Return to Transcripts main page


Jared Kushner May Be Summoned to Capitol Hill on Russia Probe; Roy Moore Back on Trail, Calls Allegations "Dirty Politics"; Trump Calls Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" at Navajo Event; Interview with Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz; Royal Wedding to be Held at Windsor Castle in May 2018; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired November 28, 2017 - 10:30   ET


[10:31:45] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We have some breaking news on the Russia investigation and the possibility that Jared Kushner could be called back to Capitol Hill.

CNN's senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju has this story.

Manu, what's going on here?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right. You'll recall the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Jared Kushner earlier this month asking for a lot of information. They did not actually receive, John. That they said they didn't receive about correspondence that he had with Russians and others during the campaign season.

Now one of the things that they wanted was a transcript of an interview that he had with a separate committee on Capitol Hill. That was the Senate Intelligence Committee as well as the House Intelligence Committee. They have not been able -- the Senate Judiciary Committee has not been able to interview Kushner and they said look, we may not interview you if you could provide us a copy of the transcript from those two committees.

Now we just spoke to the Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr who told our colleague Ted Barrett we don't hand out transcripts, no. So he's essentially rejecting the idea of giving the transcript of Jared Kushner's interview from July over to the Judiciary Committee.

So now why is this significant? Because the committee itself, the Judiciary Committee, is one of three on Capitol Hill conducting this Russia investigation and they're running -- sort of stepping on each other's feet as they -- each of these panels are conducting their own investigations and now the Judiciary Committee may have to bring Kushner back for further questions because they're not able to get those transcripts back.

And I asked Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee as well, whether they'll bringing Kushner back, John, and what he said is we want to get records first from Kushner then we'll see in negotiations right now with Kushner's attorney to get some of those records -- John. BERMAN: Of course, any time you answer questions under oath it does

create some jeopardy there.

Manu Raju, thanks so much.

Dirty politics. That is Roy Moore's latest defense as he enters the 11th hour of his Senate race. The Alabama candidate back on the trail and ramping up his fight two weeks now until the election. This despite the growing accusations of sex abuse of various kinds including the accusation that he molested a 14-year-old girl.

Kaitlan Collins in Alabama for us with the very latest -- Kaitlan.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, quite a warm reception for Roy Moore in Henagar last night as he spoke to a room of about 200 supporters or so. Now, though Roy Moore did not take questions from reporters in what was his first public appearance in about 11 days or so, and certainly one of his few public appearances since this slew of sexual assault allegations has been made against him including one woman who says she was only 14 years old when she met Roy Moore who was in his 30s, Roy Moore is vowing to continue to fight these charges.

And not only that, he's now promising to take the gloves off in this race. Now as the president -- excuse me, as Roy Moore spoke to these supporters last night, he invoked the president's name and even brought up a certain investigation into Russian meddling.


ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: They're trying to hide the true issues which face people of this country and this state that they won't resolved. It's no different than when "The Washington Post" brought out the Russian investigation at a time when President Trump is trying to get his agenda passed.


COLLINS: Now with two weeks left to go in this race before people in Alabama go to the polls, there is certainly a feeling in that room last night among the supporters of Roy Moore that he still stands a chance to win this race, despite the allegations that have been made against him.

[10:35:11] Several people that I spoke to believe that there's not enough proof of these allegations for them to vote for a Democrat like Doug Jones over Roy Moore just yet -- John.

BERMAN: All right. Kaitlan Collins for us in Alabama. Kaitlan, thank you very much.

The president honors Native Americans in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the president who forced thousands of Native Americans from their homes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: President Trump facing new criticism this morning. It wasn't just that he used the name Pocahontas to ridicule someone in front of Native American veterans. Some called attention to the backdrop in the room, a portrait of Andrew Jackson.

[10:40:05] Andrew Jackson was the president who removed thousands of Native Americans from their homes.

Joining us now is Jacqueline Pata, the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians.

Thanks so much for being with us. Look, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says that when the president called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas and keeps calling her that, it's not racist. What's your view?

JACQUELINE PATA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS: I think that he uses a term that is a name of a real person, a person from the Madapanay (PH) tribes and Pamunkey women -- tribes, and we don't want to be using this in a derogatory way that would actually try to infer something against a political adversary, rather than respecting the woman that Pocahontas was.

BERMAN: And you think the president is using it in a derogatory way?

PATA: I think that he's using it in a way to be able to speak to a political issue between him and Elizabeth Warren, and it's not respecting Pocahontas, her tribe, or her legacy.

BERMAN: And I understand your organization is calling on the president to stop doing this. What are you asking exactly?

PATA: We're asking him to be respectful of our cultures, our people, who we are as Native Americans in this country, and to make sure that his policies reflect that. And we were pleased that early in his administration he called tribal leaders to the White House. We've had meetings on health care and energy and tax and finance. But this continues to be some kind of political dig that is back and forth between him and Elizabeth Warren, and is really not reflective of the relationship that we should be having with the president of the United States from Native American communities and tribal governments.

BERMAN: And what about the backdrop to this event yesterday? Again with Native American war heroes there was the portrait of Andrew Jackson there, of course the president who enforced the Indian Removal Act, the Trail of Tears, so many thousands of Native Americans died moving west in the 1830s. Did you notice that picture?

PATA: We noticed it immediately. Of course we remember when the president said that he wanted to place that portrait and that he wanted to, you know, emulates President Jackson in some of his presidency and it did cause concern. We weren't sure whether it was other actions of President Jackson or the fact that President Jackson was known as the Indian killer president and certainly not revered by tribes and tribal members across the country.

BERMAN: Should this event yesterday with Native American heroes, was it the appropriate place to have that event in front of that portrait?

PATA: I'm not sure that -- and it isn't up to me to infer whether or not that was intentional or not intentional. That portrait has been sitting there since, you know, January I believe when he put it up there. It does concern me that we don't consciously think about what -- you know, what that inference could make to Native Americans and certainly this whole event was about honoring the Code Talkers, the last of the 20 that may be alive.

BERMAN: Yes. And there was a great deal to honor there. Such heroes. What about the White House claim that what people should really be offended by are Elizabeth Warren's claims to have Cherokee heritage without, you know, rock solid documentation to back it up?

PATA: You know, it's an unfortunate thing of the history of our country that a lot of those rock solid documentation isn't there.


PATA: There are many people who say that they have Native American heritage. You know, goes, and people check their blood quantum, but being able to actually track that from those original rolls that were written before that Native American tribes actually had their own written language. It's very difficult for people to document their heritage.

BERMAN: Jacqueline Pata, thanks so much for being with us. We do appreciate your time.

PATA: Thank you.

BERMAN: More than 10 weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz pushes Congress for more aid.


[10:48:35] BERMAN: All right. Senator Bernie Sanders reportedly set to propose a giant $146 billion recovery plan for Puerto Rico today. Two and a half months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island it also calls on Congress to consider retiring the island's debt.

With me now San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.

Mayor, thanks so much for being with us. I really appreciate it.


BERMAN: This plan from Bernie Sanders $146 billion, the mayor -- I mean, the governor of Puerto Rico, (INAUDIBLE), wants $94 billion, the Trump administration requesting $29 billion for Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas. The Sanders plan I'm sure you want as much money as you can get. Do you think it will even see the light of day in Congress?

CRUZ: Well, it should see the light of day. It's a comprehensive plan that was put together after weeks and weeks of consultation with various groups in Puerto Rico. I had the opportunity to speak to Senator Sanders and his staff for a while and it addresses a lot of the things that are important for Puerto Rico energy.

And not only bringing back energy, which is at 50 percent generation, and people have to understand that's not the same as having power. All the power in the island is generated on the southern part and then it's distributed throughout the rest of Puerto Rico, so it is -- how do you transform that grid so that power just does not get generated from one area of the island that gets hit because global warming is a real thing and it will happen again.

It also touches on education, it touches on the elimination of the debt, it touches on the Jones Act, which is very important.

[10:50:03] And I think we have to sit down with our maritime brothers and sisters and create a path for where at least while we're in this humanitarian crises, all of the ships that come with aid from other countries in the world are allowed to come in to Puerto Rico.

BERMAN: You were telling me about the outpouring of support that you've received from the American people.

CRUZ: Yes. Yes.

BERMAN: You say you're getting postcards and letters with $10 or $5 and 25 cents from people all over the country. Does that contrast in your mind with the official response of the Trump administration?

CRUZ: The official non-response of the Trump administration totally. The president has had a -- frankly, a conduct unbecoming of a leader of the free world. He has insulted the Puerto Rican people. He has disregarded our ability to rebuild and transform the island and that contrasts completely with the outpouring of love. I always say this, and it sounds a little harsh but it's the truth.

BERMAN: It sounds very harsh when you say that about the president.

CRUZ: That --

BERMAN: By the way who says that he is, you know, committed to helping the people of Puerto Rico.

CRUZ: Well, look, you can be committed to helping, but it's not what you say, it's what you do. And what he has done so far and what FEMA has done so far has not been up to standards and frankly what has happened is that the outpouring and the big heart of the American people have contrasted with the big mouth of the American president.

BERMAN: You know, the time between Thanksgiving and January 6th, Three Kings Day, traditionally, you know, a festive celebration in Puerto Rico now.

CRUZ: Yes.

BERMAN: Is that what it feels like down there? Give us a sense of what you see every day. CRUZ: Well, I see a lot of people trying very hard, as hard as they

can, to go back to normal. But I think we also need to realize that there's going to be a new normal, that our poverty and our inequality cannot be hidden behind beautiful beaches and scenery and that we need to look at our reality and set the foundation to transform Puerto Rico.

It's not only the elimination of a debt, but is it -- what kind of economic development model we're going to push forward in order to have a more equitable, more democratic and a society where people are really taking charge.

And one of the things that I like about Senator Sanders' plan which includes the USVI is that it puts the transformation of Puerto Rico in Puerto Rican hands. You know, we have the Fiscal Control Board that is now asking that all the moneys that come through are pushed through them. Well, you know, that's putting another nonentity which is not democratically appointed.

And the people of Puerto Rico and the people of the USVI we all have the zealous for life and we want to move forward, but we have to move forward in a different path, in a path where education is paramount to what we want to do and in a path that allows us to bring people back.

This foundation called Somebody Help Us, it's a foundation that will help people rebuild homes. If your home was made out of concrete with a wooden zinc top, FEMA won't help you.

BERMAN: Right.

CRUZ: If you don't have your title, FEMA won't help you. So it's an estimate of 100,000 people without homes that we are now going to have to help rebuild within a resilient formation so that the same thing, because global warming is real, doesn't happen again.

BERMAN: Mayor Cruz, thank you so much for being with us. We wish you Happy Holidays.

CRUZ: Thank you -- thank you very much.

BERMAN: Thank you.

All right. Royal wedding alert. We have some breaking news on this front. Stay with us.


[10:58:04] BERMAN: All right. Breaking news on the royal wedding front. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confronting the same dilemma so many of us face, at which of your castles do you hold the ceremony? See, they're just like us.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin joining us live from London with the answer.


finished up a briefing here at Buckingham Palace and we have now learned that the happy couple plans to get married at Windsor Castle in May of 2018. We still don't know the exact date, but we do know it will be at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. A scene to be a special place for the couple, also known as a special place for the Queen as well.

We know that they thanked her for permission to use that venue. We also know who's going to be paying for this event, the royal family. And we're also getting more details about Meghan Markle's future plans. She plans on becoming a UK citizenship -- UK citizen, rather. The process will take a few years according to the palace. So she does plan on retaining her U.S. citizenship.

We also know that she will become a patron of the foundation of Prince Harry as well as Prince William and Kate. We are also hearing that she is planning their first royal engagement, which is expected on Friday, in Nottingham. So those are some of the details we're just getting now, John, about these upcoming nuptials.

BERMAN: Who doesn't love a wedding at Windsor Castle in May?

Erin McLaughlin for us in London, thanks so much. The big news there, Meghan Markle going to become a UK citizen. Wonder if Prince Harry will take on American citizenship.

Thank you all for joining us today. That is all for us. I'm John Berman. "AT THIS HOUR WITH KATE BOLDUAN" starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, John Berman. Hello, everybody. I'm Kate Bolduan. President Trump breaking bread and twisting arms.