Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Trump Leaving New York, Making Florida Primary Residence; New York Governor Says Ongoing Investigations Motivated Trump's Florida Move; Obama Calls Out "Woke" Culture, Says It's Not Real Activism; Military Members Trek 365 Miles to Remember Fallen. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 01, 2019 - 15:30   ET




ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: President Trump is in so many ways synonymous with New York. It's where he made his mark. It's where he made his money as a real estate developer. The President though, he's done with the empire state. In a series of tweets the President says he's now declaring himself a Florida resident.

Mr. Trump and the first lady changing their permanent residence to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. The President says he's leaving because, quote, he's been treated very badly by the politicians in New York.

It's also worth pointing out Florida may be more favorable financially. The state has no state income tax. In the last hour New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told me he believes the move is the President's way to trying to avoid the release of his tax returns.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D- NY): I don't think this is about taxes. I think this is a legal maneuver, Erica. You know, he's being sued by the Manhattan District Attorney in New York for release of his taxes. Which he doesn't want to do, obviously. And I think he -- this is a desperate legal tactic whereby they're going to argue, well, we're not New York residents anymore. We're Florida residents. So New York doesn't have a right to the tax returns.


HILL: Mark Klein is a tax attorney in New York. Mark, good to have you with us today. So give me a sense. Is this part of a larger trend that you're seeing? Because the Governor also alluded to that when I was speaking with him. That more and more New Yorkers are leaving. He says part of that in the last couple years of course is due to the tax plan of 2017.

MARK KLEIN, NEW YORK TAX ATTORNEY: Yes, I think that's right, Erica. The tax plan of 2017 eliminated the state and local tax deduction in excess of $10,000 and most people pay a lot more than that. And as a result I've seen a tremendous influx in clients especially in the New York City area who are going to states like Texas, Nevada, Florida, low or no-tax states.


It's not only for income tax there's an estate tax in New York too which is 16 percent. Other states don't even have one. So there are some real tax benefits to it.

HILL: So what about Florida specifically? Makes it more attractive than New York? You mentioned the income --

KLEIN: Yes, I think Florida has great homestead rules. So if you're a Floridian and you are sued -- which, again, not hypothetically here -- you can never lose your home, your estate. All of the land around your estate. So that has some real benefits for people, too. But I've got to tell you, one of the issues that the Governor mentioned about filing tax returns and Mr. Trump not wanting to file in New York. I find it hard to believe that as a Floridian he still wouldn't be required to file.

Because if he owns any interest in any entity that owns real estate in New York he'll still has to file. If he works one day in New York, you know, he comes to the U.N. for a speech in September as he does every year, he'll have to file and pay New York taxes. I'm not sure that whatever he does in Florida will extricate him from the filing requirement in New York.

HILL: Which is fascinating. Also if we talk about, so let's say the President does move. Right? But he still has real estate holdings in New York state. Wouldn't that come into play?

KLEIN: Exactly.

HILL: I mean he would still have to pay those taxes and be responsible for that as well?

KLEIN: Absolutely. Yes, we tax people, even we tax non-residents if they earn income in New York and one of the ways of earning income is through real estate. So even though he's a Floridian, assuming he would absolutely have to file New York returns to reflect all of his New York state real estate holdings.

HILL: And there's also, you know, as I understand it, there's an audit process. Not, correct me if I'm wrong here, this is not like the IRS doing an audit, but there is an audit process for people who are moving or who maybe did live in New York state still own property there but now are changing their state of residence. What does that entail?

KLEIN: Sure. Yes, generally, and the problem within New York like most states is you're guilty until you prove yourself innocent. So once you take the position you become a Floridian, New York and generally people of means will do an audit. I think the odds of Mr. Trump's return being audited are approximately 100 percent. So New York will ask questions like --

HILL: Give or take. KLEIN: -- yes, give or take -- what did you do to change your

residence, New York will want to know. New York auditors are used to seeing people put things in a moving van. I mean Mr. Trump obviously has the resources to have TV sets and sofas in more than one location. But they're going to look to see how has he changed his residence. And I think, Erica, the verb "change" is critical here block foolish to look. What has changed?

You know, last year when Mr. Trump was a New Yorker, he spent time in New York, he spent time in Westminster in New Jersey, he spent time in Florida. He spends lots of time in Washington. Now that he's a Floridian what's changed? Because he's taking the position, he's changed his residency. Help understand the change.

HILL: Well, we'll look for it. Mark Klein, appreciate you shedding some light on this and the whole process. Thank you.

KLEIN: My pleasure. Thanks.

HILL: Up next, former President Obama sparking a heated debate after saying that being woke isn't enough for today's politics. We discuss how his comments are putting the Democratic divide on display.



HILL: President Obama getting both praise and backlash this week after a speech at his Obama Foundation Summit. Where he admonished those who are quick to judge in the name of being woke but not have the gumption to actually make tangible change. Saying people should first ask themselves, am I a part of the solution or a part of the problem?


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly. The world -- the world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. There is this sense sometimes of, the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people. And that's enough.

Like, if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn't doing something right or used the word, wrong verb or then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself. Cause, man, you see how awoke I was? I called you out. That's not activism. That's not bringing about change. You know, if all you're doing is casting stones, you know, you're probably not going to get that far.


HILL: Bill Scher is contributing editor at "Politico" and a contributor at "Real Clear Politics" and CNN political analyst, Astead Herndon, is a national political reporter with the "New York Times." Good to have both of you with us. So as we point out, you know, there was definitely mixed reaction

here. Some people calling the former President, grandpa, for those comments while others and we should say bipartisan support here really felt that he was right about the dangers of this social media echo chamber. That being woke is simply one step, it's not the final answer.

Astead, how do you think this is being received? What did you make of those comments?


ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's important to point out that it is bipartisan support. Because I don't think the divide on this question is necessarily one about right or left. But more so establishment, anti-establishment, insider, outsider, a generational divide. We have seen the generation of Barack Obama, the one that is used the more form of insider form of political change, critique young people for saying that this form of social activism is performative, is more vapid and is not how change happens. But that's not the young people's point. They think that they are pushing and changing norms on the basis of progress.

They look to social movements like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, March for Our Lives which has started out certainly as hashtags but led to real world activism. They're just not taking those same steps that maybe traditional political change has happened. So that's the kind of shift. It's not one of right or left but one of do you trust the systems that worked previously or do you not?

HILL: It's generational to your point. You know, Obama also saying that the value of these social movements and activism in his view is to really get in the room. Bill to get yourself a seat at the table and then be part of the discussion and try to bring about change in that way. That, too, is a little bit of a different take generationally.

HERNDON: Exactly. The goal of a lot of these activists is not to get in the room.

HILL: Yes, but is that where they want to be. Bill, as you look at this, what is this saying, too, about where we're headed as a culture? Because you do have these young people and specifically if you look at progressives in the Democratic Party who do, sometimes feels like their may be an unofficial test. Is that the case or it just that they do things differently because they're part of a different generation -- Bill?

BILL SCHER, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, POLITICO: Well, I think a lot of young generations look at politics differently than folks who have experience or have been in the crucible like Obama has. And I think this not the first time Obama has indicated -- I'm somebody who came out of the progressive movement to become part of the establishment and become president. I have taken it this far and I have a model of success you should emulate and he's seeing the current progressive movement not emulate it. And that's why you get these lectures from him saying, I think the

subtext is, I won the presidency twice, with popular vote majorities, I got a lot of things passed. They got passed in almost every instance with some Republican votes because I looked past the cultural divide, and the political divide, and found what that common ground is, and he's trying to encourage folks to follow his path and he's I think often seeing a lot of younger folks in the activist space aren't doing that.

HILL: Astead, I mean among the candidates as we're looking at specifically Democratic candidates, are you noticing a difference in the language and in the approach that some of the candidates are taking at all that reflect they're maybe listening to some of their younger constituents and younger lawmakers?

HERNDON: Certainly, what President Obama describes is call out culture or cancel culture, can also described as not, as not a big structural change, as Elizabeth Warren calls it, or not satisfied with kind of horse trading of the past. Oh, you see presidential campaigns specifically the ones of Sanders and Warren talk about movement building that's not reliant on specifically coming to the middle or necessarily compromising your values and the kind of traditional come back to the center for the general election.

They think that the authenticity of being morally clear is what brings people to their movement. And you have had some progressives criticize the Obama administration for being a little too willing to compromise. So you do see a little bit of those divides happening on the 2020 trail.

HILL: Bill, where do you think President Trump fits into this conversation?

SCHER: Well, I think to a younger group of folks on the left, Trump is the proof that the Obama way didn't work. And therefore, we don't want to emulate what he did. If we didn't leave a lasting progressive legacy, what's the point? I think from the Obama perspective, the fact you had eight years of progressive legislation at all is not something that happens every day. And you don't want to go down into the abyss of polarization where you're only speaking to your base and not reaching out at all because there's not a lot of evidence in American political history that that is the way change does happen.

HILL: Astead Herndon, Bill Scher, appreciate the discussion, thank you both.

HERNDON: Thank you.

SCHER: Thank you.

HILL: Minutes from now President Trump leaves the White House for a rally in Mississippi. This as his campaign claims the impeachment vote led to a very big fundraising day for him.

But first, time for CNN Heroes. This year's top ten finalists just announced and one of them is Roger Montoya, his New Mexico community has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic. He though is stepping in to give thousands of young people a safe haven.



ROGER MONTOYA, FOUNDER, MOVING ARTS ESPANOLA: Many of our kids come to us traumatized. We create a healthy environment where young people can discover themselves and a way to contribute.

Long neck, just find the length.

When I see a child's face and spirit come to life, I don't need anymore evidence. I know that that kind of joy is what will save them.


HILL: You can logon to right now to learn more about Roger and also to vote for your favorite CNN Hero.



HILL: Just in, the Israeli military says it intercepted seven rockets fired from Gaza moments ago. This would mark the second straight night of fire. We're told the rockets were intercepted by Israel's iron dome defense system. We will continue to bring you updates as we get them.

Seven states, six days and an emotional trek from Arlington National Cemetery all the way to New England in honor of the fallen and the families they left behind. Members of the military, soldiers based at Fort Bragg beginning the 365-mile ruck march, I'm told they ran most of it on Saturday and they're now winding down in Connecticut where tomorrow they will actually finish with a 5-k.

The trek is called Ruck to Remember. The men who came up with the idea join me now. Bob Keiser started a charity to help returning vets after his son, Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel known as PK was killed in Afghanistan.

Army Chief Warrant Officer William Reese who knew PK took part in that 365-mile trek. And, Will, really, this was your idea. You wanted to do something bigger this year. You wanted to involve Gold Star families. You wanted to remind people not only of the lives lost but of those who continue to celebrate everything that those lives brought to them. Why this trek?

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER WILLIAM REESE, WALKING 365 MILES FROM ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY TO CONNECTICUT: Yes. Yes, ma'am, absolutely. So Bob and Brian Donahue flew down to my house and we had spoken about doing a 5-k on Fort Bragg and sort of like a shadow race for the APK 5-k up here. And I asked him what his intent was and he said, hey, I want to grow the knowledge and our charity so we could touch more people. And I smiled and I said OK, well, if that's the case we're going to have to do something really big. Which I would say over chips and salsa and lunch, we white boarded some ideas and came up with a ruff march that encompasses 365 miles, six days, seven states and that was the intent, was to touch -- like reach down into the communities, walking through the different neighbors, different demographics, utilizing local and state law enforcements, even the DEA at some points.

So just touching as many people as we could to make them aware that we have not forgotten our fallen, but also integrating the Gold Star families. This is a -- the Ruck to Remember is a platform utilized to allow Gold Star families or to provide Gold Star families active duty and vets a platform which they can memorialize their fallen heroes. And so we've had somebody recently say to me, hey, well what about -- go ahead.

HILL: I was going to say and that's obviously that's where Bob, where you come in. After losing your son in Afghanistan in 2013 you started this charity. APK charities in part to honor him also to help others. This has been a really momentous year for you. Just if you could put into words for us, what this ruck means for you and the support that you see of people turning out each year to support the charity and to remember PK?

BOB KEISER, FATHER OF FALLEN SPECIAL FORCES CAPTAIN ANDREW PEDERSEN- KEEL: Well, what is most important is that we keep the names alive and we continue to honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice. Whether it is here in Connecticut, there are 65 fallen heroes since 9/11 here in Connecticut. There are 28 or so out of Third Group out of Fort Bragg. The whole concept here is to continue to keep their name alive. The saying that a soldier dies twice, once on the battlefield and secondly when their name is no longer spoken. Well, we don't want that to happen. These folks gave their lives and we will always keep their names alive and in our memory.

HILL: And it is so important to do so and you're doing this obviously as we mentioned through APK Charities. You have another 5-k tomorrow.

KEISER: Right, absolutely:

HILL: But just seeing the dedication from -- go ahead.

KEISER: No, just it is just a short 5-k. It is like 3.1 miles which for Will and his folks is nothing really. But for the community here, here in Connecticut, to raise the awareness that this has happened to many soldiers and their families. And that we are still at war. We have folks all over the world serving our nation.

HILL: And we were reminded that of course again this week with what we learned with the killing of al-Baghdadi.