tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN April 22, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT
ariva martin and joey jackson, appreciate it. the next hour of "the newsroom" starts right now. hello, and thank you for joining me this saturday. i'm fredericka whitfield. we begin with a global event under way right now on earth day. nearly 500 cities are expected to hold massive rallies and marches around the world today, spanning six continents. you're looking at live pictures right now out of washington, d.c., new york, city and chicago. the main march in the nation's capital kicking off next hour. people have been gathering but soon they will be marching down constitution avenue making their way to the capitol building. all right. these massive turnouts taking place in london, geneva and beyond, as well, marchers pushing for implementation of evidence-based policies and more funding to support science and climate change solutions.
these protests come a week before a major milestone for president donald trump, his 100th day in office and he is looking for a huge victory this coming week. congress will face a renewed push from the white house to repeal and replace obamacare when they return from recess on monday. also have to find a way to keep the government from running out of money on april 28th. that's friday, the day before the president's 100th day in office marker. and if that's not enough, the president promises to unveil massive tax reform in just a matter of days, tweeting just moments ago, big tax reform and tax reduction will be announced next wednesday. cnn white house correspondent athena jones is covering all of this for us from the white house. it's setting up to be a very big week, yet another very big week, for this president this time approaching that 100-day mark next saturday.
>> hi, fred. that's right. another very big week and it's interesting to see the president on twitter just now doubling down on that wednesday deadline he set for himself. as soon as he made the comments about this big announcement on tax reform coming on wednesday, white house officials were already trying to tamp down expectations, at least when it comes to the timing of the announcement, saying it might be wednesday, it could be shortly thereafter, we'll have to wait and see if it does happen on wednesday. let me read what a white house official said likely would come out of the announcement on fax reform when there is one. as the president said we plan to make an announcement regarding tax reform next week. at that time we will outline our broad principles and priorities. we are moving forward on comprehensive tax reform that cuts tax rates for individuals, simplifies our overly complicated system, and creates jobs by making american businesses competitive. now fred, the president also gave an interview to the associated press and he said, there will be tax cuts not just for individuals but also for
businesses. this is something he talked about a lot on the campaign trail. and he also said the tax cuts will be, quote, bigger, i believe, than any tax cut ever. so he's setting a pretty high bar for himself and i've been told by white house officials that they have been at work on this, treasury secretary steve mnuchin and economic adviser gary kohn have been in discussions about what they hope to get accomplished when it comes to tax reform but this is complicated and one side which is tax cuts a lot of people, you know, will get behind a lot of members of congress will get behind giving tax cuts to middle-class families and businesses in their district, tax reform is a much bigger undertaking. also we should mention that next week the president is going to have a press conference on thursday dealing with veterans issues and then friday is the deadline for the funding of the government, and then saturday is the 100-day mark. he's announced also on twitter that he plans to have a big rally on saturday night in
pennsylvania, and we're told that rally will be in harrisburg. a lot to watch next week. >> indeed. all right. athena jones, on top of it, thank you so much from the white house. all right. now to a new exclusive cnn reporting, that adds to the emerging picture of how russia may have tried to influence the 2016 u.s. election. the fbi gathered intelligence last summer that suggests russian op fromtives tried to use trump advisors including carter page as you see right there to infiltrate the trump campaign according to u.s. officials. page spoke with michael smerconish this morning and once again denied any wrongdoing in his contact with russian officials. >> no information i was ever asked for was anything beyond what you could see on cnn. there is great depth of reporting, great information, nothing i ever talked about with any russian official, extends beyond that publicly available
immaterial information. >> joining me now is cnn crime and justice producer showmoan, part of the team that broke that story. good to see you. explain to us furtherer what this new reporting reveals in terms of tried to infiltrate trump's orbit? >> well, we're told by several u.s. officials that back last -- as early as last summer, when carter page was making these trips to russia, there is information that came to the fbi that indicates the russian operatives, russian people working for the russian intelligence services, were sort of talking to him, were trying to get information out of him, were sort of using him to try to learn more about what donald trump was thinking. you know, there was this idea that carter page was working for the campaign, part of the campaign, so the russians would approach him and talk to him and
the fbi has some of this information, some of -- some of it coming from foreign sources, some of it coming from information that they learned here. remember, they were watching him. he was under surveillance. there's this fisa, this warrant they had, up on him and so they were able to learn a lot of information about his conversations and who he was talking to, which really concerned them as early as last summer, fred. >> and then is there any more revealed about the kinds of conversations that took place, the real red flags that allowed u.s. intelligence to say wait a minute, there could be something here in these contacts in the dialog? >> well, not anything that they've certainly shared with us. remember, a lot of this is done in secret. this is classified information. the fact that we were able to get this much was pretty difficult. but by carter page's own admissions today he basically says yeah, i had conversations
with russians but it was mostly stuff that i already was out in public, that people would have known already, but that is pretty significant because we don't know if the russians knew what he was talking about. for them, it could have been information that was new, information that they could then use and report back to the kremlin. you know, the whole idea was for the russians here, was to try to get inside the campaign. was to learn about the campaign, to learn what trump was thinking. >> and then shimon, carter page not just said on this network and this conversation with michael, but said it previously too, it's his plan to pursue a legal case, that his privacy, you know, was jeopardized, but because his dialog was caught up while intelligence was surveilling a potential russian operative, would he even have a case? would he have that kind of protection? >> yeah. that's actually a great question. i don't know that he would.
this was an investigation by all accounts, the fbi and the department of justice went through the proper procedures to try and get this warrant, to listen to his conversations, so there was no indication that the people that we've talked, that any of his rights were violated. the secret courts exist for national security reasons and carter page, if the fbi, if investigators feel that carter page was talking to russian op fromtives that's a national security issue. >> thank you so much. your reporting, appreciate it. back to the marches now for science, which are taking place around the world today. cnn's miguel marquez is live for us at the main event which is in the nation's capital and cnn's rachel crane is in new york. miguel, let's go to you. at what point will this massive rally become a march? >> very soon. in about an hour they will step off and move toward the capitol building. we're basically in the backyard
of the white house right now. i want to show you what's happening on stage. they are rallying the troops, rallying the people who have come here today because it is raining, it is cold, they've been out here for several hours but they are not losing hope. i can tell you the park here is just jam packed and there are still people waiting to get in, trying to get into here, before they set tof march. they have heard from a series of scientists and in their respective disciplines all day, different bands play. we heard thomas dolby sing "she blinded me with science" total '80s geekry out here to some degree. what they want basically is for the president to understand their concerns, which is funding by the federal government for science. the federal employees, a lot of them here in washington, d.c., obviously their concerns about their science being filtered through a political lens and they want to basically march here and around the world to show the support for science and
science funding. fredricka? >> miguel in the nation's capital. to rachel, north to new york city, where a rally is under way there. describe how it has unfolded besides somebody just, you know, knocking into you there? just a busy place. >> well, fred, i am in a very crowded times square right now. also very rainy, i might point out. lots of umbrellas but lots of homemade signs. one in particular my favorite saying there is no planet b, educate washington. there has been a lot of spirited and creative posters out here today, but there was a rally held earlier at central park that got kicked off with a -- you know, a bunch of elementary school students around the age of 10 talking about how they loved science, how important science was. we also had the chance to speaks to the executive director of the nature conservatory and he spoke about the fact that this is the first time that they have marched in their 65-year history pointing out that typically the
science community is nonpartisan but given the climate of this administration and what they say is an attack on the scientific community they felt the need to come out and hear their voice. also interesting to point out that this whole day of action started merely as -- on social media, scientists talking amongst themselves, being inspired by the march for washington. fred? >> all right. rachel crane, thank you so much. a little damp sidewalks there in manhattan. all right. straight ahead, vice president pence avowing the u.s. will abide by an agreement, president trump referred to as a dumb deal. his comments on accepting refugees from australia and whether there can be peace with north korea. that's next. (microphone feedback) listen up, heart disease. you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies and data without insights.
the white house is now saying it will honor a refugee resettlement agreement forged with australia, despite the administration previously describing it as a dumb deal. in february, trump tweeted after learning of the agreement with australia, quote, do you believe it, the obama administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from australia. why? i will study this dumb deal. well now, today, vice president mike pence appearing at a joint press conference with the australian prime minister says, the u.s. will obey that previous deal voeven though the administration may not like it. >> let me make it clear the united states intends to honor the agreement, subject to the result of the vetting processes that applies to all refugees considered for admission to the
united states of america. president trump has made it clear that we'll honor the agreement. it doesn't mean we admire the agreement. frankly, looking back on the last administration the president's never been shy about expressing frustration with other international agreements. >> cnn's global affairs correspondent elise labott is covering this important trip by the vice president. so what changed? >> i don't think it's really changed, fred. if you remember after all this kind of tense call with the australian prime minister a few months ago, president trump did kind of begrudgingly say he would take these 1200, some 1250 refugees from this island off the coast of australia where really there was squall lor conditions, a lot of violence in that camp and this deal really become a litmus test for the u.s. and australia. australia is an important ally, sent troops to iraq and
afghanistan, alongside the u.s., and this has become a political issue for the prime minister and i think to stay in those good graces with this important ally the administration realized it really has to make good on the agreement even as vice president pence said that they have problems with it because of this whole issue about bringing syrian refugees into the country. i think it's also a good indicator of some of the other agreements that president trump has problems with, such as the iran deal or this paris climate change agreement. it will be interesting to see how this one compares with that. >> okay. well, there's also the issue on the international front of this administration trying to figure out what to do, how to proceed, with the north korea situation. who to involve. >> that's right. clearly this swing through the region is an effort to assert the u.s. into the region and get all countries on board in the campaign to combat north korea's nuclear program.
vice president pence made clear as officials we've been talking to all week that this program, this u.s. strategy towards north korea, really hinges on china. take a listen to vice president pence earlier today. >> under the president's leadership and working closely with our allies with prime minister turnbull and my meetings with prime minister abe, and with acting president wong in south korea and others, the united states is determined to bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear, working with all of our allies and china, to ensure that we achieve a nuclear-free korean peninsula. now all options are on the table. and the united states is prepared to do what's necessary in conjunction with our allies, to see to the security of this region. >> reporter: now there's talk about some other allies and all options being on the table, but really, the administration has come to the conclusion that
china needs to use much more of its economic influence on north korea. china holds about 85% of north korean trade. that is a staggering fact that president trump really resonated with him when they were doing this review. china also provides north korea with most of its oil and so the administration really looking for china to do more. china already has cut its coal imports to north korea and has stopped, you know, very amazingly flights between china and north korea. so china's slowly cracking down, but the u.s. really feels that in order to make any progress with north korea, china really has to put the squeeze on north korea. that's what he's looking for president xi jinping to do. >> all right. 'lease labott, thanks so much in washington. coming up, a mother reduced to tears, an american airlines worker suspended and in the middle of that as well, a stroller. what happened? the viral video that captured a
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this video, but then what we do see on the video is that other passengers got involved. take a look. >> [ inaudible ]. just give me my stroller, please. >> hey, bud, you do that to me and i will knock you flat. >> you stay out of this. >> come on. >> [ inaudible ]. >> you want to hit me, hit me. hit me. come on. bring it on. >> you try that with a man i'll knock you out. i'll knock you silly. yeah. go with -- >> sit down. >> you don't know what the story is. >> i don't care what the story is. no one hurts a baby. >> i don't know what the story is. >> it's not an accident. [ inaudible ]. >> you keep looking at me and it shows me what you did to that lady. >> keep it quiet. >> i can see what you did. maybe you will get videotaped
too and get all over the news. >> it's a mess. a bad situation. polo sandoval to provide context here because there's a lot you don't see, you do see a lot of the emotion. either way it is not good. >> it's a bad situation, fred, and also very tense, for the woman and the passengers. what's important to keep in mind here is there is that moment that the confrontation that took place between the flight attendant and one of the gentlemen on the flight which we saw but there is something that has not been documented that we have not seen yet, which was the initial incident and that is solely based on witness accounts, which also is important to keep in mind. according to a witness here, the person who unloaded this video, the employee had, quote, violently taken the stroller of this woman and at one point hit the woman in the process and nearly struck the child as well with that stroller. so that is, again, based on witness accounts, what led to this moment. it was when this woman was at the front of the plane speaking to some of the other -- the rest of the crew that that passenger intervened, stepped up, and then
things got quite tense and that is why that employee is off the job this afternoon. >> and what we see in the video as it begins you see the mother is distraught. she's got the back pack, she just wants to get on board, she has her toddler in her arms, wiping away her tears and then this other passenger steps in, essentially to say, to the employee, he didn't like how this had all transpired. but then you have that altercation. what is american airlines saying on the way all of this was handled, the facts that they're dealing with in terms of what precipitated this in the first place and what should have happened? >> american airlines responded very quickly. not only did they end up upgrading this woman to first class for the rest of her flight but issued a statement about 20 minutes after this flight landed in dallas, texas, yesterday afternoon, i want to read you a portion which says, quote, we are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident.
the actions of our team member captured there do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values that are necessary for customer care. in short, we are disappointed by these actions. fred, so this is something that we, perhaps, did not necessarily see during the united airlines situation that took place about two weeks ago, obviously, not related here -- >> in terms of brevity, how quickly the airlines responded. >> they had a major pr mess on their hands and serious damage control to take care of. this situation, though, as we see here from american airlines, quick to jump on the situation as they investigate what led up to this incident, the incident we now see in the video and what took place with that stroller. >> we still have not heard from the mother there. >> yeah. not yet. it will be interesting to hear from her and see what took place. >> yeah. all right. pablo polo sandoval, appreciate that. for more bring in our aviation analyst, mary scavo.
there's a lot we don't see but bottomline this passenger is very distraught, holding her child and disturbing to a lot of the other passengers as well. help folks understand, you know, what are, you know, the passenger's expectations to be when boarding a flight and especially when you've got stuff that, you know, you want to bring on board or perhaps ends up being checked right there at the jet way? >> right. well i think one of the most important things we -- let's just reverse it for a second. for example, if a passenger had hit the flight attendant with the stroller that's battery. i get calls every day, for example, i had one that called me and all they wanted to do was get the flight attendant's identity and turn the badge over off the plane and charged with battery. we know right away the flight attendant is in the wrong.
they've hit the passenger. the flight attendant should have been off the flight. the pilot comes out but doesn't manage the situation. he kind of stands there, almost mute, just watching it transpire. the captain is in charge of his or her flight and should diffuse the situation. that's what they're supposed to do. finally, the passenger was apparently in the right because another flight attendant, according to reports, maybe this -- the facts are wrong, but another report says that another flight attendant said yeah see if you can find room for the stroller. traveling with two kids, i've done it it's tough. >> well you know, mary, i know all of your insights are so valued and our connection wasn't great there, so we didn't get to hear everything that you said so we're going to try to clear that up and invite you back. mary scavo, thank you so much. appreciate it. all right. coming up, the trump administration issuing an ultimatum to sanctuary cities, work with the justice department or else, the fiery response they're getting from mayors across the country, next.
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recently spelled it all out. >> i am urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws, including 8 usc section 1373. moreover the department of justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for department of justice grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition of receiving those awards. the trump administration says the cities don't cooperate with immigration authorities when undocumented immigrants are detained. the cities say it's not their job to enforce federal law and they don't have the money in most cases in which to follow through and do it. joining me now to discuss this is richard herman, criminal defense attorney. good to see you. richard, joining us from las vegas. so, can the federal government just simply say we are not -- we're going to deny funding
because you're not, you know, in compliance on this extension of the law? >> well, fred, they don't have the unilateral authority to make that ultimate determination of whether or not the law has been violated or not. that's going to have to be determined either in congress or adjudicated in court and that's probably where this is going to end up, whether it's constitutional and whether there are violations. but as we go on this magical mystery tour of the trump presidency, we now turn to sanctuary cities. so the issue that you discussed earlier, this is what happens. local law enforcement make an arrest. when they arrest someone, they take their fingerprints. those prints are put into a database, an fbi database. i.c.e. can see that and make a determination whether or not this person is here legally or not. and then i.c.e. can contact the local authorities and say, detin that person. hold them. and the local authorities are saying no, we don't have funding, we don't have the facilities, we don't have the ability to just hold all these
people. they're letting them go. is that a violation of the law? not necessarily. however, if i.c.e. reaches out and asks these local law officials give me information about that person, and that information is withheld, or the local law enforcement is directed not to provide that information, that might be a violation. >> but that's not generally what is being done, correct? isn't the argument by most cities that it's an issue of, you know, prison overcrowding or they don't have the resources in which to hold on to someone, as opposed to refusing to share information? >> yeah. i mean, that's the excuse for not detaining them, but, you know, three citieses have brought litigation already and it's like a piece of fruit, a banana, if it's not ripe the courts won't hear it and that's what's going on. the courts are saying, seattle brought litigation, san francisco, wait, they haven't withheld funding yet so it's not right to bring it before us. like the trump administration
does, they make up facts that are just not true. like when they say new york city is soft on crime, that's why you need this, to be enforced in new york, it's ridiculous. i mean new york, the crime rates are going down, the crime is not related to any sort of illegal aliens or anything like that. yet, you hear the trump boast and brag and make up these crazy stories and it was jeff sessions, fred, if you remember, at his confirmation hearing, sitting there, before the committee saying, it's not right to criticize local law enforcement. don't do that. and that's exactly what he's doing. the hypocrisy is just -- it's overthrowing. it's incredible here. >> at least two city mayors are disputing the trump administration and justice department's move on this. mitch landrieu of new orleans, landrieu saying this, quote, if anybody in the trump administration would actually do some research before firing off letters, they would see that the
city of new orleans has already provided the department of justice documentation that shows we are in compliance with federal immigration laws and then mayor emanuel saying this, quote, we've seen the letter from doj. neither the facts or the law are on their side, regardless let me be clear, chicago's values and chicago's future are not for sale. do you see this potentially as supreme court cases if these cities decide to take the justice department to task on this? >> i don't know if it will make it to the supreme court, fred. but, you know, certainly congress is going to have an investigation here and have to look into it. some courts will have to look into it. you know, fred, ultimately it might get to the supreme court. i don't know. an interpretation of the constitutionality of the statute and the law. i don't know. it's a slippery slope. it's not a black and white interpretation of the law, whether you continue to detain
someone or you let them go. that's not -- it may not be a direct violation of the law and certainly, attorney general sessions, and the trump administration, they don't have the inherent authority to make that ultimate adjudication whether or not the law has been violated. all of these cities, fred, will comply with a letter, a written letter, saying by june 30th, yes, we're in compliance, and we believe compliance is as follows. so they'll send that in. and that should be enough to set the stage for litigation. that's what's coming here. >> richard herman, flying solo today, our other partner avery freeman trying hard to be with us today, by holding it down, thanks so much, richard. >> miss him. >> all right. coming up, funeral arrangements set for aaron hernandez, as his family plans to sue following his death. why they believe prison officials are partly to blame. next. [ceo] welcome. [heroine] happy to be here.
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you want to take care of the customer. one of the great things about comcast, there's always room to move up. of course, it depends on you, how hard you work. ♪ former nfl player and convicted murderer aaron hernandez will be laid to rest next week. his family announcing just minutes ago that he will be buried at a private service monday afternoon. meanwhile, an attorney for hernandez's family says he plans to sue state officials for negligence. the former nfl star apparently hanged himself with a bed sheet in his massachusetts prison cell this week. his body was found near three suicide notes and a bible. for more on those notes and what happened next in the case, we're joined now by cnn correspondent sarah gonen.
>> fred, a judge ruling to preserve all the evidence from the jail cell including video of the cell door in the hours before he with was found as well as those three suicide notes, two of them cnn has learned to hernandez's fiancee and his daughter. it's unclear at this point who the third note was written for. in addition, law enforcement sources telling cnn that the bible verse john 3:16 was written in red markings on hernandez's forehead and on the cell wall. we also know from the prison that there was apparently steps taken to block the cell door from inside. hernandez's attorney making this request on behalf of the family saying the family was upset how they learned of the suicide notes and bible verse and overall the handling of what happened. the family attorney saying he expects to sue the prison for negligence in part because he alleges there was no check on hernandez's cell between 8:00 p.m. the night before and 3:00 a.m. the morning that he was found. he was being housed alone in a
general population cell. the family through attorneys saying there was nothing to indicate nothing like this was possible. in fact, the day before, his attorney had expressed confidence in his appeal of the murder conviction in the case of odin lloyd, with hernandez's death now, it's possible that murder conviction will be tossed out, given that it was under appeal with no result. hernandez's family also announcing that they have donated his brain to science, to be studied as part of a program looking at damage in football players that
he said, you know, you have to sit . >> sara ganim, thank you. coming up, princes william and harry talk candidly about the death of their mother. >> what is the point of bringing up something that will only make you sad. it ain't going to change it, it ain't going to bring her back. and when you start thinking like that, it can be damaging. >> how they continue to cope 20 years after their mother's death next. but first reno sees almost 5 million travelers a year. but a select few venture outside of the biggest little city in the wo