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Trump: New Sanctions for North Korea After Missile Launch; Republicans Push Tax Reform Bill; NY Times: Trump's History of Making Statements that Cross a Line; Suspect Arrested in Tampa after Killing Spree. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 29, 2017 - 14:30   ET



[14:33:32] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: President Trump has just put North Korea on notice after the nuclear-armed nation fired off its most advanced missile yet. President tweeting, "Just spoke to President Xi Jinping of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Kora today. This situation will be handled."

The missile, by the way, which experts agree could hit anywhere in the mainland U.S., was airborne for just less than an hour and soared 10 times higher than the international space station before ultimately plunging into the sea just west of Japan.

So let's go to Will Ripley, who is live for us in Seoul, South Korea.

What sort of response are we hearing from North Korea?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, there is it a real swagger in the North Korean messaging, Brooke. And I noticed this talking to them in the last couple of weeks speaking to officials there. They're confident. They feel they've won this round. Of course, this successful intercontinental ballistic launch further bolsters that swagger, that confidence on the part of the North Koreans. And we saw that in a message put out in state media. I'll read a portion of it. This is a quote from a North Korean military officer saying, quote, "I seem to see old lunatic Trump and those riftrafts making a great fuss, daunted by our new gift package," referring to the ICBM. He goes on to say, "The more desperate the old lunatic remains in such provocations, as relisting the DPRK as a sponsor of terrorism, the stronger a self-defensive countermeasure of the DPRK they will meet."

There you have it. It's sort of like matching President Trump's taunts, even though he's really toned down his rhetoric lately. The North Koreans haven't forgotten those words from earlier this year, "fire and fury," "locked and loaded," and of course, the nickname for the supreme leader, "Little Rocket Man."

[14:35:22] BALDWIN: That's right. A lot of people wondering when the president says, we'll take care of it, what it means?

Will Ripley, thank you. RIPLEY: Yes.

BALDWIN: We'll have that conversation next hour.

In the meantime, Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, saying getting Republicans to back the tax plan is like a Rubik's Cube. So can the president help get those votes. He has a major speech in Missouri a short time from now. Live pictures there in St. Charles. We are standing by for that.

Also, amid reports the president is touting the Obama birth conspiracy behind closed doors, we are going to take a closer look at his history of making statements that cross a line. Stay here.


[14:40:22] BALDWIN: Let's talk taxes. You know Republicans, they want to get the tax plan passed by Christmas. And right now, President Trump is headed to Missouri to sell the plan ahead of the big vote on the Senate floor that could come potentially as early as tomorrow. The president set to speak next hour in St. Charles, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb. For the Trump White House and the entire Republican Party, the stakes couldn't be higher in pursuit of a first legislative victory of 2017.

So let's go straight to Phil Mattingly, our congressional correspondent, up on Capitol Hill.

So the big victory got through the Budget Committee this time yesterday. The House version, the Senate version starting to look similar. That has to it be a good thing. What are the next couple of steps? And are those same holdouts or wild-card members of Congress, do they remain the same?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They remain the same. But they're at least willing to move the process forward. And that's very important. You saw that yesterday. And you'll probably see that in a couple of hours. They'll vote on the Senate floor to take the bill up. Start the process on Senate floor. A lot of fun. We've discussed it a lot, Brooke, during health care.

I think the big issue is Republican leaders and the president himself made a lot of commitments yesterday in that closed-door lunch, two Senators, gave a lot of deals in principle to get their support to move this forward. Now you actually have to put pen to paper and turn that into legislation and get that process moving forward. And go through the technical aspects too. So they think they certainly have the votes. Senator John Cornyn, the number-two Republican, said a few moments ago, we have the vote, it's just a matter of technical fixes before we have the vote this afternoon. But the real work, the hard work, work that's actually going to get this over the finish lines, that's still going on behind the scenes -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: We see a packed house in St. Charles, Missouri. We'll see how the president plans to sell this as all this wheeling and dealing is happening on Capitol Hill. Phil Mattingly, thank you so much.

And we'll take the president as he speaks there next hour.

President Trump hitting the road a day after a "The New York Times" report that indicates he's still questioning some of these conspiracy theories, right, the authenticity of former President Barack Obama's birth certificate. There was also the incident this week where he called Senator Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas again, but the difference this time, as he was standing in front of Native American war heroes. And those aren't the only examples of the president making controversial statements.

Here is Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Some of President Trump's recent statements give ammunition to those who believe he routinely says things that, at the very least, encourage racist viewpoints.

(voice-over): Donald Trump's digs at Elizabeth Warren over her claim of Native American heritage were sure applause lines on the campaign trail.



TRUMP: She's not happy. She's the worst.


FOREMAN: But when the insult was repeated in front of Navaho code talkers, World War II heroes --

TRUMP: They call her Pocahontas.

FOREMAN: -- only silence followed.

The Democratic Senator called it a racial slur. But Sarah Huckabee Sanders customarily defended her boss.

SARAH SANDERS HUCKABEE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that's a ridiculous response.

FOREMAN: But it is far from the only time the president has crossed racially sensitive lines.


FOREMAN: At a white supremacist rally in Virginia ended in bloodshed, he suggested that the counter protesters also bore blame, while defending those marching with white supremacists.

TRUMP: You had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.

FOREMAN: As the NFL players' protest against police treatment of African Americans evolved, he was quick to demand their firing, tweeting about it numerous times. He is, as president, who he was as a candidate.

TRUMP: Look at my African-American over here. Look at him.

FOREMAN: While he bragged about support among minorities, he built his base by demonizing them.

Immigrants from Mexico.

TRUMP: They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They are rapists. And some I assume are good people.

FOREMAN: An American judge Trump argued was bias against him.

TRUMP: His Mexican heritage. And he's very proud of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have sacrificed nothing and no one.


FOREMAN: The Muslim mother of an American soldier killed in combat after her husband spoke against Trump during the Democratic convention.

TRUMP: She was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.

FOREMAN: He relentlessly and falsely suggested the nation's first black president, Barack Obama, was not a natural born citizen.

TRUMP: And he wasn't born in this country. He has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics.

[14:45:04] FOREMAN: And long after evidence proved five young men, all minorities, had been wrongfully convicted for a savage rape in Central Park in the 1980s, Trump refused to believe it, saying, "The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous."

Still, in characteristic fashion, Trump has continually and emphatically defended himself against charges of prejudice.

TRUMP: I am the least racist person.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Are you bigoted in any way?

TRUMP: I don't think so. No, I don't think so.

I'm a person --

LEMON: Islamophobic?

TRUMP: No, not at all.

LEMON: When people saying you are racist, or whatever it is, that has to bother, or compare you to Hitler, there are newspaper covers.


LEMON: Does that bother you?

TRUMP: If things were true. If that were true, it would bother me tremendously.

FOREMAN (on camera): To be sure, the president almost always doubles down on his remarks. And his defenders deny any racist intent. But of course, for critics, those denials are less and less convincing as more examples pile up.


BALDWIN: Coming up, a Florida neighborhood, terrorized for two months, finally gets news, a suspected serial killer has been caught. We'll tell you how a gun recovered at an McDonald's may have cracked the case.


[14:50:44] BALDWIN: So 51 days after a killing spree began to terrorize a Tampa neighborhood, there was finally been an arrest here. A 24-year-old, Howell Donaldson, is now charged with four counts of first-degree murder. Investigators say he randomly killed all of these victims, all in the same neighborhood. Police say the arrest came after a tip from Donaldson's coworker at a local McDonald's.


BRIAN DUGAN, CHIEF, TAMPA POLICE DEPARTMENT: It was about 2:30 in the afternoon when Howell Donaldson showed up to the McDonald's where he worked and gave a bag to a coworker. The coworker opened the bag when Mr. Donaldson left and found the gun inside. Didn't think much of it. Just thought it was strange that there was a gun in there. And gave the bag to a police officer who was in the McDonald's. That was the bit of information that we were looking for. That is what we needed. The gun is what we needed. The same gun was used in all four murders.


BALDWIN: Let's go straight to CNN Rosa Flores who is live there in Tampa.

Rosa, you are live. Can you hear me? I'm thinking she can't.

Rosa Flores, it's Brooke. You got me? We're live.

No one is talking to me, but I'm going to guess that is a no.

We'll move on and try Rosa again in just a second. Coming up here on CNN, after some wheeling and dealing on Capitol

Hill, President Trump takes his tax plan to Main Street, Missouri. Can he sell it directly to the voters? We'll take that live.

And this reckoning over sexual harassment claims now taking one of the biggest names in morning television. He really has been the "Today Show" for years and years. Matt Lauer, out. What we know about the complaint against him. And just reaction from one of his former co- anchor, Ann Curry. Back in a moment.


[14:57:14] BALDWIN: All right. Let's try this one more time. We'll talk about this Tampa serial killer, apparently, caught, with Rosa Flores who is live now with us.

Rosa, let's go again. Tell me more about who this person is. I know you just got back from the neighborhood where, apparently, he grew up. What are neighbors saying about him?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I talked to a neighbor who has known him for 20 years, Brooke, and he said he is in disbelief. He said until Donaldson looks at him in the eye and says, I did it, he'll believe it. He says that he's a kid that wouldn't say a bad word. Hung out with his son all this time. They grew up together. He said he just feels that police have moved too quickly to make an arrest and to also file those charges.

I want to show you around, because this is the McDonald where that employee that police say called in with a tip saying that Donaldson had handed the gun, the murder weapon, in essence, to an employee, and that employee then picked up the phone, called the police. And we know what happens next. That is that police questioned Donaldson for hours, and they say that this weapon, Brooke, is the weapon, indeed, the weapon that was used for these four killings that started on October 9th.

But, Brooke, you have to think of a few things though, which is what this neighbor is saying, that there is no confession and no motive at this moment.

BALDWIN: Sorry for those four people and their families and neighborhood. I know they don't at all feel at peace, but how frightening for them for all this time.

Rosa Flores, thank you so much. We'll stay on this.

And, guys -- are these live pictures, I believe, they are.

Here we go. The president of the United States touches down in St. Charles, Missouri. Watching him shake hands as he has left Washington. We've know he had lunch with Republican Senators yesterday talking taxes. It was a huge victory for them as it passed through the Budget Committee. So he's now about to try to sell it to Americans, as he stands before a crowd in St. Charles. And away he goes momentarily. Listen, much of the political world is focused on these three jaw-

dropping retweets that he sent out this morning before heading out on Air Force One. They show anti-Muslim videos from a leader of this far-right group called Britain First. The videos, which CNN has not verified, purportedly show Muslims murdering a teenager, smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary, and beating a disabled boy. So they came from this woman Jada Franzen, this leader in Britain First, who has been convicted of a British hate crime. Just before leaving for Missouri, the president declined to explain his retweets.