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2020 Candidate Jay Inslee Unveils Sweeping 100 Percent Clean Energy Plan, Talks Trump's Economy; Trump & Putin Speak for An Hour, Discuss Mueller Report, Ukraine; Otto Warmbier's Mother Speaks Out on North Korea, Calls it "A Cancer". Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired May 3, 2019 - 13:30   ET


[13:30:00] JAY INSLEE, (D), GOVERNOR, WASHINGTON STATE & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So we can save on our utility bills and not waste our hard-earned money heating the outside and cooling the outside with leakage of energy from our homes and offices. So this is a plan built the recognition that we are a can-do nation. We just need a can-do president. And now we have a plan that's built for success. Also on the success that I've had as governor doing these exact same things in the state of Washington. So I couldn't be more excited about rolling this out today.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: OK. So it's certainly big. It's certainly bold. But how are you going to pay for it? That's always the question, especially in this race with candidates and their signature issues. It's how are you going to pay for it?

INSLEE: Well, actually, there's a little different more important question is, how much is it going to cost us if we take no action? How much is it going to cost us in cities like Paradise, California, burned to the ground that I visited? I met a woman named Marsha Moss (ph), who lost everything she owned in the fire in Seminole Springs. How much will it cost us for the floods in the Midwest, where, I believe it's Davenport underwater? I went to Hamburg, Iowa. All the farmers lost their grain. And how much will it cost Miami to completely restructure their Main Street where they need to build up? Otherwise, the fish are swimming down Main Street. This could cost us $500 billions of dollars in the decades to could. The science has projected that the economic losses of the Donald Trump plan -- because the Donald Trump plan is keep us addicted to oil, keep giving $27 billion to the oil industry and keep letting our towns burning down. It's been projected that the losses from climate change could be twice as large as the economic havoc caused by the last recession.



INSLEE: So I think the question is -- go ahead.

BROWN: You broke down the costs you believe from climate change, but I didn't hear you say what your plan is to actually pay for it.

INSLEE: Our plan is to require industries to use equity, mostly private equity, to make the investments in new technology that we know can reduce costs over time. Look, when you put a solar panel on your roof or make insulation investments in your house, you cut your utility bill dramatically. And over a period of seven years, you've actually saved a heck of a lot of money. We want to enable consumers to be able to do that. And our plan will require utilities, just like in my 100 percent plan we passed in Washington, to help some consumers get access to the funds it takes to reduce your utility bills and avoid the horrendous costs. Look, this is not a single issue. It's a health issue.

BROWN: OK. Let's --

INSLEE: We have more Americans die because of pollution than car crashes. We need to stop that.

BROWN: All right. Let's be more specific then on your plan. You say that, by 2030, you want to reach zero emissions in all new, light and medium-duty vehicles and in all buses. That would make a major commitment from all automakers who last year produced around 17 million cars and trucks in the United States. How do you plan to reach that goal? And what do you plan to do with the hundreds of millions of cars already on the road?

INSLEE: People who have cars on the road are going to continue to drive them. No one is going have their car taken away from them. You'll have freedom for your cars. But what we will do is do what we did in 1940. In 1940, we faced another existential crisis in the nation. And in 1940, we remade exactly 77 Jeeps. Four years later, we had manufactured 640,000 Jeeps and we rescued the nation from an existential threat. That is exactly what we can do now. We can greet a demand for our corporations to make those investments. We can create the research and development assistance from the federal government to get that job done. We can finance electric-charging stations like we're doing in my state today. That's why people are gobbling up electric cars in my state today. Look, we --


BROWN: Are you planning to eliminate all coal jobs then? Are you going to eliminate all coal jobs?

INSLEE: Look, here's what we know about coal. The people in the coal industry, they have been great Americans. They built the industrial base of this nation. But we know over the next several decades we need a new future for them. We need to embrace them, just like we embraced the coal families in Centralia, Washington, where rather than turning off a coal plant, we built a transition plant with $55 billion to help those families find new careers, new businesses, new infrastructure so that their communities can thrive. We need everyone to thrive in this new clean energy economy. And we need to have confidence in our ability to do that. I'm confident we can because we're doing in Washington under my governorship.

[13:35:04] BROWN: And it's one thing to have this big, bold plan. It's another for it to pass through Congress. Do you think something of this would actually pass through Congress? As you know, there was the Green New deal proposed by a freshman Democrat, and Republicans largely mocked that idea and she even said that it was sort of a wish list of things.

INSLEE: Well, this is my plan. It is ambitious, but it is my plan. And that plan allows a lot of executive action, which today is allowed under the law. And as the next president, if I'm chosen with that high honor, I'm not going to get up the first morning -- I'm going get up every morning to figure out, how we can organize the federal government around this principle.


INSLEE: That means we've got to stop using fossil fuels in our public lands. It means we need cleaner cars with clean fuel rules. It means we need to stop the $27 billion going to the oil and gas industry in subsidies. It means that we have to have research and development. And we have to use the procurement power of the United States, like I am. I'm building or I'm buying 50 percent of the cars in Washington that are all electric now.

BROWN: Let me ask you, Governor, because --

INSLEE: We need to do the same thing. We can do that through executive order.

BROWN: Unfortunately, we don't have all the time that we would like for this so I want to get to some of your competitors in the race right now, the Democratic race. You have taken issue with fellow candidate, Beto O'Rourke, who has also unveiled a massive climate change plan. You've taken a dig at him for basically copying your signature issue. Is that the essence of your beef with him?

INSLEE: Well, look, I've been providing leadership on this for over a decade and a half. It has been deeply compelling. And if you'll ask the people who know what they are talking about on energy plans, they will tell you that my plan is the boldest. It is the most ambitious. And it's almost the most concrete that really provides specific things that we need to get done. I'm proud of that. There's a lot of talent in the field. I'm honored that some of them are following. I think that's a great thing. And I hope we'll have a debate to figure out who really has the goods to get this job done. I'm confident I can do that.

BROWN: All right. Let's talk about the debate. Fellow candidate, Cory Booker, tweeted he's still around 2,000 donors away from qualifying for the Democratic debates. How close are you to the 65,000-donor threshold?

INSLEE: We're close enough to have confidence we're going to get there, but not close enough --

BROWN: What does that mean?

INSLEE: -- where I'm going to stop asking people.

BROWN: What does close enough mean?

INSLEE: We've got a couple of 10,000. We need more, but we're on a pace to get there. I do hope people -- if they want climate change on the debate stage, you can go to and send in a buck. Just make sure that climate change is debated in the Democratic Party. I'm up to that. The nation needs it. The Democratic Party needs a nominee who will lead this nation to a clean energy future. If you agree with me, get me on that stage. I'll make you proud.

BROWN: I want to talk about a new CNN poll. President Trump is getting high marks for his handling of the economy. And 56 percent say he is doing -- say he's doing a good job. How do you fight against that? And are you concerned that with these new numbers out today, showing that the economy is booming, that that is just giving him more momentum heading into 2020?

INSLEE: No, I'm not concerned because I make it a daily habit of beating Donald Trump. We've sued him and beat him 21 times in court. We won about 40 seats in the House of Representatives, which rejected his boneheaded chaos and narcissism and divisiveness and lack of tolerance. And importantly, as governor of the Democratic Governors Association, we flipped seven seats from red to blue last year. So I'm confident in our ability to beat Donald Trump. It is my goal to make him a blip in history. I'm happy to do that.

BROWN: But respectfully, Governor, you didn't answer the question about the economy specifically. Do you disagree the economy is doing well under President Trump?

INSLEE: Well, look, some people are making out like bandits. We have more billionaires than we can shake a stick at in the United States, but 50 percent of Americans have not had a raise in 20 years. That's why I've fought and I've put the highest minimum wage in the country. It's why I've done the best paid family leave. That's why I've done the best gender pay equity, so women can get paid same as men. That's why I've built up the union movement, so that we can increase wages. It's why I'm the guy that's actually increased wages for hardworking educators by an average of 12 percent. Look, we need to build an economy that works for everyone. If you want to see how to build that, look west. Look to the real Washington State that can send someone to Washington, D.C., and start building an economy that works for everyone instead of Donald Trump's fat-cat friends at his country club. And that's what I'm all about.

[13:39:57] BROWN: Well, to be fair, we had on a Moody analyst earlier who said actually, look, unemployment is at a record low and that it's -- it's across the board. It's not just like you said the fat cats. It's across the board. I just want to make sure that we're representing all sides here.

Governor Jay Inslee, thank you very much.

INSLEE: Thank very much. See you again.

BROWN: See you.

Well, she's the freshman Democrat in the middle of so many controversies. Now the Trump administration is blasting Ilhan Omar for partially blaming the U.S. for Venezuela's chaos. Plus, the Chinese family that paid the ringleader of the massive

college sheeting scandal $6.5 million is now speaking out. Hear why they gave him the cash.

We'll be back.


[13:45:13] BROWN: And more on our breaking news. The president tweeting about his conversation with Vladimir Putin, his first since the Mueller report's release. He once again said it would be good for the U.S. to get along with Moscow. And we know that they spoke about the report, according to the U.S., but the White House refused to say whether the president pushed Putin on interference, which Mueller described as, quote, "sweeping and systematic" in the report.

Susan Glasser is here with me. She's a staff writer for the "New Yorker."

Susan, thanks for coming 0n.

It's interesting reading the White House read youth phone call and reading the Russian readout of the phone call. The Russian one has no mention of the Mueller report. Sarah Sanders said that they spoke about the Mueller report briefly but wouldn't answer about interference. What do you make of this?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: That's right. I was just glancing over it. I lived in Russia for four years. I was looking at Russian language version, which makes a point of saying, first of all, it was the White House and President Trump that initiated the phone call with the Kremlin. And I think it's interesting that they went out of their way they pointed it out. They don't mention the Mueller report, as you suggested. Not only that, it seems like the White House's Sarah Sanders is saying that the president is even discussing whether or not Don McGahn, the White House counsel, should testify. It was a long conversation over an hour, according to both parties. And it looks like they covered a laundry list of issues, including Ukraine, where there's still essentially a fighting war going on in the middle of Europe. And Russian troops are fighting there alongside Ukrainian militias in a way that, you know, there's still no resolution of. Venezuela, earlier this week, the United States is practically accusing the Russians of shoring up the regime of Maduro, saying that they stopped him from fleeing the country. Did they discuss that or not? It's not really clear they did discuss Venezuela.

BROWN: Yes, because Sarah Sanders didn't make mention that have when she spoke to reporters. She talked about how it's important to give aid to the people of Venezuela and so forth. That was part of the discussion. But not what the secretary of state said on our air, that the Russians stopped Maduro from fleeing. And it's interesting that neither readout makes mention of any sort of warning from the president to the Russians on Venezuela and what the White House views as Russian interference in Venezuela on the U.S. efforts. GLASER: Well, quite the contrary. You almost get the sense of a very

chummy conversation in which two leaders covering the waterfront of global problems. You wonder if this post-Mueller phone call was actually the beginning of Trump's effort to begin his long-awaited reconciliation with Russia. It's very clear, both from the Mueller report and from everything else, that the president never really abandoned his hopes of having a closer relationship with Russia, having a reset, if you will, of relations but felt, politically, he was unable to do so, so the question I have is whether, in the post- Mueller moment, the president now sees an opening to engage in a much closer set of dealings with Russia, and was this the first step of doing that?

BROWN: And what's interesting though, is, yes, the Mueller investigation has ended and that creed a -- a certain dynamic for the president. But Russia still remains a threat on many fronts to the U.S. according to the president's own administration officials, with the FBI director saying it poses a significant counterintelligence threat on interference, but, again, I don't see any mention of that in the readout.

Thank you so much.

GLASSER: Thank you.

BROWN: Appreciate it.

All right. Emotional new comments from Otto Warmbier's mom. Why she says North Korea is a cancer that will kill us all.

Plus, he plotted to blow up the New York City subway system, but soon he'll walk free. So how does he go into Witness Protection?

We'll be back.


[13:53:12] BROWN: Emotional new comments from Otto Warmbier's mom. It's the first time we're hearing from her since it was revealed that the U.S. agreed to pay North Korea $2 million for her son's release in 2017. Otto was 22 when he returned to the U.S. in a coma and died a few days later after serving more than a year in a North Korea prison.

The president insists no payments were ever made to North Korea. But at an event today, Cindy Warmbier said she had known about the demand -- had she known about the demand, she would have paid it. Calling North Korea a cancer on earth and their attempt at diplomacy a charade. Take a listen.


CINDY WARMBIER, MOTHER OF OTTO WARMBIER: North Korea, to me, is a cancer on the earth. And if we ignore this cancer, it is not going to go away. It's going to kill all of us. And I know he was sorry he ever went into that God-forsaken place. Had I known that North Korea wanted money for Otto, I would have gladly given them money from day one. That isn't what they wanted from Otto in the beginning. First of all, they want everything they could get from anyone they take.

My gorgeous boy, who every girl had an immediate crush on, looked like a monster. I swear the look in his eyes, which I didn't know he was blind at the time, was absolute horror. Horror. Like he'd seen the devil, and he had. He was with the devil.


[13:55:03] That is tough to listen to. When asked more about the $2 million demand for her son, Cindy Warmbier said she doesn't fault anyone for signing it. And she applauds former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Yun for making sure he brought Otto home.

Well, as Lori Loughlin faces charges in the massive college admission scandal, hear who she is looking to hire.

Plus, just in, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asking Robert Mueller if he would like to testify about his phone calls with Bill Barr and interesting developments. Stand by.