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Possible Senior Staff Shakeup; Trump Adviser Repeats Voter Fraud Claims; Heroin Overdose Cases Spike; Husband of Deported Woman Speaks Out. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired February 13, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Ronald Reagan. And you can kind of put Reince Priebus, Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner into those same roles today. The difference is, I think, that Baker was a supreme political operator, probably the greatest of our lifetime, and Reince Priebus is having trouble, I think, holding all of these different power centers in line and keeping them moving in the same direction.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I don't think any of them would like being compared to Bannon, though, at this point, in what we see going on.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Yes, right. Well --

CUOMO: Let me ask you something, Ron, what do you think the reason is that the administration isn't doing more to highlight what it's been doing with business? This guy's meeting about -- the president's meeting with the prime minister of Canada today --


CUOMO: To talk about women and wages.


CUOMO: He's met with more business leaders from small business, medium-sized business, specific industries than we've seen any president do in this kind of period. It is never at the top of what they want to talk about. Why?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, and, you know, -- and, look, it's an area of frustration, I think, for Republicans because they believe that is why he got elected above all, that it was the -- you know, it was voters who felt left behind by the economic change, in many cases also by demographic change. But fundamentally the economic change. And that he, as a business person, was most likely to bring back prosperity to these places that had not seen that. I mean that statistic that's so arresting from the Brookings Institution, Hillary Clinton won less than one-sixth of the counties in the country. Her counties accounted for two-thirds of the total economic output of the country. So it is the places that feel left behind in the economy that elected Donald Trump.

But what you've got here are kind of mixed -- you know, you have mixed realities. I said Steve Bannon has envisioned a kind of realigning of American politics. There's a lot of ideology in that. There's a lot about immigration embedded in that. There's a lot about trade embedded in that. And I think those other priorities compete for time and space on the president's agenda and in their public messaging. But no question that the economic focus has been overshadowed and that may help explain why he is looking at this upside down, 40 percent approval, 55 percent disapproval in Gallup, which is so far -- so far into unprecedented -- unprecedented doesn't even really describe it.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and, in fact, yesterday, we saw that illustrated on the Sunday shows. There was Stephen Miller --


CAMEROTA: One of his top policy advisers, talking again about the vast voter fraud --


CAMEROTA: That went on in the 2016 election without presenting any evidence, other than the anecdotal evidence that he has heard, as have many people, I have -- I've heard it for over a decade, the thousands of people on buses coming across the state lines from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to throw the election in New Hampshire. He has no evidence of it. In fact, we invited him on our program this morning because he said I'll go anywhere, any time to have this conversation about voter fraud and we'll talk about what we know, but he declined our invitation this morning. Why are they continuing to beat this drum when all of the authors of the studies on which they're basing their false claims say they are misrepresenting our findings?

BROWNSTEIN: And, first of all, you had a chorus of leading Republicans in New Hampshire, including Tom Rath (ph), the former attorney general, and --

CUOMO: Sununu.

BROWNSTEIN: One of the most prominent Republican strategists saying this is completely groundless. And not only is there no evidence, but it is -- it is, you know, it is affirmatively wrong. Look, I think the explanation of why they are doing this, kind of the interpretation, has evolved. I mean it started -- and people think, well, it's peak, it's personal pride. The president didn't want to admit that he lost the popular vote. It had to be vote fraud.

I think as they persist, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, I think it becomes more clear that this is about something else. I mean this is -- this may be clearly about laying a predicate for tighter restrictions on voting, many of the things that the Obama administration fought in court as states have tried to tighten access to the polling place. They may be kind of laying -- paving the way towards supporting. And another round of battles I think both now and not only at the state level, potentially the federal level, about access to the voting booth. And I think that's what this is more about at this point. CUOMO: Well, I'll tell you what, and there you do have a potential fraud case to be made about voter suppression and what's been going on with laws around the country that are creating disparities and who gets out the vote.


CAMEROTA: Ron, thank you very much. Always great to talk to you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you, guys.

CAMEROTA: Another important story, overdose calls. Heroin overdoses have been spiking in one American city. Dozens of calls in the space of just a few hours. So what families say might be behind the spike. That's next.


[08:38:13] CAMEROTA: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

President Trump facing mount questions about his national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Sources say that Flynn spoke to a Russian ambassador about sanctions before President Trump took office.

CUOMO: The U.N. Security Council is going to hold an emergency meeting tonight after North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. It's the first test by Pyongyang since President Trump took office.

CAMEROTA: Nearly 200,000 people have been evacuated from areas near northern California's Oroville Dam. That's the nation's tallest dam. Butte County sheriffs say that the hole in an emergency spillway may not be eroding as fast as originally thought, and that's good news.

CUOMO: Still have to figure out how to fix it.

Legendary jazz singer Al Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy winner and such a unique talent, has passed. His death comes just two days after he was forced to retire from touring because of exhaustion. Jarreau was just 76.

CAMEROTA: On a lighter musical note, Adelle cleaning up on music's biggest night. The British superstar taking home five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year for "25." Adelle also winning Song and Record of the Year for her smash hit "Hello."

CUOMO: Didn't Lionel Richie sing that?

CAMEROTA: I think so.

OK, I have always thought that that was ripped off from Lionel Richie, but I guess that's another investigation that we'll have to do another day.

CUOMO: Were you obsessed with the word "karamu"? CAMEROTA: I beg your pardon?

CUOMO: Remember that, karamu, fiesta, forever. No?

CAMEROTA: That is -- is that Lionel Richie's (INAUDIBLE)?

CUOMO: Yes, of course it is.

CAMEROTA: Oh, all right.

CUOMO: I have a tattoo of him on my arm.

CAMEROTA: That was more than five things. That was like ten things. (INAUDIBLE). You can go to for the latest.

CUOMO: All right, now, serious topic that's hitting families all over the country. The opioid epidemic is just having us in its grip right now. Louisville, Kentucky, all right, that's the latest American city to see a spike in overdose calls. Emergency crews responding to 52 separate calls in just 32 hours. So, CNN's Rachel Crane has a mother's emotional story about their family's battle with addiction.

[08:40:15] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARLENE RICE, SON DIED OF HEROIN OVERDOSE: These are Gabriel's ashes. I just love you. I kiss him all the time.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Arlene Rice knows all too well the toll the opioid epidemic is taking on families across the country.

RICE: It has been very devastating to our family. It has -- we will never be the same. We will never be whole.

CRANE: She lost her son Gabriel nearly four years ago to a heroin overdose. Of her four children, three have battled substance abuse.

RICE: I miss him. He's -- he's a best boy. We always say, I love that boy. And he was the best kid, even up until -- we were close up until the day he died.

CRANE: Janice Durbin's son Jason has been fighting addiction for more than 20 years. He is currently in a treatment center.

JANICE DURBIN, SON BATTLING ADDICTION: It's the worst I think because then you think, what did I do wrong or should I have done this better or that better or -- because they -- everybody wants to tell you do tough love, and until they have a child who has an issue with addiction, they don't know what that means.

CRANE: Louisville, Kentucky, is the latest city to experience a spike in heroin overdoses. This week, officials responded to 52 overdose calls in just 32 hours, more than double the amount from the week before in the same time span.

DURBIN: It really makes me sick, really. That's the first thing that I think of. And it's just getting worse and worse. And it seems like there's nothing working or nothing being done.

CRANE: It's not just the parents who feel frustrated. ER doctors here are overwhelmed with patients. In January alone, Metro Emergency Services answered 695 overdose calls. That's 22 a day. Many of those patients are transported to Norton Audubon Hospital.

DR. ROBERT COUCH, NORTON AUDUBON HOSPITAL: We see it every day. And in times past it would be unusual to have a -- you know, very many heroin overdoses. Now it's unusual if we don't have them. It's a very good day in the emergency department if I don't see a heroin overdose.

CRANE (on camera): And how often are those days?

COUCH: I haven't had one of those days in a long time.

CRANE (voice-over): His worst day? This past fall when he treated nine overdoses in one shift.

COUCH: It's just an incredible burden on the health care system.

CRANE: According to Dr. Couch, doctors are administering higher doses of a drug called naloxone, a medicine that is used to treat opioid overdoses. That's because the heroin is getting stronger and stronger. That's why people like Arlene never leave home without her naloxone, also known as narcan. She says she carries it with her lipstick.

RICE: I never got a chance to tell him, you know, how sorry I was.

CRANE (on camera): How sorry you were for what?

RICE: For not understanding his plight.

CRANE (voice-over): And for that, Arlene is now an advocate for those fighting substance abuse.

RICE: There does come a point where you sometimes wear down, but then you get back up and you fight. You're like, I am not going to let this win. I am -- I will fight till the day that I die to try to ensure that someone else's child doesn't die. I can't save all of them, but maybe one.

CRANE: Rachel Crane, CNN, Louisville, Kentucky.


CUOMO: So many moms like those two on that couch. I've done a lot of deep dives on this issue, and it just keeps morphing. The heroin is stronger. The medicine cabinet is a new dealer in the thing because there's all this pain medication that's opioid-based.


CUOMO: It is not going away. And it lasts a lifetime.

CAMEROTA: I know. And it's so heartbreaking. Once you get caught in that, you know, downward spiral, how to break out of it -- I thought it was so poignant that she said -- everybody says tough love, tough love, but when you're the parent, that's very hard to do.

CUOMO: Yes, they -- because that assumes it's behavior, it's a choice. And once you're an addict, that's off the table.

CAMEROTA: All right, another story, obviously, that we're covering, President Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants. It is break -- it has broken one family apart. There's this mother of two in Arizona, she has just been deported to Mexico. So we're going to speak with her husband and the attorney representing the family about what this means, next.


[08:48:05] CAMEROTA: A mother of two -- two children, who were born in the U.S., in Arizona, has been deported to Mexico. Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos has lived in America as an undocumented immigrant since the mid '90s when she was brought here as a child. In 2008, authorities convicted her of using a fake Social Security Number. Each year, since then, she would check in with immigration officials. And when she checked in last week, they deported her.

Joining us now is Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos' husband, who does not want to be identified by name, and their attorney Ray Maldonado.

Thank you, gentlemen, for being here.

Guadalupe's husband, I want to start with you. What happened last week? Explain what happened when your wife went to check in, as she regularly did, with immigration officials.

GUADALUPE GARCIA DE RAYOS' HUSBAND: Well, she went Wednesday, as every year, just to do a normal check-in with I.C.E. For the past eight years she's been doing the same thing, checking in with them and with no problem. What changed last Wednesday is they decided to arrest her and then deport her.

CAMEROTA: Mr. Maldonado --


CAMEROTA: Explain what happened. Why this happened. Because, again, here is a woman who was brought here at 14 years old through no choice of her own by her parents. She has two U.S.-born children. The Trump administration has always said that they would prioritize the murders, the rapist, not the people who were law-abiding, hardworking people. What was Guadalupe's crime?

MALDONADO: Yes, her crime was trying to provide a better life for her children than she had growing up. If you're undocumented in this community, you essentially have to use a fake Social Security Number. She was arrested in one of the unconstitutional raids by our notorious former sheriff here, Joe Arpaio. As a result of that, she was given a criminal conviction. Now under the Trump administration, under these new executive orders, she's a priority for deportation.

[08:50:07] Essentially anybody who has even been arrested for a crime before now falls within the net of a priority for deportation. And we have to be very careful about these new executive orders from President Trump.

CAMEROTA: To Guadalupe's husband, how old are your children?

GUADALUPE GARCIA DE RAYOS' HUSBAND: My son is 16, my daughter is 14.

CAMEROTA: What are they -- how are they experiencing this family tumultuous situation that happened last week?

GUADALUPE GARCIA DE RAYOS' HUSBAND: Well, they're heartbroken. You know they're -- you can see in them -- they're strong, but inside we're heartbroken. You know, it is -- I can't even explain how it is to be -- to be without my wife, go in the house and see the house empty without her. It's really hard.

CAMEROTA: And your children have been able to see her?

GUADALUPE GARCIA DE RAYOS' HUSBAND: Yes, they were with her when she got deported to Novales (ph). They spent a couple of days with her before she went back to her hometown, or where she was born. I shouldn't say hometown because it is not really her hometown.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And so what does this mean? I mean what does -- will the children have to cross the border and go to Mexico to be with their mother? What does this mean as you understand it for your future?

GUADALUPE GARCIA DE RAYOS' HUSBAND: I mean if nothing gets fixed, basically, yes, that's what it is. They have to like cross the border to a different country to see their mom.

CAMEROTA: And what have they told you about that?

GUADALUPE GARCIA DE RAYOS' HUSBAND: Well, we haven't really talked much because they left as soon as their mom got deported. So we haven't really talked about that. But I mean it's really hard. They're really strong. I admire their -- how strong they are, but inside -- inside we're really heartbroken. It is really unfair. Like this is -- this is really -- this is really sad, you know.

CAMEROTA: Mr. Maldonado, I know that you've said that you believe that women like Guadalupe are now the priority for the Trump administration, but that's just very different than what we've heard. She's not a hardened criminal. She's not a violent criminal. Why is she the first?

MALDONADO: Well, I think that's what's so dangerous about these new executive orders. They put into the priority essentially anybody who is here undocumented. Our community could possibly be facing one of the biggest mass deportations in the history of the United States if President Trump follows through in what he's written in his executive orders. This is the first deportation under President Trump's executive orders, but there could be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people just like this family we're looking at right now that could be suffering in the very near future if we don't stop him and do something about it right now.

CAMEROTA: And, Mr. Maldonado, what is the plan? I mean this is what he campaigned on. You know that he has legions of supporters who say that just the initial crime of crossing the border, that that does, therefore, make them guilty of a criminal act. And, you know, his supporters think that this does help secure the border. So what is the plan?

MALDONADO: No doubt, this is a declaration of war. These executive orders are a declaration of war on the immigrant community. The plan now is for our community to come together, be organized, educate ourselves about our rights and be prepared to fight to stop deportations. In the case of Guadalupe, when she was arrested, she didn't go down without a fight and neither did the community. Those of us here in Arizona have been fighting quite a long time against the anti-immigrant sentiment. When they tried to take her away, seven people were arrested, stopping the van in which she was in. We need to see more of those actions across the country. We've got to do everything we can legally, we've got to do everything we can politically. But when the time comes, we also got to be ready to get down in the street and fight.

CAMEROTA: Guadalupe's husband, when will you see her again?

GUADALUPE GARCIA DE RAYOS' HUSBAND: We'll see. I don't know yet for sure. We're going to keep on fighting until we bring her back.

CAMEROTA: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Please keep us updated on this story. We'll follow it.


MALDONADO: Thank you.


CUOMO: All right, some tough stories out there. How about a little "Good Stuff" to start our week off?


[08:57:50] CUOMO: "Good Stuff." Some people in Idaho hitting the gym to show Parkinson's disease who is the boss. It's a boxing class. It's helping patients take control of their lives by keeping up their physical endurance. It's not just a physical workout for people with Parkinson's. One member says he's met friends there as well.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people really mean a lot to me. And this program means a lot.


CUOMO: The "Good Stuff" part is the man who created the class says the goal of the program is to provide not just physical but emotional support.

CAMEROTA: That's beautiful. So many people get that from their gym community as well.

All right, let's have some laughs. "Saturday Night Live" got a little spicy. Here are your late night laughs.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, ACTRESS, "SNL": First of all, Mr. Trump, you understand this is a TV court, right?

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR, "SNL": That's OK. I'm a TV president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "SNL": (INAUDIBLE). He's an authoritarian leader who has invaded other countries and killed rivals. He's President Trump's long-time crush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "SNL": Everybody, come on, lay off President Trump, OK? This man is a great friend. He's my little American happy meal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "SNL": Jesus. Kellyanne, what the hell are you doing here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, ACTRESS, "SNL": I just want to be a part of the news, Jake. Put me on the news, Jake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. OK. I'll text Fareed Zakaria. You can go on his show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fareed Zakaria? I have an office in the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) White House.


MELISSA MCCARTHY, ACTRESS, "SNL": There was some light terrorism this week when Nordstrom's decided to stop selling Ivanka Trump's line of clothing and accessories. OK, and that's Nordstrom's loss because these are high, high quality products. In fact, I am wearing one of her bangles right now. It's beautiful, it's shimmery, it's elegant, and at $39.99, it is unbelievably affordable. All right, any other questions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "SNL": Yes, just mentally though, are you OK?

MCCARTHY: Are you kidding me?


[09:00:00] CAMEROTA: I can watch Melissa McCarthy pretty much do anything all day long.

CUOMO: She's funny.

Who's going to play Berman? We're giving the show over to them now. There's a lot of news. What do you think, Colin Jost?

CAMEROTA: Oh, I don't know. I was thinking --

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: George Clooney. George Clooney.


CUOMO: George Clooney.