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Protests Grip Venezuela; Cuban on Trump Presidency; Health Care & Spending Bills in Congress; Russian Bombers Fly Near Alaska. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 21, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:33:50] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Violent anti-government protests are ripping Venezuela. The U.S. now pulled into the chaos after their government seized a GM plant.

CNN's Shasta Darlington has the latest for us.


That's right, Venezuela's opposition is keeping up the pressure. They're vowing to renew protests, keep them going for the next three days. This comes after they were already back out on the streets yesterday. And we now know that three people were killed in the massive marches on Wednesday. Thursday's crowds were a bit smaller, but they ended with the same violent slashes with the security forces firing tear gas at protesters.

The protesters themselves lobbing rocks, covering their faces. They're carrying signs that say "no more dictatorship." That's what they accuse Maduro of doing, trying to instate a dictatorship. And what's really noticeable here is just how sustained this latest wave of protests has been. It really began at the beginning of the month and shows no signs of letting up.

[08:34:57] And now the United States is being drawn even further into it with General Motors saying they're halting all operations in Venezuela after authorities seized one of their plants, even removing some vehicles from the facility according to GM. Now those 2,700 workers at the factories will not be working. This is just another complication in what is looking like it's going to be a long, drawn- out standoff.

Back to you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Shasta, important to cover. Thank you for being there for CNN.

So, we all need heroes, right? Maybe more than ever. And we're looking for them at CNN, but we can't do it without you. Help us find people who are doing extraordinary work to change the world, just like the folks that you're going to meet right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I met my hero when we were volunteering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's making a big difference -


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For kids in our area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is my second mom, my mentor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt like it was very important for people to know about Sister Tesa (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel honored that I was able to honor her in such a significant way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was so proud of myself because I was like, oh, my goodness, for everything that she's done for me, I did something for her, you know.



CAMEROTA: That's a great story.

CUOMO: Right? And it is one of those situations where being nominated is an honor in and of itself. So what you can do, go to and you can nominate someone you think is a hero. I nominate Camerota ever year. She has never returned the favor once.

CAMEROTA: Well, strongly, the committee has never chosen me. I'm going to take that up. Thank you, though, for that.

Meanwhile, of course we're approaching President Trump's 100 day in office. How is he doing? What grade would you give him? We are going to check in with someone who was a critic, who frequently spoke out against the president during the campaign. It's Mark Cuban.

CUOMO: In his long john's.

CAMEROTA: How does he think the president is doing now?

CUOMO: I'm kidding.

CAMEROTA: What are his accomplishments? Hi, Mark. Talk to you in a minute.


[08:40:41] CUOMO: So we're on day 92 of Donald Trump's presidency. He has a very ambitious agenda for the next week. The president is bullish that he's going to get healthcare done. How's he done thus far? Let's ask another billionaire, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and "Shark Tank" host, Mr. Mark Cuban. It's good to have you, as always.


CAMEROTA: You guys are a dime a dozen you billionaires.

CUBAN: Yes, you know, we grow on trees, and that's OK.

CUOMO: So, first 100 days, your grade?

CUBAN: I'd say a C-, right. There's some things that he's tried to do. I give him credit for the Supreme Court and, you know, delivering, I guess, it's a low bar when you do what you say you were going to do. No major policy changes at all. Signs a lot of executive orders that he doesn't truly understand. But, you know, there's still hope.

CAMEROTA: Well, look, those executive orders, I mean I just met with a bunch of his supporters yesterday. They love that he's rolling back regulation.


CAMEROTA: They think that that will help business.

CUBAN: Right.

CAMEROTA: They think that that's a great sign (ph).

CUBAN: Well, two different things, right, two different things. So if you're a supporter - first you have to ask, why do they support him? And I think we're coming to a greater understanding now. I call it political chemotherapy, right? And some of - one of my friends, who I always thought was really smart, I'm not saying he's dumb, but had a different viewpoint on why he voted for Trump. I didn't expect him to vote for him. He said, Mark, I voted for politicians my entire life. He's in his 50s, all right. Do you know what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. And so I voted for Donald Trump. Is he poisonous in a lot of respects? Yes. This is our chemotherapy. You know, we hope he's going to change the political system. And if that's the way you're evaluating Donald Trump, he's doing a phenomenal job.

CAMEROTA: That's a fascinating analogy. A lot of people just wanted him to blow it up. But why do you give him a C-? I mean what do you think that it - look, it's only 100 days. What do you think that he's failed to do?

CUBAN: Well, I mean, health care. Obviously he doesn't have a foundation for any tax changes. You know, he's going to find out it's also very complicated and more difficult to get passed. He hasn't developed a relationship with Democrats to try to get anything that he proposes passed. I mean he talked a lot about being able - because he paid everybody and knew all the politicians he'd be able to go across the aisles and get things done and now he turns around and says, no, everybody hates me and nobody's helping me, you know, and he pouts. CUOMO: Tactics, management style, what have you seen in these first

100 days and how do you see it protected on to this ultimatum for next week?

CUBAN: Well, it's a great question, right, because he - he's not a strong manager. You know, historically, when I've seen people default to hiring family and being dependent on family, that's always a bad sign from a manager's perspective. It means you don't know how to hire, you don't know how to train, you don't know how to delegate responsibility and you're probably not a good communicator and those have all been symptoms of his presidency so far.

CAMEROTA: I mean except that he's in a particular, I think, category because he's so close to his children. They -

CUBAN: No, no, no, no, no, no.

CAMEROTA: They say it. He says it. He's used them as advisors before now.

CUBAN: No. You know, yes, and that's true, and that just confirms what I've said even more, right? If you look at the Trump Organization, you know, he's had a lot of long-time employees, but he's never built any bench strength. You know, as an entrepreneur, one of the things I'm very proud of is that you can talk to all the different investments I've had and say, OK, has Mark mentored you? Has he helped you with your company? Would you turn to him for advice? And there's - some people say no, but a lot - most would say yes. You can't find one person that aid Donald Trump mentored them.

CAMEROTA: Why are you forgetting about Omarosa?

CUBAN: Yes, well, OK, maybe some of that was on his show, right?


CUBAN: But find me one person whose company he's invested in and helped develop that company. That conveys who he is as a manager.

CUOMO: So what do you think the play is here for next week. This is a man, Donald Trump, who stayed away from health care. He doesn't like it being called Trumpcare. He didn't want to own it.

CUBAN: Right.

CUOMO: Remember all that. Now he says, I'm going to get it done next week. Why would he set himself up with such a clear line of success and failure?

CUBAN: Look, when you're oblivious, when you're Chancy Gardner (ph), you can say anything and not have to deal with the consequences of it. He - he's -

CUOMO: You know him.

CUBAN: A little bit. CUOMO: You would really compare - Chancy Gardner is this movie "Being There." It's Peter Sellers. You've got to look it up. But the premise is that this guy is an idiot and nobody knows it and takes everything he says as wisdom.

CUBAN: Yes. You know, well - right.

CUOMO: This is a smart guy. You know that he knows tactics well.


CUOMO: Why would he do this?


CUOMO: You disagree with my assessment?

CUBAN: Yes, I disagree. Yes. Look, I think he's a real estate savant. He has a good feel for real estate. And when - in this city - and it's really a small town when it comes to real estate, you can read the papers, you can listen to the radio, follow some TV and know what's going on in the real estate market and talk to people in the industry and you're caught up.

[08:45:10] That's not the way the world works. That's not the way government works. And that's a real problem. So when he goes out there and says, this is what I'm going to do. Go backwards. How many times has he said, in 30 days, you know, I'm going to have a plan to defeat ISIS. In 90 days we're going to know exactly what happened with the election and the Russians. Ninety days comes and passes and nobody holds him accountable or they do and he just doesn't care. That's being oblivious.

CAMEROTA: I mean I was making that point to some of our panelists today about how he made the promise that Mexico was going to pay for the wall. And I keep saying, what happened to that? And everybody laughs because nobody took it seriously. But that was a campaign promise and it evaporated.

CUBAN: They're still (INAUDIBLE). Look, here's what it comes down to in my mind. Either you believe in the adage that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, or you don't. And you ask yourself, what is the one topic that President Trump is very literate on, that he really understands and knows well? What's the one thing he knows well?

CUOMO: Marketing. Branding.

CUBAN: What's happened to brand USA? So let's just say - give him that. Give him marketing and branding. What's the next one?

CAMEROTA: Self-promotion.

CUBAN: Crickets.

CUOMO: Hold on a second. Feel. Feel. CAMEROTA: Yes.

CUBAN: Feel.


CUOMO: He - he connected -


CUOMO: I love when they laugh at (INAUDIBLE).


CUOMO: No, he connected with a base that he has no real connection to. Do you know how hard that is to do in politics?

CUBAN: Campaign. But it's -


CUBAN: OK, but I said, what topic? What topic does he understand?

CUOMO: You're saying like academia, economics, stuff like that?

CUBAN: No, no, just understand. There are certain things - you guys got all these papers that you read so you - you can hold a conversation and be learned on a topic when someone -

CUOMO: She actually reads them and gives me the answers. I (INAUDIBLE).

CUBAN: And gives you the answers, right?

What does he know? What does he - what does he - you know, what topic does he know? What is the one topic where you say, you know what, when you talk to President Trump, he knows this (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: But isn't the Trump card the first word that you just said, President Trump?


CUOMO: I mean he must know how to do something well, look where he is.

CUBAN: I think, you know, some people say he started a movement. I think the movement found him. You know, and I'll go back to what my friend said that he's political chemotherapy for the system.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but, I mean, I think that you are overlooking his special magic. He has something. He beat out 17 competitors, maybe 18. I don't know how many at this point. He has some special (INAUDIBLE).

CUBAN: Again, I'm not - look, he campaigned well. He gave the people what they wanted. He was an entertainer. He was a showman. He never tried to convey that he was an intellect about any topic at all and that was fine. He won.

CUOMO: Do you believe there is better to come? That he will learn on the job, even with what we saw with China, a raid (ph), you know, they're deregulating, they're currency manipulating. He moved away from it when he had to own it.

CUBAN: Yes, but, think about it, he said, yes, after talking to President Xi for 10 minutes, you know, I understood better North Korea. Who goes into a meeting not knowing what's coming and not having a foundation of knowledge? I mean that conveys who he is. So - but to your question, am I hopeful, yes, and I'll tell you why. One, I'm a fan of conservative principles that he's doing on the economic side. I hope he gets tax reform. One of the reasons I wouldn't (ph) campaign about income taxes for - and business taxes for Secretary Clinton is she wouldn't commit to me that she would change corporate taxes. So I'm all for that. I'm for deregulations in a lot of areas. Not all that he's pointing to. I like the fact that he's trying to change lobbying. I like the fact that he's trying to reduce the number of regulations and simplify things. Those are all good, conservative financial principles that I like. And so I think there's a possibility, if he can get those passed, those are good things.

CAMEROTA: Mark Cuban, try to come out of your shell next time.

CUBAN: I know. Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

CUOMO: You are value added. You are always welcome on the show. Thank you.

CUBAN: Thanks, guys. I appreciate it.

CUOMO: So, just weeks after health care seemed to be done, Republicans say, done? Please. We're going to get it done next week for the 100- day milestone. Is there a chance of backfire on the president, next?


[08:52:51] CAMEROTA: President Trump wants Congress to push through two big things next week, a new health care plan and a spending bill.

Let's get "The Bottom Line on whether this is realistic with CNN political director David Chalian.

How do you see the next week unfolding?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Let me ask you guys something. When's the last time you saw Congress do two big things simultaneously in one week's time? That feels like a heavy lift there and I think perhaps the president may be underestimating the difficulty in just getting the government funded. That is going to be a big battle next week, especially because the administration has now said they really want border wall funding in that and Democrats are already sort of putting up a blockade. And so we are going to have a real, sort of shutdown showdown next week. Trying to fit health care in there too is going to be very tricky.

CUOMO: Wall versus wall, who wins? Do the Democrats have to give up this funding of the first part or do they have to take the wall off the menu?

CHALIAN: Well, if you want to get something through the Senate and you need 60 votes and you only have 52 Republicans, that's the leverage, that's Chuck Schumer's leverage and the only leverage Democrats have in this town. But, you know, it will be a battle. I would imagine both sides are going to have to give if you want to get to some kind of an agreement. But it will be an all-consuming one. That's the point, Chris. And so we don't even have legislative text on this new health care potential breakthrough with the Freedom Caucus and the moderates. And without text, it's Friday, folks. I mean we're - they're - I don't see how next week, in time for some false deadline, just the 100-day mark, because the administration really wants to be able to check off a list, that they're going to be able to get this done.

CAMEROTA: I don't know if the administration wants that anymore. Let me read you President Trump's tweet from just a couple of hours ago. "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." So, is the 100 days important to him or no?

CHALIAN: I don't know how somebody who, on the campaign trail, goes to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 17 days before the election to give his big closing argument that is a contract with the American people about what he's going to accomplish in the first 100 days, can then tweet that it's some kind of ridiculous standard. Those two things don't make sense together. So he brought into the construct in the campaign when he was promising Americans what he would do, so now he doesn't want to be judged by it because perhaps he didn't get as much accomplished as he had hoped.

[08:55:16] CUOMO: How much weight do you put in the Gallup poll, they've been doing it since about 1953, they say Trump has the lowest number they've measured in the first 100 days. I think Clinton was the next lowest. Trump's about 40, 41. Clinton was 55.

CHALIAN: Right. So this is the average of the first quarter of his presidency. And he - just - you can look at the chart. He lines up at the bottom, as you're saying, from - compared to all of his recent predecessors in modern times. The whole story there, Chris, is tied to why he's not getting stuff done in the first 100 days. This was a president without a honeymoon. He came into inauguration with the lowest poll numbers compared to his predecessors at that moment and he's kept that streak going all the way through these first three months. So that is part of the story as to why he has not racked up a whole series of accomplishments despite having every lever of government, the House, the Senate, the court and the White House.

CAMEROTA: David Chalian, you're going to need a lot of sleep this weekend to prepare for next week. Thanks so much for being here for "The Bottom Line."

CHALIAN: Thanks, guys. CUOMO: All right, CNN "Newsroom" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman picks up right after the break. There's a lot of news. Please stay with CNN.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we begin this morning with breaking news. For the fourth time in four days, Russian aircraft have flown in Alaskan air space. The bombers entered the Alaskan Air Defense Zone about 700 nautical miles southwest of Anchorage, and then proceed to fly into Canadian air space.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, unknown at this time whether the U.S. Air Force scrambled any jets in response.

[09:00:03] Let's go to the Pentagon right now and bring in Ryan Browne to join us with the details.

Ryan, what are you learning?