Return to Transcripts main page
Democratic Presidential Candidates Campaign in Early Primary States; Author of Biography of Joe Biden Discusses Possibility Former Vice President will Declare Presidential Candidacy; Alleged New Tape of R. Kelly with Underaged Girl Surfaces; Special Counsel Recommends Sentencing for Paul Manafort; President Trump Declares National Emergency to Appropriate Funding for Border Wall; Interview with Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN); Stockton, California, Launches Trial Run for Universal Basic Income. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired February 16, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Ladies and gentlemen, you can catch up with us anytime on CNN Go and On Demand. We'll see you next week.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It is Saturday, February 16th. I'm Kaylee Hartung in for Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. You are in the CNN Newsroom. We have got a lot to tell you about this morning.
HARTUNG: First up, Democrats are rallying like it's 2020 already. Presidential hopefuls are all over the map this weekend. They are selling their message from New Hampshire to South Carolina, Georgia and Iowa.
BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, we are learning that the president's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.
HARTUNG: And after announcing a national emergency that he himself admitted he, quote, didn't need to do, legal challenges are already stacking up against the president this morning.
BLACKWELL: And police are now saying the shooter who killed five people at a manufacturing business in Illinois had lost his job that day that he went on the shooting rampage.
HARTUNG: And if you didn't know better, you would think the election was a week away.
BLACKWELL: Look at this map. Democrats are hitting the campaign trail hard, Gillibrand, Booker, Gabbard, all in New Hampshire, Klobuchar in Iowa, Warren visiting Georgia and South Carolina.
HARTUNG: But the two big names you do not see on the map, Beto O'Rourke and Joe Biden who still haven't said definitively if they will run. Kyung Lah is in South Carolina with Kamala Harris. Good morning, Kyung. KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kaylee.
Good morning, Victor. You're right, we're still a year from the Iowa caucuses, but you'd never know it from all the activity from the Democratic side. I am at a town hall in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a critical base of Senator Harris' support. This will be the last of her visits here in South Carolina where she really does need to win this early primary, that she anticipates that she will garnering a lot of support.
But she is not the only one here. Elizabeth Warren is also in South Carolina. And if you look at the map again, take a look at what's happening in New Hampshire, because Senator Harris will be heading there the end of the long holiday weekend. She's going to be joined by Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, they are all in New Hampshire. Amy Klobuchar is in Iowa, and, again, as I said, South Carolina, Harris and Warren. So a very, very busy start to the 2020 race. Again, as you said, it's very difficult to tell that we're still a year away from those Iowa caucuses.
HARTUNG: Yes, Kyung, we need that map to keep track of everybody. But those are just the candidates who have actually announced they're running. What about the contenders still on the fence?
LAH: You're talking about all of the questions around Beto O'Rourke and Joe Biden. Let's start with Beto O'Rourke. He is in the Midwest. He spent some time in Wisconsin, he is in Illinois as well. He is going to trying to do some of these town halls and reaching out in those intimate meetings that he has that he is well known for.
As far as Joe Biden, he's hit the international stage. He is in Munich, Germany, where he is at the Munich Security Conference. He is already this morning meeting with the president of Afghanistan. So certainly, a contrast in platforms, but, again, both of those men have not said that they are going to be running for president.
HARTUNG: And they've still got plenty of time to make that decision, even though plenty of others have already beat them to the punch. Kyung Lah, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: And as Kyung mentioned, the former vice president has just been talking about America's role in the world at that Munich Security Conference. Here's a bit of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I strongly support NATO. I believe it's the single most significant military alliance in the history of the world. And I think it has been the basis upon which we have been able to keep peace and stability for the past 70 years. And it is the heart of our collective security. It is the basis upon which the United States is able to exercise its responsibilities in other parts of the world as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: Brought over again Jeff Wilser now. He's the author of "The Book of Joe, The Life, Wit, and Sometimes Accidental Wisdom of Joe Biden." Good morning.
JEFF WILSER, AUTHOR, "THE BOOK OF JOE": Good morning.
HARTUNG: You say that Biden has wanted to be president his whole life. It is now, what, four decades of him contemplating runs. But what's going to stop him at this point in his life and career when he has all of the experience that he does have?
WILSER: First off, I don't have any inside intel. But from my perspective and doing the research and what I've seen, I think that Biden might see himself as duty bound to run. He prides himself on being a person of substance. We all know the kind of Uncle Joe persona, but the reality is that he works very hard. He is a detail- oriented over-worker.
[10:05:02] And he sees himself, I'm guessing, as the absolute contrast to Trump in that regard, and he feels that he is uniquely positioned to fight Trump and heal things right now.
HARTUNG: When we look back on the 2016 campaign, President Trump didn't announce until the summer. I believe Hillary Clinton announced in April. Despite the fact that so many Democratic contenders have already announced, what do you think Biden is waiting for, and what sort of timeline do you think he could be on for making his own announcement?
WILSER: He has a lot at stake, right? His legacy is at stake. But Biden has always prided himself on being a truly a nation first kind of guy. And it's likely he sees himself as, OK, there is a personal legacy risk, but if he is able to be the best person to take on Trump, that might be worth the gamble. And so it sounds like he has to weigh those two competing forces.
HARTUNG: Biden on the world stage earlier this morning at the Munich Security Conference. What do you make of the opportunity for him to speak at a forum like that and to really take on that statesman like persona that we have seen him in before?
WILSER: Many times before. And he likes to say I know every world leader on the planet, and he does. And this is a man who has been in meetings 30, 40 years ago with Henry Kissinger, right. So he has that experience. And this is a good opportunity for him to showcase that and remind us of the depth of foreign policy he has, which is a contrast to some others out there who might currently be in the White House.
HARTUNG: Absolutely. Some of those folks having to announce so early because they need that opportunity to introduce themselves to voters. That's not a challenge that Joe Biden is facing here.
CNN has a poll that shows more than 60 percent of Democratic voters want him to run for president. If you were to throw him into the mix, though, I'm curious, how does that change the current dynamic among those who have already announced?
WILSER: It's tough to speculate exactly on which candidate helps or hurts. I think, though, that let's not forget, people love Joe Biden. People across the spectrum in a variety of demos really like Joe Biden, think he is a good guy. And it would be fun to see him in the mix and see him shake up the campaign.
HARTUNG: Last question, Jeff, real quick. Percentage chance that we see Joe Biden running for president in 2020, what are you putting it at?
WILSER: I'm going 70 percent. That's my bold prediction, 70 percent Biden is in the mix.
HARTUNG: Jeff Wilser, we appreciate your time. Thank you.
WILSER: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: New reporting that President Trump decided early last year to work around Congress to get money for his wall, and that sparked a behind the scenes battle in the White House that's still going on today.
HARTUNG: New allegations against R&B singer R. Kelly. Coming up, we speak with the executive producer of "Surviving R. Kelly," the documentary about the singer.
[10:12:35] BLACKWELL: Authorities in Cook County, Illinois, are investigating a newly surfaced tape featuring R. Kelly, the R&B singer according to attorney Michael Avenatti who is representing a client involved in the case. CNN's Sara Sidner joins us now. Sara, what can you tell us about the tape and these new accusations?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're standing outside of R. Kelly's studio here in Chicago. What I can tell you and what is important about this tape is it could be used as evidence in a case against Mr. Kelly. It has been handed over to the state's attorney's office, according to attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing a client he says can speak to all sorts of things, including obstruction of justice on R. Kelly's part.
At this point in time we have seen the tape. It is 42 minutes, 45 seconds long. And I do want to warn viewers that it is disturbing. The information I am going to tell you about here, I'm going to keep it brief to give you some idea of what is on this tape and why it's important. I will begin with saying that in the beginning of the tape you see a very well-lit room. You see it is all white. It is very well-lit, and video is very clear and it is very graphic.
You see a man who walks into the videoframe, he is completely nude. A source has confirmed to us that that is R. Kelly. And there is a female that is also on the tape, and she repeatedly refers to her genitalia as being 14-years-old. At one point in the tape he also repeats that back to her. She says it about six times. You then see the man who is identified as R. Kelly asking the girl to urinate, and then he urinates on her. So this tape, and the reason why those details are so important, is
they mirror some of the exact same details that were in a previous tape that the state's attorney's office had back in 2002. They used that tape to indict R. Kelly on 22 charges of pornography, of child pornography. They ended up charging him with 14. Those 14 charges in 2008 all went to trial. R. Kelly went to trial, but he was acquitted. One of the issues was that the jury could not positively identify whether that was indeed R. Kelly on the tape or indeed the identity of the girl and her age on the tape.
[10:15:02] Now, we have no way to determine how old the girl was just by looking at the video, but it's certainly evidence that is now in the hands of the state's attorney office. Victor, Kaylee?
BLACKWELL: Sara Sidner for us there in Chicago. Sara, thank you.
A public campaign against R. Kelly last month grew when Lifetime Television released "Surviving R. Kelly." It was a three-night series in which women claim they were kept in abusive sexual relationships, claims that R. Kelly has denied. Joining me is Tamra Simmons, the executive producer of "Surviving R. Kelly." Thank you for coming in this morning.
TAMRA SIMMONS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "SURVIVING R. KELLY": Thank you.
BLACKWELL: First, what's your reaction to hearing that there is another recording reportedly with R. Kelly and now a 14-year-old girl?
SIMMONS: Well, when I first heard about it, I just said I can't really believe that there's another tape. And unfortunately for that alleged victim, I'm just sorry that that even happened to her as well as the survivors that you see in our documentary.
BLACKWELL: So my producers tell me that you speak with the survivors almost on a daily basis.
SIMMONS: Yes. We still keep in touch.
BLACKWELL: What do you believe, have you spoken since the revelation of the tape, or what do you believe their response is, are they aggrieved because or saddened because there's another victim allegedly, or does this give them some hope that there could be prosecution, there could be conviction?
SIMMONS: I can't speak for them, but from our conversations, they're just happy that there's actually something that can be done, that's going to be done, possibly be done. So there's hope there. But then they're also saddened someone else has been affected as well.
BLACKWELL: Yes. What did you learn through your interviews, through the work of putting together -- it's three nights, six parts, I've watched it, putting together this documentary on R. Kelly?
SIMMONS: What I learned is that there's African-American women that when they tell or talk about their stories, they're not really believed. So whenever I was talking to the survivors individually before the documentary, during the process pretty much was just asking them exactly what happened, their relationship. And it was the similarity between each of them that didn't know each other, I was just like, wow, there's a system that's set in place here.
BLACKWELL: And these allegations, it's 2019, these allegations have been going on for decades, the mid 90s. Do you believe that R. Kelly will be at some point held accountable for what these women claim is a history of sexual abuse?
SIMMONS: Well, I just believe whatever is done in the dark always comes to light. So if that is true, then things are going to keep coming up, and people are going to start listening. Now the public is listening more than they ever did back in the day. Now these women have come out and they've talked, and people are like, OK, maybe they're not just after this man for money and fame and things like that.
BLACKWELL: Sara Sidner talked a bit about how this mirrors the recording that was at the center of this 2002 arrest, later exonerated, he wasn't found guilty. What do you know, or what have you learned about a possible proclivity for recording, for taping these alleged crimes?
SIMMONS: I can't really speak on any real ramifications regarding that, but I just know that everyone involved appears to be doing their due diligence to try to make sure that this doesn't happen or continue to happen again.
BLACKWELL: Tamra Simmons, thank you for being with us.
Let me go back to Sara Sidner there in Chicago. Sara, you have been listening to our conversation here, and you discussed just there the similarities between this tape you've seen and the tape from the 2002 case.
SIDNER: Yes, I do want to mention something, that "Surviving R. Kelly" was instrumental, I think, in starting to break some of this information off of people starting to come forward because they saw so many people coming out and talking about their stories, and that should be mentioned. Also, Mute R. Kelly, the group that has come up with that, women who have decided that they want radio stations to stop playing his music and to stop promoting his concerts. Concerts have been cancelled, his music isn't being played on several radio stations now.
But I do want to mention that this tape isn't necessarily a new tape. In other words, it is not necessarily something that happened right now. This tape was on VHS. It gives you some idea of the timing when this was taken. And according to attorney Michael Avenatti, this tape is believed to be an older tape. From what year we don't know, but I do want to make that clear, this may not be a brand new tape that was made recently. This may very well be a tape that is from some time ago. And I just wanted to make that clarification.
[10:20:04] BLACKWELL: Important detail there. Sara Sidner, thanks so much from Chicago. Tamra Simmons, thank you as well. HARTUNG: Coming up, acting out of greed. Special Counsel prosecutors
say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.
HARTUNG: Good morning, everyone. It's Saturday, February 16th. I'm Kaylee Hartung in for Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. You are in the CNN Newsroom.
HARTUNG: Special Counsel prosecutors say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort acted out of greed. His lifestyle of defrauding banks, the IRS, and other federal authorities may put him behind bars for the rest of his life.
[10:25:02] Manafort was convicted last year for bank and tax fraud and other financial crimes relating to working for a Ukrainian politician. Joining us to discuss is CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Josh Campbell and CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd. A lot to roll through with you two here.
Sam, I want to start with you. When you look at this 26-page outline of Manafort's eight financial crimes as they're outlined, the Special Counsel prosecutor, he said this about the Manafort case. Quote, "Given the breadth of Manafort's criminal activity, the government has not located a comparable case with the unique array of crimes and aggravating factors." Sam, can you put this into perspective in how significant this statement is?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Kaylee, Paul Manafort is certainly unique but for all of the wrong illegal reasons. This is significant both from a legal and frankly from a political perspective as well as voters look ahead to 2020. This is a sentencing recommendation by the special counsel. It will ultimately be up to the judge to decide how to sentence Manafort. In this case there will be a separate sentencing in a Virginia court under a separate judge.
But what the Special Counsel points out is that doing illegal things was a lifestyle choice for Paul Manafort. The sentencing memo details the fact that Manafort conducted these crimes over an attenuated period, over more than a decade. There were several kinds of crimes involved. They were not perpetuated out of necessity, and the law was not deterrent. Paul Manafort engaged in illegal activity while he was already indicted in two separate districts.
And it's significant from a political perspective because we have to remember this isn't just some random guy that we're discussing. This was a chairman of President Trump's campaign, and based upon the sentencing memo, we know that Paul Manafort was a creature of habit and was engaged in illegal activity so long, yet this was the man that President Trump chose to be the chair of his campaign.
HARTUNG: That's right. Josh, prosecutors say Manafort deserves up to 24-and-a-half years in prison, saying this in this document, quote, "Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law and deprive the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars. The sentence here should reflect the seriousness of these crimes and serve to both deter Manafort and others from engaging in such conduct." Ultimately, as Sam pointed out, the sentencing is up to the judge, and there are multiple sentencing dates for him. But do you see this penalty as matching these crimes as outlined?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I think so. When we think about Paul Manafort, this is someone who is just the epitome of corruption, if you read some of the court filings and you look back on his case and just all the activity that he was involved in.
But what the government does, the judicial system is one that's based on precedent. So you look back to determine how were other cases handled. And in this case, what Robert Mueller is doing is agreeing with the federal probation officials on this sentencing recommendation. But as you mentioned, it will be up to the judge to decide. It's nothing but bad news for Paul Manafort, because not only as you mentioned is this a potential life sentence for him, but as Sam alluded to, this is only one case. There's a whole other case that's involved here. So nothing looks good right now for Paul Manafort.
HARTUNG: No, it doesn't. Let's pivot to somebody else it doesn't look all that great for, long time Trump associate Roger Stone. The Special Counsel's office revealing in a court filing that prosecutors have evidence that he communicated with WikiLeaks in relation to the release of the Democrats' e-mails that were hacked. So Sam, before we get to what that means for Stone, what implications do you see this having on the future of the rest of the investigation?
VINOGRAD: The key question is how this relates back to the campaign officials. We know from Roger Stone's earlier indictment that campaign officials were directed to talk to Roger Stone about further dumps by WikiLeaks. And so my question coming out of the filing from yesterday is whether those e-mails that were part of search warrants that were found under these search warrants related to a Russian hacking case shed any new light on whether there's communication back between Roger Stone and the campaign about the timing of any dumps by WikiLeaks.
And I really want to remind viewers here that when we talk about WikiLeaks and we talk about Roger Stone e-mailing with WikiLeaks, WikiLeaks is a nonstate hostile intelligence service. This is something that Secretary of State Pompeo said when he was the director of the CIA. So Roger Stone was e-mailing with a hostile intelligence service, and it is quite possible, and we have to wait and see what the special counsel finds out, that he communicated that information back to the campaign and that there was perhaps some kind of coordination about those e-mails.
HARTUNG: So to Sam's point, Josh, considering Stone has not been charged at this point with collusion or conspiracy, what do you see his legal exposure being now?
CAMPBELL: Well, again, he is another one of these figures who is so involved in a lot of the main focus of the investigation.
[10:30:04] As you go back and you look at what Robert Mueller's mandate was, it was to determine whether there was Russian collusion and any other crimes, obviously. But it goes back to that original hack of the Democratic National Committee, the stolen information that was then weaponized and used in an election. The question always was, was the Trump campaign involved in that. And every new little thread that we see coming out of the Robert Mueller investigation appears to signal that Roger Stone was talking to WikiLeaks, which as Sam mentioned, is a hostile, nonstate intelligence service.
So again, what it will all come down to is did people in Trump world know that this information was being sought or that Roger Stone was possibly helping coordinate for this. And the one thing I'll also mention is that a lot of people look to the recent filing on Roger Stone and say, well, there's no mention of collusion here. Robert Mueller only has to tell the court as much as he needs to to justify a certain charge. There could be a superseding indictment coming down the road. We just don't know what is next for Robert Mueller. But again, things aren't looking good for Roger Stone.
HARTUNG: As we have come to learn, Friday is a very popular day for the Mueller team to share with us their latest news. Josh and Sam, thank you so much for your perspective.
BLACKWELL: White House attorneys reportedly warned the president months ago against declaring a national emergency to get money for his wall. So why did he decide to do it anyway? New details next.
[10:35:26] BLACKWELL: "The Washington Post" is reporting that President Trump told his aides early last year to find a way to pay for his wall without Congress because he knew lawmakers probably would not give him the money. Aides suggested declaring a national emergency, but White House attorneys warned there would be an uphill battle in the courts. President Trump justified his declaration by claiming there's crisis at the border. But yesterday our Jim Acosta challenged those claims.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: There's a lot of Department of Homeland Security data out there that shows border crossings at a near record low, that shows --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's because of us. The numbers that you gave are wrong. Take a look at our federal prison population, see how many of them percentage-wise are illegal aliens. Just see. Go ahead and see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: A minority are illegal aliens just for fact's sake. Republican strategist Brian Robinson, former Democratic Party chairman Scott Bolden here, both them welcome back.
SCOTT BOLDEN, FORMER D.C. DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: And let me start with you, Brian. And let's put the stats up on border crossings. We have those going back to 2000. The president seemingly does not believe his own the department of Homeland Security. This is back to 2010, let's flip to the next few years, you see 2018, 396,000, going back to 2000, they were up past a million.
BRIAN ROBINSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: These are still pretty big numbers, Victor. On a relative scale, these are still very big numbers.
BLACKWELL: Compared to 1.6 million more than a decade ago, 396,000, they're not huge numbers.
ROBINSON: And what was happening a decade ago, Victor? We were in the middle of the great recession, and that was causing a lot of this economic migration. To some degree you're seeing some economic improvement in some parts of Latin America, but nevertheless, this is still a huge financial get for the people moving up across the border, and those are still very big numbers.
BLACKWELL: You're answering a different question. My question is why didn't he believe them? Big number or small number, that can be relative. If you compare them to what we saw in the earlier part of the last decade, they're relatively small, but you can make that argument if you choose. The president says they're wrong.
ROBINSON: How much illegal immigration is OK?
BLACKWELL: That's a different question. The president, why doesn't the president believe the numbers from the CPB, believe the numbers from the Department of Homeland Security? He says they're wrong. They're not wrong. He just doesn't believe his own government?
ROBINSON: Look, what he is talking about is stopping the flow over the border. And for some reason Democrats don't care about doing it. And whatever numbers he uses, we can look around and know that we have a serious problem in the country.
BOLDEN: When Republicans say that Democrats don't care about their border and drugs and alleged criminals coming across, it borders on the nonsensical, because every Democrat cares about this country, and you care about the border. The number of people, whatever number is the number, these immigrants coming over the southern border have every right to be here. As a matter of law, they come there and they apply for asylum, then we have got to address that legally.
So all Democrats want border security. What we don't want is a wall that borders on the nonsensical, or makes no sense based on the statistics and based the law. And the military issue and what he is about to go to court, that clip with Jim Acosta and that exchange, that's at the core of what is going to happen in court, and the numbers are going to be the numbers. It's not going to be a political statement by Donald Trump.
BLACKWELL: Scott, Nancy Pelosi said during the shutdown that a wall, this is a quote, a wall is an immorality between countries. Democrats just, many of them, supported $1.375 billion for another barrier. So is a fence less of an immorality to Democrats?
BOLDEN: There are a lot of security reasons why parts of these border have fences, and most of that 1.3 or portion of it is going to go to repair those fences, repair those barriers.
BLACKWELL: But there will be 55 miles of extended border, of new barrier.
BOLDEN: Yes, you had that already. You have portions of that 55 or whatever the number is have fencing for security --
BLACKWELL: No, this is new barrier covering the border. Is that immoral?
BOLDEN: It's immoral, the idea to put up a wall to block people from coming, black and brown people from the southern border to lock them out when they have every right to either immigrate or seek asylum in the U.S. is immoral. There is a number --
[10:40:01] BLACKWELL: That's open borders then. That's just open borders.
BOLDEN: That's not open borders.
BLACKWELL: But to say that to block people when they want to walk --
BOLDEN: Hold on. It's not open borders if I'm in another country and I want to immigrate here. Whether I do it appropriately or not, once I get to this country, I can apply for asylum. The president and DOP doesn't believe that they're fleeing war or poverty or a negative economic life where they are. And so they have every right to come in. That's not open borders. We want people to come here legally. If they come here illegally, we want them to be able to apply for asylum and to be here like everyone else. Why do black and brown people from the southern border get a bad rap or have this negative political energy --
BLACKWELL: That distinction of asylum is important.
BOLDEN: Why do they have be from s-hole countries?
BLACKWELL: Go ahead.
ROBINSON: Because they are here illegally. Because they are here illegally. And I appreciate what A. Scott just did there. He just told the truth about what the Democratic position is, that whoever shows up at our border has a right to be here. No, they do not. They do not have that.
BOLDEN: As a matter of law they have a right to apply for asylum. That's the law. BLACKWELL: That's an important distinction that you didn't offer at first.
BLACKWELL: You said that it would be immoral to block people who wanted to walk into the country.
BOLDEN: I said that but --
BLACKWELL: But you added asylum. You added asylum. That's an important distinction.
ROBINSON: Which is not the main problem in this country. It's not people seeking asylum. It is people coming here for jobs. And they're coming here illegally and they're living in the shadows.
BLACKWELL: They are coming. When they present at the border, they often present themselves for asylum.
ROBINSON: We're not going to build a wall to stop people who are trying to come in legally through the portals of entry.
BOLDEN: They're not sophisticated enough to do that, though.
ROBINSON: We are talking about people coming here illegally. They are very sophisticated.
BOLDEN: They are? Poor people, poor black and brown, women, children, the majority of them are?
BLACKWELL: Scott, Brian, we have got to wrap it here. I apologize. We have actually gone over time. Brian Robinson, A. Scott Bolden, again, always enjoy the conversation. Kaylee?
HARTUNG: At least five people are dead after a man opened fire at a manufacturing business in Illinois. What witnesses say he was carrying, that's next.
[10:46:02] BLACKWELL: At least five people are dead, five police officers wounded after a man opened fire at a manufacturer. Police say the suspect was killed in a gun battel with officers. Authorities say they man was being let go by the company. According to officials, he was armed with a handgun. Witnesses say it had a laser on it. Authorities are expected to release new information at a press conference, that's next hour.
HARTUNG: Democrats on Capitol Hill are promising to fight back against President Trump's declaration of a national emergency over the border wall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called it an unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist. According to federal law, Congress can rescind a presidential emergency declaration by passing a joint resolution. If the president vetoes the resolution, Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate and the House.
And joining me now to help us get a better grasp of all of this, Democratic Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota. Senator, thanks for joining us this morning.
SEN. TINA SMITH, (D) MINNESOTA: Happy to join you today.
HARTUNG: Is Congress going to take this step to stop the president?
SMITH: Well, I think it is clear that the president has circumvented the will of Congress. Just A couple of days ago, Congress voted overwhelmingly for a package of border security that included $1.375 billion for a border wall. And now less than two days later, the president has come out with this emergency declaration that I don't think he has power to sustain. Even the president yesterday indicated that he wasn't sure that -- he knew that was going to be challenged in court on this. So I think it's important that Congress stand up for our Constitutional responsibilities and duties as described in the Constitution.
HARTUNG: And you tweeted that the president should, quote, spend more time reading the Constitution and less time on attempts at a power grab. Are you concerned for a precedent that this sets for future presidents?
SMITH: Absolutely. We are a nation that is governed by the rule of law. And this move of President Trump yesterday goes above the law. And I think that it is extremely important that we stand at this very important time in our democracy. I think it's very important that we stand up for rule of law. And you can't just make up, you can't just make things up when you're the president of the United States.
HARTUNG: It doesn't seem that disagreement with this national emergency declaration falls on party lines. There are key GOP lawmakers also reacting. Take a listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R) MAINE: I continue to believe that this is not what the National Emergencies Act was intended to be used for. It was contemplated as a means for responding to a catastrophic event like an attack on our country or a major natural disaster.
SEN. MIKE ROUNDS, (R) SOUTH DAKOTA: What about if somebody thinks that climate change is the national emergency, and then what will they do adn how far will they go?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: Senator, what sense do you get that Republicans will actually vote against the president when given the chance to?
SMITH: Well, that's going to be a real test of whether they put, whether all of us in Congress put our country ahead of our politics. Several of my colleagues on the Republican side have said that they question whether the president has this authority, and it's probably because they're looking forward and wondering what would happen someday when we have a Democratic president again.
Again, we should be a country that is ruled bylaws and not by partisan politics. I have to say only weeks ago our Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he hoped that the president wouldn't do this, and he didn't know that the president had the power to do this, and yet he now has shifted his position, which is very concerning to me.
[10:50:00] HARTUNG: And quickly, senator, lastly, given there are so many projects that could lose funding if the president gets this money that his declaration is asking for, what do you find most concerning in terms of those projects that could suffer?
SMITH: Well, the president should know that we don't have $8 billion, you're not going to find $8 billion between the couch cushions of the federal government. I'm concerned specifically in Minnesota about the impact on our National Guard and on Department of Defense construction projects that were planned here in Minnesota. I'm sure that that's true all over the country. You don't get to just willy-nilly change things like this, even if you're president of the United States.
HARTUNG: Tina Smith, senator from Minnesota, thank you for your time this morning.
SMITH: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: A man who was once a power broker in the Catholic Church is now no longer a priest. The Vatican has dismissed disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after a church trial found him guilty of sexually abusing minors for decades. McCarrick, who once led the archdiocese in Washington, will not be able to appeal the decision.
HARTUNG: Eight nurses from Canada have launched a GoFundMe page. They need to raise money to evacuate Haiti. They're trapped at a Christian charity compound because of violent anti-government protests there. They need $9,000, they've already raised more than $16,000. And we spoke to one of the nurses, Tracey Hotta, moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACEY HOTTA, NURSE TRAPPED IN HAITI: The pastor that is director of the compound has instructed us not to go outside across the highway where the road blocks are. So we're here. We can get people to come in and still provide health care for them and feeding programs. Schools have been shut. We do have a school on the compound. We are safe here, but they will not let us go outside the compound.
HARTUNG: What kind of help do people need amidst violent anti- government protests?
HOTTA: I think -- I'm not a political person, but I think they maybe want the president to step down so that they can -- they're very destitute here, and the ones that we're treating, they live in huts, they sleep on the floor, they have no running water, they have no bathrooms, they have zero health care. They're very, very destitute here, and I think they're just taking desperate measures to try to make a change for themselves. HARTUNG: You and other nurses launching this GoFundMe page in hopes
of raising money for your own evacuation, do you have any concept of when it could be that you're able to get out?
HOTTA: We have secured a helicopter as of 9:00 last night, we secured a helicopter, which is a Haitian helicopter to come on Monday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: Tracey tells us the helicopter will land at the compound and fly them directly to Port-au-Prince Airport. That way they don't have to try to make their way through any of the violence or chaos on the streets.
BLACKWELL: In this week's Mission Ahead, the city of Stockton, California, started an experiment backed by private money. The city is handing out $500 a month to 100 residents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NATALIE FOSTER, CO-CHAIR, ECONOMIC SECURITY PROJECT: A lot of people are very surprised to learn that when you work a full-time job in the United States on minimum wage that you still cannot pay the bills.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stockton, California is a city on one end of America's income inequality problem. Almost a quarter of Stockton's population is living below the poverty line. That's about twice the national average. So the city of Stockton, backed by private money, is setting up a radically simple experiment -- give 100 people $500 a month for a year and a half. Their goal, to test out a longstanding theory on a small scale. It is called Universal Basic Income.
FOSTER: So the Universal Basic Income is guaranteeing everyone an income floor, saying that every month here is money to use with no strings attached.
CRANE: And the no strings attached, that's pretty important here, and a lot a pretty radical idea.
FOSTER: Implicit in the idea of a guaranteed income is trust.
CRANE: Michael Tubbs is the mayor of Stockton. He disagrees with critics who say lower income people are ill equipped to manage that extra cash.
MAYOR MICHAEL TUBBS, STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA: When I think of the people I know who are in poverty or working class, they're really good at stretching what they have to pay bills and make ends meet, and it is not easy. If you give people money, they'll probably be better money managers than you think.
CRANE: Only 100 applicants were randomly selected. But the city and team behind the project hope to gather the knowledge that could one day help create a Universal Basic Income program on a much larger scale. (END VIDEOTAPE)
HARTUNG: Our thanks to Rachel Crane there. My thanks to you, Victor, for letting me join you today.
BLACKWELL: Thank you for being along and tolerating my coughing this morning.
[10:55:01] HARTUNG: And thanks to all of you for watching.
BLACKWELL: There's much more ahead in the next hour of CNN's Newsroom. Fredricka Whitfield is up after a quick break.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and good morning. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.