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President Trump Played Golf with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky; White House Says North Korea is the Biggest Threat Right Now; Senator Joe Donnelly to Support Justice Neil Gorsuch; President Trump Declined to Throw Out the Ceremonial First Pitch on Opening Day; Concerns Over Privacy on the Internet. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 2, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:08] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello to you. Top of the hour. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for being us with on a Sunday. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
A relatively calm Sunday so far for Donald Trump White House. The battle changes in a few hours. The start of a critical week of international diplomacy. The big set for the possible spilling about long empty seat in the United States Supreme Court.
In just a few days, the President of China pays his first visit to the U.S. under the Trump administration. Trade, jobs, and then of course North Korea dominating the two leaders' agenda. Today, in an interview, President Trump makes a declaration about North Korea that he says applies whether China is onboard or not. We will have more on that in just a moment.
But tomorrow, that's when a Senate committee decides whether to advance Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the full Senate. Whether there are enough votes to confirm him is still very much unknown. All this is much of our nation's capital remains laser focused on the drip, drip, drip of that investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.
Now back to President Trump pressuring China today. The President telling the "Financial Time" well, if China not going to solve North Korea, we will. This comes just five days before he sits down with the leader of China at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Plus, new signs today that President Trump may be taking another crack at an Obamacare repeal. He played golf today with the Republican who opposed his health care plan on first go around.
I want to bring in CNN's Ryan Nobles at the White House and Matt Rivers in Beijing.
Ryan, let's start with golf and talk a little bit about what happened there on the links and the health care talk.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Ana, this is kind of an interesting decision by the White House to actually tell us that Donald Trump was on the golf course. So we know when he actually goes to golf courses. But his aides are often reluctant to tell us whether or not the President actually played golf. Well, today, they told us did he play golf. And he did it play golf with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky which you mention was a fierce opponent of the original proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare, also a budget director Mick Mulvaney was on with the three -- this golfing outing.
And Rand Paul actually spoke to reporters very briefly after that golf outing. And this is what he had to say about the conversation about health care.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We had a great day with the President today. We did talk about some health care reform. I think the sides are getting closer and closer together. And I remain very optimistic that we will get Obamacare a repeal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: That's important because Rand Paul was one of if not the biggest critics of the original plan that ended up not even making it to the house floor so the suggestion that perhaps there's been some movement there could be a positive sign for the White House.
And the President himself echoing Rand Paul's comments in a tweet earlier today. He said talks on replacing and repealing Obamacare are and have been going on and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.
So this White House continues to talk about health care when originally they talked about moving away for the time being to talk about other things like tax reform and infrastructure and, of course, as you mentioned, ahead of a big week where they have a Supreme Court nomination and also this big meeting with the President of China - Ana.
CABRERA: Ryan, thank you.
And I want to bring in Matt Rivers now in Beijing to talk more about that upcoming meeting.
Matt, China's President visits the White House. Will meet face-to- face with President Trump for first time. And today the President in short said the U.S. is going to take on North Korea with or without China. What's the reaction there?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, when government officials get up here in Beijing in just a few hours from now and react, I think you are going to hear a very consistent policy position from the Chinese that has been their position for well over a decade now. And that Chinese, they think the only way to solve the ongoing crisis in the Korean peninsula is through getting back to the negotiating table. Either under the kind of framework during the six party talks that ultimately failed in the mid-2000s or through direct negotiations between the United States and the Kim Jong-Un regime. China firmly believes that that is only way to really solve this crisis in a lasting and peaceful way.
Now the Trump administration, of course, said that it should be China that should be doing more to solve this crisis. The China should be using the economic leverage of which it has a lot of over North Korea to force Pyongyang to halt its weapons development. Those are two very differing opinion from both sides. The United States and China that will certainly come up when President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida for the first time. I think, Ana, it's fair to say that North Korea will be at the very top of the agenda given how tense the situation is right now in this part of the world.
[19:05:00] CABRERA: And the White House saying North Korea is the biggest threat right now to this nation.
Ryan Nobles, Matt Rivers, thank you.
Let's discuss further with CNN senior political analyst David Gergen. He was an advisor to presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.
David, always great to you have on. First your reaction to Trump's go it alone comment on top of those tweets earlier this week in which he said this meeting is going to be difficult. What kind of tone are you setting for this week's big meeting?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he is trying to set a foundation that he is going to be tough in these talks. There is a possibility, Ana, that the two sides could strike a major bargain, a major deal. The United States and the Trump administration, it is urgent to get the North Koreans to stop building missile system that could hit Los Angeles. And they want -- they want and think the Chinese with much more muscular sanctions economic penalties could help bring that about. They do not want to get this through negotiations.
Secretary of state Tillerson has said when he went to Asia time for patient diplomacy is over. The time for negotiations is over with the North Korea. So the Trump team has a very clear objective with China. At the same time, China wants to avoid a trade war with the United States. You remember that President Trump as candidate was promising a 45 percent tariff on imports from China coming into the United States. Now he is not going to do that. But actually, it's very unclear what the U.S. position is within the administration. There is a fight going on in the administration over what trade policy ought to be. It hasn't been resolved yet. So it's not at all clear they can come up with the deal. But you can see the making of the deal.
CABRERA: And, in fact, just this week the President did issue some executive orders on trade, looking into trade abuses as they put it. You talk about this deal. And it's funny because that "Financial Times" article that we referenced earlier, there was also this quote in which he says I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries. And I hope so. So perhaps a little bit of foreshadowing of a deal. What kind of a deal do you think though that China might agree to? GERGEN: Well, the Chinese are tough bargainers. And they are very
smart about their diplomacy. They are a lot better over it over time. You notice how they approached the Trump administration. They have been going through Jared Kushner. They have had a very strong built, have a very strong relationship with the son-in-law. And he apparently is --
CABRERA: Why Kushner instead of Tillerson?
GERGEN: What's that?
CABRERA: Why do you think Kushner is handling China versus Tillerson?
GERGEN: Imagine secretary Tillerson wonders the same thing. Listen, it's very odd. We never had this before. That a member of the Presidential family has been assigned not only large responsibilities for China, and most important bilateral relationship that United States has but is also been charged with finding peace in the Middle East. So 37-year-old was out experience but very close to the President. So I think that explains it. But I do think from the state department's point of view, from the point of view from professional diplomats, it's very disconcerting to have the state department not only for marginalize in a lot of this but facing a prospect of a severe budget cut and so those things are tough.
I think one thing, Ana, if I might add on a lighter note, you know, I think serious people raise a question of why is the President of the United States holding a summit conference with President Xi in all places Mar-a-Lago?
CABRERA: Right. Because Xi has basically said golf is not a good thing. And (INAUDIBLE),
GERGEN: Exactly. That's right. And it's also go to a golf course because in China, you know, golf is considered a millionaire's game. So he has been particularly tough on golf. He has basically dismantled a lot of golf course as cross China and he banned members of the Chinese communist party from playing golf. So I don't think we'll see him on the links like we saw rand Paul or in fact we saw it from Japan in Mar-a-Lago earlier.
CABRERA: How do you suppose the President of China deals with Donald Trump our President in the U.S. differently than with President Obama?
GERGEN: Well in, the pace of President Obama, President Obama was quite seasoned as President by the time Xi became head of China. And so the initial meetings it was xi who was the rookie in effect. And he was feeling his way along. Now, we have a much more confident Xi who is going to be in power for a number of years. He has just strengthened himself with party conference. And he is the pro. He is very sophisticated about these issues. And it's Donald Trump who comes in and basically as the rookie. And I think the Chinese are quite confident. They have spent a lot of time preparing for this meeting. They put a lot of stock in this relationship. And I think that President Trump's going find it as tough as he can sometimes get in his rhetoric. He is dealing with a very, very tough hombre in President Xi.
[19:10:20] CABRERA: And going back to North Korea, we remember that North Korea fired off some missile tests back when the prime minister from Japan was at Mar-a-Lago with President Trump. Do you anticipate they might try to do the same here?
GERGEN: That's an interesting questioning. They would -- they might. It's hard to say that they would because I'm not sure they want to pull the tail of the Chinese. I think it's more likely that they will have the opening rounds of conversations around North Korea and trade. And that at the end of the meeting, President Xi will do something very, very smart and that is he will announce China is investing far more in the infrastructure of the United States. You know, you had Jack Ma from Alibaba come over earlier and promise one million new jobs in the United States. And that, of course, would make Trump look good coming out of the meeting. I think we are much more likely to see that kind of outcome.
CABRERA: All right. David Gergen, always good to talk to you. We really do appreciate your time. Thank you.
GERGEN: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: China's President will visit at the same time another major international issue hang over the Trump White House. The federal investigation over how much if any last year's Presidential election was influenced by Russia.
Today, the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee was on CNN and talked about concerns he has with steps taken by his committee chairman.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: You do you think that chairman Nunes was part of an attempt to provide some sort of cover for the President's claim about Obama wiretapping him at Trump tower which obviously this does not prove. But to cover for that or an attempt to distract as you are suggesting?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: It certainly is an attempt to distract and to hide the origin of the materials, to hide the White House hand. The question, is of course, why? And I think the answer to the question is this effort to point the Congress in other directions. Basically say don't look at me. Don't look at Russia. There's nothing to see here. You know, I would tell people whenever they see the President use the word fake, it ought to set off alarm bells. And I think that's really what's gone on here.
TAPPER: Now you signed a letter with chairman Nunes about three weeks ago asking the intelligence community about unmasking. That's when someone incidentally picked up in surveillance is named by official name and not just citizen A in intelligence reports.
I guess the question that Nunes is asking or suggesting that we should be asking in the media, who unmasked these Trump advisors? And it is possible that any of the un-maskings was being done for political reasons instead of for legitimate ones?
SCHIFF: Well, first of all, I can't talk about as I mentioned the contents of any documents. So at this point I can't say whether anything was masked or unmasked improperly.
I can say this. In the ordinary course of what we do as an oversight committee, we look at exactly these issues. If the White House had any concern about whether minimization was used properly or unmasking was used properly or if there was improper incidental collection or how it was handled that is material that should be given us to in the ordinary course of affairs. It doesn't need to be done, you know, by night through stealth at the White House.
The only reason to do that again is if you want to hide where these materials are really coming from and who is behind it. And I think, you know, part of the reason why that was done is this effort to deflect attention from the Russia investigation. To raise other issues to effectively create a cloud through which the public cannot see what's at stake here. And what's at stake here is a foreign intervention in our election, very serious issue about whether U.S. persons were involved. And investigation that is being conducted by the FBI into possible coordination with the Trump campaign. That is really, I think, among the most serious business the country has to do right now. And the White House seems to be doing everything it can to point in other directions and say do not look here. There is nothing to see here.
CABRERA: That was California Democrat Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee. Our thanks to him for joining CNN this morning.
Ahead in the NEWSROOM, a controversial decision. Congress repeals internet privacy protections. The goal, to create an equal playing field but is this good for consumers? I will ask Republican Marsha Blackburn next.
Plus, Supreme Court showdown. Will with this week's vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch be a much needed win for the President or an all-out fistfight on Capitol Hill?
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:19:00] CABRERA: This week, we could see President Trump sign a bill that would rollback rules designed to protect your privacy on the internet. Congressional Republican voted to undue the rules last week. They will now head to the President's desk. The rules protect things like your web browsing history, geo location, financial information, health data, children's information, even app usage.
Listen to what one Democratic congressman who voted against this rollback had to say about it on the House floor last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHAEL CAPUANO (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Why would you want to give up any of your personal information to a faceless corporation for the sole purpose of them selling it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Republican representative Marsha Blackburn is joining us now from Nashville.
Thank you so much for being us with. You just heard the Democratic colleagues. Can you answer that question?
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, FORMER VICE CHAIR, TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM: Absolutely I can. And Ana, I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about it. The action we took last week with the privacy CRA did not do anything to change any of the existing law there is with privacy. The privacy protections that were in place last year, last month, last week today, tomorrow are - they are going to be there. And what this did was to push back and keep from being implemented to a rule. Run rule that had been approved.
[19:21:22] CABRERA: How about -- correct me if I'm wrong. I don't mean to interrupt you. But just to make sure that our viewers are very clear, as I understand it, that rule essentially said internet service providers initially would have to ask consumers or those using the internet if it were OK for them to essentially spend our internet habits on a sell those internet habits to those --.
BLACKBURN: Right. And it applied to the internet service providers. That's exactly right. And that is your Verizon or AT&T or Comcast or charter, whomever you get your internet service from. What it did not do was have anything to do with your Googles or Facebooks or what are called edge providers. And those are the ones that with your browsing history, you know, when you log on to the internet, Ana, you don't have pop-ups come up. That is when you hit Facebook or your web browser or something that comes up.
What we want to do is to strengthen consumer protection and make certain that consumes have the toolbox that is necessary for them to protect themselves in the virtual space. And we will get right back at this. We have had - we have tried to pass legislation for the past couple of years dealing with data security and privacy. And we hope that our friends across the aisle will join us in doing that and strengthening these protections. But here's the back story.
CABRERA: How does that --?
CABRERA: The internet service providers don't need to ask permission anymore to sell your information.
BLACKBURN: No. That's not it. You don't need two regulators. See, the ISPs with what is covered there with the FCC, the federal communications commission, the traditional regulator of our privacy, both in the fiscal space and the virtual space has been the federal trade commission. And that is where that responsibility should lie. And they are the ones who should have the jurisdiction. When you have two different agencies doing a job and you get confusion, what you end up with is lack of clarity and consumers are going to have less protection. Do we want to make certain that they are going to be protected? Absolutely. Do we want to see more companies and providers use an opt-in instead of an opt-out system? Absolutely. I'm an enormous proponent of that.
BLACKBURN: We want individuals to be safe on line. What we don't need is two regulators going after the same thing. So let's get started on it.
CABRERA: I'm hearing you say there was a redundancy in the system so you are trying to kind of --.
BLACKBURN: You've got it. That's right.
CABRERA: Now --
BLACKBURN: Get clarity.
CABRERA: The critics of the action - some of the critics of the action that was taken by Republicans, yourself included this week, have pointed out that the telecom industry have made generous donations to your campaign over the years. How much have telecom companies donated to your campaign?
BLACKBURN: I don't know how much telecom companies have donated. But the thing is it doesn't really matter. What does matter is doing the right thing for my constituents and for the American people. And making certain that they have the ability to protect themselves and that they know -- they own their information online. That they are in charge of their information.
And I refer to it, Ana, as the virtual view. And we want individuals to have control over that information and we want them to know who does own that information. Who does have access to that information? And it always, whether it's financial information, health information, the individual needs to be the person that controls it and owns that information. That is my goal. And I think that's the goal of most individuals.
CABRERA: So the center for responsive politics, which is a self- proclaim nonpartisan independent research group who tracks money in politics says you received close to $546,000 from the telecom industry over the course of your career. That seems like a lot of money. But are you saying that had no influence on your vote?
BLACKBURN: No. My work has centered around protecting privacy. And Congressman Peter Welch out of Vermont and I spent two years chairing the privacy working group in Congress and working on legislation. Like I say, we would love for the Democrats to join us in pushing it forward. [19:25:00] CABRERA: Why didn't any Democrats join you on this
legislation just like you said simply the streamline?
BLACKBURN: Well, and we were disappointed they didn't because last May you had a group of Democrats that wrote then chairman Wheeler at the FCC and opposed their moving forward with this specific rule that we took that down so we could keep it from being implemented and have a clean slate to start working from.
So you're right. You know, they had opposed it. And then they came out to oppose recalling the rule and so we would have loved for them to have joined us. And we would really like for them now to be working with us so that consumers have all the protections that are necessary in that virtual space. And we will work through this issue. We are hopeful that we will be able to move back these net neutrality rules and reclassification of the internet service from an information service. The last FCC have retitled it as a title two service. We would like to see that rescinded.
And what we want to do is make certain that the federal trade commission who has the historical knowledge, the expertise, the administrative oversight and consistency for handling privacy, as I said both in the physical space and the online space that they can continue to have the legislative authority and the statutes in place. And are able to punish those that abuse an individual's personal identifying information in the virtual space.
CABRERA: OK. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, we really appreciate your time. Thanks for coming on.
BLACKBURN: Good to be with you. I'm cheering for my Mississippi state women to win this ball game tonight, Ana.
CABRERA: Go Underdogs. They definitely already have --
BLACKBURN: You got it. We may be the underdogs but I think they are going to win.
CABRERA: Good luck to that. And again, thanks for joining us.
CABRERA: Up next, can one photo change the mind of Americans when it comes to illegal immigrants and their contribution to the United States? Up next, a woman who took a chance showing her face and her taxes to make a powerful point.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:31:36] CABRERA: An undocumented immigrant in Arizona posted a selfie on Facebook that is turning online right now. Perhaps, you have already seen Belen Sisa. She wanted to show that she pays taxes and dispel a myth about undocumented immigrants. She also included a verbal jab at President Trump and this post went viral. Reaction ranging from supportive messages to angry backlash even death threats.
I spoke with her yesterday in an interview that is getting a lot of attention online. She told me about the response she got to her political statement.
CABRERA: This is the part that I assume some people are commenting on who don't like what you posted. It says want to tell me again how I should be deported, contribute nothing and only leech off this country while the one percent wealthiest people in this country steal from you every day. How you about show me yours, Donald J. Trump, #heretostay. What was going through your mind when you posted this?
BELEN SISA, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: What was going through my mind is that I wanted to show people that we are here and that we come from all over the world and that we contribute more than people think that we do.
CABRERA: Was there something specific that kind of just made you throw it all out there on Facebook right then and there?
SISA: Yes. I mean, I have been paying taxes for the past four years. And I think that in the moment that we are right now historically and politically, we need to start standing up more than ever. We are in danger. We don't know if tomorrow we can still be here, especially with deferred action, the DACA program. It could be taken away. And our President needs to start showing us who he is. He is running this country. We deserve to know. He needs to stop scapegoating immigrants and showing us that we are the problem and just start fixing problems and stop being xenophobic and promoting racism.
CABRERA: Did you anticipate the reaction you got or is this something you thought maybe just a few close friends would see?
SISA: I didn't expect it to go viral at all. That was not my intention. My intention was to spread awareness and start a conversation. I think that many people in this country have no idea what immigrants are going through at this time. And it needed to be said. It needed to be heard. I was telling the truth. The people who didn't like it just could not handle it. I challenged everything that they have ever known. And that's the reason why it sparked such controversy, I think.
CABRERA: Do you regret at all putting yourself out there or do you worry about possible re-precaution even we have seen some dreamers being taken in by ICE official?
SISA: I will not let myself live in fear. That's what the people who sent me these messages wanted and they want me to shut up and sit down and not continue to stand up for the rights of immigrants and people who are living in fear every single. And I won't allow them to do. I think it's important more than ever now for people who feel empowered to try to empower others to bring unity for us to continue to resist this presidency.
CABRERA: To read more on Belen Sisa story, check it right now on CNN.com.
Was he a loyal follower or unfaith fall coward? What can the bones of St. Peter tell us about his infamous betrayal? Here is a preview of this week's "Finding Jesus."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Peter was the most important disciple of Jesus.
[19:35:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He singles Peter out from the rest of the disciples by saying he is the one that Jesus trusts to be the rock of the heart of the movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was Jesus' best friend. I think he was his brother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Head strong, stumbling, confused, questioning. Jesus loves Peter not in spite of his failings, I think sometimes but because of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of you is going to betray me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peter, loyal follower.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will lay down my life four.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or unfaithful coward? Finding Jesus on CNN new episode.
CABRERA: Don't miss "Finding Jesus" again tonight at 9:00 here on CNN. We are back in just a moment.
[19:40:07] CABRERA: For President Trump and his Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, it comes down to the week ahead. Tomorrow the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on whether to send his nomination to the full Senate. This final confirmation vote could come on Friday.
But there are big challenges still ahead. At this hour, it's unclear whether Republicans have the 60 votes to fend off a Democratic filibuster without going to the so-called nuclear option which would require only 51 votes.
There's a lot to talk about joining me to discuss CNN political commentator and contributor and former Democratic mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter and CNN political commentator and former chief of staff to Reince Priebus at the Republican National Committee, Mike Shields.
Mayor Michael Nutter, to you first. A third Democrat we learned today announced he will support Gorsuch. I want to read a little bit of the statement we got from Senator Joe Donnelly. It reads in part after meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record and closely following his hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and his well respected among his peers. What does this do to the Democrats' fight to stop Judge Gorsuch's confirmation?
MICHAEL NUTTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Ana, I would say first and foremost, every senator regardless of party will exercise their right to vote the way they decide that they want to vote. At the same time, I think earlier today and in the past week or so, leader Schumer has been very, very clear of the majority of Democrats positioned and is indicating that it is highly unlikely that there will be a 60 votes for Judge Gorsuch. So it is shaping up to be, as usual, a pretty dramatic situation involving anything with the Trump administration.
CABRERA: To get to that number 60, Republicans would need eight Democrats to come on over and vote yes right now. We count three who have committed On the Record say they will vote for judge Gorsuch. I want you all to listen to what vice President Mike Pence had to say today about what Republicans have to do to get Gorsuch through.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For the sake of our Supreme Court, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our constitution, we will overcome the obstructionists and the United States Senate will confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch one way or the other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: You heard, Mike Shields, the vice President just use the word obstructionist to describe the Democrats here. But remember what Republicans did when they refused to bring President Obama's nominee to a vote?
MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well, look, I mean, I think what we are watching is Chuck Schumer and the Democratic Party leadership doing irreparable harm to the Democratic Party. There were a number of Democratic senators who initially came out and said, you know what? We probably shouldn't go -- force the nuclear option to happen. We probably should support judge Gorsuch because he is a mainstream judge. And so they know that there is nothing about his qualifications, nothing about him as a jurist that there is any reason for them to oppose him. This is purely politics. This is about opposing President Trump. And so they are going to now have something that unprecedented. They are going to force the nuclear option to happen in the Senate. Even the most controversial senator that's been approved which was Clarence Thomas was a 52-48 vote. The vote was allowed to happen. And so, you have a number of senators like Joe Donnelly who is getting stranded. There are going to be -- this is going to be used against them and the campaign next year because their party is driving them over the cliff.
A party that right now we don't know what it stands for. I don't know if anyone can describe to me anything that Democratic Party actually stands for other than opposing President Trump. And they are doing it so much that they are even going to force the nuclear option, unprecedented. Never happened before in the history of the Senate.
CABRERA: Mike, I got to jump in here because, again, my question was about the word obstructionist. And remember when Merrick Garland was nominated by President Obama and he didn't even get a chance to have a vote.
SHIELDS: That also would have been unprecedented. We never had a justice confirmed in an election year before.
NUTTER: That's not true.
SHIELDS: Democrats were asking for somebody --
NUTTER: Mike, that's not true.
SHIELDS: Once again, the Supreme Court seat was on the ballot in November. That was a part of the election.
NUTTER: No, there was a President on the ball loot.
SHIELDS: And so, look. If the Democrats want to do this as a sort of spiteful vendetta, then the voters are going to see that and senators like Joe Donnelly that want to win an election going to be hung out to drive by Chuck Schumer forcing this to happen as opposed to moving on, letting the President have his nominee and not forcing something that never happened before in the United States Senate to happen. And the Democrats are going to have to live with the consequences of forcing this to happen.
CABRERA: All right, Mayor, you get a chance to respond.
NUTTER: We are clearly still in a fact free environment. Mike, you know for a fact that what you said is just said is not true. Six different justices were confirmed in Presidential years. It was unprecedented that Judge Garland didn't even get the decency of a hearing. If you don't like the justice, then just vote against him. So if you want to talk about unprecedented, you guys I went a long, long way down that particular road. We will see what happens. But every senator has a right to vote their conscience.
He is not in the mainstream. He has voted for corporate interests. He has voted against the interests of employees siding on for employers and is nowhere near the mainstream.
That seat was stolen. Ricky Henderson didn't steal a base as you guys stole that particular seat and you know it will.
[19:45:42] CABRERA: Mayor, it is politically wise to keep up the fight at this point? Because as Mike just pointed out, there is the nuclear option and Republicans have already said they are going to use it. So is it time to cut the losses and fight another day here?
NUTTER: I think some Republicans are reluctant to have a nuclear option. If President was serious about putting forward someone who is mainstream, then he would have worked with, both sides of the Senate and have that kind of conversation. So no one is forcing them to do anything.
And quite honestly, Ana, if you are talking about someone getting on the Supreme Court, seven of the eight sitting justices got at least 60 votes. And so this is not, you know, some local office here. This is the Supreme Court of the United States of America. If you can't get 60 votes, you probably should put up a different justice.
CABRERA: Gentlemen, we will leave it. You are both back us with in the next hour. Thank you so much, Michael Nutter, Mayor Michael Nutter and Mike Shields. We appreciate it.
Coming up, a tragic accident claim the life of a teenage boy in Michigan. Fourteen others hospitalized after simply spending time at a hotel pool. How it happened, next.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM:
[19:51:02] CABRERA: We are getting some new details about the condition of several kids who were hospitalized after going swimming in a hotel pool in southern Michigan. Officials think they suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. They were found unconscious around an indoor pool at a quality inn. One 13-year-old boy did not survive.
Let's bring in CNN Rachel Crane who has been following this story.
Rachel, this is just so sad. How did it happen?
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So officials are saying that a faulty pool heater is to blame for this horrible incident. They also say that when they got on scene they did not see any carbon monoxide detectors in the pool area. And of course, first responders tested the carbon monoxide levels when they got there and found them 800 parts per million. And just to give you a sense how high it is, U.S. standards for carbon monoxide are 35 parts per million for one hour of exposure. So level is at 800 part per million, that can kill someone in two to three hours and unfortunately that's what happened here.
Now in this case, 15 people were taken to the hospital. Eight of those people were pediatric patients. One person remains in the hospital. She is an employee of the hotel, but we are told she is in good condition. All of the children have been released from the hospital.
Take a listen to what one of the boys who nearly lost his life had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DIMETRIUS BUTLER, VICTIM OF SUSPECTED CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING: I was out of the pool and I passed out. And I hit my head. The police officer had helped us and saved our life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CRANE: Now, Ana, police at this point have identified that the young man who lost his life. His name is Brian Douglas Waites and he was 13 years old.
CABRERA: I can't help but think of my own kids who, of course, love to swim when we go on vacation. We hit the pool right away.
CABRERA: Has there been a response from the hotel?
CRANE: There has about a response. And initially when this incident happened they evacuated the hotel. They put out a statement now saying they are working closely with local officials to manage the situation. Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of our guests.
And Ana, at this point the hotel is still closed as this investigation continues.
CABRERA: All right. Rachel Crane, thanks for the update.
We will be right back.
[19:52:29] CABRERA: A lovely shot of the nation capitol tonight. Beautiful weather. Aren't they lucky? A lot of people thinking baseball this weekend, watching to see whether the Chicago cubs will defend their historic World Series title as we begin another season of major league baseball. On this opening day, fans, celebrities and politicians are all packing stadiums to celebrate America's favorite pastime with one notable exception.
Here is CNN's Jake Tapper.
TAPPER (voice-over): Not this year. President Trump declined the Washington national's invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day. He cited scheduling conflicts. A surprising decision from the new commander in chief who discovered America's pastime long before he discovered the board room.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, AC 360: Did you know you were going into this business?
TRUMP: No, I wanted to be a baseball player.
TAPPER: That was no child fantasy, Trump was a star player at the New York military academy. His coach Paul Rollingstone (ph), was once even scouted by the Phyllis.
TRUMP: I was captain of the baseball team. I was supposed to be a professional baseball player. Fortunately I decided to go into real estate instead.
TAPPER: He has already stepped up to the mound for the Cubs, the Red Sox and his beloved Yankees. But even the leader of the free world apparently gets nervous when he goes into his wind up.
George H.W. Bush, a college baseball star at Yale, was visibly upset after a wide pitch at orioles opening day in 1992. Bill Clinton took note and tried to avoid the same fate in 1996.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I practiced for a week before then. I went out and I paced off the distance in the backyard of the White House. Most of my practice pitches were much better. I think I was a little nervous.
TAPPER: One of George W. Bush's most unforgettable moments as President came at the 2001 World Series in New York just weeks after the attacks on America.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The gravity of the moment never really hit me until the first step coming out of the dugout. Standing on the mound of Yankee stadium was by far the most nervous moment of my presidency.
TAPPER: So in this long history of Presidential pitches, started by Taft, how will Trump stack up? Well, perhaps we will find out next season.
CABRERA: That was Jake Tapper.
The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.