Return to Transcripts main page


GOP Tax Plan Clears Major Hurdle in the Senate; Police Arrest Man in Connection with String of Tampa Murders; Royal Wedding Plans Revealed. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 29, 2017 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:12] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Senate Republicans clearing a major hurdle as their tax bill advances from the budget committee to the full Senate. A vote could happen as early as this week. But there is still a long way to go. So, do they have the votes?

Let's bring back Ron Brownstein and Chris Cillizza.

We have a list -- we can put up a graphic of the senators who were on the fence. But they have been -- most of them, some of them, I should say, such as Ron Johnson, appeared to have been won over --


CAMEROTA: -- during a lunch yesterday with the president, whatever the president promised or said in there.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The graphic shows, there are a lot of different categories of dissent.

CAMEROTA: Sure, and we don't know how the wild card John McCain is feeling today.

CUOMO: Unspecified.

CAMEROTA: Unspecified. Ron, how do you break down the chances of this thing passing?

BROWNSTEIN: I don't think this is where the rubber will really hit the road. It will be later. I think they will be able to get it through to the Senate at some point.

You know, the first year of the Ronald Reagan presidency, Republicans cut taxes. The first year of the George W. Bush presidency, Republicans cut taxes.

This is what they do when they have the White House in the first year. It's very different than health care in that I think most of these senators want to find a way to yes.

Now, whether they will be happy they did that, given that the bill has 2-1 opposition in polling, and it could raise taxes on a lot of suburban voters in the places where they are most in trouble already, that's a different question. But I do think they want to get to yes.

The big curveball, the reason why I said the rubber can meet the road later is they will probably need to impose some kind of trigger to get it through to the Senate that says we're going to raise taxes if the deficits don't -- if it doesn't produce as much revenue as we expect.

CAMEROTA: It goes back to the old way, if it doesn't produce the revenues as promised.

BROWNSTEIN: Right. We go back to the -- or some version, maybe not all the way back. It's hard to see a real trigger surviving a conference of any kind with the House. So that I think what Mitch McConnell may be betting on is do whatever you have to do to get through the Senate and count on the senators to buckle if you remove what they said they won later on.

CUOMO: A procedural question, why drawing out such a long horizon? Why don't they just abbreviated the period of the cut so that if they don't get to those later and they leave it to a further congressman --

BROWNSTEIN: They want to go the other way. They want to make it permanent. But, of course, under reconciliation rules, they can't. You can't increase the deficit --

CUOMO: But they could make it shorter.

BROWNSTEIN: They could make it shorter, but then they -- but that goes against -- their argument is you need permanence to generate the investment.

CUOMO: Right. I'm just saying that the reason they're getting beat up is because the longer you go out in the time horizon zone, the more they are saving in tax cuts winds up being reverse.


CUOMO: They could have abbreviated that problem, but they're seeing a different political calculus.

Chris Cillizza, a big issue on the table that deserves some chewing on this morning is Ron Johnson and what he wants. That he's saying -- You're not treating the little guy like the big guy. That's the mainstream criticism of this bill.

However, is that what he's talking about when he said treat pass- throughs, limited liability companies and partnerships of that kind, the way you treat the big company and that's helping the little guy? Do you buy that?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: It's easy as a piece of rhetoric because I think as you point out, Chris, If you say, wait, we need to treat them like these giant corporations, everyone says, yes, we do. From a policy perspective, it's a little less obvious how it would directly benefit the little guy candidly.

I think Ron Johnson will get something of what he wants to pass- throughs. I don't know if he will get everything. The fact that he voted for this in committee shows what we suspected, which is he is probably going to be a yes.

I think Ron Brownstein on makes the right point, which is these guy guys, they want to be yeses on this. You saw Susan Collins say, well, it feels like it's moving in the right direction. You know, it surprises me that Donald Trump went and took questions from senators, Republican senators for an hour yesterday and suddenly all their doubts about the tax bill were resolved.

I think they feel as though they have no choice but to get this. I think they are going to get a little bit here, a little bit here. McCain obviously I think no one knows. I think Flake and Corker both because of their concerns about deficit, as well as the fact that they are retiring, make them -- I think Murkowski is going to be for this.

I think most of the people you show on the list are going to be for it. I think it will be close. I think they will get it through.

I think Ron is right. Let's see what happens when it comes back from conference. Remember, the Senate Republican group is much more centrist and pragmatic. Just passing it through the Senate does not guarantee anything.

And I think the one thing that is dragging this is not really even policy. I think it's what they view as necessity. Now, necessity being they have to have something to go to voters with next year.


BROWNSTEIN: What's extraordinary about this bill -- I mean, you can look at the '81 Reagan tax cut or the 2000 Bush tax cut and say that it disproportionately benefit the rich and give relatively less to the middle class or the working class.

[06:35:09] This bill is different in that it raises taxes on half of the country and still increases by 2027 -- and still increases the deficit by $1 trillion. That is the size of the break it is giving to business and people at the top. So I think it is much more of a gamble than earlier tax bills in that there are actually losers. And a lot of the losers are concentrated in upper middleclass households, in suburban areas outside the major metros where they are hit by both the elimination of state and local taxes deductibility, possible limits on the mortgage deduction.

And as we saw in northern Virginia, those are places that are moving away from the Republican Party. A lot of Democrats were fearful that Republicans could buyback the loyalty of college educated whites who don't like Trump on personal grounds who are cutting their taxes. Instead, they are raising taxes on many of those voters and compounding the risks they are facing going into 2018 on this gamble that giving a huge tax cut to corporations will produce faster growth and produces higher wages.

CILLIZZA: Just one thing to add to Ron, the gamble piece. Let's not forget that in the Senate bill, the repeal of the individual mandate is in there. You talk about taking 13 million people who currently have health insurance and getting rid of that, basically fundamentally the size of the bill you have to swallow on the deficit. And that's not something that is going to go over easily.

Now, that targets a different group of people than the suburbanites that Ron is talking about. But still, I mean, we forget that is in this bill. Maybe it gets stripped out. Maybe it doesn't. You lose Rand Paul, the calculus changes.

This is a big risk they're taking. Not to mention the fact that the bill is deeply, as Ron has mentioned, deeply unpopular right now.

CAMEROTA: All right. Chris Cillizza, Ron Brownstein, thank you.

Later in the program we will talk about the political theater that we saw on display for the lunch matinee.

CUOMO: And, look, and very relevant, because, you know, as I like to tease on the show, do you hear that? That's the big voice of the Democrats trying to win back this working class that they lost to the Republican Party. This is all about the Republicans and their infighting.

Where are the Democrats making their case? Here comes the hate on Twitter. But still, it's something you have to think about.

And ahead on NEW DAY, we'll talk with Senator John Cornyn. Now, he is the majority whip. What does he think? Is this bill a winner for his party and why? His argument ahead.

CAMEROTA: OK, meanwhile, a suspected serial killer is in custody this morning in Tampa. Do police finally have the gunman who terrorized the naked for 51 days? We have a live report, next.


[06:42:02] CAMEROTA: We do have some breaking news for you. A gunman with a hostage opened fire last night from the eighth floor of a luxury high-rise condo in Reno. According to police, the unidentified suspect was killed by officers who burst into his room. No one else was hurt.

The high-rise is in the middle of Reno's most popular casinos. And, of course, that's an eerie reminder of the last Vegas two months ago. In a bizarre twist, investigators say the Vegas killer had a unit at that Reno complex last year, but they have not yet discovered any connection between the two.

CUOMO: More breaking news. Tampa police arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with a string of murders over the last two months.

CNN's Diane Gallagher joins us now live with breaking details.

They believe they have their killer.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Chris. Fifty-one days of really just terror in this community. Police canvassing the neighborhoods 24 hours a day. It all came down to one tip from someone in the community to put an end to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're bringing someone to justice who doesn't deserve the right to walk amongst us.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Twenty-four-year-old Howell Emanuel Donaldson now in police custody charged with four counts of first degree murder. Police in Tampa, Florida, detaining Donaldson at this McDonald's where he worked, after he handed a gun to a manager who then alerted an officer in the restaurant.

CHIEF BRIAN DUGAN, TAMPA POLICE DEPARTMENT: We received some information about Mr. Dom son having a firearm at the McDonald's. We said all along no tip is too small. Somebody stepped forward and gave us what we need.

GALLAGHER: Donaldson is accused of fatally shooting four people in the Seminole Heights area of Tampa in the last two months.

DUGAN: We're not sure why he was in this neighborhood. We're not aware of what his ties are. We don't know what his motive is.

GALLAGHER: October 9th, the first victim. Twenty-two-year-old Benjamin Mitchell, shot and killed in front of his home. Authorities releasing this surveillance footage of a person running near the scene of a crime, images of a man they call their suspect.

October 13th, the body of Monica Hoffa is discovered in a vacant parking lot less than a mile away.

October 19th, Anthony Naiboa is gunned down after taking the wrong bus home. He had autism and just graduated from high school.

And two weeks ago, 60-year-old Ronald Felton was murdered while walk to go a local church to help feed the homeless.

A terrified and grieving community breathing a sigh of relief now that the accused killer is behind bars.

MAYOR BOB BUCKHORN, TAMPA, FLORIDA: Tonight is the beginning of when justice will be served, and then the process will occur when this individual rots in hell.


GALLAGHER: And now, the big question that everybody has right now, Alisyn, is why did he do it? What is the motive? At this point police haven't given any indication of that. To give you an idea how big a deal this is in the Tampa area right now, the governor of Florida is making his way to visit with the police to congratulate them on catching this alleged killer.

[06:45:00] CAMEROTA: Absolutely. I mean, that was a terrifying mystery for so long.

Dianne, thank you very much for that reporting.

To sports now. For the first time in 13 years, Eli Manning will not be the starting quarterback for the New York Giants.

Andy Scholes has more in "The Bleacher Report".

What's up with this, Andy?


This "Bleacher Report" is brought to you by the new 2018 Ford F-150.

So, Eli Manning, you know, two-time Super Bowl MVP, he started 210 straight game as quarterback, second only to Brett Favre's legendary streak. But he is being benched after 2-9 start by the Giants.

He was emotional when speaking about the news yesterday.


ELI MANNING, GIANTS QB: I don't like it. But in football, you handle it and do my job.

It's hard. Hard day to handle this. But hang in there and figure it out.


SCHOLES: Former Jets quarterback Geno Smith will start for the Giants on Sunday. Eli started every game for the team since November 21st, 2004. The Cleveland Browns have had 24 different you starting quarterbacks. So, the world looked much different the last time, someone other than Eli was under center for the Giants.

Facebook just launched. George W. Bush had just been re-elected president back in 2004. And 52 million viewers tuned in for the final episode of "Friends".

And, Chris, you know, this likely is the end of the line for Eli as a member of the New York Giants. And a lot of fans, and actually just people in the sports world, not very happy with the way the team has handled his departure.

CUOMO: See Linda Cohn, how she's talking about it on Twitter, very respected sports broadcaster and journalist obviously from ESPN. I got to tell you, as a Jets fan, Andy, if you're pinning your hopes on Geno Smith --

SCHOLES: Not a good idea.

CUOMO: -- welcome to loser town.

Be well, my friend.

SCHOLES: All right.

CUOMO: All right. Royal wedding planners, start your engines. New details revealed about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day. When is it going to happen, where is it going to happen, what will Alisyn wear?

CAMEROTA: Way to sell it!

CUOMO: Our expert next.


[06:51:33] CAMEROTA: Chris Cuomo, listen up.

I have new details for you about the upcoming royal wedding, get out your calendars, everyone.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle -- I like the cutaway, the unimpressed cutaway -- Meghan Markle is scheduled to tie the knot at Windsor Castle in May.

Let's bring in CNN contributor and author of "Prince Charles: The Passion and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life", Sally Bedell Smith.

Sally, great to see you again.

SALLY BEDELL SMITH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be here. Good morning.

CAMEROTA: OK, so we have new details we need to share with everyone. You're in London. Very helpful as details break. They will be getting married at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle which seats 800 people.

SMITH: Right.

CAMEROTA: So a smaller affair than we had for Prince William and Kate.

SMITH: Yes, a little bit.

CAMEROTA: What else do we need to know about the venue?

SMITH: Well, it has a lot of meaning for the royal family, both solemn and happy. I mean, Prince Harry was christened there in 1994. His great grandparents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the queen mother buried there. It dates from the 15th century. It is filled with history.

The Prince of Wales who later became Edward VII was married there as were several of Queen Victoria's children. And Windsor as a place, Windsor Castle, has always been central to the queen's family. They have Easter there. And then when William and Harry were at school in Eaton College, which is very close by, they would often come up to Windsor castle and have tea with the queen and Prince Philip.

And then when he was serving in the Blues and Royals Regiment of the Household Cavalry, he was based in Windsor. So -- not at Windsor Castle but rather in the town. So, the officers' mess there, which I gather from my son-in-law who was in the officer in the British Army, it is quite a lovely place and they will have regimental balls in a tent next --

CAMEROTA: So lots of connections.

SMITH: Lots of connections, yeah. Lots and lots. So it's kind of home for him even though he never grew up there as his father and his siblings did. But it's a very comfortable place for him.

CAMEROTA: OK. Another development. I was very relieved to hear that the royal family will be paying for this.


CAMEROTA: It is a huge relief to Meghan Markle's family that they don't have to foot the bill. That must be customary for royal weddings.

SMITH: I believe it is. I mean, Prince Edward was married there, for example, in 1999, to Sophie Reese Jones. I have no idea how the costs were allocated. Obviously, Harry's father, the prince of Wales, wasn't married in a chapel because the rules prevented it at the time. That was back in 2005, but they did have their wedding blessed there.

You know, it just goes on and on. And it seems to me, it's quite the most suitable place for them to get married. Really, a happy place.

CAMEROTA: OK. A couple of other details. Meghan Markle, of course, is an American.


CAMEROTA: She will, it's been reported, become a British citizen.


CAMEROTA: She will take on U.K. citizenship. Do we know if she has to give up her U.S. citizenship?

SMITH: She does not have to give up her U.S. citizenship.

[06:55:00] My daughter went through the same thing when she married an Englishman. It's a fairly long process. It takes several years, probably three years.

But once you attain British citizenship, you are fully entitled to keep your American citizenship. Some people opt to drop it. But quite a few people remain dual citizens. It's quite commonplace.

CAMEROTA: OK. So, May is when we think this will be happening. We think the new baby, Kate and Williams' baby, will be born in April.


CAMEROTA: And can also be part of that celebration.

Sally Bedell Smith, thank you very much for the update on this exciting event.

SMITH: You're more than welcome.


CUOMO: I have an idea.


CUOMO: I hope they pack that church with veterans and the people they both reach out to. That would send some message other than the typical pomp and circumstance.

CAMEROTA: Well, that's interesting that you say that say they are trying to figure out what the public access will be and what the amount open to the public will be.

CUOMO: Well, not just public, as honored guests.

CAMEROTA: OK, I'm sure they are listening to all of your wedding tips and they will be doing it.

CUOMO: The president is watching. I'm sure they are as well.

Is North Korea's latest missile test proof that all of us in the United States could be within striking range? Is that just scary talk or is that the reality? Answer ahead.