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New Questions About Role of Trump Children; Interview with Sylvia Mathews Burwell; American Family Speaks Out About Brussels Terror Attack; Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired December 15, 2016 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:45] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump's adult children could very well be involved in his presidency at a level never seen before. Sources say that Ivanka Trump and her husband could have roles in the White House as well as offices, while Mr. Trump's older sons have taken part already in transition meetings.

Is this legal? Is it appropriate? Does it even matter?

Let's bring in CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston and CNN contributor and "Washington Examiner" reporter Salena Zito.

Great to have both of you.

Salena, you talk to Trump supporters all the time. Why would this not matter to them? The fact that the children and he run this global enterprise worth, you know, billions, if you believe him, dollars. And if they were in the White House and in meetings with foreign leaders, why wouldn't people care about this?

SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think people would care if that's the end result. Right? But we're in the transition process. I get the impression that the Trump family has not figured out how to divest all of their sort of dealings and holdings and day-to-day --

CAMEROTA: And they're not going to. It doesn't seem like there is a plan to divest. They are going to continue, I mean, it sounds like, from what has come out, that the sons will be in charge of the Trump Organization.

ZITO: Right. And if that ends up being the case -- I think he tweeted that the other day, right. If that ends up being the case, they can't have anything to do with what's going on in the White House. I mean, that's just incredibly inappropriate because there are so many things that they could benefit from. You know, it's the same sort of argument that people made against Hillary Clinton.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

ZITO: So you can't do that.

CAMEROTA: So you're saying that at some point we will hear some human cries from people who'd say this is --

ZITO: Yes. I suspect that's why they delayed -- CAMEROTA: A bridge too far.

ZITO: Yes. I think that that's why they delayed the announcement. I think the announcement was today, was supposed to be today?


ZITO: I think that's why they delayed the announcement. I think they're still figuring this out.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I like it. I like the optimism, but I don't see the basis for it in reality. We just talked to Sean Spicer and he said only you and the media care about this. And that lefty liberal, toxic base. The people support Trump. They know that he's a businessman. They love his kids. And they're good with all this. We'll show you when we're ready how he is going to separate himself, but it's all good.

I don't see this expectation that they're going to find an answer to having the kids be on only one side or Trump even only on one side.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Right. And this is from a gentleman who talked about going to Washington to drain the swamp which I think we all agree it does need to be drained, you know, certainly a little bit.

I don't know how his family -- how he removes himself from his family. It's not necessarily his family removing himself from their businesses, and then being able to talk with him or to speak with him about major issues. They grew up together at the kitchen table talking about business. I don't think they know anything else. And quite frankly, Donald Trump himself has said, look, there's no laws that prevent us from doing anything, but don't worry, I will take care of it. And that's the issue.

The fact that we actually don't have real laws on the book that would prevent something like this from happening. I mean, I'm surprised and shocked and, look, clearly Congress needs to do something about it.

CAMEROTA: Yesterday Donald Trump invited all these tech titans to the White House. They had a big meeting around a big board table. And these are people who had not necessarily supported Donald Trump. Many of them were quite vocal for Hillary Clinton. But Donald Trump seems to have won them over on some level.

ZITO: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So let me play for you a moment of where he was making his case to them.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I want to add that I'm here to help you folks do well. And you're doing well right now, and I'm very honored by the bounce. They're all talking about the bounce. So right now everybody in this room has to like me, at least a little bit. Anything we can do to help this go along and we're going to be there for you. And you call my people, you call me. It doesn't make any difference. We have no formal chain of command around here.


CAMEROTA: The bounce that he's talking about is the stock market, which has had a bit of a meteoric rise since the election.

[07:35:04] But that is vintage Trump right there. Right? I mean, saying there's no chain of command. You can call me. People have his own cell phone numbers. I mean, it's just interesting to get a little window into how he does business with these folks.

ZITO: Yes. You know, I've always suggested that reporters read "Art of the Deal" because everything about him is in there. That's how he talks. That's how he uses words. And he doesn't have the same sort of regard for them and what they mean in the way that reporters and people do. And, you know, that's a good meeting that he had because the jobs of the future, especially the blue-collar jobs of the future in technology.

Technology and automation are really robbing jobs out of middle America. You know, not -- I mean, trade deals yes. But it's technology. I mean, we lose -- I forget the numbers. Like 2,000 jobs a month to technology.

CUOMO: Automation and innovation are --

ZITO: Yes.

CUOMO: By most economic estimates and a lot of these numbers are soft, let's be honest. You can't put a number to reality all the time. But it's about 80 percent. But there is a trick in that. There's a step missing. So you go to Carrier and say you don't take the jobs away, and you have some kind of sort of meddling success. But how do you get the workers who are working with their hands right now into the automation business, into the innovator's businesses like the people around that table?

That's retraining, that's education, that's a lot of things that he hasn't spoken to yet and that's a big variable.

PRESTON: Yes. And he's talking about bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. And that's not nearly going to happen on the level that would get us back to people --

CUOMO: That's why they talked about the h1b visa yesterday, when he asked the people around the table, what do you want? He said -- some of the voices said we want what you were talking against. We want more access to foreign workers and that type of academia.


CUOMO: Can you help us? And supposedly he backtracked.

PRESTON: Right. And you know, for us to sit around the table and we talk about retraining and jobs program, and what have you, you know what, it's very easy for us to talk about it, but that's very hard for someone to swallow. It really is.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, Hillary Clinton talked about that as well. But that wasn't as satisfying a message on the campaign trail.

CUOMO: From poetry to prose.

CAMEROTA: Salena, thank you.

ZITO: Thanks.

CUOMO: President-elect Donald Trump vowing to repeal Obamacare. Big part of his candidacy. Is it going to happen right away? If so, what about the millions of people racing to sign up before the deadline? Could they change anything right away?

We're going to talk to Health Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Answers ahead.


[07:40:53] CUOMO: All right. Some new stats are going to shed light on health care situation in the battle that's going to happen in government. As of today more than four million people have signed up for Obamacare ahead of the enrollment deadline. OK. You got to get it in for the new year.

Even with President-elect Trump and the GOP planning to repeal the law in 2017 HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell has been traveling the country encouraging people to register. Calling the potential repeal without any replacement that could be a recipe for collapse. That's what she says.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell joins us now. This is complicated stuff. Let's try to boil down some of the main concerns. The complaint that drove the dialogue in the election was, this is too expensive for too many of us. We couldn't keep our doctor. We couldn't keep our plan. Fix it. How do you do that?

SYLVIA MATTHEWS BURWELL, HEALTH AND HUMAN SECRETARY: So I think we need to move from the rhetoric to the reality. And for the 150 million Americans who have their insurance through their job. Since the Affordable Care Act in the last six years we have seen five of the slowest years of growth in their premiums. And for those people in the marketplace what we know is for those folks right now we see four million folks have already come in and we see our numbers moving and people coming in before the December 15th deadline for coverage on January 1st.

It's a product people want and need and for the majority of people in the marketplace which, remember, it's 11 million. There 150 million in the job market and then 50 million in Medicare and another 70 million in Medicaid. But for that 11 million the majority of those people can find a plan for $75 or less in premiums a month with the financial assistance. CAMEROTA: I want to throw out a few other numbers that I think are

relevant here. 700,000 people have signed up this week for health care. There seems to be a run on health insurance right now. And there are something like 1.1 million new people have signed up for next year. So does this signal to you that people are feeling very anxious that they might be losing this ability?

BURWELL: You know, we are getting a lot of questions and a lot of confusion about whether or not people should sign up. And we want to encourage everyone to do that. Because this is insurance for 2017 and this deadline of December 15th means you can get your coverage January 1st, which is a lot of those numbers are people working towards that deadline. And so we've heard from everyone from the president-elect, members of Congress to the insurers saying that for that coverage for 2017 that it won't be disrupted.

Now the issue of repeal could affect many other things whether that's coverage beyond 2017 and for those who are in the employer-based market things like pre-existing conditions. Your child on your policy up to 26 or preventative services like contraception at no extra charge. And that's what people who have insurance in the job market.

CUOMO: One clarification. There is always a rush at the end of the sign-in periods. Comparing this year to previous years, is it necessarily an anxiety or is it an anxiety based on the specific need and not wanting to miss the deadline?

BURWELL: You know, hard to tell. But as you're reflecting, we're having -- we're seeing what we usually see at this time and what we've seen for the last three years.

CUOMO: Correct.

BURWELL: Which is moving into this deadline.

CAMEROTA: But there is a quarter million more this year. Correct me if I'm wrong, there's a quarter million more than you saw last year or previous years.

BURWELL: That's right in terms of where we are in the signups. That four million number that we put out yesterday which is the first 40 days we do see a quarter million more folks coming in.

CUOMO: Right. But it's gone up each year, too. Right? I'm just saying that we want to make sure that we're not mischaracterizing the urgency. It could be anxiety that it is going to change and people are going to get stuck but there's so much politics involved in this, is that, you know, the rate of increase is kind of what you expected. The big question is going to be repealing is easy. That's a sign away. What they do with it. What is your head in terms of where you think the plan winds up three years from now?

BURWELL: You know, I think right now the conversation in Washington and everywhere across the country is shifting, as I said, from slogans and rhetoric to the reality. [07:45:06] And the reality is that many of the benefits, many people

don't know they're from the Affordable Care Act. But we've even heard the president-elect speak to keeping up to 26 -- your children on your policy up until 26, preserving pre-existing conditions. Many of the benefits that are occurring in the Affordable Care Act are things that are now in the fabric of health care in the U.S. No longer can women be discriminated against because of their gender. There are no annual limits or lifetime limits for people who, say, have cancer or other diseases. And I think those are the things that are here to stay.

CAMEROTA: Secretary Burwell, thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.

BURWELL: Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: Well, an American family is caught in the middle -- was caught in the middle of the Brussels terror attack. The frightening scene and the loss they endured that forever changed them. We have an exclusive report for you ahead.


CAMEROTA: An American family caught in the Brussels terror attack. Five of them critically injured. Their beloved mother and wife killed. Well, now they're opening up exclusively to CNN about the day that forever changed them.

CNN's chief Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr sat down exclusively with the Martinez family.

Tell us about it, Barbara.

[07:50:07] BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning. You know until now they have never spoken about what happened to them on March 22nd. Now they're ready to talk. They want to tell the world what did happen.


KIANNI MARTINEZ, SURVIVOR OF BRUSSELS TERROR ATTACK: I'm pushing through it every day. It's difficult. To go through the pain. But you have to look forward.

STARR (voice-over): For 18-year-old Kianni Martinez, her brother and sisters, there is utter devastation beyond the pain of burns, shrapnel and broken bones.

Their mother Gail was killed. All four children and their father, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Kato Martinez, were among the Americans critically wounded in the March ISIS suicide bomber attack on the Brussels airport.

Lieutenant Colonel Martinez was just back from Afghanistan. They'd been waiting to check in for a flight to go on vacation.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Local media are reporting an exchange of gunfire and they're reporting that this is a bomb blast.

STARR: 35 people were killed. 300 wounded. When the ISIS attackers detonated bombs hidden in suitcases at the airport departure area.

In their first interview ever, the family wants the world to know what ISIS took from them when Gail died that day.

(On camera): Tell me about your mom. What do you want people to know about her?

K. MARTINEZ: I live every day because of her. I live every day for her. And to remember her. And to honor her.

STARR (voice-over): Kianni says her mother was everything to the family. This young teenager is unflinching.

K. MARTINEZ: I think it's important for me to talk about this. At 18, when you're supposed to be going to college, becoming independent, having been prepared for everything by your parents, and then trying to learn for yourself what the real world is like.

The real world slapped me in the face on March 22nd. I'm not going to forget that.

STARR: Kianni was supposed to be in college by now.

K. MARTINEZ: When I heard news that I was awarded an Air Force ROTC scholarship the first person I told was Momma. And she was so proud.


STARR: Lieutenant Colonel Martinez now raising four children on his own, grieving his wife and recovering from his own injuries. Photos of happier times with Gail in Europe while Lieutenant Colonel Martinez held a NATO job.

M. MARTINEZ: I later learned that I took most of the shrapnel, because my son took the second air wave, and he got the burn, the flame. I didn't lose consciousness, I was blasted forward, and I knew I was bleeding because I felt blood coming from my ears.

STARR: Martinez instantly feared the worse.

M. MARTINEZ: My first instinct was to look for my children and for my wife. I couldn't find my son or my two youngest. I heard screaming and I found Kianni. The fact that she was screaming, I knew she was alive, she was coherent, and I went to look for her mom. I said, I'll be right back. I went to look for her mom. I knew I was bleeding out. And my body was going into shock. So I closed my eyes and welcomed it. And figured I'd join my wife and my three kids. But as I was slipping away, I heard this little girl call out to me. Daddy, don't you go. Don't you leave me. And just when I thought, you know, I was enveloped by a darkness and ready to go to sleep, I heard her voice and decided to come back.

STARR: Then the unimaginable, Gail, the love of his life, was gone. M. MARTINEZ: The story I got from one of the first responders

regarding my baby, the youngest one, was that they found her in Gail's arms. When they got to her, they told her, we got the baby now. She's going to be OK. And that's when they looked up -- she looked up to them, and smiled, and closed her eyes. For the last time.

STARR: Lieutenant Colonel Martinez would not learn the rest of his family survived until he woke up in a Belgian hospital.

[07:55:07] Initially he could not be moved out of bed to even see them. Military buddies came to the hospital to make sure the children were never alone.

M. MARTINEZ: They did shifts around the clock making sure my children were taken care of, and they were -- there was always a friendly face there.

STARR: Now home is Texas. The family is very slowly getting through its days. The two youngest, 7-year-old Kilani and her 9-year-old sister Nolani recovering from their injuries. Now tiny master chefs in the kitchen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then we're waiting for the rest so we can put it on top, smush it down to straighten it and then wrap the seaweed in that.

STARR: At physical therapy, 13-year-old Kimo loosens his burned scar tissue that covers his lower body so he can play sports again.

This American military family grief-stricken by honoring their mother, killed by terrorists, by recovering and regaining the lives they know she wanted for them.

M. MARTINEZ: I see her in the faces of my children. I see her in this house. I see her in the people that come to help us. I see her in all the things that are done for us to support us, to help us. All the good things that have happened.

STARR: It's more than just physical therapy to climb this wall. For the Martinez family, total determination to get to the mountaintop, and ring that bell.

M. MARTINEZ: That's what I'm talking about.

STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, San Antonio.


CAMEROTA: Boy, Barbara, what a beautiful, but heart-wrenching story. God, those last moments that he recounts are so intense. Did you get a sense from them of how they plan to move forward?

STARR: Well, there is still a reality for all four children. They are all in grief counseling for their mother. But, look, they are moving ahead. Kianni, the young lady you saw there, she is sticking with her college plan. She wants to get in to that ROTC scholarship and she wants to study artificial intelligence and robotics.

I asked 13-year-old Kimo if he's now thinking about college. He informed me he'd been thinking about college since he was 6 years old. His plan is to go to MIT and study mechanical engineering so he can begin to design high-end sports cars.

I hope someone from MIT is listening this morning because I suspect this young man is coming their way.

CAMEROTA: It was nice to hear all the littlest kids there giggling together on the sofa. You know, obviously we pray for them and hope that they can preserve all of that during these next months and years.

Barbara, thanks so much for sharing their story.

STARR: Sure.

CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news for you this morning. Let's get right to it.


SEAN SPICER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, RNC: He's made it very clear how much he values the input of his family.

TRUMP: We have no formal chain of command around here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jared Kushner will have a place in the West Wing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President-elect Trump should divest himself of any and all conflicts of interest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As of January 20th, he doesn't represent Trump Inc., he represents the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An unmitigated humanitarian disaster.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are here exposed to a genocide in the city of Aleppo.

CUOMO: Evacuations finally resuming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't want anything else. But freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have battled infections, fevers, and seizures to get here. For the McDonald twins on to a new beginning.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY this Thursday, December 15th, 8:00 in the East. It looks like the White House is going to be occupied by more than one Trump. When the president-elect takes office. CNN has learned Ivanka Trump may get an office in the East Wing space that's usually reserved for the first lady. And her husband, son-in-law Jared Kushner, is on track to occupy an office in the West Wing.

CAMEROTA: And the line between business and family already blurring, Mr. Trump, his three grown children, and his son-in-law were all at the table as they met with Silicon Valley CEOs yesterday.

Thirty-six days until Donald Trump is inaugurated, and we've got the transition covered for you starting with CNN's Sara Murray.

Good morning, Sara.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Well, a spokesman for the transition said Ivanka Trump's role is not finalized but sources are telling us while it is true that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump do not have official titles yet they certainly are poised to take on big roles in the White House.


TRUMP: You'll call my people, you call me, it doesn't make any difference. We have no formal chain of command around here.

MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump's unconventional White House quickly shaping up to be a family affair. Trump's three eldest children, Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, all sitting in on a meeting with the nation's top tech executives Wednesday, some who openly supported Hillary Clinton.