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Trump Announces Plan to Lift Tariffs on Steel, Aluminum for Canada & Mexico in 2 Days; Florida Officials: Trump Sending Over 100 Migrants a Day to Democratic Counties; "Champions For Change" Focuses on Heather Abbott Who Lost Leg in Boston Marathon Bombing. Aired 2:30- 3p ET

Aired May 17, 2019 - 14:30   ET



[14:34:18] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Just into CNN, President Trump announcing plans to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico. The change would take effect in two days.

This is what the president just had to say about the move as he was speaking at an event in Washington.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a great relationship the Canadian prime minister and we have a great relationship. But they've been charging us extremely high tariffs, as much as 185 percent or more for our agricultural products, which is a barrier. It's essentially a barrier. In other words, when you pay $285, guess what, you know what they say, we don't want your business.

So it was a barrier to our farmers being able to do business with them, to our farmers being able to sell product in there.

[14:35:01] So that deal is going to be a fantastic deal for our country. And hopefully, Congress will approve the USMCA quickly. And then the great farmers and manufacturers and steel plants will make our economy more successful than it already is, if that is possible. Which it is.


BALDWIN: The president there in Washington.

Lawmakers in both parties have spoken out against the tariffs, which were imposed last year.

And it looks like President Trump is turning an online threat into an on-the-ground reality. He tweeted last month that he was seriously considering sending immigrants at the border to sanctuary cities. And now local officials in Florida say Border Patrol has just alerted Broward and Palm Beach Counties that they are on the receiving end of a thousand immigrants a month from Texas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RIC BRADSHAW, SHERIFF, PALM BEACH COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: They're just going to walk into the community. It is not a good plan. We think it is a danger to this community. And it is going to put a real strain on what the resources are.

SEAN BRAMMER, DIRECTOR, PALM BEACH COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE: Our chiefs association believe that, with planning, with us being included in some form of planning, we would have been able to tackle this better than what it was presented to us.

MATT BERNARD, (D), PALM BEACH COUNTY MAYOR: Palm Beach County is not a sanctuary county. And the sheriff's office has been cooperative in regard to immigration enforcement in Palm Beach County. We hope that this is not politically motivated.


BALDWIN: Keep in mind, Florida just banned sanctuary cities in the state.

And just this month, the Border Patrol chief updated the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, saying the number of migrants is, quote/unquote, "off the charts."

About half a million undocumented migrants have arrived so far this year, and it is just May. That is a number not seen since 2009 when the full fiscal year saw about 545,000 people arrive. And unlike that year, the number of families and children is unprecedented.

Democrat Congressman Luis Gutierrez is a former Illinois congressman and now a CNN political commentator.

So, Congressman, nice to have you back.


BALDWIN: Why do you think President Trump chose these two counties in particular?

GUTIERREZ: Because he lost them resoundingly. Because it is political. And this is the way he treats in a very inhumane manner people fleeing the drug cartels in Honduras and El Salvador and Guatemala, people fleeing for their lives with children.

Look, Brooke, we don't know where hundreds of children are that need to be reunited with families that he separated. We remember the scenes of caging people. Yes, putting them in cages. We saw that in America as they fled the terror and the violence in their own country and they sought legally to be asylum-seekers here in the United States. So it is political.

And it is dangerous for those families.


GUTIERREZ: It is dangerous for those communities. You know, Brooke, I'll tell you, if you and I would sit down there with these families and say, do you have a sister or brother or a cousin or a loved one, I'm sure that they -- most of them would be taken in by their very families and communities that would be welcoming to them.

And we can do this in a humane way. But it is politics.

BALDWIN: But that, obviously, isn't what the president wants. And I hear you on the political. But what about just even, Congressman, the logistics. How will they do this? Where are they going to house them?


BOLDUAN: Who is going to pay for it?

GUTIERREZ: Brooke, they don't care, as long as they make a political point. They showed that to us when they caged them. When they put them in cold cells on cold floors, children. We remember the scenes. We know that some have died. We know that they don't receive the best medical attention. We know they don't receive the best nutrition. This is the richest most powerful nation in the world and look at how it is treating.

We don't deal with the real problem. And the real problem is there are drug cartels that have taken over the governments in those countries -- let me rephrase that. They have basically taken over the communities and the streets and there's a fight going on between those governments and the drug cartels. And the drug cartels are very, very powerful so people flee when they are not protected.

That is why we have laws on our books so that people could seek asylum. It is always ironic when it is Florida since we know that there are over a million Cuban Americans that live. Almost all came here as asylum seekers from Cuba and have been integrated into the Florida -

BOLDUAN: Hang on, Congress. Hang on.

GUTIERREZ: So there's a humane way --

BALDWIN: But, OK, and -- it's obviously -- I know that's the perspective you're coming from.

But let me flip this around. Because of the point you're making, because of the influx of migrants and the problems and violence in the communities there's this overflow, there's this crisis at the border. And there's all of the overcrowding at the facilities.

So what if these two Florida counties were given proper funding and housing and supplies, might this actually be a decent idea?

[14:40:11] GUTIERREZ: You know what, Brooke, here is the decent idea. To give them a warm, welcoming, loving place. Because that is the way human beings treat one another. Especially the richest most powerful nation in the world.

I mean sometimes I think the silence is deafening from the mayor of the city of Chicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and others who should be speaking up about welcoming them to the community. But we're a big nation, right, 50 states, right. And there are many people.

But let's go back to the fact that most of them have family members here. Right. And what you or I or any other decent person would do is say, let's send them to the family members where they're going be treated with love and they're going to be able to integrate into society. And so they get their court date. Because they have proven that they have a credible fear of persecution and death.

BALDWIN: I know. I know. I know. But it is the backlog and a lack of judges and --


GUTIERREZ: I get it. So why aren't we employing more judges? Why aren't we putting more structures in place instead of denying what the problem is?

Look, Brooke, I said this before and I'm going to say it again, the insatiable demand for drugs in America is what fuels the strength of the drug cartels. These are American weapons, American dollars that come from American citizens that funnel their way there. This is a -- a hemispheric problem. Let's deal with it as such.

BALDWIN: That is a whole conversation and we should have that conversation.

I have to go.

GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Brooke.

BOLDUAN: Congressman Luis Gutierrez, thank you so much, as always, for your opinion. Appreciate it.

Attorney General Bill Barr going on FOX News to fuel the whole spygate conspiracy that the president has been pushing. But he didn't stop there.

We'll be right back.


[14:46:47] BALDWIN: This week, we have been bringing stories of just remarkable people who are making a lasting impact around the world. And in this "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" series, we visit amazing change- makers we've covered in the past and just couldn't forget.

And for Poppy Harlow, that person is Heather Abbott, who lost her leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HEATHER ABBOTT, LOST HER LEG IN THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING: I accepted what happened pretty early on when I recognized that I couldn't change it.

To be able to feel like my old self and not have to change something that I loved to do because I lost my leg.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Just moments ago, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon --

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR & HOST (voice-over): I remember hearing about it and thinking, how could this happen and just racing there.

(on camera): The 144 injured, three fatalities, 17 critical condition at this hour.

(voice-over): Quickly, the thought comes to your mind about the victims and who are these people?

(on camera): One of them who is really stood out that we spent time with is Heather Abbott. And she lost her leg and she is walking and running again.

She wanted to feel like herself again so much, she wanted to walk again and in high stiletto heels so she got a prosthetic that has allowed her to do that.

(voice-over): She said this is my new life and I'm, for damn sure, going to make the most of it.

(on camera): Just getting through the horror of what happened to you and become your full self again I think is where most people would stop. You have taken it so much father challenging the status quo, battling the insurance companies.

ABBOTT: Most insurance companies don't cover it because it looks real. And it was an opportunity for me to bring attention to this issue, how to make insurance companies understand why coverage is needed for devices that aren't just for walking.


SAVANNAH BOOTH, RECEIVED PROSTHETIC LEG FROM HEATHER ABBOTT FOUNDATION: I am the very proud recipient of the first prosthetic leg from the Heather Abbott foundation.

I'm excited to look down and see 10 toes and not feel like something is missing.

HARLOW (on camera): This is one of the things that makes our job so great. Often we have to report the stories of death and horror but we also get to report the stories of true resilience and strength and that is what Heather's story has been for me all along.

(voice-over): So we're in Chicago and I have been looking forward to this day for a really long time. (on camera): We are heading to surprise an incredibly sweet little 8-

year-old boy named Jude.

(voice-over): When Jude was just 3 years old there was a tragic accident while he was at home and he lost both of his legs.

(on camera): It just hits you right in the gut. And it is because of Heather and the Heather Abbott Foundation that we're going to see Jude like he is today.

(voice-over): He and his family had no idea what is about to happen.

The Chicago Fire, which is a professional soccer team here in Chicago, they're going above and beyond for Jude and his family.

[14:50:02] (on camera): Go find your name.

(voice-over): They wanted to surprise kids with their own jerseys.

(on camera): Whoa!

(voice-over): Stuffed animals for the little ones.

(on camera): Pretty awesome.

(voice-over): And their names on the jumbo-tron.

And Heather flew in to surprise Jude and his family.

ABBOTT: Surprise!

HARLOW: She hasn't seen them in three years.


ABBOTT: You look great. How do you like your new legs?


ABBOTT: Oh, my gosh.




HARLOW (voice-over): They're even going to sign Jude and his siblings to a one-day contract with the team to make it official.

UNIDENTIFIED CHICAGO FIRE SOCCER PLAYER: I also want to recognize a very special person, Heather Abbott, who is unbelievable.



This is totally Heather. This is who she is.

HARLOW: It wouldn't be possible without her help.

GREG HILL, JUDE'S FATHER: It wouldn't be possible without her help.


HILL: He is a double amputee that doesn't have feet but that doesn't identify him. That doesn't detract from his character.

HARLOW (on camera): You are a few of the lucky ones who, because of Heather and her foundation, could have this.

JENNIFER HILL, MOTHER OF JUDE: Getting the right kind of feet that keep him running and active, changed not just his life but all of us.

HARLOW: The legs brought back not just the ability to run, but his heart and joy and spirit.

OK. World of high heels.


You can rock four-inch heels.

ABBOTT: I can.

HARLOW: I'm very impressed.

Do you like these?

It is not just about functionality, but it's about feeling like your full self, right?

ABBOTT: Yes. It makes a big difference.

People don't typically know I'm an amputee when walking around in high heels.

HARLOW (voice-over): I never forget, years ago, when I met her after the Boston bombing. Someone who has fought consistently and is now a champion for others.


HARLOW: She's just this ultimate woman. I don't know how else to say it other than Heather Abbott sparkles.


BALDWIN: I love this series so much. And she is absolutely incredible.

HARLOW: She is incredible. And what is most remarkable about Heather is she never once felt sorry

for herself. She never asked, why me, why did I lose part of my left leg --


HARLOW: -- why did I have to restart my life.

And immediately, as she recovered, she went into fight mode, to fight for others. Because most people, of course, can't afford life-like prosthetics --

BALDWIN: So expensive.

HARLOW: -- that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to get these, for people like little Jude, who you just saw, so he can kick the soccer ball or other women so they can wear the high heels they love so much and feel like they're full self.

And she's fighting the insurance companies. She's going to Capitol Hill and she's met with presidential candidates to try to change the narrative and change the laws.

BALDWIN: Good for her. Good to see her again.

Thank you very much, Poppy Harlow.

HARLOW: Thanks.

BOLDUAN: And for all of you who want to continue to watch this series, we'll keep sharing the inspiring story this week. And tune in Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for an hour-long "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" special.

Poppy, thank you.

Meantime, the president questions why he wasn't warned about Michael Flynn. We have all of the details. And new information on a voice mail, coming up.


[11:58:07] BALDWIN: A 911 first responder went "BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY" by donating a kidney to a firefighter who needed one. But he's not the only one who saved a life that day.

CNN's Tom Foreman tells the story.



TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You could say the story started way back in 1969 when the New York Mets upset the heavily- favored Orioles to win their first World Series.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ANNOUNCER: The Mets are the world champions.

FOREMAN (voice-over): You could say that, but that was before Brian Cooney's time.

FOREMAN (on camera): You didn't even know about the Miracle Mets.

OFFICER BRIAN COONEY, PORT AUTHORITY, LAGUARDIA AIRPORT: No, I'm too young to know. I was born four years after.

FOREMAN (voice-over): So, we'll get back to the ballgame. For now, what you need to know is Brian is a Port Authority police officer at LaGuardia Airport. He was also a 9/11 first responder -- a guy who knows about going "BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY."

COONEY: I've always been excited about helping people.

FOREMAN: So when he heard a call for organ donors, he stepped up and said he would give a kidney, no matter who needed it.

COONEY: There's no real impetus. It's not that someone, in particular, was sick or any one story. Knowing that it's going to make such a big difference is a pretty good feeling.

FOREMAN: It turns out the recipient was, surprisingly, a fellow public servant, Al Barbieri, diagnosed with kidney cancer and waiting for a donor more than a year.

AL BARBIERI, VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER, KIDNEY RECIPIENT: I was a young, healthy guy. I was a firefighter. I was active duty and responding to calls.

All of a sudden, here I am -- you know, I'm the guy who's sick, and you're not used to being the guy that's sick.

FOREMAN: Al's wife, Debbie, was going to give him one of her kidneys.

DEBBIE BARBIERI, WIFE OF AL BARBIERI: Like, I wasn't compatible.

COONEY: All right, it's game day.

FOREMAN: But then, something else surprising happened.

COONEY: We're here, ready for surgery.

FOREMAN: Since her husband was being saved by Brian, a stranger, Debbie decided to pay it forward and offer her kidney to anyone who needed it.

D. BARBIERI: I never thought I was going to even be a match to anybody and then we got the phone call and I was shocked.

[15:00:00] FOREMAN: Shocked because the day Brian, Al, and Debbie all went into surgery, so did 74-year-old Ed Kranepool -- the last stop on this short chain of remarkable kindness. He got Debbie's kidney.