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NEW DAY SATURDAY
The Inauguration Of Donald J. Trump; Trump Takes Office With Two Cabinet Secretaries; Soon: President Trump To Attend National Prayer Service; President Trump Vows To End "American Carnage"; President Donald Trump's First 100 Days; Women's March To Begin Soon In Washington; Can President Trump Unify The Country? Aired 8-9a ET
Aired January 21, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:05] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The question is, did the new commander-in-chief's words do anything to help heal a nation that is still divided by the ugliest election in decades.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump already swinging into action signing his first executive orders and getting two cabinet picks confirmed. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people are descending on Washington at this hour for the women's march on Washington that begins very soon and it will go all the way to the backyard of the White House.
So we have it all covered for you. Let's begin with CNN's Athena Jones. She is live at the White House. What are you seeing, Athena?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Well, it was a busy first day for President Trump. As you mentioned, he got right to work as promised, even amidst all the festivities signing that executive order on Obamacare.
But while his supporters responded well to his fiery inaugural address, many others saw it as unusually bleak. Protests here and elsewhere are a sign that there's more work to do to unify the country after a divisive campaign.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear --
JONES (voice-over): Donald Trump sworn in as the 45th president of the United States delivering a fiery inaugural address, painting a grim picture of America.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities. Rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here.
JONES: President Trump promising to take a nationalist approach to governing. PRESIDENT TRUMP: From this day forward, it's going to be only America first.
JONES: Trump striking a populist tone, echoing his campaign rhetoric.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.
JONES: Trump criticizing the so-called establishment while being surrounded by Washington's political elite.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families. That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment, it belongs to you.
JONES: The president and vice president and their spouses bidding farewell to the Obamas after his address. Trump acknowledging his formal rival, Hillary Clinton, at a Congressional luncheon, after being criticized for not mentioning her in his speech.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I'd like you to stand up. I have a lot of respect for those two people.
JONES: The Trumps then making their way down Pennsylvania Avenue for the traditional inaugural parade and getting right to business. On his first day in the oval office, President Trump signing his first executive order to start rolling back Obamacare. The president also suspending a mortgage premium rate cut for homeowners and signing commissions for his first confirmed cabinet member.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: This was a movement and now the work begins.
JONES: Ending the historic day by dancing the night away at three inaugural balls. The first couple, sharing their first dance to a Frank Sinatra classic.
JONES: That song choice, "My Way," a pretty bold choice, the song has some defiant, tell it like it is lyrics. But, look, yesterday was an indication that President Trump wants to hit the ground running. He has more cabinet picks, at least one more cabinet pick, who is expected to get a vote early next week, and we could see the president visit some agencies in the coming days like, for instance, the CIA or other departments -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Athena, thank you very much for all of that. President Trump takes office with only two cabinet secretaries in place on his first day. The Senate confirming two military generals, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security John Kelly. So when will the rest be confirmed?
Let's ask CNN's Sunlen Serfaty. She is live in Washington with the latest. Good morning, Sunlen. SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Alisyn. James Mattis and John Kelly, they were both sworn in by Vice President Pence very quickly after they were confirmed by the Senate. The president saying he is pleased he now has two members of his cabinet in place.
But this is still far short of what Trump had wanted. He was hoping to have at least seven numbers in place already. Notably, this is far fewer than President Obama had on his inauguration day.
So Trump sending some very specific words to the Senate saying, quote, "I call on members of the Senate to fulfill their Constitutional obligations and swiftly confirm the remainder of my highly qualified cabinet nominees so that we can get to work on behalf the American people without further delay."
[08:05:12]And Senate Democrats, they have objected to many of Trump's nominees. They have been trying to slow down the process on Capitol Hill, setting up a lot of squabbling up there. There was a flurry of negotiations last night among Senate leaders and there will be some small movement on Monday.
They have agreed to open up debate and then hold a confirmation vote for Mike Pompeo, who is Trump's nominee for CIA director and Rex Tillerson for secretary of state will also get a committee vote on Monday. That vote, Chris and Alisyn, is expected to be razor close.
CUOMO: Well, Sunlen, literally, the party is over. It's time to get to work. In about two hours, President Trump and Vice President Pence will take part in a modern inaugural tradition both attending an interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral.
We have somebody there, CNN senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny. This is a little moment to get into the Lord's house before they go into the people's house and start doing the work.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. It is indeed. Donald Trump is going to get a tour of his new city, his new Washington as he heads from the White House to Washington National Cathedral in Northwest Washington in just about a couple of hours or so.
This is the 58th Annual Interfaith Presidential Prayer service. It's traditional the morning after the inauguration, the president, the vice president come here for an interfaith service. Chris, interfaith, it is indeed.
We are going to hear prayers in Hebrew. There's going to be a call for Muslim prayer. There's going to be archbishop of the Catholic Church. So this is going to be an interfaith service here. Donald Trump had a request for no preaching.
There's going to be a lot of music and ceremony, but there is no specific sermon here. So it is very a chance for Donald Trump and Melania Trump and the family, and the Pences as well, to come here to have a morning of quiet celebration, if you will, before he gets to work later today.
As Athena mentioned earlier, he could visit agencies. He has a busy schedule. It is going to start here with a quiet morning of prayer -- Chris and Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: All right, Jeff, you have both Houses of Congress, you have the White House, Democrats saying that there will be resistance. What are they all going to do?
Let's discuss, CNN contributor, reporter for the "Washington Examiner" and the "New York Post" columnist, Salena Zito, CNN political analyst, David Gregory, CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief of the "Daily Beast," Jackie Kucinich, and CNN political commentator and senior columnist at the "Daily Beast," Matt Lewis.
Salena, you can't go wrong talking about American carnage, the pain is real. The forgotten are real. The question is, can you deliver now that their hopes are elevated that they won't be forgotten any more, what can be done and soon?
SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that's his big challenge, right? I think tax reform is probably his best thing to get started with in terms of seeing something big happen. That will make manufacturers and big businesses happy. They'll start to release inventory. They'll have more confidence in the economy.
I talked to some of them out in the Midwest and that was the thing they were looking for almost immediately. It signals to them that they have an administration that will work with them. They've also been meeting with the transition team. I think that's something the people don't know. They have been talking about that.
Also health care, I think that the health care reform. But I do think it is in their best interest to do it in a piecemeal way, sort of the way that Rahm Emanuel told President Obama to do in 2009 and they dismissed him, and he ended up being out of the oval office pretty darn quickly.
CAMEROTA: So that's a good summary about the domestic picture. He also gave us insight into his view on foreign affairs or at least America's place in that. He said this sentence, "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone but rather let it shine as an example for everyone to follow." An aspirational view of foreign policy. How did you see it?
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think, look, I think the America first language harkens back to isolationism. I mean, it harkens back to a period of time when America did not lead the international order that emerged out of World War II. That's really significant and let's just talk about Russia.
If Russia wants to pull the U.S. into negotiations in Syria and there could be a partnership between Russia and the United States in combatting ISIS, does that mean that America averts its gaze from what Russia does domestically to crackdown on descent, what it does in Crimea grabbing parts of the Ukraine, that's going to be a huge issue within the Republican Party.
And Trump will get a lot of resistance to that and he could also be taken advantage of by Vladimir Putin, who has taken advantage of previous presidents.
CUOMO: Also, what do we know about, Salena says, work on tax reform? OK, conceptually, that's right. But where is Trump versus where GOP leadership is even on that issue?
[08:10:09]JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: They're not on the same page. Republicans are not on the same page when it comes to tax reform. This is where Trump -- he fashions himself as an amazing negotiator. This is where that will be put to the test, not only with Republicans but with Democrats.
He is going to need to build a coalition to get whatever he does try to put forward through because there's a reason tax reform hasn't been able to be done because everybody has their sacred cow, things they want to push, everyone wants to spend money on different things.
And coming together on that, and Paul Ryan is going to be a very good advocate, but it will be difficult and they're going to have to spend some political capital there.
CAMEROTA: As a conservative, what part of the inaugural address jumped out at you?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Obviously, it was a very populist speech. Pat Buchanan could have given this speech. I think that's what the message for me was that this is not a guy who campaigned as a populist and is going to govern as an insider establishment guy or even as a Reagan conservative.
This is a guy who is going to have a strong populist appeal and that's going to be the challenge, can that be, you know -- OK, new infrastructure, that's something that fiscal conservatives may not like spending a trillion dollars on that, but do that -- but can they reign him on other things or is this going to be somebody who goes rogue, who triangulates the whole time, and is essentially governing as a third party candidate, not as a Republican.
GREGORY: Populism scares the hell out of people. A lot of Americans didn't vote for Trump who are afraid. Immigrants are afraid, worried about deportation. Muslims are afraid. A lot of women are afraid or --
CUOMO: Well, explain that. Explain how populism means different things to different people.
GREGORY: Well, it does. We are talking about economic populism, but this is someone -- the president talked in his inaugural rather cryptically about restoring our borders. He didn't go farther than that. Some people thought he might have, even though he's talked about a wall with Mexico and the like.
So I think he's had, and of course, we know about him proposing and backing away from the Muslim ban. I do want to point out that the prayer service, I think he's had -- he's hit some different notes including grace notes.
He is going to have Mohammad (inaudible), who is a well-known imam in Northern Virginia that does a lot of interfaith work and is progressive, who fights jihadi elements within the community, and reaches to and represents a lot of South Asians in this area, Pakistani, Afghan, Indians, all who are as part of his many congregations.
That's a really grace note on the part of Trump that wants to reach out to that community. At the same time, he had a preacher yesterday who in the past railed against gays and gays --
LEWIS: Populism, people think it is popular, means it is for the people. But really for populism to work, you almost always have to have those people, there has to be an enemy of the people -- I'm with you and that's where --
GREGORY: That's true. That's why I think de-emphasizing. My view is that Trump has big economic populous votes. I don't think he wants to tear up the social fabric of the country. I don't think he wants to sign executive orders sending the dreamers back. I could be totally wrong about that. My sense is he wants to win as he says. I think he is going to look for those areas where he can notch some victories.
ZITO: Populism at its core is just against anything big, big bureaucracy, big government. You saw him turn around to the people behind him and say you guys have gotten this all wrong.
GREGORY: The media.
ZITO: Yes. Everything big. That is all it is at its core, anti-big.
CAMEROTA: So Jackie, let's look at what he's done in his first partial day in office yesterday. Two cabinet picks confirmed, defense and homeland security, and he signed some executive orders.
KUCINICH: Yes, and those executive orders, it's already sort of controversial. What he did with the FHA mortgages could potentially hurt low income and middle income people, where every dollar counts. May be a percentage, but when you have a budget, those percentages matter.
CUOMO: Well, it doesn't hurt but it won't help.
KUCINICH: It won't help but it could hurt.
CUOMO: It could have gotten a $500 rebate and now they're not going to. I don't know that's a nod to populism.
KUCINICH: Right, exactly. And I felt like they need to explain that a little bit more, why they did that. It kind of came out --
CUOMO: We had Marsha Blackburn on here and I didn't understand her explanations at all. CAMEROTA: She was trying to say it was a correction. Housing got it wrong.
CUOMO: She said let's take the time to look at it. It is a simple thing. Do you have enough in your reserves at the FHA to cover any loan defaults? That's the problem in 2008. You had the Democrats who were protectionist about that, right. They were against what happened in 2008 as much as anybody, they say they have enough money there, and then they cancelled the rebate back to the homeowners.
CAMEROTA: It is basically poking something in the eye of President Obama because he had just done it.
[08:15:02]LEWIS: To Jackie's point, part of the problem is there's this saying attributed to Margaret Thatcher, first you win the argument, and then you win the vote. You don't roll out things randomly. There was another one on Obamacare, an executive order. Nobody knows where it came from. Why they're doing it? There's no laying the ground work.
CAMEROTA: Right. All right, panel, thank you very much. Great to talk to you.
CUOMO: All right, so what's happening today? Big things, thousands of people are heading to Washington, D.C. demanding equal rights for women. The slogan women's rights are human rights. What's motivating them? Will these 600 sister protests around the country pan out? We have two of the organizers next.
CUOMO: Thousands of Americans at this hour are descending on Washington, D.C. for what's expected to be a massive women's march from the U.S. capitol to the backyard of the White House.
CNN's Kyung Lah is live on the National Mall. That's where the march will soon begin. What is the feeling and what is the kind of numbers that you're seeing there raw?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the best thing to do, because I can't possibly count the size of this crowd is simply to show you, Chris. I want you to look that way and then my photographer will do an entire sweep. We're basically in the shadow of the capitol. What you see here is a giant grass roots gathering.
You can see for yourself the size of this crowd. It is a very diverse crowd. I'm seeing a lot of varying ages, moms, kids, even saw a woman carrying her baby. You see women that marched in the 1970s for equality then and they're back here doing it now.
[08:20:05]What we are anticipating is we'll see some speakers. About 50 plus speakers, women from Gloria Steinem who echoed in 1907s to women of today like Scarlett Johansson. It is a two mile march. They end near the ellipse.
And so what we're expecting is to be very peaceful but a sizable crowd. You mentioned how big is this? We can't count, but we can tell you that organizers here anticipate 250,000 plus women with 600 sister marches happening in cities across the country -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Kyung, keep bringing us all of the developments from there if you would. Thank you very much.
Want to bring in now two of the organizers for today's march. We have Pam Campos-Palma, an Air Force veteran, and the organizer of the Women's Death March, and Margaret Huang, the executive director of Amnesty International who is co-sponsoring the women's march today in D.C. Ladies, thanks so much for being here. Pam, explain the mission of this march today.
PAM: It is quite simple and quite aligned. Women are present, women have been leaders and contributors throughout history at every single juncture. We are no longer to be made invisible. I think we will see that here today in our sheer numbers. All of the issues that will be represented.
CAMEROTA: But what does that mean. Is this connected to Mr. Trump's presidency, and if so, how do you feel Donald Trump had made you invisible?
PAM CAMPOS-PALMA, WOMEN'S MARCH ORGANIZER: Frankly, this is bigger than Donald Trump. This is bigger than this administration, right, and it is more about what we are for than against. Populous fascism spreading around the globe. It is a breakthrough for us to do this in the United States and the administration has really pushed us to show our voice and show our strength.
CAMEROTA: So not an anti-Trump march as you see it. We have seen some signs that we can't put on television because of their colorful language connected to Mr. Trump. So what are the issues? What are you marching for?
MARGARET HUANG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA: The reason Amnesty International is here today is because we wanted to make sure that folks across this country had the chance to stand up and be counted for human rights. Today's march is actually a pro march, pro-human rights, pro-human rights for everyone, it's very inclusive.
After the hateful rhetoric on the campaign trail over the last several months, we wanted to deliver the message that people are going to be willing to be activated and mobilized to stand up for human rights the next four years and beyond.
CAMEROTA: Pam, can I boil it onto protecting reproductive rights and striving for equal pay?
CAMPOS-PALMA: Absolutely not. I mean, what we're seeing here is the historic show of intersectionality. I mean, as a veteran myself, my issues, what I care about as a Latina, as a person that has immigrant roots, the issues are vast.
And then the veteran community, I myself was Vets Versus Hate, a grass roots organization that will not tolerate the politics of hate and bigotry. The banquets are immense. We as military members and women, we rely and serve to the government and education, health care, buckets are enormous.
Foreign policy, we will be the ones that will have to go fight whatever war the next commander-in-chief deems, right? And a trigger happy administration is concerning.
CAMEROTA: So why just women? Why just women instead of family or men and women march?
HUANG: Well, it is actually a women -- a march for everyone. In fact, amnesty is happy to say that we're hosting sister marches not only across the country but around the globe. I have colleagues in Denmark, United Kingdom, Canada and many other countries who are also marching today in solidarity around these intersectional values.
CAMEROTA: This will go up to the backyard of the White House. So what are you hoping the first family, including the first lady, sees and gets out of your message and the march today?
CAMPOS-PALMA: I mean, for Vets Versus Hate, it is that veterans are not political toys. He needs to know us. The next administration and frankly lawmakers across the political spectrum need to wake up, start being accountable to our people.
For Vets Versus Hate, we have Muslim Navy men who have served, openly gay, Latina Marines. Where do you see that? Where do you see our stories? And where do you see our needs if you are not seeing us.
And so it is imperative we be listened to and especially women who have been so crucial to so many movement and progress in this country, that's why we are here to show that collective leadership.
CAMEROTA: One of our Republican contributors, one of the Republican consultants, Alice Stewart, was on CNN, and she said it is not a march for all women. In fact, she said the largest conservative group concerned women of America were not invited. They don't feel included. What's your response?
HUANG: Everyone has been invited today. This is an open mall. All activists are welcome. Sometimes might not be aligned with others in terms of messaging. I think the key is people are willing to stand up and people are willing to be activists for what they care about. In this case, it is human rights for everyone.
[08:25:12]CAMEROTA: So meaning you didn't extend an official invitation to some groups but you take all comers and conservative women are invited if they want to join in.
HUANG: If they're ready to march in the platform that the march has identified as a very expansive one with inclusion of a lot of key issues, we are welcome to have everyone with us.
CAMPOS-PALMA: The key is openness, right? The key is that this is why we came to this political moment of hate and bigotry. I respect the office of the president. I do not respect someone that gained their vote, demonizing, criminalizing communities that have served this country.
So we in Vets Versus Hate, we have libertarians, conservatives because we are willing to work with each other. Something that frankly a lot of politicians have not done and you're seeing a grass roots movement that is willing to do that.
CAMEROTA: Any idea on how many you expect today?
HUANG: Hundreds of thousands and that's just in Washington. We'll have millions around the world.
CAMEROTA: OK, we will be watching. Pam, Margaret, thanks for previewing it with us today. Thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.
HUANG: Thanks for having us.
CAMEROTA: All right, President Trump wasting no time, taking action in his first hours to begin dismantling Obamacare. What else is he hoping to get done in his first week? We talk to a member of Trump's transition team next.
CUOMO: All right. President Donald Trump waking up for the first time in the White House as the leader of the free world. The president's inaugural address striking a populist and nationalistic tone, Trump renewing his promise to put America first.
Let's discuss with Wisconsin Republican Congressman Sean Duffy, a member of the president's transition team. Good to have you in person. So what was the message for you in the inaugural address yesterday?
[08:30:00] REP. SEAN DUFFY (R), WISCONSIN: I look at place I come from, Wisconsin, there's a lot of people feel forgotten over the last 10, 20 years. And Donald Trump took the stage, repeated some of the messages from the campaign that I haven't forgotten you, men and women that lost their jobs, haven't had pay increases.
I'm going to fight for all of you who have been left behind. I think that was the message that really resonated with people across Wisconsin and across the midsection of the country. I know he has gotten a hard time about the tombstone comment that was in relationship to factories that closed and violence and gang activity.
But if you're in a community with that kind of violence or in a community that had those factories close, you're applauding going thank you for recognizing the problem, and that's the first step to actually solving the problem to say it exist.
CUOMO: His trick is there are layers to problems. He lost most of those communities where you have people dealing with those kinds of problems because they felt that his populism is actually exclusionary. It is about white people and not people of diversity, and not economic or religious or racial diversity and he lost a lot of the communities. How does he make up for that?
DUFFY: Have you seen the inner cities?
CUOMO: That's where the problems exist that he's talking about.
DUFFY: But it also exist in places like mine, which is, you know, fairly white. And I think he spoke to the inner cities as well. I know you have been left behind, what do you have to lose? Give me a shot. Saw him do better than Mitt Romney in inner-city communities. Now the point is you have to deliver. You have to work on policies that can actually help lift people. It is not an easy solution.
CUOMO: That's the danger of getting people's hopes up.
DUFFY: But what do you think the first African-American president, Barack Obama, would have made it better for those communities. I think in the last eight years, I think the community has -- I think we have broken racial barriers with the presidency, but have you helped make it better.
CUOMO: When you have your party committed to opposition from day one, there was a stymie in Congress that helped get Trump elected. You know that the anger is much more directed as Washington than we've seen in recent history. So now you get a fresh start with a new president to see what they do.
Out of the box, he signs a couple of executive orders. One of them could have gone to the heart of what he said yesterday. You struggle to pay your mortgage, that's your FHA population. You're going to get some money back. Obama signs this thing. The administration signs an executive order stopping it. Why?
DUFFY: Let me get to that in a second. First, you say we were opposition, the party of opposition, I would disagree with you in a sense that --
CUOMO: The GOP?
DUFFY: Yes. It is a great media hit. When I got there in 2010, there's big ideas that we want to implement, knew we had to work with the president on. Frankly, he didn't want to work with us. Democrats and Republicans understand in this town that you get things done and your dad understood, you get things done by building relationships and friendship and trust.
President Obama never reached out to Republicans or Democrats. It is a town of relationships and I think that's a place Donald Trump can actually improve. Reach out to people. Go bowling in the White House bowling alley.
CUOMO: I don't disagree with the relationships, I feel like you are explaining the opposition as opposed to saying that you weren't opposition. You were opposition. You're saying why you were.
DUFFY: No. I am saying we could work on tax reform. We would have worked on health care reform. Obamacare wasn't working for people. We were there with open hands and how do we fix the bill that you think is --
CUOMO: The man that wants to reach across, you do this first deal with the executive order. Why didn't he give money back to the homeowners?
DUFFY: FHA is first time home buyers and low income buyers. This is an insurance fund. It's a subsidy given by the federal government. The trust fund that insures these homes needed a bailout three years ago, $1.7 billion. It is not secure. The deal is not --
CUOMO: It wasn't adequate. Now they're saying coffers are adequate.
DUFFY: But is this the threshold you need to be right now? It is just a hair above where we need to be legally with that trust fund. So Obama wants to lower the rates, but also jeopardize the trust fund which jeopardizes the program and the very people the program is there to help. So you want to make sure that the program exists with sound insurance rates for these homeowners if you're going to allow the program to continue to exist.
CUOMO: So then you guys need to show threshold amounts aren't adequate. Now they say they are.
DUFFY: I am on the committee of jurisdiction. I chair the subcommittee that deals with this, they're not and so we wonder why are you lowering rates when you don't have the mortgage insurance fund that is solvent? That's the greater debate.
But the program was never set up, all the losses aren't going to be borne by the American taxpayer, it is going to borne by those who pay the insurance rates.
But if you lower them, you have less money going into the fund that insures this important program. That's what he is talking about is make sure these programs exist for the very people who need them.
[08:35:07]CUOMO: But that comes out to the numbers and you can present them later and we'll whether it was the right decision.
CUOMO: What big thing are you guys going to work on that you think out of the box will make a difference. Where can Donald Trump get the Republican Congress to do what he wants and how will that happen?
DUFFY: I think on health care you're going to see us work with them. Again, waiting to see what his ideas are. He said some things different than House Republicans. Tax reform, I think you're going to see bipartisan movement on tax reform. We are going to do border security, whether it's a full wall or partial wall.
Those are all things that are important that he talked about on the campaign that have a huge impact on people. I know that they'll say 20 million people have now have coverage, and that's true. We had the conversation before, but you know, 350 million people in America and rates have increased, premiums increased for all those folks. We have to have a system that works for everybody. Help the 20 million that help insurance but lower rates and make it work better for average Americans.
CUOMO: Just a complicated problem. Health care costs go up, this will be a protract debate. We will cover it. You're always welcome here to make the case. It's great to have you, Congressman Sean Duffy.
So as President Donald Trump begins his first full day in office, thousands are going to march ending at the White House demanding equal rights. We have a live report of hundreds of buses making their way to D.C. next.
CAMEROTA: Thousands of people across the country are traveling to Washington, D.C. today to demand in part equal rights for women at this march for women that begins very soon. Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Jim Himes along with his wife, Mary, and their two daughters, Emma and Lily. Great to see all of you Himeses. Thanks so much for being here.
[08:40:08]Congressman, I talk to you all the time. So let me turn my attention to the other half of the family. What are you all doing at the march today, Mary?
MARY HIMES, WIFE OF JIM HIMES: I'm here, I'm just really thrilled to be here with the many, many other women and supportive men who are concerned about the direction the country is going to go in under the new administration and a Republican controlled Congress.
CAMEROTA: What specifically, what message are you sending to President Trump?
MARY HIMES: The message I would like to send is really that I'm not OK with a plan to defund Planned Parenthood. I'm also very concerned about the reciprocity bill that's moving through the Congress and that relates to gun safety.
CAMEROTA: OK. Emma and Lily, you're 17 and 14 years old. What does today mean to you?
EMMA HIMES, DAUGHTER OF JIM HIMES: Well, for me I've kind of seen Donald Trump's success normalize hate across the nation. As a young person, I don't think my generation should grow up thinking angry rhetoric is the way to deal with conflict.
LINLEY HIMES, DAUGHTER OF JIM HIMES: I think our generation is the one that are going to be affected by this incoming administration. So I really just want to like show my voice, and say I'm not going to sit here. I have to have like do something to let them know that this is what I believe and this is what I want.
CAMEROTA: Congressman, you're not a woman. What are you doing here? REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: You can see being home isn't always the easy restful thing. I'm here for the same reason that my family is here, which the new president needs to understand that his rhetoric, his anti-woman rhetoric and anti-woman activities doesn't fly.
In this country if you want to make America great again, make sure women are paid the same as men are paid for doing the same work. You make sure they have every opportunity that men have. That's how you make America great again.
I hope today is a statement that women need to be respected and treated as equal, not spoken about the way Trump has spoken about them.
CUOMO: Look, that's one of the statements of today. But as a Democratic Congressman, isn't one of the other statements that you're already opposing the new president. I mean, he has not been in office for 24 hours yet. Is this the right tone for his very first day?
JIM HIMES: Well, you know, as a member of Congress I've got to be open to working with the president. My constituents expect that of me. Obviously given where we have been up to the inauguration, with a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act for 20 million, 30 million off of their health insurance, first acts of office making it harder to buy their first home by defunding financial support for the FHA. Websites taken down, LGBT, climate change. This is not a first day that is reaching out to the American people.
CAMEROTA: You mean the White House website?
JIM HIMES: The White House website.
CUOMO: Well, they say that it is under construction. That they are building it from the ground up. So we don't know what it will look like when they're done.
JIM HIMES: Yes, I guess, we will regard that a little skeptically until we see those climate change and LGBT statements put back up there.
CAMEROTA: As we speak, obviously you can see a sea of bright pink hats already assembling behind us on the mall here. Emma, Linley, have you ever been involved in a march before or any civil disobedience?
EMMA HIMES: Well, I have never been involved in a march. We did do some activism at my school with regard to violence with the police and African-Americans. This is my first time marching for women.
CAMEROTA: So what's it like to be here today?
LINLEY HIMES: It is amazing. You can feel the energy walking down the street. Everyone is like all here for the same time. Driving down the road coming down here, everyone has so many cool signs and writings on the car and so many supporters coming down. CAMEROTA: And what's it like to have your daughters be a part of this?
MARY HIMES: Well, I'm thrilled to be nurturing these young activists. I think it is terrific that they wanted to come. I didn't have to ask them, they were just really excited to participate.
CAMEROTA: What did you think yesterday of Mr. Trump's inaugural speech? So many people saw it different ways. What was your take on it?
JIM HIMES: Again, I was one of the members that chose to attend. A lot of Democrats didn't. I am approaching it as I am very concerned about the rhetoric and some of the things he's saying. But I guess I wish I heard in that inaugural speech more of a reaching out to people that are a little nervous about him, whether it is communities of color, the disenfranchised, LGBT population.
You know, it was a pretty angry speech. You know, it was the use of the word carnage. I mean, you know, it was a dark speech. But look, my job is to work with the president, to try to advance the interests of the state of Connecticut and the American people.
And so I'm here to try to make a more positive, optimistic, and forward looking-statement that I think was made in that speech yesterday.
CAMEROTA: I mean, look, what he would say is that they don't like identity politics, and that he sees everybody as Americans. That Americans are going to be winning again. If you buy American, put Americans back to work, it doesn't matter if you're LGBT or black or Italian-American or whatever.
[08:45:07]JIM HIMES: Yes, but let's be very clear about who is practicing identity politics. We're here and as Democrats and as progressives to say we're all equal. Everybody should be paid the same amount, everybody should have equal rights.
It is Donald Trump who's singled out Muslims for a Muslim registry. It was Donald Trump who made disparaging comments about women. It was Donald Trump who criticized a judge with Mexican heritage. That's identity politics. We're sending a message that we are all Americans. That's identity politics.
CAMEROTA: Yesterday, we saw a few pockets of protest and they got violent, there were riots. A couple of riots yesterday, 95 people were arrested in Washington, D.C. Some police officers got hurt. Do any of you have any anxiety or nervousness as you go to a march that's this big and in this sort of divided atmosphere?
MARY HIMES: Yes, of course, I have some anxiety but I've heard from a lot of women that they want this to be a peaceful protest. I haven't heard anybody who has said let's go and throw bricks. So I'm a little bit concerned, but I feel good that it is going to be a great march today. CAMEROTA: Mary, Emma, Linley, thanks for taking time to share with us and tell us your motivation. Congressman, always great to see you. Thanks so much for being here on NEW DAY.
President Trump will head soon to an interfaith prayer service. What will America's new commander-in-chief do to unify the country? We discuss that next.
CUOMO: President Trump, Vice President Pence, both soon heading to an interfaith prayer service at Washington National Cathedral. The theme of the service is healing and prayer. Can the president unify the country with his actions and words?
[08:50:00]Let's discuss, CNN contributor, reporter for the "Washington Examiner" and "New York Post" columnist, Salena Zito, CNN political commentator and former New York City council speaker, Christine Quinn, and CNN political commentator and senior writer from "The Federalist," Mary Katherine Ham.
MK, does he want unity. Didn't division work for him? Didn't his splintering of parties and exacerbating some of tensions work for him? He certainly didn't speak the unity talk yesterday.
MARY KATHERINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I think that's an open question. There were parts of the speech that I think did do the things people asked him to do, did recognize we don't want prejudice and we should recognize those parts. There were other parts of the speech counter acted those parts.
So I think he is always going back and forth. He is going to continue to. I think the hope with him is that he loves people to love him, and his audience is now all of America. So I think he would do well to reach out to all of America.
CAMEROTA: In fact today at this interfaith service, we understand that a very popular Northern Virginia imam recently invited by the Trump team to be part of it. Are you seeing any good signs that would lead you to believe unity is possible in this climate?
CHRISTINE QUINN, FORMER NYC CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: You know, anything theoretically in the world is possible. Yesterday's speech was very disappointing to me. Obviously this is not the person I wanted to be elected president, but I did hope that yesterday's speech would be a moment where President Trump would try to actually bring people in, where he would give an inaugural address, not a campaign rally speech.
CAMEROTA: But what would that have sounded like? What could he have said that would have heartened you?
QUINN: Well, I think he actually could have mentioned in a positive way, for example, some of the communities that feel left out. He could have mentioned some of the communities who felt attacked during the campaign. It rings hollow to me as a woman and lesbian to hear Donald Trump say he is not for prejudice when so many of the people he is appointing to the cabinet, with his positions, vice president positions, are ones that are anti-woman and starkly anti-LGBT.
So the words in no way connect to reality and sent out no hope. The speech felt to me like the on-going dog whistle of the campaign. I think what he tried to unite more firmly is his people and I worry there'll be no effort beyond that campaign work of uniting his people.
CUOMO: But American carnage does speak to this wide diorama of need in this country, Salena Zito. I mean, he mentioned drugs in the inner cities, mentioned single mothers that are struggling, he mentioned a lot of different demographic communities and some of them didn't come close to winning but he did mention them. Doesn't that signify something?
ZITO: Well, I mean, it should. And it was an important moment in the speech, people have been criticizing it. There's large parts of America that look like that, and they're not just white areas or black areas, they're all over the place, sprinkled all throughout this country.
They're outside of the inner states, and one of the things that makes me really sad, if you go through a town, you see a stream of abandoned homes and there's some sense of sadness there because someone's life is gone, they were never able to come back, they were never able to put their lives together to hold onto that home, and that in fact an entire community, it spreads out.
It hurts the churches, the schools, because all of a sudden they don't have enough money to pay for the services and then the poll becomes (inaudible).
QUINN: I work every day in New York City, not with homes but with homeless mothers in New York City with children, women of color. There was nothing in the campaign of Donald Trump that spoke to their reality and there was nothing in the speech in my opinion that spoke to their reality that they are seen by him, that they matter to him. I see there's nothing that he has said or done that leads me to believe when he says American carnage, he recognizes African-American and Latinos.
CUOMO: Christine is playing on something that's real, which is the difference between hearing and listening, right, which is -- he's saying it, but you're not taking it in because you don't believe that's what he's really about. He said some of the words yesterday, but there are people like Christine in the country that don't believe him.
HAM: The American carnage phrase, I didn't love that phrase. He said the people who are hurting, yet he didn't reference specific groups, that's the opposite of what his campaign was about, but he referenced people are hurting and said their successes are all our successes, their pain is all our pain. Therefore, we should move forward as one nation.
[08:55:02]I actually think he deserves some credit for that. He is not going to talk like Barack Obama when he is talking about these things and shouldn't expect him to recognize that he is making steps. QUINN: And I hear that, but the problem is he singled out communities during the campaign. His campaign singled out communities in negative ways. So I understand he is not Barack Obama, he is not Hillary Clinton and it is not going to be that but he did purposely or not damage by singling out communities in ways that were super negative and discriminatory to many.
He had healing to do and healing takes work and I think he chose not to engage in that work, which makes it harder for people who are in those communities to believe any of the bread crumbs that were thrown out.
CAMEROTA: Hold on a second, leads us to what's happening behind us now, and that is the women's march on Washington. You can already see people coming to the National Mall from all over the country. They have taken buses here. Salena, this is on his first full day, this is what's happening.
CUOMO: All over the country.
ZITO: It's all over the country.
CUOMO: Hundreds of coordinated marches.
ZITO: It is part of the -- I'm very proud that we can do this in America and celebrate our differences. The optics may not be the best thing in the world, but I don't think it is terrible. It does show all these sides of us.
CUOMO: Look, he talked about them during the campaign, now he can talk to them.
CAMEROTA: Ladies, thank you very much. CNN's coverage continues with Wolf Blitzer after this very quick break. Thanks so much for joining us today.
CUOMO: Happy Saturday!
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and thanks very much for joining us from Washington, D.C. in the U.S. capital. I'm Wolf Blitzer.