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Trump Defends Use of Social Media; Secrecy on Health Care Bill; Poppy Harlow Shares Champions for Change. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET

Aired June 16, 2017 - 08:30   ET



[08:32:02] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, there is legitimate cause to believe things may change, at least for a while down in Washington after Virginia. There was so much great vibe and energy at the baseball game last night, but not by President Trump. Within 24 hours of that shooting, he was back at it on Twitter, attacking the process of investigation, attacking the people involved, including decorated war veteran Bob Mueller. Just moments ago he tweeted, "the fake news media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful social media. Over 100 million people."

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN political director David Chalian.

And just to be clear on the record, I love that the president tweets because I think it is a window into his direct thought process and a legitimate avenue of scrutiny of his positions. But what do you make of the political play here, once again bashing the investigation, bashing Mueller, et cetera?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, and as you know, Chris, the White House has conceded that these are official statements from the president. So, I agree, it does give us insight into his thinking. I think we also have to be smart enough to separate out some tweets from others. Not all of his tweets are the same. And so I don't want to conflate the moment of bipartisanship that you're talking about with the president defending himself having now been under investigation. He was - I think he has -

CUOMO: He's not defending himself. He's attacking others. He's attacking the Democratic process. He's attacking Mueller. He called people conflicted and bad. The guy's a multi-decorated veteran who all Republicans almost unanimously said was a great choice. That's not just complaining, David.

CHALIAN: I agree with you. I think attacking the process is bad. This morning his tweets were about pushing back, that there's been no proof yet on collusion with Russia. That was - that was his first tweet this morning, which by the way her, after seven months of investigation and committee hearings about my, quote, "collusion with the Russian, nobody's been able to show any proof. Sad. "

What I think is stunning about this tweet from the president is that whoever said he was under investigation for colluding with Russia? Our reporting has always been and what Jim Comey testified before Congress and the American people that they were looking into Russian campaign - sorry, Trump campaign associations with Russia, not necessarily Donald Trump. He always makes this about him. That's why he was so adamant to get out there that he wasn't under personal investigation, except that now, of course, he is for potential obstruction of justice.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: But, David, I don't know, shame on us. I mean shame on us. We - we are the people who become consumed with the tweets. Chris and I have this debate a lot. I know that he likes the tweets. He thinks that they're a window into the mind of the president. OK. Get it. I take your point. But we're the people who are devoting our hours of this morning to that instead of say something that effects a lot of people, which is health care and what the Republican plan is and why they're doing it behind closed doors. I mean we're the people who have to be judicious about which rabbit hole we want to go down.

[08:35:03] CUOMO: It hurts when she says that, David, because it's true.

CHALIAN: I - there is no doubt. We do make those choices. And listening to you this morning with Mo Brooks and talking about how this moment in the last 48 hours has caused you and all of us to reflect about how we contribute to the vitriol, and focus on the controversy. I think that's good. We should reflect on that.

But these are the president's statements. And inherently what the president says I think is worth our attention. That doesn't mean we should do it at the expense of talking about health care, Alisyn.


CHALIAN: And, of course -

CAMEROTA: But, guess what, David -


CAMEROTA: I mean there's only 24 hours in a day. We have been doing it at the expense of health care. So let's change that right now. I mean let's - let me put my money where my mouth is, right? So we're done with the tweets. What do you know about the health care - what do you know about what's going on? Do we know any of the details of what the Senate will be presenting?

CHALIAN: It would be easier to talk about health care if we actually knew what was in the bill, because there would be something to talk about. But as you've noted, it is really Mitch McConnell's strategy here to do this behind closed doors dealing with senators almost one by one at times but sometimes in larger groups to get as close to the 51 votes, or 50 votes, if it's a tie and using the vice president to break it, that he needs to get this bill across the finish line. He is not looking to have this die by the death of a thousand cuts by having it out there. So there's definitely a strategy at least there.

What we do know is, one of the big hang-ups, and you know this from the way the House bill was constructed and what we've heard from Republican senators, is this issue of Medicaid and funding Medicaid. We know that there are a bunch of senators from states that took the Medicaid expansion that are looking to keep money in the bill that the House bill cut out. That's going to be one of the big sticking points.

CAMEROTA: I feel better already about our job.

CUOMO: They're important discussions. I think we do better than most. But you're right, we should do more.

CAMEROTA: OK. Thank you. Wow.

CUOMO: You're right.

CAMEROTA: Again, a rare moment of unity.

CUOMO: Right. No, I don't really mean it that way, because I'm actually blaming you.


CUOMO: I'll just do it more after the show.

CAMEROTA: He'll change his tune. I know that.

CUOMO: All right. So, did Russia kill ISIS leader al-Baghdadi? That's their claim, that they may have. We have new perspective for you on it, next.


[08:41:25] CAMEROTA: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

Breaking news, Russia claims it may have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air strike in Syria last month. U.S. officials say they cannot confirm these reports.

CUOMO: President Trump unleashing a new tweet storm this morning - so much for unity - saying there is no proof of collusion with Russia after seven months, defending his use of social media, bashing the mainstream media. You can read them for yourself.

CAMEROTA: Democrats and Republicans uniting at last night's congressional charity baseball game. They honored House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, who remains in critical condition after being shot by a deranged gunman.

CUOMO: The death toll is now up to 30 in that horrifying high rise inferno in London and still they don't know the toll. We do know 24 people are in the hospital, 12 are still critically injured, but dozens are missing.

CAMEROTA: Jurors in the Bill Cosby case will begin day five of deliberations after telling the judge they were deadlocked after nearly 40 hours of deliberations. CUOMO: All right, so for more on the five things to know, you can go

to for the latest.

CAMEROTA: OK, so, more than 100,000 children live in homeless shelters across the U.S. This week's CNN hero and former teacher wanted to do something to help them. Meet Jennifer Cox.


JENNIFER COX, CNN HERO: Kids are never going to learn in school. They're never going to be successful if they don't feel good about who they are.

I think that's a great answer.

Children don't have a lot of space in shelter life to truly be kids. They are experiencing very stressful, turbulent situations.

What we are going to learn here today -

The best way to better a situation is to offer them opportunities to feel empowered.


CAMEROTA: OK. So, to see more about Jennifer's efforts, you can go to And while you're there, you can nominate someone you think should be our 2017 CNN Hero.

CUOMO: So, going out of your way to help can make a big difference. Next, Poppy Harlow is going to introduce us to a group that she is involved with that's opening doors for boys and girls to reach their dreams.


[08:48:04] CUOMO: Long week. Let's gets some inspiration in here. Time now for "Champions of Change." CNN, HLN anchors introducing you guys to organizations that are close to their hearts.

Today it's Poppy Harlow. She's here to tell us about the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club. A place that helps kids achieve a path to success.

Great organization.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, "NEWSROOM": It's an incredible place. And I got started in my own neighborhood, in Brooklyn. It was just, you know, less than a mile away. I had no idea they were there. I walked over there three years ago, I met the real heroes, and the rest is history.


HARLOW: Hi, guys!


HARLOW: I got involved with the Boys and Girls Club three years or so ago. I was walking in this park. I was feeling profoundly fortunate, lucky. I've never not had opportunity and a great education and a loving family. Every door has been opened for me.

And the Boys and Girls Club, for many of these kids, has been the first door to open.

Kids love, love the gym.

STAN KING, DIRECTOR, MADISON SQUARE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB: This is the carrot that brings them in.

HARLOW: This is the carrot?

KING: This is the carrot right here. And then they have to join programs and activities.

HARLOW: What's your favorite thing about coming to the Boys and Girls Club?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The computer lab.

HARLOW: The computer lab! I love that.

What about you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like coming here because they help us with our homework.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is asking true or false.

KING: That levels the playing field so that young people, they have the opportunity to succeed and outgrow their current circumstances.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This clubhouse means family. It means a safe place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The staff care about you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like an alternative to being in the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of love. That would be the word, love.

HARLOW: It's a second home for these kids, not replacing the parents, but working with the parents to give these kids the best possible shot.

[08:50:02] Hi!

HARLOW (voice-over): Madison Square Boys and Girls Club Project Graduate gets kids on track for college. Last year, every single one of its high school seniors graduated. HARLOW (on camera): Ninety percent of those applied to college.

Eighty-three percent were accepted. And I can tell you, that is far, far above their peers.

Do you feel good?


HARLOW (voice-over): Working with the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club here in New York City has been a gift, seeing these remarkable kids reach their full potential. I sit on the board, and I'm a mentor, but it's the staff at Madison, like Stan King, who are heroes.

HARLOW (on camera): This organization has been your life. What does the Boys and Girls Club mean to you?

KING: You know, it's just a calling.

The word for today is awesome. And I think we've been doing an awesome job, all right. One, two, three, awesome!

HARLOW: What's your favorite moment here every day?

KING: 3:00.

HARLOW: 3:00.

KING: 3:00.

HARLOW: Why do you love 3:00?

KING: It's when our doors open.

Come on in! Let's go! Let's get inside!

HARLOW: Do you feel like a dad to a bunch of the kids that walk in these doors?

KING: These are my kids.

Tie your shoe, buddy.

You have to make it so that kids believe in you and they believe that you genuinely care.

HARLOW: So this is the first clubhouse that I came to. It's less than a mile from my apartment. What separates where I live over there and the kids that come here are these projects right over here. This is also where I met Angel Victor, my mentee, about three years ago.

Hi, Miss Angel!

ANGEL VICTOR, COLLEGE SOPHOMORE: Having a mentor is amazing, to help you conquer your dreams, just basically telling you, you can do this, you can do this, you can.


HARLOW: There you go. All right, 1-1. We're tied.

So, what's it like being back here? Does it remind you of good times?

VICTOR: Of course. The club is like family.

HARLOW: You're more and that halfway done with college.

VICTOR: Almost, yes.

HARLOW: How does that feel?

VICTOR: It's nerve-racking, but it's like, wow, I can do it.

HARLOW: You'll be the first in your family to ever graduate from college.

VICTOR: That's right. And then my mom, I got my mom to go to school as well. It was like -

HARLOW: You did? I didn't know this.

VICTOR: And now she's in college. And it's like, wow.

HARLOW: So you and your mother will be college graduates?

VICTOR: Pretty soon.

I conquer my fear and my disability.

HARLOW (voice-over): Angel overcame a speech impediment, found her voice, and two years ago was celebrated as a "Youth of the Year."

HARLOW (on camera): I have wondered a lot, what would my life be like if I was born somewhere else, to different parents, in a different community. And there's just something fundamentally unjust about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our goals in life -

HARLOW: This isn't about fame, money, power. It's about something higher and more important. What is it for you?

KING: It's about influence. If you can influence the next generation of leaders and really instill in them the importance of community and giving back, then you've done something great for the world, and I think in that is where the power lies.


HARLOW: Oh, my goodness. What a special place and what special kids.

HARLOW: What amazing kids. And what heroes that work with them every day. I mean they don't get rich doing this, right? They don't get famous. But the power they have, like Sam King, who you saw, who runs that clubhouse - CAMEROTA: I'm saying you did a fitting interview with him, by the way.

HARLOW: He's seven feet tall.


HARLOW: Say - you know, he played ball. He could have been a professional basketball player. This is what he did. And I said, what is it for you, and he talked about, I change the trajectory, we change the trajectory of these kids' lives. There's nothing more powerful than that.

CUOMO: And you deserve a nod too. Your interest isn't passive. Mentoring is huge for programs like that. I only know because my mother runs a huge mentoring program called Mentor USA.


CUOMO: People like you in those kids lives make all the difference. It lets them know that there are other avenues to dignity out there.

HARLOW: You know it was - it was funny. Angel's a remarkable young woman. And when she called me about a year ago and said, I've got too much going on between work and college, I'm going to - I think I'm going to take a semester off. I said, oh, no, you aren't. You are not taking a semester off. We're going to figure this out. Her mother plays a very important role in her life. We worked together. I am there on and off. I'm not there like her family is, but I'm there when she needs it and she's given me more than I've given her.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, thanks so much for sharing this story with us.

HARLOW: You got it.

CAMEROTA: Poppy, that is a great one.

So CNN and HLN anchors have been bringing you their causes all week. For more information, you can go to And tune in tomorrow night for a CNN special event about this, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

CUOMO: A little "Good Stuff" for you. A little more good stuff right after this. It doesn't get much better than that.


[08:59:15] CUOMO: All right, a little "Good Stuff" for you, right? A happy ending to a real life Cinderella story. Shaday Goodson (ph) - Shaday Goodson Brown (ph) actually is her name. She was doing anything she could to raise cash to go to the prom, OK? The Chicago teem even sold snacks near her home to earn money. That's when her fairy godmother, someone named Kamia Hern (ph), walked in. Shaday's mom was overwhelmed.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart was like pounding so bad. I didn't know what to do, but a tear drop.


CUOMO: Kamia shared Shaday's story on FaceBook, went viral. Thanks to people's generosity for a kid they didn't even know, she made it to her prom.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just speechless. I'm like really happy. I just want to thank everybody who supported me.


[09:00:07] CUOMO: And Internet -

CAMEROTA: Those were some beautiful pictures.

CUOMO: This is - first of all, she looked great. So did he. And the memories are beautiful. This is what "The Good Stuff"