tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN April 23, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
kate bolduan. red lines, bat al lines, and a congressional deadline. in just a few hours, time runs out for the white house to hand over the president's tax returns. and as of now, there's no hint the administration is ready to comply. the white house continuing to stonewall congress in its growing attempts to investigate the administration. the president on a number of fronts, from the way security clearances were approved for at least 25 people, despite red flags in the vetting process. to how the president instructed officials to get in the way of the russia investigation. cnn's manu raju is on capitol hill. abby phillip is at the white house. at this point, where do things stand in this growing battle between congressional democrats and the white house. >> the white house is taking steps to deny democrats their requests on multiple fronts. yesterday, the trump organization took legal action in federal court here in washington to prevent the house oversight committee from getting records related to the president's past finances, and
in the aftermath of that, the white house instructed a former official, carl kline, who now works at the defense department, not to comply with the house oversight subpoena as part of the democratic-led investigation into the security clearance process. the white house saying that this is not something that -- information that should be turned over to congress. now the democrats are threatening to hold that individual, carl kline, in contempt. now, at the same time, there's another key deadline tonight set by the house oversight, house ways and means chairman richard neal for the president's six years of the president's tax returns to be turned over by the treasury department. no expectation that that is going to happen. nevertheless, democratic investigations are going forward on a number of fronts including the house judiciary committee which serves a former white house counsel don mcgahn with a subpoena yesterday demanding his public testimony by may 21st, demanding records by may 7th as part of its investigation into
potential obstruction of justice in the white house. no word yet about whether exactly mcgahn will comply with that, if he will take aggressive actions to thwart the democratic investigations. but the fight intensifying on the hill as democrats demanding a lot of information and the white house taking steps to prevent that from happening. >> certainly digging their heels in. abby, in terms of the white house, today, how is the white house defending its defiance? >> well, erica, the answer from the white house is all about stonewalling and stopping democrats from moving forward with these investigations. which they believe are just an extension of their efforts to undermine president trump's presidency and potentially lead toward impeachment. we heard this morning from the white house that they don't know why these committee chairman are seeking all of this information. one white house official who i spoke to a few minutes ago said that he's not sure what chairman
neal wants, for example, from don mcgahn. that there's nothing in their view that democrats can learn from bringing someone like don mcgahn in to testify before congress after he's already spoken with the special counsel and his answers are relaid in that report that we all saw last week. and on the taxes, the white house is digging in its heels on that as well. they're saying this is not even information that congress needs at all, and furthermore, in their view, the american people have already accepted that president trump is not releasing his tax returns. so it's a defiant attitude from this white house, and it comes straight from the top, from president trump, who is feeling pretty combative after the mueller report came out. he wants to use the mueller report as a weapon against democrats. and he wants to fight back against all of these investigations. we have seen over the last 24 hours, the president being really aggressive on social media, tweeting and retweeting dozens and dozens of tweets on a variety of subjects, and the idea here is that president
trump does not want to cede any ground, whether it is to the media or democrats at all. this is the attitude i think white house officials believe will continue in the coming weeks and months. they think this is going to be a continuation, not an end, to what we saw in the last two years. president trump doesn't want to let this go. he simply wants to weaponize it. >> abby phillip and manu raju, thank you both. >> let's take a closer look at the legal battles ahead. shan wu is a legal analyst. as we look at this and what president trump's legal team is now doing, suing congress and an accounting firm at the same time. what are the chances that this legal strategy actually pays off? >> i think really low, erica. i think if you look up the word desperation in the dictionary, you get a picture of trump's legal team as they find desperately to follow the whims of their boss. i'm really struck by this suit against his own accounting firm. there's no privilege between him and the accounting firm, and
they really don't seem to have much of a leg to stand on. they're citing a very old 19th century supreme court case which was overruled. if you look at the general notion of the right of congress to look at tax returns, to conduct oversight, they just have a very weak case. they're trying to make it into a political factual argument, but it's really going to be a legal argument. it's a preliminary injunction standard initially. they'll have to demonstrate on the law there's a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, and i think that's going to be a big uphill battle for them. >> also a long, lengthy battle, it would seem, which is what we have also become accustomed to in the last couple years. things drawn out in the courts. moving forward, you know, look into your crystal ball. how long does this last and what's next as the deadlines come and go? >> well, i think they certainly want to draw it out. they may not be able to draw it out as long as they want because since it's a strictly legal question, it could move pretty quickly. the preliminary injunction, if
it's denied or upheld, can be appealed relatively quickly to the court of appeals. i think you could see an answer in a matter of months as opposed to their strategy of delaying it for years. >> we'll be watching for it. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> as democrats push forward on the investigations, their leader in the house is tamping down the threat of impeachment. lauren fox is on capitol hill. so lauren, house democrats appear to have really tightened their focus when it comes to investigations and are also making a marked shift away from impeachment talk. tell us more about that strategy. >> last night, erica, on a 90-minute conference call, house speaker nancy pelosi basically asked that her chairmen continue their investigations. to focus there, to try to find the facts, try to find the truth, and leave the impeachment talk sort of on the back burner for now. then she sort of turned the call over to each of the chairmen to walk through exactly what they're investigating. you heard from jerry nadler who is the house judiciary committee
chairman that he wants to hear from mueller, he wants to hear from barr. he planned to subpoena don mcgahn, which he did yesterday. you also heard from maxine waters, the house financial services chairwoman. she personally supports impeachment, but she said she would not make a push for it in the broader democratic caucus. you had house ways and means committee chairman richard neal arguing he wants to see the president's tax returns. elijah cummings talking about his investigation into white house security clearances. the census, and the cost of prescription drugs. that's where chairmen want to be right now. they don't want to talk about impeachment. instead, they want to talk about what they're doing. trying to dig in, find the facts, trying to take things one step at a time. so that's where democrats are focused at this moment. part of that is a political calculation. the fact is that their democratic majority is made up of members who won in districts that the president won in 2016. you have at least 20 democratic members who fall into that
category. so talk about impeachment not necessarily helpful for keeping the house again in the 2020 elections. >> lauren fox, thank you. well, that topic of impeachment is also dividing the democrats running for president. they laid out their priorities in five back-to-back town halls hosted by cnn. jeff zeleny is in washington. this was not, i wouldn't call this solidarity in terms of where they each stand on this issue. >> good morning. there's no question we're seeing divisions and dividing lines among these democratic presidential candidates as we are seeing on capitol hill, as lauren was just reporting. this is something that, of course, is dividing democratic voters as well. we're beginning to see sort of people breaking up in different camps. but elizabeth warren was leading the charge. late last week, she said she believes the president should be impeached. last night at the cnn town halls she suddenly has company from senator kamala harris. let's watch. >> the tools we are given for
that accountability is the impeachment process. this is not about politics. this is about principle. >> i believe congress should take the steps towards impeachment. >> i think he's made it pretty clear he deserved impeachment. i'll leave it to the -- i'm also going to leave it to the house and senate to figure that out. >> so you heard mayor buttigieg saying he's going to leave it to the house and senate. that's one of the luxuries when you're running for president of not serving in the house and senate, that you don't have to take a vote on this. it is an open question, if senator warren is trying to get attention from the left, the progressives, if you will, or she actually firmly believes that there should be impeachment proceedings. because we heard a different argument from senator bernie sanders and senator amy klobuchar. let's listen. >> the impeachment proceedings are up to the house. they're going to have to make that decision. i am in the senate.
and i believe that we are the jury. >> if for the next year, year and a half, going right into the heart of the election, all that the congress is talking about is impeaching trump and trump, trump, trump, and mueller, mueller, mueller, and we're not talking about health care, not talking about raising the minimum wage to a living wage, we're not talking about combatting climate change, we're not talking about sexism and racism and homophobia and all of the issues that concern ordinary americans, what i worry about is that works to trump's advantage. >> so these are the dividing lines there. and pretty much every democratic presidential candidate believes that there was obstruction of justice in some form. the question is what to do about it. and should there be a focus of it in the presidential race. so it's going to be fascinating to watch how voters react as they sort of consume all of this in the coming weeks and months. if this presidential campaign debate also impacts what's
happening on the house side. certainly speaker pelosi does not want to go down the road of impeachment. most candidates don't. and of course, we'll be looking at the response from one other candidate when joe biden jumps in, likely before the end of the week. erica. >> jeff zeleny, thank you. coming up, senator elizabeth warren unveiling an ambitious plan to cancel most student loan debt. where do the other 2020 candidates stand? plus, isis claiming responsibility for the easter sunday bombings that killed more than 300 people. many of them christians. officials say it was revenge for the deadly mosque attacks in new zealand. stay with us. state of the art technology makes it brilliant. the visionary lexus nx. lease the 2019 nx 300 for $359 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. ano.you an ocean? are you edible?
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wree are following new developments in sri lanka where isis is now claiming responsibility for the deadly carnage across the country. surveillance video showing one of the suspected bombers entering st. sebastian's catholic church. state officials say the bombings on sunday were carried out by a radical islam group in retaliation to last month's massacre of muslims in new zealand. the blast targeted church easter celebrations and also hotels, killing more than 300 people. hundreds more were wounded. sri lanka is under a state of emergency. today is also being recognized as a national day of mourning. cnn senior international correspondent sam kiley has more. >> new video showing one of the alleged suicide bombers carrying what church officials believe is a bomb in his backpack. patting a toddler on the head as he crosses the church courtyard. state tv in sri lanka identifying him as a suspect in one of the bombings. without hesitation, he strides
on, enters a side door of the church close to the alter. the next frame shows him exploding his bomb, killing at least 122 people who were celebrating easter mass. >> it blasted in such a way, there were children, there were women and all close by. and all were blown off almost. so we had more than 100 people who were killed on the spot. >> the sri lankan military says at least six suicide bombers are thought to have attacked two other churches and three five-star hotels within minutes of one another. local and u.s. intelligence officials believe that the slickly coordinated plot is the work of an international isis-inspired terror group. and it could strike again soon. a security dragnet was thrown across the entire country with a state of emergency announced as they uncovered more of the murderous plot. in colombo, a bomb squad
performed a controlled explosion of a suspicious van. one of the scenes of sunday's attack, and six-foot pipe bomb was found close to the airport along with nearly 90 detonators at the city's bus stop. sri lanka's government had warnings from u.s. and india that attacks were imminent and publicly apologized for failing to heed them. >> very, very sorry. >> on april 11th, a memo from the deputy inspector general of police advised officials to raise security due to a potential attack. the government spokesman can't hide the truth from the families of more than 500 injured and more than 300 dead. four of them americans. >> we have to say, and we have to apologize to the families and the other institutions. about this incident. >> after 30 years of civil war, ten years of peace has meant that most sri lankans thought scenes like this were behind them, but clearly the intent of whoever was behind this bombing
was to sow seeds of friction between the different religious communities in sri lanka and perhaps even cause some to question their faith. now the cleanup begins. >> all the people are weeping, and we can't realize what happened. we can rebuild our church, but we can't build up our lives. >> that is a sentiment that sri lankans will have to overcome together. now, here in colombo, just in the last few hours, the sri lankan prime minister has said that they fear that there are others on the loose and the police put out a warning that there was a truck bomb, a suspected truck bomb, and a normal car driving around. both of them loaded with explosives, as the government continues to suggest that there is a connection between the terror groups here and the so-called islamic state.
at the very least, with the ideology. the extent to direct involvement of international terror groups is still under examination, but it's now looking more and more likely from the international perspective. and there continues to be the state of an emergency here and an overnight curfew. so a strong sense here that this series of terror attacks may not yet quite be at an end. >> sam kiley with the latest in colom colombo, thank you. coming up, the trump administration has a little more than five hours at this point left to respond to that request for the president's tax returns. what will the democrats do if they don't comply? we're going to ask a member of the key committee requesting those documents next. what it'sa financially struggling family. we had a lot of leftovers...[chuckles] i couldn't have asked for better parents, but like most people they didn't have anyone to teach them the best financial habits. so we changed that.
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welcome to tax deadline day 2.0. today is the second deadline set by the house ways and means committee for the irs to hand over six years of president trump's personal and business tax returns. the white house says congress is overreaching. lawmakers say they've got the authority to see the documents. and keep in mind, the deadline, 5:00 p.m. today. so do democrats think they'll get a different result this time around? with the clock ticking, joining me now, democratic congressman
brendan boyle on the house ways and means committee. we're looking at a little over five and a half hours at this point. no signs you're going to get what you asked for, so what's next? >> well, yeah. if i were betting, i wouldn't exactly bet on the trump administration suddenly making a priority of following what is clearly the law. just to be clear, the irs commissioner has no discretion in this matter. this law has existed for close to a century now. it clearly gives either the chair of the ways and means committee or his or her senate counterpart the ability to request the tax returns of any individual u.s. citizen or taxpayer. so it's clear to me that the white house is in violation of the law if they're not complying with the request. as far as what we do next, i have always believed that ultimately, if the white house continues to stonewall this, we will have to turn to the courts in order to get to a final
resolution and force the white house to comply with the law. but unfortunately, this is just one of many aspects in which this white house and specifically this president really has violated the norms of the presidency. >> when you say you may have to turn to the courts, specifically what are you talking about there and what's your timeline? >> yeah, well, i'll leave that to the discretion of the chairman of our committee who has bun a wonderful job in pursuing this. we want to make sure that everything we do, even if the white house doesn't exactly place a high premium on following the law, we want to make sure that we do so. because in the end, i do believe this is ultimately going to be a matter for the courts to decide. >> so as we wait, as we watch the clock, and we wait to see what happens, there's also so much talk about impeachment. you were on this call, as i understand it, yesterday afternoon with speaker pelosi, with the various chairmen and women of these committees. what did you take away from that? >> i'm certainly not going to
get into what any individual colleagues of mine said or didn't say. they can speak for themselves. i would just say that i think at this point, we have to hold hearings. and i believe we're going to do so. i want to hear directly from attorney general barr. i want to hear directly, especially, from robert mueller. i actually think that's the most important one. for him to lay out what is in the over 400-plus-page report, which is an accumulation of what they found over two years or 22 months of an investigation. and let's not forget, despite the overdrive spin machine or flat out lies frankly we hear from the white house, the reality is more than 35 entities or individuals were charged with criminal indictments. the news today is about the former chairman of the trump campaign during the bulk of 2016. the number one person who was in charge right now being moved to a federal prison in my state. so it's quite clear this was one
of the most meaningful investigations into both the campaign and a white house that we have ever seen in our history. it's now appropriate to have robert mueller, to have don mcgahn, to have barr in front of the committees and to lay out the evidence for congress and for the american people. >> lay out the evidence. i mean, let's get you on the record here in terms of impeachment, what do you want to see? >> so i have an opinion that i don't think has been expressed anywhere. it's either right or radically wrong. i actually think it's somewhat of a moot point. here's what i mean. suppose we launch impeachment proceedings today. what that would look like is hearings. you would bring forward witnesses, take testimony, lay out the evidence. what we are now going to be doing, either through the judiciary committee or through the oversight committee, those that have jurisdiction of the different pieces, is doing
exactly that, having hearings so that way we can lay out the evidence for the american people. so to a certain extent, i know impeachment is kind of the big and exciting word, to some degree, it's a bit of a moot point because either way, we need to have hearings and to show for the american people the evidence that has been found. >> so to that end, a bit of a moot point on your end. i see what you're saying in terms of hearings, but this is going to continue to come up. a big discussion point in our town halls last night. we can expect more of that on the campaign trail. is it also a bit of a political hot potato here? we can't discount that there is a certain amount of 2020 calculation that is going to come into play with any discussion of impeachment, correct? >> let me be clear, i don't think we can rule out impeachment, but what i'm saying is the appropriate point right now, and the appropriate way to
proceed is holding these hearings. let's see what they find. let's see what additional information comes out, because something that surprised me in the report, and i think surprised a lot of the american people. on page two, robert mueller explains that he somewhat to my surprise, as i mentioned, didn't look into the matter as to whether or not there was collusion. he explained because collusion involves things that are both criminal and noncriminal, and he stuck to only what was criminal. to me, that's one of the most important matters that can be looked into. now in those hearings, we have the ability to go a little bit further. so again, i don't think we can rule anything out and what will come out in those hearings. remember, it was back to watergate, it was evidence that was found in the hearings that revealed the tapes. not actually the work of the independent counsel. let's not lose sight of just how important these hearings are that will now happen beginning in a few weeks. >> congressman brendan boyle,
appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. jared kushner speaking out on the mueller report, russian election interference, suggesting it was just a few facebook ads. his comments, next. use your smartphone for directions. hey guys! up there! or, to laugh out loud. you're in the middle. but when it matters most, you count on tracfone to keep you connected, for less. ♪ our smartphone plan gives you talk text and data with unlimited carryover starting at $15 a month, no contract. all with nationwide 4g lte coverage. get top smartphones or bring your own phone. tracfone. for moments that matter.
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>> one of the first things i wanted to do is just you make a lot of appearances in the mueller report in the 400 pages. and just to kind of recap a few of those, one, you were at the storied trump tower meeting on -- in june 2016, with a russian lawyer, and you took a meeting with a russian banker in december 2016 after the election. you also had meetings with the russian ambassador kislyak during the transition, had discussions with him about establishing a channel with moscow, and also, you received a u.s./russia reconciliation plan from a friend of yours that you then passed on to tillerson and to secretary of state tillerson and steve bannon. the main question here is, through all of this, were you
concerned about the image that you were setting that russia was clearly trying to run people at the trump campaign, and do you think that in retrospect, you were a little naive to take some of those meetings, especially during the transition? >> sure, first of all, thank you for having me here today, and thank you for opening with the soft stuff. but when the whole -- >> i'm a reporter, that's my job. >> when the whole notion of the russia collusion narrative came up, i was the first person to say happy to participate with any investigations. i thought the whole thing was kind of nonsense, to be honest with you. we ran a very untraditional campaign and had a lot of outsiders coming in. in the beginning, we couldn't get a lot of people from washington to work with the campaign. normally in politics, you have people who are known by all the different entities and we were very unknown to everybody. our focus during the campaign
was on the candidate, the message. we built a very entrepreneurial campaign and made a lot of good decisions along the way, which is what enabled us to be successful. i think at this point i have done three house interviews. i did about nine hours with the special counsel, and if you look at my statement from july, i put out about a 12-page statement explaining all these different things. i think everything i said has been proven to be true and it's been thoroughly investigated. going back to this stuff, too, you take a lot of these things in retrospect and look at it, lindsey graham said i had the best text messages in the history of text messages when i was in trump tower and said get me the hell out of here, basically. i would have never thought about it again, but now the media spends so much time focusing on it, and quite frankly, the whole thing is a big distraction for the country. you look at what russia did, buying facebook ads to sow dissent, but i think the investigations and all the speculation for the last two years has had a much harsher
impact on our democracy than a couple facebook ads. i think they spent about $160,000. i spend $160,000 on facebook every three hours on campaign. if you look at the magnitude of what they did and what they accomplished, the ensuing investigations have been way more harmful. >> let's bring in chris cillizza. it was just a few facebook ads. wasn't really a big deal. >> yeah, that's what you call spin, erica. the reality here is that this was -- look, i recommend that people look at the mueller report, too, just as jared kushner suggested they do. this is a pervasive, broad, deep effort, concerted, coordinated, strategic effort by a foreign power to interfere in our election, to help one candidate, donald trump, to hurt another candidate, hillary clinton, because they believed donald trump would be better for their interests. you're talking about thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of facebook ads, reaching tens of millions of
people. again, not my conclusion. look in the mueller report. so this is drastically downplaying it. you have heard this out of the trump white house, whether it was donald trump, kellyanne conw conway, jared kushner, well, we won, russia didn't win the election. is russia in wisconsin? no, but the broader point is we need to make sure foreign powers don't work to interfere in our elections to try to hand pick who they want. quite clearly, everyone agrees with the possible exception of the president that russia did this. and we as a country should say this is a uniform bad. we need to stop this, not try to downplay it and say a few facebook ads. read the mueller report, folks. don't blame me. >> foreign entity trying to interfere in the elections not good, full stop. moving on, though. we have another election coming up. you may have heard, 2020 going to be a very big year. and in advance of that, cnn
hosting five town halls last night. and that really offered a lot of insight into these five presidential contenders, laying out their differences on key policy issues in that marathon last night. let's start with student loan debt. senator elizabeth warren really rolled that out. >> she's clearly trying to stake out clear policy ground and clear liberal ground as well. let's play a few bits of sound, warren and a few others talking about it and talk about it after. >> we say that we're going to roll back student loan debt for about 95% of students who have debt. >> i support anything that is about reducing the debt of student loans. >> i have fought hard with some success to move toward making public colleges and universities tuition-free. >> i wish i could staple a free college diploma under every one of your chairs. i do. don't look. it's not there.
>> oh, i'm sorry, i was just looking to see if a free college diploma was under my chair. i was hoping. what you see there is the difference. elizabeth warren saying look, we're going to find ways not just to make public colleges free. we're also going to work on debt. then you say harris and sanders say that's a good idea, would like to hear more about it. klobuchar, the realist, the pragmatist ground, saying i would love to do this for you but i can't. >> so we see all of that. another thing that came up, we were expecting education because senator warren released that plan yesterday in the morning. this, i don't think anyone saw coming. talking about voting rights for felons. and this is still getting a lot of attention. this is not the last we will hear of it. >> it will continue to get a lot of attention. it started with what bernie sanders said, let's play that and then some of the reaction to it. go ahead. >> i think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. yes, even for terrible people.
but i do believe that even if they are in jail, they're paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent american right to participate in our democracy. >> should people convicted of sexual assault, of the boston marathon bomber, should they be able to vote? >> while incarcerated? >> yes. >> no, i don't think so. >> i agree that the right to vote is one of the very important components of citizenship, and it's something that people should not be stripped of needlessly. >> so a lot of kamala harris' answers, as you heard, with the exception of on guns, a lot of her answers were like, i'm interested in talking more about that, which is sort of she doesn't want to take a position. pete buttigieg clearly saying no, i don't think that felons who are currently incarcerated should be voting. bernie sanders, look, give the guy this. this is not a politically savvy
point to take, which is to say yeah, the boston bomber should be able to vote. i mean, that's not something that a political consultant would tell you to say. well, in certain cases we need to make exceptions, et cetera. sanders even acknowledged that in the town hall where he said i'm probably writing a 30-second ad for my opponents. he's definitely writing an ad to your point this isn't going away any time soon. >> you pointed out kamala harris. she needed to study a lot of things last night, but not, as you point out, when it comes to gun control, to gun safety legislation. >> she was clearly ready on this one. obviously, knowing what the 20th anniversary of columbine passing, she would get these questions. let's go to what she said. >> we need reasonable gun safety laws in this country starting with universal background checks and a renewal of the assault weapon ban. but they have failed to have the courage to act. upon being elected, i will give
the united states congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. if they fail to do it, i will take executive action. >> right. so if you didn't watch the town hall, that is in direct contrast to a lot of her answers which were much more fuzzy. she clearly wants to stand out on that issue. we do know, if you ask democratic voters, they want more gun control. that includes reinstatement of the assault weapons ban. obviously, it hasn't happened in congress. i wonder if they vote on it. that's always been the issue. how much salience does it have as a voting issue. kamala harris betting it has a bunch, particularly with parkland, with the 20th anniversary of columbine. an interesting place, she's taking a stand and a hard stand there while being relatively fuzzy about a lot of the other issues we ran through. >> chris cillizza, always a
pleasure. >> joining me now, cnn political commentator mia love. former republican representative from utah, and joe trippi, a democratic strategist. joe, as we look at boat of this, i want to pick up where we left off with chris cillizza. in terms of kamala harris coming down strong and saying listen, i will in fact issue an executive order if that's what it will take to get this done. talking about guns. we were talking about bernie sanders writing an opo ad for republicans. is this one also, joe? >> we don't know yet. you're seeing candidates take strong positions where they want to and try to lead the party in their direction. that often works. it often doesn't. i was with howard dean in 2004. i was his campaign manager. we led on opposing the war on civil unions for gay couples, which was very controversial. we led.
we started raising more money than anybody. we took a lead in the polls. but in the end, the party turned to john kerry, somebody they thought was safer, who was for the war, against all the things that had created our candidacy in the first place. so when you see kamala harris, when you see elizabeth warren leading on student loan debt and on free college tuition and these kinds of things, it doesn't necessarily mean that the party is going to go there. it's definitely salient. it's definitely got a lot of energy. we'll see where it goes from here. you saw mayor pete buttigieg immediately slap down where bernie sanders was going on giving felons the right to vote while they were in prison, so we'll see these fights continue, but you're seeing a very diverse field actually come up with a lot of diverse ideas, and some of them will emerge. some will be duds, but we'll see. >> in terms of ideas that are emerging, obviously, a lot of
the conversation driven by the proposal we saw from senator warren released yesterday in the morning. congresswoman, i'm wondering, as we look at that, while it may not be a plan republicans want to get behind, there is a real desire in this country for a frank discussion about the soaring student debt, how it is crippling young people in this country, and what can be done about it. will this push republicans to talk about their solutions? >> now, here's a place where i think they can actually get some sort of footing, especially with people who are republicans who don't necessarily like the president but they're trying to get some of those votes. the problem is, it's in the how. people want to see how you're going to be able to get more students away from this crippling student loan debt. i would say the best thing you could do is find a way to lower the cost of higher education. thereby giving as many people as much access to higher education
as if you're saying i'm just going to make it free, the next question is show me the plan on how to pay for it because i'll tell you right now what's not working is imposing a 70% tax to the american people. that's not going to work. you've got to figure out how are you going to pay those institutions to make sure that they can actually give education, and by the way, how are you going to hold these institutions accountable for the money that they are getting, the unlimited flow of federal dollars that they are getting, to ensure that these students are graduating in an area where they can actually work and they are not completely indebted with student loans? those are the types of conversations that i think will actually stick with people that are looking for somewhere else to vote. >> as we look -- go ahead, sorry, joe, were you going to say anything? >> all these conversations are going to happen in the democratic race for president right now and in the house on the democratic side. debate within the party. there is absolutely no -- almost
no debate on any of these things within the republican party whatsoever, not in the presidential race, not in the senate, not in the house. it is just -- >> that's. >> there are no answers. >> that's not true. >> well, it is true. >> it's not. >> most people can see that, that you're not seeing the kind of debate. >> i've talked about this more years as a member of congress. i talked about it all the time. >> i'm not talking about you. you're not in the house anymore. i'm talking about within their campaigns there's almost no debate about many of these issues and the way that you are seeing the diverse debate on the democratic side which is a great conversation for the country to be seeing. i'm not making a hit on the republican party, but the big spirited debate seems to be happening on the democratic side. >> that's because you've got a lot of people that are trying to set their place in the democrat party. they are trying to differentiate themselves from somebody else. right now you only have one
republican nominee or whoever is presumed the nominee which is the president, so -- >> the trump party. >> the reason the debates are happening is because you have so many different democratic presidential candidates out there, and they are trying to set a spot for themselves, a place for themselves so they can differentiate themselves from somebody else. >> well, they are certainly giving us a lot to talk about, and the good news is we can hear from all kinds of people on this program, and we'll do much more of it in the coming days and months. thank you both for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you. coming up, a critical question, or is it actually a veiled attempt to find non-citizens, a question about whether the president can add a citizen question to the 2020 census. we're live outside the court next. lease the 2019 rx 350 for $409 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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today supreme court justices are hearing one of the most important cases of this term. at issue, whether every person in the united states should be asked about their citizenship status for the 2020 census. the trump administration says the question will strengthen federal voting rights laws, but critics say it could actually intimidate non-citizens and also hispanics and affect response rates. let's check in outside the supreme court. what are people saying? >> reporter: with this deeply divided supreme court really wrestled with the question of whether or not the trump administration can add that citizenship question to the census, and it really seemed like the conservatives at the end of the argument seemed like they were going to side with the government here, particularly
justices aleet, o, gorsuch and chief justice john roberts didn't say a lot and at one point he did have a question that was sympathetic to the government and brett kavanaugh who sometimes head fakes during oral arguments and today he noted, look, other countries have similar questions here, and he said that the secretary wilbur ross has broad discretion in this area, and, of course, erica, this question has not been asked of all recipients since 1950, and the data that comes out of the census is critical. it goes to the allegation of seats in the congress as well as billions of dollars of federal funds, and these half dozen states came to court to argue that this was going to hurt turnout for minorities and it was going to intimidate them from coming forward, but the government said, look, we think that this was important to comply with the voting rights act. one more thing, erika, it's important to know that three
little court judges have ruled against the administration here, particularly looking at the justification, because secretary ross said, look, the department of justice in 2018 asked me to add this to question, but in fact through the discovery at trial it's revealed that all the way back in 2017 ross worked with other hardliners with the administration trying to find a way to get this question in so this is going to be a big test for this newly solidified conservative majority here on the supreme court. >> all eyes. thank you. and thanks to all of you for joining me today. sitting in for kate balduan. "inside politics" with john king starts right now.
>> welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. the supreme court hearing arguments today in a big fight over the 2020 census. the trump administration wants to ask the question about citizenship. three lower courts have said no. plus, call it the trump twitter fight club. the president lashes out at the mueller report, the media, democrats and then his son-in-law says the special counsel investigation hurt the country more than the russian election meddling. bernie sanders tugs the democrats to the left again. the vermont senator says felons should be allowed to vote in prison, even rapists, even the boston marathon bomber. is that thinking outside of the box or outside of the mainstream? >> you know, i prosecuted two people, sent them away for murder for killing teenage african-american boys, one of them right outside the boys school. that person should never have the right to vote, and for those who are serving nonviolent,
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