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Interview with Senator Tammy Baldwin; Trump Can't Believe Travel Ban Fight with Court; New England Patriots to Hold Parade in Boston; Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired February 7, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:34:14] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Poppy Harlow. So glad you're with us.
Less than two hours from now, the full Senate will begin its confirmation vote for Betsy DeVos, President Trump's choice for Education secretary. She has been his most embattled nominee.
BERMAN: As of now, the Senate looks split 50-50 with two Republican senators joining Democrats in opposition but despite Democrats pulling an all-nighter to try to convince one more Republican to defect, it isn't clear that they have that vote.
One of those Democrats to make that case overnight is Senator Tammy Baldwin, Democrat from Wisconsin. She joins us right now.
Senator Baldwin, thanks so much for being with us.
SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D), WISCONSIN: It's a pleasure. Thank you for having me.
BERMAN: So you and your colleagues were up all night trying to peel off one more Republican vote to stop the nomination of Betsy DeVos. Do you have that vote?
[10:35:01] BALDWIN: You know, I have not heard it reported that another Republican will vote against her, but we are still hoping. I've heard from an extraordinary number of Wisconsinites. Over 7,000 phone calls, over 14,000 e-mails. I have to expect that my Republican colleagues are hearing the same because simply put, Betsy DeVos is unqualified to lead the Education Department. And I am hopeful, especially for those Republicans who represent states where public education is everything, and they'll understand that Betsy DeVos, with her longstanding record of trying to privatize education and bring tax dollars out of public education, and put them into private schools, that they will understand that this is in the interest of their constituents from their states.
HARLOW: So, Senator, I want to play for you what one of your fellow Democrats told me this week. Kevin Chavous, he's the executive -- he's the executive counsel for the American Federation of Children. He's a Democrat. He used to advise the Obama administration on education issues. He is supporting DeVos. Here's how he put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN CHAVOUS, DEVOS SUPPORTER: She cares about kids. She believes in public education but she also believes in making sure we give a lifeline to those kids we know are going to drop out tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: And he cited a statistic from his organization saying one child drops out of school, public school in America, every 42 seconds. Why do you believe he's wrong?
BALDWIN: You know, it's not about his perspective. It's about whether she has even the basic rudimentary understandings of the major debates in education. Whether she understands our public school system's K-12 and higher education --
HARLOW: Right. And he said -- and he said she does and she will fix a system that he believes is broken, citing that fact. Why do you think he's wrong about her specifically?
BALDWIN: Because I sit on the education panel in the U.S. Senate. I've had a chance to meet individually with Betsy DeVos. I've also had a chance to see her try to tackle questions for hours at a education panel hearing, and she failed utterly to show that she even had the basic grasp of our traditions in public education in this country, including failing to understand the individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the commitment we make to make sure that every child in America has access to a free public education, regardless of race, regardless of disability, regardless of zip code or parents' income.
BERMAN: Senator Baldwin, you are up for re-election in 2018. And a lot of folks are looking at this and saying this could be a tough race. President Trump won your state in the past election. Yet you come out in opposition to his Cabinet nominee for Education secretary and several others and recently just last week, two days after the nomination, came out against his choice for the Supreme Court, Judge Gorsuch? Is that representative of the will of the people of Wisconsin whom you represent?
BALDWIN: You know, in 2012, the people of Wisconsin sent me to Washington to stand up to powerful interests and work as hard as I can to advance opportunities for Wisconsin's working people. And what I am doing every day is continuing to pursue those goals, whether it's opposition to Betsy DeVos or these other Cabinet secretaries that have been put forward who are much more aligned with powerful corporate interests and not focused on the struggles of everyday Wisconsin families just working hard to get ahead.
BERMAN: All right. Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate your time, especially after being up late with your fellow Democrats.
BALDWIN: Thank you, John. HARLOW: Thank you, Senator.
BALDWIN: Thank you, Poppy.
BERMAN: All right. I got one bit of housekeeping we want to do right now. Yesterday when we were reporting out the officials who backed the travel ban, we had a graphic mistakenly showing a picture of the wrong John McLaughlin. We showed the TV host instead of the former CIA director. And we apologize for that error.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:42:22] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, how far are you willing to take your travel ban?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to take it through the system. It's very important for the country, regardless of me or whoever succeeds at a later date. We have to have security in our country. We have to have the ability. When you take some place like Syria, you take all of the different people. And if you remember, ISIS said, we are going to infiltrate the United States and other countries through the migration. And then we're not allowed to be tough on the people coming in? Explain that one. So we'll see what happens. We have a big court case. We're well represented. And we're going to see what happens.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is it going to go to the Supreme Court, do you think?
TRUMP: We'll see. Hopefully it doesn't have to. It's common sense. You know, some things are law, and I'm all in favor of that. And some things are common sense. This is common sense.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, if it's unreported or underreported -- unreported is the phrase you used yesterday, but if it's underreported, why do you think the media is not reporting or America is --
TRUMP: Well, I happen to think -- I don't have to -- I have to know. Because I'm reported on possibly more than anybody in the world. I don't think you'll say anything about that. I happen to know how dishonest the media is. I happen to know that stories about me that should be good, or bad. You know, I don't mind a bad story if it's true. But I don't like bad stories that should be a positive story, when they make them totally negative, I understand the total dishonesty of the media better than anybody. And I let people know it.
I mean, the media is a very, very dishonest arm and we'll see what happens. Not everybody. And I have to say that. I always preface it by saying not everybody. But there's tremendous dishonesty. Pure outright dishonesty from the media. Let's go into the --
(CROSSTALK) (END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: All right. There you have it the president as he meets with sheriffs from counties across the country taking a few questions from the White House pool there talking about and defending the travel ban saying he hopes it doesn't have to go all the way to the Supreme Court, calling it common sense. Doesn't even seem to understand why it's being debated. Also, once again, going after the media.
Ryan Lizza is back with us, also Lynn Sweet.
Ryan Lizza, common sense versus something that should be debated. Your take?
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, look, the question about this travel ban from the beginning is, is it targeting the right people? Right? I mean, since 9/11, there have been 396 terrorism cases. Right? Those are people in the United States or Americans abroad that the American authorities have gone after for terrorism related charges.
[10:45:02] 83 percent of those people -- this is according to the New America Foundation which tracks all this stuff. 83 percent of those cases were American citizens or permanent residents. So what you hear from -- and, you know, I spent the last couple of days talking to a lot of counterterrorism officials so I wrapped my hear around this. What you hear from the counterterrorism world is we don't understand why a ban on these countries is -- helps make us safer, right? And so that's I think the argument that they just haven't made to most people's satisfaction.
BERMAN: It's one of the things the judges today, the federal appeals court in San Francisco may decide on. They may decide on other things including standing. But we also heard the president talk about how he will let this work its way through the system now. I mean, now federal judges will get to rule on this, it may go all the way to the Supreme Court.
You talked to a lot of people on the Hill. He might have been able to avoid all of this had there been a greater level of consultation and maybe some more planning before signing this order.
LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Yes, John, exactly. And it could have been made more -- it could have been made more legal bulletproof. But it didn't happen that way. So when the president said he's going to work -- let this lawsuit work through the system, at this point, it really is not up to him because the lawsuit exists. The arguments will be made.
The case, I believe, will end up in the Supreme Court. Right now 4-4 divided. So then we add on top of this what will be the unfolding drama over the confirmation of President Trump's newly minted Supreme Court nominee. So this goes back to the goal is something everybody agrees on. You don't want a terrorist in the nation. How you then have the plan to make sure that happens is what's essentially and simply at issue here. HARLOW: So one of the other things he did there in those brief
remarks is that he attacked the media. He said, I don't mind fake stories. That is actually in opposition to the -- you know, what he tweeted yesterday. He said, I don't mind bad story, I should say. I mind them when they're good stories and the media purposefully turns them negative.
SWEET: When it's about him.
BERMAN: Look, I don't think there's any question that this White House, and I'm not being critical, they want cheerleaders. I mean, they want the media to be cheerleaders to their policies and proposals. And that's not the way it works.
LIZZA: Yes, look, there's always a certain amount of working the refs. You know, it's usually the phrase we use like the White House and campaign officials attacking the media, trying to get us to focus on things they care about. This is at a level, though, that is far different. And there is just this sort of obsession right now with trying to get us to focus on the issues that they care about to the point where they are just brow beating us every day. And, you know, I think that that is troubling, especially when you're doing it before a military audience as he did yesterday.
HARLOW: But, Lynn, as a tactic to get the media to do that, saying things like he said yesterday in front of the military audience saying the media doesn't cover terror attacks enough, which is completely just flatly false and then we're talking about that and perhaps not about this travel ban likely going to the Supreme Court?
SWEET: It's a distraction. It's a tactic. It's a strategy. And I don't think I can say it enough. I think it will be hard to sustain because at some point he has to get more into the nitty-gritty of governing. On the other hand, of course, it's damaging to the press. Of course it's distrustful because -- you know, we have thick skins. Reporters can always take criticism, but when you say things that we don't report on terrorism, when you take that broad sweep from local to national to international, it's just not true.
And the reporter who did the follow-up today, in the White House, had a very good question. Are you saying, sir, that it's underreported, which is, OK, we can debate, or not reported at all, which isn't true?
LIZZA: And just look, one other point, I have a piece that just posted on NewYorker.com. I talked to a number of counterterrorism officials, Bush administration, Obama administration, and the surprising thing that I heard from them is what they were worried about is if this is the atmosphere that the White House is creating now in a period of relative calm in this country where we are not under threat, where we are not seeing terrorist attacks in this country, what happens when there's an actual terrorist attack in this country?
HARLOW: Yes. LIZZA: And if the White House is attacking the media and the
judiciary for, in their argument, not focusing enough on this, what happens afterwards when the country is jittery and scared?
HARLOW: And needs to be brought together.
BERMAN: Laying the groundwork right now for that.
Ryan Lizza, Lynn Sweet, great to have you with us. Really appreciate it.
Still to come for us, wicked bad weather in Boston, but that doesn't matter because they are wicked tough there. And they are there to greet the world champion New England Patriots home with their Super Bowl trophy and their many, many rings. Stay with us.
[10:53:47] BERMAN: All right. This just in. My sources in Boston telling me the Patriots nation packing the streets, greeting the heroic Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
HARLOW: Andy Scholes has more on the victory parade in a snowy and bleak but cheerful Boston in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. Yes. It's not an official holiday in Boston but close to it. The fans braving the cold weather out there to get a glimpse of the champion Patriots as they make their way through downtown Boston. This a live look along the parade route. Now the parade set to step off in just a few minutes. The team is going to be riding through downtown on those duck boats just like they did back in 2015.
As you can see, a little snow coming down, but Boston fans are quite used to these championship parades. I saw this picture on Twitter I wanted to share with you guys just moments ago. This is a young fan named Patrick McGillicuddy -- not that one. Another one. But anyways, the picture said, "I'm 15 years old. This is my 10th championship parade." How about that? Those fans. There it is. Right there. Fans in Boston, a little spoiled up there, you might say.
Now another story we're following this morning, guys, finding Tom Brady's jersey now a top priority for law enforcement officials in Texas.
[10:55:03] You got the Texas Rangers, Houston Police Department and NFL security all looking for Brady's jersey. And Brady said, you know, he put it in his bag in his locker after the game and it was just gone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: Did someone take my jersey? I put it in my bag. I absolutely put it in my bag. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: And that was the moment Brady realized the jersey was gone. He searched high and low for it but came up empty. Now the lieutenant governor of Texas says they are on the trail adding that Texas places a high value on hospitality and football. Very disappointed this happened in the city of Houston. Now collectors say that Super Bowl MVP game-worn jersey could be worth as much as $500,000. Guys?
HARLOW: You know, I'm pretty sure I know who has it.
BERMAN: I would only have it because I want the sweat.
SCHOLES: John Berman's basement?
BERMAN: The essence of Tom Brady. I want to have that close to me.
HARLOW: Andy Scholes, stay with us for the surprise that you ruined, my friend. Let's bring her up.
SCHOLES: Was it me?
HARLOW: Baby Sienna, fully loving her Pats. Thank you, Berman. She says. She rocked it out all day yesterday.
BERMAN: You know, she's a winner. She is a winner already.
HARLOW: She's a winner. She's a winner.
BERMAN: She knows what it's like to win.
HARLOW: With her little Nike ducks, I should add.
BERMAN: Very, very cool.
HARLOW: Thank you, Berman.
BERMAN: All right, Andy. Thank you so much.
SCHOLES: All right. Have a good one.
HARLOW: Thank you guys for being with us. I'm Poppy Harlow.
BERMAN: I'm John Berman. "AT THIS HOUR WITH KATE BOLDUAN" starts after a quick break.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We begin with breaking news involving President Trump's controversial travel ban. In just hours, a legal showdown on the fate of the executive order. Federal judges are set to rule on whether or not the hold on the ban stays in place. But moments ago the new secretary of Homeland Security took the blame for the rocky rollout.