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Campaign Trail Wind Up Through The South By Southwest Festival In Austin, Texas; House Of Representatives This Week Passed A Resolution To Formally And Officially Condemn Hatred And Intolerance Aimed At Jews, Muslims, Ethnic Minorities And Homosexuals; New California Governor Lashes Out at Trump on National Emergency; Feds Probe Martin Shkreli After "WSJ" Reports He Used Contraband Cell Phone to Run Drug Company from Jail; U.S. Women's Soccer Team Players Sue for Equal Pay. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired March 9, 2019 - 16:00   ET



[16:00:00] JOHN SUNUNU, CAMPAIGN ADVISOR, BUSH '88: George W. was very much involved in the campaign, almost there to make sure that the campaign was run the way his father wanted it to be run.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has become his father's surrogate, most trusted adviser. His father really sees his political chops during the course of the campaign. And George W. Bush makes a real contribution.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We sold our house to come up to Washington to be in the campaign. Which has been by the way, for a political junkie, a fantastic experience to be close to my dad during this.

MICHAEL DUFFY, JOURNALIST/AUTHOR: He starts asking himself and even other people what might the future end big league politics look like for me.


ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: "Bush Years" tomorrow night at 10:00 only on CNN.

Top of the hour. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Great to have you with us. Very busy Saturday on the campaign trail, this weekend is winding through the south by southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Democratic contenders, both official and unofficial, descending on this annual event along with Republicans and independents, all in a bid to connect with voters and boot President Trump from the White House.

But Texas isn't the only state seeing a lot of 2020 action this weekend. Nevada, Iowa and South Carolina, all getting a visit from the candidates. They are speaking out on everything, talking about their vision for the country, all the hot button issues of the day and they are talking about their completion, what's become a very crowded 2020 field.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our job is to create an economy and a government that works for all of us. The children, the elderly, the working people of this country and not just the one percent.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For too long, frankly in our country, for too long, we have not had these honest discussions about race. We just have not.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are a number of great candidates. No, there really are. And I was like (INAUDIBLE) to say, may the best woman win.


CABRERA: CNN's Leyla Santiago joins us now from Austin.

Leyla, a lot of buzz around Beto O'Rourke today who we didn't hear in that clip. We left our viewers in suspense. I understand he is talking about a documentary of his failed senate run. But did he give any hints about his future campaigns?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So after the sunning with Beto documentary, there was a Q&A, a few questions came up, and I would say maybe the third question from somebody in the audience who was, when will you announce a Presidential bid? There was a little bit of a laughter and then a little bit of a lean in. People waiting to hear what he would say. And he sort of deflected. He chose to answer that by highlighting other local races in other candidates here in Texas.

So another opportunity for Beto O'Rourke to publicly announce what his decision is when it comes to 2020. And he wasn't very direct about it. He did not give a yes or a no.

So let's back up a little bit. This comes after the last day of February to announce that he had made a decision as to his political future. And then I -- within an hour or so, I talked to him myself. And he said that an announcement would come soon.

Our sources are telling us, that is any day now. What it will look like and what he will say still remains unclear, as far as asking his aids and those in his inner circle what that will be. We are just going to have to wait and see.

But you know, it's interesting that he is here at south by southwest. A festival that really kind of gained attention, because of his focus on culture and entertainment. And so you do see a lot of these candidates here trying to talk to and get the attention of a very young and engaged audience here that has something to say when it comes to politics, Ana.

CABRERA: And south by southwest made a name for itself because of its focus on culture and entertainment. So I'm just curious, how did it become such a critical stop for Presidential hopefuls?

SANTIAGO: Right. Because they are trying to tap into that audience, right. These are young and engaged people who are coming out to see many of them. Documentaries about the issues you are hearing on the campaign trail about immigration, about health care. And so, when it comes to those conversations, those documentaries, those sessions, there are a lot of folks when it comes to candidates anyway, wanting to make sure that they tap that audience as a key demographic there that could really help them in standing out in what is already a crowded field.

You are seeing them do that in different ways. Beto O'Rourke, while he is not announced officially announce yet anything. He has been emailing people to talk about those issues. He hasn't really been very active on social media. But you are seeing different ways of doing that. And for some of the candidates, this is the way to reach that audience here in Austin.

[16:05:25] CABRERA: Leyla Santiago ion Austin, thank you.

I want to bring in Karoun Demirjian, congressional reporter for the "Washington Post" and "New York Times" White House correspondent Michael Shear.

Karoun, Amy Klobuchar was at south by southwest today. And she was asked about the controversies surrounding her Minnesota colleague Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Of course, Omar was the unnamed target of anti-hate resolution in the House this week after her comments about lawmakers who support Israel, let's watch.


KLOBUCHAR: I did not agree with what other representatives said there because I believe you can be true to your country and advocate for another country. Whether it is Israel or Canada or Ethiopia. You -- there are many Americans that feel strongly that they love their own country. But they advocate for maybe it is a country of their own ancestry or maybe it is another country that they care a lot about. So I didn't like what she said there.


CABRERA: So Karoun, we watched this debate among Democrats largely over what many considered anti-Semitic comments get sidetracked in the House this week, is this going to become a bigger issue on the Presidential campaign trail?

KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think potentially. I mean, it depends on a few things.

First of all, Israel and Palestinian policy is going to be an issue on the campaign trail because the Democratic Party is talking about it in ways they haven't as much in years past. There is an open debate you have seen even when the Senate has had votes, the deal with Middle East policy. A split between in the Democratic Party between Democrats who are kind of sticking to the general way of approaching that part of the world. And Democrats who are not comfortable with the idea of where is it going to a long time with the idea of saying you can't support any boycott movement, et cetera. These are all controversial issues now in the Democratic Party.

But how often they are going to have to talk about it in public like this. I think it depends on how much noise a lot of these new members keep making. Congresswoman Omar has not been able to make these points about Israel but she says she want to make without kind of threading into these areas where there's these dog whistle phrases that she is using ahead of the history of being attached to anti- Semitic - being anti-Semitic or being, you know, signals for anti- Semitism.

If she learns how to kind of abandon those and keep making her point, she is going to keep raising them, but it seems like the Democratic Party is going to have to, you know, address this issue as Congresswoman Omar and others who defend her and share her policy views keep raising it.

And the Republicans are certainly not going to let an opportunity go to ask - to force Democrats to have to account for this even the Democrats want to be talking about a much broader issue of questions of, you know, questions of racism and questions of hatred, and that's what you saw play out as the party kind of went from talking about just anti-Semitism way much broader resolution this week.

CABRERA: Right. And they argue that Democrats would rather be talking about President Trump's taxes.

DEMIRJIAN: Anything else, right.


CABRERA: Other issues. You mentioned how republicans are trying seize on this. We saw President Trump do just that, seize on the Democratic infighting over this issue. And here's how he tried to spin it. Watch.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought yesterday's vote by the House was disgraceful because it's become -- the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They have become an anti-Jewish party.


CABRERA: I can't just leave it there. I want to remind people what President Trump has said during his APAC speech.


TRUMP: Is there anybody that doesn't renegotiate deals in this room? This room negotiates. I want to renege -- this room. Perhaps more than every room I have ever spoken to, maybe more. He raised $125 million, which means he has controlled totally, totally

controlled by the people that gave him the money. That's why you don't want to give me money, but that's OK. You want to control your own politician, that's fine.


CABRERA: That on top of President Trump's Charlottesville comments that there are good people on both sides of a neo-Nazi rally that turned deadly. You also have Republican's Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy's questionable tweets. Just days ago, Steve King retweeted, you know white nationalists who has called for the elimination of Jews.

Michael, why would the President go there on this one?

MICHAEL SHEAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I mean, look, why does he do so much of what he does? It's the ultimate hutzpah that he would try to put himself kind in a higher moral plane than the Democrats.

Look. I mean, the Democrats have diverted and distracted themselves during this issue. They needed to address it. Democrats tend to be more public when they address their kind of inner -- kind of inside the party disputes. The Republicans tend to do a better job of kind of shoving it under the rug and not dealing with it. Look how they didn't deal with Steve King, representative Steve King, and his racist comments for many years, and only dealt with it when they were pushed to do so.

Look. The Democratic Party is going to hope that they can move past this, they can get on the focus on Donald Trump. And the Democratic 2020 contenders certainly don't want to be dragged back into a Washington fight when they want to be outside of Washington and talking to people and drawing the distinction between themselves and the kind of, you know, political warfare in Washington. That's the last thing that the Democratic 2020 contenders want to have to do.

[16:10:50] CABRERA: Let's talk more about the Democratic 2020 contenders and perhaps everyone is waiting on for a final answer, Joe Biden.

Michael, your newspaper reports Biden is 95 percent committed to running according to sources familiar with the discussions. Ninety- five percent, that is not 100 percent. What's stopping him?

SHEAR: Well, look. I think, you know, the first major hurdle that Biden had to get over with is a family hurdle. And we are told that is now past, that his children, his wife. Everyone in the family wants him to run. That was probably the biggest thing that he needed to get past.

But there are still questions. Can he raise the kind of money that some of these younger politicians who have sort of tapped into the real motivated and passionate liberal base of the party. They are getting all of these small dollar donors. I think there's some concern among the people around Mr. Biden that perhaps he would have to do it the old fashioned way that there wouldn't be that same kind of social media fervor for him. And ultimately, he is going to have to decide whether he thinks that this is the right time for Joe Biden, right? There is an argument that he is - that he is exactly the right moment that he is the one that can appeal to people in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan.

But there is another argument that says that his, you know, that what the Democratic Party is looking for is a real younger, more liberal standard bearer to contrast with President Trump. And so, he has got to decide ultimately, does it many make sense for him to try.

Biden is comfortably atop the most recent polls. He also enjoys an approval rating of about 80 percent among Democrats. Our Harry Enten suggests a lot of that though is simply because he was Barack Obama's vice president and Obama is so wildly popular with Democrats.

Karoun, do you think that's what it is?

DEMIRJIAN: I mean, that is the fact that Biden got king of this folksy, you know, persona that everybody kind of knows. He is a kind of - not really grandfather, be he is both statesman and like an older gentleman that was in the White House for that long.

People are familiar with him. He is, since he left the White House, he is the subject of many memes. It is everybody kind of has a little bit of warm spot for Biden. But that is very different than saying, is he the person to challenge President Trump? Is he the person that you want at the top of the ticket right now especially when the party, and Michael referred too many of these things, the party is making a very big push to let people remember the fact that they are more diverse, they are younger, they have more women that are in their ranks.

Now, it doesn't mean that their candidate for 2020 has to look like all of those things. And of course, you can't have all those things in one person. But it means that Biden is going back a generation when the party has been talking about forward thinking in terms of what is the future of the party is going to look like, who they will be.

And so, they have to find a way to marry those two things. Get over what I'm sure will be the Anita Hill push back to Biden, if he becomes somebody who is a front-runner. And that's going to be, you know, a process for them. But he comes in with the name recognition and with the legacy. And I think at this stage, this early, when there is so many people throwing their hat in the ring, yes, that's going to rise to the top. We will see if continues there and if actually he runs.

SHEAR: Ana, can I--?

CABRERA: Quickly please.

SHEAR: And really quickly that I think that popularity like that vanishes quickly when you get into the arena.

CABRERA: When you are an actual candidate?

SHEAR: Hillary Clinton was incredibly popular as secretary of state, and you can see what happened. Once you get into the arena, that kind of popularity fades quickly, and that's part of the danger for him.

CABRERA: Important reminder there.

Michael Shear and Karoun Demirjian, good to have both of you with us. Thank you.

Don't forget, we are live from south by southwest in Austin, Texas. Three CNN Presidential town halls back to back this weekend. Former congressman, John Delaney at 7:00, Representative Tulsi Gabbard at 8:00. And Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 9:00. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate tomorrow night starting at 7:00 eastern right here on CNN.

Protesters just clashing in the streets of Caracas as the crisis in Venezuela continues to worsen. CNN takes you there. Plus --


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Are you concerned that if you anger President Trump when there's a disaster here like a mudslide or wildfires, that he will be thrifty on the emergency fund?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the alternative is what, just to rollover, be complicit?


[16:15:09] CABRERA: How California's governor is taking on President Trump?

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



[16:19:26] CABRERA: This is Venezuela, a country dealing with two dire emergencies this weekend. One is on the streets for people enraged at the government of President Nicholas Maduro are clashing with riot police and Maduro supporters in Caracas and elsewhere.

And right now, this is perhaps even more urgent. Nearly, the entire country is without electricity. A blackout that suddenly plunged Venezuela into darkness on Thursday. Many people are blaming the government for this blackout, claiming it is incompetent and corrupt.

Now, Venezuelan officials are telling the public that U.S. sabotage cause the power outage. People are getting very worried now about food safety and hospital patients if the electricity isn't restored soon.

Also overseas today, people who watch North Korea for a living, believe that the country is getting ready to launch something, either missile or a racket. A spike in activity at a launch facility near Pyongyang is showing up in new satellite imagery. President Trump telling reporters he would be quote "very disappointed if North Korean leader Jim Jong-un restarts his missile testing program." The President's summit with North Korea fell apart last month with no agreement.

The House of Representatives this week passed a resolution to formally and officially condemn hatred and intolerance aimed at Jews, Muslims, ethnic minorities and homosexuals but it doesn't wipe out the simmering divisions within the Democratic Party and the underlying concerns that sparked the resolution in the first place.

Remember, this all started with a Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar making comments that offended a lot of people, comments viewed as anti-Semitic by them and her criticism of pro-Israel politicians and lobbying groups. Congresswoman Omar is one of three Muslims serving in the U.S. Congress right now.

And here with me to discuss is Rabbi Robert Barr from Congregation Beth Adam near Cincinnati, Ohio and also opinion contributor Dean Obedallah.

Rabbi, let me start with you. There are still a lot of people who are left unhappy with how this ended up. Yet we are talking about a resolution condemning all hatred. I mean, this could have been a slam dunk to condemn hatred, to condemn anti-Semitism, especially for Democrats, right. How did this get so muddled? Was it politics?

[16:21:44] RABBI ROBERT BARR, CONGREGATION BETH ADAM: Was it politics? I'm sure --.

CABRERA: Did politics get in the way, I guess, is a big question?

BARR: Perhaps. And I think -- I think fear oftentimes gets in the way of having honest conversations. It's hard to have strict honest conversations with one another about hard challenging issues and we need to be addressing that.

I'm glad that they were able to bring a resolution. It should have been - when you said a slam dunk, there should have been, everybody in Congress should have been able to vote for that resolution.


BARR: The 23 representatives weren't able to vote for it that to me is shameful. We should have been able to have everyone stand up together and denounce hatred, bigotry, prejudice, racism. There shouldn't be a question. Every American should be able to say that without pause.

CABRERA: Well, here is what at least one of the 23 who voted against this resolution, Congressman Paul Gosar explained. How he explained himself. He says without naming the offender that chastisement is an empty gesture. I voted no to the watered down resolution. It's time to for Democrats to take real action against these anti-Jewish remarks.

Dean, is that a fair point to make?

DEAN OBEDALLAH, CNN.COM OPINION CONTRIBUTOR: I think you can vote against this - you should vote for this resolution. I think it should be unanimous. Then you can make a point we will have a second resolution down the road. But the idea of voting against the resolution that can then anti-Semitism or anti-Muslim bigotry, right.

Supremacy to me is inexcusable. For me it's machination on the right that make no sense because all 23 who didn't vote for it were Republicans. So it is upsetting to me.

I hope we can go forward. I hope that we can have a moment where we have discussion ones about the idea of bigotry and racism in American politicians.

Second, about the very issue Congresswoman Omar really wanted to talk about is the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and the Palestinian specifically. My family lives in the West bank. They are Palestinian. The new Trump administration, he has cut hundreds of millions of dollars in grant aide that are a lifeline for Palestinian children going to school, the U.S. relief agency, and the list goes on of pain inflicted by this administration gets almost no coverage whatsoever. So that's what I would like to move to at some point.

CABRERA: And that became of why this was a very divisive issue. Again, when it came back to just condemning something, I'm wondering, I want to ask you this, rabbi, because one of the criticisms throughout the week about doing a broad-brush stroke-type resolution condemning all hate is that in some ways waters down to use the Republicans word that I had just read, that it waters down maybe the impact of denouncing anti-Semitism. Do you see it that way?

BARR: No, I don't. We have right now in our nation a rise in anti- Semitism which needs to be denounced. But we also have arises on racism, Islam phobia, homophobia, misogyny. We have to be talking about what is going on in our nation with these kinds of issues are gaining fuel to the fire and causing divisions amongst us.

Those are the questions we need and we need moral leadership. And I think every representative has to recognize the weight of their language. They are not just political leaders, they are role models for everyone in our nation. And unfortunately, for the last two years, we have had horrific things being said, and it hasn't been denounced. That the Democrats have come together to say enough is enough. It is time for that. Now, we need to begin to work together.

We can point to each one of the issues, but I think better to look that we are all in this together. We have to remember, we are in this together. Our divided nation will be strained and ripped apart.

[16:25:12] CABRERA: So the question is how do you build the bridge?

And I want you both to hear this. Thomas Friedman, he covers the Middle East for the "New York Times." Listen to what he says about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.


THOMAS FRIEDMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: She was perfectly poised to be a bridge builder between Muslims and Jews, between Arabs and Israelis. And rather than come to Washington and be a bridge builder, she has come to be a bridge destroyer.


CABRERA: Dean, do you agree with that?

OBEDALLAH: I think she could be a bridge builder in the future. And I hope that happens. I interviewed Congresswoman Omar a few weeks before all of this in her office. And we talked about her trying to build bridges with Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is very pro Bb Netanyahu who had been attacking her, and calling her anti-Semitic online way before any of these comments. So some people were going on after --.


OBEDALLAH: And he is one of the 23 who voted against this. I hope she could be a bridge builder. I hope she can still raise this issue about the policy that she wants.

And also, a bigger issue, in this time of Trump, Muslims and Jews, I have never seen more interfaith worth ever, I have never been more interfaith organizations, because we both feel under the gun in the time of Donald Trump and the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry, not just in words but the actual actions involve against our respect of communities. So I don't want to see us pull the park by this. I want us to work together even closer.

BARR: Right. I couldn't agree with you more. I think that is an important point. And I think congresswoman is going to need to recognize her role now. She has a pivotal moment in time, a very good pulpit. And her words have a big impact. And --.

CABRERA: And you wanted to run for Congress. I know you did want to run for Congress.

BARR: I do.

CABRERA: So you can put yourself in her shoes in some ways.

BARR: Absolutely. I mean, I have a pulpit. A bigger pulpit would be more interesting.

CABRERA: Does she need to apologize for the most recent comments? What would help build the bridge?

BARR: Absolutely. Apologies are important. But she also needs to learn that you can't say something, apologize, say it again, and apologize, say it again and apologize. At some point those apologies become of little value because of her. She needs to learn from her mistakes. She needs to work, and I agree

with you, I think the Muslim and Jewish community more so than any other time in my career. After the shooting in Pittsburgh, my congregation was full with friends, Muslim friends who were there to stand with us together. And have served with them in other moments in time.

And we need to build these bridges, if that's the work that needs to be done. I think this becomes an easy distraction. And I think politics can easily -- the political game that often is played is being used to distract from the bigger question of moral leadership at our nation. Where is it? It comes from the top down.

CABRERA: Gentlemen, thanks so much for having the conversation here. Let's keep the conversation going to your point. We can all benefit from listening and trying to understand one another in our differences.

Again, thanks guys.

Well, the feds have their eye on so-called pharma-bro Martin Shkreli again. How he is reportedly managed to still run his drug company from behind bars.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[16:32:32] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Trump's national emergency declaration to fund his border wall heads to the Senate next week for a vote on a disapproval resolution. California's new governor, Gavin Newsom, is ripping this declaration. He says he's determined to make sure he doesn't get pushed around by President Trump, especially when it comes to immigration.

CNN national correspondent, Gary Tuchman, reports.


GAVIN NEWSOM, (D), CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: The federal government cannot get its act together on comprehensive immigration reform.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California Governor Gavin Newsom has only been in office a couple months and he's angry.


TUCHMAN: He's not wasting any time taking on what he sees as the border's most pressing issue.

NEWSOM: I have four kids so this is a - this goes to a deeper level.

TUCHMAN: So he's taken the controversial step of using California taxpayer's money --


TUCHMAN: -- $25 million --


TUCHMAN: -- for services to asylum seekers. Services that include this brand-new San Diego shelter for migrants, who are beginning asylum proceedings.

NEWSOM: The federal government should be doing this. It's the federal government's responsibility. Immigration -- these people came legally. I just want to pause and reflect on that. These are people that came through the process legally, seeking asylum legally.

Hello, what's your name?


NEWSOM: Pieta (ph)?

That's a pretty name. Nice to meet you.

TUCHMAN: The state funding of the shelter follows some serious gubernatorial fuming. This, from Newsom's Twitter feed.

(on camera): You said, "Instead of fighting natural threats facing Americans, the president has chosen to undermine our Constitution and fan the flames of nativism and xenophobia. This is not a national emergency, it's a national disgrace."

NEWSOM: It is. It is a national disgrace. It's not a national emergency.

TUCHMAN: You think he's xenophobic?

NEWSOM: I think a lot of the actions we've seen the last three years, by definition or textbook, nativist textbook xenophobic, textbook racists in many respects. And --


TUCHMAN: Are you at war with the Trump administration?

NEWSOM: It's not just the Trump administration. Broadly Trumpism. More broadly, a lot of the rhetoric we're hearing just on the streets and sidewalks. There's something going on. There's a lot of toxicity in our body politics right now. It's inflamed for purely partisan political purposes.

TUCHMAN: You've made the decision to pull the National Guard from the border to end their border duty. There are some who say you shouldn't be doing that. The president thinks it's necessary, there's a national emergency. That you're not being patriotic.

[16:35:09] NEWSOM: I can't even keep a straight face. This whole thing is comedic. TUCHMAN: You think it's funny?

NEWSOM: I think it's tragic. There's nothing funny about it. The comedy is the tragedy that is comedic. It's political theater. Every single person knows it. They all know it. Everybody knows it.


TUCHMAN: They would deny that.

NEWSOM: Of course, they would deny it, but they all laugh in private. They all know better. This is pure political --


TUCHMAN: You think the president's laughing?

NEWSOM: This is all shtick.

TUCHMAN: Are you concerned if you anger President Trump when there's a disaster here, like a mudslide or wildfires, that he will be thrifty on the emergency fund?

NEWSOM: So the alternative is what, just to roll over, be complicit?

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Governor Newsom says the United States needs border security, and he would not tear down California's current border barriers. But he believes the president's future priorities and emergency declaration are naive and wasteful.

NEWSOM: This is one of our --

TUCHMAN: He says he won't be shy about using the bully pulpit offer as the governor of the most-populous state in America.

NEWSOM: I don't want to spar with the president of the United States. I want to work with the president of the United States. But I will take a back seat to no one to have the backs of the people of this remarkable place I call home, the state of California.

Good luck.

And to the extent we will defend ourselves, we will do it vigorously, and we'll do it from a position of strength.

NEWSOM: There will likely be more battles to come between the governor and the president.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, San Diego.


CABRERA: The Republican mayor of a town at ground zero for the fight over whether there's an actual emergency at the U.S. border has a message for Donald Trump and Congress. Next hour, I'll speak with El Paso, Texas, Mayor Dee Margo about that message. Stay with us.


[16:41:03] CABRERA: The hedge fund manager, who gained notoriety by jacking up prices for HIV medications, reportedly has been using a cell phone in prison to run a pharmaceutical business. The Bureau of Prisons says it has launched an investigation into Martin Shkreli, famously known as the Pharma Bro after the "Wall Street Journal" reported the allegations earlier this week. Shkreli is currently serving a seven-year sentence for defrauding investors.

Here's CNN's Polo Sandoval with the latest.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The so-called Pharma Bro, Martin Shkreli, may still be at it. Reportedly running part of his old pharmaceutical company from his federal prison cell in New Jersey. On Thursday, the "Wall Street Journal" reported Shkreli was using a contraband cell phone to continue heading the drug company that earned once earned him the title of most-hated man in America. As the CEO of Phoenixus, in 2015, known as Turing Pharmaceuticals at the time, Shkreli surged the price of a life-saving drug used to treat AIDS patients by 5,000 percent. The price hike sparked public outrage and a series of inquiries targeting the now-disgraced CEO.

MARTIN SHKRELI, FORMER HEDGE FUND MANAGER: This was a witch hunt of epic proportions. Maybe they found one or two broomsticks. But at the end of the day, we've been acquitted of the most important charges in this case, and I'm delighted to report that.

SANDOVAL: According to "The Journal's" reporting, Shkreli expects Phoenixus will grow more successful while he's in prison, maybe worth $4 billion by the time he's released.

In 2017, Shkreli was convicted of defrauding investors, misusing their money. He's 16 months into a seven-year prison sentence.

In a statement to CNN, the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed it's aware of these possible violations, writing, "When there are allegations of misconduct, they are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken if such allegations are proven true. This allegation is currently under investigation."

Prison officials declined to discuss details of Shkreli's confinement. They point out that all inmates are not allowed to possess cell phones. Conviction for such an offense can mean an extra year in prison and a fine. That would mean an even stiffer price for Shkreli to pay. He's already been ordered to forfeit $7.4 million in assets.

Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli's criminal attorney, declined to comment. Attorney Marc Kasowitz, who "The Journal" reported has been hired by Shkreli's company, has not responded to requests for comment.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Equal pay for equal play. Members of the U.S. women's soccer team are now suing.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[16:48:07] CABRERA: Fair is fair. Members of the U.S. women's national soccer team are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation. The players say they deserve the same money as the mean.

Coy Wire with more now on their demands.

Hi, Coy.


COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, and the timing on this lawsuit has to be noted. Taking a stand yesterday on International Women's Day just three months before the Women's World Cup in France. This lawsuit includes the team's most prominent voices, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe (ph), 28 players in all listed in the complaint. They say U.S. soccer hasn't paid them the same as the men, nor do they get equal training or travel accommodations. All this, Ana, despite the fact that the women have had so much more success than their male counterparts, winning three World Cups, four Olympic gold.

Their fight goes back years and includes a number of other lawsuits as well. But the players say they haven't seen enough change, so here they are fighting for it again.


BECKY SAUERBRUNN, U.S. WNT DEFENDER: We are very much fighting for gender equality and pay quality. You see that in other federations that are also asking for what they feel like they deserve. You see teams like in Australia, you see in Denmark, you seek in these other women's teams fighting their federations for what they deserve.


WIRE: Ana, the men's national team is standing up for the women saying, in part, it "fully supports the efforts of the U.S. women's national team players to achieve equal pay.

Ana, perhaps the biggest questions remaining, how far are the women willing to take this? Will there be a resolution before the Women's World Cup kicks off June 7th? Ana, the U.S. women's first game is June 11th.


CABRERA: Coy Wire, thanks.

Let's discuss with Christine Brennan, sports columnist for "USA Today" and CNN sports analyst.

Christine, they say this gender discrimination issue has been going on for years. Why this lawsuit now?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Ana, they've actually fought this over those years, in fact, going back almost 20 years, the U.S. women have had other skirmishes on these issues of labor, equality, and equal pay. This isn't the only team. And there have been other times when they have spoken out. They have spoken out about the turf they had to play on in the 2015 World Cup in Canada, artificial turf for the women. Men would never ever stand for artificial turf. I thought they should try to boycott then. This team has been speaking out for a long time. This is the big one. The reason they've decided to do this now it's 2019. It's International Women's Day this happened. Everything that's going on around the country, the world, is part and parcel of this conversation. And why the women of the soccer team have decided to do this now.

[16:50:42] CABRERA: You've been covering the world of sports for a long time. What have you observed, and is this gender disparity specific just to soccer?

BRENNAN: No, it's not at all. In fact, two years ago, the U.S. women's ice hockey team boycotted and threatened to strike over their working conditions, their pay, and inequalities with the men. And then they won some significant concessions. And then went on a year later at the 2018 Olympics to win the gold medal for the first time in 20 years.

We've certainly seen it with women's tennis, where the U.S. Open paid women equally, the other three majors did not. Venus Williams wrote an op- ed in the "Times of London" and got equal prize money for Wimbledon. It took that long for Wimbledon to come around. Sometimes they're apples to apples. like in tennis, men versus women. This one's a little harder, because there are some differences in the way the men are paid versus the women.

Bottom line, every metric you can look at, Ana, the women are paid one-third to one-fourth what the men are paid, U.S. women's soccer versus U.S. mean's soccer.

CABRERA: Let me give an example cited in this lawsuit. For a year, with 20 friendlies and wins, a woman would make almost $5,000 a game. A man would make a little more than $13,000 a game. Christine, what needs to happen do you think to even the playing field?

BRENNAN: Exactly this. The conversation that this is unacceptable as I think what's happened over the last couple days here on this story. The last 36 hours, since it broke, is that it's already started a national conversation. I talked to a lot of people who aren't paying much attention to soccer who are paying attention to this. The pressure being put on the U.S. national governing body, which does a pretty good job vis-a-vis the rest of the world. But the rest of the world, let's just say, are male chauvinists about soccer. They're sexist and they couldn't care less about women's soccer. The fact that the U.S. women's Soccer Federation has done a lot, is by no means enough in 2019. These are issues that are intertwined. Sports takes us to a national conversation we should be having, and these women are taking us there. They have always been the leaders and the heroes, going all the way back to the '99 Women's World Cup. So many national conversations around this team. And no surprise that they're taking us to this conversation three months before the World Cup, which means all the cards are there.



CABRERA: Does that give them leverage because of the timing of this, do you think?

BRENNAN: Absolutely, Ana. The confidence to do this, to say, three months out we're going to do this. Talk about raising girls and women with a confidence and a sense of themselves that they never would have had in a generation for their moms or grandmothers before that. The nation has fallen in love with Title IX and what's it's created, which is women exactly like these young women. That's part of it. Also, all the cards -- I mean, what, U.S. soccer, they need these women desperately. It's brilliant strategy to be able to pull this off now. And I think it -- the nation is cheering for them and will be cheering for them in June in France at the Women's World Cup. I think most of the nation, again, aware of these issues now as never before in our country, inequality, equal pay, all those issues we talk about now. I think most of the nation is cheering for this team right now with this very interesting development.

CABRERA: One of the women said they're doing this not because of their success, but really to empower women and pave the way for others.

Christine Brennen, thanks for the conversation. Always good to have you with us.

BRENNAN: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: For years, it was only a fisherman's tale of a mysterious killer whale that didn't look like the others, a creature that scientists had never seen. Now they have. Up next, a glimpse of what's believed to be a new species.

[16:54:37] You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


CABRERA: There's no denying it's been a very busy news week. Time for a few stories you might have missed.

The medical community is buzzing on news that a second person is now believed to be effectively cured of HIV. Researchers have published details of the patient's treatment with transplanted stem cells and determined his infection is now undetectable. Still too soon to call the man completely cured. But this is giving hope to a range of new treatment strategies. For the first time in history, an all-female crew will conduct a

spacewalk at the international space station. In addition to the two astronauts, the mission's lead flight director and the lead spacewalk flight controller are also women. The walk will last about seven hours and is scheduled for the end of this month. Which, appropriately enough, is Women's History Month.

Well, well, well, it looks like scientists have discovered a new breed of killer whale. An international team stationed off the coast of southern Chile caught a glimpse of the mysterious type of whales there named Type D. This was earlier this year. These whales have been spotted just a handful of times since they were first seen more than 60 years ago. They're getting a good look at them. They make look identical to the killer whale to an untrained eye but they, we're told, have a different body shape, a more rounded head and smaller narrowed markings around the eyes.