Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

House Vote on Subpoena For Mueller Report; Subpoena For Mueller Report; Ethiopia Pilots Followed Procedure; Women Entered Mar-a-Lago Illegally; Trump Wants Healthcare Debate. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired April 3, 2019 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00] REP. JERRY NADLER (D), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Committee did in those days and we have the same constitutional duty as the committee did in those days. And we have the right and the necessity to get this -- all the information to fulfill our constitutional duty.

Are there any amendments to the amendment in the nature of a substitute?

Hearing none.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment.

NADLER: The gentlemen -- the clerk will report the amendment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order.

NADLER: What? The gentlemen -- the gentlelady --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentleman.

NADLER: Gentleman reserves a point of order.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Representative Ken Buck of Colorado.

At the end of the resolution, insert the following paragraph, this resolution shall not be construed as authorizing the chairman to issue a subpoena for the production of information where such production would violate rules --

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Of course we're going to continue to monitor this very significant hearing that's already made quite a bit of news.

Toluse is back with us.

So, you know, the argument here that the ranking Republican, Doug Collins, just made in response to Jerry Nadler is, you know, this isn't apples to apples. Mueller is -- is -- was special counsel and Ken Starr was an independent counsel. And, of course, the independent counsel statute lapsed in 1999.

Just explain to the American people the difference and how significant it is or isn't here.

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, the regulations were rewritten after the -- what many people believed was the debacle of the Hillary Clinton -- or the Bill Clinton impeachment process and lawmakers did think that that did sour the political atmosphere and we did see Republicans lose a lot of seats after that whole process played out. And so they did tighten up the rules a bit and they wanted to have a special counsel that's not completely independent --

HARLOW: Right.

OLORUNNIPA: But still within the Justice Department, subject to the authorization of the Justice Department and the attorney general. And that's part of the reason Mueller had to submit his report to the attorney general --

HARLOW: To Barr.

OLORUNNIPA: Instead of just putting it out to the Congress or putting it out to the public because he isn't independent, he's a special counsel.

But for Jerry Nadler, Representative Nadler, basically said that, you know, the committee still has the role of oversight and because the report as it was quoted by Barr says that it does not exonerate the president of the crime of obstruction of justice, the committee has a special role in trying to decide whether or not the president should be investigated further for that specific charge.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Well, and point of order, right, the House, including Collins, voted 422-0 --

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Prior to Barr's summary to make the report public. So you also have them on the record on that.

We're going to stay on top of this story, all the developments on The Hill today. It promises to be a fiery hearing up there. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:37:03] SCIUTTO: Happening live on The Hill right now, that is a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee where the Democrats, who hold the majority there, promising a vote later this afternoon to give themselves the power at least to subpoena the attorney general, the Justice Department, for the full Mueller report. Some fiery debate back and forth as to whether that should be the case. We're going to stay on top of it.

HARLOW: We will indeed.

We're also, though, learning some really important new details this morning about the final moments before that deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

SCIUTTO: Yes, it's really concerning developments here. "The Wall Street Journal" reporting that the 737 Max pilots initially followed the manufacturers -- Boeing's emergency procedures that it had sent out before the crash. The crash ended up killing 157 people. Of course, that was the second crash because there was a prior one and they tried to issue a fix. That fix apparently did not work. This appears to undercut Boeing and FAA claims that following those emergency procedures would have fixed the problem.

HARLOW: For more on this, let's bring in former FAA safety inspector David Soucie. David is also the author of "Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Why it Disappeared and Why it's Only a Matter of Time Before this Happens Again."

Wow, that's an ominous warning and I can't think of a better voice on all of this.

I guess I would just love your reaction to what "The Wall Street Journal" and Reuters are saying this morning in terms of the pilots, they're reporting, trying to get in there, trying to correct this, trying to follow what they were taught to do and not being able to.

DAVID SOUCIE, FORMER FAA SAFETY INSPECTOR: Yes, I mean, the fact that this is -- if indeed this is the case, which no reason not to believe it from "The Wall Street Journal" at this point, but I'm always skeptical of information that comes out of an accident investigation before we get the preliminary report.

But barring that, the fact that this happened brings two subjects up. One is, does the fix that they've got now actually fix the problem. And the other is, did the Ethiopian air crash, was it caused by the MCAS or was there something else going on? If they actually turned the MCAS off and they still couldn't bring the nose up perhaps there was something else wrong, not just the MCAS, but another issue. So Boeing has two issues on their hands now.

SCIUTTO: It also raises the question, doesn't it, David Soucie, whether the second deadly crash was preventable, because they had the Lion Air crash. They knew they had a problem with this anti-stall system. They issued this new guidance. The FAA put it out as an air worthy directive, in other words, so all pilots had to follow it. These pilots apparently followed it and 150 people still died.

SOUCIE: There's a lot of questions there, Jim. If you remember, there was a flight the day before the Lion Air crash in which they did turn the MCAS off --

HARLOW: Right.

SOUCIE: And they were able to recover the aircraft and land it appropriately. So there's so many questions as to, did they turn it off and why would they turn it back on? If they turned it off and they still couldn't get the nose up, to me that tells me one of two things, either it didn't turn off when they turned it off and it continued to act and put inputs into the flight controls, or, like I said, there's something else, there's something else that was pushing that nose down that did not have to do with the MCAS.

[09:40:05] HARLOW: David, I mean, Jim's important reporting earlier this week about Boeing needing more weeks to figure this out, ultimately how can the American public rest assured that Boeing has done enough testing, the FAA has done enough independent testing, because that's a real question, how much are they relying on the expertise of Boeing in all of this, to know they got it right this time?

SOUCIE: You know, there's a couple of things there and I think if I were Boeing at this point, I would ask for an independent counsel, someone else to come in, look at not only this particular issue, but look at their safety practices. It's something that NASA did after the Challenger accident. They had people from outside, other safety experts, come in and say, are we doing this right? Is our culture drifting into an area -- a direction that it shouldn't and are we really looking at ourselves as deeply and hard as it really has to be looked at.

SCIUTTO: And it's good -- you know, David, speaking to Boeing and others, they had a process that was looking at the software that by design brought people away from that program so that they didn't have an incentive, you know, as it were, to save the program, but also from inside the Boeing company. And, you know, it raises a question, should you have outsiders like post-Challenger.

HARLOW: Yes. Makes a lot of sense.

SCIUTTO: Which, you'd imagine, would be required, actually, to some degree, wouldn't you?

HARLOW: Yes, that's a good point, right, it shouldn't be voluntary.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

SOUCIE: It should be.

SCIUTTO: David Soucie, always good to have you. We're going to stay on top of this sorry. Developments expected as soon as today.

Meanwhile, listening to that hearing on Capitol Hill, will you and I get to see the full Mueller report? What happens today might help determine that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:45:57] HARLOW: All right, we're continuing to, of course, watch this hearing very closely. The House Judiciary Committee, the ranking Republican, and the chairman, the Democrat Jerry Nadler, fighting here over the law basically and what is allowed to be released when it comes to the Mueller report and all of that underlying information.

This will continue before a key vote on whether they can subpoena this document and people around the president in all of this. We'll keep you posted.

SCIUTTO: Yes. And it might determine whether you and I --

HARLOW: Absolutely.

SCIUTTO: Can see this report and the public.

Other story we're following, federal prosecutors have charged a woman accused of breaching President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, where he spends a lot of time. They say that she was trying to speak to members of Trump's own family.

HARLOW: Secret Service agents say they caught this woman carrying Chinese passports, multiple electronic devices, including a thumb drive with malicious malware. This all happened during the president's visit there last weekend, although at the exact time that she was apprehended he wasn't at the property. Now one Secret Service official tells CNN the breach at Mar-a-Lago points to an ongoing security issue for the agency.

Our Kaylee Hartung is in West Palm Beach following the latest.

I mean this is bizarre, like, four phones, a laptop, a thumb drive, no swimsuit for, you know, a resort. What's going on?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I wish I had a good answer to that question, Poppy, because this is a bizarre scenario. A Secret Service official pushing back on the motion this morning that this was a security breach, telling CNN that they had eyes on this woman all the while she was on the property. But it doesn't change the fact that this woman was able to gain access to the club with this bag full of technology devices. You just rattled through them, four sell phones, a laptop, an external hard drive-type device and this flash drive that was found to have suspicious malware, malicious software, on it.

When this woman first approached the club and spoke to Secret Service, there seemed to be a bit of a language barrier at the time. She told them she was headed to the pool. They called over the hotel manager. And, again, because of that language barrier, they came to the conclusion that given her name, Yujing Zhang, that there is a member of Mar-a-Lago by that same last name. And so she was allowed entrance.

It wasn't until she got to a receptionist at the club and said she was going to an event that the receptionist knew did not exist and so she was taken in for questioning. It wasn't until then that that bag full of those technology devices was found.

And so now the Secret Service has issued a rare statement saying that the Secret Service does not determine who is invited or welcomed at Mar-a-Lago. This is the responsibility of the host entity. They say this practice is no different than that long used at any site temporarily occupied by the president.

There are a lot more questions than we have answers right now, but certainly concerning as we hear it all.

SCIUTTO: Except the president owns this property, there's that issue as well. You would assume he'd have some responsibility for that. Kaylee Hartung, good to have you on the story.

We continue to watch events on Capitol Hill. What happens in that House Judiciary Committee hearing, which is happening live right now, may determine how much Americans see of the Mueller report. We're going to stay on top of it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:53:38] SCIUTTO: Democrats and Republicans on the key House Judiciary Committee still battling it out over whether subpoenas will be issued for the full Mueller report, which will affect what they see, what you see, what we all see of the evidence that the special counsel discovered. We're going to stay on top of it.

Meanwhile, President Trump defending his call to punt now, a bit of a reversal there, on a health care vote until after the 2020 election. Remember he said Republicans would be the party of health care. His chief of staff said this weekend that a plan was coming in the next couple of months, I'm quoting. But the president tweeted just moments ago, quote, I was never planning a vote prior to the 2020 elections on the wonderful health care package. Well --

HARLOW: Who knows? That is not the message, though, certainly from the vice president, Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, just last week. Here he was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARC SHORT, CHIEF OF STAFF TO VP MIKE PENCE: The president will be putting forward plans this year that we hope to introduce in the Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Well, there you go.

Joe Johns, of course, will sort it all out for us. He is live at the White House this morning. We will be the party of health care, senior staffer there, it's coming to Congress. Now the president says no, no, no, no, no, we were never going to do this before 2020.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Right.

HARLOW: What's the truth?

JOHNS: Well, it's really hard to figure out what the message is on health care right now, as you know. The latest message from the president himself is that he wants to flip the script on Democrats on the issue of health care. Democrats see health care as one of their best issues. And this is also, when you really think about sort of a fallback position for the president because, as you know, all of this got started with that lawsuit last week that the DOJ got behind to invalidate Obamacare. And then the next question was, well, what you going to do to replace it? [09:55:25] So the president's tweets this morning essentially saying,

I was never planning a vote prior to the 2020 election on the wonderful health care package that he says people are preparing for him. And then he calls it in another tweet a great campaign issue for 2020.

All of these are basically revising history. Listen to what he said last night at the National Republican Congressional Committee, talking about this, especially the issue of protecting patients on pre- existing conditions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we stay away from that subject, we're going to lose. We're going to lose. We can't stay way. It's too important. It's too important.

We have to protect and cannot run away from a thing called pre- existing conditions. We can't do it. You're going to get clobbered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: An acknowledgement of the problems Republicans face on this issue, as you know, during the midterm elections. Democrats say health care helped them a lot in their attempt to retake the House, which they were essentially successful at. So we're still trying to figure out the message over here.

Back to you.

SCIUTTO: Joe, just to be clear on the fact check here, the president is claiming this was falsely reported. He said he never planned a vote prior to the 2020 election. Quoting Marc Short, as you heard there, the president will be putting forward plans this year that we hope to introduce to Congress. When you introduce something to Congress, they vote on it.

JOHNS: Correct and --

SCIUTTO: Presumably.

JOHNS: Presumably, absolutely. But, you know, that's what they're standing on right now, that, well, we'll talk about it, we'll put something out there, but there won't be a vote until 2020, until after the election.

SCIUTTO: Believe what you believe.

Joe Johns, thanks very much.

House Democrats still have not seen the Mueller report. So right now the House Judiciary Committee is debating if subpoenas are necessary to get it out. We're following all those developments, the debate underway.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)