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Biden Set to Officially Enter Presidential Race Tomorrow; NYT: White House Chief of Staff Warned Nielsen Not to Tell Trump about Russian Meddling Efforts to Interfere in 2020 Election; Trump & Pelosi to Meet Next Week on Infrastructure; Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Discusses Fight Between Trump, Congress over Tax Returns; Measles Cases at Record-High Since Eliminated in 2000; Police Believe Driver Intentionally Plowed into People on Sidewalk in Northern California. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired April 24, 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] ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Also there's a big question about whether Biden meets the moment of the current Democratic Party. He hasn't run his own campaign since 2008. And right now, you do see a lot of excitement amongst Democratic primary voters for younger and more diverse candidates. Those are all questions that will play out over the coming days of this rollout -- Kate?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much, Arlette. Appreciate it.
Joining me now to discuss this and much more, John Kasich, the former governor of Ohio, former presidential candidate, now a CNN senior political commentator.
Governor, what do you think of the Biden rollout so far? It has not been the definition of smooth to this point.
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Joe Biden is the Secretariat of this horse race. I don't know if you're too young to remember Secretariat but --
BOLDUAN: I read about it.
KASICH: OK. Here's the thing, Kate. Even Secretariat can stumble. Biden talks a lot. I talk a lot. When do you that, you're authentic. Sometimes you make mistakes but you can't pay that much attention to Twitter world when it comes to the general thrust. He changes the whole race. His numbers are very, very strong. He's beating everybody handily right now. That's why I call him Secretariat. We just have to see -- is it going to be a muddy track, is it going to be dry? I guess we're coming up on the Kentucky Derby so this is appropriate.
The thing about Joe, he is a guy that could connect with my father. I believe that's still where the bulk of the Democratic Party is. I don't believe they're out here on new green deal and we're going to give people who don't want to work money. And they're not out there on Medicare-for-All and destroy private insurance. That's not where Joe is going to be. Joe will be -- the key for him is to generate excitement and have new ideas --
BOLDUAN: Do you see him doing that? Do you think having new ideas is even, honestly, what would make him in the strongest position to take on President Trump?
KASICH: Well, listen, he will have -- there will be no intimidation factor if he were to go head to head against Donald Trump. I think he is raring for this fight. And, you know, we used to talk about his age but age means less today than it did. I mean, you can be older as long as you're vigorous, and you can generate some new ideas. Do I think Joe can do it? Absolutely. He was a vital part of the Obama administration. And he led in a number of areas when he became frustrated with the president. I know the guy really well. He's a lot of fun but he does talk a lot. I got on an airplane with him in Washington and said, Joe, how are you doing? When we landed in New York, he finished.
He does that. He talks a lot. He's going to connect and he's going to hug and he's going to shake hands and he'll be polite. That's the way I think it will go. I may be wrong but I don't think so.
BOLDUAN: So on 2020, let me just ask about what the "New York Times" has been reporting. When you hear that the president of the United States basically doesn't want to hear about Russian election interference, not even past but future, because it makes him angry, because of the 2016 election, he doesn't want to hear about it, he's not concerned about it, even though his deputies are very concerned about it, what do you do with that?
KASICH: He is at 37 percent approval right now. We tend to forget this. In a head-to-head with the Democrats, are they going to take somebody from way out in left field? In my opinion, the president said he read the other day that he admires the kind of fervor that Bernie Sanders tracts. Bernie can't be president. He would be beaten like a drum. He's just not.
The question is, with the 37 or 40 percent -- if I was governor and I had 40 percent approval heading into re-election, that's a lot of trouble. So I don't know what you're thinking about with that. You can't figure out from day-to-day where they're going to be. It's very unconventional. He has a very strong base but doesn't have the country right now, despite a great economy. Despite a very strong economy. He should be flying high. But he's not.
BOLDUAN: And one of the things that you and I talk a lot about is the idea of making actual -- making actual progress and where progress comes from. And a lot of it is ground, up. It also requires bipartisan effort. In one area, the president talked about it as he was going to Marine One, Nancy Pelosi said they would be meeting next week to talk about infrastructure. Do you see, honestly, in a world where we are now --
BOLDUAN: -- where they could even come together on infrastructure?
KASICH: Kate, let me tell you what worries me about them coming together. I know how the Public Works Committee works down there. And what they do is they suspend money and drive pork. And what I'm really worried about here with congressional action on infrastructure is they won't pay for what it is they want to do. Now Social Security is not producing enough money right now to pay beneficiaries. They have to go to these bonds. That's another complicated story. But when it comes to infrastructure, you've got to pay for it.
[11:35:09] And there are creative ways to fix the problem. Let me give you the number-one very quickly. Why don't we just collect a little bit of money in Washington to take care of the interstates and other infrastructure? But let all the rest of that money go back to the states, let the states tax themselves and get rid of so many of these silly federal regulations and allow us to have infrastructure the way it ought to be, from the bottom, up, rather than the top, down. What I worry about with Pelosi and Trump? Make a deal about it puts our children further and further in debt. The day will come where it will have to be paid, Kate, your children, my children.
BOLDUAN: Right. Right. But your children also need to be able to drive over bridges without them crumbling. So it that's --
KASICH: You know what? We had a 30 percent increase in infrastructure spending when I was governor without raising the gas tax. There are other ways to do it. Instead of you paying a federal gas tax, sending it to Washington for the politicians to divide it up, why don't we just keep it where you live. Let's figure out at the state level exactly what you want to do with those dollars. It will give us more money to spend. This is a plan that's been very road tested. It's different. You know what? The reason why Washington doesn't want to give it up is because they want our money in their pocket. And they want to decide. Baloney.
BOLDUAN: What is so fascinating is that is a traditional, a Republican ideal of keeping the money out of the hands of Washington. But I'm hearing you say that you don't trust not only Democrats doing that, but you don't trust a Republican president --
KASICH: Are you kidding me? I used to be chairman of the Budget Committee. I had to fight the Public Works Committee every day.
BOLDUAN: All right.
KASICH: I mean, it was just unbelievable. It's about pork and control. And it doesn't mean good things can't happen but this is the 21st century. Get with it, Washington. Keep what you need and send back that that you don't.
Kate, I love being on your show. You let me talk and pontificate. God bless you.
BOLDUAN: We took off in Washington and landed in New York. I still don't know exactly how you're doing.
Anyway, good to see you, Governor. Thank you.
KASICH: All right, Kate. Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Talk to you soon.
Coming up, they missed another deadline. They create a new one. Will the Trump administration ever release the president's tax returns? And what happens if they don't? Where is this legal battle headed? We'll speak with a member of the key committee that is requesting those documents, next.
[11:42:14] BOLDUAN: It is one of the fiercest fights between President Trump and Congress right now, all over President Trump's taxes. The House committee led by Democrats has demanded the Treasury secretary and the IRS commissioner hand over the president's tax returns. The IRS is now missing not one but two deadlines to do just that. So, what now? Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, says he's going to respond by May 6th. Do they now just sit and wait? Can they really do anything else on the committee?
Joining me right now is Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu, of California, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Congresswoman, thank you for being here.
REP. JUDY CHU (D-CA): Thank you for having me.
BOLDUAN: The Treasury secretary says he will get back to you guys on May 6th. Is that OK?
CHU: Well, we want to have Trump's tax returns and we believe that the law is quite clear, the IRS should respond. Nonetheless, we will see what happens with Secretary Mnuchin's letter on May 6. But we expect that the law should be complied with. It is a 100-year-old law that says that the chair of Ways and Means "shall" have these tax returns, not "may." We do expect to have them.
BOLDUAN: The president just this morning said that he assumes that Mueller looked through his taxes and Mueller, Bob Mueller, the special counsel, looked through his financials. If that's the case, do you take from that that they didn't find anything?
CHU: No, I don't. Actually, it is the oversight duty of Ways and Means to see that the law is properly complied with. And the chair is exercising his duty to make sure that the returns of the president were done properly. We know that it is a practice of the IRS to have an audit of the president every year, but we do not know whether that audit has been done properly or correctly. And it is our duty to make sure that it is being done that way. And we also want to know whether the president is paying his fair share of taxes, whether he benefited from the tax laws and whether he has complied with the elements of his filings. So, these are all answers that must be obtained. And we are certainly exercising the duty that was given to us by the law.
BOLDUAN: If you -- just assuming right now, the response from Treasury is that they are not going to be turning over the material that the committee has requested, what then?
[11:45:00] CHU: Well, we could issue a subpoena for those taxes. We could go to the court. In fact, we may end up in court. But we feel that we are on great legal standing to do so. Certainly, every 6103 request -- which is this tax law in the tax code. Every 6103 request has actually been granted by the IRS. Why is it that in this case there's some obstruction? And, in fact, there shouldn't even be the interference on the president at all. This is a request that is being made by the chair of Ways and Means to the IRS, and it is the IRS that should comply.
BOLDUAN: May 6th is the next deadline. Where are you on the issue of impeachment, proceeding with -- going toward impeachment proceedings right now since the Mueller report has come out?
CHU: Well, I certainly feel that there are grounds for it, but I do think that we have to develop more of the facts. There are very important hearings that are going to be held in the next few weeks, and there will be more information coming out. I do think that we need to make sure that all of the American public is clear on this and that they know all of the facts coming out. But I do think that the -- what will come out in these hearings will be very revealing about the president. So I'm very, very anxious to hear what all these parties have to say, whether it's Mueller or whether it's McGahn.
BOLDUAN: You're a wait and see until more information comes out in terms of impeachment at this moment?
BOLDUAN: Congresswoman, thank you for coming on. Appreciate it.
CHU: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, we have breaking news from the CDC. The number of measles cases in the United States just hit a new record and it's not a good one. Details on that, ahead.
[11:51:40] BOLDUAN: Some breaking news coming in. New numbers are out and measles cases in the United States have now reached a disturbing new record, surpassing the highest number of cases since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000.
CNN's Athena Jones has been tracking the analysis of the new data coming in.
Athena, what is this telling you?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is very concerning. According to CNN's analysis from data from state and local health departments, there have been 681 measles cases across 22 states in the U.S. so far this year. That surpasses the old record from 2014 of 667 cases. This is, of course, a growing challenge for public health officials in states across the country.
We should mention that the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control, updates us every Monday with cases they get up to each Friday. So what our team has done is go back and talk to state and local health departments to get the updated figure showing this is an alarming outbreak that still continues. And part of this is because measles is incredibly contagious and potentially deadly. You have a rash, a fever, runny nose. A person can spread the disease days before or days after they get a rash. And then, of course, you are hearing health experts saying this has to do with growing anti-vaccination rhetoric. The fast majority, some 70 percent or more of the folks coming down with the measles, were not vaccinated.
BOLDUAN: It's still remarkable, as you point out how this -- people are talking about it, the alerts are out and it still continues to grow and spread still. It is terrifying for everybody, not just communities with a lot of folks who are not vaccinated, but much beyond that as well.
BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Athena. Thank you so much.
It was a terrifying scene overnight. A car plowing through a crowded sidewalk. Eight people are in the hospital with serious injuries. The real question is why, because police think it is possible that it was not an accident.
CNN's Nick Watt is tracking this for us. He's joining me now.
Nick, what are hearing about this right now?
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, authorities in Sunnyvale, northern California, are saying this might be an intentional act based on eyewitness testimony. Those people saying that it did not appear that this driver even tried to slow down. He did not hit the brakes. The police tell us the evidence at the scene suggests he did not try to slow down.
It was about 6:40 p.m. Sunnyvale is a small, usually quiet town in Silicon Valley just south of San Francisco. Now, local authorities have called the FBI, they say, out of an
abundance of caution. The motive here still unclear. The driver is in custody. Police have identified him, but they are not giving us his name. As I say, they have called in the FBI, they say, out of an abundance of caution. We have seen accidents in the past where it has been an accident, somebody hitting the accelerator rather than the break. We have seen it done intentionally. We've also seen this done as a terrorist act. But the FBI telling our colleague, Josh Campbell, should it be determined that a federal crime was committed, we will become more involved. For now, Sunnyvale Police Department is the lead agency.
BOLDUAN: What's the conditions of the victims?
WATT: We have not heard. We know some of the eight people were critically wounded. They are in the hospital right now. So far we have been told that the youngest victim, Kate, just 13 years old. Nobody has died, but those eight people, last we heard, all still in the hospital -- Kate?
[11:55:12] BOLDUAN: Nick, thank you very much. I really appreciate the update.
Coming up for us still, President Trump speaking out from the White House lawn moments ago, saying that he is fighting all of the subpoenas from Democratic investigators on Capitol Hill. What does that mean? That's next.