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Sen. Elizabeth Warren Releases New Policy Plans; Iranian Tanker Released by Gibraltar Court; Four Hundred Expected at El Paso Funeral Tonight. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired August 16, 2019 - 10:30   ET



[10:30:11] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: All right. So just a few moments ago, 2020 hopeful, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren released new policy plans. This is focused on Native Americans. M.J. Lee is with me, who of course tracks the campaign very closely.

So this is big. Draft legislation, a number of other proposals. What is she putting forth?

M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is probably one of her most detailed and politically significant plans she's put out so far this year. One part of this is a draft legislation that she put out with Congresswoman Deb Haaland. She, of course, is one of two first Native Americans elected to Congress who has endorsed Warren. Has everything to do with boosting funding for programs that are targeted at Native Americans.

And then a couple other key pieces. There's something called the Oliphant Fix. This has to do with the Supreme Court ruling, that basically said tribal governments have no criminal jurisdiction over non-Native Americans on tribal lands. The result of this has been that a lot of tribal people have not been able to seek justice, even for some heinous crimes like in the case of rape.

TEXT: Sen. Warren's Native American Policy Proposals: Addresses "epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women"; Will "revoke the ill-advised and improperly granted permits for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines"; Calls for Sacred Lands Religious Freedom Restoration Act

LEE: Other pieces of this deal with tribal lands and resources, including taking away permits for the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines that go through tribal lands.

So, again, this is a very hefty bill. And politically speaking, it's very interesting because the "Medium" post that she put out was very long, but made no mention of her own family's ancestry --

HARLOW: Right.

LEE: -- this issue, of course, is the reason she fell in such hot political water earlier this year. HARLOW: She's been attacked by the president on this, with that, you

know, derogatory nickname that he's given her.

LEE: That's right.

HARLOW: I find it interesting that she's going there on this. She could have stayed away, not focused on this a lot. She's not letting that hold her back.

LEE: Yes. And if you look ahead to her schedule, it's on Monday that she's going to take the stage with tribal leaders and face a lot of questions. I do think the discussions will largely be about substance, and I think putting out a plan today ensures that she has a lot to talk about.

But I do think it's very possible that she gets asked these questions. And I think at some point, she is going to have to address these kinds of questions because it is a concern that we have heard from some voters when we are out on the trail.

HARLOW: Right. OK. Thank you, M.J., for walking us through it. We appreciate it very much.

Chris Cillizza, our editor at large, politics reporter is here for his take.

Good morning, Cillizza.


HARLOW: Hi. You, too, my friend. But aren't you just working all weekend? Don't we make you work all weekend here?

CILLIZZA: Everybody's working for the weekend, Poppy. I came up with that line.

HARLOW: Of course. Working for the man. All right. So, Cillizza --


HARLOW: -- is this brave of Elizabeth Warren?

CILLIZZA: It's interesting. So as M.J. laid out, it's a very detailed plan. And this in keeping, Poppy, with her idea of, "I have a plan for that," right? If anything has rebuilt Elizabeth Warren from the start of her campaign to where she is now, it is this idea that she is the policy candidate. She's got ideas, she's got a fix, she's got ways to approach all of this stuff.

Now, the start of her campaign, of course, began disastrously badly because, late last year, she did release this long video that was an attempt to put away or manage the fact that she had claimed Native American heritage on some forms during her years in academia. That failed. There's no mention, as M.J. said, of that in this "Medium" post. So I think that it's a second bite at this apple, but it's a smarter

one in that she's coming from a position of strength, Poppy: policy. And saying, "Of course this is going to come up." She knows this is going to come up as part of the rollout. And when she speaks next week in Iowa at this important conference.

HARLOW: Yes. And -- and this is a constituency that, you know, does not often get a lot of attention --


HARLOW: -- from presidential candidates. And she's not only saying, "I'm paying attention to this, I'm walking on-stage with these tribal leaders, I'm putting out draft legislation, not just, you know, a few bullet points."

All right. Let's turn the page here to really, another interesting nugget from the Fox poll. You wrote about the gun --


HARLOW: -- numbers yesterday and the assault weapons ban and the increased support for that among voters. But this is different. This is from the same poll. This is about the Democrats and what Democrats want. Only 48 percent of Democrats want the 2020 Democratic contenders to build on President Obama's legacy --


HARLOW: -- 47 percent want them to take a new approach. What do you think?

CILLIZZA: Yes. I mean, well, I would suggest that the candidates have internal polling that suggests something similar. Because go back to --

HARLOW: The debate.

CILLIZZA: -- our Detroit debates, exactly. The thing I was most struck by -- I wrote about this at the time -- the thing I was most struck by was, the willingness of basically everyone on that debate stage, particularly in the second night, that Wednesday night debate that had Joe Biden in it and Kamala Harris, to sort of throw over Barack Obama's legacy. He didn't do enough on immigration, wasn't bold enough.

[10:35:00] Joe Biden -- I mean, by necessity -- was the only guy on the stage really standing up and defending Barack Obama's legacy, which is a remarkable thing. Those numbers are remarkable because when you consider who is the single most popular Democratic politician among Democrats, it's Barack Obama.

HARLOW: Right.

CILLIZZA: In fact, Barack Obama's probably one of the most popular politicians -- popular figures in the country, maybe only eclipsed by his wife, Michelle Obama.

HARLOW: I was just going to say that.

CILLIZZA: So it's -- it's really a remarkable thing, that Democrats really like him, I think really value what he did for the country. And yet, very divided on whether the next nominee should carry on that legacy. It's a fascinating finding.

HARLOW: Except if you ask the president, he says, "You have no choice but to vote for anyone else because look at your 401(k).


HARLOW: I should note, by the way, you know, that's not exactly speaking to everyone in America --


HARLOW: -- because only half of Americans have a penny in the stock market.

CILLIZZA: Yes. I mean, I do think, Poppy, that his best argument is on the economy broadly. The 401(k) --


CILLIZZA: -- he uses as a stand-in for the economy. I would say, though, that Donald Trump's problem, if you want to highlight his problem as it relates to getting re-elected, it's this. In almost every poll, including the Fox poll, his approval on the economy among voters is over 50 percent, a majority think he's doing a good job on the economy.

His overall approval, in the Fox poll and CNN's polling and everywhere else, is in the mid-, low-40s. That disconnect. Usually --


CILLIZZA: -- if a president's approval rating on the economy is high, his overall approval rating is high, which means he's more likely than not to get re-elected.


CILLIZZA: That disconnect is a huge problem for Donald Trump, and I don't know how he solves it.

HARLOW: Look at Clinton during --


CILLIZZA: Absolutely.

HARLOW: -- it's a weird -- it's a weird sort of reversal.

CILLIZZA: Yes. Donald Trump has been ahistorical in lots and lots of ways, and this is a really important way. Almost always, we've seen good economy, very likely to get re-elected. That's not necessarily the case here.

HARLOW: Thanks, Cillizza.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

HARLOW: Hope to not see you --

CILLIZZA: Hope to not see you.


HARLOW: -- on television this morning -- this weekend, I mean. Enjoy it.

CILLIZZA: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: Thanks, Cillizza.

All right. So in very serious news here, an Iranian oil tanker at the center of that standoff between the U.K. and Iran, is now free to leave despite the United States' fight to keep it being held there. We'll explain, ahead.


[10:41:56] HARLOW: The U.S. has lost a last-minute fight to stop Gibraltar from releasing a seized Iranian tanker. Officials decided to let that vessel go yesterday. It had been at the center of a standoff between the U.K. and Iran after it was seized six weeks ago for allegedly violating E.U. sanctions. Our chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, this morning, is in Tehran.

And, Clarissa, the question here when it was seized was, was it carrying material that was going to Syria, that would be a violation of those sanctions?

At this point, they're saying that -- the government in Gibraltar, they do not believe that it's still going to Syria, and they're letting it go?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. Essentially, the government in Gibraltar, saying that during private conversations with the Iranians, they have been assured that this ship, when it departs -- it has not yet departed, but -- it has been assured by the Iranians, that the ship will not head to Syria.

That is where they believe it was originally planning to go. In fact, the Gibraltar government said that they had no doubt about that now, having been on the ship, that they had seen evidence that corroborated that belief.

The Iranians, of course, have said -- they've denied from the beginning that it was going to Syria. But at the same time, they said if it was going to Syria, it's nobody's business. And now, what they're saying, the Iranians, is that, "Listen, we never made any agreement." They're not saying where the ship is going.

But I would say at this stage, Poppy, it would be surprising if the ship did go and head towards Syria. Because what we've seen is escalating tensions over the past weeks, particularly given this tit- for-tat between the British and the Iranians over these tankers. I think both sides, obviously, are keep to try to rein that back in.

So the next stage would be to potentially see the Iranians releasing the British tanker that they have had since the beginning of last month. We don't know when exactly that might happen. But one could assume, perhaps in the coming days.

And the other thing we're waiting to see, Poppy, is how the U.S. is going to respond to all this. Because as you said, the U.S. had issued a sort of last-minute plea, saying, "Hold on, we don't want to see this ship being handed over. We would like to see it being taken back. We believe that it was being used to help the IRGC, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. since April, to smuggle oil to Syria."

And now, the Iranians are saying that that was, quote, "A humiliating failure on behalf of the U.S., as Grace 1 is now free to go -- Poppy."

HARLOW: OK. Clarissa Ward, thank you very much for the reporting. Remarkable to have you inside of Iran for us this morning. We appreciate it.

There is a lot to watch today. Here's a quick look.

TEXT: What to Watch... 12:00 p.m. Eastern, 2020 candidates at Black Church PAC in Atlanta, GA; 2:00 p.m. Eastern, NASA preview of upcoming ISS spacewalk; 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Community funeral for El Paso victim, Margie Reckard


[10:45:09] HARLOW: All right. Today, hundreds of mourners in El Paso are expected to help a man without any family say goodbye to the wife he lost in that tragic massacre. That story, ahead.


[10:50:15] HARLOW: All right. Funeral services are being held tonight for one victim of the El Paso massacre, and hundreds of mourners are expected to be there. Sixty-three-year-old Marjorie Reckard was killed when she was just shopping for groceries at Walmart on that afternoon.

Her devastated husband invited the public to attend because they don't have any family close by at all. He says the response has been overwhelming. Natasha Chen is with me this morning from El Paso.

It's such a heartwarming story in the middle of such devastation. And as I understand it, you just spoke to him.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. He's actually just down at the end of this memorial right now. His wife's cross is the very first one of the 22.

Let's show you some video of him, this morning, just putting down new flowers. He does this every single day. He's done this every day since the memorial's been here, brings in fresh flowers, takes out the flowers that are dying, just to keep it clean. He says he hopes that they will let them keep these flowers and crosses here for a long time.

He is very emotional, as you can imagine, with the service happening tonight. He did invite the public because he has no other family. And he says Margie's family, there are a few people but they live far away. So what has happened is, the funeral home put out a public message that the public was invited.

And they had to actually change to a larger venue to accommodate all the people they're expecting. And the venue tonight can now hold 400 people. They are expecting a lot of the community to come. And they've gotten, already, more than 100 flower donations, and expecting many, many more.

So the thing that really strikes me and the other people who walked up to Mr. Basco today, is that he is dedicated. He is not going to stop doing this. He's been married to his wife for 22 years. And he told our colleague that, you know, every day, he's still waking up and half-expecting her to walk through the door. Here's how he described Margie, his wife.


ANTONIO BASCO, WIFE KILLED IN EL PASO SHOOTING: Say (ph), I don't know why -- what she seen (ph) in me sometimes. We had wonderful years. the best years of my whole life. She was a caring, loving, the most beautifulest person.

She made me the happiest man in the world, and the luckiest. There was nobody luckier than me in this whole world.


CHEN: And he told me that he is hearing about all these people who could potentially be coming tonight to the service, and that really warms his heart, as difficult as it is, he says, to put his wife in the ground.

Now, we also just saw some other members of the community, walking up to us just now, wanting to re-emphasize, they wanted me to tell everyone that El Paso is really one community. That they don't mind migrants being here, they are unified. And they are showing that unity to Mr. Basco tonight -- Poppy.

HARLOW: It's going to be a beautiful image. Thank you, Natasha.

[10:53:19] All right. We are getting some new details this morning from police, right here in New York City, as they get images of the man they say is seen on video, placing those suspicious rice cookers at a busy subway hub here in the city. They want to ask him questions. Stay with us for the latest.


HARLOW: All right. So how many of you have an Amazon Alexa device in your home? I know you can't respond right now, or I can't hear your response, but I also know it's a lot. Alexa is now wildly popular in the United States. It's been welcomed into millions of homes.

But after news broke that Amazon is sometimes listening to what we tell Alexa -- to improve the A.I. of the device -- some people began asking, "What can Amazon hear?" We asked the company. As part of our CNN special report on Amazon, it airs tonight. Here's a clip.


HARLOW: Who at Amazon hears what I tell Alexa when I'm talking to her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A small group of annotators who do some ground (ph) truthing (ph). They take very small subsets. It's dealings from customer data, to help train the models that go back into improving speech technology.

ANTONIO (PH) PETTIT (PH): There are people on the other end.

HARLOW (voice-over): Antonio (ph) Pettit (ph) is one of them. During his seven-month contract at Amazon, Pettit analyzed Alexa commands gone wrong in order to improve the technology. He now works in artificial intelligence at Microsoft.

PETTIT (PH): Amazon is listening to what you tell Alexa. Not in any type of nefarious way, to my knowledge. I believe that everything that they do is based on quality assurance. But people should know that. I think that that is something that is definitely not advertised.

HARLOW: What do you say to those folks who think, "Oh my gosh, someone's listening to me?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's important for customers to understand -- we're not listening to them. It's a very, very small percentage that is carved off for ensuring that the models are doing what the models say they're supposed to do.


HARLOW: There's a lot more to that conversation. Our CNN special report, "THE AGE OF AMAZON." It is tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, only right here on CNN.

Thank you all for being with me today. I'm Poppy Harlow. Jim will be in the chair Monday, I'm taking a little vacation.

[11:00:03] Next, Kate Bolduan, "AT THIS HOUR," ahead.