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Starbucks Reaches Settlement; Trump Possible Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Deal; Kanye West on Slavery; Cambridge Analytica Shuts Down; Republicans Marco Rubio and Tom Price release statements on Tax Reform and Obamacare; Aired 2:30-3p EST

Aired May 2, 2018 - 14:30   ET


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And that Starbucks will continue to take actions that stem from this incident to repair and reaffirm our values and vision for the kind of company we want to be. So we're going to hear more from them.

They're going to be releasing a joint statement with the two men and Starbucks start talking more about their - - their - - their upcoming plans. And as you mentioned, we already know one of the steps that Starbucks is going to take. Closing their stores on the afternoon of May 29th, 8,000 stores to give racial bias training to some 175,000 employees.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: We'll wait for more of the news on them and Starbucks. But still I love giving money to young entrepreneurs in the city of Philadelphia is awesome. Athena, thank you so very much for the update on them. Back to the breaking news as the President threatens to pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Iran now responding for the first time since Israel released what it's billed as new evidence about Iran's program. Plus the outrage growing after Kanye West says slavery "sounds like a choice." Yes, he said that. The backlash coming from fans and fellow artists alike. That's next.


[14:35:09] BROOKE BALDWIN: Breaking news, Iran is warning the United States that it will revert to it's - -

[14:35:13] BALDWIN: - - previous ways if President Trump pulls out of this Iran Nuclear Deal. Moments ago a top Iranian official telling CNN's Christiane Amanpour that without the U.S. there will be no deal left. So let's go to CNN's Global Affairs Correspondent Elise Labott, revert to it's previous ways.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well Brooke that essentially means and I - - I spoke with - - with a group of reporters to the Iranian Foreign Minister last week and he was talking about pretty quickly restarting up Iran's nuclear program. And that means enrichment, that means all the other aspects of what the Iranians call a peaceful nuclear program.

We know we've seen these documents from the Israelis in the last couple of days that they say shows that Iran actually was not working on a peaceful program. It was working on military program. But what I think the Foreign Minister means and what the Ambassador speaking to Christiane means is that Iran will start up it's nuclear program. And the Iranian Foreign Minister has spoke about more drastic measures so I think that's for a start.

BALDWIN: We'll wait for the reaction from Israel. Elise Labott thank you. Ahead on our other breaking story this afternoon, a huge legal shake up as President Trump ramps up his attacks on the Special Counsel. The President's White House lawyer out, a Clinton Impeachment lawyer in. What this means overall for the Mueller investigation.


[14:40:59] BROOKE BALDWIN: Kanye West, Kanye West. He is at it again. Just days after voicing his support for President Trump and drawing the ire of fans and fellow artists. The rapper just threw himself into an even bigger controversy after he said this to TMZ about slavery.


KANYE WEST, RAPPER: I'm a black person, a black community but I'm not just that. I feel like one thing is people try to minimize me to artist, hip-hop, black community. Yes, I'm always going to represent that but I also represent the world. When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds

like a choice. Like you was there for 400 years and it's all of ya'll? You know like, it's like we're - - we're mentally imprisoned. Do you feel that I'm feeling - - do you feel that I'm being free and I'm thinking free?

VAN LATHAN, TMZ SENIOR PRODUCER: I actually don't think you're thinking anything. I think what you're doing right now is actually the absence of thought. And the reason why I feel like that is because Kanye, you're entitled to your opinion. You're entitled to believe whatever you want. But there is fact and real world, real life consequence behind everything that you just said. And while you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you've earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that's come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice.


BALDWIN: That last voice there, Van Lathan, TMZ Senior Producer. Now Kanye West did tweet quote, "To make myself clear, of course, I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will." He goes on, "My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved." My next guest is Maxine Crump. She is the President and CEO of Dialogue on Race, Louisiana. Her great-great grandfather was sold a slave or was a slave who was sold to Georgetown University. So Maxine, welcome back. You know, I really wanted to hear from you on - - on these comments. Contemptible yes, but for you the subject of slavery is personal. When you heard Kanye West what were you thinking?

MAXINE CRUMP, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF DIALOGUE ON RACE: Well my first thought that I was listening to someone who wasn't thinking and hadn't thought. And as far as it being personal for me about slavery, it's personal to a lot of African Americans who descended from slavery. That's part of America's population. Those who descended from slavery.

BALDWIN: But - - but - - but more than that.

CRUMP: Mostly my thought was that, I was listening to someone who wasn't thinking and hadn't thought much about it.

BALDWIN: Wasn't thinking, hadn't thought. Let me add to this. Kanye West also did an interview with Charlamagne, a host on a popular morning radio show called "The Breakfast Club". The interview actually happened a couple of weeks ago but the audio was just released and in this clip I want to play Kanye said he didn't like that Harriet Tubman was being put on the $20 bill. Listen.


KANYE WEST, RAPPER: Why you got to keep reminding us about slavery? Why don't you show us - - put Michael Jordan on the $20 bill.

CHARAMAGNE, RADIO HOST: But Harriet Tubman was a slave who rebelled though. Her and Nat Turner in a different frequency though. They kind were like you when you said you didn't feel like being controlled.

WEST: Yes. You know what. It's funny like, my boy Tremaine (ph) tweeted, you know, a picture of me and Virgil (ph) and he said Malcom X, Martin Luther King. And all these people got mad, it's like how can you compare them to that? Man, I know this is going to cause an uproar but certain - - certain icons is just too far in the past and not relatable.


BALDWIN: Not relatable he says. I mean, I - - I was reading some of your comments your - - you - - your - -

[14:45:15] BALDWIN: - - your concerned right. You're concerned with Kanye and maybe other young people is just in how our history books are being written. How - - how young people in this country are being taught or not taught about parts of our history.

CRUMP: Yes. I don't want - - if I had a conversation with Kanye one on one, I wouldn't have a lot of say which is sort of how you're hearing my response now. Because if I'm talking to someone who's not thinking and I'm going to enter thoughts into a conversation with him, then we're not going to have a conversation on thought. And it sounds like he stands only in the immediate and for some reason does not want to deal with the past.

But I'm sure if there was a long enough conversation we would find that he does have thoughts about the past, which may be why he doesn't want to deal with it. But - - but I do - - I am concerned that there would be people who would be influenced by his thinking and think, well maybe he has a point. That would be the part that concerns me. And if they believe he has a point, it would be someone - - because they haven't had that education K-12 education.

If you think that 400 years of enslavement is treated as if people lived 400 years and stayed there 400 years, when there were generations of people who came through that system. And it was an American system and it was legal, a legal system. Never right, but legal. And that there were ways of keeping this construct that was beyond those individuals resources to do anything about it. They did everything they could. And what I would want is for everyone who's been through K-12 education and everyone involved with K-12 education at any level, administrators, those who write textbooks.

Any level of education needs to be concerned about hearing that and realize that it - - not just because he said it but because he's a public and popular person who might influence the thinking of his fans. And obviously a lot of people like him, he's as famous as he is. That I should think that that's an - - an OK way to think, it's very flawed and very surfaced. That in K-12 we need to make sure that people who come through our educational system get a clearer understanding of slavery and of how it is still an evolution today. That we're still living with the consequences of and the results of that still needs work.

BALDWIN: I just wanted to end on your words. I wanted to hear from you. Yes Kanye West has influence. Yes, he's famous, but you as a descendent of slaves with such a powerful voice sitting here on national television, I wanted to hear from you. Maxine Crump, thank you so much for the time and for your opinion.

CRUMP: My pleasure.

BALDWIN: Appreciate it. Back to our other breaking news is the President threatens the Justice Department saying he could intervene. His White House lawyers quitting and a Clinton impeachment lawyer joining the team. We have those new details ahead. Also, two high profile Republicans undermining the GOP tax law and Obamacare repeal by saying they both hurt Americans. So how will the President respond?


[14:53:01] BROOKE BALDWIN: Cambridge Analytica is shutting down. You'll remember that this is the research firm that was hired by the Donald Trump campaign and then was accused of improperly getting access to the user information of as many as 87 million Facebook users. In a statement the firm said this, "Over the past several months Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and despite the company's efforts to correct the record has been vilified for activities that are not only legal but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas." Two prominent Republicans going completely off script on two major

Republicans initiatives. You have Florida Senator Marco Rubio criticizing the massive GOP corporate tax cut and Trump's former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price saying most Americans will pay more because Republicans repealed Obamacare's individual mandates. So let's talk it over with CNN's Political Commentators Amanda Carpenter and Catherine Rampell.

And Amanda is the author of a brand new book, "Gaslighting America, Why We Love It When Trump Lies To Us". Congratulations and we'll get to that in just a second. But first Amanda to you, this is the - - the Tom Price quote, "You'll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in the market and consequently that drives up the cost for the other folks in that market." Why is Tom Price Former HHS Secretary stall wart Republican granted we - - we commend him. But why is he telling the truth?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well I - - I think we should all welcome that but here's the thing. With any kind of healthcare reform there is going to be disruption and as someone who, you know, through the campaign supported full repeal of Obamacare. Which means getting rid of much more than what the Trump Administration, GOP Congress did is going to raise prices for some people. I mean - -

BALDWIN: Why is he saying this?

CARPENTER: - - well because why should we not have an honest conversation about the cost of healthcare. There's a lot of people who pay less. There's a lot of people who pay more. For example when I was forced into the Obamacare exchange my prices went way, way, way up. And even though that they've signed the Executive Order to allow people to buy (inaudible) across state lines, I haven't seen that come into play yet. I can honestly say that because these reforms haven't fully come into action. And there's a lot of tweaking that needs - -

[14:55:15:] CARPENTER: - - to be done. Just because they repealed the individual mandate, it's not going to go far enough to give everyone the cost decreases that they need.

BALDWIN: So truth there. How about Marco Rubio? He - - his stunning suggestion here on the Republican corporate tax cut is that the fact that it's not actually helping everyday Americans. He told The Economist, there's still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they're going to take the money they're saving and reinvest it in American workers. In fact they bought back shares. A few gave out bonuses. There's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker. And Apple is the perfect example. They just announced Catherine this additional $100 billion in stock buy back. Historic returns right, which benefits investors but not employees.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well I want to say Marco Rubio welcome to the resistance.

CARPENTER: I don't think he's there. RAMPELL: Look this tax bill was a two for. It was bad policy and it was bad politics and Republicans are finally figuring this out. That not only was it a huge giveaway to the wealthy and it was going to increase our debt massively, but beyond that Americans, first of all, don't realize that they got a tax cut. Because their paycheck moves around from week to week or month to month or year to year because of their healthcare premiums or - - or whatever, their 401 Ks, or their wages changing.

They don't realize they got a tax cut. Second of all, they care more about the overall fairness of the system than their own tax burdens. There's a lot of polls - - polls that actually suggest that. And third of all, taxes don't really motivate people in terms of how they vote. So I think Rubio and others are finally realizing looking at these poll data that this was a big stinker.

CARPENTER: I just want to say that's really unfair to Marco Rubio because he now for a long time has tried to. There's a wing of the Republican party that just says do blank check corporate tax cuts and see what happens it will be good. He has always been in the camp that yes you can do that, but you also have to gear it more towards individual people. That's why he had problems with the GOP tax plan.

BALDWIN: He did.

RAMPELL: But he voted for it.


CARPENTER: He actually fought for a larger tax credit. So you've got to remember the tax bill had two tracks.


RAMPELL: He's criticizing the bill that passed.

CARPENTER: Of course because the individual part really doesn't kick in until next year. And so I think we should applaud people for having an honest conversation but don't depict their position as something that - -

RAMPELL: The individual part has already kicked in, withholding has already changed.

CARPENTER: No you won't see those benefits really until next year. It's corporate benefit you see right now.

RAMPELL: But the corporate - - the corporate tax cuts are being given away to investors.

CARPENTER: Well that's - -


BALDWIN: (inaudible) go back to the Apple example. I want you to walk people through this. I asked you about Apple a second ago and this - -


BALDWIN: - - and how - - how all this $100 billion, right, is being poured in but it benefits investors.

RAMPELL: Right. So Apple was already sitting on billions of dollars worth of cash. If they saw - -

CARPENTER: Their cash.

RAMPELL: Their cash. Right. Exactly. If they saw investment opportunities that they thought were worth while, they had the money to make those investment decisions. They could have either borrowed against their cash that they had in Ireland or wherever or they could have never sent it abroad to begin with. Right? So they had the opportunity to - - to - - they cash on hand. The problem with not financing is you give them a big windfall. What are they going to do with it? They're not going to invest.

CARPENTER: But they are investing in manufacturing in the U.S. Just because they're giving more money to their shareholders doesn't mean they're not doing other - -

BALDWIN: Part of the thought from Republicans, OK, well (inaudible) going to have a raise or you know fatter paychecks. Right?

(CARPENTER): Sure. Yes.

BALDWIN: And that isn't seen with - - with this (inaudible).

CARPENTER: And it's never a good idea to suggest what corporations are going to do with their monies. It's rather distinct position that, hey we want them to have - -

RAMPELL: The real - - the real problem here is that Republicans were arguing that this money is going to given to workers. And there is an argument, there is a supply set argument that corporate tax cuts could pay off somewhat in the long run. Because maybe in the long run it draws more capital and the country and that helps companies make investment decisions in the long run and that bids up wages, etcetera.

But when they seize onto these announcements by companies like Walmart, like Apple and other places that were saying, oh, we're going to give this money out of the goodness of our heart to our employees. That was just never going to be - -

CARPENTER: There were bonuses.

RAMPELL: But that was never going to be the mechanism by which tax cuts even by the people who promoted them were going to help - -

BALDWIN: Can we talk about this? Yes, please. Why do we like it, why do we love it when Trump lies to us Amanda Carpenter?

CARPENTER: We love it. I would say that - - I argue that there's three major influences of power in American politics. First, you have the Republicans who do love the lies that Trump tells because it signals a joint sense of loyalty to their cause. Like when he says "Lock Her Up", Hillary Clinton, nobody believes he going to lock up Hillary Clinton. But they like the way it feels and - -

BALDWIN: A rallying cry.

CARPENTER: - - because they get into it. So they love that kind of lie. The Democrats love it when he lies because they keep falling for this fantasy that this lie will be the one that does him in and we won't really have to compete with him in the political arena. Because voters will naturally come to us. Hillary Clinton made that mistake in the 2016 election. They continue to make that mistake. And I will say the media, I am a member of the media. I love it when he lies because it gives me something to talk about.

I can't turn off that button in my brain that says, what is he going to say next? I am a media obsessive. I admit it. But I also - -