Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Questions Remain as Boeing Develops Software Patch and Pilot Training; Rep. Katie Porter (D) California is Interviewed on Shifts in Policy From Freshman Members of Congress; Robert Kraft's Lawyers Move to Prevent Public Release of Massage Parlor Surveillance Footage; Trump Claims ISIS Will Be Gone from Syria by Tonight; Flooding in Mozambique. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired March 21, 2019 - 10:30   ET

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


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: And instead, issues that are at the aviation level, they're typically handled by administrative agencies. But now, of course, there's this criminal probe. And that comes, Poppy, in addition to all of these inquiries that we've already seen from the Department of Transportation's inspector general -- Poppy.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: And in terms of what Boeing, right now, Jess, is doing in the middle of all of this to remedy the immediate problem, do you have an update?

SCHNEIDER: Right. So Boeing, so far, has developed a software patch and a new pilot training program that they could be rolling out in the next few weeks. But that, it was all to address the issues discovered after the Lion Air crash back in October.

So of course, with these lingering questions and investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines crash, you know, until we know more about that crash, this software fix that Boeing has been working on, it might not solve the whole issue.

You know, the FAA has said that both of these from Boeing are expected to roll out in the next few weeks, so they could be in place by April of 2019. That's just around the corner, of course.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that the 737 MAX jets will be back up in the air because there is still a lot of question. And like I said, Poppy, a lot of investigation into what happened in Ethiopia just a few days ago, really.

HARLOW: Of course. Jessica Schneider, thank you for the update.

Also, the U.S. Air Force, ordering a review of its training procedures for military pilots. This review is expected to cover large cargo and transport planes, including Air Force One. And it comes in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month.

The Air Force chief of staff told CNN he wants to make sure the military pilots are fully trained to handle emergency procedures including how and when to turn off those automated pilot systems. All right. Still ahead for us this hour, a freshman member of

Congress -- who literally wrote the book on consumer finance. And not just any book, a textbook -- changes the game on Capitol Hill.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:36:32] HARLOW: All right. Time now for our monthly "Game Changers" segment. Among the many game changers who made up the blue wave in the midterms is California Democrat who won a House seat Republicans had held for 30 years.

Congresswoman Katie Porter was a law professor at U.C. Irvine who once studied under then-Professor Elizabeth Warren at Harvard. She later worked with then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris on a big case against the big banks.

And she now has a seat on the powerful House Financial Services Committee where, last week, she went toe-to-toe with the CEO of Wells Fargo. The issue? The troubled bank's campaign to win back consumer trust. Just watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. KATIE PORTER (D), CALIFORNIA: The statements you've made mean something you. And that customers and investors can rely on those statements.

TIMOTHY SLOAN, CEO, WELLS FARGO: That's correct.

PORTER: OK. Then why, Mr. Sloan, if you don't mind my asking, Mr. Sloan, are your lawyers in federal court arguing that those exact statements that I read are, quote, "paradigmatic examples of non- actionable corporate puffery on which no reasonable investor could rely."

Are you lying to a federal judge, or are you lying to me and this Congress right now, about whether we can rely on those statements?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Congresswoman Katie Porter joins me from Irvine, California.

Thanks for getting up early. Nice to have you.

PORTER: Thank you so much.

HARLOW: All right. So I've got to ask. You've had a lot of jobs. Is Congress the hardest one?

PORTER: Congress is not the hardest job I've ever had. I think being a parent and taking care of your family, whether it's an elderly family member or kids, those are the most important relationships that we're going to have. So I think managing being a parent and being in Congress is a real challenge.

But a lot of families are struggling with managing work and family -- HARLOW: Yes, yes.

PORTER: -- whether it's kids of elder care. And I relate to that.

HARLOW: Yes. And many people with -- you know, that have to have multiple jobs, just -- just to get by, right?

Let's get to child care --

PORTER: Yes.

HARLOW: -- in a moment. But I want to ask you this. You have a powerful voice on a powerful committee, the House Financial Services Committee, and clearly you're not afraid to use that voice, as we just saw.

You know, even from the outside of the Great Recession, many Democrats have been concerned that some of these key reforms that have been made since, you know, the financial crisis, are being undone, unwoven. Not all of them, but some. Are you worried about that?

PORTER: Yes. We've seen watering down of the rules that were enacted after the financial crisis. And we need to make sure that we have rules in place. Marketplaces are premised and competitive marketplaces require certain kinds of rules of the road.

And to the extent that we're seeing regulators do less, to the extent we're seeing big corporations get away with doing more, that's a real problem. And it jeopardizes the economic prosperity for all of us.

HARLOW: Let me ask you about capitalism. Because we've seen an interesting refusal from some of the 2020 candidates, other Democrats, to embrace capitalism or label themselves as capitalists. Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper refused to do in a recent interview. He just finally did last night, but he said, "I don't like labels."

You, about capitalism, have said -- and I quote -- "I really see capitalism as the engine of opportunity in this country." Are you at all concerned that some in the party seem to be making capitalism a dirty word?

[10:40:00] PORTER: Look, I think there are reasons that some Americans are skeptical about capitalism. And I think, you know, Wells Fargo and some of their misconduct is a great example. When I came to sit down this morning, I have Wells Fargo in the background, which is definitely bad juju for me.

But I really think it's important that we show people that capitalism can work.

HARLOW: OK.

PORTER: But to do that, we have to make sure that corporations are doing what they promised, that they're delivering. If they're making more money, it can't just go to CEO profits. It has to go to increase the wages of American workers. That's capitalism that works for everybody, and that's what our job is.

HARLOW: One of the other big pushes that we've seen among some freshman Democrats, like your fellow freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of here, of New York, is for a Green New Deal. And you are not a supporter of a Green New Deal. And I'm interested in why, and if you think your fellow Democrats who are, are misguided. Or do you think America can't afford it?

PORTER: Look, climate change is a real problem. And to the extent that the Green New Deal and the debate about the Green New Deal is shining a light on the need to take urgent action to address climate change, I think the Green New Deal is adding something valuable to the debate. But as a legislative proposal, it doesn't have any concrete action. It doesn't talk about how we're going to get there.

And I think what families in Orange County want to see are solutions. They're worried about climate change. They're worried about flooding. They're worried about the consequences of having climate change refugees. They want to see us come up with concrete solutions, banning drilling off the shores of California's coast, for example, which I've signed up for.

So I'm glad that the discussion about the Green New Deal is pushing us to have harder conversations about what we're going to do and how fast we're going to do it. But as a set of promises, there's just not much there that it really delivers, to take action.

HARLOW: All right. So let's talk about child care, OK? Because I think about this all the time, and think how lucky I am and how difficult it is for so many, for most parents in America, to be able to afford the staggering cost of child care.

You're a single mom with three kids. And I'm interested in if you are on board with what, for example, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was your professor at one time, what she's proposed.

And that is free child care for families with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line. That'd be just under about $51,500 for a family of four. She'd pay for it with revenue through a wealth tax that she's proposed. Do you support that? Is that the best route?

PORTER: I don't have a specific position on the entirety of the proposal. But I do think Senator Warren is right, that child care is one of the biggest barriers that families face to staying in the workplace, to continuing to invest in their careers, and to long-term economic prosperity.

One of the things that Senator Warren says that I think is a really important point, is when you look at what has been the biggest driver of economic growth in this country in the last 40 years, it's not the internet, it's not big banks. It's women in the workforce, and women staying in the workforce.

And so child care is not just an issue, by the way, for parents. It's also an issue for grandparents who are increasingly being asked to shoulder child care burdens because their children can't afford child care for their grandkids. And so we need to make more investment in child care, absolutely agree with the senator about that.

I have a bill coming up that's going to be offering another solution to at least help some families make ends meet around paying for child care.

HARLOW: What about corporations? Do you think there should be a legal responsibility? And if not legal, is there a moral onus on American corporations, to help pay for child care, provide child care? What do you think?

PORTER: I think the best solution is to make sure that corporations are paying families wages that reflect the profits that that corporation is owning. So if American families and workers are being paid and they're getting to share in the prosperity -- we saw the CEO of Wells Fargo, Tim Sloan, get a huge -- enormous raise, huge, while wages for workers say flat.

Corporate profits are going through the roof. Workers are not taking home a single extra dollar. And I think that's the dereliction of corporate duty that we need to be talking about.

So I'd like to put that money back in American families' pockets. And that benefits workers, whether or not they have kids. Or whether or not they need child care.

HARLOW: I'd like to talk about domestic violence because I think many people watching now might not know that you are a victim of domestic violence, and you've shared that with the world in a very poignant moment last month. Here it was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PORTER: The first time I called for help, the officer who arrived told me that if I called for protection again, my children would be taken away from me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[10:45:05] HARLOW: And I know that you have been instrumental in pushing for the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, on top of that. What is the single most important thing Congress could do to protect men and women, victims of domestic abuse?

PORTER: I think reauthorizing VAWA is really important. And the reason -- the Violence Against Women Act -- and the reason I shared my story is I think sometimes American families feel like what happens in Washington, it doesn't really make a difference in their real lives.

But I can tell you that having an officer who had received training on how to assess and respond to a domestic violence incident made an incredible difference in my family's life. And made an incredible difference in protecting my children and getting the help that we needed.

And so I think I'm a real example of why the actions Congress takes have real consequences in people's lives, and that was part of the reason I wanted to tell my story. And I'm glad to be part of a historic class of freshmen, many of whom have stories that often haven't been heard in the halls of Congress, and being more representative of the American people's experiences is really incredibly important.

HARLOW: I am so sorry that you were a victim. I'm so sorry you had to experience that. But thank you for standing up for survivors. Congresswoman Katie Porter, I appreciate your time this morning.

PORTER: Thank you so much.

HARLOW: All right. Attorneys for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft don't want you to see video evidence of an alleged encounter in a Florida massage parlor, that led to him being charged with soliciting prostitution. I will tell you what's going on legally there, in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:51:10] HARLOW: All right. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is asking a federal judge to stop surveillance video and other evidence taken in a prostitution sting, from becoming public. This comes as a sources familiar with the case says Kraft will not accept a plea deal after being charged with two counts of solicitation. Our national correspondent Jason Carroll is with me.

This is really fascinating.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is. And, look, the bottom line is, no one from Kraft's legal team, for obvious reasons, wants those tapes to get out there. They do not want the public to see these tapes under any circumstances, even though Kraft has already said, numerous times, "I did not do anything illegal here."

And what they're trying to do is -- what they're trying to do is, they're looking at a Florida law, which basically says evidence that's gathered as part of a case doesn't necessarily have to be made public. And a lot of the legal experts we've talked to say, "OK, look. That might be a bit of a stretch. But what it does is, it buys them time."

It buys them time, while they've got this plea deal that's also on the table here, that obviously they're not --

HARLOW: He's not taking, right?

CARROLL: Right. They're looking -- and the reason for that is, some people might say, "Look, you've got two tapes out there. They're embarrassing. This is a plea deal that says you take a class, you pay a fine, the charges go away. Why not take it?"

Well, a lot of legal experts say this is a case that they still might be able to beat. And the reason for that is, if you've got this tape that's out there, and if you don't have audio that says, "If you do this, I get this," then perhaps there's a way that you can still --

HARLOW: To say it's consensual?

CARROLL: Correct, correct. That would be the argument.

HARLOW: They're not arguing that he wasn't there, right?

CARROLL: Oh, no, no, no. There's no way --

HARLOW: OK.

CARROLL: -- you can argue that. They're arguing that perhaps what happened there during that particular time was consensual between two adults.

HARLOW: And just before you go, talk to me about why the plea offer? Usually that happens to get --

CARROLL: Right.

HARLOW: -- a bigger kahuna. Except Robert Kraft is a big kahuna.

CARROLL: Was -- and you know, and, again, some legal experts say, "Well, perhaps prosecutors don't have the case they thought they had." And so another reason for perhaps not going with this, not agreeing to this is because even though the charges would go away, you still might have to deal with the NFL. You know, the NFL has very clear guidelines, you know, when it comes to contact (ph) code, especially when it comes to owners.

So even if you say, "Look, you know, I was guilty in terms of doing this." Charges go away. That would not end what would happen, possibly, with the NFL.

HARLOW: That they could boot him from having a team?

CARROLL: You know, all sorts of things could be on the table. I think some people might say a boot would be something that might be extreme. But it wouldn't be off the table, and that might be enough.

HARLOW: Interesting. All right. Jason Carroll, good to see you. Thank you so much.

[10:53:48] Homes flattened, businesses demolished, mountains moved by this massive cyclone in southern -- southeastern Africa, now with thousands of stranded people on rooftops, on those bridges. Just look at those images. Rescue crews in Mozambique are racing to stop the humanitarian crisis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: All right, welcome back. Could the end of ISIS in Syria be imminent? The president thinks so. Here's what he said just yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In 2016, everything red is ISIS. When I took it over, it was a mess. Now, on the bottom, that's the exact same. There is no red. In fact, there's actually a tiny spot, which will be done by tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: This is the map the president was holding. He tweeted it out. On the left is the area that he says indicates territory controlled by ISIS before he took office. On the right there, what it is currently.

The battle in eastern Syria has raged for months and months now, with thousands of civilians fleeing the area, hundreds of ISIS fighters captured or surrendered. Military experts do say that even after ISIS loses its last stronghold, it will still remain a serious threat.

Also, to Mozambique, where the official death toll is now more than 200 in the aftermath of that deadly cyclone. And the number is expected to keep climbing. Crews are still racing to rescue thousands of survivors stranded on rooftops amid rising floodwater.

The storm slammed into the southern African nation earlier this week. Winds up to 109 miles per hour, leveling homes and buildings. 90 percent of the city of Beira has been destroyed, with homes and businesses completely flattened. We wish the best to all the rescue crews there.

[10:59:59] Thank you so much for being with me today. I'll see you back here tomorrow morning. I'm Poppy Harlow. "AT THIS HOUR" starts now.