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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Two Barges Collided in Houston, Spilling 25,000 Gallons of a Gasoline Product Into the Houston Ship Channel; Interview with Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) About Iran; Congressional Democrats Increase Pressure on the IRS to Turn Over President Trump's Tax Returns; Pentagon Says That the U.S. is Sending a Warship and More Missiles to the Middle East. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired May 11, 2019 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I've decided, Sharon, I'm not going to the Ukraine.
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS HOST: You're not going to go?
GIULIANI: I'm not going to go, because I think I'm walking into a group of people that are enemies of the President, in some cases enemies of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Rudy that I knew and worked with would never engage in this kind of conduct.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump jacked up tariffs on thousands of goods.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I like the President a lot; he is a friend of mine. But I'm representing the USA and he's representing China.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question here in China is not if China is going to retaliate, but how and when.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The President also lost another battle in the war over his tax returns today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to move this along. We need to send a clear message that this is just not all talk and smoke and mirrors. But we're serious about getting this information.
UIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump is making it very clear that obstruction is his middle name.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Good morning to you and happy Saturday. I'm Christi Paul. MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN HOST: And I'm Martin Savidge, in for Victor Blackwell. New overnight, they are assessing the damage after two barges collided in Houston, in a ship channel there, spilling chemicals into the water. Ed Lavandera is live in Houston for us. Ed?
ED LAVANDERA, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Good morning. That tanker almost sliced that barge in half. We'll have an update on the environmental impact for the residents who live along the Houston ship channel.
PAUL: And there's new troubling information about one of the two suspects in the Colorado school shooting this week. Scott McLean is live in Colorado.
SCOTT MCLEAN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hey there. A former of the friend suspect said that he used to make dark jokes that were just laughed off at the time ahead. Why he now says those supposed jokes seem like unmistakable warning signs.
SAVIDGE: Plus, one week after the Pentagon decided to send an aircraft career and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf, the U.S. is also now sending additional Patriot missiles. Congressman Ted Yoho joins us live to talk about the rising tensions with Iran.
PAUL: We want to begin with an about-face from Rudy Giuliani though, because hours after he said he was going to Ukraine to push for an investigation into Joe Biden, the President's lawyer now says he is not taking that trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: I will get out of it, in order to remove any political suggestion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay.
GUILIANI: I will step back and I'll just watch it unfold.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Giuliani had originally said that he wanted to convince Ukrainian leaders to look into Biden's call to remove the top Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016. Biden was joined by other world leaders in making that call. But, his opponents point to the fact that the prosecutor had been investigating a Ukrainian natural gas company connected to Biden's son. The investigation was later dropped after the prosecutor was removed.
PAUL: But President Trump seems to think it would be okay for the Attorney General to investigate a political rival.
SAVIDGE: He left that possibility open in an interview with Politico. Joining us live from the White House this morning, CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond with more on that. Good morning, Jeremy.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. As you just mentioned, Rudy Giuliani may be dropping his bid to encourage the Ukrainians to investigate the former Vice President.
But the President is now leaving open the possibility that he could direct his Attorney General, Bill Barr, to investigate the former Vice President. Not only is Joe Biden a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, but he's also the candidate that the President believes is most likely to capture that nomination and face him in the 2020 general election.
The President saying in an interview with Politico just yesterday, certainly it would be an appropriate thing to speak to him about, but I have not done that as of yet. It could be a very big situation. It's important to note that the President said he had not previously thought about this before it was raised in this interview with Politico.
But, we do know that the President has previously pushed the bounds of his own executive authority and his power over the Justice Department, previously encourages the Attorney General at the time, Jeff Sessions, to un-recuse himself from matters in the 2016 election - forgive me, there's some lawn mowing going on behind me here.
[08:05:00] And also encouraging top Justice Department officials to investigate Hillary Clinton relating to the 2016 election. The President, as I mentioned, sees Joe Biden as the most likely candidate to capture the Democrat Party's nomination in 2020.
He compared the Vice President's quick rise to frontrunner status to his own back in 2016. We know that the President has been concerned about the prospects of Joe Biden becoming the 2020 Democratic nominee. He's told aides and advisers that he believes Biden poses the biggest threat to his own reelection prospects.
And that has left advisers concerned and at times a little bit quizzical about why the President is therefore giving the former Vice President so much oxygen. They're concerned that the President is helping to elevate Biden in a crowded 2020 pack.
SAVIDGE: Alright Jeremy Diamond, thanks pretty much for that. We've noted the little lawn mowing there on though, on a Saturday morning, a lot of people do that. Don't they?
PAUL: A lot of people do, yes, and there it goes again. And yet, he was razor focused.
SAVIDGE: Yes, he was.
PAUL: Didn't skip a beat. Nice job, Jeremy, as always of course. So, let's talk about this more with Margaret Talev, Senior White House Correspondent for Bloomberg. Margaret, good to see you this morning as well.
MARGARET TALEV, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Good morning, you two.
PAUL: Thank you. So the President said specifically, when he was asked about this in the Politico interview late yesterday, about whether he would consider directing Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the Bidens. He said, certainly it would be an appropriate thing to discuss with Barr.
PAUL: Any indication it would be appropriate?
TALEV: There's an awful lot of people who think it would not be appropriate, and who have - not just Democrats, but legal experts who have come out in the last couple of days since the original story about Giuliani's plans to go to Ukraine and have been all over this issue.
And so, I think you need to look at this on two fronts. Number one, there is a real sort of constitutional concern or a concern for kind of the tradition of American Democracy, when you're looking into the potential of a President calling for - the potential of a President calling for an investigation of a political rival.
And then, there's the other issue. I mean, there are issues about independence, whether the Justice Department is acting kind of on its own, rather than being directed by a President for political reasons.
And then there's the political question, which is, is the President really intending to investigate Biden, or is the President - or the President is interested in elevating this idea that there is something about Biden that's worthy of investigation, gets media to talk about it, sort of free airtime to bash a potential political rival, even if any investigation never goes forward.
So, the President seems to be kind of approaching this as something where it's a win-win either way, because now everybody's talking about Joe Biden instead of the President's dealings with Russia.
PAUL: But the President is talking about Joe Biden and he talked about Joe Biden to Politico yesterday afternoon as well. And it seems that there's been a lot of conversations about how worried the President might be, if Joe Biden is at the top of the list--
PAUL: --for 2020. And he seems to think he will be. In fact, he put him almost in his same category. I want to read to you what he wrote. He's recalling his June 2015 campaign. He said, if you remember from the day I came down the escalator until the end of the primaries, I was in the number one position. I was center stage, every debate, and you know, nobody came close.
Is this a sign from the President, do you think, that perhaps he has some respect for Joe Biden, or that he fears him?
TALEV: It's very hard to read the tea leaves. I'm not sure it's an exact analogy. Everybody took Joe Biden seriously as a candidate before his announcement. And President Trump was someone who was treated sort of as an entertainment figure until quite deep into at least the unofficial primary season. So they're really not parallel situations. Part of what the President may be doing is shadow boxing or testing out different messages. You saw him on Twitter trying yesterday attempting to tie his move on tariffs to not just the Obama Administration, but Joe Biden's record, sort of set Joe Biden up as the Democratic front-runner and then try to knock him down by saying Democrats failed on China, I'm going to win.
And so, it's not yet clear whether the President really thinks Joe Biden is the strongest rival or whether the President thinks if he elevates Joe Biden, then he can kind of practice boxing with him.
But there's a real concern for obvious reasons by the President and his aides that, if Biden were able to survive the Democratic primary and emerges as the nominee, he could have some built-in strengths in some of those rustbelt and the western towns, where the President was able to tip the scales and win in 2016.
So, of course he is theoretically concerned, he's also using this early period to test and see what Biden's vulnerabilities are.
[08:10:00] And he thinks Biden is going to have some political vulnerabilities in terms of, not just his own record of being examined, but his son's record in kind of the law being an advocacy world. The Biden campaign obviously already knows that.
But this is sort of a freebee for the President to test it out. But he does risk, if he crosses the line, as many people think he did in terms of suggesting there should be an investigation, he does risk going too far.
PAUL: Alright. I want to ask you real quickly before we let you go about what he said about North Korea in this interview as well. He said they are short range, talking about the missiles that have been launched as of late, and I don't consider that a breach of trust at all. And you know, at some point I may, but at this point, no. These were short-range missiles and very standard stuff, very standard.
What is the reaction in Washington to the fact that the launch of these missiles, which the President was very strident in his directive that there not be anything launched, is now saying, no big deal.
TALEV: I think a lot of people were surprised to read those comments. And I know it was because, forget about the reaction in Washington for a second, what about the reaction in South Korea, or in Japan, in the neighborhood, so to speak? So I think this is the President sending a really clear signal that he wants to keep those discussions with North Korea alive, that he does not want his engagement efforts to be considered failed.
But really, how much running room is he prepared to give North Korea at this point, if his number one job is to protect U.S. national security. But a huge part of the U.S. strategy in that region has always been to protect the neighbors around North Korea that are U.S. allies.
PAUL: Very true. Margaret Talev, always good to have you here. Thank you so much.
SAVIDGE: Severe thunderstorms and torrential rain, they're pounding Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. 20 million people are under a flash flood watch today. This is what it looks like in parts of Houston where more rain is expected to cause even more flooding.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is live from Houston. Ed, the city is bracing for another round of rising floodwaters, right?
LAVANDERA: It's been a long week of rain here in the Houston area. But good news, Marty, is that, for the last 24 hours or so, we've seen the rain stop and that has given floodwaters a chance to recede. Remember, a lot of these areas that are flooding is part of that bayou system of rivers and creeks and tributaries that run their way toward the Gulf of Mexico, and those areas are the ones that pop up with flash flooding during periods of intense rain.
This is a city used to this kind of flooding. But the last 24 hours comes at an opportune time, is that's given those floodwaters a chance to recede in many areas of the Houston area. But more rain is expected later today. So, we'll see how the city and the Southeast Texas area will be able to withstand that as that storm system moves into the eastern part the country, as well.
All of this coming also at a time that Houston area emergency officials are dealing with a tanker in the Houston ship channel that was almost sliced in half, after two vessels collided yesterday afternoon. 25,000 gallons of a gasoline product spilled into the Houston ship channel.
There has been almost 1600 feet of boom laid out to try to contain that gasoline product there in the bay. There's air monitoring testing going on and warnings for people to avoid the coastline in that area, where the spill happened.
And this comes just several weeks after a chemical plant explosion near this very same area, burned and burned for days. So, another emergency here that Houston ship channel officials are having to contend with.
SAVIDGE: Wow. They've had no shortage of problems there in the Houston area. Ed Lavandera, thanks for being there for us.
PAUL: Congressional Democrats increase pressure on the IRS to turn over President Trump's tax returns. The subpoenas just issued now for the Presidential personal financial records.
SAVIDGE: U.S. is sending more missiles to the Middle East to counter a threat from Iran. And President Trump is offering Tehran a phone number with the message, call me.
PAUL: And new troubling information about one of the two student suspects in the Colorado school shooting this week. We're hearing from a former classmate who says one of those suspects always joked about killing his classmates.
[08:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SAVIDGE: Well, the White House is now - I'm sorry, we're going to give you an update rather on a different story. New allegations in the disappearance of 4-year-old Maleah Davis. The mother of that child told the CNN that she thinks the child's stepfather bears some responsibility in her disappearance.
PAUL: Yes, she along with a community activist claimed that there's surveillance video showing Maleah's father - stepfather Derion Vence leaving their apartment with a laundry basket and a bottle of bleach.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUANELL X, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: We want to share with you that there is a video camera at the top of the stairway, by one of the neighbors. And on that video camera, we'll show it to you, it captures the stepdad coming out of the apartment with a bottle of Clorox, a laundry basket, and inside the laundry basket a garbage bag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Can you see her just sobbing next to him, crying because she doesn't know what that means, obviously. Police have recovered, though, the car that he was driving when he claims he, Maleah, and his son were attacked and abducted. Police say they haven't heard from the stepfather now in several days.
SAVIDGE: There has been an explosion at a gas station in Virginia and it has killed at least one person. Virginia state police say the remains of one other victim has also been located. The police sergeant says at least three are still unaccounted for, four others were transported to area hospitals also with injuries.
Well, the White House is fighting a battle on all sides, as Congressional Democrats escalate their efforts to get the President's tax returns.
PAUL: Yesterday, House Ways and Means Committee Chair, Richard Neal issued a subpoena for President Trump's financial records. Steve Bannon, President Trump's Former Chief Strategist, said going after the President's taxes is a losing issue for Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[08:20:00] STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: I really don't think, Anderson, somebody's taxes from 30 years ago - and we don't even know what these - if there's summary of the taxes, what he did on depreciation. He's a real estate developer. You have to go through the whole thing.
I don't think it's going to make a big deal. I don't think it's going to make any real difference. I think the issues are the issues of today and voters are going to say, hey, we thought of that in 2016. We either voted for the guy or didn't vote for the guy on other reasons. (END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And the subpoenas give the IRS and Treasury Secretary until May 17 to return the President's tax information.
SAVIDGE: Officials say the former White House Counsel Don McGahn refused a White House request to publicly state that the President did not obstruct justice. It appears that request was one of many attempts by the White House to paint the Mueller report as total vindication of the President.
The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed McGahn for documents and testimony related to the Russia investigation. The White House has instructed McGahn not to provide documents, but it's unclear whether McGahn will testify.
PAUL: And this morning, we are hearing from the top layer at the FBI, who is countering conspiracy theories pushed by the President about why the Russia investigation - why it started in the first place.
For weeks, President Trump has called the Russia investigation a hoax, an attempted or failed coup. But the former General Counsel for the FBI says the Russia investigation was only ever about Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES BAKER, FORMER FBI GENERAL COUNSEL: There was a point in time relatively recently where I just became sick of all of the BS that is said about the origins of the investigation, and I just got fed up with it. The case was about Russia. We've written about this. It was about Russia, period, full stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And the President's allies have accused those in the senior ranks of the Justice Department and the FBI of being biased against the President.
SAVIDGE: And that gives us a lot to discuss here. So, let's bring in CNN's Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor, Shan Lu. Good morning to you, sir.
SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning.
SAVIDGE: Alright, let's start with the subpoenas here. By law, the House Ways and Means Committee can simply just request anybody's tax returns. But the White House has pretty much stonewalled those efforts, and we're eventually going to see this end up in court. So, what's the advantage then of taking the extra step and issuing a subpoena?
WU: It's a smart sort of conservative legal strategy to use here because it kind of gives them two bases on which to contest the validity of the subpoena, not to contest with push forward (ph) validity. By simply going straight to contempt, they say we have this law that allows us to ask for it, you didn't do it, you're held in contempt. That goes to court anyway or DOJ has to enforce it.
This way they have two bases. The first is simply contempt; you're not doing what we can do under the law, which is to give us the returns. And number two, we've also issued a subpoena based on that authority and on our general oversight authority.
So, it kind of gives them a double way of ensuring the legal viability. And given the kind of onslaught of subpoenas that the court's are going to face, all trying to get materials from Trump, this gives them a little bit - of a way to distinguish themselves. So I think it's a good move in terms of a conservative strategy.
PAUL: Let me ask you about Don McGahn because the White House has told him that he can't provide documents to Congress, despite the subpoena. Any information here?
WU: Having real trouble hearing at the moment, sorry.
PAUL: I'm sorry, can you hear us, Shan? Okay, so can I ask you about Don McGahn? Can you hear us?
Martin, why don't you try?
WU: Having a little trouble hearing you.
SAVIDGE: Can you hear me, Shan? We're just making sure it's not either one of us.
PAUL: No, we lost it.
SAVIDGE: Oh we'll come back to you.
PAUL: Oh, Shan, I'm sorry. We'll try to get him back here. You never know with electronics.
SAVIDGE: No you don't. Meanwhile, the Pentagon says that the U.S. is sending a warship and more missiles to the Middle East. Next, why the President says he wants Iran to pick up the phone and give him a call.
[08:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: 27 minutes past the hour right now. The Pentagon sent a warship to the Middle East. The President is now saying it's coming with a message. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have one of the most powerful ships in the world that's loaded up, and we don't want to have to do anything. What I'd like to see with Iran, I'd like to see them call me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So, apparently after he said that, the White House passed a phone number to the Swiss, in case Iran wants to call. But the Swiss say they won't share that number unless Iran asks for it, and Iran says, they aren't negotiating.
So with us now we have Representative Ted Yoho. Thank you so much, Congressman, for being with us. We appreciate you being here.
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL): Thanks for having me on.
PAUL: Absolutely. I want to ask you, in your opinion, is this the way to get Iran to the table, to send a warship and then a phone number?
YOHO: Well, you got to understand why we're sending the warship there. It's because of the threats that Iran has made and intelligence that we have. And I think it's a different strategy that hasn't been used before, and I commend President Trump on doing it.
PAUL: So, you believe that sending - we understand the need for the warships, but the phone number gets the green light from you?
YOHO: Yes, it does, because it's a direct line. I mean, what better access can you have than to go directly to the President of the United States. And it shows his earnestness and sincerity, and eagerness to get something done. And he's taken everything else off the table, says, let's get something worked out.
PAUL: So, what would you want him to say if they did place that call?
YOHO: Opening up dialogs and negotiations on moving away from the things that they've done. We know Iran is the largest supporter of terrorism around the world. It's a nation state of terrorism. They're funding the Houthi rebels, the Hezbollah, and they're disrupting peace in the world, whether it's in Yemen. We know they're in South America.
And it's something that Iran needs to come to the table and focus on building the economy for their people. And you're not going to do that unless we can change the direction that Iran is going with the Ayatollahs.
PAUL: But are they trustworthy, Congressman?
YOHO: Are they trustworthy?
[08:30:00] Man, that's a great question. John Bolton's book Surrender is Not an Option talks about the cat and mouse game we've played with Iran since the '80s on their nuclear proliferation. Every time we call them out on it, they denied it and said they're going to stop, but yet they continue to do it. So, are they trustworthy? If you look at the past, I would say no, but they can always change for the future.
PAUL: The President, of course, has at times, in the last couple of years, seemed to have given -- I'm just throwing this out there - President Putin more credence in what he tells the President than what the President's own intelligence agency tells him. Would you have the same concern that that could happen with Iran?
YOHO: Again, when you're sitting down negotiating with people, I think the President is a good reader of people. I don't know how far he trusts Vladimir Putin. I'm sure it's not very far. And with Iran, it's a whole different philosophy, a whole different culture. And we know what they've done in the past. We know what they're doing right now. You look at the IEDs that have hurt our military people, the majority of those, 90% of those have come from Iran.
And they're spreading around the world terrorist activities. And so to trust them, I don't know if you need to trust them complicity. But I think you need to have an agreement that these are red lines that you don't want to go over.
PAUL: You have to have a dialog. So, shifting gears here, I want to ask you about North Korea, because the President once used the lack of missile tests as a sign of progress in his talks with Kim Jong-un. And we've seen in the last couple weeks it's ramping up.
And I want to read to you what he said to Politico just late yesterday, when he was talking about the missiles or the projectiles we have seen launched from North Korea as of late. He said they're short-range and I don't consider that a breach of trust at all. And you know, at some point I may, but at this point, no. These were short-range missiles and very standard stuff. Very standard.
I don't know if South Korea or Japan would consider it standard or safe. How do we deal with that?
YOHO: I would agree with you on that. I know Japan and South Korea are concerned about this. And I think President Trump's giving a little bit of breathing space for Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-un is looking for attention to get back to the negotiating table.
He left Hanoi thinking that the United States was going to cave as the previous two administrations did. President Trump stood strong and said this is not negotiations of old. And so, Kim Jong-un walked away thinking he was going to get some kind of a deal or a release on sanctions.
And I commend again, Mike Pompeo, President Trump and Stephen Biegun for standing strong and just saying, these are not the negotiations of the past that we truly expect for to you define what denuclearization is. Let's lay out a game plan and then let's work towards that, to develop an economy.
And I know Kim Jong-un, he wants a vibrant economy, like he saw in Vietnam, like he's seen in South Korea. And he knows he can get it without nuclear weapons. It's just - does he have the will to do that is what needs to be seen here. And him firing these rockets off are a way to get attention, and hopefully draw us back. But what he has to understand is he needs to come to the table.
PAUL: Okay. I want to ask you about China as well because, of course, we're talking about trade talks and China didn't blink on new tariffs that were getting imposed. They, of course, are promising to retaliate. We don't know when. We don't know how. We just know that it's inevitable. Are you comfortable with where this is headed?
YOHO: As far as the President doing what he has done, absolutely. This is something that is way overdue. You don't get to a $300 or $400 billion trade deficit, along with the intellectual property that China is stealing overnight. This is a dereliction of duty over the last three or four administrations that's led us here.
Finally, we have a President in the White House that says no more. And this adjustment has to happen in lieu of what China is doing around the world that is destabilizing western type of democracies.
They're militarizing areas in the South China Sea. They said they would not. They lied to President Obama in the White House in 2015. And China has to be held accountable. Their aggressive nature needs to be checked, and if it's not by us and the rest of the world, who's going to do it.
PAUL: Congressman, before I let you go, I want to ask you about your thoughts on what happened, what we saw, we all watched together what happened in Colorado with the school shooting. We know that the gun came from parents. They had purchased it legally.
However, there are a lot of people who say, particularly after Newtown, after the shooting in Newtown, why is Congress not taking any steps to try to get some sort of definitive gun control measure across the aisle?
[08:35:00] What are you willing to do, to try to make that happen?
YOHO: Well, like I tell me my constituents, my job is to defend the Second Amendment of this nation, it shall not be infringed. It needs to go to the states. The states need to do what they want to do, what their constituents want to do. But I think we really need to focus not so much on the weapon of choice. We need to focus on the mental health issues.
I think those students that walked out of that assembly, I think they sent a very strong message to the politicians that wanted to politicize this about gun control, and they said it's mental health, mental health, mental health. And we in the Congress have put a tremendous amount of money in the last Congress for mental health and will continue to do this. And I think we need to look at this-
PAUL: But it is also that gun - it's about though you can't have one without the other here.
YOHO: Yes, but if somebody goes through the process of buying one legally, what do you do about that? Do you take that right away from law-abiding American citizens that use guns responsibly? We need to talk about responsibility, the mental health issues, why do people want to pick up a gun and shoot people.
If it's not a gun, we've seen them use vehicles. We saw that young man in Texas make homemade bombs. It's a mental health issue that this nation needs to come to grips with, and we all need to come together and it's the old adage, if you see something, say something. There are red flags out there that were not followed up on that we knew this was troubled two individuals, as we've seen in the past.
PAUL: But Congressman, there have been more school shootings in the last year than we have seen thus far. And I'm just wondering what - what else you think needs to be done about it? Because there are situations where people are getting their hands on guns and they have no business getting their hands on those guns?
YOHO: I agree with that. They should not have guns. But I think you also need to go in every one of those instances, red flags were there. If you look at the shooting in South Florida, I think there is over 41 red flags in Parkland, 41 red flags that were not acted on from the FBI to the local sheriffs, and they did an abysmal job at preventing that.
And I think in this instance, we need to take any threats we hear seriously and we need to come down on the perpetrator, and then look at the mental health issues that led to this person doing that. And again, the gun was used in this situation as it was in many in the past. But if it's not a gun, it's going to be a machete like they used in China, or a car they used in France, or bombs they used in Texas. We have to address the mental health issues and why are our youth today feeling compelled to do this? And those are the things we need to look at.
PAUL: Congressman Ted Yoho, Republican from Florida. Well, we appreciate you taking time for us today. Thank you.
YOHO: You betcha. And if you're a mother, Happy Mother's Day.
PAUL: Oh, thank you. I appreciate that very much.
YOHO: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: A U.S. trade representative has said that President Trump is pushing to add tariffs to nearly $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. We're going to continue our conversation about the negotiations that have failed so far to come up with the deal. We're going to talk about what this all means for business.
[08:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: So the trade war between the U.S. and China heats up. President Trump is beginning the process of increasing tariffs on all remaining imports from China. So those imports are said to be valued at approximately $300 billion.
SAVIDGE: As it stands, U.S. businesses are pretty much already feeling the pinch of the increasing tariffs on Chinese goods. While some have been able to absorb the 10% tariff, even big companies like Apple, Caterpillar and others are seeing drops in revenue and increased costs.
Analysts say any further increase could affect economic growth in the United States, which is of course very worrisome. Joining us now to discuss is CNN political commentator and Washington Post opinion columnist, Catherine Rampell. Good morning to you.
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND WASHINGTON POST OPINION COLUMNIST: Good to be here. SAVIDGE: So, yes, we were talking about how we sort of might have felt these tariffs before. But this time, it's going to be more direct, will it not, to the consumer?
RAMPELL: Well, we've already seen the costs of the tariffs wholly passed on to U.S. businesses and consumers. There are actually two separate studies by two separate all-star teams of trade economists, people from Princeton, Yale, Colombia, UCLA, et cetera.
Both of those studies have found that 100% of the tariffs so far have been passed on to the U.S. So, despite the fact that Trump keeps claiming that China is paying the tariffs, that the EU and Canada and others are paying the tariffs that he has imposed in the last year, in fact it's U.S. consumers who are paying these taxes.
PAUL: So here's my question. Yesterday, after all of this, the market started to tank, but we ended up for the day. Do you think that once they're imposed, how long before they might be some real effect to American consumers? Is it going to be a delayed effect?
RANPELL: Yes. So there is an important think to realize here, which is that there was sort of a soft deadline for these tariffs. The escalation in the rate from 10% to 25% only applied to goods that left China yesterday. Not those that were already in transit, not those that are about to reach our shores, just those that left.
So that means that there's a little bit of a cushion there, of about two to three weeks before the higher tariff rate will have to be paid on Chinese goods, which gives both negotiating teams a little bit of time, a little wiggle room, to try to come to a deal before we actually feel that higher effect of those increased taxes.
And so, I think what markets were interpreting was, well look, Trump has a little bit of bluster here, he's trying to convince the Chinese that he means business, that the threat of a 25% tariff is real and in fact, it's been officially imposed.
But there's still time to walk that back. So Trump is trying here to scare the Chinese and not scare markets of course simultaneously. It's a little hard to be talking out of both sides of your mouth and to be effective, but I think that's why markets were more relieved than they might have otherwise been.
[08:45:00] SAVIDGE: Yes, they're looking at a glass half full. We'll see, alright.
RAMPELL: Yes, maybe overly optimistic, we'll see.
SAVIDGE: Might be. Might be, we'll see. Catherine, always good to see you. Catherine Rampell, thanks very much.
RAMPELL: Thanks for having me.
PAUL: Thanks, Catherine. One of the suspects accused in the Colorado school shooting reportedly always joked about killing his classmates. We have a live report for you on the possible warning signs that were missed.
SAVIDGE: Another school shooting this week, and once again people questioning themselves and officials, was something missed? One of the Colorado school shooting suspects, "always joked about killing his classmates." That's according to a former student at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch.
PAUL: Two suspects were arrested this week after police said they killed one student and injured eight others at the school. Scott McLean is in Highlands Ranch, Colorado right now. Scott, what are you hearing from there this morning as they try to reconcile this and figure out what to do?
[08:50:00] MCLEAN: Hey Christie and Martin. That former student that you mentioned, his name is Kevin Cole. He said that he was absolutely stunned to hear that a school shooting could take place here. But he is not surprised that the suspect or one of the suspects is his former friend Devon Erickson.
He remembers Erickson was always trying to get a rise out of people. He had a quick temper and was easily offended, especially when it came to his more liberal political views. But what seems most disturbing are some of the off-color jokes that he made, like when he would whisper to Cole not to come to school tomorrow, implying he was going carry out a school shooting. And also this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN COLE, FORMER STUDENT, STEM SCHOOL HIGHLANDS RANCH: He would walk into the classroom and from time to time, he would say, just like - we always thought it was a joke, but he would say when the pencil hits the floor, I'm going to start shooting. And he would drop pencils randomly throughout the class.
Kids would hear these things and they would go home and talk to their parents about it, or they would immediately after class go to the office and tell kind of higher faculty, higher administration about the events that conspired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: Now, Cole says that at the time these supposed jokes were just laughed off as nothing. But now looking back, he says they seemed more like unmistakable warning signs. Now Cole also explained that Erickson had bullied and harassed his older brother, which eventually drove a wedge into their friendship. Martin and Christie.
SAVIDGE: Scott, I wanted to ask you, there is a parent who has come forward who apparently feared that the high-pressure learning environment there for students - she was worried that this could have led to a Columbine kind of reaction. I'm wondering what is the response from the community to that?
MCLEAN: Yes. She described the sort of pressure cooker type environment for students that she was concerned might eventually lead to someone getting seriously hurt or even killed. Now, the school says that her claims are baseless. They even filed a defamation lawsuit against this anonymous parent.
But some parents are now also speaking out against this anonymous parent saying that they had a completely different experience like Nicky Baird who has two students inside that school. She says that, yes, the school demands excellence, but it's an inclusive place where students are safe to learn by trying things and failing. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI BAIRD, STEM PARENT: It's kind of frustrating to hear people characterize it as a super high pressure kind of place. The pressure kids feel at STEM is either pressure that we parents are putting on them directly or that they're putting on themselves. It's not the school that is really pressuring them, that I have found.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: Now, on the day of the school shooting, there was no School Resource Officer inside the building. And yesterday, the Sheriff's office explained why saying that the year before there had been a dispute with the school over the costs and responsibilities of that officer. So instead, the school went and hired a private security guard, and according to the company that hired him, he helped apprehend one of the suspects. Martin and Christie.
PAUL: Alright, Scott Mclean, thank you so much for the update. We appreciate it. We'll be right back.
[08:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)