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Macron and Le Pen Head to Runoff Election; CNN's Alisyn Camerota: Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Me; North Korea Threatens to Sink U.S. Ship, Arrest U.S. Citizen; Trump Promises Tax Reform Plan This Week; Shocking Video Shows Moment Toddler Falls From Bus. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 23, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:00]JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But foreign policy in this two-week period here between this round of the election then the second round because they think that Macron is vulnerable on the issue particularly of Europe. He's a pro-European but they believe -- the European people believe that most of France is anti-European as is their candidate. So, as a consequence, that's going to be one of the issues that they emphasize quite a bit.
They're also going to emphasize things like immigration and globalization and that sort of thing. There's a feeling I think across Le Pen country which is where this headquarters tonight is, across Le Pen country that, in fact, there are forgotten masses out here in the Rust Belt that really haven't been looked after by preceding governments. And it caused results tonight sort of (inaudible) that because both of the right mainstream parties, the right mainstream the left mainstream, the socialists, both of them went down and defeat tonight and are not going to be in the second round. Fredricka?
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And -- so David, how do you see this outcome now of the first round? How do you read this? And what does this mean potentially between, you know, the alliance of France and the U.S.?
DAVID ANDELMAN, CNN.COM OPINION CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's very interesting. You know, these are the eastern candidates, really they are the amateurs in this election. None of them has had a major national political office within France at all. Macron has never held a major political office in France. Marine Le Pen has held offices in the European parliament which she wants to dissolve.
So it is really quite an extraordinary moment for France to have these people basically with no major political base in the parliament, who are coming into office and will have to rule a parliamentary democracy. Now, that said, the fact that Francois Fillon, the central-right candidate who had originally been favored in this election has now thrown his boat behind Macron is by no means certain.
I ran into even on my way into the studio tonight, several people voted for Fillon, the grand Bush as we say in Paris. We say, oh no there is no way we can vote for Macron. He's too liberal, we will vote for Le Pen. So a lot of the conservative, you know, and supported me very well, go to Le Pen. Le Pen should not by any means be written up in the next round of the election as a future president of France.
WHITFIELD: And what do you see as the issues that will help influence voters now that it's down to two?
ANDELMAN: Well, immigration is certainly, as Jim mentioned, is a key issue here in France. And particularly among Le Pen's voters and a whole raft of people who might have voted for Fillon and some of the other candidates. The French are very concerned about immigration. They're very concerned about foreigners within their midst. They're very concerned about maintaining their borders in almost a Trump-like fashion. They want border security for their country.
And in addition to that, they also want a France that is very much in its own mind a France, an important France, an important nation in itself rather than as part of a European Union. As far as the United States is concerned -- remember, Le Pen is been very close to Vladimir Putin in Russia. She actually showed up during the campaign suddenly popped up in the Kremlin in the middle of her campaign for a grip and grin with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.
And lot of French people might have some reservations about that, but they also see it not a bad idea for France to begin, you know, to reach -- we reach out again to a Russia that can be very important for France's future. So, you know, both internally and externally there were strengths on both sides, Macron is young. He's vibrant, he's, you know, he's very interesting for the younger folks. But really he has a major hurdle ahead of him to convince people that he has the experience and the gravitas to run this country.
WHITFIELD: Interesting. So Stephen, you know, this interesting common thread now, this of Vladimir Putin, the Russia influence whether it be in U.S. elections, in whatever way it may have been influential and now also with the French elections meaning Le Pen's relationship. As David was just outlining there, are those commonalities in any strange way purely coincidental or are we also seeing how potentially influential Vladimir Putin is not just in elections globally now?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, there are certainly accusations that the Russians were trying to do in the French election exactly what they were accused of doing in the U.S. election which is sort of boosting stories and journalism that was not necessarily true. But cast a number of the candidates in a bad light through social media, through Russian intelligence agencies, et cetera. I mean, if Le Pen were to triumph in the second round of this election in two weeks, I think it is clear to say that a big winner would be Vladimir Putin.
[15:05:03]His whole political project is dedicated to weakening western institutions and if Le Pen were to call a referendum on French participation in the European Union. And if France were to leave, that would basically spell the end of the European Union as we know it and seriously weaken western political institutions. So definitely there's a case to be made but Russia would benefit from a Le Pen victory and that this election by boosting anti-establishment sentiment in France is advantageous to Russia.
It's kind of interesting. We're seeing now a real a real sort of changing of the guard in the western world. We have an American president who is 100 days into his office having had no prior political military or diplomatic experience. You have a Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who had to prove, just as Macron would have to prove in his election that he was ready to lead the county.
We've got a British prime minister who's been in office for less than a year. She's an experienced politician, Theresa May, but she, you know, she's only been in office for a year and she's facing huge political problems inside the United Kingdom. And you've got Angela Merkel who is facing what could be a difficult re-election race later this year. So everything is changing in terms of the leadership and the institutions of the major western countries in the world. And any uncertainty is very good for Vladimir Putin.
WHITFIELD: And Jim Bittermann, OK, we are looking at a very smiling, you know, Marine Le Pen there are talking to her supporters. We do understand we have translation now. Let's listen in.
MARINE LE PEN, FRANCE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (through translator): To convey to you compatriots my greatest gratitude. The first stage which will lead the French to the (inaudible) is now completed, it is a historic moment. And I assume the immense responsibility now of the defense of the French republic, it's unity, its culture, its prosperity and its independence.
And I also see it as an act of French pride that of a people who is raising its head and who is trustful of the future, confident in the future. The system has tried through all its ways dubious as they are, to thwart our victory, but now the great debate is going to be held. The French people must seize this opportunity because the enormous challenge of this election is the wild globalization which puts our civilization at risk. Either we continue to disintegrate without any borders, without any controls, de-localization, unfair international competition, mass immigration, and the free circulation of terrorists or you choose France with borders which will protect our industries, people, and social security. We do --
WHITFIELD: All right. Candidate Marine Le Pen there talks to her supporters and essentially pressed that she will continue on to that runoff election. This is the second part of the French elections and scheduled for May 7th. I want to bring in Cyril Vanier, he is a CNN international anchor and also a native of France.
So you say that, you know, maybe a year ago no one would have predicted this. But there has been an incredible collapse of parties within the last year in France so the ground was fertile for this kind of change. What does this runoff with these very two different candidates but also considered outsiders really symbolize?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, I mean, if you had told me a year ago that you're going to see Emmanuel Macron in the second round with France presidential election versus Marine Le Pen, I would have told you don't know a thing about French politics. This would not have happened in a normal election cycle. France is like the U.S in the respect that -- in the sense that it's got this two main parties, central left, central right.
And for the last -- how many decades they've been sharing power and alternating amongst themselves. And now, you have a candidate who's a centrist, who's an independent, who's not affiliated with a party, that's Emmanuel Macron. And you got the far right candidate Marine Le Pen. It's just totally abnormal for French politics. It speaks to this particular moment with the collapse of mainstream parties.
[15:10:00] Francois Fillon, socialist president asked the central left, just collapsed. His presidency was a failure by any respect. Four percent approval ratings at some point. I mean, when did you ever see that, abysmal.
WHITFIELD: So if you are a European neighbor, if you are Belgium, if you a -- you are, you know, in Europe, how worried are you about the potential outcome here? Or is there a sense of hope or anticipation that there will be good alliances, good relations?
VANIER: Well, I think what's happening is that if you're a European leader and you are concerned about preserving the European project and worried about impending Brexit then you are concerned about the possibility that Marine Le Pen will become president. Because she's very anti-E.U., she wants to take France out of the single currency. So leave the Euro, go back to franc, the former French currency, leave the Schengen zone, that's the zone of free movement.
So any American tourist who has traveled to France has noticed that they can travel freely into Belgium, into Italy, into Spain, all these neighboring countries. She wants to potentially end that and then withdraw France from the European Union. So European leaders are very concerned about her. They were looking at these results with a great deal of anxiety and nervousness. I think if she had come in first which she isn't and which she hasn't --
WHITFIELD: Because it's probably neck and neck.
VANIER: It's neck and neck, she's a couple percentage points down according to the (inaudible) the numbers that we're using right here on CNN. So she's second. So, they're breathing a sigh of relief. They're thinking Emmanuel Macron is in the lead. And I think objectively speaking it's hard to see her path to victory here.
Because you got to cross the electoral math. We don't have an Electoral College. But you have to do the math and the numbers and more favored where I believe is Emmanuel Macron.
WHITFIELD: So, if there's a trepidation from the European neighbors, then what was the appeal -- what is the appeal for French men and women who are voting who have now dictated this outcome?
VANIER: I think there are two things. I think, first of all, French people have years now been worried about the direction of the country. They have this sense of lost grandeur. You know, French people are like Americans in the sense that they believe their country has something to say to the world and should be a leading country in the world.
You know the phrase, the "shining city on the hill" that is used here a lot in American politics? French have their own equivalent of that. And they believe that should be the case for France and it should be exemplary and many respect from leading the pack internationally and that's not happening, hasn't happened for decades. You know, economic growth is stagnant in France, unemployment hovering at 10 percent.
So, you've got this general sense of we're not happy with our country, that's one thing. And that feeds into the people who want to just break the political system like Marine Le Pen. The other thing is --
WHITFIELD: But both candidates do represent change, right?
VANIER: They do represent change in different ways. I mean, he represents change -- Emmanuel Macron in the sense that he's an independent. Having said that, he has come through, you know, the very standard traditional French political path. He went through the French public school of administration which has trained and provided all the recent French presidents. He's very much in that mold even though he's now managed to say I'm not with one party or the other.
WHITFIELD: And as a finance minister for President Hollande.
VANIER: But only two years, a short time.
WHITFIELD: All right. Well, those two years may mean something right?
VANIER: It may (inaudible), yes.
WHITFIELD: Cyril Vanier, thank you so much. I appreciate it. We'll have much more right after this.
[15:17:19] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A stunning admission today from CNN's Alisyn Camerota, the anchor of CNN's New Day. She claims she was sexually harassed while at Fox News by Roger Ailes, the network's CEO who was ousted amid mounting harassment claims. Alisyn opened up for the first time about this telling her very personal story to CNN's Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: It felt like there was a tipping point this week. You know, when Roger Ailes was ousted in July, there was a lot of talk about where culture was there and now, with Bill O'Reilly having been fired, it feels as though if I take the Murdochs at their word, they really want to know what was wrong there and what the culture was like. And I don't know how you get that from silence.
So, it feels like this might be the right time to just have this conversation and let some daylight in.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: And you said on the air Bill O'Reilly never harassed you. But you didn't say that about Roger Ailes. Did Roger Ailes ever sexually harass you?
CAMEROTA: Yes. Roger Ailes did sexually harass me. Let me be clear. Roger Ailes was -- could be charming. He could be quite charismatic. He can uproariously funny.
He could also be a bit of a bully and mean. And he also was often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say. And I think many of us experienced that. He would talk about body parts. He would say give me a spin. He would want to be greeted with a hug.
But the time that I remember most was when I was first starting out at Fox and I was single. And I remember being in Roger's office and I was saying I wanted more opportunity. And he said, well, I would have to work with you.
STELTER: Work with you?
CAMEROTA: I would have to work with you on that case. I would have to work with you really closely. And it may require us getting to know each other better.
And that might have to happen away from here. And it might have to happen at a hotel. Do you know what I'm saying? And I said, yes, I think I do know what you're saying.
[15:20:02] And I just want to say that I knew in my head at that moment I'm never going to that hotel under any circumstances. But I didn't know what that meant for me and my career. And I remember vividly that I had sort of an out of body experience hovering over us in the office, and thinking, is this it? Is this the end of my time here? Will I be fired if I don't do this?
And I just want everybody to understand that when it happens, there is a visceral reaction that you have where you recognize my career and everything that I worked for is under threat and I don't know what's going to happen next.
STELTER: And you end up then doing what?
CAMEROTA: Well, I just went home and I didn't tell anybody at the time because I was embarrassed. And it is sort of humiliating.
CAMEROTA: It's embarrassing. When, you know, this man you have gone to tell about your strengths and to sort of see if he thinks that you're doing a good job at work, you know, makes that sort of proposition, it is demeaning and it is humiliating. So, I was so embarrassed to tell people.
And I decided personally, and everybody deals with it in different way. I'm going to ignore that. I'm going to pretend that never happened.
He then changed his M.O., and when I say that there was -- I experienced harassment there, it was different. For me, it was no longer sexual harassment. It was harassment of a different variety.
STELTER: What do you mean?
CAMEROTA: It was sort of emotional harassment. Roger Ailes ruled with an iron fist. And he wanted us all to fall in and have his world view and say the things that he wanted us to say on Fox News.
He targeted me because he sort of figured out early on that I didn't share his world view. And he said you're not saying the conservative things that I want you to say, and you could be a real role model and you could be a real star if only you could sound conservative sometimes.
And I said, well, Roger, that's not my job. I'm not supposed to sound conservative or liberal. I'm supposed to be a fair and balanced, in your terms, journalist. And I'm supposed to be open and I'm not supposed to take a side.
And that he didn't appreciate or particularly like. I was often, you know, sort of called on the carpet for things because he thought that I wasn't reflecting the conservative agenda. So, he and I had a lot of interaction and some times arguments. Sometimes, he would lecture me. Sometimes, he would insult me.
WHITFIELD: All right, host of Reliable Sources Brian Stelter with us now. Very powerful interview and admission that, you know, and sharing of her story there. So have we heard now any response from Roger Ailes?
STELTER: Yes. I did talk with Ailes' attorney over e-mail today. Here's a statement from Ailes' attorney Susan Estrich. She used to be a contributor on Fox news.
Susan said these are unsubstantiated and false allegation. Mr. Ailes never engaged in the inappropriate conversation she now claims occurred and he vigorously denies this fictional account of her interactions with him and of Fox News editorial policy.
Fred, I think if Alisyn were here she would say, Susan Estrich, no other attorney was in the room. And these sort the situations between an employee and a supervisor. They're usually one on one what Alisyn Camerota describing here it happened in Ailes' office.
I think the other important context here, Fred, is that other women came forward last summer speaking publicly, others speaking privately, all making relatively similar claims about Ailes, about behavior like telling women to turn around so he could see their bodies. The allegations were remarkably consistent last summer. That's partly why the Murdoch went ahead and removed Ailes last summer, then Bill O'Reilly leaving this week. This was that sort of two in a row in terms of earth shaking moments at Fox News. The company says it's trying to change the culture, that it knows it had a big problem and it's trying to change the culture now. There's still question about how much it's actually doing, though.
WHITFIELD: Wow. You also talked with one of "The New York Times" reporters about what it took to get the story about O'Reilly and the number of, you know, women and the settlements.
STELTER: That's right. You think about this as a chain reaction. First Roger Ailes gets sued last summer by Gretchen Carlson. Other women come forward, then you see Ailes resign.
That's when "New York Times" started looking into O'Reilly. Started looking into the idea that he had possibly paid these secret settlements to women accusing him of harassment. Here's what Emily Steele said.
EMILY STEELE, REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: We have talked to dozens and dozens an dozens of people. And we also -- so that's a pretty fair analysis of the people who had appeared on Bill O'Reilly show and that was a good place to start, of people who to talk to.
STELTER: You are saying some of this was hidden in plain sight, it was on O'Reilly show. You analyze who was appearing on his show regularly and then reach out to those women.
STEEL: I wouldn't say that a lot of this was hidden in plain sight. A lot of, a lot of what we unearthed that there were these five settlements with women who had reported allegations about this behavior.
[15:25:03] STEEL: And those settlements were designed to never become public. They had ironclad confidentiality agreement, with one of them that we actually viewed. If there was any infringement, then there would be a $500,000 violation for each infringement. So, these settlements were not designed to be discussed, to be made public.
STELTER: Twenty days after the New York Times reported on those settlements that's when we are here today, Bill O'Reilly out of a job, not coming back to his show tomorrow. Instead he's launch a podcast, talk to his fans via billo'reilly.com. If we connect these two stories, O'Reilly this week, Ailes last summer, Alisyn Camerota thought she was now comfortable talking about this experiences with Ailes because we've seen really a significant number of women come forward in both cases who used the work at Fox News, have interactions with these men, like I said telling remarkably similar stories.
If you think about this way, Ailes was the boss, he sent a message that went to the -- from the top down in terms of culture. Ailes -- O'Reilly was the biggest star. So on the other side things trickle down from the top down with O'Reilly. Now Ailes and O'Reilly, the two tent poles of the network have both stepped aside. Maybe now it's time for a new culture at Fox.
WHITFIELD: All right, we shall see. Brian Stelter, thank you so much. Of course Brian's show "Reliable Sources" airs Sunday mornings right here on CNN. And we'll be right back.
[15:30:36] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The Pentagon is calling on North Korea to tamp down the rhetoric as the rouge nation escalates tensions with the U.S. with more hostel threats and actions.
First, North Korea arrested a U.S. citizen as the man attempted to fly out of the country. And then today in a state run newspaper editorial, North Korea threatens to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier and claims it has weapons that can reach the continental U.S. The threat to strike a U.S. carrier comes as the USS Vinson carrier strike group begins joint drills with Japanese destroyers in the Western Pacific.
On this morning at the State of Union, CNN's Dana Bash asked Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly about North Korea's growing missile threats and the president's plans to deal with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: The minute -- I would tell you, Dana, the minute North Korea gets a missile that can reach the United States and put a weapon on that missile, a nuclear weapon, the instant that happens, this country is at grave risk. I think Mr. Trump will be dealing with this in real terms before he starts his second term.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, let's discuss this with CNN Global Affairs Analyst Elise Labott and CNN Military Analyst Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona. Good to see both of you.
All right, let me begin with you Elise. So just how seriously is the U.S. taking these threats to North Korea striking and sinking a U.S. aircraft carrier?
ELISE, LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Fred, I don't think they're taking the threats very literally, but they're taking them seriously. I mean, you heard a -- you saw a statement just a short time ago from Pentagon Spokesman Gary Ross and let me read a little bit to you. It said, "We call on the DPRK," that's the official name for the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, "to refrain from provocative destabilizing actions and rhetoric, and to make the strategic choice to fulfill its international obligations and commitments and return to serious talks." But -- I mean, look, you have to take this into the context of all of the missile tests and threats of nuclear test that North Korea has had over the last several months. This administration taking this very seriously. President Trump is expected to speak later tonight with the president of China, Xi Jinping and also Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The U.S. obviously working on a very tough strategy to try and force North Korea back to the table. All really set, China being the central element but clearly you've seen from Sec. Tillerson to Vice President Mike Pence to Defense Secretary Mattis, everybody traveling out to the region to reach out to the allies to get everybody on the same page Fred.
WHITFIELD: And Colonel, yes, we've seen North Korea with its missile tests but we also known North Korea to have a lot of bluster. Would it, could it do something like that, live up to that threat of striking and sinking an aircraft carrier?
RET. LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I don't doubt that they're working on a weapon to do that. We know that there's a lot of Chinese weapons technology in North Korea and we saw that evidence in the recent military parade. Surprising to some of us as we watched to see much of that technology appeared to be from China. The Chinese have been working for several years now on a weapon specifically designed to sink U.S. aircraft carriers. And if that technology has been transferred, then it's something to really consider.
But I think -- Elise have put the right, you know, tone on this, yes, they're taking it seriously, but I don't see it as a direct threat right now. It's typically the bluster we see.
WHITFIELD: And then, Colonel, Secretary Kelly called it a, you know, a quote unquote grave risk if and when North Korea can fire a missile that reaches the U.S. mainland. So in your view, is there a way in which to forecast how close North Korea would have the capability of doing just that?
FRANCONA: Well, the North Korean surprise us a lot with the new technology. And we see a these tests and a lot of them turn out to be failures but that doesn't mean they're not learning anything and they're not progressing. You know, each test they learn something new. If you look at the U.S. missile program back in the 50s, abysmal failures.
So, you learn from your mistakes and they do that. And then North Koreans, they're good at (inaudible), they're good engineers. They'll figure out the problems. The question is not if they can build an ICBM, it's when.
[15:35:03] And Secretary Kelly is right. When they mate a nuclear warhead to an ICBM, they pose a real threat. And I hate to talk about red lines, but I think that becomes a red line for the United States.
WHITFIELD: And then, quickly, Elise, what do we know about the fate, you know, the wherewithal of this American professor who was arrested just before taking off from Pyongyang airport? LABOTT: Well, we understand from the University in Pyongyang, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology where he was the professor. A man is in his late 40's, his name is Kim Sang Duk. He goes in the U.S. by Tony Kim. He was working -- teaching at the university for the past month also on aid and relief programs. Detained at the airport while he was trying to leave the country. And the Swedish Embassy there who has a U.S. protecting power, because the U.S. doesn't have any relations with -- official diplomatic relations with the North Koreans are trying to help resolve the issue.
Obviously, very difficult, Fred. This makes the third U.S. citizen in North Korean custody. You also have another man in his 40's, Kim Dong Chul who was taken in 2015. He was also a businessman, he was detained the on his way out. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor.
And then, of course, 21-year-old Otto Warmbier was taken a year ago into custody. He was also sentenced to hard labor for stealing a political sign from a hotel. So, clearly, the North Koreans using these Americans as bargaining chips. And with all of the tensions going on with North Korea, very difficult to know what their fate is at this point.
WHITFIELD: All right, Elise Labott, Colonel Rick Francona, thanks to both of you, appreciate it.
All right, coming up, President Trump teased a big announcement on tax reform but the White House seems to be tempering expectations now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You said the other day you don't think you'll see a real plan, specifics, meat on the bone until June.
MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: I think that's still probably fair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So what exactly will we see this week and are we headed for another big showdown within the first 100 days?
[15:41:36] WHITFIELD: President Trump is promising a big announcement on tax reform this week. And this morning White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told Fox News to expect broad principles, not any specifics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Will he announce the size of the tax cut? Will he announce whether or not he's going to play for it? Or how he will pay for it? Will it be revenue neutral or will it add to the debt?
MULVANEY: I think what you're going to see on Wednesday is some specific governing principles, some guidance. Also some indication of what the rates are going to be. I don't think you're going to see something and I don't think anybody expects us to rollout bill language on Wednesday. In fact, we don't want to do that.
So, what you're going to see on Wednesday is for the first time is, here's what our principles are, here are some of the ideas that we like, some of the ideas we don't like and we can talk about that more if you want to. Here are some of the rates were talking about.
WALLACE: So, he's going to say whether or not it's going to be revenue-neutral or whether it's going to add to the debt?
MULVANEY: I don't think we decided that part yet. Keep in mind, we have -- it's a balancing act in that, Chris. You can either have a small tax cut that's permanent or a large tax cut that is short term. I don't think we decided that. But you'll know more on Wednesday.
WALLACE: And you said the other day you don't think you'll see a real plan, specifics, meet on the bone until June.
MULVANEY: I think that's still probably fair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, joining me right now, CNN senior economics analyst and former adviser to the Trump campaign, Steven Moore. Good to see you Steven. So what you hear there --
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Hi.
WHITFIELD: -- when the president just Friday said expect something big and then you hear Mulvaney say, well maybe nothing until June. I mean, what's your interpretation?
MOORE: Well, I think waiting until June is way too long. I think the economy needs this tax cut faster. I think there needs to be a greater degree of urgency getting this done. The economy has been a little bit flat lined over the last six weeks or so. Investors are getting nervous about whether this tax cut is going to happen.
Now i worked --
WHITFIELD: Do you think it's going to happen?
MOORE: You know, it's going to happen. The question is when. It's a question of when and what it's going to look like.
Now, when I worked on the campaign, I helped fashion the tax plan and it was basically a reduction in the business tax rates which has to happen. We have the highest business tax rates in the world and it's hurting American competitiveness. And there was a lot of talk about, you know, reducing some of the rates for the middle class so that they would get a tax cut, too. But I think in the end, that's what's going to happen.
One big question out there is whether the Republicans will try to rewrite the whole 60,000 page IRS tax code. I'd love to see that happen. But I don't think there's a lot of time to do it and I don't think there's a consensus to do it. So I think what Trump is going to say --
WHITFIELD: Was it the president himself is the one who said he wanted to see entire rewriting of the tax code?
MOORE: I'm sorry, say it again.
WHITFIELD: Was it the president who said he wanted to see the tax code to be rewritten.
MOORE: He's talked about --
WHITFIELD: With overhaul.
MOORE: Well, he said that he wants to a dramatic simplification of the tax code, that he wants to get rid of loopholes, that he wants to bring rates down. And that's very consistent with what a lot of Republicans have been for the last 10 or 15 years. I'm just saying it's a really tough thing to do.
I think most Americans would love to see it by the way. I mean, look, April 15th was just a few days ago and most Americans just finished the, you know, horrendous task of trying to figure out how much taxes they owe. But my point is I think the economy needs a pick me up right now. And I think they ought to go with reducing rates, get the rates down for businesses. Bring some of that capital abroad.
[15:45:11] By the way, there's $2 trillion of capital and finance money that's overseas, American companies like General Electric and Boeing and Apple and Microsoft that could be brought back to the United States and invested here. So the stakes are huge.
WHITFIELD: Yes. So this is potentially a very big week. If you saw a hint of the calendar.
WHITFIELD: One hundred-day marker next Saturday, and then Friday --
MOORE: The budget, right.
WHITFIELD: There are real concerns about whether there is money to keep the government going.
WHITFIELD: What -- how do you see this president prioritizing this week so that government can keep going?
MOORE: Well, they got to get past this week on the budget because I think the budget expires Thursday or Friday. I know it's later in the week. And that's got to happen although there's a lot of friction on that obviously with the issue about whether Democrats will go along with financing the wall that Trump has talked about, but, you know, tax refund -- WHITFIELD: Is that the lynchpin (inaudible) because -- I mean, we're
talking about Republicans own the majority in the Senate, House, you know, Oval Office so, you know, if Democrats don't want to --
MOORE: Yes but --
WHITFIELD: -- finance, you know, the wall, is that going to make the difference as to where (inaudible) will keep going after Friday.
MOORE: Yes. Let me explain why. Because it takes 60 votes to pass something out of the Senate. So, if the Democrats say they want to filibuster the budget and not allow a vote on it, then you can't get the continuing resolution to fund the agencies going. That's why I don't really understand a lot of the people in the media have been saying well Trump is going to shut down the government.
No, the Republicans actually have enough votes in the House and Senate among their caucus to get it done but they don't have 60 votes. It's just mathematics. They don't have 60, they have 52. We'll see whether this wall brings a screeching halt to the government.
By the way, I don't think that's likely to happen. I think they're going to reach a compromise in the end.
WHITFIELD: All right, Stephen Moore, thank you so much. Good to see you.
MOORE: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right, coming up. Very disturbing video out of Arkansas. A child falls off the back of a vehicle, moving vehicle, and is left lying in the middle of the street. Luckily for that child, a volunteer firefighter is there to come to her rescue. We'll hear from him, next.
[15:51:11] WHITFIELD: A truly heroic rescue of a small child falling out of a moving vehicle in Arkansas and it's all captured on video. We do warn you though, the images are disturbing. You're looking at still images right now of a four-year-old girl that fell out of that moving vehicle there. And then there was a firefighter who saw this happen, ran to the child's rescue, as see right there in these still images, picks up the child. We want to also now show you the video as it happened all caught on a dash cam video.
You see there the child falling out of that vehicle and you see this firefighter coming to the child's rescue. She's limp there as he picks her up. And you can see the other person just aghast as it happened. That firefighter Ryan Ciampoli is joining me now for this CNN exclusive interview.
Ryan, amazing moment. How you had the wherewithal to just jump into action. I realize you are a firefighter, saving lives is what you do. But again, explain for me what you saw as it was happening and what your instincts told you. RYAN CIAMPOLI, VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER: It was just unbelievable. You know, one minute, I'm just driving down the road, and the next minute I see a little girl swing open the door on this church bus and fall to the highway. It was heartbreaking. But instantly, you know, I used my EMS training and firefighter training and assessed the scene as best as I could. I realized that it wasn't a good place for her laying there.
You know, typically, you know, in EMS we're not supposed to move the patient unless they're in a pretty dangerous situation. And because she was on state highway there in Harrison, Arkansas, it was grounds to get her out of there. I couldn't stand for her to get hit by a car or someone hit us both, you know, so I immediately got out of my car. I realized the pavement was going to be hot because it was like 80 degrees that day. And so I -- as soon as I ran over to her and approached her, she was unconscious at first. But then she started to move her arm and kind of look up at me and so I picked her up as carefully as I could and held her in my arms and kind of assessed, you know, her little body to see what kind of damages had been done from the fall.
And, you know, it's hard to use a clear head, but I tried my best. You know, I have an eight-year-old son. I've got kids, you know, little girls. And it's hard. So just picking her up and getting her out of that situation, out of the middle of the road was priority one.
WHITFIELD: You did seem to have a clear head. So then were you talking to her even though you said at first, you know, she was motionless and she seemed, you know, like she was knocked out. But were you talking to her? Do you recall what you may have been saying to her?
CIAMPOLI: The whole time I'm like, I'm here sweetie, I'm right here. You know, I'm not going anywhere. Just keep talking to her trying to get her to calm down. Because as soon as that adrenalin kicked in, she started kicking her feet, screaming, sitting up, you know, trying to sit up. And I don't want her to move, you know, because it could have compromised, you know, spine and neck and all that. So, I just kept trying to calm her down which of course she just went through that horrible trauma, you know, so she was out of it, didn't really know what was going on.
[15:55:00] And bless her heart, you know. So I just held her kind of like a baby, you know, until we walk over to the pick-up truck bed where I was able to lay her down. And just kept telling her, sweetheart, it's going to be okay. I'm right here you know.
She finally came to enough to where she started talking about her mom, you know, where's my mom. And if I wasn't so focused on that situation, I probably would have just been balling.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh, Ryan Ciampoli, you are amazing. And I understand that little girl suffered a broken jaw. Thank goodness it wasn't something more serious. But clearly you did all the right things and you are indeed a hero, not just to that little girl. An inspiration to so many. Ryan Ciampoli, thank you so much. Good talking to you.
CIAMPOLI: Thank you. You too.
WHITFIELD: Job, super well done.
All right. The next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM starts right after this.
WHITFIELD: Hello again everyone and thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.