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Kate Steinle Murder Trial; Big Roadblock With The Tax Bill. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired December 1, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: -- withdraws from plan and probably be the young healthy people that will raise the premiums on the exact part of population that the president said he was going to look out for.

REP. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: Unless we -- unless not having a mandate penalty allows those young people to buy plans which may not hit every wicket that the government has mandated under that penalty. And so I think it may provide us a window to allow them to have more cost options. I think we're going to have to address that in January and all for doing that.

CUOMO: You'll have to address it because it could also create unintended debts and incomplete care, and a strain on the emergency system that's just going to pass more burden on the taxpayers. But that's a separate argument for a separate day.

Congressman, thank you for talking about the tax plan and making the case for the people here on NEW DAY, you're always welcome, sir.

DESANTIS: Thanks, Chris, have a good one.

CUOMO: Erica?

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: And President Trump slamming the verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial. Now, the Justice Department says it may get involved here that's next.


HILL: New this morning, a Justice Department spokesperson says federal charges are now being considered against the undocumented immigrant found not guilty of murder in the 2015 shooting death of Kate Steinle.

[08:35:02] President Trump is slamming the verdict as a travesty of justice.

Here with us to discuss Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier who represents a portion of San Francisco where Steinle was killed. Congresswoman, I appreciate your time this morning.

First, I'm just curious, your reaction to both the verdict and also what we're hearing now from this DOJ spokesperson that federal charges are being considered? REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I was deeply disappointed in the verdict, but I do respect the jury system. They probably had a difficult time establishing intent, the fact that the Justice Department is now looking at whether it has options is worthy of our consideration.

You know, we are compassionate country. But if someone continues to commit crimes in this country, they don't have a right to stay in the country. And this gentleman was convicted five times of manufacturing drugs and possession of drugs in addition to having come back into the country four or five times. He shouldn't be here.

HILL: We'll continue to follow where that goes. I do want to shift gears here though and talk about something you've been talking about quite a lot these days, sexual misconduct allegations in Washington. Most recently, of course, we've been talking about John Conyers and where this should go from here. As I understand it, yesterday you did call for his resignation. What change for you?

SPEIER: Well, I have said from the beginning of the week that I believe the victims. And I think when the staffer who had the settlement, broke her nondisclosure agreement and went on T.V. to explain what happened to her. I was convinced that there is a pattern of conduct by Representative Conyers that is really without any fear of contradiction is that of a predator.

And I think that we cannot stand by as members of Congress and say we have zero tolerance and let -- then let someone continue to conduct himself in the manner that he has for many years with many of his staff. So I believe it's time to have him either resign or retire. But he no longer should serve in the Congress of the United States.

HILL: Well, a number of your fellow Democrats have said the same. We know that Representative Lawrence knot shoes on with me earlier this morning and I asked her about that. I want you to take a listen to what she had to say.


REP. BRENDA LAWRENCE (D), MICHIGAN: Mr. Conyers, for me, has a period of time to return from the hospital, get healthy enough to make that announcement, or make that decision. And we will be moving forward. You will be hearing from me. I'm not going to stand here today demanding, sorry not demanding, but talking about resignation when we have work to do.


HILL: Does her answer surprise you?

SPEIER: You know, everyone of us has the, you know, opportunity to speak up on this issue in a manner that we think is appropriate. And I respect Congresswoman Lawrence's opinion. I just don't agree with it.

HILL: And how much of this a discussion as well? There has been obviously bipartisan legislation brought forward. We have heard all from your fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, women about what they have dealt with for years. How much has John Conyers been a discussion for you with your Republican counterparts over the last week or so?

SPEIER: Actually it has been a remarkably bipartisan. And the legislation that I've introduced to reform the Office of Compliance has strong bipartisan support. Doing training without reforming the office is not doing anything. And so we really need to move forward with that.

I don't think that they have pointed out Congressman Conyers in particular, because they know there are members within their ranks that are going to be subject to the same kind of scrutiny sooner or later. And I do think that we have to make a very clear statement that we are not going to tolerate this. That we have an obligation to the institution, and that sexual harassment taints the Congress of the United States.

HILL: In terms of tainting the Congress of the United States, it's tough not to look at. Well, business may be done differently in Washington than it is in Corporate America, it is tough not to notice the disparity, and the difference in the way the allegations are being dealt with in private business or publicly held companies even versus in Washington. What is really going to change in the short term to make sure there is action that is more swift?

SPEIER: I think that we have the opportunity when these cases come forward to investigate them swiftly. It probably wouldn't be through the ethics committee. It would probably be through a different function. But we do have the authority to fine members, to sensor them, to reprimand them, or to expel them.

[08:39:58] And so is we need to take those steps in this new age of enlightenment that I like to refer to it as we aren't going to allow this to continue to happen. I can't tell you the number of staffers who have come to me on the floor or in the hallways of the capitol saying "We're so grateful".

I mean they have been living under this environment for so long. And they never thought it was going to change, and now they do think it's going to change.

HILL: It's important that there is some change, also as you point out, that that authority is there. A lot of voters would like to see it used. Appreciate your time. Thank you.

SPEIER: Thank you.

CUOMO: A little bit of light that would be nice to see. There's certainly a lot of heat, and a little light. They'll be nice to see is whether they change the structure for the tax pay or settlement.

HILL: Exactly.

CUOMO: Down here when they allow this. There seems to be paid and they pretend or know about. Great interview there. Thank you very much.

Senate Republicans hitting a big roadblock with their tax bill, what are they going to change? Can they change enough? David Axelrod, the Bottom Line, next.

HILL: Let's voting now underway for CNN's Hero of the Year. Here is one of this year's top 10 picks for you. Aaron Valencia and just remind you can vote for Aaron or any of your favorite top 10 heroes at


AARON VALENCIA, CNN HERO OF THE YEAR NOMINEE: Constant quarrels set me in my life in a little different direction. I started smoking meth at about 14 or 15. The first time I ever shot heroin.

Robbing and stealing, the judge committed me to a year of drug treatment. I walked into rehab and never looked back and my life completely changed. I opened up a small shop.

Oh you came here to work? That's what I like to hear.

Kids were kind of gravitating toward the shop to see what's going on. So it was like that's I'm here and they kind of should learn a trade and lesson, learn something to better their life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He tells us like to put the wheels on it. He inspired me because I always wanted to be a mechanic.

VALENCIA: We cater to foster at risk and low income youth in the community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not looking for perfection we're just looking for better than yesterday.

VALENCIA: We're just trying to be someone that sees where they're at right now and what they're going through and offer bit stability.

But then you guys ever thought than maybe you're out there in the world alone and nobody has got your back. There's a lot of people who got your back right now.

They're learning. They're somewhere positive. It was a win for all of us.



[08:46:45] CUOMO: GOP senators facing a trillion dollar problem this morning with their tax bill. Can they compromise? Can they get the changes and get it passed?

Let's get someone who knows the process and the Bottom Line, CNN Senior Political Commentator David Axelrod. Always good to see you, Axe. DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, man. Good to see you.

CUOMO: So, can they get this done?

AXELROD: Well, you say I know the process. I know a mess when I see one. They have a mess on their hands. You know, McConnell said it's a Rubik's cube. And you can see that now because they're -- having to satisfy so many people.

They need to do it on a partisan basis or they decide to it on a partisan basis. They've got no room to spare. And now the deficit hawks are at war with the radical tax cutters, and reality is setting in and whether they can solve this problem is, I think, an open question. I don't know that they know the answer at this hour.

HILL: Fair point. We're also looking very closely at the president and his state of mind and where he's at, not just, of course, when it comes to the tax plan but also his state of mind in general, stewing over Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson. We're seeing of course his retweets and everything at that strumming up.

How does that all factor in, David, at this point? What's your take there?

AXELROD: Well, I don't know it factors into this particular issue. I think there's some desperation of both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue at pass attack votes. But it is interesting.

He seems to get exercise every time rumors of Mueller and the hope bits of this investigation kick up. And that's certainly the case now with General Flynn apparently negotiating with the special counsel.

But, it's been a particularly volatile week. And what's interesting is it doesn't seem to affect his basis. He's hanging around 30 percent to 40 percent, you know, mid-30s really in his popularity, and it doesn't fluctuate much. So, he is not being punished for his behavior politically, but it is certainly a volatile time.

CUOMO: Well, whether he's just helping his game or off his game, you know, it's a matter of perspective. This morning he is tweeting that the tax, they will be fine if it weren't for obstruction as Democratic. He is Republican who are fighting. And then, of course, he retweeted his viral Muslim videos.

He got a warning from his own State Department. And at the same time, they're complaining about fake news. You discuss this with a man that is very trusted in America, Tom Hanks. Tell us about sitting down with Hanks and what he had to say.

AXELROD: You know, it was really -- and he's such an extraordinary guy, because he's a great actor but he is also a real student of American history and he's done a lot of acting and writing about that.

And he feels very, very passionately about the issue of fake news and the tactics on the administration to kind of undermine the credibility of news outlets. And he sees it as a fundamental constitutional issue.

CUOMO: Let's play a clip.


TOM HANKS, ACTOR: It's monkeying around with our constitution. And it's relatively obvious, I think, as what, you know, what he's trying to go for.

[08:50:02] When you tear down these institutions to a level so you can't believe anything that is any of them, that raises the stock of those agenda filled other institutions to whatnot, so that you can't believe them. Well, that means you get to believe some of other stuff that is in this.

And so what is happening is that the delusion of the great, you know, they're throwing dirt and oil into, you know, a bucket of water so it all becomes undrinkable after awhile.


CUOMO: What's your takeaway?

AXELROD: A lot of wisdom there. I think his admonition is very, very important. Great, it was a great conversation I hope people tuned in. Interesting, interesting guy.

CUOMO: Let's help him do that little promo action.

HILL: Shall we? You can check out David's full interview with Tom Hanks tomorrow on the AXE FILES. Be sure to tune in at 7:00 Eastern. David, thanks.

CUOMO: How about little GOOD STUFF on Friday?

HILL: I love some GOOD STUFF on Friday.

COUMO: That's GOOD STUFF. And we have even more next.


COUMO: GOOD STUFF, this is a good one an aspiring little boy from Indiana. It all starts with $20, OK, that's how it starts. A gift given to Zander Hite by his grandfather, but the 10 year old doesn't use the money to buy anything for himself instead he uses to the money to buy wood to build a 250 toy cars for kids in need this holiday season.


ZANDER HITE, INDIANA: I played with them when I was little and I thought they were fun to play with.


[08:54:58] COUMO: I mean, come on, his grandfather says it's a lesson that Zander will never forget.


DARL, ZANDER HITE'S GRANDFATHER: It's not something they're going to get in school anymore. Good job.

Z. HITE: Thanks.

D. HITE: I'm proud of you.


COUMO: Man, it's a lesson we'll never forget. You know, you got to thank the people who put that kind of beauty that grace into him, and you got just remember for all the tough stuff that we deal with, there are good people doing good things, even the youngest among us.

HILL: I always love the GOOD STUFF.

CUOMO: Right.

HIL: It's nice to be part of it today.

CUOMO: A little bit more goof stuff. How about this, we have a new member of the "New Day" family. Our editorial producer, Mike Cliola (ph) and his fiance Audrey (ph) welcomed the baby girl on Sunday.

Alice Jane (ph), 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Mom, baby, dad all doing well. Congrats to Mike, more picture of the baby. Let's see you mug. Beautiful kid, all blessings to you and the family.

HILL: That is the ultimate good stuff.

CNN NEWSROOM with John Berman picking things up right after this break.

CUOMO: Thank you.

HILL: Thank you.