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The budget for the new health care bill; White House given deadline to show proof of wiretapping; Jewish Centers receives bomb threat; Fierce resistance in Mosul by ISIS fighters; A twist in Michael Brown Case?. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired March 12, 2017 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANA CABRERA, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST, CNN NEWS: Hello I the CNN Newsroom. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being with us.
Up first tonight, the nation's health care system and Republicans got control of the White House and Congress promising to change it. Democrats are promising to fight them every step. What it will look like remains to be seen, but in just a few hours, we'll get an idea of what it will cost. Tomorrow, Monday, that's when we'll see a price tag.
The Congressional Budget Office is set to make public its cost analysis of the bill that's meant to repeal and replace Obamacare. At town hall meetings this weekend, Republican and Democratic law makers heard directly from their people. Some concerned about the plan's cost, others worried that millions could be left uninsured. Earlier today, the man who will oversee this plan whatever it looks like, promised that costs won't be wildly different.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PRICE, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we're going through, understanding that they'll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their family, not the government forces them to buy.
(END VIDEO CLIP
CABRERA: Those in Congress who oppose the bill aren't to ask confidence that cost won't be an issue and one senator who got close within most of the White House is furious about just how quickly the bill is moving.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: This bill is so outrageous, that not only are the Republicans move forward in the House without the CBO score, they want to move forward in the Senate without any hearings whatsoever. If you realize, this bill is going to impact tens and tens of millions of people and to the best of my knowledge, they want to bring it right to the floor of the Senate. I'm a member of the Health Education Committee, when Obamacare was being debated we had hearing after hearing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now, we're also watching this today. Intelligence officials in Congress want to see evidence to back up President Trump's claim that he was wiretapped last jeer by his predecessor. The House Intelligence Committee gave the White House a deadline to show proof and that deadline is tomorrow. CNN's Athena Jones is here now with more on that. Athena, you're at the White House, any indications from there on whether they're going to comply with this deadline?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Ana. No indication that the White House is prepared to offer any evidence to support the president's unsubstantiated allegations against his predecessor, President Obama. In a week and day - a week and a day since the president woke up early on a Saturday morning and launched this series of tweets and these claims, we've asked the White House repeatedly what evidence they can provide. This is something that not just the White House press team has been asked about, but the president himself late last week, a reporter standing just a few feet from him asked him three times about evidence and that reporter was ignored.
Vice President Mike Pence also in an interview was asked directly about whether he thinks this happened and he did decline to answer that direct question, instead citing these investigations by the congressional committees. But this is something that a lot of members of Congress not just Democrats have been asking the President to provide since he made those allegations quite confidently. Here is what Senator John McCain had to say about all of this on "State Of The Union" this morning, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: President Trump has to provide the American people, not just the intelligence committee, but the American people, with evidence that his predecessor, former president of the United States was guilty of breaking the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: And Senator McCain also said that if the president doesn't provide evidence, he needs to retract this claim, retract this allegation that is baseless. And what's interesting here, and we should be clear with our viewers, the House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to the Department of Justice.
Yes, members of Congress had been demanding answers and proof from the president, from the White House, but the Department of Justice has been asked to provide documents backing up these claims. And that's interesting Ana because it was the FBI director last week-- of course the FBI is under the purview of the Department of Justice, but FBI Director James Comey asked the folks at the DOJ, at the Justice Department to publicly refute the president's claims because they were wrong. The Department of Justice has not done so, but it is interesting that
they're the ones being asked to provide proof backing this up. So, it will be very interesting to see what comes out tomorrow.
CABRERA: Definitely. Now, what form do you expect that evidence or that retraction to appear whether that press briefing schedule for tomorrow?
[17:05:00] JONES: We have not gotten a schedule for tomorrow, the daily guidance that we get usually towards the end of the day so, unclear if there's going to be an on camera press briefing here tomorrow or any sort of briefing. But it's hard to talk about what form any evidence might take when there is no evidence that there is evidence. That's why the FBI director wanted the DOJ to publicly refute it.
We've heard from former intelligence officials like the former head of the DNI, James Clapper, saying last week that this did not happen and of course, President Obama himself has vigorously denied that he ordered any sort of wiretapping of the then candidate Trump's communications in Trump Towers. So, it's not all clear that there is evidence. If there were evidence, it would seem that that would have been presented during the days and days of repeated questioning.
CABRERA: All right, Athena Jones at the White House. Thank you. Joining me now, CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson, he hosts a conservative radio talk show. Also with me here in New York Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic strategist and former Hillary Clinton fund raiser. Ben, I'll start with you. I'm looking at tweet after tweet from President Trump where he doubles, triples, quadruples down on this allegation of wiretapping by the president. If there is no evidence, however, to support this wiretapping claim, what is this going to mean for the president's credibility?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's going to hurt his credibility obviously and I think what you're going to see here is one, they're not going to, you know, comply with some random arbitrary date of tomorrow they must show something. I think obviously the White House at some point is going to have to roll this out because they need this to either to be settled or move forward with actual proof and not keep this on the headline.
But I think what you're going to see here is the word wiretapping -- many people take that, and I did, very literally as in a phone conversation was tapped or phone calls were tapped or a phone (INAUDIBLE). When I think in reality, what you're probably going to end up seeing here, is there's a very good chance that at least communications via e-mail, internet, et cetera may have been monitored inside of Trump Tower.
They need to come out and clarify if that is where they're going to go with this. Otherwise this is going to be an issue that keeps going for far too long and keeps them off of the other subjects they need to be focused on.
CABRERA: Or in some ways as John McCain put it this way, undermine the confidence the American people have in the entire way that the government does business. That's a quote (ph) if that's the case, Robert.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMIOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well that's really what we're facing realistically Ana. It's important to understand that because Donald Trump has not produced anty evidence yet and all it takes is a phone call to his either Director of National Intelligence or CIA director to provide him with the intelligence or to have a FISA warrant or information declassified so it could present it.
The fact that he's not presented it yet just demonstrates either when he wrote it. Maybe he was -- maybe he actually believed it because he takes his cues from Mark Levin or Sean Hannity or maybe from the National Inquirer on foreign policy or perhaps because he just was trying to create a massive distraction.
But what he has done is not create a distraction but just to expoze the kinds of deceit and fraud that his administration engages when they want to avoid dealing with the real substance of issues like the Russian hacking story which he's trying to evade.
CABRERA: And Congress is now really searching for the truth and the proof. Go ahead.
FERGUSON: Let's be clear about one thing. There were in fact two FISA court warrants, one that was denied then a smaller scope that was approved later on. I don't think that Democrats are in a position or maybe George you know something that I don't hear to say --
ZIMMERMAN: It's not George, its Robert. You have fixation with vigilantes. I'm not one of them.
FERGUSOM: Robert, what I would say is this Robert, is that -- are you saying to the American people that you believe that there was no monitoring of anything coming in and out of Trump Tower, any of the staff members who were helping run the Trump campaign? If you can say that clearly --
ZIMMERMAN: Let's be clear about that Ben.
FERGUSON: -- that would like show the evidence because there's --
ZIMMERMAN: Ben, let's be clear, the president made it very clear that he was the subject of illegal wiretapping by President Obama. He accused the president of committing a crime. That's the issue here, let's not try to duck that. The other point is --
FERGUSON: I'm not ducking that.
ZIMMERMAN: If in fact like you point out that the president's chief operatives were in fact the subject of a FISA warrant, which we know from CNN's analyst Steve Hall is very hard to get, then he's got a much bigger problem to explain to the American people.
CABRERA: Excuse me guys. Let me just read the tweets from Donald Trump. There are several, but one of them in which he does specifically say, "I bet a good lawyer could make a great a case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October just prior to the election." He goes on to say, "How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon-Watergate, bad or sick guy!"
So he does allege that it was his phones directly. But guys let me turn the conversation to Obamacare, because that's the other big political story that we want to talk about with you. Ben, I'll start with you again here. A lot of scrutiny on the Republican plan, and I want to focus on one element, you know, if you get rid of Obamacare, subsidies that are based on the income level,
[17:10:01] the age, the cost by region that, like care costs and instead substitute that with blanket tax credits, which this Republican plan is saying it's going to do range in some two to 4,000 based strictly on age, is that going to get the job done for the low income family?
FERGUSON: Well, I'll say this. I think there does have to be some sort of reform and obviously subsidies are something that many people want to be in there. The real question becomes is it sustainable on the system that we're on right now, currently with Obamacare. The answer is, based on the datas, no. It's not sustainable and the subsidies that are in there right now are also now sustainable.
So there is -- there does have to be some sort of change here otherwise the system will in fact go broke. We've seen that from Obamacare, and we've seen that from the premiums and we've also seen that from the coverage. I'll give you a great example personally, because I have Obamacare. I have insurance. It's basically meaningless unless it's catastrophic and $13,000 this year is what I have to come out of pocket before I get any benefit on my insurance on top of the fact that I'm paying over $1,000 a month for my family.
So, you know, this argument that we have to make, well, you got to subsidize us, well, what good does it do if you can't use the insurance? And so last year I had a gold plan. Now, they don't even offer a gold or a silver. I only have the option with bronze. There was only one plan available to my family that I could buy on the exchange, and again, it's meaningless insurance until I'm out $13,000.
So, yes, there are going to be some changes here and there are going to be some subsidy numbers that are going to have to come down in reality, otherwise, yes, you might have everybody that has health care, but is it meaningful health care. Most people would say $13,000 in premiums is not meaningful or realistic health care on top of $1,000 a month probability (ph).
CABRERA: Sure. Go ahead Robert.
ZIMMERMAN: OK. You know Ben, you sound more and more like a Democrat when you talk about the issue because Democrats have been saying there have to be adjustments made, there have to be changes made, but what the Republicans are putting forward -- what Donald Trump is putting forward and carries (INAUDIBLE). He's not calling it Trumpcare. He's staying out of the line of fire. But what Republicans are advocating is a plan that in fact penalizes
working Americans. In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Institute, it is in fact a majority of Trump voters in fact are going to have to pay dramatic increases and will lose enormous tax credits to in fact get health insurance, yet those in the top 1 percent will get apparently tax breaks up to $157 billion over 10 years, so it's really a major transfer of wealth where the lower income are going to in fact be subsidizing the tax breaks going to the top 1 percent. That's the issue here.
CABRERA: Hey guys, we're having you bot back. We're having you both back. We got to leave it there for the moment. We appreciate the conversation and the passion in this debate. A lot of people -- this matter to a lot of people.
ZIMMERMAN: It sure does.
CABRERA: A lot of people are listening in. Thank you so much Ben Ferguson and Robert Zimmerman.
Coming up, we are learning more about bomb threats at Jewish community centers. We have details on a new investigation straight ahead. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.
[17:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: New York officials are investigating yet another bomb threat at a Jewish community center. The JCC is in Rochester, New York just west of Syracuse and it's the second time this week that this specific community center has been threatened. The incident is troubling and unfortunately, it's not isolated.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in the U.S. spiked last year, now totaling more than 900. In fact, Friday in Florida, a man was arrested for trying to set a convenient store on fire there. And he told police he assumed the owners of that store were Muslims. He wanted to, quote, "Run the Arabs out of our country."
Now on the same day across the country in Seattle, someone spray painted graffiti onto a wall of a synagogue. The message there reading, "Holocaust is fake history." CNN's Sara Ganim has been following this uptick in hate crimes as well as today's threat at the Jewish Community Center. So Sarah, when it comes to these Jewish community centers and threats against them specifically, it does seem to be a growing issue?
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been. This year, there have been a rash and the tally now at more than 150 institutions across the country with several incidents happening this weekend as the Jewish community is celebrating the holiday forum. Today, Jewish community centers in Vancouver, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis received bomb threats. And in here in New York, the Rochester JCC as you mentioned had their second threat this week alone.
They had to evacuate for part of the day. Just recently a few hours ago, they got the all clear to reopen, but remember, every time one of these happens, services that these JCC's provide for their community have to stop while they evaluate the threat. I spoke to the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism about what's been happening across the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN LEVIN, DIRECTORE, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF HATE AND EXTREMISM: We don't know exactly what the motivation is, but what I think we can say is from the person who's doing this, they are very committed to it because we are now seeing wave after wave of these kinds of threats that is virtually unprecedented in recent years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GANIM: Well, there was an arrest earlier this month, a man accused of being behind at least eight of these threats against JCC's but they clearly have continued and to help kind of put this into context a little bit, Ana.
CABRERA: So it's not just the JCC's that are receiving threats but there has been an uptick in hate crime alone, right?
GANIM: Right. As you mentioned, there are studies that show that hate groups are up. Hate crime are up. Across the country in many places, the hate crimes numbers that are up are being driven by a rise in anti-Semitic crimes.
Here in New York City for example, anti-Semitic hate crimes are up 189 percent year to date, so compared to 2016 in the first three months. And that goes for across the country and many communities are feeling the same thing. You know, across the country, hate crimes against the faith-based communities, more than 50 percent of those are Jewish related crimes.
[17:20:06] CABRERA: That's all disturbing. You said 200 percent nearly these hate crimes are up a lot.
GANIM: In New York City and against the Jewish community. That is a lot.
CABRERA: Sara Ganim, thank you. Glad to see you got the white jacket on today as well.
All right, the battle to root out ISIS fighters in Iraqi strongholds rages on. For families trapped in the cross fire, this is terrifying. We will take you to the city of Mosul, coming up live in the CNN Newsroom
[17:25:02] CABRERA: Hundreds of thousands of terrified people are hiding. They hang white flags on their doors and hopes that their lives would be spared. The streets of their city are bloody, far too dangerous for civilians. ISIS militants will kill just about anyone to defend their occupation of Mosul. In this battle against Iraqi-led forces, ISIS militants are putting up fierce resistance. CNN's Ben Wedeman has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gun fire roaring nearby. Mosul residents flee their neighborhood of Tehran.
WEDEMAN: Then an ISIS suicide car bomb explodes nearby. Pieces of metal and concrete raining down. The blast sets an Iraqi Federal Police Humvee on fire killing several policemen and wounding others. This footage provided to CNN by freelance camera men Ricardo Villanova (ph) is a raw glimpse of the intensity of the battle for Western Mosul.
Iraqi officials aren't putting up casualty figures, but its clear government forces have been behind the fight. ISIS fighters continue to put up stiff resistance. Car bombs, their weapon of choice. They've used dozens to attack Iraqi forces since the push in West Mosul began two and a half weeks ago.
More than 70,000 civilians have fled the western part of the city. Others like this old woman and her granddaughter had no choice but to stick it out. Hundreds of thousands remain inside, hanging white flags on their doors in the hopes that they'll be spared. Fighting in Western Mosul appears far heavier than in the east where it took Iraqi forces three months to gain control. War is hell here. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Wow. Some new video now has come to light in a fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and it plays a central role in a new documentary on the Michael Brown case. More on that coming up, live in the CNN Newsroom.
[17:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: You're in the CNN Newsroom. Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri is back in the spotlight. A new documentary called "Stranger Fruit" suggests a twist in the police narrative that claims that the never before released video of the 18-year-old black teenager hours before he was shot and killed by a white police officer has suddenly surfaced.
Now I want to be clear here, CNN has not verified the authenticity of this new video. We have reached out to the Ferguson Police Department, the St. Louis County Police and attorneys involved in this case. Now, the documentary premiered last night at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas from CNN's Diane Gallagher has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRRESPONDENT: It's after 1:00 in the morning on the day that Michael Brown would be killed. And this newly released surveillance video shows him inside the Ferguson Market and Liquor Store, the place he'd be accused of robbing 11 hours later. Now, CNN cannot confirm the video's authenticity.
Its part of a new documentary called "Stranger Fruit" which debut at the South by Southwest Festival On Saturday. It challenges the police narrative that Brown stole from a convenient store moments before he was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson back in August 2014. It argues Brown altercation with the store employee later that day shown on this video that was released by the Ferguson Police, stemmed from a misunderstanding tied to an earlier apparent drug deal with the clerks, which the filmmaker, Jason Pollack suggest is happening in the previously unreleased video.
Now the 18-year-old appears to give the clerks a small bag. Pollack claims its marijuana, they give Brown a bag with cigarillos which he takes but then turns around and gives back to the clerk before leaving. The film suggests that Brown did not return to rob the store later that day but to give his stuff back.
Protest and riot erupted across the country after Brown's death. Many protesters are upset with the Ferguson Police Department's decision to release the surveillance video of the altercation at the store because they felt it demonized Brown and appear to justify police use of force. The original Ferguson police report does not mention Brown's overnight visit or that there is any video beyond what was released.
The visit was briefly mentioned in a St. Louis County police report. CNN contacted St. Louis P.D. which said it could not confirm the new video's authenticity but that regardless, it would have been irrelevant to their investigation into the encounter between Michael Drown by Daren Wilson.
Wilson, who resigned from the Ferguson Police Department, claimed he was assaulted by Brown and that he feared for his life. A grand jury and in a federal civil rights investigation declined to indict Wilson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: And we reached out to the Ferguson Police Department to ask them about the video and why it hadn't been released before, but they told us to call back on Monday when the public information officer would be in. We also attempted to contact the attorney for the Ferguson market, he hasn't gotten back to us yet but he did do an interview with "The New York Times" in which he disputed the documentary's version of events. Dianne Gallagher, CNN.
CABRERA: Thanks Diane. Now I want to read you the full statement from the attorney of that convenient store. He told the "New York Times," quote, "there was no transaction, there was no understanding, no agreement. Those folks did not sell him cigarillos for pot. The reason he gave it back is he was walking out the door with unpaid merchandise and they wanted it back."
[17:35:04] Film maker Jason Pollack pushed back on that statement when he spoke to CNN's Fredrick Whitfield, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JASON POLLACK, FILMMAKER: We have spoken to many people in the community and trading a little bag for something at the store is very, very common. There's a drug dealer, we found out in the store. So what Michael did, he's not a drug dealer, OK. He traded a little bit for $20 of cigarillos, and that happens all the time. In communities where there's not a lot of money, you barter with each other.
What happened at the store is common place, and you can see what it is because they smell it. He takes it and they smell it. What were they doing with that if they were -- they brought it up to their noses, so it's very common what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Let's talk it over now with our legal analyst, criminal defense attorney, Joey Jackson and former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates. Joey, you first. Based on what we know here, does the filmmaker, Jason Pollack, have the evidence to back up his theory about what happened in the convenience store?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, we don't know, right. It's a hypothesis and you're not going to be able at this point on. It's a test on marijuana but it raises significant concerns. Now, from a legal perspective, to be clear, I don't think the governor is going to reopen the case, appoint a special prosecutor to look at it. Nor will it disturb the federal investigation.
But from a larger societal perspective, it is really I mean it's huge. Why? We talk about transparency. We talk about this crisis of trust and confidence. Why would investigators cherry pick what the public should see? Should we not be in an era where we rely upon what the police do, that we have confidence in investigators from the prosecutor's office on down to present information, not to shake the public narrative but to give the public the information so the public can adopt their own narrative as to what occurred?
And that troubles me greatly, and so I think at the end of the day, you ask yourself, why am I getting information from a filmmaker, as opposed to the actual investigator who are supposed to give all of us this information, that's troubling.
CABRERA: And here is why also this matter, Laura, because obviously Michael Brown's death triggered all of these protests, raised so many questions about how police treat people in the black community and this film seems to suggest that Ferguson Police may have actually tried to suppress this video. What is your take?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Joey is right. We talk about what the public perhaps has a right to know. But prosecutors curate the information they give to grand juries all the time. If you want to talk about how the system may have contributed to this particular narrative or that had led to further, you know, the impression, which is accurate in many cases that there is a fundamental mistrust between communities of color and the police.
It's because of what happened in the grand jury. Remember, this case was very nuanced from the very beginning. You have the officer himself who was able to testify in the grand jury. And so this particular narrative, by curating what the grand jury was able to see, they were able to kind of trash that person's testimony that says, this is probably a violent people question this testimony that this person was maybe a violent person.
Now that's unfair and perhaps unconscionable, but in the grand jury setting, that's was what was allowed to probably take place. And so you look at this video, and Joey's right. It will not change the investigation. This is all prior to what happened between the encounter with Darren Wilson the officer who ultimately killed Michael Brown. But what it does do, that curation allows for the narrative this is a bad character and a bad actor. And ultimately, prosecutors use that all the time to be able to shape the narrative in front of a jury, whether it's a grand jury or not.
CABRERA: And the prosecutor in this case, his office made a large point to say we are going to put everything out there. We are going to show all pieces of our investigation and the evidence that we have that we're presenting to the grand jury because we want to show we are being transparent. Joey, this seems to go against that.
JACKSON: It certainly does. And let's be clear about the whole grand jury proceeding. It was somewhat unusual. Now (INAUDIBLE) could agree or disagree as to whether the prosecutor got it right. That is generally, a prosecutor will present selected information in front of a grand jury and have them make a decision predicated upon that.
This particular district attorney through his associates presented everything, whether it contradicted or it didn't contradict. But the issue that I have, Anan, is that it's a matter of trust, right. We want to trust investigations. We want to trust grand jury decisions. We want to trust the ultimate outcome. You want the community to buy into it to know that it's just, it's proper and it's fair.
And so it raises the question, if a filmmaker is now showing us information that we were never shown before, what's the natural question? What else is out there that we may not have been shown? And so it fuels that narrative that, you know, something is amiss and final thing I'll say is, it calls for something that I've been talking about a long time. And that is to have independent prosecutors do these things. How can you have a local prosecutor in a community prosecute the police that they rely upon, that they investigate past cases with, current cases with and future cases with?
There needs to be some independent source, and I think that in and of itself, Ana, allows a community to buy into the outcome and I think that's favorable to everyone.
[17:40:02] CABRERA: And that's not justifying to the Michael Brown case. We've seen that --
CABRERA: -- you brought up in so many other. Go ahead Laura. COATES: Well, Joey, I was with you for a while to the very, very end there and yet, we have to agree on one thing and that is yes, perhaps it's difficult for some prosecutors to be able to prosecute police officers. I was a better prosecutor. I prosecuted police officers and my colleagues did as well and there's a presumption I think in the community you cannot do that but you can walk and chew gum at the same time if your credibility is what you are holding true.
But the issue -- you're being far too kind Joey about whether or not it was kind of odd that the actual defendant testified in front of the grand jury in this particular case. The defendant does not testify in front of the grand jury and to have a police officer actually be the person to testify who is often a professional witness, as you know Joey, to have them have the opportunity to tell the grand jury their side of the story, was what tipped the scale away from justice.
And the reason I think prosecutors around the country were just rolling their eyes in disgust that they actually had somebody do this. So, in this case, the issue was not really about just what kind of curation took place, it's about who they chose to include in the evidence before the grand jury because remember, people across the country, they want to believe in law and order and in police officers.
If you cannot believe in that particular person then the system kind of crumbles so to have an officer stand there and accompanied with the narrative, this is a violent individual who already roughed up a clerk, that's what was so disingenuous and why there was like a miscarriage of justice.
JACKSON: I get it Laura, but I'll say this, and this is not too and I'm sure you did a wonderful job prosecuting police or whoever else you prosecuted. But at the same time, you know, I was a prosecutor myself, and the reality is, those officers were in my office regularly. I depended on them. I needed to trust what they did, what they were going to do, what they had done. And so I am one that believes that when you have a local prosecutor in a community investigating their own police department, that becomes problematic, and that's why you're seeing calls for and in New York, we see it too, that when there's a police involved shooting, that you know what, maybe the better cause of action is to have an independent source look at that and that's what engenders the trust, not only exceptional prosecutors like you who are trying to do the right thing.
CABRERA: Real quick Laura, do you think that while you have said that this video would be irrelevant to the outcome of what we saw in Darren Wilson's case and pertaining to Michael Brown's shooting, could this come into play in the civil litigation that is proceeding still?
COATES: Well, yes, and for the reason that Joey and I are discussing. The fact that you have the impression now that there was perhaps a miscarriage of justice on the criminal level because of a selective, you know, portrayal of evidence that was meant to tarnish reputation of Mike Brown. The fundamental mistrust in the community of Ferguson was understandably earned if you believe the civil rights division (INAUDIBLE) reporting, which I think there's no reason not to believe that, coupled with what we know about society epidemic of having this mistrust.
So it will absolutely help the civil litigation, but ultimately, it will probably be a lesser amount than if this videotape actually portrayed the encounter between Darren Wilson and Michael Brown. What this does is put the U.S. Attorney's office and on the prosecutor in a position to say to defend themselves and say why did you set up this scenario that you were going to tarnish and damage his reputation, but allow the officer to betrust his own. And that is a recipe for a heck of a civil settlement.
CABRERA: All right, Laura Coates and Joey Jackson. Thank you both for being here patching it out for us. Case for chaos, nothing but winning? Meet the Princeton professor and presidential historian who argues looks can be very deceiving when it comes to the Trump White House, that's next live in the CNN Newsroom.
[17:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: The case for chaos in the early days of the Trump administration is this, the tweet, the Russian investigation that won't go away, travel ban rejected by the courts, and a national security advisor who did not make it through the first month. The Princeton University professor and historian Julian Zelizer argues a closer look shows President Donald Trump is winning, especially if you are a conservative. Julian is joining me now. Thanks so much for being here with us, Julian Zelizer.
So, you say that President Trump and all of his talk about winning, winning, winning, and we're going to be so sick of him winning rings true in some ways? Please explain.
JULIAN ZELIZER, PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Absolutely. From a conservative perspective, he's actually doing a lot. He's pushed through a series of important deregulations of the economy through executive orders and everything from clean water to financial regulations which are extraordinarily important to the conservative agenda.
He's raising questions about the legitimacy of government both through his attacks on judges and other institutions and through how he himself conducts the presidency and that's not good for liberals because in the end they depend on government.
CABRERA: Isn't that good for our democracy?
ZELIZER: Well, that's a different question. I think there's a fair critique that this is not good for the democracy. It has long term consequences that will be damaging --
CABRERA: Like what?
ZELIZER: Well, if you don't believe in government, whether you're a conservative or liberal, that could be problematic. In times of crisis, for example, everyone needs government. We need government to defend ourselves and if we don't believe in government, [17:50:00] if we don't believe what our leaders are saying, that can
be damaging. But in other ways, that helps the conservative agenda because ultimately they argued that markets are superior to government.
CABRERA: Does it delegitimize himself?
ZELIZER: Well, I think so but I don't think he minds. I think in the end he can separate himself from the presidency and there's an aspect of Donald Trump that doesn't mind if people don't like him if people are angry about him. But if he's still in power, that's fine with him. And while he's in power, he's raising basic questions about whether this presidency, which we depend on, is an institution that will matter as much in the next 8 to 16 years.
CABRERA: Critics of the Trump administration have pointed out the fact that he hasn't filled a whole bunch of vacant positions right now as far as his deputies to the State Department, for example. And so as a result, the government isn't working as efficiently as it could. And you also argue that that could be good for Republicans.
ZELIZER: That's very important. Obstruction helps conservatives and hurts liberals, and so when you take a department like the State Department and you don't staff it and you don't give it much of a mission, it withers and we're seeing this with many different institutions of government right now event the EPA. And in the end, that's an very effective tactic that conservatives like Ronald Reagan have used to weaken government without actually taking it apart. And I think this is intentional. It's not simply a mistake or delay. I think this is conservative obstruction that's going to have an effect.
CABRERA: If the government isn't efficient on the flip side though, wouldn't you argue or be able to argue with a Democrat that that's not good for the American people. So in essence, it could result in a backlash at the polls.
ZELIZER: And that's what Democrats are hoping for. But it's been a consistent argument. Tea Party Republicans when Obama was president said shut down the government. Democrats warned there would be a backlash, but Tea Party Republicans have just showed government is not necessary. They showed that you can close it down and we don't need it and in that respect, they won, meaning, they continued to stay in power in Congress. They have the presidency and the backlash was not as severe as Democrats hoped. So I think you're right but I'm not sure that's actually going to happen right now.
CABRERA: So do you think what the president is doing is intentional? Is there strategy behind it?
ZELIZER: I think there is. I think Steven Bannon for example, one of his advisors has talked about a lot of these issues and tactics for awhile and I think President Trump is pretty consistent on some of these themes. Attacking the legitimacy of government for example. He hasn't done once. He hasn't done twice. He's done it since his campaign started. And when I see that in a politician historically, it means they're thinking about what they are doing and it's not all happen hazard.
CABRERA: If you were to look into the history books, because you mentioned Reagan as an example. Of having done some of those as well. I mean, what do Democrats do to respond that could be effective?
ZELIZER: The most effective thing is to mobilize people who are actually being hurt and affected by the cuts in certain kinds of government. So when Reagan was president, he tried to cut the EPA and the Department of Interior from within. And what it did was to mobilize environmental activism.
Democrats were very good about organizing them at the state and local l level and building pressure in elections to have the kind of backlash you're talking about rather tan just waiting for it. And I think that's the main tactic Democrats have used in the past and they're going to do that now. I don't think they can just wait for the backlash to happen though. Historically that often doesn't take place.
CABRERA: Thanks for the thoughtful discussion. Great to have you on, Julian Zelizer.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
CABRERA: Now switching gears, let's talk about David Beckham revered as one of the greatest soccer players in the world. And he's using that fame to make an impact for children who are facing danger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA (voice-over): While sports is one of David Beckham's passions, he's also committed to helping children around the world as a Unicef ambassador.
DAVID BECKHAM, FOOTBALL PLAYER: With my involvement with Unicef, it's always been about shining a light on certain situations.
CABRERA: Beckham and Unicef started the seven fund, for seven global issues affecting kid safety and well being. Like water nitation, AIDS, malnutrition and violence.
BECKHAM: A child dies every five minutes around the world. How is that even possible in this age?
CABRERA: Beckham has traveled to several countries to meet children and raise awareness.
BECKHAM: I want to be on the ground. I want to see the changes that are being made. I want to see what really needs serious focus.
CABRERA: The seven fund helps children in every region of the world.
BECKHAM: It's a really powerful campaign. It makes you realize the work that needs to be done. That's when you really get these people sitting up and taking notice.
[17:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CABRERA: You're in the CNN Newsroom. Hello on this Sunday. I'm Anan Cabrera in New York. Up first tonight, changes to the nation's health care system. What they will look like, we still don't know. But in a few short hours, we should get an idea of what they might cost. Tomorrow the Congressional Budget Office is set to make public its cost analysis of the bill that's meant to repeal and replace Obamacare.
At town hall meetings this weekend, Republican and Democratic lawmakers heard directly from people concerned about the plan's cost. Many others said they're worried that millions could be left uninsured. Earlier today the man who will oversee this plan promised two things. More people would be covered and that cost will be more or less the same.
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PRICE: I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we're going through, understanding they'll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their family. Not the government forces them to buy.
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[18:00:05] CABRERA: And those in Congress who oppose the bill aren't quite as confident at this new plan would be as affordable and one senator in particular is especially unhappy with just how quickly this bill --