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Obama Surprises Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom; Charges Announce Move to Los Angeles; Interview with Representative Tim Ryan; Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 13, 2017 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Look into Comey's October surprise letter to Congress a few days before the election in which he announced that new e-mails had turned up and that the FBI essentially was reopening its investigation of Clinton and then a week later his announcement that the investigation was closed again.

Comey says that he welcomes this new investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, saying, quote, "He is professional and independent, and the FBI will cooperate fully with him and his office. I hope very much he's able to share his conclusions and observations with the public because everyone will benefit from thoughtful evaluation and transparency regarding this matter."

But also under scrutiny is whether the deputy director of the FBI -- FBI director Andy McCabe should have recused himself from this investigation. His wife ran for office as a Democrat in Virginia and whether there were any improper considerations that played a role in this case -- Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Evan, thank you for all of that.

So there was this farewell ceremony for Joe Biden. The vice president was fighting back tears. President Obama's big surprise for the VP, next.


CAMEROTA: All right. You have to see this next moment. President Obama surprised Vice President Joe Biden with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

CNN's Michelle Kosinski has more on this emotional moment.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With humor and a crowd gathered in the State dining room.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This also gives the Internet one last chance to --


OBAMA: Talk about our bromance. KOSINSKI: This thank you and good-bye was a surprise in itself.

OBAMA: It is as Joe once said a big deal. To know Joe Biden is to know love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully.

[06:35:06] KOSINSKI: And then the real surprise. The vice president taken completely off guard as a member of the military was called forward.

OBAMA: For the final time as president, I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

KOSINSKI: And taking it a step further, awarding it with distinction. Only ever bestowed upon Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell. Now to Joe Biden for nearly a half century of public service, for fighting for the middle class, a fair judiciary and against crime, violence against women and cancer.

(On camera): White House sources say President Obama planned this himself. He came up with the idea. He wanted it to be a surprise. And so he worked with a very small group of staffers to make it happen.

(Voice-over): And Biden, true to character, made his acceptance all about those he says he has leaned on. Those he loves most. His family and the president.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just hope that the asterisk in history that is attached to my name when they talk about this presidency is that I can say I was part of -- part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things for this country.

KOSINSKI: Out of this candid emotion and all the memories one last Biden joke.

BIDEN: President looked at me and said, you know, Joe, you know what surprised me? How we have become such good friends.


BIDEN: And I said surprised you? Mr. President, you know as long as there's breath in me I'll be there for you and my whole family will be, and I know, I know it is reciprocal. I -- and I wanted to thank you all so very, very, very much. All of you.

KOSINSKI: Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the White House.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Maggie Haberman, Errol Louis, and David Drucker, here now with the reaction to the tribute.

You know, Errol, one of the things that impresses me about Biden is his consistency. You know, whether you're with him at an event or you catch him on the backside of something or he's out in his official capacity, same guy. Rare this day and age.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's right. And I thought it was really sort of telling in age and after a very contentious campaign in which the establishment was reviled. A really sort of welcome reminder that not everybody that went to Washington and did decades of public service was there for nefarious reasons or looking to score a contract or looking to get rich or looking to stab somebody in the back. And that's Joe Biden.

CAMEROTA: Joe Biden is one of the only people -- maybe I'm going too far, but certainly one of the people who did not get rich by all of his public service, and in fact he revealed yesterday, we didn't have it in the piece there but he revealed a secret yesterday and that was, I guess he was struggling to pay for his home and President Obama helped him.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, to the point about public service in this country whether people agree with Joe Biden or disagree with him politically he has spent his career in public service and this is a high honor in the United States and he has done it essentially about policy and not about getting rich, and not about scoring political points. I mean, he was controversial but their relationship also I think is very striking and I think it's going to be a while before we see a replication of that any time soon.

CUOMO: And all -- for all the virtue we can put on him, this may be the great distinction in this moment in time. Darrell Issa, OK, Republican, no friend to Democrats, said, I hope Joe Biden sticks around in public service. He knows how to get a deal done.

DAVID DRUCKER, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: He really does, Chris, and that is such a great point. You know, Biden is as liberal as they come. And people forget, he pushed President Obama on gay marriage. But when it comes to doing a deal, talking to the other side, understanding how they think, that they're principled, and reaching compromise, he's the one that President Obama, who wasn't good at that, relied on to go to Capitol Hill, worked with Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, to try and un-stick a lot of these thorny issues that got caught up in gridlock.

And so -- and watching him fade from the scene is really like the end of an era because on both sides of the aisle, senators, a lot of them are just not like that anymore, I mean, never mind House members, the Senate where this was supposed to happen.

And, you know, just one story about Joe Biden. About 10 years ago, I had a chance to interview him, because his son who has since past away, Beau Biden, was running for office in Delaware, and I asked him, what does that like, and he -- you know, insisted that he was a senator, said call me, Joe. He said it's like going to a little league game and, you know, watching your son playing and I'm just sitting there rooting for him with so many butterflies and there were so much pride, which reminds you sometimes, as much as we beat up on these people, and justifiably so, they hold a lot of power, they're people. And there's a lot of there there sometimes.

CAMEROTA: Democrat or Republican, people are going to miss Joe Biden, and particularly his lack of a filter.

[06:40:02] I mean, we in the media appreciated his lack of filter.

CUOMO: Got him in trouble.

CAMEROTA: Got him in trouble but it also made him endearing.

HABERMAN: Well, we have somebody else now who doesn't have a filter. And that's the incoming president Donald Trump but with Biden I think what the appeal that you're talking about is that, A, he had an incredible, to David's point, life story. I mean, when you look at what he has gone through he has endured tragedy that almost no one should have to but he also has done it, it's not just humility, it is also kindness. And I think that that is a lot of what will be missed about him.

CUOMO: And that's what's helped him a lot. Respect is a check and balance system.


CUOMO: And he's got a lot of checks.

CAMEROTA: OK, panel, thank you very much for all of that.

So Republicans fast-tracking their plans to try to dismantle Obamacare. Speaker Paul Ryan promising to repeal and replace it at the same time. How will he do that? What will Democrats do? We take a closer look ahead.


CUOMO: All right. The Chargers making it official yesterday. They are moving up the coast of Los Angeles. Coy Wire joins us. Not a fun time to be a fan in San Diego because you got no team.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Exactly. Good morning to you, Chris. The Chargers spent over half a century in San Diego but over the last 15 years, the team and the city couldn't come to an agreement on a new tax-payer funded stadium. Fans in San Diego upset and rightfully so. Some lashing out while gathering at Chargers' headquarters yesterday. Piling up the team's gear that they had at home and then set it on fire. San Diego's mayor put the blame squarely on the Chargers' owner Dean Spanos.


MAYOR KEVIN FAULCONER, SAN DIEGO: Dean Spanos was truly never willing to work with us on a stadium solution and demanded a lot more money than we could have ever agreed to.

[06:45:02] We live in a great city and we will move forward. San Diego didn't lose the Chargers, the Chargers just lost San Diego.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WIRE: Now the Charges unveiled their new logo on Twitter just moments after owner Dean Spanos' press conference yesterday and it quickly became the top trending sports topic. It's incredibly similar to the L.A. Dodgers' logo. Right? Well, then some folks said well, it kind of looks like Tampa Bay Lightning logo and the Dodgers logo had a lovechild. So the Lightning wanted everyone to know that they were not the father. After checking their mentions tweeting, "For the record, us and the Dodgers are just friends."

Alisyn, the Dodgers then tweeted after that, saying that you said you were going to call.


CAMEROTA: That's funny. Coy, thank you very much.

WIRE: You're welcome.

CAMEROTA: Well, Speaker Paul Ryan promising that the GOP will repeal and replace Obamacare at the same time and quickly in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. How do they plan to do it? And what will it mean for you?


[06:50:00] CUOMO: President Obama ending the permanent residency program better known as the "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" policy for Cuban migrants. Effective immediately people arriving from Cuba will have to show documentation to enter the U.S. The previous policy granted Cubans asylum after they had been here for a year. Officials say the change allows Cubans to be treated the same as migrants from any other country.

CAMEROTA: We have a terribly tragic story to tell you about now. Six children were killed in this massive fire. It tore through their Baltimore home. The victims range in age from nine months old to 11 years old. Their mother identified as Katie Malone is in critical condition. She is a longtime aid to Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings. Three of her other children are also in the hospital. No word on what sparked this fire.

CUOMO: All right. Some video for you capturing the moment an out-of- control car jumps a curve. It barrels into a 13-year-old girl in Brooklyn. We want you to know the girl is OK, or I wouldn't show it to you. You can see her turn around and start to run before getting hit and thrown under the hood. Her father says her full backpack kept her from being seriously injured. Police say the driver suffered a heart attack or some kind of seizure.

But it's just one of those things that the chance that you live or that you don't is so small. But this came together in horrible fashion but in just the right way for her to make it out of it.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. That's so scary.

All right. Back to politics. House Speaker Paul Ryan making a big promise about the future of Obamacare at last night's CNN Town Hall. Listen to this.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We want to do this at the same time and in some cases in the same bill.


RYAN: So we want to advance repealing this law with its replacement at the same time.


CAMEROTA: OK. The House could vote on a measure as early as today to begin dismantling Obamacare. Will Democrats help Republicans on that replacement?

Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan.

Good morning, Congressman.

REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: Good morning.

CAMEROTA: What's going to happen with this vote today in the House? Because we've heard that some Republicans are still on the fence about whether or not to do this procedural vote towards repeal.

T. RYAN: Well, it's going to interesting because some people want -- in the Republican caucus want a straight repeal and others say repeal and then at some point try to replace it with something, and the Democrats are against any repeal at all.

There's really no need to repeal this. Are there things we need to fix? Absolutely. Should we make sure people have their same doctor and some of these provisions that we didn't quite frankly get right but just really throwing the baby out with the bath water. You know, we have a lot of really good things in here and there's no reason to repeal it other than the politics of the Republican Party at this point.

CAMEROTA: So do you think it's going to pass today in the House?

T. RYAN: You know what? I don't know. I've been wrong at predicting the Republicans and what they can do here in Congress for a long time. You know, I think it's interesting that they haven't even been able to pass budgets and now they're saying -- now we're going to repeal Obamacare and we're going to replace it with something different, when in the past they've not had success passing simple budgets. So it's going to be very interesting. I would say they would have the votes if they're going to bring it but I'm not really sure.


T. RYAN: But the American people are going to get a big wakeup call when they see the benefits that are being taken away from them now. CAMEROTA: Well, as you know, your Republican colleagues and including

the Speaker Paul Ryan last night said that they're really working to repeal and replace simultaneously. I know you don't want Obamacare repealed but if that's what happens, will you work with them on how to replace it?

T. RYAN: Look, if people are thrown off of their health care, and that happens immediately, that's going to be a real problem that is going to need to be fixed. But, you know, right now, this is a problem that they're creating on their own. That there's no need to do this. There's no need to repeal this. It has problems. Let's fix it.

Why would you throw off 20 million or 30 million people? Why would you exacerbate the opiate epidemic plaguing our country? Why would really put the screws to rural hospitals who have really benefited from this bill? You don't have to do that. That's what is so mindboggling about this entire thing.


T. RYAN: There's no reason to repeal. Let's just fix it. Let's just fix the problems that it has right now and, you know, they're going to come and ask for Democrats and they're going to want our help when in the last six years they haven't lifted a finger to try to fix this.

CAMEROTA: Right. So are you going to help them? I mean, or is this payback time?

T. RYAN: I will -- no, I'm not here to pay anybody back. I'm not here to put my own agenda before the agenda of the American people or people who need health care. Look, if people in my district are thrown off their health care and they have nowhere else to go I think we all have an obligation to try to fix it. Try to be a part of the solution. But the reality of this is, and everybody should know, this does not need repealed. It needs fixed. And for them to do this is a political move that is going to damage a lot of people in the country.

[06:55:04] Now if they're able to pass it, and it passes the Senate, and Trump signs it, and people don't have health care, then I'm going to be willing to have a conversation because I want my constituents, the hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio who have benefited from this bill, the people who have mental health issues, or addiction issues or simply want preventative health care.

I mean, if you go to a -- if you go to an emergency room in Ohio there's still people there that don't have a primary care physician. How do we fix that? Repealing it for people who now do have a primary care physician is not the proper way to go about this but I'll stand ready if my people have lost their health care but until that day happens I'm going to fight like hell to make sure that they do not repeal this thing because it's had so many positive benefits.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And very quickly, I just want to say that the Republicans believe that they are going to be able to come up with something during this year or two years before they say those 30 million people are thrown off. They've told us that that's their plan. But I do want to move on to another moment last night because that was about deportation. As you know, there are the Dreamers who were brought here through no choice of their own and now they're wondering about their status.

Let me play for you an exchange between one of them and Speaker Ryan.


ANGELICA VILLALOBOS, ATTENDED CNN TOWN HALL: I have been in the United States for 21 years. I am protected from deportation because of the DACA program. It's clear that if DACA gets repealed my daughter will lose her mother. I want you to know that DACA has helped me. Why do you -- do you think that I should be deported and many of the families in my situation should --

P. RYAN: No. No, Angelica. First of all, I can see that you love your daughter and you're a nice person who has a great future ahead of you and I hope your future is here, but if you're worried about, you know, some deportation, you know, force coming on -- knocking on your door this year, don't worry about that.


CAMEROTA: Well, what did you think of that response of his? And any possible plans for deporting undocumented people?

T. RYAN: Well, I mean, that's clearly right there the heart and soul of the issue. Are we going to throw these folks out of the United States of America as opposed to allow them to be here, get educated here, become citizens of the United States?

You know, Donald Trump campaigned on throwing that family out of the country or throwing the daughter or throwing the mother or just disassembling families. That's what he campaigned on. That's what he ran on. That's what he wanted to do. And again, we're going to fight to make sure that that doesn't happen but that is a complete reversal and I hope that Paul Ryan reflects the sentiment of the majority of the Republicans in the country, which it sounds like he may, that we should not be breaking up families in the United States.

That's not what we're about. My great grandfather immigrated here from Italy. My great, great, great, from Ireland. I mean, come on. This is -- this is America. Let's make this work. These people are here. These children are here. And we have an obligation to protect those kids and not send them back to what maybe a very hostile environment.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Tim Ryan, thank you very much for joining us.

T. RYAN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And thanks to all of you, our international viewers for watching us. "CNN NEWSROOM" begins for you in moments and for our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.


P. RYAN: We're going to move on this as quickly as we can, within the first 100 days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act I'm standing here today alive.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: It will be repealed and replaced.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: I eagerly await Mr. Trump's magical plan to provide cost-effect health care.

BIDEN: Their argument was, this is something that the press already had. It was their obligation to inform the president-elect.

TRUMP: It's all fake news. It's phony stuff. It didn't happen.

OBAMA: I'm proud to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to my brother, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

TRUMP: We're going to build a wall.

JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY NOMINEE: Physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job.

P. RYAN: Everybody thinks that there's some deportation force that's being assembled, that's not happening.

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


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

Up first, House Republicans pushing ahead with plans to quickly dismantle Obamacare. A vote in the House as early as today could accelerate plans to start gutting President Obama's signature health care law.

CAMEROTA: House Speaker Paul Ryan vows to repeal and replace the law simultaneously but replacement requires a new option and help from a handful of Democrats for it to pass. President-elect Donald Trump puts pressure on Republicans to move quickly here as he prepares to take office one week from today.

So let's begin our coverage with CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns live in Washington.

Good morning, Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. The campaign promise of Donald Trump yes, getting rolling in the House exactly one week before the president-elect is sworn in and he tweeted last night that, quote, "The un-Affordable Care Act will soon be history." The House Republican leadership saying they're cautiously -- (END)