Return to Transcripts main page


Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) is Interviewed about Iran; School Buildings in Need of Repair; Coffee in Food as Fuel; Interview with Astronauts on the International Space Station. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired June 20, 2019 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): Taunting them. And it is not in the interest of the American people, nor our service members, to be going into a war that is not required.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Are you absolving Iran of blame? They're the ones who shot down the U.S. drone.

SPEIER: Well, what I -- I am saying is that we are not good actors because we were parties to that joint agreement in which they were not going to enrich more uranium, and that was going to give them the opportunity of some economic relief so they could sell their oil. And then the president, as we all know, just on a whim, decided to revoke it. You -- you don't sign an agreement and then revoke it for no reason when everyone, everyone from the secretary of state on down had said that Iran was complying with the JCPOA.

So I firmly put responsibility on this administration and the president.

BERMAN: I'm just getting some breaking news here, congresswoman, if I can.

Joe Biden, obviously, we understand -- well, OK, hang on one second. It's a Biden statement on Iran. In response to the news overnight that Iran shot down a U.S. drone, Vice President Biden just released this following statement. President Trump's Iran strategy is a self- inflicted disaster to America's vital interest in the Middle East of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and sustaining a stable energy supply. Trump is failing on both counts.

It sounds like you agree with the former vice president there.

SPEIER: I do agree, and so would our European allies. They think that the actions by our president in reneging on the JCPOA is destructive and belligerent, and all of which I believe to be true.

BERMAN: All right, I want to ask you about what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday. Hope Hicks testified before House Judiciary. You've been involved with the various Russia investigations for some time as a member of the Intelligence Committee. And you have actually been calling for impeachment -- a impeachment inquiry for some time.

My question to you, Hope Hicks refused to answer any questions about her time in the White House on the advice of White House council. If the White House game is delay and to drag this out, is the White House winning?

SPEIER: Well, the White House is obstructing justice of obstruction of justice. I mean that's what she was doing. She has already waived any kind of executive privilege, as has the president, by testifying many hours to the special counsel. And she is referenced in the report numerous times. So we have every right to have her answer those questions. We will get her to answer those questions, but this is all part of the president's, you know, abusing the court system, as he did in his private life. He's now doing it in his public life.

BERMAN: Jerry Nadler says that he will destroy the White House legal argument in court. Does that need to happen soon?

SPEIER: Well, of course it needs to happen. But this president will do what the court system allows him to do, which is to appeal it to the highest court in the land, which could take six to eight months.

BERMAN: I -- I just brought up Joe Biden. He's also in the news for other reasons talking about his work with segregationist senators in the 1970s, how he was able to reach across that divide and work with them civilly in other areas, and then he used language that some people found offensive.

Do you think he needs to apologize for those statements?

SPEIER: I think we need to get on with the job of trying to find common ground. And I think this is much ado about something that is historical in nature and I would say that we should just move forward.

BERMAN: Congresswoman Jackie Speier from California, a pleasure to have you with us this morning. Please come back soon.

SPEIER: Thank you. Sure.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: John, there's a very strange twist in the David Ortiz shooting investigation. Was this somehow a case of mistaken identity? We have the details on that next.

BERMAN: Hard to see how.

Plus, today's students trying to learn in yesterday's schools.


BRIAN GANAN, SUPERINTENDENT, KOMAREK SCHOOL: Her daughter, the first day, came home and said, I can't learn in this place, this school's a dump.


BERMAN: An eye-opening look at America's crumbling schools, next.


[08:38:01] CAMEROTA: A very weird twist in the shooting investigation of Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz. Prosecutors now say this was a case of mistaken identity. They say the real target of the murder for hire plot was Sixto Fernandez, a friend of Ortiz's who was seated at his table and wearing similar clothing. Police say Fernandez's cousin ordered this hit. The suspected gunman opening fire based on one photo of Fernandez. Police say 11 suspects are in custody. Three more remain at large, including the gunman, who reportedly lives in the United States. David Ortiz is recovering in a Boston hospital. His condition has been upgraded to good.

BERMAN: All right, this morning, we have a CNN special report on America's crumbling infrastructure. Schools that are nearly a century old and in serious despair posing a health and safety threat for many children.

CNN's Alexandria Field takes us inside one of these schools near Chicago.


ALEXANDRIA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Here's where tomorrow starts at public school in America.

MAILORY LEE, PENNOYER PARENT: I send my kids with water bottles every day because there have been lead tests done on their water fountains and a few of them were deemed unsafe amounts of lead.

They had asbestos in the floor, so they had to rip up the carpets.

FIELD: It's the place where dreams are built and the imagination is supposed to grow.

BRIAN GANAN, SUPERINTENDENT, KOMAREK SCHOOL: Her daughter, the first day, came home and said, I can't learn in this place, this school's a dump.

We had a septic flood from the bathroom upstairs, and it came pouring down here.

FIELD (on camera): This is one of your main support beam with a huge crack down the --

GANAN: Uh-huh.

(INAUDIBLE) on the floor because the boiler room's underneath it. That floor gets to be over 95 degrees.

FIELD: Do the kids think this is normal?

GANAN: They do. This is all they know.

FIELD (voice over): We visited two schools outside Chicago.

GANAN: This building was built in 1936. FIELD: Schools that are crumbling in front of today's students.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My room will leak through the ceiling, and then it will actually drip into the lights.

[08:40:04] MATT BENDER, PENNOYER ART TEACHER: Without having windows, some days it's 80 in my room and there's no fresh air.

FIELD: Money for school facilities comes largely from local communities.

FIELD (on camera): Everyone in the community knows about the problems here, but the taxpayers voted against spending the $22 million it would take to fix the school. So, in this suburb of Chicago, they're hoping for state funds to fix the building. The idea of getting federal dollars still seems too far-fetched.

FIELD (voice over): In the United States, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, there are about 100,000 public school buildings. More than half of those schools, 53 percent, need facility improvements just to be rated good. That's according to the U.S. Department of Education. In its latest study released in 2014, the department estimated a fix would cost $197 billion. But the federal government chips in just 0.2 percent of school capital costs.

FIELD (on camera): So these are fire hoses from 1952?


FIELD: And do these work?

GANAN: I don't think -- I wouldn't try it.

FIELD: Komarek was built for another era.

GANAN: (INAUDIBLE) call it a bomb shelter, but it was built like so that it was secure.

FIELD: Todays challenges are different.

FIELD (on camera): Do you do active shooter drills here?

GANAN: Yes, we do.

FIELD: Do you feel that this school is secure?

GANAN: We have very good systems in place to keep kids safe. But, again, I will also say that this facility was built in 1936 and, you know, others, 1955, and --

FIELD: When we weren't talking about school shootings.

GANAN: Exactly. Exactly.

FIELD (voice over): Other safety measures required in modern schools aren't required here. GANAN: You won't see sprinklers here. And, again, that's because we're

-- we're grandfathered in. Doors are not fire rated.

FIELD: The same goes for wheelchair accessibility. The old buildings don't have to meet today's requirements.

KRISTIN KOPTA, ED.D., SUPERINTENDENT, PENNOYER SCHOOL: Right now we have a student in a walker, and they're able to put a belt on her and guide her up and down the stairs.


KOPTA: Yes, she has to be assisted.

FIELD: With whatever funds the school can spare, heating and cooling are prioritized.

KOPTA: If you ask my teachers what's the number one thing, it's the HVAC system. We -- it's very stagnant air.

FIELD: Cosmetic fixes don't make the list.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe if the bathrooms weren't so absolutely disgusting --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wouldn't have -- most kids wouldn't have to hold it in --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The entire day just to not go into those rooms.

FIELD: These are yesterday schools, the crumbling bridge to our future.

Alexandra Field, CNN, outside Chicago.


CAMEROTA: Our thanks to Alexandria for that remarkable look into public schools.


CAMEROTA: All right, here is what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 12:00 p.m. ET, Trump welcomes Canada's Trudeau.

2:00 p.m. ET, Roy Moore makes Senate announcement.

3:00 p.m. ET, Women's World Cup: USA vs. Sweden.


BERMAN: So the new CNN film "Apollo 11" shows the first lunar landing as it has never been seen before. Up next, two astronauts onboard the International Space Station. We have a great interview where they tell us how that landmark event inspired them.

CAMEROTA: All right, but, first, the health benefits in your morning cup of coffee in today's "Food as Fuel."


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH WRITER: Coffee is a good source of antioxidants, which can help prevent or delay certain cell damage in the body. A Harvard study says some of the compounds in coffee also may help protect against inflammation. That can support your brain health by decreasing nerve cell damage caused by inflammation, the risk of developing neuro degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis decreases as well. Also by lowering inflammation, coffee is shown to decrease the effects of the skin condition rosacea. A study by Brown University found that the caffeine in coffee, not other foods, was associated with lessening the risk of the disorder later in life.

Another brewing benefit, coffee is shown to support heart health. Research suggests that drinking coffee in moderation is tied to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. But if you dress up your coffee with a lot of cream and sugar, that can negate its health benefits.



[08:48:50] BERMAN: The Apollo 11 NASA mission put a man on the moon for the very first time. It was a crowning moment of human innovation, intellect and achievement. Now, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, the award-winning new CNN film, "Apollo 11," brings us a breathtaking look at that historic mission.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Houston, that may have seemed like a very long final phase. The auto targeting was taking us right into a football field-sized crater and it required us flying manually over the rock field to find a reasonably good area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger. We copy. It was beautiful from here. Be advised, lots of smiling faces in this room and all over the world. Over.


BERMAN: Joining me now are NASA astronauts, Expedition 59 flight engineers Anne McClain and Christina Koch. They are both flight engineers aboard the International Space Station. And they're taking a break from their mission to have this conversation with me. [08:50:05] It is such an honor to speak with both of you.

And, Anne, before we get to talk about the Apollo 11 landing and the significance of that, just tell us about your mission.

ANNE MCCLAIN, NASA FLIGHT ENGINEER: Well, as you mentioned we are currently aboard the International Space Station, which is an orbiting laboratory. And every day we are partaking in hundreds of science experiments here onboard for the benefit of mankind to explore or universe and learn more about our planet.

I've been here for about six months and I go home next week. And Christina has been here about three months and she's got a long stay, actually. She'll be -- she'll be up here for about another six or seven months.

BERMAN: So, Anne, we look forward to seeing you on the ground. And as for you, Christina, Anne just mentioned, you're staying up there until February on the Space Station, which means you would break the record for a female -- American female being in orbit and you would be up there for the second longest time any American ever has.

How daunting is that? How do you prepare for that 328 days?

CHRISTINA KOCH, NASA FLIGHT ENGINEER: Well, I prepare for it by remembering that it's not necessarily the total number of days that you're here, but what you do with each of those days. It reminds me to bring my best every single day to the work that I do up here, the work that brings benefits back to earth, that explores face further and that pushes the boundaries of science on the frontiers.

BERMAN: You will be up there for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Just reflect on what that moment meant to what you're doing now and what it meant for human innovation.

KOCH: I think at the time it was a moment where the entire world united and stood in awe, observing not only the accomplishments that humanity could do when it came together, but the sheer awe of the celestial aspects of the fact that humans were standing on the moon.

We're really looking forward to paying homage to our heroes that inspired us throughout our lives, those people that were involved in that mission and we're going to be commemorating that wonderful day here onboard with -- in a variety of ways and hopefully using it as a platform to remember how important that the work we do here still is and also to highlight the fact that we're going back to the moon by 2024.

BERMAN: Well, exactly. And let me ask Anne about that. By 2024, NASA has just announced they want to put humans back on the moon, including the first woman to land on the moon.

What's the significance of that?

MCCLAIN: It certainly is inspiring that we can pursue those paths, that everybody's going to have a seat at the table in this next -- in this next phase of our space exploration.

BERMAN: Do you want a chance to walk on the moon?

MCCLAIN: I think all of us would. I think the -- there's millions and millions of people on earth that would jump at that opportunity. And we're certainly fortunate to realistically have a shot to be -- to be one of those people.

BERMAN: I wish you the best of luck in getting in the front of the line to be that first to land back on the moon.

Before I let you go, and it's been such a pleasure to talk to you, Christina, can you just explain the Velcro pant, because I think you might start a fashion trend here on earth.

KOCH: Well, this -- I don't know if I would hope this for anyone on earth. It's not necessarily fashion. It's what we call function over fashion actually. So here in space, obviously, in microgravity, we have to use our hands to get ourselves around, to float around the modules, because our feet, we don't necessarily walk around, we just grab hand holds and move ourselves around, which means that we need our hands free to do just that. So in order to carry anything around, we have to Velcro it to our pants.

Thanks, Anne.

So, again, we definitely look to function over fashion and I'm sure that's pretty apparent here.

BERMAN: I think it looks cool. I think it looks cool. I thank you so much for being with us demonstrating that and sharing with us this remarkable moment in history.

Well, Christina Koch, Anne McClain, I really appreciate you being with us.

KOCH: Thank you for your time. We've enjoyed it.

BERMAN: All right, be sure to tune in. The award winning CNN film "Apollo 11" premieres Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.


CAMEROTA: All right, I mean, do you know how often I lose this?

BERMAN: I know.

CAMEROTA: Why don't I Velcro it on my pants?

BERMAN: You told me -- you told me you what stuff that you can stick to yourself.

CAMEROTA: This -- thank you. I mean NASA is great with inventions. This is what I want, Velcro pants.

BERMAN: I've tried it with duct tape. CAMEROTA: Not as good?

BERMAN: Not as good.

CAMEROTA: Not as good. No.

All right, the breaking news this morning, we are learning new information about the U.S. drone that was shot down by Iran overnight. That's next.

But first, here's a sneak peek at our CNN film debuting this weekend, "Apollo 11."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We choose to go to the moon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is mission control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We choose to go to the moon and do the other things, not because they are easy --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But because they are hard.

[08:55:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ignition sequence starts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE), this is Houston, loud and clear.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Neil (ph) we're (INAUDIBLE) for the trip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The enormity of this event is something that only history will be able to judge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good launch and Godspeed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apollo 11 has been given the mission of carrying men to the moon, landing them there and bringing them safely back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful. Just beautiful. Magnificent ride.

ANNOUNCER: "Apollo 11," Sunday night at 9:00, on CNN.



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good morning to you. It's a busy one. I'm Jim Sciutto.


Iran shoots down a U.S. military drone in a, quote, clear message to the United States. The country says it does not want war but it is ready for war.

[09:00:06] The U.S. says the drone was hit by a missile in international airspace.