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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
George H.W. Bush Leaving ICU, Barbara Leaving Hospital; Trump To Sign Three Executive Orders Including TPP Withdrawal; Hospital: Bush Was Intubated, Ventilated For 48 Hours; Rubio Says He'll Vote For Trump's Secretary Of State; GOP Source: Trump's Debut Full Of "Unforced Errors". Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired January 23, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:01] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Berman. We are going to begin with breaking news involving the health of the former president and first lady. Any moment doctors will give an update on George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. They've both been hospitalized from the past week.
We want to bring in special correspondent, Jamie Gangel. Jamie, you have some new information about both the former first lady and president.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: And we have some good information. What the doctors are going to say in their briefing is that Barbara Bush is going home today. She's going to be discharged. In a fact she may have already snuck out of the hospital.
And more good news, former President Bush is going to be able to leave the ICU. So this is a big step for people who might not remember, he went in a Saturday ago. He was having a cough and not doing very well. They put him on antibiotics.
And then all of a sudden there was a crisis and he could not breathe. They intubated him. He was on a respirator, but they were able to take that out, and I think what we're going to hear is, I mean, coming out of intensive care, this is all good news, he's moving in the right direction.
BOLDUAN: A huge step moving in the right direction, coming out of ICU. We're waiting for the press conference, we'll bring it to you from Houston when the doctors take to the table there to speak with us. Jamie, he went from bad to -- he got better but then got worse very quickly and that progression, it seems really concerning to a lot of people.
GANGEL: It was, because they weren't sure at first what was going on. They thought it might be pneumonia. They put him on IV and antibiotics, and after a couple of days, he was responding really well. Then all of a sudden there was a crisis and he was having trouble breathing.
I think the really good news is that they were able to extubate him, in other words take him off the breathing so quickly. He's 92 years old. He's had this kind of problem before. In 2012, he was hospitalized for almost two months with problems with bronchitis and pneumonia.
So when you're 92, these are the kinds of things that you can be vulnerable to, but he says that he's going to the Super Bowl in Houston in a couple of weeks. That's the goal he's set for himself.
BERMAN: He knows it's going to be a good game, right?
BERMAN: Jamie Gangel, standby because we want to talk to you as this news come up. We have other news to report coming up in just a little bit.
BOLDUAN: Also just into CNN right now, President Trump is going to be signing new executive orders, making good on a campaign promise withdrawing the United States from the Transpacific Partnership trade negotiations, known as TPP. Candidate Trump railed against TPP during the election.
President Trump now making it a top priority in his first days. Trade is not the president's only focus right out of the gate. We're expecting video of that signing in just a moment and we will bring it to you as soon as it comes in from the White House.
But joining us right now is CNN's senior White House correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, and CNN's chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, to discuss all the developments that are happening probably as we speak right now. Jeff, first to you, what exactly are we expecting to happen?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John and Kate, this is really the first order of business. As you said, President Trump has been talking about this all through the campaign. He's running behind this morning, I'm told he met with business leaders earlier.
So in a short amount of time he will be signing three executive orders and it is beginning with the TPP. He talked so much, as he campaigned throughout the rust belt states, Michigan, Ohio, and beyond, about fair trade. He believes this is the first step to do that.
This essentially will remove the U.S. from the agreement of 12 countries. He also is going to sign a five-year lobbying ban. What that means is that anyone who works in his administration, once they leave, they would be prohibited from lobbying the federal government for five years after.
Part of what he also campaigned on to drain the swamp, it actually is one of the things that made some people sort of cautious or not want to come in and work in his White House there because that is a pretty prohibitive thing.
He also will be doing other things at the White House later today meeting with Congressional leaders on both sides. So the first order of business, though, the TPP, which of course changes the discussion and the dynamic about trade agreements here in the U.S.
BERMAN: You know, Dana Bash, symbolically, this move on TPP is seen as being, you know, anti-free-trade, or something as against, you know, the free traders in his own party and in some of the Democratic Party as well.
Plus he just had this meeting at the White House with business leaders where he talked about similar things, he talked about building in America, buying American, manufacturing in America, and told those business leaders, you know, this is the way it's going to be. This looks like to me President Trump trying to deliver on his campaign promises.
[11:05:03]DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: One hundred percent, this should be absolutely no surprise to anybody who was not frankly under a rock over the last 18 months, paying attention to what Donald Trump's key campaign message was. He had a few of them but this really topped the list. That he was going to do this.
He even gave a speech during his campaign on things he would do during his first 100 days. This executive order withdrawing from the TPP was, again, the thing that he said he was going to do. It is symbolic, but it is more than symbolic.
It is him doing something that President Obama tried to push for, along with, in a sort of strange bed fellows kind of way, the Republican house Speaker, who is still the Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.
BOLDUAN: Dana, hold on one second, that press conference in Houston about former President George H.W. Bush's condition is under way right now. Let's listen in.
DR. AMY MYNDERSE, HOUSTON METHODIST HOSPITAL: Questions?
MYNDERSE: Sure. President Bush had a pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia, and is making daily improvements. Mrs. Bush had a viral bronchitis and was really just kind of running herself ragged trying to be up here with him. And so more for precaution than anything, we kept her for a few days to try to get her back in better shape. Now she's doing -- back to her normal self.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible question)
MYNDERSE: He is sitting up, watching TV, and is waiting anxiously for his favorite oyster stew for lunch. He's on minimal oxygen, joking and laughing with the nurses and doctors.
DR. CLINT DOERR, PULMONOLOGIST, HOUSTON METHODIST HOSPITAL: He still has a fair amount of causing. We are addressing that with various breathing treatments to help his bronchial tubes be a little less twitchy, for lack of a better term. Not nearly the amount of phlegm that he had earlier in the hospitalization.
We've been able to clear out his airways. That hasn't certainly helped his breathing, helped his oxygen, and helped that coughing. We'll still be working on that as he transitions out of the intensive care unit today.
So he'll need a fairly aggressive combination of breathing medications. We'll finish off a full course of antibiotics as well.
DOERR: I would anticipate at the rate of improvement at this point and Dr. Minors and I obviously were here along with the full Methodist team back in 2012, which as you recall, folks, was quite a long stint in the hospital, but if everything continues at the pace of improvement that we're currently enjoying, I would imagine -- let's see -- today's Monday -- continued improvement throughout the course of the week.
A Friday discharge might be a little bit optimistic but Friday or over the weekend. Literally it's a bit of a moving target. It is fluid on him in terms of leftover residual inflammation in his bronchial tubes, in his lungs. That certainly influences his oxygen, his coughing.
Can we essentially get him improved to an extent that then we can manage things with a home regimen of breathing medications, et cetera.
DOERR: Everything is actually proceeding nicely. He had the roughly 48-hour need for that ventilatory support, with obviously the tube down the throat, hooked up to a ventilator. Once we were able to clear out his airways, we identified the bacteria, caught the inflammation and congestion there then essentially turned down the ventilator to a low setting.
About as close to breathing on your own as you can with a tube still in your throat and looking at his numbers, looking at his oxygen, looking at his what we call the mechanics of breathing, sort of the strength of breathing. If all that looks well, looks encouraging, then working with the ICU team here, we were able to remove the tube, obviously continue some oxygen through the nose.
[11:10:14]But he has done very well in that regard. We did not see a rebound of difficult breathing, of tiring out. X-rays continue to improve. So no obvious re-accumulation of material in his airways that would then again put him behind the eight-ball.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible question)
MYNDERSE: Sure. You know, absolutely, I agree, any time you hear of a 92-year-old gentleman with a pneumonia requiring intubation, it's a very serious situation. And, you know, there was -- we never really know how the patients are going to do at that point.
The fact that he is doing so well just five days after the event that caused him to need to be intubated, I think is a real testament to the pulmonary team that's been taking care of him, Dr. Doerr, as well as our nurses and ICU staff. But also to him, he's a really strong person. He's not your average 92-year-old.
MYNDERSE: Unfortunately, with the patients that most frequently have these kind of complications are older patients. So we're both very versed in taking care of, you know, 80-year-olds and 90-year-olds that are facing pneumonia. Really you just have to -- like you said, take extra precautions.
You have to adjust medications accordingly. But -- and just take into consideration that their baseline strength is not the same as somebody who is 40 or 50, like when you're trying to get them off the ventilator and things like that.
Like Dr. Doerr was mentioning, they were looking at the mechanics to make sure he was strong enough to be off the ventilator. As he also mentioned, he's done quite well.
MYNDERSE: He hasn't really been talking about the much. He watched the TV but didn't -- and was making just -- "Oh, look, look who's there," commented on seeing his son there and things like that, but he hasn't made any big political statements or anything like that.
DOERR: No insight into the opinion or thought process that he shared with us, anyway.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible question)
DOERR: Yes, ma'am. I just left the bedside shortly before our conference here, and she was -- I actually had gone up to the floor where she has been. She was already gone out of her room. She was down in intensive care sitting right next to him, watching TV, interacting with him.
MYNDERSE: They truly do have such an amazing love for each other and that really came across here. Like I said, part of why she ended up in the hospital was because even though she was ill, she was trying to be by his bedside all the time and wasn't able to get the care she needed.
So when we put her in the hospital, the hospital had been very -- has been really great about, you know, giving her, her breathing treatments down there, and, you know, trying to make sure that they're together.
But other than sleeping in separate rooms, they pretty much have been -- she's been sitting at his bedside most of the time. Getting most of her medications -- her nurses are bringing it down to her and things like that.
DOERR: They're essentially therapy for each other. They help in our compliance in terms of when one of them doesn't want to take a breathing treatment, the other says get on that. It helps our cause.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible question)
MYNDERSE: I believe if she hasn't yet, she's going to shortly.
[11:15:03]MYNDERSE: She actually has some things to take care of at home and says she's coming back to spend the afternoon with him, as a visitor, not as a patient.
DOERR: We did. We did. For just define the term, the same fiber optic technology that is used for colonoscopies and such, we have similar technology for the lung. It's obviously a lot smaller. Where we can go down, take a look around the bronchial tree, suction and remove thick secretions that say, for example, a 90-year-old is having difficulty bringing up and expectorating or getting rid of, which then unfortunately in a way plugs up the bronchial tubes and contributes to even further difficulty breathing. So we did perform a bronchoscopy and successfully cleared that material out of the president's airway.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible question)
DOERR: Down in the ICU, even when he still had the breathing tube in, he gave us the thumbs up, which is, again, a testament to his intestinal fortitude because I sure would want to be knocked out if I've got a tube down to my throat so remarkably great attitude.
MYNDERSE: Yes. He asked me today when he gets to go home. I was telling him he gets to get out of ICU today. He said, I don't think I need to be here, can I just go home? We talked about a possible discharge date, which what Dr. Doerr said is about what I told him too. He said, OK, well, he's excited to get home and he is feeling well and feels well enough that he actually doesn't feel like he still needs to be in the hospital.
DOERR: I believe the statement was --
BOLDUAN: You're listening right there to the doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital, giving an update on the former president and first lady's condition. It's good news, former first lady, Barbara Bush, will be discharged. She will be released.
George H.W. Bush is recovering. They're moving him out of ICU. The doctors giving some really wonderful detail about their stay. That's he's sitting up, watching TV, joking and laughing with the doctors. They're working to get him discharged as soon as possible.
BERMAN: She's been discharged but now down in his room at his bedside.
BOLDUAN: They've been inseparable and as the doctors said very perfectly they're a therapy for each other. When one doesn't want to do the breathing treatment, the other one forces them to do it, which is just perfect.
BERMAN: We'll keep following this. George H.W. Bush will stay in the hospital for at least a few more days.
Meanwhile, we have more breaking news, this time out of the Senate. It now looks as if President Trump's pick to be secretary of state is all but certain to be confirmed. The person who had been the lone Republican holdout, a holdout no more.
CNN senior Congressional reporter, Manu Raju, joins us now live from Capitol Hill with the Marco Rubio update -- Manu.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: That's right, John and Kate. It looks like Marco Rubio will in fact vote for Rex Tillerson to be the next secretary of state, this after Senator Rubio had held out, it raised significant concerns about Mr. Tillerson, his views on Russia, during that very contentious confirmation hearing, asking sharp-edged questions about whether or not he thought Vladimir Putin was a war criminal.
And when Mr. Tillerson would not say whether or not he thought Putin was a war criminal, Rubio expressed some significant concerns, saying at the time that someone taking this position needs to show some moral clarity.
And he wasn't getting any clarity on some key issues about not just Russia but about other issues in the Middle East, about China's role as a human rights abuser. But after that hearing, I am told that Senator Rubio had a private meeting with Rex Tillerson, with Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, and Vice President Mike Pence for 90 minutes in what was described by one Rubio adviser as a blunt conversation about a number of issues.
There were also an additional 100 written questions and answers that came back from Tillerson. At least it seemed to satisfy some of Senator Rubio's concerns. Rubio saying in a Facebook post just moments ago that he's made this decision because based on his belief that he needs to give, quote, "significant deference" to the executive branch.
And given the uncertainty that exists both at home and abroad about the direction of our foreign policy, it would be against our national interests to delay this confirmation.
So his decision to side with Rex Tillerson ensures that later today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will have enough votes to send the nomination to the full Senate where there will be enough Republican votes to confirm him, because over the weekend, two Russia hardliners, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, also saying they would support Rex Tillerson. [11:20:07]So right now, Donald Trump is looking in a pretty good position to get most if not all of his cabinet nominees confirmed because Republicans are falling in line. In order to stop these nominations, there need to be Republican defections and not a whole lot at this point, guys.
BOLDUAN: They're not seeing it now. Look no further than Marco Rubio, as you were pointing out. Manu, thank you so much.
Dana, I'll bring you in on this. The statement was a very lengthy statement that Marco Rubio put out in explaining his thinking, basically where he started, where he was in the middle, and how he came to this conclusion. Manu points out maybe a very important element of this, McCain and Graham coming out to offer their support. What's your thoughts?
BASH: Right. I mean, he had to decide whether he was going to be a lone voice and take his stand on a personnel choice in Rex Tillerson rather than the policy of dealing with Russia, which is what the John McCain and Lindsey Grahams of the world want to do.
Rex Tillerson, they believe, is maybe not perfect but a whole lot better than other potential nominees, if he went down, that Donald Trump could send to the United States Senate. I heard that Senator Rubio was considering maybe supporting Rex Tillerson coming out of committee, but then voting against him on the floor.
The fact that he decided to do this in a clean way certainly takes this off the table for him and it does allow the very concerned Republicans, Donald Trump's, President Trump's fellow Republicans, about Russia, wanting to have additional sanctions, rather than a fight over secretary of state.
BERMAN: We're waiting in the White House where President Trump is expected to sign several executive orders. One of them is pulling the United States out of trade negotiations, the TPP negotiations. Christine Romans, our chief business correspondent, is here with us.
The president also met with business leaders today, some very well- known business leaders and he seemed to put more meat on the bones than what we've seen, what exactly he means by "America first."
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: These business leaders were his audience as his mission statement. In his inaugural address, you heard it, we're going to buy American. We're going to hire American. He told these companies, look, I'm going to make it worth your while to add capacity in the United States, to build factories in the United States, to hire in the United States, and here's why.
We're going to cut corporate taxes 15 to 20 percent that's a big tax cut. He said 75 percent of regulations. He's going to keep regulations in for safety, but all other regulations that would prevent a company from moving quickly, he's going to get rid of.
He said if you want to move 2,000 jobs or 5,000 jobs to another country and send it back to this country, I'm going to put a major border tax on that.
He's talking about dis-incentivizing companies from expanding overseas or shipping jobs overseas and really putting the onus -- Ford was in that room, Lockheed Martin was in that room. They were some of the biggest names in business in that room.
BOLDUAN: Are business leaders excited? This is basically day one, his first kind of meeting with outside folks. He brings these people in. Are they excited or does it come with risks for these businesses?
ROMANS: These are business people, they know the way the wind is blowing, and they want to be on the right direction of that. No question. They're excited about tax reform, but they're really excited about cutting regulations, honestly. The idea of 35 percent tariffs terrifies a lot of people in business, that starts trade wars, that raises prices for consumers, that changes your entire globalized product chain.
Imagine getting a 35 percent tariff for a car, for all these parts that are all over the world, created and assembled in one place and sold in the United States. He did specifically call out Japan. That raised a lot of eyebrows. He talked about -- Japan was part of the TPP, by the way.
He called out Japan in particular and Japan, Japanese companies, they have American workers in this country. They build cars in South Carolina and other places.
So we're basically seeing how the policy is coming out, whether it's in tax reform that they put these border taxes on and the like, and that will require, you know, some working out with Paul Ryan and folks over in the House.
BOLDUAN: Another meeting he's having later tonight. Great to see you. Thank you, Christine.
BERMAN: Coming up, he's become his own meme and the face of alternative facts. How will White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer approach the first official White House briefing, you know, with actually questions and answers?
BOLDUAN: Questions and answers. Plus the now former CIA director under President Obama says President Trump should be ashamed of himself, those are his words, after the president's remarks to CIA staff over the weekend. The director of national intelligence to George W. Bush is here to weigh in.
And also this, they flooded city streets across the country and the world, protesting President Trump and his agenda the day after he was sworn in. So what now? Can the masses behind the women's march sustain?
[11:28:55] BOLDUAN: Unforced errors, staff wars, warning of a future bloodbath with Democrats. That's how sources are describing some of the first days of Donald Trump's White House to CNN.
BERMAN: So back with us now for some brand new inside reporting, our special correspondent, Jamie Gangel. Jamie, you know, it was a tumultuous weekend for President Trump, with the address to the CIA, with the debate over crowd sizes at inaugurations. You've been talking to senior Republicans and there are some concern about what happened.
GANGEL: Right. So on Saturday in the words of Dick Cheney, Republican heads were exploding all over town. They were very upset about his speech, his remarks at the CIA. They felt it was an unforced error. They were so pleased that he was going to do CIA first.
But then instead of sticking to talking points or guidance, he did a Donald Trump, he was winging it, and they felt the visit got lost in the winging it.
That said, someone who is very close to me said, you know, Donald Trump listens to a lot of people, but in the end, Donald Trump listens to one person, and that's Donald Trump, and that the difference between Saturday and Sunday was huge.