Return to Transcripts main page
Hospitals In Puerto Rico Struggle To Care For Patients; Assessing The Scope of Russia's Manipulation Of Social Media; What Is In Trump's New Tax Proposal? Winners And Losers Of Trump Tax Plan. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired September 28, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:05] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And we're so happy to report that because of your reporting a veterans group was able to find him and get him medication.
So you are sounding the alarm and hopefully, the right people and officials are listening. Thank you, Bill, for all of your reporting.
BILL WEIR, CNN HOST: That's what we're going to try -- you bet, you bet.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right.
There are fears that -- as you're hearing from Bill -- that this situation is going to turn from very bad to worse and that's going to happen in the streets. It's also going to happen in the hospitals. Power is out.
Hospitals, as you might imagine, are very fuel-dependent to run their machines. If they don't have power from the grid they need to generate it themselves. That means generators, that means diesel.
Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is live in San Juan. He's been following that part -- the clinic, the pediatric hospital you went to yesterday.
You've seen great despair all over the world. What makes this unusual is that this is America. These are Americans, this is an American territory. It's a thousand miles away but well within reach of all of the might that the U.S. can bring to bear.
What did you find, my friend?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if there was a theme, Chris, in all that, then it is just this theme of unknown. It's exactly as you said. You'd expect there to be some sort of consistent relief or at least knowing that things were coming.
The pediatric hospital you referenced, they did get some fuel. But what they're told is they have enough fuel for three days and then they're just not sure. That's not the way that you can possibly run a hospital.
The clinic -- one of the clinics that's about an hour outside of San Juan -- no, today, they say they've got six hours of fuel left. They've got an emergency room, they're trying to take care of patients. It's an impossible thing to do to basically try and plan anything when you have that little fuel.
So, it's just a continuous unknown right now for the medical folks out here. It's particularly challenging, as a result.
CUOMO: All right. We're just watching what's happened there, Sanjay. It's often -- you know, you're just so tied to the scenes of need.
And there's a helplessness here. We know it's real on the ground --
CUOMO: -- but, you know, what's being more difficult to understand is why isn't it changing?
What is your understanding of why it's only three days of fuel? Why there hasn't been more of an incursion of relief efforts in the places that seem to need it? What is this about?
GUPTA: Well, I think -- I think there's several things going on in that regard.
One is that you've heard from, certainly, Bill Weir's reporting that in many places it's a question of distribution. You may have certain supplies on the ground -- lifesaving supplies, even -- but simply getting it to the people who need it is part -- is part of the difficulty here.
There's something else and this is a little bit surprising, and that is in some of these faraway clinics I expected to see lines and lines of patients at these clinics, right? People actually getting to these clinics and trying to get care. You're just not seeing that yet.
And in some ways, it's another problem of distribution. The patients are there, certainly. You've seen what has happened to this island. But why can't they get to these clinics here?
They're still dusting themselves off. They're still dealing with the fact that they've lost everything and they haven't even been able to take care of themselves as of yet.
So the numbers are likely to grow. That's what we keep hearing from all the medical professionals as people start to filter in.
But they're also starting to take things out of the hospitals, out of the clinics, and go into these communities now directly, on foot, with supplies to try and, you know, just tend to people where they are. That's part of the nature of what's going on here.
CUOMO: A lot of the people can't get anywhere because they don't have any gas so they can't drive anywhere.
GUPTA: That's right. CUOMO: So, I mean, look, there's a whole layer -- the whole cascade of problems. But again, the issue that's getting larger and larger is why isn't is changing faster, especially with the might of America. These are Americans.
Sanjay, thank you very much. We need you there. Thank you for being there -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, now to another big issue.
Do you use Twitter? Chances are you're the victim of fake news.
A new study looked at more than 22 million tweets and found out how many of them are fake news. And one of the researchers is going to join us with her conclusion, next.
[07:38:10] CAMEROTA: A new study is taking a closer look at the level of misinformation posted on Twitter during the week of the 2016 presidential election. The Oxford study found on average, the amount of false information in swing states was higher when compared to uncontested states.
Joining us now with all of the conclusions is one of the researchers behind that report, Samantha Bradshaw, along with CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd.
Samantha, what a fascinating study that you and your colleagues did. This is the first time that a study analyzed the ratio between what we call fake news, meaning conspiracy theories and fiction, versus real news during that pivotal time period of the presidential election.
What did you find?
SAMANTHA BRADSHAW, RESEARCHER, COMPUTATIONAL PROPAGANDA PROJECT, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: Yes, that's right.
So, we started the study back at the beginning -- in the beginning of the year in January, looking at one swing state in particular, which was Michigan, and we wanted to see what users on social medical were sharing as news and as information in those 10 days leading up to the election.
And in that first study we found that the amount of junk news and professionally-produced news was being shared at a one to one ratio.
CAMEROTA: Hold on. Let me just stop you for a second --
CAMEROTA: -- because you don't use the term fake news. You call it junk news.
BRADSHAW: Yes. CAMEROTA: And then, you call it professional news. So, not fake news, real news. But why do you call it junk news instead of fake news?
BRADSHAW: Yes. We call it junk news because we're trying to capture the wide range of content out there that's conspiratorial in nature, that's hyperpartisan, and that's also false and includes misleading or made-up facts.
CAMEROTA: We have a graphic to illustrate what your findings are so let me push this up.
What you call professional news content, meaning CNN, real news --
CAMEROTA: -- 20 percent, OK? That's what users were sharing -- 20 percent.
Professional political content, 10 percent. Polarizing and conspiracy content, meaning fake news, junk news, 20 percent. Other political news and information, 13. And then other, 36 percent.
[07:40:10] So help us parse all of this.
BRADSHAW: Yes, OK.
So, the professional news content would be content coming from "The New York Times," from CNN, from news organizations that have some level of professionalization to how they approach creating the news stories and then distributing them.
CAMEROTA: Right -- rules, guidelines.
CAMEROTA: Things that we must adhere to. And then --
BRADSHAW: Exactly. A professional standard.
CAMEROTA: I mean, it's just shocking, Samantha, how little a piece of the pie that is. It's so troubling how little real information people were getting.
And then, let me just show people the states. These are the swing states that you looked at and how many people were sharing these.
So the red is obviously where the heat was -- where they were shared the most. What did you find?
BRADSHAW: Exactly. So, we found that in the swing states there was a higher concentration of this highly polarizing content. So, the junk news, the links from Russian content and WikiLeaks.
CAMEROTA: So, Phil, on a larger scale, is that a coincidence that in the swing states this was shared the most and pushed out the most or is this what Congress is trying to figure out, that somehow the Russians knew exactly where to target with the fake news?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I don't think we should draw a conclusion on that yet.
When I'm listening to this story and when I read it last night, for example, I'm looking at the swing states and saying is that because people were targeting those states or is that because people in those states were so engaged in the debate about the election because they knew the margin of victory was going to be so small that there was more sharing of information?
I tell you, Alisyn, though, when I look at this story my concern in the way we're characterizing it and the way the American people see it, is they're going to see it through a political lens, as the Congress will.
Democrats will say look, this is people involved in the -- in the Russia campaign influencing in favor against Hillary Clinton. Republicans will say no, this is overblown.
Let me give you a quick point. Going into the 21st century this isn't about elections and Americans who want to ignore it shouldn't look at it about elections. It's about influencing the way Americans think.
If you're a right-wing activist, you're going to do this kind of stuff about immigration in Europe. If you're a Chinese security service, you're going to poison the views of Asians about American influence in Asia. If you're someone who wants to do business in Latin America, you might attack an American company using this kind of information.
This is about how people will use sources of information in the 21st century. It's not just about an election campaign.
CAMEROTA: You're so right. People need to know their source. I mean, there needs to actually be some news literacy happening here.
Samantha, did you look at 22 million tweets?
BRADSHAW: Yes. We had a sample of 22 million tweets but of that sample not everyone was sharing links to outside sources of information.
CAMEROTA: But did you find that Twitter was somehow more prone to this sort of misinformation than elsewhere?
BRADSHAW: Well, Twitter is one of the easiest platforms that researchers, like I, can work with because we have access to their streaming API which gives us a little peek into what people are sharing on social media. Platforms such as Facebook don't allow the same kind of transparency and access into their platforms.
CAMEROTA: Right. We've learned that woefully late.
Samantha, what's your conclusion. I mean, what are people to take away from this amount of fake news, false information, misinformation, conspiracy? BRADSHAW: I mean, it think it's a little troubling, you know, if there's bad quality information, conspiratorial information being shared on social media. So many people today use these platforms to obtain political news and information about politics that shape their political identities and then impact their voting behavior. And so, if they are accessing bad quality news and information it's going to affect the quality of our democracy.
I mean, Phil, just one final note on this. You know, CNN has exclusive reporting that found -- our Dylan Byers found that Facebook put out these fake ads from, you know, Russian troll farms -- not even ads -- I mean, information that appeared -- people were pretending to be supporters of Black Lives Matter.
And then, they were embedding in it threatening language, as though Black Lives Matter supporters were somehow threatening to their neighbors.
I mean, when I hear people say, Phil, that they get their news from Facebook or Twitter it sends a shiver down my spine.
MUDD: That's right. One quick point.
We're going to see hearings on this. There's news coming out this that people like Alphabet, the parent company for Google, and Facebook will be in front of Congress.
The message should be that we are not attacking the people like Facebook who put this out in the last election. The message should be how can the U.S. government and the Congress support Silicon Valley to get this stuff out?
[07:45:00] Don't put those guys -- Mark Zuckerberg -- on the spot. Figure out how to help them. I think that's the way forward.
CAMEROTA: There you go.
Phil Mudd, Samantha Bradshaw, thank you very much for sharing all of your research --
MUDD: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: -- with us.
BRADSHAW: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Really fascinating -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right, let's stay with the theme of finding a way forward. Let's get a little deeper on what we know about this new tax plan.
Cutting taxes seems to be the headline. How, for who, how much, unclear.
CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us now at the magic wall.
Look, tax reform is one thing; tax cuts, something else.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
CUOMO: What are we seeing?
ROMANS: And what the president has -- again, this is opening arguments from the president. There's going to be a lot of negotiation and Congress, ultimately, writes the tax code.
But this is reform -- real tax reform. It overhauls the tax code to make it simpler, to make it fairer, to make it more efficient. It closes tax loopholes to boost economic growth and hiring.
So this plan is a blueprint for tax reform. It does all of those things.
When you look at how it simplifies things, it cuts the tax brackets, Chris, 12, 25 -- top rate of 35 percent. That's seven brackets that go down into three.
One thing that's really interesting about this blueprint I found, it doesn't allow lawmakers to add a fourth tax bracket about 35 percent later on. That could address criticisms that this is something that predominantly helps the rich people.
CUOMO: Well, because nominally, the top rate goes from 39 to 35 and the bottom rate goes from 10 to 12.
ROMANS: Right, 10 to 12, so two percentage rates higher for the bottom rate. But the White House argues that what you see here is a doubling of the standard deduction so that the low end -- a lot of people won't even have to pay any taxes at all.
This is what that looks like. A $24,000 for married couples standard deduction, a $12,000 for individuals, but eliminating the personal exemption, which is about four grand right now.
So you could look at a high tax state like New York or New Jersey or California. You could look at a family with maybe five kids and say oh, wait a minute, this could be tough for a middle-class family with more kids without the exemption.
But the White House makes this interesting point about how they would get rid of all these others deductions, right, so most of the itemized deductions also would get -- again, Chris, the state -- you know how you --
ROMANS: -- pay a lot of state income taxes and you can write that off on your federal return? That would go away.
The AMT would go away. That's something that predominantly is for rich people. Estate tax -- you have to have five and a half million dollars or more
So these --
CUOMO: How do these -- give me one of those color things there for a second so I can draw. There we go.
ROMANS: There you go.
CUOMO: How do these two help the middle-class?
ROMANS: They don't. I mean, you could argue they don't. You -- they do make some cases for Midwestern farmers who are family farmers who may want to pass down their money.
But this is for people with five and a half million dollars. This is people $200,000 to a million in income, this hits.
CUOMO: Trump said I don't care about offending these people. Remember on the campaign trail --
CUOMO: -- he said look, I know these guys, I know these fat cats in New York.
They need to pay more. I don't care, they can't hurt me. I don't need their money.
And you frontload it with good things for them. I don't understand.
ROMANS: These are -- these are good things for people like Donald Trump and people who make a lot of money.
You know, this is good, though, for entrepreneurs though. I mean, you look at that 25 percent pass-through for businesses, that's good.
This is what also this plan keeps. The mortgage interest deduction, the charitable giving deduction, some higher education retirement plan credits -- you know, 401K and the like -- and it increases the child tax credit. So what the White House will argue here is that the child tax credit is something that helps middle-class families overall.
This is that business that I was telling you about. Thirty-five percent going to go down to 20. This is the current small business trade -- you know, the pass-through we were talking about -- 25 percent there. So this would be good for small businesses.
CUOMO: This one needs one of these. Give me one. Let me write. I want to write one more time.
ROMANS: Here, here, here.
CUOMO: I don't care how much they'll laugh. I want to do this one. Put an asterisk on this because it's all about the details. The rate is already low because of all the loopholes that businesses
get. What are they going to do with those loopholes and why do the small businesses not get as good a treatment as the big business? They are the engine of the economy, so details.
ROMANS: A lot of businesses already pay about 17 to 19 percent, so now it's going to be the devil in the details of what kind of loopholes you're going to get rid of. You're absolutely right.
CUOMO: I thought I won with the asterisk but now you had real numbers. You win.
ROMANS: Here -- you want to write here?
CUOMO: Just like every time. No, forget it. We'll do it in the break.
CAMEROTA: You love --
CUOMO: Alisyn, Christine's always smarter. We know that. That's why we have her.
CAMEROTA: It's obvious.
ROMANS: Take the last word, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Well, he loves himself some magic wall. The magic finger there, he still --
Meanwhile, who are the political winners and losers of the president's tax plan? Our panel's going to debate all that next.
[07:53:20] CUOMO: President Trump hails his tax plan as a big win for the middle-class. That was the promise. Critics say not so fast.
Let's debate what we know so far and remember, the details aren't out yet. Congress hasn't chewed on it but we have a starting point.
So let's bring in two very, very good minds. Stephen Moore, CNN senior economics analyst and former senior economic adviser for the Trump campaign. And, Anthony Chan, managing director and chief economist for Chase.
Gentlemen, thank you. We need you this morning.
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST, FORMER SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Hi, Chris.
CUOMO: Steve, the promise was, from the president on the campaign trail, I don't care about the fat cats. I don't need their money. They're going to pay more whether they like it or not.
And that's what's going to happen because I'm going to help the middle-class. Hooray, we heard from all over the country.
How does this plan do that?
MOORE: By the way, Chris. I want to commend you and Christine. You did a great job of really summarizing this plan in a very fair and balanced way. So, congratulations.
CUOMO: Don't butter me up, Stephen Moore. It won't help you in this.
MOORE: Why? It was loved on --
CUOMO: Although, Chan, if you want to say something nice, go ahead.
MOORE: Even I -- I was supposed to be an expert on this stuff and I learned a lot from it. But --
CUOMO: Go ahead, Stephen.
MOORE: Look, a couple of things.
I mean, you made the point about -- or you and Christine made the point about, you know, well the effective rate of some these companies is only like 15, 16, 17 percent, you know. And a lot of people say well, why do they need a tax cut?
And I would make a couple of points to you.
One of the things that we want to do -- and, as you know, I worked with then-candidate Trump on putting this plan together originally -- was we wanted to get rid of a lot of loopholes and deductions and so that, you know, some companies -- because it's true. Some companies almost pay no corporate tax and no business tax and others one are paying the 35 percent rate. We want to make a fair system.
And incidentally, you know, Chris, I was looking at some of the polling on how people think about our tax system and one word that comes up so often by, you know, average Americans is rigged. They think the system is rigged towards the politically powerful and lobbyists, and in a lot of ways it is.
[07:55:12] And so our goal is, you know, lower rates for everybody but everybody's going to pay that tax. And so, the high-income people are going to get a little bit of a lower rate but they're going to lose a lot of those loopholes and special interest carve-outs.
And same thing with the corporations. The rate is 20 percent but everybody's going to pay it.
CUOMO: Anthony, how do you see it?
ANTHONY CHAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CHIEF ECONOMIST, JPMORGAN CHASE & CO.: Well, the way I see it is it's a huge tax cut. On the individual side, we're talking about $3.2 trillion worth of tax
cuts. On the corporate side, it's about $100 billion of tax cuts, 31 percent. So we're looking at about close to $1.5 trillion.
But if you ask me is this a middle-income tax cut, I would say no because really, people at the top are getting the lion's share of the benefits.
When you look at the estate tax being eliminated, that hits only 0.2 percent of all tax returns. I can assure you that even Sherlock Holmes can't find middle-income individuals in that estate tax that would get that benefit.
With regard to the corporate tax, $1.5 trillion. Who's it going to benefit? Large S&P 500 companies. That's going to boost corporate profits somewhere between eight and
Now, is it going to boost economic growth? Absolutely, but is it really a middle-income tax? So that's the only problem I have -- the way you're labeling it.
Is it a boost for the economy? I would even agree with Stephen. It does boost economic growth because of all these tax cuts.
But when you look at over time how are you going to pay for these things -- this is going to be something that's only going to last 10 years. It's going to sunset. There's no way you can continue to run these deficits.
Even nonpartisan groups -- one nonpartisan organization yesterday estimated that this will boost the deficit over the next 10 years by $2.2 trillion. It's very difficult to get some of the House Republicans to agree to that, especially the super conservative ones -- to allow that kind of a deficit.
So there's going to be some negotiation and I don't think this plan, the way it's being proposed, is going to be the final --
MOORE: You know --
CHAN: -- tax plan that we have.
MOORE: Let me respond to that because I think you make some good points. But look, the one thing I think we do agree on is this will give a boost to the economy. And by the way, that polling I was referring to, you know, Chris, most Americans do think a tax cut right now would be good for the economy.
Now, let me --
CUOMO: Hold on. Can I stop you for one second --
MOORE: Sure, yes.
CUOMO: -- because I'm going to unite you two in your disagreement with me.
CUOMO: I do not accept it as a fact --
CUOMO: -- that a tax cut will necessarily build the economy so I want to flush that out a little bit here.
MOORE: All right.
CUOMO: I'm not saying that people don't think about that. We get told it all the time.
CUOMO: Why wouldn't they think it?
But when you look at studies, when you look what happened under Reagan, it is not a guarantee that when you free up rich people and give them more money -- and by the way, I would benefit from that so this is a statement against interest -- that everybody else benefits.
We didn't see under Reagan, we didn't see it with the deficit, we didn't see it with income or wages going up for middle-class people. Why would we see it now? Why is giving rich people and big businesses more money necessarily the way to grow the economy, especially during this period, Stephen, of unprecedented expansion?
This isn't a recessionary period where we were with Bush and with Reagan. We're already doing well. The Fed already says they may have to chill any stimulus, like tax cuts, with raising rates. Why would it necessarily boost the economy to cut taxes?
MOORE: Yes. Well, there's a lot there, Chris, but I will say this. You and I must be talking about different countries if you don't think the Reagan tax cut worked. I mean, my goodness, we saw the biggest boom in American history. We saw gigantic increase.
And by the way, just politically, it must have worked because, you know, Ronald Reagan only won 49 states when he ran for reelection.
CUOMO: But Reagan was a hell of a candidate, first of all, and the deficit ballooned.
MOORE: Yes, but the --
CUOMO: You know, you had a surplus after Clinton.
CUOMO: You didn't have one after Reagan. You had quite the opposite. That's why I don't understand why it's a truism.
MOORE: All right. Well, people can just look at the numbers and what happened to the economy after the Reagan tax cuts.
But the other point I want to make about this issue about, you know, who benefits.
Here's an interesting thing. The Congressional Budget Office, which I think, Chris, you would agree, is not exactly friendly to conservatives -- not lately, certainly -- it --
Look at the study they do. It's on their Website.
They find that two-thirds of the benefits from cutting the business tax rates goes to workers because it's very simple, Chris. When businesses do better, and when they have more money, and when they have more profits, what do they do? They reinvest in the company, they hire more workers, they pay them more.
This -- we -- our goal here is to -- is to help workers have more jobs, and more choices, and higher wages.
CUOMO: I get the concept.
MOORE: That's the goal.
CUOMO: I get the concept.
Anthony, let me bounce it back to you and you --
CHAN: Let me bridge the gap here.
CUOMO: -- can double down on Stephen's -- I want you in it but let me just get --
CHAN: No, I'm not going to double down.
CUOMO: OK, go ahead.
CHAN: I just want to say that during the Reagan administration we went from unemployment rate of about 7.5 percent to 10.8 percent. There was a lot more slack in the economy. Today, we have 4.4 percent.
I'm in agreement with Stephen that it will boost the economy, but it's not going to boost the economy as much as it did during the Reagan administration. You're probably right. I'd probably agree with that.
MOORE: Because we don't have any more slack in the economy to boost the economy.
CUOMO: Well look, and also there's another -- you guys are the experts.