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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is Interviewed About Mueller Hearing; Biden Warns Opponents; Democrats Spar Over Policies; Epstein Found Injured; Recall Issued for Breast Implants. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 25, 2019 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Is obstructing Congress.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You throw these phrases around like the president obstructed justice, and then at the same time you say, I'm not ready for an impeachment inquiry yet. And you see there's a contradiction there. Some people look at that and see a contradiction.

SCHIFF: Well, look, I would -- I would be delighted if we had a prospect of removing him through impeachment, but we don't. And the most attractive thing to me about an impeachment is that it's among the strongest forms of censure that we have. But I -- but the same is true of an acquittal for the president. That's the strongest form of exoneration for him. And that stays my hand.

BERMAN: Devin Nunes, who is the ranking member, who was the chair of the Intelligence Committee, you've worked for some time, there are rumors that the current director of national Dan Coats -- director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, could be on the way out and that one of the possible replacements would be Congressman Nunes.

Would he be an appropriate choice to take over as director of national intelligence?

SCHIFF: Well, you can see why I wouldn't be eager to comment on that.

But I will say this, I have tremendous respect for Dan Coats. You want someone in that position who is willing to speak truth to power, who is a good manager of people. I think Dan Coats has been an admiral job of both and I hope he continues in office.

BERMAN: Would Devin Nunes do the same?

SCHIFF: I'm not going to comment on that.

BERMAN: Chairman Adam Schiff, thank you for being with us today. We appreciate it. Look forward to speaking to you again soon.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, fighting words from Joe Biden. He is warning that he will not be as polite at the next debates next week, and his rives seem to be taking off the gloves, too. We get "The Bottom Line," next.


[08:35:35] CAMEROTA: The 2020 race is heating up. Former Vice President Joe Biden is sharpening his attacks against his Democratic rivals and telling supporters that he is not going to be as polite at next week's CNN debate.

So let's get "The Bottom Line" on all of this with CNN political director David Chalian.

So, David, not only is he sort of sharpening his tone, they're sharpening their elbows as well against him and what it reveals -- I mean more importantly, obviously than just tit for tat, is there's policy differences.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: There are policy differences, but I actually think we are seeing the politics overtake the policy here for a moment because this is responding to the debate performance in Miami that Joe Biden had. And what we're seeing is Joe Biden doesn't want to wait to get on the Detroit debate stage standing between Kamala Harris and Cory Booker to unload the research and preparation he's doing on them. He's doing it now. He is eager to foreshadow the battle that he wants to bring to the Detroit debate stage next week.

CAMEROTA: And so we saw that yesterday.

BERMAN: Yes, look, I think there are three things that are happening. Number one, you want to look like you're up for a fight and you can handle a fight. Number two, he is drawing distinctions on an issue that matters a lot to Democrats, and that's health care. And then, number three, he's arguing in some ways about his past and future on the issue of race. I think there are three separate things there.

CAMEROTA: And crime.


BERMAN: But let's start -- we have -- we have some of the sound here. Let's play -- let's play Cory Booker, who -- he didn't start this yesterday, but there was a back and forth here. Senator Booker was talking about Joe Biden's proposal on criminal justice reform.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And now that he's unrolled this -- unveiled his crime bill, for a guy who helped to be an architect of mass incarceration, this is an inadequate solution to what is a raging crisis in our country.


BERMAN: Joe Biden had a response, a very direct response, about Cory Booker. Listen.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you look at the mayor's record in Newark, one of the provisions I wrote in the crime bill, pattern and practice of misbehavior, his police department was stopping and frisking people, mostly African-American men. We took action against them. The Justice Department took action against them and held the police department accountable.



CHALIAN: Yes. When you -- when you say, when you look at his record in Newark, it means, I've been looking and studying his record in Newark and let me tell you about it.

This is a more prepared Joe Biden to take on the incoming. And as you hear the former vice president saying there, his whole thing, as, John, you were saying, past and future, right? But he says they want to talk about my past. I am happy to defend my record. They too have records and they don't look as good and -- and that shows a Joe Biden who is more poised to hit back than we had seen. And, yes, he said he'd be less polite. I think that's on indication to donors and supporters, fret not, folks, I understand what happened in Miami, and that is not going to be the final part of this story I'm writing in my campaign.

CAMEROTA: I wonder if the crime bill part sort of cancels itself out? So he's sort of warning Kamala Harris, oh, yes, you're going to go after my past? I'm going to bring up some of the things that you did as a prosecutor. And there you heard Cory Booker, the same type of tit for tat thing.

So I wonder if they're even going to go there in the debate or if that all canceled itself out.

CHALIAN: Well, he --

CAMEROTA: Do they want to -- do Democrats want to have a fight about their criminal justice past?

CHALIAN: Well, they're in a battle to win the nomination and they do want to appeal to voters and I do think there's always a danger -- you remember this happened to Tim Pawlenty back in 2012, when you foreshadow a fight that you want to take -- Tim Pawlenty did this with Mitt Romney -- and then you show up on the debate stage and you don't take it, it kind of looks like a potential weakness moment, right? So now I think Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris have set the stage. They do want to engage in this.

CAMEROTA: Interesting.

BERMAN: Any risk in taking on two African-American senators, because Senator -- Vice President Biden also talked about Kamala Harris' record really as attorney general of California on criminal justice on issues that are connected to race. CHALIAN: I think there is probably some risk. But, John, as you know,

Joe Biden's strength right now in the polls is largely due -- in the Democratic nomination race is largely due to his overwhelming support among African-Americans.

BERMAN: It's really interesting, isn't it.

CHALIAN: So, I mean, he is the one who is winning the biggest share and -- by far of the African-American vote, which is so critical in the Democratic nomination race.

So, yes, there may be some potential risks. Joe Biden, of course, is not new to this game of dealing with politics. And I think that in the cross benefit analysis there was such a -- it was such a problem for him that he didn't respond to the attack effectively in Miami that that is probably first and foremost on his to-do list.

[08:40:04] CAMEROTA: OK, so here's another policy difference, and that is on health care --


CAMEROTA: And Medicare for all. And so former VP Biden talked about what he thinks of the plan for Medicare for all. Listen to this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you've got to find $30 trillion to $40 trillion somewhere. And how are you going to do it? Well, I find the people who say that Medicare for all, but they're not going to tax the middle class, because we don't need to do that -- come on? I mean what is this, is this a fantasy world here?


BERMAN: Fantasy world.

CHALIAN: Fantasy world. And, listen, Kamala Harris, for the last six months of this presidential campaign, has struggled to just be 100 percent clear and definitive on where she stands on health care. Now, I know her campaign would disagree with my assessment of that, but -- but she has been in sort of vague spaces, perhaps deliberately, but -- but in terms of being crystal clear.

One thing she has now been crystal clear on is that she will not raise middle class taxes at all to help pay for transitioning the American health care system from one that is largely based in private insurance into Medicare for all. Bernie Sanders says that's not realistic, the author of Medicare for all. He claims he's totally willing to raise those taxes because everyone's health care costs will go down and he thinks the tradeoff is better. Kamala Harris says no to middle class taxes, which does open her up to this kind of criticism from somebody like Biden who's oppose to Medicare for all and is going to say you're not being realistic in how you're saying you're going to pay for it.

BERMAN: And I think may show he's much more willing to claim a centrist space on that debate stage than he did a few weeks ago.

CHALIAN: Yes, no doubt about it.

CAMEROTA: It's going to be very interesting. We'll see you in Detroit.


CAMEROTA: David Chalian, thank you very much.

BERMAN: Two big nights, ten candidates each night. You can watch the CNN Democratic presidential debates live from Detroit Tuesday and Wednesday nights, next week, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

CAMEROTA: OK, we're just getting some breaking news now about disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who has been found injured in jail. We'll bring you the developments as we know them, next.


[08:46:04] CAMEROTA: We have some breaking news right now because CNN has learned that disgraced multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein was found injured in his jail cell.

CNN's Jean Casarez is live in New York with the breaking details.

Do we know what that means, Jean?


What we have just confirmed with a source is that Jeffrey Epstein actually was found injured in the Metropolitan Correctional Center that he is in, being housed right now, bail denied, in New York. And authorities are trying to determine if this was self-inflicted or if it was caused by another, an assault. So that is the issue that authorities are dealing with right now.

But the fact is that Jeffrey Epstein, who is being housed on multiple sex offenses against women in New York, Southern District of New York, has now been found injured.


CAMEROTA: Jean, please come back to us when you learn any more details about what happened inside that jail cell.

CASAREZ: We will.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much.

CASAREZ: Thank you.

BERMAN: Other big news this morning, the fertility rates in the United States fell to yet an all-time low in 2018 according a new report by the CDC.

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is here with us to discuss.

Sanjay, what's behind these numbers?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, they're still trying to sort out like exactly what's driving this, but this is sort of the lowest number in at least three decades in terms of the fertility rate dropping 2 percent. And in 2017, the last time that these numbers were recorded, they saw the peak fertility rate had dropped low enough that the population essentially was not sort of resustaining itself, meaning that the fertility rate dropped lower than the population needed to sort of sustain the numbers. So the concern is that you're going to start to see population contraction here.

And as you know, in the past, John, we've talked about the fact that life expectancy is also dropping in the United States. So you put these two things together.

We did see a 2 percent drop, but you also saw a drop among teen pregnancies as well, 7 percent. So maybe a little bit of good news in there. But the -- you know, in order to try and sort out these numbers, they've got to really dig into what's driving this now.

BERMAN: And --

CAMEROTA: But, Sanjay, I mean, what I'm confused about is, is this by choice that people are choosing to have fewer kids --

GUPTA: Right.

CAMEROTA: Or is this something medical happening?

GUPTA: Yes, I -- it seems that it's more a reflection of the environment. So, for example, we know that after significant recessions, fertility rates start to drop. So the recessions of the 2000, are we now starting to see the impact on fertility at this point?

More women entering the labor force, higher education obtainment, women having babies later in life, could that also be dropping the fertility rate? These are probably all factors and maybe they're all playing some sort of role and that will be the answer finally. But once you get these sorts of numbers that come out, and these are obviously, you know, numbers that people within the public health community pay a lot of attention to, then they've got to sort of go back and reverse engineer it and try and figure out what's really driving that.

BERMAN: Other big news in the medical community today, Sanjay, the pharmaceutical company Allergen has issued a worldwide recall of a certain type of breast implant and tissue expanders that have been linked to a rare cancer.


BERMAN: Well, what is this rare cancer, Sanjay? GUPTA: Well, this is a type of lymphoma. And people may know the term lymphoma. It basically means a cancer of the lymphatic system, the lymph nodes, tissue, that sort of thing.

They've been concerned about this form some time. We first heard about this back in 2011, a specific type of breast implant called a textured (ph) breast implant was associated at that point with this lymphoma. Now they say that they've got enough evidence to basically say, look, there is a connection here. We need to recall these breast implants and, you know, stop implanting them. It's rare. I think we have the numbers here. So you, you know, when you start looking globally, you're talking 573 cases worldwide, 33 deaths. So these aren't super high numbers. But, again, the association now clear enough that the -- that they're saying there needs to be a recall on these devices overall.

[08:50:05] CAMEROTA: So what do women do if they have those -- that type of implants?

GUPTA: Important -- and really important question, right, because the answer right now, and we asked about this, is not to remove the implants, not to go have an operation to remove the implants. The answer they say right now for women who have these types of textured breast implants, which are, you know, more rare, more -- less commonly performed than the traditional breast implants, is to monitor the women, be aware that this type of lymphoma is associated with that and monitor them. It could mean imaging studies. It could mean bloodwork. But to know that this is a possible but rare side effect, consequence of these types of breast implants, and to keep an eye on it.

BERMAN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you very, very much.

You know, as Sanjay keeps saying and reporting, the mortality rate in the United States, we're dying younger and we're having fewer children. All the rest of the news we report may not be as important as those two trends about how much less we are living and less we're reproduce. It's fascinating.

CAMEROTA: Yes, we need more people.


"The Good Stuff" is next.


[08:55:11] BERMAN: It is time now for "The Good Stuff."

A Texas couple who lost their 11-year-old son in a freak accident unexpectedly met the man who received their boy's donated heart. The emotional meeting unfolded during Monica and Dean Burkanhoff's (ph) wedding last week. Monica and Dean had no idea that her sister tracked the 28-year-old Travis Stufflebean (ph) down and arranged the surprise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Colten's (ph) not here physically, but he's here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been seven years and that's something we've always wanted.


BERMAN: Now using a stethoscope, Monica and Dean got to hear their son Colten's heartbeat again.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

BERMAN: Can you imagine that?

CAMEROTA: No. That is so beautiful.

BERMAN: Overwhelm -- I have to say overwhelming. Think about all the emotion that they already but to have that on top of it.

CAMEROTA: I mean with the wedding that -- the sister took a risk by arranging that for their wedding, but they seemed so grateful. That was beautiful.

All right, what's next for Democrats after Robert Mueller's testimony? "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto are next for us. That we know.

BERMAN: That we know.