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CNN NEWSROOM

The Author Of A New Tell-All Book About President Trump Faces A Twitter Attack; Four Houston Police Officers Are Still Recovering After A Deadly Shootout With Two Suspects Inside A Suspected Drug Den; Leader Schumer Has Just Announced That Stacey Abrams Will Be The Democrat To Be Giving The Rebuttal To The State Of The Union; Two New Documentaries Have Exposed Just What An Epic Fail The So-Called Luxury Musical Festival Turned Out To Be And The Lawsuits Keep Coming. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired January 29, 2019 - 14:30   ET

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


POPPY HARLOW, ANCHOR, CNN: So we'll watch.

BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, CNN: So Bloomberg wouldn't affect Biden TBD?

HARLOW: I don't know. I didn't get an answer. I pushed. I pushed.

BALDWIN: We won't, thank you so much for jumping on set and giving us the quick preview. Do not miss Poppy's full interview with former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz. There's going to be a bit more tonight at 7:00, but really a lot more tomorrow morning. Poppy, thank you very much.

Still ahead, the author of a new tell-all book about President Trump faces a Twitter attack, well, live on CNN, see his his fast response in real-time, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Four Houston police officers are still recovering after a deadly shootout with two suspects inside a suspected drug den. All of the officers survived, but the Houston Police Chief said prayers are needed for two officers who were shot in the face. The Chief said the brave men are undercover narcotics officers who were trying to serve a warrant, when they entered the house, gunfire surrounded them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ART ACEVEDO, CHIEF, HOUSTON POLICE: Upon making entry, they immediately came under fire. The first officers through the door armed with a shotgun was charged immediately by a very large pit bull that charged at that officer. He discharged rounds that we know that the dog was struck and killed.

At the same time, a male suspect came from around the back and started - and opened fire with a .357 magnum revolver. That officer was struck in the shoulder. He went down, fell on the sofa in the living room at which time, a female suspect went towards that officer, reached over the officer and started making a move for his shotgun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: And here are the suspects. A man and woman, both of them were killed in the shootout. Hospital official says one of the officers shot in the face will have to undergo additional surgery. So with me now, Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner and the Police Chief, Art Acevedo. Gentlemen, thank you so much for hopping on TV with me. I know it's been a tough day for you all. Chief, and then Mr. Mayor, please chime in as well. I know you've been to the hospital, how are these officers doing? Can you give us an update?

ACEVEDO: Well, you know, the mayor and I just left there a few minutes ago and the spirits of the officers are lifted up high and they're hanging tough. They're tough. Their families are tough. Their colleagues are tough, but more importantly, they have tremendous support from the community.

BALDWIN; Mr. Mayor, what did you see?

SYLVESTER TURNER, MAYOR, HOUSTON: Look, we had a chance to check in and visit with the two that are seriously injured, but in stable condition. I would tell you, one of them, one of the veteran police officers. He had what my mom would call a strong Constitution. He wanted to talk and when he couldn't communicate verbally, he asked for a pen and a pad and he wrote us. He wrote us a note that he went in because he saw these other officers going down and so he went in to protect them.

The other one looks good, also in good spirits, so we've just - we're just so thankful that they are both still with us. In fact, that all five who were initially injured, they're still here and we're thankful for people and with their prayers and the support that they've given to our police force.

BALDWIN: Thank goodness. Hopefully these guys and their families are feeling it. I do want to play some sound. This is the Houston Police Officers Union offering some pretty strong comments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE GAMALDI, PRESIDENT, HOUSTON POLICE OFFICERS UNIONO: We are sick and tired of having targets on hour back. We are sick and tired of having dirt bags trying to take our lives --

ACEVEDO: I understand that passion. I understand his passion, his compassion. We are being shot on a regular basis. If you look at the officer fatalities this year from gunfire, they are up. I would say that I would express my personal frustration at lawmakers that know that we have a public health epidemic in this country that we call gun violence. We know that that for whatever reason, they offer a lot of prayers, but you know what? We don't need prayers from - we didn't elect people to pray for us. We elect people to lead us --

And sooner or later, will reach a point in our country where we're going to say, we're not doing enough about gun violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: Chief Acevedo, I could do an entire hour with you on gun

violence in this country. But just - can you just elaborate more? What do you mean by that?

ACEVEDO: Well, I mean, look, we're very blessed. We have a city with my boss, Sylvester Turner first of all, he's looking for solutions and so when we had this shooting down in Santa Fe while some folks were talking about prayers and still haven't done much, he put together a commission.

We've worked together with the Mayor's leadership and major state chiefs, adopting a position paper in how we can address gun violence and sadly, it should really be at the Federal level if that doesn't work at the state level. But we need a comprehensive approach to combatting the scourge of gun violence and too often these elected officials at the national level, they offer prayers, but we have an entire community praying for us. We need legislative action like universal background checks and things of that nature that can help people in our community and our officers safer.

BALDWIN: Do you feel like they're listening to you, Chief? Do you feel like they're listening to you in Washington?

ACEVEDO: I think they're listening. I think they're listening not just to the Chief, but they listen to the young people that really have captured the attention of this country and I think they're going to make a difference. But I think they are not listening enough. We're hopeful this session here and I'll let the Mayor pipe in, because we're doing it at the state, work at the national level that we're going to get some things done. I think the time is now. It's not too soon to talk about this. It's well past time.

BALDWIN: Go ahead, Mayor Turner.

[14:40:00]

TURNER: Well, let me just say that, you know, often times when incidents of this kind happens, the first thing that we always say is that we are praying for the victims and we're praying for their families, but I will say that prayer without work is dead, and so you have to pray, but then at the same time when you're finished praying, you've got to make things happen.

There's no question. There's too much gun violence within our community. There's no question that we don't want to see one police officer shot or injured. We don't want to see one community person, one student, one child, one mother or father shot at all. So we have to do more and can we do more? The answer is absolutely yes. We put together the Mayor Commission Against Gun Violence, the legislature in Texas is currently in session. And so we're going to push for reforms in that regards.

We need to make our society safe. We need to make our schools, our parks and our neighborhoods safe. So there's a lot of work to be done. Let me quickly say, I understand people's passion, okay. I understand

that. We don't want any police officers shot and the community, I've have just been very proud of the way the people in this community have responded. I've been very proud of that. The response that we've received across the country. And so we're going to have to work together -- police and community -- working together to keep our city and our community safe.

BALDWIN: Gentlemen, I appreciate you both and such strong, strong statements from both of you Mayor Turner and Chief Acevedo. Thank you so much.

TURNER: Thank you.

BALDWDIN: And of course, thinking about those officers and their families. Appreciate you. He is the former White House aide selling a tell-all book about a chaotic West Wing. But during a live scene interview today, the President responded to him in real-time. We'll show you what happened.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:45:00]

BALDWIN: Reports of an enemies list, expletive latest comments by former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. A diss of former House Speaker Paul Ryan -- these are all revelations coming out of this new book. It's called "Team of Vipers" written by former Trump aide, Cliff Sims.

The tell-all book paints this cut throat picture of life inside the Trump White House as Sims explained to my colleague this morning, Alisyn Camerota.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLIFF SIMS, FORMER TRUMP AIDE: You know, when you're around Donald Trump, there's something about him - the best way I could describe it is, is similar to people talking about Steve Jobs when they called, there was like a reality distortion field around Steve Jobs, and when you're around the President, everything seems bigger, everything seems grander. And you know, there could be good things about that, but there's also a kind of this atmosphere that gets created that is extremely cut throat, I think every White House is probably tough, but I think especially the atmosphere that's been created there that encourages a lot of the infighting.

One of the things I tried to do in the book is get people inside of Donald Trump's head because like you said, there are sometimes where you're just like, what are we doing? And one of the things - one of the points I make in the book is for him, everything is personal. Everything is a personal relationship, so that manifests itself in foreign affairs, his personal relationship with the foreign leader is more important almost than geopolitics.

It's like that with the way he interacts with the staff. It's like that when he has these political vendettas that you think are like, this is kind of a distraction from the main point. But everything for him is deeply personal.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, ANCHOR, CNN: The President just tweeted about you while we've been doing this interview.

SIMS: Really?

CAMEROTA: Yes, I'll read it to you right now and to myself, "A low level staffer that I hardly knew named Cliff Sims wrote yet another boring book based on made-up stories and fiction. He pretended to be an insider when, in fact, he was nothing more than a gopher."

SIMS: Nice.

CAMEROTA: "He signed a nondisclosure agreement. He is a mess."

SIMS: There it is. I knew that that was a possibility when I wrote this book. But you know what I said? My identity is not wrapped up in being a Trump staffer. It don't matter to me what Donald Trump or anyone else says that I am.

CAMEROTA: You don't mind being called a gopher.

SIMS: It doesn't matter to me one bit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: How about that? Reacting in real time to Trump's tweet about him. So we're getting more reaction from the President. In a new article in POLITICO today says the President is quote- unquote, "very pissed off about former aide Cliff Sims new book. Sims as we mentioned worked in the White House as a communications aide and special assistant to the President but Trump is apparently asking aides, "Who is this guy? Why is he writing this book? He wasn't even in meetings."

Daniel Lippman is the man with the scoop today. He is the co-author of POLITICO's playbook who wrote the piece, and so Daniel, my goodness, first how fun was that watching Cliff Sims reacting to being called a gopher by the President and then, you know, now you have all this juicy detail in your piece about, I guess Trump - they were wrestling within the White House of how to respond. Tell me - tell me what some of the advisers were urging him to do or not do?

DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER, POLITICO: You know, they were telling him they were going to take care of it, go run the world. Don't worry about this guy who you barely remember and instead, President Trump's tweet only makes Cliff Sims richer. More people are going to buy that book because of the President's tweet and so kind of back firing with the President's reaction.

BALDWIN: So he's a gopher according to the President, hardly knew him, he is you know, referred to as just the videographer. But in reading your piece, juxtapose those words with how Sarah Sanders characterized him when he left, when she was talking to that Alabama news outlet, what did she say?

LIPPMAN: Yes, she said he was a valuable member of the team. They were sad to see him go and it was all, you know, nice and rosy back then, but once he wrote a book, then the knives are out for this guy. And I think it's kind of ironic that they're saying it's fiction, yet they're going to look at legal options to potentially sue him for violating that NDA ...

[14:50:10]

LIPPMAN: ... that lots of White House staffers sign and so, you really can't have it both ways.

BALDWIN: No, you can't. No, you can't: And as we've been talking, there's been a new piece of news totally turning the page here out of the Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer and I just wanted to ask you about this, so Leader Schumer has just announced that Stacey Abrams will be the Democrat to be giving the rebuttal to the State of the Union. Of course, she worked for many years in the Georgia State House. She was the Minority Leader there. She just lost the Georgia Gubernatorial race in November. She would have been the first black female governor in the country. Is this the first time someone not in Congress has given the rebuttal?

LIPPMAN: I think we'd have to look back at the history books. But they don't have that very often and Democrats clearly see her as a rising star. She's looking at running again in 2020 and so, the National Democratic leadership wants to keep her in the mix and I think it will look probably a bit better than Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, they did that response when, you know, Trump had his immigration speech.

BALDWIN: Right. Stacey Abrams, a force to be reckoned with. Daniel Lippman, thank you very much. Good to see you.

LIPPMAN: Thanks Brooke.

BALDWIN: Still ahead here, some tip top models could be feeling the heat over the fire festival. Two new documentaries have exposed just what an epic fail the so-called luxury musical festival turned out to be and the lawsuits keep coming.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:55:00]

BALDWIN: Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski -- some of the most famous, glamorous models in the world could now be subpoenaed for promoting this disastrous fire music festival. The ruling is part of a bankruptcy case involving the ill-fated festival that took place in the Bahamas in April of 2017.

These supermodels were all featured in the glossy videos, their social media campaigns leading up to this whole thing, and now a Federal judge says those models must now say how much they were paid for their part in promoting the this fiasco. The fire festival was hyped as an upscale exclusive experience on a

private island costing thousands of dollars for these concert goers. These concert goers instead arrived to find organizers failed to provide more than basic necessities and then the whole thing dissolved into chaos.

Billy McFarland, he was the founder of this festival. He has been sentenced to six years in prison on fraud charges related to the event, and it's now the models who promoted the festival who are caught in this crossfire and this whole thing is back in the news after these two documentaries about the event premiered on Hulu and Netflix.

And so with me now, Lola Ogunnaike, anchor for People TV who I've not been able to stop talking about the fire festival. You haven't been able to stop talking about the fire festival. I mean, we are those people. I have spent too much time in front of my TV watching this whole - this fiasco.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, ANCHOR, PEOPLE TV: Both the Netflix and the Hulu documentary.

BALDWIN: Of course, and then these models, how much were they paid?

OGUNNAIKE: So Kendall Jenner was paid $250,000.00 - a quarter of a million dollars for one post about this event.

BALDWIN: One Instagram post.

OGUNNAIKE: One Instagram post.

BALDWIN: And she wasn't even physically there.

OGUNNAIKE: No, she wasn't physically there, no. Emily Ratajkowski who was physically there was paid $299,000.00 to appear and to post about this event.

BALDWIN: So they're potentially in trouble, although, I suppose they had no idea. They were there thinking they were, you know, part of this video to get people to come to the fire festival. They had no idea how much of a disaster it would have been months later.

OGUNNAIKE: That's exactly right and that's going to be their argument. Right now, it's important to be clear that this is not a criminal investigation. This is a bankruptcy proceeding. Billy McFarland, the mastermind behind this entire scam kept no financial records. So Gregory Messer who's the trustee overseeing this bankruptcy case is just trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

Subpoenas are one way to get everyone to cooperate, so he's sending them out to any celebrity, any influencer, any public figure who was involved in this event and just trying to get to the bottom of how much they got paid, any correspondence between Billy and the organizers of this event. He is trying to figure out what happened.

BALDWIN: Because how many million was he just like - millions and millions and millions of dollars.

OGUNNAIKE: He was making it rain all over the Bahamas, $26 million has gone missing. $5 million alone to just the influencers.

BALDWIN: And what about - okay, so having watched way too much of this, JaRule who is all throughout these documentaries was Billy's partner.

OGUNNAIKE: He was his partner in crime.

BALDWIN: How much trouble could he be in because so far not, correct?

OGUNNAIKE: Here's the interesting thing, Brooke, JaRule not been charged with any criminal or civil charges. I wanted to get that language correct because I think it's important that again, his reputation has been destroyed, what was left of his career has probably been obliterated but he has not been charged with anything yet and as you all mentioned earlier, Billy McFarland is currently serving six years in prison.

BALDWIN: Stunning. Stunning. If you have a free two hours, I recommend it.

OGUNNAIKE: I highly recommend. You'll never look at Evian water the same way again. I had to go there. I am sorry, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Never. Just take her words for it. Lola, thank you so much. Good to see you.

OGUNNAIKE: Good to see you, too.

BALDWIN: Let's move on. Hour two, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Let's talk Roger Stone. Roger Stone has been a friend of Donald Trump's for decades.

[15:00:10]