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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is Interviewed about Impeachment and Iran; Homeless Epidemic in Los Angeles; Tribute to Gloria Vanderbilt. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired June 18, 2019 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Of the Mueller report on the issue of obstruction. Why not sit him down tomorrow?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, you know, we are trying to bring in witnesses like this that have no callable claim or privilege. But I'll tell you, we brought him into the House Intel Committee and he refused to answer questions, important questions. At that time the Republicans were running the committee and they were all too fine with him saying I'm not going to answer that and, why, because I don't want to answer that.
BERMAN: Well, it's different this time. You're in charge of the committee.
SCHIFF: It's different now and we can insist on answers, but he can still make the same fallacious claims of privilege. We will have to go to court to litigate that and to force answers.
A number of the witnesses didn't even claim privilege. They just said, we don't want to answer those questions. And we're going to have to prosecute that and litigate that in court and force there to be answers.
But, yes, it'll be quicker to get answers from third parties not connected with the administration. That's why we are going to places like Deutsche Bank for records. That's why we're going to places like the major accounting firm for records and information. Why we're going to whistle blowers because we can get more speedy access to them.
BERMAN: How long are you willing to wait for Robert Mueller to testify in public before the House?
SCHIFF: You know, look, I think time is running out. The best way to get a witness to testify is if you can get them to testify voluntarily. And particularly I think with someone like Bob Mueller making an appeal to his patriotism, a sense of duty is the right way to go. But at the end of the day, he needs to come and testify --
BERMAN: Is August too late?
SCHIFF: Yes, I think it is. You know, I think we're reaching a point where if we can't reach an agreement, and I hope we will, then -- then we'll have to use a subpoena. BERMAN: Let me ask you about some really important intelligence issues
right now. "The New York Times" had a report out over the weekend about cyber warfare, basically, the United States intelligence services are now conducting against Russia, perhaps using malware to get inside some of their domestic systems. But the really interesting part about the story is that intelligence and defense (ph) officials didn't tell the president about it according to "The New York Times." Why? Because they were concerned either he would countermand the orders or he might leak them.
BERMAN: What does that tell you?
SCHIFF: Well, you know, I can't comment, first of all, on the -- whether the underlying issue is accurate or not, whether, you know, there is that kind of cyber effort going on. But if it's true that the intelligence agencies or the cabinet members are keeping things from the president because they can't rely on him to keep his mouth shut when it comes to discussing matters with the Russians or with others, it's a real problem because we have a president who's not well- informed. It's a problem because our -- it means our allies are unwilling to share certain information with us because they're afraid if it gets to the president, that he will betray their sources and methods.
So, obviously, it is deeply worrying from a national security point of view, but at the same time it's not that surprising that people would feel that way. There is little trust, I think, in the discretion or patriotism when it comes down to it about the president and Russia.
BERMAN: The Pentagon announced 1,000 troops headed to the Middle East. This has to do with Iran. You've seen the intelligence, I presume, at this point. Do you believe that Iran was behind the attack on the tankers and do you support the move to move 1,000 U.S. troops?
SCHIFF: I don't think there's any question that Iran was behind the attack on the tankers. There aren't many good candidates and the intelligence is pretty clear.
The bigger problem is that the administration has been going it alone, escalating pressure on Iran, reneging on the Iran nuclear deal. And now when you have Iran engaged in these provocative and belligerent acts, attacking shipping, we can't find our allies anywhere. They're worried about this administration rushing to war. They don't have trust in the administration. The administration has ignored their warnings.
And so here you have dangerous and bad action by Iran, which is uniquely malevolent actor. We ought to be working in concert with our allies. And yet Secretary Pompeo is still struggling to even persuade them about Iran actions.
And this is the problem when you -- when you attack your allies and you criticize them, when you don't even consult with them on important actions. And so my predominant risk right now is that we not take actions that lead us into war.
BERMAN: Let me ask you one political question here. You, of course, are a very senior Democrat now. Joe Biden is running for president, and he is talking about working with Republicans. I just want to play a little bit of the sound here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And so, folk, look, if you start off with the notion there's nothing you can do, well, why don't you all go home then, man, or let's start a real physical revolution if you're talking about it, because we have to be able to change what we're doing within our system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Do you want the next president to work with Republicans? Do you think they are trustworthy partners?
SCHIFF: I absolutely want the president to try to work across party lines and get things done. There are any number of challenges the country faces that given our system of government we're not going to be able to solve as one party.
There are going to be times where we need to go it alone, but we should make an effort to work with the other side. If you look at the issues of infrastructure right now, if you look at prescription drug prices, if you look at ways that we could improve the operation of the Affordable Care Act. There are any number of ways we should work together addressing the challenges to jobs in the economy, through globalization and automation. This ought to be bipartisan initiatives and there's certainly room for bipartisan work.
[08:35:16] But, again, there has to be a willing party on the other side. There isn't a willing party right now. There's the president and this cult of personality around him, and they care only about building a wall, and that puts real limits on what we can do.
BERMAN: Mr. Chairman, Adam Schiff, thank you for being with us.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
BERMAN: Come back any time.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, John, now to this story.
Nearly 60,000 people in Los Angeles are living on the streets. This is a city known for its wealth. So why are so many people homeless? We're live in L.A. with answers, next.
CAMEROTA: The number of homeless people in Los Angeles has spiked by 16 percent this year. Why? CNN's Maeve Reston is live in Los Angeles with more.
What have you learned, Maeve?
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, we've been chronicling this issue over the past year, Alisyn, and there are so many obstacles to getting these 60,000 people housed in L.A. County. And it's not just the fact that there's resistance in neighborhoods, but in many of the -- many of the folks that we've talked to who are living out on the streets, you know, are facing mental health issues, substance abuse issues. And this huge tent culture has really grown up here. And a lot of people want to stay in their tents, you know, feeling that -- that if they're put in housing, they'll be subject to rules, they'll lose their freedom. And so it's just a really difficult problem that they're facing.
[08:40:34] Some of the most vulnerable out here are women, obviously. And one of the folks that I spoke to, Officer Deon Joseph, who has worked with this population for two decades now, talks about how difficult it is to get some of these women into housing. And I think we have that sound, Alisyn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEON JOSEPH, L.A. POLICE OFFICER: A friend of mine named Lena, she was 70 years old. I tried to house her, tried to house her, tried to house her right there. And then one day I came back and someone found her dead in a pile of garbage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RESTON: Yes, so just a lot of tragic situations that we're seeing out here. And really there really needs to be a focus on getting community support to get these people into housing, as well as, you know, sending outreach teams out to deal with some of the mental health issues that they're facing, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Maeve, it's such an important topic, because as we've been discussing, it's not just L.A. It's San Francisco. It's New York. Something's happening. So, thank you very much for the reporting on it.
RESTON: Thank you.
BERMAN: All right, up next, we're going to remember the extraordinary life of Gloria Vanderbilt, mother of our friend Anderson Cooper.
CAMEROTA: But first, one in five people suffer from a mental illness in any given year, yet most do not seek help. In this week's "Impact Your World," a national program called Mental Health First Aid is training the public to recognize the symptoms and learn how to get people the help they need.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETSY SCHWARTZ, NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH: Our goal for Mental Health First Aid is to make it as common as CPR.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like you to draw me a picture of what does anxiety look like.
SCHWARTZ: Mental Health First Aid teaches people the basic signs and symptoms for major mental health and addiction problems.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your heart racing, sweaty palms, shaking, racing thoughts.
SCHWARTZ: For example, it might be depression or panic attacks or even psychosis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In your groups of three, one person is going to be a hallucination.
KAREN VONDEYLEN, MAUMEE VALLEY OHIO GUIDANCE CENTER: How do we ask the right questions? How do we see if someone's suicidal? This class is not teaching people how to be a professional.
SCHWARTZ: We're only teaching people how to be an empathetic friend or family member or coworker.
VONDEYLEN: We do role play. We can see someone really utilizing the skills.
SCHWARTZ: Classes are offered in every community around this country. We've trained almost 2 million Americans.
PEGGY OYER, LOST BROTHER TO SUICIDE: I lost my brother to suicide. I was very uninformed. I was one of those people who said, well, get over it, pull up your bootstraps and go on. If you know anyone that's struggling, it will give you confidence in how to show them the resources.
MARY KAY, PASTOR, CHRIST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: Almost immediately, both times I took classes, I encountered people who needed help. There was a person who was contemplating suicide. I knew enough what to say. I think anybody in any position can use this because it's so practical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[08:47:46] BERMAN: This morning we are remembering the remarkable life of Gloria Vanderbilt. She passed away yesterday at the age of 95. Her friend -- our friend, Anderson Cooper, her son, was at her side. So to call it a remarkable life doesn't even begin to explain everything he did and saw and experienced. The only person who could ever begin to describe it is Anderson himself.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC360" (voice-over): Gloria Vanderbilt, my
mom, lived her entire life in the public eye. Born in 1924, her father, Reginald Vanderbilt, was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune, but gambled away most of his inheritance and died when my mom was just a baby.
Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, her mother, wasn't ready to be a mom or a widow.
My mom grew up in France, not knowing anything about the Vanderbilt family or the money that she would inherit when she turned 21. She had no idea the trouble that money would create.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And here's the first movie of little Gloria herself, frightened by the curious crowd, she flees into her aunt's car. Money isn't everything.
COOPER: When she was 10, her father's sister, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sued to have my mom taken away from her own mother. It was a custody battle the likes of which the world had never seen. It was called the trial of the century, and it took place during the height of the depression, making headlines every day for months. The court awarded custody of my mom to her Aunt Gertrude, whom she barely knew. The judge also fired the one person my mom truly loved and needed, her nanny, whom she called "Dodo."
GLORIA VANDERBILT, MOTHER OF ANDERSON COOPER: She was my mother, my father. She was everything. She was my lifeline. She was all I had.
COOPER: As a teenager, she tried to avoid the spotlight, but reporters and cameramen would follow her everywhere. She was determined to make something of her life, determined to make a name for herself, and find the love and family that she so desperately craved.
At 17, against her aunt's wishes, she got married. She knew it was a mistake from the get-go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wedding bells at Santa Barbara's ancient Spanish mission. He is Pasquale DiCicco, Hollywood actors' agent, and he's 32.
COOPER (on camera): He was described as a Hollywood agent. Was he an agent?
[08:50:00] VANDERBILT: Well, maybe at one point he was. He had been married to Thelma Todd, who was quite a well-known actress, and she was -- died under mysterious circumstances. And there were sort of rumors around that maybe he had killed her, you know.
COOPER: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. So you got married to a guy who there were rumors that he had killed his former wife?
VANDERBILT: Yes, yes.
COOPER: Did that not seem to give you pause?
VANDERBILT: Well, I thought all he needs is me, you know, to -- COOPER: Oh, God.
VANDERBILT: Sweetheart, I was only 17.
COOPER (on camera): OK. I know.
COOPER (voice-over): At 21, she married again and had two sons with the legendary conductor, Leopold Stokowski.
COOPER (on camera): And his is what he looked like when you first met him?
VANDERBILT: Well, it's a terrible photograph of him, but he was 63 when I first met him and married him.
COOPER: And was it something you -- like as soon as you saw him, you thought --
VANDERBILT: I knew him for a week and married three weeks later.
COOPER: I didn't know that.
COOPER: And he was 63?
COOPER: Wow. Did any of your friends think it was weird?
VANDERBILT: I don't know. I mean --
COOPER: They didn't say anything?
VANDERBILT: It didn't matter to me.
COOPER (voice-over): The marriage lasted more than a decade. Then she met and married director Sidney Lumet and then my father, writer, Wyatt Cooper.
Over the course of her life, my mom was photographed by all the great photographers, and she worked as a painter, a writer, an actress, and designer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gloria, you're terrific.
COOPER: If you were around in the early 1980s, it was pretty hard to miss the jeans she helped create. But that was her public face, the one she learned to hide behind as a child.
Her private self, her real self, that was more fascinating and more lovely than anything she showed the public.
I always thought of her as a visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who'd come from a distant star that burned out long ago. I always felt it was my job to try to protect her.
She was the strongest person I've ever met, but she wasn't tough. She never developed a thick skin to protect herself from hurt. She wanted to feel it all. She wanted to feel life's pleasures; its pains as well.
She trusted too freely, too completely, and suffered tremendous losses, but she always pressed on, always worked hard, always believed the best was yet to come.
COOPER (on camera): You think the next great love is right around the corner?
VANDERBILT: Absolutely. Absolutely.
COOPER: Is there anyone I should know about right now?
COOPER: I think Ben Brantley said he's never met somebody over the age of 16 who loves being in love as much as you.
VANDERBILT: That's true. I think we should always be in love.
COOPER (voice-over): And she was always in love. In love with men, or with friends, or books and art. In love with her children and her grandchildren and then her great-grandchildren. Love is what she believed in more than anything.
Earlier this month, we had to take her to the hospital. And that's where she learned she had very advanced cancer in her stomach and that it had spread. When the doctor told her she had cancer, she was silent for a while. And then she said, well, it's like that old song, show me the way to get out of this world because that's where everything is.
Later, she made a joke and we started giggling. I never knew that we had the exact same giggle. I recorded it and it makes me giggle every time I watch it.
Gloria Vanderbilt died as she lived, on her own terms. I know she hoped for a little more time, a few days or weeks at least. There were paintings she wanted to make, more books she wanted to read, more dreams to dream. But she was ready. She was ready to go.
VANDERBILT: Once upon a time --
COOPER: She spent a lot of time alone in her head during her life. But when the end came, she was not alone. She was surrounded by beauty and by family and by friends. The last few weeks, every time I kissed her goodbye, I'd say, I love
you, mom. She would look at me and say, I love you, too. You know that. And she was right. I did know that. I knew it from the moment I was born, and I'll know it for the rest of my life. And, in the end, what greater gift can a mother give to her son?
Gloria Vanderbilt was 95 years old when she died. What an extraordinary life. What an extraordinary mom and what an incredible woman.
[08:55:00] CAMEROTA: It's really beautiful. I mean it's really beautiful. Anderson did such a wonderful job. Obviously it's not easy to eulogize your parent. But I didn't know that about her life. I didn't know about all those loves and those marriages and how young she was and that she didn't know about her vast wealth until she was 21. That's just remarkable.
BERMAN: When Anderson's book came out a couple years ago, there was a book party. The book was about Gloria Vanderbilt and she was there and they were there together. And watching the two of them together was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. The joy that they took in each other was just overwhelming, overwhelming. And you could see it, as Anderson talked about his mother there. And, you know what, you could see it with Gloria Vanderbilt too in all those clips where she's talking to Anderson, being interviewed by Anderson, answering his questions, but really just saying with her eyes, I love you, you crazy little boy. You know that was -- to me that was the message that I got out of that.
CAMEROTA: I'm just happy to have finally an explanation for where Anderson got his giggle. Hasn't that been a national question for so many of us? And that -- what a beautiful clip at the end of her life of them sharing that.
BERMAN: We are thinking about Anderson and his family.
CAMEROTA: All right, there's other news to report.
The white House facing questions about President Trump's threat to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
CNN's "NEWSROOM" picks up after this break.
But first, a preview of our new CNN film "Apollo 11" that airs Sunday night 9:00 p.m. Eastern.