Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Advisor Says Misspoke on Fake "Massacre"; Howard Stern Concerned about Trump; Many Republicans Opposed to Trump's Wall; Iran Fires Back Over New Sanctions; Super Bowl LI on Sunday. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired February 3, 2017 - 14:30   ET



[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

The famous Louvre Museum in Paris will reopen after a knife attack. A man with a machete in an underground plaza attacked people. He was shouting "God is great" in Arabic. A soldier fired five shots in response. The attacker was injured the stomach with five shots. The photo shows the wounded in the area where the attack was thwarted. About 250 individuals were inside Louvre. They were evacuated in small groups.

A, quote, unquote, "alternative fact" Trump's senior advisor is now walking back. Kellyanne Conway last night made the absolutely false claim that a non-existent terror, quote, "massacre" spurred former President Obama to place a travel ban against Iraqis. 100 percent false because no such attack happened, and because no such ban ever took place.

Here is Conway.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: These are very narrowly prescribed and also temporary. I bet there was very little coverage. I bet it's brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to the country, were radicalized, and where the masterminds behind the Bowling Green Massacre. It didn't get covered.


BALDWIN: That was the original interview. Kellyanne Conway this morning said she misspoke, tweeting, saying she meant to say Bowling terrorists, not massacre. And including a report on two Iraqi refugees who lived in the town, arrested in 2011 for sending money and weapons to al Qaeda. Fact, these two men never planned or committed a terror attack on U.S. soil. As for the sixth-month ban, wrong. After those men were arrested, President Obama ordered the re-vetting of nearly 60,000 Iraqi refugees, recently allowed in the country, resulting in a delay in letting anymore in. The bogus massacre and ban were met with immediate blowback. Even

Chelsea Clinton tweeted, writing, "Very grateful no one seriously hurt in the Louvre attack or the (completely fake) Bowling Green Massacre. Please don't make up attacks."

Even the mayor of Bowling Green, Kentucky, has since said he appreciates Conway's clarification.

Let's start here with White House reporter, Jeremy Diamond. And Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources."

Jeremy, Conway's correction to the mistake still was wrong. It didn't address that it wasn't actually a ban under President Obama and now she's still responding. What's the latest tweet?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Kellyanne Conway has taken to Twitter to continue to push back on this. She started out saying it was an honest mistake and fired back at Chelsea Clinton, "I misspoke, you lost the election." So clearly hitting the Clintons on losing the election. She also tweeted, "The real lesson from Bowling Green, who will cover, who will care." That is the reference of what started this in Bowling Green was two Iraqi refugees, who attacked U.S. troops in Iraq and planned an attack that never happened. That's essentially what sparked this misstatement, with Kellyanne Conway calling it a mistake in an interview.

But it all comes within the very important context in the way the White House has sought to delegitimize reporters. She referred in particular with the MLK bust. That was quickly corrected by the reporter who was responsible for that. And yet, the White House from the briefing room here, continued to push back on that and continued to use that as an example to continue attacking reporters. So, all of that very important context as we consider whether or not this was an honest mistake and whether or not folks should move past this very quickly.

BALDWIN: It's something that, Brian Stelter --- Jeremy, thank you -- that you pointed out in this piece. For example, Zeke Miller, from "Time" magazine, absolutely mis-reported that the MLK bust was removed from the oval office. Wrong. He corrected it. But it was something the Trump administration, as you point, out, for six days, carried that along as evidence of media bias towards his Trump administration. Yet, look at this.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: Maybe in this case, maybe next time Kellyanne Conway will think what the press is doing when mistakes are being made and not use them to attack the entire press core.

It's striking, as Jeremy was saying, as Conway was following up, not apologizing, but instead saying there's a real issue here. He's ignoring all the attacks done not by refugees but by citizens here lawfully --

(CROSSTALK) [14:35:21] STELTER -- and others like that. She's cherry-picking, in one case, two refugees who were here who may have been trying to send weapons to Iraq, ignoring those other cases. But it's valuable for us in the press to point out what's actually happening here.

BALDWIN: Let's talk about listening to Howard Stern on the radio and what -- he's known Donald Trump for years and years and years, right? So, Howard Stern talked about his concerns about President Trump. Roll it.


HOWARD STERN, RADIO SHOW HOST, HOWARD STERN SHOW (voice-over): I personally wish he had never run. I told him that.


STERN: Because I actually think this is something that it's going to be very detrimental to his mental health, too, because he wants to be liked. He wants to be loved. He wants people to be cheered for him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Do you think this could take him down?

STERN: Yeah.


BALDWIN: Let me play this other snippet where he says Donald Trump loves Hollywood.


STERN: I don't think it's going to be a healthy experience. All these people -- and by the way, he's now on this anti-Hollywood kick. He loves Hollywood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anti-press. Anti-everything.

STERN: Yeah. First of all, he loves the press. He lives for it. He loves people in Hollywood. He only wants to hobnob with them.


STELTER: Fascinating.

It is an interesting insight from his perspective into the president's brain. We saw the SAG awards, the arguments, Hollywood really coming down on the ban. Makes you wonder.

STELTER: It does. Stern spent decades hanging out with Donald Trump on the radio, now saying he's pissed he won unquote, but to hear from one of Trump's old friends, not that he doesn't agree with his politics, he was always clear he supported Hillary Clinton during the campaign but these two know each other quite well and Stern is saying this could be bad for his mental health. He wants to be popular. And when you're president, you're not necessarily going to be popular. Approval ratings are between 40-45 percent. Sean Spicer says those numbers will improve. But right now, he is in some ways record levels of approval and record low levels of approval, record high levels of disapproval. But for someone who cares deeply about polls and ratings, you do have to wonder what affect it will have on him over time.

BALDWIN: To pick Howard Stern's brain.

Howard Stern, give us a call.

STELTER: Howard Stern wants to be popular, too.

BALDWIN: Brian Stelter, thank you so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

BALDWIN: Jeremy Diamond, appreciate you as well.

Next, will President Trump be able to build the wall? Why some Republicans in Congress are saying no.

And President Trump signing an executive order rolling back a key financial regulation from the Obama era. What it means for the economy going forward.

Stay here.


[14:43:10] BALDWIN: President Trump's plan to build a border wall now facing some concern and doubt from members within his own party. A growing number of Republicans are rejecting to the cost and viability of the proposal.

Manu Raju, our CNN senior congressional correspondent, broke this story. He's with us now from the Hill.

What are you hearing from certain Republicans, Manu?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORERDSOPNDENT: A lot of concern over the price tag being anywhere from $12 billion to $15 billion. The Republican leadership last week said it could cost that much and likely will not be offset by expending cuts because it is expected to send to Congress to fund this wall, but fund it through emergency spending which does not need to be offset by spending costs. There are a lot of Republicans worried about adding to the deficit. A lot of them campaigned as deficit hawks, and to simply throw another $15 billion on top of it is prompting some significant pushback, anything from Republican leaders, like John Cornyn of Texas, as well as Bob Corker, also swing voters like Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. So, this is a big problem for Donald Trump. If he does not figure out a way to satisfy these concerns, he will not get a spending package through Congress, and that could be the end of his wall. A big question how the Trump administration deals with now -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Let's take a listen to what some have told you.


RAJU: He's obviously talking about having Mexico pay for it. Do you think that's actually a viable option?


RAJU: Why do you say that?

MCCAIN: Because it's not a viable option.

RAJU: You've been here a long time. Are you skeptical in any way? Do you believe that Mexico will actually pay for this wall?

UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: I doubt that they're going to pay for it.


[14:45:13] RAJU: So those are significant comments from veteran lawmakers.

And why that's significant, Brooke, is because the plans for Congress to pay for it and Mexico pay for it later, but if members do not think Mexico will, then that means taxpayers will. So, you can quickly see why this wall proposal gets very difficult just to get the funding done, and not figuring into lawsuits to try to stop it.

So, a lot of questions going forward about whether this can be implemented, despite Donald Trump's campaign promises -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Manu, thank you.

Next, breaking news on Iran. Iran responding moments ago. This is Trump's security advisor, Michael Flynn. He has new harsh words for Iran. We're following this closely.

Stay here.


[14:50:21] BALDWIN: At one point, the number of children with elevated lead levels in their blood doubled and some tripled during the Flint water crisis. A recent study shows they are now below the federal limit. However, lead exposure has already affected so many families. But one special organization is helping raise money for those affected by the crisis.

Here's Chris Cuomo with this week's "Impact Your World."


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Many may have forgotten about the Flint water crisis, but for families like Leanne Walters, her twin boys are a daily reminder of the effects.

LEANNE WALTERS, FLINT RESIDENT: They both have hand-eye coordination issues and being retaught.

CUORO: Walter says people can't even tell her sons are twins any more.

WALTERS: Gavin is not growing properly.

CUOMO: But it's not just the physical and developmental effect, there's also an emotional toll.

WALTERS: It clicked in their heads, OK, we were poisoned. Are we going to die?

CUOMO: Kathy Horton is one of the leaders of the Flint Child Health and Development Fund, which focuses on the short and long-term needs of the city's children exposed to lead.

KATHY HORTON, PRESIDENT: FLINT CHILD HEATH AND DEVELOPMENT FUND: We have committed to raising money over the next ten to 20 years to follow these children into adulthood because sometimes it takes year for the impact of lead exposure to manifest itself.

CUOMO: The Walters family still relies on bottled water for everything, drinking, cooking, baths.

Walter says they use about 10 cases of water a day.

WALTERS: What's happened to my children, to the children in my community? It's taken away their innocence. That's no OK. That's not something they can get back.


BALDWIN: Coming up, more breaking news on the back and forth between Iran and the United States. Iran firing back, calling them, in a word, illegal. This after we heard from Trump's national security adviser with new harsh words for Iran. We're following it closely. We'll have it at the top of the hour.

Stay with me.


[14:56:00] BALDWIN: From football fans to odds makers everyone is talking about Super Bowl LI. Will it be Tom Brady after Deflategate or from my hometown, Atlanta Falcons rising up for their first Super Bowl win. And the ads. Budweiser's appears to make quite a statement about immigration.

But in the end, it's all about what happens on the field.

Andy Scholes, rough gig. Got to go to Houston. Obviously, I have my red on for the American Heart Association and Go Red Day. But also has to be the Falcons color. Coincidence, whatever. Tell me about Houston.?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORT CORRESPONDENT: Patriots are three point favorites. If the Falcons want to win this game on Sunday, their number-one priority has to get to Tom Brady. The only way you're going to beat Brady and the Patriots is if you can find a way to get him in the back field and knock him down. And the Falcons know that's going to be a tall order on Sunday.


DWIGHT FREENEY, ATLANTA FALCONS PLAYER: Tom is very aggravating because he doesn't want to get hit. He throws the ball quick and timing and all that, so it becomes very frustrating. Because as a defensive line, you want to hit the quarterback, but that's hard with Tom because the ball is gone most of the time.


SCHOLES: According to the American Gaming Association, $4.7 billion is expected to be wagered on the Super Bowl. I picked out some of my favorites. You can bet on what color will Lady Gaga's hair be during her performance. Pink pays 10-1. Will there be a score in the first 30 seconds of the game? If, yes, pays 55-1. And will President Trump tweet three or more times during the game? According to the odds makers there's a 61 percent chance that happens.

Of course, we've got you covered all weekend on CNN. Tune in 2:30 eastern tomorrow for our kickoff, a "Bleacher Report" special. Former Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward, along with John Berman and Coy Wire will be here.

Brooke, I want to go back to the best I just talked about.


SCHOLES: I want to hear from you. What color are you expecting from Lady Gaga --


BALDWIN: Why doesn't she go bright flaming red. Why didn't she go ---

SCHOLES: Bright red.

BALDWIN: -- bright flaming read. You've got the Pats, the Falcons. Going bright red.

Donald Trump is obviously going to tweet. He loves Tom Brady.

And doesn't Vladimir Putin have a Super Bowl ring from the Patriots somewhere in Russia? Am I wrong on this?

SCHOLES: That is --- that is a long story about how Robert Craft misplaced one of his rings and somehow it ended up with the Russian KGB or something.