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British P.M.: Trump "Wrong" to Spread Extremist Videos; John McCain Says Will Vote Yes for GOP Tax Plan; Paul Manafort & Rick Gates Working on Bail Agreements; Kushner Met with Mueller Team about Flynn; Erik Prince Testifies Before House Intel Committee on Russia Meeting; Jim Nabors Dead at 87. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 30, 2017 - 14:30   ET



[14:30:51] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: We are back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Relations are fraying with America's closest ally. British Prime Minister Theresa May says President Trump was wrong to retweet anti- Muslim propaganda. And now at least one British parliament member says President Trump ought to be locked up. This all began when the president retweeted videos first posted by this ultra nationalist group in Britain. One of the tweets, by the way, allegedly showing this Muslim migrant who is, in fact, a Dutch citizen. And after a proM.P.t rebuke from the British P.M., President Trump lashed out at her with a tweet, writing this, "Theresa May, don't focus on me. Focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine."

For reaction to all of this, I would like to bring in Liz McInnes, a member of parliament in Britain.

And so, Ms. McInnes, thank you for being with us.


BALDWIN: We know London's mayor and some British lawmakers are calling on the government to cancel the president's still unscheduled state visit. Are you in the group that believes the invitation should be rescinded?

MCINNES: Regarding the invitation, my feeling is it should have never been issued in the first place. I think the Prime Minister Theresa May was far too premature on inviting the president on a state visit. I think she's put the queen in a very difficult position. Because it is actually the queen who has to rescind the invitation. It's not in government's power to take the invitation away. The queen has to do it. And I think our prime minister has actually put the monarchy in the U.K. in a very difficult situation.

BALDWIN: Right. If it was a parliament invitation, that would perhaps be easier, because you could vote no. But this ultimately is up to the queen. How do M.P.s -- do M.P.s on both sides of the aisle, are they agreeing with you or are there some members of parliament who still believe he should come?

MCINNES: We had a discussion in parliament today about the tweets and about what actions should be taken. And I think there was outrage on all sides of the House. It was one of those occasions where parliament was united across the House. I think most M.P.'s felt the state visit should be canceled. I have real concerns about it in terms of the safety aspects of it. Because I think now I think if President Trump does come to this country, it could act as a focus for protests and unrest from right across the political spectrum in the U.K. And I'm really concerned about the cost of policing and the security it will create in the U.K. were he to come to the country now.

BALDWIN: Let me read something to you. I was reading the "London Times" today. This is a piece by the former British ambassador, Sir Christopher Meyer, who wrote in part, "To cancel the visit would give rude offense beyond Trump's core support. We have too many interests, economic, defense, intelligence, invested in the relationship to risk that, especially at a time when our relationship with Europe hangs in the balance."

Isn't he right?

MCINNES: That's a very measured response. And there is a lot in there that I would agree with. I think there is a way around this. And the way around this would be for President Trump to take down those tweets, straightaway. I asked in parliament today if anyone in the U.K. government had actually asked for the tweets to be taken down. The home secretary couldn't tell me whether that had been done or not. She said she would get back to me. But I think that's the first thing we have to do. We have to ask the president to take those tweets down. The second thing we need to ask him to do is to apologize. Because I don't think he understands the offense he has caused in this country by tweeting that far-right extremist group. The man who murdered my colleague, Joe Cox, was shouting, "Britain First," as he murdered her.

BALDWIN: I know.

[14:35:09] MCINNES: And that is the organization that the president of the United States is retweeting. And he needs to understand the offense he has caused in the U.K.

BALDWIN: One thing we have learned in this country is not many tweets are deleted, nor do we hear any apologies from this president of the United States. But perhaps this case could be different.

Thank you so much, Liz McInnes, for joining me all the way from London. Appreciate your voice.

MCINNES: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

We do have some breaking news from Capitol Hill. Word now that Senator John McCain, one of those wild card Senators within this whole Republican tax fight, says he now plans to vote yes on this tax reform package. So that's a huge, huge deal, potentially, for Republicans there.

Also, another milestone on Wall Street as the Dow crossed 24,000 for the very first time.

Back in a moment.


[14:40:23] BALDWIN: Republican Senators just got another huge boost as they barrel toward this vote on a tax plan. Senator John McCain one of the so-called wild cards, no one knew if he would be yes or no. He just said he would be a yes vote for this plan. In a statement, this is what the Arizona Senator writes, "I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long-overdue tax relief for middle-class families."

The full Senate vote could happen before the week is out.

Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell says he is confident that this will pass.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: We are on the cusp a great victory for the country, and particularly small business. We are going down the home stretch, headed toward the finish line either late tomorrow night or early tomorrow. What's in this for the American people and for small businesses is tax relief, an opportunity to hire more people and to build more of America and to get the growth rate up.


BALDWIN: Phil Mattingly is there on Capitol Hill, out congressional correspondent.

You can feel the excitement, the confidence in the Senate majority leader talking about a finish line. Does he have reason to be so confident, Phil?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, you can't overstate the boost that John McCain brings to the table. As you noted, one aide said he thinking this had been a black box over the last couple of weeks. Another aide said we can't leave this up to McCain. That's how worried they were. For reason of history. In 2001, 2003, voted against the tax cuts. With healthcare, he was upset about a bipartisan process, something this has been. But you noted, he has come around. And not only is that a boost for leaders because it's one more vote, but it gives them more space, Brooke. Because if you look at what's still outstanding, they still have to work on Senators. They can only lose two votes. You tick through what their issues are, you realize how close they are, but still some issues left. Senator Collins on the fence, clearly leading towards yes. Republican leaders have promised she will get what she wants on state and local tax deductions. She wants the property deduction put back into the bill. Matching what the House does. Capped at $10,000. Then you move over to Steve Daines and Ron Johnson. Their issue has been pass-through income, business entities that pass through their income onto the individual side, pay that tax rate. They're getting a big cut. That cut has been expanded from 17.4 percent to 20 percent. Is that going to be enough? That's still an open question. Then you talk about people like Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, James Lankford. Their issue has been throughout been the deficit. This is where things are most complex now, where negotiations as I speak are ongoing with staff and those Senators. What they are trying to do, Brooke, is implement some type of trigger mechanism. If the very rosy projections Republicans are tacking on don't end up panning out in the near term, this would trigger immediate tax increases. How that tax increase would work, would it be corporate, whether it be on the individual side, that's the open question. If they can smooth that out, and if it doesn't run a foul on Senate budget rules, Brooke, they are on track to get this done.

BALDWIN: We'll wait for the so-called vote-a-rama.

I think Phil it could happen Friday. You have a big week ahead of you before this is said and done.

Phil Mattingly, thank you, on the Hill.

Coming up, a story you first saw on CNN, a major player talking in the Russian investigation. The president son-in-law, Jared Kushner, sitting down with the special council team. What information he may have.

And just in to us, is former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, about to be out of house arrest? Word of a deal in the works with the Special Counsel Robert Mueller.


[14:48:35] BALDWIN: Just in to CNN Russia investigation here, former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has reached a bail agreement with the Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The key piece is the judge. So if this is approved by the judge, Manafort will be allowed to travel, but not outside the U.S. Court documents show Paul Manafort is putting up four of his properties, worth nearly $4 million, to back his bail. Also agreed to not travel out of Florida, Virginia New York, and D.C. Manafort has been under house arrest and GPS monitoring since he and his business associate, Rick Gates, were indicted for money laundering and conspiracy against the U.S., among other charges

Now the special counsel probe here now appears to be zeroing in on President Trump's inner-most circle. We told you first on CNN that Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, was questioned by Mueller's team earlier this month. And sources are telling us that meeting lasted just about 90 minutes. It centered on ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn. This comes as signs suggest Flynn could be talking a possible plea deal with the special counsel. Just last week, Flynn's attorneys notified the White House they would no longer be sharing information with them.

So Shimon Prokupecz has been over this. He's our crime and justice reporter in Washington D.C.

Reading through the tea leaves, does this mean that the noose around Michael Flynn's neck is tightening?

[14:50:01] SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Certainly does indicate that, Brooke. And this plea deal we've been talking about, possible plea deal could come at any time. Could come at any day perhaps. We don't have enough insight into it. But we do know that there have been discussions. And there appears to be ongoing discussions based on the fact that we know the communications between the lawyers have stopped. These are the Flynn lawyers or Trump lawyers.

And also, it's interesting, you know, that Kushner was specifically -- and this is what we were told, people would not tell us what other questions he was asked -- but for that 90 minutes, which is a relatively short period of time of time to be questioned by investigators, was asked about Flynn specifically and his relationship with Flynn and some of the Russian meetings. So certainly indication that the noose around Michael Flynn is tightening.

BALDWIN: Let me ask you also about Erik Prince, the Blackwater founder, who is younger brother of secretary of education, Betsy DeVos. He is testifying before this closed-door House Intelligence Committee hearing about this mysterious meeting that he had with an unnamed Russian in January.

So let me play a little bit of what he told Erin Burnett here on CNN back in August about this secret meeting.


ERIK PRINCE, BLACKWATER FOUNDER: I was there on business. OK? I was there meeting with Emirati officials and lots of other people there. I met a guy. And clearly the U.S. intelligence community felt necessary to unmask me and leak it to the media. But if the media and the obsession on the Trump/Russia collusion - it kind of jumped the shark, if they think I had something to do with that. Because this happened in January long after the election.


BALDWIN: So the meeting where he says he met a guy, you think that's coming up in this closed-door hearing, Shimon?

PROKUPECZ: I'm sure it is. And I'm sure he's going to give him that answer. That's been a big mystery during this and a question that many of us has been asking and investigators have been asking. Because again, it's another pattern where people are meeting with the Russians, connected to the Trump world and campaign. However, the Trump world would characterize some of these people, whether coffee boys or volunteers, somehow informal advisers, there just seems to be a lot of these meetings. Certainly, this is another one. And we do expect him to be asked about that. That meeting, the interviews should start around 3:00.

BALDWIN: Shimon, thank you very much.

PROKUPECZ: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Any moment now, we will see the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders take to the podium and answer a bunch of questions on what's going on with the White House, the war on words on the president and British P.M. over those retweets. Also growing speculation about this possible shake-up at the tip top of the State Department. Tillerson out, maybe CIA Director Mike Pompeo in. All of that coming up, next.


[14:57:22] BALDWIN: Jim Nabors, the legendary singer and actor, who stared as Gomer Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," has died.

CNN's Sara Sidner has more on his life and career.


JIM NABORS, DECEASED SINGER & ACTOR: Hey, Sergeant, it's me, Gomer.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jim Nabors is probably best remembered for his role as Gomer Pyle, the good-natured bumpkin who was the star of the 1960s sitcom, "Gomer Pyle, USMC."

NABORS: Well, first of all, my name is Pyle, Private First-Class Gomer Pyle.

SIDNER: Pyle first appeared as a character on "The Andy Griffith Show" before heading for the Marines.

NABORS: That's a good one, Andy.


SIDNER: Nabors said working with Andy Griffith was the happiest experience of his career, one that began as a nightclub singer.

NABORS: Andy found me in a little nightclub in Santa Monica. And I remember him saying after my performance, he said, I don't know what you do, but you do it very well. He said, if there was ever a part on his show, he would give me a call. And I had never acted before. And he called me about two weeks later and I read for the part, and I think he thought I was a little too far out. But he had a little faith in me, which, to this day, I'm so appreciative of.

SIDNER: The Alabama native's film credits include "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Stroker Ace."

Actress and comedian, Carol Burnett, called Nabors her good luck charm. He appeared in every season premiere of her long-running "Carol Burnett Show."


SIDNER: In 1984, Nabors contracted a near-fatal case of Hepatitis B. It was Carol Burnett who arranged for a liver transplant.

NABORS: Everything is wonderful. I seem in really good health. I've got a lot of energy.

SIDNER: Nabors returned to his first love, singing. During his career, he recorded more than two dozen albums. And what struck his many fans was the sharp contrast between Gomer Pyle's nasal twangy speaking voice and Nabor's powerful baritone.


SIDNER: For more than 30 years, he opened the Indianapolis 500 by singing "Back Home Again in Indiana." He made his final appearance in 2014, cited his failing health for making it difficult to travel.

In 2013, at the age of 82, Nabors finally married his best friend and partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader. They wed in Seattle just a month after same-sex marriage became legal in the state.

Though the actor never publicly announced he was gay, he said he never kept it a secret.

NABOR (voice-over): I wasn't ashamed of letting people know it.