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Trump Slams House GOP For Ethics Changes; Obama Vows to Dismantle Obamacare; New Arrests as Manhunt Intensifies for Nightclub Attacker; How Trump's Campaign Energy Fueled His Win; Historic 103rd Edition of Rose Bowl. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired January 3, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Moments ago, "With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the independent ethics watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority? Focus on tax reform, health care and so many other things of greater importance."
Phil Mattingly joins us live from Capitol Hill with reaction. Hi, Phil.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Carol. One of the interesting things as this was all playing out over the course of the last 12 to 15 hours, when I talk to Republican aides they thought, look, this is overblown. We'll get by this. The media is hyperventilating, except for one thing. They would have a problem if the president-elect decided to weigh in on this.
And, Carol, well, the president-elect decided to weigh in on this. And that makes this a bigger issue. Think about it this way, Carol. The first vote that the new Congress will take, the 115th Congress, the Republican-controlled House will be taking, the president-elect has split with them on that vote. At least appears to on Twitter right now. And that's a problem. And it also brings a lot more focus on this issue that is really kind of riling both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill right now.
Now we'll note, Speaker Paul Ryan just put out a statement, more or less, defending the move. And this is an important thing, Carol, because of this. Last night Speaker Paul Ryan, really House leadership in general, said this was not a good idea. This was not the time to make these reforms. This is not the way to do it behind closed doors where people basically wouldn't be able to see the vote before it happened.
But Paul Ryan putting out a statement. And I want to read a little bit to you right now. "The office -- this office that is losing its top line independence is still expected to take in complaints and of wrongdoing from the public. It will still investigate them thoroughly and independent and the outside board will still decide whether or not evidence exists to warrant a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee."
What the speaker is essentially doing right now is defending the author of the amendment, Bob Goodlatte, one of his top senior Republicans, and saying that the committee, even though it will no longer be completely independent, will still have many of the same mechanisms in place. And that's true but, Carol, I think as we've discussed right now, when you talk to both Republicans and Democrats, the issue is this.
There has been a lot of concerns about this office, about what this office was able to do with its independence. However, this office was a very important component of oversight on Capitol Hill. Oversight that was brought into play in 2008 in the wake of a number of different House scandals. That said, Speaker Paul Ryan now defending it. Speaker Paul Ryan apparently splitting with the president-elect who has decided that he has a problem at least with them doing this now first on the agenda -- Carol.
COSTELLO: All right. Phil Mattingly reporting live from Capitol Hill.
As Phil said, we're just about an hour and a half away from the start of the first congressional session of the New Year. One of the first items on the agenda as well for both Houses, dismantling Obamacare. There are currently 6.4 million people signed up for coverage in the state of Kentucky alone. I'm sorry, including 74,000 in the state of Kentucky. Maybe I read that wrong. Let me read that. I just want to get that right for you.
There are currently 6.4 million people signed up for coverage, including 74,000 in the state of Kentucky alone.
Joining me now to talk about this is Kathy Oller. She's an enrollment worker who signed of hundreds of people for Obamacare in the state of Kentucky. She works there.
KATHY OLLER, OBAMACARE OUTREACH WORKER: Hello, there.
COSTELLO: Hello, there. Thank you so much for being with me. Do you think Republicans will repeal Obamacare?
OLLER: Well, I don't feel it's like a Republican or Democrat issue. It's we need affordable health care, but hopefully they won't. They're going to have to replace it with other affordable health care. And usable health care.
COSTELLO: I know that you voted for Obama twice because you have a pre-existing condition and you wanted guaranteed health coverage. This time around, you voted for Mr. Trump, even though he campaigned to repeal Obamacare. It seems kind of contradictory.
OLLER: Well, I'm kind of independent, but I don't like to bring up politics. I kind of stay away from that because I'm a Kentuckian, but what I feel when I voted for Obama, I did have a pre-existing -- I was searching because I was unemployed, I was searching to make sure I had health coverage because of my pre-existing. But I couldn't obtain insurance so I ended up paying low premiums, high deductibles. And then when it took place, everything was working pretty good with the affordable care.
COSTELLO: Everything was working good at first but, of course, some of the premiums are very high. Some of the deductibles are extremely high. So there are definitely problems. And Obamacare needs to be fixed. So do you think that lawmakers should fix Obamacare or repeal it altogether?
OLLER: I think they should tweak it because we do have to have coverage insurance. We'd be going backward instead of forward. Right now people in southeastern Kentucky are now knowing the reason we have health care is to prevent issues with health by getting checkup or trying to stay more healthy.
[10:35:11] And if they go and change it, it would be good in some aspects because we need more affordable, usable health insurance. And lower premiums.
COSTELLO: Let me ask you this question. Let me ask you this question since you've enrolled hundreds of people in the state of Kentucky into Obamacare. What would happen to them if Congress went ahead and repealed Obamacare on day one?
OLLER: I feel that they would have to have a replacement because what would happen, if you didn't have health insurance, then what would the hospitals do? It would be like a tumbling effect because people have to have medical assistance. In my situation, my husband has cancer so we have to have treatments. And it would be a huge step backwards if you didn't have health care. And we need to be preventative and we wouldn't maybe have some of the problems we have, and education. We all need education on taking care of health care and taking care of ourselves.
COSTELLO: Kellyanne Conway said one of Mr. Trump's ideas is to -- and I want to get this right. He wants to make it easier for Americans to purchase health care across state lines. And he wants people to have health savings accounts instead of like being on Obamacare. Would that work for the people in the state of Kentucky?
OLLER: Currently, we only are offered, in our area, HMOs. And that's why I keep saying they're not usable because some area hospitals don't even accept some of the insurance that's being offered. And one of them particularly is very, very low and very affordable, but the area hospital doesn't even accept it. So that's an issue there. And it's an HMO.
Then the other one is a well known one but the problem is it's an HMO and it's a pathway, so some area offices aren't taking that. So people would have to leave from their doctors now, obtain another doctor, and then that creates another expense of, you've got to go back for testing and see what's going on.
COSTELLO: So just bottom line, when all is said and done, what is your biggest fear as Congress prepares to repeal Obamacare?
OLLER: That they discontinue it altogether. That's my biggest fear because everyone deserves some sort of health care because we have to have -- like I always say, like a car. You have to keep yourself maintained. You can't drive a car unless you keep it maintained. And you can't be functioning, you can't --
COSTELLO: Especially with a pre-existing condition like diabetes, for example, right? So --
OLLER: Correct. Yes.
COSTELLO: And just a final question, because I have read that you voted for Mr. Trump and when you heard him say that he was going to repeal Obamacare, you didn't quite believe that's exactly what he meant. Do you still feel that way?
OLLER: I don't feel he'll dismantle it. I feel that he will have to tweak it like right now he's talking about the veterans. They deserve very wonderful care. They've served our country. And everybody needs a chance to have health care.
COSTELLO: So do you believe he means what he says when he said he wants to repeal Obamacare?
OLLER: I feel he's going to make changes. That's what I feel. He'll make changes to tweak it and everybody will be able to, in Kentucky, obtain it. Because when we switched from Kynect to Healthcare.gov it was very stressful for a lot of people because they didn't know where they were going. So the outreach workers, we kind of guide them in the system and get them through the process because in our area some people don't even have computers.
COSTELLO: Yes. From state exchanges to the federal exchanges because the Republican governor came into office in the state of Kentucky. So I know what you're talking about.
Kathy Oller, thank you so much for being with me this morning.
Still to come in the NEWSROOM, the hunt for the suspected terrorist intensifies in Turkey. What police found at the scene that could lead to the killer, next.
[10:42:59] COSTELLO: More arrests in Turkey as police intensify their search for the Istanbul attacker. CNN learning last hour two foreign nationals have now been detained at Istanbul's airport. Turkish media reporting they're being held in connection with Sunday's terror attack. The arrests coming as we're now seeing the face of the man police say opened fire inside a packed nightclub on New Year's Eve killing 39 people. We don't know his name yet but police do have his fingerprints.
CNN's Sara Sidner live in Istanbul with more. Hi, Sara.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. Yes, they have his fingerprints and several images now of him, including a video that looks like he's taking a selfie of himself, which may lead to exactly who he is, if he posted that on social media. And that is where police got it. We feel they are very, very close to trying to figure out who this person is and trying to figure out where he is.
But now we know that 16 people have been arrested, including these two foreign nationals that were arrested at the airport.
SIDNER (voice-over): Video from a party inside the upscale Reina nightclub the moment Istanbul entered 2017. Just 75 minutes later, mayhem. Flashes from a gun held by a man as he begins his killing spree. First outside, shooting a police officer and security guard, then he opened fire inside. 39 people are killed, 69 injured, the victims from all over the world, including the United States.
WILLIAM RAAK, AMERICAN VICTIM OF TURKISH NIGHTCLUB ATTACK: I got shot in the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) leg, man. This crazy people came and shooting everything.
SIDNER: William Jacob Raak survived the night of terror. Seven of the nine people he entered the club with left with bullet ones. Raak now heading home.
RAAK: For me, I wake up in the United States, I eat breakfast. You guys wake up and have to think of this, it's so sad. And I really wish everybody here the best.
SIDNER: But the worst was yet to come for the victims' families. 24 hours after the massacre, the funerals began.
[10:45:05] This one for Fatih Cakmak, another security guard. His mother's moans pierce the silence. His father in shock. His son had survived this car bomb attack three weeks ago at an Istanbul stadium but not the nightclub massacre.
"He was one in a million. If he wasn't special, hundreds of people would not have bothered to show up here," he says.
This sorrow will be multiplied 39 times. This is just one of the families forced to say good-bye to their young loved ones after the Reina nightclub attack.
Twenty-seven of the 39 victims were foreign nationals, including a film producer and a fashion designer from India, a beautiful 19-year old Israeli citizen with a full life awaiting her.
SIDNER: And that Israeli citizen, by the way, had never left Israel. Her parents had asked her not to go but she insisted she wanted to be with her friends to enjoy 2017 together -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Sara Sidner reporting live. I'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: Expect security for Donald Trump's inauguration to be extra tight. "The New York Times" reporting that security officials are bracing for clashes between Trump supporters and his critics. A scene we saw play out over and over again on the campaign trail. Sometimes emotion boiled over leading to violence and arrest.
But on the trail, Mr. Trump did not seem to mind.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: Honestly -- can I be honest with you? It adds to the flavor. It really does. Makes it more exciting. I mean, isn't this better than listening to a long, boring speech?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: It's all documented in the book "Unprecedented: The Election That Changed Everything." The author is CNN's own Thomas Blake. He joins us now.
THOMAS BLAKE, CNN POLITICS: Hello.
[10:50:02] COSTELLO: Hello. So why was that such a pivotal moment when Trump said that during the campaign?
BLAKE: Yes, this is back on March 11th, 2016. And at this point, Ted Cruz still has a chance to catch up with Trump. But going into Chicago that night, when Trump had to cancel this rally because of these violent demonstrations. People such as Cruz thought that this would turn the tide away from Trump. That people would look at this and say, oh, my goodness, there's this violence. Trump's campaign rhetoric is out of control. This can't go on.
And this was just one of many miscalculations that other politicians made during that campaign. In fact, Cruz's campaign strategist later came to believe that this riot helped Trump. That voters in the Republican primary saw what happened. They said, well, here these leftist thugs at it again. And that that brought more people to Trump's side. In the crucial March 15th, four days later, Trump did better than expected.
COSTELLO: So wait a minute. You're saying that violence at campaign rallies can be effective tools for politicians?
BLAKE: We wouldn't have thought this in the United States of America before 2016, but it certainly -- there were so many surprises, as you know. And this was one of them. After March 15th, the primaries in Illinois and Missouri, they went to Trump and Cruz's people thought, well, we could have won those if not for this rioting, but it seemed to turn the tide in Trump's favor.
COSTELLO: You know, you wrote a lot about emotion during the campaign and when journalists write about emotion, you know, it's difficult to determine whether the emotion covers a large segment of the population or just a tiny portion. How did you come to your decisions on what to write about which group of people who are exhibiting these emotions and whether they reflected all of, let's say, the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?
BLAKE: It's a great question. So having attended a lot of the Trump rallies during the campaign, I did see some violence, some profanity, that sort of thing, and I should point out that that reflects only a very small percentage of the people who supported Trump. You know, nevertheless, there was a feeling at those rallies that I did not pick up on at anyone else's rally. The certain highly charged energy. And it turned out Trump was able to use that to win this election.
COSTELLO: Certainly did. Thomas Blake, thanks so much. And for more --
BLAKE: Thank you.
COSTELLO: You're welcome. For more information about the book "Unprecedented" and the 2017 inaugural edition, visit our Web site, CNN.com/book.
I'll be right back.
[10:55:57] COSTELLO: Checking some top stories at 55 minutes past. Formal charges expected today against three high-flying Dakota Pipeline protesters. The trio arrested after dropping a banner that read "divest" during a Minnesota Vikings game. The Vikings' home stadium is named after U.S. Bank. U.S. Bank is reportedly a big investor in that controversial pipeline project.
Deadly storms striking Alabama overnight. A tornado kills four people in Houston County when a tree crashes into their home. This morning widespread damage across much of the state. Storms also killed a man in Florida who drowned inside his car.
A surprising find inside the cargo hold of a United Airlines airline. A baggage handler popping out as employees opened the plane's cargo hold in Washington, D.C. Turns out the baggage handler was trapped before the plane left Charlotte, North Carolina. Air traffic control scrambling to I.D. this person.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to work it as a security incident until we can, I guess, get some confirmation that he is who he is even though he's in a trade dress for a ramper in Charlotte. The flight crew doesn't remember seeing him or anything like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: The flight reached an altitude of 27,000 feet. United is investigating.
Check this out. Pint-sized superhero after a chest of drawers falls, trapping his little -- that's just painful to watch. After the fall, the quick thinking twin springs into action. He tries to push the dresser with -- there he goes. He tries to push it off. He eventually moves it far enough off his brother for the little boy to escape unharmed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAYLI SHOFF, MOTHER: I usually hear everything. We didn't hear a cry. We didn't hear a big thud. So we woke up, looked at the camera. Like what's going on? Are they still sleeping and we saw that it was all the way down and they were just still playing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: The boy's mom says she decided to release the video as a reminder to all parents to bolt the furniture to the wall.
If you love watching college football, then I probably know what you were doing yesterday. Four bowl games on the television and the grand daddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. It was amazing, depending on your perspective.
Hines Ward joins us with more. Hi, Hines.
HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. Yes, the Rose Bowl game yesterday lived up to all the hype between USC and Penn State. The 103rd edition of the Rose Bowl was an epic battle. USC was down seven with 1:30 to go when Sam Darnold finds Deontay Burnett for his third touchdown of the day to tie the game up. Now Penn State trying a late game drive. But Leon McQuay with the interception on the ill-advised pass by the Penn State quarterback. That sets up USC kicker Matt Bormeister. Now he already missed two field goals earlier but this one was good. The Trojans win 52-49 in the highest scoring game in Rose Bowl history.
And yesterday Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak is picking his health and family over football. Last year's Super Bowl-winning coach announcing his decision at a press conference to step away from coaching. Kubiak really got emotional when thanking his wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY KUBIAK, SUPER BOWL WINNING COACH: I thank my buddy -- she kept me in one piece for a long time. And she let me go do what I love to do. I'm coming home. That probably scares the hell out of you. I'm coming home, but I love you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WARD: Carol, I can tell you, coaching is a grind. Long hours. A lot of stress. So, Coach, go relax, chill, enjoy retirement.
COSTELLO: I know. He's only 55 years old so young enough to still enjoy it and then keep his health, and that's a good thing. And he must have a lovely marriage, too. That makes me feel really good these days, doesn't it you, Hines? WARD: Yes. No doubt about it.
COSTELLO: Thanks so much. You have a great day.
Thank you, all, for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. "AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND BOLDUAN" starts now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman.