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American Tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott Has Been Found Alive After Being Abducted From A National Park In Uganda; Fight Over President Trump's Tax Returns Is Intensifying; U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr Promised The Released Of The Redacted Bob Mueller Report By Mid-Month; President Trump Says He Is Nominating Conservative And Former Republican Presidential Hopeful Herman Cain To The Board Of Federal Reserve; Motel 6 Will Pay Millions Of Dollars And Change Its Privacy Policies After It Was Sued By The State Of Washington. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 7, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe Democrats will never see the President's tax returns?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no, never.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should not be in a situation where individual private tax returns are used for political purposes.
WHITFIELD: Plus --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The attorney general said there was no obstruction of justice, he decided that. Mueller did not say that.
You can commit complete betrayals of the public interest without committing impeachable acts. And if you did that, the public ought to know that, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The face of the Democratic Party is infested with what we call Trump derangement syndrome. They still cannot accept the fact that he won the election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't regret calling out this President for what I consider deeply unethical and improper conduct, not a bit.
WHITFIELD: CNN NEWSROOM starts now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
WHITFIELD: Hello, everyone. And thank you so much for joining us this Sunday. I'm Fredericka Whitfield.
We begin with this breaking news. An incredible end to a terrifying story. American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott has been found alive after being abducted from a national park in Uganda. Officials say an armed gang captured her Endicott and her guide in the Queen Elizabeth national park last Tuesday then demanded $500,000 for their return.
I want to get right to our journalist Robyn Kriel in Ethiopia.
So Robyn, how were they rescued? What are you learning?
ROBYN KRIEL, CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, as you said, amazing story, Fredricka. It's not often that stories end up this way for people that have been kidnapped.
Here's what we do now. According to the Ugandan spokesman for the government, American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and her guide rescued from the DRC. So they are calling it a rescue operation.
Now, I do believe that it is the UPDF, the Ugandan military that were sweeping the area searching for Kimberly. They were kidnapped on April 2nd during a game drive in the Queen Elizabeth national park. She was kidnapped along with four others, her and her guide. But we now understand they were rescued.
So here is what we don't know. We do not know who rescued them. Was it just the Ugandan military? Were there international partners involved? Exactly how did that rescue happen? We also don't know if a ransom was paid. We do not know what state is she in? Is she healthy? Is she psychologically OK? What state is her guide in as well? And of course, was this terrorism or was this just banditry?
We do not know the answer to that, too. We do know there are terrorism groups in the democratic republic of Congo where she was being held. We are not sure if they had anything to do with that or it was just simply kidnapping for ransom by an armed group.
All in all though, Fredricka, great news. Here is a sound bite -- here's a statement that we got from Ofwono Opondo. He is the spokesman for the Ugandan government. He told CNN that both Kimberly and her guide were rescued from the DRC safe and safely back in (INAUDIBLE). That's where they are at the moment. They are at a lodge. And Kimberly is expected in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, tomorrow.
WHITFIELD: All right. Robyn Kriel, thank you so much.
I'm joined now by the CNN Pentagon reporter Ryan Browne.
Ryan, we are still waiting to hear from U.S. officials. But what role, if any, did the U.S. embassy play in helping to locate Kimberly Sue Endicott or at least get her to safety in some manner.
RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: That's right, Fred. We are hearing very little officially from the U.S. government on this matter. They have remained somewhat tight-lipped. Now, the state department did issue a warning immediately after the kidnap was reported telling American citizens to stay away from that area, that area of Queen Elizabeth national park along the border with the democratic republic of the Congo there saying that there was a security force operation in the area. Hunting criminal activities, so they advised Americans to stay away.
State department officials saying they were aware of the situation. And, of course, their embassy maintaining contact with the government there in Uganda, aware of the military -- getting detailed briefs of the military operation involved, but little word officially from the U.S. government as to the fate of one of its citizens. We, in fact, haven't even heard from the U.S. side whether or not they have in fact been recovered -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Browne, thank you so much.
We know the state department by way of the secretary of state had said days ago, you know, Ryan, Pompeo, that you know, the U.S. doesn't pay ransom. So if you are still with me, do you know anything about whether ransom was paid, by whom, in what manner the U.S. could have been involved.
BROWNE: Well, the U.S. government, of course, as you noted, Secretary Pompeo and the U.S. government traditionally has taken a firm stand against paying ransoms either to terrorists or criminal gangs. However, that doesn't stop in some cases people can go outside of official government channels, families, insurance companies, that kinds of things. It's unclear if that's what happened here, so we'll very much try to into this and see what went down with this situation - Fred.
[14:05:18] WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Browne, thank you so much for that.
All right. Let's bring in wildlife conservationist Jeff Corwin and former CIA operative Bob Baer. Good to see both of you with very different levels of expertise with so invaluable, nonetheless, particularly on this kind of story.
So Bob, walk us through. What extraction of that magnitude would look like? Again, there are a lot of details as to we don't know, you know, how she was and you know, and her guide were picked up, where they were delivered, all that, but is there a scenario that you can paint for us?
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, clearly, the embassy was involved, and they would send consular officials, but it's the local police that took her back because -- simply because special operations, American special operations cannot operate in that part of the world. They can't stage. They don't have bases set up. So they do depend on the locals which has undoubtedly happened in this case. And so far it sounds like a criminal gang. If it's a terrorist gang, I don't think there would have been a resolution this quickly.
WHITFIELD: And then, Jeff, you know, you have spent lots of time in this part of the world, various game parks throughout Africa. Uganda's Queen Elizabeth national park in particular, you know, it's known for its abundant wildlife. It has typically been a safe place for tourists to see leopards, hippos, chimpanzees, but this, too, this incident perhaps really underscores the potential dangers involved in any kind of safari. What do you know about whether this was a park known for bandit or, you know, terrorism or poaching activity, any of those kinds of dangers?
JEFF CORWIN, HOST, THE JEFF EXPERIENCE ON ANIMAL PLANET: Good afternoon, Fredricka. Unfortunately, this part of Africa is rife with poaching, especially when it comes to big five, when it comes to elephant and rhino.
I have spent a lot of time in this national park I this region. It is a stunning national park. But what your audience may be surprised to discover is that the wildlife that we now find to be abundant there today is very, very novel. This is a new experience. Idi Amin had wiped out most of that wildlife decades ago. And, of course, Uganda has had a balance with stability over the years. We have had various ethnic challenges and issues between various communities in this part of the world. And I have spent time there in the mountains of the (INAUDIBLE) in search of guerrillas and in search of chimpanzees.
And shortly before I had actually gone to film gorillas in this part of the world, a group of Americans and New Zealanders were actually kidnapped in a similar fashion. Unfortunately, for a number of those tourists it ended in the most horrific way possibility.
I would say this woman is remarkably lucky. I did not think it would end this way. This is not usually how this terminates.
WHITFIELD: And then quickly, Jeff, you know, talk to me about the kind of security measures that often you or people are familiar with, you know, safaris would take. I mean, I'm a kid who grew up in, you know, largely in Africa with a lot of safari experience, you know in the game parks there. And we as a family always had security along with the driver, translator, et cetera. So talk to me about, you know, how you usually embark on these kinds of adventures.
CORWIN: Well, typically when you are traveling on safaris, especially in remote area, you often have and armed guard with you. Oftentimes he's a ranger employed by the safari company, or, for example, when we are filming we are required to have an armed guard with us.
Believe it or not, that's less for people and has more to do with the situation with wildly. Of course, you try to avoid any negative scenario by behaving correctly in this environment. But in remote areas where you're particularly on the border of the ERCD, and in this area that has issue with terrorism, with theft and kidnapping, you definitely want to go in that prepared. It was incredibly interesting. Literally, we are planning a trip for filming in Africa and I literally talked (ph) with my producer when this happened. I said maybe we will skip Uganda this year.
WHITFIELD: And Bob, you know, again, CNN hasn't confirmed this, but the "New York Times" is reporting that ransom was paid, in this case by the safari company wild frontiers. Is that generally typical perhaps when tourists take out insurance, is this something, you know, as part of that coverage particularly if there's ransom involved it would be paid by the tourist company?
BAER: Or the family. I mean, the government will not pay ransom. It doesn't want to set that precedent, especially in the Congo because it will encourage more kidnappings, but there's actually nothing that the government can do to stop those payments, especially if it's a gang and not a terrorism group. So maybe the family paid ransom or didn't or the company, but that's the quickest way to get out of a situation like this. Get somebody back is pay the ransom, but, again, it sets a bad precedent.
[14:10:21] WHITFIELD: Yes.
All right. Bob Baer and Jeff Corwin, thanks to both of you. I really appreciate it. Fascinating situation there.
All right. Still ahead, President Trump's acting chief of staff says Democrats will never see President Trump's tax returns. We will talk about that next.
[14:14:50] WHITFIELD: The fight over President Trump's tax returns is intensifying. Now the White House is vowing Democrats will never see the documents. This comes after the Democrats' unprecedented request to the IRS for six years of Trump's personal tax returns. Here is how acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is reacting to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:15:08] MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: Keep in mind, they knew they are not going to get these taxes. They know what the law is. They know what one of the fundamental principles of the IRS is to protect the confidential alt of you and me and everybody else who files taxes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be clear, you believe Democrats will never see the President's tax returns?
MULVANEY: Oh, no, never. Nor should they. That is not going to happen, and they know it. This is a political stunt by my former colleagues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Never is a big shift from this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I decide to of course, I'll produce my tax returns, absolutely.
I'm releasing when we are finished with the audit.
I will release my tax returns against my lawyer's wishes when she releases her 33,000 emails,
I'll release them when the audit is completed.
As soon as that is finished whenever that may be. Hopefully it's before the election. I'm fine with it. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So President Trump's attorney weighing in saying Democrats are trying to use the IRS as a political weapon.
Let's check in with CNN's White House correspondent Boris Sanchez.
So tell us more about this escalating fight.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Fred.
Yes, you heard the acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney call this a political stunt. Democrats opening up yet another front in their battle against the White House with the House ways and means committee demanding six years of the President's tax returns and tax returns pertaining to some of his business assets.
The White House took a defensive posture almost immediately. Sources indicating that this was something that they were preparing for. The argument for Mick Mulvaney is that the American people did not need to see Donald Trump's tax returns to elect him President despite the fact that as you heard there from President Trump he said he would be open to releasing them as soon as an IRS audit was completed. That audit has gone on for several years now.
We should point out this would likely turn into yet another legal fight for this White House, one that they are apparently prepared to go all the way to challenge Democrats on. A senior official telling CNN they would fight to the Supreme Court if they had to, Fred.
WHITFIELD: And Mulvaney also discussing a meeting that he held at Camp David this weekend to talk about healthcare so what are we learning about the successes or failures of that meeting?
SANCHEZ: Yes, Fred. Yesterday the acting chief of staff hosted some White House staff as well as cabinet members at Camp David to discuss healthcare moving forward. He committed this morning to presenting a plan to the American people before the 2020 election saying that they would work along the lines of the Graham/Cassidy bill that ultimately went nowhere just a couple years ago. Listen to more from the acting chief of staff on one of the Sunday morning talk shows now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MULVANEY: We spent the time this weekend saying, OK, what have we done? What can we talk about that's a success? What do we need to work on going forward? We talked about the individual marketplace. We talked about how we are protecting Medicare. We are talking about getting drug prices down. And I do think you will see a plan here fairly shortly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you see it before the 2020 election?
MULVANEY: Yes. No, we want to run on this. We re firm believers that you can't beat something with nothing. We, have Republicans have, better ideas than Democrats. We should not be afraid to talk about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: You can't beat something with nothing. Clearly taking a page from President Trump who last week blatantly told Republicans that they could not win in 2020 unless they challenged Democrats on healthcare and became, in his words, the party of healthcare - Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Boris Sanchez, thanks so much at the White House.
All right. Joining me now, senior editor for "the Atlantic" Ron Brownstein and national political reporter for the "New York Times" Lisa Lerer. Good to see you both.
OK. So how do we go from, you know, Trump saying in 2014 he would absolutely release his tax returns to him and later saying he would release them after an audit is complete to now the White House acting chief of staff, Ron, saying Dems will never see his tax returns.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Because that was the real answer all along. You know, I live in L.A., and there's a saying in Hollywood, there are two ways to say no. No and yes. And, you know, in fact, as long as you are not producing the tax returns in effect you are saying no. And it is worth noting that this is not something that the administration can enforce. If he believes the Democrats will never obtain this, ultimately he needs five members of the Supreme Court to agree with that.
BROWNSTEIN: And it's worth noting that the language in the law and the precedent of the law is very clear. The law -- the authority is based on the 1924 revenue act which was passed by a Republican Congress after the Republican President refused to provide them the tax returns they wanted to investigate first the Teapot Dome scandal about oil leases and then whether the treasury Secretary Andrew Melon's business interest was affecting tax policy.
It directly relate to the kinds of issues that are, you know, at issue today. And then ultimately, the court would have to look pass that and a very strong language shall provide in the law in order to uphold what the chief of staff said today.
[14:20:01] WHITFIELD: So Lisa, you know, doesn't the language that Dems will never see Trump's tax returns, you know, just pique the interest of, you know, so what is in there that they are working so hard to protect anyone from seeing?
LISA LERER, NATIONAL PARK REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Of course it does, and that's part of what Democrats are banking on here. Whether they get the tax returns or not or if it's a fight that goes on for years and years and does go all the way up to the Supreme Court, Democrats see this as a political battle that will reflect well on them in the 2020 election. They think they are driving a contrast here, that it raises the
obvious question of is the President hiding something? What could the President be hiding? And that's part of the reason why you see a number of Democratic primary candidates jumping over themselves to release their tax returns.
LERER: They see this as a way to get at what will be one of their central arguments against President Trump.
WHITFIELD: The transparency.
LERER: And his re-election campaign.
WHITFIELD: As much transparency as they are able to deliver.
WHITFIELD: So, Ron, here's what President Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow, had to say today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: This President decided not to because he has an ongoing IRS audit. The idea that you can use the IRS as a political weapon which is what is happening here is incorrect both as a matter of statutory law and constitutionally. We should not be in a situation where individuals -- individual private tax returns are used for political purposes. As you just said, George, what stops another party from doing the same thing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. So this is the argument, you know, we are hearing from Republicans. We heard Trump's other attorney even say that, you know, it would be like opening a Pandora's box so do they have a point here? Is this -- could this an effective argument?
BROWNSTEIN: Look, every President, you know, every president in modern times has released their tax returns. They have released it for a very specific reason which is the public wants to know whether the President's financial interests is outweighing the public interest in shaping the policies that they pursue.
And as I said, if you go back to the original nation of the authority that Congress is employing here, the 1924 revenue act, it was promulgated for exactly that reason by a Republican Congress during the term of a Republican President. They wanted to know whether there were financial conflicts of interest that were shaping policy.
So, I mean, there is a reason why -- the important thing to remember is that Jay Sekulow is defending a deviation from what has become a very accepted norm. I mean, it is not like Donald Trump is, you know, being asked to do something - yes, he is not being asked to do something anomalous. He is being asked to in fact conform with what every other President has done. He is refusing to do that and then saying that attempts to try to bring him into compliance with that norm is a political grandstanding act.
WHITFIELD: All right. And now switching gears a little bit here, you know, healthcare. The President put it back on the table again. And Mick Mulvaney says, you know, they want to come up with a plan that Republicans can run on in 2020.
Lisa, they had their meeting or at least there was one meeting, right, at Camp David with Mick Mulvaney there. So, is this a real possibility for the Trump White House?
LERER: I mean, certainly not if you are talking to Capitol Hill. There's a lot of work that needs to be done. And as we move into a reelection cycle, it's not generally the time when such work is able to get done.
So this has been all great news for the Democrats. It turned the page after the Barr interpretation of the Mueller lord that they were worried reflecting badly on them. Now they can talk about healthcare which is an issue that they believed help them win back the House in the midterms.
So they are very eager to talk about this. I think Republicans on Capitol Hill are a little less eager, but it certainly it seems to be something that the President wants to talk about. So I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more about a lot of meetings, whether anything comes from them I think is far less certain.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And after so many failures, Ron, I mean, it is just -- why? It just doesn't seem like a potentially winnable thing for the President.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, first, he's guaranteed that repeal of the ACA, which is as its highest public approval since its passage is directly on the ballot in 2020. And there is a plan that they, you know, and Mulvaney hinted that again today, that they put forward in the administration's federal budget only last month. I mean, they proposed again to repeal the ACA, replace it with the Graham/Cassidy block grants from 2017, block grant the underlying Medicaid program itself and cut them both by $775 billion over the next decade which would, of course, revoke coverage for millions and also end the federal guarantees of pre-existing conditions.
I mean, this is their plan unless they have renounce it had which they put in their own budget. And I think it's a contrast that Democrats want to have. And to Lisa's point, I mean, in 2018, healthcare was obviously critical to Democratic gains. And it was the one issue that helped them claw back some support among those critical working class white voters in the rust belt, particularly women who were so instrumental in Trump's victory. Some of those women moved back toward the Democrats. And there is a lot of evidence. It was principally around the Republican efforts to repeal the ACA.
[14:25:06] WHITFIELD: All right. Lisa Lerer and Ron Brownstein, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it. BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, after claiming total exoneration, President Trump continues his twitter assault on Democrats around the special counsel's Russia investigation. But if he has nothing to worry about, then why does he keep bringing it up?
[14:29:56] WHITFIELD: U.S. attorney general Bill Barr promised the released of the redacted Bob Mueller report by mid-month. But this weekend President Trump seems consumed about the report. He is back on twitter venting his frustrations with the investigation. He is repeating claims that the probe was a witch hunt and a waste of time.
Today, Democrats in Congress are repeating that they want the documents now, and they want them un-redacted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:30:22] REP. ADAM SCHIFF (R-CA), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: If the Republicans think that's perfectly fine because it doesn't amount to the crime of conspiracy, then we are going to part company. And I'm not going to stop make the point that we should hold our President, our campaigns, our elected officials to a higher standard than mere criminality.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: And have you no regrets of anything you have said in the last couple of years?
SCHIFF: I don't regret calling out this President for what I consider deeply unethical and improper conduct, not a bit.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: You can commit shameful acts. You can you commit complete betrayals of the public interest without committing impeachable acts. And if you did that the public ought to know that, too.
And the standard -- the standard here is not afternoon impeachment. The standard is what was -- the standard is -- we have to protect the public from presidential misconduct, from anybody else's and the public has to know about it. And we have to get all the evidence so we can subject to protecting certain classified information decisions that the Judiciary Committee has always made in the past and can make now. The public ought to know all of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Michael Zeldin is a former federal prosecutor and was a special assistance to Robert Mueller at the justice department.
Good to see you. OK. So, if redacted and released, Will Barr be asked, you know, by Congress or anyone else? You know, why he is taking this method. Why deliver a redacted version and not an un- redacted one, especially in the point that Jerry Nadler just made?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So I think that he has already answered the question on the redacted public report in his March 29th letter when he said that the law does not permit him to release grand jury protected secrecy information and that he wants to protect the privacy interests of named individuals who were not charged with crime and sources and methods and the like. So he has articulated why he doesn't want to give the public the un-redacted version.
WHITFIELD: But then you heard the judiciary committee chair who says, you know, that is their job, and they are sworn, you know, to that kind of responsibility of handling grand jury or classified information.
ZELDIN: Exactly. So the second part was why didn't he give it to Congress? And I think he should give it to Congress. I think that Congress has legitimate interest in knowing what's in the un-redacted report, both from an understanding of what happened in the investigation standpoint but in making sure that there aren't legislative needs that derived from reading that un-redacted report that they can address for the future.
WHITFIELD: Well, do you believe that it would be imminent that they will get that or they will have to go the method of the subpoena which they have already authorized in which to get under way?
ZELDIN: I think the latter, unfortunately. I believe it would be in the country's best interest to not have that fight, to not have a subpoena fight and perhaps the contest of a subpoena that goes to the court system. I think that under the old independent counsel statute, independent counsels like myself, like Ken Starr were obligated to give our un-redacted report to Congress. I think that's a much better system. And I would hope that Barr would do something like that if he feels he has the legal authority to do that.
WHITFIELD: All right. So Barr had said, you know, by mid-month, this month, the redacted version would come. Presumably, you know, it takes a lot of time in which, to you know, to redact this document. How do you believe it would be presented? I mean, summaries and all, whether by the investigators or even by Bob Mueller himself?
ZELDIN: Well, that's a great question. I think that the report itself has been reported to have executive summaries that are filled with information that should be redacted. So it seem that those things should go easily over it. The bulk of the report they will mostly likely has grand jury and other materials that need to be redacted and that is what they are doing and that will be what is released to the public.
I think once the reports have made public, and once there is some sort of resolution about what Congress will be able to get, it would behoove A.G. Barr and special counsel Mueller to testify both in open public forums and in classified settings as it required by the law so that we get a better sense of what their thinking is here.
Because, remember, what Mueller did in some sense was to decide -- he didn't have enough information to ultimately decide on the question of whether or not the president of the United States committed obstruction of justice. Barr made that decision instead of Mueller.
We would like to understand, I would think, the public, what was at play there? What was Mueller thinking? What evidence was he missing? Why did Barr think that he had the authority do this instead of Mueller? What was the dialogue between the justice department and the special counsel? All that stuff really needs to be aired for us to really decide what went on here, Fred.
[14:35:30] WHITFIELD: So there's a lot at stake, not just for the President who is the subject of the investigation, everybody knows that, but also a lot at stake for the attorney general and his credibility and integrity in the end because even redacted people will be able to draw their own conclusions and compare the four-page summary to whatever summaries are revealed or made public un-redacted in that report.
ZELDIN: Exactly. And in fact, you are already seeing pushback by way of leaks, I guess, by investigators on Mueller's team, at least attributed to them.
ZELDIN: That they are none too happy with the way Barr characterized the evidence. That they thought their evidence was much more damning than Barr set forth in his March 24th memo. So once that report comes out, if it's not so un-redacted that had it doesn't make any sense, then we can see whether or not Barr has in fact spun it more favorably than the evidence really reflects.
WHITFIELD: All right. Michael Zeldin, we will leave it there. Thank you so much.
ZELDIN: Thank you, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, President Trump and Democrats trade barbs over the Federal Reserve accusing each other of using the fed as a political weapon. Is playing politics good or bad for the economy?
[14:40:50] WHITFIELD: Welcome back.
President Trump says he is nominating conservative and former Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain to the board of Federal Reserve. Cain who grew to national fame for his 999 tax reform plan comes with years of experience as the former CEO of Godfather Pizza Chain and a former chairman of the federal reserve bank of Kansas City.
Trump also nominated his former economic advisers Stephen Moore. The move sparked criticism that Moore would act as a Trump loyalist on the board. Trump has also been openly critical of the fed and its chairman Jerome Powell for raising interest rates. The fed says higher rates are needed to cool off a hot economy while Trump wants lower rates to drive the stock market and the higher economy.
So with me now from Boston is Ken Rogoff. He is the former chief economist at the international monetary fund and is a professor of economics and public policy at Harvard. Good to see you.
KEN ROGOFF, FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: So in the past, you have described the fed's independence as, you know, fragile. Do you think these appointments, you know, add to that kind of fragility?
ROGOFF: A little bit. I mean, he appointed Jerome Powell as chair. Richard Claire at his vice chair, John Williams at the New York Federal Reserve. These are all very good people who are acting pretty independently. So there are 12 voting members of the federal open market committee. He is adding two who are much more partisan. But I think this is more barking rather than fundamentally changing things. It will provide some noise. It will provide some commotion, but I don't think this is going to undermine the Federal Reserve on its own.
I think give it another six years, I don't know, but for now I think this is a change. The good news is he didn't do this before.
WHITFIELD: Well, is it your concern that he may be doing it now because, you know, of 2020 and lower interest rates that sure might be a lot more appealing to a lot of voters?
ROGOFF: Oh, he absolutely is doing it now because of 2020. And he seems to be wishing that he did it two years ago. Fortunately, he didn't. I think he has a really good team. Absolutely, these are more partisan appointments that he has made until now. There is no question about it. But, you know, I think really the -- it's too late. He has already appointed the top people to the board. It's a very pyramid stricture. These two are not going to be able to overturn things, and frankly I think they will get socialized to some extent when they join.
WHITFIELD: First they have to be confirmed.
ROGOFF: If confirmed, absolutely, absolutely.
WHITFIELD: Right. OK. So listen to what the White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said about, you know, Trump's appointment to the fed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISOR: I'm not here to pick on the fed's independence. I just want to say this. They have had a model. I hate to go through it, but it's called the Phillips curve which basically says the lower the unemployment rate, the higher the inflation rate. That model has been disproven for decades.
Key fed people, spokespeople on the fed themselves, including Jay Powell, have said that mold doesn't work. Now, look, this is so important.
KUDLOW: President Trump has every right to put people on the Federal Reserve board with a different point of view. The President stands behind both of those gentlemen right now and, again, we want to growth economy to its maximum. Let me clarify. We are not interfering with fed independence.
TAPPER: I know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So do you believe, that not interfering with the independence, these moves?
ROGOFF: Obviously, he wants to have people who are going to be more loyal to him. And obviously, you know, these two compared to the others that he's appointed until now. But it's too late. I mean, he made his appointment. These will provide some political noise. I don't think these will change things.
Now over, you know, another five years, a lot more could change. I have thought this would happen much sooner. I had been very relieved it didn't. So I think this is, you know, sort of a warning shot over the bow. I think the fed is probably not thrilled about this. But it's not really more than spanking them. It's not real fundamentally changing how it's going to be.
[14:45:09] WHITFIELD: All right. Ken Rogoff, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.
ROGOFF: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, Motel 6 about to pay up. The cozy relationship with immigration officials that got the motel chain sued for millions of dollars.
But, first, one of the hardest things on a relationship is arguing the wrong way. In this week's staying well, therapists say couples will always have conflicts, but approach makes all the difference.
VERONICA PENA, MARRIED FOR 11 YEARS: We have been married for 11 years, and we have been separated four times. Trouble started right away. What we fought about a lot is what I expected from him, what he expected of me and not meeting each other's expectations.
SAUL STEM, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST: If they can get beneath what the conflict is about, what's beneath it usually is if not always I don't feel loved and now being appreciated.
ABRAHAM PENA, MARRIED FOR 11 YEARS: Being married as such a young would I commitment issues.
V. PENA: I would always, you know, tend to shut down and then I would think oh, no, are we going to separate? No, is he going to leave?
STEM: When we are upset, we lose our ability to solve problems. What needs to happen first is to be calm in the body that starts by articulating your own feelings and having them accepted by your partner.
V. PENA: To have that sense of feeling insecure again and real just shook me.
A. PENA: I wanted to have 100 percent to understand.
STEM: Too many of us have not had enough practice at being able to articulate our own feelings.
A. PENA: When I'm in my moment of weaknesses, I don't want you to see that.
STEM: If you change just one small thing to express appreciation for one another, every single day, 30 seconds, and then they are on a completely different path.
A. PENA: I don't want to let you down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still have conflict, but we are able to communicate through it.
V. PENA: Our relationship is not in question anymore.
[14:51:41] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Motel 6 will pay millions of dollars and change its privacy policies after it was sued by the state of Washington. The state's attorney general says the motel chain gave immigration officials the private information of roughly 80,000 guests without their consent for more than two years. At least nine of those guests, nine were detained.
CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval is following this story for us.
So Polo, you know, in apparent massive invasion of privacy here. What kind of data was shared?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These practices definitely costing big here, Fred, to this motel chain.
Let me explain to you how this process worked according to the Washington state attorney general's office. According to their investigation and -- and this -- this settlement here, staff at some of these Motel 6 locations, at least seven across the state, would reportedly share information with immigration and customs enforcement.
What kind of information? Not only guest names but also their driver's license numbers, license plate information as well, their date of births as well, and their room numbers. And as you mentioned here some of these investigations did lead to detentions and eventual deportations for some of these individuals.
Now, we should also mention, Fred, that according to this practice here in at least one location in Washington or I should say two, ICE agents would visit the location and then staff at that location would hand over lists after circling guests with Latino-sounding names. And again, this is all coming out of documents released by the attorney general's office. Those ICE agents would then take the lists and come back later and eventually detain some of the individuals.
Motel 6 has issued a statement saying that they are pleased to have reach a settlement in this matter. But at the same time they are also saying that they promised to make sure that the information of their guests is top priority. And it really does have to be as part of this legal agreement, Fred. They have to not only pay restitution to some of these roughly 80,000 guests, but they also have to provide training for their employees to make sure that they are aware that a warrant would be required to obtain this type of information, because according to this investigation there were no warrants that were filed. The staff there simply handed over those lists.
WHITFIELD: And Polo, is this the first time that Motel 6 has been involved in something like this?
SANDOVAL: No, it is not. In fact, this investigation issue started in 2017 when there were some news reports from the region there that were allegedly -- that staff at several Motel 6 locations in Arizona State that had these kinds of practices. Washington State then began an investigation. And that's when they were able to determine that there was this kind of behavior happening in their state.
But we should mention that when it comes to that -- that separate case in Arizona there was a tentative agreement and as part of the agreement Motel 6 agreed to no longer have these kinds of practices. So again, this has been an issue, not just in Washington State but in Arizona State as well.
And finally, Fred, I should mention that the attorney general in Washington is actually recommending anybody from across the country or underworld who may have stayed at a Motel 6 in Washington State between 2015 and 2017 to reach out to their office and file a claim for restitution.
All right. Polo Sandoval, thanks so much.
[14:55:00] SANDOVAL: Yes.
WHITFIELD: Still ahead, new results from the campaign trail. Democrats announce early fund-raising totals, but do those figures reveal who is really separating themselves from the pack?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:59:00] WHITFIELD: Happening now in the NEWSROOM.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe Democrats will never see the President's tax returns.
MULVANEY: Oh, no. Never.
SCHIFF: There is no legal ground for them here. The statute says the IRS shall provide these tax returns to the Congress upon request.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should not be in a situation where individual private tax returns are used for political purposes.
NADLER: The attorney general said there was no obstruction of justice and he decided that Mueller did not say that. You committed complete betrayals --.
(END VIDEO CLIP)