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Budget Vote Delayed by Sen. Rand Paul's Objections; Porter Scandal Raises Questions on Kelly's Past; Trump on Aide: Kelly Found Out Recently; "The Radical Story of Patty Hearst" Premieres Sunday. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired February 9, 2018 - 14:30   ET



[14:31:08] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Let's take a quick peek at the big board. Down a few points. It's been an up and down, wild day after a few big plunges this week. It has the Dow on pace for its worse week since the 2008 crisis. Earlier this afternoon, we saw the Dow down 500 points. Now minimal losses at the moment. Numbers all over the place. Obviously, it's about to close. Very volatile week. Hour and a half to go before that closing bell.

President Trump is calling the new budget he just signed a big victory on Twitter. It doesn't address immigration, but it does increase spending caps by $300 billion for the military and domestic programs. And lawmakers were forced to pull an all-nighter just to get it all done. Senator Paul essentially refusing to allow a vote because of his staunch opposition to how much the spending bill adds to the nation's deficit.

If you went to bed early, you might have missed this whole scene and the brief government shutdown that was. Here are the highlights of what we're calling "Congress After Dark."


BALDWIN (voice-over): It all started with Senator Rand Paul, objecting, time after time, to calls to hold the vote.


UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: Is there an objection?

SEN. RANDY PAUL, (R), KENTUCKY: Madam President?

UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: Senator from Kentucky.

PAUL: Reserving the right to object.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R), UTAH: Is there objection?

PAUL: Mr. President?

HATCH: Senator from Kentucky.

PAUL: Reserving the right to object.

BALDWIN: At some point, Senator Paul did find time to devour a Big Mac and fries and then back to more objecting.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN, (R), TEXAS: And the Senate vote on the motion will concur.

HATCH: Is there an objection?

PAUL: Mr. President?

HATCH: Senator from Kentucky.

PAUL: Reserving the right to object.

HATCH: Is there an objection?

PAUL: Mr. President?

HATCH: Senator from Kentucky.

PAUL: Reserving the right to object. Seems like a lot of work for a trillion deficit. Doesn't it?


HATCH: Is there an objection?

PAUL: Mr. President?

HATCH: Senator from Kentucky?

PAUL: Reserving the right to object. A trillion Republican deficit.

CORNYN: And there's been multiple objections, of course, from the Senator from Kentucky. I don't know why we are basically burning time here while the Senator from Kentucky and others are sitting in the cloak room wasting everybody's time and inconveniencing the staff.

PAUL: I've made them angry. And they're very upset with me because I've made it difficult and we have to be up late tonight. And they're angry that I'm pointing out their hypocrisy.

BALDWIN: Thirty minutes later, they go into recess until midnight effectively shutting down the government.

At 12:01, they're called back with a timely prayer from the chaplain.

BARRY BLACK, SENATE CHAPLAIN: This midnight hour, show us your greatness. Give wisdom to our lawmakers. Remind them how brief the time on earth will be.

BALDWIN: Just after 1:00 a.m., the voting begins.

Senator Cory Booker and some other Senators clearly ready to go home.

SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D), NEW JERSEY: I'm so tired.



BALDWIN: At 1:50 in the morning, the budget finally passes the Senate. And now it's the House's turn.

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSWOMAN: Here we are, 3:30 a.m., three and a half hours after government shutdown once again.

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: At 3:40 in the morning, I'm a little surprised that some of our colleagues wish to reprise history. So be it.

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: The gentle lady from California is recognized for one minute.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Do I get eight hours of sleep?

Sometimes I think the speaker thinks he's speaker of the White House, not the speaker of the House of Representatives. And that we should have the opportunity -- we should have the opportunity -- we should have -- oh, I touched a nerve there, I hear.

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: The gentleman from Wisconsin, the speaker of the House, is recognized.

[14:35:02] REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will be brief.


RYAN: We will solve this DACA problem. Once we get this budget agreement done --

BALDWIN: And with that, more than 12 hours after the saga started, the House finally started voting. And still, Democrats stalled, forcing Republicans to go on the record first before they would cast their votes.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But I just want to underscore, that was not a normal vote. That was very tense. That was quite a standoff.


BALDWIN: Phil Mattingly, 5:32 in the morning.

And there you have it.

Coming up next, all eyes are on the White House, and specifically the chief of staff, John Kelly, and this fallout over the Rob Porter scandal. But new revelations about the retired general's past definitely raising questions. Those details coming up.


[14:39:53] BALDWIN: President Trump may be standing by his White House chief of staff, John Kelly, but Kelly may be in the hot seat for being so quick to jump on Rob Porter's defense after these allegations of domestic abuse surfaced. It turns out, according to "The Times" and, General Kelly appeared as a character witness two years ago for a Marine accused of sexual harassment. And during that Marine's court-martial, the general refereed to him as a superb officer. That Marine, "Time" tweeted, was arrested for indecent liberties with a child.

So let me bring in Hope Hodge, the associate editor at

Hope, good to have you on.

Thank you so much for having me.

BALDWIN: I really want to talk about this today.

I know you've written extensively about this Marine, Todd Shane Tomko, General Kelly spoke up on behalf of. Tell me first exactly what this Marine was accused of.

HOPE HODGE, MILITARY.COM: That's right. It's interesting to see how the charge sheet evolved. Originally, he was accused of abuse of sexual contact. That later got downgraded to an inappropriate unduly relationship and then conduct unbecoming an officer. You can see he exchanged text messages with a junior Marine, female corporal, calling her fun, sexy and intriguing. There were a lot of red flags and then there were some civilian charges at one point that were eventually withdrawn. There were a lot of red flags for this officer.

BALDWIN: So what was the relationship between General Kelly and this officer, for him to come in as his character witness? What did he say on his behalf?

HODGE: This is particularly fascinating. General Kelly is not in Tomko's chain of command at the time and doesn't know him well. Basically, knows him socially and knows his reputation as a war fighter, deployed a bunch of times and basing what he's saying on that.

I think that tells us quite a bit about John Kelly's character. He thinks it's very important to go to bat for people who are sort of down and out, who he believes, you know, have a good reputation and are worth defending. The question is, how deep is he looking before, you know, standing up for these individuals?

BALDWIN: And that question could be applied to the current situation of the White House.

HODGE: That's absolutely right. BALDWIN: Given the situation there, given the reporting that, you

know, he knew months ago that this accused domestic abuser, whose position Kelly, you know, had elevated, was in the West Wing, inches from the president, someone with this interim security clearance and just given the allegations and given what you reported on with this court-martial, what, just two years ago, what's the biggest commonality, to you?

HODGE: You know, I think it's this perception. This is a good, solid, upstanding guy. I know him by reputation. In this case, he actually worked with this individual, porter, and I'm going to defend him, no matter what that takes. I've actually been in two different courtrooms where John Kelly has spoken up for a defendant, who is not in his chain of command but who he thought was worth fighting for. And in the other case, it didn't involve a victim of any kind. But you have to wonder how deep is he digging? In this case just recently allegations have surfaced with Shane Tomko of misconduct, sexual abuse of children going back 15 years. So, this is deep into his Marine Corps career, before any of the other stuff surfaced. And it raises huge questions.

BALDWIN: It does. It's just as important to have the big picture, as you said, that is telling of the character of the man.

Hope, thank you so much, with

HODGE: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you for coming on.

The president did say today that he believes his chief of staff only recently found out about the accusations against Rob Porter, but given the media coverage, you have to wonder, how solid is the chief of staff's future in the West Wing.

Let me bring in Chris Whipple, author of "The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency."

Nice to me you. Nice to have you on.

CHRIS WHIPPLE, AUTHOR: Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: I was reading some of the notes you sent one of my producers. You said, "John Kelly has doubled down on all of Trump's worst instincts." What do you mean?

WHIPPLE: Do you remember when speculations were so high for John Kelly?

BALDWIN: So high.

WHIPPLE: Military.

BALDWIN: Military man, order, take no prisoners.

[14:44:46] WHIPPLE: Completely unrealistic as it turns out. The expectation was this would be the grown-up in the room, the moderating influence who somehow would rub the rough edges off of Donald Trump. He has turned out to be exactly the opposite. He has turned out to be the guy who doubles down on all of Trump's worst instincts. We know now after a year that Donald Trump has no idea how to govern. He doesn't know the difference between campaigning, which is demonizing and dividing, and governing, which is building coalitions. A chief of staff is supposed to help presidents figure that out. And time and again, General Kelly has simply reinforced Trump's partisan instincts. From the moment he stepped up to the podium in the White House briefing room and attacked Representative Kelly with a false story to calling everybody in Congress idiots to insulting the DREAMers, Kelly has really done a disservice to the Trump White House.

BALDWIN: You told me in commercial that you had talked to two former chiefs of staff, two former Republican chiefs of staff, who had all been watching this, as folks at home have. What have they said to you?

WHIPPLE: They say they find it inconceivable that you would have a staff secretary who is really, you know, along with the chief of staff, the so-called honest broker of information for the president. Every decision has to be teed up with accurate and often classified information on every side. It's inconceivable to the chiefs of staff I spoke to that you would have a guy in that position for a year without a security clearance. It's just unheard of.

BALDWIN: Talking to so many people on TV about this, it's a national security issue, right? Some reporting -- a reporter is coming up next hour who is saying that Kelly recently has wanted to fire anyone who hasn't been able to pass to get that full security clearance, yet, case in point, someone who has been in the White House for a year, inches to the president, goes with him to Beijing, goes with him to Davos, and has an interim security clearance.

WHIPPLE: There are a number of possibilities here. Some people are saying there are a bunch of misogynists in the White House. The possibly maybe is even more serious, is the idea that you people in the White House with no codes of conduct and no rules. Rules are for everyone else but not one of our guys. When General Flynn lied about his conversations with the Russians. That wasn't an issue until it leaked, right? There seems to be a code here in the Trump White House that you may be, perhaps, you know, abusing, battering your wife, you may be --


BALDWIN: But until there's a photo of a black eye, no one is talking about it.

WHIPPLE: If you're one of our guys, you're one of our guys.

BALDWIN: Chris Whipple, thanks so much for coming by.

WHIPPLE: Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: A FOX News executive beings team for touting diversity. That's right. Takes issue with the team. This is his quote, "Being darker, gayer and different." Guess what? The network has just responded.


[14:52:44] BALDWIN: This flu season is being called one of the worst in decades. Despite starting back in October, flu activity is still widespread across 48 states and Puerto Rico and continues to increase. Latest numbers from the CDC tell us 63 kids have died from the virus and doctors are running short on both antiviral drugs and the vaccines.

So in today's "Heartbeat," CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, has details on the links between heart attacks and the flu.


DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The flu vaccine is not just a weapon against sniffles and a fever. It could also lower the chance of having a heart attack for people at high risk.

UNIDENTIFIED PHYSICIAN: When somebody comes into the hospital with a heart attack, it's not uncommon that this individual has had some type of a viral illness or process in the recent past.

COHEN: In one study of people 35 and older, heart attack risks jumped six times within a week of coming down with the flu.

In patients with cardiovascular disease, the vaccine may be effective against heart attacks in the short term as quitting smoking or taking medications for high blood pressure.

UNIDENTIFIED PHYSICIAN: Every single one of our patients who has heart disease, part of our process is to discuss a flu vaccine. Not just to prevent the flu but as a means of preventing a heart problem.

[14:54:04] COHEN: And another benefit? If you don't get the flu, you won't give it to anyone else.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, reporting.



BALDWIN: This Sunday, the premiere of the CNN original series, "The Radical Story of Patty Hearst." The six-part series sheds new light on the bizarre kidnapping of American heiress, Patty Hearst, and her transformation from socialite to terrorist and back again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody saw us going up there. I kind of recall being on the right of the door and DeFreeze was on the left. DeFreeze and I bracketed the door where they couldn't see us.

Knock on the door. Angela alluded to an accident and asked to use the phone. DeFreeze grabs Weed and put him on the ground. Angela pounced on Patricia and started to secure with clothesline-type rope. I'm basically standing there with my machine gun now in plain view making sure nobody came back, in and out.

DeFreeze had some belief that they're so rich they must have a safe.


Defreeze is demanding to know where the safe is, you know? Of course, they're flummoxed. We don't have a safe, you know.

Weed, he has no idea that we're kidnapping his fiance. He was scared (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


BALDWIN: Joining me now, CNN chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, who is the executive producer for the series on the Patty Hearts kidnapping.

I mean -


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: That's Bill Harris. He kidnapped Patty Hearst. I mean --

BALDWIN: He's the guy?

TOOBIN: -- grabbed her and took her out of the house. That's how -- he has never talked on camera like this before.

BALDWIN: Total blast-from-the past story. Why are people still interested it that?