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House Ways and Means Committee Continues to Request President Trump's Tax Returns from IRS; President Trump Announces Administration is Considering Policy of Transporting Detained Immigrants Awaiting Hearing to Sanctuary Cities; President Trump Announces Possible Third Summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un; President Trump Tweets Controversial Images of Ilhan Omar and 9/11 Attacks; Tiger Woods in Contention at Masters. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired April 13, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:13] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you and happy Saturday. April 13th is the date. We're so glad to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. You are in the CNN Newsroom.
PAUL: We have some breaking news this hour. Democrats are taking a new route to trying and get President Trump's taxes.
BLACKWELL: House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal has just given an ultimate to the commissioner of the IRS. Let's go now to CNN Politics Congressional Reporter Lauren Fox who joins us now to break this story. Lauren, what are you learning?
LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: We're learning that this committee chairman, Richard Neal from Ways and Means, he is doubling down on his request for six years of the president's personal and business tax returns.
Now, what we know is that this is expected to go to court. We expect this to be a drawn-out fight. But this is yet another letter from Chairman Neal basically saying you have until April 23rd to get back to me on whether or not you're going to turn over the president's tax returns.
And in the letter, Richard Neal says, and I quote, "I expect a reply from the IRS by 5:00 p.m. on April 23rd, 2019. Please know that if you fail to comply your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request." So, again, this is really just upping the ante in this fight over the president's tax returns.
The Trump administration has been very clear that they are willing to go to court over this, all the way to the Supreme Court if they have to, that they are not going to be turning over the president's tax returns. But again, this is just creating a paper trail for once they get to court, they need to be able to prove that they tried, they asked multiple times. So this is once again just another request from the House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal to see the president's tax returns.
BLACKWELL: And in this letter, I've got the two-page letter here as well that was sent out this morning, they say that there's no valid basis to question the legitimacy of the committee's legislative purpose here, pushing back against the letter from the president's lawyer saying that you don't have either standing or the significant legislative requirements to get these returns.
FOX: That's right. And one of the things that the committee chairman has really been basing this claim on is an IRS code, and this is getting a little bit into the weeds now, known at 6103. And essentially what it says is that the treasury secretary shall furnish tax information to three people on Capitol Hill, and that is the chairman of House Ways and Means, that is the Senate Finance Committee or the chief-of-staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. There's only one Democrat on Capitol Hill that fits one of those roles, and that's the House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal. So that is exactly why he made this request.
But, of course, the Trump administration pushing back, saying that this is unprecedented, that this is a political attack. This is a letter that relies very heavily on sort of the legal rationale for why Richard Neal thinks he has a right to this information. But, of course, this fight is going to drag on quite a big longer. Victor and Christi?
PAUL: All right, Lauren Fox, appreciate the news, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: This morning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is criticizing President Trump for his tweet attacking Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The speaker joins a group of 2020 presidential candidates who have come to the defense of the congresswoman.
PAUL: And last night the president tweeted an edited video which some say is inciting hatred toward Representative Omar. Here's what we -- how we got here. Let's just get through this.
March 23rd, the representative gave a speech at the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Here's part of that speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ILHAN OMAR, (D) MINNESOTA: Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. And, frankly, I'm tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.
CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.
As an American member of Congress, I have to make sure that I am living up to the ideals of fighting for liberty and justice. Those are very much rooted in the reason why my family came here.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: President Trump only used part of Omar's speech in his tweet, specifically the word, "some people did something" in what some see as an attempt to minimize or be flippant in some way about the September 11th attack.
PAUL: So let's remember, as this edited version went out, the president has nearly 60 million followers on Twitter. CNN White House Reporter Sarah Westwood has more for us here from the White House. Sarah, what are you learning this morning? And good morning.
[10:05:04] SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good morning, Christi and Victor. And President Trump is igniting controversy by sharing that provocative video clip on his Twitter yesterday, so Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is becoming just the latest Democrat to line up in support of the Congresswoman Omar in the wake of this controversy. Speaker Pelosi taking to Twitter to write, in part, "The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence. The president shouldn't use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack." Then she goes on to say, "As we visit our troops in Stuttgart to thank them and be briefed by them, we honor our first responsibility as leaders is to protect and defend the American people. It is wrong for the president as commander-in- chief to fan the flames to make anyone less safe." Pelosi currently visiting troops in Germany.
And of course, this comes as Congresswoman Omar has been receiving death threats in the wake of a previous controversy in which she was involved, so Democrats have accused President Trump and other Republicans of inciting violence against her due to the fact that she has already been put in danger by the scrutiny on her. Republicans, on the other hand, have argued that Congresswoman Omar's comments minimize the threat of terrorism or perhaps disrespectful to the memory of 9/11. So President Trump joining that chorus of Republicans, but igniting a little bit of controversy with that video, Victor and Christi.
BLACKWELL: All right, Sarah Westwood for us at the White House, thank you.
PAUL: Up next, undercutting denials from his own administration. President Trump now says he is strongly looking at the possibility of releasing immigrants into so-called sanctuary cities, in part to retaliate against Democrats.
BLACKWELL: Plus, the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un says he's open to a third summit, and from his Twitter feed this morning, President Trump thinks the third time could be the charm.
PAUL: And in southern U.S., get ready, folks. Look at what's coming your way here. Violent weather. More than 100 million of you in the path of strong tornadoes, damaging winds, hail storms. We're going to walk you through this in a moment. Stay close.
[10:11:11] BLACKWELL: Another quick reversal for the White House. A day after an official told CNN the idea was quickly rejected, President Trump confirms that he is considering moving migrants to sanctuary cities. The critics call that plan cruel, unworthy of the presidency, and possibly illegal. The president says if Democrats want to open their arms to immigrants, they should do it in their own cities.
PAUL: CNN Correspondent Polo Sandoval is live in the biggest so- called sanctuary city in the country, New York City. So Polo, what are you hearing from New York?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Victor and Christi, good morning to you.
Obviously, we'll be hearing from New Yorkers throughout the morning. But in the meantime I can tell you that you're certainly hearing from Democratic officials throughout the country, for example starting here in New York where Bill de Blasio responding to the president's tweets yesterday and saying that New York city is ultimately the ultimate migrant city, in his own words, and that the president and his policy that was potentially flitted around here is being seen or received as an empty threat by city officials here.
And when you hear from officials across the country, it's very similar, at least in messaging there. For example, in Philadelphia, where Mayor Jim Kenney said that while this proposal shows disdain for human dignity, their city is prepared to welcome migrants with open arms.
And it's also what we saw in San Francisco, for example. So what we're seeing this morning are more and more Democratic officials throughout the country responding to the president's tweets. And, of course, at the same time we're also trying to learn more. Keep in mind that there seems to be this disconnect. On Friday President Trump tweeted that they were strongly considering potentially sending migrants to some of these so-called sanctuary cities. But this also happened the day after his administration said that this proposal was never seriously considered.
So this certainly would add to the confusion, but at the same time, Victor and Christi as we're hearing from Democratic officials across the country, they're saying, if that's a proposal, then they are more than willing to take in some of these migrants, which, by the way, we're already seeing in some other parts of the country, including parts along that southern border.
PAUL: All righty, Polo Sandoval, appreciate it. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the national security implications of the policies with someone who has worked in the White House. Joining me now, CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd, a former senior adviser to the national security adviser under President Obama. Sam, welcome back. What is it say about what's going on inside the West Wing when a White House official on one day says that policy was rejected, it was never seriously considered, and the president comes back and says, no, no, we are really considering this? SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Victor,
unfortunately, what else is new at this point? It feels like the White House team likely has to spend a majority of their time at this point trying to clean up the president's Twitter message rather than trying to educate him on an actual analysis, what the law says, and proactive policy developments. I'm sure that they feel humiliated that the president has so publicly thrown them under the bus, but we have to be clear about the fact that it also results in hours that are spent trying to talk him down from illegal and, frankly, inhumane policy perspectives, and trying to talk him more towards doing something that's actually in the best interest of our country.
And frankly, Victor, I worked in U.S. government for six years under a Republican and a Democrat, I can't count how many security discussions I was a part of. I do not remember ever hearing the words Republican or Democrat in any security policy discussion that I had, because President Bush and President Obama from a security perspective wanted us to do what made sense to keep all Americans safe, not what was most politically expedient based upon a reelection cycle.
BLACKWELL: So you point out that if these immigration policy decisions are being made for political reasons, just retribution against these Democrats, that this could have some national security implications. How so?
[10:15:05] VINOGRAD: His national security implications, far beyond the immigration issue, if the president is trying to make a policy decision and to use policy as a political tool rather than something that's keeping all Americans safe, not just Republicans, but Democrats, Republicans, and anyone else for that matter, then he is not using the basic checklists that typically presidents use to decide whether a policy decision makes sense.
We just have to look at something like North Korea, which he's tweeting about this morning. And I don't think we can assume that he's staying in negotiations with Kim Jong-un who's continuing to nuclearize, continuing to threatening us, because he has read analysis that says this negotiating track is going to go somewhere. Instead at this point I think it's safe to assume that the president is staying in negotiations with Kim Jong-un because he's campaigned on the fact that he has a great relationship with Kim and that we're safer today when it comes to North Korea than when he took office, which, by the way, is factually untrue.
BLACKWELL: Yes. The president tweeted this morning in response that maybe it's an excellent relationship. I think we have that tweet. And he agreed to maybe a third summit, that it could be good. You think it could be good?
VINOGRAD: Well, it could be good for Kim Jong-un if President Trump continues to degrade U.S. capabilities when it comes to North Korea. It is unlikely that it could be good from a denuclearization standpoint based upon the fact that our intelligence community has said that Kim is not going to denuclearize.
But at this point let's just be clear that North Korea has more weapons today than when President Trump first started this negotiating track. The South Korean unification minister said they had 60 warheads. We could assume that that figure is higher. They have more weapons. They have more friends than they did a year ago, and they're getting more money. Our sanctions regime is full of holes, and President Trump has said that he is not implementing new sanctions that are critical to plugging those gaps in the sanctions regime.
So I don't think it's a mistake that Kim pushed the goalpost out to the end of the year, because he knows that in that time he's going to increase his leverage over President Trump, and President Trump is hanging on to this negotiating track, likely for political reasons, and is refusing to let go despite all the warning signs that he's being played.
BLACKWELL: All right, Samantha Vinograd, thank you so much.
VINOGRAD: Thanks, Victor.
PAUL: There's a dangerous situation developing right now across a big chunk of the southern U.S. More than 100 million of you under threat of severe weather. We're talking about violent tornados, large hail, damaging winds that's expected to sweep across several states. You see it there. You see all the lightning strikes as well. Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana, Jackson, Mississippi, expected to be among the cities hardest hit. So take good care of yourselves there.
BLACKWELL: Monday is not just tax day, it's also the deadline for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to report their fundraising totals. Coming up, CNN's Harry Enten gives us a snapshot of the race so far.
PAUL: Tiger Woods is near the top of the leaderboard at the Masters, but you see that there? A little bit of a problem. CNN's Andy Scholes is with us from Augusta.
[10:22:46] PAUL: It's 22 minutes past the hour on this Saturday. Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: So in just a few moments, Senator Cory Booker will official kick off his 2020 presidential campaign. And this is happening, of course, in a city where he started his political career, in Newark, New Jersey.
BLACKWELL: This is the first big rally of his campaign since he announced his candidacy. Starting today he begins a two-week nationwide justice for all tour showcasing a broad range of issues. CNN political reporter Rebecca Buck is in Newark. So what are you seeing this morning, because he announced that he's running months ago, and now this is the second bite of the apple?
REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. So this is the official kickoff of Booker's campaign. Obviously, things have not kicked off just yet. We're going to get started a little later this afternoon here in military park in Newark, New Jersey. But you're right. They are sort of taking a second bite at the apple here. And the reason they're doing this now, the campaign says, is because they really wanted to get Cory Booker's message out after everyone had gone into the race, after all that noise has sort of died down, and to kick off the second phase of his campaign.
The first phase has been all about Booker building his support on the ground, building up his operations in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, these key primary states. And they said that has been their focus. And that's why for pretty much the time since Booker launched on February 1st here in Newark, his campaign has been relatively quiet. He hasn't been making news that we've seen in the polling and fundraising. He hasn't been at the top of the pack.
Fundraising, of course, he reported raising $5 million less than Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, less than Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders by a lot, and in polling he's lagging in the low single digits, even in states like Iowa and New Hampshire. But his team believes that they still have plenty of time for a breakthrough moment and plenty of time to step back into the spotlight. And this is sort of the start of that second phase for them where they're going to kick it up a notch, pick up the pace, get Booker out there a little bit more.
They understand that they need to be part of the conversation in this race, but they feel that they have plenty of time to build up, and that this is a slow build, a marathon, not a sprint, as you say. And so that is the philosophy that they have been embracing.
[10:25:04] Here today we expect Cory Booker to talk a little bit about, of course, his history here in Newark, but really the broad vision he has for the country, for this campaign, and they're really starting to lay out what we're going to hear from him for the next few weeks on this national tour. He'll go to Iowa this next week, Nevada, Georgia. He'll also be making his first visits to states like California, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, few others. But that's what we'll be watching here later today, Christi and victor.
PAUL: Rebecca Buck, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Stevie Wonder wouldn't let her be great this morning. Just would not let her be great.
PAUL: We were listening to superstition, and I hope that means nothing for the campaign.
BLACKWELL: It's a great song.
PAUL: It is a great song.
BLACKWELL: But it wasn't for the best audio this morning. Thank you, Rebecca.
So Monday is tax day. It's also a key deadline for Democrats looking to travel President Trump in 2020. A handful of the 16 plus presidential hopefuls have already released fundraising totals for the first quarter of 2019.
PAUL: So this number, and you couple it with the polling, will determine which candidates are on the stage during the first presidential debate. So you're probably thinking, OK, who might I see up there? Well, CNN senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten has been trying to decipher that. Harry, good morning to you.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: Good morning. Good morning. I wish we had Stevie Wonder going right now. It would be so perfect.
PAUL: Listen, we need to know, kind of breakdown for us who is at the top of the pack right now? And really, what does that mean this early in?
ENTEN: Yes, if you look at the fundraising that we've seen so far, Bernie Sanders is by far blowing away the field, Kamala Harris is number two, Beto O'Rourke is number three, Pete Buttigieg is actually number four, as we see up on the screen right now.
But what's so interesting to me is, despite the fact that all these candidates have raised what I think is a decent sum of money, they actually, if you combine the top four, that is equal to the same number that Hillary Clinton ran during the first quarter in which she was in the race so far. So it does seem to me that even though these Democrats are raising a lot of money, they're actually not raising that lot, at least if you put it in historical context.
BLACKWELL: Compared to 2016, even compared to 2008, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were going head to head, these numbers are historically low. Does that mean that there's a lack of enthusiasm, or just people holding their money until the field narrows?
ENTEN: I actually would argue that it's not a lack of enthusiasm. What I would argue is that Democrats this time are raising money in a very different way than they've raised it in years' past. They are going after small donors. So if you compare this to, say, 2008, the race you just mentioned, what you see is that the top candidates this time around are raising money from a lot more donors. In fact, if I think it's the top five right now, what you see is that the number of donors that they have raised, from Bernie Sanders, 525,000 donors, to Elizabeth Warren at 135,000, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton raised money from much fewer donors. I believe Barack Obama was just over 100,000 and Hillary Clinton was less than that. So what we see is just a different way of raising money. And we are seeing a lot of enthusiasm, even if that's not reflected in the overall amount of money that these folks are raising.
PAUL: OK, so let's talk about one of those striking numbers there, number three, Mayor Pete Buttigieg seems to be surging, yes?
ENTEN: Yes. I would definitely say that he's surging. Look at those fundraising totals and then look at the polls that we got out this week from both Iowa and New Hampshire. What you see is that a man who nobody knew his name at the beginning of the year except for maybe someone like myself is now in third place in both Iowa and New Hampshire, nine percent, 11 percent in New Hampshire. And what's so interesting is he's able to get that despite the fact that his name recognition is still fairly low, which means that he's converting a lot of the people who have heard of him into actual votes, and that's something that's very, very telling, because, I'll be honest with you, most of the people who are going to vote in these caucus and primaries are going to like all the candidates. But the question is, can you actually convert those people who like you into votes, and so far Mayor Pete is most certainly doing that. Of course, we'll have to wait and see if he's able to continue doing that, and can he take a punch when the other candidates go after him.
BLACKWELL: So we're still expecting a few more filings up until Monday from other Democrats who are in the field. Is there any one that you're looking toward to see if they have what it takes to make it the next 300 days or so until the first caucuses and primaries?
ENTEN: I'll be honest with you, I'm interested perhaps in some of the governors and Jay Inslee and John Hickenlooper. We've also gotten the numbers so far from Amy Klobuchar who I thought entered the race in a fairly interesting position because she was from the Midwest, and obviously Democrats want to win back there. And yes, she did release a fundraising number, but we all believe that that was the general election amount that she raised for the general election combined with the amount that she raised for the primary. And of course, you can only spend the money that you raise for the primary during the primary season. And I'm interested to see how does that number breaks down.
[10:30:00] How much did she actually raise during the primary, because, remember, this is going to be a very long field. And yes, we have those top four or five candidates, but it could be the case that one candidate catches fire during the debates. But the ability to raise money allows you to actually build on that momentum going forward.
PAUL: All righty. Always good to see you, Harry Enten.
ENTEN: Well, it was an absolute pleasure talking with you. And let me just say, tax day is right around the corner, and the thing that's most unbelievable to me is even if you don't like filing your taxes, it turns out that the IRS is viewed very, very favorably, much more so than either Nancy Pelosi or Donald Trump. So I think we should keep in our hearts that the poor at the IRS, they are working for us even though they're taking our money.
PAUL: Even though they're taking our money.
BLACKWELL: Even though they're taking our money.
ENTEN: We work hard for that money. We're Americans. We work hard for that money.
PAUL: We do. BLACKWELL: Thank you, Harry.
PAUL: Thank you.
ENTEN: Thank you. Shalom, be well.
PAUL: You too.
So the battle over President Trump's taxes, since we're talking taxes, it is far from over this morning. House Democrats sending a new letter to the IRS. We'll tell you what we know about it.
[10:35:8] BLACKWELL: Breaking news out in just the last few minutes. House Democrats want to see President Trump's tax returns. They're not backing down, and this morning House Ways and Means chairman Congressman Richard Neal sent a new letter to the IRS requesting the tax returns again, and he wants them by April 23rd. Joining me now, Brian Robinson, Republican strategist, and A. Scott Bolden, former D.C. Democratic Party chairman. Gentlemen, welcome back.
SCOTT BOLDEN, FORMER D.C. DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: Good morning.
BRIAN ROBINSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So Brian, let me start here by reading just from the letter here. This all comes down to the justification for the letter, they cite case law here. And Neal writes that it's not the proper function of the IRS Treasury or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax return or return information.
ROBINSON: That doesn't appear to be the opinion of the administration, the secretary, or of the press, or of his lawyers. And last week they said they were willing to fight this in court, and I think that's what you'll see play out. This will be playing out through the judicial system.
I'm not aware of any time in our history where this 1920s era law has been implemented in this way, and it should give concern to ordinary Americans that their returns can be demanded by a partisan committee in Congress looking to do a political witch-hunt on an American citizen, whether they're president or not.
And look, the chairman of the Ways and Means committee said this is about making sure the IRS is implementing federal law correctly. Baloney. Nobody believes that. This is the next step in the investigation of trying to overturn the election of 2016. That's all this is. And they're jumping the shark. They're entire two years of this term is going to be about investigating the president. They're making a huge mistake.
BOLDEN: The president needs to be investigated. He drives that narrative. And you heard a lot of political rhetoric, GOP political rhetoric from Brian, my good friend. But the reality is this -- the laws on the books, there are no conditions or elements or even explanations where the House and Ways committee has to explain that to the IRS. The IRS really has no choice but to turn over the documents not just for Donald Trump, but for his business interests. And the Ways and Means committee can do this with any American citizen, but it hasn't done it in quite some time.
But look and why they're doing it. This president has a stake in all of these companies. These companies do business with foreign interests, including Russia, and he hasn't disclosed his tax returns. If that's a missing link, you have multiple investigations still going on past Miller, New York and the New York federal prosecutors. And so the oversight and the investigation of Donald Trump and his entities aren't over. And that's the read, that's the connection to why the Ways and Means Committee has to have it. But they don't have to express that.
And we're going to wind up in court on this, and we may wind up in the Supreme Court, but he's going to give up those tax returns whether he's in office or after he gets out of office, because there's no real argument other than the political side, and the political side of all of this, whether it's partisan or not, really doesn't matter.
BLACKWELL: So I want to make sure that as we, as we get into the specifics of this letter, and all the legalese, we don't forget the central question here. And, Brian, I'm going to put it to you, why? Why is the president working so hard to keep his tax returns private, to keep them secret?
ROBINSON: President Trump addressed this during the 2016 election. This is not a new issue. This is not something that's come up since the Democrats took over the House of Representatives. He said in 2016, basically, I'm not going to release my taxes. And he blamed an audit.
BLACKWELL: Nope. Let me correct you here, let me correct you here.
ROBINSON: I don't believe that.
BLACKWELL: Let me correct you here, because what he said was, I'd love to release them. As soon as the audit is over --
BOLDEN: Come on, Brian.
BLACKWELL: -- I'm going to release them. You told us last week, you don't believe there's an audit. So --
ROBINSON: There may be an audit. There may be an audit, but that's not why he's not --
BLACKWELL: You did believe there's an audit. The president is being audited now.
ROBINSON: There may be an audit, but -- look. Let's be serious, the president made it very clear in 2016 that he was not going to release his taxes, that he had no intention of doing it --
BLACKWELL: That is not what he said. What he said was --
ROBINSON: We all know that's what he was saying. Come on. That's exactly what he was saying.
BLACKWELL: So what's the point then of going through this whole charade of there's an audit, and he can release a letter saying he was audited or release the years that were not under audit, but what's the point of going through this charade, why is he doing all of this, what is he trying to hide?
ROBINSON: I think this is a pretty rare of him staying on message extremely well for three straight years.
BLACKWELL: You, too.
ROBINSON: Yes. And I think that he has a right to keep his taxes private if he wants to.
Look, this issue came up in 2016. He gave his story. People can believe it or not believe it. Obviously, Victor you don't believe it, obviously, Scott you don't believe it, and I'm dubious about the audit thing, too. But Americans elected him anyway.
[10:40:01] And look, there's nobody who supports Donald Trump who cares what's in his taxes. They've shown they don't care. The only people who care are Democrats who want to score political points. Let's be honest about that, Scott and Victor, that is what this is really about. This isn't about whether he has conflicts around the world. This is about trying to reverse the election of 2016, and it's going on and on now into its third year.
BLACKWELL: I would say there are Republican members of Congress, John Kennedy said that he would like to see the president's tax returns. Polls show that Americans want to see the president's tax returns, so --
ROBINSON: What else are they going to say in polls? What else are they going to say? No, no. Of course, they're going to say that. But they voted on this, and it was not something that they cared about when they went to vote, period.
BLACKWELL: Scott, Scott, 15 seconds, and then I've got to move on.
BOLDEN: Absolutely. But you hear the political rhetoric and the political answers. This is a legal issue, a legal answer.
And by the way, I've been litigating for 30 years. In civil litigation and criminal investigations, we get these tax returns all the time. We put them under protective order. You don't have a right. They are public documents. They don't release them, but you do have a right. You don't have a right to not release them.
ROBINSON: We have a right to privacy.
BOLDEN: You do, but you also -- if ordered to, you've got to turn them over.
BLACKWELL: And the law says the Ways and Means chairman has a right to get the tax returns of a president --
BOLDEN: An irrefutable right. An irrefutable right.
BLACKWELL: Scott, let me come to you and this issue of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the president tweeted out this video taking a couple lines of her speech to CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and zeroed in on that line, "some people did something," and then interspliced that with video of the World Trade Center coming down on 9/11. First, the phrase, and then the tweet. The phrasing, "some people did something," is that regrettable? Was she flippant in using, "some people it something," although she had a larger point? What do you make of the Congresswoman's words?
BOLDEN: She certainly had a larger point, and if you listen to the whole speech, she was making a point about Muslims were involved, they were killed in 9/11, and that this was a horrific event, no doubt about it. But at the same time, America and this president and the "New York Post" cannot label Islam an enemy of American people because of the very, very bad acts of some Muslims. And her point was that the organization she was talking to came into being because American Muslims who pay taxes, who fight for this country, their civil liberties were being infringed upon as a result, in her opinion and many other opinions, as a result of 9/11, which is fundamentally wrong. To bring that up and label her is just disgusting and racist.
BLACKWELL: CAIR actually was created in 1994, not 2001. But you said a horrific incident, no doubt about it. She didn't say that. I don't know if people are suggesting that she doesn't believe it's horrific, but what do you make of the phrasing that the president is pointing out here, and many Republicans, "some people did something"?
BOLDEN: In the context of her statement, the emphasis on her were the civil liberties and the results of those bad acts. She chose that phrase, "some people did something," but that was the intro. What she was really trying to get at is that American Muslims suffered as a result not because they participated in that bad act, but simply because they were American Muslims. And that's wrong and that's racist.
BLACKWELL: Brian, let me ask you about the video the president tweeted out and has pinned at my last check, at the top of his Twitter account, and I talked about that phrase and 9/11. Representative Omar has been threatened, her life has been threatened. A man was arrested and charged in attempting to hurt her or murder her. He said in the affidavit, it says that he described himself as a patriot, that he loves the president and he hates radical Muslims in our government, focused on Representative Omar.
BLACKWELL: The president, did he go too far with this video?
ROBINSON: Because somebody out there who's crazy made some threat? No. Look, I love to hear Scott sitting there having to defend and watch some Democrat meant to say and how they're taking out of context, because usually that's my job here, because Republicans and the right are constantly taking out of context. And what are they called? They're called racist. And it's not fair to extrapolate this to all Muslims. Sure, that's fair. It's also not fair for Republicans who want strong borders and immigration controls and for our country to determine who comes here to be called white nationalists.
We hear that all the time, including I might add from Representative Omar who used the term white nationalists just recently to describe someone in the Trump administration. This happens to Republicans all the time, it is never called out for what it is. They're taking out of context constantly.
BOLDEN: Brian, if white nationalists make up a large part or segment of the GOP, and the president calls himself a white nationalist, and for someone that looks like me, that's dangerous rhetoric. That's scary rhetoric to me --
ROBINSON: That's so hypocritical.
BOLDEN: -- because white nationalists are connected to racist, violent acts.
[10:45:01] I don't label every white person a white nationalist, but I got to tell you, white nationalism goes with Nazism, and Nazism goes with Ku Klux Klansman. And I've got to tell you, America should be afraid of that.
ROBINSON: President Trump did not blame all Muslims.
BOLDEN: And you ought to be afraid of that, too.
ROBINSON: President Trump did not blame all Muslims. Maybe just one kook who is threatening violence, but the president did not.
BOLDEN: But he certainly blamed the Congresswoman.
BLACKWELL: My question is about the video. Was it appropriate to tweet out this video, Brian?
ROBINSON: Look, the video is very much in line with the way that that President Trump approaches these issues.
BLACKWELL: That's not my question.
BOLDEN: It doesn't make it right, Brian.
BLACKWELL: My question is not how does he approach it. My question is, you're a Republican strategist. Is this ill-advised? We don't know who created the video, we don't know where the video came from, but was it a good idea to send out this video intersplicing video of the Twin Towers coming down for political point?
ROBINSON: Is it a political point? Maybe he's making the point that this wasn't just some people doing something in a flippant way. Maybe he was making the point that this was one of the most catastrophic, devastating, tragic days in American history. Is that such a bad thing for the president to do?
BOLDEN: It is when it's connected to a Muslim-American who serves in Congress and it strongly suggests that some harm should come to her simply because she's a Muslim. You may not read it that way, but the majority of Democrats -- I'm sorry, the majority of Americans certainly read it that way.
BLACKWELL: We got to wrap it there. Scott Bolden, Brian Robinson, thank you both.
BOLDEN: Thank you.
ROBINSON: Thank you.
PAUL: We'll lighten it up a little bit here and talk about Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods is near the top of the leaderboard. There was, however, almost a catastrophe. Andy Scholes is live in Augusta.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi, Tiger Woods having a great second round here yesterday at the Masters, but, like you said, it was almost derailed by the gallery. Coming up. We'll hear what Tiger had to say about this scary moment.
BLACKWELL: And be sure to join Dr. Gupta as he journeys across the world to find the secrets to living better for the mind, body, and soul. An all-new original series "Chasing Life" premieres tonight at 9:00 eastern right here on CNN.
[10:52:20] PAUL: This week's CNN Hero is bringing a hidden population of teenagers out of the shadows here, 1.3 million kids, did you know this, sleep on the streets or they couch surf every night in the United States. These are unaccompanied teenagers who have made this tough decision to leave unstable homes. They're forced to navigate a dangerous world on their own. So Vicki Sokolik is not only giving them a safe house to live in, but she's giving them love and belonging and a chance at a better future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICKI SOKILIK, CNN HERO: There's a lot of shame that goes with being a homeless, unaccompanied youth. They hide what's actually going on with them, and so they really become this very invisible population. Most people don't even know these kids exist.
The transformation of these kids is monumental. They come in so broken, and I'm just one person telling them I'm going to help them. They become softer. It's just great that they can be happy and they're able to be kids again. (END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: To see one young's woman from living without electricity for a year to studying to become a lawyer. You can go here and nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero, too. Go to CNNheroes.com. We'd love to meet them.
BLACKWELL: Tiger Woods, right up there on the leaderboard at the Masters. He's just one shot back entering play this weekend.
PAUL: Andy Scholes has quite a view from Augusta National Forest this morning. Hi, Andy.
SCHOLES: Hi, Christi and Victor. There's a certain electricity in the air here in Augusta when Tiger is in contention, and moving day should be an exciting moment. The leaderboard we have Tiger and so many other big names are in contention going into the round number three. And I'll tell you what, Tiger, he had an eventful round number two on 14. He was in the trees hitting out, hit out massively. But a security guard running and slips clips Tiger's foot. Luckily Tiger wasn't hurt. He ended up with a birdie on 14. Then on 15, Tiger had the long birdie at 10, and he nails it. Gives the patent Tiger fist bump. After the round Tiger talked about that scary moment on 14 and being just one shot off the lead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: It happens. I've been run over by galleries before. And it's all good. It feels good to be back in contention in a major championship. This is my third in a row I've put myself there. So you look at that board, we're all bunched together. I look at myself and Phil, we're on the older side, and we understand how to play this golf course. And it is advantageous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: And speaking of old Phil, he's only three shots back of the lead heading into today. And at 48 years old, Phil looking to become the oldest to ever win a major. And he said after yesterday's round, he knows he doesn't have many of these opportunities left.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:55:12] PHIL MICKELSON, GOLFER: I love the opportunity heading into the weekend to have a chance here at the masters. The knowledge and the patience that you've learnt over the 30 years could be helpful, but you could also say time's running out, so you really want to focus in on those few remaining.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Here's a look at the star-studded leaderboard. First time ever in any major that five guys that have all won a major before share a lead after a round, nine guys at the top of this, separated by just one shot, that's the most in Masters history after 36 holes. So guys, we should be in for an exciting round number three. And, hey, the rain, it dodged us. So it looks like it's going to be an awesome day here in Augusta. The sun is going to come out later. Tomorrow could be a different story. Big thunderstorms on the way. We could have the first Masters Monday since 1983, but fingers crossed that doesn't happen.
PAUL: Very cool. Andy, enjoy yourself, thank you.
And thank you so much. We hope you make good memories today.
BLACKWELL: There's much more ahead in the next hour of CNN's Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield. It starts after a quick break.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. There's breaking news in the 11:00 eastern hours, House Democrats have just sent a new letter to the IRS demanding it turn over President Trump's tax returns.