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Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI; Senate Passes Tax Reform Bill; Analysts Debate Economic Impact of Possible Tax Bill; Woman who Lost Son in Police Shooting Interviewed; College Football Holding SEC Championship; CNN Hero Runs Support Group for Amputees. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired December 2, 2017 - 10:00   ET


[10:00:12] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate your company. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Saturday to you. President Trump says no collusion. This time he was responding to the news of his former national security adviser is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

PAUL: That news now overshadowing what should be a victory celebration for the White House this morning. And it is, according to the president. They're one step closer to major legislative win after the Senate passes its version of a tax reform. This happened along mostly party lines. Leaving the White House last hour, the president again promised tremendous tax cuts.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was a fantastic evening last night. We passed the largest tax cuts in the history of our country and many other things along with it, tremendous tax reform. But it was the biggest package in terms of tax cuts ever passed in our country.

Now we go on to conference and something beautiful is going to come out of that picture. People are going to be very, very happy. They're going to get tremendous, tremendous tax cuts and tax relief. And that's what this country needs.

One other thing, business tax, all the way down from 35 to 20. It could be 22 when it comes out, could also be 20. We're going to see what ultimately comes out. But we now go into what I call the mixer. And the mixer is conference. And out of that, the House Republican and the Senate Republicans are going to pick something that will be truly spectacular.

In addition, though, we have other things we approved last night which really make it some package. So these are the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country.


TRUMP: No I'm not. What has been shown is no collusion. No collusion. There's been absolutely no collusion. So we're very happy. And frankly, last night was one of the big nights.


TRUMP: We'll see what happens. Thank you all very much.


PAUL: So our correspondents and analysts are covering this from every angle. We start with CNN's Abby Phillip live at the White House. Good morning, Abby.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. You heard the president there really taking a victory lap on the tax bill, but also setting his own spin on the Flynn news, saying there was no collusion, repeating that multiple times to us as we stood there waiting for him to take off.

Now, the White House hasn't really said a lot about this, but Trump is clearly sending the message that their take away is Flynn's charges are different from the underlying issue at hand with the Russia probe, which is whether there was any collusion between campaign aides and Russians who were involved in hacking the election. The president says nothing that Flynn admitted to in that plea deal proves that there was any collusion going forward. He said he's not worried, in fact, they're happy.

On the tax front, the president is clearly excited about the prospect that he will finally get that big legislative accomplishment that he has been hoping for. He calls the reconciliation process between House and Senate the mixer and says that that process might shift some things around. That the corporate tax rate might go up a little bit to 22 percent, or it might stay at 20 percent. But he's pretty happy with where things are. And he thinks that the result will be something that will make people very happy because he says that this will be seen as a tax cut that is about giving businesses more money, giving middle class taxpayers more money at the end of the day no matter what the sort of details end up being by the time they reconcile the two, Christi.

BLACKWELL: I'll take it Abby. Abby there at the White House for us, thank you so much.

Let's go now to CNN correspondent Boris Sanchez. And Boris, the president is really trying to shift the conversation from the guilty plea entered by his former national security adviser to the tax cuts. You heard at the end of those remarks there, he's not worried, no collusion, but really last night was one of the big nights.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. This is supposed to be a victory lap for this White House. They've been working to get tax reform passed for months. And it is really a significant achievement considering the lack of other major legislative actions that have been passed by this administration.

For several months the president has been going around the country, also sending surrogates around the country as well, his own daughter, Ivanka Trump, the vice president Mike Pence making different stops to try to sell tax reform.

[10:05:00] The president went up to Capitol Hill on three occasions in a little bit over a month. He was on the phone with legislators from Mar-a-Lago trying to get this thing through, and they finally got something on the board. But now it's being overshadowed by the news that Michael Flynn not only is pleading guilty to having lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russians, but also that he's now cooperating with the special counsel. And so there are plenty of questions to be answered about how much Donald Trump knew and when he knew it.

Recall it was widely reported that President Obama warned Donald Trump about hiring Michael Flynn, and that shortly after the inauguration the acting attorney general, Sally Yates warned the president about Michael Flynn and connections to Russians as well.

Beyond all of that, on the president's schedule today, three different stops here in New York, two fundraisers. He's set to stop at a restaurant behind me in just a short while, already dozens of protesters outside set to greet him. He is headed back to Washington later this afternoon. And there is another major hurdle looming. Let's not forget that government funding dries up on December 8th, and it seems like Republicans and Democrats are pretty far apart when it comes to coming together on a spending bill. Don't forget, the debt ceiling also has to be raised, and there are major cards on the table including things like DACA and funding for children's health insurance programs. So there's still a lot at stake. But while this president is trying to tout his achievement, there is a cloud still looming over this White House.

BLACKWELL: Boris Sanchez for there in New York. Boris, thanks so much.

April Ryan, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Network is with us now as well as former U.S. attorney for the middle district of Georgia Michael Moore, and counterterrorism expert and analyst Phil Mudd we also have with us. So thank you everybody for being here. I appreciate it.

I want to touch on something that the president said when he was talking about the fact and he was asked if they were concerned about what might happen with special counsel Mueller and Flynn, and he said no I'm not at all worried. There was no collusion. If there is nothing for the White House to fear, April Ryan, why would Flynn enter into -- and we do know it was a plea agreement, with the special counsel? What does he have to contribute?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, let's take a couple steps back. Remember, a few weeks ago, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that they had heard that the Mueller investigation was coming to an end. That is truly not the case it looks like. And she backpedalled that day. Well, the next day she backpedalled, saying we are hopeful. So their hopes have been dashed.

When I talked to a Republican source who is very familiar with the legalities of cases like this as well as close to the administration says when there is a plea deal, they said there is going to be someone that Flynn could be giving up that is higher than his ranking. And the source said there are three people that he could be giving up, and that could be Kushner, that could be Bannon, and that could be Donald Trump Jr. So now the question is, what does that plea deal look like? Who will that be that person.

This is not a slam dunk for the president. The president is trying to continue a winning face, that everything is OK, but it's not OK. The question is what is that plea deal going to look like and who will be brought into the scope of this plea deal.

PAUL: Michael, expectation is that on one hand Flynn may be trying to protect his son, Michael Flynn Junior. But at the same time, when you look at the fact that he has testified that Kushner is the one that directed him to talk to or to have contact with the Russians, a lot of people look at that and say, why does Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, still have security clearance based on everything that has happened over the last four, five months?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Well, I think that's a good question. And likely he should not have security clearance, especially given the ongoing investigation and repeated calls back to testify about things that he omitted from his security clearance form.

I think what you have got to look at is in the whole context of this is about Mike Flynn's plea deal. Typically there's a theory that the better the deal, the bigger the fish. And it tells me when I look at it that very likely there's somebody up the line, that Bob Mueller already has got Mike Flynn's information in sworn testimony before a grand jury, recorded testimony, on the record testimony, that he's got the information he needs to move forward.

For months, remember that Donald Trump has called this a witch hunt. And really what we know from the plea agreement at this point is it is no longer a witch hunt but in fact Mike Flynn is going to tell us about a coven of witches that were located somewhere in the Trump transition office. So I think this is going to move on up the ladder, and I'm guessing that's why the White House, the administration is scared. And the tax deal seemed to be the way the president would talk during his presser there.

[10:10:03] PAUL: In the president's defense this is what he ran on, this tax deal. Phil, before we get that, I want to get to that in a minute, but I want to listen with you to Lieutenant General Hertling here and what he said in response to what we watched here in the last 24 hours with Michael Flynn.


LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, (RET) CNN MILITARY ANALYST: He went against the constitution of the United States. General officers, soldiers are held to higher standards. We are taught throughout our career to honor the values of things like duty, honor, country, integrity, respect, loyalty, selfless service. And America expects that of its general officer ranks because they give us their sons and daughters to defend the country. So when you have an individual who lies, who serves one individual as opposed to the constitution of the country, it just truthfully makes me a little bit furious.


PAUL: Phil, what's your reaction to that?

PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: I'm struggling to contain myself. What you're seeing is a conversation I think Michael just captured it brilliantly about what's going on the legal side. That's not why I bristle as a former intelligence officer and member of the executive branch of government. I go back to campaign when a former serving general in the U.S. military got in front of an audience and said that a political opponent should be locked up. That's what third world countries do. Michael Flynn should be ashamed not just for lying to a federal officer back in January, but we need to hear an apology for getting on the campaign trail in the American democratic experiment and saying that a rival candidate, whether you like her or not, should be locked up. That was shameful. No intelligence officer, no military officer should ever do that, ever.

PAUL: OK, I have to shift gears here. I'm sorry, try to get this in, we're talking about the big story of the morning, which is the fact that the Senate did pass its tax plan. Now of course it goes into this conference committee to try to be reconciled. April, what is vulnerable to being pulled out of this plan to get more votes on board and to pass it, what element?

RYAN: There's so many earmarks in this thing. Yes, there are so many earmarks going on right now with this. Who knows? To make this work and to give this president a win, the president wants a win. He's liable to do anything. But at the same time we have to remember when it comes down to really looking at the brass tacks of it, middle class could be hurt because, you know, temporarily they're going to get a tax cut, but that's temporary. The permanent tax cuts go for corporations. So we have to see how this all plays out. I have no clue, but to make this a win for the president, they are willing to do anything. This would be their first legislative win, and they are liable to do anything to make this work.

PAUL: Let's listen to Senator Rubio here. This was from February of 2016.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: The next president of the United States will not be able to complete one term without dealing with the national debt. It is a ticking time bomb. It is the most predictable crisis in American history.


PAUL: So we know that the debt is going to expand profusely based on this tax bill, based on all the numbers coming in from the CBO and what not. Michael, I want to ask you, how do Republicans reconcile that warning from Senator Marco Rubio with the tax plan they have in front of them right now?

MOORE: I don't know that they can with a straight face. The best advice I would give them is go talk to Bob Corker and see what it is like to have principle and integrity. He's the one who said he wouldn't vote for a plan that increased the deficit and he didn't do it. But apparently some people feel like it's more important to keep your job than it is to keep your word. And really I think that's what we saw with the tax plan moving through. It's going to be hard when these Republicans go back to their district to explain to the middle class voter why they turned their back on them. And I think at the end of the day that may come to play in both 2018 and 2020.

PAUL: April Ryan, Michael Moore, Phil Mudd, I'm sorry we've run out of time, but thank you so much for being with us this morning. We always appreciate your voice in the conversation.

BLACKWELL: No collusion. No collusion, the president said it twice. We're looking at live pictures here from New York. This is the president just boarded Marine One. You saw him land here live and walk across the tarmac from Air Force One in New York City for some fundraisers, we're told. But again, the president saying no collusion after Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. We'll discuss with a Republican and a Democrat what that means and if the president should be a little concerned.


[10:18:50] PAUL: Take a look. There's President Trump landing in New York just a little while ago. And he did speak with reporters this morning talking about the big tax plan that passed the Senate last night, and very briefly answered a question regarding mi Michael Flynn and whether the president is worried about what Flynn may tell Special Counsel Mueller. So let's listen to that again to what he said when he addressed reporters this morning just a short time ago.



DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, no, I'm not. What has been shown is no collusion. No collusion. There's been absolutely no collusion, so we're very happy.


PAUL: This comes as Trump's former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, a dramatic step in this investigation that has infuriated the president. Russia is brushing off Michael Flynn's guilty plea, calling it a sack of smoke and empty.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in Jack Kingston, CNN political commentator, former senior adviser to the Trump transition, and Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman. Gentlemen, good morning to you.

[10:20:06] Jack, I'm going to start with you, and just come right off the heels of what the president said there that his take away from a former member pleading guilty of lying to FBI was there was no collusion. How was that the takeaway from what we saw yesterday from Michael Flynn?

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Victor, it's the takeaway because for months now we've heard from Trump critics that any week now, any day now there would be absolute positive proof that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians. And now the only thing that seems to be -- that has teeth sunk in it is Flynn's lying to the FBI, which we all knew, which is why he was fired back in February. And so to me, you know, you can't collude if you're doing something during the transition which would have been possibly a violation of the Logan Act.

BLACKWELL: The investigation isn't over, right?

KINGSTON: It's not over. And we do not know what the plead was. When you go after somebody's son then you tend to make whatever deal you can to get away from it. But when you look at all the things you could have charged Flynn with, from representing the Turkish government and not reporting it properly, for giving a paid speech in Russia and not reporting it, for possibly rigging a kidnapping of cleric for $15 million, there was a lot out there. And to get him for obvious, which was lying to the FBI does not ring the bell of collusion.

BLACKWELL: But it would also --

KINGSTON: It just says he lied to the FBI.

BLACKWELL: But it would also suggest he could be a valuable witness in trying to flip to get someone else and that's why he was charged with only a single count of lying to FBI.

Let me come to you, Robert. The president also said there at the top of the answer that he's not worried about what Michael Flynn could tell the special prosecutor. Should he be? I mean, put aside what the president may know or may have known at the time of collusion or conversations, that question has not yet been answered. But the president also said several times there were no communications between his team and the Russians. We've seen more than a dozen times that that's not true. I mean, could the president not be concerned about what he doesn't know that his team was involved in?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it's what we know that should concern all of us and Democrats and Republicans. Let's remember, Victor, the president initially said there were no meetings with Russia. Now he's saying there is no collusion. Many of his administrators and his lawyers have said even if there was collusion, it's not a crime.

This administration, President Trump in particular, has pursued a strategy of trying to block and stop the investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. He fired Comey, admitted it on the air. He fired Comey because of the Russian investigation. He is documented in the media calling Republicans in the Senate and the House trying to get them to stop their investigations into the Russian investigation. He's gone so far as to actually take the KGB and Putin's position which said he can't prove, they can't prove there's any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign and Russia attacking the United States. He supported that position even our own intelligence officers and every intelligence agency in the country.

This is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It's an issue that should concern all of our country because our nation was attacked, our democracy was attacked, and the president doesn't have the character or leadership to stand up and want to address it. Quite frankly, he wants to cover it up.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's go back to Michael Flynn, back to February of this year, and the president at this news conference was asked about why he fired Michael Flynn. Jack, let's listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence. It's very simple. Mike was doing his job. He was calling countries and his counterparts. So it certainly would have been OK with me if he did it. I would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn't doing it. I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him because that's his job.

And it came out that way. And in all fairness, I watched Dr. Charles Krauthammer the other night saying he was doing his job. And I agreed with him. And since then I've watched many other people say that. I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him if he didn't do it.


BLACKWELL: The president says he didn't direct him here. Flynn said in this statement of offenses, or according to that statement that he was directed by a very senior person in transition. Sources tell CNN that was Jared Kushner. Do you think, Jack, and I don't know if we've ever actually had this conversation, that what Michael Flynn did was wrong, these conversations with Russians about the sanctions and U.N. vote on Israeli settlements?

KINGSTON: I don't really think it was. And the reason why I would say that, Victor, is this was a public discussion that these, this Israeli settlement resolution was coming up before the U.N. Everybody knew about it. It wasn't a top secret deal.

[10:25:05] And by the way, Russia ultimately voted for it which was a position country and not just what Trump would have wanted. I'm sure Obama as well. Actually I think the Obama administration was neutral on it, or at least publicly neutral.

But I think trying to reach out to foreign would be allies and people that you have to cooperate with, I think that that is pretty normal for a transition. And we know from WikiLeaks that in August of 2008 --

BLACKWELL: But Jack, the question here is not if this was something that was a normal conversation, but the Logan Act, although this law has never really been successfully prosecuted from the 18th century, that there's one government at a time. President Obama had a national security adviser and it was not Michael Flynn. Robert, let me come to you. Your thoughts on we're hearing now from Jack that it was OK to have that conversation.

ZIMMERMAN: Look, let me be very clear. I very much oppose what President Obama did by not standing up at the United Nations in support for Israel. But the reality here is that we have one government at a time. We truly don't know the full scope of the discussions that took place between Russia and General Flynn. I suspect it has a lot more to do than with justice Israel.

Frankly, Jack, just to correct you on one point, General Flynn was not fired by President Trump because he lied to the FBI. He was fired by President Trump because the media reported that in fact General Flynn had lied to Vice President Pence. And even though President Trump knew that for several weeks, he only fired General Flynn when "The Washington Post" reported it. So I have reason to believe he was fired --


ZIMMERMAN: Excuse me, Jack.

BLACKWELL: One at a time. Go ahead.

ZIMMERMAN: Excuse me. He lied -- he was fired because he lied.


ZIMMERMAN: The media disclosed it. Donald Trump knew it well in advance and didn't take any action.

The point, Jack, if I could finish my point. The issue here simply is we know that General Flynn did not disclose his conversations with Russians, lied about his discussions with the Russians, and I think a lot of evidence points to a pattern in Trump White House where they just refuse to disclose or they misled or they lied about time-share discussions over Russia's attack on the United States and Russia's collusion --

BLACKWELL: We have to wrap up there. Robert Zimmerman --

KINGSTON: As a good Republican, I have to remind you, it's not --

BLACKWELL: We've got to wrap there. Thank you, both.

ZIMMERMAN: Good to be with you.

PAUL: All right, so big win for Republicans on Capitol Hill overnight. Both the House and the Senate passed their version of tax reform. The Senate did it overnight. But how will it affect your wallet? I know that's what you're wondering. How much is it going to cost the government? We're talking about the numbers next. Stay close.


[10:32:20] PAUL: Always so grateful to spend part of our morning with you. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. There was absolutely no collusion. That's what President Trump said this morning just one day after former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the Russian ambassador.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I'm not. And what I've been shown is no collusion. No collusion. There's been absolutely no collusion. So we're very happy. And frankly last night was one of the big nights.


PAUL: Now that overshadowing a historic vote on Capitol Hill here because early this morning the Senate passed its version of major tax reform. This is a huge victory for the president who promised to give Americans a huge tax cut for Christmas.

BLACKWELL: Despite the Republicans win overnight the party still has a lingering deficit problem. Republicans say the bill will grow the economy and fill this deficit. But according to Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation, still cost a $1 trillion in 207.

PAUL: Joining us now, CNN senior economic analyst and Trump's former economic adviser Stephen Moore and CNN global economic analyst Rana Foroohar. Thank you both so much for being with us.

Stephen, I want to show you some video that we have. This is of John Tester of Montana. And he's looking at this plan. And you see the words that are scribbled there on the right side of the paper based on how we're looking at it here. He is trying to decipher what that is. Those are modifications we understand that are going to be debated, obviously, once the committee, the conference committee trying to reconcile both of these plans into one bill. Do you have -- can you give us any insight into what some of these modifications are going to be?

STEPHEN MOORE: First of all, let's start with the big picture. This was a very big win. I've waited 30 years for this. I worked for Ronald Reagan in the mid-1980s. We haven't cleaned out the tax system in over 30 years.

Now, this is not a complete tax reform. There's a lot of work that still needs to be done. And I also believe, by the way, that this is going to have a very large impact on the economy. The Federal Reserve of Atlanta just came out with their report yesterday that the economy now is growing at 3.5 percent. So we've gone from 1.5 under Obama, we're up to 3.5 now. And I think that this tax cut could potentially get us to 3.5 to four percent growth next year. That will have a gigantic impact on people's lives in terms of more jobs, higher wages. And by the way, you can't bring the budget deficit down if you don't have a fast growing economy.

[10:35:03] Now, to your question about the modifications, what happened last night was something called vote-a-rama where they have dozens of amendments to the bill. That's the way the Senate works. Now that it has passed the Senate it will go to a conference where the House and Senate will bridge these differences, where they will go over these amendments and decide what's in the final bill, what's not. And then there will be a final vote sometime probably in the next 10 to 14 days for the final passage of this bill.

BLACKWELL: Rana, to you. And I just took down the notes. I wanted to make sure I got them verbatim. More jobs, higher wages Stephen Moore promises from this tax plan that was passed by the Senate. Of course it has to go through conference committee before it gets to president. What's the evidence that this bill, that these plans that are passed will indeed create more jobs and higher wages?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: There's very little evidence. You know, Stephen and I have had this debate many times. But if you look at the last 20 years of tax cuts, 2001, 2003, the Obama era cuts, they did not produce real main street growth. What they did produce is an asset bubble because typically when you cut taxes on companies, they use that money to do share buybacks which artificially jacks up the market, it doesn't actually help on main street. And that's what a lot of economists think.

Stephen has been waiting for 30 years for tax reform. I'm worried it's going to take 30 years to dig ourselves out of a hole that's I think is going to be created by this really, to my mind, politically cynical deal. And I think if you look at a couple of things, the fact one of the reasons we were at the 11th hour or 12th really in terms of passing this legislation is that the congressional watchdog came in, the Joint Committee on Taxation, came in and said this going to produce a lot of deficit and you're growth projections are overly optimistic. That's what a lot of mainstream economists are saying. And really, I'm frankly very worried about what this is going to do to the deficit, and I don't think it's going to create growth.

PAUL: OK, so Rana, Is there anything in this plan you see to be positive? And will it simplify things? We keep talking about simplifying the tax code, simplifying the plan. If you simplify it, will we see, will that simplify us to decipher what works and what doesn't?

FOROOHAR: I will give conservatives a point and say that business in this country and individuals do have to deal with a very complex tax code. No question about that, but businesses complaining, look, we want to take the rate down from 35 percent to 20. Most businesses the average fortune 500 already pays 19 percent because of all the loopholes. Those have not been closed yet. We still have a lot of work to do just getting the Senate and House on the same page. So simple is only good if it actually works to get more revenue and produce more growth and I don't see that happening with this plan.

BLACKWELL: Stephen, let me ask you about an amendment that was proposed last night by Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee about the expansion of the Child Tax Credit, extending this to make it payable -- refundable against income taxes, I believe it is. It was voted down. I mean, the proposal was that to increase the corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 20.94, and this was voted down. I believe it was 21 to 79. That's something Republicans can't get behind. This is something the president's daughter has been championing from the White House?

MOORE: Well, first of all, we want to get the corporate tax rate as low as possible so we didn't want to vote on an amendment that actually would raise the corporate tax. Remember, when I started with Donald Trump on this, which was almost two years ago now, we wanted a 15 percent tax rate. We wanted to go from the worst tax system in the world for our businesses to the best. And then the compromise was 20 percent.

BLACKWELL: But this is a middle class tax cut. That would go to families, protecting 0.94 percent for corporations.

MOORE: Look, so we didn't want to raise the corporate rate. I do agree with Marco Rubio. I would like to see -- by the way, people don't even understand what it means this becomes refundable. What it means is that most of these households do not pay any income tax. They have zero income tax liability. So what the intention is to lower their payroll tax payments so they get a tax relief. And I don't have a problem with that. I think that actually might be a good idea.

I just think after we have this hard hit, hard fought battle to finally get our corporate tax rate down to 20 percent, which is, by the way, just a little bit below the international average, we didn't want to raise it. So what I told Marco Rubio is look, find a better way to pay for this.

One of the things I would like to see done is let's get rid of the state and local tax deduction for corporation. The small businesses lose the state and local taxes deduction, but the corporations don't. So that is something that might work. It would be a good fix and we can provide some more relief for the people at the lower end of the ladder. But for the middle class people, they're going to be able to save about $2,000 to $3,000 a year from the tax bill because of increase in child credit and the doubling the standard deduction.

[10:40:04] BLACKWELL: The work is not done. Of course it goes on conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions and we'll see what comes out of that. The president calls it the mixer. So we'll see what comes out of the mixer.


BLACKWELL: Stephen Moore, Rana Foroohar, thank you both.

PAUL: Thank you.

And we know taxes are complicated, obviously. There's some major differences between what the Senate passed last night and the House's version. So we have an in depth analysis for you on what it means. Just head to We'll be right back.


[10:45:00] BLACKWELL: These are protesters in midtown Manhattan. They are near Grand Central terminal awaiting the arrival of President Trump. The president is arriving for a thank you lunch at Cipriani's restaurant there in Manhattan, thanking donors, one of three events he's hosting today. These protesters protesting the tax cuts passed by the Senate overnight.

PAUL: Listen, three years ago, 19-year-old Rashad McIntosh was killed by a Chicago police officer. This case was closed within a year. But Rashad's mother wanted more answers about her son's death. CNN's Rosa Flores spent a year digging through police interviews and surveillance video about this shooting, but also she heard the human side of what this loss is. It's so extreme. We don't see this on TV so much. The waiting at the morgue, the burying a child, it's heavy. And it's really hard to watch, but Rosa is with us to talk about this investigation, and her piece "Beneath the Skin," we should point out. Bit what did you learn that really stayed with you, even today?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's been a year. We've gone there out of documents and a lot of emotion with these mothers. I think one of the things that I could never forget in my entire life now is these photographs of Rashad McIntosh, and knowing this mother saw these photographs and wanted to know why. She wanted to know what happened to my son.

And that's why she came to an organization like CNN, to try to find answers. And so I've been working with a group of producers for the past year. We have been following leads, following clues. It started with looking at what happened to his body because there were these very graphic photographs of him. Those clues led us into looking at the police investigation. We didn't even start looking at the police investigation. That's not where we started, but the clues led us there.

And now, like you said, it's a three part series on You can go and watch. But we want to share with you a little slice of this documentary. Take a look.


FLORES: About a year ago, I got a phone call from a woman who asked me to investigate a story. This happens all the time where I work.

Good morning, this is Rosa from CNN, how are you?

FLORES: The woman's name is Cynthia Lane. And in the summer of 2014, her son Rashad was shot and killed by a police officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice for Rashad!

CYNTHIA LANE, MOTHER OF TEEN KILLED BY CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER: He was begging on his knees, both hands in the air, begging please don't shoot me. Don't shoot me. He shot him anyway.

FLORES: But this story doesn't begin when the shots were fired. This story begins a few days after at the funeral home. It's about 5:30 and Cynthia is just --

LANE: Tired. Just exhausted. It's hot outside.

FLORES: She had had asked for an open casket for her son and had been shopping all day for a short sleeve shirt for him to wear. But the funeral director tells her --

LANE: He can't wear a short sleeve shirt baby. I don't know what the hell they were looking for on your baby. They said they butchered him like he was an animal.

FLORES: Cynthia says the funeral director was so worried about her, he wouldn't let her look at her son's body. He would only let her sister take photos.

Before you see them, I have to warn you, they are extremely graphic.


PAUL: And then, I don't even understand what happened to him just based on that little sliver that you're sharing. But thank you so much for it. Again, it's online, It's on CNN Go. We encourage you to watch it in full. And we're going to be watching it as well and talking more about it. Rosa, thank you so much.

FLORES: Thank you.

PAUL: I know this was a very difficult thing to do. It's so emotional, but thank you for sharing it with us. We're going to be right back.


BLACKWELL: It's championship weekend in college football.

PAUL: And Coy Wire has the best seat in the house. Hey, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. Look at this beautiful view. Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta where Auburn and Georgia, oh, my goodness. I've played in rivalry games. I've played in conference championships, but never both in the same game. More on this epic matchup in a minute.

But first how about this college football coaching carousel. It's been spinning like crazy. Yesterday national champion coach Jimbo Fisher secured the riches deal in college football history. In terms of total value he is leaving Florida State for Texas A&M and a fully guaranteed $75 million over 10 years. His now former quarterback Deondre Francois tweeted, quote, "no call, no text. You could have said something," unquote.

Now, there are a lot of coaching vacancies still out there. I caught up with SEC legend and former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, a quintessential leader, and asked him if he every sees himself ever coaching college football. Listen to this.


TIM TEBOW, FORMER HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER: One day. Not this day. A lot of other things. Couple homeruns I want to try to hit first.

WIRE: That's right, couple more.

TEBOW: Couple more. That's the goal. But one day because I love investing in young men and building them up and trying to fire them up and get the most out of them and the best out of them. So I can definitely see that one day as maybe trying to be a coach.


WIRE: Coach Tebow, it has a ring to it. Speaking of ring, let's take a look at some of the teams vying for one in today's conference championship action. The one we're going to highlight, though, right here in Atlanta between Auburn and Georgia and the SEC championship. The Tigers sent the dogs running away with the tail between the legs the first time around when the dogs were ranked number one in the nation. But sometimes a chance for redemption can be like fuel to a fire.

This is the deep south's oldest rivalry. Only three times since 1898 have the Tigers and Dogs not played each other because of World War I and World War II. So there's going to be a battle going on in this field here behind us in Atlanta at Mercedes Benz stadium at 4:00 p.m. eastern, and I cannot wait.

PAUL: Hey, Coy, thank you so much.

And voting is underway for the CNN Hero of the year. We want to know what you think. Here's one of this year's e top ten heroes.

BLACKWELL: Meet Mona Patel.


MONA PATEL, CNN HERO: We can either lay down and lit our circumstances overtake us, or we can take charge. Age 17 I was struck by a drunk driver.

[10:55:00] I vowed that once I got back on my feet I would start a support group. And 30-60 amputees get together once a month and share stories of strength and resilience. Doctors, case managers call me to provide individual support, and then also we provide prosthetic limbs to those that have no access to any other options.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I met Mrs. Mona the day before my surgery. She told me what I'm going to be able to do when I'm done and how she climbs mountains with one leg. She is like a super hero.


PATEL: We're stronger than any circumstances, truly.


BLACKWELL: Vote for your favorite top ten heroes right now on

PAUL: And we hope you make some great memories today. Thanks for sticking with us here. Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield is coming up.