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Gun Control in Congress; Justice Department Sues California; Food as Fuel; Trump and Daniels Story; Sanders Comments on Daniels Story; Jones Interviews Oprah. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 8, 2018 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Everybody talks about background checks. That seems to be something that there is wide consensus on. So what's the sticking point?

REP. STENY HOYER (D), MARYLAND: Well, I think the only conclusion one can draw is that the NRA is opposed to it and they don't want to offend the NRA. I think that's tragic, frankly. It's against the will of the American people. It's against the safety of our children. It's against the safety of people going to concerts, going to night clubs, going to churches, going to other places where people gather where people can -- are vulnerable. And, very frankly, I don't know any other explanation other than the NRA says they're opposed to it.


HOYER: And that's unfortunate. We ought to get rid of the bump stocks. I'm glad to see that the Florida legislature did that as well. I, frankly, think there's no use for an AR-15, a weapon that can shoot a lot of bullets very quickly, which is designed to kill a lot of people very quickly. And that's -- that's unfortunate. But we ought to be considering those on the floor of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

CAMEROTA: The NRA has a new video out that strikes many as a threat. So let me play this for you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had enough of the lies, the sanctimony, the arrogance, the hatred, the pettiness, the fake news. We are done with your agenda to undermine voters' will and individual liberty in America. To those who stain honest reporting with partisanship. To those who bring bias and propaganda to CNN, "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times," your time is running out. The clock starts now.


CAMEROTA: Your time is running out. What does that mean?

HOYER: Well, it sounds to me like a threat. But the irony is that in that ad they say undermining the voters' will. The voters' will is overwhelmingly for taking steps, particularly on the background checks, but also the majority of Americans believe that these rifles that can shoot a lot of bullets very fast and kill a lot of people very fast should not be on the market, should not be available. So the only one -- the only thing that one can conclude is the ARA and the NRA and that threat that you point to is intimidating the Republicans and that's, therefore, they don't act. Because it's certainly not reflecting the view of the American people who want to see action.

CAMEROTA: The father of one of the victims from Stoneman Douglas, Fred Guttenberg, who we spoke to several times when we were down there, his daughter was Jaime, he was on Capitol Hill yesterday speaking to many of your Democratic Senate colleagues. And here's how he hears that video of the NRA. Let me play this for you.


FRED GUTTENBERG, LOST HIS DAUGHTER JAIME IN FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING: I ask you a question. If this was put out by a terrorist organization, we would be raising the terror threat level in this country. Why are we letting this lobby have anything to do in D.C.? I don't understand it!


CAMEROTA: What's the answer to that? I mean --

HOYER: Well, I --

CAMEROTA: Go ahead.

HOYER: I understand his frustration. Now, I don't think the NRA is a terrorist group. And we have the First Amendment. And I think we honor the First Amendment. They're free to say what they want.

However, as I said, the irony is they said something about the voters' will. The voters' will is, in fact, being thwarted. The voters' will overwhelmingly reflected in polls is that they think we ought to take meaningful action certainly on the background checks.


HOYER: Overwhelming. But also on assault weapons, the bump stocks. The mental health clearly is a criteria which ought to be used in terms of background checks. And there ought to be a waiting period to buy guns. I think the Florida legislation has that. I think that's a step forward.


HOYER: But, very frankly, the Republican leaders in the Congress of the United States ought to have the courage to respond to the people's will and at least put it on the floor, at least give the representatives of the American people the right to vote on legislation which will help protect them and their children.

CAMEROTA: Congressman Steny Hoyer, thank you. We appreciate you being on.

HOYER: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so the Trump administration is escalating its immigration fight with California. The Justice Department is leading the way, suing to block three of the state's sanctuary laws. A live report, next.


[08:38:26] CUOMO: The Trump administration and the state of California are locking horns on immigration. The Department of Justice is suing to block three of California's so-called sanctuary cities. Attorney General Jeff Sessions claims California's leaders are protecting criminals and jeopardizing law enforcement lives.

Miguel Marquez live in Los Angeles with more.

It's good to see you.

What did you find?


Look, the relationship between the state of California and the Trump administration has been far more than complicated, it's been fraught at the very best, over things like taxes and the environment and marijuana. But immigration, and in particular these sanctuary policies, has taken that relationship to a whole new level.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The state of California, they are doing a lousy management job there.

MARQUEZ (voice over): The fight between President Trump --

GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: We know the Trump administration is full of liars.

MARQUEZ: And the California Republic --

BROWN: This is basically going to war against the state of California, the engine of the American economy. It's not wise, it's not right and it will not stand.

MARQUEZ: Now a heavyweight bout.

JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERA: How dare you. How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers.

MARQUEZ: The federal government now suing the golden state, its governor and attorney general over its so-called sanctuary immigration laws. The president first threatened to pull ICE and border patrol from the state.

TRUMP: If we ever said, hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves, in two months they'd be begging for us to come back. And, you know what, I'm thinking about doing it.

[08:40:05] MARQUEZ: Now his attorney general wants to undo three California laws limiting law enforcement cooperation and information sharing about immigration status on mainly law abiding immigrants.

SESSIONS: We are going to fight these irrational, unfair, unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you and your officers and on our federal officers.

MARQUEZ: Several California cities already have sanctuary laws on the books. In January, the acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement called for arresting officials who passed and signed the laws.

THOMAS HOMAN, ACTING ICE DIRECTOR: We've got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes. And these politicians can't make these decisions and be held unaccountable for people dying.

MARQUEZ: For its part, California has already sued the Trump administration five times on other immigration issues. The federal government now trying to rein in the golden state and possibly hundreds of other states, counties and cities nationwide and their immigration laws.


MARQUEZ: Now, but, wait, there's more. The president is due to visit California for the first time next week. He's expected to visit those pro-type border walls that he had built near San Diego. It's the first time he'll be out here since taking over the presidency, which is an interesting note. It's the first time a sitting president hasn't visited the golden state in their first year in office since Dwight D. Eisenhower. It kind of gives you an idea of where California sits on the president's agenda.


CUOMO: All right, Miguel, appreciate it. Good to see you, my friend.

MARQUEZ: Thank you.

CUOMO: The Stormy Daniels scandal quickly overshadowing the chaos at the White House. And you could argue it's part and parcel of it. Can the president overcome this? Van Jones, "The Bottom Line," next.

CAMEROTA: But first, stress is a part of everyday life. But what you eat and drink can help ease the pressure. Jacqueline Howard has more in today's "Food as Fuel."


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH WRITER: When you're feeling frazzled, you might crave something sweet. But Foods high in sugar could stress your body even more by raising your blood glucose levels. So instead of a candy bar, try snacking on cashews or roasted almonds. Cashews are rich in zinc, which is linked to lower anxiety. And Almonds are a source of B vitamins, which play a role in maintaining your mood.

If stress leaves you feeling tired, pass on coffee, soda and energy drinks. Caffeine can actually increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol. So consider a calming caffeine-free herbal tea, like chamomile, passion flower or mint. One study found tea could help lower cortisol levels.

But your best defense against stress eating may not be at mealtime but bedtime. Some studying suggest getting enough sleep makes you less likely to make unhealthy food choices when you're stressed out.



[08:47:06] CUOMO: The White House is caught in the storm named Daniels. It is a scandal. They have to deal with it. They are not handling it well. The president's alleged affair with the porn star giving late night comics plenty of fodder.

You wanted some. Here it is.


SETH MEYERS, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": Adult film star Stormy Daniels sued President Trump yesterday alleging that their non- disclosure agreement is not valid because he never signed it. And that sound you just heard was Melania dumping out her desk drawer looking for the marriage certificate. Maybe he didn't, maybe he didn't, maybe he didn't, maybe he didn't, maybe he didn't, maybe he didn't. Ah.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": This is a big deal because if Stormy wins this lawsuit, not only will she be able to talk, not only will she be able to tell everything, she will immediately be sworn in as president of the United States.

MEYERS: Law experts are saying that some of the language in adult film star Stormy Daniels' non-disclosure agreement suggests that she may have some lured photos that were taken during their sexual encounters. Said Trump, fake nudes.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LAKE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": So the bombshell news is that after Mr. Trump's victory, Mr. Cohen complained to friends that he had yet to be reimbursed for the payment to Ms. Clifford. Well, Mr. Cohen, maybe now you'll sympathy with Stormy Daniels because Donald Trump has screwed you both.


CUOMO: All right --

CAMEROTA: Let's bring in -- on that note, let's bring in Van Jones, shall we? Let's get "The Bottom Line" from him. He is the host of "The Van Jones Show" here on CNN.

So, listen, Van, this is tawdry stuff. Is it significant?

VAN JONES, CNN HOST, "THE VAN JONES SHOW": The fact that it may not be is significant in itself. The fact that you could have this low level of a standard for the president of the United States, the person we used to call the leader of the free world. The fact that we have to ask the question, is it significant, that maybe he paid off a porn star right before he was going to be elected president so the porn star wouldn't tell the world that he was cheating on his wife right after his last son was born, is that significant? The fact that we're asking if it's significant is significant.

CAMEROTA: Isn't it fun to play the, what if Barack Obama did this game?

JONES: Well, listen, if Barack -- I've said it a million times, if Barack Obama had done just half of what Trump did last week, he would have been impeached. He'd been in Guantanamo. So, listen, something's wrong with this guy. He's no longer here. Biden's the president. No, you saw it. Nobody say anything. We're moving on. And everybody would say, yes, if you -- if you reverse position on 12 different issues with -- you lose half your staff, you can't be president, there would have been no discussion. Obama would literally just be disappeared. Biden would be president and we would never mention his name again. But we're just rolling along.

CUOMO: He was never a morality play. Not even for people who make morality their cause, right?


CUOMO: Even the evangelicals, with all of their political history of what they find intolerant, whether it's the, you know, the idea of giving him a mulligan or a thousand mulligans, or whatever, they've bought in to not buying into him as a person.

[08:50:04] So then you have to look at the next level of significance, which is, lying is troubling for a presidency. And on that level, Sarah Huckabee Sanders yesterday saying this.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has addressed these directly and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true. This case has already been won in arbitration. And anything beyond that I would refer you to the president's outside counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said that there's arbitration that's already been won? By whom and when?

SANDERS: By the president's personal attorneys. And for details on that, I would refer you to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you're aware of them. So what more can you share with us?

SANDERS: I can share that the arbitration was won in the president's favor and I would refer you to the president's outside counsel on any details beyond that.


CUOMO: Key distinction. The first part she was reading from something. The second part she was not. And it is in the second part where she said something that is bad because the theory of the case, Van, is, Michael Cohen did this. He did this because he cares deeply about the president. He did it with his own money. And saying that the president won the arbitration puts him in the dynamic as opposed to just a third party beneficiary of it. Fair point?

JONES: Fair point. But, you know, even as talented a spin master as her, she's tap dancing on marbles all day. At some point you're going to slip. The marbles are not coming from Sarah Huckabee. The marbles are coming from the Oval Office, from the president, from his conduct, from the fact that he has all these sleazy people around him trying to cover up for the sleazy stuff he does in a sleazy way. And so when you have that much sleaze and when literally one word -- I mean this is -- you know, we -- everybody -- you know, Bill Clinton, well, what's the definition of (INAUDIBLE). He's still getting beaten up for that 25 years later. You're now -- and you're having to parse and -- this is just bad behavior from a bad person who got elected to the presidency of the United States possibly in a bad way with bad guys from Russia. That is bad, and she's doing the best she can with bad.

CUOMO: But to your point, it makes it much less likely that we ever see him do what Bill Clinton did, which is comply with a subpoena and testify in front of a grand jury or anywhere. I don't see how it happens when they have this kind of problems with the truth.

JONES: I mean he can't -- he can't get in an elevator and out of an elevator without saying 12 things that aren't true. I mean the guy -- let me -- he would tell 20 lies before he got into the room. So I don't understand -- for me, it is so heartbreaking. Part of the reason why I'm doing my show the way I'm doing it is, you know, that's the show called "The Van Jones Show" and we're trying to have, you know, some meaningful conversations with people, frankly, outside of politics because those people don't have to lie, they don't have to spin, they don't have to try to polish up all this stuff and they can speak a little bit more honestly, a little bit more truthfully.

CAMEROTA: So your dream interview, I don't know, I mean just shoot for if moon.


CAMEROTA: Would it be, I don't know, Oprah?

JONES: You know, sometimes dreams come true. You know, sometimes dreams come true.

CAMEROTA: That's a movie (INAUDIBLE). JONES: Yes, this weekend.

CAMEROTA: So what are you going to talk to her about?

JONES: Oh, you know, we've got Oprah Winfrey. She's coming on, on "The Van Jones Show." But, you know what, it's not just "The Van Jones Show." Sunday night is an all-star show of force on the part of the network. I think the network feels like we get beat up all day with all this nonsense, so we're going to have Oprah for an hour with Ava Duevarnay (ph). Then we've got the Kennedys. Then we've got the Pope.

So it's like, here's all the good stuff ever. Like, you know what I mean, served up on a big platter. Starts at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, on the East Coast, 5:00 p.m. on the West Coast.

And, listen, we need to hear from Oprah Winfrey. We need some inspiration. We need some hope. We need some wisdom. We need some love. We need some help. And she's coming to help.

CUOMO: You know, it's interesting you say that. I was at the 92nd Street Y the other night.


CUOMO: You know, if you're not from New York, you may not know it as well, but it's a big cultural fixture here in New York. And they've had the greats there of moral agency.


CUOMO: Whether it was Elie Wiesel (ph) or just, you know, a whole lineage (ph). And so many people are saying, who is it today? Who is giving us a reason to believe in something positive? That's a challenge in politics as well. And I guess you'd have to say punitively (ph) it's a challenge for the Democrats especially because they're looking to unseat the current president. What do you make of that?

JONES: Look, I think that right now whoever shows up with some real hope is going to get a big hearing from our party. Right now it's all, we're mad at Trump, we hate Trump, we're mat at Trump, we hate Trump. Listen, when that young Kennedy kid -- speaking about the Kennedys -- when that -- with Joe Kennedy, when he came out there and spoke from his heart in a hopeful way, he got a big audience. I don't think it's going to be anti-Trump election. It's got to be a pro-hope election.

CAMEROTA: And so, very quickly, why is Oprah not going to do it?

JONES: I've -- we'll figure -- I've got to ask her. We'll find out. We'll find out.

CAMEROTA: You do that. You do that, Van.

All right, Van, thank you very much for the preview. Be sure to watch Van's interview with Oprah on "The Van Jones Show" airing at a special time this Sunday, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN. [08:55:07] CUOMO: How about a little "Good Stuff," next.

CAMEROTA: I'd love it.


CUOMO: We are celebrating the women in today's edition of "The Good Stuff."

In case you didn't know, today is International Women's Day.

CAMEROTA: I'm wearing purple.

CUOMO: Congratulations.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

CUOMO: Congratulations.

CAMEROTA: I'm going to accept this award on behalf of all women.

CUOMO: That is a big honor, by the way.

All right, so, Melinda Gates is spreading the wealth. She plans to empower women around the world. How? The money. She and her husband are going to spend $170 million over the next four years. Remember, they already spend a ton of money through their foundation. They want to help women exercise economic power.

Plus, McDonald's, you see what they did? They flipped the arches on you. You see. Look at this. The California chain, that "M" into a "W" to celebrate women. They also say that six out of ten of their managers are female.

So to all the women out there who are doing great things and those who will continue to do so, congratulations. We celebrate you.

CAMEROTA: Maybe McDonald's should keep it that way.

CUOMO: The "W"?

[09:00:00] CAMEROTA: Yes. I like it.

CUOMO: Screw up the brand.

CAMEROTA: Flip it up.

CUOMO: Wdonalds?

CAMEROTA: Yes. You're welcome, McDonald's.

All right, time for CNN "NEWSROOM" now with John Berman.

We'll see you tomorrow.