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House Will Recess Today With No Debt Limit Deal; Wagner Chief Says He Handed Over Body Of American Killed In Bakhmut; Tina Turner, The "Queen Of Rock And Roll," Dies At 83. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired May 25, 2023 - 11:30   ET



REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): American, Republican, or Democrat alike can agree with. And we've got to move forward. Both sides Republicans and Democrats alike have created this problem, this $32 trillion of debt. Both sides need to sit down and negotiate a fix for this.

And there's no reason to default. That's just a scare tactic. That's not what's happening here.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Considering where this started, I mean we have -- you know that the Republicans started on this, but considering where they started with the president -- with President Biden saying that he would not negotiate -- they would not negotiate any spending cuts, I am wondering how you view it is, is any cut, any clawback of COVID funding, any spending cap that's put in place at the end of this, is that a win for Republicans?

MACE: Well, I believe that most Republicans, like most Americans, they want to see spending cuts. If we could -- if we could freeze spending levels to 2022, like the original proposal, then that's something I believe the vast majority of Americans can get on board with. But at some point, we have to say do we want to run off the edge of this cliff at 80 miles per hour or 75 miles per hour?

We have to have responsible measures in place that hold both sides accountable when they spend too much. This is one way to do that -- to rein in out-of-control spending that was started by Democrats and Republicans alike pointing fingers across the aisle today, like Hakeem Jeffries just did, doesn't win anything for the American people.

We ought to be talking. Everybody on both sides should be sitting down. I have full faith, and Kevin McCarthy is our leader to negotiate a deal with the president. And I feel positive about what he's doing right now and have full faith in his ability to negotiate.

BOLDUAN: Fitch, one of the top credit rating agencies just put the U.S. on a watch for a potential downgrade over the uncertainty that in kind of as you're describing it as heading off the cliff here. I'm curious, are you concerned at all that if this happens, if the -- if we run past the extent, if Fitch would downgrade the U.S. credit rating, that Republicans will face blame or backlash? And I'm not saying only Republicans, but that Republicans will face backlash since it is true that Republicans have supported clean debt ceiling increases in the very recent past.

MACE: Right. I'm not going to -- I'm not going to disagree with you there but it sometimes seems like Republicans only care about spending when Democrats are in charge. You know, Republicans have added a lot of money to that $32 trillion of debt, so they're not innocent in this thing. But at some point, we have to say, we have to -- we have to hit pause.

And there's no reason to default. There's no reason to lose our credit rating. If the date comes and goes off June first, what that means is we need to prioritize our spending.

And guess what, in terms of tax revenues, we get 11 times the amount needed to pay the interest on the debt. So we'd pay that first and then pay other bills second, third, and fourth, and on down the line. It just means we reprioritize how we pay America's bills until we negotiate a deal. And that's finalized.

BOLDUAN: Real quick on that. That -- some Republicans say they don't believe Janet Yellen, essentially, and don't trust it. They think -- they're almost describing as like she's trying to scare folks with this -- with the June first date. Do you believe the warning about June first? Do you -- I mean, are you OK running past it?

MACE: Well, originally, the date was July then it was moved up to June 1. I -- we're all keeping a keen eye on Janet Yellen to see if she pushes the goalposts back. And if she does, that will say a lot about her position.

BOLDUAN: I think part of it -- and we'll move on but I think part of it was she says less money was coming in is that's kind of what led to the date being changed. But before I let you go, I do want to ask you about something that's just happened and has been ongoing in South Carolina. The governor of your state just signed just moments ago today into law a six-week abortion ban. I think we're showing folks live some pictures of that signing that happened with the governor there.

This has been a long fight in the state legislature we've covered closely. A bipartisan group of women senators even standing up to fight against the six-week ban, but the governor is signing it. As a Republican yourself who has stood up against the restrictions that we're seeing like this, what is your reaction? What should people think about your state today?

MACE: As a survivor of rape, as a rape victim, I can't tell you how disappointed I am to see South Carolina and other states like Florida and elsewhere. In North Carolina where they're mandating that miscarriages are reported. In South Carolina with this bill, I support the exceptions for rape and incest but I do not support the requirement where rapes are reported to DHEC to a state agency.

Look, our government can keep your social security number, private -- that data private, how are they going to keep women's health care? How are they not going to violate HIPAA and keep that information private? That is a private decision for women and it's -- the government shouldn't have that information.

It shouldn't be reported to the government. And as a rape victim. I can't even imagine if my name and information was in a database like that, I don't know what I would do. I would be beside myself.


And we need to show as -- conservatives because I'm a pro-life Republican, show that we are pro-women and pro-life. And that means not requiring draconian reporting requirements for women and girls who are victims of rape, victims of incest, or have had miscarriages or a fetal -- a fatal fetal abnormality. That's none of the government's. They don't need to know that information. It's none of their business.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, thank you so much for coming on. I think on both sides. I really appreciate your time.

MACE: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Rahel?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And here in New York, a judge has set a trial date for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. He is accused of defrauding donors who thought they were paying to help build a border wall. Prosecutors in New York say that the fundraising campaign raised about $25 million.

CNN's Kara Scannell has more on today's hearing. So, Kara, what's the latest on this?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rahel, mark your calendars, May 27 of next year is the trial date for Steve Bannon. It will take place in the courthouse just behind me. Now, this will be two months after former President Donald Trump will go on trial before the same judge in the same courthouse on that different case related to the hush money payments.

I -- you know, Bannon, of course, was an aide to Trump and one of his campaign advisors through the 2016 campaign. You know, Bannon here you know, is on trial for charges relating to this border wall fundraising scheme. They had -- he and his co-conspirators allegedly had gotten donors to donate to this campaign called We Build the Wall. The idea was to direct the money to construct a wall along the southern U.S. border.

But prosecutors allege that Bannon and others diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars of those millions of dollars that they raised and line their own pockets with that money. Now, Bannon has pleaded not guilty to the six counts he's been charged with. Those include money laundering, a scheme to the fraud, and conspiracy.

You know, he will only come back in court back in early May where the judge will have a motions hearing ahead of the trial that started. Of course, you know, Trump and Bannon's relationship has been close when Bannon was first charged on the federal charges in this case. In Trump's last days in office, he pardoned Bannon. And when Bannon was leaving the courthouse today, he was asked who he would endorse in this coming presidential election. And he said I've already endorsed President Trump, Rahel.

SOLOMON: Kara Scannell, thank you. John?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, the head of the pro-Russian Wagner mercenary group tells CNN that he has handled the body of an American killed fighting in Ukraine. CNN trying to confirm the details. He handed over the body, I should have said.

Hundreds evacuated as a huge fire rages in one of the world's most beautiful cities.



SOLOMON: Hundreds of people evacuated and more than one hundred firefighters calls to the scene as a massive blaze broke out and a seven-story building. This is all happening in central Sydney. Emergency teams say they're not sure what caused the fire. Officials say that the building started to collapse so that even neighboring buildings needed to be evacuated. They believe the fire is mostly contained at this point but clearly, a lot of work and repair is now ahead.

Three people are dead including two police officers after a shooting and stabbing attack in central Japan. A Nakano City police say that the suspect is still barricaded in a building. Now, police say they're investigating reports of a gunshot-like sound near the scene of the shooting incident just hours after the attack, John.

BERMAN: All right, this just in. The leader of the Russian-backed Wagner group claims that he has handed over the body of a retired American soldier who was killed fighting for Ukraine in Bakhmut. Retired Army Staff Sergeant Nicholas Maimer was killed in battle just more than a week ago. The Wagner group released a video which it says is of the exchange, but CNN has yet to independently verify many of the details surrounding the death. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen joins us now from Kyiv. Fred, what are you learning about this?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And Yevgeny Prigozhin, John, was actually responding to a question from CNN on one of his social media channels where our folks asked him look, have you handed over the body of Staff Sergeant -- retired Staff Sergeant Nicholas Maimer as you had promised to do? And in response to that, Prigozhin said on his Telegram channel that yes, as of 15:00 so 3:00 p.m. as he put it. The body of American Nicholas Maimer has been handed over to the Ukrainian side. Obviously, that's how these exchanges take place.

There's some video of the exchange. There was also a video that was put out of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner private military company in front of two coffins. One of them draped with an American flag and another one draped with a Turkish flag. And in that video, Prigozhin says that Nicolas Maimer was killed in Bakhmut, as he put it in a place called the nest. That was one of the sorts of last contested areas in Bakhmut in the western segments of Bakhmut.

Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that he was killed during a battle. However, we do know of course, that Nicholas Maimer who was a 20-year veteran, he served for 20 years, at the -- at the point in time that he was killed, he was working for an organization called AFGFree, which is a nonprofit that was actually helping in the Bakhmut area. And from what we had heard from the Ukrainian side, he was killed during a heavy artillery barrage when he was taking cover inside a building. That building was decimated by that artillery attack.

Some of the folks who were inside that building managed to get out. He, unfortunately, did not manage to get out and was killed. Wagner then later identified him as an American. And apparently, now, both the Ukrainians and also Wagner have confirmed that his body has now been handed over back to the Ukrainians, John.


BERMAN: All right, Frederik Pleitgen for us in Kyiv. I know, Fred, you're trying to verify more of those details. Let us know what you hear. Thank you very much. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. She was the queen of rock and roll, and her strength and story of survival inspired millions. What made Tina Turner so great? That's next. But first, here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with this week's "CHASING LIFE."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta, host of CNN's "CHASING LIFE" podcast. Some good news. You don't really need to get to the gym to get a good workout. In fact, as the weather gets warmer and nicer, it'd be time to start thinking about parks or even your own backyard as your personal gym.

For example, simple gardening can engage all the major muscle groups while also improving mobility and endurance. Not to mention, it can burn hundreds of calories per hour, while also being one of the physical activities in which you are least likely to get injured. Additionally, it simply gets you outside, which comes with its own health benefits. Spending just two hours a week outdoors can help boost your endorphins, lower your stress, and make you happier.

Even better, you could try joining a community garden where you reap all the benefits of a workout and being outdoors while also having social interaction. This can be especially helpful for older people who might be somewhat isolated. And you can hear more about how to optimize your health and chase life wherever you get your podcasts.



SOLOMON: Welcome back. This morning, fans around the world are paying tribute to Tina Turner, the superstar whose electrifying shows made her one of the most iconic performers of her generation. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


SOLOMON: And joining us now to discuss it all is Mark Goodman, host on SiriusXM's 80s on 8 channel, and one of MTVs original VJs. Mark, you must have so many stories. I know you actually interviewed Tina, I believe it was twice. Tell us about some of those interactions.

MARK GOODMAN, HOST, SIRIUSXM'S 80'S ON 8 CHANNEL: I was lucky enough to get to talk to Tina just as a private dancer was coming out. It was right at the beginning of the song. The first song was starting to take off. And she was just full of hope, full of promise. She knew how hard she had worked. She knew she was on the precipice of something. And it was -- she was so, so excited.

SOLOMON: I want to play a clip for you and then discuss it on the other end. This is a rendition of Proud Mary in 1974 on the Midnight Special. Let's take a listen.



SOLOMON: It's like you almost want to do the dance, but I won't do the dance. But let me ask what made this song so iconic for fans.

GOODMAN: Well, it was a gutsy move for her. She had to convince Ike to even do that cover. He didn't really want to incorporate rock and roll into the -- I continue to turn a review. But Sheet and John Fogerty loves that cover.

I mean, I'm sure that everybody was doing what we were both doing as we watched that piece, which was grinning from ear to ear. Just electrifying. No one tops that woman on stage.

SOLOMON: And, Mark, when I think about Tina Turner being as a young woman watching her, I feel like she always represented strength. But I feel like you could also see that warmth. What was she like as a person from what you could tell?

GOODMAN: I spent a fair amount -- we weren't like best friends, but I spent a fair amount of time with her over the years and we talked quite a bit about her Buddhist faith. She kind of reiterated a chant that I had known about when I was in high school, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, a big, big part of what got her through those early days. She prayed every day.

To tell you what kind of a woman she was. She was always incredibly -- wonderful to me. Humble, warm, funny. But the best -- and Martha Quinn, my fellow former MTV VJ, reminded me about something last night, and that was Martha and Tina were talking at one point.


And she commented -- Martha commented to Tina how much she loved the dress that she was wearing in the private dancer album -- in the private dancer video. A week later, a box came to Martha's dressing room. When they open the box up, Tina had sent her the dress.

SOLOMON: Wow. What a class act. And, Mark, let me -- before I let you go really quickly, I want to ask just, you know the tributes really pouring in from far and wide.

GOODMAN: There really isn't anyone in music who she hasn't touched. And each with the -- their own sorts of stories, whether it's just us as fans who were electrified by her performances on stage also, there's -- there are those who she has influenced and who she has helped.

Obviously, everyone is talking about her being a survivor of an abusive marriage. She cut the path not only for women like that, get out of a relationship like that, but also for women in general. Taylor Swift, I'm sure looked at Tina Turner and said, wow, if that woman can do that, I want to do that.

SOLOMON: Yes. And Beyonce has been very vocal about her influence. Mark, thank you. Mark Goodman.

GOODMAN: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: So cool -- so cool.


BERMAN: I'm going to watch these clips forever.

BOLDUAN: I know. Exactly right. Thanks so --

SOLOMON: But don't dance.

BOLDUAN: No, you got -- no, you want to see it, actually.

BERMAN: No one can dance like that.

BOLDUAN: No, you want to see. Thanks for joining us, everybody. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL. "INSIGHT POLITICS" is up next.