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INSIDE POLITICS

High Profile Democrats Call for Northam's Resignation; Senator Sherrod Brown Accuses Trump Of Being A Racist; Trump: African- Americans Like Me And I Like Them; Patriots Fans At CNN Revel In Latest Super Bowl Conquest; President's Private Daily Schedules Leaked to Axios. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired February 4, 2019 - 12:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:30:50] DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: High-profile Democrats who are running for president or thinking about a White House bid are going out of their way to stay publicly where they stand and it's not with fellow Democrat Ralph Northam.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He should step down and start his road to redemption. Being governor of a state is not an entitlement. I believe in the idea of redemption and we should not be judged by the lowest points in our past. But the reality is, this is hurtful, painful to betrayal of public trust.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: We were great on lieutenant governor can assume the reins. It's the only right decision right now. This has been so offensive and hateful and the racism that it hearkens back to -- it's the only choice available to him right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: Take a look at these candidates and potential presidential hopefuls calling on Northam to resign and that's just a sample of the backlash coming from inside Northam's own party. And as we have a discussion about the 2020 impact, want to look at the latest overall polling of where things stand with the 2020 field.

This comes from Monmouth the brand new poll out showing Joe Biden at the top, 29 percent, Bernie Sanders 16 percent, Kamala Harris 11 and then Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'rourke in single digits.

One of the members, potential members of the 2020 field, Sherrod Brown spoke out over the weekend and was very specific and very clear about what he thinks the Democrats' problem is. Big picture with race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Well, I think this country hasn't dealt well with the issues of race. I mean, we have a President who's a racist. I know that he built his political career knowing what he was doing on questioning the legitimacy and the birthplace of the President of the United States.

I know early and we did them all kinds of news reports about what he did early in his career on housing. The Charlottesville was only a symptom and a more public viewing, an outing, if you will, of the President's views about race.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: OK, so Sherrod Brown trying to turn it against the President, which is I guess, maybe -- I said clear, maybe I should have said clever, not clear. Trying to get creative by making a Democrat's problem, the President's problem. But it does show how delicate this issue is for both parties, but especially the Democrats because they need that African-American vote.

MICHAEL BENDER, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes, Sherrod Brown is pretty unequivocal there in his views on Trump.

BASH: Yes.

BENDER: And the -- but I do think it is sort of part of the problem for Democrats in how this reflects back on Trump.

Right now my colleague, Ken Thompson, a very nice historian (ph) laying out some of the Democratic and analysts and how they view this. And through a pure political lens, the problem here for Democrats is that this seeds the moral high ground that they believe they have right now heading into 2020. And we saw that very acutely with the President's tweet over the weekend where he, without a hint of irony, he tried to use this to immediately attack Democrats and go on the offensive.

ERRIN HAINES WHACK, NATIONAL WRITER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: That's exactly and, I mean, to your point Democrats have often claimed the moral high ground on race particularly since the civil rights movement.

Today the modern Democratic Party is seen as the party of equality and justice and they juxtaposed themselves with the GOP which mean because of their lack of diversity have had some issues and stumbled on race.

And so, because race was such a factor in the Virginia governor's race, we're already seeing -- this is a clear sign that in 2020 Democratic candidates are going to have to understand and be able to articulate and reject racism. And we're already seeing that candidate speaking out on issues from criminal justice to voting rights to immigration. They are weighing in on race early.

BASH: You mentioned 2020 and you mentioned criminal justice reform. I thought it was interesting not only did the President go after Democrats, he's politically trying to use this to court African- Americans along with or after the really landmark legislation, bipartisan legislation that he signed in criminal justice reform.

Listen to what he told CBS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [12:35:04] MARGARET BRENNAN, FACE OF THE NATION MODERATOR, CBS: So, because when colleagues of yours, even Republican Senator Tim Scott, he said, "Donald Trump is not racist", but he said you're racially insensitive.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a great relationship with Tim and certainly with his state, South Carolina, and where we do very well. And I think if you look at the numbers for African-American unemployment, best numbers they've had, literally the best numbers they've had in history. And I think they like me a lot, and I like them a lot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: This is no joke. I mean, this is President Trump actively courting the African-American vote. He did it in 2016. We're all at those rallies where he did it maybe not that artfully in a few instances to say the least. But, this is an active -- going to be an active strategy and they do think inside Trump world and I don't know what you're hearing, Kaitlan, that this huge misstep in Virginia could help them?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Of course, and they're going to point and that's what you've seen the President and his allies do, not just on this issue but on multiple issues. They'll pick one instance that proves what their argument is and this is going to be something that they're using that Democrats are hypocrites. And there're all these complaints against the President and they're try to use this to their advantage guaranteed as they're going into the President's reelection.

And I think it's not just the President, I think it's Republicans overall are trying to use this because look what happened with Steve King. He has been making the remarks he has made recently for --

BASH: Forever.

COLLINS: -- a decade. But just recently this year did you see all these Republicans come out and try to center him, take action, reprimand him, for the thins that he said and that's because they're trying to draw the line here that, no, we actually do retaliate when people have cross the line and the way Steve King has done.

BASH: Yes.

WHACK: And, I mean, before the secretary of state just last month, I mean his -- the revelation of him taking and having that photo from 2005, in blackface of the Hurricane Katrina Victim --

COLLINS: Yes.

WHACK: -- that cost him his job. And so they're saying what about, you know, if that's costing him his job, why is Governor Northam still sitting in office?

COLLINS: Yes and just stands this have him resigned immediately. WHACK: Absolutely.

COLLINS: He offered an apology but there was no conversation.

BASH: Right, and we have to remember, you mentioned the fact that certainly since this -- well, in recent times the Democrats have been seen as more sympathetic to African-Americans, but as you well know, it wasn't that long ago historically speaking that it was the Republicans who set up for civil rights in the solid South. They were all -- for the most part the Democrats that were against -- many of them were against the civil rights bill.

COLLINS: Yes, absolutely.

BASH: All right, thank you so much for joining us, giving us your reporting.

Quickly before the break, Democrats don't have -- only have to choose a nominee for 2020, they also have to pick a convention site. A couple big southern cities are on the hot list, but Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin is picking a cooler idea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D), WISCONSIN: I'm really excited about the prospect of Milwaukee hosting and where would you rather be in July of 2020?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I would love to be --

SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D), WISCONSIN: You said Miami or Milwaukee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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[12:42:30] BASH: Topping our political radar today, anxious house Democrats will soon get their chance to question Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the Trump administrations border security policies.

Congressman Mike Rogers, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee says, Secretary Nielsen will testify before the panel on March 6. Democrats on the committee wanted to hear from her this week saying, it's vital, they get her perspective on border security and immigration since the President demand for a border wall that caused the recent government shutdown.

And a new report from the Pentagon Inspector General predict ISIS will carry out what it calls opportunistic attacks on U.S. forces as they withdraws from Syria. It also warns the terror group could resurge there within six months to a year and regain limited territory. It's the first such report since the President announced plans to withdraw from Syria late last year. He said in that CBS News interview U.S. forces could be redeployed there quickly if necessary And a new poll suggests many Americans are still forming their opinions of one of the Democratic Party's young star. A new CNN survey shows a plurality say they're not sure yet what to think about 29-year-old Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

When you break it down by her party, her favorability among Democrats is only slightly higher than those who say they're unsure about her and as you can see more Republicans have made up their minds about Ocasio-Cortez and Democrats. One quick note concerning the freshman Congresswoman, CNN has confirmed, here guest tomorrow night at the State of the Union will be the woman you see there, remember her.

She confronted former Senator Jeff Flake, now former Senator Jeff Flake in the Capitol in that elevator imploring him not to support Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination in his nomination. Her name is Ana Maria Archila and she is one of Ocasio-Cortez's constituent in Queens New York.

And now to the New England patriot, sixth Super Bowl win last night. We want to share few images of CNN super fans. First the happiest person on the screen there is and he actually the CNN's MVP, John Berman who's down right giddy getting to interview Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman this morning.

And yes, we have obtained exclusive video from inside the Super Bowl party of the host of this program. Video capturing the pure joy among the King family and friends watching Tom Brady left Patriots capture yet another Super bowl championship.

[12:45:09] And I'm going to turn to you, Annie, because you are the Patriots fan. I guess second Patriots fan at this table.

ANNIE LINSKEY, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, and I'm standing in for John. Yes, look, I grew up in New England. I've got a lot of family in Boston. The reason that I am a Patriots fan though is not about any of that, it's about Tom Brady being 41 years old.

BASH: I know.

LINSKEY: And at the top of his game.

BASH: I know.

LINSKEY: I have a hard time, you know, running three miles. I ran marathons in college and I get up and I think, you know what, I can do it. If Tom Brady can do it I can get out --

BASH: If somebody in my 40s I'm going to try to buy that avocado ice cream or whatever it is when he does. And I should disclose that little person in that video was my son. I think you've got some trash talk that you wanted to --

BENDER: Yes, not to rain on the parade here but you can --

BASH: Yes. By the way, there will be another parade and (INAUDIBLE) --

LINSKEY: And they'll be snowing, OK.

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: -- in four months.

BENDER: Yes. Congrats on the sixth Super Bowl for Belichick and Brady. I would like to point out that Otto Graham and Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns had seven league champions.

LINSKEY: Who?

BENDER: Granted, it was before the Super Bowl era. But, still and also the Los Angeles Rams --

LINSKEY: Did your great grandfather tell you that?

BENDER: Have one championship in three different cities, L.A., St. Louis and Cleveland. Good luck to you on that one.

LINSKEY: One more year next year. Next year.

BASH: OK, all right, all right. All right thanks everybody.

Up next, back to politics. Up where over who leaked the President's daily schedules and a lot of questions about all of his so-called executive time.

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[12:50:50] BASH: There are leaks and then there are leaks. This one is pretty epic. It's the Trump White House and its making waves in Washington and it's not just the Trump White House, it's someone inside the administration revealing dozens and dozens of copies of the President's private daily schedule. They gave it to Axios.

And the schedule show the President spends most of his time, around 60 percent and what has been dubbed executive time. That's the free time the President enjoys to spend time watching television, making phone calls, holding impromptu meetings.

Thought, the President has not yet weigh in, the White House director of Oval Office operation took the Twitter to blast the leak and criticism of how the President's spends his time riding in park, what a disgraceful breach of trust. What this don't show are the hundreds of calls and meetings Trump takes everyday. This POTUS is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history.

SEUNG MIN KIM, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, there's a question why -- if he is doing all these phone calls and meetings, why aren't they publicly advised in the first place?

I mean, I think there -- I mean, there's a critical transparency issue. The public should be aware of the types of meetings that the President, that the commander-in-chief is taking. A couple weeks ago I found out that the President had a private lunch with Senator David Perdue of Georgia where they talked about a lot of important issues. That was not advised on the public schedule.

And earlier this later this week, Mitch McConnell made an unannounced visit to the Oval Office to talk about this national emergency issue, that was not also not announced. And so that -- there's also a leak issue but there's also a transparency issue as well.

BASH: Yes.

COLLINS: Can we talk about how leaks typically in the White House, is one staffer trying to one-up another or hurt them? This -- the only person this leak hurts is the President.

BASH: No question.

COLLINS: It makes him look like he's not doing anything. But I think it's genuinely reflective of how some people feel in the White House that often when they're trying -- these aides are working so hard to get something accomplished, whether it's the fight over the border or something else they're doing. They don't feel like the President is being well-served by staff who's not setting up events for him to do, ground table things like that, that they thing could helps them, their message that they're actually doing something.

But I do think going back to the transparency. They don't publish the visitor log to people who get access to the White House.

BASH: Yes.

COLLINS: They don't offer detailed read out of his calls with the other world leaders. And if he is having those hundreds of calls of senator and whoever, yes, the President has a right to privacy, but if it's something that they feel makes it look like the President is working on an issue that he is really behind, why wouldn't you publish it?

BASH: Yes, I mean, there's transparency. You're right, I mean, I covered the Bush White House 43 and they didn't always tell us what he was doing, but we get a lot of details of what he was doing when we didn't actually see him.

Chris Christie who has a book out talking about largely how he feels that the President is not served well by the people around him starting with the campaign and even more so now in the White House. That was this theme this morning on CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: It's just not acceptable. It's gotten better than it was the first six to nine months, but there are still problems. It's not only that some of the people around the President still don't understand how government works and how the city works.

But, he also doesn't have enough people around him that are really experienced in government. And I think, this kind of thing has got to be disturbing. I mean, I know the President very well. We've been friends for 17 years. I am confident he is really hot today about this leaking of his schedules.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BENDER: Yes, I mean, this is the sort of thing that's easy for the White House to attack and frankly kind of rally around. I think it's important the point made here a couple time early about the transparency. It is easy to get out ahead of these things if you believe that this is a good use of the President's time, then put it out there, get in front of it. The idea that these are being hidden sort of lends credibility to the argument that some people are embarrassed about this.

But when you hear the White House explain this away, someone told Axios that Trump's always up to something. That he has a, "Different leadership style," that he takes spur of the moment meetings.

Now, if you don't support Trump, you're kind of shaking your head at those quotes. But if you're a Trump supporter, you're nodding your head and that's exactly stand up for him.

BASH: Exactly and this is, I mean, yes there's the leak and why somebody inside would do this to your point, because they want to hurt the guy they work for, which is a whole other discussion.

[12:55:07] That even the President, very quickly, in "The Art of the Deal" back when he was still businessman. "I play it very loose, I don't carry a briefcase, I try not to schedule too many meetings, I leave my door open. You can't be imaginative or entrepreneurial if you got too much structure. I prefer to come to work each day and just see what develops. On that note just to give him a little bit of defense there that it is his style.

Thank you for joining us here in INSIDE POLITICS. Brianna Keilar picks up our coverage right after a bring.

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