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tv   CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello  CNN  January 18, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PST

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gathering together to shave the life of the owner of the shop. rob seppner went into septic shock. customers raised cash for his medical treatment. he and his family say they're grateful for the generogenerosi >> that's a sweet story. we'll be live tomorrow in washington, d.c. for trump's inauguration. we're there, also, friday starting extra early at 5:00 a.m. set your dvr for that. >> also covering the inaugural parade. >> in the rain. >> maybe so. time for the "newsroom" with carol costello. no umbrellas on the parade route. >> i'll cross my fingers for a beautiful day. "newsroom" starts now. good morning and thank you for joining me live from washington, d.c. we're overlooking the u.s. capitol. i'm carol costello. we do begin with breaking news this morning.
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george h.w. bush, the former president, resting this morning in houston hospital. he was admitted saturday for shortness of breath and a cough. he's 92 years old, suffers from a form of parkinson's disease. his office says he is responding well to treatments. joining me is cnn special correspond jamie gangel with more. what are you learning? >> reporter: we have very good news. but all accounts, former president bush or, as we like to call him, 41 is doing much, much better. as you mentioned, he was admitted to houston methodist hospital on saturday. i'm told it was really as a precaution because he was suffering from shortness of breath and a persistent cough which they suspected might be early pneumonia. they have not had a diagnosis yet. as a result, cnn has learned that he was put on antibiotics, and i'm told he has responded so
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well that spokesman jim mcrath told me earlier this morning that everyone is so pleased with how he's doing, they hope he's going to be released and going home in a couple of days. his wife, barbara bush, came to visit him, his son neal bush came to visit him. also, we were told his chief of staff, gene beck earl told us he is doing fine. she went to see him, he was alert, chatty and very engaged. look, carol, this is all good news, but, as you mentioned, to put it in some perspective, he is 92 years old. he's had similar health problems in the past. in 2012, he was hospitalized and indiana tensive care for two months with bronchitis and a cough. so no one is taking any chances. carol. >> no one is taking any vances. i joust wonder if his son will attend donald trump's inauguration or feel the need to
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be with his father at this time. >> reporter: i asked about the family. president george w. bush 43 is actually in florida right now with some of the other family members. from everything i've been told, president bush 41 really is doing much better, and we have every reason to think that president bush 43, his son, will still be attending the inauguration. i think the bottom line here is the word precaution. he's had these problems in the past. they didn't want to take any chances, but he has responded very well to the antibiotics, and he's 92, but they really think he's going to be getting out of the hospital shortly. >> i hope so. strong guy. jamie gang el reporting live. we're following major stories
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this morning. two days before his inauguration, donald trump appears heading to the white house without a single cabinet position filled. expect fireworks for health and human services nominee, facing a grilling about not only obamacare but questionable stock dealings as a georgia congressman. more house democrats are boycotting the inauguration, nearly five dozen in all joining the protest. president obama just hours from his final news conference wrapping up his term with sky high approval ratings. we are covering all the fast-developing angles of this government in transition. let's begin with cnn's jason carroll live outside trump tower. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. let's begin with the interview that the president-elect gave. he has been talking about a number of familiar topics to fox news. he explained he's still angry over that unsubstantiated report that leaked about him and russia. he still had some choice words
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about the wall and mexico, saying mexico will, in fact, reimburse the united states for the cost of the wall but did not give specifics about how and when that would happen. still again speaking out about congressman lewis and those democratic lawmakers who say they are boycotting his inauguration. >> i think for him to have grandstanded, because i think he just grandstanded, john lewis and then got caught in a very bad lie. let's see what happens. as far as other people going, that's okay, because we need seats so badly. i hope they give me their tickets. >> you're okay with them not going? >> what happens to their tickets? i hope they'll give us their tickets. >> he also said in that interview that he would be agreeable to sitting down, carol, with an interview to speak with congressman lewis. also, in a separate interview with a new media outlet called axias, he made other key points.
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he said his confrontational style is misunderstood. he also said he is not a divisive individual. he also says health care is his most urgent domestic matter. he said he just had a conversation with president obama about that on monday. carol. >> jason carroll live outside trump tower in new york, thank you. president obama is holding his final press conference in just a matter of hours. he's going out with sky-high approval ratings. 60%. 60% compared to other outgoing presidents, topped only by clinton and reagan. cnn's athena jones has more on this. she's live outside of the white house. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. not a bad way to be leaving the white house. as you mentioned, sky-high approval ratings, the highest approval ratings since june of 2009. fares well when compared to other past presidents, almost doubling the approval rating of the man he replaced, george w. bush. let's look at some of the
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issues. we see president obama has good marks on his handling of the economy and race relations. he got mixed reviews when it comes to health care policy which is perhaps not surprisins. that has been a hot button issue since the beginning of his presidency. he got bad reviews on handling of isis. you'll remember he once called the islamic state the jv team. he's been criticized for being late to taking isis seriously by his critics. majority of americans say they will miss him. this is interesting in it light of what the president told his old friend david axelrod last month. he said his message of unity and hope could join the american people. 58% approval rating is interesting there. when it comes to the first lady, she is ending with her highest favorability ratings, 69% since 2012. that matches her january 2009
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favorability rating. that was just before the inauguration that year. overall, very good numbers as the first family prepares to say good-bye to 1600 pennsylvania avenue. carol. >> agethena jones from the whit house, thank you. one topic sure to be the focus at the press conference, that decision to commute the prison sentence of chelsea manning. the former army soldier was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to wikileaks. the decision, which was made despite opposition from the defense secretary ash carter sparking sharp criticism on both sides of the aisle. this morning on cnn, the white house press secretary josh earnest spoke out about the factors that influenced president obama's actions. >> she has served her time. the seven-year sentence, the seven years she's served behind bars is consistent with the sentence that was handed down to other people who have committed
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similar crimes but got less attention for committing them. the president believed this was an ap eight punishment. >> cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson joins me now in london. good morning, nic. >> reporter: wikileaks founder julian assange congratulate d chelsea manning. julian assange has been in the ecuadorian embassy for about four and a half years, facing charges in sweden completely unrelated to wikileaks. however, he has said -- he tweeted a couple days ago that if president obama commuted chelsea manning's sentence, he would turn himself over to u.s. authorities. his lawyer has tweeted today that jewel jan assange will stick to his word. the lawyer has tweeted that
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julian assange believes he can now get a fair trial in the united states. this comes very hard on the heels of wikileaks, and by implication, julian assange's connection to the russian hacking that u.s. intelligence officials believe was designed to help get donald trump elected. it's unclear if assange will leave the ecuadorian embassy here. we don't know of the specific charges that he might face if he did. >> all right, nic robertson reporting live from london, thanks so much. let's talk about all this. dan pfeiffer, cnn political commentator and former senior adviser to president obama. abbie phillip a cnn political analyst. and andre bauer, the former lieutenant governor of south carolina. welcome to all of you. dan, i'll start with you. president obama is one busy lame duck. is it possible he can leave office and not still be
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involved? >> reporter: i think he, as he has said on a number of interviews on his way out the door, he's going to take a vacation, get some sleep, start the process of thinking about his memoirs, working on his library. he's going to step away. that's the right thing for him and the democratic party. >> will step away for a little bit. >> i think he'll play a role similar that other ex-presidents. he has been clear that if donald trump -- he was going to give donald trump space. if he does something that went at the core, deporting some of the dream kids or muslims, he might feel compelled to speak out. that would not surprises me. >> president obama is going out on a high. president-elect trump is going in on a low, right? is the trump team concerned that president obama will step in and be vocal and make things more difficult for donald trump. >> i don't think there's concern. donald trump has a clear vision of where he wants to take the country, vastly different than
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president obama. make no mistake, president obama is a young man, a lot of life left in him. he's a big figure and big leader. he will be an important part of where history goes. when he weighs in on something, he will have impact. >> will he welcome impact from president obama? >> i hope donald trump will welcome input from everyone. i hope president obama will give donald trump a chance to get there, work on priorities. my hope a is they'll find common ground on a lot of things where he can use some of the wisdom president obama picked up over the last eight years. president obama came in as a person who didn't have a lot of background into the job. >> president obama came in with very high approval ratings, 80%. >> my point was he had to adapt from the office. he got help from other people. he was so humble in how he talked about how president bush
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helped him and made it so easy, the transition, and i thought he was very humble in himself and how he treatedment bush and gave him accolades. i hope he will do the same for president-elect trump. >> mr. trump sat down on fox news and gave an interview on fox and friends. he was asked the question about why so many celebrities were backing out of performing at the inauguration. in the course of his answer, he did mention president obama. listen and i'll ask what you think. >> i have prepared it. the first line is thanking everybody, all the presidents, including by the way president obama and michelle, who have been absolutely nice. i'm thanking president obama. i'm thanking his very lovely wife because they have been so gracious. many of the celebrities that are saying they're not going, they were never invited. i don't want the celebrities. i want the people. we have the biggest celebrities in the world there. >> you.
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>> well, i won't say that. >> how about these designers that are saying -- >> the biggest celebrity there would be president obama. he's probably joking. he said lovely things about the outgoing president. >> this is the interesting thing about behind the scenes. what we see on the public stage is different than behind the scenes. donald trump said he spoke with president obama, after the questions about john lewis and his aides went on television and blamed obama for the legitimacy question. the relationship between donald trump and barack obama is not necessarily what we're seeing and hearing from trump's aides out in the public. i think that is a result of the fact that these two men are doing a job that not have many people in the world ever get to do and they're on a different plane. they're doing things over here and we're watching things happen over here. i think donald trump is very
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much appreciative of the fact that obama has gone out of his way not to put knives into him, at least rhetorically, although there's other things going on in terms of policy. >> wouldn't it be bad if he talked against a guy incredibly popular right at the moment? >> it might be. but given the history between the two, donald trump spent years questioning whether obama was born in the united states. there's no reason necessarily for obama to put that aside, but he has. i think that's one of the things that trump, to his credit, acknowledges and appreciates. >> something else that was interesting, kellyanne conway on gma said trump prepared his own inaugural address. it will be all about unity. it will be a beautiful message about bringing the country together. >> i am skeptical of that. i'm skeptical he wrote it since there's never been a documented instance of him writing any speeches or paragraphs. >> he ad libs a lot.
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>> if it's 140 characters, maybe he did write it. he said after the election he was going to try to bring the country together. since that day, he has done the exact opposite of that. i hope as an american, he does something different when he comes here on friday. i think there's good reason for skepticism. >> good reason for skepticism? >> no. i'm an eternal optimist. donald trump cares about his legacy, too. he wants to be the guy that goes down in history that really god something done. through his life it's been about accomplishments, not just about rhetoric. he's going to be concerned that he enters this going all out and he has a good year, that he starts out with a positive and gets things done. i think part of that is working together with congress. i would rather him not pick a fight with john lewis. hopefully we'll move on quickly. >> one of the things over the weekend, donald trump on friday is going to be the same guy we saw in the campaign? i think that's true. i think donald trump is not
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going to change. he's not going to back away from who he is. that might be divisive. that's who he's been pretty consistently. >> you guys stick around. we have a lot more to talk about. also, don't forget to tune in for this cnn film "the end," inside the last days of the obama white house tonight at 9:00 eastern. i had to get that in. they ordered me to. it's going to be great. hope you watch it. bracing for fireworks on capitol hill as four more of trump's cabinet picks take the hot seat. we'll talk about that next. i have asthma...
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good morning. i'm carol costello. confirmation hearings about to get under way on capitol hill. that will happen at the top of the hour. the toughest questions would be the man who would oversee the replacement of obamacare, this after a contentious hearing for the education secretary. krrn's sunlen serfaty on capitol hill. good morning. >> good morning. tom price is donald trump's nominee for health and human services. not only today have democrats signaled it is the first part of a two-part hearing, that they intend to really hammer him on his plans and intechks for obamacare, but he goes into this hearing with many allegations of insider trading which democrats say they intend to drill him on today. going forward, there are four confirmation hearings on the hill today. yesterday, a very contentious hearing for betsy devos, trump's
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education secretary nominee, facing a slew of questions from democrats not only on her support for school choice and vouchers, her past donations to republicans. but an interesting exchange when she was asked specifically whether guns have anyplace in the classroom. here is her response. >> you can't say definitively today that guns shouldn't be in schools? >> well, i refer back to senator enzie and the school he was talking about in wyoming. i think probably there i would imagine there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies. >> if president trump moves forward with this plan to ban gun-free school zones, will you support that proposal? >> i will support what the president-elect does. >> that term grizzlies there, that reference to grizzly bears drawing some laughter in the
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crowd at that confirmation hearing. senator chris murphy afterwards taking to twitter to register his displeasure saying he was shaken to the core by her answer. >> with me now, my panel, dan peifer, abbie phillip, andre bower. dan, we know mr. trump is for guns in the schools. if betsy devos is confirmed, do you think that will happen? >> not something in the death purview of the sec tafr retary education. the grizzly bear answer was interesting. the overall performance was alarming to both people on both sides of the aisle in terms of her preparedness on some of the basic core issues around i.d.e.a. funding and things like that. you would have thought she practiced those answers before she got to the dias. >> democrats found that confirmation hearing very disturbing. republicans more positive.
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what did you take away from that, especially the part about the guns, that got most parents' attention. do you want guns in a kindergarten class? >> it's a very sensitive issue. quite frankly, if people knew that a teacher that was trained had a gun, you might have less school shootings. you don't see places where there are a lot of guns get robbed. as a parent, i would have a different feeling and would be ultimately concerned. make no mistake, he has assembled and all-star group. i hope the senate will be more constructive and less obstructive and get things done for the american people. he's put together a bunch of business leaders, people from the private sector giving up great-paying jobs and put up a lot of bs because they have a vision to make our country better. i applaud them and hope we won't get hung up on senators trying to look good in their districts. >> that's not just a sound bite. >> there were substantive issues that were brought up in that
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hearing, one being whether she knew there was a federal law that governed the treatment of students with disabilities. she didn't seem aware of that and she acknowledged she wasn't aware of it. last night democratic senators were trying to make a point. they wanted more questions. there was only one round of questioning for her nomination. it happened around 6:00 in the afternoon. it was very late, and thad wanted to make the point that she would have -- they deserved an opportunity to question her more, to evaluate where she stands on certain issues. i think they actually did it pretty successfully because they were able to reveal some cracks in her preparation and her lack of knowledge about certain things that are directly under the purview of the secretary of education. >> tom price's confirmation hearing for health and human services should be even more interesting and perhaps more contentious because there are a number of ethics concerns surrounding him as far as him investing in this medical device company and then voting on legislation a few days later. how do you suppose that will
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play out later this morning? >> i think he'll be more prepared on the issues than the education secretary nominee, but these conflict issues are very real, very concerning. they're the sort of things that have led to investigations, ethics investigations, sec investigations. from a political point of view, it runs the exact opposite of what donald trump claims to have run on. he wants to, quote, unquote, drain the swamp and he's picking someone who had jurisdiction over an issue, bought stocks that would benefit from his legislation and took money from the lobbying group for that industry. all those things are exactly what he claims he wants to end in politics. >> there's also a distinction between the kinds of things that can actually jeopardize a nomination and the things that might not. i actually think that not being able to answer certain questions in a hearing is not the kind of thing that might cause you to not be confirmed. but financial and legal troubles are the sort of thing that in
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the past nominations have been jeopardize bid that sort of thing. that's what makes the tom price situation a little bit more serious. i think we still have some facts to find out about what exactly happened there. but it has the potential to turn into something that republican senators say we don't want to deal with this right now, let's move on. >> something else that might throw a wrench into things from a republican perspective is the ideas tom price has to replace obamacare. his ideas are very different from many republicans in the house or the senate rather. how might that play out? >> i don't think republicans will debunk him. he's still very respected on the hill, coming with a doctor background. i don't think you'll see a lot of pushback from the republican side. >> really? surely they'll ask how he plans to replace obamacare. >> sure they will. it's a complex issue. to expect it to be done in this short time frame is unrealistic. >> mitch mcconnell came out this
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morning and said his plan is to get six trump nominees confirmed on inauguration day. do you think that's possible? >> i do not think it's possible. i think what is interesting is that mitch mcconnell set a standard for obama nominees for having ethics paperwork filled out, a lot of other stuff, he's now adopted a new standard for president trump where they don't have to do any of those things. notable in the betsy devos hearing. she has conflicts of interest. plich mcconnell pushed it through befores that was done. it runs counter to what he thought should happen when president obama was coming into office. >> abbie, there is a difference between how the confirmation hearings went down under obama and how they're going down under mr. trump. >> obama did have all his
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paperwork in order before folks went into their senate hearings, but it hasn't always been that way. in 2001 when george bush was going through this process, some number, about a handful of them did not have their paperwork in before they confirmed. some only had it completed like the day before they ended up being sworn in. there is a little bit of inconsistency in the historical record. dan is right, obama did have that all in order in part because he wanted to have his cabinet in place when he got started on january 20th. you have to remember he was facing the economy in basically shambles. he wanted everything to be ready to go on day one. obviously the trump administration isn't there yet, and they are not going to have everybody ready on day one. even beyond these top-level nominations, we're still looking for names for undersecretaries for some of these cabinet positions. there are a lot of positions left unfilled going into inauguration day. >> we'll see what happens.
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thank you very much. i do appreciate it. abbie phillip, dan pfeiffer and bower. the warning to the international community next. ♪ you could spend the next few days weeding through w2s, pay stubs and bank statements to refinance your home. or you could push that button. sfx: rocket launching. cockpit sounds. skip the bank, skip the paperwork, and go completely online. securely share your financial info and confidently get an accurate mortgage solution in minutes. lift the burden of getting a home loan with rocket mortgage by quicken loans. (whisper) rocket be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections
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good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me live from washington, d.c. big excitement will happen on the weekend. today we're awaiting several cabinet confirmation hearings, trump's picks for commerce, health and human service, environmental protection agency and the u.s. representative to the united nations face committees at the top of the hour. we have special coverage in just a little while. in the meantime vice president biden is talking, issuing a staunch warning to the international community. russia's election meddling
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doesn't end with the united states. >> it's not only the united states, i need not tell you, that has been targeted. europe has seen the same type of attacks in the past. with many countries in europe slated to hold elections this year, we should expect further attempts by russia to meddle in the democratic process. it will occur again, i promise you. >> this after russia's foreign minister says the interference in the u.s. election was the your mean union's fault, calling out their support for hillary clinton and said the european union, quote, demonized donald trump. let's bring in jill dougherty and john defteriosdefterios. welcome to both of you. russia is blaming the european union for the hacking that occurred in the united states during the election? >> reporter: actually not for the hacking so much as
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interfering in general, talking about the u.s. election. and what mr. lavrov, minister lavrov is saying, they openly agitated for clinton and demonized donald trump. he specifically calls out angela merkel, the german chancellor, the uk prime minister theresa may and also french president francois hollande. he says anyone who says russia was interfering is saying slanderous and groundless things, that we, russia, are just standing here on the sidelines watching all this. he also said talk about interference, president obama himself was interfering when he talked about brexit, talked against brexit. that was interference in european politics. carol? >> jill, is it interesting that russia keeps talking about this? why doesn't it let it go for a while? >> well, it is a hot subject, i
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have to tell you. i think they are very frustrated by the whole attack on them. they really want to criticize obama as he goes out the door, and i think really kind of close the door on obama by making these counter charges and opening the door to better relations with donald trump. it's kind of good riddance to president obama and let's try to work together with president trump. >> so the obama administration is getting its digs in, right? because joe biden spoke out at davos. what else did he say, john? >> reporter: well, it's interesting. i think he didn't want to pull any punches speaking before the business leaders and policymakers here in davos. he's suggesting it's a challenge to the community of democracies, really the transatlantic alliance is what we're talking about here between the united states and europe. i thought it was fascinating he was making reference to the
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election campaign and the meddling, accused moscow, of course, and also the major elections taking place in europe this year, france, germany and the netherlands. he has said it requires urgent action, urgent response this year to uphold the institutions after world war ii, those like the world bank, international monetary fund. i think he was alluding to also the nato alliance being challenged now in reference to moscow. he didn't limit, carol, his comments only to russia, but he also included china and iran, suggesting they, of course, would like to exercise more influence over the global community going forward. let's not president ping of china was the first chinese leaders to speak at the world economic forum and wanted to highlight his support for globalization, but also acting like a stats man. russia, china and even iran standing out here in davos 2017. >> jill dougherty, john deaf
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tear yos, thanks to you both. nearly 3 million more people voted for hillary clinton. the next gecht was one of them. nfl legend jim brown says it's time for the country to unite. he's next. (avo) did you know two areas
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do not take with opioids. reduce hunger, help control cravings. contrave. the #1 prescribed weight-loss brand. go to contrave.com. president-elect trump has a huge challenge, and that would be uniting a very divided nation. a cnn/orc poll says 40% of americans approval how trump is handling it. thousands expected to protest in washington a day after trump is sworn in. mr. trump has managed to win over former high-profile opponents including nfl hall of famer jim brown, a former hillary clinton supporter. brown is hosting a pre inauguration day party tomorrow and joins me now live. thank you for being with me. an honor to meet you. >> thank you for having me.
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>> so you're going to be hosting this party. who is going to be there? >> oh, my goodness. we'll have a lot of celebrities, ray lewis, probably curtis martin and many other high-profile individuals. great supporter, monique brown, my wife, a great worker for the community. a lot of wonderful people, a cross section of great people that want to see our country get back on track. >> so what do you hope -- what message do you hope your party with such high-profile guests will send to america? >> actually, we will show that there are people that, without getting any type of reward, is for this country doing the right thing, developing opportunity for those who are underprivileged, not privileged to be rich and in the upper
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echelon, a lot of individuals that are killing each other in these communities around the country, which you hear nothing about it. we're going to be addressing poor people, african-americans trying to get an equal opportunity, and that's my goal, and i think that's a worthy goal. >> you know, many african-americans are angry at mr. trump right now for his on going fight with congressman john lewis. this morning mr. trump called john lewis a liar, and it goes on. what do you think about that? >> well, i'm glad you asked me about that. john lewis has a great history as a civil rights fighter. as a young man, he was one of those guys out there leading the parade during the king era. so we all respect his history. but when i hear him cry the blues about mr. trump and saying
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that it's an illegitimate presidency. i take offense. if it's illegitimate, why is it going on. if you're going to impeach him, impeach him. if he did something wrong, arrest him. but don't cry the blues because you did not get the vote out and this man had a genius way of winning the election. >> do you think that congressman lewis should sit down with donald trump? >> absolutely. why not? it's in the best interest of the country. it is not good for people just to complain about something they had a part in and polarize the country. if i would leave and sit down as jim brown and complain about donald trump, what good would that do the country? but if i get up, regardless of who the president is, and try to contribute what i have to contribute and what my like-minded partners have to contribute, then we can look forward to the change and help the change.
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>> so all of these lawmakers, democratic lawmakers, and there's 52 now i think, who are boycotting the inauguration, do you think they ought to go? >> of course they should go. they should respect the position -- if the election was illegal -- if he is the president of the united states, they should go. we're republicans, democrats, so dporgt and so on. but we're human beings. there are a lot of people who need us to get along so we can help the people who can't help themselves. >> well, i look forward to hearing coverage of your party. thank you so much for stopping by. >> thank you for having me. appreciate it very much. we are awaiting several cabinet con fir margs hearings. mr. trump's picks for secretaries of commerce, health and human services, environmental protection agency and the u.s. representative for the united nations, all facing senate committees at the top of the hour. with that our special coverage will begin. thank you for joining me today.
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i'm jake tapper and we are live in washington. >> i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world to our live special coverage. we're minutes away for senate confirmation hearings for four more prospective members donald trump's cabinet.
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tom price goes before the senate over his nomination for secretary of health and human services. he's expected to face contentious questions about his plans for obamacare. plus billionaire investor wilbur ross in the hot seat over his confirmation for commerce secretary. nikki haley faces congress as trump's pick for u.n. ambassador. also ahead, scott pruitt, attorney general for the state of oklahoma, slated to answer questions about his stance on climate change as the potential head of the environmental protection agency. as if all of that weren't enough, president obama is holding his last news conference before leaving office, two days from now. that's at 2:15 p.m. eastern. of course you'll see it live right here on cnn. this is going to be a pretty busy day for all of us. >> very busy day. let's kick it off on capitol hill with cnn political reporter manu raju joining us. manu, tell us about the tom price hearing. he's been a member of the
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republican house leadership, a well-known quantity on capitol hill. but there have been some questions about business transactions. >> reporter: that's right, wolf, jake. this is going to be one of the key questions that democrats are going to be leveling going forward, exactly these health care shares he traded while a member of the house, while pursuing legislation on health care issues, including a medical device manufacturer, last year buying stock in that company before offering legislates that would actually help that company. price's team has downplayed those reports, saying it's much ado about nothing. that's one aspect of a larger effort by democrats to undermine his nomination, not just on those issues but ideologically, on entitlements, social security, medicare, health care. how tom price would replace obamacare. democrats will do everything they can to stop him, chuck
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schumer telling me yesterday he will not get confirmed. but to do that they will need to get republicans to oppose tom price. we'll see if any republicans change their mind at today's hearing. the finance committee also has jurisdiction over this nominee, that's the one that will vote on tom price. but today a big moment for him to determine whether or not he has enough support in the senate to get confirmed, wolf and jake. >> all right, manu raju on capitol hill, thank you so much. of course far beyond any of these issues having to do with tom price and his personal financial transactions, there is the bigger issue, i think it's fair to say, of more relevance to the american people, which is obamacare, what happens with it. tom price, a doctor who ran for congress, partly because of his opposition to all the regulations he saw coming from washington, dc, is a firm opponent of obamacare. and obviously this is one of the number one issues if not the number one issue on the plate of congress, is repealing and replacing obamacare. >> congressman price has put
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forward his own replacement plan. but it's obviously not necessarily the final plan that the president-elect is going to endorse once he becomes president of the united states. he wants to repeal and replace almost, he says, simultaneously. >> although there's been a lot of questions about that. when i talked to speaker ryan last week, he said the process, he hoped, would be simultaneously. sometimes even within the same bill, repealing with one thing and replacing with another. but the devil is in the details, as is often said in this town. one of the reps going forward for republican members of congress who want to repeal and replace is they don't like the taxes that were part of obamacare, but they want that money for whatever they have to replace obamacare. so will they repeal the obamacare taxes and then add new taxes? or are they more likely just to keep the obamacare taxes so they can use it to fund their own health care bill? >> sanjay gupta is with us, our chief medical correspondent. sanjay, i'm looking at the
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democrats who will be asking congressman price questions. patty murray is the ranking democrat. but bernie sanders, tammy baldwin, elizabeth warren. he'll be facing some pretty serious questions from some progressive or liberal democrats who totally disagree with his vision for the future of health care in the united states. >> no question. and i think there's data to sort of look at to sort of inform these questions as well. for example, they talk about wanting to keep certain things in place but also repealing obamacare, keeping things like no discrimination based on preexisting conditions. that's a big one. how do you do that if you repeal the other parts of obamacare? one of the big things that comes up with is this notion of high risk pools, take people with a chronic illness, put them in a high risk pool. the problem is, that's been around, it was in 35 states eight years ago about the aca was implemented, and they don't work very well. they're tough for the administrators, they're very
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expensive for patients, and they don't provide oftentimes the type of insurance that patients with chronic illness need. they're the ones that utilize the health care system. and under that system, the concern is they won't get what they need, even less so than people who aren't using the system at all. >> is there common ground between democrats and republicans for replacement or will it be strictly along party lines? >> it's like the three-legged stool analogy. i never there's common ground. the problem is as soon as you start to take certain things away, the whole thing falls apart. look, if there's no mandate, how is this thing going to get paid for? it's a simplistic argument but an important one. insurance companies right now are incentivized to be part of this because they have consumers coming into the system. if there's no mandate, you'll drive premiums up, you'll drive enrollment down. that's exactly what they mean when they say they'll destabilize the system. >> one of the issues with obamacare and how it is not
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functioning properly right now, one of the reasons people who are enrolled in obamacare who are younger and healthier and have seen their premiums go up, is because they are paying for older and sicker people. one of the issues i've heard health care experts say for the problem is, not enough of these younger, healthier people are in the system, because the fines, this is the argument, this is not my point of view, the fines were not big enough, so it's actually cheaper for somebody just to pay the fine for not having obamacare, violate the individual mandate, then if they get sick, sign up later on, because you can't be discriminated against if there's a preexisting condition. this is one of the arguments as to why this is all falling down on itself and so many employers are pulling out of obamacare. >> that's not an unfair argument, in the sense that you can do the math, right? how much is it going to cost me to pay the penalty, how much will it cost me to tap premiums? i'm a young person, i never go to the director, this is an additional cost for me. the penalties are supposed to go
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up over time, at some point they're supposed to be a percentage of your engiincome, would be greater, obviously, depending on how much money you're making. that is part of the issue. still, you have people in the system that the anticipation is, would likely drop out if they're not mandated to be there anymore. >> the insurance companies are not nonprofits. and they don't want to be nonprofits. so if you lose the mandate, and you don't have, you know, more people in the system, do you end up saying to voters, now you're going to have to subsidize the insurance companies? i don't think that would be very popular politically. the insurance companies are not exactly popular. it leaves lawmakers with a real conundr conundrum, because otherwise the system just collapses. >> if you look on the right side of your screen, that's congressman tom price, republican of georgia, i believe
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he's surgeon. >> orthopedic surgeon. >> he used to be a member of the republican leadership. he is president-elect trump's nominee to be secretary of the department of headlight and human services. john, i think it's fair to say, whatever rope cepublican would won, tom price was a likely hhs secretary nominee. >> absolutely. the interesting factor now, tom price, to his credit, congressman price came forward with specific ideas. now, they're more conservative ideas, more market-based ideas, there's less washington control, some incentives to use the tax code to help people pay for insurance. but now to replace they'll eventually have to get democrats on board. first they have to settle the civil war amongst themselves over what to do because there's such a wide variety of opinions. tom price's plan is well to the right, more conservative, than
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what his boss, the president-elect, has said must be accomplished here, "i don't want people dying in the streets," he said this morning. what does this mean? you have to run this through, respectfully, the trump translator. is that universal coverage or universal access? there is a huge difference there in terms of the money. republicans, it will be interesting to see, what conversations has tom price had with the president-elect about taking the plan he put forward last year and changing it, as the president-elect says, i want my plan. we don't have the details. >> the nominee will also face some questions about a stock purchase he did yesterday. we heard chuck schumer yesterday say this is a serious issue, he bought stock in a medical device
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and then days later introduced legislation that would have benefitted the manufacturer of that device. >> that's right, this is news that our reporter manu raju broke on the air. chuck schumer wants to look more heavily into this, scrutinize this. i think for tom price, in the way that you saw senators like jeff sessions, he's a member of the club, tom price not a senator but he's a member of congress, i think he'll get some deference because of that, and because he's been at the tip of the spear in terms of intellectualizing and having a plan, as john said, a rollback of obamacare and giving republicans a sense of where they can be in terms of obamacare. but that issue that he has about selling this stock with, you know, information, is certainly going to come up. you'll see democrats really press hard on that and try to embarrass him. but again, the question is, can they peel off some

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