Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Tax Documents; Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) Interviewed on Barr Contempt Vote; Harry and Meghan Introduce Their Baby. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired May 8, 2019 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Of these tax returns. Not the returns themselves, but transcripts, and then compared that to publically available information to confirm those numbers.
And what you see here really is just a pattern over years of massive, massive losses.
SUSANNE CRAIG, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Yes, I think you hit it at the top. I mean we thought this was kind of -- if we were ever going to see Donald Trump doing well, it was going to be in, you know, '85, '86, '87, those years where he was buying and he wrote "Art Of The Deal" in 1987 and now we learn that that year he lost $42 million on his core businesses. Like it's incredible to see just year after year in this period going up.
You know, 1990 was when he hit the rocks and he was, you know, publicly -- we knew he was losing money, but he started bleeding money well before that.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Let's just lay out here for our viewers some of the key takeaways from your reporting. That he was deep in the red, even as he was peddling this sort of financial acumen, that he lost, as Jim said, more money than any -- it appears any American did at the time. He paid no federal income tax for eight of the ten years you looked at. He made millions posing as a corporate raider until investors got wise. And in 1989, he made $52.9 million in interest income from unknown sources.
Tell us about two and four. Two, if he lost so much money, how did he maintain this lifestyle, and, four, that sounds a whole lot like pump and dump, which is a crime.
CRAIG: Yes. On number two, a lot of it was other people's money. He certainly lost some of his own, had help from his father. But, you know, you recall the banks actually put him on an allowance at one point and took a lot of his assets. So it's not just all his money, it was other people's money that was bleeding down onto his returns.
SCIUTTO: One of them being Fred Trump, his father.
HARLOW: Right. SCIUTTO: You have a line in there about one year where Fred Trump made a lot of money, except the money that he invested in Donald Trump's businesses. I think the figure was $15 million.
Chris Cillizza, we have you here. I'm just curious, because the president's response this morning, he calls it sport. You'll remember during the debate with Hillary Clinton, he said, you know, not paying taxes made him smart. I'm just curious, politically, how do voters see it? You and I have to pay taxes. Our viewers have to pay taxes. Taxes, by the way, pay for, I don't know, soldiers' salaries, soldiers' health care, protecting the country and so on. Is this a political winner for him?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN EDITOR AT LARGE: Well, there's -- it's not a winner for him, clearly, but there's two ways to look at it, Jim. One is that all of this -- let me first say, put the politics aside, the reporting here that Susanne and her colleague have done is hugely important in this sort of the second part of a gigantically important series, whether or not they conceived of it that way, the first dealing with Fred Trump and how much money he wound up giving to Donald Trump through various series of tax loopholes that came out in October.
OK, politically speaking, no one elected Donald Trump president because they thought he was a saint. OK. I mean, you know, they did -- they knew a lot about him. If you look at the exit polling in 2016, you will see lots of evidence they didn't think he was honest and trustworthy, they didn't think he had the temperament to be president, et cetera, they didn't think he had the experience to be president.
So there's an element where maybe it doesn't matter. But I would say this, it's exactly what you mentioned, Jim. This is something that most of us have to do. And I run into people every day and I'm trying to work on writing this up who ask this, how can rich people not pay taxes?
CILLIZZA: And the answer is complicated, not for people who follow real estate, but it's complicated. Basically they are allowed to take losses in their business life and use that as a way to write off and essentially not pay taxes on the personal side. That's what Donald Trump has done. We know from a series of public filings that's what he's done.
CILLIZZA: So the question is, how does that sit with the average person?
CILLIZZA: And I don't -- I don't -- it potentially sits poorly.
HARLOW: I mean just also remember that the president has been slamming companies, like Amazon, for, you know, exercising their, you know, I guess legal right in terms of these loopholes and, you know, not not paying federal taxes for a period of time. So he's been knocking them for that. Anyways, that is --
CRAIG: I think -- I think it's important, too, to be -- to be clear on a point, which is, you know, he's saying this morning that this -- you know, a lot of this was depreciation. Some of it was. Most of this was just really bad business decisions.
CRAIG: Depreciation doesn't come close to accounting for it.
CRAIG: His father, whose tax returns we have seen, had depreciation, owned a lot more real estate, did not have results like this. Donald Trump had one of the worst results year after year in the country of people like him.
HARLOW: But, Suzanne, before you go, quickly, can you just get to this other thing you found in the report, which I mentioned, number four, that he posed as a corporate raider until investors figured out that he was actually not going to buy these companies. And that does sound like pump and dump. It does sound like something that can be illegal. Is it?
[09:35:00] CRAIG: I mean it's -- that's sort of the term you would use is he talks a stock up and then he sells it. I mean were security regulators -- did they look at it at the time? I don't know. But that fits the, you know, the term that you're saying.
HARLOW: OK. Important reporting and analysis. Thank you both, Suzanne Craig and Chris Cillizza. We appreciate it.
HARLOW: In minutes, a showdown on Capitol Hill once again. A high stakes vote to hold the attorney general, Bill Barr, in contempt. We're going to talk to one of the lawmakers on that committee, next.
SCIUTTO: Just minutes from now, the House Judiciary Committee, that's the room there, will hold a vote on whether to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress.
HARLOW: It is really significant.
And with us now is one of the Democratic lawmakers who will be taking that vote, Congressman Lou Correa of California.
[09:40:04] Thank you for being with us, congressman. And let me just begin there. As you know, the Department of Justice,
the latest development, is that they say the president is prepared to invoke executive privilege over the Mueller report if you guys hold this vote, which it's very clear you're going to in just minutes. How will you vote and what do you make of that threat?
REP. LOU CORREA (D-CA): Well, first of all, you know that this president is very tough. He's going to fight us at every corner. So we're going to have to vote to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt. We want to get to the truth and the truth starts with having that un- redacted Mueller report in front of us.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this, though, is this the right battle -- you've got several battles happening at the same time. You want the president's tax returns, you want to get Mueller to testify, you want Barr perhaps to come back to committee, of course he refused to sit before the House, and this. Is this the most winnable, most important battle here? Because, after all, the attorney general gave you most of the report with minimal redactions. Why go to the mat on this?
CORREA: Well, this is a very important report because what we want to know is the truth, not just for the sake of truth, but the Russians in 2016 tasted victory and Secretary Nielsen of Homeland Security, before she was fired, actually said that she had suspicions that the Russians were back for 2020. So we have to know what happened in 2016, we have to know everything that happened to make sure that we're ready for 2020. So this is not just a fishing expedition to me, this is democracy on the line.
HARLOW: So the chairman of your committee, Jerry Nadler, just made a big headline this morning on CNN when he told our Alisyn Camerota he's not as confident now that Bob Mueller will testify. Are you also wavering in your confidence that your committee will get to question the special counsel?
CORREA: Well, those -- those have been the facts. Mr. Mueller refused to show up last week and it's pretty clear he is not going to show up and so we have to move forward.
HARLOW: Sir -- Mr. -- you mean Barr refused to show up.
CORREA: I'm sorry, Mr. Barr, yes.
HARLOW: I'm talking about the special counsel.
CORREA: Yes. Yes.
HARLOW: OK, so let me just ask you that again, are you -- are you less confident this morning that the special counsel, Bob Mueller, will testify on that proposed date of May 15th?
CORREA: We're hoping that Mr. Mueller shows up and testifies on the 15th. You know, the whole public, everybody in this country wants to know what the Mueller report was all about. We have to hear it from Mr. Mueller himself. What did you mean in your report? SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this, though, congressman. I'm sure you've
been watching these numbers. The president's approval rating, it's at 46 percent in the Gallup survey. Those numbers just out yesterday, up 7 points since March. So in the midst of the Mueller report being completed, going out there, the president's support is growing.
I wonder how much you're hearing from constituents that they want you to go down the -- go down to the mat on all of these battles, or are you seeing in those numbers concerns that Democrats have political risk here of moving beyond really the political appetite to investigate this president?
CORREA: And you're absolutely right, the politics have a lot to do with what's going on. But, at the end of the day, I've got to do my job as a member of Congress. And my job is to get to the truth. I want to see what the Mueller report is about and I want to hear from Mr. Mueller.
And, again, we have to learn lessons from the election of 2016, and that's where Mr. Mueller has to tell us what happened, what are the lessons learned for 2020?
HARLOW: Congressman, if I could, just for a moment.
HARLOW: Perhaps the most important news, of course -- not perhaps -- the most important news of the morning is that kids got gunned down at a school in Colorado less than 20 miles from Columbine.
HARLOW: You have an 18-year-old who is dead. You have three teenagers still in the hospital, five who got released.
I know what you've done in terms of pushing for universal background checks, et cetera. What are you committed to doing to making -- to make sure that no other child, not a single additional child in America, has to go through this hell?
SCIUTTO: And you're absolutely right, we cannot have any more of these deaths in our schools. I'm a father. I've got four children. They're now out of high school. But I keep worrying about their safety. I worry about the safety of every child in this country while they're attending school, or attending church.
I'm working with the locals, the local school districts, local police officers, local police agencies to do everything we can to harden our schools and our places of worship. And as Americans, we cannot give up on this issue. We have to make sure everyone everywhere is 100 percent safe.
SCIUTTO: But haven't we given up? I mean -- and I appreciate the sentiment and I appreciate the effort and I know that a lot of this runs up against Republican opposition in the Senate, but we and our viewers have heard statements like this repeatedly for years. This is the 13th gun shooting this year. There were 45 school shootings -- there were 45 last year. I imagine folks are frustrated that they hear these comments all the time and that the bar --
[09:45:05] HARLOW: Nothing changes.
SCIUTTO: Nothing changes.
CORREA: Well, we have to move ahead and --
SCIUTTO: How do you get past Republican opposition is the simplest question?
CORREA: Well, I'm hoping that our Republican friends understand that background checks are common sense legislation to protect our communities. At the local level, one of my local school districts is spending a lot of money to build fencing around a school. Why? Because we don't want the bad folks to get into our schools.
So we're doing everything we can at every level of government. We're going -- we're not going to give up. We cannot.
SCIUTTO: Congressman Correa, we wish you luck in that effort. We do. And we're going to keep asking about it because it's important.
CORREA: Thank you very much.
HARLOW: We will.
SCIUTTO: Coming up next, and this is a reason to smile.
SCIUTTO: I think we need that. A royal reveal. We finally get to see the face of Prince Harry and Meghan's baby boy. But there's still one big question the new parents haven't answered yet. You might guess what that is.
HARLOW: The name.
[09:50:27] HARLOW: Time for some good news.
HARLOW: Royal baby Sussex finally makes his big, public debut in the halls of Windsor Castle. The duke and duchess walked out to introduce their newborn baby to the world.
SCIUTTO: It was a pretty happy moment to watch. The new parents obviously beaming over their new bundle of joy. As for who he looks like, that's a tough one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGHAN MARKLE: He has the sweetest temperament. He's really calm and --
PRINCE HARRY: I wonder who he gets that from.
MARKLE: Yes. And he's been -- he's just been the dream. So it's been a special couple days.
QUESTION: Who does he take after? Does he look like anyone?
MARKLE: We're still trying to figure that out.
PRINCE HARRY: Everyone says that babies change so much over two weeks. We're basically sort of monitoring how they -- how the changing process happens over this next month really. But he's change -- his looks are changing every single day.
PRINCE HARRY: So, who knows.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: And who knows what his name is, or what it's going to be. No answer officially on that yet. The couple is expected to reveal the baby's name later, after first talking with the queen.
Victoria Arbiter, our royal commentator, joins us now.
What a beautiful, beautiful moment. You can just tell how elated they are.
So let's talk a little bit about how much freedom these two have in picking a name, how they do all this. They're not really constrained by any norms.
VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's right, there are some perks to being further down in the line of succession, but this baby is still number seven. And the queen, when she was born, was number seven, and still became the queen. So I think we may see a name later today that sort of has a really great balance between tradition and what's concerned modern in this day and age. The royal family tree has a wealth of names to choose from. We'll probably see some kind of tribute. I'd like to see Prince Charles' name included in there. Meghan is actually very fond of him. He took such good care of Doria during the royal wedding. Of course, he walked her halfway down the aisle, Meghan herself. So, yes, we're -- it remains to be seen, but I don't think we're going to see anything too celebrity, something probably a bit more traditional.
SCIUTTO: So the queen -- the baby's not automatically a prince. The queen intervened for the children of Will, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis. Is that expected for number seven?
ARBITER: Well, I'm so glad you raised this, actually, because the queen didn't actually amend it for William and Kate. The reason she made the amendments in 2013 was in response to the changes in laws to succession. So, hypothetically, had Charlotte been born first, she would have been outranked by a second born child if that were a boy. So that's why the queen made those changes.
SCIUTTO: I see.
ARBITER: In this instance, It's George V we have to blame for the 1917 letters patient (ph). I think he simply didn't anticipate there being four generations of royals alive at the same time. So currently, no, this baby's not eligible for an HRH status. It could change. But I would be surprised, not as any slight to Meghan and Harry, but simply because the queen is something of a stickler to tradition, if things had been set by her ancestors, she thinks they've been set for a reason, she tends to honor that.
HARLOW: And, you know, look who's holding the baby in the official photo and walking out, right? Daddy, not mommy.
ARBITER: No. Daddy. Well, that was quite a long walk for a lady that's only two days post birth, in heels, may I add. A very impressive turnout from Meghan. And, actually, but we could see this was a family where Harry and Meghan are so happy and elated. You can see the connection between the two of them. It's that sort of exhausted elation that any new parent can identify with. So also a real treat that we got to have that sort of little interview with them because we haven't seen that outside the (INAUDIBLE) win. Normally questions are just being yelled to the couple.
HARLOW: That's true.
SCIUTTO: I love that line, what is it she said, you know, these are the two greatest guys she has now, talking about her son and, of course, the prince.
HARLOW: I loved that. So true.
Victoria, a pleasure to have you. Thank you so much.
ARBITER: Thank you.
HARLOW: A big vote in the House, in the Judiciary Committee, moments from now. They're going to vote to hold the attorney general Bill Barr in contempt for not sharing the un-redacted Mueller report. We'll bring you that vote live.
[09:54:25] SCIUTTO: And be sure to watch when the former FBI director, James Comey, sits down for an "AC 360" town hall, that will be live from D.C. Anderson Cooper moderates tomorrow night, 8:00 Eastern Time, only here on CNN.
SCIUTTO: Today, millions of Americans face the risk of severe storms stretching all the way from Texas to Illinois. That includes possible tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail.
Meanwhile, parts of Texas remain under water after more than a foot of rain pummeled the Houston area. The Houston Fire Department says it received at least 250 calls for high-water rescues on Tuesday. HARLOW: Wow, look at those images out of Houston. Among those left
stranded, hundreds of students at schools in three counties. Districts not able to get buses to those students, so they were kept at school overnight.
[09:59:54] The Cleveland Independent School District posted images of superintendent Chris Trotter (ph) still in school with the kids. There it is. That school district has canceled classes today due to the flooding.