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Emanuel Macron is the New President of France; Jared Kushner Under Fire for An Ad in China; House Passes GOP Plan to Replace Large Portions of Obamacare; Thousands at Risk of Losing Homes in Flint, Michigan Over Overdue Water Bills; New Episode of "United Shades Of America" Hits Streets in Chicago. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 7, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:05] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. It is 7:00 eastern, 4:00 out west.
Up first, breaking news. President Trump has a new world leader to work with, one who represents a devastating defeat at the populous wave. He rode into office late last year. This was the scene in front of the Louvre in Paris, waving flags, music, lights, cheering crowds, all celebrating Emanuel Macron as the next President of France.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The political newcomer who was endorsed by former President Obama won big defeating Marine Le Pen, the far right candidate who have been praised by President Trump. This election with far reaching consequences well beyond the borders of France. And we have a team of reporters and analysts standing by.
I want to begin with CNN's senior international correspondent Jim Bitterman in Paris tonight.
Jim, first, the big question here at home in the U.S., explain why this election is so significant to America.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there is a number of ways, Ana. The fact is that Emanuel Macron is in fact very pro-business. He is pro-trade. I think he will be a person that is going to be formidable in terms of the leadership at the European Union.
And also I think one of the things that we are going to see the youngest leader opposed to the oldest leader of the United States, youngest leader in French history going back to Napoleon compared to the oldest leader Donald Trump for the United States. Sitting down at the table with each other and the first week of July at the G-20 meetings.
So it's going to be very interesting contrast. It will be a generational contrast. But it's also going to have a lot of the things in it for the United States which is the same fate. Macron is very much pro-European, pro-NATO. He also stands with the United States against Iran and things like that. So there are there will a number of issues in which they will compliment what the U.S. has to offer and also contrast -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Jim Bittermann reporting from France tonight. Thank you.
The French election also became something of a proxy war between President Trump and former President Obama. President Trump praising Le Pen for being the strongest on borders and terrorism. In an AP interview last month, while President Obama took the unusual step of actually taping a video message in support of Macron.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have admires the campaign that Emanuel Macron has run. He stood up for liberal values. He put forward a vision for the important role that France plays in Europe and around the world. And he is committed to a better future for the French people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones joins us now from New Jersey where President Trump spent the weekend.
Athena, what reaction are we getting from the White House?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. What the President tweeted congratulations a few hours ago saying congratulations to Emanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him! So pretty straight forward statement of congratulations. The White House press secretary Sean Spicer put out a slightly longer statement echoing just what the President said.
And it's interesting. You mention the fact that the President Trump didn't endorse any candidate in this race, but it's clear that he had more in common with Marine Le Pen. For one thing, he has been a vocal supporter of Brexit. And we know that Marine Le Pen was interested in a possible Brexit. We also know that both of them espouse populous and national views.
And you mentioned that earlier praise by President Trump of Marine Le Pen a month ago in that AP interview after that attack, that terrorist attack in Paris that left a policeman dead. He believe that that event was going have a big impact on the election. And he predicted that the candidate who is toughest on borders and toughest on radical Islamic terrorism would be the person to win.
So it's interesting to take that into account. But now the White House saying that they are looking forward to working with Macron - Ana.
CABRERA: Athena Jones reporting for us from New Jersey as the President gears up to head back to Washington. Thank you.
Joining us now, CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and CNN senior political analyst and former advisor to four presidents, David Gergen.
Christiane, you have worked a long day, I know. And we appreciate you standing by with us. We first saw the defeat of a man some call him the Dutch Donald Trump, (INAUDIBLE) in the Netherlands. And now we have a loss of the far right, Marine Le Pen, in France. What do you make of the change of tides?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is clearly something that has come up and like a brick wall stops for the moment this wave of populous nationalism that is been sweeping western democracies.
Basically, Marine Le Pen after the election of Donald Trump said there is a whole new world order. And there is no doubt that all the, you know, Nigel Fraj, Marine Le Pen, the others who wish proceed in this kind of political direction believe that they were going to sweep Europe and they expected to do the same in Germany in the fall.
It does not look like Angela Merkel is at risk in Germany. And certainly now has been shown that populism, nationalism this sort of fear mongering campaign, this sort of inward looking, anti-EU, anti- Europe, anti-NATO, anti-free trade has won. It hasn't. It lost here in France.
And so, the French tonight are saying, look, we stopped this rather dangerous movement base on hate and fear. And it's incredibly important to realize what we are saying because France, more than any other country in the last couple of years has suffered most terrifying terrorism with dozens and dozens of people killed. In Nice, in Paris, in the Bataclan, before that, in Paris at Charlie Hebdo. And despite that, the French came out and rejected the politics of division and hatred and they voted for somebody who pledged to keep a strong Europe, to keep a strong outward looking France, to reform France to actually try to get the economy and the unemployment issues resolves and the deep structural and social divide that exist here as well. And that is what has won and that is the challenge now for Macron going forward.
[19:06:29] CABRERA: David, Trump focused a lot on how Brexit and his victory were connected. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a movement that is just sweeping, it's sweeping across our country. It's sweeping, frankly, across the globe. Look at Brexit. Look at Brexit. Much smaller example but it's still something can you look at. People want to take back control of their countries. And they want to take back control of their lives and the lives of their family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So David, now with Macron's victory in France, will this in some way change the President here at home?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, Ana, just to echo much of what Christiane said, they are huge sighs of relief here in this country tonight among the foreign policy in the foreign policy community. You know, just a few months ago there was deep concern that we would have Brexit followed by the Trump victory followed by Le Pen winning in France and that she would then pull France out of the European Union, the European Union would basically collapse. The Euro zone might even collapse. Europe would be in bad trouble. And it's always been in America's interest to have a strong Europe, to have a Europe in shambles which the Le Pen victory may have brought would have been a disaster for American foreign policy. So there is a huge relief with that.
But also, Ana, I do think in the background of this there is the question of whether the election of Trump and the reaction, very negative reaction in Europe to Trump has contributed to this win by Macron and the defeat of Le Pen. That was certainly true in the Netherlands. I think people are going to be asking, were people seeing -- were people in France partly saying we don't want a Donald Trump in France? That is interesting question to pursue.
And I do think it's worth emphasizing that this victory tonight was not a close victory. It was, as you said, right at the top of the show, a devastating loss for Le Pen. And a decisive victory for the forces of centrism and the forces to keep Europe together. So in many, many ways, maybe this kind of nationalism, this anti- globalization tie, maybe it's finally crested. Maybe it's going to be receding now. And maybe it was a rejection. We will have to wait and see, figure out what the voters are really thinking when they vote in the past.
CABRERA: When you talk about this, you talk about this being perhaps a reaction and a rejection of Donald Trump in some way, David Gergen. And what we saw her even in the U.S. today and in places in California, our affiliates went out and talked to people who were voting in the French election because they are French citizens who happen to be living in the U.S. right now and they told our affiliate it was really important to them to participate after what they saw in the election and how much every vote counted it seems here at home and in America.
Christiane, do the French -- is that in part what is motivating people there in France you think? The fact that Donald Trump was elected here in the U.S.?
AMANPOUR: Well, as you know, President Trump has had quite a controversial reaction around Europe. Because of the things he said, about Europe, basically about, NATO, about all the other sort of things that came up in the campaign. He is obviously attacking back to where a more traditional U.S. foreign policy is. But people have been quite worried.
But people, let's face it, have also been incredibly, incredibly worried by the history of this party. The national front is not just a conservative party. This is a far right extremist party that has no business being in the mainstream. And that, in fact, what Marine Le Pen's father moved into the second round in 2012, that's -- rather in 2002, 15 years ago, there were massive demonstrations on the streets in France. People poured out in thousands to say no to this ugly, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and now Islam phobic party. This time they did not. What Marine Le Pen made it past the first round and into the second round, nobody was in the streets. And, frankly, there was something like a 26 percent abstention rate. That is unprecedented or at least in recent Presidential memory, unprecedented here. That many people didn't come because they thought it was, you know, two devil that's they were choosing between.
But in fact, it wasn't. It was the forces of xenophobia and anti- immigration and nationalism against a centrist progressive person who understands that there are deep challenges. But the collapse of Europe is not going to fix it for them. And the withdrawals from the Euro is not going to fix it for the French. That would have brought the French bankruptcy and made Marine Le Pen's voters even worse off than they are today.
[19:11:48] CABRERA: It is a very interesting reaction from former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Go ahead, David. And then we will get to what Hillary Clinton is tweeting tonight. Go ahead.
GERGEN: I think one of the questions you are going to see arising here in the American context is it possible for the United States to have a Macron? Is it possible to find a fresh figure with who has a lot of plans, very smart guy, and there is no a lot of experience. I mean that's, you know, he's run from the center against the elites as Macron has done. I mean, that is, you know, he has run form the center against the elites, an extraordinarily interesting story in that. Is there somebody in American politics who can emerge over the next two or three year who can be a Macron-like figure.
CABRERA: That is so interesting to think about great plan. Glad you got that in.
Let's look at what Hillary Clinton tweeted this evening just short time ago writing victory for Macron, for France and the EU and the world. Defeat to those interfering with democracy. But the media says I can't talk about that, she writes.
So it was a reference clearly to the hack attack on Macron's campaign and the attack that she also felt during the election here in the U.S. David, what is your reaction to her reaction?
GERGEN: Well, we know now how that how bitter and frustrated she is from her comments here if the last few days. So I'm not surprised that she has come out this way. Christiane have a better feel for this than I do. But my sense is that, you know, the Macron was -- the polls in France are very good. Historically, they have been pretty good. They were very good in the first round here, for example. But, you know, Macron is ahead about 60/40. He actually won by significant more on just coming right after this hacking incident. So there is an interesting question that Christiane might answer.
Did the hacking actually work in his favor because people felt he had been, you know, that the Russians were coming in and trying to destroy their democratic process in France?
CABRERA: What do you think, Christiane?
AMANPOUR: Well, you know, fascinatingly, it's obviously a really relevant question. And Hillary Clinton is absolutely right on this issue. Because this last hack on Friday night was so brazen and so obvious. But because of the laws near France, nobody was allowed to broadcast it. So it didn't move beyond online. And perhaps it didn't affect, you know, people to the way that the people who did this hacking thought that it might.
They were not allowed to do it. Macron asked immediately for a legal procedure against it and an investigation. Find out who did it. He faced it head on and said this is not right. And, you know, they weren't able to spread it that much.
But before that, the Russians with their propaganda units known as Sputnik and RT and all sorts of other online sites that they use have been peddling the most outrageous lies and fake news all insinuated inside, you know, real news and this and that, putting it all over the place and trying very, very hard to destabilize Macron and to help Marine Le Pen. Because Marine Le Pen has basically publicly said that Russia did not annex or invade Crimea.
That's what she said to me. The Russians have not annexed or invaded Crimea. This was their right and the Crimea love it and blah, blah. That is what she said. She went to the Kremlin. She wants to remove, they wanted to remove sanctions from Putin. Of course the Kremlin wanted her as their candidate.
So it didn't work here. It just didn't work. And there are lots of reasons why we can go into later. But, you know, it is an absolutely correct statement to say that interference by the Russians in this case did not work. Because we know from the CIA, the NSA and all the others that they believe the biggest threat to western democracy right now is interference by the Russians. Not just into elections but wanting to, you know, ruin and weaken institutions like NATO, the EU and all rest of it.
[19:16:00] CABRERA: Christiane Amanpour and David Gergen, thank you both for the thoughtful discussion here tonight. Now Britain's departure from the European Union has attracted the attention of a mysterious graffiti artist. This painted mural appeared sometime this weekend in the English port city of Dover. It's been verified now as the work of (INAUDIBLE), the famously anonymous street artist.
Large painting shows a man chipping away one of the stars in the European Union's flag. Now art work attributed to (INAUDIBLE) appears usually in Britain but is now popping up elsewhere in Europe and even in the Middle East.
Still ahead here in the NEWSROOM, the family of President Trump's son- in-law under fire for this ad in China. The message invests half a million bucks and get the chance at a green card in the U.S.
Plus, outrage in Flint, Michigan, where families sickened by lead tainted water are facing foreclosure for not paying their water bills.
[19:20:57] CABRERA: Now to a story that will no doubt raise more concerns about conflict of interest surrounding the first family vast real estate holding. The Kushner family is trying to lure investments from wealthy business owners in China with the promise of American visa.
Here is the pitch, invest a half million dollars in the development and get into the U.S. on an EB-5 visa.
CNN's Matt Rivers has more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two, one.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A glitzy event in Beijing were about 100 people turned up to hear a simple pitch, give us at least $500,000 and we can help you get a U.S. greed card.
The event was hosted by Nicole Kushner-Myer, sister of top presidential advisor and Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Speaking on behalf of Kushner companies, she was seeking $150 million investment for a new luxury tower in New Jersey under a visa program called EB-5.
The much criticized program allows wealthy foreigners to invest at least $500,000 into commercial projects in the U.S. as long as project creates at least ten full time jobs for Americans that investor can apply for a U.S. green card which can eventually lead to citizenship.
Critics have said the program amounts to selling U.S. citizenship. Though many admit it has helped spur some growth. The vast majority of foreigners taking recent advantage of the EB-5 program have been Chinese.
The fact that Kushner companies, a real estate development firm would be in Beijing seeking funding under the program, it is not unusual. In fact, it is common practice, an easy way to secure lots of funding. What is unusual is that Jared Kushner was until January the CEO of Kushner companies. His sister mentioned that to investors saying quote "in 2008 my brother Jared Kushner joined the family company as CEO and recently moved to Washington to join the administration."
Though she didn't specifically mention President Trump, it raises ethical questions. Jared Kushner has been a key advisor to the president on China, helping set the agenda for Chinese president XI Jinping's first meeting with Trump back in April. Kushner attains a vast array of business holding, although he has sold many of them. But the presentation could lead to questions about whether his family's business is using his proximity to the President as a selling point for luring investors.
A lawyer for Kushner told CNN in a statement quote "Mr. Kushner has no involvement in the operation of Kushner companies and divested his interest in the one journal square project by selling them to a family trust that he, his wife and his children are not beneficiaries of. As previously stated, he will recuse from particular matters concerning the EB-5 visa program." Still, it's clear the company might understand the optics of their Beijing presentation.
CNN found out about this event because of this ad. It was actually posted in the elevator of our building here in Beijing so we took a photo. You can clearly see it says Kushner One right there and then later on it says in part quote "invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States."
This was built as a public event and we shot it from the crowd on an iPhone. But other news organizations who showed up got kicked out. Reporters with both "the New York Times" and "the Washington Post" were asked to leave. The Post wrote that when they asked why quote "A PR person who decline to identify herself said simply said this is not the story we want."
Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.
CABRERA: All right, our thanks to Matt Rivers.
And coming up, the President takes a victory lap on health care as a Republican congressman warns this could be Trump's mission accomplish moment. He is right?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, coming from different world and only being a politician for a short period of time, how am I doing? Am I doing OK? I'm President. Hey, I'm President. Do you believe it? Right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:29:02] CABRERA: The President got a big win this past week with the House passing a GOP plan to replace large portions of Obamacare. And while the President is expecting optimism that the Senate will follow suit, at least one Republican has a warning. Don't celebrate too much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It's kind of like George Bush going up on top of the aircraft carrier here and say, you know, mission accomplished. I mean, you got to be careful about these things. People get ahead of their skis and it can come back to bite them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: I want to bring in CNN Money senior writer Tami Luhby who has written and research extensively on the healthcare issues.
Tami, the big question now is as we look to the next step with this health care bill is what is the Senate going to do? What could they do to take the GOP House plan and then make it even better so that people can have more affordable health care?
TAMI LUHBY, CNN MONEY SENIOR WRITER: Right. Well, the Senate is going to make a lot of changes. They have already said they are going to basically start from scratch. But one area that the House is actually told them that they should work on is the tax credit. The GOP bill really would change the tax credit so subsidies that Obamacare provides for people to buy insurance. Insurance is usually too expensive for people to buy on their own.
So the good thing about the tax credit that GOP bill would do is open it up to more people. There is a lot of concern that tax credits wouldn't be, you know, affordable or wouldn't give enough help for a low income people and for older people. So the Senate is going to have a lot of work to do to try to make these tax credits better for those folks.
[19:30:29] CABRERA: That is one big issue. And one big concern for a lot of people who are looking what could come next. Now, when we look at other issues, we heard a lot of talk about the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare. If that goes away, what is that going to mean for the states even if they have these pulls of money to rely on? I mean, we are hearing from some like John Kasich who say that it's still not going to be enough. Well, here is how the health and human services secretary Tom Price addressed this issue of Medicaid this morning when he spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Are you actually saying that $808 billion in cuts according to the CBO, however you want to talk about that not being a cut, that that's actually not going to result in millions of Americans not getting Medicaid?
TOM PRICE, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Absolutely not. And we believe strongly that the Medicaid population that will be cared for in a better way under our program because it will be more responsive to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So, Tami, I know you researched this again thoroughly. You heard him say that people on Medicaid will be in the clear. I'm translating or I guess summarizing. What does your research tell you?
LUHBY: Well, this is a bit of puzzling comment. I reached out to HHS to have them explain it. But there is going to be a lot of cuts to Medicaid. I mean, they want to reign in the program. So they are going to cut Medicaid expansion funding. They are going to limit that. They are going to cut - they are going to turn Medicaid into what they call either a block grand or per capita grant. So they are going to limit the amount of funding that the states will receive and the states are going to have to make up this. And they are not going to be able to because Medicaid is very expensive.
And so the CBO report says that they are going to cut Medicaid spending by 25 percent from where it is now by 2026 and that 14 million fewer people will be covered by Medicaid in 2026.
Now, Tom Price has said that the CBO is not that good at estimating these things. So maybe that's what he is relying on. But a lot of experts say that Medicaid is really going to be slammed under the Obama -- under the GOP bill. So I'm going to be waiting to hear what HHS has to say.
CABRERA: And you said you reached out. Just we have only like 30 seconds, but I do want to ask as far as people who are getting insurance right now through their employer, what does the GOP plan do for them?
LUHBY: It's probably not going to affect them that much. There may be some mid-sized companies that now that employer mandate if it passes the employer mandate will go away. You know, they won't have to offer insurance. But remember, health care is considered a benefit that companies want to give because they want to attract and retain the best people. And if a company doesn't offer health insurance, a lot of people are going to say, well, I don't know if I want to work there.
So a lot of companies offer health insurance and they generally offer good health insurance. And remember again, under Obamacare, small companies which really can't afford to offer good benefits, they don't have to under Obamacare. So this doesn't real why affect them.
CABRERA: All right. Thanks so much. Good to see you, Tami.
Coming up, the story that's pretty hard to believe. Thousands of people in Flint, Michigan, could have their homes taken away because of unpaid water bills for water they can't even drink, water that poisoned their children. I will ask Michigan congressman Dan Kildee what he is doing to help the people of Flint next.
[19:37:47] CABRERA: Thousands of people in Flint, Michigan, may be at risk of losing their homes if they don't pay overdue water bills by next week. This is according to "the new York Times" and local Michigan affiliates, there. Flint residents were charged for tainted poisonous water they could not drink or use for the past three years. High levels of lead and other toxins were detected in Flint's water two years ago. This crisis has taken a dramatic toll on the families there. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have lost two unborn babies. I was pregnant with twins. And I lost them back in July of 2015 due to the lead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened to my children, to the children in my community? It's taking way their innocence. That's not OK. That's not something they can get back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people have pose the question is it as bad as it seems? It is worse than can you ever imagine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They start off red and then they leave white spots. That comes from the water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Flint Mayor Karen Weaver released this statement on the foreclosure warnings linked town paid water bills saying quote "I have met with our interim city attorney and finance director and they say the city is obligated by local ordinance to follow this procedure and we must follow the law. As the mayor of Flint and as a Flint resident, I understand the concern that's have been raised and I am working to see if any changes or something can be done to help those affected by this.
Let's talk it over with Michigan congressman Dan Kildee. He represents the Flint area.
Congressman, thank you for joining us. First, I want to get your reaction to this situation.
REP. DAN KILDEE (D), MICHIGAN: Well, it's just one more chapter in this tragedy. The idea that people in Flint were told by the state of Michigan that the water was safe. This is a couple years ago, when the state government knew it was poisoned. And then the state recently took away the water credits that it was forced to provide because people shouldn't have to pay for water that is unsafe to drink.
The state created the problem in the first place. The state took away the funding for individuals to help stay up to date on their water bills and this is the result. It's just one more piece of evidence that state of Michigan continues to walk away from its responsibilities for the people of Flint.
[19:40:06] CABRERA: Now the mayor of Flint says she is bound by law to issue these warnings to these residents that could result in foreclosure. What do you recommend she do or how should she respond?
KILDEE: Well, I understand her point of view. She feels as though since the state is not funding the water credits that she has no option but to pursue collection against these individuals. She needs the city that, is, needs the money in order to make payroll and, you know, basically keep the lights on. I understand that. She should go back to the state of Michigan and insist that they continue to provide those credits.
In the meantime, I think there are ways, I was once the county treasurer. I understand the tax collection system as well as anybody. And I know the current treasurer does as well. I think there are ways to provide relief to those individuals so that they are not at risk of losing their homes. And I'm willing to help anybody who wants to pursue that. CABRERA: What would you do? How can you help?
KILDEE: Well, simple. On one thing would be to change the ordinance so that those liens don't result in a foreclosure action. And I actually think and I talked to the county treasurer there Deb Cherry who is very good public servant. I think she is taking a responsible approach and may be able to avoid those water liens resulting in a tax foreclosure. But it is a cloud on the title. It still could prevent someone from selling their home. It does jeopardize their ownership.
I just don't think people should have to pay those bills. The state of Michigan created this problem in the first place. This they made the decision to change the water. They made the decision to not provide the necessary treatment to that water in the first place. And there is no way that they can hold the people of Flint responsible for the fact that they don't trust the water when it was the state that made the decisions that caused people not to trust the water in the first place.
CABRERA: It sounds like this is just adding salt to the wound, so to speak. And I'm wondering if you think it's time for the federal government to get involved in to try to do something more than what is already taken place.
KILDEE: Well, I mean, the federal government has stepped up. I will say this. Congress passed a relief bill that (INAUDIBLE) and I pushed through Congress. I will say this. The federal government needs to keep its promise to the people of Flint. Like right now, for example, what's happening with health care could result in the loss of Medicaid benefits for many of those Flint people who are facing health challenges as a result of the water crisis.
I was just meeting with a group of folks from the group indivisible in Phantom, Michigan today. And they understand the connection between what is happening in health care and all these other problems that we face. The people in Flint are experiencing this problem in ways that nobody can imagine. And to have not only these water bills come, but then have the President of the United States and the Republican Congress threaten to take away their access to health care to deal with the result of the crisis is just, like I said, one more sad chapter in a growing number of chapters of the Flint water crisis. And we just can't allow this to happen. Not in the United States of America in the 21st century. This is just too much.
CABRERA: When you talk about solutions, you talked about rewriting ordinances, asking the state to do more. But I mean here is what these residents are facing in a very near future. Residents with water bills six months or month overdue reportedly they have only until May 19th to pay or this foreclosure process might began.
So congressman, what do you recommend the individuals do?
KILDEE: Well, first of all, I think they need to speak to the county and the city and basically ask that that foreclosure process not go forward. But their voices are important. I think the entire focus should be back to the state of Michigan to get them to pay up for those water credits that they took away. This issue of foreclosure is a serious one. If I had a water lien on my house that is potentially foreclosable under the tax law, I would be nervous as well.
CABRERA: Can you do something to hold the state more accountable?
KILDEE: Well, the federal government doesn't have authority to dictate state law or local ordinances. But as an individual myself, as a person with some expertise in this area, I certainly plan on getting involved with it. I think those individuals, those homeowners have more rights than perhaps they fully understand. That's one very important piece of this puzzle is to make sure that they get legal advice from either legal services or maybe other organizations so that they know that they can assert their rights and push back against any foreclosure action that is based solely on an unpaid water bill.
CABRERA: All right. Congressman Dan Kildee, thanks for spending part of your weekend with us.
KILDEE: Thank you very much, Ana.
CABRERA: Coming up, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA." Host W. Kamau Bell hits the streets of Chicago to explore misconceptions about the black lives matter movement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:45:05] W. KAMAU BELL, HOST, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: What does the phrase black lives matter mean to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is a touchy subject. But I think -- I want to say it means that all lives matter. But I know that right now there is some hardships going on with black lives.
BELL: That's a perfectly acceptable answer from a white lady on the north side of Chicago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:49:34] CABRERA: In tonight's episode of CNN's original series "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," W. Kamau Bell heads to Chicago to clear up some misconceptions about the black lives matter movement. Here is a preview.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love the black lives matter movement. I think it is important.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think -- but I wish there was more a focus on education.
BELL: Yes. Well, a lady who was such a big fan of the show pulled over her car so
we can talk. Ask and you shall receive. Because my next stop is meeting with one of the leaders of black lives matters Chicago, Coby Edamola (ph). He is often seen at city hall leading protests for a multitude of causes like a beyond police brutality. Today, he has joined the fight to provide better conditions for the teachers of Chicago.
[19:50:20] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The working class people of the city can't afford more budget cuts and lay-offs in our schools.
BELL: In 2015 the mayor Rahm Emanuel cut $200 million from the public school budget, damn. This resulted in 1400 staff lay-offs. Where were most of the lay-offs? Bridgeport? No. The south side and west side where the black people live. That's like a really odd coincidence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do black and brown educators, parents, educators and students have to fight so hard for what should be given to us?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we want to talk about violence in our communities, we have to talk about the support systems we have. Teachers are our support systems, and that's what we're fighting for. And Black lives matter Chicago stands firmly on that. Thank you.
CABRERA: W. Kamau Bell joins me now. What surprised you most about filming this episode?
BELL: I think what surprised me most because a lot of the episode is actually about the gangs in Chicago too and the gang situation.
BELL: What surprised me most is that when you talk to the gang members, they don't actually want to be in the gangs. They feel like it is a life they have to live in, and they actually have the solutions for how to clean up the neighborhoods. They just need resources.
BELL: You know, it is not a life they want to live. Despite how all of the rhetoric we hear about, you know, or what we think we know. This is not a life they want to live. It feels like a life they have been backed into.
CABRERA: And that's interesting. When they talk about solutions, how do they see their way out?
BELL: Well, I think that's why we showed -- we have the clip with the Black Lives Matter leader. They know that the kids need better schools. They know that there is no jobs in the neighborhood. If you go on the south and west sides of Chicago there's acres and acres of undeveloped land. If you to go the north side of Chicago where mostly white people lived there's no undeveloped land or very little undeveloped land. And I feel like they know if this land had businesses and homes there would be more jobs for people to have. But right now on the west side, people feel they don't have a lot of anything.
CABRERA: That's hard to hear. I know you grew up in Chicago. Do you see things different now than when you were there or is it about the same?
BELL: I mean I think it has gotten worse for a lot of people. I mean, I have to be clear. When I grew up in Chicago, I grew up in Hyde Park which is pretty protected bubble on the south side of Chicago. So the life I had was not the life that I see there. And I knew at the time I was in Chicago I had a lucky life because I lived in Hyde Park where the University of Chicago is, where Obama taught, where Obama I think it is right near where Obama's library is going to be. But right outside of that is the life we are talking about tonight with gang members and gun violence.
CABRERA: Did what you experienced in this episode make you more optimistic or pessimistic about the future of Chicago?
BELL: It makes me optimistic about the people, but until the government becomes optimistic about those people too I'm pretty pessimistic about what is happening. I mean, I think - I mean like I said, every gang member, every mom, every dad I talked to knew what the problems were and the solutions are, that we need better schools and more jobs. But they can't do that themselves. Chance the rapper gave the Chicago public school system a million dollars. You can't expect every rapper to improve the Chicago public schools. The system has to do it for itself.
CABRERA: It can't just be relying on donations though. I know this week --
BELL: We can't crowd fund democracy.
CABRERA: That's a good point.
Well, let's talk about some of the other news that we have seen this week. I want to get your take on specifically when we have seen comedians who made headlines, news this week. We saw Jimmy Kimmel speaking out on health care. Stephen Colbert facing criticism over the language he used and jokes about President Trump. Giving that you, yourself, are a comedian, touches on range of social issues in your show. How do you draw that line between making the audience laugh and some serious social commentary?
BELL: I mean I think if you -- I mean, I was really happy about what Jimmy Kimmel did. I thought people don't think of him as somebody who really has like that strong of an opinion about something. But what it showed is that comedians are people, too. And I don't look to draw the line. Like with "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is not. As long as Jeff Zucker keeps me on the air, I will keep doing it the way I do it. I mean I feel like -- I like being able to put my heart into the show. So I think comedians are best when they have something at stake.
CABRERA: Interesting. A study this week, though, showed Trump has been the target of late night jokes more in his first 100 days than any other President in their entire first years. Is he fair game or should they back off at some point?
BELL: Well, most Presidents aren't cyber bullies like I think that Donald Trump is kind of a cyber-bully. And he also purposely says things that are provocative. So most Presidents aren't looking to -- aren't using the bully pulpit to be a bully. So I think that if Trump is going to continue to be President that way, he is going to expect comedians to take him down because we like to take down bullies.
[19:55:05] CABRERA: All right. W. Kamau Bell, we appreciate your thoughts tonight and we look forward to your episode.
Don't forget, you can catch the original series "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on CNN.
We are back in a moment.
[19:59:32] CABRERA: You re live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera live in New York. Thanks for spending part of your weekend with us.
Breaking news tonight. President Trump is congratulating a new world leader he will be working with, one who represents a devastating defeat of the populist wave he rode into office late last year.
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CABRERA: This is Paris tonight. The celebrations lasting past midnight after the announcement that the centrist candidate Emanuel Macron scored an overwhelming victory at the polls and will be the next president of France.