Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR
Trump Calls for Government Shutdown to "Clean Up Mess"; Jimmy Kimmel's Emotion Plea on Health Care; Trump Schedule for Phone Call with Putin; Trump Presents Winning Trophy to Air Force Academy Football Team. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired May 2, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] JON SELIB, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO SENATOR MAX BAUCUS: This is something that governing parties should be able to do. It's something that Republicans and Democrats should be working together to get done. You know, I -- everybody got something in this bill, and I think it's time to move forward. Hopefully, the president won't veto this bill, as his tweet might have suggested.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's fascinating, Lindsey Graham, though, he doesn't like it enough that he's not going to vote for it.
But you talk about moving forward, the big conversation going forward right now is health care and where they're going with the health care provision. There was a surprising kind of element to enter the health care conversation overnight. Late-night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel, talking about health care, making an emotional plea about health care and his son. I want everyone to listen to a portion of this, and then let's talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: A little over a week ago on Friday, April 21st, my wife, Molly, gave birth to a boy, a baby boy. His name is William --
KIMMEL: Thank you very much.
We call him Billy. It was an easy delivery. Six pushes, he was out.
He appeared to be a normal, healthy baby, until about three hours after he was born. We were out of the delivery room. We moved to the recovery room. Our whole family was there. We introduced him to his 2.5-year-old sister. She was cute with him. We were happy. Everything was good. My wife was in bed relaxing, when a very attentive nurse at Cedar Sinai Hospital, her name was Nanoosh (ph), was checking him and out and heard a murmur in his heart, which is common with newborn babies, but she also noticed he was a bit purple, which is not common. She asked me to come with her. My wife and I assumed it would be nothing. Our daughter had a heart murmur, too. We didn't notice he wasn't the color he was supposed to be. So I accompanied Billy and the nurse, went down the hall to another
part of the hospital, the neonatal ICU where another excellent nurse, named Ann, checked him out, and called the doctor. Now, all of a sudden, it felt serious. The room started to fill up. More doctors and nurses and equipment started coming in. And they determined he wasn't getting enough oxygen into his blood, which as far as I understand, or understood at the time was most likely one of two things, either his heart or his lungs. You hope it's the lungs, because sometimes they have fluid in them after delivery and it's, potentially, a minor thing. But they did an x-ray, his lungs were fine, which meant his heart wasn't. So more doctors and nurses, and equipment come in.
It's a terrifying thing. I'm -- you know, my wife is back in the recovery room, she has no idea what's going on, and I'm standing in the middle a lot of very worried-looking people, kind of like right now --
-- who are trying to figure out what the problem is. It's Friday night, so they call a pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Evan Zahn, who, when they called him, was picking up his mother from the airport. Luckily, her plane was not delayed because he got to the hospital very quickly.
They did an echocardiogram, which is a sonogram of the heart, and found out that Billy was born with a heart disease, something called Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. It's hard to explain. Basically, the pulmonary valve was completely blocked and he has a hole between the left and right sides of his heart.
And the brought my wife in and they wheeled her in and Doctor Zahn told her what was going on, what our options were. We decided to take him to Children's Hospital where there's a world-renowned cardiac surgeon, who is, by all accounts, a genius. His name is Doctor Vaughn Starnes. So we put the baby in an ambulance to Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. On Monday morning, Doctor Starnes opened his chest and fixed one of two defects in his heart. He went in there with a scalpel and did some kind of magic that I couldn't even begin to explain. He opened the valve. The operation was a success. It was the longest three hours of my life.
KIMMEL: We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but until, like, a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all. Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease, like my son was, there was a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had preexisting conditions. You were born with a preexisting condition, and if your parents didn't have medical insurance, you may not live long enough to be denied because of a preexisting condition. If your baby is going to die, and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make.
I think that's something that -- whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do.
KIMMEL: Whatever you believe, whoever you support, we need to make sure that the people who are supposed to represent us and the people who are meeting about this right now in Washington understand that very clearly. Let's stop with the nonsense. This isn't football. There are no teams. We are the team. It's the United States. Don't let their partisan squabbles divide us on something that every decent person wants.
[11:35:17] KIMMEL: We need to take care of each other.
KIMMEL: I saw a lot of families there, and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save a child's life. It just shouldn't happen. Not here. So -- anyway, thank you for listening.
BOLDUAN: I want us all to sit through that together. You can see the emotions that he went through and the emotions of the crowd. We all had an emotional reaction to it as well.
It cuts through the politics. He was trying to cut through the politics to get to the core of what the conversation should be about, right? There are real consequences of the debate. There's different ways of fixes the problem, but there are real consequences of the debate. I was struck by that.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANAYST: A couple things. One is that it wasn't partisan. He didn't call on you the Republicans or the Democrats. He called out both. He said we're one team, we're one America. What's important about that is a couple things. One, it's one thing for us here on cable news to talk about it and to try to deliver the message. It's another thing when you have somebody who is really in it, quite frankly, personally, but also is able to reach people who might not be engaged in cable news every day. That's why it was such a powerful statement.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's powerful. It's a cross section of politics and pop culture, which gets to people.
But look, I was tearing up, thank you for the tissue. I have small children. That was an incredibly emotional plea, but it massively confused the politics at hand and the policies at hand. There is no part of this policy or bill that is saying we absolutely are going to take away preexisting conditions without some other element there. There are high-risk pools in the states. States, if they choose to opt out of the part of Obamacare that has preexisting conditions, must have a waiver from the federal government that says how they are going to handle patients that have preexisting conditions. There has to been a plan. We can debate and quibble whether it's good enough. But that's not what he was arguing. He was saying we have to have health care here, and that is actually how to provide health insurance, which pays health care, OK? So there is a conflation of a huge amount of issues in what was admittedly a very emotional plea.
BOLDUAN: Do you think he was wrong in trying to stop using this as a political football and get your stuff together?
HOOVER: But what he's saying is make sure people have health care. But I agree with that. We should make sure people have health care. And by the way, most people who go into hospitals that don't have Jimmy Kimmel's resources and aren't in private hospitals in the L.A., and can't get the top world-renowned child cardiac surgeons --
BOLDUAN: Good point.
HOOVER: They are on Medicaid, and Medicaid has stopped providing this kind of service. That's part of it. Our health care system is broken and the poorest of us cannot afford it. I mean, yes, but he's not addressing the crux of the issue here that the House Republicans are trying to deal with in the failures of the Affordable Care Act, which Democrats admit exist.
SELIB: There are challenges to the Affordable Care Act, there are things that could be tweaked to make it better, but fundamentally this bill would knock over 25 million people off their health insurance. Medicaid cuts, alone, hit the most vulnerable people in America, period, the poorest people in America, and take them -- take away their health insurance. These are children. These are families. It's not a coincidence that doctors, nurses, hospitals, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, basically, every group that's focused on taking care of patients in this country, is deeply opposed to this bill. They're deeply opposed for the exact reason that Jimmy Kimmel raised, because it will affect people. And he articulated that in a powerful way, I thought.
BOLDUAN: Alice, you were tweeting saying people should watch this. And, Congress, get its act together, even before coming on the show.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. It's a compelling story about health care and how it personally affects him.
Here's one thing. Many people in Washington and a lot of folks on television will say they're the party of no, or the obstructionists, or they won' won't take yes for an answer. But members of Congress, one way or another, they hear stories like that every single day form their constituents. They hear from someone who doesn't have the health care they need or can't afford it or only have one choice or can't meet the deductibles. That's why they're making their choices. I think -- hats off to the members of Congress who are making choices based on constituents, like Jimmy Kimmel, who don't have anywhere near the resources that -
BOLDUAN: Don't have the resources of Jimmy Kimmel.
STEWART: But they're doing it for their constituents and what's best for them. They hear stories like that every day.
[11:40:05] BOLDUAN: Here's the thing. Dovetailing off of Jimmy Kimmel, you've got Republicans who don't agree with Republicans. You have Republicans who don't agree with what you're saying about it.
HOOVER: And they're short of votes, right?
BOLDUAN: There are moderates who are -
HOOVER: Right. But I mean -- I think -- "Wall Street Journal" even editorialized about this. There's a huge amount of on confusion what's in the bill.
HOOVER: In my view, it's the president's fault. The president needs to get into the lead, start to understand a bit of the policy and use the bully pulpit instead of going to Pennsylvania saying remember all thee red meat you elected me for --
HOOVER: -- he needs to make a policy case for the bill that will have his name on it.
BOLDUAN: Does it help when he says to Bloomberg, the bill, it's not in final form right now.
HOOVER: No. No.
BOLDUAN: That's an obvious. We know how the legislative process works, but when you need someone to lead --
HOOVER: That's the whole point. The bully pulpit of the presidency is the only thing that can force the sausage to get made, frankly. I mean, you don't have any other lever to really persuade these members of Congress --
BOLDUAN: Does Jimmy Kimmel add to the debate, or is a viral emotional moment?
PRESTON: It's a viral emotional moment. It will impact on the debate for the moment. But the fact is that it's so much more complicated, special interests involved. People representing different parts of the country with different ideas. It is really much more complicated.
And to your point, if there ever is a bill, it will look a lot different than what it is today than if anything was ever signed into law.
BOLDUAN: Guys, stand by. The president will be speaking live any moment from the White House.
Thank you, guys, so much. I appreciate it.
We've got much more to come. Rose Garden event, Donald Trump will be -- a trophy presentation to the Air Force Academy football team. We'll see what the president has to say about, let's be honest, anything, when he takes the microphone.
We'll be right back.
[11:46:12] BOLDUAN: Talk about a tense phone call. President Trump is scheduled to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin very shortly. This will be the first time that the two leaders have spoken since the strike in Syria, a strike Russia denounced.
Joining me now is Jill Dougherty, a global fellow for the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a former colleague, a former CNN Moscow bureau chief.
Great to see you, Jill.
JILL DOUGHERTY, GLOBAL FELLOW, WOODROW WILSONC CENTER: Thanks, Kate.
BOLDUAN: This is the third call between President Trump and Putin since Trump took office. Syria, the guidance is clearly a major agenda item on this phone call, but what is there to discuss, though, I do wonder?
DOUGHERTY: Well, you know there's terrorism, Ukraine, Syria, the possible meeting they would have at the G20 coming up in July. You know, I think if you can get it from Putin's perspective, he probably will hear something symbolic, some good positive noises, maybe some worrying comments, too, about Syria, and remember the chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian government, which the Russians support. There could be something about that. But I don't think that President Putin is going to take policy, direct literal policy from Donald Trump, because Donald Trump has shown that he can change his mind, or what he says can have other purposes. I would look for, you know, maybe something symbolic. Trump would love a win, what that would be is unclear, but I don't think I will hear that, yes, we figured out this is what we're going to do, A, B, C, on Syria.
BOLDUAN: Vladimir Putin called the strikes in Syria a violation of the norms of international law by the U.S. following the U.S. airstrikes.
On the issue of Syria, is there something to get hammered out between these two leaders in the conservation on Syria?
DOUGHERTY: You know, I actually don't see it. There are a lot of things in play right now. Putin just met with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, in Sochi. He also will be meeting with the Turkish president. There's a lot in play. And of course, President Trump himself has been talking about North Korea. North Korea is another thing that they could talk about. But again, it feels to me as if a lot of balls are in the air, but specifically, what they might do, you know, hard to say, because, right now, Vladimir Putin is not getting exactly from Donald Trump what he expected during the election campaign. That's obviously an understatement.
BOLDUAN: That's exactly right. Of course, we have not only prior to this, you have President Trump saying that relations with Russia may be at an all-time low. As you watched that relationship, how has this relationship between these two leaders changed just since the president has taken office, do you think?
DOUGHERTY: It was very positive during the campaign. Yes, we hope we can work with them, President Trump, obviously. And then he comes into office, then, immediately, you know, these problems, in Putin's view, come up. Statements from the president that are relatively positive, and then statements from his senior administration officials, witness Nikki Haley at the United Nations, saying very negative things about Russia. Then you have President Trump deciding on Syria to take military action against the Syrian forces because of that chemical weapons attack. So it's completely the opposite of what Putin might want. And Putin still hasn't admitted that Assad carried out that attack. He wants an independent investigation. So you have a lot of contradictory things. And Putin, I absolutely firmly believe, pretty much understood and took the measure of Donald Trump very early on, and that he knows that he's going to hear a lot of things from President Trump that perhaps he takes with a grain of salt.
So, yes, President Trump can say many things, and you know that even though there have been a lot of really negative things from his officials, President Trump himself has not gone after President Putin, so he wants to preserve that relationship. But realistically, does he any policy?
[11:50:40] BOLDUAN: I'll be waiting for that readout from that call to see what we can glean from it when we read between the lines.
Great to see you, Jill. Thank you very, very much.
Let's look live at the White House. The White House Rose Garden to be exact. You're looking at the Air Force Academy -- probably looking at the Air Force Academy football team. They are there in the Rose Garden for a ceremony, a trophy presentation coming from President Trump. It's set to begin any minute. I thought it would be beginning right now. But that's why we're standing by live.
While we're standing by live, let's bring back in the panel, who have become co-anchors with me throughout the show.
I really appreciate it.
Mark, as we wait through the events, we always wonder what is the president going to talk about? I look at this tweet coming from the president. Get into the mind, Mark Preston. When you look at the tweet from the president, what he was focusing on a short time ago with regards to a country shutdown, a short time ago, and saying our country needs a good shutdown to fix the mess, I wonder if we could be hearing something about the funding bill?
PRESTON: A couple things. I hope my job is not predicated on me deciding what we think that --
BOLDUAN: It is. This is a major moment for you.
PRESTON: -- in the next couple seconds, let alone the next couple minutes. What he said today shows that he has no understanding of Washington. He has no understanding of how the United States Senate works. He has no understanding that there are three co-equal branches of government. And I think that has been one of his biggest weaknesses. What will he say out here at the Rose Garden? I doubt he'll even address it. In many ways, maybe he shouldn't address it because he should allow these kids to have their moment in the sun. They come to the White House. But, Kate, to predict what he's going to say day in and day out, minute to minute, it's really difficult.
BOLDUAN: When the president weighs in like this, a government shutdown, Margaret, does it make it easier -- I mean, they haven't actually voted on the bill yet.
HOOVER: No. Also, look, he weighed in on a government shutdown but it was one of three tweets that came at the same time, so who knows if he is even focused on that anymore.
BOLDUAN: We might find out right now. I think we're looking at President Trump walking into the Rose Garden for a trophy presentation for the Air Force Academy football team who took home another win. The commander-in-chief trophy.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much, everybody. I appreciate it.
I've got some big people behind me, big strong brilliant people.
Please, sit down.
I want to thank everybody for being here on this very special occasion. It's an honor every single day to serve as your commander- in-chief.
To the incredible men and women of the United States Air Force, very special beautiful place. Very, very special.
TRUMP: I also want to welcome the acting secretary of the Air Force, Lisa Disbrow, and the Air Force chief of staff, General David Goldfein (ph). Thank you. Thank you.
TRUMP: The cadets here represent not only the future of our Air Force, but also the future of our country. Their skill, dedication, loyalty and patriotism represent the very best of America.
Thanks especially to the Air Force Academy superintendent, Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson, and for your outstanding service. You have been truly outstanding, Michelle, and we appreciate it so much.
TRUMP: Developing leaders, character -- I mean, so many things are developed at the academy. It's really an amazing, amazing job they do. We all join the very proud and distinguished heritage of the long blue line.
You know what that is, fellows.
TRUMP: That's a long, big, beautiful blue line.
I would also like to welcome several members of Congress who are here today, including maybe just stand up for a second, Doug Lamborn.
TRUMP: Ted Poe.
Thank you, Ted.
TRUMP: Don Bacon.
TRUMP: Doug Collins.
[11:55:05] TRUMP: And my friend, Martha McSally, who, by the way, I think can fly a plane maybe better than anybody up here.
TRUMP: She's the real deal.
She's tough. She likes a certain plane, which I'm going to mention in a minute. She specifically likes a certain aircraft, right?
Thank you very much.
How's health care coming, folks? How it's going? All right? We moving along? I think it's time now, right? Right?
TRUMP: They know it's time.
Thank you. Thank you for being here, folks.
We're also pleased to be joined by the secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Chilkin, who is doing an incredible job with the veterans'.
Thank you, David. Thank you, David.
TRUMP: Taking care of our veterans, for me -- and this has been one of my absolute highest priorities, and the highest priority just about of the administration. David is working tirelessly to deliver the care our veterans so richly deserve. And it should have happened years ago, but it's happening right now.
So thank you very much, David.
TRUMP: Our Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is here with us as well. Steven is determined to bring jobs and prosperity back to the United States. And he is really doing some very great service with a very complicated set of circumstances and it's working out well.
So, Steven, thank you very much.
TRUMP: Finally, and in this particular case, David and Steven and Congress folks, we have to say this, we are truly and deeply proud to welcome the Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy to the White House. Most important.
TRUMP: Congratulations to you all.
Coach Calhoun, you and your team had quite a season. Like good Air Force guys, you flew under the radar to victory. You know we're buying a lot of those under-the-radar planes. In fact, you can fly over the radar and still not be that good. It cost a lot of money, I'll tell you that.
This week, our Republican team had its own victory under the radar. That is a very important thing for the men and women of the United States military. And it's a very important thing for the people of our country. In our new budget, and it's been a very hotly contested budget because, as you know, we have to go through a long and rigorous process. But we've ended years of painful cuts to our military and just achieved a $21 billion increase in defense spending.
TRUMP: And we didn't do any touting like the Democrats did, by the way. Not only did we achieve this massive and badly needed increase in defense, but we did so without having to put in place an equal increase in non-defense spending, breaking the so-called parity rule that was breaking our budget and degrading our military. And that's not happening anymore. That I can tell you with surety.
TRUMP: So you're going to have the money we need and the equipment we need.
TRUMP: There will never be a time, I will tell you this, when we will be spending more money -- we are doing the necessary money, we're going to have the finest equipment of all times, whether it's airplanes or ships or equipment in general that we've ever had in the history of our country. We are taking care of our military. And we're not going to go back to what we were doing for the last long period of time. Our military is going to be taken care of. That, I promise you.
Thank you. Thank you, folks.
TRUMP: With this major investment in America's national defense, a core campaign promise of mine, we are at last reversing years of military cuts and showing our determination and resolve to the entire world. And believe me, the entire world is watching. And we have resolve like never, ever before. These long-awaited increases will make America more safe and more secure and give our amazing servicemembers the tools, equipment, training and resources they need, and they very much deserve.
To top that, we achieved the single largest increase in border security funding in 10 years. So we have more money now for the border than we've gotten in 10 years.
TRUMP: The Democrats didn't tell you that. They forgot in their notes. They forgot to tell you that.
With enough money to make a down payment on the border wall. I think they'll go back and check their papers.
This includes swiftly --