Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Interview with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL); Little Progress Made on Funding for Border Wall; Purdue Pharma Accused of Doubly Profiting off Opioid Crisis; Bill Belichick and Sean McVay's Public Statements Before Super Bowl Sunday. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired February 1, 2019 - 10:30   ET

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


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Knowing what we know now, should it be?

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D), ILLINOIS: Well, I think that Congressman Schiff or Chairman Schiff is correct to want to call Mr. Don, Jr. in, but --

HARLOW: But on this. On the calls. I mean, now that we know this from Senate intel documents.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Right.

HARLOW: Do you feel at peace, knowing that? And -- or do you feel like you need to --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: No. We need --

HARLOW: -- further question Don, Jr. on those calls?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: -- we need more information. We need more information. A, we need more information about what the records were that were produced. Because it wasn't produced to the House Intel Committee --

HARLOW: OK.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: And then secondly, we don't know if Don, Jr. went down the hallway and talked to his father at Trump Tower. I mean, he might have had meetings contemporaneous to this situation that had nothing to do with phone calls.

HARLOW: You will be questioning Michael Cohen behind closed doors next week. What is the most important thing you'd like to ask him?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, obviously there's going to be a lot of classified information that I'm sure that he'll be sharing with us, and I can't get into that --

HARLOW: But your question?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: But my -- but my questions, general questions to him will be about his interactions with the president. You know, we know that the discussions about the Trump Tower extended far beyond the January time frame that he originally talked about in front of Congress, and for which he was found to lie and he was convicted of lying.

HARLOW: On the oversight side --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Yes.

HARLOW: -- there's a question as to whether or not the Oversight Committee, which you're also a member of, will have Michael Cohen appear --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Right.

HARLOW: -- before them next week for testimony. Mark Meadows -- Republicans Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan are so interested in knowing about this that they've sent a letter to the chairman of the committee, Elijah Cummings, asking him, you know, "Let us know, will you be interviewing Michael Cohen?" Can you answer that question?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, in my -- in my opinion, he will appear before the Oversight Committee in some form or fashion --

HARLOW: But it --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: -- whether it's voluntary or otherwise --

HARLOW: But will -- next week, I guess. Not an opinion. A statement of fact. Is it factual that Michael Cohen is planning appear before your committee next week?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I don't know.

HARLOW: You don't know?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: We know -- we know that Mr. Cummings and his staff has been working --

HARLOW: OK.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: -- with Mr. Cohen on trying to give him assurances of safety because of certain --

HARLOW: Sure.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: -- threats that were made to him.

HARLOW: Let me ask you about overall. Because you are on these two key committees with these investigations, as they pertain to the president.

Something struck me in the new ABC-"Washington Post" poll that was out earlier this week.

TEXT: How do you think Dems will handle investigating Trump? Go too far, 46 percent; Won't go far enough, 17 percent; Handle it about right, 34 percent HARLOW: Of Americans, 46 percent think that the Democrats will go too far in investigating the president. Look at those numbers, 46 percent. And then 17 percent not far enough, and then 34 percent about right. Does that concern you?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I think that we have to be very careful not to go after somebody, but to basically surface the facts and the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

As a former prosecutor in Illinois, I know that you have to investigate before you prosecute, and that's what we have to do here.

HARLOW: Finally, 2020 because, hey, 640 --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: 2020.

HARLOW: -- days out is not too early to be asking --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Have you started the countdown calendar?

HARLOW: Oh, I'm surprised we don't have a clock, 640-day clock on the corner there. Corey Booker, Senator Corey Booker of New York, announcing a run this morning. Who do you think, so far, that is in this, has the best shot at beating Donald Trump?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I don't know. I think Donald Trump looks pretty weak right now, based on the latest polls. And perhaps a lot of candidates would be able to defeat him from our side. However, I think the key thing is we have to set forth a vision for what the country's going to look like in 2024, 2028 and beyond. Has to be inclusive. Has to include all Americans.

HARLOW: You know, lifelong Democrat until now, Howard Schultz, former Starbucks CEO, thinks your party has gone too far left, and makes promises like Medicare for all, that he says are unaffordable for this country. That's why he may run as an independent. Do you welcome that?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I think that if Mr. Schultz wants to join the debate, he should. I just question, you know, whether doing so as an independent might play into Donald Trump's hands --

HARLOW: Why (ph)?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Because it would weaken --

HARLOW: But why? Why do you think he's --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: -- weaken candidates otherwise.

HARLOW: Why do you think he's going to -- he would pull more from Democrats than Republicans? What evidence do you see of that?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: We don't know for sure. However in my humble opinion, I think that if he is trying to bring a progressive voice to the table as well, you know, it could complicate matters for a lot of people who are trying to do the same thing.

But more -- the more the merrier. We need -- we need people bringing their views to the table.

HARLOW: It will be a crowded one, that's for sure. Congressman, thank you.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you so much, Poppy.

HARLOW: Nice to have you here.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you so much.

HARLOW: We appreciate it.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you.

[10:34:30] HARLOW: All right. President Trump is calling the talks to prevent another government shutdown "a waste of time." Why? Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: President Trump says that he will not take no for an answer when it comes to money for his desired border wall, and signals that he may plan to do -- what he plans to do if bipartisan talks do not come up with a deal.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I've set the table very nicely. I've set the stage for doing what I'm going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you'll wait out the 21 days before you take any action?

TRUMP: Yes, I'm going to wait until the 15th. I think it's a waste of time.

HARLOW: Joining us now, Marc Short, CNN political commentator and former director of legislative affairs at the White House.

You know, one thing that is great is you get -- I mean, that's a really straight answer from the president. He thinks it's a waste of time. That's -- I don't know, what do you think, hearing it?

MARC SHORT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it's strong to call it a waste of time, Poppy. But I think that, look, when Speaker Pelosi said there'd be zero wall funding, I think we know where this is headed and I think it is going to head to a -- to a declaration on the 15th, and --

[10:40:07] HARLOW: Of a national emergency?

SHORT: Yes. And then we'll move -- hopefully the appropriations process will be able to move forward without that piece of it, and get a bill signed to keep the rest of government open.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you -- and I know you don't love the idea of a national emergency

SHORT: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- declaration. That's going to be challenged in court. May very well be stayed in court. Is that really a win for the president?

SHORT: Well, I'm not saying it's a win, Jim, because the reality is that what would be a win is if we had Congress to work with, he'd (ph) actually fund it --

SCIUTTO: Right.

SHORT: -- but if they're not going to, I think the president feels strongly, this is something that's needed for border security. And I think it's important for us to keep remembering, we have made this about Trump's wall. In reality, what the plan is, is something that Customs and Border Patrol career officials have said they need to protect the border.

SCIUTTO: Right.

HARLOW: Can I ask you, long-term, where this gets us, then? So let's say he declares a national emergency in two weeks. And I think the last reporting I saw was -- asks for about -- takes about $7 billion, right? More than the $5.7 billion for the wall. That does not a full wall build, right?

So that's going to build part of it -- barriers, fence, what have you. So then what? So for the next chunk, another national emergency? The next chunk, another national emergency?

SHORT: Hopefully the president will be able to make his case to the American people in a way that Congress is --

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: But I don't get it because he hasn't been able to yet.

SHORT: Well, he hasn't been able to yet with a new Democratically controlled Congress. Last year -- keep in mind --

HARLOW: That's not going to change in two years.

SHORT: -- last year, keep in mind, what the administration asked for was $1.6 billion, and they got that in the appropriations process.

SCIUTTO: Right. And then the president changed his mind on that.

SHORT: Yes.

SCIUTTO: And, look, to be fair -- and you know this -- Republican- controlled Congress for a long time --

SHORT: Yes. SCIUTTO: -- prior to the -- to this moment. But I wonder, you know,

just -- and again, it's all about moving forward here because it seems like neither side has an appetite for another government shutdown --

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- they've calculated that. But for Republicans more broadly, because this is a message the president pushed very hard during the midterm elections, and a lot of data that didn't work for him --

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- to the degree he wanted it to, in those key races here. Is this a good look for the Republican Party?

SHORT: Jim, I think it's a -- it's a good look to say that we're secure -- we're focused on border security. I think it's also a concern for Democrats, frankly, if it comes across as if they're not for border security.

If the Democrats put forward a plan to say, "Here's how we would secure without the wall," they have a stronger leg to stand on.

SCIUTTO: But they have --

HARLOW: But they have.

SCIUTTO: -- that has been their position, has it not?

HARLOW: They have.

SCIUTTO: You know, technology --

(CROSSTALK)

SHORT: They just -- that's been their position. That's been their position. Show me the actual plan, looking forward. Because when we ask for more funding for judges, they said no. When we asked for more funding for ICE agents, they said no. When we asked for more funding for detention beds, they said no.

So up and down, on multiple things -- not just the wall -- they've continued to deny funding for this.

HARLOW: Except the president made really clear in this "New York Times" interview, that any offer from the Democrats without wall funding is a nonstarter.

So do you -- I mean, you've worked with the president, you've worked with the White House. Do you think that is playing hardball to get them to the table with more of what he wants? Or is he serious, that if -- if it included all that other stuff you just mentioned but not wall funding, he (ph) won't (ph) do (ph) it (ph) --

SHORT: No, I think he's very serious in believing that a wall is central to helping provide security.

SCIUTTO: I have not met a Republican or Democrat who likes the idea of an emergency declaration, except, perhaps, Senator Lindsey Graham, who tweeted -- is tweeting --

SHORT: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- support every day. I mean, the future would then be -- and what would the Republicans' response be to a Democratic president who says, "Gun violence, 40,000 people died this year from gun violence --

SHORT: Sure.

SCIUTTO: -- "it's a national emergency. I can't get this legislation through Congress. I'm going to do it."

SHORT: Yes.

SCIUTTO: You know, this is a dangerous precedent.

SHORT: It's not a good precedent, Jim. But let's step back for one second because it isn't (ph) statute. It is not something that's constitutional. It's not like it's some -- the executive branch has that. It's something Congress gave them after 9/11. Congress can change that statute.

So if Congress feels it's setting a bad precedent, they can always go back and say, "We are reclaiming this authority," and not provide it to the executive branch any longer.

SCIUTTO: Right. Fair enough.

HARLOW: What's the impact, do you think, of this, if at all, on 2020? Because we're far away. And I ask you that, there's new polling out of Quinnipiac, 49 percent of voters trust Pelosi -- Nancy Pelosi -- more than the president on these issues.

But are -- does the president, you think, find comfort in the fact that we're 640 days away from 2020?

SHORT: No, I think the president honestly, Poppy, has a lot of things to run on. And not just on border security, but also on the economy. You've been covering what the -- what the numbers were today. And, you know, we have a -- we have a new entrant into the race who has a very compelling personal story on the Democrat side, who's going to be a formidable candidate.

But, you know, the reality is that the president's created more jobs in Newark than the former mayor did during his seven years as mayor. So I think that the president will have the ability to run on the economy, very strongly.

HARLOW: I don't know -- I don't know those Newark numbers, but.

SHORT: Well, in the two -- in the seven years that Cory Booker was mayor, they -- the -- according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Newark lost 53,000 net jobs. So they lost 53,000 net jobs over the course of his seven years.

I think you've seen what the economy is doing right now, and have another record month. Last month, there were five million jobs --

HARLOW: Yes, all right.

SHORT: -- created across the country.

HARLOW: We'll look at those numbers. He also brought a lot of big business and money into Newark as well. Another debate for another time. Thanks.

[10:45:03] SCIUTTO: Marc Short, thanks very much.

SHORT: Thanks for having me.

SCIUTTO: A giant in the pharmaceutical industry is facing allegations that it profited -- and handsomely -- off the opioid crisis, now raising questions around its contribution to the drug epidemic.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCIUTTO: This morning, the pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma is facing, really, alarming allegations that it attempted to capitalize, to profit off the deadly opioid crisis.

[10:49:53] According to an unredacted lawsuit, the owners of Purdue pulled in nearly $4 billion, both selling opioids and the drugs used to treat opioid addiction. The lawsuit goes on to claim that Purdue pushed painkillers on doctors and patients, while denying that the drugs were causing overdoses and deaths.

Let's speak now to CNN national correspondent Miguel Marquez to break it all down.

I mean, it's a story not just about profiting off both sides of this, but hiding the debilitating effects of the drugs at the same time.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, the central claim by the Massachusetts attorney general is that the company was trying to both sell the drugs and the remedy for the addiction to it, all at the same time.

The nearly 300-page complaint against Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sacklers, one of America's richest families, outlines how the company secretly pursued a plan dubbed "Project Tango," to become a, quote, "end-to-end pain provider."

So what exactly does that mean? The company allegedly examined selling overdose anecdotes -- antidotes like Narcan as, quote, "complementary products" to the same doctors it sold opioids to, including the highly addictive painkiller Oxycontin.

Citing internal documents, the lawsuit shows that the company referred to drug-dependent people as, quote, "an attractive market" that could earn the company billions.

The Massachusetts attorney general, whose office filed this suit, also accusing the Sackler family of deceiving doctors and patients about Oxycontin's risks, and profiting off the sale of the drug while blaming the terrible consequences on the people who became addicted.

The complaint cites a confidential 2001 e-mail from former Purdue chairman and president Richard Sackler, who wrote, quote, "We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible. They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals."

The lawsuit includes a chart that shows that the Sackler family paid themselves more than $4 billion in opioid profits between 2008 and 2016.

Purdue lost a legal battle to keep the contents of this complain private, telling CNN the Massachusetts attorney general's decision to release the full complaint is "part of a continuing effort to blame it for the entire opioid crisis, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system."

Adding, "Massachusetts seeks to publicly vilify Purdue, its executives, employees, and directors, while unfairly undermining the important work we have taken to address the opioid addiction crisis."

Eight members of the Sackler family have been named in the lawsuit, along with current and former company executives -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Listen, just an alarming story. Miguel Marquez, we know you're going to stay on it. Thanks very much.

HARLOW: Yes. Really important.

OK. Think about this for a moment. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams' head coach, Sean McVay, becomes the youngest ever to coach in a Super Bowl. And the head coach on the other side, twice his age. I also hear they're kind of friends. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:57:33] SCIUTTO: Well, the biggest game in football, you might have heard of it. Just two days away.

HARLOW: Jim's excited now. Andy Scholes --

SCIUTTO: I am excited. I'm getting caught up.

HARLOW: -- has more on Super Bowl LIII from Atlanta.

Did you drink that beer?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: No. I did not drink that beer. Plus it's warm, so I'm just going to leave it where it is, guys.

SCIUTTO: Uh-huh. HARLOW: All right.

SCHOLES: Yes, I'm 35 years old. I didn't think I would be covering a head coach in the Super Bowl that's younger than me for at least maybe four or five more years. But, you know here we are. The Rams' head coach, Sean McVay, just 33 years old. He's the youngest coach ever to take a team to the Super Bowl.

Bill Belichick, meanwhile, he is twice McVay's age. He is 66 years old. But despite the huge age gap between the two, these two guys, they're very similar. Both grew up around football. Coach Belichick, with his dad who was a scout for the Navy. Coach McVay, with his grandfather who was the G.M. of the 49ers. And Belichick, McVay, both turned into great leaders.

And I asked Coach Belichick yesterday, what were some of the lessons he learned from (inaudible) the game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL BELICHICK, HEAD COACH, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: It's always about being unselfish and just doing what's best for the team. That's why you play football.

If you like individual sports, go play golf, tennis, swim. You know. I mean, they're great to, but -- boxing or whatever, I mean, it's just, that's -- those are individual sports. When you sign up for football, you sign up for the team and you put the team first, you do what the team needs to do to win. And whatever your role is, player or coach.

SEAN MCVAY, HEAD COACH, LOS ANGELES RAMS: You know, I think to even be mentioned in the same breath as Coach Belichick, I've got a long way to go to even be in that category. I mean, he's done it for so long, so consistently.

But I think some of the things that I'd like to -- you know, to learn from when you watch and appreciate what he's done for so long, is the consistency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: And make sure to tune in to CNN tomorrow afternoon for kickoff in Atlanta. Dave Briggs, Coy Wire, Hines Ward and myself are going to get you ready for the game. That's 2:30 p.m. Eastern tomorrow, right here on CNN.

And with the Super Bowl, of course, comes all kinds of fun, prop (ph) bets (inaudible) take on the game. And Tony Romo's going to be calling his first Super Bowl for CBS.

TEXT: Super Bowl Prop Bets; How Many Plays Will Tony Romo Correctly Predict Ahead Of The Play? Over 7.5 -110; Under 7.5 -130

SCHOLES: One of my favorite prop bets this year is, how many plays will Romo predict right during the game? The over-under on that is seven and a half. He, of course, was on fire in the AFC championship game.

TEXT: Super Bowl Prop Bets; Will any scoring drive take less time than it takes Gladys Knight to sing the National Anthem? Yes -145; No +105

SCHOLES: Another good prop bet, will any scoring drive take less time than it takes Gladys Knight to sing the National Anthem? Guys, the over-under on Gladys Knight on the anthem is a minute forty-nine. I would take the over on that.

TEXT: Super Bowl Prop Bets; How many times will the broadcast mention Sean McVay's Age? Over 1.5 -270; Under 1.5 +180

[11:00:03] SCHOLES: And if you don't like any of those bets, guys, of course, the most popular bet every year? Heads or tails.

HARLOW: There you go.