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Subpoena For Full Mueller Report; Trump Waffles on Border and Health Care; Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) Pennsylvania is Interviewed About Subpoena for Mueller Report; Trump Sets Republican Election Strategy; Dems Try to Break Out of Crowded Field; Plane Crashed After Following Procedures. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired April 3, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] MICHAEL SHEAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Big campaigns is anyone's guess.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: We just showed you the map. He's been to 17 states so far. Again, in a crowded race, you are right, the others have a better chance, but, who knows.
Thanks for joining us on INSIDE POLITICS. See you back here this time tomorrow.
Brianna Keilar starts right now. Have a great day.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Brianna Keilar, live from CNN's Washington headquarters.
Underway right now, House Democrats flexing their muscles as they ready subpoenas for the Mueller report and try to force Republicans to take a position on one of President Trump's controversial threats.
Will he or won't he? President Trump gives his own party whiplash on his plans to close the border and replace Obamacare.
A stunning new report on the Ethiopian Airline crash. Pilots on the doomed flight followed Boeing's instructions and still couldn't keep the plane from crashing.
And, breach at Mar-a-Lago. A Chinese woman carrying a thumb drive with malware is arrested at the president's resort. Now the Secret Service has some explaining to do.
Up first, the full Mueller report redacted with underlying documents. That is what Democrats are demanding. And now they have the power of a season to get it. A vote just a short time ago gives House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler the authority to issue a subpoena. It's not clear, though, when he might use this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: We're going to work with the attorney general, and for a short period of time, in the hope that -- that he will -- that he will reveal to us the entire Mueller report and all the underlying materials and we'll go to court to get permission to have the 6E (ph) material. But if that doesn't work out in a very short order, we will issue the subpoena.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you willing to negotiate any middle ground in terms of redactions of the Mueller report?
RAJU: You're not?
NADLER: No. The committee must see everything, as was done in every prior instance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Attorney General Bill Barr has promised to release a redacted version of the Mueller report by the middle of this month. Maybe sooner.
Senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju is following all of this on Capitol Hill.
And Democrats there, Manu, are flexing their muscle. How is this likely to play out? What else are they pushing for?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's almost a game of chicken. The Democrats are waiting for the Justice Department to make the next move, to signal whether or not they will comply with the request to provide the full Mueller report immediately. They're not yet signaling when those subpoenas will officially be served. And I asked Jerry Nadler when he plans to do it. And the only thing he would say is a very short order. And as you heard, he would not answer my question about -- or he would not say he would be opened to any redactions whatsoever. He said they would not be open to any redactions. He said they need to see the full report.
That is much different than the Senate Republicans. The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham took a much different approach. He told me just moments ago he does not want to see a fully un-redacted Mueller report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I want the -- Barr to come before the committee May the 1st and present the report, minus grand jury information, minus classified information. I don't need to look at a million documents. Just tell us about the report. That's --
RAJU: You don't -- un-redacted? You don't want to see the un-redacted report?
GRAHAM: No. No. The whole point -- I don't need to see the grand jury testimony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Many -- much different tactics on the House side, where they're not only subpoenaing for the full Mueller report, but they're also, on several different fronts, moving to issue subpoenas. The House Oversight Committee issued subpoenas over security clearance information that they are seeking. Also the Oversight Committee has set a deadline for Trump's financial statements on allegedly inflating his assets. And Democrats looking at other ways to put the Republicans on record, namely whether they'd support the notion of closing the border.
So, as you see, a split Congress, split tactics, Democrats going after the president and his policies. We'll see how the White House and the Justice Department ultimately respond.
KEILAR: All right, Manu Raju on Capitol Hill, thank you.
The president's bluster on key issues may be weighing on the White House. On healthcare, he said Republicans were working on a new plan, until they weren't. And he's gone from closing the southern border to maybe some of it or maybe not closing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of healthcare. You watch.
QUESTION: Mr. President --
QUESTION: Did Mitch McConnell ask you to delay this?
TRUMP: I want to put it after the election, because we don't have the House. So even though the healthcare is good, really good, it's much better than when the plan comes out, which we'll be showing you at the appropriate time, it's much better than Obamacare.
So Mexico's tough. They can stop them. And if they don't stop them, we're closing the border. We'll close it. And we'll keep it closed for a long time. I'm not playing games.
I said I'm closing -- and I really wanted to close it, but now Mexico says, no, no, no, first time in decades. We will not let anybody get through. And they've apprehended over a thousand people today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[13:05:03] KEILAR: Our Kaitlan Collins is at the White House.
And, Kaitlan, it's difficult to really keep track of where the president is at any given moment on these particular issues.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, right. And with these two in particular, these latest pushes, there was never any strategy to begin with based on what our sources, not only in the White House, but also on Capitol Hill, are telling us.
Now, today, the president is tweeting that he did not want Republicans to vote on a health care replacement plan before the 2020 presidential election. And he swats down reporting that the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the one who advised him to change his mind here. But actually, Brianna, based on our reporting, the president was pushing Republicans to come up with a replacement for Obamacare after his Justice Department threw its weight behind a lawsuit that would invalidate the Affordable Care Act.
Now, Republicans were shocked by that move because they know they do not have a back-up health care plan. And every time they've tried to come up with one, they have failed. So now the president is pushing that off to 2020 saying he never wanted that vote to begin with, which only came after a steady stream of calls from lawmakers.
Now, back to immigration.
The president's change of mind on that was a big surprise to people here in the White House because on Monday morning, when they came to work, there was a sense of a scramble and a panic because they said that the president they did not believe was serious about that threat until they heard Mick Mulvaney, the chief of staff, say that unless something dramatic happened, he expected President Trump to close the border.
Now, part of that panic actually resulted in White House officials telling the president either to shift the blame to Congress, because they were going to present new immigration laws, or start pointing to the fact that they're now saying Mexico is apprehending more people, therefore, preventing more people from coming up through the southern border of the United States.
So whether or not he still follows through on that is still anyone's guess, but it does seem less likely than what White House officials were worried about at the beginning of this week, Brianna.
KEILAR: Wow, Kaitlan Collins, the full tour of the many destinations in this internal debate of President Trump's. Thank you, from the White House.
So, while the president is waffling over border crossings, closings I should say, and health care, Democrats are setting the stage for a showdown over the Mueller report. Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and she's with us now from Capitol Hill.
Thanks for being with us.
REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA: My pleasure.
KEILAR: So your committee led by Chairman Nadler voted today to authorize subpoenas for the full, un-redacted Mueller report, among other things. This -- so now it's an option, right? It's on the table. It can be used.
Why did you and your fellow Democrats think that it was important to do that now instead of waiting until the middle of the month, if not sooner, which is when the attorney general said he'll be releasing this report redacted with help from Robert Mueller?
DEAN: Well, Brianna, thanks for having me on.
And I have to just mention to you, I've just come from a joint session where the general secretary of NATO spoke to us about the important history of our partnership in NATO. And he talked about foreign foes. That we live in a dangerous world and there are foreign foes and we're stronger together.
And so why would we put together the request for a subpoena today? We're doing our job. This is Article One oversight, important work that we have to do. The timetable is our own. The American people are entitled to full disclosure of the report. The Republicans voted for that very thing and the president wanted that as well.
So in this world of chaos that this administration, everybody seems to have pivoted away from full transparency of the report. We have a job to do in Judiciary. Issue the subpoenas, if they become necessary.
KEILAR: You want -- so you want the full report un-redacted, right?
DEAN: That is correct, yes.
KEILAR: And so --
DEAN: Congress is entitled to the full report.
KEILAR: And so what -- what Attorney General Barr is planning to release pretty soon is a redacted report. You don't know at this point how redacted it is. But is there a problem with that timeline? Is that you're seeking the possible use of a subpoena earlier than -- he said mid-April or maybe sooner.
DEAN: I think really what we have is we have the subpoena power in place. Certainly we want to work with Attorney General Barr. But we do notice that he thinks that he would be offering us a redacted version. We want the full report and the underlying documents. No redactions. Congress has the ability and has the legal right to see the entire report.
KEILAR: Let's -- and let's talk about health care because the president has supported this effort in the courts to entirely throw out Obamacare. But then after some big promises that he said Republican senators were hammering out a plan for an Obamacare replacement, we know from our source they actually were not. He now says the Republicans are not going to release a plan until after the 2020 elections. And he's telling his party that this is actually a good issue for them. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have so much. They have health care right now. We have to take that away from them. We take that away -- we take that away, we will not even come close. So here's the concept. We have to protect and cannot run away from a thing called pre-existing conditions. We can't do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[13:10:10] KEILAR: Do you worry that Republicans could take away some of the positives of Obamacare that Democrats enjoy politically from your party?
DEAN: I'll tell you what, our Democratic caucus won't let that happen. Certainly I worry. Can you imagine using this as a political football, the health care, the health and well-being and the lives, the very lives of Americans?
Last week the president went through a set of chaotic steps. He was happy with the Barr letter, pivoted to, I'm going to tear down the ACA and I have a plan to replace it. Then he had no plan to replace it. Then he was going to shut down the border wall. Then he was going to end foreign aid.
All the while we have an inhumane crisis at our border where children are still in cages, or as some of our reporters have said, in kennels. This is not the American way. And so for the president to have played I think absolutely foolishly with the notion of our health care, and the millions of people who have gotten coverage, whether it's pre- existing conditions or kids staying on your coverage, it's a cruel joke that this president is going through.
KEILAR: I want to ask you about a topic that has come up here recently. There is a record number of women in the new Congress, of which you're a part, and we're hearing them, some of them, speak out about incidents that they've experienced. You have Democratic Congresswomen Katie Hill and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who have referred to some of these incidents as archaic sexism, and they're talking largely about offensive, sexist comments that they feel are institutionalized in Congress.
Do you see it that way?
DEAN: I'm not aware -- I have not talked to either of the representative about what has been offensive to them. And I --
DEAN: You haven't experienced anything like they described, just personally, which isn't -- which isn't to cast any doubt on what they're saying, but just you personally haven't experienced anything like what they've described?
DEAN: No, I haven't. But I do say, whether it's sitting today at the joint session, take a look at the Democratic side of the aisle, the beautiful diversity that is our Democratic caucus with so many women, so many people of color. So I absolutely reject any sexism. None of my colleagues should have to suffer that. And so I'm -- I stand with that. KEILAR: What do you think is, you know, some of the things that they describe -- they describe comments. They described being mistaken as not members of Congress. What do you think the best way is to deal with some of the problems they're describing?
DEAN: Just do your job. You know what I found? I found an exact opposite reaction that I believe is a cultural shift that when I was walking with my husband in the Capitol, somebody came up to me recognizing that I was likely the congressperson. So actually we're in the time of great cultural shift, great diversity, lots more women serving.
And if you don't mind, I'd love to just talk about the substantive work that we're doing here at the Capitol. We have a lot of hot spots in the world. We have a lot of hot spots in this administration. But I hope you'll see that in addition to the important oversight that we're doing in Judiciary, we're also doing substantive work. Notice that we passed gun legislation. It's up to the Senate now to do something about that. We passed HR-1, which has to do with good governance and voting. We have instituted projections for the ACA. That's the kind of work that we are doing here in Congress. We are not the party or the Congress of chaos. We are the Congress of getting substantive work done while we do our constitutional oversight.
KEILAR: All right, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, thank you.
DEAN: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: President Trump previewing his 2020 game plan in an off-the- rails speech.
Plus, a new report detailing how the pilots on that Boeing 737 Max 8 jet tried but failed to stop it from crashing in Ethiopia.
And, two Hollywood actresses among several people who are facing a judge in Boston this afternoon. It's all connected to that college admissions cheating scandal.
[13:18:39] KEILAR: President Trump setting the agenda for the 2020 elections in an address to the National Republican Congressional Committee. The president, the leader of the Republican Party, offered up his priorities, advice and warnings to Republican lawmakers and candidates heading into the election cycle.
And here's just some of those topics that he touched on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Republican Party will be the champion of pre-existing conditions.
We're going into the war with some socialists and --
We have to be a little bit careful, because I don't like the way the votes are being tallied.
I've called on Congress to pass legislation banning the late-term abortion of children, who can feel the pain in their mother's womb.
If they treat our veterans badly, we have now accountability. We say, get the hell out of here, you're fired. We fire them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: All right, David Chalian is CNN's political director.
And one interesting part of this, as well, David, was that the president lamented that someone would likely leak his comments to the media, which was odd considering there were pool cameras there. It was being broadcast live on CSPAN. It's like me lamenting right now that perhaps these comments of ours might be leaked to the media.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right, with a cameras right in front of you, yes.
KEILAR: That's right.
CHALIAN: And I don't think anyone thinks Donald Trump doesn't know when he's on camera. He's a performer, without a doubt. If nothing else, we have learned that about his presidency. He loves the performance element of it and so I -- those comments struck me as odd. Either he forgot for a moment or it was another way to sort of needle the media.
[13:20:15] But I will say, Brianna, I'm so glad you played that bit about the voter fraud so-called and the concern about tallying the vote. This, to me, of all the untruths that we have uncovered that President Trump tells and of all the controversies, this, to me, is so foundational because to call into question the very essence of our electoral system, to raise questions of whether votes are tallied, is to suggest that you will, at your whim, decide to think any election is invalid if it's not to your liking. And that is so concerning. It breaks right at the core of our democracy. And I find that one of the most egregious things he does.
KEILAR: Even as he dismisses the impact of Russia meddling.
KEILAR: Which he basically does not acknowledge and sides with Vladimir Putin on.
So, the president also continued what is -- it's factually challenged. It's a numbers challenge, sort of diatribe against Puerto Rico and its leaders over aid that it received in the wake of Hurricane Maria. He repeated that the federal government has given the U.S. territory $91 billion in disaster aid. That's actually the damage estimate, right? So that's important to note.
Puerto Rico has been given about $11 billion at this point in time. There's almost $30 billion of HUD grants that have not been given. The vast majority of them have not been given. This is from his HUD Department, his Housing and Urban Development Department.
Are there going to be any 2020 political ramifications -- this is a U.S. territory, but there are lot of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. Are there going to be any ramifications?
CHALIAN: And even more so after the hurricanes, right?
KEILAR: That's right.
CHALIAN: We saw a lot of Puerto Ricans come to Florida.
You know, we could ask, are there going to be political ramifications for Donald Trump because he said x on any topic? You know, that 91 to 11, that's a pretty big discrepancy. I'm glad you're calling it out.
But, politically, what we've seen time and again is, perhaps not. I mean there could. There could be some voters in Florida. We certainly saw some candidates in Florida, even in the Republican Party, like Rick Scott, run away from the president on this issue in the past, last year in the election.
But to think that Donald Trump is going to be hurt by his outlandish comments or his untruths politically would sort of defy what we saw happen in 2016. It is part of why independents have fled from him. It is part of why getting re-elected may be tougher for him than his initial election, but I don't think you can say convincingly and definitively that this is absolutely going to hurt him in Florida.
KEILAR: As you're looking at 2020 Democrats, and there's so much -- so much to watch, right?
KEILAR: There's so much to look at. Who's breaking out of the crowd?
CHALIAN: Well, we're finally getting some actual matrix this week with the first quarter fundraising numbers. We put together a chart just to show you, of the four candidates that have already told us what they're going to file with the FEC, Bernie Sanders, $18.2 million. That is a big hall. He is likely to be the pacesetter in this race, showing he has the financial strength. But Kamala Harris at $12 million, not too far behind there. You know, $7 million for Pete Buttigieg, South Bend mayor.
CHALIAN: Nobody heard of four weeks ago. And even $1.7 million for Andrew Yang.
I raise these numbers because, a, I think it shows us there's a lot of Democratic engagement, right? There are going to be a ton of candidates. So the money will be diffused.
But I also want to show just how substantial a lead in the money race Bernie Sanders has. He's also leading in the polls, except for Joe Biden, who's not in yet. Bernie Sanders is showing what a frontrunner he is in this race, his
second time around. And I think you would be missing something if you didn't take Bernie Sander's candidacy for the Democratic nomination quite seriously.
KEILAR: Because we're probably going to be covering it for a long time when he has that money to stay in the race.
KEILAR: David Chalian, thank you.
KEILAR: Stunning new developments in the crash of that Boeing 737 Max 8 jet in Ethiopia last month. "The Wall Street Journal" reports that the pilots initially followed emergency steps outlined by Boeing, the plane manufacturer, but the plane still went down, killing everyone on board.
And then later, a security breach at President Trump's Florida resort has many concerned. The latest on the woman who was arrested and what she was carrying.
[13:29:00] KEILAR: Frightening new details of the final moments of an Ethiopian Airlines flight are now emerging. "The Wall Street Journal" is citing sources familiar with the preliminary investigation and it says the pilots initially followed emergency procedures that had been outlined by Boeing, the airplane manufacturer. CNN has not been able to confirm this report.
Despite the pilot's actions, they were unable to gain control of the Boeing 737 Max 8. The aircraft then nosedived into the ground on March 10th killing all 157 people on board.
And this comes as a new Senate committee is investigating whether FAA inspectors were properly trained to certify the aircraft.
We have CNN correspondent Tom Foreman who's here with us.
And, Tom, this could potentially undercut Boeing and also the FAA and its claims that following emergency procedures would have fixed the problem.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, because this cuts right to the crux of the matter. Remember, in the Indonesian crash last fall, and more recently in this crash in Africa, all the attention has been focused on this system calls MCAS. MCAS is software onboard the plane.
[13:30:07] And here's what we're talking about. I'll bring in a modem.