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Emmanuel Macron Will Be Next President of France; GOP Health Bill Faces Uncertain Future in Senate; Fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates Testifies for the First Time; Prisons Crack Down on Falling Contraband; Investors Expected to Cheer French Election of Macron. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired May 7, 2017 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:12] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour, you're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York, 6:00 Eastern.
And we are watching breaking news unfold overseas right now. One of America's biggest allies has a new president and you can believe what's happening there will be felt right here in the U.S. I'm talking about France.
These are images from Paris right now. It's just past midnight and public spaces are still packed hours after confirmation that a centrist political newcomer will now be their next president. His name, Emmanuel Macron, an investment banker who started his own political party about a year ago and now, he's going to be the next president of the sixth biggest economy in the world.
President Trump watching and tweeting. He writes: Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next president of France. I look very much forward to working with him.
Now, Macron beat another candidate from the outside, the political mainstream, Marine Le Pen, who ran on an anti-immigration, anti-free trade, and anti-European Union platform.
CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour is on the ground in Paris, outside the historic Louvre Museum.
And, Christiane, Paris is celebrating tonight.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, Ana. It is midnight and the day has ended on what's been one of the most dramatic days in French political history in 60 years. There's probably never been an election with so much at stake as the one that just concluded with two opposed political views of the future.
One -- one and that was Emmanuel Macron, the tolerant, centrist, progressive, outward-looking European global leader, who had to face off and face down a party that has been a pariah in France after it emerged under the father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who built it on denying the Holocaust, on anti-Semitism, on inward looking -- and in short, Marine Le Pen did all she could to bring this past, ugly past into the mainstream and today, France said, no, we will not vote for that kind of hate and that kind of closed, inward-looking future.
And so, this election is passed, the most important, as I said, in 60 years for this country, plus of course for Europe, because Marine Le Pen had threatened to collapse the entire E.U., to get out of the euro, which would have collapsed the euro, to pull out of the E.U. with a referendum, which would have ended the E.U., according to many European leaders. That would have been the end and it would have been terrible for France. Her policies most believe would have bankrupted this country, even conservative politicians who ran say her economics were just voodoo and would have bankrupted this nation.
So, France has dodged a bullet. Europe has dodged a bullet and it is now fallen to Emmanuel Macron, 39 years old, youngest president, youngest leader since Napoleon to, as he said, face the challenges from tomorrow onwards, try to heal a divided nation and try to fix the serious ills that plague people who are out of work and people who are very culturally and politically and socially divided here -- Ana.
CABRERA: As you mentioned this talk of unity, and Macron promised a stronger and more united Europe and keeping Russia at an arm's length. What does this election mean now for the French American partnership?
AMANPOUR: Well, very importantly President Donald Trump tweeted almost immediately that the results became clear to congratulate Emmanuel Macron and say he looked forward to working with him. I spoke to Macron's spokeswoman. It's the only word that has come out of Macron headquarters since the result and she said also that the democratically elected new president of France wants to work with the democratically elected president of the United States, even though he may have preferred Marine Le Pen.
Now, this is the lay of the land and there are many issues that these two countries have to work on, notably fighting ISIS and terrorism. Plus, of course, for France, the climate is very, very important. When Emmanuel Macron talked about the climate in his speech, there was a huge cheer that went up because that's where the Paris Climate Accord was signed in 2015, and that's what many people around the world really feel very strongly about. They don't want America walking away from it.
So, Macron and Trump will probably meet, yes, they'll meet at the G-7 in Sicily towards the end of this month, and that will be their first opportunity to get to know each other.
But on the other hand, equally important, the Russians wanted Le Pen to win, and there was a lot of interference by the Russians in these elections just as there was in the United States, just as there has been in Germany and elsewhere around Europe.
[18:05:04] And their project didn't work either. So, that also is a victory for the West because Russia has been trying to undermine key Western institutions, institutions that are not just French or German but Western institutions that keep the alliance together and strong on a democratic path. And this did not work here in France -- Ana.
CABRERA: We know Le Pen by her supporters was seen as tougher on terrorism than Macron. So, what's the impact of Macron's victory when it comes to the fight against ISIS, the war on terror?
AMANPOUR: Well, you know, her voters may have thought that, but actually Macron once did belong to Hollande's government. Yes, he stepped down. He created his own independent movement En Marche! But Hollande has since the terrible terrorism attacks in first "Charlie Hebdo, and then in the Bataclan over 2015, put in state of emergency, which is still in effect, but also they learned very, very strong and important lessons, and they have reorganized the anti-terrorism force, reorganized the intelligence sharing and many, many other issues.
And they've made leaps and bounds according to the politicians here. So, actually, Marine Le Pen was just not talking, you know, sense when she said that because she's never fought terrorism. She's -- she doesn't have deputies to speak of in the legislative assembly, maybe one or two, and has never been in government. So, that was project fear if you like.
But it's true, there's been such a project here because of the terrorism in this country, that in itself was a victory that people came out in the numbers they did and did not vote for the candidate who was drumming up the fear and who did vote for the candidate who was pledging to reform and to look forward and to go forward strong but together, rather than divided and weaker.
CABRERA: We can't underscore enough the symbolism that this election sends to the rest of the world. I mean, this is not only failure of the far right in France, but really another failure of he far right in the and much broader picture. The Dutch people largely rejected a far right movement, so did the Australians.
Does this defeat of the far right -- excuse me, the Austrians, not Australians -- but does this defeat of the far right there in France essentially kill nationalism in that wave that had begun?
AMANPOUR: You know, it's really too early to tell. This sort of populist white nationalist surge that's been -- that we've seen has sort of been stalled here in France, and probably because France is so important, such a big country, it means that it won't come up in other big powerful European countries. It still exists in some of the East European countries that are part of the E.U.
But for instance, in Germany, we saw a rising, you know, far right party coming up, nationalist party AFD. That already has started to crumble and if Angela Merkel is going to face any threat, it's more going to be on her more socialist flank. So -- and she herself, anyway, her party is coming up stronger right now.
So, the -- that particular project has hit a brick wall at the moment. But the issues are still there, let's face it.
The French in the first round of this election voted nearly 40 percent for either the extreme right or the extreme left. That's 40 percent of the French voted extreme parties in the first round. And now, in the second round, more than 60 percent, some 65 according to the latest figures, they are not fully accounted yet but this is pretty much it. Sixty-five-point-something have gone to Macron, 39-ish have gone to Marine Le Pen. It's still more than the far right party has ever received before.
So, those issues are still there and the challenge ahead is the economy, is employment, it's also in healing the fractures inside this culture. And there really are, whether it's urban and rural, whether it's, you know, the immigration -- the immigrant population or not, and they need to be healed and Macron said he's going to try to do that.
CABRERA: Christiane Amanpour from Paris tonight -- thank you.
Still ahead this hour, the president and House Republicans consider health care a victory, but they're facing a harsh reality check on the other side of Capitol Hill. Next, advice from the Senate -- for the Senate from a Republican health care guru.
Stay with us. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:14:01] CABRERA: The Republican push to repeal and replace Obamacare is moving to a new battleground in our nation's capital, the U.S. Senate. President Trump and Republican lawmakers celebrated their phase one victory when their bill cleared the House by a very narrow margin. Now, it's a brand-new ball game, and the West Wing is gearing up for a fresh fight.
I went to bring in CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones in New Jersey where the president has been spending the weekend at his Bedminster golf club.
And, Athena, just how much pressure is Trump and the White House willing to exert on Republican senators?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Well, I think the president and White House are willing to exert a lot of pressure on Republican senators. We've heard the president talk about how important it is to get this done. He also has talked about how the ball is now in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's court and he's praised McConnell for being able to get things done.
He took to Twitter this morning just before 9:00 a.m. saying, Republican senators will not let the American people down.
[18:15:00] Obamacare premiums and deductibles are way up. It was a lie and it's dead.
We also know from the White House that the president plans to be, quote, fully engaged in selling this bill in the Senate, just as he was in the House. We heard the president say that this bill has unified Republicans, but there is -- or a lot of Republicans who have expressed concerns about the bill, so it's likely to see some big changes in the Senate -- Ana.
CABRERA: And the fact it was such a narrow margin they were able to pass it, you could say the exact opposite, that it has emphasized some of the deep divisions within the Republican Party, especially as we saw the back and forth, they try to find a bill that people could agree upon. But Republicans have said the goal here is to give more power to the states when it comes to health care.
So, I'm curious what you're hearing now from Republican governors.
JONES: Well, this is really interesting. There are several Republican governors who have already come out expressing their concerns about this bill. One of those governors who has been talking about this for some time is Ohio Governor John Kasich. He has called the House-passed bill inadequate.
Take a listen to what more he had to say about this on "STATE OF THE UNION".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: I think the fundamental issue here are the resources. I don't want to give you exactly the numbers, but it's about half of the resources in this bill that were in Obamacare. Now, I can tell you that we can do with less resources but you can't do it overnight, and you can't -- and you cannot give people a $3,000 or $4,000 health insurance policy. You know where they are going to be? They are going to be living in the emergency rooms again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So there you heard Governor Kasich expressing a concern that some other GOP senators have expressed, which is that there's not enough help in this bill, not enough aid for a low income people and also for seniors to be able to afford coverage.
Other concerns we've heard, including from Governor Kasich are about Medicaid cuts. He's talked about the 700,000-plus people in the state of Ohio who rely on Medicaid for things like mental health care and substance abuse, treatment. He's worried about those people being hurt.
And then there are also concerns about the changes it would make to some Obamacare regulations, for instance, allowing states to allow insurers not cover certain so-called essential benefits like maternity care, and substance abuse and emergency room care, and then, of course, preexisting conditions are another big concern.
This bill would allow states to allow insurers to charge people with preexisting conditions and there's a long list of preexisting conditions that could under this. Those insurers will be allowed to charge those people more and that could price some people out of the market. Sure, they'd have access to care technically, but they might not be able to afford it.
And, Ana, we're talking about potentially millions of people -- the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates nearly 30 percent of Americans under 65 have some sort of preexisting condition. It could be high cholesterol or heart condition or something like cancer, asthma or diabetes. So, that's another big concern -- Ana.
CABRERA: So many people, so many Americans will be impacted by this.
Thank you, Athena Jones.
Let's talk more about it with Mitt Romney's 2012 health care police adviser, Avik Roy. He's now president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.
Avik, thank you for joining us, from Seoul, South Korea, tonight.
You have done, I know, a detailed analysis of this bill. You say cutting the regulations will eventually help reduce premiums over time but this bill takes away the subsidies based on income and regional differences and cost premiums. Instead, it gives people a flat tax credit based on age. And you say this is a big flaw. Why?
AVIK ROY, 2012 HEALTH CARE POLICY ADVISER FOR MITT ROMNEY: Yes, and I think, you know, there's been a lot of focus on the preexisting piece of this. And, actually, I think the bill is fairly robust in the way it allocates $150 billion over ten years to insure the people with preexisting conditions can afford coverage. They're going to do fine.
The real flaw with this bill is that it doesn't do enough to help people who are simply poor regardless of their health status. Those are people who the bill needs to work on. And we've heard some good noises out of the Senate in terms of senators saying they want to address this problem and the devil will be in the details once again. Exactly how will they address it?
CABRERA: I mean, give us an example. How would this GOP bill impact older people in rural areas, specifically those in their 50s and 60s? Because we know that one of the regulations Obamacare had was that insurance companies could only charge those folks three times what they are charging the younger patients or younger people who have Obamacare. And this one really raises that level for insurance companies.
ROY: Yes. So, we've done a huge -- we have a whole set of charts on this on our website freopp.org. And basically, what it walks people through is exactly the math you're talking about, Ana. So, in the real world, 64-year-old can spend about six times as much health care in dollar value as a typical 18-year-old.
[18:20:04] So, in a normal market, insurance premiums would normally cost six times as much for an older person, a younger person. So, what the Obama regulation did, by making it 3-to-1, it effectively doubled premiums for young people, drove a lot of them out of the market and then the market was stuck with older people and didn't reduce their premiums at all. In fact, premiums went up for pretty much everybody.
So, what the Republicans are trying to do here is to re-incentivize young people to get back in the market, which overall also helps older people because it balances out the insurance pool. So, that part is good.
But the part they are going to struggle with if the bill isn't fixed is that in the Ryan bill, the dollar value of the tax credit, the subsidies that you get are the same regardless of your income.
ROY: And that means if you're 60 years old, your premium might be $12,000, and you get a $4,000 tax credit, that's not going to cover enough of the premium for you.
CABRERA: Well, one example that we saw in the CBO, when they put -- the Congressional Budget Office put it out, said that a single 64- year-old making $26,500 a year would have to pay more than half his or her salary, about $14,600 a year in premiums. So, that is unaffordable for a lot of people clearly.
But, Avik, I want to talk a little bit more about the aspect of this Republican plan, the Medicaid funding, a big concern for governors like John Kasich who Athena brought us in the last hit. Millions of Americans now have health care coverage as a direct result of that Obamacare Medicaid expansion. According to the Congressional Budget Office, federal support for Medicaid would be cut by about 25 percent by 2026 under this GOP plan.
Can states really make this up?
ROY: They can if it's designed the right way. Remember that Obamacare over the next ten years cuts Medicare spending for the elderly by about $850 billion to help fund the coverage expansion in Obamacare. So, it is possible to gradually over time reduce spending on these big entitlement programs in the way that it makes them work better without harming people's coverage.
So, the devil again is in the details, there's certain things as John Kasich said in that interview, that you can do to reform the Medicaid program and put it on a sustainable path. But what you have to do for the people who newly got coverage under Obamacare, through Medicaid, you've got to give them a more robust tax credit under this new system, so they can afford those premiums.
CABRERA: I want you to hear what Montel Williams told us about one of the biggest obstacles he and many people like him who are battling multiple sclerosis, for example, are facing right now. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONTEL WILLIAMS, HAS MULTIPLE SCLEROS: I hear from people who suffer from MS all over the country today can't even get medication. MS is one of those conditions --
CABRERA: Why can't they get medication?
WILLIAMS: Because they're not insured. Our medication cost over $1,500 a month. This bill, which is so ridiculous, only addresses things like preexisting conditions but we don't talk about how are we going to lower costs? You can say you might want to insure somebody and then you say to the insurance companies -- well, I want to charge you for the insurance.
How can the normal American expect to pay over $20,000 a year just for a shot or medication to keep them alive?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So, Avik, is there anything in this GOP plan that is going to drive down the cost of medication?
ROY: This bill will do some things to improve the cost control or cost competiveness in the marketplace by giving more people incentive to shop for healthcare on their own. I think it's weak or incremental positive in that direction, but we really have to do a lot more --
CABRERA: But does that do anything for the cost of medication?
ROY: Well, not directly. I mean, by giving people a tax credit and allows them to shop for care downstream because they are shopping for care and shopping for plans to compete for their business, those insurers have more incentive to take a hard line with the drug companies.
But we've got to do more to tackle the high cost of prescription drugs. Avonex, the multiple sclerosis drug that came out 20 years ago now cost something like 16 times what it used to cost 20 years ago -- or maybe six times, excuse me, six times as much as it cost 16 to 20 years ago, and it doesn't do anything different. There are so many more medications are better than Avonex on the market.
So, we don't have really a market for prescription drugs in this country. We've got to do a better job stimulating competition, cheaper alternatives, generics, things like that.
CABRERA: Avik Roy, thanks for your time. We appreciate it.
ROY: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: Straight ahead, the former acting attorney general fired by President Trump will now get her chance to speak out before Congress. It also happens tomorrow. We'll talk about what she might say about formal national security adviser Michael Flynn's connections to Russia.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.
[18:28:48] CABRERA: Moments ago, is it the calm before the storm? A rainbow spotted over the skies of our nation's capitol -- a beautiful picture there.
And all eyes will be on Capitol Hill tomorrow. Sally Yates, one of the most high profile witnesses, goes before Congress. It's the latest chapter in the drama playing out over contacts between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The former attorney general is expected to contradict the White House on what happened, leading up to the firing of Flynn.
I want to bring in CNN political commentator and radio host, Ben Ferguson, and also joining us, contributor for the "New York Times," Wajahat Ali.
Wajahat, how do you see Yates' testimony shaping this investigation into potential ties between Moscow and members of the Trump campaign?
WAJAHAT ALI, CONTRIBUTOR, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think Attorney General Yates who was fired by Trump will most likely say that she warned the Trump administration that his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was compromised because he lied about the conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.
However, what's very shady and concerning for the Trump administration is that he was told or rather Trump administration was told by acting Attorney General Yates that Michael Flynn was susceptible to blackmail. The Trump administration did nothing, sat on it for weeks until the "Washington Post" article broke the story, and then Donald Trump asked for the resignation of Michael Flynn.
[18:30:05] And to this day, Donald Trump defends Michael Flynn and says he's subject to a witch-hunt.
Let's also not forget that Michael Flynn was paid $45,000 by Russia for appearing at "Russia Today" next to Putin, and he gave him a standing ovation. He was also paid more than $500,000 by Turkish businessmen with alleged ties to Russia as a foreign agent and he failed to disclose it.
So the question then goes, why did the Trump administration keep on Michael Flynn after the Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned them that he was susceptible to blackmail, that he potentially lied about the conversation he had with the Russian ambassador? And how come nothing was done about it? And so I --
CABRERA: Well, let's listen --
ALI: Yes, sorry, go ahead.
CABRERA: Let's listen to how the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer characterized Yates' warning back in February after Flynn was fired.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So just to be clear, the Acting Attorney General informed the White House Counsel that they wanted to give, quote, "a heads up" to us on some comments that may have seemed in conflict with what he had sent the Vice President out in particular.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Ben, sources are telling CNN that isn't quite how it went down according to Yates. The optics certainly aren't good if it looks like the White House wasn't being honest or transparent in front of the American people. Is this a problem for the administration?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think this is much more of a problem for General Flynn than it is for the White House because it seems that General Flynn is the one that probably end up lying to multiple people, including the Obama administration, about speeches that he did, even when he got security clearance from them in 2015 after doing speeches in 2014. So I do think that this is going to be a real issue for him and it should be.
I don't care who you are. If you're in politics and you lie on government forums about where you've been taking money from and who you've been working with, you deserve to be in trouble. And if that does seem to be the case, then I think General Flynn should be in trouble.
Now, let's also say this about the White House --
CABRERA: But why would the White House sit and wait, though, if they were warned so strongly?
FERGUSON: Well, I think there's two different things here. I think there's two things here. One, when you have an Acting Attorney General at the time that you're referring to here that obviously had an axe to grind with the Trump administration, who obviously did not want them in the White House, you're going to take that with a grain of salt.
The second thing is, I'd love to see what she actually says tomorrow because it's very clear that she hates this administration and refused to step down when she was asked to step down, which is normal protocol. A lot of people have made a bigger deal out of Donald Trump being forced to fire this individual.
Remember, Bill Clinton fired every Acting Attorney General when he came in. It was very normal to say, give me your resignation, I'm bringing in my people. She decided she wanted to be a partisan political and not serve at the request of the President or serve at the new administration or walk out in a classy way. So this is her, I think, if anything, making more of a name for herself.
I want to hear what she has to say, but I also think, if you talk to other attorneys that have been involved when there's a transition of power, the way that she handled it was incredibly partisan, looking for a fight, wanting to go out there and say, I was the first person to be fired by Donald Trump. It's very clear she can't stand this administration. She has an axe to grind, so what she says tomorrow, I'd take it with a pretty big grain of salt as well.
CABRERA: OK. OK. So, Wajahat, doe's Sally Yates have an axe to grind and could that impact her testimony?
ALI: It's everybody's fault except the Trump administration. Have you noticed that, Ana?
FERGUSON: That's not what I said.
ALI: And have you noticed there's a lot of Russian smoke around the Trump administration when it comes to Russia? Let's not forget Acting Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also recused himself because he also lied about having a conversation?
FERGUSON: As he should.
ALI: And have you also noticed that Acting Attorney General Yates most likely will say tomorrow that, as Acting Attorney General, I warned the Trump administration, and then "Washington Post" echoed that similar story? And if Donald Trump --
FERGUSON: Ana --
ALI: He's defending Michael Flynn. Why didn't he stick up for Michael Flynn?
FERGUSON: Ana, you got to have --
ALI: Instead, what he does is he asks for his resignation. Let's be honest, Ben, if you care about national security, be morally consistent.
FERGUSON: I am being honest, but if you care about --
ALI: Be morally consistent.
FERGUSON: If you care about being honest --
ALI: Be morally consistent about this nation, have an independent investigation.
CABRERA: We're out of time, gentlemen. Finish your thought --
FERGUSON: If you care about being honest, if you care about --
ALI: This is shameless.
CABRERA: Finish your thought, Wajahat, and then we'll let Ben respond.
ALI: That's fine. Listen, if we have two years with an investigation on the Hillary Clinton's e-mails when it comes to national security, fine. We have enough Russian smoke now to do an independent investigation. If Trump has nothing to hide, he has nothing to lose. Be as transparent as possible, and let's dig deep and find out who knows what. And if Trump administration, if not being malicious, at least maybe they are incompetent. Call them out for their incompetence, at least, Ben.
FERGUSON: All right. Let's deal with facts. First off, I have no problem with their being an investigation into General Flynn. I said at the very beginning. It does seem to appear that he obviously wasn't truthful, and he should be in trouble for that issue.
Second of all, you cannot have it both ways unless you're just purposely trying to be a political partisan hack and at one point say that the Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself is what many Democrats and Republicans said should happen here. That's exactly what happened here.
[18:35:06] Now you're saying him recusing himself is a bad thing. Either you've got to stay --
ALI: Because he lied, Ben.
FERGUSON: When it comes --
ALI: Because he lied.
FERGUSON: He didn't lie. He did not lie. He recused himself because it was the right thing to do in the situation.
ALI: Because he lied.
FERGUSON: No, no. When did he lie? What did he lie to the rest of the American people?
CABRERA: Well, Ben, I mean, just to give to our viewers the background, in case they aren't following this as closely as the rest of us. I mean, the bottom line was, with Jeff Sessions, he went before and said he hadn't had any contact with anybody connected to Russia and the government when, in fact, he did have a conversation with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. as well. And so he went before Congress, whether it was an accidental admission, we don't really know. But he recused himself --
FERGUSON: Well, and I think it was pretty accidental knowing the fact that --
CABRERA: -- so let's put that aside --
FERGUSON: Yes, but my point is when you have this --
CABRERA: -- because I don't want to get side tracked here on Jeff Sessions. Let's talk about Susan Rice, Wajahat.
CABRERA: Let me move this forward a little bit. Because this past week, Susan Rice was also asked to come before Congress to testify. She's former President Obama's national security advisor. She turned down Senator Graham's request to do that. So, Wajahat, does that mean a subpoena, and why not show up and say what you know?
ALI: I think because Susan Rice is fearing that this entire endeavor has become politicized as a side step, if you will, which is true because look what they did. Devin Nunes, who was the House Intelligence Chair, what did he do? He recused himself again. You see this recurring theme? Because once the smoke was there with the Trump administration, he
drags out Susan Rice. Now, both Republicans and Democrats are saying after that kerfuffle that she did nothing wrong in her job requesting to see information about potentially who was talking or having, if you will, unsavory conversations potentially with Russia. But they keep distracting you all the time from what should be the focus, who knew what --
FERGUSON: How is this a distraction --
ALI: -- about Russia, who's talking, and who's lying? And I'll say it again, for the American people, if Donald Trump has nothing to hide, he has absolutely nothing to lose for calling for an independent, fully independent, investigation.
FERGUSON: Ana, Ana --
ALI: Have everyone testify under oath including, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Roger Stone, and Michael Flynn.
FERGUSON: OK, let's deal with reality.
CABRERA: Go ahead, Ben.
FERGUSON: You just did an excellent job in trying to walk away from the reality of you not being consistent. You're demanding answers on Flynn, which I agree with. You should also, if you actually care about truth and honesty --
ALI: I do.
FERGUSON: You know you don't because if you did, you would care about Susan Rice being asked questions about her corruption and about what she knew --
ALI: I'm fine with it.
FERGUSON: -- when she knew it and when she had -- no, you didn't. You said you're glad she's no testifying, which you don't --
ALI: No. I --
FERGUSON: Let me finish. Let me finish.
ALI: No, I'm fine with it.
FERGUSON: I didn't interrupt you.
ALI: Let her do it.
FERGUSON: Let me finish. You just said a moment ago that you said this is a smoke screen. Truth is not a smoke screen. You either have to be consistent with what you believe in and apply it to both parties involved, or otherwise that's just being partisan. I think both people are important here.
General Flynn is important here, so is Susan Rice. But for you to act as if Susan Rice, one, is somehow not relevant to this; two, that she hasn't lied about multiple things and been busted for them; three, that she'd done things --
CABRERA: Well, Ben, Ben, Ben, let's make sure we stick to the facts here when you accuse somebody of lying about multiple things that she's been busted.
ALI: What did she get busted for?
CABRERA: Let's keep it on the facts, gentleman. And we seek the truth in this investigation.
FERGUSON: No, no, hold on. If you want to talk about Susan Rice --
CABRERA: Ben, finish you're thought, we got to go.
FERGUSON: I will say one word to you -- Benghazi. Do you know not what she said about that? And it was an absolute and utter lie. And she said it to every network that was out there.
ALI: Ana, if we have --
FERGUSON: And that's indisputable.
ALI: Final, if we had open investigation about Benghazi and Clinton's e-mails, great. For national security, let's have open, transparent investigations. Bring them all in under oath. Let them testify.
FERGUSON: Well, at least, you're consistent. Yes, I'll give you that.
CABRERA: All right. We'll leave it there, gentlemen. Thank you very much, Ben and Wajahat. Passionate debate, we always appreciate you bringing it to us and to our viewers. We appreciate you both. Thanks.
CABRERA: We want to highlight now some other stories that you might have missed in the news in this past week in light of recent terror attacks worldwide. The Transportation Security Administration or TSA has a warning now for trucking and busing companies here in the U.S., watch for terrorists who might be preparing to ram vehicles into people and buildings.
The six-page document released by TSA highlights 17 such incidents that have killed more than 170 people around the world since 2014. The government says businesses should take measures to prevent the theft of commercial vehicles and watch for suspicious behavior by anyone renting or buying. Now, the first woman to become Chief Usher at the White House is no
longer serving in that post. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would only say on Friday that Angela Reid left on very good terms and that the administration wishes her the best. Reid held the post since 2011. She was responsible for building management and overseeing resident staff. She was the White House's ninth usher and the second African-American.
And finally, she used to but she doesn't anymore. The first lady's office tells CNN that Melania Trump's days of wearing fur are over. This news follows a Twitter post by animal rights activist and "Playboy" playmate Pamela Anderson.
[18:40:09] She showed a photo of a "Thank you" note from Melania Trump, acknowledging a gift Anderson sent her following President Trump's January inauguration. It was a faux lamb fur coat with a vegan belt. Anderson had also sent a letter thanking Melania Trump for not wearing fur.
Coming up, detained in North Korea after weeks of heightened tensions, another American citizen is being held for, quote, "hostile acts." How the U.S. State Department is responding. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: To North Korea now where the government says it has detained yet another U.S. citizen. This follows weeks of saber rattling and missile tests from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The state-run news agency reports the American, Kim Hak-song, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of hostile acts against the regime. He is believed to be the fourth U.S. citizen now detained in North Korea right now. The regime says he was doing business with Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
[18:45:09] The Air Force's newest reusable space plane landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida this morning, and there wasn't a soul on board. That's because the X-37B orbital test vehicle, the most advanced re-entry spacecraft ever designed, is unmanned. Still, the spacecraft conducted on-orbit experiments for 718 days during this mission.
The Air Force says the craft has the ability to land, refurbish, and launch from the same location, and they are now preparing to launch the fifth mission from Cape Canaveral later this year.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says there is no excuse not to believe in extra-terrestrial life. He dug into the science as he made the case today on "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS." Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, ASTROPHYSICIST: The chemistry and physics on earth repeats everywhere in the universe. These elements are on the moon, on the sun, on other galaxies, and so we're not made of special ingredients. We're made of the same ingredients. To some people that's depressing but to me that's enlightening. You're the same as the universe.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: And do you think there's life outside of Earth?
TYSON: I want you to look at the numbers and the carbon. We're a carbon-based life because you can make tremendously complex molecules stringing together carbon atoms, such as our DNA. Carbon is everywhere in the universe. And you look at the latest planet tally, we're rising through 3,000 planets nearby relative to the size of the galaxy. The universe has been around for 13 billion years.
Once you look at these numbers, there's no excuse thinking that we're the only life on earth. That would be some ego talking if that's how you said it. Anyone who studied the problem recognizes the very high likelihood it would be somewhere, but we haven't found it yet. But we got top people working on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Fascinating, right? Be sure to catch "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" each Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
Still ahead, contraband from the sky. Drones carrying anything from drugs to weapons are being used now as smuggling tools. How prisons are fighting this new threat. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:51:29] CABRERA: Drones are dropping drugs -- nice -- alcohol and other contraband to prison inmates. CNN's Deborah Feyerick explains how prison officials are now training to crack down on this new aerial smuggling threat.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At prisons throughout South Carolina, trees are being cut down and cleared. More guard towers are being built. And patrols have been added to bolster security beyond the razor wire fence. It's all because of these. Drones, a high-tech threat to prison security, delivering drugs and other contraband to prisons across America.
Prison officials say an inmate will coordinate with somebody on the outside, setting the date, the time, and the location of the drop. The inmate will then do counter surveillance, warning the drone operator if an officer is coming, and the drop has to be made someplace else.
The ability to access contraband, how much more power does that give to the inmates?
BRYAN STIRLING, DIRECTOR, SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: It gives a lot of power. I mean, they're making a lot of money behind bars in dealing with contraband and the scams that they can run on the contraband cell phones.
FEYERICK: Bryan Stirling is the director of South Carolina's 22 prisons and detention centers. He says this is about five months' worth of drugs, tobacco, cell phones, chargers, and other contraband smuggled in the old-fashioned way, hidden in things like books or body cavities. Now, add drones.
STIRLING: So I talked to a sheriff and he said, you know, it was like Washington National. They were just around Christmas. The drones were coming in, dropping and going, dropping and going. And they had numbers on them. And the numbers were corresponding to inmates, and that's how they were getting in.
FEYERICK: The problem has become so significant, lawmakers in the South Carolina senate recently passed a bill, making it a misdemeanor to fly drones within 500 feet of prison walls or 250 feet above the prison itself. The penalty is a $500 fine and 30 days in prison. Other states like Arizona, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee have or are considering similar legislation.
The problem is not just in the U.S. but Europe as well. In London, an inmate here signaling his precise location to a drone operator. The British media also reporting drones may have been used to smuggle in wire cutting tools used in a prison escape.
Stirling says South Carolina is spending millions to secure its prison perimeters, making it harder for people smuggling contraband to hide. Several drone operators have been prosecuted and are now serving time.
STIRLING: We looked at shooting them down, but, I mean, there's a lot of innate dangers there, too. So, I mean, we feel like our hands are tied.
FEYERICK: The drone assault is not likely to let up. Drone sales expected to surge from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million by 2020.
Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Columbia, South Carolina.
[18:54:21] CABRERA: Coming up, we take you back to Paris, France, where celebrations after today's presidential election will go late into the night. CNN's Christiane Amanpour will join us live. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Back in a moment.
CABRERA: The French election results could drive trading on Wall Street tomorrow. Investors will likely cheer the victory of Emmanuel Macron, but his win have largely been priced in already, so a big rally is in guarantee here. Macron is a former banker. He supports free trade and is seen by Wall Street as market friendly.
Meantime, stocks had a pretty muted reaction to Friday's U.S. jobs report. It showed the economy added 211,000 new jobs in April. The unemployment rate now stands at a 10-year low of 4.4 percent. And the strong jobs report is more than likely is going to result in
the Federal Reserve raising interest rates next month. Wall Street now betting there's an 83 percent chance of a rate hike in June. That's up from 67 percent chance about a week earlier.
And on the legislative front, there is still a lot of uncertainty for investors. The House may have passed the health care bill, but Wall Street really wants to see movement on tax reform. And until that happens, stocks may not have a strong catalyst to move much higher.