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Moore Addresses Sexual Misconduct Allegations; Trump Says He Believes Putin's Election Meddling Denials; Blind Climber Competes in First World Cup. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired November 11, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:59:56] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. The nation pausing to give thanks to those who have served our country. Live pictures right now at Arlington National Cemetery where Vice President Mike Pence is expected to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and speak to those in attendance. We'll bring you those comments as they happen.
Meanwhile at another Veterans Day event in Alabama, a very different scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: No Moore. No Moore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: You can hear some yelling "No Moore" -- protests, in fact erupting as Judge Roy Moore makes his first public appearance since scathing allegations of sexual misconduct surfacing against him. The Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama fighting back against claims of sexual misconduct against a then-14-year-old girl Leigh Corfman decades ago when Moore was in his 30s.
Here is what Moore had to say at this event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: The "Washington Post" established or published, rather, yet another attack on my character and reputation in a desperate attempt to stop my political campaign for the United States senate. These attacks involve a minor and they are completely false and untrue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Our Alex Marquardt is at that event. So Alex -- Moore rather defiant. This was to be a ceremony, usually fairly solemn for this Veterans Day event. And then Roy Moore largely denying the "Washington Post" reporting and the allegations and really digging in his heels.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: He did a And hugely defiant and really indicating here that he's not going anywhere. And we should note that he was very respectful off the top. This was a Veterans Day event and he spoke at length for about 20 minutes praising the men and women who serve and who have served in the various wars.
But then he knew that he would have to address this and he addressed it head-on. He went right after the "Washington Post", listing other articles that they had written about him that he called critical.
He said that it was part of their agenda to stop his campaign in these final weeks before the December 12th special election. He essentially said that they were working hand in fist with the Democrats to stymie his campaign.
He called these allegations completely false. And he said in no uncertain terms that he is not guilty of sexual misconduct. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: They are very hurtful to me personally. I've been married to my wife, Kayla, for nearly 33 years. We have four children. I have one daughter. And I have five granddaughters.
I have the highest regard for the protection of young children. To be attacked for allegations of sexual misconduct contradicts my entire career in law.
I want to make it clear to the media present and to the people present I have not provided alcohol beverages -- alcoholic beverages, beer or anything else, to a minor. I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone. These allegations came only four and a half weeks before the general election on December 12th. Why now?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Why now? That is the question that we have been hearing from the Moore campaign. That is the question that we have been hearing from his supporters. Why is this article coming out now just a few weeks before this special election? Why are these allegations coming out almost 40 years after the fact?
A lot of his supporters and almost to a man and woman, the supporters we've spoken with, are sticking by him. They believe that these accusations are false, that they are part of a smear campaign.
They don't know who might be behind it, whether it's the Democrats who are encouraging these women, whether it's establishment Republicans who are encouraging these women. A lot of conspiracies are being seen and thrown around, around here and just a small indication of the continued support for the judge.
He received a standing ovation both at the beginning and at the end of his speech. Fredricka -- we should note that the judge has said that in the coming days they will make revelations about an investigation that they have launched into the content of that explosive "Washington Post" piece-- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Right he kind of teases that everyone will hear more about what he believes the motivation is behind those who have brought these allegations to the forefront.
All right. Alex Marquardt -- thank you so much. Appreciate that.
I want to bring in David Mowery. He's political consultant and he ran Bob Vance's campaign against Roy Moore back in 2012.
[11:05:00] So David -- what's your assessment of how Roy Moore handled this today at this veterans event?
DAVID MOWERY, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: I mean I don't think that there's any other way that he can handle it. You have to -- you know, he has to say, oh, it's these enemies of me and they've always -- you know, these are the same people that helped remove me from the bench twice.
And basically, he's just, you know, trying to create an enemy and trying to get his supporters to say, you know, this is obviously false or whatever. I don't think there's anything else he can do.
Will it work, that's a good question.
WHITFIELD: He says -- and he questions this happening just four and a half weeks, you know, ahead of the vote. Why now?
His supporters are asking the same thing. Is he helping to put the allegations to rest, or do his comments help keep it alive in terms of not answering so many questions about why?
MOWERY: I don't know that -- I don't know that there's a way that he can really put these to rest. This is going to be what the message is. This is going to be what they are going to have to fight on for the next 30 days or so.
And, you know, it wouldn't surprise me. Obviously, he's talking about they are going to, you know, reveal the motivations. So he's going to start attacking the victims, which isn't really a good look.
I mean we have to consider that these women at the time were teenagers and we have to have some sympathy for these people. And I think the why now thing is if you know anything about journalism, it's hard to get people to come out on the record because look at what he's talking about doing to them now.
I mean it's just one of those things, where why now is because that's when the story was able to break, not because of some nefarious, you know, other worldly forces that are coming down on him.
WHITFIELD: And what conflicts do you see, if any, in his statement today? He was also on Fox over the phone last night, and we've heard a variation of things from him, right, from, you know, I can't remember, can't recall, to now really remembering that absolutely it didn't happen at all. So which is it? MOWERY: Yes. I mean that's a good question. And, you know, only I
guess he and these women and their supporters can answer that, but I think maybe it's one of those things where he didn't forcefully deny it enough and now his people are (INAUDIBLE) saying, listen, you have to say that you didn't do it because you're getting picked apart on that.
WHITFIELD: So, his support and the sentiments in Alabama and in his circles is very different from some of the sentiments from leadership coming out of Washington. Which is more influential that could potentially impact the outcome of the vote come four and a half weeks from now?
MOWERY: Well, you know, all politics is local, and in Alabama you never -- it's so easy to run against the federal government. It's easy to run against the establishment. We've been doing it since George Wallace and probably before that.
And so I think that you know, the locals -- the local people, local politicians, if they would have something to say about it I think would have a much bigger impact than anybody in Washington, because he's already basically thumbed his nose at them and beat their fair- haired boy, the Senator Luther Strange.
And so I just don't think that that really -- the only thing that that does, I think, is steels his resolve and his supporters' resolve. The question is about voters in the middle or voters who might, you know, generally support the Republican. Are they going to stick with Moore? Are they going to stick with the Republican brand? That's anybody's guess right now.
WHITFIELD: All right. David Mowery -- we'll leave it right there. Thanks so much.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, we are waiting to hear from Vice President Pence at Arlington, soon to be laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. We'll bring that to you as it happens.
And President Trump, bucking his own intelligence agencies again, this time telling reporters he believes Vladimir Putin's claims Russia did not meddle in the U.S. election. So what does this mean for the U.S. relationship with Russia and the investigation?
[11:09:10] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: All right.
Just moments ago, this taking place at Arlington National Cemetery -- the Vice President Mike Pence putting into place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And then momentarily the Vice President will deliver remarks. We'll take that live as it happens.
Meantime, all of this, while overseas a bomb shell coming from the President of the United States, Donald Trump. He says he believes Vladimir Putin's election meddling denials. Trump also calling former U.S. intelligence chiefs political hacks.
We have a team of correspondents and analysts covering this story for us. Matthew Chance is in Danang, Vietnam where the two leaders spoke -- Putin and Trump. Also Ivan Watson is following the President and is also in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Ivan -- let me begin with you about the remarks and the circumstances in which these remarks took place.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, President Trump spoke to journalists on Air Force One on his flight from Danang up here to the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. And he said that during the APEC summit down in Danang, he had two or three conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and doing those conversations President Putin again denied allegations that Russia meddled in the November 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Here's an excerpt of what he said. Quote, "Every time he sees me he says I didn't do that. And I believe, I really believe when he tells me that he means it. I think he is very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth."
[11:14:56] And then President Trump went on to lob some of his own insults. He went on to talk about the former heads of intelligence agencies -- John Brennan, the former director of the CIA, and James Clapper, the former director of the National Intelligence Agency calling them political hacks and calling Jim Comey, the former FBI director, a liar. Of course, they all initially sounded the alarm about alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
President Trump went on to say that he would like to have a good relationship with Russia. He said that would be a great thing, but then he said, quote, "This artificial Democratic hit job keeps getting in the way."
Now President Trump said there are a couple of areas where it would be good to have a good relationship with Russia, notably for dealing with North Korea, for dealing with the Syrian ongoing civil war, and for dealing with the ongoing war in Ukraine, which the government in Ukraine argues Russia started in the first place -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ivan Watson -- thank you so much. We'll check back with you.
All right. Now, let's go to Matthew Chance in Danang. Matthew -- you had a chance to ask Putin a question yourself, and what did he say?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, I mean I went to this, Fredricka -- this closed press conference, news conference that was held in Danang by President Putin just after the APEC summit here came to a close. It was for Russian journalists only but because we have Russian press accreditation we were allowed in, as well. And he was specifically asked what was discussed with President Trump during the short little encounters that he had throughout the two-day summit. We saw video pictures of them two chatting away quite happily and walking together.
But what were they really discussing? Well, Vladimir Putin said at the time of the news conference that it was security and economic cooperation that was discussed. He said it was almost zero level at the moment and he wanted that to change.
At no point did he mention that U.S. meddling was -- rather allegations in the U.S. of Russian meddling in U.S. election was mentioned. Shortly after that news conference came to an end, this statement came from Trump in Hanoi that indeed U.S. meddling had been raised.
And I texted the Russian press -- Kremlin press flak, you know, Putin's press aide and he said absolutely not, you know. This was not even raised by the two leaders. So it was very, very confusing. And now it seems as though that the Kremlin is acknowledging that Trump did, indeed, raise this issue of meddling in the U.S. presidential election. So that cleared up one mystery.
The frustration, though, is palpable amongst the Russians. They didn't manage to sit down and have a proper face-to-face meeting with the U.S. President. And at the media conference, the news conference I mentioned, I asked Vladimir Putin how disappointed he was not to have that face-to-face meeting and what that lack of a meeting said about the state of relations between Russia and the United States. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): As you know and I often talk about, we are prepared to turn the page and go forward to look into the future to solve the problems that are of interest to people of the United States and people of the Russian Federation, to think about fulfilling our economic relations with the specific serious content.
Just look at the latest economic forum in St. Petersburg. There was the greatest number of American companies there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: So the Russians -- the President of Russia very, very frustrated about the state of those relations, but saying that he's prepared to turn the page. He was also full of praise yet again for President Trump, who described in an answer to another question as an educated person who behaves correctly and somebody who he was comfortable to work with. So despite those frustrations, still full of praise for Donald Trump.
WHITFIELD: It sounds like the door still could be open. We hear from Trump that he wants there to be a good relationship. So this is all very interesting. Matthew Chance, Ivan Watson -- thank you so much.
We're going to talk some more about all of this now with my panel. CNN contributor Jill Dougherty, CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott and CNN national security analyst Steve Hall. All right. Good to see you all.
All right. Steve -- you first. You know, Trump has said again that he trusts Putin over American intelligence findings. You know, how might this really get under the skin of the intel community in the midst of the special counsel's ongoing investigation. Could it further intensify the probes?
[11:19:50] STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Fred -- it's a really disturbing pattern where we have the President of the United States who finds himself in apparently greater agreement with Vladimir Putin who is very adversarial -- represents a very adversarial nation to the United States and instead chooses to call former intelligence leadership political hacks and liars.
You know, I worked with both John Brennan and with Jim Clapper, and I can tell you that, you know, they are not political hacks, they are professional officers. Jim Clapper himself, you know, spent almost a half a century --
WHITFIELD: Those names were singled out -- Brennan, Clapper, Comey, political hacks. Continue.
Hall: So, I mean it's just amazing, really, when you think about the fact that our president seems to be more in step with Vladimir Putin. It doesn't surprise me at all that Vladimir Putin says he wants to turn the page and then also -- but it does surprise me, however that, you know, you've got Donald Trump essentially saying the same thing. You know, I really do believe him.
We've heard this from other presidents, right. We've heard, you know, I looked into his eyes; you know, I think we can have a reset. This is not something that past presidents have been immune from. But it's particularly troubling in Donald Trump's case because they seem to be so much on the same sheet of music when the intelligence community is definitely not and agrees that Vladimir Putin and Russia meddled and attacked our presidential elections.
Setting aside the question of collusion just on that one topic of whether or not they attacked our elections, everybody seemed to be in agreement except Donald Trump.
WHITFIELD: And then Jill -- making it further, you know, perplexing, Matthew Chance is reporting there that, you know, while the President of the United States says, yes, we talked about it, I asked, he denied, but then when Matthew asked, you know, Putin is saying we talked about economics and security, you know, and the Kremlin as a whole, you know, is saying, no, they didn't talk about the meddling.
So is the Kremlin, is Putin calling, you know, Trump a liar or, you know, would they rather the public know something different about their conversation?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I'm not sure we really know exactly what they were trying to do with that. And maybe there's some genuine confusion, but it's something that they don't want to talk about.
I mean interference they've said over and over again we didn't do, we didn't do it, and so that subject goes nowhere for Russia. I mean Russia came to this meeting or whatever it was, five minutes with Vladimir Putin, with the intent of trying to do something to get a deal, to make some progress.
And right now I think they are looking at Donald Trump almost as like a political prisoner, you know, a man who can't do anything because he's a prisoner of political, you know, political attacks in this investigation into Russia's alleged interference with the election, et cetera.
They hear all the good things in their minds that Mr. Trump says, but nothing comes of it. I mean this agreement about Syria is useful, but it didn't really break any new ground.
What they want is they want the end of isolation, they want business to begin, you heard a lot from Putin about business, business -- America, you're losing these deals. And that's what they want.
They want to break out. They want an end to sanctions. And they are not getting any of that from Donald Trump.
WHITFIELD: So, Elise, you know, bigger picture here, while it is notable that the two did discuss, still unclear what they really talked about, you know. I mean what does this kind of conflicting thoughts about the conversation say about who really is in the driver's seat with this relationship? You know, between, you know, Putin and Trump in terms of when they meet?
It always seems to be even more confusing when we hear these conflicting details about what was really said, who initiated what, what was promised and what was tackled.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I think they are both in like a kind of self-driving car, Fred, and they don't know where it's going. I agree with Jill. I mean I think that the Russians see Trump as a political prisoner and I think that the President himself sees himself as a political prisoner.
I mean, if he wanted to meet with -- it was clear that the Russians wanted to have this meeting. I don't think it was really scheduling that prevented that meeting from happening. I know Secretary Tillerson was saying that he wanted to make sure there were some deliverables, that there was really a reason to meet.
I mean look, they did come out as Jill said with that agreement on Syria. It didn't make new ground, but there are so many issues for them to talk about not just Syria. And President Trump himself said, you know, I want to put this meddling behind us, because we need to deal with Ukraine, we need to deal with Syria --
LABOTT: -- we need to deal with North Korea. They need to deal with all those issues.
WHITFIELD: right. So all of those things that if they are in the same arena, why would that not be the best opportunity in which to hash it all out as opposed to there really isn't a lot of time and then everyone walks away trying to figure out what really was discussed anyway?
LABOTT: I think it's pretty -- I think it's a mystery. I know that -- I mean it's pretty clear that Putin wanted to meet. It's pretty clear that President Trump wanted to meet.
[11:25:05] But I think, Fred -- I think we all need to stop waiting for President Trump to make some different declaration on meddling. I think that there's not going to be something that comes out that he has an "a-ha" moment and says, yes, they did meddle.
This is something that goes to the very heart of President Trump's legitimacy. He's never going to say that he believes that anybody, that Russian meddling or anybody meddled in the U.S. election because that would go to the heart of whether he won the election fair and square. Even though as the intelligence community said that they were meddling, they said they don't believe necessarily. There's no final determination that it doesn't seem like this swayed the election in some massive way.
And so I think we need to stop looking for that. The U.S. and Russia have very important issues to discuss. And I don't think it's an artificial barrier as President Trump said, but it's definitely a barrier, the elephant in the room.
I think if you looked at those pictures between President Trump and President Putin, they weren't laughing and giggling and discussing election meddling as they were walking to the class photo.
It's pretty clear that that's not come up in a significant way. And I think we have to stop looking for that to happen and start focusing on the relationship between U.S. and Russia.
WHITFIELD: Ok. And another shot as they all walk, the two, at least walking, you know, together. And who knows what was just said right there? Will we ever know?
All right, Steve Hall, Elise Labott, Jill Dougherty -- thank you so much.
All right. Much more in the NEWSROOM straight ahead.
But first, when Justin Salas lost his sight as a teenager, he found rock climbing, a hobby that's brought him to the top of the sport.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JUSTIN SALAS, ROCK CLIMBER: I get to kind of interact with rock on a way that I think very few people get to experience. Climbing has taught me how to navigate the world in a completely different way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justin Salas is a professional rock climber. He's also legally blind.
SALAS: Being a young teen boy and losing your vision is one of the hardest things I could have imagined. I was about to get my learner's permit. That was just robbed from me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite years of tests, doctors couldn't determine the cause of his vision loss.
SALAS: I spent probably two or three years just not doing anything at all until a friend of mine that worked at the local gym told me that I didn't need to see to rock climb, and I was hooked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justin can't see anything straight ahead, so he relies mainly on his peripheral vision.
SALAS: When I'm looking at a wall, I don't see holds most of the time, it's just out of feel or muscle memory or having a sight guide call for me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's where Matt Frederik comes in.
MATT FREDERICK, SIGHT GUIDE: Your next foot is at your right --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a sight guide he directs Justin up the wall.
Frederick: I've learned a lot about how he climbs and I think what would he want to do here? Based on that I'll call holds in a specific order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Together they are headed to the 2017 IFSC World Cup in Edinburgh, where Justin will climb against other visually- impaired competitors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At your marks --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On his first descent, Justin suffered a major setback. By mistakenly stepping on a bolt that wasn't part of the course.
His first climb was disqualified.
SALAS: It just a no go?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SALAS: Ok. Sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he regained ground on his second climb.
FREDERICK: To the left, perfect. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And qualified for the finals.
FREDERICK: Good job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the main event, Justin challenged for the top spot.
FREDERICK: Good. Stand on it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming in just short of finishing first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, a big round of applause (INAUDIBLE).
SALAS: I had no idea that I was going to do this well. All I wanted to do was make finals and getting second place for my first world cup is really, really cool.
[11:28:50] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. The Republican Party is scrambling to pass tax reform. The House and Senate have revealed their plans to slash taxes for Americans, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claims he misspoke when he previously said no one in the middle class would get a tax increase under the GOP's plan.
CNN national politics reporter, M.J. Lee, joining me right now. So, M.J., what exactly did McConnell misspeak about? What does he mean?
M.J. LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Fred, Mitch McConnell is walking back what he said a couple of days ago when he made the claim that nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase under the Senate bill. Now, in an interview with "The New York Times," he clarified that statement and here's what he said.
He said, "You can't guarantee that absolutely no one sees a tax increase, but what we are doing is targeting levels of income and looking at the average in those levels and the average will be tax relief for the average taxpayer in each of those segments."
Now, of course, McConnell is talking about the tax reform bill that the Senate finally unveiled on Thursday, and the reality, Fred, is that some middle-class Americans will definitely end up seeing tax relief, but there are going to be others who end up paying more.
It really depends on an individual and family's income specifications and their financial circumstances. Now, in the next couple of weeks, expect to see a lot of heated debate on Capitol Hill among Republicans on how the House plan and the Senate plan are going to be reconciled.
Keep in mind that each chamber has put out a different plan and there are some key differences that we have seen come out of the House and the Senate. [11:35:09] Just to point out a couple of the key ones, the number of tax brackets is different in the House plan versus the Senate plan, four versus seven, and the House plan repeals SALT, that is the state and local tax deductions, that have been such a contentious part of this debate, whereas in the Senate plan, the SALT is actually fully repealed.
There are also differences in how estate tax and mortgage interest deductions are treated in each of these plans. Now the goal right now, Fred, is for the House and the Senate to each pass their version of tax reform bills.
And then eventually come together and reconcile those differences, but I can tell you, of course, as everyone knows on Capitol Hill, very well, the issue of tax reform is hugely complicated and actually bridging those differences is going to be a really difficult task.
WHITFIELD: That's why it's been a 30-year, you know, task, challenge, we shall say. All right. M.J. Lee, thank you so much. Let's discuss this, the dueling tax plans now with our panel.
Joining me now is CNN political analyst, Julian Zelizer, who is also a historian and professor at Princeton University. Also with me is Amie Parnes, a CNN political analyst and a senior political correspondent for "The Hill." Good to see you both.
All right. Amie, you first, so what's going to be that compromise that the House and Senate Republicans can find on what right now are two very different tax plans?
AMIE PARNES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's what remains to be a theme, Fred. I think that you're seeing a lot of behind the scenes discussions, a lot of late nights on how to kind of reconcile both those plans. I think a lot of people are still trying to figure out the details and whether they can actually come together.
And there are various factions this both caucuses too, in both chambers also, you know, where people are trying to figure out which way they go and which way they lean, and how this does benefit the middle class and how, you know, and not angering the wealthy base, too. So, this is why this is such a contentious fight going on right now on Capitol Hill.
WHITFIELD: And Julian, the president said it was going to be a big beautiful Christmas present, you know, if this is not passed, as the president has promised by the end of the year, what are the political consequences for Republicans as a whole perhaps just for the president or all of that?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, obviously, Republicans have accelerated their efforts since Tuesday, since the election results. They do feel they need to deliver something, and they are very eager both to have a piece of major legislation, which they don't have under the Trump presidency.
And they are eager to have something that will make corporations, frankly, happy and enthused in that part of the Republican base feel like something's coming out of this. But there are some details here that are going to be pretty insurmountable and the state and local tax deduction, for example, is something many House Republicans from the northeast can't accept what the Senate's done.
WHITFIELD: All right. And that's going to be a big one. I know you talked about, you know, the wealthier, you know, want to feel pleased by it. Maybe you're talking about the corporate taxes, but when you do talk about states like New Jersey and New York, you know, which do have very high, you know, property taxes, how much do, you know, Republicans feel like they need to appease those districts in particular?
PARNES: I think they do, and that's why you're seeing them walk a very fine line. You've heard a lot of people in New York particularly say I hate what's being discussed right now, and they are looking for something else.
And they are looking for, you know, the scales to be kind of tilted in their direction and I think that's the slippery slope that it's happening right now in the discussions, particularly in the Republican Party where they are trying to find their identity.
It's happening in both parties right now, but in the Republican Party, as well, and where to go and how to actually handle this so they are not offending a good part of their electorate.
WHITFIELD: So while leaders of the GOP say, you know, the two chambers will be able to negotiate some sort of compromise, there remain a lot of skeptics particularly on the right, including Rush Limbaugh. Here's what he had to say about the Senate's plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: We're exhausted. Ten years, no results. Now the Senate Republicans are torpedoing tax reform. The stock market's down 200. Yes, we ought to delay these corporate tax cuts until 2019. We don't want to phase those in. This is pure Trump sabotage is what's going on, and if it's Trump sabotage, it's you, being sabotaged, you who voted for him. That's what ticks me off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So, Amie, will it be interpreted as, you know, sabotaging the president, sabotaging the GOP?
PARNES: I mean, you're -- this is what's happening, you're seeing all these different fights internally building, and I think that's the delay, and, you know, in any year it's tough to pass a massive legislation package like this.
[11:40:08] And this is what's kind of weighing it down right now and this is how they are going to have to reconcile. I don't know, it's tough to say whether this is all going to happen by the end of the year, but they desperately need some points on the board, so they are desperate to put anything together at this point. WHITFIELD: But then, Julian, also at issue is the whole big campaign promise. OK, the president talked about tax reform, you know, tax cuts, he also really was targeting the middle class and, you know, so many critics of both plans are saying and asking the question, where's the middle class help in either one of these plans? How problematic is that for this president?
ZELIZER: It's very problematic. I think the headline with this bill, corporate tax cut, already tells you what the problem is. With repeal and replace the big problem became the basic fact that millions of Americans were about to lose health care coverage and that torpedoed the bill and president could never overcome that.
With this piece of legislation, the bottom line is most people following see corporations are going to receive a big tax cut and then there will be tax reform, some of which actually fall on middle class Americans.
So that doesn't add up to a tax cut for middle class Americans, and politically, that's a hard sell especially in those areas of the country that voted for Trump, believing the president would provide relief to working and middle-class Americans who are struggling every day. That doesn't add up to a corporate tax cut in many of their minds.
WHITFIELD: Amie, there are no assurances, right, with corporate tax cuts those corporations are really turn that into more jobs or higher pay, and that's part of the big sell that if they get a tax break, that will be the return, but, you know, how do people feel some real reassurances that that is how these corporations would use that tax break money?
PARNES: That's the thing, but I think right now as Julian said, they really need to figure out a way to kind of go after the people who did vote for him in these middle-class communities. This is something that we're talking about big picture, too, because what we're talking about is really this political debate that will carry into 2018 and the midterm elections.
And a lot of these people are going to be really upset when they feel like they voted for a president who wasn't really supporting them. So, I think this is -- they are going to really have to walk a fine line here when it comes to, you know, tailoring it to corporations and making people know that it's not just being tailored to corporations.
WHITFIELD: All right. Amie Parnes, Julian Zelizer, we'll leave it there. Thanks so much.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
PARNES: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. We're now hearing from the ex- wife of the Texas church gunman who killed 26 people last Sunday. In an interview with "Inside Edition," Tessa Brennaman says she lived in constant fear of Devin Kelley.
CNN's Kaylee Hartung joins us live now from Sutherland Springs, Texas. So, Kaylee, in this interview, Brennaman describes life with the then- 23-year-old airman. What more are you learning?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, Tessa Brennaman says Devin Kelley was a man who had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him. Now a week after he took the lives of 26 people, including an unborn child, she is describing the marriage that she lived in filled with abuse.
Listen here as she tells "Inside Edition" what happened when she received a speeding ticket.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TESSA BRENNAMAN, EX-WIFE OF TEXAS CHURCH GUNMAN: He had a gun in his holster right here, and he took that gun out and he put it to my template and he told me, do you want to die? Do you want to die?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Brennaman says Kelley threatened to kill her and her entire family. These two were divorced in October of 2012. It was a month later that Kelley pled guilty and was charged with hitting, choking, kicking, and pulling Brennaman's hair, also fracturing the skull of her infant son, his step son.
We have known for the past week of these charges against Kelley that led to a one-year military confinement for him and his bad conduct discharge from the U.S. Air Force, but, Fred, this is the first time we're hearing from a victim of Kelley's who lived to tell us of his abuse.
WHITFIELD: All right. Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much.
All right, still ahead, we are waiting to hear from Vice President Mike Pence, the ceremony is under way there at Arlington National Cemetery. We'll bring the vice president's comments to you as it happens.
Meantime, three American college basketball players arrested in China accused of stealing sunglasses. Why they could be held there for months, even as their teammates return home, next.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China could be stuck in the country for many weeks. Freshman LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill are reportedly out on bail after being arrested earlier this week for allegedly stealing designer sunglasses from a high-end luxury store. UCLA is in China and won its game against Georgia Tech last night without these three players.
Andy Scholes has more on what these three players could face next.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, the three UCLA players including LiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Lakers rookie, Lonzo Ball, remain at a hotel 100 miles away from where the Bruins were playing last night.
According to ESPN, they will not be flying back to L.A. with the team today. The three players were arrested by Chinese authorities earlier this week for allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store.
During the broadcast of the game Friday, UCLA legend, Bill Walton apologized for the actions of the three players.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Members of our family have displaced an appalling lack of honor, lack of respect, lack of decency by doing something in someone else's home that they would never do in their own. And I want to apologize right now on behalf of the human race for this travesty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Now, Lee Angelo's father, LaVar, was at the UCLA game despite LiAngelo not being there, and even though UCLA was without three key players, they still beat Georgia Tech in their opener 63-60.
[11:55:05] According to ESPN, LaVar is not planning on going back to be with LiAngelo, but is instead going to Hongkong on Sunday to continue to shoot his Facebook reality show "Balling the family" and open another pop-up shop for his big baller shoe brand.
When the three UCLA players get to go home, that's still unknown. We've been told the legal process could take up to three weeks. If convicted of shoplifting in China, the players could face three to 10 years in prison.
However, a couple of attorneys I spoke with familiar with international law think that the players will not face severe punishment, instead, get off with a stern warning -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Andy Scholes, thank you so much. Again, this is Veterans Day. Observance is taking place across the country on this 11th day of the 11th month, as is tradition. Here is the vice president, Mike Pence at Arlington.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Secretary Shilken (ph), Secretary Mattis, Secretary Zinke, all the members of the cabinet, Secretary Wilson, General Dunford, General Selva, General McConvil, Admiral Caldwell and Admiral Michael. To Director Durham Aguilera, to distinguished members of Congress and
all our honored guests but most of all to the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and to all our veterans, who have worn the uniform of this great nation, Happy Veterans Day.
There is a day in the spring when we remember those who served and did not come home. But today Veterans Day is the day when all across America gatherings large and small we pause to remember those who served and did come home.
For nearly a century since the guns of the first world war fell silent in the 11th hour, the 11th day, the 11th month, American people have observed this day. First as Armistice Day and now as Veterans Day.
And I thank you all who are here and all that are gathered around this nation for continuing this great tradition. And to our heroes near and far, I bring Veterans Day greetings from a great champion for the men and women who have worn the uniform of our armed force, the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.
At this very moment, our president is halfway around the world, but I know his heart is here in this hallowed place and at every Veterans Day service across the country. President Trump asks us to be here at this National Veterans Day ceremony to, in his words, honor all Americans who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, in times of war and peace.
And to pay due respect, due respect to those Americans, who have passed the torch of liberty from one generation to the next for they surely have. And so, I say to each and every one of you veterans gathered here and all of those that might be looking on, we're grateful for your service. We're grateful for your sacrifice.
And I'll make you a promise. Just as you fought for us, we will always fight for you. The bible tells us if you owe debts, pay debts. If honor, then honor. In respect, then respect. The debt our nation owes those who have worn the uniform as a debt we will never be able to fully repay.
From the hour of our nation's birth, our best and bravest have stepped forward to defend our freedom. The unbroken chord of their service stretches back into the myths of American history, from Bunker Hill to Bellwood, from San Juan Hill to Saipan, from the coral reefed Kandahar.
Nearly 50 million men and women have donned the uniform of the United States and nearly 20 million still walk among us today. And as we speak, a new generation of American veterans is being forced across the wider world. As I look out today, it's a humbling sight.