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Buttigieg Formally Enters Race Already in Number-3 Spot; Is Pete Buttigieg Stealing Beto O'Rourke's Thunder? Trump Campaign Reports Raising over $3 Million in Q-1; Bernie Sanders to Release a Decade of Tax Returns Today; House Democrats Request Documents on White House Sanctuary Cities Plan to Dump Migrants; Tiger Woods Makes Historic Comeback with Masters Win; Redacted Mueller Report Expected Thursday Morning. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired April 15, 2019 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Not Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, very well known, former presidential candidates, but he is right there now with Beto O'Rourke and Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren and others. And so doing that is no small feat. The big question now is, how does he now take this and catapult himself even further in this race?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.
And his pitch, Jeff, in the draw to this point, has been young, fresh, positive and a change agent. That is also a lot of what a lot of Democrats saw in Beto O'Rourke. Are you hearing from folks that the Buttigieg momentum is stealing the thunder from O'Rourke?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: There's no question that there are so many candidates in the race. One lane, if you will, is a generational lane of change. There's a wide variety of ages here. Pete Buttigieg is 37, the youngest candidate in the race, so he is campaigning on a mantle of change. He basically says, look, embodying the fresh face of a new era. Of course, Beto O'Rourke at the, you know -- at the old age of 46, is not the youngest person in the race. But, look, he also was campaigning on a different -- and is campaigning on a generational moment, a different kind of politics. Look, there are more than one of everything in this race. The race is so big, the field is so big, they are sort of jumping out of the arc two by two here, if you will. But for now, there's no question that Pete Buttigieg has at least, if not stolen some thunder, is borrowing some thunder from Beto O'Rourke. And we will see how this plays out. There's also a risk of sort of striking too hot too early, so we will see how Pete Buttigieg actually is going to confront some adversity. There's always challenges in races and that always says the most, Kate, how you respond to crises, something that sort of goes wrong. But for right now, April is his month, it's his moment.
BOLDUAN: Yes, and today is the filing day for Q-1.
You've got the Trump campaign, David, announcing that it's raised more than $30 million in the first quarter. Can you just remind folks, because it's always important, why these filings in Q-1 are so important and so much more than just what we get from the top line from a press release we get from campaigns.
CHALIAN: First of all, you've got to remember just a truism of politics, money begets money. Being able to put up a number that shows you have real financial support, whether from large donors or small donors, in this race, that you can go the distance here, that tends to bring more money into the coffers down the road.
It is also really important when you look at President Trump's number here, Kate, part of the norm busting that President Trump did, along with many other things since he has been in the Oval Office, is that on Inauguration Day he opened his reelection account. It seems to be a shrewd political move that's paying off for him because he is amassing a war chest. While there are so many Democrats, the field is so crowded, so many Democrats dividing up those Democratic dollars. Between the RNC and the Trump campaign, this is what the power of incumbency looks like. Money is not everything in politics but it is a thing.
BOLDUAN: Bernie Sanders, Jeff, Democratic front runner right now. I mean, he is making his big reveal releasing 10 years of his tax returns. Does this release put concern or speculation about what's in there to rest for Sanders? What do you think of it?
ZELENY: We'll certainly find out. It has been odd because he has not been releasing his tax returns.
ZELENY: He was able to sort of get away with this in 2016 by just releasing one year. He's been saying they're coming soon. That day is now coming. We do expect to get a look at them this afternoon. It just matters exactly what is in there. He has already popped the balloon a little bit to say, look, I am a millionaire. That's not surprising, he has been buying up some property and things. The things specifically this it there, perhaps the wealth of his wife, Jane Sanders, who was a big presence in 2016, has not as big of a presence this year, at least publicly, recently. We'll look to see exactly what's inside there. I'm not sure his hardcore supporters will be swayed either way by this. I guess the question is how he reacts. Perhaps he reacts angrily, as he did over the weekend, when people asked about his wealth. He said, let's talk about the problems in Gary, Indiana, not my wealth. So we'll see how he reacts to this. But I do think it's checking the box for him because it's been awkward that he has not been releasing his tax returns when the entire Democratic Party, certainly House Democrats, are trying to make the point that President Trump should release his as well.
BOLDUAN: Great point.
Good to see you guys. Thanks so much.
ZELENY: Thanks, Kate.
CHALIAN: Thanks, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Just coming into CNN right now, House Democrats are issuing a new ask of the White House, demanding documents related to President Trump's threat to start dumping migrants seeking asylum into sanctuary cities across the United States as a form of political retribution against Democrats who are against his border wall.
Let's get more on this, what this really means. CNN immigration report, Priscilla Alvarez, is getting the details.
Priscilla, what are you learning?
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN ESPANOL REPORTER: What we're learning now is that three House chairmen are requesting documents relating to this proposal to move immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities. In a letter, the chairmen of the House Judiciary, House Oversight and House Homeland Security Committee called the reports, quote, "alarming." In it, they're asking for several things. They're asking for emails and correspondence between White House officials and Department of Homeland Security officials, as well as documents and memoranda, all of which related to this matter. And their deadline for these documents is no matter than May 3rd, 2019.
The core of it is that they are concerned about what the administration has been floating and they want the documents to see exactly what that correspondence looked like through November of 2018 through April of 2019.
[11:35:36] BOLDUAN: Are you also learning at all or hearing anything about why President Trump is still saying this could actually happen when all the reporting is that -- and even the White House confirmed that DHS had already shot this proposal and this idea down?
ALVAREZ: What we know is that a DHS legal analysis showed that this is not a legally viable option, but the president has put it on the table again. He has tweeted about it, he has talked about it at White House events last Friday. And, so far, he seems to think that he could move forward with this plan and find a way of making it viable. But that undercuts denials late last week of the White House and the Department of Homeland Security that this is not a plan that they can move forward on.
BOLDUAN: That's exactly right. It seems like that would be the beginning and end of it.
Priscilla, great to see you. Thank you for that reporting.
ALVEREZ: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up still for us, you can definitely call it a comeback. Tiger Woods wins his first major title in almost 11 years, overcoming a series of personal setbacks and serious injuries that could have very well ended his career. The new Masters champion talks to CNN about it all.
[11:41:15] BOLDUAN: After 11 years, four back surgeries and too many tabloid headlines to count, Tiger Woods is back on top in a major way, winning his 15th major title yesterday. Just watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: The golf icon picking up another green jacket at Augusta National. The last time he put on that jacket, 2005. A comeback many thought would never happen. That moment kills me, seeing him with his son every time, as does to anyone to looks at it.
In a one-on-one interview with CNN after all of that, Woods says it's hard for him even him to believe that it happened, though he did think he had it in him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: I did think it would come, just because of what I did last year. You know, I had a chance to win the open championship, I led going into the back nine on Sunday, I gave Brooksy a little bit of a run at the PGA, finishing second there. I knew it was in me. Now, did I know it was going to be this week? No. But I had a good feeling that the way I was shaping the golf ball that I was going to be in the mix.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You joked before that your kids think of you as the video game golfer because they had never seen you win a major. Your kids, mom, girlfriend were there waiting for you on 18. What was that moment like when your son, Charlie, jumped into your arms?
WOODS: Surreal. I did the same thing to my dad and now I'm the dad with my son doing the same thing. So it's amazing how life evolves, it changes. That was 22 years ago when my dad was there and now my son is there, my daughter was there, my mom was there. My mom was there 22 years ago. And the fact that she's still around, still kicking, still fighting goes to show you her resiliency. It's just -- it's hard to comprehend right now. I mean, honestly, I'm just a few hours out of winning the tournament. I'm still trying to enjoy it and figure out that I won. I know I have the green jacket on. But it's still -- I think it's going to take a little bit of time for it to sink in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: A great interview by CNN's Andy Scholes.
Joining me right now is Jeff Benedict, the co-author of the biography on Woods called "Tiger Woods."
Jeff, thank you so much for being here.
I see that final putt, and I wonder, you've studied him, the highs and lows, the ins and outs of Tiger Woods for so long, what did you think when you saw that moment? JEFF BENEDICT, AUTHOR: Well, you know, Tiger said himself life
evolves and life changes, and he has certainly evolved and changed, particularly over the last 10 years. But the one thing that's always been a constant with Tiger Woods is grit. He has been gritty since the time he was a child and I think we really saw that on display yesterday. But if you look at how he's responded to all of the setbacks, both the physical ones, the injuries that really crippled him for a number of years, the personal problems that played out in such a public way, his grittiness to come back from stuff like that and do what he did yesterday, we've really never seen anything leek that in sports before.
BOLDUAN: I mean, did you -- did you see him winning another major after all of that?
BENEDICT: Well, Armin and I aren't great prognosticators and I don't like making predictions, but we did say, at the end of our book, really, in the last chapter of the book, which came out last year, that we hinted that we thought he could do it again. Because the thing is, when you really look at his life and how he's built and how he's made, if anybody could come back and do it again, it would be him. One of the things I think that separates him from every other golfer is that one thing you can't teach a person, which is determination. He really -- I think he's always had that -- I don't know if he inherited it from his parents -- but he has a level of determination that really surpasses anyone. When he was at the pinnacle of his sport, this is a guy who was number one in the world, who would run on golf courses by himself with a backpack on that had weights in it, and he would wear boots because he was just trying to push himself that much further. There are professional football players and triathletes that don't work out like that. So I think what we saw yesterday was a culmination of his grittiness and determination to get back to the top.
[11:45:48] BOLDUAN: Yet, he was on top and, what was it, less than two years ago, he was ranked 1,199th and now this.
BOLDUAN: I mean, really, it almost goes beyond golf like what we're watching.
BENEDICT: Right. I mean, we're looking at something like Secretariat. I mean, it's just something that you think you know you will never see again. I have to say that, as a biographer, my favorite moment of that whole thing yesterday was when the camera shifted to his mother and then the two of them came together because it really brought us -- it's the 22-year circle of when he won the Masters in '97 and there was the long embrace with his father, which is an epic moment in sports history. And then yesterday it was his mother who is much older now, who has been through all of this with him, and who had been always overshadowed when Earl was on the scene. But her role in helping make Tiger what he is, is just as big and just as important as his dad's.
BOLDUAN: So since you've acknowledged you are an amazing prognosticator, do you see him going on to continue taking on more or do you think this is a last hoorah, a final chapter we're seeing play out right here?
BENEDICT: No. Look, Jack Nicklaus was 46 when he won his last Masters. Tiger is 43. And I will tell you, you don't need me to tell you, he is in way better condition than Jack Nicklaus ever was. He is in -- he is in great shape right now to continue winning and playing. And there's something else that's different right now that I think really makes it scary, if you are the other guys on the tour, he's happy right now. Like he is loving life and he's loving the game. He's engaged with fans and the media and his fellow golfers in ways that he never was back in his prime. I think the sky is the limit on what he could do in the next couple of years if he stays healthy.
BOLDUAN: That's really fascinating.
Great to have you on and have your perspective, Jeff. Thank you so much.
BENEDICT: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Really appreciate it.
Coming up for us, President Trump says he's still considering dumping undocumented migrants in sanctuary cities across the country. And he says -- and he says he's got the legal right to do so. Again, we will go back and figure out if he does. That's next.
[11:52:03] When it first came out that the president had personally lobbied DHS to take migrants from the border who were claiming -- asking for asylum and dumping them in sanctuary cities as political retribution, the White House called it only a suggestion that was declined and said that was the end of discussion. But apparently, not for President Trump, who now says this: "Just out, the USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to sanctuary cities."
Here is the thing. Mayors of some of those sanctuary cities are essentially saying, bring it on. They welcome having -- having those migrants come to their cities. And Democrats in Congress, well, they are taking the fight to the president. Moments ago, House Democrats have demanded documents related to the president's threat, communication between the White House and the DHS, about this suggestion or this idea.
Joining me is John Sandweg. He's a former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and former acting general counsel for Homeland Security under President Barack Obama.
John, it's great to have you back. Thanks for being here. So --
JOHN SANDWEG, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, ICE & FORMER ACTING GENERAL COUNSEL FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: Thanks for having me. BOLDUAN: Maybe we can say once and for all, I hope it is, fact
checked, the statement from the president there. Do you think that that move by the president would be, as he would say, absolutely legal?
SANDWEG: No, no, Kate. I think it would actually be unlawful and, frankly, operationally unfeasible. The illegality of it, you have to look at why are you doing this. Does this promote border security in any way? And the reality is no. Nothing about this move is going to deter additional people from coming across the United States. And nothing is going to make our border more secure and our countries safer. The opposite is true. You'll be pulling officers, who would otherwise be arresting individuals or processing them or taking planes that would otherwise be flying people back to central America, we're going to divert all those resources to move these people from the border area, where they would otherwise probably be released, to drop them off in San Francisco. So when you look at the diversion of funds and you look at what Congress has financed the agency for, which is to promote border security and enforce the immigration laws, and start diverting them instead to send messages to places like San Francisco and Chicago, that clearly runs afoul of the law.
BOLDUAN: Hey, John, so sorry to interrupt. I have some breaking news coming in. I'll get back to this conversation.
But we do have breaking news coming in on details on the Mueller report and when it will be released.
CNN's Laura Jarrett is in Washington for us.
Laura, what are you hearing?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Key, there, Kate. We finally have a date. The long-awaited report is expected to come out Thursday morning. The Justice Department has just informed reporters that the report will go to Congress and the public on Thursday morning. Of course, this is going to be the redacted report. As Attorney General Bill Barr has explained, it's being redacted for grand jury information, ongoing investigations, among other things, but we finally have a date, Thursday morning.
BOLDUAN: So at least one of the laundry list of questions that we've had forever, Laura, you've now put to rest.
BOLDUAN: Thursday morning, the Congress, and we assume the public at the same time, will get to see as much of the report as the attorney general is allowing us to see.
[11:55:00] JARRETT: That's right. We don't know exactly what time. We don't know whether Congress will get it first. So I don't think we just assume it's coming on Thursday morning and not go any further than that. But at least we do have a date as everyone has been wondering and speculating when exactly it will come out. Obviously, members of Congress are all over this. All eyes are on the report. They want to see the full report. But to be clear, this will be the redacted report, as the attorney general has explained and laid out what exactly we expect to see. A rainbow color of redactions for everything from grand jury information to highly classified information -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Laura, great reporting as always. Stick with me.
Shimon Prokupecz, who has done great reporting on the Russia investigation, joins me as well.
Shimon, one question answered and so many more questions. Now, how much will it be redacted? That we don't know yet.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: We don't know. And that's the key in all of this. How much will we be able to see? Especially on the obstruction investigation side, because when you remember there's so much controversy surrounding that, and we're in the gray area with that investigation. And exactly how much is the attorney general going to allow us to see? Will we see the people interviewed for the obstruction investigation? Are we going to see exactly what points did Mueller make as to why he didn't reach certain conclusions, as to why he may have reached conclusions on certain points? And then ultimately left it up to the Department of Justice, the attorney general and the deputy attorney general to make the decision on whether to bring charges related to that investigation. So all of that, you know, is what we're trying to see if we're going to get a window into this part of the investigation.
And, of course, the other part is the collusion investigation. How much are we going to learn about the reach-out and the context? What more are we going to learn between the Russians and Trump campaign? Certainly, still a lot of unanswered questions.
It's supposed to be 400 pages, a lot of redactions, as Laura said, and color-coded, which is going to explain to us why they redacted certain parts of this report.
But nonetheless we should get a good read perhaps into what Mueller was doing for the last two years, who he was interviewing, and what conclusions he drew and as to why he drew these conclusions.
BOLDUAN: Laura, one more quick question for you kind of on the timing. I mean, it was always coming, coming, coming. Is there any reason why Thursday in particular? Is there something significant? Are they still working through things as we speak and it's wrapped and it's just finally going to be released in a few days?
JARRETT: We'll still trying to get some information on that, Kate, and trying to get a peek behind the curtain in the process. But all we know right now is that they're ready to release it to the public and the Congress on Thursday. Friday is Good Friday, and so it's religious holiday for many people. So all we know is that it's coming on Thursday and that's it for right now.
BOLDUAN: Shimon. I was wondering, was going to ask our legal panel earlier today, what are you hearing from folks? Are they going to start at the end or the beginning of the report when it comes out? What's the smart money on?
PROKUPECZ: I think most folks will be looking towards the obstruction investigation because that is that gray area. A lot of the conclusion investigate has been out in public documents and indictments. You look at all the Russians indicted and other people that were indicted and charges brought in terms of the collusion investigation. So a lot of that is out there already. We've really have yet to hear a lot about the obstruction investigation. And if you recall from the Barr letter when the Mueller report came out, there was a lot of gray area. So we'll see. That's where I think the focus is going to be on.
It's great to see you guys.
Laura, great reporting on this breaking news, finally, a date certain on when the Mueller report will be released, and that's Thursday morning.
Shimon, Laura, thank you guys so much.
We'll have much more on this breaking news after a quick break.