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President Trump Makes Controversial Comments on Mueller Report Findings; President Trump's Staff Meeting on Health Care Reform; Trump Administration Plans to Fight Congressional Request to IRS to Provide President Trump's Tax Returns; Rep. Tim Ryan Gives Speech on New Presidential Bid; Joe Biden Criticized for Jokes about Touching Others During Speech; President Trump Recommends Herman Cain for Federal Reserve Board; Man Arrested and Charged with Threatening to Assault and Murder Representative Ilhan Omar. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 6, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: -- after the 2020 election. All of this happening as the fight brews on Capitol Hill over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report. The president now confirming that he has not read the report, but says he has every right to do so.
Let's start with the fight over President Trump's tax returns. CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez live for us in Las Vegas where the president will be speaking at any moment now. The president's lawyer has sent a letter to the Treasury Department pushing back on the Democrats' request. So what more can you tell us?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fred. I'm going to keep my voice low out of respect for the Minority Leader in the House Kevin McCarthy who is speaking to supporters here at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Las Vegas. He has touting the president's record on Israel as well as bashing Representative Ilhan Omar over comments she made about Jewish people that were deemed insensitive. We'll see what the president says about that shortly. He's set to take the stage, as you said, at any moment.
Regarding the request from the House Ways and Means Committee for the president to release his tax returns, for the Treasury Department to hand over the president's tax returns, the president's attorneys have called that request illegitimate. They put out a scathing statement. I'll read part of it to you now. One of the attorneys writing, quote, "If the IRS acquiesces to Chairman Richard Neal's request it would set a dangerous precedent. As Secretary Mnuchin recently told Congress, he is not aware that there has ever been a request for an elected official's tax returns, for good reason. It would be a gross abuse of power for the majority party to use tax returns as a weapons attack, harass, and intimidate their political opponents. Once this Pandora's Box is open, the ensuing tit for tat will do lasting damage to our nation."
Two quick things to point out here, Fred. President Trump has broken with precedent. He was one of the, or rather, he was the only candidate in 2016 to not release his tax returns, the first to do so in more than 40 years, kind of an unorthodox move. Also, an overwhelming amount of Americans want to see the president's tax returns. Here is a poll that CNN conducted in mid-March showing 67 percent of those asked wanted to see what was in those returns. So the president is not only fighting Democrats on this, but also public opinion, Fred.
WHITFIELD: And then there's the issue of health care the president has brought back into the equation for his administration. And we are hearing that the acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, is convening a meeting this weekend at Camp David. What are you learning about that?
SANCHEZ: That's right. My colleague Sarah Westwood confirmed that the acting chief of staff has invited staff members at the White House as well as some cabinet members to Camp David to have a meeting over how to move forward on health care reform in what appears to be yet another attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.
As you know, Fred, the administration has already tried to do that twice and failed. And it's interesting, the timing of this gathering considering the past two weeks the White House has flip-flopped on this issue. First, you had surrogates for the president saying that he was preparing to send a resolution or a proposal to Congress before the end of the year to try to repeal and replace Obamacare. And then soon after hearing from some of the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill, President Trump reversed course, saying that he would have to wait until after the 2020 election for a push on some kind of repeal and replace to Obamacare.
It's also sort of politically unrealistic for the White House to pursue this now considering the Democrats control the House and it would be a tough hurdle to get over for Republicans to try to do something that they failed in the first two years of President Trump's presidency. Fred?
WHITFIELD: All right, Boris. Tell us more about what Trump tweeted earlier about the Mueller report. Put into context why he did that.
SANCHEZ: Yes, it's been almost two weeks since the attorney general, William Barr, released his summary of Robert Mueller's findings into allegations that President Trump colluded with Russians during the 2016 campaign. Of course, Mueller did not find any evidence of collusion, but he left the issue of obstruction of justice open. And the president doesn't seem to get that. Look at what he tweeted earlier today. He writes, quote, "I have not read the Mueller report yet, even though I have every right to do so. Only know conclusions, and on the big one, no collusion. Likewise, recommendations made to our great attorney general who found no obstruction." The president went on to bash Democrats, suggesting that anything that the administration were to hand over would not satisfy them.
But again, the president making an inaccurate claim here that the were recommendations to the attorney general about obstruction of justice. In fact, Robert Mueller did not make recommendations. He explicitly wrote, as is quoted in the attorney general's synopsis, that the president was not exonerating on this issue. So the president clearly, not only did not read the Mueller report, but it appears that he did not have a thorough reading of Barr's synopsis in which he clearly states Robert Mueller's position on this, Fred.
[14:05:08] WHITFIELD: Boris Sanchez, thank you so much, from Las Vegas.
Lot to discuss now. Joining me right now, White House correspondent for "The Atlantic" Elaina Plott, and there you are, White House correspondent for "Reuters" Jeff Mason. For a minute, I didn't think you were going to make it, Jeff. But anyway, here we are.
JEFF MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "REUTERS": I was here.
WHITFIELD: Yay. So let's start with this fight for the president's tax returns. Not a big yay for him, of course. An administration official says that they are willing to fight this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. So Elaina, why does the president feel this is beneficial to him when his predecessors for the last 40 years have been open about their returns?
ELAINA PLOTT, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The only strategy that I can gather from White House sources at the moment, Fred, is that Trump feels most comfortable when he is in a position where he can claim being the victim. So at this point, when I talk to campaign aides, they feel a narrative is forming that Democrats and even some in the mainstream media cannot accept that Trump won in the 2016 election. And now that their collusion narrative has combusted, their words, not mine, they feel if they can portray Democrats as on a witch hunt, yet again, for his tax returns as opposed to crafting policy for the American people, he can once again be successful in 2020.
WHITFIELD: OK, so then, Jeff, if really not a big deal in 2016, because he got away with not having to produce anything, might it be a bigger deal for him in 2020?
MASON: It's hard to say. Certainly, the Democrats pushed it very hard in 2016. And Boris cited the polling earlier about the public being interested in seeing those tax returns. But president, or then candidate Trump, now President Trump of course did not release the tax returns. And I don't think there's a very good chance that that is going to happen despite the legal fight that we are seeing happening now.
And it's interesting because he says he is under audit, and if he wasn't, he would be willing to release them. But that's not the argument his attorney is making, and that's not likely to be the argument that his Treasury Department will make if this ends up going to the Supreme Court.
WHITFIELD: Now to the issue of the Mueller report two weeks after it was provided to the attorney general. And the president tweeted this morning, maybe to reassure people, "I have not read the Mueller report yet, even though I have every right to do so." So Elaina, what is behind this? Why is he sort of trying to keep it alive even though for the past couple weeks he's been celebrating that he thinks the outcome is in his favor?
PLOTT: Fred, the president really wants to keep this alive because based on what his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has told me in the last week, his team is really desperate to figure out why this investigation started to begin with. They, in their mind, are operating under this narrative that this was somebody within the FBI who had a grudge against Trump who created the Russia collusion out of nowhere. So their next step is to try to unearth and find out what, specifically, catalyzed these events, these investigations in the first place. And in order for that to remain even relevant, Trump does have to keep talking about the Mueller report.
WHITFIELD: So then, Jeff, the president said, yes, go ahead. Make it public. I'm OK with that. But now House Democrats are taking it a whole other direction by taking steps to subpoena for the full, unredacted Mueller report. So, where do we think it will go?
MASON: Democrats are concerned they are not going to get the whole thing. And they are concerned that whatever may be redacted or withheld will have the material that they believe may be unflattering to President Trump or others in his orbit. So it's very important to them that that not be the case.
I thought it was interesting in President Trump's tweet that he referred to our great attorney general. Clearly that's a vote of confidence from the president in William Barr who only became attorney general shortly before Robert Mueller's report was finished. So I think the president seems pleased with how the process is playing out. He has said that he would be in favor or at least have no problem with releasing the full report because he has nothing to hide. But --
WHITFIELD: He also said that about tax returns when he was a candidate, like, if I'm elected, I'm going to release him.
MASON: Ding, ding, ding. And that did not happen. So we'll see.
WHITFIELD: Jeff Mason, Elaina Plott, thank you so much. Good to see you.
PLOTT: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Up next, Democrats make their move to see the full Mueller report. Meanwhile, President Trump says he has not even read it two weeks after it was submitted to the DOJ. So could this be a clue of an impending, lengthy court battle.
[14:13:50] WHITFIELD: The Department of Justice is firing back at a lawsuit seeking the release of the full Mueller report. The suit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center came down hours after Mueller announced he had completed his investigation. But the DOJ says the lawsuit should not, quote, circumvent this orderly process of Barr, the attorney general's planned release.
Meantime, President Trump says he still hasn't read the Mueller report. Trump tweeting this morning that he has yet to see the full report even though he has, quote, every right to do so. I'm joined now by former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. Good to see you, Renato. So House Democrats have authorized a subpoena seeking the full report. So, how might this process play out? It this a matter of weeks consideration, months, what?
RENATO MARIOTTI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think there's no serious question that the House of Representatives deserves the full Mueller report because the Constitution gives the House the authority, full authority to impeach the president. And this is the result, of course, of an investigation of wrongdoing, including criminal wrongdoing by the president of the United States. So I don't think there's any basis to keep it from the House.
[14:15:02] But I think the House of Representatives appears to be, based on what Chairman Nadler has been saying from the House Judiciary Committee, they are taking a judicious and careful approach. They are not trying to push for immediate disclosure. They are trying to give the Justice Department time so that if they do go to court, that a court will more likely to enforce a subpoena.
WHITFIELD: So would it be the attorney general, Barr, who has the discretion to consider this request to abide by the subpoena? What?
MARIOTTI: Yes, I think what's happening right now is Barr is essentially trying to figure out what in this report is classified, what is what's called grand jury material, in other words what is obtained via subpoena and so forth, and what arguments he has to keep disclosure from the public. And perhaps then he might argue to Congress that he will only release it to them under certain conditions or in a certain manner, or so forth. For example, when there were reports of interview of Brett Kavanaugh, the now Supreme Court justice, they released it to certain members of the House in a very guarded fashion. So perhaps that's where they're --
WHITFIELD: Why wouldn't that be the expectation of the handling among lawmakers of classified or grand jury material anyway? It wouldn't be the first time they have had to handle it before. They are sworn to uphold the law. But that is one of the responsibilities of oversight as a legislative body, right?
MARIOTTI: No question. In fact, we have complicated procedures set up and special committees, the House Select Committee on Intelligence, for example, that is set up to review classified information. So clearly, the House of Representatives in some form has a Constitutional duty to review this information. I don't really think that there will be a serious argument that the House of Representatives can't see this. I think the real fight is whether or not the American people will see the full report. There are arguments I think that can be made on both sides there. We will see that play out in the weeks ahead.
WHITFIELD: So meantime there are also reports of growing frustrations from Robert Mueller's team according to associates. One source saying the four-page summary did not adequately describe how the investigation of the obstruction included derogatory information about the president's actions. So from the outside, does it appear as though the attorney general is running interference here?
MARIOTTI: Yes, I will say, if I was a member of the United States Senate, I would feel a little fooled here, because Mr. Barr, when he was up for confirmation as attorney general, said he wanted full disclosure, as much and as quickly as possible. And thus far, we haven't seen a single complete sentence from the Mueller report, which is almost 400 pages long. If he really was interested in that, he would sitting down with people like Chairman Nadler, figuring out a schedule to release, showing them as much as possible, getting paragraphs, pages, as much as he can get out to the public.
There's clearly some effort to conceal this or to at least delay release, and that's not good for the American people and, frankly, from just a perspective of history. I think everyone, regardless of your political party, wants to see what is in this report.
WHITFIELD: So what does your gut say whether it by subpoena or whether it becomes a court battle? Do you see that members of Congress will ever get the full, unredacted report?
MARIOTTI: I think that there's no question in my mind the House of Representatives will get the full report. The question is merely whether the rest of us will get to see it.
WHITFIELD: Renato Mariotti, thanks so much.
MARIOTTI: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Still ahead, the latest Democrat to announce his run for president will kick off his first official campaign rally any moment now. He is billing himself as the one Democrat who can unify the party. We'll bring you his comments live as soon as it happens.
[14:23:21] WHITFIELD: Former vice president, Joe Biden, says he gets it. But he's not explicitly apologizing over allegations that he made women feel uncomfortable. In his first remarks since women accused him of inappropriate touching, Biden made light of the claims. And CNN political correspondent Arlette Saenz has the latest.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: A partial apology from Joe Biden.
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I'm sorry I didn't understand. I'm not sorry for any of my intentions. I'm not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I've never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman.
SAENZ: The former vice president still grappling with how to respond to claims he made women feel uncomfortable in their interactions, and acknowledging more people could come forward.
BIDEN: I wouldn't be surprised, but I've had hundreds and hundreds of people contact me, and who I don't know, and say the exact opposite.
SAENZ: As he took the stage at his first public appearance since the allegations, Biden gave out a hug and made this joke --
BIDEN: I had permission to hug Lonnie.
SAENZ: And then did it a second time after calling a group of children up to the stage.
BIDEN: By the way, he gave me permission to touch him.
SAENZ: But shortly after, Biden scrambled into cleanup mode, telling reporters he wasn't making light of people's feelings.
BIDEN: I hope it wasn't taken that way.
SAENZ: Biden also appearing to inch closer to that 2020 bid, hinting it's not a matter of if but when.
[14:25:00] BIDEN: I'm told by the lawyer that I've got to be careful what I say so that I don't start a clock ticking and change my status. Then I get a shot, and then we're off to the races.
SAENZ: With a large and historically diverse field of candidates already taking shape, Biden shared how he would brand himself.
BIDEN: I'm an Obama/Biden Democrat, man. I'm proud of it.
SAENZ: Biden's already drawn the attention of President Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I don't see Joe Biden as a threat, no. I don't see him as a threat. I think he's only a threat to himself.
SAENZ: He's hitting back.
BIDEN: He doesn't have time to do his job. But look, everybody knows Donald Trump is.
SAENZ: With his White House run just around the corner, Biden says these allegations make it clear something has to be different.
BIDEN: I think it's going to have to change somewhat how I campaign. It's not a bad thing. It's a new thing. It's important.
SAENZ: And Lucy Flores, the first women who alleged Biden made her feel uncomfortable, tweeted out a statement in response to Biden's comments, saying that it's clear he hasn't reflected enough. We'll see if Biden offers any other response as he gets closer to that 2020 run. The vice president told me he'll be announcing his decision very soon.
Arlette Saenz, CNN, Washington.
WHITFIELD: Meantime, we want to take straight to Youngstown, Ohio, where Tim Ryan, the newest Democrat to enter the race for presidential is speaking now.
REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- Our Lady at Mt. Carmel, the teachers at Kennedy High School. It was a community effort to raise a kid. And I believe that that's what we need to get back to in the United States of America.
RYAN: Where it's OK for us to say, I care about you, I love you, I'm going to want to help you, and I'm going to do everything in my power to help you do what you have to do. I think that's important today for us to acknowledge that. We stand here today on April 6th, 2019, a divided country, as you know. And we have been divided for a long time. And that division has prevented us from being able to be the best that we can possibly be.
And we can go back to the stories of black Monday in Youngstown that many people in this audience remember much better than I do. And I do think of my father-in-law who lost his job that day, or days after that, years after that, because of what happened on black Monday. And I can go back 20 years and remember my cousin, Donny Huera (ph) calling me on the phone, saying you are never going to believe what I had to do today. It was my last day at Delphi. I had to unbolt the machine from the factory floor. I had to put it in a box, and I had to ship it to China.
Or we can go back just a few weeks ago and talk about what happened in Lordstown. Things go up and things go down. But if we are not united, we are not going to be able to fix these structural problems that we have in the United States. And I'd running for president to first and foremost try to bring this country back together.
RYAN: Because a divided country is a weak country. And we have politicians and leaders in America today that want to divide us. They want to put us in one box or the other. You can't be for business and for labor. You can't be for border security and immigration reform, right? You can't be for cities and rural America. You can't be for the north and south. You can't be for men and women. I'm tired of having to choose. I want us to come together as a country. I want us to seize the future of this country.
RYAN: We are a great country. And we can do it, we can do it if we come together.
And I just want you to know this one thing. The competition that we are in today is fierce. And we don't need a superstar and we don't need a savior. We need to come together, and we need grit and determination, and the ability for us to work together for a better future, not just for us, but for our kids. That's what this is all about.
[14:30:05] And I will say that I will pledge to you every time I walk downstairs and into the Oval Office that you and your needs and your concerns and your worries will be my worries. They will be my worries.
RYAN: And I will work every single day, every single day, to make your life better. I'm going to ask you to work hard every single day, too, to make your life better. But the problem today is so many people work hard and play by the rules and just still can't get ahead. They still can't get health care. They still can't get the job they need. They still can't move into the neighborhood or the school district that they want to be in. That's our problem. That's our concern together. And that's what this campaign is all about.
I will tell you that when we got married, and we have three kids and two dogs, so you can imagine how much energy is flying through the house at any one moment, especially first thing in the morning. But a few months back, a few years back now, something happened in the house where I actually got control of the TV remote.
RYAN: It hadn't happened in a while. Had Nickelodeon on or some kind of thing, "Paw Patrol."
RYAN: And I got the remote. And what do you do if you are old quarterback from Youngstown, around Youngstown, Ohio. What do you do? You star flipping through the TV stations to try to find some sports. So I don't find sports, but I find a sports documentary. And the documentary was on Jimmy Valvano. Remember Jimmy V.? So I'm half Italian, so this is my guy, right? So I'm watching Jimmy V., and he's up there and he's giving a speech. And he said something that I'll never forget. He said God must have loved ordinary people because he made so many of us.
RYAN: But, he said, every day in so many different ways, ordinary people do extraordinary things. Ordinary people do extraordinary things.
RYAN: And I will tell you that if there is one value that I will bring to the highest office in the land, when I wake up, it's going to be how, today, can I use every ounce of power this office has to help ordinary people do something extraordinary today in America? That's my pledge to you. That's my pledge to you.
RYAN: Why do we want to fix the education system? So we can give an ordinary kid from a place like Niles or Campbell or Struthers, to do something extraordinary. Why do we want -- why do we want everyone to have health care in the United States? It's a value. It's a right. It's important. It's something that we should all be able to agree upon. But if you are not healthy, you cannot do anything extraordinary to contribute to what we need to contribute to in the United States of America. That's why everyone deserves health care in the United States of America.
RYAN: And when you talk about reinvesting in communities like ours, which I have spent the last 19 years of my public life trying to do, trying to make sure that communities like ours aren't forgotten. The flyover states are my states. The flyover states are your states. And the flyover states are going to start governing in the United States of America, again.
RYAN: We have so much work to do. We have so much work to do. We have broken systems in our country that we failed to fix because we are divided. And I want you to know that our enemies come into our social media, and they intentionally try to divide us.
[14:35:00] If there is -- if there is an incident, and I want everyone to listen to me here. If there is an incident in America that's controversial about kneeling for the National Anthem or there's a school shooting or there's an incident between a cop and a kid, you know who comes on to our social media? The Russians. OK, I want you to hear this. The Russians, they come into our social media and they spin things to get us into these divided camps so that we are fighting with each other. That's what they want. And meanwhile, we can't get our economy going. Meanwhile, we can't get a health care system that works. Meanwhile, we can't reform an old, outdated government that needs reform, or education, or anything else because we have not come together. The most patriotic thing we could do today is to respect each other, is to respect each other.
RYAN: To care about each other, to respect each other, to listen to each other, that maybe somebody else has something to offer that you hadn't thought of. And I want to build a government in the United States that allows us to pool Democrats and independents and Republicans together. I will be sitting down with the business community in the United States and the workers in the labor unions in the United States. We all have to get better.
RYAN: We all have to get better if we are going to solve these big problems. We all have to. And it's going to take all of us, white, black, brown, gay, straight, north, south. We're all Americans in this great experiment in democracy, this great experiment in democracy. Each generation has the duty to grab the mantle and do something great with it.
There's an old saying that politicians and presidents, they don't have power. They hold power. They hold the power that the people of the United States give them. And I want to hold that power for four years. And I want to bring the experiences that I have had in this community from the schools that I went to, to the coaches I had, to the teachers that I had, to the family that I had. And just maybe, just maybe the person that can help heal these wounds is a working class kid from a working class family from a working class community that will go work his rear end off for the American people.
WHITFIELD: Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan there after announcing his candidacy. He is 100 percent in the race for the presidency, now one of 17 Democrats who are vying for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, vowing to be a unifier, vowing to make life better for everyone, vowing to help ordinary people, he says. And one of his hopes that everyone would receive health care.
Let's bring into the conversation, Elaina Plott, Jeff Mason, back with me. A couple of common denominators there particularly, about health care for everyone, a vow that many Democratic contenders have been making. So Elaina, how does he differentiate himself from the rest of the pack?
PLOTT: What's interesting to me, Fred, right now is Tim Ryan is somebody who, on the stump, doesn't actually sound that different in terms of ideology from Joe Biden. Of course, we heard Joe Biden the other day say he doesn't believe the ideals surrounding an Obama-Biden Democrat have actually changed that much, that the party is actually not lurching as far left as perhaps the bubble would like you to believe. And I think if that is in fact the case, Joe Biden is in trouble when we look at somebody like Tim Ryan, when we look at somebody like Senator Amy Klobuchar, who are pushing these more moderate, inclusive, populist driven messages. So now that Tim Ryan is fully in the race, clearly energizing supporters, it's makes it that much more perilous for Joe Biden when he does get in the race to wonder if his lane is already filled.
WHITFIELD: So Jeff, is the moral of that story, then, while there may be collective missions, voters are looking for the fresher, newer voice, in which to help carry some of those ideas through?
[14:40:04] MASON: I don't know. Tim Ryan may be exciting to people who are there right now, and he may excite a lot of people around the country. But if you look at the polls, Joe Biden is ahead. And that's something that he knows. That's one of the reasons he indicated the other day that he felt like he had time to be one of the last people, if not the last person to get into the race.
There's confidence there among Joe Biden's folks that he has a good shot of getting this nomination. But he's got some challenges, no question about that. We have seen that in the last couple weeks. But I don't think he's probably super concerned about the challenge that Tim Ryan may be giving him.
WHITFIELD: We'll leave it there for now. Jeff Mason, Elaina Plott, thanks for sticking around, appreciate it.
PLOTT: Thanks, Fred.
MASON: Sure thing.
WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: And this just into CNN, President Trump's latest pick to join the Fed says he is stealing himself for a tough selection process. The president recommended Herman Cain for the Federal Reserve Board on Thursday.
[14:45:3] But the sexual harassment allegations that rocked Cain's 2012 presidential bid is threatening to endanger him again. CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez joins me now from Las Vegas where the president will be speaking at any moment now. So Boris, what more is Cain saying?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. Herman Cain, this sort of unorthodox pick, more political than academic, for the Federal Reserve Board by President Trump, is saying that he is preparing for a strenuous and difficult confirmation process because of those allegations of sexual misconduct that derailed his presidential campaign in 2012. Herman Cain is essentially saying that political enemies of his are trying to dig up dirt from eight years ago. Listen to what he said on his Facebook show, "The Herman Cain Show." Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERMAN CAIN, TRUMP'S PICK FOR FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD: So be it. Let them go back and dig up eight-year-old stuff. I will be able to explain it this time where they wouldn't let me explain it the last time, they were too busy believing the accusers. I'm not mad at you all. I'm just not going to let the accusers run my life or determine my career.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Fred, while we were in that soundbite, you may see behind me President Trump just took the stage. He has two seats open on the Federal Reserve Board and really has the ability to influence that part of the administration in a way that few presidents have. And he's been very critical of the Federal Reserve. So his two picks, both Herman Cain and Stephen Moore have issues in their background that will likely come up during the confirmation process and make it difficult for them to get them confirmed. The president, though, not backing down at this point, Fred.
WHITFIELD: Boris Sanchez, thank you so much. Of course, we'll continue to monitor all the action behind you now that the president entered the room there in Las Vegas as well. And we'll be right back for now.
[14:51:27] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A New York man behind bars after allegedly threatening to kill Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Court records show the man allegedly made threats during a call to Omar's office in Washington, D.C., late last month. Excuse me. He allegedly threatened to murder Omar because she is Muslim. CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval has been following this story. So Polo, what have you learned?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, she has certainly drawn some controversy for several of her comments since coming to Congress. And she's also one of two Muslim women who are first to serve in Congress. According to prosecutors, staff at her Washington, D.C., office received that threatening phone call on March the 21st. There was a man on the other line who identified himself as Patrick Carlineo Jr. He asked the staff, quote, do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood. And then went on to ask, why are you working for her, referring to the representative from Minnesota.
He then proceeded to call Representative Omar a terrorist and threatened to kill her. The charging document that we have read over also states that this man not only left his name and contact information, but he actually spelled it out. So it certainly wasn't hard for federal authorities to track him down.
Eventually, the FBI did knock on Carlineo's door at his home in western New York. And we are told and have read in this document that during that March 29th interview, Carlineo claimed to be a, quote, patriot, someone who loves the president and also hated who he claimed were radical Muslims in the government. Carlineo is still potentially in custody here. He has a detention hearing that's scheduled on Wednesday. CNN has reached out to a lawyer who is representing him as well as a friend, but we have not heard back, Fred.
We should mention usually the way these kinds of investigations happen, obviously, this would not be the first threat to be called into a U.S. representative. Typically, Capitol police will then document that from the staff. They'll then hand it over to the FBI. They are the ones who then investigate this who are essentially working with prosecutors in this case. Again, he is scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday for a follow up hearing.
WHITFIELD: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.
A doctor's dire warning inspired one woman to motivate her neighborhood into shape. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has her story in today's "Turning Points."
HELEN COSTA-GILES, LOST 90 POUNDS: So every morning, I come to my garage just before 5:00 and I write the workout on my fridge. I'm literally the fittest and healthiest I have been in my entire life. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: But four years before
Helen Costa-Giles hit her peak condition, she was at her worst. At five-foot-tall and weighing 220 pounds, a yearly doctor's appointment turned into a moment Helen will never forget.
COSTA-GILES: He showed me all of my blood work with my LDLs, my cholesterol. My sugar levels were off the charts. He just told me that I was going to be chronically ill, and that was enough. It was fear that set in.
GUPTA: Helen purged her house of processed foods and began cooking with fresh ingredients. Within six months, she says, she dropped almost 60 pounds. But Helen still wasn't satisfied.
COSTA-GILES: I would take pictures every Sunday. And I was like I kind of look like Gumby. I probably should start working out.
GUPTA: All that was missing was a little motivation.
COSTA-GILES: So I put a post on my neighborhood Facebook. I said anybody want to work out with me at 4:00 a.m.? We went from two to four to 10 to 12.
GUPTA: Today, Helen still hosts free workouts in her garage three times a week.
COSTA-GILES: I think once you help somebody else in their own health journey, it does a lot for you. I speak about my picture now, the most beautiful picture in my world. That day was day one.
GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
[14:55:09] WHITFIELD: And tomorrow, don't miss the final episode of "The Bush Years." A presidency ends and a patriarch lives on, but the legacy lives on. That's tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern only on CNN.
And thanks so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We have so much more straight ahead in the Newsroom with Ana Cabrera right after this.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks so much for being with me this weekend. I appreciate you being here.
President Trump on the road this weekend. He is in Las Vegas right now, trying to convince a certain group of voters to help him win reelection. It's a group that traditionally votes Democrat more than Republican.