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Marines Arrested at Camp Pendleton; D.C. Police Search for Teens involved in Beating; 2020 Dems on Health Care; Democrats Struggle after Mueller Testimony; Red Sox Score Most Runs Ever against Yankees. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 26, 2019 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Range from drug related offenses to human smuggling.

CNN's Barbara Starr is live at the Pentagon.

And, Barbara, I don't think I've ever heard of anything like this.


Well, look, imagine this scene. Yesterday morning, morning roll call at Camp Pendleton, just north of San Diego, and suddenly 16 Marines on the spot pulled out of line and arrested. The charges, the allegations against them are human smuggling, drug use, drug allegations, all of it. They were arrested, detained on the spot. Eight other Marines are being questioned for their potential drug violations.

Now, all of this growing out of a previous Marine investigation. Two Marines arrested earlier this month for smuggling undocumented migrants into the country, not related to the southern border mission.

But, look, this is just the start of a number of things that we're learning about. We also learned yesterday that an elite Navy SEAL team was kicked out of Iraq by their own leaders, sent home for allegations of illegal, of course, consumption of alcohol in a war zone. Another Navy SEAL team, allegations coming to light that they face disciplinary action for using cocaine. A lot of questions at the end of the day about whether values, morals, and training are really at the front of everything the troops are doing.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my gosh, Barbara, what a story. Please bring us developments as you get them.

Meanwhile, security cameras capturing this brutal attack outside of a Washington, D.C., hotel. We want to warn you, this video is graphic and could be disturbing to you. This shows a man beaten, knocked to the ground before being repeatedly kicked and then stomped on. Police are now looking for these suspects. There's as many as a dozen. And they are all believed to be teenagers between 13 and 15 years old. My gosh.

CNN's Rene Marsh is live in Washington with more.

What are police saying about this, Rene?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that video's so hard to watch this morning. Alisyn. I can tell you that here in Washington, D.C., they are still looking for those attackers you just saw in that video. They appear, as you said, to be very young teenagers. We have to warn you again that that video is very graphic. You see one of the teenagers initially starts this all off by throwing the first punch. The man falls to the ground before all of the others join in.

Now, this was caught on a surveillance camera in Washington, D.C. It was Sunday morning right around 1:00 in the morning outside of a local hotel. And, again, you're looking at it there. The victim was with another man and he, too, was assaulted. Now, that is all according to police.

Now, why they attacked this man is unclear at this hour. However, according to the police report, the second victim tried to intervene. He screamed, that's not him, you have the wrong person. But the attackers, they were able to get away.

We know from our local affiliates also covering this story that the man that you saw in the video there, he suffered head injuries, a left eye socket injury as well.

But police do need the public's help with this one.

Back to you guys.

BERMAN: All right, Rene, deeply disturbing. Thank you very much for that reporting.

You know, we buried the lead this morning, which is the Red Sox scored 19 runs on the Yankees yesterday.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

BERMAN: Right?

CAMEROTA: How have you waited 33 minutes to get that in the show?

BERMAN: I don't know. I've done a disservice, I think, to real Americans.

CAMEROTA: Worldwide we're being watched.

BERMAN: We're going to have much more on the breaking details of the Red Sox beat-down of the New York Yankees.

CAMEROTA: That's better.

BERMAN: That is coming up.

CAMEROTA: That's better. BERMAN: Also, we are getting new details about the Democratic candidates and their health care plans. We know that will be central in the upcoming CNN debate. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will tell us exactly how these plans differ, next.

CAMEROTA: I mean not as important as the Red Sox, but important.

BERMAN: Well, nothing is.


[06:37:53] BERMAN: This morning, clear divisions among the Democratic candidates for president on health care, but what exactly did the different proposals mean for you?

CNN chief medical editor Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here to break down where the Democrats stand on all these issues.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they -- there's clearly this --- this litmus test that is starting to develop between these candidates on health care. And what's I think stunning to a lot of people who followed this for a long time is how much progress, how much change there's been in terms of their views on health care just over the last four years.


GUPTA (voice over): They have different ideas on how to get there, but the same central message.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Access to health care should be a right.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time for this country to make quality affordable health care a right and not a privilege.

GUPTA: Better, cheaper health care. It's a challenge no matter where you are on the political spectrum.

ERIN FUSE BROWN, ASSOCIATE LAW PROFESSOR, GSU: Well, I think people are really frustrated with the current health care system.

GUPTA: Erin Fuse Brown, a health law expert at Georgia State, says the system has fundamental flaws.

BROWN: It's really the worst consumer experience.

GUPTA: And we pay a lot for it. The United States has the most expensive health care in the world, around $3.5 trillion a year.

SANDERS: People should not be forced into financial ruin, into bankruptcy, for what reason, because someone in the family became ill.

GUPTA: In 2016, his was a lone voice. But many Democrats are now getting in line behind Bernie Sanders, who has long called for a singer payer system.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm with Bernie on Medicare for all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So then how does this plan differ from what Senator Sanders is proposing?

HARRIS: I think that they're very similar.

BROWN: In a single payer system, everyone would be automatically enrolled in a government-run health care program, like Medicare.

GUPTA: It would cover doctor's visits, hospitalizations, but also hearing aids, dental, and vision, these candidates say. There would be some copays for brand name prescription drugs. But a sort of litmus test is starting to take shape. Question is, will a single payer system also eliminate private insurance as we know it?

[06:40:03] LESTER HOLT, MSNBC: Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government run plan?

GUPTA: At the Democratic debates in June, only Senator Sanders and Harris, along with Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio raised their hands. Harris later said she had misinterpreted the question.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Anyone who has their employer based insurance can keep it if they want.

GUPTA: The former vice president, Joe Biden, doesn't envision a system without private insurance. And he is leading the charge on the public option.

BIDEN: This is a big (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal.

GUPTA: Perhaps no surprise, Biden wants to expand Obamacare.

BROWN: In a public option, everyone would have the option to buy a Medicare type of plan for themselves, but they wouldn't be automatically enrolled.

BIDEN: We can protect and build on Obamacare and make sure that at least 97 percent to 100 percent of the American people have coverage.

GUPTA: Biden's plan caps premiums and offers subsidies to buy insurance regardless of your income. Biden says his proposal would cost $750 billion over ten years, money he would raise primarily through taxes and cutting costs. Sanders' plan calls for tax increases as well. Money that he believes will be more than offset by lower premiums.

SANDERS: My guess is that people in the middle class will be paying somewhat more in taxes, but they're going to be paying significantly less overall in health care.

GUPTA: Harris says she believes her plan could be achieved without a middle class tax increase.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Sanders is proposing.

HARRIS: Well, part of it is going to have to be about Wall Street paying more. It's going to have to be about looking at how we -- and what we tax.

GUPTA: But Medicare for all may not be an easy sell politically. A recently released NPR/PBS/Marist national poll found 70 percent favor Medicare for all for those who want it, but just four in ten say Medicare for all is a good idea if there is no longer private insurance. And 54 percent are even more blunt saying it's a bad idea.


CAMEROTA: Sanjay, before we get to all of that, where do things stand today? What's happening with Obamacare?

GUPTA: Yes, it's really interesting. I mean the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, but you'll remember in December of 2017, the individual mandate went away. That was repealed. December of 2018, a Texas district judge said, look, if the individual mandate no longer exists, the entire law is unconstitutional.

Now, that decision's been put on hold. But it's starting to make its way through the legal system and it's probably going to go to the Supreme Court again.

So, I mean, we're going to see what happens. But without the individual mandate, can that law really still stand? That's the question.

BERMAN: There's uncertainty.

GUPTA: A lot of uncertainty. But for people who have health care through the exchanges right now, they still have it for --

CAMEROTA: Which are millions of people.

BERMAN: Right.

GUPTA: Millions of people, yes.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, thank you for explaining all of that to us.

GUPTA: Good to be here. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, weeks of preparation, back and forth negotiations, and anticipation. Now that Robert Mueller's testimony is over, what's next? CNN's Michael Smerconish has an idea for us after this break.

BERMAN: He also has an I told you so. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:47:04] CAMEROTA: Well, it was a big week in Washington with the hotly anticipated special counsel hearings. But then, a letdown for many Democrats. So did Mueller's testimony change anything?

Joining us now is Michael Smerconish, CNN political commentator and the host of CNN's "SMERCONISH," who John Berman warns me wants to say, I told you so? Hmm.

Is that right, Michael?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Berman, I guess, is -- I guess Berman is giving me that opportunity. Thank you. I did say curb your enthusiasm to those who anticipated that there would be bombshells. And I -- I said it for two reasons. One, we knew he didn't want to be there. And, two, the -- the format is self-limiting. And I think both of those came true.

BERMAN: However, and I know this is something that you like to bring up, Alisyn, there were actual moments of clarity inside that testimony. The former special counsel stated clearly the president wasn't exonerated. The president -- the former special counsel stated clearly, among other things, we have it --

CAMEROTA: That he lied -- well, he -- let me be very clear about what the special counsel stated, that the president was generally untruthful in his answers to prosecutors in Mueller's office. That is a big deal. And the idea that -- that Robert Mueller said unequivocally that the president could be charged with crimes once he leaves office. So there were big takeaways, but the performance perhaps eclipsed some of those.

SMERCONISH: Well, all those things are true. I don't think any of them were a surprise to those who had actually taken the time to read the report. But the reality is, very few Americans read the report. And also, I think, very few Americans were able to commit the necessary time to watch seven hours of his testimony. So to answer the question, where are we today on this Friday? We're probably in the same place that we were before the Mueller hearing began.

BERMAN: You know, and then Robert Mueller brought up the very real issue of election security, saying that as we sit here, we are under attack from the Russians in all likelihood in our election system. The Senate Intelligence Committee put out a report yesterday which says, Michael, that all 50 states -- there are 50 states in the United States and all of them were targeted by the Russians in the last election.

And on that very same day, Mitch McConnell and Republican senators blocked legislation to protect state election systems.

Is our government taking this seriously enough?

SMERCONISH: Well, definitely not. And I think what happened this week is that most of the attention was paid to the House Judiciary Committee hearing, which was the first of the hearings, because many wanted to know, is there going to be a gotcha moment, a smoking gun relative to the president. That didn't pan out.

In the intel hearing that followed, Robert Mueller was very clear about the vulnerability that we face.

And if I can just add this, last Saturday on my program, I had Richard Clarke and Robert Knake, who just published a book on the cyber threat that we face. And one of the things that I learned from them and from the book is that there are very few election machine manufacturers that we rely on in this country and they don't give their software to our government so that our government can ensure that there aren't bugs in it and ensure that we don't have vulnerability.

The point is, we remain wide open to attack and we have a very disparate system that's administered by the states. And the Russians have impregnated that for lack of a better description. This report from the Senate committee says that their intentions are unclear. But I happen to think that this is the bigger story of the week than what did Mueller say about Trump.

CAMEROTA: So, what's going to happen in the debates this week? How much, you know, of -- of the energy on the stage will address that? What are you looking for?

SMERCONISH: Alisyn, I keep thinking about the fringes of the stage. You know, if you envision the way that there will be a raid on night two, what we're all thinking about Biden in the middle and Cory Booker and Kamala Harris at his side. And that there will be crossfire among those three I think is a certainty.

But, it's the last dance for some of these candidates unless they can move the needle. So I'm looking at Bill de Blasio on one side. I'm looking at Kirsten Gillibrand down there at the end or second in on the end -- at the other end of the stage and I'm saying, do they emulate Kamala Harris? Do they look at Biden as their opportunity to try and come back in September? Because unless they do something, they probably don't get to come back and compete. So don't overlook the remainder of the stage is my point.

BERMAN: The last dance. Michael Smerconish, Donna Summer fan, right?

CAMEROTA: Donna Summers. Oh, I heard it. I heard (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: Are we right, Michael?


CAMEROTA: OK. I'm glad that --

BERMAN: Coming up tomorrow on "SMERCONISH," McArthur Park.

CAMEROTA: He's melting.

Check out "SMERCONISH" on Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

BERMAN: All right, do you want to know what complete panda-monium looks like?


BERMAN: Oh, boy.

CAMEROTA: It looks like fun is what it looks like.

BERMAN: This is the insanely cute version. The reason for this panda frolic fest, not that pandas, by the way, need to have a reason to frolic. Frolicking is innate. It comes to them naturally. As do apparently fruit bowls?

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's a fruit bowl.



[06:56:48] BERMAN: So it was undoubtedly the most important baseball game of the entire season. Wouldn't you say?

CAMEROTA: OK. Oh, definitely.

BERMAN: Decisive. Predictive.

CAMEROTA: Fantastic.

BERMAN: Determinative.

Coy Wire on what happened in Fenway and the historic implications, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: My goodness. History made in one of the greatest rivalries in sports. The Red Sox and Berman. You know, they and the Yankees have played more than 22,000 games since the rivalry started 117 years ago. Never have the Sox put on a show like this. Nineteen runs. Boston tore New York starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka apart. All-star Xander Bogaerts starts the party with a 451 foot three-run shot, part of a seven-run first inning. Tanaka gives up 12 earned runs in total before getting yanked. There's Berman's face. Look at that smile.

CAMEROTA: We need the reaction shot live.

WIRE: No Yankees pitcher has given up more runs to Boston. Xander Bogaerts' family and little league coach missed his first home run because they got to the game late. So he hits another one. Sox win 19- 3. But, hey, John, what do you think? Is New York still ahead of them in the standings?

BERMAN: What does that matter? Who cares about the standings?

WIRE: That's exact --

BERMAN: Who -- who pays attention to that?

WIRE: Attitude that Bogaerts seemed to have after the game. Listen to his reaction to this win.


XANDER BOGAERTS, RED SOX SHORTSTOP: Oh, it was good. You know, we know where we're at. We know what's needed to be done. And I think we're all satisfied with the result today.


WIRE: Just cool. Calm, collected. No big deal. We got this, right, Berman?

BERMAN: That's what a $120 million contract does for you also.

WIRE: That's right.

CAMEROTA: Is this what elation looks like on Berman?

BERMAN: Yes. Yes, before 7:00 a.m. This is as good as it gets.

CAMEROTA: As -- it's really good.

All right, next to this story, panda-monium breaks out in China. There was a conservation center threw a huge first birthday party for 18 panda cubs. It was panda kindergarten. Nine male, nine female cubs, including three pairs of twins, John.

BERMAN: Yes, just like us.

CAMEROTA: Just like us. Just like us. Just like our children. They celebrated with fruit birthday cake, which is delish, or milk, if they were teething.

BERMAN: Oh, I'm afraid -- what if they're lactose intolerant?

CAMEROTA: They played together. They had plenty of toys. They climbed trees. The cubs were all born between June and September of last year. It was a panda-palooza.

BERMAN: A panda-palooza, panda-monium.

CAMEROTA: I already used that one.

BERMAN: Were there peanuts in the cake? Because I'm also concerned about peanut allergies. These are the things that comes up in birthday parties, the birthday parties that I've been to.

CAMEROTA: (INAUDIBLE). You're right. Look at how cute they are. They're just like stuffed animals zapped to life.

All right, don't --

BERMAN: Don't diminish them. They're more than just stuffed animals zapped to life.

CAMEROTA: I was racing through this because I thought we had other jokes.

BERMAN: No, no.

CAMEROTA: OK, I'm wrapping. I'm wrapping the panda-monium right there.

We have new reporting from Capitol Hill and the campaign trail. NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It had always been an unspoken goal of Pelosi and her leadership team to get to August without launching an impeachment inquiry.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Some Democrats are definitely concerned that the window is closing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the speaker's meeting with AOC, not based upon impeachment, but she's trying to get her conference in line.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I think the objective is to make sure we're opening a line of communication, that all aspects of the party are on the same page.

[07:00:06] HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: We've seen that Joe Biden has continuously been doing very well.