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Trump's Health Exam; Teen Escaped Through Window; Stopgap Bill Votes. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 17, 2018 - 08:30   ET



[08:32:26] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump getting a clean bill of health. The White House physician did say the president is overweight and does not exercise enough. But, overall, he said his health is excellent.

So let's discuss with CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Dr. Kevin O'Connor, who also Vice President Biden's physician.

OK, gentlemen, it's great to have you here because you see different findings and conclusions in the data and in the results that the -- the exam results that you saw.

So, Sanjay, let me start with you.

Here is President Trump's official body mass index. He is reportedly yesterday, 6'3" tall, though that is different from previous official exams where he was 6'2". So somehow he has grown while being in the White House. And his weight was 239, meaning his body mass index is 29.9. What do you see here?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, you know, this is -- this is math -- this is based on the numbers that Dr. Jackson provided. And, you know, this is a body mass index ratio. It's -- a body mass index is not a perfect ratio by any means, but it is a good sort of indicator. And at 29.9 means someone is overweight. Thirty, just to give you a little bit of context, means someone is obese. So --

CAMEROTA: OK, so he is that -- that 0.1 away from being in the obese category?

GUPTA: That's right. So, you know, borderline obese I think is what -- is how many doctors would probably describe that.

CAMEROTA: Dr. O'Connor, what do you see in what happened yesterday in the results?

DR. KEVIN O'CONNOR, FORMER PHYSICIAN TO VP JOE BIDEN: Well, as far as the results, potato/potato. Somebody is overweight or they're not overweight and I really don't get hung up on a point here or a point there. I don't think they're --

CAMEROTA: But don't you think it's significant if he were in the obese category?

O'CONNOR: It would be a significant word. You know, nobody wants to hear that word. Nobody wants to see that on their chart. But how you would treat it, no, that's not a huge difference.

CAMEROTA: But, Dr. O'Connor, do you think that the president's clean bill of health, that he did pass with the flying colors that the White House doctor was saying, or did you see some -- any warning signs?

O'CONNOR: I didn't see anything distressing. I view physical exams, they're either reassuring or non-reassuring. And President Trump's exam, by all of the information that Dr. Jackson gave is -- seems to be reassuring.


O'CONNOR: There are certainly different colors to paint it with. You -- there's room to grow. I want him to be much more fit. Sleeping better would be a much -- you know, a good thing for him. But it sounds like Dr. Jackson's plan seems to be addressing them and now it's just a matter of compliance.

[08:35:04] CAMEROTA: Sanjay, correct me if I'm wrong, but you did see some troubling signs when you look at the data. So let me put up for everybody. There's this thing called the calcium score. If you have high cholesterol, your doctor sometimes encourages you to get a calcium looks to see if the plaque is already building up in your arteries.

So in 2009 the president's calcium score, before he was president, was 34. In 2013, before he was president, it was 98. Today it's 133. And as you see from the little cheat sheet, fine print below, a score of over 100 means a high risk of heart attack or heart disease within three to five years. What do you make of these findings?

GUPTA: Well, I mean, that's concerning. I mean I agree with Dr. O'Connor on this point, that you want to take patients at this point in time. And I think what Dr. Jackson was saying yesterday in the White House was, we've assessed the function of President Trump's heart. They did an echo cardiogram, they did a stress test and there was not cause for concern there.

But when you look at the findings you just put up there, Alisyn, there coronary calcium score is a score that a lot of cardiologists use to try and be predictive and be proactive. And if the number gets up at over 100, that is concerning to a lot of doctors. It's concerning because you can start to say, well, if you do nothing different, if you -- if things don't change, you can start to predict the likelihood of having some sort of heart event, cardiac event, a heart attack or something like that, within a certain number of years.

And you see the trajectory of President Trump's numbers. No doubt -- and I think Dr. Jackson alluded to this -- based on -- because of his diet and because of his lack of exercise, that would be part of the reason those numbers have likely gone up. And they have continued to go up despite the fact that he's been on medications. So the president has heart disease. Those numbers qualify him for

having heart disease. And it clearly needs a plan to try and prevent some sort of heart problem down the road.

CAMEROTA: Dr. O'Connor, does the calcium score concern you?

O'CONNOR: It concerns me, just like Sanjay said, it's evidence that, yes, the -- they're not the coronary vessels that he was born with, but the function of his heart was better addressed by the stress echo and they were reassuring numbers.

But I look for actionable information. And the -- this is actionable information. We know his cholesterol is suboptimal. He's on an anti- cholesterol medication. And it sounds like Dr. Jackson's going to increase the dose of that, which is appropriate. He's on a baby aspirin a day, which is appropriate.

You know, you look at microscopic inflation to see if any of those plaques (ph) are at risk for breaking off and going down range. But it sounds like the things that can be reasonably done for a man with this situation are being done.

The other ways to look at risk are some models that are age-old, the Framingham study --


O'CONNOR: Gives the Farmingham scale. And if you plug in the numbers we received yesterday into that, it puts him around 11 percent, which would be a high/low or a low/intermediate risk, which is about -- is about right.


I want to ask about his cognitive state because questions obviously have been raised recently about that. And there was a moment that was troubling, at least to viewers, where the president slurred his speech at an event. And there was no explanation given for what was happening until yesterday. So let me play that moment to remind people.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I asked the leaders of the region, political and religious, Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish and Christian and Muslim, to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians. And God bless the United States.


CAMEROTA: OK. So people wanted an explanation. Obviously after that, what was that? It was so different than his normal way of speaking.

So yesterday, for the first time, the White House doctor explained that he had given the president Sudafed and that causes dry mouth and that that's what happened that day. That was helpful. But, Sanjay, tell us also what the doctor revealed about any cognitive tests that he gave the president.

GUPTA: Yes. Well, what Dr. Jackson basically said was that at the president's request he administered a cognitive test. And I've just got to point out, I mean I've never heard of a president getting a cognitive test in the 16 years that I've been reporting on this. So this was a bit unusual. I mean it's not often the president asks --

CAMEROTA: Well, but, I mean, maybe it was to put to bed those questions. Maybe the president -- President Trump wanted to put to bed those questions so he specifically asked for it.

GUPTA: Yes. I think that that certainly could be the reason. But it was the president's request for this test. And, you know, to give you a little bit of framework, this is a -- it's a pretty simple test. I mean it's about a ten-minute test. They ask you to identify certain animals on the screen, to be able to count backwards from 100 by seven, to recite as many words as you can beginning with a certain letter, like the letter "f," within a minute. And you get the idea here. Draw a cube. Draw a clock. Things like that. Things that most people are able to do. And the president scored a perfect score, a 30 out of 30, according to Dr. Jackson.

[08:40:11] This is a screening test. If you don't score a perfect score, it may give the doctors an inclination to probe a little bit more deeply. But as you point out, Alisyn, I think according to what we heard from Dr. Jackson yesterday, he didn't even want to get the test in the first place. It's not likely there's going to be follow-up tests based on this.

CAMEROTA: Understood.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, thank you very much for your professional expertise on this.

GUPTA: Thank you.

O'CONNOR: Thanks.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Police are sharing new details about what led them to find 13 kids captive, malnourished and some chained to beds in California. What was going on in that house? A live report, next.


CUOMO: All right, so police are pointing to a teenage girl's heroism. She broke out of a window and made the call that led officers to discover her and 12 siblings being held captive in her home.

[08:45:02] CNN's Stephanie Elam is live in Perris, California.

I'll tell you, I covered Jaycee Dugard, I covered the situation with the three women in Ohio. I've never heard about this number and this age range of people being held hostage in a family before, have you?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. And I have to tell you, Chris, the more I learn about this story, the more questions that we have. It just keeps unfolding with more confusing parts of this story.

But what I can tell you is that authorities said that they had never been called to this home here behind me about this family until Sunday. And that was because of the courage of the 17-year-old daughter who took the chance of grabbing that deactivated cell phone and escaping through the window.


ELAM (voice over): Shortly before sunrise on Sunday, a 17-year-old girl escaped through a window from this house in southern California. Using a deactivated cell phone, the girl then called 911 to report that her 12 siblings were being held captive by their parents inside.

CAPTAIN GREG FELLOWS, MENIFEE POLICE CHIEF: We do need to acknowledge the courage of the young girl who escaped from that residence.

ELAM: Police met the girl nearby and she showed them pictures that convinced officers that her claim was accurate. Once inside the house, authorities found three children they say were chained to furniture. All of the kids, seven that are over the age of 18, were malnourished and living in filthy conditions.

FELLOWS: If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished and injuries associated with that, I would call that torture.

ELAM: Authorities say the children's mother, Louise Turpin, was perplexed when police arrived at her home.

This new surveillance video shows Louise and the children's father, David Turpin, being taken into custody. The couple is now facing charges of torture and child endangerment.

Louise's siblings speaking out, insisting they had no idea their nieces and nephews were allegedly being abused.

TERESA ROBINETTE, LOUISE TURPIN'S SISTER: I can't imagine what they've been through. I just want to hug them.

BILL LAMBERT, LOUISE TURPIN'S BROTHER: I'm very angry with them, but then feel bad for the kids.

ELAM: The officiant in Vegas were the couple renewed their vows three times also in shock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They seemed to care about each other. They cared about the kids.

ELAM: Neighbors say they thought the children were much younger than they are, noting that they were quiet and very pale and skinny. KIMBERLY MILLIGAN, NEIGHBOR: The kids never came outside. I thought

they were homeschooled. I thought they were isolated. No friends came over. No family came over.


ELAM: And when you take a look at what they're saying about these children and the fact that they are so malnourished that they looked much younger than their actual ages, one of the medical professionals there, a doctor there, saying what they are hearing about is in line with abuse that you would see for kids who have been in this situation for a very long time, a prolonged time. So while we don't know, Alisyn, how long they were living like this, they are saying it was probably for a good amount of time.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. It's all just so sickening to hear about.

Stephanie, thank you very much for the insight into what was happening inside there.

Back to the efforts to avoid a government shutdown. Will Republicans' stop-gap funding bill go through? We have "The Bottom Line," next.


[08:51:27] CAMEROTA: Can Republicans win over Democrats with their short term spending bill and avoid a government shutdown?

Let's get "The Bottom Line" with the one woman who knows the answer, chief --


CAMEROTA: CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.

Is the government going to shut down on Friday?

BASH: I literally just got off the phone with sources in both parties who say they don't know the answer. There is no clear deal in sight just two days before the deadline. One Democratic source said, well, the chances aren't zero, but wouldn't say how high they are.

And as you have been reporting all morning, the key reason at this point is the Republicans in the House thought that they came up with a -- kind of a clever plan to just fund the government and add the CHIP funding, the Children's Health plan, and then their own party, as we have seen many times before, said, uh-uh, we're not doing that, the Freedom Caucus.

So unclear if that's going to go bye-bye. And, if so, then what? And there's a lot of frustration among Democrats, as you can imagine, that they felt that they had a bipartisan plan and the president blew it.

CUOMO: Well, it doesn't seem that there's a great indication -- and, look, we're all in favor of more progress, more better, but it doesn't look like they're going to be able to get DACA or the dreamer aspect of it done --

BASH: I think that's right.

CUOMO: By Friday because for all the talk about love, I don't think the left gets anything on the dreamers if there's no security in there and at least one of the big ticket items, whether it's migration or the lottery. You hearing the same?

BASH: No question because for the dreamers the deadline isn't actually Friday.

CUOMO: Right.

BASH: It's not until March. But let me just go back to the whole notion of the government funding, because this is something that kind of sticks in my craw as somebody who has covered Congress for a long time. Everybody talks about the new normal and how things are different now. This is not normal, the idea of doing short-term spending bill to short-term spending bill and having this shutdown deadline every month or so.

It used to be -- I'm old enough to remember when Congress actually did its job. And the fundamental job of Congress is to fund the government. And you pass all of your appropriations bills, your spending bills. You send them to the president one by one and he signs it. It used to actually function when the parties could come together and when it wasn't used, you know, as political footballs.

I mean it just is absurd. And this is one of the many reasons why people out in the real world look at Washington and say, seriously, if I didn't do any homework, I would get an "f." If I didn't do what I need to do at my company, I would lose it. Why do they keep kicking the can and not doing their work?

CAMEROTA: And, you know, we use government shutdown as this sort of catch phrase, but we don't ever dive -- not never but we don't often dive in to say the amount of lives and jobs this would effect --

BASH: Yes.

CAMEROTA: The ripple effect. I mean real -- real daily pain --

BASH: Right.

CAMEROTA: That it would cause people who would see paychecks dry up and all -- et cetera, et cetera.

BASH: Right. And in --

CAMEROTA: Yet the president, as you know, sometimes flirts with this and says, you know -- you know his sort of philosophy of, you know, break the mold. Blow the place up.

BASH: Yes. And -- well, and he has said very explicitly that he thinks it would actually hurt Democrats politically if the government shut down, even though Republicans are in complete control of Washington. I'm -- genuinely am not so sure. I mean he obviously has very good

political instincts. I'm really not so sure he's right about this one. But, at the end of the day, I think the point that you're making -- and I'm totally with you, Alisyn, if the president's, his whole M.O. about coming to Washington was doing things differently, blowing things up, this is exactly the way business has worked for years and years and years and has fueled some of the real frustration at Washington. It's working the exact same way, meaning it's not working.

[08:55:23] CUOMO: Well, look, fair point, if anybody studies President Trump's business history, this is exactly the way he does business. He has no problem putting companies into bankruptcy. He has no problem going to the brink. Brinksmanship is very unusual to him. That's why so many vendors complain about how much you get paid when you work on a Trump project. So I could see him being OK with the fatalism of it.

The question becomes, what does this speak to in terms of the prospect going forward? If there is a government shutdown, even though the deadline for DACA is in March, assuming the president doesn't move it because it's his deadline, what is the chance that you have enough good will to work on it in a real way?

BASH: That's the question. And it's an open question. People like Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham, who have been working on a bipartisan deal for some time, insist that the Democrats will have even more leverage as we get closer to the deadline. But people who are close to the president, and even some Democrats privately tell me, they're not so sure.

CAMEROTA: Dana Bash, great to have you in studio for "The Bottom Line."

BASH: Nice to see you both.

CAMEROTA: Good to see you, too.

Time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman. That will pick up after this quick break. See you tomorrow.


[09:00:12] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Top of the hour. A lot of news to get to. I'm Poppy Harlow.