want to speculate beyond that whether there's personal relationships or not but I think it does need to be explored. Because there's otherwise no real explanation for why he isn't applying more pressure. The United States is actually in a strong bargaining position vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia in terms of generating, you know, more transparency in what's going on there. And the fact they've been so reticent to do it is genuinely surprising and it shows a misunderstanding of the balance of power in the region.

BALDWIN: Daniel Drezner, thank you sir.

DREZNER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, nine people killed hours apart across four different states. It made another round of gun violence in America, another feud is heating this one between the National Rifle Association and members of the medical community. We'll talk to a trauma surgeon. That's next.

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[14:50:16] BALDWIN: Twenty-four hours of death. That is how this holiday week began across the country, four deadly shootings all on the same day, all within hours of each other. At late afternoon in Chicago, a gunman opened fire on his ex-fiancee outside the hospital where she worked. Police say that he shot Dr. Tamara O'Neal several times after an argument and then he walked into that hospital and killed another employee. Plus a Chicago police officer who was a father of three, Officer Samuel Jimenez.

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SUPERINTENDENT EDDIE JOHNSON, CHICAGO POLICE: Those officers that responded today saved a lot of lives because this guy was just shooting that poor woman that got off an elevator, had nothing to do with nothing, and he shot. Why? There's no doubt in my mind that all those officers that responded were heroes and they saved a lot of lives because we just don't know how much damage he was prepared to do.

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BALDWIN: The gunman is also dead. Not clear if he shot himself or was killed in a police shoot-out.

Around the same time on the streets of Downtown Denver, five people were shot near Coors Field. One died on the scene. And that suspect is at large in suburban St. Louis, police are looking for a gunman there who they say sexually assaulted and then shot a woman and killed her at a Catholic supply business.

And a gruesome scene inside a Philadelphia basement where authorities found four people all shot execution style.

Hours before the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, the National Rifle Association scolded trauma doctors to, quote, stay in their lanes when it comes to gun control. It was the NRA's response to an editorial written by a group of trauma surgeons who recommended ways to reduce gun violence based on their own experiences treating gunshot victims.

And that tweet sparked backlash from surgeons everywhere. They posted photos of themselves in the E.R. wearing bloodied smocks after treating wounded patients and defiantly stating, this is our lane. And now that message is turning into a movement of trauma surgeons who are in a mission to educate the public about gun safety prevention because they say it is a public health crisis.

And Dr. Deborah Kuhls is a trauma surgeon who treated victims from last year's mass shooting in Las Vegas where 58 people were killed, 500 were injured.

Dr. Kuhls, thank you so much for joining me.

DR. DEBORAH KUHLS, TREATED VICTIMS OF THE LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: You're welcome. It's a pleasure to join you this morning.

BALDWIN: From a medical perspective, when I go through all these shootings, just in 24 hours time, Doctor, what is happening in America?

KUHLS: So it's really hard to know why the mass shootings are increasing, but I think it reflects our violent society. And access to firearms particularly people who have a criminal background.

BALDWIN: Tell me this. When someone is wheeled into your E.R. or your O.R., and you realize it is another victim of a shooting, what is the first thing that you think?

KUHLS: The first thing I think is if I can save their life. They often come in very dire circumstances needing blood and needing an urgent operation, and the right operation. So we often are faced with looking at the bullet holes and trying to figure out what the patient would be dying from. And when we take them emergently to the operating room, it's important that we have as good of information as we can, so we make the correct skin incision to get to the body part that has been threatened.

BALDWIN: I was reading another opinion piece from a separate trauma surgeon last week saying sometimes he just wants to throw his hands up in the air. Of course you want to save a life but where is your level of frustration on this?

KUHLS: I would say that I am really activated and I don't feel like I need to throw up my hands. I'm very active in the American College of Surgeons, and I chair the injury prevention committee for the committee on trauma. And we have been, if you will, trying to address this issue for many years but particularly from the last four years forward, we've been advocating for a public health approach to address firearm injuries and deaths in the U.S.

Even though the mass shootings are very common now, 30,000 Americans die every year.

[14:55:04] Children, adults, elderly, all genders, and it is a public health crisis. As many people die from motor vehicle crashes and firearms. So firearms, we expect that they will exceed motor vehicle crashes.

And I don't throw up my arms because we've made great progress in decreasing the number of people who die from motor vehicle crashes. We can use the same public health approach to address firearm injuries and deaths. And so in that vein, we really need to identify what the root cause is and I believe it is violence. We believe it is violence.

And so a number of tactics that we are -- have moved into action have been, number one, if you are injured and are bleeding, and are potentially bleeding to death. We have worked with others on the stop the bleed course, which is an out growth at Sandy Hook where all the children were killed.

BALDWIN: I know you have said that this is the most rewarding work you have ever done. And I think we will -- I'm out of time. I wish I wasn't but I am. But let's take more time because this is so important in this country.

I know you say this is the most important work you've ever done, Dr. Deborah Kuhls, just thank you so much. And we need to continue this national conversation from a medical perspective. Thank you very much.

We need to get back to our breaking news that the president is signaling the U.S. is not going to punish Saudi Arabia over the killing of a U.S.-based journalist. So stay here for the latest developments on that.

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BALDWIN: Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Here is the breaking --