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Trump Lawyer Giuliani to Press Ukraine on Investigations that Could Help Get Trump Re-elected in 2020; Teacher Forced to Pay for Her Own Sick-Leave Substitute; U.S. Carrier Strike Group Reaches Red Sea Amid Iran Tensions; Lawmakers Push for Legislation to Protest Military Spouse Jobs; Mother Says She Warned of "Another Columbine" at STEM School. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired May 10, 2019 - 13:30   ET



[13:32:24] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: So stop me if you've heard this one before. A member of the Trump inner circle plans to meet with representatives of a foreign government seeking possibly damaging information on a political rival. This time, though, it's Rudy Giuliani. And he is unapologetic, declaring to the "New York Times," quote, "There's nothing illegal about it. Somebody could say it's improper. I'm going to give them reasons why they shouldn't stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client." That client, of course, is the president of the United States.

Our Michael Warren is here with me.

And Giuliani also says, quote, "We're not meddling in the election. We're meddling in an investigation."

Although, Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the 2020 Democratic candidates, called this quote, "highly unethical." Let's listen.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): It is highly unethical for the president's personal lawyer to go meet with officials from a foreign government to see if they can influence somehow the upcoming presidential election. We've had enough of that. And Rudy Giuliani should just back off.


KEILAR: All right. Michael, you spoke to him this morning. He's going to Ukraine.


KEILAR: Tell us what all of this is about.

WARREN: Well, Rudy Giuliani is going, he says, as a representative of President Trump's private legal team. He says he plans on meeting with Volodymyr Zelenski, the new president-elect, who is taking office in June, at the beginning of June. He says he's pushing the Ukrainians to keep investigating. What is he pushing them to investigate? To investigate this idea that it was actually Democrats who were talking with Ukrainians to try to push this idea that Paul Manafort needed to be investigated. Essentially, the beginning of the Russia investigation, he claims, originated in Ukraine between the Democrats. That's what he wants investigated, even though there's really no evidence so far that we know of that suggests that that actually happened.

The other thing he wants to investigate has to do with Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden's involvement with a Ukrainian natural gas company.

KEILAR: All right. OK. You say in your reporting that Giuliani is -- maybe this isn't too surprising because we see him like this. But he's in a unique role, and he really seems to relish it.

WARREN: That's right. He is a lawyer, but he's more than a lawyer, right? He's on TV. He's sort of a P.R. guy on behalf of the president. What he sees he's doing here is really to advocate for him and for the president's interests. Now the Mueller report is out, he really sees that what he needs to do is go after the true origins, in his calculation, of the Russian investigation. And it just so happens sort of going after Biden who happens to be the top Democratic presidential contender for next year's election. Although he tells me it has nothing to do with the election because that's only a year and a half away. I think maybe we should have some skepticism about that though.

[13:35:20] KEILAR: And among of the origins that have investigation was a member of the campaign, an associate of the campaign, bragging that there were overtures from Russia. So we just need to be very clear what some of the origins are --

WARREN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

KEILAR: -- because this is something that is being attacked in a very partisan way.

Michael Warren, thank you so much for the reporting. We appreciate it.

WARREN: Thanks.

KEILAR: Coming up next, why a California teacher fighting cancer has to pay for her own substitute while she's out on sick leave.


[13:40:20] KEILAR: A San Francisco teacher on medical leave while fighting breast cancer is facing another challenge, paying the cost of the substitute teacher who is covering for her. Parents at Glen Park Elementary School are rallying around this teacher who has chosen to remain anonymous. Others are vowing to change this law that requires her to pay for a substitute.

Dan Simon has been following this story for us in San Francisco. And, Dan, explain how this policy works and also how the parents are responding here.

DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Brianna. This is one of those stories where you kind of shake your head and say no way is this happening. Here's the deal. You have a very popular teacher, second-grade teacher, who wants to remain anonymous. But she's been teaching for 17 years at Glen Park Elementary School, and she has breast cancer. Here's how it works. You get 10 days of sick leave if you're a public schoolteacher in California. You may get more if, you know, you didn't use all the sick days from previous years. They have a rollover program like other companies do. Then once you go beyond that, that's where the problem lies. In San Francisco, actually, in the entire state of California, if you're on extended sick leave, have you to pay for your own substitute teacher. Really nice, right? Not insignificant either, it's about $200 a day. And this is not unique to San Francisco. But it turns out that this particular story has exposed a real problem.

And this is what some of the parents had to say at that school.


UNIDENTIFIED PARENT: She's an incredible teacher, and that's to the fair. That's like crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED PARENT: She's a beautiful, lovely, great teacher. She's one of the best teachers. That's terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED PARENT: Makes me worry like, you know, later on, like if that were to happen to me, you know, like I have to plan accordingly, and that's not fair, you know.


SIMON: Well, there's sort of a silver lining to all of this. Those outraged parent decided to put together a GoFundMe page so the teacher won't have to worry about paying for the substitute teacher. That has been handled. But, you know, of course, there's some outrage so one would think that this problem will be fixed, that they will go in there and change the policy -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Do they have a concrete plan to do that at this point in time?

SIMON: Well, it turns out that this actually goes back to 1976. This has been around for a while. And when they were negotiating these things, the teachers decided that they were not going to pay into the state's disability program so they are ineligible for these benefits. But as a result of this story, you now have legislators and the various teachers' unions taking a look at this. And one would think now that the -- that they will go ahead and make some changes but we'll just have to wait and see -- Brianna?

KEILAR: See if others fall into that trap as well.

Dan Simon, thank you for that report from San Francisco.

And when we come back, a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group has arrived in the Red Sea as the White House takes steps to counter increasing threats from Iran.


[13:48:10] KEILAR: Tensions are increasing between the U.S. and Iran. The U.S. says the "USS Abraham Lincoln" strike carrier group is in the Red Sea and on its way to the Persian Gulf. And this deployment is in response to what national security adviser, John Bolton, calls troubling indications from Iran.

President Trump sent a message to Iran to, quote, "call me," but an Iranian commander today said there would be no talks with the U.S.

Let's go to the Pentagon and our correspondent there, Barbara Starr, who has the latest on all of this.

Tell us what comes next, Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, as you say, the carrier "Abraham Lincoln" -- very unusual pictures -- we don't often see it moving through the Suez Canal on its way to the Persian Gulf. We'll be watching over the next several days to see if the carrier actually goes through the Strait of Hormuz, the choke point into the ocean and into the Persian Gulf where there are Iranian forces. Everyone will be looking for that.

Now an Iranian cleric issuing, again, pretty feisty rhetoric saying that Iran could take out U.S. forces. This is what the U.S. does not want to see. They want to see a de-escalation of the rhetoric, a de- escalation of this threat from Iran, which U.S. officials say is both against U.S. maritime forces on the sea, of course, and land forces.

What we're watching for now is what we reported earlier in the week, that the Pentagon is considering sending Patriot missiles back to the Middle East, Patriot missile batteries that would be capable of dealing with Iranian ballistic missiles and Iranian aircraft, a wide variety of Iranian threats, all an effort to beef up the message from the Pentagon of deterrence, they say. They want to show a very strong hand to the Iranians and make them understand that they really shouldn't try anything, that there would be plenty of U.S. military power to deal with them if it did come to that -- Brianna?

[13:50:03] KEILAR: Big developments. And we know you're watching it, Barbara.

Barbara Starr, at the Pentagon, thank you.

STARR: Sure.

KEILAR: Military Spouse Appreciation Day is always held the Friday before Mother's Day in May. And that day happens to be today. So in a few hours, the president and the first lady will combine these two by honoring military moms at the White House. And this is coming on the heels of a bipartisan bill that was introduced to help military spouses keep their jobs as they transition between frequent moves.

Holly Vega knows all about this. She's lived this life for 20 years and named Military Spouse of the Year for all branches in a contest sponsored by Armed Forces Insurance.

This is a huge honor. Congratulations to you.


KEILAR: So you've been through 10 moves, three deployments, and you have three kids.

VEGA: Yes, ma'am.

KEILAR: What is the biggest challenge of being a military spouse for you?

VEGA: The biggest challenge for me is the moving. I'm a lover and everybody knows that. To make wonderful friends and who become your family and now all of a sudden two or three years you have to leave them. Luckily, we do have Facebook and social media to keep in contact. But it is not the same as every day face-to-face. So you have to move base and reinvent yourselves and put yourself out there and get to know you and I want to you be my friend.

KEILAR: How do you build a network of friends, of spouses, support network as you go through those moves?

VEGA: I would say go to your base and get to the local resources. What is the first event they got? Go out there and introduce yourself. Hi, I'm Holly. You're going to make a friend.

KEILAR: And you live off base.

VEGA: I do.

KEILAR: So what about building a network of -- among your civilian neighbors as well?

VEGA: Geographically, that could be an issue. We live far from the installation. Again, there's always an event somewhere and there has got to be another spouse there, so go, go to that event. And if they are not a military spouse, it's a civilian, they'll be your friends.

KEILAR: What do you want civilians -- there's a lot of people who may not have a connection to the military, most Americans don't. What do you want them to know about military spouses and families?

VEGA: That we're very special people and we love our country and we're going to love you. And we are very thankful that many of our communities embrace us so much. We've seen that with the Coast Guard shutdown, the communities came together and networked and surrounded the families and loved them. So we're unique people. But come get to know us. Because our uniqueness makes us special.

KEILAR: And one of the things that makes you special and is one of the reasons you have received this honor is because you are an advocate for heart health. But not just any kind of heart health. You talk about the stresses that military families and servicemembers and that military spouses have to deal with.

VEGA: Right.

KEILAR: What are those unique stresses?

VEGA: Well, I am fortunate. I've only done three deployments. Some people say that is not fortunate, but it is, because we just about other spouses have done 10, multiple, or even more than that. Some do every six months back to back. That is a stressor. And when your stress level goes up, that causes medical issues. And we're, as spouses -- because this is Military Spouse Appreciation Day -- we tend to put ourselves last. It is never first. When we have to change -- find a doctor. We don't do that for ourselves. We end up doing that for our family. But also having to find that specialty care and that is very hard, especially with the different insurance and different areas geographically, how far you are away from a good doctor. And that trust level is so -- you have to start trusting someone and that stresses you out. It is very, very important. Go to your doctor and get checked. It doesn't discriminate. Heart disease doesn't discriminate against no one. And you're not invincible.

KEILAR: Holly Vega, congratulations. Thank you so much.

VEGA: Thank you.

KEILAR: Any shout out to the Marines. Your husband is a Marine.

VEGA: Hoorah.

KEILAR: Hoorah.

VEGA: However, we love all of our branches of service today.

KEILAR: Holly Vega, thank you so much for that.

A trade war with China has begun and it could lead to inflated prices and the loss of jobs. Why the president said there's no need to rush a trade deal.

[13:54:23] And why the parent of the school where two teens opened fire on students said she warned school officials, quote, "another Columbine" could be imminent.


KEILAR: A parent at the Colorado school where a deadly shooting took place said she warned about the problem at the schools there. Listen to what she told CNN.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I also saw violence against themselves happening, you know, with students, and threats of suicide, cutting, attempted suicide, drug use that was getting pretty serious. You know, numerous reports from my children that witnessed, experienced it firsthand, and other students that witnessed it or experienced it firsthand. So it -- the pattern was pervasive.


[14:00:00] KEILAR: The woman does say that the teachers were well intentioned but she says there was a culture of polarization of school administrators not listening to parents, nor teachers.

The school's executive director told CNN that the school found no evidence to support these allegations that were made by the parent.