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CNN Reality Check: When Trump Says It's Not About The Money, It is!; Eddie Murphy Returning To SNL After 35 Years; Four Former Nursing Home Workers Face Charges Linked To Deaths. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired August 27, 2019 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Maybe Kamala Harris is in that -- there's a more progressive lane.

I, for a while, thought Pete Buttigieg kind of stood on his own, but he appears to be fading a little bit. I think he's got strength -- more strength than the others.

But I think it would be helpful to go down to fewer lanes here so that some of these differences could come into stark relief because, John, you mentioned 2004. President Bush is in office, Howard Dean more progressive. And then, John Kerry kind of strengthened as a candidate through -- you know, through the rough and tumble of that.

And I think we're going to have to see that. We're going to have to see these candidates engaging each other.

And I do think this year is a big moment for the Democratic Party figuring out what it wants to be in a new era and certainly, in the Trump era, which is complicated because folks just want to focus on winning.

But I think there's a lot of Democrats who say no -- the real path is to get closer to the purity of the Democratic principles -- progressive principles. That's what gives us that chance moving forward. That's a -- that's a fight that's going to be pretty intense.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: And, you know, these other candidates who haven't made the -- made the debate, they've had months to get over two percent in the polls. The fact that they haven't done it yet suggests that they're not going to do it, so why don't they leave the scene and let us have a real debate of real candidates who have a chance of winning.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, ruthless Jeffrey Toobin, this morning.

TOOBIN: Well, I mean -- you know, I'm sorry. I mean, enough is enough. I mean, who wants --

CAMEROTA: If you've already had enough, you're going to have a long year ahead. TOOBIN: Don't you want to see Biden, Harris, and Sanders next to each other debating?


TOOBIN: I mean, it's like -- it's time for that.

PHILLIP: And I think voters kind of agree. I mean, it's hard for people to differentiate between candidates who are on completely different stages. I mean, that's one of the challenges of the wide field is that sometimes you want to see a Warren go up against a Biden and you -- and you're not going to necessarily be able to see that if they're not on the same stage.

So, it's getting to the point now where for voters to kind of really start to differentiate between some of these top-tier candidates -- the ones who are consistently polling above, like say, five percent. The field is going to have to narrow. You've already seen some of these folks drop out.

And then, when Seth Moulton dropped out -- the congressman -- he said, "I think this is a three-way race." A lot of people took umbrage to that, but I think he was -- he was basically pointing out that, you know, there are just three or four people at the top and that's who the voters really need to see kind of fighting it out on the debate stage.


TOOBIN: Well, we're all on the (INAUDIBLE) lobby here.

CAMEROTA: I can see that. Well, to your point, we have a guest coming up -- a woman in New Hampshire who has seen -- gone to see, in person, every single one of the candidates except Wayne Messam --


CAMEROTA: -- and Joe Walsh. So --

BERMAN: Joe Sestak, I think.

CAMEROTA: And, Joe Sestak.

PHILLIP: That's impressive.

CAMEROTA: So, every single one. So we will see how she has been able to do her civic duty in that way.

Thank you all very much.

Also coming up, a teenager hungry to make a difference in this election by cashing in on the chicken sandwich craze. We'll explain what he's doing, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:37:35] CAMEROTA: In just hours, nearly three dozen of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers are expected to speak at a hearing in New York where a judge could formally dismiss sex trafficking charges. The financier died by suicide in jail before facing these charges in court.

Today, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and victims will have a chance to address the court.

BERMAN: I love this story. Thirty-five years after his last appearance on "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE," a classic cast member is coming back.


EDDIE MURPHY, COMEDIAN: There are lots of things you can sell on the streets. All you have to do is be an entrepreneur. That's our word for the day, boys and girls.


BERMAN: NBC has announced that Eddie Murphy will return to host "SNL's" Christmas episode. I hope he does the hot tub thing, right? It's the best.

This will be the first time hosting since Murphy left the show in 1984 --

CAMEROTA: What took so long?

BERMAN: -- when you were five years old.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

BERMAN: "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" has also revealed that Phoebe Waller- Bridge, the star and creator of Amazon's "FLEABAG," will host on October fifth with musical guest Taylor Swift. She's going to be something, I think.

CAMEROTA: She really is. She's really making an impression.

BERMAN: And actor David Harbour from "STRANGER THINGS" will host the following week with musical guest Camila Cabello.

Season 45 kicks off next month with actor Woody Harrelson and singer Billie Eilish.

CAMEROTA: That sounds like a great rundown.

BERMAN: And this Eddie Murphy thing is huge. I mean, there's been weird feelings back and forth for years.

CAMEROTA: It's huge. I remember there's been weird feelings. I just wonder what the detente is? I want to know what happened. What did Lorne Michaels do?

BERMAN: Hot tub.

CAMEROTA: Two words.

BERMAN: Hot tub.

CAMEROTA: OK, great.

Meanwhile, a teenager in Charlotte, North Carolina is using the hype over Popeyes new chicken sandwich to register voters.

Seventeen-year-old David Ledbetter is not old enough to vote, himself, but he believes everyone should get involved in local politics. So, when long lines for chicken sandwiches formed outside the local Popeyes, David started talking to customers about their duty to vote. He ended up getting about 16 people registered.

By the way, he, himself, is already pre-registered to vote when he turns 18.

That's great.

BERMAN: That is a good story.

CAMEROTA: What a fantastic man and what a great entrepreneur to figure out the need and go and seize on it.

BERMAN: All right.

President Trump wants the next G7 summit to take place at his struggling Miami golf resort, but there could be some problems with that, like a huge, giant ethical conflict of interest.

[07:40:01] Speaking of struggling, the president says just being president is costing him billions. Is that true?

A must-see reality check, next.


CAMEROTA: President Trump wants to hold next year's G7 summit at his Miami golf resort -- his financially-struggling golf resort.

BERMAN: But that does not mean it's not all about the money. Trump's got some eye-popping numbers on what the presidency is costing him.

John Avlon has our reality check -- John.


Look, there's an old Hollywood adage -- when they say it's not about the money, it's about the money. So keep that in mind when you hear President Trump say this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It'll cost me anywhere from $3 billion to $5 billion dollars to be president. And the only thing I care about is this country.

[07:45:00] I don't want to make money. I don't care about making money. If I wanted to make money I wouldn't worry about $3 billion to $5 billion.


AVLON: Well, that's mighty big of you, Mr. President, but so are those numbers -- implausibly big, in fact.

But these are the kind of stats Trump loves. They're huge in the absence of tax returns and virtually impossible to confirm.

But according to "Forbes," which tracks these kind of things, the president couldn't lose $5 billion because he was never worth that much. Now, "Forbes" does calculate that the president's net worth has decreased around $1 billion over the last few years but they attribute a lot of that drop to deeper reporting. In other words, journalists doing their jobs.

Now, all this is coming up again because President Trump sounded very much like a pitchman for his properties at the G7 while explaining why he apparently wants to host next year's event at his very own golf resort.


TRUMP: It's not about me, it's about getting the right location. Each country can have their own villa or their own bungalow.


AVLON: But wait, there's more. The president talked up Doral's proximity to the airport, its beautiful restaurants, ballrooms, and magnificent views.

Now, the president says this wasn't his idea -- no, no, no. This was the independent recommendation of the military and Secret Service who scanned our country from coast-to-coast and decided the very best place to hold the G7 was at the president's private golf resort in Miami in August.

No wonder Sen. Ron Wyden is calling it " of the egregious examples of corruption and self-dealing in a presidency replete with them."

Now, to point out the obvious, by holding the G7 at the Doral, the president will be forcing foreign leaders to spend their taxpayers' dollars at his resort and certainly, close to violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution which essentially forbids a president from taking money from foreign powers.

Now, the Trump administration has been battling back a series of lawsuits over the Emoluments Clause and successfully winning one case to date. And let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say they will return

all profits, after expenses, to the government. But, Trump can't give back the days of sold-out bookings for world leaders during what's normally Miami's slow season.

And there's no way to account for the brand benefit that the resort gets from being able to rent out, say, the Boris Johnson bungalow at much higher rates after the event is over.

The Doral could also apparently use the boost because despite Eric Trump saying that the business there is, quote, "on fire," according to "The Washington Post" it dropped some 70 percent recently.

For example, after his comments about Mexican immigrants, Cadillac, who had been sponsoring a major tournament there, pulled out and the tournament moved to Mexico, ironically.

That Trump slump may have been what prompted the resort to flirt with hosting a strip-club-sponsored golf tournament earlier this summer before cooler heads prevailed.

But now would be a good time for some of those cooler heads to suggest that hosting the G7 at the Doral is a terrible idea. There's an obvious better way.

After all, the last time the U.S. hosted the G8, President Obama held it at Camp David. It's secure, centrally located, and certainly available.

And that's your reality check.

BERMAN: Near an airport, also?

I do want to know one thing, John. It's hurricane season when the G7 comes to town, which may explain the whole nuclear weapon thing with the hurricanes. All of might be tied together.

AVLON: I like how you weaved that --


AVLON: -- all together there.

BERMAN: All connected.

CAMEROTA: Finally, an answer. Thank you very much, John.

All right, the first charges have now been filed in Florida after the deaths of 12 nursing home residents in the days after Hurricane Irma. The employees' attorney say they did everything they could to help at the time.

So we get a reaction from a man who lost both of his parents, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:52:20] CAMEROTA: Four former nursing home workers are facing charges in connection to the tragic deaths of 12 elderly patients after Hurricane Irma slammed into South Florida almost two years ago, knocking out power to three-quarters of the state.

It took three days to evacuate patients despite a lack of air conditioning and soaring temperatures, even though there was a fully- functioning hospital across the street.

So joining us now is Pedro Franco. His parents, Cecilia and Miguel Franco, both died in the days following the storm. And he is joined by his family's attorney, Albert Levin.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. Pedro, we're so sorry for the loss of your parents, Miguel and Cecilia.

Tell us your response when you heard the news yesterday that four of these nursing home administrators -- well, three nurses and an administration are being charged with aggravated manslaughter.

PEDRO FRANCO, BOTH PARENTS DIED IN FLORIDA NURSING HOME AFTER HURRICANE IRMA: Some sort of release, you know. I didn't expect that it would take this long but the result is what counts.

We were very pleased with the job that the Hollywood police did with the investigation and that's just step one. You know, now is --

CAMEROTA: What's the next step?

FRANCO: The next step is, you know, the process -- you know, the hearings and all that.


FRANCO: And we're hoping for the best that they get convicted --

CAMEROTA: What do you --

FRANCO: -- because the fact that --

CAMEROTA: What do you hope for the -- what is the right punishment for something like this because as you know, the administrators -- the nursing home administrators say that they tried. They say they tried to help your parents and the other victims. They say they --

FRANCO: No, they didn't.

CAMEROTA: I'll just tell you their argument. They say they made all the right calls. The tried to get the attention of Florida Power and Light. They even tried to get the attention of the governor to help them and they couldn't get help in those days following Hurricane Irma, they say.

FRANCO: Honestly, I don't think that it should have gone that far. This was 100 percent avoidable. All they needed to do is just call 911. This is people that have been trained to take care of cases like this.

They go through courses. You know, they're supposed to take care of the elderly and the sick people, not contribute to get them at the points that they were.


FRANCO: They should have known better. All they needed to do is just call 911.

[07:55:03] CAMEROTA: Mr. --

FRANCO: You know, express what was going on.


Mr. Levin, I want to just go through what happened to see if there was -- if this was unavoidable, as Pedro just said.

The nursing home lost power at 3:00 p.m. on September 10th, 2017 as Irma was hitting. Forty-nine minutes later, administrators contacted Florida Power and Light on an emergency request to restore power.

Florida Power and Light didn't respond that day. They didn't respond the next day. They said that the nursing home was not high on their priority list for whatever reason -- Florida Power and Light said.

The administrators then called a cell phone for Gov. Rick Scott -- that they happened to have the number -- and it went to voicemail.

So their argument is that they were trying to make these phone calls. Why, legally, do you say this was all avoidable?

ALBERT LEVIN, ATTORNEY FOR THE FAMILY OF MIGUEL AND CECILIA FRANCO: Well, their actions totally defy common sense. I mean, anybody in their right mind knows, as Domino's used to say, "One call does it all" -- 911. They never called 911.

They relied upon FP&L's representations and that's where FP&L dropped the ball that they were going to come and fix the problem. They never showed up either.

They had a hospital literally 100 yards across a parking lot.

As these people went into distress over day one, day two as the temperatures dropped, they did nothing. They didn't call 911 until day three when they saw that they had a problem.

And with regard to these criminal charges, I believe one of the charges is going to be evidence tampering. And what that shows is that somebody -- if, in fact, credited -- if, in fact, these allegations are true -- somebody, in fact, changed vital hospital records to show that their temperatures were a certain degree that they were not and they were false and they were misrepresentations.

They falsified these documents and what that shows is a consciousness of guilt, and that's a real problem.

CAMEROTA: Pedro, your dad, Miguel, was 93 years old. Your mom, Cecilia, was 90. We've been looking at pictures -- and we'll put some more up on the screen of them with your siblings -- and just, you know, obviously, before they were in the nursing home, how happy, how vibrant, how healthy they look there.

And so, for your loss, what do you want to see happen to these four people who have been charged? What is the right punishment for a crime like this?

FRANCO: Basically, what we're claiming for is justice. Whatever the maximum term will be in cases like this, then for them to get the maximum.

I don't know exactly what will be the right punishment. I would think that spending some time in jail -- I don't know how many years -- 10, 15 years, perhaps -- 30 years. Whatever is the maximum in cases like this, that's what we're expecting and I think that's the right thing to do, you now.

No considerations -- they never had consideration for all the people that died even though they say they did. But they didn't because with just one simple phone call that would take care of everything and none of this would have happened.

CAMEROTA: Well, Albert Levin, Pedro Franco, thank you very much for sharing the personal story of your family and your parents. And, obviously, we'll be watching this case. Thank you both, gentlemen.

FRANCO: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM WITH MAX FOSTER" is next. For our U.S. viewers, all eyes on Tropical Storm Dorian. NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Residents in Puerto Rico bracing for impact as Tropical Storm Dorian churns closer and closer by the hour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When a storm comes, we are worried about what is going to become after.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole island will be traumatized. You have to take that into consideration.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A country that elects Donald Trump is a country in serious trouble.

CAMEROTA: A new poll shows a tightening race for the top three Democrats.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will create an economy and a government that work for all of us.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's always tough when someone else is feeling the pain, but we're going to make him feel the pain.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: All right, good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is a beautiful day here --


CAMEROTA: -- in New York. It is, of course, Tuesday, August 27th, 8:00 in the East.

But we do begin with breaking weather news in the tropics that could affect millions of Americans. The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch for Puerto Rico and parts of the Dominican Republic as this storm gains strength.

So these are live pictures we're about to show you.