Return to Transcripts main page
First Lady Hospitalized; Remembering Margot Kidder; Dogs Save People's Lives; China Trade Talks. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired May 15, 2018 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:36] DAVID GREGORY, CNN ANCHOR: New details this morning on the Melania Trump story. She's at Walter Reed Medical Center, as you know, recovering from a procedure for what's been described as a benign kidney condition.
President Trump just tweeting about her, quote, we'll put it on the screen, our great first lady is doing really well. Will be living hospital in two or three days. Thank you for so much love and support.
Great news to hear that the first lady is doing better.
Let me just -- I want to bring in -- joining us now to discuss, our chief -- CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and former Walter Reed urologist, Dr. Greg Bernstein.
Welcome to both of you to give us some insight into what's happening here.
Let's put up the statement from the first lady's communication director to just give us a little bit more background on what at least the White House is saying about it. This was released yesterday. This morning, First Lady Melania Trump underwent an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition. The procedure was successful and there were no complications. Mrs. Trump is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will likely remain there for the duration of the week. The first lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere.
Sanjay, start with you. So now what do we know about what this is, what it's not and her prognosis?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know is that this embolization procedure is a procedure as opposed to a surgery. A surgery is usually when you make an incision in the body, you're actually manipulating the tissue and the organs directly.
Think of this more like a large IV where you're basically putting that into a blood vessel and then threading a catheter up into the area around where this abnormality in the kidney is. And the goal is to inject some -- a glue-like substance to basically block the blood vessels from going to that abnormality so that it starts to shrink or if it was at risk of bleeding it lowers the risk of bleeding.
So that's what it is. It's not an operation, per se.
We also know that she's expected to stay in the hospital for several days --
GUPTA: Which is a bit unusual for this sort of thing. But that's kind of it.
And that it's benign. It's a benign kidney condition. That's as much as we can take away from the -- from what we've heard.
GREGORY: So, Dr. Bernstein, I guess a couple of points. One, with your background at Walter Reed, what do you know about procedures there that may shed some light on why the first lady will stay there for several more days as the president indicated. And I guess the question that comes to mind for me about a benign, you know, mass in the kidney is, what are potential future complications on -- for kidney function, for one, or any other potential complications?
DR. GREG BERNSTEIN, FORMER WALTER REED UROLOGIST, M.D.: Well, let me -- let me tackle the first question first. The first question addressed, you know, why Walter Reed, why staying there for a few days? I think, you know, after an embolization procedure, you know, there is some pain, obviously, with an embolization procedure. What they're doing is they're cutting off the blood supply, which is therefore, you know, cutting off the oxygen to that part of the kidney, and that can have some significant pain associated with it, not only during the procedure, but after the procedure. And there's a common phenomenon called a post embolization syndrome, which can be associated with pain and fever and nausea, which can last for a couple of days after the procedure. And -- so I think, you know, with the first lady being -- having the availability to stay at Walter Reed for a couple of days, where they have the best nurses in the world, they have a private suite there with top notch ancillary support, they can tend to her needs, tend to her pain, tend to her comfort and make sure that they're watching her, monitoring her during the next couple of days, first couple of days after the procedure.
BERNSTEIN: The second question you asked about, complications afterwards. So, you know, in the initial phase, as I refer to long- term, probably just potential for an infection. Maybe some potential for post-operative bleeding. They're probably monitoring her vital signs and some lab work to make sure everything is stable.
GREGORY: Sanjay, your thought on also the road ahead for her when somebody presents with this kind of condition as they age, you know, knowing the importance of our kidneys, what do you look for over time?
GUPTA: I think that, you know, given that she's had this procedure done, it sounds like they were doing a procedure on a particular part of the kidney. As you know, you have two kidneys. You know, people can live with just one kidney, even. So, in some cases, when they're doing these kind of procedures, if they can't complete them successfully, they're actually remove one of the kidneys. And patients do pretty well from that. I mean you can do well with one kidney. It's not an ideal situation because if you ever damaged that second kidney or you developed some sort of problem with it, that obviously makes it much worse.
[08:35:17] But, in her case, given that she's been able to just have this procedure, her kidney's still in place, seems like it probably still functions. I wouldn't worry as much about her kidney function long-term.
I am still curious, though, about this more prolonged hospitalization. I agree with Dr. Bernstein that, you know, a day maybe in the hospital. I'm just wondering, sometimes these embolization procedures are done in advance of another procedure. You know, don't know if she's having that -- that's planned or not coming down the road. But that's still I think the big, open question mark is, what's next? I'm not as much worried about her kidney function, just her hospitalization now.
GREGORY: So, Dr. Bernstein, we're not, to make it clear, we're not speculating about Melania Trump particularly, but when you do see these kinds of procedures, as Sanjay says, could it be a precursor to another procedure? What are those procedures? (INAUDIBLE).
BERNSTEIN: Sure. You know, again, I'm not part of her team. There is the potential that this could be something more serious. There could be the need for additional procedures down the road. It's really -- you know, with the little information that we received yesterday, it's really too hard to know. I don't want to read in too much into her stay into the hospital as far as that's concerned. I think more it's the fact that she's -- it's a -- she's a private person.
BERNSTEIN: They have a staff there. They have the hospital there. And I think it's a, you know, a luxury that she has to be able to stay in the hospital.
GREGORY: And final point on this, Sanjay, as a doctor but also as a journalist, as we look at the -- in the past, first ladies who have had medical procedures, Nancy Reagan, a mastectomy in October of '87, Rosalynn Carter had a benign lump removed from her breast. Betty Ford had a procedure as well in the 70s. So it's not unusual, but at the same time you can imagine a prolonged stay to avoid, you know, the pictures of a return to the White House if you're -- if you're not feeling up to walking so well. I mean there could be those reasons why they want to stay in the hospital a little longer.
GUPTA: Yes. This is a -- that's a -- it's an unusual, obviously, situation in that regard. You're dealing with a -- with the first lady of the United States. So there's all sorts of, you know, certain things that go into that. I think that that's very fair and I -- as Dr. Bernstein pointed out, who's worked at Walter Reed, this is a place where she can have that privacy, also the security within Walter Reed. This is a hospital that's taken care of the first family in the past, obviously. So, you know, the few days in the hospital I imagine for her post
operatively should be very comfortable and very well attended.
GREGORY: Right. Doctors, thank you so much. We continue to wish our first lady well and a speedy recovery and get back to the White House soon.
Thank you both very much.
BERNSTEIN: Thank you.
GUPTA: Yes, thank you.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, now to the sad news from Hollywood. For Superman movie fans, Margot Kidder brought Lois Lane to life and now those fans are paying tribute to her. We take a look back at her life and career, next.
[08:42:01] GREGORY: Hollywood stars flooding social media this morning with tributes to the big screen's iconic Lois Lane. Margot Kidder starred in four Superman films in the 1970s and '80s before becoming a mental health advocate. She died in her sleep Sunday at 69.
CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a look back at Kidder's life.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Margot Kidder, aka Lois Lane, the kind of girl who wonders if she should put on something warmer.
MARGOT KIDDER, ACTRESS: I need a sweater.
MOOS: To go flying the first time with Superman.
She wasn't just a Lois Lane --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Margot Kidder as Lois Lane.
MOOS: She was the Lois Lane, appearing in four Superman movies. He was always breaking her fall. For instance, at the Eiffel Tower.
CHRISTOPHER REEVE, ACTOR: I believe this is your floor.
MOOS: She was having a romance with the man of steel, wondering about Clark Kent.
KIDDER: Who are you?
REEVE: A friend.
KIDDER: Which they were in real life. Kidder once told CBS, when you're strapped to someone hanging from the ceiling for months and months, you get pretty darn close.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actress Margot Kidder talks about her battle with depression.
MOOS: She had bipolar disorder, struggled through a public meltdown and was found wondering around Los Angeles thinking the CIA was after her.
KIDDER: I slept with a -- a couple nights with a homeless man in his cardboard box.
It's so shameful that you hide it from yourself.
MOOS: But she picked herself up and became a mental health advocate. At the age of 69, her manager says she died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Montana. Now she and Christopher Reeve and the World Trade Center they flew by together are all gone.
When she could no longer hold on, he was there to catch her as she delivered her catchiest line.
REEVE: Easy, miss, I've got you.
KIDDER: You've -- you've got me? Who's got you?
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
GREGORY: Who's got you?
CAMEROTA: Who's got you?
GREGORY: And it was -- I remember how big of a deal -- when he brought her back to that -- his battlestar galactica, you know, home base --
GREGORY: That was a big deal in the film.
CAMEROTA: That was a big deal.
GREGORY: That was a big deal for me.
CAMEROTA: That's awesome. I mean, listen, we applaud her for talking about mental health.
CAMEROTA: Any time you talk in public, it breaks the taboo. And so she led the charge --
GREGORY: She did a great job.
CAMEROTA: Helped lead the charge on that.
CAMEROTA: All right, meanwhile, President Trump tweeting just moments ago about trade talks with China. There's a lot happening with China and some of his supporters are not pleased about some of the other things he's tweeted. So we'll look at "The Bottom Line," next.
GREGORY: But, first, shelter dogs are being given a new leash on life.
GREGORY: See what we did there? As search and rescue canines in disaster zones, more on their mission in today's "Impact Your World."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't have anything that can cover a 10,000 square foot area of rubble as fast as a dog can.
WILMA MELVILLE, FOUNDER, SEARCH DOG FOUNDATION: The Search Dog Foundation have responded to approximately 168 disasters. The World Trade Center. The major hurricanes, Katrina, Harvey and Irma.
[08:45:06] WADE HILTER (ph), K-9 SPECIALIST, LONG BEACH (ph) FIRE DEPARTMENT: My canine is Rex. The biggest obstacle we faced recently was the Montecito mudslides. He was having to dolphin through the mud to get actually to where we were at.
What a good boy.
MELVILLE: As a FEMA certified team, we were asked to go to the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. The nation had approximately 15 of these dog and handler. The country now has approximately 275. The search dog foundation not only uses rescued dogs from shelters, but trains that dog at no cost.
EMILY HODGES, K-9 TRAINER, SEARCH DOG FOUNDATION: In training we have to set up the scenarios as real life as possible. That bark is what the dog's use to communicate to their handlers that they have located live human scent.
A lot of the dogs that come into our program were slated for euthanasia. Essentially we're saving these dogs lives to save peoples' lives.
[08:50:19] CAMEROTA: OK, President Trump's latest tweet teasing trade talks with China is this trade negotiations are continuing with China. They have been making hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the U.S. for many years, stay tuned.
Did he seal a deal also with a Chinese tech firm, TZE? We need to talk about that.
CAMEROTA: DT -- what?
GREGORY: You said TZE. It's --
CAMEROTA: And what is it?
We need to talk about ZTE, David Chalian, our political director with "The Bottom Line."
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Good morning.
CAMEROTA: So, let's talk about this because this is the tech giant that was violating sanctions, dealing with Iran, with North Korea. It caught many people, including many Trump supporters, by surprise, when on Sunday the president tweeted that he was going to be helping that tech giant in China save jobs. What's going on here?
CHALIAN: Right. You wonder in the tweet this morning, you said, well, is there a deal here he's ready to announce? The other question could be, or is this just a cleanup tweet of that tweet on Sunday which could be summed up in sort of, make China great again. And -- and before he heads to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Republicans today who would like a little more information about why he tweeted what he tweeted on Sunday.
There are two prongs here, Alisyn. You've got an economic concern, which is what happened to America first and, you know, really concerned about America jobs at all cost and all of a sudden we're hearing from the president about striking a deal with Xi to make whole this company who suffered under sanctions. But then there's the national security component to this as well, which is, is ZTE -- if you have a ZTE component phone in your hand, are you all of a sudden a spy for the Chinese government unwittingly? And so there are real concerns here. Two members of the leadership in the Senate, Cornyn and Thune, have already said they want to question President Trump about this today.
GREGORY: Can we just pull out just a little bit longer. You may have a follow-up on that. But a little bit larger picture. Because what I'm noticing, you know, you wonder to what extent trade talks with China fit into how the president and his team are thinking about a potential deal with North Korea. You look about -- at tearing up the Iran deal, moving the embassy to Jerusalem. It really strikes me that this is a president who is feeling what a lot of presidents feel, which is, they have the most control when it comes to foreign policy and national security policy and all of a sudden he's putting together a portfolio of potential successes and certainly bold action whether you agree with it or not that will really define this administration.
CHALIAN: It's a good point, David, after -- especially when you put it up against the context of a year of what was largely frustration on domestic policy dealing with Congress, unable to bend it towards its will. You're right, many presidents have found this. I mean other than at the end of the year he was able to get that big tax cut legislation through.
But for the big part of his first year, he was mostly just living in frustration that Congress wasn't going along with him. And I think you're right, most presidents do find the foreign policy, national security arena a little bit more easy to bend to its will.
But there's something added here, I think, that is specific to President Trump, and that is, the art of the deal president. This is -- this is the guy who came in and said, I am a deal maker and I am going to make deals -- you know, it will make your head spin how many deals I'm going to make. And I think he's starting to really feel the ability to do that in the office.
CAMEROTA: Laura Ingraham, conservative commentator, host on Fox News, radio host, she has, I think, proven herself to be somebody who is willing to call the president out when she's confused about one of his policies, or it seems inconsistent. She's just done so this morning about the ZTE thing. She says, this is extremely disconcerting. Just as Donald Trump is moving public opinion on China, this strange move to help ZTE. Soy beans are not as important as national security. Is North Korea the reason?
So, David, I mean do you expect to hear from other people who this is some sort of line for them where they think the president has gone overboard?
CHALIAN: Yes, I think you're going to hear from all different corners, both conservative corners and his critics on the left, to -- for clarity here. I think that the president has not spelled out exactly what he's doing with China. We know how much he relied on China to get to the place he is to set up this June 12th meeting with Kim Jong-un. But I think everybody is looking for clarity on what he's doing with China and his tweet confused more than clarified on Sunday.
GREGORY: And the question is whether his hard line stance on trade will soften if he gets something from China on North Korea.
[08:55:01] CHALIAN: Exactly.
CAMEROTA: All right, David Chalian, thank you very much for "The Bottom Line."
GREGORY: Good to see you.
CHALIAN: Thanks, guys.
CAMEROTA: We have "The Good Stuff" for you. That's next.
CAMEROTA: OK, David, listen up, it is time for "The Good Stuff."
GREGORY: I'll decide just how good it is. CAMEROTA: You'll decide when you listen up.
A college student in Maryland risks his own life to save an elderly woman. Trey Williams (ph) was walking home from class when he saw this house on fire. Now, most people would run in the opposite direction, but he immediately ran inside. He saw an 80-year-old woman in need of help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After I put my arm around her shoulder and she put her arm around my waist and I just was like -- was ushering her out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK, her grandkids were so impressed they tracked Trey down on social media to say thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, a young person like that, going up there, taking that initiative and that step to bang on the door to get somebody out, I mean he's just, you know, he's a brave, brave soul.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't think I do anything too spectacular. Just hopefully anybody in that situation would have done it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: No, Trey, everybody would not have done it in that situation.
[09:00:00] CAMEROTA: That is so wonderful. Oh, my gosh, he really is a hero.
GREGORY: Speaks to the character and the bravery of people in the DMV, the District of Maryland and Virginia.
GREGORY: That's how we do it down there.
CAMEROTA: I feel this is a self-serving plug that you've just given us --
GREGORY: No, no, it's just geography.
CAMEROTA: It's just geography.
GREGORY: No, it's about the great people where I live.