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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 7, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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back in line, jake. >> that's right, phil. as you know, many republicans calling this replacement effort obamacare 2.0 or republican well fair. thanks to phil mattingly. follow me on facebook and twitter. that's it for "the lead." turning it over to wolf blitzer in the situation room. >> happening now, breaking news on life support, the president backs a house republican plan to replace obamacare, but it's already under attack from all sides. with conservatives calling it obamacare light. is it dead on arrival? still no evidence, the white house offers no evidence to back the president's claim that he was wiretapped at trump tower by president obama. it has not talked to the fbi and says the president has no regrets. democrats say president trump is destroying, destroying the credibility of the presidency 140 characters at a time. special prosecutor, senators press the man who would over see
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a federal inquiry into russia's election meddling and contacts with the trump campaign. would he answer demands to appoint a special pros kulter? and cia secrets stolen. wikileaks says it has how the agency uses cyber weapons to spy on people around the world including hacking into smartphones and smart tvs. does president trump still love wikileaks? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news, house republicans roll out their obamacare replacement plan and president trump gives his blessing. but the plan is under attack from both left and right and the white house may have a very, very tough sell. democrats say proposed subsidy cuts will drastically reduce the number of americans with health coverage.
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conservatives say the new plan's tax credits gives a lot too much away and says it's not what the -- what they promised the american people. and while the bill sponsors will try to rush it through congress, conservatives already say it's dead on arrival. senators today press the man who would control a federal investigation into russia's election meddling and moscow's contacts with the trump campaign. the deputy attorney general nominee was questioned about president trump's unfounded claim that he was wiretapped in trump tower in new york city by president obama. that claim has been denied by an obama spokesman and the former director of national intelligence and the white house is not backing off and says the president has no regrets. lawmakers on both sides say they have seen no evidence to back the president's claim, and while the house intelligence committee chairman says his panel will look into the matter, democrats are stepping up demands for a special prosecutor. and wikileaks, once praised
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by president trump for its damaging leaks during the presidential campaign, has now published what are said are secret files on a worldwide cia hacking operation that can target smart phones and smart tvs and bypass encrypted messaging apps. i'll speak with congressman chris collins. our correspondents analysts and guests are standing by with full coverage of the day's top stories. we're following two major stories right now. the growing fall out over president trump's claim that he was wiretapped by president obama and the growing opposition within the republican party to an obamacare replacement plan. let's begin with our senior white house correspondent jim accosta. jim, the president just spoke about the health care plan. update our viewers. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. we just heard from president trump here at the white house on health care. the president announced he supports the house republican plan to repeal and replace obamacare, but the president's message had to share the stage once again today with the problem of his own making.
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this time his unfounded claim that president obama bugged him. it's now a question that won't go away. where is president trump's proof that his predecessor barack obama broke the law and tapped his phones? the white house still doesn't have an answer. >> where is the evidence? where is the proof that president obama bugged president trump? >> nothing has changed. >> do you have any proof or evidence? >> it is not a question of new proof or less proof or whatever. the answer is the same. i think which is that i think that there is a corner about what happened in the 2016 election, the house and senate intelligence committees have the staff and the capabilities and the processes in place to look at this in a way that is objective and that's where it should be done. frankly, if you've seen the response from especially on the house side but as well as the senate, they welcome this. >> reporter: white house press secretary sean spicer made it clear the president is not about to take any of it back. >> will the president withdraw the accusation? does he have any -- >> why would he withdraw it
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until it's adjudicated? that's what we're asking. absolutely not. >> reporter: democrats are furious and perplexed over the still baseless allegation. >> donald trump is destroying the credibility of the office of president 140 characters at a time. >> reporter: the drama over the president's bugging claims is yet another distraction as republicans mount their first legislative challenge, selling the public on their plan to repeal and replace obamacare. but the president embracing the now house gop plan. >> i'm proud to support the replacement plan released by the house. we are going to have something that's going to be much more understood and much more popular than people can even imagine. >> reporter: and the health and human services secretary selling the plan at the white house. >> this is all about patients. >> reporter: even though the white house isn't willing to call this trump care just yet. >> is that the president's bill? >> that is a bill that we have worked with with congress. and i'm not trying to be cute here, but i think it's not his bill or their bill. it is a bill we have worked on
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with them together. we are very proud of where it stands now. >> reporter: not because democrats oppose the bill. >> just when you think you've seen it all, the republicans go to a more extreme place. this will make millions of people -- it's a question of 10, 15, 20 million people having health insurance. it will be the biggest transfer of wealth from low and middle income people to wealthy people in our country. >> reporter: but because some conservative republicans do as well. >> under obamacare you had to pay the penalty. the house leadership plan, you will pay the penalty to the insurance company. this is in all likelihood unconstitutional. >> reporter: now, as for the wiretapping claims from thement, the white house was being very careful today about questions of confidence and the fbi director who privately raised concerns about these unfounded claims of bugging at trump tower from the president. asked if the president still supports james comey, press secretary sean spicer said he has no reasons to believe he doesn't. the white house did receive more bad news today, wolf. as you saw up on capitol hill,
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influential conservatives from the heritage foundation to the house freedom caucus, all lining up to oppose the republican health care plan. the troubles are mounting once again for this president, wolf. >> they are suggesting it's dead on arrival. jim accosta, thanks very much. senators today press the man who would oversee a federal investigation into russia's interference in the election and moscow's contacts with the trump campaign. add to that now president trump's unfounded claim he was wiretapped by president obama a claim for which the white house says it has absolutely no regret. cnn jus sis correspondent pamela brown is here, the noem knee widely respected would be running away quickly, if you will, would be forgiven for running away quickly. >> right, and, wolf, it can't be understated or overstated enough, what would be a low key confirmation hearing for the deputy attorney general became a tension-filled showdown over russia because he would now be the man who could over oversee
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the investigation into russia's meddling in the election just a week after attorney jeff sessions recused himself from the investigation. tonight as questions about russian interference into the u.s. election swirl, rod rosenstein, the man nominated to be deputy attorney general who would take over the investigation, is at the center of the storm. >> let me make sure you all are clear on this. i don't know if there is an investigation. i only read what was in the newspapers. >> i find it disturbing that you did not read the de classified report on russia's activities during the election. i find that very, very disturbing. >> reporter: rosenstein pledging even though he is unaware of what probes may be taking place inside the justice department, he will continue any necessary investigations into russian interference. >> if there is an ongoing investigation in the justice department into interference with our elections by russia or anybody else and it's properly
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predicated and there is a basis for federal investigation, then absolutely i would support it. >> reporter: but democrats are demanding a special prosecutor take over. >> that's why i continue to support the appointment of a special prosecutor to lead the investigation. this is about more than just one individual. this is about the integrity of the process and the public's faith in our institutions of justice. >> reporter: republicans, on the other hand, resisting those calls. >> how would you decide whether special prosecutor would be appropriate in a particular department investigation? >> bottom line is, senator, it's my job to make sure that all investigations can be conducted independently. >> reporter: and now there is fresh confusion after president trump's tech tonic claim that president obama wiretapped trump's phones during the campaign, which would have been against the law. >> i think that the president of the united states who has stated categorically that trump tower
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was wiretapped, that he should come forward with the information that led him to that conclusion. >> reporter: and tonight senator cornyn telling cnn that the senate intelligence investigation will look at the wiretapping claim. >> do you believe the president when he says that? >> well, like i said, it needs an investigation so we can find out what the facts are. so, we'll follow the facts wherever they may lead. >> i think largely, was it appropriate for him to say that, to accuse president obama of this? >> i don't know what the basis of his statement is, so i really can't comment on that. >> reporter: today the attorney general refused to comment on the president's wiretapping accusation. >> will you refute president trump's claims that president obama -- >> reporter: but democrats are demanding more answers after jeff sessions originally failed to disclose two meetings he had with the russian ambassador to the u.s. leading to his recusal. >> i have recused myself -- >> he should come back and explain himself, mr. chairman.
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i think he owes that to us. >> reporter: but judiciary committee chairman republican chuck grassley coming to sessions' defense. >> if i was going to ask you a gotcha question, i was going to tell you about it ahead of time and i consider what senator franken asked sessions at that late moment, that that story just come out as a gotcha question. >> it was not a gotcha question, sir. >> reporter: and today the white house is still not commenting further on explaining the president's claims about the wiretap. instead, it reiterated its desire to investigate leaks to the press. wolf? >> pamela brown, thank you very much. joining us now republican congressman chris collins of new york. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> always good to be with you, wolf. >> president trump called it a fact. he said it was a fact that president barack obama ordered the illegal wiretapping of his phones last year at trump tower in new york city, the homeland security secretary john kelly told me last night that president trump has, quote, got
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some convincing evidence that took place. but is there evidence at all as far as you know? >> wolf, i am not on the intelligence committee. i do not have any information myself. i'm not privy to fisa court orders and the like. so, at this point i don't know anything more than you or other americans know, but i do agree there is nothing wrong with putting this, if we're going to investigate the russian issue related to the campaign. there is nothing wrong with putting this issue as well. was there interference, surveillance, phone tapping that was directed by the democrats, by the administration, directed at the campaign. might as well investigate that as well because we've also got a lot of other things as you know whether it's health care or tax reform to deal with. so, i'm fine with doing that investigation. >> i know you're not on the intelligence committee, but the respective republican chairman of the house and senate intelligence committee, they say
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the same thing. they have seen no eftds that president obama wiretapped the phones at trump tower in new york city. does that concern you? >> well, whether it's wiretapping or whether it's surveillance or whether it's other kinds of nefarious activities, i guess we need to put them all together and say, let's investigate what did happen, what didn't happen, and see where this goes. so, i would expand it beyond the words phone tapping or wiretapping and look at the other issues as well. >> because in his tweets saturday morning, the white house as of today says they are still sticking by those tweets. let me read a couple to you because the president was firm. terrible. just found out obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory. nothing found. this is mccarthyism. a few minutes later he tweeted, i bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact. he used the word fact, that president obama was tapping my phones in october just prior to
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election. few minutes after that, how low has president obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process? this is nixon watergate or bad or sick guy. do you believe president obama did it, that he's a bad or asik guy? do you agree with president trump? >> well, if it turns out that he did tap his phones, then absolutely i would agree with that. i don't have the facts so i really can't have an informed opinion one way or the other, wolf. let's let an investigation by the house -- >> with all due respect, congressman, you don't need a congressional investigation. he's the president of the united states. if he has the evidence, within a nanosecond he can release that evidence, make it public and show that he's right. he refuses to do so, which suggests he doesn't really have the evidence. >> well, again, it depends what you mean by evidence. it may be hearsay that someone was explaining that to him. so, let's take this where it
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goes and it may or may not be true there was actual wiretapping and it may not or may not be true there was surveillance and other nefarious activities going on by the democrats. >> but the president said it was a fact. he didn't put any ifs, didn't put any qualifiers. he said it was a fact. and that obviously has raised so many questions, the fbi director james comey we're told is incredulous, how could he do this? the former director of national intelligence clapper says it never happened. we're getting denial after denial after denial. the president still refuses to provide any back up to those assertions and that's causing alarm. you understand that. >> oh, i certainly do understand that. i'm just working away on health care reform on the energy and commerce committee and the health subcommittee and suggesting if beer going to investigate russia, let's investigate this. let's see where the investigation goes in both cases. meanwhile, as you well know,
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we've got an awful lot of work on the other agenda in the house. >> stand by, congressman. we have a lot to discuss. we're going to take another quick break. we'll be right back. are made with smarttrack®igners material to precisely move your teeth to your best smile. see how invisalign® treatment can shape your smile up to 50% faster today at invisalign.com afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me.
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breaking news, president trump gives his blessing to an obamacare replacement plan put forward by the house republican leadership. a conservative critics are already calling it obamacare lite and they say it will be, quote, dead on arrival. we're back with the republican congressman chris collins of new york. congressman, you're on the house energy and commerce committee that released the bill. you've got a lot of knowledge
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about what's in it. we're hoping you can help answer some critically important questions. >> okay. >> first of all, under this bill, how many people would be covered? >> well, initially certainly everyone is going to be covered. there is really no significant changes other than the repeal of the employer mandate and individual mandate which are immediate. the other changes come in basically january 1st of 2020. it's two years and ten months from now. so, getting rid of the employer mandate and the employee or the individual mandate lets people go whose hours were cut from 39 hours to 27 hours, they can go back to the 39-hour part-time job, not have to have two part-time jobs. that's a very big thing. also the repeal of the fees, the taxes and the penalties which would take place about a year from now, january 1st of '18, would actually stimulate job creation in the economy with that money being used by companies and individuals to buy
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products, goods and services to expand their companies. >> so, everybody -- so you're saying, congressman, everybody who is covered now would be covered in this new -- if this new legislation were to become law, is that what you're saying? >> yeah, certainly through january 1st of 2020, the exchanges are still there -- >> what about after 2020? >> well, come january 1st of 2020, there will be a few changes. now, states that are currently being reimbursed at an enhanced rate for medicaid, it could be 90% in new york or other states. they can continue to have the expansion, but it will be at their standard reimbursement rate. in the case of new york, 50%. a state like west virginia, 73%. but i would say to those who don't like that we're cutting that reimbursement, today the blind and the disabled are reimbursed in new york at 50%. why would we reimburse anybody at all for 90? >> just a second, congressman. there was a congressional budget report that came out in 2015 on
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similar house legislation which passed but never got through the senate, never went to the president. and it said that the number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of that bill. very similar to this bill. and it also went on to say, premiums in the non-group market for individual policies purchased through the market places, or directly from insurers would increase by 20% to 25%. i assume you saw that nonpartisan congressional budget office study. >> yeah, but here's the big difference. that plan or that bill we passed eliminated the medicaid expansion in its entirety right away. we're going to continue it as-is through 2019 and allow the expansion to continue indefinitely if a state chooses, which i'm sure a state like new york will. they'll just get the 50%
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reimbursement instead of 90%. so, that was a big thing. the other one is that plan did not have the refundable tax credits that we have. so, you would argue that the 20 million people now that are covered by medicaid expansion and by the exchanges and the subsidies, if you looktd at what we did a couple years ago, that all disappeared. the plan is not that way. >> congressman, so, after 2020, which is not that far down the road, would more people have insurance or fewer people have insurance? what happens after 2020? >> well, we're not sure of that answer, but we're still going to have in my opinion, medicaid expansion in the 31 states that expanded. so, that would not see any people coming off on the medicaid rolls and people are going to have refundable tax credits -- >> this is so important, congressman. 2020 is not that far down the road. you don't know the answer, how many people would be insured after 2020? that's a question mark that you want to leave hovering overall of this?
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>> well, we don't know what anyone is going to do tomorrow. we're putting individual choice back in. we're eliminating the individual mandate. we're eliminating the employer mandate. but we are providing refundable tax credits for people to pick an insurance policy that works for them. we're going to be reimbursing medicaid expansion at the standard state rate, new york 50%, state like west virginia 73. i fully expect the 31 states that took expansion will continue that. so, right now there is no indication frankly that anyone is going to lose coverage, but two years and ten months from today, we don't know what's going to happen. there could be more people insured. there could be less people insured. that's hypothesizing something that isn't something we can do other than what we're doing today is very different than what we talked about a year and a half ago, which would have eliminated the expansion immediately across the board. that's not the case and it did not have the refundable tax credit to which we have to help
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those in the certain lower income level to buy insurance. >> as you heard the president today endorse this house leadership version, the affordable care act came to be known as obamacare. should this legislation be called trump care? >> no, this is actually a coordinated effort between the administration, the house and the senate. so, this is being called the american health care act, the aha, and i think that's fair to say it's a collaborative effort by the administration and the house and the senate, and i do believe it's going to be passed. it's too important for the republican party. we cannot go into the midterm elections and not have delivered on the repeal and the replacement of obamacare, something that we all ran on. and i hear what others are saying, but i do think that the speaker, the majority leader in our whip will get the votes. they pledged they're going to get the votes and we may need president trump to weigh in. but as a member myself, i've got to expect we will get it done.
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>> you know there are a lot of republicans already say they can't support it. mike lee, the senator from utah, this is not the obamacare repeal bill we have been waiting for, it is a missed opportunity and a step in the wrong direction. we promised the american people we would drain the swamp and end business as usual in washington. this bill does not do that. others are equally as critical. heritage action said in many ways the house republican proposal released last night not only accepts the flawed progressive premises of obamacare, but expands upon them. they are indicating right now, a lot of these conservative republicans in the house and the senate, they can't vote for this. you might not even get it passed in the house or the senate this first phase. >> well, we've got to get it done, wolf, or again next year will be a disaster. we're on a team together. we're going to have to rally the team to get this done and people are saying what they're doing, they're posturing. i would ask them maybe to just
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back off a little bit. look at the details. the very fact that we're eliminating the individual mandate, the employer mandate, we're eliminating all the fees, the taxes and the penalties that have stifled the growth in our economy, and we're fixing medicaid. we are actually doing the per capita cap block grants in january of 2020 to slow the growth of the cost of medicaid which today is what we spend on national defense. that will make medicaid sustainable on into the future. the biggest entitlement change that we have made in decades, they need to look at the good things in here and not focus on some wish list that they had which they claim would be the perfect bill for them. you can't let perfect be the enemy of good and this is a good bill. >> it's got to pass the house and the speaker just said he guarantees it will pass the house. you'll get the 218 votes. but then it's got to go to the senate where there is a 52-republican majority over the 48 democrats. so, you need 51 votes.
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but already several moderate republicans in the senate, whether susan collins or lisa burkowski or others are saying, if you eliminate funding for planned parenthood, they can't vote for it. shelly, rob portener, there are a bunch of republicans who say you can't stop funding for planned parenthood. are you ready to put planned parenthood back in the legislation? >> what it comes down to, wolf, we're going to pass what we do in the house. it's going to go in the senate. there will probably, in fact, for sure there will be some changes coming out of the senate. that's when we conference the two. and what you've brought up is the one issue that very well could be changed in a conference between the senate and the house. we'll have to wait and see. i don't see that changing in the house bill, but we're all aware that's probably at the top of the list of something that will be problematic in the senate. we'll have to see how that plays out and deal with it at the
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time. >> very quickly, you know your republican colleagues in the house, if funding comes back from the senate to a conference committee and it insists on funding for planned parenthood, will your republicans in the house vote for that legislation? >> i'm confident, wolf, that when it comes back from conference, the house will approve what we agreed to with the senate. in some cases, again, it won't be perfect. 24r8 be parts that will be objectionable to folks. but we have to get it done. there is no alternative for the republican party other than to put this on president trump's desk by the middle of the end of april. we have to get it done. it's that important. >> all right. congressman chris collins of new york, thanks so much for joining us. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> coming up, can the cia use your phone, 'computer, even your television to listen to your conversations? we have new details about a potentially devastating new claim by wikileaks. up to? people love progressive's name your price tool so much it's hard to get their attention. that's where moves like this come in...
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we're following multiple breaking stories including new attacks on the republican plan to repeal and replace obamacare. even though president trump says he's proud of the plan and republican leaders are promising quick action and already is under lots of fire. not only by democrats, but by many conservative republicans as well. let's bring in our political experts. gloria, paul ryan, the speaker, [ inaudible ] 18 votes needed to pass it, the hougs of representatives would be there, but a lot of people are not so
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sure. there are plenty of republicans who are worried about it in the house from the right, but there's a whole bunch of republicans in the senate who are worried that it simply cuts too much and a lot of their constituents are going to be left without health insurance. >> what did president trump say? it's unbelievably complicated? well, it is. >> who knew? >> who knew, who knew it was so complicated? it is. and i think what you saw paul ryan trying to do and what you see mitch mcconnell trying to do on the senate side is get this bill through as quickly as they possibly can because the more scrutiny it undergoes, the more difficult it will be to get it passed. we have not had, for example, the price tag for it. we don't know what it's going to cost yet. that takes a little bit of time to figure out. we don't know, as the congressional budget office takes a look at it, we don't know [ inaudible ] if any in the copays, in your deductibles, what it's going to do to the
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medicare trust fund and how many less people would be served, how many less people would have health insurance or would more >> you have the rob portmans,
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who are concerned about the medicaid expansion. do you want to get that? [ phone ringing ] >> sorry. [ laughter ] >> get the medicaid expansion and keep that expansion going for their states. but before you get to the senate, wolf, the house is where this game is right now and it really does face a steep climb of. my inbox, i'm sure yours was, flooded from freedom works, heritage foundation. >> right. >> these are all conservative groups. i it keep thinking to myself, nancy pelosi, barack obama and harry reid must be popping the popcorn sitting back because eight years ago they were fighting with their left flank on public option and watching this and the intra-party battle to ghetto bama caet obamacare t. now it's donald trump and paul ryan. >> no democrats are going to go along with this as far as i can tell. >> no. >> you know, ryan, you wrote an article about the speaker in the new yorker today, i read it. let me read a sentence or two
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from it. if ryan, you're talking about the speaker paul ryan, can rush and muscle it through the house and mitch mcconnell can do the same in the senate, it might end up on trump's desk. but the more scrutiny this house bill is subject to, the more likely it is to share the fate of most efforts at health care reform and die somewhere on its journey to the senate and perhaps long before then. if his health care reform effort fails, ryan himself may not survive as the house leader. and you heard his flat guarantee, it will pass the house. >> yeah, look. i mean, i think i was sort of surprised today by the reaction from the right. as david pointed out, all of the important grassroots conservative groups came out against this bill. the freedom caucus was which represents 40 members of the house of representatives, 40 republicans, a lot of their members came out against it. so, you would have expected after all of these years and making this the first
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legislative priority of the trump era, that the republican party would be more unified around this bill. i mean, in 2009, the democrats -- and they barely passed that bill, right, when ted kennedy died and brown replaced him. they barely got that thing across the finish line and they were united on the basic plan despite some of the disagreement they had on the minutiae. this is a very ominous sign today that there is that much friction and you've got it from the middle and from the right. >> so, quickly, is paul ryan's speakership on the line right now in >> look, you have a faction of the republican party that didn't -- wasn't crazy about him and has been -- didn't think he was tough enough against obama, and that faction is still active and looking for excuses to damage him. so, i think the republican speaker always has a bit of a precarious position considering what happens to boehner and the same people that helped
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overthrow boehner are the very ones critical and calling this ryan care and they don't mean it in a positive sense. >> you know the president today, gloria, he warmly welcomed, he virtually endorsed the house leadership by health care reform package. >> sure. >> but a lot of people think it's dead on arrival. do you? >> well, i think if they push it through quickly, they have more of a chance than if it sits out there. and i don't know if they are going to be able to push it through quickly. >> they have to wait until the congressional budget office -- they score -- >> they're not waiting. they're not waiting. >> it's going to -- what? >> there won't be a volt on the floor. >> but they want to push it through committee pretty quickly and they're not having a huge number of hearings they're going to mark up and they're going to do that in committee. i think they understand that the longer it sits out there, the more of a, you know, a problem it is. but boehner, ryan is talking boehner. boehner said republicans never agreed on health care. they never agreed what to do
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about health care. and guess what? now that they're running the place they're still not agreeing about what to do about it. >> david, listen to this, this is 2009, 2010 when obamacare was on the table and republicans had this to say about the process that was unfolding. >> they're saying, ignore the wishes of the american people. we know more about this than you do. and we're going to jamb it down your throats. >> my colleagues in congress are going to continue on their march to shove this government non-health care plan down the throats of the american people. >> it would be a political comma kozlowski i mission for the political party. >> now the republicans want to jamb this through. >> what's old is new again. listen, there is a political imperative here and donald trump identified it today. he when he was meeting with folks at the time white house, the deputy whips and those rallying the votes. if the republican cannot go back
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to the country and say, we have repealed obamacare, donald trump said there is going to be a blood bath for his party in 2018 in the midterm elections. that's true. they have won election after election, cycle after cycle, 2010, 2014, 2016, all on this promise of repeal. so, to gloria's point, they do need to move quickly because if it does falter, it really could be quite damaging politically for the republican party. >> and for the president. don't forget that. >> and yet the argument of the conservatives who already don't like this bill, what was their argument about boehner? what was the thing they got out of speaker ryan to put him in that position? they got promises that they would not rush legislation through, that it would go through so-called regular order. so, you know, it is true that speed is the best way to get something through, but in this case to win that right flank, speed may actually push some of those folks off. >> let's talk quickly about the
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president's unsubstantiated claim that president obama wiretapped his phones at trump tower in new york city. the white house once again refusing to provide any back up to the president's assertions saturday morning. how long can the white house avoid at least providing some evidence to back that up? >> well, their belief is that they've now shunted it aside, that they have now squarely said, okay, it's up to congress. sean spicer today said this is what the separation of powers is about. we believe in that. and they believe that way they don't have to address it. but as long as journalists keep asking the question, sean spicer is going to have to keep answering it. and there are people on capitol hill who are saying, as you saw today, so far we haven't seen any evidence of what the president was talking about. and the white house will keep saying, well, push harder. when we know, in fact, the president could end the controversy by simply telling
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people what the evidence is that he has. >> it's fascinating that the republican chairman of both intelligence committees said today they've seen no evidence to back up what the president tweeted. >> yeah, and the house intel chair devin nunez went even further to say, the president is a political neophyte. he doesn't seem to know what he's talking about here perhaps or he doesn't know his way -- what? he's the president of the united states. and he put out this statement that had totally no evidence and, of course, the white house is not going to be able to put out evidence because there is none. >> he may have meant the president didn't know it was legal -- >> devin nunez, the chairman of the house intelligence committee said, look, the president has only been a politician for about a year or so. don't take his words literally. he may not have known what he was doing. he's just saying this. that's pretty outrageous. >> the outrageous thing is he's right about that in a sense, that the president does act and tweet and say things based on,
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you know, sort of sketchily sourced press reports rather than relying on the greatest intelligence service in the world. so, look, there's no -- we haven't seen evidence of this because there is no evidence. the white house when they were pressed last week, they sent reporters some clips of some websites with anonymously sourced reports about this. so, if they actually had evidence, if they knew that this was true, they would surely be a whole lot more certain about it. >> it wasn't press reports. right wing radio that was making these kinds of assertions. weren't even going as far as the president is going. >> absolutely right, wolf, absolutely right. there were reports not saying what he said. you had to go several steps beyond that to make the leap. you're right. >> you know, the president is a master at knowing how to change a conversation. and don't forget when this occurred, the conversation was about disarray in the white house. and the president, getting very agitated at his own staff. so, he does that on friday.
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he flies to mar-a-lago on saturday, and he tweets these things saturday morning because, again, what he's trying to do is say, you know, that isn't the story. the story here is the leaking. the story here is leaking. it's not what you're writing about and trying to sort of, you know, tell the press, go look in another direction. >> it is not a successful change of subject. >> not successful at all. if he has the evidence he can release it immediately if he wanted to if there is evidence. coming up, wikileaks's explosive claim it just exposed thousands of pages of cia secrets about how it can hack into your phone, your computer, even some smart tvs.
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wikileaks claims it has acquires secret files on how the cia uses cyber weapons to spy on people around the world including the ability to hack into smartphones and smart tvs. brian todd has been digging into this. brian, what are you finding out? >> wolf, tonight wikileaks has a bombshell, publishing these documents. what could be the biggest exposure of u.s. intelligence gathering methods since edward snowden's leak. wikileaks won't reveal its source. other than to say it is someone who wants to get the cia's hacking capabilities and its intelligence gathering power out in the open. some of the cia's most sophisticated and effective spying tools apparently pried open tonight with the help of wikileaks. t the anti-secrecy group says it obtained thousands of files, hundreds of thousands of lines of code from the cia's massive hacking operation. the cia's team of hackers have developed malware to be able to hack into almost any device
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people use and can remotely control iphones, ipads, android devices, taking video from their cameras listening with their microphones. >> we should be worried if they're being used against nonintelligence targets. we should be worried if they're being used against americans. >> reporter: the cia is not allowed to spy on americans inside the u.s., but privacy advocates worry other agencies may be using the same tools. wikileaks says there's one cia hacking operation called weeping angel that can even tap into an enemy's samsung smart tv. >> they can turn my tv into a spying device. what happens when i turn it off? >> when you turn it off, it's not actually off. a lot of people remember the little red light. >> right. >> that means there's still a computer in there and listening for the remote to call back again to turn on. otherwise it wouldn't be able to do so. what the cia can do is they can latch into that and even when the tv is off still listen to the microphone that's in the television. they call this fakeoff. >> reporter: wikileaks says cia hackers can bypass encrypted messaging apps like signal or
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telegram by cracking the phones, themselves. according to wikileaks, the cia explored the possibility of hacking into the software of modden carries. >> it can be accessed from outside, perhaps taken control of and this can let you do a lot of things from playing the music to taking control of the car entirely and crash it if you want to assassinate somebody. >> reporter: wikileaks says the cia uses the u.s. consulate in germany as a secret base, spy on people in europe, the middle east and africa. the white house and state department wouldn't comment. the documents released by wikileaks have not been a authenticaaw authenticated by independent experts. wikileaks says some of the hacking techniques would allow the cia to mask their hacking to make it look like someone else did it. if this claim is true, wikileaks has dealt a significant blow to u.s. national security. >> every time a place like wikileaks blows our ops, the bad
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guys evolve and use countermeasures to defeat the abilities of the united states to spy on them and to track them to target them and so forth. >> wikileaks says there's a broader security problem here, if the cia can get its hands on these hacking tools, the bad guys can, too, that cyber criminals and other hackers, hostile countries' hacking teams possibly will be able to hack into people's phones, computers and tvs. contacted by cnns, the cia says it does not comment on the authenticity or content of purr porped intelligence documents. wolf? >> brian todd reporting. coming up the president backs a house republican plan to replace obamacare but it's already under attack from all sides with conservatives calling it dead on arrival. and the white house offers no evidence new york regr evidence, no regrets for president trump's claim that he was wiretapped illegally by president obama. r-old female. heavily into basketball. wait. data just changed... now she's into disc sports. ah, no she's not. since when?
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happening now, breaking news. work in progress. the president publicly embraces the house gop's health care bill with many crucial details like the cost still a mystery. tonight, rebel republicans are blasting their own party's plan as obamacare light. is it dead on arrival? not backing down. the white house says mr. trump has no regrets about claiming president obama tapped his phones during the campaign. the accuser in chief still failing to offer any proof as congress agrees to investigate. cia breached. wikileaks claims to reveal the agency's secret hacking operation using high-tech phones and tvs to spy on peo

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