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Clashes Erupt in Venezuela; President Trump Played Host Once Again To Schumer And Pelosi At The White House To Hammer Out A Deal To Fix The Nation's Crumbling Infrastructure; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Interviewed Regarding Medicare-For-All. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired April 30, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin. And here's the breaking news straight out of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, the country's self-declared interim President and opposition leader urging the military today to join him to take to the streets to force out the President Nicolas Maduro.
For hours, we've been seeing pictures just like this, thousands of protesters swarming into the streets of the capital city of Caracas. The protest turning violent at times as some demonstrators clashed with forces loyal to Maduro. We're going to show you some pictures, but just to warn you, what you're about to see is disturbing because you will see what looks like armored vehicles driving straight into this crowd and knocking people over and essentially moving them down.
There has also been tear gas and the sounds of gunfire. So journalist Stefano Pozzebon is live for us in Caracas and Stefano, tell me what's happening right now and why the U.S. is so invested in this outcome.
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, Brooke, happening right now is the calm-tense when everybody is trying to understand whether these military uprising will be successful, essentially, the question hanging over the skies here in Caracas is how many military units actually joined the forces with opposition leader Juan Guaido who as you said, the crucial support of the White House, the U.S. government, and many other countries in the international community.
More than 50 states do recognize Juan Guaido as the effective legitimate acting President of Venezuela and do not recognize embattled President Nicolas Maduro as head of state. You said, Brooke that the clashes turned violent. We have been hearing for hours live shots, ammunitions being fired around the military airbase that is just that at the end of this road, just behind me about 200 meters from the place where I'm standing here, in Altamira Square is a key military air base around which the clashes are taking place here in Caracas.
These are some of the live ammunition, 7.62 millimeters that the security forces are firing at each other on the support of the United States. Your question, Brooke, is that for decades, the United States have been the number one economic partner of Venezuela. Oil diplomacy in particular. Hugo Chavez, the predecessor of Nicolas Maduro and Nicolas Maduro
himself have been distancing themselves time and time again, from the U.S. and joining sides and closing alliances with Russia, China, Iran, Turkey -- countries that the U.S. doesn't want to be seen active in Latin America, in the Western Hemisphere.
This is why Venezuela is such a delicate story because it's not only about the economic collapse of these people, it is not only about the hundreds of thousands of protests that have been taking the streets of Caracas for many, many months, but has strong and real and serious geopolitical repercussions around the world with China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, all invest an interest here in Caracas -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: All right, Stefano Pozzebon, thank you so much. We will stay close to those pictures and of course, to you and your crew, we thank you very much for being in Caracas. We'll come back to this. But I want to turn now to Washington where President Trump played host once again to as he refers to them, as Chuck and Nancy at the White House, as both sides try to hammer out a deal to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure.
Afterwards, the House Speaker and her Senate counterpart said the meeting was productive, filled with goodwill and laser-focused on delivering for the American people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Building infrastructure of America has never been a partisan issue, and we hope to go forward in a very non- partisan way for the future.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We agreed on a number, which was very, very good $2 trillion for infrastructure. Originally, we had started a little lower, even the President was eager to push it up to $2 trillion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Kaitlan Collins is at the White House for me today. And Kaitlan, you know, we heard these two words, "We agreed." We agreed, right? It's such a rarity. I saw you in scrub, you know, asking some questions of the two of them. They agreed to meet again in a couple of weeks. So what should we expect between now and then?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's going to be the big question, that next meeting coming up, which is going to deal with how they're going to pay for this pretty ambitious project, that $2 trillion for an infrastructure plan, which Chuck Schumer told reporters, it was the President who actually wanted to push it up to $2 trillion, as they were negotiating and discussing what the price tag on all of this was going to be.
So they say about three weeks, they want to hear what the President's ideas for how they're going to pay for this are going to be, but Republicans are already sounding skeptical about what Democrats want to do in order to pay for this project. [14:05:10] COLLINS: So keep an eye on that coming up whether or not
they can actually, not only agree like they did today, but if they are going to agree on how it gets -- how they pay for it.
Now, Brooke, it wasn't that long ago when the President in his speech at the State of the Union said he would not be able to work with Democrats if they were investigating him aggressively. He said they weren't going to have any legislative accomplishments if that was the case.
But today, Democrats said that the oversight requests coming from Capitol Hill did not come up during their meeting in the White House with President Trump. However, there was one person who wasn't in that meeting, that's Mick Mulvaney, the Chief of Staff who was across the country at a political -- or excuse me a financial conference and he sounded doubtful that anything productive could actually happen if Democrats are investigating the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: If I'm suing you on one deal, are you likely to do another deal with me at the same time? Probably not. That's just human nature. So you're absolutely right, to have an impeachment hearing on Monday, say, and then to think you're going to talk infrastructure on Tuesday, that's not how the world works, let alone Washington, DC.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: So Brooke, you hear the doubt there in the Chief of Staff's voice, whether or not that is the point going forward, or they can come to some kind of agreement while these investigations are still going on because the Democrats made clear they will still go on. That's a whole another question.
BALDWIN: Got it. Kaitlan, thank you. Let's analyze. I've got now with me, CNN, senior political analyst, Mark Preston. And then we'll get to the all-important CNN polls in just a second. But first, you know, we just -- I want to talk about what we just saw at the White House today. Here's Trump, you know, agreeing to the $2 trillion and there's no talk of all the administration's stonewalling of House subpoenas. What is this like, you know, Washington warm and fuzzy moment or what?
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: There's a really nice rainbow now that connects the U.S. Capitol all the way down to the White House. Listen, what we saw happen today is we saw politicians having to actually address some need right now.
When you talk about things that need to get done here in the United States, infrastructure is something that needs to get done. We all drive on the roads. We also understand about the job creation that it creates. We also know that big business and the unions are behind it. So certainly Democrats who went in today hoping to get as much as possible. We're very happy to hear President Trump say that he wanted the number
$2 trillion, and we're learning from Phil Mattingly that the reason why he came up with that number is that was a good round number. It sounded better than what they were talking about, which is insane to think that that's how we're making policy.
But the fact of the matter is, that's how we get to the number, but as Mick Mulvaney says, proof is in the pudding, are we going to be able to see these folks get together, Brooke, it remains to be seen?
BALDWIN: Well, how do Republicans feel about this good and round number? I mean, how will they react, Mark, when they hear $2 trillion on infrastructure? Because, again, you know, Trump is the head of the Republican Party and is he about to convince them, you know, we need to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure?
PRESTON: Yes, and what they are going to say, look at our soaring debt right now, when they were going to be going to saddling this on the backs of our kids. More importantly, if we are going to get to the $2 trillion, what is the pay goal? Meaning, what are we going to take away that we currently have paid for in our current budget to help pay for, to in fact take that money and then pay for this?
It's really stealing from Peter to pay Paul. That's why a bill like infrastructure, could not make it through even though it has such large bipartisan support, because of all the other things that go around it, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Okay, 2020. New CNN polls out today. What are your key takeaways?
PRESTON: Well, a couple of things. If you look at these numbers right here, Joe Biden is soaring high right now, not to be unexpected, necessarily, of course, he is the Vice President. Name recognition means a lot. But if you look down there, look at the gap between Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and the rest of the field, it really shows you where Democrats are right now.
But as we talk about these numbers really quickly, think of the narrative that we're going to weave right here. Let's look at the next numbers right now. What is the Democrats looking for in a candidate, they're looking -- 46 percent said they want a chance to beat Donald Trump. That is the most important quality they see in picking a nominee.
But if you look at the rest of those numbers right there, sometimes you have to ask yourself, Brooke, you've got win before you can get everything else done. So 46 percent of Americans believe that.
Moving on, though, where are candidates right now when -- with their specific candidates? We show Joe Biden leading the pack. But only about you know, less than four in ten say that they are certainly going to vote for the person that they're supporting right now.
So, while Joe Biden has such great support right now, this race is really wide open and look at this last graphic right here. This just shows you how early we are in this. This is what people want to know. This is who they want to learn information about -- Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Beto O'Rourke.
PRESTON: Right. This really gives you an idea of where Democrats are looking right now when they're looking for their next leader.
BALDWIN: Interesting, and you can read all about it. Go to cnn.com for all of those numbers and more. And Mark Preston, thank you so much.
PRESTON: Thanks, Brooke.
BALDWIN: All right, coming up next here on CNN, as Medicare-for-All gets its first big hearing up on Capitol Hill, there are still a lot we don't know about the plan. So we'll ask Senator Bernie Sanders about that. Plus there's new polls when he joins me live, next.
Plus the President and his kids suing Deutsche Bank, his biggest lender for complying with subpoenas, and a CNN exclusive today, the company at the heart of a 97,000 percent drug price hike, allegedly bribed doctors to boost sales. Yes, I said 97,000 percent. What we've learned from whistleblowers. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
[14:10:27] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Today, a milestone in the push for Medicare-for-All as House Democrats held their first formal hearing on this very issue today. The bill which was introduced earlier this year, would roll out a single payer system over two years and the topic has divided a number of Democrats as some prefer to shore up Obamacare instead.
[14:15:06] BALDWIN: And so with me now from Capitol Hill, Senator Bernie Sanders who recently unveiled an updated version of his own Medicare-for-All plan, one that has received support from several of his rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. So Senator Sanders, welcome back. Nice to see you, sir.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good to be with you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: So first, can you just tell me why upending the entire U.S. healthcare system all at once is better than doing it incrementally?
SANDERS: Well, we're not quite doing that. What we're doing is expanding Medicare, which is a very popular program for seniors right now 65 or older over a four-year period to all Americans.
So in the first year, it would go down to 55, next year 45, and then 35, and then cover all Americans. Also, what we do is expand Medicare coverage for elderly people by including dental care, which is a serious problem today, hearing aids and eyeglasses. Those are some of the benefits that Medicare today doesn't cover. To answer your question as to why? Well, the answer is that we, today
are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. You've got 34 million people without any health insurance, even more under insured with high deductibles and copayments. And guess what, Brooke, at the end of all of that, we are spending twice as much per capita on healthcare, as do the people of any other country.
The question is that -- I'm sorry?
BALDWIN: But on the -- if I can jump in -- that the 34 million point, because -- so you're willing to extend health insurance to roughly 30 million who currently don't have it, while upending employer based insurance for more than 100 million. I see you wagging your hand, but Senator Sanders, those are the hard facts. Those are the numbers. Why would you want to do that?
SANDERS: Well, look, I'll tell you why. First of all, let's be clear. I know this is a talking point from our opponents, and let's understand. The function of the current healthcare system, Brooke, is to make enormous profits for the insurance companies and the drug companies.
Last year, the top 10 drug companies, for example, made $69 billion in profit while one out of five Americans cannot afford the cost of prescription drugs when the doctors prescribe medicine to them. That's insane.
So what we are going to do is lower the cost of prescription drugs in half. We're going to cut the cost of prescription drugs in half because that's what the rest of the world is paying. But to answer your question, let's be clear. Every single year, tens of millions of Americans change the Health Insurance Program. If you get fired tomorrow, guess what? You're going to have to find a new insurance program. And that's what employers do, people quit their jobs every year, tens of millions of people.
BALDWIN: Right, but let's hope most of us aren't getting fired and we get to keep our insurance as long as heavenly possible. And in that case, a lot of people like to have that option. I'm just saying.
SANDERS: Look, you have that option, actually you don't. It's your employer who determines who your insurance company will be. What we are doing, the truth is that Medicare today is the most popular Health Insurance Program in the country. And all we are doing is expanding it to cover all people and when we do that, we do something that many private insurance policies don't allow. We give you freedom of choice, and so the doctor that you go.
Right now, if you're in a network, you may not be able to go to the doctor you want or else you have to pay a lot more. No deductibles. No copayments. And we provide much more expensive benefits than most insurance companies.
So the question that you have to ask for the insurance company is we are spending twice as much per capita on healthcare as some people of any other country, I would like to the expenses going down.
BALDWIN: But on your point, I hear you on that point, Senator, but on the point of price, you know because this really does come down, how you pay for it, how you pass this politically? And on the price tag point, how can you contain healthcare costs when care will be free, which would likely lead to a spike in how many are already using that.
SANDERS: No. Not necessarily. That's not necessarily the case in other countries. What it will do, let's be fair, when we cut the cost of healthcare significantly, because right now, we're not going to see under our plan $20 billion in profits going through five insurance companies, so $69 billion in profits going to 10 pharmaceutical industries -- companies, when you do that, and you will eliminate all of the bureaucracy that currently exists. All of the administrative nightmares, I'm sure you have been to a doctor, I have been to a doctor. You've got to fill out a million forms.
We are spending a fortune just billing people in this country. The reason that other countries could do it much more cost effectively is their systems are simple. You walk in and you're covered. So the issue is how do you pay for it? And that's a good question. Right now you're paying for it in copayments and deductibles, your employer is paying for it in a very significant amount. If you are a family of four right now, who are self-employed, just spending $28,000 a year for insurance.
[14:20:10] SANDERS: So what we are going to do is do away with private premiums, you're not going to have to pay premiums to a private insurance companies. We are cutting your prescription drug costs in half. Are your taxes going to go up? Yes, they will. But not as much as your premiums are going down.
The overwhelming majority of Americans will pay less for healthcare under Medicare-for-All system than they currently pay.
BALDWIN: Okay, Senator, let me turn the page and just ask you about -- I'm sure you've seen our new CNN poll out today. It shows you and former Vice President Joe Biden as the front runners in this this current race. And my question to you is, will your campaign be more about the contrast that you've clearly been drawing with Biden? Or will it be more focused on who can best defeat President Trump?
SANDERS: Well, I think both to be honest with you. Look, in my view, Donald Trump is most dangerous President in the modern history of this country. He is a pathological liar. He is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe. This is somebody who should not be President. I will do everything I can, if I'm the Democratic nominee to defeat him, and I will support if I lose somebody else, whether it is, Joe, whether it's somebody else, we're going to defeat Donald Trump.
But on the other hand, I think what I want to see in the Democratic primary is not, you know, personal attacks, or any of that stuff. What I want to see as an issue-oriented campaign and Joe and I have very different pasts in terms of how we have voted, and very different vision for the future. And that is something that we should be discussing. For example, all right, I voted against the war in Iraq, in fact,
helped lead the opposition to what turned out to be the worst foreign policy disaster in the modern history of America. Joe voted for it. I voted against NAFTA. I voted against permanent normal trade relations with China, two trade agreements, which cost us millions of good-paying jobs. Joe supported those agreements.
I voted against the deregulation of Wall Street. Joe supported that legislation, which I think, you know, many people agree with me, some don't look to the Wall Street collapse of 2008.
BALDWIN: Senator, let me jump in, because I hear you on the contrast, and there are a number of them, but the one thing that both of you voted for and what Joe Biden helped write is the 1994 Crime Bill. Even former President Bill Clinton, who signed it into law says it went too far, right, it expanded mandatory minimums and boosted the nation's prison population.
SANDERS: Right, absolutely.
BALDWIN: It disproportionately impacted African-Americans and Hispanic.
BALDWIN: So my question to you, Senator Sanders is do you regret that vote?
SANDERS: Well, let me give you my answer. Go to YouTube today and find out what I said. Literally on the day that I voted for it.
BALDWIN: Well, I'm looking at you right now, Senator, tell me if you regret it.
SANDERS: One second. I voted for that bill because that included the Violence Against Women's Act and it included a ban on assault weapons. And Brooke, you would be asking me today, Senator, why did you not vote for a ban on assault weapons? Why did you vote against it?
BALDWIN: I'm asking you today, if you regret your vote?
SANDERS: Sometimes you have legislation, which includes very good stuff, and very bad stuff, that legislation, including very bad stuff. I had to make the choice whether I voted to ban assault weapons, something that I promised the people of Vermont I would, and I also had to vote to make sure that we had a violence against women provision in there. If you see what I said on the floor at that time, I talked about mass incarceration, I talked about capital punishment.
So sometimes in the real world, in the Congress, you've got big pieces of legislation that are bad stuff, and God knows that legislation had bad stuff. And right now, I'm one of the leaders of the fight for criminal justice reform. So we don't have more people in jails than any other major country on Earth. Check my record for that.
BALDWIN: Speaking of jail, speaking of incarceration, I read your opinion piece. I mean, today, you wrote this opinion piece, "USA Today," everyone can go read it on why you think felons deserve the right vote. And you point out in the middle part of the piece that over 4.5 million Americans, disproportionately people of color, have lost their right to vote because they've served time.
And so senator on this on this issue, only 28 percent of Democrats or Democratic-leaners say that this is very important to them, that the candidate that they support take this position. And I just wanted to ask you, why is this so important to you and your campaign?
SANDERS: Well, Brooke, I think you know how politics works. I was asked that as a question. In fact, I didn't come up with it, I was asked the question, I gave an answer. And I think we should do what Canada does, what Israel does, what many countries around the world do and that is to separate if somebody commits a serious crime, they're going to go to jail. And if they are violent people, they may spend the rest of their lives in jail. That's the way it is. You pay a price when you commit a crime.
But this is what I believe, at a time when the Republican Party and Donald Trump are working overtime to suppress the vote, to make it harder for people of color, poor people, young people to vote, we have got to make it clear, in my view, that if you are an American citizen, even if you do something terrible, even if you're a bad person, we cannot take away your right to vote whether you're in jail or whether you left jail.
[14:25:11] SANDERS: Clearly, what Republicans are doing is trying to deny people of color the right to vote, and this is an issue I think we have to address head on. So even if you are in jail in my view --
BALDWIN: Even Democrats disagree with you. I mean, you I am sure saw what Corey Booker said.
SANDERS: Well, fine, look -- but let me say this, Brooke, four years ago, people disagreed with me on Medicare-for-All, raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour, criminal justice reform, spending a trillion dollars on rebuilding our infrastructure. People disagreed with me, they'll disagree with me now.
But you don't what? I will tell you what I think and that is if you're a citizen of this country, you have the right to vote, and I will oppose all efforts to try to deny Americans the right to participate in our democracy.
BALDWIN: Okay. Last week, you were at She, The People, and were asked what you would do to fight white supremacist violence as president and during your response, you were booed. And part of the criticism that was that you didn't answer the question. And you gave an answer that many hadn't heard before about marching with Dr. King in Washington? And would you like to respond to that criticism and the boos?
SANDERS: Well, look, if you check out, you know -- I got booed some people booed me. But I think if you listen to the response that I got, when I walked on and walked off, it was a fairly strong response. And my view is, obviously, that we have got to do everything that we can to make sure that we end the racism, institutional racism that exists in every form of white women today, who are black, experience 2.5 times the rate of infant mortality than white women do.
We have redlining that continues to exist in communities all over this country of blacks get rejected, blacks who have the same kind of background as whites get rejected from job applications more, that's called institutional racism. And there's nobody who is going to be stronger in opposing that. So we have got to move toward a country that as Dr. King mentioned, we judge people on their character, who they are and not by the color of their skin.
BALDWIN: Senator Bernie Sanders. Thank you, sir.
SANDERS: Thank you very much. Take care.
BALDWIN: Thank you. The world is watching developments right now in Venezuela, clashes erupting in the middle of an uprising against the government. Why the U.S. is so invested in this outcome and what President Trump has to say about it.
Plus, Donald Trump's team sues Deutsche Bank and Capital One. Can he stop them from turning over financial records to Congress?