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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Pres. Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence; Presidents, Pardons and Protest; Rocky Road to Inauguration; Trump Facing Rocky Transition, Rough Polling; Sen. Schumer: Tom Price May Have Broken Law with Stock Buy; GOP Lawmakers in the Dark on Trump's Health Care Plan; Immigrant Protectors Anxious About Trump; Who's Performing, Who's Not. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired January 17, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: 35 years, 11 worth for leaking hundreds of thousands of government documents.
Some called her a whistle blower, some called her a traitor. Whatever you call her, the decision to free her in May has touched off what's likely be the final controversy of the Obama administration. Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown has the latest on all of it, she joins us now.
How, much of this was a surprise? I mean, has the White House been signaling they might do this for some time?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well the White House has stayed pretty tight lipped when it comes to who would get the clemency grant. But today, Josh Earnest, the White House Spokesman, in his press conference signaled that it could be a possibility. He sort of set the stage before the official announcement was made, would he drew the distinction between the Chelsea Manning case, in his view, and the Edward Snowden case saying that Manning had pleaded guilty, that she had apologized, that she had already served some time.
But it is certainly controversial but surprising to a lot of people when you look back at President Obama's time in the White House and his top stands on government leaks. In fact, his administration has prosecuted 9 or 10 plus cases. And according to "The New York Times", that's more than the past presidents combined.
And of course as we know, Chelsea Manning committed one of the biggest, most embarrassing leaks of classified information in U.S. history. And not only that, Anderson, but she really put WikiLeaks on the map and made it into essentially what it is today. And as we know it, it also played a role as recently as the U.S. election, the administration says, Anderson.
COOPER: And just a few days ago, the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, who was hold up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, he indicated he would agree to U.S. extradition if Manning was granted clemency. Any indication that would actually happen? BROWN: Right. So his attorneys tonight actually said that he stands by what he says. And then another attorney says that he wants further clarification about his status with Department of Justice. It's interesting, though, because the U.S. has not formally made an extradition request for Julian Assange. In fact, he hasn't even been charged. The U.S. has just come out and said that he is a part of an investigation, that he is the subject of an investigation. So it's yet to be seen how it will play out from here, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Pam, thanks very much.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald advocated for Chelsea Manning's release, counts himself as a friend. He is co-founding editor of "The Intercept" and a contributor to her legal defense fund. We spoke tonight shortly before we went to air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Glenn, why does Chelsea Manning deserve to be released? I mean, she was found guilty, convicted by a military tribunal?
GLENN GREENWALD, CO-FOUNDING EDITOR, THE INTERCEPT: Well, let's remember she received the largest sentence in American history for somebody who released information to the public as opposed to say giving it to a foreign adversary or selling it to a foreign government. So she got a 35-year prison, which is wildly excessive in comparison to other people who have served, who have done similar things.
If you look at the top brass in the military like David Petraeus who leaked far more sensitive secrets than Chelsea Manning did, he didn't spend a day in prison. And I think most of all was the conditions under which she was detained. The U.S. found that early on her detention was abusive and inhumane. She's had a lot of difficulty in a men's prison as transwoman. She's tried to kill herself twice and was punished for it.
So, I think, overall, when you combine the excessive sentence with the humanitarian considerations, President Obama thought it was just to commute her sentence.
COOPER: You know, Paul Ryan has put out a statement calling this outrageous, saying that, you know, that she gave out some of the most important secrets for the U.S. It's interesting though a lot of that rhetoric doesn't quite meet the facts. I mean, Bob Gates back in 2010 said that it was kind of overwrought the language that was being used about the damage that was done. And even I think according to Reuters in 2011, an internal report surveys, the State Department found that the damage was not quite as bad, and was nowhere near as bad as some had appeared.
GREENWALD: Well, there's not -- there's literally not one case where anybody has been injured let alone killed as a result of this release. Not a single one. McClatchy investigated thoroughly in 2011 and said the Pentagon had wildly exaggerated to the extent to which it has caused harm. But I think the most important point is, the U.S. government classifies documents according to how sensitive they are. And the top level of secrecy is top secret. And there are gradations beneath that.
The documents that Chelsea Manning released, not a single one was top secret. They were all very low level classifications of either confidential or secrets. So Paul Ryan really doesn't know what he's talking about.
COOPER: I mean, diplomat did say that there was in some cases sort of a chilling effect on some allies' willingness to share information in the way they did before, but not necessarily the kind of -- the long- term damage that many had feared. Do you think this has any impact on Edward Snowden's case?
GREENWALD: I think that the reason that President Obama acted was because Chelsea Manning had actually been convicted, expressed remorse and then served seven years in prison as opposed to Edward Snowden, who to this day says he regrets that nothing that he did.
[21:05:10] He -- in fact, if he regrets anything, he said, he didn't do it earlier. The American people should have learned about this earlier.
And so now I think it's very unlikely that President Obama intends to commute Snowden's sentence let alone pardon him. Because he doesn't in any way say that what he did is wrong. He is quite proud of what he did except for the fact that he should have done it earlier.
COOPER: Do you think this affects Julian Assange at all? Because Julian Assange had said he would be willing to accept extradition to the United States if Chelsea Manning were released.
GREENWALD: As far as Julian Assange is concerned, he is in the Ecuadorian embassy with asylum not because at least at the moment the U.S. is trying to extradite him, but because the government of Sweden is.
And so, you know, what might actually affect Julian Assange's situation is that Donald Trump has become an admirer of WikiLeaks because so much of the information they released this year was about the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and he is about to become president. And that may help his case.
COOPER: It's interesting. And I saw you tweet about this. You know, many on the right now are sort of embracing WikiLeaks and touting them and yet their -- one of their biggest sources ever was Chelsea Manning, who they are critical of. It seemed sort of an odd way to look at things.
GREENWALD: Yeah. Everything is sort of turn around. You know, I've been writing about and defending WikiLeaks for many years, going back to 2009 and '10. And back then, there were almost no Republicans supportive of the position I was arguing. And there were a lot of Democrats who thought WikiLeaks was doing the right thing because there were leaking information about the wars that George Bush had started.
Six years later, everything is pretty much reversed. Democrats almost universally despise WikiLeaks and view Julian Assange as a traitor, whereas there's a lot of support on the right now for Wikileaks. And yet suddenly here you have WikiLeaks as the most important source. But the person who put them on the map in terms of being able to have a major impact of political affairs who got a part underscore had her sentence commuted by President Obama and there is a lot of anger on the right and there's a sort of cognitive dissonance, on the one hand, they regarded WikiLeaks as heroic. On the other hand, they want to see Chelsea Manning rot in prison for the rest of her life. And it seems pretty clear that the only -- they only like WikiLeaks to the extent that WikiLeaks' disclosures help the Republican Party.
COOPER: Glenn Greenwald. Good talk to you, Glenn. Thanks.
GREENWALD: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: This is far from the first time a president has exercise his power to pardon or commute sentences nor is that only controversy to erupt. CNN Tom Foreman tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When Teamster's boss Jimmy Hoffa was pardoned in 1971 after serving only a few years for jury tampering, supporters celebrated but President Richard Nixon came under swift fire as critics suggested he had done it for the labor movement's political backing.
RICHARD NIXON, 37TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have always tried to do what was best for the nation.
FOREMAN: A few years later, Nixon, himself, faced possible criminal charges for Watergate even after resigning. New President Gerald Ford preempted that by pardoning him, too.
GERALD FORD, 38TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I feel that Richard Nixon and his loved ones have suffered enough and will continue to suffer no matter what I do.
FOREMAN: The decision dogged Ford's record for the rest of his life as presidential pardons and commutations often do.
Jimmy Carter took heat for commuting the sentence of Heiress Patty Hearst, a kidnap victim who became a bank robber while in captivity. Ronald Reagan drew complaints for pardoning baseball tycoon, George Steinbrenner, with illegal campaign donations to Nixon. For the first President Bush, the problem was pardoning numerous figures in the Iran contra scandal.
For Bill Clinton, it was his half brother, Roger Clinton convicted on drug charges and Mark Rich, a billionaire charged with tax evasion whose ex-wife was a big donor.
The second President Bush commuted the sentences of his vice president chief of staff, Scooter Libby for perjury related to the leak of a CIA officer's identity. But no modern president has pardoned or commuted more people than President Obama.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In far too many cases, the punishment simply does not fit the crime.
FOREMAN: Much of his effort aimed at easing up on people convicted of low level drug crimes yet given long sentences.
OBAMA: But I believe that at its heart America is a nation of second chances and I believe these folks deserve their second chance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Still, such decisions always bring political risk and presidents know they will hear about them forever. Indeed, when I interviewed former President Gerald Ford a few years before he passed away, he came into the room saying, "Please, don't ask me about pardoning Nixon again." Anderson?
[21:10:00] COOPER: Tom Foreman. Tom, thanks very much.
Coming up next, what voters make of this totally unprecedented transition. See what they are telling pollsters about the President- elect and if you can believe the polls. And later, his confirmation hearing is tomorrow and questions about alleged conflicts of interest don't seem to be going away. Health Secretary Tom Price, see what our Dr. Sanjay Gupta is learning about the controversies surrounding him.
COOPER: Whether it's the early morning tweeting or the feuding with the intelligence committee, there's very little about this transition that's been ordinary. Whatever you think of Donald Trump, this is not your typical run-up to inauguration day and as CNN Jeff Zeleny reports, polling numbers have something to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: There's no honeymoon awaiting Donald Trump in Washington. Three days before taking office the president-elect's approval rating stand at 40 percent with a majority saying they disapprove.
A new CNN-ORC Poll also finds the confidence in Trump's transition is lower than the last three presidents, much lower.
Eight years ago, President Obama came into office with 84 percent of Americans approving of his transition. George W. Bush 61 percent. Bill Clinton 67 percent.
[21:15:00] Tonight Trump is taking issue with the findings saying on Twitter, "The same people who did the phony election polls and were so wrong are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before." But a majority of Americans do believe Trump will deliver on his biggest promise of all, jobs. Sixty-one percent say it's likely President Trump will create good paying jobs, 39 percent disagree.
At Trump Tower today another big names CEO meeting with the President- elect. This time, the Chairman of Boeing, who Trump tangled with last month over the cost of a new Air Force One.
DENNIS MUILENBURG, CEO, BOEING: I think Mr. Trump is doing a great job of engaging with business. We are all on the same page here.
ZELENY: Corporate America is trying to stay on Trump's good side with General Motors announcing a $1 billion investment in factories to save or create 1,500 jobs. And Walmart announcing 10,000 new jobs this year. And Trump noticed. Responding on Twitter, "Thank you to General Motors and Walmart for starting a big jobs push back into the U.S."
As Washington puts on the finishing touches for Friday's inauguration, some Republicans are apprehensive about Trump's rocky transition. Senator John McCain told CNN he's not surprised Trump's approval ratings are far lower than his predecessors.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: He seems to want to engage with every windmill that he can find rather than focus on the large aspect of assuming the most important position on earth.
ZELENY: Other Republicans in Congress say they are being kept in the dark on Trump's tax reform and health care plans. Vice President- elect Mike Pence making the rounds on Capitol Hill today hoping to ease concerns about Trump's agenda.
Meanwhile, the list of Democrats who say they will boycott Trump's inauguration is growing. Tonight about one-quarter of all House Democrats say they will not be on hand when Trump takes his oath.
Arizona congressman, Ruben Gallego explained his absence saying, "We must stand against Trump's bigotries, further conspiracies, attacks on Gold Star parents and civil rights heroes. California congresswoman, Karen Bass took a non-science Twitter poll of her constituents before deciding not to attend. Sean Spicer the incoming White House Press Secretary downplayed the boycotts.
SEAN SPICER, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's a shame that these folks don't want to be a part of the peaceful transfer of power but it's within their right and I think that that frees up some great seats for the millions of people who are excited to see this president."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Jeff Zeleny joins us along with the rest of the panel.
I mean, skipping the inauguration is one thing, but these are Democrats who supposedly have to work with this next administration. It's not necessarily setting a great president for going forward.
ZELENY: It's not, and it's not following in the example of their leader. President Obama has not questioned Donald Trump's legitimacy at all. But I'm keeping an eye on the Senate. So far no Senate Democrats have said they are going to join in this protest here. That would be a far bigger problem because Donald Trump actually needs those Senate votes. He has to have 60 votes for every big piece of legislation. Senate Democrats will be there, House Democrats frankly are not important to the process in terms of voting. For the first time in 10 years starting Friday, Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House. So they're in the wilderness and they could protest all they want, but Donald Trump will take office noon on Friday.
COOPER: You know, John, reading Donald Trump's tweet about the polls showing the unpopular transition so far, why should he believe the polls? Why should anyone believe the polls? I mean I think his tweet -- I mean I don't agree with the rigged part, but I get his criticism, which is all the polls were wrong, the vast majority of the polls were wrong before.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If you look at the national polls at the end of the election, you can make a case they weren't wrong in the sense that Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote.
COOPER: Right, true.
KING: If you want to talk about the Wisconsin polling, if you want to talk about the Pennsylvania polling, then we could have a longer conversation about that.
Now, this is a -- this is different -- when you poll an election, you poll a small number of people in every state then you write your turnout model, that was the problem in most of the polling. The turnout in the election was very different than the polls we thought it was going to be.
This is a different kind of poll, number one. Number two, our poll, ABC/Washington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal, all have pretty consistent numbers on where Trump's disappointment in the transition, his support dropping a bit during the transition. And so the polls aren't rigged. These polls are right.
MATT LEWIS, SENIOR COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: Even if you assume, I agree, the polls are right. But George Herbert Walker Bush had sky high approval ratings like in 1991. He ends up losing. So I don't think it's predictive. But the one thing that I think is different this time is that Donald Trump doesn't need 60 votes. Thanks to Harry Reid blowing up the filibuster. He doesn't need to have that mandate or that honeymoon that most people would want to have coming in.
ZELENY: On a lot of pieces of legislation, he does. Not on appointment, absolutely, in his Cabinet. But if he wants to do something significant on health care, sure he does.
(CROSSTALK) CARL BERNSTEIN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Leadership is not necessarily about following polls. I'm going to come to defend Trump here actually.
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Oh my good -- wait, I think I'm --
BERNSTEIN: This is not about following polls.
[21:19:59] But what I think the reason that we understand anecdotally and through the polls that he is being held in such disregard by so many people is, look, he is going to take the oath of office with Lincoln's Bible. Lincoln united this country. Trump has divided this country through this whole transition. That's what's underneath --
COOPER: And yet, when we were talking about this on health care, I mean, his recent comments are interesting because it's not Republican orthodox. He is saying, you know, people should have coverage.
BERNSTEIN: What he is saying on health -- that everybody should have universal health care, good for Donald Trump. Let him go to the Republicans and say, yes, we need to give every American health care, it would be the greatest thing he could do and seemingly on infrastructure, he is different than his own party. But, nonetheless, we have the ugliness of so much of his words, his attitudes, unrestrained, attacks on people, no magnanimous gesture for inclusion of the other side.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Can I just say that the poll numbers, he might not like in the fact that a majority don't approve of how his transition has gone. But there are high hopes, there are high expectations --
COOPER: For job creation --
BORGER: For job creation.
KING: That's why what Matt says is so important. They're not -- what they're predictive now is the toxic environment, the bad political environment. They're not predictive of what people are going to think --
BORGER: And they believe him when he says, "I'm going to cut good trade deals. I'm not going to cut bad trade deals." So you see 1 percent --
COOPER: My guess is he likes those -- that part of the polls.
BERNSTEIN: -- say we, instead of I, I, I --
LORD: Let us keep in mind that his transition numbers are infinitely better than Hillary Clinton who will have none, because she lost. Right? I we need -- he need to you stay focused on that. And just one more thing --
COOPER: One at a time.
LEWIS: -- of a political environment where we have polarization, and I do think if Hillary was, if Hillary had won, where would her approval ratings be at?
LORD: I just want to say to my friend Carl here because he and I both remember this, that in Abraham Lincoln's day, he wasn't exactly united, he got elected and seven states left the union weeks before he took office. So it was all run by Democrats.
BERNSTEIN: And he brought the country together.
COOPER: Angela, go ahead.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thank you.
RYE: So, the one point, Carl -- or actually two points you raised, health care and infrastructure spending. This is where I disagree with you, Jeff. You said that Democrats are in the wilderness this time because you don't have any of the respective seats of power. I think the interesting thing is because Donald Trump has been such an unconventional candidate. He's very well may end up needing those Democratic votes in the House. So them processing is absolutely about where we are. I don't think that the resistive strategy is where they will remain when they need to engage.
COOPER: It is interesting here Senator McCain though taking a swing at the president-elect.
BORGER: Oh yeah. Well, he's unbound. I mean this is -- he is going to be the proverbial thorn in the side of Donald Trump I will predict because first of all he just won the election. What does he care? He's 80-years-old at this point. I'm not saying he won't run again. I know John McCain. Who knows? But he has been out there on Russia saying I want to have a separate committee. I want to investigate this. He is going to be -- he is going to be tough and watch out because he doesn't have to worry about what's happening down the road.
COOPER: Yeah. Kirsten, do you think any of this polling about the -- I mean, of all the folks is on the transition right now but, you know, two weeks from now, it's going to be his district.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I mean, I think one thing we should know is that Donald Trump actually does care a lot about polls. In fact, he cares about them more than almost anything in the world and I think he probably believes in the polls. He's saying this but I'm not really sure that he is as dismissive as he says. And look, there has been good polling on Donald Trump. I don't remember if it's the CNN Poll but the Carrier deal got a lot of approval from the public. So we have seen him get good polling when he does good things. And I think this is probably pretty accurate reflection that was going on.
KING: In this town too often follows the polls, to Carl's point. You can change the polls with leadership. You can ignore the poll if you're principled and the poll tells you something that you disagree with. But I think one of the things these polls will do, we already -- we see it already, has emboldened Democrats to say I don't have to work with this guys because he's so unpopular. So it gives them probably to think, he's not popular out here in the country, I'm OK doing this right now.
That can affect the environment here. It is not at all predictive of his presidency. That starts Friday night. We will see what he does.
I agree with Carl, his tone during the transition, the polls reflect the America. Some of his own supporters don't like it that he is tweeting too much and then he's fighting with everybody. Will he change? I doubt it. But the clock -- the judgment clock --
ZELENY: If you look at the CEOs who've going into Trump Tower, look at the change in the relationship from the Boeing CEO who is outraged at Donald Trump a month ago, now he is, you know, coming to see him. And so corporate America is paying very close attention to this. If Donald Trump gets the job numbers up, that number in the polls, 61 percent, 6 in 10 Americans think he can do this.
That is going to move people on Capitol Hill. Move those Republicans and some Democrats, I agree with you.
[21:25:06] LEWIS: -- started off of people being a little bit skeptical and impress them than to start off with the hope and change and, you know, everyday, you come riding on a white horse and then letting --
LORD: Remember that their ultimate objective in this building over here is political survival. When Ronald Reagan was elected over the objection of a lot of Democrats and he gets elect and he get sworn in and he starts to get his tax budget proposals up here, he spend an awful lot of time picking up that phone and calling these people and they began to feel the heat, the political heat and went along with it.
By 1986 when interestingly we lost the Senate, I can't tell you in the White House political staff how many times I was presented with literature from outraged Republican candidates with Democrats picturing themselves with Ronald Reagan on there.
COOPER: I think that's one of the interesting things that -- I don't know that we know about Donald Trump. But my sense is he's going to be picking up the phone a lot and may - having those conservations.
COOPER: I mean he may not be in the weeds on policy stuff --
COOPER: -- but my sense is, he is somebody who likes to give it like some --
LORD: They will give him a briefing sheet that says, you know, you need to call so-and-so and he'll do it. More to the point, he'll figure it, himself.
KING: He has not done it so far.
COOPER: You're saying he hasn't done it?
KING: No, the Republican leadership is deeply annoyed with him about what he keeps saying about health care and what he keep saying about their tax reform plan. He has not talked to them. He's had meetings with Paul Ryan and meeting with Mitch McConnell but as the transition is played out, he's talking to the "Washington Post" and the "Wall Street Journal" about what he wants to do and it's directly at odds with what the leadership wants to do. And their point is talk to us. We want to pass a bill. We don't agree with you on everything. We will try to figure it out, but why don't we do this in a room, not in the news --
LEWIS: If Donald Trump does call you and you're a rank and file congressman or even a U.S. senator, the guy is incredibly charming in person. And I think that he could really move votes through the force --
BORGER: Well I think this goes back to the chairman of the board thing, he is -- sees himself as a chairman of the board, not the CEO here. So if his staff says to him, you need to call X, Y, and Z he's going to do it. He works around the clock.
LORD: Yes, he does.
BORGER: We know this. He will call Democrats and Republicans hope that they could tell him what he ought to be doing. This is what Paul Ryan hopes that I can give you -- that Price can give him a health care bill, Paul Ryan can give him a tax bill and he'll do that. I would depend on it.
KING: If he wants insurance and everybody --
BORGER: I wouldn't depend on it. The question is, does he call Republicans? To John's point when he disagrees with him, did he mean access -- universal access to health care or universal health care? COOPER: Well, I think universal access would be my guess.
BERNSTEIN: But we haven't talked about Russia and that is what underlies so much of this. We -- he has proposed to turn whole post- world order upside down in lock-step with Vladimir Putin is saying. That's one of the reasons that both anecdotally and in polls we're seeing fear and great consternation about why he is doing this and about his conflicts of interest and his history in Russia. We can't eliminate that from the table when we're having this discussion.
COOPER: Yeah. We -- there's a lot more to talk about. Tonight, Gloria mentioned Tom Price. CNN's Manu Raju reported last night on a stock purchase that the Congress had made these raising questions. Today there was fallout as you'll see when we come back.
[21:32:23] COOPER: Donald Trump's nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, Georgia congressman, Tom Price is facing heat all by Democrats we should point out on the eve of his Senate confirmation hearing. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for an investigation to Price after CNN's Manu Raju reported that Price bought stock in a medical device maker and then introduce legislation that would have directly benefited the company. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the fallout and the other questions surrounding Price's nomination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Reaction from Democrats about allegations regarding Tom Price's stock prices was swift.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) MINORITY LEADER: I am extremely troubled and he's got a steep mountain to climb. I'll wait to see what he says at the hearing, but it's going to be awfully hard for him to dig himself out of this hole.
GUPTA: A Trump transition spokesman called the allegations, "junk, adding any effort to connect the introduction of bipartisan legislation by Dr. Price to any campaign contribution is demonstrably false."
This isn't the first time Price's relationship with the health care industry has come under scrutiny. In December, the "Wall Street Journal" reported Price made 40 health care pharmaceutical and biotechnology stock trades since 2012, totaling more than $300,000. All widely set on a powerful Waste and Means Committee in helping overseeing Medicare.
This month an investigation by the Kaiser Family Foundation found Price, "sought special treatment from the FDA for industry donors on 38 different occasions." Price declined our request for an interview and, through a spokesman, said he will, "comply fully with the recommendations put forward by the ethics office." The statement included a reference to a previous government investigation that found Price to be compliant with congressional disclosure rules. As for Price's personal history, a search by CNN found no court, criminal or bankruptcy filings and no medical malpractice complaints against him.
Dr. Dan Barrow is the chairman of neurosurgery at Emory University. He's my boss. And he has also helped raised campaign funds for Price. When he started his residency nearly 40 years ago in 1979, Price was one of his fellow interns.
DR. DAN BARROW, CHIEF OF NEUROSURGERY, EMORY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: There are a couple of circumstances in life where you really see what people are like. One is when they don't think anybody is watching them, and the other is when you're under some kind of stress.
GUPTA: What did Tom Price sort of fit in to all that for you?
BARROW: I think he was one of the best that I dealt with.
GUPTA: Price got his medical degree from the University of Michigan. It was during his orthopedic surgery residency at Grady Memorial Hospital in Emory University in Atlanta, Price met his wife, Elizabeth, Betty, an anesthesiologist and current Georgia State representative. Together they had one son, Robert, 26, who graduated from Vanderbilt.
[21:35:06] After eight years in Georgia State Senate, Price was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004.
Guided by strongly held religious beliefs, Price is staunchly against abortion, getting a zero rating from Planned Parenthood and a 100 from National Right to Life.
REP. SAM ZAMARRIPA, (D) GEORGIA: Tom is a -- lives and breathes public policy.
GUPTA: Sam Zamarippa served as a State senator with Tom Price.
ZAMARRIPA: This guy is a born legislator with a lot of skill.
GUPTA: Skill he's pledged the use to repeal Obamacare, something he has been trying to do for years.
REP. TOM PRICE, NOMINEE FOR SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: We want to repeal this law and we want to replace it with positive, common sense, patience-centered solutions that put patients and families and doctors in charge of health care, not Washington, D.C.
GUPTA: If Price is confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services, he would oversee 11 agencies, including the CDC, FDA, National Institutes of Health, and 80,000 employees. He'd be just a third physician ever appointed to this role.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me along with the rest of the panel. What do you hearing from doctors about Price but also about the Affordable Care Act?
GUPTA: Well, it's hard to paint doctors with one brush, you know, certainly, they're very different and they're also different a little bit on these two issues. I think for the most part, doctors have been pretty supportive of Tom Price, all the major medical organizations have released statements in supports of his nomination.
I think with regards to the Affordable Care Act it's almost more of a question of feeling a little stuck. That's probably the best way I can put it. Most of the major medical organizations said they would prefer to not see the repealed, more so, not so much because they agreed with all the principles of it, but because they don't want to destabilize the existing system now which has been in place. I think it was only about 3 percent or 3.2 percent of doctors gave the Affordable Care Act in A grade. So the vast majority giving, you know, C or lower.
GUPTA: So that's sort of the position they're in.
COOPER: It is interesting, John, I mean, as we talk about Trump talked to the "Washington Post", said his health care plan is insurance for everybody. I mean that's never been part of the Republican plan for health care and there's parsing of the words of exactly what he meant.
KING: Like on many issues, I do not mean to disrespect at all, but you need a Trump translator because he does not speak in the language of Washington. When he says NATO is obsolete, what his staff says he means this, a lot of members don't pay their dues. So people have to increase their defense budget, so not that he wants to get rid of NATO. On health care when he says insurance for everybody, does he mean universal coverage? Well that requires government incentives, that requires a lot of money. We don't know exactly what he means because he gives the statement -- he has said, I don't have the plan ready yet.
To Dr. Price, Congressman Price credit, during the repeal debate in Congress, he was one of the Republicans who said I have some plans. Now, they do not get to universal coverage or, you know, universal access. They don't have as much government role as much more market based. So if Trump has a plan that covers everybody or just about everybody that is different from his own health secretary's plan, this is a part of the confusion right now as we await for the specific proposal.
COOPER: And of course the timing of any kind of replacement is critical.
BORGER: Well, it's got to happen right away. And Donald Trump has made that very clear and politically he's absolutely right about that. Because to Sanjay's point about destabilizing the medical community, you are destabilizing the American population. You have 18 million people who have health insurance now who are afraid they're going to lose it. You have people with preexisting conditions, et cetera. And he understands that you can't take something away without giving voters something better. And it's complicated. They've had six and a half years from, you know, or eight years you might argue, but, you know, to replace it and they haven't come up with a real plan other than Price's plan, which a lot of people don't like, particularly Democrats and some Republicans. So how do you do that? How do you save Medicaid? How do you save Medicare and give people universal access?
KING: But (inaudible).
LORD: Well, you know, as somebody, Trump speak is my second language.
RYE: We've noticed. That was good.
COOPER: We're out of time so --
LORD: All right. So I think what he is talking about here is accessible, which is --
LORD: -- you know, everybody has health care access, that's what he's talking about. He's not talking about a government mandated in the insurance program. When I asked, Tom Price, I would just suggest again as I've said the main problem here is his position on Obamacare, not any of the rest of this. But that's why they do this.
COOPER: You're saying it's all political?
LORD: Sure. Absolutely. I mean, he's not the first to go through this kind of thing I might add.
BERNSTEIN: What do you mean he means access? He says what he means and he said something like this before.
[21:39:59] You know, he'll take on the Republicans sometimes. Now, they might try to beat him over the head on this because it is such an enactment to what they believe. But I'm not so sure.
COOPER: We shall see.
In the last hour, you we heard from a small business owner, who is very optimistic about the Trump presidency. Coming up next we'll hear the other side, leaders of the so-called "Sanctuary Church Movement", and the immigrants they protect and they are not giving up hope, but they're concerned about may happen, and hear from them when "360" continues.
COOPER: In this week of the inauguration, we're trying to bring you different perspectives, about how people are feeling about the incoming president. In the last hour, we told you the story of small business owners in Michigan who are very optimistic about a Trump presidency. What it may mean for job creation and growth. Now an opposing view.
For some undocumented immigrants, and the people who protect them, the Trump presidency is a source of fear for the future. It's how Donald Trump began his campaign they say accusing Mexicans illegal immigrants of being criminals and rapists. Here's what he said in June 2015, announcing he was running for president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you, they're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems with us.
[21:45:09] They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some I assume are good people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, Donald Trump is set to be sworn in as president. Pioneers of the so-called "Sanctuary Church Movement", which led to sanctuary cities are hoping that Trump may have a change of heart. Gary Tuchman tonight, reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The light to this Phoenix church window indicates this is a sanctuary church, and that a person temporarily living here is seeking sanctuary from being immediately deported from the United States.
That person is 48-year-old Sixto Paz, who is lived in the U.S. since moving from Mexico when he was 16-years-old. He has three children who are U.S. citizen. His work on the roof for many years and says he has no idea why he has been denied citizenship.
SIXTO PAZ, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: I want to stay in the United States, I want to stay with my family, I don't want to go back to Mexico, because I'm not strong enough to take a new life there.
TUCHMAN: Ken Heintzelman, is the man who has taken him in, he's the pastor of the Shadow Rock United Church of Christ.
REV. KEN HEINTZELMAN, PASTOR: There is a policy in place for authorities not to come into places like churches that are sanctuary sites.
TUCHMAN: Yeah. Are you worried that Donald Trump could change all that?
HEINTZELMAN: I am worried that Donald Trump could change that.
TUCHMAN: John Fife, the pastor emeritus of the South Side Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona agrees.
REV. JOHN FIFE, PASTOR: This is the first church to publicly declare itself a sanctuary for Central American refugees.
TUCHMAN: Pastor Fife is the co-founder of the Entire Century Movement, which began in the early 1980s. Hundreds of house of worship in American cities are now part of the movement.
FIFE: I'm not scared, but I am anxious about what we're going to have to face.
TRUMP: We're getting rid of these ridiculous sanctuary cities, which are disgraceful.
FIFE: I will do everything I can to resist the violation of human rights and in basic human rights of much of Donald Trump's proposals during the campaign.
TUCHMAN: Both ministers who both voted for Hillary Clinton said they told Donald Trump he should listen more, become more tolerant and more positive.
HEINTZELMAN: What I hear is a lot of we can't do this and we can't do that and we have to watch out for these people and those people and he'd really is feeding on fear and maybe he's a fearful man. Maybe that's why. So maybe he also needs to grow courage.
TUCHMAN: Both these men of faith say they don't have much faith they'll end up being pleased with a Donald Trump's presidency, but they aren't giving up hope.
HEINTZELMAN: Always have hope that people could change and everybody gets second and third and fourth chances. I mean God's grace covers every moment in every person's life.
FIFE: No one knows what Donald J. Trump is going to do after Friday. That includes -- I think members of his own staff. I think that includes members, certainly members of his own party. And so we're all preparing for the worst and hoping for better.
TUCHMAN: Sentiments shared by Sixto Paz, who's now lived in the church for eight months and waits to find out what his fate will be.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just ahead, new details tonight on what to expect on inauguration day now less than 72 hours away, some traditions will be the same, including the 35-word oath of office at every president- elect takes. But the Trump inaugural and shaping up to be smaller in scale in several respects. We'll talk about that ahead.
[21:52:46] COOPER: Less than 72 hours from now the Trump administration will begin when President-elect Trump takes the oath of office. Now we learn today, he'll be sworn in using his childhood bible, along with the bible of President Lincoln used at his first inauguration. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the 35-word oath that will install this nation's 45th president. As for the rest the inauguration day, there have been changes in plans, some controversies. Suzanne Malveaux tonight has the latest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump just days away from becoming president, promising a successful inauguration.
TRUMP: We're going to have a very, very elegant day. The 20th is going to be something that will be very special, very beautiful.
MALVEAUX: But at times it appears wrangling talent to participate has been challenging. Monday a Bruce Springsteen cover band announced it was pulling out of the New Jersey inaugural ball after hearing from angry fans.
WILL FORTE, B. STREET BAND: We were caught in a hurricane. I mean it just the frenzy was beyond anything we could ever expect.
MALVEAUX: This come just two days after Broadway super star Jennifer Holliday reversed her initial decision to sing at the pre-inaugural concert Thursday.
JENNIFER HOLLIDAY, BROADWAY SUPERSTAR: Everybody kept saying did Trump trick you? No, they did not trick me. And so I wanted to sing on the mall for America and for the people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
HOLLIDAY: I wanted my voice and I thought to be an instrument of healing and unity.
MALVEAUX: Today Sam Moore of Soul Man Fame announced he'd be stepping in, imploring Americans to give Trump a chance. Trump's inaugural team taking on the critics.
BORIS EPSHTEYN, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: It's disappointing that those who choose to honor America, choose to honor the peaceful transfer of power, it's very bed rock of our democracy are being harassed and are being mistreated by the so-called tolerant left.
MALVEAUX: A growing number of A-listers have refused to perform including reportedly Elton John, Justine Timberlake and Celine Dion. A flap turning into running "SNL" joke.
ALEC BALDWIN, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: What about some huge A-list actors coming like Angelina Jolie, Ryan Gosling and Jennifer Lawrence, they would all be at my inauguration courtesy of Madame Tussauds.
MALVEAUX: To that Trump tweeted, "NBC News is bad, but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job, really bad television."
[21:55:03] Acts confirmed for Trump's events include Toby Keith, the band 3 Doors Down, Most of the Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Former America's Got Talent contestant, Jackie Evancho, and the marching band of historically black college, Talladega which defied a public alumni petition to sit out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Some traditions Trump will honor, include laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, overnight at the Blair House, attending a prayer service and having tea with the Obamas at the White House before the swearing in. But will also say differences, a shorter speech Trump says he'll write himself. Three official balls instead of 10, and a brief 90 minute parade because of the limited acts. Compared that to the approximate 2 1/2 hour long parade for George W. Bush, 3 1/2 for Clinton and 4 1/2 for Eisenhower. Anderson?
COOPER: Suzanne Malveaux, thanks very much. We'll be right back.
COOPER: And that does it for us. Thanks for watching. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
[22:00:02] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Shock waves on Capitol Hill and all around the world after President Obama surprise commutation of the sentence of Chelsea Manning, convicted of stealing and leaking secret military intelligence.