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Interview with Representative Jim Himes; Two 15-year-olds Killed in Kentucky School Shooting; Trump to Meet with World Leaders, Business CEOs in Davos; Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired January 24, 2018 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: -- discuss that and a lot more, member of the House Intel Committee, Democratic Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut.
It's nice to have you here. And we'll get to that FISA Devin Nunes memo in a moment, which you've called full of baloney. But before we do, you sit on the Intel Committee, you've seen a lot of documents, you've heard hours and hours, days' worth of testimony from so many people. Now we know that the president will likely be questioned by Special Counsel Bob Mueller and maybe it will happen in a few weeks. We know it's going to focus on the firing of Comey and Flynn.
If you were Mueller and his team, if you're Andrew Weissmann, one of the lead prosecutors on this team, what would be your number one question for the president?
REP. JIM HIMES (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, I think it's the classic question, right? What did you know and when did you know it? Because of course the firing of Comey, the pressuring Comey on treating Michael Flynn -- what was the word? Lightly or gently, whatever it was.
If he knew that Flynn had lied, you know, that could point in the direction of obstruction. So it's a classic sort of what did you know and when did you know it?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, in the firing of Comey, because the president has said out loud on NBC to Lester Holt that it was largely because of the Russia investigation. Is there something there you want to know more of?
HIMES: Sure. I'd like to know exactly who he talked to about that, whether he got any advice that he should or shouldn't do it. I mean, if people told him to do it, I'd like to know who and what they were thinking at the time.
So yes, look, when he told Lester Holt is pretty damning. But obviously what Mueller needs to do is get all of the facts around those actions.
HARLOW: Let's talk about the FISA memo. OK. So this is spearheaded by Devin Nunes, Republican who chairs your committee. And this alleges abuse by the FBI of FISA warrants, surveillance laws in this country ties to the Trump-Russia dossier. You've said on our air this is full of baloney. The president is
inclined to allow Republicans in your committee to release this to the public. You've seen it. Why not just -- if you think it's so full of baloney, why not say, OK, American people, here it is, you judge for yourself?
HIMES: Yes, I wouldn't oppose it. And look, the memorandum as it's written, and it's classified so I can't get into a lot of details around it, but as written it is so pathetically obviously full of misstatements and lies including the very first line which makes references to investigation to which don't exist. That if the memo were cleaned up to take out the references, it's highly classified, not just classified but highly classified information.
A lot of information, by the way, that members of the committee haven't even seen even though those members voted to release the memorandum which is based on them. If that could be cleaned up, I'd be in favor of releasing it because, you know, reporters and the American public would look at it and they would see it for what it is, which is a series of talking points in a long campaign to discredit the FBI so that if Mueller comes up with more, FOX News and Sean Hannity and Jeannine Pirro and all of the usual talking heads for the right-wing can say, yes, but Mueller was always compromised from the start.
Look, we've seen this for months. That's what's going on.
BERMAN: This is interesting to me because -- I think before it is released, it will have to be cleaned up in the sense that they're not going to release highly classified information to the public. I wouldn't think. So once that is cleaned up, you're OK with it going public because you think it will help your argument.
HIMES: Well, I would like to see it go public, obviously cleaned up to remove the references to highly classified information. But also just as written. Just as written. Again I read this and it took me about -- you know, about 30 seconds to see that it was full of falsehoods and it is just one sort of part of this continuing effort.
Now here's what's hard. And there's an evil genius to this memo because, remember, other than Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff, no members on the committee had seen the underlying classified intelligence. Obviously the public is not going to be able to see that either. So the evil genius here is that, you know, you can make all these crazy allegations and all these threats and when somebody says yes, but let me look at the underlying information, well, sorry, that's very, very classified.
HARLOW: Just so -- go ahead.
BERMAN: I just want -- is there anything in that memo you think is true?
HIMES: Look --
BERMAN: Does it raise any legitimate concerns? HIMES: If there was ever biased activity on the part of the FBI, that
should be investigated. This goes back to the last show that we got, which was the unmasking. If American citizens -- remember that? That was sort of the installment in this story two or three months ago. If there was improper unmasking, we should look into that. The fact is there was no improper unmasking. There was no wiretapping of the White House. And as time will prove, this is not based in fact either.
So of course, if the FBI was biased politically, that's an important thing for the American people to know. There's not a shred of evidence that that is the case.
HARLOW: So people understand who may not be as read in on this story, I mean, this memo alleges that the judge, the FISA judge, who signed off on that surveillance, was not given full information about the dossier and we know the dossier from our reporting was used as part of the justification to get this FISA warrant.
Let's move on while we have you to what seems like square one back in the Senate on immigration reform. Schumer pulls off the table funding for the wall and the president says no wall, no DACA, so where are we?
Not we. Where are these -- where are we for the Dreamers? Where is immigration reform for the American people?
HIMES: Yes, look, I -- I think two things need to happen. Because there is a deal to be done here. You know, years ago we saw the Senate pass comprehensive immigration reform. I'm sad we didn't come out with that.
[10:35:04] Here's what needs to happen. The Democrats need to realize that they don't have the House, they don't have the Senate, they don't have the Oval Office. They're not getting everything they want.
The Republicans need to realize two things. Number one, you better fix DACA the moment news cameras are showing young people who are working in law firms or, you know, college getting sent to countries they don't even remember, they have a huge problem, not to mention the humanitarian aspect. Oh and by the way, the wall, there's a reason why we have not heard until Donald Trump emerged on the scene that the wall is really the solution to our immigration problems.
You know, half the people who are in this country roughly are here not because they climbed across the wall or went across the border but because they overstayed visas. So the problem with the wall is not so much that Donald Trump is obsessed, religiously obsessed with it. It's that no one has ever suggested that that's a particularly good solution.
So would Democrats vote for more border security? Of course we would. But we don't want it to be a figment of a guy who knows nothing about border securities imagination.
BERMAN: You know, it's interesting. You talk about Democrats. They need to -- you said they. They as if, you know, you're Deion Sanders, not one of them. I mean --
BERMAN: You are. You are one of these Democrats here. Are you saying that you need to lower expectations as a party here? And to put it in the context of a Joe Manchin, right?
HARLOW: Just going to say that.
BERMAN: You know, the "New York Times" reporting overnight, what did you he say?
HARLOW: This place sucks. About Washington. Those are his words, sorry, mom. Not my words. Those are his words.
Do you agree?
HIMES: I have to tell my own immigrant advocates, Dreamers, and mind you, I care profoundly about this issue. A couple of years ago I took a Dreamer to the State of the Union address. I've been fighting this one hard. When they come in and say we want everything, we want a clean Dream Act, I have to tell them, look, the Democrats don't have the White House, they don't have the Senate, they don't have the House.
I'm going to fight for you, but don't decide that getting anything less than 100 percent is failure or if that's what you want, make sure that in '18 and in '20 you put a Democrat in the White House and control of the Congress in Democratic hands.
That's not what we have right now. So look, I don't like language like lower expectations but realize that we don't have a lot of leverage.
HARLOW: But that's what you're saying.
HIMES: Well, we don't have a lot of levers of power. So we are not going to get to determine the agenda.
HARLOW: Do you agree, yes or no, with Manchin, this place sucks, about Washington right now?
HIMES: Look, I'll tell you what, if you're Joe Manchin, your life sucks.
HARLOW: I said -- oh.
HIMES: It doesn't suck for me. I don't make what Deion Sanders makes. But I -- unlike Joe Manchin, you know, I don't live in a place that was just a heavily, heavily Trump state. So for his -- and by the way the Senate is a tough place. I was sitting there on Friday night at, you know, midnight when they were doing their voting. That doesn't happen quite as much in the House.
BERMAN: Congressman Jim Himes --
HARLOW: Appreciate it.
BERMAN: Great to have you with us. Thanks so much. Good discussion.
HARLOW: Thank you.
HIMES: Thank you.
HARLOW: All right. We are watching these live pictures of former Team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar who's listening to these young women, more than 160 women have read their victim impact statements about what he did to them, the abuse they endured.
This is Rachael Denhollander. After she is done he will be sentenced and you will see it here live.
[10:42:00] HARLOW: All right. You are looking at live pictures out of a Michigan courtroom in Lansing there. You're looking at Rachael Denhollander. She is one of the more than 160 women to undergo sexual abuse, criminal misconduct by Larry Nassar, the former Team USA Gymnastics doctor. He has been convicted of this crime against so many young women.
She is reading her victim impact statement addressing him directly. When she is done, the judge will hand down his sentence, which will be on top of a 60-year federal sentence he's already received. We'll bring you that sentencing live as soon as it begins.
BERMAN: Look at the heroism of these women. Dozens and dozens of women, the bravery, to sit there in that courtroom and face the man who assaulted them.
HARLOW: So hope that others don't have to go through something like that and that their voices will be heard and believed when they first come forward.
All right. So new questions this morning a day after a student open fire in this western Kentucky high school. Two students were murdered, more than a dozen wounded, and today we know the names of those who were killed. Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, both of them just 15 years old.
BERMAN: Yes, last night students and families gathered for a vigil to remember the victims.
Our Nick Valencia is in Benton, Kentucky.
And, Nick, I understand you just spoke to the friend of one of those killed.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I did, John. I spoke to Johanna Davis, who's a 15-year-old girl here in this community. She's going through what everyone else here is going through. Just trying to process exactly what happened here about 24 hours ago.
Miss Davis told me that one of her best friends is Bailey Holt. And she's a 15-year-old girl who died here at the scene yesterday morning. She was telling me that it was just that morning that she communicated with Bailey over Snapchat. They have these things on Snapchat called Streaks, you message people every day to try to keep your streak going and that's exactly what they were doing yesterday just like a typical day.
And it wasn't until later that morning that she realized it was Bailey that was the one that was killed here at the school. She described her as just a beautiful girl with a huge smile and infectious personality, somebody that they had a lot of inside jokes. They talked about boys, talked about school, talked about music, something that you would expect any teenager to do.
She's still processing the fact that she's never going to be able to do that again with her friend. She says that she's very close to the family and she knew also the other boy as well who was killed here, 15-year-old Preston Cope. She described him as a great baseball player, somebody who loved, loved, loved the St. Louis Cardinals, somebody who was very quiet but had a quiet confidence about him.
She said that it's a bit surreal to see everyone here on those stretchers the news and coverage because all of those affected she said were part of her class, the class of 2020, all of them here members of this very small tight knit community -- John, Poppy.
HARLOW: A -- two 15-year-olds dead, a 15-year-old who carried this gun into the school and carried out this atrocity, and so many questions remain as to why. Are police giving you any indication of any reasoning -- I mean, there's nothing, no reasoning but any motive here that he may have had?
VALENCIA: Yes. Well, there's a lot of theories being floating around that he may have been bullied here.
[10:45:03] We haven't been able to confirm that, though, but that's something that Johanna Davis talked to me about. In fact her sister is a student here and had just shown up at the school when the shooting happened. She was one of the students -- hundreds of students that went running for their lives. That's something that they are talking about this morning amongst themselves, the young teens that were at this school, victims of this terrible tragedy.
As for the 15-year-old, we still don't know yet whether or not he's going to be charged as an adult. We know that the governor here of the state of -- the commonwealth of Kentucky has suggested murder charges, attempted murder charges but it's still an outstanding question to whether or not he's going to be charged as an adult.
The motive at this point officially anyway, Poppy, is still unclear.
HARLOW: OK. Nick Valencia, thank you very much for your reporting.
BERMAN: All right. Tonight the president heads for the hills -- HARLOW: The mountains.
BERMAN: The Swiss. I guess they're bigger than hills. He's going to Davos. The glitz and the glamour. World leaders. The hoity-toity peloity (PH). They're all going to be there. How will he be received?
BERMAN: All right. You're looking at live pictures from Lansing, Michigan. That is Rachael Denhollander. She is one of the survivors of the abuse from Larry Nassar, the ex-USA Gymnastics team doctor. You're looking at the judge right now, addressing her. Any minute now, Larry Nassar will be sentenced. We will bring that to you live. We can have it very, very shortly.
In the meantime, a big moment for President Trump. He heads to Davos tonight, the World Economic Forum, to sell his brand of America First. The visit already being met with protesters across Swiss cities.
HARLOW: Right. So the bigger question is, how will he be received by the world's elites? This is a place, as our international business correspondent, Richard Quest, knows so well, he is there every year. And this is a place where the -- what did you call them? The fancy schmancy --
BERMAN: I call it the hoity-toity peloity (PH), like, you know.
HARLOW: This is where they go. This is CEOs from all around the world and world leaders as well.
Richard, what can we expect and how will the president be received?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That's going to be a fascinating question and the truth of the matter is, there will be -- we just do not know. Remember, the Cabinet is already here. Large numbers of them.
[10:50:03] I just shook hands with Steve Mnuchin a short while ago. He's already made comments about an America First policy and what that means. Wilbur Ross is here and just made similar comments that it's not an anti-globalization move by the U.S. that the two are not in contradiction.
Senator Bob Corker is here. He just walked past me. Everybody is here to try and now understand how the Trump administration's economic and trade policy will fit into the wider global economy at the time when here, and you joined me, by the way. Never the hoity-toity. Just because John Berman has never been allowed in the front door doesn't mean that the rest -- these are the decision-makers. These are the CEOs. These are the chief executives.
QUEST: And in fact, somewhere over there is the managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde.
BERMAN: Yes, so exactly. So I'm right. You're sitting here name- dropping, telling me I'm wrong, and then you're listing out, you know, the -- these vast group of world leaders and rich people who are there. It doesn't make any significance, Richard, but this is just the elites of the world. A place for, by the way, you know, then businessman Donald Trump apparently wasn't invited, you know. He's there now as president and it could -- it could, you know, cut a striking contrast.
QUEST: You're using the phrase elite as a pejorative here, John, in the sense that these people -- what they are doing, the vast majority, look, don't me get me wrong. There are the wealthy here, but most of the people here are concerned either as chief executives with jobs or NGOs and so on.
Now what they're going to want to hear about, let's get to the real heart of it. What do they want to get to from the U.S. president? They need to understand exactly what America First means. Not just the rhetoric that we heard yesterday from the White House when he -- when the president signed the solar panels and washing machine tariffs. They need to understand on a much grander scale. What does it mean?
Remember one other point, the 11 other countries that were part of the TPP, the Transpacific Trade Partnership, the very thing that Donald Trump ditched on the first day in office, those other 11 countries have come together and say we're going to go ahead whether President Trump -- whether the United States is in it or not. And it was a message reinforced by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. She said protectionism cannot be the way forward.
HARLOW: Richard Quest, enjoy it, my friend. I'm usually there with you. I'm sorry to miss it this year. We are waiting to hear how the president is received. Have a wonderful time. We'll wait for your coverage.
Meantime, we want to get back to the breaking news we're following out of Lansing, Michigan, the sentencing will begin in moments for Dr. Larry Nassar.
BERMAN: Yes. Again there was applause in the courtroom after more than 160 survivors of this sexual assault made their victim impact statements the last --
HARLOW: For a week.
BERMAN: Just seconds ago.
BERMAN: I mean, it was really a remarkable thing to say. One woman after another laying out exactly what happened inside this court. All right. Here's what we're going to do. The sentencing will happen
momentarily. Do we have time for a break or is this going to start right now? We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[10:56:29] BERMAN: So LeBron James joining a very exclusive club last night becoming the youngest NBA player ever to reach -- NBA player ever to reach 30,000 points, which is a lot, by the way.
HARLOW: That's a lot. Thank you for --
BERMAN: I'm just saying. I know you know that.
HARLOW: Between you and my husband I know too much about this story.
BERMAN: You're a big Timberwolves fan. He scored more than the entire Timberwolves franchise ever. Come on.
HARLOW: Are you saying because I can't cheer for the Vikings at this point that now I'm --
BERMAN: I'm just trying to help. I'm just trying to help.
HARLOW: I digress. Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Good morning, guys. Yes, LeBron now the seventh player in NBA history to reach the 30,000 point mark joining the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by the new 2018 Ford F-150.
So the Cavs, they're in San Antonio last night taking on the Spurs and LeBron reaching the milestone with this jumper at the end of the first quarter right here. He embraced some of his teammates. This is standing ovation from the crowd there in San Antonio but despite the special night for LeBron, the Cavs losing again, 114 to 102 to the Spurs. Their 10th loss in their last 13 games.
Now LeBron saying afterwards one day he's going to sit around and enjoy his records but that time is not right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEBRON JAMES: I will never fully appreciate what I do. Any time I accomplish something. No matter if it's a win or a loss. So looking forward to the moment when I'm basically can be done with the game and I can sit back with my family and my friends, we can sit back, drink some wine and talk about all the accomplishments that I had and feats that I've been able to accomplish.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHOLES: Now before the game in a rather odd Instagram post, LeBron congratulated himself before reaching the 30,000 point mark. LeBron speaking to the high school version of himself in this post. And let's just say, well, social media, they had a field day with this.
All right. Making an NBA All-Star Team is a dream come true for a lot of players. And check out the reaction from Timberwolves star, Karl- Anthony Towns' family when they found out he had made his first team.
You see they are going crazy. They even then put a blow-up crown on Towns' head to celebrate the accomplishment. Pretty cool moment for the Towns family there.
Now this year the game, it has a different format. There's going to be no more East versus West. LeBron and Steph Curry are drafting the rosters for the game and those will be announced tomorrow night on TNT.
All right. Super Bowl preparations are under way in Minnesota. The New England Patriots, they're going to be home team when they take on the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. That means they get to pick which jersey they wear and the team opting for the road white jerseys and you may be thinking, why does this matter?
Well, the team wearing white has won 12 of the past 13 Super Bowls and Tom Brady is a perfect 3-0 when he puts on that white jersey for the big game, guys.
So, John, I know you and your boys will probably be rocking those white jerseys as well because, you know, you can't knock these superstitions. Apparently they are real.
BERMAN: No. I know, the thing is the Patriots actually have won two Super Bowls wearing blue also. They've just --
SCHOLES: They also lost two as well.
BERMAN: I know. They can win no matter what they're wearing. It's just better to win wearing white. Unfortunately I don't have one of the white shirts, you just reminded me. It's something I have to do this afternoon, Andy.
BERMAN: I do appreciate it.
HARLOW: I'm only excited for Berman because of his twin boys who will be watching. I mean, just correct me. The home team is not the Patriots. The home team is the Minnesota Vikings who are the most lovely hosts to have you all in our great state.
BERMAN: You're the host.
SCHOLES: Not playing.
HARLOW: Our great state. BERMAN: They're home insofar as they are sitting at home watching the
game, which is I think --
SCHOLES: Too soon.
BERMAN: All right. Andy Scholes, thanks very much.
HARLOW: We appreciate it.
Thank you all for being with us today. I'm Poppy Harlow.
BERMAN: I'm John Berman. "AT THIS HOUR" starts now.