Return to Transcripts main page


House Republicans Working Health Care Bill; American Released from Prison in Egypt; Terrorist Attack Hits Paris. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired April 21, 2017 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el-Sisi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Days before the presidential election, a terror attack rocks Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The attacker was a French national who was known to authorities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the fact of this great evil we have to be strong, and we have to be vigilant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Friday, April 21st, 8:00 in the east. And it is a race against the clock for President Trump and the GOP, desperate for a legislative victory ahead of the president's 100th day in office. Is there any proof that there could be a vote by the House, let alone the Senate on health care next week?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And do they need a health care plan in order to beat the more urgent deadline, and that is to pass a spending bill to keep the federal government from shutting down. It's day 92 of the Trump presidency. So let's begin our coverage of CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House. Good morning, Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. It is clear they are trying to salvage a legislative victory for the president before the clock runs out on the first 100 days, though the president has made it pretty clear he thinks 100 days is a, quote, "ridiculous standard." Still the initial reaction to this apparent attempt at a do-over on health care is being met with skepticism, especially given the experience the last time around.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have the chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week.

JOHNS: President Trump pushing hard for a legislative win before his 100th day in his office next week, reviving his health care effort that failed just weeks ago.

TRUMP: The plan gets better and better and better and it's gotten really, really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot.

JOHNS: Republicans want to help the president deliver on one of his key campaign promises as Democrats remain skeptical that a deal will be reached.

NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: You can put lipstick on a sow and call her Monique, but she's still a pig. That's what this bill is. It's the same terrible bill.

JOHNS: A draft proposal published Thursday by "Politico" maintains several provisions of Obamacare, including the ban on rejecting patients with preexisting conditions and guaranteed coverage for maternity care. But it would allow states to seek waivers from many of these mandates if they show it would be in the public interest, concessions aimed at placating both moderates and conservatives.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: It is difficult to do. We're very close, and it's basically make good on the promises that before made.

JOHNS: This effort comes at same time Congress faces a deadline next week to pass a massive spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

TRUMP: OK, I want to get both. Are you shocked to hear that? I think we want to keep the government open. Don't you agree? So yes, I think we'll get both.

JOHNS: President Trump asking Congress to incorporate $1.4 billion to begin building his controversial border wall. The Trump White House does have one victory they will celebrate today. "The Washington Post" reporting that the Trump administration was instrumental in securing the release of an Egyptian-American aid worker imprisoned for three years on unproven charges, along with her husband and several other humanitarian workers. The news comes after Trump publically embraced Egypt's president at the White House, despite the authoritarian leader's history of human rights abuses.

TRUMP: We are very much behind President el-Sisi. He has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.


JOHNS: That freed American Aya Hijazi was described by administration officials as one of the highest priorities for the White House and the president just last month. And they worked behind the scenes to secure her release. The president is expected to stay in town this weekend to work toward the end of the first 100 days.

CUOMO: No matter what your politics, you got to like that outcome, she's home with her family after years in captivity in Egypt. Joe Johns, appreciate it, have a good weekend.

Let's discuss with CNN political analysts David Gregory and April Ryan, and Chris Cillizza. He's a reporter and editor-at-large for CNN politics. Ladies first. April, this notion they could get this done by next week when they couldn't get it done in 90 days, what is the reality?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The reality is that this president is dealing with his own party that's fighting for the core of his party. And you have -- you have the conservatives who are saying I'm not necessarily sure about this because of, you know, what happened in the past in scoring. And then you have the other faction that is saying, oh, we could get this done. But this is a fight for the core of the party, and we'll see who wins. And the question is when will this happen, because even the president himself is speculating when this could happen because we don't believe it is going to happen before the 100 days.

[08:05:00] CAMEROTA: OK, because April the president is quite bullish. The president sounds enthusiastic. He makes it sound as though it's close, Chris Cillizza. And I'm curious, is this a tactic, I guess to get everybody -- I'm actually confused, because if it fails then it feels like a bigger loss than if he had never said that it was about to happen.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, CNN POLITICS: So, I mean, look, I think I always return, Alisyn, to what is Donald Trump's background? His background is a businessman, salesman, deal maker, marketer, brand expert. What he's trying to do here is fake it until you make it. You know, say in public that the deal is very good and lots of people really like it in hopes that when people look at it, they'll say, well, other people like it and it still seems really good.

You know, not very many people have seen this deal. I would point to the really good reporting being done by CNN on this, which suggests, yes, the Freedom Caucus and the Tuesday Group, Republicans moderates, are talking. Yes, there is some agreement there. No, the broader Republican conference has not seen this bill.

And I just think the idea that you're going to let them see it today or over the week and by next week to meet an artificial deadline that the president said doesn't mean anything this morning, that that's all going to happen as House Republicans put what could be their career on the line if you vote for something, it doesn't work, the Senate doesn't pass it, I'm very skeptical that that's going to happen.

CUOMO: All right, so David, two takes on tactics. One, personal tactic of Trump. This is an intelligent man who hates the perception of losing, so why would he put himself in this position? And secondly, do you put any stock in the notion they may connect the health care reform to the shutdown bill, that if you want to keep the government open, you have to give me this?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I think they are trying that in terms of threat that he made about withholding subsidy payments, that he'll deal on that, the White House will deal on that if they keep the government open. So I think that's possible. But I think, you know, we're not talking a lot about the substance of

what's being proposed as an ultimate alternative, and that part is confusing to me about how you ultimately keep the insurance premiums manageable and how you keep the insurance market functional, especially if there is talk about allowing waivers to cover people with preexisting conditions. So there is a lot of peril there just on the substance.

And I think tactically, I think Alisyn, the point you referenced, this is very risky. And Trump is certainly not risking it first. But the idea of going down this road because they recognize they have to get something done on health care if they could get on to tax reform because of how of all of this is scored because of the budget, it comes up short again, it just is really difficult for them politically.

And you already are seeing members of Congress starting to hedge because the president is so unpopular. And then you get the results from the special election this week. There is only more of that to come. You have got a White House that's feeling I think a lot of heat right now to get big, legislative accomplishment. And I always talk about the markets, too. The market was up yesterday. But there is less enthusiasm about how the economy is going to perform going forward because there is now less enthusiasm that Trump can make good on getting a legislative agenda through the way he talked about before.

CAMEROTA: April, another thing that President Trump wants to make good on is the border wall with Mexico. And in this spending bill Mr. Trump is now asking for $1.4 billion to build that wall. What happened to Mexico paying for the wall? I know people laugh when I ask this question and they think it is a set up. It's not. Has he explained, has anyone on Capitol Hill explained what happened to that plan?

RYAN: Well, Alisyn, this piece is really common sense. It doesn't take any news analyzing for this one. You cannot tell another country what they are going to do. Just, I mean, even when you are running for president. And just with that alone, that raised the hair on the back of heads of many Mexican officials, and they clearly said we are not paying for this wall.

So now this country has to deal with this wall issue. And again, going back to fiscal conservatives, they are really angry about the fact of the price of this wall and what it could do to gum up the works. When you think about immigration, this is a key piece, too, when you think about immigration and what the president is trying to do, he's trying to build this 2,000 mile stretch of wall on the border of Mexico, the U.S./Mexico border. But immigration is not just about the southern border. It is about, for the most part, a large piece right now in this country, a lot of people overstaying their visas.

[08:10:00] So you have a lot of entanglements when it comes to building this wall where that is not the only piece of immigration. And the expense is so high especially when you are talking about cutting so much in domestic spending. So it is a lot of entanglements that deal with this wall.

CUOMO: And it's important to note, that's just a fraction of the payments. That's not the whole wall. That's just the first installment he's asking for. Cillizza, the president says you're not fair to him. He does lots of good stuff, you won't give him any credit for it. And he just got this young woman out of Egypt. He met with el-Sisi, he got it done. Obama couldn't, and he's not getting enough credit. Do you agree? He tweeted about it this morning.

CILLIZZA: Yes. I mean, look, it happened last night, so I'm not sure that we can offer a full media break down of how much credit he's getting. I would say he deserves credit here. Look, Donald Trump ran, the fundamental heart of his campaign was I know how to get things done that these people in Washington cannot do. Yes, my tactics may be unorthodox at times, yes, they may make you uncomfortable at times, but I will get things done.

Now, everything we have just talked about -- health care, building the wall, the travel ban, those are things he hasn't been able to exactly varying levels of get done. This is something in which he did use his powers of diplomacy or whatever he did to make something happen. And I think we in the media have to be careful not to be reflexively negative about Donald Trump. This is something that he said, it is a continuation of a broad campaign promise, which is I will make things happen that these other politicians, namely Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, can't. This is a situation in which he made good on that concept. That is why he was elected. That is why people chose him over a more traditional politician like Hillary Clinton.

GREGORY: But he's also situational. This is the point. He is transactional. He's highly pragmatic. That is emerging as a kind of Trump doctrine. And I think it's also playing out in ways when you look at the relationship with China and North Korea. He talked yesterday about how warm he feels toward President Xi, that he's developing a personal relationship. The three of us have seen that before, namely Putin and George W. Bush, and we saw how that turned out. But I think it's telling that there is a kind of pragmatism that is becoming a hallmark, and I do think this is an example of that.

CAMEROTA: April, I don't want to gloss over the accomplishment too quickly about what's happened this morning, because this is a 30-year- old charity worker. She was wrongly imprisoned by all objective standards for three years. She and her husband, they're American, and she is coming -- she's home, coming home or en route home this morning as a result not just of President Trump maybe saying something nice to el-Sisi, because they worked on this according to the reporting for weeks behind the scenes and did real diplomacy, and the Obama administration wasn't able to get it done. So I do think that we need to taut that success pretty loudly.

RYAN: Yes, most definitely. This is the winning picture for this president. This is a major accomplishment for him, particularly when another president could not do it, particularly the one he really has in his line of sight more so than any other president. But this is a win. And as Americans, the American people love to see when something is wrong or someone is held hostage or something has happened, they want their people home. And this is one of those pieces, I think back to Ronald Reagan when Jimmy Carter couldn't get the Iranian hostages home. President Reagan got them home. This is a win for this president. But at the same time as he has this win, he's still dealing with other international issues that people are still on the fence about.

CAMEROTA: For sure. Panel, thank you very much. Have a great weekend.

RYAN: Thank you. You too.

CAMEROTA: We do have some breaking news right now to get to. The investigation is intensifying in France after ISIS claims responsibility for a terror attack in Paris that left a police officer dead and two others wounded. Could this attack have a big effect on France's presidential race this weekend? CNN's Hala Gorani is live in Paris with more. What's the latest, Hala?

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, candidates have suspended big campaign events, but they are still appearing on television, they are still giving interviews, and they are still tweeting, reacting to this attack on the Champs-Elysees not far from where I'm standing right now that left one police officer dead and the attacker as well killed. Marine le Pen is the far right candidate. According to many observers she is the one most likely perhaps to benefit from this attack because she's in the past linked terrorism to mass immigration, to open borders, even though the suspect in this case is French born according to authorities.

There is also a right wing candidate, Francois Fillon, who's right of center, he may also benefit from this as well. And then the leader in the polls, centrist Emmanuel Macron, what will happen to his standing in the polls when the first round of voting takes place on Sunday? Those are all big questions once again.

This factor of terror, a terrorist attack in the capital city once again. It's obviously not the first time. There was some devastating attacks in 2015.

Will it have an impact? Certainly it's been a big topic of the campaign just really a few days before the first round.

Chris, back to you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Politics of career fear in full effect in France. Sunday is going to be a big day.

Hala, thank you so much.

All right. So, take a look at this picture, not my face. How does this make you feel? There is a lot of buzz about this photo. I'm going to tell you why, next.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump tweeting this morning, saying, "No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, it has been a lot, including Supreme Court, media will kill."

Let's discuss this and more with our CNN political commentators. We have Ana Navarro and Kayleigh McEnany.

Ladies, it's great to have you here this morning.

So, Kayleigh, obviously, the 100 day is an artificial deadline, but it has been used I learned this morning since 1933 with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, because the feeling is that president's do have the most momentum when they come in for their first 100 days to get things accomplished.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it is an important landmark, no doubt about it.

[08:20:01] I would argue President Trump has had a resoundingly successful 100 days. You got robust foreign policy strength on the world stage with the Syria strike, recently released U.S. prisoner in Egypt, the Supreme Court nominee.

CAMEROTA: OK. So the Syria strike was recent and I agree with you across the aisle, people lauded it. The other was this morning. You don't see any sort of muddled messages in these first 100 days.

MCENANY: Look, not with his foreign policy. I think he's been pragmatic, responsive, measured and strong. And America is back. We have arrived back on the world stage, but we are not going to let human atrocities go unanswered.

The health care was a blip, there's no doubt about that. And I would caution both the president and Congress, with health care, don't try to push health care through. It's been a successful 100 days. Health care is too important. Get it right. Don't get it quick.

CAMEROTA: Ana, has it been a successful first 100 days? How do you see them?

ANA CABRERA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think it's a mixed bag. I grade him as a C.

First of all, I'm happy we're still all alive and able to even discuss it. I think some of us had low expectations after what just happened we're all still around.

He has had some successes. I don't -- you know, I think you can't argue with the fact that him getting a Supreme Court justice through this quickly was a success.

On foreign policy, it's been a mixed bag. I mean, for God sake's this week they couldn't find a ship, a big ship. They have been all over the place when it comes to Mexico, when it comes to foreign policy.

And on a domestic front, there is a popularity rate, which is just, you know, the basic measurement of the first 100 days, what do you constituents, your voters, what do Americans think about you, it's very low.

He has had good moments like the 30 seconds, the one minute when he recognized the widow of the Navy SEAL at the point address for Congress.

I think it's been a mixed bag, but a mixed bag is probably not good enough for Donald Trump. And what he's doing right now is gauging the expectations.

CAMEROTA: Well, he wants a win. I think that's clear he likes to win. So he wants something big to happen legislatively in the first 100 days. So, they're really redoubling their efforts it sounds like in terms of health care.

But is this realistic? Can something happen in the next week with all of these factions?

MCENANY: I'm worried about it honestly. I don't think it's realistic. You know, I look and they're tinkering with the pre- existing conditions provision.

I remember this moment in the CNN town hall where a cancer patient looked at Paul Ryan and said I'm here today because of this provision and it is one the president vowed to protect. It's very important, it's crucial and I don't think pushing it through and making some deal on pre-existing conditions without a lot of thought is the right way to do it.

CAMEROTA: So, Ana, why are they suggesting they might be able to do this by the end of next week?

NAVARRO: Well, I think part of it because they want to meet that 100 days date deadline. I think they want to have something to show for it legislatively, which until now they don't. I also think because they were so embarrassed by the first defeat that they want to recover and get back on their feet.

And some of it may be let's make it so quick that the American people don't have a chance to react, that we don't have a replay of all of those town halls that we saw for weeks and weeks where Congress people were getting screamed at and hollered at by constituents and which shook their faith on the bill and made a lot of them shy away from supporting it. So, I think they thought last time we gave them several weeks and it was a disaster.

Let's see if this time it could be a quick deal and maybe we won't have the backlash we faced the last time. It would be frankly a miracle if they were able to get something passed, if they were able to get something good passed. They looked like stupid fools the first time. They will look like stupid fools a second time, which is worse, if they don't get this one through.

CAMEROTA: All right. Now, guys, I want to show you this awesome photo from my high school class reunion. Check this out.

OK. Well, this is the Oval Office. This isn't my class reunion. This was a visit that Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent and Kid Rock had to the White House. But here is the one from my class reunion circa 1984.

This is getting some criticism, Kayleigh, because they seem to be disrespecting Hillary Clinton's portrait there at the White House.

MCENANY: Look, I think this is overblown. They were having fun. They were taking a picture with Hillary Clinton. They are obviously not fans of her. Hillary Clinton's picture isn't shrouded with some sort of, you know, honor that has to respected, we can't take a picture with her and express are kind of, you know, laughing disdain --


CAMEROTA: I mean, look, we do generally afford first ladies respect.

MCENANY: And they respect her. I think they wanted to take a fun picture. Oh, here's Hillary Clinton. You didn't make it to the White House. We're here. You never thought you'd see this day.

CAMEROTA: Ana, how do you see this?

NAVARRO: Look, I see it as immature, childish, foolish, and to be expected from that crowd.

[08:25:02] Look, one day, there is going to be a picture of Melania Trump hanging on those walls and a picture of Donald Trump hanging on those walls, and folks are going to go and they're going to stick their tongue out at it. And people are going to say, well, do you remember when Sarah Palin posed in front of Hillary Clinton --


CAMEROTA: But other than their facial expressions, what are they doing that's so disrespectful here?

NAVARRO: They're clearly -- look, they're clearly sending a message. They didn't choose to stand in front of Eleanor Roosevelt, OK? They chose to stand in front of Hillary Clinton. They got the facial expressions. Come on. Let's not pretend that they're not trying to send a message, which is fine.

But, you know, as somebody who has been at the White House, I can tell you that you see a lot of pictures hanging there. Some people you agree with. Some don't. But there is this, you know, gravitas to the White House, there's this respect for the place, there's this respect for the office.

And I got to say to you, there is going to be a day when there is going to be a picture of Melania Trump and Donald Trump hanging on those walls and I hope people treat them with respect.


NAVARRO: -- the way that every person who served the country should. MCENANY: You mentioned sticking their front in front of Melania's picture. They're not doing that.

CAMEROTA: I guess part of the problem, Kayleigh, is what Ted Nugent said.


NAVARRO: Let's go ahead and pretend they're standing in front of the picture and being respectful and thankful for the service, you know, that they chose to stand in front of Hillary Clinton's picture, portrait, just by, you know, a fluke of where they were standing.

Come on, folks. You know, if you don't think that's disrespectful, that's fine. Some people do. It's up to -- you know, it's subjective kind of measure.

CAMEROTA: Kid Rock is being awfully measured number one in that photo. I think he's been restrained. But it is the back story that Ted Nugent shared with the media outlet saying what they first going to do, what their first plan was and they thought better of it, and that was sort of an obscene gesture.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin sat down with Jake Tapper and, of course, she worked at FOX News. She was a contributor there for quite some time. You worked at FOX News. I worked at FOX News.

She walked about that in the wake of Bill O'Reilly being ousted. So let's listen.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: Corporate culture there obviously has to change. Women don't deserve, they should not ever have to put up with any kind of intimidating work space. At the same time, if a woman believes that she is being intimidated and harassed, she needs to stand up and do something about it and not stick around for a paycheck for years and years and years and then after the fact complain about what she went through.


CAMEROTA: How do you react to her comments there?

MCENANY: Look, no one should be forced to choose between taking a paycheck or leaving. Every woman should be respected in the workplace, undeniably, undoubtedly. I understand her plea for boldness, that women need to stand up against this, but no woman should face this.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, it also suggests that women didn't stand up at FOX News. And that I can assure was not the case. Women tried in their own way. It was very tough obviously when Roger Ailes ruled the roost.

How do you hear it, Ana? NAVARRO: Look, I thought the first part of her statement was right on

point. Women should not have to put up this kind of behavior in the workplace.

As far as the second part, I certainly am not going to stand in judgment of any woman as to when she chooses to complain, to bring claims, to bring charges on these sort of things. I think people have got to process it, have to explore their options.

Let's just remember it wasn't too long ago when the perpetrators of sexual assault and sexual harassment did not pay the price, when women were not believed, when the ones that did pay the price were the women that brought charges and claims and complaints. There is a cultural shift that has happened as a result of the last year where we have seen mighty, powerful, rich men like Roger Ailes, like Bill Cosby, like Bill O'Reilly fall. This was not like that for previous generations of women who might have been silent for longer.

So, you know, I think that right now the message to women of what happens is: do not be afraid. Speak up. Hold them accountable. Hold them responsible.

And the message to the perpetrators is: be afraid because even the mighty oak can fall. Even the mighty and the powerful can be brought down if you see something inappropriate. But I will not stand in judgment of any woman or any victim of sexual harassment, or sexual assault, as to when they choose to do what.

CAMEROTA: And certainly not -- I mean, it's very hard to walk away from a paycheck and to suggest you could easy luck away from any paycheck is hard.

But that -- great message. Ana and Kayleigh, thank you very much.

MCENANY: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Great discussion.


CUOMO: All right. That was a very important discussion.

We have big news for you that you're not seeing covered in a lot of places. Venezuela is turning deadly. Now, the U.S. is involved after the government there takes over a GM plant. The latest on the unrest live, next.