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CNN NEWSROOM

Manafort Hearing after Breaking Plea Deal; Trade Agreement with China; Marriott Hack; Life Expectancy Drops. Aired 9:30-10:00a

Aired November 30, 2018 - 09:30   ET

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


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[09:31:32] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome back.

Right now attorneys for Paul Manafort and special -- for -- and special -- and the special counsel's probe are in front of a federal judge. Today's hearing was supposed to be a pretty simple, straightforward one to set a date for Manafort's sentencing after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and witness tampering while agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors. That was before the special counsel said that Manafort lied to them following his guilty plea, essentially blowing up the entire cooperation agreement.

What were those lies? We may learn a lot about them today from prosecutors.

Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California is with me. He sits on both the House Intel and Judiciary Committees.

Good morning. It's good to have you.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Good morning, Poppy. Thanks for having me back.

HARLOW: So, you said about Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who, of course, oversees the Mueller probe now, he is an assassin, your words, assassin hired by President Trump to kill the Mueller probe. Didn't yesterday prove that that's not true, at least not yet?

SWALWELL: Yes. well, I think it's the public light that we've shined on this that has frozen Whitaker, I hope. You know, he said a couple weeks ago he would seek an ethics opinion about whether he should recuse himself or not. I think we should know the answer to that. He should tell us, one, whether he actually sought it, and, two, if an opinion was delivered.

But Voxx reporting showed that Whitaker and Trump, for months, were plotting for Whitaker to be placed in this role. And we know that Whitaker had prejudged the Mueller investigation. And so I do believe that's why he's been put there.

HARLOW: OK.

SWALWELL: I am encouraged, though, that Bob Mueller continues to rack up indictments and hopefully we reach a natural conclusion.

HARLOW: All right, let me just jump in. We don't have that -- that Voxx reporting you mentioned. So I just don't want to -- let our viewers know --

SWALWELL: It's from a couple weeks ago.

HARLOW: Understood, it's just not CNN reporting.

SWALWELL: Right.

HARLOW: Look, the president, in defending himself in all of this, let me read you part of what he -- what he wrote. Quote, lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia. Put up zero money, zero guarantees. Didn't do the project.

So, much ado about nothing?

SWALWELL: Well, the problem is, is that he has said over and over, no deals with Russia, no workings with Russia, no business with Russia. Now that has shifted to lightly working. I've seen this before with the Trump team where they have failure to disclose, then they deny, and then try and manipulate what they were doing. I think the Mueller indictments speak much louder than the Trump denials.

HARLOW: Were you aware at all before, you know, Michael Cohen surprisingly showed up in federal court in Manhattan yesterday, congressman, that Michael Cohen had lied to your committee?

SWALWELL: Yes. And we have been limited in what we can do with the pages of lies that sit beneath the U.S. Capitol in the transcripts that are buried essentially and blocked from being public, because the Republicans have failed to allow us to send those to Bob Mueller. There are a number of witnesses we believe were not truthful and we've asked to send that to Bob Mueller so that he can expeditiously investigate it.

HARLOW: Understood. And Bob Mueller has the Cohen transcripts, but that's about it from your committee?

SWALWELL: He -- no. No, he doesn't, Poppy.

HARLOW: Oh.

SWALWELL: He has -- and this is confusing because the Senate has conducted their own investigation. We've done ours. Every single one of our transcripts has stayed within our committee. So the indictment yesterday was based on a Senate transcript of Michael Cohen and a letter that Michael Cohen publicly sent to the House. But our transcripts have not been released. And there are witnesses that we interviewed that the Senate did not. Roger Stone, for example, was not interviewed by the Senate.

[09:35:08] HARLOW: Right.

SWALWELL: That is one that should be fast tracked to the Mueller team. HARLOW: You say, yes, that, yes, you believe that Michael Cohen lied

to your committee about more than just the Trump Tower Moscow proposal timing and who was talked to. What else do you have evidence that he lied about?

SWALWELL: Well, there's still a lot of questions about whether or not he traveled -- well, we know he traveled in July and October of 2016. We gave him an opportunity to provide documents to show that he had only gone to London and Italy as he said. He failed to deliver those documents. And when we asked the Republicans to subpoena travel records and hotel records and bank records for that time period, they didn't allow us to do that. And so there's still a lot of questions about, you know, whether he was acting at the direction of candidate Trump and going overseas and meeting with foreign nationals who were seeking to help the president.

HARLOW: So you have questions, but you're not saying you have hard evidence right now that he lied about other topics? Just to be clear here.

SWALWELL: Well, we also, as it relates to the June 9 meeting, we have strong evidence that Trump and Cohen talked almost daily about campaign stuff.

HARLOW: Yes.

SWALWELL: And so, again, it's just -- when you take circumstantially what we know about that relationship and how close Trump's office was to Cohen's --

HARLOW: I understand -- yes, I understand what you think, but I'm just asking, do you have hard evidence that Michael Cohen lied to your committee about anything else? Hard evidence right now?

SWALWELL: We have -- we have circumstantial evidence.

HARLOW: OK.

SWALWELL: Which is treated the same in the law as direct evidence.

HARLOW: Finally, government needs to get funded pretty darn soon. Are you willing to shut down the government if legislation to fund the government does not include protection for the special counsel?

SWALWELL: Well, Poppy, I would love to be in the majority. And in 33 days, I will be. But right now the House is controlled by Republicans and so is the Senate. So if they can get the votes among themselves, that government will stay open.

HARLOW: Right.

SWALWELL: If they want Democratic votes, I and others are saying that we will negotiate, as we always should --

HARLOW: Right.

SWALWELL: But that will need to include protecting Bob Mueller. But shutting down the government --

HARLOW: So you won't vote -- you won't vote for any legislation to keep the -- you know, to fund the government if it doesn't include Mueller protection, is that right?

SWALWELL: That's right. That's right. But the government is run by Republicans right now. They have the majority in both houses. So only they can shut down the government -- their government.

HARLOW: Congressman Eric Swalwell, I appreciate you being with me this morning. Have a nice weekend.

SWALWELL: Of course. My pleasure. You, too.

HARLOW: Thank you.

All right, a critical G-20 underway in what is likely to be perhaps the most critical moment in the G-20 Summit. Ahead, the president is sitting down with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, trying to strike a trade agreement. Will they be able to hash something out? More on that, next.

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[09:41:54] HARLOW: A major threat from President Trump on the heels of one of the most critical moments for the president so far at the G-20 Summit. In the middle of a trade war with China, the president is threatening to slap China with more than, well, more than $260 billion in additional tariffs. He also said this week he wouldn't rule out additional tariffs that would hit things as popular as iPhones. Ouch.

This comes as President Trump is set to meet with Xi Jinping on Saturday. The two leaders looking to see if they can strike a trade deal.

With me, CNN's senior economics analyst and former Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore. Also the author of this new book "Trumponomics."

Thank you for being with us. Good morning.

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: Hi, Poppy.

HARLOW: So, as you know, some long-time U.S. China, you know, relation experts say not since President Nixon's official visit to China in 1972 has a meeting between the two countries been so critical. Of course Nixon called that the week that changed the world. Is that how important this meeting is?

MOORE: Well, I think it's pretty critical. I think you -- you really nailed it. This is one of the most important opening negotiations with China that we've had in probably 30 or 40 years.

You know, when I talked to my White House sources, Poppy, what they're saying is they're not too confident that we're going to get a deal, but they may get a deal to get a deal. HARLOW: OK.

MOORE: And that would, I think, calm some of these financial markets. I mean I think one of the reasons we've seen this roller coaster ride on stocks that you all have been reporting at CNN for the last several months is precisely because everybody has their eye on how these negotiations are going. Look, I happen to think Trump has a very strong case. We're in an abusive relationship with China. They do cheat. They do steal. And we can't go on with that.

HARLOW: Well --

MOORE: We'll see whether or not China makes the -- any kind of concessions or not.

HARLOW: Well, they made a bunch. As you know, that long list of over 150 demands that came back to the White House. But the president said, look, there's a few sticking points on there and we're not going to budge until they budge on those. You said on November 16th, quote, we're in a cold war with China right now. It's very clear how you feel about China at this point.

What does President Trump need to say to President Xi this weekend?

MOORE: By the way, you know, that statement, I think that's the way Donald Trump views China right now, that we're in an adversarial position with China. That they have not acted like a friend, but more as an enemy of the United States in terms of a lot of their trade practices.

Trump -- there's nothing more than Donald Trump would like to do than get this thing resolved in a way that helps the United States --

HARLOW: Yes.

MOORE: And creates what he call as level playing field. One of the things that I've heard from some of my White House sources who are going to be going -- who are over there now in Argentina is they worry that, you know, China may, on paper, agree to things, but, you know, it is sort of like the old Soviet Union. You've got to have the Reagan principle of trust but verify.

HARLOW: Right.

MOORE: They're worried that, you know, China will agree to things on paper, but not follow through with it. So this is still, I think, a very early stage in these important negotiations.

HARLOW: Right.

Let me ask you, Stephen, though, before you go.

[09:45:01] MOORE: Yes.

HARLOW: On human rights, the administration has said they will bring up human rights when the president meets with President Xi this weekend. You've got not only the human rights abuses against a million Muslim, you know, yeegors (ph) in the country, you also now have two young Americans, age 19 and 27, who have not been allowed to leave China since June. And that's not a fact that I think a lot of American people know, but that should be very important to the president.

MOORE: I agree with you.

HARLOW: Are you at all concerned -- are you at all concerned that as he has done with Saudi Arabia, President Trump will be willing to place business interests of the United States in getting a trade deal with China ahead of all else, ahead of human rights issues?

MOORE: Well, look, I think they're all important, no question about it. I can't speak for the president on, you know, those human rights negotiations, but you're exactly right, there are horrible human rights violations. They've moved in the wrong direction on human rights over the last ten years in Beijing.

But the -- in terms of the big economic picture, which is what I focus on, Poppy --

HARLOW: Yes.

MOORE: You're getting a deal with China. If we can get this done, the American economy is -- and the global economy will explode. I mean the -- what's at stake here is really huge for the economy. Not just for the next couple of years, but potentially for decades.

HARLOW: OK.

MOORE: And I would love to see an arrangement where both countries agree to lower tariffs, you know, free trade is good for the world, but China is not -- I like what Trump has basically been saying for the last couple of years, which is I -- Trump says, I didn't start this trade war with China. They started this with us, you know, ten years ago and we finally have a president who is calling them out on it.

HARLOW: Yes. Well, it's sort of like kids, you know, in kindergarten. It doesn't really matter who started it. Who's going to stop it? I guess we'll see.

Stephen Moore, thank you.

MOORE: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: The New York attorney general is investigating a huge data breach at Marriott Hotels. The hotel chain says its guest reservation system was hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of, get this, half a billion people.

Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here.

Half a billion.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: It's the how many people and how long this went on that is really terrifying here. I mean this is if you stayed at a Marriott property over the past four years. They realized this was happening on September 8th by sometime in November they realized that an unauthorized party had gotten into their reservation system, had copied and encrypted and tried to take out all of this information. These are the brands. If you've stayed at any of those Starwood Marriott brands.

Here is what was exposed. They don't know how many duplicates there are, so that's where the 500 million number comes from.

HARLOW: OK.

ROMANS: But they know that 327 million, at least of them, lost their name, address, phone number, e-mail, gender, passport number, date of birth, arrival and departure information and then, for some, credit card numbers and expiration dates. Now, those had some encryption on them, but Marriott doesn't know yet if the encryption stuff was also exported and could have been breached.

The security experts I'm talking to, they are less concerned really about the credit card numbers, because you would see that on your credit card bill.

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: They're worried about all that other information.

HARLOW: I'm worried about all that other information.

ROMANS: Where someone could open up unauthorized accounts in your name.

HARLOW: Yes. Right.

ROMANS: Several -- several of the security experts saying, you know, you should seek a credit freeze at Transunion, Experian and Equifax and you should go to the Starwood Marriott website and their -- they have some things they're offering to help you monitor the web. But this is very -- a very big unauthorized party. I don't know who it was yet.

HARLOW: Yes, just -- just one they're making clear it sounds.

ROMANS: Unauthorized party, which I think is really interesting.

HARLOW: OK. Thank you, Romans. Important reporting. We appreciate it

Also this, just into CNN, a just has set a 2:00 p.m. hearing today for former FBI Director James Comey, seeking to quash, Comey is, that subpoena, by the House Judiciary Committee to appear next week. That's because it's behind closed doors. He's repeatedly said he'll show up and he's happy to testify but only in public if the entire American population can watch.

All right, we'll see what happens today at 2:00.

A quick break. We'll be right back.

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[09:53:30] HARLOW: All right, life expectancy in this country has fallen once again. Why? Because of opioid use. The head of the CDC is issuing such a stark warning about this, calling it a wake-up call for everyone. Last year alone, drug overdose deaths in general jumped 10 percent nationwide.

With us, our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

And when you look at the areas hit hardest by this, Sanjay, it's Ohio, it's West Virginia, it's Pennsylvania, and the pain keeps getting worse. And now people, children, not living as long because of it.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It, you know, we talk about these stories. You hear about these drug overdosed and drug overdose deaths in these places, like you mentioned, and now you see the impact that it has on the life expectancy of the entire country.

Take a look. Look, life expectancy is now 78.6 years. It's down a month from what it was last year. So you think, well, that doesn't sound like a big deal. The problem is that it's been trending down now for a few years in a row, three years in a row. That hasn't happened really since World War I where we actually have a continued decrease in life expectancy. The richest country on earth. Spend more money on health care than any other country on earth. And our life expectancy is going in the wrong direction.

And for the reasons you just mentioned, Poppy. And, again, just those -- these opioid overdose deaths, 2017 numbers they are, you see that they went up about 10 percent. Those are drug overdose deaths total. Most of them being opioids.

Take a look at that bottom number as well. The suicide rate up nearly 4 percent. And that suicide rate, Poppy, since 1999, has gone up 30 percent. So suicides and opioid overdose deaths, they are called deaths of desperation. And it's what's happening and it's what's driving life expectancy down.

[09:55:14] HARLOW: You've been in the field countless times, as I have, talking to these families and they talk about it, Sanjay, as sometimes as a lost generation, really, to this crisis.

GUPTA: You talk to people who have been doing this for a long time, Poppy, doctors and clinicians, 50 years. They've seen AIDS. They've seen conflict. They say that this is the worst that they have seen.

HARLOW: Wow.

GUPTA: And even impacting the whole country the way that it is.

HARLOW: Absolutely. It spans sort of every race, religion, socioeconomic level. You name it.

Sanjay, thank you for being on top of this for us. GUPTA: You've got it. Thank you.

All right, moments from now, President Trump will make his first appearance with all of the other leaders at the G-20 in Argentina. They call it the class photo. You'll see it here.

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