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Brazile Considered Switching Candidate Clinton for Candidate Biden; Democratic Primary Rigged for Hillary Clinton; Trump Embarks on Asia Trip; Trump in Asia as Mueller Investigation Heats Up; Former Presidents Criticize Trump in New Book; NYC Marathon Follows Terrorist Attack; Terrorist's Family Says No Red Flags or Warning; GOP Released Tax Reform Bill This Week. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 4, 2017 - 15:00   ET



[15:00:16] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. It's 3:00 in the afternoon in New York, 4:00 in the morning Sunday in Tokyo. I'm Ana Cabrera. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CABRERA: We begin with breaking political news. "The Washington Post" reporting former DNC chair, Donna Brazile, considered replacing Hillary Clinton with Joe Biden as the 2016 presidential nominee. The possible switch with Biden apparently crossed her mind after Clinton fainted at the 9/11 memorial service in New York last year. This is according to Brazile's book. "The Washington Post" obtained a copy of this book due out next week.

We'll talk it over with Maria Cardona, Clinton supporter and Democratic strategist. Cardona's firm actually did work for a Clinton-based super PAC. Also, with us, Laura Barron-Lopez, the congressional reporter at "Washington Examiner," and Democratic strategist, Bill Press.

So, Maria, first your reaction.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Wow. As everybody, I think, is just first time reading this, you know, let me just say, as a DNC member, if this is something that crossed Donna Brazile's mind, no one heard about it. Not only that, but she wouldn't have been able to do it. There are very specific bylaws within the Democratic National Committee that allows for the replacement of a candidate in the event of death, of disability, or any other outstanding circumstance. But the chair would need the -- she would need the approval. she'd have to go talk to members of Congress. She would have to talk to members of the Democratic Governors Association. And ultimately, this would have to be taken to the DNC. This might have been something she considered in her head, it was never a real possibility.

CABRERA: Laura, the timing of this revelation is interesting. It really does sound personal. What was the relationship like between Brazile and Clinton? LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: From

everything that we're reading in these excerpts from her forthcoming become is she felt disrespected by Clinton's campaign, the DNC was chaotic at this time when Brazile took over. The former chairwoman had been ousted, given her handling of the DNC throughout the 2016 primary. And so, this -- I mean more is going to come out from this book, which appears to be a pretty blistering tell-all.

CABRERA: Bill, can Democrats move on already from losing the 2016 election? They have the big test on Tuesday in the Virginia governor race. If the Democrat nominee Ralph Northam, loses on Tuesday in Virginia, could this have something to do with it?

BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First, I got to say Democrats are going to move on in a big way on Tuesday, Ana, with a big win in New Jersey and Virginia.



PRESS: Having said that, I want to come back to this nonsense from Donna Brazile. Maria's right. She does not have the authority to do that, number one. Number two, I say this as a Bernie supporter back then. What do you mean Joe Biden?


He wasn't even a freaking candidate. Bernie Sanders was number two, the runner up to Hillary. He got well over 1,000 delegates at the convention. If she had tried that, she would have earned the wrath of not only the Hillary people but the Bernie people.

CARDONA: I agree with that, too.

PRESS: A bombshell. No. Never, never, never happen.

CABRERA: On that note, Maria, there's already been this back and forth this week from other revelations that came out in Donna Brazile's book that have led people like Senator Elizabeth Warren to even say that it shows that the system was rigged, that the DNC was rigged for Hillary Clinton. How much is Donna Brazile's book and these revelations that have come out damaging the Democratic Party right now?

CARDONA: Well, we are certainly going to do our best for them, no damage at all. I mean certainly, this is a great read for those like on the other side, including President Trump, who has already tried to take advantage of this, to try to turn the tables on the debacle and the awfulness of what is going on, on the Republican side, to say, oh, look at the Democrats. But you cannot compare what is going on, on our side, with what's going on, on theirs. And I will give kudos to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who were the first ones to warn Trump to not use this to his advantage. Because no American is going to let Donald Trump off the hook for all of the horrible policies and tweets that he has done since the very first day in office that have been only hurtful to this country and hurtful to middle class families. The Democrats are going to do everything they can to move forward from this.

Look, Donna Brazile is a friend of mine. There's no question she took over -- like I like to say, she took one for the team in taking over the DNC when it was an incredibly difficult time. I don't know what her motivations are in writing this book but so far what I have seen are things that aren't necessarily completely true. They are things that she has seen and probably feels personally, and she is certainly granted that right. But she's also somebody who has worked her whole life to get Democrats elected so to me it saddens me a little bit that what she's doing --


[15:05:46] CABRERA: Let me push back, Maria.


CARDONA: It seems like she's trying to hurt the Democratic Party.

CABRERA: The question is why would she do that? You say she has written things you believe are not true. Like what? And what incentive does she have?

CARDONA: Sure. Well, I mean, I'll say, again, from her standpoint, and she went inside, right? At a time that the DNC was very, very difficult. And what I'm saying is that she perhaps -- I'm sure she's writing it from her perspective, but the reality is that I'm talking about her first post, when she talks about how the system was rigged in favor of Hillary, the perception is certainly that the DNC had its thumbs on the scales because of the fund-raising agreement that they went -- that they wrote in and entered into with the Hillary Clinton campaign. But the fact of the matter is that could have been the same exact agreement that Bernie's campaign could have entered into. They decided not to. And so, again -- and Donna Brazile says if you look at the process and the votes for the caucuses and the primaries themselves, she never found any evidence whatsoever that the processes were in any way rigged or messed with. To help Hillary Clinton. And she won with more than four million votes.


CARDONA: So that part of it was fair and square.

CABRERA: I've got to move on.

Bill, I'll give you the last word.

PRESS: I just want to say, look. I accept everything Donna Brazile says is true. I know her and trust her. The DNC did rig it for Hillary. The White House rigged it for Hillary. But as far as I'm concerned, that's done. That's passed. That's 2016. I'm interested in 2020. I think that's where we have -- 2018. And then 2020. But final point.


CARDONA: That I can agree with.

PRESS: For Donald Trump to say that the Department of Justice ought to investigate this deal is ridiculous. It's absurd. I think it was unethical. I think it was deceitful. I think it was dishonest. It was not illegal.

CABRERA: We know that the president is very happy to see this news come out right now.

Maria Cardona, Bill Press, thank you both.


And, Laura, stay with us. We're going to continue our conversation with you coming up.

Right now, President Trump is on Air Force One hours from his big debut in Asia. The president is beginning the longest U.S. presidential trip to Asia in a quarter century. The stakes couldn't be higher. China's economic strength, front and center. Beijing facing a potential showdown with President Trump after he promised during the campaign to crack down on China's trade practices.

Another pressing topic, of course, North Korea's brutal regime and its refusal to stop its nuclear program.

Just a short time ago, President Trump and the first lady boarded Air Force One and departed Hawaii.

And CNN is covering this trip with reporters around the globe.

Let's get to Ryan Nobles in Honolulu. And Nic Robertson, CNN's international editor live in Tokyo.

And, Ryan, shortly before the president he made an unexpected stop. Where?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Aloha from Honolulu where the president spent the night ahead of this important trip to the Asia Pacific region. As he was headed over to board Air Force One for the leg to Tokyo, he made a stop at one of the Trump branded properties here in Honolulu. This is not a hotel that the president owns. This is a franchise that just bears his name. He didn't spend the night there last night. He stayed at the Ritz- Carlton. On the way to Air Force One, the president stopped the motorcade, jumped out and talked to some the workers there for 10 minutes. And when the pool asked press secretary, Sarah Sanders, the reason for the stop, this is what she said: Quote, "The president stopped by Trump Hotel on his way to the airport. It has been a tremendously successful project and he wanted to say hello and thank you to the employees for their hard work."

This could potentially open the president up for criticism because it seems every time he is away from the White House, he's looking for opportunities to check out these properties that are connected to the company that he no longer runs, and he separated himself from after he entered the White House. He spends a lot of time in his golf course in northern Virginia and at his property in Florida and his golf course at Mar-a-Lago and his course in Bedminster. This just shows where the president -- what the president is thinking about ahead of this big trip. It begins in earnest now as he's en route to Tokyo. Five different countries the president will visit. Ana, the stakes are very high.

[15:10:29] CABRERA: Nic, you be greeting the president in Tokyo, so to speak. That's where you are.

On this trip, you say times of change are the most dangerous and he may be dealing with potentially even more power than he has. What do you see as President Trump's big vulnerabilities and biggest strength when it comes to dealing with China and its leader?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, President Trump is a leader of a democracy. He's a leader of the super power of the world. But President Xi just in the recent Chinese Congress that was really sort of given a red light, if you want to call it that, to continue his leadership potentially past the next five years, and beyond that, the same Congress, really the Chinese have signaled they want to a more robust foreign policy. China emerges more on the world stage. Now, President Trump is looking to get a stronger agreement from China to sort of force North Korea to back down on its nuclear weapons ambitions. That's a tough sell. President Trump has been very praise worthy about President Xi but there's been no ground given by President Xi so far. What these changes are much longer term over a long period of time. But how President Trump plays this relationship with President Xi, they've met before, but President Xi is a much, much more experienced politician. President Trump is relatively new to this sort of diplomacy. And President Trump wants to get a lot out of this, improving the trade relationship as well, contentious issues in the south China seas. The Chinese are very good at not giving any ground whatsoever. Right now, it's President Trump that's been the most praise worthy of the Chinese. This opens the door to the Chinese exploiting what they might see as a U.S. Weakness. President Trump also vulnerable or consumed by a lot of domestic issues. President Xi, not the leader of a democracy, doesn't have to worry about those kinds of issues at home.

CABRERA: Such important dynamics.

Thank you, Nic Robertson and Ryan Nobles.

Now, Saudi Arabia, meantime, says it is intercepted a long-range missile over the capitol city of Riyad. The defense ministry of Yemen's Iran-back Houthi government says it fired this missile at Saudi Arabia's king and this is at the international airport. The Houthi ministry said, "The mission of this operation was successful because the attack shook the Saudi capital." The missile launch heightens already sky-high tensions between the two countries, which are at war. Even though the attack came from Yemen, it's considered a Saudi Arabia-Iran proxy war. Ahead this hour, to Asia with baggage. The president wheels up to

Tokyo. But what President Trump leaves behind in washington continues to weigh on his agenda. How the most consequential week so far of Mueller's Russia investigation played out.

Fighting words. In a CNN exclusive, our Jamie Gangel has details about a new book on George W. Bush and his father. We'll tell you why Bush Senior calls President Trump a blow hard. And the scathing response now from the White House.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[15:17:58] CABRERA: President Trump is on his way to Asia right now. This trip comes as the Russia investigation takes a pivotal turn at home with at least two indictments, one guilty plea and the president's own attorney general under renewed scrutiny.

Here's CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, with the latest revelation.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president remains defiant amid evidence he knew about the connections to Russia.


SCHNEIDER: In February this year, he pleaded total ignorance.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you say whether you're aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the election.

TRUMP: I told you, General Flynn was dealing, so that's one person who was, as he should have been.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: During the election?

TRUMP: Nobody that I know of. Nobody I know of.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You're not aware of any contacts?


TRUMP: How many times do I have to answer this question?


TRUMP: Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with. Now Manafort has totally denied it.

SCHNEIDER: Paul Manafort and Rick Gates remain under house arrest. The indictment against them was unsealed Monday for money laundering and failure to register as foreign agents. Manafort and Gates have pled not guilty to the charges which stem for their work as lobbyists for a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. It was not explicitly related to their work during the campaign.

Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions is coming under fire for answers he gave at several congressional hearings over the past year.


SEN. AL FRANKEN, (D), MINNESOTA: You don't believe that surrogates from the Trump campaign had communications with the Russians is that what you're saying.

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm not aware of anyone else that did. And I don't believe it happened.

REP. MIKE GUIGLEY, (D), ILLINOIS: I think it's no the that he has a problem with the truth. I think it's easier to say he's perjured himself at least three times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bit of background.

SCHNEIDER: The accusations from Democrats come after revelations from former campaign foreign policy advisors, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. Carter Page saying he told congressional investigators he mentioned to Sessions a trip he planned to take to Russia at the height of the campaign. And at in a March 2016 meeting where Papadopoulos sat in between Candidate Trump and Jeff Sessions, court documents show Papadopoulos told the group he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between Candidate Trump and President Putin.

Campaign advisor, J.D. Gordon, sitting next to Papadopoulos tells CNN Donald Trump heard him out but then Senator Sessions, a stop campaign surrogate, shot down the idea of a meeting with Putin, a source tells CNN.

[15:20:32] GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN FOREIGN ADVISOR: The next president will have to --

SCHNEIDER: This is video of Papadopoulos speaking at an event unrelated to the campaign in 2016.

President Trump has down played his role, calling him a low-level volunteer and liar.

But Papadopoulos's disclosures to the FBI as part of his guilty plea for lying about his contacts with Russians during the campaign are already affecting the administration.

(on camera): And we learned that the start of the trial and the Paul Manafort and Rick Gates case won't happen until May 72018 at the earliest because of the judge's schedule. Prosecutors say it will take at least three weeks to lay out the case. That means it will push into the summer keeping Russia in the spotlight as the midterm congressional races heat up.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


CABRERA: Thanks, Jessica.

Let's get straight to our panel. Ryan Nobles and Laura Barron-Lopez are back with us. Also with us, CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist, Josh Rogin.

Josh, you've covered Carter Page's connections to Russia. We're learning Page actually met with officials during the campaign. His story has changed over time. And really not for the better if you're in the Trump camp. What do you make of his shifting stories?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Ana, the fact is Carter Page first said on the record that he met with deputy prime minister last September. That was published in "The Washington Post." That's not new. It's 13-month-old information that he now has again told the House Intelligence Committee. There is a new detail. His trip was not new. What we're seeing is the investigations getting to the sort of news that we heard the first time around 13 months ago. And it seems kind of knew and weird. And when you hear Carter Page talk about it on tv, he seems to be back and forth. His position hasn't always been consistent, but these are interactions that we were aware of. And Carter Page has been on the record admitting that he met with Russian officials. The fact this is now coming up in the investigation does have an effect and puts all of these officials back on the spot, because of all the other information and all the other progress in the investigation. We have to take all of that into account. And it creates more questions. But we have to be careful to not -- to separate the old information from the new and then to look at what we know, and then look at what we don't know. And the bottom line here is that there's a lot of open questions about what people knew and what they didn't know. The fact that Sessions says so many conflicting things calls into question his credibility.

CABRERA: I want to ask about Sessions because, Laura, Carter Page testified before Congress that he had told Sessions during the campaign he was traveling to Russia. We also learned he was at the meeting where Papadopoulos presented the idea of a meeting between them. Sessions is the one who shut it down. The Sessions never mentioned these incidents before Congress in three separate hearings.

BARRON-LOPEZ: I think there's a strong possibility Congress could call him back. Democrats aren't going to be happy about this, finding out that, yes, Sessions told them that I wasn't aware of any campaign officials meeting or proposing meetings that Trump should have with Russian officials. So, that is the newest one of the newest wrinkles, and it's definitely -- we've seen two House Democrats already saying that they believe that that means that Sessions perjured himself. So it's likely then you're going to hear more calls from members of Congress for Sessions to return.

CABRERA: Ryan, with this renewed scrutiny about his connections to the Russian investigation, we know he and the president have had tense times in the past. How is the president handling this?

NOBLES: It doesn't seem like the president is all that earn canned about Jeff Sessions' potential connections to Russia during the campaign and after. In fact, the president said very little. He seems more concerned they're not doing enough to look into what Hillary Clinton was doing during the campaign and what Hillary Clinton was doing as secretary of state in her private e-mail server.

In fact, when asked about this this week, this is what the president had to say.


TRUMP: I don't know. I'm really not involved with the Justice Department. The I'd like to let it run itself. But honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats. They should be looking at Podesta and all of that dishonesty. They should be looking a lot of things. And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.


[15:25:05] NOBLES: And this is significant because it seems, at least this early part of his administration, the president tends to send messages to his cabinet secretaries, particularly the attorney general. He sends these messages through the media, kind of a way to say, listen, this is what I would prefer you to be looking into. He said there he has nothing to do with the Justice Department but he's making it pretty clear in a public statement on camera what he hopes the Justice Department should be doing and, ultimately, Jeff Sessions serves at the pleasure of the president.

CABRERA: Josh, the president continues to say that this has nothing to do with him. But we know his former bodyguard, long-time confident, is going to be going before the House Intelligence Committee this week. We have the indictments that happened. These congressional probes and the Mueller probe really heating up. Can he no longer game there's nothing to see here?

ROGIN: That claim has not been credible for a very long time. We're talking about his campaign manager, at least one of them, indicted. Meetings involving his attorney general, his son-in-law, his son. It has everything to do with him. It's all of his team, all the people he's been taking advice from and all the people he's giving direction to. Although we haven't seen a link to himself, it's about him and his administration. He hasn't come to terms with that. If and when it finally does get to him, what's he going to say?

CABRERA: Josh Rogin, Ryan Nobles, Laura Barron-Lopez, thank you all.

Coming up, "The Last Republicans," it's the title of a new book out on the Bushes. But do the former presidents agree with that phrase? We have exclusive details about what they have to say about President Trump, and how the White House is now responding.


[15:31:17] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: There's sort of been an unwritten rule among former presidents that you don't criticize the current commander-in-chief. But these days, what's been done in the past just doesn't seem to apply. Five former presidents have criticized President Trump at some point or another. And in a new book, called "The Last Republicans," Bush 41 and 43 take direct aim at President Trump, even calling him a "blow hard," and expressing some serious concerns.

CNN special correspondent, Jamie Gangel, sat down with the book's author. Watch this.


JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Former President Bush 43 told you when Trump entered the race, he thought?

MARK UPDEGROVE, AUTHOR: He thought, interesting, won't last.

GANGEL: Won't last?

UPDEGROVE: Won't last. But when Trump started to rise, I think he became concerned, because he saw this populism of Donald Trump getting in the way of America's position in the world.

GANGEL: He gave you rare insight though into his criticism of Donald Trump. What did he tell you?

UPDEGROVE: One of the things he said was one of the hallmarks of great leadership is humility. So when Donald Trump said I am my own adviser, Bush thought, and this is a quote, "Wow, this guy doesn't know what it means to be president."

GANGEL: What was his tone when he talked to you about Trump?

UPDEGROVE: I think it was restrained. The Bushes are very restrained. And I also think that they realize, they have a role to play as former presidents. And they have to be restrained. They have to be dignified.

GANGEL: He weighed his words?

UPDEGROVE: I think he did, yes.

GANGEL: President Bush 41 was a bit blunter. He said that he thought Donald Trump had, quote, "a certain ego," and then he told you point blank?

UPDEGROVE: He's a blow hard.


UPDEGROVE: He's a blow hard. And I don't like him. Plain and simple. And I'm not excited about him being a leader was his quote. And if you look at the Bush family, it makes perfect sense. Donald Trump is everything that the Bush family is not. George Bush grew up thinking about the greater good. Donald Trump, I think, is manifestly narcissistic. It's part of his brand. And that brand is the antithesis of the Bush brand.

GANGEL: How do you think these two men feel that Donald Trump is now the standard bearer of the Republican Party?

UPDEGROVE: I think it's pretty clear if you look at their records and their views politically. That I'm going to quote George H.W. Bush, they're "not excited about" Donald Trump being our leader. That's not a leap of faith. That's pretty clear. I think the most clear demonstration we get of that recently is Charlottesville. The Bushes came out with a joint tweet which they had never done in the past. Condemning bigotry and anti-Semitism and all the things on display in Charlottesville among the white supremacists. That was a clear betrayal of American values. I think that spoke resoundedly about the void of leadership they were seeing from the White House.

GANGEL: There are a lot of quotes from the Bushes that are going to make news in this book. Bush 43 talks about whether Vice President Dick Cheney had played an outsized role in his presidency. Something that gets talked about all the time. Was Dick Cheney too powerful. And Bush 43 told you?

UPDEGROVE: Well, he was talking about the neo conservatives in general and specifically about Cheney and Rumsfeld. And he said, and I quote, "Cheney and Rumsfeld never made one (EXPLETIVE DELETED) decision."

[15:35:05] GANGEL: That's the quote?

UPDEGROVE: That's the quote. I understand his frustration. Because at the time, there was the perception that Dick Cheney was the acting president. But in fact, George W. Bush had had a lifetime of making bold decisions. He had this preternatural belief in himself as a leader. If you talk to those around him, they have confidence in his leadership. This notion that Cheney was making the decisions is ludicrous.

GANGEL: When you started to write this book, let me guess, the title was not "The Last Republicans"?

UPDEGROVE: When I set out to write this in 2013, it was a very different time. But "The Last Republicans" became the right title during what has become the Trump years.

GANGEL: Because?

UPDEGROVE: Well, you know, George W. Bush himself said in 2016 privately and to me, you know, I fear that I'll be last Republican president.

GANGEL: He confirmed that to you?

UPDEGROVE: He confirmed that to me. It wasn't just about Hillary Clinton becoming president. It was because Donald Trump represented everything that the Bushes abhorred.


CABRERA: Jamie Gangel joining us now.

So, Jamie, the White House is now responding to what we learned from this book. And I quote from part of their statement, "If one presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks how strongly a legacy these past two presidents really had. That begins with the Iraq war, one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history."

Does that statement pretty much reinforce the point the Bushes were making?

GANGEL: Absolutely. Disassemble says it all. And "The Last Republicans" says it. The so I think it's have interesting the White House is hitting back right away. We haven't seen President Trump tweet yet. He's on at the road. That may ha happen. Exactly a what the White House said in the statement speaks to the point of what President Bush 41 and 43 are saying, that they don't think that the Republican Party they knew exists anymore.

CABRERA: When I heard the part of the interview, the blowhard comment, I mean that struck me funny, and it almost sounded to me like the not politically correct stuff we hear coming out of President Trump's mouth. We are used to hearing the past presidents being a little more careful with their words. Was that surprising to hear them speak in such a candid way to you?

GANGEL: So, in one way it's not. We know that neither man voted for Donald Trump. So it's not a surprise how they feel. President Trump 41 voted for Hillary Clinton. And 43, the son, voted for none of the above. At the top of the ballot. He left it blank. That said he we should put context in it. These comments, interviews were made before Donald Trump was president. So they're not actually while he's president, saying these things. A little bit of this here. We contact the both offices. The they don't normally comment on books. They didn't want to update remarks. They just are standing by what they said in the book.

CABRERA: How interesting.

Jamie, thank you for bringing us that intriguing interview. We appreciate it.

Coming up, just days after New York City experienced the worst terror attack since the 9/11 terror attack, tens of thousands take to the streets for the marathon. We'll show you how the city is preparing.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[15:42:48] CABRERA: Sunday's New York City marathon is going on as planned, and security has been ramped up in that worst terror attack to hit the city since 9/11.

Here's Governor andrew Cuomo today.


ANDREW CUOMO, (D), NEW YORK GOVERNOR: There will be two or three times as many people deployed, as you heard from the commissioner, you'll have thousands of officers on duty this weekend. But, I want to stress this is just a precautionary measure. We have no information that points to any issues. This is just a precautionary measure given the recent events.


CABRERA: Let's discuss the latest in the investigation, the security precautions. CNN law enforcement analyst, James Gagliano, and CNN national security and legal analyst, Susan Hennessey, are with me.

James, the New York marathon is tomorrow. Tens of thousands of runners, millions of spectators. The a few more details that they have planned. More than double the observation team, roof top snipers, plain clothes officers, traffic control agents. How are you feeling about the security preparation? It.

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Make no mistake, whether or not the terror attack happened or not, the package, the security package for the New York City marathon is a robust package. To unpack this, this is a national special security event, an NSSE. Homeland Security has oversight over the special events we know are going to have a lot of people in attendance, VIP's. The FBI handle the intelligence piece, Secret Service handles the security piece with the NYPD, and FEMA's there in case there's any consequence management. I can tell you this will be one the safest places you could be on the planet tomorrow.

CABRERA: Other national security experts have said just the fact this individual was able to successfully carry out a deadly terror attack in a place like New York City could embolden others who think like him. Do you share that concern?

[15:44:58] GAGLIANO: I don't. Yes, there's some things we need to do differently. And already, just this past week in light of what happened on tuesday, the New York City Council approved this and they're already putting bollards (ph) in a number of different places where there are entrances to the bike path on the west side highway. The way they do these they're like steel structures that screw into the ground so if you need to get emergency vehicles in you can do that, but it prevents access. It started at 59th Street. I think they're already past 37th Street. They're work their way to Battery Park. That doesn't reflect something. That's something that should have been done before. It's good they're doing it now. But New York City, 8.4 million people, a lot of visits and commuters, and one of the safest in not the safest city in the world.

CABRERA: Susan, we're hearing from family members. I want to get your reaction to some of what the sister told CNN. She said, "He would like to ask my brother what was the reason. Maybe he would tell his kin why. And what he did that for."

So the suspect's sister says there were no red flags to her and her family members. She said he even talked about returning to Uzbekistan and said he missed it.

SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY & LEGAL ANALYST: It's not all that unusual for family members no the to be aware. Especially if they're abroad. What is unusual is for no one to be involved. Even though there's a focus on online propaganda or lone wolf, what is usually there are real life connections, family members, friends who are either involved in the radicalization or some part of it.

CABRERA: We learned investigators found 90 videos of ISIS propaganda, nearly 4,000 images on the phone. Susan, how important is that for investigators to determine who and what were his influences?

HENNESSEY: There's going to be two questions that they're really focused on. Whenever an individual has sort of pledged allegiance to ISIS or said I'm a part of this organization, that sort of falls in one legal bucket. Another question is whether or not they truly had ties to the organization. So were they communicating with somebody located abroad, what is sort of their bon a fide connection here as opposed to just saying I did this because I'm sort of inspired. So when investigators are going to be doing is looking at that digital evidence, e-mails, propaganda videos, in order to understand what is the nature of the connections. Is this someone consuming materials or in communication or more proactive forms of contact.

CABRERA: Very quickly, James, does it surprise you this suspect is talking? And do you give any credibility to what he's saying?

GAGLIANO: No. It does not surprise me he's talking. I think, clearly, he wants the attention. Understand the distinction between talking and cooperating. There's a big difference there. He could be talking, sharing his own propaganda, his 15 minutes of fame, if you will, or infamy. We know his wife is also talking. We don't know yet for sure if that's means cooperation.

CABRERA: We hope we'll get more information.

James Gagliano, Susan Hennessey, thank you so much.

The GOP released its tax reform bill this week. They say that everyone will benefit from it. We'll break it down, the winners, the losers, coming up in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[15:52:40] CABRERA: The U.S. House this week unveiled its Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

CNN chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, takes a look at the plan's winners and losers -- Christine?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This tax reform package is branded as a tax cut for the middle class. Let's start there, what it means for average Americans. It cuts the tax bracket from seven to four here. Individuals making up to $45,000 will pay a 12 percent tax rate and 25 percent and 35 percent as income rise. The plan keeps the top rate at 39.6 percent for families making more than $1 million a year.

The bill also nearly doubles the standard deductions, $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for couples. The idea, fewer people itemized. And also eliminates personal exceptions. That could hurt families with three or more kids.

There are some goodies for the middle class in this bill. Aside from the lower tax rates, the plan would increase the child tax credit to $1600. There is also a $300 tax credit for non-child dependents. And 401K plans, those will be left alone.

Who are the winners and the losers? Corporations are the big winners. The bill lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. The ultra-rich are also big winners. This bill repeals the estate tax by the year 2024 and doubles the exemptions to about $10 million before that. The bill replaces the AMT. Another plus for wealthy tax payers. Although, not everyone who pays the AMT is super rich.

[15:54:13] As for the losers, people in high-tax states. No more state and local tax deductions, income or sales tax. They can only deduct property taxes up to $10,000. Home builders, whose stock fell this week. New home purchases, the home mortgage deduction is cut in half to $5000.


CABRERA: CNN is proud to announce the top-10 "CNN Heroes" of 2017. Each honoree will receive a cash prize and a shot at the top honor CNN Hero or the Year. That means an additional $100,000 for their cause. Now you get to help decide who that person will be.

Here is Anderson Cooper to show you how.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, A.C. 360: Now that we have announced top 10 CNN Heroes of 2017, it is time to show you how you can decide who should be CNN Hero of the Year and receive $100,000. Go to and you can learn more about each hero. And when you are ready, click on "vote." Log in using either your e-mail address or Facebook account and choose your favorite. Then confirm your selection, and you are all set. You can vote on Facebook messenger. You can vote up to ten times per day through December 12th. Rally your friends and share your votes on social media.

My friend and co-host, Kelly Ripa, will join me to reveal the 2017 CNN Hero of the Year for 2017 live during our 11th annual "CNN Heroes, An Allstar Tribute," Sunday, December 17th.


CABRERA: You can meet all of this year's top-10 heroes. You can vote at to help decide who should be our CNN Hero of the Year. All 10 will be honored at the 11th annual --