Return to Transcripts main page
Retiring GOP Senators Blast Trump Presidency; House Launches Clinton and Obama Probe; Curtis McDaniel Redefining Beauty; Game One World Series; Safe Spaces for Heroin Addicts. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired October 25, 2017 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:31:33] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: GOP senators speaking out against the president of their own party. New investigations into Hillary Clinton and President Obama's administration. What is "The Bottom Line"? Let's get it from CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein.
Carl, does this matter to the president what's happening with Corker and Flake?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It matters to the president. It matters to the country. As I've been saying on this air for quite a while, Republicans, in private, great numbers of them, on Capitol Hill, have been saying that they believe this president is unstable and unfit to be the president of the United States. This discussion has been going on sottovoce, below loud level among Republicans for months. And now --
CUOMO: Sottovoce, isn't that the key term because he's still -- he's still doing well with his party?
BERNSTEIN: Well, yes, but -- yes. And the question is, will other Republicans, as have Corker, McCain, Flake, come forward and say the national interest is more important than our immediate ideological and partisan goals. That's going to be the big question for the next few months. And it also has a lot to do with the future of the republic and the future of the presidency.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Look, you heard the White House yesterday, and Breitbart reflected this, good riddance. Good riddance to those establishment Republicans. We don't need them.
BERNSTEIN: There's certainly a way that you can look at that situation. And I think that members of Congress do that at -- at their peril. There comes a point in which the national interests you would hope would prevail against narrow partisan or ideological interests. We've never had a situation in which members of both parties, but particularly the president's own party, in private, believe the president is unstable, unfit, generals at the top of the command are saying the same thing, top of the intelligence community, they are worried about this president's stability. How --
CUOMO: But not to us and not on this. BERNSTEIN: But that's -- that's the question, will they be, like Corker, McCain, Flake, others? Are they willing to say in public, hey, we want to put the national interests ahead. We have a president of the United States who was dangerous to our future. That's what they're saying in private and it's craven if they continue not to.
CUOMO: But isn't the answer -- but isn't the answer in the new investigations? If you want to know what lawmakers are going to do, you've got Nunes, who was somewhat the poster boy for helping the Trump administration with these investigations, going after Clinton e- mails and going after the Obama administration and the Uranium One deal because they say are our oversight duty. We didn't like those investigations. We are going after them. That's your answer.
CUOMO: They're supporting him.
BERNSTEIN: It's not the answer. The answer is, first, well, we have two things coming together, the alleged conduct of the president of the United States that may or may not be illegal or may or may not be impeachable. But those questions also go to these ethical questions. The two come together about the fitness. We've never had a president whose fitness has been questioned in this way by the political class and we've never had a president, including Nixon, whom is regarded as unstable by many of his colleagues through his presidency. That's what these people are saying, both in private and now McCain, Flake, and Corker have said in public, the romper room, whatever you -- this is not just a partisan attack on the president of the United States, this goes to the heart of whether the president of the United States is a danger to our values and the country and our place in the world.
[08:35:08] He is an aberrant president. That an aberrant human being. That is what these individuals -- if you listen to what Flake said very carefully, it's about aberrant.
CAMEROTA: The president has just tweeted about Jeff Flake moments ago and so let us play -- I'll read it. Jeff Flake with an 18 percent approval rating in Arizona said a lot of my colleagues have spoken out. Really they just gave me a standing o.
He -- here's what Jeff Flake actually said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Privately a number of my colleagues have expressed concern about the direction of our politics and the behavior of the president. I think, in the coming months, you'll have more people stand up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Well, that's interesting, because what he's saying is that they've told him privately that they agree with him, but the president is not wrong, they gave him a standing ovation yesterday when he had lunch with the senators. BERNSTEIN: Look, they -- they are between a rock and a hard place
politically. Ethically, they oughtn't be between a rock and a hard place and they're going to have to make up their minds what comes first, the country or their party and their ideology. And -- and --
CUOMO: But why isn't the answer in these new investigations? Why are you brushing them aside?
BERNSTEIN: I'm not --
CUOMO: They're going after Clinton e-mails. They're going after Obama's administration, uranium. Well, isn't that your answer, that they are going to push back with this new narrative, which, forget about Russia and Trump, how about Clinton setting him up. That's what it's about. It really is a hoax.
BERNSTEIN: Well, look, clearly that the path the most ideological of those Republicans want to follow. It has little to do with the danger to the United States by a current president of the United States, as Corker and the others are saying.
Let there be investigations if they are legitimate and conducted in a legitimate way, which is dubious about the investigations they're proposing about Clinton and uranium, et cetera. If there is reason for a criminal investigation of that, it ought to go ahead by the Justice Department, by whomever.
But that's not the issue. Hillary Clinton's not president of the United States. Hillary Clinton is not a danger to the republic, as Corker and those are saying.
CAMEROTA: But you -- but you know what they're saying, that -- that --
BERNSTEIN: This is -- wait a minute, this is not about on the one hand this and on the other that. This is about the president of the United States.
CAMEROTA: But what they said -- what Republicans say is, oh, all of you Democrats are so worried about Russians buying FaceBook ads, why wouldn't you worried about them buying uranium and a uranium company. That's what we need to look into. How did that go through? Do you think there's anything there that warrants a new investigation?
BERNSTEIN: I think that competent prosecutors ought to look at it. And they ought to look at it not in a partisan way. And I would think that there are people in the Justice Department, in the criminal division, who are not under the thumb of the attorney general or others who are partisan, who -- if it's justified, we'll look at it.
But it has nothing to do with the larger question that we have never faced before as a nation, whether or not, as Republicans, generals and intelligence chiefs are saying in private, the president is fit to be the president of the United States. We had Watergate with Nixon, a criminal president of the United States. This is an intersection of perhaps criminality, but also about fitness as a human being. Fitness as a character in terms of one's character and competence and ability to be the president of the United States.
CAMEROTA: Carl Bernstein, always great to get your perspective on this. Thanks for being here.
OK, it's sports time. The Dodgers take the World Series opener, beating the Astros and the heat. The "Bleacher Report," next.
CUOMO: But first, everything changed for Curtis McDaniel when he leaned on his faith and learned to love his skin. What's this about? Well, a bold, new face in the modeling world. CNN chief medial correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains in this "Turning Points."
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Curtis McDaniel is breaking down stereotypes as a 22-year-old model. But he didn't always want to be in front of the camera. At 11 he was diagnosed with vitiligo. That's a disorder that causes patches of his skin to lose color.
CURTIS MCDANIEL: School was rough. People made comments. I got in a few fights because of it. They used to call me "zebra," "burnt lips." When people would say I was ugly, I actually believed that.
GUPTA: But at 16, McDaniel's dad helped him find a new path before he passed away.
MCDANIEL: My father, he was struggling with certain, you know, addictions and so he sat me down one day and he was like, no, I want you to be better than me.
GUPTA: McDaniel found strength through religion, and started to see his skin as a gift, not a curse.
MCDANIEL: That's when everything changed. I started to establish that self-confidence. Before when people usually wanted to take pictures with me, I'd be like no. But now I don't mind taking the pictures.
[08:40:06] GUPTA: He was discovered in 2015 after posting a selfie.
MCDANIEL: I look at my phone, I see my Instagram was just going just crazy. And from that photographers started to hit me up.
GUPTA: Now he's a model and a student at Rutgers University.
MCDANIEL: This is who I am. This is the part of my purpose. I wouldn't be where I am now if it was not for my vitiligo.
GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.
CUOMO: In what was the hottest World Series game ever, the Dodgers beat the Astros and they take an early lead in the series. Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."
It's got to be an early lead. It was only the first game. But what a game it was.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It certainly was a good one, Chris.
This "Bleacher Report" is presented by the new 2018 Ford F-150.
[08:45:02] And as you said, this was the hottest World Series game ever. The temperature at 103 degrees at first pitch. This was also one of the fastest World Series games ever, taken under two and a half hours. The fastest we've seen since 1992. And moved so quickly because both pitchers were on their game. Clayton Kershaw striking out 11 while walking none. Now, Dallas Keuchel was nearly as good for the Astros, but he made a mistake to Justin Turner right here in the sixth inning. That two-run home run was the difference as the Dodgers went 3-1, take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Good news or the Astros. Justin Verlander on the mound for them tonight. He'll be opposite Rich Hill for the Dodgers. First pitch for game two set for just after 8:00 Eastern.
And, Alisyn, since coming to Houston, Justin Verlander a perfect 9-0. So all of the fans there hoping that he's able to even the series at a game apiece tonight.
CAMEROTA: That's great. OK, Andy, thanks so much for the update.
SCHOLES: All right.
CAMEROTA: So a controversial way to keep heroin addicts alive. Safe spaces where they can shoot up. Does this solve a problem or enable addiction? That's next.
[08:50:12] CAMEROTA: More than 64,000 people died of drug overdoses last year, most from heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Now controversial programs are creating safe spaces for heroin addicts to inject. CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta brings us inside.
DONNA PRINCE, MOTHER OF HEROIN ADDICT: IT's a living hell. OK, you worry day and night. You try to do other things, but it's always in the back of your mind. You go to bed at night. I say, good night, Taylor. And I keep him in my prayers and just hope that I'm going to hear from him.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The story has become a common one. Donna Prince's son, Taylor, is addicted to heroin. Right now she's sick with worry because she hasn't seen him in six weeks.
GUPTA (on camera): You worry about that?
PRINCE: All the time.
GUPTA: About him dying?
GUPTA: For the last six weeks, I mean --
PRINCE: No, for 20 years.
GUPTA: For 20 years?
PRINCE: For 20 years my son's been a heroin addict.
GUPTA (voice-over): Donna tells us there's a good chance Taylor is here at the Corner Project in Washington Heights. It's a needle exchange, but also has this, one of the most controversial bathrooms in the country, a place where people, like Taylor, come to use drugs, but are also monitored and can be saved with the medication called Naloxone or Narcan, which can reverse an overdose.
GUPTA (on camera): When Taylor first told you about the bathroom, what were your first thoughts when you heard about that?
PRINCE: He's going to do it whether he wants to or not. Whether he's going to do it under the bridge, where they go, or if he's going to go in my bathroom and do it, at least there I know that people are watching over him. And if he does overdose, he's not going to die, because they're going to be able to save him.
LIZ EVANS, DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON HEIGHTS CORNER PROJECT: I think there is an acknowledgment generally that drug users are using bathrooms all over the place and people are dying in those bathrooms. And so there is an acknowledgement that as a syringe exchange provider, we have a moral obligation to make sure that people don't die in our building.
GUPTA (voice-over): Liz Evans directs the Corner Project. She moved here from Vancouver, Canada, where she helped found Insight, the home of the only legal safe injection sites in North America. Over fourteen years, there have been over 3 million visits there and not one single death. The rates of overdose in the surrounding downtown area dropped by 35 percent, and insight users were 30 percent more likely to get addiction treatment. But here in the United States, this is a very gray area.
GUPTA (on camera): How does a place like this exist in the sense of the interactions of the legal world, the law enforcement world?
EVANS: There are policies that exist that the state has provided to encourage access to Narcan, clean surfaces, and other suggestions for how bathrooms operate in syringe exchange programs.
GUPTA (voice-over): Hector Mata manages the Corner Project's bathroom program. HECTOR MATA, WASHINGTON HEIGHTS CORNER PROJECT: This is how actually
our clients will do it when they come in. They will -- they'll sit down. They'll put all their supplies here to make sure that they're preparing the heroin or cocaine or whatever substance they're going to inject. There's a cooker with cotton (ph) in there for people to use it so they can filter their heroin or whatever they are injecting.
GUPTA (on camera): You've got an intercom in here and so you can talk to somebody, check on them. You've got a timer so you can sort of keep an eye on the time, (INAUDIBLE) how long.
MATA: Yes, those are -- yes.
GUPTA (voice-over): What you're see is a particularly provocative way of trying to reduce death from heroin overdoses. Some see it as condoning drug use, but others see it as a logical solution to a big problem. In a year, more people in the United States die from drug overdoses than from guns or car accidents.
MATA: When overdoses happen in our bathroom, people are not dying. I have reversed 25 overdoses in the bathroom myself.
GUPTA: (on camera): Twenty-five?
MATA: Twenty-five, yes.
GUPTA: You've reversed 25 overdoses?
MATA: In this bathroom. In this space.
GUPTA (voice-over): Three of those times, he saved the life of Taylor Prince. Today, at least Donna knows where Taylor is. And on the day we visit the Corner Project, she finally gets to see her son again.
GUPTA: It's been a little bit of a rocky road for Taylor. Since then he ended up in jail for a period of time. Is expected to get out next week. Interestingly, it was in jail that he started getting treatment for his addiction to heroin. The first time. Speaking to his mother, Donna, she says it's actually been one of the best places for him to receive treatment, interestingly, jail. But that's in part, Chris and Alisyn, the life of a heroin addict and the use of these quote/unquote consumption rooms, how they work, how they might work, what benefit they might provide.
CUOMO: I mean you and I have talked about this a bunch, Sanjay. You know, you go out in those streets. You see how people use. You see why they die. It makes sense until you balance it against people's resistance and the stigma about addiction, where they see this as enabling and as weakness of character and it just defies the reality.
[08:55:17] GUPTA: And it's saving lives first. If that's the priority, as provocative as it may be, then places like consumption rooms having Narcan available, people also said that could enable, clean needle exchanges, people said that would enable, but all those things save lives. It doesn't mean that the counseling and the rehab can't follow. The question is, what -- what comes first.
CAMEROTA: Yes, but it's also interesting to hear that jail can also save lives. You know, we've seen it before, jail -- going to jail, sometimes that does help you get treatment.
CAMEROTA: And, you know, sometimes it odes.
CAMEROTA: So there's different paths and hopefully we're pursuing all those.
CAMEROTA: Thank you very much, Sanjay.
GUPTA: You've got it. Thank you, Chris.
CUOMO: Jail ain't a rehab, but sometimes it can work.
Sanjay, thank you so much. Boy, you just make us better every time you do a piece.
How about some "Good Stuff" on this Wednesday? You've got it, next.
CUOMO: "The Good Stuff."
The charity comes to the aid of a man stuck in Puerto Rico. Jose Caribau (ph) flew to the island in September to be with his dad. His dad was sick. Dad got better, but Jose couldn't get a flight home for his son's wedding because of Hurricane Maria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time an arrangement was made, it just kept getting cancelled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: He thought his luck ran out, as it has for many there who are trying to get out. But then his son contacted a charity called Afia (ph), who helped him get home. Both men, overjoyed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shocking and surprising and thrilling at the same time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to sound cliche, but it was -- it was like a fairytale.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: And it really was because right now that is basically a fairytale ending for people trying to get out of that place. It's still very hard.
[09:00:05] CAMEROTA: Thank goodness he made the wedding. That is a great "Good Stuff."
CUOMO: Good for him. Good for him.
CAMEROTA: All right, time now for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman.