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Republicans Face Backlash at Town Halls over Obamacare; Mexico Warns Citizens in U.S.; Bill Maher: Trump Worse than Thought; Backlash Against Conway for Plugging Ivanka's Clothing Line. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired February 10, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Mike, you're upset.
MIKE CARLSON, ATTENDED TOWN HALL (voice-over): Yeah.
BALDWIN: Tell me why.
CARLSON: Well, it stems a lot from the problem that Miss Bohon had, which was they didn't answer any questions and they don't have any answers to the tough questions. They have the party line that they tow and parrot and repeat but they don't actually have any sort of connection to the people who are using the coverage provided by the ACA.
Ms. Black sounds like she hasn't even read the ACA, let alone visited the website. She seems completely ignorant to the issue that she is supposedly trying to repeal and change to whatever her version of better is.
BALDWIN: It was, indeed, impressive how so many Americans had quite the grasp of ACA and using the terminology when at these different town halls. We're looking at this pictures of Utah.
Jesse, I'm curious. Both of you voted for Hillary Clinton. Were there any Republicans in these town halls or was it just a bunch of Democrats who were just irked?
JESSE BOHON, ATTENDED TOWN HALL: I couldn't honestly really tell the demographics of the room, to be honest with you. But it felt like there were more angry people wanting answers than people who came in support of whatever agenda was being represented by the panel.
BALDWIN: It's interesting, Mike, because there are all these comparisons to Obamacare. And looking back to 2009, you had all this ground swell the Tea Party grabbing on to that momentum, showing up at these town halls. Do you see this, do you see you all potentially as the Tea Party of 2017?
CARLSON: I think we, as non-Republicans, ended up having to learn a hard lesson to what the Tea Party did. They moved from the grassroots area of their base and they motivated a lot of people. Unfortunately, they motivated a lot of people with misinformation and they demonized, in this case, the ACA, a program that actually stood to help millions of Americans and has helped millions of Americans. So, what we have to do now is take that lesson and apply it. And I think we are.
As far as the demographic of the room, I can tell you that they did let Republicans in first and tried to fill the room with Republicans before Democrats or anybody else was allowed in.
BALDWIN: How do you know that? You saw that with your own eyes?
CARLSON: Yes, I witnessed it. They called for Republicans to come to the front of the line and fill up the first few rows. Then they let the rest of us in. So, they did try and close the room and they just didn't have enough people to do it. Otherwise, you wouldn't have heard our voices. They are very effective at using their resources to silence us.
BALDWIN: I had not heard that, but it is important to hear from all voices. All voices.
Mike and Jesse, thanks for the time. Thank you.
BOHON: Thank you.
CARLSON: You're welcome. Thank you for having us.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
Coming up next, Bill Maher joins CNN and says President Trump is 10 times worse than he thought he would be. Hear why. And his confrontation with a Trump voter. Van Jones, the host of that town hall, will join me live.
Also, I'm sorry -- sort of. What Kellyanne Conway said to Trump about her plug for Ivanka's brand, and why the president isn't upset with her Kellyanne, rather it's Sean Spicer with the target.
[14:38:24] BALDWIN: Breaking news here on CNN. We have now learned that Mexico has a warning for Mexican citizens living in the U.S. Mexico says take precautions and stay in contact with the U.S. consulate. This comes after the deportation of this Arizona mother of two, who was here illegally. It's a case that's gotten a tremendous amount of attention. She was convicted of living in the country with false papers.
CNN's Layla Santiago with more from the U.S.-Mexico border -- Layla?
LAYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, the Mexican government is urging its citizens in the United States to be careful, to be in touch with their closest Mexican consulate. This comes after a controversial deportation of an illegal mother. That mother now here in Mexico. The Mexican government says they expect for things to change when it comes to immigration policies in the United States, seeing there is a new administration. We are right now in Mexicali. This is Mexico. Across the border, is
California. And I spoke to one man who told me he's been deported several times and is here waiting for the opportunity to cross that border again. He knows it's illegal but he says he wants the American dream, and Trump, President Trump, will never take that away from him.
In the meantime, we know that the consulates are working hard, doubling down on their services. I spoke the consulate out of Georgia who told me they are right now trying to reach Mexicans who have been detained after an operation yesterday in Georgia. The Mexican government officials say they want to make sure Mexico's interests are being protected, and that includes Mexicans in the United States -- Brooke?
[14:40:14] BALDWIN: Layla, thank you.
Also, we just heard from two people who confronted Tennessee Congresswoman Diane Black, over the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Angry voters in separate town halls screamed down the congresswoman. In addition, in Utah, Congressman Jason Chaffetz was reminiscing on the crowd several years ago, when Tea Party activists staged large anti-Obamacare town halls across the country.
Van Jones is our CNN political commentator and host of "The Messy Truth with Van Jones." He's in Van Jones to talk me through this.
We'll get to your town hall. I can't wait to see it this evening.
But first, I wanted to pick your brain on these moments we saw playing out in Tennessee and in Utah. It's like you have this momentum, these moments, and thrown the women's march in there as well. You have a president who is such a catalyst -- I don't know if that's really the right word though -- for Democrats. What do you make of this and what do you do with the energy?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CNN HOST, THE MESSY TRUTH: You know, this is very reminiscent to the reaction to Obama but actually sped up. With the Tea Party town hall protests, that didn't happen until August of 2009. It was the summer. We're still in the winter. We've got snow advisories and people are already mobilizing at this level. Even with George W. Bush, you had major protests. It's was five, six years into his presidency. So, the day after for Trump.
I think there's a -- we can't tell yet. Is this just a few sore losers that just happened to get a crowd together or is this a beginning of a really serious fightback. If these people aren't planning to do something significant in 2018, it's going to be all for not.
The reason we even talk about the Tea Party now is not because of these protests. It's because these protests built and built and built and wound up becoming a wave election in 2010 and robbed Obama of the House of Representatives. If this is not on the way to being something that significant, it strengthens Trump, because it shows him being a strong man who can absorb this punishment and continue to government.
So, we're very early days, only three weeks in. But if you're part of the resistance, you have to be encouraged by this kind of show of force.
BALDWIN: Snow advisories and protests. But it's so nice to hear from the American people, whichever way they fall.
You've been going into the country, talking to people. You're hosting these town halls. You just hosted Bill Maher in L.A. I just want to play just a clip. This is Bill Maher's assessment of President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Is it worse than you thought? Better than you thought? Where are we?
BILL MAHER, HOST, BILL MAHER SHOW: Somehow, exactly what we thought, and yet 10 times worse.
Because it wasn't like we weren't sick of him by the time he got elected. I mean, it had been going on for a year and half. And Donald Trump does not wear well.
You cannot keep up with the number of crazy things he says. Just today -- OK, well, we're taping this right the day before. Yesterday, I meant. You know it's all about him throwing a fit because his daughter-wife had -
Can we say daughter-wife, Reverend? No on that one. Christ, he was OK with, but this one we throw the yellow flag.
His daughter-wife, Ivanka, had her jewelry taken out of department stores, so when he's supposed to be getting the intelligence briefing, he's tweeting about this.
There's almost more than I can handle on a weekly basis of the crazy stuff that's just made up. You know, the murder rate is the highest in 47 years and the press doesn't cover terrorism. This just happened since my last show. This would be enough for an entire administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: It is fast moving. He's right.
But, for example, the travel ban, we just saw the president standing up there with Prime Minister Abe a little while go, and making news, saying we might take the next steps next week. Maybe that means rewrite the executive order.
On the travel ban, you went to, what, San Bernardino and talked to people who saw terror firsthand.
BALDWIN: What did they tell you?
JONES: You know, it's so interesting, we spend so much time talking about people that we don't spend enough time talking to them. I found two people, one a Republican, one a Democrat. They had both been, literally, had been in the building. One literally the gun ran out of bullets right before it got to his head. He's a Republican who voted for Trump. He doesn't think the ban is a good idea. And he doesn't like the way it was carried out. It's interesting because I expected him to defend it. Listen, he's got a lot of concerns about what's going on.
But the American people are very nuanced and have very complex surprising ideas. We found three military people, one black, one Pakistani, and one Latino. All three are Muslims. And they disagree with each other about the Muslim ban. So, you realize you can't just put people in boxes. But I couldn't find anybody who gave a full- throated support for the ban even in San Bernardino. I thought that was very important.
[14:45:33] BALDWIN: I can't wait to watch the town hall. We have the countdown on the screen, six hour, 14 minutes, 29 seconds, and counting.
Before we let you go, CNN is doing this -- CNN Digital has this really compelling series in time for Black History Months, and they're calling it "The First Time I Realized I Was Black." You took part, and told a very personal story you had never shared before. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: I remember being a freshman in high school. I was a part of this field trip to Nashville, Tennessee. We were going to the state capital. We were sitting in the hotel room waiting for the buses to come and get us, and I was drinking a coke, and everybody was drinking soda, and everybody was laughing. And I put my coke can down I had to go outside -- I can't remember what it was for. When I came back in there was a young white girl next to me and reached for the coke can and the guy said no, no, don't do that. It was little awkward but I drank my coke and we kept talking. Then we got on the bus to go went home. The young white girl started crying, and I asked her what was wrong, and she said they told me later that everybody in the room spat in your coke while you were outside, and that's why they didn't want me to drink out of that can, and I'm so sorry.
And I think the hard part about that was, I had no clue that whole trip that anybody had anything negative to say or any bad thoughts about me. I thought these were my friends. I never talked about that publicly. I've never told that story. I
talked to my father, and he talked to the counselor, but nothing came of it. And I didn't want to make a big deal about it. But those kinds of things happen when you're a person of color.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: It's awful. It's awful.
JONES: You know, I think part of what happens is you have those experiences, and even if they're not consciously in your mind anymore, it gives you a certain suspicion or concern. And people say, oh, I don't see color, I don't see color. But you have had these experiences and you really don't know.
And it's a maddening thing about being a person of color or a woman or being any of these categories, it's just the uncertainty. The world is little bit on trial for you, and it's hard sometimes to just relax and be yourself. And people say, why are you so angry, why are you so this, why are you so that, and we just -- let us be patient with each other. We have blind spots but we also have some sore spots. And we have to take care of each other better going forward.
And in fact, I had not thought about that 20 plus years, when they asked me, when was the first time you realized you were black and knew what it meant, and that story came back to me. And probably most people have stories like that.
BALDWIN: Bless you for sharing, Van. Thank you very much. We'll look for that on CNN Digital and, of course, your town hall. "The Messy Truth," airing tonight, 9:00 eastern time, pacific.
Van Jones, thank you.
Coming up next, Kellyanne Conway apologizing to President Trump for plugging his daughter's brand from the White House. What was she apologizing for and is she, at all, in trouble?
[14:53:07] BALDWIN: Kellyanne Conway has apologized to President Trump for that essentially free commercial she gave about his daughter Ivanka Trump's clothing line on live television from the White House briefing room. There's a lot of backlash, and there's bipartisan calls for her to be punished.
Let's go to the White House to CNN Politics producer, Dan Merica.
Dan, we heard Sean Spicer say she had been counseled. Nobody really knew what that meant. You tell me where it left off.
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS PRODUCER: Sure. Thank you, Brooke.
According to our sources inside the White House, at a meeting yesterday, Kellyanne Conway apologized to President Trump, and President Trump, quote, "backed her completely," according to one source. He even went so far as to say he didn't like the way Sean Spicer said she was, quote, "counseled," thinking that made it sound like she had almost been sent to the principal's office or disciplined. The issue is that Conway's problems are much more outside of the White House than inside the White House. He comments raised by ethics watchdogs across the city yesterday, and many of whom filed reports to the Office of Government Ethics asking her to be investigated and her comments to be investigated -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: Quickly, why did Sean Spicer have the target on his back according to the president?
MERICA: He didn't like the way that he said she had been, quote, "counseled." And when pressed on that yesterday, he said, "That's it, that's all I'm going say." And it sounded, frankly, like it was something he went in planning to say. And our reporter says the White House Counsel's Office talked to Kellyanne Conway about her comments and that might be where he got that word from.
[14:54:52] BALDWIN: Thank you, Dan Merica, from Washington.
Next, more breaking news from the White House. President Trump saying he will, quote, unquote, "take next steps next week" after his travel ban was rejected by the court. What does that mean? We will discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: It's the glitz, the glam, the music. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards airs this Sunday.
CNN's Stephanie Elam has a preview.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORESPONDENT (voice-over): From Adele --
ELAM: -- to Beyonce.
ELAM: The Grammy Awards honor the biggest names in music, and 2017 is no exception.
JEM ASWAD, SENIOR EDITOR, BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: It is the Vatican of the music business and of music entertainment.
ELAM: Beyonce leads the charge with nine nominations, including song of the year, record of the year, and the night's most competitive prize, album of the year.
ELAM: The singer's latest collection "Lemonade" faces off against Adele's "25" just --