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New York Governor on Prepaying Property Taxes; Moore Files Lawsuit; Inspiring People Shares a Barber's Story; Trump Touts Record; Officer Rescues Boy From Frozen Pond. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET
Aired December 28, 2017 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Local tax deductibility and uses that money to finance the tax cut in the red states.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So it --
CUOMO: This is the most partisan, divisive legislation we've seen.
CAMEROTA: So it's payback, you think, for the blue states not voting for the president?
CUOMO: Look, there's always politics in crafting of legislation. But this was an egregious, obnoxious -- what the Senate was saying is, because we have no senators from the blue states, we don't care. So let's pillage the blue to give to the red. That's never been done in this nation before. That's partisan politicking over any semblance of good government.
And, by the way, you want to hurt New York? You want to hurt California? They're the economic engines. How are you going to grow the economy after you put a dagger in the heart of New York and California? It's all politics all the time.
CAMEROTA: So how does New York fight back? What do you plan to do about this?
CUOMO: Well, they are challenging our structure of our tax code. We're going to -- we're going to propose a restructuring of our tax code. I'm not even sure what they did is legal and constitutional. And that's something we're looking at now. And then ultimately --
CAMEROTA: What does that mean? Why wouldn't it be legal to change the tax code?
CUOMO: You can change the tax code, you can't penalize my state because of its political affiliation. There's never been a double taxation before in the history of the nation. So there are legitimate grounds. Now if they own the courts, it might be harder.
And ultimately, Alisyn, look, there's democracy. And people know what happens. Look at your pieces. You have thousands of people lining up on a holiday weekend to prepay their taxes. Do you think they're going to forget? Do you think they don't understand what has happened here? They know exactly what has happened. And they're going to remember because you're hurting them right in their pocket book.
And democracy ultimately works. And maybe it worked for the Senate because they don't have any Democratic senators in these states, which is the epitome of political arrogance. But there are Republican congressmen, there's a Republican president who has to run in these states and these people are not going to forget.
CUOMO: OK, Governor Andrew Cuomo, great to see you. Happy New Year.
CUOMO: If I might add, Alisyn, there's -- the show has been especially good over the past few days. I don't know exactly what it is, but there's a lightness and a joy to it that really is remarkable.
CAMEROTA: Wow, thank you for that. I don't know what it is either, governor, but I knew you were going to get in a comment about the missing Cuomo brother. So, thank you for that.
CUOMO: I have to go now. I'm going on safari.
WEIR: He outed his brother's location.
CAMEROTA: I know he did.
WEIR: Hey, if I can benefit from sibling rivalry, I'll take it. I'll take it.
CAMEROTA: Yes, there you go. Governor, thank you.
WEIR: Thank you, governor.
Coming up, accused child molester Roy Moore will not accept defeat in Alabama. He's suing to try to stop the state from certifying his opponent as the winner. What will Alabama's secretary of state do? We will ask him here live next.
[08:36:32] CAMEROTA: OK, now to the story we've been covering all morning. Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is fighting back in a lawsuit filed overnight. The accused molester has alleged election fraud in this hotly contested Alabama Senate race that he lost. Roy Moore wants today's certification, which would name the Democratic challenger, Doug Jones, the winner officially, he wants this postponed. So what is going to happen? We've been trying to reach Alabama's secretary of state, John Merrill, and we have successfully done so and he joins us live now by phone.
Mr. Secretary of State, thank you very much for being with us.
JOHN MERRILL, ALABAMA SECRETARY OF STATE (via telephone): Alisyn, thank you for having me as your guest once again.
CAMEROTA: I really appreciate having you because you are the source that can put all of this to bed. Do Roy Moore's claims of election fraud have any merit?
Mr. Merrill, this is --
CAMEROTA: Hi. I lost you for a second. Can you hear me?
MERRILL: Hey, we just -- Alisyn, I'm sorry, something just happened with the phone connection. Forgive me, but I don't know if that will happen again.
And I believe what you were asking me is, will this affect anything.
The short answer to that is, no, Doug Jones will be certified today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 p.m. Central Time. The governor, Kay Ivey, our attorney general, Steve Marshall, and I will meet in the office of the secretary of state, in the executive office, and we will sign the documents certifying him as the senator for the state of Alabama. He will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on the 3rd of January when the Senate returns.
CAMEROTA: Mr. Merrill, thank you very much for that breaking news.
MERRILL: Yes, ma'am.
CAMEROTA: Thank you for clarifying that for our viewers that Roy Moore, you believe, that his claims of election fraud do not hold water. How did you reach that conclusion?
MERRILL: Well, and let me say this, Alisyn. I think it's important for you and your viewers to know that any citizen has the opportunity to submit an allegation of voter fraud that they've witnessed or that they've observed or that has been reported to them. And we'll investigate those. We've already had well more than 100 that have been reported to us. We've adjudicated more than 60 of those. And we will continue to do that. So when --
CAMEROTA: But when you say you've adjudicated them, what did you find? If you had 100 claims of voter fraud and you've looked into 60 of them, what did you find?
MERRILL: Well, let me give you the four top ones that we've had very briefly. Number one was that there was a town called Borderlama (ph) in Alabama that has 5,000 plus folks that live there that 2,000 -- I'm sorry, 2,000 plus folks that live there and 5,000 of those people voted. Well, that's a flat out lie because there's not even a town named Borderlama in the state of Alabama.
Alisyn, can you hear me?
CAMEROTA: Yes, I can. I can. OK. So I see -- I see what you have to do. You go through each one of these and you --
MERRILL: Alisyn, can you hear me? CAMEROTA: I can. Can you hear me, Mr. Merrill? Mr. Merrill? Technology
is failing us right now.
Mr. Merrill, can you hear me?
OK, here's the recap.
We just had the secretary of state -- we're going to get him back as soon as technology stops failing us. He says that he is not giving any credence to Roy Moore's attempt to file this lawsuit claiming election fraud in the state of Alabama. He wanted not -- he wanted his opponent, Doug Jones, not to be certified. But you just heard from the secretary of state, John Merrill, he said that he will be certifying the Democrat, Doug Jones --
[08:40:14] WEIR: Right.
CAMEROTA: Today at 1:00 p.m. local time as the winner. He will be the next senator from Alabama.
WEIR: It's interesting that he's had dozens and dozens of claims of voter fraud. One of them he actually investigated was an interview that was done at the victory party where one of Doug Jones' supporters said, hey, we came from around the country, we rallied, and we got our boy to win. They thought, well, wait a minute, are you an Alabama voter? He claims he did look into that claim. The man was --
CAMEROTA: And it turns out they were just volunteers bringing people to the polls.
WEIR: They were just -- he was -- he had misspoke, but the man had lived in Alabama for a year, was legitimate there.
But bottom line is, Roy Moore's last gasp at holding on to yet another recount is dead.
CAMEROTA: That's right. Today at 1:00, Doug Jones will be certified in Alabama as the next U.S. senator.
WEIR: Meanwhile, President Trump is touting a record year of lawmaking, but is he telling the truth? We will fact check his claim, next.
CAMEROTA: Also, a young barber in Philadelphia decided the best way to help the homeless would be to do what he does best, cut their hair. His one-man crusade soon turned into something rather unexpected as you'll see in today's "Inspiring People."
BRENNON JONES, HAIRCUTS 4 HOMELESS: My name is Brennon Jones and I created Haircuts 4 Homeless.
SEAN JOHNSON, OWNER, TAPER'S BARBERSHOP: Hi, I'm Sean Johnson, the owner of Taper's Barbershop. JONES: I was out in downtown Philly, and Sean approached me. He thought I was a random barber just out there just cutting hair. He asked me before he left, so what are you going to do during the winter months? I really didn't have an answer.
JOHNSON: So I went back downtown. I told him about another place that me and my fiance owned. And it was fully furnished. We had intended on turning it into a barber shop or a salon. And I invited him up there because it was just sitting and what he was doing is a wonderful thing.
JONES: And he said, how much do you like it? I said, I love it. So this allowed me to be able to do what I needed to do.
Mondays -- makeover Mondays for the homeless.
JOHNSON: Seeing a homeless person get a haircut, that makes me smile. Anything can change from there.
JONES: I don't get paid. I don't get nothing for it. But the thank you, the smiles, the happy faces, that's, you know, that's something that money can't buy.
Good luck tomorrow.
[08:46:48] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, one of the things that people don't understand, we have signed more legislation than anybody and broke the record of Harry Truman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: That is President Trump at a firehouse down in West Palm Beach touting a legislative record as the most successful of any president ever, breaking Harry Truman's record. Well, it turns out, that's so far from true, it's kind of laughable.
Here's a look at the flowchart here. Mr. Trump has signed bills. It turns out they're the fewest of any first year president going all the way back to Truman. JFK is the one who holds that record there. But Trump doesn't even eclipse Obama or Bush 43.
Joining us now to talk about this and his day of golf is CNN political commentators Ben Ferguson out of Dallas and Ana Navarro from Miami.
Happy birthday, Ana.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you. Now say it to me in Spanish. You know I like things in two languages.
WEIR: Feliz cumpleanos. NAVARRO: Good enough.
WEIR: Happy birthday.
NAVARRO: You get an A for effort.
WEIR: I'm still -- I'm still trying.
NAVARRO: Thank you.
WEIR: I'm still trying with my Rosetta Stone lessons. But good to have both of you.
Ben, start us off. Try to defend what the president said there yesterday.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, there's certain times that facts are just facts. I don't know if the president was implying how many executive orders that he had signed and undone, a lot of the regulations and things that President Obama had done. Maybe he was taking those into consideration.
But the reality is, is the numbers that you looked at and the numbers about actual legislation, clearly he did not sign the most legislation ever. I'm not going to defend that. I don't know, again, if the president was talking about all the times his signature had been signed to undo regulations and undo things through executive order, which he has done an awful lot of that in his first year to undo so many of those executive orders from Barack Obama. Maybe that's where he got his total number from.
WEIR: Yes, Ana, much of the Trump campaign is about a feeling. You can say the crime rate is the highest ever in a certain place because it feels right. And he's held up a lot of signatures at the desk there, the resolute desk, that feels like that's the case.
But let's look at the promises kept and unfulfilled. We have a list to show you there. He has managed to get a new tax law, withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change, Keystone pipeline's green lit, reversal of all those environmental restrictions and calling Jerusalem's Israel's capital. But among the list of things he did promise that still remain unfulfilled, the border wall, infrastructure, Common Core, bringing jobs back, improving U.S./Russia relations, bringing back torture, building up Guantanamo Bay, Muslim registry, repeal and replace.
What are your thoughts on his puffery over the most ever?
NAVARRO: Well, this is Donald Trump, right? I think that whether he's president or not, he will never stop being the braggadocios promoter in chief, the TV producer who measures things by rankings and rankings and those kind of things matter in his head.
He started the year by lying. He lied about having the biggest inaugural crowds in history, when we could plainly see that that was not the case. And he's ending the year by lying. Lying about having the most legislative accomplishments.
[08:50:00] It really is kind of a stupid thing to do. I mean, you know, he has legislative accomplishments. He has accomplishments. He got a Supreme Court justice through. He got this tax bill through. He has done actually some of the things which he promised in the campaign. He could have focused on that without having to -- you know, he's continuously having to measure himself against other presidents. It's like a daily occurrence with him. He's -- you know, he's got presidential envy and has got to, you know, continually measure, I don't know, the size of the hand thing. I don't know what it is in his head, but he's got this thing that he does over and over again, which distracts from actually some of his campaign promises that have been delivered on and some of his accomplishments.
I also think it's inappropriate to go to a fire station and tout his own accomplishments as opposed to spending the time thanking first responders, thanking people who wear the uniform, who put themselves in harm's way to serve our communities and our country.
FERGUSON: But with all due respect there, look, there's a lot of conversations that happen with presidents at different backdrops where many times they do thank people. I don't think Ana can say declaratively that he didn't thank any of the first responders that were there, because if you've ever been around Donald Trump or watched him, whether it be around military, men and women that are wearing a uniform or a badge, clearly he loves them, clearly he thanks them. I mean I've never seen him around anyone that is working as -- in law enforcement, EMT, fires, rescuers, whatever it may be, firefighters, where he does not thank him. I think that's a cheap shot to imply that somehow that was an inappropriate moment. Let's also be clear --
NAVARRO: No, Ben, I didn't --
FERGUSON: But, hold on, you said that it was -- it was wrong for him to be there and to talk about his own accomplishments.
NAVARRO: I do think so.
FERGUSON: I don't think there's anything wrong with any president going and making a statement anywhere he wants to. He's the president of the United States of America, because he's going to be at different places at different things talking about different issues. But to somehow imply that he didn't thank people on the ground, that -- I just don't think it's true. I also think it's a very, very cheap shot at the president.
NAVARRO: Well, two -- two things. Number one, I didn't imply he didn't thank them. I said that it was inappropriate for him to go be -- and puffing himself up while he was there. He did -- we saw him do exactly the same thing at CIA headquarters where he went and re-litigated the election instead of focusing just plainly on thanking the CIA, heroes and who had sacrificed their lives.
And let's remember, Ben, that it wasn't but a few weeks ago when the chief of staff and when the White House was viciously attacking Congresswoman Fredricka Wilson for having been at a ceremony for the naming of an FBI building and focused on her own accomplishments. But -- and, by the way, I agreed with him. I think she should have focused on talking about the FBI heroes then.
So, you know, it's not good for Fredricka Wilson to do it, but Donald Trump can go and do it? Let's be consistent here.
FERGUSON: No, those -- those are -- I think those are two different circumstances. One, she was talking about how she got the funding for -- for the event there.
NAVARRO: Of course you do.
FERGUSON: No -- well, no, there is two different things. Do you even know what the context of where he was at the fire station was compared to what she was saying, which was, she was involved in the funding for that project. I think they're very different circumstances. And I understand --
NAVARRO: Well, listen, we have a differing of opinion here. I think that when you're going to go speak to first responders and people who risk their lives to defend communities and countries, you should focus on them, not yourselves. I think there's a place and time to go talk about your own accomplishments. Maybe an end of the year press conference.
FERGUSON: I -- and I -- and here's what I'll say.
NAVARRO: I don't think that's the right backdrop. You and I have a difference of opinion on that.
FERGUSON: Having -- let me say this, having a father who's in -- who is in law enforcement, spent his lifetime wearing a badge and helping others, I have seen an awful lot of politicians with Republicans and Democrats and independents who have come there, talked to them, talked about the year, talked about accomplishments, talked about where they're going and moving forward. And I think when the president's there and he's talking about the year in review --
FERGUSON: Talking about all of the things that he's accomplished in this last year, the audience there wants to hear from the president what's going on and where we're going moving forward. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
WEIR: Ben, Ana, we're going to have to --
NAVARRO: All right, bottom line is, he lied at the beginning of 2017 and he lied at the end of 2017. At least he's consistent all year through.
WEIR: We'll give Ana a birthday final word.
Thank you both so much for that. FERGUSON: Thank you.
WEIR: And while we were talking, we got confirmation that the president will play golf again today. Third day in a row. The 88th time since taking office.
"The Good Stuff" is coming up next.
[08:56:38] CAMEROTA: OK, we have a very special "Good Stuff."
On Christmas Day, an eight-year-old boy who was chasing his dog on a frozen pond in Utah, he fell through the ice into the freezing water. Another child who watched it happen ran to get help. But the minutes ticked by until a sheriff's deputy arrived and decided to go in the freezing water after the boy. He stripped off his police gear. He broke through the ice with his fist and his feet and he pulled the boy to safety.
Sergeant Aaron Thompson of the Washington County, Utah, Sheriff's Office joins us now.
Sergeant, this is a Christmas miracle. Can you just explain to us, when you got this call of a drowning in this pond and you got there how you were able to find the boy in the ice?
SGT. AARON THOMPSON, JUMPED INTO FROZEN POND TO SAVE EIGHT-YEAR-OLD: Well, I could see when I arrived on scene kind of -- the broken ice, where the boy went through. And there was another lady on scene that confirmed that that was the spot. And as I broke through the ice, she put me in the right place to be able to go down and find that young man.
WEIR: How deep was the water, sergeant?
THOMPSON: Well, the water was over my head. It was -- I would estimate probably about seven -- seven and a half feet deep. I did dive down to the bottom, so I could, you know, find out how deep it was to make sure that I didn't miss him underneath me.
CAMEROTA: You dove down into 37-degree water. And how hard was it to find this eight-year-old named Jason down there?
THOMPSON: It was -- it was difficult. The conditions were extreme. And, you know, towards the end of the time in the water, I knew that -- that I was, you know, starting to struggle and I -- I knew I didn't have much time left. And it was a last-second save.
WEIR: This -- I had this experience myself. I went through the ice with -- I was walking with my daughter.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my God. WEIR: But actually -- but hit the bottom. It was only about chest deep. So I was able to jump back out immediately and get warm within a minute of the time.
You risked hypothermia. You risked life and limb. How -- you know, how incapacitated were you when you got this boy out?
THOMPSON: Well, you know, I really wasn't that incapacitated. I knew what I was getting into. I was a rescue diver with the Washington County Search and Rescue for several years. I've dove under the ice before. I have trained for that. I knew what I was doing. I just didn't have my equipment with me. And so I had to go it alone.
CAMEROTA: Sergeant, how long do you think that this eight-year-old boy was in the water?
THOMPSON: You know, we really don't know the exact timeframe, but from all accounts we're estimating that he was under the water about 30 minutes.
CAMEROTA: He was under the water for 30 minutes. How did he survive? And today he's responding and he's going to make it. How is that possible?
THOMPSON: You know, it is incredible. Just due to the water temperature, the water was so cold, he's -- he's a very healthy young man and it was clear water and all of those things were just paramount in him recovering and his survival in this case.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. Well, his family, listen, his family, they don't want to go on camera but they thank everybody for their prayers, they thank you for saving their son's life and they call it a Christmas miracle. Have you talked to them?
[09:00:01] THOMPSON: I have. Jason's father reached out to me a couple times now, just expressing his gratitude, you know, not only towards me, but towards all first responders, the doctors, the nurses, the life-flight crew, the paramedics, the firemen, everybody was there.