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Republican Tax Plan Revealed; Trump Nominates New Federal Reserve Chair; DNC Revelations. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired November 2, 2017 - 3:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The two men were just indicted Monday for conspiracy and money laundering. Each faces millions of dollars in bail as well.

Documents revealed federal investigators are worried about them being a flight risk after discovering three passports for Manafort and dozens of bank accounts for each of these men.

Also this just in, a new poll out from ABC and "Washington Post" finds 49 percent of Americans think it's likely Donald Trump committed a crime in connection with possible Russian attempts to influence the election. 44 percent there say that is unlikely. More on that in just a second.

But, first, we want to go live now to the White House Rose Garden, the president and Republican-controlled Congress celebrating a banner today day, not just one but two big announcements today in the tie that binds their party, the economy.

So, in just a couple of moments there in the Rose Garden, the president will nominate the new Federal Reserve chair. Two senior officials say Jerome Powell, a current Federal Reserve governor, will replace Janet Yellen and lead the world's most influential Central Bank.

So, Yellen's term is ending.

The other big development today, that Republican lawmakers just announced the details of their tax plan, which they call the largest set of reforms since 1986. You see House speaker there sitting to the president's right, Paul Ryan.

Actually, before he was there, he spoke with our Phil Mattingly, saying that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will ultimately help bring down the national debt.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You can't fix your fiscal problems if you don't have a growing economy, if people aren't going to work and paying taxes. That's why a key part of our agenda is getting this economy growing faster and giving people a peace of mind and bigger paychecks. That's good for everybody, and especially our fiscal policy.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But, on its face, does debt matter to Americans anymore?

RYAN: Yes, it matters.

And to help get our debt down, you have to control entitlements and reform entitlements. Unfortunately, the Senate couldn't pass the health care bill. We're going to keep working on those issues as we go.

But we also have to grow the economy. This is a key component of our debt reduction efforts, which is growing the economy.


BALDWIN: Let's go to Jim Acosta, our senior White House correspondent there, ahead of the big announcement for the Federal Reserve chief.

But, first, on taxes, we heard the president say that he is hoping for a Christmas deadline to get this whole tax reform approved.


The president wants quit work on this tax reform plan that was unveiled by House Republicans earlier today. And, as you said, we do expect the president to come out in Rose Garden at any moment and announce Jerome Powell, a member of the Federal Reserve of Governors, Federal Board Reserve of Governors, to be the new Federal Reserve chairman, replacing Janet Yellen.

This will be the first time in years that a president has decided to forego a second term for a sitting chairman of the Federal Reserve. But Jerome Powell is expected to continue some of the same monetary policies as Janet Yellen.

But speaking of fiscal policies, they have been focused on that here at the White House. As you mentioned earlier today, the president was welcoming House GOP leaders over here to tax about their new tax reform plan. And the president at one point held up a prop, a single piece of paper, suggesting that most Americans, because of this tax reform plan, will be able to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper.

Here's what happened.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Most Americans will be able to file taxes on a single sheet of paper. What do you think about that, Kevin? Are you still there? Or is it going to be a paper-and-a-half?


TRUMP: Great job. Thank you very much. I didn't know I was going to be given a prop.

RYAN: That is my only copy.

TRUMP: Don't lose it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's yours. It's yours.


ACOSTA: And, of course, that single piece of paper, Brooke, looked to be about the size of a Christmas card. So perhaps there is a theme here. The president and House Republicans are, of course, hoping to get a big legislative achievement done by the end of the year. They hope that this is it.

We should also mention, Brooke, we don't expect the president to take questions in this ceremony announcing Jerome Powell to be the new chairman of the Federal Reserve. He was asked a couple of questions at the end of that meeting there that you saw with the House Republican leaders.

I tried to ask the president whether or not his Comments on the New York terror case, specifically his call for the death penalty for the suspect in that case, whether that has jeopardized that investigation. The president did not weigh in on that.

And the national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, was also asked about this by my colleague Sara Murray in the White House briefing just a short while ago. The White House sort of running away from that question at this point, but the president making some remarks on immigration during that meeting with House Republicans, saying he wants to end chain migration, wants to scrap the diversity lottery system, but, as of this point, Brooke, not really weighing in, not really talking about, when asked, about those tweets that he posted earlier in the day and last night about this investigation up in New York City, Brooke.


BALDWIN: Yes. I heard your voice, Jim. Keep shouting those questions, Jim Acosta for us at the White House ahead of the ceremony at the Rose Garden for Jerome Powell. Thank you.

We're going to talk about Mr. Powell and the tax plan here in just a second.

But Jim mentioned the New York terror attack, and so CNN now has this new video. It's just gut-wrenching to watch here. It just shows the aftermath from the suspect's crash into a school bus. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stuck in here. Stuck behind there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. Are you OK?

Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God. Hey, I need -- can you call 911? I got -- oh, my God. Oh, my God. OK.

I need an ambulance right here, right here. The guy T-boned.


BALDWIN: I am happy to report, though, despite those pictures, that everyone inside that school bus was safely rescued.

School officials say one child and one adult do remain in the hospital and they are recovering from surgery. As for the suspect, prosecutors say he was so devoted to ISIS that he asked to fly the group's flag in his hospital room because he was so proud of his deadly acts.

They claim he had been planning this attack for a year. He has been charged with multiple federal offenses, but didn't enter a plea during his first court appearance.

Meantime, the suspect's New Jersey neighbors are talking, and they are telling CNN exactly what they know about him and his activities in those weeks leading up to Tuesday afternoon's attack.

So, for that, let's go to Athena Jones, our national correspondent, there live in Paterson, New Jersey.

You talked to these neighbors. What did they share with you?

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke. That's right. We have been talking to neighbors.

I do want to mention what we witnessed here several hours ago, about three hours one. We saw at least one uniformed police officer knocking on doors, trying to talk to other folks here in this neighborhood. There were also about a dozen people in plainclothes who were doing the same thing.

They broke up into smaller groups as well to canvass this area, knocking on several doors of this apartment building behind me where Saipov lived with his wife and three children.

I want to mention, though, a neighbor we talked to yesterday, Carlos Batista (ph). He talked about having seen a Home Depot truck similar to the one that was used in Tuesday's attack parked in and around this area right where I'm standing over the last couple of weeks.

Now, you mentioned that in the criminal complaint--

BALDWIN: Athena, forgive me. I have to cut you off.

Here is the president of the United States.


TRUMP: Thank you very much. Please.

I'm pleased to welcome members of the Cabinet, members of Congress, and distinguished guests to the White House Rose Garden this afternoon.

Also, I went to welcome the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who has done an incredible job, Mike Crapo. Where is Mike?

Please, Mike. Great job. Appreciate it.


TRUMP: As president, there are few decisions more important than nominating leaders of integrity and good judgment to hold trusted positions in public office.

And few of those trusted positions are more important than the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Accordingly, it is my pleasure and honor to announce my nomination of Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Congratulations, Jerome.



TRUMP: Jay is joined here by his wife, Ellissa, and his two sisters, Monica (ph) and Elizabeth (ph).

And I say congratulations to you all. Please, take that bow. Please. You deserve it. Thank you very much for being here.


TRUMP: Today is another important milestone on the path to restoring economic opportunity for the American people.

In just a short time, we have already made incredible strides. Unemployment is at its lowest level in more than 16 years. You know that very well. You know that very well. And you're happy about it.

We have now had back-to-back quarters of 3 percent growth, a major accomplishment, and we're doing better and better every single week.

But if we are to sustain all of this tremendous economic progress, our economy requires sound monetary policy and prudent oversight of our banking system. That is why we need strong, sound and steady leadership at the United States Federal Reserve.


United States Federal Reserve. I have nominated Jay to be our next federal chairman. And so important, because he will provide exactly that type of leadership. He's strong. He's committed. He's smart.

And if he is confirmed by the Senate, Jay will put his considerable talents and experience to work leading our nation's independent Central Bank, which has the critical responsibility to set monetary policy and monitor our banking system as a whole.

There are few more important positions than this, believe me, in our government. Jay has served on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2012. During his five years at the Fed, Jay has earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues for his hard work, expertise and judgment.

He has proven to be a consensus-builder for the sound monetary and financial policy that he so strongly believes in. Based on his record, I am confident that Jay has the wisdom and leadership to guide our economy through any challenges that our great economy may face.

Jay has earned the respect of members of Congress straight across party lines. For each of his appointments to the Fed, the Senate confirmed Jay With strong support from members of both parties. That's unusual.

I hope the Senate will swiftly confirm him once again. Jay will also bring to the Fed a unique background of prior government service and business experience. He previously served as undersecretary at the department of Treasury in the administration of President George H.W. Bush.

And just like William McChesney Martin, the longest-serving chairman in Federal Reserve history, Jay will bring extensive private sector experience and real-world perspective to our government. As a result, he understands what it takes for our economy to grow, and, just as importantly, he understands what truly drives American success, the innovation, hard work and dreams of the American people.

I also want to thank the current chair, Fed Chair Janet Yellen, a wonderful woman who's done a terrific job. We have been working together for 10 months, and she is absolutely a spectacular person.

Janet, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

For the past four years, she has served with dedication and devotion, and we are grateful for her total commitment to public service. The Federal Reserve is one of the most important institutions in our government. It is respected all around the world, and is crucial to our economic prosperity.

I am confident that with Jay as a wise steward of the Federal Reserve, it will have the leadership it needs in the years to come.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

Now I would like to invite Jay to say a few words. Thank you. Thank you very much.


POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for the faith that you have shown in me through this nomination. I'm both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country. If I confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to

achieve our congressionally assigned goal of stable prices and maximum employment.

I want to thank my wife, Ellissa, for her love, support and wise counsel. Without her, quite honestly, I wouldn't be standing here today. We're thinking today of our three children and of the world they're inheriting.

My five siblings and I, two of whom are here today with me, are also thinking today our parents, who gave us so many gifts, including, most of all, a loving home.

In the years since the global financial crisis ended, our economy has made substantial progress towards full employment. By many measures, we're close to full employment and inflation has gradually moved up toward our target.

Our financial system is also, without doubt, far stronger and more resilient than it was before the crease crisis. Our banks have much higher capital and liquidity. They're more aware of the risks that they run and they're better at managing those risks.


While post-crisis improvements in regulation and supervision helped to achieve these gains, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the Federal Reserve remains vigilant and prepared to respond to changes in markets and evolving risks.

Finally, to echo the president's remarks, I have had the great privilege serving of serving under Chairman Bernanke and Chair Yellen, who guided the economy with insight and courage through difficult times, while moving monetary policy toward greater transparency and predictability.

Each of them embodies the highest ideals of public service, unquestioned integrity and unflinching compliment to fulfilling our mandate.

Inside the Federal Reserve, we understand that monetary policy decisions matter for American families and communities. I strongly share that sense of mission and I am committed to making decisions with objectivity, based on the best available evidence in the longstanding tradition of monetary policy independence.

Mr. President, thank you again for this extraordinary opportunity to serve the American people. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you, Jay.


TRUMP: Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much.

POWELL: Thanks. TRUMP: Thank you.

BALDWIN: So, there you have it, potentially the next Fed chairman, Jerome, AKA Jay, Powell.

So, let's talk this over with our business analyst Dylan Ratigan, CNN senior -- Dylan Ratigan.

So, Dylan Ratigan, good to see you, first and foremost.

And, first, let's just about, what do you make of this potential pick? Do you think he will continue on sort of how Janet Yellen was with regard to keeping interest rates low and that kind of thing? That's what people are wondering.


I mean, especially when you look at his choices, Brooke, the other two options that were being considered were much more ideological, much more of a diversion or a change of direction from what has been the historical sort of Fed policy.

If you look at Mr. Powell, he never filed a dissenting vote since he's been on the Board of Governors. He's a banker by background from New York. Understand that one of the greatest assets that President Trump has is the buoyancy in the financial markets for the duration of his presidency so far.

And so it makes a tremendous amount of sense that he would actually choose a candidate to replace the previous Fed chair, Chair Yellen, with someone who is the least likely to rock the boat, who is the most likely to continue going forward.

The only question about Powell, which is a question for any incoming Fed chief, is, once you understand that this particular individual is likely to provide continuity, it's really a question of, how would someone like Powell react to a crisis?

That's the only unknown with any new Fed chief, because you simply don't have the track record, although his track record certainly suggests he will be very much within sort of the pragmatic and predictable, rather than the ideological.

BALDWIN: Yes. Yes.

Dylan, stand by.

I said it off the top because I thought -- we have got him now, Stephen Moore. Stephen Moore is joining us as now, a former economic -- OK, we don't have him.

Dylan, you are my guy. You are my guy for now.

RATIGAN: All right, listen, I'm here for you.

(LAUGHTER) BALDWIN: I appreciate it.

You want to take a break? OK.

We are going to take a break. Don't go anywhere.

Dylan Ratigan, we have got more for you, especially on the big new Republican tax plan out today as well. Stay here.



BALDWIN: All right, and we're back. We're going to come back to taxes in just a second.

One of the biggest names in the Democratic Party is making a stunning revelation today, claiming the Hillary Clinton campaign hijacked the funding operations of the Democratic National Committee an entire year before she was even chosen as the party's nominee.

Former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile says she made a promise to Bernie Sanders to investigate claims of favoritism within the DNC, and she now has proof.

So, she writes -- quote -- "I at last found the document that described it all, the joint fund-raising agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund and Hillary for America, specified that, in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy and all the money raised. I had to keep my promise to Bernie.

"I was in agony as I dialed him. Hello, Senator, I have completed my review of the DNC and I did find the cancer, I said, but I will not kill the patient."

During the primary, Sanders and his campaign frequently accused the DNC of favoring his opponent. Here's a look back.


JEFF WEAVER, FORMER BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Individual leaders of the DNC can support Hillary Clinton in any way they want. But they are not going to sabotage our campaign, one of the strongest grassroot campaigns in modern history.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I do believe that we have to replace the current Democratic National Committee leadership. Yes, I know political parties need money. But it is more important that we have energy, that we have young people, that we have working-class people who are going to participate in the political process.

No questions in my mind. And I think no question to any objective observer's mind that the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton and was in opposition to our campaign.


BALDWIN: So, with me now to respond to this revelation, Jeff Weaver. He is the former campaign manager for the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Jeff Weaver, welcome back.

WEAVER: Thanks, Brooke. Nice to be here.


BALDWIN: All right, so, as we heard, you guys all, all along there, were raising the alarm bells throughout the campaign. Did you know the extent of this deal between Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC? Did you know the extent of that deal?

WEAVER: I don't think, Brooke, that we knew the full scope of the deal. Certainly, we did not know about the contractual control that the Clinton campaign had over, for instance, DNC hiring and being able to veto certain staff.

But it was certainly clear, however, that back as early as April, when we filed a protest with the DNC that Hillary Clinton and the DNC were engaged in a joint fund-raising agreement that appeared, at least on its face, to be skirting federal election law and was highly improper, given that there was a contested primary going on.

And I think, given that there is, as you may know, a Unity Reform Commission that is comprised of people appointed by Bernie Sanders and appointed by Hillary Clinton that came out of the Democratic National Convention that is now drafting a series of reforms for the party, it is important to move forward and to adopt those reforms to open up the primary process, to deal with superdelegates, to deal with transparency, accountability and democracy at the DNC.


WEAVER: We have got to move forward, Brooke, and we've got to deal with these issues, so we can beat Trump in 2020.

BALDWIN: I hear you on moving forward. But hang on, because we have to talk about what happened.


BALDWIN: And Donna Brazile says, yes, while this was difficult news for her to learn, she says this is not -- what they did was not illegal. Do you agree with that?

WEAVER: Well, it's not clear whether it's -- I'm not going to get into the legality of it, but I will say this.

It was quite courageous on Donna Brazile's part to bring these revelations to the public. I'm sure she has fallen off the Christmas card list of a number of people. But she is a courageous woman. And I do know there were some -- obviously a flap during the campaign regarding the debates and what have you. But I'm going to tell you this, that when Donna Brazile took over as

interim chair as DNC, she really did try to clean house there. She really did try to make it the type of party structure that all of us can be proud of.

And I have to say that revelations that she raised today I think demonstrate the strength of her character and her willingness to go against the status quo, to make the party ultimately stronger. And that's the job we have ahead of us.

BALDWIN: Had this deal, though -- I mean, that's Donna. What about the country? Had this deal not been struck, Jeff, do you think that America might have seen a different outcome?

WEAVER: Well, Brooke, that's impossible to know.

But, as you will remember, because you covered the race quite closely, there was time after time when the DNC interfered in the process. The debate schedule was rigged. The number of debates and when they were, that was certainly rigged. These joint fund-raising agreements were improper and really looted the DNC and the state parties of funding.

You will remember in the clip you just showed, when the chair of the DNC stripped us of the status that we had collected from our own volunteers and for which would he had paid the DNC $250,000. You will remember the false charges that came out of the Nevada convention where a DNC chair was talking about chairs being thrown, when, of course, no chairs were being thrown

BALDWIN: Right. Right.

WEAVER: So you had this pattern over and over and over again, and then the revelation that DNC top staff conspired to attack Senator Sanders on his religion, which is something that is a disgusting thing that should never happen in the Democratic Party.

But I will tell you this. Had the election been different, if Bernie Sanders had won the primary and caucus season, there is no doubt that he would have defeated Donald Trump.

BALDWIN: Do you think that Hillary Clinton should apologize to Bernie Sanders because of this?

WEAVER: Well, look, I'm not really--

BALDWIN: Yes or no, Jeff.

WEAVER: No, I'm not going to -- Look, I'm not going to live in the past. This is not about apologies. This is about reform. There's a Unity Reform Commission.

We will get unity through reform. And if we don't have reform, I don't think we will have unity. And so I think there's a lot on the shoulders on the Unity Reform Commission, on the current chair of the party, and other party leaders to turn this into a grassroots party, and not a party dominated by elites who are trying to rig the system behind the scenes.

That's what we have to accomplish, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I'm hearing you and I'm hearing words about unity and reform and beating Donald Trump in the next election. And I am, frankly, surprised. You gave your blood, sweat and tears. We talked so many times during this campaign.

WEAVER: Absolutely.

BALDWIN: I'm, frankly, surprised that you are not angrier about this.

WEAVER: Oh, I'm angry, Brooke. There's no doubt that I'm not angry.

But, look, ultimately, at the end of the day, you have to love the country more than you love whatever personal slight or engaging in whatever personal slight been leveled against you.

And this -- look, the behavior the DNC engaged in was egregious, undemocratic, and it can't be allowed to happen again. But, look, we cannot leave this country in the clutches of an administration that is not only incompetent, but that is targeting working families, people of color, LGBT community, women, and other marginalized communities.

That is the goal ahead of us. But let me tell this to the elites who today still control much of the Democratic Party apparatus. If you do not open up the party, if you do not allow the people in, if you do not advocate for the types of reforms that we need, you will be destroying the opportunity we have to take on Donald Trump.