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Interview with Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Presidential Candidate; Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. Charged with Forcible Touching; Trump Shows Off New Plans for Air Force One. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired June 13, 2019 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): Yesterday, the President went on and kind of said, oh, it's no big thing, or everybody does it. No, Mr. President, everybody doesn't do it.

The presiding officer who just left to run for president before, I have no question in my mind that if a foreign power tried to intervene in his campaign, he would report it to law enforcement.

Every evidence in the past of attempts on foreign intervention, candidates have stepped up -- it didn't matter what party they are -- and did the right thing and report to law enforcement.

One of my colleagues on the other side said have said they don't want to relitigate 2016. There will be other times and places to further litigate --


PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: So there you're hearing top Democrats in the Senate blasting President Trump for saying that he would accept foreign dirt on his opponent. There you're hearing Senator Mark Warner. Before that, Chuck Schumer spoke.

I want to bring in Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. He's a 2020 Democrat. He's hoping to unseat Trump.

So, Governor, let's first just get your reaction to what we're hearing from top Democrats there -- Mark Warner, Chuck Schumer -- on the President's comments in this ABC interview.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, mine is the same with virtually everyone, which is that it is a shocking result to think that an American president is going to publicly solicit a crime and think that that's O.K. on behalf of a foreign power.

And it is shocking. It's -- to me, it's like to think Dwight Eisenhower, good Republican president, saying it's O.K. if you go conspire with the KGB against this nation in its most fundamental action of democracy, which was electing our president.

But the question is, what are we going to do about this? And that means all of this, this is a message to us that we have to remove this threat from the Oval Office. He is a clear and present danger to democracy.

And I will say, we have to figure out, look, if he would do this again -- I mean, I'm a candidate for president. If he would do this again --

BROWN: So let me just stop you right there because you said we have to remove this threat from the Oval Office. My understanding is, up until this point, you've been in line with Nancy Pelosi's approach to impeachment. Does this change your thinking then?

INSLEE: Well, we have to remove him by any legal means necessary, including defeating him at the electoral ballot box.

BROWN: So you don't think this is means for beginning an impeachment --

INSLEE: No, I think --

BROWN: -- proceeding or inquiry?

INSLEE: I believe the President, as we've seen his comments in the last two weeks, is forcing the U.S. Congress to bring impeachment proceedings, to give them no choice. And when a president says that there was clear interference of our election cycle and when he says that that is fine with him, and when he says, apparently, he will do it again, there's really no other choice. But we need to remove him through the ballot box.

But the point I wanted to make is there are other legal means. Look, if some victim in my state becomes a victim of this illegal activity, he may be subject to the laws of the state of Washington. He can't hide from the laws of the state of Washington. And she -- he should not assume that if he does the same thing again that we're not going to be happy to cut him slack of the criminal laws of the state of Washington. He has to be aware of that.

But this is, I think, just the ultimate last and most dangerous thing he said of all the insults to democracy and that ought to lead us to be committed to his removal.

BROWN: So what I'm trying to pin down here, though, is you said, look, you know, we should -- we should do this at the ballot box but, also, is this a -- is this sort of the tipping point for you on impeachment? I mean, do you think that, now, this is serious enough where Democrats should open up an impeachment inquiry?

INSLEE: I don't see any --

BROWN: Has this --

INSLEE: I don't see any other choice. I know the leaders are going to make a timing decision, but I don't -- I think he is making it inevitable by his actions.

BROWN: All right, I want to talk about the 2020 race. You have qualified for the first Democratic debate, but you also have a lot of ground to cover in the polls. What do you need to do to change that?

INSLEE: We need people to hear my message, and we're happy to do that. And I've qualified for the first two debates, and we've had a good surge of support because my clean energy message is resonating.

I am the candidate and the only candidate saying, unequivocally, that I will make defeating climate change the number one priority of my administration. I am the candidate and the only who said we have to get off coal in the next 10 years. I'm the candidate who basically says that half measures are not good enough.

Look, we didn't win World War II halfway. This is a matter of survival. It is a matter of great urgency. It is our last chance. And I am the candidate with what's been called the gold standard of the plans of how to build a new clean energy economy.

BROWN: Well, what's going to happen to all those people in the coal jobs right now under your plan?

[15:34:54] INSLEE: Well, there's a transition taking place in any event. Coal is being reduced in any event. We know, today, a report was issued that we now have more renewable energy today in our state -- or our nation than the coal industry. So that transition is taking place, but we need to accelerate it to save us from the climate crisis.

And when we do that, we need to care for these families and these communities -- these are dedicated hard-working people -- and do what we've done in the state of Washington to give them a plan for transition to help them. We need to be committed to these families in the United States.

BROWN: You're very clearly passionate about climate change. You have made this your main platform. You even proposed the DNC for there to be a debate just on this matter, but you were turned down. Why is that?

INSLEE: Well, it's a disappointment. And because of Ves Swaz (ph), a petition of 200,000 people was delivered to have a climate debate. There are nine state chairs calling for a climate crisis debate. And it is the right thing to do because this is the existential moment. It is our last chance.

BROWN: But why were you turned down? What did they --

INSLEE: The DNC Chair said that it was impractical. And I just find that kind of more than shocking. What's impractical is having eight feet of water over your head when you're a farmer in Iowa. What's impractical is having your town burn down like the 25,000 people in Paradise, California.

We can chew gum and work at the same time. We need to have a chance for the voters to decide who's really got the chops and the passion and the commitment to get this job done because there is no other chance for the survival of our civilization. I got three grandkids, and I'm running for president because I want to

be able to tell them on my deathbed that I did everything humanly possible for those kids and for your kids and grandkids. And so we need a debate to really get down to get this job done.

BROWN: Really quickly on this, you know, President Trump said recently in an interview that climate change goes both ways. That essentially it's a marketing term, that the term keeps changing. What is your response to that?

INSLEE: You know, I talked to a woman who ran a nonprofit for victims of domestic violence in Davenport, California, and she served 1,500 women. And then the flood came and washed away her nonprofit, leaving those women high and dry.

And when I think of her tears about the suffering she had and the tears I saw in Paradise, California, and Seminole Springs where their towns were burned down, it is infuriating to me that we have a president who is lying to the American people about this existential threat.

It is infuriating that he's preventing from -- our taxpayer dollar is used to generate this science and he won't even let these scientists speak. This is morally an affront to everybody in the United States, and he needs to be removed from office so we can move forward to save this nation. I'm committed to that.

BROWN: All right, I want to get to this because this is first on CNN Business. We're learning that 600 trade groups and companies -- including Walmart, Costco, and Target, big companies -- are warning President Trump on tariffs, saying tariffs on China will damage the U.S. economy, lead to job losses, and harm millions of consumers. What's your response to that?

INSLEE: He is -- those groups are right. Look, we are going to pay for Donald Trump's incompetence. This is the most incompetent administration. I don't care what party you're in. They just can't run a two-car funeral, and they have fouled up this trade beyond all human recognition.

What they're doing is ending up causing consumers' prices for most of what we buy to go up, taxing people on top of that to try to make up for the damage the trade war has caused, and not actually advancing the trade agenda.

Look, we know we have to put pressure on China. But we know, to be effective on that, it's better to have alliances rather than this go- alone position. He makes decisions based on press releases and tweets. We need a president who would -- who will make it based on good strategy on how to protect our economy, and I got a candidate ready for that job.

BROWN: All right, Governor Jay Inslee, I think I know which candidate you're talking about.

(LAUGHTER) BROWN: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

INSLEE: Thank you.

BROWN: Yes. And we have breaking news now on Cuba Gooding, Jr. The actor is accused of groping a woman in a New York City club. New details about the charges against him up next.


BROWN: Well, breaking news involving Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. now facing a charge related to an alleged groping incident. I want to go straight to CNN's Chloe Melas with the latest. What can you tell us?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Yes. Well, I mean, this is a bit surprising. So we've just heard from Mark Heller, Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s attorney in a press conference outside of the NYPD precinct where Cuba Gooding, Jr. voluntarily surrendered himself, Pamela, for questioning with NYPD.

Mark Keller says that Cuba Gooding, Jr. has been charged and will be prosecuted by the NYPD with a Class A misdemeanor for forcible touching. He is currently on his way right now, as we speak, to court in New York City, so he has been fingerprinted, photographed.

And this all stems from an incident last weekend in New York City at a nightclub rooftop where a woman claims that Cuba Gooding, Jr. allegedly grabbed her breast. And she then told him to stop, an argument ensued, and that is when she called 911 and filed this police report. But Cuba Gooding, Jr. is denying any wrongdoing, and his attorneys claim that there is surveillance footage from that club that vindicates him.

[15:45:03] BROWN: Quite the development, Chloe. Thank you so much.

MELAS: Thank you.

BROWN: And coming up, Air Force One, Trump style. The President unveils his plans for sprucing up Jackie O's color scheme and teases a few new surprises.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Everybody wants to know, is there a pod or not?


STEPHANOPOULOS: Seen the movie, "Air Force One"?


STEPHANOPOULOS: There's this pod that flies out of the back?

TRUMP: Oh, I see. But, yes, I know. STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm joking.


TRUMP: I could tell you there is a couple of -- there are a couple of secrets.



[15:50:25] BROWN: Well, it's one of the perks of being president, flying around in Air Force One. And in true Trump fashion, the President wants to put his own mark on the iconic Boeing 747 with a complete redesign that he revealed during an interview with ABC News.


TRUMP: Here's your new Air Force One. And I'm doing that for other presidents, not for me. We added things. And I got $1.6 billion off the price.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Everyone wants to know, is there a pod or not?

TRUMP: A pod?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Seen the movie, "Air Force One"?


STEPHANOPOULOS: There's this pod that flies out of the back?

TRUMP: Oh, I see. But, yes, I know.



TRUMP: I could tell you there is a couple of -- there are a couple of secrets. You know what, there are a couple of secrets. I don't think we're supposed to be talking about it. So, anyway, there it is, if you want.


BROWN: All right, so maybe not a pod but among the redesign plan, a brand-new paint job. Red, white, and blue stripes would replace the light blue ones. And if this new color scheme looks familiar, well, it appears to be a reverse concept of Trump's own private plane design.

I want to bring in CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer, a professor and historian at Princeton University. Hey, Julian, thanks for coming on.


BROWN: So, first off, what are your thoughts on this redesign?

ZELIZER: Well, it does look a little bit like Trump's airplane from the campaign. It's not totally surprising, though. President Trump has complained about Air Force One. He's even made remarks about the Kennedy colors, which were the colors that came about in 1962 and remain on the design. And he likes to leave his marks on every institution that he can, and so why leave Air Force One out of the picture?

BROWN: That's true, good point. So this will be the first makeover on the iconic plane since JFK was in office. Now, it has been continually updated, but why hasn't there been a makeover before then?

ZELIZER: Well, I think some icons are worth keeping. And that was a very special moment in American history, 1962, when the Kennedy couple -- President Kennedy and his wife -- basically put the design in place, both the colors and the lettering. And that was an important moment that a lot of Americans like to respect and keep that tradition. And I think that's the basic reason. If something isn't broken, there's no need to change it.

BROWN: President Trump has touted that the proposed plan -- plane, rather, is much bigger and that this would be an overall upgrade. Do you think that's necessary?

ZELIZER: Well, it could be. Obviously, security changes have happened and security needs have changed over the time, especially since 9/11. Even the nature of the media has changed, so the space for reporters might be different. So it's certainly legitimate to say that there might be new needs for all presidents going forward.

Many people aren't sure that's why President Trump is making the changes, but politics and society evolve and this special airplane must as well.

BROWN: All right, final question for you. The makeover is getting some pushback from Congress. The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday to restrict paint and interior decorating choices on Air Force One. Has Congress tried to restrict changes in the past?

ZELIZER: Well, they always have some power over the purse strings, but I can't remember a particular confrontation like this where they're essentially laying out a warning. If you make a big change, we need to approve it.

And I think that's the context of this particular presidency, why this is happening. There's just so little trust between Capitol Hill and the President, Democrats want to show that they have an eye on everything he does, even something like this.

BROWN: All right, Julian Zelizer, thanks so much.

ZELIZER: Thanks for having me.

BROWN: And coming up, shattered nerves. A tourist gets quite the scare while visiting a see-through sky deck in Chicago.


BROWN: Well, we have brand-new video of Amanda Knox's big return to Italy as a free woman. Knox spent nearly four years in an Italian prison wrongfully convicted for the murder of her roommate, a British student named Meredith Kercher.

Now, upon her 2011 acquittal, Knox vowed she'd never set foot on Italian soil again. But, now, she's there as a guest speaker for a panel session titled, "Trial by Media" at the criminal justice festival in Modena, northern Italy now on Saturday. The event is organized by nonprofit legal group, the Italy Innocence Project.

All right. So file this under something you never want to see or experience, especially if you have fear of heights like me. The protective layer of the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower Skydeck in Chicago, it completely shattered!

However, the Willis Tower told CNN affiliate WBBM that there was no danger to visitors as it was only the protective layering that broke. Now, the glass underneath remained completely intact and is made to hold up to five tons. But the same thing, it happened in 2014 when tourists were standing on the ledge and then noticed some cracks forming beneath them.

Well, the Willis Tower attracts about 1.5 million visitors each year. That is frightening. Whoo!

[16:00:04] All right, well, that does it for me for this Thursday. I'll be back here tomorrow filling in for Brooke.