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Earthquake Strikes off the Coast of Japan; Looming Government Shutdown; Interview With Donald Trump; Budget Battle Hits Home; Talk Back Question

Aired April 7, 2011 - 12:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Want to get you up to speed.

We've got a lot of breaking news here from Japan, where tsunami warnings were canceled just minutes ago, but not before a new wave that smashed the northeastern coast. The trigger, a 7.1 earthquake which shook Tokyo several hundred miles to the south.

Tokyo Electric evacuated workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The quake was centered off Miyagi, the same region where the original 9.0 quake hit almost a month ago.

Want to check in with our CNN iReporter Ryan McDonald.

Ryan, you and I spoke just within the last hour or so. I understand you felt the shaking. What was that like?

RYAN MCDONALD, CNN IREPORTER: Well, I was in bed. I think it was just before midnight here. I was in bed asleep.

I was listening to my iPod and I felt -- well, before I was listening to my iPod. And then I fell asleep, and then I felt a small bit of the earthquake, just a little shake. And it wasn't a big deal. We've had a lot of aftershocks.

And then it got bigger and I said, "Oh, come on. Please, not another one."

And then it had that big feeling. It's hard to explain, but it feels like you're on a freight train and it's out of control and going down a hill. And everything started shaking, and I just panicked. And didn't film this one, but I ran to the door, and all my friends in the apartment building were also outside waiting.

MALVEAUX: What did you think had happened when you all met outside? And it was dark, I understand.

MCDONALD: Right, it was just before midnight. We didn't know what it was, and we were all frazzled because, first of all, it was an earthquake.

We're still frazzled from the original earthquake. And secondly, we were all asleep. So, it was just a trifecta of pain. And we're just really, really sick of aftershocks here.

MALVEAUX: What did you do when you went back inside? I understand you were trying to reach out to get people to feel a sense of comfort or ease?

MCDONALD: Right. Basically, we ran outside just to make sure everybody was safe. And everybody was instantly outside.

And then we came back in, and I sent e-mails to various people and said, hey, there was just a big shock. And I updated Facebook and said, hey, there was just a -- I don't want to say big quake, because people will think another 9.

I said it was kind of a small quake, but it was worth mentioning, and shook some other things. An so far, we've only had one aftershock since that one about an hour ago. So right now, I'm not going to sleep for a few more hours, but I'm OK.

MALVEAUX: How are you doing, Ryan?

MCDONALD: I'm pretty frazzled. When this one went off, I was shaking, visibly.

You know, we have so many of these earthquakes. I've been here for nine years. I'd say I've been through 200, maybe more.

And it will just shake for a minute and then it will stop. And then I just keep teaching or I keep eating dinner, or whatever I'm doing.

But after this 9.0 quake, everything changes. Every shake makes my heart stop, makes my gut drop. And just, oh, is this going to be big? OK, it's gone.

But this one, it went on for over a minute. So, yes, I'm still shaking. I'm going to be awake all night.

MALVEAUX: Ryan, we hope that you feel better as the evening goes on. But you're a teacher, you teach there. You've been teaching for quite some time. Your state is different right now.

Do you anticipate staying? Do you want to stay? Or are you thinking, you know, maybe this is a little too much, maybe I'm going to go back home to the United States?

MCDONALD: Well, each one of the aftershocks that was like this, each one of those puts me a little bit closer to thinking about leaving. But I've been here for nine years. I love my job. I love teaching Japanese kids.

They clap when I come in the classroom. That is just such an awesome feeling.

So, for me to just up and leave would be very difficult. And I really, really don't want to do that. But, again, my safety is first and foremost. And if the aftershocks don't stop, or if there is another problem with the plant, then I will seriously consider leaving.

MALVEAUX: OK. Well, Ryan, we certainly -- safety is number one. We certainly hope that you remain safe there, where you are. If you need help, please let us know.

We appreciate your always updating us on what's taking place. So thanks again, Ryan.

MCDONALD: Thank you, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: I want to bring in our Chad Myers to talk a little bit about, you know, Ryan, what he's experiencing there. I mean, he says he's been through 200 shakes, earthquakes, but this is really different. I mean, he's really starting to feel the impact of this happening again.

How serious is this, Chad? Can you kind of put it into perspective for us?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: With a 9.0, you're going to get aftershocks for six months, maybe a year. And the biggest aftershock could be 8.0, one full magnitude smaller. We didn't even see that yet. This was only a 7.1. And I say that, "only," because I want to just put this in perspective.

It was closer to the coast, so therefore maybe more shaking. It was deeper, so a little bit more buffering, less shaking.

But, here's the deal. Compared to a 9.0, this 7.1 was 79 times smaller. It put out 708 times less energy than the tsunami making 9.0.

The 7.1, 9.0, you have to go -- you can go on to USGS and find it yourself. In fact, go -- do a Google search, "USGS earthquake comparison calculator," and you can put in any number you want, 5.0, 9.0. Compare two earthquakes.

Seventy-nine times less shaking with this one. Seven hundred and eight times less energy moving of the land, less energy moving.

This was a big quake because it was close to the coast. But it wasn't anything compared to the shake that happened three weeks ago.

The issue is for Ishinomaki here, it was only about five miles from the coast. So, we talk about, oh, the tsunami warnings are going out. By the time those sirens were going off, the tsunami was on shore, literally.

If there was a tsunami, it was one meter, it was on shore in three minutes, literally three minutes. So that's why when the world shakes where people know, and they live by the ocean, they know -- especially the people here in coastal Japan -- they know to run as fast as they can. So, hopefully nobody was even in the area because it's been so devastated anyway.

MALVEAUX: So, most of that area probably would have been evacuated, we think.


MYERS: Yes, sure. Now, it was closer to the coast, so the shaking was worse, probably, than the big quake. But the tsunami threat, significantly less.

MALVEAUX: And we're going to expect to see continuous waves? This isn't over yet?

MYERS: Oh, no. The waves are done. The tsunami warnings are done.

MALVEAUX: The waves are done.

MYERS: Yes, we're over.

MALVEAUX: OK. All right. Good deal.

All right. Thanks, Chad. Appreciate it.

MYERS: You're welcome.

MALVEAUX: Well, the leaders of the House and Senate, they're due at the White House in just about an hour for crisis talks with the president. They are racing the clock for a deal to fund the government through this fiscal year. And so that means from now until September 30th.

So, if there is no agreement, much of the federal government is going to shut down tomorrow night at midnight.


SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Too many issues that are holding this matter up -- the choice of women, reproductive rights, and clean air. These matters have no place on a budget bill, Mr. President. This is a bill to keep the government running with dollars.



REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: Talks to resolve last year's budget mess are progressing, but there is no agreement yet. No agreement on the numbers and no agreement on the policy issues that were moved through the House.

Everyone's working -- well, I don't want say everyone. I'm going to work to continue to keep the government open, but there's still a disagreement in terms of making real spending cuts. As a precautionary measure, the House today will pass a troop funding bill that would fund the Department of Defense through September.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: So, if there's no deal, the money stops flowing to many government agencies. So what does it mean for you?

Alison Kosik, at the New York Stock Exchange, breaks it down for us.

Alison, how far-reaching could this government shutdown mean?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, this could become a real issue for a lot of people money-wise.

You know, it has a lot of people wondering, will I get my Social Security check? How about my medical check? What about my tax refund? So, the answer -- I know this sounds kind of lame -- is it depends.

So, the IRS says if you filed a paper return, your refund it is going to be delayed. That's likely to affect the millions of people, especially who took advantage of that first-time homebuyer tax credit last year. They were the ones that actually had to file by mail. They're going to definitely feel the effect, because that $8,000 check, don't wait around for it. It's going to be late.

The electronic filings though, they will still be processed. That's good news.

More good news, those tax audits, they're going to be suspended. And as far as Social Security and Medicare checks go, your checks will be mailed as usual, Suzanne.

But here's what I find very interesting in all this. Congress will still get paid. Isn't that nice?

MALVEAUX: A lot of people are going to get kind of upset about that one and say do your jobs. Come on, guys.

What about other government workers, people who work in the Department of Labor or the FDA? Are they going to get paid?

KOSIK: OK. For the government workers, it really depends on where you work, it depends on your job.

So, about 800,000 nonessential workers, they're going to be put on furlough. So that means no pay, turn of the BlackBerry, put it away.

Now, who will be furloughed? Workers won't know until it happens.

Now, we do know that troops will not be paid on time if it's an extended shutdown. That includes those men and women fighting in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their pay is going to be deferred.

Another big area that's going to be affected here, Suzanne, is loans. The FHA will close, so that means mortgage applications are going to be delayed. So we see how this really becomes a huge ripple effect for our finances -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. Alison, thank you.

Want to go straight to the Hill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is talking about this now on the Democratic side.


REID: Talked to his chief of staff twice. We can't do it alone. We've bent and bent and bent as much as the caucus will bend. We have bent and bent as much as the president will let us bend, that he will bend.

This is the time -- we don't have the time to fight over the Tea Party's extreme social agenda. We need to come together to keep the country running.

Senator Durbin.

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: It's worth reflecting for a moment what a shutdown means to this economy.

And I hope we don't reach that point, but Goldman Sachs estimated that just a few days of government shutdown would shave .2 percent of growth of our gross domestic product at a time when we're still recovering in this recession. Economist Mark Zandi said a longer shutdown will undermine confidence and, of course, he said earlier that the House Republican budget would cost up 700,000 jobs.

The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs with nearly $6 trillion in annual revenues and 13 million employees, say a government shutdown could result in higher interest rates and market turmoil. The Speaker of the House has said a government shutdown will end up costing the government more than staying open.

Now, in light of all of that, you have to ask yourself, why are we still talking about a shutdown? We're talking about a shutdown because of the insistence of a very small group of Tea Party folks and others for policy riders that have nothing to do with the budget deficit.

This is no longer about the budget deficit, it's about bumper stickers. It's about your favorite issue from years gone by that you want to debate and litigate in this budget resolution, this critical resolution in terms of the future of our country and our government.

It's time for Speaker Boehner to acknowledge that we have an agreement, we are going to reduce the deficit for the remainder of this year. And he has to tell his Tea Party rough riders to put their horses in the barn. Save this argument for another day.

REID: Senator Schumer.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Thank you. Well, we're circling the runway on a deal right now and waiting for the Speaker to come in for a landing. When the Speaker says there's no agreement on the number or the cuts --

MALVEAUX: A lot of colorful language coming from the Democrats, as both sides are really vying to put this into perspective and put their own spin on who is responsible, and perhaps who will be blamed if there is a government shutdown. That is not just an issue of how much to cut in terms of the money perhaps -- $7 billion difference between the two sides -- but it's also about ideological social issues that have been put in this budget.

We are talking about issues of abortion, EPA, Head Start. All of these things have gone into the debate now, and both sides really scrambling, if you will, to set the stage for tomorrow, and to set the stage for a potential government shutdown, when people are going to ask, who do we blame here when we have people who are not receiving their paychecks? And a lot of headache across the country.

So, that is what we've been watching, what we've been seeing here, some political gamesmanship, if you will, before Democrats and Republicans meet with President Obama within the hour. So, to try to figure this all out so this government shutdown doesn't happen.

Well, it's hitting home to families across the United States. Government employees could be out of work and out of a paycheck.


LINDSEY KNAPP, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE: If I don't get to come into work on Monday, I don't know how I'm going to pay my bills. And are they going to pay my bills for me? Or are they going to pay the late fees on my bills if they pay me retroactively? But I guess they just want me to tell my 3-year-old daughter in the meantime that she can't eat, that she'll have to eat retroactively when I get paid again.


MALVEAUX: Some strong language. That, Lindsey Knapp. She's a former soldier and a civilian employee at Fort Bragg. We're going to talk to her live later this hour.

Now, your chance to "Talk Back" on today's big story, and we've been talking about that, the looming government shutdown. Is it about dollars and cents or is it about something else? It depends on what side of the aisle you may be on.

Carol Costello, here to explain all of that.

She was angry. She was upset and frustrated.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She was angry. And you heard the Democrats before her talking about how maybe this has become an ideological fight, although Republicans would disagree, and that's what "Talk Back" is about today.

So, you heard the saying "Don't sweat the small stuff." Sage advice, except when it comes to budget negotiations in Washington.

Of course, small is all in how you look at it. Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over funding for the EPA, NPR, and Planned Parenthood. Small stuff if you see it in terms of federal dollars.

Planned Parenthood, for example, costs American taxpayers $330 million a year. Small dollars in comparison to the $3.5 trillion federal budget. But some might argue it's big on something else -- political ideology and beliefs.

Listen to House Speaker John Boehner on "Good Morning America."


BOEHNER: When it comes to an out-of-control bureaucracy in Washington, we know that that's also getting in the way of creating jobs in America. Now, the EPA is out of control. And the American people do not want taxpayer dollars used to fund elective abortions.


COSTELLO: Except federal dollars do not fund abortions provided by Planned Parenthood. That would violate the Hyde Amendment.

Planned Parenthood also offers things like birth control and breast and cervical cancer screening for mostly low-income women. You see where I'm going.

President Obama and the Democrats say the budget battle is turning into fight over ideology, that issues like abortion should determine whether there is a government shutdown. For Speaker Boehner, Republicans are just cleaning up the fiscal mess left by Democrats.

So, "Talk Back" today: Is the budget battle over ideology or fiscal responsibility.

Write to me at, and I promise this time around I will read your answers later this hour.

MALVEAUX: OK. Promise. Keep your promises, Carol.

COSTELLO: Since last hour there was lots of breaking news, so I couldn't. And I apologize for that. I do. But this time around we will.

MALVEAUX: OK. We will get back to you.


MALVEAUX: All right. Thanks, Carol.

Here's a look at what's ahead "On the Rundown."

Hospital mistakes may be 10 times higher than previously thought. We're going to find out how many patients are affected. Also, Donald Trump live. We're going to ask him about his political plans.

Plus, if the government shuts down, which party would be seen as the winner or loser?

And more companies are warning your e-mail could be in the hands of hackers.

And from flying high in space to diving deep into the sea, Richard Branson's latest ventures.


MALVEAUX: The field for possible Republican presidential candidates in 2012, still wide open. And though there are many names on the short list, there is one that you're sure to recognize -- Donald Trump. He's a real estate mogul, reality TV superstar. He's also proving to be quite popular politically.

In fact, an NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll puts Trump high on the list of potential GOP candidates and the current favorite among Tea Party supporters.

Still, there is a lot of controversy circling around a potential bid from "The Donald."

Donald Trump joins us live on the phone to set the record straight.

Mr. Trump, thank you so much for being here, CNN NEWSROOM.

First and foremost, got to ask you, are you running for president?

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: Well, first of all, thank you for that nice introduction. That was lovely. But I have looked very hard, and I am continuing to look, and I'll be announcing some time prior to June.

I hate what's happening to our country. Our country is literally just not respected. It's becoming, in some circles, a laughing stock throughout the world. And I just -- as a person that truly loves the United States, and is proud of the United States, I hate to see what's happening.

MALVEAUX: And you know what's happening right now, we're all paying very close attention, is the potential that the federal government will shut down because Republicans and Democrats can't seem to get on board with the budget.

Under a Trump presidency, would you let that happen?

TRUMP: Well, it's all about leadership. I mean, don't forget, Barack Obama made one deal in his life, and that was with Mr. Rezko in Chicago, OK, for some land to expand his house. He didn't make deals. It's all about leadership. You have to be able to make deals. You have to know how to make deals. You have to get people in a room and get them done, get the deal done.

And this is nothing compared to what's going to be happening next year, because now we're talking about billions of dollars. Next year you're going to be talking about trillions of dollars.

MALVEAUX: Well, President Obama has said that he's summoned them to the White House, he's going to get them in the same room. What more should he be doing? What would you do if you were in his place?

TRUMP: Well, it's all up to the messenger. I mean, you could have two people grabbing people and putting them in two separate rooms. They could be the same people, and one messenger gets the job done and one messenger can't.

So, it's really very simple. I mean, you have people -- they have to know how to get things done.

MALVEAUX: How would you handle this?

TRUMP: And under Obamacare -- which is a total disaster, by the way -- it's going to prove to be an economic disaster if it's not overturned, which hopefully it will be. But you have to be able to get the deals done. You have to get the Republicans -- MALVEAUX: How would you get this deal done, Mr. Trump? How would you get this deal done?

TRUMP: You have to deal with the various people between Mr. Boehner and Mr. Reid, Senator Reid, all of the people. You deal with them and you get something done that everybody's happy with.

MALVEAUX: Would you suggest they take out the social issues, the EPA, the issue of abortion, Head Start? Would you say, you know what, this is not an ideological battle, we've got to pull this from the budget debate and let's just deal with the hard numbers?

TRUMP: Well, whether you pull it or not, it's part of the process, and that's part of getting it all done. And obviously Planned Parenthood is coming up, and a lot of other things are coming up, and it's part of the process. It's part of the so-called deal- making process. And if you can't lead them to a proper conclusion, then I guess you're not supposed to be doing what you're doing.

MALVEAUX: You know, you mentioned the Republicans and the long- term plan. We're talking about $6 trillion worth of cuts in the next 10 years. That's the blueprint that they have laid out for the next budget battle.

Do you agree that Medicare should be changed fundamentally, as the Republicans have suggested, to more of a system where the elderly would be offered vouchers for private insurance?

TRUMP: I'd have to study the plan. I will tell you, I think it's very dangerous for the Republicans to go on this ledge, because I, for one, would have to be very, very careful.

I will cherish our seniors. Our seniors are great. And I will cherish our seniors, and I wouldn't do anything to hurt the seniors.

Now, what is happening -- and I have a lot of respect for Paul Ryan, but what is happening is the Republicans are going way, way, way far out on the ledge. And the Democrats are saying, oh, gee, look what they're doing.

This -- whatever plans and whatever changes are going to be made, it has to be done in a bipartisan way. I don't think the Republicans should be out on this ledge. It should be led -- something has to be done, and it should be led by the president.

MALVEAUX: What would you do?

TRUMP: So I think what Paul has done is very dangerous for the Republican Party and very, very dangerous for the upcoming election. I think he's too far out.

Again, I have great respect for Paul Ryan. Tremendous respect. But I think he's really going very, very far out in terms of -- he shouldn't be leading this process.

I think this process should be led by the president of the United States. But they're sitting back and all they're doing is criticizing, and that's very dangerous for the Republicans and for the upcoming elections.

MALVEAUX: All right. Mr. Trump, thank you very much.

We're going to hear more from Donald Trump in just a moment after this quick break.


MALVEAUX: We're back with Mr. Donald Trump.

And Mr. Trump, if you would, you said you thought that Paul Ryan was really in a dangerous area looking at Medicare, actually reforming Medicare. Is there another option? What would you do in a Trump presidency when it comes to Medicare? Because it's going to be bankrupt in 10 years. How would you solve that?

TRUMP: Well, I'm studying that situation very, very closely. And if and when I decide to run -- and I really look forward to making that decision, to be totally honest with you. But if and when I decide to run, I'll have a plan.

But again, Paul is really -- he's very, very far out in front. The president should be the one that's out in front, and he's being severely criticized.

And I will say this from the other side. I will say this -- the seniors have to be cherished, they have to be taken care of. And anything it's going to do that's even slightly negative to the seniors I'm against.


Let's turn the corner here.

Obviously, if there was a Trump presidency, you would be commander-in-chief of the troops. We know the Bush doctrine, preemptive strikes against possible terrorists and terrorist threats. The Obama doctrine seems to be a bit more nuanced here, but at least in terms of Libya, is about U.S. interests on a case-by-case basis.

If you were president, what is the Trump doctrine when it comes to using the military?

TRUMP: Well, first of all, I don't think Obama has a doctrine. And if you look at the way -- Libya has been just totally messed up. You know, at first it was humanitarian, except he was two-and-a-half weeks late, and so many thousands of people were killed.

My doctrine is very simple. I want to rebuild the United States. I want this to be a great country again.

MALVEAUX: When would you put U.S. troops on the ground?

TRUMP: I want to rebuild -- excuse me. I want to rebuild the United States. And in rebuilding the United States, you know, Libya is -- whether it's Gadhafi, or the rebels -- they make the rebels sound like they're from "Gone With the Wind," very glamorous.

I hear they're controlled by Iran. I hear they're controlled by al Qaeda. And I would say this -- unless we take the oil from Libya, I have no interest in Libya.

MALVEAUX: So, your doctrine, would you not have any kind of humanitarian concerns if there is threats of thousands being slaughtered? Would the Trump doctrine unless it deals with oil we're not in?

TRUMP: We don't know who's being slaughtered. I mean, who are being slaughtered? The people who shot at us when we were in Iraq? Because I hear 20 percent of the rebels were shooting at us when we were in Iraq. They were opposed to us.

I hear a large percentage of them are very, very sympathetic to Iran. And I'm saying what are we doing? We cannot be the policemen for the world. We just can't do that anymore. And Libya is only good as far I'm concerned for one thing -- this country takes the oil. If we're not taking the oil, no interest.

MALVEAUX: Would that apply, do you suppose, to many countries? If you don't have oil, they're not oil interests, that the United States under the Trump doctrine wouldn't get involved in say Ivory Coast where there's a civil war that's ensuing?

TRUMP: It's very interesting. In the old days when you had a war -- the old days -- you had a war and if you won the war, you won the war. You won. If there had oil, if they had diamonds, if they gold, when you win a war, you win a war.

If you look at Iraq, what's going to happen in Iraq is absolutely amazing. We deneutered the country. We've destroyed their military essentially, we've built it up to a tiny fraction of what it was. For years and years and years and centuries, they've been fighting with Iran, back and forth, back and forth. What's going to happen now is two minutes after we leave, Iran is going to take over the great old fields of Iraq, second largest, by the way, to Saudi Arabia. $15 trillion.

And we've spent $1.5 trillion in Iraq. We've lost thousands of lives and wounded. And I'm saying if Iran is going to take over those oil fields, we're going to take them over. And I will tell you this. If I'm president at the time, Iran is not taking over the Iraqi oil fields. We will.

Now, what's going to happen is if we leave, they're going to take over. So, I would say we take over the fields, and we have no choice. Otherwise, all of those great men and women will have died in vain.

MALVEAUX: All right. I want to turn the corner, if we can. I know there's been a lot of controversy over some statements that you've made again questioning President Obama, whether or not he was born here in the United States, American citizen. You're saying you're sending a team of researchers to Hawaii to take a look at whether or not that is the case.

Mr. Trump, I mean, this has been debunked by so many people on so many levels, including CNN. We did our own documentary, been to Hawaii numerous times, speaking with people not only who knew his parents but the childhood schoolteacher, the baby-sitter --

TRUMP: That has nothing to do with whether or not he was born in the country.


MALVEAUX: You say yourself, Mr. Obama (sic), that there's nobody who remembered him you said as a young child in Howaii. We've spoken to those people who do remember him. I want you to listen, just take a listen here to what they say, what they recall.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was very funny. He was really warm, friendly, kind of a prankster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smiled. Big smile.

CHRIS MCLAUCHLIN, BASKETBALL COACH: Lefty. Nice little left- handed jump shot from the corner. And nothing but net very often.


MALVEAUX: So, Mr. Trump, I mean in listening to --

TRUMP: Excuse me --

MALVEUAX: -- to people who were there in Hawaii who recall him as a boy. You say there's no one who recalled him from kindergarten or from his young childhood on "The View." There are people who are there who recall him being born there. The governor says that he recalls him being born there --

TRUMP: I didn't say that. I'm sure the governor really recalls him. I think the governor's taking a bullet for the party.

Look, I didn't say that. You have to be born in the country. If he was three years old or two years old or one year old and people remember him, that's irrelevant. You have to be born in the country.

There's no birth certificate. There's only a certificate of live birth, which is a totally different thing and a much, much lower standard. There are no hospital records. His own family doesn't know what hospital he was born in in Hawaii. But have you no hospital records in any of the hospitals that he was born there. There are no bills, no room numbers, no nothing. They do that for other people, but they don't have for Obama.

His grandmother in Kenya said that he was born in Kenya. Now, he could have been born -- and she said it very strongly -- that he was born in Kenya, she was there when he was born. And the newspapers were a week late. So, he could have been born in Kenya and gone over to the United States. Everybody wants to be a U.S. citizen, and his grandparents put an ad in saying he was born in the United States because of all the benefits you get from being born in the United States.

MALVEAUX: Mr. Trump, I have --

TRUMP: So, I think CNN has not done a very good job.

MALVEAUX: No, I have to interrupt here because I know what you're talking about. I know the report you're talking about. Within that interview itself -- it has been discredited. There is an interview that was done here, and in the interview, Obama's step grandmother says that she was there when he was born. The interpreter realizes when the questioner again asks him if he was born in Kenya that she was misinterpreted, that that was not correct.

TRUMP: Oh, I see. Now it is a misinterpretation. It is sort of amazing.

MALVEAUX: Well, if you listen to the interview and you see the transcript here, it says, no, Obama was not born in Mombasa, he was born in America. The interviewer, the translator, asks again if this is the whereabouts of where he was born, he thought he was born in Kenya. And he says, no, he was born in America, not in Mombasa.

TRUMP: OK. Well, you know you have a big dispute on that.

MALVEAUX: Absolutely. But the Kenyan grandmother, that report was disputed within the interview itself. And you're a man of great credibility. I would assume that you would want to make sure that in fact was the case.

TRUMP: Well, you know, you have people that dispute what you're saying, and I say it with great respect. By the way, I hope he was born in the United States. I'd like him to be. Because if I decide to run, I would like to really do it on a very, very straight-up, head-to-head, man-to-man basis. I mean, honestly I hope he was born -- because if he wasn't it is the greatest scam in history. Not political history, in history.

But have you a lot of documentation and you have a lot of documentation -- by the way, not only here but stuff that's missing. Why are there no hospital records? Why does his family not even know the hospital he was born in? And just out of curiosity, why can't he produce a birth certificate? I hope he can.

MALVEAUX: Well, I know -- clearly, Mr. Trump, I know you've seen the certificate of live birth --

TRUMP: It is not --

MALVEUAX: -- that was presented by the White House. Governor -- Governor Abercrombie says that this is the official document --

TRUMP: Oh, really? It's not signed by anybody. Nobody wants to sign it. Why doesn't somebody -- nobody signed it. Since when do you -- I have a birth certificate signed by three different people. Why is it that it isn't signed? A certificate of live birth -- you can't get a driver's license with a certificate of live birth. You can't get a wedding license. It is totally different from a birth certificate.

MALVEUAX: I think you're --

TRUMP: Let me ask you this. Do you really believe that the governor of the state of Hawaii was there when he was born? Give me a break.

MALVEUAX: I've spoken to the governor of Hawaii, Abercrombie, when I did the documentary on the president. He's very close friends with the mother --

TRUMP: Oh, really?

MALVEUAX: -- as well as the father --

TRUMP: I wouldn't be surprised if he hardly knew them.

MALVEAUX: They have a very, very close relationship.

TRUMP: Oh, I see. He was there in the hospital when he was born.

MALVEUAX: You'll have to speak to him yourself. But I mean, I have spoken with the governor, Governor Abercrombie. I know this debate continues, but I mean, clearly, there is information and there's evidence on this side that point to the fact that the president was born in Hawaii.

But I know that this is not an issue that's really important to American voters. Our latest poll showing that 70 percent want to move on and talk about some other things.

TRUMP: Well, what about the 30 percent? Do they not count?

MALVEUAX: Of course they count, but I'm certainly glad that --

TRUMP: That's a lot of people.

MALVEUAX: -- that we had an opportunity to talk about some other issues. Clearly your own doctrine, domestic policy as well as international. So, Donald Trump, thank you very much --

TRUMP: Well, that is my main issue. I'd just like to see the United States be great again and not be ripped off by every country throughout world, which is happening right now. That is 99 percent of what I'm all about.

MALVEUAX: OK. Well, we certainly hope to focus on that if you decide that you're going to jump into the race. So, we appreciate your time.

TRUMP: Well thank you very much, Suzanne.

MALVEUAX: And we're going to go to a quick break.


MALVEAUX: Want to go to Capitol Hill right away to our Brianna Keilar. I understand, Brianna, you've got some news that there are potentially government staffers who are already getting prepared, furlough notices coming their way.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. They are getting furlough notices, in fact. I just ran into a Senate source who manages a group of Senate aides, and he physically showed me the furlough notices that are going out on the Senate side as we speak. As I understand it, Suzanne, to all offices. What they basically say, they look like letters that say either you're staying or you're going, either you're furloughed or your furlough exempt, which could be for a number of different reasons.

Our producer, Ted Barrett, was able to figure out what those reasons would be: either to carry out the suspension of the office's function, so to wrap up the functions of an office that may have to close if there is a shutdown after tomorrow night or to perform the constitutional duties of the Senate or perhaps for security reasons.

But you know, there's been this huge question mark here, if you're in the cafeteria, you're walking along the halls, you talk to staffers and you say, hey, so what's going to happen if there's going to be a shutdown? A lot of people haven't been able to answer the question. They said, we don't really know. Some of them it's even been unclear whether they're essential staff or whether they're non- essential personnel. So, this is really going to be telling them.

These letters say if there is not a spending bill passed, a fiscal year 2011 spending bill passed, then either you stay or you go, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: So, Brianna, just to be clear, these notices that are going out, do they spell out whether or not these staffers are essential or non-essential, their jobs?

KEILAR: They do. They do. There's two kinds of letters. If you are considered essential personnel, then it's going to tell you that you are furlough exempt. If you're considered nonessential, then it will tell you in the case of a government shutdown that you will be furloughed.

MALVEAUX: And Brianna, why are they doing this now? Do they anticipate the government is going to shut down? Is this just out of precaution, or do we really think it's heading in this direction?

KEILAR: I think because we're so close to when the deadline would be tomorrow night that this is probably just kind of standard protocol. I can't answer that exactly right, but you know, we're almost, what, a little more than a day away from a shutdown. And I think obviously if there's going to be one, some offices need to get prepared for that, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK. Brianna Keilar. Thank you, Brianna. Appreciate it.

Tune in for a special hour of CNN NEWSROOM with Randi Kaye today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The entire hour is going to focus on the possibility of a government shutdown. Voters from across the country will weigh in. You can also leave your comments, your thoughts at Let us know how you think this will impact you.

The potential government shutdown is raising a lot of questions about delayed pay for America's military. And we're going to talk with a former soldier working now, working on a military base just ahead.


MALVEAUX: The threat of a government shutdown is hitting home for families across the country. Government employees could be out of work and out of a paycheck. Lindsey Knapp is a civilian federal employee at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. She's a former soldier with a husband and three-year-old daughter.

Lindsay, thanks for talking with us and really appreciate this. How would a government shutdown impact you? Would it be a hardship?

LINDSEY KNAPP, CIVILIAN FEDERAL EMPLOYEE: Absolutely, Suzanne. If the government were to shut down, on Monday, I would have -- I would not go to work and I would not be paid. But it's even worse for the American soldier because they'll have to go to work and they won't be paid. Since this falls in the middle of a time period, a lot of people think that it's not that big of a deal and that come Monday or next week the government can try to get it together so that we all can be paid. But how do I know that that's going to happen?

The government only needs to pass a budget covering the next six months. They don't need to pass a budget for the next 12 months, for the next two years and they certainly don't need to wipe out all of the national debt. They need to get together and pass a budget for the next six months. Right now being a --

MALVEAUX: Lindsey --

KNAPP: I'm sorry. Yes, Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: No, no, please. Just -- how long would it -- would you be able to hold out, do you think, without a paycheck?

KNAPP: Not long at all. I cannot miss one paycheck. Being a Democrat or a Republican in Congress right now is like being in a dysfunctional marriage. But at some point, they're going to have to put on their big boy and big girl pants and do what's right. They need to do the right thing because right now if what happens now -- or what happened in 1995 happens now, I could go 21 days without receiving a paycheck. And those folks did receive their pay retroactively, but it seems that Congress wants me to tell my three-year-old daughter that, don't worry, honey, you can eat retroactively when I get paid again.

MALVEAUX: You seem really angry? Is that accurate? Do you feel a sense of frustration with these folks?

KNAPP: I'll -- Suzanne, I am very angry because come Monday, I will not be paid. However, the only people that will be getting paid are the Congress men and women. They will still receive their pay. I heard the House speaker say that he doesn't feel that he should receive his pay and that other congressmen should not receive their pay, but that means nothing to me. That you feel that way. I feel that you should pass the budget. If you feel that way, then you should be giving your paycheck to those American soldiers who are fighting in Afghanistan.

Private Joe Snuffy (ph), who's got five kids and is in the desert of Afghanistan and can't do anything for his spouse, what is he supposed to do with those five kids if he doesn't receive his paycheck? There are a lot of federal civilian employees who have spouses who are deployed. So this furlough will affect both of their pay's and there will be no money coming into the household.

I'm fortunate enough, you know, my husband, he works part-time, so I'll receive a part-time paycheck. So we'll get some kind of pay. But what about those families that receive no pay? They just need to get it together. It is a six-month budget.

MALVEAUX: And, Lindsey, real quick here, is there any particular side that you're blaming? Do you think it's the Democrats? Republicans? Or do they all seem the same at this point?

KNAPP: To be honest, everyone is to blame and no one is winning. The only person that is paying the price for this is people like me, people like my daughter and the American soldier. We are always asked to pay the price. The American soldier is the one who always pays the price. They're out there fighting for us. The least you could do is pay the man. The least you could do.

MALVEAUX: All right, Lindsey Knapp, thank you so much. We appreciate your giving us your story and, obviously, what would be a hardship for you if this does not happen, if the government shuts down.

Lindsey Knapp, thanks again. We appreciate your service as well.

We're getting a lot of responses to today's "Talk Back" question and the possibility of a federal government shutdown. And we asked, is the budget battle over ideology or fiscal responsibility? Carol Costello is up next with your responses.


MALVEAUX: It's now your chance to "Talk Back" on today's big story, the looming government shutdown. What is behind all of this political wrangling? Our Carol Costello has responses to that question.

Everybody's watching this. We're talking about hours away from a potential government shutdown.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And what's it really over, the budget or ideology? That's what a lot of people are wondering and that is our "Talk Back" question today, is the budget battle over ideology or physical responsibility.

This from Nancy. She says that "Democrats and Republicans don't care about fiscal responsibility. They care only about their own selfish ideologies that benefit themselves while we the people suffer for it."

This from Andrew. I think it's about being fiscally ideological and ideologically fiscal." Got that?

MALVEAUX: A little tough.

COSTELLO: This from Mary. "This is simply another blackmail attempt on the part of the GOP. We all remember the tax breaks for the wealthy in exchange for further assistance for the American workers."

This from Richard. "Both parties should song that song, 'let's get fiscal'." We needed a little humor, so I threw that one in.

Let's end on Jason, though. He says, "It's pathetic. Not any one of the so-called leaders has a clue. This is not the time for ideology. It's the economy stupid."

Keep the conversation going, And thanks, as always, for your comments. MALVEAUX: And, Carol, most people I guess who have reached out, they don't have a lot of tolerance either way, Republicans, Democrats, for what is taking place. We just heard that soldier, you know --

COSTELLO: Oh, Lindsey was -- Lindsey was right on. We had over 200 responses to this question, Suzanne, and people are mad at everyone. Democrats, Republicans, the president, everyone. They just want this -- they want them, as Lindsey said, to sit down, act like grown-ups and come to some sort of conclusion because that's why we put you in office.

MALVEAUX: Right. Right. And they're --

COSTELLO: To keep the government running.

MALVEAUX: And they're getting paid to keep the government -- they're getting paid while potentially folks (INAUDIBLE) --

COSTELLO: Although they say they don't really want to.


COSTELLO: And I guess there are bills in both the House and Senate but they haven't moved yet.

MALVEAUX: Let's see what happens.


MALVEAUX: All right, Carol, thanks.


MALVEAUX: Richard Branson has just announced his next big adventure. He wants to produce more astronauts than NASA.


MALVEAUX: We're watching the developing story on Capitol Hill. The budget battle. Tune in for a special hour of CNN NEWSROOM with Randi Kaye today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The entire hour is going to focus on the possibility of a government shutdown. Voters from across the country will be weighing in. You can also leave your comments, your thoughts at Let us know how this is going to impact you.

Well, Richard Branson pulls off another impressive first. We're going to let the billionaire adventurer tell you all about it in his own words.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what it's like. He's in that core (ph). And White Knight Two and SpaceShip Two are going to stick with us and we're going to head down the bay, over the Golden Gate Bridge and we're going to do a parallel landing. DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the first time a spacecraft has landed at a commercial airport.

SIR RICHARD BRANSON: Yes, it's ridiculous, isn't it? It was a magnificent day flying with the spaceship right along side of a Virgin America plane. Our initial ambitions are to create more astronauts in a year than NASA created astronauts in 60 years. So, you know, so that's going to be tremendously exciting to do and I think that will start in about a year's time.

Fasten your seatbelt is a good idea because you're going to go from not (ph) to 2,500 miles an hour in eight seconds. And once in space, you unbuckle. You look back at earth through these wonderful big windows that we've got in the spaceship. You float around and you have the ride of a lifetime.

We want to try to move on to transporting people between continents at a fraction of the speed that they currently get transported. So we've got lots of big dreams and we've got lots of work to do to make them a reality.


MALVEAUX: CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Randi Kaye, who's in for Ali Velshi.

Hey, Randi.