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Peter Meijer is Interviewed about Political Issues; Innovative Procedure Saves Lung Transplant Patient; Ivanka Trump to Testify in Trial. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 08, 2023 - 08:30   ET



FMR. REP. PETER MEIJER (R-MI), MICHIGAN SENATE CANDIDATE: The challenge is nothing in this world is going to be black and white. We live in fields where it is shades of gray. And when we have to go to our polls, I think nobody wants to be in a box where they have to focus on either, hey, if you like this guy, you can't say a thing against him, and if you hate this guy you can't give credit where credit is due. That's just not reality. That's not where the American people are.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: So - so, Congressman, you called the couple of days leading up to that impeachment vote against Trump, that cost you your seat, quote, "The worst 96 hours of your life." Do you regret that vote? Do you regret voting to impeach Trump?



MEIJER: I regret that we had to have that vote. I regret that January 6th happened in the first place. It was a dark and disgraceful day. And I'll be honest, I mean, going into the 2024 cycle, this is not an easy decision. This is not, you know, something that I am excited to step into. I mean I'm terrified, I'm nervous, I'm torn.

But, at the end of the day, you need folks who are willing to be honest and truthful with where they are. I want to show folks the fact that I am - I'm trying to grapple with the same challenges that they are.

But, at the same time, we need to not just get caught up in a moment that is dark and depressing because if you turn inwards, if you're consumed with naval gazing, we're not going to be leading this country forward and we're just going to continue this trend we have to get out of -- of just lunging from crisis to crisis.

HARLOW: You mentioned your service and you did serve this country in Iraq. And thank you for that. You also went to Afghanistan around the time of the Biden administration withdrawal.

In an interview this week, you said, "There is no parallel between the deliberate killings of Israeli civilians by Hamas and the civilian casualties in Gaza from the Israeli airstrikes." Do you have any concerns, though, Congressman, about the way that Israel has been carrying out this campaign?

MEIJER: I mean certainly you should attempt to minimize civilian fatalities in a conflict as much as possible. And before I went to Afghanistan, during that withdrawal, I spent close to two years there as a humanitarian aid worker. So, I'm very familiar with the consequences of airstrikes and collateral damage and civilian fatalities.

The harsh reality right now, in an urban conflict environment like the Israelis are facing in Gaza, that is a challenging thing to do and they have to weigh that calculus of how much they put their own ground forces at risk and what acceptable civilian fatalities are.

HARLOW: Are these numbers acceptable?

MEIJER: I will say, it's come as a striking hypocrisy -- I mean, I don't think any life loss should be considered acceptable. I mean this is a reality of conflict, all right. I mean we have a Geneva Convention, we have a law of armed conflict, we have established ways of trying to get at what is, you know, considered a war crime and what is just the inevitable tragedy of violence.

But, I mean, the reality here is that the Israelis are defending themselves against the most barbaric onslaught - I mean, frankly, in modern history, only exceeded by ISIS attacks, right, and 9/11.


MEIJER: I think it's important that we remember that. I mean we're one month out from that horrific October 7th surprise attack.

HARLOW: Yes, it's important to point out.

Let me ask you, finally, about the vote in the House, with 22 Democrats supporting it, to censure Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from your state of Michigan, over her comments on Israel, specifically the phrase, "from the river to the sea," and also her denying the intelligence about who bombed, you know, the hospital in Gaza. She is also the first Palestinian American to serve in Congress. And I wonder if you agree with that censure.

MEIJER: I mean I'm very sympathetic to the position that Rashida is in, and with her family ties. At the same time, she has been sharing information that is, you know, frankly inaccurate, that is misleading, and that has led to a lot -- that has - you know, propagating information that has led to, you know, violent protests and riots and attacks and heightened the sense of just pervasive anti-Semitism we're seeing, which should be condemned in any form.

So, while I'm sympathetic to, you know, her individual position, I do not think you can accept folks who refuse to correct their record, who continue to spout mistruths, especially when that costs folks their lives.

HARLOW: Congressman Peter Meijer, thank you for joining us as you jump into this race. Come back soon.

MEIJER: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thanks.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, moments ago, pandas from the National Zoo were carried out and will soon be on their flight pack to China. What their departure means for the future of pandas in America's zoos and maybe diplomacy ahead.

HARLOW: And doctors in Illinois performing an unprecedented procedure for a man needing a double lung transplant. What they used to keep him alive. Dr. Sanjay Gupta here to explain all of it.



HARLOW: Let's get to "5 Things" to know for your day.

Five Republican presidential hopefuls will be on stage tonight in Miami for the third presidential debate. Frontrunner Donald Trump will be a no show again.

MATTINGLY: And, overnight, the Israel Defense Forces opened an evacuation corridor for Palestinians in northern Gaza to move south. An IDF spokesperson said, quote, "the northern Gaza Strip area is considered to be a fierce battlefield and time to evacuate it is running out."

HARLOW: Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville signaling a willingness to abandon his one-man blockade on military nominations. The Republican says he's hoping to speak to the Pentagon in the coming days in hopes of reaching a compromise on its abortion travel policy. Tuberville has managed to singlehandedly hold up more than 400 nominations.

MATTINGLY: And remembering JFK. The Army special forces, along with the Kennedy family, will honor the late president, John F. Kennedy, during a wreath laying ceremony today at his grave in Arlington National Cemetery. November 22nd marks 60 years since he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

HARLOW: And the pandas at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on the move, literally, going back to China. For the better part of 50 years, China has loaned the pandas to the United States. The future of that program, though, unclear.

That's "5 Things" to know this morning. Don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast every day.

MATTINGLY: Well, a 34-year-old man with a history of smoking and vaping ended up needing a doubling lung transplant after he caught the flu.

Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us with more on the remarkable surgery that saved the man's life.

Sanjay, I think I re-read this about six or seven times to make sure it was real. What happened here?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Yes, the marvels of modern medicine.


I mean -- so the gentleman you're talking about, his name is Davey Bauer, 34 years old. A pretty healthy guy. A skateboarder, snowboarder. When he was 21, he started smoking. A few years after that, he switched to vaping. And then in April of this year he got the flu and he developed a significant infection in his lungs. It was so significant that antibiotics could not treat it.

So, the picture was that he - and you can see the lungs there. On the left side of your screen are the normal lungs and the infected lungs are on the right side of the screen. They're sort of whited out. That's what you look for in a chest x-ray to see how much impact there is on the lungs.

Here is the problem. He needed a transplant. But because of the infection in his lungs, he couldn't get one. So, what the doctors at Northwestern decided to do, and I'm going to show you some of this video, it's a little bit graphic, but I just want to show this to you. What they needed to do was remove those infected lungs, OK? They were no longer working. They were just a source of infection for his body, prohibiting him from getting a transplant. They created an artificial lung to continue to oxygenate his body.

But there was another problem. Without the lungs, his heart was essentially flopping around in his chest. So, they needed to sort of stabilize his heart within his chest. And the way that they did that, and this has never been done before, was they used breast implants, OK. They're malleable. You can put them inside the chest. And they essentially used those breast implants to hold his heart in place, if you will.

What I'm describing again had not - had never been done before. That allowed - now, this all allowed his body to heal, to clear the infection, and then sometime after that he had his lung transplant and he's doing well. So, I've just described a medical first based on a lot of different things coming together.

HARLOW: Yes, that is so great that it was successful for him and hopefully for people in the future.


HARLOW: You said vaping, too. Not just smoking, but vaping.


HARLOW: Any sense of a role that vaping could have played in him needing a double lung transplant? GUPTA: Yes. Well, you know, the doctors talked a lot about this. I

think, you know, first of all, even when it came to smoking, Poppy, it took a long time to really develop the cause and effect relationship between smoking and harm. And I think we're sort of in that phase now with regard to vaping.

There's still a lot that we don't know. It can helps some people come off of cigarettes, but it can cause inflammation to the lungs. And this is what the doctors really zeroed in on. The vaping causing the inflammation to the lungs. Him then getting the flu, becoming even more compromised, and then developing a bacterial infection, which - which was not, you know, treatable with antibiotics. So, all these things sort of coming together.

But we're - we're learning a lot more about vaping, specifically with regard to this impact on the lungs. And the doctors were concerned enough about it to put it on their sort of list of concerns as to why this happened in the first place.

MATTINGLY: Sanjay, firsts are amazing in medicine, but the ability to continually utilize those firsts for treatment is probably the biggest deal.


MATTINGLY: What's the significance of this procedure for future transplant recipients?

GUPTA: Well, you know, I've got to tell you, Phil, you know, as a doc myself, sometimes with regard to transplantation we run into this tough situation where you have somebody who is very, very sick. They need a transplant. But at some point they become too sick for the transplant. And that's a terrible position, obviously, for the patient, the patient's family, to be in.

I think what they've - they've demonstrated here is they were able to remove the lungs completely. Other machines will sort of help assist your lungs, assist your heart. The lungs were gone. So they essentially had to create an artificial lung. And then this sort of innovative procedure using the breast implants to sort of hold things in place while waiting for the transplant.

I think, Phil, what that signals is that hope is not lost for people who get to that point of their illness. They can be bridged, if you will, to transplant using some pretty innovative methods.

MATTINGLY: That's - I mean that's potentially amazing news. This is so fascinating.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you very much.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

HARLOW: All right, take a look at this, this morning. There's not a lot to see. It is New Orleans. Seriously.

MATTINGLY: No, seriously.

HARLOW: No, seriously, that is what meteorologists are calling super fog. Widespread fog coupled with smoke from a nearby wildfire creating limited visibility, to say the least. Very dangerous driving conditions across parts of the city. Several sections of highways closed this morning. Police asking people to avoid those areas. A dense fog advisory in effect through 10:00 a.m. local time.


Ivanka Trump under oath. She takes the witness stand in just a few hours in her father's civil fraud trial. What we could learn from her testimony, that's next.

HARLOW: And the remarkable story of Yusef Salaam, who will be New York's newest city councilmember, representing the same city that wrongfully convicted and imprisoned him more than 30 years ago.



MATTINGLY: Well, this morning, the last of Donald Trump's older children to testify. Ivanka Trump is expected to take the stand in the New York fraud lawsuit against the family's business. Now, Ivanka was originally named a defendant in the case but was later displaced when an appeals court ruled that too much time had passed since her involvement in the Trump Organization. Donald Trump, his two eldest sons and the Trump Organization are accused of misleading banks and insurers about the value of the company's assets for personal enrichment.

Joining us now, CNN legal analyst and former chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan, Karen Friedman Agnifilo.

I'm fascinated by this because we just don't hear a lot from Ivanka Trump. She was out of the case to some degree. What are your expectations for what we're going to hear today?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it will be interesting to see if she takes the tactic that her brothers took, which is to distance herself from any knowledge of things like financial statements or any of the specific facts, right? They didn't really challenge the facts, they just said, we don't really know anything. Or if she tries to say things like what her father said, which is, I knew about it, but justified it.


Like, you know, she had an option to purchase that now infamous apartment that was not 33,000 square feet, it was 10,000 square feet. And so if -- I'm sure they're going to ask her, how big was it? Did you know about it? Did you know about the financial statements, et cetera? So, we'll -- I think it's interesting to watch which tactic she will take at trial here.

HARLOW: She was deposed last August. Let's listen to part of that deposition.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any recollection of your father having personal financial statements?

IVANKA TRUMP: Not specifically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about generally?

TRUMP: Well, see, I combine them all in my mind, like the statements of the company. And so I -- no, I mean, not like specific to him.

I've -- look, I have my own. I've never prepared one. I don't know, I've never made one. I'm not an accountant.


HARLOW: Any lens into how she'll answer some of the similar questions today?

AGNIFILO: I think she will likely not contradict herself, but the question will be, will she expand upon some of her knowledge. Don't forget, she was very instrumental in negotiating some of the loans in question, and she's a very smart woman. She went to business school. So, let's see --

HARLOW: I think Wharton. I think she brought Deutsche Bank to the president.

AGNIFILO: She brought -- exactly. She brought Deutsche Bank. She was instrumental in negotiating those loans, in negotiating leases for the old post office, for example, in Washington. I mean she was very involved in the business. She was not - she was hands on. She's a businessperson. She's smart. And so let's see what she testifies about and how much she either distances herself from her family's business or if she talks about what her involvement specifically was.

But it could be -- this could be very problematic for the family and for the finances because right now in addition to talking about the six remaining counts and trying to prove them, they're also trying to determine the number -- the monetary amount that will be disgorged from ill-gotten gains. So, she will be instrumental in helping the attorney general prove those facts as well.

MATTINGLY: I know we don't have a great specific answer to why this would be the case. Our reporting is that she's going to be cross- examined today by the defense. The defense has not cross-examined the former president or others. What's the value to it for the defense and why didn't they cross-examine anybody else?

AGNIFILO: So, it's unclear why the tactics they're taking they're taking. But, you know, there's a - there's a blurred line here between direct examination and cross-examination. In general, direct examination is not supposed to be a cross-examination. But because the Trump children and Donald Trump are hostile witnesses, they're -- the prosecution, even though they're the ones who called them, were allowed to cross-examination them. And so the question is why didn't the lawyers that represented them clean it up afterward, right, by asking him the kinds of questions they want out there? Maybe they're reserving it to call the witness again, to call their client again, Donald Trump, or Eric, or Don Jr., on their case when the - when the prosecution rests, when the attorney general rests, or maybe they just thought we -- they got everything out that they wanted. It's unclear why tactically their own lawyers wouldn't try to clean up anything that was said in the direct case.

HARLOW: It will be interesting to watch today.

Karen, thanks very much.

More than 30 years ago he and four other teenagers falsely convicted and imprisoned for raping a woman in Central Park. Well, now he has been elected to represent Central Harlem on the New York City Council. Yusef Salaam's inspiring journey, next.




YUSEF SALAAM (D), NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL-ELECT: The beautiful thing about my story is that, I was counted out. I was one of those who was pushed into the margins of life. And now we're here right now.

They look at the color of our skin and not the content of our character. Today is a new day.


HARLOW: Such powerful words from Yusef Salaam. Decades after being wrongfully imprisoned, the exonerated Central Park Five member won a seat on the New York City Council. Salaam is a Democrat. He won his primary election in a landslide. He will now represent a Central Harlem district. And he was here speaking with CNN THIS MORNING in July shortly after he won that primary.


YUSEF SALAAM, "EXONERATED FIVE" MEMBER (July 7, 2023): I was 16 at the time. And I kind of buried it and said, ah, you know, maybe, you know, and kept on trying to make sure that I didn't succumb to the pressure of what prison was trying to turn me into, which was a monster. And, of course, years later, now, here I'm looking back at that journey, the journey that I've come through, and I'm saying to myself, wow, all of the things that happened, every single piece, the good, the bad, the ugly has prepared me for this moment right now.


MATTINGLY: His victory yesterday comes more than two decades after DNA evidence was used to overturn his conviction, as well as the conviction of the four other black and Latino teenagers. He was arrested when he was 15 years old and imprisoned for almost seven years in the 1989 rape and beating of a white jogger in Central Park. Yesterday he said he always kept his eyes on the prize and always saw the light at the end of the tunnel.


YUSEF SALAAM (D), NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL-ELECT: I knew that I was counted out. But as they say, a setback is a great thing for a comeback. And look at this comeback that we are coming back to right now.


MATTINGLY: Well, before this year's election, he had said in an interview that for him, quote, "this means that we can really become our ancestors' wildest dreams."


Boy, did he prove that accurate.

HARLOW: Boy, did he prove it. And his voice being heard now loudly when it was ignored for so many years before and all that he went through.

MATTINGLY: And now to represent his constituents as well.

A great story.

Moments ago, we were just talking about this, Ivanka Trump arrived at a Manhattan courthouse, you can see here there, where she will testify in her father's civil fraud trial. We're going to keep you posted on that throughout the course of the day, starting with "CNN NEWS CENTRAL," which picks up over coverage right now.